Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 12

Ben made his grand entrance down the stairs. I don’t know where he got his costume, but it wasn’t from the Lido. Ben was dressed like … Assassin’s Creed. White hood, extra long black leather vest, with a black leather crossbelt. He had a long white shirt, with blue trim, wrist guards, and high leather boots. OK – I admit it – he looked pretty cool. But Assassin’s Creed? Really?

Eliza and Sheila came down together. I had already seen Ee’s costume, but I was certainly not tired of looking at it. Sheila, though, had gotten quite creative. She had a black kerchief on her head, and long dark hair hanging down to her waist. It was a wig! She also had a white lace shirt that left her shoulders bare, a lace-up corset, and a burgundy-coloured skirt down to her ankles. She had a petticoat, too, but it was transparent. When she lifted her skirts, you could see quite a bit of leg over the top of her high-heeled, lace-up boots. Add to that a black velvet choker … and Sheila looked pretty good.

– “Fantastic.” I told her. “You look sexy and dangerous at the same time.”

– “Good.” she said. “That’s kind of what I was hoping for.”

– “Love the wig, too.” I added.

– “You would.”

Leo finally came down, in his Jack Sparrow costume. He got a round of applause. I had to laugh – he had added the eye makeup.

Then Teresa came out, and she got applause, too. My ex was very, very smart: she didn’t try to upstage any of the players. Her costume was deliberately less sexy than any of the others. She had a tricorne hat, and a really cute dress that looked like a gentleman’s long coat, except that it ended in a skirt. It was burgundy color, with wide black lapels and large brass buttons down the front. Her white shirt was buttoned at the neck, so that she showed no cleavage whatsoever. The shirt had wide, elaborate lace cuffs. The skirt reached to her knees, but high boots and a thick, frilly petticoat meant that she was showing only a couple of inches of skin. For a final touch, she had a replica pistol tucked into a broad black belt.

Compared to Claire and the others, Teresa’s costume made her look like a pirate Mother Superior. She was attractive and authoritative, without the blatant, outrageous sexuality of the others. It suited her, somehow, as if she truly belonged in another century. Understated, yet effective.

– “Very, very impressive.” I told her.

– “Thank you.” she said, with her classic half-smile. “Are we all here?” she asked.

– “Everyone except Barbara.” said Eliza.

– “Ah. Well, then – everybody should make sure that they have a fresh drink.” said Teresa.

Barbara was last, of course. No one was surprised. She got to make her grand entrance. And she still managed to exceed our expectations.

Barbara wore a long coat – yes, burgundy-colored. What was it with that colour for pirate costumes? The wide lapels were black, and the lining of her coat featured a swirling pattern of black and gold. She had a white shirt with cuffs like Teresa’s, but the resemblance ended there; Barbara’s neckline was scandalously low, showing an insane amount of cleavage. I wanted to get a ruler or a tape measure and stick my hands in there.

She had a tight little corset lifting and supporting her large boobs, and a gold chain around her neck. There may have been a pendant attached, but I couldn’t see one, as it disappeared into the enormous crevasse between her tits. Her belt had a large, ornate brass buckle. Her legs were snugly sheathed in black tights, tucked into knee-high black high-heeled boots. On top, she had a wide-brimmed black felt hat with a fake ostrich feather.

And would you believe it: she was wearing an eye patch.

Barbara must have spent hours combing all of the costume shops to find the most outrageously sexy components they had. She also wore makeup to match – lots and lots around her eyes. She came down the stairs, slowly, and struck a pose.

I would have bet a sizeable fortune that every guy there was hard as a rock. It wasn’t just Barbara – though she could have cause a riot in a monastery – it was the combined effect of six very attractive women dressed to match a variety of male fantasies.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 7 – Fun in Sealy, Texas

“Frank got out of the van holding a steel ice pic in his fist, while I remained inside the van filling my diaper.”

I love this one!

We left Louisiana and were headed west on highway 10. It’s like an elevated road through a swamp which was actually pretty cool. It had been overcast for most of the trip so far. I was hoping for some sunny days.

By nightfall we crossed the border into the state of Texas. We’re tired from driving all day so we decide to stay in the town of Sealy for the evening.

Here’s a little history.

