Hi everyone, I hope all is well wherever you may be. You might have been wondering where I’ve been for the last few months. I sort of took an unintended break from writing when I missed the deadline for the magazine because I apparently forgot how calendars. But I am still here, and I have a lovely story for you today. So let’s get to it.
The Flowerpot Caper
Uncle Chris parked his truck in his parents’ drive and opened the door just as his father, “Pawpaw” Bobby Dickens, came storming out of the house. He was holding a 2×4 the length of a baseball bat, and if the furious scowl he wore was any indication, he wasn’t intending to do any carpentry.
Chris heard his mother call from the house, “Dickens! Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m gunna go find them!” Pawpaw yelled back to his wife and headed for his truck but paused when he saw Uncle Chris standing in the driveway.
“Good. You’re here. I probably won’t need this then,” Pawpaw said holding up his makeshift club. “Get in the truck.”
Uncle Chris jogged to the truck and jumped into the cab just as his father started the engine.
His question was cut short as his father threw the truck in reverse. The tires squealed, and Uncle Chris slammed into the dash. The truck pealed out onto the gravel driveway, and Uncle Chris flew back into his seat as they lurched forward speeding down the road.
“Dad!” Uncle Chris finally managed to get out, “What’s going on?”
The truck fishtailed around a curve slinging a spray of gravel. Pawpaw yanked the wheel straightening the vehicle and accelerated as he explained, “Some fella and his daughter came by the house asking for directions a few minutes ago. Your momma went outside after they left and noticed that they’d stole one of her flowerpots.”
Uncle Chris gaped in surprise. “Wait, this is about a pot? You’re acting we’re chasing down a murderer to dole out some good old fashion, wild west justice. But just a flowerpot?”
“Not just a flowerpot,” Pawpaw replied, his knuckles white on the steering wheel, “Mrs. Dickens’s flowerpot.”
“And the 2×4?” Uncle Chris asked pointing to the board laying across the center console.
“Gotta do whatcha gotta do when you get my age. Got a problem with it?”
Uncle Chris held his hands out in conciliatory gesture, “No sir. No problem.” He patted the 2X4, “Completely on board.”
Pawpaw’s scowl blossomed into a wild grin, an expression that was really just a pointier, more terrifying version of his scowl. Uncle Chris’s adrenaline surged as the truck ramped onto the highway, and he found himself returning his father’s crazy smile as the tires screeched onto the blacktop road. They flew down the road for less than a mile when they saw a rusty, beat up car parked in the neighbor’s driveway.
“There they are,” Pawpaw said.
He slammed on the brakes and cut the wheel hard to the right. The truck slid into ditch, ramped up the culvert, and slung up a cloud of dust as it skidded to a stop behind the car. Uncle Chris leapt out and strode over to the car. A man with graying hair sat behind the wheel smoking a cigarette, and a thin, younger woman sat in the seat beside him. The man wore a belligerent expression as he rolled down the window and shouted, “Have you lost your mind?”
The man’s eyes grew wide as Pawpaw rounded the front of the truck wielding his 2×4, “Gimme back my flowerpot”
The man cursed under his breath and said, “I ain’t got your pot.”
Uncle Chris glanced into the backseat where a pot of colorful flowers sat in plain sight. He leaned down until he was eye to eye with the apparent master criminal and in a cold, hard voice said, “Either you or those flowers are about to come through this window. I don’t particularly care which.”
The man paled and shrunk away from the window, but the woman started screaming and cussing at Uncle Chris. She suggested some rather uncouth and anatomically impossible things that he could do with those pretty flowers and finished her tirade by shouting, “We were heading to put them on my mother’s grave!”
Pawpaw shoved passed his son and pointed a stern finger at the woman, “I don’t care if you’re Mary Magdalene heading to Jesus’s tomb. I would’ve gave it to you if you’d just asked.”
“It’s just a flowerpot!” She wailed.
“No, it’s Mrs. Dickens’s flowerpot!” Pawpaw wailed louder.
Keeping an eye on the man, Uncle Chris watched in horror as the gray haired thief scrambled to pull a knife from his belt. Without thinking, he lunged forward pushing Pawpaw out of the way and grabbed the man by the head. Not on the back of the head, he seized the man directly by the face like he was palming a basketball. Unfortunately for Uncle Chris, the man still had a cigarette hanging from his lips.
Uncle Chris howled in pain as the cigarette burned his palm but managed keep his grip. And being a man of his word, he tried his ever-loving best to pull the thief through the window by his face. The woman let out a blood curdling shriek and grabbed the back of the man’s pants trying to pull him back into the car. The man probably would’ve joined in on all the screaming, but he was a little busy choking on his cigarette.
While everyone else was distracted playing a game of tug-of-war with a knife wielding thief, Pawpaw had kept his eye on the prize. Moving quickly around the car he set down his 2×4 and opened the backdoor, but just as he was reaching for the stolen flowerpot the woman somehow managed to shift the car into gear and hit the gas.
Pawpaw snatched the flowerpot from the backseat as the car lurched forward causing Uncle Chris to lose his grip and fall sprawling to the ground. The car ramped the ditch onto the highway, and they both watched as the two unfortunate thieves sped away with the backdoor swinging open and the terrified man still hanging halfway out of the window.
Uncle Chris sat in the dirt examining his burned hand and trying to figure out how his afternoon had taken such a turn for the insane. He climbed to his feet as Pawpaw strolled over with the flowerpot cradled in one arm and his 2×4 in the other.
“Well, that went better than I imagined it would,” He said with a wide smile.
Uncle Chris snorted, “In the last ten minutes I had to fight a man trying to stab me, was burned with a lit cigarette, and almost got run over by a car.”
Pawpaw seemed to ponder that for a moment then handed the 2×4 to his son. Uncle Chris stared at the board then back at his father questioningly. Pawpaw flashed his wild grin again, “Next time bring a board to a knife fight.” And Uncle Chris listened to his laugh all the way home.
I hope you all enjoyed this story from my family’s crazy past. If you were particularly fond of it you should do me a favor and share the link on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media of your choice. You can also go like my page on Facebook if you haven’t done so already. The link is in the top menu of this page. Hope everyone has a great week. Thanks for reading.