i went 7 for 10 last week leading up to happy turkey day and happy what used to be rivalry weekend as well. though over the years rivalry weekend has become somewhat diluted with some rivalries being played other weeks of the year. yeah, there’s still a number of the games left to be savored with leftover thanksgiving goodies but it isn’t quite the same as in the old days. but then what is? exactly. none the less, rivalry weekend rolls into town with turkey and stuffing, over eating, drinking and the dreaded relatives this long holiday weekend. at any rate, it’s my favorite weekend of the year.
the 7 for 10 put my over all at 70 for 130 or 10 games over .500 something i’m relieved to finally see. my best picks last week were arizona, minnesota and my personal fave, oklahoma st. all that being said, remember this is for entertainment purposes only. don’t use anything bandied about here and take it to sin city or your local branch of sin city to use as some sort of betting edge. it would be insane. do not do it. you aren’t that stupid now, are you?
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-27 tcu @ texas. tcu favored by 6.5 points. turkey day rolls out with what used to be a pretty good game. this year? meh. though i’d watch this game rather than a pro game. just sayin’. tcu needs kansas st to put down baylor for them to have any shot at the BIG 12 title and a big dance card handed to them. but that may not even seal the deal. the longhorns have been all over the map this season on their train to nowhere. even though it’s a home game for them things probably won’t change much for the longhorns. although the lack of points reflects the rivalry. tcu rolls. take tcu to win and cover.
11-27 lsu @ texas a&m. lsu favored by 2.5 points. the tigers are coming off a two game losing streak. the aggies, as predicted here, finally ran into their real schedule. to be fair, they did out last auburn a couple of weeks ago. probably a pretty good game with the aggies lucky it’s a homer with the points doing another reflection thingy. i’m taking the aggies here to at least cover the points. yeah, i know.
11-28 arizona st @ arizona. no line as of publication. it’s a short busy week and i’m not sitting around waiting for them to figure it out. two thirds of the PAC south title contenders mix it up in tucson on friday at the same time as the other third hits the turf in tree country. this game is on FOX the other on ABC. even under normal circumstances this has always been a good game. this year with a shot at the title and a chance for a go at the ducks makes this game a must watch. yes, both teams lost to ucla so they need the bruins to go belly up. flip a coin. although home turf seals it for the wildcats. take arizona for the win.
11-28 stanford @ ucla. ucla favored by 4.5 points. the PAC 12 south title up for grabs and the bruins at home, the site of their only losses this year. stanford with a shot at playing spoiler and parlaying that into perhaps a decent bowl bid. what does it all mean? the bruins win and cover. take them. and stay off the 210 freeway anywhere near pasadena.
11-29 miss st @ ole miss. miss st favored by 1 point. of the two, miss st seems to be the only team with any steam and desire left in them this year. maybe the talk of ole miss’ coach freeze heading to florida has put the kids in the dumps. sort of like the kids learning mom and dad are heading for a split. i say that’s fine let him go and bring back coach ed o for a shot of redemption. yuup, works for me. i digress. take miss st for the win and very short cover.
11-29 oregon @ oregon st. oregon favored by 20 points. the civil war game. the beaves have had a dismal season with the exception of beating arizona st at home which is huge. at least in my book. on the other hand, the ducks need this to remain a temporary pick for the playoffs and then a win next week to seal the deal. if state can find what they had on 11-15 again this will indeed be more than their bowl game for the year. never count coach riley out. take oregon st to cover the points.
11-29 notre dame @ usc. usc favored by 7 points. the domers ride a three game losing streak into lotus land for one of the oldest rivalry games going. usc needs the win for a better shot at a bowl bid and to derail the trees and their bid. yes, a bit convoluted but what else is new? at least it’s a home game for the men of troy and another 12:30 game time. which means fresh batteries for the TV remote might be a good idea for this saturday. plus, more clogged freeways in the metro area. take usc to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!
11-29 minnesota @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 13 points. hopefully, this game gets some TV time. just sayin’. the badgers mailed in their win over iowa last week. the gophers played their hearts out in their win against nebraska. did they leave their game in lincoln? i like both teams. however, the short break hurts the gophers more. take wisconsin to win and cover.
11-29 utah st @ boise st. boise st favored by 9.5 points. if the broncos pull this one out they play in the MW championship. simple as that. they’ll probably win that game then get hosed like in the old BCS days. Times have changed??? i’m rushing things a bit. take boise st to win and cover.
11-29 auburn @ alabama. alabama favored by 9.5 points. pretty much everyone in the SEC took a bye last week and scheduled a game which should be classified as an exhibition game and mean nothing in the final standings. yeah, like that’s going to happen. what should happen is the practice of the SEC playing practice games in late november needs to end. the problem being the SEC is too damned arrogant for the practice to go away without some sort of king hell fight going down. the NCAA doesn’t have the stomach for it or for much else or so it seems. the game? i like auburn to at least get inside the points. take auburn.
enjoy your rivalry weekend and the last college football week of the year where it’s just about everybody’s final regular season game for 2014. next week we get a handful of leftover games and a few league championship match-ups. then the usual chaos will ensue. have a happy thanksgiving! be safe. be semi sane.
after suffering a bout of some sort of lower GI and occasional upper GI thing since saturday evening i’ve finally made it here for this weeks picks. better late than never. i haven’t been that sick since probably my high school or college days. it was a sort of a never ending colonoscopy prep, if you get my drift. at any rate, i’ll be keeping things a bit more simple this week.
ok. so, last week i tailed off some and went 4 for 10. had a couple of my picks who won covered the points things would have been much better. i had two standout picks however with, utah and oregon st. my over all now sits at 63 for 120. nothing stellar.
remember this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here as any sort of betting advise would be pretty stupid on numerous levels. do not do it.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-21 air force @ san diego st. san diego st favored by 4.5 points. i honestly don’t get the spread here. the falcons are a much better team. i’ve even checked the odds a couple of times. someone obviously knows something i don’t. not an uncommon thing. be that as it may i’m taking the falcons to at least get inside the spread. maybe even win.
11-22 colorado @ oregon. no line. colorado is abysmal as ever. if colorado wins it will be a sign of the apocalypse so strap yourself in. take oregon for the win. QUACK QUACK!!!
11-22 usc @ ucla. ucla favored by 3.5 points. a crosstown rivalry that most of us here in lala land patiently wait for every year. regardless of how good or bad either school is in any given year pretty much goes out the window for this game. plus, the fact that calls get missed or manufactured out of thin air or some other sort of strangeness goes down effecting the outcome of the game. it just seems to be part of what a rivalry shootout is all about. the bruins are on a 4 or 5 game roll here. Pac south title on the line for the trojans, at least for this week. a close call to be sure. i’ve been using a usc keck hospital pen for my notebook this week so, ipso facto, take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!
11-22 arizona @ utah. utah favored by 4 points. both schools coming off squeaker wins last week. utah with the home field 3 plus one. another close call. take arizona to beat the points or win.
11-22 minnesota @ nebraska. nebraska favored by 10.5 points. two rushing power houses crack heads in what should be a fun game to watch. minnesota doesn’t get much respect though i like them. out on a limb here but take the gophers to get inside the spread and perhaps even win.
11-22 washington st @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 16 points. i just don’t see pirate mike’s cougars with any shot at all here against the sun devils. yes, i’ve been wrong before. none the less, take arizona st for the win and cover.
11-22 ole miss @ arkansas. ole miss favored by 13.5 points. despite the fact ole miss went off road and did a preseason road kill thumping last week i still like them here. although arkansas may surprise. it wouldn’t be a first. take ole miss for the win and cover.
11-22 western carolina @ alabama. no line. that is to be expected with this freak show. at least the ducks game is a conference game. for at least the last four years and probably even longer the tide has scheduled some form of road kill for this week. this year it’s western carolina. lovely. i’m sure coach satan has some semi weird sort of explanation for doing this every year. however, the bottom line is for it’s all about the wins. quality be damned. because if you just look at the numbers you’re missing the fact that the tide played some Div ll school in week 13. plus, a couple the first few weeks of the season. it’s bad enough doing it the first couple of weeks of the season and shrugging it off, but this time of the year smacks at an arrogance of epic proportions. and is one of the reasons i’ve fallen off the tides wagon. no line? take the tide.
11-22 oklahoma st @ baylor. baylor favored by 27.5 points. a bundle of points for sure and i’m thinking the cowboys are looking at this game as a bowl game and their shot at redemption for a train wreck of a season. they have it in them. they may not win but i think they will at least get inside the points. take oklahoma st.
11-22 boise at @ wyoming. boise st favored by 12 points. a night game in wyoming the end of november. ouch. things could go off the rails for either team at any point. boise st needs the win. take the broncos to win and cover.
with only a few weeks left in the regular season enjoy your weekend of college ball. be safe. be semi sane.
going back to using the point spread again after my prolonged vacation didn’t put a damper on picks for week 11. i went 7 for 10. keeping me above .500 with room to spare. my best pick of the week was texas a&m to beat the spread which they did with room to spare and took the win as well. maybe they aren’t that bad after all. at any rate, my overall now sits at, 59 for 110. my average continues its up swing for three straight weeks. finally.
the CFP still has a murky mess on it’s hands and maybe things will work out by december. or maybe not. thing is, will everyone be happy? no, probably not.
just remember this particular murky mess is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here as some sort of advantage with legal or otherwise betting adventures would be really really stupid. yes, i occasionally hit some high notes. be that is it may, do not do it. leave your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket and nobody gets hurt.
the points used here are what i use to determine my wins and losses for the week. it matters not if they change up or down for my purposes.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-13 cal @ usc. usc favored by 14.5 points. after a week off the trojans get cal at home on thursday night right smack in the middle of rush hour traffic. a perhaps not so brilliant scheduling move on someones part to make an already nasty drive home even worse with the addition of a game at the coliseum. stunningly stupid to those on the freeways going home or going to the game. though it does give the the trojans several extra days to prepare for the bruins on nov 22. yeah, there is that. cal is on a three game losing streak which for them and the time of year is nothing new. the trojans need a win here and on the 22nd then have some other things go down and there will be a log jam for the PAC south title. fun times for sure. i digress. take usc for the win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!
11-15 clemson @ georgia tech. clemson favored by 3 points. the tigers didn’t blow wake forest out of the water last week and they probably should have. though they do have the better half of the ACC schedule going for them. georgia tech plays in the crappy half. take clemson for the win and cover.
11-15 auburn @ georgia. georgia favored by 2.5 points. the bulldogs whipped up on kentucky on the road last week. while the tigers are still wondering what the hell happened when a&m came a calling. i’m sure it was some sort of anomaly, but it’s still a loss and one neither school can afford again. guess what? one of them probably sinks out of the CFP for sure this weekend. or maybe not. the dice haven’t stopped tumbling just yet. i’m taking auburn for the win or at least get inside the slim margin of points.
11-15 nebraska @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 6 points. i like the cornhuskers at home and their schedule so far this year looks somewhat better on paper than the badgers’ looks. though neither school seems to impress some wags and some of the talking heads. me? they’re probably both better than georgia tech. i like the badgers at home for this one. take wisconsin to win or cover.
11-15 miss st @ alabama. alabama favored by 7 points. it’s put up or shut up for the bulldogs this week. simple as that. the tide had their hands full with lsu last week in their usual defensive snore fest when the two of them tango. bama at home with a statement to be made should be very hard to beat. take the tide for the win and cover.
11-15 utah @ stanford. stanford favored by 7.5 points. the utes and the trees have pretty much had their tickets punched for the season. their final three games are for pride and the hope for some sort of decent bowling bid. whoever wins this one may put and end to either of those for the loser. the ducks clubbed both squads into submission. it’s another one of those who looks best on paper things. for my money i like the utes. all that being said, if the utah players have no clue where the end zone is even when it’s color coded for them, they deserve what ever happens. the undercurrent of redemption probably runs deep in utah this week. would have, could have and should have running a close second. take utah to at least get inside the points.
11-15 pitt @ n. carolina. n. carolina favored by 2 points. both schools with identical records. the only difference being the tar heels will be down for the count for many years to come. that is if the ever useless NCAA does what they pay their people to do. like look the other way? take extra long 3 martini lunches? naps on the veranda? more martinis along with kobe beef sliders then the chauffeur takes them home? my guess is, sometime into the next century we’ll find out what the NCAA intends to do about the tar heels and their academic issues, stupidity and general insanity. in the end probably nothing. but i’ve been surprised before. the game at hand? take pitt for the win.
11-15 iowa @ illinois. iowa favored by 5.5 points. another meaningless game, but one that gives me the opportunity to avoid another SEC match-up and florida st. however, this one is for my late pops. born in iowa but he spent plenty of time on his uncle’s farm up in illinois. dad was known to stash a live turkey in his carry on bag on the train home for thanksgiving dinner in iowa. take iowa for the win and cover.
11-15 san diego st @ boise st. boise st favored by 14 points. this might be a good game however, see above. both schools are in the better half of the mountain west. the aztecs need one more win for a shot at bowling for dollars in december. the broncos are already in that position. boise st at home is a tough nut to crack and they are a seriously better team on paper than the aztecs. take boise st to win and cover the spread.
11-15 arizona st @ oregon st. arizona st favored by 9.5 points. the poor beaves are on a four game losing streak along with meeting the surging sun devils at home this week. a potential train wreck in the making for coach riley. or the opportunity to play big time spoiler here and again in two weeks. although i suppose oregon st could pull off some sort of miraculous biblical type thing and actually win the game. or maybe at least get inside the points. yes, the beaves finally get some satisfaction and get inside the points for what will be a nail biter. take them.
fall seems to be finally making a sort of hesitant appearance, or what passes for it these days, here in the land of the lotus. anyway, enjoy your weekend and the games. be safe. be semi sane.
things continue to look up, as week 10 saw me going 8 for 10 again. two weeks in a row. sweet. hopefully, there’s another one waiting to happen in the wings. my over all now sits at 52 for 100 marking the first time this year i’ve been over the 50% mark. yes, nothing really news worthy but improving. now, if it could at least just stay there or make an other improvement this week.
the CFP or whatever it is has come up with their very own top 25 list. the question begs and begs…why? are they trying to convince folks they are actually hard at work? more like hard at busy work. you know like when the boss rolls through you have a broom in your hand or you’re at your desk pretending to be working on paperwork or something. we’ve all done it. the ‘committee’ is too. seems like the more things change the more they stay the same.
i’m back to using point spreads again this week. the long vacation is over and things are finally back to normal around these parts. always remember this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here to gain some sort of insider info to use at your local betting parlor or out in the glitz of the nevada desert would be supremely stupid on your part. do not do it. keep your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket and nobody gets hurt.
the spreads used here are what i use to determine my wins and losses for the week. the odds may change but what’s here is what i use. yeah, there have been times if i’d changed things a day or so before the game things might would been different. point being, i have a life.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-7 utah st @ wyoming. utah st favored by 6 points. yes, there might be a couple of other games i could have put on this weeks schedule. yes, both teams have a semi sort of dismal record going for them. that’s one reason i picked this game. plus, i like both schools. sue me. on paper the aggies have a distinct edge.
take utah st to win and cover the spread.
11-8 baylor @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 4.5 points. a pretty good game. baylor can score some points but they seem to play much better at home. the sooners do well on the road and at home. both have similar records with baylor having a one game advantage. i have to take the sooners at home to win and cover the points.
11-8 kansas st @ tcu. tcu favored by 5 points. this is one of my favorite games of the weekend. possibly one of those scoreboard blow outs. tcu has the paper edge. however, i’m taking kansas st to at least get inside the points.
11-8 notre dame @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 1.5 point. another weekend favorite. the domers travel to the desert southwest for an afternoon in the sun and possibly some heat. take the sun devils to win and cover.
11-8 texas a&m @ auburn. auburn favored by 21.5 ponts. auburn sunk ole miss right out of the playoffs last week. as i predicted weeks ago the aggies schedule would sink them once they hit quality teams and it has.
21.5 is a lot of points for this time of year. for pride only the aggies get inside the spread. take a&m.
11-8 air force @ unlv. air force favored by 6 points. another game that makes no difference other than the falcons need to keep winning in order to go bowling later in the year. and their offense, at times, is worth watching. unlv is dreadful this year. take air force to win and cover the points.
11-8 ucla @ washington. ucla favored by 4 points. as a PAC(8)(10)12 homer this is my favorite game of the weekend. the huskies are doing OK but didn’t play that well in a win against hapless colorado last week. the bruins held on for the win in a rare sort of defensive game for the PAC 12 against arizona at home. a good game. take the bruins to win and cover.
11-8 ohio st @ michigan st. michigan st favored by 3.5 points. the Big Ten(14) game of the year. for sure the easts game of the year. a loss drops one of them out of the CFP or would seem so. i heard some one say no one wants to play the spartans this year. it might be true. michigan st at home on a good year for them you have to take them to win and cover the spread.
11-8 alabama @ lsu. alabama favored by 6 points. the tide travels into bayou country this week for what hopefully won’t be a defensive slug fest. even though the tigers are playing well and this is a home game i have to take the tide to roll on and win or cover the spread.
11-8 oregon @ utah. oregon favored by 9.5 points. possibly a very high octane game. the ducks make the short trip to provo where they will hopefully make short work of the utes in their seemingly last game against a seemingly high quality opponent. december 5th being the exception. and then there’s the civil war game where anything can happen. the utes won against usc and ucla earlier in the year. can they do it again? the ducks need this one and with mariota on a high i’m taking the ducks to win and cover the points. QUACK QUACK!!!
another fine week for college ball. if you close your eyes and breathe deep you can almost smell the roasted turkey and stuffing in the air. enjoy your weekend. be safe. be semi sane.
a stunning week 9 turned out to be my best week of the year so far. i hit 8 for 10 something i usually do a couple of times a year but hadn’t yet this year. with any luck at all i’ll hit another one for week 10. my over all now sits at a semi respectable 44 for 90.
the UNC “daisy cutter” hit with hopefully enough force to make some changes in college athletics. that is if the ever useless NCAA even noticed the flash, concussion and smoke from the bomb exploding. yes, it’s nothing new but the imbeciles at UNC were caught red handed with their collective hands in the cookie jar. busted like one of the thugs they coddle and protect then send off to real life still unable to read.
can or will the NCAA just look some other way and pretend all is well like they usually do? they will if folks let them. that’s how it works in the good old boy halls of ivy. a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse. thanks for that one ronnie wood. anyway, it’s SOP for the suit and tie crowd that runs things in college and TV land. i’ve hammered on this for years…money is sinking college athletics. money and stupidity walk hand in hand down the hallowed ivy halls of higher education. TV and the money tree that grows there is just too tempting for the loons and lame brains running college athletic programs.
sex or money. the two bottom lines in life, politics and in college ball. follow the money or the hot babes. it’s where you’ll find the answers. simple as that. sure you’re gonna find some answers THEY don’t want you to find but that’s what being a real journalist is all about. not being some talking pet parrot getting hand fed news items then squawking them to the masses with nary a waver or iota of guilt. the party line must be held at all costs. the masses are too stupid to govern themselves. sorry, that was veer and for another time.
all of this nonsense is primarily going down in FBS or DIV 1 schools. though i’m sure where ever you find a clutch of boosters or alumni at say roto-rooter poly tech or windshield replacement & car bondo state you’ll find paper bags with a couple of greasy fried chicken stains on them being passed around. but there ain’t no fried chicken in the bag, kids. no, there be money in them bags. lots of it.
so, the question is, do you want sports along with something we all can be proud of or do you want a sports culture where decency and decorum are laughed at or spit upon for the sake of the money? a college sports roman bacchanal as it were? what’ll it be? we’ve come to that fork in the road. or a crossroads in robert johnson terms.
another week of just straight up winners for me because of the vacation that lingers. things should be back to normal next week. as always, this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. finding anything here to be used for legal or illegal sports betting would be very stupid and detrimental to your bank account. leave your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket and nobody gets hurts.
rock ‘n’ roll.
11-1 air force @ army. on the surface this would seem like an easy pick. however, strange things do happen when a rivalry kicks in. army has been on a losing streak for what amounts to years. that streak should continue here. take air force for the win.
11-1 tcu @ w. virginia. the horned frogs dumped a ton of points on texas tech last week at home. the mountaineers on the other hand are quietly winning and staying semi sort of under the radar. if being a top 25 team is staying under the radar. i like tcu’s winning record better and if they didn’t run the tank dry last week they should have no trouble with w. virginia. take tcu for the win.
11-1 oklahoma @ iowa st. the cyclones at home with a so so win loss record against the sooners. if i were doing points this week it would be very tempting to take them regardless what the spread is. but that isn’t the case here. so, take the sooners for the win.
11-1 purdue @ nebraska. purdue is it’s usual doormat self this year. what else can you say? nebraska has abdullah running circles around just about everybody. literally. if he stays healthy and gets the ball enough he should hit 2,000 yards for the season. this game at home should be a doozy for him and definitely a fun game to watch. take the cornhuskers for the win.
11-1 auburn @ ole miss. ole miss lost a heartbreaker to lsu last week. which i semi predicted but didn’t follow up on. the SEC west looks like L.A. rush hour traffic and this game should clear things up a bit. ole miss at home turns things around and keeps thier playoff hopes alive. take ole miss.
11-1 arkansas @ mississippi st. the razorbacks can’t seem to win against a ranked team this year. that tradition continues here. take miss st for the win.
11-1 stanford @ oregon. the ducks porous defense showed up again last week against cal. if it happens again this week they will sink into to the sunset for the year playoffs wise. if the trees pull this one out they’re back on top in the PAC north. a good game that so far no one has picked up for TV. interesting. i have to stay with my beloved ducks. take oregon for the win. QUACK QUACK!!!
11-1 usc @ washington st. even though they are losing more than they are winning the cougars have an impressive passing game. plus the fact the trojans are having some trouble playing on the road this year. all of that make this a good game to watch. that is if you have the PAC 12 network. hopefully, the trojans pull it together for the win. take usc. FIGHT ON!!!
11-1 arizona @ ucla. the bruin defense slept late last saturday and missed most of the game against colorado. they can’t let that happen again this week. with pretty much everyone with the exception of colorado in the hunt for the PAC south crown both teams need the win. i have to take the bruins in what will probably be another nail biter for them.
