Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thirty-One--A First Meeting

In 2006, the first year that poker events would play at the Rio instead of Binion's, Quincy, wearing enough makeup to resemble a sun-ravaged, retired farmhand, entered 32 of the 45 World Series of Poker matches.  He missed some of them because he didn't qualify--like Event #1, the NL event for casino employees that annually kicked off the tournament series, or the events for ladies and seniors--but also because he was too lazy to multitable two events at once.  Tournament rules disallowed Piotr from taking one of Quincy's seats and following instructions by text, which in Quincy's words "sucked bigtime."

"If you can't multitable, then only old people will play," Quincy complained.

At the same time and in the same casino, Natalia Pertman, the teenage Russian starlet famed for her petite figure, aquiline face, long black hair, and wildly eccentric movie performances, an actress who has no resemblance to any actual person living or dead, was starring in an indie flick filming late at night on the gaming floor.  At 3 a.m. nightly, when the number of gamblers had whittled down to the homeless, insomniac tourists, drunk college kids, and Red-Bull-pumped grandmothers, the casino closed off the lesser-used blackjack tables and roulette wheel.

In the $1,500 NL Event #2, Quincy had made it through three orbits before busting out with nine-deuce of hearts on a flop containing the ace of hearts, the jack of hearts, and the deuce of diamonds.  An ace on the turn gave his opponent, an Internet kid wearing gigantic black headphones, a full house.  No other events were running, so he spent the rest of the day playing Grand Theft Auto 3 on his PS2 while Piotr watched a six-hour pay-per-view documentary called "The Russian Elite: The World's Greatest Chess Matches."

"That's like porn for you," Quincy said.

Piotr sat up in bed and feigned indifference.  "No."

"Really.  It is."


"One, because there's porn on pay per view, but instead you're watching 'The World's Greatest Chess Matches.'  Two, because you have a hardon underneath those sheets."

Ignoring him, Piotr was already absorbed in the game underway on the screen.  "Watch this," Piotr said, mesmerized.  Boris Spassky moved his knight to king's rook six.  "Boom!" Piotr exclaimed.  Spassky's opponent, Mikhail Tal, stood and wavered, as if he had just been clocked by a devastating uppercut.  A few moments of deliberation later, seeing that his position had just been rendered indefensible, Tal extended his hand, and Spassky shook it.  "TKO," Piotr noted.  "He'll be pissing blood for weeks."

Before they knew it, a dozen hours had passed.  It was the middle of the night, and they were starving.  Instead of ordering room service, they headed downstairs.  

"What's going on over there?" Quincy asked.

"Movie, I think," Piotr replied.

They approached the barrier, above which a sign read "SILENCE PLEASE," and saw a camera set up near the craps table.  It was pointed at a blackjack table where a young woman was seated with her back to them both.

"Who is she?"

"Dunno," Piotr lied.

They circled around.  When the actress turned, Quincy froze, unable to look away from her face.  Seeming not to notice, or else immune from such attention, she turned her attention to the casino chips in front of her.  She tried to shuffle the chips, but she obviously needed practice.

"Quince, you okay?"

"That's her."

Piotr nodded.  He knew.  He had arranged the meeting.  Kidnapping her hadn't been much of an option.  He had checked with his most reliable illegal sources and been told that her security was too tight.  So Piotr had spent the next half year stumped--until he awoke in the middle of the night with the perfect solution.  Plan B!  He got in touch with a Hollywood friend of his father and promptly bought a half-dozen scripts that he thought that she might like based on her past films, in which she tended to play a hooker, an addict, or a young girl slowly losing her sanity, and sent them all to her agent from "Gleeman Productions Unlimited."

The script she chose was about a gambling addict who goes broke, turns to prostitution to fuel her blackjack needs, get smacked around by an abusive pimp, and slowly loses her mind.  Its working title was "Hit Me."

The agent also informed Piotr that Pertman might also be interested in another of the scripts about a Russian chick who mistakenly buys a lottery ticket, wins a million dollars, loses every penny playing video poker, joins a religious cult, becomes the cult leader's thirteenth wife, and abruptly gets swallowed alive by a sinkhole.  Its working title was "A Lunch for Earth."

Quincy stepped through an opening in the barrier and approached her, a move that Piotr had anticipated, giving all of the film workers (except Natalia) a picture of Quincy and telling them that he had carte blanche.  

