Funny stories in under 500 words.

Jimmy Dombrowski’s Sock

As I sat in the bar waiting to meet a friend from work, Mickey the white-haired owner of the place pointed with pride to framed photos of celebrities who had visited the bar on various occasions: mostly politicians, local news anchors, and athletes. One picture looked familiar. “Is that Cher?” I asked.

“Nah, that’s Kenny Kovalesky. He’s a neighborhood guy that dresses in women’s clothes. He comes in on Saturday nights, drinks cosmopolitans, and wins money arm wrestlin’ guys that don’t know he’s a man.”

Continuing to scan Mickey’s wall of fame, I noticed a frame enclosing a sweat sock instead of a picture. “Does that sock belong to a famous athlete?” I asked.

“No, that’s Jimmy Dombrowski’s sock. He’s one of our regular customers.”

“Why is it framed?”

“That’s the sock he was wearin’ when Richard Nixon pissed on him.”

“President Nixon?”

“Yep, Tricky Dick himself.”

“How’d that happen?”

“Well, it was back in ’72. Nixon was in town reviewing damage from the Hurricane Agnes flood. Our congressman told him that I had provided food and drinks to the Red Cross after the flood, so Nixon wanted ta stop by, shake my hand, and get a couple o’ pictures since it was an election year. He thanked me for bein’ a good American, then asked if he could use the men’s room.

“He headed back ta the john with two secret service guys. I guess he really hada go ‘cuz he got ta the urinal before his guards completely checked out the place. So they didn’t notice Jimmy Dombrowski in the stall sittin’ on the hopper. Just then Jimmy flings the door open and comes outta the stall pullin’ up his pants and cursin’ about his hemorrhoids. That scared the hell outta the secret service guys and one o’ them throws Jimmy against the wall while the other one grabs Nixon to protect him. Well Nixon was in mid-stream and ends up squirtin’ Jimmy’s ankle.

“After they realize that Jimmy is harmless, Nixon said, ‘I’m sorry but these guys were just doin’ their job.’ Jimmy, still holdin’ his pants up with one hand, says, ‘That’s OK it was a nice change. Usually when republicans are in charge people around here get shit on.’ Nixon didn’t like that too much so he zipped his fly walked outa the place without even sayin’ good bye.

“When Jimmy told us what happened I said, ‘I never got a chance to get Nixon’s picture so gimme your sock and I’ll frame that instead. So there it is original stain n’ all.”

Mickey was off tending to another customer when my friend arrived. I asked him if he had ever heard the story of Jimmy Domrowski’s sock.

“Oh sure, lots o’ times.”

“Is it true?”

“I dunno. All I can tell ya is the last time I didn’t believe Mickey I lost fifty bucks arm wrestlin’ some guy in an evening gown.”

This story was written by Michael J. Moran, a retired university professor living in Alabama. Having left behind the writing of scientific articles and text books, he now writes short stories and flash fiction reflecting the people and culture of the anthracite coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania where he was raised. He is a member of the Chewacla Writers Guild. His work has appeared in such publications as Hobo Pancakes, Clever Magazine, and Midnight Circus.


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