With the Amphiuma safety ensconced in his new and most excellent digs you would think the story had come to a close, and for his part, our eel-like salamander would spend the next five years as a pampered pet, in as much as someone can pamper a surely eel-like salamander. We did discover it was totally carnivorous in nature and would eat anything aquatic but loved crawdads. It also had a very nasty bite. Those who thought an ambush predator is less a predator would be rewarded by a very curious looking scar or in the case of feeder fish, a sudden but brief rain of shimmery scales followed by silence. In the aquarium no one can hear you scream.
Adam and Eve made plans to be married, and JTP and I was quite surprised when Eve announced we would be throwing Adam a Bachelor’s Party. She allowed that it would be a great time for us to sit around, play Risk, and drink a few beers. In fact, she was going to sit it out entirely because her family had come down for the rehearsal stuff destined to go down the next day. She had no idea she was dealing with professionals.
Adam had once been a professional drinker but a year of the ball and chain had weakened him. We did shots of tequila and chasers of beer until he turned green and went into a coma. Our original plan involved us dumping him out in a hog pen just east of town, but we lived in fear he might awaken and discover a female just slightly smaller than Eve next to him. The offspring of that encounter…nevermind. Okay, at this point let me explain to you there were five people, not including Adam, in the room when this next plan was hatched. Young Steven, who lived next door and did not drink, said these words, “Why don’t we put him on a bus to somewhere?”
We loaded the nearly dead Adam into my car and drove him to the bus station, pooled our money, and bought a ticket to Jacksonville Florida. Why Jacksonville? Because we didn’t have a lot of money, and a bus to Jacksonville left in one hour. That and Jacksonville was only two hours away. Adam would call us and we would go get him, ha ha. We convinced the bus driver to take the corpse-ified Adam onto his bus by telling him Adam had to get to Jacksonville by the next day for his wedding. We took his wallet, his pocket change, and as we left him on the bus, we took his shoes, too. We then went back to my place to wait for him to call, and to drink more tequila. Young Steve went back home. Two more less serious drinkers drifted away about the same time, so JT and I were the last two left to catch the phone call. An hour later, we passed out waiting. We had forgotten we had turned the phone off so Eve couldn’t interrupt our drinking.
Adam was rudely awakened by the bus driver to discover he was penniless, shoeless, and clueless. The bus station in Jacksonville is a horrible and crude place and it blends in perfectly with the part of town where it is located. Adam managed to bum enough change to call us, but we didn’t answer. Another hour went by and he finally contacted Eve. She jumped into her car and went to our place and banged on the door to no avail, so she headed South to go get her man.
Adam had gotten terribly sick and was camped out in the bathroom. Eve, in her haste, left her house wearing a pair of shorts, an oversized tee shirt, and a pair of flip-flops. Accustomed to people in general, and men in particular jumping when she spoke, the Zombies working the late shift at the Jacksonville infuriated Eve. The local police, who were summoned by the Zombies, sought to inquire why a woman so barely dressed would be seeking a man at such a late hour, in the Jacksonville bus station. The innuendo pushed the already maddened Eve into a brand new level of anger. The Jacksonville Police department, having worked around the bus station for quite some time, was not impressed in the least. Adam wandered, stumbled staggered, out of the bathroom only to discover the love of his life was in handcuffs, perhaps or the very first time, or perhaps not depending on her peccadilloes, and offered himself as evidence for her search. Again, in her haste, Eve had not bothered to bring her purse, and had no identification. We had taken Adam’s. They both were hauled to jail, and Eve’s parents had to come bail them out.
I awoke the next morning and after a few cups of coffee wondered aloud as to the fate of Adam. JT was sitting there equally pained, he offered the suggestion that perhaps Adam had passed out at the bus station, and a road trip would be needed to extract him. Simultaneously, we espied the blinking, red, and baleful eye of the answering machine. After hearing the first ten messages, we both ran for the door, knowing it might already be too late to hide.
When Adam caught up with me two days later I explained to him I had left the party early to recover more of his power tools and had nothing to do with the road trip. I had delivered unto him the drill and the saw, and told him I was hot on the trail of the rest of the equipment even as he held the .357 on me. He didn’t believe me, of course, but he did remember me giving his tools back. I knew he wouldn’t shoot me, but I also knew I had to pretend I did think he would shoot me or he might shoot me. The fear that someone might shoot you is nearly as strong as believing someone will shoot you. Besides, I owed him for what we did to him. I did a very good job of pretending I thought he would actually kill me.
That was over twenty years ago. Adam and Eve are still married, as far as I know. Neither are speaking to me, even after that long a time, however, and to this day, I haven’t been invited over to their place for a few drinks.