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

Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

I was squatting in a dirt lot behind a trailer park. The heat was terrible.

There was another guy there– drawing meaningless figures in the dirt with a stick.

“Used to own the Pelican,” he said. “You know it?”

I spit off to the side and said I didn’t.

“Christ, we had everything to flatter your taste,” he said mournfully. “Seafood, fresh from the Lankville Gulf, rib-eyes, package goods, two parking lots, a faggot piano player. It was a hell of a joint.”

It suddenly seemed hotter.

“It was a place where you could meet friends and make friends. It was a place that people remembered. I pissed it all away.”

I was intrigued in a minor sort of way. “What happened?”

He continued drawing in the dirt. “Down at the Tropic-Air they had these efficiency apartments. That’s where Dolly lived.” He trailed off.

“Cutting a little slice on the side?”

He looked up. He wasn’t long for it, I knew it. A fire alarm went off somewhere. He vomited a bit into a soiled handkerchief.

“Find another dirt lot to squat in,” he said suddenly. “This here is my dirt lot. I squat here.”tropic

I didn’t feel up to a rumpus so I walked out. And I thought about the Tropic-Air and Dolly– wondered if she was still around.

A few hours passed before I found the place. It was off on its own by some abandoned piers. By then, I had finished off a six-pack. You could walk around with a six-pack dangling from your hand– nobody gave a damn.

An old couple was sitting out under the office awning. I staggered up.

“Hey, you got a big girl here named Dolly?” I said. I was feeling a little unsteady. “Probably a big god damn girl, some piece of god damn arm candy?” I couldn’t make anything of what I was saying and I started to feel dizzy.

“Get him a room,” the old man said. “Bring the wheelbarrow over.” I collapsed into it.

When I came to it was dusk. The room was decorated in pile carpets and plastic molded furniture. They had thrown up some paneling but it was worn through in places. Nothing moved in the stale air.

I propped the door open and some sand blew in. I couldn’t figure on any of it.

I was just about to shut myself in for the night when I noticed a girl lounging on a patio chair two rooms over. She was tanned and exotic-looking; brown-eyed.  A book was in her hands. I squinted for the title– Better Crop Yields. There was a photo of a harvester kicking up dirt on the front.

Look at her Oakes. Everything you always wanted.

I stumbled over to the office. The old couple were still there– playing a board game I didn’t recognize under the awning.

“I need a six-pack Johnny. Run and get me a six-pack.” I handed him a crumpled bill. The old man whistled between his teeth and a kid appeared from around back.

“You go on back to your room, mister. Gustavus will bring it to you.”

I passed by the girl on my way back. She was really focused on the crop yield book. I couldn’t account for any of it.

I sat down inside the room and took out some stationary. There was a little drawing on the top showing the motel– next to that it said “YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME– GOD BLESS”. I figured on slipping a note under her door but couldn’t think of nothing. I wrote, “I think you’re beautiful. Do you want to watch TV?” but tore it up. I wasn’t no wordsmith, I knew it.

Gustavus left the six-pack outside. I sat down on a patio chair a few seats down from the girl. It was nearly pitch-black out. They hadn’t flipped the lights on yet.

“These beers…they’re cold,” I said, idiotically. “God damn asshole,” I cursed myself silently.

She looked up. Her eyes were huge– there was a certain radiance even in the darkness.

“Ancient beer was unfiltered,” she said. Her voice was hard to classify– it was musical, almost. “Ancient beer would have included various herbs and spices, uncommon today. And it would not have come in cans. The ruination of your beverage is nearly complete.”

I shrugged. “Goes down fine.” I threw an empty can into the parking lot.

“Some will tell you it’s a feat of industrial chemistry unmatched in the world,” she said. I could see she was looking towards the office. “You are drinking industrial chemistry.”

I suddenly pitched forward in the darkness and vomited. They still hadn’t put the damn lights on.

“It’s true that I’m beautiful,” she said. I looked up but couldn’t see her. “That is merely a confluence of biological forces. However, I’m not interested in watching TV.”

She shut the book and walked into her room.

It was a fitful night’s sleep.

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