A conversation with Mel Meekham

Hello. It’s great to meet you. Great.

Tell me a bit about yourself. Mmmn. Yes. Mmmhmn. Terrific. Well that all sounds terrific.

Can I ask you something? Have you ever been on the World Wide Web? You have. Terrific. And what are your thoughts? Very insightful. Have you been to a site called Vagina Voyage? Vagina Voyage dot com? That’s my site. I take the pictures, I find the models. Find them at the beach and at the mall usually. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a young woman to take off her clothes for the camera? It’s not very difficult at all. The key, I don’t mind telling you, is to use a French accent when you speak. Like zeese. You say to zem, you say, Hello, you are very byooteefool. I am a photographer een town from France, here to tek some fancy photographs. You weel allow me to tek your photograph?

What do you think of that? Very impressive rather undersells it. You’d realize that if you’d visited Vagina Voyage.

I’ll tell you something. I used to be a gymnast. Spectacular sport, gymnastics. The sport of eagles. It requires absolute discipline of the body and the mind. My specialty was flips. I could do flips all day, backward and forward. I could stand in place and turn as many flips at a go as you’d ever want to see, up to ten in one jump. Strong legs, that’s the key. I could stand on the floor and leap into the air and turn half a dozen flips then land on top of a chest of drawers. That was easy for me, and the judges loved me for it.

Ever been to Transylvania? Home of the vampire. You’d better believe they’re real. Can’t be killed, either. Stakes, sunlight, holy water — all a myth. You’ve got to pacify them, feed them what they love: moth balls. Moth balls and cold, rigid logic. A vampire loves a logic game more than the average joe. Same can be said for his feelings on moth balls, I suppose.

Now werewolves, that’s a different breed altogether. They can be killed readily enough. But the question that pops into your head when you first encounter one is, why would I ever want to harm such a gregarious animal? Friendly as a golden retriever. I know what they say, but somewhere the wires got crossed. Werewolves are the friendliest animals you’d ever want to meet. I only ever killed one wolfman, and he was in human form at the time. Walked in on yours truly and his sister taking some photographs and started shouting. To his credit, she was very young and not all there mentally.

Any interest in the demolition derby? I used to race demolition derby when I was your age. I loved it a great deal, swore there was nothing else in the world. Got to the point where I was organizing the events. That’s when I really started to have fun with it. Used to drive a great big monster truck with eight-foot tall wheels. You’ve never seen naked fear until you’ve looked into the eyes of the other drivers in their beat up Dodge Darts and station wagons as I drive into the ring in a twenty foot tall monster truck. In the derby you have a set of regulations that every car has to adhere to with regards to weight, and of course I was way over. But since I paid the judges salaries…

I used to have the ref who checked the cars sneak a microphone and tape deck into the back seat and later I’d listen to the tapes to hear the drivers’ reactions when I rolled into the stadium sitting on 12 tons of car-compactor. I was surprised to learn there wasn’t a lot of cussing. You’d get one type of guy who’d start praying, another type who’d say ‘hold the phone’, and that’s about it. I’d sneak those tapes onto the P.A. at the funerals and just watch the family get all confused at first then very upset.

Ever date a girl you work with? It can be tough, I’ll tell you. I’ve got a young lady living with me, I met her through Vagina Voyage, and I’ll tell you, there’s no end to the favors they expect. Says she’s too good to ride the bus to school, wants me to have my driver take her. I said as soon as you’re old enough to drive, I’ll let you use any car you want out of the garage, but Raymond has to be available to me at the drop of a hat. I can’t have him halfway to school and the orphanage calls saying they just got triplets.

I was raised by my grandfather, who was a sheriff out in Arizona. Killed twenty-eight people in the line of duty. I’ve got his old Colt, twenty-eight notches filed into the barrel. He used to let me hold it when I was a boy. Told me the main thing was if you even half-wondered whether you should shoot, you should shoot. That old man lived to be a hundred and two. Chalked up eight of his kills during his last year as sheriff, two of them women. They made him retire after that. I’ve got an old holster of his you wear under your jacket. I like to carry that Colt around with me. Feels like part of him’s still alive.

Converse with Mel Meekham now on the discussion board.