“Ziggy had a bump?” I asked somewhat astonished. It was the first news I had received upon return from a winter in sunnier climes.
Other than that, nothing much had changed as I pulled up a chair at the debating table in the bakery in Drizzle Creek. Pickle was sucking on a cup of mint tea while the Runt was chowing down on a couple of cream-filled long-johns.
Moose, having spent half the day at the table, was just taking up space as he bragged of his skills as a wild turkey stalker in preparation for his annual trip to the Missouri Breaks.
“Yeah, here he comes now. He’ll fill you in on all the details,” Pickle stated as he nibbled on his cookie and Ziggy came striding towards the door, then stopped and retreated to the curb to stomp the mud and barnyard residue from his boots.
He is so well-trained in that regard, The Boss doesn’t even have to wait at the door and take a swing at him with the broom anymore to keep from tracking up the joint.
As Ziggy settled at the table, he let out a raucous bray and started his tale, “I tell you, I don’t think it was no bump!
“I was just getting’ some pain-killers fer my back and they insisted on takin’ my blood pressure. It was a little high, so they said come back in a week and they’d check ‘er again.
“So I come back, they checked it again, and said I needed an EKG,” snorted Ziggy, who was really into the swing of the tale now.
“An EKG? Is that like when they hook your truck up to the scope at the shop?” interrupted Pickle, who has to distill all information he receives into a comparison of his Ford pickup. It’s the only way he can properly relate.
“Yeah,” snorted Ziggy impatiently, “And after running a diagnostics on me, they said I was having a bump and needed to get to the hospital right away.
“I told ’em I would run right over, but they would have none of it,” he continued. “Slapped me in a wheelchair, scooted me next door, hooked me up to some plumbing, and pumped me full of drain cleaner.
“You mean, like your fuel injectors were plugged,” quizzed Pickle as he took another nibble of his cookie and held up his teapot for some more hot water (Pickle likes to squeeze every bit of goodness out of a teabag).
“I don’t know. I was feelin’ fine, but the Doc said my tracing were way off and I was sending out strange electrical impulses. So they got me on the air ambulance and flew me into the ’Peg for an angio,” explained Ziggy as he looked longingly at the second chocolate long-john the Runt had just started on.
“Electrical misfire! Maybe you just needed a new set of plug wires?” wondered Pickle as he nibbled cautiously to make sure his cookie lasted to the end of his tea.
“I don’t know. They couldn’t find a thing wrong,” snorted Ziggy, sucking up the last of his coffee.
“I’ll bet they had the firing order wrong. I think you Pine Stump models are wired different than us good Dutch engines,” offered Pickle.
“Whatever! They kept me in the hospital eight days. But the worst thing was nobody visited me the whole time,” Ziggy whimpered as a big tear formed in one eye, ran down his face, and plopped into his coffee cup.
“Well, I heard you died. Wasn’t much sense in visiting. And to think I wasted all that money on a new suit,” opined the Runt as he licked the last of the chocolate long-john off his fingers and looked jealously at the other half of Pickle’s cookie.
“Yeah, and now I’m on a diet,” whined Ziggy. “I gained 10 pounds in the hospital.”
Then, resistance crumbling, he brayed, “Say Val, I’ll have one of those long-johns.”
Squirrel Pie logo?