(5:50 am Nov 02, 2005)
Ah yes, the moke or the mini moke. What a fun vehicle for a young man to play in. To drive with the top down. To drive like a desert rat in a world war ii jeep.
Cangman was driving moke at the moment. Driving west on Cow Pen Road. Driving at speed. Daydreaming of Miami Vice his land hermit crab from his childhood. Daydreaming even thought the sun had not yet really done a whole lot to get the day started. Around here, they apparently called land hermit crabs soldier crabs. Cang liked that. Miami had been a regular little soldier when they first met, that is for sure. Not like those wussy crabs his friends had bought through mail order. Those wussy crabs that had come in day glo fuzzy shells. Those wussy crabs had never beaten Miami in a race, even after his friends had helped them move into better homes.
Cang passed the grave yard and the road right next to it and took the next right heading for Carmichael Road. At Carmichael, he hung a left narrowly missing a jitney that was speeding east in the rights lane. Now, I am not sure you know enough about the Bahamas to realize that although the jitney was in the right lane, it was in the wrong lane. Jitneys are famous for that. Infamous if you must know the truth. They are infamous for a lot more besides which we may get into later.
Cang took it in stride, pretending that it was a German half track sent to wreck his mission by Hitler himself. Godwin, and the traditions surrounding, could lump it.
(6:12 am Nov 02, 2005)
Cang stops the moke on the side of the road and walks over the casuarina pine needles to the Coral Harbour beach. At the water's edge, he turns east and walks with the sea lapping at his ankles. It is cold at first, but Cang quickly gets used to it and stops noticing.
And now we learn why Cang was daydreaming about Miami. True, it was turning out to be quite a day for daydreaming in general and true, Cang was generally somewhat of a daydreaming boy, but the daydream about Miami was no regular daydream. No, this was a daydream of monumental proportions, of monumental significance to the future of the free world, for you see, Cang had set out some bait the previous night in the hopes of attracting Miami Vice Junior. Well, OK, probably Miami Vice XXIII, but who's counting? Right?
As Cang approached the area where he had set out the bait, he slowed down and angled up the beach towards the bushes. Suddenly, out of nowhere, when he was least expecting it, he felt a sharp pain in his little piggy on his right foot. He looked down to see a small soldier crab locked like vice grips onto the self same toe that Miami had clamped onto all those years ago.
Cang let out a yell of pain and jubilation co-mingled.
(6:26 am Nov 02, 2005)
Time folded and unfolded for a while before settling down again. (Was Bruno nearby?)
Cang could not get the crab to release his toe! Memories of Miami Vice came flooding back to his mind. Childhood memories. Wonderful, joy filled, memories.
The pain was unbearable. But he had to bear it. How do you bear and unbearable pain? Is it like righting and unrightable wrong?
Canh hopped and hobbled down to the water and put his fight foot underwater. It took a few minutes, but Miami Jr. finally got the message and let go of Cang's toe and began crawling up the submerged sandy sea floor for the foamy shoreline.
It could be a tidal pool. You know, those bits if water that remain above sea level, trapped as the tide recedes, chasing its lunar fantasies.
It could be a swimming pool. You could get a notion to swim across the USA from one back yard pool to another. I don't recommend that you try such a thing. You know, a swimming pool. Those oft times concrete, man made holes in the ground, filled with dihydrogenmonoxide and juiced with chemicals, and not just any chemicals mind you. Dangerous chemicals. Chemicals to bring a flutter to a young boys heart. Watch your children well. Chemicals like chlorine, muriatic acid (HCl) and sodium carbonate. Don't get overly excited about the latter though.
(6:46 am Nov 02, 2005)
(Elsewhere that morning, Bruno made a mental note to stop or severely cut down googling for information as it seriously reduces his words per minute output on his nano novel.)
Cang reached down and grabbed Miami Jr. Careful to put his thumb over Junior's big biter and apply firm but loving pressure.
Back at the moke, Cang placed Junior (OK, OK, XXIII I promise to call him XXIII from now on, get off my back) in a glass bottom bucket into which he had placed some lettuce and some bread.
At the Coral Harbour round about, Cang headed for Clifton.
Cang parked the moke by the porpoise pens and began to get to know XXIII and slowly started introducing him to his training regimen...
(6:55 am Nov 02, 2005)
From the small cliffs to the left of the porpoise pens (looking out to sea) Bruddah Bing and Bruddah Boom watched Cang interacting with XXIII with growing concern. This did not look good at all. No, not in the slightest. Soldier crabs were not supposed to get along with humans. And getting along with a caveman looking human had to be worse. And what was a caveman looking human doing in two thousand and five anyway?
Bruddah Bing decided that they should start an anti NaNoWriMo movement to combat the ridiculous things these nano novelists were wont to create. I mean, a caveman in two thousand and five? What next, soldier crabs who can talk and start protest movements? I mean! Really!
Bruddah Boom crawled back into a bit of mixed broad leaf coppice and uncovered a spool of Blue Nylon Thread that he had been saving for emergencies. If this did not constitute and emergency, he didn't know what did.
(7:05 am Nov 02, 2005)
A good friend is someone to be cherished and held dear.
A friend in need is a friend in deed.
What does this mean?
Does it mean that if you have a friend who is in need, then that friend is really a true friend?
Does it mean that if a person is a friend to you in your hour of need then that person is a true friend?
Does it mean something else entirely? (Write and let me know if you have any other ideas. Will you?)
