Sureveillance Pelicana Chapter 23: ‘Barbecue Parties and Lost Subjects Past’

Ray Bong at Mrs. Taco, Vista/The Grapevine




The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online:

Chapters 1-10:

Chapters 11-20:

Chapters 21-30:


A wild barbecue party ensues at MacLand.

Collaborative art activity takes place with great success.

Tyger goes to the bank and embarks on a detailed discussion

concerning the Savings and Loan scandals under the Reagan Administration,

especially the Silverado S&L rip-off involving Neil Bush.

Armor’s assists Tyger on the return to Sammy Nestor and all hell breaks loose.



“Barbecue Parties and Lost Subjects Past”







As the month of May turns hot hot hot in this hothouse of a

prison known to some as the Louisiana here and then, Tyger

continues with his daily task of existential illusion. There you

see him, there he’s gone through the looking glass.

Hippity hop. Hippity hop. Tyger impersonates a small bunny

rabbit jumping from place to place impersonating the silliness of

surrealism while contemplating the nature of disorder.

Comrades, is there nothing to be done about that?

Such is the constantly shifting task of keeping from being

driven totally insane by life’s turns and illogical twists. But

then again, it is a crazy world. Everyone walks that fine line

between personal accomplishment and possible psychological disorder

bordering on disaster.That is one of the defining factors differentiating

men from the other wild beasts lurking on the outer fringes of the unnatural

world’s orchestral maneuvers. The beasts are always crazy, baby,

at least by human interpretation.

Dreamy Tyger person has been lately recalling his nightly

visions. That seems unusual because the dream cycle only filters

into his daily consciousness on a highly irregular undefinably



Chapter Twenty-Three




selective basis. He looks at it like an acid flashback,

a special mind’s eye bonus.

A series of three dreams occur in sequence.

One of them has recurred as well. Have they no meaning?

The first dream is a rather pleasant sojourn in a cool and

clear mountain valley about as different from the Big Easy swamp

lifescape as one might imagine. Tyger descends down the valley

into a blooming field of sinsemilla marijuana buds flowering.

No great mystery there.

He stoops to conquer, sniffing a particularly potent bud

exuding the sweetest fragrance ever. Nice dream.

Thanks, inner mind of the beast, for sharing that.

Second dream has a more surreal aura, and difficult

interpretation. Tyger is enclosed in a kind of prisoner of war

camp, a square city block surrounded by high barbed wire and

watch towers manned by big hairy guys with machine guns and black

hairy arms. They look like human apes, an army of Roots Badburns.

Tyger stands upright pissed off below. He seems to be

considered somewhat of a leader byother poor prisoner souls.

Maybe it is a representation of the American gulag that exists

everywhere but remains invisible outside of Guantanamo Bay .

Yard contains only birds in street clothes waddling aimlessly

through purple haze. Individuals of both sexes continue

normal monkey business immediately outside the fence.



Chapter Twenty-Three




The “political prisoners” want to escape,

naturally. One beckons to Tyger.

They walk to the end of the fence beneath a guard tower.

Guard looks away from them. Door flings open.

Tyger calmly walks through like in a movie scene

where the main character flies through time

by entering an eerie portal.

The other prisoners notice this.

They raise their voices in a loud huzzah cheer

as he stands safely outside.

“For he is a jolly good fellow!” they cry.

Tyger celebrates with a Mark Gastineau type sack dance,

popular before being outlawed by No Fun League

Commissar Pete Rozelle.

Standing on the outside, Tyger mocks the guards.

“You can’t hold me you assholes. I am free.

You have no power outside the fence.”

They do nothing.

Some men walk over, imploring Tyger to help them escape.

Try as he might to devise a plan, he is stumped.

So much for lucid dreams as real life Tyger awakes.

The third of this dream trilogy involves the subject of spiritual love.

Tyger has this vision three nights in a row.

He rides in the back of an open bed truck.

In charge of a bird cage containing the same girl he believes



Chapter Twenty-Three




he has seen before with long black hair, flowing white dress.

Maybe she is the Spanish dancer for she is thin and light on her feet.

He feels pity for her. She speaks to him, telling him her

name. It is something like Marian. He opens the cage, frees her,

and she becomes a beautiful black bird that flies away.

