Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Southern Fried Cinderella

 Author's note: This is a sequel to "A Southern Fried Fairy Tale" I wrote back in 2010. For those interested this was revised on January 31, 2013.
Urgent note: Read the complete story here, all three parts. 

Trixie Anna Belle Duval reclined in an old lounge chair beside the small pool of the Happy Traveler Inn stuck in the middle of nowhere north of Charlotte, North Carolina contemplating the utter tragedy of her life. Two years earlier her situation seemed so much brighter, Trixie had become the senior exotic dancer at the Big Booty Social Club in Watertown, South Carolina earning standing ovations from her adoring fans each night along with wads of cash stuffed in her G-string. During that happy period of her life she remembered fondly how three important pillars of the Watertown County community each competed to make her their mistress. 

One being a county judge who also owned funeral home franchise with locations all through South Carolina. Another was a state senator and Klan member with aspirations for national office. The last was the senior preacher from the Watertown Baptist Mega-church  who told Trixie each night he prayed she would find Christ. Each man would secretly take tables in dark corners in the club and lust after her as she danced on stage. During her breaks, they would send her bouquets of roses, bottles of expensive perfumes, and other gifts along with little notes promising eternal devotion and that she would be taken care of for the rest of her life.

Hindsight being what it is Trixie figured now she could have taken each of the self-important twits for the ride of their lives while sucking them dry. The scope of her mistake was only made worse at that very moment by the irritating kids in the pool splashing water on her day-glow pink bikini and their fat and their balding dad who was ceaselessly leering at her from the other side ignoring his equally fat wife sitting beside him.         

Unfortunately, her current manager and lover Thad Lovelace entered her life during this period of sudden success and filled her head with dreams of performing in such sophisticated places like Atlanta, Dallas, and eventually the center of the universe for all exotic dancers, Las Vegas. Had Trixie ever turned the television away from the reality shows she loved and to one of the classic movie channels she would have realized that Thad was deliberating cultivating an appearance just like that of the British actor, David Niven complete with a clearly fake accent.

The only strange thing about him she did notice  was his strange obsession with 1970's leisure suits which he insisted on wearing in public. He believed they were on the verge of coming back in style and that when this event occurred he would be recognized nationally as a male fashion authority. For Trixie, it was a small eccentricity when compared to his smooth, sliver tongued voice and talented ability in bed.

Even though Trixie was never one for prolonged deep introspection and self-examination, she at least realized the seeds for her current downfall were sown as her career began its rapid ascent. A few weeks after meeting Thad and agreeing for him to be her manger her boyfriend at the time, a near moronic redneck named Billy Wainwright, discovered her infidelity and beat the hell out of Thad in front of the Big Booty Social Club. The police quickly stopped the altercation and dragged Billy away with Thad sneering as Trixie tenderly nursed his wounds but the last laugh belonged to her old boyfriend.

That very night after Billy was bailed out by his cousin he bought a scratch-off lottery ticket that hit big on the order of five-million dollars. What happened after that was a meteoric rise with Billy being introduced to all the right people who liked what they saw and carefully groomed him for even more incredible things. A careful shuffling of paperwork eliminated the worst aspects of Billy Wainwright’s life and the creation of other documents manufactured a far more favorable past.  It all culminated with Billy’s marriage to a Charleston debutant who could trace her linage to colonial times then his election to the governorship of South Carolina earlier in November.

During the period after her breakup Thad had kept his promise and got her gigs in several exotic dancing clubs in both Greenville and Spartanburg and entered into negotiations with scouts from some of the larger clubs in Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida. It all ended when news of Billy’s election finally filtered down to Thad who promptly began believing the governor-elect was sending state law enforcement officers to shadow him for the ultimate purpose of revenge.

Thad’s response after a few days of paranoia was to throw everything they owned into their minivan and flee South Carolina forcing Trixie into the uncomfortable position of leaving with him and seeing her future success slip away or be marooned in the Upstate of South Carolina. A place she felt was even more uncouth and backward than her Watertown back on the coast. That began a long and chaotic odyssey as Thad did his best to slip away from the evil forces of Governor Wainwright.

