Stuck in Lawndale

By Neal C. and Napalm Krigbaum


Ch 6- Impulses


Part One- A Survivor's Tale

(Napalm's Morning)

I had just gotten back into the Monaco to get something out of the glove compartment when Daria stirred.


       "Why's everything so dark?"

       "You're wearing my sunglasses."

       She took them off, squinted at me then put the glasses back on.

       "Morning to you too. What time is it?"

       "Seven ten."

       She stretched and looked around.

       "If you're not too tired can you help me with something?" I asked.

       "No, I won't massage your tense back if that's what it is."

       "I need you to help me switch my plates."


       "Then we can talk about my back."

       I couldn't tell with the glasses but I could sense she was ticked at that last comment. We went to the trunk and I popped it. Inside were some useful goodies that I'd have to move from the trunk into the car later, such as flares, a tool case and a bag of dry wall nails. (When did I get one of those?)

       "Carpet tacks?" She queried.

       "They're dry wall nails."

       "Nice collection." Daria remarked.

       I pulled out what I was looking for- two Connecticut state plates.

       "BDR 529."

       "Your plates?"

       "Yeah, they're copies from the original Bluesmobile, except in Connecticut state."

       "What if they get run?"

       "I already thought of that and I know for a fact there really is a man in this state with a '74 Bluesmobile with these plates. Chances are he isn't here."

       "Don't you think of everything?" She replied sarcastically.

       A few minutes later we had the plates switched off and nothing to do again. I was leaning against the car and she was sitting on the hood with one of her boots resting on the push bars when it hit me.

       "Daria, stay right there!"

       "Want to paint this picture?"

       "Something like that."

       "Gee, want me to do it with or without the clothes?"

       "Either way works for me."

       I reached into the passenger window and opened the glove box I found the camera and looked for someone to take the picture.  Max! He was just standing by the Tank and keeping guard. I walked over to him to see if he'd help me.

       "Max can you help me with something?"

       "Sure, what do you need?"

       "To take a picture."


       We headed back to the Bluesmobile, where Daria sat boredly looking around.

       "Put your head up a little more."

       "You'll see."

       She complied and looked up a bit more. I rest against the car again and Max took the picture.


       "So what was this all about?" Daria asked.

       "I'll show you. I couldn't pass it up."

       I put the camera back in the glove compartment and when I came back to her I had the cover to the Blues Brothers soundtrack in my hand.

       "Can I call you 'Joliet'?"

       "And who are you, 'Romeo'?"

       "I said 'Joliet', not "Juliet'."

       I showed her the cover- Elwood resting against the Bluesmobile and Jake sitting on top, just like us. She's much cuter than Jake though.

       "I see. Hey, why do I get to be the fat one?"

       "Because you're not the tall one."

       "The tall one is the fat one now."

       I shrugged it off. "Oh well."

       "I should have brought a book with me." She said out loud.

       "I have an owner's manual for the 1974-76 Dodge Monaco & Coronet."

       "As tempting as that sounds I'll pass."

       "Want to reconnoiter the area then, see where all the food places are."


       "We can go make fun of the bands practicing."

       She hopped off the hood. "Let's go."

       We decided against trying to drive in the traffic, which had began to slowly pick up again. The country road near us was a wall of vehicles on both sides, some with people hanging out of them. We followed the road a little ways into town, we passed the gas station and a few other lone buildings before the rural areas around the town gave way to the urban area, by urban I mean a few streets apparently laid 60 years ago and not repaired since WW II ended.

       "What are the odds it's a nickel a coke?" Daria said aloud.

       "Let's find out."

       We walked into a café, it was very old looking and it just reeked of that smell old buildings and books acquire. Inside it had that rustic feeling and look only maintained by people who found their style in the forties and never changed it. Or, judging from the smell anything else. Daria and I sat at a wooden table near the wall while we waited for an older lady to cross the room to greet us.

