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.
after week 4 the train remains on the tracks and seems to be steaming right along with another 6 for 10 week. my over all now sits at a respectable 23 for 40. thankfully, i haven’t had a week of total misery as yet. though i’m sure at least one or two of those are lurking about somewhere. let’s hope this week doesn’t prove to be one of them. had the golden domers, usc, and big blue bothered to score some more points last week would have been one for the record books. sadly, that wasn’t the case. perhaps this week if the train keeps a rollin’. all that being said, just remember this is for entertainment purposes only.
as usual the odds/points used here are what i use to figure my wins and losses for the week. the points may change over the course of the week, up or down. it doesn’t matter. what’s here is here. also, what’s here isn’t meant for you to wander off into the land of the stupid to use for wagering purposes. that would be totally lame and insane on your part. do not do it.
i’m keeping my editorial comments to the picks and predictions section this week, which were somewhat easier to come up with than week 4. unlike week 4 this weeks games are, in my mind, a pretty good slate of games. maybe not for you but, hey, who’s writing this stuff?
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-28 stanford @ washington st. stanford favored by 11 points. pirate mike leach, the cougars head coach, has seemingly turned state around and all of the mindless or not so mindless chatter has gone away for the time being. maybe even allowing him to keep his current position. well, unless he unexpectedly runs into the idaho coach while he’s out and about. a digression. as of now he deserves a big: atta boy mike. get some. the trees continue their PAC 12 co-supremacy with another win last week. i’m thinking coach harbaugh is already wishing the trees off week had come later in the season. but that’s for a few weeks down the road. take stanford to win and cover.
9-28 usc @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 7 points. once again the trojan’s offense was in the game for a bit then left to ogle the cheer leaders and grab a hot dog. or score some crack or crank or some damn thing or another and they never really got back into the game. despite the fact of utah states total implosion and new found industry of making dumb ass penalties appear out of thin air the men of troy labored for the win. then could not find a way to cover the points. yet again. sigh. trojan faithful cringe inwardly and outwardly. lack of a full stadium saturday is testimony to that. the sun devils on the other hand, didn’t live up to their under the radar PAC 12 south hype in their loss to the trees. it wasn’t even close. TV talking heads are still blathering on about how pat haden is behind his coach, lane ‘has the train left the station?’ kiffin. a good game here kids. even with all the associated baggage. and the fact marqise lee is probably sorry he didn’t turn pro when he had the chance. he’s pretty much the only offense the trojan’s have. i’m taking arizona st to win and cover. yeah, sad ain’t it?
9-28 oklahoma st @ w. virginia. oklahoma st favored by 20.5 points. my first look at the cowboys for the year who seem to be oblivious to the huge scandal that’s taken hold in stillwater over the years. still water may run deep but so does impropriety. yeah, pretty much all of them do it but the cowboys are this year’s poster child for the dumb ass alumni/booster society stupidity award. however, fear not, the NCAA loons will more than likely either overlook the infractions because hey, wink wink, they ALL do it. which seems like the ever insipid NCAA already have since the SI article claims the morons in oklahoma have been at it for some time. or they’ll impose a johnny football type penalty. that is of course unless you happen to be usc then everything matters. and you end up with lane kiffin as your punishment. we live in strange times to say the least. i digress. the cowboys have been playing lights out ball. the mountaineers so so ball. so far w. virginia’s highlight of the year is being only a 9 point loss to the sooners. take the cowboys to win and cover.
9-28 lsu @ georgia. georgia favored by 3 points. a good, let’s watch this game. this is the tigers game to lose. it’s as simple as that. georgia has a good team but a top 10 team? please. with only the home court 3 for the bulldogs i’m taking lsu to win or cover.
9-28 oklahoma @ notre dame. oklahoma favored by 3.5 points. the domers have their hands full this saturday. lucky for them it’s another home court advantage in the shadow of the golden dome. although they aren’t seeing much points wise. yes, touchdown jesus faithful the sooners are only 3 point faves. your point? mine would be, take the sooners to win and cover the meager spread.
9-28 ole miss @ alabama. alabama favored by 16.5 points. another one to watch. ole miss may surprise. but more than likely not enough. take the tide to win and cover. ROLL TIDE!!
9-28 texas a&m @ arkansas. texas a&m favored by 3 points. the razorbacks are playing ok. johnny boy football is doing ok as well. hyper heisman hype hangs heavy. and it is, after all, football season and he’s not being left to his own devices and or whims for the most part. a good thing to be sure in johnny’s case. the aggies are only favored by 3? i’m thinking it’s a trojan horse being dealt out by the odds mavens. i’m not falling for it. you shouldn’t either. take a&m to win and cover.
9-28 wisconsin @ ohio st. ohio st favored by 7.5 points. leaders division supremacy on the line here. leaders division? what’s he talking about anyway? uh, the Big (10) 12 or something. i thought they were going to ‘fix’ the divisional nomenclature thingy problem. apparently not. the badgers get a shot at tripping up the buckeyes at home. not an easy thing. the buckeyes do have a bit of a depth problem so, ipso facto, i’m taking the badgers to at least cover or maybe even win.
9-28 s. mississippi @ boise st. boise st favored by 26.5 points. boise st has fallen on hard times. well, at least for them. what happened to all of the boise can reload talk after k. moore moves on with no problem? exactly. one good thing to come out of it all is the fact they are at least doing OK with the point spread thing. something that even in the old moore days they couldn’t do. southern miss is not doing well. a semi long road trip up to the smurf turf for them. hats off to the broncos for making some sort of attempt at scheduling what appeared to be a good out of conference call at the time. unless things go terribly wrong on the worn out smurf turf the broncos win and cover. take boise st.
9-29 cal @ oregon. oregon favored by 36.5 points. the ever hapless bears travel to the autzen stadium zoo to get their whipping of the week. yes, of course, on any given saturday. but, hey come on, we’re talking cal here. and we’re also talking the ducks at home. get the picture? take oregon to win and cover the points. QUACK QUACK!!!
just about half way through the season. amazing. time has never waited for anyone and this time of year only brings that into a rather stark shatteringly clear focus. enjoy the games. eat well. last weekend we took a breather and went out for some mexican. guac, tequila, and cerveza respectively. ole!! try to stay sane and semi upright. see you week 6.
there were a collection of good games for week 3 which saw me going 7 for 10. my best week of the season so far. not saying much but it was what it was. that’s usually the case when the games are decided straight up win or lose and no points. those large casinos built out in the desert cost quite a bit of coin and they aren’t built by you winning. at any rate, my over all now stands at 17 for 30. a nice up tick in the numbers.
ucla proved to be worthy of the PAC 12 south title talk with a nice win over nebraska. arizona st also gets a nod with their strange win over wisconsin. winning doesn’t have to be pretty it just needs to get done with or without the officials help. alabama, at times, wasn’t pretty but the job got done. if there’s no let down they could run the table. we’ll wait and see. johnny football played very well but his 2 interceptions were the game changing difference. plus, a j mccarron out played him on the other side of the ball.
week 3 also saw strange or not so strange tales of all manner of NCAA violations at oklahoma st. I imagine it will take the, way past its state of usefulness, NCAA years to come to any conclusions if at all concerning the cowboys. as of this writing we’re still waiting for the miami (florida) decision. i hope you haven’t been holding your breath. don’t start now..
ok. week 4. i had a hard time finding my 10 games even though the exhibition season seems to be over for now at least. not that many exciting math-ups even with league play beginning for most of the schools. just remember this is for entertainment purposes only. taking or using anything here and placing a legal or illegal wager on any of the games would be totally irresponsible and insane. do not do it.
i’m back to using the points again this week after taking last week off so i could hang out in las vegas and not have to work much while i was there. yes, believe it or not this is work. the points may change over the week but i use what’s here to determine my wins and losses.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-20 boise st @ fresno st. fresno st favored by 4.5 points. boise has been playing better since their first week loss to the huskies. yes, of course, last week’s first half against air force wasn’t very pretty. which seems to be the running theme so far this week. fresno sat out last week due to the floods in colorado. it’s hard to say what the unexpected lay off did to the team. interesting in that the bulldogs are favored. something that doesn’t happen if at all for boise st. boise looks like they’ve righted the ship so i’m taking them to at the least get inside the points and probably win.
9-21 utah st @ usc. usc favored by 7 points. the trojans seem to have worked out their offensive problems last week. yes, it was against boston college and you could even say utah st is in the same league. things should remain the same this week for the men of troy but could go south next week against the sun devils. but that’s next week. the fire lane kiffin band wagon has some what slowed if only for the time being.
