Thursday, July 26, 2012

Janer, Phone Home.

“It’s ok Lenny, you can tell me.  In fact, I think you’d better,” The brilliant Dr. Johnson had just explained to the young veterinary student, now part human, part cat, part frog, how he had pieced together what had happened.  Early on, Dr Johnson had dismissed his ideas as pure fiction, but after talking to Professor Lincoln at Lenny’s school, he learned of the highly experimental work being done. 

“No, it sounds like you pretty much know as much about it as I do.  Can it be reversed, doc?”  Lenny asked, eyes downcast.

“I’m not going to say no because I think it would be discouraging if I told you you were destined to spend the rest of your days with a weird frog, cat, human hybrid body.  But I’m also not going to lie to you.  Stop that!” The Doctor warned as Lenny licked at his paw then snatched a fly out of the air with his tongue.

“All I’m saying kid, is if we don’t figure out a way to slow down the mutation, you may be all frog or all cat in a few weeks.  You probably understand a little bit about how this stuff works.  Your teachers say you’re the brightest they’ve seen.  But I’m going to explain it anyway because I have an idea about your treatment.

“When you jack around with DNA hybrid stuff, there’s a pretty good chance that one genome will take over and change the organism back into one of the original beings.  This completely unobserved phenomenon is known as “science fiction”.  And the DNA never reverts back to Human.  We know this from all of the science fiction documentaries.”

“Meow, you were saying you had an idea?”, Lenny asked, eyes bulging a little.

“It’s far too early to say, but I’ve been mulling it over.  I have a little bit of investigative work to do.  Well, you’re a scientist, maybe I can explain my idea.  Actually, a good friend gave me the idea inadvertently when he or she tried to poison me.  I’m not sure.”

“You don’t know if your friend tried to poison you?”, Lenny said tired and confused.

“Oh no, he or she did.  What I don’t know is if it’s a he or a she.”

“Doc if you don’t know the gender, why don’t you just say Shim. That’s what they’re called.”

“Seems like kind of a rude name.  I’ll stick with ‘it’.  Anyway, my friend had a friend who was working on a new strain of super-coolant.  He had planned to devise a practical super computing device.  Unfortunately, the substance was as dangerous as it was effective for cooling.”

“Maybe, I’m still not 100% doc, but I don’t follow.  What do you mean?”, Lenny asked, gaining hope and interest.

“Well, you know how plain old anti-freeze is dangerous to dogs?  This stuff is like a thousand times more powerful than anti-freeze in every way.”

“Weird, but if you can somehow tell me-ow what that has to do with my condition, I’ll be truly amazed.”, Lenny said, now gaining a bit of skepticism.

“Me too,” Admitted the doctor, “It’s just a hunch.  I’m going to have to think about it for a couple of days.  In the mean time, I’ve had the nurses set out a big plastic box of litter beside your bed if nature should happen to call,” 

“Oh man, you don’t know how bad I have to go …”  a relieved Lenny Johnson said, slipping out of the hospital bed to squat into the 4 foot square box and grunt all regal and everything, just like an embarrassed cat.  Oh the weeks of pent up, ahhhh ….

“Well then, I’ll leave you to it,”  a totally grossed out Dr Johnson informed, “Oh by the way,  My friend is going to be staying in the other bed in this room.  She’s in pretty bad shape, but I think she just might pull through if I can get a hold of her friend the coolant creator guy and we can devise an antidote.  In the meantime, I'm keeping her alive with the DNA treatment you originally developed.  You see the ...”

"Frog DNA.  Of course.  Frogs are not effected by anti-freeze.  That's pretty clever doc, but what about side-effects,"  Lenny asked, holding up a paw, and almost losing his balance in the cat box.

"I had to act immediately.  She was dying.  I figured I'd just worry about the horrible mutant thing later."

“So now you’re just saying it’s a ‘she.’” Lenny challenged.

“Probably wishful thinking on my part kid, now get some rest. I gotta get out of here before you do the ol’ cleaning cat salute thing.”  Doctor Johnson confided.

“Hairball,” Lenny suddenly shouted.  Then, “Just kidding Doc.”, a smile crossing his face for the first time this month.

