Wednesday, January 25, 2006

McDougal's Rucksack

McDougal's a big fan of old school science fiction (Original Star Trek, Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica, Logan's Run, etc.). The big guy doesn't talk about his passion for photon beams and robots though. For some reason, I think he's a bit embarrassed about the whole thing.

Of course, he'd kill me for saying so, but I actually met McDougal at a Star Trek convention in Reno back in 1974. I was working the trading cars and action figures booth, and McDougal was on a three-day PCP jag that had started in Galveston, Texas, following the nullification of his second marriage to Rosemary Clooney. George was young then, maybe six or seven, and I don't think old McDougal had official custody of the boy, but he was traveling with him nonetheless.

The boy looked scared and hungry -- all crammed in McDougal's rucksack like that. You could just see his eyes peering out between a 6-foot Klingon flag and a bloodied garden hoe. If not for those scared little eyes, I'd have never approached McDougal. But as it was, I was prompted to leave my booth, and offer the eyes the rest of my funnel cake.

You know McDougal doesn't like anyone walking up behind him -- especially not three days into a PCP freakout. But I had no way of knowing about McDougal or his state of mind when I approached him.

I led with the funnel cake, arms outstretched in what McDougal must have interpreted as a furtive and combative gesture. Before I got within three feet of him, he'd spun around and unsheathed the hoe with one hand and the Klingon flag with the other. He bashed the side of my skull with the business end of the hoe then lopped my head off with a boot knife and impaled it on the end of his Klingon flagpole.

Then he said, in perfect Klingon, "No one attacks me with impunity." (Nemo me impune lacessit.)

This action was received by great applause from the 600 or so convention goers, and I must admit that even I was impressed.

I was going to clap as well, but was in a bit of an awkward situation, having just been decapitated by the great man.

When the applause died down, McDougal had a chance to survey the situation and he realized I wasn't actually ever a threat to him. He was quite apologetic, and I kind of felt a little guilty. I could tell he felt bad, and maybe a little embarrassed.

"Don't sweat it at all, old boy," I said (trying to play it cool as the other side of the pillow. "Let's just have me off of here and back on my shoulders where I belong."

As McDougal pulled my severed head from atop the Klingon flag and clumsily re-attached it to my torso (picture Chewbacca attempting to reassemble C-3PO in Empire Strikes Back), I had to ask -

"Who's the wee lad in the rucksack?"

McDougal was taken aback. He'd apparently forgotten George Clooney was in there. Of course, this wasn't a big deal because he hadn't even been on Facts of Life yet and nobody knew who he was -- just some toe-headed kid in a rucksack as far as we knew.

"Oh him," he sighed. "That's Rosemary's baby."

Of course, Rosemary was actually George's aunt, but we didn't know any better. We were pretty damn impressed.

Here was a man who spoke perfect Klingon (which we later learned was actually Gaelic) and had the spawn of Satan in a rucksack at a Star Trek convention.

I knew we were in for a lifetime of good times.

Sure, I still get these blinding headaches, but man ... I've never been to a more exciting convention.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hollywood Week

If you had asked me 2 hours before we sat down at the Golden Globes if it was a mistake to take McDougal as my date, I would have hesitated for a second, then said no, it would all be ok. His Meth supplier had been in jail for three days, not enough time to bust him out or fly his backup dealer back from Guam, and he had a hair appointment after lunch which meant he had to be relatively sober in the late afternoon when I would pick him up.

Of course you know how I would answer now because you know I wish Haley Joel Osment was still alive.

Was there a point at which events reached a zenith where nothing could be stopped, a fulcrum of time at which the pendulum could only fall to utter catastrophe? Maybe when he put his dick in that Entertainment Tonight woman's cleavage. I should have stopped right then and there. Asked some bouncers to help me pull him back into the limo and drive straight to Canyonlands for a few days of playing guitar and Pente to chill him out. Instead I plowed on, smiling for the cameras and hiding his half-drunken Bacardi Breezer behind a potted plant. A thousand million apologies to you Mother Osment!

When we got into the lobby McDougal started shaking violently and throwing small plastic Viking ships at anyone wearing green. No one knew where it was coming from until Scott Wilkinson from Touched By An Angel grabbed his arm and started in on some "act like an adult" speech. This infuriated McDougal, a long time fan of Touched, and he suprised us all by pulling out the midget from the restaurant and threw him at the actor.

