We have all been here before

Harley looked out the window of his lake cabin and blinked. He shook his head like a wet dog and looked again. Sure enough he was looking at a tornado and it was zipping across the lake aimed directly at his home. The sight froze him and he stood there as the wind picked up more and more, the trees bending at impossible angles. The house shuddered and made cracking noises as debris from the forest was snatched up by the howling storm and tossed at the house. As he watched, a squirrel sitting on a tree limb was blown into the air and then hurled at the window where Harley stood. It smashed through the glass and hit Harley right between the eyes.

Harley was on the floor and the house was shaking and bucking like a brahma bull. He peered over the window sill and saw the neighbor boy, little Billy Wankel riding his bike through the sky, his little legs just a pumpin’ away. In the basket hooked to the handlebars rode Billy’s dog, a terrier named Tootinkamin. The dog looked petrified, it’s little twinkling eyes huge with fear. As the house swung past Billy, the dog gave his master a look that said “you’re on your own, bud” and lept onto Harley’s porch and began to scratch at the door. Harley let it in and they both then stood at the window and watched as Billy swirled away into the clouds. Both Harley and the dog began to float just above the floor and Harley realized it was because the house was falling. It fell down and down and down some more until it banged into the ground and Harley and the dog were slammed onto the floor.

It was quiet as Harley opened his eyes and saw the sun streaming through the window. The dog, Toot, was sitting next to him and looking expectant. “You need to go out, little fella?” asked Harley. The dog got excited and stood on his hind legs and did a kind of dance that took him to the door. Harley followed and opened the door. He watched the dog run out and leap from the porch into lush grass that was greener than Harley’d ever seen before. As a matter of fact, nothing looked like anything Harley had ever seen before. The colors were rich and vibrant everywhere he looked. He stepped out and climbed off the potch to look around. That’s when he saw the legs sticking out from under the house. “Oh my lord!” cried Harley. “It looks like I done killed somebody!” Harley was overcome with grief until he noticed the really nice Boots on the feet jutting from under the house. They looked like the expensive hunting boots they sold at Cabelas and Harley decided don’t mind if I do and helped himself to the boots. After all, it wasn’t likely that their former owner had much use for them anymore.

Outfitted in his new footwear, Harley’s mind turned to the next order of business. “I wonder how to get home from here?” he said to himself aloud.

“You need to go see Ozzie!” said a voice. Harley spun around looking for the speaker, but he saw only a scarecrow. Harley scratched his head.

“Is that you what just did the talkin?” Harley asked the scarecrow. “Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me? I’m the only one here. You talkin to me?”

“Wrong script, dickwad.” said the scarecrow. “Now come over here and get me off this pole so we can become really good friends and bond and stuff.”

“What if I don’t feel like it?” sneered Harley.

“Then my tin friend over there will kill you. He’s an axe murderer, you know.”

“No shit?”

“True story.” said the scarecrow. “By the way, you got any WD-40? My bud got wet and rusty and he’s kinda siezed up.” Harley nodded and returned to the house. He stepped out a minute later shaking a familiar looking blue and yellow spray can. He liberally dosed the tin woodsman with the lubricant. The tin man slowly moved, his joints making an irritating squeal until he got the WD-40 worked into them.

“Die, you intrusive sucktard!” yelled the tin man, swinging his ax at Harley. Harley ducked and ran to hide behind the scarecrow.

“I told you.” said the straw man. “Didn’t I tell you?”

“Yes, you did.” said Harley. “Hey, tin guy. Let’s work something out here. I don’t want to die.”

“Aww, I was just messin’ with ya. I’m not really an axe murderer. But I could be. You see, I got no heart and that tejnds to make a guy sociopathic. Psychopathic even.” said the tin man.

“Hey!” said Harley. “I know whats going on here. You, tin man, you want a heart. Scarecrow, you want a brain. Me, I want to go home!”

“You calling me brainless sucktard? Hey, tin man, go ahead and chop this dipstick up.” growled the scarecrow.

“Oh, sorry.” said Harley. “I was, like, having a sense of deja vu. This all seemed somehow familiar.”

“There’s nothing wrong with my brain.” barked the scarecrow. “What I want is some righteous weed. I could seriously appreciate a good high right about now. HEY!” The scarecrow looked down to see Toot peeing on his leg. “Jeez. Would you get me offfa this damn pole before fido here starts humping my leg?”

The three guys and the dog sat in Harley’s living room. The men had a beer each and were passing a joint. “So,” said Harley. “Who’s this Ozzie guy and what can he do for us?”

“The dude’s got, like, a totally bitchin’ band. Primo tunes.” said the scarecrow.

“So, how does that help us?” asked Harley.

“I didn’t say it would. I just like his music.” said the scarecrow.

“Yeah, the guy’s pretty awesome.” said tin man.

“Arf!” said Toot. The tin man sprayed the dog with WD-40.

“So,” said Harley once they were out of the house and ready to go. “Which way?”

“They’s a buncha midgets runnin’ around that always say to follow the yellow brick road.” said the scarecrow. They all looked around and sure enough, there was a yellow brick road.

“So, we should follow the road to get where, exactly?” asked Harley.

“To see Ozzie, I think.” said tin man. Scarecrow nodded.

“Well, then I expect we should go this way.” said Harley, striking out.

“Wait a second. How do we know which way to follow it. I mean, the road leads two directions. One’s Ozzie and the other ain’t.” tin man said.

“Seems to me it doesn’t matter.” said Harley. “If one way is towards Ozzie than the other way isn’t. So if we follow it and we don’t find Ozzie, that means I’ll find my way home.”

“How do you figure that?” asked tin man.

“Well, if one way leads to Ozzie, then all other ways don’t.”


“So, I’m either gonna go see Ozzie or I’m gonna go home.”

“I get it.” said the scarecrow. “So, let’s get going.” The group struck off to Ozzie or not. After about an hour a shadow appeared on the horizon. It kept getting larger and larger.”

“Holy crap!” sputtered the tin man. “It’s the flying monkeys!” No sooner than he finished speaking and the monkeys descended in force. They screeched and waved their arms around while the traveling trio huddled in fear. Suddenly, the king monkey grabbed Tootinkaman and took off, followed by the rest of the hoarde.

“Jesus!” cried the scarecrow. “They took the dog!”

“S’okay. Wasn’t my dog.” said Harley.

“Oh, well in that case, let’s get going.” said tin man.

They walked a long way and in the distance they saw a huge house. A mansion really. The light breeze carried the sound of a song called “No more tears.”  This perked the group up since the song was one of Ozzie’s top all time hits. They picked up the pace and soon found themselves at a huge portico and front door. Tin man knocked on the door with his ax, accidentally chopping a hole in it. “Oops.” he said.

“I wouldn’t go quoting Rick Perry around Ozzie. He don’t like rednecks much.” said scarecrow, easing through the jagged split in the door. The others followed him through the opening. Inside, the decibel level was numbing. The base was so bassy and the treble so trebbley that it short circuited the brains of the trio. Harley felt himself falling.

“Aw crap. I just wanted to go home. There’s no place like home, ya know.” he said.

“No place like home. No place like home.” mumbled Bob. His wife shook him.

“Bob! Wake up. You’re having a dream.” said Karen.


“You were having a dream.”

“Damn morphine again.” mumbled Bob. He rolled over and tried to go back to sleep but his dog, a small terrier named Toto, was scratching at the door. “Jeez.” he said, “that’s some great morphine, I don’t even have a dog.”