A New Year Morning’s Awakening
As a side note, this is my attempt at comedy; I’m busy trying to practice my skills in writing humorous works.
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Hank Rogers stumbled out of his house. His watery, blue eyes were red from an evening that brought little to no rest, and his head was screaming with a headache that could not be explained through the use of a few mere words. Yet, he ignored this as he lumbered down the steps, at the unmistaken hour of five in the morning.
His face was ruddy and creased by years of work in the sun, as well as struggles that had to be endured. His hair was a lightish-gray, a tint that was slowly starting to turn cream white. His belt spanned underneath a slight potbelly, trying to have the thick fur coat hug his body warmly.
His hands, snugly hiding in thick, black gloves, clenched around the edge of a bag that was slung over his right shoulder.
Hank seemed deep in thought as he stepped onto his walkway. Around him, the snow was glistening pure white on the ground, but he barely seemed to notice it.
He trudged through the white, heading towards the front gate. The large bag slung over his shoulder heaved him backwards, but he continued onward, occasionally grunting.
His lips were clenched tightly on to each other as his plans of wrath replayed through his mind. His grievances were listed in his mind again, and he felt the determination surging.
This was the last straw! Two years in a row now, and he would stand for it no longer. Why on earth did he ever retire?! A long day of work was much more satisfying than sitting around all day. And then, being kept up all night. Well, some of the nights.
Christmas Eve was one of those nights; carols sung all the way, because the neighbourhood just couldn’t wait for Christmas Day to arrive. But, the worst was the previous evening; New Year’s Eve.
“A terrible thing it is. Retirement.” He huffed as he stumbled out of his front gate and stepped over the trash in the street. “What a mess they leave behind.” He then grumbled. “This area must be the dirtiest in this whole town.”
We have to change it up, he thought as he walked to the end of the street. Stopping at the first house, positioned on the edge of the block, he dumped down the bag and grumbled.
It was opened and he quickly removed his ‘ammo’. A change was necessary. And he would bring that change about. Now...He fished out his spectacles and placed it on his nose. Next, the instructions were produced from his jacket pocket. He peered at the small print, nodding along as he read, trying his best to not miss anything. Nothing could go wrong with this mission.
“Perfect.” He grinned as he reached the bottom. “Ah, it pays to have such a helpful, young daughter.”
Two hours had passed, and the sun was starting to grace the little town, as well as the neighbourhood that lay a little farther away.
With the back of his hand, Hank wiped away the beads of sweat on his forehead. Rising back to his feet, he groaned as everything seemed to crackle inside. A red, patterned kerchief was produced and sweat was wiped away again.
“Oof,” He groaned. “Sixty-five years...Maybe they are right. I’m getting a little old for this business.” He then swatted the air, as if to wave the doubts away. “Nonsense. I’m in the prime of my life.” He then wagged his finger in front of him, the finger pointing in the direction of his house. “I might not be able to complete anything with ease anymore, but I can get it done, and ye be my witness on that, Rosie. I can still do it all.”
He turned around and his eyes swept over every house. His handiwork glistened in the approaching daylight, and he smiled proudly, albeit mischievously.
“And Rebby said it could not be done; if someone were to do it.” He chuckled, a sound that came from the depths of his belly. He then proceeded to wring his hands together in anticipation, dusting the bits of snow from his gloves. “The show must go on; no matter the time of morning, my dear neighbours.” He chuckled again and strutted over to the middle of the street.
His eyes glowing wildly, he faced the house opposite from his own. He picked up his ‘control phone’ from the ground; well, that’s what he called it, no matter his daughter’s laughing corrections from the previous evening.
“Come on, everybody! Time to wake up!” He yelled out loud, spreading his arms out and into the air. “We have a bright new day ahead of us, you bloody neighbourhood!”
From the house in front of him, he received a slight response. Fifteen-year-old Tim Hardy opened his window and leaned out, frowning. His glasses sat askew on his nose as he looked down. His filthy-blonde hair was in a mess and in every direction; evidently, he had been up for hours, trying to complete one of his crazy inventions.
Hank smiled and waved at Tim, and then proceeded to yell, “Better get that cam-thing of yours, Timmy-boy! This show will only take place this year, I say!”
Tim’s face lit up as he pulled back and disappeared. Between him and Hank Rogers, a strange friendship existed. They understood each other and their crazy schemes, and Tim found an encouraging support in his across-the-street neighbour.
Tim flew down his front door steps, a massive, almost-film like, camera positioned on his right shoulder. He shot out his left hand to Hank for a moment, and Hank shook it warmly.
“Now, kid, let me show you how things ought to be done around here.” The old man chuckled. He looked down on his control, pushing his spectacles higher up on his nose, and then pressing the button he had been itching to press the whole morning, and even the previous evening.
Both looked up as a crackling sound started. Long strands of crackers had been wrapped along the fences of the houses. They were tied up securely, and now having been set alight, those shooting sparks quickly lit up their neighbouring partners to join in the commotion.
“Cover your ears, Timmy-boy!” Hank yelled out and covered his ears. Tim’s hands being busy with his camera, he was resigned to wince as the sound reverberated. Four sparks split from the rest of the lines of crackers and proceeded to the center of the street, inching their way towards Tim and Hank, but neither seemed to pay attention. The sparks ate up the lines and then ignited the fireworks. An array of fireworks shot up into the air, blasting out even more noise.