The midget and McDougal seem to have planned for just such an occasion, because as the little man flew from McDougal's mighty fist he sort of tumbled and opened like a claw-flower so that by the time he got to Wilkinson he was in this terrifying grappling pose that once attached enabled him to rip the face from the man who played a surgeon no less than 8 times on McDougal's second favorite show. This was a bittersweet turn of events for McD and I could see his emotions pulling him back and forth, until he pocketed the face into his overcoat and I could see relief wash over him.

The body was removed swiftly and I thought that we were through the obligatory McDougal Scene, but i was far from correct. We took our seats, the midget perched smugly on McDougal's left shoulder, and the lights went down.

The rest is best reported by the Hollywood Foreign Press -- the only news agency bold enough to cover this catastrophe in the manner in which it deserves.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

The Dahmer ... err ... Dinner Party

There I was, just settling in to dinner with my new boss and his wife. We were sitting in a booth at one of those upscale steak houses. You know the kind of place I'm talking about -- Thirty five bucks for a steak, sides extra, lots of dark wood and leather, bla bla bla... Things were going well. I was nervous going in, but my boss and I had a couple of martinis before dinner and that really took the edge off. So I'm sitting there, enjoying the bit of a buzz I had on, listening to the soft music coming from the overhead speakers. It was some casual background piano-jazz. George Winston or maybe even the mellower side of Lionel Hampton. I think you know what I'm talking about. It was in that moment, when I was in my most relaxed state of the evening, that I heard it. It was the voice of the maitre 'd coming from the front of the restaurant...

"Yes Mr. McDougal, your table for 27 is ready. Right this way please."

My blood ran cold. Oh God, no ... Not here. Not now.

Now let me explain. McDougal and I are good friends. Great friends. The best. Hell, he saved my life back in the First Gulf War. He was nothing but understanding back in college when I knocked up his fourteen year old sister. But my boss ... My boss is a Square. He wouldn't dig McDougal's style. And I needed this job. More than I've ever needed a job in my life. It's not often that a guy with my checkered employment history gets the opportunity to bring in six figures.

My boss and his wife, meanwhile, continued on with the pleasant conversation. They didn't see any reason to be alarmed. Why would they? I, on the other hand, had already sweated right through my shirt and saddle bags were working their way through my jacket. I kept nodding my head and smiling as, out of the corner of my eye, I watched McDougal and his entourage work their way back to their table. It would only be a matter of time before the big man noticed me sitting here and rushed over to greet me, or maybe "introduce himself" to my boss's wife. Jesus ... Was that a dwarf? McDougal brought a dwarf to the steakhouse. If he had time to pick up that damn dwarf on the way over, it meant he had dipped into the loose pills before even getting into his limo.

McDougal was seated at the head of a long table immediately behind my boss and his wife, which meant that they couldn't see him, but I was afforded a clear line of sight. As he slowly lowered his massive frame into the groaning chair, his entourage gazed at him with a mixture of adoration and expectation. This was going to be bad. McDougal was planning on putting on a show that night, and they all knew it. McDougal ordered two bottles of wine for everyone at his table then reached into his pocket and pulled out one of those tin cans full of breathmints. Oh fuck. The mint can...

A couple of years ago, McDougal hit on the mint can idea. At the time, I thought it was brilliant. You could take a can of those mints, available at any drug store, and put a drop of high-octane LSD on each one. The Squares wouldn't think twice about a guy popping breath mints. At least, not until he opened up his umbrella to keep the ceiling from dripping on him. It worked too. No one in the restaurant gave it a second glance at McDougal passed it around his table.

The drugs took effect on the dwarf first, on account of his low body weight. He crawled up onto the table and stuffed a roll down his pants. Then he took off his shirt and began rubbing butter on his bare chest. It was much worse than I thought. McDougal must have run out of mints. Sometimes when he runs out of mints, he will drop the LSD onto tablets of ecstasy. I was hoping that a waiter would put an end to this, but the waitstaff just cowered against the wall, too intimidated by McDougal to act. Finally, one brave waiter ventured over.

"Ah, good," McDougal shouted jovially, "We've been trying to order forever!"

They hadn't even gotten menus yet.

McDougal's mood began to sour as the waiter continually shook his head, refusing to take his order to the chef. McDougal was attempting to order a bizarre litany of entrees. Endangered species, construction materials, inert gases, mythical creatures ... Finally he named something that seemed to ease the waiter's suffering. The poor waiter ran off to the kitchen, only to slink back moments later, obviously bearing bad news. By this time all conversation in the restaurant had ceased, so I was able to hear him clearly.

