Rons Rants

A Blog Is A Self-Inflicted Invasion Of Privacy

Location: Newland, North Carolina, United States

I'm a fifty two year old happily married man who doesn't really like many people which is why I live on the top of a mountain.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Carl's Corner... Part VIII

Luckily, we made it through our first night at Carl's relatively unscathed even though Elizabeth came back later on in the evening and proceeded to get absolutely hammered!

Sometime after two a.m., she had the good sense to have Patsy call her a cab and she left without incident.

The next day, she called me around noon and asked Tony and I to meet her at Carl's at two o'clock.

She was seated at the bar sipping an "eye opener" when we walked in.

Surprisingly, she looked relatively bright eyed.

We talked for a while, during which time, she informed Tony that he could go to work for her at the courier service and that she owned a place he could rent which was located a couple of blocks from my place. I was glad she'd come up with the apartment for Tony because my place was way too small for the two of us.

We also decided that we would close Carl's down immediately and start the remodeling effort on Monday with me handling all the day to day details while she arranged for the contractors and most importantly......paid the bills.

Fast Forward Thirty Nine Days........

I recall that most things went pretty well during that time. The work got done on schedule for the most part. Tony did a great job of driving a courier truck and I spent most everyday checking out the renovation of Carl's Corner.

One week before we had our "Grand Re-Opening", we started advertising all over the place. Newspapers, radio and even flyers.

Tony and I spent every night practicing our music. We were getting so tight it was scary! Sometimes, the music and harmony was so good, it made us burst out laughing.

We were tight!!

Elizabeth had purchased a state of the art Roland keyboard for Tony to play and, it was astonishing how good it sounded.

We actually gave up on trying to put a band together because the music was getting so good, why the hell should we? Tony quickly mastered the left handed bass licks and together, we learned how to program the strings and rhythm settings. could even change the pitch of any tune you wanted to play.

All we had to do was use a capo on my guitar or change the pitch on the keyboard and we could play ANYTHING!

One of the things that I remember most vividly during that time was when Tony drove his courier truck, a little Mazda, to a gas station where it promptly BLEW UP!

I got a call at my place just as I was leaving.

"Man, you ain't gonna believe what just happened!" Tony said.

" tell me anyway."

"I pulled in to get some cigarettes, went in the store and came back out to find smoke pourin' out of the damned truck." he said nervously.

"Did you call the fire department?" I asked.

"Yeah but not before the sumbitch blew up all to hell." he laughed.

"Damn, you're kidding me!" I was shocked.

"Hell no I ain't." he giggled again. "Man, I don't wanna call Carl or Elizabeth."

"It wasn't your fault was it?" I asked him.

"Hell no man, I didn't do a damned thing but pull in and cut the motor."

"Then call 'em and let 'em know what happened." I laughed.

"Ya thinya cud callerformah?" he mumbled.

"Hell no I ain't callin' her for you." I couldn't help but laugh at him. Fear brought out the mumbles in poor old Tony.

"Come on dude. That woman terrifies me." he whined.

"Ok, ok, stop your cryin'." I told him. "I'll call Carl. What's the number where your at."

I wrote down the number and hung up. I then called the courier service and thankfully, Carl answered. He took the news a little different than I expected.

"Well shit, I was wondering when that was gonna happen!" he said calmy.

"What.... you knew the truck was liable to blow up and you let Tony drive the friggin' thing?" I was shocked.

"Well damn it, I figured it might smoke some or short out the electrical system but no...not blow up." he said.

"I guess you were wrong but, Tony's stuck at a gas station somewhere so, you need to go rescue his ass." I told him. "He's a nervous wreck right now."

I gave Carl the number and within minutes, I received a call from Elizabeth.

"That little sumbitch blew up my fucking truck?" she screamed in my ear.

I flinched and held the phone away from my ear.

"Apparently, it blew up without any help from Tony." I said.

"That was a perfectly fine truck! I'm firin' his sorry ass!" she hollered.

"Liz, I just got off the phone with Carl and he told me the damn truck was a piece of shit and that he wasn't suprised it burned up." I snapped.

"Carl and his big fuckin' mouth!" she spat. "I oughta fire his ass too!"

