June 05, 2010

June 2010, Vol. 9, Issue 6

Truckin' has been around for 8 years now. I'm amazed, shocked, and thrilled. Happy birthday, Truckin'!

1. Inertia Junction by Paul McGuire
She told me that she was on a year-long holiday after her mother died from a serious illness. She had a sorrowful smile. Her friend looked like your pissed-off lesbian cousin. Short spikey hair. Only one ear pierced. Constant scowl... More

2. One Guy, One Cup by Brad Willis
I clutched my specimen in my hand. A pretty blonde woman with a little girl stood beside me. They cooed at each other, and I was sure they knew I was holding. The elevator dinged and donged, but didn’t arrive before a pregnant nurse sidled up beside me. She knew. I knew she knew. It was like that scene in Reservoir Dogs with the doper walking into a bathroom full of narcs. I nodded at the nurse and clutched the bag even tighter... More

3. The Sherman Incident by Sigge S. Amdal
Six years ago. That's when he first had it. The itch. He remember not taking notice, not paying attention, not even caring about it. But the itch had remained. And it grew worse... More

4. Chasing the Facts by May B. Yesno
I found a corpse no-one had bothered to bury. There was at least twenty-five people living there and the only building large enough to remotely qualify for ‘commercial’ status was a dairy milking shed... More

5. Rural Road #7 by Miles Harvey
He saw a warm house, a glowing kitchen and a moon-faced girl puttering about making dinner. She probably didn’t even notice the sleet that was coating his car’s windshield in vanilla pudding... More

6. 152 Peaches by Paul McGuire
His savvy talents were no match
For his jealous wife’s twin brother.
Who longed to tell knock-knock jokes
In French, while wearing a
Kiwi colored tu-tu... More

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...


From the Editor's Laptop:

The special birthday issue features some of your favorite writers including Brad Willis, Sigge S. Amdal, and May B. Yesno. This issue includes the debut of Miles Harvey, and two contributions from yours truly. I cracked open the poetry archives and found one of my favorites... 152 Peaches.

The scribes write at Truckin' for free, so please help spread the word about your favorite stories via Facebook, Twitter, smoke signals, whatever you can do to help. We all appreciate your generosity.

If anyone is interested in being added to the mailing list or writing for a future issue, then please to contact us.

I can never thank the writers enough for sharing their blood and guts. That takes a lot of courage and a tremendous leap of faith. I'm eternally grateful because they constantly inspire me by keeping Truckin' alive for eight years. No reason we can't keep doing this for ten or twenty or even longer.

Before I go, I want to thank all of you, the awesome readers for taking the time out to support the arts. Thanks for keeping the spirit alive as we begin our ninth year.

Be good,
McG

"I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it." - Henry Miller

Inertia Junction

By Paul McGuire © 2010

When I traveled to Europe for the very first time, I rode the trains from country to country with other backpackers. The longer people were on the road, the smaller their packs got. You could easily pick out the life-long transients because they carried the least attachments. To be totally free is to be rootless. Floating. Freedom is more precious than gold.

Sometimes it's not easy to stick to the plan. I started out in London and planned to visit thirteen other destinations in a short amount of time. I brought too much stuff. That's what Americans do during their first sojourn to Europe. We over-consume and over-pack. I actually brought two bags and ditched my huge backpack at a locker inside Central Station in Amsterdam. About 32% of the total weight of my bags were travel guides. London. Holland. Spain. Italy. Germany. Greece. Czech Republic. France. Portugal. I didn't need any of those. I stuffed only a few pairs of underwear, a dress shirt, and a raincoat in my book bag. Everything else was useless.

The lawless nature of Amsterdam turned me into a clumsy soul. I blame the lenient laws on drugs and prostitution. I had never purchased an illegal drug in a legal manner before. Back in the days before the Euro, the Dutch used Guilders as their currency. All weed and hash transactions were 25 guilders. Depending on the actual market price of the product, you would be able to buy two grams or three grams. For 25 Guilders, you could buy five grams of Jamaican ditch weed, but you only got less than one gram of the top shelf Moroccan hash.

