How I Got Me Some Standards

By James Hanna

Hi there. My name is Toby Dawes, and I don’t make too good an impression. I live on a small farm in Putnam County, which is in the middle of Indiana, and I been working at the Hillsdale Hog Farm since flunking out of high school last year. Now I’m real good at snagging buffalo catfish and shooting brown rats at the county dump, but Ma says them skills ain’t enough to get me ahead in life. She said to me, “Toby, in a coupla months, you’re going to be twenty years old. If you expect to make something of yourself, you’re going to need higher standards.” 

Well, I thought my standards were pretty good when I asked Brandi to marry me last year. Brandi she’s the prettiest whore in this cathouse in Michigan City—that’s where Pa took me for my seventeenth birthday ’cause he was tired of me swiping his porn books. Pa was hopin’ I’d leave them books alone if I got some mud for my turtle, so he drove me all the way to Michigan City so I could pop my cherry. I never shot no load in Brandi—I came while she was washing my johnson—but Brandi she covered for me ’cause she thought I was a real sweet boy. She told Pa I was a helluva cocksmith and that I made her cum three times, and Pa he patted me on the back and said, “That’s my boy!” 

Now Brandi and I been texting each other, but that stopped ’bout a month ago. That’s ’cause I asked Brandi to marry me, and Brandi she lost her temper. She said she would give me a bargain rate if Pa wanted to buy me another hour, but she weren’t gonna marry no bumpkin who made a living slopping hogs. Well, my life is kinda lonely now ’cause I don’t have no pussy in it. All I do is work at the hog farm, slopping hogs and shoveling shit, and most nights I sit in our living room with Pa and watch Wrestlemania. I get paid pretty good at the hog farm—more ’an three hundred dollars a week—but most of the money I give to Ma to pay for my room and board. That don’t leave me much money to have no social life, but I do walk over to Flakey Jake’s when Saturday night rolls around. Flakey Jake’s is this dive bar that’s just half a mile from my home, and I go there every Saturday night and have me a Michelob draft.

“I ain’t used to that kind of floggin.”

Now that you know somethin’ about me, I’m gonna tell you this story. It’s about how I got me some standards so I could do better in life. One Saturday night, I was sittin’ in Flakey Jake’s drinking a Michelob draft, and this woman I never seen before came walkin’ into the bar. The woman she had on a tight black dress that rode real high on her legs, and she was wearing a pair of stiletto pumps that looked sharper than paring knives. Her hair was brown with lotsa white threads and her tits were as small as apples, and her face had so many pockmarks that it looked like she’d lost a fight with a cat. She hadda be about fifty years old—which made her older ’an Ma—but I felt my willie expanding ’cause my standards ain’t too high.  

Well, the woman came right up to the table where I was drinking my beer and she said, “Hon, is this seat taken?” and my heart it started thumpin’. Before I could answer, she sat down beside me and patted me on the wrist. She said, “Hon, my name is Eve and I could use some company. My boyfriend is on the road tonight and won’t be back until tomorrow morning.”

I told her I weren’t too good at making conversation, but that I was a hell of a cocksmith and a hooker could vouch for that. I told her that I’d made this whore in Michigan City cum three times.

The woman she just clucked her tongue. “Sure, you did,” she said. All the time she was talkin’ to me, she kept checking out the bar like maybe she was hoping Brad Pitt would come walking through the door. But there weren’t nobody else in the bar ’cept Flakey Jake himself, and Flakey Jake he’s a big greasy dude who don’t look sexy at all. 

The woman said, “Tell me more about yourself, hon,” and her eyes kept searching the bar.

I told her my name was Toby Dawes and I worked at the Hillsdale Hog Farm, and that I was fond of shooting brown rats at the Putnam County Dump. I told her I was a real good shot and hardly ever missed.

The woman she pursed her lips like I’d put a bad taste in her mouth. “Do you mind if I call you Jackson,” she said. “You look like a young Jackson Brown.”

I told her it didn’t make no sense for a dude to have two last names, but that I wouldn’t have no objection if she wanted to call me Jackson.

The woman she squeezed my hand, and her nails bit my knuckles like red ants. “Maybe you should object, honey,” she said, and her voice it got real testy.

I told her I don’t object to much because I don’t have very high standards, and the woman she got even testier and let go of my hand. She said, “In case you haven’t noticed, hon, I’m a pretty attractive chick.”

