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 Two Ton Tony’s Tomato Surprise  
in three parts
by: Stephen
(& Chintz)

 

Part I 
 

Two Ton Tony was upset.  He’d fallen down and busted his knee and he had to spend most of his paycheck to get his knee fixed up.  What a bummer.  Life was like that.  You work and work and work and sweat and then you get to where you think you can breathe easy again and something like this happens.  It wasn’t so much that he’d had to spend his check; the insurance company would reimburse it.  The bills were paid.  Nobody was going to chuck him out of his pad.  But here it was, 2 days before Christmas and a week of no pay and no way he was going to be able to go anywhere during the holidays with his leg in a cement sock!

Just bummers.

But, trying to look at the bright side.  Tow Ton Tony consoled himself with thinking about the weather reports of snow and even blizzard conditions coming up.  He wouldn’t have been going anywhere anyway.  Not in a snowstorm!  He might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but he wasn’t the butter knife!

What to do with himself then?  He’d hoped to call up some of the bros and have a few brews and chews.  But he knew they would all be hauling off to get home if the weather broke true.  He didn’t have a telephone anyway.  He went back down into the dumps with this thought.  It had been like this for two days now.  Up and down.  Down and up.  Mood swings were nasty, if you asked Tow Ton Tony!

Just then there was a knock on the door.  Two Ton Tony had moved his chair close to the door so all he had to do was reach out and turn the knob and pull it open a bit to see out.  On his doorstep was a scruffy looking old hobo with a crumpled brawn grocery bad with something in it that was kind of heavy.  The man was shi8fty eyed with an uncertain manner and all he said was, “Here, you take this.  I think you are the one I was told of”.  And shoved the bag in the door and turned and left.  Reaching down, Tow Ton Tony got a grip on the sack and drug it on in and then shut the door.

 Picking the sack up, he flopped back in his chair again and pulled the crinkled bag open and had a look inside.  20 lb. package of dog food!  What kind of joke was this?  He was sure that the old man was lost and had delivered the package to the wrong place and he, Tow Ton Tony, wasn’t fixing to try and find out whom it belonged to.  Let the old fart get his due!

 After he’d dozed off for a while, he was surprised to hear another knock at the door.  He’d never heard a sound and he usually could hear anybody coming unless they just walked in which was unlikely as his place was at the almost end of a dead end street and the house next door was boarded up for the winter and the last house also had a driveway that led to a main road.  Some ¼ mile farther than the line between Two Ton Tony’s and that property.  Across the road was only a tree nursery.  Where it just so happened that Tow Ton Tony was chief foreman of the grounds crew.  The office was a half-mile up the road from the end of his dead end street.

 So he was really up a tree with this door knocking!

 But what the ever!  Two Ton Tony leaned over and got the door knob in a good grip and pulled the door open just enough to do business and not have anyone come barging in on him.  He had a grip like two pair of ViseGrips and if the doorknob didn’t break off, nobody was getting in on him.  “YEH!” he barked over his arm holding the door.

 “UPS, I have a package for you”.  The deliveryman leaned forward enough for Two Ton Tony to see him and Two Ton Tony told him he would let go the doorknob and he could stick the package in and he’d sign if he had to but the dude had to shut the door for him when he left.

 Which was easy enough as the package didn’t call for a signature and the man simply shoved the package in where Two Ton Tony had an easy access to it and pulled the door shut without a word and left.  Two Ton Tony cocked his ear and listened hard but did not hear any UPS truck leave.  Rolling over on the armrest, he lifted himself on his elbow and twisted his neck to look back up the road and did not see a thing more than the rows of trees growing in the nursery - trees Tow Ton Tony hoped nobody ever ordered, as they gave him some sense of privacy.

 Lurching back upright in his chair, Two Ton Tony started to flop back in his chair and then remembered the package.  One good thing about the injury.  The medications prescribed did work awful well and he wasn’t feeling too bad, considering!

 But it didn’t do wonders for his concentration level.  Which made Two Ton Tony wonder if Alzheimer’s disease patients forgot about pain.  Picking up the package by knocking it over on his good leg and then sliding it up into his lap, as it was a good 4 feet by 3 feet and a foot deep, he looked for the address and didn’t see a blooming thing.  &*$#^&$!  Two Ton Tony was really picking up on a “mood” here!  Two very strange occurrences in one day and him all laid up and helpless.  What next?

