I know who done it. Them goddamn taters. I walked around the yard and started picking up pieces of the camaro, wondering if, from above, they’d laid the parts out into some kinda cult symbols or something. I’ve lived in Fairplains all my life, born there, played high school ball there (and still go see the Trojans every week of the season; they ain’t been much of a team in a while, though), and been working up at the meat plant in Ottumwa like my old man did. What I’m saying is, I’m here for the long haul—and no goddamn hippies could change that.
It was ‘74, I think, when the Maharishi folks—we call ‘em ‘taters’—moved in. A few years before I bought that beautiful blue car. The old Parsen’s college had gone under and they bought the campus; most people in town didn’t think too much of it—if anything we were happy the old college wasn’t just going to rot away—but in ‘81, when the Maharishi people built these giant gold domes for their meditation, the town took notice. They’re pretty secluded at the school; they got their own shops and everything on-campus, but they’re still within walking distance to the town square, and those bastards do come in every weekend, if not every other night, to drink at the bars. The school don’t let them drink, and normally I’d feel bad for a kid in that position—hell, I remember going to the Flamingo Lanes back in the day; I’d sit right down at the bar, that old painting of John Wayne hanging right behind me, and I’d buy a Grain Belt right there, no problem—but these hippie kids at the Maharishi school shouldn’t even be allowed on the same damn planet as the rest of us.
They’re all goofy. I seen a kid unzip his fly down by the lake and take a leak into one of them plastic collapsible cups. Don’t you know, sure enough, he drank it. I couldn’t help myself, I asked him what the hell he was doing. He said it was a spiritual practice. I don’t even remember what the hell else he said about it because I began reeling in my rod to get the hell outta there. They’re all like that, too. Maybe they don’t all drink pee-pee, but they go around town and start trouble over the dumbest things.