to voice over artist Tim George
the part of Hank Peabody
Tim George's website to learn more
about his work
Off to Carmel
from The Reeducation
of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody
SO IT WAS Gerry all along.
Danny Kaye gone bad, said Heany, standing with
me on the steps of the historical society, our bags packed for the trip
to Monterey. I told you.
You didnt tell me, I threw back
at him. Nobody knew it would be him.
Oh, come on, Hank. Hes a freak. Blond highlights,
khaki shorts, Hawaiian shirts, the James Bond pistol.
That doesnt mean a thing, Heany. Thats
three-fourths of the population around here, the shorts, Hawaiian shirts,
funky middle age hair. And freak doesnt mean a thing.
Yeah, but the goldy locks pistol? Sean waged.
Thats fantasyland right therelot of fantasyland around
Who knows what kind of guns anyone has. Its
like the last private moment. Show me your gunI dont know
what it looks like.
People got real guns in this town, Hank, Sean
went on. The Indians alone I hear are stockpiled like freaking
Hamas. There supposed to have arsenals hidden every where up there.
Gerry Danskins sounded to me like a bowling trophy crossed with
a cigarette lighter. I even looked it up on the web. ``For The Discriminating
Gun Owner, it said. Like, discriminates against reality.
Hed never use it.
Sure scared you, though, huh? Sean darted a
finger. You stayed home all night thinking about him, your own
pistol loaded up, tryin to sleep in your underwear.
I wasnt wearing underwear.
That makes it even weirder, bro.
At that, Janet pulled up in my jeep and waved to the both
of us to get in.
You drive, she stepped out and moved to the
passenger side, looking over her cel phone.
Wow, I marveled. Relinquishing control.
I have phone calls to make.
Yeah, well. What about me? I got turds to rehydrate.
Not on this drive, Sean said, piling his pelican
costume into the back. Not while Im in the car.
You dont think so? I tossed. Drive
with one hand, prepare and rehydrate with the other?
The three of us were to rendezvous with Peter and Targuman
in Monterey, where Gerryand the heartwere being put up in
a safe house. We had talked about taking Darby along but what was there
for him to do? Sourcing the fake heart at the medical supply company
was an expertise none of us had. Plus Peter was in charge and wanted
low key. He hadnt even contacted the police. The entire deal was
to be run by the Fornay.
We planned for this scenario for years, he told
me. Its all rehearsed. Everyone has a role.
Even the white man? I asked.
Always the joker, eh, Hank?
Always the white man, Pete.
I wish you wouldnt think that way.
Well, which way should I think?
Whats up with you? he looked me over.
Havent you been writing about the heart? Even the afternoon
it was stolen?
You mustve been talking to Janet.
Janet and I talk all the time, Hankwere
brother and sister, remember?
And I think of you as being her brother as well.
I guess everybody does, I muttered.
Consider that an honor, Hank
I understand that, Pete.
Look, he continued. Janet and I have decided
that you should do the complete history on this part of the story.
Yeah. Are you up for it, or do you have another smart
ass joke you want to respond with?
I actually have a smart ass joke Id like to
respond with, but
But you wont, he finished for me. Because
you know what that means. Anything you write becomes part of tribal
narrative. Few non-Fornay have been given the chance, and certainly
none in the last sixty years.
True, I nodded, feeling the weight of the thing
just dropped in my lapno accompanying Negro Modelo either.
Plus, the manuscript would be yours to keep should
you want to shop it around.
That would be cool, I nodded. I could
use a by-line that discussed more than dried turds.
I know that resistance is part of your deal, Hank.
Its not a bad character trait. But I say it to you as an older
brother, your only older brother, and the leader of the tribe, just
this oncego along. Im certain that the old man would love
the idea that you, Hank Peabody, son of his pal Frances Peabody, were
contributing to tribal narrative. Even your father didnt do that.
I know, I said quietly.
You have never not been part of this family. We share
a common bond.
. Oh, yeah?: I looked at him And whats
By my calculation, about three-hundred bowls of Lucky
Charms dating from grade school up until college.
I laughed. Wow, Pete. You made a funny.
I pretty much accepted Peters offer right away. Not that I didnt
brood for about twelve secondswhat else could I do? Resistance,
as they say, is futile.
Peter understood me more than I thought. He obviously had
been paying attention all these years. Instead of embarrassing me about
my dweeby, Little Herr Friedman love for Janet, he was willing to throw
me a bone and make me part of the larger body. He knew that I would
never go Native, not like Danskin or even the old man. It just wasnt
my style to be a white guy wearing a loincloth in a sweat house. But
there was one thing I felt lacking about the trip to Monterey.
I hated leaving Lo in town.
Good luck up there, Peabody, she said before
we left. Dont screw anything up.
Whatre you gong to do when were gone?
I have emails to answer. Like about the ICA conference
in the spring. I think that Siberian anthropologist is going to show
up, she let. That Russian guy with those old time tundra
Really? I answered. Thats encouraging.
Then Lo mentioned that she wanted to dust off the fake heart
and put it in the place where Junipero Serras real heart was supposed
I think Ill write up a new card to put with
the display, she said. Any suggestions?
Say what you want. I trust you.
At that, Lo toddled off to the office and we headed to Monterey.
Heart Arrives in Carmel