       "Good morning children." She said cheerfully. I haven't been called a child since I hit puberty, somewhere around age 6. I gave a solemn head nod.


       "Would you two like anything to drink?" She asked in the same pleasant tone.

       "Milk." Daria replied.


       "Black or without caffeine?"


       "We'll be with you in a moment deary."

       With those words the old lady shuffled away. Daria waited a few moments before she spoke.

       "I haven't been called 'deary' since my grandmother came to visit."

       "I don't think I've ever been 'deary'. A 'dear', sure, but not 'deary'."

       Moments later the old lady returned with my coffee and Daria's milk.

       "Have you decided one what to eat?"

       "White toast." Daria responded.

       "Anything else?"

       "Ma'am, until I can find the port-o-potties I'm not eating anything bigger than white toast."

       "Oh, would you have any butter on that, then?"


       "I see." She said in a funny tone. Then she turned to me.

       "And you young man."

       I couldn't pass this one up.

       "Four fried chickens and a coke."

       She began to look at me funny.

       "We don't serve that for breakfast."

       "Then I'll have what she's having."

       She nodded her head. "Anything else?"

       Daria shook her head.

       "No." I responded.

       "I'll be back shortly then."

       She hurriedly scurried back to the kitchen.

       "She looked at me like I was some kind of freak." Daria said.

       "Is a beatnik close enough? You are dressed all in black."

       She looked down at herself. I spied the sugar and creamers so I grabbed a few. First I started with the sugar, I put about four packets in before I could tell through the sunglasses Daria was looking at me funny.

       "Now you're looking at me like that old lady." I said.

       "You just dumped four bags of sugar into your coffee."

       "Thanks for keeping count, now I have four more to go through." I shrugged. "I hate black coffee, and they didn't have Cappachino available."

       She just sat there bored as I dumped the last four packets in. Then I began with the creamer but Daria stopped me.

       "Would you like some real milk?"


       She dumped some of the milk from her glass into my coffee.


       "It's not like I could have drank all of that anyway."

       I stirred the coffee, once black now a light shade of brown. I took a sip and it was good.

       "Ever hear Bad Moon Rising?" I asked Daria.

       "I think so."

       "Want to hear it?"

       "You're not going to sing are you?"


       I pulled a harmonica case from one of my pockets. I put the harp to my lips and began to play my rendition of Bad Moon Rising.

       "That was okay, I think."

       I wiped it off on my shirt. "You know anything?"

       "Just a few of the usual and some others."

       "Can I here you play?" I set the harp in front of her.

       "Ever hear this one?" She picked it up and blew familiar tune.


       "That was okay, I think." I said trying to mimic her voice, but she's too high.

       She began to play another one when the old lady came back with our breakfast.

       "I knew it! I knew it!"

"What?" We asked.

" I wasn't gonna judge you on your clothes, but I knew you were a beatnik! Get out! We don't serve your kind here! So you and your boyfriend is going to have to leave before you corrupt this here establishment."

She set down the food on a nearby table before grabbing Daria's shoulder, on reflex I grabbed the old bat's wrist with a tight grip.

"Let go." I growled. I gave her a look which said I didn't care if she killed me, she wasn't going to touch Daria like that. She shakily complied and let go of Daria. In turn I let go of her wrist. Daria took a drink of her milk and stood up.

"I think we should go." Daria announced.

She walked past me and I brought up the rear after I tossed two dollars onto the table. It was now nearly ten and we hadn't had anything to eat. We walked down the street and I think I could hear Daria's stomach growl.

"You forgot this." She handed me my harp, I shoved it back in my pocket. I had left the case on the table.

"How did you do that in there?" She asked.

"Piss off an old lady?"

"No, your eyes." Daria replied.

"My eyes are hazel, when I turn my head quickly, under the right lighting my eyes will appear to flash green like that."

"Cool trick. Too bad you can't teach it."

"It's a gift."

We walk some more until it felt like our feet were going to wear out when a gas station came up ahead.

