Wally and I were comfortably settled into a booth at Larry's Café, swapping lies and intermittently watching a football game when Elvis walked in. Yes, THAT Elvis. He's been living in Broken Elbow since staging his own death all those years ago. Most people thought he was just another Elvis impersonator, and not a very good one at that. Others were certain he was the real deal and they tried to sell the story to the national media. The reporters assumed it was just another crackpot Elvis sighting, and then returned to trying to find the whereabouts of Bat Boy. They probably couldn't locate Oklahoma on a map, anyway.
Elvis was an upright, respectable citizen although his habit of mowing the lawn in a sequined cape had caused some talk. Not enough to label him as an eccentric, of course. We had Wally for that.
He walked up to the table and said, “I want you guys to help me. I want to get on my bike and start riding with you!” Wally had done some odd jobs for Elvis, jobs that didn't involve plumbing, natural gas, or electricity so the dangers of a catastrophe were fairly low. But we'd never seen him on a bike. We didn't even know he owned one.
“My bike is out in the truck. Would you take a look at it?” he drawled.
With our beers in hand, we dutifully trooped out to the truck, a ratty old Ford that had seen better days. In the back, a new (name expunged until they cough up some advertising money) lay on its side. Campy Record components gleamed. The frame, made of shiny unobtainium, inspired some of the most avaricious thoughts I'd ever had. Wally and I were deeply envious.
After stammering about the bike awhile, Wally said, “Well, Elvis, we're going to ride on Saturday morning at seven and go out toward Killer Hill. You're certainly welcome to join us.”
On Saturday, seven AM came and went without any Elvis sighting. We figured him for a no-show and pushed off. For once, no ex-wives, former girlfriends, or law enforcement officers were stalking Wally, so we didn't have to look behind us, checking for “Huns in the sun” as Wally put it. We were halfway up infamous Killer Hill, a nasty, brutish and short climb that too often reduced me to pedestrian status, when we heard an odd sound coming up the hill. “Hunka-hunka-hunka.” Whatever was making the noise was lost behind one of the s-bends, but it kept getting louder. In an instant, Elvis rounded the corner, caught us and dropped us! He flew up the hill without stopping or looking back. Just before he went over the crest, we could hear quite plainly, “Are you lonesome tonight?” Then he giggled. The cape flashed and he was gone.
Wally and I were stunned. We'd been dropped by a chubby old guy! We'd never hear the end of it down at Larry's Café, so without a word between us, we got into the drops and started chasing the tell-tale flash of sequins off in the distance.