A young lady in high heels, carries two Macys bags into Gasoline Alley at the B.P. Biloxi Motor Speedway.
"Mary Sue, where you been?" The voice comes from under a bonnie blue stock car, The General Nathan Forrest. "We got qualifying coming up in about half an hour." He slides out, wiping his hands on a oily bonnie blue rag.
"Been shopping, what'd you think?. Went to the Mall. And that's not all. Oh, and I changed my name."
A pin drops. Or shall we say a lug nut?
"I've been thinking about this for a few months now and well, I went down and got it done. Put in the application anyway. They'll let me know in the mail. It'll take about two weeks."
The man rolls out and stares up at her. "What? You changed your name?" He blinks. "What?"
"Yup," she says. "No more Mary Sue Billingsley. Branson, come on. It's like that Lakers guy Ron Artest. He's now Metta World Peace. If he can do it, so can I."
Branson stands up, and kicks the dolly back under the car.
More lug nuts.
He rubs his forehead. "Tell me you didn't change it to something...crazy." He leans against a workbench. "Please, Mary Sue." He breathes deeply. "What have you done?"
"Branson, give me some credit here. I want to rid myself of my wild past. You know, start new. I 'm a rookie in the major leagues of NASCAR. This Saturday I could be sitting on the pole in the 2012 Gerbers Baby Food Pascagoula 400."
"So," says Branson. He takes a deep breath. "What did you change it to?"
"FlowerChild." She smiles.
A bucket full of lug nuts.
"What do you think?" she says. "Hey, it's been on my mind. And today I did it."
"What? FlowerChild? What?" He loses his balance, and almost falls.
"Yup," she says. "FlowerChild Free Food for All."
"Free Food for All? You gotta be kidding. Mary Sue? What are you thinking? FlowerChild Free Food for All? You didn't? Tell me you didn't?"
Branson looks out at the racecourse. Others are qualifying. He looks at them, then stares at the top of the grandstands.
"But, Mary Sue," he says. "What about your fans? They know you as Mary Sue Billingsley."
"I'm not crazy." She drops the bags on a bench, and snaps the top on a bottle of water. "I want to leave my past in the past. I was that crazy, mouthy broad, crazy with a Capital K, learned to drive running illegal...whatever....DUI's, that time in jail for aggravated assault. I want to put that all in the past."
"You think that's what they want, Mary Sue..."
"Okay, FlowerChild. But, all that craziness in your past, that 's why they like you. They're your people. They're not looking for any... FlowerChild. And Free Food for All? Where did that come from?"
A younger man enters the garage. "'Sup guys. We going to be in the front row this week?"
"Ask Mary Sue, Oops I'm sorry. FlowerChild Free Food for All."
"Who?" he says. "What?"
"Me," she says. "I changed my name. I'm more patient now, laid back, not so crazy, no more fighting in public. I looked it up. It's like John 3:3 I'm born again." She smiles at him. "Ozark, it's still me. Just a new name, that's all."
Branson looks at her. "You were Miss Sorghum, and runner up Miss Texarkana. You have that long blond hair every time you take off you helmet . Best young female driver since Danica, Junior Dirt Track Champion 5 years running. That's the Mary Sue they want. They don't want a FlowerChild."
"Dick Trickle, now there's a name. Don't tell him I said that." Ozark laughs.
No," says FlowerChild. She sips here water. "No, it's done. No more Mary Sue Billingsley, You know, when you think about it, Jesus would approve. Give to the unfortunate, give to the poor. Nobody should go hungry. How can that be bad? That's a good thing, right?"
"I like it," says Ozark. "We'll have large flowers painted all over the General Forrest."
"This isn't happening," says Branson. "What about our sponsors? Maybe if we were racing in San Francisco, or West L.A., maybe. Mary Sue? You can't be serious?"
"Branson, it's not like I quit driving. It's what I do. World Peace didn't quit basketball. I'm still one of the best young drivers around, you know that."
"Every TV camera out there'll will be in here wanting interviews," says Ozark. "I think it's kinda cool."
"Thank you." She raises her water bottle. "I like you, Ozark.
"We got sponsors, Mary Sue," says Branson. "Winn-Dixie, Carolina Bank and Trust, Hilton Head Medical Center, British Petroleum, Biloxi WingStop, and I think Rush Limbaugh is...was... thinking about sponsoring the car. But with the name FlowerChild? I don't think any of them are into anything Free. They should know about this. See how they feel."
Branson pulls out his iPhone.
"I'll talk to them," says FlowerChild.
"No, I'll call the boss. He'll know what to do."
His iPhone is ringing.
"Hello...Mr Montgomery? This is Jasper. Jasper Branson. How you doing Sir...I know you're busy, but..."
"I'm still here. Yes, it's about Mary Sue...yes...Mary Sue...NO, No, she fine, she'll be qualifying in about half hour, it's well, you're not going to believe this. Okay, okay, she's changed her name."
"That's right. Changed her name...yes sir..yes sir...FlowerChild. That's right but there's more. FlowerChild...Free Food for All."
He raises his eyebrows and holds the phone out at arms length. He looks at FlowerChild,
then at Ozark, then closes his eyes.
FlowerChild smiles and sips her water.
"Sir...sir...that's right. FlowerChild Free Food for All. Yup...yup...yes sir."
His head down, he listens. "Yes...yes...Yes sir, I'll tell her. Yes, okay...yes sir. Okay I'll tell her."
He stuffs His phone back into his pocket, and stares out at the top of the grandstands again.
"So?" she asks.
"I think I heard, Has she lost her mind, yelled at least five times, but here it is. The next three races. You're a rookie, so they're looking for results. But they didn't seem all that nervous. Matter of fact, they thought something like this would get us a ton of publicity."
"Told ya," says Ozark.
"That's how I wanted it to be." she says.
Branson stares at Ozark. "We live and die with our sponsors. They won't like anybody changing their name. FlowerChild, no way."
"Scott Speed," says Ozark. "You think that's his real name? Don't tell him I said this, but I have my suspicions."
"I gotta get ready," says FlowerChild. "It's my new life. Free distribution of food, so nobody goes hungry. I hate that feeling. Jesus was poor all of his life. He would agree, I'm sure. Guys, it's the right thing to do. If my fans or my sponsors can't see that, well, so be it. Now I gotta get ready to qualify."
Ozark laughs. "Branson, relax. Come on, if anybody can pull this off, it's Miss Mary Sue. I think, there's going to be a whole new energy around here. And I can feel it already." He leans back and gives a rebel yell.
Branson stands there and rubs his forehead with an oily bonnie blue rag.
This is a recent post from StiffLeftJab.com
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