11-1 utah @ arizona st. the utes are quietly picking their way through the PAC 12 this season. their job is far from over but things begin to get a bit dicey this week on the road against the sun devils. a good game and another one with no TV coverage. take utah for what will probably be another slim win.
college football weekends dwindle and soon there will be none until next september. where hopefully things will be much different. time tells. enjoy your weekend. be safe. be semi sane.
after another slow start for last week i ended up hitting 6 for 10, with 3 solid picks with notre dame, arizona st and missouri. had a few other teams scored a few more points in winning things would have been even better. yes, could have, should have, would have, the triple threat. none the less, my over now stands at 36 for 80. onward.
college football is in a death spiral and has been for a number of years. there is just way too much money involved and rampant greed has grabbed the college communities by the throat. from top to bottom presidents, deans, ADs and coaches care nothing more than having the money trucks deliver the cash each week. cold hard untraceable cash. screw everything else like morals or educating student athletes.
the fiasco at FSU is this weeks drama. ok, this years drama. last year it was miami(fl) and their ‘problem’ being swept under the rug and carefully taken out the backdoor late at night never to be heard from again. and not the first time either. for some reason the florida schools seem to get breaks no other schools get. ask the trojans and ohio st.
college ball is sick. very sick. maybe it doesn’t have ebola, yet, but if things don’t change beginning with the ever useless NCAA to the schools themselves, you can put money on the fact college football will bleed out and become just another reeking carcass on the side of the road of history. A bit harsh you say? i don’t think so. it’s bound to happen sooner or later. greed and the glut of TV money won’t save college ball from the likes of the stupidity coming from the state of florida. if stupidity and it’s brother, cover-ups, prevail it will be coming to your town and school very soon. count on it. if it isn’t already there. which if you want to be completely honest it’s already there.
jimbo ‘i’m clinically delusional’ fisher needs to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. yeah, like that’s gonna happen any time soon.
life is in the way once again but in a very good way so i probably won’t be doing spreads again this time around. just straight up picks. but that may change. or not.
always remember this is for entertainment purposes only. nothing more. using any information here to gain some sort of bettors advantage would be supremely stupid. sorta like the NCAA. don’t do it. keep your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket and nobody gets hurt.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-24 byu @ boise st. possibly a good game if only to see if the cougars can turn things around or just slip into darkness for the rest of the season. boise st is doing ok and all things being equal their win against nevada and byu losing to nevada should work into boise st taking the win. take boise st.
10-24 oregon @ cal. my beloved ducks travel to the berserkly hills for the second half of a friday night decent game double header. one of those picture in picture deals or DISH’s football thingy might be an asset this friday. cal is not as bad as they usually are however we aren’t quite into november yet where they usually sink quickly into the murk of the east bay. oregon shouldn’t have any problem dealing with cal and taking the win. QUACK QUACK!!!
10-25 texas @ kansas st. it’s probably pretty safe to say that the tigers surprised just about everyone last week with their slim win over the sooners. even with their offense falling off the face of the earth in the 4th quarter. the longhorns on the other hand seem to have found some sort of mojo and dealt the cyclones a loss and another surprise for the week. a good game but kansas st is probably too good for the horns especially at home. kansas st for the win.
10-25 alabama @ tennessee. i’ve been waiting for this one, kids. lane kiffin returns to one of the many crime scenes in his short life. will he even make the trip? coach satan told an early morning press briefing that coach kiffin has a bad case of the flu and won’t be making the trip up to tennessee for saturday’s game. coach satan said lane is dehydrated and bed ridden due to a raging fever that defies all logic and medical knowledge. the bama head coach also stated that ebola has not been ruled out despite the fact coach kiffin had not come into contact with anyone who had the disease. ah, yes, flights of fancy. though one has to wonder if he will make the trip and just what the students and vols fans have as plans for lane. the vols are pretty much dismal this year. but there will be joy in mudville if lane shows up on the sidelines, the airport, hotel or pretty much any place else in town. the vols have no shot at winning this game but a chance at redemption in making lane’s life miserable for a few days. just remember kids, no guns, no knives, brass knuckles, bare fists or anything else that might be deemed deadly. you are after all college kids so use that intelligence and make us all laugh, please. good luck, lane. you made the bed now sleep in it. the tide rolls on take em.
10-25 mississippi @ lsu. what a difference a couple of losses makes for lsu. riding high in september shot down in october(with apologies to old blue eyes). ole miss is on one of those missions that only come along every once and a while. hopefully, they ride it out and into the big dance. the tigers get to play spoiler something they’ve done in the past on numerous occasions. ole miss and the mission continue.
10-25 michigan @ michigan st. big blue is floundering. although with a new coach they did manage a win last week at home. the spartans at home are always tough especially with the state of michigan bragging rights on the line. big blue on the road rebuilding mid year? not against state. take the spartans.
10-25 mississippi st @ kentucky. kentucky is winning some but they run up against the bulldogs and another one of those team mission things which won’t be decided here but down the road a piece. mississippi st, simple as that.
10-25 ohio st @ penn st. penn st seemed to be turning things around up until they hit the hard reality of their schedule. reality gets even more real at home this week against the buckeyes. ohio st for what should probably be an easy win.
10-25 usc @ utah. the PAC(8)(10)12 internal bashing continues. the winner here probably shuts the other out of things or maybe not with the way the bashing has been going. two good teams with the trojans on the road up into some colder weather. socal homer sticks with the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!
10-25 arizona st @ washington. the sun devils continue to win the games they have to win. the trees last week were just another example of that. their only loss was the shellacking the bruins dealt them. the huskies at home have alays been trouble. depending on the points this one will be a good one to take a long look at. the huskies play tough but arizona st wins it.
another week in the books. the bells are tolling for college football. will college football man up, as the saying goes, and deal with their many problems? in a forthright manner? or continue to pretend all is well in the halls of ivy and college ball. we’ll just have to wait and see. i’d advise against holding your breath. enjoy the games and your weekend. be safe. be semi sane.
last week would have been a much better week if i had not used the spreads. not that the previous week was so bleeding stellar by any stretch of the imagination. it just goes to show that the grand palaces out in the nevada desert aren’t built by folks winning money. over the years vegas has become known more as ‘last wages’ here in socal. but that’s for another time.
week 7 saw me go 4 for 10. i had a few more winners but they couldn’t manage to beat the spread. a sad tale. so, the over all now sits at 30 for 70. yeah, pretty crappy. a long row to hoe if i’m going to be anywhere near 50% this season.
the long trip into michelin star darkness continues. yes, it’s difficult but some one has to do it. with that being said, i don’t really have the time to deal with the point spreads this week. however, i may change my mind. we’ll see. ok. i found some time so i’m doing the spreads this week.
just remember this is for entertainment purposes only. obviously. if you’re trying to find some sort of bettors edge in this insanity you are in the wrong place, my friend. leave your wallet in your pocket, where it belongs and nobody gets hurt.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-16 utah @ oregon st. utah favored by 1.5 points. slim oddsa nice thursday night offering here for couch sitting, pizza and whatever trips your trigger washing down wise. the pac(8)(10)12 continues to beat upon each and the outcome is a bit shady but we’ll just have to wait and see where it leads. from this pac homer’s seat it doesn’t bode well. but…both teams have had an extra week to thrown something together for the thursday night beat down. i like the utes in this one even on the road into what will probably be a wet weekend on the west coast. take utah for the win and cover.
10-17 fresno st @ boise st. boise st favored by 15.5 points. just when you think the bulldogs have thrown something together like a nice winning streak the wheels fall off the grape truck. as for the broncos they seem to have things a bit more together even with only one more win. it’s not summer anymore, thankfully. i’m taking boise st for the win at home and to cover the points..
10-18 notre dame @ florida st. florida st favored by 12 points. the unbeaten noles take on unbeaten touchdown jesus at home. for the most part i’ve been trying to avoid having anything to do with the florida school this year. unless you’ve been living under a rock you can figure out why. it’s all about what’s wrong with college ball pretty much everywhere as the domers have issues as well. sadly, most schools do. the noles issues may be coming to a head this week if i remember correctly something i read. winning at any price/cost has gotten way out of hand. the ADs, deans and the NCAA need to be a little more pro-active when it comes to the criminal element in college ball. be that as it may, this will probably be a very good football game. one where we’ll see if the golden domers are really for real this year. i’m picking notre dame for the win and or to get inside the 12 points..
10-18 texas a&m @ alabama. alabama favored by 12.5 points. as i predicted earlier in the season once the aggies hit the for real deal schedule they wouldn’t fare well. things probably won’t be much different this week with the tide playing at home. yes, bama had their hands full with the razorbacks last week and i predicted that too. however, the tide should roll again this week. take alabama for the win and cover the spread..
10-18 oklahoma st @ tcu. tcu favored by 9 points. yes, tcu finally lost a game but did give baylor what for in a wild shoot out. the cowboys have been rolling along nicely after their opening loss to the noles. this could be the game of the week. i like the cowboys in this one. take them to get inside the points and maybe win.
10-18 kansas st @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 9.5 points. another solid match-up here. also probably a fun game to sit through even if you aren’t a fan of either school. similar scheduling for both teams makes this one a tough pick. it’s probably going to be a blow out or a matter of a couple of points for the winner. i’m in an oklahoma state of mind here. take the sooners for the win and to cover.
10-18 ucla @ cal. ucla favored by 7 points. the bruins did well in the heat against the ducks last week but not quite enough. this week they travel up to cal and play in the probable rain. lotus land homer native says take the bruins for the win and the cover.
10-18 stanford @ arizona st. stanford favored by 4.5 points. the sun devils sat out last week after their win against the trojans. the trees picked things up after losing to the domers. another solid match-up and probably worth sitting through if you have a DVR. i’m taking the sun devils at home for the win or at least get inside the points..
10-18 missouri @ florida. florida favored by 3.5 points. the tigers were miserable in their loss to georgia last week. and could be just as miserable this week as well. losing your best player is never a good thing. the gators are pretty much meh this year. a so so game and it has me wondering why i picked it. flip a coin. let’s see if the tigers can still win. take missouri for the win and or to get inside the points.
10-18 washington @ oregon. oregon favored by 21 points. i was going to leave the ducks out of the mix this week. but things change. actually i didn’t see the game and had clemson and boston college here instead. my beloved ducks handled the bruins quite well last week on the road. this week at home in the friendly confines of autzen stadium they get the huskies. who have a nice record so far but now things get real for them here on out. it’s a lot of points and mariota has to play the entire game. none the less take the ducks to win and cover the spread. QUACK QUACK!!!
the season wanes and the holidays loom large on the horizon. enjoy your favorite sport while you can once again this week before it’s over and you’re left scratching your head wondering where college football went. toss some lumber into the pizza oven and get creative and try not to burn the house down or end up in the ERs burn unit. plenty of dago red to be sure. be safe. be semi sane.
one thing is probably for certain after last weeks blood baths, the first time playoffs just might see some interesting teams showing up in the grand finale. a good thing perhaps. out with the old and in with the new. oh, how the mighty have fallen. though what actually pans out remains to be seen. the committee will have it’s work cut out for them regardless. especially if things continue veering around like they have the first half of the season.
what can you say about a week where any sane person would think without points messing things up and getting in the way of things, picking straight up winners would be a no brainer. right? yes, of course, up until the upset special steamed into town. make that, towns. another dreadful 3 for 10 week for me. ouch. one i honestly didn’t see coming. at any rate, my over all is now 26 for 60. the only place to go is up. yeah, from my keyboard to the big sports kahuna in the sky. you listening, big guy?
ok. never forget this is for entertainment purposes only. trying to find anything here as useful wagering information should be very obvious. do not do it. leave your wallet where it belongs in your pocket and nobody gets hurt. i’ll be going back to point spreads this week. the points that appear here will be what i use to determine my wins and losses for the week. hopefully, i’ll get a nice uptick in the win department.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-9 byu @ ucf. ucf favored by 3 points. ucf favored by 3 points? i don’t get it at all. after last weeks loss to the aggies byu is probably no longer looking at any shot at the national title game. yes, the same could be said for others as well. a thursday night game against a seemingly hapless central florida squad that hasn’t done well against anyone of any significance so far this year. the cougars need to bounce back. we’ll see. take byu to win or at least get inside the spread.
10-10 washington st @ stanford. stanford favored by 17.5 points. friday night under the lights. every football fans favorite night of the week. maybe. the cougars are having one of those oops sort of years. not unlike the year i’m having. yes, they threw a nice amount of points on the board against cal but, hey, it was cal. the trees on the other hand can’t seem to pick up any steam or momentum this year. i’m probably going to be sorry but i’m taking stanford at home to get it together this week for a change. take the trees to win and cover.
10-11 texas @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 14.5 points. to say the longhorns are rebuilding would be an understatement so i’m not going to say it. the sooners took one to the gut last week. coming up with a sole sad safety in the fourth quarter probably won’t win you many games. just saying sooners. take oklahoma to win and cover the points.
10-11 georgia @ missouri. georgia favored by 3 points. might as well be a pick em. the tigers only miss step so far this season was against indiana. which if they run the table could hurt them. after losing to s. carolina the bulldogs have seemingly righted the ship and are cruising along. i’m on the missouri bandwagon this year. take the tigers to win or get inside the meager spread.
10-11 alabama @ arkansas. alabama favored by 9 points. the razorbacks get a shot at furthering the ebbing of the tide. an old time rivalry. arkansas at home. take the razorbacks to to at least get inside the spread.
10-11 auburn @ mississippi st. auburn favored by 2.5 points. auburn literally thumped on lsu last week. yes, the tigers offense never got the memo there was a game to be played last saturday. from what i’m hearing they spent last saturday by the pool peeling shrimp, catching rays and chasing women. actually not a bad saturday but not if you’re supposed to be playing a football game. once the bulldogs got past playing homer simpson state and roto rooter tech they have stepped up big time. i for one hope they keep things rolling. new blood, kids. new blood. one of the weeks best right here. a semi toss up and i’m taking miss st to win or get inside the points.
10-11 tcu @ baylor. baylor favored by 10.5 points. we get to see which team is for real with this match-up. baylor can put some points on the board but they really haven’t come up against anyone like the horned frogs so far this year. with that being said tcu may not win but they’ll get inside the points.
10-11 ole miss @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 3 points. is there some sort of odds conspiracy here against the mississippi schools? is ole miss for real? or not. we find out this week because i’m sure the aggies can’t wait for saturday to roll around again to set things straight. or will they? another toss up. i’m going ole miss for the win or getting inside the cover.
10-11 usc @ arizona. usc favored by 3 points. the wildcats pumped up their passing game against the ducks ravaged defense last week. usc was on the wrong side of the aisle once again in losing to arizona st. a couple of lucky bounces kept them out of the winner’s circle. time for the trojans to get it back together yet again. take the trojans for the win on the road. FIGHT ON!!!
10-11 oregon @ ucla. oregon favored by 3 points. the bruins were stunned last week by the utes. probably a let down that coach mora missed after their shredding of arizona st the week before. this week we could see the demise of my beloved ducks for the year. defensive back ups doesn’t seem to have been a recruiting priority for oregon. maybe it will be next year. but even if it is it won’t do them any good until a couple of years down the road. a killer QB with the speed of secretariat will only get you so far. you have to stop the other guy at some point. unless the ducks somehow or another picked up some juco kids on waivers the past few days i’m not seeing them for the win. the bruins bounce back. take ucla for the win or at least the cover.
half way through the season. where does it go? at any rate, we’ll see if things can get any wilder out on the fields of play this week. sure why not? if only to make it harder for the committee down the road. the brown eyed girl and i continue our journey into michelin star territory again this week. boy howdy. be safe. be semi sane.
at first, week 5 looked like it was going to be one of those dismal dark affairs where the only thing you have to look forward to is next week. thankfully, things turned around big time for me. by winning my last 5 games i went 6 for 10 on the week. my over all now stands at 23 for 50. yes, nothing spectacular but moving in the right direction. one week at a time.
i’m particularly proud of my missouri, air force and iowa st picks. the cyclones didn’t win but did manage to get inside the spread as predicted.
this week begins our 2014 great american road trip. the brown eyed girl and i have a road trip that’s been on the books for quite sometime. nothing anywhere near a jack kerouac road trip these days more like a mario batali sojourn with hopefully just enough tony bourdain thrown in to keep things interesting. in that i have a ton of last minute stuff to get ready and/or do i’m not using any points this week. i’ll be picking winners only with no points involved and with any luck things will be back to normal next week.
none the less, remember this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here as some sort of betting advice would be totally stupid and extremely detrimental to your bank account. do not do it. keep your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket. and nobody gets hurt.
rock ‘n’ roll.
10-2 arizona @ oregon. thursday night under the lights. the wildcats bring their top 10 passing game into the autzen madness. both teams have had two weeks to get ready. it should be one of the best of the week and one you shouldn’t miss. my beloved ducks at home are almost impossible to beat. well, most of the time. so, set an alarm, sit back and watch a couple of explosive teams blowup the scoreboard. or that’s the hope. take the ducks for the win. QUACK QUACK!!!
10-3 utah st @ byu. the cougars just keep rolling along and winning. things shouldn’t be any different this friday night at home. the aggies are struggling even against lack luster schools. take byu for the win to keep their chances alive for a spot on the big dance dance card.
10-4 alabama @ ole miss. ole miss is playing well but they haven’t played anyone near as good as bama so far this year. if i were using the spreads this week this one would be worth considering taking ole miss depending upon what the spread might be. however, that isn’t an option here this week. take alabama for the win.
10-4 utah @ ucla. the bruins put some points on the board against a pretty good arizona st team last week. i imagine they’ll do the same again this saturday. maybe. as of this writing game time hasn’t been determined. with any luck it will be a night game as the doppler gang are predicting triple digit temps for the lotus land area for the weekend. not the best weather for football. take the bruins for the win.
10-4 arizona st @ usc. the sun devils should feel right at home this saturday when they hit the field at the coliseum along with the predicted sweltering heat. another to be determined start time. once again hopefully it’s a night time game if only to get a few folks into the seats. take the trojans for the win. FIGHT ON!!!
10-4 iowa st @ oklahoma st. wags were predicting baylor was going to throw 70 on the cyclones last week. it didn’t happen. iowa put some of their own on the board as well. another game to consider depending on what the spread is. the cowboys should win but it would be tempting to take iowa st and the points regardless. no points so take oklahoma st for the win.
10-4 texas a&m @ miss st. the aggies were almost embarrassed at home last week by arkansas. the new johnny football pulled one out of the hat in over time. misssippi st is a better squad than the razorbacks and they put the hurt on lsu. the bulldogs at home. good running game and a solid defense. i’m still not on the a&m bandwagon. take miss st for the win.
10-4 stanford @ notre dame. as physical as the trees are they still had a tough time against the huskies last saturday. they travel to the golden dome this week. the domers with a few lapses in defense in the fourth quarter kept things interesting with the orange men. i’m taking touchdown jesus for the win.
10-4 lsu @ auburn. tiger vs tiger. you have to like auburn at home. take auburn for the win.
10-4 nebraska @ michigan st. i think nebraska is a better team than the spartans. even on spartan home turf. look for the huskers to literally run all over michigan st. take nebraska for the win.
a pretty good slate of games for the week. especially with the 2 early games on thursday and friday. no bbq for me this week. it’s a week all about michelin stars. yes!! a perfectly chilled dry vodka martini before dinner. then some red and white vino with dinner. enjoy your week. be safe. be semi sane.
this first appeared here in this form back in 2007. someone actually clicked on it and read it last week. i had forgotten about it so i re-read it myself. i had a chuckle. perhaps you will too. there is some new stuff at the end. enjoy.
as dyslexic as i am it’s way too time consuming looking up words that any sane person can spell. most of the time i can’t even spell dsylexic. my mind locks and the crossed dyslexic wires fry some more synapses into tiny cinders into the early form of earwax. that’s it. it’s gotta be. where else does that crap come from? fried synapses equal earwax. so the more you drink or get loaded or the more dyslexic you are you have more earwax. where the hell else are the damn dead things gonna go? out your ass? nah, the ear canal is much closer.
just hanging out waiting for the great 07 road trip to begin. a drunken debacle in all likely hood. about time.
when i was younger i used to look like tom selleck or so some people said. frankly, i never saw it. now a days though i’ve been mistaken for leslie nielsen, a middled aged frank sinatra or just some mob hood. all of which have their moments of fun.
i was in tj with girlfriend the first time someone thought i was leslie. we were downtown in one of those mall stall things off the main drag. she was looking for a leather purse and dickering big time price wise. the guy says to me that i can afford it and just pay the money. i’m like, say what? he says sure you’re the actor leslie nielsen and you have lots of money. i just laughed and then he got pissed. oh well.
the most interesting time for the mistaken leslie id was in mainland china. yeah, go figure. on the great wall, outside beijing, just being dumb ass tourists. lots of folks out on the wall that day but most of them chinese tourists. i was getting lots of smiles and people wanted to shake my hand. yeah, sure the happy wandering american, glad handing everyone. lovely wall you folks have here. then this one guy wanted a picture to go along with the handshake. ok, why not? no ugly american bullshit here, my friend. then it’s more shaking of the hands and comments like oh, you are a great artist. bingo. the light goes on. leslie strikes again. so, of course not wanting to create some sort of bizarre international incident, in of all places on the great wall of china, i just keep smiling and posing for the odd photo here and there. to this day i’m sure my mug is up on some guy’s wall someplace in china and he tells his friends about the day, on the great wall, where he met the great american artist, leslie nielsen. go figure.
as for the middle age sinatra thing, unless the person is just a total whack job they know frank is dead. so it doesn’t get any really fun type stuff going behind it.
the mistaken mob hood is fun. i get off on that one. plus, people tend to leave you alone. which is fine by me. girlfriend and i went on a cruise this past december. after the first day i was known as the mob guy on board. people have a tendency to speak way to loud in public so if you keep even a half assed ear tuned to the passers by you hear lots of interesting shit. there were a large number of russians on board and i was ‘mr. macaroni’ to most of them. fun stuff and i was not about to rain on their parade. not me. then last week i was at a local market in the produce section getting a couple of things. all by myself. dressed in a flannel shirt a size or two too big. t shirt. sweatpants. white socks and very cheap plastic walmart flip flop type things. when i hear from behind me this mexican guy going on and on to his family in spanish. he’s going so damn fast i can’t pick up much of anything except for, italian and ‘la familia’. of course at that i turned around and the whole family is just standing there gawking at me. i gave them my best tony soprano squint and continued to check out the potatoes. the guy shut up.
see? i told you i was bored. so now you are as well. now everybody is happy.
music this morning provided by jimi hendrix, ‘the best of hendrix’, i like it because it’s got all my faves on it, in particular ‘little wing’, ‘bold as love’ and ‘the star spangled banner’.
we went out for a nice italian dinner this weekend. one of the chain places. we hadn’t been there before. the one where you can draw stuff on the paper table cloth. it was very nice and the food was pretty good. i had a nice veal marsala and portabella mushrooms with angel hair pasta. like i said, good.
i guess it started when we sat down as girlfriend goes, oh, you want to sit on this side so you can watch. yeah, i like to sit where i can watch. i don’t like surprises and i don’t like to rely on other people to pick up on shit going down that may or may not suck us into something awful. capice? so everything is fine. though we are getting looks and the staff is being overly nice. 3 or 4 people wanted to know if we wanted anything. no, we’re fine, the waiter is looking after us.
by the time the meal arrived the whispers were in the air. mob. mafia. it’s been awhile. but it’s part of my life, occasionaly. it can be annoying but at times fun. at any rate, when i went into the pasta, sans the spoon, and rolled up a nice tight clump in a nano second things got really interesting. the godfather. i’m like, jesus, folks i’m just an old douche bag italian guy. give it a rest. but, nah, i got into it. the busboys couldn’t help but sneak a look. i’d catch them and give them a thumbs up or wiggle my eyebrows, ala groucho. the workers had the place a buzz. by the time we had dessert and i got an after dinner drink, frangelica straight up, you would have thought al capone was in the joint. the frangelica was more like a glass of wine. the most i’ve ever seen. all in all a nice time. i had fun. the food was good enough so we will go back. i wonder what that will be like?
new stuff. to this day i still get looks and whispers about the sinatra thing. usually in las vegas. it’s amusing. some folks are like stunned with jaw dropping looks. i smile and keep on moving. vegas is also good for being mistaken for tony soprano as well. what can i say? years ago i was often mistaken for a cop. i wasn’t a cop but i never did fix their mistaken idea. i let it ride. same with tony soprano. it’s usually early in the morning and i’m by myself wandering through a casino trying to find some coffee. mostly it’s bored dealers or pit bosses. hey, tony soprano is in the house. like i said earlier people talk much to loud at times. i ignore them and keep on truckin’. it’s all about how you carry yourself and i have james gondolfini’s lumbering tony walk down. an expensive sport coat and a few other props it’s bada boom bada bing.
i was at an upscale bar in a beverly hills hotel. alone. the brown eyed girl was in the hospital there in the hills. i’d been at the bar for a while drinking and chatting with the bartender. he moved to the other end of the bar. a bus boy wandered in and almost crapped his pants. he tells the bartender, my god, there’s a mob guy at the bar. the bartender laughed. so did i. the bartender is like, no. he’s just some old italian guy. chill out.
during that time i was also frequenting a certain delicatessen near the hospital. often for breakfast and dinner. i was always treated very well and i tipped accordingly. one evening i’m having dinner and this guy comes in. the manager nods in my direction and the guy says, i have no idea who he is. i’m like ok. fine. interesting. a couple of days later it’s dinner again and another guy comes in. same thing thing. manager nods toward me. the guy says, he must be east coast. i don’t know why he’s here. then he leaves. ah, yes. speaking too loud in public. always interesting what you hear.
one of my favorite mistaken mob guy deals was another time in las vegas about a year ago. our room wasn’t ready so the brown eyed girl and i went into a bar on the casino floor to have a drink and wait for our room. we were at a table. the bartender served us i tipped him a few bucks and he went to the bar to talk with some guy. then he disappeared. we’re sipping our drinks when i see this guy coming up in from the casino. big guy. obviously italian. he’s in a hurry and he’s wearing a purple velour like sweatsuit with lots of gold chains around his neck. no shit. he got closer then realized i wasn’t who he was looking for or not who he was told to go look for. an abrupt about face and he was gone. never saw him again.
there are other times as well. i’m sure there will be more. i don’t have a problem with it. i get treated very nicely and left alone. fine with me.
for some reason the football community continues to administer self inflicted gun shot wounds into their foot while said foot is firmly placed in their mouth. college and pros alike. a reckoning not so long down the road is coming. sane people are finally waking up to the fact the idiots and insane are running the asylum and have been for a good number of years. i’m also no where near being some sort of politically correct stooge or brain dead weasel. just sayin’. stupid stuff has been ignored for far too long in college and pro ball. the time has come to pay the piper and if that piper gets stiffed again this time around with loads of grandiose plans and fixes that go no where or do nothing, like with the NCAA all the time and the NFL most of the time, it’s time to stop watching football. when the money train stops they will fix stuff. guaranteed. if we can’t be civilized in our game playing and at home or school then we are no better than say, ISIS, or whatever it is they’re calling themselves this week.
yes, mom whacked me with whatever she could lay her hands on at times when i was a kid and dad laid the belt on me a few times as well. but not when i was a one year old, reggie bush. neither of them ever drew blood and by the time i was 7 or 8 i realized if i did what i was told i wouldn’t get whacked. pretty simple really.
times change. spare the rod and spoil the child is no longer valid. sure nobody asked you. it’s like a lot of stuff. nobody asks you and it just goes down. deal with it. hitting a woman has never been cool. never. unless of course she’s packing, cocked and locked with you in the cross-hairs then be my guest. though you may be very deserving in getting your shit blown away.
if you think what’s going on in college and pro ball is somehow going to affect your first amendment rights to freedom of speech you haven’t been paying attention for decades. sadly, maybe even longer. there is no freedom of speech in this country and there hasn’t been any for a long ass time. it left long before elvis ever permanently left the building.
week 5 is here and we finally get a nice slate of games. picking the 10 wasn’t easy. a good thing, this time around, when you actually have a number of worthwhile watchable games and you have to leave a few on the table. imagine that. why can’t it be that way coming out of the blocks? week 4s picks were another stab at mediocrity. the only good thing being was i went 5 for 10 with my over all now being 17 for 40. plus, i did pick utah, miss st and clemson.
never forget this insanity is for entertainment purposes only. got it? using anything here to try and gain an edge over some sort of legal or illegal sports betting type thing would be totally asinine and possibly be in certifiable 51-50 territory. capisco? do not do it. keep your wallet where it belongs in your pocket and nobody gets hurt.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-25 texas tech @ oklahoma st. oklahoma st favored by 14.5 points. tech has it’s passing game going again this year. the only trouble with that is their schedule, 2 road kills then arkansas. the cowboys, on the other hand, were semi impressive in losing to florida st in game one. followed by a couple of wins over also rans, which i guess was good enough to put them into the top 25. the cowboys at home. take them to win or cover the points.
9-25 ucla @ arizona st. ucla favored by 5.5 points. the PAC(8)(10)12 heats up further with 2 PAC south undefeated schools meeting up in the desert southwest. the bruins get the schedule edge in this thursday night couch, beer and pizza game. well, at least for us out here. the 10pm east coast time might be a bit late for that action if you have to go to work on friday morning. take the bruins to win or cover the spread.
9-27 s. florida @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 33 points. the badgers are currently the top rushing team in the nation. they faired well in losing to lsu in their opener then rolled over a couple of road kills. the bulls are struggling with everyone. up one week down the next. a bundle of points but i’m taking wisconsin to win and cover.
9-27 arkansas @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 10 points. a&m has been impressive so far this season. their passing game is still first rate. too bad their schedule hasn’t been. granted they did beat up on the gamecocks in week one but rice did give them some trouble. the razorbacks best win was against texas tech and they did put some points up in losing to auburn. the aggies are usually a handful at home. take the aggies to win and cover.
9-27 stanford @ washington. stanford favored by 6.5 points. the trees come off a weeks rest after losing to usc. usc being their only quality game this season. this is the huskies first real test of the year even though they’re undefeated so far. we’ll see if coach petersen’s firm hand has them up for their first PAC north brawl. luckily the game is at home. going with the gut here. take the huskies to at least get inside the points.
9-27 missiouri @ s. carolina. s. carolina favored by 6 points. the tigers were stunned by indiana last week. while the gamecocks seem to be gathering some steam. this SEC east match-up should be one of the better games of the weekend. missiouri makes a comeback. take the tigers to win or get inside the spread.
9-27 boise st @ air force. boise st favored 13.5 points. the falcons running game is still in top 10 territory and they’ve had an extra week to prepare for the broncos at home. always trouble for just about anyone playing air force. i’m on an upset roll here. take the falcons to at the least get inside the spread.
9-27 notre dame @ syracuse. notre dame favored by 14 points. the orange men were tripped up by maryland last week in a stunner, at least for me. touchdown jesus with an extra week to get ready should be in fine form even on the road. take the golden domers to win and cover.
9-27 baylor @ iowa st. baylor favored by 22 points. possibly the best game of the week. 8pm eastern on FOX. both squads coming off an off week. the cyclones last game was their stunning win over iowa which was predicted right here. baylor is sorta like georgia was last year. being that i’m lost as to just why they’re a top 10 team while playing the worst opening 4 games of anyone in the country. yes, they’re number one in scoring but who wouldn’t be against the bowling pins they’ve knocked over so far? the bears first real test of the season and they get to go cyclone country. too bad for them. take iowa st to at the least get inside the points.
9-27 oregon st @ usc. the trojans sat it out last week after their stunning loss to boston college the previous week. the only good thing about that was they got to miss a couple of days of our over 100 degree temps we went through here in socal that week. the trojans need to get back on track and let’s hope that the sark has/is doing just that. coach riley and the beaves hopefully will have their hands full this week at the colosseum with the trojans and riley’s favorite burgers, in-n- out. mine as well. 2 double doubles animal style, please. i digress. a good game. take the trojans to win and cover the points. FIGHT ON!!!
finally a fine week of of college football. plenty of games worth watching for a change. it almost makes up for the first 4 weeks of, meh. fatty red protein is back on the fire. charred to a perfect medium rare. a gallon of dago red and no wine glasses with stems allowed. i came to that epiphany a while back after realizing my mom’s dad never used a wine glass with a stem. as a matter of fact they didn’t even own any stemmed wine glasses. none of my other italian relatives did either back when i was a kid. it’s time to go old school wine drinking once again. be safe. be semi sane.
for some reason unknown to but a very few the college football season is very slow getting out of the box this year. slower than any i can remember and i’ve been around for many many moons, pilgrims. the sheer crappiness of the first four weeks of games amazes me. it wasn’t easy picking my 10 games this week. i knew i was in trouble when i first laid eyes on it. oofa. to be fair, it isn’t the first time i’ve done this but i started at the bottom or last game of the day and worked my way up the schedule. fingers crossed and helplessly hoping i’d actually find my 10 games. hence, a good number of them, on a real college football weekend, i’d have nothing to do with. ever.
at any rate, remember this is for entertainment purposes only. that statement ought to pretty obvious considering my gawd awful start to this seasons picks. i had another 3 for 10 last week and i’m now 12 for 30 over all. taking any information from here and using it anywhere legal or otherwise sports betting is offered would be stupid, lame and detrimental to your financial health. do not do it. keep your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket. and nobody gets hurt. the odds here may change over the week but i don’t care. what i have here is what i go by to determine my wins and losses for the week.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-18 auburn @ kansas st. auburn favored by 7.5 points. this could possibly turn into a decent game. an early season week off tigers might give them an even larger edge over the wildcats. being a thursday night game also makes it watchable. right? sure, i suppose. take auburn to win and cover the points.
9-20 maryland @ syracuse. syracuse favored by 1.5 points. a toss up. probably a yawner. take the orange men and the points.
9-20 utah @ michigan. michigan favored by 6.5 points. big blue has it’s hands full this week with the utes hitting town. take utah to at least get inside the spread.
9-20 florida @ alabama. alabama favored by 15 points. as usual the tide rolls along. if they were playing the other florida team it would be much more, shall we say amusing. however, they aren’t. take the tide at home to win and cover the points.
9-20 rutgers @ navy. no points a toss up. wake me when it’s over. since i have to pick someone i’ll take navy for the win.
9-20 mississippi st @ lsu. lsu favored by 10 points. possibly a sleeper but not in the sense of the rutgers/navy game. what the heck i’m taking miss st to get inside the points.
9-20 clemson @ florida st. florida st favored by 18.5 points. there’s a distinct possibility this is the game of the week. take clemson to get inside the spread.
9-20 miami(fl) @ nebraska. nebraska favored by 7.5 points. the cornhuskers offensive line and backfield will make it a miserable day for the canes. take nebraska to win and cover.
9-20 san diego st @ oregon st. oregon st favored by 10 points. coach riley has the beaves off to a nice start. the aztecs have had an extra week to prepare. i’ll take that extra week and the aztecs to ruin the beaves saturday.
9-20 oregon @ washington st. oregon favored by 24 points. at least it isn’t in the mid 40s this week. the ducks should roll but with a bad spread and mariota sitting out the final half again things could go south. point wise like last weeks game. probably too many points again but i have to take the ducks to win and cover. QUACK QUACK!!!
another sad saturday slate of simply sordid college ball is here. i guess we embrace it or find something else to do. sad but true. i haven’t looked at week 5 yet. i’m afraid to. yes, well, maybe we can shake off this bad college football juju if we pull out the 10 quart pot and cook up 8 or 9 quarts of red meat sauce. get up early, do the mise en place and get started before the first game starts. by game time you’ll have it all simmering away, covered of course, for the rest of the day. don’t forget to stir it once in a while. send me $1,000 and i’ll send you my recipe for my saturday sunday any day you have the time gravy along with a few other tips to ensure a restaurant worthy top of the line michelin star bolognese. when it’s ready be sure to over sauce some pasta and drink plenty of dago red. or on the other hand, send me 2 first class airline tickets along with the grand and a 5 star hotel reservation for the brown eyed girl and i. you do that and i’ll cook it up at your place. be safe. be semi sane.
i had a pretty decent week last week with a 6 for 10 showing. plus, picking iowa st, san diego st and usc to beat the points made my weekend for sure. though i doubt very many folks had the first two especially iowa st. more on them later. my over all going into this week is 9 for 20. something that needs work and hopefully it gets done this week. time tells.
well, it’s week three of the season and i had high hopes of finding some high octane math-ups for the coming weekend. was i ever sadly mistaken. finding this weeks games was just as difficult as it was last week. i guess i just want to see the big boys duke it out all season long and the last four standing hit the playoff circuit. playing dead end lower end schools should be left for them to play amongst themselves and whoever is left in that sorry lot can plunk down in some crappy bowl game somewhere. is that too freaking much to ask? unfortunately, apparently it is.
always remember this is for entertainment purposes only. taking anything here as betting advice or using anything here in order to gain an edge in vegas or at your local underground sports book would be totally insane and stupid. do not do it. keep your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket. and nobody gets hurt. also, the points pointed here are what i use to determine my wins and losses for the week. the spreads may change over the course of the week but it matters not to me as i have a life outside of here.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-13 boise st @ connecticut. no line at the time of this being published. interesting, what? neither school was impressive in winning last week. one could even say they were actually lucky to win against pretty poor opponents. none the less, maybe the broncos will have the long travel time down for this week. a toss up, i have to take boise st to win.
9-13 louisville @ virginia. louisville favored by 7 points. at least these two teams put some points on the board while beating up on some road kill last week. this might be a good game all things considered. especially with it being played on the cavaliers home court. i don’t know i have a feeling virginia gets inside the points. take the cavaliers and the points.
9-13 wyoming @ oregon. oregon favored by 43 points. oh my. the cowboys are 2-0 but they’re going to have to score more than 17 points again this time around if they want to get anywhere near ‘close’ by the end of the game. heady territory for the cowboys in duck country and the stadium that is autzen. my beloved ducks on the other hand seem to be playing the deja vu all over again dance. starting slow then kicking it into overdrive once they realize that things aren’t going that well. the thump they eventually put on the spartans should be very satisfying to the duck faithful. and a shot across the bow of all the other big shots. however, i for one could use a tad less drama and would appreciate just getting the job done sooner rather than later. mariota’s star shown when he began to turn things around. stunning. an oil tanker loaded to the gills with points for this one. 43 points. am i that stupid? probably. take the ducks to win and cover. QUACK QUACK!!!
9-13 iowa st @ iowa. iowa favored by 13 points. a very early state bragging rights rivalry game here, kids. the cyclones looked outstanding in losing to kansas st last week but seemed to run out of gas in the latter part of the fourth quarter. that being said, long time readers know i like the cyclones to toss a monkey wrench or two into someones season every year. last weeks point spread win was a signal flare. i just hope they didn’t leave too much on the field against the wildcats. at any rate, this is a fairly evenly matched game every year. and one my late dad always loved. he was an iowa farm boy. so, i have to take the cyclones one more time. perhaps even a win here. take iowa st and the points.
9-13 georgia @ s.carolina. georgia favored by 6 points. georgia whipped up on clemson and has had two weeks to get ready for this game. the gamecocks on the other hand seem to be struggling a bit so far this year. take georgia to win and cover the points.
9-13 usc @ boston college. usc favored by 20 points. the trojans make the long east coast trek for week three following their defensive battle with the trees in palo alto. the sark has thing clicking right along and it would be nice if the offense puts a few more points up this weekend. so far the trojans are the PAC sleeper. i hope they stay the course. you have to give the other catholic school props for scheduling usc. good for them. though the eagles generally aren’t a sisters of the poor team they aren’t anywhere near a floutie squad anymore either. if the offense and defense catch the plane then the bus to the stadium things should go well for the men of troy. take usc to win and cover the spread. FIGHT ON!!!
9-13 tennessee @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 21 points. the sooners are putting some points on the board. yes, against nothing stellar. the vols are winning as well against some what better teams. however, this is their first road trip for the year and in top 10 territory. probably just a bit too much for tennessee to handle at this point. take the sooners to win and cover.
9-13 ucla @ texas. ucla favored by 7.5 points. i’m not sure what happened last week in the rose bowl. other than the fact the bruin defense left early. perhaps it was too hot for them. i don’t know. coach mora needs to get the offense and defense on the same page if they want to claim the pre-season hype tossed their way. the longhorns struggled and did not look good against byu last week. yes, they ran over the road kill the week before but the cougars and the bruins are far from kissin’ cousins tech. coach strong has his hands full. both coaches are in the same boat. but at least coach mora seems to have more to work with. PAC(8)(10)12 homer says, take the bruins to win and cover.
9-13 rice @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 31.5 points. my first look at the aggies and their passing game does seem to be for real. however, their first real test doesn’t hit the turf until the middle of october. so, we’ll just have to wait and see. my dentist’s daughter goes to rice. my dentist is also a big football fan. she went to ucla. what does it all mean? i wish i knew. it looks like the aggies win another even considering the huge spread. take texas a&m to win and cover the points.
9-13 arizona st @ colorado. arizona st favored by 14.5 points. the sun devils have had it fairly easy so far this year. though bob davie’s lobos did put some points on the board in losing to az st last week even with all the off field issues the lobos have had to deal with so far this year. and they probably haven’t seen the end of that action either. i digress. colorado has more than likely seen the end of their winning streak for the season. though to be fair, they play hawaii next week. my point in all this? other than the fact i’m sure we can probably all agree that arizona st will probably win. take the sun devils to win and cover the spread.
there they are this weeks picks and predictions. some real clinkers but hey what’s a poor boy to do? but crank up the barbie throw down mass quantities of all that stuff your doctor keeps telling you to stay away from and chase it down with plenty of dago red. or some other fermented beverage. be safe. be semi sane.
week one of the season has come and gone. interesting games for sure. however, it just goes to show you that the first week of games are never quite up to the hype or point spreads. two in particular, ucla and alabama. yes, they both won but for my money it wasn’t a pretty picture. no where near pretty. texas a&m? for me the jury is still out. long season and lackluster schedule are a few words that come to mind. how did i do? dismal. a pitiful 3 for 10 opening week. to be correct there is one game left today though i’m not holding out much hope. hence, the 3 for 10. for the most part i had the right teams they just didn’t score enough points.
time for this weeks ten picks. the really sad thing is this weeks games were even harder to find decent match-ups than the openers were. they keep telling me that the practice of playing practice games that count against the likes of, would you like fries with that? state, or road kill is finally on the food pyramid tech is going to end. i pray for that day to come soon if only to make it easier to find something worthwhile to watch during the week and especially on saturdays. if this keeps up we’ll soon be seeing varsity high school teams suiting up against 7th grade flag footballers in games that count. yeah, not a pretty sight. though it will keep ambulance drivers and ambulance chasers very busy on friday nights.
to be honest the ten games here are probably the best of the week. not saying much and, yes, you may have others you’d rather watch or care about but you aren’t writing this.
as always, remember this mess is for entertainment purposes only. looking for some sort of bettors leg up with the big boys in vegas or your local barbershop and handicapping parlor would be exceedingly lame and stupid on your part. do not do it. leave your wallet where it belongs in your pocket and nobody gets hurt. the spreads may change over the week but what i have here is what i use for my wins and losses.
rock ‘n’ roll.
9-5 washington st @ nevada. washington st favored by 2.5 points. the cougars were embarrassed by rutgers last week. the wolf pack eked by one of the hapless big sky schools finally finding their defense again in the fourth quarter. despite washington sts loss they, at the moment, have the number 1 passing offense in the nation. take the cougars to win or at least get inside the small spread.
9-6 kansas st @ iowa st. kansas st favored by 12.5 points. both schools played a couple of patsies last week and both won. not. amazingly enough the cyclones lost at home by 20 points and had no offense in the second half. i don’t think that iowa st is that bad. though i guess we’re gonna find out this saturday. if only for pride i think they’ll get inside the spread this week. take iowa st and the points.
9-6 fresno st @ utah. utah favored by 10.5 points. the utes put some points on the board last week. yes, against idaho st. however, fresno st has another tough road game after their thumping by the trojans. take utah to win and cover the spread.
9-6 usc @ stanford. stanford favored by 3 points. i’m somewhat surprised the trojans aren’t favored here. especially after they were one of top 25 that actually covered their large spread last week. the trees beat winemakers and veterinarians u (uc davis). yawn. usc was on top of their game for sure as the sark had them up in heady midseason heights last week. if there’s no let down usc will win and or cover the tiny spread. FIGHT ON!!!!
9-6 michigan st @ oregon. oregon favored by 13.5 points. two stellar Pac(8)(10)12 games in a row kids. state is good but i doubt they’re good enough to handle my beloved ducks at home in autzen stadium along with their totally insane fan base. good game regardless. well, probably not if the ducks lose. take the ducks to win and cover. QUACK QUACK!!!!
9-6 memphis @ ucla. ucla favored by 25 points. yes, the bruins are playing the sisters of the poor this week. the ONLY reason they’re here is to see if the offense will make it to the rose bowl in time for the game. they missed the bus last week. more importantly the ucla defense should more than manhandle memphis and probably score enough points themselves to cover the spread. or that’s the hope. i also hope the offense does show up. they had better if any of the bruin pre-season hype is going to come to pass. drink the kool-aid and take the bruins to win and cover.
9-6 michigan @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 4.5 points. a fairly decent match-up. michigan can run the ball. so can the golden domers. big blue trounced a road kill. the domers whipped up on rice. ispso facto take touchdown jesus to win and cover the spread.
