Friday, January 30, 2009
I live in an old gas station near the edge of town. It’s big, three bays and a car wash. I rented the place from some old coot who had ran the station out in the middle of nowhere since the mid 50’s. One day he heard someone was buying up all the land around the station. He figured it was some developer who wanted to build houses. They finally approached him with an offer, which he turned down. Then he gambled, took most of his savings and expanded the station to its current monster size.
Turned out the developer wanted to build an industrial park and land fill, but it took some time and when business dwindled to almost nothing and his health began to fail, he closed up shop. He never did sell, “just to spite the lousy suit bastards.” He rented it to me for a song knowing I was too hard up to find a better place. Sometimes I would return home and find him sitting in front of the station, cursing the semis and garbage trucks as they drove by. He also let me use the tow truck and always laughed when he saw me pulling Betsy into the drive.
When he died, he put a clause in his will to let me continue living there rent free as long as I made no changes to the outward appearance. I don’t know who owns it now, but I guess he trusted them not to sell to the suits more than he trusted me. He did leave me the tow truck; probably to remind me how much trouble I had keeping Betsy running.
The place is starting to look run down, but I’ve done some work to the inside. I left one of the hydraulic lifts, it comes in handy. I left the car wash too, mainly because I don’t know what to do with it. The other two bays I turned into a gym where I do my strength training. I was able to turn the office and storage areas into a livable apartment, although I still have to go outside to use the can.
When I got home there were two people waiting for me. Mrs. Carlisle, a local housewife who wanted to get in shape and Chuck Watts. I let Mrs. Carlisle into the gym and told her to do her stretches and then start with the elliptical, same as last time, while I changed clothes and talked with Detective Watts. Chuck and I went into the apartment. “I was beginning to worry about you Vance, but it looks like you were holed up in some love nest with one of your “honeys,” Watts said. “No need to worry about Vance Manion, he can take care of himself. And what’s it to you, didn’t your wife come home last night?” I replied. Of course she had, and I wouldn’t have said so if I thought Chuck and his wife were having problems. I did like the guy and me does fix a lot of my tickets, which I seem to collect like spankings.
Watts scowled at me and said, “what did you see at the Come and Get It?” “Nothing, Vance was down the street when he heard gun shots, Vance didn’t see anyone leave the area. Who was the guy anyway,” I queried as a low rumble was heard in the distance. “Not real sure, we’re still checking,” Watts said as the rumble grew. “What about the four slugs?” I asked as I moved to the cupboards and tied a rope around handles at opposite ends, the rumble now a roar. “We found six,” Watts’ lips moved. “What?” I yelled to be heard over the freight train rolling at about 45 miles an hour just 30 feet behind the building. “I said we found six bullets,” shouted Watts, standing toe to toe with me to be heard over the train. “Vance thought he only saw four entry wounds.” “We dug two more out of the wall behind him. One matched, the other didn’t.” “Two gunmen?” “No, the odd one had probably been there a while.” “What kind of gun?” “Probably 7.65mm.” “Foreigners,” I muttered. “Why do you say that?” Watts asked, as a plate bounced off the counter and crashed to the floor. “This is western America, everyone here carries some large caliber piece. Only foreigners use metric,” I stated, hoping all the weights in the gym were secured. “You may be right, somehow,” Watts replied. “Did anyone see anything?” “Blind as bats, what do you know about Mike, Vance?” “Very little, Vance doesn’t ask questions unless he doesn’t know the answer.” Watts frowned. “Someone said the guy was carrying funny money.” “That might explain the clothes,” I said. “Maybe, we’re checking on that too. How much longer will this racket last?” “Oh five, ten minutes tops.” “I don’t know how you can stand it.” “Free rent is how Vance can stand it. Been nice talking Chuck, but Vance has to work with Mrs. Carlisle.” “We found another body early this morning out in the hills,” Watts added. “Another Samoan?” I asked. “We can’t tell. Everything on the inside was broken and everything on the outside was burned. That will keep the forensics boys busy for a while. They’ll probably have to go for a match on the dental records, if he has enough teeth left,” Watts said flatly. This was serious. If not for what’s her name I might be out of the picture too. “You’re probably better staying away from this one Vance,” Watts cautioned. “Don’t worry about Vance, he’s a big boy,” I smiled, flexing a tawny bicep. “Besides a woman called me last week, wanted to know what it would cost to have me follow her husband. Ought to be easy, he knows some of the same broads Vance does. Never met him though,” I replied. “I guess you have bills to pay, even in this place,” Watts chuckled, then added “is that peanut butter in your ear?”
