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TJ Retlaw

TJ Retlaw

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TJ Retlaw

Panjangnya:
359 pages
5 hours
Penerbit:
Dirilis:
Jul 21, 2014
ISBN:
9780692249246
Format:
Buku

Deskripsi

A 21st century blend of Tom Sawyer-meets-Mad Men, TJ Retlaw is a hilarious elegy to the roaring ’60s and ’70s, a coming-of-age story from a time suddenly squashed by our resurgent Puritanism. Rich in anecdotal humor and graphic description, the odyssey begins on a family dairy farm in upstate New York, cradle of the still-innocent youth. Young and raw, TJ quickly flees these bucolic fields in search of the greener pastures of Experience. From taunting bulls to penetrating typhoons, to trysts with the goddess, to encounters with the medicine man—TJ Retlaw lived the real American dream of fast planes and faster women. Fly along on TJ’s days as a naval aviation cadet en route to earning the coveted navy wings of gold. Espy the clandestine world of a TWA commercial airline pilot when flying was still glamorous and civility was the norm . Shake a martini and enjoy the journey on this masterful tour to a vanished age. The incorrigible TJ Retlaw is the last of the good guys.
Penerbit:
Dirilis:
Jul 21, 2014
ISBN:
9780692249246
Format:
Buku

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TJ Retlaw - Captain Frank Bohica

Bohica

BEFORE STARTING ENGINES

Prologue

TJ Retlaw , the novel, is a mendacious blend of blurred memories, a dab of fiction, and a collection of fabrications. Out of respect for the guilty, names of characters and locations may have been altered more than once.

TJ Retlaw, the protagonist, was an aviator. He can recall a five-year stint of active navy service, and a thirty-four year career with a major US airline.

There is no implied attempt at creating a manual or dwelling deeply into technical matters. Far too many engineers, engineer wannabes, and lawyers are available to offer prosaic views on dull subjects. I have encountered myriad numbers of jet engines, absolutely none sparking a desire to be intimate with them. But a quest for intimacy was the impetus as to how the jet engine came to be. The inventor was a Pole, Stashu Jetski, whose life was consumed by satyriasis. He opined that a machine could appease his lust, a machine founded on the principles of suck, squeeze, bang, and blow, which is precisely how a jet engine operates. I explained it this way to Jarib Purmort when he asked me the mechanics of jet propulsion. His reply was, Ain’t love grand? Suffice to say that your author is versed in technicallia with an in-depth understanding of terms, examples of which include: adiabats, brickbats, snow job, grease job, blowjob, pregnancy, shitty landing, rug dance, minimums, go around, pull up, pull out, seniority, liar, and rejection. I’ve attempted to use such references sparingly.

The material is somewhat autobiographically farcical in content, but the format is a flight, a life’s journey, each chapter denoting a phase of the trip. A journey often exasperated by compromising situations punctuated with humor, created by being placed in a comfortable environment miles from home, surrounded by beautiful women and having easy access to alcohol. Watching Norm Crosby always made me laugh, so out of respect for him, I have taken the liberty to engage in malapropism, possibly inventing a new word or two along the way, but have endeavored to keep this to a millennium.

In the trade, airline pilot obituaries are listed under the caption Flown West. To wit, To fly West my friend, is a flight we all must take for a final check – author unknown. Between now and then, come along and partake of an insider’s view of a lifestyle often discussed, but seldom understood. TJ Retlaw lived it and still remains confused.

The ensuing situations and tales are not meant to impugn the reputations of those who did not drink excessively, blaspheme, or deviate from an uxorious relationship. Hopefully, both these paragons of virtue will one day step forward and be recognized before I fly West.

The Before Starting Engines Checklist is complete, sir.