9-21 michigan st @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 7 points. michigan states first real test of the season. though in some circles south florida might be considered one. the domers shouldn’t have much of a problem at home with the spartans. or that’s the hope from where i’m sitting. take touchdown jesus to win and cover the spread.
9-21 smu @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 28.5 points. june jones can’t seem to get the mustangs rolling since taking the reins (pun intended) at smu. which is too bad because like i’ve said before i think he’s a good coach. a bunch of points but the aggies are probably up for it. johnny football in particular. especially with the aggies only playing 4 road games this year. they caught a break with that and a semi lackadaisical schedule as well. yes, ok. to the point. a&m wins and covers the points.
9-21 arizona st @ stanford. stanford favored by 8 points. if arizona st is going to contend for the PAC south title this is their week to kick start the run. the trees on the other hand have been in the exhibition season mode so far against schools they probably shouldn’t be playing. the sun devils make a game of it but the trees prevail. which could be why they are only 8 point faves. or the sun devils are really that good. one to watch. take the trees to win and cover.
9-21 auburn @ lsu. lsu favored by 16.5 points. if it were being played in alabama things might go a bit differently. or maybe not. tigers vs tigers. take lsu to win.
9-21 utah @ byu. byu favored by 7 points. more state of utah bragging rights on the line. the utes almost beat the beaves last week in a nail biter. the cougars thumped the longhorns into some sort of bizzaro through the looking glass world and they’ve had a couple of weeks to relish in the glory of doing so. all in all one of the few really interesting match-ups of the week. well, for me anyway. the utes could stun but i’m going with the cougars to win and cover.
9-21 wyoming @ air force. wyoming favored by 3 points. it’s beginning to look like one of those years where the cowboys have some game and can put more than a few points on the board. air force can usually score points but this year the defense isn’t helping out very much. another home court for the falcons. i don’t think it will matter much in the end. take the cowboys to win and cover the meager points.
9-21 michigan @ connecticut. michigan favored by 17.5 points. for whatever reasons big blue is still in the top 25. i guess beating the golden domers helped. other than that it’s been a yawner for them. ok. i guess more so for me. uconn began the season with losses against a couple of junior high flag football teams. oh right, one of the teams was maryland. as i was saying… michigan should win and cover thus staying in the top 25 for another week. imagine that. in other words take michigan to win and cover.
9-21 new mexico st @ ucla. ucla favored by 42 points. i was going to pick the bama colorado game but with the flooding situation in colorado it’s hard to say if that game is going to happen or not this early in the week. so, with the fact it was hard coming up with my 10 games to begin with it was even harder to find a replacement game. yeah, this is what i came up with. sue me. hopefully, this is the only time the bruins ever play the aggies. plenty of points for the bruins to cover. oh well, take the bruins to win and cover the spread.
another week in the books with summer fading fast. fine by me. i’m fed up with the a/c running 24/7 in these parts. enjoy your weekend of games. be safe and semi sane. toss something on the barbie or do what i did. toss some tortellini into boiling water. toss with butter and parmesan when they’re done and enjoy with a nice caprase salad, good bread, and some dago red. cheers!
what can you say about statistics? probably any number of things. some good some bad. i guess the big thing being they are usually fairly accurate. right? after going 6 for 10 my first week and winning 4 of my first 5 games on saturday i tanked and lost my last 5. in doing so i finished saturday with a 4 for 10 record. bringing my early season total to 10 for 20. just a tad under my past statistical average for the entire year. see what i mean? eh, probably not.
there were some pretty interesting outcomes. the two most notable being byu putting the hurt on the longhorns and washington st beating the trojans. those 2 i didn’t expect. the rest of my losses were point spread blunders by favorite teams that shouldn’t have happened. which proves my point that you shouldn’t use anything here for legal or illegal college football wagering. do not do it. this is for entertainment purposes only.
ok. i suppose it’s time for the lets all get on the fire lane kiffin bandwagon once again. the boos of saturday night are still echoing across downtown lotus land and are spreading throughout the suburbs far and wide like a plague of locusts intent on feeding on the hearts of the trojan faithful. all said and done, i’m a bit surprised it’s happening this early in the season. you can find at least one web site dedicated to the firing, on of all places the web. though visiting any of the sites isn’t for the faint of heart or those lacking the odd/weird humor gene. i’m just wondering if pat haden isn’t one of the posters. my money is on he’s posting as, ‘the brain zipper’. hmmm. that’s a joke, kids. don’t get any bright ideas.
this week the brown eyed girl and i are ensconced at our favorite hotel on the las vegas strip. we’ve been here since yesterday. so, i’m not using point spreads to pick my winners. just straight up win/loss picks for this week. yeah kind of odd, no pun intended, not using the points when you’re actually in sin city but we’re here for fun. not me sitting around dealing with the odds deal for this nonsense. things should be back to normal next week. one point to make here is that i picked these games over a week ago. this vegas trip was more or less a spur of the moment deal made on last thursday. the games were not picked with the lack of future point spreads in mind. for better or worse, they are my usual games i have some sort of interest in watching or the outcome.
to recap. no points, just win or lose this week. the most important thing being, this is for entertainment purposes only. anyone who uses this insanity for betting or wagering will get what they deserve. do not do it. ok sure. later this morning i suppose i’ll be checking out what the casino is offering downstairs point wise for the college weekend. um, that would be for gathering information and educational purposes only. capice? in truth, we’re here for the 5 star dining that vegas has to offer. trust me, it’s stellar. my wife thinks it’s funny that i’ll drive to vegas to eat but won’t drive into L.A. for the same thing. for me, it’s all about driving home after eating and drinking too much and the totally crappy 24/7 L.A. traffic. cab fares to and from the L.A. central hinterlands and our berg would be thru the roof. plus, the scenery driving out here is pretty cool if you enjoy the desert. along with it being pretty much a straight shot drive.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-12 tcu @ texas tech. close game here. maybe really close. i’m going to take tcu for the win.
9-13 air force @ boise st. boise st comes back into the fray at home on the smurf turf. hopefully, the tinkering of the offense that’s worked for a number of years has hit the ash heap of foolish follies. if not the falcons have a shot at winning. however, take boise to win.
9-14 ucla @ nebraska. the bruins take off to omaha with an extra week of practice under their collective belts. you can be sure coach mora used the time wisely. or that’s the hope. PAC(8)(10)(12) homer says take the bruins to win. this might be their year, well until they play the ducks on october 26th up in oregon. then things may change. the bruins win this week.
9-14 alabama @ texas a&m. the game most of us have been waiting for and the game of the year so far. the tide vs johnny football. i imagine this one will be the ratings winner for the weekend. for sure the aggies toughest game of the season. as for the crimson tide, probably not so much. it will very interesting to see how they handle johnny “i’ll sign for a dime” football. bama wins on the aggies home turf. take em. ROLL TIDE!!
9-14 tennessee @ oregon. the ducks at home are even more amazing than on the road. to semi sort of paraphrase an old 60′s-70′s wheeze, speed kills. speed kills just about any sort of defense you’ve got going. take the ducks to win. QUACK QUACK!!!
9-14 iowa @ iowa st. all in all generally a good game every year with either team capable of winning regardless how good or bad they are. this year is no different. i’m taking iowa st at home for the eye-oh-way state bragging rights rivalry win.
9-14 ohio st @ california. the buckeyes haven’t been out here to the left coast during the regular season for many moons. for some reason in my minds eye i can see woody hayes prowling the sidelines this saturday. or maybe up on strawberry hill with binoculars and a tub of colonel sanders. at any rate, cal is pretty dismal already this year. their semi poor showing against portland st last week being the point. if the buckeyes don’t get too cocky and woody stays off the field while keeping his hands to himself ohio st should win. take them.
9-14 utep @ new mexico st. this game was picked with a nod to the FX TV show ‘the bridge’, and the el paso – juarez thing. a very good show with at least one episode left for the year. check it out this week. good stuff. as for the game, a major paragon time shift of epic proportions involving little green men holding seed money from the bahamas would be in order for new mexico st to win this one. yes, of course, stranger things have happened. none the less, i’m taking utep to win.
9-14 oregon st @ utah. the beaves are having a bit of trouble so far. perhaps a rebuilding year?? they should have taken better care of hawaii but then usc couldn’t either. so, i’m taking utah at home for the win.