 This resulted in six months of ceaseless traveling for Thad and Trixie with their ultimate destination the Happy Traveler Inn Thad promised they would stop and plan their next move. Much to Trixie’s surprise the next morning Thad abandoned her leaving only a note saying he was sorry but that he could move faster by himself. Thad promised to call once he arrived in Jacksonville, Florida where he hoped to get her a gig at a club there but it might be a long time since he was going to circumnavigate around South Carolina by traveling deeper into western North Carolina and then south through Georgia. Three weeks later Trixie found herself completely broke and having to clean rooms for the motel management to keep a place to stay and a have little money to buy food.

When she was not handling dirty sheets and cleaning toilets one of the things Trixie did to pass the time was to drift down to the small motel pool and dream of ways of skinning Thad Lovelace alive if he dared to show his face in front of her again. The other was to do her best to ignore the dried prune that ran the motel and her two daughters. Seeing the old prune approaching the pool Trixie steadied herself for the coming encounter.

The current manager of the Happy Traveler Inn was a woman by the name of Nina Pepper who Trixie believed possessed a disposition comparable to that of a deranged pit bull crossed with an old disgruntled hen. To her everyone in the world she had to interact with from her employees to the paying guests all suffered from some fatal character flaw. What mystified her most was the fact no one welcomed her friendly advice at correcting such blatant inadequacies which almost always revolved around the regular use of enemas and watching Dr. Phil who she believed was Jesus Christ just waiting for the right time to reveal his second coming.  

“Ms. Duval,” Nina said while leaning on the wrought iron fence surrounding the pool, “I’m going to need you to sit at the front desk this afternoon while Angel and Cynthia go into Charlotte to do some shopping. They will be attending a party tonight after the monster truck rally and want to look nice.”

Trixie could not help herself but snicker at the thought of her two shrieking wraiths running through some store trying on clothes. “Mrs. Pepper, I had no idea a monster truck rally was such a formal affair. Wouldn’t they be better served just to wear their usual slutty attire?”

This did not faze Nina Pepper in the least, “Ms, Duval be at the front desk by one o’clock or I will call the sheriff and have you forcibly removed. Your services here are far from vital to the operation of my business. ” She said with her voice dripping with disdain then turned and walked back towards the motel lobby.


Just to tick off Nina Pepper, Trixie was fifteen minutes late for her shift at the front desk. Walking into the lobby both Nina’s daughters, Angel and Cynthia, were sitting on one of the old couches looking at fashion magazines. Nina herself was behind the desk going over the expenses with Mr. Pepper, her husband and strangely enough a nice man despite being married to such an awful woman. Mr Pepper was confined to a wheel chair after suffering two heart attacks and a stroke, surprising only in the fact that any normal person who was forced to live would have surely long died from despair or suicide. It was he who had taken pity on Trixie after Thad left her high and dry offering her a room and small salary for working at the motel.

Trixie stood at the front desk for several minutes watching Nina harass Mr. Pepper over the motel finances wondering how the poor man could have survived this long married to such a woman. Only when Nina noticed Trixie did the she finally shut up.

“Well Ms. Duval, how nice for you to finally show up. Now please honor our arrangement and stay alert while representing the motel and what is the only home you have at the moment. At least you dressed respectable for your assignment.”

“So you like my sundress,” Trixie said as she twirled around satisfied with herself in choosing it sense her normal working attire was nothing but a sparkly g-string. The dress was the last item of clothes she bought before Thad had become obsessed with possible sinister forces out to get him. Trixie actually liked the flowery pattern and that it was loose allowing her to her almost naked despite the fact it exposed nothing in the way of skin.  

“My dear,” Mr. Pepper said in wide-eyed admiration, “you look absolutely delectable. If I was thirty years younger I’d chase you around this room.”

“Come now Howard,” Nina said disapprovingly, “if you get too excited you will get sick again and I will have to give you an enema for your own good.” Mr. Pepper promptly went silent while Nina watched over him disappointed she could not apply her favorite medical remedy.

