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RECYCLING HUMANITY
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-493-6
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Humor/Speculative/Fiction/Adventure
eBook Length: 247 Pages
Published: September 2007
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

Martin Hammond, a brilliant but aging thoracic surgeon and Aaron Willoughby, well heeled wheeler dealer par excellence meet at the back window of a care facility. They make their escape together and wind up on Aaron’s friend Leona Miller’s doorstep with the announcement; "We’re running away from home together..." – the OLD FOLK’ HOME!

Reviews and Awards

Reviewer: Melissa Parcel

Aaron Willoughby and Dr. Martin Hammond find themselves in a place they don’t belong--an old folks’ home. When Aaron’s son Alton went out of town on business, his conniving wife, Blanche, checked Aaron into the nursing home against his will. She is determined to get her hands on his money, and is taking the steps she believes necessary to have him declared incompetent. The greedy members of Martin’s medical conglomerate faked some tests that said he had Parkinson’s disease in order to oust him out of his job and into the home.

One evening, with the help of a rubber doctor’s hammer and a pair of pliers, Aaron and Martin make a daring escape out the back window of Pleasant Hill Retirement Home to freedom. They end up at the home of Leona Miller, a lady friend of Aaron’s. There, they tell their individual tales and make plans for their futures. The two sixty-something men set out to right the wrongs done to them in the name of money hunger and corporate greed. Will Blanche catch up with Aaron and get ahold of the money? Will Aaron and Martin show the world that their lives aren’t over yet?

Recycling Humanity is just the breath of fresh air and humor needed in a good fiction novel. I enjoyed riding along with Aaron and Martin as they went about fighting the system that had done them wrong. Both men are hilarious and intelligent, the perfect foils for their enemies who are lacking a bit of ingenuity and brain power. It’s fun to read about the "little guy" making a difference and sending a message to the world.

Many of the portions of Recycling Humanity had me laughing out loud, for instance, the two men go searching for a new toe for Aaron amongst the winos, and when the toe is attached--it’s white and Aaron’s black. Beyond all of the humor is a touching story about friendship, family, and what it means to love others. This is a wonderful gem that will restore your hope in the human spirit. I highly recommend Recycling Humanity and urge you to pick up a copy today.

RECYCLING HUMANITY (Excerpt)


Chapter One

RATS!

The sun glistened on the lures fastened to Aaron’s hat as he turned to look toward the sound intruding on his privacy. The gleam of irritation in his eyes was enough to put at least a mild curse on anyone but Blanche, his self centered daughter-in-law and her coven of friends.

Aaron was as healthy in his sixties as he was in his thirties. The only time he had trouble moving was when his body didn’t agree with his brain and he didn’t want to move. This was one of those times.

Delaying moving as long as he safely could, he reeled his line in from the swimming pool. The sound of the approaching cars grew louder, they would clear the curve around the house in seconds. He shot a last venomous look toward the sound and scuttled like a burdened down pack rat to the pool house.

Drat! That’s the end of my fly casting today. Where’s that other lure? He found it caught on the hinge of his gear box and slammed the door shut behind him. Wouldn’t want to embarrass Blanche and her airhead friends, he told the scarred up treasure box.

He kicked off his slippers and plopped down on the sofa as if it were somehow to blame for the unwanted interruption. He stuffed a pillow under his head, still grumbling.

The heck I wouldn’t! I just don’t want to listen to her gripe about it. Comfort won out over temper and he closed his eyes with a sigh. Might be a good idea to plan a trip for myself next time Alton has a business trip to make. The way she’s been acting and trying to get information out of my secretary, she’s up to something, and it’s something that’s going to cost me money, from the questions she’s been asking. I’m prepared, but being braced for whatever she’s up to is hard on the nerves.

His thoughts were interrupted by a rap on his door. His daughter-in-law’s voice floated in the window.

"Aaron?"

Humpf! Sounds almost cheerful. I wonder who died?

