Spraytan and Boxwine arrived in a white Cadillac convertible fringed in blondes.
Boxwine slid out the convertible’s passenger door and reached for the nozzle while I was filling up my new Hudson pickup on the other side of the pump.
I gave him a steady stare. “What have you done?”
“We’re headed to the lake. Wanna come? You can bring all your little cartoon friends.”
I glanced at the white Caddy. “Nice car. I noticed it on the lot at Baddley Brothers.”
Boxwine showed me every tooth in his mouth. “Me and Spray are takin’ it for a test drive.”
“Do the brothers know?”
Boxwine looked at my Hudson. “Did that ol’ skinflint wizard really give you that truck for Christmas?”
“Is it real, or did he just conjure it?”
“He’s not that kind of wizard.”
“What kind is he?”
“A Wizard of Ads.”
“Hell. Advertising ain’t nothin’ but tellin’ lies with a smile.”
“Boxwine, if that were true, you’d be the greatest ad-man on earth.”
He placed his cap over his heart and said, “Ratdog, that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
I heard Floyd’s feet hit the pavement and then the Hudson door opened behind me.
Great. A muppet and a hula girl were going to defend my honor.
Aloha spoke first. “Hey girls!”
The blonde sitting next to Spraytan asked, “Are you really a hula dancer?”
Aloha went into hula mode and the Cadillac girls responded with admiration.
“Hop out and I’ll show you how to do it!”
The white Caddy rose up 5 inches when the 7 blondes jumped out.
Floyd had already retuned his guitar to make it sound like a ukulele and the ballerinas, Bali and Ha’i, were flanking Aloha when the blondes arrived on our side of the gas pump. And then the light show began. Red and blue Christmas lights twinkled from the tops of 3 police cars as they slid to a stop on each side of the white convertible.
Lieutenant Bascom waited until the dance was over before he pulled the trigger on his bullhorn. “Boxwine! Spraytan! You boys kiss the asphalt!”
While the boys were lying on their bellies sniffing exhaust fumes and motor oil, waiting to get cuffed and scuffed, Floyd beamed his best muppet smile and said, “Aloha, Bali and Ha’i are riding up front with Indy, but you’re welcome to hop in back with me.”
Hudson pickups have better suspension than Cad convertibles. Loaded with 7 blondes and a muppet, my truck dipped only an inch and a half. I twisted the key and the exhaust pipe pitched a perfect C major, accompanied by the voice of Aloha, “Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full, upright position.”
Floyd slapped the top of the cab with an open palm and shouted, “To the lake!” and was immediately echoed by ten females calling in unison, “To the lake!”
As I pulled away, Floyd began singing an old Johnny Cash song, ” I hear the train a coming, it’s rolling around the bend, and I ain’t seen the sunshine, since… I don’t know when…. I’m stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps dragging on.”
We were halfway to the lake when I asked, “Where’s Alfie?”
Aloha said, “When Floyd jumped out of the truck, Alfie jumped into the glove box.”
Ha’i raised her hand and twittered, “And then I locked it.”
I sighed and unlocked the glove box. Alfie was blushing all the way to the tips of his pointed ears.
Raised in the harmony of Santa’s workshop, elves have no idea how to handle confrontation.
– Indy Beagle
PS – The Spraytan and Boxwine in this story are not the Spraytan and Boxine that work with the wizard, but a whole different Spraytan and Boxwine. Next week, Chapter Two!