Well, you know, Girl, I wasn’t always a hitman. I done hard-rock mining and a lotta other things.
One time I was a TV repairman in the Hollywood area. I’d go to all these rich folks’ and movie stars’ homes. Lots of ‘em had pets. I like cats and all, but some of them had some pretty mean dogs. They had all kindsa pets, goldfish and birds, parrots and such. Yeah, cats ’n rats n I don’t know what all. Most of them didn’t get my goat because I’m 6’2" in my stockin’ feet, and pretty powerful. ‘Least, I was."
One time I went to this lady’s place, and she opened the door to me— _she_did, not the maid. I had that great big box we had to carry with all them tubes in. Never see tubes in nothin’ any more. I used to use ‘em every day. And half the night.
It was eaxs to fix tube sets, though, you just use the tube tester (another heavy box) and swap the bad one for the good one. Unless the pitcher tube went out. That-there pitcher tube sure cost a lot to fix— I mean, to replace because you can’t open it to fix it. Like a light bulb.
Well, after she let me in and took me to the living room of that dam’ palace she called a home, and started to leave, she said to me, “Now, don’t let Baby scare you. She likes to meet people.”
I mumbles something in reply and promptly forgot all about Baby as I started taking the back off the TV and testing tubes.
It must have been only a few minutes, but when I’m working time don’t mean nothing to me so it could have been longer, and I was kind of in a trance, you know, just doing my job. I was completely into it.
Eberything was going great until I felt this cold, wiskery nose up against my left ear. It was the size of a dog’s nose, and I was saying, “Good boy, good boy,” and patting it on the hip and ribs, and then the dam’ dog started to purr!.
“Hmmm”, I sez to myself, " it don’t feel like no dog, and it don’t sound like no dog, so I turns my head and looks. My gosh! It was one of them cheetas or a leopard or something. Some kinda big, wild, spotted cat. I like to had a heart attack right then and there! For a second I was froze, then I just stuffed myself into the empty spaces on that great big old console TV, then pulled the back onto it with my fingertips— I didn’t want to leave too much finger hanging out to feed Baby with, and I started hollerin’ for the lady of the house.
Pretty soon out she comes, and she says, "Hey, Mr. Repair Man, where are you? and I says, “I’m in here,” and she says, “Where’s ‘in here’?” and I says, “I’m in the TV, lady,” and she says, “Why are you in the TV?” and I says, “Because that dam’ cat like to et me,” and then she starts in giggling-like. “Hee hee hee,” she says.
“I ain’t funny, lady, I almost had my heart stop!” and then the lady get sthis hysterical belly laugh, like, “Haw, haw, haw,” and she starts sniffin’ and such. She musta got hysterical it was so entertain’ to her.
I said, “’T’ain’t funny to me! And I’m in the TV set since you ast, and I ain’t exactly comfertable in here.”
That lady sat down beside me, back behind the TV and laughed and laughed and laughed. I thought maybe she’d never come to from them hysterics, but finally she kind of coughed a couple of times, and I heard the sound of choked-back chuckles, but she pried my fingertips out of them little airholes in the back of the TV, and grabbed my arm and started to pull me out.
When I finally gets out and stands up, I ast her to please put that dam’ spotted cat up till I got the set fixed. She called, “Baby, Baby” a couple times and here comes that spotted devil from off the sofa.
It took awhile to tix it, it was the last tube I tested, you know. Like always. And she sees me to the door, trying real hard to keep her face straight, and losing the battle— she’d turn pink and then kinda snort into her hand through her nose, you know. She paid me at the door and added a generous tip, then she says, "I’m sorry “Baby scared you, she’s never hurt a soul,” and went pink and snorted out her nose again.Then she says, “Maybe I’ll give the maid more days off. If she’d been here, I might never have
-haw haw haw- haw haw haw!”
I takes my pay and tries to leave with as much dignity as I come in with.
Baby starts to purr, and Bill finds out how small a space he can fit into.