Bobby Dixon, “Tartan Punch Machine”

Dixon_NewHeader_1.5fiction by Bobby Dixon


Picture this, dude: It would be summer and he would still be wearing long sleeves and maybe even a jacket. More than likely he would be wearing a jacket. He dressed like a Canadian all year round. The kind of Canadian that lives in a cabin in a small village town where everyone knows each other because Canadians are super fucking friendly and always have fires in the fireplace. Even in the summer they have a fire. Maybe. He always had a beard and wore a knit hat on his head. He left Canada with a particular style of dress that he never outgrew because he moved to the South at such an impressionable age. I mean, whatever. He dressed in Canadian drag.

He would jog in full sweat suits and knit hats under the Florida summer sun. We never really talked about it, but agreed it was pretty tough of him. He was really tough to do things like that. It garnered a silent respect for the Canadian who transplanted to the swamps of the South. I mean, of course this worked because he was one of the last living Vikings, genetically speaking. And descendants of Vikings never really get too hot. That’s a scientific fucking fact. Ask your dads.

He had a really cool Viking war-hammer named Crunch. There were real people bits smashed into the head of the hammer. He said the blood and gut stuff had been there for generations. He said the blood had pretty much turned into amber by now, that it had crystallized. He used the hammer to flatten chicken meat to make stuffed chicken breast. And every time he made stuffed chicken breast it was really tasty. Like I just drooled on my space bar as a result of thinking about his stuffed chicken breast and the history and genetic material that was pounded into it.

And even though up to now he’s been living in Florida longer than he lived in Canada, where the last of the true Vikings live—Not Europe!—Thanksgiving still seems very alien to him, and in a way he seems just a little bit more alien to us on Thanksgiving. Maybe he just seems a little bit more Canadian on American Thanksgiving.

It would be eighty degrees on Thanksgiving and he would be dressed in long sleeves and pants!

He would be beating someone up, beating their face in—breaking his knuckle skin across some one’s chipped teeth, breaking finger skin across some one’s broken cheek bone—and would break into a Viking sweat as one does when overexerting themselves violently. But he would never take off his jacket or roll up his sleeves. He would just sweat right into his clothes and really give them a good soaking. He was alien that way. Or Canadian that way. He had to be the descendant of some super mean Viking. A blond Viking. Because he was blond, by the way.

Sometimes when he would get overexerted from beating someone to death, his blond hair would actually change color to super bright red hair. It was really something. We all kind of thought it was very titillating.

For Thanksgiving he came over and brought, after I had begged him many times to do so, poutine. He served it in a human skull from his skull collection, and it was delicious. Like I just drooled on my space bar as a result of thinking about that poutine, and I also kind of drooled thinking about that skull, too.

He said that there was a weird depressive gene in all Vikings, and since so many Vikings had raped so many people—dude, they raped so many people—that more than likely anyone who suffers from clinical depression is more than likely descended, at some point in their genetic lineage, from a Viking. Anyone suffering from environmental depression, he said, probably came from a Visigoth or something gross like that.

He shaved his massive beard once and donated it to kids who had lost their beards from chemotherapy. The kids who received his beard wigs all got cured pretty quickly.

The cure for depression according to him was to do Viking things. We didn’t believe him at first. We did not believe him until that one time when he had that girlfriend who got pregnant, and doing Viking things got too complicated. Like it got too hard to do Viking things while preparing to bring a child into the modern world, so he had to let go of the Canadian Viking thing.

Carrying a Viking baby is super demanding, physically speaking. And here’s a taste of that demand: just getting inseminated broke her pelvis, herniated an ovary, and somehow pickled part of her urethra. Her gestation period was a small genocide. Let us not go there.

As a provider the Canadian was great, if all that you needed included panther and alligator carcasses and a huge stack of logs in the backyard that the Canadian chopped down and hauled back by himself. But that does not pay the bills. I mean, it could pay the bills if the Canadian sold them and used the money to pay bills. But he just gave the lumber and carcasses away when anyone asked because that was the Canadian thing to do. Or the alien thing to do.

So he got an office job with benefits and worked there for a year and rose to the top of the office that same year!

Then the little baby shot out of his mother with a velocity that broke the doctor’s wrists, shooting birth gore all over the birthing cottage. The Canadian took a slight paternity leave. We did not see him so much that year, but when we did we all silently noted that he got fat and his beard got weak. He even started to get freckles that looked absolutely malignant. We would ask him how his baby was doing, if they had eaten all of the placenta yet and stuff like that, and he would just pathetically nod. Do you want to go throw hammers at things, we would say. And he would shrug. He was so depressed.

Finally he broke up with his girlfriend, and then he broke up with his son and went back to being a real feral Canadian, wore his best tartan shirts and lit up the night by cracking hammers and cudgels on people’s heads. And sometimes if he smashed them hard enough there would be sparks coming off of the skulls from the impact, and that is what I mean when I say light up the night.

When he sparked off someone’s head, we called it Canadian fireworks. Even though saying “Canadian fireworks” is really super racist and fucked up to say around Canadians. But we decided to reclaim that phrase because our version was tough as fuck and didn’t have all the corporate and rape connotations of the original epithet. I mean, it was hilarious. All that violence and fireworks would crash through the sky, and I guess some of us needed something like that.



Bobby Dixon