Dr. Electro #28: The Room of Secrets
+ A Mother's Day Nighthawk
The Nighthawk is a newsletter started for my friends in nursing homes, and has turned into something for everyone.
Vol. 48, May 16th, 2023
A Belated Mother’s Day
Saluting The Women Who Make It Possible
Where would we be without our mamas? One shudders to speculate. I wouldn’t exist, and I’d be ill-mannered, and never picked up a guitar (or become a writer). Ha! Looking back at the endless scraped knees, bee stings, fevers, existential crises, and comforting snacks, it sure is nice to take a day to thank the ladies for their hard work. (When this writing thing pays off, I’m buying my mother a boat.) Not every woman has a child, but there are many ways which women nurture, comfort, guide, and bring forth. We salute you, too. In fact, Anna Jarvis, founder of the modern Mother’s Day, never had kids. (She wanted to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their kids. Amen.) If I were an enterprising honeybee, I’d introduce the holiday into bee culture, and make little Hallmark bee cards for the hive to give to the Queen. (She’s the mother of all of them. Imagine the sales! It would look like confetti as they flew home to present her.) A sincere thank you to all the moms out there. You rock!
Happy birthday, Root Beer
Pharmacist Charles Hires presents the first commercial brew, 1876. And, happy birthday to my mom!
Down the Rabbit Hole
A problem with so much information available is...where to start? For a topic worthy of research this week, head to your nearest bookshelf, library, or search engine to check out some architecture. Do you prefer Modern styles, or are you a “goth?” What’s around you now?
Hey there, lil’ Fella!
A young Eastern Cricket frog hangs out by the pond, glad that his tadpole phase is over. Adults only get about an inch long, one of the smallest frogs ‘round here. Ribbit!
Music of the Week:
The “Slavonic Dances” premiere this day in 1879. This debut “smash hit” put Dvorak on the map. He was paid less than $100. Originally scored for a piano duo, they were perfect for living room performances.
A Darn Good Quote
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
- Mark Twain
Write to Us!
The Nighthawk is a new old-fashioned way to connect, published weekly. You’re invited to write back, or just enjoy reading. Let’s have some fun! It’s a social paper! Send stories, etc to: PO Box 783, Rustburg, VA 24588 or email Joshurban@protonmail.com
Letters from Josh
(A weekly update from Josh Urban’s adventures on the farm and in the city. #134)
Howdy, folks! Welcome back to our wacky tale of Dr. Electro. Deep in an underground warehouse, the crew runs towards cries of distress. Walter lies pinned under a garage-style door, as if the room was trying to eat him. “It reminds me of my poor ferret” Charlotte laments, strangely emotional. “Hang in there, buddy” Electro assures. “Anyone got any pliers? Wait...your ferret?” “Don’t ask” Charlotte snaps. “Can you help him?”
The Return of Dr. Electro - #28: The Room of Secrets
“Ow! Ow! This is crushing me. I got five minutes tops, I reckon” Walter groaned under the weight of the door. Somebody get the man some pliers.”
“Will these work?” Jimmy lofted a pair like a trophy, or a torch. They glittered and shone in the dim light, salvation with blue handles.
Electro, prone to reveries, slipped into another. The hardware store when he was a boy, the smells of the grease and paint and fertilizer. How that light of yesteryear played over the shelves and racks, illuminating a set of wrenches that spoke to his boyish heart. But they were five whole dollars. His father, offering five whole dollars if he could swim across the lake. The lake. The wrenches. Fear to be conquered. The lake was deep, but...the wrenches...
“Those old things?” Charlotte’s scoff broke the spell. Another one of the buckle bunnies snickered.
Electro and Jimmy breathed in sharply. “I don’t know about them, man” Jimmy muttered to Electro. “Seem awfully standoffish if you ask me. Reminds me of my mother in law.”
“Guys! Do you mind?” Beads of sweat glistened on Walter’s face. “The door.”
“Oh. Right.” Electro snatched the pliers from Jimmy, and went to work. The control panel soon yielded its secrets. A maze of wires snaked in and out, motion frozen in electrons, humming with a quiet menace somewhere farther on down the line, the door motor gnashing.
“Let’s see, let’s see...” Electro squinted, shrugged, calculated, and with a lightning motion, ripped a wire out. The humming stopped, and the door relaxed with a clank. Walter yelled. Charlotte and the girls were the first to heave the door up. He staggered up, collapsing again by a stack of boxes. “Well, that’s one way to lose weight. Sure prefer the gym, though.”
“Man, let’s see what’s in this room”. Preacher held the light up high. Hundreds of pipes, conduits, wires, and valves cluttered the interior walls, a nerve center of the house.
“That must have been the flash.” Jimmy pointed at a smoking, blackened breaker box on the wall, the air still hazy and tartly poisonous. “What are all these labels?”
Electro noticed the signs for the first time. Written in a neat script above a row of switch panels, the words seemed out of place for such an industrial, practical setting.
Fond memories. Summer Afternoons. Laughter. Honor. Wins & Awards. Hard work. Sentiments & Mementos. Selflessness.
“Walter!” he yelled, the bubbles of an idea stirring in his brain.
“What’s it say on that box you’re leaning against?”
...To be continued next week...
Urban's Legends is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a subscriber. Or share it on Twitter. Or just enjoy. :)