Well, the woman was starting to scare me some, and I felt myself starting to sweat. Whenever I get nervous, I sweat like a pig in a slaughterhouse. And it didn’t help matters none when the woman took an iPhone out of her purse. “Let’s pose for a selfie,” she said, and that creeped me out even more. 

But since I don’t object to much, I said that would be okay, and she put her chin on my shoulder and snapped a photo of us. “Honey, don’t look so shocked,” she said as she put her iPhone back into her purse. “If you like, I’ll make a copy for you. You can tuck it under your pillow. You look like the kind of boy who would like a racy photo under his pillow.”

When I told her I already had lotsa racy pictures under my pillow, the woman she just yawned like a catfish gulping a minnow. I thought she was gonna get bored with me quick since I weren’t makin’ much conversation, but the woman she leaned back in her chair and started talking nonstop. She told me she worked part-time at this funeral home where she made cadavers look sexy, and that she’d recently served two years in state prison for possessing powdered meth. She told me she’s now shacking up with a fella who cheats on her all the time—a dude who’s an interstate trucker with a woman in every state. She asked me if I wanted to know how she met him ’cause that’s a kinky story, and since I ain’t got no standards, I didn’t object to that neither. So she told me the dude contacted her on her website a coupla months ago ’cause he liked this selfie she’d posted where she was nude in a tub fulla Jell-O.

I said I was real fond of Jell-O when it’s covered with Readi Wip, and the woman she just snorted and said, “Hon, you’re missing the point.”

I said Readi Wip oughta be the point ’cause it tastes better ’an vanilla ice cream, and the woman she asked me to pay attention because she had something important to say.

“He’s the jealous type, hon,” she whispered. “You don’t want to mess with him. If I showed him that picture of us together, he’d punch you right in the nose. He’d hunt you down, wherever you are, and punch you right in the nose, then he’d beat me good and proper and take away my car.”

“You don’t gotta show him that photo,” I said. “That way you can keep your car.”

The woman she kinda blushed and said, “How about we bargain, hon? How about you come home with me and I won’t show him that photo?”

Well, that sounded like a real good bargain, so I didn’t express no objection. ’Cause gettin’ some mud for my turtle was better than gettin’ punched in the nose.

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The woman she held my hand while she walked me out to her car, and her fingernails dug into my palm and they were sharper than catfish spines. Her car was a Ford Fiesta, and it had some dents in it, and it took her a coupla minutes to dig her keys out of her purse. 

Once we was seated in the car, she put her hand on my knee. “Buckle up, Jackson,” she told me. “We’re in for a bumpy ride.”

The woman she drove with only one hand—her other one was grippin’ my knee—and the car it swayed like a drunk on skates as we rolled down Route 231. This Jackson Brown song called “The Great Pretender” was blarin’ from her CD, and the woman she kept singing along and she didn’t miss a word.   

Before the song was over, she pulled onto this narrow dirt road, and the road was fulla potholes and the woman musta hit every one. And every time I bounced in my seat, she gave my knee a squeeze, and her fingernails gripped me so hard that it felt like my leg was caught in a bear trap.

When we pulled up in front of this beat-up house, she let go of my knee. She said, “Keep the door shut once we’re inside, Jackson. I don’t want the cats to escape.” 

Well, I weren’t in no particular hurry to follow her into the house, but my johnson it kept expanding like it had a plan of its own. So I unbuckled my seat belt, got out of the car, and followed her into the house. The living room looked kinda cluttered ’cause there were cats all over the place, and the pissy smell of litter boxes hit me like a truck.

“Would you like something cold before we get started?” the woman said with a smile.

“Do you still got that Jell-O?” I asked her.

The woman she made a face and said, “Let’s try to stay focused, Jackson. Take off your clothes and lie down on the couch. I’m going to fetch the worms.”

The woman walked into this kitchenette and I heard her open a fridge, and since I don’t object to much, I shucked off my shirt and pants. “Don’t move a muscle,” the woman called out as I lay down on the couch. “I’m going to be very cross with you, hon, if you don’t stay as still as a statue.”

She was holding a carton of fishing worms when she returned to the living room, and she dumped a handful of ’em into her palm and sprinkled them on my chest. Well, I weren’t particularly partial to them wigglers on my chest, but since I don’t object to much I lay as still as a stump. 

“Don’t move a muscle,” the woman repeated. “I’m going to freshen up,” and she sashayed outta the room while I lay real stiff on the couch. Well, I wanted to brush them worms to the floor but that wouldn’t a been polite—Ma she always told me that you gotta show women respect. But I weren’t perturbed when some of them cats hopped up on the couch ’cause them cats they gobbled the worms offa me like I was a Bob Evans buffet.

