I don’t know where it was—that miniature golf course in the sand—but it had to be the Gulf of Mexico somewhere. We were driving from one coast to the other, like always. “The Great Southern Route,” my dad called it. It had to be Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas—one of them. I was seven…
Tag: Author: Bruce McAllister
Rick takes the money the Mayor of Corkscrew has wired him and flies to Florida, feeling his oats, full of hope. He’s met at the airport by one of Mayor Delameter’s staff and driven to his hotel, the old but clean and dry Swamp Hotel in downtown Corkscrew. The next morning he’s out at the edge of town where Main Street runs along the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and he’s surveying the marching battalions of Gecarcoidea natalis—little, red, forest-dwelling crabs about the size of your palm that are migrating, as they do each year—though not usually in such numbers—through the town, back to the swamp to breed . . . and taking their sweet time doing it. .
This romantic comedy begins where all low-budget ’50s creature-features ended: The mutant insects born of atom-bomb radiation (or invaders from space, or monsters from the sea, or fifty-foot women) have at last been defeated and our small-town hero, with girlfriend Janie or June or Betty at his side, must now face the rest of his life. Didn’t we wonder what his life would be like after the final credits rolled? After you save the world, what’s left? You can marry the Professor’s daughter, sure. You can sell the rights to your story. Be on national talk shows. Hold onto fame a little longer. But then what?
After she lost interest in the green eggs—yes, green chicken eggs (taste the same, look dyed, so what’s the point?)—my neighbor Johanna started raising black chickens. Yes, black ones. They’re popular in China for reasons ranging from nutrition to superstition, and she’d gotten three hens and a rooster from a guy in Chinatown—in exchange for the last two green-egg chickens she had.
“Green is good now in China,” he said. “Helps make a man’s pole longer.”
“Right,” she told him. “Don’t need to kill rhinoceros and go to jail for long pole anymore.”