9-6 san diego st @ n. carolina. n. carolina st favored by 15 points. apparently all the yelling at halftime by the tar heels coaching staff paid off last week. you could say n. carolina was almost embarrassed. well, OK, i will. the aztecs aren’t a road kill sisters of the poor team. take san diego st to at least get inside the points.
9-6 virginia tech @ ohio st. ohio st favored by 11.5 points. the buckeyes should take this one at home. simple as that. take ohio st to win and cover.
9-6 air force @ wyoming. a toss up. the cowboys weren’t very impressive last week in winning. the falcons put up some amazing rushing numbers against fries with your order, ma’am? st. given the fact it’s a toss up i have to take air force with almost 600 yds rushing on saturday.
there they are as meager as they come. though there are 3 or maybe 4 hopefully decent watchable games. so, light off some charcoal or the butane burners and char up some massive slabs of fatty red protein and chase it with enough dago red to float an aircraft carrier. sure, why not? be safe. be semi sane.
it’s arrived. finally. as summer begins to fade college football shows up. a co-winky dink? a quirky cosmic jolt? probably neither. the shortest sweetest sporting season. college football. yes, kids time to waste away your saturdays, remote in hand, butt on couch or recliner, while yelling at the TV and the NCAA in general.
sadly, even with the new kid on the block, playoffs, we still have a bunch of lackluster games for opening week. though to be fair these games have been on the books for a few years. i suppose it’s going to take a another few years to see if what the talking heads tell us will come to pass or not. no more sisters of the poor state playing mr big u. though we’ll probably still be seeing it a few years down the road. that extra win or two looms large down south. time tells.
we have several months to see what shakes out for the grand opening round of the playoffs. no telling what will happen. also on the books the unionization of college football players came and went with the vote being kept secret along with nothing to be done about it. yes, the classic waste of time scenario. the NCAA at it’s very best and worst all rolled up into a convoluted inept mess. if we ignore it it will go away. perhaps we should do that with the NCAA. johnny football is gone. gone to cleveland and pro ball. though his off field antics still cause wonder and awe. was he really rolling up one of uncle sam’s notes of legal tender in that vegas crapper to snort up some flakey white powder? good luck, johnny. you’ll probably need it.
earlier in the month the NCAA approved, if that’s the word, or more likely rammed down the throats of every college football fan their idea of the Big 5. to be fair, the big 5 had a role in it as well. along with big money itself. so, by maybe october 2 we’ll be seeing the pay to play deal. yes, let’s pay the spoiled rotten semi criminal element that is college football today to play a sport where they are supposed to be getting a free college education. while the regular student body will still be stuck with all their student loans once they graduate but the football players and the round ballers, soon to follow, get a free ride and make money on the side. student loans? we don’t need no stinking student loans! we play ball. now, hand over your lap top, car keys and your girlfriend’s address. stay tuned kids things will only get worse. count on it.
at any rate, for new readers, i’ve been doing this for a long time. i pick 10 games each week. games i have some sort of interest in watching for what ever reason. though some weeks it’s hard to find 10 worth watching. i then pick a winner based on the point spread. usually not an easy thing. especially the first couple of weeks of the season. last year i ended up at 61.3%. my best year ever. although some weeks due to life and stuff i’ll just do straight up picks with no spreads. this coming october should prove to be interesting on numerous levels. we’ll see. the spreads may change over the couse of the week but what i have here is what i use to determine my wins and losses. i use a consensus of several sport books to get to my point spreads here.
the important thing to remember every week is that this insanity is for entertainment purposes only. some get it some don’t. using any information gleaned here to wager on any of the games would be stupid and insane at best. do not do it. leave your wallet where it belongs. in your pocket. and nobody gets hurt. simple as that.
rock ‘n’ roll.
8-28 texas a&m @ south carolina. s. carolina favored by 10.5 points. the season kicks off with possibly one of the best of the weekend. or so it would seem. we’ll get a good glimpse of life without senor futbol and the aggies. along with the old ball coach getting older and perhaps wiser? home field and an aggie team minus a few components. i’m taking the gamecocks to win and cover.
8-28 boise st @ ole miss. ole miss favored by 10 points. a new coach for team smurf turf with an opener on the road deep into SEC country. boy howdy. but then this is another of the been on the books for a while games. in the old days, say like last year, boise st would probably run the rebels ragged and won. not this year. take ole miss to win and cover.
8-29 byu @ connecticut. byu favored by 16.5 points. this is one of those first week picks in order to fill out the dance card for the entire opening weekend. that being said it might turn out to be worth watching. doubtful the huskies got any better during the off season after a dismal 2013. take byu to win and cover.
8-30 ucla @ virginia. ucla favored by 21.5 points. as an official pac(8)(10)12 homer i tend to have more than a fair share of left coast teams on board each week. the bruins are back and making things interesting once again. coach mora, thanks for taking bruin money and not leaving for husky land. hopefully, chris petersen sent you a thank you card and a lovely basket of fruit. perhaps it’s the bruins year to really shine. a stellar returning quarterback and some other impressive players. virginia another school coming off a lackluster 2013. lots of points. but take the bruins to win and cover.
8-30 fresno st @ usc. usc favored by 21.5 points. the sark is back in trojan land. as i stated at the end of last year it’s sort of a head scratcher and it still is. but, hey, at least the conversation i had in an upscale beverly hills bar with a seattle based medical malpractice attorney hasn’t come true. yet. an interesting conversation to be sure. but one i’ll keep close to the vest and let TMZ or E! ferret it out. if it’s even true. lawyers don’t lie and make up stories, do they? on a side note, i hope cajun ed o lands another head coaching job soon. he deserves another shot. ok. the game. the bulldogs got shellacked last year by the trojans in what figured to be a close game. it wasn’t as coach o had the trojans cranked up. plenty of points. let’s see if AD hayden made a good pick in the sark. i’m taking the trojans to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!!!
8-30 w. virginia @ alabama. alabama favored by 27 points. lane kiffin turns up again in the SEC. this time as bama’s offensive co-ordinator and qb coach. yes, kids another head scratcher. could this be the end of the tides semi rule of the SEC? has coach satan lost his juju? or perhaps his mind? just another story waiting to hit the presses this season. the first shoe drops this saturday. also, be sure to circle october 25 on your calendars as the tide rolls into tennessee territory. i doubt the vols faithful have forgotten about lane. it ought to be amusing to say the least. i digress. the mountaineers can usually score some points. so can bama. take bama to win and cover the big spread. ROLL TIDE!!!
8-30 washington @ hawaii. washington favored by 15. 5 points. filling sark’s departed shoes is boise st’s ex coach petersen. a big jump up the coaching ladder for him into the big time big school coaching limelight. i like the guy and i hope he’s up for it. this should be a good game for the huskies new coach to ease into the PAC(8)(10)12 spotlight. the warriors were far from being warriors last year. take the huskies to win and cover the points.
8-31 utah st @ tennessee. tennessee favored by 6.5 points. i guess we’ll see if the aggies are going to be for real again this season or not. yes, the vols aren’t what they used to be but they can still be dangerous. right? perhaps. although things haven’t gone that well since the days of lane kiffen. home court 3 and just a few more for the vols. yeah, take the aggies to at least cover and maybe win.
9-1 miami(fl) @ louisville. louisville favored by 3.5 points. labor day, dove season opening day and the last game of opening college football weekend all rolled up into one nifty package. back in the day if labor and dove opening day fell on the same day we only went out if we had a private spot or something secluded. too many opening labor day mondays spent within very close proximity with way too many other folks with shotguns. no, i’m not turning this into a hunting riff. just a veer. last game of opening week. the hurricanes shot at redemption for last years final game embarrassment at the hands of the cardinals. not many points here and i’m taking maimi to either win or get inside the small spread.
there they are the initial offerings of the new and we’ll see if it’s improved or not college football season. the caveat, be careful what you wish for still claws at the back of my damaged brain. so, be that as it may, grill some protein, roast a pig, whomp up a kettle of chili, order in pizza or chinese. pour several flagons of dago red and enjoy some college football. just remember… be safe. be semi sane.
the two policemen finished their meal and talked quietly among themselves. they seemed to be negotiating something or another. it was hard to tell. whenever anyone got close they were quiet. though whatever it was they were discussing didn’t take more than half an hour. at one point the two men shook hands.
when they both got up lt january put several $20′s on the table. he motioned to jerry the bartender who brought over a warm box with the fries and sandwich inside. then he spoke.
you know, lt, i can tell when you’re wrapping up whatever it is that you’re talking about whenever you come in here.
you’re a good bartender, jerry. one of the best. i appreciate it and so does mick. see you next time.
lt vacas shook jerry’s hand and the two cops went outside to the crown vic got in and made the trip downtown. with the light week night traffic they were there in no time.
lt january brought the nevada cop up stairs and handed sgt john’s his still semi warm sandwich with a nod and a wink. he also introduced him to lt vacas. the men shook hands and exchanged greetings.
our boy doing ok, mick?
good as he’s going to, loot. he ate some more and dozed off for awhile. but he’s awake now. getting antsy though.
fine. turn off the video recorder and eat your sandwich. the lt and i are going in.
sgt john’s turned off the recorder as the two lieutenants went into the interrogation room.
hi, eddie. how you doing?
ok, lt. i guess.
hang tight, eddie. this will be over soon. eddie, this is lt estaban vacas of the nevada state police.
hello, eddie. i’ve heard all about your recent travels in nevada and your trouble with the la cosa nostra.
you know the lt vacas and i just might be able to help you out some, eddie.
oh? really. how so?
estaban, do you mind?
go right ahead, lt. this is your house.
eddie, long story short, you did pretty much everyone a favor when you shot those two hoods. especially us. the mob isn’t happy but who cares?
marvel didn’t wait for an answer and kept on talking.
the lt and i have come up with a solution to your problem, eddie. it may not be a permanent one but only time will tell. that will be up to you. more or less.
eddie sat there with his mouth open and a semi dumb struck look on his face as he fumbled around trying to shake a smoke out of the pack on the table. he didn’t speak.
here’s the deal. the lt and i don’t like the feds. they come in then big foot around and make a mess of things generally speaking. then they take whatever glory there is in anything they’ve mucked around in and screwed up. simple federal logic. and very annoying to any working cop. trust me, the feds have been sniffing around this one from the beginning. all the way back in washington, eddie. they’ve been watching. they think the mob is strictly in their purveyance. sometimes it is. but not this time. even though one of the thugs you killed was rumored to be thinking about working for the feds. you see where i’m going with this?
no. not yet. just keep talking. i’m beginning to like the way it’s going though.
maybe eddie. maybe. you can sit here and stand trial for second degree murder or maybe manslaughter or something depending on the DA and take your chances. let me tell you, your chances would be good. probably. only thing is there’s the feds. they are the wild card, eddie. if they like you they might put you in some witness protection program. because eddie, you’d be needing that if you’re found innocent. or they might just cut you loose. worse yet you get some weird ass jury and you end up the river for a few years. though odds are you don’t make the few years. you know this. right? then there’s the fact one of those dead guys in your apartment was maybe going to cozy up to the feds. plenty reason for them not to like you. this whole thing could go even more sideways than it already has. you following all of this eddie?
yeah. sorta. keep talking.
eddie, we’re giving you a choice. help the lt and i here when we need it or take a shot at the jury system and the feds. up to you. you take the jury system and feds then i read you your rights, right here and now. and the deal is gone.
i haven’t heard the deal yet. just help you two whenever…talk about weird. this is weird.
yeah, i guess so. but it isn’t the first time i’ve done this. it’s not kosher but it works and saves the taxpayers some money as well. and eddie, it saves you from the feds and the mob and a stupid set of jurors. regardless. at any rate, here it is.
eddie finally managed to get the cigarette lit and he inhaled deeply. he let the smoke out very slowly.
you leave here with lt vacas and go back to nevada with him.
whoa, wait a minute. i don’t like this…
let me finish, eddie. you go back with the lt and work for us when we need you. the rest of the time you’re on your own.
this is blackmail. extortion. it’s…
crazy, eddie? sure, i guess so. that’s fine. stay here. stand trial and the whole time the mob knows exactly where you are. every minute of every day. even the big foot feds aren’t that good, eddie. see where we’re going here?
holy crap. how am i supposed to help you two?
you’ve seen stuff, eddie. here in l.a. and vegas. you just point at pictures and maybe sometime point a guy out in person is all. we take care of the rest. best part of the deal is you’re a free man. no one to answer to except the two of us here in this room.
it doesn’t make any sense, lt. you know who these ass holes are. right? just arrest them. why do you need me? i don’t get it.
eddie. eddie. eddie. you want me to read you your rights or not? simple as that. yes or no.
jesus. no, of course not. what the…
good. lt you want to take over?
sure. eddie, you go back to nevada with me. actually, the three of us go back to nevada. the lt here is driving us back. you see the deal is he’s going up there to pick up your .357 and the ammo you tossed in the ditch on eastbound 80. we drive up because we can’t let you on a plane again until the other stuff is worked out. eddie, you aren’t really on the books yet, so to speak. understand?
yeah, i see. you guys are rouge cops. and i’m some sort of cop patsy. or snitch or some damn thing or another. i mean…
chill out, eddie. or i read you your rights. everything will work out. trust us.
holy crap. i don’t believe this.
you don’t have to eddie. just take the deal or start worrying again.
alright. alright. i’m in.
the two lieutenants looked at each other and smiled.
ok. we need to move. i can take care of my end on the phone while i’m driving. estaban?
me too. i just need to call the book store in tonapah to set things in motion. i have a couple of days before i have to be back.
ok. eddie on your feet. let’s book.
the two men got eddie to his feet and moved him out of the room. they kept him moving toward the elevators as lt january spoke to sgt johns.
mick, clean up the room but first get rid of the CD from the recorder. then you take a few days off. use up some of your comp time. i’ll let you know when i’m coming back into town.
eddie was gently shoved into the elevator by the two cops. he stood at the back of the box and didn’t speak. he was too busy thinking to do any talking. he turned himself in for this? the last thing eddie heard as the elevator doors closed was the sound of a shredder eating a plastic CD.
this is the final chapter to date of “eddie catalina” as of today. at some point or another there will be more of eddie catalina. thanks for reading and your support. i appreciate it very much.
copyright 2014 by john hauge
marvel january found a spot at the curb near the southwest terminal exit doors. his flashing lights kept the airport police at bay. though a corporal did wander up to the car and ask if they could be of any assistance. marvel politely declined. the lieutenant also figured lt vacas would spot him easier with the lights flashing. he got out of the car and stood by it on the sidewalk.
a glut of people began exiting the southwest terminal. towards the end of the group a man dressed in a business suit came up to him and spoke.
lt january? I’m lt estaban vacas of the nevada state police.
nice to meet you lt. the pleasure is all mine.
the two men shook hands and lt january offered to put his counterpart’s small bag in the trunk. with that accomplished both men got in the car.
lt, i know a little bar not far from here where we can get an outstanding vodka martini along with a very good prime rib sandwich. you up for it?
sounds good to me, lt. lunch was a long time ago. plus, i’m thirsty.
good. we can talk there as well.
lt january easily maneuvered the crown vic through the early evening LAX traffic. the lieutenants chatted amicably about police work and families as they drove to the small bar. marvel parked the crown vic in a red zone near the front door of the bar. he didn’t bother with the standard lapd placard. to any cop on the beat the shinny crown vic could only mean lapd brass. the car would be left alone.
as the men entered the bar the nevada cop spoke.
i was expecting a cop bar, lt. this is far from the usual cop hang out.
glad you approve, lt. my partner and i came across this place several years ago during a homicide investigation. we’ve kept it to ourselves. no sense ruining the place with the police.
good point. and one that makes perfect sense.
the bartender was busy with a few customers at the bar but smiled warmly and nodded his head towards the two men. while nodding and smiling back lt january held up two fingers. marvel gestured toward a table at the back of the bar. they could sit there and easily talk with no one close enough to listen in on their conversation.
not long after they had sat down two ice cold martinis were delivered by the bartender. marvel spoke.
thanks, jerry. we’d like two prime rib sandwiches, please. extra crispy fries for me. lt?
coming right up, gentleman. and nice to see you again, marvel.
how’s your brother in law?
doing ok. he often says he’s a lucky man, lt.
he might be that but i’m a better cop. tell him i said hi.
sure thing. i’ll be back soon with your sandwiches.
lt january turned to estaban.
long story short, my partner and i cleared his brother-in-law on a murder beef back around the time we found this place. it wasn’t even a tough nut to crack. simple really. but everyone is still grateful.
always a nice thing. this place is really small. where’s the kitchen?
they don’t have one. just a reefer unit, small deep fryer, and a microwave. ok, i see where you’re going. jerry’s brother in law works at lawry’s prime rib. they have so much leftover he skims some and shifts it over here. yeah, i know. it isn’t legal and the health department would frown on the whole deal but the stuff is as fresh as it can get and tastes great. all in all another reason we don’t tell anyone about this place. and if the guys behind the bar hear anything we hear about it too. it all works out.
big city cops at work.
hahaha. yeah, i suppose. so tell me lt, you ever do any work dealing with the mob out there in nevada or is that a silly question?
not a silly question, lt. everybody believes the mob doesn’t have much influence in nevada these days. not after howard hughes bought everything up and the feds made a number of big busts back in the 70′s. the mob is still alive and doing ok. not by their old standards but making some bucks and giving us something to do when the other criminals are taking a vacation.
i see. yeah, i’ve heard that. we’ve still got our mickey mouse branch of la cosa nostra out here too. mostly loan sharking and money laundering for the mexican and el salvadorean gangs. some sports booking as well. and a bit of narcotics thrown in with the asian groups too. t hey make a mess of things at times but like you say it gives us something to do when things are quiet.
jerry the bartender delivered the two cops their prime rib sandwiches, extra crispy fires, two small bowls of au jus, and several tiny bottles of a name brand ketchup.
you gentlemen need anything else? another drink?
no thanks, jerry. we have some work to do this evening. just box a sandwich order up to go for my partner, ok?
you got it, lt.
the two men ate in silence for a bit then lt vacas spoke.
hey, this is good. almost makes the trip worthwhile.
both men laughed and continued eating. vacas spoke again.
you gonna tell me about the gun and the bullets? and maybe the guy driving that mustang we have on ice in an impound yard?
lt marvel january smiled and said.
i thought you’d never ask, lt.
by the time lt january got back to the interrogation room eddie had finished his sandwich and coffee. before going in the lt told sgt johns about the phone call to nevada. huddled together and combined with their hushed voices none of the other detectives in the squad room heard what they were discussing. as the lt was about to enter the room he told mick to turn the video camera back on.
how was dinner?
just great. almost like a good basque joint, lt.
good to see you still have a sense of humor, eddie.
what else is a poor boy to do? i’m glad the running is over. but i’m a bit worried, to say the least, about what comes next.
well, tell you what, eddie, a lot of that depends on you.
you’ll find out soon enough. if i unhook you do you promise to be a model prisoner? no bullshit. tantrums. or other crazy insane shit? you sit here like a gentleman or walk around the room if you like. i’ll knock when i want to come back in again. you hear a knock you go sit in that chair and be a choir boy. alright?
ah, sure, ok. what’s going on?
like i said, eddie, you’ll find out.
with that the lieutenant unhooked the cuffs from eddie’s wrist and slipped them into his pocket. as he left the room he said.
you just be cool. this might take awhile. ok?
i suppose i have no choice.
lt january closed the door and told mick johns to leave the camera running and keep an eye on eddie. the sergeant nodded his ascent as the lt handed him back his cuffs. marvel january went back to his desk to wait for the phone to ring.
after several calls and a little over an hour and a half of waiting his phone rang again. this time it was the call he had been waiting for.
just a moment, lt. mick, take eddie to the can and see if he wants more coffee or another sandwich.
mick got up and knocked on the door. waited a moment then entered. eddie was sitting quietly in the chair.
come on, eddie, restroom break.
eddie got up and the sergeant led him to the restroom.
ok, estaban, what do you have for me?
the gun and rounds were right where you said they would be, marvel. though i seriously doubt you’ll find any prints on them with the water and all. but they are properly bagged tagged and awaiting your decision.
that was much quicker than i expected.
we have a new chopper that covers quite a bit of ground in a very short time. a very nice time saving tool. a gift from our at times friendly benefactors, the feds. we actually got two of them due to homeland security and our dams.
good for you guys, lt., we could use a few ourselves. traffic around here is usually horrible. anyway, if it isn’t too much trouble lt can you deliver the evidence bag down this way? asap?
let’s see. if i can get a flight to l.a. tonight i don’t see why not, lt. i can use a break from the cold.
i’m sorry it’s such short notice but i’m sure you know how things can work out.
it’s alright lt i’m always prepared to take flight as it were. i imagine you are too.
you’re right. it’s the nature of the game.
absolutely. let me put you on hold and i’ll check on a flight right away.
marvel january didn’t say anything but heard a click on the line. he was on hold. he sat thinking and wondering. soon he would know.
if i leave right now i can be in l.a. by 9:30 this evening at the very latest.
very good. airline and flight number? i’ll pick you up myself.
southwest, number 1966.
see you when you arrive around 9:30. that will leave us enough time for a quick drink and maybe a prime rib sandwich.
i’m looking forward to it.
both men hung up and lt january went back to the interrogation room. eddie was inside eating another sandwich and drinking another cup of coffee.
mick, the nevada cop will be here tonight. i’m going to go pick him up. are you ok? this could be awhile.
i’m good, marvel. i’ll keep an eye on him and keep the lookie loo’s out of the way. i’ll brush up on my ‘angry bird’ skills while i’m at it.
yes, i know you will on all counts, mick. thanks, man. i’ll be back when i’m back. and mick, just in case the feds come sniffing around keep eddie inside and under wraps. no more breaks till i get back.
not a problem. eddie and i will be here, loot.
lt marvel january removed his pistol from a desk drawer and put it in his empty shoulder holster then headed out the door. the clock on the wall read 7:30.
the ride back to downtown los angeles was uneventful. no lights. no siren. no talking. eddie sat uncomfortably handcuffed in the backseat lost in thoughts of prison. or worse. mostly visions of a sad brutal end out on a prison yard somewhere. he was safe for now but he knew that wasn’t going to last forever.
after they arrived january and johns had taken eddie upstairs to a restroom and then to an interrogation room where he was cuffed to a table that was bolted to the floor. the chair he was sitting on was bolted down as well.
yes, detective, i suppose.
hungry? you want some coffee?
coffee would be good. a little milk if you have it.
this isn’t starbucks. powdered creamer.
with that mick johns left eddie alone again with his thoughts.
eddie yawned and tried to fight the image of his death at the hands of some prison inmate. it wasn’t working. not even close.
the door opened and lt marvel january entered carrying a cup of coffee.
it’s not the best but it’s hot and it works.
