OF MICE AND MINESTRONE by Joe R. Lansdale preview: “Sparring Partner” and “Leonard’s Banana Pudding”

In celebration of the release of Joe R. Lansdale’s enthralling OF MICE AND MINESTRONE – HAP AND LEONARD: THE EARLY YEARS, Tachyon presents glimpses from the collection that “deals with abuse, friendship, violence, growing up, race, food, and justice, [and] is full of the wit that’s made Lansdale a star.” (Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs)

Sparring Partner

Joe R. Lansdale

We left there in Leonard’s pickup, which rattled as it went, made a sound like a rod was loose and there needed to be a about two hundred dollars’ worth of piston work. Leonard had a box of vanilla cookies setting between us, and now and again he’d dip his hand into the box and have one. He didn’t offer me any.

I said, “Man, that was kind of unnecessary. He was just an asshole, not Attila the Hun.”

“Way I see it I’m keeping him from growing up to be Attila. If not, motherfucker won’t be Attila in my neighborhood.”

I knew it was time to let the Lashawn discussion lay still.

“You say we got a job, but you haven’t told me shit, except for that knocking people down part, and by the way, you like that better than I do, so do I really want to get in on this?”

“Thought I told you what it was, you might turn me down.”

“I don’t know I like a job that’s a secret until you show it to me.”

“Do you like four hundred dollars?”

“A piece?”

“No, split, but hell, two hundred dollars apiece, that’s more than ass-wiping money.”

Back then it sure was. Some people worked two, sometimes three or four weeks to make that much. Things were cheaper then, but cheap is relative.

“How much work?”

“A few partial days.”

“Sounds too easy.”

“Sometimes things are easy.”

Continue on to page two for more OF MICE AND MINESTRONE content with a preview from GOOD EATS: THE RECIPES OF HAP AND LEONARD by Kasey Lansdale.