9-14 wisconsin @ arizona st. a good match-up to cap off the weekend. two good squads heating up the already steamy desert southwest. both teams have thumped walk-over state teams. wisconsin has done it twice. the sun devils have had the extra week to get ready for the home court sweltering and possibly monsoon like late summer weather. the sun devils will also give the bruins a run for the PAC south title. i’m taking arizona st for the win.
there ya go kids. have a great weekend. get creative food wise. have a few cold ones. try to stay upright and more importantly semi sane.and while doing so, enjoy week 3 of college football because the season is so short it’s gone in the wink of an eye.
do you remember the AAU? you’d have to be pretty close to my age to do so or be a real sports trivia nerd. the AAU, (the) amateur athletic union, passed on a number of years ago due to being insipid, useless, and corrupt. sort of like the NCAA these days which took over for the AAU morons when their usefulness became a running joke. well, kids, the joke is on us once again. this time around it’s just another bunch of soulless suits pretending to be something they aren’t, a legitimate trustworthy amateur sporting entity. yes, the NCAA has hit rock bottom or at least is heading that way in what can only be called a full tilt boogie nose dive to oblivion. a shameful load of hacks, grifters, assorted loons and goons, wearing suits and ties pandering to stupidity in a manner that can only be said to be more asinine than the u.s. congress. i semi digress.
yes, johnny football skated on the sidelines on some pretty thin or thick ice, depending on your perspective, for a half this past saturday. some wags even say with a smile on his face as he skated blissfully away counting coins of the realm in his inflated autograph signing head. if you think the kid is or was innocent then you aren’t paying attention or reading enough. it’s time for the NCAA to head off into the sunset like it’s predecessor, the AAU, did years ago. yes, he did have a good game once he came in against a tepid rice squad that hasn’t been any good since i was a kid and the AAU was still around. yes, a decent enough game for johnny football. however, his douche bag quotient continues to climb ever upward.
ok. the first week is in the books. i went 6 for 10 even surprising myself. a very good start indeed. lets hope things stay that way for week 2. my astute readers will realize there’s still one game left out of my 10 picks which will be played tonight. if i lose it i’ll adjust things next week but i’m thinking that won’t be necessary. the noles rolled so i stay at 6 for 10.
week 2 offers, for me, about the same amount of watchable games as the first week did. the playing of the sisters of the poor and their ilk slogs on unabated. a sad thing indeed. i repeat myself. which i’ll continue to do until someone listens, takes heed, and/or stops the madness. just say no. please. boy howdy. yeah, we went 12 and oh. we deserve a shot at a big dance game. show ’nuff. what you deserve is a slap up the side of your head for playing 2 or 3 games against tiddly winks state, assault & battery poly technic, and the university of beer pong & pizza. wags say this practice will end next year once the BCS mess fades away and the new mess takes over. i won’t be holding my breath.
always remember this is for entertainment purposes only. the only other purpose this insanity serves is to somewhat cool my fevered brow. taking anything here and using it to waste your hard earned cash on a college football game would be stupid. do not do it. you don’t want to look like the NCAA now do you? i didn’t think so.
the points, spreads, odds listed here are what i go by. they may change over the week. no matter to me. these are what i go by in determining my wins and losses for the week. with the holiday weekend the odds are a bit slow coming out from pretty much everywhere. i’m back to my old source which is scant at best.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-7 florida @ miami(fl). florida favored by 3 points. both teams are coming off wins against the usual week 1 suspect teams. this will probably be a pretty good game and a toss up. i like the gators. take them to win and cover.
9-7 oregon @ virginia. oregon favored by 23.5 points. the ducks rolled over road kill state last week at home. virginia did beat favored byu squad but that’s not happening this week. take the ducks to win and cover. QUACK!! QUACK!!
9-7 utah st @ air force. utah st favored by 10.5 points. despite the aggies losing to utah and the falcons beating an east coast brainiac school the previous week this should still be a good game. and maybe even a close one. or maybe not. take utah st to win and cover the spread.
9-7 san diego st @ ohio st. ohio st favored by 29 points. san diego got thumped at home by a no name school last week. their defense apparently passed away at some point during the second quarter. ohio st won but not spectacularly against someone they should have steamrolled. a boat load of points but ohio st should win and cover the spread.
9-7 s. carolina @ georgia. georgia favored by 3 points. maybe one of the best games of the weekend kids. take georgia to win and cover at home.
9-7 texas @ byu texas favored by 7 points. texas rolled and byu should have won. the cougars will get inside the points spread this week. take them.
9-7 notre dame @ michigan. michigan favored by 3 points. both teams hammered week 1 patsies. i like big blue at home. take michigan and the home court 3 to win.
9-7 hawaii @ oregon st. oregon st favored by 27 points. oregon st got surprised by a school that should have been no surprise at all. a sad thing to be sure. we’ll see if coach riley will turn things around this week. if he doesn’t it’s going to be a very long disappointing season for the beavers. the beavers should cover and win this week. or that’s the hope. the beavers can put points on the board. take oregon st to win and cover.
9-7 washington st @ usc. usc favored by 15.5 points. washington st held their own in a loss last week against auburn. usc failed to cover the spread with their weak offense. the trojan defense carried them to victory. that will probably be the case here as well. the question being, how long can usc’s defense keep it up? they had a similar dilemma last year with the defense not showing up and things went off the rails around the midpoint of the season. deja vu all over again? time tells. one point to remember, pat haden did not hire lane kiffen. ‘howling mad’ mike garrett gets the blame for doing that sad deed. ok. another saturday scorcher here in lotus land. though the game starts around sunset. not as many points as last week. maybe the offense will show up to play. bite the bullet and take the trojans to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!
9-7 san jose st @ stanford. stanford favored by 24.5 points. our first look at the trees for the year. most folks have them penciled in for the big dance game. we’ll have to wait and see about that. san jose st steps up into the big time spotlight here in a game that has a crosstown rival feel to it. probably because basically that’s what it is. we’ll see if the spartans are up for it. ah, probably not. take stanford to win and cover the points.
enjoy your weekend and try your best at staying sane and upright. toss some protein on the bbq. i have to admit i didn’t do that last week. a frittata got made instead. it seemed like the italian thing to do. it was outstanding by the way. have some dago red and kick back. that i did do. be safe.
week 1 of the college football season is finally, at last, rolling into town. yours too if you’re paying attention. it’s been a long dry haul since the insipidness of the bowling season 8 or so months ago. lots of stuff has gone down since then. first off, johnny football has proven to be a lame kid just like all the rest of the lame kids out there. ok, so a rich lame kid. there really isn’t much difference. rich poor no matter. lameness crosses bank accounts with impunity. i’m sure johnny boy will have a decent if not fine year at the a & m helm. that is unless he gets hurt. i would never wish that on anybody. well, sure, ok. i can think of a few folks wandering the planet but trust me he ain’t one of them. a & m has a pretty much lackluster schedule this year. so, i’m assuming johnny won’t be in the heisman hunt down the road even if he plays lights out ball. though stranger things have been known to happen. 15 to 1 odds on a repeat trophy for him. the big question about johnny is what will become of him when he turns pro?? peter king has questions and doubts. me too. i figure he’ll probably end up like vince young. bouncing around. or maybe even joey harrington. duck fans far and wide remember him. however, no one else does. or maybe he’ll end up being another, god forbid, todd marinovich. oofa, though todd seems to have turned things around life wise. we wait and see. good luck johnny football. life is hard then everyone starts gunning for you. particularly gunning for you if you’ve had a few autograph sessions for pay. of course, as of this writing, that hasn’t been proven by the ineffective NCAA and probably won’t ever be. but one never knows.
let’s see what else…ah, visor head kelly of the ducks is now in the nfl running things in philly. league refs are already saying his quick draw mcgraw college offense won’t happen in their sandbox if they have any say in the matter. poor guy should have probably stayed put in eugene.
then there’s lane kiffin of usc. his boss, pat haden, says he stands behind him. if i were pat i’d stay way behind him and off to the side a bit. because when the merde hits the fan, merde flies like the wind and hits stuff far and wide. i like pat but he has no real choice in the matter. he has to say nice things about lane until said merde begins to clog things up as it bounces around landing on stuff. which may or may not take long to happen. we wait and see.
also, the all knowing and semi forthright NCAA has decided to stop making money off of it’s football players. no more selling brick-a-brack with players names on them. a sound move on their part. although it took the looming specter of court appearances to make them quit the practice. i guess they aren’t as dumb as they seem.
