I am not entirely sure where to start the tale of "H. R. Schroeder", I suppose we could start with the first time I met him. I was probably about 10 at the time, my mother had been dating a guy for a while and wanted my younger brother and I to meet him.
We pulled into a dingy gravel driveway that led to what looked like a run-down toolshed in a small clearing. A thin, grubby man with cowboy boots and Resistol hat emerged from the ruined little dumpy building, and got in the car. It was at that moment I knew my mom had found another winner.
She went out with HR for a few years, he even lived with us for a while. We learned a lot about him and his past. He was the bastard son of a small town Iowa woman. She would never tell him who his father was, and as far as I know took the secret to her grave (well, unless she is still alive). He dropped out of high school to join the military, got "released" from the military for "mental" issues, ran the tilt-a-whirl for a few years, and ended up as an off the books shade-tree-mechanic for the most redneck auto dealer in Iowa. (How redneck is redneck? The owner had a basset-hound named Flash (Google it, if you must). I rest my case.) It was Flash's Owner that set up HR in his fine shanty a hop, skip, and a jump from the auto dealer.
H.R. had a lot of bizarre and involved idiosyncrasies/outbursts/general weirdness surrounding the reality of being around him. I am going to list off a few that I can remember off the top of my head:
- Probably the most infamous tale is one associated with a junky black and white tv he found on the side of the road. He would watch reruns of Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan on it. One day the tv started sparking and smoking. I unplugged it and found that the plastic on the back of the tv was melting and smouldering. I left to tell my mom, and when we came back he had the fucking thing on again! We unplug it and set it on the floor, and he says "What are you doing?" We say, "This thing is going to start an electrical fire! Look, it's so hot the plastic is melting.". He reaches over and puts his hand on it, quickly withdraws it (like it hurts) and says, "It's cold!"
- The most mentally disturbing tale was when my brother and I stayed up late one Friday night (probably reading comics). HR and my mom must have thought we were asleep and started boinking. Our room was right next to theirs, you couldn't hear everything, but you could hear enough. It was about 5 minutes into the romance when the classiest thing ever in the history of sex happened: "BBBBBBBEEEEEEERRRRRRRVVVVVVV!!! FRAPITTY FLAP FRAP! FRAP FRAP!" (loud fart noises) "Dammit! How many times have I told you not to fart while we are making love, HR!"
- One time H.R. got mad at us because we said we didn't believe he could light his farts on fire. Then when he tried to show us, he wasn't able to do it. It was funny, he spazzed. (He wasn't having sex when he tried to light it [that time!])
- We were playing a board/word game called Taboo one day. The game is to get your partner to guess a word without saying certain words or using gestures/pantomime. HR was trying to get his partner to guess "casino" and started using his hand like he was pulling a lever on a slot machine. I called him on the "gesture" rule. He threw a hissy fit, screaming, "IT WASN'T A GESTURE!", then proceeded to grab a can of Lysol spray and try to squirt me in the face, but missed.
- There is a whole list of "HRisms":
- "I swear on my Stepfather's grave!"
- "Forward, never straight."
- "Yes sir, no sir, kiss my ass sir!"
- "I loved you since the day I died."
- "M, dotted letter, crooked letter, crooked letter, dotted letter, crooked letter, crooked letter, dotted letter, humpback, humpback, dotted letter!" (spells Mississippi)
- He liked to talk to himself in the shower, and 99% he gave himself directions to his uncles house in Anamosa.
- He liked to call Anamosa "Ass-ammonia".
- He sang sometimes. One time he walked though the apartment doing a paddling motion with his arms singing, "Get a canoe! Get a canoe!" over and over.
- He liked to break things. He punched a hole in our wall and threw a case of Coco-Cola out the window of our second story apartment.
- He was ignorant, he thought the song, "Mony Mony" was "Rolly Molly".
- H.R. liked to bang fatties. He cheated on my mom with at least 3 women, none of which were less than 300 lbs (legitimately). My brother had the misfortune of meeting one of these women. She was at a carnival (surprise, surprise!) where he was picking up HR from. She was the most morbidly obese one and was wearing a halter top and spandex bike shorts. She had like bits of scrambled egg and funnel cake on her shirt and cleavage. Very tasty all around. He claimed, "They (fatties) need lovin', too!"
- The only time I have ever been in a car that was involved in a (minor) collision, H.R. was driving.
- H.R. pronounces "Toyota" "Tie-Oh-Tee".
- H.R. once sang this: "Jermah-miah was a bawl-froog, was done gun a good frendomyn!"
- He went bronco riding at a rodeo once. He didn't last 8 seconds. He didn't last .8 seconds.