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Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

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Thread: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

  1. #1
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    Default Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    Is it just me or is this one of his weirdest stories? It never makes sense to me. It's kind of funny with the drunken guys, but I can never see how the elements fit together.

    The first Milkman story is more of a short vignette about a creep delivering nasty surprises with the morning milk, rather than a real story. There isn't much to understand, beyond that it's a creepy idea.

    This one has a guy complaining about holes in his back, caused by water dripping through the roof of a laundry game; it has the milkman

    again who ran off with the main character's wife, but for some reason is still following him around; it has a garage owner who is suggested to have killed a couple years ago - he keeps the hood ornament of the car they were found in, and in the end the car of the murdered couple (which for some reason is still driving around) crashes onto the main character's.


    Could anyone tie these elements together?
    Last edited by Moderator; March 6th, 2013 at 12:27 PM. Reason: added spoiler tag

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    ...never really sought a tie-in, just enjoyed the whole fever dream quality of it....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    The answer is................Johnny Cash!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    Is Johnny Cash a serious reply or just joking? Is the story related to a song or songs by him?

    I guess it's just plain weird then, as I always thought. It's just when a number of elements are there, but it's hard to see a plot, you feel like you might be missing something. Actually this is the only one of his stories I can recall that is like this, where in the end you're scratching your head and think 'What was that all about?' Usually, even when not all questions are answered, you can tell what it was about clearly.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    This may help....


    "Big Wheels: A Tale of the Laundry Game (Milkman #2)" is a short story by Stephen King, first published in the 1980 anthology New Terrors, edited by Ramsey Campbell, and collected in King's 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. It was adapted from an unfinished novel called "The Milkman." The events in this story follow the events of the previously unpublished short story, "Morning Deliveries (Milkman #1)", which appears in the same collection.
    Its plot centers around two laundry workers named Rocky and Leo in a small Pennsylvanian town. After finishing up a shift at work, the men are driving around, getting drunk, and searching for an auto-inspection station. The inspection certification on Rocky's car runs out at midnight and he needs to find somewhere that will renew it. They are drunk and getting drunker, drinking Iron City beer, which have the likeness of Pittsburgh Steelers players on them. They finally come across an inspection station owned by an old friend of Rocky's, Bob Driscroll. Rocky crashes the car into Bob's garage and in the ensuing verbal confrontation Bob recognizes him. They then reminisce about old times while Bob inspects Rocky's vehicle for certification. Rocky and Leo continue to drink; at one point, Leo falls into a drunken stupor.
    After Bob approves the vehicle, Rocky and Leo depart, both very drunk. It is implied that Bob, who is in an unhappy marriage, goes home and kills his wife and burns down their home around 3am.
    On the way home on a long, dark, stretch of road, Leo tells Rocky that he sees a vehicle following them, implying that is a milk truck. Rocky's wife had left him for a local milkman, Spike. Rocky's reaction is extreme; he begins speeding dangerously and reveals to Leo that Spike "kills people." It is unclear if there was initially a vehicle, but there is no longer a vehicle when they look in their rear-view. Rocky, however, does not slow down and upon coming around a curve, an oncoming vehicle suddenly appears, riding the median line. Spike and Leo veer and fatally crash.
    It is revealed that Spike the local milkman is driving this vehicle and that he is a serial killer, who plans to visit Bob's home later that night, which indicates that he is the actual killer/arsonist and will frame Bob for the deed. It is unclear if Spike has already killed Bob at the garage or will kill Bob at the house.
    Although not directly part of the main storyline (which takes on a darkly humorous tone), it's implied that there are links between one of the men and an unsolved murder of a teenage couple, although it is probable that this is another murder committed by Spike.
    Last edited by Moderator; March 7th, 2013 at 12:14 PM. Reason: fixed coding

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    ...The Man in Black reference is just some joshing, and a nod to The Stand...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by GNTLGNT View Post
    ...The Man in Black reference is just some joshing, and a nod to The Stand...
    Actually, it's a nod to Eddie's big brother in Drawing Of The Three when he answers 'Johnny Cash' to every question put to him except the last one where the answer actually is 'Johnny Cash'. Scott, you're slipping, man!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    I'd forgotten that bit from Drawing of the Three, kingricefan...

    Thanks for that summary, Spideyman!

    Actually, it is clearly stated

    as a fact in the last sentence before the last space in the story that Driscoll kills his wife (at three o'clock he strangles her) and sets his place on fire. Whether he is also responsible for the death of the couple or that Spike is... I'm inclined to think Driscoll, since he keeps the hood ornament. But at the end Spike also has something to settle with Driscoll and is about to pay him a visit.

    It's just too confusing to make sense of.

    But the fact it's from an unfinished novel makes sense. I'd like to read the full novel, as I do like the atmosphere of the stories and like to see how they fit into a bigger whole.

    (I assume ms. Mod always places spoiler tags? I can't find any and don't know the rules about spoilers on the board.)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Big Wheels: A tale of the laundry game (Milkman 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by kingricefan View Post
    Actually, it's a nod to Eddie's big brother in Drawing Of The Three when he answers 'Johnny Cash' to every question put to him except the last one where the answer actually is 'Johnny Cash'. Scott, you're slipping, man!
    ...apparently YOU don't have the special super-nifty secret squirrel edition of The Stand that I do, or type posts after endless hours on Third Shift like I do...so there Sir Smarty-Pants nod adjustin' type person.....

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