the usual rule changes have come down the pike over the lay off but we’ll hear way to much about them this weekend. so i’ll leave the new rules and the endless blathering about them to the ever mindless talking TV heads. we also have more of the usual let’s all play underwater basket weaving poly tech the first few weeks of the season. hey, we’ll all win except for those of us who don’t. yeah, that’s one college ball tidbit i’d love to see bite the dust. though it probably won’t happen in my lifetime. or yours either. great grand kids as well.
for my new readers, i pick 10 games every week. games i care about or more to the point have some sort of interest in the outcome and or watching the game on the tube. i use vegas point spreads to pick my winners. usually the first spreads that come out for the current week. if they change before game time i don’t care. however, there are some weeks when i don’t use the spread due to life stuff. that usually happens at least once or twice a season. so, count on it at some point or another. at any rate, over the years i’ve managed to stay just over 51% with my picks against the spread. not spectacular but my head is above water. hopefully, things stay that way this season.
the important thing to remember is this insane drivel is for entertainment purposes only. got it? using anything gleaned here for sport betting purposes with anyone legal or illegal would be of the highest form of stupidity. do not do it. you have much more important things to do with your cash. sports betting is for chumps or pete rose. though ol’ pete is getting the shaft at this point. i digress.
ok. i think that pretty much covers things. although i’m usually sorry i do the odds/spread deal the first few weeks of the season as things are generally not what they seem this early in the year. my usual place for finding my spreads is being slow on the trigger this year. the odds posted below are strictly vegas casino odds that came out on august 6 and i’ve done my usual averaging thing. after checking again this morning the lines seem to be trending up for the most part. though some of the games have disappeared. odd. no pun intended. remember, my insanity is for entertainment purposes only. let’s do this.
rock ‘n’ roll.
8-29 usc @ hawaii. usc favored by 22.5 points. the men of troy had a fairly easy time with the warriors last year. they might again this time around too. though maybe norm chow is getting a handle on the job which will mean a tighter game. we’ll have to wait and see. though i doubt lane will begin the merde splashing this early in the season. lots of points and the distractions of oahu thrown in for good measure and no starting QB at the end of camp for the trojans. this is probably a bad move but take usc to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!
8-31 boise st @ washington. washington favored by 3.5 points. a good game here kids. lots riding on the line. both schools need the win. boise st needs to run the table for any shot at some sort of last of the mohicans big dance BCS game. the huskies need the win to jump start coach sarkasian’s handle on next year. otherwise sark’s days might be numbered in washington. the huskies get the home court 3 and that’s it. boise usually wins their first outing. take boise st to win or at least cover the meager spread.
8-31 nevada @ ucla. ucla favored by 20 points. the bruins are the pre-season favorite to win the PAC (8) (10) 12 south. they need to drop the year into drive and punch it against a decent wolf pack squad. probably a scorcher of a day in pasadena. who can handle the heat and who wants it more? more points. probably more than an opening day accounts for. another bite the bullet. take ucla to win and cover.
8-31 lsu @ tcu(at arlington, tx). lsu favored by 4 points. what can you say? other than the fact tcu needs this one big time. an early season statement as it were. another good game even if it isn’t being played on anyone’s home court. i’m taking tcu to at least get inside the points. take them.
8-31 georgia @ clemson. georgia favored by 1 point. if clemson wants to unseat the tide they need to start here. do they even have what it takes? we’ll see come the fourth quarter. pretty much a toss up against a sleeping giant georgia squad. who’s going places? georgia or clemson? take clemson to win.
8-31 mississippi st @ oklahoma st. oklahoma st favored by 13 points. the cowboys may or may not pull this one out. miss st can be tough early in the year. none the less, take the cowboys to win and cover.
8-31 byu @ virginia. byu favored by 3 points. another tight game. i’m taking byu to win and cover.
8-31 northwestern @ cal. northwestern favored by 6 points. northwestern is coming off a good year last time around. cal was their sad usual. take northwestern to win and cover.
8-31 virginia tech @ alabama. alabama favored by 19 points. if this game was up in old virginny the oompahs just might have had a chance.
i have no idea where the ‘oompahs’ came from. just run with it. home court and the tide along with coach satan roll. roll tide!!
9-2 florida st @ pittsburgh. florida st favored by 10.5 points. florida st makes a point and a statement. take florida st to win and cover.
for my money those are pretty much the only games worth mentioning or watching for week 1. things don’t get much better week 2 for that matter. trust me. ah well, the crappy pre-season college games that actually count. along with the lame wheeze, losing early is better than losing late. hats off to the schools that are playing someone other than the danny rather school of yellow journalism and taxidermy tech the first week. at least the season is finally almost under way. enjoy the games and do your utmost to remain semi sane and semi conscious. toss some sort of protein on the barbie, enjoy a bottle or 3 of dago red, and your long labor day weekend will be set. be safe.
the spring had turned very warm. he was out in the back tearing down what was left of an old shed that mother nature and gravity had started tearing down several years ago. emma had been after him to finish the job for about that long as well. today was the day. with the hot spring sun beating down he’d taken his shirt off and he was beating away at the last remaining standing wall. wall was a stretch but you get the picture. he’d taken a mighty swing with the small sledge and whacked the corner he was working on. a board flew off, it did a cartwheel, then hit him on his left shoulder. a nail bit at his skin. he knew he’d been cut.
emma washed the wound while tsk tsking and semi sort of apologizing for getting him into the predicament. it wasn’t a bad cut but it bled some and was what one could almost call a deep wound. they thought about going to get a few stitches for it when emma gasped.
‘what the hell?’
‘great. now what?’
‘ah…um…just a sec.’
he flinched when she began to fish around in the wound with a pair of tweezers.
‘why i’ll be…’
‘what for christ’s sake?’
going to get the cut stitched up was soon forgotten. emma quickly finished washing the wound. put some antiseptic on it. then bandaged it. they sat at the kitchen table. a tiny micro chip about the size of a dime sat between them. neither of them said anything. he nodded towards the back door and got up. emma followed suit. when they were outside emma tried to say something but he put a finger to his lips and nodded once again at what was left of the shed.
‘what’s with all the secrecy? and more importantly what’s up with the chip in your shoulder?’
‘i think they’re connected.’
he then spun the strange tale he’d been living or at least thought he he’d been living for what seemed like months or years. all of it. from keith richards to the nurse/angel/agent and the magic light. emma didn’t say a word. she just stood there semi awe struck and listened.
‘so, here we are today. i cut myself and i guess you find the missing piece to the puzzle. that chip.’
‘ah…some how or another that chip is playing a big part in all of this. i’ll tell you what emma. i don’t want to play anymore.’
they talked quietly for a half hour then he left to go into town. emma went back into the house and started dinner. she left the chip alone and on the table where it had been sitting.
when she heard the pick up returning she went outside. he got out of the pickup and motioned towards the old shed again. they talked quietly for another 10 minutes or so. after which they went back into the house and acted as if nothing had happened while they ate a quick supper. about an hour before sunset he got back in the truck and headed west towards the setting sun. he drove about 4 miles until he found the spot he was looking for. a small turnout on the other side of the road with two old california oaks on either side of a barbed wire fence. he slipped the truck out of gear and made a coasting u-turn into the turn out where he stopped under the trees. the early evening air was beginning to get cooler as he slipped the burner phone out of his pocket. it was the reason he’d gone into town before dinner. he’d already made a couple of calls on it.
‘hey, mike. the old truck is giving me trouble. i made a run out to the dump and on the way back it sorta conked out on me. can you give me a hand?’
‘sure, my brother. you’re on stoney point road right?’
‘yep. under the twin oaks.’
‘i know the spot. i’ll be right out.’
‘i ain’t going anywhere soon.’
he closed the phone and sat in the truck listening to the ticking of the cooling engine and some early evening crickets. soon he saw headlights in the distance. it was mike. he got out of the truck and waited for his friend. they exchanged greetings as he climbed into mike’s car.
‘let’s just sit a spell. i have a story to spin. ok?’
‘sure, bro. i got all night. whatever you say.’
he grinned and said, ‘i hope it won’t take that long.’
then he began his tale once again. the same story he told to emma. plus, a few more things.
‘wow. that’s some story. you sure about all this? i mean i remember that header you took into the ditch by the store back when…’
‘mike. the fucking chip is sitting on the kitchen table.’
‘yeah. yeah. ok.’
‘you remember stanley the japanese commo guy from nam, right?’
‘sure do. he was righteous. didn’t know you still talked to him.’
‘i hadn’t for years. though i still had his number. i spoke to him tonight. he’s working for this rich armenian guy down in l.a. these days. long story short the armenian is tight with this jewish dude who can get stuff done. the two bonded over the genocide thing. stanley with both of the guys helping is working on this. neither of whom is very fond of any sort of government stuff.’
