I was minding my own business when Murphy paid me a visit. Murphy runs this neck of the woods and is renown for looking down his nose at what he refers to as us “lowlifes”. He thinks he’s a swank lawman because he totes a badge, straw hat, long arm, and a vendetta. Sure, he can track down a flea on a hound dog when he sets his mind to but the trouble is he runs these parts like an seven year old freckled boy on summer vacation.
“Thought you were gonna git away, did ya? You filthy good fer nothing yellow-bellied worm! You got the right to remain silent!” grinned toothless Murphy.
“What’s my crime?” I wondered.
“What’s…your…motive?” (His squint frightened me.)
“M…m….motive? I was shuffling along in life’s garden when…”
“Aha! A grazer! Tape off the crime scene boys! Guilty as charged!” Murphy spouted.
“Guilty?” (I was bewildered.)
“We got a confession!” Murphy swaggered with pride. “So you thought the grass was greener on the other side, eh?”
“I’m innocent!” I pleaded.
“Liar, liar, pants on fire!” Murphy quipped.
“I’m telling the truth.” I stammered.
“I know you are but what am I?” spouted Murphy.
(Murphy was so immature. I think his badge came from a cereal box.)
“Enjoy Life in the slammer!” Snarled Sheriff Murphy.
CLANKETY CLANK CLANK (The door was a jar) KERR THUMP! I landed hard against the dark, dank, cold, lifeless walls of the cell.
“Take that ya slimy worm!” Food rations rained on my head.
The Sheriff was right. I felt lowlier than the lowliest thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Hammering resounded overhead when suddenly my black cell refracted into streams of light glistening against the metal roof. Murphy’s sinister laugh echoed off the walls of my prison.
But I knew something Murphy didn’t so I laughed fear in the face! Years of marriage (and therapy) had branded me in bravery.
“Be a manly man!” Dripped my lovely wife throughout our blissful marriage. “One thing a man is not, is AFRAID!”
… Late for dinner,
…A man never shivers when he’s cold.
…Never questions, “You wearing that?”
…He never gives his woman’s love handles nicknames like “Bert and Ernie”.
…Nor does he console his wife saying, “Honey, I barely notice your mustache.”
You see, I was prepared for whatever Murphy’s Law would throw at me today. (Alright, maybe I quivered a wee bit.)
“Lord, please give me a sign.” I prayed as never before.
That’s when I saw it, the writing on the wall. “N.O.S.A.M.” (What did it mean?)
I spelled it backwards, “M.A.S.O.N.”, and forwards, “N.O.S.A.M.”. (I was clueless.)
“Lord, please speak to me!” I trembled.
“MA-SON…” Said a still small voice.
“MA-SON…” It called again.
(My knees knocked to the beat of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.)
“My Son…(it said a third time)…BE A MANLY MAN!”
“Lord? Honey? Is that you?”
“Naw! It’s me. You in fer life?” Boomed the voice of my cellmate I had not seen until now.
“EEK!” (I squealed like a sissy on a slip-n-slide.)
With legs a wobbling (making Gumby look arthritic) I crossed the cell finding him nestled in a dark corner.
“I was minding my own business when the Sheriff picked me up.” I told him.
“Everyone’s innocent here ya know.” His voice grew hoarse as he leaned to whisper. “Watch yer words here. You’re being watched at all times. Ears and eyes all around you. You’ll git use to living in a glass house befer long.”
I could feel their eyes. I whimpered, (only slightly) turning to my cellmate who lay wrapped in a thin woven fabric against his twig of a bed.
“You innocent too?”
(That’s all he said.)
“What do you think of this Murphy guy?” I asked in hushed tones. He didn’t respond. I checked his vitals. Was he catatonic or dead?
(DEAD! I’LL BE TRIED FOR MURDER! )
Right then I heard somebody coming. It was the toothless sheriff…and his mother?
“Murphy, is that my Mason jar? Stop haulin’ off with my canning jars!”
“Aw ma! I needed something to put the critters in. Look, I caught two caterpillars.”
(She pressed against the glass, staring at me !)
“What do ya know, one’s cocooning and the other is… quivering?” She grinned.
“When they turn into butterflies can I take them to show-n-tell?
“Thanks ma! Afterwards I’m gonna rip their wings off!” Declared Sheriff Murphy.
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