“How about we just eat there?” I asked Daria.

"But do you think they’ll serve beatniks like us?"

Yes, they did. Several cheap muffins, another cup of milk and a Cappachino later we were ready for lunch. But first we had to rest a little in the air conditioning. We sat in the booth in the gas station and look outside. It was boring out there, nothing would begin until three.

"And they call me boring." Daria observed.

"Think any of the bands are up and practicing?"

"The semi-sober ones."

"Want to go watch them?"

"Then what are we going to do after lunch?"

"Good point."

We sat in silence, this dull morning was dragging.

"Want to help me find a new harp case?"

"Too much like clothes shopping, but what the Hell?"

Two hours later we had come to a decision- this town sucks. It didn't have a store that sells harp cases and we were stuck playing the town's newest arcade game- a original copy of Lethal Defender. The original game with a gun to shoot. But, in order to play it we had to go in the back room since it 'wasn't appropriate for young eyes' and the manager sat back there and tried to talk to us while we played since he didn't want us 'doing things us young beatniks do'. Near the end of the hours Daria had enough of being referred to as 'beatnik'.

"We're not beatniks." Daria explained.

"Then why's you wearin' black and him with that cammy-flage and that feather in his hat?"
       "It's because after we were stripped and left for dead along side of the road these were all we could find." I explained.

Then we were kicked out of there too and we were back to pounding the old pavement. At least he didn't try to grab Daria. I looked up- now the sun was high in the sky.

"This morning is like Dave Attell's Insomniac in reverse." I remarked.

Daria didn’t respond. Then I noticed that Daria, dressed in black, looked really hot.

"Daria, you look really hot."

"Stop trying to come onto me."

"I mean hot like sweating and red, ready to pass out."

"Why aren't you hot? You have on that thick jacket."

"It's a summer jacket." At least that's what it says on the woodland field jacket's tag.

" I think I just need water."  She panted.

I looked around. A Burger World was just a few hundred yards ahead and across the street.

"I think you can get some water there."

We walked over to Burger World and into it's air conditioned bliss. Then we got into its not so blissful line the moment the door opened.

"This might take a while to get through the line." Daria said. I looked at my watch, it was almost noon.

"While we're at it we should probably order lunch for everyone."

"If we live that long." Daria spat. She sounded hot too. Yes, that has a double meaning.

After about fifteen minutes we made it to the front of the line, by then Daria had cooled off some and looked a little less red. We ordered and when they handed Daria the cup of water they accidentally spilled it on her.  We ate our meals inside before heading out with the rest of the food.

"At least the meal was free." I mused on our way back to the camp.

"Not from my point of view." Daria responded.

"This sounds like a scene from Star Wars."

We walked the rest of the way back to camp talking about that and other related topics. Can you say six degrees of boredom?  Star Wars-Alec Guinness-Bridge Over the River Kwai- Japanese brutality in WW II. It may have been boring but I enjoyed the conversation and the person I was having it with. That made this lousy morning worthwhile.


Part Two- Acceptance

(Neal’s Morning)

      By the time I woke up, the sun was already high in the sky.  It was getting hot.  I opened my eyes and looked into the noonday sky.  I sat up, hurting my side in the process.  I grimaced at the pain. 

       I stood up and walked around.  I hadn’t slept on the ground in ages and I was stiff from it.  I stretched and walked over to the Tank.  True to form the members of the Spiral were still passed out.  Except for Max.   He was sitting in the meager shade the van provided.

       “Hey man.” He greeted.

       “Yo.” I sat beside him.  “So what’s up.”

       “Nuthin’.  I’m supposed to be keeping watch.  Wait for you and the guys to wake up.  The music starts at three.”

       I nodded. “So where is everyone?”

       He shrugged. “Napalm and Daria went out for the morning.  Jane said something about having a lot to think about so she went for a run.”

       “Have you seen any cops yet?”

