Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bored (Part 1)

     "I am bored," Bekka declared.
     "I am bored, I am bored, I am bored!" she continued.  I was sensing a pattern.
     "So I take it you're bored, darling?" I asked.  "Chairman of the bored?"
     "That was terrible... But damn straight, cupcake.  Don't take this the wrong way, but even sex doesn't have any appeal right now.  I wanna go do something, some form of activity, possibly something interactive involving other people.  Hell, going up to the mansion and watching them finish the sound stages and fill the pools would be interesting compared to this."

Bored (Part 2)

     "A good lunch, but I'm still bored," said Bekka.  "I have an idea...."
     "What's that?" asked The Director.
     "Mini golf.  Who's up for mini golf?"
     "Love to, but I can't," said Small Steve.  "I've got sound cables to run in ceilings.  Like, a lot of them.  We figured tracing the same lines as lights would work for microphones, and the boom mikes could run on casters, just scoot 'em around."
     "Won't you end up with dead spots in the audio?"
     "Remains to be seen.  It's either gonna work really well, or it's gonna suck.  No middle point.  If it sucks, we just go back to regular boom mikes."
     "I'll be on the phone all damn afternoon helping proof a script.  I could do it myself in five minutes: dialogue, fuck, dialogue, fuck, dialogue, fuck, dialogue, fuck.... With the correct amounts of time inserted for each segment.  And yes, you're in, Bekka."
     "Yaay!" cheered Bekka.  She liked working with scripts. Some girls hated it, preferring to do nothing but loops.

Bored (Part 3)

Nebraska Comes A-Callin'

     "Why don't you let the kid's play through," suggested Dutch.
     "Yes.... A very good idea," said Chelsea.  "Thank you."
     Ellen asked, "So.... What are you doing here?  Why are you here?  What's with all the kids?  In short, what the heck is going on here, woman?"
     "Not going to introduce me to your.... friends, then?  I'm assuming they are friends, not just random strange people you met somewhere.  I won't speak of how they're dressed.  Or you."
     "Like hemorrhaging, bitch?" said Bekka, moving forward.  Chelsea gave her a haughty look and stepped backwards into some shrubbery.  Ellen said, "Bekka.  I've got this.  This is someone I thought I knew quite well  in Kearney, Nebraska, where I escaped from.  And even though I asked first, the guys are Chip, Dutch and Lenny, and we girls are Bekka, Tawny, and myself.... Although I go by the name of Skye out here, for professional reasons."
     "Professional reasons?"

Bored (Part 4)

     "Would you care for a drink?  Keep in mind they don't have Mello Yello in California," said Ellen.  "Just Mountain Dew."
     "I'll have whatever kind of cola they offer, thank you."
     Ellen retrieved the drinks and sat down.  "You know, I'm not going to bother asking why me performing in adult video bothers you so much, I figure that answer is obvious.  What I can't understand is why you refuse to accept the fact.  You keep saying you don't believe it.  Why the obstinacy?"
     "For one thing, you are --- or were --- a good christian.  I'm assuming that fell by the wayside."

Bored (Part 5)

As always, the dining area at Humberto's was vacant, while the drive through was wrapped around the building.  Force of habit for most people, probably: most taco stands were drive thru, with a couple bench/table sets in front.  Not conducive to eating in poor weather.
     Humberto's on El Cajon had been a Carl's Jr. in a previous life, like most taco stands, it had taken the shell of a flopped fast food restaurant and converted it.  You could almost always tell what fast food place it had been in it's original incarnation: Taco Bell, Carl's Jr., Der Weinershnitzel, Jack In The Box, whatever.  They changed the signs, put up new menus, and got to work.  I was surprised some of them hadn't simply spray-painted a big 'X' over the old sign and sprayed the name of the new restaurant underneath.  I once went into one, a recently-converted Jack In The Box, that was still using the leftover napkins and cold cups.  Waste not, want not.

Bored (Part 6)

     My pager had been screaming at me for two hours, and I couldn't ignore it any longer.  I told Bekka I had to get to work, so we headed to my apartment, where I could switch to my car.  I returned calls from my apartment and got an idea of amounts, picked up, weighed out, and began making deliveries.  A pound of speed plus quite a bit of Ecstasy.  I ended up playing a hunch and cleaning out Boss of all his MDMA: something told me it was going to go fast.... And I was right.  My customers were increasing their amounts on the spot, especially when I told them I'd cleaned out my connection.  (Sure, he'd be back in stock in 48 hours, but they didn't know that.)  Five hundred hits turned into thirty-five in two and a half hours and I'd replenish everyone's high.

Bored (Part 7)

     They gassed me and sewed me back up around midnight and kicked me loose at three or so.  Everyone finally took my advice and went home around one, of particular importance to Ellen, who planned to meet with Lucy in the morning.  I suggested some kids go to the Wild Animal Park, while others visited the beach in Carlsbad.  The kids could not get enough of the ocean.

Bored (Part 8)

     I decided to keep things simple and hold Hwy. 78 through Escondido and straight through to the Wild Animal Park.  Well marked.  That way if the various drugs I was on got me a bit too loopy on the way home anyone could take over the wheel and do the piloting.  I didn't want to use the word "drugs" around the kids, since --- thanks to DARE and other abuse prevention programs --- I may as well have been on a half of Mexican tar heroin, LSD, PCP, and a bottle of cough syrup, so far as the kids were concerned.  Funny thing, DARE: they went back ten years and found that kids who went through the DARE program were more likely to be habitual users than those that weren't .  Drugs are everywhere, everyone is using them.... So why should't  you?  That, and kids actually have functioning  bullshit detectors: a single  bong rip doesn't cause your brain to run out your ears, so everything else they told me must must be bullshit too.
     Still, keep that under my hat if it becomes an issue.  I'm just feeling tired, kids.

Bored (Part 9)

     Knowing this would probably be the last time we'd see them, we all gave hugs to the kids.  Especially warm hugs were given to Lucy, and a stilted one to Chelsea.....
      .....Who just couldn't leave well enough alone.  She said, "So it was a child molester you helped arrest tonight, right?"
     "That's correct."
     "A close personal friend of yours, I'm  sure.  I doubt there's a level of depravity you won't indulge in."

Bored (Part 10)

     The errant van pulled into the lot and jerked to a stop.  She expected to beat us there.... Which meant she couldn't give her version of things first.  Lucy and the pastor had been in rather tense conversation practically since she got off the van.  What was clear was that Lucy was not giving an inch when it came to her decisions insofar as to how she had decided to run the trip after meeting up with us criminals and whores.  (It was also clear Chelsea had been having regular phone calls with the pastor, telling him about the whores and criminals etc. we were subjecting the children to.)

Bored (Part 11)

     Two days later I was caught up on sleep and doing alright, my ribs still pulling like hell --- I'd be using my cane when I went up for trial --- and ready for the drive to San Francisco in six days.  The District Attorney's office offered my air fare, but I told them I'd prefer making the drive over flying, and what should I do with the vouchers?  They suggested exchanging them for cash and using the cash to pay for gasoline.  Fine with me.
     Suspiciously well-timed was a call from Lucy.  Courteous as always, she waited until I'd had a decent amount of shut-eye (Bekka was in Encinitas) before calling me so share some news.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fire Girl (Part 1)

     For Kym --- Love and Kisses

     At least the MG had chosen someplace vaguely civilized to overheat this time.  Through the heat-shimmer, she could make out structures, including what  may or may not be a gas station.  This may mean water and coolant, although she suspected those weren't the problems.  It was her opinion the car was angry with her.
     Five tire patches.  The loss of a belt that had taken two days to be shipped in, leaving her sleeping in a garage lot in the meantime.  And ever since the badlands, overheating every 250 miles or so  She rested the toe of a Doc Marten on the rear bumper and muttered, "Reginald, you suck.."

