Wrinkly Bill

        Popular demand has strong-armed me into telling the following brief tale regarding an exceptionally ugly cat that came into our lives one summer and touched our hearts for a lifetime. Perhaps I exaggerate, but bear in mind that in order to satisfy my mania for endlessly droning on ad nauseum to this captive audience, it is necessary for me to go off on tangents, offer crushingly boring unnecessary details, or invent things willy nilly as I see fit. As most readers won’t bother to read your inevitable outraged comments, I feel it safe to run away with my warped version of the truth, as my degenerate masticated brain remembers it, along with the wholly inappropriate adjectives and adverbs I use in description. That said, gather around chillun’s and listen to the legend of Wrinkly Bill; this cat that temporarily lived in our garage.           

       It was I who first made my way out to the garage and stumbled across the creature who took up residence there. While we generally had little or no use for the garage, as the door was either jammed or permanently locked, we did use it for storage as it was accessible from a side entrance. After we obtained the wealth of unused kegs for the Wolverines party, the rest were stored safely in the garage to sour up nicely in the summer heat. A party was in the planning and as we knew the Franks and undesirable associates would be attending, I knew it was wise to check on the beer supply. I entered the door and immediately froze. Before me was a creature unlike any I had encountered before, that despite its fearsome appearance, seemed to be in the process of being devoured by kittens.           

       The thing looked up at me with a swollen eye, rivulets of snot or pus dripping down over its matted unkempt face. It was the size of perhaps a Thanksgiving turkey with mottled matted hair of strange earth tone shades. It opened its mouth to show a row of razor sharp teeth, stained near the color of the fur, and emitted a bizarre raspy mewl. I swooned, catching myself on the door frame and backed up a few steps. I had never before or since, to include my mugging at gunpoint, felt myself in such danger. Sudden movement I feared would send the obviously alien creature lunging to the intention of eating my face. It continued the gravely calls at my direction, sounding suspiciously like a hardened smoker’s voice, causing my hackles to rise to uncomfortable levels. “Knaus, is that you?” The thing only answered back more of the same incoherent rumbling rather than one of Paul’s smarmy quips.           

       After several minutes of this showdown, I grew more comfortable that the threat was not immediate, and that indeed this was not Knaus in some new form to bedevil me. Having a trained ear in things feline, I was soon able to decipher that the beast was not concealing some two cycle engine and perpetually adjusting the choke, but was purring. I was astounded that this hideous twisted abomination was in fact a cat, and a particularly pungent one at that, as I discerned from the odors building up in the hot enclosure. Had I kept a cooler head when first confronted, I may have concluded this sooner based on the strangely normal looking kittens suckling from its teats, but I can be forgiven this oversight given the terror of the moment.            

       By right of first discovery I unilaterally chose a name for the creature right then and there. Christened in the stifling heat of the musty garage and engulfed by rancid cat farts, she became once and forever Wrinkly Bill. Having exhausted my creative prowess on a name for the mother, the kittens remained anonymous for that day. Still reeling from the discovery and threat to my well being, I excused myself politely, never turning my back, and exited the garage before verifying the quality of the beer supply.            

       Arriving back in the house, I called a council of war. Aaron, Knaus and Jason visibly wilted at the news of the intruder; the implications on future garage visits trickling though the dense mechanisms of their minds. An immediate inventory was taken of the cats currently residing in the house. One. Fat, pregnant, and conclusively unrelated to the other unless by some sharing of the bold tomcats spunk that knocked them both up. The identity of Wrinkly Bill was decidedly genuine and not some altered version of a current occupant unless other dimensional in nature. Unlikely but worth considering given the alternatives. Frank discussions ensued as to how best to deal with the physical and emotional impact of this unkind gift dropped in our garage by fate or a cruel god.           

       My suggested tactic, having been the only one present to have stared into that withered eye and live, was a full frontal assault with Molotov cocktails. We had both an ample supply of bottles and gasoline based demolition experience to affect a precision strike. Jason, the groups nagging Nancy, argued the sanctity of life or some other such jibber jabber. Knaus, ever my foil, further squashed my violently effective solution giving it a stay of execution. He proposed so boldly as to allow the beast to enter the abode proper! Outrageous! The quorum erupted in a litany of shouting. It was clear that Knaus only wished to consolidate his power by adding yet another familiar and her unholy brood to his stable. His fearsome tyranny already griped the household in a clutch of terror and only by standing fast now did we have hope of reigning in his ambitions. With 2 against, the motion to war was already defeated. A unilateral move on my part, not backed by the rest, would have been foolishly considered even to the happy helmeted riders of the short bus.           

