This is my disclaimer for 2009 folks! As you know, I change them, so please read and smile!
This is a fictional character. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face and yet, someone will write to me and tell me I've got something wrong, or he/she is that character, or they're going to sue me because their client has a family member with that name.
I can put disclaimers on a story all day long and still, I get someone who is just about nuts who will do the above paragraph. It makes no sense to me, but apparently, there are people who take themselves so seriously they want to be a fictional character. Well to those of you who choose to be that way, go read someone else's story and be a fuck-tional character.
By the way, if you're reading this to jack off (Adam Curtis). I'll smile and you hold it in your hand and read until the end. If you've spilled a load, I bet it wasn't reading a scene here! Everyone else who knows my writing is probably laughing their asses off right about now...I know I'm chuckling!
If you can hold it in your hand and type, then please BY ALL MEANS write me an email and send a photo of it. I want to see the man's appendage which can write, type, and just plain want to know it better!
If your appendage says it's straight, get a clue and get to a different site. If you're that confused, go to your search engine and type in Mental Health Help and seek the one in your area. Your appendage has my permission to cut and paste.
Just to make it an official disclaimer, if you're above the age of 18...great. If you're 118, super great...put a napkin over the keyboard and you won't get any drool on it.
If you're under the age of 18, please find the off switch on your computer and press it. It'll make your day and mine a lot brighter. If you come back to this site when it reboots, please repeat until you lose interest. If it takes more than once, get a clue you dumb fuck!
Notes From RettaMichaels:
PlayMaker is written as a period piece. The lead character is writing his memoirs at the end of his career in this day and time. Please read it as such as I've really got no time to correct people for what is obvious.
They say I'm good. They say I can play sports like no other. They say a lot, the sports announcers.
I'll introduce myself. My name is Jake Martin. I'm thirty four years old. I've finally found time to write my memoirs and this is them.
I'll tell you about myself more as I write. I was born April 12th, 1974 to Janet and Jeff Martin. They died three years later. Their car was tampered with. Our neighbor Pastor William Riefsdel had something to do with it.
I went to live with my Grandma Sherpa. I call her Grandma, so drop the Sherpa. I don't have any other family I'm willing to claim. It's not that I'm stuck up, but they didn't want to claim me after my parents died, so I'm not claiming them now that I've got a career and have made it on my own.
I'll start when everything started for me. It's a bumpy road, so go off roading with me as we dodge the pot holes.
The summer if 1989 was an eventful year for me. I was about to begin my Sophomore year in high school and had successfully graduated ninth grade. I shouldn't say that, but I succeeded, so it was a successful graduation. I made straight A's, but that didn't mean much.
You see, I have a photographic memory and can speed read. I read a book three times and seem to know not only the content, but the flaws, pluses, minuses, and mistakes in the content.
As I said, the Summer of 1989 was an eventful year for me. This is how it started.
Chris Powers is my best friend. He's taller than me. I'm 4'10” and weight all of 98 lbs. Please don't confuse me with the proverbial 98 lb weakling.
As I started to say, Chris is my friend. He got it in his head he wanted to play tennis that summer, so I went and got myself a tennis racket. I have money, but I don't like to spend it. I got my racket at a yard sale.
Chris and I've been friends since I moved in with my Grandma. He's outgoing, friendly, smart, and a horn dog extraordinaire. Whenever he sees a girl, he'll tell you everything he fantasizes about doing to her sexually. It's funny because he's quite verbal about it.
Walking down the halls at school is a testement to our friendship. He'll embarrass anyone about his vocalizing of his fantasies. I don't know how many times I've heard him tell me he wanted to 'titty fuck' a girl with her not standing but a few feet away. Yup, he's straight.
Me, I'm gay. I came out of the closet when I was fourteen. I couldn't help but to come out of the closet because I had Laramie stay over and we ended up trading blow jobs. Grandma slept in the next bedroom and she heard everything which went on that night. The next morning, she stared across the table and asked me, “Do you have anything to say for yourself young man!”
“Ummm, what do you mean?”
“Someone was either giving or receiving two blow jobs in your room last night. I'd say you got one and gave one.”
Needless to say, I didn't lie to her when the goods were laid out like that.
“Grandma, I think I'm gay.”
“Think?! I'd say from the sound of it, you were doing more than thinking young man! It's not that I mind, but the next time you want to bring someone to MY house and get busy in the bedroom, I'd suggest you give me a pair of ear plugs and put a pillow behind that headboard. I don't disturb your sleep, so don't be disturbing mine.”
Needless to say, Laramie was embarrassed. That was until the morning breakfast was cut short by his twin brothers entering the house with one of them bleeding severely from his hand. Both had blood on them, so it was obvious to me they'd been wrestling.
Laramie looked down and said, “You're getting blood all over my shoes asshole!”.
Grandma, being a typical grandma took charge and had the twin over to the sink washing it out.
