I just love it!

I do just love it.

faadcc57061e44ee9e100649ede330f6

I love it when I get four ‘likes’ in four seconds, for four posts, all from the same person,  which are each… at least..  posts of at least one thousand words long. (brevity ain’t my soul of wit)

I love this.

I wish. I wish… I wish… I wish I could read that fast.

Maybe that is why I failed in College? (I ‘mouthed’ my words… not really, but… )

Peace Y’all.

-Lance

 

More Random Memories from the Middle East: Still Sinai

Previously: One  Two

***

The IDF soldier navigated down the hill as Janet got ‘properly’ dressed inside our tent to greet our visitor. I didn’t bother. I figured cut-offs and no shirt just fine. As for him, well he had slightly longish unkempt hair, as was the norm for IDF soldiers back then. Most of them were reservists anyhow. IDF was a mega-weekend-warrior class anyhow. His beret was tucked into his shirt at the shoulder. His olive-drab uniform was dusty. In general, the IDF Army was unkempt, un-kept, un-disciplined and Fucking Ferocious.

Perfect soldiers.

This truth never did escape me. Some respect from me was obviously the ‘order of my day’ here…

I watched him cautiously descend onto the  my beach. The night before I had un-cautiously descended and ascended (ten times), full of false courage brought about by some imbibing and dope. But what the hell! So… I studied his unsteady progress toward me.

As he approached he switched to English, “This is restricted zone,” he said as he pointed with his rifle over his shoulder to what looked to be a military base of some minor proportions.

“Well, It was dark when we got here and I didn’t notice,” I lied.

“You must leave. Now.”

“Something wrong?” Janet said, sticking her head out of our tent.

“Janet, I got this. Go back inside,” I almost barked.

“Fine!” she said. “Gin or Whiskey for breakfast?”

“Back inside!”

“Fine!” she huffed and disappeared inside the tent.

Turning my attention back to the IDF soldier, I asked/said, “So ‘we’ (Meaning US, the U.S. of us), can pay for this ‘wonderful’ base here in Sinai, and you come climbing down from ‘Mount Fucking Sinai’ to inform me that I am not welcome here? Is this correct?”

He laughed at that and proceeded to take a seat on a beer cooler next to our now burnt out campfire. At least this one had a sense of humor.

“I am Jacob,” he said. “And who are you my American Friend?”

“Lance,” I said, cautiously  extending my hand, which he took and shook earnestly. “Would you like some breakfast? We have tuna fish, whiskey, or gin. Your choice.”

Again he laughed. “Coffee?”

“Fraid not. Sorry.”

“I noticed you have some ice in your big cooler. Where did you get it?” (How did he know this?)

“Eilat,” I said.

“Do not drink the water from the melted parts then.”

“Why not?”

“Because it is made with ammonia at the factory in Eilat. Toxic. Do not drink the water.”

“Hell! My man! I drink the water in Cairo.”

“Your funeral then.”

We laughed some more. I was warming up to this guy.

“Seriously though my friend, you cannot remain here.”

“Yeah? Well, we were planning to push south today anyhow. South to Ras Mohammed.”

“Beautiful diving and snorkeling there. Mind the sharks though.”

“The ‘Sharks’ are why we are going.”

“All you Americans… are Cowboys?” he snorted.

“Yep.”

“Okay then. Bonne chance! I take my leave now. Be sure you take yours too. Soon. Shalom.”

“Cheers, and nice to meet you Jacob.”

“Bye,” he said and walked away.

***

“Well, you fucked that up,” Janet said, finally emerging from the tent.

“How so?”

“Now we have to leave this place.”

“Janet, I never intended to stay here more than the one night. I wanna get to Ras.”

“I like it here.”

“Pack your shit. We’re leaving now.”

She ‘packed her shit’ and I schlepped it and the rest up the cliff and loaded our little chariot. Within two hours we were back on the road again, heading south. As we were driving through the Sinai with the mountains on our right, she pulled out her Bible and instructed  invited  demanded of me to ‘turn off that damn noise.’ That ‘noise’ was Bob Marley and I hesitated… for a moment, then saw some seriousness in her brown eyes and acquiesced. She opened her ‘book’ and began to read from Genesis.  I must admit it was fitting, given the time and the place.

We spent some miles in this activity. I smoked some cigarettes and studied the landscape. The Sinai Desert along the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba is wondrous beautiful. As I said, the contrast moved me. Janet’s reading (which she did quite well, I may add) added to the ambiance. This girl had some talents. “In the beginning…”

But, the magic moments could not last (Janet and I had a propensity for combat). We eventually got into an argument about thirty clicks outside of Sharm el Sheik. I was slightly gin-buzzed by this point and in no mood for…

“Stop the fuckin’ car!” She shouted.

“Whaaa?”

“Stop the FUCKING CAR!”

“Shit! What for?!”

“I’m getting out! That is what FOR!”

“Janet, we’re in the middle of a fucking desert in a Muslim / Bedouin country. Are you sure?”

“Yes! Goddamn it! I am sure. Stop the fucking car. I hate you!” (Not entirely sure where this sentiment came from, but it was, I could see, sincere.)

“Fine!” I stopped the car. “Don’t forget your fuckin’ Virginia Slims,” I said as she opened the door, got out and proceeded to ‘march’ down the empty road.

I would have (should have) left her there, but y’all know I could not.

 

 More to come… Here

Video Credit:

TheCowboy4411

Some Abbreviated Thoughts on Blogging/Writing with no Hyperbole

I generally spend about ten minutes ‘writing a post’. Then three minutes waiting on ‘spell check’ to remind me that I cannot spell ‘cat.’ Then two minutes (except for the upload wait) to upload photos/videos. One minute at the ‘final’ look. Then: Click that ‘publish’ button.

Done.

Rinse and repeat the next day. This bothers me. Why? Because, as all of us (may) feel, we can write so much better.

Alas, I am lazy. I just want to get it out there… Catch the likes; catch the comments. Fuck the quality! “They” know what I mean… Don’t they? I mean, they read me! Not too much need for exposition, ya? ‘They git it, eh?’

Just some musings from an amusing wanna-be writer/blogger. Take with some grain of salt. (And Comment), if you are of a mind to, and have an opinion on the ‘writing/blogging’ process.

Cheers, Lancers

“I have never had an original thought; I don’t live in a vacuum.”

–Lenny Bruce

And I wanna be Your Lenny…

Right here on TT&H

There is a vid credit, but I lost it. His lawyers will surely contact mine…

 

More Random Memories from the Middle East

Driving from Eilat to Ras Mohammed (Sinai) with the first wife.

Don't stay here

Okay, we were not married at that time. (At least not in ‘her’ God’s eyes.) We were both working at SFM and had coordinated our R&R schedule so that we could spend that week together. ‘Bliss’ Promised, promise of same…

We arrived in Tel Aviv and immediately went off to rent a car for our ‘camping’ trip. Our itinerary required us to first make the rather long and somewhat treacherous drive to Elait (‘treacherous’ because of the roads) where I hoped to get in a few more dives toward qualifying me as a bona-fide PADI deep-sea-diver. Then we were to head further south all the way to Ras Mohammad, on the southernmost tip of the Sinai, perhaps stopping or staying at Sharm El Sheik along the way. (Sharm back then was all about nothingness, still Israeli-Occupied Egypt and not the tourist trap it is today.)

We had loaded up our tiny rental car with way too much camping stuff, ‘checked out’ from the rec center we had at Sinai Field Mission Base camp. We had a tent, (such as it was), cooking utensils, sleeping bags, lanterns, coolers, and et cetera, ‘et cetera’  mostly being booze, of course) And of course we had schlepped along my boom box, extra batteries, and about five dozen cassette tapes. My life needed musical accompaniment back then. Always.

We left Elait and proceeded south. The road hugged the Gulf of Aqaba. The contrast was stunning. I mean, every once in a while I would stop the car, grab a snorkel and, well, go snorkeling. The colors under the sea were so vibrant, as opposed to the desolation of the desert behind me. Now, do not mistake: I love the Sinai. It is perhaps the most beautiful desert in the world. But. But! The coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba! As I did say:  color contrast.

We got about half-way to Sharm and Ras Mohammad, and as it was getting late, I decided ‘time to camp’. We parked the car on a very small ‘break-down’ lane and as Janet watched, I schlepped all the ‘gear’ down a ravine, or rather a ‘clif’ to the beach and the camping site I had proclaimed, ‘perfect.”

Set up the camp. Opened a bottle of ‘fine’ Israeli wine. Turned up the boom box. Cooked some chicken bits over a make-shit campfire. Ate. Then… had to shit. (I had been drinking apple juice all day—ran through me—needed to evacuate—embarrassed—

“Uh Janet, I need to leave you here for a min or two…”

“Why?”

“Just do. I’ll be back… soon. Okay?”

“Sure.”

So, I grabbed a roll of T-paper and headed off into the darkness, looking for a place to take a righteous shit, diarrhea shit. Found one. Did the deed. Happy and sated. Went back to our camp site. Found Janet laughing her ass off.

“What’s so fuckin’ funny?” I asked.

“Your toilet paper preceded you!” She said.

“Huh?”

“Yeah! The wind blew it all over here!”

“Damn!”

We made love in the ‘tent.’ and fell asleep. The next early morning, we were awakened by the sounds of someone yelling at us in Hebrew:

I will translate:

“Hey! American! You cannot be here!”

“Why not?”

“This is IDF Zone!”

“And? I have diplomatic immunity!”

“What?!”

“We have diplomatic i-mun-it-ty!”

“What!?”

“Fuck off!”

“Wait! I am coming there..”

“Fine.” (asshole)

Will be continued… Here

Ras Mo

Ras Mohammad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vid Credit Here:

Country Boy At Its Best

“I’ve run my share of grass…”

Here

Five Random Memories from my Three Years Spent in Israel, Egypt, Gaza, and Sinai

My very first morning at the Tel Aviv Sheraton. I had a ‘raw fish’ breakfast buffet at zero five hundred. (And there were cucumbers, cheese, olives an’ shit too! Outrageous!) I had never had raw fish for breakfast until then. Cost me five bucks (a lot of money for breakfast in 1977 for a twenty-year-old-kid). I only gagged once and I drank a lot of orange juice, which was the only thing remotely resembling ‘breakfast’ to me. Well, “When in Rome…” I later discovered I could have had scrambled eggs and bacon down the street at the U.S. Embassy for a buck and a half…

My first R&R in November, 1977. I went to Tel Aviv for one week. This just also happened to be the same week Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Israel and most important, to speak to the Knesset in Jerusalem. The Israelis actually fell in love with Sadat. I did too. Peace was in the air! Sadat was front page news every day in the Jerusalem Post. The atmosphere in downtown Tel Aviv every night was ‘Party Down!’ (Sadly, this could not last)

First Israeli Love. Her name was Gladys Lehani and she spoke French, English, Hebrew, and Lies. I was instantly enamored. She worked nights at the Tel Aviv Sheraton in the ‘Kum Kum’ Lounge, a bar. During the afternoons she was a cashier in the little lobby area of the hotel. A place where one could look out the huge windows at the Mediterranean, have a cocktail, read a book, and flirt with her. I spent many hours there doing all four.

Driving through Gaza. After I had been with SFM for some months, I was ‘promoted’ to driver (see this story). The most expeditious way to get to Tel Aviv was to drive straight through the Gaza Strip, so of course we did just that. Never felt any wisp of danger. Not once. Then one day someone threw a brick into the windshield of one of our vehicles. This prompted management (And S. State: Our ‘Client.’) to suspend all travel through Gaza.

Now let me tell you, this was bullshit. At that point in time we had been travelling through Gaza for many, many months. This was surely an isolated incident—“Just kids havin’ fun,”–to quote Croc Dundee. Hell! I had friends in Gaza. One in particular comes to mind. His name was Mohammad (go figure) and he ran the gas station where I would always fill up my vehicles when I passed through. We often shared gifts. I gave him American cigarettes and T-Shirts from Texas and he gave me various little Arabic statuettes and such. Once (on his request) I brought him a fifth of Jonnie Walker Red. I thought he was gonna adopt me over that!

The new route we were instructed to take took us through Beersheba and added two and a half hours to our travel time. This was unacceptable, so we (we drivers), ignored it, unless there were ‘uncool’, read, “USG” people riding along as passengers. Most of the rest were in a frantic rush to get to TA and did not want to waste one minute of their well-earned R&R over some State Department Bullshit, so I always conducted a poll before taking the turn off to Gaza: “Any of y’all got a problem with getting to TA in an hour via Gaza? Or do y’all wanna go through Beer’Sheba and get to TA four hours after yer girlfriends done give up on you?”

The usual response was something like this: “Marcom, I will risk Gaza, not ‘cause I am afraid my girlfriend will give up on me, but because I just can’t stan’ one extra minute of listening to your music!” (I had a boom box on the dash and ‘treated’ my passengers to four or five hours of continuous Bob Marley on my trips. I was famous for this. Sometimes I would throw in a little Joni Mitchell, if I were feeling benevolent on that day.)

The Orphan Benjamin. One night, I think it was in late ’78, I was staggering back to my hooch from our little bar. My walk took me through our game room: Two pool tables, a jukebox, shuffle board, ping pong… etc. Anyway, just by the exit door there was a table. On this table was a carton of Marlboro’s, a case of Heineken, a ‘doggie bag’ from the galley, and a one hundred dollar bill. Thinking nothing of it, I just kept on tacking toward my hooch, some fifty meters down the way… I woke up the next morning and instantly thought of all that unclaimed booty and for just an instant hoped that no one had stolen it.

We had a brother/sisterhood there in Sinai. I managed to drag my hung-over ass out of my rack and head in to breakfast in our galley. My trip took me past the table in question. Everything was just as it was the night before; waiting for the rightful owner to sober up and claim. If I had not already been in love with my Co-SFM’ers till then, I certainly was now. Two hundred folks at SFM, and nary a thief amongst us. I will never forget that minor little memory. It touched me deep.

And then I just went into breakfast. You see? This was not… ‘different’ then! Shit! Can’t explain. Won’t try.

You see? We had love. And respect.

***

I am thinking of continuing this series in light of the recent news from Israel and Gaza. Not saying that my experiences are relevant today, but I do feel the need to write them. Please let me know if you are interested to read of my times spent in the region.

Q&A: Have you ever been to The Middle East? Do you live there? Do you care? Have you ever had a desire to visit the ‘Holy Land’? (ahem). Do you find me abrasive? 😉

Do you know that I love all comments?

Salaam and Shalom,

Lance

Half-way to  Jerusalem

Vid Credit:

Käyttäjän leopahta kanava

Don’t mess with my Zen, man.

The Blog site is a treasure y’all!
Trust me: I have spent the better part of the last hour reading posts here and I cannot stop LAUGHING OUT LOUD.
Seriously worth your time!
Don’t blame me if you don’t check it out! (Uh, That probably makes no sense at all… Just go and check it OUT already. Thank me later. Or better still, thank the author)

Spoken Like A True Nut

Things my office has in common with the innermost depths of an Egyptian pyramid:

1) They’re both silent as the grave.
2) Those who disturb that silence will be cursed.

U mad, Imhotep?

This is how we like it here. Quiet. Peaceful. Contemplative.

And after more years working in customer service than I care to remember, listening to the same god-awful corporate radio playlist on a loop and enduring verbal beatdowns from customers because they thought Yogurt A was on sale, not Yogurt B, and by god, they WILL have their 10¢ discount if they have to escalate all the way to the regional manager, I prize my quiet workplace.

Safely ensconced in my muted accounting haven, I am under no obligation to suffer fools who won’t take two seconds to read something before they come pestering me for the information instead. I do not need to listen to…

View original post 700 more words

Faults

Now this, this is just priceless and I can so very much…. Identify!

intrinsickness

My girlfriend was perfect. Her hair, her skin, her smile, her grade point average, her charitable acts. She left the bathroom smelling better than when she entered. Her shit literally smelt like lilacs.

Her entire effing family was perfect. Doctors, superheroes, and philanthropists all. They liked rescuing abused animals and volunteering free medical advise on the weekends. Her grandfather had won both a Nobel prize and a Pulitzer. Her brother was on the front page of the paper after he pulled a homeless man off the subway tracks moments before he was pulverized by train. I don’t know why I had such a hang up about it, but I just did.

When I first met her I was so happy, so stoked to have found someone so perfect. I wasn’t sure what she saw in me, but that didn’t matter at the time. Eventually she began to seem too perfect…

View original post 116 more words

“How old are you?” – “Three wars, and still growing.”

As this (below) is a blogspot blog, I could not re-blog. So I did the next best thing: cut and paste a bit.

CNN was interviewing Yasmeen El Khoudary, the author of the blog, “Gaza Out of the Blue.” The ‘crack(d)’ CNN news duo, talking heads, apparently got bored or pissed at her (she was giving them some grief over their stupid questions, and rightfully so), and cut her off. Only FOX could have done worse.

gaza out of the blue

Anyway, I managed to get her name and thus found her blog, which I am honored to be able to share below:

*********

To a child in Gaza:

– “How old are you?”

– “Three wars, and still growing.”

– Sara Naim Khatib

“Gaza Out of the Blue”  may be found below:

http://yelkhoudary.blogspot.com/2014/07/morning-hallucinations-from-gaza.html

Morning hallucinations from Gaza هلوسات ساعات القصف الاولى

It’s 5:00 AM in Gaza and I’m unable to sleep. I pick up my book and read under the window, catching the lazy sun rays, given that we haven’t had electricity for about 35 hours by now. I happen to be reading “Kafka on the Seashore.” A few pages through, I find myself reading:

“The glittering airplane we saw way up in the sky reminded us for a moment of the war, but just for a short time, and we were all in a good mood. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, no wind, and everything was quite around us- all we could hear were birds chirping in the woods. The war seemed like something in a faraway land that had nothing to do with us. We sang songs as we hiked up the hill, sometimes imitating the birds we heard. Except for the fact that the war was still going on, it was a perfect morning.”

I thought for a moment of the ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ that was due to start in about 3 hours. Would the same paragraph apply to the young children who by now are too accustomed to the chirping of planes and the terrible songs of war? Would they be able to forget all that and remember the chirping of birds and the children’s songs for the duration of the humanitarian ceasefire?

***

Please follow the link above to read the rest.

Hamas, Gaza, IDF, Israel, Intifada, and U.S. (us) And why we should care (?)

Some of you may know of my history in the Mideast.  Most of you may not.  Some of you may know I get emotional about issues.

Some of you may not.

Some of you may give a shit.

Some of you may not.

No matter: I don’t have a dog in this fight: The current Fight between Hamas and the IDF (Israel)… Actually, I did, once upon a time, have a dog.  He died. But that was many moons ago.

And we did/didn’t call in the dogs back then: the ‘Fight Between the PLO and Israel’… “Let ’em duke it out!”

–Ronald Reagan, “et them all, et tu, Brutus?”

And about who could wrap some arms about Yasser Arafat?  No one. Not even Ronnie. Then he (Arafat) became ‘Rocky Balboa’ to some of rest of the world. Yes! Fast forward… but who among the thinking of us and the remembering of us, can ever forget

Munich in ’72?

Munich

And I was on the ‘good’ side.

I was for the ‘Home’ Team: Israel! Nineteen Sixty Seven! The shining moment of the IDF! Just like the Lord: ‘Fought for Six Days and Rested on the Seventh.”

“Didn’t them Jews kick the ever-lovin’ shit outta them A-Rabs?! Fought for Six Days…”

Biblical! (Yay God! and Madison Ave…)

Then I learned to read (and listen)

Point is:

I, as most of us (I hope) want the killing to STOP. It hit ‘Home’ today when I went to buy a beer. There were Palestinians in the road… In Memphis America! They were not happy. Unhappy Palestinians. Goddamn Right! They were unhappy! In Memphis!

I do not blame them. I am not happy either, but that said, Israel has some right to defend… don’t they? If you would like to argue, I welcome that, as I, more than some of you out there, have lived on both sides of that pond. And on both sides of that issue.

I have driven through Gaza. Too many times. I have seen the refugee camps. The poverty.

And I had intimate sex (is there any other kind?) with an Israeli Sabra, of Yemenite ‘distraction’ (i.e., she was Arab: Arab Jew) More than twice… Yet that sex did not prejudice me… (Well, maybe it did… just a little)

Putting sex aside, I know some politic, especially when it comes to Israel and Islam.

I have been on both sides.

Call me out, yet consider that I am foremost and always just a simple Texan.

So, be nice (or not)

Peace

Screenplays: ‘Alien’ Explore The Genesis…

Or, “Would you like some opium?”

-H.R. Giger

The subject matter of this post may well be somewhat dated and esoteric, but I do submit that it is ‘spot on’ for all my fellow writers out there… well if you are of a science fiction bent, or just want to write screenplays (The terms are not always mutually exclusive).

I am a fan of Dan O’Bannon. Some of you will not recognize the name. Here is a clue: “In Space No One Can Hear You Scream.”

cat alien

Yep. The original “Alien” masterpiece. I have to drill down into the old memory cells to download my first experience watching “Alien.” I was still in the Sinai (SFM). It was 1979 and I was driving the R&R vehicle to Tel Aviv. My lone passenger that day was my good friend Bill Brown (and he was in fact, brown—i.e., he was a black gentleman. We had a leisurely four hours to kill, so I asked him, “Hey Brown,” (we had a propensity back then to use ‘last names’, just like one would expect in the Military,) “seen any good movies in TA lately?” (Bill Brown was married to a Filipina, not that that is relevant, but I often throw in some irrelevant shit)

“As a matter of fact,” he said. “I have.”

“Do tell!”

“I saw this movie, ‘Alien.’ Dude! You havta see it. It’s still playing. Check it out.”

“Sci-Fi?”

“Yeah, but more than that.”

He then proceeded to tell me the entire story of the film (complete with ‘spoilers’—And thanks for that Bill Brown!)

His main interest was the black dude Parker. Whom he always referred to as ‘My Man.’ Understandably so, given the fact that back in the Seventies, not many black men had important roles, unless one is speaking of Blaxploitation Film.

Once we got to TA and I had checked my vehicle, I went out on the town determined to see this film. In Tel Aviv back then, one could actually smoke cigarettes in a movie theater and good thing that, as I do think I smoked an entire pack of Marlboros while glued to the screen.

My point in all of this is that I have, ever since, been fascinated with this movie. More fascinating now is how it was ‘birth’d’ and the writing process that got it to where it now resides in the annals of one of the greatest movies of all time.

Thanks to Dan O’Bannon.

Below is a link to his original screenplay. For all writers out here, it is worth a read, but only if you know the movie and how it changed the genre.

And of course if you are curious about how great, actually mediocre, (The dialog was too corny, much like mine) writing hits the stage. More important though, I do think, was the ‘idea’–revolutionary (almost) at the time. 

Point is: It worked.

Who can say what will or will not go ‘viral’ anyhow…

Script below.

Vid Link below that; do not confuse the two. (Some things are important to me, if you have  bothered to come this far…)

http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/alien_early.html

Video Credit:

DuneInfo

Women (I Know) I KNOW

I write a lot about my relationships with women.

Why? I don’t know. Or… perhaps I do know. It grows tiresome for most. (especially former Girlfriends/wives) This I know. I also know I have to write what I remember and know, and what I feel/felt, and knew. I recently re-watched “Alien”, a movie that kinda, sorta defined what I ‘was’ in the Sinai Desert in 1979. Not sure how to explain that one… but, yet… Sigourney Weaver…

Anyhow, I write about women. I write about women, and my relationships with women, because I love women. Most of them don’t love me, but none of them (them ‘wimmens’) can ever say they were ever bored with me…

Point is: I love women. I write about my experiences with women because my experiences with all the women in my past have made… me… a feminist.

I love the way they look. (And yes! I love the way they ‘cook’–metaphor–I am the ‘best cook’) I love the way they dress. I love the way they un-dress. I love the way they talk. I love the way they walk. I love the way they incite. I love the way they excite. I love the way they dance. I love the way they romance. I love the way they taste. I love the way they smell. I love the way they mostly… don’t tell.

And most of all, I love the way they piss me off,

(And drive me crazy.)

Yes. I love women. 

The way they Made Me: Made me who I am.

And I like that.

I like this man, that woman created in me

This like I like instinctively 

But, what the hell?!

“That’s what comes from too much pills and liquor.”

Vid Credit: 

Felipe Ruiz de Chávez

And of course, Joel Gray (and of course  Bob Fosse.)

Token Males… To defend the race of men who think (better).

 

The Biker-Bartender-Bouncer Chick, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Part Two.

Part One Here: 

And if you are new here, ya might wanna start here: Shonnie.

So there I was in a foreign bed with a foreign woman who called herself “Layla”, smelling bacon and no way to escape, save for a walk-about or a taxi, which I suspected were too damn hard to find in IB (or wherever I was) at such an early hour.

“So,” I said. “Shall we head on to the breakfast nook?”

“Sure Cowboy,” she said.

“I really wish you’d stop calling me that.”

“What?”

“‘Cowboy.’ Cowboy, I ain’t. ‘Sailor’ is more to the point. And it suits me now.”

“OK, ‘Sailor.’ No worries.”

“Fine. And thank you.” (I was approaching ‘pissy’ at this moment, the booze having worn off. And hung-over kicking in.)

We went to the ‘breakfast table’ and I discovered that there were two children in the house.

“Who’s kids?” I asked. (I just had to)

“Mine!” said the breakfast launcher.

“Cute, they are,” I said stupidly.

“Yeah,” said Mother.

“Please pass me a bloody Mary,” I said back, not wanting to converse.

“There ya go, Sailor-Man,” she (momma) said.

(A kindred spirit?)

“Thanks, I have a bit of a headache”

“Of course,” she said, passing me the pitcher of Bloody Mary’s.

What am I in for? I remember asking me. (Maybe out – loud)

“We are going to the San Diego Zoo.” You wanna tag along?”

“Why not?” I rhetorically answered. “Why not? The kids coming? Of course they are….”

And off we went. (After breakfast)

And good, I thought: Y’all can park me at the petting zoo…

 More Later….

Vid Credit:

littlewhitewolf08

 

Throw-Back: A Raccoon’s Tale

I raised a raccoon once. His name was Leroy, Leroy Rastus. Raised him from a cub I did.

baby_coon

His eyes were recently newly opened and I fed him from a baby bottle. A local rancher in Honey Grove had killed his mama while Coon-Hunting one night and he brought all her cubs home. The next day he adopted them out to several local high school kids. Peanut adopted Leroy’s sister. Another kid adopted his brother. There may have been one or two more siblings, but I don’t recall. Leroy’s adoption experiences were somewhat more transitory. First he was taken by Kim. Kim got bored with him and gave him to my step-sister Madelyn. She thought he was just the coolest thing ever!

For about three days…

His coolness factor having for her it seems, a very short half-life, I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse for her coon: Cash Money. Money’s coolness factor has no half-life. She was only too happy to surrender Leroy to my care for the tidy sum of thirty-five bucks. Quite tidy indeed to an unemployed High School girl in 1974.

I kept Leroy in my bedroom on the third floor of my father’s house. He had an annoying habit of climbing onto my bed, tunneling under the covers and chewing on my toes. Baby raccoons have very sharp teeth. I tried locking him in my closet, but he would wail so loudly that I just could not leave him there. Needless to say my school work suffered due to lack of sleep during that first month or so with Leroy. And it’s also needless to say that what I just wrote above is bullshit. My school work suffered mostly from my laissez faire philosophy regarding high school, but it’s nice to have someone to blame other than myself.

My girlfriend during this time was a dark haired beauty with grey-green eyes and a wonderful disposition toward animals. In fact, I believe she came to love Leroy more than she did me. It was with her that Leroy learned the climbing skills he would need later in life. She and I would sit on the lawn and Leroy would climb his way up her waist-length hair, (Prince Leroy and his Rapunzel) and sit atop her head. Pretty sure no other girl in Honey Grove would have allowed herself to be used thus, but she loved it.

Leroy grew rapidly and by late spring he was just too big and too rowdy to keep in the house. My step-mother was apparently the first to come to this realization. “Lance, you’ve got to do something about that Goddamn coon. I don’t want him running all over the house anymore.” This from her, even though I had taken great pains to teach him to use the cats’ litter box. Actually, I didn’t ‘teach’ him per se; just showed it to him. He figured out its purpose all on his own. Raccoons are smart, yeah they are.

In addition to the three-story Victorian house (circa 1880), my father’s large corner lot had a two-story carriage house. I guess you would call it a garage, but it obviously was not designed for cars. However the rear of one side of it looked to be perfectly designed for raccoons. On the left half of the building at the very back, there was a section which was about three feet lower than the rest of the foundation. Let’s call it a ‘sunken’ living room for coons. The area was roughly six feet wide and maybe twelve feet long. The ceiling was very high, about ten feet. There were two doors: one to the yard and one to the other half of the building. There was no foundation, only hard-packed dirt. I don’t know what the original purpose of this little sunken room was, but it suited my purpose elegantly. I drove to the local hardware/feed/Gossip-Parlor-for-old-Farmers establishment downtown and picked up several bags of Ready-Mix concrete, five four-by-fours, some chicken wire, nails, and a bag of fencing staples.

First order of construction for my ‘Coon-Atorium’ was the swimming pool and the foundation. I excavated a circular area about four feet in diameter and two feet deep. Next I mixed the concrete in an old washtub and spread it over the entire area, working my way to the door that opened into the yard and finishing up with the pool. This was tedious work and I had to mix many tubs of concrete. Since there were doors on opposite sides of my construction area, it was impossible for me to ‘concrete myself into a corner’ without an egress point. If you had known me back then you would probably have said this was a good thing.

After a few days of letting the concrete dry and cure. I began construction of the penthouse. Every upwardly mobile raccoon requires one. Using an assortment of various pieces of old lumber piled up in the building, I created a penthouse any coon would have been proud to call home. It had a certain ramshackle charm, in the style of early Twentieth Century Dust Bowl Poverty. I mounted it to the ceiling in the right hand corner. Next I fashioned a porch using a couple of one-by-twelves each about six feet long. This made a nice little runway for Leroy to get to his penthouse. Just one problem: He could not climb the walls, (unlike Gloria after a few minutes conversation with me), nor could he jump ten feet in the air.

There was a decent sized oak tree in the Honey Grove High School parking lot which bordered my back yard. Using my chain saw, I amputated a ten-foot long limb and dragged it back to the garage. I was certain no one would mind and even if someone did, as I had performed this ‘limb-ectomy’ on a Sunday morning, there were no witnesses about to point any fingers later on down the road.

I mounted the ‘tree’ in the left corner, securing it to the wall behind the swimming pool. It reached all the way to the ceiling and had some nice smaller branches all along its length. It would provide easy access to Leroy’s extended porch/runway.

With the interior work completed, nothing left to do but wall up the front. I used the four-by-fours for the studs; stapled the chicken wire from floor to ceiling, filled the pool, Et voilà! One Coon-Atorium ready for immediate occupancy.

Leroy was well satisfied with his new digs and quickly settled in. The penthouse was made comfortable by the addition of a blanket and a small pillow appropriated from a window seat which Gloria used to store extra bedding for the occasional weekend visitors to Marcom Manor. The pillow was quite exquisite. It was emerald green with a couple of white kittens embroidered on one side and some frilly shit sewn all around the edges. ‘Leroy should love this,’ I recall thinking to myself as I smuggled it and the blanket to his penthouse.

Some months went by and Leroy was approaching adulthood. Every day we would play together in the back yard. There were several very tall old pecan trees which he loved to explore. Leroy was not very trainable, due in part to his intelligence and independent mind, but he would always come to me from tree tops when I would call him down. I’d stand underneath the tree and he would climb onto my shoulder and was generally content to remain there, as I think he enjoyed the view and riding on my shoulder was easier for him than walking about on his own.

We were occasionally allowed in the house for play time as well. (At this point, I do believe Leroy was the more welcome). He was certainly more entertaining than the cats that lived inside, and probably more pleasant to hang out with than I was, at least as far as Gloria was concerned. When I was feeling a bit mischievous, I would give him a sugar cube and laugh at the expression on his little masked face as it disappeared in the water dish he would wash it in.  He did eventually figure out that he shouldn’t wash sugar cubes as he did all other treats he was given.

Every Christmas Gloria would make her ‘World Famous Rum Balls.” (They really were very tasty, I must admit). Well one batch got stored away in a Tupperware box and forgotten for a year or two. Once found and opened, we had some seriously potent rum balls. Gloria was going to dump them, but I said that would be a waste and proceeded to eat a few to prove they were just fine. She was not amused. I gave one to Leroy and he went nuts over it, so I dumped the remainder into a plastic bag and kept them for me and Leroy.

By this time most folks in Honey Grove knew Leroy as I could often be seen walking about with him on my shoulder. He loved to go on walk-about with me; I think primarily because he liked the attention he received. He was becoming a bit of a ham—a semi-famous raccoon—and very entertaining to his fans.  I took him to the local vet when he was old enough for his shots, so I was never concerned about someone pissing him off and paying the price in blood. Since I had raised him very gently, never getting too rough during our play, he never exhibited any meanness or aggression (Except on one occasion when I attempted to take a rum ball from him when started showing signs of having had enough. I’ve known drunks who would react in similar fashion at any attempt to ‘cut them off’.)

One day Peanut and I decided the time had long since passed for a Raccoon Reunion. He brought his Missy (Leroy’s sister), over and we put her inside the Coon-Atorium. Leroy stuck his nose out of his penthouse and after a few moments climbed down the tree to welcome her. They romped about on the floor for a bit and then went for a swim. After that, Leroy led Missy up to his pad, (Just as I would have done in a similar situation).

“Guess now your Coon gonna be corruptin’ mine,” Peanut said.

“My coon’s a gentleman,” I said. “If any corruptin’ is goin’ on up there it’s your hussy being the corrupter and my Leroy being the ‘corruptee’.”

“Yeah, whatever. Let’s go on a beer run ta Ladonia and leave these here two lovebirds alone,” he said.

When we returned and went inside to check on our ‘kids’, neither one was visible. I called to Leroy and two pair of masked eyes peered down at me as if I had lost my mind. I kept calling to Leroy to come down, but he was not to be persuaded.

“See there, Peanut? That slut of yours has poisoned my coon’s mind against me.”

“Ah leave ‘em alone. You too much of an over domineerin’ parent. I’ll leave Missy here tonight. Maybe they’ll make us some baby coons.”

Now Dear Reader, I know what you’re thinking: ‘That’s incestuous!” Yeah I know, but we’re talking about raccoons here, not people in Arkansas.

After Leroy had been introduced to the mysteries of Raccoon Love, he was never quite the same. Many times he would refuse to come out of the pecan tree when I called him and this was usually at my family’s suppertime, so I would just go in the house and try again after a while. Eventually he would come down to me, but not until I had been calling him for twenty minutes or so.

Once, as we were eating supper the phone rang; Gloria got up and answered it, then said, “OK. OK. I’ll tell him. Goodbye.” Hung up and walking back to the supper table said to me, “That was Billy Jack Simmons. He said you need to get over to his house and capture your coon.”

“Well shit!” I said. “OK. Gotta go. Great supper Gloria.”

“But you haven’t finis…” She said.

“Hey! I set the table. You have to clear,” Madelyn interrupted as I was looking for my car keys.

“Later Sis. I owe you one,” I said, having found my keys and with one foot out the back door.

Billy Jack’s house was about a mile away. When I arrived there was a large crowd of kids and adults standing under a big walnut tree in the front yard. I sauntered over and announced to the crowd, “Y’all got my coon tree’d up ‘n there?” (I can speak ‘Texas Southern’ just as pretty as you please when the situation seems to warrant).

One little kid with a flashlight in his hand says, “Yeah. He way up yonner thar,” as he shown the light up toward the very top of the tree.

“Well, can’t really make his face out, but I do reckon that would be Leroy,” I said and then began calling to him to come down, not really knowing if he would or not in a timely fashion, especially since he might not have known the intent of the large number of folks standing around staring up at him. To my surprise (and relief) he began his descent immediately and within two minutes he was climbing onto my shoulder. Everyone in the crowd started clapping and as if on cue, Leroy took his paw and pulled my chin over so he could lick me on my lips. He had done this before and it was always a real crowd-pleaser.

“That there’s the damn’dst thing I ever seen,” Billy Jack said over the ‘ahhs’ of the rest of the crowd.

“Billy Jack, I do thank you kindly for calling. I’m sorry for the trouble.”

“Aw hell Boy! T’weren’t no trouble. No trouble a’tall.”

“OK; well thanks again,” I said as Leroy and I got into my station wagon.

After I graduated from high school and was making plans to move to Commerce and begin college, I had to decide what to do with Leroy. I could not keep him in the apartment I was going to rent. That was certain. He and I traveled to Winnsboro to visit with my maternal grandparents who lived on a hundred acre tract of East Texas piney woods a few miles outside of town.

My grandfather loved critters (to a point), and my plan was to ask him take care of Leroy. Since my granddaddy was a hard-headed old crusty curmudgeon, prone to immediately dismiss any idea sprung from my brain (“Boy! I lived through The Great Dee-pression! You don’t know th’ value of a dollar!” And on and on in similar fashion every time I opened my mouth to vocalize any idea or opinion I had) I would have to find just the right moment to broach the subject of his adopting Leroy for me.

As it turns out, Leroy saved me the trouble. One evening at dusk, I was trying to get him down out of the very large pecan tree which dominated the back yard. Leroy was not coming down. I kept trying every hour or so and finally gave up and went to bed.

Next morning he was gone and I would never see him again. This saddened me, but perhaps it was for the best.

In my mind I know he made it alright and had a good life. My heart will not allow me to think otherwise.

Video Credit: mac3079b

Uncle Earl of Louisiana

Hi Kids!

Today’s Daily Lenny is about Uncle Earl, Guv’na of the Great State of Louisiana.

Now…

Uncle Earl was nuts; that is why we loved Uncle Earl. Especially us Texans loved Uncle Earl, because he was just like our Governors: Whacked Out. Only wors’er.

Uncle Earl

Uncle Earl

Molly spoke about him:

“If Louisiana eventually elects Duke (David Duke) governor, don’t expect any sympathy from Texas. They sent us one of their barmy governors once before—Earl Long, who was Huey’s crazy brother. Earl finally got so bad his own family shipped him off to a nuthouse in Galveston. We kept him for six weeks and then let him go; he looked like a perfectly normal governor to us.”

From: Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?

Hereeee’s Lenny! Listen to the Audio: (It will all make sense if you do)

Uncle Earl Below:

belafonte

Harry

 Once Again…

I throw this in (I already  paid for it)

Why NOT?

Too tired…but y’all know the thrill drilll… more lenny here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

 

Time In A Bottle (Please Pour It Out)

Kerbey’s Site is a MUST View.

Related:

On the street where I lived.

 

I Don't Get It

The Pied Piper and Her/His/Its Band of Loons The Pied Piper and Her/His/Its Band of Loons

I realize one day I will have to defend the 1980s to my son. He will ask the big questions, and I will do my best to make sense of that decade. Everything in excess, big and sprayed and sparkly. But NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING can defend the 1970s. What were you thinking? The entire country did not collectively drop acid in 1973, but you could have fooled me. Witness this scene from Indiana University.

IndianaU1973011

I realize the times, they were a-changing. The times are always a-changing. I understand that having your friends and family drop dead right and left in a war we didn’t win was no picnic. In fact, I read just today about a six-foot college man who weighed 145 lbs at the time he was drafted and forced himself to drop down to 123 (officially underweight) to fail his…

View original post 544 more words

The Biker, Bouncer, Bartender, Big-Boned Gal From Milwaukee

1BigBonedGal.jpg

This is (sort of) a continuation of my “Shonie Series”

I like things to be linear. So we rejoin our “hero” just after his Denouement… Or perhaps, ‘Epiphany’.

***

So she led me to a car and we all piled in. I say ‘we all’ simply because there were suddenly three of us. Me, HER, and a smallish blonde. I remember thinking I had seen this movie before, but this time it came with a twist, I guess. I have to guess, as the rest of the evening (early morning?) is fuzzy in my memory.

After about twenty minutes. (I am once again, estimating here; could’ve been an hour or more. Or less.) After about ‘twenty’ minutes we arrived at a house (could have been an apartment). SHE took me inside and led me straight-away to a bed… room. If memory serves, we had sex. Violent sex. (Not ‘violent’ violent. Let’s just call it ‘intense.’) SHE was at least six foot and change and, as I did report earlier, ‘Big-Boned.” I swear, I saw my life’s movie flash as she covered me and had her way. (And of course, me mine)

As we lay there ‘after’ in someone else’s bed, she remarked, “Well, that should keep your self-winding watch going for a few days.”

I had to laugh, just as I drifted off.

The next morning I awoke with the sun singeing my eyes from a casually placed window (What’s wrong with these people?). I could smell bacon. I rolled over and looked at my watch: 0630. I had a start; then realized it was Saturday and I did not have ‘duty’ on my ship. I could go back to sleep, un-worried. But, oh no! SHE was stirring. (So, who was cooking bacon? I remember thinking)

“Oh. You’re awake?” She said.

“Uh, yeah. Kinda,” was all I could muster. Where am I? Who are you? (Not a proper question, I realize, but then, I was hung over and still groggy)

“I am the woman to be named later,” she said, poking me in the ribs. (Which hurt for some reason).

“I see. I rolled over to face her.” She was, indeed: Beautiful. Long dark brown hair, dark eyes, and mystery, too much mystery in fact. I was at this point, all ‘mystery-ied’ out. I was tired. I needed Gidget. Or perhaps Mary Poppins, or even Samantha Stevens…

You don’t remember my name?” She asked after lighting a cigarette.

“To be stupidly honest, no I don’t.”

“No matter. I am called ‘Layla’. Ring any bells?” (I wish I were making this up)

I’m thinking now that I had just fallen into Dante’s Inferno.

“Uh. No. Should bells be ringing?”

“So… You’re a Sailor? Yes?”

“Yes. And what are you? And are you from around here?”

“Not from around here. I’m just visiting my cousin. She is the one cooking breakfast.”

“Yeah. I can smell bacon.”

“Good nose. I like that in a man. Have you an appetite?”

“From some memory of last night, I’d have to say ‘yes’.”

“Hahahahah! Yep. You do, Sailor Man. Yep, you do.”

“So, if you’re not from here. Where are you ‘from’, and what do you do?”

“I’m from Wisconsin. I work as a bartender. I’m also a bouncer, when the need is needed. Oh, and I love to ride Harleys.”

Perfection, I thought. Now what Cowboy? Shit. Here I am again…

I had ‘some leave-days-on-the-books’ and seriously considered at that moment that I needed to take them and head home to Texas to get a re-start on my physic saki… (Well, spelling ain’t never been my thing, but you know what I mean here.) 

I mean, I was still re-‘bound’ for glory. But I did have some time, eh? Didn’t I?

“The pitfalls of the city are extremely real.”

Video Credit:

gdoublee

To Be Continued…Here

Another Petty Tyrant. Damn.

I am re-blogging this simply because I love anything Jimmy Buffett.
And oh yeah! I almost forgot: Because HappyHeathen rocks!
Go there. Learn some shit.

happierheathen

A while back I introduced two of my clients, one who does e-commerce and another who, as part of her business, builds web sites based upon this here WordPress contraption. I’d explained in clear terms to the chief excremental orificer of the first why I consider it a monumental mistake to use WordPress in their application, but he insisted that it had to be so I introduced the two. I’d never had an ounce of trouble out of the first client, and I am impressed with the work of the second, so it seemed a good way to do them both a good turn and improve my karma.

I now regret doing it. I had no idea that the chief excremental orificer guy was a raging, control freaking, power playing asshole. I rarely deal with him, as I usually talk to his office manager who’s always been cheerful and pleasant with me —…

View original post 1,649 more words

Happy

Silly Sunday

I am very happy happy happy today: Sunday!

Why? Don’t know exactly, just Happy. (Never look a gift of Happiness in the mouth!) Happiness is definitely NOT Lubbock in my rear-view mirror… But happiness is as happiness does. (Sorry Forrest)

Happy? Yeah. My English girlfriend just came home. Bearing gifts. Rib-eye steaks ($20—can you wrap some mind around that?—twenty quid for two steaks! Out-fucking-rageous!)

Ed. Note:  GF just corrected me: “Thirty dollars!” Ouch! (Gonna have ’em bronzed)

Back to the happy: I am happy because I am alive Just-one-more-day. (No drama there, just musing)

I am happy because I have folks who follow my blog. I am happy because some actually read my blog. I am happy because some actually comment on my blog.

Yep. I am happy.

Hoping you are too. At least for today. Run with it. I am.

Cheers, Beers, and Happiness to all Y ‘all!

-Lance, The Happy, Hippie, Erstwhile Sailor, Texan.

Video Credit:

John Richnow’s Channel

Thought I’d re-post this for all my Brit Friends Out There: “Now I know why London Bridge Fell Down”

When I was working in Basra, my gig allowed two weeks R&R every two months or so. Sounds like a deal, eh? Well, yes it was. Be aware however, we worked seven days a week, ten hours a day. NO days off. So do the math; we earned it. And of course we were getting shelled and rocketed and mortared regularly.

Anyhow, I had a stateside girlfriend back then. Actually more friend than girl. Rather platonic relationship, but we were ‘Buds’ and I loved her dearly. (Still do) And we went way back.

It was agreed by us both, that once I went to Iraq, we would spend our (my) R&R’s together. I flew her to Barcelona, Athens, Italy, and finally London. (She made all the arrangements. All I had to do was show up) Too easy for me.

Mid 2006 we met in London. I was ‘cacked out’ (Lenny Bruce vernacular). Worn out. Plumb tuckered. Tired. Damn tired. Spent.

R&R London
Click Me: This Was My London

She was, of course not. Now mind you, this woman had been all over Europe already. London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Athens… well, she was rich. Catch my drift? I had seen quite a lot of Europe my own damn self. Did not hold much magic for me.

All I really wanted was some ‘down time.’

Bless her heart (and this speaks volumes of our great friendship), she let me do what I wanted; which basically meant I could sit in the flat she had arranged for us in downtown London and drink Beefeater while watching movies and smoking Marlboro’s and ranting at the current state of affairs in Iraq.

After a few days, she did manage to get me out of the flat for a walk-about. We went to Buckingham Palace (one day shot there)

We went to the British Museum; saw the Rosetta stone. Another day gone.

“Lance that’s the Rosetta Stone.”

“Yep, that’s cool.”

Had some fish ‘n’ chips (I preferred Long John Silvers, but that is just what an asshole I am)

Rode the Tube. (I prefer Le Metro in Paris, but what the hell)

And various other exhausting  exhilarating  excursions.

“About three days before we were to part: me back to The Sandbox; she back to Texas, she asked me, “Lance, isn’t there any place in London you would like to see?”

“Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is. I wanna go down to Marble Arch Station.”

“Whaaat?” she said.

“Yeah. Marble Arch Station.”

