it’s arrived. finally. as summer begins to fade college football shows up. a co-winky dink? a quirky cosmic jolt? probably neither. the shortest sweetest sporting season. college football. yes, kids time to waste away your saturdays, remote in hand, butt on couch or recliner, while yelling at the TV and the NCAA in general.
sadly, even with the new kid on the block, playoffs, we still have a bunch of lackluster games for opening week. though to be fair these games have been on the books for a few years. i suppose it’s going to take a another few years to see if what the talking heads tell us will come to pass or not. no more sisters of the poor state playing mr big u. though we’ll probably still be seeing it a few years down the road. that extra win or two looms large down south. time tells.
we have several months to see what shakes out for the grand opening round of the playoffs. no telling what will happen. also on the books the unionization of college football players came and went with the vote being kept secret along with nothing to be done about it. yes, the classic waste of time scenario. the NCAA at it’s very best and worst all rolled up into a convoluted inept mess. if we ignore it it will go away. perhaps we should do that with the NCAA. johnny football is gone. gone to cleveland and pro ball. though his off field antics still cause wonder and awe. was he really rolling up one of uncle sam’s notes of legal tender in that vegas crapper to snort up some flakey white powder? good luck, johnny. you’ll probably need it.
earlier in the month the NCAA approved, if that’s the word, or more likely rammed down the throats of every college football fan their idea of the Big 5. to be fair, the big 5 had a role in it as well. along with big money itself. so, by maybe october 2 we’ll be seeing the pay to play deal. yes, let’s pay the spoiled rotten semi criminal element that is college football today to play a sport where they are supposed to be getting a free college education. while the regular student body will still be stuck with all their student loans once they graduate but the football players and the round ballers, soon to follow, get a free ride and make money on the side. student loans? we don’t need no stinking student loans! we play ball. now, hand over your lap top, car keys and your girlfriend’s address. stay tuned kids things will only get worse. count on it.
at any rate, for new readers, i’ve been doing this for a long time. i pick 10 games each week. games i have some sort of interest in watching for what ever reason. though some weeks it’s hard to find 10 worth watching. i then pick a winner based on the point spread. usually not an easy thing. especially the first couple of weeks of the season. last year i ended up at 61.3%. my best year ever. although some weeks due to life and stuff i’ll just do straight up picks with no spreads. this coming october should prove to be interesting on numerous levels. we’ll see. the spreads may change over the couse of the week but what i have here is what i use to determine my wins and losses. i use a consensus of several sport books to get to my point spreads here.
the important thing to remember every week is that this insanity is for entertainment purposes only. some get it some don’t. using any information gleaned here to wager on any of the games would be stupid and insane at best. do not do it. leave your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket. and nobody gets hurt. simple as that.
rock ‘n’ roll.
8-28 texas a&m @ south carolina. s. carolina favored by 10.5 points. the season kicks off with possibly one of the best of the weekend. or so it would seem. we’ll get a good glimpse of life without senor futbol and the aggies. along with the old ball coach getting older and perhaps wiser? home field and an aggie team minus a few components. i’m taking the gamecocks to win and cover.
8-28 boise st @ ole miss. ole miss favored by 10 points. a new coach for team smurf turf with an opener on the road deep into SEC country. boy howdy. but then this is another of the been on the books for a while games. in the old days, say like last year, boise st would probably run the rebels ragged and won. not this year. take ole miss to win and cover.
8-29 byu @ connecticut. byu favored by 16.5 points. this is one of those first week picks in order to fill out the dance card for the entire opening weekend. that being said it might turn out to be worth watching. doubtful the huskies got any better during the off season after a dismal 2013. take byu to win and cover.
8-30 ucla @ virginia. ucla favored by 21.5 points. as an official pac(8)(10)12 homer i tend to have more than a fair share of left coast teams on board each week. the bruins are back and making things interesting once again. coach mora, thanks for taking bruin money and not leaving for husky land. hopefully, chris petersen sent you a thank you card and a lovely basket of fruit. perhaps it’s the bruins year to really shine. a stellar returning quarterback and some other impressive players. virginia another school coming off a lackluster 2013. lots of points. but take the bruins to win and cover.
8-30 fresno st @ usc. usc favored by 21.5 points. the sark is back in trojan land. as i stated at the end of last year it’s sort of a head scratcher and it still is. but, hey, at least the conversation i had in an upscale beverly hills bar with a seattle based medical malpractice attorney hasn’t come true. yet. an interesting conversation to be sure. but one i’ll keep close to the vest and let TMZ or E! ferret it out. if it’s even true. lawyers don’t lie and make up stories, do they? on a side note, i hope cajun ed o lands another head coaching job soon. he deserves another shot. ok. the game. the bulldogs got shellacked last year by the trojans in what figured to be a close game. it wasn’t as coach o had the trojans cranked up. plenty of points. let’s see if AD hayden made a good pick in the sark. i’m taking the trojans to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!!!
8-30 w. virginia @ alabama. alabama favored by 27 points. lane kiffin turns up again in the SEC. this time as bama’s offensive co-ordinator and qb coach. yes, kids another head scratcher. could this be the end of the tides semi rule of the SEC? has coach satan lost his juju? or perhaps his mind? just another story waiting to hit the presses this season. the first shoe drops this saturday. also, be sure to circle october 25 on your calendars as the tide rolls into tennessee territory. i doubt the vols faithful have forgotten about lane. it ought to be amusing to say the least. i digress. the mountaineers can usually score some points. so can bama. take bama to win and cover the big spread. ROLL TIDE!!!
8-30 washington @ hawaii. washington favored by 15. 5 points. filling sark’s departed shoes is boise st’s ex coach petersen. a big jump up the coaching ladder for him into the big time big school coaching limelight. i like the guy and i hope he’s up for it. this should be a good game for the huskies new coach to ease into the PAC(8)(10)12 spotlight. the warriors were far from being warriors last year. take the huskies to win and cover the points.
8-31 utah st @ tennessee. tennessee favored by 6.5 points. i guess we’ll see if the aggies are going to be for real again this season or not. yes, the vols aren’t what they used to be but they can still be dangerous. right? perhaps. although things haven’t gone that well since the days of lane kiffen. home court 3 and just a few more for the vols. yeah, take the aggies to at least cover and maybe win.
9-1 miami(fl) @ louisville. louisville favored by 3.5 points. labor day, dove season opening day and the last game of opening college football weekend all rolled up into one nifty package. back in the day if labor and dove opening day fell on the same day we only went out if we had a private spot or something secluded. too many opening labor day mondays spent within very close proximity with way too many other folks with shotguns. no, i’m not turning this into a hunting riff. just a veer. last game of opening week. the hurricanes shot at redemption for last years final game embarrassment at the hands of the cardinals. not many points here and i’m taking maimi to either win or get inside the small spread.
there they are the initial offerings of the new and we’ll see if it’s improved or not college football season. the caveat, be careful what you wish for still claws at the back of my damaged brain. so, be that as it may, grill some protein, roast a pig, whomp up a kettle of chili, order in pizza or chinese. pour several flagons of dago red and enjoy some college football. just remember… be safe. be semi sane.
the two policemen finished their meal and talked quietly among themselves. they seemed to be negotiating something or another. it was hard to tell. whenever anyone got close they were quiet. though whatever it was they were discussing didn’t take more than half an hour. at one point the two men shook hands.
when they both got up lt january put several $20′s on the table. he motioned to jerry the bartender who brought over a warm box with the fries and sandwich inside. then he spoke.
you know, lt, i can tell when you’re wrapping up whatever it is that you’re talking about whenever you come in here.
you’re a good bartender, jerry. one of the best. i appreciate it and so does mick. see you next time.
lt vacas shook jerry’s hand and the two cops went outside to the crown vic got in and made the trip downtown. with the light week night traffic they were there in no time.
lt january brought the nevada cop up stairs and handed sgt john’s his still semi warm sandwich with a nod and a wink. he also introduced him to lt vacas. the men shook hands and exchanged greetings.
our boy doing ok, mick?
good as he’s going to, loot. he ate some more and dozed off for awhile. but he’s awake now. getting antsy though.
fine. turn off the video recorder and eat your sandwich. the lt and i are going in.
sgt john’s turned off the recorder as the two lieutenants went into the interrogation room.
hi, eddie. how you doing?
ok, lt. i guess.
hang tight, eddie. this will be over soon. eddie, this is lt estaban vacas of the nevada state police.
hello, eddie. i’ve heard all about your recent travels in nevada and your trouble with the la cosa nostra.
you know the lt vacas and i just might be able to help you out some, eddie.
oh? really. how so?
estaban, do you mind?
go right ahead, lt. this is your house.
eddie, long story short, you did pretty much everyone a favor when you shot those two hoods. especially us. the mob isn’t happy but who cares?
marvel didn’t wait for an answer and kept on talking.
the lt and i have come up with a solution to your problem, eddie. it may not be a permanent one but only time will tell. that will be up to you. more or less.
eddie sat there with his mouth open and a semi dumb struck look on his face as he fumbled around trying to shake a smoke out of the pack on the table. he didn’t speak.
here’s the deal. the lt and i don’t like the feds. they come in then big foot around and make a mess of things generally speaking. then they take whatever glory there is in anything they’ve mucked around in and screwed up. simple federal logic. and very annoying to any working cop. trust me, the feds have been sniffing around this one from the beginning. all the way back in washington, eddie. they’ve been watching. they think the mob is strictly in their purveyance. sometimes it is. but not this time. even though one of the thugs you killed was rumored to be thinking about working for the feds. you see where i’m going with this?
no. not yet. just keep talking. i’m beginning to like the way it’s going though.
maybe eddie. maybe. you can sit here and stand trial for second degree murder or maybe manslaughter or something depending on the DA and take your chances. let me tell you, your chances would be good. probably. only thing is there’s the feds. they are the wild card, eddie. if they like you they might put you in some witness protection program. because eddie, you’d be needing that if you’re found innocent. or they might just cut you loose. worse yet you get some weird ass jury and you end up the river for a few years. though odds are you don’t make the few years. you know this. right? then there’s the fact one of those dead guys in your apartment was maybe going to cozy up to the feds. plenty reason for them not to like you. this whole thing could go even more sideways than it already has. you following all of this eddie?
yeah. sorta. keep talking.
eddie, we’re giving you a choice. help the lt and i here when we need it or take a shot at the jury system and the feds. up to you. you take the jury system and feds then i read you your rights, right here and now. and the deal is gone.
i haven’t heard the deal yet. just help you two whenever…talk about weird. this is weird.
yeah, i guess so. but it isn’t the first time i’ve done this. it’s not kosher but it works and saves the taxpayers some money as well. and eddie, it saves you from the feds and the mob and a stupid set of jurors. regardless. at any rate, here it is.
eddie finally managed to get the cigarette lit and he inhaled deeply. he let the smoke out very slowly.
you leave here with lt vacas and go back to nevada with him.
whoa, wait a minute. i don’t like this…
let me finish, eddie. you go back with the lt and work for us when we need you. the rest of the time you’re on your own.
this is blackmail. extortion. it’s…
crazy, eddie? sure, i guess so. that’s fine. stay here. stand trial and the whole time the mob knows exactly where you are. every minute of every day. even the big foot feds aren’t that good, eddie. see where we’re going here?
holy crap. how am i supposed to help you two?
you’ve seen stuff, eddie. here in l.a. and vegas. you just point at pictures and maybe sometime point a guy out in person is all. we take care of the rest. best part of the deal is you’re a free man. no one to answer to except the two of us here in this room.
it doesn’t make any sense, lt. you know who these ass holes are. right? just arrest them. why do you need me? i don’t get it.
eddie. eddie. eddie. you want me to read you your rights or not? simple as that. yes or no.
jesus. no, of course not. what the…
good. lt you want to take over?
sure. eddie, you go back to nevada with me. actually, the three of us go back to nevada. the lt here is driving us back. you see the deal is he’s going up there to pick up your .357 and the ammo you tossed in the ditch on eastbound 80. we drive up because we can’t let you on a plane again until the other stuff is worked out. eddie, you aren’t really on the books yet, so to speak. understand?
yeah, i see. you guys are rouge cops. and i’m some sort of cop patsy. or snitch or some damn thing or another. i mean…
chill out, eddie. or i read you your rights. everything will work out. trust us.
holy crap. i don’t believe this.
you don’t have to eddie. just take the deal or start worrying again.
alright. alright. i’m in.
the two lieutenants looked at each other and smiled.
ok. we need to move. i can take care of my end on the phone while i’m driving. estaban?
me too. i just need to call the book store in tonapah to set things in motion. i have a couple of days before i have to be back.
ok. eddie on your feet. let’s book.
the two men got eddie to his feet and moved him out of the room. they kept him moving toward the elevators as lt january spoke to sgt johns.
mick, clean up the room but first get rid of the CD from the recorder. then you take a few days off. use up some of your comp time. i’ll let you know when i’m coming back into town.
eddie was gently shoved into the elevator by the two cops. he stood at the back of the box and didn’t speak. he was too busy thinking to do any talking. he turned himself in for this? the last thing eddie heard as the elevator doors closed was the sound of a shredder eating a plastic CD.
this is the final chapter to date of “eddie catalina” as of today. at some point or another there will be more of eddie catalina. thanks for reading and your support. i appreciate it very much.
copyright 2014 by john hauge
marvel january found a spot at the curb near the southwest terminal exit doors. his flashing lights kept the airport police at bay. though a corporal did wander up to the car and ask if they could be of any assistance. marvel politely declined. the lieutenant also figured lt vacas would spot him easier with the lights flashing. he got out of the car and stood by it on the sidewalk.
a glut of people began exiting the southwest terminal. towards the end of the group a man dressed in a business suit came up to him and spoke.
lt january? I’m lt estaban vacas of the nevada state police.
nice to meet you lt. the pleasure is all mine.
the two men shook hands and lt january offered to put his counterpart’s small bag in the trunk. with that accomplished both men got in the car.
lt, i know a little bar not far from here where we can get an outstanding vodka martini along with a very good prime rib sandwich. you up for it?
sounds good to me, lt. lunch was a long time ago. plus, i’m thirsty.
good. we can talk there as well.
lt january easily maneuvered the crown vic through the early evening LAX traffic. the lieutenants chatted amicably about police work and families as they drove to the small bar. marvel parked the crown vic in a red zone near the front door of the bar. he didn’t bother with the standard lapd placard. to any cop on the beat the shinny crown vic could only mean lapd brass. the car would be left alone.
as the men entered the bar the nevada cop spoke.
i was expecting a cop bar, lt. this is far from the usual cop hang out.
glad you approve, lt. my partner and i came across this place several years ago during a homicide investigation. we’ve kept it to ourselves. no sense ruining the place with the police.
good point. and one that makes perfect sense.
the bartender was busy with a few customers at the bar but smiled warmly and nodded his head towards the two men. while nodding and smiling back lt january held up two fingers. marvel gestured toward a table at the back of the bar. they could sit there and easily talk with no one close enough to listen in on their conversation.
not long after they had sat down two ice cold martinis were delivered by the bartender. marvel spoke.
thanks, jerry. we’d like two prime rib sandwiches, please. extra crispy fries for me. lt?
coming right up, gentleman. and nice to see you again, marvel.
how’s your brother in law?
doing ok. he often says he’s a lucky man, lt.
he might be that but i’m a better cop. tell him i said hi.
sure thing. i’ll be back soon with your sandwiches.
lt january turned to estaban.
long story short, my partner and i cleared his brother-in-law on a murder beef back around the time we found this place. it wasn’t even a tough nut to crack. simple really. but everyone is still grateful.
always a nice thing. this place is really small. where’s the kitchen?
they don’t have one. just a reefer unit, small deep fryer, and a microwave. ok, i see where you’re going. jerry’s brother in law works at lawry’s prime rib. they have so much leftover he skims some and shifts it over here. yeah, i know. it isn’t legal and the health department would frown on the whole deal but the stuff is as fresh as it can get and tastes great. all in all another reason we don’t tell anyone about this place. and if the guys behind the bar hear anything we hear about it too. it all works out.
big city cops at work.
hahaha. yeah, i suppose. so tell me lt, you ever do any work dealing with the mob out there in nevada or is that a silly question?
not a silly question, lt. everybody believes the mob doesn’t have much influence in nevada these days. not after howard hughes bought everything up and the feds made a number of big busts back in the 70′s. the mob is still alive and doing ok. not by their old standards but making some bucks and giving us something to do when the other criminals are taking a vacation.
i see. yeah, i’ve heard that. we’ve still got our mickey mouse branch of la cosa nostra out here too. mostly loan sharking and money laundering for the mexican and el salvadorean gangs. some sports booking as well. and a bit of narcotics thrown in with the asian groups too. t hey make a mess of things at times but like you say it gives us something to do when things are quiet.
jerry the bartender delivered the two cops their prime rib sandwiches, extra crispy fires, two small bowls of au jus, and several tiny bottles of a name brand ketchup.
you gentlemen need anything else? another drink?
no thanks, jerry. we have some work to do this evening. just box a sandwich order up to go for my partner, ok?
you got it, lt.
the two men ate in silence for a bit then lt vacas spoke.
hey, this is good. almost makes the trip worthwhile.
both men laughed and continued eating. vacas spoke again.
you gonna tell me about the gun and the bullets? and maybe the guy driving that mustang we have on ice in an impound yard?
lt marvel january smiled and said.
i thought you’d never ask, lt.
by the time lt january got back to the interrogation room eddie had finished his sandwich and coffee. before going in the lt told sgt johns about the phone call to nevada. huddled together and combined with their hushed voices none of the other detectives in the squad room heard what they were discussing. as the lt was about to enter the room he told mick to turn the video camera back on.
how was dinner?
just great. almost like a good basque joint, lt.
good to see you still have a sense of humor, eddie.
what else is a poor boy to do? i’m glad the running is over. but i’m a bit worried, to say the least, about what comes next.
well, tell you what, eddie, a lot of that depends on you.
you’ll find out soon enough. if i unhook you do you promise to be a model prisoner? no bullshit. tantrums. or other crazy insane shit? you sit here like a gentleman or walk around the room if you like. i’ll knock when i want to come back in again. you hear a knock you go sit in that chair and be a choir boy. alright?
ah, sure, ok. what’s going on?
like i said, eddie, you’ll find out.
with that the lieutenant unhooked the cuffs from eddie’s wrist and slipped them into his pocket. as he left the room he said.
you just be cool. this might take awhile. ok?
i suppose i have no choice.
lt january closed the door and told mick johns to leave the camera running and keep an eye on eddie. the sergeant nodded his ascent as the lt handed him back his cuffs. marvel january went back to his desk to wait for the phone to ring.
after several calls and a little over an hour and a half of waiting his phone rang again. this time it was the call he had been waiting for.
just a moment, lt. mick, take eddie to the can and see if he wants more coffee or another sandwich.
mick got up and knocked on the door. waited a moment then entered. eddie was sitting quietly in the chair.
come on, eddie, restroom break.
eddie got up and the sergeant led him to the restroom.
ok, estaban, what do you have for me?
the gun and rounds were right where you said they would be, marvel. though i seriously doubt you’ll find any prints on them with the water and all. but they are properly bagged tagged and awaiting your decision.
that was much quicker than i expected.
we have a new chopper that covers quite a bit of ground in a very short time. a very nice time saving tool. a gift from our at times friendly benefactors, the feds. we actually got two of them due to homeland security and our dams.
good for you guys, lt., we could use a few ourselves. traffic around here is usually horrible. anyway, if it isn’t too much trouble lt can you deliver the evidence bag down this way? asap?
let’s see. if i can get a flight to l.a. tonight i don’t see why not, lt. i can use a break from the cold.
i’m sorry it’s such short notice but i’m sure you know how things can work out.
it’s alright lt i’m always prepared to take flight as it were. i imagine you are too.
you’re right. it’s the nature of the game.
absolutely. let me put you on hold and i’ll check on a flight right away.
marvel january didn’t say anything but heard a click on the line. he was on hold. he sat thinking and wondering. soon he would know.
if i leave right now i can be in l.a. by 9:30 this evening at the very latest.
very good. airline and flight number? i’ll pick you up myself.
southwest, number 1966.
see you when you arrive around 9:30. that will leave us enough time for a quick drink and maybe a prime rib sandwich.
i’m looking forward to it.
both men hung up and lt january went back to the interrogation room. eddie was inside eating another sandwich and drinking another cup of coffee.
mick, the nevada cop will be here tonight. i’m going to go pick him up. are you ok? this could be awhile.
i’m good, marvel. i’ll keep an eye on him and keep the lookie loo’s out of the way. i’ll brush up on my ‘angry bird’ skills while i’m at it.
yes, i know you will on all counts, mick. thanks, man. i’ll be back when i’m back. and mick, just in case the feds come sniffing around keep eddie inside and under wraps. no more breaks till i get back.
not a problem. eddie and i will be here, loot.
lt marvel january removed his pistol from a desk drawer and put it in his empty shoulder holster then headed out the door. the clock on the wall read 7:30.
the ride back to downtown los angeles was uneventful. no lights. no siren. no talking. eddie sat uncomfortably handcuffed in the backseat lost in thoughts of prison. or worse. mostly visions of a sad brutal end out on a prison yard somewhere. he was safe for now but he knew that wasn’t going to last forever.
after they arrived january and johns had taken eddie upstairs to a restroom and then to an interrogation room where he was cuffed to a table that was bolted to the floor. the chair he was sitting on was bolted down as well.
yes, detective, i suppose.
hungry? you want some coffee?
coffee would be good. a little milk if you have it.
this isn’t starbucks. powdered creamer.
with that mick johns left eddie alone again with his thoughts.
eddie yawned and tried to fight the image of his death at the hands of some prison inmate. it wasn’t working. not even close.
the door opened and lt marvel january entered carrying a cup of coffee.
it’s not the best but it’s hot and it works.
he pulled a pack of camel lights from a pocket. removed the cellophane wrapper from the top and opened the pack. tapped one smoke up out of the pack and offered it to eddie. eddie took the smoke and the lieutenant lit it for him. he inhaled deeply as the detective watched. the cop blew out the match and said.
there’s no smoking in here. when you’re finished with your coffee use the cup for an ashtray.
you wanna talk to me or do you want me to read you your rights?
good. just remember though, at some point i may have to read you your rights. just so you know. i need this job and so does my partner.