Fire Girl (Part 2)

     Mookie surreptitiously had looked around the workshop and noticed both white gas and kerosene sitting in big jugs.  Maybe she could talk Pappy into filling her jugs: it would save that much more money.  Her busking money was how she was eating.  If the MG had no more problems (Reginald, you bastard, behave), and she ddn't eat, and she put all busking money in the tank just to be sure, she should arrive in East Bay with a cushion of, oh, fourteen dollars.

Fire Girl (Part 3)

     Mookie and Chet held hands walking through the desert scrub.  Partially because they wanted to, but partially to keep Mookie from doing a header.  A lifetime of sidewalks had not prepared her for the humps and dips of a night stroll in the badlands.
      "Try lifting your feet when you walk," suggested Chet.
     "Like this?" said Mookie, swinging her heels high.  "I feel like a cartoon character marching.... Oh my God."  She'd let go of Chet's hand and was staring in the sky, as though a phalanx of UFOs was landing

Fire Girl (Part 4)

Depending on one's driving style and disdain for the police,  home (in Evanston, WY) is an hour to an hour and a half to Salt Lake City, where Pappy was hospitalized.  While she understood the value of cattle in the area, is was still country that made Mookie wonder, "What was it about here that made them decide to stop and build homes?"

Fire Girl (Part 5)

     They arrived home around 3:30.  Roger's truck, along with both Roger and Brianna, were AWOL, much to Chet and Ma's frustration.  The assumption was they'd headed in to visit Pappy, disregarding time and chores that needed to be done.  Mookie headed for the hen-house and gathered eggs, then began feeding calves: grain for the older ones, and formula milk for the infants.  She'd learned all this in the morning between breakfast and the deputies showing up.

Fire Girl (Part 6)

     Mookie sat with her hands in a death grip on the wheel, staring straight ahead.  Then she keyed the engine, dropped the tranny into gear, and shot into the merge lane, jumping into the fast lane as quickly as possible.  To Chet, she said, "We have to catch her.  She'll die if we don't."

Fire Girl (Part 7)

     Even though  she was directly in front of him, Roger asked if they'd located Brianna.   Mookie and Chet gave each other worried looks; Brianna had a look as though she was waiting for entertainment to start.
     "I want to pray for the both of them while we're here. It seems like the right thing to do, " said Mookie.  "Kneel?"

Fire Girl (Part 8)

   Mookie ended up staying on the ranch  for another six or so weeks, loving almost every minute.  (Cleaning the nursery pens  wasn't high on her lists of fun activities.)  The activities most people would find appalling were fascinating to her, like calving.  It was late in the season so there were a few  left to be whelped,  but she helped with them all.  Pappy, supervising from his chair, commented on how Mookie was the first damn woman he'd ever seen that hadn't tossed cookies while taking part in the process.  She never assisted in slaughtering, which was done partially for the ranch and mostly for a couple local markets.  She just.... No.  Not happening.  She learned how to butcher, cutting to large portions, then portioning to sections for the store butchers to bring to workable pieces, but slaughtering was right out.  She was glad to be of use in the processing, though, saving Chet and Roger quite a bit of time.  She also learned about using the small smokehouse they used for personal use.  She developed a taste for homemade jerky which replaced her Slim Jim fixation.  Store-packaged  jerky would never cut it after having "fresh" jerky, somewhat thick-cut, and smoked and spiced by their own recipe.  Her vegetarian friends  on both coasts didn't know what they were missing.

Fire Girl (Part 9)

     "Pump the pedal a few times, then crank her."
     "What about using some white gas as starter fluid."
     "Just some regular gas in the carb, if it needs it."
     "The timing's gonna be off by a year."
     "Accounted for.  We just want it to turn over and hold any kind of idle."
     "What are you doing?"
     "Is there a god of British cars?"
     A pointed look.. "There is only one God, and He is almighty, Roger."
     "I do know that.  Bad joke.  I apologize."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Break (Part 1)

      Inana Productions was shutting down for a month.  There was no reasonable explanation why.
     The rumors flew hard and fast:  Inana was going belly up, permanently.  There was legal problems revolving the age of performers (doubtful, as the company was careful about that sort of thing in the post-Traci Lords era).  Inana was consolidating with its Los Angeles operations, and if we wanted to continue working with Inana, we'd better get used to  a hell of a commute
     Small Steve, the real director, had no information for us.  "They aren't telling me anything.," he said.  "They've promised that no one is losing their jobs, but that doesn't mean much: we could all have to commute or relocate to Culver or Century City and work from there.  I'm sorry  guys, but they're staying mum with me as they are with you you."

The Break (Part 2)

     Our plan was that we didn't have a plan.  We decided to jump over to Hwy. 1 at Santa Monica and follow the coast route until we got sick of ocean, then cut back to the 101.... Then back to the 1 again, and so on.  We'd have no itinerary, simply stopping anywhere that seemed interesting and exploring until we were bored.  If we were only making fifty miles a day, so be it.
     The two days before we left my place was everything I didn't want it to be: a drug house.  All my clients were doing their damndest to stock up as best they could, so I had people in and out constantly, picking up the largest quantities they could possibly afford, of both meth and MDMA.  Some of them still bitched about my lack of availability for a whole two weeks: these tended to be my lower-quantity purchasers, who simply didn't have the cash to load up.  Some of them were faced with the ugly specter of having to (*gasp*) work in my absence.

The Break (Part 3)

     We met Small Steve the next day outside a Chilean restaurant in Carlsbad.  I still couldn't get over the change in personality he had gone through: he truly had been an asshole.  A jerk, a prick, a dick-biter, a complete bastard.  Now he greeted me with a solid handshake and a hug for Bekka, a warm smile for both of us.  We went in to get a table.
     In deference to his history, Bekka and I stuck with iced tea.  The three of us ordered the house specialty, "Panqueques:" a burrito -like concoction made with a crepe instead of a tortilla, stuffed with grilled fresh vegetables, chunks of steak, sauce, and guacamole on top.  I rated it as a "darling, where have you been all my life?" experience.  "And I think they even have ice cream, too," Bekka told me.

The Break (Part 4)

     We made San Clemente, when Bekka took an off-ramp and pulled into the parking lot of a Carrows or Denny's or something like that.  I was a bit surprised, as we'd railed heavy before hitting the freeway: hell, I still had the drips; speed wasn't the appetite-killer for me that it is for many, but I couldn't imagine Bekka being hungry.
     But no, it was simpler than that.  She wanted to switch drivers.   "I hate L.A. driving," she said.  "Do you mind taking it at least as far as Malibu?"
     I told her I'd take it as far as Ventura, if she didn't mind.  She could spot neat stuff, and I'd hit the shoulder.  (We weren't expecting any neat stuff until well past the Malibu turn-off:  both of us were too familiar with Los Angeles to pretend we'd find anything exciting on the 405.)  Other than the luxury of being able to use the HOV lane, the drive would be a drudge until we turned off on the Santa Monica Freeway, which in both of our minds, was the true marker of our road trip: I was used to heading north and over the grapevine, with Bekka accustomed to getting off in Van Nuys for work purposes.

The Break (Part 5)

     We found a chain motel in Ventura, fairly close to the water, around dusk.  We were a bit tired, but didn't feel like crashing out yet, so we did a couple of medium lines and began figuring out what to do about dinner.  There was a Mexican/American diner a couple blocks up from the motel which the desk clerk said was decent, and that was good enough for us.  It was either that or McDonald's; I told Bekka we could hit the McDonald's for milkshakes afterwards, if there was no ice cream at the diner.

The Break (Part 6)

Just past nine in the morning a girl with jet-black hair, barefoot, and wearing a t-shirt and panties appeared yawning in the "breakfast room" and began loading up a couple plates with muffins, bagels, butter, and cream cheese.  She also filled a couple glasses with ice and orange juice.  Having worked as a waitress in her youth, she had no question about getting everything up to the room, but was a bit fuzzy-headed and not processing well.  While she stood there staring at the plates, she was aware of a Midwestern voice grousing about "it shouldn't be allowed" and "the very nerve."