San Felipe, Texas, sold part of its original 22,000-acre (8,900 ha) township to the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad to create Sealy in 1879. Sealy gets its name after business tycoon and majority stock holder of the GCSF RR, George Sealy of Galveston. In 1881, Daniel Haynes, a cotton gin builder, filled a request for a cotton-filled mattress which started a company. He named this the Sealy Mattress Company after the town. Business grew exponentially, which led to more innovation and several patents, such as a machine that compressed cotton.

We were always looking to save money and this would be the first motel we would stay in on the road. I don’t remember the name of it but it was off the main highway. I suppose it was one of those places that was once vibrant and busy but when the new highway came in not many people came by to stay there anymore. Sort of like the Bates Motel.

We pull the van up in front of the lobby and go in. It’s a dingy, dimly lit office. Sitting at the counter is this guy who appears to be in his late twenties or early thirties. Drab clothing and long greasy hair. Sort of like some character out of oh… I don’t know, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

He’s sitting there coloring. Yea. With crayons. In a coloring book. I swear to God.

So we fill out the registration card and give the guy the money for the room. I don’t remember how much it was. Maybe $22 for the night.

Frank’s been going on all day about how he wants to watch the Superman movie on TV tonight. “Fuckin’ Supermon! It’ll be brilliant!” he said in his Irish accent. I guess he hadn’t seen it when it was in the theater and was all excited that we could watch it on TV tonight for the first time. It was supposed to come on at 9pm and it was only 8pm so there was time to get beer, settle in and watch it so Frank wouldn’t lose his shit. (This is the Superman starring Christopher Reeve for all you youngsters reading this.)

So the weirdo gives us some bath towels the keys and assigns us a room down the end. (No one will hear our screams) We go back to the van and get in. I toss the towels on the seat behind me and we slowly drive down to our room and park in front of it. Over the door is a dome lamp emitting very little light because it’s so clogged with dead insects. I put the key in the door expecting to be snatched inside by Leatherface, But happily that doesn’t happen.

However, I do realize we’re the only people staying here. There are no other cars and all of the rooms are dark.

We go inside and I find the light switch on the wall. It’s a dingy little room with two beds, a night table between them and TV on a stand on the opposite wall. The room smells like mildew. I walk to the bathroom to see what’s doing in there. The bathroom is always a good barometer of the level cleanliness in a motel. Frank’s busy playing with the TV.

The bathroom looks ok. Not great, but ok.

That is until I pull back the shower curtain. (Oh a bloody dead body? Kidding!)

On the wall I see the biggest fucking roach I’ve ever seen in my life.

I’m originally from Philly. Born and raised. I grew up in Lawndale in Northeast Philly. Everybody had roaches in their basement. My mother would say it was because we live between two rivers. I don’t see how that had any relevance to why we had German cockroaches in our basement, I just knew those things creeped out me and my sisters growing up. I may at some point write an exclusive piece about my hatred and respect for cockroaches as a species.

But this thing appeared to be over two inches in length.  I was immediately terrified and looked for something to smash it out of existence forever in Kubrickian glee.

And that’s when it opened it’s wings and flew right at my face. I squealed like a schoolgirl and ran out of the bathroom.

“Wot the fuck’s up with you?”

“I just saw the biggest goddamn roach ever… and they can FLY down here!!!”

“Fuck off mate. We’ve got bigger problems.”

“Rats?”

“No! There’s no reception on the TV. How the fuck am I going to watch Superman now?”

I’m still trying to process the flying monster in the bathroom. Because where there’s one, there’s more you can’t see. Apparently what I witnessed that night was my first Palmetto Beetle. They look like roaches but have hardened wings so they can fly. Leave it to the state of Texas and the South in general to come up with some scary shit and then make it even scarier.

“We can’t stay here. Gotta see Superman.”

“Will you shut the fuck up about fucking Superman?!”

 

We decide that’s we’re going to drive back up to the office and tell the coloring book guy that we saw a bunch of roaches and the TV doesn’t work and that we just want our money back and we’ll go.

We do just that and after some back and forth with this half wit he begrudgingly opens the register and gives us back our money. We thank him profusely and hop back in the van. We’re on the winding road through the woods back to highway 10 only a few minutes.

Suddenly, this car comes roaring out of the darkness behind us flashing its headlights. I’m thinking, what kind of Urban Legend has been wrought upon us?

Frank rolls down the window and sticks his head out and starts barking at the driver of the late-model convertible behind us. I’m thinking he’s going to get a shotgun blast to the head and that’s going to be the end of it.

