Bobby B – Money Pit

This is in-line backstory to get us to the end of season one in a couple of days. If you’re dying for some action, I just killed off two bad guys here –

Creighton DeHavilland’s office wasn’t the usual lawyer-y set up. Upstairs over a liquor store and a hair-nail salon combo in a Sunset Beach corner strip center. No sign other than C. DeHavilland on the door below the suite number. Nothing on the small center’s marquee. The office was neat, had an expensive any-way-you-want-it coffee maker on a stainless steel cart. The reheat and eat kitchen / wet bar opened up out of a closet like an efficiency apartment. The desk, at an angle in the corner, was modern and not too large. The centerpiece, and what owned the office, was a large hexagonal table. Where Creighton and Bobby were drawing on tablets that projected on two walls.

Bobby sighed, wiped his electronic etch a sketch. “POS is done? That’s what you’re saying?”

Creighton swiped the screen on his tablet. “Not done. Different concept. A straight franchise repair shop and esoteric used car lot.”

“Bernie said the car lot was her idea and it belonged to the restaurant.”

“And I said that would be a permit, zoning and liability nightmare. That’s why she’s not here.” Creighton leaned back, interlaced his fingers behind his head. “We’re already looking at a body shop with a diner on the front end. EPA will be an obstacle course. And our demographic doesn’t go out to eat with their families where used car lots line the streets. This project can’t be every good idea we have, mashed up like a German version of a Madonna song.”

Creighton stood, took his coffee to the microwave, waited for the four note chime. “We both know Bernie’s so hot to get this project off the ground we could say ‘Here’s the kitten drowning pool by the hostess station’ and she’d sign off on it. No car lot, she’s still on board. The car lot is a POS banner on Internet marketing with real estate investment brick and mortar outlets.”

“How ‘bout we build the Mad Mods diners, put a POS in the same market and contract all the paint? We don’t paint anything at Mick’s anyway. We take them down, send them out to get bead blasted and painted. All we do is wrench and weld and open boxes and wrench some more. Mick does his hand trim work and takes the credit.”

Creighton seemed to be out around Mars for a while, tapped his index finger on top of the microwave at an incredibly slow tempo. Thump…Thump…Thump…He came back from wherever he’d been, sat down and started scribbling on his tablet with his finger.

“For Bernie. We do the parking lot up like a clean used car lot. The strings of flags say happy. We do her diner on the front end like an old Route 66 gas station, only five or six times scale. Not huge, but not 1926. The back wall is plexi or whatever they use in car washes the EPA will agree with, and we put wrench and weld in full view behind it. No paint, no chemical issues. We build a POS or contract with a Mercedes-class body shop or the local hot dogs for paint. We take it’s temperature a couple of years in, test a larger, sports bar version in one or two major markets.” He sat back, looked at the wall. “Yeah?”

“Hell yeah.” Bobby was surprised at how well their grade school collages and a week’s worth of talk had morphed into a ragged reality. “Unhook that bad boy, toss it in the bucket and brag.”

“Done. I’ll call Bernie and get a mock up artist on this.” Creighton tapped his tablet, sent the grade school scribble on the screen to a printer behind his desk. “As of now Monterrey Mick’s Burgers, Babes and Mad Mods Body Shop is real. I’ll go see Mick, explain his future. Show him pictures of homeless, or a willing franchise partner or a bought-out retired nobody who can’t use his own name.”

“Names. Cray…Man, are we gonna leave ‘Babes’ in the name?”

“In this climate? Are you fucking nuts? We keep ‘Babes’ like Bernie’s going to keep wearing cutoffs after she gets her first paycheck as Director of Marketing. More name discussion. POS. Bobby, are you sure?”

“Yeah. I thought on it some more. ‘Proud Of Something’. Come in with a beater and leave with something to be proud of. Everybody needs to be POS. Proud of Something.”

“I knew you were golden. You can play dumb redneck kid all you want, I’ll be your paperwork Huckleberry.”

“We haven’t talked about money.”

