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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1440671-Was-It-a-Day-at-the-Beach
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Melodrama · #1440671
Or, Let Me Oughta This Car?


He did testing of horrific stains, like crushed fresh cherries, grape juice spills and forty weight oil droplets at fair booths, carnival soap boxes and fiestas. He figured grass stains and mud to be too easy for a wonder product. He found time for showing off his miraculous products at church functions, trade conventions, on cruise line ships, aboard gambling boats, in arenas and stadiums. Once he enlisted a cargo ship among his clientele, propositioning and enlisting the ship’s captain as one of his customer, he brought a bevy of buying power.

If word of mouth didn’t do it, it was the added conversation of individuals acting as wholesalers for the catalog pushers. Lead to saturation of outlets for acquiring the products. It appears he saved his best work for the many private parties, our traveling troupe were invited too. In parking lots, impromptu demonstrations of a handful of mud tossed onto windshield, smear it off with a rag. Couple squirts of liquid glass cleaner and a clean rag wiped in circles. The windshield became squeaky clean. Slide forefinger over glass.


The catalog, built up over the last forty years contained nice selection of colognes, perfumes, skin soaps, skin moisturizers and lotions. Hair greases, shampoos, conditioners, unbreakable combs and the older guy could grab a platform from a falterer, or he could create, and elevate, his own stage; on which he conducts demonstrations of the revolutionary liquid bleach, or the fresh scented pine cleanser. Tooth picks, hairnets, tins mints, lighters, leathers, cigars and rare animal skins. Or he’d enter a kitchen of a diner at which they’d just shared a meal and challenge the dish washer with a few drops of this freshly formulated dish soap.

Coffee, several slices of pie and a lemon water or two later he’d check back and find an astonished dish washer, sink still filled with suds, trying frantically to finish off the spirit of the bubbly dishwater. I can wash plates and glasses in this but for pots and pans, I’m usually adding detergent every fifteen to twenty minutes. This stuff, it, it goes forever. Front seat passenger debating with driver about business associate they just met with. Drove round and round, up and down these dusty roads of Texas, meeting, greeting, visiting, taking time informing, wooing, convincing, persuading and enticing.

Trio toted this catalog up mountains, around lakes, through swamps, into uncharted forests, across vast deserts, down to the beaches, over to the islands and back to the city, maneuvering connections for all who joined. In a rough-n-tumble world we learn to appreciate few shared stories of its storied past, stories located next to creeks just outside of cities. Takes place on sand dunes where victors sat and sipped beer after the violent clashes ended. He taught them all he knew in those two years.


Ghost town half buried in dunes, sand piled window sill high upon dry rotting graying boards. He sat in backseat and brooded. You don’t need to be funnier, nor smarter than the next man to get a business card with a street address. Though you do need to be alert and on it to find the exact building in its section of the commercial district. Among these huge men and tall lanky women, the driver, the most resourceful of trio by far, seems perpetually behind steering wheel spurring his troops ever onward.

The scratch-n-claw guy had spirit of a conqueror, real rags to riches talent come to shuttle everyone to thirty percent plateau. I’ll have a glass of milk, a bowl of oatmeal and two orders of toast. Museums and historical sites help cut the day to day drudgery of business. This monotony of adrenaline rushing peaks of sales and those heart shattering lows of rejection in this hawking of goods.

Our financial health was as solid as our physical health, but we slowed after a plethora of awe inspiring church visits. We inspect rather personally, merry festivals to partake of, and infinite store to patronize, in hopes of sharing the catalog’s revolutionary products. But, b-b-but everybody does it, and it don’t mean much ‘cause if everybody does it then it’s the same as if nobody does it.


But I want to drive. Myrtle and… They all suffered there. Do you want me to ever drive again? In the morning, man, wait ‘til morning. Yes, but not now. His large wooden crate arrived Monday. Yet I’m prepared to end my driving over your refusal to release the wheel to me on schedule. I know your claims of adamance. And yet you still test my resolve? Something …One must at times push their limits.

