Oddfellows

Written by  //  January 8, 2008  //  Donnyblurbs  //  1 Comment

Ditch the Fleetwood under a fucking overpass somewhere on the way…
* * * * * *

I recall that it was only my second date with Rhonda – who I later discovered to be Clover Strange of the recently disbanded avante-garde rock group PuppetShow – and yet I knew I was going to die.

Just from being involved in the whole thing – not just what I’d elected to participate in; but what I’d witnessed and heard and knew simply from sitting around that asswipe room at the Hotel Newhouse, and the parade of miscreants that made pit-stops there; even things no one could’ve thought I’d seen when I was faking sleep. This would end all too soon and with that end would come my very real being dead forever.

Which wasn’t all bad, I mused – that would mean an end to the tedium of trying to conjure conversation with Rhonda/Clover where clearly none was possible, and would certainly prove a more cinematic death than shamefully shitting my organs out or having early heart-failure due to my penchant for intoxicants.
* * * * * * We called them ‘The Myspace Diaries’ – but they weren’t diaries at all; not even a little bit. In fact, despite the similarity to a “blog”, the Diaries were nothing more than an agreed-upon clearing-house, a staging-area for blatherings and blubberings of the most sordid misadventures that erstwhile members of our little ‘group’ managed to get into – balanced with the tedium of minutiae that we plugged away at for no other reason than to stave off death. Death and being poor. Shit – no one wants to be poor, for fuck’s sake.
* * * * * *

Jenkins turned slightly at the sound of his boss’ voice. It was that same, even-pitched detachment, that rolling cadence that housed the most absurd and asinine ideas he’d ever heard. A lot of them. Hourly. Mr. Peabody seemed never to tire.

Peabody was a nut. A card-carrying insane person running a multi-million dollar company. Into the ground. Cash was bleeding everywhere and, despite some tumult in the marketplace and a couple of misguided consultants [things that every enterprise had to weather, Jenkins knew] – the almost-awe-inspiring tank-job of MegaCorp in recent months could really, honestly, be traced back to Peabody alone. He had always been prone to paranoid fantasy and horseshit marketing plans and scarcely-believable turns of animated idiocy when it came to their product line. But he’d also stayed away, by and large, content to see the gargantuan profits roll in as he clacked away at the back nine in Merganser or Pebble Beach.
Now it was different, mused Jenkins. He was the only one who truly grasped the enormity of Peabody’s dementia. He alone could seemingly diffuse the old wacko’s temper tantrums. The sole translator between Peabody’s unsettling and pointless rants & non-sequitirs and the array of executives and handlers who wanted nothing more than for Peabody to keel over dead.

* * * * * *

Lieutenant Colonel Prescott A. Mimsington and his half-brother, Admiral Reginald Mimsington, were both dishonourably discharged from Her Majesty’s Army in 1944 – within a few months of one another. They never once saw each other during their respective tours – although the Western Front was the theatre in which they were both deployed. Lt. Col. Mimsington was a highly-regarded essayist at Oxford, a sword collector of some renown in those circles of leisure which could afford such contrivances, and had been hauled in over 37 times over the previous decade for assault, verbal threats, sexual battery, and attempted murder by PC Chapman, the only full-time constable in the tiny village of Darmumshire. The Mimsington’s palatial and sprawling estate was essentially the entire hamlet – save for servant’s quarters, the two pubs [Goatshead and The Other Finger], Francis’ Mercantile, and a run of old cottages peopled by relations, hangers-on, and elements of the Clan Duncan; who had migrated there from Scotland [ostensibly] in 1443. Although he had a long and colorful history with being cuffed and clipped a bit, Prescott only was forced to stand in front of the County Magistrate three times; and only once received a sentence of any note whatsoever.

Reginald – the elder of the two – was delusional, violent, suffered from blinding migraines, and was sexually impotent without the sight, scent, or taste of blood. As a boy growing up in this largely unspoiled shire; ensconced in the safety and unaccountability that Old Money bought a British semi-noble family at just before the turn of the century – well, he’d cut his teeth on more than a few unspeakable acts – many of which his brother only imagined.

It was argued at length, in hushed tones and invoking every true and probably-only-rumor that floated through the streets of the tiny village – as to which brother was the more horrible. The townspeople were understandably terrified of the Mimsingtons – for more than their mere affinity for bloodshed and rape; they also controlled the majority of the land and real estate in Darmumshire and environs.

Ironically, had Prescott and Reginald been privy to these late-night discussions regarding the extent of their awful deeds, it would not have displeased them in the least.

* * * * * *

Something about the labor-intensiveness of mixing one’s own Bloody Mary gave the goal more seeming purpose, more gravity – not just a tangy hangover tool meant to bite back; it was artistry, design, methodology, purpose.

It was here, at Streets of London – for some reason, found in Denver, Colorado, USA – that a Tradition was born… several, in fact – and he knew that he was at the center of it.

Dash of Worcestershire. Looking around; here was that up-and-coming graphic novelist that he’d always assumed was just some rich kid bouncing around the Modern Drunkard scene; until he saw him interviewed in The Onion last week. More Garlic Powder. More. Why was La-La’s baby such a good drug for him? He supposed all babies were, in a way. Two Pepperoncinis – sink ‘em. Touch of Celery Salt. Doc Sam was holding court with aplomb; neat vest, velvet jacket, straw fedora… was that an ascot? Must Squeeze Lime Juice! Two, Three Wedges’ Worth. The Secret Ingredient.
* * * * * *
The pitch was made simply: “Hater Guides” – travel guides that shouted down on their given locale – the worst of everything and why never to go and why if you had to live there you’d kill yourself. ‘For hipsters’ the suits said. The pair nodded, not so much out of deep agreement but knowing that they who signed the checks were becoming convinced. An advance of $45,000 was forthcoming, and a short list of places – just in the States, for now – was shaken out.
* * * * * *

Peaches Champagne, the singer for PuppetShow, came from an old-money family; she was vague – and pointedly distanced herself from them – but not so much that she was above taking full advantage of what prosperity and opulence and connections had to offer when it suited her. Everyone – including me – knew she was bullshit; this whole thing an act of near-pointless rebellion and the subsequent wooing by her mother to “rejoin the family” was ripe for abuse; abuse I was willing to dig the ride on, repeatedly.

In this case, the exploitation was manifested as the six of us jumping into one of the family planes [I thought I remembered Rhonda telling me Peaches’ real name once, in an opium haze. Something with a veneer on it; Cartwright or Pendleton] and, with an obligatory stop in Florida for a night out with more filthbag friends of Rhonda’s; sucking down Mai Tais and chili dogs on a rotten beach – puttering straight away to Harbour Island. A tiny strip of green out there, north part of the Bahamas – real topline; celebrity jerks from around the world, developers and merchant bankers and criminals with ‘fuck you’ money skulking about when they weren’t in private clubs or exclusive resorts or impressing each other on yachts.

Peaches walked us into an oversized, two-story “cabana” [her word] that her family kept there and managed to break a statue before even getting to the kitchen. She told the maid and the cook and the gardener to take a week off, paid. They seemed to know her and maybe even expected this amount of flair and flippancy.

I just needed to sit down.

About the Author

Sid Pink

Sid Pink is Donnybrook's Lifestyle and Booze columnist and knocked up a Vegas showgirl.

View all posts by

One Comment on "Oddfellows"

  1. Col. Hector Bravado January 8, 2008 at 12:27 pm · Reply

    Hmm. Blunderbuss-style fiction. Fun to read, and chilling too.
    Hey, are you trying to goad me with the Bloody Mary bar thing? We fucking covered that a long time ago.

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

comm comm comm