June 16, 2004

June 2004 (Vol. 3, Issue 6)

Welcome to the birthday issue of Truckin'. I started this idea two years ago and it's still here. This special issue features nine stories! Three of them are from yours truly. Three writers who helped me start Truckin' by writing for the first issue have returned. I am posting my favorite Senor story. Jessica E. Lapidus is back after a hiatus. And Truckin's favorite Brazilian correspondent, Armando Huerta, has a witty tale. This issue also has a variety of stories from three poker bloggers. The Poker Penguin, the pundit from New Zealand, a.k.a. Richard Bulkeley shares a story about a wild night in Canada. Al Can't Hang returns with a second installment of Stories from the Bar. And BG is back with an adorable story about a young girl and gambling. Before you begin, notice the brand new format. Last month, I introduced a new template. This month, each story is on it's own page. You have to click on each title's name to read the full story. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Be kind, McG.

1. A Harmonica Subway Story by Tenzin McGrupp

A one-armed, harmonica-playing pan handler slowly walked into the subway car. I did a double take. I had never seen a one-armed harmonica player before... More

2. Tequila and Bad Weed by Richard Bulkeley

"Tequila – it makes you horny"... I grinned at the bartender when Lisa returned and he gave me another conspiratorial wink. We quickly sank our tequila and left... More

3. Anna and the King Queen Suited by BG

She grabbed the cards off the table for the third time, sweeping them up and clutching them to her chest in one quick motion, lest anyone get a glimpse of anything on the other side. She peeled the corners back and saw the cards again... More

4. She Smelled Like Fresh Flowers by Tenzin McGrupp

Ivan walked into the Tavern and saddled up to the bar. Charlie quickly slid over a double shot of Stoli and a glass of ice water. Ivan picked up the vodka with his right hand and downed it in an easy, swift motion... More

5. Stories from the Bar: Road Trippin' with the Band
by Al Can't Hang

It took an incredibly long time to calm this fracas down. Four band members, a large crowd of bar patrons, and Al Can't Hang scuffling in the streets. I was alternating between peace maker, offensive lineman, and paramedic to intoxicated, hyped up, aggressive musicians... More

6. Partying Brazilian Style by Armando Huerta

Everyone on the beach is wearing white, a Brazilian custom meant to symbolize starting the new year with a clean slate. The sight of 1.5 million people wearing white and milling about on the sand is one that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime... More

7. The Tract by Jessica E. Lapidus

I was drunk and insane when I stumbled into the stinking, damp, pissed-on subway. Four in the morning. Big mistake. Three teenagers across from me seemed to be enjoying their last free weekend before the start of school. They were laughing and grinning, white lollipop sticks protruding from their swollen lips... More.

8. Baki Baki: A Miami Story by Tenzin McGrupp

I was slipping and sliding physically and mentally the entire night. Never mess with a man on a mission, lost in the fuddled reality between sobriety and utter madness... More

9. I'm Taking Off My Pants! by Señor

The cop leaned over and whispered into my ear, "Mr. Senor, I will not ask you to remove your underwear in this public place. However for security reasons I must ask you to let me have a peek"... More

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...

From the Editor's Laptop:

Happy birthday, Truckin'! I never thought I'd make it this far. And now, I hope I'll never stop. There were some high points and some low points over the past 24 months. For a while, I was the only writer and there were only six readers. Today, I am pleased to say that Truckin' is reaching new readers everyday.

I have to thank everyone involved, from the readers to my friends who help promote this site by telling their friends, or fowarding the monthly e-mails to their co-workers, or for bloggers who link up my site and stories. Your efforts are well noted and I am forever in your debt.

Thanks to all of the writers who shared their blood work and trusted me with their stories. It's not as easy as you think. Writing is tough work. And all of the writers who send me their stories, each inspire me in some way. Thanks for that, guys. Thanks also to Jessica, Truckin's assistant editor, who shoulders most of the grunt work every month.

I hope you'll be back next. Again, as always I ask the readers that if you like these stories, then please tell your friends about your favorites. It takes a few seconds to pass along the URL or the monthly e-mail. I certainly appreciate your help, and I know all the other writers do as well. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know anyone who is interested in being added to the mailing list.

Thanks again for all your support. I am grateful that you wasted your time with my site. Until next time.


"Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live." - Charles Bukowski

A Harmonica Subway Story

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2004

A one-armed, harmonica-playing pan handler slowly walked into the subway car. I did a double take. I had never seen a one-armed harmonica player before. A moment of firsts, in a rare, head-scratching instance for me. Yep, I've met penty of peculiar harmonica players in my day. I bumped into an old black guy with horrible dandruff in the French Quarter one year during Mardi Gras. He had no teeth and we shared a joint of really cheap Mexican weed. One scraggly guy I knew from my time drinking at a sports bar in Seattle, had his left leg missing from the horrors of a land mine in Vietnam. He knew how to play, especially after a few Red Hooks. In Taos, New Mexico, I met a chubby, snarky, Native American woman with an eye patch, who could belt out the blues. She told me she could read my mind. And finally, after years of spanning the globe, I met my first one-armed player. He played for a few moments then held out a tattered, used, paper coffee cup from Starbucks filled with change. A suit, with freshly shined shoes and reading a NY Times ignored him. A young woman chewing gum and listening to her iPod refused to acknowledge him. He turned around and looked right at me.

"Can you play Piano Man?"

