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My Kind Of Town
by Doug Hawley

A tall bearded man in a suit sighted the mayor of the small town, and greeted the man who could pass as his twin, except for his casual dress.

“Mayor Bachman, so nice to see you.  Great weather.”

“And it is good to see you, sir.”

“Since I’m thinking of moving here, I’d like to know just about everything about your town.  What about the crime rate?”

“That may have been overplayed a lot.  There was the guy that the sensationalist media called Mr. Audi for the car he drove, who intended to blow up our stadium with thousands of people in attendance.  He was stopped by a clever cop and his young friends.  After he was imprisoned, some say that he could hypnotize people, like an American Rasputin.  I never put much stock in the rumors though.  Oh, and then there were the killings by the Vet Cemetery revivals. ”

“Reanimated soldiers?”

“No, reanimated animals.  After we started cremating them we didn’t have any more problems.”

Before the mayor could continue, a driverless car that looked like a 1959 Cadillac pulled up to the curb and said “Hi mayor, how’s it hanging”.

“I’m afraid it’s been too much hanging and not enough pointing.  How are you doing Maybelline?”

The car said “I just keep on rocking in the free world.  Have a good day and don’t take any nickel meteors.”

The mayor turns back to his guest and says “That guy is such a hoot.  You wouldn’t believe that he was speeding, running red lights and running over an occasional pedestrian just a few months ago.”

“Cars talk here?”

“I guess that you have not been paying attention to the news.  The latest cars not only drive themselves, they have personalities.  They will probably be asking for the vote soon.  It took awhile for Maybelline to learn some manners, but she’s a good citizen now. I wonder what will happen when she learns about sex.”

“I’ve got two questions.  Why Maybelline, and cars have sex?”

“Answer one – the car designer was a Chuck Berry fan.  Answer two – cars don’t have sex yet, but the science fiction story ‘smart car’ by the guy out in the Northwest has been right on the money so far, and he predicted car sex.”

A clown about 5’ tall and 100 pounds walked by. “Hi mayor” in a high pitched voice.”

“How are you doing Dimebag?”

The clown expanded to twice his size and says in a James Earl Jones voice “I told you to call me Pennywhistle”.

“Sorry Pennywhistle, I’ll try to remember.”

“That’s quite the trick, mayor.  I guess that it’s some clown secret how he changes like that.”

“There’s even more to the story.  There’s an urban legend that he shows up at 25 year intervals and leads kids into the sewers never to be seen again.  There’s a bunch of teens that believe it and are trying to stop him.  As if any of the stories were true.  But there have been a lot of missing.”  The mayor’s voice stopped suddenly and he looked momentarily concerned, but then brightened again.

“Dick, I travel a lot.  How easy is it to travel from Rock Castle?”

“I’ve got some bad news there.  The Bangor Airport disappears at random times and flights have to be rerouted to Boston.  Quantum physicists have some crazy explanation, but I don’t understand it.  Of course there was that time that we were trapped in an enclosure for a while with no way out.  You probably heard about that.”

“Right.  I think that the Simpson’s did an episode based on your experience.  Didn’t somebody write ‘The Dumb’ about it?”

“I got to tell you that neither version flattered us much, but ‘The Dumb’ was a lot more accurate.”

“How about the school system?”

“More problems.  The Prom Queen from a few years back, Sissy Spacey, went crazy when somebody shot her with rapid fire paintballs as she was crowned.  She turned on all of the faucets and hoses telekinetically and flooded the place.  Hoo-wee, the students all looked like drowned rats.  The building was ruined and every time we tried to rebuild, the new place is flooded.  We gave up and bus everybody to the next county over.  I think that she got that way from her crazy religious mother.  But, and this is a secret, her mother wasn’t as prudish as she claimed.  I’m Sissy’s dad.”

“Isn’t Sissy governor now?”

“Yeah, it is almost as if she has mind control.  She turned all the police into plumbers and all of the plumbers into police, and yet she always gets elected with 90% of the vote.”

“How about parks?”

“We were going to develop the Cockknocker property into a park, but it turned out that anybody that went there turned green and went crazy.  They are politicians and mass marketers now. Something about a buried alien spaceship.  One good thing about the radiation from the property is that nobody can use a cell phone here, so we missed the mass murders caused by faulty cell phones.”
“What do people do around here?”

“There used to be a big military base, but since their experiment unleashed monsters from another dimension, they’ve been shut down. At least that’s what we’ve been told.  There was a laundry, but one of their machines went crazy and killed a bunch of people.  The biggest store is “Things You Need”.  Great bargains, but something always seems to go wrong with the sales.  Other than that, it is mostly an artist colony, mainly writers.”

“Well Mayor, the place sounds perfect for me.”

“I’m sure that you will enjoy it Mr. King.”

Appeared in Down In The Dirt