“For fuck’s sake, Chaz, It’s the guy from the motel!”

At this point my heart is pounding and I’m terrified.

“I don’t think this old horse can outrun him. Should I pull over?”

“Ya… Fuckin’ pull over I’ll see what your man wants!”

I bring the minibus to a halt. I pull the emergency brake but leave the engine running. Frank grabs this foot long metal ice pick out of his rucksack.

“What the fuck, dude? Where did you get that?”

“No worries let’s see what this fucker wants.”

Coloring book boy doesn’t know that Frank was formerly in the junior wing of the IRA back in Belfast. The Irish Republican Army is any of several armed movements in Ireland in the 20th and 21st centuries dedicated to Irish republicanism, the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic. It was also characterized by the belief that political violence was necessary to achieve that goal.

Yea. You don’t want to fuck with Frank.

He approaches the guy.

“What the fuck do you want?”

Of course the coward that I am, remained safely in the van filling my diaper waiting to hear the sound of someone trying to start a chainsaw.

The guy is saying something to Frank but I can’t hear the exchange because of the blood rushing through my ears in fear.

Then I hear it.

“My tails!”

“What?”

“I want my tails!”

“What the fuck is he going on about, Chaz?”

And then I get it. The Southern accent. He’s not asking about the hindmost part of an animal, especially when prolonged beyond the rest of the body, such as the flexible extension of the backbone in a vertebrate, the feathers at the hind end of a bird, or a terminal appendage in an insect.

I reach behind my seat. (My Gun? Kidding!)

I walk back in the glare of his headlights carrying the bath towels he had given us back at the office. I totally forgot about them!

“My tails!”

“Yes. Your towels. I’m sorry, sir. We totally forgot about these.” He grabs them from me with a suspicious look on his face. I apologize again and we walk back to the van.

Frank and I both sit in silence for a moment taking in what just happened. We see the guy turn his car around and head back down the dark road. We watch as his tail lights vanish in a cloud of dust and darkness.

I pop the brake and we both explode in fits of laughter. It was that kind nervous, fearful, relieved laughter. We had just experienced our first harrowing night on the road together.

We got back out on the highway and within a mile or so pull into the lot of a brightly lit motel with several cars in the lot and people out and around laughing and drinking on their balconies. We checked in and went to our room.

Frank goes into the bathroom. The place was lovely and clean. We’re both elated to be where were at that moment.

“Fuck sake, Chaz. Look at the bathroom! It’ll dazzle ya!”

Place was really clean. I hop on my bed and pull a couple of cold ones from the cooler and hand one to Frank.

“What time is it?”

“Nine.”

Frank leaps up and turns on the TV.

We clink our bottles together as the opening scene of Superman appears on the big color TV.

 

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The Beach House – Chapter 2

It was about four o’clock when I finished the final load a laundry. It being summer, I still had a good four hours of good beach time left. I grabbed a book, donned my swimming trunks, and headed to my lounger. I mentally kicked myself for forgetting to research a self-adjusting umbrella. I began to adjust the umbrella and felt a sharp pain in my ankle as my foot dug into the sand. Something jabbed me hard right below where the ankle bone stuck out. I whipped my foot up and saw two small welts just above the heel. It didn’t look that serious although it was a bit sore. It must have been some glass or something in the sand. Just another thing trying to ruin my day.

I lay on the lounger and opened my book at the marker. It wasn’t a great book, but I had a rule about finishing every book I start. It even paid off one time with a fantastic ending that made the slog through the rest more than worthwhile. I flexed my leg and ankle a bit trying to shake off the noticeable discomfort from the sand bite. I figured I would be stuck with the pain till I was able to sleep it off tonight. I went back to my book.

An incessant uneven humming began to disturb my world. I looked up from the book and saw a boat breaking the waves not far off shore. It seemed too small for the ocean. Every time a wave went by, it pulled the small engine out of the water and it emitted a high pitched scream. Fucking idiots. They had a whole ocean to play in, and they picked my back yard. I went back to my book figuring they would pass in a moment. The engine got louder as I read.

I looked back up and saw the small craft heading toward my beach. It sounded like the throttle was opened all the way. I lost the grip on my book and it dropped closed. “Son of a bitch!” I said as I realized I would have to spend the next five minutes trying to find my place again. I was really beginning to dislike the captain of the annoying vessel. The boat wasn’t slowing and was still heading to my beach. If they thought they were landing here, they had better think again. I grabbed my phone in case I had to call the police.