lt january nodded to the mirror on the back wall.
none of this is being recorded. at least not yet anyway. you talk. i listen.
eddie nodded his head. mick johns turned on the video camera hidden in a corner of the room.
alright eddie what happened?
eddie finished most of his coffee then dropped the cigarette butt into the cup. he looked at the pack of smokes and then at the lieutenant. the lieutenant nodded and pushed the matches over to eddie. eddie fumbled a bit but finally managed to light another smoke.
it’s hot in here.
just talk to me. i want all of it. start with the day before every thing went south.
eddie catalina ran down the events leading up to and including the killings. marvel january didn’t interrupt him. eddie shrugged his shoulders and said.
that’s it. then i ran.
where did you get the gun, eddie?
the army. i brought it home from nam. it was before they started to crack down on that sort of stuff.
yeah, alright. i remember. duffle bags full of pot and stripped down AK-47s. among other things. where’s the gun now?
i guess it’s still west of elko in a ditch under water. near where the nevada cops must have found my mustang. on the other side of the road by a tree. i dumped a few more rounds along with it.
ok. sit tight. more coffee? a sandwich?
yeah, ok. why not?
the lieutenant got up and left the room. the sergeant turned off the video camera.
mick, get eddie some more coffee and a sandwich. i’m going to call nevada.
lt january went to his desk and made the call.
state police, lt estaben vacas speaking.
lt, this is lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide.
yes, lt. to what do i owe this honor?
yeah, right. um, by now, you fellows must have picked up an older model mustang west bound on US 80 outside of elko maybe a half hour or so.
perhaps. let me check.
january heard the keys of a computer being hit. after a moment the nevada cop was back on the line.
yes, we did. one of our patrol units had it impounded yesterday. he states it has a blown water pump.
that’s the one.
you know lt we’re having a bit of trouble tracking the owner right now. we have the vin number, of course, but it has expired oregon plates on it that were stolen nine months ago down your way from a car in the disneyland parking lot. the car itself looks like it may have come off a used car lot in east l.a. we’re waiting on the feds and the prints. a ton of them on the car.
the car did come off a lot down here. it’s part of an investigation just hang on to it for now, please. it probably has nothing to do with anything other than someone we’re looking at bought the used car and then drove it up there to nevada. the real reason i’m calling is to see if you can send someone back out to where the car was found.
i don’t see why not, lt. what are we looking for?
a .357 magnum and a few rounds of ammo. they should be in a ditch under some water near a tree on the eastbound side of 80 not far from where your trooper found the mustang.
alright. i’ll get someone on it right away. probably the officer who found the car yesterday. he should still be on duty today and possibly in the area. i’m assuming the gun and ammo should be considered evidence?
very good. yes, please.
i’ll send an evidence tech as well. though that will take a bit longer.
not a problem. just bag whatever you find and hold on to it. if we need it we’ll send someone up there to pick it up.
i’m from southern california, lt. if you need it i’ll bring it down to you myself. a good excuse to visit a few relatives and hang out in some warm weather for a change.
very well, lt. thank you for your cooperation. i’ll be talking to you again soon then. if you do end up coming down here i’ll be more than happy to to buy you a drink and dinner for your trouble.
as soon as we have recovered what you want i’ll let you know. good bye for now, lt.
lt january hung up the phone got up from the desk and stretched. he let out an audible groan. it had been a long day and it was about to become an even longer night.
lieutenant marvel january had been a cop for 26 and a half years. he always added the half or the quarter or whatever it amounted to. he thought it was important to do so. he wasn’t sure why. he just did it.
marvel found his partner, sgt mick johns, in the men’s room and told him they had to roll. eddie catalina had just called from ontario and the ontario pd were sitting with him. johns zipped up and said.
no shit? eddie called huh?
yeah. couple of minutes ago.
he say anything?
no. i did most of the talking and he just agreed to stuff.
man, this job is amazing at times.
the two men made it down to the street and their 7 year old crown vic. old but still newer than most of the other detective barges. marvel was a good cop who closed cases and he knew things. hence, the newer ride, plus he took care of the vic. he took it home a few times a year and hand waxed it himself. though he told the rest of the unit he paid to get it done at a car wash near his place. no one ever suspected a thing. the lieutenant got in the passenger seat. he rarely drove and he sure as hell wasn’t going to drive way out to ontario and back. not today anyway. besides johns was a good driver. the sergeant spoke.
sure why not. we can’t have an ontario black and white tied up too long now can we?
both men buckled up and the car sped away from the curb. first the lights then the siren. johns also tapped on the horn as he made a wide left at the first intersection heading towards interstate 10 east. january smiled as the car skidded around the corner. they always got some looks when johns was in his mario andretti mode. marvel figured they must be a sight. an old shinny cop barge. lights. siren. screeching tires. a very large black man in the passenger seat more or less lounging and a big white guy driving while pounding on the steering wheel not unlike popeye doyle in the movie ‘the french connection’.
with half closed eyes january gave his partner a semi sideways look and said.
try not to kill anybody before we hit the freeway. ok?
i haven’t yet. and i don’t plan on it today. all i need is some room to move. take a nap. ok?
that was their standard and usual mantra whenever they first went code 3. after that they both settled in for the ride. lt january lost in his own thoughts and sgt johns ripping up the road and scaring the citizens. the lapd brass had given up trying to get the two of them to change. marvel january and mick johns got results. regardless.
once lapd figured out they had two dead mobsters on their hands. one of them an upper level hood the case had been handed over to lapd’s elite robbery homicide unit. lt marvel january and his partner mick johns in particular. two old hands at getting results and closing the book on lala land weirdness as marvel was fond of saying. though this one had eluded them so far but that was about to change.
when they hit the freeway the sargent turned off the siren and only used it occasionally to get people to move out of their way. the lights stayed on. by the time they made it through west covina the traffic had thinned out some and johns made up for lost time.
we’re flying low now, partner.
marvel just grunted and kept his eyes closed.
once over kellogg hill and down into the pomona valley johns was able to take the car pool lane again and stay in it. he blipped the siren once or twice to move cars out of the way.
almost there loot.
let’s see. take vineyard. not archibald. then hit a left at holt. i’m thinking you’ll see the place on the right. hit the siren as we pull into the lot. the patrol guys should bring him out then.
the crown vic left the freeway and made it’s way to the cheap motel. johns hit the siren once as they entered the parking lot. the two ontario officers walked eddie out of the room and down the stairs to the waiting lapd car.
thank you, officers. we’ll take over from here. sergeant, get your cuffs on mr. catalina so the ontario guys can get theirs and head out on patrol.
while that was going on marvel spoke again.
eddie. i’m lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide. this is my partner, sgt mick johns. you sure as hell made my day when you called. i was beginning to have visions of being transferred out to hollywood vice. ok. here’s the deal. you stay cuffed and we take you back to l.a. just sit tight and don’t say anything. ok?
you start talking and i’ll have to mirandize you. i don’t wanna do that just yet. capisco? we’ll chat back at headquarters.
sergeant, get eddie in the car and let’s get out of here.
the wind blew up a small dust devil as the crown vic sped out of the lot and headed west back toward downtown l.a.
it was warm and the air clear due to a slight santa ana and the warm winds coming out of the east. eddie catalina stepped off the plane and back to the city from where he had come. he’d left years ago vowing to never return. well, never say never he thought. here he was back again. no where to go and almost broke. no prospects either. jesus, when things spiral out of control they spiral until the wings fall off. then it’s a free fall until the sudden stop. eddie was beginning to wonder when the sudden stop would come.
the airport had changed since he was last there. he could tell a new terminal had replaced the old one at some point long ago. when was the last time he had flown in or out of ontario? probably the flight to oakland after his leave home before vietnam. no, that didn’t make sense. had to be his flight from oakland after his return from vietnam. a long time ago.
standing out on the sidewalk smoking with no plan in mind wasn’t a good idea. eddie figured there probably wasn’t anyone still living in the area from the old days. and he couldn’t just grab a cab and ride around all day and night looking for something or someone that probably wasn’t there anymore. a cheap hotel seemed to be his only option at the moment. a very cheap hotel if he didn’t find some money soon. he walked out to the curb as a cab pulled up. eddie told the cabbie to find him the closest cheapest hotel or motel.
the cab dropped him off at a motel not far away from the airport on east holt. it was a run down joint that looked like it catered to hookers and druggies. eddie wasn’t surprised. some things never change even with progress. eddie paid the cabbie and went into the dingy office. it smelled of tobacco, stale sweat, a tinge of blood, and a lot of tears. gag reflex was the only other thing that came to his mind.
yeah, can i help you?
i suppose. i need a room for a couple of nights.
we got a couple. one up one down. take your pick.
up i guess.
214. take the stairs to the left. that’ll be $66 for two nights. if you decide to stay longer i’ll cut you a rate for weekly or monthly. take your pick.
ok. thanks. i’ll let you know.
eddie counted out the money which left him with somewhere near the one thousand dollar mark. when you’re on the run money seemed to just vanish. the thought of calling the lapd again flashed through his tired mind but he quickly forgot about it. he took his key and went up to his room. hopefully, it wouldn’t become his home.
it wasn’t much of a room and it smelled like a well used ashtray that had never been cleaned. a good thing eddie had started smoking again. there was also a shabby bed covered by an even shabbier spread with all manner of stains on it. several large holes in the dirty shabby carpet as well. he would have to be careful at night. his inspection of the bathroom was somewhat of a surprise. compared to the rest of the room it was a diamond in the rough. eddie tried the tv set next which worked and offered basic cable along with a free porn channel or two. yeah, hooker haven for sure. so much for quiet nights.
he lit up as he sat at the cheap table that over looked the parking lot while hoping the chair he was sitting in wouldn’t fall apart. as he sat there smoking a car pulled into the lot. an old beater for sure but the lady driving wasn’t.
the car parked in the spot directly under eddie’s window. a youngish black woman got out and came up the stairs. eddie had a thought and he needed to hurry. he was up and outside his door when the lady passed by.
hi, sugar. you looking?
i’m looking but not for what you have in mind.
really? so what you want?
i’m looking for a ride over to claremont. if you’re interested in that proposition i’ll buy you dinner later.
harrumph. i’ll think about it.
eddie watched as the lady walked down to her room. he turned and went back inside his room thinking, another fine mess to go along with his first day of hiding in plain sight. moving back to the rickety chair he lit another cigarette. eddie sat smoking, thinking, and staring into the distance. shambles. his life was nothing more than a massive shambles. lighting another smoke with the butt of the other one eddie picked up the phone.
he dialed 9 for an outside line. then 0 for an operator.
can you connect me with lapd homicide?
one moment, please.
eddie sat smoking while waiting for the call to go through. when it finally did he heard.
robbery homicide. lt. marvel january speaking.
this is eddie catalina. i believe you’re looking for me.
why yes we are, mr. catalina. we need to have a talk. where are you calling from eddie?
i’m in room 214 at the day night inn on e. holt in ontario near the airport.
marvel put his hand over the phone and told another detective to call the ontario police and have them send over a black and white asap to baby sit eddie until lapd could arrive.
eddie, i’m sending the ontario police to your motel. they’re going to sit with you until we get there. at this point eddie you’re just a material witness. ok? you won’t try and pull anything stupid now will you?
no, lieutenant, not a chance. i’m not armed and i’ll have the door open waiting for them.
eddie heard a police siren a short distance away.
good, eddie. that’s good. i’ll stay on the line until the officers are in the room with you. ok?
sure. whatever you say.
eddie lit another smoke as the ontario squad car sped into the lot. the arrival of the police took a small group of people by surprise. the group hurriedly began to disperse. eddie got up and opened the door then sat back down.
lieutenant, they’re here.
good. just relax and don’t do anything stupid.
eddie heard the cops running up the stairs. they paused at the open door with guns out and told eddie to show them his hands. he sat the phone down showed them his hands then stood up.
turn around slowly, sir, and put your hands behind your head. we’re going to cuff you for your safety and ours.
not a problem officer.
after eddie was cuffed the ontario cop picked up the phone and told lt january the situation was under control.
thank you, officer. we’re on our way. just sit tight. we’ll be there as soon as traffic allows.
the ontario cop hung up the phone then sat eddie back down on the chair. it was over. finally. it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from eddie’s shoulders. eddie sat and watched the cigarette smoldering in the ashtray. the smoke drifted up and out the open door.
eddie just kept on running until he turned the corner and into the supermarket parking lot. breaking hard he almost fell. winded but no worse for wear he walked around a bit trying to catch his breath. once he’d done that he walked into the store and bought a carton of camel lights.
after his purchase he went back outside to the sound of sirens. very close sirens. he lit a smoke and casually walked around a corner and up to idaho st. one of the main east/west streets in elko. he turned left on idaho. several police cars whizzed past with sirens and lights blazing. they all turned south on 4th ave.
when eddie got to 4th he looked around the corner. what he saw was a scene from just about any run of the mill riot. the bikers, and there were a number of them, had descended upon the hapless mobsters for tumbling into their bikes. the mobsters were seemingly being beat senseless. elko’s finest had just begun to wade into the fray to try and quell the beatings. it was madness.
eddie kept walking on idaho until he got to the next corner. he turned south. walked down to commercial and went into the parking lot of the stockmen. it seemed as if the hotel and casino had emptied out into the lot as hotel staff, paiutes, gamblers, and drunks had all come outside to watch the show unfolding over on the next street. no one paid any attention to eddie.
eddie found his mustang. got in. fired it up and pulled out of the lot. he slowly drove up to idaho thinking hard. he needed to get out of elko. and he needed some sort of a plan. a better plan this time around. he turned left onto idaho. he was going to take 80 again but this time back to the west. canada or san francisco had come to mind. he’d worry about that later.
before he got back on interstate 80 eddie stopped to fill the mustang up with gas. he grabbed a few candy bars and bottled water as well. then he made his way onto the quiet interstate. there few cars and eddie pushed the mustang up to near 85 then settled in for the drive.
twenty or thirty minutes later eddie was eating one of the candy bars while trying to figure out his next move. the figuring wasn’t going well when he heard a loud thud under the hood then steam began to pour out of the engine compartment. by the time he pulled over to the side of the road the temperature gage was pegged out in the red zone.
just what i need, eddie thought. he popped the hood and got out of the car. gingerly opening the hot hood he released more steam into the chilly morning air. man, i don’t like the looks of this, was another thought. as the steam cleared he could tell all the belts were intact. what was the problem? then he saw it. a gaping hole where the water pump used to be. the pump had self destructed leaving eddie catalina stranded out in the middle of nowhere nevada.
he spoke out loud, another fine mess.
sighing heavily he closed the hood and looked east and west. no traffic in either direction. he thought once the mobsters were able to travel again they would probably head west. getting a tow to someplace where the water pump could be fixed might take most of the day. and most of the money he had left. plus standing around on the west bound side of the highway waiting probably wasn’t a good idea. passing pissed off and beat up mobsters just might notice him.
eddie picked his stuff from the car and crossed the median to the east bound side of highway 80. he was going to try and hitch a ride back into elko. finding a small tree he stood by it. he might be there awhile and the tree offered some shade and hid him from the traffic traveling west.
one candy bar and a bottle of water later he got lucky. a rancher in an beat up pickup stopped and gave eddie a ride back into elko. the old rancher offered to call a tow truck for eddie but he declined saying he’d take care of it once they got to elko. luckily for eddie he had the presence of mind to toss the old .357 and the few rounds left into a ditch running past the tree. the ditch had water in it. it would be a long time before anyone found the pistol. if ever.
eddie stayed quiet until he had a plan. he told the driver to drop him off at the mountain city highway exit. he was pretty sure the elko airport was just a short walk away from the exit. maybe he could catch a plane and be gone by the time the mob got it back together. either on the road or by air.
the rancher dropped him off then headed back to his own business. eddie walked to the airport and into the terminal. searching the small arrival and departure board he found a flight to san jose that was leaving in half an hour. he bought a ticket for the half full flight. with only a carry on he had no trouble making the flight. sadly, he was going to leave the mustang behind. there was no time to fix it or sell it. eddie had to keep moving.
once in the air eddie fell asleep. fitful dreams of pissed off mobsters and angry cops left him tired when he woke up as the plane was making it’s approach into san jose. after landing he found another flight. he was fast running out of cash but he had saved some by stiffing the stockmen for half the room rate and his room service tab. there was still some money left maybe enough to keep him going for a week or so if he was careful. no time to worry about that now.
his flight number was called and he joined the line of fellow passengers walking into the covered gangway. after all the passengers were onboard a stewardess had them all buckle up then told them the flight to ontario would take about an hour or so. eddie was heading back home. what was that old saying? something about hiding in plain sight. just what eddie catalina was planning on doing.
as eddie began his trek across the parking lot he tried not to hurry or do anything to call attention to himself. he figured he was lucky he had gone into the commercial for breakfast. the mob guys probably didn’t think he would be coming from that direction. and by the way they were clustered up eddie thought they were just setting up for the job at hand. the job to find and kill him.
how had they found him so soon? simple really he thought. either the man at the sports book last night or someone in the cat house. or maybe even both. god, he was stupid and probably deserved whatever the mob had planned for him. maybe he should just go up to the suite and call the local law and take his chances with them. no, that was stupid as well. think eddie.
once inside the hotel lobby he saw only the paiutes and a few more leftover drunks from the night before. no mobsters. eddie wondered if they would actually come into the hotel to find him and take him. he took a chance and stopped at the main desk.
good morning. i’m up in 421. has anyone been looking for me?
no, sir. not that i know of anyway. i’ve been here for about an hour and a half.
ok. thanks. ah, some friends of mine mentioned they might stop by. if they do will you call me and let me know? i’d prefer to come down and meet them here in the casino.
not a problem, sir.
perfect. here’s a twenty for your trouble.
no trouble at all but thank you very much.
eddie made a beeline to the elevator. thankfully the wait wasn’t very long. he rode up to the fourth floor with several of the paiutes. he smiled but didn’t say anything.
once in his room eddie went to the window being careful not to stand to close to the opening. the mobsters were gone from where he had seen them talking. there must be one at each entrance by now. maybe others as well. he got his things together in preparation for a fast exit. then he called housekeeping and told them he didn’t want his room cleaned today. if anyone came to the door it would be the mob and not the cleaning lady.
from the side window he couldn’t spot any mobsters either. though on the corner there was a bar and a group of bikers gathered outside. eddie had noticed the signs yesterday about a poker run in memory of one of their fallen. today was going to be sunny and warm. a good day for riding a bike. was it going to be a good day for eddie?
eddie thought again about just calling the police but by now that option probably wouldn’t do him much good. he had run away after the killings. maybe if he had stayed in the apartment and waited for the cops back when it happened he might have gotten away with the killings. maybe. though the mob wasn’t going to forget. ever.
he pulled the last smoke from the pack in his shirt pocket. he crumpled up the package and tossed it towards the trash. he missed and it rocked a bit on the carpet before it settled. eddie looked for the carton of smokes and when he found the carton it was empty. he crumbled it up as well and tossed it towards the can. he missed again and the carton rolled to the wall and stopped.
eddie needed smokes. now was not the time to quit. yet again. maybe it was but he didn’t see it that way. he needed smokes to help him think. he was in a predicament and decided to take a chance and the stairs down to the lobby and try to find a machine for some cigarettes. and he hoped the mob guys were outside and not parked in the lobby or casino. from the side window he had seen the corner of what appeared to be a supermarket about two blocks away. he doubted he could manage to get that far with the mobsters around but it might become an option.
finding the back stairs eddie slowly made his way down to the lobby. the only people on the stairs were a few of the paiute kids playing kid’s games. they paid him no mind. once downstairs he slowly opened the door. he didn’t see any mobsters. eddie couldn’t actually skulk around in the casino without attracting a certain amount of attention. so he sucked it up and ambled as best he could out into the gaming area.
he asked a casino employee if there was a cigarette machine around. the man pointed to a corner by the coffee makers. eddie thanked him and walked over to the machines. he didn’t see any mob guys on the trip over. likely they were all outside, he thought. after all he would at some point have to leave. once at the machine eddie pulled a few dollars from a pocket and then realized the only smokes left in the machine were camel straights. unfiltered camels. this was not good. he needed cigarettes but not honest to god real live cigarettes. he hadn’t smoked one of them in many many years.
eddie walked back to the employee and spoke to him.
is that the only machine in the casino?
there are only non-filtered camels in it.
really? we were very busy last night. busier than i thought. sorry about that. it rarely happens. maybe once a year or so.
will it get filled up again today?
sorry, pal. the guy doesn’t come around till tomorrow afternoon. you can try the bar across the street but you’d probably be better off going over to the market down a few streets.
yeah, i’ve seen it. thanks anyway.
sure. nice day for a walk.
ah, yeah, right.
eddie returned to the machine and bought a pack of the camels. he opened it there and pulled out one of the short cigarettes and lit it. he immediately started coughing and thought, this isn’t going to work. he also thought since he was downstairs he ought to check the exits for mob thugs.
he picked up a free paper and walked around pretending to read it while he smoked and coughed. the unfiltered camel was making him a bit dizzy. he stood near the front desk and noticed two men smoking and talking out on the sidewalk. they didn’t blend in with the paiutes or the rest of the hotel crowd. mob guys. going back through the casino he noticed one mob soldier standing by the casino entrance door. two for two. probably at least one more at the side entrance by the sports book.
eddie was screwed. what the hell had he been thinking? why hadn’t he spent just one night in elko and then out on the road again? or better yet why hadn’t he just talked to the cops? hindsight. it always make you crazy. or in eddie catalina’s case, crazier.
back up in his suite eddie lit up another of the non-filter camels. he was going to have to figure something and fast. he needed smokes he could actually enjoy smoking and he needed to get the hell out of elko. as he stood smoking he noticed there were quite a few more bikers at the bar across the street. bikers and their biker harley’s. they weren’t your run of the mill sunday biker who took the wife for a ride and a brunch some place. no, these guys were the real deal.
eddie smiled and stubbed out the camel. picked up his stuff and went downstairs. he used the back stairs again as he didn’t want to pass the front desk with bag in hand. he was leaving but he wasn’t checking out.
once back in the casino he went towards the sports book and the rear side entrance. he got about three feet from the door and spotted the mobster on guard duty. eddie stopped. he knew this was his only shot at ditching the mobsters if only for a little while. eddie steeled himself. then he ran into the door and flung it open.