He cries upon seeing that.

Dreams of freedom, or so it seems, these

last fine days of May. Who knows what a dream means, after all.

Maybe only a parlor game. Maybe they have deeper

psychological significance. Maybe Tyger has watched David Lynch’s

“Blue Velvet” one million too many times.

From dreamtime to space time, then.

Late May means Mac and his world have embarked big time

on their annual passion for nearly daily barbecue running like

Rickey Henderson through the end of the baseball season.

As Tyger sails into MacLand’s shores, the impresario is busy in back

flaming charcoal, roughly massaging the Old Smokey grill

with lighter fluid, cooking up a coming storm.

Tyger helps Mac compose a song while he cooks.

“Where’s the chicken?” Tyger asks.

“Missing information,” Mac responds.

“Stuck between floors.”

“Between two whores.”



Chapter Twenty-Three




Mac grins as he covers the blackened grill surface with a

grey Old Smokey lid emblazoned with the MacLand coat of arms in

black paint. That is to say a picture of the mad Mac bongo man

design maniacally banging his drums in dark effigy forever

suspended on the light grey metal top.

“Hold that thought,” Mac continues. “Let’s go inside.” Which

they do, Mac gliding over to the four-track recorder that he

flicks of the wrist on causing the tape to spin rapidly.

“O.K. Got to get it on here.”

Mac adjusts a drum machine, picks up the bongos, begins

playing, da da da dada, da da da dada. Armor’s walks in

the room at the precise moment ordained by

higher consciousness or fate.

Armor’s picks up the mystery saxophone.

Wah wah wah, wah

wah, wah wah wah … ”

So begins a collaborative effort. Tyger continues with

MacLand’s Bongoloids Interview based on memory retrieval.

What follows is a partial transcription of the, shall we say, song:


Tyger: (Marijuana smoke exhaling.) That came out funny. What

about rhythm?

Mac: In place of spontaneity I prefer rhythm.

Tyger: Are Mac’s words art?

Mac: Garbage in, garbage out.



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Tyger: Where’s the chicken?

Mac: Missing information.

(Wah wah wah. Da dada da da. Wah wah wah. Da da da dada … )

Tyger: What·s the infinite?

Mac: I’ve got your fun.

Tyger: Any more thoughts about …

Mac: Primitive relationships.

Tyger: Can it last?

Mac: I spilled my batteries.

Tyger: Postmortems or postmasters?

Mac: (????????????)

(Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Bloo-blooey. Hahahaha.)


Mac raises his arms in triumph, shutting off the tape deck.

“I will add a few tracks and polish this off later,” he aside notes.

Mac, Tyger, and Armor’s return outside perching on back

steps watching the cover on top of Old Smokey smoke

like a house on fire. Add to this the wonderful aroma of

barbecuing chicken, ribs, and sausage, one might imagine the

ambiance of the moment.

“Hey big Mac. Tyger and I are going to work on a case,”

Armor’s informs while Tyger smiles nervously.

“My condolences,” Mac observes.



Chapter Twenty-Three




Whiling away the rest of the day, sun setting in the

distant frame of background levee fronting riverbend curving

towards the Huey P. Long Bridge. Dogs, persons jogging and being

walked by dogs, children, and yes over there struts a white

mother pelican guiding her new offspring along a muddy estuary.

An electric grid blinks wildly as if signalling to extraterrestrials

that this seems like a good place to land. And of course,

E.T.’s can walk from that site to Mac’s nearby pad

for the latest culinary and musical delights.

Sarah is inside speaking with her sister on the telephone.

Home boy animal cats hang around the Old Smokey perimeter. They

beg for scraps which they seem to believe, given their loud cries

for attention, surely will be tossed like Hephaestus out

immediately by Zeus and the lesser food gods.

Typical feline logic, but no dice. Tough luck cats, these

good eats are for human beings first. Food god worship

will have to wait for scraps.

Mac removes Old Smokey’s crown like Mount St. Helens,

cautiously placing it on the ground

as the two cats, one black and one white

illustrating racial harmony, scurry with equal fervor for cover

underneath the wood frame house.

