It was a fine October evening in Arlen, Texas – perfect weather to stand in an alley, drink beer, and discuss politics.
"Yup," Hank Hill said, sipping on his beer.
"Yup," replied his friend Bill, smiling as always.
"Yup," Dale said with a cigarette hanging from his mouth.
"Mmmhm," hummed Boomhauer.
"So are you all voting for McCain next month?" Hank asked his friends. "I think he really stands for America."
"I know I'm voting for him instead of Obama!" Dale retorted. "I hear him and the liberals will all brainwash us into entering his death machines so that they don't have to pay for free healthcare!"
Hank sighed. "Dammit Dale, that's just another one of your conspiracy theories!"
"Yo man I tell you what that dang ol' Obama man always talking about dang ol' change man, I tell you what this dang ol' country needs man it doesn't need any dang ol' change, man," Boomhauer added.
"I like that running mate of his," Bill stated with a smile. "She sure is pretty!" The three other men then stared at him until he hung his head and looked sadly at his beer.
"Well, I'm going to head in. Peggy's makin' steaks for dinner. Talk to you guys later," Hank said as he left.
"Boy, that sure was a good dinner, Peggy!" Hank said as he entered the living room and sat down on his favorite chair. "Turn on the news – I hear McCain is giving another speech!"
Peggy changed the channel on the television to Fox News. John McCain was with his running mate, Sarah Palin, giving a press conference about his views and what he would do as President of the United States.
"That John McCain sure is smart," said Peggy. "He might even be a better president than George W. Bush!"
Hank laughed. "Oh Peggy, your jokes sure are the best!"
Hank would not laugh for long, however. "Furthermore," McCain continued, "At the suggestion of my running mate, Mrs. Palin, I vow that when I become president, the use of the dangerous gas propane will be ceased from the United States of America!"
Peggy dropped the remote in horror and looked over to Hank. His mouth was hung wide open.
"All sales of propane and propane accessories will be banned forever!"
"BWWWWUUAAAHHHHH!" Hank screamed.
The next morning was a Saturday, which means that all of the four men had work off. They had all watched John McCain's speech the night before and were having a heated discussion in the alley.
"I can't believe that he would let her do that! I didn't even think they were THAT crazy, and I fear the government!" Dale said in disbelief.
"That Sarah Palin is putting false facts in McCain's head!" Hank stated as he shook his head. "I love propane! How am I supposed to be an assistant manager of a banned gas?"
"Yo I tell you man if you can't sell dang ol' propane in America man then I tell you what you gotta go somewhere else man move to another dang ol' country," suggested Boomhauer.
"Leave America?" Hank pondered it for a bit. "Is that what a man who just wants to sell propane for a living has to do?"
"Don't worry, Hank!" said Bill. "When you leave, I'll take care of Peggy for you."
"Shut up Bill, this is serious!" Hank then thought about what had been said. "As a patriotic American, I can't just leave… You see, America is all about democracy, and what the people want. What Sarah Palin is making John McCain do is unjust, and as patriotic Americans, we must stand up and make our voices heard! We must tell them not to ban propane!" Hank looked so proud after his grand speech that there might as well have been a giant American flag in the background with the Star-Spangled Banner playing.
"Woohoo! Yeah! You go, Hank!" his friends all cheered.
Dale paused for a moment. "But Hank, how are you going to get them to listen? They call all the shots!"
Just then, Bobby came down the alley on his bike, a plastic bag hanging from one of the handles. "Look, Dad!" He said to Hank as he hopped off, taking the bag with him. "I got a new video game today! You play as a prisoner who has to fight against the leagues of the corrupted leaders to win freedo-"
"Dammit Bobby, another vidya game?" Hank interrupted. "Why don't you use that money we give you to join a sport or something?"
"It's kind of like a sport," Bobby replied.
Hank sighed as Bobby went inside. "That boy ain't right."
"Wait a minute…" Dale scratched his chin in thought as he spoke, "THAT'S IT! Hank, we have to fight the government!"
"What? How are we going to do that?"
"It's simple, really!" Dale said with a sneer. "I hack into Sarah Palin's e-mail and issue a challenge to a duel! If we win, she has to allow propane!"
Hank seemed perplexed. "Do you mean a duel with weapons or a duel with words?"
"What other kind of duel is there, Hank?" Dale responded.
The other two men shook their heads. "Yo man I tell you what man you guys are sounding dang ol' crazy man I don't want any dang ol' part in this man!" Boomhauer shouted as he walked home.
Bill looked around nervously. "I-I agree with Boomhauer! You guys are nuts! Wanting to hurt a pretty lady like that…" He went home as well, leaving Hank and Dale the only two left standing in the alley.
"Well Dale," Hank said to his friend, "I think you spend too much time thinking of crazy conspiracy theories."
"You're lucky I love propane," he said with a smile. "You send that e-mail to Mrs. Palin – I can't wait to see her! I'll sure teach her a lesson… about propane!"
