That night we met Terry at the Gun Range on Balboa. This would be her first introduction to the safe handling and operation of handguns. While guns are hardly rare around outlaws, their use seemed to be reserved for the boys only, nobody had ever invited Terry out to the desert to go shooting. I wasn't worried about her having a pistol, Terry was far more intelligent than she let on. Like her kindness and feminine side, she kept her wits hidden from the outside world, only displaying them around those she trusted.
Terry was running a bit late. Bekka and I waited in the parking lot, smoking cigarettes. Soon enough a '72 Nova with a supercharger jutting out of the hood pulled in the lot, only it didn't look like the same one I'd sold to Terry. This one was a deep, deep red, and shiny. The color seemed familiar, and I suddenly realized: it was the same shade as Bekka's lipstick. Also, the chrome of the wheels had been polished and Armor-All had been applied to the tires. It looked pretty good.
Terry got out and aimed for us, giving us each a hug. My hug lasted longer than Bekka's, and ended with a quick butt-grab. We went inside, where I bought ammunition, hearing protection for Terry, and paid for a lane for two hours. I said to Terry, "So, you had the car painted."
"She answered, "Oh, fuck yeah. Awesome price too, I called in a favor from some dudes who have a shop on El Cajon Boulevard. They have an appetite for shit, but never seem to have a steady line on anything decent. Roach introduced me to his connection down at that junkyard in National City, so I'm picking shit up lab fresh. I sampled out the dudes at the paint shop, they were stoked, and I told them I could keep them in stock, I'd swing by a couple times a week with a bag of shit and a scale. Just find out what everybody wants, go in the fuckin' office, and weigh out. My paint was only $250 for three coats. Next I go to a sheet metal fabricators and have a fuckin' cowl made for the blower. It looks better, huh?"
I said, "Yes, and a suspiciously familiar color, too."
Terry actually got a bit pink and said, "Yeah, I guess you of all people would recognize that color."
Bekka looked confused and said, "What? What am I missing?"
Grinning, I said, "Take a closer look at Terry's new paint job. It's the exact same hue as your lipstick, a near perfect match."
Terry said, "I won't lie, that's what I wanted. It's such a sexy color, and.... Well...."
Bekka smiled and said, "Terry, are you a fan of mine? Was this a bit of an homage?"
".... Yeah." Terry got even pinker and looked at the floor. "Took a while to find in the fuckin' Pantone book, too, but I think I got a good match."
"Aw, that's sweet. Thank you, I'm flattered."
We went to our lane, stopped at the load table, and put down our guns: my Beretta 92, Bekka's Colt Defender, and Jane's tiny Beretta purse gun. We showed Terry how to drop out the clips, expose the chambers, set the safeties on all three. We showed Terry what to do, and began swapping out our standard hollow-point ammo for regular-point. When all the clips were full, Terry stepped up into the lane with my Beretta. I ran out a target, gave her the safe handling briefing, and had her step up to the line and give it a go. I stepped out, stood back, and watched.
Terry was very steady, the nose of the gun barely raising with each shot, and her immediately correcting. She fired in a steady rhythm, spacing her shots by about two seconds. Her stance was good, feet apart, arms bent slightly, neck straight. She ran through fifteen rounds, popped the clip, and opened the gun up before turning to walk back to the load table.
"Well, let's see how you did," I said, her and I stepping back into the lane. I brought the target forward and was amazed, astounded. Not only was every shot inside the target area, she had nothing less than an eight. My jaw slack, I went and showed Bekka. Her mouth fell open too.
I said, "Okay, you've done this before."
Terry said, "No, never. How did I do for my first try? I just kept the dots aligned like you showed me and aimed for the center."
"Um.... You did very, very well. Extremely well. Every week I only hope I get points like this. Tell you what, let's run out another target and you can try a couple clips with Bekka's Colt."
We ran out the target, Terry stepped up to the line with the Defender and spare clip, and began firing. She kept the same timed rhythm, and looked relaxed in her stance. She switched clips quickly, running through the second one. Finished, she brought the used target over to us, saying, "I dunno, I did about the same with Bekka's."
Sure enough, she had nothing less than an eight.
Bekka looked at her and said, "Girl, you're a damned savant. You got the gift. You shoot better than Lenny and me, and we come here once or twice a week to practice. Dammit, we're buying you a gun, possibly two, and you're going to practice and start entering target competitions. This is incredible."
