Me: You’re tho jealuth — of the VaFlaggers’ popularity and my book-cover skills. All my covers, even the ones that didn’t get used, are better than any covers on YOUR books. Left any more fraudulent reviews on Amazon lately?
Simpson: I am sure that I am not alone in expressing the hope that you seek the professional help you so desperately need.Mr. Shelley, Simpson routinely sends my comments to the Anthony Fremont-style cornfield so I basically don't comment at XRoads anymore. In fact, I sent two others in the same thread, but he tossed 'em. If you want to see the show, I guess you'll just have to come here.
Christopher Shelley: You have no idea.
Please do keep coming back and entertaining us with your…dialect? Is that lisp a regional thing?
Seriously, these people are ten times better than reality television. These days I make sure I bring popcorn to the computer before setting down to check the blog comments.
I was going to explain that the word "jealuth" was inspired by my character, John Mark Jordan, an original sweet Southern boy, who uses it when he'd being funny. But rather than go to all the trouble of typing up the backstory, I decided to edit together an excerpt for you....
So pull up a chair. Here, have some popcorn. Want butter on it? It's free. Enjoy!
Their respective attorneys' offices called them just before noon and told them the injunctions had been lifted. At 12:03 the phone rang at the Stevenson residence and Randy's heart began to beat faster. He picked up the handset and brought it to his ear.
"Hey." It was Shelby.
"Back atcha," Randy said.
"You are one lucky son-of-a-gun," Shelby told him. "You're gonna get to see me."
For the first time in weeks, Randy laughed. "Have you called John Mark?"
"I thought you might want to do that."
"You're right, I do. So, when and where?"
"When do you think? Right now! At his house, 'cuz it's in the middle."
"Works for me," Randy said.
"It'll take me a few minutes," Shelby said. "My truck died. I'll have to hoof it."
"Nah, you won't. I'll come get you."
Randy hung up and with trembling fingers, he dialed the Jordans' number. The phone rang once.
"Stacy's Pool Hall," John Mark said.
"I'm coming to your house as soon as we hang up," Randy said. "Shelby, too."
There was a short silence and he barely made out what sounded like John Mark catching his breath. Then his friend said, "Come ahead on, we'll do lunch. I got pizza. I got Robocop."
"Sounds great--" Randy bit his lip. "Hold on a minute. Have you got hot sauce?" What he heard on the other end might have been a chuckle. Or a whimper. Maybe both. Then the line went dead.
* * *
Shelby was leaning against the tailgate of his disabled truck and talking to Ainsley when Randy turned into the Kincaid's driveway. At the sight of them, his vision blurred. He dismounted and removed his helmet as Shelby pushed himself off the tailgate and walked toward him. Their reunion started as a shoulder-clutching handshake and ended with a tight, eyes-closed, backslapping embrace.
Shelby stepped back and looked his friend up and down. "You haven't changed a bit."
"Neither have you," Randy said. "You still need a haircut."
"I've been worried about you. What they did to you."
Randy shook his head. "I'm all right." He turned to Ainsley and held out his arms. "Hey, darlin'."
"Hey, other-brother," she said, walking into his embrace and returning it. "I'm so glad you can come see us again."
"So am I."
"Look," she said, reaching into her jacket pocket. She withdrew two small white boxes. She handed one tied with white ribbon to Shelby and said, "That's John Mark's," and gave the other to Randy. He opened it and Ainsley took out a silver chain necklace with a small medallion. "This one's for you."
"What's on the pendant?"
"Yours has a basketball," she said, showing it to him. "John Mark's has a skateboard. Shelby's has a football. He's already wearing his. They're to celebrate your reunion."
Randy bent down slightly so she could fasten it around his neck. "Thank you, sweet thang. I'll treasure it."
He unstrapped the extra helmet and tossed it to Shelby and then put his back on. "See if you can get that on over your hair." He mounted the motorcycle, kicked the starter and the engine came to life. Shelby climbed on behind him.
"Tell John Mark to come see me!" Ainsley told them.
* * *
Shelby and Randy climbed the front steps to the parsonage. The door was opened by John Mark's mother before they rang the bell. She stood on tiptoe to give the visitors a kiss on the cheek as they entered. "It's wonderful to see you boys together. John Mark's in the family room."