The Break (Part 7)

     I snapped awake in Carpinteria, my body screaming for ice water.  We hit a fast food place where I bugged them for french fries and the largest water they'd give me, I'd pay full price on a soda for ice water.  After that, Bekka and I traded off using the bathroom so we could rail up.
     In a short while we were in Santa Barbara, searching for a posh hotel.  After much picking of brains we found a place called the Bacara Resort & Spa, with $140 rooms and $70 dinners.  Perfect.

The Break (Part 8)

     I'd called the game spot on, but missed by a mile when it came to competence.

     There were no dark-suited Eastern European thugs with Glocks waiting in the shadows, but instead a hillbilly harpy with bad hearing, hollering that she'd get a lawyer, she weren't puttin' up with this shit, if that Hunky bitch wanted her goddamn visa back she could go get a lawyer, an' she didn't have the money for a goddamn lawyer, now did she?

The Break (Part 9)

       We spent the night in Salinas, and Ivanka was off by a day.  She joined us in our bed that night.  I had no worries of being haunted by Tom Wellow, at least not that night.  The presence of two beautiful nude women  erased his images.
     I was initially afraid to touch Ivanka, due to the abuse she had suffered.  She finally explained that it was obvious I was gentle, I would not hurt her, and she wanted both Bekka and me.  She had never taken Ecstasy before, and was interested in trying it.... At least with us, as she extended trust to us, and not the Romanian guys who wanted to get her high.  I figured they had a lot of bad speed mixed with god-knows-what, or GHB, or Rohypnol.  Date rape shit.  The oddity was the number of clients that wanted to feed her date-rape drugs: dude, you've already paid for the sex, you don't need to turn the girl into a mannequin first.

The Break (Part 10)

     We needed the wasted day; I know I sure as hell did.  Being a hero is tiresome, and I was sick of the job.  I didn't ask for it, I didn't want it, and it turned  out the pay was crap.  I mentioned all this to Bekka, who was vaguely sympathetic, but had a Calvinist attitude towards the whole scene: it was obviously meant to be , so there's not a lot I can do about it, can I?
     Ivanka thought it was all beautiful, and that that I needed a cape to go along with everything else.... Especially her hero worship, which had taken a very physical aspect.  It was unspoken so far, but it was a matter of time before hostile words were exchanged over who got access to me....

The Break (Part 11)

     A couple days later the Falcon was being turned from yellow to blue, Ivanka's unbreakable cheeriness had pretty much endeared her to her co-workers at both venues, and we were learning a civics lesson.

  • To get an apartment, you need a bank account.
  • To get a bank account, you need I.D.
  • To get an I.D.,  you need a permanent address --- the motel wouldn't do, so you need an apartment.
     Fortunately, we found the loophole: SRO (Single Room Occupancy) hotels qualified as "permanent" housing.  It was time for Ivanka to start cutting the cords, and get herself a room in an SRO.

The Break (Part 12)

   JapanTown lived up to the stereotype by having a huge futon showroom open.  Bedding also available, plus lamps, and the futons bolted together like Ikea products.  Unassembled, the bed/sofa hybrid actually fit in the trunk of the Falcon (although that says more about the Falcon's trunk than anything else).  We got it home, the three of us taking turns lugging it up the steps from where Ivanka's parking space was, along with the lamp and sheets and blankets.  I assembled it as the girls went through the phone book, in search of used and new furniture places that provided delivery.  The bed would be new, if nothing else.  Just a hang-up all three of us had: a used bed is like second-hand underwear.  You'd rather not think about it.
     With her new pseudo-bed assembled, we walked down the hill and had some Italian for dinner.  By coincidence, we ran into the guy from the property management office just leaving from his meal.

     "Are you working tonight?" he asked Ivanka.  He smelled like he'd had a few.
     "Yes, eight  to midnight.  Oh, and we solved the problem of the bed.  I now have futon.  I will use until I buy real bed.  Thank you, thank you so much for wonderful apartment!  It is beautiful!  I take care of it, and stay a long time!"
     "I'm glad you're so happy with it, honey!  It won't bother you if I watch you dance?"
     "Please, do come.  I wish you to see me dance."
     I said, "She doesn't just do the usual 'tits and clit' show.  Yeah, she's sexy, but she's an amazingly gifted dancer, very gymnastic moves.  You gotta see it."
     He promised his attendance, and we went in for some dinner.

     At about 1:30 in the morning I sat up in bed, the adrenaline pumping hard, nostrils flared, eyes open wide.  I began pulling on my clothes.
     "What the hell are you doing?" asked Bekka, mostly still asleep.
     "Ivanka is is trouble, I've gotta go over there."
     "She rubbed her eyes and said in a patronizing tone, "She'd just call the cops if there was trouble.  There's nothing to worry about."
     "Yeah, she'll call 'em on what?  Two Dixie cups and some thread?  I've gotta check on her."
     Still being patronizing, she said, "Look, you're just worried  because she's not here.  You're feeling paranoid."
     "Come with me or stay here, like I give a fuck.  I'm going, goodbye."  I was gone before she had a chance to tell me to fuck off.

I'd have done Steve McQueen proud slamming across town.  I had the sort of luck you only get when you don't give a shit, when you know something has hit, but bad, and shit like other cars and signals and stop signs is just so much pointless noise.  If you're pushing it as hard as you safely can, you push harder, Sparky, because there's too much on the line to worry about safety.
     I jumped off Bay St. onto Columbus and saw trouble ahead, in the form of night construction.  Fuck that.  The curbs were too high to hop, so I slammed in reverse to the last corner, hit the curb cut, and shot down the sidewalk with my thumb on the horn.  I slid into a left at Filbert and threaded my way through heavy equipment, then was clear to zoom up Filbert towards Genoa, Ivanka's street.
     I ignored the stops up the hill and turned on Varennes, anchoring the Falcon on the sidewalk.  I had no plan except to save Ivanka from.... Whatever wanted to hurt her.  I got in the trunk and grabbed things that made sense: the baseball bat, the duct tape, and for some reason the baseball.  I had no idea why.
     I walked on Doc Martens --- nice quiet Docs --- until I was at the foot of the steps to her apartment  I crept up the steps.  The door was wide open; I could hear a voice: ".... Ignore me.  You're all stuck up cunts, you act so fucking sweet as long as the money is there.  Take off the pants , it's my turn to play...."
     Standing to one side, I rolled the baseball into the living room.  The reaction was immediate: four shots fired from an automatic.  My ears rang slightly.
     Now I knew why I'd brought the baseball.  I knew what he had, and there were four shots left.

     I swung over the side of the railing and yelled, "Hey motherfucker!  Barney Fife shoots better than you!"
     Two more shots came out the door. I made an agonized yell, fading to a gurgle.  I dropped to the ivy under the steps.
     C'mon, be cagey, you bastard.  Check on me.  I may be dead, I may not.  Get out here and check.
     He checked.  He started down the steps rather slowly; as he reached the right step I grabbed his ankle and yanked.
     He yelled and pitched forward, the gun tumbling out of his hand.  I vaulted back onto the steps, kicking at him, and swinging the bat into his stomach.  He was single-minded, though, with his mind on getting the gun back.  I threw myself stomach-first down the steps after that automatic.  He beat me....
    A single round went through my ribs on my right hand side, then.... Nothing.  He clicked the trigger several times, to no avail.  I wasn't feeling generous or in the mood for fair play: I bashed him in the head with the bat like Jose Canseco.  I had no idea if it was a killing blow.  Didn't care much, either.
     Somehow I managed to run up the steps and stick my head in Ivanka's door.  She saw me and burst into tears; for the last thirty seconds she didn't know if it was her masked rapist or me taking the short end of things.
     "Are you all right?" I asked.  "I've gotta get some cops here, fast, I'll be right back."
     The rapist was coming out of it, so I gave him another tap to the skull and found a use for the duct tape: I put about ten layers around his hands and wrists, and the same around his  ankles.  Then I taped him upside down to the railing of the stairs.  "You're --- ouch --- stuck, you asshole."
     The shot I'd taken to the ribs was making itself known in a big way.  I gimped across the street and banged the bat on the door.  Someone inside yelled, " Who is it?"
     "It's Arsenio fucking Hall, asshole!  Dial 911!  I've been shot, A woman was nearly raped, I've got a guy duct taped to a stair railing, and I fucking want my mommy!"
     I bearded guy in a heavy robe slid out the door, took a look at me, and said, "Are you all right?"
     I stared at him, with blood soaking my waist, my chin scuffed from the steps, and a look on my face that would make Francis Bacon seem stable, and said, "Two guesses.  We gotta check on my friend, I may need your help."
     I needed his help. My ribs were screaming.  As we walked past, I told the incredibly helpful neighbor to pull the mask off the rapist.

