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The Squirrel And The Farmer by Matt Kornatz - [1 words]
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Simply Black Or White
Shooting In Iraq by E Rocco Caldwell - [466 words]
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At Death's Door by Nur Syafiqah A Jaaffar - [441 words]
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TITLE (EDIT)
Simply Black Or White
DESCRIPTION
A short piece.
[1,211 words]
AUTHOR
Gerald L Bosacker
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am author, Gerald Bosacker, a prolific poet and short story writer who is woefully undiscovered by the paying public, but lavishly displayed world-wide, pro bono. I exist by charging a "tasting fee" for groceries submitted to my home, by Supermarkets seeking recognition.
[September 2002]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (3)
A Good Citizen From Stillwater (Short Stories) A short story. [1,565 words]
Belt A Fat Comedian (Short Stories) While attending the University of Minnesota, I was side-tracked from academics by economic necessity and became successful salesperson and rose to sales management as a corporate officer, though still... [2,333 words]
Goldy's Last Goose (Short Stories) GOLDY’S LAST GOOSE (1666 Words) Bill Seeger sliced the home made bread carefully cutting two very even slices while leaving a thick heel for his dog. Goldy, his longtime friend and hunting compan... [1,681 words]
Simply Black Or White
Gerald L Bosacker

I was reminded of the comedian, Redd Foxx the minute he entered Carla's Classic Coffee Shop. Scruffy and wearing a suit Salvation Army would reject, he was in stark contrast to his elegantly garbed, tall blonde male companion. Yet, they were closely, almost intimately linked together, although their contrasting mien and manner begged for explanation. Obviously, they came from different worlds but were now linked together by a strange mutuality or quirk of fate. Despite their odd pairing, they seemed physically closer than normal as they clumsily walked, crab-like through the crowded room, almost arm in arm, to the first open table. Then, I discovered their common bond.

The sloppy colored fellow with the bad complexion had his right hand- cuffed to the taller white man left hand who graciously masked their necessary link using the charitable placement of his newspaper. They drew my attention away from the excellent Swiss-steak, deliciously smothered in rich mushroom and onion gravy. Carla Wednesday special was better than usual with a real-life exhibition for my speculation and entertainment

I was lunching alone and had time to kill before my two o'clock appointment, upstairs with Doctors Monroe and Simmons. There I would introduce our new generic match of Blocto IV. Had I worked wiser, scheduling ahead, I would have been dining sumptuously at the River Bluffs Country Club, charming the good doctors with my anecdotes and my more than adequate expense account. I disliked waiting in Missoula's busiest medical clinic, stuffed with gabby parents and crying children, so I stalled, eating slowly and closely observing the eating habits of the wide variety of Carla’s lunch customer . Much more interesting than upstairs with the usually irritated patients suffering time distorting and seemingly endless wait for dispensation of medical miracle. Sadly, the Clinic’s staff was handicapped by more patients than available time and only mortal. Over twenty years of detailing pharmaceuticals, I have acquired accurate insights into people's character and condition. If a man looks like a bum and smells like a bum, that is what he probably is. One can observe and guess about the background of people passing by, but we seldom get the opportunity to check our perceptions, or the accuracy of our assumptions. The disheveled captive and his elegant captor, were appealing targets for serious speculation. Good material for an anecdote I could use amusing my clientele. I hoped I could divine what crime was perpetrated and the eventual punishment. I could guess at the background on the perpetrator, but that was the downside of people watching. You don’t have any way to check the accuracy of your speculations. The short sullen dark man was concentrating on holding the menu in his left hand, doing all the listening, probably somewhat penitently. From where I was sitting, I could not overhear their conversation, but from their lip movements, the shorter miscreant with beard stubble and oversized teeth seemed to be slurring his words. I hate hearing speakers drop syllables from words that should not be contracted. The poor miscreant was mumbling stiff-lipped and poorly enunciated speech and even without hearing, I could discern his poor language skills just watching his mouth. You see, I practice my articulation before a mirror and find oral motility interesting and quite revealing. His short and sloppy criminal’s stiff-lipped smile could be an effort to mask poor dental work such as provided criminals at most penal institutions. That weak smile occurred but once during the time I watched their conversation. His bleak future probably gave him nothing to smirk about.

