Jake Rutledge and the Guy with Bad Timing

" A small place always needs a guy willing to do the stuff no one else will do, and well, I am that guy. My name is Jake Rutledge and I am a handyman. "

This is a story about a drifter handyman, a flag-burning scientist, weaponized weather, and what happens when a guy just wants to make a little money for coffee and a plate of eggs.

Follow around in Jake's shoes and find out what a handyman does when he's threatened with losing it all.


I like my steak well-done, my eggs runny, and my toast black.

My waitress, who always wears a blouse with just enough cleavage showing, popped my toast in again to make sure she charred it. I appreciate the little touches provided by this dive of a cafe on the main drive of Pretty Prairie in southern Kansas. A regular three-calendar restaurant where the farmers arrive early to drink coffee and fight over who has the tallest sweet corn. Ever since my car overheated on the outskirts of town, I have sipped Irish coffee, listened to the squawking farmers, and dabbed my runny eggs with black toast.

As far as engine trouble, I might have done worse and ended up in Nebraska. Besides, this town needs me. A small place always favors a guy willing to do the stuff no one else will do, and well, I am that guy: Jake Rutledge, handyman. I am that roustabout people call when they need something fixed, thrown away, or made better.

© 2019 – 2021, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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