Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Red Wings’

A Little Different Than Detroit

December 29, 2017

Bill was a bad ass.  He was one of those sixty-year-old men that could
still kick your ass or make love all night without the aid of pills.
He could lift heavy weights and run many miles.  After receiving a
severance package and retiring early from General Motors in suburban
Detroit, Bill decided to take up his daughter Lulu’s invitation to
visit her in Seattle.
Bill liked Seattle but found it a whole other world different than
Detroit.  Bill liked Detroit and when he inherited his parent’s home
east of Telegraph at about 5 Mile, he stayed living in the city.  Bill
had his bar that he would frequent to watch Tiger’s games in the
summer and Red Wing games in the winter.  He had his ten-dollar a
month gym that played ghetto Rap on the Musak and Bill was fine.  In
Seattle, everyone was fit and trim but a little too waif like in that
they all were Vegan, had odd piercings and were militantly opposed to
the president.  Bill voted for Trump and was proud of it.  Bill
surmised early on that there probably was not one person within the
city limits of Seattle that voted for Trump and so he stayed in the
closet about his admiration for his president.
Christmas came and Bill gave Lulu cash and some gift cards to
Starbucks.  Lulu bought her dad a raincoat and told him he could ditch
the umbrella and then she handed him a certificate.  Bill looked at it
and thanked Lulu.  Lulu explained what it was.
“Daddy…  I have a really good friend who is a life coach and I think
the things he helps people with could really help you when you go back
to Detroit.  Try to keep an open mind to this.  It is for sure
something new for you and at your age, new things help you to keep
your mind fresh.  Your body is in great shape but I wonder if your
routine leaves your mind without a challenge sometimes.  Tomorrow my
friend Rolf will be here to begin to work with you.”
Bill was intrigued and so he graciously thanked his daughter and
awaited what was in store for him.  It came at 7 am the following day.
Standing at the door was a wide-eyed gay man with two dimples.  The
expression on his face made the person looking at him open their eyes
wide also.  Bill tried not to be wide eyed too but he couldn’t keep it
up.
“William…  Mondays for the next month, we will not be carnivores.  We
will eat things like lentils and tofu…  Have you had an exam
recently?”
“It’s been a few years…”
“Exactly what I mean.  You probably are eating steak for breakfast in
Detroit… Okay so no meat today.  Tomorrow and the rest of the week,
you will have a choice between rainbow trout, salmon and maybe tuna.
Lu has given me carte blanche to take over the kitchen and create what
you will need…  We will be having green tea with our steamed veggies,
soup and lentil pasta…  Okay next…  We will not be drinking our water
out of plastic bottles.  We do not do that here in Seattle.  The
amount of oil and water needed to make a disposable water bottle is
ridiculous.  Lu already has a purifier and we will be using glass
bottles and being really careful with them…  Okay next …  you probably
are used to eating chips and the like back home for snacks.  I will
provide you with the proper snacks.  I make great Kale chips that we
can have with nut butter and fruit…  All that I provide for you will
be come from fair trade farmers.  We do not need pesticides or to help
anyone looking to kill forests and little creatures that live in
forests just to farm.  We will be visiting the market together and I
am giving you this really awesome reusable sack with containers that
you can clean and reuse at the salad bar…  Okay…  So…  Any organic
waste, we can put in these bags and I have my own compost heap going
where I live in Redmond… And now for the exercising regiment…  Lu
tells me you’re relatively fit for an old timer.”
Bill followed all the things Rolf threw at him regarding saving the
planet and good nutrition.  When it came to exercise, Bill turned the
tables.  Bill could not be tired out by the things Rolf gave him to
do.  Rolf was a bit stymied by Bill.  Usually older men complained and
huffed and puffed.  Bill was barely winded.  Finally after a few
weeks, Bill proposed a change for Rolf.  Bill asked if Rolf would be
game to let Bill run a day from beginning to end.  Rolf smirked and
went along with it.
Bill picked up Rolf in Lulu’s yellow Smart car.  They stopped at a
Starbucks and had lattes with pastries and then drove to the gym.
Bill and Rolf ran two miles at an 8% grade, bench pressed 245 lbs, did
five sets of pull-ups, leg lifts with a 15 lbs. dumbbell and then swam
two miles.  They then drove to a Mexican restaurant outside of town.
Instead of listening to the weird space music with the sound of the
ocean waves crashing in the background, Bill had on the Rush Limbaugh
radio show.  Rush was talking about Trumps achievements and the
collusion between Mueller, Comey, and the former president Obama,
Hillary and a slew of others.  Rolf looked at Bill horrified and
demanded that Bill change the channel.  When Bill wouldn’t do it, Rolf
reached to do it.  Bill grabbed his hand before he changed the
channel.
“If you believe we still live in a democracy, there should always be
the things out there that you don’t agree with that must be accepted
regardless if you agree with the point of view or not.  For a month, I
listened to what you wanted, I ate what you made me eat, I drank what
you made me drink and I kept an open mind to it all.  Now today, it’s
your turn…  You don’t have to agree but you should permit it if you
truly believe in a free society…  Now with that said…  I found a
restaurant way out east with the NHL channel that will have the Red
Wing’s game on and has strippers.  We will be eating Mexican food,
drinking a pitcher of Margaritas and watching ice hockey and some big
tits…  Are we understanding each other?”
Rolf sat with his arms folded on the way to the restaurant.  Once
there, Bill ordered a steak with beans and rice and Rolf had vegetable
fajitas.  Rolf watched his first hockey game on television and
actually liked it as he got liquored up on tequila and watched women
spinning around poles attached to the ceiling.  Bill dropped Rolf off
at his home east of the city.  In the front yard was Rolf’s wife
gardening.  Rolf’s wife was a smallish man who was trying to keep the
bark inside the liner that went around a tree.  He stood to kiss Rolf
and could smell booze and cigar on his glassy eyed husband and
demanded to know what happened.
“Well darling…  I made a deal with a client from out east that I
would put aside the training for a day and live life the way he does.
It consisted of steak, Rush Limbaugh, breasts, ice hockey, tequila and
cigars after lifting weights, running and swimming with a right winged
geriatric hetero…”
“And I’m supposed to be cool with it all?’
Rolf giggled and kissed his wife on the neck, breathing nasty cigar
breath on him as he lead him inside their home.
“Lovely…  I learned today that we don’t need to agree but we should
tolerate…  Or something like that.  So you don’t have to agree with my
day but it would be really awesome if you just took it for what it is,
shut the fuck up and get into that bedroom because for one day only…
There’s a little bit of Detroit going on in daddy.”

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Occupy Detroit

December 19, 2011

It sounded silly at first as if someone was trying to be funny but it wasn’t a joke when a protestor by the name of Billy amassed people from all over North America and the world to occupy public space within the city of Detroit.

900,000 vacant lots within the city limits of Detroit and to occupy a blighted big city sounded almost charitable. Bill was feeling anything but compassion for the city of Detroit and the United States in general. Bill started off watching crowds of people on television in the Middle East fell leaders like Mubarak and Gaddafi. It was en vogue to drop heads of state like at no time since the fall of the Soviet empire. Billy joined people in occupying parks in places like Oakland and New York Cityonly to be returned home by Billy’s father’s deep pockets when it came time to bail him out. Soon the idea came to Billy to amass as many dissatisfied, disenchanted, and downtrodden; serfs and petty bourgeoisie and set up camp around the General Motor’sRenaissance Center in the heart of downtown Detroit ironically enough called Hart Plaza.

At first, Bill didn’t have many takers as most of his Detroit buddies who lived in metropolitan Detroit, knew that at night, late night, there were not a whole lot of people around downtown Detroit. Sewer covers blew off steam like English tea kettles every few feet around desolate streets and sidewalks. Every now and then you’d see a Chrysler 300 at a red light, waiting for no other cars to pass as the lights quietly turned from green to yellow and red. Most police officers patrolled several blocks away in the more vibrant Greektown where middle class Detroiters could take a stay-cation at one of the casino hotels, eat at a fairly upscale restaurant and try to win their house out of foreclosure inside the casinos. Those that stayed at the Hilton at the top of the GM Renaissance Center drove in by taxi or limousine and never had to venture out into the streets of Detroit. The people the protesters were trying to harass were largely unreachable. From up high, executives staying for a night or two could see the tents set up in the plaza. Most thought it was some sort of Hooverville in a town with nearly 20% unemployment.