he pulled a pack of camel lights from a pocket. removed the cellophane wrapper from the top and opened the pack. tapped one smoke up out of the pack and offered it to eddie. eddie took the smoke and the lieutenant lit it for him. he inhaled deeply as the detective watched. the cop blew out the match and said.
there’s no smoking in here. when you’re finished with your coffee use the cup for an ashtray.
you wanna talk to me or do you want me to read you your rights?
good. just remember though, at some point i may have to read you your rights. just so you know. i need this job and so does my partner.
lt january nodded to the mirror on the back wall.
none of this is being recorded. at least not yet anyway. you talk. i listen.
eddie nodded his head. mick johns turned on the video camera hidden in a corner of the room.
alright eddie what happened?
eddie finished most of his coffee then dropped the cigarette butt into the cup. he looked at the pack of smokes and then at the lieutenant. the lieutenant nodded and pushed the matches over to eddie. eddie fumbled a bit but finally managed to light another smoke.
it’s hot in here.
just talk to me. i want all of it. start with the day before every thing went south.
eddie catalina ran down the events leading up to and including the killings. marvel january didn’t interrupt him. eddie shrugged his shoulders and said.
that’s it. then i ran.
where did you get the gun, eddie?
the army. i brought it home from nam. it was before they started to crack down on that sort of stuff.
yeah, alright. i remember. duffle bags full of pot and stripped down AK-47s. among other things. where’s the gun now?
i guess it’s still west of elko in a ditch under water. near where the nevada cops must have found my mustang. on the other side of the road by a tree. i dumped a few more rounds along with it.
ok. sit tight. more coffee? a sandwich?
yeah, ok. why not?
the lieutenant got up and left the room. the sergeant turned off the video camera.
mick, get eddie some more coffee and a sandwich. i’m going to call nevada.
lt january went to his desk and made the call.
state police, lt estaben vacas speaking.
lt, this is lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide.
yes, lt. to what do i owe this honor?
yeah, right. um, by now, you fellows must have picked up an older model mustang west bound on US 80 outside of elko maybe a half hour or so.
perhaps. let me check.
january heard the keys of a computer being hit. after a moment the nevada cop was back on the line.
yes, we did. one of our patrol units had it impounded yesterday. he states it has a blown water pump.
that’s the one.
you know lt we’re having a bit of trouble tracking the owner right now. we have the vin number, of course, but it has expired oregon plates on it that were stolen nine months ago down your way from a car in the disneyland parking lot. the car itself looks like it may have come off a used car lot in east l.a. we’re waiting on the feds and the prints. a ton of them on the car.
the car did come off a lot down here. it’s part of an investigation just hang on to it for now, please. it probably has nothing to do with anything other than someone we’re looking at bought the used car and then drove it up there to nevada. the real reason i’m calling is to see if you can send someone back out to where the car was found.
i don’t see why not, lt. what are we looking for?
a .357 magnum and a few rounds of ammo. they should be in a ditch under some water near a tree on the eastbound side of 80 not far from where your trooper found the mustang.
alright. i’ll get someone on it right away. probably the officer who found the car yesterday. he should still be on duty today and possibly in the area. i’m assuming the gun and ammo should be considered evidence?
very good. yes, please.
i’ll send an evidence tech as well. though that will take a bit longer.
not a problem. just bag whatever you find and hold on to it. if we need it we’ll send someone up there to pick it up.
i’m from southern california, lt. if you need it i’ll bring it down to you myself. a good excuse to visit a few relatives and hang out in some warm weather for a change.
very well, lt. thank you for your cooperation. i’ll be talking to you again soon then. if you do end up coming down here i’ll be more than happy to to buy you a drink and dinner for your trouble.
as soon as we have recovered what you want i’ll let you know. good bye for now, lt.
lt january hung up the phone got up from the desk and stretched. he let out an audible groan. it had been a long day and it was about to become an even longer night.
lieutenant marvel january had been a cop for 26 and a half years. he always added the half or the quarter or whatever it amounted to. he thought it was important to do so. he wasn’t sure why. he just did it.
marvel found his partner, sgt mick johns, in the men’s room and told him they had to roll. eddie catalina had just called from ontario and the ontario pd were sitting with him. johns zipped up and said.
no shit? eddie called huh?
yeah. couple of minutes ago.
he say anything?
no. i did most of the talking and he just agreed to stuff.
man, this job is amazing at times.
the two men made it down to the street and their 7 year old crown vic. old but still newer than most of the other detective barges. marvel was a good cop who closed cases and he knew things. hence, the newer ride, plus he took care of the vic. he took it home a few times a year and hand waxed it himself. though he told the rest of the unit he paid to get it done at a car wash near his place. no one ever suspected a thing. the lieutenant got in the passenger seat. he rarely drove and he sure as hell wasn’t going to drive way out to ontario and back. not today anyway. besides johns was a good driver. the sergeant spoke.
sure why not. we can’t have an ontario black and white tied up too long now can we?
both men buckled up and the car sped away from the curb. first the lights then the siren. johns also tapped on the horn as he made a wide left at the first intersection heading towards interstate 10 east. january smiled as the car skidded around the corner. they always got some looks when johns was in his mario andretti mode. marvel figured they must be a sight. an old shinny cop barge. lights. siren. screeching tires. a very large black man in the passenger seat more or less lounging and a big white guy driving while pounding on the steering wheel not unlike popeye doyle in the movie ‘the french connection’.
with half closed eyes january gave his partner a semi sideways look and said.
try not to kill anybody before we hit the freeway. ok?
i haven’t yet. and i don’t plan on it today. all i need is some room to move. take a nap. ok?
that was their standard and usual mantra whenever they first went code 3. after that they both settled in for the ride. lt january lost in his own thoughts and sgt johns ripping up the road and scaring the citizens. the lapd brass had given up trying to get the two of them to change. marvel january and mick johns got results. regardless.
once lapd figured out they had two dead mobsters on their hands. one of them an upper level hood the case had been handed over to lapd’s elite robbery homicide unit. lt marvel january and his partner mick johns in particular. two old hands at getting results and closing the book on lala land weirdness as marvel was fond of saying. though this one had eluded them so far but that was about to change.
when they hit the freeway the sargent turned off the siren and only used it occasionally to get people to move out of their way. the lights stayed on. by the time they made it through west covina the traffic had thinned out some and johns made up for lost time.
we’re flying low now, partner.
marvel just grunted and kept his eyes closed.
once over kellogg hill and down into the pomona valley johns was able to take the car pool lane again and stay in it. he blipped the siren once or twice to move cars out of the way.
almost there loot.
let’s see. take vineyard. not archibald. then hit a left at holt. i’m thinking you’ll see the place on the right. hit the siren as we pull into the lot. the patrol guys should bring him out then.
the crown vic left the freeway and made it’s way to the cheap motel. johns hit the siren once as they entered the parking lot. the two ontario officers walked eddie out of the room and down the stairs to the waiting lapd car.
thank you, officers. we’ll take over from here. sergeant, get your cuffs on mr. catalina so the ontario guys can get theirs and head out on patrol.
while that was going on marvel spoke again.
eddie. i’m lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide. this is my partner, sgt mick johns. you sure as hell made my day when you called. i was beginning to have visions of being transferred out to hollywood vice. ok. here’s the deal. you stay cuffed and we take you back to l.a. just sit tight and don’t say anything. ok?
you start talking and i’ll have to mirandize you. i don’t wanna do that just yet. capisco? we’ll chat back at headquarters.
sergeant, get eddie in the car and let’s get out of here.
the wind blew up a small dust devil as the crown vic sped out of the lot and headed west back toward downtown l.a.
it was warm and the air clear due to a slight santa ana and the warm winds coming out of the east. eddie catalina stepped off the plane and back to the city from where he had come. he’d left years ago vowing to never return. well, never say never he thought. here he was back again. no where to go and almost broke. no prospects either. jesus, when things spiral out of control they spiral until the wings fall off. then it’s a free fall until the sudden stop. eddie was beginning to wonder when the sudden stop would come.
the airport had changed since he was last there. he could tell a new terminal had replaced the old one at some point long ago. when was the last time he had flown in or out of ontario? probably the flight to oakland after his leave home before vietnam. no, that didn’t make sense. had to be his flight from oakland after his return from vietnam. a long time ago.
standing out on the sidewalk smoking with no plan in mind wasn’t a good idea. eddie figured there probably wasn’t anyone still living in the area from the old days. and he couldn’t just grab a cab and ride around all day and night looking for something or someone that probably wasn’t there anymore. a cheap hotel seemed to be his only option at the moment. a very cheap hotel if he didn’t find some money soon. he walked out to the curb as a cab pulled up. eddie told the cabbie to find him the closest cheapest hotel or motel.
the cab dropped him off at a motel not far away from the airport on east holt. it was a run down joint that looked like it catered to hookers and druggies. eddie wasn’t surprised. some things never change even with progress. eddie paid the cabbie and went into the dingy office. it smelled of tobacco, stale sweat, a tinge of blood, and a lot of tears. gag reflex was the only other thing that came to his mind.
yeah, can i help you?
i suppose. i need a room for a couple of nights.
we got a couple. one up one down. take your pick.
up i guess.
214. take the stairs to the left. that’ll be $66 for two nights. if you decide to stay longer i’ll cut you a rate for weekly or monthly. take your pick.
ok. thanks. i’ll let you know.
eddie counted out the money which left him with somewhere near the one thousand dollar mark. when you’re on the run money seemed to just vanish. the thought of calling the lapd again flashed through his tired mind but he quickly forgot about it. he took his key and went up to his room. hopefully, it wouldn’t become his home.
it wasn’t much of a room and it smelled like a well used ashtray that had never been cleaned. a good thing eddie had started smoking again. there was also a shabby bed covered by an even shabbier spread with all manner of stains on it. several large holes in the dirty shabby carpet as well. he would have to be careful at night. his inspection of the bathroom was somewhat of a surprise. compared to the rest of the room it was a diamond in the rough. eddie tried the tv set next which worked and offered basic cable along with a free porn channel or two. yeah, hooker haven for sure. so much for quiet nights.
he lit up as he sat at the cheap table that over looked the parking lot while hoping the chair he was sitting in wouldn’t fall apart. as he sat there smoking a car pulled into the lot. an old beater for sure but the lady driving wasn’t.
the car parked in the spot directly under eddie’s window. a youngish black woman got out and came up the stairs. eddie had a thought and he needed to hurry. he was up and outside his door when the lady passed by.
hi, sugar. you looking?
i’m looking but not for what you have in mind.
really? so what you want?
i’m looking for a ride over to claremont. if you’re interested in that proposition i’ll buy you dinner later.
harrumph. i’ll think about it.
eddie watched as the lady walked down to her room. he turned and went back inside his room thinking, another fine mess to go along with his first day of hiding in plain sight. moving back to the rickety chair he lit another cigarette. eddie sat smoking, thinking, and staring into the distance. shambles. his life was nothing more than a massive shambles. lighting another smoke with the butt of the other one eddie picked up the phone.
he dialed 9 for an outside line. then 0 for an operator.
can you connect me with lapd homicide?
one moment, please.
eddie sat smoking while waiting for the call to go through. when it finally did he heard.
robbery homicide. lt. marvel january speaking.
this is eddie catalina. i believe you’re looking for me.
why yes we are, mr. catalina. we need to have a talk. where are you calling from eddie?
i’m in room 214 at the day night inn on e. holt in ontario near the airport.
marvel put his hand over the phone and told another detective to call the ontario police and have them send over a black and white asap to baby sit eddie until lapd could arrive.
eddie, i’m sending the ontario police to your motel. they’re going to sit with you until we get there. at this point eddie you’re just a material witness. ok? you won’t try and pull anything stupid now will you?
no, lieutenant, not a chance. i’m not armed and i’ll have the door open waiting for them.
eddie heard a police siren a short distance away.
good, eddie. that’s good. i’ll stay on the line until the officers are in the room with you. ok?
sure. whatever you say.
eddie lit another smoke as the ontario squad car sped into the lot. the arrival of the police took a small group of people by surprise. the group hurriedly began to disperse. eddie got up and opened the door then sat back down.
lieutenant, they’re here.
good. just relax and don’t do anything stupid.
eddie heard the cops running up the stairs. they paused at the open door with guns out and told eddie to show them his hands. he sat the phone down showed them his hands then stood up.
turn around slowly, sir, and put your hands behind your head. we’re going to cuff you for your safety and ours.
not a problem officer.
after eddie was cuffed the ontario cop picked up the phone and told lt january the situation was under control.
thank you, officer. we’re on our way. just sit tight. we’ll be there as soon as traffic allows.
the ontario cop hung up the phone then sat eddie back down on the chair. it was over. finally. it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from eddie’s shoulders. eddie sat and watched the cigarette smoldering in the ashtray. the smoke drifted up and out the open door.
eddie just kept on running until he turned the corner and into the supermarket parking lot. breaking hard he almost fell. winded but no worse for wear he walked around a bit trying to catch his breath. once he’d done that he walked into the store and bought a carton of camel lights.
after his purchase he went back outside to the sound of sirens. very close sirens. he lit a smoke and casually walked around a corner and up to idaho st. one of the main east/west streets in elko. he turned left on idaho. several police cars whizzed past with sirens and lights blazing. they all turned south on 4th ave.
when eddie got to 4th he looked around the corner. what he saw was a scene from just about any run of the mill riot. the bikers, and there were a number of them, had descended upon the hapless mobsters for tumbling into their bikes. the mobsters were seemingly being beat senseless. elko’s finest had just begun to wade into the fray to try and quell the beatings. it was madness.
eddie kept walking on idaho until he got to the next corner. he turned south. walked down to commercial and went into the parking lot of the stockmen. it seemed as if the hotel and casino had emptied out into the lot as hotel staff, paiutes, gamblers, and drunks had all come outside to watch the show unfolding over on the next street. no one paid any attention to eddie.
eddie found his mustang. got in. fired it up and pulled out of the lot. he slowly drove up to idaho thinking hard. he needed to get out of elko. and he needed some sort of a plan. a better plan this time around. he turned left onto idaho. he was going to take 80 again but this time back to the west. canada or san francisco had come to mind. he’d worry about that later.
before he got back on interstate 80 eddie stopped to fill the mustang up with gas. he grabbed a few candy bars and bottled water as well. then he made his way onto the quiet interstate. there few cars and eddie pushed the mustang up to near 85 then settled in for the drive.
twenty or thirty minutes later eddie was eating one of the candy bars while trying to figure out his next move. the figuring wasn’t going well when he heard a loud thud under the hood then steam began to pour out of the engine compartment. by the time he pulled over to the side of the road the temperature gage was pegged out in the red zone.
just what i need, eddie thought. he popped the hood and got out of the car. gingerly opening the hot hood he released more steam into the chilly morning air. man, i don’t like the looks of this, was another thought. as the steam cleared he could tell all the belts were intact. what was the problem? then he saw it. a gaping hole where the water pump used to be. the pump had self destructed leaving eddie catalina stranded out in the middle of nowhere nevada.
he spoke out loud, another fine mess.
sighing heavily he closed the hood and looked east and west. no traffic in either direction. he thought once the mobsters were able to travel again they would probably head west. getting a tow to someplace where the water pump could be fixed might take most of the day. and most of the money he had left. plus standing around on the west bound side of the highway waiting probably wasn’t a good idea. passing pissed off and beat up mobsters just might notice him.
eddie picked his stuff from the car and crossed the median to the east bound side of highway 80. he was going to try and hitch a ride back into elko. finding a small tree he stood by it. he might be there awhile and the tree offered some shade and hid him from the traffic traveling west.
one candy bar and a bottle of water later he got lucky. a rancher in an beat up pickup stopped and gave eddie a ride back into elko. the old rancher offered to call a tow truck for eddie but he declined saying he’d take care of it once they got to elko. luckily for eddie he had the presence of mind to toss the old .357 and the few rounds left into a ditch running past the tree. the ditch had water in it. it would be a long time before anyone found the pistol. if ever.
eddie stayed quiet until he had a plan. he told the driver to drop him off at the mountain city highway exit. he was pretty sure the elko airport was just a short walk away from the exit. maybe he could catch a plane and be gone by the time the mob got it back together. either on the road or by air.
the rancher dropped him off then headed back to his own business. eddie walked to the airport and into the terminal. searching the small arrival and departure board he found a flight to san jose that was leaving in half an hour. he bought a ticket for the half full flight. with only a carry on he had no trouble making the flight. sadly, he was going to leave the mustang behind. there was no time to fix it or sell it. eddie had to keep moving.
once in the air eddie fell asleep. fitful dreams of pissed off mobsters and angry cops left him tired when he woke up as the plane was making it’s approach into san jose. after landing he found another flight. he was fast running out of cash but he had saved some by stiffing the stockmen for half the room rate and his room service tab. there was still some money left maybe enough to keep him going for a week or so if he was careful. no time to worry about that now.
his flight number was called and he joined the line of fellow passengers walking into the covered gangway. after all the passengers were onboard a stewardess had them all buckle up then told them the flight to ontario would take about an hour or so. eddie was heading back home. what was that old saying? something about hiding in plain sight. just what eddie catalina was planning on doing.
as eddie began his trek across the parking lot he tried not to hurry or do anything to call attention to himself. he figured he was lucky he had gone into the commercial for breakfast. the mob guys probably didn’t think he would be coming from that direction. and by the way they were clustered up eddie thought they were just setting up for the job at hand. the job to find and kill him.
how had they found him so soon? simple really he thought. either the man at the sports book last night or someone in the cat house. or maybe even both. god, he was stupid and probably deserved whatever the mob had planned for him. maybe he should just go up to the suite and call the local law and take his chances with them. no, that was stupid as well. think eddie.
once inside the hotel lobby he saw only the paiutes and a few more leftover drunks from the night before. no mobsters. eddie wondered if they would actually come into the hotel to find him and take him. he took a chance and stopped at the main desk.
good morning. i’m up in 421. has anyone been looking for me?
no, sir. not that i know of anyway. i’ve been here for about an hour and a half.
ok. thanks. ah, some friends of mine mentioned they might stop by. if they do will you call me and let me know? i’d prefer to come down and meet them here in the casino.
not a problem, sir.
perfect. here’s a twenty for your trouble.
no trouble at all but thank you very much.
eddie made a beeline to the elevator. thankfully the wait wasn’t very long. he rode up to the fourth floor with several of the paiutes. he smiled but didn’t say anything.
once in his room eddie went to the window being careful not to stand to close to the opening. the mobsters were gone from where he had seen them talking. there must be one at each entrance by now. maybe others as well. he got his things together in preparation for a fast exit. then he called housekeeping and told them he didn’t want his room cleaned today. if anyone came to the door it would be the mob and not the cleaning lady.
from the side window he couldn’t spot any mobsters either. though on the corner there was a bar and a group of bikers gathered outside. eddie had noticed the signs yesterday about a poker run in memory of one of their fallen. today was going to be sunny and warm. a good day for riding a bike. was it going to be a good day for eddie?
eddie thought again about just calling the police but by now that option probably wouldn’t do him much good. he had run away after the killings. maybe if he had stayed in the apartment and waited for the cops back when it happened he might have gotten away with the killings. maybe. though the mob wasn’t going to forget. ever.
he pulled the last smoke from the pack in his shirt pocket. he crumpled up the package and tossed it towards the trash. he missed and it rocked a bit on the carpet before it settled. eddie looked for the carton of smokes and when he found the carton it was empty. he crumbled it up as well and tossed it towards the can. he missed again and the carton rolled to the wall and stopped.
eddie needed smokes. now was not the time to quit. yet again. maybe it was but he didn’t see it that way. he needed smokes to help him think. he was in a predicament and decided to take a chance and the stairs down to the lobby and try to find a machine for some cigarettes. and he hoped the mob guys were outside and not parked in the lobby or casino. from the side window he had seen the corner of what appeared to be a supermarket about two blocks away. he doubted he could manage to get that far with the mobsters around but it might become an option.
finding the back stairs eddie slowly made his way down to the lobby. the only people on the stairs were a few of the paiute kids playing kid’s games. they paid him no mind. once downstairs he slowly opened the door. he didn’t see any mobsters. eddie couldn’t actually skulk around in the casino without attracting a certain amount of attention. so he sucked it up and ambled as best he could out into the gaming area.
he asked a casino employee if there was a cigarette machine around. the man pointed to a corner by the coffee makers. eddie thanked him and walked over to the machines. he didn’t see any mob guys on the trip over. likely they were all outside, he thought. after all he would at some point have to leave. once at the machine eddie pulled a few dollars from a pocket and then realized the only smokes left in the machine were camel straights. unfiltered camels. this was not good. he needed cigarettes but not honest to god real live cigarettes. he hadn’t smoked one of them in many many years.
eddie walked back to the employee and spoke to him.
is that the only machine in the casino?
there are only non-filtered camels in it.
really? we were very busy last night. busier than i thought. sorry about that. it rarely happens. maybe once a year or so.
will it get filled up again today?
sorry, pal. the guy doesn’t come around till tomorrow afternoon. you can try the bar across the street but you’d probably be better off going over to the market down a few streets.
yeah, i’ve seen it. thanks anyway.
sure. nice day for a walk.
ah, yeah, right.
eddie returned to the machine and bought a pack of the camels. he opened it there and pulled out one of the short cigarettes and lit it. he immediately started coughing and thought, this isn’t going to work. he also thought since he was downstairs he ought to check the exits for mob thugs.
he picked up a free paper and walked around pretending to read it while he smoked and coughed. the unfiltered camel was making him a bit dizzy. he stood near the front desk and noticed two men smoking and talking out on the sidewalk. they didn’t blend in with the paiutes or the rest of the hotel crowd. mob guys. going back through the casino he noticed one mob soldier standing by the casino entrance door. two for two. probably at least one more at the side entrance by the sports book.
eddie was screwed. what the hell had he been thinking? why hadn’t he spent just one night in elko and then out on the road again? or better yet why hadn’t he just talked to the cops? hindsight. it always make you crazy. or in eddie catalina’s case, crazier.
back up in his suite eddie lit up another of the non-filter camels. he was going to have to figure something and fast. he needed smokes he could actually enjoy smoking and he needed to get the hell out of elko. as he stood smoking he noticed there were quite a few more bikers at the bar across the street. bikers and their biker harley’s. they weren’t your run of the mill sunday biker who took the wife for a ride and a brunch some place. no, these guys were the real deal.
eddie smiled and stubbed out the camel. picked up his stuff and went downstairs. he used the back stairs again as he didn’t want to pass the front desk with bag in hand. he was leaving but he wasn’t checking out.
once back in the casino he went towards the sports book and the rear side entrance. he got about three feet from the door and spotted the mobster on guard duty. eddie stopped. he knew this was his only shot at ditching the mobsters if only for a little while. eddie steeled himself. then he ran into the door and flung it open.
