Humor Fiction posted August 5, 2012


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The great thing about newspapers - a little humor here

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by JeffreyStone

An article in the local Ypsilanti Clarion announced today that it will now publish only three days each week. This brought home the realization that newspapers all over this country, supplanted by the internet, are closing or reducing distribution for lack of readership and advertisers. I am somewhat distressed by this trend. Newspapers have been such an essential part of my life, commencing when I started delivering the Knoxville News Journal at the age of twelve. I, like many people, have relied on the daily press for all the news that’s fit to print, as well as legal notices, obituaries, arrests, weather, crime reports, astrological readings, marriages and divorces, to name a few. No doubt, newspapers have saved countless lives, perhaps, the life of someone near and dear to you. In fact, one timely published edition of that very same Ypsilanti Clarion is the reason a close friend of mine is alive and well today.
 
My friend, whom we shall call Alfred, is no angel but is not and never has been a bad guy. Circumstances may suggest that he was deserving of the fate then about to befall him. Even so, he remains grateful, to this day, that an opportune issue of the Ypsilanti Clarion saved him from an untimely end—a last minute reprieve from almost certain castration.    
 
Pamela, his secretary, had legs that went all the way up. And she showed them off by wearing skirts that did little more than cover the turn of her rotund derriere. Alfred—subject to temptation like many men—was frequently distracted by panty shots, revealing her brilliantly colored briefs, which bore the names of the applicable day of the week. On Mondays she wore yellow, Tuesdays green, Wednesdays orange, Thursdays Blue, and on Fridays, always red. Alfred never got to see Saturdays; only her live-in boyfriend, Wayne, was so lucky. However, on one occasion, Alfred was privileged to a close-up view of Friday.
 
Prior to that consequential evening, his exposure to the leggy blonds’ panty flashes was limited to the maximum allowable daily dosage. His inclination to risk higher exposure was kept in check by visions of his cute little wife, Suzie, bifurcated tail, horns protruding from her forehead, guarding the door to his office. However, this imaginary caricature of his wife did not entirely prevent his eyes from occasionally lingering too long on the little pie-shaped piece of nylon peering from under Pamela’s skirt.  After all, he sometimes needed a reliable means to verify the day of the week.
 
Alfred was well aware of Pamela’s pending marriage to Wayne Wiggins, local TV weatherman and live-in boyfriend. A picture of the toothful prognosticator, holding a Wolverine-logoed umbrella, sat on the corner of her desk, reminding all salivating suitors that she was taken. Alfred was kept at bay, not only by this constant reminder, but also by daily threats by Suzie to raise his vocal range if he ever strayed. These threats, although not altogether effective, did dampen his longing to check the spelling of the days of the week, embroidered across his secretary’s crotch.  To limit any potential opportunities, Suzie often called during the day to ensure that both Pamela and Alfred were still on the clock.  
 
The impediments strewn in Alfred’s path kept his sexual urges for Pamela in check most of the time. However, a farewell party at Gary’s Glowworm Beef and Ale Bistro for a departing fellow employee set the scene for his undoing. As the evening unfolded and empty glasses covered the table, Pamela’s reticence evaporated, and she got closer and closer to whisper into Alfred’s ear. “Bet you can’t guess the color of my panties.”
 
“Sweetheart, I don’t have to guess . . . it’s Friday, isn’t it?”
 
She giggled. “You’re putting me on, Al.”
 
“No, Honey, I’m not putting you on. I’ll bet you’re wearing red.”
 
She slapped his shoulder. “You dirty old man.”
 
“Well, am I right?”
 
“I guess you’re just going to have to find out for yourself.”
 
A light mist fell onto the two revelers as they leaned against each other on their way across the parking lot. At Pamela’s Ford Escort, they embraced, casting caution aside in the afterglow of too much pale ale.
 
Alfred held open the driver-side door. “Are you going to be all right driving home?”
 
