ken david stewart’s podcast eps 41 of street dreams
Ricky had been living with his stepdad and Whisper for about three weeks now. During this time, the three of them had been getting along well. Harold was overjoyed that Ricky was now living with him. Harold had never felt comfortable living by himself, but now he had both his son and Whisper around to mitigate his loneliness.
Last week Whisper had a You Tube app open on Harold’s Amazon fire stick. She went to the YouTube search engine and typed in Guns N Roses. She found her favourite Guns N Roses song, Sweet Child of Mine and started to play the track. Harold was sitting in his prized, white Lazy Boy chair. He was reading the novel, Cujo by Stephen King. Ricky was sitting on the couch across from his dad. He, too was reading his own paperback copy of the same book about the rabid St. Bernard. A cute little puppy was sitting contentedly on the floor at Ricky’s feet. Ricky had named the dog Buster and about a week ago asked his dad if he could keep the puppy. Buster had been sitting on the back steps of Harold’s house. The little pug was trembling in the cold and was whimpering with anxiety. Ricky had just returned from Pals, the corner convenience store when he saw Buster. In spite of the fact that Ricky had problems with his behavior, he had not lost part of his childhood innocence. Deep down, he was still a sweet kid who loved animals and little children. When Harold and Clarissa were still together, they took in an old stray tomcat that they named Beater. Ricky had loved the big old tomcat who was now staying with his mother, Clarissa. Unfortunately, Ricky had a very strained relationship with his mother and rarely visited her so he didn’t get to see Beater too much now.
Buster, like most puppies, was very lovable and had already grown very attached to Ricky. The dog liked Harold too, but appeared to have established a stronger bond with Ricky. This was likely because Ricky would take him for walks on a daily basis and would also play fetch in the backyard with Buster. Buster was a very cuddly and affectionate puppy would often come to sit in Ricky’s lap and beg to be cuddled. Ricky would often think the dog’s life was much easier and happier than the existence of their human owners. When Ricky petted and stroked Buster he would kind of be in effect be enveloped by a beautiful trancelike state where parents didn’t get divorced and no one had to go to jail.
Ricky turned towards Whisper and asked, “Do you want to play a game?”
“What game?” Whisper asked.
“It’s a game I just invented. I think I’m going to call it Jukebox.
“Howdo you play it?” Whisper asked.
“I’m making up the rules as we go along. You actually gave me the idea for the game, Whisper,” Ricky answered.
“Gee. Could I play too? Do you think I’m too old for this game, Harold asked with a grin on his face.”
“No, of course you can play, Dad. Actually the rules are very simple. One player uses the search engine on YouTube to find either the name of a song or the name of a band. Meanwhile the two other players go to the kitchen and listen to the song that has been selected. The first player to yell out both the name of the song and the name of the artist who performed it wins and is awarded either one or two points. You score one point for the name of the song and one point for the name of the performer. If the player is right on both counts they are awarded two points If you only get one of the answers right the player gets one point. Time is up at the end of the song and no points are scored,” Ricky explained.
“Hey, Ricky, this game sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Harold, I thought I saw a whiteboard in your office downstairs. Can I bring it up to the living room? We could use it to keep score.”
Harold sat up in his lazy boy chair. “Do you mean the whiteboard I used to use when I was active in Amway. I would take the whiteboard with me when we were showing the plan to prospects. Yeah, I believe there is still a pack of erasable coloured markers in my old desk to the left of the whiteboard. If I remember correctly, there is also a whiteboard eraser and cleaning spray in that old desk too. Why don’t you both you guys go downstairs and bring the game equipment up to the living room. In the meantime, I’m going to put a bag of popcorn in the microwave.We’re going to have ourselves a little party this evening,” Harold said.
When Ricky and Whisper brought the whiteboard and the supplies upstairs and got themselves comfortably seated once again, Harold asked another question.
“Can I add a new rule to the Jukebox game?”
“What’s the new rule?” Whisper asked. The sweet aroma of popping kernels was now drifting into the living room.
It’s more like an amendment or a rider placed on the original rules. Here it is. The song that is selected can only be chosen if it falls between the decades of 1950 up to the decade of 2000. You guys probably know a lot of the old songs, but I stopped listening to contemporary music when the Seattle grunge pop era ended sometime during the nineties,” Harold explained
“I think that Whisper and I can agree to that stipulation,” Ricky answered.” She and I discussed our tastes in music one day last week when you were out running errands. The funny thing is that neither of us likes the current music scene either and we both like old-time rock ‘n’ roll music from the 50’s, 60s,70s. 80s and the 90s. We even like several of the same bands such as Led Zeppelin. the Beatles, Motorhead and Bob Dylan. The list goes on and on.”