"Aaron!" She banged with both hands on the innocent door that separated them.

Aaron smiled to himself, wondering if woodwork could cringe.

"You come open this door!"

That’s more like it. She must want something important. She’s not big on family visits. Aaron went to open the door, taking his time about it. He turned the knob and let the door swing open on its own. The first thing that was obvious, other than the bad temper, was Blanche was not alone.

"This is Aaron Willoughby," Blanche introduced him to the two men in white uniforms who stood there with her.

It was only half an introduction and Aaron didn’t acknowledge it, eyeing Blanche.

"We’ve come to take you for a ride," she announced assuming an unbecoming false brightness.

Aaron stood there, silent and suspicious. You look like a high fashion cat that’s swallowed some kind of designer canary, that’s for sure, I’ll give you that, was his grudging appraisal. But nothing you could come up with, including this, would surprise me.

Blanche’s mask of pleasantness began to crack like a faulty wax museum figure as the silence got embarrassing. She turned to the two men and motioned toward him. The two men took hold of Aaron’s arms, gently urging him toward the door. Aaron ignored them, refusing to budge.

"A ride? Where to? He addressed Blanche as if they were alone.

"To somewhere nice," she put her pleasant expression back on. "It’s a very nice place, you will like it there."

Aaron glanced down at the hands on his arms. "Yeah, it must be a barrel of laughs if they have to send two guys after you."

"Don’t give us any trouble," Blanche’s voice hardened, "You’re going."

"What makes you think I’m going? I never did take kindly to being ordered around."

Both white clad attendants had dropped their hands from his arms and stood looking for instructions from Blanche.

Aaron broke the silence, "You’re wondering if you can get me out of here without getting hurt." His eyes locked on the eyes of the tallest attendant who was closest to him. "Truth is, you can’t. I’m bigger than you."

Aaron grinned in an anticipation which was almost diabolic. "And I could use the exercise!" He put up his fists.

"This is futile, Aaron. Are we going to have to give you a tranquilizer or something to get any cooperation?" Blanche drew herself up, her back stiff and her face grim. She showed no signs of backing down. Aaron could see he had about as much chance as the designer canary.

"I’m not going anywhere without my car coat and my fishing hat."

"All right, that’s fine. I’ll get them for you while you put on your shoes."

Blanche pushed past him and he turned his attention to the two attendants. "So," he asked, "How’s the forced travel business," he imitated Blanche’s phony brightness. As he spoke, he looked down the drive, weighing his chances of escape. Without moving his eyes, he used one foot to scoot his slippers closer.

"We’re only doing our jobs, sir."

Then Blanche was back. "Here you are."

Aaron got his slippers on as Blanche returned and took his hat and coat from her. He put them both on before accepting the small shaving kit she handed him. He studied the little kit in his big hands, feeling like a bear with a peanut, and the determination hardened to put as many problems as possible in the way of Blanche’s plans, no matter what they were.

He held the kit up as if weighing it. "The execution must be tomorrow."

"Don’t be sarcastic. I’ll bring you some more clothes in a couple of days when your laundry comes back. You’ll make it all right."

Aaron felt comforted as well as protected in his old coat. He reached up and adjusted his fishing hat to a jaunty angle before stepping outside.

Might as well enjoy the human comedy, up to a point, that is. He looked happier at the moment than the two attendants, who watched him closely as they moved toward the van. He noted there was no name or logo painted on it.They’re right to be ashamed of themselves, he mumbled to himself.

This is it, the waiting’s over. I’m about to find out what she’s up to and how far she’ll go. Look at her, locking the door to the pool house like she’s in charge of everything including me with Alton gone on his business trip. Yeah, she’s been planning this, all right. But she’s dead wrong if she’s thinking she’s going to make all the rules in this little game of wits. Aaron’s jaw set as one of the men took his arm, supposedly to help him into the van.

"Sit right here, sir, watch your head there." The attendant was polite, but he held onto Aaron’s arm like it was his last chance at salvation.