"Sounds to me like you need to keep your trucks repaired." I laughed.

"I oughta fire your ass too!" she screamed.

"You ain't gonna fire me need me too much." I joked.

"I don't need anybody!"

"What you NEED is a friggin' psychiatrist!" I shouted into the phone.

After a moment or two of silence, the line went dead.

Oh well, I'd pissed off the boss. I could only guess at what would happen next.

Fifteen minutes later she called again.

"Have you heard from Tony yet?" she asked calmly as if nothing had happened.


"Would you mind calling me when and if you do?" she asked sweetly.

"No, I'll call."

"Are you pissed at me?" she purred.

"Yep." I was yankin' her chain now.

"Ok asshole I'm sorry I threatened to fire you." she snapped.

I didn't respond.

"Hey, you said I needed a damned psychiatrist!" she barked.

"You could probably use one but...then again, so could I, hell I'm workin' for your crazy ass!" I told her.

"Yeah well, kiss my ass!" she laughed. "Are we ok now?"

I said we were and life got back to normal for a little while anyway but it was yet another warning sign that I ignored. Elizabeth was going to be trouble sooner or later.

The MOST memorable thing I remember was the day I interviewed new bartenders.

Dear Lord what a freak show! I interviewed around twenty people, mostly female and had seen everything!

One girl showed up with a friggin' parrot! She claimed the parrot really brought the folks back night after night. When I pointed out that the health department frowned on having bird shit all over the place, she began sobbing uncontrollably.

I tried everything I could think of to make her stop crying short of giving this friggin' nut case the job. Finally, I told her I'd give her twenty bucks if she'd leave. She looked at me and held her hand out. I gave her a twenty and she stomped off.

Another girl came in wearing a complete Annie Oakley looking outfit complete with the damned pistols!

It was a nightmare until Carla showed up.

She was a damned good looking woman with an impressive set of boobs but what really sold me on her was the way she handled me.

I tried to be Mr. Cool.

"We have a winner." I said while staring at her chest.

"Listen man, I need a job, not a boyfriend." she said. "I love my husband and you don't stand a chance with me so...don't even dream about it."

"Well, you can't stop me from dreamin' about it but, the job is yours." I laughed. "Sounds like you can handle yourself."

"Just as long as YOU don't think that YOU can handle me." she said.

"Message received." I said.

Finally, the night of our reopening arrived.

As I pulled into the parking lot, the new sign was lit up and there were a bunch of cars already in the parking lot. It was close to 7 pm and we were due to start playing around 8 pm.

As I entered the place, I was amazed at the crowd. The place was damn near full and Liz was seated in her customary spot at the bar. Patsy was sitting beside her and Dex was standing between them talking. I walked across to the bar.

"Where's Tony?" Elizabeth asked. She seemed to be relatively sober for a change.

"Damned if I know, he'll be here soon I suppose." I answered.

"If he's late, I'll kill his ass." Elizabeth said.

"Chill out crazy woman, he'll be here." I told her.

Just then, Dave the resident inebriate walked up to us.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen." he said.

"Damn Dave, you look like a hundred bucks tonight." Elizabeth said sarcastically.

"I figured I'd be at my best for this auspicious occasion." he replied.

"Well, you look great to me Dave." Patsy said.

"Yeah Dave, looking good." Dex said winking at him.

"You keep your hands to yourself Dex, I know what you want." Dave laughed.

"You better not get drunk and pass out tonight old man WILL be MY MAN." Dex said.

Dave looked a little nervous.

"Give Dave a drink on the house Carla." I said.

"On the house?" Liz glared at me.

"Yep...on the house." I said firmly. "I know you don't have a problem with that do you Elizabeth?"

She continued to glare at me.

"Do I get him a drink or not?" Carla asked, looking at me.

"Yep, whatever he wants." I said.

"OK." Carla said looking at Elizabeth warily.

To her credit, Liz just sat there and fumed.

Dave got his drink and obviously enjoyed drinking it in front of Elizabeth.

Just then, the front door opening and in walked a guy who was 6'4" 270 lbs of bad sumbitch.

It was Josef Pavlaka.

I had met Josef through and old friend of mine. He could barely speak English but understood it well enough.

Josef was Serbian I believe and had only been in America for a few years. He had been a soldier in the old country and came to America as a member of a visiting honor guard for the Russian Army during which time, he promptly defected.

He had tried to make a living as a boxer but couldn't seem to pick up the defensive part of the sport. He got hit way too much often. His major claim to fame as a boxer was that in five fights in a row his fights were stopped due to cuts. Apparently, as tough as he was, his face cut like butter. Finally, he gave up boxing and became a small time wrestler/house painter/bouncer.

I met him through a friend one night at a popular place in Five Points where he wowed the crowd by arm wrestling two Gamecock football players at the same time and winning! One right and one left handed. He was as strong as new rope.

Joe walked over to me.

"Hello Ron, I am on the time?" he asked.

"'On time' Josef and are on time." I laughed.

I introduced him to Elizabeth. He nodded his head and kissed her hand.

Well hell, Liz damn near fell off of her barstool.

"It is pleasure to meet you beautiful lady." he said.

"Finally, a real gentleman!" she beamed.

"Yep, ole Josef is a real gentleman." I said. "He's also our new bouncer."

"Why do we need a bouncer?" she asked.

"Mainly so nobody gets shot by you but also, so that I don't have to fight anybody around here."

"How much is this costing me?" she snarled.

"It's all on the books and well worth it." I told her. "Dex can't be here all the time."

Josef looked at her and smiled.

"Do not vorry beautiful lady...nobody starts piss in here." he said.

"Shit Joe." I corrected him.

He looked confused.

"Vas shit?" he asked.

"You said 'piss''s 'shit'." I told him.

He still looked confused so, I gave up and told him to just hang out and watch out for rowdy drunks. He'd worked enough rough places that I wasn't worried about him.

"And for God's gentle, don't break anything on anybody." I added.

"I vill be werry gentle." he grinned.

He left and took the stance of Soviet parade rest beside the front door.

We all stared at each other and laughed.

Josef was taking this shit serious!

Tony showed up a little while later and saw Josef standing there.

"That statue by the door's a nice fuckin' touch dude." he said.

I laughed and told him who the statue was.

"A giant bouncer? Too cool, I can afford to run my mouth now!" he laughed. "Ain't nobody gonna mess with the piano player with Cro Magnon Man hangin' out over there."

To Be Continued Tomorrow......Michelle is calling and, She Must Be Obeyed!


Anonymous rockync said...

No, no parrot on my shoulder, never owned an Annie Oakley outfit either. I'd like to say that Carla was me! But that's not true either. OK, so I don't think I'm in this story. If I ever DO show up in one of these I SO hope I'm NOT the drunk chick yelling, "Hey, play Montana for me!" LOL

9/12/2006 10:41 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Dammit , Ron - got me hangin' by the buttcheeks for the rest of the story .

9/13/2006 2:51 AM  
Anonymous imp said...

*waits patiently*

Dayum, man, i love your tales!

9/13/2006 7:02 AM  
Blogger AFSister said...

I wonder if that's how I got my bartending jobs....

Vat bouncah iz goingt to make me piss my pants, yes?

9/13/2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger Keeper said...

Too funny,,brings back the memories of those crazy years !!! keep em coming Ron,I can't wait to hear more about Josef,,he sounds familiar hmmmmmmmmm

9/13/2006 12:04 PM  
Blogger Rantin' Ron said...

Thanks ya'll. Been busy as hell today.

More to follow soon...maybe tonight.


9/13/2006 9:07 PM  
Blogger Alnot said...

I have been busy too. I do volunteer work for the elections and the local Republican Party. Right now they call me 'computer man'because I can actually make their old broke down Windows 98 machine retrieve data and do web searches. It is better than the first nickname of 'scary bouncer' after a transient came in and tried to mess with the woman who works at the other desk. I growled and the man turned a paler shade of white as he ran out the door never to be seen again. Donna is a nice lady and between her horse wrangler husband and I we keep her safe.

9/13/2006 9:54 PM  
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9/13/2006 10:40 PM  
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9/14/2006 10:59 PM  

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