Son of a Gun

By Ed Staskus

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

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

   They were on the uninhabited island of Chacachacare. It was long ago 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 once nursed lepers. 

   It was also where Godzilla battled tooth and nail and beat the hell out of 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 and stretched. 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 to Perry, Ohio to visit his pal Oliver, the Unofficial Monster Hunter of Lake County, and then taking off for home. Japan was home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   Oliver tucked himself into 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 across Oklahoma before heading back to Ohio. While they were surveying Tulsa in OK Land, Goo Goo noticed an immense gathering at the fairgrounds. He swooped lower to get a better look.

   It was the Tulsa Arms Show, the biggest baddest show in the world with over 4,000 vendors inside an 11-acre air-conditioned auditorium. The carnival featured old and modern guns, flintlocks and repeaters, Glock troublemakers and Colt Peacemakers. American flags flapped all over the place. Posters for “MAGA” were everywhere. It was a super-duper spectacle.

   Goo Goo didn’t like guns. None of the Godzilla clan did, even though pulling the trigger was useless against them. It was a personal thing with the monsters. Wherever Goo Goo landed in the civilized world men and women always came running, and when they saw him, started bellowing and blazing away. The bullets ricocheted off him. Goo Goo was never not annoyed about it, although it would take a nuclear bomb to knock him off his feet. 

   When he and Oliver landed at the firearms grab bag a tall man shaking his little fist ran at them firing a state-of-the-art AR15. His back pockets were full of hundred-dollar bills. Goo Goo picked him up and tossed him into a garbage dumpster. He used the AR15 as a toothpick before chucking it aside. The man popped up covered in old grease and new filth.

   “I’m Wayne LaPierre,” he shouted. “I run the National Rifle Association and you’re going to pay for this! I’ve shot and killed 10,000-pound elephants, you big un-American oaf.” Goo Goo didn’t like that. Whatever happened to southern hospitality? 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 said. When more angry mad men and women wearing NRA badges rushed him shooting their guns, he tossed them into the dumpster, too. It was a mess in there. The rats munching on leftovers jumped ship and ran away as fast as they could.

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

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

   Oliver peeked out from under Goo 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 reptile’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,” Oliver said.

   “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 gives me a hand.”

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

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

   “I could squash him with my little toe,” Goo Goo said.

   “I wouldn’t try it if I were you,” Oliver said, a sly grin on his face. “The honey badger don’t care.”

   Goo Goo made a mental note to find out more about the beasts. 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 seven years old, after all. Goo Goo frog marched the NRA mob back to the garbage dumpster. They climbed in, complaining. When Wayne LaPierre hesitated, Goo Goo gave him a kick, sending him flying. He landed in the dumpster on his silky as a sow’s butt. Goo Goo slammed the lid shut because it smelled bad.

   “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

   Halfway back to the USA he got sick and tired of the NRA loose cannons banging and hollering inside the dumpster. He dropped it on Pitcairn Island, a God-forsaken volcanic hunk of limestone about 1,000 miles east of Tahiti. “I should have dropped them off at the Ninth Circle of Hell,” Goo Goo thought.

   He and Oliver were back in Perry in record time. The evening was sweet 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. She waved to Goo Goo with her foot. He fired up his atomic breath, winked and waved so long muchacho, and hit the road, the sky going pretty as a picture in the approaching sunset. 

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