“The only good thing Obama did was come after my guns ‘cause it prepared me for these Chinese.”
Yeah? I ask. Obama came after his guns? Donny Brey, dba “Lawn Donkey”, cleared his nasal passage with a snort. Obama might as well have come for them as he would have never found them just the same, Donny brags, explaining his hidden arsenal is separated between three storage units listed under the names of unsuspecting ex-girlfriends.
“Shit, if I ever go tits-up, them women will be in for a surprise when they inherit enough of an arsenal to liberate Kuwait.” He’s amused with himself. I nod, mostly because of the mosquitos tickling my nostril.
I didn’t volunteer for this conversation. I was merely taking the garbage out of my undisclosed suburban location when Donny Brey approached me with a flier for his lawn service. I am relieved he doesn’t recognize me. I turn down the flier, can’t be too safe these days, I say. Yep, Donny says, planting his feet six feet from me in the socially-agreed upon distance. No need for the flier, he says, because he’ll take this opportunity to talk to me about his spring-time lawn-servicing deals. I try excusing myself. I have a cake in the oven. And I am late for court. And I might have Covid-19. Maybe even Covid-20. Donny insists he’ll only be just a second.
He’s an imposing figure, this Donny Brey dba “Lawn Donkey”. He seems to be of Appalachian Irish-Scottish stock with skin which wants to be fair but has spent so many hours in the sun Donny appears to be part suitcase – flesh like leather which has been dragged for miles. He’s tall and sinewy with a blonde mustache which matches the braided ponytail falling across his back as if tracing his twisted spine. And he has a massive set of polycarbonate headwear shielding his eyes and half of his face behind gasoline-colored lenses.
Donny is talking about the shabby shrubbery and un-immaculate yard, but this isn’t even my house. I wonder if I should come clean and tell the man I don’t own the place, I just reside here rent-free, enjoying the saltwater pool, high thread-count sheets and decent Wi-Fi until my realtor girlfriend sells the house, which could be a while because who is buying a house in the middle of an apocalypse? But do I want Donny Brey, the lawn donkey, knowing I’m squatting? Who knows who he’d tell and my realtor girlfriend would be outraged if such detail went public. Besides, I half-suspect Donny’s casing the joint. Actually, I am pretty sure he’s got an eye out for houses to rob. Is it right to suspect Donny capable of such misdeeds? Yeah, I know the guy. I once wielded a weed-whacker as a member of his crew, but under a different name and disguised by sideburns, a bum knee and a penchant for fast women, which is why he doesn’t recognize me here today. Donny Brey is definitely suspect and there are plenty of part-time residents stuck upriver or upstate or somewhere in this upper-hemisphere with empty houses in Florida begging to be ransacked.
“Those dog-eaters over at the People’s Republic would definitely do something like this…” Donny Brey begins at some point. “Sacrifice their own people to this flu to build up immunity and then release it upon the world. Fuck, they probably have their own fucking vaccine! There are entire U.S. aircraft carrier ghost ships left adrift ‘cause all the seaman are hacking up this ‘Chinese Virus’. We’re vulnerable. More than ever. Economically, financially, militarily, spiritually.”
I chuckle under my breath. Spiritually? Really? I ask Donny Brey what their plan is.
“Land invasion.” Donny Brey is sure.
Over the landbridge? Are they expecting an ice age to dry up the Bering Straits so they can march on Alaska? Or did they buy Canada in order to invade from the north. Donny Brey shrugs, says they might come by boat. But, I ask like a smarmy douchebag, wouldn’t that be a sea invasion if they are invading by sea?
“A home invasion ain’t when someone attacks you from their home. It’s when they invade your home.”
I thank him for the conversation, but I must be returning to my pot roast and besides, I already have a lawn service crew. He asks who. I shrug ignorance.
“Bet they’re a bunch of spandex.” He says which provides weird imagery of a troop of street bicyclists and yoga moms trimming the hedges. “Spandex are cheap and hard-workers, but when the going gets tough, those Mexicans will let you down. Let me tell you a story about Hurricane Charley in 2004. Mr. Simmons, God rest him, he discontinues my service and goes with a crew out of, I dunno, Guacamolia. Hurricane Charley tears the asshole out of Florida and before winds even stop I am out checking on my customers, even those who discontinued their service. I find Mr. Simmons in his home impaled by a palm tree. I couldn’t save his life, but I did him the respect of a proper funeral before his dogs scavenged him. You think them Guacamoles would have done him the same courtesy?”
That is a story, I tell him.
“Who are you going to trust when this ‘Chinese Virus’ is ripping out your lungs and the Chinese Army is marching down Pineapple Avenue? My people have been in Central Florida since the Indian Wars and we Breys ain’t going to surrender Florida without hell of a fight. And that goes towards your lawn service.”
He really should be more discreet. I tell him as much. Taking inspiration from the books of Kyril Bonfiglioli, I mention to Donny the International Chinese Waiters Union is the biggest espionage organization in the world, but they employ more than waiters. And since the 1980s they’ve been hiring spies of European ancestry. In fact, there could be a communist spy listening to him, the lawn donkey, right now. If so, the Chinese would become aware of what a great threat to their devious plans Donny Brey is! I don’t tell Donny I know who he is or remember his favorited beer, but I do mention off-hand how Anheuser Busch is owned by Belgians and Belgium sold out to China long-ago and the Chinese have likely been poisoning Bud-Lights for the last six months as they roll-out their masterplan. Perhaps we should all switch to Miller Lite?
“Ain’t drinking no Miller Lite.” Donny Brey’s face is pained, confused, or at least it appears as much from what I can tell from this side of his polycarbonate eyewear.
Probably better off, I nod, mentioning Miller Lite is owned by South Africans and South Africa is practically a puppet-state of China. Donny Brey nods back and gives a snort to clear more sinus space. He’s probably wondering what he’s going to drink with his sloppy-joe dinner if all his BLs are poisoned. I hope he is. I hope he is wondering which beers are safe. I hope he’s wondering which people in his life, on his crew, in his apartment complex are Chinese spies. His shoulders are slumping with defeat.
“Yep, well you let us know if you ever decide you need Lawn Donkey on your side.” It’s all the sales-pitch he has left and it has lost his earlier vigor. He turns and walks away.
I don’t feel bad for the guy, but I want to give him something to live for.
“Hey, Lawn Donkey!” I call after him. “Your safest bet is grabbing something refreshing from south of the border. Oh, and I noticed Corona is on sale…”