"Albert, is that you?" I cry. Whew, it is just my old buddy and lab assistant, whose brain sings a different song than mine, but sometimes we talk about esoteric things and end up making it a chorus!
Albert called me late one night as he is apt to do occasionally. He is a teenage survivor of KISS concerts, cocaine and too much sex. Big Brother did not approve back then, Orwell's big brother, not Albert's, who often could be found sampling from the same type of forbidden fruits himself. Albert said he has one good brain-cell left, but fortunately, it is his best one! That is why I let him "help out" in the lab, because he is such rollicking good company, that he lightens my mood.
Sometimes I laugh so hard at Albert, often while applying high-energy impulses to a visionary project of mine, like my teleportation device, or to "Lucy" my tornado killer invention. See my short story, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," for more on that idea.
The ridiculously inopportune timing of Albert's jokes, often cause me to disengage my brain long enough, so that things I am working on in the lab fly out of control and we all have to dive for cover. More than once we saw on the security camera, where Big Brother had caught a whiff of the exposed radiation from our buffoonery, with a satellite cluster in space designed for such things. They came sniffing around like some drooling baying hound dogs on the scent of a bandit faced raccoon, cotton-tailed hare, or some fatheads from across the way, that just invaded their neighbor's yard to get a football they erroneously launched.
Fortunately the storm troopers could never find the hidden door leading to our lab, but only came to know the Waffle House sign that is seen from every interstate ramp in the Deep South, and the ubiquitous Kudzu surrounding it!
Georgia DOT cut the Kudzu down for maintenance around the sign once , as it had only said "Waff ouse," at one point, and to their surprise they found a big bellied Georgia State trooper that was reported missing, snoozing in his patrol car, the fast growing weed having overgrown him cruiser and all that afternoon. When they awoke him, he still had his radar gun in one hand, and a sausage and biscuit from the Waffle House in the other, right where he was snuggly hidden in his speed trap. The darn Kudzu stuff grew so fast down here in that summer, that even the cops couldn't out run it. That is a true story, just ask Albert. He saw it!
Anyhow, Big Brother never could find out where the radiation emissions came from, so some nice Al Qaeda hunting Homeland Security folks stopped whatever the heck it is they do at the airport security detail right next to the terminal food court (well named), and came and tried to haul off the Waffle House's big Ole' juke box box from the 1960's, thinking THAT was the problem. That was a BIG mistake. They had to put it back and put in a dollar for three more songs they interrupted, when several angry truckers had their sausage and eggs, with hash-browns scattered smothered and covered, interrupted by their presence and by the abrupt cessation of Hank Williams Junior's "If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie, (Then I don't want to Go)," classic song.
This left me and Albert hilariously safe underground below my secret Waffle House passageway, which was hidden right behind that corner juke-box with the Elvis Trilogy still on it. So Albert left off from laughing long enough to log our exploits thusly. Lucky for this for poor Albert, who with his one good brain cell left, lived in freedom another day, long enough to tell the story occasionally for some feisty Georgia Peach, while polishing off just one more beer for posterity.
You should definitely visit us at the mad scientist lair sometime. Email me and once I check you out on Google, the Waffle House waitress with one tooth, who lives in the trailer park behind us that the tornado missed, will visit you and give you some greasy directions. We gonna have us a big old time. Cajuns and Texans ain't the only ones who can raise up a ruckus down here. Believe me, after one of these parties with us, you will agree that the South surely will rise again!
I don't like the taste of beer, and I don't do illegal drugs. I enjoy my clarity of mind too much, and relish those moments of crystalline perfect viewing, when all of the universe, God, life and reality comes amazingly into focus.
Alas! Time has mellowed Albert. His drug trips are long over ages ago, having gotten scared straight after a trip to the emergency room that almost had him buying the farm. Now, beer, Judas Priest, mathematics, computers, electronic circuit design, and programming are his remaining long time vices. Oh yes, and his two dear Dachshunds who rule the house when he is not there, and are his companions of choice these days. One can always hope for the best and pray for that one good brain cell can't we? Bless it Lord and Albert too!
During one of those late night brainstorm induced phone-calls he made to me one night, Albert was ironically, discussing his views on the human brain. He went on and on about the different cerebral areas being devoted to different functions and how many brain-cells was involved for each specific process. I thought about the brain pondering itself. Would too much thinking about yourself give you regenerative feedback and over-drive your brain's internal oscillators I wondered? I amused my self with the thought.
True to form he had had a few brew-skies(?) before calling me that night. After a rare break in the conversation, I jumped in to the verbal vacuum and asked him how many of his brain-cells were devoted to drinking beer?
He said, "A bunch!" and he hung up the phone laughing and being satisfied he got his point across, probably drifted blissfully off to sleep again, Albert's 171 IQ self-assuredly still intact.
So there you have it, a story about my buddy, Albert. I owe him greatly. We have come a long way since that teleportation project he was going to help me with, when he heard me challenging Einstein's and others viewpoints in Electronics Technology class night after night over 20 years ago. Even though we have moved on with our lives, I still love him and miss him. Albert, dude, you are the best! We are once friends, always friends. That is the best kind of friend, wouldn't you agree?
Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing,
Come the Judgment Day.
On the bloody morning after,
One tin soldier rides away.