 As Jack Hughes, rent-a-pig, sat on his little stool outside the ticket window of the AMC 6 West movie theater, he reminisced.  Floating away from the present situation of ensuring kids weren’t sneaking toast into the Midnight showing of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, Jack’s mind went to a more heroic time.  The day he just about died saving his partner.

It was about 20 years before this night.  It had all started out as a routine bust.  A neighbor had reported a lot of in and out traffic at a house across the street from her.  So Jack and His partner Coop were staked out about 3 houses down from where the neighbor lived waiting to see something suspicious for themselves.  Coop’s real name was Steven Roberts.  But he thought “Roberts” sounded too clichĂ© for a cop.  So he liked to go by ‘Coop’.  The year was 1963 and in Omaha, the Reefer scene was going great guns. 

“I’ll tell you Hughes, America has lost her innocence,” Coop continued on his monologue while Jack worked the crossword, “You see these kids, what are they 17?  18?  Brains all smoked out on this shit.  I tell you.  It’s the beginning of the end if we don’t nip this marijuana thing in the bud,” Coop was not making some clever play on words.  Neither Coop nor Hughes thought in terms of ‘buds’.

“Hey Steve, what’s a 6 letter word for ‘Shut the fuck up’.” 

“Try ‘eat me’”, Coop suggested.

“Let’s just agree to disagree then.”


“Did you know that Hemingway said ‘write drunk, edit sober’?”

“Interesting.  What’s editing? Who’s Hemingway?  Is he in homicide?”

“Never mind Coop.  Or Hughes.  Whichever one of us isn’t talking right here,”  Said Hughes, obviously distracted.  Looking out the car window toward the house in question, he glanced at the tire swing in the front yard.  What kind of drug dealer has a tire swing?  It reminded him of the time he was a kid down at the summer cabin his folks had on the riverfront.  Jack would swing on that thing for hours.  In the evenings they would all gather around the big speaker radio and listen to the adventures of J.C. Owens at the 1936 Olympics.  Jack was 13 that year and Jesse was his hero.  He showed that evil Nazi Bastard how we do it over here.  Jack wanted to be a hero like Owens.  If only they had “Tire swinging” in the Olympics, he’d show that tough customer Hitler what’s what.

While sitting on the tire swing one day, Jack was about to reflect on yet another simpler time with yet another flashback, when he was jolted back to reality.  Coop was shaking him, “What gives Hughes?  We’re up,” Nodding toward the house, Jack realized something wasn’t right.  This can’t be happening.  Then it hit him.  He had been about to go triple flashback and still had one more to jump out of before getting back to the present.

“Well what do we have here,” Hughes thought, watching the grand entrance of Boomer, Cube, Marv, Butch, and at first he only saw Dr. Johnson (not yet a Doctor) behind them.  Then, looking again, he saw the towering figure of a young Burt Rasson.  “How did I not see that guy at first?  You’re losing it Jackie boy.” 
These kids looked like trouble in every sense of the word.  Well, they didn’t look like “draw your sidearm” trouble.  But they were definitely “stern talking to and finger waving” trouble.

“Welcome to my theater, Gents,”   Jack Hughes mumbled, surprised at his sudden improvement in mood.  All the anxieties of earlier in the week melted away at the prospect of some real peace officer work.  “I was born for this shit, excuse me, er doo-doo.”  He’d later tell his loving wife.

“Thanks for the invite there, daddio!”, The Future Dr Johnson replied.  “We expect to have one hell of a time in here.”

“How did he hear that?” Johnson mumbled to himself and immediately regretted it.
“YOUNG PEOPLE CAN HEAR BETTER!”  explained Boomer earning a slap in the arm from a snickering Marv, L.K.A. Janey.

“So I know you’re probably not the person to ask, being how you’re just a security guard, but do you know how I could get on the force as a detective?  I’m thinking ‘vice’,” Cube asked in all seriousness, sucking on one end of his ray-bans.

“Why don’t you boys just go buy your tickets and enjoy the show.  And no horseplay OR tomfoolery.”, Hughes advised, “I’ll be watching you”.

