Surveillance Pelicana Chapter 11: ‘Smash-up at Stinko’s’

Summer Denial Guy/Bill Conley




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

Chapters 1-10:

Chapters 11-20:

Chapters 21-30:




More fun at MacLand. Mr. Milty creates a

large scowling face in the Stinko’s Copy Shop 

window down Oak Street. Te face stops traffic and

causes an uroar. Later, Tyger, Mac Armor’s,

Nick Bowers, and Sandy Alexander go bowling

at Expressway Lanes, across the river at Gretna.

The team prepares for a wild night of bowling with a

pre-games meal at the Pho Tau Bay Vietnamese restaurant and other activities.

Armor’s nearly causes a riot at the alley through his behavior.



“Smash-up at Stinko’s”







Strange birds are always perched about MacLand Headquarters.

These rara avis sit in various zen-like positions; or free, at

last, fluttering about the three bedroom house

and large adjoining yard outside.

Poor lonely souls in terminal residence next door are a

bit less active. They are not Monty Python parrots pining

for the fjrds. They are past tense. It is a funeral parlor .

But jamming, so they say, can awaken the dead and as the

parade of bongo and conga lines forms to the right, to the left

dem bones, dem bones possibly dance up a storm. Lucky stiffs.

Mac and Sarah and lions and bears fly in formation through

rock solid air. Getting on barbecue time at the old Mac ranch and

the lead drummer grills up a hearty repast of chicken breasts and

ribs. The usual gaggle of geese and soiree of swans are present

discussing current affairs or simply duck quack resting.

Fee fi fo fum, Tyger smells the bullshit of a crummy bum.

Shit, Heave Broward, funky bass player of the New Neanderthals,

has dropped like a karmic dead lead weight to disturb the

ecological balance. Heave ho is the proverbial snake in the garden

ruining everybody’s paradise. His line is plumbing the water for some



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easy chum among the beautiful song birds inside.

“Why, you are the prettiest girl here,” he tells three

robins consecutively as he separates each from the safety of a

nest. Could anyone possibly be stupid enough to believe him?

But that is the pickup game. Soon he departs with a

particularly dull blue yay in tow. “You are the prettiest girl

here. I want to give you the greatest orgasm ever,” he is

overheard saying as he pushes his dainty prey out the door.

This occurs as Tyger and Armor’s enter. “Hey Heave,” Armor’s

calls to the long lanky bass fake. It’s go time.

“You’re an asshole. Loser.”

“Fuck you Armor’s,” Heave says, hastily exiting.

Heave’s departure has a salutary effect on the fruitful

gathering. Mac and Sarah, his squeeze, discuss another lame

brain member of the New Neanderthals.

“Yeah, I heard Roots Badburns is getting a doctorate,” Mac

says as Tyger overhears with disgust. “Man, that bullshit again.”

“Root bound shit has been saying that for 20 years,” Armor’s says.

“Hope he does get it. Then, we finally can stop hearing about it.”



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“Hey baby, what it is'” Armor ‘s calls over to Mac who

fiddles with a drum machine. “What it is baby?” says Armor’s

walking across the room to shake Mac ‘s shoulders.

Mac, nonetheless is concentrating on the world beat.

“What it is is to be awful,” observes Mac casually.

“Hey, just saw Heave leaving,” Tyger says. What was he

doing here? Trying to steal some fun? ”

“That’s cool,” Mac notes. “He keeps saying he is going to

sit in on a jam, but never seems to get around to it.”

Armor’s has flown to the kitchen area where he coo-coos

Heave’s left-overs. Some guys have no self-respect. Armor ‘s

qualifies when it comes to the the name of that tune.

Tyger dives into the comfy cushioned couch area, next to the

beanbag chair memorial park, picking a roach out of the ashtray.

“Mind if I partake?” he asks. “Be my guest,” Mac replies as



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the drum machine spews out a kind of disco beat.

“Didn’t I hear the Village People do that?” Tyger asks as he

inhales a big puff of smoke and holds it in ever so dearly before

it too must perforce fly. “Hey. Haven’t you heard?” Mac asks

rhetorically. “I used to be the Construction Worker.”

The actual reason for the visit is a rumor that Mr. Milty —

along with lead guitarist Buck the only other

acceptable New Neanderthal — is about to embark on a

semi-serious art project. Stinko’s copy shop where he works

has recently instituted a policy of letting artists

display their work in a side window.