"So what did you think of the guns?" I asked.
"I think I like the Colt better for practical reasons," Terry replied. "The tip comes up on it more than the Beretta's but it's lighter and the trigger has a shorter pull. I dunno, it's like I felt a little more confident in my aim with Lenny's Beretta, because I wasn't having to correct my aim after each shot. But if I had to carry one for protection, I'd take the Colt, it handles easier. Can I try something?"
"Look, I know you guys want me to carry a piece while I'm guarding Bekka. I wanna see how I do firing one-handed. Can I try a couple clips in the Colt one-handed?"
Bekka said, "Absolutely. Knock yourself out."
Terry quickly and smoothly loaded both clips and stepped back up to the line. She went through both clips right-handed, in the same rhythm she'd been using. She kept her arm bent slightly. Clips empty, she drew in the target and brought it over. One-handed, she had some sevens, but still made points with every single shot.
I said, "Girl, you're a dead eye. This is amazing. You've really never done any shooting before?"
"No," Terry replied. "I dunno, I know I'm supposed to be hitting right in the center, and I'm not, I'm all over the place."
Bekka and I burst out laughing. "You are not all over the place!" said Bekka. "You're getting good points with all your shots. Not only are you in the target area, you're scoring. Shit, when most people start shooting, they're happy to keep their shots on the paper. Dammit girl, you're a savant."
Terry tried the purse gun, and wasn't happy with it, she hated how it jerked around in her hand. I gave her the Beretta 92 and told her to give it another try. Fantastic points again. She switched back to the Colt, got great points, and said that if she was was using a gun "when scary shit was going down" she would want the Colt.
Bekka and I took turns in the lane, and showed our targets to Terry after we were done. I said, "See, we've been doing this a while, and you're still getting better points than us. You should get some practice to build your confidence, then compete."
"Wow, really? I mean, I was missing the center a lot of the time...."
"Professionals don't hit the center all the time. You did extremely well. Tell you what, let's go have a smoke, then see what they have for sale here."
The three of us stepped out front for cigarettes and sodas, then went back in to stare in the display cases. I trotted back to our lane and grabbed one of Terry's targets, and brought it back to the sales area. Putting it down on the top of a display case, I said to the clerk, "Would you say that anyone getting points like that is nearly ready for target competitions?"
"Absolutely," said the clerk. "If that's an amateur, they're already ready to go."
I pulled Terry over and put my arm around her neck. "This girl here says she's never shot a round in her life before tonight. That's her target, at fifteen yards. Personally, the question is not whether I'm buying a gun for her, it's what kind of gun."
"Possibly two guns," said Bekka, sliding over. To the clerk, she said, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but a gun that would work well for concealed carry on a woman probably would not be the best target competition gun, would it?"
"You're right, Ms. Page, it wouldn't. If I remember correctly, you carry a Colt Defender?"
The clerk said, "While the Defender is accurate and reliable, it's accuracy is compromised by the short barrel. No, for competition, you'd want a full sized gun, like the Beretta 92 or one of several Smith & Wesson models."
I asked, "For target practice, would the Colt 1911 be a good workout gun?"
"Absolutely. With its weight, accuracy, and kick, it would get any shooter strong and disciplined."
I turned to Terry and said, "You now have a training gun. I've got this big-ass Colt I won competing against a Marine up in Oceanside, and we don't have much need for it. I'll have it transferred to you, and you'll have something to work out with."
Bekka said to the clerk, "Do you sell the Defender here?"
"We do, ma'am."
Pointing at Terry, Bekka said, "This young lady is going to be my bodyguard, and I'd prefer that she be armed. She is impressed with my Colt. I'd like her to carry concealed like me, only have hers in a position where it's quicker to get to than mine. Do they make shoulder holsters sized for a woman's frame?"
The clerk rubbed his chin. "Well, they are adjustable...."
"Terry, take off your vest. Let's see if a shoulder holster will fit you."
Terry slipped out of her fringed black leather vest. The clerk grabbed a holster, stared at Terry briefly, then pulled the straps as close in as possible. Terry slipped it on, then put her vest back on.
"Remember, it should be on you tight," said the clerk. "You don't want it shifting around at all."
