Thelma and Louise were off, running from the law, and they were low on supplies. Turning off the freeway after having successfully, albeit momentarily, dodged the smokies on their tail, they headed into a residential district of suburban
“Turn here,” she quipped icily. “No. Nothing. Make a right up here.”
“Louise,” Thelma started, “don’tcha think we oughtta be high-tailin’ it? They’re gonna have a ‘copter up any second now.”
“Dammit, I want me a Snapple. Can’t go on no road trip without me havin’ a Snapple.” Louise chuckled. So did Thelma. Then the two of them, reading each other’s thoughts simultaneously, chimed in unison, “GARAGE RAID!”
So that was it. Open garages, looking for one of them, just one, with one of them dee-luxe garage refrigerators. Lots of folks had them. Lots of folks in cozy suburb streets like this one. Thelma was on board.
“Make a left,” Louise ordered, then: “There’s one. Ho’-dee-do’! Ho’-dee-do’!”
“Here?!” asked Thelma.
“Yes, here! Now pull over.”
Thelma’s surprise wasn’t over the open garage, wasn’t over the big, fat goldenrod Maytag they both were spying now; rather, Thelma balked even as she laid on the brakes at the fact that it was occupied. Very occupied. Inside the garage was some broad-shouldered teenager, working out on some gym or some such contraption. The kid was buff. Looked just out of high school; possibly home from college.
Louise hopped directly out of the convertible Mustang as soon as it was parked alongside the curb. Thelma followed around from her side, exiting more conventionally via the driver’s side door. The two walked up the neatly-mowed front lawn to the nonplussed student-athlete type. The kid had stopped grunting a sec, waiting to see what this could be about, seated up on his weight bench thingie, admiring the figures of the two ladies in the Summer sunlight, noting their age. 30s. That one’s late 30s. Sweet, he thought, I do old.
“Louise, you sure about this?”
Louise ignored this, and flashed an amiable, Southern-belle smile with the first clack of her heel on the driveway leading up. She waved a parade float-debutante wave then entered into the shade of the garage. Thelma followed.
“How y’all doin’?” greeted Louise in a fake Southern-belle drawl, still coming on.
“I’m all right,” the kid said. Then, parroting the accent in an attempt to ingratiate, added: “What can I do y’all for?”
“Well, we was goin’ grocery shoppin’, y’see, and we just thought we’d stop on in.”
Grocery shopping? Louise still coming, clack, clack, clack; Louise right up on him now, him still seated, and him just about thinking There’s something strange about this, either this lady wants it, or she’s just lost as can be, when suddenly Louise flashed a sinister grin instead of the sweet alluring smile and she reached down and grabbed him by the balls.
“UH-UH-UH!” the kid shook and he spluttered, standing to with legs splayed over both sides of the weight bench as Louise pulled upward. She had a whole handful and she had only just begun to squeeze: the kid’s loose terry-cloth workout shorts made the whole job very “handful-friendly.” The body connected to the balls—all bi’s and tri’s and quad’s of him--was thrown into instant paralysis.
The boy’s chin shot straight to the garage rafters, exposing the bobbing, vulnerable Adam’s apple to Louise’s cool exhaling breath, so close in was she, imposing her will on the boy, doing it with a graceful ease. She didn’t turn her lips away for several seconds, even as she gave the command to Thelma, murmuring: “ Oh Thelma darlin’, why don’tcha see what kind of leftovers we got in that ‘fridge, huh?”
Thelma went to it. There were tons. They even had Snapple. Diet peach. Thelma found a folded-up paper bag to the side, unfolded it, and began ransacking through items, tossing the goodies into the bag with haste.
Door. Coming from the house, it just opened and out came a balding, middle-aged man in shorts, black socks and shoes, and a sweaty wife-beater white tank top. Too dark for him to see right away, the man started, “Hey, Johnny, when y’gonna be-" he stopped, backed up a step in the doorway, then said in embarrassment, “Oh, sorry. Didn’t realize you had company.”
Thelma froze. But the old man saw what Thelma had been doing; a look of understanding and anger came over his furry brows. He rubbed his 5 o’clock shadow. She was cleaning him out!
“You stealin’ stuff?” he said stupidly. His face grew red. “You stealin’ from me?” He turned to what must be his son. “Hey, Johnny, these here friends of yours?”