Mac and the gang already have displayed their magnificent

salute to the nuclear family complete with painted and halfburned

styrofoam wig heads. It caused quite a public stir.

Now, it’s Mr. Milty’s turn at bat. He is going to try to

score with a giant face mural painted on the large glass window.

Milty has many strange, awful, and wonderful face paintings

at home. They are sort of to the rear of David Lynch’s

“Eraserhead,” just this side of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg of

Great Gatsby fame with a little Day of the Locust ambiance

tossed in for good measure.

Tyger dares not miss the magic project moment. Given Mr.

Milty’s track record, there is no telling how long the face will

grimace in public before something terrible happens. Milty has a

provocative and quirky attitude concerning art.



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Therefore, it is best to be on hand for he who hesitates is

lost. Or at least that is what Tyger’s high school baseball coach

said when it came to the topic of taking the extra base.

“Oh yeah, Mr. Milty’s down there now,” Mac reports as he

switches off the drum machine. “Let’s check it out.” So they fly

sky high little starlings and hunker down the road four blocks.

Sure enough, super thin Mr. Milty stands in the window

painting a giant multicolored face. And the face, comrades,

does not look amused.

No indeedy, it looks like apocalypse now with mad reds,

oranges. and greens cascading in every direction. And oh those

evil eyes, Mona Lisa grimace, and general flushed expression.

“Look like anyone you know?” Tyger asks Mac .

“Hope not,” he replies.

Mr . Milty walks inside the Stinko’s window dashing off

stroke after awful stroke. What is that, a penalty shot? No, it

is just a strange face exploding colors in your mind. Mr. Milty

is hard at work, his long sandy hair and Jesus beard flowing.

Screeeeech! Kerboom. Sound of steel crashing and tin cans

being opened by self-implosion.

Boom. Crash. Burn, yearn, fern, yo mama. Disputations and

sad embraces. All this in the Stinko’s window for any passerby to

be alarmed by and hopefully pass through to the other side.

“This is the best window yet,” Tyger remarks as glass



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shatters and representational art unflatters the small throng

across the street from Stinko’s now watching Mr. Milty’s every

monumental brush stroke.

An instant anti-karma news flake crew from WDSU — New

Orleans’ own around the clock source of lying commercialism

according to their self-promotions — drive by in their up-link

minivan. They stop to see what the commotion is about.

“Oh it’s just awful art,” a red-faced pumpkin lady tells them.

“You know how finicky artists can be.”

The on-air news flake looks bored. Since this is the most

important and interesting event of the day, he decides to pull up

stakes and move along little doggy to that exciting news porn house fire

on Elm Street. Better visuals for Ray-Gun family values.

Besides, the so-called reporter can’t figure out how he can

make trivial Mr. Milty’s very disturbing commentary on man’s

inhumanity to himself, taking the most awful art down to the

lowest level possible so his editors can understand.

Through it all, The giant disturbing face might be —

shall we say — eternally smiling.

Two police officers drive by noting a considerable commotion and

screech to a sudden stop. Since there seems to be no physical

danger present, they linger gently, joining the growing crowd observing



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M. Milty’s impresario strokes and grand gestures with mouths

approaching open wide.

Mac picks up the universal vibration. “Awful, of course,” he state

to the pumpkin lady, now one of MacLand’s temporary best fiends, er friends.

“I think it’s very nice,” she replies, adding, “What do you

mean awful?”

“Awful,” Mac reiterates. “Ya know–full of awe. ”

“Oh yes, it is that,” the matronly lady agrees. “But the

dear boy in the window must be a little, I don’t know,

disturbed maybe. A little disturbed I think.”

“No doubt,” Tyger says.

Crackle, snapple, pop, the police car radio mouths off as a

female cop calls in her position. “Ah, roger, roger; we have a

white male in the Stinko’s window painting a giant face.

Please advise. Over.”

Chhhh, chhhh … static … chhhh. “Never- mind. There’s a 20-30

over at Maple Street. Please respond.” orders the voice

disembodied. “We better get going,” cop-ette tells her podner.

They load in the police car. Driving off, the cop riding

shotgun rolls down his window, looks at Mac,

asking, “But is it art?”

