Clint Eastwood squinted his eyes and proceeded to unload his six shooter into some degenerate desperado, who without doubt deserved his ill fortune. This was the third time my sidekick Jeff and I had viewed The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on the same frigid winter afternoon at the antiquated Cicero Theater. The scene was becoming old and my nerves were becoming frayed, so I decided to make my day, and pulled out my trusty pea shooter to dust off some desperadoes of my own.
We slid the pea shooters down the side of our legs and limped like two stiff legged drunken cowboys up to the candy counter in search of ammunition. We were the Magnificent Seven minus five. Wallowing up to the glass case, we examined the caliber of the candy. There were jelly beans, which were too irregular in shape; Good and Plentys, which were too oblong and would probably jam the barrel; and Jaw Breakers, which more likely would cause physical damage similar to a forty-four caliber bullet. With some dismay we huddled and decided that we would have to revert to the standard toilet paper spitball.
The clerk peered at us in a curious manner and said, “Judging by the way you fellas are walking, I would suggest you both go the bathroom before you buy any candy.”
” Dónde está el baño?” I said.
“What’s that sonny?”
“Never mind, sod buster.” We limped towards the baño and out of the corner of my eye I spotted the Red Hot candy dispenser. “That’s it,” I said to Jeff. “Those little red morsels are not only sticky and slimy, but they will provide the firepower necessary for mass destruction. We can load a mouthful and mow down Pancho Villa’s army if we have to.”
We emptied the machine with the last of our buffalo head nickels and stuffed our pockets full of Red Hots. As we proceeded back to the theater, we not only limped, but struggled to keep our pants from falling down from the weight of the candy. Camp was set ten rows behind a woman who was sporting a massive beehive hairstyle. Depositing a handful of Red Hots in our mouths, and wrapping a Kleenex around the straw for a silencer effect, we began a single fire assault on the woman’s bird nest. Much to our delight, the sugary Red Hots were striking her hair and sticking like fly paper, without alarming her hairborne sensory system. We finished the attack with a machine gun like burst of Red Hots and fell to the sticky, soda stained, concrete floor in an epileptic fit of laughter.
The beam of light caught us off guard. “What the hell are you two doing on the floor?” the usher, asked.
“We dropped some money and we were looking for it’,” I replied.
“And what are those straws for?”
“We use those to drink our sarsaparilla.”
“You’re one smart son of a bitch, but for now you’re going to jail,” he said as he grabbed us both by the ear and yanked us up.
The deputy corralled us to the lobby and called my father on the phone, “You better come down here and get Hop-a-Long and his buddy. They are stirring up trouble in Dodge.”
As we awaited our fate at the gallows, the lady with the bird nest hairdo approached the saloon refreshment counter and turned to the barkeep to order some popcorn. The back of her hair was shellacked with morsels of Red Hots that hung from her head like little Christmas ornaments from a tree. She had remained oblivious to the assault. The usher glanced at the back of her head and began laughing so convulsively that he had to spit his chaw into the nearest spittoon to keep from choking himself to death.
My father pulled up in his blue Chevy Impala and we contemplated our mortality by making the sign of the cross. Entering the doomed carriage, the usher stepped up and said, “We’ll see you two amigos when A Fistful of Dollars comes out next week.”
“You betcha, senor. Buenas tardes!”
(Excerpt from Bustin’ Chops)