European women were insatiable compared to the annoying American and British girls in our hostel. And all the model-like Dutch girls on bicycles made me horny. My desires and needs intensified as I sat in the afternoon shadows of the candle lit back room of a hash bar. The grey-eyed German vixen told me that her name was Juliet. She rolled joints with hash, tobacco, and marijuana. She constantly removed little pieces of weed from her tongue with her thumb and middle finger. She told me that she was on a year-long holiday after her mother died from a serious illness. She had a sorrowful smile. Her friend looked like your pissed-off lesbian cousin. Short spikey hair. Only one ear pierced. Constant scowl. Doc Martens. The lesbian's English was not very good, and she rarely spoke. Or many she hated Americans and simply used that as an excuse not to talk to me. She knew my impure thoughts without even peeking into my soul. It was hard to hide my excitement for life at that point. First trip to Europe does that to you.

After a week in Amsterdam, I had had enough. After striking out with the grey-eyed German girl, I was tempted by all of the window hookers. That's when I knew it was time to leave. I hopped on a train to Spain and gazed out the window as the blurry Belgium countryside rushed by.

In Barcelona, I met an ex-pat hustling on Las Ramblas. He said that he drove a UPS truck for a decade in San Francisco. He was an admitted hardcore heroin addict and made no excuses for his behavior. He sold me hashish and suggested that I drop acid inside Gaudi's La Familia Sagrada, which has been under construction for over a hundred years. He didn't have any acid, but he said he could score me some if I gave him a few extra bucks. The former UPS driver was in bad shape with open sores on his face and arms. He smelled like a homeless guy who shat himself. It was hard talking to him because of the rank smell. I had to hold my nose and my breath.

He spent his afternoons trying to scam unintelligent tourists, explaining to me that, "Americans are so fuckin' dumb. Italians too."

When the junkie weaseled away enough cash, he'd head to the ghetto to score a couple of bags. He stopped shooting and tried snorting, but it wasn't giving him the glorious buzz that his body craved. He smoked the dope. Chased the dragon. Nightly. Near the entrance to the zoo if you can believe that. He said that he slept in the park, well, passed out or more like nodded out.

I went to check out the late-night junkie scene. I had no intentions to dabble, but was curious at what I'd see. What I found was nothing special. Junkies are the same sorry lot wherever you go, except most of these addicts spoke Spanish and Albanian. A dozen shrunken heads sat on a series of benches looking out over the landscape. Everything surrounding them was in decay. Their teeth. The sidewalk. The bench. Their hearts.

I nearly got robbed when one squirmy-looking dude brandishing a knife decided that he wanted the contents of wallet. I hid most of my cash in my hiking boot and proudly displayed my empty wallet. Before he could search my pockets, I took off running out of the park. He was too lazy to chase me, but I continued to run anyway until the saltiness of the sweat raining off my head stung my eyes. I stopped to catch my breath when I was approached by a pimp in a light blue pinstripe suit. He introduced me to his product, a 17-year old Polish girl who wore a tight skirt. She looked 15. My inability to stop sweating freaked her out. She whispered something in his ear and they quickly took off. I guess she didn't want to lick my sweaty balls for $20.

For the next few weeks, I ate bread and cheese across Europe, drank red wine and smoked hashish whenever I could find it. In Vienna, I splurged for a nice hotel room, but the room must have been a vortex for a powerful energy force because I lost all semblance of my self, sort of like a flash of amnesia, except all of my confidence vanished and all of my happy memories were erased from my memory banks. I lost myself in Vienna of all places, as it became the crossroads of my youth as I transitioned into adulthood. I grew more and more infuriated by the sad sound of the leaky faucet. I looked at the haunted gaunt stranger in the mirror. Brooding. Misery. I spent the next day wandering around the city when I decided to bum around Germany for a couple of weeks.

I frequented the hip discos of Berlin, with Swedish-techno-pop music blasting on the sound system. Every disco seemed the same -- filled with a heavy fog of cigarette smoke and "former model/currently a hooker" types in latex who were all wasted on ecstasy, which is why they talked to me. One late night, I got a hand job from one of the Odalisques while waiting at the bar to order a drink. She tried to steal my watch, but wasn't smooth enough to pull off the heist. Hey, I didn't mind thwarting the robbery because I shot a juicy load all over her green dress.