“Thank you guys. It sounds like we may have a very interesting and competitive game of Jukebox starting shortly. The microwave popcorn should be ready in under a minute,” Harold said.
Both Ricky and Whisper hadn’t seen Harold look so happy in a long time They gave each other the knowing nod.
Episode 38 Pizza Hut
“What should I cook for supper tonight?” Whisper asked Harold.
“ Nothing,” Harold replied.
“Aren’t you getting hungry? It’s already after 5 PM,” Whisper asked as she sat up on the couch that was close to Harold’s white Lazy Boy chair.
“Oh, I’m hungry all right but I’m a little pressed for time this evening. I need to buy a new ice pick at Canadian Tire. I can’t find my old one. I was looking for it in the woodshed, but it was nowhere to be found. Both the front and back steps are getting very icy and I will need to break up the ice with a pick. I was thinking about heading out to the Canadian Tire store in Southdale,” Harold explained.
“Why would you want to drive all the way to St. Vital? There’s a Canadian Tire outlet on Regent. That would be your closest one,” Whisper said.
“I know,” Harold replied, “but a friend of mine works the evening shift at the Southdale store. He was my neighbour for a few years but I haven’t talked to him for a while and I want to ask how his new job is going. His name is James and he is a nice young man. He was a schoolteacher for a couple of years, but found that he wasn’t cut out for the job. When his second year of teaching was over, he resigned and picked up an assistant manager’s job at Canadian Tire.”
“That’s interesting Harold but what are we going to do for supper? You said that you were hungry,” Whisper said.
“I’ve got that covered. You’ve cooked a lot of good meals for us during the last two weeks. I think it’s only fair that I treat you to dinner at Pizza Hut tonight. We’ll eat supper before we go to Canadian Tire.”
“You mean like a date or something, Harold?” Whisper asked mischeiviously Harold laughed out loud.
“That’s a good one Whisper. I’m sixty-five and you are twenty-two. Don’t you think there’s a bit of an age differential at work here?”
“|I’m flattered anyway. I would love to go out for supper with you,” Whisper replied.
“Well, let’s get going,” Harold said.
“You might need me to go out and clean the snow off the car. It’s been snowing quite a bit today and there’s probably two or three inches of snow on the roof of the car. I also need to shovel around the tires of the car so that we won’t get stuck,” Whisper said.
“You’ve only been staying with me a little while, but I’m starting to wonder how I ever managed before I met you. I could clear off the snow myself, but I would feel pain every time I moved a muscle. This arthritis has really been giving me grief. The funny thing about osteoarthritis is this. It won’t kill you, but it sure can make your life miserable,” Harold said.
Whisper put on her white downfilled parka that Harold and bought for her at Hangers clothing store.She then pulled on her new black leather snow boots that were also a present from Harold.
“My God, Harold thought to himself. Whisper looks beautiful today. So did Erica, but she had a different kind of beauty.”
Harold’s turned on the ignition to start warming up his red Ford Taurus. Whisper brushed off the snow on the roof of the car. Whisper used the rubber broom with a long white handle. It was so much easier taking off the large clumps of snow with the rubber broom that she found in Harold’s cleaning supplies closet
“Where did you get this broom, Harold?” Whisper asked.
“I’ve had that white broom for ages now. I bought it for myself when I used to be a part-time Amway distributor.”
“What’s Amway? Whisper asked.
“I’ll reserve my answer for another time. It’s too long a story,” Harold replied.
Once Whisper had removed all the snow from the car, she threw the rubber room in the back seat and climbed into the passenger beside Harold. As soon as they drove a short distance out of Harold’s driveway, he felt his car shake lightly for a few seconds.
“There are some wicked patches of ice under the snow,” Harold said. “Thank goodness that my neighbour recommended that I get snow tires installed for the winter season. Before I had winter tires, my car would often fishtail whenever I tried to stop at an intersection. I feel much safer safer now.”
As soon as Whisper climbed into the passenger seat she automatically fastened her seatbelt. As she turned her head she noticed a zippered red binder in the back seat of the car. “What’s in the red binder?” Whisper asked.
It contains my favourite CDs. The CD player in the old Taurus is still in good working order,” Harold answered.
“Can I look through the binder to check what CDs you have?” Whisper asked.
“Sure, but if you’re looking for any contemporary music you won’t find any in there. I pretty much stopped listening to modern music after the 1990s grunge era ended.