       “Nah.  I put the new tags on the Tank.  I had ‘em sitting in the glove box.  Never got around to putting them on though.  Napalm took the plate off the chopper. He said the cops would recognize it.”

       “That’s fine.”

       “Hey you play punk guitar right?”


       “You wanna enter the contest with Nick and me?”

       “Huh?  Aren’t you entering with Mystik Spiral?”

       “Yeah.  But you can enter in more than one band… And I really wanna play punk again.”

       Oh, I get it.  Skinhead punk.     

       “Eh, I dunno.”

       “Well, will you think about it?”

       “Yeah, I can do that.”

       Then Daria and Napalm walked into camp with a bag of Burger World takeout.  Napalm walked over. 

       “Decide to join us in the land of the waking?”

       I rolled my eyes. “Not voluntarily.”

       He smirked. “Here.”  He handed me a burger.

       “Thanks.  Burger World Super Beefy Burger… breakfast of champions.”

       Daria walked up.  “Champions of the eating contest.”

       The smell of food slowly woke the rest of the Spiral and they tumbled out of the Tank.

       “What time is it?” Trent asked.

       “After noon.” I replied

       “That early?”

       “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

       We all sat around the barrel and ate and made our plans for the day.  Trent and Jesse were going to go get the band booked for the battle on Sunday.  Nick and Max were going to go check up on the competition.  Napalm and Daria were going to go make fun of the alts.  Jane still hadn’t showed up.

       I guess everyone sensed I was kinda down.  They all asked if I wanted to come.  But I declined all of them.  Then I went and sat back down by the Tank.  Trent, Jesse, Nick and Max wandered off.  Napalm approached me.

       “Are you sure you don’t wanna come with us?”

       I nodded. “Yeah, I’m gonna wait for Jane to show up.”



       "Oh well, that'll leave me alone to spend my afternoon with a beautiful girl."

       He looked at me kinda worriedly.  Then he and Daria left camp.

       I sat back against the tank and winced as the pain shot through my side.  It wasn’t as bad as it had been, so I was probably healing.

       What do I do now?  I probably fucked up my relationship with Jane up beyond all recognition.  I should never have asked her that.  That was so stupid of me.  Too soon… too soon.

       I sighed, trying to work things out in my head.  It wasn’t going very well.  Finally I stood and retrieved Trent’s acoustic from the Tank.  I climbed in and started working on the chord progressions of a new song that was formulating in my head.

       I kept coming up with minors and muted power chords.  It sounded very turbulent and troubled.  It echoed my psyche, as music tends to do.  It also sounded profoundly sad, like a lost child.

       I sat and played for a while.  It didn’t sound all that wonderful.  Of course, that may be because power chords are the domain of electric guitars.  Then I heard her.

       “Yo.” Jane said softly.

       “Hey.” I answered, not turning around.

       “We need to talk”

       I nodded and turned around.  She was sitting in the sliding door of the tank.  I was cross-legged inside.  She pushed the dirt outside around with her boot.

“Yeah, we do.” I sat the guitar down and slid over to sit next to her. “About last night…”

“Yes.” She said, looking at me.

“Wha…”  I couldn’t have heard that right.

“I said yes.  I’ll do it.  I’ll tie the noose.”

“I… You… We… Are you sure?”

She nodded. “Guys like you don’t just appear out of the middle of nowhere everyday.  It’s only happened once that I know of… Twice if you count Napalm.  It’s fate I guess.”

“I’m not a fatalist.  If you aren’t ready it’s Okay.”

“I’m ready.  I’m headed for college, full art scholarship.  I don’t have to worry about supporting myself and paying for school.  You’ll be able to get a job at a studio somewhere.  We can stay at the house until we get our own apartment.”  She put her hands in mine. “I want to do this.”

I stared into her eyes.  It was there.  SHE LOVES ME!!! THIS NICE GUY FINISHED FIRST!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

“Wahooooo!!” I yelled.

“Settle down.  Now what do we do?”