‘didn’t take you long to get your own witness protection plan going did it?’
‘not really, man. like i said when i saw that chip i knew i was done and that i had to get out. asap.’
the man’s phone chirped. he picked it up and for the most part just listened with an occasional a huh or got it thrown in now and then. mike was lost in his own thoughts along with the strangeness of the whole situation. it was full on dark when the man said goodbye and closed the phone. mike looked at him.
‘stanley still gets shit done, my friend. he sends his greetings and says you two ought to get together soon and bullshit about the nam.’
yeah. sure…i mean…what’s up?’
‘ok. a few details still need ironing out but the two heavies are fronting emma and me some cash. a nice chunk. anything to get over on good old uncle sam as it were. stanley has an off shore bank account opened with the cash. emma and i disappear. the chip stays in the house. whomever, with any luck, won’t know we’ve high tailed it until it’s too late. we hit this used car place in frisco stanley knows. we dump the truck there and buy another ride under a front stanley will have worked out by the time we get there. which should be before they close tonight. this truck will just sit in the lot’s garage for a few months then disappear.’
‘what about the house?’
‘stanley says eventually the bank will put it on the market. the armenian has always wanted to become a cattle rancher and gentleman cowboy. he’ll swoop in and buy it with his connections. then he’ll start his gentleman cowboy cattle biz and send me 50% of his profits. simple as that. or so it seems.’
‘boy howdy is about all i can come up with, man. where you gonna go?’
‘maybe vegas for awhile. hide in plain sight in sin city for a time. the jewish guy says it would be the best place until the heat cools down. easy access to off shore stuff there as well.’
the two old friends chatted for a bit more then made their goodbyes.
‘they may come and talk to you eventually, mike.’
‘fuck it. don’t mean nothing. right?’
‘yeah, sure. hasta la vista, mi hermano.’
‘yeah, mi hermano. hasta la vista.’
the man went to his truck fired it up and drove home. emma had a few things packed. she knew they were leaving. when he came in the back door he just nodded and they each picked up a bag and headed out to the truck. he went back inside and grabbed a couple of CD’s. stopping by the kitchen table he gently picked up the micro chip and then slipped it under the carpet in a corner of the living room. it would have to do.
he went back out to the truck got inside, smiled, and held emma’s hand. he handed her the CD’s and she picked one in the dark and put it in the player. he backed out of the drive and headed towards highway 101 and the south on ramp. the flying burrito brothers softly filled the truck. he smiled again at emma. she smiled back. a tear rolled down her cheek. she found a tissue and wiped it away. turning her head towards the window she quietly coughed. a small black glob tinged in red was caught in the tissue. another tear rolled down her cheek. gram was singing, ‘cody cody’.
I’m not afraid
We’ve all been young,
Come to my side
I remember the face
not long after the sun made it’s dive into the western pacific dinner was served by a quiet filipino gentleman. it was simple fare though it was served on fine dinnerware. the man ate rather quickly then retired back to his lounge chair out on the front patio. darkness had taken it’s usual hold by that time and he spent several minutes listening to the now invisible surf before he nodded off again.
he wasn’t sure if he was dreaming or if the time travel had kicked in or what but emma was there. or was it some sort of shattering reality? he had no clue. none the less, he was talking to several men in some nondescript setting about something or another. they were chattering away when emma made her entrance. she was walking towards him with a couple of men as well. as she was walking towards him she waved as if she wanted him to come and meet her. it seemed as if she had a question for him or something to tell him. he began walking towards her but realized he had no interest at all in meeting or even speaking to the two men with her. as he drew closer to emma he woke up.
or so it seemed. he still wasn’t sure what was going on. a vision, dream, or reality? the only thing he was sure of was he was now in a white room with no curtains that almost resembled a hospital room. the nurse/angel/agent was there and the luke skywalker light saber thing had made another appearance. it was in the hands of the nurse. she was moving it over his body. it was difficult but he finally managed to croak out.
‘if luke’s father shows up i’m leaving.’
‘shh. save the jokes for later.’
after a bit she put the light down and spoke to him.
‘the blood work showed a few strange anomalies. we aren’t sure what they mean as yet. it was decided that perhaps another dose from the light saber, as you’ve put it, might straighten things out, as it were. at this point we just don’t know.’
he sighed. ‘lovely. just fucking great. now i’m an experiment gone wrong. hopefully, not horribly wrong. right?’
she didn’t say anything as she picked up the light and continued her work.
‘nose picker doesn’t have anything to do with this…situation? does he?’
‘no. i’m in charge here. he’s just ancillary to all of this…’
‘ancillary. nice word for that a-hole prick.’
‘just try and relax. i’ll be finished here shortly. then i’ll see about getting you back home for a little R & R.’
the man closed his eyes and said, ‘ok. sounds good. i’ll shut up.’
she placed her hand on his forehead. it was cool to the touch.
he was in bed. his own. there was a warmth beside him along with the lovely and familiar morning smell of his emma. a thought flashed threw his mind about the smell of babies and long time loves. that thought was lost when the bedside phone began to ring. he rolled over and grabbed the ringing phone.
it was mike an old nam buddy and sunday pool playing buddy.
‘sorry about the early wake-up but the store just called and said they had a cesspool back up overnight and the place would be closed today. no pool for us. i just wanted to give you a heads up so you could make other plans if you wanted.’
mike was always the first one there on sundays. just after the little market/pool hall opened. he would chat, drink coffee, and eat a couple of plastic microwave burritos with his off and on girlfriend, the owner, while they waited for the rest of the players to wander in.
‘yeah. sure, thanks man. i appreciate it.’
‘not a problem. talk to you later. i have a few more calls to make.’
he hung up the phone and laid back in bed. emma was awake and on her side resting her head in her hand.
he smiled. ‘yep. your lucky day. no pool. cesspool trouble. how do you want to spend all that luck?’
she smiled back. ‘i don’t know. let me think on it while you get up and start the coffee.’
he leaned in for a quick kiss and got out of bed. he was waiting for the coffee to finish when he heard the flying burrito brothers and gram parsons singing.
emma stepped up into the kitchen and said.
‘nice way to start a sunday.’
he poured them each a cup of the steaming brew and splashed some milk in his.
‘any ideas for the day, lady?’
‘yes, i do, sir. a picnic. we have leftover chicken and roasted potatoes. i’ll make a potato salad out of the spuds. we have cheese, a baguette, and more bottles of wine than we know what to do with. let’s go to fort ross and eat lunch with the sheep.’
‘ok. that works for me. i’ll start getting some stuff together. the sooner we leave the better the spot we’ll find for our lunch.’
both of them busied themselves with their tasks.
it had rained the night before but it was a fine spring morning. a bit on the cool side but it would warm up later. meadow larks were bustling about doing their business while singing their light hearted melodies. fort ross was an old russian settlement on the california coast. the russians had left after seward’s alaska purchase which had ended any russian dreams of a foothold in america. an old wooden fort still stood there surrounded by grassland and grazing sheep. it afforded spectacular views of the northern california coast especially on a bright clear pristine spring day.
they quickly finished their work and the old pickup was loaded. they pulled out of the dirt drive and headed into town to buy some dessert for lunch. after their purchase they made their way up to the small town of cazadero and turned left on ft ross road. it was an old winding logging road that wound through the centuries old redwood trees and ended up at ft ross after it crossed highway 1. it was, as usual, a lovely ride. they spent their time chatting and listening to gram parsons CD’s while enjoying the rain cleaned air and the redwood forest.
for a late sunny sunday morning the fort was fairly free of tourists and locals. they found a grassy spot in the semi shade of a redwood. the blue pacific sparkled. he’d spread out a tarp and a blanket over the top of it. they ate their lunch as they drank a bottle of pinot noir. it went well with the leftover chicken, potato salad, and amazing view. chocolate cake served as dessert. the grazing sheep ignored them.
the food and wine were gone. the only thing left was a chunk of bread. he tossed it in the vicinity of a large ram. who wandered over. glanced at them, ate the bread, then continued grazing. they both laughed.
emma yawned and suggested a nap in the dappled shade. he agreed. they stretched out and held each other in their arms. emma was soon asleep. he followed shortly with a gram parsons tune, ‘a song for you’, running through his head. he thought he heard himself say, ‘i never want this to end.’ emma held him tightly.
he was almost running when he heard the cantina door slam closed. the sound of that act more or less calmed him down. an old white guy running around the streets of a predominately illegal mexican barrio just might attract the wrong attention. especially if johnny law got involved considering the circumstances of the murder he supposedly committed over night. jesus, things just kept getting better and better.
slowing his pace to a stroll he casually looked behind him and down the street. no one was out and about in any direction. at least no one he could see. he made up his mind to continue east to avoid the homeless guy from earlier. when he got to eastern ave. he made a left and began walking up the hill.
stress, the heat, and lack of any breeze or wind began to take it’s toll. he was sweating heavily when he heard the sound of a car coming up from behind. he resisted the urge to turn around and check to see if it was the cops. no sense looking any more suspicious than he already did. the sound of the car got closer and seemed to be slowing. it took all of his concentration not to bolt like a race horse.
out of the corner of his eye he caught the front quarter panel of the car. black. crap. the cops. the car was indeed slowing. it stopped and it was then he realized it was a limo. the back passenger side window slid down.
the voice was familiar and as be bent down to look inside at the back seat he knew before he saw her. the nurse/angel/government goon.
