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The Book of Calvin
A Collection of Humorous Essays
Copyright 2002 by Bobby Matherne
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The Time Traveler From Another Dimension
“Come in. Oh, it's you, Calvin,” Rod Dreyfuss said. Rod was Calvin's boss and he could tell Calvin was flustered about something. “What's up?”
“It's Billy -- I promised to take him to pick up his car at the dealer's. I need to leave now or earlier.”
“No problem,” Rod said, smiling. He was used to Calvin's creation of new islands of meaning in the English language. But he stopped to consider the following: if he had told Calvin he could leave 'earlier' -- would Calvin have used a time machine to do so? So he added, as Calvin was leaving his office, “Do you have a time machine, Calvin?”
“No, but I do come from another dimension -- of sight and sound,” Calvin said, in his best Rod Serling imitation.
“I thought so,” his boss said laughing. He mused over the problems he had explaining to friends who were amazed that someone with such aberrations of language could be a competent employee. If only they understood that Calvin was the glue that held his department together -- like the court jester, who relieved tension by generating laughter during the most serious problems of the kingdom, so too, Calvin was a constant source of amusement in the otherwise drab routine of his department.
As Calvin was walking to the parking lot, he was jangling the coins in his pocket and thinking of the slot machines at the casinos where he and Billy were going tonight. When he reached the car, he said aloud to himself, “I hear the jingle, jangle, jingles calling me tonight.”
Just then Billy came up behind and Calvin turned around quickly, “Don't try to sneak up on me, Billy, I got eyes behind my ears.”
“Let's go get my new car, Cal.” Billy said, in his usual brusque, all-business manner. “Then we can go to the casino.”
During the drive to the dealer's, Calvin began singing, “How dry I am . . . when you drive in . . .ugh!” Billy had learned to expect anything from Calvin, especially when he spontaneously broke out into song.
“I heard Dan Hammer talking about dating your daughter. What do you think about that?” Billy asked.
“I told that young whippersnipper if he wanted to date her he'd better have enough money to pay for her diary. That should calm his jets.”
“Dowry, you mean,” Billy said.
“Right, dowee, or no datee,” Calvin said, taking out his wallet and counting the twenty dollar bills, “and he better have plenty of moolah. Unos, dosos, tresos, that's sixty dollars, should be enough for a couple hours of blackjack.”
“It didn't last more than twenty minutes last time we went.”
“Yeah, Big Boy,” Calvin said, “it was bushwhack, tallywhack, ain’t got it no more. After about ten minutes I told them, 'Take your best shots. Knock a good man when I’m down.' And they did. I came down like a rocket.”
“You took it well, didn't seem devastated by it.”
“You know me, Billy, I'm not no devastating person.”
“You Better Hurry. That dealer closes in ten minutes, Calvin, we should have left earlier.”
“I know, I know, that's what I told Rod, but he only laughed at me. Hey, Billy, isn't that the place where you and I went to the Sportsman's Show last year?”
“I'll never forget it. I saw two deer there -- a buck and a boe.”
“Doe,” Billy corrected.
“I saw that, too. They had this booth full of dough -- dollar bills flying all over the place -- you got in it and could keep as much as you could grab in one minute.”
“No, Cal, the deer you saw is called a doe -- it was a female.”
“A doe is a female buck?”
Before Billy could answer, Calvin turned into the parking lot and they got out of the car. “Let's hope it's first served, first come, so we can get right over to the casino,” Calvin said as they walked to the salesroom. The salesman asked them to have a seat in his office while he prepared the papers for Billy to sign.
“Doesn't that gal look a little like Kathy?” Billy said.
“Sure does, they both have tits like a Jergens cow,” Calvin said.
“Why didn't you come over and join us when I was talking to Kathy at the bar last night?”
“I did, but she shied me away from her. Maybe because I had just had sex and I reaped of the scent,” Calvin said, somewhat embarrassed. “But I'd sure like to put fire in her bubble.”
“Didn't you take her to the concert in City Park last week?”
“Yeah, the concert was open to the sky, you know, an ample theater. She sure made my heart go poundy-poundy that night.”
“Cal, why don't you go get us something to snack on from that vending machine while I wait here.?”
On his way back from the vending machine, Calvin opened one of the snacks and had begun eating it. Billy was waiting outside the door with the signed papers in his hands. “Are you ready to go, Cal?” Calvin started to answer and began to cough instead.
“What's wrong?” Billy asked.
“I'm okay now. I just had a stuck-up ding-dong in my throat.”
The two friends left for the casino in Billy's new car, leaving Calvin's car in the lot. “This sure is a pretty white car,” Calvin said to Billy. “I want my new patio to be this same shade of white. Do they sell white cement?”
“Maybe you could put some white pigment in it,” Billy offered.
“Can you put white pigs in the cement?”
