Me, Boo and The Goob: A Southern Adventure

Me, Boo and The Goob: A Southern Adventure

by William L. Garner


Publisher William L. Garner

Published in Literature & Fiction/Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction/Humor, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


Almost any parent can testify to this basic truth: Nothing grips the mind of a small boy any tighter than a bad idea. "Me, Boo and The Goob: A Southern Adventure" is the story of three boys who, in addition to having a lot of really bad ideas, are also invariably victims of their own innocence, courage and naivety. From ghost hunting in the forbidden halls of an old mansion to a deadly struggle in a dark and dusty pasture on a hot Memphis night, "Me, Boo and the Goob: A Southern Adventure" is a testament to the eternal optimism of young boys.

Sample Chapter

Saving Mr. Quarrels

We decided to get our fishing poles and go over to the golf course and go fishing in one of the ponds out there and do some more thinking. Walt set the weather machine to make sure that the day would stay nice, and we set out for the pond. The folks at the country club didn't really mind if we went fishing, as long as we didn't bring Adolph. Adolph was an old basset hound that lived in the neighborhood. He was a pretty good dog about most things, but he had a thing about golf balls. Whenever Adolph saw a golf ball, he would go for it, doing that funny looking sideways, half run, half trot that only basset hounds and some horses can do right. If he got to the ball before the golfer did, Adolph would pick up the ball and sit there until the golfer got there. Then he would stay just out of reach while the golfer chased him and tried to get the ball back. We used to take Adolph out there just to watch Lester Crabtree chase him. Mr. Crabtree, we used to call him Mr. Crabby, was a great golfer and was in charge of the golf course. He would really throw a fit about Adolph. He would jump around and holler at Adolph. He chased him on his golf cart. He threw rocks at Adolph. Once he threw every club in his bag at Adolph. It was Mr. Crabtree who hired us to make sure that Adolph didn't come to the golf course anymore. He let us fish in the ponds for doing that, but going swimming was not allowed.

So we went to the little pond on the back side of the golf course because it had the best shade to sit in. We fished, and talked, and thought, and watched the golfers. Every now and then, one of the golfers would knock a ball into the pond. It usually made a big splash and scared all the fish for a while. That was pretty funny because usually who ever hit the ball in would stomp and cuss a bit and sometimes hit another ball or two in. We would laugh, but not too loud because we didn't want them to come over and run us off. One fellow hit the ball right over by us, and it just barely made it into the pond. He came over looking for it, and Walt showed him where it went in. While the golfer was looking in his bag for another ball, Walt saw the guy's ball in the water. It was just a little ways out and the water was real clear, so Walt walked out there and got it. The water was only about knee deep right there. The golfer was really happy that Walt did that and thanked him for getting the ball. He also gave Walt a quarter.

We went back to fishing. I was kind of dozing and Walt was flipping his quarter in the air when all of a sudden Boo jumps up and hollers “I got it.” I didn't know what in the hell he had. He wasn't even holding his fishing pole. Boo said he had an idea about how we could get three dollars and seventy five cents more. I was worried because I remembered the last idea that Boo had. Boo pointed at the pond and said, “I'll bet there are a million golf balls out there. If we get some of them out, we can sell them and to get the money to buy the plans to build the jet engine for the rocket car.”

“It's a jet car,” Walt said with a frown. Walt and I had to admit it, though. It sounded like a good idea. So, now we had to come up with a plan to get the golf balls out of the pond without Mr. Crabby catching us.

Walt was the master planner for this entire operation. He was clearly the best choice because it was sort of like what his dad had done in World War II. His dad was in the Navy and had swum up to Omaha Beach and blown up stuff so that the Army could get in there and shoot all the Nazis that were in France. Anyway, Walt knew all about how to go swimming without getting caught.

Walt's plan was simple. At about dark thirty, instead of going over the Dickson's house to play kick the can, we would get our masks and snorkels and head out to the pond. We all had to be sneaky about getting out of the house with the mask and snorkels because if anyone's mom knew we were taking off at dark with our masks and snorkels, they would know something was up. Boo was supposed to bring something to put the balls in. I was bringing a flash light. Walt would draw a map of the pond. I wasn't sure we needed a map of the pond because it wasn't very big.

Walt said, “You always gotta have a map.”

Anyway, it was his plan and if he thought we needed a map, then we probably needed a map. We were going to just wade around in the pond, feeling with our feet for golf balls. If anyone came, we would go under and breathe through our snorkels till they left. Then we'd come up and start hunting golf balls again. I thought it was a great plan.