‘i suppose i don’t have a choice. right?’
‘let’s see…not really. you get in and enjoy the cold air and have a chat or i use my cell phone to call 911.’
‘nice to know somethings never change.’
‘get in, soldier.’
the lock clicked. he sighed and opened the door then slid in beside the lady.
‘alright. i’m in. what’s the deal?’
she didn’t say anything as she hit the button to open the partition separating the driver from the passengers.
‘yes, mam?’ it was the blonde german woman from his driveway yesterday. yesterday? yesterday seemed so very long ago. from his backseat angle she looked remarkably like heidi klum.
‘take us to the house in manhattan beach.’
the partition was already sliding closed. a muffled, ‘yes, mam.’, was heard.
‘ah, was or is, that who i think…’
his seat mate laughed and said. ‘things and people aren’t always as glamorous as they seem. most things aren’t. some folks like to get out of the box whenever they can.’
‘not exactly. but the blonde driving us down to the beach isn’t why i’m here, or you, for that matter.’
‘fine. get to the point.’
‘OK. look, soldier, when we come calling. you do as we say. you know that, right?’
‘i guess. i mean…i don’t know…’
‘yes, well, you do. if you don’t things get complicated. understand?’
‘oh. cops and murder suspect stuff?’
‘bingo. you catch on quick.’
he sighed and looked out the tinted window. they were almost to the 110 freeway. they’d be taking it south soon. at least it was cold inside the limo and unless nurse/angel called the cops he was somewhat safe. at least for now.
‘so, is it finally time for my big job? whatever that is?’
‘i see. that makes a bit of sense then. um, your reluctance to cooperate the other morning.’
‘look, you’ve bounced me around a bit in the last what…?’
‘it hasn’t been long. just a few days really.’
‘you mean, ah, everything…a few days?’
‘give or take.’
‘what about emma?’
she looked at him oddly then said, ‘emma?’.
‘yes, my wife. is…is she a part of this?’
it was her turn to sigh. ‘soldier, you remember, of course, emma has been dead for years. cancer i think.’
‘come on. yeah, i know that but she…she was there. at home. i saw her. felt her. she fried me some chicken. we ate. we laughed and listened to an old gene autry CD several times. then we went to bed. you can’t tell me that wasn’t real. it was like, well, like it was years ago. jesus.’
‘jesus had nothing to do with it. even though there would seem to be ah, well, similarities.’
he didn’t know what to say or think. she seemed like she was telling the truth. she also seemed totally confused by what he’d just told her.
‘i don’t know what’s going on. i only know what i saw and felt.’
‘as for emma, i’m sorry, but i don’t know what’s going on there. we had nothing to do with what happened. it may have something to do with why we wanted to see you. some fairly powerful things are at work here. you know that. or at least did. we need to run a few simple tests. blood work mostly. just to be sure things are OK.’
he felt as if he was sinking into the lush leather seat. the words numb and crushed were also on his mind.
‘you don’t look well. are you OK?’
‘what do you think? emma. er, ah, the murder. did i do it?’
‘no. you cooperate and it will go away as quickly as it appeared. we needed to be sure you knew where you stood with…things. you work for us now, soldier. we are your life.’
‘sweet. hunky dory.’
it was all he could think of to say. nothing more. he’d do as she said and see what happened. for now. though the thing about emma was getting weird. very weird. even considering everything else.
with traffic it was mid afternoon by the time they made it into manhattan beach. the limo pulled up in back of a very nice two story beachfront home. the limo door latches clicked and the nurse/angel motioned for him to get out. it was cooler by the ocean with a slight off shore breeze. motioning again she had him moving through a wrought iron gate and into a small patio at the back of the home. he was thinking the view on the other side of the house must spectacular, especially at sunset. her voice brought him out of his revery.
‘you can get comfortable either inside or go out front and watch the ocean. i’ll call for you when i’m ready to draw some blood.’
‘sure, count dracula.’
‘funny man. the old VA joke. keith is around here somewhere.’
‘yes. he’s been here for a month or so rehearsing and relaxing. his wife and i are old friends.’
the man gave her a very strange look. the he remembered an earlier conversation they’d had about keith. all he could think of to say was something inane.
‘ah, no. i don’t know where he is. maybe you can ask keith if he’s around. it’s still early for him. he might be asleep.’
the view was outstanding. nothing like an ocean vista along with the sound and smell of the ocean. he hoped he’d be around for sunset. even though there were no clouds in the sky to ramp it up. he was lost at sea when he heard her call him into the house. the blood work equipment was set up on the dining room table. he let her have her way with him. when she was finished she told him if the tests were OK he’d be home soon. she also told him regardless the murder rap was going away.
he decided to stay inside and watch the ocean. around 4pm he turned on the TV to watch the news. the TV was tuned to the local ABC station. he wasn’t paying much attention to the news more so to the ocean. then he heard the announcer say something about the l.a.p.d. canceling a search for a murder suspect. they had somehow or another confused a few pieces of surveillance film.
the reporter was marc brown. he didn’t know him from the man in the moon but respected his work from his time living in los angeles. the remote was close by and he grabbed it quickly changing the channel to the local NBC affiliate. they were coming out of a dog food ad. when the announcer came on he had the same story. it was, chuck henry, another old time l.a. news hand. it must be true. she’d kept her word. the murder suspect rap had gone away just like that. he turned off the TV.
turning his attention back to the ocean he moved outside. he sat in a lounge chair and drifted off to sleep. a voice woke him.
from behind him it was a smiling keith richards holding a guitar case in one hand and waving to him with the other.
‘i speck i’ll be working with you again sometime. till then be well, guv.’
before he could say anything keith had turned and was gone.
the nurse/agent appeared.
‘i see you saw keith. did he say anything about mick?’
‘no. he wasn’t very talkative.’
‘oh, well. the preliminary results look to be ok. for now, all things are a go.’
‘OK. whatever that means. thanks for keeping your word about the murder. when can i leave?’
‘you’re welcome. soon. very soon. just try and relax. remember when we call you listen. no going off the reservation as the saying goes. capisce?’
he rubbed his hands over his face. he needed a shower and a drink. in front of him the sun was in free fall and had just hit the far edge of the horizon. you could almost hear the splash as the sky turned a vivid orange red. BBQ smells filled the salty beach air. sea gulls noisily rushed to their nightly roosts. soon it would be dark.
the air was almost black along with foul smelling. at first he thought it was a dream. vietnam? long ago? no. not that. this was real too but in the present. the odd time travel bit was happening again. at least there were no ringing phones. he rubbed his eyes for several seconds. maybe it was a dream after all. when he stopped and opened his eyes again the black air was still there. he sighed. the foul air burning his lungs.
he was standing on a sidewalk. he knew where he was. east l.a. and it was summer in the city of lost angels. so much for his memory of last night and the dead of winter up north in his little country cottage. oh, man, was about all he could think of at the moment.
it was already very hot for early morning. even for lotus land summer. a nasty inversion layer was trapping every bit of particulate matter low to the ground. it was at least several hundred feet thick. almost like the the hills were on fire. and burning madly down towards the valleys. he coughed and rubbed his eyes again and noticed a homeless man walking towards him carrying a couple of large crumpled paper cups. the guy was big and vibed bad juju. he was still a couple of hundred feet away though. but, making a bee line straight towards him. turning the man walked quickly in the opposite direction.