the mobster was startled and almost fell over. he steadied himself and yelled after eddie, who was about halfway across the street. the three other mob men were already turning the casino corner. eddie made it to the other side of the street and up on the sidewalk. he was running for his life.
the mob soldiers ran across the street giving chase. eddie rounded the corner of the bar and ran for the parked bikes. there were several rows of the shinny hogs lined up in the parking lot. it had been years but eddie catalina had once ran track and at one time was an accomplished high hurdler. he made the correct calculation inside his head and easily hurdled the parked bikes even carrying his ratty suitcase. hit the pavement on the other side and kept on running.
the mob guys weren’t so lucky. years of breaking bones and shooting people had left them way south of any athletic ability if there had ever been any to begin with. all of the mobsters crashed into the the parked bikes.
eddie didn’t look back. eddie catalina was in the wind.
barely managing to get out of his clothes. eddie fell into bed. his clothing ended up in several piles scattered about the large room. too drunk to dream he was none the less woken-up several times by the large loud saturday night gambling and drinking crowd as they yelled, screamed, and carried on out in the parking lot. that along with the buzz of the hotel neon sign just outside his slightly open window which sounded, to eddie, like music as the inert gas pulsed through the glass tubing. suffice it to say eddie didn’t have a restful night.
he was up before dawn and hung over. he stumbled about the suite looking for the coffee maker. then he realized there were no coffee makers in the rooms at the stockmen. instead they had several large military size and style coffee makers down in the casino. want a cup of joe? you had to go downstairs and score it yourself.
it took eddie several more minutes to find the appropriate clothing from the various piles in order for him to make the trip. after he managed to get dressed he went down to the casino for the coffee. he left the room door slightly ajar so he wouldn’t have to use the card key while carrying the coffee back into the room. eddie figured since he was making the trip he should get all the coffee he could carry. fortunately, the casino was empty with the exception of a couple of drunks asleep at two slot machines.
eddie dumped the first styrofoam cup of steaming coffee on the floor while trying unsuccessfully to add creamer to it. the drunks slept on. he tried again. this time he was more successful so he filled a second cup as well. he even managed to get both cups of coffee up to his suite without spilling anymore or burning himself.
he sat at the table by the front windows drinking the coffee and trying to get straight. about halfway through the first cup he noticed a commotion coming from a bar across the parking lot and to his right. a clot of people had stumbled out of a the bar and on to the sidewalk. it was just after 6:30am. the sky barely turning light. from what he could hear through the open window the voices seemed to be speaking spanish. the people had come out of a building with a simple sign that read, slots and bar. they must have spent the night drinking and gambling in the small bar.
he watched in almost dumbstruck awe as several of the people fell face first onto the sidewalk. they just laid there while the rest of the folks talked loudly and waved their hands wildly about. one of them, a man wearing a large cowboy hat, peeled off from the group and stumbled off to his car. stumbling and zig zagging across the parking lot he stopped in front of a pick-up. fumbled for his keys. dropped them. twice. then managed to finally get the driver side door open. it took several tries for him to actually get inside the truck.
eddie couldn’t take his eyes off the drunk. the man finally got the truck started. turned on the headlights and drove away. amazing, eddie thought. although he had probably done the same thing a time or three himself. in particular the night and morning before he’d killed the mobsters.
he was working on the second cup of coffee when two cabs pulled up in front of the bar. the crowd of drunks began to get in both of the cabs. the two drunks who had fallen face first on the concrete got up like nothing had happened and joined the people getting into the cars. bloody amazing, eddie thought. only in the world of drunks and gamblers.
by the time the second cup was empty eddie was feeling almost normal. he was even beginning to feel hungry. a good sign. dumping the empty cups in the trash he got up. used the restroom then made his way back downstairs. there was a coffee shop a few feet from the elevators. he got out of the elevator and bumped into one of the paiutes. the indians were up early and there was already a line for the restaurant. not wanting to wait and not wanting to be to be the only non indian in the group eddie decided to go across the parking lot to another casino and eat breakfast there.
the walk in the cold morning air further sobered him up and increased his appetite. he stepped inside the commercial casino. it was almost deserted as well. he walked by the hotel’s claim to fame, a stuffed polar bear under glass standing on it’s hind legs. it had to be almost twenty feet high. eddie stopped to gawk at the dead animal just like everyone else did the first time they laid eyes on it.
pulling himself away he went into the semi busy coffee shop. he was seated and ordered a ham and cheese omelet and a large glass of milk. once it arrived and he started eating it he was sorry he had ordered it. he wasn’t as hungry as he thought and the food wasn’t very good. gagging he did manage to finish a third of the omelet along with the milk and half a piece of toast and jelly.
he paid his tab. left a tip. then made his way back across the parking lot that separated the stockmen and the commercial. luckily for him he noticed out the corner of his eye several over dressed men smoking and talking about fifty feet to his right. there was no mistaking it or them. mobsters. they had found him. holy crap, he thought as he quickened his pace across the lot. he began to wish they were the cops.
the short walk to the basque restaurant was uneventful. however, by this time the small establishment was very busy. the staff was having a hard time keeping up with all the food and drink orders. eddie caught the eye of the lady he’d spoken to earlier and raised one finger. then he pointed to the bar. she nodded back at him.
he made his way through a large party waiting for a table and found an empty chair at the bar. eddie ordered a picon as he placed a twenty on the bar top. the usc stanford game had already started. eddie turned to watch it on one of the TV’s. he also further checked the room and things seemed to be normal.
the bartender sat eddie’s basque drink in front of him and took the twenty to make change. eddie turned back to the bar and sipped his drink. liquid ambrosia even after the vodka. he was going to need another one of these. the crowd in the bar cheered.
eddie turned back to the game to discover stanford had scored a touchdown. unless you were from southern california most folks didn’t care for usc very much. oh well. at this point in the day the only thing eddie catalina cared about was the final score and did he win his bet or not.
on the ensuing kickoff usc fumbled the ball after a hard hit at the twenty five yard line. stanford recovered the fumble. the way things were going didn’t bode well for eddie or his bet. especially after he noticed on the score crawl at the bottom of the screen that boise st had already scored 21 points in the first quarter. good-bye $3,200. or so it seemed. he finished his drink in one gulp and raised the empty glass to the bartender. who then set about making eddie another picon.
the sinking feeling of his $3,200 flying out the window made eddie think about his predicament again. he’d killed two mob boys in his apartment down in los angeles. the l.a. cops were more than likely looking for him so they could ask him a few questions. so, eddie, what’s up with the two dead guys on your kitchen floor? eddie shuddered involuntarily.
you ok, mister?
yeah, i’m fine. just a chill.
here’s your drink.
thanks. you can keep what’s left.
sipping his drink eddie knew the mob wasn’t going to be anywhere near as polite as the lapd would be. the problem being eddie catalina was screwed if either of them found him. though he doubted the cops would be looking for him in northern nevada. not just yet anyway. the mob? they weren’t going away either but it was probably even money they were closer than the cops. eddie shuddered again. then he noticed the waitress beckoning him.
he picked up his drink and made his way back to the dinning room. the place was even busier. loud as well. filled with happy diners.
the waitress led him to a table with four chairs. there were already two ladies sitting in two of the seats. eddie knew that most basque places sat you family style. it wasn’t a problem. the two women turned out to be a mother and daughter from boise who were on a road trip and had stopped in elko on the way home for some basque food.
eddie ordered one of the specials. oven roasted lamb neck bones. along with a half liter of the house red. the dinner came with the usual sides. soup, salad, tongue, a vegetable or two, french fries, spaghetti, and sourdough bread. enough food for 4 or 5 people. the ladies ordered an extra side of a delicious blue cheese which they shared with eddie. the fine meal was accompanied by pleasant dinner conversation. or as pleasant as eddie could muster under the circumstances.
the roasted neck bones turned out to be outstanding. eddie was glad he had ordered them. he learned long ago to order off the specials board in a basque restaurant. even better was getting to know the owner who would throw in extras or let you request something off the menu or specials board. eddie was stuffed. the ladies declined dessert. though when eddie heard they served bread pudding, which the waitress said was to die for, he groaned and ordered one. the serving was huge and delicious.
the ladies said goodnight and eddie ate his dessert alone. when he finished he went back to the bar and ordered a frangelico and soda to help with his digestion. it would also serve to help ease the pain of his misguided football bets. by that time in the evening it was obvious he had lost his $3,200. the only thing that could save the money would be divine intervention. which was something that rarely happened. at least with eddie.
sated he somewhat stumbled from the restaurant and out into the street. it was noticeably colder now and there were fewer people out and about. eddie pulled his jacket tighter around himself and started walking. the last place he wanted to be was in one of the cat houses a block or so from the basque restaurant. but that’s where he found himself, several minutes later, in one of the houses. he sighed and mumbled to himself that he was pretty well fucked up and he had fucked up big time by wandering into the joint. he almost turned around but didn’t. instead he went to the bar. at least it was warm inside. the bartender spoke.
what’ll ya have?
ah, yes. ah…um…brandy rocks.
the place was empty save for eddie and the bartender. as the bartender turned from eddie to make him his drink he rang a bell. crap. eddie thought, here they come. not long after that 3 or 4 ladies showed up. eddie wasn’t sure just how many there were. it may have only been two and he was seeing double. at any rate, he told the ladies thanks but no thanks. he was just having a drink then he’d be on his way. and no he didn’t want to buy any of them a drink. the ladies cleared out pronto.
eddie sipped his drink and talked college football with the bartender. one of the ladies came out again and sat at the bar. eddie ignored her. already drunk he at least knew compounding mistakes wasn’t going to do any good. he finished his drink. dropped a jackson on the bar and somehow or another made his way back to the hotel and his room. tomorrow or more to the point today was another day.
many years ago, 2002 to be exact, i made a trip to mainland china. it was one of those two week deals where if it’s tuesday it must be shanghai type things. all in all very interesting especially the great wall. however, there were a couple of “incidents”that sort of stand out. one concerning vladimir putin and i’m still really not sure what was up with the other one.
first off, during the trip we stayed in xian for a few days. a lovely very old walled city with a moat around it. that would be in the really old part of town. we were on our way to see the terra cotta warriors outside the city. a truly wonderful experience if you get the chance to do so. on the way there we stopped at a factory that made small terra cotta figurines of the actual warriors, horses, and such at the site.
while at the terra cotta factory there was a guy standing around with big sony video camera on a tripod. i went up and started talking to him about his camera. he had an odd accent. turns out he was a russian tv news photographer or that was his story. he said they were doing “set ups” as putin was visiting the factory the next day before he went to see the actual warrior site. there was a talking head with him but i didn’t speak with him. anyways, after chatting with the ruskie and getting him to pose for some video i wondered off taking more video of the factory. suddenly this extremely nice looking chinese babe came out of nowhere like a sudden heart attack and asked me in very good english if i’m getting some nice pictures. this kinda freaked me out. who was she? where did she come from? i said yeah and blew her off. i think she may have been chinese langley. did she and the chinese think i was cia as well?
yes, well, then it got a bit weirder.
later that day we were at the terra cotta digs when 3 guys in very bad suits walked past us. i immediately made them for russians. one of them stopped turned around and gave me the eye for a minute or two. guess he had heard about me from someone at the terra cotta factory. or something. i ignored him. putin was to be at the site as well the next day. so i guess they were just some more russian “cultural” folks checking stuff out in advance. did the russians think i was cia too? what was going on? we heard a day or so later the chinese closed the place for 3 hours so putin could look at the shit by himself and not be disturbed. i hope he had a grand time.
several days later we were in guilin. a lovely spot in south china almost to the north vietnam border. the main touristy thing there is a four hour boat ride down the li river. wonderful scenery. amazing stuff.
after a long day of sightseeing, dinner, and probably too much beer we went to a chinese stage show in the hotel where we were staying. a nice show and more beer. however, i had a hard time staying awake.
after the we show got in the elevator to go up to our room. two nicely dressed westerners get in too. for some reason we are the only people in the elevator. which was very weird because of the number of people who had been watching the show and were now heading back to their rooms in the hotel. we get up to our floor. the men stayed in the elevator and as we get out one of them says, in an aussie or british accent, good night, john. yeah, no shit. i had never seen those guys before. i just ignored them and kept on walking. however, i was jolted.
very spooky and strange and the last time on the trip that i noticed anyone taking any interest in me in a langley sort of way. i had completely forgotten this little incident until i was reading some old emails. even now it seems very bizarre. we were at least 1,000 miles from xian and the russian, chinese terra cotta warrior deal. now out of nowhere i had british MI6(?) guys wishing me a good night. hmm…odd…very odd.
after a few drinks and south carolina had defeated the favorite, alabama, eddie decided it was time to move a bit. go outside, look around, take a walk. he left things as they were in the room. including the TV tuned to a football game with the volume loud enough for someone to hear the game if they stood just outside the door.
eddie grabbed a jacket and headed out to the elevator. the paiutes, if that’s who they were, where pretty much everywhere in the casino. he thought of asking one of them what was up and if they were paiutes. that thought was quickly discarded. better to just mind his own business and stay under the radar. everyone’s radar.
when he arrived at the lobby he stopped once again to read the newspaper articles that were posted under glass there about john wayne. it also gave him a few minutes to see if anyone was interested in him. no one seemed to care. he was still curious about the john wayne connection though. maybe he would ask when he checked out. that is if he didn’t just leave without saying a word.
as eddie walked through the small smokey casino the old lust for gambling hit him like a short left hook to the belly. in fact he almost doubled over. easy he thought, this wasn’t the time to get lost in a gambler’s haze. though something did catch his eye towards the back of the casino and the rear exit.
it was a tiny sports book. probably the smallest he’d ever seen. the book employee was even wearing a black and white football referee’s shirt. low end and campy but the board behind the man had all the college games and tomorrow’s pro games. a simple white board with numerous boxes on it. the games had been written in with a black magic marker. the spreads as well along with the over and unders. low end for sure. but none the less all above board and legal with everything you needed to know in order to place a bet.
he stopped to look at the games and the odds. of course, he should have kept on walking but what was the harm? the employee greeted him and eddie spoke.
how long will you be open tonight?
we close right after the last game starts.
no, hawaii is off the board unless they’re playing here on the mainland.
eddie was still looking at the board. there were a few games that were calling to him. usc stanford for one and boise st had way too many points to cover was another. maybe he could parlay some of the money left from the sale of the stolen caddie into something more. he shook that feeling off as quickly as it it had come on. what the hell was he thinking? maybe it was the vodka. he’d have to watch that.
he stepped outside into the almost late afternoon. it was cool but the air was fresh after the stuffy casino. he breathed deep. coughed. and lit another smoke. he stood there smoking for bit just watching the light traffic and the few people out walking around enjoying the fall afternoon air.
the basque restaurant he wanted to have dinner in was just a short walk away down on the corner. he made his way there and the smell of whatever was cooking inside made his stomach growl. they were already open so he made his way inside to check the specials. a smiling but harried lady asked him if he was going to eat. he said no he was just looking at the specials for now. the bar was almost empty and there were several TV’s on the walls all tuned to the usc stanford pre-game show.
eddie decided this was the place to eat. he almost told the lady he was ready to eat but the siren of the lonely little sports book was calling to him. he turned and left the restaurant. then quickly walked back to the hotel casino. the man in the referee’s shirt was still there. fortunately for eddie he was busy talking to another customer. eddie hurried past them and went up to his room.
once in his room he made himself a stiff drink and tried to settle down. that damn gambling jones. what a time to kick back in he thought. maybe a shower would help. the short hot shower did nothing to calm the siren in his head. the vodka wasn’t helping either. he put on his clothes and went back downstairs.
he should have gone out the entrance by the main desk and then taken the long way round the casino to the basque joint and his dinner. should have being the operative words. eddie walked through the casino and made a bee line to the small sports book. the man in the referee’s shirt was alone.
can i still put some money on usc and boise st?
yes, you just made it.
good. ok. i want to put $1,200 on usc and take the points. another $1,500 on new mexico and take the points.
the employee efficiently took care of the money and the rest of the transaction. he handed eddie his betting slip.
i’ll be closing in a short time so if you win come back tomorrow and i’ll take care of you. or you can mail the slip in to the casino. either way.
thanks. i’ll do just that. either way. thanks.
not a problem. have a good evening.
eddie put the slip in his wallet and made his way back to the basque restaurant and dinner.
eddie quickly changed and thrown some clothes, the .357, and a few more rounds in a ratty suitcase then ran downstairs. out on the street he spotted the shinny new cadillac sts. in the distance he heard the sirens. lapd was on the way. he looked inside the car and saw the keys. it was unlocked. why not? who would be stupid enough to mess with a mobster’s ride? only a desperate eddie catalina. he got in threw the bag on the passenger side floor then sped away. as the sirens and the lapd drew closer.
eddie had stolen the car and then somehow sold it twenty minutes later. sold it for a nice piece of cash to a crack dealer eddie knew. a crack dealer with an old steamer trunk full of stolen and cold license plates from every state in the union. a crack dealer with visions of his own grandeur. thirty minutes later the car was in a warehouse getting chopped up into parts. parts worth four times what he paid eddie catalina including a set of oregon plates.
for eddie’s part he made his way to a used car lot where he’d paid cash for a seven year old mustang that needed body work. the car looked like crap but it did run well. very well. the car dealer threw in a full tank of gas because eddie had paid cash. what the hell, he could fix the books and pocket several hundred dollars for himself on the deal.
after pulling out of the car lot eddie made his way to a quiet alley and removed the red used car sticker from the rear window of the mustang. eddie also removed the california plates and added his newly acquired oregon plates. even though the plates were expired by several months eddie figured the cops wouldn’t care. after all, he saw plenty of expired california plates every day. the cops had more important stuff to do. expired plates would be an added after thought for some other offense. expired oregon plates? not a problem.
eddie hit the freeway with a new sense of urgency. jesus. he’d just killed two mob guys. then stole their car. thankfully, for a time the cops, and more importantly the mob, would be looking for the cadillac. the mob would find out soon enough what happened. the cops a bit longer. eddie had maybe five or six hours. maybe more. at least he was now sober.
transitioning from the 10 west to the 405 north he was soon on interstate 5 and heading north at a speed where most of the chp’s on the road would leave him alone. once over the grapevine and into the central valley he could open it up a little more.
which he did and he was now in elko, nevada and the stockmen hotel. pacing, smoking, and thinking. the only trouble was the thinking seemed to be getting stuck at the what next part. his next move just wasn’t making itself very clear. at least he felt somewhat safe in his room with a view.
it was saturday and the hotel was busy. busy with a native american indian wedding or something. for some reason eddie figured them for paiutes. he didn’t have any reason other than a hunch. it didn’t matter much other than the fact with all of the paiutes around a few greasy italians in suits or $120 charlie sheen shirts would stand out even more.
all that being said, eddie was getting antsy. he still had a good amount of cash but no plan. no plan other than hitting another basque joint for another lamb dinner with all the traditional sides that night. a few traditional picon punches as well. maybe the TV would help soothe his nerves. he turned it on.
a fall saturday afternoon. television was all about college football. with more games to come later in the evening. what was he thinking? strangely the college games did help soothe his nerves. though they did nothing to help him come up with a plan.
he sat a chair in the middle of the room where he could stand up and check out the front and side views of the hotel while he watched the games. he called room service and ordered some ice and a bottle of vodka. he might as well be comfortable. sure why not?, eddie thought. after he’d lost those mob boys in stockton he could have gone anywhere. eddie hoped they felt the same way.
after growing up out in the farmlands that used to surround metropolis los angeles, eddie had moved to downtown l.a. when he was discharged from the army. that had been long ago. forty years ago more or less. things had gone well for him after the army. a thriving business, marriage and family.
thirty five years or so of peace and happiness. then it all started to unravel. slowly. one frayed thread at a time. eddie had started betting on football games. he started out doing alright. most weekends he won the majority of his bets. then something happened. eddie never did figure out what or why. his football acumen just went south on him. he started losing more than he won. not a good thing for any bettor.
instead of just quitting he tried to make up for his bad luck by betting more, more, and more. he not only lost the bets he lost his family as well. his business and his peace of mind. everything. eddie had become some sort of poster boy for gamblers everywhere. not in a good way but the worst possible example.
wife, children, home, and business gone eddie hit rock bottom. though living by his wits and a few odd jobs he kept a roof over his head. things had even started to turn around again. he even had thoughts of setting things straight with his wife and kids. instead, however, that old invincible bettor’s feeling came back and took hold. eddie started betting sports again. mostly college football.
he was actually doing well with his bets. just for a short time though. soon he was back to losing much more than he was winning. he began to drift out of control. there was no stopping him. madness seemed to hold sway. madness to the point of not caring anymore. then it happened. very quickly on a saturday afternoon in the late fall.
eddie catalina had weathered worse weekends but nothing quite like the past one. in some sort of semi delusional death wish he’d taken his car and rent money and bet it all on 10 of the worst college football picks imaginable. sure, some of them looked good and even made sense in that death wish sort of way. but he knew he was in big trouble by mid afternoon on saturday.
the odd thing was he really didn’t care. the third floor walk up in the eastern part of downtown los angeles and his 10 year old car had lost whatever luster was left or ever had been there. things had tumbled out of control and he was resigned to what would come soon enough.
another strange thing was he didn’t even have the car or rent money anymore. after losing the game that tilted the deal below what would mean busting out even he had taken the car and rent money and blown it all and then some. that was even before the total disaster became, oh so apparent. all the money he had was blown on a bizarre drunken whore mongering night in the illegal after hours mexican ‘nightclubs’ in his neighborhood. a long night that found him drunk, alone and asleep at his kitchen table around noon sunday.
the pounding on the door woke him up. it took a second or two to realize it was morning, the sun was up, and he was still drunk. very drunk. stumbling to the door he opened it. two thugs pushed their way inside. the larger of the two shut the door and stood by it.
the smaller one spoke.
so where were you last night? it looks like getting drunk on your sorry ass. and that’s no excuse. there are no excuses. you know the rules. payment is due on all bets at midnight sharp. pay up now plus another $1,000 in vig for our trouble. don’t fucking piss don vincenzo off any more than he already is.
standing there in his under ware, head down looking at the floor he thought, good thing i’m still drunk. maybe the broken bones won’t hurt so bad.
broken bones or maybe. just maybe. yes, a mad hangover haze grab for the rusty but loaded .357 under the three day old newspaper on the table. for you see, as dawn had broke that sunday morning, lonely broke drunken dreams made him pull it out of the bottom of his old army duffel bag. he’d passed out before he could use it. now maybe. just maybe. he could make use of it for some other purpose.
the smaller man slapped him to the floor. eddie used the table to help himself to his feet. his hand slipped under the paper. he gripped the pitted and splintered walnut pistol butt. he spun around firing. his finger pulling the trigger as fast as he could. sound, smoke, and the smell of cordite filled the small room.
the two mobsters lay there bleeding their last seconds of life out onto the cracked yellowed linoleum floor. eddie catalina’s troubles had only just begun.
the two open windows provided light and air. they also provided a decent view of the parking lot and the street area to the east. eddie catalina stood in the middle of the room smoking, watching, and pacing. the past two days had been a wild ride. or was it three? adrenaline highs and crashing lows had brought him here. north eastern nevada and the stockmen hotel in elko. the corner suite on the 4th floor. probably not a real suite in most hotels but the view was ok and he could smoke in the room. and with all the photos of john wayne in the lobby maybe the duke had even stayed in the room way back when. tangents. eddie was tired.
he hadn’t smoked in over twenty years but he had started again once the mad cap car trip had begun down in los angeles. probably somewhere in northern california along interstate 5. stockton? maybe. eddie thought he’d spotted a tail somewhere around the tracy turn off. no, he had spotted a tail. smart bastards that they were. someone on or near the over pass. though in the end not that smart.
eddie was a good driver. once the tail was spotted he let the adrenaline kick in and instinct take over. getting enough of a jump on them and then getting off the interstate in the old downtown section of stockton proved to be the right move. after a few one way streets there, a few quick turns, then backtracking he had lost the tail. after losing them he spent ten or fifteen minutes sitting in the shady parking lot of the public health department just to be sure, while getting his nerves back together. nothing of interest in the parking lot other than a few pregnant women coming and going. a few obvious junkies as well. nothing of interest.
after he left the parking lot he had a bit of a problem. he wasn’t sure where the interstate was any more. he drove around for a bit before he found it again. about that time eddie also realized he was hungry. he had seen a chinese restaurant sign a street or so over. not in the mood for mexican it would do. he doubled back. parked on the almost deserted street and went inside. the place was an old huge worn out dump. though the owner was friendly and the food decent enough. best of all he was the only diner.
for some reason after lunch he’d walked across the street and into a liquor store where he bought a carton of camel lights. eddie had been chain smoking them ever since.
from stockton he’d driven straight through to winnemucca, nevada stopping only for gas. he spent the night at the winner’s hotel casino and walking the streets of winnemucca while avoiding the cat houses. a sleepy casino was one thing but the houses were another. a sure fire way of being spotted. instead, he ate a delicious lamb dinner at an old basque hotel before retiring for the night. he was up early and back on the road again before 7. an overnight rain had left the roads shimmering in the early morning sun.
so, here he was in the stockman. elko, nevada. the duke’s old haunt? he was for sure smoking like the duke. two days and six packs of smokes later. jesus. he thought stubbing out a butt and lighting another. what the hell happened? what the hell indeed.
the two men in the car full of glass, dead bodies and blood hadn’t said a word until they stopped.
