by Rocky Macy
After scribbling down the details for where to mail our movie, we adjourned to the kitchen to plan our small-time crime (and to be closer to the ice chest!). Heck and the Judge each took seats at the ends of my kitchen table thinking that would highlight their leadership of this adventure. I sat on one side, and directed Truman to the side nearest the back door in case he had a catastrophic eruption.
Heck called the meeting to order, and he promptly announced that he would be the director of this film. Judge Redbone almost knocked his root beer and mine off of the table as he shot straight up out of his chair and thundered, in a magisterial voice, “Sez who?”
“Sez me!” Heck shot back. “I’ve been to more movies than anyone here. Why, I have a reserved space on the back row at the Beau Jacks Drive-In!”
“Playing kissie-face with some bored waitress ain’t exactly like going to film school,” I pointed out.
“Rusty Pails, my waitresses ain’t never bored!” It seemed that I had inadvertently bruised Heck’s dignity.
The Judge was still standing, like a Roman candle waiting to shoot off another round. “It’s my camera, so I’m the director – and the producer – and the cameraman!”
“Then I’m the star,” Heck said.
“What qualifies you to be the star of our movie?” I asked, quite innocently.
“That should be obvious. I have the best hair.”
“You bought that hair out of a catalogue!”
“Doesn’t make any difference where it came from,” Heck snapped. “It’s still the best hair at this table!”
Judge Redbone opened two more root beers and sat down. He pushed one over to me. It was going to be a long night!
I took a slow sip out of the fresh bottle. “Okay, so you’re the star. Just remember, this has to be about small-time crime, so you’ll be the star criminal!” Then, anticipating the star’s next demand, I added, “And we split the ten grand equally – four ways!” It looked like I had become the gang’s business manager.
The next order of business was to plan the crime. Truman was in favor of the four of us streaking through the next meeting of the Sprung Hinge Sewing Circle and Bucket Brigade. "No can do,” said Judge Redbone, vetoing the plan. “The cameraman can’t be running around naked while he’s filming.” (Unspoken was the group’s suspicion that the Judge maintained his boyish physique with the aid of a girdle!)
“And what if we got caught?” Heck asked. “Would any of us really want to be strapped to the top of Gladys Clench’s Nash Rambler and hauled out of town like a trophy deer? Nekked?”
The Judge thought that particular ending would have great cinematic appeal, but I thought it was just plain terrifying!
We should have stopped right there, but the idea of focusing our mayhem on Gladys Clench had entered our collective psyche, and we were too weak to fight it off. Not surprisingly, along about the time the last round of root beer had been served, one fella mumbled, quite innocently and almost inaudibly, “Maybe we should kidnap Ruby Bee.”
Heck Frye jumped up and raised his bottle high. “I second Rusty’s motion!” Before I could clear my throat to withdraw my semi-coherent mumbling, Judge Redbone and Truman were also standing with their bottles saluting their host’s stupidity!
It was going to be a very long night indeed!