by Grant Harrow Ruby
Tuesday, Edison’s arm was looking like it might heal but it wouldn’t be an easy convalescence: there was no skin or flesh left on the limb. He concentrated as hard as he could, even making a face like he was constipated, but it was no use. At 6 PM we called it. There would be no healing on its own, so we wrapped the bones in applewood smoked bacon and put the whole thing, still attached to his shoulder, on the camp grill over an open flame.
“I’m disappointed with how this has turned out,” Edison whispered to me as his arm sizzled on the fire.
“Trust me, my boy,” I reassured him. “Arms aren’t for everyone. You’ll be the envy of all the hungry men about town. Everyone will want a bacon bone.”
“If I get lost in the wilderness, I suppose I can nibble at myself to stave off hunger pangs.”
“And if you’ve a grill handy, you can reconstitute your sweet, smoky flesh whenever necessary.”
His eyes brightened. Then he closed them and went to sleep by the campfire, slumping awkwardly, arm still on the grill.
Next day we saddled up and rode out.
“It’s hard for me to keep the saddle on with only the one good arm,” complained Edison. I kept whipping him with the crop until he quieted down.
“I won’t have my steed speaking down to me. I am top. You are bottom. That’s the natural order of things and I love nature, which is why we are out here taking in the sights and breathing in the fresh country air, my boy. Trust me. You’ll be happier as a dumb mount.”
The trip was rough. His bacon-wrapped bone limb produced a noticeable limp as he plodded on all fours. This caused me to spill my piping hot tea numerous times. At the first drop of the boiling liquid Edison called out a curse and I whipped him. On the subsequent drips he simply whinnied loudly and I verbally applauded him, as my hands were still occupied.
“Applause! Applause!” I called out in approval.
When I had finished my tea I brushed his hair. This seemed to please him. After that I recited lyrics to songs by Cheap Trick.
“Gonna raise hell, gonna raise hell, gonna rais hell,” I said.
“Neigh!” Edison said, and pranced a bit for my amusement.
“But her money’s green like tea, and so’s her teeth,” I said.
“Burrrrrrrrrrrr!” Edison said, hot to trot.
It was just then that we saw him. Dressed in a retro-40s aloha shirt and vintage 80s Jams with pictures of erotic pineapples all over them that would make a varnish stripper blush. It was Surfer Dude himself.
“Hey, broskis. I’m just here to surf,” he said, posing with his board as if we were a camera crew for a Ron Jon ad shoot. He had a half coconut in his other hand, with a little pink umbrella and a neon green sword through a maraschino cherry sticking out the top.
“We are in the middle of the desert, Surfer Dude.”
“Yeah, I know. I just had to come and see it for myself. It’s like the biggest beach in the whole freaking world! Totally tubular to the max!”
“There’s nowhere to surf, Surfer Dude.”
“Wanna bet?” he said and the ground began to rumble. A tidal wave of sand rose up, casting a grim shadow on us. “Sand flood!” he screamed in simultaneous victory and defeat, submerging in the sandy tsunami.
Just then my agent, Sandy Tsunami, called me on my cell. I trusted her with all my business dealings because she was attractive and Asian.
“Hi, Sand,” I said, and then Edison and I both busted up laughing at the unintended pun. Because we were, at that moment, drowning in high sand. As my lungs filled with sediment I flogged him—horses don’t laugh.
After that it got blurry. But I distinctly recall the aroma of bacon. Only one thing smells like bacon and that’s….
Grant Harrow Ruby has never written a word. The words write him. This is why he is so afraid of typewriters. He lives in Kalamazoo with his thousand wives.