“Talking money in Hollywood is crass, Bobby, because it’s always someone else’s. Let the documents roll out and then we can make money noises. Right now I need to spread some holiday cheer before the end of the year with some Christmas present phone calls. About a money pit with cachet that might turn a profit some day.”

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Looney Lunes #125

 Merry Christmas?

HOLIDAY HOURS

To allow our team members to celebrate the Holidays with their families, please note the change in restaurant hours:

TIM HORTON’S

Tuesday December 24: open 24 hours

Wednesday December 25: open 24 hours

Thursday December 26: open 24 hours

NEW YEAR’S HOURS:

Tuesday December 31: open 24 hours

Wednesday January 1: open 24 hours

sign, Tim Horton’s restaurant

Someone

Someone broke my heart today
Again
Thought I was past all that by now
All at once I was young again
If only for a while
In a song where snowflakes turn to rain
Pictures of my foolish innocence
Scattered all to hell
Bits of a treasured ornament that fell
So very long ago
Somehow pieced together
Hanging where it belongs
Shame and regret and all the things
We never got to say
Back among the lights and tinsel and memories
That never fade away
Thank God someone broke my heart again today

Bobby B – Shangri La

Bernie slammed the door on Monterrey Mick’s non-TV office, glanced between Mick and the director and lit up the room.

“The hell you two think you’re doing? I turn on the television Thursday afternoon, what do I see?  Boudreaux and the welcome cake and no sooner does he have on a logo work shirt than you two creative giants are doing cut and paste bullshit in post production that makes me look like an easy piece of fuck-me queenie for a drooling hick! Nowhere was any of that in any shot sheet I saw.”

She slammed both palms down on Mick’s desk. “Punch ins of my ass? I get it, even if the other two are the resident skanks. The kid wearing the season dunce cap scaring me shitless with the fuck ups? Okay. All the candid shit you pulled up? That can’t be contractual, shooting me eating roach coach breakfast with your mark like we’re standing on top of each other. In this shit hole I’m a parts delivery girl with a sweet ass, not half of Mad Mods love sick Hillbillies.”

Mick pulled out the worn manila envelope the director had dropped a few weeks earlier. “Five grand make you feel any better?”

“Hell, no. You offer me five then you got ten times that.”

Mick tossed the envelope back in his desk. “Technically he’s your mark, too, Bern. Unless you do have feelings for him.” Mick leered, cocked one eyebrow. “And then, well…Let the wedding bells ring, pay off your Uncle Mick for keeping it shut and bye bye love.”

He let Bernie steam over that for a few. “You haven’t had any luck, Bern. Some of the barely legal porn business you’ve thrown at him that should have blown the top of his head off hasn’t stuck. Is there a reason?”

“He’s used to an attractive, normal tomgirl type who can carry on a conversation and spar with him. You can’t hire those girls.”

“We hired you. You’re an opinionated, over educated ball of tomgirlish eye candy.”

“I’m fully dressed, unfuckable tomgirlish eye candy. Eye candy I can hire. Eye candy that can talk and turn his head? What do you want me to do, post an ad at USC, ‘Needed, hot pre-law female to con rube out of two mill with your blowjob and convo skills. Keep the wardrobe’?”

“That would be a good start.”

“Get over that, to-day. He’s too young for what we had planned. Weddings, phony DNA. He’s a gee-whiz teenage shoe-gazer in a big-time hot rod shop. Your idiot phony suspension man isn’t doing any better than I am. He’s blown an easy five, six grand on topless bars and a weekend in Vegas with nothing to show for it. Even the PCP loaded joint backfired. Read my lips, you two assholes. I’m done with your bullshit. Bobby and me as a con and mark game or an ‘item’ on this series are both over. As of now.” She slammed the door again on her way out.

Mick pulled up his logo golf shirt up, shot his pits with a can of aerosol deodorant from a desk drawer, glanced at the director. “Can she do anything about how you apply the cut shots?”