“I don’t know. Maybe I need a few minutes to sober up a little.” She motioned her head to the seat beside her. “Get in, Boss, and let’s talk a while.”
 
Alfred glided around the rear of the car and opened the passenger door. “You sure this is okay?”
 
“Why not? We’ve known each other for nearly two years, and nothing has happened yet . . . Get in.”
 
                                                                                * * *
 
On the way home, Alfred reached for his handkerchief and pulled out a pair of red Victoria Secret thongs. His car screeched to a halt in the parking lot of Lucky Luke’s Lube Shop where he dispatched his dangerous cargo into a BFI dumpster. It was nearly midnight when he finally fumbled with his keys at the front door lock. Fortunately, Suzie had fallen asleep on the sofa, lawn shears in hand. He tiptoed his way past his slumbering wife, carefully closed the bedroom door and slipped under the covers, leaving Suzie to guess what time he arrived home.
 
At Pamela’s apartment, Wayne Wiggins waited anxiously, gravely concerned that his sweetheart would be on the highway, driving long after dark, in the rain—forecast in his 8 p.m. weather report. The relief he felt at her safe arrival was short lived when he discovered her red Friday panties were missing. Reluctantly, he accepted her barely plausible explanation that in her inebriated state, she must have left them in a restroom. However, next morning, she had no explanation for bare footprints on the Escort’s windshield and passenger window, and tearfully confessed she had been raped by her boss.  
 
Alfred was jarred from his slumber by the ringing of the bedside phone. He turned over and waited for Suzie to answer on the living room extension. He had almost sunk back into oblivion when Suzie burst through the bedroom doorway, little red devils with pitchforks glowering in her eyes. “You bastard.”
 
He sat up and squirmed to the side of the bed furthest away from his irrational, irate little woman. Unsure of what Suzie might know about the previous evening, his survival instincts kicked in. “What the hell’s wrong with you?”
 
“Don’t play innocent with me; you know what you’ve done.”
 
His mind raced to the company parking lot. She couldn’t know. She’s just guessing.  He was not about to confess to anything. “What’ve I done?”
 
“You know what you’ve done, you bastard.”
 
Innocence, undeserved persecution, and a plea for understanding rolled off his tongue. “For God’s sake, honey, tell me what you think I did.”
 
“You raped your secretary.”
 
That false accusation gave Alfred the vindication he needed for a convincing defense. “What?  Whatever gave you that idea?”
 
Suzie shook her head in disbelief. “You’re disgusting.”
 
“Did Pamela just call?”
 
“No.”
 
“Who?”
 
“It was a man.” Suzie sat on the edge of the bed, her arms wrapped around the bedpost, her face leaned forlornly against her hands. After a moment, she sighed, smiling sardonically. “You’ll probably go to jail.”
 
A vision of an effete weatherman, asinine smile, peering at him from on the corner of Pamela’s desk flashed into Alfred’s brain. I’ll squeeze his nuts—if he has any—until he pukes.
 
“I hope they come and arrest you.”

He winced at the glee in his wife’s voice.
 
 She continued, “Do you remember John and Elena Bobbitt?”
 
His hands moved automatically to protect his crotch. “You’re not going to believe some crackpot making a prank call.”
 
“Prank call, my ass! How did he know your secretary’s name?”
 
“It could have been some weirdo from work who knows both of us, somebody I pissed off . . . people are always getting prank phone calls.”
 
“Bull!” Suzie left the bedroom in a huff.  A few minutes later, she returned, holding the lawn shears. “If I were you, Al, I wouldn’t sleep too soundly tonight.”
 
                                                                                      * * *
 
Determined to get to the bottom of the accusations, Alfred jumped into his car and sped out of the driveway, heading for Pamela’s duplex apartment. He bristled at the thought of the asshole, Wayne Wiggins. If that smiling little weasel is there, I’ll break his damn neck.
 