“Ooooooooooooh,” thought, but didn’t say, all the boys.  Not until the story was being retold.
Walking up the stairs to the theater, but still within earshot of Hughes, J said, “Ever since that movie ‘Colors’, they really take movie security seriously.”

Confused looks all around.  Except for R who was shaking his head at J.  J had maybe had too much to drink.  He was forgetting where he was again.  Or more accurately, “When he was.”

“What movie?” Butch asked.

“Oh, um it’s a French movie.  Probably won’t be released here for another 5 years or so,” said R. clearly panicking trying to cover for his best friend’s mistake.

“Hey – is there this balloon that follows this kid around in it?”, Boomer asked.

Then Marv said, “I think it’s a movie from the future and that’s why it won’t be released here for 5 years.
And I also think Janer are time travelling aliens.  Who walks that smooth, anyway?”

There was silence as the boys all tried to figure out if Marv was joking or just crazy.  Standing in a small circle looking at each other, Butch said, “Hey where are Janer anyway.”

And just like that, they were gone.

“I was just kidding,” said Marv.

“Well, if they ever work their way back to this dimension or time or whatever, you are totally apologizing to them,” Butch assured.

“Whatever.  Let’s get in there.  I don’t want to miss Riff-Raff’s lips,” encouraged Cube hopping from foot to foot.

Friday, July 20, 2012

No one is bluer. Or truer.

As Jack watched the setting sun in the amber sky, he became aware of a heightened sense of alertness within himself.  Leaning against the sun-heated bricks that composed the westernmost wall of the Westroads shopping mall, Jack was awaiting the beginning of his shift.  The last of the day’s shoppers were slowly clearing the lot as night fell.  Holding a hand up to his face, Jack examined the Marlboro Light 100 he was enjoying.  Jack was not officially a smoker.  Neither was he officially a bacon, egg, cheese, french fry or hamburger eater.  Dr Snotnose’s orders.  And his own wife conspired with the Dr. to ensure the last few years of his existence were brutally joyless. 

There were few perks as a security guard, but confiscating cigarettes from minors wasn’t too bad.  “That shit’ll kill you, you stupid flopheads!”  Jack would yell at the teens he caught smoking in the exact ‘out of the way’ spot he now stood. Exhaling a stream of that delicious Virginia gold, the irony completely escapes Jack. 

Turning his thoughts to the night ahead, Jack was surprised by a sudden anticipation.  For the past several days, he had been filled with anxiety.  The Rocky Horror Picture Show had been showing at the movies at midnight at the Westroads for a few weeks, but this was Jack’s first time on the beat.   He’d heard stories.

Several ex-cops, good men, had retired early after facing the unspoken horrors of crowd management at one of these god-forsaken, perverted freak-fests.  Jack’s old compatriot, Sully Menkovitchz, after what he heard and saw at “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 3 weeks back, awoke the next morning with an overwhelming calm.  Smiling as the last of his sweet dreams faded, slowly becoming aware of a pulsing warmth.  Before even opening his eyes, he was mentally running down the day’s itinerary. Breakfast, lawn mowing, a little game of catch … when something jolted him from his nice comfy dream state.  Pulsing warmth?  A flash of a memory.  A pick ax.  A man in O.R. scrubs and Playtex rubber gloves had just murdered Eddie.    As poor Sully turns to tell his wife about the True Horror of Rocky Horror, He understands.  There will be no lawn mowing.  No breakfast.  No playing catch.  Only prison.  He had scant memories of the events after he arrived home from the shift at the midnight movie.  But it was all coming back as he peered into the open, lifeless eyes of his one true love.  I’m pretty sure he was also upset by what he found in his children’s rooms, but I honestly don’t want to talk about it.  Oh and anyway, he was the one who did it, so I don’t know what he’s crying about.


“Sully?  That nut case?  You’re worried about him?”  Bob couldn’t believe Jack.  This was not the kid he’d trained all those years ago.  That boy had fire.  He was foolish, but fearless.  After just 5 years on the sidelines, old Jack Hughes appeared to be a shadow of his former self.