The sophisticated, taller gentleman seemed much too prosperous and polished to be just a common cop, more likely to be an officer of the law more lavishly rewarded than common policemen. He had to be an able communicator, a I practice before mirrors and easily identify in others from their facial mannerisms and calculated word pauses. He seemed out of place with the coarse criminal, his captive certainly had to be. Carla's fast moving, freckled waitress with her pert smile and dimpled cheeks dropped off their menus and water and did not seem concerned that her diners were bunched together, not normally placed, and could be assumed to be holding hands. Either she was not a strong student of people like myself, or she was used to a wide diversity of customers, unaware of peculiarities. When she served me, I had mused on the reason for the small bird tattooed on her forearm and now wondered if her milieu was similar to the captured prisoner. Birds obviously signified freedom or escape.

Later, while the fascinating duo consumed Carla always featuring and economically nourishing but blander meat loaf special, I focused on the mystery pairs contrasting table manners. The Foxx look alike had his right hand clomped around his fork in the manner of a child first using table ware, shoveling food toward his mouth, neglecting to close it while chewing. I could see food juices to dribbling down his unshaved chin. In stark contrast, his loftier master, also restricted to using but one hand, elegantly transporting food deftly into his mouth, neatly ingesting even the gravy without requiring mop ups with his napkin. I was again distracted from my scrutiny when the young waitress asked me if I wished a serving of Carla's famous pie. Determining that it came with the special, I decided on mince. Although quite full, I still had twenty minutes to kill, so I asked for ice cream and coffee too. I did wonder why the distinguished member of the mis-matchedry pair knew about Carla's as he too, seemed a trifle out of place. Excusable lapse of taste, if one knew that the food quality made up for the shoddier working class ambiance. When my attention again turned to the linked pair, they were clumsily standing. The tall, enigmatic gentleman was risking exposition of their linked status by compassionately allowing his prisoner bathroom privileges. A grant that the miscreant was not expecting or habituated to, for he stood clumsily, hampered by handcuffs. As the oaf attempted to straighten his poorly draped and cheaply tailored sport jacket, I got a fleeting glance of the small revolver holstered to hide in the small of his back! I knew I must warn the seemingly unaware Policeman of his captor's hidden gun before he mad a break for freedom.

As they both clumsily walked toward the back corner of the dining room where a small sign indicated restrooms, I decided to risk involvement. When I entered the small but clean bathroom, the pair were awkwardly standing at the urinals. I stood next to the patient and waiting lawman, cleared my throat to get his attention. Then I said, very softly but distinctly, "Your prisoner has a gun hidden in the small of his back!" He looked at me strangely, not grateful, but amused. He said "Yes, I know he's got a gun, if he didn't, I'd be long gone. Fact is, if I had the gun he'd be one embarrassed black cop and I'd be gone like spit on a griddle. The Redd Foxx look-alike who apparently was the real gun-bearing cop laughed and laughed and I realized this was one anecdote I should never share with my customers.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (1)
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"It's a cute little story but quite frankly, I think you spoiled it by spraying it with a lot of unnecessary descriptions and adjectives. It's almost like you are trying to impress the reader with your extensive vocabulary, which has little to do with making it a more interesting story. Sort of like a jazz musician trying to play every riff he ever learned in one song. Sorry, that's just my opinion. I would like to see a version of this story re-written without such "reaching and show-offy" word choices as miscreant, mismatchedry, oral motility, and the phrase "could divine what crime he committed." By the time the reader wades through all this non-essential matrix of vocabulary, he is too frustrated to appreciate the twist of the ending. " -- Richard.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Gerald L Bosacker
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
December 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
3017
 

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