Reads: 329  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Who you meet ‘on the road’ are the guts of the country. Enthusiastic dingbats who auto along the byways, living off their wits—or someone else’s’ lack of same. Here we have a rollicking caravan of characters from a Fellini casting call just living the AMs and the PMs flat out.

Submitted: October 18, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 18, 2016




A Short Story

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Three


It is still a long way to Tipperary, but a hell a lot longer from Encinitas to Florida. The remaining stragglers of Napoleon’s defeated army moved faster than the herd of hopeless but harmless bipedals under the aegis of Jock, The Scot. 

They had barely escaped the purlieus of Del Mar before all three matrons of this madcap travelling bizzarro spectacle insisted on a frolic in the sand below the main drag of La Jolla. For the most part, the residents of that fine hamlet of heroic retireds, were spared the smoking vehicles and—a reason for them to believe in God—the Easy Eight goons who flung open the doors of those vehicles and raided the beach. 

Zeke was pretty much shagged out and the receptors of his fifties-flaming ardor were as spunky as twenty-year olds. If they couldn’t clean a house, then they insisted on dancing, prancing, and romancing on the beach. The last unfolded beneath a full moon near the surf line, because Margo had seen “From Here to Eternity” seventy-two times (thirty in a row over a coke and Booze Binge at Bernies) and insisted on climaxing as the waves broke over Zeke’s naked shoulders.

Jock was immediately commandeered by Beverly and they watched Zeke and Margo a few times until they believed they had the correct sequence of the movie down pat and were all in for having a go.  Beverley was an Aussie of forty-four years with the finely honed and bronzed body that only seems to grow on the Gold Coast of Down Under.  She could pass for thirty and Jock found that her libido was still stuck in her twenties. Both Zeke and Jock considered themselves damned lucky they didn’t drown from too much water or too much deep French kissing when the breakers broke.

The Three Lads roamed the streets of that most beautiful of So Cal communities in search of some drop dead Gorgeous Gals. The Gals spotted the guys first because of the deepness of their tans and the gleam of their dentition. The Trusty Trinity ended up laughing and telling lies about what they did for a living but told the truth that they were only ‘part-timers’ and had colleges with real classes in real subjects like medicine, law and religion to attend once these merry months of ecstasy had vanished into the Pacific—or, once they arrived in Florida—the Atlantic.

Well into early morning, the three lads toasted all around and all got extremely lucky. All three young women signed up for the magazine subscriptions because they were also of the College Persuasion. They clapped their hands in glee at the sight of the huge free dictionary. Other huge free numbers also made the scene. Later, The Three Lads slept on the beach, not far from the exhausted older set, who lay gassed and splayed like beached humped whales.

Next morning, all the Easy Eight were totally not present and barely accounted for. However, Jock was righteously restored and invigorated by the multiple changing of the lead in his withered pencil. He rounded up the lax and ethereal spirits of his Crazy Crew and bundled them into their respective rides to set off up the coast for an attack on Oceanside as well as Camp Pendleton, home of the Marine housewives.

This backtracking maneuver had been mulled by Ezekial and Jock over some fried oysgters and Coronas before the La Jolla Romp. Zeke recalled several astonishing sales dates in the Marine communities of Oceanside and Carlsbad, as well as Camp Pendleton.

“They’re an admirable clan, those loved ones left at home in times of war,” waxed Zeke, “and, me lad, they’re not at all averse to chatting and drinking some coffee laced with bourbon.” He laughed a Zeke laugh. “I can guarantee you Jock that each member here of your Grifter Gang will weave  their distinctive web of truths and tiny-truths and load you down with stacks of sales—the real bacon—by the next morning.”  

The Three Lads, Allan, David and Terrence, i.e., Al, Dave andTerry, had been raised to new levels of masculinity the night and early morning before. To Jock’s, as well as the other members of the crew’s astonishment, delight, and wonder, the threesome landed some very heavy subscription orders. Huzzahs were plastered onto the breezes all around before all dove into their platters of eggs, oysters, bacon and hash browns at an all-day breakfast shoppe. 

By three that afternoon, the flotilla had once more set sail and finally arrived at Oceanside, slightly before Taps. Nevertheless, with both victual and sexual appetite tanks topped off, all eight made a late afternoon-early evening foray among the residences of those who had hubbies (or wives) off in some terrible theater unreeling a terribly bad war, where neither booze nor drugs could calm the restive souls of our fighting forces. Those left behind were feeling a bit weepy around the hour immediately following the erasure of all sunprints from the lowering glowing sky. It was the Hour of The Shark for the Book Brothers. They spread like a venomous kudzu in and around the dwellings of the vulnerable.

Sale after sale after sale hit the day’s ledger as the Earnest Eight convinced the primary buyers to call their friends and neighbors to come over to listen to and digest the incredible booze-laden offerings of the Super Sales Person in their house. After nine pm, eight parties broke out all over the city of Oceanside.

 As the BA levels topped .2, closed deals included everyone form the newly christened Chester to the Alzheimer’s maiden aunt in a home near Mt. Palomar.

Jock stayed the night with his forty guests. His other Seven Hardy Helpers ended up on floors, couches, or in strangers' beds. 