“She gets paid and whatever we shoot of her on-site and in uniform without going into the ladies room is fair game. We post it however you and me and the Louisiana directorial contingent want.”

“I needed some good news. That lawyer bitch from Baton Rouge calls me once, twice a week to make sure we’re with her program, and the season just opened.” Mick leaned back, exhaled, pulled his man girdle around his waist, ran his thumb down the Velcro strip. “Fucking women with standards and dumb fucks who’ll never be anything but guest stars. Losers, all. I knew separating the kid from his money was going to be up to me.”

“Looks like.” The director stood, reached for the doorknob and it fell off in his hand. He checked the top of the door, judged it for clearance. “The other two women find out you offered Bernie five grand to play the kid’s girlfriend and it’s still on the table? You’ll have to give it up twice or go out in the shop and find a real mechanic, have them put a hydraulic dampener on this door.”

“Maybe I should turn them and everyone they can bring loose on the damn kid, all at once. He’d cave.”

“Could be. Or they’d all end up like Bernie. Boiling shrimp and working for him instead of you.”

“Perfect. Me gone with his money and no worries, him here with my estrogen and overhead headaches? Sounds like Shangri fucking la to me.” Mick adjusted his girdle, pulled down his shirt, popped a Xanax and a thumb-sized vitamin. “I have to pull this gig off, man. Eating rabbit food and listening to women talk because I can’t afford to rent quiet ones is killing me.”

Looney Lunes #124

I’m Sure The Drivers Were Distracted

The crash occurred near George Square in the central part of the city midafternoon, when the thongs of Christmas shoppers filled city streets.

Newspaper story, Glasgow, Scotland

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Bobby B – Like Brisket Tacos

Bobby’s mornings in California all seemed to run together. The faux suede couch in his furnished apartment sagged no matter where he sat, and he didn’t want to know about the stains. He’d been making his own coffee since he was twelve, and to save his life he couldn’t figure out the load for the motel size coffee pot that had made asphalt or dirty water every morning he’d been in L.A.

Through the open window he could hear the guys his age with no families or plans laughing when they raised the garage door on the transmission shop behind him. They’d take a technical day off like Thanksgiving to burn a few, open a few and wrench on their personal rides. Bobby knew he’d waste more time today himself at the gas station 7-11 combo on the corner, deciding between a green chili chicken burrito or the two-pack of wasabi egg rolls. Since he didn’t have anywhere to be he might even entertain one of the gut-bomb super size ‘supreme’ burritos.

He watched his Happy Thanksgiving text to Carrie Louise animate itself off the screen of his phone, absently tapped the phone on his thigh and wished he knew why she wouldn’t answer him. That was something he’d work on when the Mad Mods season wrapped. Right now he was living a rental life in a rental world with his suit of armor and radar on 24/7, and it was wearing him down.

Bobby grabbed a light jacket off the hook on his front door, took a casual stroll down the steps of his second floor apartment in the Nineteen-Forties shotgun style eight-plex, daydreamed the way to his car. He almost tripped over the guy in sunglasses and a silk Hawaiian shirt leaning against the car parked behind Bobby’s.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. B. Heard you were looking for an honest lawyer.”

Bobby checked the guy. Prematurely bald, or older than he looked, and the car he was leaning on was a cream-colored classic 1956 Porsche 356 convertible.

“Mick did a car like that a couple years ago.”

“This is it, bro. I went back to stock on the wheels. Those TV car guys, they all fuck up a classic with ghetto rims, even when they don’t flare the fenders. Lunacy. Classic design is classic because it was right the first time.” He watched Bobby like he had him under a microscope. “The car would make you think twice about me being honest. Mitch Gellert, your background man? He sent me. I don’t lawyer like most lawyers, I’m more of a financing matchmaker. I put deals together for lost causes without getting the wrong people involved, do the paperwork, watch the investors’ money.” He waited for Bobby to rub his eyes, wake up some more.

