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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

That’s What You Call an ‘Omen’, Folks

Not much time to chat today, kids, but I wanted to share this:

Last night, the wife and I arrived at the sleepy, tiny, middlish-of-nowhere airport near where my parents live.

We could have gotten a bit closer; their smallish city has its own airport that accepts puddle-jumpers, just like the one where we landed on our own puddle-jumper, around an hour away. But the added ‘convenience’ would have cost an arm and a gonad, apparently, so we decided to get close, and hoof it the rest of the way.

(Where ‘hoof it’ means ‘rent a car’, of course. My folks live in a near-Midwestern crap-ass sort of state, but it’s not fricking Montana — don’t think that we had to rent actual horses to ‘hoof it’ to their place.

No. It’s not that kind of state. When you talk about someone’s ‘back forty’ around here, you’re not talking about acreage. Nuh-unh.)

So, we’d called ahead to rent a car. And, after a bit of confusion collecting our bags and getting a ‘courtesy van’ ride to the Enterprise rental hut, we sat down to consumate the deal. And that’s when the ‘trouble’ set in.

See, we came to this place — as all upstanding, solid citizens do — from the northeast.

(Oh, I kid. I’m kidding. Don’t get your undies in a bunch, there, Southeasters and Northcentrals and Farwesters. I’m just screwing around.

Besides, I know plenty of people from the Northeast who aren’t ‘upstanding’ at all. Hell, on a good night, I have a lot of trouble standing up myself. Don’t take it personally.)

Anyway, the point is, we came from Boston, and had no trouble getting in. Meanwhile, though, snow and ice and sleet (oh, my!) were blanketing the area to the west of our position, which apparently kept many renters from returning their cars. Or kept folks from other Enterprise offices from delivering cars to meet the demand — I never really quite heard which it was. Or I heard, and ignored it because I don’t really give a damn. Eight of one, half dozen the other. Whatever.

The result, though, was that this particular office simply didn’t have the hardware on hand to meet our order for a ‘compact car’, as requested. But the fine folks at Enterprise aren’t in the business of pissing customers off — at least, they say they’re not in the business, and I can’t imagine they could make a lot of cash that way — and so they offered us, to appease our weary souls, an ‘upgrade’. Apparently, a ‘major upgrade’, even.

Well, needless to say, I was thrilled. We thought we were going in there for a Neon, or a Tercel, and we’d walk out with what? A Lexus? A Beemer? Dare I dream it, a Porsche, normally reserved for the upper-crust Enterprise patron?

(Hey, it could happen. Rich people got car needs, too, goddammit. I can dream.)

As it happened, it was none of these things. No, and I should have known better, realizing exactly where we were. Sleepy town. Crappy state. Rural areas all around. Maybe you can see this coming, far better than my airline-worn, ass-dragging brain could last night.

Yes, folks, you got it — our receipt says ‘compact car’, but the title on the vehicle we left with says anything but. We drove away from the Enterprise stand in a near-new, seventeen-ton, nine-foot-tall Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Yes, dammit. Pickup. Truck. And it’s ‘Ram tough’. Ooh. Aah. And my nightmare is complete. Somebody just fucking shoot me now.

So, that’s how my Christmas started. With mud flaps, a hemi, and space for a tackle box in the ‘quad cab’. I looked — hand to fucking god, I really did — for a gun rack on the thing. It wasn’t there, but I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least.

And now I’ve got a week to spend with this monstrosity, driving back and forth between two states to see family, in-laws, and assorted hangers-on. And at each stop, they’ll gawk and gape and ask themselves, ‘Dang… who’s that there in the kick-ass pickup? Santa’s done come through for sumbody this year!

And instead, it’ll be me. And they’ll laugh, and they’ll point, and I’ll shake my head sadly until they’re finally fricking over it. It’s already started, with my parents, and it’s only downhill from there.

(Which is okay, because the damned truck has four wheel drive. So downhill’s all right. And yes, I’ve already heard that one. Yippee, me. Guh.)

Anyway, that’s the scoop from day one here in Christmasville. I’ll catch up with you folks later. Right now, there are bags I need to unpack from the ‘Ram tough’-mobile. Don’t laugh, mother fuckers. That thing’s got a hemi. Whatever the hell that is. Later, dudes.

Permalink  |  4 Comments

4 Responses to “That’s What You Call an ‘Omen’, Folks”

  1. Carrie says:


    Reminds me of the National Lampoon Christmas movie for some reason…. lol

    Have a Very Merry Christmas! :-)

  2. #Debi says:

    YeeeeeeHaaaaaaawwwwww! Yeah, buddy, you’re gonna have a hell of a Christmas in that there thang! (Just wait ’til you have to fill ‘er up the first time. Talk about sticker shock!) Have a happy!

  3. shelley says:

    Merry hemi-Christmas, Charlie!

  4. Lois Lane says:

    Boy, you oughtta count yer blessin’s! Shoot, you know how many Jimmyjoes would kill their mamas for a ride in one of them there Dodges?

    It’s a shame it’s too late to mail packages for Christmas, ‘cuz I sure would like to send you a Nascar bumper sticker.

    Lois Lane

    P.S. I’m laughing with you. You are laughing right?!

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