What you are now so close to reading is in fact an ongoing tale. A serialized story, if you will. The newest chapters are at the top. The older chapters are bellow it in a descending order towards the first chapter. So if you want to read it from the beginning you should go to the oldest post and read upwards. But all chapters are numbered, so it is easy to know what order to read them in. Enjoy...
Gerry Handsome was in distress. He was standing in his baby-like, wobbly way, his hands griping the nooks and crannies of the wall of the boxcar he was in, staring out the open door at the trees racing by outside. He could hear his pursuer banging on the other side of the railcar as he carefully made his way down the ladder attached to it's outer wall. Gerry heard a very foul exclamation from the unseen man. It was something no baby should ever hear. He looked over at the door on the other side of the car and saw the mans feet dangling over into view. The man wore what were obviously very well kept saddle shoes, black and white leather, stylish and shiny, accept they now had large scuffs on them from the just concluded train top chase that you only know about from the vague implications I've given you thus far this chapter. The shoes pulled back out of view as the man regained his footing on the external ladder, and continued his climb down. Gerry turned back to his door. He watched as the train came upon a road that was now running parallel to the tracks. He watched for anything that might help him in this most desperate situation. What he wasn't watching was behind him as the man climbed down and around the door frame into the car.
"There you are you little scamp."
Gerry smiled an unseen grin. He saw something promising. He had himself an idea. It would be risky, possibly even resulting in his own violent death at a young tender age of ten and a half months, but even that would be better than what awaited him in the custody of that man. Gerry wiped the smile from his face for the sake of surprise, and turned around to face the man. He looked up at the man, who was now standing about four feet away, his legs noticeably bracing against the forces of the racing vehicle that they both now stood in. This man appeared to be in his mid thirties, which to a baby of ten and a half months might as well be a million years old. He wore a dark blue three piece suit and a green tie, had his hair slicked over to the left side, though now mussed from the intense winds on the outside of the speeding train, and had his sideburns trimmed up high above his ears. He reached into the inside breast pocket of his jacket and took out a small case, which he opened and revealed a pair of small oval shaped glasses, the kind that don't have any arms, and just clip onto your nose. He clipped them on and they stayed well in place, as this man's nose was very thin and very large. It stood out from his slender handsome face like a loose nail on an otherwise perfectly polished hardwood floor.
"Careful there sonny. You don't want to take a tumble out that hatch."
Gerry looked over his shoulder, and in his mind began to count telegraph poles as they passed outside. The man took advantage of this distraction and started inching towards him, but Gerry was well aware of this.
"Come on little man. You know you have to come with me. It's the only safe place for ones like you."
With this Gerry looked back at the man who stopped moving forward and feigned his original stationary position, only now about two feet closer. He half bent over, and put out his hand. Gerry smiled at him, still counting in his mind, and pushed himself with all the strength in his tiny, already partially exhausted body. Everything went into slow motion for both of them. The man looked on in terror as Gerry handsome seemed to hover outside the railcar door, the background of trees and telegraph poles moving behind him. Of course this was all due to relativity, and the background wasn't actually moving (which is actually also relative, as everyone knows that everything everywhere in the entire universe is always moving). The man, the train, and even Gerry himself were really the ones moving. And the truck driving down the road running along side the tracks was moving too, just not as fast as the man, the train, and Gerry. But now Gerry was no longer moving parallel to the truck like the man and the train were. They were both still bound to the predetermined path of the tracks, while he had created a force perpendicular to the train, and flung himself off into open air. He hoped beyond all hopes that his timing and new trajectory would result in he and the truck merging paths, and luckily for him he was correct.
From his position in the train car Gerry's pursuer watched Gerry falling outwards, and downwards outside the boxcar door, and then he saw a very brief flash of a truck pass by, and what appeared to be some white feathers fly up. And then Gerry was gone. He ran to the door and looked back. His slicked hair blew forward over his face. He wiped it to the side and stared at the truck growing smaller and smaller in the distance.
Gerry was laying in a pile of squashed chickens, broken wooden cages, and feathers. He felt bad that some chickens had been hurt in his escape, but he felt even worse about the sharp pain in his pelvis. And he felt worst of all about how every time he tried to move the sharp pain turned into an inferno of hell fire shooting through his whole body. He could do nothing but lay their for now and he quickly went to sleep.
