Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Boat Club

A couple years ago, I bought a kayak.  I like paddling around in it, though I have yet to achieve those Eskimo rolls or go hurtling off a waterfall like you see in those stupid Xtreme Sports videos.  At any given time, I could get dumped into the lake if even a small boat with an outboard goes by.  I have the basic skills of a five year old on it.  Still, I like it.

The downside is that every time I want to go out on it, I have to strap it on top of the 2002 Toyota Rav4 I use to haul my basset hounds around.  This is a big pain in the ass.  There are straps and knots, and I always feel like I have done it wrong.  I have this image of the kayak being blown off the roof as I blast down the road.  In my head, the kayak catches the wind, arches up, and then crashes through a windshield behind me impaling the driver.  I’m then in court as various outdoor experts take the stand to lambast me for my lack of manly knowledge in knot tying and basic rope skills.  It ends in embarrassment and prison time.  I become a punch line on late night talk shows.

I then got the idea to join one of two “Boat Clubs” in my area.  Before you get carried away and think I am talking about a plush clubhouse, swimming pools, and cabana boys in matching outfits, let me ease your mind.  Both of these Boat Clubs consist of a boat launch into Lake Erie, a small beach area complete with plastic garbage in the sand, and a tiny shabby shack that seems to serve no purpose.  There aren’t even chairs.  The upside is there would be a place to store my kayak, and maybe once I got “inside” I could transform the shacks into little bars.

 It became obviously pretty quickly that neither the Avon Lake or Bay Village Boat Club wanted anything to do with me.  This was disappointing.  How can I truly embrace my new nautical lifestyle if I’m not a card carrying member of a club?  That was when I decided to really take matters into my own hands and see if I could make some things happen…  Here's the existing email string.


  I was interested in possibly becoming a member of the Avon Lake Boat Club and use the facility for my kayak. Can you let me know more about the club, and the process for becoming a member?  I live nearby, and it would be especially convenient...

  Thanks in advance for your quick response.


Greg Miller




Just following up....




I will forward your email to our Secretary.  He will add you to the wait
list ... please expect the wait time to be 3-5 years based on the current
pace of turn overs.




  Thank you for your quick response.  I am obviously very disappointed by this lengthy a waiting list to join.  In three to five years, I had hoped I would have already risen to the position of Vice Commodore, and enjoyed all the spoils and privileges of such a title.  After purchasing my kayak last year, I am really trying to immerse myself not just in boating as a whole, but really embrace the entire boating lifestyle.

I must admit that you were not the only club I contacted.  I also reached out to the Bay Boat Club, but that turned south when they ferreted out that I was not a member of Bay Village and was a resident of Avon Lake.  Despite living just over the border from their somewhat overrated community, I think these people regard me as some sort of savage unfit to share their living space.  Frankly, that might have been for the best.  I felt that club was not really a good fit for me as they have a ban on alcohol. I am sure you will agree that any good boater worth his salt needs to beable to take a good pull off a rum bottle every now and then while screaming at the sea.  It worked for Hemingway and Blackbeard, and dammit, it has worked for me.

I don’t know if this will speed up the admission process at all, but I have enclosed a photograph of my brother taken earlier this year on a boating outing in Southern Ohio. True, he did buy the cap while in downtown Madison, WI on a hellishly hot Saturday tent sale. It is also true that as far as I know that this photograph may document the only time he has ever gone boating. However, he has let me know that if I do indeed become a member of the Avon Lake Boat Club, he will gladly walk around the club grounds in his cap and “boating shirt” and use as many nautical terms as he can remember.  They probably have a list on the Internet somewhere he could laminate and refer to on the sly I would think…  Regardless, I am sure you will agree, that this would be a great addition to the atmosphere of the club.

Thanks again for the quick response, and I hope there’s a way we can get me “on the fast track” for club admission.  I am very interested in getting started as soon as possible, paddling out on my kayak, and making my presence known.




I haven't heard back yet.  Still, I am optimistic I am leapfrogging ahead of other less serious boaters, and soon will be a member of this fine boating institution.  Yet, this might not be the case.  I hate to be too much of a "glass half full" guy.  If I feel like I am being ignored, I feel I may have to ratchet up the heat.

I will keep you up to date with this potentially explosive situation as it develops.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Gun Control?

Only in Summer can you get the bad craziness of the last week.  When the weather is hot, people seem to take leave of their senses.  While you are sitting in an air conditioned refuge somewhere just trying to keep one foot in front of the other, somewhere someone is all fueled up on copious amounts of light beer and bath salts, frothing at the mouth due to the heat.  You show me a good heat wave, and I will show you senseless violence. 