“You never know until you find out, Calvin,” Billy said, hoping to change the subject.
Calvin looked out the window and starting singing, “I've got my troubles, you've got mine . . .” followed by “You loosen my bones and rattled my brain . . .”
As they entered the casino they were greeted by a black woman with a colorful scarf wrapped around her head, “Good luck, gentlemen.” Walking away, Calvin tilted his head towards Billy and said in a low voice, “Did you see that gal? She looked like Audrey Heffern in the African Queen.”
"Calvin, how do you say the things you do?" asked Billy, furrowing his brow as he looked at Calvin.
“That's easy. All I have to do is listen to myself -- I just look at myself and tell myself the right way.”
“That explains a lot,” Billy said, thankful that they had arrived at the blackjack tables.
Calvin sat at the blackjack table just to the right of a man in a wheelchair who could just barely move one of his hands over to ask for a hit or to stand. Because of his handicap, he took longer than the other players. At one point in the game Billy said, “Come on, Calvin, are you gonna stand or hit?”
“Billy, it's his turn,” Calvin said, motioning to his left, “I'm letting him consemplate his cards.”
After an hour an a half, Calvin was losing steadily, and he turned to Billy, “It looks like we're getting bottled down here. Let's go.”
As they walked out of the casino, Calvin turned to Billy and motioning back to the casino said, “Did you notice that guy I was sitting next to? It must have been tough growing up crippled like that.”
“What about you, Calvin. You must have had a rough childhood.”
“Yeah, Big Boy, I was a closet case. You know, everybody's got skulls in their closet.”
“How's your son, Brad?”
“Oh, did I tell you about his physical? Remember how I told you what happened when I went for my first proctology exam? The doctor told me to 'Bend over and spread my cheeks' and I bent over, put one hand on each side of me face and pulled?”
“Yep, don't think I could forget that.”
“Well, Brad had heard that story, too, so I guess he was a little nervous when he went for his first physical. The doctor said, 'Brad, let's check you for a hernia' and Brad turned around, placed his hands on either side of his hips and spread his cheeks.”
Billy began chuckling and looked like St. Nick with his round belly bouncing up an down.
“Like father, like son,” was his only comment. “Look, Cal, you want to come back here with me on Monday?”
“No, way, Big Boy,” Calvin said, “if you see me here on Monday, you'll be by yourself.”
“Oh? Where are you going?”
“I'm going fishing with Tim and Charlie.”
“Are you going fresh water or salt water fishing?”
“Neither, we're going bracket water fishing in Lake Borne.”
“You mean brackish water, Cal?”
“Yea, don't mind me, I can't think and talk at the same time.”
“Charlie told me you had a little problem at Audubon Park Golf Course yesterday. What happened?”
“I was playing golf at Audubon Park when I suddenly developed the runs. Chuck offered to drive me back to the clubhouse and I refused. I didn't want to interrupt his game, besides I was a little embarrassed and wanted to take care of this alone. I began walking very fast along the runway, but I didn't make it.
"When I reached the clubhouse, I looked around, down the runway, over to the clubhouse, and along the fairways and nobody was looking, so I took off my pants. I kept my back to the clubhouse, and began to hose myself off.
"When Chuck returned, I was sitting in the car with all the windows open. I was stinking up a storm. He asked me, 'What happened, Cal?' So I told him what I did. 'You washed with the hose right there?' Chuck looked at me like I was crazy.
"Sure, I told him, nobody came by, I did it quickly. 'Right there in front of the clubhouse window?'
"Billy, Chuck pointed to the upstairs picture window of the clubhouse restaurant where people were seated at tables eating their lunch. They had a full view of me spraying myself with the hose. I was so embarrassed."
“Charlie must have razzed you about that episode,” Billy said, smiling.
“Yep, but you know me, take the licking and keep on ticking. Oh, but that's not all that happened that day. I was riding in the golf cart with Steve when I saw these cute little white ducks on the side of the cart as we passed. A few minutes later I saw another duckie, so I said, “quack.” I like to be polite to our feathered friends, you know. Well, the next time I quacked at the little duckie, Steve asked me what I was doing. I told him 'Quacking at the cute little duckies.'” Guess what? Those weren't duckies. They were tee markers made from cutoff bowling pins.”
“Did Steve laugh at that?”
“Well, he got very red in the face and nearly fell out of the cart, but I'm not really sure if he laughed.”
“I guess you were sorry you quacked at those tee markers? Billy said, turning his red face away from Calvin.
“Yeah, Big Boy. I did it again. Open mouth, insert whole body. Steve and Charlie think I'm stupid, but we keep it a secret.”
“I think Steve and Charlie respect you a lot, Calvin,” Billy said, trying to be sympathetic.
“Well, don't let them kid yourself, Billy. That's all I can say.”
And that was all he said for the rest of the day.
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