Mule On Location

The director shouts through a bullhorn: “Action!” A cameraman perched on a hydraulic lift platform starts the pixels rolling:

[The scene: a blustery October afternoon in rural Western Illinois. A small dusty red car comes around a curve in a gravel road. On the convex side of the curve is a wall of trees; on the concave side a closely-cropped hill pasture. The car pulls over and stops. A man in a blue sweatshirt and white billed cap emerges from the car, stretches, and looks around. The man notices some sort of equine animal in the pasture and gets his camera out.]

[Photo taken, the man walks to the pasture’s electric fence and gingerly steps over it. The equine creature is now recognizable as a mule. The animal sees the man and begins to walk towards him eagerly, evidently mistaking the man for a familiar human.]

[The mule realizes that the man in fact is an odd-smelling stranger. The creature bolts into the trees bordering the pasture and finds his concealed horse buddy; they peer out from behind blooming fall goldenrods.]

The director shouts “Cut!” The man in the white cap approaches him and says, “How was that?”

“Larry, I think we got the scene; we’ll upload it to the studio server tonight so the editors can get to work on it.”

“You gonna need me any more?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking. We have the meth-lab raid scene coming up. I’m thinking you might be good as the master cook! Makeup will fit you out with a scraggly wig, and if you don’t shave for a few days you’d be right for the part. How are you at acting strung-out and paranoid?”

I narrowed my eyes, glanced shiftily left and right, and said in a strained low voice, “Did you hear something out there?”

The director laughed, and said, “That’d be perfect! You must have had some practice!”

“Well, yeah, back when I lived down in Hannibal — yep, I’ve had practice!”

The director called out to a couple of men in coveralls: “Let’s get that mule and the horse loaded up and get them back to their barn, okay?”

One of the men said, “You got it, man!” One of the men climbed into a pickup truck and began to back a horse trailer into the pasture.

I said to the director, “Well, Wilfred, I need to finish up my route. You have my number!”

“See ya, bud.”

I got back in the red car and proceeded on down the road.

A note to readers: when I signed my blogging contract lo those many years ago I first made sure there wasn’t a verisimilitude clause in it!




Filed under Photos, Quincy, Stories

6 responses to “Mule On Location

  1. Joan

    It’s difficult with “truthiness”
    In fiction or in prose
    To know what is the truth
    And what’s ‘embellished’. No one knows.

    Is this guy drawing on his life
    Or lives of other folks?
    Don’t try to check it out.
    You’ll be the butt of many jokes.

    “Oh don’t be so ridiculous!
    Of course he’s fabulizing.
    Though his knowledge of his subject
    I’ll admit is quite surprising”

    The line between fiction and truth
    Has gotten rather fuzzy.
    Is this guy where he said he was?
    He wasn’t really was he?

    Oh well. Without a private eye
    We’ll never really know.
    So when it comes to truthiness
    Sit back. Enjoy the show.

    At least we see he saw that mule.
    Or was it just a donkey?
    My knowledge of the horsy sort
    Is really really pretty wonky.

    But that part’s true. Enjoy the view
    Don’t sit around and brood
    And strain your brain in thinking of

  2. One of your best, Joan!

  3. Actually I’m an illegal immigrant from Mexico surreptitiously tapping into a fiber trunk line from a low-rent and violent barrio in El Paso. I write for several blogs — some of them might be among your favorites!

    Things aren’t always as they seem…

  4. Joan

    I must admit, it’s hard to tell;
    The lines are somewhat blurry.
    Was this guy really cooking meth
    Or cooking up a story?

  5. Joan

    Oh oh..clean up on line 3 poem 1. That should say “To know what is the truth” I sent out my rough draft with too much roughage.

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