DROWNING IN A SEA OF MARIJUANA - PAPERBACK

SCREAMING BATFISH BLUES

SNORTING THE DEVIL'S DANDRUFF

SAILORS SHOOT HORSE! DON'T THEY?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

THE UNLUCKIEST MAN IN MINNESOTA



THE TERP BALLROOM




This is a story based in the state of Minnesota, and it's about the most unlucky person ever born in that state. Let's call him Hank.

Before I begin about Hank though we have to first take a quick look at the town where it all happened to set up the tale.

Named after a Confederate Army  Colonel and famous for a 1959 109-day long meat packing strike where the Minnesota National Guard had to be called in after violence, fistfights, and general anarchy spilled out into the streets, this shithole in 1975 was the home for about 20,000 people. It was nestled in between two heavily fertilizer run-off polluted lakes that spawned carp and bullheads as big a small sharks and it was a town that revolved around the local packing plant that slaughtered sheep, hogs, and cattle and turkeys.  It paid top dollar wages to the high school dropouts it employed and would foster generations of Kennedy-like alcoholics who suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome until the union was eventually broken in the 80s and the company imported non-documented help from south of the border who would do the same jobs for six bucks an hour until the plant mysteriously and "accidentally" burned down in the late 90s. The plant put out a twenty-four a day funk that made the whole town smell like someone was taking a shit while smoking a Swisher Sweet cigar.

But in the 70s you had several choices in your life after graduating from the local high school: work at the plant, go to the local vocational school to study mobile home management, join the military (not a real popular choice back then since Viet Nam was still fresh in every one's memories), or you just said the hell with it and moved to Minneapolis where they had drive through fast food, quality flush toilets, and the strippers weren't forced to wear pasties.

To say that this environment would crap out numerous losers, dropouts, criminals, boozers, drug addicts, and general overall dipshits is an understatement. But on the other hand, to be proclaimed the the town that had produced the most unlucky person in all of the state is quite an achievement!

It all started going downhill for Hank over at the Terp Ballroom.  It was a Saturday night, the drinking age at that time in Minnesota was only eighteen, so the stage is set, that's all it would take. The Raspberries who were fresh off their huge hit - Go All The Way - were making an appearance and the place was packed to the ceiling with insanely drunk and stoned high schoolers. The Terp was a joint that served beer and also provided Coke and 7up to help cut the horseshit taste of the rotgut booze that was smuggled in by the mostly underage crowd and the management was well know for their "don't give a crap" attitude anyway about drinking age enforcement. The joint stunk of cheap booze, Hai Karate and Brut cologne on the boys - perfume from Woolworth's on the girls, ditchweed Mexican marijuana, and vomit. The Terp was ancient and wired for shit and when The Raspberries hit the stage, rock star fashionably late, they blew every fuse in the fucking joint out! It didn't matter to the partying crowd - everyone kept pounding down Grain Belt beer and no-name whiskey 7s and rum and Cokes during the several hour delay.

But Hank was out of control! He had come stag, of course. Hank couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a fistful of fifties but compensated this character flaw with hot cars, obsessively hunting pheasants and ducks, and epic bouts of drinking and dope smoking - and tonight he was pulling out all the stops. He was going from table to table and grabbing whatever bottle was available and taking long pulls off of it - not giving a shit what anyone was saying. Sloe gin, flavored vodkas, beer, whiskey, whatever - it didn't matter, and he supplemented this with by chugging from his own bottle of MD 20/20. When The Raspberries came back on stage, Hank rushed the dance floor and danced maniacally by himself with everyone giving him a wide berth. His shirt was covered in vomit, his fly was wide open and for some reason he was wearing no underwear. By the time Eric Carmen belted out the third song of the set - I Wanna Be With You - Hank was face down on the floor in a pool of his own puke. He couldn't have been more out of it if he was the victim of a Joe Frazier beatdown. Hank had to be rushed to the emergency room where his stomach was pumped. He remained in the hospital for several days, didn't show back up at school until Thursday and still looked hungover.

That week had been opening of duck season and not one to let a little alcohol poisoning bother him, Hank hit the duck blinds early Friday morning and quickly bagged himself three Canadian geese. Quite a hunting feat in those days. The problem was that the geese weren't actually dead - only stunned and for reasons known only to himself, Hank hadn't put the geese in the trunk, he had put them in the backseat of his 1973 Ford Mustang Mach I with the lily white leather interior when he headed off to school.  By ten that morning the geese had revived themselves and had crawled over the interior of the car while they smeared their shit and blood from the  dashboard to the back window.

The next few months would pass quietly and uneventfully for Hank and then out of the blue in this quiet time he met a girl. Just like that! She was a junior in high school and was kind of a chunky gal but she was sweet and liked to bang in the now heavily detailed and shampooed back seat of his Mustang after a few Old Style beers and bong hits. Winter passed by into spring and the romance bloomed and by the time the warm summer months brought the county fair to town, Hank was in hopelessly in love and his thoughts turned long term to marriage.

 But as high school romances always do, this would all turn and go to hell. Hank's girl worked the evening shift at the local Maid-Rite (Home of the loose meat sandwich) and the couple made plans to meet on the midway at the fair on a Friday night so they could enjoy a corn dog or two and take a spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl (which were made just down the road in Faribault - the only business in that town except for the state hospital). Details get sketchy here but the basics are this: Hank had smoked a few joints and had pounded down several cold ones at the beer garden. He had wandered out on to the midway to wait for his gal and had wound up with the crowd in front of the stage of the Chez Paree burlesque show where the girls had come out to pimp their ten o'clock show - it was common knowledge that these same girls would often turn tricks with the farmers and packing plant workers after the last show of the night. At that precisely wrong time Hank's girl decided to show up and caught Hank ogling the overly-made-up, over-the-hill, and long-in-the-tooth strippers. She accused him not only of infidelities but of having an erection and broke up with him. Just like that the big love affair was over!

Rather than sobering up and waiting until the next day to maybe send some flowers, candy, or some other romantic make up bullshit, Hank went home and barricaded himself in the house with a loaded shotgun. The cops showed up, words were exchanged, and Hank shot himself! Only somehow the gun slipped down when he pulled the trigger and he blew his shoulder off, not his head. He didn't die but did spend an extensive amount of time in the hospital.

It would be years before I would hear about or think about Hank again, such is the nature of growing up in a town like that. Then I got a phone call extremely late one night from an  high school buddy who was going through a nasty divorce and who had had a few too many and was drunk dialing old friends trying to relive old times.

"Hey, did you hear what happened up at the high school?"

 "Not a clue," I muttered as I fired up a Marlboro. I really didn't give a shit what went on at the high school or in my hometown for that matter and just wanted to get some sleep.

"Remember Hank? The guy that got shitfaced at The Terp and had to get his stomach pumped? They found him dead at the foot of the stairs."

That got my attention. "Dead! What the hell was he doing at the high school. What the shit happened?"

"He was the fucking janitor. He had that gimpy arm from that time he tried to cap himself so that was about all he could do. I guess he went out at lunch to celebrate his birthday with some of the locals and got a bit stiff. He took a wrong step on those long marble stairs while he was carrying a bucket and a mop and went down them ass over end. When the class bell rang the students found him laying there stone cold dead."

Now if that isn't a string of bad luck then I don't know what the hell is.


Monday, March 18, 2013

"LETS DO IT!"....GARY GILMORE



I  streamed the flick The Executioner's Song last weekend. I remembered seeing it back in the 80s on TV and I always thought it was solely a made for TV movie - Tommy Lee Jones won an Emmy for playing the role of Gary Gilmore who was a career inmate and the first thug that the government whacked after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 - but I was wrong as hell about it being a TV movie!