When the woman returned to the living room, she looked like Frankenstein’s bride. Her hair was piled up on top of her head, her eyes were smeared with mascara, and she was wearing this long white dress that puddled at her feet. She was making this creepy, moaning sound as she hobbled in my direction—her voice was so deep that it seemed to be coming from the bottom of a well.

Well, I didn’t want to upset her ’cause she already looked wicked enough, so I lay as still as a road-killed buck as she ran her hands over my chest. After a while, she spoke to me and her voice sounded fulla gravel. “Act as though you’re asleep,” she said. “I don’t want you looking at me.”

Now I kinda wanted to leave the house and go back to Flakey Jake’s, but I didn’t have no permission to get off of the couch. But I opened my eyes when she suddenly told me she had a job for me. She said she needed some punishing before we got down to sex.

Well, next thing I knew she was standing above me with a cat of nine tails in her hand. “Flog me, Jackson, flog me,” she said, and her voice was still gravelly and low. “Flog me good and proper then I’ll cover you with dirt.”

“I ain’t used to that kind of floggin,” I said and I sat up on the couch, and I kinda hoped I could get out the door without letting no cats escape. I had pretty much decided that things couldn’t get no worse, but that weren’t a consolation for long ’cause things got a whole lot worse quick. I heard the sound of a truck pulling up outside front door then I heard this booming voice shout, “Baby, it’s Jell-O time!”

“It’s my boyfriend!” the woman cried, and she sounded more excited than scared. “He’s come home early, Jackson. He’s gonna kill us both”

“Maybe the dude had it coming to him…”

Since I still didn’t have no permission to get up from the couch, I just sat in my tighty whities while the woman opened the door. I could hear her talking with someone, and they was talking loud, then the biggest fella I ever seen came lumbering through the door. He looked kinda like Hulk Hogan but his face was sorta blank, and the dude he folded his beefcake arms and said, “How’s it hangin’, son?”

Well, my pecker was as slack as a bag of oats ’cause I weren’t feeling horny no more, but I didn’t think it would be good manners to mention something like that. So I told him my name was Toby Dawes and I worked at the Hillsdale Hog Farm, and that I’d be real partial to havin’ some Jell-O with him.

The fella he said, “Excuse me, sonny. I would like to talk with Eve.”

He took the woman by the arm and led her into what musta been the bedroom. She was panting as she followed behind him, but she didn’t look scared at all. 

After a coupla minutes, the woman came outta the bedroom. She had taken off her long white dress and was wearin’ just her panties and bra, and she sat on the couch beside me and whispered in my ear. 

“He wants to watch us, Jackson,” she said, and her voice was as husky as corn. “He said he won’t punch you in the nose if we’ll let him sit there and watch.”

“Does this mean we ain’t getting no Jell-O?” I said.

The woman squeezed my pecker so hard that one of her nails broke its skin. She said, “Jackson, please pay attention. I’m not going to let him join in. That louse has women all over the country, so he’s got this coming to him.”

Maybe the dude had it coming to him, but I weren’t in no shape to perform. My chub felt as poor as a drownded worm that was stuck on a fishing hook. And since there weren’t no sense in hanging around to collect me a punch in the nose, I snatched up my clothes and jumped off the couch then jerked the front door open.

“Now you’ve done it!” the woman cried as I stumbled out onto the porch, and she started to howl like a thievin’ dog that caught its paw in a trap. Well, I bolted as fast as a gut-shot stag, so I ain’t sure what got her upset, but I had real strong suspicion that some of them cats got out.

“I guess I shoulda paid for that beer steada standin’ there proud as a lord…”

I ran down Route 231 for a spell then I stopped and put on my clothes. There weren’t nobody chasin’ me, and I suspected that no one was gonna, so after I zipped my fly up and tucked my shirt back in, I strolled on over to Flakey Jake’s and ordered a draft beer at the bar. 

Flakey Jake he gave me a big thumbs-up ’cause he thought I had scored me some cooze, and I told him that woman was hurting so bad that I made her cum three times. Flakey Jake drew us both a beer and said mine was on the house, then he raised his mug above his head and offered me a toast. I guess I shoulda paid for that beer steada standin’ there proud as a lord, but at least I had me some standards now and I felt real good about that.

James Hanna is a retired probation officer and a former fiction editor. His has been published in over thirty journals, including Crack the Spine, Sixfold, and The Literary Review. His books, four of which have won awards, are available on Amazon.

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