‘what the fuck?’
‘no shit, what the fuck? we’re covered with blood and no windshield is gonna get us pulled over in a heart beat.’
‘yeah. ok. i was gonna suggest we drive it up into the foothills and push it off some cliff and down into a ravine but i dunno now.’
‘that still might work. let’s check the trunk.’
inside the trunk the men found some beach towels and a blanket. ‘ok. we’re in luck. we wipe the car down and stick the dead ladies in the trunk. we just have blood on our backsides. if we make it without getting pulled over and don’t have to get out of the car we’ll be ok.’
‘man, if we get pulled over we’re off to the lethal injection room faster than you can say the lapd planted all this evidence on us.’
the men had been very lucky so far. no sirens sounded in the night other than the normal stuff but it was off in the distance. nothing anywhere close. they had been lucky indeed. one of the men walked out to the street and told the third man to follow them and if they got pulled over to just keep on going. no sense in all of them going down. the men had decided to take the freeway and hope the late hour wouldn’t have many highway patrolmen out or if there were they would hopefully be busy with drunks. plus, it was the quickest way up to the foothills. as it turned out their luck held and they made it up into the foothills in no time.
the road was deserted as they wound their way up into the san gabriel mountains unmolested. they found a good spot after about 15 minutes of driving. a turn out with no guard rail. they pulled in and wiped down the car once more making sure there were no fingerprints or shoe prints in or on the car. even with gloves it paid to be careful. they left the two bodies in the trunk and pushed it over the edge and into the ravine. the car fell several hundred feet and landed on it’s roof. thankfully, no explosion like in the movies. with that they all got into the other car and made their way back home. by the time they got back to their homes it was almost 2am. the two bloodied men showered and bagged up their clothes for later disposal.
the insanity of a summer saturday night continued unabated as the men went about taking care of their business. one of the men phoned the other two and they met again near the dumpster. ‘look. i say we do some more of these bastards. we may never get another chance. if we get popped. we get popped. we been through this before. screw it.’
‘ok. yeah, why not?’
‘alright. let’s do this thing.’
almost 3am and the parade of human stupidity was still in full swing out on the street. perhaps even more so at that late night or early morning hour. a night of drinking and drugs having taken control of the already stupid assholes vapid minds. the men were loaded up and ready to go once again. they didn’t have long to wait. the car was moving down the street with more noise than they had heard in some time. the plan worked again perfectly. two more dead and disposed of assholes.
on their way back from the disposal of the last bodies and car. the men decided to do one more job and make it a statement. they would leave the car in the street with the radio blaring and the dead left were they died in the car.
simple enough but would anyone figure out their insane statement? the three men didn’t care. they were high on all the adrenaline and death.
‘only thing is we don’t do the last one on our street. to close for comfort. we can’t take that chance.’
‘sure we should be able to find something just about anywhere.’
and they did find something very quickly in the next town over. it hadn’t taken any time at all.
they had pulled to the curb when they heard a car coming from behind them. radio blasting. 4am on a sunday morning and the soon to be terminally stupid were still working at being the assholes they were. the three friends decided to just stop the car and waste whoever was in it. they got out of the car and stood in the street. 3 abreast. blocking the road with their bodies. the car approached and slowed to a stop. the two shooters went to each side of the car and the third held his ground holding a tire iron he had pulled from the trunk.
the three men had hit the jack pot. the car was full. the two shooters emptied their weapons into the car. it was over in a few seconds. though amazingly one of the occupants in the car made it through the killing zone and ran from the car. the friend with the tire iron went after the kid and caught him with a flying tackle. army training kicked in and he broke the kid’s neck with the simple technique he had been taught many years before. he picked the dead kid up and brought him back to the car and laid him out on the hood. the other friends were in their car and had it ready to go. he picked up the tire iron from the street and joined his three friends. they left the scene and headed home.
the car sat there in the street with it’s stereo blasting and the dead kid on the hood for five minutes or so before another car load of assholes came down the street and found what had been left there. the police were called and they spent well into the the daylight hours of sunday morning trying to figure out just what had happened.
of course they never did. they thought it was this or maybe that but it really wasn’t any of those things. then the other cars started turning up. or more precisely parents started to finally wonder where their stupid children were and called the police. all the cars turned up and the dead bodies found. the last to turn up was the car in the ravine. it took several weeks before some one pulled off into the turnout, got out of their car, and actually looked down over the edge.
all the killings made a big splash in the media. there was the usual tsk tsking, along with smirking feigned outrage at the carnage but it was good for ratings and the sharks that they were kept it up for as long as they could. the late development of the car in the ravine added fuel to their sanctimonious eye brow raising. however, in the end, the story just faded away like they all eventually do. the police gave up and went about their business of trying to quell the turning tide of insanity that seemed to have a death grip on the local society.
the three friends? they never spoke of that night again. not even when it was just the three of them sitting and sipping a beverage out on the patio during the patio drinking season. they had made their point though no one actually got what the point was. but they knew and that after all that was all that really mattered.
though separately they did often think and wonder if it might not be a bad idea to do it all over again. one day. perhaps one day.
several days later the car and body were finally discovered when someone passing by noticed a strong odor emanating from the parked car. the death of the asshole barely made a blip on the tv or radio news. though it did manage to grab a few inches of space in the local fish wrap. the police made a cursory attempt at trying to find any witnesses to the crime and the whole matter was seemingly dropped soon after.
the 3 desperate friends were buoyed by this turn of events. ‘it’s like i told you guys. the cops have their hands full. just another dead body among lots of dead bodies. they don’t have the time or the manpower for any of this.’
so, with that the next night they shot out three consecutive street lights on the street where they lived. it was a wednesday night and they planned to carry out the next mad part of the plan late saturday night and early sunday morning of the coming weekend. that is if the electric company didn’t fix the lights before then.
saturday came and the lights were still out of order. they caught a break as their wives or girlfriends had gone out of town and off to vegas for the weekend. a simple enough plan and worth the money it cost the three men to send them away. the three men met for their final meeting before the insane rampage was set to begin.
‘i’m still the shooter.’
‘yeah, fine. but i’ve been thinking we may need another piece. just in case things go sideways.’
‘he’s right. no problem, i’ll bring my .22 auto along for fire support.’
‘yep, and i’ll attach a stocking to the ejector.’
‘ya know we may need a heavy piece if things really go sideways.’
‘too much noise.’
‘if i tape a plastic coke bottle to the barrel of my .357 i can get one good heavy round off with about as much noise as the .22. we might need it.’
‘alright set it up and bring it. though the thing is with the wheel gun lots of noise from other than the barrel.’
‘good point. i’ll work something out that will keep it free enough for one kill shot.’
‘yes, that sounds good.’
the three men spent the day as they normally did. however, late that night around midnight, they all crept quietly and unseen from their homes. they met near one of the trash dumpsters not far from the street.
the shooter was dressed in light clothing to make it easier for the cars to see him as he stepped off the curb and into their path. the other two were dressed in dark clothes. as a prop, the shooter also had a six pack of tall bud in cans. they stood around not saying much while they waited for their first victim. they didn’t have too long to wait.
like always they heard the car coming several blocks away. the shooter and his friends got ready. the shooter on one side of the street and the other two along with their fire support pieces on the other. as the car drew closer the loud music thumped and banged like concussions from an explosion. when it was about 30 yards away the shooter stepped from the curb with the six pack in his hand. the .22 in his other and at his side. he wobbled into the street and stood in the car’s path.
the car slowed and stopped. there were two occupants. both males in their 20’s. they stopped and began yelling at the shooter to get the fuck out of the street and out of their way. the music still blared. the shooter walked up to the driver’s side and quickly put two shots in the driver’s face. as he pushed the dead body to the side he put two more shots into the head of the passenger. it was over before it began as the other members of the mad group came out of the shadows and dealt with the vehicle and it’s dead passengers. as planned, one drove the car several blocks away and the other followed. the shooter stepped back into the shadows to watch and wait. fifteen minutes later the other men were back and reported no problems. the car and bodies were left to be found at a later date and time when the smell would make them visible.
not long after their return the familiar blare of another car stereo was heard, this time from the other direction. just like the first time the shooter stepped in front of the car. the car stopped and more yelling for him to get out of the road. he walked up to the driver side window and put two shots into the startled face of the driver. then 2 more into the passenger’s head before he realized there were two more people in the back seat. he got off two more shots into the chest of the third victim as the fire support .22 took care of the last passenger in a similar fashion. they all quickly secured the dead bodies and the car was driven off in an other direction to be parked and abandoned with it’s dead cargo still inside.
when the three insane friends met again, at the side of the dumpster, they were amazed and happy at what had gone down. it had been fairly easy. even their cold blooded murders had been easy, they said. no regrets or sadness at what they had done. they also agreed the fire support piece had been a very good idea. in the midst of all this happiness a third car was heard.
the three went to their positions and waited. this car had the stereo at levels even they had not heard before. it seemed as if they could hear the studs vibrate in the homes on the street as the car approached. it was one thing to hear them vibrate inside a house but to hear them vibrate while standing out on the street gave them all pause. this car was probably waking the dead. the shooter knew he had to be quick with this one. someone might look outside to see just who this asshole was as he passed by.
there were only two people in this car. the driver and her passenger, another young woman. as the car neared him the shooter stepped off the curb and in front of the car. this time instead of yelling the driver laid on the horn and kept coming. the shooter stood his ground and the car barely stopped before it could hit him. he knew time was short. so did the fire support shooter. the main shooter emptied his magazine into the front window. the support piece emptied into the passenger side of the car. the 20 rounds did what they were meant to do. though it was the one round from the silenced .357 that killed the driver. however, the shattered windshield presented them with a major problem.
without saying a word the shooter joined the driver in the car and they drove away from the mad scene. the other friend followed. none of them was sure if anyone had looked outside with all the horn honking and general loud insanity coming from the street. they would know soon enough if sirens were heard. they turned the stereo off and the shooter, who was in the passenger seat, quickly broke out what was left of the windshield. that took care of the obvious problem. the other problem was there were four people in the front seat. two of them being dead. the driver pulled into an alley behind a small strip mall. fortunately for the men it was a very dark alley. the third friend knew they were in a fix and didn’t follow them into the alley. he pulled to the curb, shut off his lights, and waited.
the early spring and summer passed with little change from any other early spring and summer. the three friends sat and drank each evening in the soft summer evening light of southern california. the summer progressed into the hot damp nasty dog days of august. the time when sleep was fitful and restless at best. the thumpity thump of the weekend car traffic made it even worse. sleep became a rare and precious commodity. for the three old friends the lack of sleep, once again, became a part of their daily evening conversation.
‘man, this heat and humidity is killing me. i can’t sleep. when i do doze off the chumps and their car stereos jolt my old ass wide awake.’
‘yeah, it’s a never ending cycle this time of year.’
‘you boys had enough?’
‘enough of what?’
‘oh, shit, he’s back on that again?’
‘what do you think? of course i am. you think i want to end up like my old man and piss my pants every time i take a leak? stuck with wearing a kotex in my underwear for years, until i finally die? no, thanks. i’m not going to out live my future. i’m not doing that. there comes a time when what’s the point? it’s quality not quantity. i mean to take some of these assholes out. if i die, fine. if i get caught the state can keep me in kotex till i die. fuck it. the state ain’t gonna catch me. no way. i’m fucking doing this. if you guys help, it will be a piece of cake. if not, well, i’ll manage. somehow.’
as usual the other two friends just sat there and looked at each other. neither saying a word for what was probably half an hour. finally one of them spoke.
‘ok. yeah, pants pissing. jesus. i hear you. life just sorta gets worse and worse. daily shit goes down the tube faster than an unassisted hard on disappears.’
‘ain’t that the truth? it’s not like we have much going for us. i mean other than this. and this is just, well, getting to the point of, sorry, just some sort of sewing circle type shit but with drinks.’
‘sad but true. ok. looks like we are signing on to this madness of yours. what the fuck?’
‘i guess we are. seems like we may as well. i don’t want to end up stinking of piss and shit in my really golden years. fuck that. either a blaze of glory or the state can deal with my sorry ass. either way, i don’t care.’
‘yeah, seems like that’s the case. ok. count me in.’
they rose as one and touched bottles or glasses together and sealed the insane mad plan.
to saner men, this pact, seemingly dredged up from the bowels of hell would have given them pause. why should lack of sleep and the stupidity of the young, along with the fears of the old, make anyone want to kill? indeed, why? to those three men the answer would be, why not? why not, retaliate against the rampant madness all around them? why not take out something that is nothing more than a cancer on the breast of society? take out something that is abhorrent to any civilized man. yes, so it seems, the mad plan had some legs. madness, seemingly coming to a head. the one who’s original plan it was shook his head and said, ‘finally.’
several days passed until the madness was spoken of again. ‘ok. look, we need a rehearsal before the harder stuff goes down. i have someone in mind. you guys know who it is.’
‘yeah. tell me about it. i know. ha ha. the asshole who every morning before 6am has his car radio blaring for 5 or 10 minutes in the garage while god knows what the hell is going on in his house.’
‘right on, my brother. it’s that dumb fucker.’
‘ha ha. i’m with you on that. sure, we should have done him long ago. sorry ass inconsiderate fuck that he is.’
‘ok. look. we do this guy first. it ain’t gonna be easy with the early morning light but we have history going for us. we have the real early morning assholes then there’s a break until this dick rolls out to work. we have a window of maybe 5 minutes, way more than enough time for the deal to go down. i say we go monday morning. agreed?’
‘solid. we go monday morning.’
sunday night the three now totally insane friends met for the evening of patio drinking. ‘alright. the asshole starts his car and has the car stereo blaring. he goes back in the house for 5 or so minutes.. he comes back out and leaves. when he comes out i’m in the garage and i double tap him. we toss him in the car and drive away.’
‘i like it. man, like you said the car stereo covers the .22 shorts.’
‘yeah, we should have done this piece of crap long ago. what were we thinking?’
the reply came in unison, ‘damned if i know.’
‘one thing though. we need to police the brass.’
‘oh, shit. yeah, we sure do.’
‘piece of cake. i’ll just attach some nylon stocking thing to the ejector and let it catch the brass. lots easier than fumbling around on the ground trying to find it.’
so, the next morning the three friends were up even before the rat bastards and their car stereo insanity began.
‘ok, first thing. we all wear gloves.’
‘i cap him. we toss him in the car and you drive him a couple of blocks away. you follow and bring him back. remember to lock the car and be sure the windows are rolled up. then you guys drive over to the super wally’s mart and toss the keys in one of the dumpsters out back. or down some drain someplace as you drive by. don’t matter, just get rid of them and make sure no one sees you.’
‘solid. no problem.’
‘i hope so. if we pull this one off, we are in. the late night early morning stuff will be a piece of cake.’
‘let’s do it.’
thirty minutes later the man who did the same thing each and every morning started his car in the garage and left it there with the radio blaring. it was only a few minutes before 6am, but of course he, being an asshole, was totally oblivious to his own rampant stupidity. it was to be his last morning of such utter disregard for his fellow neighbors. as he stepped from the house and into his garage two barely audible shots rang out. the dumb ass was dead before he hit the ground.
the two other friends quickly gathered him up and tossed him into the front seat of the car. with the garage door closing one of the friends drove off with the radio still at ungodly levels for any time of the day. the other friend followed. three blocks to the east they found a quite residential street and left the car with the dead asshole stuffed down on the floorboards of the passenger side of the car. locked it up then dumped his car keys in a storm drain two blocks further east.
the whole sad affair was over and done within 10 minutes, tops. the three friends gathered at a local ihop for breakfast to celebrate and discuss their mornings work.
‘boys, like i have been telling you. simple easy. right?’
‘yeah, easy as pie.’ ‘ok. when do we start for real?’
‘let’s don’t get too greedy. we wait for a day or two and see what happens. then we go for it.’
it hadn’t always been like this, the dim witted borderline imbeciles driving around trying to be cool with their car stereos blaring at ungodly levels. as a matter of fact, the whole damn thing just more or less snuck up on the saner of the population. oh sure, back in the late 80′s early 90′s, some cities passed ordinances concerning loud car stereos and such. those ordinances got buried in the crime wave of drugs and the general stupidity of the general population causing local cops more trouble and work than they had cops on patrol. plus, even the dull and stupid have to work at some point in their dull and stupid lives doing dull and stupid work. so, the ear shattering rancid music wasn’t particularly bad during the work week. at times, it could be but for the most part it was on the weekends when the dull and stupid got even duller and stupider. the spring and summer months meant weekends full of bad music played at levels that could probably be heard on mars.
the next evening the 3 nam vets met again for the second night of the season of patio drinking and chatting. they had been doing it for so long they had forgotten just how the whole deal had begun. it didn’t matter, as it was really just time to get away from their wives or girlfriends. a time for some booze and no female asking them dull insipid questions like why they needed to drink every day with their weird and or loser friends. among other things. ah, yes, like most men they had bid farewell to the simple life long ago. the evening, being a monday, and of course, a work week night meant for a relatively peaceful evening for outside sitting and sipping. the peace and quiet was only broken at odd intervals by the ear shattering so called music.
‘you know, i don’t think i’m going to make it.’
‘make what? are you sick or something?’
‘no, nothing like that. i mean, i don’t think i’m going to make it through another summer of this blaring car stereo shit.’
the other two friends gave each other a look. the other friend continued.
‘you know it could be done.’
‘the man is talking in riddles this evening. now what?’
‘killing the dumb ass kids as they drive down the street.’
‘man, you are crazy. there’s no way you are gonna get away with that action. it’s just plain crazy.’
‘i don’t like it any better than you do but he’s right, ain’t no way. none of us do, but man, that’s just crazy.’
‘i don’t think so. i think it could be pulled off. actually fairly simple. you want to hear about it or not?’
the idea made the other two men uncomfortable but they decided to listen to their friend’s crazy idea. they had nothing better to do and it was a nice warm spring time evening with plenty of wine and cold beer.
‘alright. go ahead.’
‘ok. the really annoying shit goes down on weekends late in the evening or early morning when the really stupid crazy ones are out being annoying and probably stoned, drunk, or both.’
he noticed he had their attention so he continued. ‘there isn’t much traffic on the road other than them. you can hear them coming from blocks away. now remember, they have the windows down. we could use a simple…’
‘now hold on, sport. what’s this we shit? don’t be dragging us into your murder one conviction.’
‘you gonna listen or what? just hear me out.’
‘shit. go ahead.’
‘thank you. we take a page from the viet cong tax collectors. we just step out on to the road and stop them. instead of demanding tax money, we cap them with two behind the ear or where ever. see, we have several things in our favor. night time, rolled down windows, and the loud music to cover the gun shots. which wouldn’t be that loud anyways. a .22 auto loaded with shorts. pretty quiet even without the help of the music.’
the other two friends sat there in a stunned silence. they realized he wasn’t kidding and had seemingly thought things out enough to the point, where he knew he would need their help if he wanted to carry out his insane plan. one of them spoke.
‘yeah, ok. it might be night but what about the street lights?’
‘we shoot a couple of them out. it takes edison weeks to replace a broken street light. if they ever do.’
‘you really think some stoned out drunken asshole kid is gonna stop just cause you jump out in front of him?’
