Tag Archives: Douglas Hackle

CLASSIC by Douglas Hackle

CLASSIC and his two pals were on their way to their weekly Suri Cruise lesson. It was CLASSIC’s turn to drive. All three men had donned their cheap, plastic Suri Cruise masks, the kind with the elastic band in the back. CLASSIC sat in the driver’s seat like an old lady, the chin of his mask nearly touching the top of the steering wheel, which he gripped tightly in both hands as he squinted behind the mask’s small eyeholes to better see the country road unrolling before him.

Note: People had been calling him “CLASSIC” ever since anyone could remember. But no one–not his parents, not even himself–could recall his actual, birth-given name. And as if by some supernatural act of defacement, even the man’s birth certificate, social security card, and driver’s license indicated that his name was indeed “CLASSIC.” Furthermore, whenever he signed his name it came out in all caps no matter how hard he tried to write it in lower case letters. What’s more, when CLASSIC tried to write anything (for example, a simple monosyllabic word like “the” or a phrase like “polar bear loverod” or a complete sentence like “I take back the mercy killing of my grandmother!”), his hand always produced those same seven capitalized letters in that same order, as if his hand were truly cursed.


The man was not classically handsome. Neither did he enjoy classic rock, nor drink Classic Coke, nor attend classic car shows. He certainly wasn’t the type of person who did or said things that stood out in any remarkable way, things that might have caused other people to say, “Oh, man, that was classic!” Nevertheless, that was his name.

It is what it is, I guess.

Anyhow, as was their habit, the three men took turns telling jokes en route to their lesson.

“Hey, I got one,” CLASSIC said, grinning behind the injection molded grin of his Suri Cruise mask. “So these two white cops are driving around in a patrol car one day when they receive a dispatch to respond to a homicide situation taking place on someone’s front lawn. So they put on their flashers and siren and speed off to the location. When they arrive at the scene, they see this creepy, fat, hairy, naked dude with a graying skullet sitting on the front stoop of the house. The dude is wearing a cheap, plastic Dora the Explorer mask, the kind with an elastic band in the back. The bottom part of the mask has been cut away, so that this maniac can easily gnaw on the severed limbs of the three children he has just murdered. Two other teary-eyed children are still alive, bound with duct tape a few feet away on the front lawn, awaiting their turn to be devoured by this monster.

“The cop driving the patrol car stares in disgust at this gruesome spectacle for a moment, then turns to his partner and says, ‘Fuck this shit. Let’s go get us some more donuts, you fat, racist pig!’

“His partner replies, ‘OK, you fucking fucker. Let’s bounce, you fat, racist pig. Hahahaha…’ He reaches across the seat with one hand and grabs the big bulge between the driver cop’s legs, giving it a nice, firm squeeze. Both cops then break into peals of shrieking laughter as the patrol car peels out and speeds away from the scene, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake. Get it?”

“Haha. Yeah, I get it,” said the black dude sitting in the front passenger seat of CLASSIC’s car.

By default, the black guy was heterosexual since I didn’t indicate otherwise.

“Haha. Yeah, that was a pretty good one, CLASSIC,” said the gay dude sitting in the backseat.

By default, the gay guy was white since I didn’t indicate otherwise.

“Fuck me!” CLASSIC shouted a moment later, pounding the steering wheel with the bottom of his fist. “We’re being pulled over.”

“Aw, not again,” protested the black dude as both he and the gay guy turned to look out the back window. Though there were no flashers to be seen or sirens to be heard, something was pulling them over. CLASSIC pressed his foot on the brake, edged over to the shoulder, brought his shitbox ’92 Pontiac Grand Am to a stop, and put it in park.

“Fuck, we’re gonna be late to our Suri Cruise lesson,” the gay dude said.

“Shut up!” CLASSIC said.

A second later there was a staccato double tap on the driver-side window. CLASSIC pressed the button to unroll it. Standing just outside the car door (or more like floating) was none other than 20 Miles Per Hour.

And, no, I’m not talking about a person named 20 Miles Per Hour. I’m talking about 20 Miles Per Hour as in the actual speed. Literally. Or, to put it more accurately, a semi-concrete materialization of the abstraction known as “20 miles per hour” floated just outside the driver-side widow of CLASSIC’s car.