Billy Miller Carson was driving along with a train racing past next to him. It was loud, and he couldn't hear anything else. Next to him on the seat of his truck was his dog Burt. At one point Burt sat bolt upright, and looked out the back window of the truck. Billy Miller didn't think much of this because he was busy looking at the strange man staring out of the boxcar that just passed him. He sure didn't look like any hobo Billy Miller had ever seen before. His clothes were far too nice.
Billy Miller Carson pulled his truck around the back of "Big Chips Butcher Shop" in Furton, a small one street town fifteen miles from his farm. He got out of his truck, and Chip came out the back door of the shop.
"Got some plump ones for ya Chip" said Billy Miller as he walked around the back of the truck. He let down the tail gate and looked in to see some broken cages, a few dead chickens, and a little unconscious hobo baby, laying in the middle of the whole mess.
"What in the sam scratch?"
Gerry handsome woke up the next day in Billy Miller Carsons farm house, but of course he didn't know where he was. All he knew was that he was lying in a crib which itself was in a small, gray, slightly dusty room, lit only by sunlight filtering through some faded light blue drapes on a window to his right. And he could hear some pleasant humming coming from the other room. This was Mrs. Carson, Billy Miller's wife, but he didn't know any of that yet either. Gerry tried to sit himself up, and felt a slightly less, but still excruciating version of the pain he felt after his leap into the back of the truck. The pain was so great that he instantly lost his breath, and fell onto his back. It was the second worst pain he had ever felt in his still so brief life (the first being the same pain felt earlier in the truck), and definitely the most he has ever been out of breath.
Now you may be wondering what this is all about, and why I've not made any mention of Sandy, or the hamburger stand, or the boardwalk, or even Uncle Chumply (and I myself am quite curious about the chubby man who works in the hamburger stand, and has a large head, but a small face...). But know that this situation is really directly related to those things. This is because as you most likely remember the baby hobo named Gerry Handsome is, right at this moment of our main story, sitting in the darkness just outside of the side door of Sandy's boardwalk hamburger stand. And he is completely out of breath because he has just seen Sandy for the very first time, and has fallen head over heals for her. Love at first site was never more of an appropriate cliché than it is in this situation. And yet after moving out of her sight, and sitting down next to the side door of Sandy's hamburger stand overwhelmed with this love, all he could think about is that time in his life when he woke up in that mysterious crib after jumping off the train into the chicken truck. And how he laid there in pain, gasping and thinking he could never be more out of breath. But now he was more out of breath. But this time he wasn't in pain.
One day Uncle Chumply was looking out the window of his apartment, which was above "Uncle Chumply's Amazical House of Funitunity!" the boardwalk attraction he owned and operated. Over his morning cup of joe he noticed a pair of small hobo bindles on the ground outside. He was caught quite off of his guard when one of the bindles suddenly stood up and very wobbly walked over to the door. He then realized that this wasn't a hobo bindle at all but a baby wearing an outfit that was apparently made from a red gingham table cloth. Then he heard a very weak, but stern sounding knock coming from the downstairs door that led to his private residence. With his curiosity peaked, Uncle Chumply headed downstairs and opened the door. And as he expected standing there was an adorable baby wearing a homemade gingham outfit consisting of a blouse, a diaper, and a bonnet. And that is how Sandy and Uncle Chumply met.
How Sandy and Gerry Handsome met is quite a different story, part of which you already know. You know that Gerry Handsome was a hobo baby living in the best alley on the Lake Peakinsaw Boardwalk. You know that he was a prompt baby, and that he once broke his pelvis, which left him with a peculiar lopsided crawl (actually that bit is new to you). You know that Sandy was also a baby, and that she owns the best, and most popular Hamburger stand on the boardwalk. And you know that the smell from those hamburgers is what made Gerry Handsome take notice, and make his way across the boardwalk towards Sandy's large yellow hamburger stand. And with that you will now know what happened when Gerry Handsome reached his goal.