“Jake, go get my first aid kit! He'll be lucky if I don't have to sew this up!”
I ran to get the first aid kit. By the time I found it and arrived back to the kitchen, the twin was sitting at the table with his hand wrapped in a t-towel.
“It's not as deep as I first thought. I'll pack it up with Betadine and then get a bandage on it. You two can't be wrestling like you do all the time. One of these days, you're going to kill someone and it's most likely going to be you.”
As it turned out, the twins had killed someone that morning...old man Jennings. They'd broken into his house and robbed him for his social security money. In the struggle, they beat him and nearly decapitated him with a butter knife. That's how the twin got his hand cut.
Laramie got arrested too. When the police came, they didn't take too many long answers and he answered truthfully when questioned. He was asked if those were his shoes with blood on them, and said they were. He got arrested and in no time flat, he was up on murder charges.
Grandma told me to stay out of it. I minded her because if I didn't, I felt I'd be thrown out onto the streets and have no place to live.
That's how Grandma found out I was gay.
How Chris found out was I told him soon thereafter. We went down to the bike trail and rode jumping jumps and doing all sorts of stuff until we got to Strawberry Ridge. At the top, I put my foot on the pedal and got ready to go. “Ummm, Chris.”
I pushed my foot down on the pedal and took off. I rode hard all the way to the house and ran in the door, up the stairs, and to my bedroom.
He followed and came in. When he got to my room, he came in and flopped down on the bed next to me.
“Wanna talk about it?”
“Gotten laid yet?”
“Nope, got a blow job and gave one, but now he's getting the death penalty, so I can't say nothing.”
“Because he was the one who was here.”
“Wanna give me one?”
“Nope, you gonna give me one back?”
“Then you got your answer. That's why it wasn't you.”
“You. All these years and you never told me.”
“Would it have mattered?”
“Then why's it so funny?”
“Between the two, we've got them covered. If I hear something about someone, I'll get you laid. You do me the favor in return.”
“You want a guy?”
“No, a girl with big jugs and strawberry lips so I can blow the cream all over them.”
“You'd do it and you know you would.”
“Not to a girl.”
“See, you'd do it.”
That's how Chris found out I was gay and that's how we sealed our friendship with him knowing I was gay.
As I said, that Summer, Chris decided he wanted to play tennis. He wanted to play because he wanted to stare at girls asses in those cute little skirts while they bent over to get ready to hit the ball. I don't know how many girls turned to look at us when he let out with a “Oh man! Did you see that?! I gotta cum right now!”
“Shut up dumb ass, she's got a racket and is liable to beat you to death with it.”
“You're next to me, you take the fall and I'll study her melons as she's swinging the racket.”
“I'm your friend, not your stooge.”
“I'd do it for you!”
He'd follow me and we'd go off the court using our rackets as swords fencing each other.
By Springtime 1991, I was spending more time alone at the court.1 Somewhere I decided to practice with my racket instead of using it as a sword. I practiced alone and had a hard time with the big clunky racket and serving hard enough to get it over the net.
Somewhere along the line, I started getting it over the net. It wasn't pretty, but I managed to do it and that's when I realized I'd have to return the ball if it were ever hit back at me. That's when the plan formed in my mind to learn how to serve it so no one would hit it back.
What I came up with is what you call a guaranteed ace serve. You hit it across the net and rather than the ball hitting the pavement, flattening out, and then it's momentum propelling it forward to the other person, mine hit the pavement and then did what you call a curve ball effect where it ricocheted over to the right, left, or back towards the net.
On Saturday, right before Memorial Day, I got a call from Chris telling me to have my ass at the tennis court. I went, but Chris wasn't anywhere around. They were having a tournament.
I had money for snacks and sodas, and that's what the entry fee was. Rather than blowing the money, I entered the tournament and then waited around while my turn came up to play.
Now, let me fill you in on what goes on at a tournament. It's something similar to attack of the clones. You have a ton of people all dressed in white like they work at a loony bin or something, and all of them have matching accessories. Yup, white head bands, sweat bands, socks, shoes, duffel bag, and so on and so forth to go with their little white shorts and shirt. Me, I was in a faded out Black KISS shirt with some blue jean cut offs and some ratty Kangaroo sneakers. The only thing I was happy about at that moment was I had on matching socks.
When my turn came up to play, we tossed a coin and I lost the toss. The guy across the net gave me the once over and then got a look on his face like he'd ate too much 'sketti and garlic bread. He backed away from the net and then lined up for his serve.
Just about the time he served, I heard, “Hey asshole! What ya doing out on the court?!”
Needless to say, it was Chris and you don't need to figure the serve the guy did went way off the court. I looked over and Chris said, “Don't you look the fuckin' mess. You out there dressed in your hand me downs playin' one of the clones.”
I yelled back, “Give me a second, I'll have him beat and then we can sit around and do what you want.”