 With a sharp punch in the seam with his knuckles, Two Ton Tony busted the tape and ripped the folded flaps of the box and had a look at the contents.  Oh great!  Just what he needed?  A pad for his chair with arm rests!  Cool!  But there still was no evidence of any benefactor’s ID in the box or out of it.  Two Ton Tony was too “low” on his medication to give a whiz though.  Must have been the last box the UPS man had had to deliver for the day, he mused.  With an effort he got up on his good leg and hopped over to the couch and the coffee table where he had had his microwave parked for years along with the fridge at the other end.  His TV set was right beside the fridge and that was all Two Ton Tony cared about except for the bathroom calls he was forced to make all too often.

 Opening the fridge, he pulled out some sandwich stuff and took the bread off the top of the microwave and made him a sandwich and wolfed it down without appetite as he put the makings back and then wiped his mouth and had a long drink of water out of the gallon jug from the fridge and took his medication at the same time.  Then, he used one of the other gallon jugs in the floor to relieve himself, turned off the TV, stretched out and pulled a dirty sheet over him for “show” and closed his eyes for the night.  “Let it snow”, was his last thought.
 

Part II 

 

Two Ton Tony woke up and immediately grabbed for the jug on the floor and almost destroyed his coffee table with the blasted concrete sock he had on his leg in his hurry to do his business without washing down the whole living room.  But he managed to pull it off and capped the jug and placed it on the floor.  It was really ironic that the water seemed to multiply as it went thru him.  He was getting more jugs on the floor than in the fridge as he drank his water.  When he’d come back from the doctor’s with the white sock on, he’d gotten his co-worker to stop and stock up on drinking water and food for the micro and sandwich stock.  Figured he didn’t need to be drinking if he couldn’t walk it off.  Plus he had mistakenly thought that beer would make him go more.  Big surprise there!  But here he was with 3 full jugs in the floor and the next water jug only ¾ empty.  Two Ton Tony was beginning to wish he had a telephone after all.  Despite his loathing for them “chains” as he called them, he sure could use some limber legged folks around right about now.  He was used to just using the office phone for whatever needs he had.  Yeah. And it’s half a mile away.  Might as well be Jupiter, Fla.  Which wasn’t a bad idea of a place to be right now.

With this he remembered the news reports on snow and looked out the window.  “Holy Mackerel” Tow Ton Tony’s eyebrows did a disappearing act into his hairline!  He could NOT see three feet out the window!  Then he reached out and wiped the heavy frost off.  Sleeping on the couch put a lot of moisture on the glass for sure!

Taking another look, Two Ton Tony’s eyebrows did another disappearing act but this time he was too awestruck to say anything.  For he still could not see 3 feet out the window!  It was snowing like the absolute dickens and was already about a foot deep.  The weather liars must really be sitting around the fire and cackling like a bunch of hens over having something like this to play with.  Two Ton Tony was notorious for his disdain for the, ahem, “meteorologists”, as they seemed to prefer to be called.

Deciding he’d better do something about his immediate needs, Two Ton Tony took two of the gallon jugs on the floor and shifted them from one hand to the other toward the bathroom and then managed to shift himself over to the chair and then reshifted the jugs closer to the bathroom door.  Taking his crutches from the floor, he struggled upright on them and started a slow ponderous journey to the lavatory.  Sliding the gallon jugs along the floor with the cast on his foot one at a time each step until he reached the toilet.  Turning around, he undid his britches and settled himself to wait for the events that were normally expected in that place but not necessarily at that time.  He was here so he might as well make full use of the opportunity.  As he sat, he took up the jugs and emptied them into the sink with the water running a bit to wash it down.  As he emptied them, he tossed them out the open doorway and onto the couch in the living room.  Some twenty feet in all.

Reaching up, he caught hold of a washcloth and proceeded to give himself somewhat of a washing in the face and back of the neck area.  Then used his electric razor and shaved.  Finishing what he was doing sitting there, he cleaned up as best he could and began his slow tedious journey back to the living room.  Where he sat, or rather. Flopped over backwards, onto the couch and stuck a couple of frozen sausage and biscuits in the microwave and ate them with some water and of course a few “Cheerios” from his med bottle.  Turning on the TV, he settled back to watch the end of The Price Is Right.
 


Part III



Two Ton Tony woke up enough to check the weather outside and it was still snowing but not as hard.  What looked like 2.5 feet of fresh snow lay on the ground and was a pretty sight indeed but Two Ton Tony wasn’t in any mood for being enthralled by nature.  Maybe by the “Call” of nature, but not by any dang snowstorms.  It was Christmas Eve and he was just totally wasted on inactivity and pain medication.  And missing out on the fun.  If there was any anywhere with this kind of blanketing they had received that day.  Quite a record in the snow department.

