Home > Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr. > Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

By Dick Oakes, Jr.
Senior Staff Writer

Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

They gave me twenty bucks and dropped me off downtown. “Walk four blocks that way and you’ll come to the Scenic Motel. They got a room for you there,” the bus driver said. I stood there in the blinding sun. “Go on, fuck off Oakes!” the bus driver yelled out, just as he closed the double doors. He pulled off in an engine burst of cloud and smoke.ut-salt-lake-city-scenic-motel-c1960

I walked down to the Scenic. There was nothing but closed storefronts and a couple of pool halls open. I didn’t want trouble like that, like before out in the Plains, so I kept to my destination.

The office was air-conditioned. The owner was a barrel-chested little guy with glasses. He wore a white collared shirt that was covered in sweat stains.

“So, how you figure on this place being scenic?” I asked.

“Look out back,” he said. He took a big bite out of a slice of watermelon. Beyond the brown curtains I could see to the backyard. There was a gigantic pile of dirt there. I lifted my shoulders slightly.

“Take it or leave it, buddy,” he said. “I ain’t running no god damn motherfucking piece of shit country club for assholes if you know what I’m talking about.”

I signed the book under a fake name and took the key.

It was Room Number 21, up on the second deck beyond a grove of dead trees. Bed with a red comforter, couple of chairs, a shower– it was nothing fancy. There was one of those cross-stitched things that some women make. It was hanging on the wall in a half-busted frame. It said, BE CAREFUL BECAUSE GOD WATCHES OVER THIS ROOM AND THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN IT ALL THE TIME, EVEN AT NIGHT. He ain’t gonna’ be happy about what I’m gonna’ do then I thought. Truthfully though, I had no idea what was next in this fuck-all town.

I took a nap and then went back down to the office. “Tell me about a place to eat,” I said. The guy looked up from his paperwork. “They got two places. One of ’em is fancy. Like the kind of place you’d take a woman as a precursor. Got wood paneling, got them hooked rugs on the floor. I get the feeling though that that ain’t the kind of place a guy like you would have the slightest interest in.”

I figured on him being right but I didn’t say anything.

“Well, about four blocks beyond that, they got one of those Boffo Periods night clubs. I’d stay outta’ that place though. Sure, you can eat a hot sandwich while looking at tits and ass but there’s a price you gotta’ pay for that shit.”

I nodded.

“Looks like you’re fucked buddy. It’ll have to be the machine out back.”

He gave me some change.

I got a candy bar and a danish out of the machine and sat in a rusted folding chair. The sun was going down a little and the giant pile of dirt was in full shade. You couldn’t hear a sound, nothing except a slight wind that cooled nothing. I studied a map the guy gave me. Nearest bus station was 25 miles. 25 mile walk through dirt and sand. I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I bit into the danish. It tasted like dirt. I tossed it at the pile.

I went back up to my room. There was a note there from some official. They had a job for me at the bus station– the position requires squatting beneath benches to retrieve trash and removal of errant bodily fluids. There is no getting around this requirement. I tore it up.

Then I started walking.

  1. Mikhail Goberman
    May 22, 2014 at 10:32 am


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