Vinegar Village (1 of 2)

And it was me, that is Mr. Hat, and three other dudes and we were in some strange DREAMLAND, kind of like a chessboard VILLAGE, but green and there was blue sky and some whipped-cream clouds and neatly placed buildings and finely manicured lawns and there was sun, but I felt no heat at all. One of the dudes I knew, and that was Mr. Hulk. He’s a dandy Israelite from Hollywood. The other two were Mr. Gorgon – he never wore clothes – and Mr. English – he was a man whore who always walked around with a bottle of Red Wine Vinaigrette Salad Dressing – and other than that, I did not know much about them.

We were walking around this VILLAGE, and we came upon what seemed to be some sort of sorority house on the corner and there were all these chicks hanging out on the lawn and on the porch and on a finely-formed stone wall. They were blowing bubbles and drinking and laughing, all in there tight summer clothes, and it smelled like bubblegum and nail polish. There was one girl there doing yoga like Yoda on the lawn. She invited Mr. Hulk to join her and so Mr. Hulk lied down on the lawn next to her and started stretching his legs up into the air and round and round like some metaphysical Merry-Go-Round and she was the yoga horse and he was the yoga cowboy and they rode off together to the Yoga, Yoga West.

Mr. Gorgon and Mr. English submerged themselves into the crowd of young ladies, but I did not. I pretended to be looking at my cell phone and slowly walked away, invisible. There was a little town square there not too far off with some benches, a fountain and big, ladies bushes cut and trimmed to resemble wild animals frolicking through some mad scientist’s dream. I sat on one of the benches by myself. No one else was around at the moment, but I could hear the sorority girls and Mr. Gorgon and Mr. English roaring it up off in the distance. Mr. Hulk came jogging through the square with the yoga chick, but they did not notice me at all, but he was singing some song about California and fornication, and she laughed out loud and then pushed him gently on the back in a playful kind of way, but Mr. Hulk then stumbled and fell right into a big, thick tree. 

The yoga chick covered her mouth with both of her hands and her eyes grew wide, wide, wide. She started shaking and crying as Mr. Hulk was stone cold still on the ground there, blood trickling out of his mouth.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” the yoga chick screamed as she bent down to touch Mr. Hulk. “I think he’s dead!”

I got up and ran over to the scene.

“I think you killed him,” I said to her.

“No, no, no. It was an accident. Please, call someone won’t you?”

I retrieved my cell phone from my pocket but it did not work, would not work.

“Damn this device to hell!” I yelled and chucked the phone into the fantastic, phantasm of the bushy safari of green.

I saw that there was some sort of a fruit stand building not far from the square. Water was pouring off the green awning, even though it was not raining.

“Wait here with him,” I said to the yoga chick. “I’m going over to that fruit stand to see if I can get some help.”

“Oh, ok,” she said, as she knelt beside Mr. Hulk, playing with his red locks. “Do you think you can bring me back a banana?”


I went to the fruit stand but I had to use an umbrella while I talked to the fruit clerk there.

“I say,” I said. “There’s been a terrible accident in the square over there and I think my friend may be dead, or at the very least, seriously injured. Could you telephone for an ambulance please?”

“What happened to him?” the fruit clerk asked without any sense of urgency at all.

“Some yoga chick shoved him into a tree, but I have no time to explain, he needs help now! He’s lying over there bleeding to death.”

“Well, if you want to use the phone, you have to buy some fruit, company policy.”

“Are you fucking mad man!? There’s someone dying and you expect me to buy a piece of fruit just in order to use the telephone?”

“Yes sir, company policy.”

“All right then, give me one fucking banana!”

“Well sir, I’m afraid there is a minimum purchase of 5 dollars in order to use the telephone. Company policy. One banana is only 1 dollar.”

“Well then give me FIVE fucking bananas you imbecile, and let me use the phone!”

I retrieved a 50 dollar bill from my pocket and shoved it toward him.

“Oh.”

“What the fuck is the matter now!?”

“I’m sorry sir, but we cannot accept bills over 20 dollars. Company policy, says so right there on that sign,” and he pointed to a sign that read: NO BILLS OVER $20.

I stabbed him in the throat with the tip of the umbrella, hopped over the counter and grabbed the telephone.

“Hello, is this the police then? Yes? There’s been an accident in the square near the fruit stand and my friend may be dead or at the very least seriously injured. Can you please send help right away?”

And then on the other end of the line it was like how the grown-ups talk in Charlie Brown cartoons:

“Wha, wha wha, wha wha wha whaw?”

“Yes, that’s right. The square by the fruit stand.”

“Wha, wha wha, wha wha wha whaw?”

“I’m not sure. Some yoga chick shoved him into a tree and now he’s on the ground and he’s not moving and there is blood coming out of his mouth. Now please send someone!”

“Wha, wha wha, wha wha wha whaw.”


When I got back to the square the yoga chick was sitting on a bench, her face in her hands, crying. The paramedics were knelt down beside Mr. Hulk frantically working to save his life. They had something strapped to his face; one was pushing on his chest, another sticking tubes and needles into him. Then they just stopped. They started shaking their heads in grim unison. One looked over his shoulder and with a feigned look of sympathy on his face, said:

“I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do. He is in fact, dead.”

The yoga chick really started bawling and some cops came over to her and roughed her up a bit with small clubs and then put her in handcuffs and arrested her for the accidental killing of a person. I watched as they shoved her into the back of a patrol car and as they drove her away she looked right at me through the window, all beat up and crying and mouthing the words:

“Where’s my banana you bastard!?”

PART ONE OF TWO


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