At noon the following day, Jock extricated himself from the clutches of six women who ranged in age from, eighteen to fifty-eight and began the rigorous roundup of his Gang of Seven who, one by one, staggered from one end of Oceanside to the other in their attempt to meet at the arranged spot next to a MacDonald’s. All seven somehow managed the meet.

Between food and laugh breaks, plans were laid for an all-weekender sales invasion once passes for the Engaging Eight came through to allow them to visit Camp Pendleton

Although Jock was unhappy about the lateness of the hour—that being close to three pm, once he began to tote up the sales slips afforded him by his Trusty Tribe, he declared the day over and ordered everyone to go immediately to the closest Choice Hotel and hit the sack—alone. Tomorrow was to be another workday, and—with some more Scottish luck—another work night.

However, before he pushed them off to their glitzy quarters in the Choicest of the Choice, he stood and raised a fresh cup of terrible coffee in a salute to all of them for their results delivered well beyond the call of duty. In truth, he raised his cup several times and toasted the record one-day haul of forty-eight signed subscriptions, each accompanied by a deposit.

The cheers, yelps, hurrahs, ovations, plaudits, and cheers of the Magnificent Seven, drove all customers to the exits. The Manager—Jim, a Jolly Black Giant, was about to tell them to fade when Jock slung a sincere hug around Jim’s massive shoulder and handed him a hundred dollar bill.

“Sorry, laddie, but we have had a wonderful experience here in Oceanside and suburbs and we have had an even better time here; with you, Jim. Please take this as our token of esteem and be sure to tell your friends that it came from a wee Sot . . . er, Scot, and they won’t believe you.” Jock let out a genuine roar of merry laughter that captured both Jim’s attention and gratitude. He was a man without words. He looked at the picture of Ben Franklin and just beamed. That was before each of the crew handed him a tenner.

“And another round of coffee and some pastries or whatever you have there, Jim; there’s a good lad, eh?”

More cheering and toasting Jim.

Jim spoke of this moment many times over the next few days and well into the following years. He added that he had never seen such a group of weirdoes before or since, but he acknowledged their sincerity and their generosity, even if they did leave a few bites of his favorite dessert, which he selected especially for the occasion: a triple fudge brownie with caramel and macadamia nuts. Nevertheless, he did notice that most of The Goofy Gang slipped some of the brownies into their pockets, bags, or purses.

Outside, Jock directed the members of his entourage to their respective vehicles and with the emission of dense clouds of blue smoke, the California Caravan was once more on the road.

“What’ll it be today, Jock?” Margo smiled while she drove, “another assault on Oceanside or shall we drift farther south and take up the torch again in San Diego?” Jock was mulling the odds of having another bonanza like Oceanside and wanted to choose his next goose for plucking, very carefully. Jock fancied himself a minor psychiatrist. Over the years he had made a point of recording the actions and reactions of crewmembers over the three days following a record-sales celebration. Most that he could recall delivered disaster. Those gloating over a recent success were very often squashed like bugs on their next foray.

He thought it wise to consult Ezekiel on this point, if only because Zeke had been a yearly champion of the sales game during his years with the insurance company.

“Let’s pull over at the next Rest Stop, Margo. I need to talk this over with Ezekiel. He is, after all, not only the oldest member of our crew but also the most experienced.”

Margo readily agreed and Jock called the others on his cell phone to tell them of the next stop. While munching a fresh peach, Zeke stroked his smoothly-shaven chin and absorbed most of Jock’s psychobabble. 

Unfortunately, Zeke had not realized that the two minute peroration of the Jock-man was in fact a question directed to him.

“Ah, well then Jock; let’s see.” Zeke stroked some more and decided to pick a place along the coast and avoid all the psych shit that Jock was trying to put into play.

“Let’s just let them loose on some benign buggers along the way and see if they can come up with another sterling performance.”

Jock considered this suggestion to be the result of the profoundest of profound thoughts, and agreed. He made a mental note to append his psych notes at his first opportunity.

Shelley, the third matron of the mob, remarked that the strawberries were being harvested in Vista, a mere nine miles from Carlsbad. They could 'taste strawberries and drink sweet wine . . .  and: A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ere they forget . . .’ as well as nab the rubes for some serious subscriptions and make a pile.

Not everyone was as enthusiastic as Shelley, but the other women were gaga over the poet as well as the author and insisted that Shelley was tuned into a good vibe. Neither Zeke nor Jock really gave a shit, so they headed the parade toward the Strawberry Fields Whatever and were dipping the luscious red fruit in both white and dark chocolate before any beetles could snatch them away.

Fortified with both sugar and fruit, the Effortless Eight roamed the city of Vista and were constantly offered more strawberries and even more chocolate. They also filed some serious sales numbers.

The Sexy Seven toasted Shelley along with marshmallows over fire in the main park.

Beneath shooting stars, Jock spoke many words about his life in Scotland. The other seven did not understand many of them.

Then they decided to stay in a trailer park, eat more strawberries, and make love in vats of liquid chocolate.

End of Chapter Three 

© Copyright 2019 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Other Short Stories