When Natalia turned to him, Quincy said, "You have been the last dream of my soul."

She stared at him, marveling, then said, "That's the most morose and hopeless thing I've ever heard."

He beamed.  "Thanks.  I got it from 'A Tale of Two Cities.'"

"He's bankrolling the movie, by the way," Piotr said, appearing at Quincy's side.

She seemed genuinely surprised.  "Him?"

"Me?" asked Quincy.

She laughed.  "Well then, I guess you're the one I should complain to about the casino."

"What's wrong with it?" Quincy asked.

"Everything.  The room service is especially bad."

Quincy fished around in his backpack, then placed a brick of hundreds on the felt table.  She blinked twice and said, "Is that supposed to impress me?"

Quincy looked confused.  "It's for dinner."  He took a step back and added, "You shuffle the chips real bad."

Unruffled, she said, "I noticed that."

"That's because your hands are too small."  She gave him a half-smile, so he added, "How tall are you?"

"Five three.  Why?"

"Just want to make sure your cage is tall enough."  

"What cage, funny boy?"

He felt himself getting an erection, so he said, "Bye!" and headed for the elevator.

Once he was gone, Natalia said simply, "What a manchild."

Piotr nodded.  His assessment: Complete success.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thirty--The Spice House

Despite Enquirer reports, Quincy had gone to Reno instead of Vegas, with Piotr Gleeman, his agent, and Arvin, his toady.

"How are you going to play?" Piotr laughed.  "You look like the youngest cub scout in the troop."

Without makeup or anything to disguise his age, he opted for a Hawaiian shirt, which only drew more attention to his age.  He was instamatically booted from John Ascuaga's Nugget, Harrahs, and Circus Circus, eventually complaining to a security guard, "Did you even look at the shirt?"

"What about it?" asked the guard with a smirk.

"Haven't you ever been on a cruise?  Only old people wear these."

"So you gotta be old?  What do you think I am, a retard?"

"You're a security guard."

"Get lost, kid."

Eventually, he found a home at the Peppermill.

After a bit of $2/$5 NL, the biggest game that Quincy could find in Reno on a Tuesday afternoon, he found himself bored and hungry.  During the half-hour session, Quincy had gone all in on about forty percent of the hands he played and had lost the completely boring amount of $4,300.  The other players kept motioning for the security guards to keep away.  On the last hand, when he reraised all in with 5 2 of diamonds on a Q 6 3 rainbow flop, he decided to try his facepunching strat.

"Dealer, wait," he said.

Before the dealer could respond, Quincy socked himself in the temple three times in quick succession and flew from his seat.  The bearded man next to him flinched and stood, looking down at the floor.  Other players craned their necks.  The dealer, indifferent, dealt the turn and river.

"Natalia's toes," Quincy said nonsensically from below the table.  "Bubble bath."

The bearded man held out a hand to help Quincy, who rose unsteadily to his feet.  When he saw the dealer pushing the pot to a player in a T-Wolves ballcap across the table, he shook his head and thought, Wasted facepunch.

He staggered into the parking lot, Piotr and Arvin in tow.

"Your first time in Reno," Piotr said to Arvin.  "What do you think?"

"Bad video games, bums under benches, and everyone drunk in the afternoon," Arvin said, and then added philosophically, "Reno is awesome."

They hopped into Quincy's orange Maserati, shiny as a gumball, and zipped through the streets in search of lunch, eventually stopping at a promising spot.

"Uh, Quince," said Piotr, "I don't think that is a restaurant."

"It's got 'Spice' in the name," Quincy replied.  "They'll have food."

It was dark inside, dull light emanating from above the bar, from a muted glow along the walls, and from the shine of the stripper poles.  A hint of bleach was overwhelmed by the stench of sweat.

"Nobody here," Piotr said.  "Let's go get some pizza."

The door closed behind them, and they heard the click-click-click of heels. A woman with a hawk-like face approached them and abruptly said, "Out.  Too young."

But Quincy had been kicked out of enough places for the day.  He pulled a softball-sized ball of cash from his jacket pocket, which the woman give little more than a glance, peeled away two Benjamins, and handed them to her.  "One big bowl of mac and cheese and whatever they want," he said, motioning to Piotr and Arvin.

She smiled.  "My name is Chamomile.  Take a seat, gentlemen."  She returned to the entrance, flipped a sign so that "CLOSED" faced the parking lot, and locked the door.  She wore a black miniskirt and a sleeveless top with vertical black-and-white stripes.