“Mick is hopelessly upside down, Bobby. He bankruptcies, takes a walk, cashes out the last deal and runs, cons you into buying his debt. Who knows? Regardless of his exit strategy, he’s done after next year’s season. Maybe this one. Unless our conversation goes the way I hope it does.” Silk Hawaiian shirt lifted the sunglasses, held out his hand. “Creighton DeHavilland. No relation to the movie star.”

Bobby shook the offered hand, leaned on the trunk of his rental. The man wasn’t too slick, or too calm or too pretty or too soft, didn’t smell too good. Wasn’t any of the things Bobby had come to expect from Los Angeles or the boat show posers, business thieves, con artists or any of the damn lawyers he’d met.

“That sucks, about Mick. I had a plan for Mad Mods. A partial plan, anyway.”

“That’s why I’m here. And why you’re done with Elizabeth Vernier rubber stamping your business ventures and cutting you loose to run them out of your pocket. She’s a bitch with a long term agenda. One that doesn’t involve you.”

“How do you know —”

“We’ll get to that. Are you tangled up emotionally, real or imagined, with the lovely not-a-real-parts-girl Bernadette Evrard?”

“No. I mean, I don’t know if we’re friends or if she’s a misdirect or even authentic. I’m trying to play it flat, like Mitch told me. See it all, and wait.”

“She is who she says she is. And she’d like to like you, as a friend. Something about you cutting her some slack, being a sweetheart instead of a dick. Could you work with her?”

“If it was straight, hell yeah.”

“Good. She’s smart and has half a plan herself. If she’d fuck her way into the entertainment business she could start in prime time. She doesn’t want screen time, though, short or long term. She wants management.” He pointed finger pistols at Bobby with both hands. “For that desire to benefit us all, I need to redirect both of you to an entertainment vision beyond the ends of your noses. Let’s go eat breakfast.” He dropped his sunglasses back down, stepped around the side of the Porsche. “Been to Malibu yet?”

“Nope.”

“You can eat sting ring chili and fire starter fart tacos for Thanksgiving breakfast?”

“Sheee-it,” Bobby snort laughed. “No reason for today to be all that different.” He ran his hand across the vanilla colored leather with red piping that covered the seats of the Porsche, whistled softly and opened the door.

“I had high hopes that you were a man with an open mind. Serious about the food, bro.” Creighton checked over his shoulder for traffic. “Top is down because it makes me fart just thinking about it.”

“You fart in these?” Bobby poked the side of his seat for emphasis.

“Good as anywhere. Like brisket tacos, you know? I figure if the cow is past worrying, so am I.”

Bobby B – I’m Not Pouting

“Carrie Louise, you need to listen to me.” Liz Vernier parked the red Caddy SRX on a side street behind a high-end shopping center, turned toward her front seat passenger.  “It’s Thanksgiving. I need you to put on a happy face and stop pouting. You’re on the way to your future, I need you out of your past. Understood?”

“Yes ma’am.” Carrie Louise watched her Aunt Liz walk into the bakery that was so swank it didn’t have a sign, turned to the back seat. “I’m not pouting, Momma. It doesn’t feel right, that’s all.”

“It’s not right. Your Aunt Liz’s book isn’t the cover. Never has been. There’re things bubbling around inside her would make one of those vampire cannibals in an old swamp house movie a trip to Disneyland. The fact that Bobby is nowhere to be seen at Thanksgiving for the first time since either of you could sit up by yourselves is testament to that.”

“If Bobby gave a damn he’d call or text or email. His Face Book isn’t him, it’s all set up and run by some company for SwampVue, and he never sees it. He’s jealous about college and me on my way to being somebody and he can’t get past it. That’s what Aunt Liz says.”

“Bullshit, little girl. You and that boy have each other’s blood running through the both of you. What Liz wants is you. Why is between her and God. And I think if she doesn’t drop either of those $70 pies before she gets back to the car we’re going to see the plan unfold eating Thanksgiving dinner with the circus act that’s Francis Guillon and family. If he can keep his zipper up and un-medicate his wife out of her Stepford daze long enough for either of them to lift a fork.”

