A public service announcement and a New Year's Eve post...
Disclaimer: Hank told their story to Annie Proulx. Jack and Ennis are all hers. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. Rating: G $$: Nope.
Links to all previous posts are here:
Hank would like to take a moment to make a public service announcement. So... to borrow from Bette Davis:
it's gonna be a very trumpy new year...
Best of luck to us all
and to this here planet we live on...
"Watcha doin', Hank...?"
"Workin' on a New Year's post..."
"Lessee... Watcha got here...? Yikes."
"You said it."
"Ya know... if'n yer wantin' a big ol' missile' ta ride... I think I can help ya out with tha'."
"Mr. Edward Smith-Jones-fer-real-'n-fer-legal-like jus' cracked a sex joke...? Now I know fer sure this here world's endin'."
"Weren't no joke."
"'Fraid I'm gonna hafta take a raincheck 'til later tonight... I wanna finish this here post on accounta no doubt I won't be in no shape ta do it tomorrow... 'N then ya may have fergotten... but we got us some friends comin' over ta help us ring in this here New Year's Eve of Destruction... 'N we still got some stuff ta do ta get ready fer it..."
"Mr. Henry Smith-Jones-fer-real-'n-fer-legal-like jus' passed up the offer a sex...? Now I know fer damn sure this here world's endin'."
"You jus' figure ev'ry time I look at ya tonight I'm gonna be thinkin' 'bout what I'm gonna do ta ya later on..."
"Yeah. Sure. Betcha makin' breakfast tomorrow mornin' yer gonna be too drunk 'n too tired ta follow through on all tha' thinkin' yer gonna be doin'. 'N no doubt we'll have them too-drunk-ta-drive friends a ours sleepin' here 'n there throughout this here house after this here get together... so's it's gonna hafta be breakfast fer more'n jus' the two of us tha' yer gonna hafta make."
"It's a bet... 'N I just wantcha ta know... I'm gonna enjoy ev'ry single bite a tha' breakfast yer gonna cook fer me... 'n fer whoever else is still around..."
"Ain't gonna happen."
"'N... even though it's been a righ' sad 'n real bad year... 'n not only because of tha' despicable human bein'... 'n I use the word human loosely... bein' elected president... we still gotta ring this here New Year's in righ'... Seein' how it could be the world's last one 'n all..."
"Still kinda hard ta feel like partyin' at all this year."
"I know, Ed... But... no matter how rotten or sad things are... I feel like we still gotta party in honor of a whole lotta real amazin' folks who left us way before they shoulda... In fact... we gotta Party like it's 1999 even..."
"Sure has seemed like a whole lot of 'em. 'S damn sad."
"Sure were 'n sure is."
"This here's tha' Prince fella, ain't it...?"
"Yep. 'N he were only 57."
"But... his music'll live ferever... Jus' like Heath Ledger'll live forever 'n them movies he made. 'N Jack 'n Ennis'll live ferever 'n tha' movie too... Well... provided we can keep that evil, whack-job of a jackass from destroyin' this here world."
"Don't insult jackasses."
"Still damn sad."
"It sure as hell is. But... ya know wha' Prince... 'n all the rest of 'em... would say...?"
"Cain't say as I do."
"They'd say we should keep dancin' in the street..."
"Guess they would at tha'... But... Tha' Mick Jagger's still with us... Ain't he...?"
"Yep. It's David Bowie we lost. The man weren't even our age."
"We ain't 'xactly young, Hank."
"We ain't 'xactly real old, neither."
"Them two sure were havin' a good ol' time in this here video."
"They sure were. So's... You gonna dance with me tonight, Ed...?"
"Think my dance card's purty full up already."
"It is, huh...?"
"Yep. Full ta the brim. Migh' be able ta pencil ya in... But I cain't make no gaurantees."
"Well... I'd settle fer dancin' in the street... or in the barn... or in the shed... or even up on the roof... Not the roof a the shed though... We'd be like as not ta fall through..."
"Serious-like, Hank... Ya know I ain't comfortable at parties... much less dancin' in front a other folks. Only time I ever did it were at our gettin' hitched party."
"'N don't think I didn't appreciate tha'... 'cause I surely did"
"Name ain't Shirley."
"C'mon, Ed... It ain't like it's gonna be a big ol' party... Just a get together with a few of our friends..."