That's exactly how we did it, too. The three of us met up and went out to the pond. We waded in and in no time were finding more golf balls than you could imagine. Walt said this golf course must have the worst golfers in the world, on account of all the balls they hit in the pond. You could hardly step anywhere without stepping on one. It was more like we were just picking them up than hunting for them with our feet. Boo had brought a picnic basket to carry the balls in, and it was filling up real fast. I had just tossed another ball in when Walt whispered, 'Get down.”

I looked up. It was getting pretty dark, but I could still tell that there was someone coming over the hill on a golf cart. It had to be Mr. Crabby.

All three of us went under water. We were on the back side of the pond, right by the putting green. We stayed under for a long, long time. The snorkels were really coming in handy. Finally, I peeked up a little bit so I could see. Mr. Crabby was gone. I kicked Walt and Boo to let them know that it was okay to come up. I must have kicked Boo's mask off, 'cause he came up hollering and choking and thrashing about. When he did, we heard a horrible, blood curdling scream, a loud gasp and a thud right behind us on the green.

That scared the living bejesus out of all three of us. Without even looking back, we all took off to the other side of the pond. I really think we ran across the top of the water. As you probably know, running on top of the water is pretty hard to do. Walt's dad always said that doing something hard was usually just a matter of proper motivation. We motivated our butts clean across the pond real fast. If we weren't running on top of the water, then we were running no more than knee deep in it because we were as highly motivated as you can possibly be. Once we were on the other side, we stopped and looked back. Someone was lying up on the green, and they weren't moving. We ran back over to the green. This time we ran around the pond. When we got there, we saw Mr. Quarles and he was just lying there. He was the greens keeper, and he was deader than a door knob.

“Sniper must have shot him! Damn gorillas,” I said, ducking down and looking all around.

“No,” Walt said. “He wasn't shot by no sniper. We didn't hear a gun shot and there ain't no gorillas on the golf course.”

“Maybe they used a silencer like ole James Bond,” Boo said. I thought that sounded reasonable.

“There ain't no snipers here,” snapped Walt. “I think when you came up hollering and splashing all around, it must have scared poor old Mr. Quarles to death!”

Boo looked crushed. Boo had always liked Mr. Quarles and now Walt had just told him that he had killed Mr. Quarles. Walt leaned over Mr. Quarles and checked him out. He was still breathing, so it must have been his heart that gave out.

Walt pounded his fist down onto Mr. Quarles' chest about eight or ten times. He had seen doctors on TV do that, Walt said, and it usually brought dead guys back to life. Mr. Quarles groaned, so obviously it worked. Boo looked very relieved. Mr. Quarles might have been at Heaven’s Gate for a second, but thanks to Walt, he wasn't dead long. We were all very happy that Mr. Quarles was alive again. Walt said that Mr. Quarles must have had just had a massive coronary or a stroke or something like that. At this very moment, Walt explained, Mr. Quarles was teetering on the brink between life and death.

All of a sudden, getting caught in the ponds, and the golf balls, and getting the plans for building a jet engine didn't seem very important. We had to save Mr. Quarles. It was clear to all of us that we had to get Mr. Quarles to the hospital, or at least back up to the club house real fast or he was going to die again. Mr. Quarles was groaning some more now and coughing some. Walt said he thought Mr. Quarles was having trouble breathing now, that he must have swallowed his tongue. Quick as a rabbit, Walt rammed his fingers in Mr. Quarles mouth to clear his airway. Mr. Quarles gagged and Walt screamed and jumped back. I looked down and Walt had pulled out all of Mr. Quarles teeth. I could tell this was getting worse and worse.

Mr. Quarles had driven out there on this three wheeled thing called a greens keeper's cart. It had a little bed on the back sort of like a pickup truck bed. All three of us tried to drag Mr. Quarles over to the cart, but he was so big and heavy that we could hardly get him to budge. Walt said we had to hurry because Mr. Quarles' thread of life was slipping through our fingers. We had to do something fast or Mr. Quarles would die again.

I had a flash of inspiration. Since we couldn't get Mr. Quarles over to the greens keeper's cart much less lift him into the cart, we could drive the cart out over to Mr. Quarles. We couldn't pick him up, but we could tie him to the back of the thing. Then, we would drag him behind it up to the club house and call an ambulance. Walt said I was a genius. I had always suspected as much, but I had never said so. The three of us quickly agreed that this was the best possible course of action and it was probably Mr. Quarles only chance to survive. Boo found some rope in the cart. Walt figured out how to start the cart and drove it out onto the green. He accidentally ran over Mr. Quarles foot.