"Wingo! You got it!" Dale said, leaving the alley. As he ran home, he flipped open his cellphone and dialed a number. "Octavio!" he said into the phone. "Get me Sarah Palin's e-mail! …What do you mean you can't? You're fired! …Can you get me a sandwich? Good! You're hired again!"
The rest of Saturday went as normal – Hank mowed the lawn, washed his truck, took Ladybird out for a walk, and did various errands with Peggy. No one dared bring up the alleged propane ban with him again – they feared his reaction would be too much. He didn't mind though, as he would be able to get everything off of his chest when he debated with Sarah Palin later. He pondered a few times about how Dale was going to contact her, but he tried not to think about it too much. How was he supposed to meet the woman, anyway?
His internal questions were answered Sunday morning as he wiped off some dirt from the hood of his truck. He heard the soft whirring of helicopter blades nearby, but figured it was just the Channel 84 News helicopter delivering the traffic info. The whirring began to get louder and louder, however, and he could feel a strong wind against his back.
Suddenly, he heard gunshots. Bullets started raining upon the hood of his truck, shooting holes across it and blowing out his windshield. "BWWUUAAAHHH!" Hank shouted as he dove for cover in his garage. More bullets came from the sky, some being aimed into the garage. Hank decided to run out into the alley, where he was greeted by Boomhauer in a leopard thong and a few sexy ladies in their underwear. "Boomhauer!" Hank shouted. "What is going on? And why are you all in your undergarments?"
"Yo man I tell you what I was just with these dang ol' ladies havin' a dang ol' good time man and then I tell you I heard a dang ol' sound outside like ratatat tat tat tat tat tat and I tell you what man I was like DANG so I ran outside man," Boomhauer frantically explained.
"Exactly!" Hank exclaimed. "I think someone is trying to shoot me!" Just then, the helicopter was directly overhead of the two men. A ladder unfurled out from it down to the ground as a middle-aged woman with a brunette up-do and rectangular spectacles began to climb out, carrying an assault rifle in one arm.
"Wha…" Hank stuttered. "Are you…?"
"You betcha!" the woman replied. "It's me, Sarah Palin! I'm here to duel with you!"
"What? But I just wanted to have a calm, if not heated, discussion with you!"
"That's not what your friend Dale said!" Palin sneered. "He specifically stated that it was to be a duel with weapons! And now… I will fight you and all your friends to the death, one by one!"
"BWWUUAAAHHHH! Dammit Dale!" Hank screamed.
"No weapons? Oh well!" Palin raised her gun and pointed it towards Hank. "Well then, by golly, I guess this will be easy!"
"Yo dang ol' Hank man WATCH OUT!" Boomhauer shouted as he dove in front of Hank. Palin fired three times into his torso, and he fell to the ground dead.
"Hey, I said one by one! …Oh gosh darn it!" Palin said as she smacked her gun. "Another jam!"
"Boomhauer! No!" Hank cried out. He looked over to his three lady friends that had came out earlier. "Aren't you all going to help him?" he pleaded, but they had already made their way over to Palin.
"But Sarah is sooo cool!" one girl said.
"I think she like, really stands for America!" the other said.
"She makes me sooo proud to be a woman!" the third girl said.
"What? Have you all gone mad?" Hank exclaimed.
Sarah Palin laughed heartily. "Hahaha! Silly Mr. Hill! Now do you see? No matter what I say, there's enough dumb Americans out there to support me! You will never win!"
"Not if I can help it!" a familiar voiced cried out from behind. "SHE-SHE-SHAAAHHH!" Dale jumped out from behind the fence in the alley, donned in his orange jumpsuit and holding his gas gun used for pest extermination. He forward somersaulted in front of the group of women and sprayed his gun at them, releasing lethal amounts of poison. The women coughed and gagged for a bit before they eventually succumbed to the chemicals and fell lifelessly to the ground.
"Dale! You saved me!" Hank said to his friend. "But how could you say I wanted to actually fight her? Now Boomhauer's dead!"
"Oh…" Dale said, looking down at the body of his dead friend. "Well, I may have gotten a bit carried away…"
"I'm gonna kick your ass!" Hank shouted angrily.
Before Hank could do so, however, he spotted something at the corner of his eye. Bill was standing over the bodies of the women, staring blankly at Hank and Dale. Something was off about him, but Hank couldn't quite place it. "You…" Bill began to speak, his voice sounding deeper and more raspy. "How could you possibly kill these people! That is against the law in the United States, and is exactly the thing I joined the army to fight against!"
"But Bill," Hank began, "she shot at me with an assault rifle! She killed Boomhauer!"
Bill looked perplexed. "Boomhauer…?"
Dale pushed up his glasses and gave Bill an incredulous look. "Wait… Bill never fought in the army… and Bill would know who Boomhauer is! You're not really Bill!"