West End of London, England, United Kingdom

“That is a Tube Station.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Why on Earth…”

“Because it belongs to Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker. And Texas.”

(Best Original Audio from ¡Viva Terlingua!)

London Homesick Blues

She acquiesced and off we went. Got there and I had a salutary beer to J.J. Walker and Gary P. Nunn. Then I was happy and pronounced my R&R a successful bit of Rest and Relaxation.

Best Video From “Lost Gonzo Band (with Gary P. Nunn)”

–Austin, ’74

“Well I decided that

I’d get my cowboy hat

And go down to Marble Arch Station…”

Went back to the flat and had a few gin and tonics and lived happily ever after.

“R&R” means that: Rest and Relax and do whatever the hell you want. London could wait… until I came back the next time.

Good God!

I MISS Texas!

Just Who Do You Think You Are?–A Re-Post

I swerved into this while revisiting and  exploring my own writings. (I do this occasionally. Not out of vanity, but out of a need to understand how my blogging ‘style’ may have changed or hopefully matured) At any rate, I do think this one adds some small value to my recently completed “Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife of Bath” story.

And whilst swerving, I swerved into this: (If you watch it, I will send you a Mickey Mouse Pencil Sharpener and a box of Gin) Trust me: it still ‘fits’ my Shonnie Story. Ya see? The Earth is a smaller globe now. (redundant?)

 Vid Credit: DJ Bayonic

“Win your medals. Fuck your strangers. Don’t it leave you on the empty side?”

Any and all comments (and advice) regarding the tenor of this TT&H Blog will be greatly appreciated. So, take the time, drop a dime…

Call-Ment Me!

***

This below was inspired by a post from a blogger I much admire: Abby of Abby Has Issues fame: writer, published author, blogger, self-described sarcastic (and inspiring–my words) wench.

Thank you Abby

****

“Who am I?”

This should be a very provocative question for all. Some ancient guy once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I am rapidly approaching my sixth decade on this earth and have been (painfully) taking stock of all that I could call My Life.” What good have I accomplished? What are the bad things I have done? How many ‘friends’ do I have? How many bridges have I nuked? (I generally do not ‘burn’ bridges; I have a tendency to shock and awe ‘em—obliterate ‘em) I have put my boots on the ground on every continent except South America. What has this taught me? A lot. Did I always use this knowledge gleaned? Most definitely not.

“Who am I?”

More and more I have come to the stark realization that I must sum me up with one word:

‘Asshole’

I am an asshole. I don’t want to be an asshole, pompous ass, arrogant ass, the smartest ass in the room, (which I obviously am… maybe once in ten or twenty tries 😉 ) I do not want to be any kind of ass, but that is my reality. I have made some friendships during my life which should have lasted forever, but didn’t: Mostly from my neglect. I have had some wonderfully loving relations with women, and actually married four of them. Each one of those relationships should have been a lasting euphoria, but I did not, could not, allow that.

Wanderlust always took me away, eventually needing to ‘get outta town’, but with no malice, just gotta go…  ‘This is the part where the cowboy rides away’–find some elusive spot half-way across the globe where I could ‘find’ ME, unencumbered by people who ‘love’ me and think they can help me.

Not sure if I have found me yet. And this is disconcerting, ‘cause I do fear the time for that is growing short. Writing helps, but I continue to struggle with:

“Who am I?”

I still don’t know.

As Abby broached the subject:

“How would you answer the question?”

Run with it, and drop in to read Abby (and tell her I sent ya–I sure could use the publicity)

Cheers Y’all and Happy Monday.

Threw Back Thursday: Kinky

Just some silly-ness from my immature Blogging Past. (I do hope I have ‘matured’ somewhat since April, but I doubt it)

Don’t try to judge me; take some grain of salt.

Just kids havin’ fun.

***

Now, for all y’all Texans out there in Radio Land, this Man needs no introduction: The Once and Future Guv of Texas, Kinky Friedman and his Texas Jewboys Band:

He’s just an asshole, but dammit! He’s our Asshole an’ we love him.

Fer the res’ of all y’all who were unlucky enuff to not be born’d in This-Great-Land, Way’ll, Please watch an’ enjoy.

An’ lemme say this by way of dis’claimering: Kinky ain’t no race-ist (Hell! He drives a pickup truck, not a Ferrari) agin’ Meskins. He is all over tongue-n-cheek an’ pokes fun at all o’ y’all Texicans. Most even at me.

Kinky Fer President in ‘16!

Feel Me?

I love all y’all (even all y’all Yankees)

Peace Out,

Y’all’s Lance-ikin

“Aren’t you scared the Lord will hit you with a light-en-ing bolt?”

“I figger if he did, He’d know what He was doin’. I’d just ride it wherever it took me.”

–Dave Gardner

(“Me no Alamo”)

*************

“According to Texas legend, in 1836, when Sam Houston, master of the strategic retreat,

220px-Sam_Houston_by_Mathew_Brady

The Raven

and the Texan Army finally allowed Santa Anna and the Mexicans to catch up with them, the Texans waded into the sleeping Mexicans at San Jacinto, yelling, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” while filleting Mexicans left and right with their bayonets. The panicked Mexicans tried to scramble away, screaming, “Me no Alamo, me no Goliad!” It has come to mean, “Hey, don’t blame me. I didn’t do it.”

“All the stuff I report in this book happened. I didn’t make up any of it.”

“Me no Alamo.”

–Molly Ivins

From her wonderful book: “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?”

Molly

Molly

Read it.

And Weep.

And laugh

Yer Ass Off

Shonnie: Just Some Last Thoughts & One “Reminisce”

I killed this post. Probably because it did not ring ‘true’ (even though it was). Anyway, I brought it back, if for nothing else, my own edification.

(And of course, because I love Sheryl Crow. And of course, as a vain writer, I just cannot cotton to killing my own words, once written. Hahahaha! Writers, y’all know what I mean.) 

Please Bare er, ‘bear’… with me on this one Y’all.

***

Time always makes things (memories) better. This is how I cope. As for me and Shonnie, memories are multiplied–super-sized, if you will. The words I wrote of our relationship are all too true. I do hope she never reads those words, as neither she nor I are strong enough to re-live those heady days. This is how life is. One is young once, (and older more than twice) and youth does stupid shit based upon that ‘youth’, and then, if lucky, one has a chance for redemption later in life.

(Not religious redemption: human redemption) I don’t apologize for my youthful indiscretions. They belong to me alone. I will carry. If anyone has in their head after reading my story of Lance and Shonnie, that I did not truly love her, that I allowed her to set me free for my own self-preservation, that I did not want to fight for her, then you may want to go back and read between the lines.

And with that ‘mini-rant’ spotlight shined into my soul, I leave you with this idealized and fantasized version of what Shonnie meant to me.

(Ms Shonnie’s part played and well-acted by Sheryl Crow.) And as good as Sheryl is, she could never be as good to me as was Shonnie. Ever. (But, I’d grant her an audition, none-the-less) And it shames me now to admit this but I was, back then, not strong enough to be her man.

If you are new here and confused, here is the beginning of this little story: Shonnie

Go there with my Blessings… and sympathy

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Denouement

Or: “Dreams do come true; it can happen to you… When you’re young at heart and stupid and bulletproof.”

Or, if you prefer: “Big-Boned Gal”

Parts  One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen This is the End

***

Nothing to do now but drive away and discover what happens next. No point in trying to flee at a high rate of speed. Most Harleys (when they are not broken down) will outrun a heavy-ass Toronado. Which brings to mind a t-shirt one of MY biker friends often wore (Yes, I had some biker friends. They were also sailors, but I don’t think that disqualifies them), which read: “I’d rather push my Harley than ride your Honda.”

So off I drove into the predawn. Never having what could be remotely considered decent navigation skills, I just headed in the general direction of what I thought to be south, hoping to hit I-Five, which would lead me to 32nd Street Naval Base and my ship. And of course I kept frequently glancing in my rear-view. Billy, or whomever, did in fact follow me, yet at a respectful distance for a spell. At one point I contemplated stopping and asking him for directions, but in the end thought better of that.

Eventually, he either got bored, lost his nerve, or ran out of gas. Anyway, he disappeared from my radar. I made it back to the USS Frederick with just enough time to change into my dungarees and make morning muster.

When the 1MC announced “Knock off Ship’s Work” at 1600 hrs, I quickly changed into my civvies, left the ship, grabbed a pay phone on the pier, and called Shonnie up at work.

“Hello?”

“Shonnie?”

“You were expecting maybe… Madonna?”

Ignoring her classic wit, I said “Are you okay?”

“Yes, of course, why wouldn’t I be?”

Uh oh. Her tone did not bode well. “Perhaps you caught amnesia. Did Billy come calling?”

“Uh, yeah. He did.”

“And?”

“What?”

“Come on Shonnie, what happened?”

“He begged me to open the door, so finally I let him in.” She didn’t seem to want to talk about this, but damn it! I was in ‘need-to-know’ status. ‘Hey! I’m needin’ to know here!’ (Sorry Dustin)

“Well? Do I have to drag this out of you?”

“Listen Lance, he broke down and cried All Right! He promised to be a better husband and father. He begged me to take him back. He is the Father of my Son, Goddamn it! What-the-fuck-do-you-expect-me-to-do?” (Kids always trump lovers. I suppose this is as it should be, but… this asshole was abusive. At least that was her early story.)

“So, you’re getting back together then?” In asking this, I felt as if I had been kicked in the solar plexus. Hard. It was becoming difficult to breathe.

“Yes.”

“You sure about this?”

“Yes. I am.”

I could not continue the conversation. “Well, I guess that’s it then.”

“Yeah. I guess it is. Goodbye Lance.” She hung up.

Rage. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Self-Pity. Despair. Aloneness: All competing in my soul to climb to the top of my emotional hit parade. I slammed the receiver into the phone and walked toward my car. As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat I realized that I was crying. Fuck! (There seemed to be a pattern developing here, Shonnie: Then grown men crying–note to self–‘research this.’)

A couple of weeks later I was kidnapped by some of my buddies from my ship.

“Marcom, you done been mopping around for too long. We’re going out tonight to a great joint. No arguments. Just grab yer shit and come on.” I had to acquiesce.

Mark and Tommy mounted their Harleys. Frank, Lenny, and I climbed into Lenny’s ’68 Chevelle, which he referred to as his “She-Vail” Accent on the ‘Vail.’

“Where we goin’?” I asked after about five minutes of ear-splitting Guns N’ Roses (Lenny waxed and waned between ‘Pure Country’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ depending on his mood and blood alcohol level.

“Goin’ to IB,” he shouted over Welcome to the Jungle. (‘Imperial Beach’ for those who may not have had the opportunity to visit some of the classier environs south of San Diego.) One can actually ‘smell’ Tijuana from IB, not an entirely unpleasant smell if the wind is right and it ain’t summertime.

We were just a couple of car lengths behind Mark and Tommy who, wearing their bandanas, leather jackets, black jackboots, and seated astride their Harleys puking blue smoke, producing one hundred decibels above what OSHA would consider workplace violence, had metamorphosed elegantly from A-Jay-Squared-Away Sailors into So-Cal Bikers. Passing through National City, (‘Nasty City’) then Chula Vista, (Chew, Ya-Wanna?’) I couldn’t help but keep thinking of Shonnie and how much she would have loved this ‘adventure.’ And I with her, experiencing it together. Damn! I missed her still!

“Almost there!” Lenny shouted as we pulled off of I-5 and tacked somewhat west toward the Pacific.

“Almost where?” I shouted back, but Lenny said nothing. After navigating through some of Imperial Beach’s “Nicer Hoods” our little caravanserai pulled into a gravel parking lot, which presumably belonged to the ramshackle ‘Joint’ I now found myself staring at. Lots of bikes in the lot. I cannot recall the name of the establishment, but it was something along the lines of “The Salty Frog.” or “IB Bar N’ Grill” or “Busted Spoke.” No matter, I was only interested in drink, not ambience. Mark and Tommy dismounted as Frank, Lenny, and I ‘de-She-Vailed’ and headed into the ‘Dew Drop Inn’ or, what-you-will.

Inside, the joint wasn’t too bad. Good A/C, low lighting, a couple of pool tables and lots of… Yep: bikers. Well, why not? I was sick to death of the memory of the squeaky-clean C/W Joint where I had first met Shonnie and this place was as far removed from that type of joint as I could ever hope to get. We found a table against a back wall and proceeded headlong toward the arms of intoxication. As I was not expected to drive (this was sort of a ‘coming back out of the shadows/death’ party for me after all), I planned to “Drink that woman offa my mind.”

The drinks flowed and the bullshit rolled (mostly downhill into my lap, as it was well known that I was in ‘lost love recovery’ mode.) I won’t go into detail about how piercingly eloquent we all became during the course of the evening. Mainly because I cannot remember all the pearls of wisdom which were cast back and forth amongst us swine.

What I do recall was my exit:

Roughly fifteen minutes after Last Call, and as all the patrons began to shuffle (or in my case, stagger) toward the exit, I ran headlong into an immovable object: probably because I was trying to guide my feet one step at a time with my eyes and not really paying attention to the larger part of navigation.

Looking up I realized I had run into a woman. A very tall, very large woman. Not a fat woman, mind you, but tall and large. I mean a ‘Big-Boned Gal.’ A fuckin’-beautiful-brunette-dark-eyed Big Bone Woman, who, praise Neptune, did not appear to be angry at my clumsiness.

I found my voice and said, “Hi… I’m Lance. Will you take me home? With you?”

BBG smiled down at me, “Yes, I sure will,” she said as she took my hand.

And as they say (Always ‘They’), “Nothing gets you over the last one like the next one.”

My recovery was officially underway.

Video Credit:

barefootkd’s channel

This Concludes Our ‘All Things Shonnie’ Broad Cast (no pun). We now return you to our regularly scheduled inaneness.

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I was enjoined to write it.

Peace and Beer to all Y’all!

Last thoughts HERE

More Big-Boned Gal  HERE

Lance OUT

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: This is the (NOT) The End

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen

The three Harleys were gaining on me as I sped southbound down Interstate 5. It was still dark and the traffic was light. I floored the pedal on the Toronado, but I knew they would eventually catch up to me. As my speedometer redlined at one hundred I took another furtive glance in the rearview: still gaining fast. Where the hell were the famous CHiPs? For the absolute first time in my life, I wanted to get busted. One biker managed to pull up alongside me on the passenger side. I swerved to the right just a bit to try to spook him. No dice! He easily dodged my quarter panel and I caught a brief glimpse of his grinning face, mocking me. (bikers never wore helmets)  The two remaining bikes pulled up behind him. I was running out of options. Should I just continue on until I ran out of freeway or gas? Hope a highway patrol finally spotted us? Surrender? I stole another glance in my side mirror and could just barely make out the third biker taking aim at my car with a handgun, rather unsteadily given our speed, but I braced for the worst, then BAM!

I awoke with a start and sat bolt upright in bed. The alarm was wailing away. Shonnie stirred and moaned, “What time is it?”

Reaching over to kill the alarm, I knocked the clock off the nightstand. “Shit!” I reached over the side of the bed, grabbed it and managed to turn the damn thing off. “It’s five-thirty,” I said.

“Ohhh too early,” she moaned again, pulling the covers over her head.

“Go back to sleep,” I said.

“No. I’ll make you some coffee,” she said, sitting up, stretching her arms upward yawning

“Got no time for that. I gotta get back to my ship. Muster is at zero-seven.”

“It’ll just take a minute,” she said as she extracted her naked body from the covers.

“Okay, but a minute is about all I have.”

I got out of bed and put on my jeans. Shonnie threw on her robe and disappeared downstairs. I went into the head and splashed some cold water on my face, trying to shock the dream out of my mind. Just as I finished struggling to get into my too-tight boots, I heard the kettle whistling downstairs. Making sure I had my wallet and military ID, I descended to the kitchen to join Shonnie. She handed me a cup and I took a quick sip.

