ELY AND THE TRUTH
Written by Guy J Jackson on Tuesday the 16th of February 2010
The bartender had a paunch hidden inside an over-sized Hawaiian shirt and claimed his shaved head attracted the ladies. By the time the bartender was saying how they grew bellasomething flowers in most every garden in California and how the flowers were being used in witches rituals in the 1700s and how the witches were masturbating with broomsticks with flower juice rubbed on them, Ely was thinking I don't have to listen to this fabricator.
"No," said the bartender, "Highway One is beautiful and everything but rains like this bring all those little sharp pyramid-shaped stones from up on those hills down to the road. And there ain't nothing between Big Sur and Cambria. Your cell phone won't work all the way up. And there ain't nothing between Big Sur and Monterey. I wouldn't go driving up that way tomorrow without two or three spare tires."
Ely hitched up his belt and finished his beer. The rain pounded at the broad front window. He warmed his pants with a fart. Free food had been set on a table beside the pool table and Ely had eaten four bowls of the free clam chowder.
The next day Ely was beside the road with three flat tires. He had been going just twenty-five miles per hour, thankfully, when the two right side tires had blown. Then, on his way to the mush of the road shoulder the other back tire had let out a report. Ely climbed from his car and stretched his spine and breathed until he was aware of his breathing. Then he walked around the car. From each of the flat tires stuck pyramid-shaped stones. He plucked one. It was true. The pyramid-shaped stone was razor-sharp. Mother, thought Ely.
A week later, in a bar in Portland, Ely listened intently when the bartender said: "Yeah what you wanna do when you get back to California is get yourself one of those dashboard alert smog alarm clocks they got. If you get fined for smog in California it's something like five thousand bucks."
"Yeah," said Ely. "I hear ya."