I went back and then served the ball. It cleared the net and the guy ran up like he was going to hit it. It did it's left thing and veered off the court to the left. I think the blockhead thought he was going to hit it. He raised his racket and saw the ball take a flying bounce way far away from where he'd lined up.
The crowd did a thing like a whole bunch of people watching fireworks, “Oooh!”. You know how it is, the prettier ones get the “ahhs” and the really nice ones get the “Pretty!”. All this one got was an “Oooh”.
I went back to serve and served it. Once again, the guy ran up and this time, it went back towards the net. The crowd did a sound like a massive “Whah...”
Needless to say, pretty boy over there was looking madder and madder. He decided he'd come forward and try to hit it in mid air as soon as it came across the net. I gave him a look like, “You might want to step back some”, but he didn't. I served the ball and it went right to the top of his head and parted his hair. It ricocheted off and nearly hit the court side ref.
The pretty guy felt the top of his head and went over to the ref. The ref yelled, “FIVE!” and I went over and dug out five more dollars. I sure didn't like these rules, but I was determined to win.
I went to hand it to the ref and he smiled, “No, that's a five minute intermission young man.”
“Oh, I thought you wanted to raise the bets.”
“No, but if your friend yells at you anymore, we'll be kind enough to have him ejected from the court.”
“He's here to look at girls. Right now, he's probably over there going cross eyed looking at two of them.”
He smiled and said, “Nice serving.”
“Thanks, I don't know why they do that, but if you like them, it's cool. I've got several other ways it does it too.”
“You're putting a heckuva spin on the ball. I imagine it's because your racket is strung wrong.”
“No, I made sure it hit all the holes. I had to do it twice several places, but I used up all the weed eater string we had.”
“Is that why it's pea green?”
“Yeah, I kept breaking the other kind.”
“Then you're putting some real power into those serves.”
“I don't think so, but I couldn't say. This is the first time I've played someone who didn't try coming across the net to beat me to death with his racket.”
“Who did that?”
“My friend over there.”
“Oh, I'd say he probably doesn't know etiquette of the court.”
“He doesn't know much etiquette period. He burps and farts at the supper table and all sorts of stuff.”
He laughed and said, “You're break is about over, you might want to go back and serve.”
I went back and when the ref raised his hand, I served the ball to the guy and the spin was such it came up off the court and did a curve low and upwards towards the guy. He missed it and it hit him in the nuts.”
I winced, “Ooh, sorry guy.”
Of course, he probably didn't hear me. He had dropped his racket and was laying on the court with both hands you know where. The sound coming from him sounded like a cow dying.
I went back to wait for him to get up and the umpire yelled, “FIVE!”
I went over towards him and held out the five dollar bill. He smiled and said, “No, keep your money kid. That's not a penalty, but it's sure a curve ball. I've seen a few in my time, but you sure got a handle on how to get them regularly.”
“Is there a specific way of stringing my racket so it doesn't happen?”
“I'd say if you strung it and the racket comes in on weight, you've done the job right.”
“Why do they weigh them?”
“Some people put lead in the handles to slide back and forth to give them more force when it hits. It's illegal as hell.”
“How do they get it in there?”
“By drilling a hole in the end and putting in bb's.”
“Man, that's dumb.”
“Yeah, it gets them thrown out of a tournament.”
Chris came over and said, “Look at the hooters on that one over there!”
I looked and so did the umpire. There sat a girl with a mesh shirt on with no bra. The cannons she had under her shirt had to be at least 56's.
“Chris, you can't yell at me out on the court. It'll get you thrown out of here.”
“Him, he's the referee who throws people out of here.”
“You really smacked Holmes in the nads hard.”
“Nah, it wasn't hard, you never went down like that.”
“I never took one off my head right before you doing it either. He probably has a headache real bad and then you crushed the jewels.”
“I didn't mean to, but he's supposed to hit the ball back. He's over there playing like he has no idea how to hit the thing.”
“He's one of the best on our school's team.”
“The school has a team?”
“Yeah dumb ass. They all go out for it and then wonder why no one will lay them. They look like a pack of Tic Tacs on a bus when they're all dressed the same. That ain't cool.”
“Do I gotta dress like them?”
The ref said, “No, you're doing fine.”
“Good, I don't think I could wear those clothes long at all. I'd have them all stained up in no time.”
The umpire looked at his watch. “It's about time to go back to play.”
Chris said, “Good luck, I'm going over and sitting off to the right of that girl. If I don't see you rack him again, you'll know what I'm staring at.”
I went back and saw Chris going over to those bleachers.
I looked over and there wasn't anyone there. Holmes wasn't there. I looked over to where he was sitting and he had his water bottle down in his shorts. He had a big wet stain in them and looked like he'd pissed himself.
The Ump yelled, “PLAY!”
Holmes didn't get up. I went over and said, “Dude, come on out and play. It wasn't that bad.”