It had to have been edited like a son of a bitch to show it on network TV back then. The Netflix version has non-stop nudity and tons of adult language and the nudity was a very pleasant surprise since the actress who portrayed Gilmore's extreme loser girlfriend, Nicole Baker, was a very young and very hot Roseanna Arquette who has several full frontal nudity scenes and several other topless scenes. This was back in the day when breast implants weren't in vogue and boy did Roseanna have a fantastic natural rack!

Christine Lahti plays Gilmore's idiotic cousin - Brenda Nicol - who for some insane reason agreed to let Gilmore live with her after he got paroled out of Marion Federal prison. Gilmore who was in his thirties and had been doing time since he was fourteen and was a certifieable psychotic, repaid his cousin's kindness by promptly killing two innocent store clerks with a .22 revolver. But I'm digressing here. My point is that I wish Miss Lahti had joined in the nude scene fun! I forgot what a hot actress she was back in those days.

It's well worth checking out on Netflix and after some quick research I found a few fun facts about Mr. Gilmore:

His mother claimed that Gilmore was the grandson of Harry Houdini - I'm pretty sure that's bullshit since after you see the film you'll quickly realize that the entire Gilmore clan was slightly off their collective rockers although his half brother, Mikal Gilmore - and who writes for Rolling Stone - is a very respected journalist today.

Sweet Gary donated his organs (what a guy!) and a band from England called The Adverts had a top twenty hit in the UK called "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" and numerous other bands have referenced him in songs.

And supposedly the Nike slogan "Just Do It" was inspired by Gilmore's line of "Let's Do It" that he uttered just before the state of Utah pumped five rounds of lead into his cold dark heart.

Several witnesses at the execution claim that Utah firing squad actually shot Gilmore five times even though protocol calls for one of the rifles to fire a blank round. If that's true, Utah must have really wanted that son of a bitch dead! By the movie accounts, old Gary was a world class pain in the ass to the prison system and I'm sure they were glad to be done with him.

Check out this site for some more good Gilmore info if you're interested:

http://gilmoregun.com/



Thursday, March 14, 2013

ROKU & INSIDE DEEP THROAT - THE DOCUMENTARY



I don't how many of you out there have a ROKU or maybe some of you don't even know what the hell a ROKU is - it's a little plastic device about as big as a hockey puck that streams online content to your TV - but I picked one up at Best Buy and I just love the little bastard.

Anyway, I streamed a great flick on there from NETFLIX called INSIDE DEEP THROAT. It's a documentary made back in 2005 about the porno classic DEEP THROAT. The damn thing cost only $25,000 to make and to date has grossed over $600 million bucks. 

DEEP THROAT was made long before the VCR hit the market so you had to go to the theatre to see it.  It was the first porn flick that went mainstream and had lines that went around the block at the theatres it was shown at and movie stars and other celebrities in major markets would often be seen standing in line. I guess it made it cool to been seen at a porno theatre although that didn't work out to well years later for Pee Wee Herman. 

Banned in 23 states it was basically owned by the mob and theatres who screened it would have a couple of shady characters show up once a week demanding half of their weekly take in cash. Refuse and risk getting your legs broken or your establishment burnt to the ground.

The plot was assinine - Linda Lovelace was a hot chick who supposedly has her clit down in the back of her throat  thus giving her the excuse to give deep throat head to all the dudes in the film - but that's beside the point. I always thought in her day old Linda was quite a babe and how many skin flicks have you ever seen that had a good plot?

Anyway, this film is highly rated and well worth checking out - make sure you get the NC-17 cut.

Linda Lovelace and DEEP THROAT actually helped inspire a chapter in SNORTING THE DEVIL'S DANDRUFF - I've included a chapter sample....  



......Bobby responded by opening his mouth and
barfing a geyser of beer and bad Mexican food all
over the old queer. We both vaulted off of our
stools and ran out the door screaming and laughing
like hyenas and tore down the block until we found
ourselves, like a vision from God, in front of the
legendary PussyCat theater. Deep Throat had
played non-stop there for years. It was a double
feature, the second show was called I Cream On
Jeanne. I was hoping that Barbara Eden was really
in it. She had been the subject of many of my stroke
dreams. Thinking back, how in even my LSD
addled mind did I think that Barbara Eden would be
performing in a porno film?
“I gotta see this flick,” Bobby said, “I heard
this chick Linda Lovelace can go down on a mule
and not bat an eye.”
After getting our tickets I went to take a leak
while Bobby went to the concession stand. Like I’d
eat anything that was sold in a porno theater. The
walls of the bathroom were covered with graffiti
and with the phone numbers of men who either
wanted me to call them so they could blow me or
visa versa.
“What in the hell is wrong with this
goddamn town,” I wondered as I pissed all over my
shoes looking at all the amateur porno scrawled on
the walls. The majority of them poorly done
renditions of stick men with massive cocks, balls,
and exposed assholes. If the theater was showing
just regular old porno flicks - guy on girl, girl on
girl - why was all the graffiti homo related? Another
question for the ages.
Bobby was waiting for me in the lobby,
rocking from one foot to the other. He had bought a
box of World War II era malted milk balls and was
eating them with his mouth wide open. I had to
swallow back my gag reflex. What a disgusting
sight!
The theater was one of those old time places
that had gone to shit and now showed only skin
flicks around the clock. Fucking place must have
held two thousand people at one time in it’s glory
years and now there were about fifteen in the whole
joint. Me and Bobby, eleven single men, and two
either really ugly women or two transvestites who
were wildly making out.
I didn’t give a shit though! Man, once I
started to watch that Linda Lovelace, who was short
in the tit department but fine in the ass and bush, get
down with old Harry Reems, I was sporting a piece
of wood that Rod Carew could have used to knock
out a homer at the old Met stadium. The urge to
jerk-off off was intense. I just had to beat my meat,
just had to, but I couldn’t with Bobby next to me.
What shitty luck I was having.
“Look at them ugly chicks swapping spit,”
Bobby yelled out. No one in the audience as much
as turned around. “Goddamn that ain’t right! What
would Jesus do if he saw that?” (If that dumb
asshole had only been able to see into the future he
could’ve thrown a trademark on that one.
Advertising firms could have dosed Bobby with
acid and he would envision future marketing
slogans). Suddenly without warning he stood up and
stepped out into the aisle and hurled a milk ball as
hard as he could at the two spit swappers. It shot
over their heads by fifteen feet. The place was
cavernous, no one even heard it hit. Or cared for
that matter.
The next time he wound up like he was
trying out for the Yankees, even going through the
whole wind up with the kick and everything, but his
throw was way over their heads. Eventually
throwing the box empty, Bobby turned and ran up
the aisle for more ammo. Eureka! I took the
opportunity to un-zip and pull out my crank. I'm
sure this was illegal but since I had noticed about
everyone in the place appeared to be either beating
their hogs or someone else’s it must not be too well
enforced. I was really getting into it when out of the
corner of my eye I spied Bobby moving down the
center aisle firing malted milk balls like a submachine
gun. His hand would dip into the box, he’d
fire, and then take another step down the aisle. The
acid in my brain gave the milk balls the visual effect
of being shout out of a bazooka along with a bright
orange tracer. Very cool looking. But he was still
way off the mark and I was about on mine when
suddenly...
“What the fuck?” someone shouted. The two
transvestites were out of their seats and running up
the aisle towards Bobby. Obviously he had finally
hit his target. The sons of bitches were a lot bigger
than they looked sitting down. They charged up the
aisle looking like linebackers wearing nylons, wigs,
nightclub dresses, and high heels. The three of them
went down in a pile of punches, curses, and kicks.
I don’t know if it was the combination of the
acid, sweet Linda up on the screen giving it her all,
or the adrenaline of the fight - but I shot to my feet
and shot a wad that arched
over at least two rows and landed right on this old
dude’s neck!
He stood and shrieked like a wounded deer,
with his pants hanging down to his knees, his white
ass glowing in the dark as white as the moon.
“What the hell was that?” He screamed out again as
if battery acid had been poured on his neck.
Without stopping to look, I bolted up the
aisle as I jammed my prick back into my jeans at
the same time. I ran straight through the lobby and
out the left side lobby doors just as two cops came
in the right side of the lobby. I sprinted like an
Olympic track and field star packing a full load of
steroids, all the way back to the hotel.......