Both Angel and Cynthia soon began clamoring to leave and after a brief lecture on proper motel etiquette from Nina the three were soon heading south towards Charlotte leaving Trixie at the desk and Mr. Pepper in the adjoining office watching television. Content to have Nina and her irksome daughters gone Trixie pulled out a magazine and began reading hoping for a quiet afternoon.

An hour later all that changed when the phone rang with someone on the other end demanding to talk with representative of the motel management. Trixie transferred the call over to a sleepy Mr. Pepper who went straight into a panic.

“What do you mean you never received the check?” he demanded going from a sweet old guy into a outraged business owner. “What a minute, let me check,” he said a second later with Trixie hearing the sounds of the old man rummaging through a desk covered with papers. “Son of a bitch, my step-daughter’s didn’t mail the payment!”Mr. Pepper exclaimed to the person on the phone with Trixie turning to see him clutching an envelope. “Yes, I understand you need the money in your hand by close of business today.” He further said to the person on the phone then hung up.

As Mr. Pepper rolled himself out to Trixie, she could see the old man was very upset. “Sweetie,” he said, “I have a very critical errand for you to run to the main bank in Charlotte.”


About the same time Trixie was receiving her instructions from her boss, Clyde Dwayne Cooper looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror of his mobile home and steeled himself for the battle he would face in a few hours. Instead of seeing an overweight and flabby man in his early 40’s with greasy blonde hair laying limply around his shoulders he saw himself as a southern Adonis with the muscular build of an ancient Norse warrior.

Reality was already a mental causality of war for Clyde because there was no room for fear or doubt in his mind because God himself wanted him to raise the clarion call for a crusade to save America. It had all come to him in a dream the night after the evil heathen was reelected president of the United States. For Clyde the whole plan was beautiful in its simplicity, the first step was to rob one of the big Charlotte banks to gain funds but more importantly notoriety for his cause of liberation. He already had a manifesto published on the internet but unfortunately, it’s only responses had come from several Nigerian businessmen asking for his bank account number so they could covertly transfer their money out of that country promising to handsomely reward him afterwards for his services.

Clyde was sure once he had successfully robbed his first bank and left printed copies of his book scattered about people hungry for freedom would rally to his cause. The next step after that was to purchase more weapons and link up with his growing number of followers.

For any objective observer of Clyde’s mental state it would have been obvious that the man suffered from a series of delusions. The first being how he visualized himself in appearance. Clyde believed he was a born military and political leader and over the course of several years had convinced himself that he was a direct descendant of both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Truth be told in reality the year the Civil War began one of his ancestors was hanged for being a horse thief and another was committed to an insane asylum after contracting syphilis years earlier.

 Finally ready to accept the leadership role Fate was thrusting upon him he donned his black field jacket, gathered his two assault rifles and assorted handguns, and loaded everything into his car. As he drove off he finally came up with a proper symbol for what he thought would be his growing insurgence, a lone wolf ready to battle the evil socialistic forces of the world. 

Author's note: End of part one, this went long and I will finish in a week or so.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I am Thankful.

This is going to seem remarkably petty and for many misguided to say the least but the thing I am most thankful for when you eliminate the current good health and safety of my family is that I do not have to utter the words “President Romney”.  If I did, it would be in the form of “We sure dodged a bullet not having a…” or  if he won, “That damn pompous bastard (insert that name here) is a complete idiot.” Yeah, I know millions on the right feel far different but I simply do not give a damn.

In fact, I am sorely tempted to call certain members of my family and gloat knowing that several might be even now preparing their Doomsday redoubts since to varying degrees they believed Obama’s reelection would mean the end of the world. But of course, the better angels of nature will stop me from doing anything like that. I will content myself with a good meal and afterwards several beers as my family and I watch some football and later, assorted movies.