He lazily shook his head and jingled his cup twice. I reluctantly gave him twenty-five cents and let out an eldritch laugh. He continued on his way into the next subway car and I never saw him again.

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

Tequila and Bad Weed

By Richard Bulkeley © 2004

"Tequila – it makes you horny."

The leering Hispanic barman winked at me as I waited for Lisa to come back from the toilet. I struggled to hear him over the noise that was probably best described as techno-flamenco music. His expression left me in no doubt. He had rumbled me.

Even though I was wearing my "gay party shirt" – a lurid orange brown and gold Hawaiian shirt - he knew. Even though we were in a small inconspicuous Hispanic bar in Toronto's homosexual party strip, he could tell that I was straight. I hadn’t touched Lisa, I hadn’t even stared at her ass as she walked away. Maybe it was some sort of subliminal discomfort I had. When gay men surround you, being straight is almost a dirty secret.

If I had a dollar for every gay man that I turned down on this Tuesday night pubcrawl, well, I’d have four or five dollars. About enough to buy a beer, not that I really needed to that night, between gay men and a blonde girl with an expense account, I got a lot of free drinks.

Lisa was a reasonably good-looking Australian girl with thick black hair and a big grin. She was fairly attractive, something of a tomboy, and the only person in the hostel willing to go on a pub crawl with me on Tuesday night. We’d quickly become friends at the first pub (the overpriced chain eatery near the hostel that we managed to drag a few other travellers along to). Since my closest male friend was the other side of the country, and in Canada that’s even further away than it sounds, I wasn’t going to ruin the evening by making a clumsy pass at her. Not yet, anyway.

I grinned at the bartender when Lisa returned and he gave me another conspiratorial wink. We quickly sank our tequila and left. The combination of lurid red lighting, and ear-splitting “music” was enough for us. The lack of atmosphere in this bar was the clinching factor. Gay men might have a reputation as party animals, but three of them can’t save an empty bar by themselves. They’re just homosexuals, not super-heros.

Fortunately, the next bar had everything right. The area around the pool table was clear, the music loud enough to be enjoyable, but not so loud as to impede the buzz of conversation from the reasonable number of patrons. The only downside from my view was a shortage of women. But the point of this evening was to get drunk and talk rubbish with the most compatible friend I’d met all month.

Or at least it was until Stephanie walked in. Lisa and I were sitting at a corner table. Lisa was discussing the threesome she had experienced, and how if the other girl wanted her to, she would fly to London (England, not London Ontario) tomorrow. Believe it or not, at that point in my life I didn’t find the idea of having sex with two girls at once particularly appealing. I can’t explain that either. I guess I was working out monogamy issues, having just been unceremoniously dumped (by email, nonetheless). Lisa, to her credit, believed me (it was the truth, after all). That hadn’t stopped her coming back to the topic every hour or so.

Suddenly, she stopped and motioned for me to follow her back to the pool table. I looked up and saw a guy and a girl playing pool. The guy was wearing tight jeans, a tight sleeveless t-shirt, and one of those chunky ethnic looking necklaces. But I wasn’t paying much attention to him. His companion was wearing even tighter black pants, and a tight long sleeved white top. She was a gorgeous blonde girl, and was definitely dressed to impress. We quickly fell into conversation, and Stephanie and Charles told us that they were employed by a Seattle company to travel around North America and research bars. At first I wrote this off as typical bar-vado (v. the act of telling alcohol-fuelled lies about yourself to be interesting). Charles was about as flamboyantly gay as a man could be. Later on in the evening, he would walk around the bar announcing at the top of his gay voice that he needed cock.

When we moved on to another bar, it became clear that they weren’t lying about the expense account, and that Stephanie was most probably straight. The other two abandoned us in the booth to join the other dancing queens. Charles was probably trying to get laid, and Lisa had worked out that I was on a similar quest. I had my back to the wall – not out of any fear of gay men violating me, just because I always like to sit with my back to a wall. Unfortunately this meant that if I looked straight ahead, I was staring directly at a big screen TV over the bar showing “Gays Gone Wild” or “Darren Does Dallas”. Something like that anyway. While I’m not homophobic (which is what all the homophobes say, but anyway), naked men don’t really interest me.

I’m a tolerant man. I am even quite flattered when men hit on me, especially since most of them were pretty good looking. But there’s really no contest in my mind between watching gay porn, and staring down a hot girl’s top. Especially when the girl is buying drinks for me and generally encouraging me to keep staring.

Anyway, we made polite, if inane, conversation over what could have been the soundtrack to the porn movie but was probably just the latest in happy-handbag-trance –house music. And then the drag queens began singing karaoke.

Here’s where it all got a little bit crazy, as if it wasn’t already. I was more than a little drunk – the only thing better than free booze is free booze bought for you by a hot girl. I’d also been awake for about 20 hours, and more or less living on a bus for a week before that. Anyway, Stephanie dragged me onto the dance-floor, and we began dirty dancing.

Then all of a sudden, it’s chucking out time, and we’re standing there trying to find Lisa and Charles. Charles was easy to find, we could hear him over the hubbub "I need COCK! I need COCK." Lisa wasn’t with him. She was busy dancing with a guy who looked surprisingly like Vin Diesel.

I’m sure I’ve left some events out, like the glitter lesbian and piggy-back racing from bar to bar. But that’s the kind of narrative incompleteness you get when your author is toasted (and by now was doing basically all of his thinking with his little head). Besides, sober life’s like that, and I try to make a point of keeping my stories short, otherwise, I get bored, and since I’m the only person who finds me interesting anyway, that would definitely be a bad thing.

