To Mean, But Not All Bad by Sam Younghans

by Sam Younghans
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by Sam Younghans

Fallopi was his name, he was a tough hombre. They didn't make 'em any tougher or any meaner. He was born in the town of Tube, and the town will never forget it.

At the time of his birth, they felt he was a mean one, but it wasn't until he was three that they were sure of it. One day while Fallopi was playing in his yard, a boy came along and began teasing him - making faces and stickin' out his tongue.

Well Sir, little Fallopi toddled over to the fence with a cute smile on his face. When the boy stuck his tongue out - quick as a wink - Fallopi reached through the fence, grabbed that boy's tongue and started to run.

There weren't a soul in town didn't hear the scream, and, well -- it weren't a pretty sight. Fallopi just laughed till they pried the tongue out of his little fist. As for the boy, I hear he's working in a country band somewhere as a yodeler. Seems he has some special sound that no one else can do.

Fallopi was so mean, that by the time he was eight years old, there weren't a dog in town that wouldn't run the other way when they saw him a comin'. One time I saw a cat a dozin' on a fence and Fallopi was a closin' in on it. The cat saw him, flew straight up in the air, shriekin' and a yowlin' with its legs a flying so fast you could hardly see 'em. When that cat landed on the ground, it clawed a trench a foot deep afore he could get traction enough to run.

Fallopi was big for his age and he stayed that way. He was hardly ever in school but his teachers never complained, and he always passed. There were many theories about Fallopi, but no one knew for sure what caused him to be so mean. Some say he was bitten by a tarantula when he was four months old -- they say the tarantula died.

Others say he was weaned on his Pa's corn likker; his Pa made some mean corn. Fallopi could drink anyone under the table; he never got drunk and he couldn't get no meaner. It was a fact that his pa's ranch was the only ranch in Elbert County that didn't have rats; even the rattlers stayed away.

Now, I'm not tryin' to be unfair to Fallopi, 'cause he never done me no harm -- exceptin', one time he busted one of my ribs when he was comin' out of the men's room down at Pawdunker's Saloon. He didn't see me on the other side of the door when he kicked it. So that don't mean he was tryin' to hurt me, but he was just so damn mean that I can't say much for the good side of him. Why I've seen strangers come into town and no matter what their reason was for comin', the minute they laid eyes on him, they had a better reason for leavin'.

When he was ten, most of the townspeople wore shin-guards. One time I remember, a stranger was laughin' at the shin-guards. Just then little Fallopi comes a skippin' down the sidewalk. No one said a word to that poor stranger; some of the townspeople weren't so nice either. Anyways when little Fallopi let him have it, he hollered so loud, the glasses on the bar at Pawdunker's Saloon rattled. They say he did one of the dangest one legged dances you ever saw.

One Feller tried rentin' shin-guards to visitors when they come to town, but no one ‘ould listen to him until it was too late. So, he changed over to splints and bandages.

Now that Fallopi has growed up, they don't wear shin-guards no more. Now they wear shoulder pads like them football players wear. A lot of folks had their collar bones busted, so, when this salesman come to town, sellin' those pads, they caught on like wild fire. He even took shin-guards in on trade, if they weren't to banged up. He really fancied himself some kind of salesman; that was until he tried to sell Fallopi a pair. Now, that was somthin' to see. Although he wasn't able to work for six months, he still won salesman of the year and a new pair of shoulder pads. They wanted him to keep on a workin' this here territory.

I could go on a tellin' you more of his mean doin's, like the bee story or how he breaks horses, or ... shoot! I'm not tryin' to make you dislike him, 'cause he did do some good in town -- like the time he helped Mayor Teetsworthy.
The Mayor got his shoulder pads stuck in the bed springs down at Madam Carrie's Pleasure Palace. Seems like one of her girls and the Mayor was both in them shoulder pads. Fallopi just picked up the springs, with the girl a screamin' and the Mayor a tryin' to hide under the shoulder pads, and marched them right through town to the blacksmith shop.
Everyone got to see the Mayor's tattoo. They'd heard rumors of it, but never got to see it first hand. After that, the Mayor was real popular with the ladies in town, and Madam Carrie made everyone check their shoulder pads afore goin' upstairs.

Then one day Sally Jo came into town. Sally Jo was a school teacher, and might have been bitten by the same tarantula, but that's another story. Some day when I have more time, I'll tell you that one -- it's a good one.

Anyway, I have to go now. I'm meetin' a shin-guard manufacturer. You see, Sally Jo and Fallopi have four young boys. I know this town is goin' to be a good market for shin-guards and shoulder pads. I'm fixin' to be the distributor. So long now, I'll drop by again sometime soon.

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