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Short Stories

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Commuter Series
Paperback compilation of the four Commuter books

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Funny Stuff To Read OnThe Commuter Bus, Train, Plane, HOV Lane.

Preview-HOV Lane

Goodtime Charlie's Got The Blues

Cheap Whiskey, Cheap Bars, Cheap Women


Charlie downed another shot, sipped some beer to help it go down and glanced over at Martha, or Molly, or maybe Mary. He couldn’t remember and it didn’t matter. If she stayed for one more drink Charlie thought he’d get her into the back of his car. If he got her to stay for one more drink he knew she’d do it. He was Charlie Lowe. He was somebody- at least in this dinky, dead little town. He used to be somebody but now he just was somebody. If he didn’t get this babe he may as well join a monastery. At least there he’d get fed.

There was a time he always had a girl ready for the after-the-show party. He didn’t have any of those any longer. His agent, Stu Kraft, was always telling him he was,“lucky to get what he did get. You ain’t a star, Charlie.” Charlie knew that but some of these gigs barely paid his expenses. He had a three piece band when he could and they stayed a long as they didn’t get a better offer. His standard of living wasn’t what it once was and neither were his tastes.

He was staying at the low price motel. The only thing lower was the rent by the hour places. Charlie hadn’t sunk to that. Yet. He ate at the cheapest greasy-spoon around. He’d probably die from clogged arteries if not from a sex disease or an angry husband. The odds were about the same. He had to drive to gigs now and the van wasn’t all that new. It ran pretty good and was reliable so that was alright. It just looked like crap. He wished his backup band was as reliable as the van They looked like crap too. He never knew who would show up and in what shape.

Charlie was a rocker, pure and simple. At some places in the South he’d hear,“Hey, what’s that shit?” He would ignore it unless a beer bottle or a knife came his way. Then he’d slip into country with a rock beat. Those Southern rednecks were too drunk to notice that part.

Charlie would always bitch to Stu Kraft when he got those kind of jobs.&“Damn, Stu, I could have got shot there. What the Hell kind of manager are you?”

“Charlie, you’re lucky I get anything for you. You weren’t that big, you know. Maybe I can get you a gig at a county fair? How would that be?”

“How come ya can’t get me a week at Disney? Paul Revere and the Raiders get that.”

“Well, Charlie, you ain’t Paul Revere and the Raiders. You were never that big.”

“So? Who remembers that?”

“Umm, the folks at Disney. Maybe the Nebraska State Fair. You always enjoy that.”

“Yea, I like that. Those are good people there. They never throw anything at me. That’s good ‘cause they got a lot a shit just layin’ around. They got some really big shitballs there. Okay, ya get me that and I’ll leave ya be for a while. No more redneck places, okay?”

“Charlie, I always do the best I can for you, you know that.”

“No, I don’t know that. If this is your best I’d hate to see the clients that you can’t do much with. They must be suicidal.”

Charlie hung up. He knew he wouldn’t get any place with Stu. What could he do? Find another agent? Who’d take on an old rocker like him? No, Stu was it. Stu would never leave him because Stu wasn’t Mr. Music himself. Charlie didn’t think Stu did all that well. Maybe, just maybe, they were made for each other.


Charlie started to say something to the woman about leaving and noticed her head was on the bar top. At first he thought she had spilled some of her drink and was lapping it up. Charlie had done that a few times; more than a few times. Then he heard a snore. Damn it! She’s passed out! Charlie thought she could hold her liquor considering what she was. He didn’t think she was a pro but she was a hell of a good amateur. He figured the deal was he’d buy the booze and she pay him back in the car. Not now.

The bartender came over and looked at the woman. He looked at Charlie and said,&“You were one drink too many. I’ll call her husband to come and get her. He’s used to it.”

He’s used to it. Well, so was Charlie and he wasn’t any better when it comes right to it. Charlie wasn’t any better or worse. A real hooker would have been cheaper and more definite. Charlie hadn’t sunk to that either although he didn’t know why not.


Charlie staggered out of the bar and headed toward his van. He glanced up the street and spotted a cop car just barely poking out from an alley. No driving back to the motel He didn’t need a DUI in a small town. He could walk back to the motel in a few minutes. He wobbled up the street past the cops and then did something he was soon to regret. He went over to the car and yelled,&“Goodtime Charlie’s got the Blues if you get what I mean. Ha ha.” Charlie didn’t know why he’d done what he’d done. He liked cops. They never hassled him. Sometimes when he told them who he was they’d let him off with a warning. Sometimes they’d say,&“Who the Hell is Goodtime Charlie? Here you go.”

The next thing he knew he was on the sidewalk sucking concrete. He felt himself being cuffed and then yanked to his feet. One of the cops said,&“Public drunkenness is a crime too. You aren’t going to need that motel tonight. You are going to be our guest. You can laugh at that if you want. We aren’t sensitive.”


The Rob Saga The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.


There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.

They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.
See a preview.

Appalachia Again

More stories of the people of Appalachia.

More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.

Book is available as an e-book or in Paperback.

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Funny Stories Don Roble
Funny Stories
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