The Dog Days of summer meant little to the Liars Bunch since Babe Martin anchored his big outdoor air cooler where its gentle breeze could waft over the old coots as they sat on their bench telling tall tales to all and sundry.
“Jist lack them N eFen eL players use t’on the sidelines,” he swore. And the machine did have “Minesotta Vikins” written on the side in a shaky scrawl, for what that was worth.
The summer had seen the addition of a new member, Zeke Pascal, the Bunch’s first “Generation X”er, who had decided that he needed to slow down after the dot-com crash of ’01. “I was slack before slack was cool,” he told his new compadres.
“Yeah? Well I was cool before cool was cool,” replied W. Ofield.
“I thought you was slack before slack was slack,” mumbled Carl Mesosmith.
“What was that you said?”
“Hmm? Oh, nothin.'” Mesosmith gave him that innocent look.
“And slack ain’t cool no more,” Zeke mourned. “Like this motorcycle thing. It seems to me people ought to sit back and enjoy the show like they would if they lived in the middle of a monarch butterfly patch.”
“Stinkin’ butterflies!” growled Oliver Goatly.
“Caterpillars ate my mulberries,” added Joe “Peets” Moss unnecessarily.
One man’s planet is another man’s world.
“Let me tell you a little story.”
“That’s why we’re a sittin’ here, ain’t it?”
“When I was just a wee lad my parents took me to the beach. I’d never seen the ocean before and I wouldn’t go in. No amount of coaxing could get me near the water. I can’t tell you what bothered me about it, maybe the immensity of it, or the noise and tumult of the waves crashing on the beach, or maybe the thought of all the creatures that lurked below the surface.”
“After a while my parents gave up and I happily puttered about building a sand castle while they swam in the surf. They never did get me to go in.”
“Well, that just goes to show you what’s wrong with society today,” Goatly rumbled like an old steam powered coal shovel. “Parents let their kids do any blamed thing they want. Why, I would have grabbed you by the scruff of your neck and dragged you into that water and ducked you in until you got the idea that there was nothing to be afraid of. But I suppose that would get me arrested today, ding-busted do-gooders!” he added resentfully.
It’s hard to describe exactly the look Zeke gave the old man. Maybe it was something like the look his father had given him when he didn’t go swimming that day.
Finally, he said, “The moral of this story is that some people will complain about anything!”