I met an Aussie at my hostel who loved to spin fantastic tales about his travels. I suspected some of it was bullshit and fabricated, but I didn't care too much. He was a red-nose drunk, or maybe just a cokehead. We traveled together from Munich to Budapest, swapping stories about ourselves until we went hoarse. We found a hostel on the Pest side of the Danube. We threw pebbles at pigeons, got drunk at a cafe drinking Czech beers, made fun of tourists with fanny packs pouring over maps. I took pictures of the Parliament building and lost a chess match against an old Danish guy smoking a pipe.

I went sleepless on the second night. Our hostel was rowdy. Too many wasted kids fighting, fucking, screaming, puking, and playing soccer in the hallways. I spent the last of my cash on a brick of hash and depended on a credit card for the rest of the trip. The last time I saw the Aussie, he was off to see a prostitute.

"She's from Transylvania. I can't wait."


Paul McGuire is the author of Lost Vegas.

One guy, One Cup

By Brad Willis © 2010

I was nearly out of gas and still 45 minutes from the deposit point. I looked at the bag in the passenger seat and wondered if I should put it somewhere less conspicuous. I imagined a tanned South Carolina trooper peering in the window and asking, “What’s in the bag, son?”

It was white plastic with the words “Bi-Lo” stamped in red on the outside and its contents were more valuable than anything inside my car. Time was an issue, but there was no way I’d get there on the last few vapors of unleaded in the tank. I pulled over at the Chevron and filled the tank.

While the gas pumped in, I looked around the interior of my car. It was littered with an empty potato chip bag, three empty diet soda cans, and the detritus of a man who usually rolls alone. I remembered the advice of drug buddies past: “Cops are more likely to search a messy car.”

Be a man, I told myself. Just drive. Don’t be stupid.

I got on the interstate and watched my speedometer closely. I breezed by overturned red car and a collection of emergency workers, then a city cop harassing a Hispanic guy, then a DOT cop running with his lights flashing. I exhaled.

I had to be there by 4:00pm or what was in the bag would be worthless. I thought about it and almost pulled the passenger side seatbelt across my cargo. One quick stop—or heaven forbid, a wreck—and there was the potential for a lot of questions I didn’t want to answer.

While I was considering the implications of a crash and the mess it would cause, I pulled off on the wrong exit and got stuck in a traffic jam. My chest tightened and my fists gripped the steering wheel. Even Ira Glass’ voice on the radio couldn’t calm me down.

This is what it’s like to drive with a plastic cup of your own semen in the passenger seat.

* * *

The discomfort that goes along with having a vasectomy doesn’t end after the operation. There’s the soreness afterward, the awkward memory of the lady who looks like Joan Cusack rubbing antiseptic on your penis, and the scent-memory of cauterized vas deferens drifting up in the smoke from your scrotum.

Then, there’s the humiliating task of ejaculating into a specimen jar. Unless you have some pretty refined fetishes, there is nothing sexy about a plastic cup, and in the end, it feels more like a medical procedure than such a practice really should. The self-critical stare hopelessly into the cup and ask themselves, “Is that too much? God, what if it’s not enough?”

All of this ran through my head as I extricated myself from the traffic jam and got back on the highway to the office. One in the lobby, I clutched my specimen in my hand. A pretty blonde woman with a little girl stood beside me. They cooed at each other, and I was sure they knew I was holding. The elevator dinged and donged, but didn’t arrive before a pregnant nurse sidled up beside me.

She knew. I knew she knew. It was like that scene in “Reservoir Dogs” with the doper walking into a bathroom full of narcs. I nodded at the nurse and clutched the bag even tighter.

Look casual!

I couldn’t. She knew.

The lab was on the fifth floor. I wore my sunglasses all the way up and walked directly to the lab desk. A pretty girl stood at the counter.