"I'm sorry sir... The chef says that he cannot serve you Long Pork."

McDougal sat for a moment, watching the dwarf, who was now standing on the table juggling several open wine bottles, which sprayed arcs of liquid across the restaurant. McDougal stood up slowly, then slammed his fists down onto the table, letting out an enraged bellow. This caused the dwarf to topple over and lose his grip on one of the bottles, which struck a nearby diner in the temple, knocking him unconscious. I took this opportunity to lean in and whisper to my boss.
"Maybe we should go..."

But the poor man was frozen with shock. I thought briefly of leaving without him, but if McDougal decided to kill everyone in the place (entirely possible) I might be the only person who could convince him to spare the lives of my boss and his wife. That would look really good on my quarterly evaluation. McDougal, meanwhile, attempting to prove some point to the terrified waiter, had unhinged his jaw, snakelike, and was busy swallowing a large silver centerpiece.

Unable to prove his point, McDougal finally pushed the waiter aside and marched into the kitchen. We regular restaurant patrons sat in horror as the most awful noises emanated from the kitchen for a full fifteen minutes. McDougal's entourage, without their hero to gaze upon, began engaging in various deviant sex acts on, under and around the table. Finally McDougal emerged from the kitchen.

"Come on," he roared to his minions, "we're out of here. These idiots know nothing of fine cuisine."

As McDougal marched out he glanced over and gave me the tiniest nod of recognition. I had no idea what to make of this until a few weeks later, when I ran into the big man at the grocery store.

"So... Uh, I saw you at the steak place the other day," I said, somewhat sheepishly.

"Oh yeah," he replied, "I would have come over and said hi, but those people you were with looked like real assholes. I was afraid they might want to sit with us and ruin my trip."

McDougal and I shared a good laugh over this. That night his Cambodian Death Squad killed my boss, his wife and the two Pomeranians she thought of as her children.

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

The McDougal Family Tree: A Portrait in Greatness (Part 4)

The late 1800s are regarded among historians to be the Golden Age of the Circus. By 1944 numerous factors, including the rise of the motion picture, the Great Depression and two World Wars had caused a steady decline of the American circus, but it had yet to be dealt its death blow by the arrival of television. It is in this climate that we find Bernard Stockton McDougal, owner of a struggling circus, tearing down his tent after a weekend of shows in Lawrence, Kansas. The Saturday afternoon show, his best-selling of the weekend, still only filled a mere 150 seats in his 800-person capacity tent. These were desperate times for Bernie McDougal. Overwhelmed by the cost of feeding dozens of exotic animals like elephants and camels, he had not paid most of the human performers in weeks. The entire sideshow walked off the job three weeks earlier, taking their freakish talents to a rival carnival. In Albuquerque he had been run out of town on a rail when a newspaper reporter revealed that his "zebras" were diseased horses stolen from a local glue factory.

As Bernard McDougal sat pondering his misfortune, a newspaper drifted across the empty fairgrounds and caught on the tent support rope nearest to McDougal. The headline caught his eye immediately and he snatched up the paper. That same weekend, in Hartford, Connecticut his largest competitor had a tragic fire! Hundreds killed! McDougal could not believe his luck. He knew immediately what he had to do. McDougal franticly called around, canceling his remaining Midwest dates, and set off by train for the East Coast.

Upon his arrival in Boston, Massachusetts, Bernie McDougal furiously promoted his weekend performance, paying particular attention to Boston's wealthiest neighborhoods. He promised the cream of Boston's high society that for the princely sum of five dollars they would be able to witness the spectacle from very special "Gold Circle" seating. However, when the morning of the performance dawned, these wealthy citizens found themselves seated not within the big top, but on a large set of covered bleachers two hundred yards away.

Meanwhile, inside the tent, a capacity crowd of widows, orphans and Irishmen, who had paid a nickel each, were enjoying the antics of various clowns, animals and acrobats. At least, until the cry of "fire" began to ring out from several different locations inside the tent. Bernard McDougal had spent the entire train ride East stewing over the free publicity that his competitor was receiving from newspapers across the country and grew determined not only to match him, but to finally one-up him.

Outside, the Gold Circle spectators watched, fascinated, as the horror unfolded. Afterwards, all agreed that although they found McDougal's use of the widows and orphans in the act to be a bit distasteful, they did not think that they would really miss the Irishmen all that much. They also agreed that Bernard McDougal had really thought of everything when planning the show. The Gold Circle bleachers were erected upwind, out of the smoke, and the spectators were fully protected from trampling by panicked crowds and dangerous flaming elephants by an enormous wrought-iron fence.

McDougal's success was short-lived of course, as he was immediately arrested for numerous counts of murder and arson. But to quote one stunned spectator "although Mr. Barnum's circus has ownership of the title, for today at least, it was B.S. McDougal's Circus that was truly the greatest show on earth."

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McDougal LOVES American football. And by "loves," I mean he's never actually watched an entire football game. But he loves the concept.

So when he invited me to accompany him to the Rose Bowl, I was (to say the least) equal parts excited, confused, and scared for my life and for those of the Trojans and Longhorns. But I wasn't about to sit back and watch this bit of curiosity on the tele when I could have a ringside seat for what would surely end in sortid debauchery, crimes and misdemeanors, and most likely - cannibalism.

Of course, we never made it to the game.

McDougal said he had to stop and make a small withdrawal, which I knew before he even said anything meant "rob a small rural bank in Farmville, KY."

So there I was in the passenger's seat of McDougal's 1977 El Camino with a 40-pound bag of dogfood in my lap and a sawed off pump action 12 gauge fixed on a uniformed police officer, while McDougal went inside to make his withdrawal. Three states and two hours later, we were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where McDougal believed the Rose Bowl was to be played, with a duffle bag full of small unmarked bills and two exploded dye packs, and a dead hooker in the bed of the cruck.

McDougal was hopped up on pills, incoherent, had eaten the entire bag of Puppy Chow, and shat himself at least three times in transit.

"What now, Dougal?" I asked him -- not really expecting a response.

"Wait for it," McDougal says.

So I do. For three days, I wait. Then McDougal spots a small private jet on the horizon.

"That's our ride," McDougal says.

Minutes later, the craft - an old school learjet Model 23 - landed in a pasture and McDougal says we have to run for it. I'm not sure what the hurry is after sitting in that shit-stinkin' car for three days, but the big man insists, so I follow orders. I was slowed because he forced me to carry the duffle bag and the whore, who it turns out wasn't dead at all - just very tired.

We board the plane and are greeted by a man I recognize as Handsome Jimmy, a disbarred Florida lawyer who flew in Che Guvera's air force in the mid 60s. Handsome Jimmy doesn't speak, as his larynx was ripped out in a bar brawl in Des Moines, Iowa in 1982. He's got a midget sidekick who does all his spoken word communication for him. He calls the midget tattoo (in sign language), but his name's really Fast Mike. I knew Fast Mike from the Army of the Revolution. We fought together in the Battle of the Sexes. He's a good man. Shifty as hell, but a good man at heart.

Nine hours later, we're in Helsinki, Finland. Handsome Jimmy and Fask Mike are dead (bitten to death by sharks somewhere over the Atlantic), and McDougal is in respiratory failure. Thank God the dead whore knew how to land the plane. We were greeted by a fleet of Interpol officers, who resuscitated McDougal and helped us launder the dye stained cash.

McDougal and I just watched the NFC wildcard game on a 52" plasma TV. I told him we were at the Rose Bowl. He doesn't know. Looked like the Panthers were going to pull it out, but I'm not sure because McDougal ate the TV at the beginning of the third quarter.

If he asks, tell McDougal that the Panthers are the champs, and it was a great game. You might tell him that you ate your TV, too.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

The Battle of Scotland

That reminds me of the time McDougal decided he was going to train a quarter million head of cattle to fight the Irish Republican Army in a duel to the death - Winner Takes Dublin. He was really fired up about the chaos in Palestine in the late 60s and because he was at the time regularly banging a couple of Israeli sisters, he put all the blame on the IRA.

So he buys up, no shit, about half the beef herds of Nebraska and Lower Montana, puts them on a couple of oil tankers and sets sail for Ireland. Only, he was leading the convoy in a speedboat meant mainly for pleasure skiing, and he thought Ireland was in Africa. Damned if he didn't lead those oil tankers around the globe three times, feeding the cows fish that he caught himself with a extra sharp gardening hoe and bag of baby bottle nipples.

It took him 20 years to reach the port of Glasgow. When he pulled in the people cheered as if the Beatles themselves were crushed and dying in those oil tankers, but McDougal didn't even look up at them. He immediately unloaded the few surviving cattle into a 1962 Aston Martin DB4, packed his satchel in the boot, and sped off leaving the couple of thousand crew and cattle tenders on the docks with not a penny of their two decades' pay.

Did they say so much as a harsh word against McDougal?

You tell me.

The next few months were spent in isolation in the jagged peaks of Mull Kintyre of Oa, teaching the blank eyed cows to fight a pistol-brandishing man with their bare hooves, to fashion weapons out of everyday lanyards, and to live off the streets, hiding in the shadows for weeks at a time without moving a muscle. By the end of winter McDougal had a bovine army 4,000 strong, living in the shadows of Kilmarnock and Glenluce - the residents of those towns never had a clue they were sharing their bars, houses, bathrooms, and wives with thousands of cows painted all black and silent as the wind.

The morning of April 3rd, McDougal woke, cast aside some Irishman's besotted wife, and stood fully erect.

"Today is the day," he seethed, "that the dirty Irish swarm will pay their blood to me through broken teeth."

He then violently bleated the Call to Arms, practiced so many times over the years and across the miles, and at once the sleepy townspeople found the ninja-like cattle appearing from behind their dressers and moving out of the patterns of their dining room wallpaper. The cows slaughtered mercilessly, women and children alike, and the men they sliced and dried into jerky for the boatride home. McDougal fought more lustily than them all combined, single-handedly removing three small provinces and a waterslide park from the earth and grinding them into a sort of spreadable paste not unlike olive tapenade.

They rode the verdant hills in modified Mini Coopers for 6 days and 5 nights, raping and pillaging anything over 10 centimeters tall and gathered in a satiated heap on the peak of Ben Vorlich. The jugs of whiskey were flowing, the jerky stores were full, and McDougal sat back fat and happy. He looked over his mooing crew with a paternal eye, and then realized he was in Scotland.

Was he embarrrassed about his geographic error? Would an embarrassed man trim his mustache, buy a horse, and host a morning talk show on Oakland's NBC affiliate?

McDougal sure would.

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Brokeback Mountain

I took McDougal to see Brokeback Mountain. Below is a timeline of the events that transpired.

6:48 arrive at the theater, pull into parking space in the back of the lot. Take 4 bonghits each out of ice bong shaped like Betty Boop, listening to King Crimson pre-Microsoft Vista.

7:01 get in line for tickets, McDougal is whooping and yelling like a Native American, saying he's going to scalp the family in front of us heading in to Cheaper by the Dozen 2. Buys our tickets with a $2000 bill.

7:04 while buying popcorn, McDougal shoots his load in the main popcorn distribution bin. I apologize and pull him out, putting his penis back in his pants and wiping down the glass with napkins.

7:09 lights are already down when we get into the theater, previews are rolling, McDougal does his patented "walk up and down every single aisle in the theater until he gets to the very back corner seat, farting the whole time in people's faces" trick.

7:22 gay sex scene commences, McDougal freezes like a lion watching a herd of gazelles.

7:23 McDougal is passed out snoring.

8:58 theater lets me drive car into lobby so they can load him into it, still passed out.

10:47 McDougal wakes up in my living room, turns on What's Happenin' marathon, watches for 6 hours.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Smooth Criminal

Although Neil Armstrong is generally credited as being the first man to set foot on the moon, upon their first moonwalk the Apollo 11 astronauts were astounded to find the words "MCDOUGAL WAS HERE" scratched into the vertical wall of a crater a few yards from their landing site. Subsequent moonwalks revealed dozens of such messages scattered widely across the lunar surface. All were variations of that same theme, including, but not limited to, "MCDOUGAL RULES", "MCDOUGAL 4 PREZIDENT" and "SMOKE DRUGS!"

NASA spent millions covering up this discovery, even going so far as to film some of the "moonwalk" segments in the Arizona desert, which is relatively free of McDougal graffiti. The carvings measure approximately two feet high and 3/4 of an inch deep. The longest of them, which reads "MCDOUGAL FUCKED YOUR MOTHER", is nearly 32 feet in length. Scientific analysis was unable to determine the age of the carvings, however, after painstaking study of the toolmarks within the carvings, NASA believes they were hewn into the rock using a fireplace poker or some similar item.

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