Harry Loves Benny. OUT in the Woods. Part 1 Snake Oil Johnson

Snake Oil Johnson

(Tales from Queer Artists Memory Banks and Then Some. )

Snake Oil Johnson live way out-of-town. If one followed the railroad tracks in the direction of Colchester, pass by the mud hole, cross over the Rapallo Viaduct, walk through the large granite and brownstone cuttings and then right after the cuttings look over to the left where a large elderberry tree grows, there you’ll see two well-worn paths. Take the well-worn path on the right as the one to the left will bring you to Devils Hop Yard where you don’t want to go unless you are with a guide. Once on the well-worn path you’ll have to walk for about a mile and you will come to his cabin nestled in the woods. (Now I wouldn’t attempt all this going unless you know Old Snake Oil Johnson.) Snake Oil had been living there for over 150 years some say. He just keeps getting younger each year. He got the magic some say, stay away from him or he just may suck your life out of your body and then live another 50 years.

“Marlarkey,” my grandma always said when folks in town talked about old Snake Oil. He’s just like you and me only older, maybe wiser, certainly in very good health for a man his age and yes he knows about the old ways, and yes he can give you some leafs or ground roots and your sickness will leave you, and yes he dances in the full moon light naked as a jaybird, and yes he has skulls of rabbit, skull of coon, skull of possum (see above) and I don’t know what the other large one is but it’s not old Mary Talbert who went walking in those woods 40 years ago and never returned home. Nope couldn’t be her as that skull isn’t a human one.

Some say Mary Talbert just kept on walking and walked to Willimantic then took the train back forgot to get off and ended up in New York City which she liked so much she just stayed there forgetting all about her 4 kids, lazy husband, and all the work she had to do back in the woods outside of Goon City. “She’s off living the high life,” Helga Martinson said, “dancing on the stage as if she were 25. She was always one who liked what the men had to give and could ride it as long as the men could keep it up and in.” So some say that was her claim to fame and that is what she did in New York. “Stories, stories, stories, I spit on the ground over all these stories,” Anna said, “Helga that isn’t very nice to say about a disappearing neighbor, that no one really knows what happened to her. She told everyone she was going out to pick wild grapes that grew over in the woods about 2 miles from Snake Oils place, basket in hand out she went.” Helga had known Mary Talbert since they both were in 3rd grade so the jury would always come down on her side concerning Mary Talbert.

Artists fanciful rendering of Old Snake Oil Johnson’s Cabin. (Note the head under the tree to the left.)

Old Jep Turner said that she jumped off the Rapallo Viaduct and went on to meet her maker, who then sent her directly to hell for doing such a dirty deed. Couldn’t take all those screaming brat kids and that lazy husband anymore. She was just sick of doing all the work, and scratching out a living. Yap since she was in the devils hands old Snake Oil had a field day with her body and she lies or the parts he didn’t use to make his magic buried somewhere in between here and there. People went out looking for her, searching the woods and the creek but all anyone ever found was nothing. Nope not even a trace. Not a small piece of anything, a little bit to say she was here, by this small cloth, this torn from her bosom, this shoe, this ring, this lock of hair, this finger. Yes here it is we found a small piece of Mary Talbert. But everyone came up with nothing, nothing at all was left of Mary Talbert. She was gone.

Beware the Harvest Moon around the Rapallo Viaduct.

That woman vanished into thin air. But Jep always said that on the Harvest moon, one could hear her scream. Not a very pretty sound at all. Enough to make a grown woman stand up and take notice that something wasn’t at all right somewhere around the Rapallo Viaducts. If you hear that sound,don’t know what you are doing in that neck of the woods at night anyway, get your ass out of there. No telling what might happen.

The Rapallo Viaduct over Flat Brook. One would need wings to survive a jump from up there.

“Maybe,” said Molly Evans always wanting to get words in edgewise and then some, “Old Snake Oil didn’t want her in his neck of the woods picking his wild grapes. Next she would be coming around gathering the acorns, walnuts, and elderberries.” Well that’s Old Snake Oil’s life hood, his food “git off and out of my land woman.” That was one thing we were told about Old Snake Oil Johnson. Don’t go anywhere near his land unless you knew him and he did you. Of course add to that he had to like you. You could know him all you wanted to but if Old Snake Oil Johnson didn’t like you were toast or as Molly said and could end up in his stew pot. Nope better to stay away from the place. Well that didn’t deter Benny. Nope not on your life. If Old Snake Oil caught him he would say his grandma sent him to deliver a package to him. Got to get a package that Old Snake Oil would like. I wonder what I can wrap up and bring to him? Need to plan this trip if I want to go snooping around his place and see what I can see.