“Good coffee,” I said.

“You’re welcome Cowboy.”

“You sleep alright? I asked.

“Yeah, sorta, but you were snoring and moaning till all hours.”

“Sorry ‘bout that. Look, I gotta split. I wanna beat the traffic. My Master Chief don’t have a sense of humor about being late for muster.” I handed her the still mostly full cup of coffee.

She set it on the counter, threw her arms around my neck clinging tight, pulling me down and kissing me passionately. She withdrew her lips but kept my neck locked tight. “Oh Rhett! When will Ah evah see you again?”

I reached up and gently pulled her hands free and said, “Very funny Scarlett. I’ll call you this evening, but now I gotta go.”

“Okay, Darlin’, lemme walk you out.”

We walked over to the front door holding hands. I opened it. Shonnie let out a gasp. “Oh no,” she said.

“What is it?”

“Look there,” she said pointing down at the deck.

There was a white sack about a yard from the front door. It had the unmistakable mark of McDonald’s on it. I took a step outside, picked it up, turned to Shonnie and said, “What the fuc…”

“Come back inside quickly,” she almost whispered.

I went back in and she shut the door, locking it with a loud click. “It’s Billy.”

“Billy?”

“My husband, you idiot.”

“Sorry. You never did tell me his name.”

“You never asked.”

Still clutching the sack in my hand, I opened it up and discovered two large coffees and two pastries.

“Give me that!” she said, almost shouting as she grabbed the sack out of my hand. “Look, this coffee is still hot. He must have just been here.” She was visibly shaking.

“Quite the gentleman to deliver breakfast, doncha think?”

“Goddamn Lance! This shit ain’t funny!”

“Well, what the hell do you expect from a smartass?”

“You can’t leave now,” she said as she walked over and slumped down into an overstuffed chair, dropping the bag on the floor almost tipping over the coffees inside.

“Seriously? Will he try to hurt you if I go?”

“No… not right away anyhow. It’s you… You! He’ll be after you! Dammit to Fuck!”

“Baby, I got no choice. I’d rather face ‘Billy’ than try to explain to Master Chief why I’m UA.”

She stared at me blankly for an instant as if I had just said something in a language she did not understand. “Whaaat?”

“Uh UA; unauthorized absence. AWOL. You know.”

“Fuck that! If you leave here now, you might be ‘AWOL’ permanent.”

“Well, I doubt that, but anyway I gotta go.” I turned and walked back toward the door. “I’ll call you this evening. Lock the door behind me.”

“Okay,” she sighed, getting up. As I was about to open the door she spun me around and hugged me, burying her face in my chest. “Be safe Lance.”

“You too Baby.”

I opened the door and walked out. Shonnie shut it behind me and I heard the click as she turned the deadbolt.

My car was parked almost a block away from the house. It was still an hour before sunrise but the streetlights, though not bright, afforded enough light for me to make my way without any difficulty. As I slowly walked toward the Toronado, I was glancing left and right, trying to see into the shadows, hoping I would see no one. My shoulders were tight as I wondered if they would suddenly be pierced by a round from a hand gun. I keep walking. Almost there now. The Toronado was parked directly under a street light. Shit! I would have preferred a darker venue for getting into my car. Oh well. I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel. Turning the key in the ignition, the engine turned over a few times more than normal, but finally caught hold. The cassette player was still cranked up and in the early morning quiet seemed extremely loud. I quickly reached over and shut down Jim Morrison in the middle of his song.

The car was facing the opposite direction I needed to be going, so I had to pull forward into an empty driveway, back up and get turned about. Back in the street and facing the right direction, I dropped the car into drive.

Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a Harley cranking up and someone revving the throttle.

Not The End.

More:  HERE

 

Video Credit:

ThaG0DFATHER

Input/Output: Electricity! (With Apologies to Joni Mitchell)

The below is a comment I made over at Aussa’s Blog (a blog I can never say enough good things about), in response to one of her hilarious posts: Ridiculous On The Job Injuries

 http://aussalorens.com/2014/07/10/ridiculous-on-the-job-injuries/

Her prompt:  What’s the most ridiculous way you’ve injured yourself?

***

Back in the Middle Ages (1980’s) when I owned my tropical fish store in Nacogdoches (Yes, That ‘Oldest Town in Texas’), I was trying to clean the front glass of one of my retail tanks (ten gallon) which housed an electric catfish (like an electric eel, but with higher amps and voltage). I was standing on a stool as ‘Benny Franklin’s’ tank was on the third tier—you just know I had to name him—since I’d had him ‘in-stock’ for months (All the East Texans were interested in were guppies, goldfish, and ‘crud-eaters’).

Anyhow, as I was keeping a watchful eye on Benny, lest I inadvertently swerve my paw/forearm into him, a customer walked up to me, inquiring (rather vociferously) about where were the crud eaters (Yes, I have posted about crud-eaters), I took my eye off the prize (my arm) just for-a-second. Yep: Bam! Brushed Benny and received a shock which knocked me off the stool and flat on my ass.

Input: Output Electricity

Malapterurus electricus- shock yer ass-officus

Embarrassed? What do you think? I was supposedly a ‘professional aquarist.’ Apparently not-on-that-day. The potential crud-eater customer just looked down at me and announced dryly that she would try ‘Ben Franklin’s’ (coincidence? or irony?) or better still Wal*Mart up the road. Guess I did not answer her query quick enough as I was taking my own sweet time in my sincere effort to start breathing again.

True Story: you can take my word for it.

😉

Cheers to you Aussa,

Always my pleasure to visit y’all, and glean inspiration for future posts (sincerely).

–Lance

Video Credit: JoniJourney

 

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife. Chapter XIII: La Jolla

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve 

It’s a pretty good drive from Seaport Village to La Jolla. We stopped along the way for cigarettes, sandwich stuff and beer and arrived at “Auntie’s House” about seven-thirty. This isn’t it, but a reasonable facsimile:

La Jolla

 

“Your aunt rich?” I asked stupidly.

“Yeah. What was your first clue?”

“Lucky guess, I suppose.”

“Come on. It’s even better inside.”

She led me into the condo.

“First class joint,” I said. “Really classy.”

“Let me give you the nickel tour.”

She led me through the living room, past the dining room and into the kitchen. It was all stainless steel and wood. Very nice. We put the sandwich stuff and the beer in the fridge. Shonnie produced two tumblers and threw some ice into each. I took the bottle of Jim Beam, splashed some into each glass, and handed one to her.

“A toast!” I said. “To us!”

We clinked tumblers, took a swig and fell into each other’s arms. Lips to lips. “You make me happy my dear,” I whispered into her ear as we broke our lip lock.

“I had a great fucking time in Vegas. Won’t be forgetting that soon.”

“Yeah, but next time. Please. Please listen to me.”

“Hahaha! Sure Cowboy. I promise to be good… ‘Next time’. Come on. I wanna show you the rest of this ‘joint’.”

We took the stairs and she led me into what I surmised was the master bedroom. It was large as condo bedrooms go, but then, I was no expert on anything ‘condo’. In fact, this was probably my first. There were double French doors opening up to a small patio overlooking the Pacific. The bed was huge. I pushed down on it with my hand and watched as it rippled. Waterbed. Last time I had seen a waterbed was back in the Seventies. I wondered silently if this one leaked… There were Asian paintings on the walls and shag beige carpet on the floor. Some African wooden statues were on the dresser. I recognized them from my eight days spent in Kenya. The bathroom had an old-timey tub, green towels, and a shower stall… and a bidet! Wow! Mishmash of so many cultures. Well, California. What could one say?

“Why don’t you rinse off in the shower while I fetch some ice and build our bar?”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll do that.”

After my ‘rinse off’, I wrapped a green beach towel about me, lay on the bed with my drink and my Marlboro. (Figured it permissible to smoke, as there were about five ashtrays strategically placed about the room.)

Shonnie reappeared with the whiskey, two sandwiches, a small bucket of ice, and two beers. Quite the juggler, she was.

“It’s okay. Don’t get up,” she said with some small sarcasm, as she deposited her items on one of the nightstands next to the waterbed.”

“Hungry?” I asked.

“Yeah. Lose that towel.”

I did and she ‘lost’ her jeans et al.

We made slow love for some thirty minutes. Deep kisses, lots of teasing, and finally came together…

As we lay back in the bed, silently smoking, she said, “You’re quite the catch, ain’t ya Cowboy?”

“Not sure your meaning, Little Lady.”

“Just sayin’. You’re quite the catch.”

“Not really. Just another lonely sailor far from home.”

“Yeah with fireplace eyes and the gift of bullshit, and any port in a storm.”

“True enough, I suppose.” (‘Fireplace eyes?’ I’d only heard this once before. From… my wife. Somewhat unnerving to hear it again after so many years.)

“Eat your sandwich,” she said. “Then we can watch a movie. The night is still young.” She got up and I watched her walk to the bathroom. Her perfect petite body and (purposely?) twitching little ass tantalizing me still–although I was quite sated at that moment.

I reached for the sandwich even though I was not hungry. Suddenly becoming self-conscious about my nakedness and feeling vulnerable, I got up and put my pants on. I lay back on the bed, picked up the sandwich, took one bite and put it down. There was a large television opposite the bed. I picked up the remote from the night stand and switched it on. CNN appeared. Some talking head, info babe, was blathering on and on about something that had just happened in Iraq: ‘Breaking News’. I muted the volume.

“You’re watching the News?” She said, suddenly appearing in front of me wearing a white terry-cloth robe and a frown.

“I think it’s watching me.”

“How depressing. I never watch the news.”

“Current events are important,” I said.

“Not to me.”

“Well, here’s a news’ flash for ya: You are drop-dead gorgeous.”

“Careful there, Cowboy…”

She walked over to the ‘Entertainment Center’ which was part of the whole TV thing and began perusing some VHS tapes. “What kind of movies do you like?” she asked.

“Historical, hysterical drama.” I said.

“Well, that does narrow it down a bit.” She selected a tape; put it in, and then picking up two remotes began pushing buttons. “Top Gun” appeared on the screen as if by technological magic.

“I was thinking of maybe something a little less contemporary,” I said as Kenny Loggins began his bit.

Video Credit:

KennyLogginsVEVO

“Nonsense!” she said. “This is perfect for you. You’re a sailor, eh?”

“Yeah I am, but not a fighter jock. And I hate Tom Cruise.”

“Relax. Have you seen this movie?”

“’Fraid I have, but okay. Kelly McGillis is never a waste of my time.”

“Asshole!”

“C’est moi.”

With that she jumped on the bed causing me to spill some amber onto the sheets and almost drop my cigarette. She grabbed my head and planted a deep kiss, sticking her tongue down my throat.

“Madame! I am aghast!” I said as I was freed from her embrace.

“Shut up and watch the movie.”

Kenny was just finishing up ‘Danger Zone’, and proving once again that I needed to pay closer attention to my life’s soundtrack, especially when it is foreshadowing and trying to connect. We got through the horrible movie thanks to several glasses of Beam and a few beers and not a small number of cigarettes. It was, I have to admit looking back, the best screening of one of the worst movies of all time. I kept Shonnie in laughter as I picked apart the utter bullshit and un-factual parts of the movie. Yes, sometimes I can do sarcasm with the best.

As the final credits were rolling, Shonnie snuggled up to me and asked, “Lance, do you love me?”

“Probably,” I said.

“I’m a little hard to love.”

“Not for a schmuck like me.”

“I’m serious here. I have issues.”

“Yeah, don’t we all?”

“Goddamn it! I am serious.”

“’Serious’ is not something I’m good at.”

“You are EXASPERATING!”

“That’s a pretty good four-bit word,” I said with a mocking grin.

“Actually, it’s five bits, you bastard.”

“True enough,” I said, as I counted off the syllables in my head.

“You know my estranged husband is one mean son-of-a-bitch, right?”

“Never met the stud.  Do tell.”

“Trust me. And he called me up at Mama’s the other day and asked me who was my new boyfriend.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I think he’s been following me.”

“I’m not much into ‘threesomes’.”

“Listen asshole. I’m getting scared.”

“Wanna end it?”

She paused and I saw some sorrow creep into her eyes. “Might be a good idea,” she said. Then quickly added, “But just for a little while. I don’t want to lose us.”

“Let’s sleep on it. I have to leave here at zero-five-thirty so I can make morning muster on my ship.”

She buried her head under my arm and we fell asleep under the blue TV screen light.

To Be Continued…  HERE

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XII: Back to the Real World

Continuation of Shonnie: Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven

With nothing else to do and somewhat pissed at Shonnie for putting us both in a bad situation, I walked over to The Las Vegas Club just across the street from the Union Plaza. My intent was to pass some time playing a relaxing game of roulette. I have always enjoyed roulette. The pace is slow and generally that game draws a more serene clientele. A casual game of roulette would afford me the opportunity to calm my anger and pleasantly pass some time.

The minimum bet was one dollar, so I bought a hundred bucks worth of two-bit chips and began scattering them about the table. Never really scoring big at roulette, I did not expect anything but a hundred dollars worth of entertainment and some free bottom shelf booze. I had a few wins, but more losses and as my initial investment faded away along with about an hour and a half, I cashed out the remainder of my stake (about twenty-five bucks), drained my glass, stubbed out my Marlboro and headed back to the Plaza.

Upon entering our room, I discovered Shonnie face down on the bed, a cig still burning in the ashtray.

I sad upon the bed next to her.

“You awake?” I whispered.

“Owwwie… Is that you Honey?”

“Yes, Dear. It’s me. How’d you come out?”

“Won three hundred. Proud of me?”

“Nope,” I said. “You nearly got me in trouble.”

“Always about you,” she said, turning on her side to face me with piercing blue eyes.

“We did have a plan, you know. What happened?”

“I couldn’t get shed of that moron.”

“I see.”

She sat up abruptly. “I tried, Goddamn it!”

“How hard is it to walk away from a blackjack table?”

“I was having fun too.”

“You’re drunk,” I said.

“Yeah. Be a dear and light me a smoke.”

I lit two Marlboros and handed her one. She took a long drag and asked for a cold beer. I fished two Bud longnecks out of the cooler we had brought along and handed her one. She drained about half of hers, belched, and said, “Cotton mouth.”

“Charmed, I’m sure.”

“Fuck you. I have a major headache.”

I kissed her lightly on the forehead and said, “We need to head outta here tomorrow by noon. I have to be back on my boat…”

“Okay! Okay! I got it. What time is it anyway?”

“It’s later than you think.”

She drained the rest of her beer, threw her half-smoked cigarette in the ashtray, rolled over and went immediately to sleep. Just perfect, I thought. I took some minutes to finish my beer and my cigarette, then got undressed and curled up next to her and was soon asleep myself.

****

Next day we managed to check out of our room and hit the road by about twelve-thirty. I stopped for gas and a six-pack at Whiskey Pete’s and we reverse-road-tripped on into San Diego, arriving about six in the evening. I dropped Shonnie at her mom’s and headed back to the Frederick. I hit my rack and slept like the dead. I had duty the next day, so I could not leave the ship. On Tuesday at sixteen hundred after liberty call I got in my civvies and hit the beach. Found a pay phone on the pier and called her up.

“Hello?”

“Hiya Baby. How y’all doin’?”

“Why didn’t you call me yesterday?” She sounded pissed.

“You know damn well. I had duty yesterday,” I shot back.

“Oh… Yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”

“Wanna hook up?” I asked.

“Yeah. Meet me at Seaport Village. In the parking lot. In an hour.”

“Make it an hour and a half.”

“Okay.”

