Surveillance Pelicana Part III — Chapters 21 to 30.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Mac leads Tyger and Armor’s on the official

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival party tour.

This chapter provides an insider’s look at the popular festival.

Consciousness expands with the generally jolly jaunt

around the festival culminating in a karmically uplifting

concert by saxophonist Kidd Jordan.

 

CHAPTER 21

“JAZZ FEST”

 

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Somebody has died. Somebody has been born.

And somebody is very excited today.

That must be Big Mac. Today is the first Sunday of the

Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival, commonly known as Jazz Fest.

It is Mac’s — and a lot of other persons who don’t even

know him — favorite event of the year.

Laissez Bon Temp Roules. Let the good times roll, Big Mac,

and party comrades.

Mac arrives at Tyger·s lair about 11 a.m. on Sunday

April 23, 1988 according to filed reports. He wears a purple, red

and orange tie-dyed t-shirt. He has stashed his beatific bongos in the

maroon MacVan, records reveal. On with the big shoe…

“Come on. Let’s go. Got to get there. Time’s a’wasting,”

Jazz Fest Mac blows through the front door with all the furious

force of Hurricane Camille.

“Get ready. Come on,” etc. etc.; as Mac heads like a Patriot

anti-missile missile to intercept the bathroom.

Tyger sits in his usual chair by the wood table in the

center room observing the current explosion. “Guess it’s time to

 

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go–huh?” he asks as if he didn’t know.

Flush flush, fizz fizz, oh what a joy it is to be somewhat

young, bound for fun. “What you doing? No time to waste, Let’s

roll,” continues Mac’s words flooding over the sea wall.

“Oh. You don’t want me to roll a couple of reefers?” Tyger

asks. “That’s different,” Mac sorts through priorities. “Go

ahead. Two minutes,” adding as he scrounges through the freezer.

Finally, “Where are the archives?” Mac asks in apparent

reference to the collection of LSD Tyger has accumulated through

the years and saves for special occasions.

Is there a more special occasion to the actual real-life

every day inhabitants of the City that Care Forgot and it’s

immediate environs than Jazz Fest? Mac thinks not.

“I got them,” Tyger states. “Right here on the table.” Mac

kerplunks in the visitor’s chair. He snatches the specially

marked film canister, emptying said contents on the terrible table.

Three separate folded tin foil pieces sparkle. Each foil

strip contains within a full compliment of the decade’s most

potent psychedelics, or at least those representatives Tyger has

managed to acquire, squirreling away for purposes of

preservation. No longer.

Tyger rolls the party joints carefully placing them in the

metal tin Altoids box. Mac busies himself examining the various

 

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tasty treats, choosing a blue blot dot he remembers

from the notso distant past.

“Hey. Isn’t this part of the Donald Ducks we used at last

Jazz Fest?” asks Mac. Tyger looks up from his business and nods

in agreement. “Think so. Why don’t you try one?”

“O.K.” as Mac snips off a corner. “You take this,” he

annunciates, handing the sacred sliver to Tyger, “I’ll have

the rest. O.K.” preparations apparently complete,

the field commander recapitulates.

“Let’s go. Got sun block?” “Already did that.” “Got a hat?

Where’s your hat?” “Uhh, No. I’ll get the M’s cap.”

“A-O.K. Got everything? Altoids box?” “Yup.” “Hat, sun

block, acid. Anything else?” “I think you’ve covered it.”

“Great. We’re off. Got to pick up Armor’s and get to the Fair Grounds.”

Across Uptown in the MacVan, impresario Mac hizzoner, puts a

MacLand cassette in the dash player, up cranks the volume like

a runner working out on stadium stairs, higher higher higher pick

those legs up, listen to this: “Waaaaah … ”

“Like that one?” Mac asks. “This one is pretty good too.

Recorded it last night:

‘It’s all for art. It’s awful art. You think you’re smart.

Surpriiiiise. Frustration. Time zero–was it goood? Potted palms.

Was she right? Did it hurt?’

Wah wah wah. Wahwahwah … “

 

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The band plays on … endless tape loop

dedicated to the higher consciousness of great art.

“Yeah,” agrees Tyger as the song reaches its final conclusions.

“That does sound good. My fingernail’s are clicking. Who is on it?”

“I did the drum machine,” Mac says, “and bongo tracks.”

“I like it,” Tyger says.

“Mr. Milty’s on mystery sax,” Mac continues. Best song ever.”

Pure sounds guide the blithe spirits over Magazine Street in

the snap of a finger beat to the Coliseum Street resting place of

the Armor’s Tungsten experience. It is a typical New Orleans

shotgun house, flesh colored wood frame, sitting by heavenly

coincidence next to the Third Missionary Baptist Church of the New Age.

Armor’s Armor’s hallelujah, sings the blah blah blah of blah

blah church chorus. “Thank you Lord for Armor’s is thine

neighbor,” intones the tall black preacher man. “We are lucky

souls.” Not. “In Jeeeezus” Maybe.

Mac pulls up, ejecting Tyger on to the small crabgrass front

lawn. Then, the cherubic musical artist switches off the master

controls and follows suit.

“Armor’s always takes fucking forever,” Mac notes. “We have

to get him up and get him going as quickly as possible. Got to

have some Oyster Artichoke Millie right this split second.”

The screen door is unlatched for a change. Armor’s sits at

 

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the — shall we say — ready inside the middle room.

Mama cat scurries for cover as the boys enter Armor’sville,

a secret universe created sometime before the Big Bang.

And dedicated to God knows what.

“Hey hey hey,” Armor’s voice leads Tyger and Mac past the

100, or so, empty Kentwood natural spring bottled water

containers, past the drafting table, the Jack Kerouac poster and

into the receiving chamber. Although they walk through the

shadow of the valley of Armor’s Tungsten, the boys fear not

where they tread. Silly rabbits.

“Want some espresso?” Armor’s asks. “It will just take a few

minutes.” Yeah, just what Mac wants to hear, right.

“No no no man. We have to get going,” Mac implores. We are

late for fun. Come on. Come on. You’re ready. Let’s go.”

“Oh. Oh,” Armor’s is thrown off his game, therefore

mumbles. “Uhh. Just a second. Let me get something.”

“No no no,” Mac has seen this act a million eons before.

“Let’s go. He who hesitates is lost.”

“Ahh,” Armor’s stumbles from his director’s chair. “Let me

ahh, go,” and walks to the bathroom.

“O.K. Two minutes,” directs Mac. “That’s it and we are out of here.”

Tyger busies himself thumbing through a stack of computer

magazines on a nearby — coffee? — table .. Armor’s has lately

 

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gotten into personal home computing. As with his many other

interests, he has gone completely gung-ho bonkers

insanely wild about the subject.

Not to say Armor’s comprehensive discourses on the topic are

totally uninteresting or he doesn’t provide wonderful insight.

He is a brilliant fellow, true. However,

He tends to ramble on and on and on.

Sometimes, one just has to say enough is enough already, turn

off the faucet before the waterlogged mind springs a leak.

Tyger settles in for a long haul, but Mac is inspired by

thoughts of fun to come. He continues urging Armor’s — Christian

soldiers? — onward, forward; or at least in the general

direction of the UnFair Grounds.

“Come on. We’re late. We’re late. For a very important

date,” Mac pushes the recalcitrant party with whatever urging

might raise Armor’s out of the bathroom.

“Ahh, ahh. O.K. Coming. I hear you. Got to just do this.

Ahhh,” Armor’s, out of habit, is stalling in the john.

Same old Armor’s Tungsten.

Tyger looks around the room. He spots another of Armor’s

cats playing with a strand of Mardi Gras beads. See, they are

useful for something after all. But ever the detective, also

notices that a little something seems missing.

As Armor’s emerges wearing an old Houston Astros cap and

 

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enigmatic smile, Tyger innocently inquires.

“Where are the two kittens you got from MacLand.”

“Ahhh, ahh. They are around somewhere playing I imagine,”

Armor’s replies. The topic is dropped like a sad oyster sack.

Mac gathers momentum and jump-starts Armor’s engine as the

terribly terrific trio finally achieve escape velocity. Out, out, and

about brief candles; all systems go, A-O.K. for blast off.

Armor’s finally locks the front door.

Mac loads the kiddies into the MacVan headed for the festival.

The New Orleans Jazz Club started the Jazz and Heritage

Festival in the mid 1960’s as a small affair for jazz purists. It

was held in Congo Square where the slaves were allowed to play

their old world music on Sunday.

Congo Square — later renamed Louis Armstrong Park — was

situated just off Rampart Street. It straddled a quadrilateral

design fronted by the Iberville Projects on one side and

clockwise by St. Louis Cemetery, the Vieux Carre and what used to

be Storyville — the scandalous Red Light District closed by

authorities in 1917 because it was too rough for the conscript

soldiers. Now commercial properties stretched up to and along Canal Street.

Initial festivals were frequented by jazz superstars of

the pre-rock era like cornetist Johnny Wiggs (real name: John

Wigginton Hyman, mechanical drawing instructor at Fortier High

 

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School) and Dr. Edmund Souchon–guitar playing obstetrician; as

well as the pre-Elvis pre-Beatles galaxy of old-line and now

obscure traditional jazz giants. Said festival evolved into New Orleans’

second major tourist attraction drawing the legions of losers from sites

worldwide to the New Orleans Fair Grounds and venues

all around the Crescent City.

Locals love the festival, too, despite the throngs of

ignoramuses from elsewhere in their face. It is tough to avoid

having fun given the amazing quantities of great food, music, and

— for the lame of heart — crafts, available throughout the two week affair.

Mac guides his portable world along South Jefferson Davis

Avenue, across Canal Street and finally to the Gentilly area

where beckons the traditional Mac gang parking site along Mystery

Street. No mystery to that spot. One must be careful about parking as the city,

true to its rip-off leadership, has amassed an armada of meter maids and tow trucks

ready to do everybody a favor by enforcing beyond imaginable strictness

their money making parking regulation scam.

Who do those corrupt grafting New Orleans politicians that

buy votes, get themselves fraudulently elected, take free trips

on developer ‘s money, believe they are fooling?

 

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For Jazz Fest anyway, they are fooling with tourists and

locals alike. Tow-trucks are floating like butterflies and

stinging like bees as they surreptitously sneak off with

unsuspecting jazz lovers vehicles, thereby ruining someone’s post

Jazz Fest once-uplifted demeanor.

Mac parks the van carefully measuring off the 20 feet from

the curb’s end in order to comply with the most arbitrarily

rendered, and commonly ticketed, rule.

“We are safe here,” Tyger concludes, “probably,” as Mac

continues pondering. “Although sometimes they give you a ticket

no matter how ‘legally’ you park. I got a ticket the other day

for parking in my driveway. ”

“What do you think?” Mac asks Armor’s for a third opinion.

“Dunno. you never know,” Armor’s sez. “Good enough for me,” Mac pez.

Armor’s has taken a small hit of LSD from the secret

compartment of his mechanical pencil. He slyly rolls the paper

blotter on his tongue before swallowing. “All set,” he says. Blast off.”

The terrible three join the crowd as it gathers streams of

steam along the beaten path in the general unspecific direction

of the Fair Grounds. Trucks tow to the right of them, groups of fellow travelers

gaggle to the left. The smell of sun block and tanning cream

blots out the natural Aroma of honeysuckle and willow root

 

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or whatever that is, along the way. Mystery Street reveals Esplanade Avenue

by the Whole Earth Food Store and Cafe Degas. Streaming personality

disorders become roaring ocean waves pummeling Fair Grounds shores.

Turning right, the trio follows the river past the high outer fence,

past the street of bus fumes ahem, ahem, and to the side

of the pedestrian gate. Cough, cough, gee whiz, oh what a thrill it is…

Mac applies additional sun screen due to depleting ozone layer

paranoia, probably not a bad idea as they glide, Clydes, not missing a beat.

Then, it is time to pay the piper in order to face the music.

The gang of three fork over the $8 toll, like the tide, rises every time; it takes in ’88

to join the select crowd of approximately many wading through metal turnstiles,

then plying along the wood plank walk-way. Shiver those timbers, m’lovelies.

About 50,000 comfy-bizarrely dressed fest junkies and fellow travelers

will traipse the same path that day. Come along and join them comrades,

as if you had a choice or wanted one. Colors sparkle in the mid-April sun.

After three days, the festival is heating up as is the Southeastern Louisiana weather.

Soaring like pelicanas above and beyond the throngs, the boys

 

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trek over the second longest stretch run in America’s dirt track

and onto the grassy infield. A perfect day for a perfect day to follow.

Armor’s has been walking very fast unsuccessfully attempting

to keep the masses from bumping him or otherwise blocking his

path. That is an impossible order, so he surrenders and waits for

Mac and Tyger by the first porta-lets — registered trademark? —

signaling a happy exit from work-a-day civilization.

“Hey you guys, Al Belleto is over at the Jazz Tent,” Tyger

reports, pouring over a program Mac has just purchased. “Al

Belleto?” Armor’s asks Tyger who has some knowledge of jazz

history garnered from working briefly at the local fake Jazz Archive.

“Yeah, man. He is Frank Sinatra’s favorite jazz saxophonist.” Tyger roars.

Mac laughs fairly unimpressed. “Yeah well. Let’s not miss

that. First we have to find some nourishment.

Then, we’ll check out Al Bell Etto.”

They fly past galaxies of spinning planets who cover the

universal infield over to Food Tent Two where Mac and Tyger grab

$2 “small” portions of Fried Potato Po-Boys, a weird sandwich of

french fries on french bread covered with thick brown gravy.

“Wow!” Mac shouts as he takes the first bite.

“That tastes great. You try.”

 

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He hands the messy sandwich to Armor’s who eyes it warily

then takes a mini-bite. “Hey, sort of OK. Maybe, I’ll get one later.”

Of course, he won’t. With so many food booths

with so many amazingly succulent dishes, each Jazz Fest

touring group can only sample a few items at any given appearance.

They are required by Jazz Fest law to buy small portions so

more items can be tried. That is the most efficient method to get

a full taste of the festival.

(Exceptions, however, are always permissible depending on

circumstances. For example, barbecued chicken from the Second

True Love Baptist Church ladies a few booths down at Food Tent

Two must be consumed in portions as large as possible due to

mind-blowing properties.)

Munching while they are crunching atop the trammeled earth,

Mac leads the official Jazz Fest appreciation society tour past

10,000 identically different fun junky planets across the

spaceways to the Al Belleto Experience, or whatever that is, at

the Uncle Ben’s Rice (corporate logo) Jazz Tent.

Well fest fans, Al Belleto’s easy brand of cool jazz is so laid back

he is not even close to breaking a sweat. A tenor

saxophone draped from his shoulder strap, Belleto breath snaps

his fingers just this side of narcosis as the group takes off,

 

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where? Why? And how? The Jazz Tent fills up as the noon-time sun

scorches the brown tan earth. Mac and Tyger gaze on, grandly unimpressed.

“This cat is beyond lame,” Tyger comments after sampling a near dead version of

“The World is Waiting for a Sunrise,” adding, “If he were any lamer, he could collect

legitimate insurance benefits.” Therefore, the gang must mosey on along, little doggies.

“We have to get over to Congo Square and check it out,”Mac announces

as Armor’s, off course, lingers. “You coming,” Mac adds.

“Yeah, just trying to figure out where that dude was coming from,”

Armor’s replies. “Guess from nowhere,” Mac says.

“What do you expect from Frank Sinatra’s favorite sax player,” Tyger notes.

“The boss probably too busy screwing Nancy Ray-Gun to notice

how lame this guy is. Good background music, maybe. Then, again…”

Congo Square is just past the porta-lets and omnipresent can kids.

(These are little black kids officially sanctioned to knock over anybody

or anything in their path as they retrieve discarded aluminum cans

for future recycling. It is sort of a scorched earth first environmental policy.)

The trendy African-American trading area and spiritually uplifting stage

used to be called Koindu Square when the festival was smaller

and closer to the real roots of jazz and Louisiana living.

 

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That was way back when none of the stages were afflicted with corporate logos.

Armor’s and Mac ignore the obvious while immersing

themselves in the higher karma of the Kambuka Collective. Tyger

must make a stand for what is right in this the place of ultimate truth.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

The Kambuka Collective finishes up with a shake, rattle, and

roll. Armor’s tosses a pebble at Roots who doesn’t pay attention.

“I know what you mean,” Armor’s notes. “He is stupid and ugly too. Never liked him.”

They walk by the rooted Badburns as Mac tries to be polite:

“Hey Roots. How’s it hanging?” Roots barely acknowledges the

greeting. What a rude motherfucker.

Mac tour paisley paces traces skipping merrily merrily

merrily onward soaring above the Fair Grounds rounds appreciating

one of the grand rewards of festival grazing. Or as Mac puts it:

“Check out those giant titties.. Yes!”

 

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Heard that right. That is correct, comrades. Checking out

the girls’ titties as they wear the skimpiest of outfits, if

that, represents a continuation of Carnival tradition, but in a

more tasteful manner. All sizes, shapes, and colors transport Mac

and the gang to girl-and-titty watching paradise.

“My favorite part of Jazz Fest,” Mac notes in glassy eyed

wonder . “Well, along with the music and food, of course.

Don’t tell Sarah I said that.”

Food Tent Three stops the boys dead in their tracks. What an

awesome aroma enveloping the immediate environs.

Soft Shell Crab Po-Boys, Key Lime Pie and Strawberry

Shortcake, Alligator Stew, Chicken with Tasso and, look, over

there. Mac has spotted a fortuitous opening in food riot ambiance.

“Come on. Follow me,” he issues general orders. “Look.

No line at the Crawfish Monica booth.”

Sure enough. Colonel Mac has landed a big one. A temporary

lull in the battle in front of the usually massive Crawfish Monica line.

“Three smalls,” Mac requests and passes the war booty along

to Tyger and Armor’s. “No way.” “Way.”

They continue by the lame Gospel Tent filled with leisure

clad tourists and whoever else pretends to like that good time

religious noise-nonsense. Then, past the WWL-Ray Ban Festival

 

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Stage where the big acts play. James Brown and Little Feat

are scheduled later that day. Over to the AT&T Economy Hall Tent

where traditional jazz establishes its niche. Tastes great, less filling.

Then, the boys pass the Travel New Orleans Lagniappe

Tent where Washboard Sam is holding forth, and the Spirit of

Louisiana Stage where Johnny J. and the Hitmen are whacking

the insane public with straight ahead rockabilly madness.

They fly O.J. Simpson airport commercialism style past the

masses of enthusiastic fun-seekers everywhere dancing, clapping,

eating, and passing a good time. Whooo — look out below.

This party is happening every which way and loose in the now

intense heat. “This sure beats Mardi Gras,” Tyger grasps between gasps.

A group here is drinking beer in Romulak-like quantities.

Over there, over there; a fat lady already has bought the farm.

She lies huddled in a meaty heap.

Blankets spread across every unoccupied piece of earth.

Large banners fly. Persons dressed in any imaginable and

borderline legal costume possible party the day away. Or like

Tyger and Armor’s in plain white t-shirts, they forget about

 

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their troubles, grooving with the infinite moment.

Armor’s flips on his shades. “Cool, man,” he

says. “Is it not time for Kidd Jordan, Al Fielder and the

Improvisational Arts Ensemble at the Jazz Tent?”

As a matter of fact, dear boy, it is.

The terribly terrific trio cuts across the Fair Grounds

infield to the large, cool blue with white trim canopied tent.

This combination of sun and fun seekers has raised the local

temperature to the approximate level of the planet Mercury.

A large throng congregates inside. However, it seems

likely from the blank visage of many of their faces that they

have entered merely to beat the oppressive heat. Unfortunately,

whatever the explanation, there do not seem to be any seats currently available.

“Shit,” Tyger notes as he surveys the scene. “I don’t see

anywhere to sit. I really want to concentrate on the greatest

saxophone player in the universe, Sir Kidd Jordan.”

“Don’t worry,” Mac soothes. “Most of these organisms will

devolve once Kidd gets going.”

Armor’s, quick as a cat despite his large frame, beats a fat

cow lady, her thick thighs pumping loudly, in a game of musical

chairs. “Aw gee,” sympathizes Armor’s from a seated position.

“Were you going to sit here?”

But Armor’s knows his tungsten. That fat bitch like half the

crowd exits as soon as Jordan starts blowing. They are not in it

 

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They are not in itfor the music.

So it begins. Blah blooh, blooie, blablooie, wonderful

avant tones of the great man who was knighted in France and

slighted, virtually unknown in New Orleans, his native land.

Unrecognized that is by the hoi polloi. A chosen few like

Tyger, Mac, and Armor’s are well aware that true genius has

captured the stage and for 45 minutes will hold them in his

mystical spell. This is contemporary spirit music for the

initiated by virtue of their enthusiasm.

Thank you sir knight. Play on and ignite a fire in our poor

dark souls with your all-illuminating light.

Those in the wanna-know lean ever so slightly forward like

small plants thirsting for a shining gro-lamp or sun. Every

nanosecond of Kidd and his compatriots — don’t forget the

fabulous Al Fielder on skins — grows a million shoots, flowers

the most potent buds, and drives consciousness towards fruition,

if that is ever fully possible.

Wawawawa, blooey blah, blah…Kidd is talking at you and me,

babe. He has attracted an all-star crowd in back of the tent

where the musicians congregate.

There stands the African Cowboy, Earl Turbinton, halting his

hobnobbing momentarily to catch an intricate solo. Over there

the good guys from Astral Project: Steve Masakowski, Johnny

Vidacovich, Jim Singleton, Hector Gallardo, and of course long

 

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lean Tony Dagradi, fellow sax traveler.

They groove along to the outer stars expanding,

smiling in subtle appreciation before politely applauding.

So do all others who are in secret configuration.

Kidd is at the top of his game. He knows

when it is time to rise and shine. He brings

that battery acid on high octane,

driving through the unknown universe

seeking the most significant calling possible,

and it replies beautifully.

Thank you Kidd, God is listening.

Thank you Kidd, center of the Milky Way.

Partaking you sweet, then sultry,

then slick and tough and far-out truth,

usually hidden, suddenly so fucking sublime.

Waa-waa-waa-ditty, bloop. Bla-bloop. Bla-waaaah…

Kidd raises his soprano saxophone to salute the crowd.

They respond in kind, rising as one massive wave

of rolling thunder acknowledging the master’s greatness.

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” they are longing for that moment

connecting with the most primal and advanced of humanly impossible sounds.

“Thank you!” “Wahwahwah!” “Thank You Kidd Jordan!”

“You are the greatest babe!” “Yoweee!”

(That is Mac raising his Jazz Tent top.)

Just another mind-blowing, mood enhancing,

consciousness altering forever moment

granted us by the true king of New Orleans,

 

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a monarch greater than any odd Rex or even Comus.

Highest order of France bestowed him, and now, in this humble

space of time, a rich and finally honored prophet joyously

affirming man’s infinite possibilities.

Take it not as lightly as the fatass Ray-Gun shrubbery who

gave us the generation of greed, and despair. They are propelled

away from the universal magical moment by entropy

rendering them irrelevant.

They feel the cattle-like prod and need to sink to the

lowest level of feces-in-life probable. They dial counter-programming

at the WNOE/Tostitos Stage where some lame pseudo-cajun faux

zydeco band is playing shit they can sort of comprehend.

One redneck mother in a “Just Say to No to Drugs” t- shirt

exits unimpressed, saying “I don’t know what all the fuss

is about. I play better than that. He wasn’t even playing a song.”

Perhaps we came from the primordial shit. Perhaps we are

 

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going nowhere fast. Perhaps. Perhaps.

But for a magnificent molecular moment stopped in time,

through a wondrous black hole in which all indecision and fear

completely vanish; pure beauty, joy, and hope for all of future

generations remain in its wake.

Yes. Yes we can. Just say yes, baby. Kidd points his crafty

fingers at other members of the group kicking off an awesome

interpretation of a sacred incantation translated for modern ears

to enthrall. Thank you sir. We are your servants in truth forever.

Snap the picture, comrades in art. Kidd and his group

finish their set to a half-filled Jazz Tent, applause, applause

acknowledging a new age with the force of many new suns exploding.

“Wow,” finally Mac can speak. “That was a Jazz Fest moment.”

“Whoo, baby,” Tyger affirms. “What an incredible experience.”

Over to the side of the tent Armor’s has discovered a new

world, in this case a Mr. Milty he presumes, who slipped in

during the performance, likewise standing stuck by awe in place

cascading from the spaceways. They are jawboning.

Over to the other side, a few seekers of ultimate truth aside

a few dotards who are only there to appear to be cool.

“Oh yeah,” Tyger points out one despicable cur of the latter variety.

“There lies Heave Broward. I guess he is looking for a way

to steal our fun again.”

 

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Heave salivates over one cute blonde following her like a

labrador retrieving. “I wonder what he’s saying,” Tyger asks

rhetorically. Then sarcastically imitating, “You … are … the …

prettiest … girl … here.”

Yep, just another fantastic Jazz Fest moment. Mac and Tyger

return to Congo Square swimming like trout upriver to spawn on

the continuing river of sounds and sights spectacular.

The tall men walk nearby along a concrete path. Boy, are

they tall, walking on stilts surrounded by smaller interplanetary parties.

Mac and Tyger drink their weight in sweet tea and beer.

Mac grabs an Omar’s pie on the way over as Tyger jokes with Omar,

the pie guy himself, in the flesh.

“I hope these profits don’t have to go to the IRS.” Tyger

says as Omar, tres cool, nods his head and laughs. “Not to

mention IRS Inc.,” Tyger adds in a secret joke beyond Omar’s ken.

(Internal Revenue Service agents had bogusly seized Omar’s

pie stock claiming he owed back taxes. Then, the genius Ray-Gun

government agents sold his $1.50 pies on Camp Street outside the

U.S. Courthouse for 20 cents each.)

Congo Square is the usual happening galaxy as Hector

Gallardo and his Songo All Stars sway the crowd with Latin

 

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percussion brilliance. All sorts of hippy-like chicks in tried-and-

true-tie-dyed outfits dance mechanically maniacally on the

grass while Mac and Tyger stand nearby smoking the same as

removed from the Altoids box. A great time is had by all.

Then, over to Food Tent One where the dangerous duo

partakes of Seafood Au Gratin, Spinach-Artichoke Casserole, and

yum yum sweet potato pone. “Aay-iie!” Mac screams after

finishing a small portion blackened fish. “Aay-iie!” Tyger

concurs after completely downing the greatest Key Lime pie

confection ever concocted.

Food business taken care of tastefully, they wander past

the WWL-Rayban Festival Stage because Mac wants to sample Little

Feat for a few minutes. Not because he is a fan, or anything even

close, but because they are supposed to be one of the top acts of

the day. Part of Mac’s annual Jazz Fest’s manifest destiny

is to walk by the so-called name acts, so he can tell people later how bad

as in bad; horrible, shitty, the worst, they are.

Simply standard part of Jazz Fest procedure.

The area overflows with thousands of Little Feat enthusiasts

attempting to approximate an experience already perfected by such

as Kidd Jordan. Very lame crowd indeed as Little Feat

stink. Next time, maybe, they won’t take off their shoes.

Back to home base, the Jazz Tent. Henry Butler Trio

serenades the audience with a tasteful blend of traditional

 

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and avant garde jazz mixed with interesting New Orleans R&B

choruses. Butler on the ivories. The blind pianist likewise glistens.

The boys find a nice pair of plastic chairs in the middle of

the tent, settling in for bassist Charlie Hayden’s Quartet West

which follows, playing the same type of music with a harder bebop

edge sans New Orleans allusions. Simply fantastic.

The crowd of true jazz lovers goes Willie Wonka bonkers

when they finish playing. Armor’s finds his way back to the center of the universe.

He joins the group for the last Jazz Tent act of the day, clarinetist

Alvin Batiste leading a final affirmation of jazz brilliance.

Again, a great musical act in which he pays homage to old

New Orleans jazz tradition with a blow-you-away and in-your-face

version of “High Society,” followed by “Ole Miss.” Both versions

have been Batistely updated for contemporary sensibilities to appreciate.

Getting on about 7 p.m. when the Batiste group ends its

performance. Sun setting on a vast plane of music, food,

crafts lovers and their fellow just plain fun seeking friends.

Everyone is in a jovial mood for the festival, as always,

has been a roaring success. It’s as as close to heaven as we shall ever

 

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come in this life, thereby sufficing tremendously.

As all things must, so too does this wonderful celebration of fun

like a lovely dream pass into historical record. The boys

float away as n a dream from the Fair Grounds,

back on the time-worn path to Mystery Street,

Mac’s awaiting minivan preparing to return them to reality.

Shine and set, then, friends.

That night, fueled by the inspiring karma of the festival’s magical moments,

Mac and his buddies pound out the finest beats imaginable.

They rock the dead souls at the mortuary next door,

rolling in the greatest vibes available until dawn.

A wonderful day has passed in a wonderful way,

yet remains as a beacon of light in the window of recollection

returning as misty-eyed memories again and again.

That is the path to freedom shining brightly brightly

through the space-time night.

It is up to you, comrades of the sacred monumental

moment, never to forget.

The boys of Jazz Fest certainly won’t.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Mac leads Tyger and Armor’s on the official

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival party tour.

This chapter provides an insider’s look at the popular festival.

Consciousness expands with the generally jolly jaunt

around the festival culminating in a karmically uplifting

concert by saxophonist Kidd Jordan.

 

CHAPTER 21

“JAZZ FEST”

 

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Somebody has died. Somebody has been born.

And somebody is very excited today.

That must be Big Mac. Today is the first Sunday of the

Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival, commonly known as Jazz Fest.

It is Mac’s — and a lot of other persons who don’t even

know him — favorite event of the year.

Laissez Bon Temp Roules. Let the good times roll, Big Mac,

and party comrades.

Mac arrives at Tyger·s lair about 11 a.m. on Sunday

April 23, 1988 according to filed reports. He wears a purple, red

and orange tie-dyed t-shirt. He has stashed his beatific bongos in the

maroon MacVan, records reveal. On with the big shoe…

“Come on. Let’s go. Got to get there. Time’s a’wasting,”

Jazz Fest Mac blows through the front door with all the furious

force of Hurricane Camille.

“Get ready. Come on,” etc. etc.; as Mac heads like a Patriot

anti-missile missile to intercept the bathroom.

Tyger sits in his usual chair by the wood table in the

center room observing the current explosion. “Guess it’s time to

 

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go–huh?” he asks as if he didn’t know.

Flush flush, fizz fizz, oh what a joy it is to be somewhat

young, bound for fun. “What you doing? No time to waste, Let’s

roll,” continues Mac’s words flooding over the sea wall.

“Oh. You don’t want me to roll a couple of reefers?” Tyger

asks. “That’s different,” Mac sorts through priorities. “Go

ahead. Two minutes,” adding as he scrounges through the freezer.

Finally, “Where are the archives?” Mac asks in apparent

reference to the collection of LSD Tyger has accumulated through

the years and saves for special occasions.

Is there a more special occasion to the actual real-life

every day inhabitants of the City that Care Forgot and it’s

immediate environs than Jazz Fest? Mac thinks not.

“I got them,” Tyger states. “Right here on the table.” Mac

kerplunks in the visitor’s chair. He snatches the specially

marked film canister, emptying said contents on the terrible table.

Three separate folded tin foil pieces sparkle. Each foil

strip contains within a full compliment of the decade’s most

potent psychedelics, or at least those representatives Tyger has

managed to acquire, squirreling away for purposes of

preservation. No longer.

Tyger rolls the party joints carefully placing them in the

metal tin Altoids box. Mac busies himself examining the various

 

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tasty treats, choosing a blue blot dot he remembers

from the notso distant past.

“Hey. Isn’t this part of the Donald Ducks we used at last

Jazz Fest?” asks Mac. Tyger looks up from his business and nods

in agreement. “Think so. Why don’t you try one?”

“O.K.” as Mac snips off a corner. “You take this,” he

annunciates, handing the sacred sliver to Tyger, “I’ll have

the rest. O.K.” preparations apparently complete,

the field commander recapitulates.

“Let’s go. Got sun block?” “Already did that.” “Got a hat?

Where’s your hat?” “Uhh, No. I’ll get the M’s cap.”

“A-O.K. Got everything? Altoids box?” “Yup.” “Hat, sun

block, acid. Anything else?” “I think you’ve covered it.”

“Great. We’re off. Got to pick up Armor’s and get to the Fair Grounds.”

Across Uptown in the MacVan, impresario Mac hizzoner, puts a

MacLand cassette in the dash player, up cranks the volume like

a runner working out on stadium stairs, higher higher higher pick

those legs up, listen to this: “Waaaaah … ”

“Like that one?” Mac asks. “This one is pretty good too.

Recorded it last night:

‘It’s all for art. It’s awful art. You think you’re smart.

Surpriiiiise. Frustration. Time zero–was it goood? Potted palms.

Was she right? Did it hurt?’

Wah wah wah. Wahwahwah … “

 

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The band plays on … endless tape loop

dedicated to the higher consciousness of great art.

“Yeah,” agrees Tyger as the song reaches its final conclusions.

“That does sound good. My fingernail’s are clicking. Who is on it?”

“I did the drum machine,” Mac says, “and bongo tracks.”

“I like it,” Tyger says.

“Mr. Milty’s on mystery sax,” Mac continues. Best song ever.”

Pure sounds guide the blithe spirits over Magazine Street in

the snap of a finger beat to the Coliseum Street resting place of

the Armor’s Tungsten experience. It is a typical New Orleans

shotgun house, flesh colored wood frame, sitting by heavenly

coincidence next to the Third Missionary Baptist Church of the New Age.

Armor’s Armor’s hallelujah, sings the blah blah blah of blah

blah church chorus. “Thank you Lord for Armor’s is thine

neighbor,” intones the tall black preacher man. “We are lucky

souls.” Not. “In Jeeeezus” Maybe.

Mac pulls up, ejecting Tyger on to the small crabgrass front

lawn. Then, the cherubic musical artist switches off the master

controls and follows suit.

“Armor’s always takes fucking forever,” Mac notes. “We have

to get him up and get him going as quickly as possible. Got to

have some Oyster Artichoke Millie right this split second.”

The screen door is unlatched for a change. Armor’s sits at

 

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the — shall we say — ready inside the middle room.

Mama cat scurries for cover as the boys enter Armor’sville,

a secret universe created sometime before the Big Bang.

And dedicated to God knows what.

“Hey hey hey,” Armor’s voice leads Tyger and Mac past the

100, or so, empty Kentwood natural spring bottled water

containers, past the drafting table, the Jack Kerouac poster and

into the receiving chamber. Although they walk through the

shadow of the valley of Armor’s Tungsten, the boys fear not

where they tread. Silly rabbits.

“Want some espresso?” Armor’s asks. “It will just take a few

minutes.” Yeah, just what Mac wants to hear, right.

“No no no man. We have to get going,” Mac implores. We are

late for fun. Come on. Come on. You’re ready. Let’s go.”

“Oh. Oh,” Armor’s is thrown off his game, therefore

mumbles. “Uhh. Just a second. Let me get something.”

“No no no,” Mac has seen this act a million eons before.

“Let’s go. He who hesitates is lost.”

“Ahh,” Armor’s stumbles from his director’s chair. “Let me

ahh, go,” and walks to the bathroom.

“O.K. Two minutes,” directs Mac. “That’s it and we are out of here.”

Tyger busies himself thumbing through a stack of computer

magazines on a nearby — coffee? — table .. Armor’s has lately

 

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gotten into personal home computing. As with his many other

interests, he has gone completely gung-ho bonkers

insanely wild about the subject.

Not to say Armor’s comprehensive discourses on the topic are

totally uninteresting or he doesn’t provide wonderful insight.

He is a brilliant fellow, true. However,

He tends to ramble on and on and on.

Sometimes, one just has to say enough is enough already, turn

off the faucet before the waterlogged mind springs a leak.

Tyger settles in for a long haul, but Mac is inspired by

thoughts of fun to come. He continues urging Armor’s — Christian

soldiers? — onward, forward; or at least in the general

direction of the UnFair Grounds.

“Come on. We’re late. We’re late. For a very important

date,” Mac pushes the recalcitrant party with whatever urging

might raise Armor’s out of the bathroom.

“Ahh, ahh. O.K. Coming. I hear you. Got to just do this.

Ahhh,” Armor’s, out of habit, is stalling in the john.

Same old Armor’s Tungsten.

Tyger looks around the room. He spots another of Armor’s

cats playing with a strand of Mardi Gras beads. See, they are

useful for something after all. But ever the detective, also

notices that a little something seems missing.

As Armor’s emerges wearing an old Houston Astros cap and

 

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enigmatic smile, Tyger innocently inquires.

“Where are the two kittens you got from MacLand.”

“Ahhh, ahh. They are around somewhere playing I imagine,”

Armor’s replies. The topic is dropped like a sad oyster sack.

Mac gathers momentum and jump-starts Armor’s engine as the

terribly terrific trio finally achieve escape velocity. Out, out, and

about brief candles; all systems go, A-O.K. for blast off.

Armor’s finally locks the front door.

Mac loads the kiddies into the MacVan headed for the festival.

The New Orleans Jazz Club started the Jazz and Heritage

Festival in the mid 1960’s as a small affair for jazz purists. It

was held in Congo Square where the slaves were allowed to play

their old world music on Sunday.

Congo Square — later renamed Louis Armstrong Park — was

situated just off Rampart Street. It straddled a quadrilateral

design fronted by the Iberville Projects on one side and

clockwise by St. Louis Cemetery, the Vieux Carre and what used to

be Storyville — the scandalous Red Light District closed by

authorities in 1917 because it was too rough for the conscript

soldiers. Now commercial properties stretched up to and along Canal Street.

Initial festivals were frequented by jazz superstars of

the pre-rock era like cornetist Johnny Wiggs (real name: John

Wigginton Hyman, mechanical drawing instructor at Fortier High

 

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School) and Dr. Edmund Souchon–guitar playing obstetrician; as

well as the pre-Elvis pre-Beatles galaxy of old-line and now

obscure traditional jazz giants. Said festival evolved into New Orleans’

second major tourist attraction drawing the legions of losers from sites

worldwide to the New Orleans Fair Grounds and venues

all around the Crescent City.

Locals love the festival, too, despite the throngs of

ignoramuses from elsewhere in their face. It is tough to avoid

having fun given the amazing quantities of great food, music, and

— for the lame of heart — crafts, available throughout the two week affair.

Mac guides his portable world along South Jefferson Davis

Avenue, across Canal Street and finally to the Gentilly area

where beckons the traditional Mac gang parking site along Mystery

Street. No mystery to that spot. One must be careful about parking as the city,

true to its rip-off leadership, has amassed an armada of meter maids and tow trucks

ready to do everybody a favor by enforcing beyond imaginable strictness

their money making parking regulation scam.

Who do those corrupt grafting New Orleans politicians that

buy votes, get themselves fraudulently elected, take free trips

on developer ‘s money, believe they are fooling?

 

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For Jazz Fest anyway, they are fooling with tourists and

locals alike. Tow-trucks are floating like butterflies and

stinging like bees as they surreptitously sneak off with

unsuspecting jazz lovers vehicles, thereby ruining someone’s post

Jazz Fest once-uplifted demeanor.

Mac parks the van carefully measuring off the 20 feet from

the curb’s end in order to comply with the most arbitrarily

rendered, and commonly ticketed, rule.

“We are safe here,” Tyger concludes, “probably,” as Mac

continues pondering. “Although sometimes they give you a ticket

no matter how ‘legally’ you park. I got a ticket the other day

for parking in my driveway. ”

“What do you think?” Mac asks Armor’s for a third opinion.

“Dunno. you never know,” Armor’s sez. “Good enough for me,” Mac pez.

Armor’s has taken a small hit of LSD from the secret

compartment of his mechanical pencil. He slyly rolls the paper

blotter on his tongue before swallowing. “All set,” he says. Blast off.”

The terrible three join the crowd as it gathers streams of

steam along the beaten path in the general unspecific direction

of the Fair Grounds. Trucks tow to the right of them, groups of fellow travelers

gaggle to the left. The smell of sun block and tanning cream

blots out the natural Aroma of honeysuckle and willow root

 

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or whatever that is, along the way. Mystery Street reveals Esplanade Avenue

by the Whole Earth Food Store and Cafe Degas. Streaming personality

disorders become roaring ocean waves pummeling Fair Grounds shores.

Turning right, the trio follows the river past the high outer fence,

past the street of bus fumes ahem, ahem, and to the side

of the pedestrian gate. Cough, cough, gee whiz, oh what a thrill it is…

Mac applies additional sun screen due to depleting ozone layer

paranoia, probably not a bad idea as they glide, Clydes, not missing a beat.

Then, it is time to pay the piper in order to face the music.

The gang of three fork over the $8 toll, like the tide, rises every time; it takes in ’88

to join the select crowd of approximately many wading through metal turnstiles,

then plying along the wood plank walk-way. Shiver those timbers, m’lovelies.

About 50,000 comfy-bizarrely dressed fest junkies and fellow travelers

will traipse the same path that day. Come along and join them comrades,

as if you had a choice or wanted one. Colors sparkle in the mid-April sun.

After three days, the festival is heating up as is the Southeastern Louisiana weather.

Soaring like pelicanas above and beyond the throngs, the boys

 

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trek over the second longest stretch run in America’s dirt track

and onto the grassy infield. A perfect day for a perfect day to follow.

Armor’s has been walking very fast unsuccessfully attempting

to keep the masses from bumping him or otherwise blocking his

path. That is an impossible order, so he surrenders and waits for

Mac and Tyger by the first porta-lets — registered trademark? —

signaling a happy exit from work-a-day civilization.

“Hey you guys, Al Belleto is over at the Jazz Tent,” Tyger

reports, pouring over a program Mac has just purchased. “Al

Belleto?” Armor’s asks Tyger who has some knowledge of jazz

history garnered from working briefly at the local fake Jazz Archive.

“Yeah, man. He is Frank Sinatra’s favorite jazz saxophonist.” Tyger roars.

Mac laughs fairly unimpressed. “Yeah well. Let’s not miss

that. First we have to find some nourishment.

Then, we’ll check out Al Bell Etto.”

They fly past galaxies of spinning planets who cover the

universal infield over to Food Tent Two where Mac and Tyger grab

$2 “small” portions of Fried Potato Po-Boys, a weird sandwich of

french fries on french bread covered with thick brown gravy.

“Wow!” Mac shouts as he takes the first bite.

“That tastes great. You try.”

 

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He hands the messy sandwich to Armor’s who eyes it warily

then takes a mini-bite. “Hey, sort of OK. Maybe, I’ll get one later.”

Of course, he won’t. With so many food booths

with so many amazingly succulent dishes, each Jazz Fest

touring group can only sample a few items at any given appearance.

They are required by Jazz Fest law to buy small portions so

more items can be tried. That is the most efficient method to get

a full taste of the festival.

(Exceptions, however, are always permissible depending on

circumstances. For example, barbecued chicken from the Second

True Love Baptist Church ladies a few booths down at Food Tent

Two must be consumed in portions as large as possible due to

mind-blowing properties.)

Munching while they are crunching atop the trammeled earth,

Mac leads the official Jazz Fest appreciation society tour past

10,000 identically different fun junky planets across the

spaceways to the Al Belleto Experience, or whatever that is, at

the Uncle Ben’s Rice (corporate logo) Jazz Tent.

Well fest fans, Al Belleto’s easy brand of cool jazz is so laid back

he is not even close to breaking a sweat. A tenor

saxophone draped from his shoulder strap, Belleto breath snaps

his fingers just this side of narcosis as the group takes off,

 

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where? Why? And how? The Jazz Tent fills up as the noon-time sun

scorches the brown tan earth. Mac and Tyger gaze on, grandly unimpressed.

“This cat is beyond lame,” Tyger comments after sampling a near dead version of

“The World is Waiting for a Sunrise,” adding, “If he were any lamer, he could collect

legitimate insurance benefits.” Therefore, the gang must mosey on along, little doggies.

“We have to get over to Congo Square and check it out,”Mac announces

as Armor’s, off course, lingers. “You coming,” Mac adds.

“Yeah, just trying to figure out where that dude was coming from,”

Armor’s replies. “Guess from nowhere,” Mac says.

“What do you expect from Frank Sinatra’s favorite sax player,” Tyger notes.

“The boss probably too busy screwing Nancy Ray-Gun to notice

how lame this guy is. Good background music, maybe. Then, again…”

Congo Square is just past the porta-lets and omnipresent can kids.

(These are little black kids officially sanctioned to knock over anybody

or anything in their path as they retrieve discarded aluminum cans

for future recycling. It is sort of a scorched earth first environmental policy.)

The trendy African-American trading area and spiritually uplifting stage

used to be called Koindu Square when the festival was smaller

and closer to the real roots of jazz and Louisiana living.

 

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That was way back when none of the stages were afflicted with corporate logos.

Armor’s and Mac ignore the obvious while immersing

themselves in the higher karma of the Kambuka Collective. Tyger

must make a stand for what is right in this the place of ultimate truth.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

The Kambuka Collective finishes up with a shake, rattle, and

roll. Armor’s tosses a pebble at Roots who doesn’t pay attention.

“I know what you mean,” Armor’s notes. “He is stupid and ugly too. Never liked him.”

They walk by the rooted Badburns as Mac tries to be polite:

“Hey Roots. How’s it hanging?” Roots barely acknowledges the

greeting. What a rude motherfucker.

Mac tour paisley paces traces skipping merrily merrily

merrily onward soaring above the Fair Grounds rounds appreciating

one of the grand rewards of festival grazing. Or as Mac puts it:

“Check out those giant titties.. Yes!”

 

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Heard that right. That is correct, comrades. Checking out

the girls’ titties as they wear the skimpiest of outfits, if

that, represents a continuation of Carnival tradition, but in a

more tasteful manner. All sizes, shapes, and colors transport Mac

and the gang to girl-and-titty watching paradise.

“My favorite part of Jazz Fest,” Mac notes in glassy eyed

wonder . “Well, along with the music and food, of course.

Don’t tell Sarah I said that.”

Food Tent Three stops the boys dead in their tracks. What an

awesome aroma enveloping the immediate environs.

Soft Shell Crab Po-Boys, Key Lime Pie and Strawberry

Shortcake, Alligator Stew, Chicken with Tasso and, look, over

there. Mac has spotted a fortuitous opening in food riot ambiance.

“Come on. Follow me,” he issues general orders. “Look.

No line at the Crawfish Monica booth.”

Sure enough. Colonel Mac has landed a big one. A temporary

lull in the battle in front of the usually massive Crawfish Monica line.

“Three smalls,” Mac requests and passes the war booty along

to Tyger and Armor’s. “No way.” “Way.”

They continue by the lame Gospel Tent filled with leisure

clad tourists and whoever else pretends to like that good time

religious noise-nonsense. Then, past the WWL-Ray Ban Festival

 

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Stage where the big acts play. James Brown and Little Feat

are scheduled later that day. Over to the AT&T Economy Hall Tent

where traditional jazz establishes its niche. Tastes great, less filling.

Then, the boys pass the Travel New Orleans Lagniappe

Tent where Washboard Sam is holding forth, and the Spirit of

Louisiana Stage where Johnny J. and the Hitmen are whacking

the insane public with straight ahead rockabilly madness.

They fly O.J. Simpson airport commercialism style past the

masses of enthusiastic fun-seekers everywhere dancing, clapping,

eating, and passing a good time. Whooo — look out below.

This party is happening every which way and loose in the now

intense heat. “This sure beats Mardi Gras,” Tyger grasps between gasps.

A group here is drinking beer in Romulak-like quantities.

Over there, over there; a fat lady already has bought the farm.

She lies huddled in a meaty heap.

Blankets spread across every unoccupied piece of earth.

Large banners fly. Persons dressed in any imaginable and

borderline legal costume possible party the day away. Or like

Tyger and Armor’s in plain white t-shirts, they forget about

 

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their troubles, grooving with the infinite moment.

Armor’s flips on his shades. “Cool, man,” he

says. “Is it not time for Kidd Jordan, Al Fielder and the

Improvisational Arts Ensemble at the Jazz Tent?”

As a matter of fact, dear boy, it is.

The terribly terrific trio cuts across the Fair Grounds

infield to the large, cool blue with white trim canopied tent.

This combination of sun and fun seekers has raised the local

temperature to the approximate level of the planet Mercury.

A large throng congregates inside. However, it seems

likely from the blank visage of many of their faces that they

have entered merely to beat the oppressive heat. Unfortunately,

whatever the explanation, there do not seem to be any seats currently available.

“Shit,” Tyger notes as he surveys the scene. “I don’t see

anywhere to sit. I really want to concentrate on the greatest

saxophone player in the universe, Sir Kidd Jordan.”

“Don’t worry,” Mac soothes. “Most of these organisms will

devolve once Kidd gets going.”

Armor’s, quick as a cat despite his large frame, beats a fat

cow lady, her thick thighs pumping loudly, in a game of musical

chairs. “Aw gee,” sympathizes Armor’s from a seated position.

“Were you going to sit here?”

But Armor’s knows his tungsten. That fat bitch like half the

crowd exits as soon as Jordan starts blowing. They are not in it

 

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They are not in itfor the music.

So it begins. Blah blooh, blooie, blablooie, wonderful

avant tones of the great man who was knighted in France and

slighted, virtually unknown in New Orleans, his native land.

Unrecognized that is by the hoi polloi. A chosen few like

Tyger, Mac, and Armor’s are well aware that true genius has

captured the stage and for 45 minutes will hold them in his

mystical spell. This is contemporary spirit music for the

initiated by virtue of their enthusiasm.

Thank you sir knight. Play on and ignite a fire in our poor

dark souls with your all-illuminating light.

Those in the wanna-know lean ever so slightly forward like

small plants thirsting for a shining gro-lamp or sun. Every

nanosecond of Kidd and his compatriots — don’t forget the

fabulous Al Fielder on skins — grows a million shoots, flowers

the most potent buds, and drives consciousness towards fruition,

if that is ever fully possible.

Wawawawa, blooey blah, blah…Kidd is talking at you and me,

babe. He has attracted an all-star crowd in back of the tent

where the musicians congregate.

There stands the African Cowboy, Earl Turbinton, halting his

hobnobbing momentarily to catch an intricate solo. Over there

the good guys from Astral Project: Steve Masakowski, Johnny

Vidacovich, Jim Singleton, Hector Gallardo, and of course long

 

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lean Tony Dagradi, fellow sax traveler.

They groove along to the outer stars expanding,

smiling in subtle appreciation before politely applauding.

So do all others who are in secret configuration.

Kidd is at the top of his game. He knows

when it is time to rise and shine. He brings

that battery acid on high octane,

driving through the unknown universe

seeking the most significant calling possible,

and it replies beautifully.

Thank you Kidd, God is listening.

Thank you Kidd, center of the Milky Way.

Partaking you sweet, then sultry,

then slick and tough and far-out truth,

usually hidden, suddenly so fucking sublime.

Waa-waa-waa-ditty, bloop. Bla-bloop. Bla-waaaah…

Kidd raises his soprano saxophone to salute the crowd.

They respond in kind, rising as one massive wave

of rolling thunder acknowledging the master’s greatness.

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” they are longing for that moment

connecting with the most primal and advanced of humanly impossible sounds.

“Thank you!” “Wahwahwah!” “Thank You Kidd Jordan!”

“You are the greatest babe!” “Yoweee!”

(That is Mac raising his Jazz Tent top.)

Just another mind-blowing, mood enhancing,

consciousness altering forever moment

granted us by the true king of New Orleans,

 

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a monarch greater than any odd Rex or even Comus.

Highest order of France bestowed him, and now, in this humble

space of time, a rich and finally honored prophet joyously

affirming man’s infinite possibilities.

Take it not as lightly as the fatass Ray-Gun shrubbery who

gave us the generation of greed, and despair. They are propelled

away from the universal magical moment by entropy

rendering them irrelevant.

They feel the cattle-like prod and need to sink to the

lowest level of feces-in-life probable. They dial counter-programming

at the WNOE/Tostitos Stage where some lame pseudo-cajun faux

zydeco band is playing shit they can sort of comprehend.

One redneck mother in a “Just Say to No to Drugs” t- shirt

exits unimpressed, saying “I don’t know what all the fuss

is about. I play better than that. He wasn’t even playing a song.”

Perhaps we came from the primordial shit. Perhaps we are

 

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going nowhere fast. Perhaps. Perhaps.

But for a magnificent molecular moment stopped in time,

through a wondrous black hole in which all indecision and fear

completely vanish; pure beauty, joy, and hope for all of future

generations remain in its wake.

Yes. Yes we can. Just say yes, baby. Kidd points his crafty

fingers at other members of the group kicking off an awesome

interpretation of a sacred incantation translated for modern ears

to enthrall. Thank you sir. We are your servants in truth forever.

Snap the picture, comrades in art. Kidd and his group

finish their set to a half-filled Jazz Tent, applause, applause

acknowledging a new age with the force of many new suns exploding.

“Wow,” finally Mac can speak. “That was a Jazz Fest moment.”

“Whoo, baby,” Tyger affirms. “What an incredible experience.”

Over to the side of the tent Armor’s has discovered a new

world, in this case a Mr. Milty he presumes, who slipped in

during the performance, likewise standing stuck by awe in place

cascading from the spaceways. They are jawboning.

Over to the other side, a few seekers of ultimate truth aside

a few dotards who are only there to appear to be cool.

“Oh yeah,” Tyger points out one despicable cur of the latter variety.

“There lies Heave Broward. I guess he is looking for a way

to steal our fun again.”

 

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Heave salivates over one cute blonde following her like a

labrador retrieving. “I wonder what he’s saying,” Tyger asks

rhetorically. Then sarcastically imitating, “You … are … the …

prettiest … girl … here.”

Yep, just another fantastic Jazz Fest moment. Mac and Tyger

return to Congo Square swimming like trout upriver to spawn on

the continuing river of sounds and sights spectacular.

The tall men walk nearby along a concrete path. Boy, are

they tall, walking on stilts surrounded by smaller interplanetary parties.

Mac and Tyger drink their weight in sweet tea and beer.

Mac grabs an Omar’s pie on the way over as Tyger jokes with Omar,

the pie guy himself, in the flesh.

“I hope these profits don’t have to go to the IRS.” Tyger

says as Omar, tres cool, nods his head and laughs. “Not to

mention IRS Inc.,” Tyger adds in a secret joke beyond Omar’s ken.

(Internal Revenue Service agents had bogusly seized Omar’s

pie stock claiming he owed back taxes. Then, the genius Ray-Gun

government agents sold his $1.50 pies on Camp Street outside the

U.S. Courthouse for 20 cents each.)

Congo Square is the usual happening galaxy as Hector

Gallardo and his Songo All Stars sway the crowd with Latin

 

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percussion brilliance. All sorts of hippy-like chicks in tried-and-

true-tie-dyed outfits dance mechanically maniacally on the

grass while Mac and Tyger stand nearby smoking the same as

removed from the Altoids box. A great time is had by all.

Then, over to Food Tent One where the dangerous duo

partakes of Seafood Au Gratin, Spinach-Artichoke Casserole, and

yum yum sweet potato pone. “Aay-iie!” Mac screams after

finishing a small portion blackened fish. “Aay-iie!” Tyger

concurs after completely downing the greatest Key Lime pie

confection ever concocted.

Food business taken care of tastefully, they wander past

the WWL-Rayban Festival Stage because Mac wants to sample Little

Feat for a few minutes. Not because he is a fan, or anything even

close, but because they are supposed to be one of the top acts of

the day. Part of Mac’s annual Jazz Fest’s manifest destiny

is to walk by the so-called name acts, so he can tell people later how bad

as in bad; horrible, shitty, the worst, they are.

Simply standard part of Jazz Fest procedure.

The area overflows with thousands of Little Feat enthusiasts

attempting to approximate an experience already perfected by such

as Kidd Jordan. Very lame crowd indeed as Little Feat

stink. Next time, maybe, they won’t take off their shoes.

Back to home base, the Jazz Tent. Henry Butler Trio

serenades the audience with a tasteful blend of traditional

 

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and avant garde jazz mixed with interesting New Orleans R&B

choruses. Butler on the ivories. The blind pianist likewise glistens.

The boys find a nice pair of plastic chairs in the middle of

the tent, settling in for bassist Charlie Hayden’s Quartet West

which follows, playing the same type of music with a harder bebop

edge sans New Orleans allusions. Simply fantastic.

The crowd of true jazz lovers goes Willie Wonka bonkers

when they finish playing. Armor’s finds his way back to the center of the universe.

He joins the group for the last Jazz Tent act of the day, clarinetist

Alvin Batiste leading a final affirmation of jazz brilliance.

Again, a great musical act in which he pays homage to old

New Orleans jazz tradition with a blow-you-away and in-your-face

version of “High Society,” followed by “Ole Miss.” Both versions

have been Batistely updated for contemporary sensibilities to appreciate.

Getting on about 7 p.m. when the Batiste group ends its

performance. Sun setting on a vast plane of music, food,

crafts lovers and their fellow just plain fun seeking friends.

Everyone is in a jovial mood for the festival, as always,

has been a roaring success. It’s as as close to heaven as we shall ever

 

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come in this life, thereby sufficing tremendously.

As all things must, so too does this wonderful celebration of fun

like a lovely dream pass into historical record. The boys

float away as n a dream from the Fair Grounds,

back on the time-worn path to Mystery Street,

Mac’s awaiting minivan preparing to return them to reality.

Shine and set, then, friends.

That night, fueled by the inspiring karma of the festival’s magical moments,

Mac and his buddies pound out the finest beats imaginable.

They rock the dead souls at the mortuary next door,

rolling in the greatest vibes available until dawn.

A wonderful day has passed in a wonderful way,

yet remains as a beacon of light in the window of recollection

returning as misty-eyed memories again and again.

That is the path to freedom shining brightly brightly

through the space-time night.

It is up to you, comrades of the sacred monumental

moment, never to forget.

The boys of Jazz Fest certainly won’t.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Unfortunately, Tyger is broke and can’t attend the second Jazz Fest weekend.

He makes the best of it with karmic daydreams at Audubon Park’s lake.

Following this interlude, Tyger is sent on the wrong assignment by Jack LaFleur,

Dorothy’s dipsy husband. Then, Tyger sets up on a case in Gretna and

takes a memorable ferry ride across the river.

Finally, Armor’s pitches in and returns Tyger to the surveillance scene.

The investigator reviews and logs the tape of strange Subject activity.

 

CHAPTER 22

“IN THE RIGHT PLACE, MUST HAVE BEEN THE WRONG TIME”

 

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Darn. Back to the same old lame old reality selection. That

is the way it going going goes, apologies to baseball announcers everywhere.

Another day passes and another in alarmingly swift fashion.

Therefore, comrades, put on and take off your easter bonnets.

That sucker is solid gold gone.

Second weekend of Jazz Fest is the same great fun-fess.

However,  Tyger can not participate. He still has not straightened out

his finances, probably never will. He has been working with fair

to good frequency, true; but was so far behind in

earthly expenses he can barely afford to touch the financial ground.

This is an unacceptable Jazz Fest recusal to the big Mac

attack, but not much a poor boy can do about a world

uninspired. Mac rounds up another batch of suspects doing his

thing during the second weekend almost same as the first.

A Jazz Fest exile sits at home watching Cubs and

Braves games as consolation prizes. Actually, the stay at home

lofestyle is not half bad. Uptown seems devoid of personality

disorders, thereby making living easier.

Tyger busies himself after baseball viewing by going to

 

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places usually prohibited by weekend laws. P.J’s on Maple Street

apparently has been evacuated. He sits in front drinking coffee,

watching the stray vehicle or two mistakenly rolling around Uptown.

An evidential pleasant diversion swears terrific testimony.

Strolling along Maple Street likewise becomes a positive

experience this late dog day afternoon. No assholes being walked

by brain dead pets. No kids. No noise. A peaceful vacuum fills spring void.

Finally, the ultimate of amazing occurrences. Tyger goes

shopping, shopping until he is dropping which does not take long.

A jaunt to Langenstein’s to make overpriced groceries. A joust

with the windows Allons-y upper Magazine Street.

Rather predictable results. Like at Lake Forest Mall, try as

Tyger might to shop, there seems to be nothing material he wants.

Tyger promises himself a special low-priced purchase to

take the edge off of missing Jazz Fest. No sale. Cha-ching not.

Nor ba-da-bing, babies. Nada nada nada.

Everything displayed in the bookstore, antique store, art

gallery, knick-knack store, hobby shop, is the same old made in

America cheesy junk product. What else would one expect from the

Age of Ray-Gun crap factory?

Where are some well made Japanese goods when one wants them?

 

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Tyger laughs when he thinks of that. Take that, trade

deficit. No making it wider, this holiday from holiday non Jazz

Fest personal celebration.

Tyger surveys the scene natural; blue skies, no crows,

beautiful lake at Audubon Park by the botanical garden, just off

the golf course ripe for the solitary dreamer. “Fore!” Tyger

yells as he flips rocks into dazzling aquamarine waters.

Rippling circles widen like the universe expanding after a

deity’s intervention. Tyger is in charge here and now. Don’t

the sitting ducks on the pond know it. They quack crackle hop to

the far side of the moon.

Tyger represents a benevolent presence this quiet dog day

afternoon. He lays back laid back while sitting at a picnic table

by the park gazebo, scene of the 1884 Cotton Exposition, now a

sightseeing shore. It is a great day to have a great day.

On to Kinderhook, O.K.

Amazing colors are like space-time prisms relatively astral

projecting to another galaxy resplendent where they have yet to

hear of Star Dreck.

So close and yet so far. A tugboat wails along the river.

Birds squeak nearby in the oak trees accompanied by squirrels

scurrying for higher cover. Crooked men float above the nearby

neutral ground in neutral moods.

Tyger’s endless tape loop wraps around the world at large.

Comrades of the sacred moment, Tyger is a collection of molecules

 

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splitting and reforming each moment with force exploded.

The detective might seem like a walking neutron bomb to the

likes of Dill Pickle and the myriad other insurance frauds.

He resembles force at rest at this particular juncture

in the never-ending story.

Thusly, Tyger continues his special mind’s eye surveillance of

poor lost thoughts sunk in a brain not as nice as Audubon Park to

know. Grant him a moment of introspection before he resumes the

natural progression of existential information.

A dreamer dreams beyond the ever-more. It goes, sings Patti

Smith at CBGB’s-OMFUG, like this:

 

Comrades have washed upon these unkempt shores only to be

consumed completely.

Here lies land’s end where one can fall off

or be saved, depending

on random intervention by fate, undertow,

whatever force acknowledged.

 

Hail to the valiant comrades who have suffered and lost,

never suffered, never lost;

dastardly piggies, great thinkers through time.

All the same, all dissolving

into circles on the lake,

covered by time.

 

Hidden by the same blanket of darkness;

illuminated by a most beautiful sunset,

or not,

all alone at empty picnic tables.

Here comes the untergang, the plague, the cessation of being,

a Caesarian section.

 

It’s all the same.

Snap your fingers, snap crackle pop your

cereal; leave the surveillance of nothingness

to experts.

Leave it to those who expect, deliver,

and receive nothing.

 

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Drop two dissimilar rocks into the lake,

smile as they dissolve into nothingness.

We are bound even in the most bountiful of lands

by such a nothingness.

Cry wolf. Cry enough.

Cry nothing.

 

Good grief. Ruminations of a foolish inmate in this

coming hothouse of universal disorder. Tyger tyres of his

grid-locked diversion. He is a foolish sack of dreams whiling away

the future with hopes unhinged.

Therefore, Tyger person leaves the park sleep-walking

while theoretically awake, passing this way for a sacred

monumental moment, then dissolving into a hallowed differential

of space-time.

Take another hit, baby, of sweet air filled with blunt reefer.

Tyger huffs, he puffs, and blows the joint down. No one is

available to question his absolute authority.

Feel better? Time has stopped. Tyger feels small, then tall,

then small again and ever so silly. Groovy white rabbit.

Good shit like this makes a person feel as good as President

Ray-Gun when one of his buddies knocks over a couple of million

saving and loans institutions. (Dynamite stuff, by the way obtained

from Ray-Gun’s personal psychic connection.

 

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Bonzo’s buddy must get high constantly to act

the way he does screwing the nation if he actually wields

power, highly theoretical at this point — while Nancy screws

the real boss, Sinatra, according to tabloid and memoir accounts.

Later Iran-Contra testimony definitively shows Ray-Gun

had no control over any governmental function not dictated

by sphincter muscle. He seems convincing, claiming to

remember nothing about his presidency. He never would have left

Hollywood if he were that good an actor.)

What does it matter? The greedy era of Ray-Gun and his

buddies is best left like the terror of the Khmer Rouge for

history to judge. They form equal and opposite reactions of the same equation.

Therefore, in his best dialectical rationale, Tyger flips

the album to something more amenable. He falls captive to that

beautiful Spanish dancer, fawn brown eyes, slender buttocks,

light dress flowing in waves down to the brown ground.

She glides like a dinky dark moth becoming madame butterfly

tapping at Tygertown’s right temple. Then naked, just say yes

baby! Poosh, implosion, gone. Tyger’s dream disintigrates

like the El Avion plane of future terrorist targets disappearing

from a radar screen.

 

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Strange voice leaps on the picnic table like a dispossessed bunny

rabbit-sized squirrel, Professor Irwin Corey style mocking

startled subject, Tyger Williams. “Follow me, m’kinder.

Follow me home,” it cries.

Whoa poppa. Tyger slaps himself with the awful truth

no beautiful dancer in sight, just a poor boy whose

limited attention span is wandering and wondering.

Tyger chills as Francois Truffuat might, magically turning

day to night. Mere trifle for a “genius” mind.

A higher force turns night back to day. So forth and so

on until the working week begins again in earnest.

A few days later, Tyger finds himself on the road to the LSU

Dentistry School at 1100 Florida Boulevard. Sorry comrades, not

for a much needed dental check-up, but on yet another

silly surveillance assignment.

This time Tyger is supposed to sit in the large main waiting

area and wait for the subject, Pearly Mae Spencer,

African-American, 46 years old, married, four children, 5’2″, 230 pounds.

Stop. She should not be too hard to pick up, so to speak,

because that is one large Marge of a — Jerry Lewis voice —

laid-eeeeee…

Here are the grim details of the investigation.

Tyger sets up the black box system, recently remanded back

into custody, in his vehicle at the outside parking lot with

close-up lens zoomed on the large building’s front door and

 

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immediate asphalt vicinity. This should provide the proper

picture of Mrs. Spencer as she buffalo soldiers into the phacility.

The where is the beef Ms. Spencer is reported to be

suffering the pain and agony of a bad knee injured in a terrible

tumble outside a neighborhood grocery store.

Maybe it is true. Sure. Then again, who knows? Tyger is

being paid to discover, Paul Harvey voice, the rest of the story .

Tyger Tyger burning bright takes a still camera

which he slides under his plastic seat. He pretends to be

engrossed in the latest lying issue of the Slimes-Picayune.

Now, there is a good joke.

Looky, looky gumshoedrop, the Slimes mongers have the

wrong date on the top of the front page. No, guys, ’tis not

May 5, 1899. It is May 5, 1988. Get a clue. You would think they

could at least get the century right.

Of course, the next day they will run a retraction buried in

the metro section beneath the obituaries. Class act, these

deadheads.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. Tick tick tock tock.

Tyger lingers past the 1 p.m. appointment Ms. Spencer

allegedly has at the dentist’s building.

Dorothy has taken the day off to conduct personal business.

The location was passed down the line to Tyger by her husband,

Jack LeFleur, who is home alone. How could anything go wrong, ugh.

 

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Hmmm. More tick, more tock, not; nothing, neither way Laertes breath.

Phat lady hasn’t sung this soap opera over. Maybe someone screwed up

the surveillance location. Could it be …

“Ahh, yeah dude. I”m the middle-man today. Dorothy had to go

off with her mother to do some baby stuff shopping. What’s the

good word.”

“Well Jack,” Tyger news flashes, “The subject is supposed to

be at a 1 p.m. orthopedic surgeon”s office. But I happen to be

waiting for the subject at the LSU Dentistry Building. What is

wrong with this picture?”

“Ahhh, wait a second dude. Let me look up something,” Jack

says as da voice disappears from their pay umbilical chord. It

is 2 p.m., time for the soap opera “General Hospital,”

not this tired waste of time.

Finally, Jack returns to the line, hooking a big one.

“Ahhh, dude. Dude. Know what. Thought it was the

orthodontist. l’m such an idiot sometimes.

“What do you know,” Tyger says. “LSU Medical Center at 1 p.m. for the

Orthopedic surgeon. Not LSU Dentistry Center. It’s right here in

black and white.”

“Aw man,” Jack, flat as a hat, continues.

“Medical Center is all the way Downtown.”

“I know.”

“Sorry, my man. You can see how I mixed it up.”

“Right.”

“You don’t think she is still down there? Do you, dude? Do you?”

“Not in this lifetime.”

 

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“Damn. Dotty is going to be all over me like red beans on rice.”

“Right.”

“I guess we better call it a day.”

“Guess so. I’ll check in with Dorothy later.”

“Damn.” (Dumb.)

End of Assignment.

 

Next up, the following Monday bright and early, Waldo B.

Utley Gretna insurance scam scum lifestyle. He has a bad back

allegedly resulting from a spill off a motorcycle. But he was

wearing a helmet, so there. Safety first and all that jazz.

Tyger drives by the Utley pad about 8 a.m. checking it

out for camera angles. It is a small blue with yellow trim house

in a lower middle class area just southwest of the Gretna Ferry.

Looks like the same old same old.

In this case, Tyger has been instructed to leave the system

running while keeping a sharp eye on it, and the Utley abode, for

about an hour. That way he can assume an active follow by car

maneuver should the subject leave for,

(Thanks, Maynard G. Krebs brain.)

heaven forfend — WORK! WORK!.

The presumption will be Utley is unemployed if he has not

moved by about 9:15 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. at the latest.

Then, Tyger is to to leave the area, retrieving the system

after five, or so, hours. Dorothy wants him to review the tape

before submitting it, and his report, the following day.

