Lurch's Vacation (part 1)

From: Rev. Lurch

Well, so shortly after the termination of the recent X-day drill
that pagan bongosmell still hung in his nose like a side of beef in a
phone booth, Ol' Lurch headed right back out of town for what passed
for his summer vacation. Since you probably donít know what town Olí
Lurch lives in, the fact that he headed out of it is likely
meaningless to you, and you probably donít give a damn where he went
either, but, on the off chance that you actually do give a damn about
where he went, Iíll tell you, which Iím qualified to do, since he and
I are the same guy. I really will. Any second now. I went to Colorado.
Home of right wing beer and high rocky mountains and that phony
baloney folksinger that looks like a Jack-o-Lantern with a Prince
Valiant haircut. I think they used to film some sitcom that starred
the stubby guy who is currently making an ass out of himself by
playing a ten year old out there, too. Anyway, I took a plane to
Denver. A little plastic F-16. Brought it along to help pass the two
and a half hours I spent inside of another one. Put it on a string and
swung it around in circles and went pzzzrrrr,
zrrrrrrmmmm...ackackackakack.... "pitiful peasant huts and naked
children straight ahead....request permission to arm and incinerate
them!" etc., etc., until I hit the nun in the face with it and the
stewardess took it away from me, saying "Youíll get this back the next
time the FAA grounds us." Anyway, I got to Denver without becoming a
fleshy, sizzling, partially incinerated chunk of formerly human goo
falling to earth along with the twisted, flaming remnants of an
airplane. And for that I was thankful, even if they did take me toys

Jeez. Denver. What a great town. The famous mile-High Mexalopolis
known for being the only major city ever to have thrown away a
perfectly good airport. Arrived there on the morning of the 12th,
still somewhat grumbly-gutted from gobbling a the contents of
post-deregulation "cost-cutters" brown paper goody bag we had been
issued before the flight. Nothing like a shrink-wrapped rubbery bagel
and squeeze cheese to get my piping in the mood for mischief, Iím
tellin ya.

Anyway, the wife and I picked up a nearly brand stinkiní new Nagasaki
Mudpuppy 4WD vehicle, and headed straight for a nearby suburban slum
where we found the highest concentration of cheap, filthy, Sudanese
and Paki owned and operated Motels, most of which boasted free local
calls and bargain priced local call girls. We popped into the "Night
Crawler," got a room with a large painting depicting Nuclear Winter in
Vermont, bedspreads with a paisley/paramecium looking critterprint
and a TV stand with elk antlers for legs. In was in a great location.
Across the street from coin-op laundry and peep show, and only a
stoneís throw from the Chainsaw Bear Museum. Anyway, we went to our
room, turned on HBO and went to sleep.

Next day, I dropped the wife off at the Lakewood (Denver suburb)
Center for Getting Paid for Talking too Loud, where she was to attend
a seminar on "How to Make Big Bucks Teaching other People How to Teach
Seminars on How to Make Big Bucks." I told her I was going to go up
into the mountains to do some backpacking and would be back to pick
her up in in a few days. She told me to be careful. I said "Hey, itís
me!" and piched her on the butt in front of a bunch of people. "Ow!"
she hollered "Asshole!" "Bye!" I said. Then I spent a few hours
driving around the suburbs, marveling at the number of strip shopping
centers and the amount of goose on the road. Every office complex
seemed to have a pondfull, and they were constantly communting from
one waterhole to the other, blocking traffic and forcing otherwise
bored, apathetic drivers to look at each other with those nauseating
"ainít that cute" faces. Then I went to K-Mart and bought a cheap
cooler, went back to the hotel, turned on the TV, and went to sleep.

The next day I decided to actually head up into the mountains and try
to tear up the rent-a-truck. I drove around on every dirt road I could
find that had a number instead of a name, went bashing through creeks,
ate a popsicle, the whole bit. About the only thing I used my pack for
was high-altitude exploding junk food bag containment. At 13,000 ft I
heard a loud pop and I was pretty sure that the contents of my L.L.
Bean back-bag had been liberally dusted with cheese doodle debris, but
I was, and still am, afraid to look. So, anyway, I went to the top of
a few mountains, got out of the truck, stood around making "A man
called Lurch" faces, looked at all the grandeur and said "Gee Whiz" a
lot, but I got bored with it pretty quick. Grimly, I came to the
realization I was already sort of sick of looking at mountains by
myself, but I still had several days to kill before they would let my
wife out of the dorm and I didnít really care to go back to the
Natural Rock Suspension Bridge or the Waffle Iron of the Gods or the
Buffalo Bill in a Box Memorial (hit all the big sights on the last
trip), so I sat down and sniveled for a while.