He was standing by the coffee table waiting for them, his weight on one foot, arms crossed, head tilted. When he saw them, he sauntered toward them with his heart-stopping smile, reaching Randy first. They gave each other a series of restrained body punches and segued into a long, brotherly embrace.
"All right, y'all break it up," Shelby said. "You look like a couple of queers."
John Mark turned toward Shelby and pursed his lips in an air kiss. "You're just jealuth."
"You betcha. C’mere, pretty boy." Shelby took his friend in a similar bear hug that he broke off abruptly. "Dang, Wock!" he said softly, feeling of John Mark's shoulders and biceps.So Simpson makes not one but two -- count 'm, two -- fraudulent profiles** at Amazon in order to leave fraudulent reviews of my books, which he admits he has not read. And he suggests that I need professional help? Is that not a scream?Later in the drone post comment thread, Simpson sez:
"How much weight have you lost?" Randy said.
John Mark shrugged. "I don't know. A few pounds."
"A few?" Shelby said. "You're skinny as a rail!"
"That's an exaggeration."
"How much?" Randy repeated.
"Nine, ten pounds."
Shelby's jaw dropped. "My gosh! Mama told me you were sick, but that's too much weight to lose, flu or no flu."
"Well, some of it happened before that," John Mark explained. "I haven't had much of an appetite since the night the cops showed up at the door and hauled me off to the hoosegow. But, hey, it's not that big a deal. I'm not the one the jack-booted thugs sent to the hospital," he said, looking at Randy with narrowed eyes.
Randy shook his head, not ready to go there yet. "Later.... Your parents said you were off your feed a little. That's all I heard, and now look at you... Shelby's right, ten pounds is too much to lose in three weeks, even counting the flu. It could be dangerous."
"Well then," John Mark said. "Y'all will be happy to know that with my recovery from the flu, my appetite has returned, with a vengeance. I've been eating everything I can lay my hands on for the past day and a half." He patted his newly hollow cheeks and added, "I will be back to my normal, cherubic self in no time."
"Odd, how it has affected us all," Randy observed. "You with no appetite and weight loss, Shelby with migraines, me with nightmares and insomnia..."
"Which I predict will all get a lot better, now that we can be together and help each other through this trouble," Shelby said.
John Mark said, "I agree. But let's not talk about that yet because right now I have a confession to make." He looked at Randy regretfully and said, "Hey, man, I'm sorry to have to tell you this but I lied to you. I don't have pizza and Robocop....
"However -- and I hope this makes up for it -- I do got N'waluns po' boys, red beans and rice, seafood gumbo, crawfish étouffée and French bread coming from Bridget's, be here any minute. I've also got my mama's sweet, sweet tea...and...the original McIlhenny Tabasco brand hot sauce di-rect from Avery Island, Luzie-anna." He paused, then added, "Oh, and Red Dawn in the VCR."
Shelby breathed, "My gosh! We must've died and gone to Heaven," and Randy said, "That's vengeance, all right. Big time."
I see the Virginia Flaggers primarily as a source of amusement, a truly fascinating reality show rife with comedic moments. You need to embrace them on that level … your first mistake may be to take them seriously.And...
I am far too busy laughing at the Flaggers to consider hating them. They provide an endless source of amusement.Yeah, right. Take a look at the left sidebar <------- (scroll down some) at the list of 200+ posts and/or comments about the VaFlaggers that have appeared at XRoads. Go read some of them and see how amused Simpson sounds.
If it was for amusement, why did he harass Susan Hathaway about Rob Walker for days on end? Why did he team up with some truly hateful people in Richmond to stop the first I-95 Memorial Flag from going up? Why did he accuse the VaFlaggers of digging up Confederate graves to plant the flag? Why did he try to sic the Richmond media onto the flaggers during the run up to the raising of that flag? Why accuse them of breaking the law by cutting trees on the right of way? Or of faking the theft of the excavator (oh, wait, may be that was Levin). Why does he keep bringing up Susan's employment? I could go on, but you get the picture.
This man clearly is not amused. He is nursing an enormous grudge against people who have never done a thing to him....
**None of your business and One Skeptical Observer.
Photos: Pixabay; Kevin Russ via I-Stockphoto.