Breathed deeply… One must’nt push them too far, eh? It’s in cage still… I’m not tired… Breathed heavily, bated breath darkening the air…

He says groggily. Fiery, impatient, impatience… I’ve got at least another two hours in me. I’ll be fine to drive, pull over. You’re sure you’re mentally prepared. I’m in the zone again. Kindlings of uncertainty, is nervously. You’re zonin’? He thought there was an error, that this… I’m in control and we’re on our way.

On our way where? The mistake, when he pulled in. Don’t test me, the next stop on our well spelled out itinerary, why? In his driveway there across the street, a wooden crate. Did you clean your room? What? What do you mean what? Headlights pierce the darkness. Drop can of soda. And on the other side of that darkness, there is ample more dark. Elbow.


The old habits, his grind reminds me of how ones habits, ones deeply traits emerge, at orientation, he wonders how he ever hired on. Out there cracking jokes and living it up on the road.


Mingling business with a sightseeing tour, we’re coming live from the arid wandering caravan. Those days were lovely indeed. We rode the crest of the economy on the back of niche, modern enough to command attention, yet time tested enough to hold its own in the market place. A sufficient basis for it; it was after I believe. Was it when we were exiting the Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas desert?

Were we on our way through the mountain forests of Georgia, heading down to those lush swamps of Florida. I began to get an odd feel, as if someone was looking at us, and at the girls who keep us on our toes. Who’s to be a bit too mentally alert at times. The Miami run made the hair on the back of my neck rise up, but I remember the knot and it’s all good. Remember the way it was, returning to Atlanta in style and grace.



i was in
The car then,
The whole time.

The peninsula was nice, but those Miami runs took up the lives of the car. Having run her some two hundred thousand miles or so beyond her safety limit slash warranty, a decompressed engine forced us to splurge. We went out and got a Stutz Bearcat. Up to level of fixed in memory. According to my files he took to remembering the longer convertible best, the two-seater held out for a lot of miles. She was still running long after passenger side foot rail snapped, had to be welded back on.



I for-forgot, I must be getting tired, my bad. You got another hour in you? Good, then the convertible rolled on endlessly, with the trunk always full of goods to be moved. He wrote so many letters home that year, when he wasn’t traversing roads or working that stick shift in search of the next fertile area. Forgive him a little.


I don’t care what you say, those tires didn’t possess the greatest of traction, but they did the trick. By always remaining accelerator, and acute to slightest degrees of rotation of steering wheel perched at the top of her epicly long steering column. Georgia down by Macon we frequently rounded Warner Robins, Hawkinsville, Abbeville, Rochelle, Cordele up to Vienna. Pain, crying, change as knee jerk reaction to…? She took the open road on the way over to Americus, Andersonville, Oglethorpe, Montezuma then in to Henderson. Perry, Fort Valley on to Byron, Knoxville, Butler, Rupert, Ellaville on back to Americus and the circuit once again.


Davis wanted to purchase a Monet with the proceeds from the first leg of the tour, he said it would one day appreciate; some of us frowned upon this idea. He was real off, impractical like that sometimes. The one we gave money too, dainty little thing. This exceedingly willowy olive complexion brought about a certain disdain amongst his friends.

as far as I could
Ascertain, it was
Another mundane
Day of sheer monotony;
One of these same ole
Same ole Mondays
Somebody once told
Me about, but I
Couldn’t say so with
Any certainty.

Collection of smell goods, and most every other chemical solution came direct from us. Close cropped end stopped, a cross country run-on, sentenced to enjambment. On our way back north in Florida, is when the final transport vehicle is acquired. Just south of Ft. Pierce, I believe it was. We were making good time through Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Hobie Sound, Port Salerno and were barely outside of Stuart, and suddenly the car gave up the mechanical ghost of the automaton.