For a long time, I thought it meant the former and was confused by it. The possibility of the latter explanation never occurred to me and I never thought to ask for an explanation. You may wonder about this but you must understand that I come from a family like the one I come from. This is a family that, when a child asked the inevitable and famous:
"But why, daddy?"
Would get back and answer like:
"Because Y is a crooked letter and you can't make it straight."
Or the enigmatic:
"Because it's an eyebrow."
Figure that one out if you think you're bad.
A family that, when correcting a child and receiving the answer:
"I don't care."
Would respond with:
"You know where Don't Care live? Don't Care live in Fox Hill Prison."
That one at least made sense to me.
A family that, when a child was being stubborn would boldly proclaim:
"Hard head bird don't make good soup!"
I always wondered if they were secretly encouraging me to be hard headed, or if they were under the mistaken impression that I had some hidden desire to be made into soup or that I believed it was a bird's fondest to be made into the same.
I never asked them about that one either.
You get the drift?
(7:26 am Nov 02, 2005)
(7:22 pm Nov 02, 2005)
So, what were we talking about? Oh, yes, friends. I am sure you have a few of your own.
Bruddah Bing and Bruddah Boom were not really brothers at all, well, actually they were, but they were not each other's brothers. No they were each other's friends. Each other's best friends in fact. In fict too, but we will not go there right now. Will we? They hung together all the time. Causing no small amount of trouble on the island along the way.
They were so well attuned to each other that they often did not have to talk about their plans and intentions and this was one of those occasions. When Bruddah Bing saw Bruddah Boom crawl out of the coppice with the Blue Nylon Thread, he knew the plan and they began to execute at once.
They measured off a certain number of strands, clipping the thread with their multi-purpose pinchers. Then the quickly wove a net from the strands.
Stealthily, they began to creep down the cliff towards Cang and XXIII with certain intentions that are best left to the readers imagination at this point. As they crept down, they slowly increased the distance between themselves until the net was stretched fully between them.
As they reached the bottom of the cliff and began to crawl across the open ground, Cang happened to turn in their direction and he spotted them right off. Well, really he first spotted the blue net, but then his eyes scanned around and saw Bruddah Bing and Bruddah Boom although, at this point, he had not yet learned their names.
Cang was not sure of their intentions, but this was a lonely and desolate spot and he was taking no chances. He quickly grabbed up XXIII and jumped in the moke. He pushed in the clutch, pulled out the choke, and fired up the engine. He put it in first and popped the clutch. He spun tires and fishtailed for a while throwing rocks off his tires and then bounced over the bumps as he headed up the hill.
Bruddah Bing and Bruddah Boom crawled back up the cliff and hid their net under a poison wood tree.
(7:40 pm Nov 02, 2005)
Alleys can be narrow or they can be wide. They can be dark and dank, or they can be bright and sunny. They can be twisty and confusing or they can be straight. They can dead end or lead to somewhere. They can have crossroads (crossalleys?) or not.
Let me tell you about the alley that Cang and XXIII ended up in. This was an alley that we shall not name. An alley that we shall not give the location of either. We can say, however, that is was a narrow, twisty alley that seemed to dead end but at the very end it instead narrowed to be unpassable by the moke and then turned a blind corner before opening up onto a park. On the other side of the park it, or another alley similar to it, continued on. This alley was not clean either. There was rotting garbage everywhere. Flies swarmed and rats played freely, seemingly without fear of humans. And just let me say that theese were no play play rats, not these beauties were johnny rats. And one of those johnny rats was Johnny. In fact, Johnny was not just any johnny rat. You might say he was THE JOHNNY RAT.
Johnny watched with a keen interest as Cang and XXIII passed. He saw the haunted look of fear in Cang,s eyes. People with that look could often be dealt with in a certain way that could lead to a nice little something something. And Johnny knew how to deal in that certain way with the best of them.
(8:00 pm Nov 02, 2005)
Johnny fell in behind Cang and XXIII as they abandoned the moke and crossed the park to the alley on the other side.
A little more about the alley if I may...
The alley, on both sides of the park actually, was lined by dilapidated clap board houses. Many with their porches rotting through and many with holes in their roofs where they were missing wooden shingles. Often, there were several houses in the same yard. Sometimes, the alley would wind around in such a way that for someone who knew the area, there was a shortcut through a yard. Johnny knew the area well. He had things planned out. As Cang and XXIII turned a corner, he cut across a yard and got ahead of them. He climbed up a guinep tree and crawled out on a branch that overhung the alley.
He waited quietly for them to pass beneath them and then pounced on Cangs back!
Now Johnny had calculated his actions and plans to a T and things were going even better than he had planned. But there was a problem. He had mistakenly focused his attention on Cang and had not reconned with the probable reactions of XXIII. It was to be one of the most costly miscalculations of his life.
You see, XXIII had grown quite fond of Cang during their short time together and when he saw Johnny pounce, he promptly went into action. XXIII definately had Miami Vice's genes in him. (He may have even had genetic memories of Cang passed down in these genes.) Johnny didn't know what hit him. XXIII was all over him like white on rice. Johnny soon let out a squeal that was heard for miles. The pain was unlike anything he had ever experienced before and he had felt a lot of pain during his rough and tumble life.
XXIII clamped on him and pinched him in places and ways that he never could have imagined before actually experiencing them for himself. In fact, the pain was often so intense that he could not actually understand what was happening to him. XXIII left him broken. Under a bucket with a hole in it. Dear Liza or dear Henry may have been able to fix the hole in the bucket, but they, nor anyone else, would be able to fix Johnny again. Johnny was broke worse than Humpty Dumpty.
(8:21 pm Nov 02, 2005)