Pamela cracked open the door and peeped through the opening. Alfred stood on his tiptoes, his eyes searching the sliver of room visible through the doorway. “Where’s the goddamn worm you live with? “
 
“What do you want?”
 
“Tell Wayne to bring his ass out here so I can kick it.”
 
“If I were you, I wouldn’t mess with him, Al. He’s a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.”
 
Alfred motioned with both hands. “Bring it on. Tell him to get his ass out here, or I’m coming in after him.” At that moment, Wayne, looking formidable in his Bermuda shorts and University of Michigan tee shirt, opened the door wide. “You looking for trouble, puke?”
 
Taking his best Marquis of Queensbury stance, Alfred motioned with his jabbing hand. “Come on out, you little weasel. I am going to kick your ass for you.”
 
With a loud yelp, Wayne bounded out the door, his body contorted in a flying, spinning kick. He followed that with a back flip and came up with arms flailing and an ear splitting yeeehaa. Alfred backed away, keeping his guard up, his hands prepared to land a punch at the first opportunity. Demonstrating his versatility and precise execution of Tae Kwon Do, Wayne attempted several back spins and flying kicks, all of which penetrated the air, but failed to inflict any damage on the amused rapist. After several minutes, an exhausted Wayne Wiggins flopped onto his back on the front lawn. Alfred jumped astride the prone man and sat on his chest. “Why did you call my wife?”
 
“Why did you rape my fiancé?” Wayne made a halfhearted attempt to extricate himself, but Alfred’s one hundred eighty pounds kept the weather warrior pinned to the ground.

Alfred began choking the forecaster. As Wayne gargled and gasped for air, Pamela beseeched her boss. “Don’t hurt him, Al.”  
 
He held tighter to Wayne’s throat. “Tell this retarded bastard I didn’t rape you.”
 
“You have to admit you took advantage of me while I was drunk.”
 
“I think you had something to do with that.”
 
Color drained from Wayne’s face as he spit and sputtered. 
 
“You’re killing him; you’re killing him, Al.”
 
“You bet your ass I am, unless you tell him the truth.”
 
Pamela bent down, almost whispering in Wayne’s ear. “Can you hear me, sweetheart?"
 
Wayne almost nodded.
 
“He didn’t rape me, honey . . . do you forgive me?”
 
Wayne almost nodded again.
 
“Do you still love me, honey?”
 
If Wayne nodded, it was imperceptible to the naked eye.
 
“Let him go, Al, please, please.”
 
“I will on one condition.”
 
“What’s that?”

“What day is it?”
 
“Saturday; why?”
 
“What color are your panties?”
 
Wayne squirmed, making muffled sounds of you sonofabitch.
 
Pamela smiled and tugged at the waist band on her exercise shorts.  She pulled at the elastic band of her nylon panties, revealing a sliver of brilliant heliotrope.
 
Alfred shook his head, releasing his hold on the storm soothsayer. “You are one lucky bastard.”  
 
                                                                                           * * *
 
On the drive home, he whistled Everything’s Coming up Roses, belying the dread he felt at the thought of facing Suzie and the lawn shears. He envisioned Elena Bobbitt, holding up the severed appendage of her husband, John, for the entire world to see. He realized he would have to sleep in the basement, behind a barred door, next to the hot water heater for several nights, maybe for the remainder of the month.  Perhaps by then, his wife would finally accept his explanation that an obscene phone call was responsible for his unfortunate banishment from her bedroom.
 
He parked the car in the driveway, tarried for a moment, dreading the renewal of the tirade he had faced that morning. Lying on the stoop was the Saturday issue of The Ypsilanti Clarion. He picked it up and carried it, under his arm to the kitchen. As he unfolded the paper and placed it on the table, his eyes shone with rejuvenation at the sight of the bold headline: YPSI AREA PLAGUED BY PRANK PHONE CALLS.
 
God bless our newspapers. Computers can never adequately replace them.


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