Quicker than you could say 'Jackie Robinson', we tied Mr. Quarles feet to the back of the cart. Mr. Quarles was trying to say something, mumbling mostly, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. I think it's pretty hard to talk when you're mostly dead and don't have any teeth. I told Mr. Quarles to stay calm, not to worry, because we were going to save him.

Walt jumped into the driver's seat and started the motor of the greens keeper's cart again. Mr. Quarles tried to sit up. Walt revved the motor up, popped the clutch and we took off like a rabbit. The cart shot forward for just a second, until we had taken all the slack out of the rope we used to tie Mr. Quarles to the cart, then it jerked almost to a complete stop, and Mr. Quarles suddenly laid back down. Mr. Quarles was so heavy that the front wheel of the cart kept trying to rise up in the air and that made it hard for Walt to steer. The back wheels spinning like hell, slinging grass and dirt everywhere as they chewed their way through of the soft grass of the putting green. I was afraid that we were going to get stuck on the green, but Walt gave it full throttle. It was slow going, but pretty soon the cart had gnawed its way off of the green and onto the hard dirt of the fairway. As we bounced down the fairway picking up speed, I looked back at the green. It looked like someone had plowed two deep furrows right across it. Oh, that was ugly. Then I looked at Mr. Quarles bouncing along behind the cart. I was starting to think that maybe he had a chance, that he was going to be okay.

It was a long way back to the club house. We had been in the very back of the golf course. Walt drove as fast as he could and he tried to stay off of the cart paths as much as possible because we were dragging Mr. Quarles behind us. I figured that chat from the cart paths would really eat him up. I told Walt to make his turns real wide because Mr. Quarles was getting whipped back and forth when Walt made the tight turns and I was afraid Mr. Quarles was going to hit a tree or wrap around one of those ball washing things. Walt must have forgotten about Mr. Quarles for a second because he took a short cut that we usually took when we were on our bikes. I think it was just habit, but anyway, Mr. Quarles snagged on a couple of bushes or something. It slowed us down a bit and almost threw Boo off, but the bushes gave way in just a second and we sped back up. All things considered, I really think that Walt was doing pretty good for someone who had never driven anything before.

While we were bouncing across the golf course dragging Mr. Quarles, I was thinking, “We're going to be heroes!” I just knew we would get our picture in the newspaper and that people would all say how they had always misjudged me, Boo, and Walt. I imagined that the Mayor might even give us a medal for our quick thinking and lifesaving efforts. We had, after all, saved Mr. Quarles from his massive coronary. My mom was going to be so proud of me. She had spent a lot of time crying after Boo and I got expelled from Miss Black’s School. It was going to be good to see her smile again. I was thinking that dad would smile so big and be so proud, too. Maybe Miss Katherine and Miss Black would even let us come back to school. It's not every school that has a couple of real live heroes in attendance.

The final stretch was down fairway number 18. It was a long dog leg that ended at the bottom of a hill. We really picked up some speed going down the hill on that hole. We flew straight toward the pro shop. To this point, Walt had not needed the brake and had not bothered to look for it. The time, however, for using the brake was now upon us and it was soon abundantly clear that Walt should have looked for the brake a little bit sooner.

We were going really fast, so rather than hit the club house, Walt cut the wheel real sharp, and trying to do one of the sliding, skidding maneuver things you do on a bicycle to stop. Well, I'm here to tell you that don’t work so good on a three wheel cart. The greens keeper's cart whipped around and tilted up and over. It threw me, Walt and Boo clear, but it broke the rope and slung Mr. Quarles through the leader board. The greens keeper's cart flipped over three or four times, throwing up huge chunks of turf and dirt out of the practice putting green. Finally, the greens keeper's cart came to a stop after it crashed through a chain link fence and clobbered an awning by the swimming pool. It missed the high dive.

I was OK. Boo said he needed to puke, but he was OK, too. Walt was a little shaken up, but he was OK too. I checked; he wasn't stupid or stuttering. I thought everything was going to work out all right after all. About a dozen men came was running out of the club house bar to see what all the commotion was. They stopped dead in their tracks when they saw all the wreckage. The practice putting green was plowed up really bad where the greens keeper's cart had gone flipping through it. The chain link fence around the pool was buried with the greens keeper's cart under the awning, and it was starting to smoke. The leader board looked like it had been hit by a bulldozer. I hollered, 'We need an Ambulance!!!”