The boat began veering off to the left toward the breakwater. The idiots should be able to see the rocks. That’s all I need is a smashed up boat to ruin my pristine view. “Hey, wake up!” I shouted and waived my arm. The boat kept coming and didn’t slow a bit. I screamed again, signaling with both arms, but the boat stayed to its course and slammed into the rocks. I heard wood give way when it hit and saw what looked like a naked body fly out toward the rocks.

I stood quickly from my chair. A little too quickly as my leg had seemed to go numb a bit. I moved toward the shore trying to work the sleep out of it yelling for whoever would listen. “Hey asshole! This is a private beach.” I received no response, but saw something bobbing close to shore. It looked like a body. Fuck, that’s all I need. Someone came all the way to my house to die. I moved quickly to water in hopes of forestalling a visit from the coroner. My arm didn’t really want to cooperate as numbness ran up my side and toward my neck. I moved quickly into the shallows and rolled what I now realized was a naked woman onto her back.

She sputtered a little water out of her mouth and looked up to me with hugely dilated eyes. “Should have just left me,” she said with a Spanish accent before she broke into laughter. Pissed, I grabbed her wrist and began pulling her lethargic body toward the sand with my good arm. Her head was oozing a bit of blood although it didn’t look too serious. Suddenly, pain forced me to my knees. Something was really wrong. I didn’t have any energy to stand back up. My whole chest felt like it was collapsing in on itself. I dropped her arm and remembered my phone. I picked the first number in my recent list and dialed Monica.

“Monica… Monica.” I couldn’t finish the sentence. I didn’t have enough air in my lungs. I realized I might be dying. A wave a fear ran through me. I wasn’t ready to go yet. I haven’t even finished the book.

“Fuck! You’re having a heart attack!” The woman sat up, and two rather attractive breasts bounced on her chest. She was failing miserably at trying to hold back laughter. My vision was drifting in and out which made the whole situation surreal. I fell backward, half in and half out of the water. She grabbed my phone before it got wet. “Mr. Private Beach needs a doctor.” She laughed into the phone and threw it over her shoulder into the water. The last thing I remember was her Spanish laughter as she straddled my stomach.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 6 – The French Quarter – Part 2

First, let me give you some history on Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras is actually only one night. Fat Tuesday. The night before Ash Wednesday. The weeks of partying before Mardi Gras is actually Carnival.

For the entire Carnival, they never clean Bourbon Street. They can’t. Since the bars are open 24 hours a day, never close no matter what, it’s impossible to clean up. In other words, when you walk down Bourbon Street, you never look down. If you drop something, it’s gone man, forget it. After Mardi Gras, you throw away your shoes.

When you walk down Bourbon, things you step on squish, crunch, slide, make little crying noises, so you NEVER look down.

Some of the people arrested during Carnival are held in jail until Mardi Gras and forced to clean the streets. Now that’s punishment.

At Midnight on Fat Tuesday, they lock all the doors to all the bars and other establishments on Bourbon, and anyone caught on the street is arrested. Once all the doors are locked, the Police come down the street. A line of three Patrol cars, followed by a line of Police on horse back, followed by three SWAT trucks, followed by three Street Sweepers.

They cruise down the street arresting people while they clean the streets.

On to the story.

Frank and I are just going from bar to bar and drinking our faces off. It’s a crazy time and I can’t believe I’m already living this life on the road. People are dancing in the streets and i feel like I’m in a scene from Easy Rider at 19 years old.

We’re in Bourbon Blues (an awesome club on Bourbon Street) and I start talking to the guy next to me. He says his name is Tim and he’s from Cincinnati. He sells Bingo supplies. We talk for a while and he offers to buy us a round of drinks. Four, thirty-two ounce Hurricanes. And these are seven dollars each, plus one for himself….Do the math.

I thank him, and he says, “No, you’re not done yet.” And proceeds to order two shots of Tequila and two shots of 151 Rum into EACH drink. Shots are five bucks each, that makes each drink worth Twenty-Seven dollars, and he bought five of them.

My idiot friends ( We just met yesterday) don’t realize what’s going on, all they know is that there’s a fresh drink waiting for them. They don’t know about the four extra shots in them.