I send out my sincerest best wishes to everyone, both on the left and right of the political spectrum realizing that our problems will not be solved from strictly Democratic or Republican ideas but from a combination of both. My purely American prayer is that the opposition party comes to their senses and actually compromises for the betterment of the country and not act like a petulant and moronic child. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Eulogy to the Glorious Twinkie

One of the drawbacks about being a Southerner, ill regardless of color, up until the 1980’s or so was while that we were repeatedly exposed to national products and services on television such items and benefits were often unavailable in our areas. It seems incredibly silly now but when I was a small kid, I distinctly remember hearing some of my peers talk about trips to big cities such as Atlanta or Richmond and eating at McDonalds or Pizza Hut. Both “restaurants”, if I can abuse the term, did not appear in my small corner of South Carolina until the early 1980’s. Before that, we all quietly suffered with local burger places and pizzerias, which promptly went extinct when the national chains arrived.

It was the same with some products such as the newly endangered Hostess Twinkies. Saturday morning cartoons on the once exclusive big three networks would show commercials of rapturously enthralled kids chasing down some hapless parent that dared to come within reach while carrying a plate of Hostess Twinkies. Like the two ubiquitous and very tired national chains I mentioned above my area was not officially introduced to the spongy golden goodness until the early 80’s.

Before that, we were forced to live with snack products provided by a company working under the name of “Little Debbie.” Working under a strange inverse business arrangement the pretentious little snack princess was almost exclusively a Southern thing along with the most divinely inspired dough and sugary goodness of them all “Krispy Kreme” donuts. While we poor Southerners at least totally outclassed Northern folks on the donut front Little Debbie left a lot to be desired as far as household snacks go. They had nothing that could match Hostess Twinkies and when the aforementioned yellow delights filled with crème were finally introduced here in Dixie Little Debbie suffered a near collapse of business as the ravenous masses satisfied their pent up desire.

Down at the local Piggly Wiggle grocery store newly stocked shelves of Hostess Twinkies were stripped bare within minutes. Children cried tears of utter despair when their parents arrived too late to purchase a box. For this reason hoarding became an issue, even among family members.

Since I lived with my grandparents, I naturally had to deal with very sudden and unexpected visits by other family members. During these visits a box of Twinkies left out in clear view could, and usually were, devoured before my uncles, aunts, and cousins left again. For that reason, I learned to hide the Twinkies and not bring them out until the proverbial coast was clear. Yes, I freely admit I was a selfish little shit, but this is Twinkies we are talking about.

My special hiding place was in the lower kitchen cabinets behind ancient mason jars containing equally old Lima beans and other preserved vegetables. As the time passed, I eventually joined the army and left home spending several years stationed out at Fort Carson, Colorado. The passing of my beloved grandfather brought me home in 1989 and with many of my kinfolk we spent weeks cleaning out the house for my grandmother who herself was getting up there in age.

Delving into the kitchen cabinets brought many surprises, namely several huge mason jars filled to near bursting with pennies but what brought some laughs in a very sad situation was an unopened box of Hostess Twinkies that had spent close to a decade forgotten about. Now my kinfolk had much better sense than I had and turned their noses up at such antediluvian snack cakes. In fact, I was strongly urged just to throw them away.

But I was a soldier at the time who had spent years eating things that would send most people running to the toilet. Trust me, while there is a certain coolness in many corners such as teenagers and rough and ready macho men for eating army MRE rations from personal experience most civilians simply do not want to know what is mixed up in the food contained in those pouches. Moreover, do not get me started on the bugs and other critters I have tried while out on some survival class.

Sure enough, I was true to my nature and kept the box of Twinkies and later that night while in front of the television finished them all with a quart of ice-cold milk. Well I am afraid I will have to be anti-climatic here and write there were no terrible repercussions with my late night snack orgy. In fact the only surprise I can offer was how fresh and good those old Twinkies tasted.  

It is which much sadness that I recently learned that those running the Hostess Company are nothing but the typical corporate shits and have decided to cut their own throats and close the factory producing Twinkies and all other snacks instead of dealing fairly with their unionized workers. Many years have passed since the introduction of Twinkies and several companies are producing their own identical versions so the loss of this national treasure is somewhat mitigated. 

