I was in a local coffee shop the other day quietly perusing the morning newspaper when a rather heated argument broke out among three people who had just sat down at an adjacent table.
The topic was global warming and each antagonist was dead sure that they alone knew the cause of the alleged climatic changes and had the solutions.
Usually I don’t pay much attention to verbal duels mainly because there are so many of them going on around here during the winter that it would be really strange not to have a few nearby patrons on the cusp of shoving their triple, nuclear caffeine-enhanced espressos into a delicate orifice of their fellow debater.
But these prattling personoids were ranting about a world set on “broil” while peeling off more cold weather gear than the winter wear inventory of a REI warehouse.
I had an urge to suggest that they table their disagreement until this summer when the temps, once again, reach the blistering low 70s and the only people wearing parkas are tourists.
But I decided against it when I realized that they were too intent on interrupting each other’s environmental talking points to really give a squat about what I had to say.
Just as I was ready to head back out to the cabin to see if my dog Howard had unconsciously stuck his delicates to the steel yard light again while relieving himself, Wild Willie and Turk blasted through the door.
“What’s up Nick?” Willie puffed. “Izat cold enough for ya, bro? I hear the chill factor is down ta minus ten. Ifen it gets any frostier, I’ll start havin flashbacks about my ex-girlfriend.”
“What brings you two to the burg?” I asked. “Ya’ll have another court appearance concerning W’s neighbor’s SUV fire?”
“Naw, that’s all settled,” Willie whispered. “I jest gotta remember not ta use a lighter when I’m tryin’ ta see ta prime the carburetor. I’m beginnin’ ta think I’ll never get them scorched curlies outta my sideburns. Jeese, I’ve stunk like a wet mattress fire fer a month.”
“Yeah, well it wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t have the intellectual capacity of a vat of plankton,” Turk growled.
W.W. ignored the cut and asked, “So, how did your truck scouting trip with Mort go? Find anything he wanted ta buy in Anchor Town? I’d wholesale him mine, but it-n-me go too far back.”
“Willie, what is it with you? I know your brain’s spent too much time near microwave ovens but give the man a break. What in the hell would Mort want with a truck with no hood, one forward gear, pallets for bumpers, Saran Wrap instead of windows, an engine with one functioning cylinder, and a %&*#ing garage door for a truck bed? A seriously decomposed yak would have a better trade-in value,” Turk fumed.
“So, custom rigs are out, huh? He probably couldn’t meet my asking price anyways,” W.W. snorted.
“Well, it was a sad day for the motor industry,” I said. “It took snowmachines to get around the sales lots and half the rigs were buried or so expensive Murkowski’s jet looked like a best buy.”
“Well, I wish Mort luck, bro,” Turk snorted. “What kind of deals can you expect in a city that spends 200 grand on a logo that looks like seagull $#^* on a windshield and a slogan with as much appeal as the Klingon Death Flu? Big. Wild. Life? Big whoop. Not a lot one can say about a city whose recommended dress code is casual body armor.”
“You have a point, Turk,” I said. “Hey, maybe he should try one of those greenie hybrids. They supposedly get better mileage and pollute half as much.”
“I don’t think so, dude,” Wild Willie muttered. “My truck’s better than all of those fern feeling, Energizer Bunny rigs put together. I get great mileage and a’int got no exhaust problems. Corse I a’int got no exhaust and I havfta push it everywhere ’cept downhill.”
“Why doncha sell it to Al Gore,” Turk grumped. “According to that brain trust, we don’t have much time before birds start bursting into flames in mid air ’cause we failed to convert to skateboards and serve Beano to cow herds.”
“Really?” Willie asked. “Ya think his check would clear? Ya know, he hasn’t had a real job for quite awhile. I mean I’d ... gack murggfh ningluthh raterfltug urk...”
The rest of this story is in the police blotter. Fortunately, I was able to remove Turk’s fingers from Willie’s throat before the gendarmes arrived.
Nick Varney can be reached NCVarney@gmail.com if he isn’t sunbathing with Al Gore on a convenient hunk of ice floating in Cook Inlet.
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