I needed some company. I decided to call my uncle, Commodore Leon
"Hootie" Skunkers (Ret.) a no-good mountain goat who lived in the
dinky Western mountain town of Tailing Pile. I had been informed my
his estranged housekeeper that he had recently gotten out of the
joint. We never cared for each other much, (and I didnít like my uncle
much, either) but, as I said, I was pretty bored. So I went back to
the hotel and called him, and asked him if he was up for some four
wheeling. "Huh?" he said. "How many do you normally ride around on." I
said. "On the road or in Wheelie Town? Haw!" "What the fuck are you
talking about?" he said. "Going for a ride in my rented 4x4, you
moron!" (but I didnít say it like that, cause I knew the dumb bastard
would get really confused if I hit him with the for ecks for business)
"And what the fuck is a 4x4, sixteen wheel drive?" he demanded. I must
confess, I had no ready answer. He said he didnít know either, and
didnít give a fuck, but admitted heíd like to come along, regardless
of how many wheels I had. I said Iíd come and get him the next day.
Then I turned on the TV and went to sleep.

Next morning I lit out bright and early, headed over the IHOP and
ordered up coffee and cheeze Blintzes, then put ëem down on the floor,
aimed them at a bawling brat at a nearby table and stomped them, ready
to haul ass before the kidís pompous-ass looking father could wiggle
out of the booth and lumber after me going, "You rascal, I shall
thrash you soundly for decorating my beloved little Squirtdickle with
blintze innards, Indeed I shall." At least Iím reasonably sure thatís
what he would have said, had he not had a whole "Eggarific Sans-a-Belt
Buster" Omelette stuffed in his mouth, and had actually seen the kid
get hosed. But he wasnít looking, and I missed the kid anyway.

In any case, I put lit cigarettes in my ears and sat there and guzzled
coffee straight from the pot. The waitress with the big ass and the
slick hair was very impressed, I could see that much. Despite the
little bit of barfing she did, I could tell she was sweet on me. But
she refused to write her phone number on my forehead, even in exchange
for a "dandy" tip, saying she might accidently put my eye out with the
pen while she was doing it. Told ya she cared. Well, this little
incident got me all puffed up. And I sat there for a bit, smug and
completely caffienated, complimenting myself out loud. Everyone in the
place was so impressed they backed off and let me have the whole
smoking section to myself. Shortly thereafter I decided to jump up and
haul ass out of the place and leap into my jacked up bog buggy, and
shortly thereafter I actually did. I exploded from the IHOP, flew
into my vehicle, and drove out of the parking lot merely imagining
there was a hidden "CHiPs" style ramp in the bushes in the middle of
the concrete island I accidentally ran over because a cigarette fell
out of my ear and into my lap, and that I missed a jaywalking goose by
getting the vehicle up on two wheels. But, Iím reasonably sure I
nailed the kid that time (he was heading for the family car with his
folks) with the innards spew. Back in reality, the goose, now
sans-a-guts, remained in slick flatness at the entrance to the
bird-egg blue carbo castle, a grim reminder of the dangers of waddling
where others whoosh. Anyway, I headed for the highway, and most of
the rest of the few hundred hours I drove were uneventful. I went
through a bunch of tunnels and over a bunch of hills, crossed the
Mining Scar range on Holy "Jesus Bare-Assed on a Pogo" Road, and
followed my uncleís directions first to the shitty little town he
lived in, then to the enormous heap of flaming tires that marked the
entrance to the his driveway. Heíd fired them up special for me.

Well, he was sorta excited that Iíd showed, and even though I had
insisted that he not go to any trouble, when I went inside I saw that
he had not only gotton the big card table out of the attic, but heíd
loaded it up with several kinds of convenience store fried pies, MSG
and vinegar Doritos and a six-pack and a half of Diet Mountain Dew.
And he was obviously rariní to go He was grinniní like a sonofabitch,
showing off most of his several teeth, and he was dressed in a Cowboy
hat, string tie and his best stitched Dwight Yokum bird-leg up the
butt britches. "You look like an asshole, unk," I said, "but this is
a helluva spread." "You bet it is," he said. "Yer damn lucky."