“Momma, you shouldn’t say things like that. He’s a state senator and Aunt Liz says he’ll be governor and that there’s room for me at her law firm when I get out and maybe on his staff and —”

“Little girl, you’re just like she was. All big talk and big ideas. The problem with where you think you belong is that you get there over the graves of other people’s dreams. You believe anything she says about you, or Bobby or do-gooder slime-ball politicians or me or anybody else you need to add ‘blind and stupid’ to your resume.”

“Damn, Momma, I’m your daughter. She’s your sister.”

“Don’t I know it. Get out, be ready to open the door for her. She makes all that money and can’t remember to take her remote to open the hatch.” She caught her daughter’s shoulder from the back seat. “Carrie Louise, you’re near full grown and out of my house and plenty old enough to hear me say this. Watch your back. Mark my words, Bobby being gone and wherever this road we’re on today is headed is all about Elizabeth Roche Vernier. One of these days, when you step in something that looks like gold and smells like shit, don’t say your momma didn’t warn you.”

***

Liz Vernier stood in the Guillon guest house kitchen, her arms folded. “I’ll take care of the televison, Frank, forget it. Get to the issue.”

Frank Guillon stepped gingerly around the guest house living room where what had been a 40 inch flat screen TV was just a frame over the fireplace and black glass covered the couch, coffee table and floor.

“Well, it won’t hurt you. They’re cheaper than lobbyists these days.” He crunched his way to the kitchen island, set his beer down, leaned on the island towards his son. “What I want is the story. How did you fuck up with the girl right out of the gate?”

“Dad, I didn’t fuck…” He threw his hands up, started to walk off. “Shit. My fault. I fucked up whatever it was, like always.”

Liz caught his arm, turned him back. “I want the story. Then we’ll decide if you get to do self pity.”

Sean knew he could walk his dad. He checked Liz Vernier and survival instinct kicked in.

“Look, I just said, ‘Let’s take a walk, let the oldies beat it by themselves’. We came out here, got a couple of beers, I turned on football and she went bitch about not watching football with me because there was only one way to watch football and I wasn’t in that universe. I said fuck it, hit the guide looking for Monterrey Mick’s Mad Mods Thanksgiving Marathon and maybe catch the new season kickoff. So I click on it and she’s calling the chicks stupid bimbos and shit and she screams ‘BOBBY’, like she saw somebody she knew. She said, ‘I know him! That’s Bobby!’ And I laughed and said ‘You don’t know shit about anybody on Monterrey Mick’s’ and then the smokin’ babe that delivers parts, right? She’s like doing the walk and this guy makes hot chick eyes and she drops the box on his tool cart with a fuck me wink and KABOOM. Carrie threw her beer at the TV and was screaming about how this Bobby dude was a fucking slut. I told her that was way wrong, dudes can’t be sluts. She ran out the door, and surprise, surprise, surprise. Here you are.”

Liz waited a few beats, looked Sean over, let a small sigh escape.

“Get over yourself, Sean.” She leaned way into his space, lowered and leveled her voice. “Your father is a rich, demanding asshole politician. They go hand in hand, rich and demanding asshole politician. Know that and live your life around it until it’s your turn. Go tell Carrie Louise you’re sorry about whoever Bobby the slut is. Make her a bowl of ice cream and keep your mouth shut. Be invisible, but be there.” Liz watched him slump back to the house, picked up Frank’s beer, decided against it.

“This is why he needs her, Frank. She brings the passion he doesn’t have, but he intuitively knew which completely stupid redirect call to make after she’d pissed him off, and has the Teflon skin of a lifelong victim. Those two traits make him genetically perfect for politics. If she could stick her hand far enough up his ass to move his mouth we’d have ourselves the youngest Southern president in history.”

“If you say so.” Frank finished his beer and clanked it in the kitchen trash. “Are you still going to buy me a television?”

She glanced over her shoulder at the narrow guest house living room covered in glass.

“We have forty grand in the old one. I hope new ones are as cheap as you say they are.”