Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Vindictive Wrath of Bob

Late in the evening, Bob is awakened when the frame of his eyeglasses goes off, blinking on and off bright red and going beep beep beep beep beep!, sort of like the Batphone. Bob sits up in bed, grabs the still-blinking glasses off his nightstand and puts them on.

"Damn boy's using too much hot water for the shower, gotta be taught a lesson!"

Bob puts on a scary Halloween costume, goes down and knocks on the door of the basement apartment down below. When the young man who rents the apartment answers the door, he is greeted with the terrifying sight of Bob dressed up like a monster, waving his arms in the air and going, "Huunnnnnhhh! Huuuunnnnhhhhh! Huuunnnhh!!!"

"Listen, boy, maybe in your city slicker apartments they got enough hot water you kin take half-hour showers, but out here in the country..."

The tenant has fainted from sheer fright, and collapsed on the floor.

"Well, taught that damn boy a lesson."

Bob goes back upstairs to bed. He sees that his wife, Bagwig, is still asleep. Bagwig, who wears a plastic hairbag over her head to contain her overflowing brains, unfortunate side effect of the time Bob attempted brain surgery on her, not altogether with success. Bob sets his glasses on the nightstand and drifts off back to sleep.

Several hours later, middle of the night, the glasses go off again, flashing bright red and going beep beep beep beep beep!

Bob sits bolt upright in bed. "Damn boys out at the logging camp are partying late! They need to be taught a lesson."

Bob puts on his glasses, gets up and goes out to the garage where he backs his old Willys Jeep out. He starts her down the gravel road, then flicks a switch on the dashboard. Flames roar out from underneath the Jeep, which lifts off into the air as its wheels fold up into the wheelwells. In an instant Bob is fully airborne, flying in his Jeep toward eastern Oregon, toward a logging camp where he sometimes works in the off season.

"Damn boys up partying at two in the morning, I'll show them!" The radar screen on the Jeep's dashboard glows a ghostly green as Bob targets the logging camp, and fires off a couple of air-to-ground missiles. A minute, and then far off on the horizon a false dawn as the missiles hit the logging camp. "Damn party boys, that'll teach them a lesson!" The Jeep swings in a wide 180 up in the sky, and flies back home under jet power. Mission accomplished.

Coming in from the garage, Bob finds much to his horror that his son, Sugar Bobby, is lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. Damn! The lead-lined sugar bowl is turned over, a huge swath of sugar scattered across the top of the kitchen table. Sugar Bobby is diabetic, and sugar is like kryptonite to Sugar Bobby!!!

Sugar Bobby lies there on the floor, weakened by the rays from the sugar, which can only be contained by a lead-lined object like the sugar bowl. Bob goes into emergency hazmat mode, switching in a lead-lined bag on the handheld vacuum cleaner, and vacuuming up the sugar. Then he stoops down to revive his son. "Sugar Bobby! Are you all right?"

This minor family emergency squared away, Bob goes back to bed. He lays his glasses on his nightstand, and has almost fallen asleep again when...

Beep beep beep beep beep! Bob's glasses are beeping and flashing neon red again. "Damn boys out at the logging camp, they're up and partying again!"

This time Bob gets up and heads to his emergency command center in the spare bedroom. He throws switches, bringing the instrument panels to life, bringing his personal nuclear arsenal online. Up on the mountainside above the house, Bob's ICBMs in their missile silos are being activated and readied for launch.

"Bob, what's wrong? You've been up and down all night long!" It's Bob's wife, Bagwig, standing in the doorway in her nightgown.

"Oh, it's just those damn boys out at the logging camp, partying in the middle of the night. Tried to teach 'em a lesson once, this time I'm gonna nuke 'em!"

"Oh. Okay." Bagwig goes back to bed.

Bob sits at the instrument panel, targeting one of his ICBMs on the logging camp. "Ready for launch, countdown sequence, five, four, three, two, one, blastoff..." The whole house shudders as, up on the mountainside, an intercontinental ballistic missile lifts out of its silo on a column of flame. The missile lifts, gathering speed, higher, higher, arcing now to the east as it dwindles into the distance.

Several minutes later the entire eastern sky lights up, and a mushroom cloud billows into the air as Bob's nuclear strike on the logging camp succeeds.

"Damn boys, that'll teach them not to party!" Bob goes through the shutdown sequence to cycle down his nuclear arsenal. Gotta remember in the morning, head out to the workshop and turn a few more uranium atom-bomb cores on his lathe. But now it's back to bed at last, glasses on the nightstand, and back to sleep for a few hours until sunrise.

Oh no! It's "the vindictive wrath of Bob"! Honestly, the dusty old items I carry around in my memory... This is a conflation of several routines of mine about my one-time landlord, from when I was a young fellow living in that basement apartment, back almost 30 years ago...

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