     It was the guy from the property management company.

     "My God," said the neighbor, "this is the man we rent from."
     "Well, feel shocked later.  Me, I'm settling for being pissed off.  He tried to rape my friend who's up at the top of these stairs, which --- OWW! --- you're gonna help me climb.  You're my crutch  Okay, on three."
     I nearly passed out twice, but I made it.  Ivanka succeeded in making me pass out by launching herself at me with a hug.  When I came out of it, I told her, "Ivanka, you're beautiful and I love you, but please don't touch me until after a doctor has seen me.  I've been shot and it really hurts."
     "How did you know to come here?" she asked.
     "You wouldn't believe me if I told you.  By the way, the Falcon is parked on the sidewalk a block down.  Are you up to moving it?  I can get the guy from across the street...."
     She smiled and kissed me.  "I will get the car if you allow me to call you 'hero'."
     "I'll allow it, for now."

          The next afternoon, the cop --- naturally, the same one from the diner --- looked down at me where I lay in my hospital bed.  "Y'know, I'm starting to really hate Fords.  Especially old ones."
      I told him, "That must be painful, especially with you guys being saddled with those Crown Vics all day and night.  Maybe you should get Camrys instead."
     "Just so long as it's not a Falcon.  First we get a report from CHP about an old Ford that may or may not have been involved in a fatal crash down near Solvang, but to not put too much work into it since the guy who died was a scumbag.  Okay, they say ignore it, we ignore it.
     "Then we hear about an old Ford hot rod tearing it up on the sidewalk of Columbus. Fifty on the sidewalk, so we're told.  And lo and behold, we find an old Ford parked at the scene of an attempted rape on Telegraph Hill.  After a while, a guy can't help but make some connections.
      I'm gonna ask you, and you're gonna tell me, how you knew that rape was going down.  And I swear I'll beat on your ribs with my nightstick if I don't like the answer."
     "Well, first of all, I disavow any knowledge of reckless driving on Columbus Avenue.  People see funny things at night.  Second, you may as well pull out your nightstick, because you'll hate the answer I'll give you."
     "Try me."
     "It came to me in a dream."
     "You're right, I hate it.  You wanna at least sell it to me a bit better?"
     "Officer, don't lie.  You've relied on blind hunches plenty of times, hunches that had no basis in reality.  Just mental flukes you can't explain.  And I'll bet they pay off more often than you're willing to admit."
      The cop stared at me with narrowed eyes, then shrugged and said, "Fair enough.  Is that your story?"
     "Pretty much, yeah.  I just had a bad feeling about a friend being in trouble and figured it couldn't hurt to go over to her new apartment.  If I was wrong, then I look like an asshole, but otherwise, no harm no foul.  And if I'm right, well...."
     "If you're right, you catch a slug in the side that takes out chunks of ribs, ventilates your right side, grazes your lung, and generally colors you as one lucky sonofabitch.  You should have sustained more damage than you did.  That, and you're walking around right afterwards like you got a hangnail.  Most guys pass out from the pain of getting a chunk of lung knocked out, but not you.  No, you're a busy little bee, taping up the perp and talking to neighbors and walking flights of stairs.  You gotta be the most stubborn bastard on the planet."
     "Speaking of, how is the rapist scumbag, anyway?"
     "Until he's convicted, we call him a suspected rapist.  And he's alive, well, and a complete prick.  Was talking about suing you for that shot you gave him with the bat.  We reminded him you could sue him right back for shooting you..  As it is, your girlfriend will probably end up owning half that block: the employee of the property management company allegedly attempts to rape her,  she sues the management company, who is also being sued by the actual property owners.  She's a tough little bird.  You know where we tracked her down?  At work.  She didn't wanna miss her shift.  Most girls would curl up in a ball from the trauma, she's just pissed off that being in court will jam up her sleep schedule and she may end up with shorter shifts for a couple weeks.  She's not traumatized, she's pissed off.  You know some tough women, bud.
     "Anyway, the perp's brain scan is perfectly fine, which is good for us, 'cos it means he goes through trial like anyone else.  Shit, you'll probably be on a cane, while he'll look healthy.  Bad news for him, good for us."
     "What's his story?"
      The cop laughed.  "We gave him his Miranda and he wouldn't shut up.  All dancers are closet whores, she deserved to be raped, he hates women, blah blah blah.  May as well have just told us to lock him up without a trial.  He's a woman-hating bastard, and said as much under oath.  No lawyer on the planet can dig him out of the hole he made.  In the meantime, we're checking assaults and rapes occurring at properties managed by this particular service, y'know, see if a pattern pops up.  Given how talkative this dumbfuck is, it just might clear out some stuff from the cold files, some women finally get to have some resolution for their assaults."
     "Don't suppose I could borrow your night stick?  I want to have a chat with him."
     "Yeah, scratch that, kid.  He's under lock-down.  Nobody gets near him that isn't in uniform, not even to bring his meals.  In another day or two he gets shifted to the county facility, where we'll give him the choice of general population or solitary.  After we explain what happens to suspected sex offenders in G.P.,  he'll take solitary.  He doesn't have a death wish.
     "What's pathetic?  How much he whined when we got all that duct tape off him!  You'd have thought we were using a blowtorch instead of pulling off some hair!" the cop laughed.
     "Anyway, you got another visitor waiting.  You had the blonde foreign beauty up here all morning, now you got the raven-haired one to see you.  How you do it, buddy?  Hypnotism?"
     "Not hating women has worked well for me so far," I replied.  "Please, bring Bekka in."

     Bekka's eyes were so swollen I didn't know how she could see.  She held my hand in a shallow, distant way, as if I'd expired already.  Then she removed her hand, tried clearing her throat, and announced, "I'm flying back to San Diego tomorrow.  I'll leave you the Falcon, I know you'll get it home safe."  She started to rise.
     "Wait!  What the hell!  Why are you leaving?  You're my partner, y'know?"
     "I abandoned you.  That sixth sense bullshit you have told you to go save Ivanka, and instead of helping, I told you you're an idiot and to go back to bed.  You ignored me and you were right, Ivanka was in trouble, and I rolled over and went back to sleep while my best friend is busy getting shot.  You don't need me around, I'm an obstacle, I'm just in your way."  She was crying again.
     "But you're my best friend too.  I don't know what I'd do without you around.... Especially right now.  Forget last night, it was a fluke, it was.... just...."
     "It was you saving the day again!  And you won't even admit it!  You're a hero and for some reason you hate the idea, like you've gotta wear a cape and be a pompous fuck!  You can be you, dammit, and just admit unusual things happen around you that you always manage to fix and take care of.  Just, please, admit you're a hero.  That's all I want.  I want you to admit you can do good, that you are good.  That you save people's lives, that you're not the self-described fuck-up you think you are.
     "Just that."
     Tears ran down my face.  I said, "Please, lie down on my left side.  The right side will hurt like hell."
      I managed to scoot over some for her, ignoring the pain.  She managed to get situated next to me; I reached over to hold her hand.  Then I muttered, "Okay, I'm a hero."
     Bekka kissed my cheek and said, "And you were the last one to know."


The Break (Part 13)

(In No Particular Order....)

