I'm in line at the Kentucky Fried Chicken place in my hometown with my dad. The restaurant is one of the oldest in this little beach town, and no matter how many jive speaking cartoon colonels they stick in the window, they can't rid the place of the smell of old grease and white trash. So the usual clientele is pretty seedy, but most everyone goes there now and then for a bucket of chicken. Where else, after all, can you get a bucket of chicken?

No, really, I'm not white trash but I still eat fried chicken.

We're standing in line, talking about what a nice day it was, or how my bug is running, or something, and a middle-age male opens the door and peaks his head in. He's about six feet tall, a little over weight, and has a reddish brown goatee. He peers at someone in the main dining area, and begins a profanity laced rant.

"She had just started working there, motherfucker, and then you . . ."

He becomes diffcult to hear. He is mumbling about betrayal and death incoherently.

"Motherfucker I'll kick your ass! Bring it outside and I'll kill you."

We are all staring at him, and everyone has different opinions.

"Drunk", says my dad.

"Off the deep end", states the Marine in front of us dressed in immaculate western wear.

The odd character leaves, and we see him outside the window. He is screaming, but we can't hear anything. He runs his index finger across his throat and points at someone in the dining area. On the next block is a mortuary. He points at the sign and then points back at the KFC. I'm not sure if he means the person in the dining area, or all of us for eating the greasy food.

After he wanders out of sight we begin to relax, and move up in line slowly--lots of people want buckets of chicken today. I make eyes at a pretty older lady. She is blonde with sunburnt skin, and she smiles at me.

KFC Psycho opens the door by the dining area, and he is far gone.

Plunging in only his head , he shouts, "they're going to fucking get you man. There's death all over the place and its fucking coming for you."

He leaves, and shakes his fist at us through the window. A concerned patron talks quietly to the freckle-faced seventeen-year-old manager. The pretty older lady shakes her head.

As the Country Western Marine orders, psycho-bob opens up the main door this time. He is wild eyed and sweating.

"They've got a ball of death and they fucking roll 'em in and then they inject you, man, and you're dead. You're all fucking dead and there's nothing you can do about it."

He seems resigned, and glares about a little and then shakes his head, and a few minutes later we see him ride down the street towards the beach on an expensive mountain bike.

After my dad and I pick up our food, we head for the parking lot. A police car pulls in, and my dad volunteers that the guy just left on his bike. The officer is unconcerned, but takes my dad's name for his paperwork.

In the car, my dad and I debate whether it was drugs, alcohol, or run-of-the-mill psychosis. In retrospect, he was probably high on speed in the middle of his fourth straight day with no sleep. It's not the drugs--it's the sleep deprivation.

But then, of course, it's not the grease at KFC--it's the psychos.

odd characters nodes

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