"Maybe her Dad is an NFL referee," Arvin guessed.

When she returned to the table, she held a pen and pad in hand.  She said, "One big bowl mac and cheese."

Then she looked at Piotr, who asked, "Do you have a menu?"

"The menu is whatever you want."


"Uh huh," she said, and turned to Arvin.

"Nine Whopper meals."

She nodded.  She squinted at the pad for a moment, then said, "Nine hundred bucks, and it'll take an hour.  Cash up front."

Quincy paid.  A man came out of a room behind the bar, craning his neck, and Chamomile hurried over to whisper to him.  He disappeared, and she clicked back over to their table.

"Your food is on the way.  While you're waiting for lunch," she said, "how about a show?"

"Anything we want?" Quincy asked, scanning the room for a television set.


"Beavis and Butthead," said Quincy.

"How about," she said, leaning forward to reveal cleavage, "I get naked and we call that a show?"

"I guess," Quincy said.  He figured that if she wanted to get naked, who was he to stand in the way?  "But what are you gonna do?"

She laughed.  "I'm going to get naked."

Quincy seemed unconvinced.  "Can you get naked while we watch Spongebob?"

"No Spongebob.  Me.  Naked.  Dancing around that pole over there."

Quincy peered at her.  "That's the show?"

For a split second, Chamomile's face turned furious.  Then the anger was gone.  She said sweetly, "Why don't I put on some music, get naked, and dance over there, and you can tell me what you think?"

"You talk about getting naked a lot," Piotr observed.

Arvin interrupted.  "I want to change my order.  I want extra cheese.  On my Whoppers."

"Fuck your Whoppers!" Chamomile exclaimed.  Then she walked behind the bar, crouched down, and soon a song with strong bass began vibrating their chairs.  She sat up on the bar, pouted at them, twirled around on her ass to the other side, and headed with a determined gait toward the platform.  As the music played, she gradually lost her top, skirt, and bra.

"What's that called?" Arvin pointed, shouting over the music.

"G-string!" she shouted back.

"No, that blue thing above it!"

"That's a mole, asshole!"

She wrapped her legs around the pole and fell backwards, breasts gyrating and hair brushing the floor.

"How do you make your breasts do that?" Piotr shouted.

"Do what?" she shouted back at him.

"Move to the beat of the music like that?"


"Good job!"


When the song ended, she stalked over to them.  Quincy saw sweat beads on her upper lip.

"Private show," she said, "is four hundred bucks."  Quincy shrugged and paid her.  Folding the money into her g-string, she seemed to toss a vulnerable glance their way.  "Why?  Didn't you like it?"

They were quiet.

She frowned at them.  "Well, how about ping pong?  You like ping pong?"

They remained quiet.  Eventually, Arvin declared, "Ping pong sucks."

"Well, you've never seen ping pong like this."

She started another song and returned to the stage with a pink bucket.  Soon she tossed her g-string in Quincy's direction--he ducked--and deposited her ass onto the shiny stage floor.  As the song thumped its chorus, she shouted, "How about this!" and inserted one of the white balls into herself.  She made it disappear, reappear, disappear, and then launched the ball at them.  It bounced off of Arvin's forehead.

"Ping pong is awesome," Arvin said.

More ping pong balls began to fly in their direction, sometimes three at a time.

"Her aim," Piotr observed, "is surprisingly good."

A well-placed ball flew toward Arvin's face.  He caught it in his mouth, crunched down three times, and swallowed it.

"You're not supposed to eat the ping pong balls!"

In his own defense, Arvin shouted, "What's the point of the game then?"

With renewed fury, she launched another trio of ping pong balls.  Two of them bounced off of Arvin's face.  Trio after trio kept hitting their target.

Eventually Arvin wailed, "I'm hungry!"

Just then, the front doors opened, and a blaze of light fell across the platform, forcing everyone to squint.  The man they had seen earlier entered, shut the door, and placed bags of food on their table.  As he did, the music stopped, and Chamomile came over.

At the same time, Chamomile and the man said, "A thousand bucks."

Clarifying, he said, "Delivery charge," and she said, "For the private show and one eaten ping pong ball."

Paying, Quincy noticed a small TV above the bar and said, "Can we watch TV now?"

"Fuck it all to hell," Chamomile spat, and marched over to collect her clothes.

"You don't like Cammy, eh?" the man remarked, and chuckled.  "Okay.  Let's watch TV."

Arvin had already finished one Whopper and was midway through a second.  Quincy's bowl of mac and cheese was gigantic.  He dove in.  Even Piotr, normally picky, said that the lasagna was the best he had ever had.

Meanwhile, the TV news was reporting on the Truckee Massacre.  Beneath a picture of Alex Trebek was a single word: "Manhunt."  When the man behind the bar saw that nobody was watching, he switched channels to Bugs Bunny, which immediately caught the attention of the three eaters, who giggled at the cartoons while an angry stripper named Chamomile glared at them from a distant corner, absently counting new cash.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Twenty-Nine--When Bullets Fly, Do Nuns Die?

Trebek Snaps, Truckee Trembles--When Bullets Fly, Do Nuns Die?  

A National Enquirer Exclusive

To any regular game show viewers who may have harbored the lingering suspicion that Alex Trebek--host of Jeopardy!--seemed a little too pompous, a tad too strange, even a touch creepy, we invite you to answer the following question: The craziest, most violent game show host in the world.

Winning question: Who is Alex Trebek?

On Thursday evening, TV's ultimate answer man, also known as the Human Container of Information that No One Needs to Know, Thereby Helping Viewers to Replace Important Thoughts with Trivia, led a squadron of bomb- and machine-gun-toting lowlifes--38 in total!--as they stormed the Sisters of the Silent Hug, the only Franciscan convent in Northern California.  

The setting: tranquil.

The weather: overcast with ten percent chance of rain.

The sounds: birds chirping in the trees; light hum of traffic; a nun in the TV room asking another to pass the Cheetohs; the brief squeak of brakes as a bus halted abruptly at the curb outside.

The scene: Thirteen nuns were just finishing dinner and were in the midst of evening prayers and reflection or had settled in to their regular TV viewing when accounts differed as to what they heard next.  A knock?  A scratch?  Could it be a soul in need of comfort?  A homeless cat hungry for tuna?  The pizza man?  Father Sellers, drunk again, for his weekly visit to stare at Sister Suzie?

A murder squad led by TV's biggest madman?

Before they could discover the answer to this death-dealing question, double doors exploded from their hinges . . . the result of a bazooka attack!  

What happened next will haunt the sleepy town of Truckee for a century, a tragedy that the Enquirer will update weekly with glossy photos, mugshots, and victim stories in our newest series: "Spotlight on Terror."

"They poured into our home like burning urine from a syphilitic manpart," wept Sister Margaret Anne.

Firing their guns and tossing grenades in all directions, lunatics instantly destroyed the unoccupied living room, as well as the kitchen, the rosebush garden in the backyard, and the sign out front, which read simply, "Jesus Says Hi."

With the TV room occupying the rear of the convent, the Sisters of the Silent Hug marveled at their luck that the program Here Comes Honey Boo Boo had just started!

"The sounds we heard can best be described as a lightning storm engaged in carnal knowledge with an earthquake," said a breathless Sister Bertie Toto.  "You want to watch, but you know that if you do, hell fire awaits.  We were so fortunate that Honey Boo Boo was on.  If they had attacked ten minutes earlier, they would've blasted me into dust.  I was making oatmeal cookies, you see, right in the middle of their murder path.  They might have raped me first, taking turns, or all at once, flipping me like a pancake and spanking me like a bad girl, but in any case I was dead as Thanksgiving turkey."

Shots and explosions rang out throughout the convent and the surrounding grounds for two horrifying minutes, which neighbors described as "boiling tea kettles landing onto live landmines" and "a firework-filled Satanic dirty sanchez."

Upon the arrival of police, murderous thugs scattered with the wind, guns firing into the air.  Thirteen were captured, all of them confessing that they were led by a man fitting the description of Alex Trebek.  Police discovered eight dead bodies in the convent wreckage.  Their next discovery shocked them to their very core.

Not one single nun had died.

"We thank the Lord for protecting us," Sister Suzie said, while Father Sellers looked on.

Mother Agnes, the leader of the convent, was more direct.  Obviously rattled, with glass and paint chips in her hair, she said, "When you come at the Sisters of the Silent Hug, you better have your shit correct."

You said it, Sister!

Murderous Mugshots--Wednesday!