So we talk, finish our drinks and I tell him that I’ve got the next round.

He says no, and buys another round of five, Twenty-Seven dollar Hurricanes.

And the guys I’m with still have no idea what the hell is going on. They still think it’s just a normal Hurricane.

We finish that round, and once again I offer to buy a round. And once again, he declines and orders another round the same way.

And once again, my friends have no idea what they’re drinking.

When we finish this round, I offer one last time to pay for the round, and once again, he buys it instead. Let me break this down for you. Four rounds of five drinks at Twenty-Seven bucks a drink = $540.00.

I figure this is the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life.

Then my Philly Paranoia kicks in and I figure he’s going to ditch and stick me with the bill. Until I see him hand the bartender a credit card, get his slip, sign it and hand back the receipt.

Now I know he’s the nicest guy I’ve ever met.

Halfway through the drink I turn around, and Tim’s gone. He’s like the alcoholic Lone Ranger. What a nice guy. For the next hour, I was truly planning on flying to Cincinnati and find Tim and thank him personally.

A little while later I’m at the bar talking to a girl when I feel a rumbling in my stomach. I excuse myself and proceed to puke all over the floor while sitting right there at the bar. Thankfully my friends were there to take pictures.

After I was done, I wiped my mouth, apologized and continued talking to the girl.

That was when we realized that Tim isn’t all that nice. He got us so drunk we could hardly walk. From then on he was known as “Evil Tim” and we all planned a trip to Cincinnati to kill him, or at the very least, hold him down and pour a bottle of 151 down his throat.

At 2 am, I turn to my friends and announce, “I’m leaving.”

“You can’t leave,” Juan tells me, “They haven’t opened the doors yet.”

“Why do you want to leave?” Mikey asks.

“I’m out of cigs. I’m leaving.”

Ten minutes later we’re outside the club, on the street, in the middle of an insane riot.

To this day, we have no idea how we got outside. There were bouncers guarding every door and window.

So we’re in the street, there are people running everywhere, and about thirty feet away I see a bunch of cop cars with the sirens on.

I turn to Frank, Juan and Mikey and say, “Hey, let’s go see what’s going on with the cops over there.”

And I started walking towards the ruckus.

Mikey grabs us by the arm, points down a side street and says, “Why don’t we go this way instead?”

I turn to Mikey and say, “For once I agree with the Jew.”

And we followed him to safety.

The next day Frank and I walked around the cloudy aftermath and took some pictures and then got back on the road.

Definitely and insane detour but well worth it.

 

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Sun Stories: Jill – Meet My Friend Sabrina

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll have read the Jill saga. If not I’ll recap. Jill has been a client at the tanning salon for several years. She is a former stripper and escort. She’s 38 years old and an alcoholic. She was released from rehab and lives in a halfway house in South Philly with several other women in recovery. We hired her to work a few shifts at the salon. She was doing a great job until one night when she went out with former employee and neighbor of mine Trish.  Trish was sort of the catalyst because of her most recent mental episode because she was busted for cocaine. Trish went home but because Jill is an alcoholic, she couldn’t stop at one drink and got wasted and stayed out all night. That is against the rules in the halfway house where she lives. She was kicked out and didn’t tell us she wasn’t coming in to work so we fired her.

All is forgiven and she now works at a nail salon. They let her back in after a three-day detox. (So that’s good for her) She really is a nice lady and still comes in regularly to tan.

One night she comes in with another lady. She introduces her to me as her friend Sabrina. She has a pretty face, darker complexion (She doesn’t need to go tanning. She already has lovely skin) And a slender build. She looks to be around 5’4″.

I’m chatting with her and she says she works in the area. She seems nice enough but isn’t telling me much. Then Jill pipes in, “Oh, don’t be so evasive Sabrina. He knows all of our dark secrets. Sabrina lives in the halfway house with me.”

“Oh, okay.”

I can see Sabrina looks relieved.

“It’s just so boring to be sober! Everything revolves around drinking.”

Jill makes an interesting point. “Maybe you could start to consider a hobby or doing activities that don’t include alcohol.”

“I guess. But I’m so bored now! I haven’t had sex in six months and a girl needs the D! (sex) I think if they didn’t make us go to AA everyday, and do random sobriety checks I’d probably sneak the occasional drink just to have a little fun.”

“But you couldn’t do just a little drink or two now and then. You saw what happened last time.”

