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I knew it was too good to be true.

A couple of months have gone by without any word of Drunk Unk, so I had myself believing that maybe he was living right for a change.

As you may or may not be aware, he does have several aliases.

A few of the more select misnomers are “Skitz” for his schizophrenic tendencies even though he is not schizoid … “Laz” short for Lazarus because he was forever “rising from the dead” off my parents’ couch … “Glamour Boy” as my grandmother called him when he would be fixin’ his hair for hours on end before heading down to the VFW for a night out singing karaoke … “The Poor Soul” as my grandmother also called him because (in whispered tones) he had “a problem with the drink”…”Magnum” as his BFF called him for years … still not sure where that came from, but believe me, he was no Tom Selleck. This same BFF later stabbed him. Not that he didn’t deserve it, but that knife blade not only severed their friendship, it also ended their endless hours of drinking together.

There are several other names the family calls him, but should not be repeated for tender readers like yourselves.

You get the idea.

Anyway, one of my galpals in Hootertown saw Magnum riding his bike one day in a questionable part of town, cause sometimes you gotta go through the questionable part to get to where you want to go (Walmart).

I thought, “Well, at least he’s got a ride.”

She commented via e-mail several days later that she’d seen him again, pedaling around Hootertown. Must be that beatup ballcap that gives him away.

“Wow, good on Skitz. At least he’s getting some exercise!” Which is more than I can say for myself. Nothing like a healthy drunk riding around town. Toot Toot…hey…beep beep.

A couple of days ago, through one of the Internet social pages, I got a message that Skitz was in jail.

Not that he was in trouble, but that he was actually in jail. For a change.

I also found out that the little apartment we’d gotten him into after we managed to drag him out of mom and pop’s house was no longer available to him. Not sure what happened there, no doubt the landlady had had him up to her eyeballs, as he turned into quite a human wrecking ball when he was deep in the sauce. Which was just about every day.

Word had it that one of his buddies, who is gainfully employed, had taken him in.

A Good Samaritan. A stupid Samaritan, but a Good Samaritan.

Stop complainin’ dude, you knew him when you let him in your door.

I guess Mr. Hell on Wheels … bike wheels … had been arrested for public drunkeness.

Mind you, he had to have been on his bike, if he hadn’t pawned it already.

I don’t have all the particulars on his situation, but he went to court and was released “with time served” and fined $250.

How would he come up with $250? Who knows. I’m sure that everything he got from my parent’s house has long since been sold, pawned or stolen.

After relaying this story to several family members, little brother called me and said, “Yeah, I had his twin sitting next to me at the restaurant the other night.”

Yuh oh.

Apparently, Lil’ Bro had stopped off along the way home to grab a bite to eat and sat at the bar to have his meal.

Lil’ Bro was pretty focused on the plate in front of him, mowing through his sandwich and fries, when Sweet Hitcherhiker heaved his bulk down and ordered a jug o’beer. One of these big honkin’ things that costs around eight bucks. I think it’s a 120-ouncer.

Anyway, Lil’ Bro is thinking to himself, “Aw, what did I do to deserve this?” and tries to hurry through his meal as our Man of the Road starts yapping his ear off with tales of desperado in Vietnam and how he single-handedly saved Lil’ Bro’s freedom.

Of course, the hackles went up on the back of LB’s neck.

Generations of our own family have seen scores of wars, some have made it back, others did not. LB is fierce in drawing the line in the sand when it comes to folks who claim military service when they, in fact, never stepped foot inside a barracks.

LB didn’t say a word, just concentrated on his food, nodding his head, thinking, “This is all way too familiar for me…”.

One thing Skitz would never do, however, is claim military service. Even though he’s an idiot, he has a deep reverence for our military.

He is, however, the master of spinning tales-of-things-that-never-happened. He has a vivid imagination. I believe the technical term for it is “hallucination.”

Nevertheless, LB managed to choke down his last bite of sandwich, chasing it with a sweet tea, tossed the napkin over his cold fries and made like he was about to pay the bill.

Just as he’s turning to leave, he sees Our Man Flint reach over and start eating the fries that had been covered by the napkin.

“That really ticked me off,” he said.

Reminded him way too much of the brother he has total disdain for.

“That’s exactly what he would do. Spend eight bucks on booze, but not a dime on food.”

That’s true, I explained, but at least Skitz would be riding a bike. Not driving a car.

And I reminded him that he’d probably left in the nick of time, or else he’d have been bugged about “getting a ride” somewhere.

“I’d have taken him into Hootertown and dropped him off at Glamour Boy’s place.”


Our Man Flint and Magnum, riding off into the sunset, trading tales and spinning yarns.

“It won’t be a stylish marriage, I can’t afford a carriage, but you’ll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two!”