He we are reaching out to towns, all at edge of swamp preserve; all these stores and boutiques in a totally new light… The guy’s car was broken down by the side of the road, hood up and we felt we had to pull over and offer a hand. It turns out this guy Stannard owned a store. Owned a store? Was a heavy weight affiliated with major association state wide and he liked what we were offering.

Figuring even the isolated deserve chance at the tools and necessities available to modern man, and the car began to lose speed and sputter toward eternal silence. It was more than weird, it borderlined on scary. I do believe change to be a variable, rather important input device, known for accurately measuring a young person’s stress levels on way as they go through various traumas to reach what grown-ups are known to refer to as adulthood. I mean here we stood listening to the jungle, slithering things rustling luscious green long leaves. Creeping creatures ruffling differently yet still audibly, singin bird all chirping shrilly and croaking dissonantly and creeping eerily; they share the fresh, moist, oxygen rich air with us on these roads of gravel. Mud and concrete mostly, though these creatures of the wild too, may even represent a new type of commodity.

You said subsequent bump in net profit, savings; what are you referring to? This is your general store? Last I checked. I have our corporation’s catalog, I would like to let you browse a moment… We’re in the Midwest, now we scour small town. We get over thirteen mile per gallon, you figure the tank hold ten, add the two five gallon spares we cart with us, and that’s well over two hundred miles and still within our safety range. So does it ever break down, or run out of fuel? This one has yet to break down and the boss has this thing about walking; he’s dead set against it. So, thus far it’s proved very reliable? She gets us there and then some usually.

Will his forethought be obvious? I’m still dreaming, of that Texas millionaire who moved home to make westerns, in the hills out back of his home. I was impressed by his company’s last film. You remember-the-kid with the fluffy curls, monogrammed everything. Wore a tailor fitted suit and dress shoes near daily? I read about him in a few news magazines now and again, I hear the industry’s been treating him real well these days. Tie tied, grab up jacket and suitcase, the briefcase is still in trunk from last night, is loading up car. The men pile in for this leg of ride. Felt good for evening last, we stayed in a Momma’s Boarding House we located.

Maybe its proprietor can help point us in the right direction. Next door to it is a laundry and on other side of the street was a pharmacy; did you have to take the whole block? Drive one late night, light drizzle and it’s getting on ‘til dusk and I figure I could use a bite to eat. So I stopped at a diner on an exit off I-5. Somewhere up in northern California. Another six minutes to go the two hundred feet, and pull in the parking lot of the lit up Aunt Emma’s Grill neon sign. A stop at diner for breakfast seeing gas it is six in the morning. Is anybody up for a cup of coffee? Yeah guy, I could go for some. Aye captain, more java for me. Zoomed up the off ramp ever slowing, after twenty two minutes I took a right.

I’d learned to fix a flat, learned to unscrew and replace blown headlight bulbs but I’d yet to learn how one went about successfully changing an adamant person’s mind; he had it down pat.

With its smaller, more compact radiator mounted just above the silver crank handle, she looks much like a futuristic relic, ready to hit the road roaring. Humming miles away smoothly, trouble with locals at ice cream parlor; it seems some young girls take offense to my buddy’s rather elicit propositions.

His timidity may have had something to do with the implicit level of controversy, within the subject he’s currently addressing. I couldn’t even go to post office. All it was, a raggedy research paper and an already read newspaper, they are thinking it is stolen bonds from the bank up the block. It was all a huge misunderstanding. One wants eggs sunny side up, four strips bacon, two slices of toast and a glass of milk.

He has a crazy resume, it contains some insane trends. He claims he hasn’t worked a bit lately, yet he got motivated enough to see what he did not see at first. That’s why it was a ghost town yesterday. The happily married one drives, he’s out boosting percentages and showing new guys the ropes. Often his scratch-n-claw approach paid off, he’d ease his way around to big savings and potential added discounts. He’d then move on to his theory of bulk buying, mixed with ideas about proper stocking and management of surplus.
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