Like the usual case of flu, therefore, Tyger flutters in the

 

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neighborhood’s lungs. He waits for a while at a nearby corner bus

stop. Hey, one never knows who might pass by the Jefferson Parish

psychic swamp this fresh spring day.

Maybe Ann Margaret, Princess Margaret, or Jane Snowden an

obscure and smashing British actress who played the ingenue in an

equally obscure movie “French Lesson” and for whom Tyger has a

passionate crush will stop, notice the mysterious stranger,

and give him a lift. (Yeah, right. Dream on. Get a life. Etc.)

A couple of busses pass. Drivers open doors. Tyger

politely declines their indifferent invites. Diverse drivers depart

the scene looking perplexed.

Seeking to avoid further suspicion, Tyger wanders

about the neighborhood for a while enjoying the healthful

benefits of physical exercise. Surveillance continues with

negative subject activity.

Tyger looks inside his mother the car to confirm all

systems are operating effectively. That is a big a-go-go,

mission control. Investigative capsule blasts off like the

Space Shuttle Discovery. He wishes himself a hardy bon voyage,

and a fat g’day to Mr. Utley.

Irony is but a literary affectation, so therefore shall we

say coincidentally, Tyger decides to take public transportation,

returning Uptown to home base. He wanders in wonder past empty fields

littered with garbage and who knows what faded memories, crossing

 

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railroad tracks on Gretna’s always less than fashionable

lower than sea level east side.

Quick jaunt over to the Gretna Ferry, running on a

non-specific schedule across the Mississippi River below the

crescent to Jackson Avenue in the emerald city.

No ferry in sight, not even close.

Nothing in New Orleans ever runs efficiently. That is part

of the charm of being the only resident Third World Banana

Republic of the United States.

(Rebublic? Not when Edwin Edwards was governor.)

Deserted ferry terminal absolutely reeks of piss and

human excrement. Cochon. Yet, nary a pig in sight.

Tyger returns outside, sits on the grassy knoll, waiting

10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes…

Geez, what is the story already?

A thin reed of a black man, around 50, 60, or 70 years old,

dealer’s choice, take youse pick, stops by.

s”Yeah. They said there wasn’t no boat today.”

“What?” Tyger asks fairly pissed off. “The ferry always runs.

What do you mean not running today?”

“That’s what the. man said,” the ancient — mariner? —

replies. “He said river too high. Ain’t no running.” Ohhh-key.

“Thanks for the upfake,” Tyger replies.

A skeptical soul by design, as well as recent potty training, and

having no alternative, Tyger hangs around another 15 minutes.

 

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Then, a loud horn blow, and sure enough, hear that ferry

coming, coming around the riverbend, turning into view,

backing into the dock. That old guy was just like the dirty terminal inside,

full of piss and no vinegar. What else is new, que sera? Trust but

verify, possibly the only reasonable saying ever uttered by Ray-Gun.

Uniformed ferry worker ropes the boat dockside.

Snatches back the long steel chain preventing potential

passengers from jumping in the river and being swept away.

He accomplishes that task with studied nonchalance.

Hasn’t lost a passenger yet. At least that he knows of.

Ah, hubris, always a first time.

Vehicles on board roll off the deck on to the

wooden planks leading to West Bank River Road wrapping like

a water moccasin around the protection levee.

They are rolling rolling rolling rawhide.

Look out below.

A few dirty dozen passengers, mainly African-Americans

although a white college student-aged bicyclist counts among

their number, amble off as if they have just completed a scenic

cruise through the Caribbean. How sweet, cue the Love Boat theme.

All aboard who are going to be bored once outgoing traffic

dissipates. Again, same verse just like the first,

the orange jump suit crowd of blase’ ferry employees wave

along vehicles and their river crossing slaves Aye aye sirs.

This nondemoninational procession of Ford, Chevy Blazer,

 

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Toyota Camry, indeterminate makes and models of decrepit wrecks

still salvageable, proceed en masse until the ferry has been

circled by a veritable bonanza of wagons, car, and vans.

Banzai, y’all.

Tyger embarks along with three black women who have

magically materialized despite the ancient one’s warning. In

other words, the savvy ferry crowd have assumed their rightful

place in historical perspective.

No need to reach into those shallow pockets either, comrades

in water transportation. The ferry is one of the few items in New

Orleans that is free. At least at that point in time.

A free ride takes the edge off of hard wooden benches on

which these earthbound birds perch. Brian Ferry swings back

to conform to the river currents, darting across thick brown

soupy sales waters.

A grand view of the greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area in

the bright distance sticks in place like a glossy postcard image

shimmering in the mid-morning sun. White skyline holds a

pretty picture Kodak moment contrasting favorably with the

slow as a tortoise barge traffic and more upscale riverboats

floating on the Big Muddy.

Sweet river air, too, breezily blows past a reflective

Tyger. Life at such a moment becomes a calm collection of

collective imagery.

 

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Tyger loses himself in momentary contemplation. N’awlins as

concrete inanimate object of affectionate smiles, touching

an observer like a lover longing for small pleasures. The place

might be on to something if they could just get rid of those darn people.

The women of the ferry’s far dark corner are yap yak yatting

away far too loudly, mitigating Tyger’s blissful meditation.

Ah well, what ya gonna do? He tries to lift and

separate their idle chatter from delightful observation

like a bra off a pornographic image.

Same tyred story repeats along the river’s East Bank.

Vehicles depart followed by a few stragglers ejected into the

urban blight bordering on Jackson Avenue and Tchopitoulas Street.

A recently completed concrete sea wall lines the street

towards Uptown thereby blocking the once beautiful view of the

docks and river environment. They think of everything in this

half-baked excuse for a City That Care Forgot. No stopping,

shall we say, progress.

(Funny thing is the wall seems useless for actual protection

from flooding. It floods just the same anyway. A more likely

explanation for its construction is that somebody lined their

pockets. Welcome to politics as unfortunately usual in the Pig Sleazy.)

Tyger gets along little doggy walking the ever unpleasant

length of Jackson Avenue to Magazine Street where a bus will pass

along eventually. He steps lively over the endless accumulation

 

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of dog shit further blighting the sort of sidewalk.

The wandering detective glides by that ever radioactively retroactive

wasteland of broken glass and discarded rubble by the projects

that makes this part of the city look more like war-torn Beirut or the

moon than a quaint local tourist attraction. Just as well for any

tourists here would definitely be shot and mugged,

and we are not talking travel photography.

Tyger feels safety in daylight, walking over to the

scenic “Checks Cashed” and “Hard Liquor” corner of Magazine

Street hopping on a waiting bus. What do you know, convenience

for a change. He hands the bus driver 60 cents in return for safe passage.

Usual collection of bus riders, a gay mixture of old men

and women with a few youngsters thrown in for good measure. It is

a trip in another way too. Tyger is on the giving rather than

receiving end of the RTA black fume spewing society.

Finally, Tyger has returned to his lair . It is about noon so

he lights up a big one, settles back at the home television

fires, relaxes, observing the passing soap opera.

Aw shit on it. They recycled that damn amnesia plot for

the billionth time. Yeah right, amnesia is a very

common occurrence in modern day society.

Soapsuds who are impersonating writers of those shows should

be taken out in the countryside Khmer Rouge Sendero Luminoso

 

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fashion and, shall we say, re-educated. Tyger passes the time by

watching the show anyway. It is in his anti-social contract.

That is to say watches between lousy stinking

stupid commercials for which Tyger must always mute the sound.

Who do they think they are fooling anyway?

Wouldn’t have to advertise if the products were any good.

Even a moron like Roots Badburns must know that. Then

again … as Emily Litella is saying on the Comedy Channel’s

Saturday Night Live “encore presentation” at this precise

intersection of space-time, “neeeever mind.”

Tyger hangs around the home liars burning for a while until

“General Hospital.” He telephones Armor’s, who thankfully is

available, in order to finagle the currently underemployed artist

into giving him a lift to the West Bank.

Screw this public transportation stuff. Tyger has had about

his annual fill of that type of pilgrim’s progress.

Armor’s is a lot like a Louisiana politician in this regard.

He definitely can be bought, and not even for the right price.

The “for sale” sign always hangs prominently outside his

outstretched loafstyle.

The promise of two thick joints cinches the deal.That is a

bit below the going rate. Armor’s is being a good guy apparently.

“Hey hey hey, working a case are we?” Armor’s chimes in as

he breaks down the front door. Another parish heard from.

 

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“Here, take this,” Tyger replies handing the dear boy

a marijuana mutah cigarette.

Armor”s grabs a lung full of joy. “Thanks. I needed that.

Sure glad I gave up tobacco. Now I can really enjoy pot. Let me

know when you want to go. I am right on it baby.”

They return downstream about 3 p.m. This time the ferry

must be forsaken for the seemingly faster route across the

Greater New Orleans Bridge, steel span glistening in

mid-afternoon’s bright glare.

“Hey hey. You know what man?” Armor’s broaches a subject

beside the usual dissection of daily details. “I would like to

work on a case one of these days. The detectives ever have any openings?”

Ah, so that is his angle. “Sometimes, they need extra help

to be a ghost or something,” Tyger confirms. “They use someone on

a case and then they disappear like Casper. (Weinberger?)

“You never know. I’ll tell them about you when something like that comes up.”

“Alright man. I’m gonna get to be a detective just like Tyger. Outasight.”

Wafting like a zephyr across the West Bank Expressway and

down Manhattan Boulevard, Armor’s spots the Pho Tau Bay

Restaurant and Expressway Lanes.

“Hey man. Let’s get some Cafe Sua Da to go.”

 

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“Better not man,” Tyger replies. “I have to pull the car out

of the neighborhood. Maybe next time.”

Tyger instructs Armor’s to navigate around the choppy waters

determining the coast be clear; no nosy neighbors or subject

activity to interfere with retrieving the secret surveillance unit.

Or so it seems.

“Let me off down the block,” requests Tyger passing off the

Altoids box. “Thanks for the reef man,” Armor’s notes.

“No problem.”

“See you later alligator. I’m history.”

“Thanks again for the lift, Casper.”

Tyger wades into the Utley zone, recovering what is Tyger’s;

no more, no less. All quiet on the West Bank front.

He removes the towel covering the video recorder. The

machine is off, tape run to conclusion. Six sickly

hours of heaven knows what Mr. Allison to watch.

Tyger checks Slimes-Picayune television listings when he

returns home. Guess what’s on tap this evening before the daily

baseball game from the Left Coast at 9:30 p.m.

Why, the Utley family television special, of course.

Tyger considers this special must see TV. That’s entertainment.

Usual pre-game functions transpire. Tyger rewinds tape,

and ready, steady, go. Here is hoping a black cat hops

across Utley·s path, making him bend over, and not in the good way.

 

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The following is the log of Waldo Utley’s experiences for

bad luck Friday May 13, 1988:

 

At 9:42 a.m. the Subject carries large plastic garbage bags

stuffed with laundry to wife’s vehicle. She leaves.

At 10:51 a.m. until 11:06 a.m. an elderly white female

arrives by car and speaks with the Subject who crouches on

the porch.

At 11:06 a.m. until 11:12 a.m. Clear identifying picture of

the Subject sitting on his porch.

At 11:55 a.m. two white males, in their twenties, arrive in

a green car with white roof.

At 12:14 p.m. brief shot of the Subject retrieving mail.

At 12:17 p.m. the Subject’s wife returns with the laundry.

The Subject carries the laundry bag from the car to the

porch.

At 12:55 p.m. the white males leave. The Subject picks up

the child with one hand then lifts him up to the porch.

At 2:35 p.m. two black males, late twenties or early

thirties, arrive at the house by car and speak with the

Subject. The Subject jumps off the porch and joins them

in their vehicle.

At 2:40 p.m. the Subject and the black males walk in the yard,

 

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At 2:49 p.m. the Subject hops into his vehicle and backs

it into his driveway.

At 2:56 p.m. the black males leave area.

End of tape.

 

Hmm. Firstly, Waldo B. Utley is in fine condition.

As usual, bad back, his bad ass. He is in better shape than Tyger,

Armor’s or anyone. That part of the case seems easily resolved.

Secondly, however, Utley appears to be engaged in another

activity with which Tyger is acquainted somewhat. He seems to be

dealing drugs. Not much question about that.

Tyger labels the tape. He writes up the final report,

leaving off the drug business. Dorothy can pick that out for

herself, comment to the client or not.

All the same to Tyger Williams. He has bigger fish to fry.

Thus concludes the day’s surveillance. Friday night and all

is as always was in and around the Crescent City. They are probably

partying the house down at the Utley residence. Tourists walking

mindlessly up and down Bourbon Street.

Tyger watches the Cubs-Dodgers game, falling asleep at half

past one in the morning. Nothing else to do that night.

 

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Another day, another 9.5 hours investigative time, 27 miles

and $5.89 for videotape for a total of $106.29 in billable costs.

Another night, restful and blissful ignorance knowing

that at least one American worker did a good job today.

Sleep tight, dear Tyger, for tomorrow is another day.

That much, the future always promises and delivers.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Unfortunately, Tyger is broke and can’t attend the second Jazz Fest weekend.

He makes the best of it with karmic daydreams at Audubon Park’s lake.

Following this interlude, Tyger is sent on the wrong assignment by Jack LaFleur,

Dorothy’s dipsy husband. Then, Tyger sets up on a case in Gretna and

takes a memorable ferry ride across the river.

Finally, Armor’s pitches in and returns Tyger to the surveillance scene.

The investigator reviews and logs the tape of strange Subject activity.

 

CHAPTER 22

“IN THE RIGHT PLACE, MUST HAVE BEEN THE WRONG TIME”

 

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Darn. Back to the same old lame old reality selection. That

is the way it going going goes, apologies to baseball announcers everywhere.

Another day passes and another in alarmingly swift fashion.

Therefore, comrades, put on and take off your easter bonnets.

That sucker is solid gold gone.

Second weekend of Jazz Fest is the same great fun-fess.

However,  Tyger can not participate. He still has not straightened out

his finances, probably never will. He has been working with fair

to good frequency, true; but was so far behind in

earthly expenses he can barely afford to touch the financial ground.

This is an unacceptable Jazz Fest recusal to the big Mac

attack, but not much a poor boy can do about a world

uninspired. Mac rounds up another batch of suspects doing his

thing during the second weekend almost same as the first.

A Jazz Fest exile sits at home watching Cubs and

Braves games as consolation prizes. Actually, the stay at home

lofestyle is not half bad. Uptown seems devoid of personality

disorders, thereby making living easier.

Tyger busies himself after baseball viewing by going to

 

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places usually prohibited by weekend laws. P.J’s on Maple Street

apparently has been evacuated. He sits in front drinking coffee,

watching the stray vehicle or two mistakenly rolling around Uptown.

An evidential pleasant diversion swears terrific testimony.

Strolling along Maple Street likewise becomes a positive

experience this late dog day afternoon. No assholes being walked

by brain dead pets. No kids. No noise. A peaceful vacuum fills spring void.

Finally, the ultimate of amazing occurrences. Tyger goes

shopping, shopping until he is dropping which does not take long.

A jaunt to Langenstein’s to make overpriced groceries. A joust

with the windows Allons-y upper Magazine Street.

Rather predictable results. Like at Lake Forest Mall, try as

Tyger might to shop, there seems to be nothing material he wants.

Tyger promises himself a special low-priced purchase to

take the edge off of missing Jazz Fest. No sale. Cha-ching not.

Nor ba-da-bing, babies. Nada nada nada.

Everything displayed in the bookstore, antique store, art

gallery, knick-knack store, hobby shop, is the same old made in

America cheesy junk product. What else would one expect from the

Age of Ray-Gun crap factory?

Where are some well made Japanese goods when one wants them?

 

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Tyger laughs when he thinks of that. Take that, trade

deficit. No making it wider, this holiday from holiday non Jazz

Fest personal celebration.

Tyger surveys the scene natural; blue skies, no crows,

beautiful lake at Audubon Park by the botanical garden, just off

the golf course ripe for the solitary dreamer. “Fore!” Tyger

yells as he flips rocks into dazzling aquamarine waters.

Rippling circles widen like the universe expanding after a

deity’s intervention. Tyger is in charge here and now. Don’t

the sitting ducks on the pond know it. They quack crackle hop to

the far side of the moon.

Tyger represents a benevolent presence this quiet dog day

afternoon. He lays back laid back while sitting at a picnic table

by the park gazebo, scene of the 1884 Cotton Exposition, now a

sightseeing shore. It is a great day to have a great day.

On to Kinderhook, O.K.

Amazing colors are like space-time prisms relatively astral

projecting to another galaxy resplendent where they have yet to

hear of Star Dreck.

So close and yet so far. A tugboat wails along the river.

Birds squeak nearby in the oak trees accompanied by squirrels

scurrying for higher cover. Crooked men float above the nearby

neutral ground in neutral moods.

Tyger’s endless tape loop wraps around the world at large.

Comrades of the sacred moment, Tyger is a collection of molecules

 

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splitting and reforming each moment with force exploded.

The detective might seem like a walking neutron bomb to the

likes of Dill Pickle and the myriad other insurance frauds.

He resembles force at rest at this particular juncture

in the never-ending story.

Thusly, Tyger continues his special mind’s eye surveillance of

poor lost thoughts sunk in a brain not as nice as Audubon Park to

know. Grant him a moment of introspection before he resumes the

natural progression of existential information.

A dreamer dreams beyond the ever-more. It goes, sings Patti

Smith at CBGB’s-OMFUG, like this:

 

Comrades have washed upon these unkempt shores only to be

consumed completely.

Here lies land’s end where one can fall off

or be saved, depending

on random intervention by fate, undertow,

whatever force acknowledged.

 

Hail to the valiant comrades who have suffered and lost,

never suffered, never lost;

dastardly piggies, great thinkers through time.

All the same, all dissolving

into circles on the lake,

covered by time.

 

Hidden by the same blanket of darkness;

illuminated by a most beautiful sunset,

or not,

all alone at empty picnic tables.

Here comes the untergang, the plague, the cessation of being,

a Caesarian section.

 

It’s all the same.

Snap your fingers, snap crackle pop your

cereal; leave the surveillance of nothingness

to experts.

Leave it to those who expect, deliver,

and receive nothing.

 

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Drop two dissimilar rocks into the lake,

smile as they dissolve into nothingness.

We are bound even in the most bountiful of lands

by such a nothingness.

Cry wolf. Cry enough.

Cry nothing.

 

Good grief. Ruminations of a foolish inmate in this

coming hothouse of universal disorder. Tyger tyres of his

grid-locked diversion. He is a foolish sack of dreams whiling away

the future with hopes unhinged.

Therefore, Tyger person leaves the park sleep-walking

while theoretically awake, passing this way for a sacred

monumental moment, then dissolving into a hallowed differential

of space-time.

Take another hit, baby, of sweet air filled with blunt reefer.

Tyger huffs, he puffs, and blows the joint down. No one is

available to question his absolute authority.

Feel better? Time has stopped. Tyger feels small, then tall,

then small again and ever so silly. Groovy white rabbit.

Good shit like this makes a person feel as good as President

Ray-Gun when one of his buddies knocks over a couple of million

saving and loans institutions. (Dynamite stuff, by the way obtained

from Ray-Gun’s personal psychic connection.

 

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Bonzo’s buddy must get high constantly to act

the way he does screwing the nation if he actually wields

power, highly theoretical at this point — while Nancy screws

the real boss, Sinatra, according to tabloid and memoir accounts.

Later Iran-Contra testimony definitively shows Ray-Gun

had no control over any governmental function not dictated

by sphincter muscle. He seems convincing, claiming to

remember nothing about his presidency. He never would have left

Hollywood if he were that good an actor.)

What does it matter? The greedy era of Ray-Gun and his

buddies is best left like the terror of the Khmer Rouge for

history to judge. They form equal and opposite reactions of the same equation.

Therefore, in his best dialectical rationale, Tyger flips

the album to something more amenable. He falls captive to that

beautiful Spanish dancer, fawn brown eyes, slender buttocks,

light dress flowing in waves down to the brown ground.

She glides like a dinky dark moth becoming madame butterfly

tapping at Tygertown’s right temple. Then naked, just say yes

baby! Poosh, implosion, gone. Tyger’s dream disintigrates

like the El Avion plane of future terrorist targets disappearing

from a radar screen.

 

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Strange voice leaps on the picnic table like a dispossessed bunny

rabbit-sized squirrel, Professor Irwin Corey style mocking

startled subject, Tyger Williams. “Follow me, m’kinder.

Follow me home,” it cries.

Whoa poppa. Tyger slaps himself with the awful truth

no beautiful dancer in sight, just a poor boy whose

limited attention span is wandering and wondering.

Tyger chills as Francois Truffuat might, magically turning

day to night. Mere trifle for a “genius” mind.

A higher force turns night back to day. So forth and so

on until the working week begins again in earnest.

A few days later, Tyger finds himself on the road to the LSU

Dentistry School at 1100 Florida Boulevard. Sorry comrades, not

for a much needed dental check-up, but on yet another

silly surveillance assignment.

This time Tyger is supposed to sit in the large main waiting

area and wait for the subject, Pearly Mae Spencer,

African-American, 46 years old, married, four children, 5’2″, 230 pounds.

Stop. She should not be too hard to pick up, so to speak,

because that is one large Marge of a — Jerry Lewis voice —

laid-eeeeee…

Here are the grim details of the investigation.

Tyger sets up the black box system, recently remanded back

into custody, in his vehicle at the outside parking lot with

close-up lens zoomed on the large building’s front door and

 

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immediate asphalt vicinity. This should provide the proper

picture of Mrs. Spencer as she buffalo soldiers into the phacility.

The where is the beef Ms. Spencer is reported to be

suffering the pain and agony of a bad knee injured in a terrible

tumble outside a neighborhood grocery store.

Maybe it is true. Sure. Then again, who knows? Tyger is

being paid to discover, Paul Harvey voice, the rest of the story .

Tyger Tyger burning bright takes a still camera

which he slides under his plastic seat. He pretends to be

engrossed in the latest lying issue of the Slimes-Picayune.

Now, there is a good joke.

Looky, looky gumshoedrop, the Slimes mongers have the

wrong date on the top of the front page. No, guys, ’tis not

May 5, 1899. It is May 5, 1988. Get a clue. You would think they

could at least get the century right.

Of course, the next day they will run a retraction buried in

the metro section beneath the obituaries. Class act, these

deadheads.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. Tick tick tock tock.

Tyger lingers past the 1 p.m. appointment Ms. Spencer

allegedly has at the dentist’s building.

Dorothy has taken the day off to conduct personal business.

The location was passed down the line to Tyger by her husband,

Jack LeFleur, who is home alone. How could anything go wrong, ugh.

 

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Hmmm. More tick, more tock, not; nothing, neither way Laertes breath.

Phat lady hasn’t sung this soap opera over. Maybe someone screwed up

the surveillance location. Could it be …

“Ahh, yeah dude. I”m the middle-man today. Dorothy had to go

off with her mother to do some baby stuff shopping. What’s the

good word.”

“Well Jack,” Tyger news flashes, “The subject is supposed to

be at a 1 p.m. orthopedic surgeon”s office. But I happen to be

waiting for the subject at the LSU Dentistry Building. What is

wrong with this picture?”

“Ahhh, wait a second dude. Let me look up something,” Jack

says as da voice disappears from their pay umbilical chord. It

is 2 p.m., time for the soap opera “General Hospital,”

not this tired waste of time.

Finally, Jack returns to the line, hooking a big one.

“Ahhh, dude. Dude. Know what. Thought it was the

orthodontist. l’m such an idiot sometimes.

“What do you know,” Tyger says. “LSU Medical Center at 1 p.m. for the

Orthopedic surgeon. Not LSU Dentistry Center. It’s right here in

black and white.”

“Aw man,” Jack, flat as a hat, continues.

“Medical Center is all the way Downtown.”

“I know.”

“Sorry, my man. You can see how I mixed it up.”

“Right.”

“You don’t think she is still down there? Do you, dude? Do you?”

“Not in this lifetime.”

 

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“Damn. Dotty is going to be all over me like red beans on rice.”

“Right.”

“I guess we better call it a day.”

“Guess so. I’ll check in with Dorothy later.”

“Damn.” (Dumb.)

End of Assignment.

 

Next up, the following Monday bright and early, Waldo B.

Utley Gretna insurance scam scum lifestyle. He has a bad back

allegedly resulting from a spill off a motorcycle. But he was

wearing a helmet, so there. Safety first and all that jazz.

Tyger drives by the Utley pad about 8 a.m. checking it

out for camera angles. It is a small blue with yellow trim house

in a lower middle class area just southwest of the Gretna Ferry.

Looks like the same old same old.

In this case, Tyger has been instructed to leave the system

running while keeping a sharp eye on it, and the Utley abode, for

about an hour. That way he can assume an active follow by car

maneuver should the subject leave for,

(Thanks, Maynard G. Krebs brain.)

heaven forfend — WORK! WORK!.

The presumption will be Utley is unemployed if he has not

moved by about 9:15 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. at the latest.

Then, Tyger is to to leave the area, retrieving the system

after five, or so, hours. Dorothy wants him to review the tape

before submitting it, and his report, the following day.

Like the usual case of flu, therefore, Tyger flutters in the

 

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neighborhood’s lungs. He waits for a while at a nearby corner bus

stop. Hey, one never knows who might pass by the Jefferson Parish

psychic swamp this fresh spring day.

Maybe Ann Margaret, Princess Margaret, or Jane Snowden an

obscure and smashing British actress who played the ingenue in an

equally obscure movie “French Lesson” and for whom Tyger has a

passionate crush will stop, notice the mysterious stranger,

and give him a lift. (Yeah, right. Dream on. Get a life. Etc.)

A couple of busses pass. Drivers open doors. Tyger

politely declines their indifferent invites. Diverse drivers depart

the scene looking perplexed.

Seeking to avoid further suspicion, Tyger wanders

about the neighborhood for a while enjoying the healthful

benefits of physical exercise. Surveillance continues with

negative subject activity.

Tyger looks inside his mother the car to confirm all

systems are operating effectively. That is a big a-go-go,

mission control. Investigative capsule blasts off like the

Space Shuttle Discovery. He wishes himself a hardy bon voyage,

and a fat g’day to Mr. Utley.

Irony is but a literary affectation, so therefore shall we

say coincidentally, Tyger decides to take public transportation,

returning Uptown to home base. He wanders in wonder past empty fields

littered with garbage and who knows what faded memories, crossing

 

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railroad tracks on Gretna’s always less than fashionable

lower than sea level east side.

Quick jaunt over to the Gretna Ferry, running on a

non-specific schedule across the Mississippi River below the

crescent to Jackson Avenue in the emerald city.

No ferry in sight, not even close.

Nothing in New Orleans ever runs efficiently. That is part

of the charm of being the only resident Third World Banana

Republic of the United States.

(Rebublic? Not when Edwin Edwards was governor.)

Deserted ferry terminal absolutely reeks of piss and

human excrement. Cochon. Yet, nary a pig in sight.

Tyger returns outside, sits on the grassy knoll, waiting

10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes…

Geez, what is the story already?

A thin reed of a black man, around 50, 60, or 70 years old,

dealer’s choice, take youse pick, stops by.

s”Yeah. They said there wasn’t no boat today.”

“What?” Tyger asks fairly pissed off. “The ferry always runs.

What do you mean not running today?”

“That’s what the. man said,” the ancient — mariner? —

replies. “He said river too high. Ain’t no running.” Ohhh-key.

“Thanks for the upfake,” Tyger replies.

A skeptical soul by design, as well as recent potty training, and

having no alternative, Tyger hangs around another 15 minutes.

 

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Then, a loud horn blow, and sure enough, hear that ferry

coming, coming around the riverbend, turning into view,

backing into the dock. That old guy was just like the dirty terminal inside,

full of piss and no vinegar. What else is new, que sera? Trust but

verify, possibly the only reasonable saying ever uttered by Ray-Gun.

Uniformed ferry worker ropes the boat dockside.

Snatches back the long steel chain preventing potential

passengers from jumping in the river and being swept away.

He accomplishes that task with studied nonchalance.

Hasn’t lost a passenger yet. At least that he knows of.

Ah, hubris, always a first time.

Vehicles on board roll off the deck on to the

wooden planks leading to West Bank River Road wrapping like

a water moccasin around the protection levee.

They are rolling rolling rolling rawhide.

Look out below.

A few dirty dozen passengers, mainly African-Americans

although a white college student-aged bicyclist counts among

their number, amble off as if they have just completed a scenic

cruise through the Caribbean. How sweet, cue the Love Boat theme.

All aboard who are going to be bored once outgoing traffic

dissipates. Again, same verse just like the first,

the orange jump suit crowd of blase’ ferry employees wave

along vehicles and their river crossing slaves Aye aye sirs.

This nondemoninational procession of Ford, Chevy Blazer,

 

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Toyota Camry, indeterminate makes and models of decrepit wrecks

still salvageable, proceed en masse until the ferry has been

circled by a veritable bonanza of wagons, car, and vans.

Banzai, y’all.

Tyger embarks along with three black women who have

magically materialized despite the ancient one’s warning. In

other words, the savvy ferry crowd have assumed their rightful

place in historical perspective.

No need to reach into those shallow pockets either, comrades

in water transportation. The ferry is one of the few items in New

Orleans that is free. At least at that point in time.

A free ride takes the edge off of hard wooden benches on

which these earthbound birds perch. Brian Ferry swings back

to conform to the river currents, darting across thick brown

soupy sales waters.

A grand view of the greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area in

the bright distance sticks in place like a glossy postcard image

shimmering in the mid-morning sun. White skyline holds a

pretty picture Kodak moment contrasting favorably with the

slow as a tortoise barge traffic and more upscale riverboats

floating on the Big Muddy.

Sweet river air, too, breezily blows past a reflective

Tyger. Life at such a moment becomes a calm collection of

collective imagery.

 

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Tyger loses himself in momentary contemplation. N’awlins as

concrete inanimate object of affectionate smiles, touching

an observer like a lover longing for small pleasures. The place

might be on to something if they could just get rid of those darn people.

The women of the ferry’s far dark corner are yap yak yatting

away far too loudly, mitigating Tyger’s blissful meditation.

Ah well, what ya gonna do? He tries to lift and

separate their idle chatter from delightful observation

like a bra off a pornographic image.

Same tyred story repeats along the river’s East Bank.

Vehicles depart followed by a few stragglers ejected into the

urban blight bordering on Jackson Avenue and Tchopitoulas Street.

A recently completed concrete sea wall lines the street

towards Uptown thereby blocking the once beautiful view of the

docks and river environment. They think of everything in this

half-baked excuse for a City That Care Forgot. No stopping,

shall we say, progress.

(Funny thing is the wall seems useless for actual protection

from flooding. It floods just the same anyway. A more likely

explanation for its construction is that somebody lined their

pockets. Welcome to politics as unfortunately usual in the Pig Sleazy.)

Tyger gets along little doggy walking the ever unpleasant

length of Jackson Avenue to Magazine Street where a bus will pass

along eventually. He steps lively over the endless accumulation

 

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of dog shit further blighting the sort of sidewalk.

The wandering detective glides by that ever radioactively retroactive

wasteland of broken glass and discarded rubble by the projects

that makes this part of the city look more like war-torn Beirut or the

moon than a quaint local tourist attraction. Just as well for any

tourists here would definitely be shot and mugged,

and we are not talking travel photography.

Tyger feels safety in daylight, walking over to the

scenic “Checks Cashed” and “Hard Liquor” corner of Magazine

Street hopping on a waiting bus. What do you know, convenience

for a change. He hands the bus driver 60 cents in return for safe passage.

Usual collection of bus riders, a gay mixture of old men

and women with a few youngsters thrown in for good measure. It is

a trip in another way too. Tyger is on the giving rather than

receiving end of the RTA black fume spewing society.

Finally, Tyger has returned to his lair . It is about noon so

he lights up a big one, settles back at the home television

fires, relaxes, observing the passing soap opera.

Aw shit on it. They recycled that damn amnesia plot for

the billionth time. Yeah right, amnesia is a very

common occurrence in modern day society.

Soapsuds who are impersonating writers of those shows should

be taken out in the countryside Khmer Rouge Sendero Luminoso

 

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fashion and, shall we say, re-educated. Tyger passes the time by

watching the show anyway. It is in his anti-social contract.

That is to say watches between lousy stinking

stupid commercials for which Tyger must always mute the sound.

Who do they think they are fooling anyway?

Wouldn’t have to advertise if the products were any good.

Even a moron like Roots Badburns must know that. Then

again … as Emily Litella is saying on the Comedy Channel’s

Saturday Night Live “encore presentation” at this precise

intersection of space-time, “neeeever mind.”

Tyger hangs around the home liars burning for a while until

“General Hospital.” He telephones Armor’s, who thankfully is

available, in order to finagle the currently underemployed artist

into giving him a lift to the West Bank.

Screw this public transportation stuff. Tyger has had about

his annual fill of that type of pilgrim’s progress.

Armor’s is a lot like a Louisiana politician in this regard.

He definitely can be bought, and not even for the right price.

The “for sale” sign always hangs prominently outside his

outstretched loafstyle.

The promise of two thick joints cinches the deal.That is a

bit below the going rate. Armor’s is being a good guy apparently.

“Hey hey hey, working a case are we?” Armor’s chimes in as

he breaks down the front door. Another parish heard from.

 

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“Here, take this,” Tyger replies handing the dear boy

a marijuana mutah cigarette.

Armor”s grabs a lung full of joy. “Thanks. I needed that.

Sure glad I gave up tobacco. Now I can really enjoy pot. Let me

know when you want to go. I am right on it baby.”

They return downstream about 3 p.m. This time the ferry

must be forsaken for the seemingly faster route across the

Greater New Orleans Bridge, steel span glistening in

mid-afternoon’s bright glare.

“Hey hey. You know what man?” Armor’s broaches a subject

beside the usual dissection of daily details. “I would like to

work on a case one of these days. The detectives ever have any openings?”

Ah, so that is his angle. “Sometimes, they need extra help

to be a ghost or something,” Tyger confirms. “They use someone on

a case and then they disappear like Casper. (Weinberger?)

“You never know. I’ll tell them about you when something like that comes up.”

“Alright man. I’m gonna get to be a detective just like Tyger. Outasight.”

Wafting like a zephyr across the West Bank Expressway and

down Manhattan Boulevard, Armor’s spots the Pho Tau Bay

Restaurant and Expressway Lanes.

“Hey man. Let’s get some Cafe Sua Da to go.”

 

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“Better not man,” Tyger replies. “I have to pull the car out

of the neighborhood. Maybe next time.”

Tyger instructs Armor’s to navigate around the choppy waters

determining the coast be clear; no nosy neighbors or subject

activity to interfere with retrieving the secret surveillance unit.

Or so it seems.

“Let me off down the block,” requests Tyger passing off the

Altoids box. “Thanks for the reef man,” Armor’s notes.

“No problem.”

“See you later alligator. I’m history.”

“Thanks again for the lift, Casper.”

Tyger wades into the Utley zone, recovering what is Tyger’s;

no more, no less. All quiet on the West Bank front.

He removes the towel covering the video recorder. The

machine is off, tape run to conclusion. Six sickly

hours of heaven knows what Mr. Allison to watch.

Tyger checks Slimes-Picayune television listings when he

returns home. Guess what’s on tap this evening before the daily

baseball game from the Left Coast at 9:30 p.m.

Why, the Utley family television special, of course.

Tyger considers this special must see TV. That’s entertainment.

Usual pre-game functions transpire. Tyger rewinds tape,

and ready, steady, go. Here is hoping a black cat hops

across Utley·s path, making him bend over, and not in the good way.

 

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The following is the log of Waldo Utley’s experiences for

bad luck Friday May 13, 1988:

 

At 9:42 a.m. the Subject carries large plastic garbage bags

stuffed with laundry to wife’s vehicle. She leaves.

At 10:51 a.m. until 11:06 a.m. an elderly white female

arrives by car and speaks with the Subject who crouches on

the porch.

At 11:06 a.m. until 11:12 a.m. Clear identifying picture of

the Subject sitting on his porch.

At 11:55 a.m. two white males, in their twenties, arrive in

a green car with white roof.

At 12:14 p.m. brief shot of the Subject retrieving mail.

At 12:17 p.m. the Subject’s wife returns with the laundry.

The Subject carries the laundry bag from the car to the

porch.

At 12:55 p.m. the white males leave. The Subject picks up

the child with one hand then lifts him up to the porch.

At 2:35 p.m. two black males, late twenties or early

thirties, arrive at the house by car and speak with the

Subject. The Subject jumps off the porch and joins them

in their vehicle.

At 2:40 p.m. the Subject and the black males walk in the yard,

 

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At 2:49 p.m. the Subject hops into his vehicle and backs

it into his driveway.

At 2:56 p.m. the black males leave area.

End of tape.

 

Hmm. Firstly, Waldo B. Utley is in fine condition.

As usual, bad back, his bad ass. He is in better shape than Tyger,

Armor’s or anyone. That part of the case seems easily resolved.

Secondly, however, Utley appears to be engaged in another

activity with which Tyger is acquainted somewhat. He seems to be

dealing drugs. Not much question about that.

Tyger labels the tape. He writes up the final report,

leaving off the drug business. Dorothy can pick that out for

herself, comment to the client or not.

All the same to Tyger Williams. He has bigger fish to fry.

Thus concludes the day’s surveillance. Friday night and all

is as always was in and around the Crescent City. They are probably

partying the house down at the Utley residence. Tourists walking

mindlessly up and down Bourbon Street.

Tyger watches the Cubs-Dodgers game, falling asleep at half

past one in the morning. Nothing else to do that night.

 

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Another day, another 9.5 hours investigative time, 27 miles

and $5.89 for videotape for a total of $106.29 in billable costs.

Another night, restful and blissful ignorance knowing

that at least one American worker did a good job today.

Sleep tight, dear Tyger, for tomorrow is another day.

That much, the future always promises and delivers.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Unfortunately, Tyger is broke and can’t attend the second Jazz Fest weekend.

He makes the best of it with karmic daydreams at Audubon Park’s lake.

Following this interlude, Tyger is sent on the wrong assignment by Jack LaFleur,

Dorothy’s dipsy husband. Then, Tyger sets up on a case in Gretna and

takes a memorable ferry ride across the river.

Finally, Armor’s pitches in and returns Tyger to the surveillance scene.

The investigator reviews and logs the tape of strange Subject activity.

 

CHAPTER 22

“IN THE RIGHT PLACE, MUST HAVE BEEN THE WRONG TIME”

 

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Darn. Back to the same old lame old reality selection. That

is the way it going going goes, apologies to baseball announcers everywhere.

Another day passes and another in alarmingly swift fashion.

Therefore, comrades, put on and take off your easter bonnets.

That sucker is solid gold gone.

Second weekend of Jazz Fest is the same great fun-fess.

However,  Tyger can not participate. He still has not straightened out

his finances, probably never will. He has been working with fair

to good frequency, true; but was so far behind in

earthly expenses he can barely afford to touch the financial ground.

This is an unacceptable Jazz Fest recusal to the big Mac

attack, but not much a poor boy can do about a world

uninspired. Mac rounds up another batch of suspects doing his

thing during the second weekend almost same as the first.

A Jazz Fest exile sits at home watching Cubs and

Braves games as consolation prizes. Actually, the stay at home

lofestyle is not half bad. Uptown seems devoid of personality

disorders, thereby making living easier.

Tyger busies himself after baseball viewing by going to

 

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places usually prohibited by weekend laws. P.J’s on Maple Street

apparently has been evacuated. He sits in front drinking coffee,

watching the stray vehicle or two mistakenly rolling around Uptown.

An evidential pleasant diversion swears terrific testimony.

Strolling along Maple Street likewise becomes a positive

experience this late dog day afternoon. No assholes being walked

by brain dead pets. No kids. No noise. A peaceful vacuum fills spring void.

Finally, the ultimate of amazing occurrences. Tyger goes

shopping, shopping until he is dropping which does not take long.

A jaunt to Langenstein’s to make overpriced groceries. A joust

with the windows Allons-y upper Magazine Street.

Rather predictable results. Like at Lake Forest Mall, try as

Tyger might to shop, there seems to be nothing material he wants.

Tyger promises himself a special low-priced purchase to

take the edge off of missing Jazz Fest. No sale. Cha-ching not.

Nor ba-da-bing, babies. Nada nada nada.

Everything displayed in the bookstore, antique store, art

gallery, knick-knack store, hobby shop, is the same old made in

America cheesy junk product. What else would one expect from the

Age of Ray-Gun crap factory?

Where are some well made Japanese goods when one wants them?

 

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Tyger laughs when he thinks of that. Take that, trade

deficit. No making it wider, this holiday from holiday non Jazz

Fest personal celebration.

Tyger surveys the scene natural; blue skies, no crows,

beautiful lake at Audubon Park by the botanical garden, just off

the golf course ripe for the solitary dreamer. “Fore!” Tyger

yells as he flips rocks into dazzling aquamarine waters.

Rippling circles widen like the universe expanding after a

deity’s intervention. Tyger is in charge here and now. Don’t

the sitting ducks on the pond know it. They quack crackle hop to

the far side of the moon.

Tyger represents a benevolent presence this quiet dog day

afternoon. He lays back laid back while sitting at a picnic table

by the park gazebo, scene of the 1884 Cotton Exposition, now a

sightseeing shore. It is a great day to have a great day.

On to Kinderhook, O.K.

Amazing colors are like space-time prisms relatively astral

projecting to another galaxy resplendent where they have yet to

hear of Star Dreck.

So close and yet so far. A tugboat wails along the river.

Birds squeak nearby in the oak trees accompanied by squirrels

scurrying for higher cover. Crooked men float above the nearby

neutral ground in neutral moods.

Tyger’s endless tape loop wraps around the world at large.

Comrades of the sacred moment, Tyger is a collection of molecules

 

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splitting and reforming each moment with force exploded.

The detective might seem like a walking neutron bomb to the

likes of Dill Pickle and the myriad other insurance frauds.

He resembles force at rest at this particular juncture

in the never-ending story.

Thusly, Tyger continues his special mind’s eye surveillance of

poor lost thoughts sunk in a brain not as nice as Audubon Park to

know. Grant him a moment of introspection before he resumes the

natural progression of existential information.

A dreamer dreams beyond the ever-more. It goes, sings Patti

Smith at CBGB’s-OMFUG, like this:

 

Comrades have washed upon these unkempt shores only to be

consumed completely.

Here lies land’s end where one can fall off

or be saved, depending

on random intervention by fate, undertow,

whatever force acknowledged.

 

Hail to the valiant comrades who have suffered and lost,

never suffered, never lost;

dastardly piggies, great thinkers through time.

All the same, all dissolving

into circles on the lake,

covered by time.

 

Hidden by the same blanket of darkness;

illuminated by a most beautiful sunset,

or not,

all alone at empty picnic tables.

Here comes the untergang, the plague, the cessation of being,

a Caesarian section.

 

It’s all the same.

Snap your fingers, snap crackle pop your

cereal; leave the surveillance of nothingness

to experts.

Leave it to those who expect, deliver,

and receive nothing.

 

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Drop two dissimilar rocks into the lake,

smile as they dissolve into nothingness.

We are bound even in the most bountiful of lands

by such a nothingness.

Cry wolf. Cry enough.

Cry nothing.

 

Good grief. Ruminations of a foolish inmate in this

coming hothouse of universal disorder. Tyger tyres of his

grid-locked diversion. He is a foolish sack of dreams whiling away

the future with hopes unhinged.

Therefore, Tyger person leaves the park sleep-walking

while theoretically awake, passing this way for a sacred

monumental moment, then dissolving into a hallowed differential

of space-time.

Take another hit, baby, of sweet air filled with blunt reefer.

Tyger huffs, he puffs, and blows the joint down. No one is

available to question his absolute authority.

Feel better? Time has stopped. Tyger feels small, then tall,

then small again and ever so silly. Groovy white rabbit.

Good shit like this makes a person feel as good as President

Ray-Gun when one of his buddies knocks over a couple of million

saving and loans institutions. (Dynamite stuff, by the way obtained

from Ray-Gun’s personal psychic connection.

 

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Bonzo’s buddy must get high constantly to act

the way he does screwing the nation if he actually wields

power, highly theoretical at this point — while Nancy screws

the real boss, Sinatra, according to tabloid and memoir accounts.

Later Iran-Contra testimony definitively shows Ray-Gun

had no control over any governmental function not dictated

by sphincter muscle. He seems convincing, claiming to

remember nothing about his presidency. He never would have left

Hollywood if he were that good an actor.)

What does it matter? The greedy era of Ray-Gun and his

buddies is best left like the terror of the Khmer Rouge for

history to judge. They form equal and opposite reactions of the same equation.

Therefore, in his best dialectical rationale, Tyger flips

the album to something more amenable. He falls captive to that

beautiful Spanish dancer, fawn brown eyes, slender buttocks,

light dress flowing in waves down to the brown ground.

She glides like a dinky dark moth becoming madame butterfly

tapping at Tygertown’s right temple. Then naked, just say yes

baby! Poosh, implosion, gone. Tyger’s dream disintigrates

like the El Avion plane of future terrorist targets disappearing

from a radar screen.

 

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Strange voice leaps on the picnic table like a dispossessed bunny

rabbit-sized squirrel, Professor Irwin Corey style mocking

startled subject, Tyger Williams. “Follow me, m’kinder.

Follow me home,” it cries.

Whoa poppa. Tyger slaps himself with the awful truth

no beautiful dancer in sight, just a poor boy whose

limited attention span is wandering and wondering.

Tyger chills as Francois Truffuat might, magically turning

day to night. Mere trifle for a “genius” mind.

A higher force turns night back to day. So forth and so

on until the working week begins again in earnest.

A few days later, Tyger finds himself on the road to the LSU

Dentistry School at 1100 Florida Boulevard. Sorry comrades, not

for a much needed dental check-up, but on yet another

silly surveillance assignment.

This time Tyger is supposed to sit in the large main waiting

area and wait for the subject, Pearly Mae Spencer,

African-American, 46 years old, married, four children, 5’2″, 230 pounds.

Stop. She should not be too hard to pick up, so to speak,

because that is one large Marge of a — Jerry Lewis voice —

laid-eeeeee…

Here are the grim details of the investigation.

Tyger sets up the black box system, recently remanded back

into custody, in his vehicle at the outside parking lot with

close-up lens zoomed on the large building’s front door and

 

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immediate asphalt vicinity. This should provide the proper

picture of Mrs. Spencer as she buffalo soldiers into the phacility.

The where is the beef Ms. Spencer is reported to be

suffering the pain and agony of a bad knee injured in a terrible

tumble outside a neighborhood grocery store.

Maybe it is true. Sure. Then again, who knows? Tyger is

being paid to discover, Paul Harvey voice, the rest of the story .

Tyger Tyger burning bright takes a still camera

which he slides under his plastic seat. He pretends to be

engrossed in the latest lying issue of the Slimes-Picayune.

Now, there is a good joke.

Looky, looky gumshoedrop, the Slimes mongers have the

wrong date on the top of the front page. No, guys, ’tis not

May 5, 1899. It is May 5, 1988. Get a clue. You would think they

could at least get the century right.

Of course, the next day they will run a retraction buried in

the metro section beneath the obituaries. Class act, these

deadheads.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. Tick tick tock tock.

Tyger lingers past the 1 p.m. appointment Ms. Spencer

allegedly has at the dentist’s building.

Dorothy has taken the day off to conduct personal business.

The location was passed down the line to Tyger by her husband,

Jack LeFleur, who is home alone. How could anything go wrong, ugh.

 

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Hmmm. More tick, more tock, not; nothing, neither way Laertes breath.

Phat lady hasn’t sung this soap opera over. Maybe someone screwed up

the surveillance location. Could it be …

“Ahh, yeah dude. I”m the middle-man today. Dorothy had to go

off with her mother to do some baby stuff shopping. What’s the

good word.”

“Well Jack,” Tyger news flashes, “The subject is supposed to

be at a 1 p.m. orthopedic surgeon”s office. But I happen to be

waiting for the subject at the LSU Dentistry Building. What is

wrong with this picture?”

“Ahhh, wait a second dude. Let me look up something,” Jack

says as da voice disappears from their pay umbilical chord. It

is 2 p.m., time for the soap opera “General Hospital,”

not this tired waste of time.

Finally, Jack returns to the line, hooking a big one.

“Ahhh, dude. Dude. Know what. Thought it was the

orthodontist. l’m such an idiot sometimes.

“What do you know,” Tyger says. “LSU Medical Center at 1 p.m. for the

Orthopedic surgeon. Not LSU Dentistry Center. It’s right here in

black and white.”

“Aw man,” Jack, flat as a hat, continues.

“Medical Center is all the way Downtown.”

“I know.”

“Sorry, my man. You can see how I mixed it up.”

“Right.”

“You don’t think she is still down there? Do you, dude? Do you?”

“Not in this lifetime.”

 

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“Damn. Dotty is going to be all over me like red beans on rice.”

“Right.”

“I guess we better call it a day.”

“Guess so. I’ll check in with Dorothy later.”

“Damn.” (Dumb.)

End of Assignment.

 

Next up, the following Monday bright and early, Waldo B.

Utley Gretna insurance scam scum lifestyle. He has a bad back

allegedly resulting from a spill off a motorcycle. But he was

wearing a helmet, so there. Safety first and all that jazz.

Tyger drives by the Utley pad about 8 a.m. checking it

out for camera angles. It is a small blue with yellow trim house

in a lower middle class area just southwest of the Gretna Ferry.

Looks like the same old same old.

In this case, Tyger has been instructed to leave the system

running while keeping a sharp eye on it, and the Utley abode, for

about an hour. That way he can assume an active follow by car

maneuver should the subject leave for,

(Thanks, Maynard G. Krebs brain.)

heaven forfend — WORK! WORK!.

The presumption will be Utley is unemployed if he has not

moved by about 9:15 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. at the latest.

Then, Tyger is to to leave the area, retrieving the system

after five, or so, hours. Dorothy wants him to review the tape

before submitting it, and his report, the following day.

Like the usual case of flu, therefore, Tyger flutters in the

 

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neighborhood’s lungs. He waits for a while at a nearby corner bus

stop. Hey, one never knows who might pass by the Jefferson Parish

psychic swamp this fresh spring day.

Maybe Ann Margaret, Princess Margaret, or Jane Snowden an

obscure and smashing British actress who played the ingenue in an

equally obscure movie “French Lesson” and for whom Tyger has a

passionate crush will stop, notice the mysterious stranger,

and give him a lift. (Yeah, right. Dream on. Get a life. Etc.)

A couple of busses pass. Drivers open doors. Tyger

politely declines their indifferent invites. Diverse drivers depart

the scene looking perplexed.

Seeking to avoid further suspicion, Tyger wanders

about the neighborhood for a while enjoying the healthful

benefits of physical exercise. Surveillance continues with

negative subject activity.

Tyger looks inside his mother the car to confirm all

systems are operating effectively. That is a big a-go-go,

mission control. Investigative capsule blasts off like the

Space Shuttle Discovery. He wishes himself a hardy bon voyage,

and a fat g’day to Mr. Utley.

Irony is but a literary affectation, so therefore shall we

say coincidentally, Tyger decides to take public transportation,

returning Uptown to home base. He wanders in wonder past empty fields

littered with garbage and who knows what faded memories, crossing

 

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railroad tracks on Gretna’s always less than fashionable

lower than sea level east side.

Quick jaunt over to the Gretna Ferry, running on a

non-specific schedule across the Mississippi River below the

crescent to Jackson Avenue in the emerald city.

No ferry in sight, not even close.

Nothing in New Orleans ever runs efficiently. That is part

of the charm of being the only resident Third World Banana

Republic of the United States.

(Rebublic? Not when Edwin Edwards was governor.)

Deserted ferry terminal absolutely reeks of piss and

human excrement. Cochon. Yet, nary a pig in sight.

Tyger returns outside, sits on the grassy knoll, waiting

10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes…

Geez, what is the story already?

A thin reed of a black man, around 50, 60, or 70 years old,

dealer’s choice, take youse pick, stops by.

s”Yeah. They said there wasn’t no boat today.”

“What?” Tyger asks fairly pissed off. “The ferry always runs.

What do you mean not running today?”

“That’s what the. man said,” the ancient — mariner? —

replies. “He said river too high. Ain’t no running.” Ohhh-key.

“Thanks for the upfake,” Tyger replies.

A skeptical soul by design, as well as recent potty training, and

having no alternative, Tyger hangs around another 15 minutes.

 

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Then, a loud horn blow, and sure enough, hear that ferry

coming, coming around the riverbend, turning into view,

backing into the dock. That old guy was just like the dirty terminal inside,

full of piss and no vinegar. What else is new, que sera? Trust but

verify, possibly the only reasonable saying ever uttered by Ray-Gun.

Uniformed ferry worker ropes the boat dockside.

Snatches back the long steel chain preventing potential

passengers from jumping in the river and being swept away.

He accomplishes that task with studied nonchalance.

Hasn’t lost a passenger yet. At least that he knows of.

Ah, hubris, always a first time.

Vehicles on board roll off the deck on to the

wooden planks leading to West Bank River Road wrapping like

a water moccasin around the protection levee.

They are rolling rolling rolling rawhide.

Look out below.

A few dirty dozen passengers, mainly African-Americans

although a white college student-aged bicyclist counts among

their number, amble off as if they have just completed a scenic

cruise through the Caribbean. How sweet, cue the Love Boat theme.

All aboard who are going to be bored once outgoing traffic

dissipates. Again, same verse just like the first,

the orange jump suit crowd of blase’ ferry employees wave

along vehicles and their river crossing slaves Aye aye sirs.

This nondemoninational procession of Ford, Chevy Blazer,

 

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Toyota Camry, indeterminate makes and models of decrepit wrecks

still salvageable, proceed en masse until the ferry has been

circled by a veritable bonanza of wagons, car, and vans.

Banzai, y’all.

Tyger embarks along with three black women who have

magically materialized despite the ancient one’s warning. In

other words, the savvy ferry crowd have assumed their rightful

place in historical perspective.

No need to reach into those shallow pockets either, comrades

in water transportation. The ferry is one of the few items in New

Orleans that is free. At least at that point in time.

A free ride takes the edge off of hard wooden benches on

which these earthbound birds perch. Brian Ferry swings back

to conform to the river currents, darting across thick brown

soupy sales waters.

A grand view of the greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area in

the bright distance sticks in place like a glossy postcard image

shimmering in the mid-morning sun. White skyline holds a

pretty picture Kodak moment contrasting favorably with the

slow as a tortoise barge traffic and more upscale riverboats

floating on the Big Muddy.

Sweet river air, too, breezily blows past a reflective

Tyger. Life at such a moment becomes a calm collection of

collective imagery.

 

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Tyger loses himself in momentary contemplation. N’awlins as

concrete inanimate object of affectionate smiles, touching

an observer like a lover longing for small pleasures. The place

might be on to something if they could just get rid of those darn people.

The women of the ferry’s far dark corner are yap yak yatting

away far too loudly, mitigating Tyger’s blissful meditation.

Ah well, what ya gonna do? He tries to lift and

separate their idle chatter from delightful observation

like a bra off a pornographic image.

Same tyred story repeats along the river’s East Bank.

Vehicles depart followed by a few stragglers ejected into the

urban blight bordering on Jackson Avenue and Tchopitoulas Street.

A recently completed concrete sea wall lines the street

towards Uptown thereby blocking the once beautiful view of the

docks and river environment. They think of everything in this

half-baked excuse for a City That Care Forgot. No stopping,

shall we say, progress.

(Funny thing is the wall seems useless for actual protection

from flooding. It floods just the same anyway. A more likely

explanation for its construction is that somebody lined their

pockets. Welcome to politics as unfortunately usual in the Pig Sleazy.)

Tyger gets along little doggy walking the ever unpleasant

length of Jackson Avenue to Magazine Street where a bus will pass

along eventually. He steps lively over the endless accumulation

 

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of dog shit further blighting the sort of sidewalk.

The wandering detective glides by that ever radioactively retroactive

wasteland of broken glass and discarded rubble by the projects

that makes this part of the city look more like war-torn Beirut or the

moon than a quaint local tourist attraction. Just as well for any

tourists here would definitely be shot and mugged,

and we are not talking travel photography.

Tyger feels safety in daylight, walking over to the

scenic “Checks Cashed” and “Hard Liquor” corner of Magazine

Street hopping on a waiting bus. What do you know, convenience

for a change. He hands the bus driver 60 cents in return for safe passage.

Usual collection of bus riders, a gay mixture of old men

and women with a few youngsters thrown in for good measure. It is

a trip in another way too. Tyger is on the giving rather than

receiving end of the RTA black fume spewing society.

Finally, Tyger has returned to his lair . It is about noon so

he lights up a big one, settles back at the home television

fires, relaxes, observing the passing soap opera.

Aw shit on it. They recycled that damn amnesia plot for

the billionth time. Yeah right, amnesia is a very

common occurrence in modern day society.

Soapsuds who are impersonating writers of those shows should

be taken out in the countryside Khmer Rouge Sendero Luminoso

 

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fashion and, shall we say, re-educated. Tyger passes the time by

watching the show anyway. It is in his anti-social contract.

That is to say watches between lousy stinking

stupid commercials for which Tyger must always mute the sound.

Who do they think they are fooling anyway?

Wouldn’t have to advertise if the products were any good.

Even a moron like Roots Badburns must know that. Then

again … as Emily Litella is saying on the Comedy Channel’s

Saturday Night Live “encore presentation” at this precise

intersection of space-time, “neeeever mind.”

Tyger hangs around the home liars burning for a while until

“General Hospital.” He telephones Armor’s, who thankfully is

available, in order to finagle the currently underemployed artist

into giving him a lift to the West Bank.

Screw this public transportation stuff. Tyger has had about

his annual fill of that type of pilgrim’s progress.

Armor’s is a lot like a Louisiana politician in this regard.

He definitely can be bought, and not even for the right price.

The “for sale” sign always hangs prominently outside his

outstretched loafstyle.

The promise of two thick joints cinches the deal.That is a

bit below the going rate. Armor’s is being a good guy apparently.

“Hey hey hey, working a case are we?” Armor’s chimes in as

he breaks down the front door. Another parish heard from.

 

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“Here, take this,” Tyger replies handing the dear boy

a marijuana mutah cigarette.

Armor”s grabs a lung full of joy. “Thanks. I needed that.

Sure glad I gave up tobacco. Now I can really enjoy pot. Let me

know when you want to go. I am right on it baby.”

They return downstream about 3 p.m. This time the ferry

must be forsaken for the seemingly faster route across the

Greater New Orleans Bridge, steel span glistening in

mid-afternoon’s bright glare.

“Hey hey. You know what man?” Armor’s broaches a subject

beside the usual dissection of daily details. “I would like to

work on a case one of these days. The detectives ever have any openings?”

Ah, so that is his angle. “Sometimes, they need extra help

to be a ghost or something,” Tyger confirms. “They use someone on

a case and then they disappear like Casper. (Weinberger?)

“You never know. I’ll tell them about you when something like that comes up.”

“Alright man. I’m gonna get to be a detective just like Tyger. Outasight.”

Wafting like a zephyr across the West Bank Expressway and

down Manhattan Boulevard, Armor’s spots the Pho Tau Bay

Restaurant and Expressway Lanes.

“Hey man. Let’s get some Cafe Sua Da to go.”

 

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“Better not man,” Tyger replies. “I have to pull the car out

of the neighborhood. Maybe next time.”

Tyger instructs Armor’s to navigate around the choppy waters

determining the coast be clear; no nosy neighbors or subject

activity to interfere with retrieving the secret surveillance unit.

Or so it seems.

“Let me off down the block,” requests Tyger passing off the

Altoids box. “Thanks for the reef man,” Armor’s notes.

“No problem.”

“See you later alligator. I’m history.”

“Thanks again for the lift, Casper.”

Tyger wades into the Utley zone, recovering what is Tyger’s;

no more, no less. All quiet on the West Bank front.

He removes the towel covering the video recorder. The

machine is off, tape run to conclusion. Six sickly

hours of heaven knows what Mr. Allison to watch.

Tyger checks Slimes-Picayune television listings when he

returns home. Guess what’s on tap this evening before the daily

baseball game from the Left Coast at 9:30 p.m.

Why, the Utley family television special, of course.

Tyger considers this special must see TV. That’s entertainment.

Usual pre-game functions transpire. Tyger rewinds tape,

and ready, steady, go. Here is hoping a black cat hops

across Utley·s path, making him bend over, and not in the good way.

 

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The following is the log of Waldo Utley’s experiences for

bad luck Friday May 13, 1988:

 

At 9:42 a.m. the Subject carries large plastic garbage bags

stuffed with laundry to wife’s vehicle. She leaves.

At 10:51 a.m. until 11:06 a.m. an elderly white female

arrives by car and speaks with the Subject who crouches on

the porch.

At 11:06 a.m. until 11:12 a.m. Clear identifying picture of

the Subject sitting on his porch.

At 11:55 a.m. two white males, in their twenties, arrive in

a green car with white roof.

At 12:14 p.m. brief shot of the Subject retrieving mail.

At 12:17 p.m. the Subject’s wife returns with the laundry.

The Subject carries the laundry bag from the car to the

porch.

At 12:55 p.m. the white males leave. The Subject picks up

the child with one hand then lifts him up to the porch.

At 2:35 p.m. two black males, late twenties or early

thirties, arrive at the house by car and speak with the

Subject. The Subject jumps off the porch and joins them

in their vehicle.

At 2:40 p.m. the Subject and the black males walk in the yard,

 

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At 2:49 p.m. the Subject hops into his vehicle and backs

it into his driveway.

At 2:56 p.m. the black males leave area.

End of tape.

 

Hmm. Firstly, Waldo B. Utley is in fine condition.

As usual, bad back, his bad ass. He is in better shape than Tyger,

Armor’s or anyone. That part of the case seems easily resolved.

Secondly, however, Utley appears to be engaged in another

activity with which Tyger is acquainted somewhat. He seems to be

dealing drugs. Not much question about that.

Tyger labels the tape. He writes up the final report,

leaving off the drug business. Dorothy can pick that out for

herself, comment to the client or not.

All the same to Tyger Williams. He has bigger fish to fry.

Thus concludes the day’s surveillance. Friday night and all

is as always was in and around the Crescent City. They are probably

partying the house down at the Utley residence. Tourists walking

mindlessly up and down Bourbon Street.

Tyger watches the Cubs-Dodgers game, falling asleep at half

past one in the morning. Nothing else to do that night.

 

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Another day, another 9.5 hours investigative time, 27 miles

and $5.89 for videotape for a total of $106.29 in billable costs.

Another night, restful and blissful ignorance knowing

that at least one American worker did a good job today.

Sleep tight, dear Tyger, for tomorrow is another day.

That much, the future always promises and delivers.

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

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.

 

CHAPTER 23

“Barbecue Parties and Lost Subjects Past”

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.”

 

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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.

 

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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.)

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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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.

 

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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 . . . ”

 

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“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.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

“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

 

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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.”

 

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“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.”

 

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“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.

 

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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.

 

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“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.

 

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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.”

Nope.

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

 

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“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.”

Nothing.

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.

 

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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

 

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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.”

 

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“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.”

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

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.

 

CHAPTER 23

“Barbecue Parties and Lost Subjects Past”

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.”

 

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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.

 

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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.)

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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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.

 

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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 . . . ”

 

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“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.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

“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

 

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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.”

 

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“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.”

 

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“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.

 

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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.

 

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“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.

 

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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.”

Nope.

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

 

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“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.”

Nothing.

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.

 

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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

 

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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.”

 

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“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.”

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

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.

 

CHAPTER 23

“Barbecue Parties and Lost Subjects Past”

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.”

 

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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.

 

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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.)

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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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.

 

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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 . . . ”

 

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“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.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

“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

 

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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.”

 

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“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.”

 

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“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.

 

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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.

 

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“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.

 

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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.”

Nope.

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

 

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“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.”

Nothing.

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.

 

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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

 

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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.”

 

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“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.”

 

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Mac and Tyger go shopping for nitrous

at the supermarket. Tyger proceeds with in depth surveillance at

Mildred Baker’s apartment during late June. Boredom gives way to

confusion as the most amazing events transpire. Tyger joins Alice

slipping into wonderland as everything becomes curiouser and

curiouser. The case concludes for the time being with a few

perplexing questions posed by Dorothy that further stun Tyger.

 

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Like TOW anti-tank and Hawk anti-aircraft missiles — you

know, the types that were secretly and illegally traded by Ray-Gun

White House officals to Iran in 1985 and 1986 in a failed bid

to gain the release of American hostages held in Lebanon — Tyger

Williams is electronically guided by psychic currents to the

center of the universal condition.

Stuck inside of limbo again. Isn’t that nice? What else is news?

Tyger walks through the Delchamps Supermarket with Mac, who is

furiously unscrewing whipped cream dispenser tops,

like there is no tomorrow, inhaling nitrous oxide contained within.

Laughing off their respective Rodney Dangerfield asses. No respect.

The dynamically deranged duo carefully return nitrous emptied

canisters to the wrong shelves and keep moving along.

Nothing to see. Woosh, hahaha, woosh, hahaha, slam bam,

thank you Mr. Grocery Gods. Floating along like

a couple of Weird Al songs, feeling like a day on the beach.

Bitching, dudes.

Tyger explains the latest surveillance assignment with

Armor’s as Mac commiserates. “I could have told you that,” he

second-guesses with voice starting a million octaves too high,

finally leveling off to below sea level where the Big Uneasy

 

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sinks to its natural state.

Hahaha. Haha-haha. Last can. Mac grabs it as a final hiss

hiss hiss flies to the bright fluorescent ceiling and beyond.

“I love this place,” Mac finally observes.

“Best whipped cream deal in town.”

Like plane loads of spare F-4 fighter aircraft and

helicopter gunship parts. You know, the type Ray-Gun

Administration CIA director William Casey along with former Nixon

Administration CIA director and current 1988 Vice-President

George “Shrub” Bush traded with Iranian operatives in not so gay

Paree for a promise not to release the 52 American hostages held in

Teheran until after Ray-Gun had assumed the position, president

in the case, according to former Carter administration officials;

Tyger Williams is headed straight for his assigned

repository. He buys a bottle of Meyers’ rum and “classic” coca-cola

mixer. Mac handles the chips and dip. Sweet nitrous bright light

enhancement inducing fun propels them through the check-out line.

Hey hey, that was an easy does it mission. Is America a great country or what?

They return to MacLand ready, willing, and able to induce

inaction. Conversation number one: Who the hell is in charge here.

Hard to say. HaHaHa…

Conversation number two: That fucker Ollie North can get

away with anything. Fuck him. He is shit.

 

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Conversation number three: Pass the reefer. Getting high is

a job. But, it is fun. In other words, it’s a fun job.

Like chartered supercargo planes loaded with Stinger hand-held

anti-aircraft missiles; fighter aircraft and helicopter

spare parts — you know, the kind that Casey, North, and other

Ray-Gun White House flunkies secretly sold without Congressional

approval as specified by United States law to Iranian

representatives (who they overcharged, by the American way)

diverting the excess profits to supply weapons

for Nicaraguan Contra counterrevolutionaries,

according to federal court and sworn

congressional testimony — the conversation shifts course

striking an alternate objective.

“I am getting wasted,” Mac proclaims. “Incoming. Better take

cover.” Tyger scurries along with the cats to the next room.

Big Mac, armed with a chemical fire extinguisher, and whoosh,

empties its contents across the room in a wide wet wild arc.

“Duck and cover, y’all. Duck and cover.”

So much for the lost weekend, friends. Never did it begin and

never did it end. Like the universe, it continues expanding into

an infinite dark hole leading nowhere, man.

So fills the part of the donut between the dough ever

enclosing, ever exploding, ever expanding until it doesn’t.

An awesome, and perhaps awful, display of pyrotechnics without

further explanation. More than a little, comrades, like the Ray-Gu

 

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mal-Administration policies. Unfathomable beyond description.

Tyger passes a good time during the second

weekend in June partying his little ass off, unlike Ray-

Gun dirty tricks sneak thief junkies not messing with anyone’s

karma in order to hide lack of same.

Just another hot late spring weekend take, coming on to a

sweltering New Orleans summer head.

Another day passes and another. Night substitutes for day as

sleep resembles death. Life stumbles (seemingly) ever forward

targeting this planet along a continuum of sun rays.

Relativistic astrophysicists continue their ongoing debate

on the future of entropy. Hey guys, what possibly could

survive the backwards arrow of time or would want to?

Inspired by the last few fleeting days of pure unadulterated

fun, Tyger home alone stares smartly at the Atlanta Braves versus

Los Angeles Dodgers matchup managing to daydream nevertheless

at approximately 2:45 p.m. this Sunday June 12, 1988 aided by

a whipped cream making rig and numerous whippets:

 

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Notice how white the neutral ground along Canal Street

seems to be in the searing sun. There is a parking lot where

buildings spin, pirouette like that beautiful Spanish dancer

while Tyger dissolves in mirthful fun.

 

A yellow line squanders time along the wide boulevard,

tracing shadows to the Maison Blanche Building. Tyger sits in an

unmarked vehicle hugging his baby seat video surveillance

system. This is true love 1988 American style: ready, aim, who

loves you Telly Savalas baby.

 

This time the subject, black female, 30 years old, takes a

circuitous and curious route just beyond the camera s eye. Try as

he might, Tyger can not motor control the aperture to recapture

her in his sights.

 

Damn it, another slice of reality life rush lost forever.

Perhaps his efforts would be better placed at another stakeout.

 

Same old, same cold war post parade. The good

investigator descends to another level of hellish half-life

where exactas flash, humanity surges from space to lonely

lost outpost. Secret ritual of the bus stop revealed,

he places the surveillance vehicle at a place where it is

sure to be ticketed, i.e. anywhere in the City that Care Forgot.