“I need to drop off a specimen,” I said, my voice betraying the confidence I tried to put on my face. This was almost an intimate moment. The rules of the game require the specimen be dropped off two hours from the…point of production. That means, unlike anybody else I would meet on this day, this girl knew exactly what I’d been doing an hour or so before. It was almost like she was imagining it while she looked across the desk.

“Do you have your chart?” she asked.

My chart.

I’d forgotten the rules. I was supposed to stop at the front desk and pick up my chart before going to the lab. I tried to play it off.

“You’re telling me you just don’t let random guys drop random stuff off with you?”

“No,” she said, clipping the “o” like she was French, and raising her eyebrow in a way that I was sure said, “You sure you did everything else correctly?”

I walked to the front desk and put bag on the counter. I was more brazen now. I took off my sunglasses and asked for my chart.

“Please take a seat and I’ll bring it to you in a moment,” the brunette behind the desk said as she stole a glance at the Bi-Lo bag.

I sat in the waiting room with my bag. A redneck sat across from me talking about the dangers and immorality of underground parking garages. “They shu’n’t even have’em,” he said. “I mean, they got cameras…”

“All the cameras is gonna see,” said a fat lady beside me, “is some guy slitting my throat and stealing my pocketbook.”

All the while, my semen sat beside me.

It had been six months since the doctor had cut open a part of me I never expected to be cut open, cut in two pieces of my body I’d hoped never would be cut, and then seared those pieces with the medical equivalent of a soldering iron. If I hadn’t been on a pretty high dose of tranquilizers at the time, I probably never would’ve been able to speak of it again. When I left, I was told I should have no unprotected sex until I had a zero sperm count. Hence, the benefits of having a vasectomy had eluded me for half a year afterward. It was as if I’d had myself mutilated just for kicks.

The lady at the desk called my name and handed me my chart. I walked back to the lab where I put the chart and the bag on the counter. It occurred to me that there may no more personal item you can give to a woman. Your grandmother’s engagement ring? That came from your grandmother. A jar of semen? That comes from you, brother.

“When should I call back?” I asked.

The lab tech took my bag like I’d delivered her groceries and smiled. “Some time after 4:00,” she said, and then quickly disappeared into the lab. She popped her head back out.

“Would you like to take another cup with you?” she asked.

Another cup. This one I’d just handed over had been sitting in my bathroom drawer for six months. It had smeared toothpaste on the side and the label was wrinkled from some spilled water. I’d looked at it every day when I’d brushed my teeth and thought, “Someday, I’m going to ejaculate into this cup and give it to a woman who doesn’t know my name.”

I looked at the woman in the eye and said, “Yeah. Give me another one. Just in case.”

Brad Willis is a writer from Greenville, SC.

The Sherman Incident

By Sigge S. Amdal

Henry was tired. He was tired and wide awake, and it was late at night. Very late at night. Henry would not sleep. He would not sleep until passing out from exhaustion.

Six years ago, was it six years ago already? Yeah. Six years ago. That's when he first had it. The itch. He remember not taking notice, not paying attention, not even caring about it. But the itch had remained. And it grew worse. It grew to the point that he went to the doctor's office, because he couldn't get a proper night's sleep. That was four years ago.

Four years ago the doctors had told him, one after the other, that something was wrong with him. Only problem was that it was something different each time. Each doctor had a theory, took their tests and ran the course with treatments and ointments and pills. And still it itched. It itched like hell.

Henry closed his eyes and suppressed a whimper.

She was sleeping besides him. She slept like a baby, not a worry in the world. Sometimes he'd get so mad he would hate her for it. Then he would crawl next to her for forgiveness. Of course, she was wide asleep all the time. Not a worry in the world.

Henry stared at the ceiling, then he stared at the wall, then the wardrobe, before turning back to the ceiling. He turned right and closed his eyes. But it just made it worse. When he closed his eyes his mind's eye went backwards, into him, and back to the itch again.

Emphasizing it. It itched so much that he curled his toes and stretched out his legs until they were stiff stretched. Then tt subsided for a while. He knew it would be back.

