Monday, March 05, 2007

At the Ranch

Dust left a chalky taste in my mouth as the dry winds teased my face with light warmth. Hudson and I had spent a portion of the morning walking to the ranch. The store owner was kind enough to contact the Boss of the ranch to let him know we were on the way. The people of Salinas V didn’t seem particularity mean or particularly nice. They just seemed like people. Anyone we encountered seemed wary of us, but many nodded hello or said good morning nonetheless.

“Now remember,” I said to Hudson. “Let me do the talking. We don’t need to get into any trouble like we did on Wiid.”

“I didn’t do nuthin,’” Hudson protested.

“Really?” I snorted. “Those locals weren’t too happy about us being there. You can’t go around groping all the women you see. People think you’re some kind of perv.”

“Oh yeah? Name one.”

“Commander Oneida, Vampirella, Erifia Appoc, Dr. Beverly Crusher, Wonder Woman, Storm…”

“Huh,” Hudson said noncommittally.

“Jan the Intergalactic Aviator, Princess Leia, the Bionic Woman, Magdelena…”

“Alright, alright I get it Jon,” he sighed. “Maybe I’ll just shut my big stupid mouth.”

“Look Hudson,” I replied. “I’m just trying to keep us out of trouble. This is going to be tough work, we’re gonna bust a gut here, but in a few days we’ll have enough cash to get that part and get off the planet.”

“I get it, Jon,” Hudson said. “I’ll just shut up and do my work. I won’t touch anyone or anything. Is that OK?”

I almost started to feel bad for the guy. Almost. I know what he’s capable of even when he’s not trying to get into trouble.

We were greeted by the Boss, who seemed a bit upset at the fact that we took so long to get there, but otherwise a decent enough fellow. I did get the impression, however, that once we met him we would no longer see him. He took us to the bunk house to meet some of the other workers at the ranch.

“So, you guys aren’t from around here, are you,” Boss said while showing us the bunkhouse. “You sure you can handle a day out there in the fields?”

“Sure we can,” I answered. “Hudson here even grew up on a ranch.”

“Is that true?” Boss asked Hudson. Hudson opened his mouth to answer, then shut it and looked at me, then opened it again, then let out a long, inaudible “uh.”

“Oh yeah, born in raised in Texas, USA, Earth,” I answered. “Ever here of the place? They put their flag up everywhere they go.”

“No I haven’t,” he answered. He looked at Hudson again. “You sure you’re up to a hard day’s work here?”

Once again, Hudson almost answered and then looked at me. This time, he just smiled and nodded.”

“Why ain’t you speakin,’ son?” Boss looked at Hudson kind of sideways. “You dumb or something?”

“No I’m not!” the private blurted out. “Jon, tell ‘um I can speak.”

I leaned close to the ranch owner. “He’s a real good guy, but he ain’t all there,” I said while tapping the side of my head. “He got kicked in the head by a mule as a kid.”

“Really?” Boss asked. “You’re not just trying to swindle him out of his paycheck are you?”

“No he’s not!” Hudson blurted out again. “All my pay is tied up in stocks and mutual bonds. Tell ‘um, Jon”

“It’s true,” I shrugged.

Boss looked at us like he didn’t quite believe everything was on the up and up. Gears started turning in his mind on whether he wanted to push the subject to satisfy his own suspicions or if he really wanted to bother with these two clowns. After a few moments of silence, he shrugged and said “OK, whatever, boys. Let me introduce you to my mule team leader, Slim.”


Professor Xavier said...

If you need any more names for Hudson's list of offendees, I know that Kitty has been keeping a log from the parties at the school. It's three pages long.

Vegeta said...

My Wife.... my daughter.... Nightcrawler...

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

Watch out for guys named Slim. I knew a Slim once, he was 426 lbs and bald. Got sued for false advertising and was forced to change his name. Now he goes by Curly.

cooltopten said...

LOL Poor hudson , Not allowed to grope the chicks & Kicked in the head by a mule .:)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Sounds like we've got a couple of city slickers here.