Hobble D Hoy rode tall in the saddle of his pony as he entered the town of Coral. He had been on the trail for many days and needed to change his underpants. Not only that, his pony was a Shetland, so the sole of his boots had worn out after being dragged along the ground for hundreds of miles. Hobble did not dismount outside the saloon, he just stood up and the pony walked to the water trough for a welcomed drink and a rest from the fat bastard he had been carrying. With no saddle to leave at the saddlers, Hobble entered the Noel Gay saloon.
"Shot of red eye barman" demanded Hobble.
"Pardon me sir?" replied the confused worker.
"A shot of red eye!" shouted Hobble.
"Beg pardon mister, but we don't sell red eye" answered the boy.
"This is a saloon right? So why don't you sell red eye?" growled Hobble.
"No sir, this is a hair salon and my name is Gerald".
"But the sign" said Hobble.
"It's the sign writer sir, been waiting ages for him to put it right" replied Gerald.
"Okay, a short back and sides please" answered Hobble.
With his new haircut and smelling of perfume, Hobble found the saloon he had been seeking.
"The sign above the door read, "The Rid Roose Salon". Was the sign writer dyslexic or had his optician been telling him porkies? Hobble readied his holster and entered the bar.
The place was a thronging mong. The place was a thrilling dong. The place was milling a throng. Okay, the place was packed. Cowboys, Cowgirls and a man with a bouffant occupied every space available in this den of iniquity. Hobble stood in the doorway looking for the man he had arraigned to meet. After a while, one of the drinkers came to his rescue.
"Howdy pardner lookin fur someone?" said a whisky reeking cowboy.
"Yes" replied Hobble, "I am looking for Big John Hay Wain".
"Big John eh, he's by the third spittoon on the left" advised the cowboy.
Try as he might, Hobble could not see Big John. Pushing through the crowd, Hobble made his way to the spot that had been pointed out for him. Again, he looked around but could not locate the illusive idiot he had been corresponding with for the past six weeks.
Hobble felt something tapping his knee. He looked down to see a large Stetson hiding what looked like a pair of shiny cowboy boots. The hat moved back a few paces and spoke.
"You lookin fur me?" said the hat.
"I give in" replied Hobble "Am I lookin for you?"
"Sure are pardner, I'm Big John Hay Wain" the hat replied.
Hobble got down on his hands and knees. Before him, under the hat, was a diminutive face with a large handlebar moustache that held up a huge nose. Either side of the proboscis small brown eyes glared at Hobbles shocked expression.
"Are you sure your Big John?" asked Hobble.
"Yes I am and have a care not to stare" said Big John through gritted tooth.
"The thing is" started Hobble.
"I know" interrupted Big John "You assumed I was a lot younger, well you were wrong".
Hobble stood up and eyed the room. "How the hell can he be the Sherriff?" he asked himself.
On the stage two men were doing a song and dance act, the crowd were so enraptured they totally ignored them. A large round table occupied the middle of the room where several men played poker and several women waited around to be poked. Small groups of men sat drinking and talking. White shirted waiters served the better off with food and wine. Huge mirrored walls served as a back drop to the bar that groaned under the weight of its patrons.
"What a shit hole" thought Hobble.
"Let me take you to the jailhouse pardner" said Big John.
"Yes okay lead the way" replied the bemused Hobble.
The hat made its way out of the saloon, the people parted like the red sea. Hobble noticed a quiet had engulfed the room, was it because he was a stranger? He followed behind Big J.
After a short walk they arrived at the jail. Hobble was shown his living quarters. A small squalid cell with mattress wash stand and some grey metal bars. Posters of wanted criminals hung on the white washed office walls. Hobble removed the one of his brother if anyone was going to get the $500 it would be him. An oak desk struggled to fit inside the cramped room and on the back wall an empty gun cabinet. An oil lamp sat on a side table.
"So this is what I travelled two thousand miles for" said Hobble
"Here's your badge young'un you are now my deputy" said Big J.
"Thank you, I'm so glad I turned down the job in Dodge City" replied Hobble.
The following morning, Hobble woke in his freezing bunk. Somewhere there was a pot of coffee boiling. His nose had told him while he slept. Turning on his side, Hobble saw a bald headed midget urinating into the only plant pot in the jail. For a second, he thought he was dreaming, it was then he realised that Big John Hay Wain had taken off his hat. Scared was not the feeling that came over him, it was pure terror. The midget was hung like a wild stallion. Surely no man on earth could carry a tool like that around and not get chaffing.
"No wonder the poor sod was so grumpy all the time" mused Hobble. "I would be the same if my bollocks dragged along the floor all day, oh the pain and discomfort, still, fuck the old miserable short arsed bastard, certainly fooled me with his job description".
"Yew want coffee boy!" shouted Big J.