Anyway, Lisa, Vin Diesel, Charles, Stephanie and I all ended up in a car. Charles was in the front, locked onto the subliminal gay-velengths that Vin was obviously broadcasting, and deep in conversation about something ridiculously macho like motor racing. For some reason, this seemed a lot stranger at the time than it does now. So, anyway, I was in the middle of the backseat, which is normally the arse-end of motor-vehicle seating. However, when you’ve got an attractive woman tucked up against each shoulder, it suddenly doesn’t feel so bad.

At some point, in amongst the random cruising and the light petting, we stopped at a traffic light. Now this happens a lot, in big cities, even at 4 AM. What kind of threw me was the curbside drug dealer. Now, New Zealand has world championship winning weed, and it’s the biggest industry in some areas. But, our narcotics industry hasn’t yet reached the pervasiveness of North America’s. The dealer is still usually a friend of a friend, or a guy at university, not some random dude on the street.

But, we bought our joint and lit it up without getting busted, or shot, or ripped off. To say I didn’t inhale would be a lie. It would be a nice nod in the direction of popular culture, and presidential scandal, but a lie. I inhaled. I inhaled gladly, and greedily. Whenever one of the women held pressed the joint to my lips, I sucked on it like I was trying to steal petrol from a super-tanker.

Holy shit! I suddenly noticed that there were a mismatched pair of intertwined legs on my lap. This baffled me for a while until I remembered that I was in the company of two women, and both seemed quite keen to get even closer to each other than the cramped conditions of the back seat allowed. I got such a huge grin when this fact re-established itself in my brain that my cheeks actually hurt.

So, we stopped at another traffic light, and all of a sudden, Stephanie threw open her door and got out into the street. We waited a full set of lights, or two, while Charles tried to calm her down. We were all a little confused by this, but eventually it became clear that she was having an attack of the paranoids.

“Bad weed does this to her sometimes,” he said. My hopes of a threesome died as the lights turned green again, and we drove off. Life, eh? It’s stranger than fiction, usually less satisfying, and much harder to organise.

Richard Bulkeley is a gentleman scholar from Auckland, New Zealand.

Anna and the King Queen Suited

By BG © 2004

“Who’s winning?”

If the question hadn’t come from a six year old with moon pie eyes and no concept that the mountain of chips in front of me at the moment meant more in the context of the game than the piddling little stacks of the others hunched over the coffee table playing Hold 'Em, I might have been prone to give the question the ol’ roll-my-eyes-and-sigh-audibly treatment.

“He is honey,” Anna’s father, Joe, replied. “Look at how many more chips he has than all of us.”

It was true. Even a kid who couldn’t go from ten to eleven without taking her shoes off should be able to see that. I was easily holding a three-to-one chip lead over any of the other five people playing at that moment. As a matter of fact, in the span of the first ten minutes of the tournament, I had knocked out Mr. Seventh Place when he called my lowly pair of fives with his lowlier Ace high, and had completely suckered another player into an unspectacular sixth place finish when my pocket fives flopped a set.

You give me a lead like this one, and I’m not likely to lose it.

“I wanna be on his team.” Joe gave Anna a look of mock devastation as she sidled up next to me on the ottoman on which I was perched. “He’s gonna win,” she announced. She climbed up to my ear to confirm, “You’re gonna win, right?”

“Naw kiddo… we’re gonna win. You’re on my team now, right?”

She smiled and picked up the cards I had just been dealt: a ten and a deuce. Off-suit. She gave a furtive glance around the table to make sure no one would be looking when she peeled them off her chest to take a peek. One look, and she whispered back to me, “Are these good cards?”

“No Anna, I would say those cards pretty much suck.” Joe shot me a quick, we-don’t-want-her-saying-‘suck’ look. “I meant, stink. They stink. These cards are terrible. Throw them in the middle.”

She obliged and asked again, “Are we still winning?”

I nodded and asked her back, “What’s your favorite game?”

She thought about it hard for a moment, finger scratching her temple to prove to me it wasn’t an easy decision. She finally replied, “Chutes and Ladders. That’s my favorite game.”

“Well, you know that in Chutes and Ladders there’s only one winner, right? That’s the one that gets to the finish line first.” Anna was nodding her agreement. “Well, in this game, I try to take everyone else’s chips. That’s how you win here.”

“And are we going to win?” She was talking in a hushed voice again, making sure no one could hear our secret “let’s try to win” strategy.

“We have to take your dad’s chips to do that. Should we beat your dad and win the game?” Joe smiled and asked Anna, “Don’t you really want to play on Daddy’s team?”

“No Daddy. I want to win.”

Smart girl.

So smart, in fact, that I gave her a chance to prove her mettle on her own terms. After she had taken my hole cards and given them a good look, I asked her, certainly loud enough for anyone at the table to hear, “Do I throw two chips in the pot, or should I throw those cards away?”

She picked up the cards again and studied them intently. “You tell me,” she said. “You look at them.” It was obviously a decision of tremendous magnitude for her.

“I don’t want to look,” I told her. “You’re on my team, right? I trust you. Go ahead. Do we throw two chips in to play, or do we throw them into the middle?”

She grabbed the cards off the table for the third time, sweeping them up and clutching them to her chest in one quick motion, lest anyone get a glimpse of anything on the other side. She peeled the corners back and saw the cards again. Her brow furrowed, and she looked back to me for an answer. I hadn’t seen the cards, so all she got was an encouraging smile.