It was a long and exciting trip, and Gerry Handsome was now outside the stand, but he had yet to figure out how to see inside. The main problem was that the stand's window was four feet off of the ground, and he was only about twenty inches tall. Another problem was that there were a lot of people crowding around making it that much more difficult to get up to the window, and see inside. But as we all know Gerry Handsome was not only a determined hobo baby, but a highly intelligent one. So he hiked up his overly patched baby hobo pants*, and made his way through the legs of all the large people towards the light coming from the side of the stand. When he got there he crawled around the side and looked up through the open door.
What he could see was everything that was going on behind the scenes of the stand. He saw a funny old lady with extra thick glasses and straw-like hair pulled back into a pony tail. She was taking money and yelling out strange things like "one lip smacker, no boogie!" and "one hubby, extra stop light!" Next to her was a chubby man with a large head, but a small face. He was wrapping up some things in paper, stuffing them into bags, and handing them out the window to the people. And behind them was a normal babies highchair, except that this one had round coaster wheels on it's legs, and was connected to an intricate pulley system. And sitting in the chair was another baby hard at work flipping meat patties, and using the ropes and pulleys to move herself around in the chair. From counter to counter she went, preparing all of the burgers. She was lightning quick. Gerry Handsome had a hard time keeping up with her just watching. He couldn't imagine how she kept track of everything she was doing. Flip one patty before it burns, swish! Plop one down on a bun, hit the button and a splat of red ketchup comes down on it, voom! Flip the burger again. It was like a ballet, only with more grease, and sizzling.
Just then a strong breeze came up off of the lake, and a pile of paper napkins blew off of the counter that the chubby man was working at. A few of the napkins caught the wind and fluttered in the air. One passed right in front of Sandy's face and down to the side door of the hamburger stand. Her eyes followed it, and for a split second she was staring directly into the face of another baby outside the door.
Gerry handsome watched her eyes as they followed the napkin down through the air, and right to his face as it landed in front of him. If this had been a big screen Hollywood Land romantic movie he would have quickly, and gracefully turned away to the side and stood breathlessly next to the door out of her sight. But being that he was a baby with a badly healed broken pelvis, and this was real life, it was more of an awkward rolling over and plopping down on his chunky be-diapered rear end. But just like the movie version he was sitting next to the door looking away from the hamburger stand off into the crowded night. And just like the movie version he was also breathless. And this was because Gerry Handsome was in love.
*it is very important to note that these were in fact specifically "baby hobo pants" and not "hobo baby pants". You see they were hobo pants made especially for a baby and so "baby hobo pants". "hobo baby pants" could in fact be any pants owned by a hobo baby, not necessarily just baby sized hobo pants. It is in fact common practice for hobo babies to barter with other regular hobos, and when possible to offer them full sized adult pants in exchange for things like a tin of beans, or perhaps a hobo baby rattle made from an empty tin of beans, and some track side gravel.
The boardwalk that night was an obstacle course of penny loafers, and saddle shoes. Ankles and pant cuffs. Socks with suspenders, and nylons with seems running up the back. And through it all crawled one brave baby. Gerry Handsome, the greatest of all the hobo babies, was making his way towards the wonderful smells of a large yellow wooden stand. He didn't know what was in that stand, or why so many people were there, but he was going to find out. And as it was 9:28, and he had estimated he would be there by 9:30, and he was also one of the most prompt babies in the U.S. of A., he knew that in two minutes he would finally know what that smell was.
Sandy on the other hand was working her little buns off. She was selling so many hamburgers that she didn't think she'd be able to replenish her ground beef supply for tomorrow night! And the number one seller was her menus newest addition, the "Uncle Chumply's Special". It was named after her most favorite person in the whole world. Just down the boardwalk, past "The Whibsler!", and across the street from "Jeppi's Shootin' Gallery" was "Uncle Chumply's Amazical House of Funitunity!". It was a wonderful fun house run by a clown named Uncle Chumply. And, as you may have guessed, Uncle Chumply was Sandy's favorite person. The reason for this might not seem very evident at first, but it all makes sense.