"Here... Next one's mine... Move yerself over... lemme see if'n I can find what I'm thinkin' of on this here Tube thing... Well... Lookit this... Damned if'n it ain't here... So's... I ain't sayin' I will fer sure... But... maybe I'll dance with ya... after I've done some a this..."
"Playin' the piano...? We don't even got a piano."
"So's... Ya need ta belly up ta the bar 'fore ya can dance with me...?"
"Yep. Like I said... I ain't comfortable dancin' in front a other folks..."
"Well they'll all be bellyin' up ta the bar theirselves... so's I'd betcha no one'll be payin' no attention to ya..."
"Fer sure not. Well... they won't be unless ya decide ta dance like Debbie Reynolds in this here video... Reminds me a that one brother a Bill's jumpin' up 'n down like crazy tryin' ta do the polka that one time... Remember...? If'n ya do tha' yer liable ta draw a crowd from near 'n far 'n all bets are off."
"Even the makin' breakfast bet...?"
"Make that all bets are off except fer that one."
"You gettin' worried yer gonna lose tha' bet..?"
"Well ya should be. 'N I like my eggs over medium. Not over easy. Not over hard. Over medium. Cain't speak fer ev'ryone else, so's ya may wanna start takin' orders later tonigh'... I'd write it all down if'n I were you."
"Ev'rybody's gonna get their eggs the way I decide ta make 'em."
"Lemme guess... Scrambled."
"Yep. Only kinda eggs I'm any good at makin'."
"Cain't argue with ya there. Scrambled it is."
"If you win."
"Scrambled it is."
"Well... we got the partyin' 'n the drinkin' 'n the dancin' covered... So's... ya know what's next...?"
"Figure yer gonna tell me soon 'nough."
"Tha'd be findin... Somebody ta love..."
"Lucky fer me I got that one covered."
"You got a late date with Bill...?"
"I got a late date with you, dumbass."
"I dunno, Ed... I'll see if'n I can pencil ya in. Gotta tell ya though... my sex card's purty full up."
"Cain't fit me in, huh...? Sounds like you migh' be losin' tha' bet 'n makin' breakfast fer a crowd after all."
"Uh oh... Wait a sec... lemme grab a pen here 'n make it more official-like... I'll cross out someone else 'n put ya in... Mr. Edward Smith-Jones-fer-real-'n-fer-legal-like..."
"That's more like it. Now... how 'bout you jus' cross out all them other names ya got penciled or penned in... 'n put mine in their places."
"You got it Ed. Lemme jus' make a note of it... 'S gonna be all Ed all night. But... just so's ya know... Ralph's gonna be real disappointed-like... 'N I know tha' Fred's been lookin' forward to it all year... Same with Mervyn... 'n... "
"Hey... Ya know what I jus' realized...?"
"Nope. But I'm 'fraid yer gonna tell me."
"Thing is... I were sittin' here tryin' ta figure out just how ta say goodbye in a post ta all them folks who died this year... But... seems like we purty much jus' did... So's now alls I gotta do is write it all down... 'N tha' won't take long... So's maybe I can do it tomorrow... or the next day... 'N... Ya know wha' that means..."
"Lemme guess... Now we gotta go finish up gettin' ready fer tonight..."
"Nope. Think we'll still have plenty a time ta do that a l'il later."
"Ya don't say...?"
"I do say."
"Well... then ya wanna...?"
"I sure do. Ya think ya can find me somebody ta love, Ed...?"
"Just... hold on one more second... Gotta put on another song..."
"What's wrong with this one...? It ain't country a course... But still... I like this one."
"Yeah. Me too. George Michael sang his heart out honorin' Freddy Mercury after he died way too early way back when... 'N now George Michael is gone too. But we lost one more musician this year... that I know of anyways... 'N... I jus' wantcha ta know, Ed... No matter wha' kinda hell's breakin' loose in this here world... Jus' bein' with you always gives me a peaceful, easy feelin'..."
"You gen'rally got the opposite affect on me."
"Who's tha' singin'...?"
"That's Glen Frey of the Eagles... He's the other musician we lost this year."
"That's too bad. Too bad 'bout all of 'em... Jeez."
"Sure is. But ya know... they'd love tha' folks are still singin' their songs... 'N I sure do... 'like the way yer sparklin' earrings laaay... 'gainst yer skin so brown... 'N I wanna sleep with you in the desert toniiight... With a billion stars all arooound'..."
"Sorry, Hank... Took my earrin's off earlier. Them sparklin' ones irritate them horses ta no end."