He turned restlessly in bed, trying not to wake her up. Then it shot from his backside, a pain so extreme that he arched his back and barely managed to breathe. His buttocks clutched together like a bank vault, while he could feel every fiber in the bed sheet tickling the soft skin under his fingernails that dug as deep as possible into the mattress. He calmed down catching his breath. She shifted a little, but stayed asleep. He was sweating now. He pulled down the covers to cool himself down.

That's when he heard it. He was staring at the ceiling drifting into oblivion, nearly falling asleep again, when he heard the sound. It was faint, as if drowned by the cushions of a very long time, of a memory gradually coming into focus. It was a voice.

“HENRY B. SHERMAN.”

“Ah!” His ears rang.

“Henry B. Sherman.. Henry B. Sherman.. Henry B. Sherman?”

“Yes!”

He quickly turned towards her, frightened that she'd woken up. She was still asleep. He relaxed until he realized he was spoken to.

“Henry B. Sherman?”

“Yes, yes, that's my name.” He whimpered. Tears were flowing from his dry eye-sockets.

“Henry B. Sherman, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Who are you?”

Not the most rational question given the situation, but Henry was tired.

“We are, eh, we are the subjects. The Majestic Twelve subjects.”

The voice was intensely clear now, as if spoken inside his ears.

“You have heard about Majestic Twelve?”

“Majestic Twelve? What is that?”

There was some hushed discussion at the other end of the line.

“We can see there has been a mixup. I wouldn't worry about it. These things happen from time to time. Why don't you go to sleep now?”

“That's easier said than...” He fell asleep.

The itch was less noticeable as soon Henry got distracted. Every-day life, work, working out, the girlfriend, friends and television were all readily available to bury his burden in background noise. He was a B-type of person, and worked flexible hours to accommodate. Late nights and a girlfriend without any emotional depth provided just the right amount of getaway.

During day time Henry considered himself a normal person. He was just as normal as every other normal person. There was nothing wrong with him. There was no itch.

After each day though there was another night to live through again, and the itch always returned, this night no different. He was brought back to his nightly ordeal by an itch so strong he fantasized about getting a knife or a pair of scissors in the kitchen and cutting into his skin. His heart paced and sweat formed on his forehead. But this time he was not alone.

“Henry B. Sherman.”

“Yes, yes. This is Henry.” said Henry. He was shivering from the itching.

“We have been watching you. You seem to be quite uncomfortable right now, is that right?”

“Yes, I'm in hell here!” he yelled under his breath. He looked left. She was fast asleep.

“That is why we broke the peace. We would not have done it otherwise, just so you know.

There is nothing wrong with trying to help out, wouldn't you agree?”

“Um, yes. I think so. Why not?” His eyes rolled back into his skull as another itch took over.

“Ffffuck!” he exclaimed without tone.

“We would very much like to help you, Henry.”

“So help me god dammit!”

A thousand ants, it felt like a thousand fire ants took hold of his body. He was shaking. She stirred, but turned and turned again. Still asleep. He held his breath.

Then, all of a sudden, as if a cold hand of serenity had been laid upon him, he felt something he had not remembered. Peace. Being still. Being well. Free.

He gasped, waiting for the inevitable itch to return yet again, closing his eyes so hard they hurt.

“Does that work?”

“Ssshh!” He opened his eyes, blinking. There was quiet for a while as Henry experienced the light ecstasy of exhausted relaxation as his body finally came to natural rest. He couldn't believe it.

“Did it work?”

“Yes. Yes it did! Thank you!”

He smiled from ear to ear, just barely stopping himself from laughing out loud from joy.

“We are so happy for you, Henry.”

“Thanks. Thanks so much! You have no idea how long I've been waiting for the itch to go away.”

“It hasn't gone away, Henry.”

Cold truth brought panic and doom both at once, it would all come back! “WHAT?!”

She woke up.

“Henry, what's happening?” Slurred from sleep.

“Don't worry, darling. It was just a bad dream. Just a bad dream.”

He lulled her back to sleep again, waited ten minutes and waited another ten minutes before he dared to whisper; “What do you mean it's not gone?”