 There are three ways to deal with The End of Days.  Some people turn to religion, the time proven opiate of the masses.  A nice air conditioned church may have some upside on a sunny humid Sunday, I’ll give ya that.  Who doesn’t like a dude in a beard strumming an acoustic playing a hymn?  Still, what are you going to do Mon-Sat?  I have been focused on the second time proven template.  I have been on a game plan of “making it all go away” with gallons of Stone Pale Ale and Founder’s All Day IPA, floating around in my kayak, and avoiding eye contact with anyone even slightly off-kilter.  While this is actually a way of hiding in plain sight, you can probably let a few weeks slip past and look up to discover its Autumn.  So how else do you get through Summer?  The third way is one proving more popular of late, stocking up on weapons and letting it all hang out.  Really going for it, you know?   

 Let’s take that movie theater shooting from last week…  I think we can all agree that perhaps it may be time to have a real discussion about gun control.  Many gun nuts will suggest this is just reactionary, and they may have a point.  If a violent crime is not committed in Florida, it has probably been done in Colorado.  I think the sheer concentration of white people listening to jam bands, eating organic food, mountain biking and bitching about the Denver Broncos is too much.  People standing in line waiting for a flax seed muffin while having Blues Traveler piped in over the coffee shop PA just snap.  It’s too much.

 Since I think we can agree any of us might snap living in that kind of terrible crunchy lifestyle, the only thing we can do is limit the ability of creepy loners to get automatic weapons.  I think you should be allowed to have a deer rifle if you actually go hunting, or maybe a shotgun if you live on a farm.  That’s reasonable, right?  You probably don’t need an assault rifle and 6000 rounds of ammo if you live in a shitty apartment in suburban Denver.  Uh-oh…  Here comes the Gun Lobby!  “If you try to take away one kind of gun that will only lead to the government taking away all guns from everyone and completely violating the Constitution!” 

 This is the same stupid argument the NRA has been waging since kooks started shooting up civilians.  It’s so moronic; it is amazing it is even entertained by anyone with an education above coloring books.  Using a document from the late 1700s that couldn’t conceive of the ways we would invent to kill each other is probably not a great idea.  Just like we moved on from tri-corned hats, powdered wigs, etc., we moved from single shot muskets to AR-15 assault rifles.  Things change.  The founding fathers probably didn’t think it would be a good idea to let crazy people have as much fire power as an entire Revolutionary War division.  Do you think Thomas Jefferson leaned over to John Adams and said, “You know, we should let anyone that wants a cannon buy a cannon.  Like that guy that was begging us for schillings outside of Ye Olde Tavern last night.  He should get a cannon if he wants one.  That’s what this new America thing is all about.  Let’s get real real gone for a change.  Got any more ale in ye old pewter mug?”

 Nobody is trying to stop hunters, or keeping a family from having a gun in their home for protection.  It's probably a good idea not to make available certain kinds of weapons, registering guns and ammo purchases, and having background checks that take longer than an hour.  I think it is reasonable that ordinary citizens should get red flagged if they start buying shitloads of ammo, body armor, multiple guns, and spend too much time involved in comic books and/or video games.  If you are reading books about how to make chemical bombs, things aren’t going to end well for anyone.  These are the actions that always end in news interviews with neighbors saying how “polite and quiet” the killers were.  “He kept to himself mostly.  Real quiet.  Always very polite.  I couldn’t imagine him ever doing something like this.”

 There are some very powerful lessons this incident has taught all of us.  1)  As a society, we should make it almost impossible to own assault rifles, especially if you are a white male under 30 that has lost their mind.  2)  It is safer to be floating around in a kayak buzzed up on pale ale worried about chimp attacks than going to a Batman movie.  To be safe, don’t go to the Batman movie at all.  Go see “Moonrise Kingdom” instead.  It’s better.  3)  Stay out of Colorado.  The incessant hippie eco-vegan camping jam band pro-environmental yoga crystal power Caucasian lifestyle will break you in two.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Econolodge

We all have nice little photo albums on us at all times now since the advent of the smart phone.  It’s nice to be able to call up photos to illustrate a point, bring back a memory, or just make you smile.  Seeing some pictures on my phone can help me get through the day.  Then there are other photos.  Photos that make you shudder.  Today I stumbled into a photo I had forgotten about (see above).  Let me tell you about this photo. 