Watts left and I finished changing. I spent the next hour or so with Mrs. Carlisle. She thought there was a demand for extras in fitness shows and videos, and was determined to be one. Although she was getting into shape, she would never realize her dream. She has two left feet and uneven breasts.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I saw the body almost as soon as I entered the smoke filled room. A small group of people had formed a circle around the dead man, just far enough away not to be involved, but close enough to see what was happening.
I took a second to make a mental picture of the people in the room. I recognized a few faces, but knew that none of the people in here killed this man. The men were all wimps, whose wives made their lives a living Hell, but were afraid to do anything about it but subconsciously hate themselves. The few women were mostly booze hounds with issues of their own. If they had shot him they would be draped over the body sobbing and saying how much they loved him and how sorry they were. Odds were, none of these people killed that man, but I still didn’t rule anyone out.
I reached down to tip the man’s hat back so I could see his face, but drew back just before touching him. My fingers had been within an inch of the cause of death, a small bullet hole just behind the right temple, administered at very close range, in front of all these people.
I looked up into the blank faces, each one staring back at me, probing my every movement, critiquing my every move. I knew they were wondering if I could handle this case, if I had what it takes. I could stand it no more and shouted, “didn’t anyone see who killed this man?”
Everyone in the bar looked away truly disinterested, some smiling, some laughing openly and with good reason. A true blue working detective doesn’t lose his cool so quickly or beg for clues so pitifully. Their disinterest was genuine and understandable. In this end of town violence is as common as a cold – and there isn’t a cure for either. I saw Mike working busily behind the bar serving drinks, as I again turned my attention to the body, trying not to notice the squishing sound coming from my pants, as I bent over the stiff on the floor.
The guy was huge. He looked to be Samoan, mid 30s, 6’7” and an easy 325 pounds, more muscle than not. There appeared to be three other wounds in his middle and upper chest. He was so big it probably required all four shots to bring him down.
He was wearing nice slacks and a long sleeve dress shirt. The collar was open and a real silk tie lay loosened around his neck. His shoes were very expensive, and his aftershave wasn’t Brut.
I checked his wallet. He had a California Driver’s license. It said his name was Mathisu Tonongo, and he was from Sacramento. There were a few uninteresting business cards, one credit card, several hundred dollars in cash and a laundry ticket. I kept the laundry ticket. I plucked out a twenty, rubbed it between my thumb and fingers and tucked them both in my pocket. I looked up and saw a guy staring at me. “It’s counterfeit, they all are.” I said and started to check his other pockets. Nothing, no change, no keys, no phone – nothing. He still had his watch, a Rolex, a ring on each hand, and his nails were manicured.
I stood up and glanced around. The man was still staring at me. “Did you see this?” He shook his head. “Right,” I snorted. The rest of the bar was paying no attention as the cops arrived. I headed to the bar and took a seat where I could see the door and the body.
“What’ll you have Vance?” asked Mike. “Tomato juice with a lime wedge,” I said. When Mike returned with my drink, I said, “what happened here Mike?” “You know me Vance, I was in the back checking stock.”
Mike was a good guy who had seen his share of trouble, and didn’t care for more. Mike did a stretch. When he got out some old pal set him up here as the “owner.” I didn’t know who his partner was, but there were no tax stamps on the liquor bottles, tags on the seat cushions and Mike didn’t carry insurance, or live like a business man whose overhead was too low.
The body was still warm, and things weren’t adding up. First, with his criminal past and ten plus years in the bar, Mike could spot trouble a mile away, and usually threw out troublemakers before things got exciting. So maybe he was checking stock. Second, big Samoans usually travel in pairs. Third, the guy was so well dressed he would have stood out almost anywhere; even on the good part of town, but nobody seemed to notice him. Fourth, in my haste to get dressed, did I put on my underwear or the dames?
The cops scurried around like cops do. They talked to almost everyone in the bar, nobody saw anything. I was hoping to talk with Detective Watts, a sometimes friend of mine. We were currently speaking, but I had to go. With some luck the blonde was still at the hotel, and we could get my jeans off without my losing any skin. I gave Watts a wave as I paid for my drink and left.
