Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Some things about me

People always ask me "McDougal, how are you? What are you doing?"
Pompous assholes. None of your Goddamned business.

Here's what you need to know:
  • I've been teaching myself a little karate ... mostly roundhouse kicks and the like.
  • My daily cash withdrawal limit from Erstwhile Bank of Maryland is one million dollars.
  • My favorite band is Smanch.
  • Smanch is also my favorite chocolate beverage.
  • My two least favorite phrases are "In my mind's eye" and "toot sweet."
  • I really do hate poets.
  • I have two stomachs.
  • I've met the real Darth Vader.
  • My dad was from Singapore.
  • I did a stint in the Merchant Ivory Marines.
  • I sort of like real bears.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Summer of Love

We used to spend a lot of time down in Panama City Beach - me and the McDougals. The McDougal clan loved Panama City - the sand, the surf, the drunken barely legal Alabamian hair stylists. The McDougals would grab a few every quarter when we went down there.

That was in the heady pre-Internet days of the early 90s - back when a man actually had to break a sweat to make a living in the sex industry. McDougal was running a sex shop up in Shreveport and found that the margin on sex slaves was far greater than on anal nitrate and two-headed dildos.

So we had this one girl (a black one or a Mexican or something) used to ride motorcycles professionally like in the circus or something. This one was a fighter. Took three tranq darts before she went down and even then by the time we come up on her she was rolled over on her back taking wild shots at me and McDougal's then wife, Kathleen, with this rusty Walther P-38 that I later learned she won from her grandfather in a game of Omaha when she was seven years old.

McDougal took a round in the face and started just kickin' the shit out of her. She's loaded up on like 15 mg of Trifluoperazine from the dart gun and she's taken like nine good shots to the ribs from McDougal and she's still fightin like a bobcat. All the while, Kathleen's in the background yellin' "Don't kick her in the face. Don't mess up her face!"

And she grabs onto McDougal's calf and just latches on with her teeth (not Kathleen, but the girl of another ethnic background we were trying to abduct and force to work as a sex slave in Shreveport) and McDougal's swinging his leg around wildly now, but she's locked on and ain't lettin' go.

McDougal tells me, "Fuck it. Just kill this one. She's not worth all this."

So I walk up and I'm gonna slit her throat and she looks up at me like she ain't even scared. Her eyes are all defiant and whatnot. So I fall in love with her right there and we end up getting married and having three kids in five years and things were really moving too fast. We were just so young and inexperienced. I couldn't find work at first -- not good work, not the kind of work that she needed to support her and the lifestyle that she grew up in. Her dad was a stewardess or whatever you call men who do that (I know, apparently they're not ALL gay or whatever) and her mom was like a union luggage handler so, of course, her family always flew wherever they wanted for free and were always rubbing that in your face.

Her dad was always really condescending to me, but that didn't really bother me because he was a fey Mexican or British guy or something. Her mom was actually pretty nice. Her name was (and I presume still is) Denise or something like that. Bernice maybe? Eunice? I don't know. One of those "I'm not from America" kind of names. Paula? Shit, I forget. I nailed her one Christmas though. Completely random. We were both on a shitload of pharmaceuticals that she stole from the airport. She was always stealing shit from people's luggage. Especially nice luggage. She told me never to buy expensive luggage because that was always a tip to baggage handlers to steal shit from you. She used to let me go out to the airport and "search" people's bags with her, which mostly meant I just sniffed a bunch of dirty panties and stole some change and stuff. And my then wife (I forget her name now -- maybe Kathleen? Shit, I don't remember) was passed out on the kitchen floor and me and my mother in law. Luke? Or Lucas? (something like that) were alone naked in the hot tub because her husband (my fey Genoan flight attendant father-in-law) had just died of a heart attack and was just kind of floating in the water next to us. I guess he'd died actually like a day before because he was pretty bloated and filled with air and looked like a blowfish, but things were already going South with me and Amy (I think her name was) because I don't want to say anything negative, but she had a pretty bad cocaine problem and was not the most compassionate woman I ever met - I think because she was Italian. And I remembered that I had a bunch of ether on a rag and one thing led to another and next thing you know I'm a dad again.

Anyway, McDougal said he knew our marriage wouldn't last. He convinced Sarah that the baby was hers and her mom was just carrying it because of the drugs and whatever, and last year we had to move because McDougal transferred me to Provo to handle shipping and receiving at the Starlight Complex, which he bought in like the '40s or something and has been running with this kid Dave from Chicago ever since. It wasn't really a promotion, but it was a little bit more money and it was closer to my family, so we took it. It's not like you can turn down these kinds of offers anyway. And it was really hard on Jim because he was just finishing his Freshman year in high school and he's bald (nerves or whatever) and it's hard for him to make new friends because the tats make him look kind of mean. And he's sort of slackjawed and dimwitted like his real mother.

And Tammy and the other trhee kids left me because she was scared of another move and because she fell in love with a prison guard down in Tallahassee. The other kids all go to high school or work in a bank or something. So McDougal was right in the long run, but I don't hold any grudges because nothing lasts forever and she told me she didn't want any money. She just wanted to be free of me and Brian, whom I call Scooter on account of he's 14 and still can't walk.

But every year about this time I wonder what's going on down in Panama City Beach because they really do have beautiful beaches, and some people think it's kind of trashy, but the people there are really nice and not pretentious or condescending in the least. It's the kind of place where a man like me really feels at home.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

And then there was that policewoman in Macon, Georgia... Man, she was beautiful. Her hair shined like copper. McDougal fell in love with her immediately. Of course, it would never have worked out. And anyway, she was only interested in McDougal for his traffic violations. He showed up drunk at the jewelry store late one night, with the diamond from his grandmother's wedding ring and a hollowpoint bullet. Later that night, when he shot her with it, her Kevlar armor stopped the bullet. But that diamond kept right on moving. Kevlar is no match for the hardest substance on earth. They say it's a hard heart that kills, but she must have softened McDougal's, because his aim was off that night. The diamond hit a little bit low, and bounced off a rib. It lodged in the muscle, at the front of her heart. She carries it with her there, to this day. They say she's been searching for McDougal since the minute she got out of the hospital.

Who says romance is dead?


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Monday, May 14, 2007

Beating me in the face

This post may be my last. I've lost too much blood. McDougal has composed a joke and cannot log in here directly. When I assured him I didn't know his password, he punched me six times in the face with a tire iron and maybe three more with a brick. I'm having one of those days where I wish I were Reginald Denny. McDougal says:

I have a pet spider monkey that I got for $20 from a homeless guy. His name is Genitals. I don't know the monkey's name.

I have two teeth remaining in the back of my upper right jaw, and one on the bottom. That's not part of the joke. Just giving a quick status report. Wait, McDougal says that is part of the joke.

He has a hot skillet of bacon grease in his hand.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

A Layman's Guide to Horrific Trampoline Injuries

Fifteen days ago...

Our car blasts down the winding desert highway, a mesa rising 650 feet straight up from the left shoulder and on the right, a canyon dropping away 100 feet to a nearly dry riverbed. This leaves precious little room for error, and McDougal is using every bit of it. The big man is steering the car with his knees. He has the cruise control locked in at 85. His right hand is busy pounding out a beat on the ceiling. His left is clutching a bottle of codeine cough syrup (lime flavor), from which he is chugging furiously. I am the only one watching the road, but the music is so loud he doesn't hear me when I yell "look out for that cow!"

It doesn't matter. McDougal drives with some sixth sense. We weave drunkenly across the centerline, missing the cow by inches. It stares stupidly at the car that nearly killed it as we go by. I wish I could be that oblivious. Also, I don't feel bad about eating beef. No one should feel bad about eating an animal with no sense of self preservation. For a fraction of a second I start to understand why McDougal sometimes lapses into bouts of cannibalism. Then I shake that thought away. Every car should have at least one sane person in it, even if that individual is not the driver.

On the floor between the bucket seats sits a stack of prescriptions as thick as a Manhattan phone book. Each one says that McDougal has a terminal case of bronchitis. Roughly every fifteen minutes one of the sheets will lift off. It flutters around the car for a bit, then flies out the sunroof, off into the night.

McDougal pulls the bottle away from his lips and peers into the mouth. Deciding that he has, indeed, drained yet another one, he tosses the bottle out the window and belches the words "take the wheel." Apparently he trusts my driving more than his own at this point, because as soon as the steering wheel is firmly in my grasp he flips off the cruise control and stomps on the gas. I'm having trouble concentrating on driving because the music is so loud. It's Def Leppard's "Pyromania." McDougal bought a whole grocery bag full of cassette tapes at a truck stop in Greeley, Colorado because they were only $3.99 each.

I can only vaguely make out my side of the road because McDougal kicked out the passenger side headlight back in Tempe. Unfortunately, that is the side where most of the cows are. They must smell the water at the bottom of the gorge. Lord knows where they all came from...

While I am looking for cows on the shoulder, I almost hit an old woman who is standing on the centerline. She doesn't even spare us a glance to acknowledge our existence as we roar by. She is too busy staring up into the night sky. Her wispy white hair blows out behind her like a tattered penant in the hot desert wind.

Goddamn... That is a bad omen. I don't know what it is supposed to mean, but there is no possible way something like that could stand for anything good.

McDougal turns back around and says "I got it." He puts his knees back on the wheel. He's got another bottle of cough syrup. He also has another cassette tape. He is peeling the plastic off with his teeth.

McDougal seems to be fleeing from something. I've never known him to run from anything, but we've been on the road for almost a week and he hasn't spoken of any set destination. We seem to be changing direction at random, either on a whim or based on something only McDougal can smell in the air...

McDougal suddenly punches the eject button and pops the Def Leppard cassette out of the stereo. He studies it for a second and, deciding it was worth keeping, tosses it into the back seat.

In the blessed silence that resulted, the big man speaks.

"I never should have gotten into politics. Now all the honeybees are dying."

And with those cryptic statements, possibly related, possibly unrelated, he pushes a new cassette into the tape player. Before I can ask him what he means by that, the car is filled with the thundering John Bonham drum loop of the Beastie Boys "Rhymin & Stealin."

It now occurs to me that perhaps what McDougal is trying to run from is himself.

A wise man once said, "Always remember, wherever you go... there you are."

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The city of Hialeah, Fl., is cold this time of year. Cold like McDougal's black soul. The Presidential campaign is in ruins after the big man ate the mayor of Coldwater. We've holed up here high in the Florida mountains and McDougal has slipped into a coma. His closest confidants are calling it hibernation. They say he does this once or twice per century. I've never seen anything like it. His breathing and heart rate have slowed to a nearly immeasurable rate. His body temperature is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and his eyes are open ... a cold, blank stare. I feel like the big man is judging me, and I frequently wish I weren't shackled wrist-to-ankle to him. But it was one of his last wishes before he went under, and who am I to disagree. Bobby, a former intern, brought me this laptop and some Jack in the Box. He comes by every few days. He has a gimp leg and a crooked nose, but a good heart, and he's nimble like a cat. On Sunday he brough BLT's and some DVD's of Dr. Who that he downloaded from some BBC newsgroup. I wish I could change these pants, change my life, change my mind. But what's done is done. I'll just have to ride this one out. Bobby says there are no mountains in Florida. I have no idea where I am. He says there's been a cover up. He won't tell me who McDougal ate. Says it wasn't a mayor. Maybe a governor. I have a .38 with one bullet. I know now what I have to do.

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