Our legendary author Larry Winchester, that “literary Frank Gorshin”,* here switches effortlessly from the folksy drawl of the pusillanimous rancher Big Jake Johnstone to the urbane badinage of those adventurers-without-portfolio Dick and Daphne Ridpath, and then dizzyingly back to Jake again...
(Go here to review our previous chapter, or here to see where the whole tragic tale began.)
*Harold Bloom, on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
Well, lemme tell ya now, if you got a spaceship comin’ at ya hell bent for leather from one direction and a pack of drug-addled bloodthirsty machine-gun-totin’ motorcycle banditos comin’ at ya from the other direction, well, t’ain’t but common fuckin’ sense to skedaddle sidewise but pronto.
So that’s what I did, sir, I just wheeled that Cadillac right and peeled outa there mucho pronto, Tonto.
Trouble was that ol’ flyin’ saucer just kept headin’ right after me! I could see it plain as day in the rearview mirror. Comin’ right after me it was. I didn’t know why it wanted me. I never done it no harm. Never done no man no harm. Nor no outer space man, neither.****
“I had no idea what I was doing. No idea. Out of one eye I could see on one TV screen Enid and Hope trying to get the English fellow out of the station wagon, while on another screen I’m getting the bigger picture -- motorcycle gang approaching, Big Jake hightailing it out of there in his Cadillac -- and that’s when it really got crazy. I grasp the general situation and figure, okay, I guess I’ll try to land in between Hope and Enid and the motorcycle gang. I figure this has got to scare them away -- but the problem being as I say I don’t really know how to land the damn thing and I’m none too adept at steering it, either. I mean we’re swerving all over the place, up, down, sideways.”
“That’s when Brad got into the act again,” said Mrs. Ridpath.
“Right. I’d been so preoccupied I had almost forgotten about friend Brad, who’d been duly administering to Mac and Buddy, but suddenly I guess he realized what a botch I was making of things.”
“You were not.”
“Well, I was, really.”
“Oh, as if Brad --”
“Well, let me tell it.”
“So, Brad jumps up, yells, ‘What the fuck ya doin’, you’ll kill is all!’”
“Oh, that’s him. To a T.”
“So I say, well, Christ, Brad, you land it! And that’s where --”
“All hell breaks loose.”
“Yeah. I’m getting up to let Brad sit, and Brad’s sitting down, and in that transition we somehow lost control...”****
I seen he was after me all right. I never done nothin’ to him but he was after me like a coyote after a desert rat.
What could I do? Skedaddlin’ to the right didn’t work so I wheeled around one-eighty again, and wouldn’tcha know that bastard was still on my tail, so I figured, fuck it, wheeled left and realized right away I was headin’ straight for that pack of motorcycle scum.
This point I just didn’t fuckin’ care.
Zoomed right by the station wagon, seen they’d got that English punk outa the car, but I didn’t care about that neither, and them motorcycle fellas was headin’ straight on hellbent for leather even though that goddam’ saucer was still hot on my trail -- hell, I guess them biker guys was just too high on drugs to know any better -- and about one second later I’m drivin’ right into their midst, and I’m screamin’ and yellin’, ‘Outa my way, you sons o’ bitches, ‘cause this is one heap of American-made vehiculation that ain’t stoppin’ for nobody or nothin’!’
And I wanta tell ya, them boys an’ their bikes just parted like the Red Sea parted for God’s Chosen People. Oh, you better believe I bumped a couple or three of ‘em, and they went flyin’, cartwheelin’ an’ screamin’ behind me, but I didn’t give a flyin’ fuck in the wind, no sir. Hell, they shoulda just got out of my way!
Pardon my French.
(Continued here. Third-place prize-winner of Good Housekeeping’s Sprawling Epic Award.)