LATE TO THE BLUE MEANIE PARTY? CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP
The first time I met him face-to-face it was a cold – for California – early November night. The Mad Bomber had fallen woefully behind in his rent and it was up to me to either collect, or move him gently on his way without endangering the surrounding neighborhood - or Mr. Cohen’s insurance premiums.
Although everyone’s windows were closed to the cold, when you approached the Blue Meanie apartments you could hear music coming from everywhere in the complex.
I don’t know if they were topless or not – the curtains were pretty thick - but my imagination made them so.
Although Christmas was more than a month away, maybe this was a good omen. How bad could things really be if the Mad Bomber family thought it was Christmas?
I knocked and a few seconds later the door creaked open and the smell of marijuana and booze poured out. And I found the Mad Bomber peering at me through red eyes.
He turned his head and shouted, “Look who’s here, honey.”
I took an extra swallow to gather my faculties and proceeded to explain my mission.
This Mr. and Mrs. MB had screened off with a curtain of what I now realized were brass cartridge cases all strung together with I later found out was some pretty high test fishing line.
There was a scrawny Christmas tree in one corner, traditional lights blazing and decorated with shell boxes painted different colors, old cleaning rods hanging from fishing line, little spray painted reaming brushes, and dozens of what appeared to be painted electronic parts that turned out to be timing fuses and other explosives paraphernalia.
The tree was topped with a plastic human skull (I hoped it was plastic) painted a shiny silver.
As I looked in shock at the hairy armpit, the stubbled legs, the dirty robe and the rest of her – a memory I don’t choose to dwell upon – I recalled Mr. Mad Bomber’s last words: “My wife takes care of all the business, pal… She’ll be right out… Me, I’m gonna take a walk to the beach and back… Take an hour – at least.”
Believe me, if Mrs. Mad Bomber had been the prime example of the Mother Goddess’ miraculous work, there would be no Playboy, no Penthouse, no nada. Well, except maybe with methadrine Mr. Mad Bomber saw something in his true love that I didn’t see. If so, this was the most powerful argument against the drug that I’d ever encountered.
I estimate that between the two of them they had ten usable teeth – tops.
So what if she was presently whacked on codeine to treat a migraine headache? I’d sit by her side and hold her hand and bathe her temples with cooling, eau-de-cologne. This was a burden I’d much rather bear.
She waved her raggedy robe back and forth – to reveal, or not to reveal – that was Mrs. Bomber’s question. I took another honk, praying to the Gods of guys who find themselves in this sort of shit through no fault of their own, that I would not be forced to take one more look at a naked part of her, thereby turning me off to women forever.
The entire 8-novel landmark science fiction series is now being presented in three three giant omnibus editions from Orbit Books. The First - BATTLECRY - features the first three books in the series: Sten #1; Sten #2 -The Wolf Worlds; and Sten #3, The Court Of A Thousand Suns. Next: JUGGERNAUT, which features Sten #4, Fleet Of The Damned; Sten #5, Revenge Of The Damned; and Sten #6, The Return Of The Emperor. Finally, there's DEATHMATCH, which contains Sten #6, Vortex; and Sten #7, End Of Empire. Click on the highlighted titles to buy the books. Plus, if you are a resident of The United Kingdom, you can download Kindle versions of the Omnibus editions. Which is one clot of a deal!
THE STEN COOKBOOK & KILGOUR JOKEBOOK
Two new companion editions to the international best-selling Sten series. In the first, learn the Emperor's most closely held cooking secrets. In the other, Sten unleashes his shaggy-dog joke cracking sidekick, Alex Kilgour. Both available as trade paperbacks or in all major e-book flavors. Click here to tickle your funny bone or sizzle your palate.
|Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969|