The first Occupy Detroit gatherings were sort of pathetic as those who wanted to yell and scream at passersby took note of congregation of homeless men who actually danced to the sounds of a drummer who was leading a chant, “Bring out the 1%, bring out the 1%”. The black homeless men wondered if somehow the population of white people had actually dropped to 1%. The thought of white people being only 1% of the city of Detroit lead a few homeless people to wonder if they should pick up and move to other big cities where there was a larger pool of financially stable and generous white folk. The native Detroiters felt sort of silly when nobody noticed them except a few Red Wing fans that cut through HartPlaza on their way to Joe Louis Arena to catch a game. The hockey fans thought it was sort of dumb to camp outside in inner city Detroit but they politely ignored the small group. Within a few days, the Detroit protestors packed up and went home without any fanfare. No beatings, television crews, cops with night sticks or tear gas. Billy had to retool. Billy read up on other charismatic leaders like Hitler, Jim Jones, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and H. Ross Perot to see how it was that they were able to draw people to them. Billy would never admit to reading Perot’s biography since he was in the top 1% of the top 1% but he read it nonetheless.

Billy remembered Michael Moore’s movie called Roger and me and how Moore had hounded a GM executive named Roger Smith everywhere in order to get an explanation why it was that he closed GM plants in Flint, Michigan and so Billy wrote a letter to Moore in hopes that he might be willing to help a fellow antiestablishment native of Michigan. Mooreliked the idea quite a bit. Michael Moore then used his larger base of fans and followers who hated the government, rich people and the mainstream in general and before long, Billy had close to a 1000 people who had descended upon Jefferson Avenue in front of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. Moorehad chosen a rare time when there were throngs of sports fans out to see the Detroit Lions on a Sunday afternoon and the Detroit Red Wings in the evening. Moore told Billy to get the people together at about five in the evening and think of something that would bring traffic to a screeching halt. Billy had a great idea.

Hundreds of football fans on their way to see a hockey game and hockey fans that had just seen a football game, were stopped by a large group of mostly young white people who were throwing metal spoons onto Jefferson Avenue in front of the General Motors building. Bill felt like Che Guevara and Fidel Castro rolled up into one big Hugo Chavez. Bill climbed up a statue that symbolized the city of Detroit onWoodward Avenue and spoke through a megaphone. A few news trucks were out in front of the melee and filmed the action. Bill was in heaven.

The crowd quit banging drums and throwing metal spoons onto Jeffersonwhile Bill stood with his ratty looking red dread locks that hung like dirty rope over a Jamaican flag hoodie as he shouted into the amplification device.

“I’ve been to Seattle and New York and Oakland to help the people of those cities get people to understand that we are being taken for a ride by our government, by the fat cats who own 85% of everything worth owning. Look at that giant symbol of what the government involved itself in… General Motors. General Motors made a shit product and made the people at the top wealthy while working people on assembly lines lost their jobs. What happened? Your government gave your tax dollars to save a company that should have never failed. General Motors was once the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world and they became in danger of going under. How does that happen? Your government bailed out companies that have fucked us all in the ass… How many people are out of jobs? How many people have been foreclosed on? Who has swooped up and bought up all these homes that once belonged to working people? The very banks that have caused this fucking mess. You starve and they eat cake with silver spoons in their mouths. Well if they are in search of a spoon tonight, my friends let them come down to the streets ofDetroitto find one. Millions of spoons for millionaires. When are you going to wake up people? When are you going to get up out of your chair and go to the window and yell that you’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?”

It was at that moment that a man by the name of Bob who owned a gun shop and riffle range in Northern Michigan, had decided that since the Lions were in danger of making the playoffs for the first time in years and that the Detroit Red Wings were in danger of making the playoffs for the 21st year in a row, that he would make the pilgrimage to the city of Detroit that epitomized everything that Bob disliked about America; Crime, racial tension, traffic, shopping malls, unemployment and rich white kids with nothing better to do than take up a liberal cause. Bob decided to rip through Jefferson over the spoons in his large truck, sending protestors flying to the left and right of him. A dozen or more people had leaned on a sign near the tunnel to Canada that read, Welcome to the United States of America. The sign snapped off and flew into the windshield of Bob’s brand new GMC truck that had a hand painted sign on both sides and the back window that read, “Bob’s Emporium of armaments- The playground for those believe in the Bill of Rights.

The windshield looked like a kaleidoscope after the heavy sign hit the windshield. Bob exited the vehicle as his wife rolled down the passenger side window and calmly lit a cigarette and gazed at the mob that had filled the street. Bob walked towards the sound of the voice and saw the slight figure yelling passionately into the megaphone. Bill seemed like the ring leader of the band of misfits and so he pulled Billy down off of the symbol ofDetroitand gave him and ass beating like he had never had before. The local news caught the whole the incident. A large man in a Detroit Lions hat and a Red Wings Gordie Howe jersey beat the young man with the megaphone senseless. Protestors through bottles and rocks at the Bob and before long, large groups of drunken football and hockey fans came to the rescue of Gordie Howe or at least a man wearing his jersey. When the dust settled,Detroit had made the national and international news. Possibly a million spoons littered Jefferson Avenue in front of the GM Renaissance Center and brought traffic to a stand still. Red Wing and Lions fans and protestors alike were taken into custody by the Detroit Police. Billy was given his proverbial one call. Billy called his father as he always did and expected to be bailed out without question once again. Billy hated his father for being a rich and successful owner of a flatware company that had moved operations from the United States to China. The spoons that were scattered all over the streets of Detroit came from a warehouse belonging to Billy’s father. Billy, well known to everyone who worked for his father, loaded crate after crate of spoons into trucks from his father’s factory for the sole purpose of letting people know that the rich were born, living and dying with silver spoons in their mouths. Billy’s father attitude had changed towards his son. He was very firm and to the point with Billy who had cost him a lot of money by stealing his spoons. Several millions.

“I’m going to speak plainly to you, son. The fake Rasta hair, no deodorant, Reggae listening, Haile Salassie is god bullshit was cute. You thought you’d rebel against having life the easy way and I would just sit back and shrug my shoulders because I should have some sort of guilt for having money. I have no guilt, son. I don’t know a man alive who ever claimed to have enough money and today, you cost me a whole lot of money. Your father is part of the 1% and you thought you might try to punish me at a tremendous expense by taking my spoons. You’ve dubbed yourself the new voice for the poor and people of color, right? A modern day Lenin waiting for the revolution to take hold in the streets of Detroit. It isn’t coming, Billy. Well I want you to know that you are going to work to pay off your debt. You want to ally yourself with the poor and ordinary man. You’re going to be right there with them now. Reading Marx and hating me while I put you through college and this is what I get… A big bill for all your pseudo communist bullshit. Here’s the deal, son; you will learn what it is like to truly work for one solid year or I will see to it that you spend your time in jail for what you’ve done. This is America, son. A free country and one where you have choices and so I give you the choice, if I bail you out this time, you go to work for one year, no days off or you can say no and know that I will do all I can with my pull and connections to see that you do at least a year for your brash stupidity. When some lifer is lining your ass up in the shower like a Penn State date, you’ll wish you had joined the proletariat… The choice is yours to make.”

In a factory in a remote part of China, where people wear medical masks over their faces at all times and are forced to breathe the air that has a strange tint to it when the light of day illuminates the sky, works Billy. Behind him wearing a suit is a young black man, whose only job is to watch and live with Billy 24 hours a day for a year. The day after Billy’s father bailed him out of jail; Billy’s father ordered a shake at a fast food restaurant and offered a job to a young man that was mopping a floor who was roughly the same age as Billy. The young man went from making minimum wage to a half million dollars in a year and his only job was to make sure Billy worked every day, twelve hours a day, loading silverware into boxes to be shipped to the head quarters in Detroit,Michigan. Hundreds of sullen Chinese stood in front of an assembly line, collecting spoons, knives and forks with one young white American. Jefferson, who just the week before had to take two buses to make just over $200.00 a week, was dressed in nice clothes, had a chauffeur and a nice apartment that he shared with Billy. Billy’s father sent Jefferson a text, thanking him for taking the $500,000.00 dollar job that came with a bonus of a new car and a condo if Billy could complete the year without fail. Jefferson replied to Billy’s father.