 Still though, I implore my fellow yellow spongy snack cake lovers to buy up all remaining Twinkies and stash them away to be shared with their current and future children as a rite of passage like learning to tie one’s shoes, getting a driver’s license, college graduation or getting laid. I have researched the expiration date on Twinkies and while they do stamp some pantywaist, nanny state inspired time limit on the box no greater than a year the best guess for when they actually go bad is on the other side of half a millennium. Now that is a freaking heritage to be admired and carefully shared for centuries. 

From CNN:

Twinkie hoarding has begun

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Just hours after Twinkies maker Hostess declared it will shut down for good, grocery stores nationwide are already experiencing a run on Twinkies and the company's other iconic products like Wonder Bread, Hostess Cup Cakes and Ding Dongs.
"We're definitely seeing a sharp increase in purchases of Hostess products today," said Mike Siemienas, spokesman for grocery store operator Supervalu. "We expect this will continue as more consumers become aware of the news.

Monday, November 12, 2012

F3 Cycle 104 "An Old Dog Learning a New Trick"

F3 Prompt:  Use the following words in your story, or in the title, or both:  Gunshot, train, mime, balcony, monkey, rain
Genre:  Any your chatty little heart desires.
Word Limit:  Let’s keep it tight this week and cap it at 900 words.

The father of the bride stood underneath the patio awning watching the collection of differencing family members file into the small wedding chapel. Even if the pouring rain suddenly stopped and the grey skies cleared, he realized the entire hastily arranged nuptials was an ugly affair that would be laughed about by his family for many years. That is if they ever stopped complaining about having to drive all the way down from the upstate region of South Carolina.

The Palmetto Wedding Chapel of Charleston bragged on its website about providing an all-inclusive experience for the bride and groom. For Joshua Green that was all well and good but his biggest reason for booking his daughter’s wedding there had to do with its low price as compared to other places providing the same services.

One reason for its bargain basement price was that it bordered on a rough section of the city and showed the fact by having ornate iron security bars mounted to every window. Others included a clear need for fresh paint on faded walls inside and a ceremonial balcony above the patio closed due to structural issues. All things considered, Joshua was just happy to be able to provide something of the dream wedding his daughter wanted. The fact that he and his wife being far from wealthy people were almost forced to search behind the couch cushions to find enough money made everything that much more difficult.

What really burned in Joshua’s mind was the fact that his soon to be son-in-law was from a Hispanic family that has settled in his neighborhood about the same time his daughter, Deanne, started her senior year in high school. Juan Sanchez started showing up at his door a week later and they dated until Joshua caught both of them in the boy’s car partial undressed. Everything seemed solved after graduation when Juan left for basic training and Deanne started community college.

Joshua knew his problems with Juan and his family bordered on racism but he could shake the belief that he was better than the Sanchez family and in truth resented the fact they represented a country changing with the speed of a runaway train. All Joshua’s issues with the Sanchez family became moot a year later when his daughter and Juan came to him saying they were going to have a baby. Only Joshua’s respect for the army uniform Juan was wearing prevented him from chasing the boy down the street with his shotgun.

The sound of the patio sliding glass door opening broke Joshua from his reverie. “Mr. Green,” the chapel manager called to him from the doorway, “the minister has arrived, please tell your daughter she has about ten minutes.”

Joshua nodded and followed the manger in and climbed the stairs to the rooms used by couples and their families to prepare. All through the build up to the actual ceremony, the Sanchez and Green families had kept totally to themselves and Joshua quietly slipped by those rooms used by the groom and his party. At the end of the hall was his daughter’s room and after Joshua knocked on the door and not getting any response, let himself in.

The anteroom was empty and Joshua almost turned around and left to search elsewhere but it was the sound of whispers coming from an adjoining room that stopped him. Sensing a sad urgency in what he was hearing Joshua crept silently to find out who was speaking.

Concealed by the door Joshua saw Deanne and Juan sitting on the couch and holding each other. It was obvious Deanne was crying and on pure instinct Joshua almost rushed in to find out what was going on; instead, he stayed silent and just listened. “I don’t what to do about my father,” Deanne said while wiping tears away from her eyes, “he refuses to see what I love about you and your family. I’ve tried to talk with him but he just ignores me says you don’t really love me.”

