• Visit Indigo

    Sledgehammer is proudly presented by Indigo, which offers editing, design, and more to authors and publishers around the world.

    Visit us at www.indigoediting.com to learn more and to schedule a free sample edit and initial consultation.

    Indigo: editing, design,
    and more

    Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
  • Join Our Networks

  • Photo Gallery

    To view photos of Sledgehammers past, visit our Facebook photo albums!

    All photos property of Sledgehammer Writing Contest. Most photos copyright Doug Geisler.

“Getting the Boot!” by Bill Richardson

Getting the Boot!

Bill Richardson

Uncle Bill

Anchor Point, Alaska

Hi folks,

Here’s hoping all’s well with everyone. I thought I’d share an adventure I had a week ago.

What had started out as a simple shopping trip turned out to be some adventure. As you know from the ex my lists are very short as I don’t like being in crowds. The sooner I can purchase what I need the sooner I can get out of a store.

Well anyway, a discount department store down the street was having a sale on wooden railings and since I’m a building a small stage for that new bar next to Dad’s liquor store, I thought I’d check out what might be available.

Sure enough there was a huge crowd in every aisle. I struggled to stay focused and slowly worked my way directly to the wood area.

My design plans were for a low rail barrier across the front of the main stage to keep the audience from sitting on the edge. I wanted the railing to have a flourish to it, but for it not to be real fancy, and it had to be strong wood. And I wanted to be able to fasten it real well so it could take quite a bit of force if people leaned against it.

So I spotted a balcony rail of oak that was 16 foot long. Can you believe that? A 16 foot oak balcony rail was being sold in a discount department store? For real!

Just as I reached over and grabbed the rail a little old lady stomped right on my foot and yelled, “You can’t have that. I want it.” I’m sure glad she was wearing Xtra Tuff boots or I would have been in some real pain.

Now get this:

I tried to explain that I had it first, but she insisted that since she was much older than me; smaller by two feet and about 100 pounds less weight; and that her retirement income was barely making her life bearable, she deserved to have this particular item!

I almost let her have it verbally, but then something about her demeanor made me stop and ask, “If your income is barely enough to live on, why do you want to buy something like this?”

“Sonny,” she said. “I don’t really need it. I just wanted to talk to someone and you seem like a good choice. Go ahead and take it. What’re you going to do with it?”

“I’m building a sound area for a new bar down the street. This railing will work great to keep people from sitting on the stage edge.”

“Sound stage in a bar? Why?”

“Lots of people like to sing. They think they sound more professional I guess, and maybe karaoke helps them.”

“Well young man you have a very nice voice. You should try singing ‘kerry okee’, or ‘kare okay’, or whatever they call it. I’m going to go stomp on some more toes. You have a nice day.”

She just smiled and walked away. That woman was strange. I don’t like strange.

So anyway I got the railing and had to keep from hitting people with it as I got to the checkout stand.

At the car I really wondered what I was going to do next. As you know my ex left me with that little old Volkswagen Beetle. Ever try to tie a 16 foot board onto an 8 foot long car?

Finally, I got the job done, but the rig looked like a jouster without a horse!

I’ll cut to the chase. The railing job went fine. I tested it several times by banging into it. It held strong.

The first night the bar opened there was a huge crowd. Now I stayed way off to one side to keep an eye on the railing until I was sure it was going to do its job.

Along about midnight I decided to go home when I noticed that the next singer was that little old lady from the discount store. She was dressed to the nines in a long white dress with pearl necklace and earrings.

When she started singing the place went quiet. What a beautiful voice! And can you believe she sang “These boots are made for walking!” Just as she finished she looked directly at me, grinned, and kicked her foot up into the air. She was wearing her Xtra Tuff boots!

Well, time to go. Write when you can and enjoy your journey!

Love ya’,

Uncle Bill

© 2015 Bill Richardson


3 Responses

  1. From the very beginning of Mr. Richardson’s Getting the Boot, my curiosity was picued which turned into a full-fledged interest, and ended with a wide smile! Proof positive that good manners are always the best way to go.

  2. What a funny story!! I like that it was written in the first person, just like a letter from an uncle would be. Great descriptive lines about the department store and the characters. The end was surprising. Thanks for the laugh!!

  3. This is a wonderful heart warming story which includes humor, dialogue and great descriptions of the environments in which the story takes place. Mr Richardson has a true talent for writing interesting stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: