Chapter 34, Blog 4

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


Uncle Fred coolly stared me down and told Sheila what a brat I STILL was. He then told how his nephew, at the age of 4, had ruined his ’55 Plymouth by leaving his dog, Brownie, in the car overnight. Brownie, bless her heart, didn’t want to stay in that “stinking cigar car” and tunneled through the floorboard. But she shredded the upholstery and crapped all over the car before she got out. I did recall my dog had destroyed someone’s car about 150 years ago.

“Uncle Fred?”

… he ain’t no fairy godmother …

Whatever. I needed another beer. I chugged it and tossed the bottle in the fireplace. Uncle Fred could wait. I had some drinking to catch up. The repressed emotions of 18 months started to leak out. I needed a confessional. Instead, I had the next best thing – the local print media.

“This is for all those Boomers that wrote letters of support,” I said, draped on the sofa, guzzling another beer. “Did ya get that?”

I could see Melinda out of the corner of my eye. She put her head down. I bet she was sorry she ever agreed to be my agent. Probably Harry was sorry, too. I was sure he had left.

… he left because you are a big disappointment …

“No kidding.”

… and it’s not about some stupid race either …

“Forget the subtle stuff. It doesn’t suit you.”

… OK, how’s this? Life is nothing but disappointments …

“Wow! Now we’re falling back on cliches.”

… the measure of a person is how he handles the disappointments …

“Really? You just make that up?”

… no, asshole, got it from a movie long before your time …

“Yeah? Well, you can go to hell, too.”

Harry appeared, rolling his walker in front of me.

… you are sooooo dead …

“Did you just tell me to go to hell?” Harry asked.

“No, no, not you,” I said and tried to hide my bottle, but it was too late.


Harry clapped his hands twice, thundering through the living room like a Zeus thunderbolt. The party froze. My coach stared long and hard at me. I could feel my brain sizzle like frying bacon in my cranium.

“H-H-Harry,” I stuttered.


Ashamed, I shut my eyes and hung my head, awaiting a verbal whooping. Harry cleared his throat and paused.

“I just got off the phone with the president of the USOC,” Harry announced.

The whole room gasped as one.

“Apparently, the committee has come to its senses,” he said.

My eyes flew open.

“Chuck Wells has been assigned Lane No. 5 for the second quarterfinal heat of the 800 meters.”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

5 thoughts on “Thunderstruck

  1. Good for you. I really liked reading this post. Age does not define who we are or what we can do. The human spirit is an amazing instrument. Keep going. Don’t let anyone trample your dreams. There will always be someone to say you can’t. I say you can !

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