 

The bright white mid-dog day afternoon reveals secret

rituals and dark passages. Unpronounceable patois is inflicted on

the unknowing as another slim dancer sweeps along, light as a leaf

 

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gliding past the Downtown monoliths, chaotic chasms bounded

by those tall monuments to unfeeling.

 

For joy. For joy. She loves Boethius too. She curtsies at

his tearful eyes. The camera spits and she disintegrates.

 

Where oh queer has this vision flown? All Tyger sees

are black roaches crawling, a few soaring to catch a better view.

 

She has disappeared forever? Tyger must decide

whether he is happy or sad to have seen her, then consider the

implications of his decision.”

 

Shit, Tyger takes another hit just as it might be, it could

be, it is .. . a home run by Atlanta catcher Bruce Benedict of

all persons. What is frigging happening?

One to nothing, Skip Caray recounts. Tyger awakens from

his illusion to the higher reality of the purest American sport

besides ripping off people, killing them, and covering up;

that is to say, BASEBALL. Hip hip hooray. Pitch on

McWilliams. Lay that libido lumber number, Raffy Ramirez.

Tyger loses himself in the ongoing continuity of comparison

between each individual effort of the moment,

those that have passed, and will follow.

 

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Bright and early Monday with the sun at his back like a

gunslinger slaying ancient lore, Tyger is ejected into the fetid

psychic atmosphere leading towards New Orleans East.

He is an early morning zombie stumbling past the

multitudinous masses and former kings of Rex, past derelicts

along Camp Street in their ragged uniforms and the legal

derelicts who argue in sustained finery at federal court.

(Why do they wear ties that bind anyway? Never mind, Tyger

answers his own question.)

Therefore, among all those representatives of order

coming and going, a familiar call has sounded. A new day has

come, risen to fall again across the valley of time.

Immutable echoes of anonymous forces that pulled our fathers

and pushed our lives to an inevitable conclusion reverberating like

Mac’s bongos bonging bonging gone.

For Mildred Baker, insurance claimant mondo bizarre

extraordinaire, this is your unlucky day, babe. Tyger is about to

cover you like a wet towel. Enjoy the shoe.

Coming on to 10 a.m. Monday June 13, 1988 — 1899 if you

are stuck in last century like the Slimes-Picayune — Tyger

travels I-10 East. His loud unmuffled engine roars past

housing project red rooftops to the left, Vieux Carre on the

right; over and beyond the high rise asphalt road climbing

 

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above the Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District funneling down

into New Orleans East. The 13 mile journey to the far side

of the Crescent City might as well be the far side of the moon,

The inveterate investigator exits on Morrison Road.

A quick check of Bakermania shows all activity normal,

therefore all systems a big a go go, shindig control. Tyger pulls

into the numero uno surveillance location watching the

ever-loving story unfolding. An old bugger walks his equally ancient

large shaggy dog. A couple of black kids talk loudly as  walk down the sidewalk

path to open air mini-shopping centers just beyond visible sight-lines.

Traffic flows north-south in vehicular contrapuntal design.

Being mid-morning of mid-June, the day straddles a

borderline between a somewhat pleasant temperate evening and

quickly ensuing scorching hothouse humidity heat that saturates

Crescent City sensibilities until October.

Tyger begins sweating the small stuff as he fine tunes the black box system.

Tiny beads of Tyger water drip on the video recorder. He covers

the car floor with the Kool Aid Kids beach towel and an astronomical calendar.

Why the large colorful astronomical calendar issued by the

Clemson University Physics Department? Because it’s there, babe.

 

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Don’t ask so many questions.

Tyger considers the calendar a classy touch in case anyone

sees through the tinted car windows. Maybe this will subliminally

inspire them to spend more time considering the all encompassing

nature of the heavens instead of their usual stuck in the mud shit

helluva earthly presence. Following general orders based on a cursory review

of previously recorded Baker surveillance, Tyger remains in the immediately

indigenous zone. This is to observe any activities and, if necessary, hop in his

car to follow any Bakerian anomalies. He doublechecks the rear parking area.

Truck, van, poorly aging red Buick sit around the asphalt lot, no doubt

swapping old war lies. Sub rosa investigator walks around the backside,

up and over by an adjoining apartment complex, finally ending up where

he began, by his mother the car. An uneventful surveillance scene.

Nothing neither way declaim Horatios of insane world orders.

Like Hamlet, Tyger looks to the sky, contemplating the inner meaning

of his navel. That cloud looks very like a whipped cream dispenser

nitrous oxide cartridge. Nay, nave, looks very like a wheel chair,

the type that Mildred Baker shtups to conquer, pretending to ride.

A hot hotter hottest sun begins dominating consciousness,

wiping away early morning dew. Tyger rests in the shade of an old

oak tree, leaning nonchalantly on tired wood bark.

 

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Hey, de nada no problem. The investigator has nothing but

time to kill at $12 an hour plus mileage and relevant expenses.

About 11:20 a.m. a sudden flurry of subjective activity.

A Mustang with Mississippi plates reportedly owned by Baker’s

ex-husband, driven by her teen-age son, rolls up to the apartment complex.

Surprise, surprise, a tall thin lad about 17 years old

jumps from the driver’s seat. He double-quick steps lively to the

passenger side gallantly opening the door. Out limps Mrs. Baker

oh so very bang the drums slowly melodramatically sporting

a huge metal brace hanging stiffly from both arms. She sways

from side to side low stepping between awkward placement of brace on

pavement. Yoiks, Youch, ouch, almost pains the soul to see her goose step.

She looks like a massive red ant hill of pain. Hell, seems almost

too much to bear as she waits for her son to open the front gate.

Truly overkill. One almost might believe she was seriously

injured if not for the histrionic display outside Touro

Infirmary. This bitch simply takes the cake. (Eat it already.)

After about 15 minutes of Monday silence, young Baker

carries out a series of assignments. He places four potted plants

outside the front upstairs apartment. He checks for mail.

 

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None apparently available.

The thin lad climbs in his car, driving north up Morrison

Road to the nearby yatville market. He returns about 15

minutes later, two bags of groceries full.

Tyger lets the boy pass because he is not the primary target

of surveillance. Meantime, negative subject activity.

After about two hours, Tyger figures he has hung around the

spreading oak tree long enough and wanders a bit farther away

near the interstate underpass. He takes a well earned rest,

keeping on guard for any unusual observers.

Nope, pope. Vehicles come and go across the nearby road

as sneaky Tyger person remains invisibly cloaked by a freeway

pillar and post. Nice spot, hopefully no illegally dumped

hazardous waste in the vicinity to spoil such fun.

Tyger wanders a bit farther afield and what do you know,

spies a very familiar four foot high light blue object. He walks

to it,. bends down, laughing uproariously incognito in utter cognition.

Comrades, believe it or nuts, a discarded nitrous oxide tank

graces the interstate underworld. Apparently, someone has nearly

emptied its sacre blue contents, dumping it in the wasteland below the highway.

Talk about Lagniappe. Surveillance sometimes can be a funny game resembling,

 

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like Joe Fine said, the ultimate Andy Warhol movie. Yuck it up, comrades.

Tyger wobbles back to the spot for a walkabout at 1 p.m. He

figures if Baker is a soap opera fan maybe she will roll during

the break between “All My Children” and “General Hospital.”

Nobody watches “One Life to Live.”

No dice. Apparently, no rolling stone, simply gathering moss today.

Tyger kills another half-hour nearby alternating between

walking and whatever it takes to stop. Negative subject activity continues.

Final act, the usual search for a pay telephone to destroy.

Rather surprisingly, there seems to be a lack of such functions.

Tyger eventually locates a nice model near Ullo’s Family Supermarket.

Dialing Dorothy for an upfake, she says, “Run the system until 3 p.m.,

break it down, look at the tape, and return on her tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Run the system the full six hours. Spend the first hour­ nearby,

nearby, then leave the area. Break it off a little before 5 p.m.

“Fair enough,” Tyger acknowledges. “I will give her the royal treatment.

We all know she is faking. Just a matter of getting her again.”

As per instructions, Tyger returns the next morrow like an

ill wind that means Mildred Baker no good. He sets up, sticking

to the catbird’s seat. Baker the junior’s car is back in the lot hobnobbing

with the other inanimate objects.

 

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About the only activity of note, if that, is Mrs. Baker executing her

walking like death warmed over shtick, leaning painfully on heavy

metal arm braces trudging to the edge of the apartment complex

stairs. Yoiks! Youch! What a pathetic slouch. She needs new material.

Previously cited elderly dog walking man opens his door

below. She speaks to the neighbor. He walks a few steps to the

row of open mailboxes, peers inside.

Then he returns and speaks to the fabulous Mrs. Baker as

her son places potted plants outside. She lamely returns

inside. And that’s the name of that game. Tyger gives it another 30

minutes before departing to kill a wonderful four hours at Lake Forest Mall.

The mall is its usually insipid environment, but at least air conditioned,

to put it not so mildly. The place exudes an arctic like cold.

No wonder the ozone layer is being totally depleted. It must

take about 100,000 future skin cancer cases alone to keep this

zootropic void comfortable enough for the zombierrific manimals

currently on display. Imagine, this is just one such location out of galaxies

exhibiting the usual shopping until they are dropping school of scandal.

Tyger alternates periods of walking around aimlessly with

innocent window shopping and sitting at each of the mall eating

areas in random rotation. He grabs a cup of chicory here, a cold drink

 

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there, chilling a couple of hours.

A quick check of the mall cinema reveals “Clue” is playing.

Not interested. Maybe there is something interesting next week.

Nope. It’s some piece of pap called “Jocks.” Reads the front

poster with a picture of two guys ogling tennis balls and bosoms.

“A big tennis tournament in Las Vegas looks like the perfect

road trip for a college team with something to prove; starring

Richard Roundtree and Perry King.”

Better to watch grass grow and paint dry. At least

those allow for possibilities of flying fancy free.

Bored with mall marauding, Tyger returns to “Discreet Charm

of the Bourgeoisie” “Last Year at Marienbad” mode.

He walks around outside in the 90 degree heat,

90 percent humidity. Ahh, Louisiana living;

O, excellent air bag, be sure to pass the gas.

New Orleans East around these parts is nothing but open

spaces punctuated by shopping areas, apartment complexes, and

related structures. Tyger walks this way and turns that. He

retraces his steps and like a compass gone wild moves little

doggie along in random counterclockwise measures north, east,

south, west, and back again.

The intrepid investigator discovers a sort of bayou-drainage

ditch near a huge decrepit apartment complex. He sits around

there tossing rocks in the putrid green water. Good times.

 

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Kids bicycle about like mad fruit flies. Cars race along

in the distance, far away from the madding Baker crowd.

Tyger determines this to be a psychically safe area,

lighting up a marijuana roach. He inhales deeply, leans back,

watching time flow like a flash flooding arroyo.

Feeling a bit overheated after a spell, the detective from

across the River Styx strikes out again for the overly cool

to say the least mediocrity mall. Lighting up the tote

board, Cerberus determines he has earned about 60

1988 dollars while hanging out in the eastern hot zone.

Maybe this is what purgatory is all about. Taxi zum klo redux.

Tyger checks in with Dorothy letting her know all systems are

operating properly when he arrives back among the — living? —

at safety first mall. Nothing much more to report.

“Great,” Dorothy notes. “Look at the tape when you get home.

Do the same thing tomorrow. They really want to get Baker.

She is asking for a zillion dollars. She is a strange

bird alright. The say she was a trapeze artist in her salad days,

then somehow ended up working messes at Gulf oil rigs.”

A review of the tape shows minimal activity. Baker hobbles

around like the invalid she pretends to be and not to be. (That

is the question.) She speaks briefly with neighbors by her door

a few times. Quite the social butterfly. She sends her son on

neighborhood errands.Tyger has acquired a feel for the lay of the land,

and then some, by now. He maxes out on the camera focus shooting

 

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very nice, even artistic close-ups from the Bakerian enclosure

to her lower steel framed extremities.

Seems like a real job being Mildred Baker.

Three days in a row and by now, comrades, one can appreciate

the picture. Nothing much has changed.Subject makes her usual

ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille cameo appearances on the

po’ liddle me ode to Mildred Baker insurance sham show

while Tyger hangs around not so innocently across the street.

The subject moves in the usual woe is me painful mass while

Tyger prays for something more active. No way today,

comrades in sitting around waiting for nothing to happen.

Tyger walks around an endless tape loop. He hangs out

at the mall well on his way to being an honorary teeny bopper or

maintenance worker. He retrieves the unit, then returns home.

Instant replay rules no change in the official’s call.

Like you were expecting a change in the weather.

Fat chance. It is hot hot hot and Mildred Baker is

not not not. Dorothy tells Tyger to break off the surveillance

for the remainder of the week. “Let’s give Baker a little rest.

We’ll go back on her Tuesday.”

“No problem,” Tyger replies. “Getting sick of LakeForest Mall anyway. ”

The following Tuesday, June 21, 1988 is the summer solstice,

longest day of the year. That makes no difference in the wide

 

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world of Baker dog and pony show histrionics. Roots Badburns

must be her technical advisor. Set up is promptly at 11 a.m.

Tyger hangs around long enough to see little lord Faunteroy Baker

putting out the plants before leaving on morning errand call.

Tyger decides to mix up the routine somewhat.

He waits an hour for an RTA bus that finally arrives.

A couple of well groomed African-American ladies dressed for

Downtown Canal Street sit in front. A couple of kids lounge out back.

An elderly Who Dat Yat man assumes the middle position. Tyger joins

him a few rows back. He plans to ride this wild beast to the end

of the line. Hey man, no wonder no one takes this shit. Takes fucking

forever to get nowhere. Not helping matters any, the driver takes

the Chef Mentaur Highway exit, then stomps off to an inconvenience store.

“Ah, what the hell is going on?” Tyger wonders loudly. Elderly

Yat presence simply shakes his balding head. “Happens all the time.”

Dat man says. “They just stop when they feels like it. Goes with the turf.”

“How can they get away with this?” Tyger asks.

“That’s just the way it goes,” says Yat.

Right. The driver hangs on a pay telephone. Tyger would be

angrier but, after all, he is not really going anywhere. Guess he

 

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and the bus driver have more in common than first appreciated.

Finally, the driver climbs back in his cockpit and blasts off.

“Got everything accomplished, have we?” Tyger loudly asks

sarcastically from the middle seating kingdom The driver is

obviously too dedicated to his craft to acknowledge.

Downtown on Canal Street at long last, Tyger takes his

nickel paper transfer, walking over to South Claiborne Avenue

near the medical centers. He waits forever for forever again,

finally catching a bus Uptown.

At approximately 2 p.m. by the “General Hospital” clock;

final destination, Tygertown, all detectives please exit. Well,

comrades in the transportational arts, Tyger knew before he

started that the trip probably would be a bust. He wanted to

confirm that data by scientific method. Bad thinking.

Back on the road again after a 30 minute pit stop. Let us

skip description of the return trip. Another pointless

exercise in return to forever. Aboriginal dreamtime.

Tyger is exhausted when he finally returns to the

surveillance scene. Now, that really was like working.

The instant replay investigator picks up the system while

acknowledging his foolishness. We all must learn from our

mistakes or they go for naught. Next time, sensibility must triumph

Definitely back to the mall. The hell with Gulliver’s Travels.

 

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On Wednesday, more of the same old same old. Set up, mall

extravaganza, take down, review tapes. No scoring. Nothing

neither way. Another rest period until the end of the week is ordered.

on Monday June 27, 1988, events begin to pick up the pace

Curious comings and curioser goings around the Baker place.

About time, ya thunk?

Increased activity is apparent tout de suite as a series

of 30- and 40-something white males arrive and depart en masse.

They have that coke classic redneck mother demeanor tooling around in

raunchy pick-up trucks and vans with dirty Mississippi and Louisiana license plates.

Tyger sticks with the scene longer than usual due to a case

of highly aroused curiosity. Mrs. Baker flitters across her

universe of front door to top of the stairs like the grand queen

carnival bee greeting her visitors, passing on loopy commands.

Drone bees ignore her for the most part, although one tall thin

redneck with visible arm tattoos pays her more attention than the others.

While most of them seem interchangeable anonymous parts in

some crazy yahoo party machine, tattoo man appears to be

more of a leader type. His presence like that of the son is continuous.

Following orders, and figuring discretion is the better part

of valor, best to make himself scarce in case something bad

happens, Tyger retreats from the battle field for the mall.

 

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He fritters away the hours leaving the Baker critters to frolic.

D’uh dangerous detective returns for 4:30 p.m. system

retrieval. He waits a bit longer inside his vehicle in the event

something interesting happens. True dat. Ain’t happenin’.

A redneck mother of a red truck zooms out of the parking lot on Morrison

Road towards the interstate. Tyger follows. He lets go of the

truck, however, when the driver turns east on I-10 on

the way to Spring Woods and the Mississippi state line.

Tyger must head west to his house to review the tape. After

all, the departing vehicle does not overtly concern the subject of

the investigation. Baker is not aboard, so pursuit seems

irrelevant. Upon further review, more of the same perplexing activity.

A party of rednecks arrive. A party departs. Tattoo man and

Baker son generally hover in and around the apartment perimeter.

Sometimes, said son runs short errands.

Baker rules the space between her front door and stairs with

bizarre grace and awkward heavy metal brace aided movements.

This goes on all day.

This goes on all the next day; more rednecks, constant

activity. Tyger runs the system, sticking closer to the viewing

area just in case Baker rolls. Nothing doing on that score.

Still, it seems a puzzling surveillance scene. Tyger simply

 

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can not figure it out. What the hell could

all those motherfucking rednecks be doing in there?

Damn thing is more puzzling than relativistic physics

and Big Bang theories. They don’t seem to be dealing drugs.

No way is Baker a madame nor does she appear to be anything

more than a figurehead greeter whom the others ignore. Would you

want to sleep with that? Not in this life.

More there than meets the eye, obviously. But what?

Tattoo guy appears to be running the big shoe, but that is

about all Tyger can discern. Like that oak tree he stands by, stumped.

On Wednesday June 29, Tyger joins Alice slipping into wonderland

as everything becomes curiouser and curiouser.

The raunchy redneck convention breaks up about noon.

The entire crew departs en more masse in two minivans.

No return on deposit. They are solid gone for the day.

As Tyger lurks down the road near the market, he notices a

wild break in the weather. Baker son’s car emerges from the back

parking lot, meandering about 40 yards to one of the street turnarounds.

Nothing unusual about that. But then, what the hey line?

Mildred Baker, without her heavy braces, jumps — that is jumps

 

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like a silly white rabbit — out of the passenger seat and

walks, that is walks like you or Tyger over to the driver’s

side. She practically drags a reluctant teenager out of his seat

and have another hit, holy shit! — climbs in herself and

drives down the street. The poor kid, hang-dog demeanor, sits

like death on the passenger side.

Tyger stands by the market with his mouth wide open in

disbelief. What a time to be out of his car. Damn.

Elvis has left the building!

Tyger immediately returns to his vehicle, rewinding the

tape. As expected, rats, all he has is Baker doing the usual

hobble step polka while leaving the apartment.

The acrobatic turnaround segment happened in outer space

beyond the videomaker’s universe. Who would have thunk it?

Tyger drives up and down Morrison Road hoping to pick up

Baker’s car, especially considering the current driver.

Alas, it is to no avail. No Baker Baker anywhere, not a hood to wink.

Tyger does not want to leave the immediate area because the

fabulous Mrs. Baker might be driving when they return.

However, he has a bad feeling about that possibility.

Sometimes, one shot is all you get.

 

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The big bad Baker vehicle returns about 20 minutes later.

Sure enough, the comeback kid is behind the wheel.

Like a bear who shit in the woods, he appears greatly relieved.

Baker upon return to sender, has resumed her vegetative

state. The boy helps her out of the car in a show for the

neighbors and good God, no doubt.

Tyger feels fairly confident he has gone undetected despite

his frequent presence. In fact, by this time his constant

appearance has induced an inverse effect. He has become just as

much a part of the Morrison Road landscape as the other yat finks.

Hell, he has spent so much time around Baker purgatory that

legitimate residents of the area believe he lives nearby. He is

Cerberus from beyond the mall to their River Styx death-in-lifestyles.

Back at his actual Uptown residence, Tyger reviews the tape

and telephones Dorothy. “Well, what do you know,” she comments,

thoughtfully considering the big picture. “Spoke with Joe today.

Says it is time to wrap up on Baker. Wants you to take an active surveillance.

Sit in your car on her, follow any movements. Just go for it. Don’t care

if you blow your cover. Shoot her if she moves.”

Noooo problema. Tyger sets up, waiting for hours. He

ignores the neighbors as they likewise ignore him. That is some

 

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neighborhood watch program they have over there.

The son’s car is missing from the parking lot.

No sign of the redneck conventioneers.

A little after 1 p.m. Baker, encased like a manic mummy

in steel embrace, walks — make that painfully hobbles —

down the street to the market, and returns.

Tyger gets right up on her fat ass with his car,

first shooting from behind. Then, he leap-frogs

to the market parking lot, obtaining a good front shot.

Silly wabbit looks like agony of the anti-christ on crutches.

Quite a performance from the lady who just the other

day was driving like a batwoman out of hell along Morrison Road.

Tyger knows she has spotted owl him now. Hoot hoot.

Fuck her, if toucan. Give her the bird. She can make

Tyger from here to eternity for all the investigator cares.

He simply is following orders. There is no tomorrow today.

That about sums up the extent of Baker’s activity. Tyger posts

high on the apartment complex. He notices her pointing him

out to a neighbor. Did she just wave at him? Must be a pigment of his

imagination. Then again…After further review, Tyger decides she indeed was

waving at him from the top of the stairs. He doesn’t particularly care

except for a modicum of anger induced by her half-assed attitude that she believes

she has gotten away with something.Tyger has been following the acrobat turned

 

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faux invalid’s activities for weeks without being noticed. She only

caught him when he turned up the heat in the most obvious fashion.

That evening, Dorothy delivers final marching orders.

“We are going one last time on Baker, and that is the fat lady singing.

I bet you are sick of the place by now.”

“No kidding,” mind of the Tyger replies. “Everyone thinks I live around there.”

Dorothy laughs. “All we want you to do is set up the system

as usual. Run it the six hours and pick it up. This will conclude

our mission. Then, drop off the tapes and equipment. Joe want

to make a few modifications, or something. Don’t worry about

your reports until later. We only need the tapes for now”

Tyger takes a final leap through the looking glass into the

wonderful world of Mildred Baker where nothing is as it

seems, and even less makes sense.

He sets up the picture, gets the hell out of River City

East over to the covered mall. The maxed-out mall experience finally comes

in somewhat handy as the weather has now turned hot for the

duration of summer and beyond. Tyger chills in the usual manner.

He is a bit more cautious than previously due to Thursday’s

events, picking up the system about 4:30 p.m. after first

determining that the coast, as they say, is clear. Not even a

 

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Mariel boat-lift dinghy or Cajun pirogue on the horizon.

A change in course is taken per instructions.

Tyger drives to the West Bank during rush — haha — hour, crawling into

Marrero about 5:30 p.m. He leaves off the tapes and equipment,

then returns home. Land line rings at Tyger’s lair about 9 p.m.

Yes? Dorothy from behind the curtain at Oz.

“Ahhh, Tyger. Is everything alright?” inquires his supervisor ever so cautiously.

“Huh?” Tyger replies a bit perplexed. “What you mean?”

“You didn’t notice anything, ahh, unusual about, say, your car?”

continues Dorothy mining the same vein. Conversation ensues.

“No,” Tyger says. “Same as always.”

“You sure?” Dorothy says.

“Well, yeah. Why do you ask?”

“Oh, that’s a relief,” Dorothy notes. “No one said anything

to you or anything? Did they?”

“No,” answers a suddenly concerned Tyger .

” I better tell you what happened,” Dorothy continues.

“Baker and a couple of neighbors were around your car for at

least 20 minutes, shaking it, and everything like that. I was

afraid maybe they did something to it.”

“Shaking my car?”

“Yeah. Actually it is kind of funny because they

are right up in the window staring inside, then

 

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shaking it for a spell. Didn’t really affect the picture any.

That darn black box is very sturdy.”

“They were shaking my car?”

“Well, yes. But if you didn’t notice anything unusual, guess it’s alright.”

“No. Car drove crappy as always.”

“Well, that’s a relief. I guess. Sorry to put you through that. We didn’t

think anything like that would happen, but Mildred Baker is mad

as a hatter, as we all know.”

“They were shaking my car? You are kidding, right?”

“Don’t get too concerned. Apparently everything turned out for the best.”

“I must have been at Lake Forest Mall when they were doing

that. Everything seemed normal when I returned. Didn’t have a clue.”

“Good then. Let me know if there are any problems with your

car or anything.” Dorothy resumes, her laughing gasps.

“I mean, you really should see the tape. Never seen anything

that funny in my life, them all clucking like chickens, shaking the car.

They were trying to look through the windows, but from

the appearance of it, didn’t seem to see anything. Actually, quite a gas.

Guess I can say that because it isn’t my car. Seriously, let me

know if anything is wrong. We’ll take care of it.”

 

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“Like I said. We are through with the case. Nothing on

the horizon for a while,” Dorothy continues. “I’m sure we

will have you going on some cases after the Fourth of July.

I know Joe wants to get at Bingo LeBeouf very badly.

Might be some other cases too.”

“Sure. Sure. Need a little break anyway.” Tyger replies,

shaking his head in amazement. “They were shaking my car?

I’ll  be damned. Didn’t have a clue.”

Tyger immediately screeches like a cruise missile to his

vehicular target reconnoitering for any scrapes, cuts, bruises,

or Baker-related abrasions.

No, seems alright. He road tests around Audubon Park. All

systems operate as always, which is to say not great, but no

unusual noises or problems. So it goes. The Baker riot did not

cause any significant fall-out like a nuclear tipped Cruise missile might.

 

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Watching the Cubbies blast the Philadelphia Philthies

9-1 behind the pitching of Rick Sutcliffe, Tyger nevertheless

feels a sense of uneasiness. He hits on the last remaining

nitrous whippets from the ISIS 20-pack. Whoosh whoosh ah-ha-ha.

“Man, I was in that damn mall when all hell was breaking

loose,” Tyger thinks, shaking his head in resignation. “I am very

glad I did not see that happening. I really would have broken

Baker’s back if I had. Bitch.”

No harm, no foul, no matter. In a Midsummer Night’s Dream

so pleasant, so right, Tyger kicks back his mind reflecting on

the Bard’s sentiments. All’s well that’s well ended.

The intrepid investigator can’t ask for much more than that,

except, maybe, Prospero’s daughter. But that is another play

entirely. Take another hit, O’ excellent air bag. Reality is unreal.

Hahaha…laughing it up till the coming morrow.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

Igor, a startling performance artist

from New York, visits the gang. Igor makes the usual splash upon

arrival and his story is told. He supervises the creation of

Snack Rack, a discarded postcard tree filled with rotten food and

crawling insects that is unofficially entered in a local art show

with resulting mayhem. On July 4th, Igor and the gang attend a

lame performance by the New Neanderthals in the French Quarter.

 

CHAPTER 25

“IGOR COMES TO TOWN”

 

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Igor. The very name strikes fear in the heartless souls of art philistines everywhere

Igor. Armor’s good art buddy lately of the Arcosanti Commune

near Flagstaff, Arizona; more recently performing the herculean

task of cleaning the stables at Belmont Park Race Track at Elmont, New York.

(He helps with renovations at Carnegie Hall in his spare

time. His picture even made it into the New York Times on that score.)

Igor. Master of modern primitive painting and weird frog art

as well as the odd performance piece between engagements.

Igor. Igor. Igor. The crowd chants his name rising in a

nitrous wave above these distant shores. All hail the great

artist of our time. How about dropping into our planetary hell hole some time?

Yes, comrades in art, the July 4th weekend is heating up as

if that were possible given the 92 degree plus temperatures

accompanying humidity fit to soak one’s soul in sweat.

Igor’s body lies over the water yet.

Armor’s receives the call eagerly. Igor has decided to get

 

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away from the city — that’s the Big Apple y’all — over the

weekend. He believes it high time to commune with his friends in

New Orleans. Cognoscenti are excited.

Two events coincidentally distinguishing this year’s

Crescent City, shall we say, celebration also call quite vividly

for Igor’s rapt attention.

Firstly, the Contemporary Arts Center on “this used to be

Camp Street” as they once advertised during a street fair thrown

to rid the area of street derelicts in favor of their pseudo-art

derelictions is having an art exhibition and contest.

Winner receives bogus recognition, theoretically.

Secondly, that well known purveying group of doom, the New

Neanderthals, have somehow gotten their shit together long enough

to play an equally bogus July 4th gig in the French Quarter

courtyard of a sort of hip collectibles shop.

They say they are going to make a music video.

We will have to see about that. Hopefully, so will Igor.

Igor, of course, will stay with Armor’s and his cats at the

petting zoo. The controversial by design great artist is due for

a Saturday morning arrival, Tuesday evening departure.

That should give him more than enough time to wreak havoc on what

 

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used to be known as the Big Crescent City that Care Forgot Easy.

Let us see what they call this place after Igor is through.

Armor’s drives out to New Orleans International Airport at 7:30 p.m.

He is his usual rambunctious self, passive-aggressively tempting death

while playing in fast moving traffic. Thankfully, as Tyger clutches the lap belt

for dear life, no more surveillance for this pelicana. Armor’s number is retired.

The Mercury Capris makes it safely to the short-term parking area by act

of a higher power’s caprice. The boys head for the Delta terminal

at this used to be called Moisant Field. Not surprisingly, they are late,

they are late for a very important date. Welcome to Armor’s world already.

The official gang greeting committee cascades up the escalator, leaping steps in a series

of long bounds, mini-supermen — or stupormen, your call — passing a startled

security guard. Lucky for him they are not in the mood for a skyjacking.

Regular jacks will do.

(The uninformed, incidentally, always ask for the proper definition

of the local slang use of the word “jack,” that can be used grammatically

as verb, noun, adverb, or adjective being a most descriptive term. Mr. Milty

summed it up perfectly with his classic ink drawing of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside a picture of an angry man pounding

 

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a pinball machine inside apicture of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside etc….)

The welcome to N’Awlins this is your life ad hoc Igor society flies

across the busy airport concourse O.J. Simpson pre-murder style.

They hear a voice ring out as all traffic stops like in the old

Dean Witter commercials, all necks craning to hear the stock tip.

“Ho ho ho there boys,” a far figure enthralling,

drawing Armor’s and Tyger like shades towards his shadowy

denouement of arrival strategy. “I’m all Ho’d out.”

Wearing a Davey Crockett coonskin cap with a long blonde

pony tail sticking out for good measure, Igor walks confidently

towards his steering committee. “Ho ho ho there boys,” he repeats

for effect and halts just before reaching Armor’s outstretched hand.

Then, what do you know comrades, he flips his trim lean body

over in an acrobatic handstand, walking a few feet with his feet

in the air. That lad always knew how to attract a crowd, kind of

like Jelly Roll Morton without the extreme verbal histrionics.

Igor rolls to a stop in a sitting position as Tyger, Armor’s

and a small crowd of curious bears break into applause.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very much,” Igor acknowledges as

the crowd quickly disperses. Maybe they have heard about him.

Meanwhile, airport security guards are quickly scrambling

 

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like rats after cheese in the opposite direction. They know

trouble when they see it. “That was great,” Armor’s finally comments.

“Great to see ya Igor.”

“How is everything in the Big UnEasy?” Igor asks.

“Same old same old,” Tyger states. “Been looking forward to seeing you.”

“Got a couple of awful activities on tap,” Armor’s reports.

“Goody,” Igor notes with pleasure. “Goody gum drop.

That’s what we all came for.”

Tyger grabs Igor’s duffle bag as the orange tinged artist

walks along with Armor’s to the escalator. Tyger and Armor’s ride

the automatic steps. Igor tries to slide down the railing

alternating between sliding a few feet and falling off.

Good show, old chap. Everybody finds this game quite

amusing. Igor laughs uproariously more like a happy lion than silly rabbit.

Tyger and Armor’s are now officially in the Igor zone and

loving it. They can feel the karma level rising rapidly.

The three artists become imbued with a sense of heightened

artistic energy. They break the sound barrier near confused,

possibly frightened, beautiful rent-a-car chicks sitting in their

ridiculously colored uniforms at respective corporate

commercialism counters. Armor’s immediately, excitedly bee-

lining to a bank of black telephones.

 

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“What you doing there?” Igor inquires.

“Have to call Mac,”Armor’s replies. “Everybody at MacLand wants to see you

as soon as humanly possible.”

“Yes. Let us stop there,” Igor says. “Mac’s a great guy. We can reminisce

about our adventures through the weirdly wilds of Arcosanti.”

Armor’s mutters a few words into the phone, handing the

apparatus to Igor. “Heeeeeeey Mac:! How is it going?!?” Igor yells, nearly

undressing the phone’s mouthpiece. “Heeeey Mac! Hip Hip hooray you dirty dog.”

A few additional nonsensical pleasantries exchanged. Mac

gives Igor the proposed Saturday night agenda. Igor agrees to the

proposal with one amendment before breaking off the commos line.

“Let me drop my duffel bag at Armor’s house and wash up,”

Igor appends. “I feel quite grungy after the airplane ride, not to

mention three margarita cocktails.”

Igor apprises the greeting committee of the upcoming meeting

schedule. “Your wish is my command sir. Yes,” replies Armor’s

with his best Ed McMahon imitation.

(Was Armor’s consciously imitating the Johnny Carson second

banana? He will never tell. In any event, lucky for Ed McMahon

breath, Armor’s is not interested in hosting “Star Search.”)

The boys float on the wings of uplifted consciousness to

Armor’s awaiting chariot. They Ben Hur Uptown narrowly missing

 

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identified driving objects who have the misfortune of blocking

Armor’s way at that particular point of space and time.

Hey, you lousy driving dharma bums, no one promised you a

rose garden on the interstate. Make way for real art royalty and

we don’t mean no carnival klutz.

Armor’s wildly honks his horn while Igor sticks his head out

the window making weird faces at other vehicular units. All the

while, Igor’s pony tail sways madly in the speed breaking highway

wind. Beats the roller coaster of defunct Ponchartrain Beach for

excitement any day of the week.

“Next time,” Igor tells Armor’s as they decelerate towards

the South Carrolton exit, “let me do the driving.”

“You don’t have a license though. Do you?” Tyger asks if

memory serves him well.

“Don’t need one, dear boy,” Igor replies. “I just want to drive. I

don’t use identification.”

“Oh,” Tyger says. “Sorry for asking.”

“Uhh, O.K,” Armor’s adds. “Want to drive now?”

“Nah. Remind me later.”

Tyger feels like the personification of his Lurch imitation,

but bites his tongue. First chance, he vows, he is retreating to

his own car. He will meet up with Igor and Armor’s

traveling show later at Mac’s pad.

Scene dissolve. Stage left as hours pass like seconds. Igor

and Armor’s curtsy. Then, they disappear courtesy of the hands of time.

 

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They re-emerge 9 p.m. at MacLand followed by Tyger,

the semi-great art hunter-detective.

An interesting discussion ensues as Mac, Armor’s, and Igor

recall a journey they took in 1986 when the former rescued the

latter from his less than free state at Arcosanti, a self-contained

commune theoretically dedicated to the positive

advancement of humanity’s consciousness.

Igor lived in a cave in the Arizona high desert wasting his

considerable artistic talents by engaging in whatever commune

practices were en vogue there. Anyone can be a flunky, but the

great shaman artists of an age are few and far between. (Such is

the grinning Igor Buddah seated cross-legged on Mac floor.)

Mac and Armor’s somehow sensed that Igor was becoming

disillusioned at the commune. They showed up at his cave doorstep

in the Nick Bowers of time, apparently. Igor’s attitude was

beginning to run afoul of commune authorities.

Igor’s cavalry packed his few belongings in Mac’s old car.

They charged northeast to Colorado and a “Jack Kerouac: On the

Road Again” conference. Picking up a female hitchhiker called

Flora along the way, the art soldiers happily careened across the

great Southwest taking slightly obscene photographs of the

willing young girl, stopping along the road for red-green hot

Mexican chili dinners and cold drinks.

A good time was had by all. At least, that is their story

 

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and they’re sticking to it. Attention spans to another topic.

Armor’s has a bit of current news update for the visiting performance artist.

“Those lame assholes at the CAC are having an art show,” Armor’s reports.

“They are so fucking stupid that they give true artists a bad name.

We need to teach them a lesson.”

Igor laughs in his trade-marked vaguely sinister manner.

“Remember the bird scout cookies?” he asks, alluding to an unforgettable instance

in which he filled up empty girl scout cookie boxes with decaying dead birds;

then went door to door “selling” them.

Predictably, no buyers although a particularly rabid off-duty Houston policeman

threatened to arrest Igor on the spot, thereby ending, for the day, the infamous art project.

Yes, it was a pheasant way to the pass that particular day.

Of course, the boys remember the bird scout cookies incident

immortalized in the ongoing memory of man

as related from generation to generation at life’s wonderful way stations

such as this Mac’s house bullshit seance.

Reminiscences such as these reverberate far louder

than the roar of MacLand’s huge fans beating the heat senseless.

“Tell me more about this so-called show,” an interested Igor asks,

his mind click clicking instantly formulating a secret game plan.

“Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters, coming to  a pot hole chasm in the road.

 

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Tyger jumps in noting, “Tomorrow night.

They have the Slimes-Picayune art critic and a couple of

others judging the exhibits. All entries must have themes

relating to the culinary arts since this is, after all, a part f

New Orleans fake claim to fame. Winner gets screwed or something.”

“Screwed, eh?” Igor contemplates. “I could use a little screwing.”

Igor pauses to consider further, then turns to.Armor’s Tungsten.

“What was that I saw abandoned outside the hardware store on the corner?”

“Uhh. The postcard rack?”

“Ah-huh. The snack rack.”

“Snack rack?” Mac repeats.

“Ah-huh. Let’s retrieve it,” Igor says.

What the hey-line. The boys walk down the street to where

sits discarded an old postcard rack. Mac picks it up like

a Christmas tree, lugging it back to the home pad.

“Let us get to work lads. We have some serious art to make,”

Igor announces, as he — whomp! — captures a large roach under a

plastic cup. “I believe we have our first subject.”

Thus begins the making of Snack Rack so christened. Igor

tapes a paper bottom under the cup thereby preserving the roach

forever in time. He places roach-in-a-cup on one of the lower

branches of the soon to be art wracked tree.

“What have we in the kitchen,” he announces as Sarah goes to

 

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the back of the house. “You want something” she says, “gross?”

to which Igor replies, “Grosser the better,”

laughing maniacally as per his peculiar style.

A mad scramble ensues as each of MacLandia’s citizenry

scours the property for the most awful, horrible, preferably

crawling live or rotting dead objects, to place on a particular rack.

A wild assortment of indigenous insect life combines with

decaying foodstuff to form the core of the proposed exhibit.

Every now and then cries of “Ooooooh,” or “ahhhhhh, disgusting,”

escape as the racks quickly fill  to overflowing with, dare we say, snacks.

Disgusting work, comrades, but an artist must do what an

artist must do, damn the consequences. “I feel a little like

throwing up,” Sarah comments to which Igor appends, “Please do.

We have a spot for that on the lower right arm left.”

“Maybe I’ll hold it in,” she notes after careful consideration.

Odor most foul stinking to high heaven; insects most fair

crawling in their plastic cages, fighting to no avail to exit the

evolving exhibit. “Is this how Picasso got started?” Tyger asks.

“I don’t believe he dealt much in food art,” Igor replies.

“Of course one never knows about a person’s inner passions.”

 

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Igor continues to supervise as he whips the upper right rack

in shape, literally, with a healthy serving of chill-and-whip.

“Looks good,” he notes, “and tastes good too. Yum yum.”

Tyger and Armor’s pick over the remnants of the evening’s

last supper producing the odd piece of fruit and leftover

vegetable garbage for Igor to consider.

“Good. Good,” he approves. “I think that putrid banana adds

a very nice touch.” He smells it. “Hmmmm. Pungent aroma. This

will definitely do. Any more lying around, preferably for days?”

Even the cats pitch in as one drags a chicken bone into the

room which Igor eagerly fetches. He accompanies that motion with

the wonderfully evil laugh as eternally trademarked.

“Yes, yes kitty,” he says petting the purring animal

contributor. “Go back into the yard and see what else is appropo.”

The cats might not know much, but they seem to intuit what makes great food art.

They immediately withdraw to follow Igor’s further instructions.

“Oh, how lovely,” he notes as with a flourish Armor’s hands

him a particularly disgusting brown object.

“Don’t tell me what it is. It will ruin the surprise.”

“Good idea,” Sarah adds as she looks on with an air of

suspended disbelief that always forms the basis of appreciation

of true art. “Don’t believe I want to know either.”

Armor’s is well pleased with his contribution. He returns to

 

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the bathroom area for more raw art. He, too, knows a good Snack

Rack object when he feels it.

This activity, accompanied by a long-playing tape of the

latest Macland bongo associative productions for Igor’s benefit,

continues for an hour or so until every branch of the snack rack

tree is filled with the most vile and perplexing of subjects.

Everyone stands back, well back at that, because the

horrible aroma is overpowering, admiring the latest creation of

the great Igor, supervising artist.

“I think we have something here,” Igor concludes. “I think

we truly have an inspirational, magical special representation of

man’s inhumanity to man and the immediate environment.”

Everyone appears quite impressed. “Awesome,” Tyger utters.

“Uhhh. I like it,” adds Armor’s.

“Awful, accent on the first syllable;  art of the highest order,” according to Mac.

“This stinks,” Sarah opines.

“Yes. Yes. That’s good,” Igor states. “Let us go with that. Life stinks.”

“It seems quite alarming,” Sarah continues.

“Yes. Yes,” Igor is well pleased. “I think the girl has got it. Life is alarming.

We are ready for the show.”

So it comes, so it goes. The CAC show is scheduled for

8 p.m. to “when or what ever” on Sunday July 3, 1988.

Regular submissions already have been numbered and

installed around the large space at the center of the gallery floor.

 

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They represent standard local crapola like grass skirts lined

with plastic Mardi Gras type fruit beads, and stupid gingerbread

houses with small carefully crafted, equally insipid, figurines.

What an ugly mess it forms.

Local artists think they have outdone themselves, of

course. The 7 p.m. exclusive reception crowd sit around

immersed in idle self-promoting chatter like a bunch of monkeys

at Audubon Zoo. “Eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh.” “Oooh.”

Looks ripe for a Snack Rack rotten banana attack

Snack Rack has spent the night marinating outside Mac’s house,

acquiring a well rounded buoyancy as well as an

unique and unsubtle aroma through a 92 degree afternoon until

presto perfect ’tis ready for prominent public display.

About the time the paying CAC art consumers start horsing

down hors d’oeuvres; gangway critics, here comes the ultimate

exhibit. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Igor and Armor’s carefully unload Snack Rack from Mac’s

minivan, carrying it like a traveling pre-revolutionary French

monarch on a small carriage through the red brick building’s unlocked back doors,

“Excuse me sirs,” an officious name tag type rudely asks the

Snack Rack retainers as they walk tall through the exhibit with

 

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their unofficial submission.

“Do you have the proper permission for this, ahhh, thing?”

Armor’s takes the usual low road.

“We don’t need no fucking permission, ass-wipe.”

The fawning suit and tie guy steps back eyebrows arched.

Igor, however, is a more conciliatory soul with considerable

experience in these delicate matters. He seeks to keep the peace.

“Oh yes. Yes. We have consulted with the proper authorities,”

Igor placates. “This is properly sanctioned. Yessiree Bob.”

Igor calls to Armor’s in front. “Put it down next to the ornamental

salad bowls. Turn the rotten vegetable arms in that direction.

Believe it fits quite well with the general ambiance of that piece.”

The well dressed crowd gives the Snack Rack crew a very,

very wide berth. A gorgeous blonde in short black dress holds her nose.

“Well, I never,” she finally blurts. “Hey babe,” Mac snaps. “You do now.”

Igor stands back with his arms folded gazing with admiration at his supervised creation.

“I think we have really done it this time,” he concludes.

“Me too,” Tyger agrees. “I just hope we don’t get arrested or something worse.”

Congratulatory high fives all around self-salute the successful art project crew.

 

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Mac busies himself schmoozing at the open bar, pouring

prodigious quantities of rum in a glass with a splash of mixer.

“Gang way. Gang way. Gotta get this drink,” he announces,

clearing a path through the pseudo-polite crowd.

Armor’s is all over the actual food table

scarfing down petite sausage balls and less subtle

little hot dogs on buns. Manners, mannerisms,

touch of drool dribbling down his pure white shoit.

Or maybe that is sweat from Snack Rack transportation duties.

Armor’s will never tell.

Igor is all for art and fun for all. He lobbies one of the judges in the corner.

“Is not this the most spectacular comment on the current state

of American culture you have ever seen,” he states proudly.

“Dunno about that,” here come da judge returning service.

“It’s something alright. Give you that.”

Two more large crawfish name tags signifying nothing much;

art show judges in this event appear as if by magic, confused

as they consider the space.

“Is it art?” asks the elderly grey-haired society matron crawfish tag.

“My dear,” replies the the token gay compadre.

“You wouldn’t know art if it were your dog’s name.”

 

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Ohhh-key. Starting to get uglier at the CAC.

Not even counting the large number of people milling about the art watering hole with

fear and loathing in Hunter S. Thompson’s mind. An event organizer accompanied by two burly

uniformed  security mavens stridently strides to Igor ground zero. “Oh no,” Tyger says,

this is what happened last time.”

(This references another art event when Igor wandered into a clay pottery exhibition at the

Houston Contemporary Arts Museum clad only in loin cloth, awkwardly flipping high

to the sky and, oops, clumsy me, dramatically missing a largegeological hammer.

Igor repeated his actions long enough for nervous pottery exhibitors to corral and subdue him,

ejecting his ass outside. This rude interaction launched a scene of vitriolic argumentation lasting over an hour.)

Resuming our scene, the red faced menacing event coordinator displays an unmistakeable

sense of purpose. “Sorry, ah, sir,” he says, “Are you responsible for this, er..”

“Exhibit,” Igor interjects. “Of course. Is it now the piece de resistance, creme de la creme?”

“Dunno about that,” the organizer says. “I am going to have to ask you to take this out the way you came,

 

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then to a landfill and never come back.”

“Hey buddy. You are the only mockery here,” Mac, somewhat in

his cups, slurs. “Why don’t you get lost. Everyone was enjoying

themselves a lot before your fat ass showed up.”

Armor’s watches in silent wonder, finally chiming in with,

“You know nothing about great art. Who do you think you are?”

“I am in charge of this,” the man says wheeling around to

the rear-guard back-up of this distasteful guerilla action.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave as well, sir.”

“Yeah, well, leave this,” Armor’s replies flashing

upright his trademark right middle finger.

Mac agrees. “Yeah. Leave this too,” repeating Armor’s

obscene gesture with both hands for extra emphasis.

Tyger does not have to be asked to leave as he is all too

familiar with the approaching scenario. He escapes outside and

stands by Camp Street viewing the scene through a large glass window.

He flirts briefly with a petite, possibly attractive brunette.

“Can you believe some people?” he asks innocently enough.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to,” she replies.

“Some people are just animals.”

“Bow wow,” Tyger opines.

The security guards herd Armor’s and Mac to the large front

door. “Hey, you don’t have to push,” Armor’s says. “I was just leaving.”

 

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Mac adds for good measure, “Who would want to stay at such

a crappy expedition anyway.”

The gay judge begs to disagree with snack rack’s disqualification on technical grounds.

“Frankly, my dear, this is the finest piece in the show,”he says, finger on jaw. “I don’t know about you,

but this — what do you say, snack pack — gets my vote hands down.”

The society dame is a bit less approving. “This thing, pardon my French, sucks, and I mean that literally.”

No matter, anti-matter, da die is cast. The praetorian guards return for Igor who, somehow,

had escaped their wrath. Roughly ejecting Igor into the warm dark night.

“Don’t come back,” lead guard says. “Ever.”

Igor and the gang huddle up on Camp Street assessing the situation.

“Don’t know about you lads,” Igor says, “I believe it went quite well.”

“Uhhh, I need a joint,” Tyger says.

“Read your mind,” Mac says, producing a giant blunt, which they puff away on

like Bad Brains along St. Joseph Street before climbing in the minivan and back Uptown

 

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to MacLand. They party the night away there in joyous celebration

until dawn’s first light.

Later that Sunday, no mention of the Snack Rack related

conflagration appears in the Slimes-Picayune, although

considerable space in the arts section is devoted to the

official version of the CAC exhibition. Winners are duly

noted in the driest account unimaginable. Fake official

recognition is heaped like Snack Rack’s rotting broccoli and

flaying insects on such as the crawfish mural and still fruit painting.

The next day, as well, is some nation’s birthday.

Yup. Here comes the 4th of July. A trip to the French

Ouarter for the New Neanderthals fake out is on tap this day.

(Maybe someone should play taps.)

Ah yes, comrades, the historic Vieux Carre, the New Orleans

French Quarter. That place synonymous with the Big Easy to all

tourists, demented travel agents, and assorted assholes the world over.

 

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Roots kills a set, then stumbles around trying to bum a

reefer. He chain smokes cigarettes and pretends like he is

writing a doctoral thesis.

“Yeah, I wrote three pages last week. I am bushed,” he tells

Heave Broward loudly, so others might overhear. “I am going to try

write another three pages next week. Man, it is hard work.”

Must be since he has been “writing” his thesis for 20 years.

His “writing” consists of watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on

television, the only program relating to him on his own

level — and pretending to be working at BooRay University, Home

of the Blue Foam.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Then there is the sad but true case of Heave Broward, slack

bass nowhere-man non-artist. He is a hypocrite too, of course,

going around pretending to be “creative,” as in “yeah man, I

been concentrating on GWAR and I really think they’re on to

something creative,” (Create this, pal.)

“Don’t know why Mr. Milty won’t let the rest of us play

our songs. He always insists on only playing his and I feel, I

don’t know, creatively intimidated. Milty is a great guy. Don’t

get me wrong. He is my best buddy.”

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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And then there is the lead singer, Little Ro, a thin ugly

African-American youth already aging ungracefully. He

never made it past the 11th grade in high school, but goes around

pretending to be “intellectual,” trying unsuccessfully to

fool others and himself about his role as an “artist.”

Such is the group that plays in a French Quarter courtyard

to celebrate our nation’s birthday. How form fitting.

They play a set of ripped off covers plus a few of Milty’s

originals, then take a break. Comes noon as the parking lot

soundstage becomes hot as hell’s kitchen. The New Neanderthals are definitely not.

Igor has the great privilege of witnessing the usual slackmen effort although Milty and

Buck try to pep the set up with some original riffs and lyrics. Game, set, match. Break.

 

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Heave is off in the far corner trying to pick up chicks with

the one millionth recitation of “You are the prettiest girl here.

Congratulations Heave, you have reached escape velocity from reality.

Ro preens by a mirror. Milty and Buck smoke a joint with

Mac, Armor’s and Igor walking up Decatur Street laughing and joking.

A crowd of about 50 background actors mill about the

courtyard taken in by the New Neanderthal performance.

What a way to spend the Fourth.

They play a second sloppy set and pack up the instruments.

Roots finagles a ride from an acquaintance. He has no friends.

Heave hops in with a gullible half-beautiful girl fan,

departing like a snake slithering off the hook. Milty leaves with

his latest girlfriend edition whom he will later pass on as

gullible used goods to a social climbing base bassist Broward.

 

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Buck is in a good mood. He leaves with his girlfriend for a

real party. Ro is … who cares. That accounts for the afternoon.

Mac’s van takes the boys around the French Quarter, honking

at tourists like turtles snapping pictures of anything that moves

and everything that doesn’t.

“Hey you just took a picture of an oak tree,” Armor’s shouts

out the window at one fatass couple. “They don’t have trees where

you come from?”

Guess not. They take another photograph. And over there by

the crime infested St. Louis Cemeteries One and Two, across the

street from the Iberville and St. Thomas Housing Projects, the

tourists wander blissfully unaware of a recent gruesome murder of

two of their own the week before.

The tourists pay lip service to memory — the historic

French Quarter and all that jazz — but don’t even know what went

down last week. Just the way the state Tourist Commission loves

it. Keeps them coming back for more.

Mac drives Igor down Decatur Street by Jackson Square with

the horseback charging hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

 

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(That was, incidentally, the greatest military victory in

United States history through 1988. It took place at the nearby

Chalmette parapets in January 1814, after the War of 1812 had

been negotiated to an end. Appropriate battle for the City that Care Forgot.)

Also in the vicinity stand St. Louis Cathedral where Pope

John Paul II said mass; the Presbytere; the Cabildo, first seat

of Louisiana government; and the hanging plant baskets lining the

long red east and west Pontalba Apartments on both sides of the

square, the first apartment buildings in America.

But, you, comrades of the never-ending story, do not want a

wasteland travelogue. You do not want to walk pointlessly up and

down Bourbon Street in front of sleazy strip joints and t-shirt shops.

This tale is about New Orleans, not the small 16-square

block of Disneyland for tourists and a few derelicts that the

Chamber of Commerce wishes to pass off as our land. We have a

higher purpose in mind for our future.

Seekers of truth will find none in the Vieux Carre. So, Mac

moves past Jax Brewery, a renovated home for overpriced shops in

 

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which no local can afford to shop. Waving his hand, Mac explains,

“Oh by the way, this is the French Quarter.”

“Oh,” Igor notes. “Always wondered what it looked like

after hearing so much about it.” Enough said on that score.

Guest performing artist Igor, who arrived with a bang,

leaves these foreign shores with more like a whimper. Everyone is

well pleased with his artistic input, happy to have had him lend

his validating presence to their small slice of lifestyle.

Tuesday July 5th arrives as it must.

Igor leaves Armor’s with a warm embrace.

“See ya later alligator,” the performance artist calls over his

shoulder paying homage to local culture. “Great visit man,”

Armor’s bon voyages. “Come back again as soon as you can.”

A great bird carries Armor’s into the sky, above the clouds,

beyond the top of the terminal telescope.

But, we can recount in these pages whatever happened to the

New Neanderthals. Nothing.

Roots pretended he had to quit the band because his bosses

required it and to devote more time to his thesis.

 

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It was the usual lie.

Milty started his own band–Belt of Tools.

Buck hooked up with a strange rockabilly group.

Heave continued his nowhere hypocracy hanging out at local

nightclubs pretending to be working on song-writing, lying to

chicks in order to get in their pants. And Little Ro? Who cares.

But of Snack Rack? Aye, that is another story. No doubt some

zealous collector guards its terrible beauty in a darkened art

warehouse somewhere in the Big Uneasy waiting for the proper time

to display the awful truth that gave bad food art a somewhat tasty claim to fame.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

Igor, a startling performance artist

from New York, visits the gang. Igor makes the usual splash upon

arrival and his story is told. He supervises the creation of

Snack Rack, a discarded postcard tree filled with rotten food and

crawling insects that is unofficially entered in a local art show

with resulting mayhem. On July 4th, Igor and the gang attend a

lame performance by the New Neanderthals in the French Quarter.

 

CHAPTER 25

“IGOR COMES TO TOWN”

 

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Igor. The very name strikes fear in the heartless souls of art philistines everywhere

Igor. Armor’s good art buddy lately of the Arcosanti Commune

near Flagstaff, Arizona; more recently performing the herculean

task of cleaning the stables at Belmont Park Race Track at Elmont, New York.

(He helps with renovations at Carnegie Hall in his spare

time. His picture even made it into the New York Times on that score.)

Igor. Master of modern primitive painting and weird frog art

as well as the odd performance piece between engagements.

Igor. Igor. Igor. The crowd chants his name rising in a

nitrous wave above these distant shores. All hail the great

artist of our time. How about dropping into our planetary hell hole some time?

Yes, comrades in art, the July 4th weekend is heating up as

if that were possible given the 92 degree plus temperatures

accompanying humidity fit to soak one’s soul in sweat.

Igor’s body lies over the water yet.

Armor’s receives the call eagerly. Igor has decided to get

 

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away from the city — that’s the Big Apple y’all — over the

weekend. He believes it high time to commune with his friends in

New Orleans. Cognoscenti are excited.

Two events coincidentally distinguishing this year’s

Crescent City, shall we say, celebration also call quite vividly

for Igor’s rapt attention.

Firstly, the Contemporary Arts Center on “this used to be

Camp Street” as they once advertised during a street fair thrown

to rid the area of street derelicts in favor of their pseudo-art

derelictions is having an art exhibition and contest.

Winner receives bogus recognition, theoretically.

Secondly, that well known purveying group of doom, the New

Neanderthals, have somehow gotten their shit together long enough

to play an equally bogus July 4th gig in the French Quarter

courtyard of a sort of hip collectibles shop.

They say they are going to make a music video.

We will have to see about that. Hopefully, so will Igor.

Igor, of course, will stay with Armor’s and his cats at the

petting zoo. The controversial by design great artist is due for

a Saturday morning arrival, Tuesday evening departure.

That should give him more than enough time to wreak havoc on what

 

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used to be known as the Big Crescent City that Care Forgot Easy.

Let us see what they call this place after Igor is through.

Armor’s drives out to New Orleans International Airport at 7:30 p.m.

He is his usual rambunctious self, passive-aggressively tempting death

while playing in fast moving traffic. Thankfully, as Tyger clutches the lap belt

for dear life, no more surveillance for this pelicana. Armor’s number is retired.

The Mercury Capris makes it safely to the short-term parking area by act

of a higher power’s caprice. The boys head for the Delta terminal

at this used to be called Moisant Field. Not surprisingly, they are late,

they are late for a very important date. Welcome to Armor’s world already.

The official gang greeting committee cascades up the escalator, leaping steps in a series

of long bounds, mini-supermen — or stupormen, your call — passing a startled

security guard. Lucky for him they are not in the mood for a skyjacking.

Regular jacks will do.

(The uninformed, incidentally, always ask for the proper definition

of the local slang use of the word “jack,” that can be used grammatically

as verb, noun, adverb, or adjective being a most descriptive term. Mr. Milty

summed it up perfectly with his classic ink drawing of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside a picture of an angry man pounding

 

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a pinball machine inside apicture of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside etc….)

The welcome to N’Awlins this is your life ad hoc Igor society flies

across the busy airport concourse O.J. Simpson pre-murder style.

They hear a voice ring out as all traffic stops like in the old

Dean Witter commercials, all necks craning to hear the stock tip.

“Ho ho ho there boys,” a far figure enthralling,

drawing Armor’s and Tyger like shades towards his shadowy

denouement of arrival strategy. “I’m all Ho’d out.”

Wearing a Davey Crockett coonskin cap with a long blonde

pony tail sticking out for good measure, Igor walks confidently

towards his steering committee. “Ho ho ho there boys,” he repeats

for effect and halts just before reaching Armor’s outstretched hand.

Then, what do you know comrades, he flips his trim lean body

over in an acrobatic handstand, walking a few feet with his feet

in the air. That lad always knew how to attract a crowd, kind of

like Jelly Roll Morton without the extreme verbal histrionics.

Igor rolls to a stop in a sitting position as Tyger, Armor’s

and a small crowd of curious bears break into applause.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very much,” Igor acknowledges as

the crowd quickly disperses. Maybe they have heard about him.

Meanwhile, airport security guards are quickly scrambling

 

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like rats after cheese in the opposite direction. They know

trouble when they see it. “That was great,” Armor’s finally comments.

“Great to see ya Igor.”

“How is everything in the Big UnEasy?” Igor asks.

“Same old same old,” Tyger states. “Been looking forward to seeing you.”

“Got a couple of awful activities on tap,” Armor’s reports.

“Goody,” Igor notes with pleasure. “Goody gum drop.

That’s what we all came for.”

Tyger grabs Igor’s duffle bag as the orange tinged artist

walks along with Armor’s to the escalator. Tyger and Armor’s ride

the automatic steps. Igor tries to slide down the railing

alternating between sliding a few feet and falling off.

Good show, old chap. Everybody finds this game quite

amusing. Igor laughs uproariously more like a happy lion than silly rabbit.

Tyger and Armor’s are now officially in the Igor zone and

loving it. They can feel the karma level rising rapidly.

The three artists become imbued with a sense of heightened

artistic energy. They break the sound barrier near confused,

possibly frightened, beautiful rent-a-car chicks sitting in their

ridiculously colored uniforms at respective corporate

commercialism counters. Armor’s immediately, excitedly bee-

lining to a bank of black telephones.

 

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“What you doing there?” Igor inquires.

“Have to call Mac,”Armor’s replies. “Everybody at MacLand wants to see you

as soon as humanly possible.”

“Yes. Let us stop there,” Igor says. “Mac’s a great guy. We can reminisce

about our adventures through the weirdly wilds of Arcosanti.”

Armor’s mutters a few words into the phone, handing the

apparatus to Igor. “Heeeeeeey Mac:! How is it going?!?” Igor yells, nearly

undressing the phone’s mouthpiece. “Heeeey Mac! Hip Hip hooray you dirty dog.”

A few additional nonsensical pleasantries exchanged. Mac

gives Igor the proposed Saturday night agenda. Igor agrees to the

proposal with one amendment before breaking off the commos line.

“Let me drop my duffel bag at Armor’s house and wash up,”

Igor appends. “I feel quite grungy after the airplane ride, not to

mention three margarita cocktails.”

Igor apprises the greeting committee of the upcoming meeting

schedule. “Your wish is my command sir. Yes,” replies Armor’s

with his best Ed McMahon imitation.

(Was Armor’s consciously imitating the Johnny Carson second

banana? He will never tell. In any event, lucky for Ed McMahon

breath, Armor’s is not interested in hosting “Star Search.”)

The boys float on the wings of uplifted consciousness to

Armor’s awaiting chariot. They Ben Hur Uptown narrowly missing

 

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identified driving objects who have the misfortune of blocking

Armor’s way at that particular point of space and time.

Hey, you lousy driving dharma bums, no one promised you a

rose garden on the interstate. Make way for real art royalty and

we don’t mean no carnival klutz.

Armor’s wildly honks his horn while Igor sticks his head out

the window making weird faces at other vehicular units. All the

while, Igor’s pony tail sways madly in the speed breaking highway

wind. Beats the roller coaster of defunct Ponchartrain Beach for

excitement any day of the week.

“Next time,” Igor tells Armor’s as they decelerate towards

the South Carrolton exit, “let me do the driving.”

“You don’t have a license though. Do you?” Tyger asks if

memory serves him well.

“Don’t need one, dear boy,” Igor replies. “I just want to drive. I

don’t use identification.”

“Oh,” Tyger says. “Sorry for asking.”

“Uhh, O.K,” Armor’s adds. “Want to drive now?”

“Nah. Remind me later.”

Tyger feels like the personification of his Lurch imitation,

but bites his tongue. First chance, he vows, he is retreating to

his own car. He will meet up with Igor and Armor’s

traveling show later at Mac’s pad.

Scene dissolve. Stage left as hours pass like seconds. Igor

and Armor’s curtsy. Then, they disappear courtesy of the hands of time.

 

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They re-emerge 9 p.m. at MacLand followed by Tyger,

the semi-great art hunter-detective.

An interesting discussion ensues as Mac, Armor’s, and Igor

recall a journey they took in 1986 when the former rescued the

latter from his less than free state at Arcosanti, a self-contained

commune theoretically dedicated to the positive

advancement of humanity’s consciousness.

Igor lived in a cave in the Arizona high desert wasting his

considerable artistic talents by engaging in whatever commune

practices were en vogue there. Anyone can be a flunky, but the

great shaman artists of an age are few and far between. (Such is

the grinning Igor Buddah seated cross-legged on Mac floor.)

Mac and Armor’s somehow sensed that Igor was becoming

disillusioned at the commune. They showed up at his cave doorstep

in the Nick Bowers of time, apparently. Igor’s attitude was

beginning to run afoul of commune authorities.

Igor’s cavalry packed his few belongings in Mac’s old car.

They charged northeast to Colorado and a “Jack Kerouac: On the

Road Again” conference. Picking up a female hitchhiker called

Flora along the way, the art soldiers happily careened across the

great Southwest taking slightly obscene photographs of the

willing young girl, stopping along the road for red-green hot

Mexican chili dinners and cold drinks.

A good time was had by all. At least, that is their story

 

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and they’re sticking to it. Attention spans to another topic.

Armor’s has a bit of current news update for the visiting performance artist.

“Those lame assholes at the CAC are having an art show,” Armor’s reports.

“They are so fucking stupid that they give true artists a bad name.

We need to teach them a lesson.”

Igor laughs in his trade-marked vaguely sinister manner.

“Remember the bird scout cookies?” he asks, alluding to an unforgettable instance

in which he filled up empty girl scout cookie boxes with decaying dead birds;

then went door to door “selling” them.

Predictably, no buyers although a particularly rabid off-duty Houston policeman

threatened to arrest Igor on the spot, thereby ending, for the day, the infamous art project.

Yes, it was a pheasant way to the pass that particular day.

Of course, the boys remember the bird scout cookies incident

immortalized in the ongoing memory of man

as related from generation to generation at life’s wonderful way stations

such as this Mac’s house bullshit seance.

Reminiscences such as these reverberate far louder

than the roar of MacLand’s huge fans beating the heat senseless.

“Tell me more about this so-called show,” an interested Igor asks,

his mind click clicking instantly formulating a secret game plan.

“Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters, coming to  a pot hole chasm in the road.

 

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Tyger jumps in noting, “Tomorrow night.

They have the Slimes-Picayune art critic and a couple of

others judging the exhibits. All entries must have themes

relating to the culinary arts since this is, after all, a part f

New Orleans fake claim to fame. Winner gets screwed or something.”

“Screwed, eh?” Igor contemplates. “I could use a little screwing.”

Igor pauses to consider further, then turns to.Armor’s Tungsten.

“What was that I saw abandoned outside the hardware store on the corner?”

“Uhh. The postcard rack?”

“Ah-huh. The snack rack.”

“Snack rack?” Mac repeats.

“Ah-huh. Let’s retrieve it,” Igor says.

What the hey-line. The boys walk down the street to where

sits discarded an old postcard rack. Mac picks it up like

a Christmas tree, lugging it back to the home pad.

“Let us get to work lads. We have some serious art to make,”

Igor announces, as he — whomp! — captures a large roach under a

plastic cup. “I believe we have our first subject.”

Thus begins the making of Snack Rack so christened. Igor

tapes a paper bottom under the cup thereby preserving the roach

forever in time. He places roach-in-a-cup on one of the lower

branches of the soon to be art wracked tree.

“What have we in the kitchen,” he announces as Sarah goes to

 

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the back of the house. “You want something” she says, “gross?”

to which Igor replies, “Grosser the better,”

laughing maniacally as per his peculiar style.

A mad scramble ensues as each of MacLandia’s citizenry

scours the property for the most awful, horrible, preferably

crawling live or rotting dead objects, to place on a particular rack.

A wild assortment of indigenous insect life combines with

decaying foodstuff to form the core of the proposed exhibit.

Every now and then cries of “Ooooooh,” or “ahhhhhh, disgusting,”

escape as the racks quickly fill  to overflowing with, dare we say, snacks.

Disgusting work, comrades, but an artist must do what an

artist must do, damn the consequences. “I feel a little like

throwing up,” Sarah comments to which Igor appends, “Please do.

We have a spot for that on the lower right arm left.”

“Maybe I’ll hold it in,” she notes after careful consideration.

Odor most foul stinking to high heaven; insects most fair

crawling in their plastic cages, fighting to no avail to exit the

evolving exhibit. “Is this how Picasso got started?” Tyger asks.

“I don’t believe he dealt much in food art,” Igor replies.

“Of course one never knows about a person’s inner passions.”

 

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Igor continues to supervise as he whips the upper right rack

in shape, literally, with a healthy serving of chill-and-whip.

“Looks good,” he notes, “and tastes good too. Yum yum.”

Tyger and Armor’s pick over the remnants of the evening’s

last supper producing the odd piece of fruit and leftover

vegetable garbage for Igor to consider.

“Good. Good,” he approves. “I think that putrid banana adds

a very nice touch.” He smells it. “Hmmmm. Pungent aroma. This

will definitely do. Any more lying around, preferably for days?”

Even the cats pitch in as one drags a chicken bone into the

room which Igor eagerly fetches. He accompanies that motion with

the wonderfully evil laugh as eternally trademarked.

“Yes, yes kitty,” he says petting the purring animal

contributor. “Go back into the yard and see what else is appropo.”

The cats might not know much, but they seem to intuit what makes great food art.

They immediately withdraw to follow Igor’s further instructions.

“Oh, how lovely,” he notes as with a flourish Armor’s hands

him a particularly disgusting brown object.

“Don’t tell me what it is. It will ruin the surprise.”

“Good idea,” Sarah adds as she looks on with an air of

suspended disbelief that always forms the basis of appreciation

of true art. “Don’t believe I want to know either.”

Armor’s is well pleased with his contribution. He returns to

 

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the bathroom area for more raw art. He, too, knows a good Snack

Rack object when he feels it.

This activity, accompanied by a long-playing tape of the

latest Macland bongo associative productions for Igor’s benefit,

continues for an hour or so until every branch of the snack rack

tree is filled with the most vile and perplexing of subjects.

Everyone stands back, well back at that, because the

horrible aroma is overpowering, admiring the latest creation of

the great Igor, supervising artist.

“I think we have something here,” Igor concludes. “I think

we truly have an inspirational, magical special representation of

man’s inhumanity to man and the immediate environment.”

Everyone appears quite impressed. “Awesome,” Tyger utters.

“Uhhh. I like it,” adds Armor’s.

“Awful, accent on the first syllable;  art of the highest order,” according to Mac.

“This stinks,” Sarah opines.

“Yes. Yes. That’s good,” Igor states. “Let us go with that. Life stinks.”

“It seems quite alarming,” Sarah continues.

“Yes. Yes,” Igor is well pleased. “I think the girl has got it. Life is alarming.

We are ready for the show.”