Screams of terror erupted as the sound increased, and for a moment, it almost seemed like gunfire erupted in the neighbourhood (but Hank Rogers will never admit what it was and Timmy-boy will never say, though he knew). Men rushed out of their houses and headed towards Hank, women stayed, waiting in the corridor of the doors, and at the homes where the children weren’t next to their mothers, they were looking from their bedroom windows.
Hank quickly jumped around and scurried over to his own home. The door of his house opened, and a furious, graying red-haired, tall, but thin, woman of about sixty-five years stepped out, securing her robe around her body. He noticed this, but leaned forward and took his shotgun.
“Hank Rogers!” An angry voice called behind him, and he was forced to face Officer Hardy. “This is a respectable area with families! What do yout hink you are doing, rousing us up with-with-” He waved behind him. “WITH THIS RACKET!!!” He then thundered.
“Hank Henderson Rogers!” His wife’s voice rang out behind him. “WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING!?!” He kept his back to her, and pushed his way past Thomas Hardy. He aimed and fired a shot into the air.
People ducked and hit the ground; well, all but Tim.
“Everybody up and out of their homes! Be quick about it! I have a gun here!” He yelled out, his voice serious, but a slight smile around his lips.
“HANK!!!” His wife screamed furiously. This time, he turned to her, and noticed that his daughter had joined her mother. Rebecca’s red curls flew around her head, and she seemed a little concerned as she tried to keep a hold on her mother. But, he just knew that the rebellious mischief and excitement was shining in her icy eyes at that moment. Encouraged by this, he now addressed his wife.
“Rosie, my love, I will explain it to you later. Now, please go make enough coffee and a big breakfast for all.” He turned away again and saw that the rest of the neighbourhood had joined the Hardy’s in the middle of the street.
“Hank!” He heard behind him, but trusting his daughter to aid him in this matter, he paid the cry no mind.
“All right,” He yelled out with an almost militant tone, “I say that your partying around at night has lasted long enough! This has to stop.” With his right hand holding on to his trusty shotgun, he waved around with his left. Unfortunately, his right hand ended up waving around a little as well, and the crowd stepped back a bit; nobody knew if that old gun of their crazy neighbour might just decide to go off unexpectedly.
“Now, I want to be proud of my neigbourhood,” Hank continued. “Don’t you, Hardy?” He addressed the police officer. His neighbour seemed to have lost his tongue, for he didn’t say anything. “Hardy?” Hank pressed him.
“Y-yes.” The officer answered. “O-of course.”
“Excellent! Now, if you all can party around in the streets until two in the morning, then I can certainly expect you to clean up this mess again. And before the better part of the morning has passed, too.” He gripped onto his shotgun with his left hand again, securely keeping it close to his body. “Now, all of you, get to work! It is,” He glanced at his watch and peered at it for about ten seconds. “Yes, it is now half past seven. When this here watch of mine says it is ten, I want these streets clean. The snow ploughed away. The trash picked up. All traces of partying removed!” He ordered. “And don’t think about slacking off. I will be keeping an eye on all of you! Don’t forget,” he glared at them, “I have persuasion and Reason resting here in my hands.”
Some of his neighbours gulped, even though the general multitude wanted to complain at their aged neighbour’s command.
“START!!!” He yelled, his face contorting, his eyes becoming unreadable. “LET’S GO, MEN!!! HOP TO IT!”
“Some of us are women!” A reply rang out, but it was silenced by his:
“GET TO WOOORRRKK!!!!”
an important educational mission
I sure showed those neighbors of mine, calling the cops on them again this year for disturbing the peace, staying up until all hours of the mornin'. So why am I up now? Because it’s time to get up, of course: 5:30 am! But this year having had the police car patrol the block with its rotating lights lit up is oddly unsatisfying. It’s just not gratifying.
I’ll head over to pick up my mates at the center. That was the best idea I’ve had yet, getting those senior center volunteers to adjust their hours for us. 6:00 am - 5:00 pm. Nobody in their right mind would drive home in the dark when all the drunks are out there behind the wheel. There’s nothing to driving in the dark before dawn, so long as you don’t have to dodge those 'bullets' flying toward you.
“Sammy, Sonny, git back in your trucks! We’ve got some roundin' up to do! I trust you’ve got your trumpets handy. You're gonna need 'em this mornin'!” We rode around and got the gals. They'd already roused, of course. It was kinda like doing panty raids of yore.
“Sonja, grab your pie tins and join the back of this here caravan. We’ve got some merrymaking to git to!”
After repeating this speech a dozen times, we headed back to my neck of the woods. The women sure outnumber us men at this age. We all parked and got out. Our little assemblage readied for a hootenanny and a mock shivaree combined. Our serenade as we made our way, walking through the slumbering streets a couple of times, was thoroughly enjoyable! We made enough vociferous racket to wake the dead! A few party shoes even sailed out onto front lawns through opened windows!
For good measure, I added a little to the fireworks debris they'd left laying everywhere. I’d been meaning to fire some clay artworks the gals had crafted down at the center. They were much obliged to sacrifice these beauts, their art, for this important educational mission. We managed to toss at least one lump of clay into each yard. I hope my neighbors will find them to be such delightful surprises, I hear exclamations of “Whoa, Nelly!” coming from every whichway. Shoot, some of these folk around here may not arise ’til this afternoon. By 3:00, I'll likely be heading over to the center for my dinner, still grinning like a possum.