“You're nuts don't feel like they've gotten slammed in a car door.”
“No, but if you'd play, I'll try making it as painless as I can.”
I went over to the umpire and said, “He wants to have sex with me. I tried to get him to come out and play, but he wants me to feel sorry for his balls.”
The ump smiled, “Go back to where you're supposed to serve and if he's not there the second time you're supposed to play, he'll be found in forfeiture of the match.”
“That's like I win, right?”
I went back and the Ump yelled, “Forfeit!”
People applauded and then I went to the bracket board to see who I was to play. I had an open bracket and then I'd be in to play for the runner up game.
I went over towards Chris and said, “Come on Chris, I've got a bit of time before I have to play again.”
We went out and he said, “What do you wanna do now?”
“I want to practice these serves over there. I've about got it down to where I can hit the tree with them.”
“Come over and watch. You'll see.”
We went over and I served a ball. It hit the ground and then did a ricochet to the left and right behind the tree.
“I can't get it to hit the tree. I can with the right, but when it goes left, it always goes behind.”
“Why you doin' that?”
“I want to get a handle on these serves. I figure if I can predict where they go, it'll come in handy some day.”
“As long as you hit it in that square, that's what matters.”
“Yeah, but it'd be cool if I could bet someone I could hit that tree and actually do it.”
“Try hitting it forward of it a little and then see if it'll hit it.”
“Nope, it goes in front of it.”
“You know what would be cool?”
“You know when they serve the ball and hit it and make all those grunting sounds?”
“Yeah, that irks the hell out of me.”
“You need to come up with your own sound to intimidate them.”
“I could do a hawk's screech.”
“That'd be cool.”
“I'll try that when I gotta play again.”
“I want to go see where that girl with the knockers went.”
“You're not going to get her. So don't worry about her.”
“Yeah, but I don't think she even realizes people can see through that top.”
“Probably not, but I guess you telling her would sort of give it away.”
“No, me going over and breast feeding would.”
“Ick hell, you've been paying all sorts of attention to Holmes nads.”
“Nah, besides, his shorts went transparent when they got wet. There wasn't much there.”
“Everything was probably trying to duck for cover with you around!”
“Nah, I think it was the ice in his drink. Why he put his bottle down there is beyond me. That was dumb.”
“None of those guys are real smart. You're not planning on going out for tennis, are you?”
“I don't know. I never knew they had a team. I think it'd be kind of cool to get credit for playing.”
“You can't win money like you can at these tournaments.”
“Forget it then. Did you see how much I get if I win!”
“Yeah, five hundred dollars!”
“Dude, I could do some damage with that sort of money. Do you think they've got these money games all over the place?”
“Yeah, there's one up at Ottumwa next weekend which has a lot of big money.”
“I think it's five thousand dollars. You gotta put in fifty in order to get in though.”
“Oh, if I won here, I could do it.”
“How you going to get there?”
“How far is it?”
“If we rode our bikes, how long do you think it'd take?”
“Dude, I'm not riding my bike all the way there!”
“Why not! If we won, we could buy a car and come back.”
“You'd probably lose and have me riding all the way back.”
“I'll ask grandma. She'll probably take us if I pay for gas.”
“Why don't you ask to borrow her car?”
“No, the first thing she'd ask if you were going to ride along and then she'd say no. You know that.”
“Dude, I couldn't help it. I got milkshake up my nose!”
“You could have tried harder cleaning the windshield.”
“I tried. It was dark out and how was I supposed to know she was going to go right out there?”
“It's her car. She's had that thing for like thirty years.”
“Who drives a car that old anyways?”
“She does. I think it'd rock to have a car like that.”
“It's a '54 Vette man. If she'd bought a '57, that'd be cool, but who in the world wants to drive a '54.”
“I like it.”
We went back over and I played my next match. Once again, I got through it real fast. Afterwards, it was hardly any time at all and I was back out to play the title match.
I won the coin flip and started serving. The guy across the net was a real babe. I'd seen him around school, but what he did was he'd adjust his crotch and then bend over. It nearly distracted me.
I did my hawk screech when I served and found a lot of people trying to imitate it. I thought it was funny and did an arm flap like I was flying. Kids started doing the hawk screech and I served the ball. The guy across didn't hit but one and it went wild when he did. I won and they went over to get my trophy presented to me and got handed a check.
Personally, I didn't like the idea of getting a check. They should give you cash in that little cup they call their trophy. I took it though and then realized it was a stinking farce. It was late Saturday afternoon and not a bank in town was open to go cash the thing.
Chris and I rode home and when we went in, Grandma said, “I've gotten four phone calls saying you won some tournament.”
“I played tennis grandma. They gave me a check for five hundred dollars and this little trophy.”
“Well put the trophy up on the mantle and give me that check.”
“I'll take it to the bank and cash it.”
“Ok, but grandma, I need to ask a favor.”
“What's that hon?”