Everyone is a citic . “Can’t help you with that one, man,”

Mac replies as they both laugh. “But I like it.”

Milty takes care of business inside the pained glass,



Chapter Eleven




oblivious to the outside Oak Street crowd in disturbance. Or

maybe he’s into it because that is his usual method of operation.

The Miltmaster soaks up the crowd’s ambivalence, turning

it into an increasingly wild face painting, if that is possible.

He mines a very disturbing vision of the soul’s eye.

“I’m liking this a lot,” Tyger tells Mac.

“I think he is on to something.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like nightmare on Oak Street,

part infinity, part end of the world, and part joke is on them.

Milty winds down the face thing, beginning to wash his

brushes, packing away the offending colors.

Out of the blue, into the pink, ka-boom! Ka-boom! Squealing

tires and jaw of nuked and neutered newt.

Screech! Sliding wheels. Suddenly, right before the crowd’s

Betty Davis eyes conglomeration, a fender bender three car urban

street jam pile-up. Smash! Smash? Smash!

In your face, bozo scum-sucker rubbernecks. Kerblam!

Believe it or nuts, three drivers as one jump out of their

respective you got Prince Albert in a can, well they are let out cars.

Mr. Milty’s face has proven its karmic powers beyond any doubt.

He has caused a three car pile-up accident.

The first driver had been watching through the window and

suddenly stopped only to be struck by the second whom, in turn,



Chapter Eleven




was hit by the third. Damn, that art is powerful stuff.

“I suppose they’ll try to make me investigate this,” Tyger

says. “Face mural causes accident and riot on Oak Street.

News fake at 10.”

The drivers stand on the side of the street jawboning various

pieces of impersonal misinformation. Nothing major really, just a

tribute to Milty’s artistic powers. The artist, himself, has now

finished. He crosses the confused street scene to view his

material damage.

“Not bad, if I don’t say so myself,” Mr. Milty concludes. “I

think I’ve hit a grand slam with this one.”

(Mr. Milty, besides being an advanced musician-artist is

also quite the baseball buff. He specialized in collecting

trading cards before that practice became fashionable.)

“Excellent stuff,” he concludes searching for a quick escape

hatch should he need to flee the surrounding crowd — of, shall

we say, admirers — if necessary. Parapazzi might be lurking

anywhere, not to mention Brigatisti Rosa.

The madcap smashed and crashed motorists are becoming a bit

too personally involved with their dispute so Mac, of all

persons, tries to mediate. “Come on guys. Calm down, ” he says.

“Not much damage. Not much. Relax and look at the nice face painting.”

“Hey that’s what caused this shit,” Driver Number One tells Mac.



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“If that asshole in front of me hadn’t stopped to look.”

Driver No. 1 pauses, reading the face on the glass.

“I think it sucks,” he says. Then, back to the accident at hand.

Grinning from ear to ear, our cheshire cat of an artist Mr .

Milty is having fun. “That’s what I like to hear,” he says before

departing. “Well, It’s getting ugly over here. I better like a banana split.”

Milty possesses an unerring sense of when to exit honed by

many near death experiences brought about in the name of art.

“You know who caused this shit?” realizes suddenly Driver Number

Three. “Where is the asshole who painted that window?” Too late, bub.

So too, the boys return to MacLand leaving the wreckage of

the unenlightened for themselves to sort out. “You got to give it

to Mr . Milty,” Mac says as he sits in the living space tuning a

conga drum. “He sure knows how to distract a crowd.”

Tyger walks back to the kitchen where Armor’s and Sarah are

playing with the cats, in this case literally. Armor’s needs some

new blood to compliment his brood and has agreed to take some of

MacLand’s excess nuevo kitten population.

Mama Cat recently delivered a large litter of genetically

inbred New Orleans specie wingheadius, a special type of feline

with super-wide ears spanning the globe found only

in the Big UnEasy. “They are cute little buggers,” Armor ‘s notes

as Sarah fetches up an orange female kitty and striped grey brother,

placing them in a carry-all enclosed cardboard box.



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“O.K. ready, steady. Let’s go,” says Armor’s as the proud

papa with his new family loads into the off-duty surveillance

vehicle. “See ya later alligator,” he yells out the passenger

side window as they drive back to the future.

The plan is to scatter for now, regrouping later at MacLand.

The gang intends to engage in some late-night bowling

practice across the river at the Expressway Lanes in Harvey.

Why not? Seems like something, er, athletic to do. Tyger, Mac and

Armor’s bowl the beguine with their good buddies Nick Bowers

and Sandy Alexander. Mr . Milty would usually be square and be there.

However, he is otherwise indisposed with the aforementioned

instrumental giants of the New Neanderthal age.

Seconds, minutes, and hours pass through this temporary

existence. Tyger fiddles around his house while Armor’s settles

the cats into their new environment. The usual outrageously fine

moments pass for the MacLand crowd. Mr. Milty’s face continues

blocking traffic along Oak Street Stinko’s.

Everyone hooks up at Mac’s place around midnight, piling

into official safe driver Sandy Alexander’s tasteful black

Volkswagen Jetta headed for a date with bowling destiny at Expressway Lanes.

The team has its usual intense pep rally before bowling.



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This is accompanied by team prayer at which joints are passed to

symbolize the nature of man’s quest for fun representing as well

the hope, the smoke, the holy huffing, and puffing of good high times.

Nick Bowers supplies some very good hydroponically grown

shit. Everyone agrees as they fill the Jetta with jet-streams of

exhaled reefer smoke; what a terrific guy, what great mutah.

Everybody buys into the team concept. Y’all for one and one

P.J. — i.e., personal joint — of regular Mexican pot for y’all.

Let’s hear it for bowlers anonymous. Yaaaay team’ Smoke

billows from every Sandymobile orifice as the boys stumble

outside the car party towards their next destination.

The group walks across the Expressway Lanes parking lot to

the sacred Pho Tau Bay Vietnamese Restaurant.

Another gotta-have-it exercise revealed.

They voraciously consume a hearty pre-games meal of Goi Cuon

spring rolls, and Bun Thit Nuong. Sweetened with condensed milk

Cafe Sua Da washes down the great eats.

How do you say thank you in Vietnamese?

Pho Tau Bay’s owner is an American Indochina War veteran

who married a Vietnamese woman and her family. He seems like a

nice guy, tall and thin with a right forearm tattoo of an

arrow through a heart. (Ah, the slings and arrows of outrageous

fortune form an appropriate symbol for the bowlers from across



Chapter Eleven




the River Styx.)

G. I. Joe hosts as various Vietnamese women, and children

wildly run around the restaurant that has quite a few late-night

diners. Besides the vet, who greet the boys in a friendly easy

manner, the bowling team fools are the only Caucasians at the pho joint.

It is a beautiful place with exotic tropical fish and bright

walls as yet undiscovered by the local news fakes. Eventually,

they will get around to it, but for now, all is pristine pleasure

and good eating before the battle royale begins.

Vietnam Cong Hoa’. Rumbling, bumbling, stumbling,

Armor ‘s is mumbling as the team bounces into Expressway Lanes,

your basic industrial grade bowling alley. Very bright lights flood the alley as dim

bulbs fling their hard round balls of joy down waxed wood boards.

Sandy and Mac zoom over to the snack bar, grabbing four cups

of beer. Armor ‘s is all bowling business, carefully unraveling

the cosmic cloth covering his black beauty 14-pound ball,

shining the sporting object clean of grease.

Sandy smokes a cigarette, the only nicotine habit in the

group. No matter as he fits in with the crowd.

Expressway Lanes after midnight on the weekends

is a smoldering chimney. All those fat asses blow

their lung weight in tobacco haze.



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They are drinking their bellies full of draft beer.

Odd excuse for a sport, this.

A very competitive environment predominates, as always. Each

bowler wants to come out on top. The lanes rent by the hour after

midnight, so games are much cheaper than during prime-time and

may be rolled in mass quantities.

Therefore, the boys usually roll 10 or 11 games each,

sometimes more, stopping only when their arms or thumbs fall off,

sometimes not even then . Huge blisters might form. A nuclear bomb

might fall. No matter. It takes more than that to eradicate bowling

fever after it has commenced. So begins the first of many games .

Armor’s is a tremendous bowler, believe it or nuts. He

brought along a clove cigarette for some reason. Lights it.

The sweet acrid clove smell drifts over to the other nearby

bowlers. They are a group of potbellied men with Rick’s Oil Field

Trash on their color coordinated white with red and blue trim

shirts. They stare swords at Armor’s target.

