Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Bandit

banditI was robbed once out West by an outlaw known as the Curry Creek Kid. He was a deadly shot who’d held up many a stagecoach and was feared across three territories. I didn’t have much cash at the time, just about 25 cents, but I gave it to him. “You can have it all,” I said, handing over the coins, “Just don’t take any Wizard Water©.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s the most potent thing in the world,” I said, “but it can be quite dangerous unless you know what you’re doing with it.”

“Like Nitroglycerin?” he asked. “I could use something like that. There’s a bank I’ve been thinking about visiting.”

So he took the wagon and all the Wizard Water©, too.

When he got to the next town, the sheriff spotted my wagon. Now that sheriff had bought some Wizard Water© a day or so earlier and wanted to discuss some legal aspects of the product with me, so he headed toward the wagon with a couple deputies.

Then he recognized the Curry Creek Kid driving the wagon.

“Put your hands up in the air!” cried the sheriff. “I don’t want a gunfight with you!”

“You won’t get one!” shouted the Kid, “I’ve got something better!”

-- And the Kid threw a bottle of Wizard Water© at the sheriff. The bottle missed and broke in the middle of the road. The sheriff quickly rode in and arrested the Kid, who looked mighty surprised.

A day later I walked in to town and claimed the reward money.

“What reward money?” said the sheriff. “I caught the Kid.”

“Arrest him, too, sheriff!” cried the Kid from behind bars in the next room, “For lying about that there Wizard Water©! He told me it was dangerous, but it didn’t explode or nothing when I threw it! Put him in here with me! I’ll save you a court case! Someone will have to pay for a coffin, though!”

“The Kid could have drawn his gun,” I pointed out to the sheriff. “Instead he tried using a bottle of Wizard Water© because of what I told him when he held me up. If he’d started shooting, you might have had a different ending.”

“-- And I never lie about my product,” I called to the Kid. “I said it can be dangerous unless you know what you’re doing with it. That was quite true in your case.”

“By the way, sheriff,” I added. “I’m sorry about the tree sprouting up in the middle of the road like that. Don’t try cutting it down until a few rains have diluted what’s in the soil. Otherwise it’ll just keep sprouting back up.”

The sheriff paid out the reward money, on condition that I leave town without making any more sales.

copyright ©2009 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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