So it comes, so it goes. The CAC show is scheduled for

8 p.m. to “when or what ever” on Sunday July 3, 1988.

Regular submissions already have been numbered and

installed around the large space at the center of the gallery floor.

 

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They represent standard local crapola like grass skirts lined

with plastic Mardi Gras type fruit beads, and stupid gingerbread

houses with small carefully crafted, equally insipid, figurines.

What an ugly mess it forms.

Local artists think they have outdone themselves, of

course. The 7 p.m. exclusive reception crowd sit around

immersed in idle self-promoting chatter like a bunch of monkeys

at Audubon Zoo. “Eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh.” “Oooh.”

Looks ripe for a Snack Rack rotten banana attack

Snack Rack has spent the night marinating outside Mac’s house,

acquiring a well rounded buoyancy as well as an

unique and unsubtle aroma through a 92 degree afternoon until

presto perfect ’tis ready for prominent public display.

About the time the paying CAC art consumers start horsing

down hors d’oeuvres; gangway critics, here comes the ultimate

exhibit. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Igor and Armor’s carefully unload Snack Rack from Mac’s

minivan, carrying it like a traveling pre-revolutionary French

monarch on a small carriage through the red brick building’s unlocked back doors,

“Excuse me sirs,” an officious name tag type rudely asks the

Snack Rack retainers as they walk tall through the exhibit with

 

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their unofficial submission.

“Do you have the proper permission for this, ahhh, thing?”

Armor’s takes the usual low road.

“We don’t need no fucking permission, ass-wipe.”

The fawning suit and tie guy steps back eyebrows arched.

Igor, however, is a more conciliatory soul with considerable

experience in these delicate matters. He seeks to keep the peace.

“Oh yes. Yes. We have consulted with the proper authorities,”

Igor placates. “This is properly sanctioned. Yessiree Bob.”

Igor calls to Armor’s in front. “Put it down next to the ornamental

salad bowls. Turn the rotten vegetable arms in that direction.

Believe it fits quite well with the general ambiance of that piece.”

The well dressed crowd gives the Snack Rack crew a very,

very wide berth. A gorgeous blonde in short black dress holds her nose.

“Well, I never,” she finally blurts. “Hey babe,” Mac snaps. “You do now.”

Igor stands back with his arms folded gazing with admiration at his supervised creation.

“I think we have really done it this time,” he concludes.

“Me too,” Tyger agrees. “I just hope we don’t get arrested or something worse.”

Congratulatory high fives all around self-salute the successful art project crew.

 

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Mac busies himself schmoozing at the open bar, pouring

prodigious quantities of rum in a glass with a splash of mixer.

“Gang way. Gang way. Gotta get this drink,” he announces,

clearing a path through the pseudo-polite crowd.

Armor’s is all over the actual food table

scarfing down petite sausage balls and less subtle

little hot dogs on buns. Manners, mannerisms,

touch of drool dribbling down his pure white shoit.

Or maybe that is sweat from Snack Rack transportation duties.

Armor’s will never tell.

Igor is all for art and fun for all. He lobbies one of the judges in the corner.

“Is not this the most spectacular comment on the current state

of American culture you have ever seen,” he states proudly.

“Dunno about that,” here come da judge returning service.

“It’s something alright. Give you that.”

Two more large crawfish name tags signifying nothing much;

art show judges in this event appear as if by magic, confused

as they consider the space.

“Is it art?” asks the elderly grey-haired society matron crawfish tag.

“My dear,” replies the the token gay compadre.

“You wouldn’t know art if it were your dog’s name.”

 

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Ohhh-key. Starting to get uglier at the CAC.

Not even counting the large number of people milling about the art watering hole with

fear and loathing in Hunter S. Thompson’s mind. An event organizer accompanied by two burly

uniformed  security mavens stridently strides to Igor ground zero. “Oh no,” Tyger says,

this is what happened last time.”

(This references another art event when Igor wandered into a clay pottery exhibition at the

Houston Contemporary Arts Museum clad only in loin cloth, awkwardly flipping high

to the sky and, oops, clumsy me, dramatically missing a largegeological hammer.

Igor repeated his actions long enough for nervous pottery exhibitors to corral and subdue him,

ejecting his ass outside. This rude interaction launched a scene of vitriolic argumentation lasting over an hour.)

Resuming our scene, the red faced menacing event coordinator displays an unmistakeable

sense of purpose. “Sorry, ah, sir,” he says, “Are you responsible for this, er..”

“Exhibit,” Igor interjects. “Of course. Is it now the piece de resistance, creme de la creme?”

“Dunno about that,” the organizer says. “I am going to have to ask you to take this out the way you came,

 

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then to a landfill and never come back.”

“Hey buddy. You are the only mockery here,” Mac, somewhat in

his cups, slurs. “Why don’t you get lost. Everyone was enjoying

themselves a lot before your fat ass showed up.”

Armor’s watches in silent wonder, finally chiming in with,

“You know nothing about great art. Who do you think you are?”

“I am in charge of this,” the man says wheeling around to

the rear-guard back-up of this distasteful guerilla action.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave as well, sir.”

“Yeah, well, leave this,” Armor’s replies flashing

upright his trademark right middle finger.

Mac agrees. “Yeah. Leave this too,” repeating Armor’s

obscene gesture with both hands for extra emphasis.

Tyger does not have to be asked to leave as he is all too

familiar with the approaching scenario. He escapes outside and

stands by Camp Street viewing the scene through a large glass window.

He flirts briefly with a petite, possibly attractive brunette.

“Can you believe some people?” he asks innocently enough.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to,” she replies.

“Some people are just animals.”

“Bow wow,” Tyger opines.

The security guards herd Armor’s and Mac to the large front

door. “Hey, you don’t have to push,” Armor’s says. “I was just leaving.”

 

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Mac adds for good measure, “Who would want to stay at such

a crappy expedition anyway.”

The gay judge begs to disagree with snack rack’s disqualification on technical grounds.

“Frankly, my dear, this is the finest piece in the show,”he says, finger on jaw. “I don’t know about you,

but this — what do you say, snack pack — gets my vote hands down.”

The society dame is a bit less approving. “This thing, pardon my French, sucks, and I mean that literally.”

No matter, anti-matter, da die is cast. The praetorian guards return for Igor who, somehow,

had escaped their wrath. Roughly ejecting Igor into the warm dark night.

“Don’t come back,” lead guard says. “Ever.”

Igor and the gang huddle up on Camp Street assessing the situation.

“Don’t know about you lads,” Igor says, “I believe it went quite well.”

“Uhhh, I need a joint,” Tyger says.

“Read your mind,” Mac says, producing a giant blunt, which they puff away on

like Bad Brains along St. Joseph Street before climbing in the minivan and back Uptown

 

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to MacLand. They party the night away there in joyous celebration

until dawn’s first light.

Later that Sunday, no mention of the Snack Rack related

conflagration appears in the Slimes-Picayune, although

considerable space in the arts section is devoted to the

official version of the CAC exhibition. Winners are duly

noted in the driest account unimaginable. Fake official

recognition is heaped like Snack Rack’s rotting broccoli and

flaying insects on such as the crawfish mural and still fruit painting.

The next day, as well, is some nation’s birthday.

Yup. Here comes the 4th of July. A trip to the French

Ouarter for the New Neanderthals fake out is on tap this day.

(Maybe someone should play taps.)

Ah yes, comrades, the historic Vieux Carre, the New Orleans

French Quarter. That place synonymous with the Big Easy to all

tourists, demented travel agents, and assorted assholes the world over.

 

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Roots kills a set, then stumbles around trying to bum a

reefer. He chain smokes cigarettes and pretends like he is

writing a doctoral thesis.

“Yeah, I wrote three pages last week. I am bushed,” he tells

Heave Broward loudly, so others might overhear. “I am going to try

write another three pages next week. Man, it is hard work.”

Must be since he has been “writing” his thesis for 20 years.

His “writing” consists of watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on

television, the only program relating to him on his own

level — and pretending to be working at BooRay University, Home

of the Blue Foam.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Then there is the sad but true case of Heave Broward, slack

bass nowhere-man non-artist. He is a hypocrite too, of course,

going around pretending to be “creative,” as in “yeah man, I

been concentrating on GWAR and I really think they’re on to

something creative,” (Create this, pal.)

“Don’t know why Mr. Milty won’t let the rest of us play

our songs. He always insists on only playing his and I feel, I

don’t know, creatively intimidated. Milty is a great guy. Don’t

get me wrong. He is my best buddy.”

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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And then there is the lead singer, Little Ro, a thin ugly

African-American youth already aging ungracefully. He

never made it past the 11th grade in high school, but goes around

pretending to be “intellectual,” trying unsuccessfully to

fool others and himself about his role as an “artist.”

Such is the group that plays in a French Quarter courtyard

to celebrate our nation’s birthday. How form fitting.

They play a set of ripped off covers plus a few of Milty’s

originals, then take a break. Comes noon as the parking lot

soundstage becomes hot as hell’s kitchen. The New Neanderthals are definitely not.

Igor has the great privilege of witnessing the usual slackmen effort although Milty and

Buck try to pep the set up with some original riffs and lyrics. Game, set, match. Break.

 

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Heave is off in the far corner trying to pick up chicks with

the one millionth recitation of “You are the prettiest girl here.

Congratulations Heave, you have reached escape velocity from reality.

Ro preens by a mirror. Milty and Buck smoke a joint with

Mac, Armor’s and Igor walking up Decatur Street laughing and joking.

A crowd of about 50 background actors mill about the

courtyard taken in by the New Neanderthal performance.

What a way to spend the Fourth.

They play a second sloppy set and pack up the instruments.

Roots finagles a ride from an acquaintance. He has no friends.

Heave hops in with a gullible half-beautiful girl fan,

departing like a snake slithering off the hook. Milty leaves with

his latest girlfriend edition whom he will later pass on as

gullible used goods to a social climbing base bassist Broward.

 

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Buck is in a good mood. He leaves with his girlfriend for a

real party. Ro is … who cares. That accounts for the afternoon.

Mac’s van takes the boys around the French Quarter, honking

at tourists like turtles snapping pictures of anything that moves

and everything that doesn’t.

“Hey you just took a picture of an oak tree,” Armor’s shouts

out the window at one fatass couple. “They don’t have trees where

you come from?”

Guess not. They take another photograph. And over there by

the crime infested St. Louis Cemeteries One and Two, across the

street from the Iberville and St. Thomas Housing Projects, the

tourists wander blissfully unaware of a recent gruesome murder of

two of their own the week before.

The tourists pay lip service to memory — the historic

French Quarter and all that jazz — but don’t even know what went

down last week. Just the way the state Tourist Commission loves

it. Keeps them coming back for more.

Mac drives Igor down Decatur Street by Jackson Square with

the horseback charging hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

 

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(That was, incidentally, the greatest military victory in

United States history through 1988. It took place at the nearby

Chalmette parapets in January 1814, after the War of 1812 had

been negotiated to an end. Appropriate battle for the City that Care Forgot.)

Also in the vicinity stand St. Louis Cathedral where Pope

John Paul II said mass; the Presbytere; the Cabildo, first seat

of Louisiana government; and the hanging plant baskets lining the

long red east and west Pontalba Apartments on both sides of the

square, the first apartment buildings in America.

But, you, comrades of the never-ending story, do not want a

wasteland travelogue. You do not want to walk pointlessly up and

down Bourbon Street in front of sleazy strip joints and t-shirt shops.

This tale is about New Orleans, not the small 16-square

block of Disneyland for tourists and a few derelicts that the

Chamber of Commerce wishes to pass off as our land. We have a

higher purpose in mind for our future.

Seekers of truth will find none in the Vieux Carre. So, Mac

moves past Jax Brewery, a renovated home for overpriced shops in

 

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which no local can afford to shop. Waving his hand, Mac explains,

“Oh by the way, this is the French Quarter.”

“Oh,” Igor notes. “Always wondered what it looked like

after hearing so much about it.” Enough said on that score.

Guest performing artist Igor, who arrived with a bang,

leaves these foreign shores with more like a whimper. Everyone is

well pleased with his artistic input, happy to have had him lend

his validating presence to their small slice of lifestyle.

Tuesday July 5th arrives as it must.

Igor leaves Armor’s with a warm embrace.

“See ya later alligator,” the performance artist calls over his

shoulder paying homage to local culture. “Great visit man,”

Armor’s bon voyages. “Come back again as soon as you can.”

A great bird carries Armor’s into the sky, above the clouds,

beyond the top of the terminal telescope.

But, we can recount in these pages whatever happened to the

New Neanderthals. Nothing.

Roots pretended he had to quit the band because his bosses

required it and to devote more time to his thesis.

 

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It was the usual lie.

Milty started his own band–Belt of Tools.

Buck hooked up with a strange rockabilly group.

Heave continued his nowhere hypocracy hanging out at local

nightclubs pretending to be working on song-writing, lying to

chicks in order to get in their pants. And Little Ro? Who cares.

But of Snack Rack? Aye, that is another story. No doubt some

zealous collector guards its terrible beauty in a darkened art

warehouse somewhere in the Big Uneasy waiting for the proper time

to display the awful truth that gave bad food art a somewhat tasty claim to fame.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

Igor, a startling performance artist

from New York, visits the gang. Igor makes the usual splash upon

arrival and his story is told. He supervises the creation of

Snack Rack, a discarded postcard tree filled with rotten food and

crawling insects that is unofficially entered in a local art show

with resulting mayhem. On July 4th, Igor and the gang attend a

lame performance by the New Neanderthals in the French Quarter.

 

CHAPTER 25

“IGOR COMES TO TOWN”

 

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Igor. The very name strikes fear in the heartless souls of art philistines everywhere

Igor. Armor’s good art buddy lately of the Arcosanti Commune

near Flagstaff, Arizona; more recently performing the herculean

task of cleaning the stables at Belmont Park Race Track at Elmont, New York.

(He helps with renovations at Carnegie Hall in his spare

time. His picture even made it into the New York Times on that score.)

Igor. Master of modern primitive painting and weird frog art

as well as the odd performance piece between engagements.

Igor. Igor. Igor. The crowd chants his name rising in a

nitrous wave above these distant shores. All hail the great

artist of our time. How about dropping into our planetary hell hole some time?

Yes, comrades in art, the July 4th weekend is heating up as

if that were possible given the 92 degree plus temperatures

accompanying humidity fit to soak one’s soul in sweat.

Igor’s body lies over the water yet.

Armor’s receives the call eagerly. Igor has decided to get

 

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away from the city — that’s the Big Apple y’all — over the

weekend. He believes it high time to commune with his friends in

New Orleans. Cognoscenti are excited.

Two events coincidentally distinguishing this year’s

Crescent City, shall we say, celebration also call quite vividly

for Igor’s rapt attention.

Firstly, the Contemporary Arts Center on “this used to be

Camp Street” as they once advertised during a street fair thrown

to rid the area of street derelicts in favor of their pseudo-art

derelictions is having an art exhibition and contest.

Winner receives bogus recognition, theoretically.

Secondly, that well known purveying group of doom, the New

Neanderthals, have somehow gotten their shit together long enough

to play an equally bogus July 4th gig in the French Quarter

courtyard of a sort of hip collectibles shop.

They say they are going to make a music video.

We will have to see about that. Hopefully, so will Igor.

Igor, of course, will stay with Armor’s and his cats at the

petting zoo. The controversial by design great artist is due for

a Saturday morning arrival, Tuesday evening departure.

That should give him more than enough time to wreak havoc on what

 

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used to be known as the Big Crescent City that Care Forgot Easy.

Let us see what they call this place after Igor is through.

Armor’s drives out to New Orleans International Airport at 7:30 p.m.

He is his usual rambunctious self, passive-aggressively tempting death

while playing in fast moving traffic. Thankfully, as Tyger clutches the lap belt

for dear life, no more surveillance for this pelicana. Armor’s number is retired.

The Mercury Capris makes it safely to the short-term parking area by act

of a higher power’s caprice. The boys head for the Delta terminal

at this used to be called Moisant Field. Not surprisingly, they are late,

they are late for a very important date. Welcome to Armor’s world already.

The official gang greeting committee cascades up the escalator, leaping steps in a series

of long bounds, mini-supermen — or stupormen, your call — passing a startled

security guard. Lucky for him they are not in the mood for a skyjacking.

Regular jacks will do.

(The uninformed, incidentally, always ask for the proper definition

of the local slang use of the word “jack,” that can be used grammatically

as verb, noun, adverb, or adjective being a most descriptive term. Mr. Milty

summed it up perfectly with his classic ink drawing of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside a picture of an angry man pounding

 

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a pinball machine inside apicture of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside etc….)

The welcome to N’Awlins this is your life ad hoc Igor society flies

across the busy airport concourse O.J. Simpson pre-murder style.

They hear a voice ring out as all traffic stops like in the old

Dean Witter commercials, all necks craning to hear the stock tip.

“Ho ho ho there boys,” a far figure enthralling,

drawing Armor’s and Tyger like shades towards his shadowy

denouement of arrival strategy. “I’m all Ho’d out.”

Wearing a Davey Crockett coonskin cap with a long blonde

pony tail sticking out for good measure, Igor walks confidently

towards his steering committee. “Ho ho ho there boys,” he repeats

for effect and halts just before reaching Armor’s outstretched hand.

Then, what do you know comrades, he flips his trim lean body

over in an acrobatic handstand, walking a few feet with his feet

in the air. That lad always knew how to attract a crowd, kind of

like Jelly Roll Morton without the extreme verbal histrionics.

Igor rolls to a stop in a sitting position as Tyger, Armor’s

and a small crowd of curious bears break into applause.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very much,” Igor acknowledges as

the crowd quickly disperses. Maybe they have heard about him.

Meanwhile, airport security guards are quickly scrambling

 

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like rats after cheese in the opposite direction. They know

trouble when they see it. “That was great,” Armor’s finally comments.

“Great to see ya Igor.”

“How is everything in the Big UnEasy?” Igor asks.

“Same old same old,” Tyger states. “Been looking forward to seeing you.”

“Got a couple of awful activities on tap,” Armor’s reports.

“Goody,” Igor notes with pleasure. “Goody gum drop.

That’s what we all came for.”

Tyger grabs Igor’s duffle bag as the orange tinged artist

walks along with Armor’s to the escalator. Tyger and Armor’s ride

the automatic steps. Igor tries to slide down the railing

alternating between sliding a few feet and falling off.

Good show, old chap. Everybody finds this game quite

amusing. Igor laughs uproariously more like a happy lion than silly rabbit.

Tyger and Armor’s are now officially in the Igor zone and

loving it. They can feel the karma level rising rapidly.

The three artists become imbued with a sense of heightened

artistic energy. They break the sound barrier near confused,

possibly frightened, beautiful rent-a-car chicks sitting in their

ridiculously colored uniforms at respective corporate

commercialism counters. Armor’s immediately, excitedly bee-

lining to a bank of black telephones.

 

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“What you doing there?” Igor inquires.

“Have to call Mac,”Armor’s replies. “Everybody at MacLand wants to see you

as soon as humanly possible.”

“Yes. Let us stop there,” Igor says. “Mac’s a great guy. We can reminisce

about our adventures through the weirdly wilds of Arcosanti.”

Armor’s mutters a few words into the phone, handing the

apparatus to Igor. “Heeeeeeey Mac:! How is it going?!?” Igor yells, nearly

undressing the phone’s mouthpiece. “Heeeey Mac! Hip Hip hooray you dirty dog.”

A few additional nonsensical pleasantries exchanged. Mac

gives Igor the proposed Saturday night agenda. Igor agrees to the

proposal with one amendment before breaking off the commos line.

“Let me drop my duffel bag at Armor’s house and wash up,”

Igor appends. “I feel quite grungy after the airplane ride, not to

mention three margarita cocktails.”

Igor apprises the greeting committee of the upcoming meeting

schedule. “Your wish is my command sir. Yes,” replies Armor’s

with his best Ed McMahon imitation.

(Was Armor’s consciously imitating the Johnny Carson second

banana? He will never tell. In any event, lucky for Ed McMahon

breath, Armor’s is not interested in hosting “Star Search.”)

The boys float on the wings of uplifted consciousness to

Armor’s awaiting chariot. They Ben Hur Uptown narrowly missing

 

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identified driving objects who have the misfortune of blocking

Armor’s way at that particular point of space and time.

Hey, you lousy driving dharma bums, no one promised you a

rose garden on the interstate. Make way for real art royalty and

we don’t mean no carnival klutz.

Armor’s wildly honks his horn while Igor sticks his head out

the window making weird faces at other vehicular units. All the

while, Igor’s pony tail sways madly in the speed breaking highway

wind. Beats the roller coaster of defunct Ponchartrain Beach for

excitement any day of the week.

“Next time,” Igor tells Armor’s as they decelerate towards

the South Carrolton exit, “let me do the driving.”

“You don’t have a license though. Do you?” Tyger asks if

memory serves him well.

“Don’t need one, dear boy,” Igor replies. “I just want to drive. I

don’t use identification.”

“Oh,” Tyger says. “Sorry for asking.”

“Uhh, O.K,” Armor’s adds. “Want to drive now?”

“Nah. Remind me later.”

Tyger feels like the personification of his Lurch imitation,

but bites his tongue. First chance, he vows, he is retreating to

his own car. He will meet up with Igor and Armor’s

traveling show later at Mac’s pad.

Scene dissolve. Stage left as hours pass like seconds. Igor

and Armor’s curtsy. Then, they disappear courtesy of the hands of time.

 

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They re-emerge 9 p.m. at MacLand followed by Tyger,

the semi-great art hunter-detective.

An interesting discussion ensues as Mac, Armor’s, and Igor

recall a journey they took in 1986 when the former rescued the

latter from his less than free state at Arcosanti, a self-contained

commune theoretically dedicated to the positive

advancement of humanity’s consciousness.

Igor lived in a cave in the Arizona high desert wasting his

considerable artistic talents by engaging in whatever commune

practices were en vogue there. Anyone can be a flunky, but the

great shaman artists of an age are few and far between. (Such is

the grinning Igor Buddah seated cross-legged on Mac floor.)

Mac and Armor’s somehow sensed that Igor was becoming

disillusioned at the commune. They showed up at his cave doorstep

in the Nick Bowers of time, apparently. Igor’s attitude was

beginning to run afoul of commune authorities.

Igor’s cavalry packed his few belongings in Mac’s old car.

They charged northeast to Colorado and a “Jack Kerouac: On the

Road Again” conference. Picking up a female hitchhiker called

Flora along the way, the art soldiers happily careened across the

great Southwest taking slightly obscene photographs of the

willing young girl, stopping along the road for red-green hot

Mexican chili dinners and cold drinks.

A good time was had by all. At least, that is their story

 

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and they’re sticking to it. Attention spans to another topic.

Armor’s has a bit of current news update for the visiting performance artist.

“Those lame assholes at the CAC are having an art show,” Armor’s reports.

“They are so fucking stupid that they give true artists a bad name.

We need to teach them a lesson.”

Igor laughs in his trade-marked vaguely sinister manner.

“Remember the bird scout cookies?” he asks, alluding to an unforgettable instance

in which he filled up empty girl scout cookie boxes with decaying dead birds;

then went door to door “selling” them.

Predictably, no buyers although a particularly rabid off-duty Houston policeman

threatened to arrest Igor on the spot, thereby ending, for the day, the infamous art project.

Yes, it was a pheasant way to the pass that particular day.

Of course, the boys remember the bird scout cookies incident

immortalized in the ongoing memory of man

as related from generation to generation at life’s wonderful way stations

such as this Mac’s house bullshit seance.

Reminiscences such as these reverberate far louder

than the roar of MacLand’s huge fans beating the heat senseless.

“Tell me more about this so-called show,” an interested Igor asks,

his mind click clicking instantly formulating a secret game plan.

“Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters, coming to  a pot hole chasm in the road.

 

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Tyger jumps in noting, “Tomorrow night.

They have the Slimes-Picayune art critic and a couple of

others judging the exhibits. All entries must have themes

relating to the culinary arts since this is, after all, a part f

New Orleans fake claim to fame. Winner gets screwed or something.”

“Screwed, eh?” Igor contemplates. “I could use a little screwing.”

Igor pauses to consider further, then turns to.Armor’s Tungsten.

“What was that I saw abandoned outside the hardware store on the corner?”

“Uhh. The postcard rack?”

“Ah-huh. The snack rack.”

“Snack rack?” Mac repeats.

“Ah-huh. Let’s retrieve it,” Igor says.

What the hey-line. The boys walk down the street to where

sits discarded an old postcard rack. Mac picks it up like

a Christmas tree, lugging it back to the home pad.

“Let us get to work lads. We have some serious art to make,”

Igor announces, as he — whomp! — captures a large roach under a

plastic cup. “I believe we have our first subject.”

Thus begins the making of Snack Rack so christened. Igor

tapes a paper bottom under the cup thereby preserving the roach

forever in time. He places roach-in-a-cup on one of the lower

branches of the soon to be art wracked tree.

“What have we in the kitchen,” he announces as Sarah goes to

 

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the back of the house. “You want something” she says, “gross?”

to which Igor replies, “Grosser the better,”

laughing maniacally as per his peculiar style.

A mad scramble ensues as each of MacLandia’s citizenry

scours the property for the most awful, horrible, preferably

crawling live or rotting dead objects, to place on a particular rack.

A wild assortment of indigenous insect life combines with

decaying foodstuff to form the core of the proposed exhibit.

Every now and then cries of “Ooooooh,” or “ahhhhhh, disgusting,”

escape as the racks quickly fill  to overflowing with, dare we say, snacks.

Disgusting work, comrades, but an artist must do what an

artist must do, damn the consequences. “I feel a little like

throwing up,” Sarah comments to which Igor appends, “Please do.

We have a spot for that on the lower right arm left.”

“Maybe I’ll hold it in,” she notes after careful consideration.

Odor most foul stinking to high heaven; insects most fair

crawling in their plastic cages, fighting to no avail to exit the

evolving exhibit. “Is this how Picasso got started?” Tyger asks.

“I don’t believe he dealt much in food art,” Igor replies.

“Of course one never knows about a person’s inner passions.”

 

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Igor continues to supervise as he whips the upper right rack

in shape, literally, with a healthy serving of chill-and-whip.

“Looks good,” he notes, “and tastes good too. Yum yum.”

Tyger and Armor’s pick over the remnants of the evening’s

last supper producing the odd piece of fruit and leftover

vegetable garbage for Igor to consider.

“Good. Good,” he approves. “I think that putrid banana adds

a very nice touch.” He smells it. “Hmmmm. Pungent aroma. This

will definitely do. Any more lying around, preferably for days?”

Even the cats pitch in as one drags a chicken bone into the

room which Igor eagerly fetches. He accompanies that motion with

the wonderfully evil laugh as eternally trademarked.

“Yes, yes kitty,” he says petting the purring animal

contributor. “Go back into the yard and see what else is appropo.”

The cats might not know much, but they seem to intuit what makes great food art.

They immediately withdraw to follow Igor’s further instructions.

“Oh, how lovely,” he notes as with a flourish Armor’s hands

him a particularly disgusting brown object.

“Don’t tell me what it is. It will ruin the surprise.”

“Good idea,” Sarah adds as she looks on with an air of

suspended disbelief that always forms the basis of appreciation

of true art. “Don’t believe I want to know either.”

Armor’s is well pleased with his contribution. He returns to

 

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the bathroom area for more raw art. He, too, knows a good Snack

Rack object when he feels it.

This activity, accompanied by a long-playing tape of the

latest Macland bongo associative productions for Igor’s benefit,

continues for an hour or so until every branch of the snack rack

tree is filled with the most vile and perplexing of subjects.

Everyone stands back, well back at that, because the

horrible aroma is overpowering, admiring the latest creation of

the great Igor, supervising artist.

“I think we have something here,” Igor concludes. “I think

we truly have an inspirational, magical special representation of

man’s inhumanity to man and the immediate environment.”

Everyone appears quite impressed. “Awesome,” Tyger utters.

“Uhhh. I like it,” adds Armor’s.

“Awful, accent on the first syllable;  art of the highest order,” according to Mac.

“This stinks,” Sarah opines.

“Yes. Yes. That’s good,” Igor states. “Let us go with that. Life stinks.”

“It seems quite alarming,” Sarah continues.

“Yes. Yes,” Igor is well pleased. “I think the girl has got it. Life is alarming.

We are ready for the show.”

So it comes, so it goes. The CAC show is scheduled for

8 p.m. to “when or what ever” on Sunday July 3, 1988.

Regular submissions already have been numbered and

installed around the large space at the center of the gallery floor.

 

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They represent standard local crapola like grass skirts lined

with plastic Mardi Gras type fruit beads, and stupid gingerbread

houses with small carefully crafted, equally insipid, figurines.

What an ugly mess it forms.

Local artists think they have outdone themselves, of

course. The 7 p.m. exclusive reception crowd sit around

immersed in idle self-promoting chatter like a bunch of monkeys

at Audubon Zoo. “Eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh.” “Oooh.”

Looks ripe for a Snack Rack rotten banana attack

Snack Rack has spent the night marinating outside Mac’s house,

acquiring a well rounded buoyancy as well as an

unique and unsubtle aroma through a 92 degree afternoon until

presto perfect ’tis ready for prominent public display.

About the time the paying CAC art consumers start horsing

down hors d’oeuvres; gangway critics, here comes the ultimate

exhibit. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Igor and Armor’s carefully unload Snack Rack from Mac’s

minivan, carrying it like a traveling pre-revolutionary French

monarch on a small carriage through the red brick building’s unlocked back doors,

“Excuse me sirs,” an officious name tag type rudely asks the

Snack Rack retainers as they walk tall through the exhibit with

 

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their unofficial submission.

“Do you have the proper permission for this, ahhh, thing?”

Armor’s takes the usual low road.

“We don’t need no fucking permission, ass-wipe.”

The fawning suit and tie guy steps back eyebrows arched.

Igor, however, is a more conciliatory soul with considerable

experience in these delicate matters. He seeks to keep the peace.

“Oh yes. Yes. We have consulted with the proper authorities,”

Igor placates. “This is properly sanctioned. Yessiree Bob.”

Igor calls to Armor’s in front. “Put it down next to the ornamental

salad bowls. Turn the rotten vegetable arms in that direction.

Believe it fits quite well with the general ambiance of that piece.”

The well dressed crowd gives the Snack Rack crew a very,

very wide berth. A gorgeous blonde in short black dress holds her nose.

“Well, I never,” she finally blurts. “Hey babe,” Mac snaps. “You do now.”

Igor stands back with his arms folded gazing with admiration at his supervised creation.

“I think we have really done it this time,” he concludes.

“Me too,” Tyger agrees. “I just hope we don’t get arrested or something worse.”

Congratulatory high fives all around self-salute the successful art project crew.

 

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Mac busies himself schmoozing at the open bar, pouring

prodigious quantities of rum in a glass with a splash of mixer.

“Gang way. Gang way. Gotta get this drink,” he announces,

clearing a path through the pseudo-polite crowd.

Armor’s is all over the actual food table

scarfing down petite sausage balls and less subtle

little hot dogs on buns. Manners, mannerisms,

touch of drool dribbling down his pure white shoit.

Or maybe that is sweat from Snack Rack transportation duties.

Armor’s will never tell.

Igor is all for art and fun for all. He lobbies one of the judges in the corner.

“Is not this the most spectacular comment on the current state

of American culture you have ever seen,” he states proudly.

“Dunno about that,” here come da judge returning service.

“It’s something alright. Give you that.”

Two more large crawfish name tags signifying nothing much;

art show judges in this event appear as if by magic, confused

as they consider the space.

“Is it art?” asks the elderly grey-haired society matron crawfish tag.

“My dear,” replies the the token gay compadre.

“You wouldn’t know art if it were your dog’s name.”

 

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Ohhh-key. Starting to get uglier at the CAC.

Not even counting the large number of people milling about the art watering hole with

fear and loathing in Hunter S. Thompson’s mind. An event organizer accompanied by two burly

uniformed  security mavens stridently strides to Igor ground zero. “Oh no,” Tyger says,

this is what happened last time.”

(This references another art event when Igor wandered into a clay pottery exhibition at the

Houston Contemporary Arts Museum clad only in loin cloth, awkwardly flipping high

to the sky and, oops, clumsy me, dramatically missing a largegeological hammer.

Igor repeated his actions long enough for nervous pottery exhibitors to corral and subdue him,

ejecting his ass outside. This rude interaction launched a scene of vitriolic argumentation lasting over an hour.)

Resuming our scene, the red faced menacing event coordinator displays an unmistakeable

sense of purpose. “Sorry, ah, sir,” he says, “Are you responsible for this, er..”

“Exhibit,” Igor interjects. “Of course. Is it now the piece de resistance, creme de la creme?”

“Dunno about that,” the organizer says. “I am going to have to ask you to take this out the way you came,

 

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then to a landfill and never come back.”

“Hey buddy. You are the only mockery here,” Mac, somewhat in

his cups, slurs. “Why don’t you get lost. Everyone was enjoying

themselves a lot before your fat ass showed up.”

Armor’s watches in silent wonder, finally chiming in with,

“You know nothing about great art. Who do you think you are?”

“I am in charge of this,” the man says wheeling around to

the rear-guard back-up of this distasteful guerilla action.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave as well, sir.”

“Yeah, well, leave this,” Armor’s replies flashing

upright his trademark right middle finger.

Mac agrees. “Yeah. Leave this too,” repeating Armor’s

obscene gesture with both hands for extra emphasis.

Tyger does not have to be asked to leave as he is all too

familiar with the approaching scenario. He escapes outside and

stands by Camp Street viewing the scene through a large glass window.

He flirts briefly with a petite, possibly attractive brunette.

“Can you believe some people?” he asks innocently enough.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to,” she replies.

“Some people are just animals.”

“Bow wow,” Tyger opines.

The security guards herd Armor’s and Mac to the large front

door. “Hey, you don’t have to push,” Armor’s says. “I was just leaving.”

 

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Mac adds for good measure, “Who would want to stay at such

a crappy expedition anyway.”

The gay judge begs to disagree with snack rack’s disqualification on technical grounds.

“Frankly, my dear, this is the finest piece in the show,”he says, finger on jaw. “I don’t know about you,

but this — what do you say, snack pack — gets my vote hands down.”

The society dame is a bit less approving. “This thing, pardon my French, sucks, and I mean that literally.”

No matter, anti-matter, da die is cast. The praetorian guards return for Igor who, somehow,

had escaped their wrath. Roughly ejecting Igor into the warm dark night.

“Don’t come back,” lead guard says. “Ever.”

Igor and the gang huddle up on Camp Street assessing the situation.

“Don’t know about you lads,” Igor says, “I believe it went quite well.”

“Uhhh, I need a joint,” Tyger says.

“Read your mind,” Mac says, producing a giant blunt, which they puff away on

like Bad Brains along St. Joseph Street before climbing in the minivan and back Uptown

 

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to MacLand. They party the night away there in joyous celebration

until dawn’s first light.

Later that Sunday, no mention of the Snack Rack related

conflagration appears in the Slimes-Picayune, although

considerable space in the arts section is devoted to the

official version of the CAC exhibition. Winners are duly

noted in the driest account unimaginable. Fake official

recognition is heaped like Snack Rack’s rotting broccoli and

flaying insects on such as the crawfish mural and still fruit painting.

The next day, as well, is some nation’s birthday.

Yup. Here comes the 4th of July. A trip to the French

Ouarter for the New Neanderthals fake out is on tap this day.

(Maybe someone should play taps.)

Ah yes, comrades, the historic Vieux Carre, the New Orleans

French Quarter. That place synonymous with the Big Easy to all

tourists, demented travel agents, and assorted assholes the world over.

 

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Roots kills a set, then stumbles around trying to bum a

reefer. He chain smokes cigarettes and pretends like he is

writing a doctoral thesis.

“Yeah, I wrote three pages last week. I am bushed,” he tells

Heave Broward loudly, so others might overhear. “I am going to try

write another three pages next week. Man, it is hard work.”

Must be since he has been “writing” his thesis for 20 years.

His “writing” consists of watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on

television, the only program relating to him on his own

level — and pretending to be working at BooRay University, Home

of the Blue Foam.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Then there is the sad but true case of Heave Broward, slack

bass nowhere-man non-artist. He is a hypocrite too, of course,

going around pretending to be “creative,” as in “yeah man, I

been concentrating on GWAR and I really think they’re on to

something creative,” (Create this, pal.)

“Don’t know why Mr. Milty won’t let the rest of us play

our songs. He always insists on only playing his and I feel, I

don’t know, creatively intimidated. Milty is a great guy. Don’t

get me wrong. He is my best buddy.”

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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And then there is the lead singer, Little Ro, a thin ugly

African-American youth already aging ungracefully. He

never made it past the 11th grade in high school, but goes around

pretending to be “intellectual,” trying unsuccessfully to

fool others and himself about his role as an “artist.”

Such is the group that plays in a French Quarter courtyard

to celebrate our nation’s birthday. How form fitting.

They play a set of ripped off covers plus a few of Milty’s

originals, then take a break. Comes noon as the parking lot

soundstage becomes hot as hell’s kitchen. The New Neanderthals are definitely not.

Igor has the great privilege of witnessing the usual slackmen effort although Milty and

Buck try to pep the set up with some original riffs and lyrics. Game, set, match. Break.

 

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Heave is off in the far corner trying to pick up chicks with

the one millionth recitation of “You are the prettiest girl here.

Congratulations Heave, you have reached escape velocity from reality.

Ro preens by a mirror. Milty and Buck smoke a joint with

Mac, Armor’s and Igor walking up Decatur Street laughing and joking.

A crowd of about 50 background actors mill about the

courtyard taken in by the New Neanderthal performance.

What a way to spend the Fourth.

They play a second sloppy set and pack up the instruments.

Roots finagles a ride from an acquaintance. He has no friends.

Heave hops in with a gullible half-beautiful girl fan,

departing like a snake slithering off the hook. Milty leaves with

his latest girlfriend edition whom he will later pass on as

gullible used goods to a social climbing base bassist Broward.

 

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Buck is in a good mood. He leaves with his girlfriend for a

real party. Ro is … who cares. That accounts for the afternoon.

Mac’s van takes the boys around the French Quarter, honking

at tourists like turtles snapping pictures of anything that moves

and everything that doesn’t.

“Hey you just took a picture of an oak tree,” Armor’s shouts

out the window at one fatass couple. “They don’t have trees where

you come from?”

Guess not. They take another photograph. And over there by

the crime infested St. Louis Cemeteries One and Two, across the

street from the Iberville and St. Thomas Housing Projects, the

tourists wander blissfully unaware of a recent gruesome murder of

two of their own the week before.

The tourists pay lip service to memory — the historic

French Quarter and all that jazz — but don’t even know what went

down last week. Just the way the state Tourist Commission loves

it. Keeps them coming back for more.

Mac drives Igor down Decatur Street by Jackson Square with

the horseback charging hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

 

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(That was, incidentally, the greatest military victory in

United States history through 1988. It took place at the nearby

Chalmette parapets in January 1814, after the War of 1812 had

been negotiated to an end. Appropriate battle for the City that Care Forgot.)

Also in the vicinity stand St. Louis Cathedral where Pope

John Paul II said mass; the Presbytere; the Cabildo, first seat

of Louisiana government; and the hanging plant baskets lining the

long red east and west Pontalba Apartments on both sides of the

square, the first apartment buildings in America.

But, you, comrades of the never-ending story, do not want a

wasteland travelogue. You do not want to walk pointlessly up and

down Bourbon Street in front of sleazy strip joints and t-shirt shops.

This tale is about New Orleans, not the small 16-square

block of Disneyland for tourists and a few derelicts that the

Chamber of Commerce wishes to pass off as our land. We have a

higher purpose in mind for our future.

Seekers of truth will find none in the Vieux Carre. So, Mac

moves past Jax Brewery, a renovated home for overpriced shops in

 

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which no local can afford to shop. Waving his hand, Mac explains,

“Oh by the way, this is the French Quarter.”

“Oh,” Igor notes. “Always wondered what it looked like

after hearing so much about it.” Enough said on that score.

Guest performing artist Igor, who arrived with a bang,

leaves these foreign shores with more like a whimper. Everyone is

well pleased with his artistic input, happy to have had him lend

his validating presence to their small slice of lifestyle.

Tuesday July 5th arrives as it must.

Igor leaves Armor’s with a warm embrace.

“See ya later alligator,” the performance artist calls over his

shoulder paying homage to local culture. “Great visit man,”

Armor’s bon voyages. “Come back again as soon as you can.”

A great bird carries Armor’s into the sky, above the clouds,

beyond the top of the terminal telescope.

But, we can recount in these pages whatever happened to the

New Neanderthals. Nothing.

Roots pretended he had to quit the band because his bosses

required it and to devote more time to his thesis.

 

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It was the usual lie.

Milty started his own band–Belt of Tools.

Buck hooked up with a strange rockabilly group.

Heave continued his nowhere hypocracy hanging out at local

nightclubs pretending to be working on song-writing, lying to

chicks in order to get in their pants. And Little Ro? Who cares.

But of Snack Rack? Aye, that is another story. No doubt some

zealous collector guards its terrible beauty in a darkened art

warehouse somewhere in the Big Uneasy waiting for the proper time

to display the awful truth that gave bad food art a somewhat tasty claim to fame.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

Igor, a startling performance artist

from New York, visits the gang. Igor makes the usual splash upon

arrival and his story is told. He supervises the creation of

Snack Rack, a discarded postcard tree filled with rotten food and

crawling insects that is unofficially entered in a local art show

with resulting mayhem. On July 4th, Igor and the gang attend a

lame performance by the New Neanderthals in the French Quarter.

 

CHAPTER 25

“IGOR COMES TO TOWN”

 

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Igor. The very name strikes fear in the heartless souls of art philistines everywhere

Igor. Armor’s good art buddy lately of the Arcosanti Commune

near Flagstaff, Arizona; more recently performing the herculean

task of cleaning the stables at Belmont Park Race Track at Elmont, New York.

(He helps with renovations at Carnegie Hall in his spare

time. His picture even made it into the New York Times on that score.)

Igor. Master of modern primitive painting and weird frog art

as well as the odd performance piece between engagements.

Igor. Igor. Igor. The crowd chants his name rising in a

nitrous wave above these distant shores. All hail the great

artist of our time. How about dropping into our planetary hell hole some time?

Yes, comrades in art, the July 4th weekend is heating up as

if that were possible given the 92 degree plus temperatures

accompanying humidity fit to soak one’s soul in sweat.

Igor’s body lies over the water yet.

Armor’s receives the call eagerly. Igor has decided to get

 

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away from the city — that’s the Big Apple y’all — over the

weekend. He believes it high time to commune with his friends in

New Orleans. Cognoscenti are excited.

Two events coincidentally distinguishing this year’s

Crescent City, shall we say, celebration also call quite vividly

for Igor’s rapt attention.

Firstly, the Contemporary Arts Center on “this used to be

Camp Street” as they once advertised during a street fair thrown

to rid the area of street derelicts in favor of their pseudo-art

derelictions is having an art exhibition and contest.

Winner receives bogus recognition, theoretically.

Secondly, that well known purveying group of doom, the New

Neanderthals, have somehow gotten their shit together long enough

to play an equally bogus July 4th gig in the French Quarter

courtyard of a sort of hip collectibles shop.

They say they are going to make a music video.

We will have to see about that. Hopefully, so will Igor.

Igor, of course, will stay with Armor’s and his cats at the

petting zoo. The controversial by design great artist is due for

a Saturday morning arrival, Tuesday evening departure.

That should give him more than enough time to wreak havoc on what

 

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used to be known as the Big Crescent City that Care Forgot Easy.

Let us see what they call this place after Igor is through.

Armor’s drives out to New Orleans International Airport at 7:30 p.m.

He is his usual rambunctious self, passive-aggressively tempting death

while playing in fast moving traffic. Thankfully, as Tyger clutches the lap belt

for dear life, no more surveillance for this pelicana. Armor’s number is retired.

The Mercury Capris makes it safely to the short-term parking area by act

of a higher power’s caprice. The boys head for the Delta terminal

at this used to be called Moisant Field. Not surprisingly, they are late,

they are late for a very important date. Welcome to Armor’s world already.

The official gang greeting committee cascades up the escalator, leaping steps in a series

of long bounds, mini-supermen — or stupormen, your call — passing a startled

security guard. Lucky for him they are not in the mood for a skyjacking.

Regular jacks will do.

(The uninformed, incidentally, always ask for the proper definition

of the local slang use of the word “jack,” that can be used grammatically

as verb, noun, adverb, or adjective being a most descriptive term. Mr. Milty

summed it up perfectly with his classic ink drawing of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside a picture of an angry man pounding

 

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a pinball machine inside apicture of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside etc….)

The welcome to N’Awlins this is your life ad hoc Igor society flies

across the busy airport concourse O.J. Simpson pre-murder style.

They hear a voice ring out as all traffic stops like in the old

Dean Witter commercials, all necks craning to hear the stock tip.

“Ho ho ho there boys,” a far figure enthralling,

drawing Armor’s and Tyger like shades towards his shadowy

denouement of arrival strategy. “I’m all Ho’d out.”

Wearing a Davey Crockett coonskin cap with a long blonde

pony tail sticking out for good measure, Igor walks confidently

towards his steering committee. “Ho ho ho there boys,” he repeats

for effect and halts just before reaching Armor’s outstretched hand.

Then, what do you know comrades, he flips his trim lean body

over in an acrobatic handstand, walking a few feet with his feet

in the air. That lad always knew how to attract a crowd, kind of

like Jelly Roll Morton without the extreme verbal histrionics.

Igor rolls to a stop in a sitting position as Tyger, Armor’s

and a small crowd of curious bears break into applause.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very much,” Igor acknowledges as

the crowd quickly disperses. Maybe they have heard about him.

Meanwhile, airport security guards are quickly scrambling

 

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like rats after cheese in the opposite direction. They know

trouble when they see it. “That was great,” Armor’s finally comments.

“Great to see ya Igor.”

“How is everything in the Big UnEasy?” Igor asks.

“Same old same old,” Tyger states. “Been looking forward to seeing you.”

“Got a couple of awful activities on tap,” Armor’s reports.

“Goody,” Igor notes with pleasure. “Goody gum drop.

That’s what we all came for.”

Tyger grabs Igor’s duffle bag as the orange tinged artist

walks along with Armor’s to the escalator. Tyger and Armor’s ride

the automatic steps. Igor tries to slide down the railing

alternating between sliding a few feet and falling off.

Good show, old chap. Everybody finds this game quite

amusing. Igor laughs uproariously more like a happy lion than silly rabbit.

Tyger and Armor’s are now officially in the Igor zone and

loving it. They can feel the karma level rising rapidly.

The three artists become imbued with a sense of heightened

artistic energy. They break the sound barrier near confused,

possibly frightened, beautiful rent-a-car chicks sitting in their

ridiculously colored uniforms at respective corporate

commercialism counters. Armor’s immediately, excitedly bee-

lining to a bank of black telephones.

 

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“What you doing there?” Igor inquires.

“Have to call Mac,”Armor’s replies. “Everybody at MacLand wants to see you

as soon as humanly possible.”

“Yes. Let us stop there,” Igor says. “Mac’s a great guy. We can reminisce

about our adventures through the weirdly wilds of Arcosanti.”

Armor’s mutters a few words into the phone, handing the

apparatus to Igor. “Heeeeeeey Mac:! How is it going?!?” Igor yells, nearly

undressing the phone’s mouthpiece. “Heeeey Mac! Hip Hip hooray you dirty dog.”

A few additional nonsensical pleasantries exchanged. Mac

gives Igor the proposed Saturday night agenda. Igor agrees to the

proposal with one amendment before breaking off the commos line.

“Let me drop my duffel bag at Armor’s house and wash up,”

Igor appends. “I feel quite grungy after the airplane ride, not to

mention three margarita cocktails.”

Igor apprises the greeting committee of the upcoming meeting

schedule. “Your wish is my command sir. Yes,” replies Armor’s

with his best Ed McMahon imitation.

(Was Armor’s consciously imitating the Johnny Carson second

banana? He will never tell. In any event, lucky for Ed McMahon

breath, Armor’s is not interested in hosting “Star Search.”)

The boys float on the wings of uplifted consciousness to

Armor’s awaiting chariot. They Ben Hur Uptown narrowly missing

 

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identified driving objects who have the misfortune of blocking

Armor’s way at that particular point of space and time.

Hey, you lousy driving dharma bums, no one promised you a

rose garden on the interstate. Make way for real art royalty and

we don’t mean no carnival klutz.

Armor’s wildly honks his horn while Igor sticks his head out

the window making weird faces at other vehicular units. All the

while, Igor’s pony tail sways madly in the speed breaking highway

wind. Beats the roller coaster of defunct Ponchartrain Beach for

excitement any day of the week.

“Next time,” Igor tells Armor’s as they decelerate towards

the South Carrolton exit, “let me do the driving.”

“You don’t have a license though. Do you?” Tyger asks if

memory serves him well.

“Don’t need one, dear boy,” Igor replies. “I just want to drive. I

don’t use identification.”

“Oh,” Tyger says. “Sorry for asking.”

“Uhh, O.K,” Armor’s adds. “Want to drive now?”

“Nah. Remind me later.”

Tyger feels like the personification of his Lurch imitation,

but bites his tongue. First chance, he vows, he is retreating to

his own car. He will meet up with Igor and Armor’s

traveling show later at Mac’s pad.

Scene dissolve. Stage left as hours pass like seconds. Igor

and Armor’s curtsy. Then, they disappear courtesy of the hands of time.

 

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They re-emerge 9 p.m. at MacLand followed by Tyger,

the semi-great art hunter-detective.

An interesting discussion ensues as Mac, Armor’s, and Igor

recall a journey they took in 1986 when the former rescued the

latter from his less than free state at Arcosanti, a self-contained

commune theoretically dedicated to the positive

advancement of humanity’s consciousness.

Igor lived in a cave in the Arizona high desert wasting his

considerable artistic talents by engaging in whatever commune

practices were en vogue there. Anyone can be a flunky, but the

great shaman artists of an age are few and far between. (Such is

the grinning Igor Buddah seated cross-legged on Mac floor.)

Mac and Armor’s somehow sensed that Igor was becoming

disillusioned at the commune. They showed up at his cave doorstep

in the Nick Bowers of time, apparently. Igor’s attitude was

beginning to run afoul of commune authorities.

Igor’s cavalry packed his few belongings in Mac’s old car.

They charged northeast to Colorado and a “Jack Kerouac: On the

Road Again” conference. Picking up a female hitchhiker called

Flora along the way, the art soldiers happily careened across the

great Southwest taking slightly obscene photographs of the

willing young girl, stopping along the road for red-green hot

Mexican chili dinners and cold drinks.

A good time was had by all. At least, that is their story

 

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and they’re sticking to it. Attention spans to another topic.

Armor’s has a bit of current news update for the visiting performance artist.

“Those lame assholes at the CAC are having an art show,” Armor’s reports.

“They are so fucking stupid that they give true artists a bad name.

We need to teach them a lesson.”

Igor laughs in his trade-marked vaguely sinister manner.

“Remember the bird scout cookies?” he asks, alluding to an unforgettable instance

in which he filled up empty girl scout cookie boxes with decaying dead birds;

then went door to door “selling” them.

Predictably, no buyers although a particularly rabid off-duty Houston policeman

threatened to arrest Igor on the spot, thereby ending, for the day, the infamous art project.

Yes, it was a pheasant way to the pass that particular day.

Of course, the boys remember the bird scout cookies incident

immortalized in the ongoing memory of man

as related from generation to generation at life’s wonderful way stations

such as this Mac’s house bullshit seance.

Reminiscences such as these reverberate far louder

than the roar of MacLand’s huge fans beating the heat senseless.

“Tell me more about this so-called show,” an interested Igor asks,

his mind click clicking instantly formulating a secret game plan.

“Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters, coming to  a pot hole chasm in the road.

 

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Tyger jumps in noting, “Tomorrow night.

They have the Slimes-Picayune art critic and a couple of

others judging the exhibits. All entries must have themes

relating to the culinary arts since this is, after all, a part f

New Orleans fake claim to fame. Winner gets screwed or something.”

“Screwed, eh?” Igor contemplates. “I could use a little screwing.”

Igor pauses to consider further, then turns to.Armor’s Tungsten.

“What was that I saw abandoned outside the hardware store on the corner?”

“Uhh. The postcard rack?”

“Ah-huh. The snack rack.”

“Snack rack?” Mac repeats.

“Ah-huh. Let’s retrieve it,” Igor says.

What the hey-line. The boys walk down the street to where

sits discarded an old postcard rack. Mac picks it up like

a Christmas tree, lugging it back to the home pad.

“Let us get to work lads. We have some serious art to make,”

Igor announces, as he — whomp! — captures a large roach under a

plastic cup. “I believe we have our first subject.”

Thus begins the making of Snack Rack so christened. Igor

tapes a paper bottom under the cup thereby preserving the roach

forever in time. He places roach-in-a-cup on one of the lower

branches of the soon to be art wracked tree.

“What have we in the kitchen,” he announces as Sarah goes to

 

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the back of the house. “You want something” she says, “gross?”

to which Igor replies, “Grosser the better,”

laughing maniacally as per his peculiar style.

A mad scramble ensues as each of MacLandia’s citizenry

scours the property for the most awful, horrible, preferably

crawling live or rotting dead objects, to place on a particular rack.

A wild assortment of indigenous insect life combines with

decaying foodstuff to form the core of the proposed exhibit.

Every now and then cries of “Ooooooh,” or “ahhhhhh, disgusting,”

escape as the racks quickly fill  to overflowing with, dare we say, snacks.

Disgusting work, comrades, but an artist must do what an

artist must do, damn the consequences. “I feel a little like

throwing up,” Sarah comments to which Igor appends, “Please do.

We have a spot for that on the lower right arm left.”

“Maybe I’ll hold it in,” she notes after careful consideration.

Odor most foul stinking to high heaven; insects most fair

crawling in their plastic cages, fighting to no avail to exit the

evolving exhibit. “Is this how Picasso got started?” Tyger asks.

“I don’t believe he dealt much in food art,” Igor replies.

“Of course one never knows about a person’s inner passions.”

 

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Igor continues to supervise as he whips the upper right rack

in shape, literally, with a healthy serving of chill-and-whip.

“Looks good,” he notes, “and tastes good too. Yum yum.”

Tyger and Armor’s pick over the remnants of the evening’s

last supper producing the odd piece of fruit and leftover

vegetable garbage for Igor to consider.

“Good. Good,” he approves. “I think that putrid banana adds

a very nice touch.” He smells it. “Hmmmm. Pungent aroma. This

will definitely do. Any more lying around, preferably for days?”

Even the cats pitch in as one drags a chicken bone into the

room which Igor eagerly fetches. He accompanies that motion with

the wonderfully evil laugh as eternally trademarked.

“Yes, yes kitty,” he says petting the purring animal

contributor. “Go back into the yard and see what else is appropo.”

The cats might not know much, but they seem to intuit what makes great food art.

They immediately withdraw to follow Igor’s further instructions.

“Oh, how lovely,” he notes as with a flourish Armor’s hands

him a particularly disgusting brown object.

“Don’t tell me what it is. It will ruin the surprise.”

“Good idea,” Sarah adds as she looks on with an air of

suspended disbelief that always forms the basis of appreciation

of true art. “Don’t believe I want to know either.”

Armor’s is well pleased with his contribution. He returns to

 

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the bathroom area for more raw art. He, too, knows a good Snack

Rack object when he feels it.

This activity, accompanied by a long-playing tape of the

latest Macland bongo associative productions for Igor’s benefit,

continues for an hour or so until every branch of the snack rack

tree is filled with the most vile and perplexing of subjects.

Everyone stands back, well back at that, because the

horrible aroma is overpowering, admiring the latest creation of

the great Igor, supervising artist.

“I think we have something here,” Igor concludes. “I think

we truly have an inspirational, magical special representation of

man’s inhumanity to man and the immediate environment.”

Everyone appears quite impressed. “Awesome,” Tyger utters.

“Uhhh. I like it,” adds Armor’s.

“Awful, accent on the first syllable;  art of the highest order,” according to Mac.

“This stinks,” Sarah opines.

“Yes. Yes. That’s good,” Igor states. “Let us go with that. Life stinks.”

“It seems quite alarming,” Sarah continues.

“Yes. Yes,” Igor is well pleased. “I think the girl has got it. Life is alarming.

We are ready for the show.”

So it comes, so it goes. The CAC show is scheduled for

8 p.m. to “when or what ever” on Sunday July 3, 1988.

Regular submissions already have been numbered and

installed around the large space at the center of the gallery floor.

 

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They represent standard local crapola like grass skirts lined

with plastic Mardi Gras type fruit beads, and stupid gingerbread

houses with small carefully crafted, equally insipid, figurines.

What an ugly mess it forms.

Local artists think they have outdone themselves, of

course. The 7 p.m. exclusive reception crowd sit around

immersed in idle self-promoting chatter like a bunch of monkeys

at Audubon Zoo. “Eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh.” “Oooh.”

Looks ripe for a Snack Rack rotten banana attack

Snack Rack has spent the night marinating outside Mac’s house,

acquiring a well rounded buoyancy as well as an

unique and unsubtle aroma through a 92 degree afternoon until

presto perfect ’tis ready for prominent public display.

About the time the paying CAC art consumers start horsing

down hors d’oeuvres; gangway critics, here comes the ultimate

exhibit. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Igor and Armor’s carefully unload Snack Rack from Mac’s

minivan, carrying it like a traveling pre-revolutionary French

monarch on a small carriage through the red brick building’s unlocked back doors,

“Excuse me sirs,” an officious name tag type rudely asks the

Snack Rack retainers as they walk tall through the exhibit with

 

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their unofficial submission.

“Do you have the proper permission for this, ahhh, thing?”

Armor’s takes the usual low road.

“We don’t need no fucking permission, ass-wipe.”

The fawning suit and tie guy steps back eyebrows arched.

Igor, however, is a more conciliatory soul with considerable

experience in these delicate matters. He seeks to keep the peace.

“Oh yes. Yes. We have consulted with the proper authorities,”

Igor placates. “This is properly sanctioned. Yessiree Bob.”

Igor calls to Armor’s in front. “Put it down next to the ornamental

salad bowls. Turn the rotten vegetable arms in that direction.

Believe it fits quite well with the general ambiance of that piece.”

The well dressed crowd gives the Snack Rack crew a very,

very wide berth. A gorgeous blonde in short black dress holds her nose.

“Well, I never,” she finally blurts. “Hey babe,” Mac snaps. “You do now.”

Igor stands back with his arms folded gazing with admiration at his supervised creation.

“I think we have really done it this time,” he concludes.

“Me too,” Tyger agrees. “I just hope we don’t get arrested or something worse.”

Congratulatory high fives all around self-salute the successful art project crew.

 

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Mac busies himself schmoozing at the open bar, pouring

prodigious quantities of rum in a glass with a splash of mixer.

“Gang way. Gang way. Gotta get this drink,” he announces,

clearing a path through the pseudo-polite crowd.

Armor’s is all over the actual food table

scarfing down petite sausage balls and less subtle

little hot dogs on buns. Manners, mannerisms,

touch of drool dribbling down his pure white shoit.

Or maybe that is sweat from Snack Rack transportation duties.

Armor’s will never tell.

Igor is all for art and fun for all. He lobbies one of the judges in the corner.

“Is not this the most spectacular comment on the current state

of American culture you have ever seen,” he states proudly.

“Dunno about that,” here come da judge returning service.

“It’s something alright. Give you that.”

Two more large crawfish name tags signifying nothing much;

art show judges in this event appear as if by magic, confused

as they consider the space.

“Is it art?” asks the elderly grey-haired society matron crawfish tag.

“My dear,” replies the the token gay compadre.

“You wouldn’t know art if it were your dog’s name.”

 

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Ohhh-key. Starting to get uglier at the CAC.

Not even counting the large number of people milling about the art watering hole with

fear and loathing in Hunter S. Thompson’s mind. An event organizer accompanied by two burly

uniformed  security mavens stridently strides to Igor ground zero. “Oh no,” Tyger says,

this is what happened last time.”

(This references another art event when Igor wandered into a clay pottery exhibition at the

Houston Contemporary Arts Museum clad only in loin cloth, awkwardly flipping high

to the sky and, oops, clumsy me, dramatically missing a largegeological hammer.

Igor repeated his actions long enough for nervous pottery exhibitors to corral and subdue him,

ejecting his ass outside. This rude interaction launched a scene of vitriolic argumentation lasting over an hour.)

Resuming our scene, the red faced menacing event coordinator displays an unmistakeable

sense of purpose. “Sorry, ah, sir,” he says, “Are you responsible for this, er..”

“Exhibit,” Igor interjects. “Of course. Is it now the piece de resistance, creme de la creme?”

“Dunno about that,” the organizer says. “I am going to have to ask you to take this out the way you came,

 

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then to a landfill and never come back.”

“Hey buddy. You are the only mockery here,” Mac, somewhat in

his cups, slurs. “Why don’t you get lost. Everyone was enjoying

themselves a lot before your fat ass showed up.”

Armor’s watches in silent wonder, finally chiming in with,

“You know nothing about great art. Who do you think you are?”

“I am in charge of this,” the man says wheeling around to

the rear-guard back-up of this distasteful guerilla action.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave as well, sir.”

“Yeah, well, leave this,” Armor’s replies flashing

upright his trademark right middle finger.

Mac agrees. “Yeah. Leave this too,” repeating Armor’s

obscene gesture with both hands for extra emphasis.

Tyger does not have to be asked to leave as he is all too

familiar with the approaching scenario. He escapes outside and

stands by Camp Street viewing the scene through a large glass window.

He flirts briefly with a petite, possibly attractive brunette.

“Can you believe some people?” he asks innocently enough.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to,” she replies.

“Some people are just animals.”

“Bow wow,” Tyger opines.

The security guards herd Armor’s and Mac to the large front

door. “Hey, you don’t have to push,” Armor’s says. “I was just leaving.”

 

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Mac adds for good measure, “Who would want to stay at such

a crappy expedition anyway.”

The gay judge begs to disagree with snack rack’s disqualification on technical grounds.

“Frankly, my dear, this is the finest piece in the show,”he says, finger on jaw. “I don’t know about you,

but this — what do you say, snack pack — gets my vote hands down.”

The society dame is a bit less approving. “This thing, pardon my French, sucks, and I mean that literally.”

No matter, anti-matter, da die is cast. The praetorian guards return for Igor who, somehow,

had escaped their wrath. Roughly ejecting Igor into the warm dark night.

“Don’t come back,” lead guard says. “Ever.”

Igor and the gang huddle up on Camp Street assessing the situation.

“Don’t know about you lads,” Igor says, “I believe it went quite well.”

“Uhhh, I need a joint,” Tyger says.

“Read your mind,” Mac says, producing a giant blunt, which they puff away on

like Bad Brains along St. Joseph Street before climbing in the minivan and back Uptown

 

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to MacLand. They party the night away there in joyous celebration

until dawn’s first light.

Later that Sunday, no mention of the Snack Rack related

conflagration appears in the Slimes-Picayune, although

considerable space in the arts section is devoted to the

official version of the CAC exhibition. Winners are duly

noted in the driest account unimaginable. Fake official

recognition is heaped like Snack Rack’s rotting broccoli and

flaying insects on such as the crawfish mural and still fruit painting.

The next day, as well, is some nation’s birthday.

Yup. Here comes the 4th of July. A trip to the French

Ouarter for the New Neanderthals fake out is on tap this day.

(Maybe someone should play taps.)

Ah yes, comrades, the historic Vieux Carre, the New Orleans

French Quarter. That place synonymous with the Big Easy to all

tourists, demented travel agents, and assorted assholes the world over.

 

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Roots kills a set, then stumbles around trying to bum a

reefer. He chain smokes cigarettes and pretends like he is

writing a doctoral thesis.

“Yeah, I wrote three pages last week. I am bushed,” he tells

Heave Broward loudly, so others might overhear. “I am going to try

write another three pages next week. Man, it is hard work.”

Must be since he has been “writing” his thesis for 20 years.

His “writing” consists of watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on

television, the only program relating to him on his own

level — and pretending to be working at BooRay University, Home

of the Blue Foam.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Then there is the sad but true case of Heave Broward, slack

bass nowhere-man non-artist. He is a hypocrite too, of course,

going around pretending to be “creative,” as in “yeah man, I

been concentrating on GWAR and I really think they’re on to

something creative,” (Create this, pal.)

“Don’t know why Mr. Milty won’t let the rest of us play

our songs. He always insists on only playing his and I feel, I

don’t know, creatively intimidated. Milty is a great guy. Don’t

get me wrong. He is my best buddy.”

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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And then there is the lead singer, Little Ro, a thin ugly

African-American youth already aging ungracefully. He

never made it past the 11th grade in high school, but goes around

pretending to be “intellectual,” trying unsuccessfully to

fool others and himself about his role as an “artist.”

Such is the group that plays in a French Quarter courtyard

to celebrate our nation’s birthday. How form fitting.

They play a set of ripped off covers plus a few of Milty’s

originals, then take a break. Comes noon as the parking lot

soundstage becomes hot as hell’s kitchen. The New Neanderthals are definitely not.

Igor has the great privilege of witnessing the usual slackmen effort although Milty and

Buck try to pep the set up with some original riffs and lyrics. Game, set, match. Break.

 

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Heave is off in the far corner trying to pick up chicks with

the one millionth recitation of “You are the prettiest girl here.

Congratulations Heave, you have reached escape velocity from reality.

Ro preens by a mirror. Milty and Buck smoke a joint with

Mac, Armor’s and Igor walking up Decatur Street laughing and joking.

A crowd of about 50 background actors mill about the

courtyard taken in by the New Neanderthal performance.

What a way to spend the Fourth.

They play a second sloppy set and pack up the instruments.

Roots finagles a ride from an acquaintance. He has no friends.

Heave hops in with a gullible half-beautiful girl fan,

departing like a snake slithering off the hook. Milty leaves with

his latest girlfriend edition whom he will later pass on as

gullible used goods to a social climbing base bassist Broward.

 

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Buck is in a good mood. He leaves with his girlfriend for a

real party. Ro is … who cares. That accounts for the afternoon.

Mac’s van takes the boys around the French Quarter, honking

at tourists like turtles snapping pictures of anything that moves

and everything that doesn’t.

“Hey you just took a picture of an oak tree,” Armor’s shouts

out the window at one fatass couple. “They don’t have trees where

you come from?”

Guess not. They take another photograph. And over there by

the crime infested St. Louis Cemeteries One and Two, across the

street from the Iberville and St. Thomas Housing Projects, the

tourists wander blissfully unaware of a recent gruesome murder of

two of their own the week before.

The tourists pay lip service to memory — the historic

French Quarter and all that jazz — but don’t even know what went

down last week. Just the way the state Tourist Commission loves

it. Keeps them coming back for more.

Mac drives Igor down Decatur Street by Jackson Square with

the horseback charging hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

 

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(That was, incidentally, the greatest military victory in

United States history through 1988. It took place at the nearby

Chalmette parapets in January 1814, after the War of 1812 had

been negotiated to an end. Appropriate battle for the City that Care Forgot.)

Also in the vicinity stand St. Louis Cathedral where Pope

John Paul II said mass; the Presbytere; the Cabildo, first seat

of Louisiana government; and the hanging plant baskets lining the

long red east and west Pontalba Apartments on both sides of the

square, the first apartment buildings in America.

But, you, comrades of the never-ending story, do not want a

wasteland travelogue. You do not want to walk pointlessly up and

down Bourbon Street in front of sleazy strip joints and t-shirt shops.

This tale is about New Orleans, not the small 16-square

block of Disneyland for tourists and a few derelicts that the

Chamber of Commerce wishes to pass off as our land. We have a

higher purpose in mind for our future.

Seekers of truth will find none in the Vieux Carre. So, Mac

moves past Jax Brewery, a renovated home for overpriced shops in

 

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which no local can afford to shop. Waving his hand, Mac explains,

“Oh by the way, this is the French Quarter.”

“Oh,” Igor notes. “Always wondered what it looked like

after hearing so much about it.” Enough said on that score.

Guest performing artist Igor, who arrived with a bang,

leaves these foreign shores with more like a whimper. Everyone is

well pleased with his artistic input, happy to have had him lend

his validating presence to their small slice of lifestyle.

Tuesday July 5th arrives as it must.

Igor leaves Armor’s with a warm embrace.

“See ya later alligator,” the performance artist calls over his

shoulder paying homage to local culture. “Great visit man,”

Armor’s bon voyages. “Come back again as soon as you can.”

A great bird carries Armor’s into the sky, above the clouds,

beyond the top of the terminal telescope.

But, we can recount in these pages whatever happened to the

New Neanderthals. Nothing.

Roots pretended he had to quit the band because his bosses

required it and to devote more time to his thesis.

 

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It was the usual lie.

Milty started his own band–Belt of Tools.

Buck hooked up with a strange rockabilly group.

Heave continued his nowhere hypocracy hanging out at local

nightclubs pretending to be working on song-writing, lying to

chicks in order to get in their pants. And Little Ro? Who cares.

But of Snack Rack? Aye, that is another story. No doubt some

zealous collector guards its terrible beauty in a darkened art

warehouse somewhere in the Big Uneasy waiting for the proper time

to display the awful truth that gave bad food art a somewhat tasty claim to fame.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

Igor, a startling performance artist

from New York, visits the gang. Igor makes the usual splash upon

arrival and his story is told. He supervises the creation of

Snack Rack, a discarded postcard tree filled with rotten food and

crawling insects that is unofficially entered in a local art show

with resulting mayhem. On July 4th, Igor and the gang attend a

lame performance by the New Neanderthals in the French Quarter.

 

CHAPTER 25

“IGOR COMES TO TOWN”

 

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Igor. The very name strikes fear in the heartless souls of art philistines everywhere

Igor. Armor’s good art buddy lately of the Arcosanti Commune

near Flagstaff, Arizona; more recently performing the herculean

task of cleaning the stables at Belmont Park Race Track at Elmont, New York.

