Rawlins, his hair pomaded and glistening in the sun, stepped out of his car. The three yardsale ladies, apparently already familiar with him, hooted and called out simultaneously, like birds. He waved and pulled out a tray of cookies from his passenger seat. Germaine scrambled up fairly quickly, given his age, and hobbled over to Rawlins and sniffed eagerly at his pant cuffs, then began licking at his doc martins.
“Ho, old boy,” Rawlins said to Germaine, “Lookin’ good. Have a cookie.” Germaine gobbled it up in mid air.
“Goddamit, Rawlins,” Johnson shouted, “He can’t have that kind of thing, it’s going to kill him!”
“Hell no, Johnson! This is some good shit right here. He’ll live ten years longer!” Rawlins came up and slapped Johnson on the back. Johnson helped himself to two cookies and handed Rawlins the thermos.
“Weeeoooh! Holy shit! That’s some good lemonade.”
“I made it this very morning!” the lady with the red mustache said proudly.
“Vodka with love from Russia,” Johnson stated, taking back his thermos and washing down the two gooey cookies with lemonade-vodka.
“How’s it hangin’, Doris?” Rawlins asked the mustachioed lady.
“Oh, you know. Getting rid of some nice stuff we just didn’t have the room for anymore,” she answered, playing with her curls, “Do you like these bowls? Perfect for mixing.”
Rawlins and the broad chatted about baking as the cookies were distributed throughout the populace at the yardsale. The lady with the paisley kerchief ate 5 in a row. Germaine waddled into a shady spot underneath a table and laid out on his side, panting contentedly.
Johnson puttered through the various items displayed, always interested in the rare treasure that might lurk in the shadowy recesses of a scattered box of junk. At the very least, a white elephant gift was always one thing that you could assuredly come away from a yardsale with.
A half-hour later, his hands covered in dust, he found what he thought to be the doozy. It was an object completely devoid of any apparent function–a miniature boar, replete with tusks that might have been real ivory. It had tufts of mangy hair that may or may not have come from an actual boar. It stood haphazardly on legs uneven from years of storage in some packed away box. It was ugly, and Johnson couldn’t imagine why anybody would possess, or care to possess, such a thing. Which made it all the more desirable for him to possess.
“Where has this boar come from?” he asked the third yardsale lady, who sat poised on an antique stool like a hawk, silent and observant.
“That would be from India,” she responded, “It’s very nice, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Yes, quite nice.” He held the boar up to the light appraisingly. He was starting to feel a little funny. The lady in the paisley kerchief began, inexplicably, to make owl noises. The three ladies laughed together, again for no apparent reason–they seemed to be interconnected by some conspiratorial craziness. Rawlins was conversing animatedly with the red mustachioed lady about how to properly baste a game hen.
“How much for this here small boar?” Johnson asked the hawk lady on the stool.
“That’s 10 dollars.”
Johnson looked hard at lady. 10 bones? She gazed beadily back at him without emotion. She couldn’t possibly be serious. She must have an amazing sense of humor, Johnson thought. Amazingly dry, restrained sense of humor that none of the outer world, save perhaps her other 2 psychotic cronies, could possibly visualize nor understand. 10 dollars for a functionless, hideous replica of a wild boar! Johnson appraised the boar some more, looking for problems he could point out to knock the price down. The legs were uneven, yes, but not broken. The craftsmanship indeed was uncanny. The boar seemed quite vividly lifelike the more one stared at it, almost such that it seemed to be ready to gallop off into the suburban brush. Perhaps to mate with some unsuspecting housepet, creating a street herd of wild boar-cats, roaming the nightworld expanses of backyards and tar to forage for fallen fruits, nuts, and stray rats. He was definitely feeling a bit funny.
“I’ll give you five dollars for this boar,” he said suddenly to the lady, who had been watching him silently from her stool. She shook her head calmly.
“It’s a nice boar, I admit, but what the hell kind of use does it have?” he asked her peevishly, pissed off now.
“That’s an avatar of Lord Vishnu,” she said, as if that explained anything.
Mystified, he stood holding the boar, for some reason unable to let it go. Germaine heaved himself up and sniffed interestedly at the boar, his neck hairs rising. He barked.
If you’ve ever seen a real german shepherd get really worked up, it can be a rather frightening experience, especially if you have normally viewed said german shepherd as a quiet, friendly, boring dog. The german shepherd suddenly, instantaneously converts to a wild bear-like creature, all fangs and firey eyes, hackles risen like a wolf looking for the kill. Germaine had shed all of his age and was now barking frenziedly at the small stuffed boar.
“Aw, crap, Germaine! GERMAINE!” Johnson swatted at Germaine to no avail. Some inner ancient wild dog had been activated in Germaine, and there was no talking domestic sense to him at the moment. Not knowing how else to stop him, Johnson waved the boar in front of Germaine’s face, and then tossed it across the street. Germaine ran after it, ears swiveled forward and taut, and picked it up and swung it about in his jaws rapidly, like it was a bunny. A testament, again, to its workmanship, the boar had not yet ripped apart. Johnson wordlessly handed the lady on the stool a ten dollar bill. It had been worth it, almost, simply to see Germaine acting gloriously like a 100 percent purebred german shepherd.
Rawlins came up next to Johnson and slapped him on the back. “How you liking those cookies, eh, motherfucker? Give me some of that lemonade shit.” Johnson then had a moment of realization, as Rawlins took a herculean swig from the thermos, draining it of all liquid and dribbling a third of it down his chin and onto his t-shirt. The cookies!
“What was in those cookies, again, Rawlins?”
Rawlins wiped his mouth and belched. “Pumpkin, peanut butter. A dollop of special butter.”
“Special butter? Holy shit.” As it dawned on him what this meant, he could hear the three ladies tittering like schoolgirls behind him.