Terry twisted around, then leaned to each side. "I dunno, I can feel it sliding a little."
I said, "I'll bet a seamstress could bring it in a few inches, then it would still be adjustable."
"It's not bad right now, it's not going anywhere, but it ain't tight."
Bekka pulled her Colt off of her waist and slipped it into the shoulder holster Terry was wearing. The gun couldn't be seen under the vest. "Walk around the store, see if you can feel any movement or slipping."
"Jog a lap, too," I said. "You don't want it bouncing around loose when you run."
Terry did as instructed, walking to the coffee bar and back, then doing a double-time lap around the store. She came back shaking her head. "It wants to bounce around a lot when I run. I can feel it banging into my tit."
"Well, we can't have that," said Bekka. "We'll bring it in an inch or so on each side. I should be able to do it, I'll use tarp thread for strength." To the clerk she said, "We'll take the holster, and I'd like to put the money down on a Colt Defender. It will be in her name. Terry, you've got some forms to fill out."
Terry said, "Wait, what? You're buying me a fuckin' gun?"
"That was the whole point of this exercise, remember? And Lenny is giving you his Colt, we have no attachment to it."
"How much is the gun gonna cost? Or this fuckin' holster?"
The clerk tapped a calculator and said, "The Colt will be $808.92. And the holster is.... $129.54."
"Fuckin' a," said Terry. "I'm paying you back for 'em."
Bekka smiled and said, "No you're not. This is me providing needed equipment to an employee. Target doesn't make their workers pay for their ugly red vests."
The clerk went into the back room, returning with some papers and a gun case. He set the case down on the counter and began filling in things on the forms. He looked at Terry and said, "Are you a convicted felon?"
"No," Terry answered.
"Have you ever been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility?"
"You are a citizen of the United States?"
"Are you a registered Democrat?"
"Just kidding. Fill these in and you'll be picking up your gun in seven days."
Terry got busy with the paperwork. Bekka and I went to pay for the gun and holster. Bekka reached for her wallet to grab her bank card, but I put my hand on her arm and pulled out a money clip. I laid ten hundreds on the counter, to the clerk's surprise. "And can I get change of a dollar, so I can buy another soda?" I asked.
Bekka and I went back to our lane and shot through a few clips. Terry joined us after about ten minutes. She said, "Well, there goes nothin'. I hope I do get my gun."
"Why wouldn't you?" I asked.
"Well, if the government keeps track of who you hang around, I'm fucked. I've spent enough time around criminal scooter trash that I guarantee nobody from the government would want me to have a gun."
"That would be guilt by association. They can't do that."
"So what do I need to do to get my concealed carry permit?"
I scratched my neck. "You'll fill out a couple forms, then you go in to be interviewed. Personally, the whole process is bullshit. It's up to you to prove why you should carry concealed. It ought to be up to them to prove why you shouldn't. They don't consider 'personal protection' a valid reason. I got mine because I sometimes carry large amounts of money. Bekka got hers because of her celebrity, and the fact that she'd already been attacked. Roach asked me about getting concealed carry, and I told him it was highly unlikely he'd get a permit. Now it's even less likely, especially if he walked into the sheriff's office wearing his colors. In your case, I don't know. You're being hired to bodyguard a well-known celebrity, but you're coming out of nowhere. Most bodyguards have police or military backgrounds, they've trained for the work, and have references. If Bekka can go with you to your interview, that would probably help, her presence would give you a lot of credence. They can puzzle all they want about why we'd hire someone with no experience to do the job, that's their problem."
Terry asked, "Why do you want me to be her bodyguard, anyway?"
"Because you're smart, you're tough, and you're not overbearing. You'll be subtle, just some chick walking along in the company of Becky Page. You'll learn real quick to differentiate between Becky's fans and those who would hurt her. Bekka --- Becky --- loves meeting her fans when she's out. So long as she's not eating or in the middle of a pinball game, she'll stop and talk and sign autographs. And her fans are incredibly devoted to her, they feel as though she has personally touched their lives. I've seen people in tears, they were so overwhelmed that Becky Page hugged them. And it's not the standard demographic for porn consumers, men between eighteen and forty-nine. She gets an even mix of both genders, ranging in age from fifteen to seventy-five. Everyone loves Becky.
