Monday, November 21, 2011

St. George...3

St. George, Part 3

And so, the St. George story continues...

           Clarence left the house after the good, but somewhat gamey hamburger sandwich he had for lunch. He gathered his set of tools from the garage and headed across the backyard to the large bus the family used to shuttle the group back and forth to the various gigs. The bus needed some work.
            As Clarence crossed the yard, he came upon his youngest daughter, Ashley and a friend, hanging out on the family swing set.
            “Hey Peanut!”
            “Hey, dad,” Ashley replied.
            “Who’s you friend,” Clarence asked. The friend looked somewhat familiar, but he wasn’t sure.
            “This is Laurie Nielsen,” Ashley said somewhat confused. “They live next door.” The statement held a hint of a question.
            “You do?” Clarence said to Laurie. After a pause he said, “I thought your family moved last year.”
            “No,” Laurie said pointed to the roof of her house seen above the wood fence that separated the neighbor’s lots. “We still live right there.”
            “Huh…” Clarence said as he left to attend to the large former school bus now decorated as a mobile billboard for the singing group.
            “Don’t take this the wrong way,” Laurie said to her friend. “But, your dad’s a little weird. We’ve lived next door to your family since 2002.”
            “You don’t have to tell me…I know he’s weird,” Ashley replied.
            A lull in the conversation brought on by each girl thinking of the man now repairing the bus in different ways caused the two girls to simultaneously leave the whimsical swing set and they begin walking slowly to the other side of the backyard. The girls stopped before a large piece of machinery located directly in the middle of the yard.
            “So, what is this thing again?” Laurie asked pointing to the ominous-looking contraption.
            “That’s one of dad’s inventions,” Ashley said with a sigh.
            “What’s it do?”
            “It was supposed to turn old car tires into scrapbook stamps.”
            “Wait,” Laurie said suddenly remembering something. “Is that the thing that destroyed that section of the fence over there?” Laurie pointed to an obviously newer section of wood fencing.
            “Yeah, that’s the one.”
            “My dad never told me what happened and said I shouldn’t ask,” Laurie said, a bit of hesitancy in her voice. “What did happen, anyway?” Laurie asked in almost a whisper.
            “Dad would take a tire and put in into that end,” Ashley said pointing to one end of the machine. “But when he turned it on, it didn’t make scrapbook stamps. It blew the tire and half the machine across the yard and destroyed the fence. I remember it almost hit your dad—he was working in your backyard.”
            “I guess he was lucky,” Laurie said as both the girls stared at the failed invention.
            “Yeah,” Ashley concurred.
            The two continued looking at the machine when Laurie said, “Why was your dad trying to make scrapbook stamps anyway?”
            “He said he wanted to solve two of mankind’s greatest scourges…used tires and affordable scrapbook stamps. He thought it was the perfect device.”
            “So, it died right here,” Laurie said.
            “Yeah, but dad tried to sell the design to either the army or Greenpeace. There were no takers.”
            Ashley turned and pointed to a spot in the corner of the yard. But dad did end up doing something with the tires. See.” Laurie followed to where her friend pointed.
            “Dad ended up making a playhouse out of what we had left.”
            “Is that what that is?” Laurie gasped. “I’ve always wondered…just looked like a pile of tires to me.”
            “That’s basically what it is,” Ashley said.
            “You ever play in there?”
            “Not during mosquito season.” With nothing left to say, the friends left the yard for further adventures.

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