“I dunno Bob, it just seems like, you know, I’m not as quick or strong as I used to be.  These kids, they …”
“Jack.  Listen to me.  You and I both know that Sully was  psycho.  Just because he decided to murder his whole family after dealing with a few rowdies at the theatre doesn’t mean you’ll have any problems.  This is not the Hughes I know.  Maybe you’ve lost a step or 2, but think man.  You’re Jack Hughes.  You can handle a few punk rocker movie goers.  I don’t care how old you are.”


But now there was a calm that swept through Jack’s being.  Bob’s words had reminded him that he was good at this.  Sure, his best years were behind him.  He would never again remove a dangerous criminal from the streets.  But he was sure as hell going to remove any disruptive patron from the movie theater.  Sometimes that had to be enough.

Throwing down the cigarette butt with no small amount of disdain, Jack adjusted his security cop cap, straightened his spine, set his fleshy, but prominent jaw, and headed toward destiny – a little stool that was placed just outside the ticket window of the movie theater.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Running Against the Wind

Note:  I’m currently reading Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk.  He is one of my favorite writer guys.  When I first had Jane show up I couple of posts back, I knew she was evil but I wasn’t sure why.  I wouldn’t call the following plagiarism, but maybe it is.  Here’s the thing.  Jane turns out to have a lot in common with one of the characters in that book.  It’s not coincidence.  Chuck Palahniuk is so graphic in his descriptions of pretty gross stuff that it kind of won’t go away real easy.  Plus it’s really easy to come up with crazy ideas if you just read them off of a piece of paper.  So seriously.  Go read Invisible Monsters.   It’s really weird.  Or even better, Damned by the same guy.  Or I guess you could read “Fight Club” if you don’t have a DVD player.

Everything is perfectly perfectly ready.  It’s just good fortune the good Dr Johnson (no relation) didn’t get the courage to ask me out while I was still madly in love with him.   Of course he wouldn’t have had anything to do with me back then.  He spurned my advances so vehemently I had to learn fancy words to describe what had happened.  Oh I’ve known Jack (Herman) for a lot longer than he thinks.  I was just a goofy kid when I first laid eyes on him.  I was instantly in love, but knew it was not possible.  No way he’d fall for someone like me.  He was just too old fashioned and I was just …

But I did my homework.  I did what it took to become a woman he’d take notice of.  If you really want something.  Anything.  It can be yours.  But you must be willing to make the sacrifice.  Everybody gets everything they truly want.  If it’s too hard, you just don’t want it bad enough.  At least that’s what I believed when I first embarked on this journey.  I gave up everything to become what I am now.

I was not the classic beauty.  Hell, I was not any kind of beauty.  I was heavy.  Big boned, they always said.  So I did what was necessary.  I had a single goal.  Win over the smooth walking Dr. Herman Johnson. 

When we first met, he said he liked me, but I knew because of my plain looks, we were destined to be “Just friends.”  For the first few years, I thought as he got to know me better, maybe his feelings would change.  He’d see that we were meant to be together.  But I was wrong.  That’s when I decided he would never love me so the thing to do was become somebody else.

But I also knew that if I started dieting and exercising and getting the necessary plastic surgeries required to become the woman of his dreams, I couldn’t do it while he watched.  No, he’d always see that other person.  The person I hated most.

So I had to move away for a while.  I said my goodbyes to everyone and disappeared.  When I returned, I had a new face and a new name.  Not even my parents recognized me.  I’ve served them coffee hundreds of times and they haven’t a clue.  They think I’m some big successful executive out west.

The irony is that after I went through the pain to become what I thought Herman wanted, I no longer wanted him.  I have desired a man for years who would never love the real me.  Only the mutilated me.  And that shit ain’t right.  That’s why I have to kill that buttery gait bastard.

It is the evening of the day.  That is what Burt Rasson was thinking as he sat at Dr Johnson’s kitchen table fiddling with the card lock thing he used to enter the premises.  “Oh great, now I’ll have that stupid song stuck in my head,”  He thought as he gazed out the window, watching the children outside play.  He was amazed that the games they were playing were the same old games he used to play, but of course everything is new to children.  He thought about these thing as black tears soiled the good Dr.’s kitchen table top. 

