“Lance! Lance! LANCE!!! DON’T RE-POST THIS!” Gots To—Sorry.”Under Water Skiing” (Do Not Try This At Home)

Do This:

Not This:

One of the things (Life’s simple pleasures)–one of the things I derive the most pleasure from–is making people laugh. Usually at me, but my longevity is continued because I never, ever take me, Lance, too seriously.

Hope you will read (or re-read) this one.

It happened just as I described it.

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.

 

I did everything as I had been instructed, but there was something not quite right. I could not seem to get up on the damn ski. Being stubborn, I would not let go (even with the crew yelling at me to do just that) and as we motored along I was dragged underwater.

Still stubborn (and no longer able to hear the shouts from the boat) I refused to give up.

Deeper and deeper I submerged under the river. Apparently Tim had faith that at some point I would pop up, cork-like, and ski like a pro and I sure as hell was not going to let go and lose face. I did manage get my head to break the surface periodically, which allowed me enough air to continue in my new found folly.

After about five or so minutes of this, Tim gave up, probably because his Evinrude was beginning to overheat from the excessive drag produced by someone being pulled along completely underwater and not gracefully gliding along on the surface as God intended.

Now, one might think I would have given up on my water skiing career that day. Oh no! Not this cowboy. We repeated this charade at least six more times during the course of the summer, all with the same results.

Everyone got such a grand kick out of watching me ski underwater that guests were invited along for the strange spectacle. Apparently the consensus amongst the second and third time witnesses when speaking to the uninitiated was,

“Hey! You can’t make this shit up! Ya gotta come see for yourself.” One time there were no less than four other boats full of spectators, surrounding my watery stage.  

It was, I imagined, similar to the whale watching excursions in places like Alaska and northern California.

“Thar She Blows!” Cameras clicked; beers were quaffed in my honor; people cheered. (I was told—difficult to hear the crowds whilst under water.) I had become somewhat of a local celebrity.

That was my Fifteen Minutes.

I have never put on skis since, but I would, given just-one-more-chance…

–Lance, the world’s first (and best) Underwater Water Skier.

Oh Mesico! Lance, You Lie: Chapter Six–Note to Self: “Self, Finish The Edit Later”–Some Names Have Been ‘Mortified’ To Protect The Guilty

Ed Note on this video: The dude playing lead guitar is Linda’s (Ronstadt) Just so you’d notice I noticed.

Go to fuk all y’all!

Haters Gonna Hate

Expeditiously Move Them To The Fuk-Off Channel

Shake it Off Bitch!

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 Three

Marijuana!

“Don’t Touch My Bags If You Please, Mister Customs Man”

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.

Lance, You Lie: Chapter Three

Chapter Three

NO! Lance, You Lie Redux, Or “Dark-Eyed Ragin’ Cajun Woman”

This is a long series. Anyone who slogs thru it gets a free Mickey Mouse Pencil Sharpener–Color of your choice. Free shipping. (Links to the chapters are in the bodies of the bodies…)

For Louisiana

And for all the Dark-Eyed, Dark-Haired, Dark-Demeanor’d Dark-Complicated–Dark-Complexion-ated Cajun Women in the world.

(Those with the Sloe-Gin Eyes–and all that implies.)

I “Almost” Had A Cajun GF in Lake Charles,

But I Managed to Fuck That UP!

Cajun Cajun Raging Cajun Woman

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 (yet once 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)

But… Young Neil Young in this vid. Look closely…

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

On The Street Where I Lived

–Old Hippy Saying

Next Part of the Story Here

Related:

No One Will Read This, But I Laugh at Lance Ever’Time I Re-Visit it. Under-Water Skiing. Just one of my life is ‘fun’ Memories Series I Tend to re-visit Occasionally, Actually, Rarely… But it’s sometimes fun to remember who you once were.

One of the things (Life’s simple pleasures)–one of the things I derive the most pleasure from–is making people laugh. Usually at me, but my longevity is continued because I never, ever take me, Lance, too seriously.

Hope you will read (or re-read) this one.

It happened just as I described it.

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,

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.

 

I did everything as I had been instructed, but there was something not quite right. I could not seem to get up on the damn ski. Being stubborn, I would not let go (even with the crew yelling at me to do just that) and as we motored along I was dragged underwater. Still stubborn (and no longer able to hear the shouts from the boat) I refused to give up.

Deeper and deeper I submerged under the river. Apparently Tim had faith that at some point I would pop up, cork-like, and ski like a pro and I sure as hell was not going to let go and lose face.

I did manage get my head to break the surface periodically, which allowed me enough air to continue in my new found folly. After about five or so minutes of this, Tim gave up, probably because his Evinrude was beginning to overheat from the excessive drag produced by someone being pulled along completely underwater and not gracefully gliding along on the surface as God intended.

Now, one might think I would have given up on my water skiing career that day. Oh no! Not this cowboy. We repeated this charade at least six more times during the course of the summer, all with the same results.

Everyone got such a grand kick out of watching me ski underwater that guests were invited along for the strange spectacle. Apparently the consensus amongst the second and third time witnesses when speaking to the uninitiated was, “Hey! You can’t make this shit up! Ya gotta come see for yourself.”

One time there were no less than four other boats full of spectators, surrounding my watery stage.  It was, I imagined, similar to the whale watching excursions in places like Alaska and Northern California.

“Thar She Blows!” Cameras clicked; beers were quaffed in my honor; people cheered. (I was told—difficult to hear the crowds whilst under water.) I had become somewhat of a local celebrity.

That was my Fifteen Minutes.

I have never put on skis since, but I would, given just-one-more-chance…

–Lance, the world’s first (and best) Underwater Water Skier.