Loyal To Albert’s Gall (Short story)

Daily Prompt: Third From the Top

Go to Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own. (In my own particular case it happens to be “Experiencing Bedouin hospitality at its best.”

This camel only knows to commands; whoa and gitty-up.
This camel only knows two commands; whoa and gitty-up.

It was an exhausting task looking for Albert. He went off on what he amusingly calls, ‘one of his holidays.’ And I was the one who always traipsed after him. No one else had the stamina, perseverance, or loyalty to my ole chum. It had been that way since our school days.

If it were not for his brilliance, value, and I must admit my admiration of him he’d been eaten by cannibals in some remote primitive South Seas Island long ago.

He was once within millimeters of becoming an honorary eunuch in some remote valley in Tibet. He was adopted by an order of monks and was near the end of his induction when I arrived on the back of motorcycle with a side car. Monks don’t run fast, but have amazing stamina. The last one dropped after thirty-five kilometers. It wasn’t world class time, but what does one expect on a diet of mountain goat, berries, and rock moss?

And there was the time in Chicago; who would have thought the mere act of snatching foul ball from the grasp of the left fielder for the final out at a Cubs’ game would arouse so much turmoil. Don’t they understand, it was a foul ball? If someone in the front row of a basketball game catches an out-of-bounds ball it’s a good thing. Our pictures were on the front page of the papers. It was unsafe walking down the streets. We got turned away at the Oprah Winfrey Show. Any way Albert and I escaped Chicago by hiding in an empty coal car headed for West Virginia.

That brings up West Virginia. Who would have known that the third shift waitresses at a Waffle House were so sensitive about oral hygiene? Albert says to a slightly inebriated, yet friendly patron, “What has six breasts, four teeth, bad breath, and only comes out at night?’ Well the chap was completely dumfounded so Albert gave him the answer; “third shift at this place.” It turns out he was married to one, dating the other, and the third one was a cousin and ex-wife. We would have been better served staying in Chicago.

Admittedly without him I would be living some sort of dull academic life sheltered by books, bricks, ivy, and stuffy conversation.

Now I find my self on the back of camel who knows only one route, one speed and two English words; whoa and gitty-up. The Bedouin I rented the camel from is a John Wayne fan.

I’m approaching a dirty little village in southern Libya. People are crowding around me on my camel as if I’m a rock star. They’re holding out pieces of paper for me to take. I refuse to take any, because I fear it may show my preference of one over the other. I don’t know what it would mean to these people. I could start a riot.

“Have you seen a man like,” I said using equally incomprehensible and amusing sign language.

“Yes, yes,” One bearded man in a dusty robe said from the crowd. “I sell you map to Rommel’s headquarters. Here is map.” He shook his piece of paper at me.

‘My goodness,’ I thought. ‘They are so far behind time they still think Monty is looking for Rommel. Apparently the village’s only form of industry is selling-out Rommel to the English. I’ve heard of less enterprising and noble causes, but few with the spirit and imagination.

As my camel lumbered its way to the middle of the village there was another crowd. In the middle of them was Albert. Ropes were tightly bound around each ankle that led to camels about to be sent in opposite directions.

“You don’t suppose you could lend be a hand of here, ole chum,” Albert said.

“What on earth have you gotten yourself into now?” I said.

Experiencing Bedouin hospitality at its best, ole chum,” he said. “Care to join me?”

Upon purchasing all the maps to Rommel’s headquarters I was able to win Albert’s release.

As we walked away from the village Albert said, “Now wasn’t that refreshing?”

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