"Thank you, yes" answered Hobble as he pulled on his boots.
Over coffee and rashers of prime beef with mashed egg and spinach, the one and a half men discussed the day ahead. There was a man in the Hiltoon Hotill that had not paid his bill. A visit to Judge Judy Shinning to introduce the new deputy, then to arrest some Jesse called James. Finally, they made their way to "Ma Bakers Native American Eating House".
"Oh, it's an Indian restaurant" noted Hobble.
"Yip, they do the meanest Buffalo biryani in the west" replied Big J.
"Have you had Chinese?" asked Hobble.
"Yip" replied Big J "Ate it while crossing the Arizona desert".
"They got a restaurant in the desert" asked a full bellied Hobble.
"Nope, I ate my Chinese cook cos we dun run outta food" responded Big J.
"Was he spicy?" enquired Hobble.
"Sure was, he came for Sichuan Province, had a sore ass fur a week" laughed Big J.
The Sheriff and his deputy repaired to the comfort of the jailhouse and opened a bottle of Jock Dangles finest sour mash whiskey. During a deep and meaningful conversation about the exploitation of child labour in western civilised culture, there came a loud banging from outside the front door. Neither man stirred but waited for an explanation from the other.
"Must be the wind" offered Big J.
"Nope, got to be a homicidal maniac on the run" gave Hobble.
A voice from the other side of the door spoke. "Sheriff, the Spoof gang is riding into town!"
Big J wanted to leap from his chair but had to wait for Hobble to put the foot stool in place.
Big J leapt from his chair and ran to the door, as he opened the portal a homicidal maniac with an axe ran past him and was felled by Hobbles right hook. Behind the maniac stood Wyatt Herpes, the local barber and part time nosy parker. Big J pulled him into the room.
"How do you know the Spoof gang is a ridin into town?" asked Big J.
"Cos they dun send me a wire askin fur a haircut" answered Herpes.
"This means trouble with a capitol b" said a concerned Big J.
"He must be the sign writer" thought Hobble.
"What yu gonna do boss" asked Herpes.
"Get ourselves a posse and ambush them at the Ko Coral" Big J sneered.
"Are you a part time sign writer?" enquired Hobble.
"Why do you ask" replied Big J.
"No reason" came back Hobble.
The three men left the jailhouse and made their way to the Rid Roose Salon. Once inside they explained the situation to the silent crowd. The silence was deafening until Big J asked for six good men to join the posse. The mass exit left only a couple of people in the bar, and they had been in the toilet when the call to arms had gone out, and the town's folk had followed.
Calamity John and Wild Bill Hiccup looked at each other and then at the men in the doorway.
"Was it something they said" asked Calamity John eyeing the empty bar.
"Could be a gold rush" offered Wild Bill.
"Nope" interrupted Big J "We are recruiting for our posse".
"That's nice for you, have fun" answered Calamity John making for the exit.
"Wow is that the time? I gotta run" said Wild Bill following his friend.
"You are now in the posse" ordered Big J.
"Will this little adventure include danger?" asked Calamity John.
"Yep" replied Hobble.
"Thank god I dun got my life insurance" laughed Wild Bill.
The posse made their way through the deserted town. The quiet accentuated every sound.
A horse breaking wind echoed through the air, followed by the smell. The clank of spurs on their boots shooed away the cats and dogs lazing in the mid afternoon sun. The lawmen arrived at the Coral and made for the public toilets. A ram shackle affair that had seen many an affair among the gay community of the town, the posse stood in cubicle three.
"I think we should occupy separate cubicles" said Wild Bill
"Good idea" agreed Calamity John.
"I agree we can re convene when Big J has finished crapping" offered Hobble.
"No one move!" shouted Big J "who has the arse wipe?"
Their noses burning with the smell of detritus, the lawmen took position in the toilet.
Small windows offered them a good view and they had enough room to reload the guns.
"Wait a gone don fukin minute" said Hobble "Where are the guns?"
"Never use guns in the Coral son, it agin the law" answered Big J.
"So what do we do when they a come shootin" asked Hobble.
"Use the Greggs" replied Big J.
"You've got me" Said Hobble.
"The most powerful stale bun shooter in the west" informed Wild Bill.
"I see, so why we fire rounds of stale buns, they will be using bullets" said an irate Hobble.
"Nope" interjected Big J "Those boys is gonna use cupcakes always do" answered Big J.
"So they have been here before and keep coming back" asked Hobble.
"Yip, last time we got them with wet loaves of bread" replied Calamity John.
Calamity John removed a panel from the toilet wall and retrieved four weapons with the words; "Greggs the Bun Gun Bakers" inscribed on the side. Each man was handed his armour and a bag of stale buns. Hobble was given instruction on how to load and shoot. Big J showed each man their position and the waiting game began.