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ARNELL HILL Creative Writing

Creative Writing

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Rest areas on Highways

I do more highway driving these days.  I’ve learned to appreciate rest stops.  I stop just to use the bathroom and to wake the hell up.  You know that falling asleep feeling you get when driving.  That’s a scary feeling.  It’s like somebody is hypnotizing you and you can’t come out of the trance. That’s when I find a rest area fast. I did not know the history of rest areas.  But knowing this country black people were likely not welcome at most early rest areas.  They probably had unofficial rest areas where black people could stop.  No restroom, no water. No food.  Just a piece of cement in the ground big enough for 1 or 2 cars.   But, I did some research.  Rest areas started in the 1950s.  Some states built them, they claim, to emphasize that state’s culture.  I saw a photo where the state of Texas built rest areas in the shape of Teepees.  Now how insulting was that to Native Americans?  This country takes the land from Native Americans, then mocks them by putting up rest stops with a teepee design.  Who thought of that?  It’s like rubbing it it.  Whomever it was their entire family should be interviewed on TV then lined up to be slapped by the last 15 Native Americans living in this country. Thankfully most of the rest stops I visited looked okay.  But, I always worry about serial killers being inside the bathrooms waiting for me.  So, when I go into a rest room I go in fully loaded.  I’m packing like SWAT on a mission.  I’m talking full body armor, knives, backup guns, stun grenades.  So when I use the bathroom I have one hand on my stuff and the other hand on a weapon. I’m looking around and peeking  at whomever comes in. The food in those rest stop vending machines is sad.  They have sodas and snacks from 20 years ago.  You eat that stuff you’ll have to go big time at the next rest stop. But truckers really need rest stops.  Otherwise truckers would fall asleep and kill all of us.  Now some states are closing rest stops because you’ve got these all purpose gas stations being built with showers, restaurants, stores, video games.   They’re like little cities. I have an idea on how to keep the rest areas open.  Create rest and brothel stops.  That way it becomes a multi service facility. 

Barbecue Time

Barbecuing is a big thing in my family.  When I was growing up in Saint Louis, a BBQ was like Christmas in July.  There was tons of meat, gallons of bbq sauce, lighter fluid squirting all over the place, folks making potato salad, and not a vegetable to be seen anywhere.  It was a red meat explosion.  Ribs, burgers, hot dogs, all piled up high on the table.    We didn’t have a fancy gas grill, no Webber in our house.  Our name brand was barrel.  Our grill was just an old barrel that was cut side ways and made into a bbq pit.  The legs of the grill were from old tables and had been welded on.  So you had kitchen table legs attached to a barrel.  To start the fire took like 10 bags of charcoal, two Sunday newspapers, and 3 bottles of lighter fluid to get the coals “white hot”.  All the kids had to go inside when it was time to start the fire.  It was always the man’s job to start the fire.  You knew who had done it before because it was always the man who didn’t have any hair on his arms or any eyebrows and eye lashes.   The hot fire would burn off your hair in a micro second once it got going.  You would lay down like 20 layers of the Sunday newspaper in the grill, squirt a bottle of lighter fluid on it.  Then add 6-7 bags of charcoal on top of that, squirt a bottle of lighter fluid on top of that, add some more layers of Sunday newspaper, preferably this time the want ad section, lighter fluid,  3 more bags of charcoal, squirt on some lighter fluid and then pause.  Next somebody would yell, “Fire in the hole” and everybody would start diving for cover.  Then somebody would roll up a piece of newspaper, light it, stick it in the grill then dive into bbq fox hole 3 feet from the grill.  In about 5 seconds this big ass fireball would take over the sky.  The heat from the fire was like a sauna.  In about an hour the fire would die down and inside the grill would be the prettiest white hot coals you ever saw.  Men would start crying looking at the coals, knowing they had created the best barbecue grill fire in the history of barbecuing.  Then you would throw the meat on the grill until it was piled up like 3 feet high.  The key was to keep turning the meat over so it would cook evenly. Then you’d take a paint brush and paint the meat with bbq sauce that had been poured into a big ass steel tub right by the grill. My dad would barbecue the meat so tender it would fall off the bones. Old people with no teeth had no problem gumming the meat to eat it.  Once the burgers, hot dogs, and ribs were done there was no waiting for a formal eating time.  You just grabbed some white bread, a couple scoops of potato salad and you started eating.  We always saved the bones for the dog.  I’m sure the dog was pissed off too.  “Bones? You all cooked all those ribs and all you can give me is the bones that you picked clean of meat? At least dip the bones and some sauce before you give it to me! Stingy ass humans!” 