"Who you'll be watching for are two types: stalkers and angry wives. The stalkers want to be close to Becky Page, they'll follow her around.... They'll stalk her. We jealously guard our home address to try to keep them at bay, so they're not showing up at our place. I honestly don't know what their goal is, whether it's to try and convince Becky Page that they are the only ones in the world who truly love her, or to try and kidnap her and hope Stockholm Syndrome kicks in, or what. But they're creepy, they're annoying, and they can be dangerous and violent. Now, the angry wives just plain hate Becky Page. What it comes down to is that their husbands are totally infatuated with Becky Page. The wives are neglected by the husbands, who prefer jacking it while watching Becky's videos. The descriptions of the behaviors of the husbands is pretty pathetic, they've totally debased themselves, sitting around in puddles of cum and lube, watching Becky Page videos over and over. Instead of doing what I consider to be the fucking obvious, which is getting hubby into couples counseling, the wives direct their frustration and anger at Becky Page, a woman they've never met in their lives. We get very violent hate mail, and we've met women with ongoing insane jealous fits over Becky Page. The worst part is that they don't wanna hear that their husband is in genuine need of a shrink, he's not mentally healthy. No, it's all Becky Page's fault. She managed to seduce their husbands through a VCR. It's sad to say, and I'd never say it to Bekka, but I guarantee she was the catalyst for the total destruction of a lot of marriages.
"We had a bodyguard for three and a half days. My boss Angel got the guy for us. It was a trial period, and it didn't work out. The guy was offended by so many aspects of how we live it was almost funny. He hated our drugs, our motorcycles, our hours, our taste in music, our hot rods.... He really hated Jane, too. The very concept of a sixteen year old punk rock sex bomb disgusted him, and now he's staying in the room next to one. Jane knew he found her abhorrent, and would fuck with him for her own amusement. His personal morality couldn't handle a teenage girl with spiky blue hair wearing a patent leather corset and alligator skin pants so tight they may as well have been sprayed on. Jane would go into gory detail about her love life around him, just to piss him off and make him snap. He'd start going off about how she was still a child and shouldn't be doing such things, and she'd just smile and say, 'At least I'm honest about how I live.' If it was up to him, he'd have had Jane spayed.
"Every time we'd go out in public with Nicky, it was a sham. Like, we'd go to the mall. Fans would spot her and head towards her, going, 'Becky, Becky, we love you!' Nicky is trying to deflect them, run them off, and Bekka is shoving Nicky aside so she can sign autographs and give them all hugs. Bekka's thing for hugging her fans bugged Nicky to no end. He was sure somebody was gonna plant a knife in her. Anyway, we told Nicky over and over who to watch out for: spot the crazies. Only in Nicky's mind, that encompassed all Becky Page fans, everywhere. Yeah, the adulation people have for Bekka is kind of unsettling, a lot of people really treat her like an oracle. To Nicky, that made them all nuts. Nicky considered Bekka to be a crazy, self-destructive whore, a porn star who uses drugs and rides a motorcycle, who stays up till six a.m. for fun. He'd never seen any of her movies, he thought porn was bad for your mental health. Here come her fans, all wanting an autograph and hug from their own personal Wonder Woman, a few words of wisdom from the demigod of sex. He's try to block them off, she'd push him out of the way and run into their arms. To Nicky, it was proof that Bekka was willfully self-destructive.
"Having Nicky around proved to us that despite my boss Angel's beliefs, we did not need a full-time bodyguard around. I've been able to keep her safe on my own, and there are only certain circumstances where having a bodyguard would be useful. That's why you're on board. It helps that you get along with Bekka; really, all you're going to be doing is hanging out with her all day a few days a week. Shit, sometimes I'll be there too, like when we go to the mall. On rare occasion you'll need to deflect creeps. And as a woman, you'll be far better at picking up a creep on your radar than a male guard would. On more rare occasion, you'll be getting some angry wife out of Bekka's face, running them off. And once in a lifetime, you'll be stopping a physical attack or kidnapping attempt. We figure you're tough, you're street smart, you're quick-witted, and you don't scare easily. Okay, you've never done the work before. To us, that's an advantage, because when we dealt with a guy who had, it was a disaster. You don't need to clear a path, like Nicky thought needed doing, you just need to watch for very specific threats. Maybe I'm trusting in the concept of women's intuition too much, but I'm sure you can tell when a dude is malicious just by seeing and hearing him. Instinct."