Still protecting the hand, she came right to my ear and whispered secretively, “I’m going to throw them away. They’re not very good.”

I grinned. “Go ahead, throw them away.” She carefully slid them underneath another set of discards in the middle as she had seen me do previously.

When the hand was complete, Dan, the dealer at the time, couldn’t resist. He fished my cards out of the muck to find my hole cards, which he proudly showed to the rest of the table.

5-8. Unsuited.

I poked Anna in the ribs and gloated, “Good move! You’re good at this game!” She giggled and was beaming proudly.

A few hands later, we pulled the same trick. I was under the gun, and hadn’t yet looked at my hole cards. She had already swiped them off the table for a glance, as had become her habit.

“What do we do with these Anna? Should I put two chips in, or throw them away?”

She only thought for a moment before asking, “Can we throw more than two chips in if we want to?” There was an audible groan from the table. If a six year old knew to raise, what kind of trouble were they in?

“Sure Anna, how about six chips? Sound good?” She nodded and sat back to watch how the others were going to counter her brilliant strategy.

Joe was next, and knew he was playing his hand directly against his daughter. “I’ll call you Anna.” She smiled and clapped when she realized someone was going to lose money to her. Everyone else had the good sense to get out of the way.

Flop came out KQ4 rainbow, and I was first to act. I’ve played blind before, and I put out a fairly strong bet to get a feeler for where Joe was at. He took one look at my bet, saw his daughter beaming eagerly, and didn’t need Caro’s Book of Tells to know he was beat.

I turned over KQs, and high-fived my teammate.

As the next hand was dealt, Anna was curious. “Did we win?”

I mussed up her hair a touch and replied, “Just that hand Anna, but with your help, we’ll beat these guys yet.”

At that moment, she got that look in her eyes like pure ice water was flowing through her veins. She glared the table down, swept the hole cards to her chest and only gave them a cursory look before confidently letting me and the rest of the table know who was now in charge.

“That hand sucks. Throw it away.”

BG is a writer from Michigan who still dreams of one day seeing his ex-wife naked.

She Smelled Like Fresh Flowers

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2004

Ivan walked into the Tavern and saddled up to the bar. Charlie quickly slid over a double shot of Stoli and a glass of ice water. Ivan picked up the vodka with his right hand and downed it in an easy, swift motion. He sipped the ice water and let out a sigh. Charlie noticed the sling on his right arm.

"What the hell happened?" Charlie asked while he poured Smitty his ninth draft beer of the day.

"Stupid Ruskie probably hurt himself wiping his ass," Smitty blurted out, his eyes fixated at the TV above the bar.

"Fuck you, old man. I could snap your neck like a little boy stepping on a cockroach," Ivan yelled as jumped up from his stool and waved a clenched fist. He maffled something in Russian before he sat back down.

"Smitty's having one of his days," Charlie added to diffuse the tense situation. He poured Ivan another shot. "I haven’t seen you in a week. Are you gonna tell me what happened or will I have to assume that Smitty's correct?"

"Mr. Charlie, I met the most beautiful woman last week in my cab. I picked her up at the airport. She was very sexy. She had very long legs and she smelled like fresh flowers. She reminded me of my sex kitten, Kelly, except she looked like that sexy girl from Alias."

"Jen Garner?"

"Ah, yes. Ms. Jen Garner. Do you know her from Hollywood, Mr. Charlie?"

He laughed. "No, Ivan. Never met her."

"I drive her to her hotel. She is in town for a wedding, but does not know too many people in the city. I told her I could drive her to the wedding, somewhere in Long Island. I meet her the next day, drive her to Huntington. Then go back to the city. I picked her up after the wedding and she is very drunk. She sits in the front seat with me. In the day time, not so many girls look at Ivan," as he pounds his chest, "But at night, drunk girls find me irresistible."

"Drunk boys too. I’m onto you, you commie fudge packer," Smitty shouted out, again, not taking his eyes off the TV.

"Fuck you, old man!"

Charlie turned to Smitty and shouted, "Settle down now, or I’ll cut you off."

"Ms. Jen Garner asks me up to her room. I park my cab and go upstairs. She has a very large bag of cocaine. She smiles at me and says, 'Ivan, we are going to snort some coke. We are going to take a shower. Then you are going to fuck me.'"

"Holy shit. She didn’t really say that?"

"Mr. Charlie, I swear! I cannot understand how I get myself into these situations. For the next 48 hours, I popped Viagra, snorted cocaine, ate cheeseburgers from room service and had sex with Ms. Jen Garner non-stop. It was the best time I had in months. Then in the middle of having sex, I guess I was too crazy in the head. I forgot so many things and started speaking in Russian and calling her names like "goat", "pig-fucker", and "peasant girl". Then I forget her name. Oh, Mr. Charlie, I was so embarrassed. She is so very sexy and I forgot her name. We are humping doggie style on the floor. I did not know what to do. I grabbed her hair and yanked back. She screamed and started going crazy.

"I yelled, 'What’s my name, bitch?'

"She screamed back, 'Ivan! Ivan!'

"Then I leaned into her ear and screamed, 'What’s your name, bitch?'

"She screamed 'Amanda! Amanda!'

