He was a mean man, mean as a summer in the South.  

As a chip-toothed snake.

And his name, was Jack Pollock.

So you think, well, you mean like Jackson Pollock, the painter.

Nope. Just Jack. Just-Jack Pollock, and Just-Jack Pollock never even heard of Jackson Pollock, and the only thing Jack Pollock ever painted was maybe a barn, or his mother's living room. Except that Jack Pollock wouldn't paint his mother's living room for her, that's how mean he was.

Jack Pollock was so mean he was oily with it, mean just oozed out of him. He was the kind of man you didn't want to be alone in a room with whether he was painting it or not.

So you think, well, what happened. What could've happened to make Jack Pollock mean as a chip-toothed summer.

An incident from childhood, maybe a brother drowned in Tiller's Creek.

Some floozy of a wife ran off with a farm equipment salesman.

Or some dark secret of abuse, maybe at a father's hand. Or a mother's.

Nope.  Jack Pollock never married, probably because no woman in her right mind would have him, and he was an only child, probably because his folks didn't want to take a chance on having another one just like him and speaking of his folks, they were decent people who worked hard and paid their bills on time and sweetly dispositioned, both of 'em.

In spite of coming from a warm, loving home, Jack Pollock was just a mean man, he enjoyed being mean and mean ran red through his veins and was part of him as surely as an arm or an eye. Or a heart, if he'd had one, mean as he was.

I say “was”, because Jack Pollock is dead.

So you think, well, what happened. What happened to snake-summer mean Jack Pollock.

Maybe he took hostages at an elementary school, and was killed in a standoff with the police.

Or maybe he was drinking, and got mouthy with someone he didn't know was armed.

Or a co-worker. Maybe someone he worked with just had enough of Just-Jack Pollock.

Nope. In spite of how mean he was, Jack Pollock never had any trouble with the law, didn't drink, and most of the time when he was at work he was alone because he worked as the night watchman for a meat rendering plant.

Why a meat rendering plant needs a night watchman I do not know, but there you are, so, early one morning Jack Pollock was driving home from the meat rendering plant and it was still dark and he was tired and his car ran off the road and smashed into a huge oak tree.

Hard wood, oak. Killed, instantly. With no pain.

So you think, well, didn't you just tell me, repeatedly, how mean Jack Pollock was.

Then you give me dead on impact. No long protracted suffering. Just, WHAM.

And that's it. No ironic twist or karmic justice, nothing, so maybe there's a point you're trying to make.

Nope. In spite of the mounting suspicion you've been hornswoggled and the capriciousness of fate and the fifteen times I've told you what a so-and-so Jack Pollock was, in spite of all that there's not a point.

Unless it's this.

Explanations exculpate.

Some people are just mean.

It doesn't matter why.

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