When did everything change?  He and Dr. Johnson had been inseparable for many years.  He wasn’t a doctor yet.  Hell, they were about 15 years old when they started hanging out occasionally.  Then all the time after Burt saved Herman.  There was a fire at a second hand store downtown.  Herman worked there in the afternoons counting things or something.  The fire had started a couple of doors east of the shop, but the whole block of shops was one huge brick structure that was built around the 1890’s.  Once the heat was enough to set the bricks ablaze there was no stopping it.  It moved down to where Johnson was working on the second floor of the shop.  He was completely oblivious to the fire because he had his Rolling Stones cassette tape blasting into his ears thanks to his brand new Sony Walkman.  “My riches can’t buy everythi-i-i-ing …” young Johnson screamed along with Mick Jagger as he inventoried some stuff or something.

By the time anybody realized he was in there, the lower floor was all flames.  Nobody would go in after him.  There was a really dramatic scene where the fire chief yelled at Burt Rasson saying the skinny, smooth walking kid probably got out and anyway, nobody’s going in there.  It’s just too dangerous.

“Oh yeah, that’s cool.  Ok.  Bye.”  Went Rasson’s little trick as he sidled to the back of the building where there was, ahem, a fire escape.  He scaled the stairs wondering why Herman wouldn’t have just come out that way.  The steps were hot enough that Burt’s shoes were sticking to them and he couldn’t use the handrail, because … it was hot too.   Once he got into the second floor room of the second hand store, smoke and visibility were issues.  He didn’t see Herman anywhere.  “J”  he shouted several times, feeling his way around. 

Eyes stinging, throat burning, choking, he turned to leave when he saw movement under an old military style metal desk.  Blinking ferociously, he ran to the desk to find his friend trapped where part of the floor had given way and toppled the desk onto J’s leg.  Adrenaline went to work as Burt effortlessly tossed the desk aside and dragged a delirious “J” to safety.

“Smiling faces, I can see, but not for me …” Johnson continued, but it was all warped sounding because the heat had damaged the cassette.

“Don’t quit your day job J,”  Rasson joked.

“Looks like I got fired R,” Johnson replied all raspy and stuff.

After that day, they only went as “J” and “R”.  Since they were always together, people just addressed either one of them as “Janer”

But as Burt now sat at the good Dr’s kitchen table wearing his best melancholy, he tried to work out when he and the Dr started to drift.  Burt figured it was his own damn fault.  He had no other friends and everybody liked “J”.  Burt had been jealous.  When one of J’s friends, Marv, started hanging around more and more and J had no intention of blowing him off, Burt voluntarily walked away.  “Stupidest thing I ever did, I realize that now.”

That’s about the time Burt’s new lifelong friend, “Joe the bottle of Gin1,” came along.

I’m looking through the glass in the early autumn evening.  Already darkening outside, but still warm.  I see my reflection like a ghost.  My hatred obscured by lots of makeup.  I am ready.  The Dr will be here any minute.  Should I go with him to the carnival or coerce him in for a drink and get it over with.  Still.  I like fun houses.  And there’s nothing like the feeling of having a handsome fella hand you some piece of shit stuffed animal he won “for you”.  I suppose if you can knock over milk containers with a baseball, I should spread my legs for you.  No wait.  That’s not right.  Oh it escapes me.  Anyway, I’ll take the fuzzy panda or monkey or whatever the hell it is.  Yeah, I guess I can lug the damn thing around.  I’ll throw it on my bed with the others.  The other failed attempt at the real prize.  There on the bed.  A reminder to all suitors.  You’re not the first guy to knock over my milk bottles, if you know what I mean.  Wink Wink.

After a day at the cafĂ©, I’m dead tired.  I don’t want to stand anymore, let alone walk to the carnival.  Yes, it’s less than 3 blocks away, but my feet are swollen and hot.  But Dr Johnson never drives anywhere.  Who can blame him?  The finest Cadillac doesn’t glide down the road as smooth as Johnson down the sidewalk.  That settles it.  I’m poisoning him before the carnival.  Seriously, I’m just too tired to walk to the carnival and I don’t know when I’ll get the chance again.  I suppose I could just tell him to stop calling me Madge.  Then the headaches might stop.
Ok, where’s that brown bottle.  It was just here.  Let me know if you see it.  It’s got a skull and crossbones on the side with a big XXX underneath it.  Oh wait, never mind.  It’s in the toy room.  Hang on.  Ok, just a couple of drops into the tumbler on the left and the years of struggle will certainly die with “J”

Oh what’s this?  There a smooth Cadillac pulling up to the curb out front.  Who could that … It can’t be!  Johnson drove?!? What gives?

“What gives, Dr Johnson?”

“Our date was supposed to be tonight right?”
“No, I know, but I’ve never seen you drive before.  I was just going to ki…”

“Well, I figured since you’re probably on those sweet gams of yours all day, they could use a rest.”

“Aren’t you sweet.  Care for a drink?”

“I’d love one,  I’ll just pour some of this whiskey into the tumbler on the right and give it to you.  You know Jane, you really should keep the brown bottle of poison in a safe place.  Now just a little whiskey for me in the tumbler on the left.  My left.  Jane?  What’s wrong.  Jane?  JANE!”

Oh no.  I’ve done gone and drank my own poison.  I can’t control myself.  Falling.  “Doctor.  I have to tell you something,”  Holy crap.  That was in my old voice from back before I was beautiful.

“Marv?  Is that you,”  The doctor has just kind of figured out my secret and now I’m going to die.

“Air – I need air.  Can’t breathe.”  It has started to rain outside, but the Doctor is pulling me out the front door.

“Seriously Marv, I totally did not recognize you at all until I heard your voice.  What a trip.  Oh and do you happen to know what that Poison was?  Because you appear to be dying.”

“Do you know where I came up with the name ‘Janey’”, I know he does.

“That’s the thing you called me when we met at Louis’ that one time,” J realized all philosophically and everything.
1.      Ok, sorry about this, but I just realized that I once read this book by Tim Sandlin, called “Sorrow Floats.” It was the second book of a story line, not really a trilogy per se.  But anyway, the narrator was a huge alcoholic and named each of her bottles of booze.  One day, I will have an original thought.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Ahh, the booth seat.  Its intended design of service for 4 worked perfectly as La-Z boy recliners for 2, albeit, using the cruel hard wall, ledge, window arrangement for a backrest.  Anything was better than having your feet down after a grueling day in the humid summer Nebraska sun.  The boys also had the option of resting their backs on the back of their respective booths and stretching their feet across to the opposing seat, but that had 2 problems.  First of all, it seemed kind of gay (Even to a guy dressed like Don Johnson ca. 1984).  But the main thing is the table worked nicely as a comfy armrest on one side, while the top of the seatback provided top shelf comfort for the other, less dominant arm.  Both boys were somewhat ambidextrous, but Boomer was more left handed, so there was no question as to the seating arrangement.
On the table, at the window side, were about a half dozen empty Guinness bottles and 2 half full ones.  Cube held in his hand the tiny little 8 oz. glass he had received in answer to the bar-wench’s query “Y’all wanna glass with them?”
Boomer also had a tiny little glass, but he was more interested in peeling off the Guinness label completely intact.  It was proof the he was either a virgin or not a virgin.  Neither boy remembered exactly how the story went.
“So since you’ve got 3 of them off whole, does that mean you’ve raged thrice or that you’ve explained to 3 different girls how you’re saving it for marriage,”  Cube asked, shaking out a match and spitting a tiny bit of fine Turkish tobacco off his tongue.  He let that extraordinary blend of premium hand-picked carcinogen nestle briefly in his nice juvenile lungs before attempting a string of smoke rings.

“This Guinness is too cold.  Look, it says right here – serve at between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.  You know that changes the whole bouquet or some shit,” Boomer complained

“Yeah, well, that’s just a bunch of crap because those limey bastards over there haven’t figure out how to make a good refrigerator.”

“Uh, yeah.  This is Irish beer.  See, it says it’s from Dublin,” Boomer corrected.

“Yeah – the Irish are known for their refrigerator skills,” Cube countered, “I’m pretty sure that if there are any refrigerators in Ireland, they bought them from England, and they suck balls for cooling down beer.  That is the exact reason our forefathers came to the Midwest and started the Amana colonies.”

“You should become a history teacher, Crockett,” Boomer teased.  But Cube like being called Crockett.  Seriously.  It was pathetic. 

“Well aren’t we a couple of dandies,” a large, well muscled man with a hand on each side of the edge of Boomer and Cube’s table.  Behind him was another man with a certain kind of hatred in his eye.  These fellas weren’t really looking for trouble.  They were just having a little fun.  They just meant to scare boomer and cube, 2 obviously underage patrons of Louis’ bar and grill.

But they picked on the wrong 2 guys for that.  See, these boys couldn’t fight at all.  And they knew it.  Problem was, neither one of them really scared too easy.  After a few minutes, the big men completely changed their mind and decided to beat the living shit out of Boomer and Cube.

“Hey Dan,”  Cube started, “Why don’t you tell these pussies who the real Elvis is,” unable to contain his laughter, blowing smoke into the face of his soon to be murderer. 

“Oh yeah, I was telling my good pal Cube here …”

“Who you callin’ pussy, pussy?” inquired beefy violent guy number one, knuckles whitening,  slight crunching noise emanating from the compressing tabletop in his grip.

“Look, you don’t want to mess …” Cube started to say, but was quickly rebuffed with a thunderous,

“You have no idea who you’re fucking with!”  And he was right.  They didn’t.  He was going to kill them in just a couple of minutes.  He just had to get a little more motivation from either one of these little punks.

“That’s true.  We don’t know you.  But I gotta tell you,” Boomer jumped in, “I’ve ruled out ‘English teacher’.”

“Yeah, Up High my man,”  Cube held up his right arm for the always dependable, never leave you hangin, Boomer High Five.  Yeah it’s capitalized.

And with that, the man stood to reach in and pull Cube out of his comfy booth spot as the silent partner went for Boomer.  Just then, there was a light slap on each of their backs as some weird guy, dressed like an early 40’s hepcat, delayed indefinitely the demise of Boomer and Cube.  Unfortunately, now all of the malice was aimed squarely at the zoot suited shoulders of the mystery man.

“Janer!  How’s it hangin, my good man!”  Boomer shouted, recognizing his old pal and savior, extending a hand in greeting.

“Hold on a sec, boomey.  So fellas – how ‘bout I get you cats a nice cool drink.  The boys talk shit, but they don’t mean anything by it …”

“Yes we actually …” Cube started, he really was stupid.  And also, getting his lines walked on a lot tonight.

“Ok, cubey – we know you’re joking.  Waddya say fellas?  Have a cold one on me.  I insist.”

“I’ll tell you what I say you little freak, I say we go all Jack Kerouac on your goofy ass and teach you a lesson …”

“Um, so.  You’re going to get drunk and do a poetry reading or something,”  Oh yeah, J was a smart-ass too.

“What the hell are you talkin’ about, ‘Janey’,”  completely misunderstanding the nickname.

Janer was the nickname for 2 guys.  “J” and “R”.  Nobody knew their real names. Just their initials.  You never saw them coming either.  They always just appeared.  Always together.  You always saw J first.  He would slide up with such grace, you’d swear he taught Michael Jackson how to moonwalk.  He was tall and thin, but a real cool cat.

R was never far behind.  Just as the 2 troublemakers turned their full attention to J, the room darkened as the towering figure of R either blocked all the light or made the light run away with fear.  Science is supposed to get back to us on that one. All I’m saying is R was a big mother fucker.  Most people just called him “Big Bob.”  They just assumed (incorrectly) that ‘R’ stood for ‘Robert’.  Anyway, he was big enough that most confrontations ended peacefully.  On this occasion, Butch and Marv (the 2 troublemakers) ended up buying the first round.

After a couple hours, it was time to move on.  So Butch, Marv, Boomer, Cube and Janer decided to hit the Midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture show.  “You’ll love it,” Cube explained to Butch and Marv, “There’s plenty of gay sex in it.”

At that, Marv pretended to get offended and lightly slugged Cube in the shoulder.  But thanks to Corey Hart’s advice, Cube was wearing his Ray-Ban’s which hid the stinging tears of pain leaking from his eyes.  

“Ow,” complained Cube as he pretended he was pretending to be in a lot of pain.

“For a big guy, you have pretty small feet,” Butch observed and reported to Big Bob.