Ruthless G-Ma

by on April 23, 2024 :: 0 comments

photo "On Patrol" by Tyler Malone

Not long ago, I got this letter from my aunt. I’d like to share it with you.

Dear Eddie,

There have been big doings since I wrote last. We’ve had some gun violence and other forms of mayhem in town. And yes, your grandmother participated in some of it. People have taken to calling her Ruthless G-Ma. Given events, I understand why. Remember Ross Tobler, the nice man who ran the candy shop on Main Street. I say remember because from now on you won’t be seeing him around town. Your grandmother shot him.

Here’s how she tells it.

“Ross Tobler was gender fluid and a bad influence on kids. I shot he/him and they/them and any other version of him that existed. You can’t have guys like that around, they’re not our kind of people.”

That’s what she told the grand jury, who no-billed the charges against her. She even spoke those very words to the local congregation of the Church of the Righteous Slayers of Sin, many shouting “Hallelujah” and raising their hands in approval. The local press has not given much ink to the story.

It has always been one of the downsides of Sticksville that being different here will get you in trouble, maybe killed. No matter, this is still a fine place to raise kids.

There was another regrettable incident at last week’s high school football game which, thankfully, did not involve your grandmother. Zeb Baggett, a gambler, bet a lot of money on the Sticksville team to win. A late game fumble by Sticksville caused him great sadness and significant financial loss. Overwhelmed by grief, he started squeezing off a few 9mm rounds towards the visitors bench.

Zeb, being as poor a marksman as he is a gambler, missed everything he shot at. The school lunch lady subdued him because, when the gunfire started, the cops hid under the stands. This situation caused the remaining football season to be called off, which was no loss, since Sticksville had a lousy team anyway.

Back to your grandmother. As you know she was the night jail matron. A couple of weeks ago there was a commotion during her shift. Two out of town drunk drivers died while in a holding cell. After a thorough police investigation, her getting only a reprimand for poor supervision was a big win. After that, Ruthless G-Ma, looking for more suitable working conditions, quit her job at the jail.

In the past year, the local bank has been robbed six times leaving townsfolk a little skittish about the security of their funds. The bank, needing a guard, hired your grandmother. The manager liked the fact she’s a crack shot. To date, the robberies have stopped. Also, no depositors have suffered any injuries attributable to her.

The one thing that has not changed here are the concerts every Saturday night in Academy Park. They are the social event of the week.

In addition to live music, Smith’s Travelling Midway Show draws many out of town visitors who brave rides on the Tilt-A-Whirl, Salt and Pepper Shaker, Ferris Wheel and Flying Swings. If the rides look rickety don’t let that fool you. The assembly of that equipment is done and overseen by experienced carnies, each working on their GEDs. To date, injuries from accidents have been kept to a minimum.

Your grandmother, hired as security for the weekly event, made the carnies feel safe as she patrolled the midway. Then, an occurrence caused them not to feel so safe.

There was a dust up over some admission tickets to the human oddities show at the house of mirrors between Ruthless G-Ma and the ticket manager. After an unpleasant exchange, your grandmother restrained the man using her infamous half nelson. It took two deputies to pry the poor fellow loose.

When calm was restored, the ticket manager resumed his duties without further incident. It should be noted, the nearby cotton candy stand, water pistol contest and face painting booth were unaffected by the disturbance.

It was a damn shame, though, about the theft at the beer tent, the most popular venue in the park. Three sixth graders crawled under the tent flaps and made off with two twelve packs of Hemlock Lake beer.

Ruthless G-Ma, after questioning the grade schoolers, was convinced they stole it to give to Ross Tobler which led to the confrontation and his unfortunate demise recited above. I note here, witnesses say, Ross denied everything before Ruthless G-Ma made sure he could never deny anything again.

These minor annoyances aside, the carnivals are a great success, and the town looks forward to many more events before the end of the season.

Like most small towns, everybody here is armed. They fear God, cling to their liberties, which they prize, and their rights, which they will maintain, at every opportunity regardless of how dangerous it is to their loved ones and neighbors.

Sticksville continues to be a welcoming community for decent people. Your grandmother prefers colorful characters, cross-dressers, and people confused about which bathrooms to frequent, keep driving right through our safe, well-adjusted community.

Like she says, “After all, there is a time and place for everything, just not here.” With people like your grandmother, caution when visiting is warranted. You always were her favorite, so I think you’ll be safe around her.

I close and hope you stay well and away from Sticksville. Have fun while you’re young. Remember, eventually, we all end up six down and two across. It just seems to happen sooner if you come here.

Love, Aunt J

After reading this letter, all I can think about is how much I miss home.

editors note:

Home: no word is so short but contains a multitude of worlds. ~ Tyler Malone

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