“I guess we tell everyone else… Unless you want to go to the courthouse and keep it a secret for now.”

She looked at me.  Then grinned evilly. “That’s great… let’s make em’ figure it out on their own.  Do we get rings?”

“Nah, too cliché.” I thought for a moment. “Rings… I’ve got it.  What gauge are your earrings?”

“Bottom to top, Ten, twelve and fourteen.”

“Perfect.”  I extracted my bottom earring.  “This is a ten gauge too.  Here.” I handed mine to her. “Now give me yours.” She took hers off and handed it to me.  I put it in my ear and she put mine in hers. 

“Nice engagement ring. You can’t tell the difference.” She said.

“Yeah, but we know… and that’s all that matters.”  I looked at her.  “You know, we’re engaged now and no one’s around to bother us…” I wiggled my eyebrows.

Jane smirked and slid the Tank’s side door shut…


Part Three- Party All Night Long

(Napalm's Evening)



Daria and I had just made it in time to see the opening act: Some guy with tattoos whining at the top of his lungs while a guitarist just did stuff in the background. It set the mood for the afternoon. But before we could set around and listen to the music we  had to find a place to sit down in the packed field.

       "There's a good place." I said.


       "Good as in, better than in a ditch."

       We walked over to the spot  then we realized he had forgotten something very important.

       "Napalm, weren't you suppose to bring the blanket?"

       "I thought you were? I have the ice chest." I held the evidence of that up.

       "It's all right."

       I took off my field jacket, took the stuff out of it's pockets then spread it out to sit on.

        "Does this work for you?" I asked.

       "Good enough for government work.."

       We sat down and grabbed drinks as we observed the gyrating whiners on stage.

       "Is it just me or does that guy on stage have no talent?"

       "The talent probably ran off with his shirt." She replied.

       "And his  pants." The guy on stage wore nothing but a pair of Doc Martens and sock over his…little thingie.

       We were comfortably settled down on the jacket when I took my chance, I brought my hand from my lap and let it swing down to my side and into her hand. She waited a moment before saying anything.

       "This is as far as you're getting, you know that right?"

       "Far enough for me." I responded.

       I let her take a little more hold onto my hand before we continued watching the bands play. 

After a few more bands like that we got bored. Time for a normal conversation again.

       "Have you ever done this before?" I asked.

       "I've never gone all the way."

       "How was the car last night?"

       "It was a good vinyl seat. Had a dream about scratching a cat though." She said knowingly.

       "Sorry about that. I figured if you knew you'd have killed me by now."

       "You weren't conscious or anything, it looks like you just fell asleep and landed on me. I don't care."

       "I'm happy. You get much sleep last night?"

       "About four hours, for another hour I just played with your head. So if you find any crop circles in there, it's from me."

       "Done with love no doubt."

       She pointed at the stage.

       "This can't be happening." She said.

       I looked up and she was right. Beavis and Butt-Head were on stage and with a band.

       "He-he-he-m-he-he-he. We'd like to dedicate this song to that little whore who never gave us any." Beavis said.

       "Huh-huh-huh. We call it, the Diarrhea Song, a Cornholio and the Butt Munches original."

       Daria shook her head and it appeared she was very embarrassed.

       "I have a rifle in the car, I can get it and put them out of our misery if you like." I offered.

       "Thanks for the offer but I'll decline. Rifles aren't personal enough." She spat.

       We watched their act and it was pitiful. They started off by jumping around the stage pretending to play air guitar. Apparently they had hired a band to play the actual crappy music. Beavis started-


       Wank on! We knew a girl, Diarrhea! Diarrhea! She would flirt with me but never put out!


       Then Butt-Head started up. 


       Dirty slut! Dirty slut! She smelt so bad it was like an odor from my butt. Huh-huh.


       "I think I'll kill them later." Daria said as she watched.


       Tanqueria! Tanqueria! She was just a little whore! Wore a skimpy top and not much more! She sounded vaguely like-


       Butt-Head and the band backed their front-dork up again.