It suddenly struck me that I'd been running my mouth for quite a while, and there was no sound of firing coming from our lane. Bekka was quietly standing above us with a patient smile on her face. Because of where we were sitting, she couldn't politely get at the ammo to reload. She asked what I was on about.
I said, "Hey hon, just telling Terry about Nicky, and why we want her in particular to be a bodyguard. You'd agree that women can accurately spot creeps just by intuition, right?"
"Oh yeah," said Bekka. "Some guys just make our radar go off, and we're rarely wrong. When we do signings, my radar goes off six or eight times a day. I'm glad I'm not coming across these guys when I'm alone in the parking lot of Safeway, or at a gas station."
Terry said, "And I guess in your case, it's not just that these guys are creeps, but they're creeps and they're focused on Becky Page. What do they want from you? Try to convince you to run away with them? A quick fuck in the back of their car? What?"
"We're honestly not sure. I think if some of them had their way, I'd be gagged and chained up in their attic, marking the time of day by the frequency of the rapes. I think some of them honestly believe that if they gave me a good enough pitch, I would fall in love and run off with them. Abandon my husband, abandon my career, to be with a man who is a complete stranger. Some just want to confess their love, and become part of my life, they want to be my friend, possibly with benefits. Those guys are kind of sad, because they're genuinely lonely. They've latched onto the idea of a porn star being such a warm loving person that she would befriend them, just.... Because, that's how she is. No one else sees the worth and value in the guy, but Becky Page will, and she'll give him her home phone number and they'll go out for lunch together, and hang out in his apartment playing video games. He'll have a friend, and his friend is the most beautiful woman in the world."
I said, "Remember, Becky Page is pure love."
Bekka responded, "Pfft. Suck my dick, Lenny. Becky Page is a headache with legs."
We all circulated through the lane. Terry switched back and forth between my Beretta and the Colt Defender, trying to decide if she had a preference for overall shooting. She stuck with her initial impression, that the Beretta would be great for getting high points on a range, but in any situation involving live targets she'd want the lighter, more sensitive Colt. She had no issue with carrying extra clips (the Colt was an eight shot, while the Beretta held a fifteen round clip). I explained that the Colt 1911 I was giving her was an eight shot .45, and as a .45 it would kick more than my 9mm. It was also heavier. Using the 1911 would give her wrist strength, accuracy, and confidence. If she could get good points with that damn cannon, there was very little she couldn't fire straight with. The Colt was dead accurate, but between its weight and its kick it was a real bear to handle. That was the whole idea behind using it as a training gun. Get good handling that thing, you'll be good handling anything.
Terry went through a couple more clips with Jane's purse pistol, and was still unimpressed. She hated the way it jumped around, and that it seemed to defy the ability to have a confident grip put on it. "Whose hands did they design this thing for, fuckin' four year olds?" Bekka suggested that she ask Jane's advice for handling the thing, as Jane got fairly impressive scores with it. I went through twelve rounds with it, and remembered that yeah, the damn thing seemed to squirm in your hands with every shot.
After we left the Gun Range, we went over to Dirty Dan's for a few drinks. We took a table in the rear, where it was quieter. We asked how Terry felt about shooting so far. She thought it was a blast, and would be a fun hobby. Given her innate skills at it, we recommended she spend a few months practicing to gain confidence, look into buying an accurate pistol, and start entering target competitions. She could pick up trophies and prize money.
We were midway through our second drinks when suddenly there was VERY LOUD TALKING at the door, right behind us. I turned and saw five Hell's Angels standing there, with Roach front and center. They were not being admitted.
I walked over and said, "Hey Fucker, what's up?"
Roach saw me, looked slightly relieved, and said, "I told this guy I lost my ID, that I'm twenty-two, but he won't let me in. He's jamming us up."
I turned to the doorman and said, "Hey, I know him, he works for me. He really is twenty-two, honest. Let them in, their money spends as well as anybody else's."
The doorman considered me, a semi-regular who always showed up with his wife and tipped well. He cast his eyes on the five Hell's Angels in his doorway, calculated the price of replacing his front windows, and moodily gestured for the small group to enter. He said to me, "He looks goddamn young, understand my position."
"No, he's twenty-two, swear to God."