‘sure with a few props. they need to see you in the dark so some sorta light colored clothing needs to be worn, and most importantly, you’re carrying a six pack of beer. they think you’re just some old drunken vato and at the least they slow way down or stop in hopes of snagging a brew off your drunk ass. the .22 auto is in your hand but out of sight. they aren’t gonna see it anyway. they’ll be looking at the beer. they stop. you walk up to the window. the music is still blaring. you stick the gun in the car and pop pop. it would be over before they knew what hit them.’
more stunned silence. ‘alright. what happens if there’s a car load of the fucks?’
‘plenty of ammo in the clip to pop them all. they will be too stunned to manage much of any kind of response if you hammer down fast enough…no real problem.’
‘man. you are talking about cold blooded murder.’
‘yeah. i guess so. i don’t care anymore. things are just too out of control. the stupid breed like rabbits and then don’t even bother to half ass take care of their kids or teach them anything half ass useful. it’s every man for himself. the fuckers don’t care about anything. you’ve seen them out at the mailbox. they open it it up and just toss the junk mail out into the street for the wind to take away. they think it doesn’t matter or they’re just to important or stupid to be bothered with throwing away trash properly. they’re oblivious to any normal human decency when they’re out in public. you go to a store, you better give them a wide berth or you’re asking for trouble. especially if they’re fucked up, which is pretty much all the time. yeah, i know we got fucked up too. but we didn’t try to get into a fight just because someone wandered by and we didn’t like the looks of them. i’m sick of these fuckers and it’s time to deal with them.’
the second night of the patio drinking and chatting season had come to an abrupt end.
you could hear it coming from at least 2 or 3 blocks away. by the time it passes, the walls of the house were vibrating like a snare drum. and it seemed as if the drywall was going to fall off. you couldn’t hear yourself think. how they could stand to listen to the so called music at such volumes was, in itself, amazing. the future, hey, look at me, generation, would all be stone deaf by the time they were 30. if they lived that long. maybe that’s what they were figuring.
though it was hard to say with the majority of youth these days. or at least that’s what the 3 friends told each other as they sat outside in the patio drinking beer or wine on temperate evenings. it wasn’t so bad in the colder months as the dumb fuckers needed to have their windows rolled up against the cold and the car stereo turned down to more moderate levels. even they couldn’t handle the crappy music at it’s usual warm weather levels in an enclosed car.
it was late fall and the 3 men were just about ready to call an end to the outside drinking season. a bit too chilly for their old bones. not to mention muscles and joints that seemed unable to unwind after sitting and drinking in the cool fall evening air. it didn’t take long for another ear piercing car load of kids to race by. the friends just looked at one another and shook their heads. nothing to be said. it had all been said before. numerous times. or had it?
one of them spoke, ‘damn. i’m sick of those little fuckers and their loud crappy music and their fucked up attitudes in general. seems like we should do something about it.’
‘yeah, sure, like what?’, one replied. the other friend just sat there sipping his wine. listening. the second friend continued, ‘what do you suggest? maybe shoot the little fucks?’
‘hmm. yeah, that thought has crossed my mind a time or two when they drive by at 2am in the summertime with the stereo blaring. i’m damn sick and tired of those wake up calls.’
the third friend spoke, ‘i think we’re all sick and tired of that. it’s getting cold. let’s go inside before we can’t move at all.’ with that the men went inside and the patio drinking season came to an end.
winter passed quickly for the 3 old men. but then time seemed to pass more quickly with each passing day for them all. winter should be no different. with the advent of warmer weather and fairly tolerable early evening weather, the 3 friends, once again, gathered in the patio for their nightly chat, along with a taste of beer or wine. the warm weather also meant that along with the swallows coming back to capistrano, the local youths would have their car windows rolled down and the sound system cranked up at levels high enough to vibrate nails from wooden 2x4s. it wasn’t long before the seemingly endless parade of high decibel ear piercing vehicles made their way up and down the city streets.
‘those little fuckers. damn it, i didn’t go off to nam to come home and get spit on and then in my so called, goddamn golden years, have to put up with those little cock suckers and their shitty so called music 24 hours a day. what the fuck?’
‘yeah, me too. i’m getting to old for this. i need my beauty sleep. something should be done. maybe we should start going to city council meetings or something.’
‘fat lot of good that’s going to do. those assholes are more concerned with lining their pockets than actually helping any of their fellow citizens. unless of course, it’s an election year and they are running scared figuring the new asshole is going to thump them in november. then they just might, maybe, trim a few trees on your block, if you grease the campaign coffer a bit.’
the reticent member of that band of brothers said, ‘maybe, just maybe, there’s something we can do after all.’ the other two looked at him with a glimmer of hope in their eyes. as he never said much but when he did it usually amounted to something or another the other 2 could at least agree with. ‘we could could start capping the little bastards. one fucking car at a time.’
‘sweet , jesus, and i thought you were gonna have something useful to say.’
‘that’s right. what the fuck? start capping the little bastards. this ain’t nam and the little creeps aren’t viet cong.’
‘yes, they are. nothing more nothing less. just stupid little fucks who want nothing more than to fuck everyone else’s lives up. they are too stupid to know any better. their parents are as dumb as they are and they probably encourage their shitty behavior. capping the rancid shits would probably get us a medal in saner times.’
‘holy shit, brother.’
the other two friends sat and looked at each other. no one said anything for a time. not even when the next car or two passed with it’s ear shattering thumpaty thump thump thumping noise. finally one of them spoke, ‘hey, my ears are gonna start bleeding. let’s call it a night. maybe there’s still a ball game on or something.’
with that, the first evening of the warm weather patio beer and wine drinking season came to an end, on a rather odd note. the talk of killing the abusers of peace and quiet had put a damper on the festivities. there wasn’t a game on the tube, so the others made their way back to their respective houses and that first night of the drinking season came to an end. however, a seed had been planted. in the fitful tossing and turning nights, so called sleep, the seed began to germinate.
john zen, pi
the hot anvil sun had finally dipped into the pacific as john zen pulled up to his office, a second floor walk up in downtown l.a. not really l.a. anymore but more like downtown tj, zen thought, as he slipped the key into the lock. tired, gritty, and thinking only of velda, his busty secretary, he didn’t notice the the door was already open. yeah, velda, he thought, some cheap scotch and a bubble bath with velda. wash away the grime of crime from this world weary soul and partake in her lusty charms. in your dreams, zen, he thought, as he pushed the door open revealing a scantily clad mexican babe of indeterminate age.
that’s me, honey.
oh, senor zen, you must help me. my brother, he has been kidnapped by columbian drug lords.
i see, so why don’t you just call the cops?
i can not, senor zen, i…we…are not in your country legally…and the drug lords will kill my brother if i do.
crap, just what i need, zen thought, as he pulled a flask from a desk drawer and drank heavily from it. lighting a fresh pall mall he spoke again.
look, sister, i’m tired, ok? this isn’t a job for me. it’s for the cops or somebody else, dig? i’m just a private dick. a one man army against a tidal wave of crime. plus, and it’s a big plus, they will not only kill your brother they will kill me too. now scram. i have bills to pay.
oh, senor zen, you must help me…puhhhleeseeezeee…
the micro mini she was wearing dropped to the floor. her ample yet firm breasts teased him from across the desk top.
all of this is yours. whenever you want it, she cooed.
hmmmmm, yes, perhaps i’ve been a bit rash after all, my dear. come, kneel here under my desk while i go over these bills and you go to work on my tool. ah, yeah, that’s nice…ahhh…yes.
in his blow job bliss, zen, missed the dark hispanic male sneaking into his office. the narco terrorist killed them both with a single shot.
i was a priest for a time. the head vicker at a young girls, well, not that young of a girls school. it sat on the border of southern france and northern italy. the school was equally divided between the two countries. a strange thing indeed but just a simple hold over from the middle ages. some of the parents didn’t appreciate some of the things i thought necessary to teach the young ladies. i used to tell them, better me than some lout from the streets, with no prospects teaching them, things. sadly, they weren’t amused. of course, the police of both backward countries had to became involved. i made a hasty departure. fond memories for me none the less.
at some point or another i became a doctor. just how, is still clouded in mystery. with the help of a good plastic surgeon and some minor facial reconstruction i was able to make my way back into italy. where i secured the position of, dean of tarts, at the university of bologna. the position suited me well. as a tart is a tart, in any man’s language. and believe me they were tarts, with much to learn. after a time, as things generally go with men, i became bored with the dean of tarts gig. don’t get me wrong, the young italian ladies were spectacular. but like i said, i was bored. so i just up and left when i noticed the police were spending time on the campus.
i wandered about here and there living by my wits and good looks for what may have been many months. it was so long ago and furtive i can hardly re-call that time with much clarity today. then one day i found myself in shanghai, china, drinking german beer with a portly, good natured chinese gentleman. he suggested that i should come to work for him at his all girls school there in shanghai. teaching of course, english, to those lovely pearls of the orient. had he known just what else i would be teaching them he may have had second thoughts. things went swimmingly for some time, as the girls had a rabid desire to learn from a great master.
i blossomed in china, even starting a side job teaching english and other arts to the girl’s mothers. in the process, i nearly wore myself out, causing great consternation far and wide. culminating in another hasty departure during the wee hours of the morning. something, of course, i’m an expert in doing.
set adrift again in life’s waters i roamed far and wide. teaching what i could in what little time it always seemed i had. whenever i tried setting down some roots. the roots never took as the time between moves grew shorter and shorter. it seemed i always left a bit of myself behind with each furtive escape into night’s darkness. just like some depraved 20th century johnny appleseed.
so there you have it. a somewhat condensed version of my of pathetic life. i trust you will keep it under your hat as there are still husbands and fathers out there searching for me. though in my new life, as an internet douche bag, i doubt they will ever find me. sadly, if they do. i’ll have to pack my kit and sneak off on yet another lonely moonless night. to perhaps wend my way through life’s byways and highways to…your town.
this mornings music provided by, miles davis, ‘sketches of spain’.
this originally appeared here in september of 2008. john harrelson passed away in june of 2013. don rehkop passed away in march of 2014. may you both rest in peace, my friends.
let’s see…ok. the boys, dfr & jwfh, were over this past evening and i cooked up a nice sorta southern down home meal for my brothers. jwfh says i got the job. dfr as well. sweet. their lips to the food network’s ears. for those that are wondering, the brown eyed girl was busy doing stuff with her nephew.
at any rate, my sorta cooking skills aren’t why i’m here. ah, no. at one point i stuck john’s cd, ‘mojave’ on the cd player. yeah, well. i’ve been down this road before a year or so ago. none the less, ‘mojave’, by john harrelson still kicks ass and those of you that haven’t bothered need to bother because it is that good. trust me. the link will follow.
we are like eating and i’m yammering about this and that music wise on the cd. jwfh is yammering back. i tell him the title track, ‘mojave’, is stellar and i love it when he does it live. like who wouldn’t?
then we got to the tune, “joshua tree ’73”. one of the finest hippy country western tunes ever written. fuck yeah. ” under the influence of loneliness, morphine, and desire “…sweet, jesus. write it and sing it, jwfh. i told jwfh that i needed to hear him do the tune next time he did a live gig. he smiled and said, ‘yeah.’
then he went off into something i hadn’t heard before. turns out writing the song was one of those deals that just comes from beyond type deals. a channeling of sorts according to john. a tune nothing like he’d ever written before. after it it was written he was like, ‘where the hell did this come from?’
then jwfh says, ‘it’s the suicide note gram parsons never got to write.’ whoa. fine. i’m there. the tune is one of those late 60’s early 70’s country western tunes that sings of life on the edge. life, ala charlie bukowski, dressed up in a country western nudie suit. as a veer, google, ‘nudie’ and country western outfits. life ala what country western music means to me. not the sugar coated crapola stuff of today. the old days of hank williams and outlaw country. the old hippy cosmic country. real life angst and despair. angst and despair dealt out from the bottom of the deck. country as i remember it was and should still be.
my point? you should probably, no, you should, go to: http://cdbaby.com/cd/harrelson and buy the cd, ‘mojave’. if you like country western/blues/rock ‘n’ roll by someone who’s lived several lifetimes playing and writing it then this cd is for you. it’s time to jump on the bandwagon before it pulls out and heads west into that morphine induced unwritten note sunset. um, yeah. it’s ok, jwfh. i understand.
‘mojave’, is one of those cd’s you listen to and need to listen to a bunch in order to get it. it just gets better with each listen. my brother, know this. you knew it and did it. i just hope there’s more comin’ down the pike. capice?
i wrote this last night after the boys left. i sat at the computer and listened to “joshua tree ’73” a number of times while i finished off a bottle of sicilian red. it’s early morning and the sun is still around an hour away. i’m sitting at the computer again. this time drinking coffee. the only sound is the keyboard and the lonely night time wail of a freight train echoing north from down in de onta. i’m still haunted by john’s joshua tree tune. haunted by gram parsons. haunted by my youth.
i wish i was out in joshua tree this morning. sitting on a rock someplace and smoking a very large bowl of something or another while waiting for the sun to rise. there’s magic out there and there’s magic in john harrelson’s tune, “joshua tree ’73”.
it’s almost oscar time yet again. it’s also time once again to trot out a couple of moldy oldies of mine to commemorate hollyweird’s biggest TV show, oscar night. the first of the two is for the more mature reader among you. however, i’m not your parents nor do i want to be. i hope you enjoy the reads.
yeah, donna di’monico was her name. a contract player for warner bros in the 40’s and 50’s. lot’s of b westerns as second leading lady, plus the last of the serials. she once told me, in a round about way, she had fucked howard hughes. but she wasn’t one of his hayseed bimbos locked up in one of howie’s fuck pads. no, not donna. she moved and grooved to a beat all her own.
donna was an early lipstick lesbian. when doing a bit part on an early ‘colgate comedy hour’, she blew dino while playing dildo momma to marilyn maxwell and some make-up lady. jerry sat and watched. nice work if you can get it, i suppose. as time passed she got fewer acting calls. she never got into the older character stuff. too much work she used to tell me. but every once in awhile she would get some commercial work. lever bros or one of the other yid soap joints, as she used to call them. nice work. easy 2 day max work. plus the residuals were good, even in the late 60’s early 70’s.
don’t get me wrong she wasn’t hurting. no, not donna. she did ok. she had plenty of time to prowl the bars on la cieniga and ventura. out looking for some young cooze who may have seen her when she was a kid, like they were. some kid who wanted to munch down on that well manicured carpet. so they could say, hey, ever hear of donna di’monico? we fucked last night. nice old babe and still holding up ok. god, she ate my snatch like she hadn’t eaten anything in months. great fuck.
yeah, donna di’monico, the older she got the more genteel she became. doing charity work and joining historical societies. she got off on the historical stuff. the older the shit was the more she was into it. like trees. she really got into old trees. say 450 year old california oaks in some old downtown southern california berg gone to seed or illegal aliens. or like this old cork tree where i live. it’s at least a good 500 years old, probably the oldest around. left standing when they razed the old hotel it had stood in front of for decades. rumor has they had built the hotel there, where the cork tree stood, because it was such a beauty and old way back then.
yeah, donna di’monico. she really got into that cork tree. at some point she started badgering this local pbs tv guy, who was into trees as well, to come out and take a gander and shoot some video of the tree. the cork tree and genteel historical society lady, donna di’monico. for donna that meant another shot at some air-time, 21st century air-time. she would email the guy weekly. donna always got a return email from some staffer saying, thanks, we get lots of ideas and email. we’ll give this one to the boss. donna kept it up. the guy finally said, ok. the tree sounds ok. they are coming out tomorrow morning. only trouble is donna bought the farm last night. yeah, donna di’monico, is dead. so, i guess i’ll have to meet the guy out by the cork tree in the morning, which means i’m going to be her last stand in. adios, aunt donna.
the dust and heat…
hung in the tijuana air like a freeze frame from hell. cars honked and clamored looking for an inch in which to move. nothing ever did. in sunglasses and old clothes he moved through it all. no one knew him. he moved slowly looking for the place. if you looked at him closely you could see the disease at work. taking what was left of his life and mocking him with each painful step. finally the place. the earthly waiting room for hell.
the bell above the door tinkled when he opened it. as the door closed the hell from the streets outside stopped and the smell of the office over came him. a small greasy headed man got up from behind an equally greasy desk and spoke.
ah, senor bullet, you have come.
through the cluttered outer office and into the dank dismal treatment rooms they went. a strange but familiar odor growing in the man’s nose. the small mexican finally stopped at a dirty examination table. he turned and said.
please, senor, you must deesrobe.
he was resigned to it. it was all that was left. this final sad humility of an approaching death. a last chance stop on the road of life.
hokay, meester bullet, now you must assept these enemas of the coffees to cure you cancers. por favor, on the tables. you must spread you nalgas for me.
a tear formed in the corner of his eye as the man moved to comply. only to be used as substance by a very large nasty house fly.
outside the dust, heat, and noise, for that moment, stopped. something had gone from us all. forever. in an instant they all began to move. again. to oppress. again. moving us closer to this hell on earth.
after hanging up the phone he went to the stove and stuck his index finger in the seed and stem tea. it was cold to the touch and probably consisted more of stems and seeds along with assorted other gunk than liquid. he turned on the burner under the pot then rummaged through a drawer until he found a small strainer. jerry placed the strainer over the mug he’d already used while he waited for the stuff to boil again.
deciding it was going to take a bit he wandered off into the living room and his stereo system. the zappa LP was still on the turntable. he picked it up and put it back into it’s sleeve then returned it to sit with the other albums. jerry began looking through them again. new riders of the purple sage seemed like a good idea. he was placing it on the turntable when the phone rang again. he went back into the kitchen. turned off the stove and picked up the phone.
it was his mother.
hey, ma, what’s up?
not much. your father is outside doing yard work and i just finished an apple pie for your uncle. they’re coming over for dinner tonight. so, how’s work and school? are you dating anyone?
jerry sighed. it was his mother’s usual phone gambit.
just fine, ma. just fine. the pie sounds good. trying to change the subject he said. what’s for dinner?
your dad is bbqing chicken with the usual sides.
ok. wish i was there.
you know thanksgiving isn’t that far away. are you going to come down?
i hadn’t thought about it but yeah, sure. why not? he was thinking it would probably be a better place to score a cheap brick of weed. he still knew people down there.
good. i’ll make your favorites.
great. unless you hear different i’ll see you the wednesday before the big day. in the afternoon.
ok. love you, son.
love you too, ma. say hi to pops. joe and josie too. i’ll see everyone thanksgiving.
alright. take care of yourself. he could hear the smile in his mother’s voice.
ok, ma. bye.
jerry replaced the phone and picked up the pot of tea and poured the remaining liquid into the mug. the strainer removed most of the crap and all of the seeds and stems. he was surprised when he found the cup to be almost full. taking a sip he grimaced a bit then went and started the new riders LP. jerry wasted the rest of the day listening to music and staying very high.
it was almost dark before he was aware of time again. maybe it was the hunger he felt. he got off the couch. stretched. tuned on a floor lamp. found another LP and put it on the machine. the allman brothers live. the first notes hit with a jolt. too bad there wasn’t a lady around.
once back in the kitchen he found the squash in the fridge and an old onion. there was rice and tomato sauce in the cupboard. no meat anywhere. it didn’t matter there was plenty of rice. he made a sauce with the onion and canned tomatoes tossing in some dried herbs and garlic powder. after chopping up the zucchini he added them to the sauce. it simmered as the rice cooked.
duane allman was ripping it. another rocker dead before his time. jerry decided to have one of the tall cans of colt .45 with dinner. he popped the tab and took a long pull. it was good. cold and tasty. dinner was ok. filling and somewhat tasty.
after dinner he drank the rest of the malt liquor he’d bought earlier in the day and smoked his last remaining joint. comfortably numb and pretty well toasted he spent the night on the couch.
the next few weeks went by quickly. work was work and fairly non-taxing with plenty of spare change to be found on the floor of denny’s. school was another matter. he just stopped going though he still got a check from the VA for the past month. he wasn’t sure why he’d quit but it was as if he wasn’t really there anyway. it was hard to fit in again after the nam. the nam. he kept that to himself as best he could. no point in making it well known. all things considered it seemed like a good idea.
the wednesday before thanksgiving he got up early and headed south. it was an 8 hour car trip that went fairly well. jerry was looking forward to seeing the relatives and eating all that good food. piles of it to be sure. the trip south was uneventful. he arrived at his old home around 2 in the afternoon.
the garage door was closed which meant no one was probably home. no matter, there was a key in the garage. his father liked the door open as it was easier to move around and work in the garage that way. if someone was home the door stayed open until around sunset. he parked his car in the street. grabbed his bag and went around the north side of the house. the back gate was closed and the dog on duty sign was still there. his dog. the dog had died while jerry was in nam. the gate was unlocked as always and the back garage door was open. also as always. he went inside the garage. as he’d figured, the car wasn’t there. his dad had built a row of large cabinets when they’d moved in years ago. jerry opened the one closest to the door.
he reached inside and up into the second shelf. he found the nail and the key hanging from it. taking the key he unlocked the back door and then replaced the key it on it’s nail. as always. it was SOP. his dad had drilled that into him long long ago.
the house smelled good. his mother must have been busy getting ready for the big day tomorrow. turkey day. he took his bag and went through the house to his old room. it was like he’d never left. it was just like it had been for years. the double bed. a small desk and chair by the mail slot. the desk was covered with a sheet of glass which in turn was covered with surfboard company decals.
he paused and looked at the decals then ran his hand over them. memories. deciding he was hungry he went back into the kitchen to see what he could scrounge. it was then he noticed the note on the kitchen table. it was for his aunt. apparently she was bringing something over for turkey day. of course, she knew about the key. the note said his parents were at bellevue cemetery putting flowers on a grave. it also said his mother would call her sister later. jerry figured they were at his grandparents grave site.
forgetting he was hungry jerry decided to surprise his parents by going to the cemetery. besides he hadn’t been to visit his grandparents grave in a number of years. plus, there was a gas station across the street from bellevue and he needed gas for his ride anyway. so, jerry locked up and headed south to the cemetery.
on the way down he didn’t see his parents heading home. he figured he was on the route his dad would use. they must still be at the cemetery. he’d get gas later. turning into bellevue’s drive he noticed his father’s car over in the newer area of the cemetery. his grandparents grave site was in the older section behind the mausoleum. what was up? finding it interesting he followed the road toward his parent’s car.