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CELLMATES








Even at two in the morning the cellblock in a maximum security penitentiary was never completely devoid of noise. The main lights were extinguished, the televisions and radios shut off, and the order for silence about the cellblock has been blared over the intercom. But it was never completely silent. You could still hear the graveyard shift guard with his radio turned down low as he paced up and down the row, the toilets flushing, tormented men crying out in their sleep, jacking off, coughing, sneezing, farting, sobbing.
Then there was the occasional cry of pain and anguish as an inmate decided to take himself out by slashing his wrists with a homemade shank but then couldn’t handle the pain of what he had just done to himself or the fear of what was yet to come.
Some nights, like tonight, you heard an inmate, almost always a fish, scream out “Mommy.” For some reason when a fish, fresh from the street, got turned out for the first time, he often called out for his “Mommy.”
Thad Jensen had heard grown men scream that out probably close to a hundred times since he had been locked down for his fifteen years. Fifteen years today since it was past midnight already. Today was the day. He be getting his walking papers in about a dozen hours. No parole guidelines for him to follow, he had done his whole bit.
From an early age the locals always said that he was a bully. A bad kid. A no good punk destined to go nowhere but jail or the cemetery.
The locals had been right.
He was just seventeen years old the night he committed the crime that got him sent up. Already drunk one Friday night on the old man‘s vodka, he had walked into a convenience store and tried to waltz out with a twelve pack of beer. The clerk, a pensioner in his sixties, had chased Thad into the parking lot, where Thad who was big for his age, had broken the clerk’s nose and jaw with a series of brutal punches. After a witness called in the crime, a high speed chase ensued which ended with Thad face down on the pavement and his hands cuffed behind him, his parent’s car totaled against a telephone pole.
He was tried as an adult and was given a sentence of fifteen years but would be eligible for parole in four if he behaved while serving his sentence. He had no reaction to the sentence. He showed no remorse.
And he sure as shit didn’t behave while serving his sentence.
Because of his age he was sent to the St. Cloud Reformatory where he learned that since he was white he was now a minority . He was quickly recruited by an Aryan prison gang, and because of his size, which would become greatly enhanced by hours spent on the weight pile, he became a valuable enforcer. Young na├»ve Thad bought the wannabe Nazi’s bullshit rhetoric hook, line, and sinker, and soon he was sporting a swastika on his chest and carrying around a bootleg copy of Mein Kampf, even though he didn’t understand a fucking word of it.
It didn’t take him long before he began to build a thick jacket with the prison administration. He was written up numerous times for assault, possession of narcotics and weapons, disrespect to officers, and dozens of other infractions. The day he reached his twenty first birthday, rather than being released on parole, he was shackled and transferred to the penitentiary at Stillwater where he was greeted with open arms by his fellow comrades. Stillwater Penitentiary was the turf of the white prison gangs. Thad was finally at home.
And that’s where twelve years later Thad Jensen found himself. On his final night in the joint he laid in his bunk and mentally reviewed his personal resume.
He had survived dozens of prison gang wars and uprisings. He had been stabbed. He had been shot (barely grazed but still shot) by a tower guard during a riot. He had been gassed and maced. He had spent months in the hole without letting the assholes break him. He was a high ranking lieutenant with the Aryans. And now he had fulfilled the terms of his sentence without the benefit of parole. He would walk out the gates a free man.
He was also thirty-three years old, had no home to go to, no family to speak of since they had all disowned him over the years, had the education of a mentally challenged fifth grader, and no idea what life outside these walls held for him. His counselor had managed to find him a room at a shelter upon his release along with a job at a aluminum can recycling plant. The job started at minimum wage.
Thad heard his cellmate stir in the bunk underneath him.
“Sounds like someone is getting it tonight.”
“Yea, it’s Tuesday. Fresh meat always gets brought in on Tuesdays.”
“I didn’t. They brought me in on a weekend.” replied his cellmate.
“Well, you’re a whole different fucking matter all together. You’re one of those high profile cases.”
His cellmate was indeed high profile and more. He possessed what inmates called a “freak” jacket. Timothy Logan had been a twenty-six year old mortuary sciences student who had been picked up for raping and killing a sixteen year old girl who was on her way home from a high school basketball game. What the police found when they tossed his apartment brought him semi-national attention.
Timothy had been interning at a Minneapolis funeral home where he worked the night shift. All by his lonesome. Turns out he liked it like that. When the police shook down his apartment after they picked him up for the murder, they found hundreds of nude photos of both dead females and males which had been taken at the funeral home. They also found several videos of him engaged in sexual intercourse with female stiffs.
Timothy’s attorney tried the insanity defense. It didn’t work, and after a sensational trial which was seemingly covered non-stop by the media, was found guilty late on a Friday afternoon. The county jail felt that they could not provide the security that Timothy required for his safety from his fellow inmates, so rather than waiting out the weekend he was transferred the following morning to the penitentiary.
In a bit of payback for all of his years of being a pain in the ass to them, the warden thought it might be a hoot to put a child raping murderer diagnosed with necrophilia, right into Thad’s cell, who had only six months left to serve. Thad was pissed behind belief at this show of total disrespect but he kept his mouth shut. He was just too goddamn short to bitch about it.
His first night inside, Timothy who was small of stature, had been cornered in the shower and turned out by a couple of black gangsters from St. Paul. He didn’t call out for his Mommy. He just took it.
And he took it for weeks until he finally broke down and asked Thad for protection. For a price of course, Thad could offer him protection against rival gangs and lone predators, but Timothy would still be required to take care of the members of Thad’s gang if they so desired. The fee was a weekly deposit from Timothy’s family into Thad’s inmate account.
But when Thad walked through those gates in a couple of hours, Timothy would be on his own. Their deal would be null and void.
“I’ve got a proposition for you, Thad.”
“And what the fuck can you offer me now? You know I don’t mess with jailhouse sissies. You think with a couple of hours left that I‘d want what you could give me? Shit! First thing I‘m gonna do when I get on the street is get me a good looking whore and nail her right through the mattress.”
“No, not that. Here’s the deal. If you can make a protection deal with your brothers for me. That is if they can guarantee my safety after your gone. I’ll turn you on to a score that’ll easily bankroll your first year on the street.”
His interest piqued, Thad sat up in his bunk. “What kind of score?”
Timothy got out of his bunk and took a seat on their communal toilet. “You make the deal to keep me safe and I don’t mean just safe from the other inmates, I mean no more getting punked by your brothers either. You get me two weeks of total protection to prove to me that you’re word is good and I’ll mail you directions to the easiest score you could imagine. I’ll even give you name of the fence so the whole deal will be cool for you.”
The graveyard shift guard, a rookie, stopped in front of their cell. “Shut the hell up in there and hit the sack or I’ll write both of your asses up.” Thad shot the finger to the guard who stood and glared at him for several moments but then moved on.
Timothy got up and walked to the front of the cell to make sure the guard hadn’t stopped to listen in on their conversation. He had already moved on down to the end of the cellblock.
“What to do you have to lose? I’m still locked up here and if I fuck you over I know what’s going to happen. So what do you say?”
“You‘re sure as hell gonna have to give me more information than that before I cut a deal to save your ass.”
“Just before I got busted I had to work on a old broad who died of a heart attack. Came from a rich family. Stinking fucking rich. For her funeral the family had her laid out wearing two gigantic diamond rings and a matching diamond necklace. Must be worth a fortune. Here’s the kicker. They buried them with her! They didn’t give a shit about ‘em. The funeral director tried to convince them to take them before we closed her box but they were adamant about burying the old bitch with them. So we did. I was planning on digging her up myself but I got arrested before I could.”
“And just what the hell does that have to do with me?”
“You guarantee my safety and I’ll mail you the name of the cemetery, the old broad’s name, and the number of her plot. All you have to do is dig up the old bitch and snatch the jewels. The fence will give you no problem, either. I’ve known the guy for years. I‘d imagine you‘ll clear at least 15K.”
