HUMOR: Bob Hollander Reporting

This is Bob Hollander reporting from Rush City, Wisconsin. Richard Donnelly asked me to write this for him. He said he was too busy fishing the caddis hatch on the Rush River. I told him I never wrote anything in my life and don’t know if I can write. He said no problem, most writers can’t write. I told him that’s odd coming from someone who says he’s a writer and keeps talking about all the stuff he’s going to write and I asked why we hardly ever see anything except a lot of hot air and tall tales and that’s when he says there’s my ride and the phone goes dead.

So here I am, writing.

I’m not sure what all of you want to hear. Rush City isn’t the most exciting place in the world. It’s pretty tame, actually. Not much happens. I guess the grain elevator blew up a few years back. That was pretty exciting. Especially since Harold Larson was standing on the steel cone when she went.

He was up there repairing the grain dryer and they think someone threw a switch with the connection exposed which is always a big mistake. You don’t really see an explosion. We heard a boom that knocked the coffee cups right out of our hands and when we went outside the elevator was gone. Along with Harold.

To say we felt bad is an understatement. It was crazy to think he made it all the way to eighty only to get blown to smithereens. Sharon Larson, Harold’s wife, was inside Klingsable’s buying yarn. She was very brave. I knew it would come to this, she said.

We had some broken windows. We picked up bits of wood and collected scraps of corrugated steel and looked down into the hole in the ground. That’s when Jim Cousins drives up in his white pickup and says I just saw the top of the silo sitting in Watkin’s corn field. The whole town jumped into vehicles.

We drove like all heck three miles and stopped on the road. We could see the metal cone upright in the corn field, shining in the sun. And sitting on the edge was Harold!

He was awful unsteady. We made him stay right there, help was on the way. He said he was fine. Just dizzy.

He told us what happened. The blast blew the cone clear off, spinning it like a top. Harold had his hands through the hatch and just hung on, watching the country go around and around. Finally it lost altitude and set down, just as gentle as can be. That’s where we found him. He was dizzy for a week. You would be too. So I guess some stuff does happen around here. Not very often. Once Martin and Julie Dahl drove to Phoenix for the winter and forgot to drop the dog off at their nephew Phil’s. They finally remembered. On February 2nd.

The next day they left for Rush City driving an RV and trust me it was not a happy drive. They didn’t know what to expect, but the worst is always a good start.

They opened the door and the dog jumped into their arms. The dog was fine. It’s a golden retriever, and they’re not dumb. But this dog was smarter than most people. Of course if you think about most people maybe that’s not too hard to do.

This is what they think that dog did while they were playing golf in the desert. First, he went into the basement and pushed the cellar door just enough so he could get in and out to do his business. Then he got the refrigerator open. There was a twelve pound ham in there. And cheese. And forty pounds of deer sticks, and three loaves of bread and two pounds of butter and two of Julie’s apple pies.

There was no one to stop him drinking water out of the toilet. He slept on the couch, or in the den or on Martin and Julie Dahl’s big king-size memory-foam bed. With the goose down comforter. They found the TV on and the heat turned up and nobody knows how he got the electric fireplace going or the kitchen lights on and you don’t want to start speculating. But that dog was plenty comfortable and the only fallout being he would only eat ham sandwiches for a month.

So that’s it. I don’t have any more stories. I mean, once they accidentally drained Lake Wabasco. And that summer Tom Keller built a helicopter in his garage. And of course, everyone remembers when Sally Anderson drove all the way to Madison with a bear in the back seat. She was afraid to stop.

But these are stories better told by someone else. Someone who’s a real writer.

Not Mr. Donnelly. I don’t know if you noticed, but you really can’t believe that guy.

Richard Donnelly

Richard Donnelly lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Classic flyover land. Which makes us feel just a little… superior. Mr. Donnelly’s first book is ‘The Melancholy MBA,’ published by Brick Road Poetry Press in Columbus, Georgia.