Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Fat Elvis, not Fifties Elvis or Bad Movie Elvis, but '68 Comeback Special Elvis

Last night I was visited by three ghosts. Or maybe it was two ghosts and one creepy old man, I'm not sure anymore. The first was the ghost of Elvis Presley. Not Fat Elvis, not Fifties Elvis or Bad Movie Elvis, but '68 Comeback Special Elvis, perfectly side-burned, tanned and vibrant at a mere 33 years of age. This is the Elvis just four years before his divorce and The Fattening.

My tire had blown on 131, North of Rockford, coming home from a Parcheesi competition. There was no cell phone service, as is always the case on misty November nights with unseasonably mild weather.

Elvis pulled up in a Ford F150. He got out and from the passenger seat, someone yelled "Lets give him a lift, E."

I was in the middle of putting the "doughnut" spare tire on.

Elvis took it from me. "Doughnuts are for eating, not driving on." He took a bite of the spare tire, and ate the entire thing. "Come on."

I accepted the ride, what more could I do? They were heading south and I wanted to get home.

The passenger in the truck got out. It was J. Edgar Hoover, wearing the dress from Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video. It was disturbingly short and gruesomely tight. He leered at me, his fat face behind thick glasses. His sparse greasy hair was in a pitiful comb-over.

I had to sit in the middle. There wasn't much room.

"We didn't just stop by chance," Elvis said. "John, get me my candy will you?"

Hoover reached into the glove box and brought out a prescription medicine bottle. Hoover dumped five or six pills of different colors and sizes into Elvis's hand, and Elvis popped them in his mouth. He had a can of Schlitz in the cup holder and he took a swig.

We were careening down the road at ninety; a light mist fouled the windshield but Elvis seemed unaware. He didn't put on the wipers. The tail lights of the other traffic were just blurs as we snaked through the traffic. The speedometer approached one hundred.

"We're supposed to meet someone in town," Elvis said. "We need someone of the living as a go between."

"Who is it?"

"Don't worry about that," Hoover said. He threw a manila envelope on the dash. "We just need you to hand him this."

"Why can't you guys do it?"

"This guy isn't really 'alive', and he isn't dead yet," Elvis said.

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at