He had already made his decision. He had nothing to lose but he tried to make it seem like he was in turmoil while he thought it over.
“All right. You got a deal. But I’ll tell you one thing. If this is some kind of a set up or I dig that stiff up and there’s nothing in that box but a bunch of bones. You’ll regret the fucking day you ever walked into my cell!”
“It’s no set up. It’s guaranteed. But how can I be sure that you won’t back out on the deal once you get the diamonds?”
Thad glared down at him. “Because I’m giving you my fucking word! How’s that? My word’s been good on the yard in this prison for twelve goddamn years so it‘s good enough for your worthless ass.”
“All right then. We’ve got a deal.” Timothy slid back on to his bunk.
Thad was so geared up he didn’t sleep a minute for the rest of the night. At breakfast he would clear the deal with his crew. It was to be hands off Timothy. But once he had the diamonds and had sold them, he’d be in contact. Then they could do to Timothy whatever their hearts desired.
By noon he had cleared out processing and was given a lift in a prison van down to the shelter. He started his new job the following morning. It was shit but he kept his mouth shut. He just had to gut it out for two weeks. With his meager prison savings he bought a city map, crowbar, flashlight, a cheap knockoff Buck knife, and a shovel. He wrapped the items in a plastic garbage bag and hid them in a crawlspace behind the shelter.
The time passed slowly. Life was torture for Thad on the outside. Inside he was a big man. A player. A convict. A man of respect. Outside he was just another minimum wage worker with a record. And the world was different. Confusing with it’s cash machines, Internet, cable television, computers, and SUVs. He spent his nights in his shitty little room drinking rotgut beer. And even though he was free from the constraints of parole, the second day at his new job he was given a quick visit by a couple of smart ass detectives from the Organized Crime/Gang unit. Just to let him know they’d be keeping an eye out for him.
The envelope arrived sixteen days after Thad had been released. Inside was the name of the cemetery, a map and grid number for the grave, and the name and address for the fence. So far Timothy was a man of his word. Too bad for him that Thad wasn’t.
That night he climbed out the window of his room, grabbed his tools, hotwired a old Chevy owned by another ex-con at the shelter, and drove carefully to the cemetery. His driver’s license had expired while in prison and his driving skills were a rusty as hell but he arrived at the cemetery without any problems. The gates were secured with a wrap around chain and an old padlock which was broken off easily with a few swings from the crowbar. He drove the Chevy in, closed the gates behind him, and wrapped the chain back around it.
Since he couldn’t read for shit it took about an hour to figure out the grid used to locate the grave. Then he wandered in circles for almost another hour before he finally stumbled on to it. The gravestone was fancy and looked expensive so that was a good sign. He stuck his shovel into the soil. It slid in like butter and he found the digging to be relatively easy. It had been a wet spring and the dirt came up in huge wet clumps.
After several hours of digging his shovel hit the vault. That’s were he ran into problems. The sealant glue on the vault must have been industrial strength and by the time he had broken the seal to the vault with the crowbar and muscled it open (Thank God for prison weight programs, the lid was heavy as a son of a bitch) it was almost dawn. He was exhausted and covered head to toe in mud.
Thad stuck the end of the crowbar into the lid of the casket. It popped open with a crack.
He turned his flashlight on and scanned over the body inside. The old girl inside was still in good shape. She almost looked alive. Timothy had done a good job. Thad had been expecting a skeleton or at least a rotting corpse with a funky stench but she was neither. Just a little musty. But Timothy, that child raping pervert, hadn’t been lying. The old lady was sporting two huge rocks on her fingers and a equally enormous one around her scrawny, chick neck. Thad giggled like a little kid as he pulled them off the body and climbed out the grave .
Time was running out. Thad had no idea when the grounds keeping crew would show up for work. So suddenly revived by the adrenaline pumping through him, he sprinted to the car, threw the diamonds inside, grabbed a change of clothes and a towel, and ran over to the groundskeeper’s tool shed. He quickly stripped down and hosed himself off. The water was freezing and the temperature was probably somewhere in the forties and it took all Thad had in him not to scream out. He toweled off the best he could and threw on the fresh set of clothes.
When he pulled out of the graveyard and on to the main road the morning commute traffic was light. He was almost home free!
It was still early morning, and the fence, who ran a pawnshop, wouldn’t be open until eight, so Thad parked the car in a alley down from the shop, put the diamonds in his jacket pocket, and walked over a couple of blocks to get some coffee and a couple of burgers at a White Castle.
Promptly at eight o‘clock, Thad walked into the shop. The geezer behind the counter was beyond ancient. Had to have been closed to ninety if he was a day. This was going to be a fucking breeze, thought Thad.
He peered up at Thad through thick, pop bottle lenses.
“Can I help you?”
“Yea, Timothy sent me.”
“Ah yes. You are Thad then. Timothy’s friend. Timothy called me from prison. Said that you would have some diamonds to sell. Timothy and I did a lot of business together. He knows I am always in the market for diamonds. Let me lock the door so we can conduct our business safely.” The old man flicked a switch on the counter. Thad jumped uneasily as a automatic bolt slammed home on the front door. It was the same sound made by an electronic prison gate.
“Ah, poor Timmy. Who would have thought a boy with such a bright future would be doing the horrible things he did. But… Anyway, let us see what you have.”
The old man’s eyes bulged and he gave an audible gasp when Thad placed the diamonds on to the counter. He had to hold back a grin. Obviously, the old fart liked what he saw.
“Whe..? Where? Where did you get these?” The old man had picked up the necklace and was examining it closely. His shirtsleeve had pulled down and Thad noticed blurred blue numbers tattooed on his wrist.
“Does it matter? Do you want them or not? I don’t have time to fuck around all day.”
The old man reached under the counter, pulled up a strong box, set it on the counter and reached inside. But it wasn’t a fistful of hard cold cash that he pulled out. Fuck no! The crazy old bastard had a German Luger in his shaking hands and he was aiming it right at Thad.
“What the hell is this? Have you lost your fucking mind?”
Thad could not comprehend this unprecedented turn of events. Here he was, the meanest motherfucker that had walked the yard of the toughest goddamn prison in the state for the last fifteen years, and then this dried up turd has the balls to pull a piece on him for no good fucking reason! Did he think he was going to rip him off? After all his hard work? He better think fucking again!
Thad reached his hand around to his back pocket, pulled out his Buck knife and snapped it open with a flick of his wrist.
“Now you listen to me you old basta…”
The shot hit Thad high on the shoulder and knocked him straight down to the floor. It felt like a horse had kicked him. He rolled over to his hands and knees and tried to get up but the pain was incredible. His breathing was ragged and a reddish, foamy froth was running out of his mouth and pooling on the floor underneath him. The old man had shuffled around the counter and was coming towards him. Thad saw his knife about five feet away and started to crawl towards it.
“Your rob my daughter’s grave and come in here and try to sell me her jewels, you piece of shit! The same diamonds my wife smuggled out of Germany when she was fleeing the fucking Nazis!”
Thad knew he wouldn’t be able to get to his knife. He stopped crawling and tried to look over his good shoulder at the old man. His daughter? What the hell was he…?
“What? Oh shit! Oh fuck! Man, it wasn’t me! It wasn’t my idea! It was that goddamn Tim! He set me up on the score! It was T..”
***
Even at two in the morning the cellblock in a maximum security penitentiary was never completely devoid of noise. The main lights were extinguished, the televisions and radios shut off, and the order for silence about the cellblock has been blared over the intercom. But it was never completely silent. You could still hear the graveyard shift guard with his radio turned down low as he paced up and down the row, toilets flushing, tormented men crying out in their sleep, jacking off, coughing, sneezing, farting, and sobbing.
But laughter was something you rarely heard late at night in prison. But tonight was much different. One inmate was laughing. Laughing uncontrollably. Laughing hysterically. Laughing to the point where the tears rolled down his face and the rookie graveyard shift guard had to call the goon squad to haul his crazy ass down to segregation before they had a goddamn riot on their hands.
Since he had been locked up it had always been the inmate’s habit to read his mail late at night when it was more quiet. So tonight Timothy Logan sat on his bunk and read the Minneapolis Star Tribune news clipping that his mother had sent him. It was about an ex-convict who was shot and killed while pathetically trying to rob a respected local pawnshop owner with a knife.
And he laughed and he laughed and he laughed.

Monday, March 11, 2013

WONDERLAND AND DEAD PORN STARS

This is an oldie but goodie written by Scott L. Anderson over ten years ago. It was based loosely on the Wonderland Murders and porn star legend John "The Wadd" Holmes. There was a flick made about these murders and it starred Val Kilmer as Holmes - seemed like a weird choice - you might as well have cast Paul Reubens.



Moose Jaw is cold as a well digger's ass. The old style heat radiator in my room is clanging away but it's still freezing in here. It's gonna take a monumental effort just to get out of bed and get dressed, much less walk two miles to the agency to see if any work comes in.
I've been on the run now for almost twenty years. Looking behind my back when I walk down the street, living in cheap hotels, working for temporary job services for peanuts. My family hasn't heard from me the whole time, it would too risky if they knew were I was. Twenty years ago I was in the navy. Stationed in Hawaii. Young and dumb. Thought it was cool to deal some smoke on the side for a little extra cash. It didn't turn out cool when we got busted. We were looking on doing time in the brig. Not much, maybe a couple of months. But I panicked and bolted. Couldn't stand the thought of being locked up in a cage. Now look where I am.
***
For close to two years after I took off I had lived in Los Angeles on the top floor of this old warehouse. Just a mattress on the floor. The guy who I worked for owned it. It sat behind this huge night club called "The Slippery T*t" which he also owned. The "I" was burned out on the sign.
Gus was the name of my boss and he was quite the entrepreneur. Beside the bar, he ran a pro wrestling and roller derby school, and shot low budget porno movies in the warehouse. He also was a part owner of several porno and peep show shops in the county. I was a bouncer/bar tender at the bar, assistant wrestling coach (I let guys pick me and body slam me or hit me in the head with a folding chair), and light and camera man for the porno movies. On occasion, several other bouncers and myself earned extra dough by strong arming people who owed Gus money.
The Black Dahlia case seemed to have had a lasting impression on my employer. Do you remember that murder? Way back in the late 40s the cops found this chick cut in half on a vacant lot. No blood or anything. Real fucking creepy. Lots of movies and books were done about it.
That shit happens practically on a weekly basis in Los Angeles, so I have no idea why so many people are obsessed over a murder that happened in the 1940's. But that's L. A.
Anyway, Gus had his office just decorated from floor to ceiling with photos of this broad, bookcases full of books about her, and he even owned a couple of vintage porno movies that she had starred in. Mostly lesbian crap. Half of Gus's films that he made always had an "actress" dressed up just like Elizabeth Short. That was the dead broad's name.
Thing about it is, I have a hunch that Gus was involved in it. When I was in L.A., Gus must have been in his mid 70s, the murder was in the late 40's. He would have been about the right age. He had a real weird buddy, Wally, that was into this chick, too. Those two were always talking about her and trading shit about the case. Some local news reporter thought that Wally had been the one who did it and Wally loved that. I heard the old loon died in a flophouse fire not too long ago. Drunk and smoking in bed.
I had got the job after a week or so of bumming around L. A. I looked up an old gal that I knew in the navy. She was making ends meet by working for a dentist during the day and exotic dancing at night. She had also given up men and was living with a female biker who looked like Sonny Liston, who made me feel very unwelcome. Strippers tend to make the sex industry circuit in L. A. and she turned me on to working with Gus. Said that for being a complete slime ball he wasn't bad to work for. That was a good enough reference for me.
I bought a book on how to change your identity out of this catalog from this weird company up in Washington state. It had all sorts of crazy books in it like "How To Make Methamphetamine For Fun And Profit" and "How To Kill People And Then Fake Your Own Death." Sounds goofy but it sure helped out in my situation. I wound up with a California drivers license, birth certificate, Social Security card, and a passport.
Appearance wise, I just shaved my head, got my ear pierced and wore a big hoop ear ring, and grew a goatee. I had access to a gym since I worked and lived in a wrestling school, so I started to pump iron and do steroids. Within the year I had put on roughly forty pounds of muscle. I didn't bear the slightest resemblance to the scrawny little dude who had left Albert Lea, Minnesota to join the navy so (what seemed like) many years ago
Gus's porno business didn't attract what you would call real quality adult film stars. He dealt mainly with heroin addicts who needed some fix money, midwest runaways, a midget husband and wife team, couple of the roller derby clique, and every great once in a while an old burned out formerly famous "star" would stop in to make a quick buck. That's where my path would cross with Jon.
Jon had once been a hugely successful porn star. He had zero looks, a scrawny drugged out looking frame, and couldn't act even by adult movies standards. But he had an enormous tool. The guy had made thousands of short adult "loops" but had pissed it all away on booze and crack cocaine. Rumor had it (Jon liked to keep this one spreading) that a very famous singer and actress had once paid Jon big bucks to snort a line of coke off his giant root.
He was no longer welcome on any of the mainstream adult sets due to his erratic behavior, inability to get hard on demand, and known ties to the flourishing crack industry. But on occasion for pin money he would make a gay flick or play the heavy in a hard core S & M movie.
Gus signed him on to mainly make appearances at his club, autograph video boxes at dirty book stores, and attempt to make a movie with him once in a while if he could get it halfway up. I don't know how many nights we all stood around setting up the lights and cameras while Jon would be laying on a bed on the set with two young ladies straight off the farm in Wisconsin, who would be giving it the old college try and attempt to get Jon's massive stinger to get up and go. Nine out ten times, Gus would freak out and start ranting and raving about all the money that was being wasted on this quality feature and it inevitably would turn into basically a lesbian shot with Jon just kind of rolling around in the middle and getting in the way.
Once Gus tried to make a porno related Black Dahlia murder film with Jon in the role of the murderer. Jon had been out partying the night before and was horribly hungover. He couldn't get it up as usual, but what really pissed Gus off was the grand finale. Since we didn't have any real bodies to cut up like the real murderer had, we had to settle for a store mannequin. It took every bit of strength that Jon had to saw half way through the plastic and then he ruined the whole shot by barfing all over the dummy.
But people recognized him like he was an academy award winner. He came along with us one night to the fights at the Olympic Auditorium, which is a sleazier joint than some of the places Jon made his films in, and we practically had to fight people off of the guy. Both men and women were all over him. Wanting his autograph and maybe a shot at his massive johnson.
He wasn't all bad though. When one of the bouncers got married, Jon managed to recruit some of the old female stars from his heyday to the bachelor party. It was held at an incredibly filthy adult motel on Sunset Strip. Jumping Jesus, what a night! A punch was made in a fifty gallon garbage can (clean) with cold duck champagne, beer, and a hundred hits of quality speed. The night clerk came down to complain about the noise at four in the morning and wound up screwing the porn star he had once fantasized about as a teenager. It was all great fun.
I was working the door one night at the club when Jon came out to catch some fresh air. Gus had booked a private ladies stag party and Jon was the main attraction. He had lost a lot of weight from all the crack and he looked bizarre as well as idiotic up on the stage. Shaking his money maker in this g-string that didn't come close to covering up his once great python of love.
Gus had been concerned that he wouldn't show up. Jon had been acting real nervous lately and a week or so ago had shown up with a black eye and a nasty looking gash on his chin.
"Got a proposition for you, my man." Jon always tried to talk like a high rolling pimp. Kind of hissing out the words.
"And what would that be Jon?" Looking out of the corner of my eye at the Los Angeles Lakers shorts that he was wearing. No shirt or shoes. Just these shorts that must have been two sizes too big for him. He looked like Bill Walton with an eating disorder.
"I got these assholes up in the hills that owe me some serious jack for some rock that I fronted them. Not a thing really. Their a couple of little dipshits. Shouldn't be problem for a man of your stature." As he grinned at me I cringed. His teeth looked like little baked beans and the breath coming out of his maw wasn't much better than the sight of those teeth.
"If it's not a thing why do I need to be there?" Sarcasm all over that one. He didn't come close to noticing.
"Pure precautionary measures, bro. Tell you what. I'll double your fee that Gus gives you." I sure wasn't making anything that night on tips with this private stag going on. How hard could it be roughing up a couple of crack heads?
"Oh what the hell. When do you want to do it?"
"Tonight. Soon as I get done making these babes cream in their panties." The dumb shit walked back into the club wiggling his tongue at me like a snake.
It was about enough to make you want to give up sex.
***
Jon's battered Mustang was chugging up Wonderland Avenue. Fucking thing must not have had a tune up since it had rolled out of the factory and it was belching out oily, blue smoke.
"We're sure as shit not gonna sneak up on them in this piece of crap, Jon."
He didn't say a word. Just sat there licking his lips nervously. The night hadn't ended well for him. Couple of the broads at the party had wanted to sleep with him. I imagine so that down the road they could tell their grand kids about how they had once had bedded a famous "movie" star. But his pecker once more had let him down. Lost out on a couple of hundred bucks. But he should have gotten used to that by now. I also suspected that he had been smoking or snorting something.
That pissed me off. I didn't like to do a job while anyone was high or had been drinking.
He parked his wreck at the curb in front of a small apartment building. We just sat there.
"Well what's up Jon?" Are we gonna do this thing or what?"
He turned to look at me. "I think it's already done." In his eyes I could see pure fear and he was putting off this nervous smell that reminded me of the locker room in gym class.
"What in the hell are you talking about? If it's done what am I doing here?"
"I just had to make sure that I was in the clear. He said that if I didn't tell them who did it that he was going to kill me. And after that he was going to have find my family and have their eyes ripped out."
My skin was crawling. "Shit! What you have you gotten me into? Who are you talking about?"
He was out the door and walking up to the sidewalk to one of the apartments. I got out and followed him like a stupid shit. The door was closed but when Jon grabbed the knob, the door swung open.
There were four bodies in the living room and they were beat to a pulp. There was blood everywhere and pieces of what I guess were bones or skull were spattered across the tile floor. I could actually see the brains of one of the bodies. The stereo was on. Warren Zevon was singing about Werewolves in London. I now knew for a fact that there was a soundtrack to my life.
"Oh my God, Jon." I gasped. "Who did this?
His voice was monotone. "Dewald."
"Dewald?" Oh, Jesus Christ! Not that Dewald! "How in the hell did you get involved with him?"
Dewald was one of the biggest cocaine dealers in the whole county if not the state. He had reached untouchable status. Los Angeles cops wouldn't even think of pulling him over for traffic violations. He came to "The Slippery T*t" every once in a while when he felt like slumming. Big tipper. You felt like you needed a shower after just talking to him.
"About a month ago I set him up. I had been up there to do a private show for his old lady so I knew the lay of the place. You wouldn't believe the amount of drugs he keeps up there. These guys went up to his mansion in Beverly Hills and robbed his ass. I really needed the fucking cash. Somehow he suspected me and I had to roll over on them."
"Somehow? How goddamn stupid do you think the guy is? You go up there and do your routine and a couple of days later he gets robbed? And know you've dragged me into this shit. Why?"
He had tears in his eyes but was laughing at the same time. "I was scared to come alone."
I took my shirt off and rubbed the door knob clean. "Come on, we've gotta get the hell out of here." I think I screamed that.
Jon dropped me off in front in the club. I didn't hear a thing from him for about a month. But I heard about it on the news and in the papers. Jon was famous again. Just in the wrong way. I kept waiting for the news channels to run some old clips of his movies. The dead dudes were known associates of his and it didn't take the cops long to figure out who the missing link was in this mess.
The police kicked in the door at a cheap motel outside of Jacksonville, Florida and found Jon sleeping off a high with a fourteen year old girl. Turns out that the girl was actually a porn star who went by the stage name of Anal Annesha, who had been working in the industry for over a year. Porn industry is slipshod on background and reference checks. Annesha thought Jon could steer her towards the big show.
Jon was being brought back to Los Angeles for questioning on the Wonderland Murders, as the newspapers had dubbed the crime. I knew as sure as there is shit in a goat that Jon was going to spill his guts out and my name was going to be brought up.
I didn't know which would be worse. Being wanted for AWOL and dealing drugs. Or having one of the biggest cocaine kingpins in the state wanting to rub me out as a material witness to a crime.
Either way I was busting ass out of there.
***
Jon is long dead. AIDS. He never snitched. Did his time in L.A. County and never said a word. That I know of. Jon is famous again. All his old films are on video and DVD and he even has web sites dedicated to him.
I just keep walking down the streets wondering about that car pulling up behind me.

Friday, March 8, 2013

MINNESOTA COCKFIGHT





Kickass author Frank Bill (Crimes in Southern Indiana) has released a new book called Donnybrook and that son of a bitch rock and rolls.

The Donnybrook is a three-day bare-knuckle tournament held on a thousand-acre plot out in the sticks of southern Indiana. Twenty fighters. One wire-fence ring. Fight until only one man is left standing while a rowdy festival of onlookers—drunk and high on whatever’s on offer—bet on the fighters.
Jarhead is a desperate man who’d do just about anything to feed his children. He’s also the toughest fighter in southeastern Kentucky, and he’s convinced that his ticket to a better life is one last fight with a cash prize so big it’ll solve all his problems.
Meanwhile, there’s Chainsaw Angus—an undefeated master fighter who isn’t too keen on getting his face punched anymore, so he and his sister, Liz, have started cooking meth. And they get in deep. So deep that Liz wants it all for herself, and she might just be ready to kill her brother for it. One more showdown to take place at the Donnybrook.
As we travel through the backwoods to get to the Donnybrook, we meet a cast of nasty, ruined characters driven to all sorts of evil, all in the name of getting their fix—drugs, violence, sex, money, honor. Donnybrook is exactly the fearless, explosive, amphetamine-fueled journey you’d expect from Frank Bill’s first novel . . . and then some. - Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Donnybrook-Novel-Frank-Bill/dp/0374532893/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362767065&sr=1-1&keywords=donnybrook



This fucker is highly recommended by the boys at Gorilla Vomit and reminds us of a similiar short story written by one of our own, Scott L. Anderson. The story is called Minnesota Cockfight and is actually a revised chapter out of Screaming Batfish Blues.