“That’s awesome. I love the music from that era. You got any Nirvana in your binder?”
Yes, I do. Nirvana is my favourite Seattle grunge era band,” Harold replied. As Whisper was going through the plastic sleeves in the red binder she found the Nirvana’s Greatest Hits CD.
“Do you mind if I play Nirvana’s Greatest Hits in your CD player?”
“Knock yourself out. I love Nirvana’s music. I was upset for a long time when I heard the news about Kurt Cobain killing himself,” Harold said.
“Some people don’t believe it was a suicide. They think that maybe Courtney Love paid someone to put a hit on her husband,” Whisper said.
“Yes, it’s still a very controversial topic. Apparently the surviving members of Nirvana don’t believe the report that Courtney had something to do with Kurt’s death,” Harold stated.
The first track on the CD was You Know You’re Right. Harold and Whisper listened to the whole album with both of them singing along with the choruses on the songs.
The Plot of Street Dreams by Ken David Stewart December 22, 2019
Harold Peyton suffers from severe bouts of clinical depression as well as writer’s block.
Harold Peyton is physically healthy.
Location Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Elmwood. year 2019.
Harold had been divorced from his ex-wife Clarissa for nearly five years now.
A man named Tony Barrows had pushed a young woman named Whisper who is in her early twenties out of his truck and on to an ice- covered road.
Harold invited Whisper into his home.
One year ago, in 2018, Harold’s daughter Erica had been killed in a car accident by an inebriated driver.
Whisper suggests that Harold write about a strange young woman that arrives at his door.
Whisper has a criminal record for shoplifting and is presently homeless.
Harold drives Whisper to a local EIA office.
Harold has a stepson named Richard.
Harold has a younger brother who suffers from schizophrenia.
Tony Barrows lives on Spence Street in downtown Winnipeg. Tony is very macho.
Tony Barrows has one friend who is a nerd. He is called Herbie Schultz.
Tony has no problem picking up women as he has the persona of a tough guy.
Herbie Schultz is forever grateful and is fiercely loyal to Tony, as Tony once saved Herbie from taking a terrible beating from two elementary school bullies.
Whisper finds out how many medications that Harold Peyton takes daily in order to function.
Harold does not know how to cook for himself.
Harold suffers from severe arthritis.
Whisper offers to cook meals for Harold. During that time, she offers to teach Harold how to cook healthy meals for himself.
Harold allows Whisper to live with him for an indefinite time period.
Whisper learns that Harold has an extremely painful arthritic condition.
Whisper notices how many Bibles and Christian audiobooks Harold owns.
Harold is enjoying smoking the cannabis that Whisper has given him to try.
Harold tells Whisper that some of his friends worry about Harold’s spiritual condition.
Harold receives a phone call from his stepson, Ricky Kramer. Ricky asks if his stepdad, Harold, if he can pick him up when he is released from jail in a couple of weeks. Ricky also asks his dad if he can live with him on a temporary basis.
Harold admits to himself that he enjoys Whisper’s company. She is able to ease the pain of the loss of his deceased daughter, Erica.
During the last year, Whisper was a heavy crystal meth user.
Harold and Whisper go to the Grunge headshot/coffee shop. Harold buys a bootleg Bob Dylan concert album. While they are at the Grunge they listened to a musical set by a male who performed a Bob Dylan tribute set.
Harold reveals the dysfunctional nature of his relationships with his family. He is divorced from Clarissa, his stepson, Ricky is just getting out of jail, his two biological children, Jasmine and Derek, detest Ricky, their stepbrother. Jasmine and Derek are very much estranged from Harold. They live in two different cities in the United States with their families. Tim Kramer, Ricky’s biological father he is the violent and abusive man.
Harold bought himself a beautiful wooden walking stick with a black lab’s head as the handle carving.
Herbie Schultz’ back story. He has ADHD is 33 years old is live with foster parents in group homes for most of his life. Herbie is a high school dropout. He has been fired from several jobs where his supervisor and coworkers think that Herbie is acting too weird.
He suffers from schizophrenia and had a recent psychotic break. The police had to be called and they took him to the hospital ER.
Herbie lies to his apartment superintendent and tells him that he had a grand mal seizure, not a psychotic break.
Clarissa Peyton, Harold’s ex-wife’s back story. She is a Christian legalist. Clarissa is avery strong -willed person who despises weakness of any kind in others. Clarissa is a staunch conservative Baptist. She derides Harold for checking out a charismatic Pentecostal church.