"Mr. Charlie, I was so happy. She told me her name! I pulled her hair again and she jumped up. I fell backwards on a chair and dislocated my shoulder. She jumped on top of me and didn’t stop grinding for two more hours. Mr. Charlie, I have not been that injured in many years. She bit my neck," as he pulled back his shirt and showed Charlie teeth marks, "she scratched my back with her nails, dislocated my shoulder, and kicked me in the balls."

"Ivan, you have the craziest stories. Someday, I am going to write all of them up into a novel and make $10 million."

"I hope you do Mr. Charlie. And I only ask one thing in return. You must introduce me to..."

Charlie cut him off, "I know, I know. Jamie Lee Curtis."

Ivan paused for a second and smiled. "Yes, Ms. Jamie Lee first. But second, you must introduce me to that sexy girl on The O.C. I would kill eight hundred innocent men for one hour with her. I want to make her my new sex kitten."

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

Stories from the Bar: Road Trippin' with the Band

By AlCantHang © 2004

"Jesus Christ, FatAss, look at the rack on that girl."

There was a broken down van and another car on the side of the highway. She was sitting on the trunk of the car in a bikini.

"Shit Al, she's not a girl, that's fuckin' Kenna."

And that is how the worst road trip began. Making a day run with a band from Philly to play somewhere south of Baltimore. The band with the coolest un-bookable, name in history.

What kind of bar manager is going to put SPOOGE on the their marquee?

The van left hours before us, yet there it was sitting on the right side of I-95. We were four lanes to the left doing Mach2. Two hours and one roll of duct tape later, the caravan slowly resumed the trek south. We still hit the bar a ridiculous six hours early for setup.

This was a very important show for the band. New bar, new town and more importantly, a new booking agent. They had worn out their welcome at every level of bar at the Jersey shore and a clean-slate in a new area were needed. Tonight would be the tryout.

The place was open but empty. We immediately met the bar manager and hit it right off. He was happy the entire band was there early, we were happy because he put shot glasses on the bar before we moved the first piece of equipment. We loaded everything in the bar, and loaded ourselves up with free booze and food.

After a few hours and a few too many shots, everyone hit the hotel for some relaxing before the big show. Everyone was keyed up and ready to put on a good performance and break into the Baltimore / DC area with a statement.

Later that evening, it was time to get everyone moving and back to the bar. Not the easiest task when you're dealing with five drunks with hangovers at 8 PM. The manager put everyone right when the shots started pouring as we walked back in.

Somewhere along this time, I start to envision the country bar scene in The Blues Brothers. Where the bar tab is greater than the night's pay.

The band was scheduled for three sets starting at 10:30 and ending at 2 AM. Sets one and two went off without a hitch. The band was on fire, hitting every note and mark like true professionals. The place was packed, everyone was dancing, and the manager was happy. So happy that he continued to fulfill every liquid craving of anyone associated with the band. Which happened to include the wives and girlfriends.

The first sign of a potential problem began between the last two sets. Two of the wives had gone off on the side for a talk. Both girls were somewhat high strung and the booze had ramped them up to obscene levels. During the third set, neither was dancing nor drinking nor making any sort of merriment. They were just sitting and talking.

The last song of the encore, the apex of a great evening, ended to a great ovation and the sounds of a struggle. The conversation had obviously degraded. Drinks were thrown, tables upset, bouncers called. The girls were hustled out of the bar only moments before the apocalyptic hair pulling began.

My job, up until that point, had been to make sure the band was on time, on stage, and properly boozed up. Now I would have to handle the sparing divas. Two things needed to be done. I had to keep them from smashing each other and, more importantly, keep them both out of jail.

The band was oblivious. They were still breaking down equipment. As the girls began to simmer down, one was sent back inside the bar to calm down, the other sent on a walk. Calm was returning the small town.

That's when the band members found out. The bar was closed, everyone was outside except for the band. I was sitting at the bar with FatAss, doing some shots, and waiting for the night's pay when we then heard some shouts from the street. When we turned and looked through the big glass front window, we saw two members locked up getting ready to rumble. I immediately hopped from my stool and headed into the storm. FatAss Bob turned back around and ordered another shot.

It took an incredibly long time to calm this fracas down. Four band members, a large crowd of bar patrons, and Al Can't Hang scuffling in the streets. I was alternating between peace maker, offensive lineman, and paramedic to intoxicated, hyped up, aggressive musicians. The end of the fight occurred when I turned around to find the lead singer, far stronger and bigger than myself, with his fist raised ready to knock my lights out.

I quickly stuck my finger in his face and, in my most threatening voice, asked him, "Do you REALLY want to do that?"

I am not sure to this day whether it was the tone of my voice or the unflinching look on my face that made him back down. More likely the fact that I was his benefactor and spent more money on his booze then he spent on his child support.

You could see him wilt as the menace left his body. I told him to take a walk and come back in an hour while I cleaned up the mess. The crowd was disbursed and limbs were re-socketed. I looked back inside. There was FatAss Bob, just sitting at the bar, never moving an inch except to take another drink or smoke another cigarette.

He lifted his shotglass and mouthed the words, "Good job."

Al Can't Hang is a gentleman and a seasoned SoCo-ologist from Phoenixville, PA.

Partying Brazilian Style

By Armando Huerta © 2004

I’ve never been much of a fan of New Year’s Eve. The whole idea of forced gaiety because of the calendar turning has as much appeal to me as reading a Danielle Steele novel cover to cover. People are so desperate to have a good time and not be alone they get plastered on cheap booze along with plastering their faces with forced smiles like ghoulish Venetian masks.