Yes you might think to yourself "Uncle Chumply was a clown, and babies like clowns", but that isn't necessarily true. In fact a 1927 study by the Farnturn School of Studies and Research Inquiries stated that it is actually a more accurate statement for someone to say that at least 67% of all babies are in fact terrified by the most common clowns, those in the type 2b to 4f categories (these being clowns that have at least three, but no more than six of the following: Enlarged nose (red or blue), hair circumference of at least 48 inches, red lip face paint covering at least 18% of facial surface, shoes size 37 or greater, pants suspenders at least four inches wide, poka-dot pants containing at least 42 poka-dots, shirt sleeves with a four bird capacity or higher, 60 decibel horn or greater, ambidextrous yo-yo abilities, a minimum 57 minute unicycle endurance capacity, 132 rpm or faster bow-tie spin factor). Luckily Uncle Chumply was only a type 1c clown, so actually it is true that most babies would have loved him. But this inherent baby attraction aspect was not the reason Sandy loved Uncle Chumply so much.
You see at one point Sandy was just a normal baby. And as these were hard times Sandy, like many other people, was a bit down on her luck. So Sandy spent her days wandering the town, looking for work. Babies had it especially hard as they are little, and can't handle hammers, or pitchforks, or other grown up tools. In fact it was only after months of intensive training that Sandy learned to use a spatula and flip her burgers! But Sandy had some wits about her, and growing up on the mean streets can be the fastest way to learn how to use your wits. Sandy knew how to talk herself up, and get the big people to give her a chance. And this is where Uncle Chumply came into the picture...
Once upon a time there was a little baby named Sandy who owned her very own hamburger stand on the boardwalk. Now you might say that it is unusual for a baby to own such a thing, and you'd be right. Often times babies can hardly go two minutes without drooling on themselves, let alone handle the high finances of something as lucrative as a hamburger stand on the boardwalk! But this was different. Sandy was the rare type of baby who could do just that! And so she spent her days sitting in her office plunking away at a calculator, figuring out exactly how much she would have to charge for a hamburger in order to still make a profit, and her nights slinging burgers for all the hungry people. And Sandy was as happy as a baby entrepreneur could possibly be.
But unbeknownst to Sandy there was another baby who coveted her prosperous business. In the alley way down the boardwalk, between "Chip's Candy Shop", and "The Whibsler!" the largest wooden roller coaster in Grundlen County, lived Gerry Handsome.
Gerry Handsome was the most rare of things. Gerry Handsome was a hobo baby. And on top of that Gerry Handsome was the most successful hobo baby ever! No hobo baby had ever mastered the hobo lifestyle quite so successfully as Gerry Handsome had in his short life. In order to understand the level of excellence that he had reached it is vital that you know one fact. In his most shining moment, in one single week, Gerry Handsome had stolen eleven pies in ten different counties, served on a chain gang for four days, and broke his pelvis by falling off of a speeding boxcar into a passing chicken farm truck.
But Gerry Handsome had grown tired of his transient lifestyle and decided to settle down. So Gerry Handsome had taken up residence in the best alley on the Lake Peakinsaw Boardwalk. Upon settling down the first thing he noticed was the heavenly smell wafting over from the biggest most yellow stand on the entire boardwalk. But what could that smell be? Being a baby he could not yet read (except for his mastery of the hobo alphabet), so he could not know that the big pink shapes on the sign on the roof of the wonderful smelling yellow stand said "Sandy's Hamburgerory and Samich Shoppe Emporium Inc. ~established 1931~".
Gerry waited until nightfall to investigate. You see, night on a crowded boardwalk is like heaven to a willy hobo baby. They can wander about in the crowd with little notice from the excited people. And there is food everywhere. Half eaten hotdogs here. A discarded quarter bag of cotton candy there. More terrific discarded food than one hobo baby could ever eat. But Gerry managed to avoid all these temptations. His nose had him aimed directly at the large yellow wooden structure and it's abundant, glorious scents. And let me tell you something, that joint was a-jumpin'! People were coming and going by the dozens, and everyone was so happy! Gerry Handsome was totally amazed, but he still had to see what was inside! And so he got down on all fours and headed across the crowded thoroughfare, between all the feet of the big people. Being that he was officially the best crawler this side of the Punchly Hills he expected to get there by at least 9:30. It would be a dangerous trip, but one he was sure would be worth taking...