Anyway, after we ate, we both agreed not to bother talking about how
the family was doing, since neither of us gave a shit, and we went
wandering around his property for a while. I tried my best to be
upbeat, and kept the compliments flowing, saying stuff like: "Hey,
nice looking fawn you got there. Even with the paint peeling off you
can hardly tell its a cheesy concrete fake" and "I really like the way
youíve dressed up the derelict VW bus with your old laundry and
stuff." But he wasnít having any. "Fuck you," he said. Anyway, he
bitched and carped for a long time about how badly he was treated in
prison, and how in order to gain early release he had volunteered to
take part in some medical experiments. During these, he had his
olfactory nerve severed and he got green corneal implants, among other
things (which he ominously indicated he would reveal as part of some
sort of "surprise"). Anyway, the changes werenít made for any
particular reason. The med students that were conducting the
experiments just got pasted one night and decided to get in some
practice. The only real side effect of the eye alterations, according
to him, is that he now tends to wander into bushes and such because he
canít see them. That hasnít been much of a problem, in fact, he seems
to kinda like it. He did say he misses having a functioning schnoz, as
he can now no longer smell his own farts. But that was little
consolation to me. While we were wandering around he spent a great
deal of time in the undergrowth (intentionally and unintentionally),
often backing up to the thickest shrubs and scratching his butt like a
bear and going "ungrch, flurb, puzzz....Still Shakiní it
Boss.....Letting it Rip Now, Boss" then sometimes heíd fart real loud,
then laugh like an idiot and run out of the bush real quick in hopes
of seeing himself in there making an ass of himself, but he never made

But he admitted he was ready to do some bashing around in the truck,
because he hadnít been off the property since his only functioning car
had been confiscated as part of an effort to secure remumimerations
for the people heíd defrauded in the "How to turn that Old Dead Fridge
in the Yard into Cash" scam. Then he started bellyaching about how he
couldnít find decent sausage anymore, and how those little smoky link
things tasted like soap and were made out of sheep scrotums and all,
but before he could get up another head of steam I cut him off and
said "allright!..enough of this horseshit! Letís go." " What?" he

Anyway, I dragged him out to the truck, strapped him in, and said:
"You got yer Gatorade jug, right? I donít want to wake up and find a
puddle of piss on the floorboards." He said: "I thought this was a
rental." "Oh yeah, " I said. " But use the jug anyway."

So off we went.

Well, we went bashing down every dirt road in the county, looking for
rocks to dislodge with the transfer case, but It wasnít long before he
was starting to drive me nuts, as he was hanging out of the window
constantly with his tongue flapping and going "Fwaa, Fwaaa,
wuhwuhwuwhwuhwuhw, smack." "Christ," I said, "get yer head back in the
window, or Iíll deliberately swerve into that snarl of thorny bushes,"
"What bushes?" He said. But he looked like he might pull his head back
in anyway, so I quick squeezed him by the neck by cranking up the
electric window, and drove through them anyway. He made all kinds of
funny noises then. "Thatíll teach ya" I said.

Anyway, we had to stop for a while so I could pull all of the thorns
out of his face and let him empty his gatorade jug, which he did,
right on the floorboards. "Nyah, Nyah, Nyah," he said. "My nose is
tore up but your truck is pissy. Put that in yer tailpipe and go
smokiní it, limpdick." "It ainít my truck. Letís go." I said.

We headed up some road marked in the Delorme Off-Roaderís guide with a
little cow skull half-buried in the sand, which is the same as a ten
star rating. It climbed steeply along blackhead nose, and above the
timber line it opened onto a long and fairly smooth dirt ridge road,
so I kicked it. "Move it, you Jap jalopy, " I said. "Yee Haw" said
unk. "What?" I said. "What the fuck is yee haw?" "Just something you
say when you go fast." He said. "I never say it" said I. "I donít
doubt that, you tick-brained asshole," he said. Then I reached over to
belt him in his thorn-bloodied schnoz, lost control of the truck, and
drove off the side of the mountain.