"Throw a hard fucking jab, then a right to the body and a left to the head. That's all you're gonna have to fucking remember in these kinda fights. When they get in close to you, push 'em back and bang hard to the body. I can guarantee you that none of the assholes you're gonna be fighting are in half the shape you are."

I had stopped ripping shots to the heavy bag to stop and listen to the instructions of my uncle. Uncle Billy sure didn't look like he'd no shit about boxing. He looked more like Tommy Chong, only with dragon and snake tattoos all over his thin but muscular arms, but he had learned how to box in the Army and was now trying to pass his limited wisdom onto me.

Billy had come up with a real bright idea, and although I was going along with it, I was secretly hoping that I just didn't get killed.

Once a year, a guy who owned a farm over by Faribault, Minnesota, promoted his own illegal tough man contest. Twenty four men could enter with a thousand dollar entry fee. The fights would be four two minute rounds. Winner of the last fight would win fifteen thousand dollars. Runner up would two thousand. Everyone else would get jackshit. Along with the fights, it was an all night affair filled with cockfights, gambling, drinking, drugs, strippers, and hookers, . Everything that was illegal in the state.

Billy had attended several of these gala events and thought that his young nephew, me, had the brass balls to win the tournament for us.

Life had been different just six months ago. Then I was senior, an all state cornerback, and had three big colleges watching my every move. Then my dad gets killed driving while drunk with my girlfriend. Didn't take a detective to figure out what had been going on. My old man just had that allure. Couldn't keep it in his pants. Even with my girlfriend. My mom wigged out and has been in the state hospital since then. I couldn't take the bullshit at school. Everybody laughing at me behind my back. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Dropped out and went to live with my Uncle Billy to help with his business. The biggest pot dealer in southern Minnesota.

When Billy came home with the idea of the tough man contest I had jumped at it. If I could get my ass whipped back into shape like when I was playing ball and could pull off a win, I could use my share of the winnings to get my ass on the road and out of New Richland. Start all over someplace else. Someplace warm.

"How do I know that one of the guys that I have to fight isn't some ex- fighter and I wind up getting the holy shit kicked out of me?" I asked.

"It's against the rules of the tournament." Billy answered with a grin.

"Rules? What kinda rules are they gonna have in something like this?"

"Listen to me, Jakey boy. The dude that runs this show doesn't allow any bullshit at all. He knows that if anyone tries to slip in a ringer that he's gonna get a bad rep and no one will ever sign up to fight again. And this guy is one bad dude. If anyone is stupid enough to try any shit they'll probably wind up in a swamp with cinder blocks attached to their nuts."

For four solid weeks, I got up in the early morning hours to do my roadwork, go to work, make Billy's weed deliveries, and then come home to pump iron and work out on the bag. I knew I was in good football shape but wasn't sure about fighting shape. The only fights I had been involved in were short scraps during a game or practice that were quickly broken up. My size alone had intimidated most people.

**

We drove to Faribault in Billy's four wheel drive. I was silent but Billy chattered on like a monkey, wired to the gills on crank, and drinking out of a tall can of Grain Belt.

"Just let 'em come to you. Let them do the work. They come to you, you just unload on them. Push "em off, and do it again." Billy was ranting like a amped out Angelo Dundee.

"That stick and move shit won't work here. Just hard fucking shots to the body to

soften them up and then go to the head."

"Goddamn it Billy. Will you just shut the hell up for a fucking second so that I can think?"

Billy glanced over at me and took a swig of his brew. "Sorry kid. I'm just nervous is all. Shouldn't have taken that zip."

"Yea, I know. I'm sorry too. I'm just ready to get this thing going." I replied.

We cruised through Faribault and passed by the state mental hospital and continued out of town for about three miles and then turned down a long private drive ending up in a wood covered natural hollow. Cars and pickup trucks were parked all around a brand new bright red barn. Already you could hear the sounds of men drinking, and men already drunk, emitting from the open doorway. We got out of the truck as a large biker with a clipboard approached them. It was hard not to notice the .357 magnum strapped to the his chest.

"Name?" The biker grunted.

"Billy Morrow and my fighter, Jake Morrow."

"I.D.?" The biker looked at his clipboard.

We showed our state driver's licenses which the biker glanced at.

"Through the door." He pointed to the barn, obviously a man of few words.

When we walked through the door, I was surprised to see what looked like an official boxing ring set up in the middle of the barn. In each far corner of the barn, small stages were set up, and there were nude dancers on three of them. A bar was set up on two sides of the barn and men were in a circle watching what appeared to be a rooster fight in action.

The place was packed. It smelled like sawdust, pot, booze, blood, and fear.
The fattest man that I had ever seen was waving us over to a card table with a schedule taped up behind it on an easel. He grinned and shook hands with Billy.

"Hey you old douche bag, how the hell they hangin? the fat man yelled.

"Always lower than your needle dick." Billy laughed.

Fat man grinned. "Same old asshole Billy. Man, you never change. Still giving head to the brothers for cigarettes?"

"You know, me and you could in the ring tonight." Billy joked as he raised his fists.

"I'm too busy tonight, maybe some other time. This your boy? He pointed to me.

"Sure as shit is. This is my nephew, Jake. He's a tough son of a bitch. Jake, meet Don Lang, one of the meanest convicts to ever walk the cell blocks of Stillwater."

I reached out and shook the fat man's hand. "Nice to meet you."

"Good to meet you, kid. I just don't think you're gonna be as happy though when you see who your first fight is against." He pointed over to a corner of the barn.

Standing and grinning like an idiot in front of one of the strippers was a huge black man wearing nothing but a pair of jeans. He looked close to weighing three hundred pounds and stood way over six feet tall. He was flanked by two smaller white men.

"That retard's name is Charlie Johnson. He's a patient from the nut house in Faribault."

"What the hell are you talking about, Don?" Billy demanded. "From the state hospital? What the hell is he doing here?"

The fat man shrugged. "Those two guys with him are attendants who work his unit. They run kind of a loose ship over there with all the budget cuts and shit so they're always low staffed. Their supervisor is on this, so they just walked him out a side door and drove his ass over here."

"Why's he in the hospital?" I asked. What the fuck? My mother is in that hospital.

"He raped a little girl, shot her in the head with a .22, and shoved her down the hole of an outhouse. He's a retard so he couldn't go to the joint. He was over in the maximum lock down in St. Peter for years, but I guess he was a good boy for a while, so he got transferred to Faribault."

"Can he fight?" Billy piped in as he glanced over at me nervously.

"Shit if I know. But those two boys and their supervisor chipped in the grand so I don't give a crap. I heard one of them tell him that if he wins they'll buy him one of the hookers." He shrugged. "Sorry, luck of the draw."

The three men stood and watched the giant retard swaying in his tracks and groping his crotch through his hospital issued pants. Everyone couple of seconds he would laugh and scream out "pretty lady."

Don laughed and slapped Billy on the back. "Ain't that a kick in the nuts?"

Billy grinned sickly. "It's a kick in the nuts on all right." He turned to me. "Come on man, let's get you warmed up."

Don was still laughing. "Don't get too warmed up, you're not on until the fourth fight. Maybe you'll be lucky and the big dummy will have shot his wad by then, the way he's grabbing at his johnson." The fat man bent over and rested his hands on his knees, he was laughing so hard.

"I should have run a shank through that fat motherfucker in the prison showers when I had the chance." Billy mumbled as he led me to a vacant spot to start my warm-up.

"Jesus Christ, Billy! Did you see the size of that son of a bitch?"

"Don't worry about it. Here's the plan. Soon as the bell rings, charge him and stick him hard with your best shot. If he doesn't go right way, get on your bicycle and let him punch himself out. He lives in a nuthouse. What kind of wind could he have?"

The bell rang for the first bout of the night. Two burly biker types hammered away at each other and in less than a minute one of them was punched right through the ring ropes and onto the barn floor where he was counted out. The crowd roared like they were watching Ali - Frazier. The winner leaned over the ropes and barfed onto one of the judges score sheets.

