Tales of Bob Dean #3

It was five years ago, on a sunny Sunday afternoon in a town in Southern Maine called Saco, when I met Bob Dean for the first time.

Dean had gotten his head stuck between the slats of a picket fence outside the First Presbyterian Church of Saco.  He had pushed his head through the slats trying to get at a piece of Canadian Bacon lying on the grass in the church’s courtyard.  “Please help me free my head from this fence”, he implored, and taking pity on him, I approached the scene with the intent to give him a hand.

It was clear from the size of the opening and the sort of wedgy shape of his dome that any attempt to force Dean’s head back out the way it went in would result in snapping it clean off his neck.  Furthermore, we couldn’t stuff the rest of his body out between the boards, because of a large unsightly hump between his shoulder blades which faced from head to foot and another above his buttocks which went from left to right.

We tried lubing him up with a jug of rum I had on hand, in hopes of slipping him between the boards, but it only poured into his eyes and mouth, simultaneously blinding him and making him rubbery and immobile.  We thought of hammering down his shoulder blades to flatten him a bit, but he protested so loudly that he disrupted the
Presbyterian services going on a few yards away.  Nobody wants to deal with an entire congregation of angry Presbyterians, so after pondering the situation for a while, we decided that the best course of action was to knock out the slats which by this time were bruising his neck and pay the church later for the damage to the fence with a check from his wife.

I had a hammer in my car, and after an hour or so of labor which is testament to the high Presbyterian standards in fence construction, Dean’s head was liberated from the fence!  He was nervous and upset, and we agreed to go have some pie to celebrate his newly regained freedom.  I walked back to my car to put the hammer away, and had not gotten more than a few feet when I heard a surprised yelp of pain from behind me.

I turned to find Bob Dean, with his head wedged between two different slats on the same fence!  “What have you done, Bob Dean?” I asked him.  “You went and got your head stuck again.  You’ve wasted my entire jug of rum, and our whole afternoon!”

“You knew I was Bob Dean when you rescued me”, he said.  “It is my nature to grab at the church’s bacon.  I can not change what I am.”