the mobster was startled and almost fell over. he steadied himself and yelled after eddie, who was about halfway across the street. the three other mob men were already turning the casino corner. eddie made it to the other side of the street and up on the sidewalk. he was running for his life.
the mob soldiers ran across the street giving chase. eddie rounded the corner of the bar and ran for the parked bikes. there were several rows of the shinny hogs lined up in the parking lot. it had been years but eddie catalina had once ran track and at one time was an accomplished high hurdler. he made the correct calculation inside his head and easily hurdled the parked bikes even carrying his ratty suitcase. hit the pavement on the other side and kept on running.
the mob guys weren’t so lucky. years of breaking bones and shooting people had left them way south of any athletic ability if there had ever been any to begin with. all of the mobsters crashed into the the parked bikes.
eddie didn’t look back. eddie catalina was in the wind.
barely managing to get out of his clothes. eddie fell into bed. his clothing ended up in several piles scattered about the large room. too drunk to dream he was none the less woken-up several times by the large loud saturday night gambling and drinking crowd as they yelled, screamed, and carried on out in the parking lot. that along with the buzz of the hotel neon sign just outside his slightly open window which sounded, to eddie, like music as the inert gas pulsed through the glass tubing. suffice it to say eddie didn’t have a restful night.
he was up before dawn and hung over. he stumbled about the suite looking for the coffee maker. then he realized there were no coffee makers in the rooms at the stockmen. instead they had several large military size and style coffee makers down in the casino. want a cup of joe? you had to go downstairs and score it yourself.
it took eddie several more minutes to find the appropriate clothing from the various piles in order for him to make the trip. after he managed to get dressed he went down to the casino for the coffee. he left the room door slightly ajar so he wouldn’t have to use the card key while carrying the coffee back into the room. eddie figured since he was making the trip he should get all the coffee he could carry. fortunately, the casino was empty with the exception of a couple of drunks asleep at two slot machines.
eddie dumped the first styrofoam cup of steaming coffee on the floor while trying unsuccessfully to add creamer to it. the drunks slept on. he tried again. this time he was more successful so he filled a second cup as well. he even managed to get both cups of coffee up to his suite without spilling anymore or burning himself.
he sat at the table by the front windows drinking the coffee and trying to get straight. about halfway through the first cup he noticed a commotion coming from a bar across the parking lot and to his right. a clot of people had stumbled out of a the bar and on to the sidewalk. it was just after 6:30am. the sky barely turning light. from what he could hear through the open window the voices seemed to be speaking spanish. the people had come out of a building with a simple sign that read, slots and bar. they must have spent the night drinking and gambling in the small bar.
he watched in almost dumbstruck awe as several of the people fell face first onto the sidewalk. they just laid there while the rest of the folks talked loudly and waved their hands wildly about. one of them, a man wearing a large cowboy hat, peeled off from the group and stumbled off to his car. stumbling and zig zagging across the parking lot he stopped in front of a pick-up. fumbled for his keys. dropped them. twice. then managed to finally get the driver side door open. it took several tries for him to actually get inside the truck.
eddie couldn’t take his eyes off the drunk. the man finally got the truck started. turned on the headlights and drove away. amazing, eddie thought. although he had probably done the same thing a time or three himself. in particular the night and morning before he’d killed the mobsters.
he was working on the second cup of coffee when two cabs pulled up in front of the bar. the crowd of drunks began to get in both of the cabs. the two drunks who had fallen face first on the concrete got up like nothing had happened and joined the people getting into the cars. bloody amazing, eddie thought. only in the world of drunks and gamblers.
by the time the second cup was empty eddie was feeling almost normal. he was even beginning to feel hungry. a good sign. dumping the empty cups in the trash he got up. used the restroom then made his way back downstairs. there was a coffee shop a few feet from the elevators. he got out of the elevator and bumped into one of the paiutes. the indians were up early and there was already a line for the restaurant. not wanting to wait and not wanting to be to be the only non indian in the group eddie decided to go across the parking lot to another casino and eat breakfast there.
the walk in the cold morning air further sobered him up and increased his appetite. he stepped inside the commercial casino. it was almost deserted as well. he walked by the hotel’s claim to fame, a stuffed polar bear under glass standing on it’s hind legs. it had to be almost twenty feet high. eddie stopped to gawk at the dead animal just like everyone else did the first time they laid eyes on it.
pulling himself away he went into the semi busy coffee shop. he was seated and ordered a ham and cheese omelet and a large glass of milk. once it arrived and he started eating it he was sorry he had ordered it. he wasn’t as hungry as he thought and the food wasn’t very good. gagging he did manage to finish a third of the omelet along with the milk and half a piece of toast and jelly.
he paid his tab. left a tip. then made his way back across the parking lot that separated the stockmen and the commercial. luckily for him he noticed out the corner of his eye several over dressed men smoking and talking about fifty feet to his right. there was no mistaking it or them. mobsters. they had found him. holy crap, he thought as he quickened his pace across the lot. he began to wish they were the cops.
the short walk to the basque restaurant was uneventful. however, by this time the small establishment was very busy. the staff was having a hard time keeping up with all the food and drink orders. eddie caught the eye of the lady he’d spoken to earlier and raised one finger. then he pointed to the bar. she nodded back at him.
he made his way through a large party waiting for a table and found an empty chair at the bar. eddie ordered a picon as he placed a twenty on the bar top. the usc stanford game had already started. eddie turned to watch it on one of the TV’s. he also further checked the room and things seemed to be normal.
the bartender sat eddie’s basque drink in front of him and took the twenty to make change. eddie turned back to the bar and sipped his drink. liquid ambrosia even after the vodka. he was going to need another one of these. the crowd in the bar cheered.
eddie turned back to the game to discover stanford had scored a touchdown. unless you were from southern california most folks didn’t care for usc very much. oh well. at this point in the day the only thing eddie catalina cared about was the final score and did he win his bet or not.
on the ensuing kickoff usc fumbled the ball after a hard hit at the twenty five yard line. stanford recovered the fumble. the way things were going didn’t bode well for eddie or his bet. especially after he noticed on the score crawl at the bottom of the screen that boise st had already scored 21 points in the first quarter. good-bye $3,200. or so it seemed. he finished his drink in one gulp and raised the empty glass to the bartender. who then set about making eddie another picon.
the sinking feeling of his $3,200 flying out the window made eddie think about his predicament again. he’d killed two mob boys in his apartment down in los angeles. the l.a. cops were more than likely looking for him so they could ask him a few questions. so, eddie, what’s up with the two dead guys on your kitchen floor? eddie shuddered involuntarily.
you ok, mister?
yeah, i’m fine. just a chill.
here’s your drink.
thanks. you can keep what’s left.
sipping his drink eddie knew the mob wasn’t going to be anywhere near as polite as the lapd would be. the problem being eddie catalina was screwed if either of them found him. though he doubted the cops would be looking for him in northern nevada. not just yet anyway. the mob? they weren’t going away either but it was probably even money they were closer than the cops. eddie shuddered again. then he noticed the waitress beckoning him.
he picked up his drink and made his way back to the dinning room. the place was even busier. loud as well. filled with happy diners.
the waitress led him to a table with four chairs. there were already two ladies sitting in two of the seats. eddie knew that most basque places sat you family style. it wasn’t a problem. the two women turned out to be a mother and daughter from boise who were on a road trip and had stopped in elko on the way home for some basque food.
eddie ordered one of the specials. oven roasted lamb neck bones. along with a half liter of the house red. the dinner came with the usual sides. soup, salad, tongue, a vegetable or two, french fries, spaghetti, and sourdough bread. enough food for 4 or 5 people. the ladies ordered an extra side of a delicious blue cheese which they shared with eddie. the fine meal was accompanied by pleasant dinner conversation. or as pleasant as eddie could muster under the circumstances.
the roasted neck bones turned out to be outstanding. eddie was glad he had ordered them. he learned long ago to order off the specials board in a basque restaurant. even better was getting to know the owner who would throw in extras or let you request something off the menu or specials board. eddie was stuffed. the ladies declined dessert. though when eddie heard they served bread pudding, which the waitress said was to die for, he groaned and ordered one. the serving was huge and delicious.
the ladies said goodnight and eddie ate his dessert alone. when he finished he went back to the bar and ordered a frangelico and soda to help with his digestion. it would also serve to help ease the pain of his misguided football bets. by that time in the evening it was obvious he had lost his $3,200. the only thing that could save the money would be divine intervention. which was something that rarely happened. at least with eddie.
sated he somewhat stumbled from the restaurant and out into the street. it was noticeably colder now and there were fewer people out and about. eddie pulled his jacket tighter around himself and started walking. the last place he wanted to be was in one of the cat houses a block or so from the basque restaurant. but that’s where he found himself, several minutes later, in one of the houses. he sighed and mumbled to himself that he was pretty well fucked up and he had fucked up big time by wandering into the joint. he almost turned around but didn’t. instead he went to the bar. at least it was warm inside. the bartender spoke.
what’ll ya have?
ah, yes. ah…um…brandy rocks.
the place was empty save for eddie and the bartender. as the bartender turned from eddie to make him his drink he rang a bell. crap. eddie thought, here they come. not long after that 3 or 4 ladies showed up. eddie wasn’t sure just how many there were. it may have only been two and he was seeing double. at any rate, he told the ladies thanks but no thanks. he was just having a drink then he’d be on his way. and no he didn’t want to buy any of them a drink. the ladies cleared out pronto.
eddie sipped his drink and talked college football with the bartender. one of the ladies came out again and sat at the bar. eddie ignored her. already drunk he at least knew compounding mistakes wasn’t going to do any good. he finished his drink. dropped a jackson on the bar and somehow or another made his way back to the hotel and his room. tomorrow or more to the point today was another day.
many years ago, 2002 to be exact, i made a trip to mainland china. it was one of those two week deals where if it’s tuesday it must be shanghai type things. all in all very interesting especially the great wall. however, there were a couple of “incidents”that sort of stand out. one concerning vladimir putin and i’m still really not sure what was up with the other one.
first off, during the trip we stayed in xian for a few days. a lovely very old walled city with a moat around it. that would be in the really old part of town. we were on our way to see the terra cotta warriors outside the city. a truly wonderful experience if you get the chance to do so. on the way there we stopped at a factory that made small terra cotta figurines of the actual warriors, horses, and such at the site.
while at the terra cotta factory there was a guy standing around with big sony video camera on a tripod. i went up and started talking to him about his camera. he had an odd accent. turns out he was a russian tv news photographer or that was his story. he said they were doing “set ups” as putin was visiting the factory the next day before he went to see the actual warrior site. there was a talking head with him but i didn’t speak with him. anyways, after chatting with the ruskie and getting him to pose for some video i wondered off taking more video of the factory. suddenly this extremely nice looking chinese babe came out of nowhere like a sudden heart attack and asked me in very good english if i’m getting some nice pictures. this kinda freaked me out. who was she? where did she come from? i said yeah and blew her off. i think she may have been chinese langley. did she and the chinese think i was cia as well?
yes, well, then it got a bit weirder.
later that day we were at the terra cotta digs when 3 guys in very bad suits walked past us. i immediately made them for russians. one of them stopped turned around and gave me the eye for a minute or two. guess he had heard about me from someone at the terra cotta factory. or something. i ignored him. putin was to be at the site as well the next day. so i guess they were just some more russian “cultural” folks checking stuff out in advance. did the russians think i was cia too? what was going on? we heard a day or so later the chinese closed the place for 3 hours so putin could look at the shit by himself and not be disturbed. i hope he had a grand time.
several days later we were in guilin. a lovely spot in south china almost to the north vietnam border. the main touristy thing there is a four hour boat ride down the li river. wonderful scenery. amazing stuff.
after a long day of sightseeing, dinner, and probably too much beer we went to a chinese stage show in the hotel where we were staying. a nice show and more beer. however, i had a hard time staying awake.
after the we show got in the elevator to go up to our room. two nicely dressed westerners get in too. for some reason we are the only people in the elevator. which was very weird because of the number of people who had been watching the show and were now heading back to their rooms in the hotel. we get up to our floor. the men stayed in the elevator and as we get out one of them says, in an aussie or british accent, good night, john. yeah, no shit. i had never seen those guys before. i just ignored them and kept on walking. however, i was jolted.
very spooky and strange and the last time on the trip that i noticed anyone taking any interest in me in a langley sort of way. i had completely forgotten this little incident until i was reading some old emails. even now it seems very bizarre. we were at least 1,000 miles from xian and the russian, chinese terra cotta warrior deal. now out of nowhere i had british MI6(?) guys wishing me a good night. hmm…odd…very odd.
after a few drinks and south carolina had defeated the favorite, alabama, eddie decided it was time to move a bit. go outside, look around, take a walk. he left things as they were in the room. including the TV tuned to a football game with the volume loud enough for someone to hear the game if they stood just outside the door.
eddie grabbed a jacket and headed out to the elevator. the paiutes, if that’s who they were, where pretty much everywhere in the casino. he thought of asking one of them what was up and if they were paiutes. that thought was quickly discarded. better to just mind his own business and stay under the radar. everyone’s radar.
when he arrived at the lobby he stopped once again to read the newspaper articles that were posted under glass there about john wayne. it also gave him a few minutes to see if anyone was interested in him. no one seemed to care. he was still curious about the john wayne connection though. maybe he would ask when he checked out. that is if he didn’t just leave without saying a word.
as eddie walked through the small smokey casino the old lust for gambling hit him like a short left hook to the belly. in fact he almost doubled over. easy he thought, this wasn’t the time to get lost in a gambler’s haze. though something did catch his eye towards the back of the casino and the rear exit.
it was a tiny sports book. probably the smallest he’d ever seen. the book employee was even wearing a black and white football referee’s shirt. low end and campy but the board behind the man had all the college games and tomorrow’s pro games. a simple white board with numerous boxes on it. the games had been written in with a black magic marker. the spreads as well along with the over and unders. low end for sure. but none the less all above board and legal with everything you needed to know in order to place a bet.
he stopped to look at the games and the odds. of course, he should have kept on walking but what was the harm? the employee greeted him and eddie spoke.
how long will you be open tonight?
we close right after the last game starts.
no, hawaii is off the board unless they’re playing here on the mainland.
eddie was still looking at the board. there were a few games that were calling to him. usc stanford for one and boise st had way too many points to cover was another. maybe he could parlay some of the money left from the sale of the stolen caddie into something more. he shook that feeling off as quickly as it it had come on. what the hell was he thinking? maybe it was the vodka. he’d have to watch that.
he stepped outside into the almost late afternoon. it was cool but the air was fresh after the stuffy casino. he breathed deep. coughed. and lit another smoke. he stood there smoking for bit just watching the light traffic and the few people out walking around enjoying the fall afternoon air.
the basque restaurant he wanted to have dinner in was just a short walk away down on the corner. he made his way there and the smell of whatever was cooking inside made his stomach growl. they were already open so he made his way inside to check the specials. a smiling but harried lady asked him if he was going to eat. he said no he was just looking at the specials for now. the bar was almost empty and there were several TV’s on the walls all tuned to the usc stanford pre-game show.
eddie decided this was the place to eat. he almost told the lady he was ready to eat but the siren of the lonely little sports book was calling to him. he turned and left the restaurant. then quickly walked back to the hotel casino. the man in the referee’s shirt was still there. fortunately for eddie he was busy talking to another customer. eddie hurried past them and went up to his room.
once in his room he made himself a stiff drink and tried to settle down. that damn gambling jones. what a time to kick back in he thought. maybe a shower would help. the short hot shower did nothing to calm the siren in his head. the vodka wasn’t helping either. he put on his clothes and went back downstairs.
he should have gone out the entrance by the main desk and then taken the long way round the casino to the basque joint and his dinner. should have being the operative words. eddie walked through the casino and made a bee line to the small sports book. the man in the referee’s shirt was alone.
can i still put some money on usc and boise st?
yes, you just made it.
good. ok. i want to put $1,200 on usc and take the points. another $1,500 on new mexico and take the points.
the employee efficiently took care of the money and the rest of the transaction. he handed eddie his betting slip.
i’ll be closing in a short time so if you win come back tomorrow and i’ll take care of you. or you can mail the slip in to the casino. either way.
thanks. i’ll do just that. either way. thanks.
not a problem. have a good evening.
eddie put the slip in his wallet and made his way back to the basque restaurant and dinner.
eddie quickly changed and thrown some clothes, the .357, and a few more rounds in a ratty suitcase then ran downstairs. out on the street he spotted the shinny new cadillac sts. in the distance he heard the sirens. lapd was on the way. he looked inside the car and saw the keys. it was unlocked. why not? who would be stupid enough to mess with a mobster’s ride? only a desperate eddie catalina. he got in threw the bag on the passenger side floor then sped away. as the sirens and the lapd drew closer.
eddie had stolen the car and then somehow sold it twenty minutes later. sold it for a nice piece of cash to a crack dealer eddie knew. a crack dealer with an old steamer trunk full of stolen and cold license plates from every state in the union. a crack dealer with visions of his own grandeur. thirty minutes later the car was in a warehouse getting chopped up into parts. parts worth four times what he paid eddie catalina including a set of oregon plates.
for eddie’s part he made his way to a used car lot where he’d paid cash for a seven year old mustang that needed body work. the car looked like crap but it did run well. very well. the car dealer threw in a full tank of gas because eddie had paid cash. what the hell, he could fix the books and pocket several hundred dollars for himself on the deal.
after pulling out of the car lot eddie made his way to a quiet alley and removed the red used car sticker from the rear window of the mustang. eddie also removed the california plates and added his newly acquired oregon plates. even though the plates were expired by several months eddie figured the cops wouldn’t care. after all, he saw plenty of expired california plates every day. the cops had more important stuff to do. expired plates would be an added after thought for some other offense. expired oregon plates? not a problem.
eddie hit the freeway with a new sense of urgency. jesus. he’d just killed two mob guys. then stole their car. thankfully, for a time the cops, and more importantly the mob, would be looking for the cadillac. the mob would find out soon enough what happened. the cops a bit longer. eddie had maybe five or six hours. maybe more. at least he was now sober.
transitioning from the 10 west to the 405 north he was soon on interstate 5 and heading north at a speed where most of the chp’s on the road would leave him alone. once over the grapevine and into the central valley he could open it up a little more.
which he did and he was now in elko, nevada and the stockmen hotel. pacing, smoking, and thinking. the only trouble was the thinking seemed to be getting stuck at the what next part. his next move just wasn’t making itself very clear. at least he felt somewhat safe in his room with a view.
it was saturday and the hotel was busy. busy with a native american indian wedding or something. for some reason eddie figured them for paiutes. he didn’t have any reason other than a hunch. it didn’t matter much other than the fact with all of the paiutes around a few greasy italians in suits or $120 charlie sheen shirts would stand out even more.
all that being said, eddie was getting antsy. he still had a good amount of cash but no plan. no plan other than hitting another basque joint for another lamb dinner with all the traditional sides that night. a few traditional picon punches as well. maybe the TV would help soothe his nerves. he turned it on.
a fall saturday afternoon. television was all about college football. with more games to come later in the evening. what was he thinking? strangely the college games did help soothe his nerves. though they did nothing to help him come up with a plan.
he sat a chair in the middle of the room where he could stand up and check out the front and side views of the hotel while he watched the games. he called room service and ordered some ice and a bottle of vodka. he might as well be comfortable. sure why not?, eddie thought. after he’d lost those mob boys in stockton he could have gone anywhere. eddie hoped they felt the same way.
after growing up out in the farmlands that used to surround metropolis los angeles, eddie had moved to downtown l.a. when he was discharged from the army. that had been long ago. forty years ago more or less. things had gone well for him after the army. a thriving business, marriage and family.
thirty five years or so of peace and happiness. then it all started to unravel. slowly. one frayed thread at a time. eddie had started betting on football games. he started out doing alright. most weekends he won the majority of his bets. then something happened. eddie never did figure out what or why. his football acumen just went south on him. he started losing more than he won. not a good thing for any bettor.
instead of just quitting he tried to make up for his bad luck by betting more, more, and more. he not only lost the bets he lost his family as well. his business and his peace of mind. everything. eddie had become some sort of poster boy for gamblers everywhere. not in a good way but the worst possible example.
wife, children, home, and business gone eddie hit rock bottom. though living by his wits and a few odd jobs he kept a roof over his head. things had even started to turn around again. he even had thoughts of setting things straight with his wife and kids. instead, however, that old invincible bettor’s feeling came back and took hold. eddie started betting sports again. mostly college football.
he was actually doing well with his bets. just for a short time though. soon he was back to losing much more than he was winning. he began to drift out of control. there was no stopping him. madness seemed to hold sway. madness to the point of not caring anymore. then it happened. very quickly on a saturday afternoon in the late fall.
eddie catalina had weathered worse weekends but nothing quite like the past one. in some sort of semi delusional death wish he’d taken his car and rent money and bet it all on 10 of the worst college football picks imaginable. sure, some of them looked good and even made sense in that death wish sort of way. but he knew he was in big trouble by mid afternoon on saturday.
the odd thing was he really didn’t care. the third floor walk up in the eastern part of downtown los angeles and his 10 year old car had lost whatever luster was left or ever had been there. things had tumbled out of control and he was resigned to what would come soon enough.
another strange thing was he didn’t even have the car or rent money anymore. after losing the game that tilted the deal below what would mean busting out even he had taken the car and rent money and blown it all and then some. that was even before the total disaster became, oh so apparent. all the money he had was blown on a bizarre drunken whore mongering night in the illegal after hours mexican ‘nightclubs’ in his neighborhood. a long night that found him drunk, alone and asleep at his kitchen table around noon sunday.
the pounding on the door woke him up. it took a second or two to realize it was morning, the sun was up, and he was still drunk. very drunk. stumbling to the door he opened it. two thugs pushed their way inside. the larger of the two shut the door and stood by it.
the smaller one spoke.
so where were you last night? it looks like getting drunk on your sorry ass. and that’s no excuse. there are no excuses. you know the rules. payment is due on all bets at midnight sharp. pay up now plus another $1,000 in vig for our trouble. don’t fucking piss don vincenzo off any more than he already is.
standing there in his under ware, head down looking at the floor he thought, good thing i’m still drunk. maybe the broken bones won’t hurt so bad.
broken bones or maybe. just maybe. yes, a mad hangover haze grab for the rusty but loaded .357 under the three day old newspaper on the table. for you see, as dawn had broke that sunday morning, lonely broke drunken dreams made him pull it out of the bottom of his old army duffel bag. he’d passed out before he could use it. now maybe. just maybe. he could make use of it for some other purpose.
the smaller man slapped him to the floor. eddie used the table to help himself to his feet. his hand slipped under the paper. he gripped the pitted and splintered walnut pistol butt. he spun around firing. his finger pulling the trigger as fast as he could. sound, smoke, and the smell of cordite filled the small room.
the two mobsters lay there bleeding their last seconds of life out onto the cracked yellowed linoleum floor. eddie catalina’s troubles had only just begun.
the two open windows provided light and air. they also provided a decent view of the parking lot and the street area to the east. eddie catalina stood in the middle of the room smoking, watching, and pacing. the past two days had been a wild ride. or was it three? adrenaline highs and crashing lows had brought him here. north eastern nevada and the stockmen hotel in elko. the corner suite on the 4th floor. probably not a real suite in most hotels but the view was ok and he could smoke in the room. and with all the photos of john wayne in the lobby maybe the duke had even stayed in the room way back when. tangents. eddie was tired.
he hadn’t smoked in over twenty years but he had started again once the mad cap car trip had begun down in los angeles. probably somewhere in northern california along interstate 5. stockton? maybe. eddie thought he’d spotted a tail somewhere around the tracy turn off. no, he had spotted a tail. smart bastards that they were. someone on or near the over pass. though in the end not that smart.
eddie was a good driver. once the tail was spotted he let the adrenaline kick in and instinct take over. getting enough of a jump on them and then getting off the interstate in the old downtown section of stockton proved to be the right move. after a few one way streets there, a few quick turns, then backtracking he had lost the tail. after losing them he spent ten or fifteen minutes sitting in the shady parking lot of the public health department just to be sure, while getting his nerves back together. nothing of interest in the parking lot other than a few pregnant women coming and going. a few obvious junkies as well. nothing of interest.
after he left the parking lot he had a bit of a problem. he wasn’t sure where the interstate was any more. he drove around for a bit before he found it again. about that time eddie also realized he was hungry. he had seen a chinese restaurant sign a street or so over. not in the mood for mexican it would do. he doubled back. parked on the almost deserted street and went inside. the place was an old huge worn out dump. though the owner was friendly and the food decent enough. best of all he was the only diner.
for some reason after lunch he’d walked across the street and into a liquor store where he bought a carton of camel lights. eddie had been chain smoking them ever since.
from stockton he’d driven straight through to winnemucca, nevada stopping only for gas. he spent the night at the winner’s hotel casino and walking the streets of winnemucca while avoiding the cat houses. a sleepy casino was one thing but the houses were another. a sure fire way of being spotted. instead, he ate a delicious lamb dinner at an old basque hotel before retiring for the night. he was up early and back on the road again before 7. an overnight rain had left the roads shimmering in the early morning sun.
so, here he was in the stockman. elko, nevada. the duke’s old haunt? he was for sure smoking like the duke. two days and six packs of smokes later. jesus. he thought stubbing out a butt and lighting another. what the hell happened? what the hell indeed.
the two men in the car full of glass, dead bodies and blood hadn’t said a word until they stopped.