I grabbed my jump rope and began to try to break a sweat. The crowd roared again as a topless dancer climbed into the ring and began to dance a jig to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps."

The second fight was between a obese Mexican who was covered in jailhouse tattoos and a middle aged truck driver. After pounding each other for thirty seconds, they spent the rest of the fight wrestling and clinching and landing one punch at a time. At the final bell the ring was showered with beer as the crowd booed and screeched their disapproval.

Billy snorted another two lines of crystal and reached into our gym bag and retrieved the warm up mitts. I fired out the only combination I really knew in succession. Left jab, straight right, and a left hook. The crowd roared at the lesbian act that was going on in the ring, the promoter had felt bad at the poor showing of the last fight and felt he owed the audience a little treat.

Fight number three was between a tall lanky redhead with a farmers tan and a bodybuilder. The redhead knew how to box. He spent the first two rounds backing away from his opponent and snapping out a solid left jab which bloodied his opponent's nose and mouth. In the third round the redhead got a little cocky and tried the old bolo punch like Sugar Ray Leonard tried against Duran in their second fight. Only in this fight he didn't pull back quick enough and the bodybuilder threw a smoking right hand that drilled the redhead right square in the kisser and sent him down and out. When they pulled his mouth piece out, his two front teeth were wedged inside.

Don walked by and announced we were up in ten minutes. The between fights act was a woman firing ping pong balls out of her vagina. Drunks at ringside were scrambling to pick up the balls and a couple of them were popping the balls in their mouths.

"Classy bunch of assholes, ain't they?" laughed Don as he walked by.

A greasy looking man who looked like he might have spent his life working as a carny approached us. He handed over a set of boxing gloves. As Billy started to lace them up, I noticed another one of the redheaded fighter's teeth still lodged in the glove. Billy plucked it out and flicked it on the floor.

"You've got me into a real nice situation here, Billy."

The crank was hitting Billy hard. He was talking a mile a minute. "Click in the reptile side of your brain, kid. This guy's a retard for shit's sake. You're a trained fucking athlete. He lays around all day jerking off and smearing his shit on the walls. Get out there and kick his ass. This will be the only tough one. Rest of these guys ain't shit."

I stared hard at my stoned uncle. "Let's just get in the damn ring."

Billy leaned his head back and screamed out like a possessed wolf as we headed toward the ring. I felt like puking

The giant retard was already in the ring with his "handlers." A fantastic looking blonde stripper wearing a Tilt-A -Whirl t shirt that was cut so that the top two thirds of her jugs and her tollhouse cookie nipples were exposed to the hooting crowd, was strutting around the ring.

My opponent openly leered and screamed out "pretty lady" at her as she passed by him.

"Here, take a swig of this." Billy had tipped back a water bottle.

I took a long swig and felt the inside of my mouth go numb.

"What is that shit?"

"Spring water with a dash of coke. Little peppermint schnapps, too."

We began to walk to the center of the ring to get the referee's instructions. He looked like he had been let out of the nursing home on a day pass to officiate this fight. He was also wearing a Tilt -A -Whirl t shirt.

"What's with the Tilt -A -Whirl shirts? Are they sponsoring this thing?" I asked Jake.

"What? Huh? What the hell are you talking about?" Billy was beyond manic. Too much crank.

"Why is everyone wearing those carnival ride shirts?"

"Oh, the shirts. They make Tilt -A- Whirls in Faribault." Now Billy was leering at the ring girl. Great! My manager and corner man was losing it.

As we reached the center of the ring, my foe raised his glove and said "Hi."

The referee began his instructions. He had obviously been drinking and he smelled like a urinal that had been cleaned out with rum.

"OK men, keep "em up at all times, follow my instructions, and break when I yell break. Touch 'em up and return to your corner."

We touched gloves and my opponent smiled and said "Bye."

Billy was so worked up that I thought he might have a seizure. "Did you hear that shit? Hi? Bye? He's a fucking idiot. This is gonna be easy as hell. Get out there and kick his ass."

Kick his ass! Is that the only advice I was going to hear?

The bell rang.

I fired out of my corner on a coke induced rush and as soon as he was in punching distance I wound up and threw the hardest overhand right that I could muster.

My grinning opponent walked right into it and it caught him directly in the nose. The giant shrieked, held his nose with both hands and staggered backwards, knocking the geriatric referee down on his ass.

I took advantage of this and stepped forward and fired a screaming left hook to the retard's balls. He screamed in agony and dropped to both knees. I couldn't believe my luck! I ran to a neutral corner. But the referee had yet to get to his feet. One of the giant's seconds jumped on the ring apron to protest the nut shot but was grabbed by the back of his pants by one of the judges, an enormous biker, and was pulled back onto the floor.

Finally, the ref staggered to his feet and began to start his count. The crowd was going absolutely batshit.

All I could hear was Billy screaming out "It's a long fucking count. It's goddamn Dempsey and Tunney all over again."

The coke was making me hyperventilate.

The retard was up at the count of eight. He must have been down for close to twenty.

I charged and attacked my foe. Left jab followed by a right followed by a left hook. They landed in succession as often and as hard as I could throw them. Blood was pouring from the giant's nose, mouth, and a gaping cut under his eye. He just stood there and took it. He didn't even try to move.
After about thirty or forty seconds of this shit, I was totally exhausted and dropped my gloves.

Then the giant went on the offensive. His arsenal was even more limited than mine was. All the retard threw was a round house right to the side of my body. But wherever it landed it felt like a sledgehammer hitting. The first one landed on my kidney and the force of the punch picked my left foot right up off the floor. The second punch landed on my elbow and it felt like my arm was broken. I was too exhausted to retreat and tried to tie my opponent up but my foe had learned to fight on the floors of the state's roughest mental institutions. He grabbed one of my arms with his left hand and pounded away to my body with his right until the bell rang.

I slumped onto his ring stool. Across the ring you could hear the retard screaming out "pretty lady."

"Fuck! Jake, drink some of this shit!" The coke flavored schnapps and water numbed my throat going down. "Box this fucker, Jake. Long range. Don't get in close. Stick and move. Stick and move, goddamn it."

The bell rang.

I was revived for a few seconds by the cocaine concoction and began to stick out my jab. It landed almost constantly, snapping my opponent's head back. It couldn't miss. But for every five jabs I landed, the giant was land one crippling shot to my body.

The retard's face was a mask of blood.

The left side of my body was already turning purple.

After less than a minute into the round, I was spent again.

I stopped moving away from his foe and once more, this time in pure desperation, tried a round house shot to the nuts of my opponent. But I was way too tired and the punch landed on the giant's hip, and exhausted, I fell into him. My opponent reached out, fast as a cobra, and hooked my head with his massive arm and tucked it securely in his vile smelling armpit while he whaled away at my unprotected body with his right.

I went down to one knee.

"One.. two.. three.. four.. pretty lady.. five.. six.. I get to screw pretty lady.. seven.. eight.. get the fuck up Jake.. nine."

I got up.

I couldn't raise my arms.

My foe advanced on me.

I tried to raise my hands

The retard threw another of his right hands, only this time it was at my head.

I couldn't get my arms up. They were made of lead.

The ring floor was soft but it was bouncing up and down. I began to sit up but almost blacked out so I lay back down. It took him several moments to realize that I wasn't in the ring but in the back of Billy's truck. I recognized the car freshener that Billy always bought. Smelled like coconuts. The truck was still bouncing up and down.

With a groan I grabbed the back of this seat and pulled myself up. I looked out the back window. Billy had the stripper with the Tilt -A- Whirl shirt spread eagle in the box and was laying the wood to her. Hard.

I laid back down and went back into my fog.