Experiment #383

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 1

After the train job went South, both in the direction that maglev train went and in the cash that never left it, the Wipple Gang, me, “Stank” Foreman, and Mavis Wipple went on a “cleansing fast,” least that’s what Mavis called it. Stank called it rebelling against the “Food Czar” …whoever that was. I always just called it being too broke to eat. 

So we was hungry for work and for food when Mavis came to Stank and me with a plan. “I have it on good authority,” here she nodded at Stank, “that there’s whole lots a tech in Old Man Cooter’s barn. Word is that the black-market value’d be high enough to get a one-way ticket off this rock and back to a place where baths’re regular.”

“Hey, speak for your own hygene,” Stank said with a smile.

“You in particular,” Mavis said and winked at him. She pulled out a laser gun some miscreant had left by the old playground. “This should be ‘nough to stop Old Man Cooter. How much of a fight could ‘Old Man’ Cooter put up anyways?”

Mavis put the laser gun in her waist band, since she didn’t have a holster and hopped in the back of the beat up truck we’d freed from its previous owner. Stank and I hopped in beside her.

“Why ain’t one of you drivin’ the truck?” she asked.

“Just followin’ your lead, Boss Lady,” I said. 

Stank got out of the back and into the driver’s seat. He drove us out to Old Man Cooter’s property. We parked across the street from his driveway and ran toward the house. We didn’t realize it meant running a mile in the freezing cold. ‘Bout a quarter of a mile in, Stank and I were huffing and puffing and I got a stitch in my side so sharp I could’ve cut cheese with it. At a third of a mile, Stank and I both fell over.

Mavis yelled and questioned our heritage with a space sailor’s skill. That was just about the time Old Man Cooter drove up on his way to the flea market. 

Experiment #384

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 2

“Can I help you?” he asked. 

“Old Man Cooter! So good to see you…” Mavis said trailing off as if he knew what she were talking about.

“Okay. Uh, what can I do for you?”

“How’s the weather?”

“I’d say rather cold.”

Having finished everything she could think to say, she just stared at him. 

“You three okay?” he asked. “Those two boys look like a coyote rung the life out of ‘em. You need a hot meal or something?”

Stank and I both perked up at the mention of food. Old Man Cooter chuckled when he saw our puppy dog eyes. “I’d say that’s a ‘Yes.’”

“We’re fine,” Mavis said. 

If I weren’t all gentleman-like and she weren’t stronger and smarter than me, I would have punched her out right there. 

“We were just heading up to a farmhouse we heard was thissa way,” she said. 

“Well, there’s no one out here, but me,” Old Man Cooter said. 

“What?” Mavis asked.

“My house is the only one down this road.”

“Oh,” she said, then looked thoughtful. “Would you take us there, please?”


Mavis pulled out the laser gun and shook it at Old Man Cooter. “Cuz I asked nicely.”

“Am I supposed to be scared?”

Mavis nodded and put both hands on the gun. “Sure as a Pollywog eats fish.”

“That’s pretty sure,” Old Man Cooter said with a laugh.

“No, it’s sure as a Pollywog marries a fish,” I said demonstrating my sophis-ti-cation.

“They don’t do that neither,” Stank said being helpful like.

“Shut it!” Mavis yelled, then to Old Man Cooter, “Put them hands up or I’ll knock that head off your shoulders.”

Old Man Cooter sighed. “You know what that is, right?” he pointed to the gun in Mavis’s hands.

“Yeah, it’s our ticket outta this place,” she said and Stank and I backed her up with “Yeah”s of our own.