I awoke to a knock at the door. It was the maid. I got some clean towels from her and closed the door. I was alone, not even a sign of the dame.
As I showered, I thought about the shooting. A man was gunned down in a bar in the middle of happy hour and nobody saw anything. This sort of thing happened a lot when I was growing up in Jersey. This was typical for the mob. One of the families from Vegas has an interest in town, but I hadn’t gotten wind of any activity by them lately. I didn’t sound like the Asian gangs either. They usually slit throats and do not hang out at the Come and Get It. This could be a tough case. Wait. Nobody asked me to take it. Nobody is paying me and I’m not personally involved. Forget it, leave this one to Watts, he could use a career boost.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I can not take credit for this story and I won't it is a DipShit Production and the Editor, Tis would like to solicit all readers to submit a paragraph in the comment section for future use in the continuing saga of Vance Manion PI/PSC....without further ado..
Outside the hotel, the darkness collapsed around me as I headed down the “main drag” into town. The smell of night swept up the tree-covered slope to meet me and I felt my stomach tighten.
It seemed like the three minutes it took to walk the distance to town was an eternity, but when I entered the street to the vision of chaos, I wished it had taken longer. It was clear to me that the Grim Reaper had paid a visit to this street and had not gone away empty handed.
I focused on the far end of the block; there were still people running everywhere, more people that I had ever seen in this town at one time. A memory of last year’s Founders Day 10K came to mind, and I chuckled because only three people had entered and only one showed up. The Mayor was so upset he refused to award the prize, which prompted the sole participant to punch him square in the puss. I wondered what the Mayor would think if he saw the hundreds of people running the streets tonight.
The commotion seemed to center on a small bar on the other end of the block. I felt the knot in my stomach squeeze tight as I leaped onto the sidewalk and headed toward the blinking red and green neon sign. The red part said “come,” the green part said “and get it.” I stopped three feet shy of the sign.
Seeing the Come and Get It sign reminded me of a past I was trying so desperately to forget. I hadn’t been here since the night two years ago when they found me next to dead on the shore of the lake. All I remember of that night is coming to the bar for a stiff cocktail before retiring, and then chasing that one legged bastard near the lake. The next think I knew, I was in a medical helicopter on my way to a trauma unit in Boise. It took nearly six weeks of treatment in the psycho ward before I was allowed back on the streets.
My therapist was a long legged strawberry blonde, who worked night and day to deal with my problem. I guess I was quite a wreck when she first saw me be cause she said I was curled up in a ball, and all I would say was “look out, look out, nomads, ranchers and Eskimo pies!” When I finally came out of la la land, I could only remember part of the Come and Get It, and then running after the one-legged bastard. I also remember being surprised at how fast that one leg could carry him. The shrink said I had blocked whatever happened out of my mind and that I may never remember it or the slightest little thing could trigger a complete recall. If the latter occurred, she warned me, all hell could break loose and I would probably not be able to control my actions.
The not knowing had been eating at my guts ever since. I worried at first that people would not trust me as a private eye or personal strength coach, so I got out of the business. My friends tried to comfort me by saying my paranoia was all in my head, and that they did trust me. But I could see right through them. When I wasn’t around they talked about me, all of them. My friends, my grandmother, even my dog would get quiet when I came in the room and I could see in their eyes that they thought I was crazy.
I cracked. I went on a drinking binge that has never been equaled. Party all day, party all night. That was my motto and I was damn proud of it. Everyone was my friend when I was buying the drinks and nobody called me crazy, not in a bad way.
I didn’t care about anything. I was riding higher than I had ever ridden before and that was all that mattered.
My euphoria was short lived however, as bill collectors and hangovers started to pile up. In a rare moment of clarity I realized I had to do something and do it fast. I turned to the only thing I knew, the only thing I ever loved. I remember the day I decided to return like it was just this morning. I got out of bed, walked to the open window and shouted “I’m Vance Manion, private eye and personal strength coach and I’m back and mad as Hell!”
“Hey buddy, you got a light?” The vagrant’s words returned me to the front of the bar and the real world.
“Get away from me you walking flea hotel,” I snapped as I pushed my way into the bar.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The sound of the gunshot pierced through the night air and seemed to blend into the cracking of the whip as it struck my already inflamed buttocks. I tried to convince myself it was just a truck backfiring as it downshifted to make the steep grade into town, but my trained ears would not let me believe that. I had heard the pop of nearly every weapon ever fired and knew this was not a backfire. It was the sound every man in my profession dreads hearing while somehow managing to thrive on the aftermath. It’s not a pretty job, but what job really is. I earn my money only when other people have committed heinous crimes or need some sort of fitness conditioning. You see, I’m Vance Manion, private eye and personal strength coach.