NO THANK YOU, SIR. AND THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE AMERICAN DREAM ALIVE AND WELL. GOD BLESS YOU, SIR.

The Beat Your Ass Cafe

November 12, 2011

Patrice Fort was born and raised in a really small town that most people never heard of in Alberta. For those of you in the states, Alberta is a province, which is sort of like a state except that it is not a state. The Fort family slowly moved from the Plaines of Abraham near Quebec City and over the years kept moving west like the Mormons in search of a new town called Springfield. The Forts wound up in no place Alberta.
Fort, if you know the French language, means strong and Patrice was the epitome of a Cro-Magnon man of the modern age. Patrice was a hair over six feet tall and weighed 250 lbs. Patrice was a solid mass of muscle like a human pit-bull. At a young age, Patrice learned that his ice hockey skills were mediocre at best. Patrice was not fast and did not make the best decisions on the ice nor did he have the best shot. Patrice was able to fight and from the age of thirteen, Patrice never lost a fight.
The thing that scared people most about Patrice when they were faced with fighting him was that there was no anger or malice. It was just something he was born and bred to do and so he would pummel opponents who messed with the premier players on whatever team he happened to be playing on. It was during juniors that life suddenly changed for Patrice.
Patrice’s Quebec junior team had gone south to New York City to play in a tournament sponsored by some bank that no longer exists in the states. Patrice had never been to a city as large as New York and had never imagined so much humanity crammed into such a small space in a place like Manhattan. Patrice went into a Starbucks and ordered a tall hot chocolate and watched the unique people that walked down the sidewalk near Times Square. From the Starbucks window, for Patrice it was like watching a freak show at the circus. There were so many different types of people, in varying sizes and shapes. An older woman of about sixty years of age came up and spoke to Patrice in a way he had never heard before. Even though the woman was older, she was shapely and confident.
“Many years have come and gone man and you’re one of the last relics of the Neanderthal period, man. All swelled up with muscles and I suppose you never took one supplement… Man, dig that crazy tune.”
Herbie Hancock was playing Cantaloupe Island over the speakers in the Starbucks. The woman put her hand on Patrice’s large forearm and closed her eyes as the song played. Patrice looked at the strange woman and sort of dug the tune that softly played.
“People are always saying that this or that is the shit. I’m here to tell you that this is the true shit, man. You weren’t around when this shit was devised. People were swinging to Benny Goodman and then cats like Herbie came round and opened people’s eyes to music that could speak without words. 1964, we all thought the world would end, man. Kennedy killed and a cowboy with his hands on the nuclear button, man. Beatles came and what did they say? They said too much but listen to this here, man. I know you can feel it, cave man, baby… I bet you’re hung like a horse.”
It was the first time that Patrice had ever had sex with a woman and the woman was older than his own mother and twice as shapely. There were very few sags and lumps on the old Beatnik woman. They made love, if you want to call it that, several time over the course of an afternoon while listening to cool Jazz and hearing the woman read Beat Poetry by Ginsberg and Kerouac. Patrice left the small basement apartment in Manhattan and was never the same.
As the years went on, teammates came to understand that Patrice was a bit out there but they respected the difference. And wouldn’t respect a man who could kill them with his bare hands. On planes and trains, Patrice listened to Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk through earphones and wrote poetry.

What colour is blue when the sky is gray. Walk down the streets of Detroit like I came from Mars, come to visit bars full of coulorful coloured folk and they think they know me because the press wants to own me, ride me, pride me like a pony and it’s phony. Won’t eat gluten. I’m free like Putin who wants to keep Russia from anarchy after the fall of The Wall and Soviet dynamo. The Red Army Team came to town when I was young. Ate biscuits and drank coffee in a vast land. I followed the road from Alberta to everywhere, man. Everywhere is nowhere and yet I’m somewhere between where I should be and where I am. Sit in the shade sipping wine no words to this Monk tune that rolls through my mind. If the colour blue is true, I hold out hope for me and you… Coltrane, last train try in vain… Gonna sit outside in Portugal or Spain and write a few words on the balcony in the rain… Rinse and repeat that, Cat.

Now to you and I, words strung together such as this meant little or nothing. A long stream of unconsciousness. Patrice was traded from Phoenix, to San Jose to Boston and then went to Nashville and landed in Detroit at minimum wage for the NHL. The Detroit Red Wings were a finesse team that really did not need a lug or a goon to go out and fight to protect the true hockey players of the team. The fighters were an outdated necessity from days gone by of clutch and grab hockey a la Philadelphia in the 1970’s. Detroit grabbed Patrice and never really played him until one day against Chicago, a heated rival who happened to be winning the game and taunted the Detroit team. The Detroit coach, Mike Babcock, nodded to Patrice, who on his first shift, beat up two Chicago players and mistakenly punched a referee. From that point on, Patrice had a home in the hearts of Detroit Red Wing fans.
Most people don’t know the story behind the finger snapping when Patrice takes the ice. To those from out of town or watching on Versus, it may sound like the theme from the Adams Family is being played. Before long, large groups of Beatnik poetry types who frequented Patrice’s café in the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck, began going to Detroit Red Wing games, wearing jerseys that had the name FORT on the back. Scruffy faced young men who appeared to be anti-sports, showed up wearing Red Wing jerseys, snapping their fingers violently whenever Patrice got on the ice or fought. Before long, everyone got in on the act. It was like throwing octopus on the ice.
After home games in Hamtramck on Jos Campau there is a Beatnik café where people drink and read poetry to Jazz. It is called, Beat Your Ass Café. It is nothing more than an old Polish watering hole that Patrice bought to host poetry readings and feature live Jazz. On the walls are pictures of some of Patrice’s best fights with the dates and names of opponents. Patrice usually appears after games and reads his latest poetry while young Jazz musicians play behind him and others. It is standing room only after Red Wing games. Dig that.

Boris the Greatest or The Ice Cream Socialist

May 2, 2011

Boris’s father played ice hockey in the old Soviet Union for ЦСКА Москва otherwise known as Красная Армия. For those of you who don’t read in Cyrillic, it was the infamous Red Army team. Boris’s father had told him many times about the exhibition games he had played against NHL teams back in 1976 and how his team had dominated the USSR league right up until the end. It had always been Boris’s dream to play for the same team as his father.
At the age of nineteen, Boris had entered the KHL and ripped up. He led the league in penalty minutes, goals and assists. Boris could stick handle in a phone booth, skate like the wind and fight with the toughest of the toughest. It had not gone unnoticed by the NHL.
The Detroit Red Wings grew tired of being a contender but not a team that could any longer win the Stanley Cup. The Swedes were excellent but they just weren’t winning the way the Red Wings were when they had the Russians. The Red Wings found success with Kozlov, Larionov, Federov, Konstantinov and Fetisov. When all five were on the ice for a power play, it was quite and exercise for the announcers.
Of course the Red Wings had the great Pavel Datsyuk but they wanted a similar player like Pavel who could be rough. Big Boris was drafted by the Red Wings and started his rookie year at the age of twenty four.
Boris made a good living in Russia in the KHL but the money the Detroit Red Wings were offering him was absurd. The brash young Russian put on a red Detroit Red Wing jersey at a press conference with the number 0 on the back and only his first name. The Red Wings had to get permission to use a first name only and the number 0. The league granted both. The first press conference went something like this:

Press- Boris, what is your last name?
Boris- Eet tiz Boris only. Jus like Bono and Cher.
Press- It was Sonny Bono…
Boris- Wat! Stupid, man… Next question
Press- How do you think you will do in the NHL?
Boris- Cis league ees you know gut but Boris ees the greatest. I’m like Mohammad Ali of hockey,
Man. I’m gonna make hockey a sport in cis country like it ees een Canada… You see.

