I was stationed for a few years at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. CJ and I lived off base in a trailer court. The base was about four hours from her home. CJ’s parents and King Shannon would come for frequent visits. We looked forward to those visits. Her dad would always take us out to eat. That was a good thing for a newly married couple living on an army private’s income.
By this time, King Shannon had finally come to accept me as a member of his family. That, of course, made his visits with me a little less stressful. But even though he came to my kingdom to visit, he made it clear he was in charge. He told me every time he came. I never did challenge his authority over me.
A terrible thing happened to King Shannon on one of his visits. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in his world paid the consequences. He was ruthless with his reprimands.
The day started out as all other days of visits began. As usual, we left my castle for the trek to the local Walmart and KFC. This ritual would usually last four to five hours. The king never went with us on these trips. Before leaving though, we would make sure his personal needs were taken care of. The King had no problems with this routine. He would gleefully greet us upon our return.
However, on this Sunday the routine was unknowingly changed. We humans tried to ruin King Shannon’s life. That’s what he told us.
On that fateful day, we returned from town, opened the trailer door, and…..no Shannon. We hesitated at the door for a moment. The king always met us at the door. Perhaps the king was sleeping and didn’t hear us yet? We certainly did not want to rudely awake our king. We quietly called out our king’s name. No answer. We entered the castle and called his name a little louder. Still no answer. Then a little louder now…no answer.
We all were getting concerned. Maybe he got out? He was an old king. Maybe he was not able to come to us anymore?
The family quickly spread out over the trailer, calling his name. Richard, my father-in-law, remained on watch at the open door. Maybe King Shannon had some-how managed to get out and was waiting outside for us to return?
CJ and her mother headed through the living room for the kitchen. I headed down the hallway to check the bedroom and bathroom. For some reason, the doors were closed. We never close them when we leave. Even though it was not his kingdom, he had access to it all.
Nothing was happening in the kitchen or living room. Nothing happened when I opened the bedroom door. I thought I heard a noise coming from the bathroom. I opened the door, and all I can remember is a little brown fuzzy ball flying past me, heading for the open door. It was King Shannon. In a blink of an eye, he was through the open door and in the road taking care of his business.
I guarantee it is not what you are thinking.
King Shannon was declaring to the entire trailer park that his subjects tried to usurp his power. How dare us try to do such a terrible thing? Each and every one of us, his devoted subjects, told King Shannon the moment we saw him in the street how sorry we were. We pleaded with him for forgiveness. The more we pleaded, the angrier he got.
My father-in-law was especially sorry. You see, he was the last one in the bathroom. He was unaware King Shannon was visiting him there. Apparently, Richard allowed the door to close behind him and was unaware our king would be captured inside.
Our pleading did not matter to the king. With smoke coming from his ears, he sat there in the street and cussed us out for the next fifteen solid minutes. Oh! The vulgarity that oozed from his lips. Every single car entering the park stopped, I am sure to this day that the people in those cars had never heard such language.
Then, just as suddenly as his tirade began, it was over. He told us we were never to speak of this to him again.
And we never did.