You know how when Predator switches on his invisibility he’s transparent for a moment, but in that moment you can still make out the shape of Predator? That’s sort of what 20 Miles Per Hour looked like, only its shape was essentially that of a formless blob. However, every ten seconds or so, the phrase “20 Miles Per Hour” appeared in the interior of the transparent body, scrolling at various angles and in a variety of font styles and sizes.

“Do you know why I pulled you over, boy?” the thing said despite not having a mouth.

“Nope,” CLASSIC said, playing dumb and making no attempt to hide his exasperation. “What did I do?”

He knew full well why he’d been pulled over.

“I pulled you over for the same reason I pulled you over last week and the week before that and the week before that: You drove your car. Driving cars–driving any type of vehicle for that matter–has been illegal for over a hundred years now.”

“Ohhhh, that’s right,” CLASSIC said, still playing dumb. “Shit. Hey, I know that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law, but I really did forget that it’s illegal to drive cars. Can you cut me a break maybe?”

“I’ve already given you like a dozen warnings about this. I’m sorry, CLASSIC, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to write you a school zone today.”

From the blurry interior of its nebulous body, 20 Miles Per Hour produced a magical pen and began drawing a school zone all over CLASSIC’s car. The transparent blob circled the rusty Grand Am as it worked at a steady pace of 20 MPH, using its pen first to draw a large and very real segment of asphalt road perched atop the vehicle. Then, on top of the piece of road, it drew a school zone sign, a flashing yellow light, a crosswalk, a living crossing guard, and a group of living schoolchildren, all of which were very real.

When it was finished, 20 Miles Per Hour said, “Now don’t let me catch you driving again. In anything.”

“How the hell am I supposed to get my car home with a fucking school zone sitting on top of it?”

“That’s not my fucking problem. Do the best you can, booaay.”

“Man, yo, fuck you, yo!” CLASSIC lost it. But by the time he’d spoken, 20 Miles Per Hour had already evaporated into nothing.

CLASSIC punched his steering wheel again. “I can’t see a damn thing with this school zone overhanging every side of my car. But I sure as shit am not about to turn around and go home like a little bitch–like some goody-two-shoes chump. We have a goddamn Suri Cruise lesson to get to.”

“Aw, hellz yeah,” the black guy and the gay guy said in unison.

But driving with that school zone pressing down on his little shitbox car and obscuring his view of the road proved to be too difficult for CLASSIC. About a quarter mile up the road, he crashed the car and the school zone along with it.

That wreck was reeeeeaaaaaaal nasty. CLASSIC, his buddies, the schoolchildren, the crossing guard, not to mention about twenty unlucky pedestrians, were all cut up, on fire, and dying in a burning pile of twisted metal and broken asphalt.

A second after the accident occurred, two white cops in squad car pulled up to the scene.

“Hey, look! Should we stop and help them?” laughed the cop riding shotgun. Using his left hand, he vigorously yanked on the driver’s enormous, unwieldy Pringles(r) can erection while he stuffed a Boston cream doughnut into his own face with his right hand. The song “Fuck tha Police” by NWA was blasting through the stereo system, and the interior of the squad car reeked of both rotten egg farts and the decomposing, handcuffed corpse of a jaywalker who had starved to death in the backseat months ago because the cops had forgotten to let him out.

The driver, who also happened to be the Chief of Police, and who was himself in the act of cramming a glazed jelly doughnut into his own face while he enjoyed a jaunty, C minus handjob from his subordinate, said, “Na. Fuck those fucking assholes. Hey, we’re out of doughnuts. Let’s go get some more, you fucking racist pig! Hahahaha….”

The squad car steered clear of the accident and zoomed away from the billowing smoke in a cacophonic chaos of raucous laughter, oldschool gangsta rap, doughnut chomping, dick pumping, and horrible odors.





Douglas Hackle is the author of Clown Tear Junkies, a collection of absurdist/bizarro short stories. D is for Douglas. Hershel from The Walking Dead is HAWT!!! TERROR MAN. TERROR FACE. TERROR CLOWN. TERROR CHILD. TERROR MAN. TERROR FACE. TERROR CLOWN. TERROR CHILD. TERROR MOUSE.