The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

November 1997 Humor Writing Contest winner
Best Short Humor!



Bill Monks

"You're my last customer, Mr. Kias."

"Hey, Tony, use the machine on the back and sides."

"How are the Italians doing?"

"Do you think they'll take the Cup?"

"Were the best in Europe."

"You know, Mr. Kias, U.S. soccer is starting to take off. They arepacking them in in California. Next year you wait and see."

"How are you doing? What's new with you?"

"I'll tell you what's new, Tony. It's one crazy story. You got to keepit under your hairpiece. Promise?"

"Sure Mr. Kias, you and me."

"At 7 o"clock tonight, I'm on my way to Louisville, to a reunion wit my old outfit.

This morning I stop at the bank and withdraw five hundredbucks for my expenses and to do a little shopping in West New York. You know outside of Miami there are more Cubans in West New York, than any other town in America.

I bus it down to West New York and hop off in front of "Models". I'mlooking for a pair of sneakers. As I get the bus I slap my back pocket forthe feel of my five–hundred dollar wallet.

Damn it! I had done it again. I realize my wallet is gone and must havefallen on the seat of the bus. For the third time in thirty years I haveleft my wallet on the damn bus. Up till now the wallet has always beenreturned to me, sans money.

My body vibrates with anger, panic and utter disgust. It's amazing howyou can feel three different emotions at one time. I have the choice of twothings:  one, going over to the curb and throwing up and then proceed tobang my head on the pavement, or to chase the bus down Burgenline Avenue.

I take off at a speed that makes the road runner look like a slowsloth. With my lungs on fire, and the old ticker ready to blow, I amclosing the gap. I'm steadily gaining. Thanks to the congested traffic, Ifinally run down the bus in the middle of the avenue. I pound on the dooruntil the bus driver reluctantly opens it. Bounding on the bus, I run tothe back where I had sat. No wallet on, under, or in back of the seat.

I think it would be kind of stupid, after my frenzied behavior to ask,"Did anybody see a wallet? I glance at the people who are now quietlystaring at me.

I had checked my pocket when originally boarded the bus. I am mad ashell, but completely frustrated. Someone on this damn bus has my wallet.

Tony, has stopped cutting my hair. He is now holding a dormant scissorsand comb in either hand. He is on the bus with me.

Just then the driver yells to me, "Hey, Senior", as he holds up thewallet. A shabby old woman who I had rudely brushed past, as I ran down theaisle, has just given it to him.

I rush to the front, grab the woman in my arms and give her one big hugand a kiss. God, I am in ecstasy. I tell her she had saved my life, then Irealized she has not understood a word. It's time to celebrate, despite herprotest, I flip the wallet open to reward her, only to find it empty.

To quote Bill Gates, "Speed is God and time is the devil."

It is amazing how fast the brain works in a state of crises. My plan ofoperation is conceived at a speed that made a Pentium look like an abacus.

I feel I have no choice in what I must do. I am in a no–winconfrontation with a bus load of Cubans and a Cuban bus driver. I feelextremely helpless. I have to take control and right the wrong.

In desperation I snatch the woman's pocketbook from her grasp and jumpoff the bus. I head down the yellow line at top speed, the bus driver inpursuit. After running two blocks, realizing the bus driver's hystericalscreams had caused a posse to form behind him, I top my top speed.

If I can only reach Hudson County Park where it bordered the avenue, Ican lose my pursuers in the thick wood. I know I need at least a hundredyard lead. I have two things in my favor, the posse can not make time onthe sidewalk, because of the crowd of shoppers, and running on that yellowline, and through intersections, kind of takes the edge off the pleasure ofthe chase.

God, there it was, the woods. I suddenly realize there could be nosanctuary there. They would surround it and I would be trapped. They wouldbeat the bush till I was caught.

I could not stop. With a superhuman effort, heart pounding, fightingfor air, I run and run, clear through the woods. Finally, I crash out ofthe park, into my home town of Fairview, hoping that I have left mypursuers combing the woods.

I continually glance back in search of the dreaded posse, keeping thepocketbook under my shirt. I feel as if I'm painted red and twenty feettall. This is a nightmare.

Reaching my home, I go directly up to my room and rip open thepocketbook, only to find three dollars. There on the dresser, still in thebank envelope, is my five hundred bucks.

"Tony, you know what this means. I have to spend the rest of my lifeskirting West New York. They will always be looking for that stranger, thekissing purse snatcher, who can run like the wind.

Tony stood there stunned.

"Hey Tony, close your mouth. When are you going to cut my hair? I got toget to Louisville."

"Keep cutting, Tony, and I'll tell you the true story. Everything I toldyou up until I opened my wallet on the bus was true. The truth is, Tony, mywallet still contained the five hundred bucks. I gave the old lady twentybucks and stepped off the bus.


©Bill Monks

I spent most of my working life in Greenwich Village. I didn't start to write till I was retired. I wrote a short story when I seventeen for a high school English class. I started writing again when I was seventy and retired. Having nothing to do, I wrote my memoirs. I was shocked when I was told by my readers that I could write. I certainly enjoy doing it. I have always been a story teller. I think my lousy penmanship and shameful spelling really curtailed my desire to write. Read I did.

I have had a full life in both piece and war. I love life and my huge family. I've spent most of my life as a student of philosophy. I have always believed that life is very fair:  it's very unfair to everyone.

© 1997–2004, Margie Culbertson
CULBERTSON and Associates

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking Sites.
It helps give the page "votes” and it helps you find this page later on!

©Margie Culbertson

Home Back to The Humor and Life, in Particular Home Page