It was then that he saw it. The back of his son’s shaking head, face to the ceiling, standing on tip-toes. The other girl—other lady—Why’s she just standing there, smilin’ at me like that?--he saw where the lady’s other hand was. His son’s cement-rigid body blocked the view from the wrist down, but he understood. With horror, he understood it all at once. He rushed at Louise like a storm; had to save his son first, his first white-hot thought.
“Why you dirty—!”
The rest of his sentence with all the expletives loaded linguistically within was abruptly cut off, his breath leaving his body in a gasping torrent of wind like air from blown white-wall. He had been stopped in his tracks and was hunched over at the waist where Thelma’s hand had snuck over and got him too in a vice-lock. He heaved and he panted. Thelma and Louise exchanged raised-eyebrowed looks at each other over his bent bulk, as if to say 'well, we’re in it now'. Both ladies hung onto their prizes and neither man budged, but when the old man got up the breath, he growled epithets meant for the women at the floor of the garage, the only view Louise’s slender right mitt would allow.
“How y’doin’ there, Thelm?” said Louise, smiling.
“Well, NOW what?” asked Thelma through clenched teeth. The old man tried to break away but another tightening of the tendons in her wrist subdued him back down to size momentarily. She was clearly having more problems with the older man than Louise was with the younger. The young man hadn’t budged; it was as though he’d been turned into stone. He couldn’t even look his Medusa in the eyes, yet Louise had yet to break a sweat, whereas that same old forked stress vein down the center of Thelma’s forehead was starting to bulge up as she hung on for dear might to the old dude’s sackful of surrender. “Some gals have to work for a living,” she wondered aloud.
“Okay,” she began finally, working out a plan. “Tell ya what. On the count of three, kick ‘em in the balls and run.”
Thelma’s eyes widened. “THAT’S your plan?!”
“Always worked before,” retorted Louise, still very much enjoying herself despite it all.
Thelma acquiesced. She nodded.
“Okay,” began Louise, “One…Two…THREE!”
Two men down. Thelma had delivered a pulverizing snap-kick, perhaps more swift and brutal than it otherwise would’ve been were she not legitimately fearful of her own safety. Oops. Sorry. Well what can you do? Her adrenalin was on full-alert. The old man was out of commission at least. And for the foreseeable future too. Louise, with the weight bench in her way, had stepped back, slipped her foot out of her pump, and kicked sideways and straight-in, her Dacron white half-sock swiftly if not powerfully boffing the boy dead-center in the front of his billowy shorts, and down he went too.
Father and son squirmed on the ground in various stages of the fetal position.
There was plenty of time now.
Thelma and Louise stepped around the men and picked up their belongings. Their belongings. They were they’re belongings now. No man was going to stop them.
Driving off, flipping a U’ey in the street, headed for the highway, headed west. Louise looked happy; she was now at the wheel. Thelma looked chagrinned. She was still perplexed.
“Louise, what the hell was that?”
“What just happened?”
“What about it?”
“Them men we just hurt.”
“What about it?” repeated Louise. “Get a guy in the balls and he falls down. No big mystery.”
“No—not that. How come—well—how come mine was so harder to lasso down than yours was? I mean—shit, mine was 50 years old or something.”
Louise’s tired response: “Young balls.” She seemed more interested in glancing at the rearview mirror.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Louise turned to Thelma, then back at the road, then back to Thelma, then back and forth again, trying to explain something she thought everybody knew, an axiom of utter triviality: “Boys—when they hit puberty—when they’re at their sexual peak and all that stupidity, y’know?”
She turned. Then back to the road. Thelma was listening.
“What is it—18, 19 they’re at their peak?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
Louise gestured with one hand, the other holding the wheel. “And for us it’s 30-something.”
“Yeah, like now?” joked Thelma.
“Yeah,” laughed Louise. “Anyway, you get a guy at his peak, say 19, 20, 21 years old, and his nuts’re bigger, that’s all. Bigger balls, more pain. Shit, I barely squoze that young buck back there. You see how easy I had him?”
“Yeah, I saw that” said Thelma, absently letting it sink in. “Da-amn,” she murmured.
A pause. Tires rolling on pavement, occasionally rat-a-tat-tatting across the center divider raised dots.
“Next time we go grocery shopping, you get the old guy.”
Louise laughed, then they both laughed, driving off into the sunset.