The Men with Five Million IQ
It is down in the boonies of southern Chicago where two bums named Bill and Phil begin their journey. A journey which will define what it means to be a man.
On this particular day, a Sunday, Bill has begun his weekly reminiscing of the past. Bill often likes to reminisce on the good old days and when he does, he usually spends about three hours doing so. And today, on this particular Sunday, his son Phil has had enough of his father’s ranting.
“I remember it like it was yesterday. The calm city of southern Chicago, Illinois. How could one forget such a city like this. The sights you see and the people you meet. I grew up in a small area of Chicago called Chinatown. This wasn’t like your ordinary brokedown tash town. No, this was what some would say, even worse. You couldn’t go one block down the street without running into an abandoned house. Heck, I think there were only about a hundred of us folks living in this area of Chicago at this time. Though we were a small community we were all close with one another. This is where I would soon meet one of my closest friends. Her name was Mary Lue. Sweet Mary Lue. I sure was fond of sweet Lue, I’m afraid she didn’t feel the same about myself though.”
Phil attempts to interrupt his father but is quickly cut off.
“It was with miss Lue that I would bear my first born son. We would name him Philiam. Philiam S. Jr. I call him Phil for short. I can tell you this, it ain’t easy raising a child at ten years old. No sir, it ain’t. Most of the kids in my town weren’t having kids until they were at least 13 but this was a special occasion for me and Mary Lue. And even though there was such an age gap between the two of us, me being 10, and her 30, we still loved each other. At least for a couple weeks that is until she decided to run off and leave me and old Philiam all alone.”
Again, Phil tries to cut him off but is immediately cut off.
“To this day I still haven’t seen Mary Lue since she left after Philliam’s birth. Maybe one day the gods will reunite us and we’ll live happily ever after. A man can only dream.”
Finally, Phil has had enough and can’t take it anymore. “Bill,” he screams. “Could you please stop embellishing your past. We both know you’re full of it,” continued Phil, in a hasty attempt to end his father’s rambling. Bill paused with a shocked look of disgust on his face.
“Son, how many times do I have to ask you to refer to me as Dad. We both know I’ve always prefered that name.”
Phil furrows his brow and struggles to hold back his anger that has been building up for the past three hours as his father rambled on and on. “Pa, you need to shut up. I’ve heard this story over and over. Each week, and every week it’s the same thing over and over.” On the inside, these comments hurt his father deeply, but Bill would not let his feelings get the best of him.
“Look son, you know this is my only day that I can reminisce. And if I choose to do so then I demand an audience dag nabbit.”
Phil knew he wasn’t going to win this argument so he decided to move on with the more important matters at hand. “Look Pa, we’ve been on unemployment for five months and two weeks now. Our last check already came yesterday so we’re going to need to figure out how to get us some more money.”
Bill contemplated the issue for a moment before replying. “I understand son. What about that dog napping business we had goin’ for a h’wile. We were getting a lot of money from that.” Before they had filed for unemployment Bill and Phil had the great idea of kidnapping dogs. See, Bill figured if they wore ski masks and kidnapped dogs they could then return the dogs to their owner and claim the reward. It wasn’t a half bad idea but Bill and Phil weren’t the dog caring types so they bit off a little more than they could chew.
“Oh yeah that was a good one Pa. We made about a few hundred from that. But don’t you remember, you forgot to feed em’,” replied Phil.
Bill pondered his sons remark before replying. “Oh, I do remember that. But I asked you to buy the dag on skii masks and you couldn’t even get the right ones. I ended up having to use a dang trash bag with two eye holes that I cut out so I could see.”
“Well we didn’t have any money so I never knew how you expected me to buy ski masks,” replied Phil.
Just as they seemed out of options for cash, the gears began to turn in Bill’s brain and he had an idea.“Well, go get the dang spare change cup from the back room and go outside the hotel down the street for a couple hours and see what you can gather from that.”
Phil hated waiting outside for spare change but since they were in need of cash he went ahead and followed his father’s advice. Phill strapped on his bowling shoes, that they stole from the bowling alley, and headed on out the door. Three hours passed and Phil managed to get change from a few people but not near enough to pay for their rent which was due next week. As the sun began to set and the night sky set in, Phill headed on back to the trailer. As he walked home Phil pondered. He began to question the meaning of life and why the government could be so cruel to reject their attempts at getting disability three times in a row. As Phil walked down the lonely street he noticed a shiny object glimmer off the moon’s light. “A quarter,” Phil said excitedly. He reached down and grabbed it as fast as he could. He twirled it around in his hand as an idea began to form in his head. Phil knew how they could solve their problems. He knew what they would need to do to get their money.
Phil opened the door to their trailer and shouted, “Bill, I’ve got a plan.” Bill turned around with a look of amazement and wonderment. Bill knew this was rare for his son to have an idea. And he could tell by the look of determination on his son’s face that something good was in store.”
“We’re going to rob the local bank,” Phil said.
Without hesitation, Bill replied, “My god son, that’s the smartest thing you’ve ever said.”
And with that Bill and Phil went onto to bed that night. For the next day they would strategize their unstoppable plan…
Jeffersonville High School, 2019