"Well, Unk," I said, as we sort of fell, sort of skidded down a
treeless mountainside as steep as an advanced ski slope, "we are going
very fast now, but I hear no yee-hawing whatsoever." He made some
gargliing noises and I think he was fixing to tell me to blow
something out of something, but before he could, we smacked into a big
rock and were both knocked cold.

I came to (I guess) a few hours later, waking to a warm stream being
poured down the back of my neck, presumably from a gatorade jug. Old
unk had come to first, I surmised. "Well, Mr Mother Fucker, this is
all your fault. What are we gonna do now?" I said. "Go Christmas
shopping" he said. "Thereís a bus we can catch in town." "Hmm," I
hmmmed. I glanced in the mirror. I had a nice lumpy, purplish gash on
my forehead, and everything from my nose down was bright red and caked
with blood. Unk was even more gaudily decorated. "well, we do look
sort of festive, I said, but we need something green." So we crawled
out of the truck and went digging around for some holly-looking
foliage. I found some suitably waxy, spiny looking stuff, and attached
a few boughs to my head with duct tape. "How do I look?" I said. "I
guess you look like a poinsetta, but how the fuck should I know," unk
said. "I canít tell green from red." "But pick some out for me, would
you?" he added. So I did, but given he was chromatically challenged, I
picked a lot of brown, dead, shitty looking stuff, and was barely able
to avoid audible snorting as I taped it to his head.

I said: "Well, I guess weíre ready now." Whatís the plan.? "Pull my
finger, asswipe," unk said.

We slobbered all the way down the mountain to the highway, and tried
to hitch a ride back into town. For some reason, we had a hard time
getting anybody to stop. While we were waiting there with our thumbs
sticking up like two bloody and camouflaged sheet metal Coca-Cola
cops, old unk went to babbling about the benefits of early
mall-crawling. "Itís never too early to start Christmas shopping." he
said. "At least thatís what my mother used to say. But no one listened
to her. We all preferred to wait until the last minute and circulate
through the stores as particles in a moving meat-mass, round and round
and round again, stepping in the same melted stretchy thing in front
of F.A.O. Swartz and yellin "Shit" everytime we did, lumbering around
in a sack-toting mish-mosh of snood-headed women, polyester gut-suits,
boogery bratnicks dragging things on strings, pencil-necks toting
minature carp in plastic bags of water, red-faced, wheezing
multi-chinned amoeba-men, grumpy matrons with sofa seat cushion-sized
asses and Jocky Big Beefs banging buns with their bimbos as they
attempted to manuever through mallville while arm-wrapped, each of
them every now and then breaking away from the flattened, depressing,
drony, multi-headed, cilia-waving organism to lumber into someplace
like Groombahís One Bite Breakfast Beasties where they sell coffee
mixed with raw egg squished into animal shapes and make you sign
adoption papers (like at the dog pound) before you can take home a
Baboon shaped plug of Banana-Prune Java and Peking Albu-Arthroperk,
wrap it up and give it to somebody you donít really like cause it you
did, youíd have spent more than $2.49 on their worthless ass."

"Shut the fuck up," I said.

Well, in fairness, that last minute lunacy was never much fun for me,
either. So this year seemed like a good year to break with tradition.
Besides, I had a broken nose and a day an an uncle to kill. Anyway, we
finally caught a ride back into town, called the rental car place and
reported the truck stolen, then went to the Tailing Pile bus station
to wait for the "Thanksgiving in July" Christmas shopping charter to
Somewhat Biggerville..

Anyway, we had a few minutes before the bus was supposed to show up.
We noticed that hanging in the little half-outhouse where at least two
people could seek shelter from inclement weather, there was a kind of
cutaway drawing of a smiling bus full of smily anglo heads and
pigtailed silhouettes being driven by a Maytag-Repairman looking
driver, and a hyperbolic description of what a great value this
excusion was. This year the charter organizers had opted for a Hawaiin
theme, and included in the roundtrip price was a roundtrip meal ticket
for all the Pork and Pineapple Stick Treats you could eat, as well as
entertainment. I wasnít really up for listening to the county attorney
sing and play his ukelele, so we penciled little cartoon drawings of
ourselves over some stickfolks in the back of the bus, drew a real
thick black line just in front of us, and marked the newly demarcated
area the "No Don Ho" section, even though we werenít really sure it
would do any good.

Then the bus pulled up.

Next: Hitting the stores.

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