***

I pulled into the parking lot at Seaport Village around six p.m. No sign of Shonnie. I killed the Toronado but left the stereo playing (Tom Waits: “Warm Beer and Cold Women…”) Pulling from a pint of Jim Beam, I lit a cigarette and watched some seagulls diving on scraps in the bay. I saw a haze-gray-and-underway-piece-of-shit heading out to sea, black-shoe-sailors manning the rails. I saw couples walking hand-in-hand on the boardwalk. I was allowing myself to have some second thoughts about my relationship with Shonnie: Was it going anywhere? Was it worth the risk? Was she fun? Was she great in the sack?

Did I love her?

My mindless contemplations were brusquely interrupted as she pulled up alongside me screeching tires and slinging gravel. Grand entrance! She exited her ‘La Bomba’ and walked toward my vehicle. She looked California stunning: wearing tight faded blue jeans, a halter top, cowgirl boots, and carrying a fifth of whiskey and obviously an attitude. She ‘runway’ sauntered over to the driver’s side of my car, opened the door, plopped herself down and inquired, “How’s my favorite Sailor-Boy?”

Aiming for ‘nonchalant’ I said, “Fair to mid’lin. You?”

“Finer-n-frog hair,” she said.

“Don’t be mockin’ a good ol’ Texas Boy,” I said back. (Yes. I did love her after all)

“I have a surprise for you Lover.”

“Do tell,” I said.

“I am ‘house-sitting’ my aunt’s condo in La Jolla all this week. It’s all ours.”

“I’m partial to parking lots and sleazy motel rooms,” I protested.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Drive. I will guide you.”

So I drove. (With no little trepidation)

Video Credit:

Chelseacf

To Be Continued…  HERE

Call Me Crazy, But I Have Just Experienced a Brief Epiphany

(And yes, I know. All epiphanies are brief)

We all have our ‘About’ Pages. Who really ever reads them? (I do)

Here is mine, in case you may have missed it.

(And No! This is not some vain fantasy; just a clarification)

Cheers Y’all.

****

By Way of Introduction (UPDATED 11 July) Bugs Bunny

Hail Yes and Merrily Met!

My name is Lance Marcom and These Pages will be my Home for the foreseeable future. All are welcome here–welcome to compliment, deride, disparage, commiserate, cajole, rant, rave, fawn, frown–In short, all comments will be appreciated.

Marcom_Dubai

This Virgin  De-flowered Slut Blog O’ Mine will contain Tall Tales, Short Tales, Middlin’ Tales, Major Tales, Minor Tales…

Tales of Amusement, Tales of Adventure, Tales of Larceny, Tales of Woes, Tales of Foes, Tales of Loves Won & Lost, Tales of Fortunes Achieved & Squandered, and much more as becomes my wont… 

Tales From Texas, The Middle East, The Far East, The Near East, The Southeast, The South Coast, The South Pacific,The Left Coast, The Old World, and Perhaps Even Oklahoma…

But most importantly, I wish this to be a place for my guests to enjoy, for:

“No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en.”

(That’s Shakespeare, Y’all.)

*****

Just For Fun Y’all, I am going to throw a new video (or quote, or some other surprise nonsense) up here everyday. Why? You may ask. 

Because I think an ‘About Page’ should be ever-changing and dynamic, just as the Person it is purported to be “About” is ever-changing and dynamic.

Therefore, I upload some of my favorite stuff here. Daily (usually)

So…  here goes for 11 July: Albuquerque (I had the opportunity to live there, once.) For, you see, my mom took a wrong turn at Moriarty… hence: young lives changed. For some forever.

Hope you enjoy.

And please do not forget to listen to what was my mantra while cooling my heels in Amman Jordan in late ’07

Baghdad!

The Best of the Hitchslap

tex flag

 

Bullshit Legal Stuff:

I Suppose it is Time (alas):

All This Shit Is Copyrighted.
Please Respect that, for:

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.”
–Shakespeare

Thanks,
-The Management

More ‘Shonnie’ tomorrow. Story at eleven.

Night, Night.

Addendum:

Someone once posited the idea that good posts always challenge the reader with a question (“This invites discourse”)

I cannot disagree, but by the time I finish my posts. I am all ‘discoursed out’.

That said, ’tis good advice. So, here is my million-dollar question:

“How many of y’all ever go to the ‘about’ page ‘ere you ‘follow’? I know I do. And for just one important reason: Sometimes we are misled and by being misled, we tend to ‘say’ things that are offensive to the blogger. Therefore, I like to get a ‘feel’ if you will, of the person’s blog I am about to comment all over. I do not aim for controversy, but I seem to land there more often than not.

Point is… know your audience and never purposely offend.

Peace,

Lance

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part XI: Un-Graceful Exit

Chapter Eleven of Shonnie

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  

***

After an hour of waiting (and three Jim Beams), I decided to go looking for Shonnie. The walk to the El Cortez was not long, but too long, as I did not feel the need to walk it. What the fuck was she doing? She was supposed to wait ten or fifteen minutes, cash out, and meet me back at the Plaza. It was now getting late and I’d had no intention of returning to the Cortez. Some months earlier I had almost been thrown out for the very thing I had done this eve, albeit without a partner. Damn it! Fremont Street was packed with all the usual suspects: tourists, vagrants, weekend warriors, refugees from L.A.

I made my way to the El Cortez.

Once past the slots I headed back to the bar. As I sat down I saw Shonnie still seated next to ‘George’, laughing it up and surprisingly with a decent stack of chips in front of her. George was lighting her cigarette. She did not notice me at the bar. I ordered a draft Stout, lit a Marlboro, and contemplated my next move. I had to get her away from the table and away from George, who had obviously fallen to her charms. There were two other players at the table, but the seat next to Shonnie was empty. Once my beer arrived I took a drag from my cigarette and walked over to the table.

The dealer was yet another cute young ‘Ornamental’ sweetie. Before I sat down I withdrew five hundred from my wallet and placed it on the table.

“Green” I said.

The dealer stacked my chips and pushed them toward me. “Good luck, Sir.”

Shonnie looked up and betrayed some surprise. She could see I was slightly pissed. This is an assumption. I nodded at her, but probably not discreetly enough.

I had checked my ‘drunken cowboy’ façade at the door. All I wanted was to get her (and me) the hell out of there. The dealer was about to shuffle the two decks as I placed four green chips. Before she finished her shuffle, another dealer came up behind her, tapping on her shoulder. The new dealer was No Chick. He was more of a ‘Guido’. My radar now was operational. She dropped the deck and clapped her hands for the Eye-in-the-Sky and moved off. Guido picked up the decks, smiled at me and parroted the ‘Good Luck’ catch phrase as he offered me the cut. I cut the decks in the middle and took a sideways glance at Shonnie. She ignored me. Good for her.

“Sir,” the new dealer said, “Please cut closer to the bottom.”

“Uh sure,” I said, somewhat nervously as I recut the decks.

I caught the pit boss looking at me. Or was I just being paranoid? Shonnie was still apparently oblivious.

The cards came out. I caught a deuce and a jack, fucking Dead Man’s Hand. Shonnie caught a pair of queens. Shit! Maybe this game is all about luck after all. The dealer had an ace showing.

“Insurance?” he asked. No takers. Insurance is generally a sucker’s bet. Dealer made a show of peeking at his hole card, and not flipping it over revealed he had no blackjack. He dealt.

The two to my right busted. I don’t even recall what they had. I was not counting cards at this point. I just wanted out. I had to hit my twelve. Caught a seven and stood at nineteen. Shonnie stood pat with her twenty. George hit his fifteen, caught an eight and busted.

The dealer flipped his hole card, revealing a six for a ‘soft’ seventeen. He had to hit. He did and caught a deuce for a nineteen and a ‘push’.  A tie for me. A win for Shonnie.

As the dealer was paying off Shonnie’s win and gathering up the cards, I nudged her with my knee. She looked at me somewhat startled and I knew instantly that she was going to have her some fun with this.

Okay, I thought. Wanna play games?

Lighting a cigarette and taking a draw from my beer, I said, “Looks like you’re doin’ okay here tonight. You always this lucky? What’s your secret?”

She giggled, “I have a blackjack mentor.”

“Ah… I see. Where is he now?”

“Dunno. He tole me to fly solo this evening.”

“Sure you ready for that?” I asked.

“Yeah. I am. What’s it to you cowboy?”

Taking another slow drag off my cig, I said, “Uh, nothing to me. Just thought you might wanna take a break… while you’re ahead of course, and join me for a drink.”

“I got free drinks right here. Why would I wanna join you?’

(Obviously Shonnie was pushing my buttons and beginning to get on my last nerve)

At this point, ‘George’ chimed in: “Hey Pal,” he said, “She is g-a-m-b-l-i-n-g, git it?”

“Yeah, I ‘git’ it Sir. And who are you, if I may ask?”

“I am a sailor, for your information.”

Fuckin’ perfect, I thought. Another drunken sailor—a small fish in a big pond—this was gonna require some surgical delicacy. Goddamn you Shonnie! What’s your ‘game’?

I ended the conversation at that point and pretended to focus on the hands I had been dealt: The cards and the situation. The card’s part was easy: I had drawn an eighteen. No decision time there. Shonnie had drawn another natural Blackjack (fuck!) and the dealer had a four showing. Shonnie was paid her wages for her BJ. I stood on my eighteen. George sucked on his fifteen and this time wisely stood pat, knowing the dealer should bust (If he even knew how to play the game).  The dealer did in fact, bust.

As he paid off the bets, I felt a presence at my elbow. I turned and was greeted by an ‘Official’ from the ‘Management’.

“Hello Sir. Are you a guest here at the hotel?”

“Nope. Why do you ask?”

(Here it comes… I had been asked this question before)

“Well Sir, we see that you are betting… and we like to accommodate our best customers. Is there anything you require, or need? A room? A meal? A girl?”

“Not really. In fact, I was just about to leave and call it a night.”

“That’s a shame. We here at the El Cortez pride ourselves in our hospitality.”

“Certain you do, and I appreciate that, but I really must be on my way.”

“As you wish Sir. Good luck.”

Fuck! Fuck! I nudged Shonnie slightly harder with my knee and gathered my chips. The cacophony of the casino and the smells and the lights… were all getting to me! I just wanted to leave.

If she were intent to continue her game, she could do it without me. I came for her. That is all I could do. She should have known that.

Wouldn’t she have known that?

“Vaguely she floats and lacelike
Blown in like a curtain on the night wind
She’s nebulous and naked
He wonders where she’s been
He grabs at the air because there’s nothing there
Her evasiveness stings him…”

Video Credit: 

1Bluesboy1

To Be Continued…  HERE

This is This Week’s Contribution to T-Throw-Back Thursday

Bob (The Most Interesting Man in Iraq) is my life-long frin…

I miss his dumb ass (and ‘dumb-ass’ is a term of endearment where I come from)

If one is lucky, really lucky, one meets maybe onetwo, or  three or four people in life that transcend funny.

Bob is one such ‘transcendent’ lucky for me.

He saved my fragile sanity.

****

My mechanic (Of Parsons Mechanic fame) came by to have some ‘chat’ with me:

Bob

The most Interesting
Mechanic in the World

“Way’ll… I have a natch’ral disaster on my hands.”

“Ok Bob,” I said, “I’m ‘bout to bust with anticipation.”

“Yep. A natch’ral disaster.”

“You mentioned that already.”

“A real-life natch’ral calamity.”

“Do I have time to go to chow while you go through your preamble?”

Ignoring me, he continued, “That Six Kay (‘6K’ as in six thousand pound lifting capacity) forklift is all a-pieces. hamorr’agin’ parts all over th’ place. The Boys (Filipino mechanics times two) tol’ me it was the fuel injector pump. So, I kin’ly smiled and said ‘Okaaay…,’ and let ‘em go at it. They need ta learn how ta fix thangs without me onct in ah’while. Well,  they dun got tha’ forklift tore all ta pieces.  Now, I dun give ‘em all mornin’ to dick ‘round with it, an’ I’m gonna give ‘em all this aftr’noon to dick ‘round with it some more. Then first thing tomorra, I’m gonna ask ‘em, ‘Boys, how come that forklift ain’t a-workin’ this fine morning?’”

“I’m hip Let’s keep it real.”

“Your ‘personnel management style’ is showing Bob,” I said.

“Yeah, whatever… An’ tomorra’s Thursday. An’ day after that’s Friday. An’ I ain’t doin’ nothin’ on Friday. Tomorra, we gonna start our dee-cent inta th’ day off.”

“Kinda start slowin’ ‘er down ‘round mid-noon time, eh?” I said. (I can do ‘Southern’ just as slick as you please when I want to.)

“X-actly. We start double-clutchin’ and dee-celeratin’ an’ bring her in nice and slow like.”

“And what about my forklift?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer.

“She’s all ‘In’shalah’d’ out Boss.”

“Dead in the water?”

“Tits up.”

“Broke dick?”

“Send her saddle home.”

“I need to call Baghdad?”

“She ain’t lookin’ none too fav’erble.”

“Call HQ an’ tell ‘em we need another forklift?”

“Now, jes hol’ on. Doan git ’em all wadded jes yet.”

“Ok. I got it. Thanks.”

“We’re Parsons’ Mechanics an’ jes watch how we roll,” he said on his way out the door.

I love my job.

I have a “Ten Kay” forklift that still works. So I should be alright for now. Besides, Bob just  loves the drama and we do this little dance everytime there is a crisis in the motor pool. If I were a betting man (And actually I am) I’d wager two of my pay checks that come Friday if that 6K forklift is still down, he’ll be out there bright and early with his boys working on it until it is repaired even if it means giving up his day off. I’ve seen him do that already too many times over the past year and a half he has worked for me. There is no man made of better stuff. An’ he sure do entertain. Yessir, he certainly does. And I’d never have been able to keep the operation afloat without him.

I love all my crew and wouldn’t trade a single one of them for a pile of cash money or a case of Johnny Walker Black with the authorization to drink it.

This song is dedicated to Bob, wherever he may be:

OK: Ed. Note:

Y’all gotta love how ‘Texan’ this vid is—look at the ‘ensign‘-Texan Flags-behind the sage, er…stage.

(and if you look really close–for you guitar players out there–you will notice the hole in the guitar. Willie tells some stories ’bout the gee-tar. He tells one about a drunken party with Leon Russell in a hotel room, when Leon almost broke it. Willie, in classic form, invited Leon to stop touching that guitar.)

When I am coherent, I may write about that.

And then there is this:

Willie sang, “At the airport in Milwaukee…”

Lenny

Lima

on that: Milwaukeeeee!

 

Just Some Fun, Or a Promise of a Premise

For those of you who may have had the premature misfortune to read the end of the ‘Shonnie’ Series, I apologize.

I got lazy and lackadaisical. There (of course) is much more to the end of that story. I will sharpen my pencil and re-write it. The facts are the facts, but even ‘un-sharpened’ facts deserve their day in court… and with some poetry. This is just requisite in my world.

Meantime: Mae West is the woman I have always loved (This may speak volumes about me and most likely of my attraction for Shonnie). 

Watch the Video and wish to be… Cinderella

(Good luck with that)

Video Credit: CaliforniaDreamin1

“Life is a Cabaret”

Never forget that.

 

 

Late Spring Cleanin’: Or, ‘Fishin’ by the creek’, Your Choice

I am cleaning out some old posts and kickin’ ’em to the curb

Please bare with me. (Bear? Is that a word? Or just an animal?)

Anyhow…

Read if you will. (And if not, well, thanks for the auto-likes)

Cheers!

***

‘Three-Nine-Six-One-Three Bruning Street Fremont California: 1964-1968’

Funny how I still remember the street address when I cannot remember my mother’s birthday, or what I had for Sunday Supper last week, or my second wife’s maiden name, or who won the World Series last year.

All the houses on Bruning Street were brand new. And they were all alike. But their alikeness did not dampen my spirits, especially since mom and I had left the moldy old garage apartment across town. I had finally escaped that place and the Ghost of that Murdered Turkey.

Seems the entire neighborhood moved in on the same summer weekend: Floodgates opened—lots of activity—trucks coming and going, grown-ups schlepping boxes, kids (potential buddies?) playing and yellin’ and runnin’ wild, dogs untethered, barking, yipping, yapping, chasing. Just general mayhem all around: very excited we all were to be living the American Dream. Norman Rockwell should have been there.

A House on Bruning Street Today

A House on Bruning Street

All the houses had small front yards, slightly larger back yards, but no fences. In fact not really proper yards yet. No lawns, just California clay, hard-packed and untenable.

This would soon be remedied. By today’s standards for suburbia the dwellings were quite modest. No McMansions these. Each house had three small bedrooms, one bathroom, smallish kitchen, tiny dining area, and small living room. That was it, but compared to our garage apartment, Mom and I had moved into the Taj Mahal. Everything smelled gloriously of fresh paint, fresh earth, and promise. I immediately picked a spot in the back yard for my garden. As a kid, I was never happier than when I was digging in the dirt, much to the chagrin of my much harried mother and my blatant hatred of regular bathing.

Mom and I settled in quickly. For a few days, I shyly & longingly watched some of the other kids playing around up the street. My shyness prevented me from going up and introducing myself, but I had a secret weapon: some small incendiary devices. Actually they were just marble-sized balls that when slammed into the pavement would explode like firecrackers. Cannot recall where I had procured them, but they suited my purpose rather elegantly. Nonchalantly I walked over to the sidewalk one day and commenced to fling them down, one at a time. The ensuing explosions captured the attention of the group of kids up the street and they all came stampeding over to investigate.

Attention Getter

Attention Getter

This was how I broke the ice and made my first friends on Bruning Street. Call it an old magician’s trick, if you will.

“Wow! Those are so neat! Where’d ya get ‘em?”

“Just got ‘em,” I said, ever so cool.

“Can I try one?”

“Well… Yeah, but be careful; they’re not for kids, ya know.”

“What’s your name?”

“Lance. What’s yours?”

Thus the beginning of some of my beautiful friendships.

As summer turned to fall and the lawns and juvenile trees and fences and dog shit sprouted up on Bruning Street, I had cemented many friendships. Most of the kids were very close to my age. We never extended our circle beyond the confines of our street. Later I would break that unwritten code by becoming best friends with the kid who lived in the house bordering mine in the back. His name was Ricky Martinez. His people came from Puerto Rico, but he didn’t speak Spanish. He was a few years older and a bit of a gangster and we hit it off from the start. Right then I began my propensity of always living double lives. When I really wanted mischief I sought Ricky. Other times when it was baseball or playing army or watching Saturday morning cartoons I was after, I kept to my Bruning Street buddies.

Once school started (fourth grade for me), I made even more friends who could never mix with my Bruning Street friends or my Gangster friend Ricky. So now I had three lives to juggle.

Of course we all had bicycles and would fearlessly ride them all over town: Sometimes to the public swimming pool about four miles away and sometimes to the mall and the movie theater also about four miles distant. No one worried after our safety because we were never in any danger. We also had skateboards as second ‘cars’ and Ricky convinced me to paint mine silver. His reasoning was that when we eventually were confronted with rival gangs (Ricky and I were the only ones in our ‘gang’, but we did attempt some recruiting) we could turn the silver side of the skateboard toward the rival gang and blind them into submission with the sunlight reflected off our boards. We never encountered any menacing ‘rival gangs’, but we were ever vigilant and ready for them, should they appear.

My ‘Bruning Street Gang’ was so very much like the kids from South Park that it amazes me when I watch that TV show today. We cussed blue streaks amongst ourselves and had very strong and learned opinions about everything going on in the world. There was Randy Francin and his little brother Paul who lived right across the street. There were the DuBords who lived down the block. Craig the elder, Tommy the young ‘un and their older sister Kim, who looked a lot like Julie Andrews.

There was ‘Steve-Our-Hero’, a lanky sixteen year old blond-haired kid who looked like someone right out of a surfer movie. He lived about four doors down from me and was worshipped by us all. He had a grown-up job delivering newspapers and it was high honor to be ordered by him to bike down to the Seven-Eleven and pick him up a sixteen-ounce Pepsi. (I kept the bottle caps from my missions as souvenirs, almost like saintly relics in fact, and I kept them displayed in my bedroom) Our undying ambition was to grow up to be Steve.

A few doors down in the opposite direction lived another sixteen year old: A GIRL. Her name was Linda. She was also blond and I was madly in love with her. She once showed me her Janis Joplin album cover: Cheap Thrills Big Brother and the Holding Company and she was the coolest girl I had ever known.

Cheap Thrills

My Baptism

(actually the only girl I had ever known) I wanted to marry her, but all I was allowed to do was worship, which I did shamelessly. One day, she actually let me listen to the album. We sat on her bed silent through the entire record. My life changed that day. It reads corny, but sometimes corny is the best read. She was my first unrequited love and my first elusive butterfly.

Why she and Steve never hooked up, I have no idea. They were our royalty and it just didn’t seem right to me that they were not a couple. If I could not have her, surely Steve could. The two coolest people I knew and they were each too busy for the other. I don’t think they even knew of each other. Shakespeare could not have written it better.

Linda had her nemesis who lived at the far end of the street. Her name escapes me, but she was the same age as Linda and a brunette. Linda confided in me one day that she had gone over to her house and caught her sitting on the toilet picking at her pussy hairs. Oh my god! I had never heard a woman say ‘pussy’ before. I was certain that she had never said that to anyone but me and I fell even more in love with her. It was my little secret: Linda had talked dirty to me.

OK. You had to know I just could not resist. For all you Musical Fans out there, my apologies to Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, George Bernard Shaw, et al.

This one is for you Linda, wherever you are:

We had our pecking order. Hell, we even had our South Park ‘Kenny’, a young Hispanic kid who lived next door to me and always wanted to hang out with us ‘older kids.’ He never died, by the way, but we did torment him mercilessly, once almost conning him into drinking piss out of a Pepsi bottle. Would have worked too, if we had had the presence of mind to let it cool down before offering it to him. I cannot recall whose piss it was. Might have been a group effort.

Occasionally we would get into fights within our group, invariably causing us to split into two factions. Loyalties were often divided. These little insurrections could go on for weeks at a time, but eventually there would be a truce and a general détente. For fighting we had strict protocol. If one kid desired fisticuffs, he was required to proclaim in a loud and clear voice:

“I choose you out!”

The opponent had two choices: He could say, “I accept,” and get it on, or he could walk away, but no one ever walked away. The shame of not accepting such a challenge would have been career ending and would mean certain banishment forever.

The fights were furious but generally brief with not much harm done to anything but the pride of the loser. I won some of these encounters and I lost some. I guess on this front I was generally batting about five hundred.

One day I was forced too young into manhood. Ricky was a kleptomaniac. I knew he had this failing, but I kept overlooking it, denying it actually. He kept stealing stuff from me. Nothing important but it hurt me deep inside. We were best friends. One day he was ‘pumping me’ (which means I was riding on the back of his bicycle) over to his house. My bike had a flat.

Anyway, I was seated behind him and I saw a toy top of mine bulging out of his pocket. I could not feign denial any longer. When we got to his house, I mustered all the character I had and I broached this subject,

“Rick,” I said, “You know you are my best friend, right?”

“Yeah of course.”

“Well, it hurts me to tell you this, but I know you have been stealing stuff from my house.”

“Whaaat?! Bullshit!” he said.

“Ricky, I saw my top in your pocket on the way over here.”

Top of The Day

Top of The Day

“Oh… Yeah… Well here. Take it back,” he said, digging it out of his pocket.

“Ricky,” I said, “It ain’t about the top. It’s about friendship. And trust. I don’t care about the fuckin’ top. I care about our friendship.”

He gave me his best ‘I’m sorry look.’ And then I insisted he keep the top, but I think that was the beginning of the end of our friendship. That was up until then, the most painful conversation I had ever had to initiate in my young life, but it had to be; I just could not let him slide. Or me either. I would have hated him if I had not confronted him. The hate would have just festered and poisoned me. Somehow I instinctively knew this.

I loved all my friends good and bad and I was loyal to a fault.

These happy times rolled on along for a couple of years; then I was overtaken by events and my life would never be the same.

I had to go, you see, but I did miss the Saturday Cartoons.

To Be Continued. Here

The Greatest Story Ever Sold

(Most likely offensive to ‘People of Faith’–read at your own annoyance) 

****

The Greatest Story Ever Told (If told at Woodstock)

(And seriously Y’all, y’all need to watch the video First)

But before we go there enter:

This Post Will PISS some people Off (IF I am doing my job)

However I do NOT want to Piss Anyone Off (Not my job)

Ambiguous? Yeah!

So, therefore, and furthermore, and forevermore: I put below the ‘continue reading’ button.

And don’t shoot me: I just play piano here… on Tuesdays… and for milk money… for the kids.

The video is germane. Watch it.

Cheers, Peace, Blessings, Love and Happiness & Joy (and I do mean all of that shit. Sincerely. Hey by the way, Anyone seen Joy? She was just here a minute ago…)

Cast of Characters:

Mary, Mother Mary, Virgin Mary, Mother of All Inventions.

Woodstock_Mary

 

Joseph, Joe, Just Plain Joe, Cuckold, Erstwhile Surrogate Father of Jesus.

Woodstock_Joeseph

Ya gotta love Joe. Ya just gotta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Jesus, aka Baby Hey Zeus, aka, Christmas… Pre-sents

Woodstock_Baby_Jesus

Not even gonna comment on this one, but, be my guest.

Woodstock_Saint_Peter

Saint Peter

 

 

 

Woodstock_Young_Jesus_Struggling_Musician

Jesus Playing with the Mothers of Immaculate Conception, circa 0014 AD

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus grew up; tried to make a living, Playing Gigs.

But then…

Father told him to hang a right at Albequerky: Go to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel; see the people they will love your act. (He said)

Jesus_Arrives_1

You Really Didn’t Believe That “Rode Into Town on an Ass” bit did you?

“Would Jesus wear a Rolex on his TV show? Fuck Yeah!”

No! Seriously,”

“Check it out”

Jesus_Arrives_2

“I’m There Dude!”

falwell

Brother Failwell

Then Dad said, “Go Preach Your Ass Off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodstock_Sermon_On_The_Mount
Sermon on The Mount 
(Chip off The Old Block)

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Jesus Said, “We’re there Dude! Just look at ‘em!”

 

Woodstock_Flock

Case Rested

 

Woodstock_Decided

Yay! Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They’re eatin’ this shit up!
Hey! Judas! Come check this out!

Woodstock_Judas

Judas: Enema needing to Happen. “Nothing to see here; move along…”

 

Mary Mag! You too! (C’mere Baby!)”

“Sorry Dude. Busy. Get back to me, Yeah? Laters…BFF!”

“But Mary!? You carry… My Mom’s name! And now you tarry? Don’t make no sense!”

Woodstock_Mary_Mag2
“Ah shit!
Here come those Romanians Again! Don’t these people ever give up? Gotta go!”

Woodstock_The_Romans

I love the smell of burnt Jesus in the morning

“As God as My Wit-less-ness, I shall never be hungry again! (As long as I have these radishes)”

Last Supper

Last Toke, I mean Last Munchies

 

Woodstock_Last_Supper

Joe! Go Pick some Radishes. Jesus is hungry. And stop smokin’ that shit!

I did not put in The Crucifixion/Ressurection, (mainly because I don’t believe that shit and also because I could not find an example in the show) and also, mainly because at

Woodstock… drum roll please:

nobody had to die to save me.

It’s OK Jesus: I’m doin’ fine, but Thank You for askin’.

And Thank YOU to anyone who has travell’d this far with me.

Cheers,
Lance

P.S. “And don’t touch my bags if you please…mister customs man.

 

“Put Your Money On The Table: Redux” 1776!

This Post is Dedicated to my Third Wife (Don’t worry: she knows who she is)

And to my English Girlfriend (she knows who she is too). When asked by some American, “Do you celebrate the ‘Fourth of July’ in England? She always responds with a ‘washing of hands’ bit. Yep! Good Riddance! Hahahah! Gotta love them English!

I have spent the better part of the last three days watching documentaries about the birth of my nation.

(No. Not D.W. Griffith)

Documentaries about Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, et al.

Present Day:

I served my county.

I love my Country. I am a patriot. I rant. I rail. I even disparage.

But, If you mark my country for ill, Or Speak Ill, I will…

Fight you.

‘Till no breath resides in my breast.

And… that is a fact, Jack.

So…

The rest is just hyperbole,

(and good video)

Have Fun:

us flag

 

“I wonder who put those ideas in your head.”

America

–Boz

This One From My Heart

Back in the day, when I was young, I told myself that I would go places, experience shit, and write about it. Easy. Simple. Good plan, eh?

Nope. Why not?

Because I always got caught up in the ‘shit’ and never found the time to actually ‘write’ about it. And then, there is that ‘laziness thing’ too. Anyhow, if any younger than me writers are out there (That would be about ninety percent of y’all), here is some advice: Just write it now. Don’t go searching for some rainbow, or some muse. You have it in you now. Write it. Do not make the same mistakes I have made. Write it now, and sort the details later. Read a book if need be.

I woke up in Iraq one day, looked about and realized I had been spending too much time ‘gathering fodder’. Do not make that same mistake. It really ain’t worth a life. Go out and play golf. Go to a BBQ. Read. It is almost as good as being there. (And no one, I mean, no one will know either way.)

Cheers,

Lance

And I like to talk about stuff.

Do you?

In My Time Zone…

It remains Thursday.

Some bug in my head reminded me as September rapidly  approaches…

An anniversary 

As we celebrate freedom…

Well, Here is a video preamble:

And I aim to keep my promise.

(This one is personal, and no need to read. Just a thing I do as September crowds me, and bad dreams haunt me)

***

Here:

In 1971 when my step-sister Madelyn and I were fourteen and thirteen respectively, my parents would often go out of town on the weekends. My father and stepmother seemed to always have some magic convention or gathering to attend in Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, or any number of other venues. My father knew all the local high school kids from his directing of the senior plays every year. Two of the former graduates, Ronnie and Doug, then about twenty years old, remained very good friends of my father and particularly Ronnie, (who was Peanut’s Uncle). My father decided that Madelyn and I needed a ‘baby-sitter’ while he and Gloria were off on their long weekends, so they paid Doug and Ronnie to look after us.

Now mind you, Madelyn and I were both pretty certain we were over-mature for our age and could easily fend for ourselves, but we loved having two “big brothers” to help us throw the greatest parties in the history of Honey Grove while under their tutelage. We used Marcom Manor as our venue of course and were always in a rush to get the house back into some semblance of order before the folks returned, usually on a Sunday, but occasionally on a Monday or Tuesday.

During Labor Day Weekend of 1971 my parents were off to a big convention in Houston and we had a great party planned for Sunday the Fifth of September. We were to have ‘The Mother of All Parties’ out at Lake Coffeemill, north of Honey Grove. (The party was going to serve double duty for me, as my fourteenth birthday was just five days away.)  Right up until the night before, I had no date lined up for this all-day Blow-Out, and I was in a panic.

Continue reading

It is with no small bit of trepidation…

That I find myself reposting this one. But in light of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding, ‘Hobby Lobby’, I just cannot keep quiet. If my words offend, I apologize now for the offense. But I never apologize for my mores. Some things won’t change.

Cheers to all my friends and readers. I am nothing, if not sincere.

–Lance

***

di·lem·ma

 noun də-ˈle-mə also dī-

: a situation in which you have to make a difficult choice

horns-of-a-dilemma

If you stare at this long enough, the clouds start to move. Go ahead, try it. (You know you want to)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Facing the Horns of One.