AFTER START

Genesis

Thomas Joseph Retlaw taxied out of his mother’s hangar on the Fourth of July, 1940. This was an event that went totally unnoticed by the world at large, but gave great joy to Mr. and Mrs. Retlaw. Some people recall their time in the womb and nursing, but I lay claim to amnesia for these events. And I also don’t remember being called anything but TJ since the first grade. The class was reciting the alphabet and the teacher printed our names on the blackboard to highlight letters. When my name came up, some little slip of a girl spotted the capital T and J and gleefully shouted, TeeJay, TeeJay! The New York Times picked up on this and it was front page fodder for three days. Of course I couldn’t read, so I didn’t appreciate the significance. Anyways, the TJ moniker has stuck for almost another seventy years, and come to think of it, I have been called other names.

According to my father, the surname Retlaw was morphed from the old country, the exact origin always questionable, depending on how much Seagram’s Seven was involved. I could go to the trouble of researching the genealogy, but I’m quite happy being labeled red, white, and blue, thank you. After all, I was born on the Fourth of July! Suffice to say it is safe to assume, despite what our Nigerian friends assert, that there is no Baron Retlaw waiting in the wings to hand over the Castle Keys to TJ Retlaw, long lost heir, once removed.

The Farm

As a kid growing up on a farm, there wasn’t any need for playtime stuffed animals, as the real deal was always available. Fresh litters of kittens, broods of chicks, ducklings, newborn calves, and frisky puppies were in abundance. Woods to explore, two creeks (pronounced cricks) to fish, wade, and splash in. Beech trees standing at attention, their smooth white bark beholden to be personalized with initials. That was my world BC, before chores. Growing older and stronger, my apprenticeship was expanded to include just about every facet of farm labor, including running tractors and operating machinery, machinery with unforgiving moving parts. Chainsaw machines, ensilage cutters, and bull machines to cite a few.

The bull machine was by far the most dangerous, and the only way to operate him was by slipping a rope through the ring in his nose (accomplished at the feed trough) and never giving him the advantage by showing your fear or hesitation. Having nothing better to do than make whoopee and eat, he lazed about with an air of sophism, luring the unsuspected with a veil of innocence. It was all a front as he jealously guarded his piece of fenced turf with vengeance, the only exception was after he had spent the contents of his scrotum servicing a young heifer, then for a time he didn’t give a shit who or what came through his yard. Otherwise, trespassing in his world by taking a shortcut was always a perilous undertaking, to be done only when he was lying down. I can still remember his evil eyes following my every step, desperately hoping that I would slip and fall, giving him time to rise, run, and stomp me into humanburger. Targeting his balls with my BB gun probably didn’t advance my cause. There was no love lost when the big brute was sold and his raison d’etre was replaced by Parsifal Purmort, the artificial inseminator man. Well, that’s not exactly true, as the cows probably felt remorse at losing their lover, and Bully WAS passionate about his work, indiscriminately screwing what was brought to him, the young, the old, short, and the tall. Something not entirely lost on me. It was an attitude that much later in life would cast a ray of light on an otherwise lonely night and then, often, a nightmare at dawn. I owe it all to Bully!

–Lewis Carroll

Parsifal was not nearly as charming as Bully, no sniffing and no licking the goods before the business at hand (at least not while someone was present), and it was his hand that was the business end of what used to be a beautiful natural relationship. Bull semen was kept in a chilled container, and the farmer chose a named sire that was deemed affordable to him at the time, as prices varied with provenance. Without any emotion, the adroit Mr. Purmort would stick his plastic wrapped arm up the cow’s ass and massage her ovaries and then squirt semen way up, inside her twat with a plastic plunger device held with the other hand. The cow bawled a little and it was all over before you could lament, You just got violated lady, simultaneously cornholed and wazoo’d and if I were you, I’d quit chewing my cud and shut my mouth, not knowing what else this plasticized pervert has in mind. Being a kid, I hadn’t given much thought to my future, but I mentally crossed off artificial inseminator as a career choice. One might question the depth of mysteries that inspire men for wanting to artificially inseminate cows, or the motivation for some doctors to become proctologists. Strangely enough, a welcome diversion was attending school, commiserating with kids my own age, and learning about learning, forgetting for a time about chores and grown men impregnating cows.

Guys! Like big tits? The honor of washing and squeezing eighty of them was mine, twice a day.

