the ratchet man and the corn eater had taken both their earnings to the local gun dealer. the ratchet man, wearing his worn and faded dingy overalls met the corn eater at the door. "hello corn eater", he said, "my you certainly have lost a lot of weight since I saw you here last week". "Yes indeed, my little birdy needs a new lung", replied the corn eater somewhat softly.

"Please, after me", said the ratchet man.

The ratchet man immediately made his way to the aisle featuring a variety of holsters and belts, while the corn eater approached the counter.

"Good morning ben", said the corn eater, "have you any specials today"

"Why yes of course, it's Tuesday isn't it?", replied ben

CE: "no, actually it's Monday afternoon"

Ben:"What is the time?"

CE: "I don't know but it certainly is the afternoon"

Ben:"Well then, we have two for one ammo today."

CE: "Great, I'll take seven for my pistol"

Ben:"OK, but be careful not to point the gun at your bird"

CE: "That's allright, but my birdy isn't"

Ben:"Oh, I'm so sorry, is it something to do with the weather".

CE: "I'm afraid so, the rain has been torture on his lungs"

Ben:"Send my regards"

CE: "I will". The corn eater hands Ben a dollar. "Here you are ben, please keep the change"

Ben: "Thank you and come again". Just as the corn eater was backing away from the counter, ben handed him a complimetary "celebrate the olympics at ben's" patch.

The ratchman watches as the corn eater leaves the store and nods as he leaves.

"God, I admire that man", said the ratchet man as he lifted a purple and black holster. "Do you think God heard you ratchet man?", replied ben who was now holding the dollar bill from the corn eater up to the light.

RM: "I bet God has real big ears, but doesn't have to clean them"

Ben:"I'm sure you're right" .... "Hey,what does E Pluribus Unum mean to you ratchet man"

RM: "My mother's middle initial is E"

Ben:"I think it means one dollar in latin"

RM: "Yeah, that's it" the ratchet man put the holster down "Do you think the corn eater likes his bird better than his pistol?"


RM: "How do you know?"

Ben:"Because he never brings him to see me"

RM: "Sorry ben, I don't understand"

Ben:"Well, ever since the first of the year, I've had a terrible cough and nagging sensation in my lowers. So around the beginning of spring, I decided to visit the doc smithers and have myself checked over" Ben then began to take both hands and slowly press from the top of his chest down towards his lowers, ratchet man watched as he could see rolls of blubber pressing against ben's shirt from the other side.

RM: "So what did the doc say?" ratchet man looking at the back of his hand "You know, my knee has been giving me pain lately, could be that boating accident"

Ben: "Probably ratchet man." "Anyways, doc smithers told me I have a rare commuicable disease that is contagious to some and harmless to others" Ben stopped with his hands just below his waist, paused and sighed.

RM: "Am I in any danger pal?"

Ben:"No, you'd be in bed now if you were infected"

the ratchet man smiled as he approached the counter with his holster selection

RM: "But ben, I still don't get it... why aren't you home in bed?

Ben:"Because I serve a valuable service to the community. If I stay home, who would run the store and sell ammo to the hunters and defenseless civilians?"

RM: "That's a good question. Afterall, you are the only one with experience enough to work here, and lest I forget your certification from the FBI?"

Ben:"Please don't" as ben took the holster from ratchet man "That will be $1.50"

RM: "Thanks ben, and peace be with you." as ratchet man turned towards the door to leave and make his way out of the store

Ben:"I'll do 50 push ups for you tonight"

RM: "Thanks ben, I'll clean the bathroom sink"

By Matt Sesow

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