Boris first year, he scored the most goals, assists and had more fights by himself than the rest of the team had in total. Boris had a beautiful wife and a giant compound of a home within the city of Detroit. Boris bought up a whole city block and turned it into a villa. He grew grapes on his villa and sold his fortified sweet red called, Five Buck Boris. It was twenty percent alcohol and had a hammer and sickle under his smiling face with a missing tooth. Boris could be found at casinos in Detroit most nights and there were pictures of him in the papers with various black women. Several black women claimed that Boris was the father of their children. When questioned about siring so many out of wedlock children with black women, he innocently answered.
“Zee womens love Boris and I loves zee womens. All womens not jus black ones.”
And that statement was untrue. Boris’s beautiful blond wife returned to Russia to make films again and divorced Boris. When that happened, Boris was like a child without parents. Boris gambled and had wild parties. The Red Wings hired a Russian driver to be Boris’s personal nanny.
Vlad was paid handsomely by the Red Wings to drive Boris to and from Joe Louis Arena to his villa just north and west of downtown. Vlad’s mother came to Boris’s fifteen bedroom house and cooked her famous Baklazhanovaya Irka recipe and borscht. Boris loved Vlad’s mother’s cooking and loved Boris like a brother. It wasn’t long before Boris had corrupted Vlad. Vlad’s job was to troll the casinos and dance clubs and invite beautiful black women back to his compound. Boris would invite rappers and basketball players to party at his nightclub within the compound that was within his villa. Boris had a ten thousand foot nightclub with lights, smoke machines and a fantastic sound system. Boris reasoned that if he could not hang out at the clubs, he would create his own. Black basketball players would show up to his parties with white women while their black wives were at home and Boris did the opposite. Boris was an underground hit with Hip-Hop culture in Detroit. Before long, Boris made his own video called, Boris in the D. The video was a Youtube sensation and aired occasionally on BET. Snoop Dog did a cameo as did Kid Rock on the video. The hook of the song went as follows:

Boris in the D playing hockey… Joe Louis Arena and the bitches love me. Bullet proof Mercedes, lots of ladies, riches, bitches, 100 proof… Boris in the D, gonna put you through the roof. The roof, the roof, put you through the roof. The roof, the roof, put you through the roof.
Images of Boris scoring, stick handling and fighting flashed along with images of him lifting weights, running, swimming and then driving in a convertible Mercedes stuffed with young smiling black women in sunglasses and bikinis. It wasn’t long before the highlife caught up with Boris and Vlad.
Vlad was fired by the Detroit Red Wings and hired by Boris as well as a dozen other young men that were part of the entourage of body guards. An average night for Boris was to play hockey, dress, visit the casinos, send Vlad out to invite women over to the compound.
“Excuse me, missus… Dat ees Boris dee Greatest over there. He is not at leisure to speak to you at thees time because he ees with the daughter of the owner of the Detroit Red Wings but would like to know eef you vood be interested to join heem at he’s home not far from here to have a drink and get to know you gut… You can bring you friend too.”
Most women understood that it was just a romp for the night, a chance to ooh and ahh over a palace within the city limits of Detroit, drink, have some sex and disappear again. One particular woman decided that she was not going to be just like the other women in his life.
Felicia was a tall black woman with high cheekbones and a dimple on her left cheek. She wanted to be a singer and a movie star and did not want to be just another conquest for a celebrity. Felicia was content being who she was for the most part. Felicia went to Boris’s compound and refused to get drunk and have sex with Boris. Boris was stunned. An unbelievably beautiful black woman with a voluptuous frame and pretty face had turned down Boris. Boris took it as a challenge. It was like finding a goalie that he could not score against. He had to find a way to put the puck in the net to add to his statistics. Boris had to find away to convince a beautiful woman with standards and morals to give in to his flashy temptations.
“You know dare ees a lot of vimans thaat vood like to be where you are tonights…”
“Boris, you are a handsome man with a lot of money and I have to say it was poor judgment on my part to come and have dinner with you tonight. If you thinking you bout to get you a piece of ass, Imma tell you, you wrong. I ain’t a bitch or a ho. Imma beautiful Christian woman that got to go to bed with myself at the end the night and atone for my actions. So I don’t know whatchu thought inviting me all up in yo Dee-troit Kremlin west. You thank you the tsar and Jesus Christ all rolled up into one sharp suit. I’m looking for a gentleman who appreciate me for who I am and willing to do some work to see the fruit of thy labor…”
“Vat? I don’t know vat you are sayink… Eet ess a lot of sound but don’t having meaning for Boris. You saying you vant to be the one woman een my life? Come on… There ees a lot of Boris the world ees needing.”
Boris went on drinking and partying and fornicating as well as fighting, stick handling and scoring goals. Things were going well for the Detroit Red Wings. It looked as though they were going to cake walk into the finals and manhandle their opponent in the Eastern Conference for the Stanley Cup. Boris seemed unhappy and bored with life. Vlad asked him what it was that he could do to make Boris happy again: more cars, more women, more parties, a trip to Miami. Boris responded by pursing his lips and banging his fist on the table.
“Nobody weens over Boris. Boris ees thee wiener at all times. How can Boris be the greatest and still hear no? I vill vin thees thing… You vill see Vladi.”
Felicia had received flowers to make a florist jealous, calls to have dinner and drinks but Felicia would not respond to Boris. After dozens of phone calls, Felicia answered the phone to send Boris off once and for all.
“Look you Russian Valentino…”
“Who? Thees ees Boris. Who ees thees Valentino. I vill beating heem like dog.”
“No means no, Boris. I want more than you can or want to offer. I want a man who wants me and ain’t running around all over, planting seeds wherever he be allowed to.”
“Seeds? Vat ees seeds?”
“You cain stop calling me now. I ain’t going wid you now or never. You got a whole lot of women takin in by your world. Go send yo boy to find them.”
After the Red Wings had won the Stanley Cup, Boris did not return to Russia or take off for tropical places. He hired a woman to teach Boris about the bible and Jesus and Christianity in general for about a month before he decided to show up at the Motor City Missionary-Baptist Church within the city limits of Detroit. Boris walked into the church and took a seat in the back, wearing an off white suit with a pair of sunglasses. His three Russian body guards stood in the back of the church with black suits and sunglasses on. Many in the church had ideas on who the FBI agents were there to nab. Even the minister of the church had some thoughts that the white men were there for them. Nobody recognized Boris the Greatest, the best hockey player in the NHL and savior of white hockey loving people in the Detroit metropolis.
The minister sweated as he began to give his sermon. He decided to inquire as to who the visitors were to their black only church.
“It appears as though we have some new folks that have joined us today… Brother, what’s your name and where are you from?”
“My name ees Boris and I am from Moscow but leave right here een Detroit now. I verk here een the city of Detroit for a team you are having called the Red Wings… Maybe you are knowing them?”
A laugh went up in the church as people suddenly recognized the face and accent. They were stymied as to why a white, Russian, partying, hockey playing, brash young man, would enter a poorly air conditioned black church at 8:30am on a Sunday.
“Romans 2:1 says and I quotes, “You therefore, have no excusing, you who pass judgments on someone else… Uh… You condemning youself because you passing judgments. John 8:7 as you are knowing says, “if any one of you ees without sinning let her picks up a rock now and throw eet at me.”
Boris boldly walked up and took the hand of the ravishing woman who was singing in the choir and kissed her hand as he kneeled before her. It was a penalty shot, one on one with the goalie who had stoned him so many times earlier. Boris pulled out everything he had for the shot. The puck went in the net.
Vlad goes to bars and drinks alone or with other friends and tells people in his heavy Russian accent how for a few years, he was the body guard and personal bitch fetcher for Boris. Vlad told stories of driving drunk, bagging women and the number of celebrities that hung out at the compound. The question at the end of the story was always the same and Vlad always had the answer.
“Every man needs to learn that he can lose… And sometimes ven you lose, you winning. The von who made Boris losing von. Dat ees the one he needed. Dat ees the one he gots now… So sad for me. No more parties, just backyard barbeques and church. My man sings in the choir… and is an ice cream socialist…”

Drunk Driving the Dog

January 13, 2011

Horatio Kiss made a pile of money or as the saying goes, hand over fist, getting drunks to beat the drunken driving laws in the state of Michigan. Horatio was an attractive man with a televangelist’s smile, with perfect hair and good speaking voice. Business got so good that Horatio began to do commercials on local television in Detroit. His commercials began with kissing lips and a red imprint of lips across his own forehead that he would wipe off with a handkerchief.

“Drunk driving is not a laughing matter; you need the professionals at Horatio Kiss and Associates to help you wipe away that DUI.”

Horatio would then tuck the handkerchief into his breast pocket and point at the camera and exclaim, “Get the facts, get the help you need. At Horatio Kiss and Associates we have handled every type of DUI charge imaginable. We can get you that dismissal, we can get you that re-instatement today… Begin to wipe away that DUI now.”