     Ivanka achieved part of the American Dream in record time, by becoming a property owner.  She ended up with her own one-bedroom, plus the two-bedroom at the back, which sat higher and held a better view.  The manager at the Hungry I, concerned about being sued by Ivanka --- 'Customer Rapes Dancer at Hungry I, Film At Eleven' --- became unbelievably helpful to Ivanka, mostly by giving her unfettered access to his venal, ball-chewing, shark-like lawyer and pointing him at the property management company.  The lawyer made it clear just how much cheaper buying the property, then transferring it to Ivanka, would be as compared to taking it in front of a jury.  The portrait of a doe-eyed 22-year-old, regardless of her career, facing down against a mask-wearing sadistic monster in the home she'd just rented that day from the man.... It was a no-go.  With the manager's statements part of public record, the property management company may as well have admitted to kicking kittens in court.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Failing to the Top (Part 1)

In my life, I've probably covered a million miles on the road, all to earn a living.  I've driven cabs, delivered furniture, worked as a document courier, performed medical deliveries, sub-contracted for an overnight service (one of the FedEx wannabes), hauled for a corporate mail service, delivered pizza, run a route for a tire supply company (delivering everything from wheel weights to floor lifts), was a drug mule, and drove the truck for an organic catering company.

Failing to the Top (Part 2)

"Before you do, why are you doing this?" asked Anise.
"A few reasons," I told her.  "Look, you two are chasin' your fuckin' dream, right?  Maybe you went to culinary school, maybe you just always had people telling you what great cooks you are.  You saw a niche and decided to fill it.  I'm guessing at first it was just you two, catering small dinner parties.  Shit took off, and you got this space and the vans and employees and gigs for two hundred people lined up.

Failing to the Top (Part 3)

After all the now-former employees --- it would be silly to call them "workers" --- had come and gone, we were still sitting on three checks.  I went in to talk to Anise and Paul, leaving Seth and Reba in his old cop car chopping up some speed.  I'd made no promises about the personal habits of the people I dealt with, so I left them alone.  Going into the main kitchen, I found them way ahead of schedule: the people they hired actually worked!  Hard!  Quickly!  Correctly!  The crew was told to take it easy, wander the store a bit to learn where things were, and otherwise get familiar with Stone Soup Organic's layout.  They'd moved so fast compared to the old crew, many trays were being wrapped in foil and put in the walk-in cooler by the new crew, to keep them from either turning or going stale and bland before the event.
Showing Anise the three left-over checks, I asked for a list of phone numbers; I'd contact them myself.

Failing to the Top (Part 4)

"Lenny!  How ya doing, cutie?"
"Um, I'm okay, but a bit confused.  Why wouldn't you talk to the owner?"
"Lenny, I can't work there.  No way.  There may as well be a cross in lamb's blood on the door."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"It's their staff!  All scummy little hippies, fucking human cess-pits, worthless in life and in a kitchen.  Grapevine info I got from friends says Stone Soup will be lucky to last another six months, mostly due to the slime they have as crew.  Every other catering crew in the Bay Area hates working with them: they 'borrow' equipment and utensils, they're loud, they swear in front of guests, they put out their own tip jar instead of pooling it like protocol dictates, they'll be stoned on jobs, and they'll bail on collective clean-up, leaving the other one or two companies to cover their work.  Basically, working for Stone Soup  is announcing 'I'm an asshole!' to the great wide world of catering in the Bay Area.  The company is eventually gonna run out of customers who don't know who they are."

Failing To The Top (Part 5)

"Lennerestra!" cried Mimi, doing a forward flip and landing in my arms.
"Mimi, darling!  It's been ages!  Why, we haven't seen each other since.... Well, breakfast, forty-five minutes ago." I responded.
"The years, they do fly by," sighed Mimi.
We walked over to a van which seemed to have puked random parts in every direction.  "Roadie!" I called.  "Our favorite sex dwarf is here!"
"Please, Lenny.  I prefer the term 'erotic munchkin.'"

Failing To The Top (Part 6)

The students began filing in.  They had obviously taken the same bus to have arrived en masse the way they did.  All of them milled about, not talking much; it was obvious that something new had begun.  Mimi made that clear within seconds.
She kicked off her shoes and jumped up on the bread station by way of a handstand.  She now had everyone's attention.

Failing To The Top (Part 7)

Two days later, the final van was repaired, the two other lifts had been installed, and a terrible human being was no longer in our employ.  It would have taken less time, but the Big O Tire place in Serramonte was running behind by hours, and there was no way to put the last van on the road without fresh rubber at all four corners.  Roadie was sidelined, but was prepared: he had a greasy Terry Pratchett novel in his jacket to kill time ("I've had this same 'hurry up and wait foolishness at the Arizona border, while they check for illegal fruit").
I was concerned about how much sleep he was getting.  He'd insist he needed to take care of "a few things" at the warehouse after we got into Oakland, and insist upon being dropped off with a bottle of Mountain Dew (which we both shared a passion for).  When I got up in the morning, he would already be gone, off to the warehouse again to continue fabrication --- because welders are sooo safe to operate when you're underslept --- and to go over his specs yet again with Rice, quintuple-checking that everything looked right.  Rice finally told him, "You already built one, right?  Just do the same damn thing two more times!  It's fine!"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Part 9: Dumpster Diving)

I had a secondary money-making scheme which also involved UCB students.  In my normal pattern, I vacuumed money out of the students by delivering them pizza, for which they would pay me plus a tip.  We were paid by the tag:  at the time, $2 per tag, or order carried.  Thirty orders in a night, sixty dollars, plus the tips, which fluctuated wildly.  Anywhere from a dollar (cheap-ass fuck-hole!) to thirty or forty, if you picked up a big party order to an event.  The sort of order where the pizzas don't get bagged, but simply loaded in the trunk and back seat: they'll keep each other warm when there's that many.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Peanut allergies. "Yes, our little Braden has a peanut allergy. He could DIE if exposed to peanuts!"

So anyone who walked past a Planter's display in the last thirty days or reminisced about their sack lunches as a child --- think "______ butter and jelly," for those of you who move your lips when other people read --- or has figurines of Linus and Snoopy in their den, it's up to you to remain a minimum of three hundred feet from Braden at all times, lest you be accused of attempted child murder. God fucking forbid the parents teach little Braden to not jam his face in jars of Skippy at the supermarket, or --- this is so crazy it just might work --- not trade lunches at school with a kid who got a PB&J that day.

It's called personal responsibility. Your kid's problems are not my problems. Try to make them my problems, and I'll tie your earlobes to your scrotum and carry you around like a bowling bag. If your result of a condom failure is so sensitive to a basic common food that he could snuff it just from walking past someone who had a snack on an airplane recently, maybe you should LEAVE HIM HOME. Home, where it's safe. Where the medications always are. (The medications are never with the child, for some reason.) If he needs to leave the house for some reason --- and I'm not it --- put him in a full body chemical suit and a gas mask. Yeah, I'm gonna stare at him, and possibly make jokes at his expense, but apparently those are the least of his problems. His main problem is that he's allergic to a common snack.

And as a last resort, well.... Remember the ending of "Ol' Yeller"?

And before I forget, fuck you for naming the kid 'Braden' in the first place. Even my spell-checker hates the name.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

There Is Life After Youth

The first time I ever considered seriously abusing a child (well, he was fourteen) was at 924 Gilman at the end of a show.  Little bastard walked up to me while I was having a smoke outside and said three words, one I'd never expected to hear applied to me.  He walked up and said, "Excuse me, sir?"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Briefly, At Denny's

I guess this is propf that at the age of twenty, one's Asshole Gland is functioning at its peak.You're still at the age where being a cruel, vicious bastard comes quite naturally, and without a second thought.  Would I behave in such a manner these days?  Well.... Probably not.  I've gotten it out of my system, I think.

I was at the Denny's near La Jolla Shores sometime in early 1989. It was about one in the morning, and the only people in the place were me, Bekka, and a jive-ass white-bread couple --- you could tell just by looking they drove either a SAAB or a Volvo --- and the couple's infant. A very unhappy infant. One that did not stop screaming.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Part 8 - Invasion of the Woo People.)