‘what the fuck?’
‘no shit, what the fuck? we’re covered with blood and no windshield is gonna get us pulled over in a heart beat.’
‘yeah. ok. i was gonna suggest we drive it up into the foothills and push it off some cliff and down into a ravine but i dunno now.’
‘that still might work. let’s check the trunk.’
inside the trunk the men found some beach towels and a blanket. ‘ok. we’re in luck. we wipe the car down and stick the dead ladies in the trunk. we just have blood on our backsides. if we make it without getting pulled over and don’t have to get out of the car we’ll be ok.’
‘man, if we get pulled over we’re off to the lethal injection room faster than you can say the lapd planted all this evidence on us.’
the men had been very lucky so far. no sirens sounded in the night other than the normal stuff but it was off in the distance. nothing anywhere close. they had been lucky indeed. one of the men walked out to the street and told the third man to follow them and if they got pulled over to just keep on going. no sense in all of them going down. the men had decided to take the freeway and hope the late hour wouldn’t have many highway patrolmen out or if there were they would hopefully be busy with drunks. plus, it was the quickest way up to the foothills. as it turned out their luck held and they made it up into the foothills in no time.
the road was deserted as they wound their way up into the san gabriel mountains unmolested. they found a good spot after about 15 minutes of driving. a turn out with no guard rail. they pulled in and wiped down the car once more making sure there were no fingerprints or shoe prints in or on the car. even with gloves it paid to be careful. they left the two bodies in the trunk and pushed it over the edge and into the ravine. the car fell several hundred feet and landed on it’s roof. thankfully, no explosion like in the movies. with that they all got into the other car and made their way back home. by the time they got back to their homes it was almost 2am. the two bloodied men showered and bagged up their clothes for later disposal.
the insanity of a summer saturday night continued unabated as the men went about taking care of their business. one of the men phoned the other two and they met again near the dumpster. ‘look. i say we do some more of these bastards. we may never get another chance. if we get popped. we get popped. we been through this before. screw it.’
‘ok. yeah, why not?’
‘alright. let’s do this thing.’
almost 3am and the parade of human stupidity was still in full swing out on the street. perhaps even more so at that late night or early morning hour. a night of drinking and drugs having taken control of the already stupid assholes vapid minds. the men were loaded up and ready to go once again. they didn’t have long to wait. the car was moving down the street with more noise than they had heard in some time. the plan worked again perfectly. two more dead and disposed of assholes.
on their way back from the disposal of the last bodies and car. the men decided to do one more job and make it a statement. they would leave the car in the street with the radio blaring and the dead left were they died in the car.
simple enough but would anyone figure out their insane statement? the three men didn’t care. they were high on all the adrenaline and death.
‘only thing is we don’t do the last one on our street. to close for comfort. we can’t take that chance.’
‘sure we should be able to find something just about anywhere.’
and they did find something very quickly in the next town over. it hadn’t taken any time at all.
they had pulled to the curb when they heard a car coming from behind them. radio blasting. 4am on a sunday morning and the soon to be terminally stupid were still working at being the assholes they were. the three friends decided to just stop the car and waste whoever was in it. they got out of the car and stood in the street. 3 abreast. blocking the road with their bodies. the car approached and slowed to a stop. the two shooters went to each side of the car and the third held his ground holding a tire iron he had pulled from the trunk.
the three men had hit the jack pot. the car was full. the two shooters emptied their weapons into the car. it was over in a few seconds. though amazingly one of the occupants in the car made it through the killing zone and ran from the car. the friend with the tire iron went after the kid and caught him with a flying tackle. army training kicked in and he broke the kid’s neck with the simple technique he had been taught many years before. he picked the dead kid up and brought him back to the car and laid him out on the hood. the other friends were in their car and had it ready to go. he picked up the tire iron from the street and joined his three friends. they left the scene and headed home.
the car sat there in the street with it’s stereo blasting and the dead kid on the hood for five minutes or so before another car load of assholes came down the street and found what had been left there. the police were called and they spent well into the the daylight hours of sunday morning trying to figure out just what had happened.
of course they never did. they thought it was this or maybe that but it really wasn’t any of those things. then the other cars started turning up. or more precisely parents started to finally wonder where their stupid children were and called the police. all the cars turned up and the dead bodies found. the last to turn up was the car in the ravine. it took several weeks before some one pulled off into the turnout, got out of their car, and actually looked down over the edge.
all the killings made a big splash in the media. there was the usual tsk tsking, along with smirking feigned outrage at the carnage but it was good for ratings and the sharks that they were kept it up for as long as they could. the late development of the car in the ravine added fuel to their sanctimonious eye brow raising. however, in the end, the story just faded away like they all eventually do. the police gave up and went about their business of trying to quell the turning tide of insanity that seemed to have a death grip on the local society.
the three friends? they never spoke of that night again. not even when it was just the three of them sitting and sipping a beverage out on the patio during the patio drinking season. they had made their point though no one actually got what the point was. but they knew and that after all that was all that really mattered.
though separately they did often think and wonder if it might not be a bad idea to do it all over again. one day. perhaps one day.
several days later the car and body were finally discovered when someone passing by noticed a strong odor emanating from the parked car. the death of the asshole barely made a blip on the tv or radio news. though it did manage to grab a few inches of space in the local fish wrap. the police made a cursory attempt at trying to find any witnesses to the crime and the whole matter was seemingly dropped soon after.
the 3 desperate friends were buoyed by this turn of events. ‘it’s like i told you guys. the cops have their hands full. just another dead body among lots of dead bodies. they don’t have the time or the manpower for any of this.’
so, with that the next night they shot out three consecutive street lights on the street where they lived. it was a wednesday night and they planned to carry out the next mad part of the plan late saturday night and early sunday morning of the coming weekend. that is if the electric company didn’t fix the lights before then.
saturday came and the lights were still out of order. they caught a break as their wives or girlfriends had gone out of town and off to vegas for the weekend. a simple enough plan and worth the money it cost the three men to send them away. the three men met for their final meeting before the insane rampage was set to begin.
‘i’m still the shooter.’
‘yeah, fine. but i’ve been thinking we may need another piece. just in case things go sideways.’
‘he’s right. no problem, i’ll bring my .22 auto along for fire support.’
‘yep, and i’ll attach a stocking to the ejector.’
‘ya know we may need a heavy piece if things really go sideways.’
‘too much noise.’
‘if i tape a plastic coke bottle to the barrel of my .357 i can get one good heavy round off with about as much noise as the .22. we might need it.’
‘alright set it up and bring it. though the thing is with the wheel gun lots of noise from other than the barrel.’
‘good point. i’ll work something out that will keep it free enough for one kill shot.’
‘yes, that sounds good.’
the three men spent the day as they normally did. however, late that night around midnight, they all crept quietly and unseen from their homes. they met near one of the trash dumpsters not far from the street.
the shooter was dressed in light clothing to make it easier for the cars to see him as he stepped off the curb and into their path. the other two were dressed in dark clothes. as a prop, the shooter also had a six pack of tall bud in cans. they stood around not saying much while they waited for their first victim. they didn’t have too long to wait.
like always they heard the car coming several blocks away. the shooter and his friends got ready. the shooter on one side of the street and the other two along with their fire support pieces on the other. as the car drew closer the loud music thumped and banged like concussions from an explosion. when it was about 30 yards away the shooter stepped from the curb with the six pack in his hand. the .22 in his other and at his side. he wobbled into the street and stood in the car’s path.
the car slowed and stopped. there were two occupants. both males in their 20’s. they stopped and began yelling at the shooter to get the fuck out of the street and out of their way. the music still blared. the shooter walked up to the driver’s side and quickly put two shots in the driver’s face. as he pushed the dead body to the side he put two more shots into the head of the passenger. it was over before it began as the other members of the mad group came out of the shadows and dealt with the vehicle and it’s dead passengers. as planned, one drove the car several blocks away and the other followed. the shooter stepped back into the shadows to watch and wait. fifteen minutes later the other men were back and reported no problems. the car and bodies were left to be found at a later date and time when the smell would make them visible.
not long after their return the familiar blare of another car stereo was heard, this time from the other direction. just like the first time the shooter stepped in front of the car. the car stopped and more yelling for him to get out of the road. he walked up to the driver side window and put two shots into the startled face of the driver. then 2 more into the passenger’s head before he realized there were two more people in the back seat. he got off two more shots into the chest of the third victim as the fire support .22 took care of the last passenger in a similar fashion. they all quickly secured the dead bodies and the car was driven off in an other direction to be parked and abandoned with it’s dead cargo still inside.
when the three insane friends met again, at the side of the dumpster, they were amazed and happy at what had gone down. it had been fairly easy. even their cold blooded murders had been easy, they said. no regrets or sadness at what they had done. they also agreed the fire support piece had been a very good idea. in the midst of all this happiness a third car was heard.
the three went to their positions and waited. this car had the stereo at levels even they had not heard before. it seemed as if they could hear the studs vibrate in the homes on the street as the car approached. it was one thing to hear them vibrate inside a house but to hear them vibrate while standing out on the street gave them all pause. this car was probably waking the dead. the shooter knew he had to be quick with this one. someone might look outside to see just who this asshole was as he passed by.
there were only two people in this car. the driver and her passenger, another young woman. as the car neared him the shooter stepped off the curb and in front of the car. this time instead of yelling the driver laid on the horn and kept coming. the shooter stood his ground and the car barely stopped before it could hit him. he knew time was short. so did the fire support shooter. the main shooter emptied his magazine into the front window. the support piece emptied into the passenger side of the car. the 20 rounds did what they were meant to do. though it was the one round from the silenced .357 that killed the driver. however, the shattered windshield presented them with a major problem.
without saying a word the shooter joined the driver in the car and they drove away from the mad scene. the other friend followed. none of them was sure if anyone had looked outside with all the horn honking and general loud insanity coming from the street. they would know soon enough if sirens were heard. they turned the stereo off and the shooter, who was in the passenger seat, quickly broke out what was left of the windshield. that took care of the obvious problem. the other problem was there were four people in the front seat. two of them being dead. the driver pulled into an alley behind a small strip mall. fortunately for the men it was a very dark alley. the third friend knew they were in a fix and didn’t follow them into the alley. he pulled to the curb, shut off his lights, and waited.
the early spring and summer passed with little change from any other early spring and summer. the three friends sat and drank each evening in the soft summer evening light of southern california. the summer progressed into the hot damp nasty dog days of august. the time when sleep was fitful and restless at best. the thumpity thump of the weekend car traffic made it even worse. sleep became a rare and precious commodity. for the three old friends the lack of sleep, once again, became a part of their daily evening conversation.
‘man, this heat and humidity is killing me. i can’t sleep. when i do doze off the chumps and their car stereos jolt my old ass wide awake.’
‘yeah, it’s a never ending cycle this time of year.’
‘you boys had enough?’
‘enough of what?’
‘oh, shit, he’s back on that again?’
‘what do you think? of course i am. you think i want to end up like my old man and piss my pants every time i take a leak? stuck with wearing a kotex in my underwear for years, until i finally die? no, thanks. i’m not going to out live my future. i’m not doing that. there comes a time when what’s the point? it’s quality not quantity. i mean to take some of these assholes out. if i die, fine. if i get caught the state can keep me in kotex till i die. fuck it. the state ain’t gonna catch me. no way. i’m fucking doing this. if you guys help, it will be a piece of cake. if not, well, i’ll manage. somehow.’
as usual the other two friends just sat there and looked at each other. neither saying a word for what was probably half an hour. finally one of them spoke.
‘ok. yeah, pants pissing. jesus. i hear you. life just sorta gets worse and worse. daily shit goes down the tube faster than an unassisted hard on disappears.’
‘ain’t that the truth? it’s not like we have much going for us. i mean other than this. and this is just, well, getting to the point of, sorry, just some sort of sewing circle type shit but with drinks.’
‘sad but true. ok. looks like we are signing on to this madness of yours. what the fuck?’
‘i guess we are. seems like we may as well. i don’t want to end up stinking of piss and shit in my really golden years. fuck that. either a blaze of glory or the state can deal with my sorry ass. either way, i don’t care.’
‘yeah, seems like that’s the case. ok. count me in.’
they rose as one and touched bottles or glasses together and sealed the insane mad plan.
to saner men, this pact, seemingly dredged up from the bowels of hell would have given them pause. why should lack of sleep and the stupidity of the young, along with the fears of the old, make anyone want to kill? indeed, why? to those three men the answer would be, why not? why not, retaliate against the rampant madness all around them? why not take out something that is nothing more than a cancer on the breast of society? take out something that is abhorrent to any civilized man. yes, so it seems, the mad plan had some legs. madness, seemingly coming to a head. the one who’s original plan it was shook his head and said, ‘finally.’
several days passed until the madness was spoken of again. ‘ok. look, we need a rehearsal before the harder stuff goes down. i have someone in mind. you guys know who it is.’
‘yeah. tell me about it. i know. ha ha. the asshole who every morning before 6am has his car radio blaring for 5 or 10 minutes in the garage while god knows what the hell is going on in his house.’
‘right on, my brother. it’s that dumb fucker.’
‘ha ha. i’m with you on that. sure, we should have done him long ago. sorry ass inconsiderate fuck that he is.’
‘ok. look. we do this guy first. it ain’t gonna be easy with the early morning light but we have history going for us. we have the real early morning assholes then there’s a break until this dick rolls out to work. we have a window of maybe 5 minutes, way more than enough time for the deal to go down. i say we go monday morning. agreed?’
‘solid. we go monday morning.’
sunday night the three now totally insane friends met for the evening of patio drinking. ‘alright. the asshole starts his car and has the car stereo blaring. he goes back in the house for 5 or so minutes.. he comes back out and leaves. when he comes out i’m in the garage and i double tap him. we toss him in the car and drive away.’
‘i like it. man, like you said the car stereo covers the .22 shorts.’
‘yeah, we should have done this piece of crap long ago. what were we thinking?’
the reply came in unison, ‘damned if i know.’
‘one thing though. we need to police the brass.’
‘oh, shit. yeah, we sure do.’
‘piece of cake. i’ll just attach some nylon stocking thing to the ejector and let it catch the brass. lots easier than fumbling around on the ground trying to find it.’
so, the next morning the three friends were up even before the rat bastards and their car stereo insanity began.
‘ok, first thing. we all wear gloves.’
‘i cap him. we toss him in the car and you drive him a couple of blocks away. you follow and bring him back. remember to lock the car and be sure the windows are rolled up. then you guys drive over to the super wally’s mart and toss the keys in one of the dumpsters out back. or down some drain someplace as you drive by. don’t matter, just get rid of them and make sure no one sees you.’
‘solid. no problem.’
‘i hope so. if we pull this one off, we are in. the late night early morning stuff will be a piece of cake.’
‘let’s do it.’
thirty minutes later the man who did the same thing each and every morning started his car in the garage and left it there with the radio blaring. it was only a few minutes before 6am, but of course he, being an asshole, was totally oblivious to his own rampant stupidity. it was to be his last morning of such utter disregard for his fellow neighbors. as he stepped from the house and into his garage two barely audible shots rang out. the dumb ass was dead before he hit the ground.
the two other friends quickly gathered him up and tossed him into the front seat of the car. with the garage door closing one of the friends drove off with the radio still at ungodly levels for any time of the day. the other friend followed. three blocks to the east they found a quite residential street and left the car with the dead asshole stuffed down on the floorboards of the passenger side of the car. locked it up then dumped his car keys in a storm drain two blocks further east.
the whole sad affair was over and done within 10 minutes, tops. the three friends gathered at a local ihop for breakfast to celebrate and discuss their mornings work.
‘boys, like i have been telling you. simple easy. right?’
‘yeah, easy as pie.’ ‘ok. when do we start for real?’
‘let’s don’t get too greedy. we wait for a day or two and see what happens. then we go for it.’
it hadn’t always been like this, the dim witted borderline imbeciles driving around trying to be cool with their car stereos blaring at ungodly levels. as a matter of fact, the whole damn thing just more or less snuck up on the saner of the population. oh sure, back in the late 80′s early 90′s, some cities passed ordinances concerning loud car stereos and such. those ordinances got buried in the crime wave of drugs and the general stupidity of the general population causing local cops more trouble and work than they had cops on patrol. plus, even the dull and stupid have to work at some point in their dull and stupid lives doing dull and stupid work. so, the ear shattering rancid music wasn’t particularly bad during the work week. at times, it could be but for the most part it was on the weekends when the dull and stupid got even duller and stupider. the spring and summer months meant weekends full of bad music played at levels that could probably be heard on mars.
the next evening the 3 nam vets met again for the second night of the season of patio drinking and chatting. they had been doing it for so long they had forgotten just how the whole deal had begun. it didn’t matter, as it was really just time to get away from their wives or girlfriends. a time for some booze and no female asking them dull insipid questions like why they needed to drink every day with their weird and or loser friends. among other things. ah, yes, like most men they had bid farewell to the simple life long ago. the evening, being a monday, and of course, a work week night meant for a relatively peaceful evening for outside sitting and sipping. the peace and quiet was only broken at odd intervals by the ear shattering so called music.
‘you know, i don’t think i’m going to make it.’
‘make what? are you sick or something?’
‘no, nothing like that. i mean, i don’t think i’m going to make it through another summer of this blaring car stereo shit.’
the other two friends gave each other a look. the other friend continued.
‘you know it could be done.’
‘the man is talking in riddles this evening. now what?’
‘killing the dumb ass kids as they drive down the street.’
‘man, you are crazy. there’s no way you are gonna get away with that action. it’s just plain crazy.’
‘i don’t like it any better than you do but he’s right, ain’t no way. none of us do, but man, that’s just crazy.’
‘i don’t think so. i think it could be pulled off. actually fairly simple. you want to hear about it or not?’
the idea made the other two men uncomfortable but they decided to listen to their friend’s crazy idea. they had nothing better to do and it was a nice warm spring time evening with plenty of wine and cold beer.
‘alright. go ahead.’
‘ok. the really annoying shit goes down on weekends late in the evening or early morning when the really stupid crazy ones are out being annoying and probably stoned, drunk, or both.’
he noticed he had their attention so he continued. ‘there isn’t much traffic on the road other than them. you can hear them coming from blocks away. now remember, they have the windows down. we could use a simple…’
‘now hold on, sport. what’s this we shit? don’t be dragging us into your murder one conviction.’
‘you gonna listen or what? just hear me out.’
‘shit. go ahead.’
‘thank you. we take a page from the viet cong tax collectors. we just step out on to the road and stop them. instead of demanding tax money, we cap them with two behind the ear or where ever. see, we have several things in our favor. night time, rolled down windows, and the loud music to cover the gun shots. which wouldn’t be that loud anyways. a .22 auto loaded with shorts. pretty quiet even without the help of the music.’
the other two friends sat there in a stunned silence. they realized he wasn’t kidding and had seemingly thought things out enough to the point, where he knew he would need their help if he wanted to carry out his insane plan. one of them spoke.
‘yeah, ok. it might be night but what about the street lights?’
‘we shoot a couple of them out. it takes edison weeks to replace a broken street light. if they ever do.’
‘you really think some stoned out drunken asshole kid is gonna stop just cause you jump out in front of him?’
‘sure with a few props. they need to see you in the dark so some sorta light colored clothing needs to be worn, and most importantly, you’re carrying a six pack of beer. they think you’re just some old drunken vato and at the least they slow way down or stop in hopes of snagging a brew off your drunk ass. the .22 auto is in your hand but out of sight. they aren’t gonna see it anyway. they’ll be looking at the beer. they stop. you walk up to the window. the music is still blaring. you stick the gun in the car and pop pop. it would be over before they knew what hit them.’
more stunned silence. ‘alright. what happens if there’s a car load of the fucks?’
‘plenty of ammo in the clip to pop them all. they will be too stunned to manage much of any kind of response if you hammer down fast enough…no real problem.’
‘man. you are talking about cold blooded murder.’