The Whiskey Daredevils had been driving from Kansas City MO to San Antonio TX.  How can I put this delicately?  That’s a motherfucker of a drive.  It just never ends, and there is nothing to look at out the window.  Oklahoma is a godforsaken wasteland not fit for humans.  It’s flat with fucked up looking people at the few exits on the interstate.  Mutants drive pickups with OK Sooner bumper stickers looking for female mutants to plant their diseased seed into and make more mutants.  I should point out, that Oklahoma is an upgrade over Kansas, but you have to drive through both of them before you even start Texas.

San Antonio is located so far south in Texas that everyone spoke Spanish but us.  Surprisingly I have had better Mexican food in Cincinnati than anywhere I went in San Antonio, but let’s be honest, I probably went to the wrong joints.   The Riverwalk is really nice, but a little touristy.  It’s probably a great place for twenty-year-old dudes in backward baseball hats to meet twenty-year-old girls with breast implants.  San Antonio has much to offer.  For example, Leo took a shit at the Alamo, but that’s not really important.  Let’s talk about the picture…

We were pre-booked at the Econolodge outside of town.  When I think of “Econolodge”, I think “What a great place to kill a prostitute”, don’t you?  They are America’s worst chain of hotels, always bleak and low on amenities.  Guys that escape from prison won’t even stay at Econolodge due to the low thread count on the sheets and sour smell of the towels.  Regardless, the Whiskey Daredevils were going to have to stay at a San Antonio Econolodge for one night.  We had spent the entire day driving, and would be arriving around 1:30am eager to do anything else but be in the goddamn van.

We pull into the parking lot, which like most of Texas is conveniently located about seven feet from the four lane highway.  Texas is nothing but large spaces, yet everything is always placed so close to the highway you can smell if someone passing by is farting out bar-b-que Fritos.  It must be a cultural thing I don’t understand.  You can see facial expressions of drivers this motel is so close to the highway, and I am not bullshitting you.  Texans civic planners must be concerned they will eventually run out of space like they are in Hong Kong.

So we pull in to this horrific concrete two-story bunker motel.  I get the key from the Indian clerk.  You show me a shitty motel off the highway, and I will show you an Indian family running it.  There must be seminars in New Delhi focused on the financial windfall of owning terrible American motel chain locations.  It’s always the same routine.  The clerk is rousted out of the back via buzzer by bulletproof glass.  The unmistakable smell of curry and body sweat wafts through the glass as you get your key.  You know it’s going to be horrible, and you walk away to confront whatever this family has constructed as acceptable accommodations off an American highway.

As we walk to the room, a bunch of scary vaguely military deserter looking guys are standing around the second floor hallway.  The door to their room is open, and dark haired girls wander out from the room to stare at us and smoke cigarettes.  They are all drinking Busch Light in cans.  They lean on the railway and look down at the saddest pool in Texas, a concrete basin filled with murky water.  This whole scene has the whiff of a low budget porno shoot.  I walk by with a grunt, and hope they stay quiet so we can sleep.  I climb onto a thin mattress, and reflexively itch myself, certain I am infested with bed bugs.

At daylight the motel looks even worse.  The facility is utterly charmless.  It is all cement squatting on an access road.  Traffic roars by without any break.  There is nothing within walking distance but failing businesses and decaying little houses with rusting cars in the driveways.  Some have men in undershirts and sideways baseball caps sitting on plastic chairs staring expressionlessly straight ahead. 

Gary had slept on the pullout.  It was dark when we came in, and we threw a threadbare sheet over the thin pad and went to sleep within minutes of arriving.  We started getting ready to go, and Gary pulled the sheet off his mattress when his shoe caught just right.  That’s when we noticed this horrific blood stain on the mattress.  Yes, I believe we were in the “prostitute death suite”.  We all got freaked out, and left as soon as possible.  We did not look for a corpse under any of the box springs.  We just got the hell out.

The picture up top?  That’s the mattress… 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Car Dealer

I rashly purchased an outrageously fast car this weekend.  Psychologists would say I am trying to fill an internal void.  They are, of course, correct, but I also like to drive really fucking fast.  It’s not my fault.  After awhile, those incessant car ads do the trick and you can’t help but think to yourself, “You know… Maybe I would be much happier driving that car with all those options…  Happiness and fulfillment is but one car payment away.”   The good news for me is I watch a lot of baseball on TV, so I saw car ads.  Had I been watching cooking shows, I would probably be crowing about my new Viking range with six burners.  “You shoulda seen this paella I made last night!”

The car buying experience is one that is unique in America.  There is no other industry where you would put up with the nonsense that you do with the auto industry.  The dealership is made up of a group of men (with a few women) that are unabashedly trying to rip you off.  Then they laugh about it later.  In your face. 

I have always thought it was pretty hilarious how car salesmen strut around the dealerships like they are a more evolved breed.  They size you up as you walk in, looking down at you as they finish up their smoke resplendent in their short sleeve dress shirts.  However, when you get down to it, how are these guys any different than the punk kids that are walking around Best Buy in blue polo shirts?  It’s all retail.  Washing machine or a Ford Focus?  They are both just machines you are buying at a store.  If you don’t walk in to that store, car sales guy has very little recourse.  He’s gotta get you in there to do “The Dance”. 

Why the car sales business has not evolved further than it has is very confusing.  The usual car buying experience goes like this…  Customer walks into the dealership wanting to buy a new car.  The sales guy comes up with a flimsy excuse to make a copy of the customer’s license and then looks at his trade in.  The negotiation opens with the sales guy asking how much a month the customer wants to pay, and casually offering several thousand dollars below wholesale value on the customer’s current car.  The customer focuses on the price of the new car, and at some point the sales guy asks “If I can get my manager to agree to your price, do we have a deal right now?”  The sales guy disappears into a back office, allegedly meeting with this shadowy unseen manager, and emerges several harrowing minutes later with a price juuuuussssttttt short of the deal the customer wanted.  The customer, stressed out of their mind, takes the deal.  He knows he got screwed, he’s just not sure where.  The customer will drive away with a 70 month loan for $419 a month on a car that will be virtually worthless in 48 months.  He will later brag to all his friends “I got a pretty good deal”.  Meanwhile, the car sales guy is slapping high fives with the other smokers in the parking lot, having made $3500 on the trade side and $2500 on the new car side.   

Would you put up with that bullshit at Best Buy?  “Sir, I can tell you are interested in that TV.  Let me ask you…  How much a month do you want to pay?”  Here’s an idea.  Tell me how much that TV really costs, and then I can figure out if I can afford it.  Why do I have to be an Arab Horse Trader just to figure out if I can actually afford the product I want?  Do I need to have an attorney present at all purchases above $500?  Can’t we just make this thing easy? 

As Americans, we like the car dealer culture.  It’s the only explanation.  We like having salespeople tell us with a straight face that our car is worth $4000 less than what an industry website tells us it is worth.  We like being lied to.  We like being duped into buying needless warranty coverage.  We like the idea of a place that sells cars selling us a little life insurance on the side.  We like the idea that if a dealership spends the money to put up a giant tent, then certainly they must also be discounting prices even further to lose even more money via a “tent sale”.  We like that a dealer with a giant inflatable Uncle Sam on the roof must be a good place to spend tens of thousands of dollars.  We like the fact that the whole buying experience is a chess game where the home team has a decided edge.  We just like it. 

So as I drive my new little slice of The American Dream, I want you to remember one thing.  

I got a good deal.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Fort

I spent most of my summer when I was age ten in an area near my house known as The Weeds.  This eyesore was poison sumac, thorny grasses, and dirt clumps spread across four undeveloped home sites that bordered two sets of Erie Lackawanna railroad tracks.  This was a no man’s land that served as a dividing line between my group of friends and the strange kids from strange lands (which were actually a backyard away, but at that age might as well as been another country).

 We spent a great deal of time building forts, and creating defenses for these outposts in case of the expected offensive assault from the untrustworthy boys from the other neighborhood.  Great piles of dirt bombs were assembled.  Lean twos were constructed.  Sticks sharpened.  Once in awhile a dirt bomb was lobbed at our defenses, or we tossed one at theirs.  It was a low rent Maginot line and we the hapless French. 

During the late 1970s, one of the major concerns was Bigfoot.  It seems really crazy now, but Bigfoot sightings were hotly debated on news programming and turned into exploitative Saturday matinee movies.  There was no greater fear than hearing your friend yell “Bigfoot!” and shove you out of the way on the path as he double timed it to the safety of the fort and pile of dirt bombs.  While these Bigfoot sightings were almost always a neighborhood dog, one could never be sure.  The pulse always quickened.  Danger was everywhere in The Weeds.

 As we became more comfortable with The Weeds, we pushed further into unexplored territory.  At the time it seemed like we were miles from our fort, but a spin through the neighborhood in my adult years confirmed that we had foraged ahead roughly 500 yards.  On one of these particular adventures we discovered an amazing wigwam that was built with such precision and attention to detail, we were amazed.  It was like a Chickasaw Indian was living in our neighborhood.  We crawled inside to discover treasures of such value, we almost wept at our good fortune.  Secured inside a zip lock plastic bag were three pornographic magazines, two Playboys and one off brand magazine like Swank or Oui.

 Inside the luxurious accommodations of the wigwam, maybe the only place a boy of ten could enjoy any privacy whatsoever, we delved into the mysteries of 1970s muff and even more hardcore gynecological shots in Oui.  This turn of events would be akin to today discovering an unused beachfront condo in Turks and Caicos filled with aged first growth Bordeaux, willing swimsuit models, and Porsche 911 GTs filled with a mountain of pharmaceutical grade cocaine.  It was too much good fortune too soon.  We made a pact among ourselves that we would tell no one else of our incredible find.  Richard, Paul and I agreed.  It was our secret.

 The next afternoon, I saw Richard sheepishly walking outside of his house with Joey Kemet.  Joey was a year older than us, and was more feared than Stalin.  He was the youngest of four boys that received no visible adult supervision of any kind.  Those boys were like wolves.  As far as any of us could tell, they lived by themselves in the shabby colonial house on the corner.  Zeppelin was always cranked out of the windows.  The tall muscular brother was always working on his piece of shit Nova while smoking cigarettes.  The pecking order was clear.  The eldest ones routinely kicked the shit out of Joey, and he exacted his revenge on the terrified young male population of the neighborhood.  I think Joey later grew up to be Snake Bliskin in Escape From New York, but I can’t confirm that at this time.

 Joey called me over the Richard’s front yard.  I could tell immediately this was not a good situation.  The only reason Joey called you over was to burn you with a cigarette or do something else terrible to you.  Richard must have spilled his guts to Joey about our find, and now Joey was going to worm in on our find.  The truth turned out to be much worse.  It was actually Joey's fort.  Holy shit...  This was bad news.

 “Hey…  Did you go in a fort yesterday?” Joey demanded.

 Me:  “Huh?”  (Fort?  What’s a fort?)

 Joey:  “Richard already told me you and Komorowski were in there.  Now you’re going to have to get a punch in the stomach.”

 This seemed a bit drastic.  Here I was, a young explorer, and I discovered a ten year old boy version of The Great Pyramids.  I left the site undisturbed, and made a vow to tell no one.  Now, just because I found it, I would have to be punched in the stomach by Manny Pacquiao while I stood there defenselessly?  This was total bullshit.  In a mix of indignation and fear I began to bargain with Joey Kemet.

 Me:  “How could we have known that was your fort?  We just stumbled into it and checked it out.  We didn’t even go in it!”  (Honesty was clearly not the best policy here)

 Joey:  “That doesn’t matter.  You found it, so now you have to be punched in the stomach.  Richard already took his, so now you have to get yours.”  (This sounds absolutely crazy, but in our world this line of reasoning actually had some traction.)

 With that Richard looked at me with hound dog eyes, nodding assent.  What a pussy.

 Me:  “I don’t care what Richard did.  He was stupid for letting you punch him in the stomach.  I'm not getting punched in the stomach.  I didn’t do anything wrong.”

 This led to a lengthy debate about fault, compensatory damages, and the like.  I began to get more confidence in my position when I realized that Joey Kemet, mean as a snake, was also as bright as a Dalmatian.  I would not admit to being inside the fort, while Richard had completely spilled his guts.  This appeared to be the turning point.  In a stunning turn of events, I got Joey to agree that since Richard had gone into the fort and had opened up his private porn stash, which was two (2) separate offenses and deserved two separate punishments.  I was actually to be commended as I indentified a fort of such solid and professional construction to be none of our business, and left it untouched.  Joey agreed to this, and soon had Richard standing with his arms to his sides to receive another punch to the stomach.  Tears streamed down his face as he struggled to understand exactly what had happened.

Later that afternoon I slunk off to The Weeds.  In a breathless mission Paul and I removed the porno stash from Joey’s wigwam, and secured it in our own hiding place by the water tower by the railroad tracks.  We never told Richard any of this.  He could not be trusted.  That was the summer we began to dissolve our friendship with Richard, and hiding from an enraged Joey.

 A few months ago I received a Facebook message from Richard totally out of the blue.  He was married with three kids doing some boring fucking job in Middle America.  Just another guy.  Despite the passage of thirty plus years, one thought immediately leapt into my mind.

 Fucking squealer. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Pensacola

When I lit the firework, I knew I had made a drastic miscalculation in the trajectory of the flight of the explosive.  It arched majestically in the Florida sky before gaining speed on its descent, trailing orange sparks in its path.  It probably bounced into the condo directly facing the one where I had launched it after landing on the concrete porch.  I didn’t seem like a straight shot.  I say this because when I saw the firework detonate, the sharp outline of a man leaping from his bed became visible.  The firework left a flaming skip trail as it bounded into the posh upscale bedroom.  Even from where I stood on the porch, I could smell his fear.  It was a legitimate fear, because his bedroom was literally filled with multi colored flames shooting in every direction like a psychedelic dragon had busted inside.  That’s a tough way to wakeup at 2:47 am. 

Why the greasy man in the “Roll Tide” baseball hat thought it was a good idea to sell giant rockets and monster mortars to a group of men as intoxicated as we were was not clear.  However, I do not believe they hired clerks at “Shaky’s Fireworks Hut” based on their ability to see future calamity, but probably placed more weight on the employees ability to show up to work on time and only partially stoned.  Shaky’s seemed like a classic fireworks hut.  Iffy Chinese fireworks sold to tourists passing through that may or may not blow their fingers off in the coming days.  We were demolished.  We could have cared less about consequence.  We wanted to blow some shit up.   

We had blasted through the case and a half of beer quickly, but the wheels had begun to really come off when we got into the scotch.  Jimmy Jazz had a sister that was staying in a condo of one of her roommates in Pensacola.  We thought we would drive down overnight from Ohio, hop into the ocean, and win the ladies over with our charm for a nice weekend.  The decision to buy the beer and flimsy Styrofoam cooler in West Virginia ended the chance of us charming the ladies.  That is clear to me now.   

We had an odd dynamic, these fellow travelers of mine.  What was once a healthy competitive nature between the three of us and turned downright dangerous to others around us as we all tried to up the ante to see how far we could push the envelope.  Things kept ratcheting up over the weeks.  Jimmy stole a car from a drunken businessman.  I drove a bulldozer around a construction site and into the neighboring community.  We both drove a golf cart into a swimming pool after building a ramp that we somehow thought would launch us over the pool like Evel Fucking Kneivel.  I could go on, but you get the idea.  If you were part of the inner circle, we were a really good time.  If you weren’t, we were a bunch of assholes. 

We had arrived in Pensacola shortly after dawn.  We had to wait for a liquor store to open up to us and a Haitian in rubber sandals and Pac-Man t-shirt to get more beer to make sure and not slump into hangover territory.  Fortified, we showed up at the condo and dove into the ocean.  By the time the girls woke up, we had already killed another twelve and were well established on the beach.  

From the beginning, Jimmy’s sister’s friends identified us as a source of a ruined weekend.  They were hoping for a quiet time for gal pals, and instead got three guys fueled up on mini thins and domestic beer that didn’t give a fuck about anything.  I remember entering that weird head space where you haven’t slept in so long everything is slightly confusing and dreamlike.  The problem was, I would be up for the duration due to the trucker speed.  No matter how much beer you poured on those little white pills, you just kept going.   

As the sun fell on the day, we decided to go shopping to buy food for our hostesses and re-stock our now dwindled supplies.  That was when we saw Shaky’s Fireworks Shack located conveniently by the liquor store.  I know I didn’t buy the scotch, as I’m not into the demonic brown liquors.  I stuck with what I know.  I will admit now to buying enough fireworks to have held off a squad of Waffen SS shock troops for at least a few hours.  I went with my usual game plan.  By as much as you can carry, and stick to the big stuff that will make a real impact.  I like stuff called “Dragon Flower of Power Death” and “US Patriot Shooting Missile Explosion”.  This is the stuff you aren’t sure what it does, and the instructions are limited to “light fuse and get away”.   

I recall with some clarity the scotch being handed to me, and taking a big pull.  It was right afterwards when I thought things had become too mellow that I went with Jimmy to the second story porch of the condo to light off “Atomic Rooster of Dragon” and I saw it whisk into the adjoining building. 

It was a hell of a thing. 

The next morning came early.  The Pensacola Police knew they couldn’t prove anything, but they didn’t really give a shit.  The cop was no nonsense, but calm.  His forearms were the size of my thighs.   “Boys…  You have two choices.  You can either drive yourself out of city limits and never come back, or we will lock you up for the weekend.”  It wasn’t much of a choice, and frankly, it was fair. 

I haven’t been back to Pensacola since.