Obviously, the most common drug was alcohol.  I was offered so many beers there's no point in trying to count.  I first started driving for Lefty's a little over a year after my last drink ever, and there was a bit of irony in constantly delivering to drunken college kids: they helped encourage my sobriety.  It was a situation where I'd be around a gaggle of drunk students, and my thought process was not envy, but vicarious embarrassment.  The horrible realization that I used to act like as big of a putz as they were, and that hurt deep inside.  It would strike me, "Oh holy Christ, I was just as big of an asshole as these twerps."  So yeah, they helped me stay steadfast in keeping off the bottle.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Just A Day At Work - Epilogue (NOTE: Read Last!)

You're at the end.  If you didn't start at the beginning, you need to.  Do so by clicking here.

Six weeks later....

The Falcon is fired up around one a.m., the whump-whump-whump of the exhaust a telltale heartbeat that a strange beast has come alive.  A beast that can be controlled, barely, an animal powerful enough to challenge one's ability to control it at all.  Bekka and I are going for a short drive.  We may die.  That may be part of the reason we do it.  We leave her apartment complex in Encinitas and get on I-5 south, starting off mellow, and slowly opening it up until by the time we're around Solana Beach, we're holding 90 mph.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just A Day At Work (Part 1)

This turned out far longer than I anticipated.  I was expecting to write another three-chapter story, like Rook or Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters.... A fairly extended story, certainly, but at nine chapters,  not the Homeric epic it turned out to be.
Everything here is "true."  To line up as a better story, sequences of events have been changed, along with all proper names.  Also, I never, ever dealt drugs in large quantities, no siree Bob, I never did that, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  Just like the performers and crew, who never touched drugs in their life, honest.

Just A Day At Work (Part 2)

I stepped through the doors and into a contrast of activities.  The large family room/media room contained both male performers, "Chip" and "Dale."  They were close friends off-set; rumor had it they were lovers. If so, they were loyal to each other, as their blood tests always came back clean.  They were well-mannered and pleasant, but also... Well, the phrase "thick as shit" comes to mind.  Both had the intellectual capacity of fairly clever nine year olds, the types who moved their lips when you were reading.

Just A Day At Work (Part 3)

Bekka swiveled to look at me as I came outside.  "So what's the word?"
I shrugged.  "No clue.  They aren't making progress on repairing the drive, everyone else is just sorta sitting around.  Personally, they oughta beat cheeks to the nearest place that carries those drives and pick up a new one.... But it's not my money to spend."
In a slightly accusing tone, she said, "So what took you?"

Just A Day At Work (Part 4)

(I seem to have gotten ahead of myself.  Bekka and I wouldn't spend the night together for a few more days.  Back to the ranch, where the tape drive is functioning and we're ready to shoot a two-on-one.)

The director glared at us as we entered.  Bekka had a grin on her face like a morally ambiguous superhero, I was getting my cameras arranged on their straps the way I liked them, and hoping no one looked down, as I still had a hard-on made of Kryptonite.  I kept willing it to drop, but its presence was making itself known rather persistently.  Calm Steve did notice, and said with a crooked grin, "So, you're clear about what side of the camera you're gonna be on, right?"

Just A Day At Work (Part 5)

The three of us traipsed outside.  The spot we were using was great.  A wide stretch of cement bordered by the pool on one side and meticulously groomed lawn on the other.  Another great feature:  this was the deep end of the pool, and there was a diving board.  I had a few ideas in mind for some posing using that board.
"So guys, you wanna do this live, or posed?  It doesn't matter to me, so long as neither one of you fall in the pool."

Just A Day At Work (Part 6)

There was a sense of both exuberance and exhaustion inside the house.  The shooting schedule was nothing new, but it felt like a long, stressful day, because it had been.  The speed had never been put away, and people were helping themselves to not-too-large bumps: enough to fight off the fatigue everyone was feeling, but not enough to get spun up.
Most everyone was there, so I made an announcement.  "I propose," I bellowed, "we all take Rita out to dinner tonight, for savin' our bacon this afternoon!"  A cheer of approval went up.

Just A Day At Work (Part 7)

Rita and I rolled south on I-5.  She had a relaxed look on her face, a combination of four drinks and the personal satisfaction of a couple jobs well done.  She was vaguely fascinated by my little Honda CVCC.  Given the social culture she was born, raised, and lived in, something that small was a complete anomaly.... And she was used to taking shit for driving her Toyota beater.
My Honda was not a beater.  While not an attractive vehicle, it was kept running well: given the light aluminum blocks CVCCs had, I ran Mobil One oil through it and kept the coolant topped off religiously.  I maintained it almost obsessively, getting it tuned every fifteen thousand miles, keeping the tires rotated, having the transmission and clutch inspected at set intervals (along with the brakes).... My little CVCC wasn't about to leave me stranded.

Just A Day At Work (Part 8)

I had realized I was watching for Bekka to show up, and had to force myself to stop it.  Dammit, she's just a work friend, nothing to get worked up about, we just hang out sometimes, what we did yesterday was just two people blowing off steam, she's just a friend, there's no need to think about her flowing hair and her clear complexion and her perfectly-shaped peach of an ass and her largish firm breasts with their long nipples or her smooth bare vulva---
Fucking STOP IT.  For all I know, her and her boyfriend were no longer exes, which meant he must die in a terrible vehicle explosion---

Just A Day At Work (Part 9)

Amazing things can happen in a Days Inn.  Friends can become closer, jokes can be made, life-changing sexual experiences can come (so to speak) to fruition.

Hearts can be broken.

Hearts can also be mended.

Sometimes these two events can happen within the space of minutes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rook (Part 1)

Addendum: Rook

NOTE:  This is something of a continuum from the "Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters" story, that damn long three-parter I wrote.  It's about Rook, a fourteen year old throwaway kid who me and my roommates took in.  As young as she was, we were her friends.... But we also had a rather protective bend when it came to Rook: she had eleven older brothers and sisters who would do anything to keep her safe.  Yeah, we were a strange family, but one that loved her.... Which was more than could be said about her parents.  Anyway, if you haven't read "Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters" yet, g'wan and read that one first.  This'll make more sense.

Rook (Part 2)

Chuckles, Rook, and Richard came in, chatting about computers.  I knew Rook had a mild interest in them; it turned out Richard was an enthusiast like Chuckles: the long bench with at least three glowing CRT monitors, empty cases, motherboards, random parts, manuals, all the bits a computer enthusiast/geek needed.  Richard's parents had the money to supply him with anything he needed, but he preferred Chuckles' method: scavenging.  They both felt there was a certain purity in building working machines from stuff other people had thrown away.  Chuckles and Richard were arguing Linux versus Windows, and also which build of Linux.

Rook (Part 3)

In a British SUV, Moving Through Berkeley On A Friday Evening

"So, what is her name, anyway?"
"Are you speaking of Rook, Fred?"
"Who else?"
"I promised I would keep her name a secret, no exceptions.  I am keeping that promise.  That girl has had enough betrayal from the adults in her life for me not to."
"Aww, but...."
"I said no.  This is very important to her, I will not betray her trust, and this subject is closed."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Part 7: Random Chunks)


Any of the "Random Chunks" entries will break from my usual narrative, which would have an overarching subject or theme.  These really are just.... Random chunks, small anecdotes from the job that were funny/strange/sad/odd enough to warrant writing down, but too small for their own entry.  Just thought I'd explain.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Part 6: More Greek Tragedies)

Dude, TITS!!

Mammalian protuberances.  One of the great motivators for members of the Greek Fraternal system.

Several years of delivery in Berkeley had me convinced that all frat boys had been bottle babies.  They didn't have the standard appreciation for nice-looking breasts that heterosexual men have in general: you sneak a peek, think "Hmm, very nice," and go about with the rest of your day, the moment only lasting a few seconds.  For the fraternity brothers, it seemed to be a nearly pathological fascination.  Any girl displaying even a modest amount of decolletage would prompt "Whoa!"s and "Damn!"s and be a subject of discussion for several minutes, long after the girl had gone.  Their media intake, in any form, was influenced by whether there were visible breasts: frat boys would be rabid fans of Ingmar Bergman if Bergman had thrown in some random tit-shots.  Budweiser promotional ephemera is everywhere in a frat house, as the posters, cut-outs etc. contain both breasts and alcohol!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Part 5 - Greek Tragedies)



"Hey brah!  Izzat our pizza?"