“Next weekend, they're going to have a tournament up in Ottumwa. First prize pays five thousand dollars. Would you take me?”
“Why not drive my car?”
“Chris is going to go and you know what you said would happen if he ever got in your car again.”
“He's an idiot. All he needed to do was take a warm wash rag and go out and act like he wanted to clean it, but he was fine with leaving the car a mess.”
“Would you take me?”
“All you have to do is play tennis to get this money?”
“Yeah, it's real easy.”
“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
“Well, it's easy for me.”
“How many of them you been in?”
“This is the first time I've played.”
“You've had that racket a long time.”
“Yeah, but Chris and I never play. He wants to end up using it like a guitar or like a sword where we fence each other. Besides, he can't hit anything I serve. I can hit it to him, but as soon as I get the upper hand, I put it over the net and make it so he can't get it back across.”
“Let's go to Columbia tonight and drive by a few car lots. We'll see about getting you a car. I'll pay the insurance and you pay for the gas.”
“If you wreck it, you walk.”
“Ok, I'll try not wrecking it.”
“No racing it either. The second I get a phone call telling me you won some stock car race in the thing, it gets parked.”
“Ok, what kind are we going to get?”
“We're not getting squat. Mine's not worn out. You're getting your own and my advice is not to let that little hoodlum get in and get it all filthy.”
“I'll have him clean it. He'll think that's cool.”
After we ate supper, we drove to Columbia and all the way, I was thinking about what sort of car I was going to get. When we got down there, grandma drove over to the Chevrolet lot. Personally, I wasn't real impressed, but I wasn't going to complain one bit.
After looking a moment, she pulled up in front of a maroon one. “Get out and see how much that one costs.”
“It's a brand new car.”
“Yeah, this brand is real reliable.”
I went over and as soon as I saw it, I was sort of happy it cost so much.
“It says twenty three thousand grandma.”
“I've seen commercials about this one..”
“But it's twenty three thousand dollars!”
“Yeah, and that's about what mine would cost if we got you one of them.”
“Your Vette is old.”
“It's a good car. It cost just as much as my house when we got it and now houses are selling in the neighborhood for around fifty thousand.”
“I've been offered thirty for this old car, but I don't want to part with it. It's been good and all I've had to put on it is tires and a few belts.”
“If you treat a car good, it'll treat you good. Now what does that car have on it?”
I went over and tried memorizing everything. When I got back to the car, I told her. “Look and see if they have a Maroon one with a sun roof.”
“Let's go see how much it costs.”
We went over and I got out. I went up and saw it cost twenty seven thousand. I went back and told her and she said, “I'll get you that one.”
“Do we have enough money?”
“Don't you worry about the money. You just worry about paying for the insurance.”
“I don't have but my check here.”
“You've got money. You just don't know it.”
“In the bank. You'll get it when you turn eighteen.”
“That's next year. They'll want me to pay for the insurance before then.”
“I'll call my man and get you your first year's worth. You concentrate on working around mowing yards and saving up to pay next year.”
“Ok, but I don't know how to thank you.”
“You use your cell phone to call me after you get out of school and call me. If I need groceries or something, you can run over and bring them home. Ok?”
“Ok, but that's a lot of money for a car.”
“I like the name. Camaro. It's a good starter car.”
I smiled and said, “I won't get an Arrow. Those cars suck.”
“I don't know. Look at that Plymouth, it's been around a while.”
“I don't think they make them anymore.”
“You'd be wrong. I think they switched it to a truck or something.”
“Maybe, but that costs a lot too.”
“If you buy a good car and spend a lot on one, it'll last a while. If you go cheap, it'll not hold it's value worth nothing.”
“You gotta have the money to get one though.”
“You'll have the money. Don't you worry.”
A man came out and held out his hand. Grandma said, “He wants that maroon car there. You go do the paperwork and I'll write you a check.”
“Ma'am, we'll have to wait for the check to clear.”
“It's good, there's more money in that account than you'd ever want.”
We went in and he turned to me, “You want to drive it?”
“Home? Yeah, you're not going to get to keep it if she pays for it. I'll tell you that now.”
He smiled, “Let me see what I can do. That's an awesome car she's driving out there. You don't see many Indy 500 pace car editions out on the streets.”
“She got it new.”
“Yeah, she doesn't drive it around much.”
“She interested in trading it?”
“No, she said someone offered her a lot of money.”
“Let me see what it's worth. I bet you and she both could get matching cars for what that old car is worth.”
“Let me check. I don't know if my boss would go for me having to hand her a big check besides giving you two cars.”
“It's worth that much!”
“You'd be amazed. Go see how many miles it has on it.”
“I'll tell you now it's got twenty eight thousand miles on it. She said she had to put tires on it and belts, but that's it.”
“Probably dry rotted.”
“No, that car is cleaned each Sunday. I know because I'm the one who usually does it.”