NASCAR Training Ground

I was driving on the highway and had a revelation on what “road rage” is really about.   The revelation came in the third mile of somebody riding my bumper in the fast lane of the highway as I was driving 80 miles an hour.  It’s not that people are filled with rage!  They are just in training for a career in NASCAR stock car racing!  When people are on your bumper at 80 miles an hour, they are just practicing drafting techniques. You’ve seen the tape of NASCAR races when drivers bump other drivers from behind.  They bump people off the track.  They get out of their cars and start fighting!  So when somebody is riding your bumper on the city streets, or weaves in and out around your car, it’s nothing personal.  Even if they curse at you and threaten to start a fight. It’s nothing personal. They are just practicing for their future career in NASCAR.  You should feel honored that they chose to practice with you.  So next time just give them a smile and say “thank you” for allowing them to honor you by making you their NASCAR practice partner.

DWS (Driving While Sleepy)

Last week I had a medical emergency.  It was life threatening.  I contracted DWS.  You know what that is right?  Driving While Sleepy (DWS).  It came out of nowhere.  I was all alert and watching the road when suddenly I went into a trance.  My eyes got all glazy.  I felt like the car was starting to drive itself, off the highway!  I started to panic.  I was yelling to myself “wake up”, “wake up”.  I slapped my face, turned the music up loud and started singing along to the song.  I rolled the window down and stuck my head out the window like dogs do. Getting DWS is a terrifying feeling.  It’s like you are watching yourself die and are helpless to stop it.  Science has yet to figure out where DWS comes from.  My theory is that DWS is just waiting in the trees and bushes along the highway.  It finds somebody who is driving along looking all happy and content and then says, “Let’s get him!  He’s too happy driving out here.”  Then it’s a battle between DWS and the driver.  DWS wants you to drive off the highway and flip over 12 times while it laughs at you.  Your challenge is to keep the car on the highway any way you can until you can make it to the next rest stop or gas station.  At the rest stop you get out of the car, cursing DWS. You go use the rest room then come out peeking around the corner to see if DWS is still out there waiting for you. 

 

 

The Omen 2017

Anyone old enough to remember the "Damien" trilogy of movies that started in 1976? The main character's name was Damien Thorn. Those initials "DT" are eerily similar to that of the current alleged human being serving as President of the United States. The 1976 Omen was followed by Omen 2 and Omen 3. Hopefully our current "DT" will be the last one we have to endure!

"45" and Kim Jung-Un Do Battle Using the songs of Elton John!

 

The nuclear test drama between leaders of the United States and North Korea entered another chapter this week.  "45" called the North Korean leader, Kim Jung-Un, "Rocket Man" and then continued speaking about Kim Jung-Un as the song "Rocket Man" by Elton John played in the background.  Secret service men could be seen in the background mouthing the lyrics of the songs while scanning the crowd.

About half an hour later, Kim Jung-Un responded by calling "45's" remarks those of a barking dog as the Elton John song, "The Bitch is Back" played in the background.

Fifteen minutes later, "45" sent the White House Press secretary to remind the press of his "rain of fire and fury" comments to the sounds of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".

Kim Jung-Un quickly responded by playing the Elton John song, "Tiny Dancer" with a photographic close up of "45's" crotch area.

Not to be outdone, "45" had the song "Saturday Night's Allright" blasting onto Pennsylvania Avenue through the exterior White House speakers.

Minutes later the airwaves in North Korea were filled with the strands of the song "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John.

"45" then went off his scheduled speech at a luncheon as he started singing the Elton John song, "Bennie and the Jets" as he pointed to a hand held map of North Korea.

The back and forth came to an end and the parties called it a day after Kim Jung-Un played the song "Don't go breaking my heart" as he ordered another missile test over the country of Japan.

We understand that both leaders will be moving to the play list of the Rolling Stones in the next volley of musical exchanges.

