The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 54
Rich Finds Help
They pulled along side Rich. It was the mayor, Seymour Gaffe and his wife. She leaned out the window and hurled an empty beer bottle. She ducked back inside and popped out again. This time it was a ball ping hammer. She screamed, “You rat, get on back to Rockland and crawl back in your hole. Leave us alone. We’ll sue your ass.”
Rich felt around on the passengers seat for a small camera that he brought along to take pictures of Dennis and Peggy in the jeep. He secured it and just as the Gaffe car pulled along side again, Rich snapped a one handed picture of Mrs. Gaffe flipping the middle finger.
Gaffe pulled in behind Rich as they slowed for a curve. Rich was jerked by a bump. It was Gaffe making contact with the rear bumper. Rich accelerated, but could not put any distance between him and the Gaffe’s car. It was a big Buick and Rich knew there was no way to outrun it. He shoved Rich off the road. The Jeep bounced into a field and then back up onto the road. Rich looked back and Gaffe and his wife were stuck in the high grass and mud. Rich shifted the Jeep into reverse and got close enough for a few pictures, one of which was Mrs. Gaffe shaking her fist at Rich.
Rich pulled from the grass and mud and drove back toward Rockland. His heart was pounding, but he smiled with relief knowing he was possibly spared a serious accident and amused the Gaffes were stuck.
As Rich neared the business district of Rockland he spotted Butch Hagler’s car at the Lighthouse Inn.
Rich parked next to Butch’s car and walked in. There were a dozen or so patrons. It was not a lobsterman’s hangout. Butch had long been ran out of that one. Nor was it the upscale bankers‘, lawyers‘, insurance agents’ place. It was working class. Butch’s back was to Rich. He straddled his seat as if sometime during the night he might be inclined to fall from it. Rich pulled out the stool next to him and sat down.
Butch turned to Rich and jerked with surprise. “What are you doing here? I took you for a teetotaler or wine sipper at most. This is a beer and whiskey crowd.”
“I’ll take a coffee,” Rich told the bartender walking towards them.
“Get him a beer,” Butch said as the man reached for the carafe of coffee on the back counter. “Don’t you get it young pup, bar - beer, café - coffee. This is a bar.”
Rich grinned. “Butch, Sam says you’re the best reporter he has, but you don’t take your time to write well.”
“It’s all his fault,” Butch said holding up his glass. “He won’t let booze in the office. Show me a good writer or journalist that wasn’t a drunk? Alcohol is the stimulus of all good writing. That’s why you or that other brownnoser, Anderson, won’t amount to a pile of crap. That guy that moved on, what’s his name, could drink with the best of ‘em. Kept a bottle in the bottom drawer left side.”
The bartender brought the coffee. “Let’s go to a booth,” Rich said.
They slid into a booth. Rich took a sip of coffee and Butch a swallow of beer. “I just found out that the mayor of Port Clyde has had his driveway paved with left-over asphalt from a contractor who was doing work for the town.”
“A little asphalt on a driveway; Howdy Doody is made of wood. So what?” Butch said.
“The drive way is three eights of a mile,” Rich said.
“Howdy moves by strings. What else?” Butch said with a bit more interest.
“I tried to ask him some questions and he chased me from the general store in Port Clyde with a baseball bat,” Rich said.
“You need a drink,” Butch said. “I think Howdy just found out Doodyville mayor, Pheneas T. Bluster, is on the take.”