That has been and still is my opinion but now with one major exception, New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Can you say “Holy Shit!”? The party that takes over this town on New Year’s Eve is out of control, the nucleus of it being Copacabana beach. Starting at 5pm, the police shut down all roads to Copacabana beach with exception of taxis and buses. The reason for that is the average 1.5 million people that invade the beach to see the fireworks. These aren’t just regular fireworks but a 30 minute extravaganza with fireworks being blasted off 3 barges parked in Guanabara bay. As they seem to go on forever with fake endings and several crescendos, you only truly know the display is over when the high rise Meridien hotel gets enveloped in fireworks that cascade down all sides of the building.

Adding to this spectacle is the fact that most everyone on the beach is wearing white, a Brazilian custom meant to symbolize starting the new year with a clean slate. The sight of 1.5 million people wearing white and milling about on the sand is one that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Friends of mine from New York upon seeing the scene from up high were speechless for a good 15 minutes. Which brings me another way to make the experience better… get invited to a party in one of the apartments facing the ocean.

Nothing beats enjoying the scene from an elegantly furnished apartment with waiters serving champagne and a buffet at hand stocked with alcohol soaking nibbles. The building we were in this year is next door to the beautiful and historic Copacabana Palace and famed for it’s New Year’s Eve parties which cram the social columns the following morning. Last year it was estimated that 4,000 people came into the building for New Year’s Eve parties and this year guests were given bracelets in advance which allowed them to get past the bouncers stationed at the entrances to the building. It’s a Brazilian custom to try and crash parties but the turban wearing aging socialites in the building were having none of it this year. I’ve heard about the parties in this particular building for years but had never attended until now. I’m sorry I hadn’t. The elevators were crammed with celebrities, sluts (sometimes one of the same), ancient old school Brazilians in white tux jackets, bodyguards and nannies. All different but all there for the same reason, to get shitty and toast the new year. Can’t beat it...

Armando Huerta is a writer from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Tract

By Jessica E. Lapidus © 2004

I was drunk and insane when I stumbled into the stinking, damp, pissed-on subway. Four in the morning. Big mistake. Three teenagers across from me seemed to be enjoying their last free weekend before the start of school. They were laughing and grinning, white lollipop sticks protruding from their swollen lips. One of the girls caught my eye and gave me a face-splitting grin.

“I love your bag,” she squealed. “Isn’t her bag awesome?” The girl next to her squinted in my direction, and then her eyes exploded open like sunflowers.

“Oh my God, it’s SO COOL!” They ran over and sat on either side of me, their fingers touching my purse.

“This is a beautiful shirt!”

“Oh, and your shoes! So pretty!”

My eyes could not keep up with their hands, running over my arms and legs. I would have squirmed away, but I was feeling pretty high, myself. Their touches were butterfly soft on my skin. One look at the shorter of the two, and I knew she was a lesbian. She didn’t know for sure yet, but I did.

Their traveling companion, a boy with light brown peach fuzz around his chin, remained in the seat from where the girls had leapt up, arms folded across his chest, a smirk forming around the lollipop stick in his mouth.

The train screeched into a station, ding-dong doors, an older man wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt sat down in the corner of the car and promptly fell asleep. The taller girl was inspecting my new manicure with jaw-dropping fascination, while the shorter Future Lesbian of America had her fingers and nose in my hair, the sound of her sharp inhales only a little less annoying that the smell of her candy cane breath, warming my chin on the exhales.

I trained my eyes on their friend, the boy across from me, his brown eyes glassy, his lips slick.

“Who’s your friend?” I sounded crazy to my own ears. With these adolescent girls hanging off me, I probably looked crazier.

“Oh, that’s just Lawrence.”

“He’s my brother.”

I glanced at the short, dark-haired girl, entranced by my smoke-filled, bar-stench hair, and then back at the boy she called her brother. A chaperone.

Another station, another ding-dong, another passenger, this time some emo chick, horn-rimmed glasses and headphones, doubtless going to my stop at the end of Park Slope.

“Oh My GOD!” the taller girl suddenly perked up, brushing long strands of blonde hair from her eyes, “Carrie, I just thought of something! We should get off this train and go dancing!”


“Ooorrrrrr, Lila.....we could just dance here!”

The girls started dancing on the train as it rocked around underneath Manhattan. They were thrown into the doors, laughing as their hair and arms flew about. Carrie the Little Lesbo grabbed the pole in the middle of the subway car, flung her legs around it, and humped it frantically. Lila the Buxom Blonde giggled and cheered. I glanced at the chaperone, Lawrence, still with a sardonic grin, still sucking on his lollipop.

“Your parents made you do this?” I indicated the screaming, writhing girls. He nodded.

“How old are they?”

He held up ten fingers, then five.

“How old are you?”
He held up ten fingers, then seven.

I could barely remember my own 17, but I know for sure that I was not riding the New York City subways at four o’clock on Sunday mornings.

Lawrence slowly pulled the headless, white stick from his mouth – how long had he been chewing that thing? – and licked his lips. Discretion diverted my eyes to the two girls, laughing maniacally, lamenting their parched mouths.

The squeal of the wheels, the melody of the doors.

“Where are we?”

“Did we miss our stop?”

“Oh my God, Lawrence, are you paying attention?”

“Do you have any water?”

He looked at the girls, unfazed by their ramblings. “We’re not home yet.”