"Heh heh…" With a slow and unnerving laugh, Bill reached for the back of his head with both his hands. He began to pull away at his skin, revealing himself to be a completely different person. As the pile of Bill's skin hit the floor, the two men could see exactly who the man truly was – Senator John McCain!
"I knew it!" Dale shouted. "You learned how to skin a man in the war! You killed Bill and stole his skin, and were going to kill us when we least expected it!"
"Oh Dale…" McCain said, "Only you would be crazy enough to see through my perfect plan! But now, it is time for you to die!" In a swift, flawless movement, McCain withdrew a pistol from his pants-pocket and shot Dale in the chest.
"Dale! Nooooooo!" Hank shouted as he grabbed Dale and fell on his knees, holding his best friend in his arms. He looked up at the senator. "But McCain… You could've been a great president… Why? Why would you listen to that crazy woman?"
McCain laughed as he walked over to the helicopter ladder, still suspended in the air. "Before I leave to Washington and frame you for the murders of Sarah Palin and all your friends, I will tell you this… All of this – banning propane and killing those close to you – was MY idea!"
Hank was in disbelief. "What?"
McCain grabbed hold of the ladder and climbed up, shouting as he did so. "The truth is… I HATE PROPANE! And all of you propane salesmen! In fact… I GRILL WITH CHARCOAL!" When he got to the helicopter, he threw down a handful of charcoal briquettes at Hank. "And now I will ruin your life, and you can never stop me!" The helicopter began to fly off.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Hank cried out to the skies. His friends were all dead, he would soon be arrested, and life as he knew it would be over. What could he do…?
"H-Hank…" Dale sputtered, barely alive. "You… you can still win…"
"What?" Hank said, leaning in to hear Dale's words. "But how?"
Dale raised his scrawny, feeble arm, holding a key in his hand. "Take this… it's the key… to the Bugabago… There is something inside… that… will… help… you…" As Hank took the key from his hand, Dale closed his eyes and went limp.
"Dale… you were my best friend… thank you…" Hank said, a single tear falling from his eye. He soon realized that now was not the time to cry – it was the time to act. He ran over to Dale's Bugabago and opened the back door using the key. Inside was a crudely-made jet pack made mostly of duct tape, found objects, and gas tanks. On it was a note that read: I made this knowing that it would serve you well in the future. Thank you for being my friend.
Hank smiled as he held the jet pack. "You're welcome, Dale… and thank you." It seemed sturdy enough for him, and best of all, it ran on clean-burning propane. "God bless America!" Hank said as he strapped it to himself. He ran over to the dead body of Sarah Palin and grabbed the assault rifle from out of her hand, then launched himself in the air with the jet pack to follow John McCain's helicopter.
The senator of the United States could not have been any less oblivious of what was about to come down upon him. He was drinking a cocktail and having a one-sided conversation with the pilot. "Boy I tell you, when I become president, America sure will change! It'll bend to MY every will! I'll make it a dictatorship! Ahahahaha!"
"Not in my country, you jackass!" said Hank, flying into the helicopter and landing in front of McCain.
"Hank! But… how?" McCain said, staring at the man in front of him in disbelief.
"Well, a man has to protect his country if he believes in it!" Hank stated. "And I tell you what I believe in! Freedom! And FREEDOM ACCESSORIES!" With that, Hank aimed the gun at McCain and fired every single bullet into him until he was a bloody, pulpy mess. He then turned to the pilot and roundhouse-kicked him in the head, causing him to pass out and the helicopter to spin out of control. Hank leapt out into the air and flew back towards his house, the aircraft hitting the ground and exploding behind him. He landed safely in his yard as Peggy came running out from the house towards him.
"Hank! Haaank!" Peggy screamed. "What in the hell is going on? Oh my God… is that Dale and Boomhauer? They're dead, Hank!"
"I know, Peggy," Hank said as he pulled his wife close to him. "But it's all over now. John McCain was going to ruin America, so I killed him."
"What?" she said in disbelief. "But… doesn't that mean we have to vote for the liberals now?"
Hank pulled her in close, almost touching her face with his lips. "Peggy…" he whispered, "I would like to be very liberal with you right now... In bed."
The two walked arm-in-arm away from the carnage behind them back into their house of residence.
It has been many years since the incident, which was caught entirely on security cameras that Dale had set up around his house. Hank appeared on my news broadcasts and television programs for interviews, telling his heroic tale to not just the country, but the entire world. He was even invited to the White House by Barack Obama, who regarded him as a national hero that would go down in history.
Although he stands alone in the alley now, he has a newfound closeness with his family, and never hesitates to tell them how much he loves them. Not enjoying his life and the people remaining in it would tarnish the sacrifices made by his best friends. If he had the chance to do it all over again, though, he most definitely wouldn't change a thing. He would stand up for America no matter what, so that every child in the country can grow up with the chance to live free… and sell propane and propane accessories.