       Jason, emboldened by his participation in the dissenting vote, arose, finger pointing skyward, and announced his intention to draft a smartly worded letter of eviction, no doubt based upon those received himself. “Fool!” Aaron cried, “How can he be expected to read such a thing with that fucked up eye?” He smacked Jason about the back of the head with a half used roll of tin foil that afterwards had to be thrown away as it was covered in malignant grease. Jason, humbled yet again, drooled and kept silent.           

       After hours of furious debate it was decided that the best interest of none, myself in particular, would be followed. Wrinkly Bill and her spawn would remain in situ and brought offerings from time to time to prevent any possibility of the house being stormed under the cover of darkness. Malice hissed in bitter protest, not having been fed herself in weeks, and subsisting primarily on Jason’s droppings and Knauses fetid sleeping breath. I secretly hoped that the two resource starved entities would wage mutually destructive war, ridding me of both and leaving Knaus open for a surprise attack. Geographic isolation would be the only obstacle.           

       To my horrible dismay, I drew the short straw to bring out an offering of low grade tuna. It was clear to me that the contest was rigged by Aaron, still simmering over the bedroom conspiracy. This was his chance to trade up, as the beast would no doubt attempt to devour me, fooled by the smell of fish oil on my person. I scrubbed myself well before journeying out, holding the tuna before me, having taped the open can to the end of a stick. I came out to find Jason, undeterred by the earlier beating, standing in the doorway reading aloud a pirated copy of one of his own evictions. “This notice hereby serves to inform you, you smelly messy fuck, that you have no more than 30 days to…” Seeing my chance, I threw the tuna over his shoulder at the bemused looking cat and used my foot to propel Jason forward though the doorway. I pulled the door closed and bolted back for the house, having no clear notion as to how long it would take Bill to devour him and seek desert.           

       Later on I was surprised to bump into him in the kitchen. He sported skinned knees and smelled of tuna oil, but was none the worse for wear. He seemed irritated, and as if to foreshadow the April fool pranking to come, declared I owed him new pants. I put forth a counter offer to invite Dan and Ann over for a weekend sleep over. Outgunned, he relented and displayed his holy britches for months to come until they mysteriously vanished into the crypt.            

       As time inevitably marched on, as one hopes it will, an uneasy mutual understanding grew between the house and the garage, or more specifically, the occupants therein. Aaron, doubting in whole the notion of not absconding with young bear cubs before their mothers’ eyes, was so foolish as to remove the kittens from the dark dwelling and play with them on the grass. As he was willing to assume all the risk, we partook in the event. Knaus eyed them with burning greed, plotting no doubt, to make them his own. In the darkness he would bind them and set them forth on paths of howling destruction, hunting down birds, enemies and precious hobbits. I took the opportunity to examine my foes ever closer looking for chinks in their furry armor and feeling the chill breath of doom upon not finding any. I determined I could not abide the situation much longer, as the other two began to weaken under Knauses relentless seductions.           

       Warriors in my situation often turn to their general or some god or another for advice; I called my mom. Disregarding my threats, she refused to take on the burden of housing the odious creature as she already had her hands full with a large mean feline of her own. Compromise was reached when she agreed to ask around. A better solution, as my initial plan would have still brought me into contact with them from time to time, and Knaus as well. Like Joseph Smith being pursued by the rational and sane, they too would leave under the cover of darkness to some undesirable land. Utah would be ideal, but would settle for North Tonawanda, the armpit of Western New York. The wait was endless, but the phone finally rang with news that someone would take Bill, sight unseen and call me soon to make arrangements. Sucker! I felt things going my way once again.           