Peter Francis Geraci had been the most recognized commercial attorney in Michigan with all the bankruptcies and foreclosures. All those broke and evicted people then needed another attorney when they turned to alcohol to ease the pain when they operated vehicles while intoxicated. Horatio became their man.
It was no joke; Horatio was very good at getting drunks off the hook. Many people were nailed dead to rights by the Michigan State Police or in the city of Detroit or surrounding municipalities. An officer would often come into court and explain why he stopped a potentially drunk vehicle operator and then Horatio would go to work on that officer.
“Officer Whipple… Have you ever changed a station on your radio in the car?”
“Yes.”
“Have you ever drank or eaten something while operating a vehicle?”
“Yes.”
“Have you ever spoken on a phone or answered a radio call in your squad car while it was moving, while operating it?”
“Yes.”
“Have you ever swerved while doing this?”
“I’m not certain.”
“So you could have swerved but you are unaware of ever doing it while doing everyday things that everyone does without taking a drop of alcohol. Is that correct, officer?”
“It is possible I suppose…”
“Are you a diabetic, Officer Whipple?”
“No sir…”
“Were you aware that the defendant is a diabetic and that he was on the phone with Walgreen’s placing an order for insulin when you stopped him for erratic driving which was nothing more than driving on the lane marker but not crossing it. This man was about to go into shock and yet you would hear none of it. Am I correct, officer?”
“He refused a sobriety test and in my experience this is usually guilt by denial. We never discussed diabetes.”
“The defendant was not allowed to discuss diabetes, officer…”

And so on. Horatio understood that most obese people needed insulin and since most people were obese, he could use that argument. Horatio pulled many rabbits out of hats to help clearly drunk motorists beat the rap. Aside from diabetes, Horatio used insomnia, head injuries, poor vision that had been since corrected, contractions, menstrual cramping, vertigo due to ear wax blockage, recent deaths in the family, divorce, loss of jobs, homes and even once a drop in stocks. Horatio was good and everyone knew it. Horatio could stuff an elephant through the eye of a needle and many knew he was capable of explaining why it was necessary and plausible. Horatio was the Houdini of DUI defense.

Horatio had a brother by the name of Helmut who was Horatio’s twin brother. Helmut was not a fraternal twin and unless people were told, they would never guess that Horatio and Helmut were even brothers. Helmut was tall, obese, loud and drunk most of the time. He went to strip clubs and never missed a Detroit Red Wings home game. Helmet had a job dropping off medical supplies between nursing homes in Ann Arbor and Oakland County in the town of Wixom. People who knew Helmut called him The Pontiac Trailer Trash but not to his face. Helmet lived in a trailer and drove a 1977 AMC Hornet that had belonged to their grandparents who had willed it to Helmut before they died. A coat hanger held the muffler to the car and he drove with the windows open because exhaust fumes would enter through the rotten floor boards. All Helmut could get on radio was AM stations and so Helmet listened to a Detroit sports talk station on AM radio and even got a five minute call in show which he was not paid for where he would rant or rave about the Red Wings. The only reason Helmut was given the show was because he was the brother of the famous Horatio Kiss and because Helmut showed up to every Red Wings home game with his English Bulldog who he named, Delvecchio after a former ice hockey hall of fame player by the name of Alex Delvecchio who played for the Red Wings during the days of the Original Six.
Helmut and Delvecchio would walk around Joe Louis Arena before games and Delvecchio wore a red sweater with the Red Wing logo on it and the name Delvecchio. Delvecchio the dog also wore a custom fit white CCM helmet with Red Wing logos on both sides. Helmet would yell like a drunken frat boy and high five anyone and everyone who would acknowledge him and his dog. Helmet would then valet park his AMC Hornet with the windows cracked and the motor running so that his dog would not die of carbon monoxide or freeze while he went into Joe Louis Arena to watch a game.
It was on New Year’s Eve that the Detroit Red Wings were taking on the New York Islanders. For those in the know, the lowly Islanders stood a slim chance of ever stealing a win from the mighty Red Wings especially at home and on the last night of the year.
Helmut left his home early to parade Delvecchio around downtown Detroit. They walked by Campus Martius where Detroiters were skating at the outdoor ice rink, he walked up and down the streets in Greektown and then took Delvecchio on the People Mover at the Cadillac Center, past Greektown, The Renaissance Center, the financial district and then on to Joe Louis Arena. Patrons of the people mover all wanted to pet the panting, slobbering Delvecchio with his cute sweater and helmet on his head. Japanese tourists usually took family pictures with Helmut and the dog and then tipped him. Helmut didn’t mind.
Horatio was more of a basketball fan than a hockey fan and so Horatio rarely made it to The Joe. It just so happened that a wealthy client who had a son that got arrested with a fictitious license, got into a car accident while intoxicated. It was a trifecta for the arresting officer: suspended license, fake identification and an accident while intoxicated. The son of the wealthy real estate speculator racked up fines that exceeded $50,000.00 and a potential felony for falsifying his identity. The wealthy real estate man was a huge hockey fan and wanted to discuss Horatio’s plan of action between periods at the hockey game. They were fantastic seats, center ice about ten rows back.
It was at the end of the game when Horatio fought his way to a men’s bathroom on the way out of the arena that he recognized a distinct voice. It was the voice of his twin picking a fight with some fans from Long Island in New York.
“Fuck the Rangers, fuck the Devils, fuck Mike Bossy, fuck Long Island, fuck Long Island Ice Tea, fuck your stupid accents and the fucking Islanders… This is what I think of your fucking Islanders…”
Helmut pulled out his penis and began urinating in the sink in full view of every man waiting in line to relieve themselves before they burst. Other Detroit fans cheered in the bathroom as Helmut clasped his hands over his head as if he had won a prize fight. Horatio grabbed his brother and escorted him towards his car, lecturing him all the way. Horatio collected Delvecchio from the overheating AMC and paid to have the car stored overnight.
“Bro, you don’t understand cause you’re not a fan. We got Pavel out, Cleary, Modano and now Stewart and they just got fucking lucky. I don’t like nobody coming into my home and talking smack. It’s smack bro, that’s all. I’m just trying to have a good time and enjoy a game and welcome in the baby new year, that’s all. Delvecchio and me are gonna stop by a few places to have a nip and then we’ll be on our way,” said a slurring Helmut.
Delvecchio was panting profusely while he sat on Helmut’s lap. Drool was getting all over the dashboard of Horatio’s Escalade which had just been detailed. Horatio lost his cool.
“I am tired of saving your ass every time you do something stupid. Bringing the dog to games, getting wasted, pissing in sinks in a public building… I can’t save you from yourself, Helmy. When are you going to grow up?”
The lecture made Helmut sad. He began to cry. The immense amount alcohol which was consumed over the course of eight hours brought about an impetuous decision to open the door of the SUV which was moving at seventy five miles an hour on interstate 75. Horatio slammed on the breaks to keep his brother from falling out of the moving vehicle. Helmut began to walk alongside the interstate carrying his sixty pound bulldog in a sweater and hockey helmet as snow began to fall. Horatio pleaded with his brother to get back in the truck but Helmet ignored him. Helmet began to stick out his thumb in hopes of getting a ride from a passing vehicle. After about a quarter mile, an Officer Haynes pulled his state issued Crown Victoria over to the side to try and understand what was happening between two men and a dog. The night grew ugly for the trio. Officer Haynes had actually been in court with Horatio several times and lost. It was his good fortune or possibly karma that brought them all together at nearly the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
On the front page of the Detroit Free Press was a picture taken from the squad car camera of Horatio, Helmut and Delvecchio looking like deer in the headlights. The headline was as follows:

DUI CRUSADER NABBED DRUNK DRIVING WITH BROTHER AND DOG

Detroit- Horatio Kiss was found walking with his brother, Helmet Kiss and his dog Delvecchio along interstate 75 near exit 55: Holbrook/Caniff Avenue exit after attending a Detroit Red Wings game earlier in the evening. Mr. Horatio Kiss contends that he was attempting to get his brother Helmut Kiss and his dog into his vehicle when they were spotted by Michigan State Police walking northbound on the shoulder of Interstate 75 at 11:52 pm on December 31st. Mr. Helmut Kiss struck the officer who was attempting to handcuff him, broke a window to the squad car and ran off of the freeway. Mr. Horatio Kiss then followed his brother in a white Cadillac Escalade. The Kiss Brothers and the dog were apprehended without further incident in Hamtramck. Bond hearing is scheduled Monday January 3, 2011. Mr. Horatio Kiss will be representing himself and his brother. No further details are known about the English bulldog named Delvecchio.

