The Pearl River Excursion (Part 6)

Harry leaned back and twisted a sideburn in grave thought. Jerry shook his head. 

“Think about it,” said Ishani. “No more Elvis weddings, no Elvis party appearances, no venues booking Elvis tribute acts. Do you know how much demand there is for a female Indian Elvis impersonator? I can make five grand on a fully booked weekend.” 

“I make more money as Elvis than I do running the café,” said Neil. 

Vince nodded. “Doing Elvis weddings is how I bought my Cadillac.” 

“I don’t want to go back to working full time at the plant,” said Brendon. “I need the Elvis gigs.” 

“Right,” said Ishani. “So, it’s in everyone’s best interest that no one else learns about Aaron McAllister.” 

“Then we won’t mention it to another soul,” said Harry. 

Phil leaned forward, chewing his thumbnail and shaking his head. “I don’t like it,” he said. 

“Could you shut down his Twitter?” Jerry asked Ewan. 

Ewan shook his head. “Once you put something on the internet, it’s there forever.” 

“This is no good,” said Gene, jumping to his feet. “We can’t have this guy tarnishing Elvis’ name like that. What if we…” 

“What?” said Jerry. 

Gene stared blankly for a second and then shook his head. “Nothing.” 

A silent moment passed.

“How old is he?” asked Ken. 

“Aaron McAllister?” said Ewan. 


“He’d be eighty-eight,” said Harry. 

“Eighty-eight,” said Ken. “Huh.” 

“Does he have a family?” asked Vince. 

Ewan sat upright. “Uh, no. No one really. He talks to his neighbour… That’s about it.” 

“So… nobody would really miss him,” said Ken. 

“I guess not,” said Vince. “Eighty-eight years—that’s a good run. Most people don’t get that long.” 

“What sort of quality of life can an eighty-eight-year-old have?” said Brendon. 

There were nods of agreement. 

“Just a moment,” said Ronnie. “This is starting to sound… well, I don’t like to say it…” 

“I think,” said Ishani, “the most important thing here is to protect Elvis Presley’s legacy” 



“It’s the only decent thing.” 

“And to that end…” Ishani continued, “we should kill Aaron McAllister.”  

Ronnie’s jaw dropped. The committee members were quiet in thought. Finally, Harry stood up, drew a deep breath and nodded. “It’s unfortunate,” he said, “but I see no other way.” 

Jerry applauded, and the others joined in.  

After a stupefied few seconds, Ronnie recovered his senses and leapt up onto the pew. “Stop! Everyone stop!” 

The applause died down and everyone looked up at him. 

“Are you mad?” he spluttered. “I… I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Are you seriously suggesting killing an innocent man?” 

“Innocent?” said Gene. “What happened to all of us being sinners? Isn’t that what you’re always telling us?”

“Well, yes,” said Ronnie, “but what I mean is—”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Friends, please,” begged Ronnie, “stop and consider what you are suggesting. You are talking about murder. This is a great evil. And to kill Elvis? This man is your hero.” 

“We wouldn’t be killing Elvis,” said Brendon. “We’d be killing Aaron McAllister.” 

“It’s what Elvis would have wanted,” said Vince. 

“What?” said Ronnie. 

“I know what this is about,” said Neil, pointing an accusatory finger at Ronnie. “I’ve known it since you joined the club.” He looked around at his fellow committee members. “Ronnie doesn’t like Elvis!” 

There was a collective gasp. 

“Is that true?” said Harry. 

“You lousy bastard,” growled Gene. 

Wayne blurted out a half shriek-half groan of disgust and punched Ronnie in the thigh. Ronnie toppled from the pew and grabbed his instantly bruised leg. A few committee members kicked him on the floor before Harry stepped in and pushed them back. He helped Ronnie up and looked him in the eye. “You have disgraced yourself and this club. What’s more, you have dishonoured Elvis Presley.” 

“Dishonoured him?” said Ronnie. “I only want to stop you killing him!” 

Harry sneered at him. “Get out of here.” 

Ronnie looked around at the faces glaring at him in disdain. He sighed. “Very well then.” He turned and limped away. At the tall wooden front door of the clubhouse he looked back. Everyone was still gathered by the pews, watching him leave. Ronnie took one last look at the building he loved. Tears welled in his eyes. He stood straight and lifted his chin. “You know,” he said to his excommunicators, “I always preferred the Beach Boys.” 

“Oh you son of a—” snapped Wayne, whipping off one of his blue suede shoes and hurling at Ronnie. 

Ronnie hobbled as fast as he could out the door. The shoe bounced harmlessly off the wall. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: