In My Tireless Effort: Or… History Repeats. You Choose.

To Clean Up My Act (and to save some bandwidth) I decided to cast this net out just one more time (before I deleted it) As I liked it. 

Anyhow… here ya go. (Personally, I thought the historical significance was, well historical, especially for Texans and for Louisianians, but that was just me) 

 

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 EarlEspecially 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!!

 

Lance, You Lie: End

Previous Chapters Here:

One Two Three Four Five Six

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

I went through the plan with Kim in great detail for what was to happen once he and John landed. He was not to look for me, shout, or do anything that might look unusual. It was going to look unusual enough just having a private plane touching down behind the sheriff’s headquarters. I made Kim repeat all the steps back to me about a million times. John assured me he could land the plane and stop quickly. He and Kim would throw the duffel bags out and Kim and I could have them in the car in less than thirty seconds. John would begin his take off as soon as the last bag left the plane.

Total time on the ground: less than one minute. “Beautiful. I hoped it actually turns out that way,” I remember saying to them both. If you’re wondering what happened to Kirk, well he’d had enough of the Lance and Kim Show, and decided to hang it up. No problem; we really didn’t need him anyway. Ditto for Joe after his release from hospital and we returned his car to him.

The day before the flight, I made Kim take the Impala to the shop and purchase new tires. He balked at this, but I explained to him that I did not want to be driving around Lake Charles with over a hundred pounds of pot and have a blowout. He took the car and bought the tires. I had satisfied myself that all was in order and had made several final recons of the landing site just to make sure someone had not decided to begin a construction project in the middle of my runway. No one had. We were set.

Continue reading

Lance, You Lie: Chapter Six

Chapters: One Two Three Four Five

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There were a few other escapades no less bizarre during this time, but I won’t recount them here. Like the infamous naked, midnight go-cart ride over and through some very nicely landscaped yards of the Lake Charles rich and famous. Well, rich anyway… “Don’t start Lance. Get on with the pot smuggling story.”

After several more ‘adventures’ as described above, Kim and I decided we needed to go to McAllen to expedite things with the Mexicans. We took our partner Kirk with us for balance and also because he had some friends in San Antonio we could hang out with before we drove south to McAllen. We ended up staying in San Antonio for several weeks before making our way south. Long story why and not particularly exciting, so I’ll skip it.

We arrived in McAllen late one sultry Saturday night and having nothing better to do until morning when we were to hook up with Pablo, we decided to drive into Mexico and visit ‘Boy’s Town’ in Reynosa. Kim had been there before and told us how the deal worked:

“Before we go, we have to make sure the car is clean. No pot, no guns, no nothing. If we get busted they will put us in jail for a w-h-i-l-e.”

Continue reading

Lance, You Lie: Chapter Five

Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four

 

Continuing Our Mission To Visit Joe

So, we snuck all the way back down to the storage room and just as we had finished getting ‘dressed’, we got busted. Appearing in front of us, blocking the exit, was this security guard, a very bulky and tall black man.

“What’re you boys doing in here?”

“Uh…we’re here to see our friend.”

“Your friend ain’t here.” (This much I knew)

“Uh…we got lost.”

The fact that we were dressed as hospital orderlies didn’t seem to amuse him. I deduced this instinctively and immediately. I decided “The Truth” would be our only best hope.

I explained we just wanted to come visit our friend who had been very sick and that, yes, we had been drinking a little, and yes we are sorry, but could you please take us to his room so we can say hello and then split, quietly.

Thank God he quickly developed a sense of humor and he did exactly that. He took us up to the room, left, and while we were visiting with Joe, the guard apparently found our bottle of wine in the storage room and actually brought it to us! I almost fell out of the chair I was sitting in. He brought us that wine. Unbelievable.

We stayed way too long in Joe’s room and realized it was now daylight when the nurse came in. We were just as drunk as when we had arrived hours earlier, and now didn’t have the dark of night conceal our escape. This was a bad situation. Our friendly night shift security guard was long since gone and we had to pull ourselves together long enough to get away without being arrested. In spite of all that, it really should have been easy.

But it wasn’t.

We left Joe’s room and did just fine until we exited the elevator on the ground floor. There were people everywhere! Kim decided a song was in order, so as I was helping him walk, our arms over each other’s shoulders, best-buddy-like, he burst into song. Perfect. I couldn’t make him shut up. People, who up until that point had been ignoring us, starting staring, pointing, and laughing. I hustled us out of there as quickly as possible, but I was certain there must have been someone who was not particularly amused by our antics. The police were bound to be summoned.

Once we got outside (mind you, we were dressed in gym shorts and t-shirts from the night before and really stuck out amongst all the hospital staff coming in from the parking area dressed for respectable work), I stopped holding onto Kim and turned to look for our car, actually Joe’s car, a Monte Carlo. We had ‘borrowed’ it while he was near death in the hospital; didn’t think he would be needing it anytime soon…if ever.

I could not for the life of me spot the damn car now that the parking lot was full and of course I couldn’t remember anything about where we had parked the night before. I turned back to ask Kim if he remembered, but he was gone!

I knew I had to get away from the entrance to the hospital quickly and find the damn car. I started walking all around the perimeter of the parking lot, looking now simultaneously for the car, Kim, and the cops. I turned a corner and saw a security guard. He spotted me and began pointing and yelling. I lit out in the direction I had come from and was really hauling ass. Directly in front of me was Kim, running just as full-force but directly toward me. And he was Naked!

He continued to head toward me, laughing and almost tripping on something as he ran. I had lost my sense of humor and did nothing to acknowledge his impromptu streaking other than to point back over my shoulder at the security guards or cops I was certain were right behind me. They must have been, because Kim’s smile disappeared instantly as he flew past me. I didn’t even risk turning around to see if he had run straight into them. I just kept running, now looking only for the car. I planned to find Kim again later. If I could.

I rounded another corner of the building and stopped under a little side entrance-way to look about and catch my breath. There appeared to be no one chasing me now. I figured once they saw Kim, running bare-ass naked through their parking lot at 7 a.m. on a weekday, I had become just a mediocre prize and they must now be focused solely on him.

As I stood there, panting, I looked up and saw The Car! It was parked under some trees kind of off by itself and a more beautiful sight I had not seen in some time. I walked briskly to it as I pulled out the keys, hopped in and started trying to navigate to the exit. I found it, but there was one of those wooden barriers across the road and one of those boxes you slide a card into. I did not recall that being there the night before and I certainly didn’t have a fucking card to slide into the box. So I simply drove through the barricade.

Having secured the car, I started driving around the hospital looking for Kim, while also looking for flashing lights and cop cars. No Kim to be seen. By the time I had made three laps around the hospital road I was about to give up and go home to give John the happy news that we might have to come up with some bail money. As I was driving on the road behind the building, (a narrow service road with the hospital on the left and a cemetery on the right) I saw that red ginger afro pop up from behind a tombstone. I stopped the car, leaned over, opened the passenger side door just in time for Kim to hurl himself in (He had put his clothes back on at this point).

I saw two police cars directly in front of us as they turned onto our road, but at least 40 yards away.

“Step on it!” He yelled.

Remaining calm, or at least trying to, I said, “Hold on. They’re looking for two guys on foot. If I don’t make any sudden moves, they’ll probably ignore us. Get down on the floor board and hang tight.”

I drove straight ahead slowly toward the cops and pulled onto a service entryway, allowing them to pass. As soon as they did, I pulled back out and drove off, pretty as you please.

“Well, that was slick, Mr. Cool,” Kim said as he positioned himself back in the seat.

“You’re welcome Asshole.”

“Let’s just go home now, can we?”

“Roger that,” as I stepped on the gas.

**********

Chapter Six Here

 

Lance, You Lie: Chapter Four

Previous chapters here:

One

Two

Three

Barbara was no dummy, and she really didn’t want to know, nor did she care about what her husband was doing with me and Kim, and she genuinely liked me and Gerry, although she could not stand Kim, mainly because he was not good with animals, especially Charley-the-cougar, not to mention she just didn’t like his arrogant personality.

Barbara was a vivacious redhead, bright green eyes, slightly stocky, about five-seven. And she had a temper. Best not to fuck with Barbara. Her husband loves telling a story on her. While she was still working the oil rigs and had just started dating John, they went out to eat one evening after flying in from a rig. The establishment was just a hole-in-the wall bar on the coast. Barbara ordered a double cheeseburger, an order of fries, an order of onion rings and a pitcher of Budweiser. (“That Gal can put away some groceries!” John would say.)

They were seated at the bar, John on the left and another roughneck on the right of Barb. When the food arrived and Barbara was flooding her fries and onion rings with ketchup, the roughneck (who should have known better), thought he’d fuck with Barbara. He picked up her cheeseburger and feigned taking a bite.

“Look you son-of-bitch,” she said, “Put my burger back on my plate right goddamn now.”

The guy switched the burger to his right hand and said, “Or what Barb?” He had his left hand resting on the bar top.

In a flash Barbara grabbed her fork and stabbed the guy’s hand, damn near nailing it to the bar.

“Or that!” She said.

The burger fell to the bar top unharmed.

Having come to the agreement with the Mexicans, all we had to do was wait for them to prepare the shipment for pickup. John and Kim would fly to McAllen, pick up the marijuana (125 pounds) and fly it back to Lake Charles where I would be waiting with the Impala to transfer it from the plane. We could not find a good landing zone in Lake Charles after several days of diligent searching and heated debate between me and Kim. Out of necessity I decided we would land the plane behind the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s department. There was a very large empty field there, nice and flat and good enough John said to land on. Now, you may wonder why land right in the backyard of The Law, but actually it made good sense. No one in his right mind would try to land a plane full of pot behind the Sheriff’s Department. No one except us. They would never suspect a thing. (I hoped not anyway).

Everything was ready on our end. It was now mid-summer. We waited for word from our boys in McAllen/Reynosa.

And waited.

And waited.

We had several telephone conversations with Pablo during this time and he kept assuring us that things would be just fine; just a little longer… perhaps mañana …

Things were beginning to become unbearable around the house for Barbara. She did not understand (and rightly so) why Kim and Gerry and I were living there and not working (Me and Kim anyway)–just hanging out—waiting on some ‘business deal’ to come through.

The waiting was killing me and Kim. The two of us, and with our history, just hanging out with nothing to do, was a recipe for all sorts of boredom induced mischief and it didn’t take long to become manifest.

One night as we were all leaving an Italian restaurant and heading toward the car parked out back, Kim says, “Hey Lance, Y’all wait up.”

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Just hang on a sec,” he said, as I saw him heading back over to the building and a small door off to the side.

As I watched him disappear into the building, uneasiness came over me. “Now what?” I whispered to myself.

Kim reappeared, or at least his head did from behind the door (Kim had red kinky hair and he kept it long in what could best be described as a ‘Ginger Afro.’) and motioned for me to have John bring the car around. After our car pulled up, I followed Kim back inside the building and discovered I was in a storage room of the restaurant. There must have been fifty cases of Italian wine. Just sitting there. With our names on every box. I don’t have to tell you the rest. One thing you may be curious about however, how did Kim know of the place and why wasn’t it locked? During the course of our meal, Kim had excused himself to go to the bathroom. He was gone for quite a while, but no one noticed (or cared). Apparently he had discovered the storage room entrance when he had gone to the bathroom, had gone in and broken the lock to the outside. After that everything else was a foregone conclusion in his mind and I didn’t chastise him about it either. Money was, after all, getting very tight and good wine is always appreciated.

During the long hot summer days Kim and I would play chess, watch Daytime TV (The Gong Show became our favorite and we never missed a single episode), go to the gym, play with the cougar, and otherwise just wait for John, Barbara, and Gerry to come home in the evenings. I hate to say it, but Kim and I had become ‘housewives’ to the other three. We just didn’t do any of the housewife stuff, although I did mow the yard from time to time. It was certainly a strange situation and actually, aside from the uncertainty of what we were waiting to do, it was a calm period in my life. Well, sorta…

Our friend and partner, Joe, had been stricken suddenly with some horrible medical malady and he damn near died. They put him in ICU at one of the hospitals in Lake Charles and as soon as he was well enough, Kim and I made plans to go for a visit. We finally got the go ahead late one afternoon, but just before we had planned to set out for the hospital we began drinking some more of the wine we had liberated from the Italian restaurant. Several things happened to delay our trip, not the least of which was about 3 bottles of good red wine. Along about midnight, we decided to go and visit Joe. We were slightly inebriated. Actually, we were shit-faced, but still full of the pent up energy from our ‘waiting game’ with the Mexicans.

We arrived at the hospital, carrying one of the bottles of wine we had not finished off, and as we were walking toward the main entrance it dawned on me that visiting hours were probably over for the night. I told Kim we would have to wait until morning to see Joe. He would have none of that, so I said, “Well, Einstein, what do you want to do, sneak into the hospital to see him?”

He did, in fact, intend to do just that. So, being the veterans we were of breaking into Honey Grove High School upon numerous occasions, we reconnoitered the building for access points and quickly found one that seemed suitable. We gained entrance to a room which was slightly below ground level. Turns out it was a storage room for hospital uniforms and scrubs. We made our way out of there and stealthily to the third floor where we knew Joe’s room was located. To that point, we had gone unnoticed and were quite proud of ourselves and we still had the wine we intended to share with Joe. As we were walking down the empty corridor counting down the room numbers looking for Joe’s we came upon something that made our hearts sink: There was a bloody nurse’s station just across from what we determined must be the room we sought. We did an about-face and hid behind a corner.

“Shit!” I said, “Now what?”

“Why don’t we just casually walk on in?” Kim said.

“Yeah, right. We’re drunk; we have a half-gallon of wine, and we’re Texans in Louisiana. Any more brilliant questions?”

Kim was quiet for a minute. I took a slow drink of wine from the bottle. Then he announced, “I got it! You remember that room we came into on the bottom floor?”

“Kim, no, no, No. Hell no!” I said, a little too loudly.

“Don’t you see? It’ll be perfect. We dress up like orderlies from the stuff in that room, you hide the wine underneath you outfit, and we’re good to go. We just waltz right on past those nurses. Easy.”

“Why do I have to carry the wine?” I asked, and by so doing, de-facto agreed to the foolish plan.

“You’re bigger than me. Easier for you to hide it.”

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

Stay tuned for Chapter Five tomorrow.

Thank you for reading

Lance, You Lie: Chapter Three

 

So we set about the business of selling marijuana in earnest while looking for a way to increase our volume to meet the ever-increasing demand in Lake Charles. The first order of business was to find a pilot. As I was the ‘behind-the-scenes-guy,’ Kim took on this assignment. I knew that if there were a candidate anywhere within one hundred miles, he would find him. Within two weeks, I was being introduced to John Byrd, who, along with his new bride, owned a pet shop in town. Barbara, (A veteran of the off-shore oil rigs—really. She was an ex-roughneck) ran the place. John was flying roughnecks back and forth to the oil rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico when they met. He was a three-tour Vietnam vet chopper pilot—First Cav—and he was bored. We, well Kim, had found our man, but Kim would not tell John anything about our business or his potential role in it until I had met him and given my blessing. At least, at this point, Kim was following my rules. This would change later.

We ‘hired’ John one night over beers, pizza, and loud music at one of the local hang-outs and our next task was to find a contact with contacts in Mexico who could turn us on (pun intended) to a supplier. South Louisiana and South Texas had no shortage of Mexicans (Generally referred to as “Meskins” in the Texas vernacular, but not by me, finding that a little too much “country when country wasn’t cool”) then or now, and it wasn’t too terribly long before we had our contact. His name was Pablo (I swear) and he lived with his family down around McAllen, on the southern Texas border. He also had family in Reynosa, Mexico which was just across the border from McAllen. Things were looking very good for us.

After we made all the contacts, had everything set up (too easy, in my mind), and were making plans to move forward, two things happened: Our local supply dried up and our money ran out. We were losing the apartment, the Harley, and some of Kim’s ‘good friends.’ The last didn’t upset me at all.

On the night before we were forced to move out, I sat down with Kim, our other two partners (the ones who had been living in the apartment with us), and while Kim’s girlfriend cooked supper and we drank, I explained to all the seriousness of our situation. No real need to explain to anyone other than Kim, but we were ‘a team’ and I wanted complete understanding and agreement from everyone for our path forward. Kim was still in denial over his ‘empire’ crumbling, or at least in bad need of repair. The only one missing from the meeting was our pilot, but I had already spoken to him, and since he was the oldest and most mature, I had no trouble with him understanding.

The path forward was a simple one: Joe would move back in with his parents (wealthy Lake Charles family), Kirk would move in with his girlfriend, and Kim, Gerry (Kim’s girlfriend with a “guy” moniker—never did ask her how that came about) and I would move in with John and Barbara. Gerry and Barbara had become instant fast friends the first time they met, so this was an easy deal and a no-brainer.

We would all lie low while Kim and I sorted out the mess and tried to convince the Mexicans to give us marijuana on credit. A lot of marijuana. In fact we figured the plane John was planning to lease could hold well over one-hundred pounds, so that was my goal. I probably don’t have to tell you that asking for one hundred pounds of pot on credit from Mexican drug dealers was ludicrous, but I have always been cursed with a little too much self-confidence and cock-eyed optimism and I just didn’t see how we could fail.

We made arrangements to fly Pablo and an associate from McAllen to Lake Charles for a ‘face-to-face.’ After they arrived, we took them over to John’s house for drinks and food (We had told Barbara we were bringing some friends over from Texas: ‘William and Paul’—Gerry already knew the score) and laid out the plans for our, certain to be, prosperous and profitable business venture, of course partnered up with them. They spoke English well enough for me to make them understand how very professional we were. Kim lathered on his charm and had them laughing and joking with us before it was all said and done, sealing the deal. Immediately after they left Barbara asked her husband, “How come William and Paul are ‘Mexican?’”

John said without hesitation, “Honey, I suppose their parents are Mexican.”

“Oh,” was all she said.

Chapter Four

Lance, You Lie (Chapter Two)

Chapter Two of Fiction

(Chapter One Here)

The apartment was a very busy place. I could not figure out who was actually living there and who was just hanging out. There were certainly a lot of people about all the time. Guys and gals would just come walking in at all hours as if they had been living there forever. The girls were all beautiful and of course all belonged to the sister sorority of Kappa Alpha. Naturally the guys were all KAs. I was the only ‘independent’ around, but they didn’t really seem to mind. (I think Kim  John told some of them that as soon as the fall semester began I was going to enroll in McNeese and pledge Kappa Alpha. He was shocked to find out a few weeks later that I had been telling all who asked me of this that No, I had no intention of pledging Kappa Alpha or any other fraternity, Not now, not ever.)

After I found a room which didn’t have too much of a lived-in look and got settled, I sought Kim Jim out and began asking him what was the scam. There had to be a scam because no way could he afford to live in such a place. Not the Kim guy I knew. Not the Kim  dude who hated hard work above all other things on Earth. No ma’am. There had to be a scam.

And there was, in spades.

Kim James and some of his roommates (I had finally figured out who actually lived in the apartment—two other guys full-time and some girls who drifted in and out, “short time”) were tending bar at the largest joint in town. A University hang-out of course. And of course they were skimming the till. One of the guys worked part-time during the day at a convenience store and whenever there was a need for groceries or booze, or gas, or toiletries, or whatever else they had in stock, Kim Bill and the Gang would just roll up, load up, and leave. Very convenient, this convenience store. They had embraced the promise of the ‘Cashless Society’ long before it would become popular years later. Call them ‘Pioneers’ in this regard.

That explained some of Kim’s Bubba’s new found opulence, but not all. The take from the bar couldn’t possibly cover the rent, free food, booze, and gasoline notwithstanding. I confronted Kim  James and told him that if I were going to remain in Lake Charles he must tell me everything that was going on. He had every intention of doing this and I knew it, but I also knew he wanted me to get a taste of the lifestyle for some days before he told me the whole deal. Kim Charles had never been difficult to figure out, at least for me, but then, I had known him since I first moved to Honey Grove years before. Backing up a little: Kim Sam and I had always flirted with, and engaged in, larceny during High School and had pulled many scams over the years. The practical jokes we played on Honey Grove ISD are legion (and legend) and still remembered to this day. There was the time late one night when we broke in and emptied all the books in all the lockers (almost 300 lockers) and piled them all in a long, narrow hallway running past the chemistry lab…took all the next day to sort them out. Classes cancelled… Kim  Bart and Lance heroes (everyone knew who did it, but no one had any evidence)

Anyway, Kim  Jim and I had always been bad boys. We planted marijuana all over my grandfather’s 100 acres in Winnsboro one spring, dreaming of a bountiful harvest making us, by my calculations, at least one-hundred thousand dollars. Our crop failed however and we had to figure out another way to make money. Since I have never been afraid of hard work, I took to hauling hay, a respectable profession, but hot and dusty and brutal work. I loved it. I worked on ranches year round after school as well. Kim  Buford would never have any part of hard, honest work, so he muddled about best he could, usually borrowing money from me whenever he was in need. But we were never ready to give up on the potential profits of the pot business. We just put it on hold for a few years.

Since Kim’s  Paul’s reputation in Honey Grove had become, shall we say ‘tarnished’, he decided to move to Lake Charles and begin anew. Lake Charles was perfect. Big enough for one to blend in (The necessity of which Kim  he never did fully understand, nor could he have, even if he did), yet small-town enough to feel like home. By the time I arrived he had established a thriving pot dealing business. He was making money. A lot of money. But he wanted more, and his suppliers were not able to keep up with his demand. He explained in great detail how his operation had come to be and where he wanted to take it. Kim  Gabe always sought my counsel because he knew I would keep him out of jail. I was the anchor: the guy who would force him to recognize folly, even though he generally traveled through life wearing blinders. He wanted me to remain in Lake Charles and help him grow his business. Having no good prospects at the time (I had been trying in vain to get an overseas gig in Sinai for almost a year) I told him I would stay and help him. My only requirement was that he took my counsel and when I told him something was ill conceived, poorly planned, or just too dangerous, he would listen and follow my instructions, and never “get stuck on stupid.” He anxiously agreed.

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

There is too much more, if anyone would like to read.

Chapter Three

Lance, You Lie.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction.

“Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them, especially if the author has been kind enough to have provided their real names and in some cases, their phone numbers. All events described herein actually happened, though on occasion the author has taken certain, very small liberties with chronology, because that is his right as an American. Warning: this story will [eventually] have drugs in it [specifically, Pot] read at your own annoyance.”

–Stolen From Various Sources while illegally surfing the internet using a U.S. Government Network and Computer

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

It was the Summer of ’77  and I had just dropped out of college (again). There was an old friend of mine from high school living in Lake Charles, and pretty much on a bet I loaded up my ’68 Chevy Impala and drove to Louisiana to look him up. Of course I had no idea where he lived in Lake Charles or what he was even doing there, but I knew Kim John and I knew that he would not be difficult to find even in a town of over one-hundred-thousand. Really all I had to do was to find McNeese State University and ask around. For you see, Kim Jim/John was probably the most charismatic, outgoing, affable guy on Earth and I knew that even if he had only spent one week in Lake Charles, everyone would know him or know of him. He went to East Texas State in Commerce just long enough to pledge and become a Kappa Alpha. That was his only driving ambition in life: to become a KA like his big brother and hang out with the Brothers. I despised Greeks and all their ways. (Still today, these are not my favorite people. Kim James was my best friend, next to Peanut, and for many years before, even though we did not see eye-to-eye on many things and most especially, things Greek.)

It took me all of about 45 minutes to locate him once I arrived. He was living large in a beautiful apartment complex close to the university in the best apartment they had to offer: Two-story with four bedrooms, a large den/living room, three baths, a decent sized kitchen with a breakfast nook, a porch facing the pool—‘Classy” is all I could say when he showed me around. He had a stereo in every room (All of them ‘Marantz’ because years before I had told him “Marantz makes the best, (and most expensive) audio equipment you can buy”. He apparently never had forgotten that and I was properly impressed. Kim Jim always did his best it seems to impress me. To this day I am not sure why. It was just his way. Actually it was probably because I was the only one who really knew he was a fake and he knew that I knew. In addition to the large pool, there were two tennis courts, a game room, outdoor dining room, a sauna, and all the ‘beautiful’ people of McNeese lived there, or so it seemed to my small-town eyes. One of the upstairs rooms had a balcony overlooking the pool and the tennis courts. Wonderful.

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

Against my better judgment, I will continue this story, if I get just one request. It is rather long…

Someone let me know, but be not hasty in your remarks, as this one could land that fictional character in prison.

Is the prose worth it?

Well, the story is just that good, so I suppose so, since the author will be the one to do the hard time.

I never gave two shits for the heat anyhow…

(In light of recent events in NYC, I retract the above statement, 22 December, 2014)

 

Buffalo-springfield-for-what-its-worth

 

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you’re always afraid

Step out of line, the man come and take you away

–Old Hippy Saying

 

Next Part of the Story Here

 

 

 

 

 

Charley The Cougar

I like Critters

And Varmints

And Ants

And Spiders

And Crud Eaters

And Dogs

And Cats, especially Big Cats

The Summer of ’77 (sounds like a movie title)

Cougar_at_Cougar_Mountain_Zoological_Park

Big Kitty

I was living in Lake Charles with one of my best friends from high school, his Girl Friend, a Vietnam Vet (who did three tours with the First Cav as a chopper pilot), and his wife. The husband and wife owned a pet shop. The wife ran the place and the husband flew roughnecks back and forth to offshore oil rigs.

One day the wife, let’s call her Barbara, since that was her name, brought home a cougar. She had named him Charley and he was the size of a large house-cat. It was love at first sight for me as Charley was the only pussy I had yet seen or would see, turns out, during the entire six or so months I spent in Lake Charles.

Charley and I started sleeping together (since the other two beds in the house already had reached capacity and since I was so very good with animals and since I really wanted a roommate. Therefore I took over the care and feeding and raising of Charley the young ‘un Cougar.

Charley grew rapidly on a steady diet of raw hamburger, flank steak, catfish, eggs, tennis shoes, and the occasional Budweiser. We would wrestle and play tug of war for several hours every day. The house had a long narrow hallway leading to the three bedrooms. Our favorite game was “Charley The Flying Cougar.” I placed an ottoman at the entrance to the hallway and Charley would stand at the other end. On my cue he would race down the hallway and Mary-Lou-Retton-Like, hit the ottoman like a launch pad seriously becoming airborne and landing on my shoulders.

We continued refining this sport even after he had grown to about a hundred pounds. Of course at that point when he hit my shoulders we both tumbled to the floor. He was always gentle with me and I never felt his claws or his teeth. Sorry to say I cannot say the same for my old high school buddy. He just did not understand animals. When Charley was still house-cat size he would play too roughly with him.

So, I warned my buddy one day, “You’re gonna make that cat hate you, and when he grows up he’s gonna seriously tear you a new asshole, Asshole.”

“Naw, he likes it.”

“Okay, but you’ve been warned.”

Sure as shit, couple of months later, said high school buddy got his ass handed to him by Charley. Buddy only bled for a little while, but that ended their relationship as far as ‘heavy petting’ was concerned. When Charley got to be upwards of 120 pounds he started taking his half of our bed out of the middle. Barbara suggested we make a bed for him in the garage, and since I was not getting enough sleep anymore, I concurred. She brought home the biggest doggy bed she had in her shop and we laid it out for Charley in the garage along with his favorite toys, food and water dish and a small portable radio thinking he might get a little lonely at night.

‘That radio will keep him happy,” Barbara said.

Au contraire.

That night we put him to bed in the garage just before we all retired; he was fine. For about thirty-five minutes. Then the Cougar Wails began. If you have never heard a hundred-twenty-pound cougar cry late at night, well you have missed something of nature. Everyone got out of bed and Barbara said, “Let’s just let him cry for a bit. I’m sure he’ll give up and go to sleep.”

About an hour and two bottles of wine later… We all gave up. Charley just would not shut up. I couldn’t stand it any longer.

“Please let him in Barb,” I said

She opened the door. Charley came bolting in; knocked me down, pinned me on the floor with his big paws on my shoulders, licked my face, then ran into our room and jumped into the middle of our bed.

“Well, we tried. Goodnight y’all,” I said as I picked myself up and headed in to join Charley.

Barbara had provided a collar and leash for Charley and we used to have great fun taking him out to the night clubs in Lake Charles. (Lake Charles was a really cool town back then, and Louisiana folks really did not seem to find it at all strange when someone walked into a bar with a cougar. But I will say this: when we did, the crowds always parted, making it very easy to belly-up to the bar. Charley became a regular guest at our most–frequent hangouts.

And he was the most awesome chick magnet in Calcasieu Parish.

But I still never managed to get laid in that town—very puzzling to me—but I did have a theory:

Since all the places we hung out were Greek Joints (My high school buddy was a Kappa Alpha, and insisted we only hang out with the ‘Brothers’ an’ ‘Sisters’), and since I was an ‘Independent’ and actually despised everything “Greek,” there was just no way any self-respecting sorority girl was gonna give it up for me, Cougar or no Cougar.

“Well, screw ‘em,” I finally decided. (Although, I was a little disappointed, ‘cause I found some of girls very appealing & screw-able in demeanor.)

If I could have just found Farrah… We had Cougars-in-Common.

Summer turned to fall and one day my buddy and I had to leave Lake Charles in a hurry (for reasons I cannot disclose until I check the ‘statute of limitations’), and head back to Texas. I hated to leave Charley and my other good friends, but I had a mind to leave the U.S. altogether and there was just no way I could take Charley with me.

I reapplied for the Sinai Field Mission gig I had wanted ever since I was eighteen and had first heard of it. As luck would have it, they agreed to hire me (Since by then I met their minimum age requirement of twenty).

About a week later, Halloween 1977, I arrived in the middle of the Sinai Desert.

Down In The Hole

I got this song stuck in my head.

Now, it will be stuck in yours.

Enjoy.

From the Great Mini-Series

The Wire

And Tom Waits for no Man.

And then there is this:

“Treme”

Just another bit Spike Lee…

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Who I think is awesome. (wanna argue? I know Spike can be very polarizing)

Comment box below is open for business. Wail Away!

Yet, even given that, one, (all y’all) must admit: Spike is one helluva film maker

UnderWater Skiing

This Bit is somewhat of a ‘Trailer’ for a rather longish post which I will be publishing presently  soon maybe next week.  Gentle Reader, I do hope it piques your interest.

ski2

During my sojourn in Lake Charles, Summer of ’77, Kim’s girlfriend introduced us to her sister’s beau. His name was Tim Castille.  Tim was a great guy, with a mild and affable demeanor,  and we all used to hang out together, which was surprising since Kim usually didn’t want to hang out (socially anyhow) with any “Non-Brothers,” i.e. not Kappa Alphas—whatever. Perhaps the reason Kim made an exception in Tim’s case was because Timothy was the owner of a shit-hot high-speed-rocket-on-water of a ski boat.

As you may imagine, Tim was a first-class water skier and he only used one ski—there is a word for that—oh yeah, “slalom.”

Since I was the only schmuck who didn’t know how to water ski, it was decided one day that it was high time for me to learn. Probably was “high-time” because we tacked into this windy epiphany while blowing dope. Down to the river we went. After being briefly briefed on the basics of water skiing by Tim, I found myself bobbing up and down in the Calcasieu River, two feet locked into a single ski, holding onto the end of a long rope behind about 300 horsepower of snorting, sputtering, idling, chomping-at-the-bit Evinrude outboard motor. (If you have read my Post, True Grit, you probably have figured out by now that anything I have to do with horses, whether one or two or three-hundred, is a bad idea)

Being fearless (and stoned) I decided this was exactly the right place for me to be and at exactly the right time.

The “crew” of the ski boat called to me asking if I was ready. I waved back with one hand, assuring them, that yes indeed, I was enthusiastically ready.

Tim lit her up and away we went.

Kinda.

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