Benny was like that he liked to snoop around the place, any place would do. It was like a bit of going away, seeing something different. He never failed to pick up something on his snoops either. Got to have a little something from my trips or I just might forget I was even there. Once when he was 8 he got into Miss Hill’s house when he knew that the brother and sister pair, Harlan and Lilly weren’t home and took a good look around. Everyone at that time left their doors open, maybe keys hadn’t been invented in Goon City yet I don’t know, but people were sure trusting back in those days. So you see I snuck in. No one saw me as the Hill’s house was at the end of the road with large out buildings blocking the sight from the Bevan’s factories. In their kitchen door I went just to see what I could see and maybe take a little something for my souvenir box.

The Hills were nice people, always gave out candy and cakes to the kids. They had the best Halloween table in all of Goon City. It was a table set where the kids stayed and ate. All sorts of stuff from small wieners to a 3 layer sheet cake all decorated for the season. Yup, good people as far as we could see. Jenny Galvin use to say that Harlan liked to feel up little girls if and when he got them to sit on his lap. Want a little candy girlie, come here and sit on my lap. Let me get my old pole working on your sweet little behind.

“Um, Um,” thought Benny, “I like it, I like it.” Young Benny would have loved to take a seat on Harlan’s lap and feel his pole on his young sweet ass. He wanted a man so bad he would do anything just to taste one. Fuck that Jenny, I want to sit on his lap. Guess since he likes a girlie I will have to put on my mothers wig, and my sisters dress and go knocking on his door. Next time when I go snooping just maybe I will steal a pair of his underwear when I get to his bedroom. A nice pair that hasn’t been in the washing, a pair where I can still see where his whanger has been kept under cover. I’d do anything to sniff some of that good perfume left over from where his dick laid around. Now I would like that. Benny knew he liked men, he liked everything about them. All though he never had a real grown up man he knew what he liked and it was men. Benny would give anything for a man to play with his dick. Got to plan another snoop soon. “I’m 13 now and interested in things that I wasn’t when I was 8, maybe I can find something good, and maybe I will find something to bring to Old Snake Oil Johnson.” Something that he would like living way out there in the woods.

Freddie came by on Friday evening and said, “Grandma wants me to take a hike out to Old Snake Oil Johnson’s place. She got some things to deliver to him. I’ll be leaving at 8am in the morning. You wanna go to?” Of course, damn fucking straight I want to go. Kill two birds with one stone. Get to see the world out side of Goon City and get to take a look around Old Snake Oil Johnson’s place. Been there only twice in my life before once with my grandmother, Freddie’s grandma and us kids when we were picking Christmas greens and once with my uncle who wouldn’t let me inside when Old Snake Oil and he were entertaining each other. Had to sit out on the porch with the mangy old dog listening to them thump thump and waiting for them to finish what men do locked away in the house away from the prying eyes of children.

Visiting Old Snake Oil Johnson, or Mr. Johnson as Freddie’s Grandma said.

Freddie’s grandma had some herbal medicine and salves that she had made, a paper bag of freshly made biscuits, 2 jars of grape jelly, a can or two of beans, a couple of cans of corned beef and some dried herbs that Snake Oil couldn’t get around his place. Quite a sack to carry. “You boys take turns carrying the sack, don’t drop it, and don’t break the jars of jelly.” Be careful crossing the viaduct, there shouldn’t be any trains to worry about since its Saturday just stay on the walkway and you’ll be okay. Remember after the rock cuts take the well worn path near the Elderberry Tree that goes to the right and soon you will come to his cabin. There’s 2 sandwiches and a jug of tea for both of you in there, and remember don’t bother Mr. Johnson and don’t beg for a quarter. Get back here before dark mind you or you may get lost or chased by some spook out there in the woods. Remember keep away from the hobo’s camp and if you see one walking on the track say, howdy and go on your way.

Up early on Saturday couldn’t hardly contain his excitement Benny ran to Freddie’s house at the stroke of a quarter to eight. Don’t want to be late for this excursion and wouldn’t want Freddie to start out without me. Which I know he never would as he believed those tales about a headless, armless, Mary Talbert floating around near the Viaduct just waiting to catch a little boy for lunch. Nope not him, he would never go at it alone not when he could bring me. Don’t know what I would do as I’m as scared of a haunt as the next kid is. Never did see one but know if you got any hair anywhere that it stands up and you feel all prickly then a haunt is nearby and if you stay around much longer you’ll be at the mercy of the haunt.

Down through Freddie’s side yard we went. Past Mabel Weir’s outhouse and Mr. Moretti’s grape arbor, down the gully and up the other side to the rail road tracks. We walked on the tracks, passing the small cave way up in the rock where Moons stuck his boy dick up Benny’s virgin ass one afternoon after school. Past Morris Colbert’s shack farm, another single old man who lived in Goon City, and on past Cranberry Meadow where there wasn’t a cranberry insight just a large half drained swamp which Mary Jean Kiley had flooded in the winter so all the kids could ice skate. Then came the real deal the long stretch between Cranberry Meadow and the mud hole. Every one was afraid of the mud hole. It wasn’t really a mud hole but got its name ,as if you went out on it’s waters, chances were pretty good that it would swallow you up and if they found your body it would be down in the mud. It was deep too. Real deep and had a lot of bullheads swimming around in it. Not a place for skinny dipping. Now if you were in there wearing nothing but your birthday suit one of them bullheads might get the notion that your little whanger was some sort of a juicy worm and take a bite. Get one of them bullheads latched on to your private parts and that would be the end of your private parts. Heard they got stingers too and don’t like anyone messing around near their nests or they will give you a good sting and you’ll cry all day.