he was on city terrace drive and marengo. just south and steps from the rush of the 10 freeway. he stayed on city terrace and kept moving east. for some reason he thought of the house not too far away. years ago, every christmas, it was decorated with thousands of lights. you could see it from the freeway as you either flew by or crawled by as the case may be. one christmas, before emma, a vietnamese girl he was dating made him take her by the house. up close the house was even more impressive. it was massive as well. a small but steady stream of cars made their way by the home. a portly guy and his wife were out front dressed as mr. and mrs. claus. christmas carols played from hidden speakers. the lights glimmered and twinkled. it was almost jaw dropping. especially when santa walked up to the car and handed his giggling date a handful of christmas candy through the open car window. ‘merry christmas!’ he said with a distinct mexican accent. incongruous at best. totally lala land.
the house was still there. still massive but nothing about it spoke of any christmas memories. he stopped to look at the home and catch his breath and wondered aloud if it was still a christmas tradition. he glanced west and was pleased to see that the homeless had given up on whatever it was he was thinking. he had headed back to his probable corner at soto and marengo where he might catch some spare change from folks leaving the usc medical centers. county usc and keck a bit further east nestled in the small rolling hills of east l.a.
moving west again he wondered why he was there. he did know that eventually somehow or another he’d end up back home again. it was just one of those things. he wasn’t used to it but there was nothing he could do about it. what bothered him was not knowing what was going to happen. he never knew. he wondered if he’d see the angel/nurse/government agent again. or keith. one or the other usually showed up. sometimes together.
he was passing the vista motel a large early 60′s structure. he’d never seen it from this angle. it was always from the freeway. you couldn’t miss it. it was big and sat right on the side of the road. with the constant freeway noise he often had wondered how anyone ever got any rest. on the side of the street he was on he’d stopped in the shade of a mexican cantina. he stuck his hands in his pockets and came out with a few small bills. the bar was already open so he went inside to get out of the heat, to grab a beer, and think a bit more.
it was dark and cool inside. as his eyes became adjusted to the light he noticed a couple of other early morning or all night drinkers were down at the end of the bar furthest from the door. the place reeked of stale beer, old smoke, and seedy desperation. as he settled into a bar stool his bare arms stuck to the bar top. the bartender wandered over wiping his hands on an old dirty towel. he made a sad attempt at cleaning the bar top with the rag.
‘cerveza, por favor. coors light.’, the man said, as he placed a five spot on the bar.
the bartender nodded and went to fetch the beer.
the beer arrived sans a glass which given the circumstances was just as well. the TV was on and as he sipped the ice old brew he watched it without much interest. it was the news on a local spanish station. a rather pretty reporter was standing in front of the old parker center building yammering away in spanish about something or another. the only interest he was paying was to her ample cleavage. given his meager knowledge of spanish he’d gleaned she was talking about a murder that had occurred last night. the suspect was still apparently at large also apparently considered to be armed and dangerous. he yawned then sipped his beer.
the next moment was one of those things that made these time travel deals a white knuckled scary ride. it was as if he’d plunged through all of dante’s rings and had boarded the boat steaming into the port of hades. his picture appeared on the TV. ms boobs was saying something about the photo being the suspect the cops were searching for. a person interest. yeah, it was him. what the fuck? he was even wearing the clothes he had on in the photo.
he was so startled he was sitting ramrod straight on the bar stool. his bottle of beer frozen halfway to his lips. jesus, a new wrinkle indeed. he finally got his arm to move again and he drank long from the beer. thankfully, neither the bartender or the drunks at the other end of the bar were paying no attention to him or the TV. he finished his beer. left the five on the bar. said nothing then stepped back out into the black air, hot sun, and blinding light.
sunrise was still twenty minutes away but on the horizon the sky had turned a muted gold with a pale turquoise above it. the man was vaguely aware of this. sleep, alcohol, and probably a good amount of smoke made it very hard for the man to welcome the new day with any enthusiasm. laying in bed half sleep he could see the colored morning sky and the leafless trees through his bedroom window. for some reason that sight bothered him though his hangover prevented him from putting a finger on exactly why it did.
the bedroom and probably the rest of the house still smelled of last nights dinner. garlic, rosemary, and fried chicken. he yawned. stretched. then rolled over to give his emma a good morning kiss, and if she was awake, to thank her again for last nights wonderful meal. he realized the other half of his bed was empty. cold to the touch as well.
this jolted the man fully awake. he threw off the bed covers and sat up.
no answer. as he fumbled around for his underwear and sandals he wondered where she was.
‘emma? emma? hey, you here? emma?’
it was way too early for any sort of shopping adventures even for her. what was going on? where was she? the man was out of bed and semi dressed as he made his way out of the bedroom. he was still calling his wife’s name as he went from room to room. spotting his old pickup through the second bedroom window he knew emma couldn’t be far away.
‘emma? emma? come on girl. where are you?’
he was in the kitchen. the smell of last nights dinner was very strong there. dinner dishes and a cast iron frying pan sat dry in the rack beside the sink. his truck was still out back so maybe she had gone up to the country store on the corner. early for that but, well, maybe. he got to the back door and then he heard it. a car parked out on the dirt driveway. the man moved aside the curtain to get a better look outside. he saw the car. it’s motor softly idling and it’s exhaust as thick as smoke in the cold morning air.
that was it. very cold outside. trees with no leaves. it had been late spring yesterday. hadn’t it? warm with meadowlarks singing. emma had made fried chicken for dinner. he grabbed both sides of the backdoor jam to steady himself. looking through the small window he stared at the car. it was a limo. a very pretty blond woman wearing a chauffeurs hat sat behind the wheel. next to her in the front seat sat keith richards of the rolling stones he was wearing a semi sort of smile on his craggy face. he raised both hands in a gesture that could only mean, who else would it be? keith’s smile grew into a huge grin and then the man heard the all to familiar cackling coming from the enclosed limo.
it was happening again. that was for sure. but why? deja vu all over again? the man stepped into the cold winter morning to meet his fate while he and his heart ached for his long dead emma.
as he walked toward the idling limo the passenger side door opened. keith’s cackling laughter had died away. walking around the open door he noticed that the old stone was apparently sleeping. or more likely passed out. he heard the driver speak in a soft voice with a slight german accent.
‘good morning, sir. please, get in. i’m afraid you’ll be alone until keef wakes up.’
sticking his head inside the car he said.
‘hmmm. yeah, at least you said, please. look, um, i just woke up and i’m not really dressed for a road trip. what’s the deal? where are we going? who wants me now? and why?’
he stopped talking when he noticed the pretty blond just staring at him.
‘ah, christ. i haven’t even had my morning coffee yet. it’s cold out here. i’m going back in the house.’
he closed the closed the limo door and turned back toward the kitchen. the chauffeur was saying something but he didn’t care. when he reached the kitchen door he looked back at the idling car. keith richards was still asleep, or passed out, and the driver was still staring at him, but now she was talking to someone on the phone. great, he thought, as he went back inside closing the door. the man was careful to lock it as well. though if it was them again a locked door meant nothing.
he busied himself making coffee and tried very hard not to think about the limo sitting outside on his dirt driveway. eventually whatever was going come out because of it would make itself known. another drug run with the rolling stones guitarist? maybe. though the thing with his dead wife emma was another story.
the house very clearly smelled of rosemary garlic fried chicken. no doubt about it. two sets of dinner dishes and a couple of wine glasses sat in the dish drying rack. when he opened the refrigerator for some milk for his coffee he spotted a plate of leftover fried chicken along with a container of leftover roasted potatoes and carrots. yeah, last night had been real enough. or was it? emma was dead. she died of cancer years ago. maybe it was just the ache and misery of her loss that still haunted him.
‘ah, but, ghosts making fried chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots?’
he’d said that aloud as the phone in the kitchen started to ring. he sipped his coffee and stared at the ringing phone. he wasn’t going to answer it but by the twentieth ring he got up to answer the phone if only to stop it’s incessant ringing.
