145 Shot Put in the Yard (continued)


A partial list of characters

The Ten Eyck brothers, Traficant and Mendicant, twin brothers (fraternal? Identical?) with some major psychological problems. Mendicant is compulsive-obsessive to the point of being handicapped, but he’s so repressed that no one notices. Traficant is completely psychotic. They have a younger sister, Doris, who is more able to go out in public. She hits them regularly.

Reg Uspatoff – the second man in America with a copyrighted name
Synthea – his android girlfriend

Traficant’s brother Mendicant came home to find that his home is gone. He saw Traficant darting around in the rubble, collecting shot puts. Mendicant walked up to Traficant. Traficant dropped his shot puts.

“Why did you burn down the house?” Mendicant asked.

Traficant stared at a point at Mendicant’s side. He inhaled deeply. He exhaled. “I dunno,” he said gravely and breathily, barely audibly.

“We were supposed to have guests tonight, you know.”

“Oh, shit, yeah . . . I guess I could’ve waited a day. Who’s coming?”

“Reg and Synthea. I don’t know what I’m going to tell them now. You still haven’t answered my question. Traficant?”



“Why what?”


“Mmm. Well . . . you know how I get sometimes, Men.”

“Yes, but I don’t know why, and I don’t know why it has to lead to things like this. Why can’t you just take up karate, or boxing, or hockey . . . something where you can beat people up?”

“‘Cause I’d probably kill them.”