© 2010 Raymond Alexander Kukkee
He is a little man, small in stature, not much over 5 feet tall, and as disturbingly bald as men can get —at least genetically. His shoulder is drooped from a lifetime of carrying heavy mail bags and big parcels, and his skipping limp is a left-over from being bitten by a dog half way down his Hwy. 13 West route.
The overzealous Boxer mangled Grimsby’s leg, breaking the bone like a stick and tearing the side of the calf off with no effort at all. That was in the summer of ‘73.
In typical Grimsby fashion, he doesn’t blame the dog.
“Wearing shorts wasn’t a good idea; that poor dog must have been insulted seeing these white skinny legs” he told everyone, “ hairy, too, but it was a nice sunny day.”
It was a good thing Patty Winchester was driving out to her place, she was going home for lunch. She saw the attack, screamed to a halt, and jumped out of the truck in one hell of a hurry. She saved the man’s life by grabbing her boy’s baseball bat from the front seat on the way, jamming it straight down the dog’s gaping throat as he attacked her, then ran him off, flailing at him savagely with the ash baseball bat.
“ –Not at Grimsby, —the dog” the way she tells it, winking. Good thing she didn’t have her namesake lever-action 30-30 in the truck, too, she insists, “otherwise that pooch would have been ‘fed lead ‘ ” as she puts it.
“I don’t like killing things,” she says, smouldering, “but there comes a time…” She always looks away when she says things like “I don’t like killing things” or “there oughta’ be a law”, —stuff like that.
“Nobody messes with Patty Winchester-G. ”Grimsby says, smilingly as he cleans his glasses, “My wife is the toughest girl in town…she risked her life, drove off the dog, ripped off her nylon stocking, put a tourniquet on my leg and hauled me to the hospital too. She got blood and shredded Grimsby-bits all over the white sheepskin cover on the seat of her nice old ‘57 Ford pickup as thanks in return. It was quite a mess – took a lot of cleaning up, that’s why I married her.”
“Quit your complaining” she says, laughing.
“No time for an ambulance, him bleeding so bad and all, so I threw him in the truck, it was only a mile or so anyway” she said.
She married Grimsby the mailman three months later, defects and all. The six-foot blonde all but carried him down the aisle, short, bald, and mutilated leg complete with cast.
“ After she saved my life, saw me patched up and happy, she went back and rescued my mail bag from the dog and delivered the mail too” he says. “Only a good woman does that.”
“Man’s more than a leg or two” she says quickly. “Man’s gotta have other good traits, and a soul too”. She laughs and turns red when she says that. She’s always been kind of shy. We got used to her turning away while we’re talking to her. She doesn’t like her picture taken either, not even on special occasions, like being on the front page of the newspaper as a hero, or getting married to a short, shiny-bald man wearing a big cast. Grimsby & Winchester sure hit the news that time.
“Full service girl” she calls herself. “I’ll do anything for Grimsby except clean his store-bought choppers, I won’t do that, not for the love of God, he’s got to do something on his own” she says. She puts up two crossed fingers with that “get back, you old devil” sign and laughs. His eyes shine with amusement when she says that.
“My full service girl” he says, snapping his choppers at us. We laugh and feign fear, backing away. It’s a standing joke at Bilger’s Feed and Seed Emporium out on the highway on sleepy Saturday afternoons when business is kind of slow.
“–And don’t you forget it, boys.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Grimsby, sir”. We nod and chuckle and hang around the coffee-pot.
“Want the usual bag of chicken-feed, Mr. Grimsby, Sir?” the Saturday kid asks.
“They didn’t turn into ducks yet ” he replies, nonchalantly. His eyes twinkle.
Is that Incoming I hear?
tags #short stories #Grimsby&Winchester, Boxer, mailman