       Diarrhea! Diarrhea! Our favorite school time slut! She would do every guy behind the nacho hut!


       "Except us!" Butt-Head yelled. Then Beavis tossed in another nasty part.


       She'd even do them from the butt!


       "Is there something I should know about you?" I asked Daria.

       "My legs used to be wide enough for a semi-truck to drive through, but that was before I joined the church and saw the light."

       "What did the light tell you?"

       "Nothing much but then it hit me- the band, Napalm, the band!"

       "The band? The band. The band? The band!" I finished in my best Elwood.

       "I'm quoting Blues Brothers, this is your fault."

       "I'll take the responsibility."

       "At least they didn't mention me by my real name." But the song wasn't over yet. Beavis still had another verse to let out.


       Diarrhea Morgendorffer is a dirty slut! She so blind she'd screw anybody for a buck!



Daria ducked her head low so no one could see her as the band just played some wild chords until the end as Beavis, as Cornholio runs around on the stage talking nonsense and Butt-Head chanted "Diarrhea, cha, cha, cha!"  Eventually they did end though and another crappy band for us to make fun of replaced them.

"You know what I just realized Daria?"

"You're not as smart as you thought you were in the first place?"

"You know who we sound like when we sit around and make fun of bad bands?"


I did the impression the best I could. "Uh-huh-huh-huh-huh."

"Just as long as you're Butt-Head." She replied.

"Fine Beavis." I was tempted to smack her in the head but I don't think she would have liked that much.

"I'm not Beavis, I'm Daria."

"Diarrhea the dirty slut?"

She smacked me. "I thought I was supposed to do the smacking?" I asked.

"Not this time."

We watched the bands play on and what can I say, some acts deserved record contracts thrown at them and other deserved to have records thrown at them. Eventually night fell and we were still there, kind of. Daria's four hours of sleep was catching up with her and it finally did with a vengeance. We were talking then plop! She fell over backwards and just started sleeping.

"Daria? Daria? Diarrhea?"

No answer. I shook her shoulder. Still no response. She was out. That meant I couldn't just leave her here and grab a bite to eat. Unless…no, I could carry her as far as the car. I shook her a little more roughly, she blinked, mumbled and then went back to sleep, looking like some kind of angel. She was out and there was nothing I could do about it except wrap the coat around her for warmth and take off the glasses so she didn't break them. Eventually people started leaving and except for a few couples making out we were alone in this converted field. I put my hat on the ground and tried to get some sleep. It would be a long chilly night.


When I came to that morning I found the coat on me and Daria sitting Indian style in front of me.

"I was worried I'd have to leave you. It seemed like you'd never wake up." She said.

"Same to you. You nodded off last night, I couldn't get you to wake up, couldn't move you, so I was stuck in this field, minus jacket making sure no one messed with you."

"Sounds like my morning. I woke up some time before sun up, found myself with a jacket over me and I couldn't see a thing. Then I saw you and figured out what happened. Sorry."

I handed her back the sunglasses.

"Thanks for being there for me."

"Well I couldn't leave you." She replied.


"I couldn't see my way around without glasses on." She teased.

"I know the feeling." I took off my glasses and waved them around for a moment. "Thankfully these things are made of flexon and bend instead of break. Want to get breakfast on our way back to camp?"

"Let's go."

We got up and went for breakfast down at the gas station on our way to the camp. It may have been a lousy night but I think it brought us closer together so it was worth it.


Part Four- Tying the Noose

(Neal’s Evening)


       Jane and I lay bundled together in the bedroll in the back of the Tank.  She looked stunning.  It was a moment.

       “I can’t believe we did it in the Tank.  Isn’t there something intrinsically wrong with that?”

       “What can I say?  I’m the guy your mother warned you about.”

       “No, that honor goes to Richard Nixon… She was having a flashback.”

       I snickered. “Good one.”

       “I wasn’t joking.”