“The itch is not gone, Henry. You just can't feel it any longer. We made it so.” said the subjects.

“But in order to make it stay that way, you must do something for us in return. That is just the way it works, Henry. Does that sound reasonable to you?”

“It sounds reasonable, I guess.”

“There has been a mistake. Someone has made a mistake, Henry. Don't worry, it's not you. It's the Majestic Twelve. We are not supposed to be here. Not at all. They have made a mistake and sent us here. A terrible mistake. Did you know, that is why you have been itching for so long? What was it, six years now?”

“Six years..”

“Six years they've made you suffer! We are very sorry for the inconvenience. Luckily we recently found out that if we stimulated the brain stem directly by electric impulse we could communicate with host just as one would hear a voice.”

Henry didn't understand a thing that they said.

“It means that we finally can talk together. We can make things right again. And you, Henry, you can be free again. Free from this itch altogether and forever. What say you? Will you help us put things right again, Henry?”

“I will help you.”

And then they told him, in great detail, all the things he was going to do to set things right with the Majestic Twelve and free him from the itch forever.

Henry got up slowly and quietly not to wake her up. He slid on his sweatpants and a t-shirt and put on the slippers. He went into the kitchen careful not to make a sound, and opened the utility drawer. He took out a sharp filet knife and closed the drawer. Then he quietly locked himself out of the apartment.


Sigge S. Amdal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.

Chasing the Facts

By May B. Yesno © 2010

I was chasing the facts, fiction, and story; call it as you will, of a story rumored around my hometown to have taken place in a place distant. I was on my third day of questions and answers with the locals in that distant place, and hadn’t gleaned a smell of fact, or fiction for that matter. I decided a break was in order. In manner, then, I chose a lounge bar on the out skirts of town and settled down for an hour to relax and review notes of yet another story I was researching.

My notes were telling me of radio station failures and radio station consolidation for reasons I’d not totally grasped at that point in my research. Money for operating costs and newer broadcasting techniques seemed the most likely suspects, but I hadn’t quite put a handle on the smaller, regional, five watt stations that sprouted like milk weed. Those little stations that broadcast twenty-four/seven/three-sixty five with little or no advertising were the popular item, Mom and Pop places.

It was an interesting subject, to be sure, but one I’d only dipped a toe into through surface skimming literature garnered from correspondence. No interviews as yet of people actually in the business.

I was in the middle of heaving a sigh of frustration over tangled ends of ideas for articles, partially written articles, what might sell and to whom, when the conversation at the next table sank into my awareness.

They were speaking of radio stations. Quite implausibly a local station and how it was structured.

It was a feeder type station, carrying a packaged programming sent to it from a distant point. One of several stations owned by one person, one consortium of persons and all run from the central point. This particular stations hiring two people to serve the machinery and front the local population was nepotism as the manager appointed was a brother and his wife.

The conversation I was witnessing continued for some time and then the participants drifted out of the lounge. I had filled a page or so of my notes – because, who knows when something related and useful might come along or I might use these notes. I did receive some insight to the business of a small station. I received some insight as to funding such things. There was one snippet, a clue to, the subject that had brought me this far.

As I have related, I was concerned with my notebook and as I tuned into the conversation, I realized I’d caught the words “micro-brewery” and “construction” and “advertisement.” Those were all words pertaining to my original quest, that which had dragged me from the comforts of home and hearth and out across the no-where land of country.

And I’d missed it.

I had, however, come to awareness in time to register a town name. Some searching of Maps told me the town was only a few miles down the road and easily accessible. I left the Lounge and headed there.

Perhaps an explanation is in order. I had heard of a publisher interested in articles about Micro-Breweries. If they were interested, then I, as a writer, was interested.

About the same time I was told there might be a Micro-Brewery in a town some distance away.

Which explains why and what I was doing so far from home. The fact I couldn’t find the Micro-Brewery wasn’t surprising because I had one vague name or a maybe real location for the thing, and felt, as I normally feel when dealing with small town folks, that indirect suggestions of questions was the best way to seek information. One of the things I do know about country folk is the “suggestion ability” they will sometimes apply to their group, intimates and casual listeners. Where indirect comments to things, partially stated facts (or fictions) will be laid out with no emphasis and the conversation continued, or terminated as the speaker wishes. Then the listener is watched from afar, in silence, to see if the bait was taken and what actions the listener might exhibit.

