The Talented Friend – Sunday Photo Fiction

Photo by: Alastair Forbes

The Talented Friend

Kent had moved into the big league. He’d spent most of his life as a two-bit huckster selling jewelry made in Taiwan as Native-American handicrafts. He’d done well enough because he knew how to put a bright shine on a turd. With that, he could sell anything.

As he brushed the fender of the heavy-hauler Peterbilt truck, he put his skills to work. The big rig was rusting when he found it. After some detail work and a racy paint job the old truck looked good as new. As good as that was, Kent needed one more thing to really sell that rolling turd, and that was his friend, Mick.

Mick loved to tell the story of how aliens kidnapped him and performed experiments on him. When they returned Mick home, he was different. Suddenly he didn’t fit in anymore. He traveled through eighteen countries seeking his place in the world and ultimately, himself. It was a difficult road for Mick. Most treated him as an oddity, and the few who recognized his unique skills wanted to conduct more experiments. Mick quickly learned how to escape from laboratories.

The buyer stepped into the truck’s cab and started the engine. He couldn’t see Kent surreptitiously tapping a diddle on the engine panel. The engine started and roared to life. When the buyer revved the engine the wall of growling sound bested a jet engine. It set off car alarms and caused neighborhood dogs to howl.

After the buyer turned it off, Kent beamed. “Super-charged engine. Modified by an unusually talented friend of mine. What do you think?”

“I gotta see this!” enthused the buyer, reaching for engine latch.

“Sorry,” said Kent, intercepting the buyer. “The modifications are unique. You can see them when you buy.”

Most folks would walk away right there, but that’s when Kent put three decades of selling experience to work. Within twenty minutes, and without an examination of the engine, Kent smiled with a $110,000 check in his hand.

The buyer left to start the licensing paperwork. Kent opened the truck’s hood and removed a bird like a dark peacock from the empty engine compartment.

“Raaaahhmmmm, rrraaahhmmm bub bub bub,” said the Superb Lyrebird.

“Stop it, Mick!” said Kent. “I’m not wearing hearing protection.”

“Sorry, mate,” said Mick. He sounded identical to naturalist and presenter, David Attenborough. “What’s next?”

“Can you do a Corvette?”

Author’s Notes:

David Attenborough:

Video of a Superb Lyrebird which can perfectly imitate chainsaws, car alarms, and camera shutters (narrated by David Attenborough):

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for the original prompt and a link to the many other stories written for the week:


About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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25 Responses to The Talented Friend – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. ceayr says:

    I loved this.
    Particularly the idea of Attenborough addressing someone as ‘mate’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I expect that’s a bit too colloquial for “Sir” David Attenborough. Still, it was just the bird imitating his voice. I would love to have a bird that sounded as distinguished as him. Glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks kindly! 🙂


  2. What an amazing bird! Lyre bird. This was funny. I loved it too. Loved the phrase, “can put a bright shine on a turd.” Hahaha! Oh, and lifting the bird out of the “empty” engine compartment. Haha! NO ENGINE! Well done Eric! This is brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      “Putting a shine on a turd” is an old salesman’s catchphrase. It’s right up there with “putting lipstick on a pig.” With Mick around, Kent can make any engineless car sound impressive. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lyn says:

    I knew Lyre birds were clever, but I didn’t realise just how clever. Loved the camera shutter imitation. Bet he learnt that one from Sir David. I can’t believe that the prompt was a photo of a truck. You are indeed amazing as to where your imagination takes you, Eric 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joy Pixley says:

    Loved the Attenborough impression thrown in there. I hope, for his sake, Kent has a good plan for being long, LONG gone when the buyer tries the engine the first time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. luckyjc007 says:

    Lyre bird…didn’t know about this one. Good video. LOL’s on the post. 🙂 Hope he was right around the corner from the bank!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Well cool. There’s always new animals out there to discover. I always enjoy learning about them and sharing it. And Kent cashed his check straightaway. He knows his cons well. 😉 Thanks much! 🙂


  6. tedstrutz says:

    Only a certified bird nut coould write a story like this… Cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nonnaci says:

    A mechanic’s best friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I may have to get my son to read this. He does engine noises perfectly 🙂 It’s an awesome story. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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