“I know…”

I send Jill back to the room for her tanning session. I sit down in the waiting area with Sabrina. She tells me that alcoholism runs in her family.

“We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, Sabrina.”

“No it’s okay. I didn’t always drink.”

“Really? How did you start?”

“I never had a problem with drinking until I got involved with a guy who drank a lot. I started drinking a lot with him and I just couldn’t stop. I just started getting blackout drunk all the time. It was terrible. So I had to get away from him and go to rehab, and now I’m here.”

“It’s a disease. Some people can drink all the time and it never owns them. Some can drink their whole lives and they don’t have any problems. But whatever your chemical makeup is, when it’s mixed with alcohol…”

“…It ends in disaster.”

We chat a bit more and I’m finding this woman sweet, attractive but a victim of her genes and choices.

Jill comes out of her session a little later, and we part ways. The girls say goodbye, and are off to do some sober activity.

I get to thinking about the girls and how hard this must be for them. You enjoy doing something and then it can destroy your life, and you can never do it again. It’s everywhere. On nearly every street in center city you can find alcohol. Most can enjoy it in moderation. Some in excess and nothing happens, but others it just wrecks your life. So it’s a large grey area like mental illness. I’m in no way comparing the two. But there isn’t just Sane and Crazy. There’s a whole spectrum out there.

The causes of alcoholism in women are diversified. Each person is unique. The way in which circumstances, psychology, and physiology come together ultimately create a likewise unique “formula” of factors that contribute to some women becoming alcoholics.

Alcohol affects woman far differently than men. In women, a larger amount of alcohol passes directly into a the blood stream than it does in men. This exposes a woman’s brain and body to more toxicity. Many experts feel that over-indulging is far more risky for women as a result, and that this alone is one of the potential causes of alcoholism in women.

Studies show that over 10 percent of women who drink have one drink a day. This is considered moderate drinking by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Some recent studies show that moderate drinking can have some benefits. Specifically, it may lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a good diet and exercise.

Nonetheless, this does not eliminate the risks, including the possibility that alcohol may interact with medications. Women who drink at this level are still in danger of developing various health issues including heart conditions, stroke and cancer. Additionally, thinking that drinking is “healthy” could be one of the causes of alcoholism in women.

Women who drink heavily run a higher risk than men of becoming dependent. These women also have a higher chance of being a victim of abuse (due to impaired critical thinking). They also tend to experience more severe physical damage then men, even if they haven’t been drinking as long as a man of the same age.

Some of the health issues that result from female alcoholism include liver disease, memory loss, and high blood pressure. Psychologically, women who drink heavily are also prone to depressive disorders.

A woman who drinks while pregnant puts her unborn child at risk. There are a variety of birth defects that may develop in a fetus from drinking during pregnancy. These defects are referred to as Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS can manifest in many ways including brain damage, learning disorders, memory retention problems, and disfigurement.

Stress is often noted as one of the reasons women drink. Unfortunately this can become a very negative cycle as drinking can cause stress at home and work, which in turn could become one of the causes of alcoholism in women.

A woman who has an alcoholic family member is at higher risk for alcohol disease than others. Each woman’s genetic make up can also make a difference to how drinking effects her body. Signs that someone is becoming dependent on alcohol include missing work, craving alcohol, having a growing tolerance for increased amounts of alcohol, and drinking in risky situations.

If a woman realizes she’s becoming dependent, it’s possible for her to begin making changes on her own by reducing alcohol consumption or stopping altogether. Nonetheless, that person will need to remember that the temptation to return to drinking heavily may always be a part of their life. Controlling those urges is one key to success.

Women who are already addicted can go to their personal physician for advice and information on support groups. There is no reason to go through this process alone, and many reasons to seek support. Studies show that people who have a strong network of friends, family, counselors etc. will be more successful in their battle against alcohol disease than those struggling alone.

All of that being said, I started to think about Sabrina and Jill and what they could do to make life less boring and more fun, but keeping things sober.

Then I came up with an idea…

Tune in tomorrow to find out what that idea is. It may not be a good idea, but it’s an idea.

 

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 10

Barbara arrived last. That girl was constantly late. One day, she would be late for her own funeral. But, as she liked to say, she was ‘worth the wait’. I was in the garage when she pulled in, gathering the tools we would need tomorrow, for taking the dock out of the water and closing the boathouse. That meant I was the first to greet her.