       “You know, we’d better get going if we want to get to the courthouse before it closes.”

       I nodded. “You’re absolutely right.  Let’s go… Uh, where’d I throw my pants?”

       “Wait, do you think they’ll arrest us if we show up at the courthouse.”

       “Not if we don’t ride the chopper.  There are tons of purple haired guys here.  If we walk we’ll be fine.”

       “If you say so… Hmmm.”


       “I think we should dress up a little.  You know, getting married is a pretty big thing.”

       “I didn’t bring any other clothes.”

       “Well I did and I’m going to wear them.”

       Later we emerged from the Tank into the late afternoon sun.  I was wearing my usual fatigue pants and blue, dead smiley t-shirt.  Jane, however, was dressed in a cut off t-shirt that had the word ‘punk’ printed on it, a ragged black skirt, fishnet stockings and her boots.

       “Where did you pick that stuff up?” I asked.

       “Well I made the shirt.  The skirt was Daria’s, until the neighbor’s dog got to it.  And I bought the fishnets on a whim at the Funky Doodle.  I guess they finally have a use.”

       “They look hot… I still can’t believe you want to get married in that outfit though.”

       She smirked. “I’m all about breaking traditions.  Besides, look at yourself.  You aren’t exactly dressed up.”

       I shrugged. “I guess you’re right.  C’mon, we’d better get a move on.” I put my hand in Jane’s and we walked off towards town.

       Only one word can describe Swedesville… Anachronism.  It looked like it was ripped right out of a friggin’ Norman Rockwell painting.  I think there were only four paved streets in the whole burg, and they were more pothole than street.

       Jane looked around. “This is kinda scary.  Like, Twilight Zone scary.”

       I nodded. “How do these people survive?”

       She shrugged.

We walked on until we came to a tin building.  It had a sign out front that read:

Scandia County Court House

   I looked around.  No cops.  I turned to Jane. “Are you ready for this.”

       I felt her hand was trembling slightly.  She took a deep breath and steadied herself.  “Yeah… Yeah I am.”

       “I love you.”

       “I know.”

       I pushed the door open and we walked into the oven that was the courthouse. 

       “You think they could invest in an air conditioner.” Jane said.

       “These people don’t know they’ve been invented yet.”

I looked around.  The place really was just a courthouse.  It had a small area with a desk and a counter.  It had a sign that said:

Scandia County Treasurer, DMV, Clerk and Human Services Advisor 

There was an older woman behind the desk, typing.  The rest of the place was taken up by folding chairs, two tables and the Judge’s bench.

   “Oh a Swiss army desk.” Jane said, reading the sign.

       I chuckled slightly.  We approached the desk.

       “Excuse me.”  I said.

       The woman looked up.  “Can I help ya’ll with somthin’?”

       “Yes, we’d like to apply for a marriage license.”

       “Okay, wait a second.”  She went through a filing cabinet. “You’d be surprised how many of these we get durin’ the festival.”  She found what she was looking for and brought a slip of paper over to the counter.   “You need to fill this out.”

       I filled out my section of the license.  Then passed the paper to Jane.  She looked at it for a moment then turned to me.  “Is it okay if I keep my own last name?”

       “Whatever makes you happy.  I didn’t exactly pick Chaucer either.”

       “Thanks.” She finished filling out the form. 

The woman took it over to the desk and typed something onto another form.  Then she stamped the license.  She walked back over and handed us the carbon copy. 

       “Now all you got to do it have Judge Leopold sign it.  I’ll ring his chambers.”  She picked up the phone and dialed the extension.

       I turned to Jane. “Leopold?”

       The woman talked on the phone for a second then hung up and turned to us.  “He’ll see you right now.  Through that door over there.”

       I approached the door with some trepidation.  Jane was right behind me.  I knocked on the door.

       “C’mon in.  Door’s open.” Came a voice from inside.