I somehow convinced the big breasted beauty I was allowing to torture me, to untie me and tell me where she had hidden my clothes. She was a real prize with a figure that could stop a Japanese rush hour, and eyes so sky blue that every now and then you thought you saw birds fly across them. Sexually she was my equal, and quite possibly the only equal to me in the world. I knew I wanted to spend more time with her, get to know her, spend more time with her and perhaps fall in love with her. But what I really wished I could do is remember her name.
I rushed to dress as the blonde watched. In my haste I completely forgot about the “love potion” of honey, peanut butter, and strawberry jam, that I had encouraged her to spread over my lower body in anticipation of her licking it off. Forgot that is until I tried to slide my Levi’s 501 jeans on. (All us private eyes wear 501s).
Knowing that I didn’t have time for a shower, especially with this Goddess, I took a deep breath and forced my ooze covered butt into the jeans and buttoned them with as much speed as I could muster. I leaned over to give this sexual dynamo a peck on the cheek before leaving, when she spoke for the first time in what seemed like hours.
“Why Vance, why does it always have to be you?” she said in a voice so husky it could have pulled a dog sled. “Every time anything in this one-horse town goes wrong, I have to untie you so that you can run off and risk your life, or spend hours in the gym training some flavor of the month wrestler for his ‘Dream Match’ with the Hulk. Why does it have to be you? Why can’t it be someone else?”
The dame had a point. My recent history as a lover had more spots than an old man with liver problems. It seems I had run out on more women in the middle of sex than I cared to remember, but her questions brought it all back to me.
There was the brunette bimbo from Baltimore I bedded at the Best Western that I left to book the bank robber. I stranded the redhead at the Ramada to catch the vermin responsible for defacing the mascot in front of our middle school.
But the most painful to me was the time I lost the only true love of my life when I tossed cab fare on the night stand as I left the Marriot to track down the one legged bastard who kept leaving the phony Bigfoot tracks to alternately attract and scare the tourists who might be camping near the lake. Yeah she was right alright, I did leave a lot of women stranded, but part of what she said bothered me - the part about her having to untie me all the time. I could have sworn this was the first time I had ever seen her.
“Why you Vance?” Her cry brought me back from my memories.
I didn’t want to disappoint her, but I couldn’t lie to her either, at least not yet. I crossed the room to her and stared straight into those baby blues. She gasped as I took her hand and held it gently while reciting the only thing that would, or could, come to mind. I gave her my standard answer. “I’ll tell you why Sweetheart - because I’m Vance Manion, private eye and personal strength coach.” With that I kissed her on the forehead and headed out into the mystery the darkness outside was clinging to.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Just for the record....
In case my plane goes down on the way to San Diego, I would hate that the few people that read this shit would always wonder about the 6 things that I posted that may or may not be true.
Well I am sorry and joyful to say ALL 6 are true.
I know I'm lie a Virgina Slims ad "I've come a long way Baby"
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Can't wait for America to go through this!
Are the same people that spent the last 24 years making fun of all the presidents that have blown through DC, going to be as hard on Obama as they were on Clinton? Both Bushes, and a Reagan? What about Carter or Ford? SNL busted all their balls, Jon Stewart spent the last 10 years with his self righteous fist elbow deep in Bush's ass...not that it wasn't warranted, but still what is gonna happen when the first black prez, stumbles? Is it going to be racist to make fun of his black ass? When he fails to do anything but raise our taxes and create more welfare moms is it going to be against the rules to point that out?
Here is a good stat for you anti gun nuts.
Australian Gun Law Update
Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts...
From: Ed Chenel , A police officer in Australia
Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under.
It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced
by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by
our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.
The first year results are now in:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.
(Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)
While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed
There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.
Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in 'successfully ridding Australian society of guns.' You won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.
The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
And what about that CRAZY little town in Georgia that REQUIRES guns to be owned?
In March 1982, 27 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill. – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of "Wild West" showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender.
The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.
Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available – for the year 2005 – show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189. By comparison, the population of Morton Grove, the first city in Illinois to adopt a gun ban for anyone other than police officers, has actually dropped slightly and stands at 22,202, according to 2005 statistics. More significantly, perhaps, the city's crime rate increased by 15.7 percent immediately after the gun ban, even though the overall crime rate in Cook County rose only 3 percent. Today, by comparison, the township's crime rate stands at 2,268 per 100,000.
This was not what some predicted.
In a column titled "Gun Town USA," Art Buchwald suggested Kennesaw would soon become a place where routine disagreements between neighbors would be settled in shootouts. The Washington Post mocked Kennesaw as "the brave little city … soon to be pistol-packing capital of the world." Phil Donahue invited the mayor on his show.
Reuters, the European news service, today revisited the Kennesaw controversy following the Virginia Tech Massacre.
Police Lt. Craig Graydon said: "When the Kennesaw law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime … and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then. We are sure it is one of the lowest (crime) towns in the metro area." Kennesaw is just north of Atlanta.
Take note Americans, before it's too late!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Torn between two lovers...feeling like a stool
I love all of the peeps I have met through and around this thing but the truth be told, I am running out of fodder. My life, well the life I choose to share here, where I barely talk work because I don't feel the need to lose my job yet, and I touch on my involvement in the community service arena just a bit, because I can't really write what I want because if everyone knows that I am the douche behind the writing, and in charge of things in a business professional arena too, it might get a little more sticky then I want...Who am I kidding? I'd get run outta two organizations and more than likely the whole state of Missouri.
So what do you say when there is nothing to say? Do I just write bullshit like this? do I tell a fancy parable (can someone other then the son of god throw a parable out there?)and try and teach folk that my mistakes are everyone's mistakes?
I just don't know I guess I could be like some of the other people in the blogosphere and just lie, make stuff up and see if any one believes it. maybe I can make up a bunch of quizzes to get to know people better, or make myself look worse then I do...here try this on for size which one of these things have I done in Real life?
1) Mugged a man for cab fare
2) Stabbed my brother
3) Met Prof. Schorofsky from the TV show Fame
4) Had lunch with Crosby Kemper III
5) Stole all of my books for a complete semester
6) Never had a job interview
So out of the six things there which ones are complete bullshit?
Hell, maybe I can just make stuff up.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
News people. …Why on earth do you douche hammers insist on acting out the story that you are telling? I am not talking about the talking heads in the studio, I’m talking about the goofy jackasses that they send out in the field to tell us the fucking roads are slick, or that people are having trouble making the gas payment so the airhead keeps walking through her house and up to her thermostat showing us that yes indeed this is the device that some people can’t afford to turn on or keep running.
What the fuck is that? Is there a news reporter class where they teach you to point at stupid shit just in case we all forgot to wear our helmets, and we have just recently figured out to stop eating the paste? It is just condescending and lame when some reject makes the camera person wander around behind or point in a direction where there is ABSOLUTELY nothing going on, just so they tie their body language into part of the story. If you don’t know about this phenomena but if you watch any morning news you will see it. I am not naming names but for fucks sake Fox 4 is thick with stupid reporters.
The Shocker… Ok we all now that the shocker is two in the pink and one in the stink, but to me that isn’t shocking. Ok I know that a finger in the ass of some people would tilt them off of their axis and cause them to be horribly scarred for life. I think if you went for the Promised Land and tried to throw the shocker in play, and hit a ROOT, and your two in the pink become a ring around the polesy…. THAT would be a SHOCKER. Thinking that you’re heading into the apple pie and instead of sticky goodness, you hit wood…again Shocker.
American Idol…. Seriously. Where do these people fucking come from? My deaf dog can howl with better pitch then 99% of these fist fucking losers who think they can carry a tune and I bet they couldn’t carry a bucket of shit with both hands. And then bawl like a bitch when they are told they suck…do they not have friends? And if they do have friends I would seriously consider getting new ones who don’t talk you into doing REALLY stupid shit!
Guys named Clancy… Yeah I don’t get that name. What the fuck is that all about?
Friday, January 09, 2009
Doing Time With Trashman
Since the Legend doesn't imbibe any more, I drank enough for the both of us. We sat and talked for hours on end like a couple of school girls! I haven't laughed like that in a while. So What I'm saying is some one needs to get this Ex-pimp/drug dealer/con man/bouncer/construction work a book deal because some of his best stories aren't on paper yet!
Trash, had a great time. Next time in Austin, we're BBQing at your place!