‘yeah. i guess so. i don’t care anymore. things are just too out of control. the stupid breed like rabbits and then don’t even bother to half ass take care of their kids or teach them anything half ass useful. it’s every man for himself. the fuckers don’t care about anything. you’ve seen them out at the mailbox. they open it it up and just toss the junk mail out into the street for the wind to take away. they think it doesn’t matter or they’re just to important or stupid to be bothered with throwing away trash properly. they’re oblivious to any normal human decency when they’re out in public. you go to a store, you better give them a wide berth or you’re asking for trouble. especially if they’re fucked up, which is pretty much all the time. yeah, i know we got fucked up too. but we didn’t try to get into a fight just because someone wandered by and we didn’t like the looks of them. i’m sick of these fuckers and it’s time to deal with them.’
the second night of the patio drinking and chatting season had come to an abrupt end.
you could hear it coming from at least 2 or 3 blocks away. by the time it passes, the walls of the house were vibrating like a snare drum. and it seemed as if the drywall was going to fall off. you couldn’t hear yourself think. how they could stand to listen to the so called music at such volumes was, in itself, amazing. the future, hey, look at me, generation, would all be stone deaf by the time they were 30. if they lived that long. maybe that’s what they were figuring.
though it was hard to say with the majority of youth these days. or at least that’s what the 3 friends told each other as they sat outside in the patio drinking beer or wine on temperate evenings. it wasn’t so bad in the colder months as the dumb fuckers needed to have their windows rolled up against the cold and the car stereo turned down to more moderate levels. even they couldn’t handle the crappy music at it’s usual warm weather levels in an enclosed car.
it was late fall and the 3 men were just about ready to call an end to the outside drinking season. a bit too chilly for their old bones. not to mention muscles and joints that seemed unable to unwind after sitting and drinking in the cool fall evening air. it didn’t take long for another ear piercing car load of kids to race by. the friends just looked at one another and shook their heads. nothing to be said. it had all been said before. numerous times. or had it?
one of them spoke, ‘damn. i’m sick of those little fuckers and their loud crappy music and their fucked up attitudes in general. seems like we should do something about it.’
‘yeah, sure, like what?’, one replied. the other friend just sat there sipping his wine. listening. the second friend continued, ‘what do you suggest? maybe shoot the little fucks?’
‘hmm. yeah, that thought has crossed my mind a time or two when they drive by at 2am in the summertime with the stereo blaring. i’m damn sick and tired of those wake up calls.’
the third friend spoke, ‘i think we’re all sick and tired of that. it’s getting cold. let’s go inside before we can’t move at all.’ with that the men went inside and the patio drinking season came to an end.
winter passed quickly for the 3 old men. but then time seemed to pass more quickly with each passing day for them all. winter should be no different. with the advent of warmer weather and fairly tolerable early evening weather, the 3 friends, once again, gathered in the patio for their nightly chat, along with a taste of beer or wine. the warm weather also meant that along with the swallows coming back to capistrano, the local youths would have their car windows rolled down and the sound system cranked up at levels high enough to vibrate nails from wooden 2x4s. it wasn’t long before the seemingly endless parade of high decibel ear piercing vehicles made their way up and down the city streets.
‘those little fuckers. damn it, i didn’t go off to nam to come home and get spit on and then in my so called, goddamn golden years, have to put up with those little cock suckers and their shitty so called music 24 hours a day. what the fuck?’
‘yeah, me too. i’m getting to old for this. i need my beauty sleep. something should be done. maybe we should start going to city council meetings or something.’
‘fat lot of good that’s going to do. those assholes are more concerned with lining their pockets than actually helping any of their fellow citizens. unless of course, it’s an election year and they are running scared figuring the new asshole is going to thump them in november. then they just might, maybe, trim a few trees on your block, if you grease the campaign coffer a bit.’
the reticent member of that band of brothers said, ‘maybe, just maybe, there’s something we can do after all.’ the other two looked at him with a glimmer of hope in their eyes. as he never said much but when he did it usually amounted to something or another the other 2 could at least agree with. ‘we could could start capping the little bastards. one fucking car at a time.’
‘sweet , jesus, and i thought you were gonna have something useful to say.’
‘that’s right. what the fuck? start capping the little bastards. this ain’t nam and the little creeps aren’t viet cong.’
‘yes, they are. nothing more nothing less. just stupid little fucks who want nothing more than to fuck everyone else’s lives up. they are too stupid to know any better. their parents are as dumb as they are and they probably encourage their shitty behavior. capping the rancid shits would probably get us a medal in saner times.’
‘holy shit, brother.’
the other two friends sat and looked at each other. no one said anything for a time. not even when the next car or two passed with it’s ear shattering thumpaty thump thump thumping noise. finally one of them spoke, ‘hey, my ears are gonna start bleeding. let’s call it a night. maybe there’s still a ball game on or something.’
with that, the first evening of the warm weather patio beer and wine drinking season came to an end, on a rather odd note. the talk of killing the abusers of peace and quiet had put a damper on the festivities. there wasn’t a game on the tube, so the others made their way back to their respective houses and that first night of the drinking season came to an end. however, a seed had been planted. in the fitful tossing and turning nights, so called sleep, the seed began to germinate.
john zen, pi
the hot anvil sun had finally dipped into the pacific as john zen pulled up to his office, a second floor walk up in downtown l.a. not really l.a. anymore but more like downtown tj, zen thought, as he slipped the key into the lock. tired, gritty, and thinking only of velda, his busty secretary, he didn’t notice the the door was already open. yeah, velda, he thought, some cheap scotch and a bubble bath with velda. wash away the grime of crime from this world weary soul and partake in her lusty charms. in your dreams, zen, he thought, as he pushed the door open revealing a scantily clad mexican babe of indeterminate age.
that’s me, honey.
oh, senor zen, you must help me. my brother, he has been kidnapped by columbian drug lords.
i see, so why don’t you just call the cops?
i can not, senor zen, i…we…are not in your country legally…and the drug lords will kill my brother if i do.
crap, just what i need, zen thought, as he pulled a flask from a desk drawer and drank heavily from it. lighting a fresh pall mall he spoke again.
look, sister, i’m tired, ok? this isn’t a job for me. it’s for the cops or somebody else, dig? i’m just a private dick. a one man army against a tidal wave of crime. plus, and it’s a big plus, they will not only kill your brother they will kill me too. now scram. i have bills to pay.
oh, senor zen, you must help me…puhhhleeseeezeee…
the micro mini she was wearing dropped to the floor. her ample yet firm breasts teased him from across the desk top.
all of this is yours. whenever you want it, she cooed.
hmmmmm, yes, perhaps i’ve been a bit rash after all, my dear. come, kneel here under my desk while i go over these bills and you go to work on my tool. ah, yeah, that’s nice…ahhh…yes.
in his blow job bliss, zen, missed the dark hispanic male sneaking into his office. the narco terrorist killed them both with a single shot.
i was a priest for a time. the head vicker at a young girls, well, not that young of a girls school. it sat on the border of southern france and northern italy. the school was equally divided between the two countries. a strange thing indeed but just a simple hold over from the middle ages. some of the parents didn’t appreciate some of the things i thought necessary to teach the young ladies. i used to tell them, better me than some lout from the streets, with no prospects teaching them, things. sadly, they weren’t amused. of course, the police of both backward countries had to became involved. i made a hasty departure. fond memories for me none the less.
at some point or another i became a doctor. just how, is still clouded in mystery. with the help of a good plastic surgeon and some minor facial reconstruction i was able to make my way back into italy. where i secured the position of, dean of tarts, at the university of bologna. the position suited me well. as a tart is a tart, in any man’s language. and believe me they were tarts, with much to learn. after a time, as things generally go with men, i became bored with the dean of tarts gig. don’t get me wrong, the young italian ladies were spectacular. but like i said, i was bored. so i just up and left when i noticed the police were spending time on the campus.
i wandered about here and there living by my wits and good looks for what may have been many months. it was so long ago and furtive i can hardly re-call that time with much clarity today. then one day i found myself in shanghai, china, drinking german beer with a portly, good natured chinese gentleman. he suggested that i should come to work for him at his all girls school there in shanghai. teaching of course, english, to those lovely pearls of the orient. had he known just what else i would be teaching them he may have had second thoughts. things went swimmingly for some time, as the girls had a rabid desire to learn from a great master.
i blossomed in china, even starting a side job teaching english and other arts to the girl’s mothers. in the process, i nearly wore myself out, causing great consternation far and wide. culminating in another hasty departure during the wee hours of the morning. something, of course, i’m an expert in doing.
set adrift again in life’s waters i roamed far and wide. teaching what i could in what little time it always seemed i had. whenever i tried setting down some roots. the roots never took as the time between moves grew shorter and shorter. it seemed i always left a bit of myself behind with each furtive escape into night’s darkness. just like some depraved 20th century johnny appleseed.
so there you have it. a somewhat condensed version of my of pathetic life. i trust you will keep it under your hat as there are still husbands and fathers out there searching for me. though in my new life, as an internet douche bag, i doubt they will ever find me. sadly, if they do. i’ll have to pack my kit and sneak off on yet another lonely moonless night. to perhaps wend my way through life’s byways and highways to…your town.
this mornings music provided by, miles davis, ‘sketches of spain’.
this originally appeared here in september of 2008. john harrelson passed away in june of 2013. don rehkop passed away in march of 2014. may you both rest in peace, my friends.
let’s see…ok. the boys, dfr & jwfh, were over this past evening and i cooked up a nice sorta southern down home meal for my brothers. jwfh says i got the job. dfr as well. sweet. their lips to the food network’s ears. for those that are wondering, the brown eyed girl was busy doing stuff with her nephew.
at any rate, my sorta cooking skills aren’t why i’m here. ah, no. at one point i stuck john’s cd, ‘mojave’ on the cd player. yeah, well. i’ve been down this road before a year or so ago. none the less, ‘mojave’, by john harrelson still kicks ass and those of you that haven’t bothered need to bother because it is that good. trust me. the link will follow.
we are like eating and i’m yammering about this and that music wise on the cd. jwfh is yammering back. i tell him the title track, ‘mojave’, is stellar and i love it when he does it live. like who wouldn’t?
then we got to the tune, “joshua tree ’73”. one of the finest hippy country western tunes ever written. fuck yeah. ” under the influence of loneliness, morphine, and desire “…sweet, jesus. write it and sing it, jwfh. i told jwfh that i needed to hear him do the tune next time he did a live gig. he smiled and said, ‘yeah.’
then he went off into something i hadn’t heard before. turns out writing the song was one of those deals that just comes from beyond type deals. a channeling of sorts according to john. a tune nothing like he’d ever written before. after it it was written he was like, ‘where the hell did this come from?’
then jwfh says, ‘it’s the suicide note gram parsons never got to write.’ whoa. fine. i’m there. the tune is one of those late 60’s early 70’s country western tunes that sings of life on the edge. life, ala charlie bukowski, dressed up in a country western nudie suit. as a veer, google, ‘nudie’ and country western outfits. life ala what country western music means to me. not the sugar coated crapola stuff of today. the old days of hank williams and outlaw country. the old hippy cosmic country. real life angst and despair. angst and despair dealt out from the bottom of the deck. country as i remember it was and should still be.
my point? you should probably, no, you should, go to: http://cdbaby.com/cd/harrelson and buy the cd, ‘mojave’. if you like country western/blues/rock ‘n’ roll by someone who’s lived several lifetimes playing and writing it then this cd is for you. it’s time to jump on the bandwagon before it pulls out and heads west into that morphine induced unwritten note sunset. um, yeah. it’s ok, jwfh. i understand.
‘mojave’, is one of those cd’s you listen to and need to listen to a bunch in order to get it. it just gets better with each listen. my brother, know this. you knew it and did it. i just hope there’s more comin’ down the pike. capice?
i wrote this last night after the boys left. i sat at the computer and listened to “joshua tree ’73” a number of times while i finished off a bottle of sicilian red. it’s early morning and the sun is still around an hour away. i’m sitting at the computer again. this time drinking coffee. the only sound is the keyboard and the lonely night time wail of a freight train echoing north from down in de onta. i’m still haunted by john’s joshua tree tune. haunted by gram parsons. haunted by my youth.
i wish i was out in joshua tree this morning. sitting on a rock someplace and smoking a very large bowl of something or another while waiting for the sun to rise. there’s magic out there and there’s magic in john harrelson’s tune, “joshua tree ’73”.
it’s almost oscar time yet again. it’s also time once again to trot out a couple of moldy oldies of mine to commemorate hollyweird’s biggest TV show, oscar night. the first of the two is for the more mature reader among you. however, i’m not your parents nor do i want to be. i hope you enjoy the reads.
yeah, donna di’monico was her name. a contract player for warner bros in the 40’s and 50’s. lot’s of b westerns as second leading lady, plus the last of the serials. she once told me, in a round about way, she had fucked howard hughes. but she wasn’t one of his hayseed bimbos locked up in one of howie’s fuck pads. no, not donna. she moved and grooved to a beat all her own.
donna was an early lipstick lesbian. when doing a bit part on an early ‘colgate comedy hour’, she blew dino while playing dildo momma to marilyn maxwell and some make-up lady. jerry sat and watched. nice work if you can get it, i suppose. as time passed she got fewer acting calls. she never got into the older character stuff. too much work she used to tell me. but every once in awhile she would get some commercial work. lever bros or one of the other yid soap joints, as she used to call them. nice work. easy 2 day max work. plus the residuals were good, even in the late 60’s early 70’s.
don’t get me wrong she wasn’t hurting. no, not donna. she did ok. she had plenty of time to prowl the bars on la cieniga and ventura. out looking for some young cooze who may have seen her when she was a kid, like they were. some kid who wanted to munch down on that well manicured carpet. so they could say, hey, ever hear of donna di’monico? we fucked last night. nice old babe and still holding up ok. god, she ate my snatch like she hadn’t eaten anything in months. great fuck.
yeah, donna di’monico, the older she got the more genteel she became. doing charity work and joining historical societies. she got off on the historical stuff. the older the shit was the more she was into it. like trees. she really got into old trees. say 450 year old california oaks in some old downtown southern california berg gone to seed or illegal aliens. or like this old cork tree where i live. it’s at least a good 500 years old, probably the oldest around. left standing when they razed the old hotel it had stood in front of for decades. rumor has they had built the hotel there, where the cork tree stood, because it was such a beauty and old way back then.
yeah, donna di’monico. she really got into that cork tree. at some point she started badgering this local pbs tv guy, who was into trees as well, to come out and take a gander and shoot some video of the tree. the cork tree and genteel historical society lady, donna di’monico. for donna that meant another shot at some air-time, 21st century air-time. she would email the guy weekly. donna always got a return email from some staffer saying, thanks, we get lots of ideas and email. we’ll give this one to the boss. donna kept it up. the guy finally said, ok. the tree sounds ok. they are coming out tomorrow morning. only trouble is donna bought the farm last night. yeah, donna di’monico, is dead. so, i guess i’ll have to meet the guy out by the cork tree in the morning, which means i’m going to be her last stand in. adios, aunt donna.
the dust and heat…
hung in the tijuana air like a freeze frame from hell. cars honked and clamored looking for an inch in which to move. nothing ever did. in sunglasses and old clothes he moved through it all. no one knew him. he moved slowly looking for the place. if you looked at him closely you could see the disease at work. taking what was left of his life and mocking him with each painful step. finally the place. the earthly waiting room for hell.
the bell above the door tinkled when he opened it. as the door closed the hell from the streets outside stopped and the smell of the office over came him. a small greasy headed man got up from behind an equally greasy desk and spoke.
ah, senor bullet, you have come.
through the cluttered outer office and into the dank dismal treatment rooms they went. a strange but familiar odor growing in the man’s nose. the small mexican finally stopped at a dirty examination table. he turned and said.
please, senor, you must deesrobe.
he was resigned to it. it was all that was left. this final sad humility of an approaching death. a last chance stop on the road of life.
hokay, meester bullet, now you must assept these enemas of the coffees to cure you cancers. por favor, on the tables. you must spread you nalgas for me.
a tear formed in the corner of his eye as the man moved to comply. only to be used as substance by a very large nasty house fly.
outside the dust, heat, and noise, for that moment, stopped. something had gone from us all. forever. in an instant they all began to move. again. to oppress. again. moving us closer to this hell on earth.
after hanging up the phone he went to the stove and stuck his index finger in the seed and stem tea. it was cold to the touch and probably consisted more of stems and seeds along with assorted other gunk than liquid. he turned on the burner under the pot then rummaged through a drawer until he found a small strainer. jerry placed the strainer over the mug he’d already used while he waited for the stuff to boil again.
deciding it was going to take a bit he wandered off into the living room and his stereo system. the zappa LP was still on the turntable. he picked it up and put it back into it’s sleeve then returned it to sit with the other albums. jerry began looking through them again. new riders of the purple sage seemed like a good idea. he was placing it on the turntable when the phone rang again. he went back into the kitchen. turned off the stove and picked up the phone.
it was his mother.
hey, ma, what’s up?
not much. your father is outside doing yard work and i just finished an apple pie for your uncle. they’re coming over for dinner tonight. so, how’s work and school? are you dating anyone?
jerry sighed. it was his mother’s usual phone gambit.
just fine, ma. just fine. the pie sounds good. trying to change the subject he said. what’s for dinner?
your dad is bbqing chicken with the usual sides.
ok. wish i was there.
you know thanksgiving isn’t that far away. are you going to come down?
i hadn’t thought about it but yeah, sure. why not? he was thinking it would probably be a better place to score a cheap brick of weed. he still knew people down there.
good. i’ll make your favorites.
great. unless you hear different i’ll see you the wednesday before the big day. in the afternoon.
ok. love you, son.
love you too, ma. say hi to pops. joe and josie too. i’ll see everyone thanksgiving.
alright. take care of yourself. he could hear the smile in his mother’s voice.
ok, ma. bye.
jerry replaced the phone and picked up the pot of tea and poured the remaining liquid into the mug. the strainer removed most of the crap and all of the seeds and stems. he was surprised when he found the cup to be almost full. taking a sip he grimaced a bit then went and started the new riders LP. jerry wasted the rest of the day listening to music and staying very high.
it was almost dark before he was aware of time again. maybe it was the hunger he felt. he got off the couch. stretched. tuned on a floor lamp. found another LP and put it on the machine. the allman brothers live. the first notes hit with a jolt. too bad there wasn’t a lady around.
once back in the kitchen he found the squash in the fridge and an old onion. there was rice and tomato sauce in the cupboard. no meat anywhere. it didn’t matter there was plenty of rice. he made a sauce with the onion and canned tomatoes tossing in some dried herbs and garlic powder. after chopping up the zucchini he added them to the sauce. it simmered as the rice cooked.
duane allman was ripping it. another rocker dead before his time. jerry decided to have one of the tall cans of colt .45 with dinner. he popped the tab and took a long pull. it was good. cold and tasty. dinner was ok. filling and somewhat tasty.
after dinner he drank the rest of the malt liquor he’d bought earlier in the day and smoked his last remaining joint. comfortably numb and pretty well toasted he spent the night on the couch.
the next few weeks went by quickly. work was work and fairly non-taxing with plenty of spare change to be found on the floor of denny’s. school was another matter. he just stopped going though he still got a check from the VA for the past month. he wasn’t sure why he’d quit but it was as if he wasn’t really there anyway. it was hard to fit in again after the nam. the nam. he kept that to himself as best he could. no point in making it well known. all things considered it seemed like a good idea.
the wednesday before thanksgiving he got up early and headed south. it was an 8 hour car trip that went fairly well. jerry was looking forward to seeing the relatives and eating all that good food. piles of it to be sure. the trip south was uneventful. he arrived at his old home around 2 in the afternoon.
the garage door was closed which meant no one was probably home. no matter, there was a key in the garage. his father liked the door open as it was easier to move around and work in the garage that way. if someone was home the door stayed open until around sunset. he parked his car in the street. grabbed his bag and went around the north side of the house. the back gate was closed and the dog on duty sign was still there. his dog. the dog had died while jerry was in nam. the gate was unlocked as always and the back garage door was open. also as always. he went inside the garage. as he’d figured, the car wasn’t there. his dad had built a row of large cabinets when they’d moved in years ago. jerry opened the one closest to the door.
he reached inside and up into the second shelf. he found the nail and the key hanging from it. taking the key he unlocked the back door and then replaced the key it on it’s nail. as always. it was SOP. his dad had drilled that into him long long ago.
the house smelled good. his mother must have been busy getting ready for the big day tomorrow. turkey day. he took his bag and went through the house to his old room. it was like he’d never left. it was just like it had been for years. the double bed. a small desk and chair by the mail slot. the desk was covered with a sheet of glass which in turn was covered with surfboard company decals.
he paused and looked at the decals then ran his hand over them. memories. deciding he was hungry he went back into the kitchen to see what he could scrounge. it was then he noticed the note on the kitchen table. it was for his aunt. apparently she was bringing something over for turkey day. of course, she knew about the key. the note said his parents were at bellevue cemetery putting flowers on a grave. it also said his mother would call her sister later. jerry figured they were at his grandparents grave site.
forgetting he was hungry jerry decided to surprise his parents by going to the cemetery. besides he hadn’t been to visit his grandparents grave in a number of years. plus, there was a gas station across the street from bellevue and he needed gas for his ride anyway. so, jerry locked up and headed south to the cemetery.
on the way down he didn’t see his parents heading home. he figured he was on the route his dad would use. they must still be at the cemetery. he’d get gas later. turning into bellevue’s drive he noticed his father’s car over in the newer area of the cemetery. his grandparents grave site was in the older section behind the mausoleum. what was up? finding it interesting he followed the road toward his parent’s car.
jerry parked behind is dad’s ford. got out and walked towards his parents. their back was to him and his dad appeared to be holding his mom up. her shoulders were shaking. was she crying? what in the world was going on? as he got closer he called out to them. nothing. maybe they couldn’t hear him.
he was almost upon them when they turned towards him. his mother had been crying. jerry smiled and said.
mom. dad. what’s going on?
they looked right through him. his mother still crying. they didn’t say anything or otherwise acknowledged his presence. for good or bad. in fact, they silently walked right by him as they returned to their car. jerry stood there for a moment and watched them.
it was all he could think to say. baffled he turned towards the grave where they had been standing. there were fresh flowers and a small american flag on a stick stuck in the ground next to the flowers. it was then he saw it. the gravestone. on it was his birthday and a day in june from the year before. along with that was jerry’s name and army rank.
they found jerry’s bag beside his bed when one of the young second cousins had gone into his old room to take a nap after dinner on thanksgiving day. it freaked everyone out to be sure. however, there never was an acceptable explanation as to why or how the bag got there in the first place.
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