Daily Archives: November 4, 2016

Remember the Zombamo – Chapter 11

A shirtless Bowie sat in a rickety chair in the residence of the esteemed Dr. Thomas Maddox, a decrepit old man with a withered face, spectacles, and a lengthy white beard.

The good doctor’s hands trembled.  In an effort to calm his nerves, he took a belt of whiskey, then for good measure, dropped a splash of the good stuff on his patient’s arm wound.


“Oh hush,” Dr. Maddox said as he pushed a needle into Bowie’s skin, then worked a piece of thread through the nasty cut. “I should hate to see the other fellow.”

“Depends on which fellow,” Bowie said. “The man who took the bullet meant for me is stone dead.”

“And the man who fired?” the doctor asked.

“Norris Wright.”

“Ah,” Dr. Maddox said. “You and that big mouth of yours.”


“Word that you accosted the sheriff’s reputation had infiltrated my ears as of late,” Dr. Maddox said as he squinted at the stitches he was making. “I assumed it would only be a matter of time before he challenged you to a duel.”

“I accepted,” Bowie said.

The good doctor sighed. “Of course you did.”

“What of it?” Bowie asked.

Dr. Maddox examined his patient’s back. A healed over bullet wound. A number of slashes and scrapes.

“So many scars,” Dr. Maddox said. “I should hate to be your guardian angel.”


“It may sound like poppycock,” the doctor said. “But I believe that every man has an angel looking after him.”

As soon as the wound was stitched shut, the doctor pulled on the thread tightly, then snipped off the end of the thread with a pair of scissors.

“You might consider putting your life ahead of your ego, my boy,” Dr. Maddox said. “You might live longer and your angel will thank you.”

Bowie grabbed the doctor’s bottle, took a swig, then set it down. “It’s not about ego. It’s about honor.”

“It’s about a set up,” Dr. Maddox said.

“A what?” Bowie asked.

Dr. Maddox stroked his beard. “James, you do have a knack for charging head first into a mess as though you were a rabid rhinoceros, oblivious to all consequences, concerned only in the imminent moment and not day after.

“Stop speaking gibberish old man.”

The doctor snipped the end off of a cigar, held it over a lit candle, then puffed on it. He inhaled, exhaled, coughed, then spoke again.

“Dueling is a gentleman’s sport,” Dr. Maddox said. “And you, lad, are no gentleman.”

Bowie scoffed. “What’s that got to do with a hill of beans, old man? I’m just as good as those fancy fucks. I’ve wheeled and dealed my way into more money than they’ve got, that’s for damn sure.”

“You have,” Dr. Maddox said. “But I resubmit the fact that you are no gentleman.”

The patient put on his shirt and buttoned it up.

“You see,” Dr. Maddox said. “When our forefathers took up arms against the British and drove their cursed hides from this land, it was assumed that the concept of royalty exited this country with them.”

“Didn’t it?” Bowie asked.

The doctor winked his left eye. “An aristocracy remains. To be certain, there are no lords, dukes, or princes here but…there are Governors. Senators. Wright, he was once Major Wright and is now Sheriff Wright, though he is free to use both titles interchangeably. And I, of course, have never been one for battlefield combat so I studied until I earned the right to be called ‘Doctor.’”

“What are you getting at?” Bowie asked.

“The titles changed but the titles remain, just the same,” Dr. Maddox said. “Whether you are in Jolly Old England or in the United States of America, if you have a title then you are a gentleman and there are rules for gentlemen.”

Dr. Maddox puffed on his cigar.

“Titled gentlemen obtain and maintain their power through the favors they perform for and receive from other titled gentlemen,” Dr. Maddox explained.
“I could buy and sell the lot of them,” Bowie said.

“No doubt,” Dr. Maddox said. “But you have no title and thus no position, the power of which could be bartered for assistance from other titled men. Thus, you are no gentleman.”

“We’ve established that,” Bowie said.

“Dueling,” Dr. Maddox said. “Is the means by which titled gentlemen regain their good name when it is besmirched by another titled gentleman. As such, gentlemen must follow the rules when squaring off with other gentlemen. But with a commoner such as yourself, Sheriff Wright will be able to violate the sanctity of the duel in any way he pleases and as long as you die, no gentlemen will think ill of him.”

“Sure they would,” Bowie said. “He’d be branded a cheater.”

Dr. Maddox laughed. “Oh my boy,” Dr. Maddox said. “That’s what titled gentlemen do. They sit around in parlors and smoke cigars and imbibe alcohol and plot out their intentions to cheat lowly commoners such as yourself.”

The good doctor noticed the smoke in his hand and the booze on his table, then cleared his throat.

“Naturally, I would never use my title to harm another,” Dr. Maddox said. “But Sheriff Wright would and will and as you hold no title, his fellow gentlemen will heap praise upon him for snuffing out the commoner who dared to speak up against him, rules be damned.”

Bowie’s lungs expelled a sigh of deep, forlorn exasperation. “Fuck.”

“Indeed,” Dr. Maddox said.

