Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea) flew the highest this week and takes his third win!
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My old man often mentioned Joe. ‘Joe Blow,’ he’d say, ‘who cares what Joe Blow thinks?’
I grew up thinking there was this guy in the neighborhood spying on us, watching our every move.
As I got older, I thought about asking him who this guy was and why he cared what we did. But I never asked, even though Joe Blow continued to be referenced for as long as I lived at home.
Yesterday, Pop’s on his death bed and I finally get up the gumption to put it to him. “Pop, you gotta tell me, who is Joe Blow? I gotta know.” Maybe I was screaming at him. He’s in Lazy Bone Acres these days…one of those homes that aren’t. An orderly drops in, asks if there’s a problem. I say no. Same old, same old.
But my yelling and all was pointless. The dementia has gotten him, and Joe is buried in his petrified noggin.
So here we are the next day, me, alone in the old family house.
Lazy Bone Acres just called.
The old man’s dead.
And they can’t find his body.
Not the first time a body has gone missing, they said.
Suddenly fatherless, I am staring out into the street. Armed to the teeth, I am, a twenty-two and the old Luger he brought back from Germany.
Outside, the worst thing possible, a thousand zombies splattering their brainless violence all over the neighborhood.
They have taken over.
There’s no food in the house and the city cut off the water and power months ago when the old man didn’t pay his bills.
The landline’s still working.
I was such a crappy son.
I know that now.
Should have come sooner.
And I still don’t know who the hell Joe Blow is.