Tony Barrows takes Whisper with him to a wild party on Beliveau Road. At the party Tony assaults a man then he Whisper and Pixie, a female guest at the party, flee the scene when the police are called. Pixie tells Tony that she needs a ride home. She says that she lives in Fort Rouge with her boyfriend, Ricky, who is Harold’s stepson.
Two police constables, Bill Noble and Melissa Parks drive to the house to investigate a report that a young man inside the house is badly injured. The two police officers search the house, but just see a lot of blood. The injured man has somehow been removed from the house.
Pixie Lambert is the young girl at the party that Tony and Whisper agree to give a ride home.
Pixie claims to have murdered her mother’s boyfriend in self- defence. Pixie killed Stan with repeated blows to his head from a hammer she found in his workstation. Pixie escaped by taking a Greyhound bus from Fargo, North Dakota to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. On the Greyhound bus Pixie meets Ricky Kramer. Pixie and Ricky share a common interest in the Charles Manson story and true crime stories in general.
Aleister Richter is the name of the young man that Tony Barrows viciously assaulted.
Hartley and Kerry Popovich bullied Herbie Schultz in elementary school. They fled from the house party and put Aleister in Kerry’s old car. Kerry and Hartley met Aliester at a downtown pool hall. boys wanted to score some drugs and Aleister had the supply drugs that they wanted. Aleister had been both their drug dealer and friend ever since.
Aleister Richter’s back story. Aleister’s parents separated just after his fourteenth birthday. Aleister hated school and skipped his regular glasses to go to the library and stay in one of the library’s private rooms until a staff member found him and kicked him out. While in school Aleister committed several acts of vandalism.
Hartley and Kerry drove along Bishop Grandin Boulevard. Their car skidded off the road and ended up on the shoulder. It was a cold winter night. Harold and Whisper stopped for them to see if the people in the stranded car needed help. Hartley’s glove compartment contained the drugs they had just bought. Constables Noble and Parks arrived shortly after. Hartley tried to push Constables Noble out of the way and tried to start the car to get away. He was tackled and handcuffed by Constable Parks.
Act Five Scene Two:
Narrator: Zeke, the hospital custodian, runs up to General Kane.
Zeke: General, the guy I locked up in the store room broke the window and escaped!
General Kane: Enns get in the truck. We’ve got to catch that rancher before he starts shooting his mouth off again.
Narrator: Enns and Kane start driving down the back lane. They stop when they see two dogcatchers climbing out of the dumpster.
Private Enns: Look, General. The city makes those poor dogcatchers hunt for dogs in the dumpster.
General Kane: I doubt that Enns. Roswell city employees have a union.
Private Enns: Maybe the dog catchers aren’t included in the union contract.
General Kane: What the heck are you guys doing in the dumpster? Just look at you guys all covered in garbage. You’re a disgrace to the uniform!
Private Enns: I thought city employees made good money. You guys shouldn’t have to scrounge around for food in the dumpster.
Hoss: We’re not looking for food. A large Rottweiler chased us into the dumpster.
General Kane: Men, it’s your job to catch dogs, not run away from them!
Harvey: Well there’s a whole other side to this story. You tell them what happened, Hoss.
Hoss: Well, it’s kind of a strange story. We were sitting in the truck having our smoke break when we saw this guy stumbling down the back lane.
Harvey: Yeah, this guy tells us this goofy story about escaping from the hospital. He said two military guys kidnapped him and threw him in the back of a truck with a bunch of aliens.
Hoss: Ha! ha! ha! And then he says something about a nurse giving him a shot of horse tranquilizer in the backside.
Private Enns: They’re talking about Mick, General.
General Kane: I know! So where’s this guy now?
Private Enns: Yeah. And don’t you guys have a truck or something to put the dogs in after you catch them?
General Kane: They don’t need one. The dogs chase them into the dumpster. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Harvey: Look General, this is no laughing matter. The guy drove off with our truck.
Private Enns: I don’t get it. There’s two of you against one of him.
Hoss: Well, it’s kind of a long story. You tell them, Harvey.
Harvey: Well, while Hoss and I were trying to pull this guy into the truck, the keys fall out of Hoss’s pants The guy grabbed the keys and let the Rottweiler out the back of the truck.
General Kane: Now let me guess, and then the dog chased you guys into the dumpster.
Hoss: Yeah, that’s pretty much the way it happened.
Private Enns: You guys are hilarious. You’re funnier than Lloyd the Barber on the Andy Griffin Show. You guys should go tell your story on Rick and Dwight’s radio show.
General Kane: I have a feeling that’s where Mick is right now.