“Not yet you don't, you little bastards,” slurred Mr. Quarles, limping out from the wreckage of the leader board.

Mr. Quarles looked awful. His clothes were just shredded. His shirt hung off him more like a cape than a shirt. He had lost both of his shoes and one of his britches legs. He was bleeding from a lot of little cuts and scratches all over his body and it looked like a good bit of his ear was hanging down. There were more places bleeding on him than not. He didn't have any teeth, and he could hardly walk. But walking, he was. He was fighting for every step as he came right toward me and Boo and Walt.

Other than the cuts and scratches, the missing teeth, and the limp that looked like it hurt a lot, he seemed pretty healthy. But holy cow was he mad. He was so mad he was just quivering as he limped toward us. He was dang near foaming at the mouth. I didn't understand at first why he was so mad, and then I remembered that Walt had run over his foot. We, on the other hand, had just saved him from his massive coronary so I felt that, given the circumstances, he might be reacting just a bit more than was reasonable. At the same time, however, I was also starting to think that maybe he wasn't hurt too badly by his massive coronary. I asked Walt, “How long does it take to get over a massive coronary?”

“Longer than that,” Walt, who was looking kind of pale, replied.

I started getting this sinking feeling. I felt like I was going to throw up, which made me think of Boo. I turned to Boo to tell him something, and Boo was gone. Mr. Weaver and some other men got between Mr. Quarles and me and Walt. Mr. Quarles eyes were on fire, and he was reaching out trying to grab me and Walt. He kept hollering and cussing and saying he was going to squeeze the very last drop of blood out of our “worthless little hides” and calling us “murderous little heathens.” An ambulance finally showed up, and they took Mr. Quarles away. It turns out that he didn't really have a massive coronary. When Boo popped out of the water shouting and screaming and all, it scared Mr. Quarles so bad that he dropped his Peach Brandy and fainted right there on the spot. He might have been drunk. I could understand that. It had been dark for a while and who knows what kind of monster he thought was popping out of the water. It takes a brave man to go out on the backside of the golf course all by himself at night. I have heard that Peach Brandy makes you real brave. I probably would have fainted too if somebody jumped up screaming out of a pond in the middle of the night when I wasn't expecting it.

Anyway, they took him to the hospital to bandage up all those scratches, fix his ear and check for broken bones. They had to give him a shot to calm him down and get him in the ambulance. The fire department came and put out the fire that the greens keeper's cart started in the wreckage of the awning. The fire got pretty big while everyone was wrestling around with Mr. Quarles trying to keep him from killing me and Walt. It took three or four of them to hold him down so they could give him that shot. I don't think they even called the fire department until after they gave Mr. Quarles that shot and took him away. Mr. Crabtree just stood there looking at the practice putting green. He didn't say much. He may have been crying because the green was a hell of a mess. I was thinking that if he was this sad about the practice green, he was going to be pure-d-oh heartbroken when he saw the green back there by the pond.

Walt and I sat on a bench over by the pro shop watching the firemen while we waited for our dads to come and get us. Dr. Guntree stood there by us, watching us. He didn't talk in that calm voice he used at his office. Occasionally, he would look over at Mr. Crabtree, then, just right out of the blue, Dr. Guntree would reach down and slap the crap out of me or Walt.

I saw dad's car turn into the country club parking lot. I just knew this was gonna be ugly.

I had been ungrounded for one stinking day.


Excerpted from "Me, Boo and The Goob: A Southern Adventure" by William L. Garner. Copyright © 2016 by William L. Garner. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

William L. Garner

William L. Garner

William Garner was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Senatobia, Mississippi, Hernando, Mississippi, and Jonesboro, Arkansas. Defying all odds, he is a graduate of The University of Mississippi where he enjoyed skydiving, hunting, fishing, water skiing, scuba diving, music, liquor, raw oysters, boiled shrimp, football, women and occasionally attended class. Following a thirty year career in Information Technology, during which he became a recognized authority on Unix Systems Administration, he has become a semi-retired nuisance. In addition to being the Pit Boss on his award winning competition barbeque team and writing novels, he has become a PADI Scuba diving instructor. He is the father of two daughters and one son. He and his long suffering wife, Landi, are enjoying the good life in their new home in a small Florida gulf coast community.

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