       I opened the door and saw the judge.  He was a older man, he was putting on a hunting vest when we walked in.  I noticed the walls were covered with trophies.  Head mounts and stuffed fish and whatnot.

       “Darlene tells me ya’ll want to get married.  Is that so?”

       “Yes your honor.” I said.

       “Aw, don’t bother with that ‘your honor’ stuff.  We aren’t in the courtroom.  Ya’ll can call me judge.  I was just about to leave when Darlene called up, so lets make this quick.  I gotta ask you a few questions.”

       “Shoot.” I said.

       “Well, How old are ya?”

       “I’m eighteen.”

       “Miss, how old are you?”


       I looked at Jane.  She’s nineteen?

       “Neither one of ya is drunk at the moment right?” He smirked, joking.

       “Not that I know of.” Jane said.  I shook my head.

       “Well then lets get on with it.  By the power vested in me by the state of New York, I pronounce you man and wife.  Let me sign that.”

       I handed him the license.  He signed both copies and handed them back. 

       “Give the original to Darlene on yer way out and you kids have fun.”

       We turned to leave when he spoke again, sounding more serious.  “You don’t happen to ride a motor-sickle do ya son?”

       I turned.  “Nope.  We drove up here with my band.  In a van.”

He picked a piece of paper up from his desk and handed it to me.  It read:


Purple Haired Teen.

Last seen riding a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle.

Vehicle had blue flame painted on gas tank

And ‘anarchy’ sign instead of license plate.

$500.00 Reward.

Photo not available.

       “Well if you see someone fitting the description, you come on in here and report it okay?”   

       “Sure thing judge.” I nodded my good bye and left the office.

       Jane gave the original copy of the license to Darlene as we left. “That’ll be fifty dollars for the processing fee.” I handed her the money.

We walked out of the court house into the light of the early evening setting sun. 

       “What do we do now?” I asked.

       Jane shrugged.  “We could go listen to the music.”

       “Eh… We can hear it all too well from camp.”

       Jane smirked. “I guess that’s right.  We could grab supper somewhere.”

       “That’s a start… Jane, what do we do for a honeymoon?”

       “New York’s not all that far away.”

       “I wish I could afford to take you to New York.  I dropped my last fifty on the license.” I said, glumly.

       “I have one of Mom’s blank checks.” Jane said.  I stopped walking and looked into her eyes.

       “We can’t do that.  That’s like stealing.”

       “No, Mom always said she’d pay for my wedding.  Well, I didn’t have a wedding so she can pay for my honeymoon.” Jane took my hands in hers.  “Let’s go… right now!”

       “You are impulsive, reckless and a little dangerous.  That’s why I married you.  We have to leave a note for the guys though.”

       Jane nodded. “We can do that much.  Let’s go get everything.”

       We picked up the pace and made it back to camp.  I took a page from Jane’s sketchbook and scribbled a note explaining the situation and left under Napalm’s windshield wiper.

       “Well I guess this blows the secret.” I said.

       “They would have found out eventually.  And the fact that we eloped oughta shock ‘em enough.” Jane smiled.

       I nodded and smiled back.  We got everything packed and got on the chopper.  I started her up and headed off into the sunset.  This was the story, the American Dream.  We had drummed it up on our own, and now we were cashing the check.


Neal C.’s Author’s Notes:  Did I do what you think I did? Yep.  Expect The New York Minute (tentative title of the next fic) sometime.  Why, isn’t this a little quick?  Yes it is a little fast, if you go by the timeline it’s only been about a month and a week since Jane and I even met.  But this is a fanfic, I know I’m probably impulsive enough to do it and Jane definitely appears to be that impulsive so I think it is true to the characters.  Speaking of the timeline, Napalm brought up the fact that I skipped from my first day to my first month (There are no fics between Fear and Loathing in Lawndale and Party!)  The reason for this is the fact that I want to get the major details of the continuum down.  I’ll add some of the more mundane stuff (by Daria standards) that happens through vignettes that I’ll post as I write them.