The farm was also an unintentional repository for unwanted animals. Boxes of kittens would appear from time to time, compliments of the irresponsible. Kittens are susceptible to distemper, a viral disease that can be effectively treated with vaccine except when you are dealing with dozens of critters, and the means and time to employ a veterinarian is out of the question. The culling operation was crude, but humane. Burlap bags of kittens were tossed over a hundred foot precipice into a fast moving river. My favorites were commandeered and hidden away until after the dirty deed was done. The old man had a soft spot for dogs, and they fared better. Every effort was expended to find keepers for the extras, and Dad’s energy was most often rewarded. His reputation grew and oft times people in want of a dog would come by to inquire. Dogs that chased livestock were dispensed justice in the form of a twenty-five-caliber bullet fired from a Savage Model 99 rifle. The rifle was always loaded; one live round in the chamber, four backups in the rotary magazine; and kept openly hanging from two wooden pegs by the side door on a beam at the ceiling’s edge. The muzzle was covered with a cloth tied in a knot to keep insects out, and the rifle saw little use. Anybody could have taken it but no one ever did.

Arnie was a kid who lived up the road a mile or so. He was three years my senior, quite athletic, and about a half-quart short of the full mark. We were pals of sort, mostly because Arnie had a knack at tinkering with things mechanical, and because he was one of the few boys nearby. Arnie had also come of age and sported a perpetual hard on, and was only too happy to be a soldier in the battle of the pants bulge. Two months prior, he tried to pork his younger sister. She told on him and his parents beat the crap out of him. He was hanging around one day and got the bright idea that he should fuck one of our heifer calves. I had witnessed the bull sire cows my entire short adolescent life, but this curiosity was intriguing. We climbed into the heifer pen. Holstein Missy’s initial exuberance at attention quickly soured into hostility at the unwanted intrusion. After a struggle, I held her head as best as I could in a corner, while at the other end, Arnie was doing all he could to keep her tail clear with his one hand, and guide his throbbing tool inside her with the other. He was frustrated by continual failure, but his misdirected lust finally succeeded in slipping his pecker up and into the calf’s asshole. He was rewarded with a stream of mostly yellow shit that covered the entire front of his jeans.

Arnie’s budding love life had less than a propitious beginning. As far as incest and bestiality went, he was 0 for 2.

There is an anecdotal story about the Maine farmer who won his state’s fledgling million-dollar lottery. When asked by a reporter what he was going to do with all that money the farmer replied, Well, I suppose I’ll just keep on fahmin ‘till it’s all gone! The first Earth Day was established on April 22, 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson was the principal founder, and Earth Day has been celebrated annually since, usually with much fanfare from politicians, celebrities, and well-intentioned greenies. The movement has evolved into a global event, with the objective being to acknowledge and protect the earth’s natural resources, a notable goal. Planet Farm has also contributed to this effort, because like it or not, everyday; including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays, sick days, tooth aches, graduations, weddings, nausea, euphoria, hangovers; is earth day and cause for celebration. Gaylord, take the manure spreader out to the back field and redistribute the wealth before you clean up and go to breakfast. Let’s celebrate! Constipated? Tough shit! Woo Hoo, Celebration!

Conundrums Along the Cattaraugus

The old Indian emerged from the wood’s edge and slowly crossed the field into our yard. Although he had a near mystical presence, he was gaunt and wrinkly and looked like he had been living in his clothes. After a cursory sniff, both dogs left and paid him no further attention whatsoever. My parents greeted him cordially, Mother offering him a couple of sandwiches and warmed-up leftovers. He stayed about an hour, drank coffee and spoke in a soft voice, a pidgin that I could not understand. I was a mere lad, more interested in the contents of his burlap sack, and I was disappointed to see only plants and parts of plants. The Indian had been collecting ginseng and seemed happy with his harvesting success. My father said he would give him a ride back to the reservation, but he declined, saying he still had to find more ginseng. I guess he slept in the woods, and he got around by walking everywhere. He visited each year about the same time for the next four years, then I forgot about him, never expecting to see him again.

