Saturday, October 3, 2009

Time Travelin' Machine ...

My favorite boyhood friend ... and self-proclaimed prolific inventor ... Lamar Beefeater ... who lived just down the road from our place, kept himself busy each summer in his daddy's workshop "inventin' stuff" ... ol' Lamar was disturbingly ambitious to a fault ... although his daddy Henry was ever asseverating the widely known fact that his son was four cents shy of a whole nickel as far as reasonable "cogitatin'" was concerned ... I had long before settled on the conclusion that limited reasonable cogitation just might have inflicted the entire Beefeater clan ... now the most precarious thing about Lamar's proclivity for "inventin' stuff" was that he would often request hands-on assistance from his pals ... upon whom he usually ended up casting blame for most of his unfortunate flops.

One lazy afternoon, Lamar came running breathlessly into our backyard and excitedly announced his latest idea for yet another invention ... he had affectionately dubbed it his "time travelin' machine" ... Lamar explained how he wanted to travel back in time to the 1932 World Series between the Yankees and Cubs ... "to see for hisself if the legend of Babe Ruth's 'called shot' was true or not," so I followed him back to his place and cautiously entered the "lab" ... there in the center of the workshop's slanted, plank floor sat an antiquated Model#10 Maytag wringer washing machine - with copper tub ... "ain't she a beaut!?" exclaimed Lamar ... he had already removed the wringer from the washer, and had flipped over his mama's big metal garbage can that she kept on the back porch, of which he had fabricated into a "time capsule," then he tethered that metal can to the washer with frayed cargo straps ... he had also attached the garbage can lid, which was to serve as an "escape hatch" to the "time capsule" with over-sized, galvanized barn door hinges ... he had bored two large holes in the side of the can to see through, and welded three metal coat hangers on its lid for aerials (just in case he encountered some friendly Martians) ... most interestingly though were the ten dozen or so Cherry bombs glued to the bottom of this contraption, all of which were wired to a single fuse ... Lamar explained that these were the "essential propellants" which would lift the grand machine far above the boundless heavens into timeless space, or, just really far! ... well, Lammy put on his brother's football helmet and his daddy's welding gloves, then proceeded to give me my instructions ... "after I git in and close the hatch, you plug it into the 'lectrc' socket... light that fuse ... then run!

"Then run!?" ... with a chuckle or two, I plugged the old Maytag into an extension cord that Lamar had strung all the way from the house ... and when that tired, old motor sprang to life, that machine began walking itself all across the crooked floor oscillating wildly while flinging Lamar around inside like a greased marble inside that copper tub ... I reckon Lamar hadn't thought to disengage the washer's agitator before "powering her up," at least that's my theory, scientifically speaking ... now all that dancing around made it nearly impossible for me to light that fuse, but I finally got it done, then I ran from that workshop as fast as my feet could carry me, just like Lamar had instructed ... just as I cleared the doorway I heard it ... "BOOOOOOOMMMM!!!" ... followed by several smaller booms ... some rattling noises ... a crash ... then a bit of agonized moaning ... as soon as the smoke cleared enough for me to breathe, I ran back in to check on Lamar ... what was left of the Maytag lie smoldering in a corner ... the garbage can had come to rest in another ... and there was a stunned and scorched Lamar Beefeater sprawled in the middle of the floor ... "where am I?" ... "what year is it?" ... "are you the Bambino?" ... "how far did I travel?" ... my reply ... "well ... maybe six or seven feet I reckon" ... Lamar removed the helmet from his throbbing head, glared up at me and in angry frustration declared ... "I just knew you'd mess it up somehow!!"


1 comment:

BOB said...

What you giving me for me birthday ... I'll bet you forgot ... I'll take money if you're too lazy to shop ... Robbie called earlier ... the pretext to find out what I was going to do tomorrow for my birthday ... then, after maybe a minute of small talk, dropped the other shoe ... "I could use some help with the rent!"

He gets his first paycheck in two weeks ... I never answered but sent it Western Union at Carol's insistence.

Maybe I'll make some chocolate fudge with pecans ... If I can 'member the recipe.

Buzz me!