to voice over artist Tim George
the part of Hank Peabody
Tim George's website to learn more
about his work
Gerry Pulls A Gun On Me
from The Reeducation of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody
I WENT UP TO Gerry Danskins place just to ask him a few questions
about the theft of the heart. Like I had said before, he wasnt
big on my list of suspects. But you throw your weight around like he
does and talk up your place in town and start leveraging history, you
better figure that someone is going to ask you a question or two. The
least I figured was he might know someone we would never think of asking.
As big a straight-laced type that Gerry was, he also knew a lot of weirdoes.
Who didnt, though? This was El Fornio.
On the drive up a thought occurred to me: Gerry was someone
we all kind of wished we could marginalize, and by talking to him while
writing about the history of the heart, it hit me that I was pulling
him more into the story. The last thing I wantedthat cousin Janet
wantedwas to legitimize Gerrys position.
For a second I realized I could turn around and head back
into town. No one even knew I was driving up there. So no one would
even know I turned around. The question was How to work Gerry in without
working Gerry in?
I came around the bend and noticed Gerrys address
was getting closer. What the helllets see how Gerry Danksin
I pulled into 176 Adelante Drive and saw immediately how
mad the man was. His house was like a little mission, a little Taco
Bell, with a red tile roof, wrought iron grates and grapes and peppers
growing up the sides of the walls. All he needed was a whipping post
and some Indians grinding acorns out front, chips and salsa out back.
As I parked the car, I saw the shadow of a person pass in
the front window. No sooner had I gotten out of the car did Gerry come
out of the front door to greet me.
Hank! he extended a hand.
Gerry was dressed in a short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt and
soft yellow shorts that were pleated and pressed. He wore light brown
leather Rockports and, like I remember, bounced along on the front of
his feet when he walked.
Offer you something to drink? he asked.
Whatre you having?
Sage ice tea.
Sage ice tea? I paused. Alright. Sounds
We spent about fifteen minutes shooting the shit, looking over Gerrys
collection of glassed Spanish coins hung from the walls and making comments
to his dog who begged at our feet.
Gerry had one of those little canines that seem to pass
for a dog these days. He called her Papi. She was sprite, coifed and
eager to please. I had no idea what kind of dog she was. He might have
even told me but I dont like little pretty dogs so the information
probably went in one ear and out the other.
Shes cute, Gerry told me.
Yep, I replied, knowing that cute
was always the wrong reason to choose a dog.
Gerry didnt seem to have much to say about the hearts
disappearance. I asked him what he thought of the situation and he assured
me that, in his words, it was likely to just turn upwhich
were also kind of my words.
I hear youre a hunter, Gerry asked, sipping
Ive been known to get out there.
Just the other day a deer came into my back yard,
he nodded towards the sliding glass doors. You couldve popped
it right there, he motioned like firing a pistol, with a wink
Did it have antlers?
No, no. No antlers.
Well, I explained. It has to have antlersand
least two on either side to be legaland be in season. Which is
about two weeks from now.
Here, just a sec. Gerry put down his iced tea
and headed into the back of the house.
I stared into the back yard, imagining myself sitting on
the lounge chair with my rifle, waiting for a deer. In the early morning,
the animal would come down through the chaparral to nibble on Gerrys
nasturciums . . . Didnt seem fair.
Gerry came back. Take a look at this. He was
carrying a big golden semi-automatic pistol with white handles on it
and a long barrel.
Jesus Christ, Gerry, I tilted back.
Just picked it up yesterday. Here he handed
it to me. Aint it a beauty. Be careful, its loaded.
Loaded? I pointed the barrel down and the dog
ran up to me so that I was aiming straight for it. I moved the barrel
away but wherever I moved the gun the dog would follow. Gerry,
why do you have a loaded gun?
He shrugged. I never understood why you would own
a gun and not have it loaded?
I looked the piece of furniture over, the dog directly in
my sites. First of all, Gerry, you dont hand a loaded gun
to someone. Its, like, one of the first rules of gun handling.
Oh, he said.
Have you ever shot it?
No. I was hoping to go up to the range with it at
the end of the week.
You never cease to amaze me. I pointed the gun
down and looked it over. By this time I stopped worrying about the dog
being in the sites, particularly since now it was jumping off the carpet
trying to bite the end of the barrel.
I noticed that Ruger made the gun, like my cowboy pistol.
I looked to eject the cartridges. Then I realized that I really didnt
know how to work the action on a semi-automatic handgun. I did revolvers
and bolt or lever action rifles. My gun fantasy never had me playing
James Bond dressed in a tuxedo, shing-shinging a golden cigarette lighter
of a pistol.
Here, Gerry took the gun back. I figured
this out the other day.
You figured it out the other day? I asked. Thats
With some difficulty, Gerry worked the action and pulled
the magazine out of the handle.
There, he said.
And the chamber? I asked.
Yes, Gerry. The chamber. Theres a good chancealwaysthat
there is still a bullet in the chamber. Thats how people shoot
themselves. I looked around Or how they shoot their
He handed me the gun and I worked the action. Sure enough
a cartridge spun out of the pistol. It bounced on to the carpet and
the dog jumped for it. I pushed the dog with my foot to keep it from
getting the bullet and reached down and picked the bullet up.
Hey, Gerry said. You dont have to
I didnt kick Papi, Gerry. I handed the
pistol to him. Here. I gotta go. I turned and headed for
the door. And do me a favordo the whole world a favor, Ger.
Take some lessons and learn how to work that thing.
He chuckled. But you gotta admit, he said as
I left. Its pretty cool!
No, Ger, I walked to the car, completely out
of ear shot. Its totally stupid. The whole thing.