Merry Christmas, Detroit or Take the Homless Skating

December 21, 2010

Tim could hardly be called tiny but the name sort of stuck with Tim since he didn’t hit puberty until late in high school. As the saying goes, Tiny’s nut did not drop until late in adolescence. Tiny or Tim as his mother called him, was short and had a high pitched voice until senior year of high school. It was at that time that Tiny joined the ranks of all the other boys who were becoming men.
Tiny grew up in suburban Detroit and played ice hockey from kindergarten through juniors when he finally came to grips with the fact that he was good and not great and that professional hockey was not going to be his vocation. Tiny went to the University of Michigan, became an accountant, found a job and started a family in Los Angeles before being moved back by his company to suburban Detroit.
Saying that he was born and raised in Detroit was not a source of pride to Tiny. He felt as though he had not really gone very far in life by returning to a town that seemed to have crumbled, decayed and stagnated through the years. Returning to Detroit seemed to be a punishment to Tiny who was squeezed out in the running to climb a rung up the ladder of his company’s firm. Instead his boss gave him a ho-hum review and gave him the choice of losing his job or move to Detroit. Tiny opted to keep his job and move to Detroit.
For anyone that ever had to move from Los Angeles to Detroit and really spent some time in inner city Detroit where neighborhoods gave way to prairie and trees grew through the roofs of abandon homes that were not burned down or decayed to pieces, Detroit could be quite surreal. Tiny was determined to put in his time for his company that was housed in the General Motors Renaissance Center along the banks of the Detroit River in the heart of downtown Detroit. Tiny bought a condominium on Lafayette which was walking distance from the Renaissance Center. He didn’t want his family to get the feeling of permanence. Condominiums seem more transient than single family homes at least Tiny felt this was the case.
Tiny’s wife was sort of indifferent to Detroit being a native Angelino who thought places like Michigan was somewhere on the east coast. It had to be since it was in the Eastern Time zone, right? Susan exercised profusely and shuttled their sons to hockey practice up in Troy, some fifteen miles north of the city to play for Little Caesar’s. Tiny, when he wasn’t working, spent a great deal of his own free time late at night playing men’s league hockey or rat hockey in well to-do towns north and west of Detroit. When Tiny told fellow hockey mates that he lived in 313, most were quite stunned.
It was the night before Christmas Eve that Tiny went with some of his buddies that were Detroit Firemen to play in a fund raising tournament in Windsor, Ontario. Tiny sent his wife Susan alone with their two boys to a holiday tournament outside of Toronto and opted to play hockey himself.
The tournament was uneventful for Tiny. He played defense and had a few assists and allowed a few bad goals to happen by not tying up his man. He had a few push matches in front of his goalie, had a good sweat and then returned with the team to downtown Detroit to finish a night of male bonding; play hockey, drink, watch hockey, drink, gamble and drink some more and then possibly hit a strip club, pass out, return home hung over and be low keyed and a family man on Christmas Eve.
Tiny stood out in front of a downtown watering hole called the Old Shillelagh after watching the Detroit Red Wings play at Joe Louis Arena. A digital display could be seen from the street letting everyone know that only eight two days were left until St. Patrick’s Day or possibly one hundred days left of potential winter weather before the Tigers would return to Comerica Park as a sure sign of summer.
Tiny smoked a large cigar that dangled out of the corner of his mouth like a large phallic symbol. Smoking indoors was only allowed in casinos and so the men stood on Monroe Street smoking, laughing and talking. A disheveled looking black man with rags hanging off of him and leathery exposed hands asked the smoking men if they had any change to spare. The man wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“Its Christmas y’all… Y’ain’t got some spare change so I kin buy me a hamburger and a little water? Come ahn y’all… Find it in y’heart t’help a man who ain’t gotta dime.”
Tiny listened to the man and he thought about how he felt trapped in a Detroit that was so different than the city his father had worked as an assembly line worker for General Motors from the end of World War II until 1984. Tiny’s father retired before he was let go. He outlasted the change that was coming. Tiny’s rant was angry, racist and drunk. Even his fellow hockey mates were surprised by his words even though they may not have disagreed with him.
“This is your fucking Detroit… Since the riots and Coleman Young, you people have done nothing but run this city into the fucking shitter and you hold your hand out and ask people like us to give you more. Well you got the whole fucking city to yourselves. Go ask one of your own to give you some fucking change… I could use a change. Change this town back to a place where people might want to live.”
The man looked at Tiny with a blank stare and then shuffled off into the night. Tiny went back in and had a few more pints of Guinness before deciding to go to his parent’s home rather than go on to play poker at the Greektown Casino and crash at the Greektown Hotel with his teammates. Tiny would have stayed but he needed to let his parent’s dog out at his boyhood home in Warren since his parents were visiting Tiny’s brother and his family in Akron, Ohio.
Tiny blared Van Halen on his fabulous sound system in his Range Rover as he sped north on interstate 75. The thought came to Tiny to piss on the abandon Fisher Body 21 that once made Cadillac limousines. It was symbolic. Tiny needed to piss but he was going to piss on the symbol of what Detroit had become and was mired in. The building stood abandoned with all the windows smashed out of it, covered in graffiti and home to drug addicts and homeless. It was Detroit’s Chernobyl. Snow had begun to gently fall as Tiny took the interstate 94 ramp from interstate 75. Tiny was singing, Hot for Teachers as he took the curve too fast. Tiny couldn’t control the SUV. It hit the guard rail and went right through it. The large vehicle felt weightless as it plummeted over twenty feet and landed nose first on the ground. The car didn’t roll or tip, it stood vertically on end. The airbag deployed and hit Tiny with such force that it broke his nose and cheek bones. Tiny smashed his sternum on the steering wheel and fell in and out of consciousness. Tiny had a dream that he was walking on a sunny day through a field of knee high grass towards the Fisher Body 21 building. It was the 1950’s and the building was strong looking, vibrant and intact. Tiny walked up to the security guard at the entrance who saw him bleeding. The security guard posed a question.
“Say Mack… What in the world happened to you?”
The security guard asked over and over until the voice changed along with the words and the accent. The day was no longer sunny; it was cold, dark and snowy. He could hear a voice posing the same question over and over again.
“Say man… What happened to you? You okay, man? I know you breathin. Kin you hear me?”
Two old homeless black men raced from the fire they had built within the Fisher Body 21 building to see what had happened to the driver of the car that had sailed over the side of the freeway. Tiny gave a faint response. One of the homeless men took off on foot to possibly find a cop or someone with a cell phone that could call for an ambulance. The other homeless man ran back to the building and grabbed a ratty old comforter that he dug out of the garbage. It smelled horrible but it was warm and Tiny began to go into shock. Tiny was aware of the fact that he was seriously hurt and the idea of dying that night was entirely possible. Tiny was scared and began to say out loud that he wanted to live. He had a wife and kids and he hadn’t yet done all the things he set out to do in life. Tiny suddenly regretted that he didn’t spend more time with his wife and kids. He regretted racing through life, doing two things at a time at all times. He regretted being so angry and dissatisfied with life. Tiny sniffled as he listened to a homeless black man that he couldn’t see. All he could feel was a random stranger holding his hand. If he were to die, someone living would witness it. The homeless stranger was no stranger to the loss of life. Jonas had lived through Vietnam and at least a decade on the streets. Jonas quietly tried to reassure Tiny to fight.
“Listen boy… You keep yo eyes open an tell y’self you gone live. You got a wife an kids… That reason nuff to live foh. Yo wife an kids don’t want to be putting yo ass in the goddamn ground on Christmas… Hell naw. She want you to give her some present and y’kids want the same. They want to sit round and eat and talk like people do on dem holidays… Just like Jimmy Stewart,” said Jonas.
Jonas rubbed the top of Tiny’s left hand. Jonas was cold but acclimated to being cold since he lived in the cold. Tiny trembled almost uncontrollably as his teeth chattered.
“You cold, I knows it… Picture walking through a jungle where it so dang hot you kin barely breathe. You got mosquitoes biting on you and you sweat so much at all times. I lived through that in Vietnam foh two years, boy. I sat in the jungle with a young good ole boy from Georgia who hated me foh the color my skin an when the time come an he was tremblin from shock ah been shot, he held mah hand an thanked me foh being wid him… He died an I felt bad. I felt real bad cause I nevah toll him to fight. I jus listen to him an he needed t’hear me tell em to fight foh his life… I’m telling you, boy. Fight foh yo life. Fight foh yo family… You don’t give up, boy. You keep treading water cause the lifeguard coming.”
Tiny fought hard to stay awake. He thought about all the things he wanted to do and say to people that meant so much to him. After a while he could hear sirens getting closer and closer. The voice ceased speaking to him and his left hand grew cold. Tiny passed out and came to in the hospital surrounded by his entire family and a television news crew.
Every year since the accident on the day before Christmas Eve, Tiny and his hockey teammates rent out the Old Shillelagh and Campus Martius ice rink. Homeless people from all over Detroit come to get a free meal of corned beef and cabbage and then ice skate for free at Campus Martius, which has an outdoor rink. Homeless men and women put aside their woes and demons for a few hours as they shuffled across the ice to the sounds of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. It may seem like a bizarre thing to take the homeless ice skating but none of them minded. In fact every year the homeless look forward to a day of dignity. Tiny served food at the restaurant and tied skates at the ice rink. He no longer raced around in traffic and cut people off. He did not let insignificant things ruin his days either. Tiny spent time with his family and took time to appreciate and grasp that every moment of life was life itself. Tiny took the time to take life in instead of letting it race past him. Almost dying will put life in true perspective.
Tiny was offered a lateral move with his company back to Los Angeles and he declined. When asked why, he answered; I am Detroit, Detroit is me.