“I know that car's loaded because it's got two real rare options on it from what I already see.”
“I can go get in the glove box. The original sales sticker is in there.”
“Go get it. I'd like to see it out of curiosity.”
I went out and said, “Grandma, he wants to see this. He's admiring your car.”
“Tell him I'm not trading.”
“I did, but he said he could get you and me both one of those cars and you a huge check besides for what this car is worth.”
“You get that and you take in those books. I'm going in. If that man thinks he's going to give me that much, he can have it today!”
She went in walking at a fast pace. When she walks fast, she clutches her purse up under her arm pit like she's going to a fire.
I brought in the books and the sticker. I handed it to the man and he said, “Ma'am, that car's worth a pretty penny.”
“More than that. I've been offered a lot for that car.”
“That's what the boy said.”
“He told me you could get me two cars like that one he's looking at and a check for it.”
“Yes, but I need to see if my manager will go for it.”
“If he does, you tell him I'll trade. I didn't pay that much for that car as you can see.”
He said, “I need to verify the mileage on it. Is that ok?”
“Sure, there better be only twenty eight thousand miles on it. If there's more, this boy's not getting a car today but a beatin'.”
“I haven't driven it grandma.”
“You better not have!”
He went out and came back in shaking his head. “It still smells new.”
“It oughta! I clean it with that naugahyde cleaner they tell me to use.”
He said, “One moment and I'll speak to my manager and get you an offer.”
He didn't wait for an answer before he was dodging into some office.
Grandma smiled, “If he offers us two cars for that one, he's got a deal. I'll tell you that now. If he offers me money on top of the deal, he's a plain old fool.”
He came back out holding a pad and paper. “Ma'am, I'm authorized to get you two of those cars identical and here's the total he said he'd give you afterward.”
She took a look at the number and said, “You tell him I want a white one and you get his maroon one. You tell that man we'll need license and insurance to make it home because I never called my agent. In that book is the title and you'll see it's all there.”
He took the book and said, “That's original.”
“Yes, and it gets polished with that cleaner just like everything else. I expect you to get us some of that cleaner for inside our cars too.”
“Ma'am, I'll throw in a box each. Do you want seat covers?”
“You might get them for him. He's got an idiot for a friend.”
I chuckled and he said, “I'll get you floor mats as well.”
“They don't come with them?” Grandma asked.
“You better get both of us some. What else should come on it you're going to make us pay for?”
“They're pretty much loaded in that model with the leather and the sunroof package.”
“Good, that should make it easier to clean. I don't know how I'll get used to driving that size of car.”
He went over and threw me a set of keys. “Go on out and pull your cars up here. You can get a good look at it while we're doing the paperwork.”
Grandma asked, “How long will this take?”
“No time at all. All I need to do is get it filled out and then you a check cut. I'll have one of our guys get you temporary plates put on.”
“I'll take my plates with me. Maybe they'll let me use them again.”
“Your new car's engine isn't like that one. It's peppy, but it's bigger.”
“It'll probably get him a ticket.”
I went out and got into my car. I turned it on and pushed the button to roll down the windows and took out the t-tops. I kicked on the stereo and found the stations. I pulled it over and then set about programming the stations into the radio.
Grandma came out, “Here's my keys. Go find this car and bring it back. We'll have to get the roadside kit out of the trunk and the cleaning things out before we give them that old car.”
“Ok, did you see inside it?”
“It's right pretty, but a bit sporty.”
“I'm glad you like it. I'd say they're going to realize their mistake and come after us to get back some of that money they're giving us. Did you see we could have gotten three cars for the amount they gave me?”
“Yeah, the guy must've really wanted your car.”
“I think he wants a convertible. He'll realize having a convertible isn't what it's all cracked up to being.”
“This t-tops are nice.”
“You'll like it, but I'll never use it. It'd mess up my hair.”
I got out of mine and slid the keys into my pocket. I took hers and then hit the panic button. Her car started honking it's horn and she gave a startled intake of breath.”
“That's your panic alarm. If you're out in a parking lot at night and someone comes up on you, you press that and they'll run off.”
“It'll help me at WalMart's parking lot too!”
“Yeah, it will that.”
I went over and pulled her car up. It was nice, but I liked my maroon and maroon instead of the White and Beige.
She got in and I showed her how to adjust the power seats. Then we adjusted her mirrors and I got in the other side to adjust the stereo so she could listen to the radio.
She was tapping her hand on the steering wheel and said, “I like the sound in this car. It sure beats that old AM radio.”
“Yeah, it give awesome bass too.”
“I think we got the better of them this time. Your grandpa would be happy.”
“When we got out, I showed her how to lock the doors automatically and that's when she saw the headlights on.
“You need to turn off the lights.”
“They shut off on their own. They turn on by themselves too.”
“It's certainly got a lot more on it than my old Chevy.”
“It'll get better gas milage than it will too.”
