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Smokey and the Idiot

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I guess it must have been right around nineteen seventy seven the construction industry was booming around the lower forty eight. Welders oil men mill wrights and carpenters were in high demand and could demand top dollar for their time.  Pulling down a hundred bucks a day was about the norm.  I had met Joe Lopez, a crazy Cuban who looked like a white southern rebel from the south, go figure. I met him in a job shop in Southern California. He was a top notch welder and I was a premier layout fitter. I could build anything you could ink onto a blueprint, and Joe would come behind me and stick the metals together with weld rod. One day while taking lunch in this job shop, Joe was telling me about Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia and the boom they were experiencing in the south. He said if we teamed up together we could ask our own price on any of the many major projects going on in these areas. I asked him how much we could make a day as a team and he said conservatively two hundred and fifty a day, after lunch we got in his 1975 El Camino went to my place, picked up my cloths and personal tools and headed east.

Later I would find out that Joe had a hidden agenda that he failed to disclose to me for obvious reasons. Joe was a functioning alcoholic and for the first six months I just figured this guy loved to party, and why not?  We were making $250 bucks a day, our rent was $150 bucks a month, and the best part was Joe could talk anyone into anything. So he talked us into the sweetest deal this side of the Rio Grande. I know this may sound far fetched but on my life I swear to you he was able to talk a southern madam into allowing us to rent the only empty trailer in a ten acre park which only housed hookers and call girls, true, true, true. Over time as the madam got to know us better she started allowing Joe and I to take a couple of the girls out for a night of rock and roll and severe drinking. The girls began competing for our company when the other girls would come back from a night on the town with us and tell the other girls it was the happiest and best night of their life. I may have been a little bit crazy in my youth and this was why they enjoyed these evenings. For instance we were partying in a place called hawks in Gladewater Texas were the best pair of tits won two ounces of the best pot in the county. The floor was dirt and the only place to sit was on the car seats that were attached by chains from the wooden ceiling. Hawk an old friend who owned the place was fresh out of prison and had purchased a three hundred pound male lion as entertainment.

The lions name was domino and was on a heavy chain runner in the back of the property. After getting drunk enough and if you were stupid enough, (which I may have been a couple of times) you would enter his space and he would chase you down, put a paw on top of you and rip your shirt off without unbuttoning it. He saved these shirts in a large pile he had collected which almost destroyed my faith in the human ability of awareness. Until you’ve actually felt the power of a lion’s paw hold you down, there is no other feeling in the world that can make you realize just how powerful of a creature this is, and just how powerless you are against this beast, NONE. After my fight fatal the girls were so amazed at this act that they took me down behind the building and I must admit, their pretty powerful too. Hawk bought this place because it was located right between three county lines, never picked up on the original county property maps and was just a sliver left out of any of the three counties’. None of the counties or their police forces had jurisdiction. The bar and gambling was open seven days a week and twenty four hours a day. It was the ultimate playground for pot smoking, sexual activity, partying, gambling fanatics, and mainly those characters way out of the mainstream of America. But then like all great things, the F.B.I. came in arrested hawk that night, took him back to prison, while Joe, I, and the two girls were all napping from the nights incredible pleasures. In the morning we talked a couple of patrolmen into giving all four of us a ride back to Kilgore because Joe had lost his car keys, the officers gave us a ride back to the Ten Acre whore house where at first they didn’t believe we were living, but the girls assured them we had the run of the whole facility. While these two Highway Patrolmen were kind enough to help us out we noticed a case of Lonestar beer in the backseat with us and were told to hold it on our lap but in no uncertain terms to keep our hands off it or “else” but as I explained earlier I may have been socially retarded in my earlier youth. I took off my heavy jacket rapped the first cold one inside of it and as the girls and Joe tried their best using sign language to deter me from committing this heinous crime, yet I twisted the first one off and handed it to Julie with a coy smile and a wink. Forty minutes later after trying to suppress our giggles we arrived and as officer “or else” opened the back door to the squad car the cans went rolling out onto the ground with our feet. I tell you even through all the laughter and the cans sounding like A-bombs hitting Texas, this cop had absolutely no sense of humor at all. He got p-i-s-s-e-d- o-f-f- and threatened to arrest us until I had sandy promise him an oral bath. The next day the madam had her way with Joe for my screw up, but like I said he could talk anybody into anything, ug that woman was nice but also butt ugly! Afterwards she gave us a ride back to the bar to figure out how we could get the car back home. But as we pulled into the parking lot, there were the keys inside the door lock on in driver side door on the only car in the dirt parking lot. Did I mention Joe was a functioning alcoholic? This may have only been partially true.