Relieved, Carrie and Lila embraced, and when they pulled away from each other, the short girl “accidentally” brushed her lips against the tall one’s open mouth. A moment of stillness hung between them, their feet braced against the subway floor, arms still around each other’s shoulders. The Led Zeppelin dude was sleeping, the emo girl was staring straight ahead, and the Puerto Rican couple, who had boarded at the last stop, were making out. We were the only other people in the car, and I was the only one paying attention to the events unfolding beautifully before my eyes.

And Lawrence. I glanced at the 17-year old boy, a painfully sweet leer crawling across his lips at the sight of his sister and her pretty friend in a quasi-passionate embrace. I followed his eyes to where the two girls were still standing, oblivious to us and even to the motion of the train, rolling over the tracks into Brooklyn.

“You two should just kiss and get it over with.”

All six eyes shot over to me. What was I saying? The words were like gibberish in my own tinny voice, my head was reeling, I was wasted.

Saved by the bell, the train poured into Carroll Street station, the doors creaked open. Led Zeppelin t-shirt man got off, the Puerto Rican couple were sleeping on each other, and emo girl was still focused strongly on her reflection in the window. The train rolled on, and so did Lawrence, Lila, and Carrie. Lila grabbed the pole in the middle of the car, but kept one hand on Carrie’s shoulder, the latter little lesbian smiling weakly, licking her lips. Lila’s eyes flew over to me.

“Why would you even say something like that, huh? Do I look like some kind of lesbo to you?”

I laughed in her face. If she were a little bigger, the girl probably would have kicked my ass. But she was jacked on ecstasy, and was having a hard time holding a serious gaze. She sat down next to Lawrence, who was watching me very carefully. His eyes burned a gaze of laser beams into my face, my breasts, my long legs sticking out of my short black skirt.

The short, dark-haired Carrie sat down next to me and stared at her shoes. Lila, the titsy blonde girl, in an attempt to confirm her own sexuality, had her arms twisted through Lawrence’s, cozying up to him. He ignored her.

“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” Carrie’s voice broke into the heat wave shooting between me and Lawrence. I glanced down at her.

“I’m too old for you.”

“Why don’t you just kiss and get it over with?” Lila’s voice cut across the aisle. Lawrence’s face exploded in a burst of laughter that made the Puerto Rican couple wake up.

“Next stop, girls,” he chuckled, as the train pulled away from the 4th Avenue-9th Street station. I looked at him and he crossed his arms, smugly fascinated. Lila, too, had her arms crossed under her enormous breasts, twirling the tips of her long, blonde hair through her fingers.

I had no idea what I was doing when I leaned down and placed my lips on Carrie’s. She squeaked and closed her eyes, pressing her mouth to mine, just like she had seen in the movies. Her lips were so warm and wet, memories of Spin the Bottle, Truth or Dare, and Seven Minutes in Heaven came flooding back in a tundra.

This girl was fifteen years old. I pulled away from her and glanced at her seventeen-year old brother. His mouth was as wide as his eyes, and when he stood, I saw that he had an erection that probably could have cut glass.

The train screeched into 7th Avenue station, and Lawrence and Lila stood, the latter looking as though she might puke. Carrie at my side stood slowly, never taking her eyes off me for a moment.

“Come on, Carrie,” Lawrence called, holding the door open. She moved to the door and stepped onto the platform, staring back at me through the window, her lips shiny, her eyes moist.

The train pulled away and I closed my eyes, floating in my intoxication to the next stop, my stop, slowly sobering. The doors opened at Prospect Park, I got off, and as I had surmised, emo girl followed behind me. The lights on the platform were brighter than the rising August sun and the air was so thick.

Jessica E. Lapidus is a writer from Jersey City, NJ.

Baki Baki

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2004

30 Dec 2003... Miami, FL

My friends from Japan, Emi and Junko, were stuck in the upper deck behind the stage. The girls had spent the entire first set of Phish in no man's land. After a quick phone call from Zobo during the set break, I decided that I would be the hero, and rescue them from their horrible seats. Zobo had fourth row seats and I was stuck up in Section 403 with Bruce, the Grateful Dead guru, who flew in from New York City that afternoon for his first Miami Phish show. Rounding out the peanut gallery were my buddy Byron, the ragin' Cajun from Louisiana who I knew from my days following Galactic through Colorado with Angela years before. I had bumped into a very drunk Byron in the men's room hours earlier. We were also hanging out with my Wisconsin friends, Astrid and her cousin Sadie, a couple of amicable, pill-popping, blondes that I had met in Alpine Valley that previous summer. We didn't have the best seats in the house, but we were having a hell of a lot better time than Emi and Junko. Our section was laid back and full of people partying down fairly hard. We did not have a monitor or security person posted at the gate checking tickets. It was a free-for-all. You sat where you wanted and I had an entire row to groove, party, smoke, and dance. We had plenty of room for the Japanese girls.

I was well past pixelated, heading into the depths of sozzledness. Looking back, the third night (out of four Phish shows) represented the most loaded I had been my entire time in Miami. I was so far gone that I was noticeably slurring my speech. My scribbled notes looked more like Egyptian hieroglyphs than the markings of a semi-sane and not-so-sober man. Bruce had befriended a trio of high school girls from Virginia in front of us, who had snuck in a fistful of hashish. They were colorful skirts and hugged each other every forty-three seconds. We smoked a mixed bowl of Miami Crypies and hash. I almost choked because the hit was so harsh. It snookered me up pretty good. I chugged two beers during the epic first set, in addition to snorting two grams of Molly in the bathroom with Byron just before the show started. I was slipping and sliding physically and mentally the entire night. Never mess with a man on a mission, lost in the fuddled reality between sobriety and utter madness.