Armor’s ignores them, walking slowly to the ball return.

Smash smash smash all around the sounds of balls striking pins in

the nearly empty establishment, no more than one-quarter filled.

Armor’s takes no quarter either. He deliberately

approaches the boards, letting loose a solid pocket hit. Boom!



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Pins scatter. Strike one. A look of satisfaction on his face, he sits down,

re- lighting the DJakarta Elephant’s clove cigarette.

Good old boys from Rick’s Oil Field Trash look pissed

Feel free to grumble among yourselves, boys.

Heightened concentration following the Pho Tau Bay culinary experience

makes for a competitive match-up. Not to mention the happy effects of a dozen consumed reefers.

Strike. Strike. Spare. Spare. Strike. Open frame. “Shit, Tyger, you suck.”

Sandy announces beer frame. Armor’s strikes a spare.

Next round you’re buying,” Mac tells Sandy. Beer beer beer all around friends.

Armor’s throws a great game. Strike strike strike strike spare, shit,

spare, spare, shit, spare, shit, strike. He is right up there around 200.

What a great anchorman. And all the while toking on the clove cigarette.

For what–for luck? Perhaps. Finally a mid-sized fatty, person not blunt,

from the trash heap boys, sidles over, staring daggers at Armor’s white haze.

“What you smoking there, boy?” he asks.  “Mari-ja-wanna? What is that shit?”

“Oh, haha,” laughs Armor’s to Rick guy’sred-beet face. “No man. “All good, legal.



Chapter Eleven




Clove cigarette from Indonesia. They’re great. Take a puff.”

The atmosphere lightens up considerably. The fellow takes a

hit, holds it, and exhales in a loud rush.

“Whoa Nellie. That stuff makes you dizzy as hell. How about

that,” he declares. “What you know. You learn something new every day.”

“Hey want one?” Armor’s asks, producing the strangely

colored pack with equally exotic elephant graphics.

“Y’all don’t mind,” Armor’s new bestest buddy says.

“Nah,” Armor’s says. Sharing is caring. Or caring is;

I dunno, here, they’re great.”

“Hey, you bowled a mean game there, too, motherfucker.”

Armor’s simply exudes his version of the cheshire cat grin.

“Thanks man,” as the guy wanders off into space.

Sandy returns from bowling his frame. “What was all that

about?” he asks. “The guy thought these clove cigarettes were

marijuana,” Armor’s reports.

Sandy shakes his head. “You’re up.” All business now as the

games continue. Armor’s drills another strike. “Gotcha,” he says,

pointing at the pins with a shooting gun gesture

ala Dennis Eckersley wrapping up a save.

Game after game, frame after frame, follow the bouncing

balls as pins collide, explode, dissipate, go black.

Welcome to the big bang, late night version.

Rolling bowling trolling, jolie fun and frolic shake. Beer



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frame after beer frame. Alternating between one person up while

others take a quick team prayer outside. And they are not

smoking clove cigarettes either, comrades.

The games seem quite competitive. Averages are fairly

consistent and respectable. Tyger is low man with a 135.

Nick and Sandy check in at 145.

Mac is hot with his odd shot-put style yielding a 150 pin

performance. Armor’s, fueled by clove and beer, chalks up an

awesome 190. You know what they say: Can’t have too much fuh.

Getting on to 3 a.m. as Rick’s Oil Field Trash along with

about everyone else has vanished into the West Bank

darkness. A teenage party at the far end of the brightly lit

lanes about sums it up.

One of them flings his ball diagonally across three lanes.

Sad lonely ball, bounces rudely stopping gutter adjacent.

His friend runs down and grabs the ball as they laugh hysterically.

Must be too much clove in their diet.

The night manager sternly lectures the boy. “Anyone home.

Anyone there. Anyone home.” he repeats in an endless tape loop.

Black hole. No one apparently is at home. No one is listening.

The boys wrap things up as they pack their bowling bags in

cloths of many colors, return the special shoes, head across the Greater New

Orleans Bridge back to the city of New Orleans. Downtown shimmers

with skyscraper lights that reflect along the muddy Mississippi River.



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Tyger removes a final joint from his altoids box.

So it goes, so it blows, so ends

the beery bowling barrel,

rolling Uptown through the mist.

Dawn is about to break a sweat.

Comrades, fare thee well.

Sweet dreams.

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