(He helps with renovations at Carnegie Hall in his spare

time. His picture even made it into the New York Times on that score.)

Igor. Master of modern primitive painting and weird frog art

as well as the odd performance piece between engagements.

Igor. Igor. Igor. The crowd chants his name rising in a

nitrous wave above these distant shores. All hail the great

artist of our time. How about dropping into our planetary hell hole some time?

Yes, comrades in art, the July 4th weekend is heating up as

if that were possible given the 92 degree plus temperatures

accompanying humidity fit to soak one’s soul in sweat.

Igor’s body lies over the water yet.

Armor’s receives the call eagerly. Igor has decided to get

 

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away from the city — that’s the Big Apple y’all — over the

weekend. He believes it high time to commune with his friends in

New Orleans. Cognoscenti are excited.

Two events coincidentally distinguishing this year’s

Crescent City, shall we say, celebration also call quite vividly

for Igor’s rapt attention.

Firstly, the Contemporary Arts Center on “this used to be

Camp Street” as they once advertised during a street fair thrown

to rid the area of street derelicts in favor of their pseudo-art

derelictions is having an art exhibition and contest.

Winner receives bogus recognition, theoretically.

Secondly, that well known purveying group of doom, the New

Neanderthals, have somehow gotten their shit together long enough

to play an equally bogus July 4th gig in the French Quarter

courtyard of a sort of hip collectibles shop.

They say they are going to make a music video.

We will have to see about that. Hopefully, so will Igor.

Igor, of course, will stay with Armor’s and his cats at the

petting zoo. The controversial by design great artist is due for

a Saturday morning arrival, Tuesday evening departure.

That should give him more than enough time to wreak havoc on what

 

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used to be known as the Big Crescent City that Care Forgot Easy.

Let us see what they call this place after Igor is through.

Armor’s drives out to New Orleans International Airport at 7:30 p.m.

He is his usual rambunctious self, passive-aggressively tempting death

while playing in fast moving traffic. Thankfully, as Tyger clutches the lap belt

for dear life, no more surveillance for this pelicana. Armor’s number is retired.

The Mercury Capris makes it safely to the short-term parking area by act

of a higher power’s caprice. The boys head for the Delta terminal

at this used to be called Moisant Field. Not surprisingly, they are late,

they are late for a very important date. Welcome to Armor’s world already.

The official gang greeting committee cascades up the escalator, leaping steps in a series

of long bounds, mini-supermen — or stupormen, your call — passing a startled

security guard. Lucky for him they are not in the mood for a skyjacking.

Regular jacks will do.

(The uninformed, incidentally, always ask for the proper definition

of the local slang use of the word “jack,” that can be used grammatically

as verb, noun, adverb, or adjective being a most descriptive term. Mr. Milty

summed it up perfectly with his classic ink drawing of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside a picture of an angry man pounding

 

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a pinball machine inside apicture of an angry man

pounding a pinball machine inside etc….)

The welcome to N’Awlins this is your life ad hoc Igor society flies

across the busy airport concourse O.J. Simpson pre-murder style.

They hear a voice ring out as all traffic stops like in the old

Dean Witter commercials, all necks craning to hear the stock tip.

“Ho ho ho there boys,” a far figure enthralling,

drawing Armor’s and Tyger like shades towards his shadowy

denouement of arrival strategy. “I’m all Ho’d out.”

Wearing a Davey Crockett coonskin cap with a long blonde

pony tail sticking out for good measure, Igor walks confidently

towards his steering committee. “Ho ho ho there boys,” he repeats

for effect and halts just before reaching Armor’s outstretched hand.

Then, what do you know comrades, he flips his trim lean body

over in an acrobatic handstand, walking a few feet with his feet

in the air. That lad always knew how to attract a crowd, kind of

like Jelly Roll Morton without the extreme verbal histrionics.

Igor rolls to a stop in a sitting position as Tyger, Armor’s

and a small crowd of curious bears break into applause.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very much,” Igor acknowledges as

the crowd quickly disperses. Maybe they have heard about him.

Meanwhile, airport security guards are quickly scrambling

 

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like rats after cheese in the opposite direction. They know

trouble when they see it. “That was great,” Armor’s finally comments.

“Great to see ya Igor.”

“How is everything in the Big UnEasy?” Igor asks.

“Same old same old,” Tyger states. “Been looking forward to seeing you.”

“Got a couple of awful activities on tap,” Armor’s reports.

“Goody,” Igor notes with pleasure. “Goody gum drop.

That’s what we all came for.”

Tyger grabs Igor’s duffle bag as the orange tinged artist

walks along with Armor’s to the escalator. Tyger and Armor’s ride

the automatic steps. Igor tries to slide down the railing

alternating between sliding a few feet and falling off.

Good show, old chap. Everybody finds this game quite

amusing. Igor laughs uproariously more like a happy lion than silly rabbit.

Tyger and Armor’s are now officially in the Igor zone and

loving it. They can feel the karma level rising rapidly.

The three artists become imbued with a sense of heightened

artistic energy. They break the sound barrier near confused,

possibly frightened, beautiful rent-a-car chicks sitting in their

ridiculously colored uniforms at respective corporate

commercialism counters. Armor’s immediately, excitedly bee-

lining to a bank of black telephones.

 

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“What you doing there?” Igor inquires.

“Have to call Mac,”Armor’s replies. “Everybody at MacLand wants to see you

as soon as humanly possible.”

“Yes. Let us stop there,” Igor says. “Mac’s a great guy. We can reminisce

about our adventures through the weirdly wilds of Arcosanti.”

Armor’s mutters a few words into the phone, handing the

apparatus to Igor. “Heeeeeeey Mac:! How is it going?!?” Igor yells, nearly

undressing the phone’s mouthpiece. “Heeeey Mac! Hip Hip hooray you dirty dog.”

A few additional nonsensical pleasantries exchanged. Mac

gives Igor the proposed Saturday night agenda. Igor agrees to the

proposal with one amendment before breaking off the commos line.

“Let me drop my duffel bag at Armor’s house and wash up,”

Igor appends. “I feel quite grungy after the airplane ride, not to

mention three margarita cocktails.”

Igor apprises the greeting committee of the upcoming meeting

schedule. “Your wish is my command sir. Yes,” replies Armor’s

with his best Ed McMahon imitation.

(Was Armor’s consciously imitating the Johnny Carson second

banana? He will never tell. In any event, lucky for Ed McMahon

breath, Armor’s is not interested in hosting “Star Search.”)

The boys float on the wings of uplifted consciousness to

Armor’s awaiting chariot. They Ben Hur Uptown narrowly missing

 

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identified driving objects who have the misfortune of blocking

Armor’s way at that particular point of space and time.

Hey, you lousy driving dharma bums, no one promised you a

rose garden on the interstate. Make way for real art royalty and

we don’t mean no carnival klutz.

Armor’s wildly honks his horn while Igor sticks his head out

the window making weird faces at other vehicular units. All the

while, Igor’s pony tail sways madly in the speed breaking highway

wind. Beats the roller coaster of defunct Ponchartrain Beach for

excitement any day of the week.

“Next time,” Igor tells Armor’s as they decelerate towards

the South Carrolton exit, “let me do the driving.”

“You don’t have a license though. Do you?” Tyger asks if

memory serves him well.

“Don’t need one, dear boy,” Igor replies. “I just want to drive. I

don’t use identification.”

“Oh,” Tyger says. “Sorry for asking.”

“Uhh, O.K,” Armor’s adds. “Want to drive now?”

“Nah. Remind me later.”

Tyger feels like the personification of his Lurch imitation,

but bites his tongue. First chance, he vows, he is retreating to

his own car. He will meet up with Igor and Armor’s

traveling show later at Mac’s pad.

Scene dissolve. Stage left as hours pass like seconds. Igor

and Armor’s curtsy. Then, they disappear courtesy of the hands of time.

 

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They re-emerge 9 p.m. at MacLand followed by Tyger,

the semi-great art hunter-detective.

An interesting discussion ensues as Mac, Armor’s, and Igor

recall a journey they took in 1986 when the former rescued the

latter from his less than free state at Arcosanti, a self-contained

commune theoretically dedicated to the positive

advancement of humanity’s consciousness.

Igor lived in a cave in the Arizona high desert wasting his

considerable artistic talents by engaging in whatever commune

practices were en vogue there. Anyone can be a flunky, but the

great shaman artists of an age are few and far between. (Such is

the grinning Igor Buddah seated cross-legged on Mac floor.)

Mac and Armor’s somehow sensed that Igor was becoming

disillusioned at the commune. They showed up at his cave doorstep

in the Nick Bowers of time, apparently. Igor’s attitude was

beginning to run afoul of commune authorities.

Igor’s cavalry packed his few belongings in Mac’s old car.

They charged northeast to Colorado and a “Jack Kerouac: On the

Road Again” conference. Picking up a female hitchhiker called

Flora along the way, the art soldiers happily careened across the

great Southwest taking slightly obscene photographs of the

willing young girl, stopping along the road for red-green hot

Mexican chili dinners and cold drinks.

A good time was had by all. At least, that is their story

 

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and they’re sticking to it. Attention spans to another topic.

Armor’s has a bit of current news update for the visiting performance artist.

“Those lame assholes at the CAC are having an art show,” Armor’s reports.

“They are so fucking stupid that they give true artists a bad name.

We need to teach them a lesson.”

Igor laughs in his trade-marked vaguely sinister manner.

“Remember the bird scout cookies?” he asks, alluding to an unforgettable instance

in which he filled up empty girl scout cookie boxes with decaying dead birds;

then went door to door “selling” them.

Predictably, no buyers although a particularly rabid off-duty Houston policeman

threatened to arrest Igor on the spot, thereby ending, for the day, the infamous art project.

Yes, it was a pheasant way to the pass that particular day.

Of course, the boys remember the bird scout cookies incident

immortalized in the ongoing memory of man

as related from generation to generation at life’s wonderful way stations

such as this Mac’s house bullshit seance.

Reminiscences such as these reverberate far louder

than the roar of MacLand’s huge fans beating the heat senseless.

“Tell me more about this so-called show,” an interested Igor asks,

his mind click clicking instantly formulating a secret game plan.

“Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters, coming to  a pot hole chasm in the road.

 

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Tyger jumps in noting, “Tomorrow night.

They have the Slimes-Picayune art critic and a couple of

others judging the exhibits. All entries must have themes

relating to the culinary arts since this is, after all, a part f

New Orleans fake claim to fame. Winner gets screwed or something.”

“Screwed, eh?” Igor contemplates. “I could use a little screwing.”

Igor pauses to consider further, then turns to.Armor’s Tungsten.

“What was that I saw abandoned outside the hardware store on the corner?”

“Uhh. The postcard rack?”

“Ah-huh. The snack rack.”

“Snack rack?” Mac repeats.

“Ah-huh. Let’s retrieve it,” Igor says.

What the hey-line. The boys walk down the street to where

sits discarded an old postcard rack. Mac picks it up like

a Christmas tree, lugging it back to the home pad.

“Let us get to work lads. We have some serious art to make,”

Igor announces, as he — whomp! — captures a large roach under a

plastic cup. “I believe we have our first subject.”

Thus begins the making of Snack Rack so christened. Igor

tapes a paper bottom under the cup thereby preserving the roach

forever in time. He places roach-in-a-cup on one of the lower

branches of the soon to be art wracked tree.

“What have we in the kitchen,” he announces as Sarah goes to

 

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the back of the house. “You want something” she says, “gross?”

to which Igor replies, “Grosser the better,”

laughing maniacally as per his peculiar style.

A mad scramble ensues as each of MacLandia’s citizenry

scours the property for the most awful, horrible, preferably

crawling live or rotting dead objects, to place on a particular rack.

A wild assortment of indigenous insect life combines with

decaying foodstuff to form the core of the proposed exhibit.

Every now and then cries of “Ooooooh,” or “ahhhhhh, disgusting,”

escape as the racks quickly fill  to overflowing with, dare we say, snacks.

Disgusting work, comrades, but an artist must do what an

artist must do, damn the consequences. “I feel a little like

throwing up,” Sarah comments to which Igor appends, “Please do.

We have a spot for that on the lower right arm left.”

“Maybe I’ll hold it in,” she notes after careful consideration.

Odor most foul stinking to high heaven; insects most fair

crawling in their plastic cages, fighting to no avail to exit the

evolving exhibit. “Is this how Picasso got started?” Tyger asks.

“I don’t believe he dealt much in food art,” Igor replies.

“Of course one never knows about a person’s inner passions.”

 

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Igor continues to supervise as he whips the upper right rack

in shape, literally, with a healthy serving of chill-and-whip.

“Looks good,” he notes, “and tastes good too. Yum yum.”

Tyger and Armor’s pick over the remnants of the evening’s

last supper producing the odd piece of fruit and leftover

vegetable garbage for Igor to consider.

“Good. Good,” he approves. “I think that putrid banana adds

a very nice touch.” He smells it. “Hmmmm. Pungent aroma. This

will definitely do. Any more lying around, preferably for days?”

Even the cats pitch in as one drags a chicken bone into the

room which Igor eagerly fetches. He accompanies that motion with

the wonderfully evil laugh as eternally trademarked.

“Yes, yes kitty,” he says petting the purring animal

contributor. “Go back into the yard and see what else is appropo.”

The cats might not know much, but they seem to intuit what makes great food art.

They immediately withdraw to follow Igor’s further instructions.

“Oh, how lovely,” he notes as with a flourish Armor’s hands

him a particularly disgusting brown object.

“Don’t tell me what it is. It will ruin the surprise.”

“Good idea,” Sarah adds as she looks on with an air of

suspended disbelief that always forms the basis of appreciation

of true art. “Don’t believe I want to know either.”

Armor’s is well pleased with his contribution. He returns to

 

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the bathroom area for more raw art. He, too, knows a good Snack

Rack object when he feels it.

This activity, accompanied by a long-playing tape of the

latest Macland bongo associative productions for Igor’s benefit,

continues for an hour or so until every branch of the snack rack

tree is filled with the most vile and perplexing of subjects.

Everyone stands back, well back at that, because the

horrible aroma is overpowering, admiring the latest creation of

the great Igor, supervising artist.

“I think we have something here,” Igor concludes. “I think

we truly have an inspirational, magical special representation of

man’s inhumanity to man and the immediate environment.”

Everyone appears quite impressed. “Awesome,” Tyger utters.

“Uhhh. I like it,” adds Armor’s.

“Awful, accent on the first syllable;  art of the highest order,” according to Mac.

“This stinks,” Sarah opines.

“Yes. Yes. That’s good,” Igor states. “Let us go with that. Life stinks.”

“It seems quite alarming,” Sarah continues.

“Yes. Yes,” Igor is well pleased. “I think the girl has got it. Life is alarming.

We are ready for the show.”

So it comes, so it goes. The CAC show is scheduled for

8 p.m. to “when or what ever” on Sunday July 3, 1988.

Regular submissions already have been numbered and

installed around the large space at the center of the gallery floor.

 

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They represent standard local crapola like grass skirts lined

with plastic Mardi Gras type fruit beads, and stupid gingerbread

houses with small carefully crafted, equally insipid, figurines.

What an ugly mess it forms.

Local artists think they have outdone themselves, of

course. The 7 p.m. exclusive reception crowd sit around

immersed in idle self-promoting chatter like a bunch of monkeys

at Audubon Zoo. “Eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh-eeeh.” “Oooh.”

Looks ripe for a Snack Rack rotten banana attack

Snack Rack has spent the night marinating outside Mac’s house,

acquiring a well rounded buoyancy as well as an

unique and unsubtle aroma through a 92 degree afternoon until

presto perfect ’tis ready for prominent public display.

About the time the paying CAC art consumers start horsing

down hors d’oeuvres; gangway critics, here comes the ultimate

exhibit. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Igor and Armor’s carefully unload Snack Rack from Mac’s

minivan, carrying it like a traveling pre-revolutionary French

monarch on a small carriage through the red brick building’s unlocked back doors,

“Excuse me sirs,” an officious name tag type rudely asks the

Snack Rack retainers as they walk tall through the exhibit with

 

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their unofficial submission.

“Do you have the proper permission for this, ahhh, thing?”

Armor’s takes the usual low road.

“We don’t need no fucking permission, ass-wipe.”

The fawning suit and tie guy steps back eyebrows arched.

Igor, however, is a more conciliatory soul with considerable

experience in these delicate matters. He seeks to keep the peace.

“Oh yes. Yes. We have consulted with the proper authorities,”

Igor placates. “This is properly sanctioned. Yessiree Bob.”

Igor calls to Armor’s in front. “Put it down next to the ornamental

salad bowls. Turn the rotten vegetable arms in that direction.

Believe it fits quite well with the general ambiance of that piece.”

The well dressed crowd gives the Snack Rack crew a very,

very wide berth. A gorgeous blonde in short black dress holds her nose.

“Well, I never,” she finally blurts. “Hey babe,” Mac snaps. “You do now.”

Igor stands back with his arms folded gazing with admiration at his supervised creation.

“I think we have really done it this time,” he concludes.

“Me too,” Tyger agrees. “I just hope we don’t get arrested or something worse.”

Congratulatory high fives all around self-salute the successful art project crew.

 

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Mac busies himself schmoozing at the open bar, pouring

prodigious quantities of rum in a glass with a splash of mixer.

“Gang way. Gang way. Gotta get this drink,” he announces,

clearing a path through the pseudo-polite crowd.

Armor’s is all over the actual food table

scarfing down petite sausage balls and less subtle

little hot dogs on buns. Manners, mannerisms,

touch of drool dribbling down his pure white shoit.

Or maybe that is sweat from Snack Rack transportation duties.

Armor’s will never tell.

Igor is all for art and fun for all. He lobbies one of the judges in the corner.

“Is not this the most spectacular comment on the current state

of American culture you have ever seen,” he states proudly.

“Dunno about that,” here come da judge returning service.

“It’s something alright. Give you that.”

Two more large crawfish name tags signifying nothing much;

art show judges in this event appear as if by magic, confused

as they consider the space.

“Is it art?” asks the elderly grey-haired society matron crawfish tag.

“My dear,” replies the the token gay compadre.

“You wouldn’t know art if it were your dog’s name.”

 

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Ohhh-key. Starting to get uglier at the CAC.

Not even counting the large number of people milling about the art watering hole with

fear and loathing in Hunter S. Thompson’s mind. An event organizer accompanied by two burly

uniformed  security mavens stridently strides to Igor ground zero. “Oh no,” Tyger says,

this is what happened last time.”

(This references another art event when Igor wandered into a clay pottery exhibition at the

Houston Contemporary Arts Museum clad only in loin cloth, awkwardly flipping high

to the sky and, oops, clumsy me, dramatically missing a largegeological hammer.

Igor repeated his actions long enough for nervous pottery exhibitors to corral and subdue him,

ejecting his ass outside. This rude interaction launched a scene of vitriolic argumentation lasting over an hour.)

Resuming our scene, the red faced menacing event coordinator displays an unmistakeable

sense of purpose. “Sorry, ah, sir,” he says, “Are you responsible for this, er..”

“Exhibit,” Igor interjects. “Of course. Is it now the piece de resistance, creme de la creme?”

“Dunno about that,” the organizer says. “I am going to have to ask you to take this out the way you came,

 

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then to a landfill and never come back.”

“Hey buddy. You are the only mockery here,” Mac, somewhat in

his cups, slurs. “Why don’t you get lost. Everyone was enjoying

themselves a lot before your fat ass showed up.”

Armor’s watches in silent wonder, finally chiming in with,

“You know nothing about great art. Who do you think you are?”

“I am in charge of this,” the man says wheeling around to

the rear-guard back-up of this distasteful guerilla action.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave as well, sir.”

“Yeah, well, leave this,” Armor’s replies flashing

upright his trademark right middle finger.

Mac agrees. “Yeah. Leave this too,” repeating Armor’s

obscene gesture with both hands for extra emphasis.

Tyger does not have to be asked to leave as he is all too

familiar with the approaching scenario. He escapes outside and

stands by Camp Street viewing the scene through a large glass window.

He flirts briefly with a petite, possibly attractive brunette.

“Can you believe some people?” he asks innocently enough.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to,” she replies.

“Some people are just animals.”

“Bow wow,” Tyger opines.

The security guards herd Armor’s and Mac to the large front

door. “Hey, you don’t have to push,” Armor’s says. “I was just leaving.”

 

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Mac adds for good measure, “Who would want to stay at such

a crappy expedition anyway.”

The gay judge begs to disagree with snack rack’s disqualification on technical grounds.

“Frankly, my dear, this is the finest piece in the show,”he says, finger on jaw. “I don’t know about you,

but this — what do you say, snack pack — gets my vote hands down.”

The society dame is a bit less approving. “This thing, pardon my French, sucks, and I mean that literally.”

No matter, anti-matter, da die is cast. The praetorian guards return for Igor who, somehow,

had escaped their wrath. Roughly ejecting Igor into the warm dark night.

“Don’t come back,” lead guard says. “Ever.”

Igor and the gang huddle up on Camp Street assessing the situation.

“Don’t know about you lads,” Igor says, “I believe it went quite well.”

“Uhhh, I need a joint,” Tyger says.

“Read your mind,” Mac says, producing a giant blunt, which they puff away on

like Bad Brains along St. Joseph Street before climbing in the minivan and back Uptown

 

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to MacLand. They party the night away there in joyous celebration

until dawn’s first light.

Later that Sunday, no mention of the Snack Rack related

conflagration appears in the Slimes-Picayune, although

considerable space in the arts section is devoted to the

official version of the CAC exhibition. Winners are duly

noted in the driest account unimaginable. Fake official

recognition is heaped like Snack Rack’s rotting broccoli and

flaying insects on such as the crawfish mural and still fruit painting.

The next day, as well, is some nation’s birthday.

Yup. Here comes the 4th of July. A trip to the French

Ouarter for the New Neanderthals fake out is on tap this day.

(Maybe someone should play taps.)

Ah yes, comrades, the historic Vieux Carre, the New Orleans

French Quarter. That place synonymous with the Big Easy to all

tourists, demented travel agents, and assorted assholes the world over.

 

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Roots kills a set, then stumbles around trying to bum a

reefer. He chain smokes cigarettes and pretends like he is

writing a doctoral thesis.

“Yeah, I wrote three pages last week. I am bushed,” he tells

Heave Broward loudly, so others might overhear. “I am going to try

write another three pages next week. Man, it is hard work.”

Must be since he has been “writing” his thesis for 20 years.

His “writing” consists of watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on

television, the only program relating to him on his own

level — and pretending to be working at BooRay University, Home

of the Blue Foam.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Then there is the sad but true case of Heave Broward, slack

bass nowhere-man non-artist. He is a hypocrite too, of course,

going around pretending to be “creative,” as in “yeah man, I

been concentrating on GWAR and I really think they’re on to

something creative,” (Create this, pal.)

“Don’t know why Mr. Milty won’t let the rest of us play

our songs. He always insists on only playing his and I feel, I

don’t know, creatively intimidated. Milty is a great guy. Don’t

get me wrong. He is my best buddy.”

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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And then there is the lead singer, Little Ro, a thin ugly

African-American youth already aging ungracefully. He

never made it past the 11th grade in high school, but goes around

pretending to be “intellectual,” trying unsuccessfully to

fool others and himself about his role as an “artist.”

Such is the group that plays in a French Quarter courtyard

to celebrate our nation’s birthday. How form fitting.

They play a set of ripped off covers plus a few of Milty’s

originals, then take a break. Comes noon as the parking lot

soundstage becomes hot as hell’s kitchen. The New Neanderthals are definitely not.

Igor has the great privilege of witnessing the usual slackmen effort although Milty and

Buck try to pep the set up with some original riffs and lyrics. Game, set, match. Break.

 

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Heave is off in the far corner trying to pick up chicks with

the one millionth recitation of “You are the prettiest girl here.

Congratulations Heave, you have reached escape velocity from reality.

Ro preens by a mirror. Milty and Buck smoke a joint with

Mac, Armor’s and Igor walking up Decatur Street laughing and joking.

A crowd of about 50 background actors mill about the

courtyard taken in by the New Neanderthal performance.

What a way to spend the Fourth.

They play a second sloppy set and pack up the instruments.

Roots finagles a ride from an acquaintance. He has no friends.

Heave hops in with a gullible half-beautiful girl fan,

departing like a snake slithering off the hook. Milty leaves with

his latest girlfriend edition whom he will later pass on as

gullible used goods to a social climbing base bassist Broward.

 

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Buck is in a good mood. He leaves with his girlfriend for a

real party. Ro is … who cares. That accounts for the afternoon.

Mac’s van takes the boys around the French Quarter, honking

at tourists like turtles snapping pictures of anything that moves

and everything that doesn’t.

“Hey you just took a picture of an oak tree,” Armor’s shouts

out the window at one fatass couple. “They don’t have trees where

you come from?”

Guess not. They take another photograph. And over there by

the crime infested St. Louis Cemeteries One and Two, across the

street from the Iberville and St. Thomas Housing Projects, the

tourists wander blissfully unaware of a recent gruesome murder of

two of their own the week before.

The tourists pay lip service to memory — the historic

French Quarter and all that jazz — but don’t even know what went

down last week. Just the way the state Tourist Commission loves

it. Keeps them coming back for more.

Mac drives Igor down Decatur Street by Jackson Square with

the horseback charging hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

 

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(That was, incidentally, the greatest military victory in

United States history through 1988. It took place at the nearby

Chalmette parapets in January 1814, after the War of 1812 had

been negotiated to an end. Appropriate battle for the City that Care Forgot.)

Also in the vicinity stand St. Louis Cathedral where Pope

John Paul II said mass; the Presbytere; the Cabildo, first seat

of Louisiana government; and the hanging plant baskets lining the

long red east and west Pontalba Apartments on both sides of the

square, the first apartment buildings in America.

But, you, comrades of the never-ending story, do not want a

wasteland travelogue. You do not want to walk pointlessly up and

down Bourbon Street in front of sleazy strip joints and t-shirt shops.

This tale is about New Orleans, not the small 16-square

block of Disneyland for tourists and a few derelicts that the

Chamber of Commerce wishes to pass off as our land. We have a

higher purpose in mind for our future.

Seekers of truth will find none in the Vieux Carre. So, Mac

moves past Jax Brewery, a renovated home for overpriced shops in

 

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which no local can afford to shop. Waving his hand, Mac explains,

“Oh by the way, this is the French Quarter.”

“Oh,” Igor notes. “Always wondered what it looked like

after hearing so much about it.” Enough said on that score.

Guest performing artist Igor, who arrived with a bang,

leaves these foreign shores with more like a whimper. Everyone is

well pleased with his artistic input, happy to have had him lend

his validating presence to their small slice of lifestyle.

Tuesday July 5th arrives as it must.

Igor leaves Armor’s with a warm embrace.

“See ya later alligator,” the performance artist calls over his

shoulder paying homage to local culture. “Great visit man,”

Armor’s bon voyages. “Come back again as soon as you can.”

A great bird carries Armor’s into the sky, above the clouds,

beyond the top of the terminal telescope.

But, we can recount in these pages whatever happened to the

New Neanderthals. Nothing.

Roots pretended he had to quit the band because his bosses

required it and to devote more time to his thesis.

 

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It was the usual lie.

Milty started his own band–Belt of Tools.

Buck hooked up with a strange rockabilly group.

Heave continued his nowhere hypocracy hanging out at local

nightclubs pretending to be working on song-writing, lying to

chicks in order to get in their pants. And Little Ro? Who cares.

But of Snack Rack? Aye, that is another story. No doubt some

zealous collector guards its terrible beauty in a darkened art

warehouse somewhere in the Big Uneasy waiting for the proper time

to display the awful truth that gave bad food art a somewhat tasty claim to fame.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

Tyger investigates a prisoner in

Picayune, Mississippi; as well as the strange behavior of

indigenous yahoos. Then, Tyger links up with Joe and Lana on a

complicated Vietnam style mission near Hammond in pursuit of

Joe’s evil arch enemy Bingo LeBeouf. Following the case, the

three share thoughts at the Lamplighter Lounge. Joe contemplates

retirement.

 

CHAPTER 26

“MORIARTY ON A HOT TIN ROOF”

 

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So hot and yet so not, the merry merry month of July this

way flies. Tyger picks up the black box system at the West Bank,

tackleing yet another assignment in the wilds of Yahooland.

This fine time the fun location is just over the Mississippi

border at Picayune, a place that is booooring, to say the least.

Oh well, what the hell, it’s an attitude as they say in the

modeling biz. In this case Tyger models the latest in Fine

surveillance gear, courtesy of IRS Inc., insurance

claims investigations, home of the super sleuth line of discovery wear.

(Sandy Alexander has even printed up an impressive batch of

Tyger Williams “Claims Investigator” business cards for the lad to

flash about town, mainly outside nightclubs attempting to impress.)

 

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William R. Robertson is the subject d’jour, a white male,

35 years old, 5’8″, 230 pounds. Yep, surveillance fans,

another real porker. This corker this blessed instance

is between a rock and a hard place so to speak.

Can of investigative corn waiting to be popped open,

Robertson currently resides at the Picayune Hilton, otherwise

known as the municipal prison. He is incarcerated for skipping bail on

outstanding warrants, reckless driving, and vagrancy, among a

multitude of sleazoid charges, municipal court records show.

Outstanding citizen, our Mr. Robertson. It seems that good

sir insurance claimant was arrested while “lying passed out,” at

Bob’s Quick Stop along Highway 43, the main avenue linking

greater Picayune with Interstate 59.

“Robertson exhibited slurred speech and alcohol on his

breath when woken by Officer Brenda Jones next to a trash

receptacle. He walked in a staggering manner, and was unable to

pass a breathalizer test as administered by the arresting officer.”

Picayune must be a tough town. Pedestrians get arrested

for drunken ambling. Robertson apparently is a well known local

miscreant. He has a rap sheet longer than Jose Canseco,

Dick Nixon, and Zsa Zsa Gabor combined.

It is a rather impressive document a shade shorter

 

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than Remembrance of Things Past. Shooting Robertson’s activity

poses an interesting quadratic equation

with a simple, yet elegant solution as a mathematician might remark.

All Tyger has to do is set up the black box system

outside the prison exercise yard and wait for Robertson,

along with the other prisoners,

to take their court mandated recreational break.

What’s more, a basketball rim is set up.

With any luck, Jefferson might shoot a few hoops

while the camera’s eye shoots him.

Now that, comrades, is a true sporting surveillance assignment.

It just seems to get easier from that point, perhaps too easy.

The back service area of a small shopping center

directly faces the high chain-link fence

topped by barbed wire completely surrounding the bite-sized jailhouse asphalt yard.

The shopping center is asphalt as well.

The only difference between the two seems to be that one area is closed in

while the other is open aired.

Then again, maybe the two are more similar than first appreciated.

Tyger sets up the system with a clear wide

angle shot of the prison yard, then enters the police station

to check on the prisoner’s status.

Simple request, right? Wrong, redneck breath.

What do you know, takes 20 minutes to find anyone

willing to talk to an insurance investigator.

All the local cops are stuffing their faces with donuts and coffee.

 

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Tyger finally finds an officer responsible for prison

supervision who confirms Robertson’s presence.

“Y’all after his sorry ass for insurance fraud, too, huh?” he asks.

“No sir,” Tyger replies “We are simply trying to determine

the validity of his claim. We make no assumptions prior to an investigation.”

“Yeah, well I’m sure Billy Ray is as clean as the driven

snow. Hahaha. One our real upstanding citizens. Spends a

lot of time with us, so we have the opportunity to commingle

with his particular brand of inspiration.

We got a real quiet town here unlike that place you’re

from. Wouldn’t have much to do without fun-loving boys like

Billy Ray Robertson. No sir. He keeps our lil’ old Picayune

Hilton stocked with live bait customers.”

Surprisingly, the police lieutenant displays a certain

subtle truth in his last comments. The inmates at Picayune

Municipal Prison not only have the great privilege of serving

time at such a great sorta state of the art facility, but also the

responsibility of paying for it.

Courts charge them $50 a day for room — a small bunk in a

15×15-foot double occupancy cell; and board — don’t ask. Nice deal.

 

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Tyger makes himself scarce with a comprehensive tour of the

greater Picayune metropolitan area after confirming the temporary

residential status of the sub. Walkabout takes about 10

minutes as the Highway 43 loop quickly swallows itself leaving

Tyger at the dead road where he began.

Apparently, the whole megalopolis of 4,000 citizens revolves

around the city jail like spokes on a wheel of misfortune. No

need for Cerberus here. Tyger has seen all the sights like

the Quick Stop, McDonald’s, Shell Station, and a few other small

mom-and-pop establishments.

Not to sell the place too short, there is one semi-hip

street by the A&P Supermarket and Woolworth’s surveillance system

center that contains a small country cafe, stationary shop, antique

store, and bookstore among more approachable commercial locations.

Tyger hangs out at the hip adjacent Picayune arts and crafts district

waiting for the black box to clean up Robertson-related business.

He saunters on over to the Bluebird Cafe, decorated, appropriately

enough with a painting of two bluebirds –necking, how romantic — on the front

glass window. nInvestigator at rest grabs a cup of coffee at the

Bluebird, followed by another and another and another until the

regular coffee klutz crowd of retired citizens becomes curious.

Not in the mood for idle chatter, Tyger departs at that precise

 

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moment for the next venue. Let’s see.Where shall Tyger go with choices so mindless

A no-brainer alright. He flips the two headed coin and it

comes up, surprise surprise, heads. Guess that means the antique store.

No sale. The antique store fronted by an equally antique

elderly man has nothing to offer. Tyger wastes about two minutes

there looking over an old wood chair. What is it you say sir? Pinewood? That’s nice.

Then, Tyger walks to the bookstore perchance to find himself

some of that-thar-book-learning. Large cardboard boxes filled

with books line the walls. “Make yourself at home sir,” the 40ish woman

with bobbed black hair and black framed glasses tells the seeker of truth as

Tyger rummages through a particularly filled to the brim with books box.

“You are in luck today. We just received a new shipment

They usually sell like hotcakes. You are the early bookworm, I see,

and have beaten the usual book crowd. Let me know if I can help you.”

Tyger looks through the boxes, one after another, picking out a few

books that look interesting, mainly paperback versions of Shakespeare plays.

 

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He takes the Tempest, Hamlet, Othello, and Merchant of

Venice, all small brightly colored volumes from a collegiate

series of some sort. They might be good buys, Tyger reasons,

since it would be nice to have them available for future reference.

Approaching the woman, Tyger inquires, “How much do these

cost?” “What do you mean sir?” she replies confusing Tyger greatly.

“What do you mean what do I mean? This is a bookstore,

right? You sell books, right?” “Yes sir, but we don’t sell them

individually. We sell them by the box.”

“By the box?” Tyger asks incredulously as he looks again

through one of the cardboard containers filled with all sorts of

ridiculously banal titles, mainly romance novels. “By the box?

Just want to buy these four books. Not a box. Never heard of such a thing.”

“Yes sir,” the woman replies testily. “We are a wholesale

bookstore catering to the retail trade. They come in here, buy

the entire contents of the box and re-sell the books later .”

“You’re telling me I can’t buy just these four books,”

Tyger says, “but if I put them in a box and buy the whole box,

that would be O.K.?”

“That’s right. Five dollars for that box.”

“How did you determine that price?”

“We charge by the poundage.

 

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The more a box weighs the more it costs. That one is a $5 box.”

“Doesn’t matter what’s in it? It’s still $5?”

“Correct, sir. If you want an individual book you should go to a

bookstore. They have a very fine one at the county seat in Poplarville.”

“Don’t think I am going to Poplarville today.”

“Oh well. Do you want the box then?”

“Think I’ll pass. Don’t have room in my car

right now for a box of books. Thanks anyway.”

Welcome to the cultural mecca that is Pearl River County,

Mississippi. Book ’em by the box, Danno.

Tyger wraps up the details of investigation, dropping the tape

off at Dorothy’s house. Poopsie slurps at his heels. “Come on

Poopsie, be a good girl now,” Dorothy orders the pink ribbon

poodle, not a DIY girlie alcoholic drink.

Turning to Tyger, “She gets so excited when we have company.

That darn dog. Well, Tyger here is some news for you,” according

to the now very obviously pregnant Dorothy Lafleur.

“Joe wants to go back on Bingo LeBeouf. He has devised quite

 

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an operation. I think he is going to use a helicopter and follow

Bingo by air.” She stops and laughs. “That Joe Fine. Sometimes …

Anyhoo, he wants you to meet him at the Ramada Inn at

Hammond tomorrow, work the case with him. I will be here

handling back-up if there are any problems.”

“Love to do it, but not really into being high,”

Tyger understates. “Been up in helicopters a few times.

Didn’t particularly care for the sensation.”

“No no no. Joe is going up in the air. I think he wants you

on the ground. He is going to follow Bingo with a tracking device,

radio to you where to shoot the video.” Ohhh-key.

“Bingo LeBeouf is a real creep,” Dorothy adds. “One slippery devil.

Joe really wants to nail him on the hot tin roof this time.”

On to Kinderhook. O.K. Captain Ahab had his white whale.

Original Super Sleuth, Sherlock Holmes after whom Joe Fine

patterns himself with Holmesian hat and pipe adorned business

cards, has his Professor Moriarty. And yes surveillance fans,

Joe Fine has his Bingo LeBeouf, master baiter of all cracker evil.

After the fox, then, we must hunt, fine feathered friends,

silly rabbits. Do not get caught between the hedges.

Yoicks! The hunting hound-dogs are yapping at the heels of

 

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the insidious villainous Bingo LeBeouf of Tickfaw,

Tangipahoa Parish, Loosi-hosannah.

Tyger arrives at the Hammond Ramada Inn Motel Coffee Shop,

known for some reason as the “Lamplighter Lounge,” bright and

early at 8 a.m. Joe already hangs there looking a bit ruffled,

and dirt-caked, which is out-of-character. No doubt, he has spent

the dawning hours preparing something special for his arch enemy LeBeouf.

Working class dapper, Super Sleuth wears a “Joe’s Garage” blue cap and

trademark short-sleeved alligator logo blue shirt. He appears to

be in a better mood than first appearances indicate as he greets

his trusty aid, the goodly Tyger at bay Williams.

“Hey hey hey. We are getting that bastard today,” glows Joe,

doing his Mr. Sunshine impression.”Yep. That slippery bastard does not

know what he is up against. Already put the long distance tracking device

underneath his truck. That was a bitch to do, let me tell you.”

Joe interrupts himself. “More coffee sweet-pie,” he asks the

orange uniformed with white apron youngish waitress

who complies sheepishly and sleepily. Maybe,

too much late hour fun at ye old Lamplighter Lounge.

“Thanks sweet thing.”

“Anyway,” Joe continues, “here’s the deal. Bingo’s wife tells me he is

working a construction job today. Doesn’t know where.

 

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Drop me off at the Bogue Falaya Commercial Airfield.

Got a chopper there on stand-by. We get up

in the air over LeBeouf, follow him by the

tracking device when he moves. This baby has a range

of five miles, about the same as my 2-year-old’s voice.

That sucker won’t even know we’re up there.

I two-way radio you with the precise position when we

determine where that bastard is. Then, you go in for the kill and

shoot his ass full of videotape. I mean, just nail the sucker.

Don’t worry about being subtle. Get him up there. Get out of there.

Real surgical strike. Don’t want to take forever, you understand.

You would not believe how much it costs to rent a chopper.

Client has agreed to foot the expenses. He is going to love the

results. We’ll get that Bingo bastard yet.”

Tyger catches Joe’s infectious spirit. “Yeah you right!

Let’s get that sucker. Let’s nail him balls to the walls.”

“We are going to cut off his nuts and eat them for lunch,”

Joe adds for good measure. “Today is the day we end his little

game. That asshole has danced enough. Time has come to pay the piper.”

Hmmm. Joe has Tyger almost convinced that this insanity might

prevail. Then, Tyger’s turtle brain catches up with his racing heart.

 

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Follow the subject by helicopter? Seriously?

“Hoping skies are clear today,” Joe adds as a

pensive footnote. “Had to book the chopper in advance.

Cloudy skies could inhibit communications. Tracking

device and radios won’t cut through the soup.

Continues Joe as Annie, “Let’s look at the bright side. That bastard is due for

a fall from a hot tin roofing job. His unlucky number is up today.

We are gonna get him, sucker. Yes, indeedy.” Pause. “Check, please.”

Tyger places surveillance equipment in the back seat.

Joe climbs in the passenger side. They drive about 10 miles

east on Highway 190 to the commercial airfield.

Sure enough, as promised, a small four-seat Bell

Helicopter sits like a weird giant insect outside the large metal

framed open hanger. About a half-dozen light aircraft rest in

various states of disarray along the side of the runway. Not

exactly what one might consider an invasion armada.

Tyger drives through the open fence onto a dirt road towards

the hanger. Who should be sitting on the chopper like a Vietnam

War poster girl, but the lovely Lana, female investigative ghost assistant.

“What do you know?” Joe asks facetiously. “Look who showed

on time. Things are beginning to look up.”

 

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Tyger laughs nervously. “Lana is on the case?”

“She wanted to go up in the chopper,” Joe says. “Why not?

Got room. Can always use a little window dressing.”

Indeed. Lana hops off her purty preening perch, walking

seductively, her posterior swaying in the breeze, to greet the team.

“Where you been?” she asks Joe in a charming reversal

of previous role play. “Been waiting for over an hour.”

“Now you know how I feel,” Joe replies, winking a cheery right eye.

“Turnabout is fair pay. How you like it now?”

“Oh men. they’re all alike,” Lana flirts Lolita-style.

One beat, two beats, a holla.

“When we going up? This is going to be great.”

“Hold your horses honey. We’ll get there.”

Turning to Tyger.

“Post up at that church we passed on Highway 190.

You know the one?”

“Yeah,” Tyger says. “Yeah. Baptist church down the road.”

“Correct, Watson,” Joe says. “Set up the system and the radio,”

handing Tyger one of the two-way transmitter-receivers.

“We will come in with directions, hopefully, in about 30 minutes.”

“Sounds good, Joe. I’m on it as Dorothy’s husband says like white on rice.”

“That buffoon,” Joe sidebars. “Oh right. He screwed up the Pearly Mae case.

We have to keep that clown out of the kitchen.”

Joe walks towards the waiting helicopter like a pilot in a

 

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Hollywood Grade B World War Two movie.

“Tyger,” as he points both thumbs up, “here’s to happy hunting.”

“You go get ’em boss. I’ll be waiting.”

“Oh yeah,” Joe adds,”use the Dill Pickle codes.

There a mess of hunters in the woods. Don’t want to take

any chances in case one of Bingo’s buddy’s might be listening on the CB radio.

We’ll refer to Bingo as the fox. You be yourself, Tygerriffic.

I’ll be,” he pauses to consider the options, “great white hunter. Yeah. Like the sound of that.”

“Later, boss.”

“Happy hunting, Tyger. We’ll find him. You shoot him. Let’s get some

Bingo butt for the trophy case. Tenth time is the charm.”

It’s a strange world beyond Baker Street, friends, so who knows,

Joe Fine’s master plan might work. Then again, maybe his bald head has

spent too much time out in the sun without a hat.

Tyger sets up equipment outside the First Baptist Church

of Hammond. He waits, waits and Tom Waits. Nothing.

The radio crackles continuously. Tyger sets it on low,

listening instead to the soft July breeze. He tries to keep as

still as possible to beat the overpowering heat. Every now, and

then, a vehicle whizzing along two-lane Highway 190 breaks the monotony.

Suddenly, an unusual sound overhead — whompa whompa whompa.

Tyger looks up. Hmmm…incoming ?

Who would be flying in the bright blue sky at this time of day

 

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over this particular locale? Take a wild leap to conclusion

central. It’s not quite “Apocalypse Now,” but it will do for Tangipahoa Parish.

On blinks the radio. “Position Tyger. Position Tyger. Do you read?

Do you read? This is great white hunter. Over.”

Amazing, Tyger shifts from his upward vigil, scrambling for

the radio transmitter. “Uhh. Read you great white hunter. Has the

fox left the henhouse yet? Over.”

“Negative. Sitting along Sherwood Forest. Heading for the

happy hunting grounds. Stick to your guns. Will advise when the

cat jumps over the hot tin roof. Over. Over and out.”

Yeah right, over and far out. No need to utter the sign-off

as the helicopter dips left, soaring north by northwest

towards the mission at Tickfaw.

Maybe, Joe should load the chopper up with some automatic

weapons, napalm, or flechettes, get the damn thing over with

once and for all. That would be an interesting sight.

Wait wait wait. Wait wait wait. Another hour passes as Tyger

sits at ease in the hot car because he does not want to miss any

relevant radio communications. Sorry Victor Charlie, no more

commos of which to speak. Early afternoon and long white clouds

begin lining the sky. They grow by the minute like a sad army gathering to bivouac.

Oh yeah, Tyger recollects, summer in Loosiana means

 

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afternoon showers as atmosphere attempts to counterattack

blistering heat. That is an “X” factor that might put a crimp in

Joe Fine’s attack manual. Nearby birds soar past Spanish moss

hanging on trees in anearby leafy patch. The air, already thickly humid,

crackles. Thunder begins rolling in the distance. A change in the weather is now

officially in progress. In the far corner of his right eye, Tyger notices a lawnmower

man scrambling for cover. A lunging sheet of rain chases him in full fury,

running down Highway 190 towards ye olde First Baptist Church of Hammond.

That is followed by a deafening roar of water striking the dull asphalt pavement.

Oh boy for joy, rain starts pouring down in long sheets of buckets.

So much for this surveillance. It seems a losing proposition

like the Vietnam War. Waste deep in the Big Muddy, Pete Seeger

fans, and the big fool says to push on.

Tyger rolls up the car window. He finds himself surrounded

by a relentless pounding pulsating body of falling water. Can’t

see a thing. Hope there are no Bingo LeBeouf sappers in the far trees.

Sightless in Gaza, no scent of subject; can’t touch that

darn LeBeouf now, lucky insurance claimant miscreant. Pound

pounding sound of pummeling rain overpowers all other senses.

 

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Best Tyger can hope for is that Joe Fine is above the

clouds or on the ground. Hate to be flying through that mess.

Looks dangerous. Lightning flashes and small white objects hell, that’s

sleet, pound the car. It is about 2:30 p.m. The radio is a big fat tabula raza.

If nothing else, at least the place will be comfy

cool for a little while after the rain stops although that shows

no signs of happening in the near future. Of course, this is the

place where humidity never ends, least of all after a summer shower.

After about 30 minutes, sure enough, the sky brightens, and

clouds disappear as if the horrible rain explosion had never

happened. Once again the hot summer air blows; in another 15

minutes oppressive heat resumes, if anything, increasingly intense.

About 94 degrees now as Tyger scans the road for cues. And you

know what? He spies a truck that greatly resembles the red

pinstriped vehicle attributed to the evil LeBeouf bouncing west

through the heat waves reflecting off asphalt. Maybe it is a mirage.

Tyger looks long and hard as said truck careens down the

highway operated obviously by a madman maniac driving. It could

be, it might be, he considers for a momentously long macromoment

 

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Nah. Couldn’t be. Could it? Nah. But … Nah. No way.

That would be way too much.

Ten more minutes pass. Tyger relaxes. Then, crackle

crackle pop the voice of an invisible Joe Fine breaks through the

airwaves. “Position Tyger. Position Tyger. Do you read me. Over. Over.”

“Yes indeed. Great white hunter? Over.”

“Yes. Nasty rain shower that. Did you see the fox,

I mean cat, fox, whatever? Over.”

“The fox?” Tyger forgets the code. “That wasn’t the red

pinstriped truck that flew by here a little while ago. Was it? Over.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Did you catch him? Over.”

“Well, ah, no. Couldn’t confirm, It happened in a flash. Was waiting for your

orders on that one great white hunter. You know. Over.”

“Oh damnit. Damnit. Not your fault Position Tyger. That

bastard left during the rainstorm. Goddamn that Bingo LeBeouf. He

is out of range now. We must return to home base.

Damn it! Not your fault Position Tyger. Not your fault.

That fox, cat, whatever, must have a sixth sense for evil.

Damn it. Stick by your position for 20 minutes in case the fox

cat returns, then report back to home base. Over.”

“Sorry about that great white hunter. I had a sneaking

suspicion but could not confirm. It happened too quickly. Sorry man. Over.”

 

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“That’s alright Position Tyger. We gave it our best shot.

We’ll get that cat. He will make a mistake, slip up

sooner or later, run out of lives. Over. Over and out.”

“Read your instructions, great white hunter. Will sit for a

while, then head back home. Over, over and out.”

Far out. They even paying Joe for that at this point?

Maybe, the 11th time will prove the charm.

What do you know, way. No doubt about it, that was as close

as Tyger could get to Bingo LeBeouf, theoretically anyhow, if

that is who made the road blur. No telling actually.

Of course, no more sign of the mad insurance scam artist.

Tyger returns to the airfield 20 minutes later. Joe and Lana

are sipping cold drinks in the hanger office.

“Hey I’m sorry. If I had only known,” Tyger begins, but Joe

interrupts with a wave of his right hand.

“No. No. No. Rotten luck again. That cat has more than nine lives.

It started raining cats and dogs just before he moved. We

lost commos when we went above the clouds. Goddamn that Bingo

LeBeouf. He’ll mess up and I will grab him like a piranha. His ass is grass.”

Tyger takes down the equipment, then drives Joe and Lana

back to the motel. They sit for a while in the Lamplighter

Lounge. Tyger and Lana drink sweet tea while Joe sips on a longneck Dixie beer.

“You know,” Joe confides to his two junior associates. “I have been

in this game for a long time. First, when I was breaking codes in

 

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the Army of the Galilee, and the last 10 years in Florida.

I don’t know. I am thinking of maybe franchising out the surveillance

systems. Become like the Al Copeland Popeyes Chicken shit king

of undercover video devices. That way, rent other detectives the systems,

show ’em how to operate them, repair any that break. Might just be

the right time for that. You guys would part of it. Don’t worry about that.

Hell, Tyger, you know the systems as well as I do. You can show

others how to work them. And Lana, you coming along real

goody goody two shoes. Always use a smart young beautiful kid like yourself.

It’s not just that Bingo LeBeouf thing. I’ll get that bastard yet. Believe you me.

He ain’t no Moriarty. His well will run dry. Been thinking about this for a while.

Getting a bit old for this game. Maybe it’s time to retrench. It’s a young man’s game.

That’s something to keep on your plates, guys. We’ll see how it goes.”

Pause to refresh. Snap of the fingers skyward. “Check, please.”

Check. Even as Joe Fine speaks, Tyger realizes that maybe a

special moment in time is quickly passing. The major video

companies have just begun marketing the ultra-light palm-sized

 

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8mm handicamcorders and similarly miniaturized devices.

Tyger does not have the heart to mention this fact of video

future life to Joe, who, being au courant with such updated

technologies, knows about it anyway. It is not exactly a

closely guarded state secret, rather a made in Asia

revolution in state of the art videographic matrices.

It won’t take an ingenious Joe Fine black box system or

experienced videomaker like Tyger to mess with the bogus claimant

mindless designs soon enough. Any fool who can hide a small

camera in his palm will be able to trap the feckless injury fakers.

Even dull as copper ex-cops, DEA agents or former

politicians would soon be able to operate successfully as

insurance investigators. Tough luck and farewell then, dear comrades.

That is simply progress. The world does not stop for a

glorious concept no matter how divine.

Joe Fine’s secret surveillance system’s salad days are

probably ending even as the temporarily defeated army of three

intrepid investigators regroup in late afternoon ever a hardwood

restaurant table. Joe, Joe; say it ain’t so.

What a shame. What a sham. The world sometimes can seem like

the proverbial steak without the sizzle.

Bid adieu then friends, to a moment unfrozen briefly in

 

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bright light ascaptured by a camera’s eye. It spits out a

few small, but cherished, memories, vanishing like a quick fox

beyond the zoom lens that black night inevitably darkens with forever.

For our purposes, Joe chases arch enemy, the evil Bingo

LeBeouf, through that endless space of time. He will catch that

fatted calf yet before the universe explodes.

Have no doubt of this dear comrades. Right always triumphs

in the end. So it is written and so it must go.

Or not. Your call.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

Mac discusses his visit to the beach.

Tyger and Armor’s talk about environmentalism and abortion

rights. Tyger investigates a topless club owner and others in

Morgan City. Then, the most amazing revelations concerning the

Mildred Baker case become public knowledge thereby solving many

of the riddles in the case and creating additional puzzles. Tyger

is acknowledged as the savior of Suriname. Upon revelation of the

fate of Armor’s cats, Sandy Alexander organizes a final

disposition of their fate.

 

CHAPTER 27

“Savior of Suriname”

 

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“Fun fun in the summer time. Fun fun in the summer time.

Ooh-Ahh-Ooh-Doh-Ooh-Ooh-Aahhhh …”

“And those are the Beachy Balls, all you summer bummers out

there. This is the Mighty Tool. WTUL-FM N’awlins and I am not

telling you who I am.”

Tyger, sitting at Mac’s house on Tuesday July 19, 1988;

turns the radio heat up a notch. “I know who you are asshole,”

Tyger informs the black boom box. “And I know where you live.”

“Oh what the hey line. You have reached the fun zone. I am

Mr. Milty to those uninitiated coming right at you babies.

You remember Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters album, I am sure.

Here goes Robert Calvert again with something more

appropriate to the heat wave that never ends. Viking aryans on

surfboards doing their worst Beach Boys imitation.

It is noon and I am out-a-here.”

So that is where Milty has been. He was hiding out in

plain sight at the least likely of places, ye olde public airwaves.

“I have some good news and some bad news

about our trip to Pensacola Beach,” Mac tells Tyger.

“Good news first,” Tyger says. “I simply live for the good news.”

 

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“Good news is Sarah and I went to Dainty Del Restaurant,

had the best Oysters Rockefeller in the free world.

Then, we went to the beach all day, had an incredible amount of fun.

We swam to the sand bar for a starfish and rum. We danced

to the B-52’s. We barbecued on the beach. Everyone was jealous

that two people could have so much fun. It was great.”

“Ah, and the bad news?” Tyger asks.

“We decided to sleep on the beach,  had a bottle of liquid acid,

maybe 60 hits worth. Got so loaded on rum drinks

we forgot all about it and swallowed nearly the whole bottle.”

“That’s the bad news?”

“That is bad news. We wasted so much good clean ‘L’, but that was not

the worst news. The wind that was blowing in from the Gulf all day suddenly

died about midnight. We were attacked by swarms of killer mosquitos,

biggest damn mosquitoes I ever has seen. We had to run for dear life

away from the beach to the car beating ourselves with towels. I must have

been stung a million times. Just when we were coming on

to the megadose. Oooh, hum baby.. Hurts still to think about.”

“Maybe,” Tyger notes, “you ought to file an insurance claim, hahaha

You probably had too much fun. What goes up must come down

Primary astrophysical principle of ars fortuna particles.”

 

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“Remind me not to hang around there again when the wind dies,” Mac says.

“Put a damper on the evening.” He smiles, grinning like the dog

who caught the squirrel. “What you gonna do,” he laughs. “Going

back to the beach next weekend. Can’t have too much fun.”

Good to see Mac taking full advantage of the summer.

Armor’s, however, has been acting a bit stranger than usual

following the departure of Igor for the Big Apple.

Perhaps Armor’s feels the shallowness of the Big Easy’s cultural shores

and has become a little antsy. Maybe the heat is getting to him.

Armor’s, like Tyger, takes a macho approach to the summer inferno.

Neither uses air conditioning at home. Each has large fans set up

at their respective spaces. They sneer at the weaklings who must chill out

constantly in artificial cool-down mode, or as Henry Miller noted

on a trip to New Orleans, the air conditioned nightmare.

Tyger drops by Armor’s on Wednesday, July 20 during visiting hours.

He engages the dear lad in friendly discourse over a couple of cups of blended espresso.

They definitely strike the sweet spot.

Number one point made during the ensuing conversation:

 

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Those assholes are destroying the ozone layer for future

generations just so they can feel temporarily comfortable.

Mention that to them. They pretend you are crazy.

Number two point: They use hardly any electricity, but the surrounding

pigs use so much in their artificial cool-house environment

that the horrible NOPSI Nazi system constantly overloads,

causing frequent brown and black outs.

(One little piggy with a Ray-Gun/Shrub bumper sticker on her

Japanese minivan said between puffs on a “You’ve come a long way

baby” Virginia Slims cancer death-shtick “Why don’t you run your

air conditioner? You are only hateful because you’re overheated.

That stuff about the ozone layer is a bunch of lies from limousine liberals.”

Armor’s had only one reply to make. “Liberal this bitch,” flipping

her a bird as she flew away horrified at his “rude” behavior.)

Yeah, and it isn’t too rude to ruin everything for future generations.

Like the Louis Armstrong song relates, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead,

you rascal you.”

 

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Unfortunately, it is not soon enough to save the planetary

environment. All we can do is our best for as long as possible to

keep from losing it completely.

Number three point: In a related topic of discussion, the

subject of the recent sit-in by anti-abortion hotheads at the

Delta Women’s Clinic on St. Charles Avenue.

Those pigs won’t let women go in for abortions. They have to

be dragged away from the clinic entrance by the storm troopers,

for once on the side of natural law as well as order.

Armor’s makes the salient point that they give a shit until

the unwanted baby pops out.Then, their attitude is “I am out

of here. Yeah. They care about the unborn,

but the born are another matter.”

(“That damn crime and those shiftless negroes,” an antiabortion

fruit-and-nut-cake states in another persona on Eyewitless

News-Fake playing at Armor’s. “They the reason everything is disgusting here.”)

Armor’s fiddles around the shotgun apartment, producing

interesting items for Tyger’s approval. One is a detailed hand-drawn

 

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map of the Pinnacles National Monument where he wants to go for a while.

Another is a flyer from the Earth First! “environmental freedom fighters.”

Armor’s wants to join an Oregon sit-in to stop the pig Ray-Gun

commercial bulldozer buddies from destroying ancient legacy trees

harboring the wise and wonderful endangered Northern Spotted Owl population.

The rape of the Spotted Owl is repeated throughout America

during the waning years of the Ray-Gun rip-off scam. Same bad deal

at the Sportsman’s Paradise, hahaha, of Lousyana where the

beautiful and ancient sea turtle is threatened by the wide nets

of brain dead commercial redneck fish exploiters.

Which would you prefer in your face — owls, turtles and

natural wonders — or assholes, losers and a scorched earth for eternity?

Tough choice. Tell the fishermen to get a real job not harming

innocent wildlife to feed their fat consumptive lofe-style.

They are not after a decent living. Just an easy living.

Tyger walks into the kitchen area to grab a little skim milk

for his black chicory coffee that the boys alternate with espresso.

 

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He innocently opens the freezer compartment.

Two unusual brown paper objects sit in the back of the freezer.

Tyger looks with the eyes of a child not thinking too much of them.

He returns to the main room.

“Hey Armor’s,” Tyger mentions, oh by the way casually no big whoop.

“You eating gourmet now? What are those wrapped objects in the back of the freezer?

They look like Cornish hen wannabees or something. Planning a special super supper.”

“Ahhh,” Armor’s sudden eloquence concerning the environment dissipates

with this line of questioning. “What do you mean?”

“You know, the things that are wrapped and look like cornish hens,” Tyger says.

“Taste like chicken, eh?”

“Oh those,” Armor”s hesitates a one-two-three spell, then blurts out missing information.

“Those are the kittens.”

Tyger does not quite grasp the moment.

“The kittens? What kittens?”

“The kittens from MacLand.” (Tyger spit take.)

What? Tyger had completely forgotten about the cute little kitties

Armor’s took under his wings all those months previously

for what turned out be some kind of not so safe keeping.

“You have the kittens wrapped up in the freezer?” Tyger asks at long pointed last.

“Ahh yeah,” Armor’s replies. “Had to. Remember that real cold spell in February?”

“Yeah.”

“They caught a horrible fever, cat pneumonia or something,

 

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died suddenly. I put them in the freezer,

so they would keep until I could bury them properly.”

“Why don’t you bury them right now? We’ll go out in the yard.”

“No, Can’t bury them.”

“Why not?”

Pregnant pause by Sir Armor’s Tungsten, performance artist,

before delivering the ultimate punch line.

“Don’t have a shovel.”

Ka-boom! Knock out.

Tyger takes under advisement this bizarre turn of events finally disclosed.

Strange behavior by Armor’s true, but dead kittens will keep

a bit longer lying in frozen state. They’re not going anywhere.

The investigative merry-go round is a different matter entirely.

Tyger goes to Lockport in Lafourche Parish on Thursday, July 22.

He sets up the system in a very nice location about 30 yards away

from the Albert Indelicato green with white stripe house trailer.

Thank goodness. The trailer is set aside in a large dirt and gravel area,

no inconvenient nay-bores. What’s more, a small pleasant cafe sits

about 50 yards away from the trailer. It has a large glass window fronting the big picture.

Looks like Tyger can spend much of the surveillance pelicana experience

 

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inside the cafe drinking coffee, yet keep a close eye on subby-poo.

Frozen freezer kitties inspire Tyger to order up the luncheon special,

a very tasty barbecued chicken entree.

What is with that Armor’s anyway, Tyger considers while munching

lunch, watching the wonderful wide world of Indelicato.

Subject, white male, 30 years old, 5’11”, 190 pounds,

stinkers around the trailer proper for a while, exhibiting no

particular signs of the debilitating right knee injury he claims.

Tyger runs the system for three hours as authorized before calling it a day.

Two days later on Saturday July 23, Tyger visits Morgan City

in the oil patch where he conducts a background investigation of

one James Nelson Norton; lately of the Honeymooners, right?

Wrong, Jackie Gleason breath.

Turns out the good Norton is a well known local “club” owner.

The clubs, in his case, are exotic dancer lounges at the

edge of town on Highway 90. Check, please, maitre-d’.

Norton’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is named,

appropriately, the “Hot Stuff Lounge.” Like the other four strip

joints at Morgan City’s red light district, Hot Stuff is a small nondescript

one-room shack hosted by an Oriental babe looks Filipino in short slit dress.

Tyger tells her the truth in this instance. He is a po’ boy of an investigator

 

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just doing his job, conducting a routine background check of the owner.

an’t say why ’cause he don’t know himself. Nobody

knows anything about anything, of course. Tyger goes

about the immediate vicinity performing his duties in a perfunctory

fashion. This isn’t really his cup of java. Besides, not to belabor the all too obvious,

the very name “Hot Stuff Lounge,” more or less says it all.

In a nutshell, Tyger determines Norton had two similar clubs,

each mysteriously burned to the ground. He has been telling

associates he plans to open a new improved version of the Hot

Stuff in the near future. He got the bucks. Just won’t say how he got it.

Only clues Norton has furnished associates is that the money

is coming from unnamed silent investors. Yeah right, probably

by the name of Mutual Insurance Corporation’s fire protection fund.

Norton also has told a nearby car repair shop owner that the

Hot Stuff has been losing money which does not matter because he

is living on a tidy, but vague “allowance.” Tyger concludes his investigation.

He files a report to that effect through the U.S. mail to Dorothy.

Hope it gets there by the end of the World Series.

 

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Ensues the usual weekend frolicking, baseball viewing and lifestyle functions.

No more sleazy strip show clubs, thank you very not.

Then, on a day like any other day except for it being

officially designated for our purposes as Tuesday, July 26, 1988,

Tyger continues in the usual way. First stop after morning dress

rehearsal, an out of business real estate office down the street

where for some bizarrely inexplicable the reason the

Slimes-Picayune delivery person continues to leave a newspaper.

Tyger, good boy, retrieves it, then hikes around Audubon Park.

He returns home abut 10:40 a.m.

 

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At 11:15 a.m. “subject”  pours a cup of coffee, sits down

at his feeding table watching a Saturday Night Live re-run.

Hmm, it is from one of the good SNL’s. Jesse Jackson hosts. Hahaha.

At 11:19 a.m. Tyger unwraps the newspaper rubber band, removing

the front section, which he then unfolds with gusto.

At 11:20 a.m., glancing down Page One, usual pack of lies beginning with

smiley yellow sun forecasting sunny skies, temps in the mid-90s.

Considering fake is real, that can only mean torrential rains. Forewarned?

Today’s top story, man bites dog, “Hansen’s Sno-Bliz great for summer.”

At 11:22 a.m., Tyger army half-notices a photograph.

It is the tattooed man from Mildred Bakers apartment.

Tyger sips some coffee.

‘Wait, what!!!

THE TATTOOED MAN FROM MILDRED BAKER’S APARTMENT. Ugh.

Stop the presses!

 

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Forget about the how for now.

This is the who, what, where, when, and why of all time.

Larry Bob Henley, 45, of Senatobia, Mississippi,

is identified as the tattooed man as revealed by the Slimes-Picayune.

Is this some kind of sick joke?

Tyger motor controls his full attention span to the inside

story of insane explication now introduced for your consideration.

The picture shows Henley along with “James Michael Baker, 17, of New Orleans East”

being taken from a Ford minivan with Mississippi plates at the

Bogue Falaya Commercial Airfield near Hammond, Louisiana.

Two burly U.S. federal marshals escort our good buddies

An additional notation is appended: see story, Metro B-1. D’uh. Seen.

Henley and Cook are among 14 persons charged in an alleged plot

to overthrow the government of Suriname.

Suriname? What the hell is that? Pancake syrup?

“Suriname is on the northeast coast of South America.

It gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975,

and is governed by Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse

who came to power in a 1980 coup.

He has been the target of four overthrow attempts.”

Fair enough. But, what the hey-line.

 

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“All but one of the 14 were arrested July 25 on their way to

the Hammond airport where they were to board a plane for Suriname

to overthrow the military government, according to an indictment

filed by the U.S. Attorney at New Orleans.

Five men along with alleged ring leader Henley were charged

with conspiracy to violate the U.S. Neutrality Act which bars

United States citizens from invading countries with which the

U.S. is at peace.

They also are charged with conspiracy to carry a concealed

and deadly weapon onto an airplane, a misdemeanor that carries a

maximum of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Evidence against the group consists of videotape recordings

and wiretaps of recorded conversations, as well as statements by

undercover agents and some of the defendants themselves upon arrest.”

Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings?

Yeah, right. A lot of what Tyger witnessed during those three weeks in

June suddenly make a whole lot more sense. Like the meetings.

Like the weird redneck guys. Like the insane comings and going.

But one part of the story doesn’t yet jibe. Mildred Baker’s connection?

And now, comrades, as Paul Harvey says, for the rest of the story.

 

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The Marx Brothers, Three Stooges, aided, and abetted by

Laurel and Hardy; Lewis and Martin, Bozo the Clown, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton

attempt to invade a bizarre Third World kleptocracy. Dat-Man to Baker’s Rob-in,

came up naturally enough with a no-brainer. He intended to launch an all-out

night assault using mercenaries recruited through Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

What could possible go right? Henley’s Dutch oil executive overlords

planned to arrange a meeting with — please refrain from snickering —

the Surinamese Minister of Finance to discuss instituting a Swiss-style

banking system with super-secret confidential numbered accounts.

Henley’s mercenaries would pose as — stop us if you heard of this before —

financiers. They then would bring Bouterse into the meeting, take him

hostage or liquidate him and voila’ Suriname at your pleasure, sir.

 

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Not one to rest on his dubious laurels, Henley signed contracts with

other private individuals and foundations, including the Ansus Foundation

of the Netherlands, that would pay him a large amount of money if

the plan were successful. Or maybe it was the Anus Foundation, which

which would have been more appropriate to this mission. Henley also

planned to bring in-country a large yacht filled with Miskito Indians from Nicaragua

acting as support troops. The same Miskitos that fought alongside the Contras.

(Not the ones that attacked Mac and Sarah at Pensacola Beach.)

The coup lite leader promised $500 a week for those Americans who

helped him in the operation with a $1 million bonus for any who

stayed to see it through. Maybe he had watched one too many reruns

of the movie “Walker,” or something. Tyger had seen “Walker”

plus the as-yet not released version of the Larry Henley show,

live on tape from Morrison Road. One might even consider the Tygermeister

to be the world’s leading expert on that particular score. Henley, true

to American democratic values, and/or a desire to max out on looting,

planned to hold “elections” shortly after taking over, then install a Surinamese

puppet official who would follow his bat-shit cracker orders.

 

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Henley had lifted a play straight out of the Gipper’s Grenada game plan.

How fitting in the age of Ray-Gun with the great leader urging Americans

to exercise private initiative. Yup, Henley figured he had it made in the shade.

Suriname would become his personal piggy bank. And what an opportunity.

Consider the tale of the tape: Suriname had 480,000 residents, 63,037-square miles,

slightly larger than the state of Georgia. Guyana, a former British colony, to the west;

Brazil to the south, Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana, former home of Devil’s Island,

due west. Suriname’s coast is flat where dikes permit agriculture. Inland is a rain forest

built with about 75 percent of the country consisting of unexplored areas. About one-third

of the population live in the capital city of Paramaribo. The small nation’s wealth consists

of offshore oil and inland bauxite attracting considerable interest and attention.

Not aiding the political security of the indigenous Creole­, East Indian, Bush Negro populace

was the fact that Bouterse sought to keep all the wealth at home, that is to say

in his and associates’ pockets while international interests wanted a, shall we say,

larger piece of the pie.

 

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Talk about a bad trade, sports fans. You thought the

Cubs made some losers. Consider the origins of Suriname.

The Netherlands acquired the property in 1667 from Britain

in exchange for that well known slice of pie from Hell’s Kitchen

drum roll please — New Netherlands, known currently as New York City.

That’s right. Believe it or nuts. A straight-up one-for-one transaction ,

Suriname for the Big Apple.

No doubt still smarting from that apparent bad bad bad deal,

20th Century Dutch descendant uncles finally succeeded in forcing

the reluctant Surinamese into independence on Tuesday November 25, 1975.

Nearly 40 percent of the colony’s nationals then fled the new nation,

and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kind of makes one misty-eyed, don’t you think?