‘yeah, who is it? no, tell you what, i don’t care. leave me alone.’
he hung up the phone. several seconds later it started ringing again. this time he unplugged the phone from the wall. sipping his coffee he walked back to his bedroom and unplugged that phone as well. silence filled the little home. when he got back to the kitchen he noticed that the limo was gone.
hey, kids, what time is it? well, buffalo bob, it’s college football’s bowl madness time. yes siree, kids, it’s that time of year when the season is over and 140 or so FBS schools get to go bowling. holiday bowling. money money money bowling. along with at least an extra 21 days of practice the left outs don’t get. those 21 days are big time when next season rolls around. probably just as big as the money handed out to the conferences involved. the coaches love the 21 days more than the money. well, maybe.
at any rate, we get to sit through this holiday season and the next with the BCS thingy. that flawed mess that seemingly worked out ok this year. though someone always gets hosed by the tedious computers and/or arcane bowling rules and regulations. by this time in 2014 the BCS will be history and we’ll have our first playoffs. though i’m still not convinced that it’s going to work. i guess we’ll just have to wait and see. that old wheeze, be careful what you wish for, keeps popping up in the back of my mind. plus, i was never really sure if i wanted them in the first place. at any rate, we are going to be saddled with the ‘new and so called improved system’ for 14 years, people. 14 years is a long ass time to be saddled with anything. especially if the humps involved screw it up in some form or another. that, kids, you can take to the bank. they’re gonna screw it up. when has anything the suits ever came up with worked liked they said it would? exactly. yes, they have some guy that ran the college basketball big dance for a number of years. is he up for it? then there’s the fact, four teams might not be enough, however, anymore begins to dilute the regular season. i could go on and on with other points but i would just be repeating myself ad nauseum. if you’re really interested you can find those other bowl rants in my archives. they’re all still relevant as far as i’m concerned.
i’ll just be picking the bowls i have some sort of interest in watching, for whatever reason or reasons. straight up picks. no points or spreads to worry about. the only thing you as a fan have to worry about is if your starting qb or half of the defensive line get picked up by the cops for whatever sort of criminal violation or activity. yeah, it’s that time of year when college football players seem to get dumber than they normally are. too much time on their hands even with the extra practices. unlike the coaches, the kids are fed up with practicing by this point in the year. so they rape, rob, and pillage while drunk and or stoned just for something to do. ‘hey, let’s steal the computer nerds car and go across town and break into the dorms at all woman’s state.’ ‘great idea. pass me the bong and jd red first. i’m not wasted enough.’ i can relate to the not wasted enough deal but that’s a major veer and another story all together. but i think you get the picture.
as always, this is for entertainment purposes only. you should never take anything here as any sort of wagering advice. doing so would be asinine and make you much crazier than you really are.
one last word of warning. sitting through all of the bowl games on a couch in front of your TV will cause even more brain damage to your already addled state. just pick a handful of games you may find interesting or use my handy BCS bowling guide listed below and save yourself the loss of much needed sanity and some more brain cells.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12/22 maaco. boise st & washington. my first pick as we’re out of town and on the high seas until this date. no, we haven’t joined the navy. so, there’s no point in pointing out any of the earlier games as i can’t watch them and just looking at the list gives me the dry heaves. though the poinsettia on the 20th is of some interest with san diego st and byu. too bad i’ll miss it. ok. boise st gets this vegas bowl just about every year since byu decided sin city wasn’t for them anymore. that’s fine with the boise faithful even though they lust after greener bowling pastures. maybe one day broncos. easy one here. boise st should hammer the huskies in any sane man’s world. take boise st.
12/24 hawaii. fresno st & smu. a nice way to spend christmas eve. a quiet pre-christmas meal sans the relatives, if you’re lucky. some drinks and TV football. june jones gets to go back to hawaii the scene of his earlier coaching accomplishments. a nice gesture by the bowling boys there if there ever was one. if the fresno st guys don’t lose focus, an easy thing to do in honolulu with all the oiled up and barely dressed japanese lady tourists, they should ruin coach jones homecoming. take fresno st.
12/27 holiday. ucla & baylor. the bruins get to travel 160 miles or so south to san diego for this game after losing two in a row to the trees. yippy. i hope they will plan on playing and not partying and scaring the local female talent into hiding. if they come to play they win. maybe. coach mora is for real though. then there’s the fact baylor went on a roll their last 3 or 4 games and shut down some pretty good teams. one to watch. home boy says, take the bruins.
12/29 alamo. oregon st & texas. nice match-up here, kids. i’m assuming the game is in san antonio and not some alamo rental car parking lot out in the middle of nowhere. though that actually might be a fun thing if it were. a possible score fest if both teams are into it. one of those, let’s see if we can blow up the scoreboard type deals. fun stuff if it happens. i have to take the beavs but the longhorns could very well win. your choice. on a side note, coach riley would probably rather be in california where he could score as many ‘in-n-out’ animal style double doubles as he wants. hey, that’s what a hamburger is all about. in-n-out. yes, a crass cheap form of commercialism from yours truly. it’s that time of year, college football bowling season!! woohoo! the bowls do it so i may as well go for it. take 1. a couple of in-n-out animal style double doubles pair well with absolut vodka on the rocks. try them both today. cut. i’ll work fairly cheap and you can get in touch with me here. two of the best companies on the planet, in-n-out burgers and absolut vodka. thanks in advance guys. in case you missed it, i’m taking the beavs.
12/31 sun. georgia tech & usc. i had to look up the sun bowl as i’d completely forgotten where it was played. el paso, tx. that ought to make the local chamber of commerce guys cringe. if coach kiffin can get the boys up for this one i’ll be very surprised. i’ll also be surprised if half the squad isn’t in jail by game time. dad kiffin says he’s gone after this game. was he fired or was the high road taken? more importantly, how in the hell was he worth $1.5 mil a year? maybe they both should quit. happy new year’s eve. a toss up. this pick is up to you. the brown eyed girl and i are going out to dinner at a very nice steakhouse. i’ll miss the game. shucks.
1/4 cotton. texas a&m & oklahoma. i’ll tune into this game for several reasons. first, it’s, johnny football’s last chance, for the next 9 months, to wow the locals and TV couch potatoes far and wide with his amazing football magic. if he doesn’t go pro maybe penn & teller can use him in their act. secondly, the sooners missed a BCS bowl. they probably aren’t happy. good match-up and good TV fare. this could be another scoreboard blow out. two words, johnny football. take the aggies to win.
ok. time for the big ones.
1/1 rose. wisconsin & stanford. the grand daddy of them all. with maybe a chance at the B-2 doing a fly-over of the house here. slim but you never know. it did happen one year but at the time i was living closer to pasadena. pasadena got lucky this year. three years in a row for the badger faithful and a date out in probably sunny socal. i always hope for a deluge on jan 1. i never get my wish. the badger faithful know their way around old town by now. the trees faithful on the other hand may or may not show up. it just depends on a lot of stuff. i will actually watch this game. maybe even all of it. with wisconsin having thrown a big hurt on the huskers this could get interesting. i’m thinking possibly a low scoring snooze fest. as a life long PAC (8)(10)12 homer the trees are my pick.
1/1 orange. florida st & northern illinois. with all the transplanted new yorkers, nyc snowbirds, and mob capos in florida this would have been a perfect game for rutgers had they beaten louisville. they didn’t. and guess what? n. illinois is here instead of them. louisville got a better offer. take florida st.
1/2 sugar. florida & louisville. bourbon st beat. um, look it up. if the kids don’t get crazed and or tossed in the slammer while in the big easy the cardinals ought to win.
1/3 fiesta. kansas st & oregon. hey, maybe visor head kelly’s last game for my beloved ducks. or does he do one more year before turning pro? we wait and see. fingers crossed. in the mean time, someone let mike bellotti know he can have his old job back if he wants it. works for me. i think this game will probably set some sort of bowling scoring record. if it doesn’t it might be a yawner. another game i’ll more than likely watch at least for a while. maybe. QUACK QUACK!!! says it all.
1/7 BCS Championship. notre dame & alabama. i generally don’t watch this game. regardless of who’s playing. you shouldn’t either. take the wife out for a nice dinner instead. tell her you love her and thanks for letting you ruin most of her saturdays for the past 4 months or so. also, a few week nights as well. the winner? i don’t care. nick satan or the domers? please. ok. so i hope the domers win. they probably won’t. meh. i mean the season has been over for over a month. come on. at this point, who cares? other than those involved. or the dimwitted who bought tickets to this let’s cram as many commercials into a three/four hour period as we can in this made for TV mind numbing mess. riddle me this, who won the crystal thing five years ago? exactly.
only 11 games out of the bazillion or so bowler games? yep. most of them are turkeys and not worth your time. mine in particular. i’ll tune in to a few of my picks, if only in passing. it’s just hard to work up any sort of interest in these bowl games anymore. it’s more about the TV money and how much money the local yokels can fleece from the rubes who buy tickets to these turkeys than it is about college football. sad but true. it’s the brave new world of college ball. schools bouncing from league to league searching for the golden ring, egg, or big money bowl shopping. raiders of the lost ark as it were. the coming of the dreaded super conferences paired with a sharp wooden stake to be driven into the hearts of those of us who remember back when. crap.
is it september yet?
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