All Harry Davies could do was watch in horror as hundreds of cases of bogus COVID-19 tonic he needed to deliver to pre-paid cash customers whose money he already spent went up in smoke. No doubt some anti-Christ Antifa terrorist had torched the truck Harry Davies had hotwired and driven from the U-Haul lot.
Who would commit such a sacrilege against Scranton’s favorite former mayor?
The militant senior citizen had to act when Zerelda told her about Harry Davies’ tap water tonic scam. All it took was four Molotov cocktails to do the trick. Mabel guzzled the beer before filling the bottles with rubbing alcohol she bought by the barrel for her arthritis. Then she cut an old pair of Casey’s undershorts into strips (the ones imprinted with faded pictures of Cheech and Chong), stuck the tattered pieces into the bottle necks, threw on a bright beret and headed to the future crime scene to light a match.
Harry Davis later called the cops on his cell phone.
Some old broad named Mabel left a note confessing to the crime on behalf of the Feminist Purple Panthers and calling me a dick, he said.
The cop on the desk asked Harry if he owned the flaming truck that took the Scranton Fire Department two hours to extinguish.
Yeah, I rented it from where I took it.
You mean stole it?
I borrowed it.
You can turn yourself in if you like or we can send a hungover SWAT team for you, the cop said.
All that survived the blaze was two oil drums full of what the police suspect is LSD, the cop said.
I don’t know about LSD, Harry said. The last trip I took was to the Mohegan Sun casino on the interstate.
The desk officer quickly lost patience.
That old broad as you call her is a well-respected librarian who read me children’s books when I was a kid, the cop said. She also said she’ll testify against you in court if she has to. She opposes the death penalty but says in your case she might change her mind. And if you try to escape, she’ll forgive me if I execute you.
That night Harry Davies sat alone in his cell at the Lackawanna County Prison, a flea-bitten joint loaded with guards more crooked than the inmates. Donald Trump couldn’t save him now. Harry’s public defender said Harry realistically faced about 163 years in prison for the LSD because the sentencing judge had experienced two unexpected bad trips (the side effects still made the judge feel like an amoeba) and wanted to get even with the Scranton Welsh drug cartel the judge was convinced Harry Davies headed up. As a result, Harry got the worst case of acid reflux in the history of modern medicine. President Biden wasn’t about to grant a pardon in this case.
When Casey brought back the trout from his fishing trip and couldn’t find the charcoal for the grill he called for his mother.
Your mother’s freshening up in the bathroom, Zerelda said.
Freshening up for what?
She wants to leave for California in the morning.
When Mabel came out of the bathroom she wore a worried look.
You can’t dose the Scranton water supply with LSD, she said.
Aw, mom, Casey said.
Innocent people might not be able to handle all those tabs and microdots, dear. Babies, especially. Lucy in the sky with diapers just doesn’t cut it, Mabel said.
Cool, Casey said.
Pulling a flip phone from his jeans, Casey dialed Gino’s number.
The caper at the lake is off, he said.
Probably for the best, he said.
If you ever get to Berkeley give me a call, Casey said.
Same goes for Myrtle Beach, Gino said.
Of course the two men’s paths would never cross again. Nor would their Scranton legacies ever matter to anybody except the rare nerd chemistry student who considered Mr. Weatherhogg the best chemistry teacher ever.
When we get to California I want to drink 1,000 glasses of pinot noir, Mabel said.
I want to dance on the corner at Haight-Asbury, Casey said.
Do Chinese qi gong breathing and stretching exercises overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Zerelda said.
I want to meet Grace Slick, Mabel said.
Meditate until my navel falls off, Casey said.
Be happy, Zerelda said.
Zerelda couldn’t control herself and had to ask.
So we just split?
We just split, Mable said.