       Some sneaky Pete tipped Knaus off to the covert plot. In response, he immediately issued a collective invoice of sums owed for the past 4 months of utility usage, due by close of business that day. The individual burden was close to 4 figures each man, more than the collective accounts of all house members. In addition, he demanded cash, already wise to my intention to float him a check no bank would honor. Defeated, we admitted so, and with little fanfare the phone ceased to work. The hero of any good tale has an ace up his sleeve or some other sort of secret plan, and I was no exception.           

       Knaus, in his frequent absences and mysterious doings outside the place, hadn’t yet been brought in the know about the phone code. The phone code was a remarkable anomaly of engineering that allowed the use of the phone in absence of payment rendered; a magnificent ‘fuck you’ to price gouging NYNEX, and by extension, Knaus. The difficulty was in attempting to explain the use of this to my mother clearly enough that it get passed along to her friend. After hours of frustration, I ended up getting the friends number and simply calling from work, where Jim in his pretentious manner paid the bill each month on time. Having called Work-n-Gear to obtain Knauses schedule, I set up the exchange at a time he would assuredly not be at home.           

       It was with unbridled glee that I welcomed Denise, my mothers’ friend, as she pulled up into our driveway, free of the oppressive Cutlass. “You guys really live in a shit part of town.” I declined to object to the charges as the slight was a small price to pay to enhance our living situation and because they were true. I led her back to garage, all the while singing the praises of our fine furry mascot and how sad and depressed we would be when she left. Alas, we could not keep her lacking the funds and living conditions necessary to treat such a treasure of the animal kingdom as she best deserved. “What do you call her again? Wrinkly Bill? She’ll probably be renamed you know, cause that’s just stupid.” This was unwelcome news, but born all the same as I would have gladly traded my own name in at that point to avoid a souring of the pot. It seemed the beast would go to someone else, this increasing the degree of separation we would then have between us.           

       I brought her into the garage, cat carrier in hand. “Oh my god!” Not a wholly unexpected reaction, but hopefully not a deal breaker. I had a twenty in my shoe soaking up sweat to up the ante if necessary. This by the way is the ideal way to annoy the hated cashiers at any establishment. Before their astonished stares, remove the sneaker from your un-socked foot and pull out a wet bill from the sole, unfold, and hand over to pay for the outrageously marked up item. Legal tender, even so abused, remains such as long as it is whole. Lacking a wallet in my youth, all summer purchases were paid this way to the retching disgust of the counter monkeys. The method was born of necessity and continued in anger.           

       To my astonishment, she hustled Bill and the kittens into the carrier with her bare hands. “My god, what did you nasty boys do to this thing? Ugh!” Bill expressed her displeasure by emitting a characteristically ripe bout of flatulence upon the hand Denise was using to shove her fat matted ass into the conveyance. “Well, Fran’s daughter certainly is going to be surprised all right!” Bill’s future caretaker was selected to be some spoiled 10 years old. My face lit up in pleasure at the thought of this little girl coming home to the surprise of Bill’s withered dripping red eye staring her down. The nightmares would no doubt enhance the wee hours of all sleeping family members. “I’m off before some hoodlum steals my car or has designs on my person!” Fat chance you donkey, but I kept my Cheshire smile.           

       As she pulled out of the driveway, Jason came bursting from the side door. He had spied the goings on in the garage from his bedroom window and was frozen at the prospect of loosing any resident more hated then himself. He bounded down the driveway, graying socks flopping to and fro, shouting for Denise to come back. Flipping him the bird, she continued on her way. “Nooo! She was my best frieeeeeend!” he wailed, collapsing into a sobbing heap in the center of the street. “Well, that’s all that then” I said, and went inside.           

       Later on in a subsequent conversation with my mother, I found that Denise had decided to take Bill to a vet, probably to ensure the lack of infectious disease she may have picked up from touching her. “She said you guys really live in a shit part of town” I acknowledged and bade her to move on. As luck would have it, Bill’s bizarre appearance and eerie rasping yowl were due to her being one of the few of some exceptionally rare breed first created in imperial Bhutan many centuries ago, and as such, considered quite valuable. How valuable I asked. Thousands. Yes, someone would willingly pay thousands for this abominable creature we just evicted. Sick with rage, I slumped down the street to foist my sweaty bill on Moustache Guy.

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One Response

  1. Despite the montrous creative license exercised here all key points of the story were conveyed, hence this shall be known forth as the OFFICIAL STORY.

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