During the first set, Phish performed eighty minutes of some of their best stuff post-hiatus. Every song they played, I wanted to hear. It kept getting better and better. From the rare Oblivious Fool to the special Strange Design to a rocking and ass shaking 2001 and the ultimate fan favorite Bathtub Gin... I was loving every second.

I scribbled down Emi's section number on my right hand in blue magic marker. Zobo wanted to make sure I knew where I was going. I didn't have a clue, but I had 421 written in big marks. I luckily found the section, stumbled out, and whirled around when I heard a high pitched squeal of "McGrupp!"

Emi and Junko were waving their hands. In almost perfect English Emi described her fear of heights. The view from behind the stage was partially obstructed by the lighting rigs. I told them we had space and they agreed to come over to my section.

"Baki baki," I whispered into their ears. They giggled and covered up their mouths, like all Japanese girls do when they laugh.

Loosely translated, baki baki meant... "I'm pretty fuckin' wasted, dude!"

For the rest of the show I'd randomly turn around and shout out, "Baki baki!"

Emi always quickly responded, "I know. McGrupp is baki baki every moment."

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

I'm Taking Off My Pants!

By Señor © 2002

Misadventures from the Philippines, Part I

Upon arrival it seemed they were not gonna let me in and upon departure it seemed they were not gonna let me out! Yet the true adventure lies in between. I ignored all warnings from parents, friends, and my government and headed off to the Philippines for vacation. Immigration was brutal! Never before had I been grilled so thoroughly. Everyone before me casually strolled through immigration in one to two minutes. Twenty minutes after my grilling began I was still answering questions. Why was I entering the Philippines? Where would I be staying? Where would I be going? Why had I spent so much time in Southeast Asia? What is my daily routine in Thailand? Do I have any affiliation with Muslim or Islam? The questions seemed to go on and on. Sweat soaked my entire body. Were they actually not gonna let me in? Finally my passport was stamped and I was on my way.

I didn't exactly know what to expect from Manila so I pre-booked myself into a five star hotel. Driving in the non-air conditioned bus, after that grilling, I was glad that I had. All I was thinking about was a seamless check-in and a nice, long, hot bath. The bus dropped me off close to the hotel and I made a beeline to the entrance. Before I could get through the door the police stopped me. Apparently before entering any building in the Philippines all persons and baggage must be checked. I guess that in a country terrorized frequently by bombings you can't be too careful. My bag passed inspection without incident. I wish I could say the same about my person.

Policeman: "May I see your passport please?"

"Ok, Mr. Señor, please take off your shirt"

"Ok, now Mr. Señor, please take off your pants."

Yes, I was getting stripped searched! Usually I am quite happy to take off my pants in public, but somehow this experience didn't live up to the others! There I was in nothing but my underwear! Everyone was staring. Men whistled in jest. Women were awed by the vast amount of my precious body hair. And all I could think was thank god I didn't wear the underwear with shit stains! Oh no, the search was not over yet.

The cop leaned over and whispered into my ear, "Mr. Señor, I will not ask you to remove your underwear in this public place. However for security reasons I must ask you to let me have a peek."

Unbelievable! What do you say to that? My first night in this foreign country? Should I have said, "Fuck off you goddamn pervert?" Well, I didn't. He peeked and smiled and I dressed and went on my way!

The hotel was truly opulent and the marble bathroom in my room was calling my name. After a long, hot bath I settled down a bit and even started to feel pretty good. I decided a good meal was in order. I headed to the food court at the mall next door. Of course I had to go through a metal detector and get frisked, but this time there were no problems. The food court was unbelievably western, filled with KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, Kenny Rogers' Rotisserie, Dunkin' Donuts and more! I opted for the Filipino food and ordered the vegetarian special, which consisted of rice with "beef" and pork! This didn't faze me. I was ready for dessert. That evening's dessert was walking around the packed mall and checking out the gorgeous Filipino women.

My luck was about to change for the better. Or so it seemed at the time. Two very hot Filipino women approached me and asked if I would like to join them for coffee. Things were going fine until someone came running toward us, grabbed one of the girls' purses, and took off. We chased him and before I knew it literally ten undercover security guards had caught the culprit. We spent the next hour filling out paper work in the security office. Afterwards, the three of us decided that we needed a drink. Normally I don't drink but this night I was fully prepared to make an exception. Off we went.

Four hours later, after lots of laughing, dancing, and drinking we found ourselves back in my hotel room. I'd noticed there was a lot of touchy feely going on between the two ladies on the dance floor and my excitement about the immediate possibilities was at a peak. I was not disappointed as the ladies began to dirty dance and strip each other. I'm not a big fan of breast implants, and the four breasts standing in front of me were blatantly fake yet perfect! My erection was rock hard and I was ready to join the fun. As I began to caress one's breasts they both removed each other’s pants. To my shock and dismay each of them had an erection as hard as my own! Instantly mine diminished and within five minutes I had the two transvestites out of my room. I must have stayed in the shower for an hour trying to scrub off the filthy feeling that encompassed my entire body. Why must Asian transvestites be so fucking beautiful and ladylike?

Señor is a pants dropper who lived in Samui, Thailand, and now currently resides in Rhode Island. This story originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Truckin'.