Joshua half expected Juan to get angry and cuss but instead the boy just stroked Deanne’s face. “Deanne,” Juan said,”I will love and protect you and this baby for the rest of my life, in time your father will see he was wrong about me.” Joshua had prided himself all his life on being above overt displays of affection feeling they were usually phony but deep down he realized the boy did love his daughter and that his attitudes about him and his family were deeply flawed.

Knowing he should not be there, Joshua turned and fled down the stairs telling the chapel manager to inform Juan and Deanne. Minutes went by quick as gunshots with everyone taking positions for the ceremony. Joshua felt like a monkey in his old suit but proudly walked his daughter down the aisle despite the fact he strangely felt like a mime walking in a stiff and formal fashion.

When it came time to give Deanne to Juan the boy seemed nervous almost as if he was worried Joshua would refuse to complete the ritual. Instead, Joshua quickly grabbed Juan in a hug sending a shock through everyone assembled in the chapel. “Take care of her Juan,” he said, “I'm just and old dog learning something new and hope you can forgive me for my foolishness.”


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Reasons for the Way I Am

Many in my misbegotten family wonder why I am a liberal, at best they feel I am naive and lack some basic understanding of how the world works but more than likely the explanation for my strange behavior they share with each other involves a lack of IQ points on my part. Truthfully, my liberal tendencies are something I have had to deal with most of my life often hiding my true feelings to fit in what can be sarcastically called “Jesus Land.” Although, little in the way of the true teachings of Christ can readily be seen in a state that still takes a large amount of pride in slavery and armed sedition with the former only whispered about amongst the right kind of people. Sure, the majority around here happily clutch their expensive leather bound Bibles as they dutifully walk into church every Sunday morning but as painful experience has taught me, few base their Christianity on the enlighten views of the New Testament. They cling to a vengeful Old Testament God who plays favorites among Humanity and never forgives.   

Hell, I will even admit to flirting with conservative beliefs for a few years. However, I always came back to my core liberal values because I could not shake the feeling that conservatism for the most part was mentally trying to put a round peg in a square hole. To be fair, I do know some sincere conservatives and their point that government can be tyrannical and that a person has a right to their liberty and property is not something any intelligent person can blithely dismiss. I just wish these honest and intelligent conservatives would rise up and reject the Ayn Rand inspired insanity and proto-fascist stance of those who now control the party of Lincoln.     

To see a multimillionaire get on television and almost cry into the camera claiming some special privilege as compared to the rest of society first smacks of lunacy and then of a basic lack of understanding of what modern America is suppose to be about. Call me a dinosaur but in this country all men and women are suppose to be equal under the law with no one entertaining special aristocratic privileges. That these multimillionaires and self proclaimed “Job Creators” have so many sycophants in the middle and working classes makes me wish immigrating to Australia or New Zealand was easy.

I hold liberal values because I do believe we are our brother's keeper. That while self-control and personal responsibility are vital for a healthy and productive individual and society, life is far too tumultuous and chaotic to classify those less fortunate as just lazy and wanting to live off those who work. It would be nice if modern conservatism just stopped there, but in recent years it has an embraced a fatalistic view that as long as I have mine the rest of the world can go to Hell. Very little binds these people to the collective fate of us all, except of course when their lives or processions are threatened by some disaster.

As it can be guessed, I will be voting for President Obama on Election Day. Unlike many progressives, I never saw him as a Messiah; he is just a man full of weaknesses and flaws like everyone else. To believe that in four years he could have solved all the problems this country faced and personally addressed the countless pet issues of a spoiled population defies logic. In truth, it is a simplistic view that rivals the worst of the moronic conservatives.

I am voting for President Obama because for me it is a statement that I am not just part of a nation that at one time attempted to make life better for everyone no matter their place in society. But that for me it boils down to at least a little knowledge of history that says expanding the scope and reach of freedom is always the right path and the belief, however imperfect, that we are in this cold and hostile world with no one to depend on but each other.