“Well,” Bowie said. “There’s nothing I can do about it now.”

“Preposterous,” Dr. Maddox replied. “Of course there is. Do not show up at the duel.”

“Then I’d be yellow,” Bowie said.

“My boy,” Dr. Maddox said. “I have spent eighty some odd years avoiding one fight after another and I assure you, being ‘yellow’ has allowed me to live a long, healthy life.”

Bowie looked around the doctor’s empty house. “What have you got to show for it?”

Now the doctor looked around his sparse home. “Touche.”

Dr. Maddox waved his hand through the air. “I have given you my counsel. Do with it what you will.”

Bowie put on his coat. “Be my second?”

The doctor choked on his smoke. “Don’t be absurd!”

“Every duelist needs a second,” Bowie said.

“And what good would I be to you as a second if you will not heed my advice?” Dr. Maddox asked.

“I don’t know,” Bowie replied. “You could patch me up like you always do?”

Dr. Maddox rubbed his aching cranium. “Oh fine. As we speak I can feel the eyes of your father, who had a head as hot as yours, burning a hole into my soul with his livid eyes, demanding that I assist you. I shall be your second.”

“Much obliged,” Bowie said.

“If only hot headedness could skip a generation,” Dr. Maddox said.

Bowie grinned. “Now where would the fun be in that?”

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Things that Really Frost My Ass – Uncle Hardass Continues to Run for President


E Pluribus Hardass

Hello degenerate 3.5 readers.

We meet again and I see you’re all still working on those writing careers.

In fact my incompetent nephew Bookshelf Q. Battler just informed me that November is “National Novel Writing Month” or “NaNoWriMo.”

You know what I call it? “LosersFindAnotherWayToNotWorkMo.”

Get a job, 3.5 readers. You people are an embarrassment to all 7 of your parents.

Moving on, the big presidential election is Tuesday, November 8.

You all laughed at me when I announced my bid earlier this year.

But now after you got to know the two frontrunners, suddenly old Uncle Hardass doesn’t seem like such a bad option, does he?

Sure, I’m old and I’ve never worked anywhere but the Salt Mines (which you should apply to) but I’ve never grabbed anyone by the pussy, that’s for damn sure.

Not only is that rude but it is also highly unsanitary.  I’ll have you know my ex-wife, BQB’s Aunt Gertie, tried to get me touch her there all throughout our many years of marital bliss and my response was always, “No dice!  Do you have any idea how many germs are on that thing?!”

Also, I’ve never had an e-mail scandal because I don’t e-mail, or use phones.  Whenever I want someone to know something, I just should at them very loudly and wherever they are in the world, they hear it.  I call it Uncle Hardass mail.

I don’t write crazy tweets because I think anyone who uses social media is an asshole, and that goes double for my lazy nephew, who you should not follow on Twitter – @bookshelfbattle

Seriously. Don’t follow him. You’ll just encourage him to keep this useless blog going and then he’ll never get a job at the salt mines.

Where was I?  Oh right. Comparing myself to the candidates. Also, I don’t engage in pay for play or take big donations in exchange for favors.

That’s not because I don’t want the money but because I don’t do shit for anyone.

That’s right.  Whatever you want done, you should do it yourself.  Sure, I could do all your shit for you but then what would you learn? What would you get for it?

When I was a kid if I wanted a road I had to build a road.

If I wanted to go to school I had to build the school then teach myself.

If someone needed to be arrested I just arrested them.

If another country declared war, I had to fight the war single handed. I personally fought and won 29 wars all by myself and I’m damn proud of it.

So no, I’m not going to take your money to do a political favor for you.  You keep your money and you get off your lazy ass and do whatever it is that needs doing.

Oh. BQB’s meddling attorney just handed me an envelope. “This blog is in no way encouraging people to undertake any kinds of official actions that they do not have the authority to do.”

For crying out loud. Ban all the lawyers! That’ll be the first thing I’ll do when I’m elected and then after that I’ll take a nap for a year.

In summation, here are more reasons why you should vote for me, Uncle Hardass, this Tuesday, November 8.

  • I’m younger than both candidates.  You wouldn’t think so but both are very, very, very old.
  • I’m going to be championing a new jobs initiative entitled, “Jobs! You Should Get One, You Lazy Son of a Bitch.” No need to create any new laws or organizations or programs to get people jobs. I am just going to go on TV once a week and nag all of you unemployed people about how awful you are for not having jobs and then surely all those people will do anything to get a job rather than be around to listen to me on TV, because my speech will be on every channel.
  • I will forego all wars and challenge opposing world leaders to an arm wrestling match instead.  Before you scoff, just keep in mind it gets kind of lonely for an old man, so I’ve been known to keep myself busy by shaking hands with the old bishop, often for hours at a time because honestly, at this point its just like pulling taffy.  Like it sort of wants to do something but not really.

Thank you, degenerate lazy 3.5 readers.

In conclusion of my summation, your writing ambitions are a waste of time and utterly pointless and also do something useful for a change and vote for me, Uncle Hardass.

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