Well, girdle, give me your fucking name and I can tell you.  There's fifty of you clowns living in this monument to watery beer and date rape, it's a Saturday night, and there's just the tiniest chance someone besides you ordered.  Okay, it is yours.  You pay up, then I give you the pizza.  Because that's how I do things, that's why.  You really want an explanation?  You want me to stand here and explain why I'm treating you with surly distrust while your pizza grows cold?  You can't figure it out for yourself?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters (Part 1)

By some insane comedic twist of the universe, I actually dated a girl I met at one of the yuppie stockyards my straight friends always went to.  We went out four times, then simply stopped returning each other's calls: that made sense, as we had absolutely nothing to say to each other.  We were at one of the T.J. O'Mulligan-style bars, and I was sitting at the bar, drinking diet Cokes and feeling bored: it was 1998, and my friends, being in tech, were discussing the revolutionary possibilities of the World Wide Web.  (By 2002, many would be assistant managers at their local Starbucks, and happy for the work.  Their cars and furniture had already been repossessed, and now they were just happy to make rent.)  For now, their conversation both bored and irritated me --- I admit it, I was a militant Luddite when it came to personal computers, the Internet, or "any of that other digital bullshit.".  A good kitchen fire would have improved my mood, but no matter how hard you focus your mind....

Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters (Part 2)

She went in the bathroom, I unlocked my door, then remembered I needed to check messages.   (For various reasons, I had my own phone line.)  I was listening to them when she came back out of the john, walked into the middle of my room, and said in horror, "What in God's name is that?"
I looked around the room, trying to figure out what had her so startled.... And realized she was staring at my Dwarves poster, the one from the "Blood Guts & Pussy" album.
"Um, that's a poster for the Dwarves first album.  Didn't you say you graduated high school in 1990?"

Cross-Tribal Mating Disasters (Part 3)

We stepped out of my door and immediately ran into Rory the Mick, returning home from band practice, with his guitar slung over his shoulder and a bottle of Guinness in one hand.  Very brief introductions were made, and I asked him, "So who's playing at Gilman tonight, do you know?  I have no clue."
Rory said, "Ummm.....  I can't remember band names, but at least three I, like, mentally associate with OBHC, so that should give you a clue as to what the show and the music will be like.  I ain't going.  It started over an hour ago anyway."
"Yeah, but with five bands, what's the diff?  Besides, as long as you stay out of the pit, the whole OBHC thing is just plain overrated.  I know some of those guys, and they've always been mellow with me, even when they been drinking."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Inhabitants of the Friend Zone: Bombing Will Commence in Thirty Seconds

Having always harbored an intense loathing of the show "Friends," I never heard the phrase 'Friend Zone' until the series was off the air. Despite all the analysis and explanations, there are still gray areas, vague unexplained concepts of the 'Friend Zone.'

The Friend Zone (FZ for short) would seem to be similar to Nice Guy Syndrome, in that you're dealing with a guy who has a romantic or sexual interest in a girl....  But lacks that last two inches of backbone to front up with the girl and ask her out or tell her how he feels.  However, a few things separate the two.  First, there's a chance that a guy who self-defines as being in the Friend Zone may actually have laid it out to the girl he's interested in, and got shot down ("You're a sweet guy, and I do like you, just not in 'that way.'").  Personally, the guy should suck it up, accept the reality --- gosh, you have a good friend, doesn't life suck --- get over it, and move on.  Nope: they pine for the girl instead, like a Nice Guy: she'll see what a Nice Guy I am and come around.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Pt. 4: Students)

First, a bit of hate.

Really, the biggest problem with college students is that they're all dumber than neon tetras.  You know what, junior?  Fuck what your Stanford-Binet Intelligence Quotient came out to be.  Fuck your SAT scores, fuck your 4.0 GPA all through high school, fuck what your high school guidance counselor said about the future success you'd have, and double-fuck how mommy and daddy always told you what a gifted child you are.  News flash, brat: you're as stupid as a box of chalk, and even more worthless.

You know what college students are gifted in?  Taking tests.  That's all.  Outside of that scope, they have the self-preservation skills of a box turtle with fetal alcohol syndrome, the problem-solving skills of crab lice, the real-life comprehension skills of refrigerator mold, and the grasp of how everyday life works of a pine cone.  College students, no matter the meaning of that 1600 on their SAT, are unable to function without massive amounts of hand-holding aid and support.  "Intelligence," as measured via Scan-Tron, is useless unless coupled with a more basic concept: common sense.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Depravity (a.k.a. I Destroy Pedophiles For Fun & Profit)


This particular article has some rather disturbing content.  Please keep this in mind before you proceed.

The Depravity Event Horizon was passed even earlier than the Internet.  I worked in an "adult book store,"  and a few times a week we'd have creeps coming in looking for "the good stuff:" torture porn, rape, snuff (which I don't believe exists), bestiality, and of course pedophilia.  They were always sure we had the "good stuff" under the counter, or in the back.

The answer was "no," for all of it.  If they were looking for kiddie porn, the answer was "fuck no, get the hell out of our store you sick asshole."  I was sort of the semi-official bouncer, and seriously, the higher-ups (the store was part of a chain) told me that if someone came in looking for child pornography, and didn't immediately leave when told, I had permission to knock him around while "escorting" him outside.  "Don't actually injure him, but make it very clear he is unwanted in our stores and to never come back."
"What if he calls the cops for me roughing him up?"
The manager laughed.  "Yeah, right.  Some guy trying to track down kiddie porn calling the cops over a few bruises?  Don't worry: in a million-to-one chance that happens, the company has your back."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crushes, And "Nice Guy" Syndrome

I have never obsessed or gotten worked up over "celebrity" women.... With two exceptions.  The two women were Wendy O. Williams (of the Plasmatics) and Lois Ayres (of the adult film industry).  Wendy O. was definitely my thing when I was fourteen or fifteen: I liked aggressive women (and the use of electrical tape over nipples in lieu of a shirt); Wendy O. created an obsession with mohawked women that lasts to this day.  Seriously, I think women with mohawks are drop-dead sexy.  (It's been thirteen years now; my wife still refuses.)

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Little Bit About Dominatrices

It seems like I write about sex a lot, and I guess that's true.  But for me, there is no prurient drive in what I write; what I have to say is exploratory (like the article 'Perversion') or discussing things that have happened in my own working life, or the working lives of friends (like this piece).  As someone who has spent a lot of time around sex workers of various types, both professionally and just people who were friends, I appreciate anything that shows the human aspect of people in "naughty business."  The performers in porn?  They're fairly ordinary people who just happen to earn a living with their genitals.  And they're perfectly nice folks, too.

And today, we're going to discuss dominatrices, or dommes.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Pt. 3, Modesto Interlude)

Modesto Interlude...

So I'm driving for an indie pizza store located on University Avenue.  Started off with a 1985 Honda Prelude, then moved up to a 1998 Civic DX....  The first "new" car I ever owned; the Civic was a fleet lease return with about nine thousand miles on it.  I'd change than number upwards, but quick.

I originally started off working a six-to-ten shift four days a week.  It was just supplemental income for my day job driving for a corporate mail service, which paid a crap hourly wage but had health insurance, not a bad trade-off.  The only reason I left that day job was I got snookered into moving back to Modesto, ostensibly to help run a courier service I'd worked for a couple years earlier (a whole different story in itself).  I got out to Modesto to find they didn't want my help running the business at all: they were just so starved for competent drivers, ones who weren't either geriatric or dumber than a boot full of pebbles, that they out-and-out lied to me to get me back.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fun With Pizza (Pt. 2)

San Diego...

