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

Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

By Dick Oakes, Jr.

By Dick Oakes, Jr.


On Thursdays, Sal’s Meats tosses the old shanks out into the weedy area behind the store. A couple of us would wait there, in the high grass, just before sundown. There would usually be a tussle over the better shank; that decided, we would each lurk off into the diminishing sunlight that framed the trash-strewn alley.

On that particular night, I had gotten a bad shank. I could feel it coming and I knew right away that I would have to have a place for the night. I decided on the Park Plaza– 105 rooms (there were actually 93), swimming pool (it was half-filled with murky water), TV, fine foods (these had long since disappeared). I wouldn’t be needing any fine foods anyway, not tonight.

“You look a little sick pal,” said the desk clerk, a fat swarthy guy who was wearing a hairpiece attached to the top of his head by a thin red band that ran down both cheeks and hooked beneath his chin. It was ridiculous but I didn’t say anything. “You’re not gonna’ throw up all in there like some kind of egregious rascal are you? You ain’t a barbarian pal, are you?”

I put some bills on the counter and signed the tattered register (a pad on a clipboard).

“You ain’t gonna put a half-inflated balloon in a lube-filled sock between the mattress and box spring and then go all to hell on it, are you?” he asked, taking the money and making change (incorrectly).

“I just want to lie down,” I said. “Can I go lie down?”$(KGrHqN,!qsFI+O7iEKgBSRf+(BT1g~~60_57

He looked me up and down, let out a little huff and walked back to the office desk (there was a game show playing on a black and white TV, propped up by a phone book). I took the key.

The room was decorated in dark greens. There was a lumpy bed and a couple of end tables. They hadn’t emptied the ashtrays. I checked on the bathroom. It was tiled in a sort of sea-foam color and there was room enough to lie on the floor. I found a closet full of spongy blankets and put one in there just in case.

I lay still for a couple of hours, focusing my eyes on a meaningless crack in the ceiling plaster. Then, I started to feel a little better. I went to the bathroom, blew out the shank, and then found myself wanting a drink. When I pulled back the front curtains, I found it was night.

I walked outside. There were a couple of blondes sitting in cheap folding chairs out front of the next cabin. Some guys were surreptitiously hauling in some lighting and recording equipment. I breathed in some air and hit one of the guys up for a cigarette.

“We’re gonna’ be making some motel wrestling films all night,” he volunteered. “Maybe a little bit of hardcore, we’ll see how the carpets hold up.” We both looked at the big sign out front– much of the neon already burned out. “I’ll tell the girls to keep it down,” he said.

I went to the office for some ice. The same guy was in there, watching TV on the same little squirrely shitbox.

“Lemme’ have some ice,” I said. I plunked down a dollar.

“Let me ask you something. Are they making scream films in 117? I can’t have no scream films here. This is a family place– lookit’, we got a pool and all.”

“I mind my own business,” I said. I tapped my fingers on the counter.

“Well, I ain’t got no ice. And I’ll figure it out if you’s involved in them scream films too. You look like the kind of guy that’d be holding up them lights they got.”

I ignored him and headed for the Island joint down the street. There was no telling where this would end up.

  1. Chileanmonk
    July 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Just a quick question Mr. Oakes Jr.. Is the half-inflated ballon used to insure that there is a sufficient operating distance between the matress and the box spring? If so, might I suggest a very slow leak! Semper fidelis!

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