jerry parked behind is dad’s ford. got out and walked towards his parents. their back was to him and his dad appeared to be holding his mom up. her shoulders were shaking. was she crying? what in the world was going on? as he got closer he called out to them. nothing. maybe they couldn’t hear him.
he was almost upon them when they turned towards him. his mother had been crying. jerry smiled and said.
mom. dad. what’s going on?
they looked right through him. his mother still crying. they didn’t say anything or otherwise acknowledged his presence. for good or bad. in fact, they silently walked right by him as they returned to their car. jerry stood there for a moment and watched them.
it was all he could think to say. baffled he turned towards the grave where they had been standing. there were fresh flowers and a small american flag on a stick stuck in the ground next to the flowers. it was then he saw it. the gravestone. on it was his birthday and a day in june from the year before. along with that was jerry’s name and army rank.
they found jerry’s bag beside his bed when one of the young second cousins had gone into his old room to take a nap after dinner on thanksgiving day. it freaked everyone out to be sure. however, there never was an acceptable explanation as to why or how the bag got there in the first place.
jerry stood at the kitchen sink. a bit off to the side of it in front of the bay window. the sky was cloudy grey and he could see the tall dormant sycamores in the dim early morning light. their long leafless limbs reaching upward. he was eating a hot dog.it was nestled in a single piece of wheat bread. his early morning dog consisted of swiss cheese, mustard, mayo, along with bread and butter pickle slices and a handful of potato chips on the side. it usually served as his go to breakfast. though there was something to be said about grits mixed with creme fresh, parmesan, and topped with a fried egg covered with a generous dollop of his homemade asian chili sauce. finishing the sandwich he chased it with a glass of milk. the glass emptied the carton.
he rinsed off the dish and glass then set them in the sink to be washed later. probably after dinner. probably being the operative word. it was time for work. not work in it’s usual sense. jerry hadn’t worked in several months. though he had a job. a semi full time job working for a janitorial service. one afternoon he decided to not go into work. that one afternoon had stretched into a month or more. he hadn’t bothered to call the office. and they hadn’t bothered to call him. the company keys still sat in a drawer by the back door. he’d been living on his GI bill college benefit. a meager sum to be sure. he would probably have to go back to work soon because he’d given up on going to school as well. once the VA realized he was no longer in school that check would stop. that would probably happen soon enough.
it really didn’t matter to jerry. not much did. what mattered was having enough money to live on with enough left over for a few quarts of colt .45 and some decent smoke everyday. cigarettes too. the real ones. not the crap in the can or bag which left you to roll your own. he’d been doing that for the past couple of weeks. if there was one thing that would get him back to work it would be his need for ready made cigarettes and decent smoke. one could always scrape up enough cash for some malt liquor. regardless.
his job that morning was to go through some stems and seeds one last time in order to cull enough weed to get him through the day. he thought there was a slim chance at finding enough for at least one large joint. jerry pulled the baggie of seeds and stems from the cupboard along with some rolling papers and a shoe box lid. he sat at the kitchen table and slowly went went through what was left in the baggie. it had started out as a couple of ounces of some very nice jamaican weed. heady stuff. he’d scored it along with several grams of peruvian flake back when he had what could almost be said plenty of cash. sort of. jerry had paid for the smoke but the coke had been a credit deal. a credit deal which would soon become payable.
the only sound in the house was the seeds dropping onto the shoe box lid. he’d lift one end up where the seeds lay and slowly lift a few up with an old playing card. a jack of diamonds. the process wasn’t unlike panning for gold. that analogy wasn’t lost on jerry. the seeds ended up at the bottom and the dope, which was lighter, stayed up on the top. he kept it up for a half hour or so until all the seeds from the baggie had been carefully gone through. then he carefully picked over the stems once again. when he was finished he figured he had enough for a nice after dinner smoke.
the problem being there wouldn’t be anything to get him through the day. as he was still sitting at the table rolling up his last lonely joint the phone rang. jerry glanced at the phone as he licked the glue on the rolling paper and gave the smoke a last flick of the fingers. he dropped the blunt on top of the seeds and got up to answer the phone.
jerry? it’s sid.
the coke on credit had just come due. he bolstered up what he thought was some bravado but doubted sid was buying any of it.
hey, sid, what’s up?
not much. look, the reason i’m calling is i haven’t heard from you and my end is looking for their final payment. i need my money.
ah, shit. yeah, man i um been meaning to get down there. you know work school and all…
yeah, i get it. when can i expect you?
tomorrow evening at the latest.
ok. i’ll be seeing you soon then.
you got it. later, man.
jerry hung up the phone. said, shit, and realized he wasn’t going to be heading down to sid’s place anytime soon. or anytime at all ever again for that matter. sadly, it meant no more flake for sure. ah, well. at least smoke was easier to find. you just needed some cash. thankfully, sid had no idea where he lived. no idea other than the city. sighing he went back to the table. as he was about to toss the stems and seeds out a thought hit him. tea. he’d never done it but he could brew up some tea with the stems and seeds.
he filled pot up with water and sat it on the stove. he turned on the burner and went to the fridge. he found an old lemon with some life left in it and sliced it up. by the time the water was boiling he was looking forward to his home brew. he turned off the gas and dropped the lemon slices into the hot water. then he carefully put the stems into the pot. he used a spoon to get them submerged. he followed with the seeds. putting a lid on the concoction he left it to steep. he needed some music.
he thumbed through his LP collection searching for something that fit the mood and the day. he settled upon frank zappa’s semi jazzy, ‘waka jawaka’. long instrumentals that made him think of rain and snow. very soothing. the music filled the house. jerry sat on the couch almost drifting off to sleep. the sound of the turntable turning itself off roused him. he flipped the LP over then he started side two. he figured the tea had sat long enough and went back into the kitchen.
the kitchen smelled of something. almost unpleasant. he lifted the lid on the pot and the smell grew stronger. it was tinged with lemon. the water had turned a dark color and was still warm. jerry thought of english breakfast tea. he found a mug and carefully poured some of the liquid into it. smelled it. held his breath and drank. he nailed the cup all at once. cringed a bit then thought it wasn’t all that bad. just different. he filled the mug again and drank. ok, he thought, now i wait.
while waiting he finished dressing and decided he should hit the grocery store while he still had some cash. filling the car’s gas tank was also in order. deciding he wasn’t feeling anything from his tea he thought it had been a waste of time and energy as he turned off the music and headed out the door to his ride and the store.
the drive to the store was uneventful. though as he was parking he began to feel THC jolts up his spine. by the time he got inside the store it was obvious his shopping trip was probably a big mistake. he was getting blown away. not a bad thing but he wasn’t so sure about getting home now. he was also sure a shopping trip alone and high wasn’t a good idea as well. as he turned to leave the floor rose to meet him and began grow wavy. great. just fucking great were his thoughts. things were going to get weird.
as he got to the exit he realized not scoring some malt liquor for that night would be stupid. hopefully there was something at home for dinner. he turned around and made his purchase. the checker turned out to be a pretty young thing around his age that he hadn’t seen or noticed before. hopefully, he’d remember her.
carefully driving home he tried to remember when he had been this stoned before. the nam probably or before that a trip into l.a. to see the kinks live after taking some mescaline. he’d thought he was surfing and shooting the pier while going under the 405 and 10 underpass. his passengers hadn’t been very happy to hear that.
making it home in one piece was a relief. he put the colt .45 in the refrigerator and noticed some zucchini. dinner he thought as the phone rang. with any luck it wasn’t sid again. had he given the checker his number? he had no idea. he picked up the receiver.
it sounded like his work partner, larry mitchell.
yep. man, where you been? pete’s been fucking wondering and worrying.
ah, yeah, i bet.
you know the keys and all.
safe in a drawer in the kitchen.
ok. you planning on coming back to work? it’s been a while to say the least.
at least it finally dawned on pete to find out just what the fuck was going on. good ole pete. more concerned about the swinger parties he attended than anything else.
fighting the high he said, tuesday. he thought today was saturday. though he wasn’t sure. at any rate, tuesday was their day they did the floors at a local denny’s. lots of change on the floor under the tables and in the creases of the booths. gas and malt liquor money.
yeah, see you at 2. the usual.
fine. i’ll tell pete. later, man.
as he hung up the phone he realized there was more tea left in the pot on the stove. it was going to a good rest of the day of whatever day of the week it was. yeah, a good day.
long ago back in the 70’s, the humor magazine, the harvard lampoon begat the semi sorta more mainstream humor magazine, the national lampoon. which in turn, begat all the national lampoon movies of the same name. for the purposes of this epistle we’ll only concern ourselves with the national lampoon magazine. the national lampoon was hilarious and very irreverent which made it even funnier. really good stuff. sadly, it ceased publication back in 1998. too bad you missed it.
i fondly remember a certain one time comic strip concerning bob dylan. you have to remember this was in the early 70’s and bob was still riding high as a counter-culture hero. one of the poet laureates of the generation as it were. yeah, heady shit to be sure for little bobby zimmerman. at any rate, the cartoon strip cast the singer as a phony and calculating fraud of epic proportions. satire at it’s finest. or was it?
don’t get me wrong, bob was and still is one of my favorite musicians of the era. yeah, even though he’s sold his soul to the man. a sad sad thing. sure others of his and my generation have sold out as well. there’s a good number of them featured or have been featured in ads. although not necessarily in person like little bobby but their tunes are there. to my mind his actually appearing in the bleeding ad makes it even worse. what kind of a horses ass writes songs like: gates of eden, the masters of war, (like a) rolling stone, queen jane approximately, and desolation row, just to name a few, then does a 180 degree paragon shift?
i guess the guys at national lampoon were way way ahead of the curve. the first to realize that things may or may not have been as they appeared with little bobby zimmerman. he’s become what he once professed to hate. a sad caricature of his once self. a huckster now. a cheap sideshow entertainer only in it for the money. yes, a zappa riff there. at least frank was up front about it.
am i going to burn all my dylan CD’s? ah, probably not. i just might not listen to em much anymore. sadly. though it just goes to show that the more things change the more they stay the same. crass cheap hucksterism aside, i wouldn’t buy a chrysler if little bobby zimmerman paid for it with all his money. chrysler, which my wife, the brown eyed girl points out, is owned by fiat. a eurolander company. yeah, bobby, buy american and support italia. more incongruity.
ginsberg, ferlinghetti, kerouac, seeger, and even bukowski are rolling over in their collective graves. tsk tsk bobby. congratulations, you’ve an become an irrelevant ass hat.
“there are no kings inside the gates of eden.” from the song,”gates of eden”, by bob dylan.
at long last we finally see the BCS BS drift out to sea with the tide on a flaming funeral pyre worthy of king odin himself. adieu, sweet BCS. we come not mourn it but to bury it. ah well, cheap prose aside, the brinks trucks will still be backing up to off load their small, used, and completely laundered cash to all the deans, AD’s, conference commissioners, TV executives, and all the other assorted college football hangers-on across this once great land. however, one of the great axioms of life, be careful what you wish for, looms around the corner. though that corner won’t be around till next year at this time.
bowl season. the extracurricular college football season meant to line the pockets of everyone far and wide in the land of the halls of ivy. of course, if you haven’t played your cards right you’re left out in the bowl cold. no golden cash cow for you, pilgrim. perhaps next year. or the year after. the carrot is dangled. hope springs eternal in the gloomy halls of the have nots and wannabes. next year, kids. next year.
i used to love bowl games. not anymore. yeah, there’s a handful i’ll tune into every year but the list grows shorter with the passing of time. plus i have a new wrinkle, this year DISH has added HBO on demand to their menu. woo hoo. ‘the sopranos’ in their six seasons of glory all there for the viewing. i have something else to watch now instead of my meager few bowl games. works for me. pass the dago red. i only have until december 31st or that’s what they say before tony and crew vanish. sure, i’ve got the whole thing in a boxed DVD set. but who knows how to run a DVD player anymore? ours just sits there like some brick-a-brack collecting dust so the cleaning lady can make the occasional feeble stab at dusting it.
yes, i know. you aren’t here for that. you want a bowl line-up run down. fine with me. you’ll get one. not all of them but a few i may or may not actually tune into while waiting for the next episode of ‘the sopranos’ to download. another sad fact of life is most of the bowl games are junk junkets at best. crack whores dressed as sexily clad sirens luring hicks and hucksters alike to warmer climes. come. spend your cash. watch your team play some other 6 and 6 team. either team may or may not be into said bowl or even playing football this time of year. but who cares? not us. bring your money on down. be drunken sailors on leave for a few days or better yet, a week. so what if you end up with a DUI or herpes or a six inch gash on the back of your head from that full can of PBR lobbed in your general direction during half time while you stood in line for 25 minutes so you could pee in a trough urinal with 10 or 15 of your new best friends. sweet. it doesn’t get any better than that. right? boy howdy, i’ll wager not.
it’s all about the money, kids. with some other stuff thrown in for good measure. football is on the list. somewhere. you may have to do some digging and if you’re very lucky you may even find it. off the top of my head i’m thinking you’ll probably find jimmy hoffa before you’ll find any football.
i don’t waste my time with points or spreads or whatever with the bowl games. just straight up picks. for those that are still reading and maybe even care a tad my overall percentage for my picks this season ended up at 61.3%. a good 10 points above my usual mediocrity.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12-21 las vegas bowl. fresno st vs usc. i may watch this game. or some of it. to bad cajun ed isn’t still around. the sark hire by the trojans is a head scratcher for sure. take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!
12-30 alamo bowl. oregon vs texas. the ducks need to win this game in order to quell the ‘it’s a coaching problem’ talk. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!
12-31 sun bowl. virginia tech vs ucla. coach mora got a wagon load of money to stay at ucla. if he hadn’t he would have replaced sark in seattle. take ucla.
12-31 chick-fil-a bowl. miami vs texas a&m. one i’ll probably watch. it’s either johnny boys last college game or he begins his heisman campaign anew. hopefully, the month lay off hasn’t raised more issues with his off field behavior. take the aggies.
1-1 capital one bowl. s. carolina vs wisconsin. i’m hoping the capital one guys will be trotting out some new commercials as they’re generally good for a few laughs. the game? take the badgers.
1-1 the rose bowl. michigan st vs stanford. the grand pappy of em all. one i usually watch or at least some of it anyway. though no matter how snooty the bib and tucker crowd in pasadena tries to make the day it’s just another lackluster stab at debauchery and the dry heaves while running for some faded roses who’s smell was bred out of them years ago. there’s a kentucky derby simile in there some place. le gran pooh bah. the stale old vichy french could do no better. as the day drags on i suppose a game lurks about somewhere. the PAC(8)(10)12 vs the BIG 10(12)(?). the storied rivalry of your great grandparents played on the first day of the new born year. the san gabriel mountains glisten in the winter sun as a backdrop. they actually do turn purple as the sun sinks into the pacific. every year i pray for a deluge of biblical proportions if only to stem the tide of snowbirds fed up with their snow and cold. sadly,rain hasn’t happened in decades on jan 1. besides it’s already to late. that train left the tracks back in the early 60’s. however, it won’t stop me from my yearly ritual. the game? screw it. at this point who cares? not i, pilgrim. not i. however, if you do take stanford for the win.
1-6 BCS championship game. florida st vs auburn. the last one of it’s kind. ever. or that’s the thinking. though i guess there’s a possibility of it returning if the next deal doesn’t pan out. get real, that is a possibility. lots of stuff returns. kinda like the ‘touristas’ if you aren’t careful. hmmm. i don’t much care for this game and haven’t watched it in years. neither should you. why? it happens way too long after the season is over. plus, i’ll be busy getting ready for elvis’ birthday on the 8th. come on over. there’ll be drinks. way way to much fattening food. bowl upon bowl of all manner of pills. maybe even some demerol. that by the way is all a joke. i digress. the game itself is one long TV commercial with a few moments of football tossed in every once in a while. you could DVR it and watch it later but why? meh. let’s see. the rose bowl committee, escorts, and strippers from all over the world get another shot at fleecing the poor folk who come into town for the game. yeah, it off loads plenty of cash into the local economy. but you have to ask yourself, is it all worth it? probably not. yes, the chambers of commerce scalawags would argue otherwise. that’s their prerogative. and job. mine is to avoid them and their ilk whenever possible. i won’t be watching but i’d take florida st to win.
thanks for reading this and all my other football insanity this year. some of you get it. others, well, you know. i hope all of you have a joyous and merry christmas season. i hope santa brings you everything you want. sure why not? right? i also hope you have a healthy and prosperous new year. be safe. be semi sane. i’ll see you in nine months or so.
not a great week 14 but i did go 6 for 10 and i had michigan. too bad i didn’t pick auburn. my over all going into league championship week is now, 87 for 140. at least i’m well above 50%. with the way things have been going around here i’m actually glad to see the end of the college football year in my headlights. this then becomes one less thing on my to do list. though i suppose things could be worse. thankfully they aren’t.
as always remember this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything written here as gambling advice would be very detrimental to your financial health. do not do it.
the odds, points, spreads used here may change up or down over the course of the week. it doesn’t matter as i use what’s here to determine my wins and losses.
in general, championship week doesn’t present the greatest of line-ups. but i’ve got to fill up the 10 spots on my dance card.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12-5 louisville @ cincinnati. louisville favored by 3 points. the also ran matchup for the american conference. both schools with similar records. though i suppose you could say louisville had a somewhat more difficult schedule. i’m supposing louisville could still win the conference if ucf losses saturday to smu. like that’s going to happen. i digress. take louisville to win and cover.
12-6 bowling green @ n. illinois. n. illinois favored by 3 points. MAC championship game. this year’s sole remaining BCS darling’s last chance at running the table. my guess is they will. i’m somewhat surprised by the slim point spread. take the northern illini to win and cover.
12-7 oklahoma @ oklahoma st. oklahoma st favored by 10. 5 points. one of the best games of the weekend with oklahoma bragging rights on the line. the big 12’s lack of a championship game sort of makes the actual winner of the conference one of those algebra test questions/equations that used to give you the cold sweats back in the day. to keep things simple i’m taking the cowboys to win and cover.
12-7 utah st @ fresno st. fresno st favored by 3 points. MW championship game. the mountain west still gets little respect from just about everyone. sad but true. i’ll take them over the MAC or american any day but i digress. the bulldogs lost focus last week for their only loss of the year in a wild shoot out the conference was once noted for putting on the board most weeks. utah st is and has been playing fairly well. probably a good game for couch watching. i’m taking fresno st to win and cover.
12-7 texas @ baylor. baylor favored by 13.5 points. some sort of vague texas bragging rights on the line here. it seems as if baylor has hit the wall for the year. texas on the other hand is on an upswing. sort of. i like texas to get inside the spread. they may even win. take the longhorns.
12-7 duke @ florida st. florida st favored by 29.5 points. ACC championship game. when was the last time you put college football and duke in the same sentence? my point exactly. of course they could win this one. highly doubtful but you never know. once again, florida st’s game to lose. plenty of points make it tempting to take duke. i’m resisting. take florida st to win and cover.
12-7 ohio st @ michigan st. ohio st favored by 6 points. BIG 10 championship. the buckeyes ran into trouble last week against big blue. more trouble looms this week with the other ‘m’ word. yes, as juvenile as that is it does go to show just how lame folks can be. for that reason only take michigan st to win. well, there are other reasons as well but that one is the best reason. take michigan st to at least get inside the points.
12-7 stanford @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 3.5 points. PAC 12 championship. at the beginning of the season i pointed out that the sun devils were a possible PAC south contender. they’ve proved to be just that and obviously more. the trees have slogged on as well. i like the trees but perhaps destiny is on the side of the sun devils this year. take arizona st to win and cover.
12-7 missouri @ auburn. auburn favored by 1.5 points. SEC championship. i’m a tide fan though not a fan of coach satan. however, it is nice to see someone else in this game other than bama. sue me. it’s especially nice to see missouri here. my guess is auburn will be all chest thumpy after spoiling the tide’s season. tiger vs tiger. sort of like mad magazines spy vs spy. or maybe not. i like missouri. take them.
12-7 south florida @ rutgers. rutgers favored by 7 points. like i said earlier, the dance card needed filling out. this game is like dancing with your cousin. yeah, it’s dancing but it really isn’t dancing dancing if you get my drift. take rutgers to win and cover.
the semi official end of the college football year as the BCS heads off into the sunset. enjoy your week and weekend. be safe. be semi sane.
a rather dismal week 13 in more ways than one. my lone stand out prediction being oklahoma st beating baylor. once again i’ll take what little i can. the worst week of the season for me. i went 4 for 10 making my over all 81 for 130 after last weeks games. still nothing stellar but actually better than i usually am at this point in the year. hey, it’s another week and time to get back on track.
thanksgiving week used to be THE college football rivalry week. i suppose it still is to a certain extent but no where near like it used to be. though there are still enough of the old rivalries around to keep us old timers at least somewhat interested in the games being played this week. back in the days of my youth, and many lifetimes ago, thanksgiving day meant the men and boys in our family went to a juco football game that pitted the two local jc’s playing on turkey day. it was always a late morning game but it meant the family dinner was put off until much later in the day. it went on for a number of years but nona and the moms eventually won out. it also meant no more football games in person on turkey day. history. yawn.
this is for entertainment purposes only. using what’s presented here as legal or illegal wagering advise would be supremely stupid on your part. do not do it. if you really want to blow your paycheck send it to me and i’ll process it into my bank account free of charge. no vigorish either. such a deal. wire paladin, san francisco. i digress.
the points used here may or may not change over the course of the week. it makes no difference as i use what’s here to determine my wins and losses for this week. at the time of this being published there were 3 games with no lines.
rivalry week games. anything can happen which makes it my favorite week of the season. though the last couple of weeks are giving this week plenty of competition.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-28 ole miss @ mississippi st. no line. there’s no reason for picking this game other than it happens to be on thanksgiving day. ole miss should win but the last few weeks have shown us what should happen and what actually does happen are at times two different things. take ole miss for the win.
11-28 texas tech @ texas. texas favored by 4 points. if the red raiders were having a better season this could be an interesting shoot out. sadly, they aren’t. both schools have had 2 weeks to get ready. the longhorns seem to have turned things around. at least for now. take texas to win and cover.