She had changed her clothes before getting into the car, that much was for sure. There was no way that she could have gone out in public with what she was wearing – not without getting arrested for indecent exposure. She had on a short denim skirt that covered very, very little. On top, she was wearing a white shirt, knotted just under her magnificent breasts. Her lacy black bra showed through quite plainly.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if you told me that Barbara purchased her bras from a parachute manufacturer. She had extra-large hooters, and went to great pains to make sure that everyone knew it. The rest of her body was nothing special.

But Barbara’s face was like the Portrait of Dorian Gray: it revealed every vice and every sin that she had ever committed, considered, or even contemplated. She wore just that little extra bit of eye make-up, and her lipstick was always freshly applied. She was far from shy. I have to give her this much credit: Barbara was no home-wrecker. Guys in relationships were perfectly safe from her attentions. But single men – and, if the rumours had any truth to them, single women – were certainly fair game.

Teresa let Barb greet everyone and get settled in. Perhaps half an hour later, she called us all together. By then, most of us were on our second or third drink. Anticipation was growing, and tongues were beginning to wag more freely.

“Welcome, everyone!” said Teresa. “I want to thank our hostess, Eliza, for sharing her wonderful cottage and providing us with a place to play.”

– “You can pay me back tomorrow.” responded Eliza.

Teresa carried on. “The main floor of the house will be our main deck. The kitchen will be our communal galley.” She turned to point in the opposite direction. “The master bedroom – thanks again, Ee – will henceforth be the Captain’s cabin. As such, it is off limits to you scurvy dogs. Except for Lena, who will be sharing it with me.”

That led to a chorus of “Ooohs”, led by Ben and Barb.

– “Not like that.” said Teresa. There is a bathroom off the master bedroom, if the need is urgent. Otherwise, there is a very large bathroom upstairs, and another downstairs. Upstairs will now be known as the upper deck, and that is where most of you will be bunking. There are four bedrooms: Eliza and Claire get the first, Barb and Sheila share the second. Gentlemen, you are at the end of the hall. Ben and Craig will share, and Leo bunks with Eric.”

Leo looked at me, mildly concerned. He was a fussy sleeper, and did not know Eric well.

– “Teresa – sorry.” I interrupted. “I thought you had me rooming with Eric.”

– “I drew lots among the guys, Colin – and you lost. You’ll be camping in the den, right over there. I brought along an air mattress and a sleeping bag.” The den was on the other side of the stairs from the master bedroom.

Teresa then led us downstairs. “This area will be known as the hold.” she said. There was a bathroom, and a very large games room, featuring a pool table and a ping pong table (or table tennis, if you prefer). Further off, there was a storage room, and a laundry room.

That is where Teresa led us. “This room is off limits.” she said, indicating the laundry room. “It is the brig. This is where the dread pirate Redbeard is imprisoned. As Captain Fairwind, I will have the only key. Redbeard will not be leaving this room until we arrive in Barbados – for his hanging.”

“As for outside – for our purposes, everything between the house and the dock is considered part of the ship. That includes the deck, leading outside from the kitchen, the garage, the patio, and the boathouse. Your cars are not considered part of the ship. If you need to go back to your car, you are out of character there.”

“I have a copy here of your character sketch and the introduction, in case you’ve misplaced yours. These envelopes also contain some new instructions, as well as any items or money that you may be carrying.”

“We’re ready to begin. I want everyone to go and put on their costume. Then get yourself a drink, and we will gather on the main deck. Claire – here’s your envelope. Eliza …”

I was last – Teresa was sticking to the order she had posted in the kitchen. She handed me my envelope, with that lovely half-smile on her face, and whispered: “Good luck.”

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=268

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 5 – The French Quarter – Part 1

We are driving along highway 10 headed West. Frank suggests we take a little detour into New Orleans. I’m down. It’s Mardi Gras so we kind of have to go there. Should be interesting. We check our guidebooks and settle on staying at the YMCA. That wouldn’t be too gay right?  It’s situated in the heart of the French Quarter. I remember the room costing us $14 for the night!

The room was like a jail cell. Just a door leading into one room with two single beds pushed against opposite walls. There was a bureau and one window with bars on it. The walls were just cinder blocks painted light green. Best part was the parking lot was gated and they locked it at night so the van with all of our stuff was safe.

