by Bargis Tryhol on 05/10/11 at 2:54 pmWhen the long black Cadillac pulled into Lucinda’s-Rest-A-While Luncheonette, many of Hog Jaw’s regular lunch patrons thought that possibly the governor might be stopping by. When British actress/singer Cheryl Cole stepped out wearing designer fashion jeans, Italian sunglasses, and an exquisite designer hat, many thought that perhaps it was country singer Shania Twain who arrived in town.
Cole had a companion along for the trip. A tall, thin man with a face similar to a possum, much like the one’s that roamed around Hog Jaw in search of leavings and trash. A name badge introduced himself to all before they could ask, Lionel Stuart-Kurr, realtor. Today, he was doubling as a driver of the rented Cadillac and found a parking spot in the shade of a nearby hickory tree.
As stunned patrons stopped fork-in-mid-air, eating suspended itself as the sexy woman approached Lucinda standing near the cash register with a pot of steaming coffee in one hand and the other reaching for her yellow pencil buried in her beehive.
While holding a map and asking directions, Cole caught Lucinda’s smile of feinted helpfulness allowing the overweight woman to speak, “Canna help ya’ll?”
Cole replied that she was looking for directions, and needed to get to a condominium and added that she was in a bit of a hurry.
Looking a bit perplexed, Lucinda thought the woman talked like she had a mouth full of bacon bits, replied, “M’am, we don’t sell no condominium thing-a-ma-bobs. You’ll have to go up to Shuster’s Pharmacy for those things. I guess if you two are in a tizzy to get it done right fast, ya might try jus’ doing a handjob or sumthin in that fancy car of yers.”
Cole rolled her eyes and figured a condo might be something new and exotic around Hog Jaw, Arkansas. “Look, I have a map and a brochure.” Stuart-Kurr hastily opened a slick, four-color brochure and spread it on the smudged glass counter.
Cole passed a map and the brochure to Lucinda, who picked up her glasses that swung on a chain from her neck. “I reckon I know where this is. Those are them real fancy-schmancy places that old man Cummins and Loyld Merriweather built up there on Shit’s Creek!”
“Well, I know it’s on water, but can you tell where exactly?” Cole’s eyes rolled again as the waitress thought a minute, that stretched into several.
“Be pleased as pie! Now sweetie, ya’ll take State Road 44 west of town until you hit the Drippy Dick Springs sign. Believe me, you’ll hit ’cause that durn fool Maple Syrup planted it smack dab in the middle of the road! Turns yerself right and foller the dirt road ’til ya’ll gets to Baker’s Hog Farm. You’ll smell it be-fer ya gets to it fer sure! Make another right and follow Shits Creek to Cumming’s old place, Ya can’t miss it.”
Cole thanked the woman and picked up a cold coke from the glass door refrigerator on her way out. Stuart-Kurr followed a few short steps behind, smiling at Lucinda who wrinkled her nose at the odd looking man.
“Hey now! If you still need those rubbers right quick, Shuster’s Pharmacy is open ’til six!”
Without answering, the Cadillac spun its tires on the loose gravel and left in a billow of dust. Lucinda shook her head and thanked the lord above her brother Cletus practiced safe sex too. She always knew when he did since his chubby fingers would be red from the spray paint. Cletus took extra care about safe sex and always spray-painted a red ‘X’ on the sheep that kicked. For the life of her, she couldn’t see what a nice looking girl like that would see in something like old possum-face. “City slickers,” she mumbled to herself as she hoisted a tray full of plates and yelled at the busboy to clean table 7.
The sign read, ‘Luxury Condos on Shits Creek One Mile.’ Cole’s cautioned Stuart-Kurr about another ditch disguised as a pot hole, and clenched the hand-hold tighter as the long Cadillac lurched in all directions. A small hog squealed as it avoided the dust and spinning tires, allowing the vehicle to bounce and sway across a plank bridge.
Within minutes the first condo along a brown sluggish creek could be seen from the dirt road. Glancing at the brochure and then up again at the condo, Cole was immediately taken back.
Bought sight unseen from the London realtor, Stuart-Kurr, Cole was looking for a get-a-way that promised seclusion and peace of mind. The seclusion part was for sure, but seeing a relatively old collection of mobile homes stacked upon each other and held down with metal strapping was mind numbing….No, make that several old trailers stacked up with the bottom one on white-painted cinder blocks. It was certainly anything but peace of mind for Cole who felt she wasted her time stopping here first before heading to Los Angeles.
Beneath the ground floor trailer a cordon of chain link fencing surrounded the empty spot under the trailer keeping who knows what kind of critters from making a nest or home. A large wooden platform with some plastic plants set in white painted tires stuck out over the ledge near a round, above ground swimming pool with a faded blue liner and rusted metal sides. Three or four whirly-gigs spun in the fetid breeze blowing off of Shit’s Creek.
“Cheryl, look at it this way, it’s quaint and not many fans going to pester you here, right?” Stuart-Kurr was doing his best to save the deal after he saw the look on his client’s face
Half a block down was a tattered old shack, the tar paper roof showed recent patching, and a jumbled pile of old tires were haphazardly stacked near the building. An ancient gas pump with a broken light was out front serving as shade for a old, black dog curled on the concrete slab.. Seeing a glint of a swaying silver chain, she could only guess what the silver-painted block and tackle hanging from an oak tree branch was used for. A sign above it quickly explained its use…’Cooter’s Shits Creek Domestic N Foreign Car Repair. Honk Fer Service!’
‘No Stuart, you’re an ass and we’re out of here!”
The trip back to Billy’s Crop Dusting and Hog Jaw Municipal Airport was quiet as Cole regretted her purchase of a get-a-way home. She couldn’t wait to dump the realtor dweeb and tell him to go back to London and cancel any further real estate transactions. Hopefully the airstrip had a connecting flight to Little Rock and stupid could connect with a trans-Atlantic flight immediately.
She smiled as she thought about Los Angeles. In a few short hours she’ll be heading to LA to meet up with some sexy friends and play at some wild parties. On second thought, now Cheryl kind of regretted not stopping at Shuster’s.
Go to chapter 8 – Magazine Section