Saturday, November 28, 2009

When Black Friday Comes... (with apologies to Steely Dan)

Oh, good grief!!!

Welcome to Saturday, folks!

It's a darned good thing I feel so optimistically about the renewed partnership of Simpson and Lynch! Let's just say that the past few days have not gone well.

After the bogus and underhanded tactics during last Sunday's wrestling match that the WTF -- the new wrestling federation that consistently rips off the WWF's golden era -- had arranged between Skip and their Elvis Presley wannabe, the Honky Tonk Man, I did everything in my power to convince Skip that we should both quit the WTF. (With our feud officially over, what did we need them for anyway, right?) Skip insisted we save that conversation until later, claiming he had a headache. I didn't take him seriously, at first -- I mean, I'd certainly gotten the "I have a headache" excuse before, although never from a guy, obviously! -- but... more on that later.

After he removed his "Macho Man Randy Savage" suit and I took off my "Hulk Hogan" outfit for what was arguably the last time, Skip and the lovely Gretchen Von Grüber (who'd removed her outlandish "Miss Elizabeth" garb) invited me to the newly rechristened Simpson/Lynch Studios in Alabama as soon as I could make it there. I agreed to follow them there from the WTF stadium.

(But first, Skip insisted we wait until the stadium cleared in hopes that Kato -- Skip's missing houseman, cook, and bodyguard -- would come back from wherever he'd disappeared to. No such luck.)

I arrived at 35 Woodland Drive (somewhere in Alabama) with my entourage -- that would be my personal assistant and girlfriend, the perky Tara King, and Orson the Cat -- and problems began.

Skip would not allow the perky Tara King to enter his home. (He was glad to see Orson again, however.) Ordinarily, I would have immediately leaped to her defense, but I didn't want to strain the bonds of rekindled partnership with Skip. After a quick explanation -- with which the perky Tara King heartily concurred -- I handed her the keys to our rented car and my debit card so she could bring Orson to a nearby Motel 6.

Ever since the perky Tara King had betrayed Skip by "defecting" to me and bringing Orson back to me as well, Skip had effectively disowned her. He wanted nothing more to do with her. I understood his point, but...!

This began an uncomfortable discussion between Skip and myself. Even as I fought for the re-inclusion of the perky Tara King in Skip's -- now our -- staff, I told Skip that I wasn't too thrilled about the prospect of Kato coming back from wherever he'd gone. For one thing, he has a creepy fondness for the idea of the corpulent Orson becoming a meal...

And another thing is that he hates my freakin' guts, of course...

Anyway, Skip and I debated these issues for quite some time, each of us controlling our tempers out of respect for our renewed friendship/partnership. While we talked, Skip's assistant and... girlfriend(?)... Gretchen paced about. She doesn't speak very much English, but she was obviously intelligent enough to get the gist of our discussion.

Finally, Gretchen left the room, muttering something in German which sounded vaguely obscene. When she returned, she was carrying a pack of "flash cards" which Skip told me she often uses to communicate.

She held up a card which pictured the planet Uranus.

"Skip," I said, "You know her much better than I do. What the hell does that mean?"

His brow furrowed; then his eyes opened wide with a flash of understanding. "Umm... I think she's trying to say that we're both being @$$holes!"

The conversation was shelved until a later date.

Things settled down after that. Skip and I popped a few beers open brewed a few pots of strong coffee and starting making plans for the future.

Monday morning, Skip called some contractors and arranged for an addition to be built to house me and my cat during our frequent visits (I, of course, fully intend to have the perky Tara King move in there, too, as soon as that issued is ironed out.) They showed up Monday afternoon and started work after Skip handed them what I assume was a sizable check.

The perky Tara King was kind enough to drive by and drop off some of the jazz albums and books I'd brought from Massachusetts. (She loves stuff from the so-called "Beat" era, and has been devouring any and all of my Jack Kerouac novels, my Allen Ginsberg poetry books, my William Burroughs novels, related music, etc.!)

Things started going sour when the contractor's boss arrived on Wednesday morning, screaming and swearing because Skip's check had bounced. I was an embarrassed witness to this confrontation. After the contractor had left with a promise to return later that day expecting cash, I took Skip aside and said, "Listen, Skip, it's none of my business, but if you're really in a jam right now, we can pay him out of our Simpson/Lynch Studios account."

Skip looked at me sheepishly. "You don't understand. The check I gave them was from the Simpson/Lynch account!"

"Oh, that can't be right!" I exclaimed. "I'm calling the bank!" And suiting the action to the word, I picked up the phone... only to find that it had been disconnected.

"What's going on here?!? Where's all our money?!?"

"Gone toward all our expenses, I assume," said Skip. "Staff salaries, mortgages, lawyers' fees... Gotta love those automatic payments! And neither one of us put a red cent into the coffers during all the time our stupid feud was going on."

"Oh, wow... You're right. But haven't you monitored our balance?"

"Not lately. I was too busy training for the wrestling match between the two of us. Didn't you?"

"No," I admitted. "What a revolting development this is, as Ben Grimm used to say."

"Look," said Skip, "I can't discuss this right now. I'm getting another one of my headaches."

"You've been complaining about headaches ever since that Elvis guy swatted you with his guitar. You really need to get that checked out."

Skip laughed bitterly. "Yeah, right. Like I can afford the medical bills right now! It'll just have to wait."

Putting our plans for the proposed Simpson/Lynch theme park on hold, Skip and I started planning how we could get our fortune back. Uncharacteristically, we came up with nothing!

And then yesterday... Friday...

It was roughly after 5 a.m. when I awoke. What was that ungodly noise outside? I jumped out of bed and threw on a robe, even as Skip started pounding on the door of the guest room where I'd spent the last few nights (well, when I wasn't sleeping at Motel 6).

"What's going on?" I yelled. "Earthquake?" (Do they even have earthquakes in Alabama?)

"Worse!" Skip exclaimed. "It's Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe!"

"Who?" Then I remembered. That was the finance company we made payments to for the Simpson/Lynch jet.

Ohhhhh, no....

Skip and I rushed to the bedroom window, only to see this!

They took the jet.

THEY... TOOK... THE... %$#&%$#... JET!!!

Thanks for your time... and brother, can you spare a dime?


  1. oy! now how are we going to party in style?

  2. That's what I've always liked about you, Brian. You're a man who definitely has his priorities straight!

  3. Well, partner... I'm going to be busy this weekend. I have to fly to London on a... um... business trip. Hopefully, I'll be back in time for "Mr. Toast's First Annual Christmas Tea" in Aspen on December First. If I don't get back... tell Gretchen... um.. tell her, I always thought she was a "swell gal."

  4. ...And just because I may not be back 'til Monday... that does NOT allow you to bring that perky Tara King ANYWHERE near my house!!!

  5. @Candie: Your comment was so sympathetic, it nearly brought me to tears.