In a few weeks I had a savings and decided I wanted my own freedom via my own car. I was able to find a cheap 1968 cougar for a measly $ 250 bucks. It need paint and I could see from the exhaust that this little black jewel needed a ring job, but if I drove it tenderly it could last a few months until I was able to put more money away. Joe and I had met three really nice oil derrick hands from the nearby oil fields through one of the girls at the “woman’s lodge” one of the guys was her brother and extremely cool. So to celebrate my new purchase we decided to go to the movies and see smoky and the bandit which had just been release and was the hottest thing to hit the country in years, and afterwards we’d have a few drinks and head back home. The movie was awesome, and for five young men in their prime who loved cars, this was a little piece of heaven.  Next door to the theater was a little Italian dive that served pizza and beer so we jumped into the place and then into the beer. We couldn’t stop talking about how hot Sally Fields was and how cool the Bandit was. Afterwards we headed back to Kilgore and home. I was hyped about the movie still when I heard a large backfire from the car looked in the mirror to see the death of the car in the air. The rings on the piston were dying just as I started to head over the Sabine River Bridge.

“The dash to freedom”

The thought hit me quick; if I pull over to the side of the road and let her die I would have to pay for towing and other associated cost that would cost more than I paid for the car. This was not the answer I was looking for, as I continued up the bridge it hit me, I’ll ditch it in the river. I think I was still under the influence of the bandit, if only I had a cowboy hat, how can you live in Texas and not own a cowboy hat I thought at that moment. Plus instead of that beautiful Sally Fields where her legs were up on the dash; I had chubby Joe red eyes, with beer breath, beer belly and loud farts. None the less I yelled hold on I’m going to ditch the car, and I ripped the steering wheel right jumping the curb, flew out about ten feet in the air and onto the grass bordering both sides of the bridge at a steep angle, got control as best I could down this grassy embankment and stuck my foot flush against the wholly carpet under the gas pedal and swung the steering wheel to the left hard to head for the salvation of the bless it water. I heard three grown oil derrick men cry for their momma and Joe grabbed my accelerator leg right on top of my funny bone, which everybody knows make your leg straiten out even further yet. In front of us were pussy willows that must of been five to six foot high guarding the rivers edge and which towered over the low profile cougar, and in the back seat were three oily pussy’s screaming at me to stop, I gave a quick look over at Joe and he was in heaven, I realized instantaneously he knew where we were headed and he grabbed my leg on purpose to make sure the deed was done, so I held the pedal down as we flew through the pussy willows and into the Sabine River at about fifty miles an hour, it was God Dam glorious. For anyone who has never paid $250 Dollars for the experience of a life time, I suggest you do. It’s one of the most memorable experiences in not only my life, but the four heroes’ of hind site who showed up after the entire experience was over. I was starting to freak out after we all managed to crawl threw the windows and swim back to shore. The car started floating away down the river like a boat. On T.V. they sink like a rock, but in real life it takes at least five minutes and it was heading back for the shore. How would I explain this to the cops if she didn’t take a dive for me? Plus I would now have to pay maybe a $1000 bucks to get her out of the water, towed to a police facility, and then towed to the scrap yard, explain how I was able to make three quick high speed turns and not able to stop the car on a eight mile strait away, but she didn’t let me down, the guys said a few words in prayer as I watched her sink but I think the prayer from the boys had to do with something about my death. I had killed my car! and I never really got the chance to say thank you. Up to the road we dripped, five soaking wet rats with long hair hitch hiking on the side of the highway in Texas, we knew this would diminish any chance of getting a ride back to Kilgore, so the oil boys decided to call a buddy and split, not inviting us along to their rescue. Joe and I walked about ten minutes and got a ride in the back of a pick-up truck.

The next morning their was a knock on the door while we were still sleeping, I got up and answered the door it was the two hottest call girls in the park, totally high class and which by the way would NOT even look at us before this morning. “Can we come in Danny”, ah ya, come on in. What’s up ladies? They could not contain themselves, Corrine was the hottest girl in the world and knew it, she asked, have you been watching T.V. this morning? No we were sleeping why? Corrine trotted over to the T.V. all excited and flipped it on, apparently a helicopter doing the traffic caught on camera a car that not only resembled something right out of smoky and the bandit, but the driver seem to be just as crazy as he went down a seventy foot slope across a grassy plain sideways, poking the throttle to warp five and launching threw pussy willows meanwhile killing this poor little black beauty by drowning her in the Sabine. HOLY CRAP a close up of me scrambling out of the cougar. Five unidentified drunk wacko’s standing on the shore of the Sabine laughing their asses off. Then I hear if anyone has information on these individuals please call the police at 1-800-im fucked.

Corrine turned to me like I was the messiah with a magnetic love potion, jumped on me like a trampoline and then her friend who I didn’t even know her name began removing my underwear and her clothing. Joe heard the noise and came running from his bed room carrying a candle to beat someone with (this guy really is crippled mentally) after listening to what they were saying he grabbed the other girl, gave me his dim witted smile and headed back to his bedroom.

The next evening we rented a place in Pascagoula Mississippi and went to work in the shipyards, laying low for six months. We found a place in the country with old retired people, who were just happy we moved there so we could pop the top off of their beer bottles for them. We’d just sit there looking perplexed while watching the sun and our fame fall from site.

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