The Angels followed me back to my table and occupied the two tables next to me. Roach said, "Thanks Lenny. We were just feeling restless and wanted to go somewhere, and this seemed like as good of a destination as any. I didn't think they'd sweat me over my age."
I chuckled and said, "Shit. They let Jane in here all the time, without a second glance."
The other Angels were looking me over, sizing up this stranger who knew one of them, who had smoothed the path in the evening. I seemed to have their tacit approval. I left introductions up to them.
Roach said, "Guys, this is Lenny Schneider, my boss and also a good friend. This is his wife, Becky Page, and this is Terry, who also works at the studio." Gesturing at his compatriots, he said, "This is Mutt, John-Boy, Spike, and Big Ugly."
Mutt looked at me and said, "Yes, I saw you at the bar the other night, and we've talked on the phone. Thanks for hiring Cisco and Peewee. And you say this is your wife?"
"Yep," I replied.
He put a hand out to Bekka and said, "Ms. Page, a pleasure to meet you again. Were you treated well when you visited the Hi-Lo?"
I looked at Bekka's eyes and it was obvious that Becky was at the controls, out of self-defense. She said, "I had a lovely evening, thank you. All the men I met were gentlemen to the core."
"That's what I want to hear," said Mutt. "We're all big fans of yours, and I would hate to think anyone would cause offense to Becky Page."
Big Ugly (who was well-named) said to me, "So you run the studio Fucker works at?"
I said, "Yeah, that's me. I've consistently managed to not fuck things up, so my boss keeps me around."
"So how the hell did you decide to hire this kid, anyway?"
The waitress came and took our drink orders. After she left, I said, "Roach --- Fucker --- spent the night with our roommate Jane. In the morning, Jane couldn't resist the urge to fuck and tell. She was bragging about how hung Fucker is, so I asked him how good of control and stamina he had. He claimed to have decent skills, so I offered him the chance to audition. He passed with flying colors. Now he's probably the best stud I have available, and due to his good manners, the girls love working with him. He is definitely an asset to the studio."
The one named John-Boy laughed and said, "You have to audition?"
Bekka/Becky answered, "Absolutely. You can be in front of the cameras for up to three hours at a time. Lasting for that long, having that stamina, is an ability not many men have, regardless of their dick size. Ro--- Fucker can go for the distance."
Spike said, "Shee-it, I'm done in ten minutes, then I'm turning the volume on the TV back up." We all laughed.
Mutt said to Becky, "Did you really measure Fucker's dick in front of Cisco and Peewee?"
"Sure did," said Becky.
"Partially to settle an argument, partially to demonstrate to Cisco and Peewee the mentality we have around a porn studio. We wanted to show them that at a porn studio, a co-worker's dick is just another body part, like a hand or an arm. Me manipulating it has no meaning, it's just something that needed to be done. I hope we didn't offend them."
Mutt said, "No.... You certainly confused them. And they were surprised you'd do that to Fucker in front of your husband."
Roach said, "Then they missed our point. We wanted to show that at a porn studio, we view sexual contact in a very objective manner. When Becky was getting me hard, I wasn't thinking, 'Oh wow, Becky Page is playing with my dick,' I was thinking, 'Welp, time to go to work.' Me and Becky are friends, but we're also co-workers, and her doing that to me meant nothing. It was just something that needed to be done to settle the argument. At the studio, my dick is just a tool I use, there is no connection going on. That would be like if whenever I stripped a car, I took time out to admire how shiny and well-formed my wrenches are."
I said, "I've watched Roach and Becky suck and fuck on several occasions. It really throws the uninitiated that two people can look like they're having the sex of a lifetime while the cameras are on, and as soon as the director yells 'Cut!' they'll just stand up and walk away from each other without a word or a thought. People forget that these are actors, performers. And there is no room for method acting in porn."
Mutt, John-Boy, and Becky found this last line highly amusing. The other two Angels looked a little blank. Roach just grinned and rolled his eyes. Mutt said, "So there is no passion when you fuck on a porn set. Nobody's really having fun, you're just pretending to have fun."
Becky said, "Yeah, you got it! Really, we just have the world's strangest acting careers."
John-Boy said, "Ms. Page, you are one damn convincing actress, and for that I thank you." More laughter erupted.
