Benny is the subject of several of my stories, along with his perpetually-pregnant wife, Jolene. Both of them were meek as churchmice -- until Benny got into the tequila. Which he did about once a month. Once he was good and liquored up, Benny would get depressed and attempt to off himself, but the traditional ways were never good enough for Benny. He'd lay down in front of a farmer's hay bailer, or chain himself to train tracks which hadn't seen a train in a hundred years, or try to drown himself in two inches of water.
Which would lead to one of us -- usually me -- arresting the five-foot-nothing Benny for Fooblic Intoxidation. Followed by Jolene attempting to defend her husband and going beserk.
Considering that Jolene was, as noted, usually pregnant and about 4 foot 8 inches tall, we usually attempted to avoid putting Jolene in jail. Not always successfully.
There I was, parked in the Allsup's lot with a Extra-Jumbo Dr. Pepper in one paw and a chimichanga in the other. Somewhere in the county a rookie officer was doing his first solo patrol. Life was good.
"SO, car 14."
*Chomp, chomp* "Go ahead."
"Car 14, car 20 requests backup at _____. He's nekkid."
I paused, for a moment, eyeing my chimichanga suspiciously.
"Car 14, SO. Say again your last?" Please, please let me be hallucinating ...
"Car 14, I'm just relaying what I was told. The kid needs help and said he was nekkid."
I high-tail it to the location, look frantically for the rookies cruiser and spot it parked beside a big corral. I whip in beside the corral, leap out and start looking for my newbie. All I see is a rancher leaning against the corral, chewing on a stalk of something and staring with bemused fascination into the corral. I look into the corral, and it's full of chickens. Six foot tall chickens.
"T'ain't chickens," grunts the rancher before I could say anything, "Emus."
I was about to ask what an Australian bird was doing in North Texas, then I noticed that about four of these mutant chickens were in one corner of the pen, crawling all over each other, trying to get away from a man in the center of the pen.
A man who was on his knees, arms held out in supplication to the terrified mega-fowl, begging in alcohol-sodden tones: "Birdie want a Benny?"
And utterly, completely and totally bare-butt nekkid as the day he was born.
On the other side of the corral, was my rookie. Crawling frantically for the corral fence, while an enraged, six-foot chicken jumped up and down on his back.
It was a Prozac moment.
"Frank," Could those calm tones belong to me? "Would you mind getting out here? Thank you. Benny, come here. Now."
Benny turned and shuffled towards me with an air of: I've-done-something-wrong-but-I-don't-know-what-it-is-yet, and staying well out of grabbing range.
Still wondering where this remarkable calm came from, "Benny, what are you doing in that chicken coop?"
"T'aint chickens. Emus" grunted the rancher.
Benny warbled, hiccuped and waved his arms at me.
"You're doing what? Committing suicide? BY CHICKEN?"
About that time, Frank (who had managed to reach the top bar of the corral) was jerked loose and suplexed back into the corral by the emu, who seemed to have World Wrestling Federation asperations.
That nice, calm feeling totally evaporated.
"Frank! Quit screwing around with that chicken and get out here! Benny, Get. Over. Here. Now!"
"T'aint a chicken. Emu."
Benny, still on his knees, shuffled towards me an inch at a time, with his lower lip quivering pitifully. As soon as he was close enough, I got an arm around him and...slipped off. I stard at my suddenly-greasy arm, looked at Benny and noticed that he was covered in...bacon grease.
Arm waving, hiccuping, warbling, and emphatic nodding from Benny.
"You wanted to taste good when they pecked you to death."
Bloody considerate of him. Odd, I never noticed that I had a twitch before. The rancher stared at Benny for a moment, then collapsed against the fence, pounding it with his fist and howling with laughter.
Frank crawled out from under the lowest bar of the fence, just in time to catch an airborne Benny as I removed him from the corral.