THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 135
…Braden King recalls Roy’s turn-of-the-century (21st) brushes with death and matrimony…
“Hot dogs, pizza puffs, mac & cheese, and Kool-Aid, that’s pretty much it, but I managed to talk my way onto an adult menu.” Braden describes eating in a hospital.
“That’s the food, now what about the drugs and do they make them strong enough to tame you down?” Francine wants to know.
“Tame me or tie me down? When the boys went missing, I guessed that pushed me over the edge,” the stricken man admits. “Don’t you have a real job to go to Francine?”
“Naw, I trashed that gig when I agreed to fly off to Jamaica with you-know-who.”
“Yeah? Wow! I didn’t see that coming.”
“Do you think I was expecting this? I have been a big fan of Roy for a while now, but that man has got into my head and I don’t think that there is a cure for what ails me.”
“You got the Creeping Crippen! You can’t get it out of your clothes and that stain it leaves on your heart does not wash out.”
“You are his best friend Braden, so tell me the truth: Why has he never married?”
He takes her aside, “Well there he was, got his first big break after becoming an astronaut, pegged to test-pilot out a nuclear powered shuttle prototype. He was engaged to a Florida socialite at the time and she didn’t like him leaving the atmosphere, especially when she learned the nickname for test pilots, it starts
with an “L”.”
“That’s a good one, but no–Lab Rats,” he recalls Roy’s turn-of-the-century (21st) brushes with death and matrimony. “When he came back to Earth, she had gone with her parents to Europe and he never heard from her again. Six months later she made headlines by marrying a 70 yr. old Greek winemaker…wasn’t right for him anyhow, but he never got over losing.”
“Was he heartbroken?” Francine loves to guess.
“No. She never gave him his diamond ring back. That’s what he hated losing!”
“Never mind “Nurse No-Fun”; that’s what the other kids call her.”
“Other kids?” Francine gives him a one-armed hug, careful not to disturb all the tubes and machines. “We will see you tomorrow, Braden. Come on boys, this filly needs to pick out a bunk.”
It is Braden’s home but, “Roy’s room at the ranch is the last door on the left. It has its own bath and I told the cleaning gal you would be coming.”