We drop our bags and head out into the over cast afternoon. A lot of cities and towns look alike in America. The French Quarter looks like you’re somewhere else. All the beautiful French architecture is incredible. But lying beneath and around all of that is Sodom and Gomorah with a two drink minimum.

We stop in the first bar we see and grab a couple of beers in plastic cups and head out to explore the madness.

After waving at the parade and skillfully dodging (sometimes) beads flying past my head we entered the most epic street of all, Bourbon Street. From there, an oddly religious themed Mardi Gras began.

I saw the Pope! Ok not the real Pope, but a guy on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street sporting the Pope hat and robe. He tossed beads to the crowd and blessed all the sinners below in jested fun.

As we continued to go down the street we ran into the infamous Jesus group. There is always one at every “sinful” event. They were continually shouting that we were sinners and preaching their faith to all the drunks in the street. Everyone proceeded to take pictures as if they were a tourist attraction. What I would like to know is do they ever get one person to come over and say, “Ya know, you’re totally right! I’m going to leave Mardi Gras right now to go home and repent.” Now I have nothing against any religion or how people choose to practice and share their faith…but I’m not entirely sure in the middle of Bourbon Street halfway through Mardi Gras day is the most effective way to go about i

Afterwards we entered a bar with a small half circle stage in the front where about five girls were booty shaking like no tomorrow on the stage. I don’t think I could get that much of me to wiggle if I tried. Then lo and behold a large woman dressed as a tri-boobed nun took the center of the stage and started busting her own moves to the music. Then she proceeds to put her leg up on rail, thrust her pelvis towards the crowd, whipped out a cigar and started to smoke it. The scene unfolding in front of me was like Sister Act gone wrong and it doesn’t end there.

As we’re laughing at the hilarity of the situation, three topless yet painted chest girls walked on stage. One of the girls looked like she just had a baby with the belly drooping down low. That didn’t stop her. She was a brave one. Then in the middle of all the dancing came the ultimate shocker of the night. The nun went up to post pregger lady and they started full on making out right in the middle of the booty shaking.

My mouth just dropped as I was trying to process what was going on. It was hilarious and shocking and definitely a memorable highlight of the trip.

Mardi Gras is full of shocking sights and stories but it’s an experience I would definitely have again. There are a lot of brave people sporting the goods, (if you know what I mean) but you can have just as much fun observing as you can participating. Provided you do not have virgin eyes or ears and wish to keep them that way, Mardi Gras New Orleans is definitely an event that shouldn’t be missed.

The next day…

We watched the Lundi Gras parades from Canal Street. We got there kind of early to get a decent spot, and so we waited for at least an hour for the floats to arrive. Two guys selling merchandise set up behind us, selling shirts that said, “I’ll suck your titty for a dollar.” The entire time we were there, they were yelling this at people passing by. “Suck yo titty for a dollar! I’ll suck that titty for a dollar!” Entrepreneurial spirit at its best.

Some lady in her 40’s or 50’s was set up a little way down from us on the neutral ground before Endymion. She and her friends started taking shots of whisky from this contraption: a wooden plank with slots in it for shot glasses. Before too long, she was karaoking and dancing enthusiastically while her teenagers tried to pretend they didn’t know her. It went on for hours. Great people watching.

We chanced a walk down Bourbon during the day time, before it got too crowded. Frank went in to use the restroom, leaving me under a balcony that had a direct view of many girls flashing for beads. There was this old guy set up there, and every time a girl looked ready to flash, he’d run forward and take pictures of it with his camera. We saw him get about a dozen shots in 10 minutes. I wonder what he does with the photos.

Two things that give me a grudging respect for city employees:

1) watching a completely destroyed, trash-filled Canal St near Carrollton made near pristine in under an hour by the street cleaning crew. Good job, y’all. That’s some serious business.

2) Shortly after overhearing a couple of girls arguing in the bathroom line and a threat about “gettin yo ass beat in a Popeye’s!” A fight broke out at the Wendy’s next door on St. Charles. (We think maybe it was the same girls who’d wandered over there to find friends.) Swarms of teenagers started running over there exclaiming about a fight, and within a minute, a bunch of cops in neon yellow vests and about half a dozen mounted officers were there. There were shootings near Lee Circle at a recent Mardi Gras, if I recall correctly, so it was encouraging to see the police were taking crowd safety seriously.

So far I’m loving this odyssey on the road to California!

 

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