Mutt steered away from the subject to get more detail from me about what I'd have Cisco and Peewee doing under my employ. I explained, "Really, they're just glorified bouncers, and all the customers are sober. Some fans sort of lose it in the presence of the stars. They'll try to put their hands on them, or come over the table, or just start talking really crude. When that happens, the girl knows all she has to do is shoot a hand in the air, and the guy will be removed. Me and my friend Boss have handled it by ourselves in the past, but with Becky's popularity what it is, there's just too many fans in one place at the same time. We've gotta patrol the line inside the store, plus the line outside, which can stretch for a few blocks sometimes. You know where Smut 'N' Stuff is on Balboa? The last time we had a signing there, the line stretched all the way up to Convoy, where it turned and ran another half block. A metric shitload of fans, and that was for a movie Becky didn't even star in! So we need guys who are tough and smart, who can help us snuff out any trouble and keep the girls safe."
"Could this turn into an ongoing gig for them?" asked Mutt.
I smiled and said, "No. We do our round of signings in Southern California when we release new features, and that's it. When we release our next feature, we'll need two more guys, but there is a two to three month gap between these events." I felt the switches click in my head. "Although.... You know, we need some security at the studio." I paused, thinking. "I'd need two guys.... Three days a week each, eight to five, hour off for lunch.... $200 a day, and I'll pay cash.... Yeah. Mutt, I can offer two someones a decent supplementary income, making $600 a week for standing around in a driveway in La Costa. Their primary responsibility would be to run off over-eager fans, chumps showing up hoping to meet Becky Page or Skye Tyler in person. If you know a couple people who want to earn some extra scratch three days a week, let me know. They'll be acting as rent-a-cops, guarding the studio."
"How much threat would they be under? My boys aren't bulletproof."
"And neither am I," I grinned. "I learned that the hard way. Naw, we've already been attacked by a nut with an assault rifle, I'll play the odds and say that will never happen again. Your guys would just be shooing away rabid fans who want to get underfoot."
Spike said, "Why not just have one guy work all six days?"
"Because I refuse to drive a man insane by inflicting that level of sustained boredom on him. The studios are on a dead end residential street, not in a commercial neighborhood. Long stretches of time will pass where there is literally nothing to do except stare at the hillside across the street. Really, for the most part I can promise somebody eight hours a day of boredom, with an hour off for lunch. Doing that six days a week would slowly erode a man's brain."
"Yeah, I see where you're coming from," laughed Spike.
Mutt asked, "How permanent would you want these guys? It would be easy to circulate people through, depending on who's not busy with something and needs the ducats."
"I'd prefer pretty permanent," I answered. "That way they get to know all the performers and crew, and there's no question about who belongs there. Having different dudes there every week would kinda suck."
"But circulating them through every few months wouldn't kill you."
"No, that's acceptable."
"I'll get the word out," said Mutt. "Nobody minds some extra ducats, even if they are bored."
Big Ugly said, "Any chance of promotion? Maybe get the same position as Fucker?" More laughter erupted.
I said, "The odds are between Slim and None, and Slim just left town."
Becky said, "Tell me, Mutt. Do you know anyone who calls themselves Hog Pilot? He would have been at the bar the same night as me."
Mutt rubbed his chin and said, "Shit, 'hog pilot' is a general description. We're all hog pilots. Why do you ask?"
Becky briefly explained about the BBS. "So it would be someone who would be at least marginally skilled with computers."
The Angels glanced at each other, then chuckled. "Fuckin' Dork." "Yeah, definitely Dork."
Mutt said, "You remember meeting a guy named Dork?"
I snapped my fingers and said, "Yeah. About five ten, glasses even thicker than Fatso's? Gold earring in each ear?"
Becky said, "Oh yes. Rode a Dyna Glide Bobber with a red and blue gas tank. He was late getting there, and almost didn't get his photo with me taken. I remember him being disappointed that Jane was verboten, off-limits."
John-Boy said, "Dork is kind of a genius, which is why he got his name. The motherfucker can calculate gear ratios in his head. In fact... Now that I think about it, yeah. He does have a computer he fucks around with, I remember seeing it in his apartment."
"Well, there's a mystery solved," said Becky.
"Why were you wondering about him?" asked Mutt.
"Strictly curiosity. I wondered who in San Diego H.A. was a computer hobbyist."
Spike chuckled and said, "Not many of us. Dork is a rare breed, in a lot of ways."