Bullhead looking for a whanger.

Finally we got to Snake Oil’s place. A big old dirty dog announced our arrival. Woof, Woof, Woof, kids coming it said. “Mr. Johnson, Mr. Johnson,” yelled Freddie. The place was a tidy old shack front porch sagging just a bit. Old Snake Oil sure knew how to keep up the place. My grandma said that a very few people had ever been in Mr. Johnson’s house, ever and no one should want to go in. Well I did, brave Benny wanted to get himself inside the place and have a look around, just a quick one. Now that would be like visiting a foreign country. Maybe Old Snake Oil wasn’t home and I could get in there. At least take a look in the window. Benny’s mind was wandering in and out of the house when he heard, “Hey, what do you kids want around here.” There he was Old Snake Oil Johnson. Naked as a Jay Bird, just like grandma said, only without the full moon. There he was coming around the corner. Benny’s mouth flew open and Freddie’s pop eyes got as big as 2 Sunday Dinner Plates. Old Snake Oil had some contraption made of strings holding his dick up way past his belly button. Land sakes that’s the biggest whanger I ever did see except of course Mr. Lucky. Now that donkey had a real big one and wasn’t afraid to show it if you came near the pasture. Always ready that Mr. Lucky. And he was lucky. Old Moe Fielding tried to convince the John Purples to sell him Mr. Lucky as he said Mr. Lucky should be up on the stage doing some type of performance. I can’t guess what Mr. Lucky would do up on the stage can you?

What in all holy green earth was the thing, here’s a picture of something we found that seems to be almost in the same school as Old Snake Oil’s contraption.

Men of the Mek Tribe, New Guinea

Only you got to picture that Old Snake Oil Johnson had some braided red yarn and other colorful material holding his ding-dong in place. He didn’t use protecting gourds as a covering at all. Let it be out there all tied up getting some air. Benny began to shake, shake and shake, rolling on the ground in laughter. “So that’s how you got the name of snake cauze your whanger is so long and big.” Old Snake Oil began to laugh too. “Must be, it just started to grow one day and its been growing ever since.” More howling from the boys and Old Snake. “I like these kids, crazy as I was when I was young. Bet they have tasty whangers.” Hmmm, thought Snake eying Freddie up and down. I’ve been waiting to make a certain potion for quite some time now but never had all the right ingredients. Now’s my chance. “you want a cold drink boys.” “Sure Mr. Johnson and my grandma sent these things to you, chimed in Freddie. “Wait right here I’ll be back.”

That Old Snake Oil was up to some thing on the sly. One could tell if they knew him and years later when Benny was his apprentice he came to know him quite well. Snake Oil’s eyes clouded over and he looked all mysterious. Well that sneaky Old Snake Oil had stirred a bit of something into Freddie’s cold drink. Let me mix up some good, “I got to poop real fast,” into his drink. I just need a bowl full of that boy’s shit. You see that Old Snake Oil needed to make a potion, a potion that he hadn’t been able to make, a very secrete potion that only a very few in the arts had made over the years. He had to make the potion before the next full moon and that was coming up fast. A potion that was so secrete that we can’t even begin to tell you here what it was used for or how it was used. But soon after Freddie drank down his drink he was jumping up and down. Oh Mr. Johnson I got to go to the bathroom. I got to take a poop. Well said Old Snake Oil you’ll have to do your duty out there in the bushes, handing Freddie some paper, as my outhouse is being cleaned out for the winter and its full of lime. Yeap, you better do your business out there in the bushes. So that’s where Freddie went. Coming back up out of the bushes he was feeling better now he didn’t even know what plans Old Snake Oil had for his poo.

Now Here Is What Old Snake Oil Did With Freddie’s poo.

#1 potion for something but we can’t tell you what it is.

All B’s potion #1.
Get your self 2 scoops of bat shit, 1 of old badger, 1/2 cup of bear hair, 3 dried butter cups, some basil for smell, 2 bumble bees, 1 small bowl of black boy’s shit, one cup of bitches milk, 4 birds feathers, (any kind of bird will do). Mix well and put out under a bushel basket for 3 days. That’s it.

Benny started to laugh, ha ha ha ha ha ha then he laughed some more, ha ha ha ha ha ha, he laughed so much he woke up. His dog Bozo was staring at him. Phew, what a dream! I can’t wait to tell Freddie.