*     *     *

Murder Squad Update!  Reports surfaced just before printing that the Sisters of the Silent Hug were not the intended target of the murder squad.  The convent's address--532 East 14th Street--was mistaken by these murderous mental misfits for another address ten blocks to the west: 532 West 14th Street.

The occupants of that home?  A God-fearing family of three--mother, father, and teenage boy.

Attempts to interview the family were unsuccessful, but neighbors reported seeing the parents, Teddy and Annie Capers, as recently as this morning.

As for the 16-year-old son, Quincy Capers, numerous schoolmates made the outrageous claim that he was "in Vegas getting ready for the World Series of Poker."

One high-school source further claimed that Quincy had once appeared on the child prodigy edition of Jeopardy!, on a program that was never aired.

Too strange for coincidence?  Not when you see what we have seen--motive!  Tune in Wednesday, when we report the contents of the Lost Episode!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Twenty-Eight--A Murder Squad

The day after the funeral, Teddy Capers, Quincy's stepfather, came to Quincy's bedroom door and said, "C'mere, son.  Your mother and I want to talk with you."

"Kay, one sec."  Quincy had a decision to make on the turn against Brian Hastings in pot limit Omaha.  He had 3d 3s 2c 2h on a As Ts 5s 7d board, and he had check-raised the flop, which Hastings had quickly called.  Now Quincy was unsure whether to continue with his "double shove limp check," the misnomer of a strategy that he had coined which involved him check-raising every street.  Instead, he just bet the pot, and when Hastings shoved, Quincy snap-called, slapped his laptop shut, and hurried from the room.  He would find out later that he was drawing dead to a flopped flush.  Hastings was such a luckbox.

His mother was sitting on the sofa.  Taking a seat next to her, Teddy placed his hand on top of hers.

Uh oh, thought Quincy.

"Quincy," his mother asked, "did you know Rufus Bankman?"

Rufus? he wondered.  He laughed.  They gave him a quizzical look.  "Riff," he answered.  "Yeah.  He's the dead guy."

She and Teddy exchanged a look.  "Did you see him on Halloween?" she asked.

"Yeah.  He punched me in the head twice and took my candy."  He was following Piotr's instructions: Don't lie about anything, unless it has to do with me.

Here, Quincy's mother dropped her face into her hands.  He couldn't tell if she was weeping.

"Kid," Teddy said, taking over, "a detective stopped by today.  Asked a couple questions."


"About you."

"Awesome!"  Talking with detectives could be a fun new game full of interesting strategies.

"The detective told us that the coroner's report of this Rufus kid showed that he had died from poison.  Rat poison."

"Whoa.  Sucks for him."

"You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"  Teddy turned his head slightly and seemed to be measuring Quincy with his eyeballs.

"Nope.  But I'm glad he's dead."

Alarmed, Teddy asked, "Why?"

"He was the biggest bully in Truckee.  All the kids wanted him dead.  Anything else?"

"No," Teddy said, turning to comfort his mother.  "Go play."

*     *     *

Days had passed, then weeks, then months, and still Alex Trebek couldn't stop thinking about the ratfaced kid from the unaired Child Prodigy edition of the show.  Turned out they weren't able to edit out enough of the kid's wiseass remarks to move forward with it.  And the kid was creeping into his dreams, giving him answers that led to questions that accused Trebek of pedophilia.  To top it off, just last night while taping another segment, he had mispronounced joie de vivre!  The kid was messing with his mind, and the only way that he could get back on track would be by turning to the ultimate step . . . again.


Few in the game show industry knew that Trebek was a complete madman.  Those few either kept quiet about it or ended up "accident" victims.  Ted Berman, an executive producer, had been run over by a diaper truck while stepping out of the dry cleaners in West Hollywood.  Charlie Sanders, a cameraman on the show for over a dozen years, had died in a hit and run accident that left his Subaru halfway up a tree.  Witness reports varied, but a couple of them thought that they had seen a blue diaper truck in the area.

Time to try a new vehicle perhaps, before the clueless cops figured him out.

With a few days off from airing new programs, Trebek had flown to North Sacramento where, with the assistance of a reliable underground friend, he found himself in a warehouse with a group of lowlifes.  The underground friend had assigned them all nicknames to preserve their anonymity.

“Roll call!” Trebek announced.  The crew gave him their attention.  Trebek began reading from a list.  “Barfly?”



“Uh huh.”






“At your service.”




“Hee hee!”






“Mm hmm.”