The next day’s follow-up story, rudely pushed inside by the

evil newspaper demigods to Metro Section Page B-3, provided the

final missing pieces in the Mildred Baker jigsaw puzzle.

Baker was charged with conspiracy and violation of the

Neutrality Act and arrested at her Morrison Road apartment.

She claimed no knowledge of a plot. Root a toot hoot. Knew nothing,

her fat circus trapeze insurance fraud ass.

 

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The conspirators were meeting all that time at

Baker’s apartment. She was using insurance company

money to finance the revolution. Or something like that.

After all, comrades, an infinite possibility of conspiracy

theories were available. Joe Fine was a former member of the

Israeli Defense Forces. Could it be involved? What was Joe Fine

actually, insurance investigator or spy under separate cover?

Maybe, the FBI somehow was involved in the set-up, or the CIA

working with Dutch interests to remove a hostile foreign

government in this hemisphere? (Reports had circulated recently

that the erratic Bouterse, a non-commissioned officer before

leading the coup, might go so far as to ally with Cuba.)

Or, these persons could just be complete loons, buffoons,

and fools. Otherwise known as occam’s razor.

Best available explanation of the scenario was that Baker

first decided to fake the injury. The rest was lagniappe.

Tyger’s tapes were part of the evidence of a three-pronged

 

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investigation also using wiretaps and informants culminating

in the arrest of the Baker’s dozen cum 14. Hmmm. That type of sitc

directly harked back to Joe Fine’s explanation of the use of ghosts.

Tyger is relieved his name has in no way been associated publicly

with any aspect of the investigation. He feels confident the authorities

want to grab all the credit, so they will never mention his “contribution.”

While being the sub rosa the savior of Suriname might be a very nice

honor to enjoy, those efforts had saved the evil Bouterse who continued

to oppress his people and steal the nation blind. Oh well, comrades,

can’t have everything. Tyger was a mere technician hired under pretense.

He was only following orders. In the final analysis, however, one might conclude

Tyger had performed a good deed after all. He saved the poor unwitting

citizens of Suriname from a fate possibly worse even than the horrible Bouterse,

a government of Mississippi rednecks masterminded by the incredibly moronic Larry Bob Henley.

 

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Like these idiots ever were going to overthrow a Third World nation.

They couldn’t even tie their shoelaces, or apparently, keep Mrs. Baker in line.

(Final footnote comrades in “Dragnet”: They all pleaded

no contest to the charges. Nine of the 14 received suspended

three year sentences, three years probation, and small fines.

The young Baker was placed on 30 months probation with no fine.

Henley was slapped with two concurrent 30 month prison terms and $10,000 fine.

Mrs. Baker was sentenced to one year and one day in prison,

followed by three years probation. U.S. District Judge Lansing Mitchell was

”particularly angry with Baker because she involved her 17-year-old son in the plot.”

“I’ve been on the bench for 20 years,” Mitchell said, “this is about as far out a case as I’ve heard.”)

No shit, Sherlock.

But you know what they say about unstable Third World military governments.

 

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Sixth coup attempt is the charm. Bouterse was toppled the next try by a

successful coup plot. Following 11 years in a Dutch prison, he eventually

resurrected his drug smuggling and political career, returning

to the presidency by election from 2010 to 2020. Tyger’s phone

rang soon after the initial discovery of the public side of Larry Bob’s

tattooed activities. Dorothy hanging on the line discussing details fantastical.

“Can you beat that?” she says. “By the way, Joe gave your tapes to the FBI.”

“”At least I understand the Baker case,” Tyger says. “Sure didn’t last month.”

“By the way,” Dorothy continues. “Joe needs the equipment back. Said something

about fine tuning. Feeling there won’t be any jobs for a while.

Joe has been acting kind of funny again.”

“Funnier than usual?” Tyger asks not haha.

“Funniest ever,” Dorothy notes. “Having a mid-life crisis or something.

Hopefully, just needs some rest.”

“Who doesn’t,” Tyger says. “Say no mo’.

 

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I’ll bring the system back tomorrow.”

Understandably, Tyger is excited by the current news fake items concerning

his Mildred Baker misadventure. He drives by Sandy Alexander’s house to share

the latest in eye-witless new up-fakes, in this rare case the real fake real item.

Sandy, cat and dog front door greet. Sandy is watching the Braves-Expos game.

“Don’t blame me,” he says. “I’m from Atlanta.”

Details, details. Mulling over the Surinamese news. In an unrelated news item,

Tyger drop kick mentions what was discovered in Armor’s freezer. Sandy plays aghast.

“Hold that thought,” he says, walking towards a closet. “I got a shovel right here. Let’s go.

 

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We got to bury those pussies. They had faces.”

Word. Sandy transports Tyger and shovel toot sweetly to Armor’s pad.

Sleepy keeper of the frozen kitty mausoleum eventually answers loud

poundings of the grim burial reapers on his door.

“We have come to bury those cats,” Sandy notes, bristling

with righteous outrage. “Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters while

wiping nappy-time cobwebs from his opening eyes. “Don’t have a shovel.”

“You do now,” Sandy says. “Where the kittens?” Missing information.

“Uhh, freezer.” “Good.” Sandy followed by Tyger followed by Armor’s

second line in funereal procession march to freezer doorward.

Sandy flings open the metal door, retrieving the shrouded kittens.

“What were their names?” he asks in order to provide a brief ceremonial eulogy.

“Didn’t have names,” Armor’s replies. “They died before I could name them.”

“Fine.” Sandy leads the processional outdoors to the weed overgrown

yard. He digs a three foot wide, four foot deep, hole in the sad black dirt.

 

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“Why don’t we say a few words,” Sandy directs.

Armor’s watches from the nearby back porch in silence.

“For you, the noble unnamed two who are about to meet your,

and our, maker,” Sandy reverentially observe. “We salute you.

Good luck and appropriate karma in all that inevitably follows. Amen.”

Tyger and Armor’s agree with “ahem,” “ahem,” as the tall

thin lover of truth covers dead kittens with the rich Cajun Creole soil.

“Thank God,” Sandy says as the three mourners return indoors.

“Couldn’t have slept knowing about this.”

Let us conclude this chapter, therefore, with the elevated

hope that perhaps a higher force considers our ultimate

well-being from cradle to grave.

Sandy took care of kitten disposal as such a higher power.

Perhaps powers higher even than Sandy Alexander, Tyger Williams,

and Armor’s Tungsten, to name but three poor wandering souls,

will take care of their earthly disposal and heavenly disposition.

At least, we can pray for as much, and let the chips fall

where they may. Say hey.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

Mac discusses his visit to the beach.

Tyger and Armor’s talk about environmentalism and abortion

rights. Tyger investigates a topless club owner and others in

Morgan City. Then, the most amazing revelations concerning the

Mildred Baker case become public knowledge thereby solving many

of the riddles in the case and creating additional puzzles. Tyger

is acknowledged as the savior of Suriname. Upon revelation of the

fate of Armor’s cats, Sandy Alexander organizes a final

disposition of their fate.

 

CHAPTER 27

“Savior of Suriname”

 

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“Fun fun in the summer time. Fun fun in the summer time.

Ooh-Ahh-Ooh-Doh-Ooh-Ooh-Aahhhh …”

“And those are the Beachy Balls, all you summer bummers out

there. This is the Mighty Tool. WTUL-FM N’awlins and I am not

telling you who I am.”

Tyger, sitting at Mac’s house on Tuesday July 19, 1988;

turns the radio heat up a notch. “I know who you are asshole,”

Tyger informs the black boom box. “And I know where you live.”

“Oh what the hey line. You have reached the fun zone. I am

Mr. Milty to those uninitiated coming right at you babies.

You remember Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters album, I am sure.

Here goes Robert Calvert again with something more

appropriate to the heat wave that never ends. Viking aryans on

surfboards doing their worst Beach Boys imitation.

It is noon and I am out-a-here.”

So that is where Milty has been. He was hiding out in

plain sight at the least likely of places, ye olde public airwaves.

“I have some good news and some bad news

about our trip to Pensacola Beach,” Mac tells Tyger.

“Good news first,” Tyger says. “I simply live for the good news.”

 

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“Good news is Sarah and I went to Dainty Del Restaurant,

had the best Oysters Rockefeller in the free world.

Then, we went to the beach all day, had an incredible amount of fun.

We swam to the sand bar for a starfish and rum. We danced

to the B-52’s. We barbecued on the beach. Everyone was jealous

that two people could have so much fun. It was great.”

“Ah, and the bad news?” Tyger asks.

“We decided to sleep on the beach,  had a bottle of liquid acid,

maybe 60 hits worth. Got so loaded on rum drinks

we forgot all about it and swallowed nearly the whole bottle.”

“That’s the bad news?”

“That is bad news. We wasted so much good clean ‘L’, but that was not

the worst news. The wind that was blowing in from the Gulf all day suddenly

died about midnight. We were attacked by swarms of killer mosquitos,

biggest damn mosquitoes I ever has seen. We had to run for dear life

away from the beach to the car beating ourselves with towels. I must have

been stung a million times. Just when we were coming on

to the megadose. Oooh, hum baby.. Hurts still to think about.”

“Maybe,” Tyger notes, “you ought to file an insurance claim, hahaha

You probably had too much fun. What goes up must come down

Primary astrophysical principle of ars fortuna particles.”

 

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“Remind me not to hang around there again when the wind dies,” Mac says.

“Put a damper on the evening.” He smiles, grinning like the dog

who caught the squirrel. “What you gonna do,” he laughs. “Going

Good to see Mac taking full advantage of the summer.back to the beach next weekend. Can’t have too much fun.”

Armor’s, however, has been acting a bit stranger than usual

 

following the departure of Igor for the Big Apple.

Perhaps Armor’s feels the shallowness of the Big Easy’s cultural shores

and has become a little antsy. Maybe the heat is getting to him.

Armor’s, like Tyger, takes a macho approach to the summer inferno.

Neither uses air conditioning at home. Each has large fans set up

at their respective spaces. They sneer at the weaklings who must chill out

constantly in artificial cool-down mode, or as Henry Miller noted

on a trip to New Orleans, the air conditioned nightmare.

Tyger drops by Armor’s on Wednesday, July 20 during visiting hours.

He engages the dear lad in friendly discourse over a couple of cups of blended espresso.

They definitely strike the sweet spot.

Number one point made during the ensuing conversation:

 

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Those assholes are destroying the ozone layer for future

generations just so they can feel temporarily comfortable.

Mention that to them. They pretend you are crazy.

Number two point: They use hardly any electricity, but the surrounding

pigs use so much in their artificial cool-house environment

that the horrible NOPSI Nazi system constantly overloads,

causing frequent brown and black outs.

(One little piggy with a Ray-Gun/Shrub bumper sticker on her

Japanese minivan said between puffs on a “You’ve come a long way

baby” Virginia Slims cancer death-shtick “Why don’t you run your

air conditioner? You are only hateful because you’re overheated.

That stuff about the ozone layer is a bunch of lies from limousine liberals.”

Armor’s had only one reply to make. “Liberal this bitch,” flipping

her a bird as she flew away horrified at his “rude” behavior.)

Yeah, and it isn’t too rude to ruin everything for future generations.

Like the Louis Armstrong song relates, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead,

you rascal you.”

 

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Unfortunately, it is not soon enough to save the planetary

environment. All we can do is our best for as long as possible to

keep from losing it completely.

Number three point: In a related topic of discussion, the

subject of the recent sit-in by anti-abortion hotheads at the

Delta Women’s Clinic on St. Charles Avenue.

Those pigs won’t let women go in for abortions. They have to

be dragged away from the clinic entrance by the storm troopers,

for once on the side of natural law as well as order.

Armor’s makes the salient point that they give a shit until

the unwanted baby pops out.Then, their attitude is “I am out

of here. Yeah. They care about the unborn,

but the born are another matter.”

(“That damn crime and those shiftless negroes,” an antiabortion

fruit-and-nut-cake states in another persona on Eyewitless

News-Fake playing at Armor’s. “They the reason everything is disgusting here.”)

Armor’s fiddles around the shotgun apartment, producing

interesting items for Tyger’s approval. One is a detailed hand-drawn

 

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map of the Pinnacles National Monument where he wants to go for a while.

Another is a flyer from the Earth First! “environmental freedom fighters.”

Armor’s wants to join an Oregon sit-in to stop the pig Ray-Gun

commercial bulldozer buddies from destroying ancient legacy trees

harboring the wise and wonderful endangered Northern Spotted Owl population.

The rape of the Spotted Owl is repeated throughout America

during the waning years of the Ray-Gun rip-off scam. Same bad deal

at the Sportsman’s Paradise, hahaha, of Lousyana where the

beautiful and ancient sea turtle is threatened by the wide nets

of brain dead commercial redneck fish exploiters.

Which would you prefer in your face — owls, turtles and

natural wonders — or assholes, losers and a scorched earth for eternity?

Tough choice. Tell the fishermen to get a real job not harming

innocent wildlife to feed their fat consumptive lofe-style.

They are not after a decent living. Just an easy living.

Tyger walks into the kitchen area to grab a little skim milk

for his black chicory coffee that the boys alternate with espresso.

 

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He innocently opens the freezer compartment.

Two unusual brown paper objects sit in the back of the freezer.

Tyger looks with the eyes of a child not thinking too much of them.

He returns to the main room.

“Hey Armor’s,” Tyger mentions, oh by the way casually no big whoop.

“You eating gourmet now? What are those wrapped objects in the back of the freezer?

They look like Cornish hen wannabees or something. Planning a special super supper.”

“Ahhh,” Armor’s sudden eloquence concerning the environment dissipates

with this line of questioning. “What do you mean?”

“You know, the things that are wrapped and look like cornish hens,” Tyger says.

“Taste like chicken, eh?”

“Oh those,” Armor”s hesitates a one-two-three spell, then blurts out missing information.

“Those are the kittens.”

Tyger does not quite grasp the moment.

“The kittens? What kittens?”

“The kittens from MacLand.” (Tyger spit take.)

What? Tyger had completely forgotten about the cute little kitties

Armor’s took under his wings all those months previously

for what turned out be some kind of not so safe keeping.

“You have the kittens wrapped up in the freezer?” Tyger asks at long pointed last.

“Ahh yeah,” Armor’s replies. “Had to. Remember that real cold spell in February?”

“Yeah.”

“They caught a horrible fever, cat pneumonia or something,

 

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died suddenly. I put them in the freezer,

so they would keep until I could bury them properly.”

“Why don’t you bury them right now? We’ll go out in the yard.”

“No, Can’t bury them.”

“Why not?”

Pregnant pause by Sir Armor’s Tungsten, performance artist,

before delivering the ultimate punch line.

“Don’t have a shovel.”

Ka-boom! Knock out.

Tyger takes under advisement this bizarre turn of events finally disclosed.

Strange behavior by Armor’s true, but dead kittens will keep

a bit longer lying in frozen state. They’re not going anywhere.

The investigative merry-go round is a different matter entirely.

Tyger goes to Lockport in Lafourche Parish on Thursday, July 22.

He sets up the system in a very nice location about 30 yards away

from the Albert Indelicato green with white stripe house trailer.

Thank goodness. The trailer is set aside in a large dirt and gravel area,

no inconvenient nay-bores. What’s more, a small pleasant cafe sits

about 50 yards away from the trailer. It has a large glass window fronting the big picture.

Looks like Tyger can spend much of the surveillance pelicana experience

 

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inside the cafe drinking coffee, yet keep a close eye on subby-poo.

Frozen freezer kitties inspire Tyger to order up the luncheon special,

a very tasty barbecued chicken entree.

What is with that Armor’s anyway, Tyger considers while munching

lunch, watching the wonderful wide world of Indelicato.

Subject, white male, 30 years old, 5’11”, 190 pounds,

stinkers around the trailer proper for a while, exhibiting no

particular signs of the debilitating right knee injury he claims.

Tyger runs the system for three hours as authorized before calling it a day.

Two days later on Saturday July 23, Tyger visits Morgan City

in the oil patch where he conducts a background investigation of

one James Nelson Norton; lately of the Honeymooners, right?

Wrong, Jackie Gleason breath.

Turns out the good Norton is a well known local “club” owner.

The clubs, in his case, are exotic dancer lounges at the

edge of town on Highway 90. Check, please, maitre-d’.

Norton’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is named,

appropriately, the “Hot Stuff Lounge.” Like the other four strip

joints at Morgan City’s red light district, Hot Stuff is a small nondescript

one-room shack hosted by an Oriental babe looks Filipino in short slit dress.

Tyger tells her the truth in this instance. He is a po’ boy of an investigator

 

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just doing his job, conducting a routine background check of the owner.

an’t say why ’cause he don’t know himself. Nobody

knows anything about anything, of course. Tyger goes

about the immediate vicinity performing his duties in a perfunctory

fashion. This isn’t really his cup of java. Besides, not to belabor the all too obvious,

the very name “Hot Stuff Lounge,” more or less says it all.

In a nutshell, Tyger determines Norton had two similar clubs,

each mysteriously burned to the ground. He has been telling

associates he plans to open a new improved version of the Hot

Stuff in the near future. He got the bucks. Just won’t say how he got it.

Only clues Norton has furnished associates is that the money

is coming from unnamed silent investors. Yeah right, probably

by the name of Mutual Insurance Corporation’s fire protection fund.

Norton also has told a nearby car repair shop owner that the

Hot Stuff has been losing money which does not matter because he

is living on a tidy, but vague “allowance.” Tyger concludes his investigation.

He files a report to that effect through the U.S. mail to Dorothy.

Hope it gets there by the end of the World Series.

 

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Ensues the usual weekend frolicking, baseball viewing and lifestyle functions.

No more sleazy strip show clubs, thank you very not.

Then, on a day like any other day except for it being

officially designated for our purposes as Tuesday, July 26, 1988,

Tyger continues in the usual way. First stop after morning dress

rehearsal, an out of business real estate office down the street

where for some bizarrely inexplicable the reason the

Slimes-Picayune delivery person continues to leave a newspaper.

Tyger, good boy, retrieves it, then hikes around Audubon Park.

He returns home abut 10:40 a.m.

 

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At 11:15 a.m. “subject”  pours a cup of coffee, sits down

at his feeding table watching a Saturday Night Live re-run.

Hmm, it is from one of the good SNL’s. Jesse Jackson hosts. Hahaha.

At 11:19 a.m. Tyger unwraps the newspaper rubber band, removing

the front section, which he then unfolds with gusto.

At 11:20 a.m., glancing down Page One, usual pack of lies beginning with

smiley yellow sun forecasting sunny skies, temps in the mid-90s.

Considering fake is real, that can only mean torrential rains. Forewarned?

Today’s top story, man bites dog, “Hansen’s Sno-Bliz great for summer.”

At 11:22 a.m., Tyger army half-notices a photograph.

It is the tattooed man from Mildred Bakers apartment.

Tyger sips some coffee.

‘Wait, what!!!

THE TATTOOED MAN FROM MILDRED BAKER’S APARTMENT. Ugh.

Stop the presses!

 

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Forget about the how for now.

This is the who, what, where, when, and why of all time.

Larry Bob Henley, 45, of Senatobia, Mississippi,

is identified as the tattooed man as revealed by the Slimes-Picayune.

Is this some kind of sick joke?

Tyger motor controls his full attention span to the inside

story of insane explication now introduced for your consideration.

The picture shows Henley along with “James Michael Baker, 17, of New Orleans East”

being taken from a Ford minivan with Mississippi plates at the

Bogue Falaya Commercial Airfield near Hammond, Louisiana.

Two burly U.S. federal marshals escort our good buddies

An additional notation is appended: see story, Metro B-1. D’uh. Seen.

Henley and Cook are among 14 persons charged in an alleged plot

to overthrow the government of Suriname.

Suriname? What the hell is that? Pancake syrup?

“Suriname is on the northeast coast of South America.

It gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975,

and is governed by Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse

who came to power in a 1980 coup.

He has been the target of four overthrow attempts.”

Fair enough. But, what the hey-line.

 

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“All but one of the 14 were arrested July 25 on their way to

the Hammond airport where they were to board a plane for Suriname

to overthrow the military government, according to an indictment

filed by the U.S. Attorney at New Orleans.

Five men along with alleged ring leader Henley were charged

with conspiracy to violate the U.S. Neutrality Act which bars

United States citizens from invading countries with which the

U.S. is at peace.

They also are charged with conspiracy to carry a concealed

and deadly weapon onto an airplane, a misdemeanor that carries a

maximum of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Evidence against the group consists of videotape recordings

and wiretaps of recorded conversations, as well as statements by

undercover agents and some of the defendants themselves upon arrest.”

Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings?

Yeah, right. A lot of what Tyger witnessed during those three weeks in

June suddenly make a whole lot more sense. Like the meetings.

Like the weird redneck guys. Like the insane comings and going.

But one part of the story doesn’t yet jibe. Mildred Baker’s connection?

And now, comrades, as Paul Harvey says, for the rest of the story.

 

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The Marx Brothers, Three Stooges, aided, and abetted by

Laurel and Hardy; Lewis and Martin, Bozo the Clown, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton

attempt to invade a bizarre Third World kleptocracy. Dat-Man to Baker’s Rob-in,

came up naturally enough with a no-brainer. He intended to launch an all-out

night assault using mercenaries recruited through Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

What could possible go right? Henley’s Dutch oil executive overlords

planned to arrange a meeting with — please refrain from snickering —

the Surinamese Minister of Finance to discuss instituting a Swiss-style

banking system with super-secret confidential numbered accounts.

Henley’s mercenaries would pose as — stop us if you heard of this before —

financiers. They then would bring Bouterse into the meeting, take him

hostage or liquidate him and voila’ Suriname at your pleasure, sir.

 

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Not one to rest on his dubious laurels, Henley signed contracts with

other private individuals and foundations, including the Ansus Foundation

of the Netherlands, that would pay him a large amount of money if

the plan were successful. Or maybe it was the Anus Foundation, which

which would have been more appropriate to this mission. Henley also

planned to bring in-country a large yacht filled with Miskito Indians from Nicaragua

acting as support troops. The same Miskitos that fought alongside the Contras.

(Not the ones that attacked Mac and Sarah at Pensacola Beach.)

The coup lite leader promised $500 a week for those Americans who

helped him in the operation with a $1 million bonus for any who

stayed to see it through. Maybe he had watched one too many reruns

of the movie “Walker,” or something. Tyger had seen “Walker”

plus the as-yet not released version of the Larry Henley show,

live on tape from Morrison Road. One might even consider the Tygermeister

to be the world’s leading expert on that particular score. Henley, true

to American democratic values, and/or a desire to max out on looting,

planned to hold “elections” shortly after taking over, then install a Surinamese

puppet official who would follow his bat-shit cracker orders.

 

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Henley had lifted a play straight out of the Gipper’s Grenada game plan.

How fitting in the age of Ray-Gun with the great leader urging Americans

to exercise private initiative. Yup, Henley figured he had it made in the shade.

Suriname would become his personal piggy bank. And what an opportunity.

Consider the tale of the tape: Suriname had 480,000 residents, 63,037-square miles,

slightly larger than the state of Georgia. Guyana, a former British colony, to the west;

Brazil to the south, Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana, former home of Devil’s Island,

due west. Suriname’s coast is flat where dikes permit agriculture. Inland is a rain forest

built with about 75 percent of the country consisting of unexplored areas. About one-third

of the population live in the capital city of Paramaribo. The small nation’s wealth consists

of offshore oil and inland bauxite attracting considerable interest and attention.

Not aiding the political security of the indigenous Creole­, East Indian, Bush Negro populace

was the fact that Bouterse sought to keep all the wealth at home, that is to say

in his and associates’ pockets while international interests wanted a, shall we say,

larger piece of the pie.

 

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Talk about a bad trade, sports fans. You thought the

Cubs made some losers. Consider the origins of Suriname.

The Netherlands acquired the property in 1667 from Britain

in exchange for that well known slice of pie from Hell’s Kitchen

drum roll please — New Netherlands, known currently as New York City.

That’s right. Believe it or nuts. A straight-up one-for-one transaction ,

Suriname for the Big Apple.

No doubt still smarting from that apparent bad bad bad deal,

20th Century Dutch descendant uncles finally succeeded in forcing

the reluctant Surinamese into independence on Tuesday November 25, 1975.

Nearly 40 percent of the colony’s nationals then fled the new nation,

and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kind of makes one misty-eyed, don’t you think?

The next day’s follow-up story, rudely pushed inside by the

evil newspaper demigods to Metro Section Page B-3, provided the

final missing pieces in the Mildred Baker jigsaw puzzle.

Baker was charged with conspiracy and violation of the

Neutrality Act and arrested at her Morrison Road apartment.

She claimed no knowledge of a plot. Root a toot hoot. Knew nothing,

her fat circus trapeze insurance fraud ass.

 

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The conspirators were meeting all that time at

Baker’s apartment. She was using insurance company

money to finance the revolution. Or something like that.

After all, comrades, an infinite possibility of conspiracy

theories were available. Joe Fine was a former member of the

Israeli Defense Forces. Could it be involved? What was Joe Fine

actually, insurance investigator or spy under separate cover?

Maybe, the FBI somehow was involved in the set-up, or the CIA

working with Dutch interests to remove a hostile foreign

government in this hemisphere? (Reports had circulated recently

that the erratic Bouterse, a non-commissioned officer before

leading the coup, might go so far as to ally with Cuba.)

Or, these persons could just be complete loons, buffoons,

and fools. Otherwise known as occam’s razor.

Best available explanation of the scenario was that Baker

first decided to fake the injury. The rest was lagniappe.

Tyger’s tapes were part of the evidence of a three-pronged

 

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investigation also using wiretaps and informants culminating

in the arrest of the Baker’s dozen cum 14. Hmmm. That type of sitc

directly harked back to Joe Fine’s explanation of the use of ghosts.

Tyger is relieved his name has in no way been associated publicly

with any aspect of the investigation. He feels confident the authorities

want to grab all the credit, so they will never mention his “contribution.”

While being the sub rosa the savior of Suriname might be a very nice

honor to enjoy, those efforts had saved the evil Bouterse who continued

to oppress his people and steal the nation blind. Oh well, comrades,

can’t have everything. Tyger was a mere technician hired under pretense.

He was only following orders. In the final analysis, however, one might conclude

Tyger had performed a good deed after all. He saved the poor unwitting

citizens of Suriname from a fate possibly worse even than the horrible Bouterse,

a government of Mississippi rednecks masterminded by the incredibly moronic Larry Bob Henley.

 

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Like these idiots ever were going to overthrow a Third World nation.

They couldn’t even tie their shoelaces, or apparently, keep Mrs. Baker in line.

(Final footnote comrades in “Dragnet”: They all pleaded

no contest to the charges. Nine of the 14 received suspended

three year sentences, three years probation, and small fines.

The young Baker was placed on 30 months probation with no fine.

Henley was slapped with two concurrent 30 month prison terms and $10,000 fine.

Mrs. Baker was sentenced to one year and one day in prison,

followed by three years probation. U.S. District Judge Lansing Mitchell was

”particularly angry with Baker because she involved her 17-year-old son in the plot.”

“I’ve been on the bench for 20 years,” Mitchell said, “this is about as far out a case as I’ve heard.”)

No shit, Sherlock.

But you know what they say about unstable Third World military governments.

 

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Sixth coup attempt is the charm. Bouterse was toppled the next try by a

successful coup plot. Following 11 years in a Dutch prison, he eventually

resurrected his drug smuggling and political career, returning

to the presidency by election from 2010 to 2020. Tyger’s phone

rang soon after the initial discovery of the public side of Larry Bob’s

tattooed activities. Dorothy hanging on the line discussing details fantastical.

“Can you beat that?” she says. “By the way, Joe gave your tapes to the FBI.”

“”At least I understand the Baker case,” Tyger says. “Sure didn’t last month.”

“By the way,” Dorothy continues. “Joe needs the equipment back. Said something

about fine tuning. Feeling there won’t be any jobs for a while.

Joe has been acting kind of funny again.”

“Funnier than usual?” Tyger asks not haha.

“Funniest ever,” Dorothy notes. “Having a mid-life crisis or something.

Hopefully, just needs some rest.”

“Who doesn’t,” Tyger says. “Say no mo’.

 

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I’ll bring the system back tomorrow.”

Understandably, Tyger is excited by the current news fake items concerning

his Mildred Baker misadventure. He drives by Sandy Alexander’s house to share

the latest in eye-witless new up-fakes, in this rare case the real fake real item.

Sandy, cat and dog front door greet. Sandy is watching the Braves-Expos game.

“Don’t blame me,” he says. “I’m from Atlanta.”

Details, details. Mulling over the Surinamese news. In an unrelated news item,

Tyger drop kick mentions what was discovered in Armor’s freezer. Sandy plays aghast.

“Hold that thought,” he says, walking towards a closet. “I got a shovel right here. Let’s go.

 

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We got to bury those pussies. They had faces.”

Word. Sandy transports Tyger and shovel toot sweetly to Armor’s pad.

Sleepy keeper of the frozen kitty mausoleum eventually answers loud

poundings of the grim burial reapers on his door.

“We have come to bury those cats,” Sandy notes, bristling

with righteous outrage. “Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters while

wiping nappy-time cobwebs from his opening eyes. “Don’t have a shovel.”

“You do now,” Sandy says. “Where the kittens?” Missing information.

“Uhh, freezer.” “Good.” Sandy followed by Tyger followed by Armor’s

second line in funereal procession march to freezer doorward.

Sandy flings open the metal door, retrieving the shrouded kittens.

“What were their names?” he asks in order to provide a brief ceremonial eulogy.

“Didn’t have names,” Armor’s replies. “They died before I could name them.”

“Fine.” Sandy leads the processional outdoors to the weed overgrown

yard. He digs a three foot wide, four foot deep, hole in the sad black dirt.

 

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“Why don’t we say a few words,” Sandy directs.

Armor’s watches from the nearby back porch in silence.

“For you, the noble unnamed two who are about to meet your,

and our, maker,” Sandy reverentially observe. “We salute you.

Good luck and appropriate karma in all that inevitably follows. Amen.”

Tyger and Armor’s agree with “ahem,” “ahem,” as the tall

thin lover of truth covers dead kittens with the rich Cajun Creole soil.

“Thank God,” Sandy says as the three mourners return indoors.

“Couldn’t have slept knowing about this.”

Let us conclude this chapter, therefore, with the elevated

hope that perhaps a higher force considers our ultimate

well-being from cradle to grave.

Sandy took care of kitten disposal as such a higher power.

Perhaps powers higher even than Sandy Alexander, Tyger Williams,

and Armor’s Tungsten, to name but three poor wandering souls,

will take care of their earthly disposal and heavenly disposition.

At least, we can pray for as much, and let the chips fall

where they may. Say hey.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

Mac discusses his visit to the beach.

Tyger and Armor’s talk about environmentalism and abortion

rights. Tyger investigates a topless club owner and others in

Morgan City. Then, the most amazing revelations concerning the

Mildred Baker case become public knowledge thereby solving many

of the riddles in the case and creating additional puzzles. Tyger

is acknowledged as the savior of Suriname. Upon revelation of the

fate of Armor’s cats, Sandy Alexander organizes a final

disposition of their fate.

 

CHAPTER 27

“Savior of Suriname”

 

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“Fun fun in the summer time. Fun fun in the summer time.

Ooh-Ahh-Ooh-Doh-Ooh-Ooh-Aahhhh …”

“And those are the Beachy Balls, all you summer bummers out

there. This is the Mighty Tool. WTUL-FM N’awlins and I am not

telling you who I am.”

Tyger, sitting at Mac’s house on Tuesday July 19, 1988;

turns the radio heat up a notch. “I know who you are asshole,”

Tyger informs the black boom box. “And I know where you live.”

“Oh what the hey line. You have reached the fun zone. I am

Mr. Milty to those uninitiated coming right at you babies.

You remember Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters album, I am sure.

Here goes Robert Calvert again with something more

appropriate to the heat wave that never ends. Viking aryans on

surfboards doing their worst Beach Boys imitation.

It is noon and I am out-a-here.”

So that is where Milty has been. He was hiding out in

plain sight at the least likely of places, ye olde public airwaves.

“I have some good news and some bad news

about our trip to Pensacola Beach,” Mac tells Tyger.

“Good news first,” Tyger says. “I simply live for the good news.”

 

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“Good news is Sarah and I went to Dainty Del Restaurant,

had the best Oysters Rockefeller in the free world.

Then, we went to the beach all day, had an incredible amount of fun.

We swam to the sand bar for a starfish and rum. We danced

to the B-52’s. We barbecued on the beach. Everyone was jealous

that two people could have so much fun. It was great.”

“Ah, and the bad news?” Tyger asks.

“We decided to sleep on the beach,  had a bottle of liquid acid,

maybe 60 hits worth. Got so loaded on rum drinks

we forgot all about it and swallowed nearly the whole bottle.”

“That’s the bad news?”

“That is bad news. We wasted so much good clean ‘L’, but that was not

the worst news. The wind that was blowing in from the Gulf all day suddenly

died about midnight. We were attacked by swarms of killer mosquitos,

biggest damn mosquitoes I ever has seen. We had to run for dear life

away from the beach to the car beating ourselves with towels. I must have

been stung a million times. Just when we were coming on

to the megadose. Oooh, hum baby.. Hurts still to think about.”

“Maybe,” Tyger notes, “you ought to file an insurance claim, hahaha

You probably had too much fun. What goes up must come down

Primary astrophysical principle of ars fortuna particles.”

 

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“Remind me not to hang around there again when the wind dies,” Mac says.

“Put a damper on the evening.” He smiles, grinning like the dog

who caught the squirrel. “What you gonna do,” he laughs. “Going

back to the beach next weekend. Can’t have too much fun.”

Good to see Mac taking full advantage of the summer.

Armor’s, however, has been acting a bit stranger than usual

following the departure of Igor for the Big Apple.

Perhaps Armor’s feels the shallowness of the Big Easy’s cultural shores

and has become a little antsy. Maybe the heat is getting to him.

Armor’s, like Tyger, takes a macho approach to the summer inferno.

Neither uses air conditioning at home. Each has large fans set up

at their respective spaces. They sneer at the weaklings who must chill out

constantly in artificial cool-down mode, or as Henry Miller noted

on a trip to New Orleans, the air conditioned nightmare.

Tyger drops by Armor’s on Wednesday, July 20 during visiting hours.

He engages the dear lad in friendly discourse over a couple of cups of blended espresso.

They definitely strike the sweet spot.

Number one point made during the ensuing conversation:

 

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Those assholes are destroying the ozone layer for future

generations just so they can feel temporarily comfortable.

Mention that to them. They pretend you are crazy.

Number two point: They use hardly any electricity, but the surrounding

pigs use so much in their artificial cool-house environment

that the horrible NOPSI Nazi system constantly overloads,

causing frequent brown and black outs.

(One little piggy with a Ray-Gun/Shrub bumper sticker on her

Japanese minivan said between puffs on a “You’ve come a long way

baby” Virginia Slims cancer death-shtick “Why don’t you run your

air conditioner? You are only hateful because you’re overheated.

That stuff about the ozone layer is a bunch of lies from limousine liberals.”

Armor’s had only one reply to make. “Liberal this bitch,” flipping

her a bird as she flew away horrified at his “rude” behavior.)

Yeah, and it isn’t too rude to ruin everything for future generations.

Like the Louis Armstrong song relates, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead,

you rascal you.”

 

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Unfortunately, it is not soon enough to save the planetary

environment. All we can do is our best for as long as possible to

keep from losing it completely.

Number three point: In a related topic of discussion, the

subject of the recent sit-in by anti-abortion hotheads at the

Delta Women’s Clinic on St. Charles Avenue.

Those pigs won’t let women go in for abortions. They have to

be dragged away from the clinic entrance by the storm troopers,

for once on the side of natural law as well as order.

Armor’s makes the salient point that they give a shit until

the unwanted baby pops out.Then, their attitude is “I am out

of here. Yeah. They care about the unborn,

but the born are another matter.”

(“That damn crime and those shiftless negroes,” an antiabortion

fruit-and-nut-cake states in another persona on Eyewitless

News-Fake playing at Armor’s. “They the reason everything is disgusting here.”)

Armor’s fiddles around the shotgun apartment, producing

interesting items for Tyger’s approval. One is a detailed hand-drawn

 

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map of the Pinnacles National Monument where he wants to go for a while.

Another is a flyer from the Earth First! “environmental freedom fighters.”

Armor’s wants to join an Oregon sit-in to stop the pig Ray-Gun

commercial bulldozer buddies from destroying ancient legacy trees

harboring the wise and wonderful endangered Northern Spotted Owl population.

The rape of the Spotted Owl is repeated throughout America

during the waning years of the Ray-Gun rip-off scam. Same bad deal

at the Sportsman’s Paradise, hahaha, of Lousyana where the

beautiful and ancient sea turtle is threatened by the wide nets

of brain dead commercial redneck fish exploiters.

Which would you prefer in your face — owls, turtles and

natural wonders — or assholes, losers and a scorched earth for eternity?

Tough choice. Tell the fishermen to get a real job not harming

innocent wildlife to feed their fat consumptive lofe-style.

They are not after a decent living. Just an easy living.

Tyger walks into the kitchen area to grab a little skim milk

for his black chicory coffee that the boys alternate with espresso.

 

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He innocently opens the freezer compartment.

Two unusual brown paper objects sit in the back of the freezer.

Tyger looks with the eyes of a child not thinking too much of them.

He returns to the main room.

“Hey Armor’s,” Tyger mentions, oh by the way casually no big whoop.

“You eating gourmet now? What are those wrapped objects in the back of the freezer?

They look like Cornish hen wannabees or something. Planning a special super supper.”

“Ahhh,” Armor’s sudden eloquence concerning the environment dissipates

with this line of questioning. “What do you mean?”

“You know, the things that are wrapped and look like cornish hens,” Tyger says.

“Taste like chicken, eh?”

“Oh those,” Armor”s hesitates a one-two-three spell, then blurts out missing information.

“Those are the kittens.”

Tyger does not quite grasp the moment.

“The kittens? What kittens?”

“The kittens from MacLand.” (Tyger spit take.)

What? Tyger had completely forgotten about the cute little kitties

Armor’s took under his wings all those months previously

for what turned out be some kind of not so safe keeping.

“You have the kittens wrapped up in the freezer?” Tyger asks at long pointed last.

“Ahh yeah,” Armor’s replies. “Had to. Remember that real cold spell in February?”

“Yeah.”

“They caught a horrible fever, cat pneumonia or something,

 

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died suddenly. I put them in the freezer,

so they would keep until I could bury them properly.”

“Why don’t you bury them right now? We’ll go out in the yard.”

“No, Can’t bury them.”

“Why not?”

Pregnant pause by Sir Armor’s Tungsten, performance artist,

before delivering the ultimate punch line.

“Don’t have a shovel.”

Ka-boom! Knock out.

Tyger takes under advisement this bizarre turn of events finally disclosed.

Strange behavior by Armor’s true, but dead kittens will keep

a bit longer lying in frozen state. They’re not going anywhere.

The investigative merry-go round is a different matter entirely.

Tyger goes to Lockport in Lafourche Parish on Thursday, July 22.

He sets up the system in a very nice location about 30 yards away

from the Albert Indelicato green with white stripe house trailer.

Thank goodness. The trailer is set aside in a large dirt and gravel area,

no inconvenient nay-bores. What’s more, a small pleasant cafe sits

about 50 yards away from the trailer. It has a large glass window fronting the big picture.

Looks like Tyger can spend much of the surveillance pelicana experience

 

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inside the cafe drinking coffee, yet keep a close eye on subby-poo.

Frozen freezer kitties inspire Tyger to order up the luncheon special,

a very tasty barbecued chicken entree.

What is with that Armor’s anyway, Tyger considers while munching

lunch, watching the wonderful wide world of Indelicato.

Subject, white male, 30 years old, 5’11”, 190 pounds,

stinkers around the trailer proper for a while, exhibiting no

particular signs of the debilitating right knee injury he claims.

Tyger runs the system for three hours as authorized before calling it a day.

Two days later on Saturday July 23, Tyger visits Morgan City

in the oil patch where he conducts a background investigation of

one James Nelson Norton; lately of the Honeymooners, right?

Wrong, Jackie Gleason breath.

Turns out the good Norton is a well known local “club” owner.

The clubs, in his case, are exotic dancer lounges at the

edge of town on Highway 90. Check, please, maitre-d’.

Norton’s most recent entrepreneurial venture is named,

appropriately, the “Hot Stuff Lounge.” Like the other four strip

joints at Morgan City’s red light district, Hot Stuff is a small nondescript

one-room shack hosted by an Oriental babe looks Filipino in short slit dress.

Tyger tells her the truth in this instance. He is a po’ boy of an investigator

 

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just doing his job, conducting a routine background check of the owner.

an’t say why ’cause he don’t know himself. Nobody

knows anything about anything, of course. Tyger goes

about the immediate vicinity performing his duties in a perfunctory

fashion. This isn’t really his cup of java. Besides, not to belabor the all too obvious,

the very name “Hot Stuff Lounge,” more or less says it all.

In a nutshell, Tyger determines Norton had two similar clubs,

each mysteriously burned to the ground. He has been telling

associates he plans to open a new improved version of the Hot

Stuff in the near future. He got the bucks. Just won’t say how he got it.

Only clues Norton has furnished associates is that the money

is coming from unnamed silent investors. Yeah right, probably

by the name of Mutual Insurance Corporation’s fire protection fund.

Norton also has told a nearby car repair shop owner that the

Hot Stuff has been losing money which does not matter because he

is living on a tidy, but vague “allowance.” Tyger concludes his investigation.

He files a report to that effect through the U.S. mail to Dorothy.

Hope it gets there by the end of the World Series.

 

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Ensues the usual weekend frolicking, baseball viewing and lifestyle functions.

No more sleazy strip show clubs, thank you very not.

Then, on a day like any other day except for it being

officially designated for our purposes as Tuesday, July 26, 1988,

Tyger continues in the usual way. First stop after morning dress

rehearsal, an out of business real estate office down the street

where for some bizarrely inexplicable the reason the

Slimes-Picayune delivery person continues to leave a newspaper.

Tyger, good boy, retrieves it, then hikes around Audubon Park.

He returns home abut 10:40 a.m.

 

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At 11:15 a.m. “subject”  pours a cup of coffee, sits down

at his feeding table watching a Saturday Night Live re-run.

Hmm, it is from one of the good SNL’s. Jesse Jackson hosts. Hahaha.

At 11:19 a.m. Tyger unwraps the newspaper rubber band, removing

the front section, which he then unfolds with gusto.

At 11:20 a.m., glancing down Page One, usual pack of lies beginning with

smiley yellow sun forecasting sunny skies, temps in the mid-90s.

Considering fake is real, that can only mean torrential rains. Forewarned?

Today’s top story, man bites dog, “Hansen’s Sno-Bliz great for summer.”

At 11:22 a.m., Tyger army half-notices a photograph.

It is the tattooed man from Mildred Bakers apartment.

Tyger sips some coffee.

‘Wait, what!!!

THE TATTOOED MAN FROM MILDRED BAKER’S APARTMENT. Ugh.

Stop the presses!

 

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Forget about the how for now.

This is the who, what, where, when, and why of all time.

Larry Bob Henley, 45, of Senatobia, Mississippi,

is identified as the tattooed man as revealed by the Slimes-Picayune.

Is this some kind of sick joke?

Tyger motor controls his full attention span to the inside

story of insane explication now introduced for your consideration.

The picture shows Henley along with “James Michael Baker, 17, of New Orleans East”

being taken from a Ford minivan with Mississippi plates at the

Bogue Falaya Commercial Airfield near Hammond, Louisiana.

Two burly U.S. federal marshals escort our good buddies

An additional notation is appended: see story, Metro B-1. D’uh. Seen.

Henley and Cook are among 14 persons charged in an alleged plot

to overthrow the government of Suriname.

Suriname? What the hell is that? Pancake syrup?

“Suriname is on the northeast coast of South America.

It gained independence from the Netherlands in 1975,

and is governed by Lt. Col. Desi Bouterse

who came to power in a 1980 coup.

He has been the target of four overthrow attempts.”

Fair enough. But, what the hey-line.

 

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“All but one of the 14 were arrested July 25 on their way to

the Hammond airport where they were to board a plane for Suriname

to overthrow the military government, according to an indictment

filed by the U.S. Attorney at New Orleans.

Five men along with alleged ring leader Henley were charged

with conspiracy to violate the U.S. Neutrality Act which bars

United States citizens from invading countries with which the

U.S. is at peace.

They also are charged with conspiracy to carry a concealed

and deadly weapon onto an airplane, a misdemeanor that carries a

maximum of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Evidence against the group consists of videotape recordings

and wiretaps of recorded conversations, as well as statements by

undercover agents and some of the defendants themselves upon arrest.”

Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings? Videotape recordings?

Yeah, right. A lot of what Tyger witnessed during those three weeks in

June suddenly make a whole lot more sense. Like the meetings.

Like the weird redneck guys. Like the insane comings and going.

But one part of the story doesn’t yet jibe. Mildred Baker’s connection?

And now, comrades, as Paul Harvey says, for the rest of the story.

 

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The Marx Brothers, Three Stooges, aided, and abetted by

Laurel and Hardy; Lewis and Martin, Bozo the Clown, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton

attempt to invade a bizarre Third World kleptocracy. Dat-Man to Baker’s Rob-in,

came up naturally enough with a no-brainer. He intended to launch an all-out

night assault using mercenaries recruited through Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

What could possible go right? Henley’s Dutch oil executive overlords

planned to arrange a meeting with — please refrain from snickering —

the Surinamese Minister of Finance to discuss instituting a Swiss-style

banking system with super-secret confidential numbered accounts.

Henley’s mercenaries would pose as — stop us if you heard of this before —

financiers. They then would bring Bouterse into the meeting, take him

hostage or liquidate him and voila’ Suriname at your pleasure, sir.

 

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Not one to rest on his dubious laurels, Henley signed contracts with

other private individuals and foundations, including the Ansus Foundation

of the Netherlands, that would pay him a large amount of money if

the plan were successful. Or maybe it was the Anus Foundation, which

which would have been more appropriate to this mission. Henley also

planned to bring in-country a large yacht filled with Miskito Indians from Nicaragua

acting as support troops. The same Miskitos that fought alongside the Contras.

(Not the ones that attacked Mac and Sarah at Pensacola Beach.)

The coup lite leader promised $500 a week for those Americans who

helped him in the operation with a $1 million bonus for any who

stayed to see it through. Maybe he had watched one too many reruns

of the movie “Walker,” or something. Tyger had seen “Walker”

plus the as-yet not released version of the Larry Henley show,

live on tape from Morrison Road. One might even consider the Tygermeister

to be the world’s leading expert on that particular score. Henley, true

to American democratic values, and/or a desire to max out on looting,

planned to hold “elections” shortly after taking over, then install a Surinamese

puppet official who would follow his bat-shit cracker orders.

 

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Henley had lifted a play straight out of the Gipper’s Grenada game plan.

How fitting in the age of Ray-Gun with the great leader urging Americans

to exercise private initiative. Yup, Henley figured he had it made in the shade.

Suriname would become his personal piggy bank. And what an opportunity.

Consider the tale of the tape: Suriname had 480,000 residents, 63,037-square miles,

slightly larger than the state of Georgia. Guyana, a former British colony, to the west;

Brazil to the south, Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana, former home of Devil’s Island,

due west. Suriname’s coast is flat where dikes permit agriculture. Inland is a rain forest

built with about 75 percent of the country consisting of unexplored areas. About one-third

of the population live in the capital city of Paramaribo. The small nation’s wealth consists

of offshore oil and inland bauxite attracting considerable interest and attention.

Not aiding the political security of the indigenous Creole­, East Indian, Bush Negro populace

was the fact that Bouterse sought to keep all the wealth at home, that is to say

in his and associates’ pockets while international interests wanted a, shall we say,

larger piece of the pie.

 

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Talk about a bad trade, sports fans. You thought the

Cubs made some losers. Consider the origins of Suriname.

The Netherlands acquired the property in 1667 from Britain

in exchange for that well known slice of pie from Hell’s Kitchen

drum roll please — New Netherlands, known currently as New York City.

That’s right. Believe it or nuts. A straight-up one-for-one transaction ,

Suriname for the Big Apple.

No doubt still smarting from that apparent bad bad bad deal,

20th Century Dutch descendant uncles finally succeeded in forcing

the reluctant Surinamese into independence on Tuesday November 25, 1975.

Nearly 40 percent of the colony’s nationals then fled the new nation,

and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kind of makes one misty-eyed, don’t you think?

The next day’s follow-up story, rudely pushed inside by the

evil newspaper demigods to Metro Section Page B-3, provided the

final missing pieces in the Mildred Baker jigsaw puzzle.

Baker was charged with conspiracy and violation of the

Neutrality Act and arrested at her Morrison Road apartment.

She claimed no knowledge of a plot. Root a toot hoot. Knew nothing,

her fat circus trapeze insurance fraud ass.

 

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The conspirators were meeting all that time at

Baker’s apartment. She was using insurance company

money to finance the revolution. Or something like that.

After all, comrades, an infinite possibility of conspiracy

theories were available. Joe Fine was a former member of the

Israeli Defense Forces. Could it be involved? What was Joe Fine

actually, insurance investigator or spy under separate cover?

Maybe, the FBI somehow was involved in the set-up, or the CIA

working with Dutch interests to remove a hostile foreign

government in this hemisphere? (Reports had circulated recently

that the erratic Bouterse, a non-commissioned officer before

leading the coup, might go so far as to ally with Cuba.)

Or, these persons could just be complete loons, buffoons,

and fools. Otherwise known as occam’s razor.

Best available explanation of the scenario was that Baker

first decided to fake the injury. The rest was lagniappe.

Tyger’s tapes were part of the evidence of a three-pronged

 

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investigation also using wiretaps and informants culminating

in the arrest of the Baker’s dozen cum 14. Hmmm. That type of sitc

directly harked back to Joe Fine’s explanation of the use of ghosts.

Tyger is relieved his name has in no way been associated publicly

with any aspect of the investigation. He feels confident the authorities

want to grab all the credit, so they will never mention his “contribution.”

While being the sub rosa the savior of Suriname might be a very nice

honor to enjoy, those efforts had saved the evil Bouterse who continued

to oppress his people and steal the nation blind. Oh well, comrades,

can’t have everything. Tyger was a mere technician hired under pretense.

He was only following orders. In the final analysis, however, one might conclude

Tyger had performed a good deed after all. He saved the poor unwitting

citizens of Suriname from a fate possibly worse even than the horrible Bouterse,

a government of Mississippi rednecks masterminded by the incredibly moronic Larry Bob Henley.

 

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Like these idiots ever were going to overthrow a Third World nation.

They couldn’t even tie their shoelaces, or apparently, keep Mrs. Baker in line.

(Final footnote comrades in “Dragnet”: They all pleaded

no contest to the charges. Nine of the 14 received suspended

three year sentences, three years probation, and small fines.

The young Baker was placed on 30 months probation with no fine.

Henley was slapped with two concurrent 30 month prison terms and $10,000 fine.

Mrs. Baker was sentenced to one year and one day in prison,

followed by three years probation. U.S. District Judge Lansing Mitchell was

”particularly angry with Baker because she involved her 17-year-old son in the plot.”

“I’ve been on the bench for 20 years,” Mitchell said, “this is about as far out a case as I’ve heard.”)

No shit, Sherlock.

But you know what they say about unstable Third World military governments.

 

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Sixth coup attempt is the charm. Bouterse was toppled the next try by a

successful coup plot. Following 11 years in a Dutch prison, he eventually

resurrected his drug smuggling and political career, returning

to the presidency by election from 2010 to 2020. Tyger’s phone

rang soon after the initial discovery of the public side of Larry Bob’s

tattooed activities. Dorothy hanging on the line discussing details fantastical.

“Can you beat that?” she says. “By the way, Joe gave your tapes to the FBI.”

“”At least I understand the Baker case,” Tyger says. “Sure didn’t last month.”

“By the way,” Dorothy continues. “Joe needs the equipment back. Said something

about fine tuning. Feeling there won’t be any jobs for a while.

Joe has been acting kind of funny again.”

“Funnier than usual?” Tyger asks not haha.

“Funniest ever,” Dorothy notes. “Having a mid-life crisis or something.

Hopefully, just needs some rest.”

“Who doesn’t,” Tyger says. “Say no mo’.

 

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I’ll bring the system back tomorrow.”

Understandably, Tyger is excited by the current news fake items concerning

his Mildred Baker misadventure. He drives by Sandy Alexander’s house to share

the latest in eye-witless new up-fakes, in this rare case the real fake real item.

Sandy, cat and dog front door greet. Sandy is watching the Braves-Expos game.

“Don’t blame me,” he says. “I’m from Atlanta.”

Details, details. Mulling over the Surinamese news. In an unrelated news item,

Tyger drop kick mentions what was discovered in Armor’s freezer. Sandy plays aghast.

“Hold that thought,” he says, walking towards a closet. “I got a shovel right here. Let’s go.

 

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We got to bury those pussies. They had faces.”

Word. Sandy transports Tyger and shovel toot sweetly to Armor’s pad.

Sleepy keeper of the frozen kitty mausoleum eventually answers loud

poundings of the grim burial reapers on his door.

“We have come to bury those cats,” Sandy notes, bristling

with righteous outrage. “Uhhh, uhhh,” Armor’s stutters while

wiping nappy-time cobwebs from his opening eyes. “Don’t have a shovel.”

“You do now,” Sandy says. “Where the kittens?” Missing information.

“Uhh, freezer.” “Good.” Sandy followed by Tyger followed by Armor’s

second line in funereal procession march to freezer doorward.

Sandy flings open the metal door, retrieving the shrouded kittens.

“What were their names?” he asks in order to provide a brief ceremonial eulogy.

“Didn’t have names,” Armor’s replies. “They died before I could name them.”

“Fine.” Sandy leads the processional outdoors to the weed overgrown

yard. He digs a three foot wide, four foot deep, hole in the sad black dirt.

 

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“Why don’t we say a few words,” Sandy directs.

Armor’s watches from the nearby back porch in silence.

“For you, the noble unnamed two who are about to meet your,

and our, maker,” Sandy reverentially observe. “We salute you.

Good luck and appropriate karma in all that inevitably follows. Amen.”

Tyger and Armor’s agree with “ahem,” “ahem,” as the tall

thin lover of truth covers dead kittens with the rich Cajun Creole soil.

“Thank God,” Sandy says as the three mourners return indoors.

“Couldn’t have slept knowing about this.”

Let us conclude this chapter, therefore, with the elevated

hope that perhaps a higher force considers our ultimate

well-being from cradle to grave.

Sandy took care of kitten disposal as such a higher power.

Perhaps powers higher even than Sandy Alexander, Tyger Williams,

and Armor’s Tungsten, to name but three poor wandering souls,

will take care of their earthly disposal and heavenly disposition.

At least, we can pray for as much, and let the chips fall

where they may. Say hey.

 

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

IRS Inc. temporarily suspends operations.

Tyger turns  attention to the Republican National Convention

taking  place in August 1988 at the Louisiana Super home dome

Discussion of Republican tactics, strategies, and activities

taking place within the context of the Iran-Contra scandal,

the Reagan Administration, and historical perspective.

 

CHAPTER 28

“Covering (up) the 1988 Republican National Convention”

 

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No change in the weather. No change in the sea. No change in

the government. No change in you. No change in Tyger, naturally.

But, maybe the moon is in Aquarius. Something seems to be

changing all around us comrades. It is not a pretty sight.

Firstly, the Joe Fine experience has reached a summer

hiatus. Tyger returns the secret surveillance system to Dorothy,

who is about to deliver a baby.

(Now, maybe that car seat can be used for its intended purpose.)

“I’m scheduled to have a C-Section in about two weeks,”

Dorothy reports, “and with Joe Fine’s delicate condition, if you

know what I mean, we will probably shut down operations for a

while. If anything urgent comes up either Jack or Joe will give you a holler.”

Yeah, Jack. Right. And Joe? Doubtful as well. Who knows what

strange shore Joe has washed upon by this late date of Monday August 1, 1988.

Tyger gives not a whit at this point. Something generally turns up to save

the good soul and kind spirit. Perhaps, detective work will resume

 

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when Dorothy leaves the hospital or Joe recovers some of his senses.

Besides, Tyger has laid in three months worth of savings. He

is well accustomed to the living on the edge lifestyle. Have no

fear, friends of the starving masses, Gloria Gaynor will survive.

By heck become, sometimes it can even be fun for as Bob Dylan says, when you

got nothing, you got nothing to lose. Dylan ought to know a thing or two

about that, baby boom generation junkies. After all, his mind is

somewhere beyond the left field fence blowing in the wind.

Maybe the times they aren’t a’changing, but a final curious

chorus lurks just beyond the curtains of consciousness over the

right field wall, in this case. (Get ready to duck and cover.)

That is to say, comrades of higher politically correct aspirations,

the 1988 Republican National Convention is slated to begin

Monday Aug. 15 at the home of the Saints and an infinite

series of tractor pulls and trade shows; that is to say,

again, hey, the Louisiana Super Home. For joy.

What an appropriate setting, comrades, the Big Fucking Easy,

Disneyland for adults, a place where crowd control tactics have

been honed to a fine art, run by political scoundrels who can be

bought by the easy tourist buck.

In short, the Republicans are guaranteed a non-threatening

 

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made for television gathering, more of a pep rally than an actual

discernment of the will of the people, even the people of their

own party. If it is a party, friends, why isn’t it fun?

The Repubs are crazy fools, true dat, but they are crazy

like foxes, sneaky like snakes in the garden.

They have no 1988 platform walking the planks

except to say whatever sounds good to

a majority of voting citizens. Should the pollsters find

Americans opposed, they think nothing of abruptly switching positions.

Tricky Dicky Nixon pioneered the first made for television

self-promotional media tactics. Then he blew the cookie store

with his politics of paranoia.

The “just win baby” generation learned its lesson after

Nixxon’s Watergate dirty tricks approach backfired due to

incredible personal malfeasance. A new old generation of

scoundrels were ready to take greed and corruption to the limit

as soon as national repulsion at the subversion of Constitutional

principles under the Nixxon (expletive deleted) subsided.

(Besides, practically no one in the nation even knew

what was in the Constitution.)

The Repubs finally hit the jackpot with the know

 

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nothing ambitious fool Ray-Gun whose primary strength was as a

television sound bite figurehead. They were not about to

let a small concern like the public good stand in their way.

They are prepared to do whatever it takes to “just win

baby.” They go about their business taking the first logical

step, holding the convention in the most noncontroversial —

goronteed in Cajun patois — and television colorful sound bite

distracting site available. Yes comrades, Third World Banana Republic?

New Orleans, the City that Care Forgot, the Big Easy, is God’s last

gift to the Repubs. The Grand Old Party, literally, has no ideas except

to lie lie lie until the Democrats cry uncle. They have no vision for

the future except to keep the gravy train rolling rolling

rolling, until the poor and underclass — hell, they don’t vote

anyway — were ground into rawhide or co-opted.

Those who were not on the gravy train per se, can be

persuaded temporarily into becoming fellow travelers through the

cynical tactic of having them believe they will make a bundle if

they come along for the ride. They can be mesmerized by holding

as examples for public acclaim the very financiers and Wall

Street scum who were in the process of ripping off the people blind.

Some of the financiers eventually were socked away for short

 

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spells at minimum security country club prisons for such

delightful frolics as insider trading and pyramid financial

schemes. Leading the pack, looting savings and loan institutions,

bailed out through government intervention from a Ray-Gun administration

whose big domestic political project was eliminating social safety nets

for the poor and disadvantaged. Hosanna. Hosanna. Ray-Gun going bonzo hosting

General Electric Theater through Death Valley Days.

 

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Now his grate-est role. Know nothing figure head of state. Or so

he testified at the Iran-Contra trials. Ray-Gun couldn’t remember cabinet officials,

chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and any meeting, decision and policy,

except for invading Grenada. As for the rest of the mess, a constant stream of

“Well, I don’t remember that.” “It’s in the transcript sir.”

“Well, I must have said that then, if you say so.” Or “Did I say that?”

Continuing, “I can’t remember any details because I spent every day having

my picture taken in photo opportunities or giving speeches.”

That’s correct.  Ray-Gun estimated he participated in 40,000 photo sessions

during his presidency which came to about 15 each working day.

 

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In other words, that is all he did in the official capacity of playing President.

In a fitting footnote after Ray-Gun retired, but not before “suggesting”

the Constitution be amended to allow the president more than two terms

because it wasn’t fair to limit the office. Later, he gave a speech of “reminiscences”

about his White House years when a presidential library of his “papers” was dedicated.

Reminiscences? Don’t even need nitrous on that one. In any event, New Orleans

is the perfect place for the end of such an era. New Orleans had old world,

almost European, charm; a Potemkin village facade called the Vieux Carre; and

world class food to distract delegates and media. All that and a world class Superdome

facility cordoned off around its perimeter with a 4,700 foot chain link fence,

 

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connected to the outside media liars let 9,000 telephone lines buzz

into an infinite array of satellite transmitters.

No chance of dissent here. Employing Mardi Gras Krewe of

Krowd Kontrol KKK tactics; the rent a Big Easy police

department was well trained, ready, and willing to handle any

dissent however unlikely in the City that Care Forgot.

Fat chance. New Orleans, home to an indigenous population

that was 70 percent black, 70 percent poor, and 70 percent

Democratic was dripping with apathy towards life in general, not

to mention ye olde Republican Convention. Ho-hum, another contra intervention.

The local attitude is to let the Republicans have their fun, drop some big

bucks around town, and leave the way they came. Convention only lasts

four days. Mardi Gras lasts five times that with 20 times more visitors.

Give the suckers what they want.Tyger walks this planet moron during the first two

weeks of August. It is too hot even for the mangy mutts who lie all day

under trees not even bothering to go forth and fetch.

 

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Satisfied by the opiate of an endless series of Major League

baseball games to view, Tyger wanders aimlessly through the haze.

Reefer supplies are abundant. In fact, marijuana is more available than ever,

due, no doubt, to the imminent arrival of Republicans who will require their pot smoking

needs satisfied. Even as they double-talk the public with the “just say no to drugs” party line.

Who smokes more or consumes more liquor than these party animals?

Hell, they are the only ones with enough money to keep stocked with drugs

although they prefer the more expensive cocaine to marijuana.

Then, they package and sell the rest as cheap crack to the

poor before breaking down the crackhouse doors and arresting the

poor downtrodden scum. Quite a racket they got going.

Not to mention facts later revealed that the great

“just say no to drugs” King Ray-Gun himself smoked reefer with

Nancy. Just check out Kitty Litter’s, er Kelly’s, expose’ look at

Ray-Gun White House follies including the parts about Ronny and

Nancy getting high while slacking by at the highest office.

Barbara Bush did, hiding the Kelley tome under another book cover.

Unlike some future presidential candidates claimed, Ray-Gun

inhaled. Maybe that explains his frequent memory lapses.

 

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Sucker was too high to remember.

And Nancy — the goodly wife elected by no one who ran the

nation during the Ray-Gun Administration’s early years until she

tired of time management restraints and passed the buck,

literally, to the likes of Baker, Casey, Schultz, Weinberger, and

Shrub — was a notorious pep pill popper, downer and alcohol

abuser, as well as child beater, according to daughter Patti Davis in her memoirs.

Darn. So it goes and so it blows a gentle breeze hot as hell, but

pleasant to contemplate. Like the calm hours immediately preceding a violent

hurricane, darkening clouds begin to accumulate in the southern sky.

News fake flakes issue oblique warnings. Tangelo Schill and Garbage Hairnet,

leading eyewitless cover-up flake-news interruptions, begin self-promoting their

convention coverage. Trucks and vans unload the first vanguard of

national media liars and their fellow travelers. These mental

 

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giants flock like sheep to the more infamous N’Awlins feeding troughs,

blocking up the better known traffic arteries. Mindlessly wandering up and down

Bourbon Street, then appearing later as some kind of talking head on the

national liars network extolling the charm of quaint old New Orleans.

News pap accompanies pictures of large southern mansions along St. Charles Avenue,

the Garden District, conveniently ignoring squalid housing projects a few block over.

Legacy of slave quarters just behind massa’s mansions. Political sound-bites

reverberate through the day, how quotas and entitlement programs created by “libs”

were “unfair” to white people, “discriminated” against better qualified white applicants.

 

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Opening credits ended, time for the big shoe to drop

Sunday August 14, 1988 and…YOU ARE THERE.

Welcome to the insane world of disorder descending

like a long Carnival parade on the poor but good souls of N’Awlins.

Greetings from the gates of hell. Slimes-Picayune page one sums it up in a nutshell,

the kind that even Slimes pseudo-editors can store in their squirrel-like little excuses for brains.

A picture of Ray- Gun smiling blankly with his thumb in the air no doubt,

one can imagine a more appropriate digit upraised above the caption,

“Here’s to George,” Right. The funny thing is Ray-Gun does not even like Shrubby.

However, the Gipper is a team player and Shrub, perhaps the most unpopular politician in America,

is somebody’s idea of the next president. That is the only idea they have left.

Traffic is a bit more aggressive than usual on this sweltering excuse for a summer

 

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afternoon. Taxis swarm like killer bees madly descending on the airport

to pick up the latest in arriving pod people, like brooms whisking them Downtown.

Conventioneers grow exponentially by the arriving plane each few minutes unloading.

Driving around town yields no great surprises other than the utter stupidity and,

yes, pathetic countenance of the oppressing class. Tyger had expected more,

but apparently many of these evil minions are not even from the real class

of super-oppressors.Tyger imagined would be flocking to such a gathering.

These delegates, so-called, are more like foot soldiers, battle fodder

of the high command generals. These are the storm troopers, allowed to attend

the irrelevant convention to rubber stamp their leaders’ parking meters.

The actual command and control structure arrives silently at night,

 

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whisked to town by private aircraft and high roller transportation

devices at Lakefront Airport across town by the shores of

Lake Ponchartrain. Inmates over-goddamerrung the asylum

while supervising doctors smile maniacally in their air-conditioned

super-delegate luxury rabble. Suites above the foolish

Repub subs are confined, for the most part, to the tourista

section of town stretching in an arc around Downtown through

the French Quarter. A few delegations who don’t rate have

the distinct dishonor of rooming in suburbs like Metairie and

Kenner. But who cares about them anyway?

Tyger scours Downtown in his mother the car searching for

interesting anti-Repub demonstrators as if the 1968

Chicago convention might be duplicated in the Big Easy, finding

none, nary a trace, natch. He returns home disappointed, watches

the Cubs battle the Braves. After a bad day, finally a great game with something

to good cheer about. Harry Caray’s Cubbies pull off a triple play yet

manage to lose the contest. Typical. At 9 a.m.  Monday, August 15, 1988,

the non-awaited event officially begins at long last. Surprise surprise, grab an icee

from Time Saver, relax, comrades, nobody cares. The big news is local eyewitless

newsfake anchor Garbage Hairnet being prevented from entering the convention

 

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floor because he is carrying a concealed handgun. (Guess he has

become a bit paranoid in his bad haircut dotage.) He is angry

and decries the censorship of a free press. Yeah, right.

A so-called “March to the Superdome against CIA/Military

Intervention in Central & South America, Middle East, Africa,

Asia: vote with your feet in the streets,” event organized by the

National Convention Mobilization Coalition, Emergency Coalition

Against Martial Law, and Anarchists Against Republicans and

Democrats, is a big fat zero.

A group of maybe 50 persons make it to within four blocks of

the Superdome. They easily are turned away by New Orleans

policemen mounted on horseback. The, shall we say, protesters

leave like the sheep who are inside the Superdome. Bah bah bah.

And what it is, friends, going down inside the Superhome

proper? No less than the official end of the Ray-Gun years

presided over by Mr. Anti-Karma himself, Ronny Bedtime For Bonzo

world Satanic leader. A bizarre ritualistic self-suicide takes place as Ray-Gun

shoots himself in the foot, as usual, ending matters rather anticlimactically.

No great conclusion of an era address here. What can one say about

Rip Van Winkling away the previous eight years? Ray-Gun gives a 44-minute speech

amounting to a big fat nolo contendere replete with the usual idiotic platitudes.

Who are this guy’s speech-writers anyway? They need better material.

 

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“Don’t expect me to be happy hearing all this talk abut the twilight of my life,”

Ray-Gun reads off the teleprompter. “Twilight? Not in America. Here, it’s

sunrise every day. Fresh now opportunities. Dreams to build.”

If only. Same old BS speech. “I don’t think the Big Easy  was ever

any bigger than it is tonight,” Ray-Gun says exiting to cheering crowd

of stage extras, waving pre-fab banners including “Four More Years”

and the ever-democratic sentiment of “Ron for King.”  Lots of verbal abuse

heaped from the peanut gallery on ever popular straw man Teddy Kennedy.

They didn’t like how the “Hero of Chappaquidick” made a July speech

at the Dem’s Atlanta convention asking “Where was George,” during the Ray-Gun years.

Check Iran-Contra testimony. George was in there somewhere handling dirty tricks.

 

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With that pap, the age of Ray-Gun dead-ended. Thaaat’s aaaallll folks!

His porta-party hands the town over to Shrubbariffic.

Convention speculation exists merely to give the media

something to do between stuffing their faces with Cajun and

Creole delicacies. It centers around the choice of Shrubby’s

running mate since the nomination was locked up many years before.

Bill Macon, chairman of the Missouri Delegation, notes the

deep thinking behind that choice. “If the nominee wants an 800-

pound gorilla, I’m for an 800-pound gorilla,” he states proudly.

(Macon later outrages fellow delegates by casting his

presidential nominating vote for that well known candidate “The

Shadow” explaining, “It was purely a matter of trying to inject a

little levity into the convention where the outcome had been preordained.”

Asked to explain who the Shadow was, Macon replies “a mythical figure.”

Perhaps the vote makes sense after all. Wasn’t Ray-Gun a mythical leader?)

