Oh Toto, so Glad We aren’t in Kansas Anymore!

December 3, 2016: A public park, a middle-aged couple, and nocturnal emissions.


Here’s a little ditty about Jack and Diane, a middle-aged couple doing the best they can…in Gardner, KA. Jack works as an insurance adjuster, adjusting insurance. Diane packs chicken breasts on two shifts at the local, central distribution site for a not-so-local, overseas megafarm located in the Orient. Most of the chicken parts come from Thailand; Bangclucks they call them.

After a busy day of adjusting himself and his accounts, Jack likes to cut loose, respray his baldspot, hike his pants above the waist and ankles, twang his favorite pair of suspenders, and enjoy a few hours to himself before Diane gets home hungry.

Diane is a newborn Vegan, on account of her job, but she’s never lost her taste for weiner schnitzel, and so Jack prepares. He makes his run to the Walmart for their fine dining needs, swings by the liquor store for brews…a Blue Ribbon kinda night! Then the last stop. The most important: the costume store.

Jack smiles at Barbara, the owner, “Did they come in yet?”

“Sure did,” she replies as she hands him a large box.

“Just dandy,” he says.

“You two have fun. Give my regards to Diane.”

Jack drives home as quickly as the minivan can take him and begins cooking up a storm; vegetables steamed, noodles limp. The schnitzel is warming up.

An hour later Diane pulls into the driveway, hungry. They devour their meal noodles first. Jack brings a crisp bottle of Pabst to his lips and says, “Happy Anniversary!”

Diane beams with delight. “We’re we doing it this time?”

“The park,” he winks.

“Did they come in?”


“Will there be cameras this time?”


“Oooh, you dirty silverback you!” Diane cries out before finally getting to the steaming, plump schnitzel.

The next afternoon, Jack returns the pair of used gorilla costumes to the store.

“Too tight this time?” Barbara asks.

“Nope. Just right.” Jack says.

(Who are we to judge? It’s Kansas.)

Read the story here:

(c) J. Manuel

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