Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Square Peg - Bingo Bob Does History



The Square Peg - Bingo Bob Does History
© S. Bradley Stoner



Monday evening. Duncan and I were surveying our hay-fields. You heard me. They aren’t lawns anymore. We could have put up at least eight tons of good grass hay by now if we hadn’t mowed every week. Between us, we could have grazed six head of cattle, two sheep, and a goat. Duncan even suggested it, but then conceded that the HOA would probably fine us twenty T-bones, seventy filet Mignons, six racks of ribs, two briskets, and enough wool to make a sheepskin coat. We decided it wasn’t really an option.

About the time we were commiserating about what the added precipitation had done for gas sales to keep our mowers running, we heard a roar from Bob’s house. Well, maybe not a roar, but it was pretty plain there was one heck of a commotion going on in there. Not that this is particularly a surprise, it happens on a fairly regular basis and nobody pays much attention. We have a lot of women with Latin blood in our neighborhood, and they can get hotter than a Ghost Pepper... and not in a good way. Bob’s wife is Italian... from Jersey. Need I say more? Duncan calls her Vesuvius after that volcano in Italy.

Duncan eyeballed Bob’s house and commented laconically, “It appears Vesuvius is erupting again.”

“Wonder what old Bob did to anger the goddess?” I rejoined.

It’s pretty common knowledge that old Bob can manage to tick off almost anybody, even when he doesn’t mean to. Some folks, like Duncan, Charlie, and me have gotten used to Bob’s ineptness with social interaction and pretty much ignore it... or make fun of it. It keeps our blood pressure down, even if it raises Bob’s a notch or two.

It was getting louder and Duncan said, “Boy, I hope Bob got rid of that hammer... remember what happened last time Vesuvius erupted?”

I had visions of Bob’s car after she got through with it. He showed us pictures. It looked like it been through a storm with hailstones the size of softballs. “Yeah, well that was Bob’s fault.”

“It always is, isn’t it?” Duncan asked.

I was about to agree when Bob’s front door flew open and Bob shot out of it like an ejecting pilot. It was pretty obvious from his stumbling who had done the ejection assist. As if to punctuate the act, we heard Vesuvius roar forth, “...and STAY out, you !@$^!@% uncouth lout!” And then the door slammed shut... hard.

“Whoa,” Duncan said, “that was kind of unladylike.”

Bob spied us. With his square jaw jutting forward, fists tightly clenched and fire in his eyes, he stalked toward us. This was going to have to be defused quickly before Bob exploded. And that’s not a pretty sight.

Duncan got to him first. “Hi Bob, how’s tricks.”

Bob snarled. I mean he literally snarled.

“Keep that up,” I offered, “and the ASPCA is going to pick you up and put you in a cage.”

“Very funny,” Bob replied, but at least his tone was civil.

“What’d you do to anger the goddess today?” Duncan asked.

“I swear to God that woman has no sense of humor whatsoever,” Bob whined. “None.”

“Give us the skinny,” Duncan demanded.

“Okay... so she was watching this documentary she recorded from that History Channel on this Egyptian king... Tutankhamen... you know the boy king they found with all that gold and stuff years ago.”

“Holy crap, Bob,” I said, “are you actually telling me you watched something cultural.’

“Nothin’ cultural about it... it was history.”

I let it pass.

“Anyway, they kept referring to him as Tut... you know pronounce like ‘hut’ only with a ‘t’ at the front. I just pointed out that they had been saying his name like ‘Too-tank-hamun,’ not ‘Tut-tank-hamun,’” he said, emphasizing the syllabic differences.

“Okay... so?” Duncan prodded.

“Well... I just suggested that maybe his peers called him ‘Toot,’ not ‘Tut.’ It just makes better sense. You know, like you say ‘Gene’ for Eugene, not ‘Gin,’ for crying out loud.

“That can’t be all of it,” Duncan pressed.

“I might have said that since he was a boy king, it would make him a little fart...”

“That’s a start,” Duncan urged. “What else?”

“I might have let a little toot of my own when I said it.”

Duncan busted out laughing. “There it is! Bingo, Bob!”

And all this time you’ve wondered how Bingo Bob earned his name.