Defining Desert Dan

Story written by Don Roble on Monday 14, March 2022

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Description
Not like other people

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Desert Dan was pretty much immune to disease. He lived in the desert where the heat alone would kill anything dangerous to his health. He was even immune to snakes. He had been bit so many times the snakes gave up biting him. His hobby was watching his ferret attack snakes. As entertaining as that was, he occasionally missed the company of people. By people, he meant his sister and her not too often. Dan said he was 89 years old. His sister said he was 78. Dan said he was rounding up. His problem was his dislike for people as a general rule. That was balanced by people not liking him at all. While Dan thought of himself as amiable, all other people knew he wasn't what God had in mind. His own sister hated him coming to town. She thought about moving but figured Sam would still show up where ever she was. No sense spreading him to innocent folks. Dan owned a 45 year-old truck. It only had 40 thousand miles on it. Dan only lived two miles from town and didn't go any place else. Desert Dan had never flown. The thought of snakes on a plane irked him. He had to deal with snakes everyday and didn't want to have to fly with them or the people on the plane. That included the pilot although he couldn't work out the flying without a pilot part. His girlfriend was Ellie Parker. She had been brain-dead for twenty years. She was still waiting to be harvested for organ donation. She was a perfect girl for Dan. He'd met her right before she stroked out. Some people blamed him. They said Ellie would rather be brain-dead than Dan's girlfriend. Dan figured she was great since she didn't give him any lip and he didn't have to spend money on her. He thought she was kind of offish though. True to his name, he lived in an old adobe house. It was so old only one room had a roof over it. Desert Dan didn't care, he only lived in one room. It wasn't the bathroom. He had a whole desert to use for a bathroom. He had learned to watch for snakes when he squatted. The snake had all the advantage then. Desert Dan went out and collected old bones, human and cattle. He used them to make knife handles. He was renown for thee quality of his work. He told his customers they weren't getting cheap plastic handles. He didn't tell what they were getting. Some people were squeamish about old, human bones. Dan couldn't get that; the old dead humans did need them anymore. Desert Dan wasn't like other people and the world was better off that way.
   

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