Once the listener has taken action, whether now or some time from now, he will generally hear about it over a beer or cup of coffee, several times in fact, and from a wide variety of folks, in the years to come.

The stop at the Lounge gave me a town name, where all the indirect questioning had failed.

The short of it was I found the town mentioned. I found a corpse no-one had bothered to bury. There was at least twenty-five people living there and the only building large enough to remotely qualify for ‘commercial’ status was a dairy milking shed.

I parked on a knoll top and thought about the situation for several minutes.

The problems seemed to revolve about: 1) radio, 2) advertisements, and 3) booze. Not to put too fine a point on small town reticence and humor.

Those being the case; then, a liquor store should produce some answers. But which liquor store. Liquor stores buy and sell booze, therefore a micro-brewery needs a market.

The local phone book gave me two choices, and the maps gave me a clue to middle vs. working class patronage – the radio station/advertisement angle weighting on the middle class side. So off I went to my best guess estimate for an informational source.

I got lucky. The owner was present and listened patiently to my explanation of my search and started grinning.

It was a hoax, he said. A small inside joke between three guys. None of the micro-brewery ever was. Well, not really.

Look. The fellow that use to own the local radio station, for twenty years or more, sold out.

When the new guy (not the new owner, his brother, the current manager) got into town to take over the operation, the old owner invited him over to his home. It so happens that the old owner was a home brewer hobbyist and offered the new guy some home brew.

The brew was terrible. There were no words to describe it really, the Liquor Store Owner said. They tried the usual stock of panther piss, paint remover and what-not, but none came close. It was so bad, in fact, none but the old owner of that radio station finished their beers.

After the change of management and all had taken place, that new manager got to thinking about that beer the old owner prided his self on, and developed an advertising campaign around it.

He called the stuff Down Stream Grizzly Bear Beer, and threw in the name of that small town you saw as the home of the finest beer made of cow pasture run off water ever bottled and distributed for human consumption – all, you understand, to commemorate the old owners beer.

Well, I guess you don’t get a salable story every time out. But, if you’re willing, you can get a story.


May B. Yesno is a writer from Fresno, CA.

Rural Road #7

By Miles Harvey © 2010

Her house was at the end of a long driveway. The lane was rutted and covered in snow that ranged from off-white to dull-yellow and would have made horrible snowmen.

His coffee sent thin wisps up from the dash of the police cruiser. Darb Hendleson stared hard beneath the stiff brim of his South Dakota State Trooper derby. He saw a warm house, a glowing kitchen and a moon-faced girl puttering about making dinner. She probably didn’t even notice the sleet that was coating his car’s windshield in vanilla pudding.

The wipers struggled at first, and then rose triumphantly with an impressive burden of the slushy snow.

That highway’s gonna be a mess, he thought. The big Nor’easter, the one Channel 4 started calling a ‘Once in a Generation Weather Bomb, was starting to bare its teeth.

Lilly’s dog ran up the driveway toward Darb’s car, its floppy paws sending high arcs of the freshing snow into the air. Darb rolled the window down halfway. “Get back inside,” he yelled. “You don’t want to be outside for this one.”

Under the dark shadow of his government-issue hat, his eyes flashed to the warm kitchen window. She was scooping something out of a casserole dish and laughing.

He pulled the car off the shoulder slowly and set out down the snow-packed road.

The highway’ll be all messed up for sure.


This is Miles Harvey's first contribution to Truckin'.

152 Peaches

By Paul McGuire © 2002

To find me sitting
In a well lit room,
Is to find me staring
At the swarthy cracks in the shabby wall.

I saw him working,
In a small pool
Full of blissful frogs and other amphibians
But he did not see me
Lurking in the faint twilight,
When the purples and oranges take
Over the sky, and the other colors
Must patiently sit and watch
Them gleefully dance with each other
Their shadows vibrating off
The sour terrain below, and I stop to whiff
The moist breeze.

