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

Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

The sky was overcast and a light rain and a breeze had started up. I stood there in the half-empty market. The watermelon guy was looking at me. He lit a cigarette.

“Are you going to buy one of these watermelons, Oakes?” he said.

I stared at them. The rinds were glistening. It was pure torture.

“Why don’t you give me one on credit?” I suggested.

He laughed. “You don’t got no credit, Oakes. Fuck off.”

There was nothing to do. I went off down towards the main street. I could hear the watermelon man packing up the cart.

I hung around in the laundromat for awhile. There were a couple of ladies in there in skirts– they had some panties going in a dryer. One of them started nattering on about caves. “Do you think a cave is an appropriate place to take your wife?” she said. “Whenever Glenn and I go out for a night on the town, we always end up in a cave. What do you think of that Cathy?” I couldn’t make sense of any of it but they were thinking on it real good. Then the other said, “take me to one of Glenn’s caves.” There was a pause, then they put a couple more quarters in the machine and went out.

I opened the dryer door. Oakes, you god damn maniac I said to myself. But I nicked a pair of pink intimates anyway. I didn’t have any idea what the hell I was going to do with them. I stuffed them in my pocket and ducked out.

The business district petered out into a series of grim strip mall developments. There was a closed department store and a partially-destroyed burger joint. Someone had fixed up a sign out front of the rubble that said SMILE PEOPLE. I couldn’t figure on any of it. It was raining harder.

I saw it down on the left– The Sky Palm. I huffed it down there.37c280c99d4dfd3d10b86ac2a00a2a35

There was a giant palm tree out front and I touched it with my hand. It was fake. There was a guy in a raincoat nearby, waiting for a cab. “Watch out for this place,” he said. “Jesus Christ, I went to bed and when I woke up my pants were gone.”

“Your pants were gone?”

“Gone as Christ.”

“Where’d you get those pants?” I asked, pointing to his fairly new pair of brown flat fronts.

He seemed confused. I went inside.

The guy at the desk had a green hat on and was drunk. He made change incorrectly– I ended up a couple bucks on the plus side of the deal. “Room 158, down at the end,” he said, handing me the key to 164. “Got a…got a good view of the hedges and…” He didn’t finish and I didn’t figure on waiting for him.

The room was fixed up in different shades of mauve. I had just put the keys down on the battered bureau when a knock came at the door.

She was a spent piece of town trash with hair that was all teased to hell. “Five, ten, fifteen, twenty-five and fifty,” she said, filing her nails. I couldn’t figure on any of it.

“What’s the five for?”

“It’s just for lite fare, you know,” she said, looking up. “This room is different than the others. The rug in here looks like it might be expected to have a life of 10 years, depending on the traffic. My husband was a carpet salesman. He’s dead. He fell off the roof of a tall shed. The shed was on fire. He was installing carpet on top of the shed while it was on fire. Nobody knows why.”

“Skip it. Here– here’s five dollars.”

She came in and closed the door. We sat down on the bed. She shoved her fingers into my temples suddenly and rubbed them around for about a minute. Then she stood up.

“Thanks, shug.”

“That’s it, then?”

“It’s light, like I told you.”

I couldn’t make sense of none of it. But I knew I loved her. I gave her the panties from before.

“Have dinner with me,” I said. I thought about the eleven bucks left in my wallet.

“I could nick some sandwiches from the gas station,” she said. “We can watch that space show.”


She moved to go. “Hurry back,” I said.

I waited.

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