Blanche got into her car and Aaron waited as the van driver got in. He saw what seemed to be some sort of restraints as he sat down.

"Should we," the younger attendant spoke softly to his partner, following Aaron’s gaze.

"Not unless you want to wear them back," his partner answered with a knowing glance at Aaron. "Shut the door."

The drive was not a long one. They turned into a drive just past a sign that said Pleasant Hill, and Aaron noted the name. The street sign was too far away to read. They stopped, letting Blanche pass then followed her car to park behind it. Aaron wondered briefly if parking was allowed at the entrance, not that Blanche would care about anyone’s rules but her own. She waited until the attendants made a show of assisting him out of the van, and they walked into the building together in a tight little knot.

Blanche and the two attendants stopped before a combination nurses’ station and admittance desk. Aaron stood between them, doing a good job of pretending he was not a member of their party, and wasn’t interested in anything they did or said.

They waited in silence as the woman behind the desk shuffled papers, then gave them a brief smile. "Here we are, sir. You must be Aaron Willoughby." Willoughby tilted up at the end like a polite question as he examined his surroundings, ignoring her.

His wandering attention was caught by a granite faced man in an office across a hall behind the desk. Looks like a ferret, he decided, then amended the thought with an apology to all the ferrets in the world both wild and in captivity, as he was soon to be.

The ferret got up and closed the door.

"That’s right," Blanche chirped, answering the woman. She had her phony brightness back, nodding to the woman like a bright kindergartner with the right answer to something the teacher asked.

"Is he¾ah," the woman paused and gave an imperceptible nod in his direction.

"Yes, he’s all right. He’s fine. Just having an attack of stubbornness, is all, he’s all right," Blanche hastily explained. "I’ll give you any information you need."

Blanche answered the questions and the woman made notes before looking up again. "That’s all I need for now. Just sign right here at the bottom, please."

Blanche took the sheet and read it quickly before signing it.

Aaron didn’t let his amusement show. She’s anxious to get rid of me, but not reckless enough to take any chances." He squelched the chuckle that rose in his throat and looked away at a potted plant.

The woman behind the desk took the paper back and darted a quick look at Aaron before addressing Blanche again. "I’m assigning him a room. There’s a twenty-five hundred dollar payment due now, which waives the entrance fee and pays the first month in advance exclusive of any extra supplies or medications he may need. The monthly bill is always to be paid a month in advance."

No one moved. The woman looked at Blanche, then at Aaron, who was still examining the foyer and the general decor.

I gave at the office, Aaron retorted mentally, eyeing the woman vacantly as if she hadn’t spoken English.

"Aaron," Blanche prodded.

Aaron moved nothing but his eyes, giving Blanche a look that would have stunned an army mule. Don’t see any reason to start talking now, he reasoned with himself, It would be downright hazardous to my bank balance. Let her figure it out. Maybe they’ll give her a discount on looks, since that’s all she’s got. He went back to studying the potted plant to keep from laughing in their faces. Parting with money was painful for Blanche.

Figuring it out didn’t take Blanche long. She fumed. Her high bosom heaving with frustration and aggravation, she fumbled in her oversized purse for her check book.

Thank you, Fredericks of Hollywood, Aaron sneered mentally.

Without a word or another look at Aaron, she hastily wrote a check and handed it to the woman behind the desk. She turned and left, her high heels sounding like staccato gunfire on the tile floor. She was still shaking with anger when she got back to her car.

Miserable old wart! Pure anger nearly choked her, she had fled like a demented escapee, fighting tears of rage. I should have thought of a way to tie this in with fishing. That and aggravating me are the only things he enjoys! She dashed hot tears of rage away and ground her teeth as she stomped the last few feet, threw herself into the driver’s seat and slammed the door. The tires screeched as she called Pleasant Hill’s one speed bump everything but helpful. She took a deep breath and pulled her BMW out into the stream of traffic, glad to be leaving Pleasant Hill and Aaron behind.