Detroit’s Sexiest Cop

May 4, 2010

Kate saw a poster of Kwame Kilpatrick, looking down with a stern face, pointing his index finger at anyone looking at him with the words, “Detroit Wants You”. At the time Kate was working with inner city kids in an after school program where she supervised playing and doing homework until it was absolutely necessary for the children to go home. Kate was the epitome of whiteness with her reddish blond hair and freckles. She stood out among the African-American children who were part of the after school program.
Kate had gone to Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and had a bachelor’s degree in Art. Kate loved art and had done a semester in Paris so that she could study the old churches throughout France. Kate found it nearly impossible to find a job as an art teacher anywhere in the metro Detroit area and so resorted to substitute teaching and running an after school program to make ends meet.
Around the age of twenty one, Kate had married and had a son. The marriage didn’t last and the father took off never to be seen again. Kate raised her son Jim alone. Jim wore sagging stove pipe jeans and skate boarding shoes. He usually wore several different t shirts related to skateboarding, his hair was long, and he made homemade tattoos and watched a lot of Jackass on MTV when he wasn’t out near the parking garage of their downtown Detroit condominium doing the same tricks over and over on his skateboard.
Kate was distraught over her under employment, her teenaged son who hated the world and the void of a man in her life. She looked at a picture of the mayor of Detroit and said to her, “Fuck it… I’ll be a cop”.
Within eighteen months, Kate had become a police officer for the Detroit Police. Her son told her that he hated cops but didn’t hate her so much. This was while she tried to show off her smart new uniform to him while he played X-Box and ate a Little Caesar’s pizza.
Kate had talked to a few girlfriends that were doing internet dating and so she decided to give it a try. The first half dozen dates were a total flop. The men were either intimidated by the fact that Kate was a police officer or they were drawn to her only for that reason. Two stated on the first and only dates, that they wanted to be handcuffed.
“So um… Do you have your cuffs with you?”
“Um… Do you have your computer with you?”
Kate became despondent over her prospects but then received a nice message from a fitness instructor from Farmington Hills. The man, who was thirty five years of age, was in shape and youthful looking. Tom sent thoughtful messages and asked appropriate questions and had offered to take Kate out to dinner in Greektown and then to a Red Wings playoff game. It sounded like a great first date for Kate.
The day of the date, Kate was nervous and preoccupied. She had detail near Comerica Park where the Detroit Tigers played. There happened to be an afternoon game and Kate was sent to keep an eye on traffic near the ball park. People filed in and out uneventfully for the most part. It was in the middle of the fifth inning that Kate noticed a man pissing on the east side of the Detroit Opera House.
Kate was sitting in her squad car listening to the Tigers game on the radio when she noticed a man with a Tigers jersey on, running towards the opera house. In bright sun shine of an afternoon game, a man facing the wall with VERLANDER across his back, pissed for a good two minutes. Once finished, Kate was standing nearby to make the arrest.
“With all the shit that goes on in this town, you’re arresting me for pissing?”
“Sir, if everyone pissed on the opera house, what would that building smell like? Huh? Better yet, why don’t I invite everyone from the opera house to come and piss on your house? Would you like that?”
“Come on, ma’am… Cut me some slack. I never even had a parking ticket before. I been taking Dianetics for some health stuff and I can’t hold it and there was a million guys waiting in line by the bleachers and so I had to make a snap decision. It’s my fault. I met the boys for a few before the game at Chelios’ place and then they kept buying at the park and well with the pills to flush my kidneys, there was no way to hold it.”
“Did you say Dianetics?”
The pleading fell on deaf ears. Kate took the culprit in and he was charged with drunk and disorderly. After filling out the paper work, Kate went home to get ready for her date. At first she put on a skirt with a tight blouse that showed her tight stomach and perky boobs and then she changed into a pair of jeans and a loose long sleeved top. She then put on two dresses and tried to decide if she would wear her hair down or up or use a clip to keep the bangs up. There was a lot of agony as she readied herself for the date. Her son blasted songs from the Insane Clown Posse in the next room.
“Jimbo… can you turn that down. It’s so loud…”
“Fuck wine coolers, fuck chickens, fuck ducks, everybody in your crew sucks…”
Kate tried to curl her hair at the tips slightly and felt that it was looking a little to Mary Tyler Moore and it was getting too late to straighten it. The fowl language and audio level of the song being blasted from Jim’s room was beginning to compound Kate’s frustration.
“Turn that shit down or I will fucking break it… Do you hear me?”
“Fuck your mom, fuck your mom’s momma… Fuck the Beastie Boys and the Dalai Lama…”
Kate came into the bedroom and ripped the electrical cord from the wall. Jim had been laying in bed zoning out after sniffing a rag full of turpentine with some of his skate boarding buddies near Hart Plaza. Jim had his eyes closed and was picturing himself telling everyone in his life to go fuck themselves as he listened to the song, Fuck the World.
“I swear I will send you to a military school if you don’t show me some respect very soon, little man. I’ve about had it with your sulking, angry attitude. What the hell do you have to be so upset about? I’m out busting my ass to provide a place for you and all I get is grief. Keep it up and see what I do. You’ll have some sadistic former drill instructor with his foot so far up your ass; you’ll swear you can taste leather… Keep testing me, son.”
And with that, Kate slammed the door. She wore a cute pair of pumps and a tight dress that showed off her figure but did not come across as slut like. Kate grabbed a cab and was at the restaurant in Greektown in minutes. Kate sat on a bench in the waiting area and prayed that each man who came through the door was either her date or not. After a few minutes, Kate was blind sided. Her date approached from the opposite direction. He had camped out early at the bar so that he could see her walk in first. He walked up and smiled at Kate and extended his hand. Kate felt that her date looked better in person than in the photo on the dating site. Kate kept looking at the man who looked so familiar to her as they dipped their French bread in olive oil and waited for their wine. Kate’s hair was down and she wore make up and lip stick and looked very much like a lady than a female cop. Kate listened to the man speak and studied his face until it all came together for her. She posed a question while they toasted their glasses of Greek red wine.
“So how do you feel about the opera, Mr. Verlander?”

Women in Bars

October 13, 2009

Blackhumouristpress’s Blog

October 10, 2009

Women in Bars

Filed under: Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 4:02 pm Edit This
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Sarah and Angela made plans for two Fridays in a row to leave their homes in Grosse Pointe to have a drink in Hamtramck which is a little island of a town encompassed by the city of Detroit. After a few cancellations, they met at Small’s. In the main room was a noisy garage band. Sarah and Angela found a table under a television where Fox Detroit was agonizing over the unravelling of the Tigers in the last days of the 2009 baseball season. Neither of them was interested in that nor anything else going on in crowed bar that cool autumn night. Catching up was all that they really hoped to do.

