Subject: Shaggy BOB

Date: 01 Sep 1997 00:00:00 GMT

From: (MegaLiz)

Organization: MotPU: Where Binary Moodswings are ALWAYS on the Menu

Newsgroups: alt.slack, alt.foot.fat-free






He never picked up hitchhikers, until now. He wasn't sure if it was an

alien curiosity that coaxed him to first slow and then stop the van, or if

it was a simple loss of ordinary caution that compelled him to do this

extraordinary thing. He never even bothered with opening doors for disabled

people, so why did he have to offer a ride to THIS man?


THIS man appeared to be entirely composed of black, shimmering shadow, and

at his side he swung what looked like a large black sea shell. The driver

peered at him more closely through the van's passenger window. He looked

perfectly healthy, somehow too healthy, too groomed. The thing in his hand

was, the driver realized, a case designed to hold the looping shape of a

french horn. With his other hand, THIS man formed a thumbs-up as he stopped

whistling long enough to grin.


The driver blinked hard in response, the grin was communicating such a rush

of wrongness that he reflexively clenched his own imperfect teeth and

stomped on the accelerator.


"Glad you stopped," said the grinning man beside him. It was not a



"" he didn't remember letting him in the car, "You're



"Not usually. Usually I'm Bob." BOB slid his hand toward the wheel.


"I'm glad to..." he moved to bat BOB's hand away from the wheel and found

he was shaking hands with him instead. "I'm Stu." He would remember not to

look at BOB from now on. It's better not to touch him, either, Stu thought.


"SO! What's in the back? Treasures? Traitors? Alligators?"


Stu was regretting this experience in advance. He replied, "Well, there's

Art, but we don't want to wake him up. He did all the driving this morning.

And there's some....merchandise."


"Ah, is Art political? HA! Never mind." BOB's giggle was infectious, but

Stu stopped himself from looking at him by trying to sneeze instead. "What

sort of merchandise? That smell is SO familiar."


"Hides, furs, that sort of thing. They're a little unusual. It's Art's

collection." Stu relaxed a bit, "He thinks he can sell this stuff, but I'm

not so sure. Do you know something about fur?"


"Everybody knows a little something about fur, eh?" nudged BOB. He smacked

his lips.


Stu chuckled, "Now that you mention it, I was just thinking about stopping

somewhere for something to eat."


"Here, have a fish sandwich!" BOB thumbed his case open with an alarmingly

sharp whacking noise. Stu flinched but did not swerve and managed to extend

his hand without diverting his eyes from their methodical path: forward,

rearview mirror, speedometer, sideview. The aroma of perfectly grilled fish

filled the van as Stu accepted the handful of sandwich.


Stu was delighted with the offering, and strangely, in spite of his

previous reservations, didn't hesitate to eat the hell out of it. BOB was

great! BOB was good! When he finally attempted to mumble thanks around a

mouthful of fish, BOB was gone. He looked forward again, then in the

rearview mirror only to find BOB grinning back at him.


"My pleasure!" enthused BOB, as Stu wrenched the wheel and sent the whole

vehicle gracefully into the swamp.


Stu had little difficulty dragging Art out of the water. He was surprised

to see that the van was completely immersed in the stagnant water, but he

was not at all surprised to see BOB standing on the ground, perfectly dry.


BOB giggled briefly and then dove into the water without a word.


As Art startled back to consciousness, he demanded, "YOU FREAK! WHAT'S



Stu smiled gently, "Be not afraid. He dived for your skins."




"Don't expect any more free squirrel brains from me, neither."