"Too bad. Think I can still manage without 'em though."
"'N I'd prefer tha' there bed over there ta the desert... if'n ya don't mind 'n all... Besides... S' still too early fer them stars anyways."
"Don't mind one bit."
"Well then... how 'bout ya come on over here...?"
"Ya don't hafta ask twice."
"Think I already did. If'n ya think about it..."
"Damn, Hank... Now that's how ya ring in a new year... even if'n we're a l'il early-like...
"Sure as hell is. You got me hearin' bells 'n seein' stars."
"'S dark now... So's them are real stars out there. Them bells are all in yer head though."
"Good ta know. Wonder if'n I should be concerned 'bout tha'..."
"So's... Guess tha' there bet is off..."
"No way, Ed. A bet's a bet. This here were justa bonus."
"No buts. It's a bet. 'N how many times have you told me a bet's a bet...? I'll answer tha' fer ya... A helluva lotta times."
"Damn. Think I better take me a nap."
"Too bad it's time we got ourselves up ta finish gettin' ready..."
"Jus' give me 15 minutes. Or maybe twenty."
"Okay, okay... I'll give ya an hour even... I'll take care of most of it m'self... But then it's gonna be time fer you ta start... puttin' on the ritz...."
"Tha' man sure could make me laugh."
"Ya know... I don't got no 'ritz' ta put on... 'N even if'n I did... I wouldn'."
"That's okay... I'll put on 'nough ritz fer both of us. Jus' gotta find my loudest shirt... 'N my newest blue jeans... 'N my best boots..."
"Don't ferget yer biggest, shiniest belt buckle..."
"Tha' video reminds me... You ain't gonna sing tonight... Are ya...? Don't want our friends leavin' 'fore they even get here, do ya...?"
"C'mon, Ed... I ain't so's bad as Frankenstein's monster."
"That's Fraunkensteen. 'N I'd say you ain't no better neither."
"Guess I can live with tha'."
"Awful hard on other folks though."
Later that night...
"Yaaaawn... Good party, Hank. Think ev'rybody had a good ol' time."
"So's... How 'bout you...? Didya have a good time, Ed...?"
"Yeah. I did."
"You sound s'prised."
"'N... I gotta admit... I liked tha' shirt ya gave me too."
"Stop soundin' so surprised."
"Kinda hard ta stop soundin' surprised when I am surprised."
"But... Think I'm gonna hafta forfeit tha' bet... So's you win... I'm jus' too tuckered out..."
"Musta been all tha' dancin'."
"Don't remind me."
"Ya know... I think I may got a way ta revive ya, Ed..."
"I doubt it."
"Well... how 'bout we giver 'er a try... same song ya liked earlier... only from the fella who sang it original-like... Freddy Mercury... Here..."
"Yer gonna wake ev'ryone up."
"No, I ain't. They're mostly upstairs. 'N all of 'em are sleepin' like logs with half of 'em sawin' 'em like ya wouldn' believe too. Jus' checked on 'em all 'fore I came ta bed."
"Well... 'fraid I'm too tired ta even find ya somebody... Much less do it m'self."
"Don't ever wan' no one but you, Ed... 'N... jus' gimme a couple a minutes... 'N I bet I can convince ya..."
"Okay... I'll re-bet ya makin' breakfast thatcha cain't convince me... Ya got yerself two minutes ta get me int'rested... Startin' now... 'N if'n ya don't convince me by then... then yer gonna roll yerself over 'n lemme go ta sleep."
"Hey, Ed...? You asleep yet...?"
"Wouldya do me a favor tomorrow mornin'...?"
"Not askin' much... It's jus' that I'd like ya ta... Wake me up before ya go-go... 'cause I wanna enjoy watchin' ya cook breakfast solo..."
"Go ta sleep, dumbass."
"How 'bout if I make the coffee..."
"Okay. I'll wake ya up."
"Thanks, Ed. ...'Ya always 'put the the boom-boom inta my heart... 'n ya send my soul sky high when yer' cookin' starts'..."
"You ever gonna lemme go-go ta sleep...?"
"Yep. But I'm a l'il cold-like... So's... as soon as ya... 'cuddle up, Ed, 'n move in tight... Then I'll let ya sleep through the whole damn night..."
"Here... How's this...?"
"Love yer dumb ass, Hank."
"Love yer dumb ass too, Ed."
Hank would like to add one more wish
for the new year...
May the force be with us all.
'Cause we're sure as hell gonna need it.