My first pizza job was at an indie place on El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego.  It was "centrally located," in a manner of speaking.  The delivery area was monstrous: all the way up to Tierrasanta, down to Logan Heights, plus North Park, Mission Hills, Downtown, South Park, out to La Mesa, southeast to Encanto, and all points in between.  I'd never had anything to do with the business, and still recognized the madness in this giant delivery area.

I also recognized the possible dangers in delivering to some of the areas we covered.  East San Diego, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Encanto.... These were not fun places to be, especially for a twenty year old white boy.  My main defense was probably the punk rock look I had: "It's onna them crazy white boys.  Who know what he could do?"

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Theocrats. Oh, You So Crazy.

There's this dude by the name of Gary Cass, right?  He's part of something called the "Christian Anti-Defamation Commission," which, if Gary is any indication, a load of hyper-extremist, paranoid, reactionary mega-Fundamentalist Christians.  You know the ones: handing out Chick tracts on Halloween, spending their Saturdays at the park bellowing chunks from Revelations through their Mr. Microphones, convinced that non-Christian religions (especially the Muslims) are out to somehow take over America, and generally thinking God should be a source of fear and not love.

They're always pissed off about something: my grandmother fit in with that group, and I once heard her go on a five-minute rant about "those damn Presbyterians."  Mr. Cass had this to say recently (I pulled the last paragraph because I didn't feel like dealing with the whole thing):

Fun With Pizza (Pt.1)

I've spent quite a bit of time in my life delivering pizza.  When you have absolutely no financial aspirations, it's a wonderful gig.  Relatively easy work, decent money, and you're out and about for most of your day, which had the most appeal to me.  The money is enough to keep the landlord off your neck, keep the lights and phone on, buy music, and provide a savings cushion.... Which you'll need, because running a car for six to twelve hours a day means having to maintain it at a near-constant rate.  Plus, things still break, no matter what you drive.

Pizza delivery is sometimes aggravating, sometimes frustrating, sometimes hilarious, but it's never dull.  You meet people at their best and worst; I'll be talking about them later on.  Right now though, it's time for some advice.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


For convenience sake, we'll simply define perversion as deviation from a culture's view
of normal sexuality.

For example, let's take the Folsom Street Fair. While actual sexual activity at the Fair is discouraged and frowned upon, the dress and overall style of the attendees gives a good clue as to their interests: leather, chains, cuffs, masks, 9" spike-heel boots, spikes, whips... You get the idea.

However --- the Folsom Street Fair being what it is --- all of that is defined as normal, at least for the duration of the Fair and within its geographic boundaries. So, let's say a guy named Lenny goes to the Fair to flyer for his friend's piercing shop. He's wearing engineer boots, black Ben Davis pants, a Toy Dolls t-shirt, and has a zipped sweatshirt (a non-hooded hoodie) stuffed in his Zo-bag, along with the shop flyers and other stuff.

In this situation, Lenny is the pervert. In fact, Lenny wishes he was still seventeen and still thought spike bracelets were cool; they would have helped a little to blend in with the crowd. As it was, Lenny attracted attention to himself by NOT being dressed in leather, chains, et. al. Seriously, people stared, all day.

Lenny's sense of humor and ability to chat with strangers, no matter the situation, saved the day. Coming across a domme being pulled in an old-school, full-size rickshaw by her sub, he asked her where the fare meter was installed: both of them laughed, and the sub said, "Mistress, I know how we could make a ton of extra money!" Lenny complimented people on their... Ahh.... Well, they weren't clothes... But "costumes" would be insulting --- this ain't fuckin' Halloween for these people, it's a big part of their lives ---

Let's just say Lenny complimented people on the custom-made, damn-pricey-looking leather apparel many were wearing. People were flattered. Many, many flyers were handed out. Overall, Lenny enjoyed himself. He did, however, turn down a couple invitations to come to peoples' houses after things ended for the night: The invitations were from very large hairy gentlemen in leather thongs, motorcycle boots, and little else. Lenny thanked them and explained he had to meet his girlfriend later that evening. (Lenny was single at the time, and the only "girlfriend" he had was at the end of his left wrist. So it wasn't entirely a lie.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Smut Racket (Pt. 1)

Well... Hell. Really, the biggest internal conflict is when some people think your job is interesting --- and it may feel that way at first --- but is just another gig, and your motivation is your paycheck. No more, no less.  Like right now, I'll talk about my time working in retail...

... At an adult book store, a job I held around 1987. Yes, a few of my friends thought the job must've been a real hoot. And... No, no, not really. There were situations that happened unique to the job and environment, and sometimes amusing things would happen, but it really was just a retail gig, with all the tedium one expects from retail... No matter what you're selling.

People always find something to bitch about to the clerks in retail.  For whatever reason, we didn't have to put up with it so much.  Such a vast percentage of our customers were carrying around some sort of bizarre Calvinist shame just by being there that they probably wouldn't have complained if we'd set small areas of their clothing on fire.  It would be eerily quiet in the store, even when it was full.  While it's not the sort of place you normally start up casual conversation, It would have been nice if the damn customers actually spoke to us, while we were ringing them up.

Friday, March 21, 2014


In my life, I have hit exactly three people without being physically provoked.

The first time --- which I have written about --- I was on LSD and having a not-so-good trip, was massively paranoid, and was convinced, in the manner that only people high on LSD can be, that a total stranger on a BART platform was going to attack me, so I had to attack him first. I spent three hours in the custody of BART police, followed by a trip to Alta Bates Hospital to be shot full of Thorazine. No charges filed; the guy I punched figured someone as messed up as I was didn't need any more trouble in his life. A very generous act on his part.

The second time I was drunk, surly, and stupid. One of those "You lookin' at me, asshole?" attitudes. I swung and kind of connected, sort of, he swung and connected well. He "won" the fight by dint of the fact that all he had to do was push me and I'd nearly go down: I was really, REALLY hammered.
It was probably pretty funny to watch. I'd stagger towards him slurring "Imma fukk y' up," he'd simply push me, and I'd stagger backwards to where I started, often landing on my ass. After about three or four times of this, a couple of random guys guided me out the door saying soothing things like "Don't worry, he ain't gonna fuck with you any more, okay? Why don't you sit down out here and get some fresh air?" So I sat down against the wall and promptly passed out for two hours, until a cop woke me up. I explained that I'd "felt a little tired," and he let me head towards home.... Fortunately, only four blocks away.

The third time was an ALF protester, maybe twelve years ago. Before everybody had cameras on their phones, which was a good thing.

This would also be a good time to mention that my wife is a diabetic. You can probably see where this is going.

Monday, March 17, 2014

LSD, Failed Violence, and BART Cops

This is a little incident going back to 1990, when I was twenty-two.  Just another punk rock weirdo, in a town with hundreds of them, who decided to spend a spare three dollars I had on a hit of LSD from one of the hippie shits in People's Park.  A perfectly sensible idea: drop acid and see where the rest of the day took me.  As it happened, I was taken places I never expected to go....

I don't remember what the hell I was doing in Rockridge, no clue at all.  Way far out of my turf.  I was already high, so I may have walked all the way from Telegraph: something of a stroll, but I was so used to walking just about everywhere it wouldn't have fazed me.  And I was set for a trip: fresh batteries in the Walkman, a few cassettes (Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and some early Discharge), Tic-Tacs, a BART ticket with about ten bucks on it, and a little cash.  Plus my usual stuff, consisting of cigarettes, lighter, pens, single-edge razor blade in my wallet, and a lock-blade Buck knife in my back pocket.

The paranoia kicked in about eight blocks from the Rockridge BART station--- did I say "paranoia"?  I meant to say, Unknown Faceless Pursuers, who I could sometimes spot, started coming after me.  They may have looked like normal-ass people, but I knew --- I KNEW --- they were stalking me.  I made the decision to get to West Oakland and sort of hole up at a friend's house.  I've got decent beer money, me and Sean and Ginger can drink forties, shoot the shit, and I'll take the edge off this fry with malt liquor.