I really want to quit posting for today and I really want to visit all my friend’s blogs and I really want to make some really witty and cool statements so that they will really love me…and yet… I cannot shut the fuck up.

Really.

Why?

Because I am really, well really…

Because I am really really vain.

And strange

Really strange

My friends may forgive me.

Those new here, will not.

(Not really)

But I always tell me, I say, “Hey! Me! You can make new friends out there!”

I say, “But I love the friends I have already made.”

“Fuck ’em! The other me says.”

I grow some balls and kick my ‘other me to the curb.”

Why? Because a friend lost, hurts me.

Honestly

(You thought I was gonna say ‘really’ didn’t ya?)

Especially, if it comes from my vanity and my stupid forgetful lazy neglect. That hurts the worst.

Deeply.

Because, that one… should be preventable.

Therefore I leave you with this
(Yes. I did have a point)

How many out there feel or felt upon one time, that you were just a “Doll Part?”

(Yeah, that sounds gay)

And NO Offense to any of my gay friends out there: it is just an expression. (I think–if it offends–let  me know)

(Really–now you just knew–I had to slip that last one in, under some covers)

Then…

Get over it.

Answer the question and move on.

*End of Rant*

Below is a visual aid:

Ed. Note: Lance is one stupid son of a bitch.

This video below is significant to many of my friends who have suffered domestic violence. In the dark recesses of my feeble fucking mind, I knew this, yet I put the video in anyway.

Why? Because I love Love (Courtney)

That is no excuse. I need some sensitivity training. I am going to leave the video in this post, but now for different reasons: People Need To Wake Up To The Fact that here in this country and all over the world, there are women being abused.

Right NOW. Something has to be done. To quote Christopher Hitchens:

“The quickest way to end poverty is to empower women. Empower woman. Give them control of their reproductive bodies. Give them education. Let them have jobs.”

That is a paraphrase. But you can Google it, or I will do it for you. Next time I edit this stupid, thoughtless, insensitive post.

New Ed. Note: As promised hours ago…

And here we go with….Lenny!

427px-Lenny_Bruce_arrest

And Yes! I am going to continue to post shit that is on my mind. Ad nauseam.

Because this is my blog.

I mean no offense, but if you ever get offended here, well, I did warn you. (didn’t I?)

Okay, maybe I did not, but I am goddamn certain from day one, I never promised a floral garden.

Now did I?

(Sometimes, often, I out-type my brain–sorry)

Moving on…I guess this is a rant. (searching for a way to categorize this post)

Don’t worry: I will make up a new one if I havta. (and you real bloggers out there know what the fuck I am talking about. Doncha?)

And Fuck Yeah!

I think Courtney Love is fucking brilliant.

Wanna sue me?

The line forms to the right.

And Hell Yeah! “I wanna be the girl with the most cake!”

Don’t we all?

I mean,

Really?

*End*

Throw Back: Continuation of ‘On The Street Where I Lived’

This is essentially Part Two of an earlier post:

On The Street Where I Lived

****

Ricky Martinez and I were pyromaniacs.

Okay, that may be an overstatement, but we did love burning shit and building fires, albeit small ones. During the Sixties on Bruning Street every back yard had a ‘burning barrel’ (Can you imagine? Today? In California? Actually burning trash in town? Oh how times change.)

Fire

There was only one rule: The fire in the burning barrel had to be out by noon. No problem. I always volunteered for Burn Barrel Duty. Mom was happy to oblige.

Fire fascinated me, but what I really craved was camping out and with a ‘proper’ camp fire: just a little rustic thing with rocks all about and something to cook, preferably some dead animal, but a potato would do in a pinch. Ricky shared my fire obsession, but was none too keen on the culinary part of the exercise. He just liked breaking the rules. And building fires. And burning shit.

So for about three weeks running, every day after school we would meet in my side-yard, where there would be less chance of prying eyes busting us, and build a small camp fire. I would steal potatoes, or carrots, or bologna, or spam, and using an old coffee can, we would cook away. As I recall we never ate any of this food, but that wasn’t really the point was it?

The Old Broad who lived next door hated all the kids in the neighborhood–with a purple-fluorescent passion. Her daughter had managed to escape her conscience by purchasing the house and dumping her off there to fend, checking in every six years (OK: weeks).

She had a beautiful pristine grassy front yard, golf-green-like, never feeling the wet kiss of a Ked’s sneaker, a bicycle tread, or even a bare foot. She had drawn a line on her border:

Abandon All Hope:

KIDS Who Set Foot On My Lawn

My buddies and I were rowdy kids (Read: Normal) But when we played in my front yard we were cognizant of The Witch’s Yard, and did our best not to inadvertently step on it. Because we all knew That Bitch was watching from her window; I mean, what the hell else did she have to do with her time?

One afternoon, just about the whole neighborhood was playing ‘Batman & Robin’ vs The ‘Green Hornet’ vs ‘The Man from Uncle’ vs ‘James Bond’ in my yard.

Call it a ‘Super Hero Smack Down’ if you like.

Things got out of hand and I took multiple bullets from Kato and then method-acted my death, falling prostrate onto The Bitch’s yard. Seeing my over-acting (and my trespass), my gang scattered like dew in West Texas on a hot summer day. I lay there for a moment, not unlike Laurence Olivier in the death scene from ‘Lear’, waiting for the applause.

What I heard instead was the screeching of what should have been an owl.

Wasn’t.

Was The Witch/Bitch. She was screeching and running toward me, (Shades of Mr. Peabody) I got up, jumped back onto ‘safe ground’ (mine) and prepared myself for the royal chastising. I did not have to wait long.

This old broad proceeded to lay in to me with the most vitriolic rage I had ever heard up until that day.

Not knowing what to say, I just stood there, head half-bowed and took it. My gang slowly made their way back in what I mistakenly thought to be a show of Solidarity. They gathered around on either side of me, but not too close. The Old Bat, now with a perfect opportunity to lecture the entire population of juvenile delinquents on Bruning Street, took her stage and launched her soliloquy,

“You kids have no respect! You know you are ruining my yard! Look at all of you! You-should-be-ashamed! You have no respect!” Then she leveled her eyes, laser-like at me,

“And this kid,” she said, pointing a bony finger in my face. “This kid! Look at him! He is laughing at me! Laughing!”

(Clarification: it was a smirk, involuntary, but certainly to the uninitiated a smirk nonetheless. You see, my entire life I have had no control over my ‘smirk’ and this has gotten me into much trouble and has indeed cost me some relationships, but I just cannot help it. When something strikes me funny or ludicrous, the muscles in my face take over, and… well, I guess ‘smirk’ works well enough for the description.

Alas. Tis a curse.

Growing exasperated, and then feigning great ‘Old Helpless Lady’ sorrow, she said,

“Look how he laughs at me! Look how he mocks me! Me! Just a poor old woman who only wants to have a nice yard. Is this too much to ask from my old age?”

And with that performance thus ended, she turned and slowly (for full effect) sauntered off and made her sorrowful, broken old lady exit, stage left. (Mind you: this was the same lady that, OJ Simpson-Like-in an Airport, had burst upon the scene five minutes previous, flaying talons and rage.)

My best buddy, Randy, came up to me and asked oh so solemnly, “Lance, do you… laugh?”

“Not anymore,” I said brusquely, and walked toward the front door of my house. Everyone else slowly dispersed, all heart-sick and remorseful.

“And thanks for having my back” I said under my breath, to no one in particular, as I entered my house.

So I was pissed at my Bruning Street Gang for some weeks and fell in with Ricky full-time. Fine with me. We were having great times every afternoon building our campfire, roasting and boiling whatever I could filch from Mom’s fridge or upon occasion, the odd hapless toad or lizard, or mouse.

One Friday afternoon, I scored two potatoes and a couple of carrots from Mom’s fridge and went to my side yard to wait for Ricky. Presently he showed up with a half package of hot dogs and a few slices of five-day-old Wonder Bread and a bottle of Ketchup.

Now we had a problem

“Ricky, gonna take us hours to cook all this shit,” I said.

“Aw shit! Well, we can just build a bigger fire, yeah?”

“I dunno. Too much smoke and we gonna get caught,” I protested.

“Bullshit! Ain’t nobody around. Who gonna see it?”

So we went to work digging out our fire pit to accommodate a much larger fire. I had some bricks I stole from the pile my stepfather had brought for the construction of the patio he had started. I placed them around the perimeter of the fire pit. Ricky scrounged about and found some pieces of four by fours my step-father had been using to lay out the pattern of the patio. I went into the house and found a fresh McCall’s Magazine belonging to my Mom and brought it out for kindling.

We proceeded to build a proper ‘camp fire’. Actually, it was more of a bonfire to tell the truth, but we weren’t worried. The McCall’s magazine smoke was a little overwhelming though.

As we were preparing the vegetables and the hot dogs for cooking I heard the sliding door slide open. Not good. Mom was not supposed to be home for another hour. I ran to intercept her before she could get to the side yard.

“Hi Mom,” I said. “Hey Mom. I’m hungry. Can I have a sandwich?” I was actually trying to push her with my chest as I said this and she was having none of it.

She pushed by me and turned the corner to the side yard.

“Lance! Ricky! Put out that fire! What is wrong with you?!”

“OK! OK! Mom! We will!”

Then I heard the sirens.

Three fire trucks pulled up in front of my house and firemen jumped out frantically, dragging hoses and shouting like crazy. They knocked the little fence down which separated my side yard from the street. The lead fireman, looking left, looking right, shouted, “Where’s the fire! Where’s the fire!”

Then he saw it: A fire about the size of a ‘Smokey Joe’ BBQ grill, and he fell down laughing, dropping his nozzle.

He recovered, picked up his fire hose, then doused the fire, me, mom, and Ricky (I think out of spite, or frustration), then turned to his fellows and said, trying to regain his composure,

“Fire’s out Boys. Somebody call it in.”

Of course now I was in deep shit. The Fireman summoned me out to the front yard (which was embarrassing as everyone, and I do mean everyone in the neighborhood were assembled all about) and  had a little talk with me before they left;

“Son, do you realize you could have burned that house down? Did you see how close that fire was to your house?”

(‘Yeah’, I remember thinking; ‘about six feet, no wind, and me with a garden hose at the ready’. But wisely, I said nothing and opted for remorseful—the one time my built-in smirk did not betray me.)

He continued, “If we are ever called out here again, we are gonna take you down to juvenile hall. You understand?”

“Uh Yeah, I mean, Yes Sir.”

After the smoke cleared, literally and metaphorically, I discovered it was the Old Witch Next Door who had copped us out and called the fire department.

She would get hers, I vowed.

Yep. She would.

By an’ by…

More Here

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Chapter X: Dalliance (and loyalty in Las Vegas)

More on Shonnie Here: Chapter Ten

Chapters One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine

***  

So about six in the evening we walk on down to the El Cortez. Shonnie goes in and I hang back a few; Smoke a Marlboro on the street and head on in. Making my way through the slot machine triple canopy jungle I head to the back, the bar, and the blackjack tables while looking for Shonnie. I spot her seated all alone at a two dollar minimum table decently close to the bar. She was next to ‘Third Base’, empty chair to her left, and five empty seats to her right, just as I had instructed her. “Good Girl,” I thought, “Now, let’s see what you can do.”

As I sat at the bar, lit a cigarette, and ordered a gin and tonic, I watched as Shonnie placed a two-dollar bet. Glancing about the casino, I saw it was a bit slow. A few of the Blackjack tables were completely devoid of players, but it was yet early. This would certainly soon change. I hoped we would be out long before the crowds came. Shonnie had learned the basic count pretty fast, but I did not think she would be able to sustain if there were a table full of other players and thus many more cards to count. If she could pull it off with just her and the dealer, well that was good enough. We had already made a good score with the Craps game the night before and I really wasn’t looking to get rich. I just wanted to (truthfully) impress her with my ‘Gangsta’ ways. Prove a point, as it were.

She was playing a double-deck game (again per my instruction), and I noted that the dealer dealt deep into the decks (a very good thing). Between reshuffles, I could see Shonnie chatting it up just a little with the dealer, a diminutive ‘Ornamental’ Girl: Pretty much becoming the ‘Norm’ in Vegas at that time. Chinese or Korean, best guess.

I was on my second gin and tonic and my fifth Marlboro when some schmuck waltzed over and sat down to Shonnie’s left. Proper Third Base. He looked about fortyish and was wearing a fake cowboy hat, ruffled shirt, à la George Strait, and a stupid face. He began chatting her up. Now, I had not planned on this, but I did realize a good-looker such as Shonnie, sitting all alone at a BJ table, would be bound to draw some flies. I only hoped this asshole did not distract her too much from her count. We had practiced ‘distractions’ in the hotel room. As I played dealer and dealt way too fast, I would ask her questions and play with the remote on the TV. She did just fine. (She is smart, this one.)

Shonnie played through four reshuffles and was winning. I even saw her double-down a few times and in fact she was increasing her bets. ‘What the fuck?!’  I’m thinking. ‘How long does it take a double-deck to go hot?’

‘George’ remained and was beginning to piss me off. Obviously he was distracting her from her count. I ordered up another gin and tonic, lit a cigarette and stewed some. My drink arrived just as I saw Shonnie pull a cig out of her pack, hold it in her left hand and waited for George-The-Sycophant to light it.

Game on.

I gathered my drink and my pack of Marlboros and sauntered over to the table. Sat down at first base, threw out (drunkenly, for show), a few hundred dollars. The dealer arranged them on the table for ‘The Eye in the Sky’, and said, “Changing six hundred.” She then passed me some big stacks of red and some green chips. I noted that Shonnie had placed two red chips immediately to the right of her stack. If she was spot on, this meant the count had gone to ‘plus ten!’ I had coached her to constantly shuffle her chips, as if she were nervous or bored, so that this act would not draw any attention.

“No Darlin’, gimme a few black,” I said to the dealer, pushing away the red chips. She took them back and pushed out three black chips to go with the twelve green. I placed two bets (two hands—one can play multiple hands if the table is basically empty) of one hundred dollars each. Shonnie dropped a green chip (I had told her nothing fancy dammit!) George dropped a red and seemed more interested in Shonnie than his game and whispered something in her ear.

All bets placed, ‘Ornamental Dealer Girl’ began to deal. (I estimated that only one-third of the two decks had been dealt, so this bode well for me. A plus ten count! Outrageous!) I caught a pair of eights on my first hand and a hard eighteen on my second. Shonnie caught a natural blackjack and sent me a sideways glance. George caught a dead man’s hand: a thirteen. The dealer had her hole card, but with a five showing. Surely she would bust on that weak ass shit. She would have to take a hit, no matter what and with the decks rich in face cards, she just had to bust.

Of course I split my eights. Caught a three on the first eight and doubled down (now two hundred on that hand) Caught a jack! Twenty one! Caught a deuce on the second eight, doubled down again. Caught a king! Twenty on that hand. Another two hundred. I am now five hundred into this round. I stood pat on my other hand, the eighteen. Shonnie had already been paid for her natural blackjack, so it was up to George. He hit his thirteen! (A rookie move: He should have stood on his thirteen against a dealer showing a five up card—idiot) He caught another face and busted. A face card meant for ‘Miss Ornamental’. Again: Idiot! But it all worked out…

The dealer flipped her hole card, revealing a ten, making her a fifteen. She hit the fifteen (as required) and caught a nine and busted.

Pay Me!

The deck was still hot (plus to the plus) so I played another hand and won three hundred. Shonnie won another twenty-five. George lost another five. The dealer started to reshuffle. I was done here.

I pushed all my chips out in front and said, “Color me up Darling and keep this one,” as I tossed her a green. I saw Shonnie throw me yet another sideways glance, rolling her eyes.

I gathered my chips and headed over to the cashier. Got my money and split back to the Union Plaza to wait for Shonnie.

And wait.

And wait some more.

To Be Continued… HERE