The Story of Two Identical Jerks

June 9, 2017

Barry Bass sat in a grey holding cell in the Elkrun county jail, confuddled and lonesome.
How he got here you may ask? Well, it started the night before, a scandalous teenager named Eric Stevens. And an emotionally unstable twin brother, who lived next door. Eric got his hands on a fresh can of pearly white spray paint. His mother Belinda, always confiscated his spray paint, she didn’t like him “doing graffiti.” On this night, Eric was going to do some graffiti.
Eric Stevens decided he would ride his bicycle to intersection of Becker Street and Beethoven. Accompanied by his friend Ted “The Hand” Miles, Eric shook the can of spray paint, he loved the sound of the marble tapping the inside of the can, but who doesn’t? Eric used The Hand as scaffolding and crafted the word “Don’t.”He placed this single word above “stop” on the stop sign. This stop sign stood all by it’s lonesome at the terminal of Becker Street. The Hand looked up at the finished artwork and grunted, “Looks nice man.”
The morning after the vandalism took place, Bob Bass woke up exactly nineteen minutes late for work. He hated being late for work. Mrs. Benson, a white old lady who stands at a whopping five feet works the front desk. When Bob comes in late she gives him the “back in my day we didn’t dare show up late for an unsecure factory job” speech when he comes through the front doors. Not exactly what the speech entails, but that is all Bob hears. Mrs. Benson stretches Bob’s temper like a brittle rubber band.
At 7:20 AM on Monday morning, Belinda Stevens, was making her way through the Becker street and Elm street intersection.
At exactly 7:20 AM on Monday morning, Bob Bass noticed the “Don’t Stop” sign and didn’t stop. I’m not sure why Bob didn’t stop, but since I control everything Bob Bass jr does and will ever do, it’s because he didn’t feel like listening to Mrs. Benson drone on and on. He almost had himself convinced he could hear her malicious complaining from the factory right now, in his car. Bob took a look at the passenger seat just to make sure.
Bob could never stand up to Mrs. Benson, that old hoot of a woman had walked all over him since he got the job. Bob mimicked her old, thin, annoying voice to himself in his truck.
Bob got himself fired up, not like a charcoal grill, like a gas grill. The thought of Mrs. Benson injected him like a drug, the hate was sincere and intoxicating and instantaneous. He saw the spray painted stop sign, and yes he could tell it was unauthentic. Bob could see the defiance of whomever painted the sign. He needed some of that if he ever wanted to stand up to Mrs. Benson. So to hell with stopping. Bob gripped the wheel with both hands.
You see, Bob thought it would be a good idea to purchase an oversized and haughty bumper for the front of his mustard yellow Ford Ranger, this really made the vehicle look unbalanced in a way. So when he slammed into Belinda Stevens at 7:20 AM, his vehicle was not damaged. Belinda’s was. The initial collision surely destroyed the back driver’s side door and rear wheel. The force sent her car into a near electric pole, and dented the passenger's side door. Belinda exited the her SUV unharmed. Lucky for her, she was able to lay her eyes on the culprit before he fled the scene. Bob left the scene in a hurry.
Belinda had seen this man watering his grass when she jogged by his house a few days prior. Barry Bass likes to keep his lawn nice. He waters often.

The author's comments:
Kurt Vonnegut

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