Uncle Buck

[Being the last character sketch left to me by my friend Bill. A Blue Moon story.]

“Oil containing garlic can cause botulism if not kept refrigerated.”

"How the hell does he know this stuff?" [we asked] Dan Brown: creator of Uncle Buck, who lived and reigned for three months, then vanished. Buck knew all, but lied when drunk. It was hard to use him as a source. Dan relied on his testimony.

“You all know, or have seen, those cannons that were on ships where the balls were linked together by a chain. Those were fired from two different cannons, the chain hung between them. Had to be perfect timing, both touch holes had to be lit simultaneously. When it worked, the masts of the target ship would be torn to toothpicks. The chain would ruin everything in its path. The French tried it with three cannons. But it was a failure. The balls and chains whipped around their own boats killing entire crews. Stupid frogs. How could anybody take a Frenchman seriously?”

“How the hell do you know that?” someone asked.

“I read a lot. I think I got that out of the ‘C’ volume of the Harpers Encyclopedia. I’ve only read to ‘J’, so I’m missing a little over half of what I ought to know.”

Dan Brown tells the truth as he sees it.

Buck was a raspy guy with a scruffy beard. He wore checkered flannel shirts. Fifty eight years old. Drove an old pick-up truck with no spare tire. Buck drank a bit, and his face was always itchy. He was a movie star, but he always got killed before the end of the film. You know Buck, hell everybody knows Buck.

Dan loved Buck.