Sarah was the mother of four children and was married to a second generation Greek man who owned his own garage. Demetrius inherited his father’s garage that was started back in 1959. Demetrius made a good buck and lived a fairly simple life.

Angela was the mother of two children, one of which played ice hockey on a team with Sarah’s son. Angela and Sarah became friends immediately and carpooled to hockey games and practices and eventually became each other’s confidant.

Sarah ordered a Long Island Ice Tea and Angela had a Corona Light. A young fat man with mutton side burns, many tattoos and a backwards Lions hat on, put ten dollars in the juke box and played every Ramones tune available. Sarah blinked hard and shook her head.

“Have you figured out when boys become men? This little cherub probably still lives at home and plays drinking games in his parent’s basement in between X Box tournaments with his equally unmotivated friends who are living at home with their parents,” stated Angela, while leaning her chin on the palm of her right hand.

“Um my loving husband is sitting right now in my living room with his brother and cousins, watching a Red Wings game on a seventy two inch television. Four fat Greeks wearing Chelios jerseys, eating wings and drinking beer. I could walk naked in front of all of them and they’d never notice. His fucking brother is such a goddamn pig too. He makes that sound when you’re sucking snot up from somewhere in your throat. It is so damn gross and then he swallows it.” Said Sarah.

“I hate it when his parents come over and the wives of his cousins and brother. Everyone is Greek and they all speak Greek and I’m just running around making coffee for the old people who are ripping on me in Greek because I’m not Greek. Thank god I’m not Greek. Something happens when those Greek chicks have kids. Their hips expand and they grow moustaches. I shit you not. Even the good looking ones get fat asses and facial hair. When I first met his parents they assumed I was Greek and then they wanted assurances from me that the kids would go to Greek school on weekends to learn to read and write in Greek. My Greek god turned into just a fucking Greek. Him and his cousins, brothers, their wives, his parents and their Hellenic hip disease… Honest to Christ almighty. I’m immersed in the fucking white sauce of life.” Said Sarah, while Angela laughed uncontrollably.

Sarah was short with brown hair and carried a few extra pounds. Sarah’s inspiration unbeknownst to her was Angela. Angela had her last child a few years back and began to work out religiously. Angela’s husband had told her that he could not get aroused since she had become more matronly than he had anticipated. Angela signed up for spin classes, Pilates and swam. Everyday she tried to get in between a half hour to an hour of exercise. Within six months, Angela had lost forty five pounds and looked and felt better than she had in years. Angela’s husband still criticized her one too many times. Angela had found more than exercise to occupy her time.

“I have something I have to get off my chest,” said Angela after taking a swig of her beer. “I’m seeing a Polish poet who works during the day as a plumber”.

Sarah laughed as though Angela had told a joke. Angela wasn’t laughing. Sarah reached across the table and grabbed Angela’s forearm.

“I want to hear about this and don’t leave a fucking detail out,” said Sarah.

“I told Tom for weeks to fix the P trap under the sink in the kitchen. I thought he had done it and I open the cabinet to get cleaning solution to clean up a spot where the cat has taken to pissing over and over and the cabinet had fallen apart totally. I could see the foundation through a hole where there used to be wood. I was so pissed. I go into the den and he was looking at porn or something on the internet. As soon as he heard my feet stomping towards him on the hardwood floor, he turns off the monitor… So fucking childish… Anyway I ask him why he never took care of it. He shrugs like my other kids and says he forgot. I was so mad that I went to the hardware store to get the parts myself. I connect it all up and water is spraying everywhere and I’m about ready to cry. There I am under the sink with a pipe wrench and I have whining kids asking for pudding pops and Tom gets upset because he’s trying to watch football and the kids are yelling. He gives them each a granola bar and tells them to play downstairs. Mind you, I’m under the sink with black shit all over my arms and he never attempts to stop watching football which he could tape if he wanted to and help me with something that he should have done. Instead he tells me that I’m going to fuck it up and sure enough I do. Instead of crying, I put on my running shoes and took the kids to the high school track with me and they walked while I ran. I ran three miles and came home and made cookies and never gave another thought to the damn leaking pipe. Tom runs the water and it’s now spraying all over everything under the sink. He says with his smug assed smile that he knew I would fuck it up. My sister tells me to call this handy man named Marek and he comes over the next morning. This guy walks in and I just knew even before he said one word that we were going to connect. He disconnects what I put on and adds some Teflon tape and it works perfectly. Marek tells me that I did a good job except for the tape and he gets ready to leave and doesn’t charge me. I force the guy to take a fifty and I’m thinking that’s that. A week later, I’m right here in Hamtramck at Trowbridge having coffee one night and low and behold my plumber is reading poetry. He’s wearing a pair of jeans and a t shirt and nervously reads his poetry in English with his cute Polish accent. There were maybe a dozen people there and I waited until he was done and bought his book of poems and had him sign it. Well one thing leads to another and we get together and he reads my poems and I his and then one night we go to dinner and wind up back at his place for hours. I can’t tell you how many times we made love. It was love. You know when you’re fucking and when it’s actually the act of love making. Every time is so good and I can’t wait until the next time,” said Angela.

Sarah had her mouth open as if someone had poured cold water on her. Sarah asked the obvious question.

“Tom? Tom understands that I’m there but I’m gone. He can smell it on me that something has changed. He had the balls to say to me the other day that I act too good for him now that I got in shape. I told him that I’m the same person I was when my ass was too fat for him. There’s just less of me than before. Have you started running yet? Are you doing the 3K with me at Thanksgiving?” Asked Angela.

“I’ve been begging Demetrius to let me have a dog. I want a dog that will jog with me. Maybe a Doberman or something that’s built to jog. I’m up to a mile a day. It takes me twelve minutes but I’m getting better.” Said Sarah.

“So if you want a dog just go buy one,” said Angela.

“It doesn’t work that way when you’re married to a macho Greek. He says if I blow him once in a while, I can have the dog. I’m blowing him twice a week now and last week I wind up getting a cold sore and he’s so sure that he’s going to get herpes on his nut sack that he makes me give him a hand job. Can you believe it? Like junior high, honest to god. I get olive oil and am jerking his cock while ESPN is on the gigantic television. He’s just about to cum and Stavros calls for me to bring him a drink of water. Demetrius gets so pissed and then I gotta start all over again. My damn right arm was cramping and I offer to go in the shower with him since I’m on the rag and he’s horrified that I suggested a little shower sex. I told him it will be fun kinda like mixing a porno with Psycho. He could watch my blood go down the drain. Anyway he tells me to shut up because he can’t concentrate. Finally he cums and I make sure it goes straight up in the air and lands on his precious Red Wings home jersey. He jumps up and mops the come off like it was fucking ink. He thanks me and I tell him I better be getting a team of mush dogs like they have in Alaska,” said Sarah.

At that moment a young cocky guy walks up holding a beer. He had longish blond hair and wore a Fedora with ripped up jeans and a sleeveless shirt. He lifted Angela’s purse up from the stool next to her and sat down uninvited.

“What’s up, ladies?”

Sarah liked the attention but Angela did not appreciate it. The young man could not hold a blow torch to the Polish/plumber/poet and she let him know in so many words.

“Um Kid Rock… You may not have noticed that we have chosen this table away from everyone else because we wanted to be alone. We don’t want you to go away thinking that we are going to crawl out of here and into a bed with each other because we don’t play for that team. Had you been in tuned to clues, you may have noticed too the rings on both or our ring fingers which is a symbol in our society of marriage. Now marriage may not matter to you and that’s cool but we really don’t want or need the company right now. I’ll buy you a drink if you go away,” said Angela harshly.

The young man walked off and Sarah and Angela continued to share details of their day to day lives. They shared things about their children, things they wanted out of day to day life and the physical changes they hoped to make in their homes. They shared intimate details of their lives and cherished the time they set aside to check in with one another. The speed and demands of day to day life made their meetings a necessity for sanity and order. They hugged as they got to their cars and promised to meet the next Friday. The next Friday did not happen nor the Friday after that. It would be a little more than a month before their next opportunity to connect. You can be sure that they’ll both have something they’ll want to discuss. They always do.