It was a cold, wet, windy night and it had rained all day. Bubba, sipping on a cold beer on his sofa, turned on the television. Suddenly, there was an unexpected knock on the door. Opening it, he was surprised at what he found.
“Trick or treat, y’all,” Said a small female ghost of about six years old.
”Is that ya unner that ghost outfit Leah Ann? Ya sound like Leah Ann,” Bubba bent down as he spoke to get a good look at the little girl’s eyes. He knew it was Leah, but he wanted to tease her.
“No! It ain’t me uncle Bubba Lee. I ain’t heah. I’m home sleepin’.” As soon as she had spoken, a slight giggle escaped her costume.
“Howdy do, Bubba!” A voice from the dark said.
“That ya, Willy Eugene?”
“Shore it is, Bubba.”
“Ya two come on in heah, right now,” Bubba said with a big crooked grin.
“Thank ya kindly Bubba Lee. Is Maude home too?” Willy Eugene asked and Bubba knew there was more behind it than him just wondering.
See, four years ago Bubba’s wife Maude had caught Willy Eugene giving beer to her lap dog and she’d not been happy.
“Naw, she went down to the VRW to play bingo with the girls.”
“Trick or treat,” Little Leah Ann said once more.
“Ok sweetheart. Let me see what Maude has in the cab’net.” Bubba walked into the kitchen and spent a good ten minutes looking around. There were cans of his favorite, Vi’anna sausages, bags of pork rinds, hot sauce, peas, carrots, but no candy. Actually, there was a small bag of chocolate covered raisins, but Bubba wouldn’t feed those to his dog. Finally, as bad as he hated doing it, he gave her the last Moon Pie from the fridge.
“Here ya go pun’kin.” He said as he placed the pie into a completely filled goody bag.
“Thank you Uncle Bubba Lee but I ain’t no pun’kin. I’m a big scary ghost!” Leah Ann screamed and stomped the floor. The lava lamp bounced.
“Okay, Okay! Yer a big scary ghost!” Bubba replied with a loud laugh.
“Bubba, what ya got planned fer the rest of the night?” Willy Eugene asked as he got up off of the sofa and made his way to the coffee pot.
”Well, I thought, since Maude is out and all, we’uns could hop down to old man Cisco’s place and pull a few Holler-ween tricks on ‘em,” Willy replied.
Bubba said nothing for many long minutes.
”Bubba Lee, you still with us? Yer dawg’s barkin’, but there ain’t no coon,” Willy asked.
“Yep, I’m still heah, Willy Eugene. I was jess a-think’ ‘bout when we was young. Man, did we ever have some serious fun, huh? Let’s do ‘er,” Bubba replied.
They arrived down the road from the Cisco place just a little before ten. They got out of the truck and donned camouflage overalls. Willy put on a stocking cap, while Bubba kept his “Lort’s Feedlot and Bridal Gowns” cap on.
Bubba watched Willy reach down and pick up a handful of dust from the road. He was disgusted as the man spit a long steam of brown tobacco juice onto his dirt filled hand.
What in the blazes is this idjet a-doin’? Bubba asked himself, but he didn’t have to wonder what Willy was doing for very long. Willy Eugene then rubbed his hands together and then smeared the sticky mess on his face.
Looking up, Willy noticed the look on Bubba’s face, “I learnt that when I was in the Ma-rines. Camo-flu-gie. Makes me invistable to others.”
“Makes ya a dip stick in mah neck of the woods. Ya mean to tell me the Marines done gave all you fellers ‘baccer juice and dirt, so ya could a-practice being idjets?”
“Not zackly. They jess tolt us ‘bout it. Said we could use yern too, iffen we had to. Onliest, I don’t gotta go right now.” Willy gave a big grin.
Thank goodness fer that, Bubba thought, then said to Willy, “Well, I’m happy I was in the army then.”
“Yer jess jealous. Do ya want me to do yourn?” At that point, Willy gave a big lopsided grin.
Shocked that Willy would suggest doing his face up, Bubba said, “Naw, I thank I’ll pass on the como-flu-gie. Let’s go.”
Nearing the farmhouse, the two men stopped by a big cedar tree and looked at the windows. No lights were on, so they took that as a green light to continue with the prank. Bubba’s momma always said old man Cisco didn’t have no dawgs ‘cause he was to tight to feed ‘em. She had also said he didn’t even have ‘lectricity or runnin’ water, ‘cause they weren’t free.
“Let’s do ‘er Willy,” Bubba spoke in a hushed whisper as he moved toward the rear of the house.
Things were going great until Willy stepped on a discarded 1957 Chevy hubcap and fell against six empty fifty-five gallon oil drums, which knocked over a discarded freezer.
“Willy, why didn’t you jess walk up and knock on the old coots door and tell ‘em were a-gonna move his outhouse!” Bubba whispered.
“Sorry, I was tryin’ to ‘void the electric fence.”
“Well, keep the noise down son,” Bubba shot back quickly, he was still angry. Then he thought, ‘lectric fence. I didn’t see no ‘lectric fence.
For the next ten minutes, neither one moved or spoke. The only noise was an occasional phoot followed by a twang as Willy discharged his tobacco juice against a nearby empty oil drum.
“Ok, let’s go,” Bubba said.
The two men moved silently to the back yard of the main house. Stopping to let his eyes adjust to the increased darkness, Bubba saw their objective. It was exactly where it had been thirty years ago. There, in all it’s rundown glory, was the famous structure . . . old man Cisco’s outhouse!
“Let’s go move ‘er Bubba!” Willy’s voice was edged with excitement.
“Somethang don’t look right to me Willy. Stay heah fer a spell and let me thank on it.”
“Ya thank all ya want, us Marines is men of action.” And, with that said, Willy ran toward the structure.
“Willy! Willy, ya mo-roon! Wait!” Bubba wanted to yell, but he didn’t. Nonetheless, as he watched Willy run, the man disappeared. Now, how in the world did he do that? I wonner iffen I jus’ saw one of them UFO obstructions, or one of them time warp thangs they had on the Tee-vee last week. How am I a-gonna ‘splain this to his wife.
Bubba as jerked by to reality by a series of loud screams coming from near the outhouse. Cautiously he approached and when he got near the front door to the outhouse he saw a pit. Something was moving in it as well. The smell was enough to make a maggot gag.
“Willy that ya down there?” Bubba asked.
“Yep, it’s me alright Bubba. Hurry up and get me outta heah.”
Finally, finding a hoe, Bubba walked to the edge of the pit. Extending the hoe handle down he said, “Willy, grab this and I’ll pull ya out!”
With a grunt and jerk, and not just a few bad words, Willy was soon out of the pit and dripping on the newly mowed grass. The stench was horrible, even though the man was down wind of Bubba.
“Bubba, shine the light on the door of the outhouse.”
In the center of the door, was crudely painted sign, “Y’all ben a-tryin’ fer thirty years to pull this prank on me. This time the prank and the nasty unmentionables are on y’all! I’ll know hoo ya are by yer smell. Have a nice day. Signed, Floyd Jayson Cisco. 31 Oktober.”
“Willy, ya need a bath in one of the worser ways. I’ll drive and ya sit in the back on the way home. Yep, Willy Eugene, you shore got the dirty end of the stick this time ‘round ‘gain old son,” Bubba stated as he held his nose with his right thumb and forefinger.
Art by W.R. Benton