Son of a Gun

By Ed Staskus

   Godzilla and his grandson Goo Goo Godzilla looked out over the flat Caribbean Sea and leaning on their elbows lay down on the warm sand. The sun was rising bright and big all shades of orange. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

   “The secret to a good morning is watching the sunrise,” Godzilla said.

    They were on the uninhabited island of Chacachacare. It was once named Caracol by Christopher Columbus, which means snail in Spanish. It is part of the Bocas Islands spread out between Trinidad and Venezuela. It has an automated lighthouse along with a radar dish. It was where nuns nursed lepers long ago. 

   It was also where Godzilla battled tooth and nail and beat down Anguirus before Goo Goo was born. Since then, nobody wanted to go there anymore. Some Bocas islanders said the ghost of Anguirus roamed the beach at night, complaining it hadn’t been a fair fight.

   Goo Goo yawned. They had been laying around in the sun for a week. It was their last day of vacation in the tropics. Godzilla was planning on flying east to visit his archenemy and best friend King Kong on Skull Island. Goo Goo was flying up to Perry, Ohio to visit his pal Oliver, the Unofficial Monster Hunter of Lake County, and then taking off for home in Japan.

   “It’s been a blast, pops,” he said.

   “I wish you wouldn’t call me that,” Godzilla sighed.

   They didn’t have any packing to do or travel arrangements to make so they stayed lazy sand bound until the afternoon, snoozing and snorting in their sleep. When the time came to go Godzilla unleashed a mighty bellow of fire and rocketed backwards up into the sky. Outside a small circle of friends few knew the monsters could fly. He wagged his tail goodbye. Goo Goo got going and headed north.

   He landed in Oliver’s backyard, which butted up to a wide deep field where there was a small evangelical church and a 140-foot-high cell phone tower. That’s an eyesore, Goo Goo thought. He wasn’t as tall as the tower, but he was getting there.

   After high fives Oliver and Goo Goo caught up, sat down to orange juice and PB&J sandwiches, and took a nap. After they woke up Goo Goo asked Oliver if he wanted to go for a ride.

   “You bet I do, big fella,” Oliver said.

   “Bundle up, buddy, it’s cold up there.”

   Oliver tucked himself under the armored scales covering Goo Goo’s second brain, where his tail was attached, and they blasted off. Looking for warmer air Goo Goo headed south. He turned right over Tennessee, planning on looping over Oklahoma before heading back to Ohio. When they were over Tulsa Goo Goo noticed a huge gathering at the fairgrounds. He swooped lower to get a better look.

   It was the Tulsa Arms Show, the largest firearms show in the world with over 4,000 tables inside a gigantic 11-acre air-conditioned room. The show featured old and modern guns, flintlocks and repeaters, Peacemakers and troublemakers. American flags were flapping all over the place. It was a super spectacle.

   Goo Goo didn’t like guns. None of the Godzilla’s did, even though guns were useless against them. It was a personal thing with the family. When Goo Goo landed with a mighty thump men and women came running out and when they saw him, started yelling and blazing. The bullets ricocheted and bounced away. Goo Goo was annoyed. He swept his tail in an arc and everybody fell every which way.

   A tall man waving his fist ran at him firing a non-stop Colt AR15. Goo Goo picked him up and tossed him into a garbage dumpster. The man popped up covered in old grease and filth.

   “I’m Wayne LaPierre,” he shouted. “I run the National Rifle Association and you’re going to pay for this! I’ve killed 10,000-pound elephants, you un-American oaf.” Goo Goo didn’t like that. He wasn’t an oaf and elephants weren’t dangerous unless you messed with them. All they wanted to do was find and eat their 200 pounds of food a day.

   You’re more like Wayne Pepe le Pew in my book, Goo Goo giggled. When more angry men and women wearing tinny NRA badges rushed him shooting their guns, he flung them into the dumpster, too. It was a mess in there. The hometown rats jumped ship and ran away.

   “I’ll show them some guns,” he muttered.

   He flew off towards Japan, the dumpster firmly in his grip. He forgot all about Oliver. When he landed in Godzilla Town, he turned the dumpster upside down and everybody fell out. Goo Goo herded them towards the Museum of Useless Weapons. It was where many of the peashooters used against the Godzilla’s were on display. There were handguns machine guns grenades mortars recoilless rifles flamethrowers artillery more artillery rocket launchers and jet fighters. None of them had ever made a dent.

   Oliver peeked out from Goo’s Goo’s tail.

   “I’ve never seen so many guns in my life, not even on TV,” Oliver tapped out in Morse code on the giant’s second brain. It was how all monsters talked to each other.

   “How many do you have?” Goo Goo asked.

   “I don’t have any.”

   “How do fight monsters if you don’t shoot them?”

   “I use negotiation, persuasion, coercion, hypnosis, sleight of hand, bushwhacking and booby traps, a knock on the head, and if worse comes to worse, my friend the honey badger in the back woods helps me out.”

   “Homey badger? What can a honey badger do?”

   “Honey badgers eat poisonous snakes for breakfast. They can do anything because they’re not afraid of anything. Once a honey badger has you in its sights, it’s every man for himself.”

   “I could squash him with my little toe.”

   “I wouldn’t try it if I were you,” Oliver said, a sly smile on his face.

   Goo Goo made a mental note to find out more about honey badgers. There was no sense in tempting fate. Maybe one of his kith and kin had run into them and knew what their secret powers were.

   Oliver was listening in on Goo Goo’s brain. “No secrets,” he tapped out. “They don’t have any weaknesses, either.”

   After touring the museum Oliver said he had to go home. His mom and dad would be worried. He was only six years old, after all. Goo Goo frog marched the NRA gang back to the garbage dumpster. They climbed in, grumbling. When Wayne Pepe le Pew hesitated, Goo Goo gave him a kick, sending him flying. He landed in the dumpster. Goo Goo slammed the lid shut.

   “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

   Halfway back to the USA he got tired of the mad men banging and hollering inside the dumpster. He dropped it on Pitcairn Island, an isolated volcanic hunk of limestone about 1,000 miles east of Tahiti. He and Oliver were back in Perry, Ohio in record time. The evening was happening on the shores of Lake Erie.

   “See you later, old buddy,” Oliver said. His sister Emma came running with a hot dog in one hand and pink lemonade in the other. Goo Goo Godzilla fired up his atomic breath, winked and waved so long muchacho, and hit the road, the sky gone nonchalant in the approaching sunset. 

Ed Staskus posts feature stories on Paperback Yoga 147 Stanley Street and Lithuanian Journal To get the site’s monthly feature in your in-box click on “Follow.”