“Your old Chevy got about fifteen miles a gallon. This one gets twenty three.”
“Probably that engine.”
“That's good. I had an old Nash which wasn't. It nearly got me killed several times trying to pass people and nearly getting hit head on. That's before they built the four lane though.”
“Yeah, I've heard about that.”
“The phrase, 'Pray For Me, I drive on 63' sure had it right. That highway saw more deaths than anything oughta.”
The man came out and said, “Here's the paperwork.”
Grandma said, “No, that's not right. You need to put both our names on them. I'm not a spring chicken and if I die, he'll have to get rid of my car.”
“Ok, do you want the insurance over into both your names?”
“You might as well. It would save time.”
He went back and then said, “I've got you some new temporary plates getting put on.”
“Oh! I've heard that's more handy.”
“Yours had lifetime historic plates on it.”
“Thank you. Some day those cars will be just as old as that car, but I'll never see it. I told him if he took care of it like I have mine, he'll see it.”
“I imagine he will if he helps you with yours.”
“He does. He's a good boy. His choice in friends needs a lot of help, but I guess he's ok as long as he's never in my car again.”
“What'd he do to your car?”
“Spit milk shake all over the windshield.”
I said, “He was trying to suck down a Dairy Queen Blizzard through a straw and saw a girl with big hooters. The next thing I knew he had it all spit out.”
The guy smiled. “That'd probably do it!”
“We took the car home to clean it, but she came out and saw it before we got the job done. Now he's on her x list.”
He smiled and grandma said, “Let him douse your car with milkshake and see how upset you get!”
“I'll make sure he doesn't get in it with one.”
“You should have done that with mine!”
“I didn't think he'd hyperventilate on a shake.”
The guy chuckled, “Here's the updated paperwork. That warranty is our best warranty and on there, you'll see we do the first six months worth of oil changes free.”
Grandma said, “That's nice. I usually have the dealer do mine, so I'll have to have him drive down here to get get it done.”
“You feel free to do that and we'll get him right in.”
Grandma read the paperwork and asked, “Now is there anything else these cars need?”
“No ma'am, his car will get a bit hot without window tinting, but we don't do that here. Your's with the lighter leather will be fine.”
“I used a quilt on those seats out there. As you saw, they're the originals.”
“I saw that. It looks like brand new.”
“It should. I've not driven it that much.”
“Less than a thousand miles a year.”
“Usually up town to the grocery store and WalMart once a week and that's about it.”
We signed the paperwork and then were released to go home. Grandma said, “Jake, you drive ahead and I'll follow. My eyes aren't that good at night time anymore, so don't be hot rodding.”
“I won't. We've not got many lights to get through and then we'll be clear. Once we get on the highway, use your cruise control.”
“How do I do that?”
“You drive it up to the speed you want to drive at and then push that on button. That set button sets the speed and then it's on. If you want it off, all you have to do is either press off, or step on the brake.”
“It's handy. Your car didn't have that.”
“No, I don't know if they offered it on that car.”
“Probably not. I think only Cadillac had it back then.”
We got in our cars and then, I saw her not using her seat belt. I ran back over and said, “You need to use your belt. Your car didn't have them, but that's a fifty dollar fine if you get caught.”
“Ok, I'll need to do that.”
“It's not hard to get used to, but it's sure hard if you get hit and don't have it on.”
She backed up and I got in. As soon as we were on the road, I was jamming on the radio. When we got home, she pulled in the garage and I parked out front.
I got out and she said, “Here, take this twenty and go show your friend your car. They were kind enough to fill them with gas, but you might want to get something to drink.”
“Thank you Grandma.”
“No problem dear. Don't get yourself into too much trouble.”
“Home by midnight.”
I went out and went over to Chris'. As soon as he saw the car, he was all over it looking. “Man, you got a new one!”
“Yeah, grandma did too. She traded in the old Chevy and they gave us money on top of the deal.”
“You lucky dog!”
“It's a nice car.”
“Your grandma's like it?”
“Her's is white with beige, but she wanted me to have a maroon car.”
“I like it.”
“Can you go riding around?”
“I'll go ask, but you know I can.”
We went riding around and that's how the days of my summer went. Either I was playing tennis or I was riding around with Chris.
By the end of the Summer, I'd won a lot of tennis tournaments. It got to be to the point I didn't carry the trophies into the house anymore. The mantle was full and so was my back seat. I'd won a lot of money and could have bought my own car with the amount.
By the first week of school, Chris was riding back and forth with me. He played football, but I would go up to the tennis courts and practice.
At the beginning of the second week of school, I was at my locker when I got shoved from behind. “Listen up fag, I didn't like my nuts getting crushed.”
“Should've kept them out from in front of the ball.”
He shoved me again and I shoved back. That's when the Principal came around the corner and took us both to the office. When we got there, he sat us out front and went in to call our parents.
Holmes glared at me the whole time. “You play tennis like a fag.”