The alarmed chimpanzee and the hardy zoo keeper,
Would laugh at me when I
Walked over to them with a
Tiny notebook, and a twelve gauge shotgun.
He demanded I hand over the notebook,
But I let loose two bursts.
The chimp died instantly,
And the damaged lungs
Of the injured zookeeper,
whimpered sorry breaths,
As I chuckled like a bastard on
Prescription uppers, and
Spit thrice on the now
Bloody ground.

The hallow buzz that I
Begrudgingly steal from staring into
Space, is the identical high
A sophomoric junkie accomplishes
After religiously shooting
Up a handful of freshly cooked
Smack.
Bought from the slothful man
With the idle dog whom
Sat in an old flat tire,
Chewed on all sides by
Adorable puppies.

He’s the pimp who sold Fried Peanuts
His daily stash.
Which he made me fetch for him,
As well as a jar of
Apple Jam, and poppyseed bagels
Four times a week,
Sometimes more.

The hassle of all hassles,
Trying to cop for a desperate addict,
Was more than I could handle,
So I quit my job, and pawned it off to
A comedian in training named Marty.
His friends called him Marty Farty
Because of all the fart jokes
He would tell to the crowds who
Dared show up at his Open Mic
Performances in the Niagara Falls
Area as well as all over Eastern Canada.

His savvy talents were no match
For his jealous wife’s twin brother.
Who longed to tell knock-knock jokes
In French, while wearing a
Kiwi colored tu-tu.
His small, yet capricious
Dreams, were hastily pushed aside
By Marty Farty’s comedic rants about
Passing gas in crowded elevators
And stealing bowls of chili from
Soup kitchens in the Detroit area.
Great laughs for sure,
But not when Marty Farty
Was poisoned by an ex-girlfriend,
A dyslexic stewardess employed by Air Jamaica.

Peaches was her name,
So her nametag read.
And she showed me pictures
Of her pet snake named Hamlet,
An albino python that she
Loved like a regular pet
Or a third cousin, a distant
Relative that you saw only
During weddings and every other funeral.

The cheeseburger eating fireman
Walked over to the rental car
That Peaches had just wrecked.
She drove it up onto a
Semi-crowded sidewalk
And wrapped the Geo Metro around
An utility pole, and nearly
Hit an express mail mailbox
And almost flattened a fragile
Collection of rabid raccoons
That gathered to pick through
The daily garbage left out
On the slimy side street by the
Pizza shop owned by Greek porn gurus.
Her intentions weren’t to mow down
A hapless crowd of pedestrians,
But Peaches
Pulled a Lizzie Grubman,
And took a single life.
She killed a man.
A divorced man,
A scum bag lawyer,
But a life nonetheless.
People cried at his wake.
Relatives brought flowers and
Pre-cooked Tupperware meals for
The reluctant party afterwards and
Even his long lost son showed up to
Sing a cheerful song.
He, a flamboyant dancer from
Miami Beach, was secretly living with his
Scrappy life partner nicknamed Scooby,
A sloppy bartender
Hustling in backrooms
Each savory night, and he
Held a job
As a terrible pool cleaner
By day.

The keen Vietnam veterans
That throw multi-colored water balloons at the
Catholic school kids walking home
Each afternoon,
Would pretend that they
Are Charlie.
And each exploding balloon
That wets an up and coming
Hearty Christian, is a twisted
Game of selfishly acting
Out their morbid shell-shocked
Nightmares of endless tours in the dismal jungle
Cracking branches from leaves
The size of small farm animals.
The machete men would
Shout like lunatics to the insects
That landed on their
Muscular tattooed arms.
Sometimes burning them off with Zippo lighters.

The vodka crazed taxi driver showed up
And offered me a ride to the airport
To get me away from the insanity of my
Waking dreams.
I try to catch myself
And talk to the gloomy walls,
Like I used to,
When the harsh days were shorter,
And the lines to the methadone clinic
Were not as crowded
Like they were back in the 1970s.


Paul McGuire is a writer from New York City.