Nathan Bugsy Villespliff V - Son of an Ant-Poison Factory Foreman

(a complete accident - do you dare read this?)

"I could really go for some onion rings,"
I said to myself.

I went to the tall man at the counter and he gave me a lot of onion rings. It was a Saturday afternoon, and the drugstore was empty except for us. The man said, “these onion rings will make you digest.”

I shrugged. I was having a mess of trouble with my digestion.

“Whatever," I said, "as long as they’re not filled with ant poison.”

Since I was seven I'd been antithetical to ant poison. However I was desperate for more digestion aids. I collected them like baseball stickers.

"Ant poison? Hell no!" This man was a bit too friendly. "This here's a drugstore, ain't no poison shack." So I scarfed them down, with vinegar. And he was right - they tasted just fine.

The drugstore was called Beelzebub’s Drugs N Such. It was painted white, and had way too many windows. Several times a year it burned to the ground. Good thing it was an open-air drugstore.

My papa Nathan Bugsy Villespliff IV used to work as the night foreman at the ant poison factory. The place was massive, chock full of the stuff. He would bring home tins of ant poison and bat them around like hockey pucks. It was the worst. Lucky thing by the time I was eight he switched to a caterpillar poison job. My father had no problem destroying future butterflies by poisoning them as caterpillars. He was a singular weird guy.

"Thanks for the onion," I said to the drug man. "Mind if I let loose with a foghorn?" And then I belched.


A real throat-rattler. The man was amused.

"Hee-yeah," he chuckled, "you got some set of lungs!"

I winked and left him a tip.

Walking home, I was still undigested. “Maybe,” I said to myself, “I’d like some licorice.”

I looked back at Beelzebub's. It was the only store in town. But now it was 6 o'clock, and the tall man was closing.

"Dang," I said, "that drugstore is a tease; they ought to burn it to the ground."

I reached for my lighter.

"Dang," I said.

I realized I had left my lighter in Beelzebub's.

"Double dang."

A caterpillar whizzed by.

"Dang," I said looking at the caterpillar. "Where's my pa when I need him?"

My dad would know what to do with that critter.

I said "Dang" six or seven more times, and walked right on home.

Dad was waiting there. With a tin full of ant poison.

The nostalgia came flooding up like a river. I wept tears of joy.


Epilogue: You know, I still think that caterpillar was a sign from the Lord.

No comments: