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.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Carl's Corner... Part IX

When we left our tale, Josef had taken up his post by the front door and Tony had finally shown up. Everything seemed to be going well but, as regular readers of this drivel surely know....this just couldn't last.

Could it?

Back To The Story.....

I told Elizabeth that I was going to take a quick walk around the place to check on things before Tony and I started playing.

Walking back to the kitchen, I saw Reggie and Margo sitting at the same table they were at the night Margo exposed her body and her perversions to me. I deliberately avoided making eye contact, hoping that they would leave me alone.

Of course, that didn't work worth a damn!

"Hey Ron!! Are you ever gonna start playing?" Margo screamed.

"Yeah, we'll be starting in a few minutes." I said while still heading to the kitchen.

"I wasn't talkin' about playing music!" she leered at me while she cupped her massive sacks of silicone.

Holy crap lady, haven't you heard the old saying, 'more than a freakin' bucket full is a waste'? That old broad looked like a caricature of a caricature of a woman who had over done breast enhancement!

As I got to the kitchen, I saw our new cook Allan standing over the grill with his head poked up into the ventilation hood.

He didn't see me.

I walked up to him and, of course, he couldn't hear me with the powerful fan running. Initially, I thought he was cleaning the hood or, worse, that the damn thing wasn't working. As I got closer, I saw what was going on.

He was smoking a joint!

I had told him during the hiring process that smokin' dope on the job was not allowed. Hell, I could tell by looking at him that he was a pot smoker. Honestly, it takes one to know one right? I just didn't want him slicing a finger off on the clock so....I had harshly warned his ass.

I tapped him on the shoulder and, as he snapped his head up, he damn near knocked himself out on the vent covering!

I was laughing my ass off watching him freak out until I saw the blood running down his neck. Man, he was bleeding like something out of a freakin' horror movie!

He was bent over at the waist and blood was now dripping all over the floor. Unfortunately, he saw it and totally lost it. He started squealing like a small girl child and dropped to his knees.

I found a towel and handed it to him.

"Hold that on your head...TIGHT!" I told him. "I'll be right back."

I ran back to the bar.

"Carla, call 911, Allan's bleeding all over the kitchen." I said quietly.

Dex overheard me.

"I'm a certified EMT, let me go check him out before you call." he said.

As we hustled to the kitchen, I told Dex what had happened. When we got there, Allan was still kneeling on the floor like a Muslim facing Mecca. He was now whimpering like a puppy. Dex leaned over and grabbed him by the shoulders.

"Straighten up and let me look at it." he ordered.

"Man, call an ambulance." Allan whimpered. "I'm bleeding to death!"

"Straighten up Allan!" Dex shouted.

Allan just remained there kneeling, whimpering and rocking.

Dex looked at me and shook his head.

He reached out, grabbed a huge handful of Allan's hair and began pulling upward.

"Get the fuck up you big pussy!" he roared.

Like magic, he did just as he was told.

Dex pulled the towel away.

"Dude, I've cut myself shaving worse than this." he grinned. "Head wounds just bleed'll be ok."

He told me to go get some ice and a clean towel which I did. He then placed it on the wound and told Allan to hold it tight for a bit.

"Man, I need to go to the hospital." Allan moaned and then looked up at me. "You did this to me...I'm gonna sue the fuck out of this place."

Dex looked at me and shook his head as if to say, "I hate dumb fucks."

He reached down and grabbed Allan's left wrist and pulled it up.

"What's this?" he demanded.

I looked down and realized that the idiot still had two thirds of a joint clinched tightly in his fingers.

"Big deal, I was smokin' a joint." Allan said defiantly.

"Allan" Dex said. "I'm a cop."

Allan straightened up.

"What? You're gonna bust me for one joint?" he asked.

"No, I'm gonna bust you for the rest of the pot you've got on you." he growled. "Empty your pockets."

Allan looked at me and I just shrugged my shoulders.

He did as he was told and, sure enough, he revealed a baggie with a dozen rolled joints.

"Bingo." Dex said with a laugh. "Let's go to jail dumbass."

"Oh yeah...Allan." I said.

He looked up at me.

"You're fired." I said laughing.

He started crying.


Well shit! What the hell happened to the days when guys would rather die than fucking CRY?

Personally, I blame it all on Phil Donahue and Oprah fuckin' Winfrey!

However, I digress.........

"Allan, get the hell up, clean yourself up and clean this floor." I told him. "That's the only way you ain't going to jail or losing your job."

He looked at me as though I'd told him he'd won the lottery.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yeah really.....get this place cleaned up and go to work." I said.

Dex reached out and took the joint out of his hand. With one smooth move, he lit it and took a big hit.

"Damn son....this is rag weed!" he coughed. "I'd rather go to jail than smoke this shit!"

Dex tossed the joint into the gas grill where it quickly ignited and burned up.

"Are you gonna bust me?" he asked Dex.

"Are you gonna sue?" Dex asked.

"No sir."

"Then you ain't going to jail." Dex told him.

"Thanks." Allan was regaining his compusure and wiping his eyes.

"Just get to work and everything's cool but first, go the rest room and clean yourself up." I told him. "I'll get Patsy to get you a clean t-shirt."

Finally, with the crisis over, I went back to the main room. Patsy was sitting beside Elizabeth and after I filled them in, I asked her to go to the storeroom and get Allan a new Carl's Corner t-shirt.

"Do I charge him for it?" she asked.

"No, I think he'd slash his friggin' wrists if we made him pay for it." I laughed.

"You're pretty damned free with my fuckin' money!" Elizabeth barked.

"Tell you what Liz....I'll make it up to you." I said. "Carla, give Liz a drink on the house."

Elizabeth looked at me and laughed.

"You are such an asshole."

"Yeah well, I do what I can." I grinned. "Gotta go make some noise."

With that, I went to the stage where I found Tony talking to a little Asian looking girl.

"You ready to get busy?" I asked.

He looked at me and smiled.

"Hell yeah." he said and turned to the girl. "Are you gonna hang around?" he asked her.

"If you guys are any good I will." she smiled.

"Well hell, you'll be here all night!" he bragged.

Just as we took the stage, Josef came up to me and whispered.

"I vish you to break zeir legs."

"I think you mean, 'break a leg' dude." I couldn't help but laugh.

He looked indignant.

"Is vaht I said...break all zeir legs." he said, pointing to the crowd.

"We're gonna have to work on your English big guy." I patted him on his shoulder.

"How many language you speaks?" he asked.

"Shit man, I ain't even got English down pat yet." I said.

"Pat? Who iss ziss Pat?" he asked.

"Never mind Josef." I laughed. "How many languages do you speak?"

"Five language I speak and, of zim all, English is one zat is sucks zee best." he said as he stormed off and took his position at the door.

Tony looked at me with a grin.

"You ain't gonna catch me correcting that big sumbitch's English skills."

Patsy turned down the house lights and fired up the stage lights.

Unlike most musicians, I've never liked talking a lot before playing. I don't know why but I've always preferred to simply launch into the first song and see what happens. I've heard some great bands play some great shit one was there to listen.

They were there to party. Period.

So....we just fired it up.

I remember that the first song we played was 'Already Gone' by the Eagles and, from the first lick on the guitar, they loved us!!

After the song was over, we got a tremendous ovation and, after it died down, Tony and I couldn't help but laugh.

This was gonna be a great place to play!

I welcomed everyone to the new Carl's Corner, introduced ourselves and we immediatly went from one song to the next for over an hour.

The place was hopping and we were eating it up.

Finally, we took a break. We were sweating like field hands and in dire need of some fresh air.

As we left the stage, a bunch of folks came up to us, they were shaking hands and complimenting us.

Out of nowhere it seemed, Josef waded through the crowd and began acting like a friggin' Secret Service agent!

The big sumbitch damn near knocked over a couple of people while getting to us.

I couldn't believe the way he was behaving.

"Josef!" I shouted at him. "Chill out big's ok. Leave 'em alone."

He turned and looked at me as though I had insulted him.

Without a word, he did an about face and walked back to the front door where, I assumed he would return to 'parade rest' but instead, he yanked the door open and left!

I went after him.

As I walked out the door, I saw him climbing into his little Toyota pick up truck.

"Josef!" I yelled.

He ignored me so, I hustled over to the driver side. The window was open.

"Hey dude, what's the matter?" I asked.

He stared straight ahead but said nothing.

"C'mon Josef...I didn't mean to piss you off but those folks were just being friendly. They didn't mean any harm." I explained.

He still didn't even look at me, much less answer me.

"You're not gonna talk to me?" I asked.

Finally, he took a deep breath and looked at me.

"You tell me, Josef.. 'you don speak English pretty good'. You tell me not to do vhat you pay me for to do. I say, 'fuck dis and fuck all zee horses to ride on!' " he shouted.

The only thing that kept me from laughing my ass off was the fact that this refrigerator with a head was seriously pissed off!

"Look man, I'm sorry." I started. "I didn't mean to piss you off. I'm an asshole."

"You fuckin' me right up zee asshole you sorry!" he snarled.

Well shit, I'm only human so, naturally, I friggin' lost it! I started laughing.

I couldn't help myself.

Here was this friggin' giant sitting in his tiny little truck looking like it would take the jaws of life to get his big ass out of the damn thing and, on top of that, he was butchering the English language in ways I'd never heard before.

"Fuckin' me right up the asshole!!"

You just don't hear that shit everyday unless you live in San Francisco!

If he had been holding a freakin' Ghinsu knife on my testicles, I would be singing Mariah Carey songs today....note for note!!

I could NOT help myself, I was laughing so hard I was having trouble taking a breath.

Yeah, it was real funny UNTIL he came out of the truck like a ballet dancer on steriods!

Oh shit!

"You laughing zee fuck at me?" he roared.

Damn, he did it again!

If he would just stop talking, I could stop laughing but, he Did and....I did'nt!

I couldn't help myself.

He started toward me as I backed away trying to control my laughter.

"Josef, hold on man. I'm not laughing at you!" I shouted.

"Vhat you zen laughing at?" he demanded.


This guy was HUGE and PISSED but....he kept talking and, for some strange reason, I couldn't stop laughing long enough to calm him down!!

Desperately, I held both hands out in front of me in the internationally recognized gesture, "Please Don't Kill Me....I'm a Fucking MORON!"

Thankfully, he stopped in his tracks and glared at me.

I finally regained my compusure for a second. Taking a deep breath, I opened my mouth to speak but, as luck would have it....he spoke first.

"I'm up to here vith you in my ass!" he shouted.

Side Note:

There are times in your life when you wish that the good Lord had created you WITHOUT a funny bone.

You know these times.....farts in church, a fat woman in a thong walking in close proximity at the beach or, a guy talking to you at a funeral while wearing a crooked wig!

It's a lot like quelching a sneeze in a friggin' pepper warehouse!!

It cannot be done.

Back To The Story......

Naturally, I collapsed to one knee in the parking lot and was lost in convulsions of laughter.

This guy was KILLING me even though, he was quite capable of LITERALLY killing me at any moment!

Still......I could NOT stop laughing!

To Be Continued Ya'll......big day tomorrow.

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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!

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Carl's Corner... Part VII

After Dex had scared the hell out of Tony and I in the parking lot, we went back inside. As we walked to the bar, I asked Dex what happened to the 'Mean Lookin' Dude'.

He laughed.

"The last time I saw him, he was staggering into the emergency room over at Lexington Memorial."

"So you didn't take him to jail?" I asked.

"He appologized and promised not to show his busted up face around here anymore." he said sarcastically.

"Hell I guess he did." I laughed. "You kicked his ass pretty good."

"The stupid bastard should've left when I told him."

"Remind me not to piss you off." I joked.

He stared hard at me.

"I don't know, looks like you can take care of yourself." he said.

"The truth is, I can't fight for shit." I laughed. "Luckily, I'm usually able to talk my way out of trouble."

While we were talking, Elizabeth came up. She was obviously feeling very little pain. With Liz, it was easy to tell when she was buzzed because she got a wicked gleam in her eyes and the drunker she got, the more she slurred her words. It was funny as hell.

"Lishen here big boy...these people came to hear shome music!!"

I just laughed and patted her on the shoulder.

"Cool your jets crazy woman...I'm goin', I'm goin'"

I asked Tony if he was ready and he said that he would rather I start alone. So, I walked over to the little alcove area, got my guitar and sat on a bar stool.

Patsy unplugged the juke box and I sat staring at a bunch of strangers who suddenly got very quiet.

I introduced myself and told them that I was going to play a few songs whether they liked it or not because Elizabeth was threatening to shoot me if I didn't.

Obviously, most of the folks there that night knew Elizabeth pretty well because rather than laughing, they all sort of grunted knowingly and applauded.

I played a few songs and the crowd was really gettin' into it. I then motioned for Tony to get his little keyboard and join me.

Maybe it was my imagination but when Tony showed up with the keyboard I thought I could sense a degree of doubt. That doubt quickly disappeared when turned the thing on and began playing riffs. He tore that little sumbitch up!

We sat there and played for more than an hour and they went nuts! It was cool as hell. Everyone seemed to be having a blast and actually, it was kind of nice to play unplugged for a change.

When we told them we were gonna take a little break, they protested good naturedly.

We tried to walk to the bar but were stopped several times before we could get to it. One fiftyish lady with blonde hair and tons of gold jewelry waved us over to her table.

"You boy's are fantastic." she said. "Ya'll ought to be in Nashville." she gushed.

Tony and I exchanged looks. Together and separately, we had heard this before but the truth was, Nashville had chewed us up and spit us out before. I had no desire to starve to death hundreds of miles from home again. Tony, on the other hand, still dreamed and believed we would go back and succeed someday. Then again, Tony believed Ed McMahon was gonna show up with a big damned check with Tony's name on it any day now!

"We appreciate it." I said.

"Yes ma'am, we're working on that right now." Tony lied. "We just need to practice a little more. We haven't played together in years."

"Oh no, I've heard a lot good singers and ya'll are as good as any of 'em." she went on. "Besides soundin' good, y'all are just plain good lookin'."

I stood there probably blushing. Tony took that as his cue to sit down. She reached out and grabbed his arm.

"Especially YOU." she smiled.

Tony was eating it up.

"Well, you will be happy to know that Tony here is newly single and just lookin' for a new lady." I said. "Ya'll get to know each other and I'll get myself a drink."

I hate to say it but, in those days, Tony was ALWAYS scheming, and always looking for, as he called 'em, a "Sugar Mama". His mother used to bankroll his dreams but, she had finally been tapped out and was now married to a new guy so....ole Tony was left to his own devices.

I stood at the bar with Elizabeth and watched him flirting with the old girl. I couldn't resist stirring things up a little.

"Yeah boy, old Tony likes his women a little on the seasoned side." I grinned.

"Oh really?" she grinned.

"Yeah, he's just got a thing for 'em I suppose. Always has." I laughed.

I could see her wheels turning.

"But not you?" she asked.

Damn! I hadn't counted on that.

"I never gave it much thought but, I guess I tend to go for women my own age." I said.

"You don't know what you're missing." she winked.

"Damn...that's the second time I've heard that shit tonight! The first time was from a damned gay cop." I laughed.

She gave me that evil grin of hers.

After a bit, a few folks started hollerin' for us to play some more so, I took that as my cue to break camp.

We played another hour or so and just as we were getting ready to take a break, a guy walked up and asked us to play a song. I forget what it was but, Tony knew it and I didn't. I think it was one of those old George Jones tunes. So, I left him to play while I went to the rest room.

I was stopped by a fortyish red haired woman who had huge breasts! Damn, she looked like she was shoplifting footballs!

"Honey, you fella's are really good." she said. "I'm Margo and this is my husband Reggie."

I shook his hand. He was in his mid forties, kind of chubby and almost bald.

"Margo here thinks you are the shit." he smiled.

"Well thank you ma'am." I said.

I told them I had to go to the rest room.

"You want me to come hold it for you?" she asked.

My head damned near snapped off my shoulders as I looked at Reggie. He just shrugged his shoulders and grinned.

"Hell, ain't she something?" he asked.

"Yeah boy...she's a hoot alright." I said nervously.

"I'm not a hoot....THESE are hoots!" she said as she whipped her sweater up to expose her bare boobs.

I couldn't believe she was doing that in front of her damned husband but he didn't seem to mind one bit.

"Yeah...they certainly are." What the hell else could I say?

"Ok Margo...put those puppies away." Reggie said. "She's just so damned proud of 'em, I bought 'em for her birthday a couple of months ago."

She pulled her sweater down and beamed proudly.

"Today's Reggie's birthday, you oughta see what I did for his birthday present." she said.

I told them I really needed to go to the restroom and made my escape.

A few minutes later as I was exiting the restroom, I saw Margo standing there. She was either waiting for me or waiting for someone to get out of the Ladie's room which was just beside the men's room.

Just kill me!!

She was waiting for me.

"Come here a second, I wanna show you Reggie's birthday present." she whispered and motioned for me to follow her into the little kitchen area a few feet away.

Well, call me a dumbass but, I couldn't see any harm in at least looking at his birthday present. She was obviously proud of it, so......I followed her.

Those of you who have followed my tales know without me even telling you....I should have simply said 'no' and walked away.

Ya'll also know, of course, that I rarely do what I SHOULD do!!

She shut the door behind me and leaned against it.

"Reggie has been after me for years to do this for him....what do you think?" she asked as she lifted up her skirt to reveal that she was wearing no panties and, she was shaved as smooth as a damned billiard ball!

Well shit!

Have you ever had one of those moments when you wished you were temporarily blind? I have and....this was one of 'em!

Dear God what a sight!

I mean DAMN, she was well over forty, well over weight and a red head, which, of course, meant that she was as pale as a friggin' ghost!

I swear I'm not being deliberately cold here but, it looked as though someone had whacked her between the legs with a freakin' AXE! The parts which should have been pink were actually a vivid RED against the pale skin surrounding them and, there were dozens of little red spots all around that ghastly, nasty lookin' wound!

Holy shit!

It reminded me of the first time I saw the movie, "Jaws", minus the teeth.

At least I don't think that ugly thing had teeth!!

All I knew was that I wasn't gonna hang around and find out!

"I'm sure Reggie will love it." I said, not knowing what else to say.

"Well, how do you like it?" she asked in what I'm sure she believed to be a sexy manner.

Why does wierd shit like this ALWAYS happen to me?

"Look, I've got to get back in there." I said. "Besides, I'm sure Reggie wouldn't appreciate this."

She laughed.

"Reggie don't mind, in fact, he wouldn't mind if you wanted to come home with us tonight." she said.

"Sorry Margo, I'm very happily married and, I'm also a devout Quaker so, I can't do that." I lied.

She pulled her skirt back down and shook her head.

"Well, you can't blame me for trying. I didn't think musicians were so religious." she snapped.

"Oh yeah, I play in church every Sunday." I said.

She thought about it for a second.

"I thought Quaker's went to church on Saturday's." she said.

Damn! I didn't know when Quaker's attended church.

"Well, I'm an orthodox Quaker...we've got different rules." I lied, quite proud of myself.

I finally got her to move away from the door long enough for me to get by her and damned if she didn't grab my ass as I left!

I felt! So damned USED!!

Yeah boy, Carl's had some classy patrons!

As I walked past Reggie's table with Margo close behind me, he looked at me as though he was waiting for me to say something. Luckily, Margo spoke.

"He can't go home and play with us....he's a Mormon." she giggled.

I turned around.

"Actually, I'm a Quaker." I told him.

He seemed just about to say something but, I hauled ass!

I got the hell away from those freaks in a damned hurry!

Patsy had two Kamikaze's waiting for me as I reached the bar. Thankfully, Elizabeth was gone.

"Where'd ole Liz get to?" I asked Patsy.

"She's in the office probably takin' a little nap. She got buzzed a little too quick tonight but, she'll be back in an hour or so." she explained.

"Well, that's a new one to me." I laughed. "Napping in a bar."

"Trust me dude, she's my sister but she's a nut." she said.

"Yeah, I've kinda reached that conclusion on my own." I laughed.

"You sure you wanna take this job?" she asked me.

"No, I'm not sure but, I've grown fond of eating and, I need the job." I explained. "I've made her put everything in a contract so, at least it's on record if she goes crazy on me."

She laughed and shook her head.

"Ron, if that little bitch decides to go crazy on you, a piece of paper ain't gonna stop her." she warned.

"Well, I guess I'll have to at least give it a shot for awhile." I said. "I can always walk away."

"If you're able to walk when she get's through with you." she snorted.

"Thanks for the pep talk." I chuckled.

It was then that I realized that Tony was still playing.

"Tony's eatin' this shit up." I said.

"Ya'll are really good." she said. "And he's really cute." pointing to Tony.

"So, I'm not cute?" I laughed, acting offended.

She smiled.

"No, you ain't cute." she said. "There ain't a damned thing cute about you. You're a nice lookin' man but, Tony's a cute boy....boy's are easier to handle." she winked at me.

"If you say so but I'm tellin' you straight, Tony is a lot of things but, 'easy to handle' ain't one of 'em."

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"Don't get me wrong, I love ole Tony to death but, he's not really of this world." I began. "He sort of believes that the real world just screws up the way things SHOULD be."

"Hmmm....sounds interesting." she said slyly.

"Oh yeah....Tony's interesting as just gotta love him!"

I drank my Kamikazi's just as Tony finished a song. The crowd was lovin' him. He looked at me and motioned for me to get him a Kamikazi as well as a beer.

Patsy poured a couple more and slid two more beers at me.

I carried them over to the alcove.

"Man, I've played all the Conway Twitty, George and Hank Jr. I can do on my ready for some our shit?" he asked.

I told him I was good to go so, we played for another hour or more. We took requests, playing most of them, forgetting lyrics we hadn't sung in years, remembering shit we didn't even know we knew and basically, we had a ball.

Any musician will tell you that when people really pay attention and interact with you, playing music is the best job in the world.

It was kind of like playing in a big living room with approximately 75 people sitting around getting hammered.

At some point, Tony suggested that we play "If I Had You" by Alabama which, we hadn't done in a long time. Alabama songs are all about tight harmony's so, being a semi perfectionist, I declined. Hell, we hadn't played together in at least two years!

"Ron don't wanna try this song 'cause we haven't played together in a long time. He thinks ya'll actually give a shit if we screw it up!" he addressed the crowd who, of course, suggested that I lighten the fuck up and play the damned song.

We played the damned song.

Tony had always sung lead on that song so, we played the intro and, at the appropriate time for him to sing....he drew a complete blank.

He couldn't remember the lyrics.

We laughed, the crowd laughed and, we tried it again.

Again, he completely lost it. No lyrics came to mind and, quite frankly, I couldn't remember 'em either.

The crowd was having a freakin' ball laughing with us. It was really pretty funny.

At this point, I remembered part of the first line so, I leaned over and said.

"The first line starts with, 'If I had you'" I said. "Hell, lay the "Autistic Elvis" on 'em, they'll never know the difference."

Side Note: 'Autisic Elvis' was a hilarious thing to behold. Part Michael McDonald, part George Jones, part drunken whino and pure Tony, 'Autistic Elvis' was like listening to the lyrics through a pillow.

A really fluffy pillow.

Here's a quick sample of 'Autistic Elvis' singing...

'Autistic Elvis'..."If I had you...wee ruh lah jizzy's ina win."

Real Lyrics..."If I had you, we'd run like gypsy's in the wind."

We did it 'AA' style and damned if we didn't fake our way through it even though, it was all I could do to keep from cracking up!

Lordy....when we finished butchering that poor song, the crowd went wild!

Oh yeah....this was gonna be a great place to play!!

Tony looked at me and laughed.

"Looks like we just found a home big guy!" he said.

To Be Continued...............

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