Sitting up on the couch, Tow Ton Tony’s eye fell on the box with the seat cushion in it.  Leaning forward and getting hold of one of the flaps on the box, he drug it up into his lap again and pulled the cushion out of it and as he did so, he noticed the brand name sewn on the forward part of the padding.  It had been covered by some wrapping plastic which he had just taken off.  It was made by “Thurman”.  Just that.  Funny way to advertise, he mumbled to himself as he tossed the box over the coffee table and placed the cushion in the seat of his big easy chair in preparation of moving to that position.

He’d been sitting in his chair for 2 hours, just flipping channels idly.  Nothing much worth watching was on on Christmas Eve and he was thinking about making a try for the kitchen and digging out a bottle of George Dickel he’d had stashed for about 3 months when he was startled out of his wits by a sudden rapping at his door!

“Holy Moses and Jeb”, he exclaimed!  Who in tarnation could be out in this kind of mess?  Leaning over backwards once again, he got hold of the doorknob and pulled the door open enough to let light out and sound in. “ What is it”? He demanded.

There was no answer.  Jerking himself into a more elevated position, Two Ton Tony leaned over as far as he could and looked out the crack in the doorway.  Nothing was there!  He started to shut the door but somehow lost his grip on the door and it swung open wide and he was infuriated by his clumsiness and now having to get up and close the door.  Grabbing his crutches, he clambered groggily to his feet and then managed to turn himself about to go to the door and shut it before he froze his butt off.  But wait!  There in the floor was a box almost as big as the one the seat cushion had come in but more square.  On closer inspection, Two Ton Tony saw that it was a tomato crate for shipping tomatoes to market.  Snapping his gaze out the door he was astonished to find that there was not one single footprint in the fresh snow outside and no one was visible either.  But here was this box in the floor.  Reaching out with one crutch, Two Ton Tony managed to slide the crate on into the room and just as he was about to use the other crutch to hook the door and swing it shut, he heard barking coming from outside.  But again, consternation struck and Two Ton Tony was truly disoriented.  For the barking was coming from up over the treetops, not ground level!

“Lord”, he mumbled under his breath, “I’m having some kind of drugged hallucinations here”.  Hooking the door he gave it a jerk and shut it with a bang.  He was really and truly getting worried about the goings-on lately.

As the door slammed shut, the noise of its closing made a loud noise that shook the building slightly. And as a faint echo died out, a soft muffled sound came from the box that had just appeared in his floor.  Something was in the box and it was making noises and it was LIVE noises!

Hitching around and sitting down in the new seat cushion, Two Ton Tony reached out a careful hand and shook the box gently.  A rustling sound from within and a louder more distinct sound emerged from it that sounded very much like a whimper.  Getting hold of one of the folded and interlaced flaps, Two Ton Tony polled the box closer but kept his body erect as to not have any surprise attacks ensue and opened the box with a flip and raised one of his crutches in a defensive move that was totally unnecessary.

Out of the box floated a big red heart shaped balloon with a sheet of rolled up paper tied to it.  Inside the box, sitting in the corner now and looking up at him with two big round brown eyes, was a black ball of fur with a button nose!  A puppy!  Reaching out for the balloon, he extracted the rolled up sheet of paper and had a look at it to see what explanation, if any, could be found there for this sudden entry into his life of a pup.  The note read,


Greetings!           

You have been observed in your ways and days and have been approved of.  You have become a very lucky person. For, today, on the day of the Lord’s birth, new life has been added to yours and you will enjoy many good years of companionship.  The Angels have looked into your heart and seen the emptiness and loneliness of it and also the loving nature of your being and have found you worthy to bring you Thurman, a very special Bouvier des Flandres baby of high breeding and standing.  Now get out of his bed and take your friend out of the box and put him in his bed.

Regards,
Angel Bear & Angel Sebastian                                       
                                                                  
 

Bed!  HUH?  The “cushion” was a dog bed!  Oh for Pete’s sake he chided himself.  How stupid of him!  Reaching down and getting a good grip on the “cushion”, Two Ton Tony gave a hop and jerked the puppy bed out from under him and placed it on the floor beside his chair.  Reaching down, he picked up little “Thurman” and as soon as he touched the puppy, a miraculous thing happened.  A tingling sensation ran up his arms and down his spine and into his toes.  All consternation and puzzlement of the events of the last two days vanished from his memory.  Then the little dog rumbled a deep contented rumble of satisfaction and Two Ton Tony’s heart was captivated forever.

 Needless to say, the “cushion” spent a cold and lonely night in the floor by itself and did so for many a night thereafter.  For the man had fallen so deeply in love with his newfound friend that he could not bear to separate himself from the tyke.  His pain and hardship forgotten, Two Ton Tony set about providing the very best and loving home he could for his little “Thurman”.  The maker of “cushions” indeed!  A cushion for the soul………………
 

Merry Christmas

* * * * *

 

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