Peanut, my deputy, got shot in the face today, and I’ll tell you this, it came as a genuine surprise to me.

I had given Peanut the job of riling up the Plounkett Gang. Just so I could get an idea of what they’d do when provoked. Normal sheriff stuff. Looking back at the events of the day, I realize now that Peanut and I should have gone over the parameters of the riling, before he started.

For instance, I should have told Peanut that it was inadvisable to spit on his hand and rub it on Abe Plunkett’s jacket.

Also, I should have told Peanut not to repeatedly shout “Who wants a piece of this?” while holding a blueberry muffin over his crotch.

During all of this, Peanut might have mistakenly interpreted my laughter as encouragement, but it certainly was not meant to do so. Sometimes I laugh inappropriately, like the time Peanut was in the outhouse when it was dynamited. The same goes for when Peanut started into his bit about the Plounkett ladies smelling like daschund bellies dragged through puddles of weasel urine. My shock relating to the graphic imagery of Peanut’s words came out as laughter. Believe me, inside where it counts, I was not laughing.

There were several other misunderstandings today, including when I yelled, “You’re on a roll, Peanut! Keep going!” In no way did this mean that I wanted him to continue his aberrant behavior, I was merely ironic. Unfortunately, my irony was lost on Peanut.

In fairness to myself, I did try to bring a halt to the proceedings. “Stop! Stop!” I yelled, as I slapped my knee and sasparilla shot out of my nose.

And, when I noticed that the Plounketts were getting restless, I did take the blame for everything. “Hey, don’t look at me, it was his idea”, I said. In retrospect, I see that the Plounketts did not realize that I was doing an imitation of Peanut talking about me. Perhaps, I didn’t get the timber of Peanut’s voice right.

Finally, I should have insisted that the riling not take place at Annie Plounkett’s fifth birthday party. Children that young should never have bared witness to Peanut slapping his bared buttocks with a wooden spoon. And I have no excuse for shouting “Hit it like a piñata!”

Still, it should come as no mystery that when the Peanut-centric shooting began, I was shocked. I did not see it coming, and I can say with absolute surety, Peanut didn’t see it coming either. Or he probably would have ducked.


Popular Posts