Eventually, the hepcats will figure it out, as they stealthily

wander closer, ever closer, to the grill; eventually being bombed

with the prevailing scraps, thinking that somehow they have

pulled off some sneaky trick. (Sorry cats, you are no Bill Casey.)



Chapter Twenty-Three




Such is the natural order of a place called MacLand for the

purposes of recollection. Taking a knife, Mac cuts sausage slices

for sampling purposes. Yum yum yum yum. Tastes great,

and that ain’t no beer commercial filling.

Idyllic intermission between surveillance engagements.

Mac relaxes, leaning back on the steps as another BBQ

joint joint is smoked. The Drug Enforcement Agency can only

steal so much fun with hard-working citizen’s tax dollars.

Stage fright right on past the terribly terrific trio embarking on the

artistic diversion au courant; in this case, the latest craze

which is called the poetry game. They draw straws to determine

who begins, part of the objective being to finish a line as soon

as possible. It is kind of a speed art competition in which everyone wins.

They take turns alternating lines for what might be, what

could be, what is . .. a darn good-looking ode to the muse of

barbecue party fun.



Chapter Twenty-Three




Mac: Like a polaroid injected into fetid atmosphere

You discharge my colors by rubbing me

With foreign objects

Tyg: Ayatollah breath

Arm: (Pass.)

Mac: I substituted a strange rash of emotions

For my habits

Tyg: Which are strange dreams

Better dreamt than dead

Arm: (Pass. )

Mac: Like robots that never know they are machines

But keep on working instead

Tyg: They are the working world

Performing, if they could, as trained birds

Arm: Or parrots

Mac: No more able to speak

Than I am able to deal with this life

Tyg: Falling like fruit from a banana tree

Arm: (Pass.)

Mac: My peeling is all that protects me



Chapter Twenty-Three




Tyg: Welcome to the 1980’s

Mac: Now have fun by matching gears with my machines

Arm: Or throwing pears at your latrine

Mac: I should try to illustrate how to have fun. Figure one would disintegrate inhibitions

Tyg: Hosing down my careful intonations. If they had brains, they’d need less food

Arm: Yoooowwwwiiiieeee! The end, bro’s.

So it goes, apologies to nobodies and everyones.

Lean sausage cuisine is followed

by the chicken course which, in turn, is followed

by the final rib course with side salad and baked potato

thrown in for good measure.

Mac and Armor’s wash down the repast with Dixie Beer

While Tyger downs some PurpleSaurasRex

grape-lemonade flavored Kool-Aid.

The cats, feline division, emerge

from under the house to claim their bootalicious

bounty from the self-designated food gods.

Barbecue partying lingers until prime time

TV displaces consciousness with what

passes for that’s entertainment.

Tyger and Armor’s take their leave, kind sirs

while Mac and Sarah do whatever it is they do at night.

Another barbecue party has bitten off

as much as it could chew.



Chapter Twenty-Three




The next waiting for the sunrise

considered for the permanent record breaks

like a pony of beer on Tuesday June 7, 1988. It is followed by a

visit to the Crescent City Bank of Rip-Off where Tyger is by

statute of elimination now forced to store his meager amount of

available cash.

Two other institutions where the Tygermeister previously had

deposits have gone into officially government sanctioned

receivership as specified by savings and loan bailout programs

instituted under the Ray-Gun administration.

You remember comrades, the guys who pledged to get

government off your backs. Guess some backs are broader than others.

Tyger feels a bit honored by having to switch accounts

between three institutions, each time encountering new and

different deposit rules to be broken, thoroughly

confusing him as a law abiding taxpaying citizen.

Obviously, if the S&L went out of business it must have been

owned by a close relative of Vice-President Shrub since his

kinfolk are engaged in the receiving end of the bailout scandal.

Sonny boy Neil Bush spends 1985 to 1988 as vice

president of Denver-based Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan

Association despite having no banking experience.

Silverado goes belly up in 1988 resulting in a $1 billion government bailout.



Chapter Twenty-Three




The federal Office of Thrift Supervision accepts an

administrative law judge’s finding that Neillypoo Shrub’s

undisclosed business partnerships with two large borrowers

constitutes a conflict of interest.

Shrub votes to approve more than $100 million in loans for

Bill C. Walters, a developer with large investments in the Shrub

oil business. Shrub recommends a $900,000 line of credit for a

joint venture between himself and Kenneth M. Good, another Shrub

oil company investor.

Good? Good God. Bad, bad Shrubby. Walters defaults on his loan.

Good never repays his line of credit.

Get the government off our backs. Get rid of welfare

cheaters, welfare queens, mealy-mouths the Ray-Gun-Shrub Administration.

How do the Shrubs get away with it? That is the $101 million question.

At least Shrub-face keeps it all in the family. At least he

gets to root for the Texas Rangers which son George Shrubby Jr.

purchases with ill gotten unsecured loans from Shrub family affiliated S&L institutions.

And if you don’t believe it, you can, as umpire Doug Harvey

says between blowing calls, look it up. It is a matter of broken public record.





Chapter Twenty-Three









Chapter Twenty-Three




Tyger needs to withdraw the princely sum of $50 to make

groceries for the coming week at the currently solvent bank’s

drive-through window. Too bad, a geek in a black Cadillac has

beaten him to the punch line. Tyger waits. Waits and stews for 10 minutes more.

Finally, the disembodied teller’s voice comes through loud

and clear. “Sir, we have a $l,000 drive-in limit on all cash

transactions. Do you need a deposit slip?”

The disembodied voice floats over the intercom:

“Sorry for the wait sir.”

“It’s not your fault,” Tyger notes, grabbing his

meager withdrawal in two seconds flat.

Over to Barataria Mall and the usual progression of the

Sam the Sham Nestor case with one notable exception.

Mall bro R.C. apparently unavailable for updated consultations.

Unfortunately, the carny amusement show blew Barataria Mall

never to return again. Sometimes, as Joni Mitchell sings, you

don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.

Disappointed, but unsurprised and undaunted, Tyger plays a

morning series of childish detective games with the fast moving subject.

Nestor must think he is at the Marrero 500. And he is in the front row.

Many IRS Inc. clients believe following another

vehicle is the cat’s meow. They don’t know, what they don’t know.

A maniacal driver like Nestor can be a total turkey to track.

Pinning a tail to this donkey depends on luck as much as

skill. Tyger loses the subject somewhere over the predicate, under

Westbank Expressway. Nestor runs a red light in the most

bogus fashion. Tyger, unfortunately, is trapped two vehicles

behind with no way of running the light in pursuit.



Chapter Twenty-Three




Lost tail of woe circles the area’s wagons for a while,

returning to Sammy’s pad. No way Jose’, he is like an honest city

official, nowhere to be found. Snake eyes, this time the rat has

escaped his trap. Tyger gives Dorothy the bad news.

She takes it surprisingly well. “I know how you feel,” she commiserates.

“We still have four hours of authorization on him. We can

use an additional investigator if necessary. It might work

out better if another person drives while you use the camera.

“Do you happen to know anyone who wants to drive and work a

few hours? We can pay $8 an hour.”

Equally unfortunately, Tyger indeed knows someone who

wants to work a case for, shall we say, fun, and a few extra

ducats. “Oh that must be Armor’s,” he notes at long last after

considering all options, karmic and otherwise.

“I guess this friend of mine can help out.”

That — Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do —

is how Armor ‘s was hired.

Boy, oh boy, is he ever excited.

Gretna’s newest team leaves Uptown New Orleans the next

investigative day for Barataria Boulevard’s Mad Max driving clinic

as interpreted by Sammy Nestor.

“I am going to do it to it baby,” Armor’s vows with WTUL

cranked up at ear-splitting volume. “I am going to eat this guy’s

lunch. I am going to chew him up and spit him out like a bad

seed. I am going to . . . ”



Chapter Twenty-Three




“Enough Armor’s,” Tyger intervenes, “Enough already. Turn

down the damn radio. We have to concentrate.”

“Uhh, oh. Sorry man. I wasn’t thinking.”

“That’s O.K. Let’s get our plan ready. The game is a’foot.”

“Uhh, oh. Yeah. Game plan. Play ball. That’s the ticket.

Uhh, oh. What about if the cops stop me?”

“They won’t.”

“Yeah, but what if … ”

“Don’t worry about it,” Tyger says. “I’ll take care of it.”

“Uhh, yeah. Oh. O.K.. Sounds good. Are we there yet?”

“No. Not yet.”

Tyger lies. He is already tired of Armor’s act.

They have, in fact, just passed Nestor’s pit area.

Sure enough, the red Fiat is there and ready to rumble.

Tyger does not want to alarm Armor’s prematurely. He has a

bad feeling something bad already has happened.




“O.K. Armor’s. Stop here,” Tyger orders, pointing at a gravel

parking lot outside a log cabin home sales office .

(Nothing but the most modern conveniences out there in the



Chapter Twenty-Three




wild west bank of Marrero. One can imagine

how long such a place would stay in business. )

In any event, it is a quiet place down the street from

Sammyland from which to initiate surveillance.

Tyger settles in for the wonderful wait.

“Should we get more coffee?” Armor’s asks. “That’s what the

detectives do on Rockford Files.”

“Nah. We set. Any more coffee, we’ll be spending all day at the porta-let.”

Armor’s turns on the radio. WTUL, for some reason, is

playing an appropriate tribute to Devo during the so-called album

hour. The album hour passes. It is about 11:15 a.m.

The red Fiat backs out of the driveway and v-rooooom,

takes off down the road. Maybe, the yellow caution flag is up as

Nestor drives somewhat sanely for a change, slowly negotiating

his way towards Barataria Boulevard.

“Shake off that moss, Armor’s,” Tyger orders, “and make like

a rolling stone.” “Huh?” “Yoicks. Follow that sports car.”

“Uhh, uhhh. O.K.” Armor’s replies unsteadily. “Yeah.” He

seems to be shedding body water profusely.

“Hey, no sweat Armor’s,” Tyger says. “Chillax. Let him

pass by and get behind him like a fox.”

“But what if he, ahh he, spots us. What if he …”

“Don’t worry about it. No one can tell anything by looking in the rear-

view window. You know that. He won’t even notice.”



Chapter Twenty-Three




“Uhhh. Oh. Uhhh … ” as Nestor, roadrunner hound

of a subject, beep beeping beeps left on Barataria Boulevard.

“O.K. man, after the silly rabbit,” Tyger orders as he starts

the VCR, picks up the camera, checks the viewfinder. All

systems go with one exception. Armor’s continues to hesitate.

He seems lost.

“Hey man, step on it,” and vroom, vroom, smoke billows from

Armor’s rusty tailpipe. They’re off, kinda sorta. The car makes

funny popping noises as Armor’s flips off a hard left barely

missing an oncoming cement truck moving away from the mall,

south towards Lafitte.

Tyger lays down the camera for a moment, grabbing on to the

lap belt from the door. He lets out a small sick moan like the

butler Lurch on the Addams Family. “Ohhhhhh.”

Armor’s is impervious, weaving between slow moving vehicles

operated by typically brain dead West Bank motorists. Not that

alarming a maneuver, technically speaking, because Sammy in the sports

car is driving in a similar manner.

Of course, Nestor is doing it out of habit with his flashy

sports car while Armor’s tactics are more ad hoc borne

of extreme nervousness.

Whatever gets the job done, however.

Subject stops at the cheapie gas station at the corner of

Barataria Boulevard and West Bank Expressway. “Uhhh. Uhhh,”

according to the now overtly nerve racked Armor’s Tungsten.

“Go into the station, Armor’s, and stop,” Tyger implores.

“He’ll see us,” Armor’s stalls.

“Don’t worry about that. Just do it.”



Chapter Twenty-Three




“Uhh, O.K. Finally following directions, Armor’s

pulls up directly across the gasoline pump island from the red Fiat.

If there ever were a candidate for a summary court-martial …

“Not there stupid,” Tyger calls. “Stop at the edge of the

station, so it’s not so obvious.” “Uhhh, O.K,” Armor’s

acknowledges abandoning the spot with a squeal

and sudden kickstart jump. Tyger gets a clear shot

from the front of the station minimart to the pump island.

Nestor-mania emerges with a small paper bag that he flings in the car.

He pumps gasoline while Tyger records the activity.

“Good job Armor’s,” Tyger reassures the highly volatile

amateur investigator. “Good shot of the asshole. Wait until he

moves and resume the rolling surveillance.”

“What? What?” Tyger continues as Armor’s holds up his hands like

Jesus blessing the multitudes in some type of quizzical signal.

“Never mind,” Tyger replies as he catches Armor’s drift.

“I will tell you when to go.”

“Uhh. Okee Dokie smokey. You think he noticed us?” Armor’s flounders.

“He just looked at us. I saw him looking right at us.”

“I don’t care,” Tyger states flatly. “Relax. So far, so good.”

Zut and e’he, off to the races, Reason’s Boy.



Chapter Twenty-Three




Nestor gets up on the West Bank Expressway high-rise with Armor’s

following in hotsy-totsy pursuit.

“Give him a little room, but not too much room,” Tyger

cautions. “He isn’t going to be able to pick us up in the rear

view window, but we don’t want to hug his tail yet. We want to

get a feel for what he’s doing.”

“Huh?” Armor’s replies as he accelerates awkwardly, then

slows down somewhat followed by another burst of pure combustive

energy. Gravitational force lurches Tyger forward.

Camera almost hits the front dashboard as Tyger is

thrown for a loss. “Shit, Armor’s. What the expletive deleted are

you doing? You gonna kill us.”

“Uhh, yeah yeah. Got to catch him. Got to catch him. Which

way did he go? Which way did he go? Wait. I don’t see him. Where

did he go?” Silly wabbit.

Tyger lowers the camera to assume a more proper position

burying his forehead in his left hand. “Look Armor’s. I see him

fine. Don’t worry about it. Get in the left lane.”

Armor’s does not bother looking. How mundane.

He simply cuts over, followed by loud horn honking behind his wake.

Tyger glances over his shoulder, momentarily glimpsing an

old pink haired lady in an equally ancient Ford rambler. Zoom

zoom zoom, intruder disappears in the dust.



Chapter Twenty-Three




“Oh shit,” Tyger says out loud to himself. “Ohhhhhh,” like

Lurch again. “Look out!” he warns Armor’s, swerving across the

median line, avoiding an abandoned rubber truck tire obstacle

course, then swerving back to the left.

Tyger’s knuckles turn white from holding on to the front

dashboard for dear life. “Oh, man. There he is, get over to the

right.  Get closer to him,” he manages to state.

“O.K. Here goes,” and zoom zoom, guns blazing automobile

exhaust backfire sound, Armor’s complies with instructions, sort

of. “Too close. Too close,” Tyger gasps. “Let that car get between us.”

“I don’t want to lose him man. I don’t want to lose him.”

“Lose this Armor’s,” Tyger says but refrains from making the

appropriate accompanying hand gesture.

Nestor exits on Manhattan Boulevard followed by Armor’s who

continues to wonder if the tail has been spotted.

“Don’t worry about it,” Tyger foot in mouth notes. “Probably

going to the post office. He has done that before.”

Sure ’nuff. How predictable. Fucking low-life.

“Go past, turn around, and go to the gas station over there,”

Tyger roars above the car engine.

“What? What? Where? Who?” Armor’s strings together

interrogative pronouns like a grammarian gone mad.

“What? Where? What? Who? Why?”

Wah-wah-wah-wah, nitrous sounds.



Chapter Twenty-Three




Finally, Tyger has seen enough of this show.

Talking back to his TV boob tube, “Shut up,”

pointing, “right there, stop.”

“Uh, O.K.,” Armor’s says. “Don’t have to get mad

about it.” Lear is mad. Lady MaBeth is mad.

Tyger, like barbecued andouille sausage

Is done. As is Armor’s who moves not a whit.

“Oh wait,” Armor’s continues. “I see where. OK.”

At long last, the man of the lost hour hangs the huey;

amen, brothers and sisters. Across the boulevard,

Armor’s steers his Corolla to rest.Nestor enters

post office proper. Tyger tries to get the money shot.

It’s a post office too far. Normal protocol might include

re-positioning for a better angle. But nah. Not worth the aggravation.

