Julie, the Carny Girl called me from Branson, Missouri on a Sunday morning about 11:00 AM. I hadn’t heard from her in about a month. I presumed she had hooked back up with the carnival, but she was in Branson laying carpet for Jerry Carr. Laying carpet, my ass, laying pipe, maybe. Jerry enjoyed being called J.C. and we were happy to oblige him with a snicker as some of his girl fiends said it stood for Jelly Cock. He was generally involved in most things illegal, from pimping to bootlegging. He operated a run down motel a mile or so north of the town square. You could get a room with or without a girl. It cost more without the girl. Julie had been in Branson hoping to meet a country music star while selling little stuffed Willie Nelson dolls at a concession stand outside the theatre of that Japanese fiddle player. I can’t remember his name. How could anybody take a Japanese guy playing the Orange Blossom Special seriously, I have no idea. Kinky Friedman and his Jewboys had passed through town and she managed to hook up with San Antonio Slim, Kinky’s guitar player. Slim had agreed to take her on as his regular girl, if she could get the tattoo of Bob Marley on her butt cheek changed to George Jones or anyone with a song in the current Billboard Top Ten Country Hits. I knew Slim and I had my doubts. “Please” I said to Julie, “not George Jones, the Rasta Man smoked the herb but at least he was socially conscious.” Yes, the Jaguar was running. Yes I could come to Branson and pick her up. Yes, her girlfriend could come also. Yes, I think the sheriff had forgotten about the knife incident.
I was more than a little bit leery about taking Julie in as I had a steady job now working at the QuickCo Tool Factory. I had gotten the job after Tony Fritz had passed out drunk at the company drug and alcohol meeting. Tony got sent for 30 days paid rehab and I wanted to show the company I had what it took to be a good employee. Unfortunately, it was a night shift and I never did boredom very well. I fell asleep standing up at the assembly line and the tools began to fly past me. Management were worried they had another drug and alcohol case on their hands but were relieved to find out I was only sleeping.
The Jaguar purred along contentedly as I drove the fifty miles through the Ozark countryside to Branson. Branson had once been a quaint country town, but for some unknown reason had become a Mecca for country western theatres and other touristy glop. I found Julie and her friend Becky at the Rusty Pension bar, a hangout for a retired state worker’s biker group known as the Government Mules. They struck fear in children under three and the blind. The Rusty Pension was the only bar I had ever seen that had more handicapped parking spaces than normal parking spaces. Every other Harley Davidson parked there had a handicapped placard.
Becky was a slim, pretty brunette, perky with a nice bottom in tight jeans. Julie kept a close eye on me on the drive back. Julie and I settled into the life of a couple. I even forgot my initial repulsion at the tattoo of Bob Marley’s face on her butt. The thought that it could have been George Jones made me appreciate Bob more. With my newfound confidence, we even experimented with new sexual positions. I imagined Bob was giving me the thumbs up as he jiggled in front of me. Becky busied herself around the house. Julie kept a close eye on me.
Things went smoothly for the first week except Becky was lonely. Julie kept a close eye on me. Things changed a bit when I answered the door in the afternoon and saw the meter man from the rural electric cooperative standing in front of me. “Bless, that girl who just showed me her beautiful bosom. I am a married man but what pleasure,” he said. A quick glance told me Julie was in my bedroom, so it must have been Becky who had flashed her tits at the meter man. “Oh, she is just lonely,” I said. “Say, I bet she would do it again, you know, if you could say lower the electric bill a bit.” Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I am an honest man and the company treats me well.” Oh well,” I said, “Just walk back around to the side of the house. She will probably do it again anyhow.”
Saturday night was the big 4th of July party at J.C.’s house. I called in sick to QuickCo on Friday night to rest up for the party. I told them I had overdosed on cough syrup. They offered to send a drug and alcohol counselor to my house. I told them thanks, but I would seek rehab on my own.
The party at J.C.‘s got started about 3:00 P.M. There was beer and barbecue and Henry and Pete and I covered some early Rolling Stones tunes. Henry on drums, Pete on bass and myself on that large phallic symbol, also known as a Gibson Les Paul. Julie kept a close eye on me. By nightfall, everyone was fed and intoxicated and it was time for the ladies show. J.C. had an inflatable penis about six feet long always floating in his swimming pool. One of the highlights of the party was a game the ladies affectionately referred to as ‘Queen of the Cock’. One of the ladies would mount the giant penis and then the others would attempt to push the initial one off. The men at the party would stand around the pool salivating, waiting for a bikini top or bottom to go flying. What can I say. It was a small town, entertainment options were limited and we were easily amused. Julie held up admirably. Her experience as a carny hawker had helped toughen her up, but eventually Becky held her in a headlock and unbuttoned her bikini top. The crowd cheered in appreciation as her large mammaries flopped in the air. Becky collected the prize. A ten-dollar gift certificate at Junebug Myers bootleg beer emporium. Junebug was a local purveyor of junk and bootleg beer. He had missed the ladies show, having passed out on a chaise lounge by the pool and was quickly turning the color of a lobster. His red protruding nose emphasized the appearance of a crustacean.
About 11:00 PM Junebug roused from his stupor. In a drunken fit he grabbed the plastic penis, went to the front yard and began waving it at cars passing by. He heeded nature’s call just as Sheriff Tommy Dutch pulled up to answer a complaint. He saw the commotion and quickly grabbed his radio and reported a U.I.P. incident Local police code for Unidentified Inflatable Penis. Oh all right, I am only joking. He simply said, “Junebug is at it again.” Tommy placed Junebug in the back seat of the patrol car and took him to the drunk tank for the night. We were relieved to have the penis back with its rightful owner.
The next day, the Daily Ridgerunner, the local newspaper, always known for veracity, if not literacy reported in a headline on the second page “ Man with Giant Penis Caught Urinating in Public.” The AP picked the story up off the wire and apparently it made its way all the way to Russia. I was in Junebug’s office at the junkyard when a television station called from Moscow. “I don’t want to talk to any god damned commie bastards,” Junebug remarked. “They aren’t Communists anymore,” I told Junebug, “They have embraced decadence and debauchery. They are just like us now.” “Humph, OK, they want to know how long my penis is in centipedes.” “ I think you mean centimeters, Junebug. Oh, about 183 or so.” I said. Junebug relayed the information over the phone, and an audible gasp could be heard from Moscow. “They say a TV crew will be on the next plane.” Junebug replied. “ Tell them its larger when inflated,” I snickered and walked out the door.
A few weeks later Julie began to hint at marriage and I began to get worried. She was an ideal candidate for marriage other than that damn tattoo. I couldn’t keep it from my parents for long. Those things get around, no matter how hard you try to hide them. I finally told her that Tommy had not forgotten about the knife incident, and in fact had issued a bench warrant for her. A bit of a lie, but my feet were freezing. I took Julie and Becky back to Branson on a Sunday afternoon. I tried to convince Julie she could have a pleasant future as a mama with a Government Mule biker. “For Christ sakes Julie,” I said, “They get a check from the state every month and medical insurance. Also you would never have to walk from the back of the parking lot again.” I don’t think Julie was convinced. Becky rode in the back seat and I glanced at her in the rear view mirror several times. Julie kept a close eye on me.
(See the next story in the series - Junebug's Lobster Hut)
© Kevin D. Burgess 03/31/2007