Marilyn Quayle, the you-know-what-to-come, comments on the vice-presidential

prospects of her husband Dan Fail, an obscure Indiana junior Senator, but more importantly

for future reference, a Shrub golf partner. “We’re not panting after it,” she utters.

(Who does wear the pants in the Fail family?)

 

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Asked about the historical precedents for Shrub’s policies, and

vice-presidential nomination, U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich from Georgia amplifies

on the primate nature of Repub sub politics.

“We’re a party that twice nominated a man who made movies with

chimpanzees. Why do you think that we would worry about historical precedents?”

About sums it up, Newt. The few activists in town express displeasure at the lack of

local response. This shows that the left can be as stupid as the right because

if they knew anything, they would realize that protests make no difference

to the Repubs or the nation. Television ratings are so low they fell off the Nielsen

chart. Who gives a shit about this big joke? The only — effective? — protest

of the day is staged at the swanky Inter-continental Hotel off Poydras Street by

six members of the Church of the Green Frog who get in a fight with

Pat Robertson Christian fanatics. The green frogs are arrested while the Robertson rabble

 

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goes about its business unaffected. Nothing like a fair fight friends,

can’t have that. Next day brings the great Shrub entourage to town to

fill the vacuum left by the Ray-Gun train’s hasty late night departure.

Shrub lands at Belle Chasse Naval Station on the West Bank,

snarling city traffic for an hour with his motorcade.

Then, the president of vice turns up at Spanish Plaza where

Rex meets Proteus the night before Mardi Gras, and springs his own

Carnival non-surprise, Dan Fail for vice-president. That way, Shrub

can have a handy golf partner on standby for those days when it

is tough to rouse a foursome. America is screwed without the foreplay.

Shrub acquires, he believes, an insurance policy. Who is going

to shoot him when Fail is next in line?

All is not well inside the Superdome, either, as the convention

turns. Nothing to do with dissent and protests. Problem

with the sound system. Delegates on the floor can’t hear

any speeches. Aw shucks, bummer in the summer.

They will have to listen to the meaningless drivel while

watching television along with the other 20 million Americans who

are at least nominally viewing the show.

That represents about 8 percent of the American nation.

 

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About 40 million Americans watch whatever else

they can find on television during convention hours.

Delegates who can’t hear the speeches are really missing something.

Governor Kean of New Jersey, keynote speaker, apparently comes to the podium

after a bad meal at the Burger King across Poydras Street from the Superdome.

“We offer poor Americans not the junk food of more big government,” he cries,

“but the full meal of good private-sector jobs.” Yeah and elephants fly.

 

Other Day Two low-lights of the convention include the following:

 

  1. Future terminator Arnold Schwartzenegger signs autographs at the National Rifle Association

lunch at the Fairmont Hotel. Is this guy a voter. Is he even a citizen?

2. CBS — newsman? — Ed Bradley talks his way into a Little Feat gig at Tipitina’s

thereby saving the $17.50 cover charge. Classy guy at a classy act. Simply

reeks of credibility and exquisite musical taste.

3. Don Defoe, who played “Mr. B” on the television show “Hazel” gets a

free pack of “Mr. B” napkins from the restaurant

 

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of the same name after he eats there. Quite an honor. Inquiring

minds want to know: Did he order cole slaw like Ray-Gun did when

he ate there?

4. A Salt Lake City television station comes up with the

brainstorm of persuading the mostly Mormon Utah Delegation to

walk down Bourbon Street so they can tape their reaction.

“We’re not exposed,” so to speak, “to that type of thing in

Utah,” notes alternate delegate Nancy P. Nesmith. “We didn’t even

look. We just walked down the center of the straight looking

straight ahead.”

Yeah, sure. Like you didn’t even sneak a peak at the

swinging legs at Big Daddy’s. Join the crowd, babe, and chill.

5. The Repubs ratify a platform. Do what?

6. And oh, by the way, any dissenter who comes within four

blocks of the Superdome is arrested by N.O.P.D. utilizing Mardi

Gras tactics. The cops haul them away out of sight of Repubs

and scum media, as if either cared.

 

One woman is arrested for writing “register and vote” on a wall.

A group of Act-Up Aids activists are arrested for marching

in the direction of the Superdome.

Other dissenters are arrested for being beaten up by anti-abortion

terrorists. The save a fetus while screw the child crowd goes free.

In fact, the Orleans Parish Prison is filled to the brim with dissenters.

 

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Magistrates working in the wee hours of pre-dawn Wednesday

free prisoners on their own recognizance, fining them for all the money

they have in their pockets, saying protesters do not have to face any charges.

In other words, illegal arrests have been made simply to remove perceived troublemakers

from public exposure. Once the photo opportunities have ended, they are left to their own devices,

tired and hunry, for another day of fun in the sun.Nice having a Third World Banana Republic

in your own national backyard for such a useful function as a nationally irrelevant convention scandal.

No media mention of any protests. Except one feeble quote buried beneath the obituary page

inside the Slimes-Picayune from one John Mason, who calls himself an activist poet.

“I’d like to thank the police for being here. And I’d like to thank the media.

Otherwise I wouldn’t have an audience. In fact, I don’t have any audience at all.

I think that’s a very accurate reflection of New Orleans activism.”

 

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Yeah Mason, maybe you can say you were misquoted given the

Slimes Picayune’s reputation for inaccuracy. On the other hand,

maybe you fell from another planet. Thank the police, huh? You don’t get it, sir.

New Orleanians have seen the police tactics on an annual basis. They are

too smart to get themselves arrested for no reason and to no purpose.

The cops are throwing strictly out-of-town convention protesters in the Orleans Parish Hilton.

Tyger calls up the Village Voice telling a theoretically politically correct editor what is happening.

“Why don’t you write anything about what really is taking place?” Tyger asks. “I will send you the details.”

“No need to,” replies the thickly accented New Yawk new squawk editor. “We’ve got plenty of reporters

on the scene.They have the story covered.” Yeah, right.

Even the Village Voice has sold out to Ray-Gun Era bullshit

 

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jockeys and their own Peter Principle stupidity.

No, and you can look it up. There is not word boo about the

illegal mass arrests taking place even as the Repubs pay

fake homage on televised convention pack of lie speeches to the

American values of free speech they claim to defend. Not in the

so-called liberal Village Voice, nor anywhere.

But the Voice runs one hell of a special section about New

Orleans food, music, and apathetic lifestyles. They have it all

covered (up). Thanks for nothing, fellows. Sleep well.

Tomorrow is another day of shame.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

The convention hits full stride as

Tyger embarks on guerilla protest. He spends a lot of time with

convention protesters and reveals all the counter-culture events

pertaining to the gathering. Much time is spent at the Yippie

Peace Camp — the abandoned World’s Fair parking lot where the

box of troubles burned — and other Yippie events. Details of the

convention are considered and explained, as well as pertinent

historical correlations. The novel ends with a wrapping up of

details concerning the leading characters and relevant events.

 

CHAPTER 29

“Pie in the Sky at Peace Camp”

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By Wednesday August 17, Armor’s is mad as hell about events

pertaining to the convention. The utter banality of the proceedings,

coupled with the unbelievably unconstitutional nature

of unpublicized mass arrests convince him to take matters into his own hands.

Armor’s grabs Tyger by the proverbial lapel taking it to the streets. Guess who is driving.

About 11 a.m. on a typically hot and humid New Orleans mid-morning, Tyger climbs in the cockpit

of his muffler — not — bomb that somehow manages to navigate around town. Adjusting an

internal compass, he heads east beneath a cloudless sky for the streetcar line.

Armor’s  mission is simple. Seek out Republicants wherever they land, preferably in groups

of three and smaller, and destroy them with well placed barbs.

In other words, engage the invaders in one-on-one dogfights

using the quick verbal zap technique before fleeing the scene.

‘Tis a classic guerilla campaign thanks to General Giap’s handy

training manual with a hardy assist from Joe Fine mobile Israeli tactics.

 

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This way, mobility plus intimate knowledge of the area

can be used effectively to overwhelm the confused target and

defeat it. Then, executing a timely escape enables the

guerilla to seek and destroy another objective. The tactic has a

certain charm, plus the additional safety first factor.

Targets must be chosen carefully.

Of course, it is easy to spot delegates and their fellow travelers.

They stick out like Cajun pig sandwiches — cochon d’lait for the goyim —

at a kosher supper. Repub delegates are the ridiculous fools wearing

jackets and dress suits plastered with ridiculous badges,

buttons, and symbols. Fellow travelers, as well, are costumed in

formal wear of the poorest taste. They all seem to be gunning for

Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list. Quite a few appear to be making it.

First up at 11:15 high, Armor’s blows reefer, as Tyger avoids

radio contact due to the need to concentrate on prosecution of

the offensive. First up is an insipid “well dressed man” right out of

“Blue Velvet.” He looks quite lost along the neutral ground just

past Napoleon Avenue. Josephine this, baby.

 

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Tyger checks right and left; nobody else in the vicinity,

no traffic behind him, all systems a go go, big brother. Tyger

slows his vehicle to a crawl, waiting until the man looks his way.

Then, Armor’s  lets loose the initial volley of his personal guerrilla war on evil.

“Repuboscum faggot. Everybody hates your shitty guts,” boom boom boom.

Tyger speeds away, leaving the guy with a pissed off expression staring

at mother the car’s dust. Tyger checks in all directions. No one else has noticed.

Direct hit mission control. We bagged a dead live one. Armor’s is somewhat disappointed in his

initial encounter. The tactic works great, but he wants a more special brand of verbal abuse

for a special brand of inbred porkers. Another target about 11:30 a.m., 12 o’clock high

about 50 yards down the neutral ground. Looking bad, two Repubbubbly

women replete in hideous suit dress camouflage with tell-tale badges.

Tyger checks all directions, slows almost to a stop. Armor’s

attracts their attention by waving his right hand out the cockpit glass.

They take the bait, looking his way. “Hey bitches,” Armor’ yells.

“How many Contras have you fucked. Die, Repuboscums.”

The women appear highly disgusted in the rear view, leaving.

 

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Fun enough, but lame. While entertainment value

is high, verbiage, like snack rack, is a bit raw.

Armor’s spots three “young” Republicans lingering at the neutral ground.

“Hey assholes,” Armor’s yells at the short haired freaks,

“You like the Contras? Go to Nicaragua and die, chicken shit faggots.”

Boy should have been a military recruiter. Not. Slowing almost

to a stop, the masters of disaster elicits a direct gaze from the walking asshole.

Tyger pretends to be an ally flashing a wide happy face grin.

Armor’s turns his ass on the spit.

“No abortion,” Armor’s cries. “You should have been aborted GeoPig fat ass.

The world would be a better place. Abort this.”

Armor’s smacks left arm with right in the timeless fuck you obscene gesture.

Ker-boom! Bagged it mission control. Direct hit. Subject destroyed.

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Traffic thickens, worsening tactical advantages.

Time to return to home base, leaving well enough alone.

Repubs will vanish in two days, only so much passive-aggressive fun

to be had. The convention rolls through the next afternoon with the usually

sickening rhetoric heard by no one. Proceedings are not televised.

Conventioneers are disguised as empty seats.

Even if they were there, no one can hear anything due

to the failure of the recently installed $250,000 sound system.

It is, therefore, the perfect Republican gathing.

Nothing is being said.

No one is listening.

Sure beats working.

That evening Shrubby gets the coronation in a well orchestrated light comic opera.

An all-star celebrity cast takes over the ceremonial absurdities.

Charlton Heston recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Groovy.

Bob Dole, senior senator from Kansas and former Shrubby presidential opponent,

gives a kind of valedictory address.

“Four years from now we will say, thank God for George Bush,”

he screams to the deafened and dumbed-up listening audience.

 

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Joe Paterno pre-Sandusky disclosed child sex abuse scandal, and

Helen Hayes give Shrub seconding speeches.

“I’ll be damned if I sit here while people not fit to

carry George Bush’s shoes ridicule him,” Paterno says

of the nominated president who later refers to himself as Dr. Feelgood

while picking up young chicks in his post-presidential wheelchair.

Then, the artful dodger, Roger Staubach, keeping with the pigskin motif

introduces U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm who calls Democrats “amnesia merchants,”

talk about projection, adding that a President Michael Dukakis would

“wimp America and endanger world peace.” Enough foreplay, Shrub officially

“wins” the nomination Aug. 26, 1988 surpassing 1,139 delegates needed for coronation.

 

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At 11:08 p.m., future outrage George W. Shrubby Jr.

announces the Texas delegation’s 118 votes for dear old dad, ending all convention “suspense.”

The United States is officially doomed at that moment.

Tyger is not in the viewing audience.

He is on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny joining the anti-matter

partying hardy at a Cafe Brasil benefit for the Yippie Peace Camp.

Late to the political — if it’s not fun is it a — “party,” Yippies have set up camp

at the deserted 1984 World’s Fair parking are underneath the Greater

New Orleans Bridge by the Robin Street Wharf.

(The place where the 1987 box of troubles burned to high heaven.)

Tyger takes Armor’s with him to the street party, looping along Rampart Street,

avoiding the French Quarter zombie night of the living dead traffic.

A right on Esplanade Avenue and Arrivederci Repuboscum GeOPig amnesia merchants;

yippie-ca-yay cayenne, howdy wowee zowee Yippies.

A sparse yet highly colorful group gathers on Frenchmen’s Street

more or less randomly milling outside the small coffee bar.

Only a few locally familiar faces present, present arms.

Congregants mainly hail from the national traveling circus.

Long hairs a’plenty, fit to be tie-dyed t-shirts,

somewhat grubby exteriors and mysterious interiors.

 

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Wandering lost souls listen through pained glass outside Cafe

Brasil to the Dadbaggies inside rocking and rolling.

Yes comrades, welcome to the ultimate outside at the inside

experience. Those for whom the benefit is staged, refuse to

attend. Just a habit picked up through many years of exclusion

from the system. How is that for purity of spirit.

A familiar soul wanders up to the Tyger-Armor’s connection

filling them in on the current scenario. It is Ralph, a well-known

local validator of significant experiences.

What it is Ralph? “Isn’t this typically funny,” he observes.

“The Yippies are down here for the convention but there is

nothing happening around town, as usual.”

“Yippies eh?” Tyger notes with interest. “Didn’t think there were any left.”

“Oh yeah,” Ralph states. “Over there is the former editor of

Overthrow magazine, the former Yippie newspaper. And over there,

that fat guy in the tie-dye,”

“Which one?” Tyger asks. “That one,” Ralph points. “Do you

know who that is?” “No.”

“That’s Aron Kay, the pie guy. The guy who pied Phyllis

Schafley, John Haldeman, Henry Kissinger, Hubert Humphrey, Norman

Mailer, and a cast of thousands.” “Very impressive.”

Armor’s busies himself schmoozing with a better dressed man

as the Dadbaggies display a curious blend of rockabilly mixed

 

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with art rock noise. Tyger approaches the pie guy cautiously. You never know.

“Hey dude,” Tyger greets. “Heard you’re the guy with the pies. What’s happening?”

“You heard right,” he replies affable and ever not so humble pie.

“I’ve pied all the rotten celebrities and politicians of our time

from Merv Griffin and Charo all the way down to Spiro Agnew and John Mitchell.”

“I used to read the Pie Times supplement to Overthrow Magazine,” Tyger says,

“What’s your secret to success?”

“Simple,” replies the huge as a wildebeest bearded pie throwing artist.

“Pick your spot, get a nice cream filled pastry, plaster them right between the eyes.

The bigger they are, the harder they take a pie in the face. It’s an educational device.”

Very down-to-earth in your face approach to practical politics.

“Pied anyone good recently?” Tyger asks.

“Got Mayor Koch the other day,” Pie Guy says. “Nice coconut cream job smack in the kisser.

Had a bad attitude about it though. Some people just do not know

how to take a pie. What a waste.” The former editor of Overthrow Magazine,

a thin aging Yippie with long straggly grey hair is dancing like a Turkish dervish,

whirling in the black night with a blanket around his head.

 

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A little girl, about six years old, mimics his motions like a small Javanese shadow puppet.

“See that beautiful maiden dancing there,” Aron pie Kay guy asks.

“That’s my daughter Rainbow. What a sight. A new generation growing.”

Short attention span theater takes a break-in to higher consciousness.

Aron joins the dancing fools on the sidewalk.

Tyger, now feeling quite at home with the visitors, approaches another fellow traveler.

“What is the deal with that long flat bed truck with the loudspeakers on the corner?”

“Oh yeah man,” answers a long hair. “That’s the Peace Truck. We own the cab, rent

the flatbed. We have been taking it around to Rock Against Racism rallies.

Our plan is ssimple. We stage heavy metal, and rock and roll performances

from the truck to attract the younger crowd of kids. That is where our future lies.

We bring them in with the music, then give them a good old political re-education.

You would be surprised at how receptive they are to our message because we tell it like it is.

Those Reagan fuckers might think they have won the battle, but we will win the war.

Reagan shitheads don’t even realize that they have already lost.

 

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Their greed and hubris has already sown the seed of their ultimate defeat.

The future belongs to the righteous purveyors of truth.”

“If you say so,” suspends Tyger disbelief.

“We must be strong,” Sir Yipster  continues. “Solidarity in numbers.

One person can make a difference. You add one plus one to get two

Two plus to two to get four. Four plus four to get the idea until so forth

and so on and so forth, numbers vaster than ocean waters, overwhelming

any land-stuck obstacles in their way. Greed eventually turns upon itself like a worm,

entirely consumed by truth. Our day will come.”

Such is the promise of karma. Such the opposite effect of hubris,

a sin Ray-Gun junkies possess in spades and is used with a spade to bury them forever.

Figuratively speaking.

 

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Peace Camp numbers are small, yet they possess the ultimate power

to stand one day stand above the Repub’s shallow graves, dancing John Belushi style

through the sands of time overturning. Hooray for the triumph of the spirit

signified in a small counter-cultural bash for the people

while the evil ignorant rip­off artists toast themselves in perceived victory

even as they are being soundly defeated in the street

by powerful forces invisible to their blind eyes.

Or so it seems one hot summer day Dadbaggies beating bummers.

Armor’s is swept away by the moment. He springs

like a Mexican jumping bean on top of the Peace Truck

“Fuck you Repubpscum loser Nazis,” Armor’s cries.

“We will bury you in the shit you pooped.”

Or not.

About 25 goodly souls facing Mecca politely applaud.

“Sometimes your buddy Armor’s makes a lot of sense,” Ralph says.

“Sometimes is a great notion,” Tyger replies.

 

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“Not often,” continues the tall lean Ralph machine, “but sometimes.”

“You got to give the boy credit,” Tyger adds extra. “When he is right, he is awesome.”

If only. Armor’s now stands silently, right fist skyward, saluting eternity

frozen like a Grecian urn in time. Yippies fill Tyger in about the final day’s activities

commemorating the convention’s dead end. They plan to take Peace Truck over to Peace Camp,

bivouac there. Strange as it may seem to outsiders, Peace Camp is indeed

the safest spot for dissent in all of the Crescent City. Cops don’t even bother because

why should they. Peace Camp is well out of sight and out of its mind.

 

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More power to them for they know not what they ignore.

Fine for the righteous, as well who, not bothered by authorities

unconcerned, live in joyous anarchy taking LSD and smoking reefer

until they are crunked bent; sharing food and raising political consciousness.

Tyger will be there manana. But first, another sleepy

night must pass and day follow as it always does.

Tyger awakens about 10 a.m. still joyously hung over from

the night before. He briefly retraces his guerilla neutral ground

sorties zapping along Jackson Avenue before turning around towards

the home hangers. He claims a few confirmed kills before stopping

at noon for the “All My Children” update. A good day for a good day

is well at hand.  The cool spirit flows despite stifling heat. Repub subs

should be well on their piggy ways within 24 hours. Life will return to

what passes for normal in the Big Easy. Given Mardi Gras training,

Tyger can do the remaining time standing, like Igor, on his head.

College junior repubs hand out “Get out of Jail Free,” cards

 

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that at the bottom add “compliments of Michael Dukakis,”

referring to the Massachusetts prison furlough program

soon to be immortalized by Shrub’s Willie Horton demagoguery.

The Repubs are completely hung over by their stay in the Big Easy.

They now wallow in smug self-congratulations.

“The system works,” exclaims John K. Wu, a delegate from Delaware beware.

(“Now, aren’t we pleased with ourselves,” observes the wise Church Lady.)

“Wednesday was the day the party pooped,” notes Susan Brenna of Long Island New York’s Newsday.

“A combination of rich cuisine, abundant watering holes, the stimulation of star-mingling with senators,

Pat B(o)one and too many free feeds, Wednesday’s schedule included

118 pre- and post-session fetes finally had its effect on the Republicans.”

Even New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, an African-American Democrat supposedly

is swept away by the “good” feelings. “It was very important to pull this off,” he notes,

apparently referring to pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, selling out the city,

“to show that the public and private sector  could work together. I think we’ll reap the benefits

of this for years to come.” (Think again. History shows this to be the last such outing

at New Orleans as the city hits rock bottom during his maladministration.

 

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The good mayor is too busy taking trips financed by developers, records

and news accounts show, to look after the interests of his constituency.)

The pre-packaged media presentation actually loses viewers

during the week. Only 18.4 million Americans — 40 percent of

those watching the boob tube at the time watch Shrub’s acceptance

speech, a decline of nearly two million from opening night

festivities. Popular dude, Herr Shrub.

In the equally moronic acceptable to Repuboscum fake

protester department, one Jack Defandorf, if that is his name,

claims to the media newsflakehounds: “The thing that bothers me

is where are the people of New Orleans? I don’t know if they’re

afraid the CIA is taking pictures of them or what, but I know

there are a lot of people who don’t agree with the policies of

the Republicans. Where are they hiding?”

Peace Camp, that island of serenity set among tall weeds and

broken glass that once — teemed? — with World’s Fair non-traffic

as that developer’s bonanza went bust. (Oh, developers

boomed along alright making gobs of money after the taxpayers of

Louisiana were forced by then Gov. Edwin Edwards to bail the

 

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financiers out with state funding.) Damn wham thank you ma’am.

Why won’t they get the government off our backs? Hahaha. The laugh is on us.

Peace Camp is the one place in the City that Care Forgot

where the Bill of Rights  — among those rights, freedom of

expression — actually is cherished. It is the only place locally

where the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence rings true. We

would be a lot better off if the Republicans knew what was

declared in the document. It begins:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are

created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty

and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers

from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of

Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of

the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new

Government, laying its foundation on such Principles, and

organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most

likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Ring a bell libertarians? Hell, we have already witnessed

the fate of anyone muttering the previous sentiments while

 

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walking towards the Superdome within four blocks of that facility.

They get arrested. Comrades in search of an accurately recalled

Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights must conclude that it is

not in vogue during the last week of August 1988 circa New Orleans.

The American flag lapel poseurs have replaced the shining

light of truth with their squalid imitation of death-in-life just

like any run-of-the-mill tinhorn dictatorship.

These free floating spirits at Peace Camp dance in pure joy,

even as the Repubs  conclude their exercise in cynical deceit

for public consumption. About 50 survivors of the previous

psychic holocaust have passed through to the other side, left by

the forces of oppression in splendid isolation to lay the karmic

foundation for a coming coalition of truth and justice.

 

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Peace Truck as centerpiece is outlined against a red-and-orange background stretched

half a football field in length. A local dog and pony duo butchers Bb Dylan songs

while tiny groups of suddenly best buds mingle, sharing philosophical discourse, food,

drink, acid, reefer, and laughter. “Safest spot in town,” reiterates Sir Aron of the pie toss.

“Isn’t a cop within miles.” All smiles. Well dressed suit and tie type festooned with badges and

politically incorrect buttons stands out in the crown not caring.Who is this guy anyway, a police plant?

“Hey, what is the deal with the get-up?” Tyger asks as he approaches the suit.

“Why, don’t I look nice. Aren’t I with it? Isn’t this great?” rat-a-tat-tats the cheshire cat,

grin only showing. “Don’t I make a fine Republican delegate?” “Say what?”

Pie guy, ever the scoundrel, joins the conversation. “You look great. How’s it going pal?”

bear-hugging da suit who smiles brightly; responding,”Going much better inside the convention.

You know, they have air conditioning, free food and everything.”

 

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Tyger begins to buoy along in the drift. “Wait a second,”

he stops time. “You aren’t really a delegate…are you?”

“I’m not? I have all the proper credentials.”

“Come on man. Come clean. You a Yippie, right?”

“That doesn’t mean I can’t attend the convention. I am a Yippie Republican. Yay!”

Laughing laughing nitrous fit subsides finally as Tyger

looks over the Yippie Republican’s, er, credentials.

“These are fake, right?” he concludes.

“Well, no one has stopped me from going anywhere I want yet.

I certainly have not been arrested.”

“Tell me about the inside of the convention,” Tyger asks the

Yippie infiltrator. “What is it like being outside on the inside?”

“Weeeeeeelllllll, they are very comfortable. Food is great.

Can’t hear what’s going on, but no one cares. I have been inside

every day, observing their sheepish behavior. Bah bah bah. Freaked out rabble.

l fit right in, but of course I have to be blasted out of

my mind with acid and marijuana to appreciate the completely

horrific ambiance. Overall, I have enjoyed myself. It has been fun.

 

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Hope to attend the next one too. Maybe bring along a bomb or something,

just for an additional thrill. Ker-boom! Hahaha. That will shake em

out of their lethargy some.” Tyger laughs his ass off as well dressed imposter,

pie guy, pie guy daughter, dance to the next group;

what do you know, the Dadbaggies again.

Guess the New Neanderthals couldn’t be bothered for such a politically correct event.

Roots and Heave are around some nowhere land pretending they are “Democrats,”

Good, just keep out of the way of the real event.

Hypes like them give Repubs the excuse to give liberals a bad name.

Sign reading “Evil U.S. Empire out of the Persian Gulf,”

prophetically hangs from the elongated Peace Truck

sound system flatbed. Two young acolytes stroll around

distributing small pieces of paper to all who desire.

Tyger checks it out and, yes comrades, it is indeed LSD.

Not just any acid either, but the purest acid

America’s finest somewhat secret San Francisco scientists

ever have developed. Outasight. Outamind.

Take another hit, immediately appreciating the awesome purity of acidic perfection.

Wowee-zowee, finally having fun, yes.

Quick surveillance of the scene reveals the total ecstasy

of unfettered by authority monumental anarchy of the highest karmic moment.

 

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Former editor of Overthrow walks in a straight — for him — line towards the bridge.

Pretty girl walks the opposite direction south to a portalet left behind by a wayward

construction crew knocking off work early. Small groups of countercultural types maintain commos,

smoking blunts, passing around a wine-skin, trading literature and free expressions of opinion sorta

promised by the Declaration of Independence as codified by the U.S. Constitution. African-American

rastaman sells Tyger a colorful peace symbol cloth suspended from a silly string that Tyger

slips around his neck. The guy also hands Tyger a flyer for a group called U.M.O.N,

“United Mankind Organizing Naturally.” Tall thin man, about 30 years old with

long grey Elijah the Prophet beard and countenance, sits on a car passing out

orange pamphlets to the ever-curious. Meet Calvin Peterson from Kansas City, Mo.

Tyger trades internal New Orleans gossip for Calvin’s great work,

titled”The Truth Has Been Thrown To The Ground.”

 

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The name of Calvin’s game is that he is sick of the U.S. Government’s oppression

of its people in general and himself in particular. He feels “the government” naturally

wants him to leave the country, and he wants to leave. Only catch, he ain’t got no money.

Therefore, he has been walking around town looking as grungy as possible trying

to sell his pamphlet to GO(im)P(osters) based on the premise their contributions will get

him out of their hair sooner, which is what everyone wants. The ingenious tactic

is not working very well, so he has a lot of these pamphlets left. He is trying

to hawk to those at Peace Camp to those perhaps are a bit more amenable to his message.

“I hate the God of the Easter Bunny,” rails Calvin to Tyger listening with acidically amplified attention.

“This is the nation of the Easter Bunny, of Santa Claus, of the false symbol. We have forgotten

our past and substituted the fake for real. I have given the matter of searching for the truth of my life

a high priority. I tell you Tyger Williams, the God of the Easter Bunny is a false prophet.”

Alrighty then. Tyger thumbs through the 50-page anti-tome. It’s inevitable conclusion:

“If everybody that loved this country sent one dollar, thousands of my people could be set free to live

 

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some place far away from your great society where you would not have t look upon them again.

They would not sleep in your streets anymore, or panhandle for your change. Could you think

of a better way to spend what is your labor than to send the homeless, the poor, the lame,

and those in captivity far away from you. Send you payment today,so we leave immediately without delay.

When the list of those who donated to send us away is published, would not you want your name

to be on there so your friends and neighbors can see you sent those ungrateful people

far away from your presence, you had a hand in ridding those people from your places.

Send your farewell gifts to: CALVIN PETERSON; P.O. Box 17634; Kansas City, MO 64123.”

Tyger nods his head in agreement as he looks up. “If you say so Calvin. I just gave my last dollar

to the rasta guy for the peace symbol cloth. But good luck.”

Bless his soul, Calvin understands. “Yeah, it is tough getting out of here,” he says.

“You would think the Republicans would want us to go in the worst way. But, they don’t seem to care.”

“No shit, Sherlock. it’s a strange world.”

Moving on, a box flyers squat unattended near Tyger’s mother the car.

He asks the closest person nearby, a girl with short sandy hair,

who belongs to the stack of attacks. No sale.

 

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They are titled: “BUSH IS GUILTY!… THIRTY YEARS OF DIRTY TRICKS & TREASON.”

Watergate: Bush, implicated in dirty tricks as head of Republican National Convention,

narrowly escaped being named unindicted co-conspirator; 1980: Bush, one of two or three principals

who actually flies to Europe to negotiate Treason: In return for assuring Reagan’s election by holding

the hostages an additional three months, the Ayatollah gets a better deal than the one

being offered by Carter. On behalf of U.S. Intelligence, Bush promises to facilitate

both the arms and heroin business interrupted by Carter. Other charges include various Bush

dealings with Panama strongman Manuel Noriega, tax breaks for associates, and various involvement

with other drug-related activity. Tyger places the flyers in his car, remembering he has

a time-worn mini-cassette recorder previously used for insurance investigating in the glove compartment.

He retrieves the tape recorder in order to record the final moments of Peace Camp as Dan Fail

is nominated veep and the convention winds down.

 

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What follows is a partial telling of the tape:

 

“They are probably starting to play baseball in some distant stadium.

But here, the peace truck rallies on proving that you can’t have too much fun

at a place like this except when you’re …

Look at he colors; orange, red pink, on the wharf, it is

approximately 7:35 (p.m.), sun is setting, so it is actually

an incredibly beautiful vista. Kid you not.

And that guy is not even waiting to use the porta-let.

He is just kind of using whatever is available, I suppose.

The former editor of Overthrow Magazine is speechifying. Let’s listen.

‘I want to explain for a minute a couple of banners we have

up here,’ he begins, long grey hair flowing in the evening breeze.

‘It wasn’t me that came up with this evil empire business,

after all. It was Ronald Reagan. He said that anyone who shoots down a civilian air

liner is an evil empire. You qualify if you shoot down a civilian airliner.

So, either the United States should quit acting like an evil empire

in shooting down those civilians or they should get out.

And this other thing over here on the end of the cab is a personal message

to you from Peter Tosh who came up with the design before he unfortunately lost his life

in a dispute over the music business which in Jamaica can sometimes can be fatal.

But his idea, this symbol — we’re trying to popularize it.

The idea was that we don’t think the government can solve anything.

We are the only people who can solve things and that is by taking

our own lives into our own hands. And we just happen to believe

that herbs are safer than refined chemicals. Rock Against Racism

brought this truck and this concert to this parking lot tonight in order

to celebrate a significant event, the self-annihilation, the suicide if you will,

of the Republican Party, who at this time across town is finishing the nomination process

to elect as their nominee just about the most unpopular guy in America in political life.

So, the only good thing we can say about the Regan years is

it’s over. Thanks God they didn’t blow up the world, although they really

fucked up the ozone layer. But we will have to deal with that

under the next guys.'”

 

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The event rolls to a conclusion within the endless tape loop

with which we have grown familiar. The final band scheduled to play,

a lame punk rock outfit called the Scandals, disagree with the Peace Truck banners.

They refuse to perform. The rally disintegrates in anarchy and darkness.

So it ends and begins on the same blank page, comrades, of

what can be set down about Tyger Williams’ life and times

between Christmas Day 1987, a good Friday, and the last day of

the Republican National Convention on Thursday August 18, 1988.

Shrubby and his minions finish their dirty little business

at the Superdome, blasting into outer space, fleeing the Big Easy

as if a fire alarm suddenly has been sounded. Tyger, under cover

of nightfall, returns to his Uptown apartment, catching Cubs-Padres from the West Coast.

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! Americans lose! All is as it always is with the world of 1988.

Time continues to flow beyond the range of our thick file on a small portion

of subject Williams’ activities. An accounting never can be completely made as he,

and associates timelessly walk the earth engaging in their various trials and tribulations.

This much can be appended to the public file for the purposes

of a summation on a need to know basis;

 

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Armor’s is the first of that old gang of Tyger’s to evacuate these hallowed shores.

He has had it with the urban lifestyle, retreating to a life of quiet contemplation

in rural California at the foothills of a national park that shall remain nameless in

order to preserve his privacy. Shortly thereafter, Mac takes his world to the quiet little

burg of Barataria — the resting place for the pirate Jean Lafitte — southwest of New Orleans,

past the national park just off Lake Salvador.Mr . Milty disappears suddenly one fine night,

loading up a moving van — sort of like the Baltimore Colts — eventually

emerging in the Texas Hill Country where his Belt of Tools band

becomes a local sensation. He is heard from only on special and surprising occasions.

Sandy Alexander, along with wife Mary Ann, relocate to the mountains of western

North Carolina, so they can raise a family in a friendly hard-working place, the total opposite

of the steamy and lazy Big Easy environment. More power to them. Dorothy LaFleur has

a bouncing baby girl whom she dresses in lovely pink ribbons and pretty flowered dresses.

She assumes the role of working mother-housewife as Jack rises to a position of

small importance in her father’s warehouse business. Fine, and Joe Fine?

What of the Super Sleuth, one wonders. Who knows.

 

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He disappears from the known universe possibly

maintaining a useful undercover existence that he finds

personally satisfying. Perhaps, he finally snares the evil Bingo

LeBeouf. No telling, although one can only hope.

And the other extras, heroes and villains alike, considered

for these purposes in the same breath. To the heroes: Well done.

We have psychic medals in the closet should you come over for

brunch. To the villains: Who cares. Get fucked. You suck.

Tyger, Tyger, what of the centerpiece around whom the others

revolved? What of the dear boy with whom we have sat surveillance

these wonderful, awful, groovy, horrible moments, and all that

could be cited in-between? What of the Tygermeister brewery of

consciousness drunk deeply?

Well comrades, he is well. As noted earlier, all is well

that is well ended. Tyger gets by for those who try and never

quit, never say “enough,” never give up the ghost, never die.

As John Heisman — after whom is named the trophy signifying

the best player in college football — told his Rice Institute

(now University) football team at half-time in a 1924 game they

were losing: “A team that won’t be beat can’t be beat.”

And the Fighting Owls flew out that second half and kicked

some sorry Longhorn butt, dominating a squad from the much larger

University of Texas, 19-6.

Yes, Tyger Williams and all he stood for, sat for, wished for,

 

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lived for, lives on in your well wishes and the memory

elicited through these long pages. We leave him for now as we found him,

a figment of the mind’s eye imagination, a surreal out-of-body, place and time

existential presence sitting by the lake at Audubon Park, flipping pebbles

into the placid waters, watching circles crop, expand and disappear.

He dreams of a beautiful dancer, of that equally beautiful time

when all of God’s slaves are free.

Only you can make that happen, comrades of the sacred moment.

You have Tyger’s best wishes as forever you strive,

succeeding through that striving,

regardless of final outcome.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

The convention hits full stride as

Tyger embarks on guerilla protest. He spends a lot of time with

convention protesters and reveals all the counter-culture events

pertaining to the gathering. Much time is spent at the Yippie

Peace Camp — the abandoned World’s Fair parking lot where the

box of troubles burned — and other Yippie events. Details of the

convention are considered and explained, as well as pertinent

historical correlations. The novel ends with a wrapping up of

details concerning the leading characters and relevant events.

 

CHAPTER 29

“Pie in the Sky at Peace Camp”

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By Wednesday August 17, Armor’s is mad as hell about events

pertaining to the convention. The utter banality of the proceedings,

coupled with the unbelievably unconstitutional nature

of unpublicized mass arrests convince him to take matters into his own hands.

Armor’s grabs Tyger by the proverbial lapel taking it to the streets. Guess who is driving.

About 11 a.m. on a typically hot and humid New Orleans mid-morning, Tyger climbs in the cockpit

of his muffler — not — bomb that somehow manages to navigate around town. Adjusting an

internal compass, he heads east beneath a cloudless sky for the streetcar line.

Armor’s  mission is simple. Seek out Republicants wherever they land, preferably in groups

of three and smaller, and destroy them with well placed barbs.

In other words, engage the invaders in one-on-one dogfights

using the quick verbal zap technique before fleeing the scene.

‘Tis a classic guerilla campaign thanks to General Giap’s handy

training manual with a hardy assist from Joe Fine mobile Israeli tactics.

 

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This way, mobility plus intimate knowledge of the area

can be used effectively to overwhelm the confused target and

defeat it. Then, executing a timely escape enables the

guerilla to seek and destroy another objective. The tactic has a

certain charm, plus the additional safety first factor.

Targets must be chosen carefully.

Of course, it is easy to spot delegates and their fellow travelers.

They stick out like Cajun pig sandwiches — cochon d’lait for the goyim —

at a kosher supper. Repub delegates are the ridiculous fools wearing

jackets and dress suits plastered with ridiculous badges,

buttons, and symbols. Fellow travelers, as well, are costumed in

formal wear of the poorest taste. They all seem to be gunning for

Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list. Quite a few appear to be making it.

First up at 11:15 high, Armor’s blows reefer, as Tyger avoids

radio contact due to the need to concentrate on prosecution of

the offensive. First up is an insipid “well dressed man” right out of

“Blue Velvet.” He looks quite lost along the neutral ground just

past Napoleon Avenue. Josephine this, baby.

 

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Tyger checks right and left; nobody else in the vicinity,

no traffic behind him, all systems a go go, big brother. Tyger

slows his vehicle to a crawl, waiting until the man looks his way.

Then, Armor’s  lets loose the initial volley of his personal guerrilla war on evil.

“Repuboscum faggot. Everybody hates your shitty guts,” boom boom boom.

Tyger speeds away, leaving the guy with a pissed off expression staring

at mother the car’s dust. Tyger checks in all directions. No one else has noticed.

Direct hit mission control. We bagged a dead live one. Armor’s is somewhat disappointed in his

initial encounter. The tactic works great, but he wants a more special brand of verbal abuse

for a special brand of inbred porkers. Another target about 11:30 a.m., 12 o’clock high

about 50 yards down the neutral ground. Looking bad, two Repubbubbly

women replete in hideous suit dress camouflage with tell-tale badges.

Tyger checks all directions, slows almost to a stop. Armor’s

attracts their attention by waving his right hand out the cockpit glass.

They take the bait, looking his way. “Hey bitches,” Armor’ yells.

“How many Contras have you fucked. Die, Repuboscums.”

The women appear highly disgusted in the rear view, leaving.

 

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Fun enough, but lame. While entertainment value

is high, verbiage, like snack rack, is a bit raw.

Armor’s spots three “young” Republicans lingering at the neutral ground.

“Hey assholes,” Armor’s yells at the short haired freaks,

“You like the Contras? Go to Nicaragua and die, chicken shit faggots.”

Boy should have been a military recruiter. Not. Slowing almost

to a stop, the masters of disaster elicits a direct gaze from the walking asshole.

Tyger pretends to be an ally flashing a wide happy face grin.

Armor’s turns his ass on the spit.

“No abortion,” Armor’s cries. “You should have been aborted GeoPig fat ass.

The world would be a better place. Abort this.”

Armor’s smacks left arm with right in the timeless fuck you obscene gesture.

Ker-boom! Bagged it mission control. Direct hit. Subject destroyed.

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Traffic thickens, worsening tactical advantages.

Time to return to home base, leaving well enough alone.

Repubs will vanish in two days, only so much passive-aggressive fun

to be had. The convention rolls through the next afternoon with the usually

sickening rhetoric heard by no one. Proceedings are not televised.

Conventioneers are disguised as empty seats.

Even if they were there, no one can hear anything due

to the failure of the recently installed $250,000 sound system.

It is, therefore, the perfect Republican gathing.

Nothing is being said.

No one is listening.

Sure beats working.

That evening Shrubby gets the coronation in a well orchestrated light comic opera.

An all-star celebrity cast takes over the ceremonial absurdities.

Charlton Heston recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Groovy.

Bob Dole, senior senator from Kansas and former Shrubby presidential opponent,

gives a kind of valedictory address.

“Four years from now we will say, thank God for George Bush,”

he screams to the deafened and dumbed-up listening audience.

 

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Joe Paterno pre-Sandusky disclosed child sex abuse scandal, and

Helen Hayes give Shrub seconding speeches.

“I’ll be damned if I sit here while people not fit to

carry George Bush’s shoes ridicule him,” Paterno says

of the nominated president who later refers to himself as Dr. Feelgood

while picking up young chicks in his post-presidential wheelchair.

Then, the artful dodger, Roger Staubach, keeping with the pigskin motif

introduces U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm who calls Democrats “amnesia merchants,”

talk about projection, adding that a President Michael Dukakis would

“wimp America and endanger world peace.” Enough foreplay, Shrub officially

“wins” the nomination Aug. 26, 1988 surpassing 1,139 delegates needed for coronation.

 

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At 11:08 p.m., future outrage George W. Shrubby Jr.

announces the Texas delegation’s 118 votes for dear old dad, ending all convention “suspense.”

The United States is officially doomed at that moment.

Tyger is not in the viewing audience.

He is on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny joining the anti-matter

partying hardy at a Cafe Brasil benefit for the Yippie Peace Camp.

Late to the political — if it’s not fun is it a — “party,” Yippies have set up camp

at the deserted 1984 World’s Fair parking are underneath the Greater

New Orleans Bridge by the Robin Street Wharf.

(The place where the 1987 box of troubles burned to high heaven.)

Tyger takes Armor’s with him to the street party, looping along Rampart Street,

avoiding the French Quarter zombie night of the living dead traffic.

A right on Esplanade Avenue and Arrivederci Repuboscum GeOPig amnesia merchants;

yippie-ca-yay cayenne, howdy wowee zowee Yippies.

A sparse yet highly colorful group gathers on Frenchmen’s Street

more or less randomly milling outside the small coffee bar.

Only a few locally familiar faces present, present arms.

Congregants mainly hail from the national traveling circus.

Long hairs a’plenty, fit to be tie-dyed t-shirts,

somewhat grubby exteriors and mysterious interiors.

 

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Wandering lost souls listen through pained glass outside Cafe

Brasil to the Dadbaggies inside rocking and rolling.

Yes comrades, welcome to the ultimate outside at the inside

experience. Those for whom the benefit is staged, refuse to

attend. Just a habit picked up through many years of exclusion

from the system. How is that for purity of spirit.

A familiar soul wanders up to the Tyger-Armor’s connection

filling them in on the current scenario. It is Ralph, a well-known

local validator of significant experiences.

What it is Ralph? “Isn’t this typically funny,” he observes.

“The Yippies are down here for the convention but there is

nothing happening around town, as usual.”

“Yippies eh?” Tyger notes with interest. “Didn’t think there were any left.”

“Oh yeah,” Ralph states. “Over there is the former editor of

Overthrow magazine, the former Yippie newspaper. And over there,

that fat guy in the tie-dye,”

“Which one?” Tyger asks. “That one,” Ralph points. “Do you

know who that is?” “No.”

“That’s Aron Kay, the pie guy. The guy who pied Phyllis

Schafley, John Haldeman, Henry Kissinger, Hubert Humphrey, Norman

Mailer, and a cast of thousands.” “Very impressive.”

Armor’s busies himself schmoozing with a better dressed man

as the Dadbaggies display a curious blend of rockabilly mixed

 

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with art rock noise. Tyger approaches the pie guy cautiously. You never know.

“Hey dude,” Tyger greets. “Heard you’re the guy with the pies. What’s happening?”

“You heard right,” he replies affable and ever not so humble pie.

“I’ve pied all the rotten celebrities and politicians of our time

from Merv Griffin and Charo all the way down to Spiro Agnew and John Mitchell.”

“I used to read the Pie Times supplement to Overthrow Magazine,” Tyger says,

“What’s your secret to success?”

“Simple,” replies the huge as a wildebeest bearded pie throwing artist.

“Pick your spot, get a nice cream filled pastry, plaster them right between the eyes.

The bigger they are, the harder they take a pie in the face. It’s an educational device.”

Very down-to-earth in your face approach to practical politics.

“Pied anyone good recently?” Tyger asks.

“Got Mayor Koch the other day,” Pie Guy says. “Nice coconut cream job smack in the kisser.

Had a bad attitude about it though. Some people just do not know

how to take a pie. What a waste.” The former editor of Overthrow Magazine,

a thin aging Yippie with long straggly grey hair is dancing like a Turkish dervish,

whirling in the black night with a blanket around his head.

 

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A little girl, about six years old, mimics his motions like a small Javanese shadow puppet.

“See that beautiful maiden dancing there,” Aron pie Kay guy asks.

“That’s my daughter Rainbow. What a sight. A new generation growing.”

Short attention span theater takes a break-in to higher consciousness.

Aron joins the dancing fools on the sidewalk.

Tyger, now feeling quite at home with the visitors, approaches another fellow traveler.

“What is the deal with that long flat bed truck with the loudspeakers on the corner?”

“Oh yeah man,” answers a long hair. “That’s the Peace Truck. We own the cab, rent

the flatbed. We have been taking it around to Rock Against Racism rallies.

Our plan is ssimple. We stage heavy metal, and rock and roll performances

from the truck to attract the younger crowd of kids. That is where our future lies.

We bring them in with the music, then give them a good old political re-education.

You would be surprised at how receptive they are to our message because we tell it like it is.

Those Reagan fuckers might think they have won the battle, but we will win the war.

Reagan shitheads don’t even realize that they have already lost.

 

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Their greed and hubris has already sown the seed of their ultimate defeat.

The future belongs to the righteous purveyors of truth.”

“If you say so,” suspends Tyger disbelief.

“We must be strong,” Sir Yipster  continues. “Solidarity in numbers.

One person can make a difference. You add one plus one to get two

Two plus to two to get four. Four plus four to get the idea until so forth

and so on and so forth, numbers vaster than ocean waters, overwhelming

any land-stuck obstacles in their way. Greed eventually turns upon itself like a worm,

entirely consumed by truth. Our day will come.”

Such is the promise of karma. Such the opposite effect of hubris,

a sin Ray-Gun junkies possess in spades and is used with a spade to bury them forever.

Figuratively speaking.

 

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Peace Camp numbers are small, yet they possess the ultimate power

to stand one day stand above the Repub’s shallow graves, dancing John Belushi style

through the sands of time overturning. Hooray for the triumph of the spirit

signified in a small counter-cultural bash for the people

while the evil ignorant rip­off artists toast themselves in perceived victory

even as they are being soundly defeated in the street

by powerful forces invisible to their blind eyes.

Or so it seems one hot summer day Dadbaggies beating bummers.

Armor’s is swept away by the moment. He springs

like a Mexican jumping bean on top of the Peace Truck

“Fuck you Repubpscum loser Nazis,” Armor’s cries.

“We will bury you in the shit you pooped.”

Or not.

About 25 goodly souls facing Mecca politely applaud.

“Sometimes your buddy Armor’s makes a lot of sense,” Ralph says.

“Sometimes is a great notion,” Tyger replies.

 

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“Not often,” continues the tall lean Ralph machine, “but sometimes.”

“You got to give the boy credit,” Tyger adds extra. “When he is right, he is awesome.”

If only. Armor’s now stands silently, right fist skyward, saluting eternity

frozen like a Grecian urn in time. Yippies fill Tyger in about the final day’s activities

commemorating the convention’s dead end. They plan to take Peace Truck over to Peace Camp,

bivouac there. Strange as it may seem to outsiders, Peace Camp is indeed

the safest spot for dissent in all of the Crescent City. Cops don’t even bother because

why should they. Peace Camp is well out of sight and out of its mind.

 

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More power to them for they know not what they ignore.

Fine for the righteous, as well who, not bothered by authorities

unconcerned, live in joyous anarchy taking LSD and smoking reefer

until they are crunked bent; sharing food and raising political consciousness.

Tyger will be there manana. But first, another sleepy

night must pass and day follow as it always does.

Tyger awakens about 10 a.m. still joyously hung over from

the night before. He briefly retraces his guerilla neutral ground

sorties zapping along Jackson Avenue before turning around towards

the home hangers. He claims a few confirmed kills before stopping

at noon for the “All My Children” update. A good day for a good day

is well at hand.  The cool spirit flows despite stifling heat. Repub subs

should be well on their piggy ways within 24 hours. Life will return to

what passes for normal in the Big Easy. Given Mardi Gras training,

Tyger can do the remaining time standing, like Igor, on his head.

College junior repubs hand out “Get out of Jail Free,” cards

 

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that at the bottom add “compliments of Michael Dukakis,”

referring to the Massachusetts prison furlough program

soon to be immortalized by Shrub’s Willie Horton demagoguery.

The Repubs are completely hung over by their stay in the Big Easy.

They now wallow in smug self-congratulations.

“The system works,” exclaims John K. Wu, a delegate from Delaware beware.

(“Now, aren’t we pleased with ourselves,” observes the wise Church Lady.)

“Wednesday was the day the party pooped,” notes Susan Brenna of Long Island New York’s Newsday.

“A combination of rich cuisine, abundant watering holes, the stimulation of star-mingling with senators,

Pat B(o)one and too many free feeds, Wednesday’s schedule included

118 pre- and post-session fetes finally had its effect on the Republicans.”

Even New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, an African-American Democrat supposedly

is swept away by the “good” feelings. “It was very important to pull this off,” he notes,

apparently referring to pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, selling out the city,

“to show that the public and private sector  could work together. I think we’ll reap the benefits

of this for years to come.” (Think again. History shows this to be the last such outing

at New Orleans as the city hits rock bottom during his maladministration.

 

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The good mayor is too busy taking trips financed by developers, records

and news accounts show, to look after the interests of his constituency.)

The pre-packaged media presentation actually loses viewers

during the week. Only 18.4 million Americans — 40 percent of

those watching the boob tube at the time watch Shrub’s acceptance

speech, a decline of nearly two million from opening night

festivities. Popular dude, Herr Shrub.

In the equally moronic acceptable to Repuboscum fake

protester department, one Jack Defandorf, if that is his name,

claims to the media newsflakehounds: “The thing that bothers me

is where are the people of New Orleans? I don’t know if they’re

afraid the CIA is taking pictures of them or what, but I know

there are a lot of people who don’t agree with the policies of

the Republicans. Where are they hiding?”

Peace Camp, that island of serenity set among tall weeds and

broken glass that once — teemed? — with World’s Fair non-traffic

as that developer’s bonanza went bust. (Oh, developers

boomed along alright making gobs of money after the taxpayers of

Louisiana were forced by then Gov. Edwin Edwards to bail the

 

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financiers out with state funding.) Damn wham thank you ma’am.

Why won’t they get the government off our backs? Hahaha. The laugh is on us.

Peace Camp is the one place in the City that Care Forgot

where the Bill of Rights  — among those rights, freedom of

expression — actually is cherished. It is the only place locally

where the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence rings true. We

would be a lot better off if the Republicans knew what was

declared in the document. It begins:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are

created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty

and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers

from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of

Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of

the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new

Government, laying its foundation on such Principles, and

organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most

likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Ring a bell libertarians? Hell, we have already witnessed

the fate of anyone muttering the previous sentiments while

 

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walking towards the Superdome within four blocks of that facility.

They get arrested. Comrades in search of an accurately recalled

Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights must conclude that it is

not in vogue during the last week of August 1988 circa New Orleans.

The American flag lapel poseurs have replaced the shining

light of truth with their squalid imitation of death-in-life just

like any run-of-the-mill tinhorn dictatorship.

These free floating spirits at Peace Camp dance in pure joy,

even as the Repubs  conclude their exercise in cynical deceit

for public consumption. About 50 survivors of the previous

psychic holocaust have passed through to the other side, left by

the forces of oppression in splendid isolation to lay the karmic

foundation for a coming coalition of truth and justice.

 

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Peace Truck as centerpiece is outlined against a red-and-orange background stretched

half a football field in length. A local dog and pony duo butchers Bb Dylan songs

while tiny groups of suddenly best buds mingle, sharing philosophical discourse, food,

drink, acid, reefer, and laughter. “Safest spot in town,” reiterates Sir Aron of the pie toss.

“Isn’t a cop within miles.” All smiles. Well dressed suit and tie type festooned with badges and

politically incorrect buttons stands out in the crown not caring.Who is this guy anyway, a police plant?

“Hey, what is the deal with the get-up?” Tyger asks as he approaches the suit.

“Why, don’t I look nice. Aren’t I with it? Isn’t this great?” rat-a-tat-tats the cheshire cat,

grin only showing. “Don’t I make a fine Republican delegate?” “Say what?”

Pie guy, ever the scoundrel, joins the conversation. “You look great. How’s it going pal?”

bear-hugging da suit who smiles brightly; responding,”Going much better inside the convention.

You know, they have air conditioning, free food and everything.”

 

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Tyger begins to buoy along in the drift. “Wait a second,”

he stops time. “You aren’t really a delegate…are you?”

“I’m not? I have all the proper credentials.”

“Come on man. Come clean. You a Yippie, right?”

“That doesn’t mean I can’t attend the convention. I am a Yippie Republican. Yay!”

Laughing laughing nitrous fit subsides finally as Tyger

looks over the Yippie Republican’s, er, credentials.

“These are fake, right?” he concludes.

“Well, no one has stopped me from going anywhere I want yet.

I certainly have not been arrested.”

“Tell me about the inside of the convention,” Tyger asks the

Yippie infiltrator. “What is it like being outside on the inside?”

“Weeeeeeelllllll, they are very comfortable. Food is great.

Can’t hear what’s going on, but no one cares. I have been inside

every day, observing their sheepish behavior. Bah bah bah. Freaked out rabble.

l fit right in, but of course I have to be blasted out of

my mind with acid and marijuana to appreciate the completely

horrific ambiance. Overall, I have enjoyed myself. It has been fun.

 

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Hope to attend the next one too. Maybe bring along a bomb or something,

just for an additional thrill. Ker-boom! Hahaha. That will shake em

out of their lethargy some.” Tyger laughs his ass off as well dressed imposter,

pie guy, pie guy daughter, dance to the next group;

what do you know, the Dadbaggies again.

Guess the New Neanderthals couldn’t be bothered for such a politically correct event.

Roots and Heave are around some nowhere land pretending they are “Democrats,”

Good, just keep out of the way of the real event.

Hypes like them give Repubs the excuse to give liberals a bad name.

Sign reading “Evil U.S. Empire out of the Persian Gulf,”

prophetically hangs from the elongated Peace Truck

sound system flatbed. Two young acolytes stroll around

distributing small pieces of paper to all who desire.

Tyger checks it out and, yes comrades, it is indeed LSD.

Not just any acid either, but the purest acid

America’s finest somewhat secret San Francisco scientists

ever have developed. Outasight. Outamind.

Take another hit, immediately appreciating the awesome purity of acidic perfection.

Wowee-zowee, finally having fun, yes.

Quick surveillance of the scene reveals the total ecstasy

of unfettered by authority monumental anarchy of the highest karmic moment.

 

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Former editor of Overthrow walks in a straight — for him — line towards the bridge.

Pretty girl walks the opposite direction south to a portalet left behind by a wayward

construction crew knocking off work early. Small groups of countercultural types maintain commos,

smoking blunts, passing around a wine-skin, trading literature and free expressions of opinion sorta

promised by the Declaration of Independence as codified by the U.S. Constitution. African-American

rastaman sells Tyger a colorful peace symbol cloth suspended from a silly string that Tyger

slips around his neck. The guy also hands Tyger a flyer for a group called U.M.O.N,

“United Mankind Organizing Naturally.” Tall thin man, about 30 years old with

long grey Elijah the Prophet beard and countenance, sits on a car passing out

orange pamphlets to the ever-curious. Meet Calvin Peterson from Kansas City, Mo.

Tyger trades internal New Orleans gossip for Calvin’s great work,

titled”The Truth Has Been Thrown To The Ground.”

 

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The name of Calvin’s game is that he is sick of the U.S. Government’s oppression

of its people in general and himself in particular. He feels “the government” naturally

wants him to leave the country, and he wants to leave. Only catch, he ain’t got no money.

Therefore, he has been walking around town looking as grungy as possible trying

to sell his pamphlet to GO(im)P(osters) based on the premise their contributions will get

him out of their hair sooner, which is what everyone wants. The ingenious tactic

is not working very well, so he has a lot of these pamphlets left. He is trying

to hawk to those at Peace Camp to those perhaps are a bit more amenable to his message.

“I hate the God of the Easter Bunny,” rails Calvin to Tyger listening with acidically amplified attention.

“This is the nation of the Easter Bunny, of Santa Claus, of the false symbol. We have forgotten

our past and substituted the fake for real. I have given the matter of searching for the truth of my life

a high priority. I tell you Tyger Williams, the God of the Easter Bunny is a false prophet.”

Alrighty then. Tyger thumbs through the 50-page anti-tome. It’s inevitable conclusion:

“If everybody that loved this country sent one dollar, thousands of my people could be set free to live

 

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some place far away from your great society where you would not have t look upon them again.

They would not sleep in your streets anymore, or panhandle for your change. Could you think

of a better way to spend what is your labor than to send the homeless, the poor, the lame,

and those in captivity far away from you. Send you payment today,so we leave immediately without delay.

When the list of those who donated to send us away is published, would not you want your name

to be on there so your friends and neighbors can see you sent those ungrateful people

far away from your presence, you had a hand in ridding those people from your places.

Send your farewell gifts to: CALVIN PETERSON; P.O. Box 17634; Kansas City, MO 64123.”

Tyger nods his head in agreement as he looks up. “If you say so Calvin. I just gave my last dollar

to the rasta guy for the peace symbol cloth. But good luck.”

Bless his soul, Calvin understands. “Yeah, it is tough getting out of here,” he says.

“You would think the Republicans would want us to go in the worst way. But, they don’t seem to care.”

“No shit, Sherlock. it’s a strange world.”

Moving on, a box flyers squat unattended near Tyger’s mother the car.

He asks the closest person nearby, a girl with short sandy hair,

who belongs to the stack of attacks. No sale.

 

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They are titled: “BUSH IS GUILTY!… THIRTY YEARS OF DIRTY TRICKS & TREASON.”

Watergate: Bush, implicated in dirty tricks as head of Republican National Convention,

narrowly escaped being named unindicted co-conspirator; 1980: Bush, one of two or three principals

who actually flies to Europe to negotiate Treason: In return for assuring Reagan’s election by holding

the hostages an additional three months, the Ayatollah gets a better deal than the one

being offered by Carter. On behalf of U.S. Intelligence, Bush promises to facilitate

both the arms and heroin business interrupted by Carter. Other charges include various Bush

dealings with Panama strongman Manuel Noriega, tax breaks for associates, and various involvement

with other drug-related activity. Tyger places the flyers in his car, remembering he has

a time-worn mini-cassette recorder previously used for insurance investigating in the glove compartment.

He retrieves the tape recorder in order to record the final moments of Peace Camp as Dan Fail

is nominated veep and the convention winds down.

 

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What follows is a partial telling of the tape:

 

“They are probably starting to play baseball in some distant stadium.

But here, the peace truck rallies on proving that you can’t have too much fun

at a place like this except when you’re …

Look at he colors; orange, red pink, on the wharf, it is

approximately 7:35 (p.m.), sun is setting, so it is actually

an incredibly beautiful vista. Kid you not.

And that guy is not even waiting to use the porta-let.

He is just kind of using whatever is available, I suppose.

The former editor of Overthrow Magazine is speechifying. Let’s listen.

‘I want to explain for a minute a couple of banners we have

up here,’ he begins, long grey hair flowing in the evening breeze.

‘It wasn’t me that came up with this evil empire business,

after all. It was Ronald Reagan. He said that anyone who shoots down a civilian air

liner is an evil empire. You qualify if you shoot down a civilian airliner.

So, either the United States should quit acting like an evil empire

in shooting down those civilians or they should get out.

And this other thing over here on the end of the cab is a personal message

to you from Peter Tosh who came up with the design before he unfortunately lost his life

in a dispute over the music business which in Jamaica can sometimes can be fatal.

But his idea, this symbol — we’re trying to popularize it.

The idea was that we don’t think the government can solve anything.

We are the only people who can solve things and that is by taking

our own lives into our own hands. And we just happen to believe

that herbs are safer than refined chemicals. Rock Against Racism

brought this truck and this concert to this parking lot tonight in order

to celebrate a significant event, the self-annihilation, the suicide if you will,

of the Republican Party, who at this time across town is finishing the nomination process

to elect as their nominee just about the most unpopular guy in America in political life.

So, the only good thing we can say about the Regan years is

it’s over. Thanks God they didn’t blow up the world, although they really

fucked up the ozone layer. But we will have to deal with that

under the next guys.'”

 

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The event rolls to a conclusion within the endless tape loop

with which we have grown familiar. The final band scheduled to play,

a lame punk rock outfit called the Scandals, disagree with the Peace Truck banners.

They refuse to perform. The rally disintegrates in anarchy and darkness.

So it ends and begins on the same blank page, comrades, of

what can be set down about Tyger Williams’ life and times

between Christmas Day 1987, a good Friday, and the last day of

the Republican National Convention on Thursday August 18, 1988.

Shrubby and his minions finish their dirty little business

at the Superdome, blasting into outer space, fleeing the Big Easy

as if a fire alarm suddenly has been sounded. Tyger, under cover

of nightfall, returns to his Uptown apartment, catching Cubs-Padres from the West Coast.

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! Americans lose! All is as it always is with the world of 1988.

Time continues to flow beyond the range of our thick file on a small portion

of subject Williams’ activities. An accounting never can be completely made as he,

and associates timelessly walk the earth engaging in their various trials and tribulations.

This much can be appended to the public file for the purposes

of a summation on a need to know basis;

 

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Armor’s is the first of that old gang of Tyger’s to evacuate these hallowed shores.

He has had it with the urban lifestyle, retreating to a life of quiet contemplation

in rural California at the foothills of a national park that shall remain nameless in

order to preserve his privacy. Shortly thereafter, Mac takes his world to the quiet little

burg of Barataria — the resting place for the pirate Jean Lafitte — southwest of New Orleans,

past the national park just off Lake Salvador.Mr . Milty disappears suddenly one fine night,

loading up a moving van — sort of like the Baltimore Colts — eventually

emerging in the Texas Hill Country where his Belt of Tools band

becomes a local sensation. He is heard from only on special and surprising occasions.

Sandy Alexander, along with wife Mary Ann, relocate to the mountains of western

North Carolina, so they can raise a family in a friendly hard-working place, the total opposite

of the steamy and lazy Big Easy environment. More power to them. Dorothy LaFleur has

a bouncing baby girl whom she dresses in lovely pink ribbons and pretty flowered dresses.

She assumes the role of working mother-housewife as Jack rises to a position of

small importance in her father’s warehouse business. Fine, and Joe Fine?

What of the Super Sleuth, one wonders. Who knows.

 

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He disappears from the known universe possibly

maintaining a useful undercover existence that he finds

personally satisfying. Perhaps, he finally snares the evil Bingo

LeBeouf. No telling, although one can only hope.

And the other extras, heroes and villains alike, considered

for these purposes in the same breath. To the heroes: Well done.

We have psychic medals in the closet should you come over for

brunch. To the villains: Who cares. Get fucked. You suck.

Tyger, Tyger, what of the centerpiece around whom the others

revolved? What of the dear boy with whom we have sat surveillance

these wonderful, awful, groovy, horrible moments, and all that

could be cited in-between? What of the Tygermeister brewery of

consciousness drunk deeply?

Well comrades, he is well. As noted earlier, all is well

that is well ended. Tyger gets by for those who try and never

quit, never say “enough,” never give up the ghost, never die.

As John Heisman — after whom is named the trophy signifying

the best player in college football — told his Rice Institute

(now University) football team at half-time in a 1924 game they

were losing: “A team that won’t be beat can’t be beat.”

And the Fighting Owls flew out that second half and kicked

some sorry Longhorn butt, dominating a squad from the much larger

University of Texas, 19-6.

Yes, Tyger Williams and all he stood for, sat for, wished for,

 

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lived for, lives on in your well wishes and the memory

elicited through these long pages. We leave him for now as we found him,

a figment of the mind’s eye imagination, a surreal out-of-body, place and time

existential presence sitting by the lake at Audubon Park, flipping pebbles

into the placid waters, watching circles crop, expand and disappear.

He dreams of a beautiful dancer, of that equally beautiful time

when all of God’s slaves are free.

Only you can make that happen, comrades of the sacred moment.

You have Tyger’s best wishes as forever you strive,

succeeding through that striving,

regardless of final outcome.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

The convention hits full stride as

Tyger embarks on guerilla protest. He spends a lot of time with

convention protesters and reveals all the counter-culture events

pertaining to the gathering. Much time is spent at the Yippie

Peace Camp — the abandoned World’s Fair parking lot where the

box of troubles burned — and other Yippie events. Details of the

convention are considered and explained, as well as pertinent

historical correlations. The novel ends with a wrapping up of

details concerning the leading characters and relevant events.

 

CHAPTER 29

“Pie in the Sky at Peace Camp”

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By Wednesday August 17, Armor’s is mad as hell about events

pertaining to the convention. The utter banality of the proceedings,

coupled with the unbelievably unconstitutional nature

of unpublicized mass arrests convince him to take matters into his own hands.

Armor’s grabs Tyger by the proverbial lapel taking it to the streets. Guess who is driving.

About 11 a.m. on a typically hot and humid New Orleans mid-morning, Tyger climbs in the cockpit

of his muffler — not — bomb that somehow manages to navigate around town. Adjusting an

internal compass, he heads east beneath a cloudless sky for the streetcar line.

Armor’s  mission is simple. Seek out Republicants wherever they land, preferably in groups

of three and smaller, and destroy them with well placed barbs.

In other words, engage the invaders in one-on-one dogfights

using the quick verbal zap technique before fleeing the scene.

‘Tis a classic guerilla campaign thanks to General Giap’s handy

training manual with a hardy assist from Joe Fine mobile Israeli tactics.

 

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This way, mobility plus intimate knowledge of the area

can be used effectively to overwhelm the confused target and

defeat it. Then, executing a timely escape enables the

guerilla to seek and destroy another objective. The tactic has a

certain charm, plus the additional safety first factor.

Targets must be chosen carefully.

Of course, it is easy to spot delegates and their fellow travelers.

They stick out like Cajun pig sandwiches — cochon d’lait for the goyim —

at a kosher supper. Repub delegates are the ridiculous fools wearing

jackets and dress suits plastered with ridiculous badges,

buttons, and symbols. Fellow travelers, as well, are costumed in

formal wear of the poorest taste. They all seem to be gunning for

Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list. Quite a few appear to be making it.

First up at 11:15 high, Armor’s blows reefer, as Tyger avoids

radio contact due to the need to concentrate on prosecution of

the offensive. First up is an insipid “well dressed man” right out of

“Blue Velvet.” He looks quite lost along the neutral ground just

past Napoleon Avenue. Josephine this, baby.

 

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Tyger checks right and left; nobody else in the vicinity,

no traffic behind him, all systems a go go, big brother. Tyger

slows his vehicle to a crawl, waiting until the man looks his way.

Then, Armor’s  lets loose the initial volley of his personal guerrilla war on evil.

“Repuboscum faggot. Everybody hates your shitty guts,” boom boom boom.

Tyger speeds away, leaving the guy with a pissed off expression staring

at mother the car’s dust. Tyger checks in all directions. No one else has noticed.

Direct hit mission control. We bagged a dead live one. Armor’s is somewhat disappointed in his

initial encounter. The tactic works great, but he wants a more special brand of verbal abuse

for a special brand of inbred porkers. Another target about 11:30 a.m., 12 o’clock high

about 50 yards down the neutral ground. Looking bad, two Repubbubbly

women replete in hideous suit dress camouflage with tell-tale badges.

Tyger checks all directions, slows almost to a stop. Armor’s

attracts their attention by waving his right hand out the cockpit glass.

They take the bait, looking his way. “Hey bitches,” Armor’ yells.

“How many Contras have you fucked. Die, Repuboscums.”

The women appear highly disgusted in the rear view, leaving.

 

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Fun enough, but lame. While entertainment value

is high, verbiage, like snack rack, is a bit raw.

Armor’s spots three “young” Republicans lingering at the neutral ground.

“Hey assholes,” Armor’s yells at the short haired freaks,

“You like the Contras? Go to Nicaragua and die, chicken shit faggots.”

Boy should have been a military recruiter. Not. Slowing almost

to a stop, the masters of disaster elicits a direct gaze from the walking asshole.

Tyger pretends to be an ally flashing a wide happy face grin.

Armor’s turns his ass on the spit.

“No abortion,” Armor’s cries. “You should have been aborted GeoPig fat ass.

The world would be a better place. Abort this.”

Armor’s smacks left arm with right in the timeless fuck you obscene gesture.

Ker-boom! Bagged it mission control. Direct hit. Subject destroyed.

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Traffic thickens, worsening tactical advantages.

Time to return to home base, leaving well enough alone.

Repubs will vanish in two days, only so much passive-aggressive fun

to be had. The convention rolls through the next afternoon with the usually

sickening rhetoric heard by no one. Proceedings are not televised.