Wham, bam, Sam the sham comes bouncing out of the federal

building like an Energizer bunny. Tyger gets a far shot.

“O.K. mission control,” Tyger tells Armor’s. “Blast off.”

Nothing happens. “Come on. Let’s go.”


“What? What?” Tyger asks as Armor’s lingers. “What?”



Chapter Twenty-Three




“Come on. What?”

Tyger lowers the camera, glowering at the calcifying

recalcitrant retainer. “Come on. What is the matter with you.

Let’s go. Go already.”


Nestor zooms out of the postal parking area headed

east on Manhattan Boulevard. Boom! He explodes, accelerates and

departs through the distancing dust.

Armor’s turns the key, at long fucking last starting the

motor. “Ahh. Where should I go?” he asks innocent as Snow White.

Tyger only can shake his head. “Right.” The red sports car

may be observed weaving between two Harvey municipal streets

department trucks and off beyond the rainbow.

“Just go towards the river on this street,” Tyger says

with half a heart. “Which way is that?” asks Armor’s leaving the

gas station. “Right,” Tyger says. “Turn right.”

“Ahhh. Where do you think he went?” asks Armor’s ever

obliviously curious. “Haven’t a clue, Armor’s. Just keep going. Maybe

we’ll luck out and pick him up down there.”

“You think we lost him?”

“Distinct possibility.”

“Aw man. I was just getting warmed up.”

“No doubt.”

Tyger resigns the commission. Armor’s a turns into a

fairly aimless somewhat guided missile finally follwing without

questions Tyger’s more casual directions

back to the mall, to mull over what the F was the matter.



Chapter Twenty-Three




The dynamic duo circles various open air

West Bank shopping centers in the faint hope of

relocating the fabled red sports car.

Sorry Charlie, no luck, snake eyes on that score.

Armor’s wants to stop, grab a quick bite at the Pho Tau

Bay when he spies Expressway Lanes. “Hmmmm,” he notes,

smacking his lips in accompaniment. “Some spring rolls sure

would taste nice after such a tough assignment.”

“Seriously?” Tyger fumes. “We don’t have time for that.

Get some Cafe Sua Da to go. Then I want to check on something.”

“Uhh. O.K. captain.”

They stop at the Vietnamese restaurant for the five minutes

it takes to fill up on condensed milk sweetened java before returning

to Sammy’s Barataria Boulevard circus. No sign of the subject.

Tyger checks in with Dorothy after about 20 minutes of

negative subject activity observed from the log cabin showcase.

She tells Tyger, rather predictably, to call it a day,

bring over the tape in a few days.

“I have some good news for you,” Dorothy adds. “We are going

gung ho on Baker . Remember that crazy lady?”

“How could I forget?” Tyger replies.

“The client just authorized us to put in a lot of time on

her,” Dorothy continues with a lilt to her voice. “Joe Fine

really wants to get her done. So, you should be quite busy the

next few weeks. Probably going to do a few days each week



Chapter Twenty-Three




through the end of June on her.

We will talk more about it when you drop the Nestor tape

off with your report. Oh, and so sorry

about the Pearly Mae mix-up. Don’t know

what Jack is thinking sometimes. Space cadet.

I’ll be around, until I get ready to drop,”

pregnant pause, “if you know what I mean.”

Returning to Armor’s sad mission control,

Tyger initiates capsule recovery lighting

an after-burner phatty. Could have been

better, half-baked ended, but that’s how it goes.

“I think we did a pretty good job

all things considered,” Armor’s says.

“When is the next case?”

“Seriously?” Tyger says. “Never.”



Chapter Twenty-Three




“Come on, man,” Armor’s drags on.

“That wasn’t so bad. I was just

getting the hang of it.”

Oh brother, not Armor’s keeper.

“Just spoke with Dorothy,” Tyger notes wearily for this dog don’t hunt.

“Nothing coming up any time soon where they need two guys.

I will let you know if they need someone.”

“Definitely, up for another chase,” Amor’s says,

smoke clouding his mind’s eye similarly his Corolla car.

“I’m sure you are,” Tyger laughs. “I’m sure you are.

You’ll get ’em next time.”

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