 

Satire:  Pacers and Paul George

Angered and upset that star Forward Paul George supposedly does not want to commit to Indiana beyond the 2017-2018 season, die hard Pacers fans were outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse deluging the team general manager with shouts of "FANS, FANS, FANS".  When asked to verify that they meant to send a message that what the fans thinks should matter, the rowdy group brought clarity to the chant.  "No, we realize George is out of here. We just want the Pacers to Find Another Negro Soon "F.A.N.S." to replace him."  Continued the mobs self appointed spokesperson, "We pay good money to have these boys.....uh, players entertain us after we've worked hard all day!"  "As a minimum we want a player with good hang time and somebody who smiles a lot.  Plus he can't be taking any rest days off when playing at home."  "We already have a home in Geist ready for the new player to move into. We can't have him living anywhere else."

 

In a related story, a Pacers spokesperson was quick to deny that the team was pursuing a jersey patch deal with a historically anti black group which like the NBA also features 3 letters in its name.

 

Trump

Soon to be ex Russian- American puppet President Trump added fuel to the fire today when he went off script again.  When talking about the responsibility of having the nuclear football only yards away, Trump volunteered that he was surprised to hear that the birth dates of his children were the launch codes that security officials had given him.  Security officials were visibly seen quickly scrambling to create and give Trump a new set of codes.  Press Secretary Spicer later said, "He was just joking!"

 

Black Actors as KFC Colonel Sanders!

I saw the other day that Rob Lowe will be the latest actor to play the role of the Kentucky Fried Chicken icon Colonel Sanders in commercials.  My first thought of course was why can't KFC select a black man to play the role of Colonel Sanders?  Can you envision Jamie Fox, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, Eddie Murphy or Cedric the Entertainer in the role of the Colonel?  I can see either one of these actors adding some improvisation to the commercials.  Comments like, "This sure would taste good with some greens!"  Or, "Where's the hot sauce?"  So Jamie, Eddie, Steve, Kevin, Cedric, have your agents contact KFC and drop a commercial for us as the first black Colonel Sanders!

 

United Airlines

The video of United Airlines dragging the passenger off the plane due to overbooking gives new meaning to the slogan, "just lay back, relax  and let us do the flying!"

Ben Carson

While helping White House staff make President Trump grits for breakfast, HUD Secretary Ben Carson broke out singing old Negro spirituals to help motivate the black staff members. Said Ben, "I just want to do my part to make America great again!"

Next Trump Announcement

I will be the first to predict it.  The next Tweet by Russian Puppet U.S. President Donald Trump will be as follows.  “UFO’s really do exist.  Aliens visit me in Lincoln Bedroom at 2 a.m.”

Alternate Facts

So far the Trump administration has been faithful in applying the principles of “alternate facts” to everyday reality.  Contacts with Russian officials so far have been relegated to the amnesia world of “alternate facts”.  The attorney general of the United States forgets that he has met with Russian officials.  That doesn’t exactly give you much confidence in the top law official in the government does it?  What next?   Maybe he forgot some other important facts that would have prevented him from being approved for his office?  Maybe they’ve been told to lie until the lie becomes too overwhelming to maintain?  Then it’s time to resign.  Well, let’s see how long Attorney General Sessions lasts as Attorney General.

NBA All Star Weekend

I watched the NBA All Star “festivities” last week. They had a “rising stars” game that featured first and second year players.  They divided the teams by players born in the United States and those born in “foreign” countries.  It’s a “we” versus “them” game. “Them” was the “World” team.  The most challenging part of the game was hearing the announcers try to pronounce the foreign born players names.  By the time they announced all the names of the World players it was half time. I mean the World players had like 8 syllables and that’s in the first name only.  “Forward, from the San Antonio Spurs, Andrukylitis Staseepopulous Beecherenko Radmonivac.”  The name on the jersey ran in a horse shoe shape up, down, and around his back.  “Point guard, from the Ukraine, Vladimir Tychowsky Demetrioff.  They call him V.D.”  I hear women groupies avoid him.

What If ? (Here is a commercial I would like to see on television or during previews at the movies!)

Let us return to the year 1500.  A ship of settlers having made their way from Europe approach the eastern shore of what we now call the United States of America.  As they approach the shore they see a gigantic wall around the shore.  It rises some 90 feet from the ground.  It looks as though the wall extends forever along the coast line.  Several settlers get into a small boat and head for shore to get a closer look at the wall and to look for an entry point.  They walk for over an hour, but still find no entry point.  All of a sudden from behind them appears a group of Native Americans.  Sons of the original settlers of this land.  The Europeans are startled at first.  Then the Europeans attempt to communicate through hand signals indicating that they want to get inside the wall.  One Native American responds by rolling out onto the ground what looks to be a map.  It is a map of the world with "X" marks on the countries in Europe.  The Native American then points for them to head back to their boat.

