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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: Edna Schenkwitz Can't Drive ( There's no "P" in Pool)
By Kenny Blade


Everybody liked Carlos. He was the “leader” of our carpool association. Carlos wasn’t much of a leader mind you. Didn‘t matter. We weren‘t much of an association. He was elected “leader” because he was the only guy on the block with a Suburban. It seated seven, unless Big Willie happened to have gainful employment, which wasn’t often. Edna Schenkwitz had a Ford Explorer. She also had a schnauzer with a bladder control problem and a fondness for sleeping in the bench seat on long weekend drives to Edna’s mother’s.

I drove a Honda. That left me out of the driving rotation. Louis Dalton had been in our carpool for three years. The guy was hairier than a sheepdog. That in itself didn’t make him strange, although in the spring he did shed like a Orangutan undergoing chemo. Nobody liked Louis. Mostly because he creeped everyone out. He was a big, burly guy who had a distinct wheeze. Sounded like an accordion being played under water. In the time he had been riding with us, Louis never uttered a word. Edna said he was shy because he had endured ridicule as a child. I just figured he had a hair ball.

Arlene Ralston was the talker. Arlene “Rattles on” , as we called her behind her back, jabbered so much she could make a mime blow his brains out with an imaginary pistol. Current events. The snooty lady with the big behind at church. Brad and Jennifer breaking up. We heard about all of it. Whether we wanted to or not. Don’t get me wrong, Arlene was a very nice woman. She was just lonely. I think she was married to some guy named Bill back in the early eighties. Edna felt they grew apart because they had different interests. She was interested in making their marriage work. He was interested in Portia, the waitress at the Snack Shack.

That left the Lufton twins. Thirty-seven years old and still living with their mother. The Luftons were an odd brother and sister pair. He was 5’6” and had a voice that made Mike Tyson sound like Barry White. She was 6’3” and a had consistent rash that made her squirm in her seat the entire ride. Winter was bad for her. Summer was so terrible, it bordered on being apocalyptic in nature.

So there we were. One great big squirming, yapping, shedding, wheezing, happy family!
We were a dysfunctional little clan, but it was a forty-five minute drive to Engleton, so it wasn’t too much to ask for everyone to tolerate one another given the money we saved.

Everything was going quite well with the carpool. That was until the “incident”. It will forever be known as the “incident” primarily due to the heinous nature of the event. You see, Big Willie’s house was the last one on the block. His house was like a low budget Bronx zoo. No lions or tigers, but every stray cat and dog in the city of Gladstone wound up at Big Willie’s.

Willie loved all of his animals, but he had one favorite in particular. A cat named “Boots”. Boots was a one-eyed Siamese with a bobbed tail. He was also the only car chasing cat known to man. On the morning of the “incident”, Boots decided to race us to the end of the street. It was a straight shot. Unfortunately, Boots received information from someone that there was a left turn along the way. You guessed it. I won’t say we hit him square but two stamps would have mailed Boots anywhere in the continental U.S. after the accident. Carlos was driving. He was crushed. Not literally like Boots, mind you. Emotionally though, Carlos was devastated. No one wanted to tell Big Willie. Not even Arlene. Actually, it was the only time I’d ever seen Arlene quiet. Edna fainted. The twins were alternately screeching and scratching. Carlos was speaking uncontrollable Spanish. That left me and Louis.

Before I could say a word, Louis got out of the suburban. He cradled that poor lifeless cat in his arms and delivered it to Big Willie’s front door. Louis explained everything. He made Boot’s funeral arrangements right then and there. He even got Big Willie a new cat. One that didn’t chase cars.

Everybody still likes Carlos, but Louis is the “leader” of the carpool now. It’s easy to be in control when things are rosy. Louis did it when things got hairy.

No pun intended.

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This article has been read 868 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita Neuman02/06/06
Ha ha ha ha ha! Your title caught my eye, and your humour kept my attention all the way through. There were a few too many similes for my liking, but at least they were all original and funny. Great job!
janet rubin02/06/06
Okay. Not everyone will like this, but I sure did! Vote for Louis!
Shannon Redmon02/06/06
I think you need to be doing stand up comedy! Funny writing!
Sandra Petersen 02/07/06
I loved the humor in this, even the darker humor surrounding Boots near the end. Didn't quite understand the correlation between your title and your article, though, outside of the fact that this was a car pool and Edna was one of the characters.
Great character development. I could almost see the Suburban with its occupants going down the street. Thanks for giving me a chuckle this morning!
Angie Schulte02/07/06
Very cute.. Great visual picture of the folks in the carpool.. And you are so right, it is easy to be in control when things are going good! Nice job!
Birdie Courtright02/08/06
Very funny! I enjoyed everything about it. Wonderful characters!
Sharon Singley02/08/06
This story made me giggle out loud at work! Thanks for getting me in trouble. :) Loved it!
Chris Clement02/09/06
Really funny stuff. Great job!
Georgiana Daniels02/10/06
I can't stop laughing! And yet I feel so guilty, but then I don't. It's the best laugh I've had in a while. Thank you! My only comment is that I think a few commas were missing. But then, I've been known to be "comma-happy" a time or two.

Seriously, I have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard!
Suzanne R02/10/06
Fun! Loved your descriptions.
dub W02/11/06
I honestly have tears rolling down my face - I laughed all the way though this magnificent piece. I hope you publish this somewhere.
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/11/06
Haha! That was great. What a wonderful mix of character profiles.
david grant02/11/06
Laugh, laugh, laugh. Funny!
Your writing made me feel the elbows in the tight car, but the elbows jabbed me right in the funny bone.

Unfortunately the story was bit disjointed, but then again maybe that helped with the humor.

Ejoyed it!

Brandi Roberts02/12/06
Once again you rise to meet the mark! I LOVED this! You are always so good at mixing your wonderful sense of humor with a good solid message, and that in itself is a task not all writers can accomplish! WELL DONE!!
Linda Watson Owen02/12/06
LOL! Oh, yes, you should definitely be on stage! Funny!!!
Beth Muehlhausen02/13/06
What a clan!!! Fascinating profiles. Hmmmm, I actually want to meet these folks. Well, maybe not. :-)

Good storytelling, and too funny!!! LOL
Drew Scot02/16/06
Very good writing. I can almost see some of my own family in every character. (Is anybody else scared?)
Unlike most of your writing, but full of whimsy and verve.
Keep it up,Blade!