Conventioneers are disguised as empty seats.

Even if they were there, no one can hear anything due

to the failure of the recently installed $250,000 sound system.

It is, therefore, the perfect Republican gathing.

Nothing is being said.

No one is listening.

Sure beats working.

That evening Shrubby gets the coronation in a well orchestrated light comic opera.

An all-star celebrity cast takes over the ceremonial absurdities.

Charlton Heston recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Groovy.

Bob Dole, senior senator from Kansas and former Shrubby presidential opponent,

gives a kind of valedictory address.

“Four years from now we will say, thank God for George Bush,”

he screams to the deafened and dumbed-up listening audience.

 

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Joe Paterno pre-Sandusky disclosed child sex abuse scandal, and

Helen Hayes give Shrub seconding speeches.

“I’ll be damned if I sit here while people not fit to

carry George Bush’s shoes ridicule him,” Paterno says

of the nominated president who later refers to himself as Dr. Feelgood

while picking up young chicks in his post-presidential wheelchair.

Then, the artful dodger, Roger Staubach, keeping with the pigskin motif

introduces U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm who calls Democrats “amnesia merchants,”

talk about projection, adding that a President Michael Dukakis would

“wimp America and endanger world peace.” Enough foreplay, Shrub officially

“wins” the nomination Aug. 26, 1988 surpassing 1,139 delegates needed for coronation.

 

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At 11:08 p.m., future outrage George W. Shrubby Jr.

announces the Texas delegation’s 118 votes for dear old dad, ending all convention “suspense.”

The United States is officially doomed at that moment.

Tyger is not in the viewing audience.

He is on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny joining the anti-matter

partying hardy at a Cafe Brasil benefit for the Yippie Peace Camp.

Late to the political — if it’s not fun is it a — “party,” Yippies have set up camp

at the deserted 1984 World’s Fair parking are underneath the Greater

New Orleans Bridge by the Robin Street Wharf.

(The place where the 1987 box of troubles burned to high heaven.)

Tyger takes Armor’s with him to the street party, looping along Rampart Street,

avoiding the French Quarter zombie night of the living dead traffic.

A right on Esplanade Avenue and Arrivederci Repuboscum GeOPig amnesia merchants;

yippie-ca-yay cayenne, howdy wowee zowee Yippies.

A sparse yet highly colorful group gathers on Frenchmen’s Street

more or less randomly milling outside the small coffee bar.

Only a few locally familiar faces present, present arms.

Congregants mainly hail from the national traveling circus.

Long hairs a’plenty, fit to be tie-dyed t-shirts,

somewhat grubby exteriors and mysterious interiors.

 

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Wandering lost souls listen through pained glass outside Cafe

Brasil to the Dadbaggies inside rocking and rolling.

Yes comrades, welcome to the ultimate outside at the inside

experience. Those for whom the benefit is staged, refuse to

attend. Just a habit picked up through many years of exclusion

from the system. How is that for purity of spirit.

A familiar soul wanders up to the Tyger-Armor’s connection

filling them in on the current scenario. It is Ralph, a well-known

local validator of significant experiences.

What it is Ralph? “Isn’t this typically funny,” he observes.

“The Yippies are down here for the convention but there is

nothing happening around town, as usual.”

“Yippies eh?” Tyger notes with interest. “Didn’t think there were any left.”

“Oh yeah,” Ralph states. “Over there is the former editor of

Overthrow magazine, the former Yippie newspaper. And over there,

that fat guy in the tie-dye,”

“Which one?” Tyger asks. “That one,” Ralph points. “Do you

know who that is?” “No.”

“That’s Aron Kay, the pie guy. The guy who pied Phyllis

Schafley, John Haldeman, Henry Kissinger, Hubert Humphrey, Norman

Mailer, and a cast of thousands.” “Very impressive.”

Armor’s busies himself schmoozing with a better dressed man

as the Dadbaggies display a curious blend of rockabilly mixed

 

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with art rock noise. Tyger approaches the pie guy cautiously. You never know.

“Hey dude,” Tyger greets. “Heard you’re the guy with the pies. What’s happening?”

“You heard right,” he replies affable and ever not so humble pie.

“I’ve pied all the rotten celebrities and politicians of our time

from Merv Griffin and Charo all the way down to Spiro Agnew and John Mitchell.”

“I used to read the Pie Times supplement to Overthrow Magazine,” Tyger says,

“What’s your secret to success?”

“Simple,” replies the huge as a wildebeest bearded pie throwing artist.

“Pick your spot, get a nice cream filled pastry, plaster them right between the eyes.

The bigger they are, the harder they take a pie in the face. It’s an educational device.”

Very down-to-earth in your face approach to practical politics.

“Pied anyone good recently?” Tyger asks.

“Got Mayor Koch the other day,” Pie Guy says. “Nice coconut cream job smack in the kisser.

Had a bad attitude about it though. Some people just do not know

how to take a pie. What a waste.” The former editor of Overthrow Magazine,

a thin aging Yippie with long straggly grey hair is dancing like a Turkish dervish,

whirling in the black night with a blanket around his head.

 

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A little girl, about six years old, mimics his motions like a small Javanese shadow puppet.

“See that beautiful maiden dancing there,” Aron pie Kay guy asks.

“That’s my daughter Rainbow. What a sight. A new generation growing.”

Short attention span theater takes a break-in to higher consciousness.

Aron joins the dancing fools on the sidewalk.

Tyger, now feeling quite at home with the visitors, approaches another fellow traveler.

“What is the deal with that long flat bed truck with the loudspeakers on the corner?”

“Oh yeah man,” answers a long hair. “That’s the Peace Truck. We own the cab, rent

the flatbed. We have been taking it around to Rock Against Racism rallies.

Our plan is ssimple. We stage heavy metal, and rock and roll performances

from the truck to attract the younger crowd of kids. That is where our future lies.

We bring them in with the music, then give them a good old political re-education.

You would be surprised at how receptive they are to our message because we tell it like it is.

Those Reagan fuckers might think they have won the battle, but we will win the war.

Reagan shitheads don’t even realize that they have already lost.

 

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Their greed and hubris has already sown the seed of their ultimate defeat.

The future belongs to the righteous purveyors of truth.”

“If you say so,” suspends Tyger disbelief.

“We must be strong,” Sir Yipster  continues. “Solidarity in numbers.

One person can make a difference. You add one plus one to get two

Two plus to two to get four. Four plus four to get the idea until so forth

and so on and so forth, numbers vaster than ocean waters, overwhelming

any land-stuck obstacles in their way. Greed eventually turns upon itself like a worm,

entirely consumed by truth. Our day will come.”

Such is the promise of karma. Such the opposite effect of hubris,

a sin Ray-Gun junkies possess in spades and is used with a spade to bury them forever.

Figuratively speaking.

 

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Peace Camp numbers are small, yet they possess the ultimate power

to stand one day stand above the Repub’s shallow graves, dancing John Belushi style

through the sands of time overturning. Hooray for the triumph of the spirit

signified in a small counter-cultural bash for the people

while the evil ignorant rip­off artists toast themselves in perceived victory

even as they are being soundly defeated in the street

by powerful forces invisible to their blind eyes.

Or so it seems one hot summer day Dadbaggies beating bummers.

Armor’s is swept away by the moment. He springs

like a Mexican jumping bean on top of the Peace Truck

“Fuck you Repubpscum loser Nazis,” Armor’s cries.

“We will bury you in the shit you pooped.”

Or not.

About 25 goodly souls facing Mecca politely applaud.

“Sometimes your buddy Armor’s makes a lot of sense,” Ralph says.

“Sometimes is a great notion,” Tyger replies.

 

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“Not often,” continues the tall lean Ralph machine, “but sometimes.”

“You got to give the boy credit,” Tyger adds extra. “When he is right, he is awesome.”

If only. Armor’s now stands silently, right fist skyward, saluting eternity

frozen like a Grecian urn in time. Yippies fill Tyger in about the final day’s activities

commemorating the convention’s dead end. They plan to take Peace Truck over to Peace Camp,

bivouac there. Strange as it may seem to outsiders, Peace Camp is indeed

the safest spot for dissent in all of the Crescent City. Cops don’t even bother because

why should they. Peace Camp is well out of sight and out of its mind.

 

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More power to them for they know not what they ignore.

Fine for the righteous, as well who, not bothered by authorities

unconcerned, live in joyous anarchy taking LSD and smoking reefer

until they are crunked bent; sharing food and raising political consciousness.

Tyger will be there manana. But first, another sleepy

night must pass and day follow as it always does.

Tyger awakens about 10 a.m. still joyously hung over from

the night before. He briefly retraces his guerilla neutral ground

sorties zapping along Jackson Avenue before turning around towards

the home hangers. He claims a few confirmed kills before stopping

at noon for the “All My Children” update. A good day for a good day

is well at hand.  The cool spirit flows despite stifling heat. Repub subs

should be well on their piggy ways within 24 hours. Life will return to

what passes for normal in the Big Easy. Given Mardi Gras training,

Tyger can do the remaining time standing, like Igor, on his head.

College junior repubs hand out “Get out of Jail Free,” cards

 

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that at the bottom add “compliments of Michael Dukakis,”

referring to the Massachusetts prison furlough program

soon to be immortalized by Shrub’s Willie Horton demagoguery.

The Repubs are completely hung over by their stay in the Big Easy.

They now wallow in smug self-congratulations.

“The system works,” exclaims John K. Wu, a delegate from Delaware beware.

(“Now, aren’t we pleased with ourselves,” observes the wise Church Lady.)

“Wednesday was the day the party pooped,” notes Susan Brenna of Long Island New York’s Newsday.

“A combination of rich cuisine, abundant watering holes, the stimulation of star-mingling with senators,

Pat B(o)one and too many free feeds, Wednesday’s schedule included

118 pre- and post-session fetes finally had its effect on the Republicans.”

Even New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, an African-American Democrat supposedly

is swept away by the “good” feelings. “It was very important to pull this off,” he notes,

apparently referring to pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, selling out the city,

“to show that the public and private sector  could work together. I think we’ll reap the benefits

of this for years to come.” (Think again. History shows this to be the last such outing

at New Orleans as the city hits rock bottom during his maladministration.

 

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The good mayor is too busy taking trips financed by developers, records

and news accounts show, to look after the interests of his constituency.)

The pre-packaged media presentation actually loses viewers

during the week. Only 18.4 million Americans — 40 percent of

those watching the boob tube at the time watch Shrub’s acceptance

speech, a decline of nearly two million from opening night

festivities. Popular dude, Herr Shrub.

In the equally moronic acceptable to Repuboscum fake

protester department, one Jack Defandorf, if that is his name,

claims to the media newsflakehounds: “The thing that bothers me

is where are the people of New Orleans? I don’t know if they’re

afraid the CIA is taking pictures of them or what, but I know

there are a lot of people who don’t agree with the policies of

the Republicans. Where are they hiding?”

Peace Camp, that island of serenity set among tall weeds and

broken glass that once — teemed? — with World’s Fair non-traffic

as that developer’s bonanza went bust. (Oh, developers

boomed along alright making gobs of money after the taxpayers of

Louisiana were forced by then Gov. Edwin Edwards to bail the

 

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financiers out with state funding.) Damn wham thank you ma’am.

Why won’t they get the government off our backs? Hahaha. The laugh is on us.

Peace Camp is the one place in the City that Care Forgot

where the Bill of Rights  — among those rights, freedom of

expression — actually is cherished. It is the only place locally

where the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence rings true. We

would be a lot better off if the Republicans knew what was

declared in the document. It begins:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are

created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty

and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers

from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of

Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of

the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new

Government, laying its foundation on such Principles, and

organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most

likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Ring a bell libertarians? Hell, we have already witnessed

the fate of anyone muttering the previous sentiments while

 

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walking towards the Superdome within four blocks of that facility.

They get arrested. Comrades in search of an accurately recalled

Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights must conclude that it is

not in vogue during the last week of August 1988 circa New Orleans.

The American flag lapel poseurs have replaced the shining

light of truth with their squalid imitation of death-in-life just

like any run-of-the-mill tinhorn dictatorship.

These free floating spirits at Peace Camp dance in pure joy,

even as the Repubs  conclude their exercise in cynical deceit

for public consumption. About 50 survivors of the previous

psychic holocaust have passed through to the other side, left by

the forces of oppression in splendid isolation to lay the karmic

foundation for a coming coalition of truth and justice.

 

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Peace Truck as centerpiece is outlined against a red-and-orange background stretched

half a football field in length. A local dog and pony duo butchers Bb Dylan songs

while tiny groups of suddenly best buds mingle, sharing philosophical discourse, food,

drink, acid, reefer, and laughter. “Safest spot in town,” reiterates Sir Aron of the pie toss.

“Isn’t a cop within miles.” All smiles. Well dressed suit and tie type festooned with badges and

politically incorrect buttons stands out in the crown not caring.Who is this guy anyway, a police plant?

“Hey, what is the deal with the get-up?” Tyger asks as he approaches the suit.

“Why, don’t I look nice. Aren’t I with it? Isn’t this great?” rat-a-tat-tats the cheshire cat,

grin only showing. “Don’t I make a fine Republican delegate?” “Say what?”

Pie guy, ever the scoundrel, joins the conversation. “You look great. How’s it going pal?”

bear-hugging da suit who smiles brightly; responding,”Going much better inside the convention.

You know, they have air conditioning, free food and everything.”

 

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Tyger begins to buoy along in the drift. “Wait a second,”

he stops time. “You aren’t really a delegate…are you?”

“I’m not? I have all the proper credentials.”

“Come on man. Come clean. You a Yippie, right?”

“That doesn’t mean I can’t attend the convention. I am a Yippie Republican. Yay!”

Laughing laughing nitrous fit subsides finally as Tyger

looks over the Yippie Republican’s, er, credentials.

“These are fake, right?” he concludes.

“Well, no one has stopped me from going anywhere I want yet.

I certainly have not been arrested.”

“Tell me about the inside of the convention,” Tyger asks the

Yippie infiltrator. “What is it like being outside on the inside?”

“Weeeeeeelllllll, they are very comfortable. Food is great.

Can’t hear what’s going on, but no one cares. I have been inside

every day, observing their sheepish behavior. Bah bah bah. Freaked out rabble.

l fit right in, but of course I have to be blasted out of

my mind with acid and marijuana to appreciate the completely

horrific ambiance. Overall, I have enjoyed myself. It has been fun.

 

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Hope to attend the next one too. Maybe bring along a bomb or something,

just for an additional thrill. Ker-boom! Hahaha. That will shake em

out of their lethargy some.” Tyger laughs his ass off as well dressed imposter,

pie guy, pie guy daughter, dance to the next group;

what do you know, the Dadbaggies again.

Guess the New Neanderthals couldn’t be bothered for such a politically correct event.

Roots and Heave are around some nowhere land pretending they are “Democrats,”

Good, just keep out of the way of the real event.

Hypes like them give Repubs the excuse to give liberals a bad name.

Sign reading “Evil U.S. Empire out of the Persian Gulf,”

prophetically hangs from the elongated Peace Truck

sound system flatbed. Two young acolytes stroll around

distributing small pieces of paper to all who desire.

Tyger checks it out and, yes comrades, it is indeed LSD.

Not just any acid either, but the purest acid

America’s finest somewhat secret San Francisco scientists

ever have developed. Outasight. Outamind.

Take another hit, immediately appreciating the awesome purity of acidic perfection.

Wowee-zowee, finally having fun, yes.

Quick surveillance of the scene reveals the total ecstasy

of unfettered by authority monumental anarchy of the highest karmic moment.

 

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Former editor of Overthrow walks in a straight — for him — line towards the bridge.

Pretty girl walks the opposite direction south to a portalet left behind by a wayward

construction crew knocking off work early. Small groups of countercultural types maintain commos,

smoking blunts, passing around a wine-skin, trading literature and free expressions of opinion sorta

promised by the Declaration of Independence as codified by the U.S. Constitution. African-American

rastaman sells Tyger a colorful peace symbol cloth suspended from a silly string that Tyger

slips around his neck. The guy also hands Tyger a flyer for a group called U.M.O.N,

“United Mankind Organizing Naturally.” Tall thin man, about 30 years old with

long grey Elijah the Prophet beard and countenance, sits on a car passing out

orange pamphlets to the ever-curious. Meet Calvin Peterson from Kansas City, Mo.

Tyger trades internal New Orleans gossip for Calvin’s great work,

titled”The Truth Has Been Thrown To The Ground.”

 

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The name of Calvin’s game is that he is sick of the U.S. Government’s oppression

of its people in general and himself in particular. He feels “the government” naturally

wants him to leave the country, and he wants to leave. Only catch, he ain’t got no money.

Therefore, he has been walking around town looking as grungy as possible trying

to sell his pamphlet to GO(im)P(osters) based on the premise their contributions will get

him out of their hair sooner, which is what everyone wants. The ingenious tactic

is not working very well, so he has a lot of these pamphlets left. He is trying

to hawk to those at Peace Camp to those perhaps are a bit more amenable to his message.

“I hate the God of the Easter Bunny,” rails Calvin to Tyger listening with acidically amplified attention.

“This is the nation of the Easter Bunny, of Santa Claus, of the false symbol. We have forgotten

our past and substituted the fake for real. I have given the matter of searching for the truth of my life

a high priority. I tell you Tyger Williams, the God of the Easter Bunny is a false prophet.”

Alrighty then. Tyger thumbs through the 50-page anti-tome. It’s inevitable conclusion:

“If everybody that loved this country sent one dollar, thousands of my people could be set free to live

 

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some place far away from your great society where you would not have t look upon them again.

They would not sleep in your streets anymore, or panhandle for your change. Could you think

of a better way to spend what is your labor than to send the homeless, the poor, the lame,

and those in captivity far away from you. Send you payment today,so we leave immediately without delay.

When the list of those who donated to send us away is published, would not you want your name

to be on there so your friends and neighbors can see you sent those ungrateful people

far away from your presence, you had a hand in ridding those people from your places.

Send your farewell gifts to: CALVIN PETERSON; P.O. Box 17634; Kansas City, MO 64123.”

Tyger nods his head in agreement as he looks up. “If you say so Calvin. I just gave my last dollar

to the rasta guy for the peace symbol cloth. But good luck.”

Bless his soul, Calvin understands. “Yeah, it is tough getting out of here,” he says.

“You would think the Republicans would want us to go in the worst way. But, they don’t seem to care.”

“No shit, Sherlock. it’s a strange world.”

Moving on, a box flyers squat unattended near Tyger’s mother the car.

He asks the closest person nearby, a girl with short sandy hair,

who belongs to the stack of attacks. No sale.

 

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They are titled: “BUSH IS GUILTY!… THIRTY YEARS OF DIRTY TRICKS & TREASON.”

Watergate: Bush, implicated in dirty tricks as head of Republican National Convention,

narrowly escaped being named unindicted co-conspirator; 1980: Bush, one of two or three principals

who actually flies to Europe to negotiate Treason: In return for assuring Reagan’s election by holding

the hostages an additional three months, the Ayatollah gets a better deal than the one

being offered by Carter. On behalf of U.S. Intelligence, Bush promises to facilitate

both the arms and heroin business interrupted by Carter. Other charges include various Bush

dealings with Panama strongman Manuel Noriega, tax breaks for associates, and various involvement

with other drug-related activity. Tyger places the flyers in his car, remembering he has

a time-worn mini-cassette recorder previously used for insurance investigating in the glove compartment.

He retrieves the tape recorder in order to record the final moments of Peace Camp as Dan Fail

is nominated veep and the convention winds down.

 

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What follows is a partial telling of the tape:

 

“They are probably starting to play baseball in some distant stadium.

But here, the peace truck rallies on proving that you can’t have too much fun

at a place like this except when you’re …

Look at he colors; orange, red pink, on the wharf, it is

approximately 7:35 (p.m.), sun is setting, so it is actually

an incredibly beautiful vista. Kid you not.

And that guy is not even waiting to use the porta-let.

He is just kind of using whatever is available, I suppose.

The former editor of Overthrow Magazine is speechifying. Let’s listen.

‘I want to explain for a minute a couple of banners we have

up here,’ he begins, long grey hair flowing in the evening breeze.

‘It wasn’t me that came up with this evil empire business,

after all. It was Ronald Reagan. He said that anyone who shoots down a civilian air

liner is an evil empire. You qualify if you shoot down a civilian airliner.

So, either the United States should quit acting like an evil empire

in shooting down those civilians or they should get out.

And this other thing over here on the end of the cab is a personal message

to you from Peter Tosh who came up with the design before he unfortunately lost his life

in a dispute over the music business which in Jamaica can sometimes can be fatal.

But his idea, this symbol — we’re trying to popularize it.

The idea was that we don’t think the government can solve anything.

We are the only people who can solve things and that is by taking

our own lives into our own hands. And we just happen to believe

that herbs are safer than refined chemicals. Rock Against Racism

brought this truck and this concert to this parking lot tonight in order

to celebrate a significant event, the self-annihilation, the suicide if you will,

of the Republican Party, who at this time across town is finishing the nomination process

to elect as their nominee just about the most unpopular guy in America in political life.

So, the only good thing we can say about the Regan years is

it’s over. Thanks God they didn’t blow up the world, although they really

fucked up the ozone layer. But we will have to deal with that

under the next guys.'”

 

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The event rolls to a conclusion within the endless tape loop

with which we have grown familiar. The final band scheduled to play,

a lame punk rock outfit called the Scandals, disagree with the Peace Truck banners.

They refuse to perform. The rally disintegrates in anarchy and darkness.

So it ends and begins on the same blank page, comrades, of

what can be set down about Tyger Williams’ life and times

between Christmas Day 1987, a good Friday, and the last day of

the Republican National Convention on Thursday August 18, 1988.

Shrubby and his minions finish their dirty little business

at the Superdome, blasting into outer space, fleeing the Big Easy

as if a fire alarm suddenly has been sounded. Tyger, under cover

of nightfall, returns to his Uptown apartment, catching Cubs-Padres from the West Coast.

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! Americans lose! All is as it always is with the world of 1988.

Time continues to flow beyond the range of our thick file on a small portion

of subject Williams’ activities. An accounting never can be completely made as he,

and associates timelessly walk the earth engaging in their various trials and tribulations.

This much can be appended to the public file for the purposes

of a summation on a need to know basis;

 

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Armor’s is the first of that old gang of Tyger’s to evacuate these hallowed shores.

He has had it with the urban lifestyle, retreating to a life of quiet contemplation

in rural California at the foothills of a national park that shall remain nameless in

order to preserve his privacy. Shortly thereafter, Mac takes his world to the quiet little

burg of Barataria — the resting place for the pirate Jean Lafitte — southwest of New Orleans,

past the national park just off Lake Salvador.Mr . Milty disappears suddenly one fine night,

loading up a moving van — sort of like the Baltimore Colts — eventually

emerging in the Texas Hill Country where his Belt of Tools band

becomes a local sensation. He is heard from only on special and surprising occasions.

Sandy Alexander, along with wife Mary Ann, relocate to the mountains of western

North Carolina, so they can raise a family in a friendly hard-working place, the total opposite

of the steamy and lazy Big Easy environment. More power to them. Dorothy LaFleur has

a bouncing baby girl whom she dresses in lovely pink ribbons and pretty flowered dresses.

She assumes the role of working mother-housewife as Jack rises to a position of

small importance in her father’s warehouse business. Fine, and Joe Fine?

What of the Super Sleuth, one wonders. Who knows.

 

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He disappears from the known universe possibly

maintaining a useful undercover existence that he finds

personally satisfying. Perhaps, he finally snares the evil Bingo

LeBeouf. No telling, although one can only hope.

And the other extras, heroes and villains alike, considered

for these purposes in the same breath. To the heroes: Well done.

We have psychic medals in the closet should you come over for

brunch. To the villains: Who cares. Get fucked. You suck.

Tyger, Tyger, what of the centerpiece around whom the others

revolved? What of the dear boy with whom we have sat surveillance

these wonderful, awful, groovy, horrible moments, and all that

could be cited in-between? What of the Tygermeister brewery of

consciousness drunk deeply?

Well comrades, he is well. As noted earlier, all is well

that is well ended. Tyger gets by for those who try and never

quit, never say “enough,” never give up the ghost, never die.

As John Heisman — after whom is named the trophy signifying

the best player in college football — told his Rice Institute

(now University) football team at half-time in a 1924 game they

were losing: “A team that won’t be beat can’t be beat.”

And the Fighting Owls flew out that second half and kicked

some sorry Longhorn butt, dominating a squad from the much larger

University of Texas, 19-6.

Yes, Tyger Williams and all he stood for, sat for, wished for,

 

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lived for, lives on in your well wishes and the memory

elicited through these long pages. We leave him for now as we found him,

a figment of the mind’s eye imagination, a surreal out-of-body, place and time

existential presence sitting by the lake at Audubon Park, flipping pebbles

into the placid waters, watching circles crop, expand and disappear.

He dreams of a beautiful dancer, of that equally beautiful time

when all of God’s slaves are free.

Only you can make that happen, comrades of the sacred moment.

You have Tyger’s best wishes as forever you strive,

succeeding through that striving,

regardless of final outcome.

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

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

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

The convention hits full stride as

Tyger embarks on guerilla protest. He spends a lot of time with

convention protesters and reveals all the counter-culture events

pertaining to the gathering. Much time is spent at the Yippie

Peace Camp — the abandoned World’s Fair parking lot where the

box of troubles burned — and other Yippie events. Details of the

convention are considered and explained, as well as pertinent

historical correlations. The novel ends with a wrapping up of

details concerning the leading characters and relevant events.

 

CHAPTER 29

“Pie in the Sky at Peace Camp”

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By Wednesday August 17, Armor’s is mad as hell about events

pertaining to the convention. The utter banality of the proceedings,

coupled with the unbelievably unconstitutional nature

of unpublicized mass arrests convince him to take matters into his own hands.

Armor’s grabs Tyger by the proverbial lapel taking it to the streets. Guess who is driving.

About 11 a.m. on a typically hot and humid New Orleans mid-morning, Tyger climbs in the cockpit

of his muffler — not — bomb that somehow manages to navigate around town. Adjusting an

internal compass, he heads east beneath a cloudless sky for the streetcar line.

Armor’s  mission is simple. Seek out Republicants wherever they land, preferably in groups

of three and smaller, and destroy them with well placed barbs.

In other words, engage the invaders in one-on-one dogfights

using the quick verbal zap technique before fleeing the scene.

‘Tis a classic guerilla campaign thanks to General Giap’s handy

training manual with a hardy assist from Joe Fine mobile Israeli tactics.

 

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This way, mobility plus intimate knowledge of the area

can be used effectively to overwhelm the confused target and

defeat it. Then, executing a timely escape enables the

guerilla to seek and destroy another objective. The tactic has a

certain charm, plus the additional safety first factor.

Targets must be chosen carefully.

Of course, it is easy to spot delegates and their fellow travelers.

They stick out like Cajun pig sandwiches — cochon d’lait for the goyim —

at a kosher supper. Repub delegates are the ridiculous fools wearing

jackets and dress suits plastered with ridiculous badges,

buttons, and symbols. Fellow travelers, as well, are costumed in

formal wear of the poorest taste. They all seem to be gunning for

Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list. Quite a few appear to be making it.

First up at 11:15 high, Armor’s blows reefer, as Tyger avoids

radio contact due to the need to concentrate on prosecution of

the offensive. First up is an insipid “well dressed man” right out of

“Blue Velvet.” He looks quite lost along the neutral ground just

past Napoleon Avenue. Josephine this, baby.

 

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Tyger checks right and left; nobody else in the vicinity,

no traffic behind him, all systems a go go, big brother. Tyger

slows his vehicle to a crawl, waiting until the man looks his way.

Then, Armor’s  lets loose the initial volley of his personal guerrilla war on evil.

“Repuboscum faggot. Everybody hates your shitty guts,” boom boom boom.

Tyger speeds away, leaving the guy with a pissed off expression staring

at mother the car’s dust. Tyger checks in all directions. No one else has noticed.

Direct hit mission control. We bagged a dead live one. Armor’s is somewhat disappointed in his

initial encounter. The tactic works great, but he wants a more special brand of verbal abuse

for a special brand of inbred porkers. Another target about 11:30 a.m., 12 o’clock high

about 50 yards down the neutral ground. Looking bad, two Repubbubbly

women replete in hideous suit dress camouflage with tell-tale badges.

Tyger checks all directions, slows almost to a stop. Armor’s

attracts their attention by waving his right hand out the cockpit glass.

They take the bait, looking his way. “Hey bitches,” Armor’ yells.

“How many Contras have you fucked. Die, Repuboscums.”

The women appear highly disgusted in the rear view, leaving.

 

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Fun enough, but lame. While entertainment value

is high, verbiage, like snack rack, is a bit raw.

Armor’s spots three “young” Republicans lingering at the neutral ground.

“Hey assholes,” Armor’s yells at the short haired freaks,

“You like the Contras? Go to Nicaragua and die, chicken shit faggots.”

Boy should have been a military recruiter. Not. Slowing almost

to a stop, the masters of disaster elicits a direct gaze from the walking asshole.

Tyger pretends to be an ally flashing a wide happy face grin.

Armor’s turns his ass on the spit.

“No abortion,” Armor’s cries. “You should have been aborted GeoPig fat ass.

The world would be a better place. Abort this.”

Armor’s smacks left arm with right in the timeless fuck you obscene gesture.

Ker-boom! Bagged it mission control. Direct hit. Subject destroyed.

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Traffic thickens, worsening tactical advantages.

Time to return to home base, leaving well enough alone.

Repubs will vanish in two days, only so much passive-aggressive fun

to be had. The convention rolls through the next afternoon with the usually

sickening rhetoric heard by no one. Proceedings are not televised.

Conventioneers are disguised as empty seats.

Even if they were there, no one can hear anything due

to the failure of the recently installed $250,000 sound system.

It is, therefore, the perfect Republican gathing.

Nothing is being said.

No one is listening.

Sure beats working.

That evening Shrubby gets the coronation in a well orchestrated light comic opera.

An all-star celebrity cast takes over the ceremonial absurdities.

Charlton Heston recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Groovy.

Bob Dole, senior senator from Kansas and former Shrubby presidential opponent,

gives a kind of valedictory address.

“Four years from now we will say, thank God for George Bush,”

he screams to the deafened and dumbed-up listening audience.

 

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Joe Paterno pre-Sandusky disclosed child sex abuse scandal, and

Helen Hayes give Shrub seconding speeches.

“I’ll be damned if I sit here while people not fit to

carry George Bush’s shoes ridicule him,” Paterno says

of the nominated president who later refers to himself as Dr. Feelgood

while picking up young chicks in his post-presidential wheelchair.

Then, the artful dodger, Roger Staubach, keeping with the pigskin motif

introduces U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm who calls Democrats “amnesia merchants,”

talk about projection, adding that a President Michael Dukakis would

“wimp America and endanger world peace.” Enough foreplay, Shrub officially

“wins” the nomination Aug. 26, 1988 surpassing 1,139 delegates needed for coronation.

 

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At 11:08 p.m., future outrage George W. Shrubby Jr.

announces the Texas delegation’s 118 votes for dear old dad, ending all convention “suspense.”

The United States is officially doomed at that moment.

Tyger is not in the viewing audience.

He is on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny joining the anti-matter

partying hardy at a Cafe Brasil benefit for the Yippie Peace Camp.

Late to the political — if it’s not fun is it a — “party,” Yippies have set up camp

at the deserted 1984 World’s Fair parking are underneath the Greater

New Orleans Bridge by the Robin Street Wharf.

(The place where the 1987 box of troubles burned to high heaven.)

Tyger takes Armor’s with him to the street party, looping along Rampart Street,

avoiding the French Quarter zombie night of the living dead traffic.

A right on Esplanade Avenue and Arrivederci Repuboscum GeOPig amnesia merchants;

yippie-ca-yay cayenne, howdy wowee zowee Yippies.

A sparse yet highly colorful group gathers on Frenchmen’s Street

more or less randomly milling outside the small coffee bar.

Only a few locally familiar faces present, present arms.

Congregants mainly hail from the national traveling circus.

Long hairs a’plenty, fit to be tie-dyed t-shirts,

somewhat grubby exteriors and mysterious interiors.

 

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Wandering lost souls listen through pained glass outside Cafe

Brasil to the Dadbaggies inside rocking and rolling.

Yes comrades, welcome to the ultimate outside at the inside

experience. Those for whom the benefit is staged, refuse to

attend. Just a habit picked up through many years of exclusion

from the system. How is that for purity of spirit.

A familiar soul wanders up to the Tyger-Armor’s connection

filling them in on the current scenario. It is Ralph, a well-known

local validator of significant experiences.

What it is Ralph? “Isn’t this typically funny,” he observes.

“The Yippies are down here for the convention but there is

nothing happening around town, as usual.”

“Yippies eh?” Tyger notes with interest. “Didn’t think there were any left.”

“Oh yeah,” Ralph states. “Over there is the former editor of

Overthrow magazine, the former Yippie newspaper. And over there,

that fat guy in the tie-dye,”

“Which one?” Tyger asks. “That one,” Ralph points. “Do you

know who that is?” “No.”

“That’s Aron Kay, the pie guy. The guy who pied Phyllis

Schafley, John Haldeman, Henry Kissinger, Hubert Humphrey, Norman

Mailer, and a cast of thousands.” “Very impressive.”

Armor’s busies himself schmoozing with a better dressed man

as the Dadbaggies display a curious blend of rockabilly mixed

 

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with art rock noise. Tyger approaches the pie guy cautiously. You never know.

“Hey dude,” Tyger greets. “Heard you’re the guy with the pies. What’s happening?”

“You heard right,” he replies affable and ever not so humble pie.

“I’ve pied all the rotten celebrities and politicians of our time

from Merv Griffin and Charo all the way down to Spiro Agnew and John Mitchell.”

“I used to read the Pie Times supplement to Overthrow Magazine,” Tyger says,

“What’s your secret to success?”

“Simple,” replies the huge as a wildebeest bearded pie throwing artist.

“Pick your spot, get a nice cream filled pastry, plaster them right between the eyes.

The bigger they are, the harder they take a pie in the face. It’s an educational device.”

Very down-to-earth in your face approach to practical politics.

“Pied anyone good recently?” Tyger asks.

“Got Mayor Koch the other day,” Pie Guy says. “Nice coconut cream job smack in the kisser.

Had a bad attitude about it though. Some people just do not know

how to take a pie. What a waste.” The former editor of Overthrow Magazine,

a thin aging Yippie with long straggly grey hair is dancing like a Turkish dervish,

whirling in the black night with a blanket around his head.

 

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A little girl, about six years old, mimics his motions like a small Javanese shadow puppet.

“See that beautiful maiden dancing there,” Aron pie Kay guy asks.

“That’s my daughter Rainbow. What a sight. A new generation growing.”

Short attention span theater takes a break-in to higher consciousness.

Aron joins the dancing fools on the sidewalk.

Tyger, now feeling quite at home with the visitors, approaches another fellow traveler.

“What is the deal with that long flat bed truck with the loudspeakers on the corner?”

“Oh yeah man,” answers a long hair. “That’s the Peace Truck. We own the cab, rent

the flatbed. We have been taking it around to Rock Against Racism rallies.

Our plan is ssimple. We stage heavy metal, and rock and roll performances

from the truck to attract the younger crowd of kids. That is where our future lies.

We bring them in with the music, then give them a good old political re-education.

You would be surprised at how receptive they are to our message because we tell it like it is.

Those Reagan fuckers might think they have won the battle, but we will win the war.

Reagan shitheads don’t even realize that they have already lost.

 

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Their greed and hubris has already sown the seed of their ultimate defeat.

The future belongs to the righteous purveyors of truth.”

“If you say so,” suspends Tyger disbelief.

“We must be strong,” Sir Yipster  continues. “Solidarity in numbers.

One person can make a difference. You add one plus one to get two

Two plus to two to get four. Four plus four to get the idea until so forth

and so on and so forth, numbers vaster than ocean waters, overwhelming

any land-stuck obstacles in their way. Greed eventually turns upon itself like a worm,

entirely consumed by truth. Our day will come.”

Such is the promise of karma. Such the opposite effect of hubris,

a sin Ray-Gun junkies possess in spades and is used with a spade to bury them forever.

Figuratively speaking.

 

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Peace Camp numbers are small, yet they possess the ultimate power

to stand one day stand above the Repub’s shallow graves, dancing John Belushi style

through the sands of time overturning. Hooray for the triumph of the spirit

signified in a small counter-cultural bash for the people

while the evil ignorant rip­off artists toast themselves in perceived victory

even as they are being soundly defeated in the street

by powerful forces invisible to their blind eyes.

Or so it seems one hot summer day Dadbaggies beating bummers.

Armor’s is swept away by the moment. He springs

like a Mexican jumping bean on top of the Peace Truck

“Fuck you Repubpscum loser Nazis,” Armor’s cries.

“We will bury you in the shit you pooped.”

Or not.

About 25 goodly souls facing Mecca politely applaud.

“Sometimes your buddy Armor’s makes a lot of sense,” Ralph says.

“Sometimes is a great notion,” Tyger replies.

 

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“Not often,” continues the tall lean Ralph machine, “but sometimes.”

“You got to give the boy credit,” Tyger adds extra. “When he is right, he is awesome.”

If only. Armor’s now stands silently, right fist skyward, saluting eternity

frozen like a Grecian urn in time. Yippies fill Tyger in about the final day’s activities

commemorating the convention’s dead end. They plan to take Peace Truck over to Peace Camp,

bivouac there. Strange as it may seem to outsiders, Peace Camp is indeed

the safest spot for dissent in all of the Crescent City. Cops don’t even bother because

why should they. Peace Camp is well out of sight and out of its mind.

 

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More power to them for they know not what they ignore.

Fine for the righteous, as well who, not bothered by authorities

unconcerned, live in joyous anarchy taking LSD and smoking reefer

until they are crunked bent; sharing food and raising political consciousness.

Tyger will be there manana. But first, another sleepy

night must pass and day follow as it always does.

Tyger awakens about 10 a.m. still joyously hung over from

the night before. He briefly retraces his guerilla neutral ground

sorties zapping along Jackson Avenue before turning around towards

the home hangers. He claims a few confirmed kills before stopping

at noon for the “All My Children” update. A good day for a good day

is well at hand.  The cool spirit flows despite stifling heat. Repub subs

should be well on their piggy ways within 24 hours. Life will return to

what passes for normal in the Big Easy. Given Mardi Gras training,

Tyger can do the remaining time standing, like Igor, on his head.

College junior repubs hand out “Get out of Jail Free,” cards

 

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that at the bottom add “compliments of Michael Dukakis,”

referring to the Massachusetts prison furlough program

soon to be immortalized by Shrub’s Willie Horton demagoguery.

The Repubs are completely hung over by their stay in the Big Easy.

They now wallow in smug self-congratulations.

“The system works,” exclaims John K. Wu, a delegate from Delaware beware.

(“Now, aren’t we pleased with ourselves,” observes the wise Church Lady.)

“Wednesday was the day the party pooped,” notes Susan Brenna of Long Island New York’s Newsday.

“A combination of rich cuisine, abundant watering holes, the stimulation of star-mingling with senators,

Pat B(o)one and too many free feeds, Wednesday’s schedule included

118 pre- and post-session fetes finally had its effect on the Republicans.”

Even New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, an African-American Democrat supposedly

is swept away by the “good” feelings. “It was very important to pull this off,” he notes,

apparently referring to pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, selling out the city,

“to show that the public and private sector  could work together. I think we’ll reap the benefits

of this for years to come.” (Think again. History shows this to be the last such outing

at New Orleans as the city hits rock bottom during his maladministration.

 

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The good mayor is too busy taking trips financed by developers, records

and news accounts show, to look after the interests of his constituency.)

The pre-packaged media presentation actually loses viewers

during the week. Only 18.4 million Americans — 40 percent of

those watching the boob tube at the time watch Shrub’s acceptance

speech, a decline of nearly two million from opening night

festivities. Popular dude, Herr Shrub.

In the equally moronic acceptable to Repuboscum fake

protester department, one Jack Defandorf, if that is his name,

claims to the media newsflakehounds: “The thing that bothers me

is where are the people of New Orleans? I don’t know if they’re

afraid the CIA is taking pictures of them or what, but I know

there are a lot of people who don’t agree with the policies of

the Republicans. Where are they hiding?”

Peace Camp, that island of serenity set among tall weeds and

broken glass that once — teemed? — with World’s Fair non-traffic

as that developer’s bonanza went bust. (Oh, developers

boomed along alright making gobs of money after the taxpayers of

Louisiana were forced by then Gov. Edwin Edwards to bail the

 

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financiers out with state funding.) Damn wham thank you ma’am.

Why won’t they get the government off our backs? Hahaha. The laugh is on us.

Peace Camp is the one place in the City that Care Forgot

where the Bill of Rights  — among those rights, freedom of

expression — actually is cherished. It is the only place locally

where the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence rings true. We

would be a lot better off if the Republicans knew what was

declared in the document. It begins:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are

created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty

and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers

from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of

Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of

the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new

Government, laying its foundation on such Principles, and

organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most

likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Ring a bell libertarians? Hell, we have already witnessed

the fate of anyone muttering the previous sentiments while

 

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walking towards the Superdome within four blocks of that facility.

They get arrested. Comrades in search of an accurately recalled

Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights must conclude that it is

not in vogue during the last week of August 1988 circa New Orleans.

The American flag lapel poseurs have replaced the shining

light of truth with their squalid imitation of death-in-life just

like any run-of-the-mill tinhorn dictatorship.

These free floating spirits at Peace Camp dance in pure joy,

even as the Repubs  conclude their exercise in cynical deceit

for public consumption. About 50 survivors of the previous

psychic holocaust have passed through to the other side, left by

the forces of oppression in splendid isolation to lay the karmic

foundation for a coming coalition of truth and justice.

 

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Peace Truck as centerpiece is outlined against a red-and-orange background stretched

half a football field in length. A local dog and pony duo butchers Bb Dylan songs

while tiny groups of suddenly best buds mingle, sharing philosophical discourse, food,

drink, acid, reefer, and laughter. “Safest spot in town,” reiterates Sir Aron of the pie toss.

“Isn’t a cop within miles.” All smiles. Well dressed suit and tie type festooned with badges and

politically incorrect buttons stands out in the crown not caring.Who is this guy anyway, a police plant?

“Hey, what is the deal with the get-up?” Tyger asks as he approaches the suit.

“Why, don’t I look nice. Aren’t I with it? Isn’t this great?” rat-a-tat-tats the cheshire cat,

grin only showing. “Don’t I make a fine Republican delegate?” “Say what?”

Pie guy, ever the scoundrel, joins the conversation. “You look great. How’s it going pal?”

bear-hugging da suit who smiles brightly; responding,”Going much better inside the convention.

You know, they have air conditioning, free food and everything.”

 

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Tyger begins to buoy along in the drift. “Wait a second,”

he stops time. “You aren’t really a delegate…are you?”

“I’m not? I have all the proper credentials.”

“Come on man. Come clean. You a Yippie, right?”

“That doesn’t mean I can’t attend the convention. I am a Yippie Republican. Yay!”

Laughing laughing nitrous fit subsides finally as Tyger

looks over the Yippie Republican’s, er, credentials.

“These are fake, right?” he concludes.

“Well, no one has stopped me from going anywhere I want yet.

I certainly have not been arrested.”

“Tell me about the inside of the convention,” Tyger asks the

Yippie infiltrator. “What is it like being outside on the inside?”

“Weeeeeeelllllll, they are very comfortable. Food is great.

Can’t hear what’s going on, but no one cares. I have been inside

every day, observing their sheepish behavior. Bah bah bah. Freaked out rabble.

l fit right in, but of course I have to be blasted out of

my mind with acid and marijuana to appreciate the completely

horrific ambiance. Overall, I have enjoyed myself. It has been fun.

 

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Hope to attend the next one too. Maybe bring along a bomb or something,

just for an additional thrill. Ker-boom! Hahaha. That will shake em

out of their lethargy some.” Tyger laughs his ass off as well dressed imposter,

pie guy, pie guy daughter, dance to the next group;

what do you know, the Dadbaggies again.

Guess the New Neanderthals couldn’t be bothered for such a politically correct event.

Roots and Heave are around some nowhere land pretending they are “Democrats,”

Good, just keep out of the way of the real event.

Hypes like them give Repubs the excuse to give liberals a bad name.

Sign reading “Evil U.S. Empire out of the Persian Gulf,”

prophetically hangs from the elongated Peace Truck

sound system flatbed. Two young acolytes stroll around

distributing small pieces of paper to all who desire.

Tyger checks it out and, yes comrades, it is indeed LSD.

Not just any acid either, but the purest acid

America’s finest somewhat secret San Francisco scientists

ever have developed. Outasight. Outamind.

Take another hit, immediately appreciating the awesome purity of acidic perfection.

Wowee-zowee, finally having fun, yes.

Quick surveillance of the scene reveals the total ecstasy

of unfettered by authority monumental anarchy of the highest karmic moment.

 

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Former editor of Overthrow walks in a straight — for him — line towards the bridge.

Pretty girl walks the opposite direction south to a portalet left behind by a wayward

construction crew knocking off work early. Small groups of countercultural types maintain commos,

smoking blunts, passing around a wine-skin, trading literature and free expressions of opinion sorta

promised by the Declaration of Independence as codified by the U.S. Constitution. African-American

rastaman sells Tyger a colorful peace symbol cloth suspended from a silly string that Tyger

slips around his neck. The guy also hands Tyger a flyer for a group called U.M.O.N,

“United Mankind Organizing Naturally.” Tall thin man, about 30 years old with

long grey Elijah the Prophet beard and countenance, sits on a car passing out

orange pamphlets to the ever-curious. Meet Calvin Peterson from Kansas City, Mo.

Tyger trades internal New Orleans gossip for Calvin’s great work,

titled”The Truth Has Been Thrown To The Ground.”

 

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The name of Calvin’s game is that he is sick of the U.S. Government’s oppression

of its people in general and himself in particular. He feels “the government” naturally

wants him to leave the country, and he wants to leave. Only catch, he ain’t got no money.

Therefore, he has been walking around town looking as grungy as possible trying

to sell his pamphlet to GO(im)P(osters) based on the premise their contributions will get

him out of their hair sooner, which is what everyone wants. The ingenious tactic

is not working very well, so he has a lot of these pamphlets left. He is trying

to hawk to those at Peace Camp to those perhaps are a bit more amenable to his message.

“I hate the God of the Easter Bunny,” rails Calvin to Tyger listening with acidically amplified attention.

“This is the nation of the Easter Bunny, of Santa Claus, of the false symbol. We have forgotten

our past and substituted the fake for real. I have given the matter of searching for the truth of my life

a high priority. I tell you Tyger Williams, the God of the Easter Bunny is a false prophet.”

Alrighty then. Tyger thumbs through the 50-page anti-tome. It’s inevitable conclusion:

“If everybody that loved this country sent one dollar, thousands of my people could be set free to live

 

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some place far away from your great society where you would not have t look upon them again.

They would not sleep in your streets anymore, or panhandle for your change. Could you think

of a better way to spend what is your labor than to send the homeless, the poor, the lame,

and those in captivity far away from you. Send you payment today,so we leave immediately without delay.

When the list of those who donated to send us away is published, would not you want your name

to be on there so your friends and neighbors can see you sent those ungrateful people

far away from your presence, you had a hand in ridding those people from your places.

Send your farewell gifts to: CALVIN PETERSON; P.O. Box 17634; Kansas City, MO 64123.”

Tyger nods his head in agreement as he looks up. “If you say so Calvin. I just gave my last dollar

to the rasta guy for the peace symbol cloth. But good luck.”

Bless his soul, Calvin understands. “Yeah, it is tough getting out of here,” he says.

“You would think the Republicans would want us to go in the worst way. But, they don’t seem to care.”

“No shit, Sherlock. it’s a strange world.”

Moving on, a box flyers squat unattended near Tyger’s mother the car.

He asks the closest person nearby, a girl with short sandy hair,

who belongs to the stack of attacks. No sale.

 

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They are titled: “BUSH IS GUILTY!… THIRTY YEARS OF DIRTY TRICKS & TREASON.”

Watergate: Bush, implicated in dirty tricks as head of Republican National Convention,

narrowly escaped being named unindicted co-conspirator; 1980: Bush, one of two or three principals

who actually flies to Europe to negotiate Treason: In return for assuring Reagan’s election by holding

the hostages an additional three months, the Ayatollah gets a better deal than the one

being offered by Carter. On behalf of U.S. Intelligence, Bush promises to facilitate

both the arms and heroin business interrupted by Carter. Other charges include various Bush

dealings with Panama strongman Manuel Noriega, tax breaks for associates, and various involvement

with other drug-related activity. Tyger places the flyers in his car, remembering he has

a time-worn mini-cassette recorder previously used for insurance investigating in the glove compartment.

He retrieves the tape recorder in order to record the final moments of Peace Camp as Dan Fail

is nominated veep and the convention winds down.

 

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What follows is a partial telling of the tape:

 

“They are probably starting to play baseball in some distant stadium.

But here, the peace truck rallies on proving that you can’t have too much fun

at a place like this except when you’re …

Look at he colors; orange, red pink, on the wharf, it is

approximately 7:35 (p.m.), sun is setting, so it is actually

an incredibly beautiful vista. Kid you not.

And that guy is not even waiting to use the porta-let.

He is just kind of using whatever is available, I suppose.

The former editor of Overthrow Magazine is speechifying. Let’s listen.

‘I want to explain for a minute a couple of banners we have

up here,’ he begins, long grey hair flowing in the evening breeze.

‘It wasn’t me that came up with this evil empire business,

after all. It was Ronald Reagan. He said that anyone who shoots down a civilian air

liner is an evil empire. You qualify if you shoot down a civilian airliner.

So, either the United States should quit acting like an evil empire

in shooting down those civilians or they should get out.

And this other thing over here on the end of the cab is a personal message

to you from Peter Tosh who came up with the design before he unfortunately lost his life

in a dispute over the music business which in Jamaica can sometimes can be fatal.

But his idea, this symbol — we’re trying to popularize it.

The idea was that we don’t think the government can solve anything.

We are the only people who can solve things and that is by taking

our own lives into our own hands. And we just happen to believe

that herbs are safer than refined chemicals. Rock Against Racism

brought this truck and this concert to this parking lot tonight in order

to celebrate a significant event, the self-annihilation, the suicide if you will,

of the Republican Party, who at this time across town is finishing the nomination process

to elect as their nominee just about the most unpopular guy in America in political life.

So, the only good thing we can say about the Regan years is

it’s over. Thanks God they didn’t blow up the world, although they really

fucked up the ozone layer. But we will have to deal with that

under the next guys.'”

 

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The event rolls to a conclusion within the endless tape loop

with which we have grown familiar. The final band scheduled to play,

a lame punk rock outfit called the Scandals, disagree with the Peace Truck banners.

They refuse to perform. The rally disintegrates in anarchy and darkness.

So it ends and begins on the same blank page, comrades, of

what can be set down about Tyger Williams’ life and times

between Christmas Day 1987, a good Friday, and the last day of

the Republican National Convention on Thursday August 18, 1988.

Shrubby and his minions finish their dirty little business

at the Superdome, blasting into outer space, fleeing the Big Easy

as if a fire alarm suddenly has been sounded. Tyger, under cover

of nightfall, returns to his Uptown apartment, catching Cubs-Padres from the West Coast.

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! Americans lose! All is as it always is with the world of 1988.

Time continues to flow beyond the range of our thick file on a small portion

of subject Williams’ activities. An accounting never can be completely made as he,

and associates timelessly walk the earth engaging in their various trials and tribulations.

This much can be appended to the public file for the purposes

of a summation on a need to know basis;

 

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Armor’s is the first of that old gang of Tyger’s to evacuate these hallowed shores.

He has had it with the urban lifestyle, retreating to a life of quiet contemplation

in rural California at the foothills of a national park that shall remain nameless in

order to preserve his privacy. Shortly thereafter, Mac takes his world to the quiet little

burg of Barataria — the resting place for the pirate Jean Lafitte — southwest of New Orleans,

past the national park just off Lake Salvador.Mr . Milty disappears suddenly one fine night,

loading up a moving van — sort of like the Baltimore Colts — eventually

emerging in the Texas Hill Country where his Belt of Tools band

becomes a local sensation. He is heard from only on special and surprising occasions.

Sandy Alexander, along with wife Mary Ann, relocate to the mountains of western

North Carolina, so they can raise a family in a friendly hard-working place, the total opposite

of the steamy and lazy Big Easy environment. More power to them. Dorothy LaFleur has

a bouncing baby girl whom she dresses in lovely pink ribbons and pretty flowered dresses.

She assumes the role of working mother-housewife as Jack rises to a position of

small importance in her father’s warehouse business. Fine, and Joe Fine?

What of the Super Sleuth, one wonders. Who knows.

 

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He disappears from the known universe possibly

maintaining a useful undercover existence that he finds

personally satisfying. Perhaps, he finally snares the evil Bingo

LeBeouf. No telling, although one can only hope.

And the other extras, heroes and villains alike, considered

for these purposes in the same breath. To the heroes: Well done.

We have psychic medals in the closet should you come over for

brunch. To the villains: Who cares. Get fucked. You suck.

Tyger, Tyger, what of the centerpiece around whom the others

revolved? What of the dear boy with whom we have sat surveillance

these wonderful, awful, groovy, horrible moments, and all that

could be cited in-between? What of the Tygermeister brewery of

consciousness drunk deeply?

Well comrades, he is well. As noted earlier, all is well

that is well ended. Tyger gets by for those who try and never

quit, never say “enough,” never give up the ghost, never die.

As John Heisman — after whom is named the trophy signifying

the best player in college football — told his Rice Institute

(now University) football team at half-time in a 1924 game they

were losing: “A team that won’t be beat can’t be beat.”

And the Fighting Owls flew out that second half and kicked

some sorry Longhorn butt, dominating a squad from the much larger

University of Texas, 19-6.

Yes, Tyger Williams and all he stood for, sat for, wished for,

 

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lived for, lives on in your well wishes and the memory

elicited through these long pages. We leave him for now as we found him,

a figment of the mind’s eye imagination, a surreal out-of-body, place and time

existential presence sitting by the lake at Audubon Park, flipping pebbles

into the placid waters, watching circles crop, expand and disappear.

He dreams of a beautiful dancer, of that equally beautiful time

when all of God’s slaves are free.

Only you can make that happen, comrades of the sacred moment.

You have Tyger’s best wishes as forever you strive,

succeeding through that striving,

regardless of final outcome.

CHAPTER THIRTY

Considering the philosophical underpinnings

of the story and events  of the surveillance between

Christmas Day 1987 and the Republican National Convention

in August 1988. Also, a story concerning the odd notions

of a Fourth Form English teacher.

 

CHAPTER 30

“Final Thoughts: Postmortems or Postmasters”

 

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However, comrades, does a story ever end? Does the universe

have a beginning and an end? Perhaps you realize the answer to both questions.

After all, we are left with the facts of this loaf of life as intuitively oblivious.

Marcel Proust sought to deal with the infinite by writing an infinite story.

Why bother reading even one book, some surrealists argued, when a small library

contained more books than a person could consume in a lifetime? Why indeed?

By the same token, as Proust realized, a writer could take the simplest object or concept —

a tree branch, molecule, a single thought — and describe it until the end of time, or at

least one’s time on earth. The task could be picked up by the next person and the next

in an infinite chain that never breaks. Therefore, can you comrades in ultimate confusion

even pretend to be shocked that the Tyger Williams saga never truly can conclude.

There always is this item or that to add, subtract, consider, and remove;

add again, paint, describe, draw to an end, and begin again resurrected.

Perhaps that is the core of all religion — the feeling, the belief,

 

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the inescapable impression that there must be more to the tiger’s tale

than meets the naked eye. Humanity needs to try to understand, bring

order to the basic principles of confusion. One will go insane trying

to understand the origins of physical principles. Instead, one must try

to explain as much as possible without asking that silly one word question:

Why?

Answer is always the same:

Why not?

And why, as the surrealists asked, bother?

If humanity can not know even the most basic questions, how we came into being,

what the perceived universe contains;

if humanity can not possibly explain the smallest part of the smallest portion of reality to the largest,

from the tiniest subatomic particle to huge supernovas, why bother discussing anything?

Why not stay in the simplest vegetative state, living for each moment, considering only

what makes a person happy, pursuing it with every ounce of attitude and being?

In case you have been buried beneath the ground in death-in-life forever like dirty rotten morons

such as Roots Badburns and Heave Broward, the answer is self-evident. Many persons do this.

This classification, in fact, includes much of humanity from the politically piggy higher up

corrupt conniptions like Shrubby, Fail, Ray-Gun, Nixxon, and the many legions of losers

who made them possible; all the way down to the simplest purest soul living in an

 

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as-yet undiscovered prehistoric Amazonia tribe, if one exists.

Many persons observed at this moment from a front window,

walking across a busy street, driving along a highway

bound for nowhere fast, simply do not care.

They could care less about the higher principles we now consider.

Truth means nothing to them. It means less than what is on television,

less than what transpires in front of their faces,

far less than question of what is for dinner or who are they going to fuck.

They are, in short, animals, animalistic like the cat, the giraffe,

the lowest insect and highest soaring bald eagle.

(Oh, dolphins and certain species of whale; octupuses, ravens,

a few other air, land, and sea creatures of superior intelligence have a clue

as to self recognition, true. Let us not demean such creatures unduly.)

Let them be. Let them be all they can be for they have no choice.

No higher options to consider for such as they.

Just the usual shop until they drop, eat until they are full,

live until they die, state of being. However, a few lost and lonely souls

must consider the higher meaning of life, ultimate questions that transcend life and death.

These questions have been considered since time immemorial

and will be part and parcel of man’s quest for ultimate meaning,

not to get too heavy lest gravity pin us to the ground.

 

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As long as the species and planet evolves.

Our highest mission is to understand what is our highest mission.

Such tasks in ancient societies might be assigned to an

individual called a shaman, priest, or known by some other

official designation. This division of function served a useful

purpose thereby freeing the strongest, and wisest, leaders down

to the lowest dull bulbs, nuts and dolts, to pursue the parallel

course of trying to fulfill the doctrine of survival of the

fittest or even improve humanity’s earthbound situation.

While most were toddling around with the actual physical

task of making man s lot better, more comfortable, more

efficient, less shitty to use an appropriately anal expression;

shaman, priest, psychic leader, guru bore the most troubling

burden of all, contemplation of the infinite, those questions

cutting to the core of man’s existence.

That is their horrible burden and awful task. Rewards,

however, are beyond anything that even the wisest temporal leader

could possibly imagine. The reward is a closeness, a closerness

to the fundamental building blocks of universal disorder.

Once upon a time, Tyger had a Fourth Form English teacher

named Mr . Sherman. This particular instructor was an odd bird. He

shaved his head, spoke with an effeminate and peculiar tone,

uttered bizarre and equally peculiar sentiments, all the while

 

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browbeating the class into a state of cowering mass submission.

Mr. Sherman hit on the simple truth that the best way to

control a large group of ignoramuses was to confuse them

further, splitting them like atoms, exploding their lame brains

with unrelated anti-matter. Highly effective counter-insurgency tactic.

The class of dullards, usually loud and rude beyond belief to less terrifying

and sublime instructors, reduced to an eerie state of submission and silence.

Some students followed Mr. Sherman around likea brood of kittens

after their big mama cat. Others took the opposite tact, mocking him,

albeit behind his back, never daring to confront those strange, blank staring eyes.

(That would be foolishly dangerous. Who knew what such a madman might do.

He might even flunk them, thereby blowing that all-important Ivy League college admission,)

Tyger took a more judicious approach towards the maniacal might be gigantic prophet.

As Ray-Gun said, trust but verify, a state of suspended disbelief, best associated

with appreciation of great art. One fine spring day, however,

 

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Mr. Sherman gave a lecture that stuck in Tyger’s mind forever. At the time,

Tyger considered the speech a standard diatribe given to each of Mr. Sherman’s

classes to keep them under control, perhaps an annual rite of passage.

The young boy didn’t think much of the talk, although it made sense in a quirky sort of way.

Consider the scene in this, the final moments of our brief time spent with the ever searching

and curious surveillance pelicana. Push the hands of time back back back to the outfield fence….

Take up a surveillance of that moment, existing in the mists of memory before there were

portable video cameras and recorders.That far-off time when the Great Society was all the rage.

Kennedys and liberals were respected American leaders. Little has cha-changed since then

except for political fashion, technical advancement, and alternation of popular personalities.

No changes of the fundamental human spirit or inner condition that persists through eternity

or at least until man’s perception of eternity has ba-da-bing ended.

 

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Final act begins stage right. Bell rings, signifying a change of school periods.

Boys enter a third floor classroom. They sit at wooden chair-desks still excited

by the brief freedom afforded in the temporary suspension of school discipline and order.

They are impervious, not noticing any particular differences before their twinkling eyes.

Mr. Sherman has drawn a white chalk picture on the blackboard. He sits stage left,

surrounded, almost obscured, in his chair. Boys chatter aimlessly until, one by one,

they sense the need to cease and desist. Mr. Sherman does not have to call them

to attention. He psychically wills their motor-mouths to simmering stops.

“Yes. Yes. You are quiet then,” Mr. Sherman notes in his strange turn of tone, a kind of

cocktail hybrid of geek with a twist of Marine drill sergeant. “I call your attention

to what I have drawn on the blackboard.” He points with a ruler. “Consider the weeds

I have drawn. Weeds that all of you, myself, everyone you know, will know,

are mired in, trapped like animals, beasts, inextricably bound, unable to escape,

unable even to imagine escape.” (Mr. Sherman had a funny way of pronouncing certain words,

and a masters degree in literature from the University of Michigan to validate his erudition.

So, he pronounced Oedipus as Oy-Ay-Di-Puuuus, for example, as the class went Greek from time to time.)

“Oy-Ay-Di-Puuuus is down there.” Mr. Sherman pointed to the ground.

“Clytemnestra is down there. Your mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers are down there.

The smartest person you will ever meet in your life is down there. And yes, even I am down there.

“Now, look above, above up there to the top of the blackboard.” Everyone looked over, under,

through the blackboard with X-ray visions blurring.” Nothing. Sorry, glorious comrades.

“That is God or what we call God or what others call what they call the ultimate being,”

Mr. Sherman continues monotone unabated. “The beginning and end of time.

That is off the blackboard. No one can see it. “Now, just beneath the edge of the board,

but significantly higher than the weeds is this. Look. Look.” Mr. Sherman has drawn

three white clouds set on the blackboard sea. “This is where one person reaches.

One person can find this place, a place above the weeds where the vista is clear.”

 

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“He could look down upon the weeds and everyone in the weeds, but no need to bother.

He does not care what the weeds contain, what the weed persons do with their brief time

in the weeds. No. No. Never.” Mr. Sherman’s voice rose like a reedy flute, piercing

the psychic atmosphere marked by half-listening, barely comprehending 16 year old youths.

“No. He has made it to a place above the weeds. He can never look back. He is up there,”

Mr. Sherman held a hand up to the cloudy picture, “and all of us are down there.”

.He points with the ruler to the weeds. “You are a dull class,” Mr. Sherman said.

“In fact, when they gave me your class they warned me these boys care not to learn.

They are stupid boys. They only are interested in becoming businessmen, bankers, lawyers,

whatever. They warned me. Do not waste your time, your energy with boys such as these.

They will not benefit. Simply teach them the lesson, wish them good luck on their way to

wherever they are going. I have seen you boys for nearly a year.I must agree. You are the worst

class I ever have,” fake quote marks with his fingers, “taught. You will live your lives,

make what you will of them. That is nothing to me. You are stupid boys.”

 

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“I have drawn this picture, wasted my valuable time all these months for a reason.

What reason is this, I see you ask with your dull eyes. I will tell you. While you and I

are stuck in the mud, hidden from the higher truth of order by these wretched weeds,

unable to get out or climb above; one of you is exempt from this inhumane status of humanity.

Yes. Yes,” Mr. Sherman’s thin voice seeming to rise like a fine mist, “look at your classmates.

Look to the right and left, behind and in front. One of you is here,” pointing to the blackboard clouds.

“One of you stupid boys is wisest of all, wiser even than me although he does not realize it.

One of you is above the weeds. This boy among all of we weed eaters, this boy who does not

realize what he is. For this boy, I have done everything. I have sweated at night, prepared

these many months of lessons even as you did not comprehend them, perhaps never will,

or might eventually come to realize a small portion. But this boy above the weeds comprehends,

and yes, understands even, understands all I have spoken, perhaps without realizing it as yet.

“I have done everything that I have done for this boy, this one boy who will rise above you,

above me. I have told only him about Oy-Ay-Di-Puuuus and Shakespeare’s sonnets.

 

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“One boy out of all, and you know what, I will not tell you who he is. You will

never hear that from me. “He might be you,” Mr. Sherman pointed at a dull lad.

“Or you, or you, or you,” pointing at different students. “You must always wonder

who he is. It might be anyone. It might be he who none suspect, none of you even

vaguely consider. “Or it might be you,” pointing to Bob Lippman, straight ‘A’ honor roll

Mensa student. “Or you,” pointing to Andy Suchin, worst ‘D’ student one planet earth,

“or you or you or you…You must always wonder who he is for you are in the weeds.

This special boy will know the higher order that even I can not possibly understand, nor could I

should I live an eternity. He knows this intuitively. He knows this without asking.

I have done all I can to help him. I have devoted myself to him, this secret boy.

I will never utter his name. The rest of you are irrelevant. The rest of you are cattle.

I only hope this person remembers what I said, what I tried to show him. I hope he has pity

on me when he remembers my unworthiness.I hope I have been of some small service to him.

Pause as Mr. Sherman bows head towards floor. “Class dismissed.” Initial shock gives way

to boys quickly gathering belongings, throwing them into decal-covered book bags.

They fear Mr. Sherman — usually a stickler for detail and punctuality — might change his mind,

considering he had dismissed class with 20 minutes remaining on the big clock.

Mr. Sherman sinks in his chair scene stopped.

(That was the last lecture Mr. Sherman ever gave the class for he was terminated

suddenly, and without public explanation, the next week. Circumstances were unclear

although whispers of gay indiscretions refused to die.)

 

“SURVEILLANCE PELICANA”

Final Thoughts

Weisman

636

 

Three card monty shell game of a time when

nothing is as it appears, everything is as it seems,

no difference through the mists of history.

Pelicans sweeping above the levee, oblivious

to what has come and what yet will become.

Frauds and occasional triumphs of the spirit

in our mind one last time as in a dream or a Joe Fine black box

secret surveillance system videotape upon further review.

Funny thing about perspective provided by such a

long view telescoped through space. Classmates spun various webs of lives with wives,

children, and families. They became lawyer doctor businessman fool; even a few artistic

lines intertwined, splitting off in consciousness to places near and far, tight and wide.

But Tyger, Tyger Williams in his Gulliver’s travels through Alice’s looking glass wonderland,

stopping at this place or that seemingly at random, bouncing like a superball from this job to that,

this observation, this thought to the next in an inevitable progression; this mirror of time, snapshot

reflecting nothing happening for a reason while everything adds up to life in the weeds yearning for the

higher understanding of the clouds promised a class of dullards many eons ago by a madly bizarre

excuse for a prophet. Comrades who sat surveillance, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes awesome,

 

“SURVEILLANCE PELICANA”

Final Thoughts

Weisman

637

 

hit or miss, poignant, beyond comprehension and every point of human consciousness

betwixt and between a few white pages, as related by and for Tyger Williams, insurance investigating

art detective everyman observer. Comrades who bore witness everlasting to the small, although

potent, magic potion of events briefly described, mixed in random fashion between Christmas Day 1987

and RepublicanNational Anti-Matter Inconsequential Convention of August 1988 at the Louisiana Superdome

in New Orleans, of all fantastic places. That thought, comrades, dances in the sun, glints, glistens

through the slippery mirror of time as magnified by recollections divine. Anything is possible.

Anyone is possible. Let us spend the end of this tail, comrades, contemplating Mr. Sherman’s

sphinx-like riddle, never expecting to know the answer. We are lost in those damn weeds, nothingness,

dust dirt, mindless molecules floating nowhere, everywhere, too fast. We are their inevitable

conclusion; like it or not, know it or never care. But it would be nice, if only for the briefest moment;

 

“SURVEILLANCE PELICANA”

Final Thoughts

Weisman

638

 

it would be a pleasant and comforting thought to imagine, if only for a nanosecond,

that such a person might sit on a cloud above even as we shit in the weeds below,

and contemplate a high, higher, highest order. If this only were so, comrades of the

final forever so long fare thee well take care goodbye, we yet may wish upon a star.

After all the shit has hit the fan and blown nowhere, all is said and done, opened

and closed, considered, like the universe exploded into the great never ending what;

we may cling to a small silly hope, a hope dancing an awkward stupid jig that a hero

contemplates a higher calling, holds a wake in honor of all the other so-called heroes,

smart and dumb ones combined into one world order. This means we might hang by the

slimmest thread of that faint hope unwinding; that hope lingering after lights are

snuffed out; that hope like an uninvited party guest who simply will not vanish, hope that

Mr. Sherman’s riddle might yet be solved; that even the lowest soul sunk in the worst weedy

way may one day be freed from his awful state of unknowing. Could it be? Could it be? Could it be?

You? Them? Me? The infinite mantra last moment of time disappearing like a grinning illusionist,

 

“SURVEILLANCE PELICANA”

Final Thoughts

Weisman

639

 

vanishing into that space where nothing has existed forever.

Be that as it may. For your final contemplation comrades:

Tyger Williams thinks about the past year as he sits by the lake at Audubon Park

smoking a big fat illegal smile. He also thinks about the future, squarely rounding into view,

1989 on its inevitable way. WTF. A chapter in a life ended with simply one affirmation remaining.

Just say yes. Just say yes. Chanting the countercultural mantra of the magic moment.

Say Yes. Yes. Yes…

And scene.