Onto the screen comes a Native American narrator.  "What if we had vetted you in your first excursions into America?  What if we had denied you entry into our land?  What if we had built a wall?

The scene ends with the Europeans getting back into the boat and returning to their ship.  A view of the never ending wall ends the scene.  The caption "extreme vetting" comes on the screen.

Trump's Jobs Program

America's Russian puppet President, Donald Trump, will soon initiate his "America First" jobs program.  Plans are in progress for building the  immigration "Wall of Jericho" between the United States and Mexico.  In anticipation of the start of the massive project, thousands of Mexican and South American citizens are flooding the United States southern border, in the many underground tunnels beneath the proposed wall site, to get in line to apply for the wall builder positions.  Due to national security reasons, the wall builder federal jobs will be exempt from the Federal hiring freeze enacted by Trump this week.  The number of people needed to complete the project will also entice the many unemployed American black males to apply for the jobs also, only to be rejected for numerous reasons not yet developed.  Sean Spicer, Trump's alternate facts Press Secretary, told reporters that Trump is considering giving first preference for the new wall builder positions to descendants of Native Americans.  Spicer said Trump told him "we owe it to the Indians to allow them to help make America great again!"  He said this as he signed an executive order restarting the Dakota oil pipeline.  In protest against the proposed project, teenage hackers got into the Homeland Security web site and posted a video of John Mellencamp singing the iconic song "Crumblin' Down".  Internet chatter also spiked with discussion of proposed terrorist projects to target the wall shortly after it's completed.

 

Uncle Melvin

  • I grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri during the 1960s.  I had some classic old school Uncles.   Brilliant black men.  One time when I was a kid I once told my Uncle Melvin that I wanted some Mc Donalds French fries. That was a big thing back then, because we didn’t have any money to eat at McDonalds let alone any place.  So Uncle Melvin tells me, “Why pay McDonalds for French fries?”  He told me he would make me some.  So he got one small potato, some butter, a knife and a skillet.  Then he took that one small potato, cut it up and made about 800 shoestring French fries.  All from one small potato. He fried them in butter, and put some hot sauce on them. Best fries I ever had!
  • Then this other time I told Uncle Melvin, “The TV says there’s an ice storm coming.  Let’s go to the store for food!”  Uncle Melvin was all cool.  He turned to me and said, “We got bread?”  I said “yeah”.  Uncle Melvin asked “We got potatoes?”  I said “yeah” and smiled.  “French fries!”  Uncle Melvin asked “We got Con, Die, Mints?”  I said “Connie who?”  He said “Con, Die, Mints!  Mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, butter, hot sauce!”  I said, “Oh, condiments!  Yeah we got all that.”  Uncle Melvin said “we’ll be all right then.”  The ice storm came.  We were stuck inside for 3 days.  But we ate good.  Along with his famous shoe string French fries Uncle Melvin made the best Mayonnaise sandwiches, mustard sandwiches, I ever had.  For dessert we had melted butter grease spread on bread toasted in the oven with sugar on top.  “Sweet sugar toast”.  Now that was real eating.

Mentoring

  • I mentor kids in school. I know I’m old, but this one kid asked me if when I grew up did I know Harriett Tubman?  So I told him the truth.  I said, yeah I knew Harriett, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles.  As a matter of fact, me, Harriett and Jesus would hang out at the Whattaburger over by the highway.  That’s where we made the 10 Commandments.

Horror Films

  • I was looking for a good horror film to watch on TV.  So after flipping through about 75 channels I found one.  It was called the Republican Presidential Debates.  Now that was some scary stuff. People were on their talking about killing families of terrorists.  Talking about keeping whole races of people out of the United States.  At first I thought maybe Hitler had won WW II after all.  Maybe I had been dreaming that this was the land of the free.  Now can you imagine if I had talked about wiping out families of people who had lynched black people in the past.  Before I could finish my sentence, there would have been 400 rounds of bullets flying through my house as Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, and of course the local police converged on me.  So I guess the secret to saying hateful things is to run for President of the United States and say them.  I mean, these are candidates for supposedly the most powerful political office in the world.  It was embarrassing to see the candidates making faces and just spewing hate and racism out of their mouths. Was that reflective of the greatest country in the world?