This is actually a Halloween story. So, why am I not deploying it on Halloween? Look back at the 10/31 blog and ask that again… I may be as stupid as I look, but I’m not about to trump the anniversary wishes to the redhead. That would be suicide.
Back in nineteen-hundred and eighty-five… No, not like the McCartney and Wings song… The REAL nineteen hundred and eighty-five. October, more specifically. If you want to get right down to it, October 31st, hence the whole Halloween thing. (And yes, for those of you who have been following Brainpan Leakage and have read the “Mahwage” chronicles – linked on the right – this was just a few short months prior to me doing the whole love at first sight thing with E K… But that’s another story and I already told it.)
BR (Before Redhead) I worked for American Home Video. Then I didn’t. It’s a long story involving Radio Shack, a buyout, and subsequently the unceremonious expulsion of original employees. So be it. I was fashionably unemployed with bills to pay, a bit of cash in the bank, and no standing prospects. However, it had been a number of years since I’d been on a vacation and as it happened some very good friends of mine had moved to Aberdeen, South Dakota of all places. Why? To manage a Domino’s pizza joint, but that’s another story too.
At any rate, I packed a bag, took some cash out of the bank, then hopped into the Mustang – yes, I used to be cool – and jammed gears westward then northward, to go visit. In all honesty, while this was sort of a spur of the moment thing, it wasn’t wake up one morning and go. I planned it for a few days so that my ducks were all in a row. Got myself a real, live folding map – back then we had BBS’s, not Internet, so there wasn’t a Google maps option. The Interwebz were in their infancy and called ARPnet; and they belonged primarily to the government and military.
But I digress…
The thing is, I planned it out a bit. Then, one day, I jumped in the ‘Stang and hit the road, not even thinking about the date, or what it means to a good chunk of the folks in the United States. Back then we were under the double-nickel law – that being “I can’t drive fifty-five” but you’d damn well better unless you want a ticket. Therefore, the trip was going to be about 13.5 hours. No biggie. I was in my early twenties, my prostate was normal sized, and I had a damn good bladder. Besides, we DID have rest areas back then.
Still, it was a long trip. Long about Council Bluffs, Iowa, I got hungry. And a little sleepy. So, I jumped on an exit, downshifted, and rolled myself into the palace of the golden arches. Back then my metabolism could handle that sort of crap being thrown at it.
I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have a McBigButt with Fr…” at that moment I looked up in the direction of the voice and was greeted with the face of some kind of insane, spree-killing clown. I screamed, “GAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
The insane, spree-killing clown screamed, “GAAAAAAIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!”
We both involuntarily jumped back a step. Well, maybe the insane killer clown did it involuntarily. Me, I was fully conscious of putting some distance between me and all that facepaint.
“What the…” I said.
The insane clown, which turned out to be a young lady of about 19 or 20 screwed up her face and gave me a look like I’d lost my mind. After a few seconds passed she said, “Happy Halloween.”
“Crap,” I muttered, looking past her and seeing the rest of the workers in various odd attire. “That’s today… No wonder all I could get on the radio was Purple People Eater, Monster Mash, and Martian Boogie…”
I ended up having a McBigButt, Large McFry, and a Large McCoffee. But, I decided to eat in my car rather than deal with the freak show inside. Good thing too, because the McCoffee turned out to be McBattery Acid and I had to dispose of it on the parking lot. It left a pothole I’m afraid, but given what might have happened if I’d tossed it into the trash with the McScraps… Well… I shudder to think about it.
After that, I hit the interstate once more, flipping through the stations until I found something non-Halloweenie. As it happened, the first thing I found was the theme from Miami Vice. I opened the sunroof, jammed the clutch, and aimed myself for the hub city of the Dakotas. By the time I arrived I had forgotten all about the incident – and the fact that it was Halloween.
Imagine my surprise when I rolled into town at the height of the madness…
More to come…