Bert, the shit-kicker, has been coming to Artie’s bar for the past week… ever since the  women showed up in that war canoe.
           I didn’t name him, “shit-kicker”.  A few of our native brothers were paddling upstream and they stopped at WAIT-A-BIT! for a shine brew and a rest. They sat outside on the knoll of a hill. (In fact, that hill is all that’s left of the former A&P store, after the flash and double-blast we call Incineration Day.)
         Bertie’s trying grow a garden… and the soil is thin and rocky…so he got an old burlap sack from somewhere. (It’s quite a big sack).
And Bertie’s a smallish fella.
        So he puts on his pair or green rubber boots and he travels around with this sack and he takes to picking up all the mounds of shit all around the district.  Then he raked out the shape of a garden, more or less flat.
       Then he empties his bag of shit onto the patch he figures will be a garden next year.
        At this point the five native fellas are sitting on the knoll and they stare north in time to see Bert kicking the shit off into all directions.          Bert kept at this for quite a while because it’s a pretty big bag of shit he’s collected. And Bert is a determined man.
         I watched as the guys started to snort with laughter as they watched him. Then the laughter got louder and louder… until they were slapping their thighs in  hilarity.
       This didn’t distract Bert. He just kept on
kicking the shit in all directions over that flattish piece of land.
        They couldn’t stand it. Joe and his friends were laughing so hard they were rolling down the hill…hooting out of control.
         Needless to say, this is how Bert got his name.
         Bert never really gave a damn about hygiene. And after the women arrived, he got sweet on Sharon and started coming to the bar
every day.
        He was trying to make small talk with Sharon, who is new in town.And she was responding well, after all Bert isn’t a bad-looking guy, apart from his little hygiene problem.  So they were talking happily. 
      But during a lull in the conversation I guess she noticed something… she heard  a little buzzing sound,coming from right below her bar stool.
           She looked down and she saw about thirty flies on Bert’s feet and sandals. Bert kicked out his feet. The flies left for a second and then they got right back to work on Bert’s feet… He kicked out his feet again and they flew and they were right back on his
toes and nasty looking sandals . 
       He even tried slapping them away with a small shovel, but the flies were too fast for him. At least twenty of them landed right back down on his feet and between his toes each time
           Sharon had really noticed the flies now:


 she said and  quickly  moved down the bar about as far as she could get from Bertie.
           That was the first time I laughed all day.

(C)2016 by William G. Milne


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