Champ showed up in the yard one morning, an abandoned gift from the dog gods. A bit reticent at first, he quickly overcame his shyness, made himself at home, and won me over. He was a mix, mostly Spitz and who knew what else. He responded to his new name in short order, and greeted the school bus every afternoon when it stopped at the house. Except for one privileged cat, pets were not allowed indoors, but Champ hung close near the doorway ready to roll. He might have been a mongrel, but he was a purebred pain in the ass. He chased chickens, followed my mother in the garden digging up freshly planted potatoes, and once presented a young woodchuck pup for our approval. The confused little fur ball made a beeline for the barn when Champ dropped him, unknowingly sealing his fate so that he would never ever collect social security. Fortunately, livestock were not on his harassment list. Cats also had nothing to fear after Taco the Terror, the yellow, twenty-pound, double-clawed alpha Tom, taught Champ a lesson in etiquette and reaffirmed the barnyard pecking order.

The afternoon bus stop was like any other except Champ the greeter wasn’t there. At first I didn’t think much about it, but then my curiosity demanded action. I looked everywhere, my mother had not seen him either. Following the next fruitless day of search that included both sides of the road, I thought to place an ad in the Penny Saver. I phoned the ad in saying, Reward – lost dog, with a name and description. The Penny Saver was mailed Thursday, and after coming home from class, the phone rang. The voice asked, You the one put the ad in the paper?

Yes, that’s right. I said.

I got your dog.

What? You do. Where are you?

The address was at the far end of the reservation. I replied that I was only twelve and didn’t drive and that my father was unavailable, Any chance you could bring him here?

I can do that.

I gave him directions from town and in less than an hour a fairly new Buick Roadmaster pulled in with Champ jumping out, yelping and grinning, his mouth a rictus of unmitigated joy. After settling down and expressing my thanks, I said that I only had five dollars and hoped that would be sufficient.

I don’t need no ree-ward, I’ll be goin’.

I been thinking, I asked, you live about five miles from town and it’s three miles to town from here. How did Champ manage to get all that way, I wonder?

My father had come in from the field and was walking around the corner of a shed. The Indian looked up at him and asked, Who that guy?

That’s my dad, why?

Because he the guy that drop him off.

High School

To parse my teen-age love life it can be said that I didn’t have many girlfriends in high school. I had a few girlfriends in high school. I didn’t have any girlfriends in high school. It wasn’t for lack of interest or trying. Apparently it had a lot to do with the smell test, which I repeatedly failed. Eau du Manure was not a popular fragrance with the local belles. Besides, there was competition galore from cool guys wearing DA (duck’s ass) haircuts, driving souped up Fords and Chevys, with money to burn earned from setting pins at the bowling alley. I did have a heart throb though, Trixie, a secretarial studies major who gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling each time I thought of or saw her. If she had any interest in me, Mata Hari couldn’t have done a better job of concealing it. I spent countless hours devising plans for an assignation. Time I should have spent studying instead of swooning. Time that cost me not having valedictorian placed after my name at graduation. The wretch! Excuses aside, the plans were clever, so clever they were beyond amazing.

A project paper was coming due. I had purposely expanded the contents over and above any requirement to do so with the expressed purpose of asking Trixie to type and edit the material. By now I had a pretty good idea of her schedule, and I brazenly walked into the room where she was at her desk. She casually looked up to listen to my plea and said, No problem. All this was supposed to be a ploy for offering thanks by way of an ice cream soda, a kinda date, a great beginning of great expectations, Charles Dickens’s Pip not withstanding. Marriage, sex, and a family would come later. Come back in half an hour. When I returned, she was at the door, handed me the report, said, Here you go, turned and left. Devastated, I committed suicide. Not exactly, but it was a near mortal wound, one not treatable with bandages or medicine.

Fast forward to the fifty-year high school reunion. Trixie was present. I hadn’t seen her since the fifteen-year get together, my last class group attendance, thirty-five long years ago. She was still attractive and now, strangely enough, amicable towards old farm boy. Following a couple of failed marriages and developing a rear end that could fill a ten-wheel dump truck, she found cause to atone for her previous haughty behavior. At least it was reassuring

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