“You play like a dying cow. You're just upset because I beat you.”
“How many tournaments did you play?”
“All I could and won them all.”
“Probably did it hitting everyone in their nuts.”
“Some, but not all.”
“That wasn't cool.”
“Dude, it's your job to hit the ball. Don't blame me if I know how to put spins on it.”
“How'd you learn that?”
“You going to be on the team?”
“Probably. I don't know. I can't win any money so I'm not real interested.”
“You've probably already beaten all the other players out there.”
“Then write their coaches and tell them to just forfeit the matches telling them I'm on the team. What'cha worried about?”
“Would you teach me those spins?”
“It's not hard. All you gotta do is practice.”
“I got beat when I got home because I let you beat me.”
“You couldn't have won.”
“My old man don't know that.”
“Then tell him to go out on a court with me. I'll rack him good off the forehead and then hit him in the nuts. We'll see if he wants to play after that. If he does, I'll figure something else to hit.”
“Did you do that in all your games?”
“No, but if they imitated my hawk screech, I put it in their mouth.”
“You can pinpoint where it's going to go!”
“Yeah, if you practice enough, you can figure it out. The only thing I can't do is hit a certain spot and as much as I try, I just can't get it there. All the other spots on the court, I've got down.”
“How'd you do that?”
“Practiced. From beating you, I bought ten cans of balls and went out and practiced.”
“I've never seen you play before that.”
“That was my first real game. All the others don't count because it was against Chris. He hits them back to me better than any of the real players have.”
“We oughta get him on the team.”
“Not a chance of that. He says you guys all look like Tic-Tacs when you get in a bus dressed in white.”
“Why do you dress wearing what you do?”
“First of all, I couldn't afford that outfit. I could now, but I'd get it all stained up in no time.”
“I go through several uniforms a season.”
“At sixty bucks, that's a waste.”
“My dad tried that new stuff they have out to take out the sweat stains, but it only works for so long.”
“Tell him to put them in a gallon jug with several bottles of peroxide and then shake it around. It'll clean up those stains.”
“Then why don't you do that?”
“My stains wouldn't be from sweat. I'd most likely fall down or ride my bike through a mud puddle or something.”
“Didn't you get that new Camaro?”
“Yeah, but it takes fifteen dollars to fill it.”
“With the money you won, you should be able to afford it.”
“I can, but it's wasteful spending to drive it all over the place.”
“So why do you drive it to school?”
“That's the deal between my grandma and me. She got it for me and I've got to go after school to the grocery store and places for her.”
Our conversation was broken by my grandma entering. “Now, what in the hell is going on here!”
“Grandma, he and I got to shoving each other. I hit him in the nuts with the tennis ball at a tournament and he's sore about it.”
“How long ago was it?”
“And his nuts are still sore!”
“No, his losing is. His dad beat him when he got home.”
“What the hell for?”
“Because he lost.”
“Can his dad play better?”
“I don't know I offered to have his dad go out on the tennis court and get hit in the nuts with a ball, but apparently, that's not an option.”
She sort of smiled and nodded, “What's your name boy?”
“What's your daddy's name?”
“Roger Holmes dated my daughter. He didn't amount to much then and doesn't sound like he added up to much later. You forgive my grandson and I'll speak to your dad.”
“No, don't do that!”
“Too late. The second what that man did affected my grandson, I'm letting it affect him. My car doesn't roll out of the garage often, but the second it does, someone's going to be spoken with. Jake didn't do wrong here. He didn't do wrong when he won that game either, so for him to be punished is pure bull hockey. Roger Holmes is about to find out what it's like to get his own butt whooped.”
She turned to the Principal and said, “You make them run laps for an hour after school for three days. If I hear anything other than that punishment is delved, I'll have the whole mess brought before the school board meeting. You hear me?”
“I've got to go speak to Roger. He'll have his butt out on the tennis court at five pm tonight and will be handed a racket. If he can beat my grandson on the tennis court, he can beat his son. If he doesn't, then he'll apologize to his son and to my grandson. Then he'll apologize to me for wasting my time.”
She left the office and the Principal said, “You heard her. Here are your passes. Get back to class.”
We left the office and I never heard much about it after that until later that afternoon.
Notes From Retta:
This story wouldn't be possible without a good person by the name of Wes. Fortunately, he downloaded it while it was still able to be gotten on the Google Groups site.
For those of you who know, my Google Groups site is shit. Please don't get that confused with “the shit”, but just plain shit.
It seems you can upload a chapter to the site and it will promptly lose the thing. When you go to click on it, you will get an error message which states the page you've navigated to is no longer available. Needless to say, I'm not please because their customer service sucks.
I'd lost the first twenty five chapters of the story, so without Wes having them, I'd be fucked. Thankfully, he had them, so he gets a great BIG HUGE Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
From My Keyboard To Your Heart,
The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.
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“From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.
Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.