11-29 oregon st @ oregon. no line. the civil war game. if the beaves were having a better season this would be more interesting. where have we heard that before? as for my beloved ducks we’ll have to wait and see if the they can climb out of their hole and take care of business against state. the once high hopes, well for me, for both oregon teams (especially the ducks) dashed against a rocky sea wall this year. coaching? i wonder. or the wear and tear of the season? speed but no bulk in the lines? at any rate, all things considered anything can happen in this game. i have no other choice for this game. take the ducks for the win. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!
11-30 alabama @ auburn. the iron bowl. alabama favored by 10.5 points. plenty on the line here. bama took last week off by playing road kill state. something i just don’t get. auburn actually had the week off. two weeks to get ready for this home game. it’s nice when you can work the schedule for it to happen. auburn is doing well but i think the tide has to much going for it to drop this game. take alabama to cover and win. ROLL TIDE!!!
11-30 ohio st @ michigan. ohio st favored by 13.5 points. had big blue won last week this game would have had a bit more flavor going for it. still, probably a good game. out on a limb here and probably a crazy idea but i’m taking michigan to get inside the points. take big blue.
11-30 notre dame @ stanford. stanford favored by 14 points. the trees are back in the PAC (8)(10)12 driver seat. look at this game as a tune-up for the PAC championship game. and the domers are a good team to tune-up with. this game could go sideways but i’m taking the trees to win and cover.
11-30 florida st @ florida. no line. this is the noles game to lose. simple as that. take florida st to win.
11-30 ucla @ usc. usc favored by 3.5 points. crosstown rivals. cajun ed has the trojans fired up and they’re playing well and on a roll. ex coach lane thinks coach o should get the job. maybe. the bruins have backed themselves out of the PAC south title picture. will they show up this week ready to play? yeah, more than likely. after all it is lotus land bragging rights for the next year. a vague to slim chance of showers beginning turkey day and right up through saturday game time. it might make a difference if they do show up. not many points. call it a toss up. take the trojans to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!
11-30 clemson @ s. carolina. s. carolina favored by 5 points. both schools took last week off and played sandlot flag football games against their younger and smaller cousins. a must win situation for clemson. which would be right where the old ball coach wants them on his home turf. another tide spread.
11-30 texas a&m @ missouri. missouri favored by 4.5 points. the tigers need to win. simple as that. johnny boy has probably played his way out of another heisman with a poor showing and a loss last week. another one of those, can they bounce back things. i’m of the mind now that johnny probably doesn’t win it again he’s got his mind and sights set on the NFL for next year. just sayin’. a slim margin for the tigers but take mizz to win and cover at home.
happy turkey day and week, my friends. mine will be rather subdued. an early morning ride out to visit the still recovering brown eyed girl in the hills of beverly then back here for whatever i can throw together resembling something vaguely turkey dayish and some TV football. dago red to be sure as well. be safe and be semi sane. especially out on the road over the holiday. “so, if you’re out tonight, don’t forget, if you’re riding your bike, wear white.”~~ jagger/richards
i did marginally better this week thanks to two things. the first being there was no line for the oregon game when i published this early last monday. secondly, the improbable hail mary catch to ice the auburn game. i’ll take what i can get. at any rate, my weekend saw me going 6 for 10. making my overall for the year 77 for 120.
why is it so hard to find 10 games this late in the season that i’d actually want to sit down and watch? exactly. this week’s round of games were just as hard to pick as the first couple of weeks usually are. once again, just like last year, we have alabama taking the week off by playing road kill juco st this late in the season. in truth, they aren’t the only school doing the same thing this week. why is this happening on a yearly basis? assorted pundits want me to believe when the BCS bids us aloha at the end of the year this practice of playing FCS or lower schools will not be happening anymore. or as often. really? i’ll believe that when i see it and i won’t be holding my breath.
the whole insanity of scheduling and then playing interstate 40 cafe & gas tech has gotten to the cringe worthy stage. i suppose if you’re the dean of mom & pop a&m the money that exchanges hands is a nice thing. money exchanging hands is generally a good thing. though it doesn’t make for watchable college football when that’s the only case for it happening. even if chicken & waffles poly technic pulls off the upset of the decade. one season changing upset doesn’t make the practice worthwhile. sue me. i guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next year. though i’m sure AD’s across the land have already scheduled plenty of miserable games for us to sift through next year. the mantra of, ‘it’s too late to change things now’ will be heard far and wide. sigh.
this mess is for entertainment purposes only. never ever use what you read here as wagering advice. set fire to your paycheck in other ways. we’re clear on this, right? good. the odds or points presented here may change over the course of the week. i use what’s here to determine my wins and losses.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-20 n. illinois @ toledo. n. illinois favored by 2.5 points. northern illinois is everyones BCS buster darling of the year. if they continue to win it will be interesting to see what happens. toledo is doing OK but it is the MAC and the MAC isn’t one of my favorites. why did i pick this game? diversity? middle of the week college football? no idea. though some folks are enamored with the illinois team. meh. toledo is winning. not like illinois but winning. this is toledo’s bowl game even with their 7 wins. take toledo to win.
11-22 navy @ san jose st. san jose st favored by 2 points. this is an odd match-up if there ever was one. see above. however, it is kind of nice to see navy playing a football game on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. was this intentional or just a random scheduling quirk type thing? i don’t know. if you’re up in the san jose area this would be a good way to spend a part of your day either at the stadium or if not watching on TV at home. the midshipmen win this one for the skipper of the PT-109. if it were up to me, that’s how i would be selling it to the kids at navy all week long. take navy inside the points and or for the win.
11-23 oklahoma @ kansas st. kansas st favored by 4 points. the sooners should have no problem taking down the wildcats even on their home turf. despite what the odds writers say. we’ll see. me? i’m taking the sooners to win or get inside the points.
11-23 wisconsin @ minnesota. wisconsin favored by 15. this one has a shot at being a pretty good game. either that or the badgers blow out the golden gophers at home. either way. i’m taking wisconsin to win and cover.
11-23 usc @ colorado. usc favored by 22 points. is there any way we can rescind colorado’s invite into the PAC(8)(10)12? just a thought. cajun ed seems to have things back on track at usc. if there is no let down after beating the trees they should take care of colorado without any problem. or that’s the hope. cajun ed has his george costanza do the opposite thing going and it’s working very well so far. can he keep the job? win out ed and take the bowl game then maybe so. maybe so. the crux of the job interview begins here. don’t let the buffaloes win this one or even get close. yes, coach o, most things happen for a reason. take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!
11-23 oregon @ arizona. oregon favored by 18 points. the ducks need to win. simple as that to have any shot at playing in the PAC north title game. mariota shreds. take the ducks to win and cover. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!
11-23 arizona st @ ucla. arizona st favored by 2.5 points. kind of a surprise that. at least this week i should have the bruins playing on the correct day of the week unlike last week. traffic in and around pasadena shouldn’t be as miserable as it was for last friday nights game. it will be bad but not with the added friday night going home from work/leaving town traffic tossed in for good measure. i digress. one of the better games of the week. i’m not making the mistake i made last week and taking the out of town fave. take the bruins to at the least get inside the maven’s meagerness.
11-23 byu @ notre dame. byu favored by 1 point. another toss up. the golden domers have played themselves out of any big time big dance bowl games this year. though if they win here and next week against the trees things might change. how much remains to be seen. notre dame wins at home.
11-23 baylor @ oklahoma st. baylor favored by 8.5 points. probably the most interesting game of the week because it could be a shoot out of epic proportions. along with it being two of the BCS big boys. baylor wins but doesn’t cover the spread. take the cowboys to get inside or maybe win.
11-23 texas a&m @ lsu. lsu favored by 4 points. it surprised me when i finally noticed this game. i’d changed my tenth game twice and when i was looking up the odds i saw this one. i wonder where it had been hiding? johnny boy needs to shine and i think he will. two weeks to rest and glue a game face on. works for me. not many points pretty much straight up. take a&m to at least get inside the slim point pickens and probably even win.
enjoy your week and try to remain safe and semi sane over the weekend. the brown eyed girl and love of my life is improving but is looking at at least one more surgery in a month or so. good thoughts and prayers are still most welcome. thanks.
the historical day and week are almost upon us. that fifty years ago thing with bad back jack. an avid family footballer even with said bad back and all his other psychical and medical problems. he and elvis. a game of football at the drop of a hat. no, not together but they could have shared drug knowledge stuff and scripts if they had. yes, the world changed that afternoon 50 years ago. the biggest seismic event to proceed it was pearl harbor. i guess we’re still waiting for the next big one. yeah, of course, 9-11. although i’m almost to the jessie ventura state of mind on that event. i digress. no, more like hitting a patch of black ice on a mountain road late at night.
i was sorta looking forward to this 50th anniversary that began our slow ride to perdition. not anymore. the point being, all the network suits, ties, hacks, douche bags, hustlers, grifters, shysters, morons, pathetic con-men, long dead, or we thought they were, news hucksters, oliver stones, flacks, and just the general ass hats of society have ruined what should have been an attempt at some sort of closure for those of us who sat through that sad long four or five day TV weekend 50 years ago that forever changed us all. many of us out here in the once bucolic farmland hinterlands of the lotus land megalopolis who on sunday night just said, enough, then left the TV madness and packed a local movie house that was running ‘lawrence of arabia’. a very large standing room only crowd. maybe the fire marshall didn’t get the memo. or he was among us trying to hide out as well.
the same movie house that not that many years later turned into a porno palace and ran ‘deep throat’ all day and night for what seemed like months upon months. that sad lonely road to perdition. the road we’ve been on ever since that november long ago. a gloomy, dark, and rat infested highway deep into the very bowels of hell. yup, a sort of luke the drifter veer. though i think apt none the less.
something was written not long after the tragic event by someone who could actually write and hold a thought or two together penned: “johnny boy, we hardly knew ye.” and ourselves as well. after all these years we have no one to blame but ourselves.
the brown eyed girl and love of my life continues to improve. however, it will be at least a couple of months before things are anywhere near normal around these parts. your good thoughts and or prayers on her behalf are still most welcome. about the only thing normal around here is i’m back to using the points/odds/spreads again this week along with publishing this insanity early monday morning again. yes, i’m repeating myself.
things didn’t start off very well last week and my picks didn’t improve much over the weekend. i went 5 for 10 bringing my season overall to 71 for 110. nothing stellar but i’ll take it.
as always this is for entertainment purposes only. never use anything here for legal or illegal wagering. do not do it. stupid is as stupid does. you’ve been warned. one more, as always…the odds/points used here may change over the week. i use what’s presented here to determine my wins and losses for the week.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-14 georgia tech @ clemson. clemson favored by 10.5 points. the yellow jackets have won 3, lost 3, and won 3. a semi sort of nice symmetry to their season. from where i’m sitting it looks like they’ll begin another streak this week with a loss to clemson. take clemson to win and cover the point spread.
11-15 washington @ ucla. ucla favored by 2.5 points. the huskies thumped colorado this past week but then who hasn’t this year? the bruins almost gave the game away in the fourth quarter to the sun devils. this should be an interesting game and a good way to spend an early saturday evening. well, at least it will be early out here. tight point spread. not even the home court 3 for the bruins. so cal homer says take the bruins to win and cover.
11-16 iowa st @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 24.5 points. the sooners were pretty much blown out by baylor last week. a fluke? in some quarters it would seem so. sad to say, the cyclones on the other hand are having one of their most forgettable seasons with only one win. over the years you could usually count on them for at least one upset win during the season. that probably isn’t going to happen this year. certainly not this week. that is until i saw the points. call me crazy but i’m taking iowa st to get inside the points. win? probably not.
11-16 georgia @ auburn. auburn favored by 3.5 points. probably a pretty good game. but one where the bulldogs don’t have much of a chance at winning especially on auburn’s home court. although stranger things have happened. yes, another meager spread. no matter. take auburn to win and cover the spread.
11-16 alabama @ mississippi st. alabama favored by 24.5 points. mississippi st played fairly well in losing to the aggies. the tide however is an all together different story. along with this isn’t going to be the week the tide takes a loss. mucho pointoes for sure. take the tide to win and cover the spread. ROLL TIDE!!!
11-16 texas tech @ baylor. baylor favored by 26.5 points. the red raiders bring their 3 game losing streak into dallas for a neutral field thumping by the bears. or do they? yeah, more than likely. however, the red raiders need some sort of redemption for tossing the season overboard. so, ipso facto, texas tech may not win but they will beat the spread. take them.
11-16 stanford @ usc. stanford favored by 3 points. the trojans rolled over lowly cal while the trees pulled off another win over the ducks. i don’t see the trojans scoring anywhere near what they put on the board last week. yeah, the chances of that happening are pretty slim. ok. i’m supposing you’re as shocked as i am with the points for this one. i don’t get it. maybe cajun ed has some sort of hoodoo voodoo spell up his sleeve and the odds mavens found out. i don’t know. sad to say, i’ve got to go with the trees here winning and covering.
11-16 utah @ oregon. no line. it’s utah’s unfortunate luck to travel to oregon after the ducks sad loss to the trees last week. even with the ducks mariota semi banged up the utes will have their hands full and their hats more than likely handed to them by a hopefully pissed off duck squad. the rabid duck fan base should be out for blood as well. have your earplugs handy while watching this one from your couch. autzen just might levitate like the pentagon never did. ah, you had to be there…or at least watching on TV. no line makes this one easy. take the ducks to win. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!
11-16 oregon st @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 13.5 points. the beaves have had two weeks to get ready for this. my guess is mike riley has put that time to good use. the beaves may not win but i’m taking them to get inside the spread.
11-16 wyoming @ boise st. boise st favored by 22 points. the cowboys round out my picks this week with a trip into the fading blue smurf turf of boise st. where the broncos have had two weeks of preparation. the cowboys are in for a wild ride. or that’s my guess. boise needs to win out for another shot at fresno st. good luck with that. plenty of points but the broncos are antsy. and the cowboys can’t break them. take boise st to win and cover.
the season dwindles to only a few remaining weeks. enjoy what’s left of college football 2013. be safe. be semi sane.
on this veterans day say thanks to any vet you know for the sacrifice they made. to all my fellow nam vets, welcome home.
before we get started here, the most important thing happening this week is that the brown eyed girl is recovering very nicely in the hospital after what one of her surgeons called,’major life threatening surgery.’ she’s in good hands but things probably won’t be the same around here for a long time. she’s a life long fighter and a good soldier so with, ‘one day at time’, as the mantra we move forward. continued good thoughts and prayers are welcome. thanks.
all things said it was another good week for me with my picks. another almost perfect week with just a couple of glitches. 8 for 10 for the week making my over all a very nice 66 for 100. i was hoping to get back on track and use the odds/points/spreads again this week. however, it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case once again. there are none this early in the morning on sunday and i’m not sure when i’ll get home today or if i’ll have the energy to deal with them later on. maybe next week.
so, just straight up win or lose once again. no points. pure and simple.
this mess is for entertainment purposes only. why anyone would take what’s bandied about here and use it to place a wager on any game mentioned below gets what they deserve. more than likely abject poverty. do not do it. entertain yourself by setting fire to your cash elsewhere. say like a fire ring down at the beach in here socal if only to piss off the folks living directly to the east of you and just a long wedge shot away. argh. tangents.
as always, these are games i have some interest in watching or in the outcome. they may not be your choices. oh well. they were also picked to appear here over a week ago.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-7 oklahoma @ baylor. the sooners semi sorta squeaked by the red raiders last week for the win. something they’ve been doing all season so far. not really thumping anyone. just winning. baylor on the other hand is handing their opponents their heads on a plate on a weekly basis. which brings us to the eternal question of ‘the schedule’ and just how important is it? if you’re a baylor fan it doesn’t matter. if you’re anyone else with some sense it matters a lot. kind of like boise st back when they were the one doing the weekly drubbings. seeing as how this is a home court game for the bears it should be close and maybe worth looking at the points. plus, they’ve had two weeks to get ready for this encounter. a close game but oklahoma pulls another win out of their hat. take them.
11-7 oregon @ stanford. my beloved ducks travel to treeland for a PAC(8)(10)12 barn burner. westies say this is the game of the week. hands down. for sure. as a PAC (8)(10)12 homer it couldn’t get much better. so sue me if you live anywhere east of the sierra nevadas. it’s all about north half supremacy here. a close game and the weather might be a factor along with both schools having had 2 weeks to get ready. the ducks start slow but win out. take oregon for the win. QUACK QUACK!!!
11-9 lsu @ alabama. yes, an important game to be sure but nothing like the above game for this guy. and i’ve loved the tide almost as long as the ducks. bear bryant. the tide at one time was the most televised college football program ever. though i have no idea if that’s still true or not. i mean how many of us are left who remember seeing kenny stabler play college ball? exactly. a good game and i hope they put some points on the board this year. bama wins. ROLL TIDE!!!
11-9 virginia tech @ miami(fl). both teams lost on the road this past weekend. a few folks even saw the hokies having trouble taking out boston college. miami took a whipping. who bounces back? i’m taking miami for the win.
11-9 auburn @ tennessee. the volunteers look at times as if they are going to give you big trouble. then for whatever reason they lose steam, gas, or the will to win. or something. auburn may have their hands full winning on tennessee turf. but in the end, auburn wins.
11-9 kansas st @ texas tech. the wildcats coming off two wins and the red raiders coming off two losses. the red raiders right the ship at home this week. take texas tech for the win.
11-9 ucla @ arizona. the bruins had trouble at home with colorado. or at least their defense did. the sun devils had trouble with another lackluster team at home as well. the bruins window of opportunity is getting smaller with each passing week. they need this win in order not to have that window slam shut. take the bruins to win.
11-9 nebraska @ michigan. both teams were handed their proverbial jocks over the weekend. the cornhuskers being more of a surprise than big blue. if big blue finds a way to score some TD’s michigan comes back for the win at home. take michigan.
11-9 byu @ wisconsin. a nice out of the box match up here. another byu scheduling gem. and as a result more than likely a good game to watch. for my money this is a toss up. i’m taking the badgers at home for the win. you should too.
11-9 fresno st @ wyoming. central valley cali rolls on. it’s taken them a few years to get this done but hats off to the coaching staff for doing so. keep it up and maybe we’ll see a PAC(8)(10)(12)13 one day. hands full this week with the up and down cowboys at their by now very chilly home court. if they were more up than down the cowboys would probably be the perfect PAC (8)(10)(12)14 team. why not? colorado is already in the mix. i digress. if derek carr and his cadre of receivers can handle the cold evening in laramie they win. it’s going to be all about the cold this saturday night with a predicted high of 40 for the daylight hours and a low of 30 overnight. the bulldogs will need to prove their mettle and BCS big dance worthiness in the cold. even with two weeks to get ready wyoming can’t keep up with fresno’s heavy hitter offense. take fresno st for the win.
one more week down the college football road. sadly, the end is in sight. enjoy your week and the games. be safe. be semi sane. i’ll be on the road and off to the hills of beverly again soon.
week 9 was rather bitter sweet in seeing me go 9 for 10. yes, my best week of the year so far went into making my over all for the year a very nice 58 for 90. all and all stellar stuff. the bitter part being the brown eyed girl and love of my life is seriously ill. so, instead of doing a happy dance all night things have been kinda subdued around these parts.
due to the fact we may have to dash off to the bowels of the hills of beverly in the land of the lotus very soon for a date with her hopefully surgeon savior i’m afraid i’ll be just doing straight up picks again this week. even if that doesn’t happen today or tomorrow or soon my priorities are somewhere else. as is my head. no time, once again, to deal with the odds and points thing. just win or lose. plain and simple. i’d really rather being doing this with the points but i think you understand. however, the show must go on in some form or another and demons must also be soothed. regardless.
you may also want to understand that this weekly journey into college football picking is for entertainment purposes only. the information presented here is not intended to be used as betting advice. legal or otherwise. do not do it. find other ways and outlets to blow your cash and for you to be totally insane and stupid.
i suppose it also bears repeating that the games that appear here are games i have some sort of interest in. either in watching or in the outcome. yes, there might be games of more importance or interest to you. oh well. look elsewhere, pilgrim. early picks again this week.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-31 arizona st @ washington st. thursday night trick or treat fun. the sun devils did well against the huskies last week at home in the desert southwest. pirate mike has had two weeks to get ready for this home court shoot out. shoot out? it just might be if his passing game is on and the cougars can run some in between. this is the sun devils game to lose. simple as that. i doubt they will with the points they can put on the board even with pirate mike’s two weeks. take arizona st to win.
11-1 usc @ oregon st. friday night sugar high hangover fun. the men of troy had another one of their lack luster performances against utah last saturday. thankfully, they did manage to win in a semi sort of ugly and inefficient way. mike riley’s beaves made a brave showing against the powerhouse trees in losing. cajun ed has his hands full against the beaves on the road this week. is the trojan barrel heading for the falls? we’ll see. an interesting game if both teams show up ready to play. i’m taking oregon st to win.
11-2 tennessee @ missouri. the volunteers beat the ole’ ball coach and s. carolina. the tigers somehow or another lost steam and lost to the same team for their first loss of the year. a sad thing to be sure. the tigers bounce back. take missouri for the win.
11-2 auburn @ arkansas. the razorbacks are on a losing streak not seen since the stones sang about one back in ’65. ok. so that may be a stretch. or is it? a semi sort of rivalry game that may make some sort of difference. or will it? arkansas has fallen upon hard times. take auburn to win.
11-2 ohio st @ purdue. the boilermakers are riding that losing streak as well. the buckeyes are on the 180 degree circuit and running hard for the tattoo/dumb ass redemption deal. another one of those divine intervention things in order for purdue to pull off a win here. although depending on the points there might be some room to work it. i’m taking ohio st to win.
11-2 michigan @ michigan st. the state of michigan bragging rights on the line. along with it being one of the best college games of the year regardless of records going into the showdown. both schools are winning though i guess you could make some sort of point that big blue has had a tougher schedule so far. the pollsters seem to think so. one of them beat the domers and one didn’t. call me ishmael or crazy though you could make a case for either, i’m taking michigan st for the win.
11-2 oklahoma st @ texas tech. sad to say the red raiders were my only loss last week. oklahoma st seems to have shaken off the SI report of NCAA foul play and has come back strong after losing to west virginia earlier. a good game here, kids. and hopefully an old west shoot em up with plenty of offense. the red raiders ease the loss against the other oklahoma with a win at home. take texas tech to win.
11-2 miami(fl) @ florida st. another good game. two top ten schools head to head in a florida rivalry game. miami held off wake forest last week for a sloppy win. probably after too much celebrating after skating by with the ever worthless NCAA suit and tie douche bags and any sort of meaningful penalties for their sins. i could go on but why at this point???? the noles home court. the noles hold the better stats. the noles hold all the cards. take florida st to win.
11-2 utep @ texas a&m. yes, the miners are abysmal this year. yes, johnny boy is back at full speed. why this game? it is a rivalry of sorts and maybe one of note if both schools are playing well. i guess i just miss FX’s ‘the bridge’. sue me. johnny and the aggies roll. take a&m to win.
11-2 nevada @ fresno st. the bulldogs are this year’s boise st. the big time small school BCS buster team. stuff needs to happen in order for fresno to hit the big time for other than being raisin famous. one of said ‘stuffs’ is the fact they need to win out. that shouldn’t be too much of a problem at home against nevada. the other stuff is up to other teams and out of their control. they should control this game. take fresno st to win.
enjoy your weekend and the start of turkey season. be safe. be semi sane. any and all good thoughts, prayers, and sundry other things to the deity of your choice regarding the brown eyed girl would be most welcome on our part. thank you.
we all knew this was coming. it had to at some point or another. i was even feeling it as i was writing last weeks picks. week 8 my worst week of the year so far. ouch. a sub par 4 for 10. making my overall a 49 for 80 for the season. still above water but taking some in for sure. most of my picks won but didn’t or couldn’t cover the spread. something the casino’s and betting mavens count on. though i did have a couple of nice underdog wins.
yes, my picks are early for week 9. they will also be just straight up picks with no points due to our having to do an overnighter in jed clampett’s old stomping grounds in order for us to be somewhere early monday morning in said general area. the thought of sitting two to three hours in lala land’s monday morning bumper to bumper traffic is not my idea of fun along with the fact i don’t want to rely on hotel wifi that may or may not work very well. so, just straight up picks for this weeks games. win or lose. no points or spread to deal with. hopefully, things get back to normal for week 10.
the most important thing to remember is that these picks and predictions are for entertainment purposes only. using any of the insanity presented here as gambling advice would be pretty bloody stupid on your part on about a bazillion levels. do not do it. find another outlet for you to throw your cash away.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-25 boise st @ byu. boise st had a little trouble getting started last week. byu had a little trouble stopping houston from scoring. even with all that this should be a good game with plenty of offense to liven up any fall friday night. i just don’t see boise pulling this one off on the road. i’m taking byu to win.
10-26 texas tech @ oklahoma. another barn burner or that’s the hope. probably another case of who has the ball last wins. this should be a close one regardless. i’m taking the red raiders to win because of their passing game.
10-26 utah @ usc. both teams are all over the map this year. one week surprise surprise and the next WTF? the trojans were disappointing in their lose to the golden domers on the road. a semi sort of sleep walk to no where. the utes pound the trees then make a poor showing against a PAC also ran the next week. cajun ed needs to turn things around yet again this week for the trojans. i like the guy and the kids seem to like him as well as do the ‘daily trojan’ sports writers. he needs to keep winning and garner some sort of crappy bowl game in order to have a real shot at staying where he is next year. the trojans at home get things together for the win. FIGHT ON!!!
10-26 ucla @ oregon. the bruins semi imploded last week in palo alto. way too many penalties along with a deer in the headlights sort of look that never went away. they can’t afford either this week against my beloved ducks. i suppose they never really had a chance at winning this one on the ducks insane home turf. though with a better showing against the trees hope might have sprung eternal. the bruins have a ton of work to do this week if they want to make this a close game. none the less, regardless, take the ducks to win. QUACK QUACK!!!
10-26 s. carolina @ missouri. the gamecocks third week in a row on the road along a tough loss against the volunteers last week. missouri continues to roll and one of my upset winners from last week as well. this is the tigers game to lose. the SEC’s team from out of the blue. take mizz to win.
10-26 penn st @ ohio st. it’s beginning to look like the buckeyes will run the table then head somewhere in late december or early january. penn st is doing ok but unless the wheels fall of the buckeyes wagon they don’t have much of a chance here. take ohio st to win.
10-26 texas @ tcu. if you look at the horned frogs record you’ll see a pattern. one that will more than likely be broken this week as the longhorns have had 2 weeks to get ready for this game. tcu has lost only once at home this year. this game will be their second home court loss along with the pattern ending. take texas to win.
10-26 stanford @ oregon st. the trees try to stay in the race for the roses or more on the road against the beaves. the state of oregon gets to host the two best PAC(8)(10)(12) games of the week. oregon st begins their toughest part of their schedule with this game. ending with the ‘civil war’ game the day after turkey day. but that’s for then. they should make a game of it against the trees this saturday. if i were going by the point spread here i’d take oregon st. however, i’m not so take stanford to win.
10-26 tennessee @ alabama. tennessee surprised at home last week. they do have a fairly good running game but the tide at home won’t be their next victim. too much of everything for the volunteers to handle. the tide rolls again. alabama wins. ROLL TIDE!!!
10-26 clemson @ maryland. clemson got schooled last week by the noles in a pretty much one sided contest. maryland clunks along, at best, against a yawner of a schedule. clemson makes up for the embarrassment of last week with a win on the terps home field.
there they are week 9’s gifts. ok. yeah, sure. at any rate, enjoy the waning few weeks of the college football season. eat and drink well. be safe. be semi sane.
another outstanding weekend of college ball saw me polishing off my picks with a nifty 8 for 10 for week 7. my over all now sits at 45 for 70. pretty nifty indeed. had the trees not tanked, which was probably my biggest surprise of the week, and had johnny football managed to eek out a couple more points it would have been a perfect week. well, ok. another shot at a perfect week. something i’ve yet to attain but with any luck at all maybe i’ll hit one this season. maybe this week. the way things are going maybe i will. yes, of course, the dreaded bad juju of the vocalized jinxing of something or another. fine. so be it.
the main thing to remember is this madness driven drivel is for entertainment purposes only. nothing picked up here should be used or even considered for wagering purposes. legal or otherwise. do not do it. find something else to waste your money on. if you’re having trouble doing that hit me up and i’ll help you out with a few ideas. vegas casinos aren’t built because people like to go there to ride around in gondolas and eat foie gras. don’t be stupid.
once again, the points used here may and or probably will either go up or down over the course of the week. or maybe not. the point being, what is here is what i go by to determine my wins and losses for any given week. get the picture? one other thing to point out for this week is that i picked my 10 week 8 games before any of the week 7 games were played. maybe it matters maybe it doesn’t.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-18 ucf @ louisville. louisville favored by 11 points. ucf has played and beaten several, in general, quality opponents. most notably penn st. plus, they hung tough with s. carolina for their only loss. louisville on the other hand has rolled over everyone they’ve played. however, who have they played? exactly. are they this week’s georgia? we can only hope. take ucf to get inside the spread.
10-19 florida @ missouri. florida favored by 3 points. this one seemed like a pretty good match up when i picked it. i think it still is. the tigers thumped the bull dawgs on their home turf and exposed them for what i’d mentioned a few weeks earlier. i didn’t think they were a top 10 team. the gators were unable to hang with lsu last week in losing. a defensive lapse in the second quarter being the biggest culprit. yes, missouri is everyones out of the blue darling this season. and probably with good reason. take missouri at home to get inside the points and maybe even win.
10-19 washington @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 3 points. with oregon schooling the sark’s huskies last week at home it looks as if they might be done for the year. the fork sticking test will be performed at the conclusion of this weeks game against the sun devils. we’ll also see if their heart is still up for the remainder of the season. so, with all of that mumbo jumbo, i’m taking arizona st to win and cover at home.
10-19 washington st @ oregon. oregon favored by 38 points. pirate mike’s cougars fell way short in their shoot out with the beaves last week. it’s bad luck or scheduling for them as they get to make the trip into the autzen thunder dome for another thrashing by an oregon team this time around. my beloved ducks seem to be on a mission from on high this year. though it would be somewhat premature to go down that road. or maybe we can. no, too early. an aircraft carrier full of points, however take the ducks to win and cover the spread. QUACK QUACK!!!
10-19 oklahoma @ kansas. oklahoma favored by 23.5 points. oklahoma forgot to stop and fill the tank before their meeting with the longhorns last saturday. something you should never do when going against an old established coach who’s seemingly fallen on hard times. hard lessons often come the hard way. as for coaches falling on hard times this could be charlie weis’ time to make his statement or at least save himself from another embarrassing pink slip at the end of the season. a good showing here would go a long way in defering that until another time. like next week perhaps? the sooners gas up before crossing the border into jay hawk territory this week. a barrel of crudes worth of points but take oklahoma to win and cover.
10-19 auburn @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 13.5 points. johnny football just might find his hands full this week against the other alabama team. a team that’s doing well and has some good numbers where it counts. auburn will give the aggies defense some fits and plenty of trouble. can johnny boy score enough to make up the difference? probably at home. otherwise a bit shaky point wise for my money. take the aggies to win and cover.
10-19 iowa st @ baylor. baylor favored by 31 points. my regular over the years readers know iowa st is one of my on any given saturday upset favorites. they showed their game last week in losing to the red raiders. baylor can score with impunity against the usual suspects state which for some reason makes the pollsters swoon with pubescent teenage girl awe, lust, and wonder not seen since sinatra, elvis, and the beatles. me? meh. but then i was a rolling stone and a dude. still am. though at times i can channel old blue eyes and stop folks in their tracks when i’m in vegas. i digress. take iowa st to cover the spread and maybe even win it out right.
10-19 usc @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 2.5 points. usc won last week despite almost squandering the game away in the fourth quarter to arizona. we’ll see if they can remain on a winning track this week against a tepid golden domer squad. coach orgeron seems to have the bilge pumps working once again but the true tale of the great white whale comes this week in the shadow of that golden dome. this is one of the all time rivalries, kids. the game either catches the barn on fire or it doesn’t. be that as it may, harken back to the halcyon days of john mckay, john robinson, ara parseghian, lou holtz, dan devine, and coach petey. a stellar group of coaches if there ever was one. can the two current sideline gurus give us what we want? lights out college football? a real nail biter? someone shoving someone over the goal line? a phantom pass interference call? the possibilities are limitless in this kind of rivalry. lets all hope we get some fireworks this saturday on touchdown jesus’ home court. i think cajun ed is up for the challenge. take the trojans to win and or get inside the meager spread. FIGHT ON!!!
10-19 florida st @ clemson. florida st favored by 3 points. florida st has had two weeks to get ready for this crucial game. clemson semi struggled last week against a less than stellar boston college team. team stats are very close. however, the noles are heads above the tigers in scoring and defense. two things that should trump the tigers home court advantage. take florida st to win and cover.
10-19 ucla @ stanford. stanford favored by 5.5 points. the bruins didn’t blow out the bears and the trees never got it together in losing to the middle of the road utes. coach mora has his hands full this week and the next with two back to back valley of death road trips. this week up to palo alto and treeland and the next up into the duck blind. both games road testing the mettle of the bruin squad. the trees seek redemption from the embarrassment of last week. the bruins seek to wreck havoc on the PAC(8)(10)12 north. both of which won’t be easy. i have to stay a PAC south homer. take the bruins to at least get inside the points and maybe even win.
there they are. enjoy your next weekend of the waning college ball season. try to stay semi sane and upright. eat and drink well because it will be over before you know it. in many more ways than you realize. i’m usually fairly confident with my picks but i get a gnawing feeling this week could be one of those the little guy at waterloo or yamamoto at midway type things. look em up, kids. damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.
it took a bit longer than it usually does. a point here. a point there. way too many penalties. perhaps the wrong cleats on a worn out synthetic turf. stuff like that. the list could go on and on. a rather doleful mediocre week 6 is over. one could even say finally over. my worst week of the season so far. yes, it was coming. that was for certain. possibly even worse down the road. count on it. bottom line week 6 saw me going 5 for 10. if i were a baseball player and did that consistently at bat i’d be a hall of famer. and everyone’s top of the charts player. unfortunately i’m not. i’m also pretty sure you aren’t either. so, my over all for the year now stands at 37 for 60. head still above water but on the other hand i’m not looking for an architect or contractor to begin work on my dream home somewhere over looking the blue pacific and the red ferrari is on hold.
the important thing to remember is that this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here for wagering purposes would be asinine. last weeks picks and predictions pointed that out all too clearly. do not wager on college football games legal or otherwise. do not do it. spend your hard earned cash elsewhere. hell, wasting your hard earned cash elsewhere is an even better idea.
this week is a road warrior road trip week for me. a very much needed solo road trip and i may not have the time or desire to properly deal with the point spreads. so, i’m just doing straight up picks. win or lose. no points. no spread. none the less, don’t use what’s here for some sort of dumb ass purpose.
UPDATE: that was then is now. i’m already down the road and in my room and/or location for the duration of the trip. yeah, i may venture out of the room occasionally. so, the points are back on board for the week. OK? i thought so. :UPDATE
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-10 arizona @ usc. usc favored by 5.5 points. usc’s interim coach ed orgeron is seemingly a breath of fresh coaching air compared to the late and pretty much not lamented ex coach lane kiffin. who in reality had to deal with coach petey and what he had wrought. but lane didn’t deal with it very well. it’s also nice to see ed getting some sort of respect from the odds mavens as well. practices are once again open to the media and ed actually speaks nicely to them and has some fun with them too. he’s having some fun with his players as well, which the kids seem to be enjoying. fresh air is generally a very nice thing. we’ll see how well ed fares in the coming weeks. this week the men of troy face their first opponent after after the shake-up. thankfully, that opponent is the arizona wildcats. along with the game being on the home court the trojans just might turn things around. i’m thinking maybe they will with the high of new coaching blood streaming through the program. especially against the wildcats. or maybe not. at any rate, a nice week night diversion from whatever ails you. possibly a very close game though either team could blow the other out of the park. with usc’s new coach and all the other related incidentals at usc i’m taking them to win and cover the points. why not? FIGHT ON!!!
10-12 alabama @ kentucky. alabama favored by 27.5 points. a bunch of points but the tide continues to roll. nothing really impressive last week but the job got done. and in the end that is pretty much what it’s all about on any given week. kentucky is about ready to go down for the the fourth time with no lifeguards in sight or anywhere near the water. hence, take the tide to win and cover the spread. ROLL TIDE!!!
10-12 florida @ lsu. lsu favored by 8 points. probably a good game if both teams show up to play. lsu was very impressive on the road last week. they should be even more impressive this week at home. take lsu to win and cover the spread.
10-12 texas a&m @ ole miss. texas a&m favored by 7 points. ole miss is coming off of two losses in a row and looming sensitivity and diversity training due to some pretty stupid actions on the part of about half the team. they look like they’re digging themselves a hole. probably a deep hole. a&m has had a couple of weeks to work on this game. plus, johnny boy has been more than likely nose to the grindstone and for sure out of the lame kid limelight. unlike the kids at ole miss. take a&m to win and cover the points.
10-12 stanford @ utah. stanford favored by 8.5 points. last week the trees held off the huskies to stay undefeated. ucla finally squeaked past the utes to stay undefeated as well. utah isn’t burning up the field this season with anything dazzling. but they are keeping things close even when they lose. which they more than likely will do again this week. take the trees to win and cover.
10-12 cal @ ucla. ucla favored by 24.5 points. so far the bruins are for real. cal’s only win this season was against road kill state. i expect them to be hunkered down in the road kill position this week against the bruins at home. take ucla to win and cover the spread.
10-12 oregon @ washington. oregon favored by 14 points. despite a slow start against colorado last week my beloved ducks continue to light up the scoreboard. this is my game of the week for sure. hopefully, the huskies are ready for this match up. the ducks may not blow up the scoreboard for the first time this year but they should win. take oregon to win and cover the points on the road in hostile huskie territory. QUACK QUACK!!!
10-12 oregon st @ washington st. washington st favored by 1 point. a toss up. for my money another good game with two of my other favorite coaches and PAC(8)(10)12 schools going head to head. both teams can score some points. look for a shoot out. defense be damned. the last team with the ball wins. the question being who will that be? i’m taking oregon st to win or at the least get inside the meager points.
10-12 northwestern @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 10.5 points. both schools held their own in losing to ohio st. the badgers have had two weeks to get ready for the best BIG (10)12 game of the week. i’m taking wisconsin to win at home and cover the points.
10-12 boise st @ utah st. boise st favored by 7 points. a short road trip sees boise st return after an off week and looking to improve upon their 3-2 record against a pretty good utah st team. just how wisely did coach petersen use that time? we’re all going to find out soon enough. if the broncos fall to 3-3 coach petersen’s stock will more than likely take a nose dive too. no matter how the bronco faithful and apologists spin it or paint it. this game is a toss up. odds mavens or not make this a tough call. flip a coin? i’m taking boise st to win and cover the spread.
each week sees the season along with the days growing shorter. so, put your feet up, sit back, and enjoy the shortest sweetest sporting season in the realm because it will be over before you know it. yeah, i know, like most stuff for us old timer traditionalists stuff ain’t that easy to take anymore. i digress. at any rate, enjoy the games, some good company, food, and vino. be safe. be semi sane.
this past saturday was one of those nifty game days for me. a very sweet 9 for 10 day with my picks against the spread. had oklahoma st not floundered it would have been a perfect day. maybe their booster/alumni created drama at home is beginning to filter out onto the field. we’ll wait and see what happens. at any rate, my over all for the year now stands at, 32 for 50.
week 5 also saw some injuries to key players through out college ball. for me, the two biggest were usc’s marqise lee and my beloved ducks lost running back de’anthony thomas. it remains to be seen just how serious both injuries are. in lee’s case he is usc’s offense.
as for usc’s AD pat haden standing behind coach lane kiffin that all came to an abrupt if not predictable end early sunday morning after the trojans got hammered by arizona st. the fan splashing merde was getting out of hand. good for haden. time to move on. a number of decent coaches are supposedly in the mix for the job. if it were up to me i’d go with an interim coach then after this miserable season is over go for the coach you really want. which is just what they’ve done. hopefully, the interim coach is just that, interim. former trojan and current broncos defensive coordinator jack del rio seems to be getting the most buzz at the moment.
always remember this weekly insanity is for entertainment purposes only. just because i’m doing fairly well so far this year doesn’t mean anything at all. my picks could veer into on coming traffic on any given saturday. or hit a patch of black ice and spin out of control. get the picture? i hope you do. never use what you read here for wagering purposes. do not do it. there are much better ways to spend or waste your cash than betting on college football.
the point spreads used here may go up or down over the week. that being said, i have better things to do than adjusting the points here whenever the odds bosses make a change. my win loss record for the week is based on what is here.
as far as i’m concerned, week 6 is another really poor slate of games. of course, there are some good games but most of them aren’t worth your time. or more importantly mine. so, you’re going to see some teams here you normally would never see or rarely see.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-1 ucla @ utah. ucla favored by 3.5 points. the bruins travel to provo for a critical PAC (8)(10)12 southern division game. the utes aren’t terrible but they aren’t great either. all in all possibly a tight game or the bruins could blow them out. the early point spread is meager at best for the bruins. probably just as well. take the bruins to cover and win.
10-5 clemson @ syracuse. clemson favored by 13 points. clemson has been on a roll so far this year. should ohio st, oregon, stanford, or alabama tank, guess what? yup. they just need to keep winning. though i’d rather not see a rematch against georgia for the big dance game. i lost my zest for rematches back in muhammed ali’s boxing days. i digress. clemson should have no trouble taking this game to the bank. take clemson to win and cover.
10-5 maryland @ florida st. florida st favored by 14.5 points. despite maryland’s 4-0 record, which the points reflect, this a game the seminoles can’t let slip through their fingers. especially a home court game. take florida st to win and cover.
10-5 n. carolina st @ wake forest. n. carolina st favored by 9.5 points. n. carolina st held their own in a loss against clemson. wake forest didn’t. another one of those ipso facto deals in a game that only matters to the schools, players, and their families. take nc state to win and cover.
10-5 kentucky @ s. carolina. s. carolina favored by favored by 22 points. kentucky is not playing very well. the old ball coach and his gamecocks are doing just fine so far with only one slip up. this is another game the home team can’t muddle through while hoping for the best. take s. carolina to win and cover.
10-5 cincinnati @ south florida. cinncinnati favored by 12 points. possibly the yawner of the week. or maybe the gamecocks game is. south florida sits at 0-4 and is looking straight at 0-5 if the bearcats make to the stadium in time for kickoff. if not, south florida gets the forfeit win. although the chances of that happening are pretty slim. take cincy to win and cover the points.
10-5 missouri @ vanderbilt. vanderbilt favored by 2 points. oh??? any sane person would take missouri in this game. you should too. take missouri to win and or get inside the points.
10-5 notre dame @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 5.5 points. i guess the domers are lucky this one is being played indoors at texas stadium with the a/c pumping at full steam rather than outside at tempe. i’m also guessing this is one of those made for prime time TV venues which under normal real world circumstances would never otherwise happen. fine. the sun devils win and cover the spread, take them.
10-5 ohio st @ northwestern. ohio st favored by 5 points. a vaguely interesting game. the buckeyes have run the table so far but their first real game was last week against wisconsin. northwestern is in the same position but hasn’t played anyone of note so far this season. if there were a few more points on the odds board i’d take northwestern. however, there isn’t. so, take the buckeyes to win and cover.
10-5 washington @ stanford. stanford favored by 6.5 points. the thinning of the PAC(8)(10)12 northern division herd begins in earnest on the trees home court this saturday night. more than likely a pretty good game and one the east coasters may want to stay up and watch. but probably not since they’re more biased than i am. what’s up with that? the huskies will make a game of it but take the trees to win and cover.
the first weekend of fine october light. possibly my favorite month of the year just because of said light. at any rate, enjoy your week of college ball and try to remain semi sane and upright. just remember to eat every once in a while. it does help. or so goes the theory. we’re half way through the season. where does the time go? sigh.
Letters From The Clouds
Thoughts and Reflections
life as i know it
Sport, video games, music and politics are all things that I'd enjoy to make fun of for your amusement. (Laughter not guaranteed)
Storytime with John
pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...
A Library of Literary Interestingness
On The Heath
World's Worst Writer Winner!!!
by po'E.T. and the colors of pi
O at the Edges
Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.
A Redneck on the Barbary Coast
Just another College Football Blog; only this one is better!