“Aqua Velva?”










“Alabaster Lenny?”

“A nickname I hate.”









“Army Ant?”

“Accounted for.”

“Far Flung?”

“Never absent.”


“To your left.”






“On time.”










“Tock!” went his clicked heels.








“Okie dokie.”



“And Evergreen?”


“Good. That’s everyone.  You’ll be forming two lines.  One line will form in front of me.  I will be giving you your pay.  A second line will form at the rear of the school bus outside.  Next to the school bus, you will find Midget.  Tell Midget your nickname and he will supply you with your firepower.  In four hours, you will be storming the house of a kid named Quincy Capers.  Kill everyone you see.  You'll be traveling together in that school bus over there."

The group stared at him.

Suddenly, a word popped into Trebek's mind.  The boy had used it to sting him to his depths.  With all of these stupid faces staring at him and not moving, he instantly became furious.

"Get going, fuckballs!"


The Halloween after the Valentine's surprise, which consisted of a speedboat flipping in the Atlantic north of Ireland and killing Barney, Quincy's first toady and part-time kidnapper, and the caged Girl in the Front Row, Q found himself holding a whip in a cart being pulled by his newest toady, Arvin, Barney's little bro, who was smoothly guiding the cart from house to house in search of king-sized Snickers instead of the miniature shits that parents tried to pawn off on preschoolers.

Before hiring Arvin, Quincy had said, "In this job, there's one rule.  Actually, there are two rules."

Arvin stared blankly at him.

"Rule one is: No thinking.  Rule two is: No kidnapping.  Got it?"

Arvin continued to stare blankly until Quincy realized, This is what "no thinking" looks like.  But Arvin was a good choice.  He had the two best qualities in a toady: immense strength and incredible stupidity.  Despite Arvin's repeated, insistent claim that "One plus one equals one and one," teachers passed him on to the next grade level, due wholly to his excellence on the football field, where his position of right guard was strictly in name only: The fact was that with Arvin playing all of the offensive guard positions, standing in front of the high school quarterback and knocking defenders to the turf, opposing teams had never registered a single sack.  So Quincy handed him a stack of hundreds on the spot, which Arvin promptly used to eat a dozen Big Macs.  For dessert, he ate dozens of candy bars in a Walgreens aisle and paid for the wrappers at checkout.

Tonight, despite pulling Quincy along every block in the northern part of Truckee, Arvin hadn't even broken into a sweat.  Quincy's bag, an old pillowcase covered in drool stains, was nearly full.  At more than one house, adults had complained, "You're not even wearing a costume."  Or: "Aren't you kids a bit too old for trick or treating?"

It was true.  At age 15, Quincy was wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt and holding a bullwhip.  Arvin loomed behind him, muscular and tall, in a shirt two sizes too small, looking like an overstuffed sausage.  Quincy's response was always the same.

"It's a free roll.  Besides, you can always choose trick."

"What happens if I do that?"

Quincy nodded backwards.  "Arvin here plays a game called Candy Time.  That's where he opens the wrapper and sees what's inside.  In this case, the wrapper would be your house."

"Ha ha.  That's silly."

"Arvin is institutionalized.  He wants to go back to lockup.  He misses the rape."

Candy found its way into the bag.

Two blocks from his house, his bag overstuffed, Quincy told Arvin that he could keep the cart.  Arvin whooped and darted off around a corner, the wooden carriage almost overturning.  Before Quincy made it half a block, he found himself surrounded by Riff Bankman, the school bully, and a couple toadies of his own.

"Cough up the bag, or get socked in the head," barked a predictable Riff.

Quincy smiled and handed him the bag.

Riff socked him in the head anyway, his ears ringing, and shouted, "Daily double!"  Quincy took a couple of steps backwards, wondering, How did Piotr know that Riff would do that?

Riff ransacked the bag until he held up a jumbo cupcake, chocolate with chocolate frosting.

How did Piotr know that he would choose that one? Quincy wondered.  Then, following instructions that Piotr had given him earlier that afternoon, he said, "If it's not wrapped, it's not safe."

Riff laughed.  "What a baby."  Riff hit him with a left this time across the cheek.  He felt dizzy; then his face began burning.  As Biff took a big bite of the cupcake, crumbs rained down onto his shirt.  "Mmm!  Vanilla frosting!  Thanks for the candy, loser!"

His toadies laughed.  As Quincy sat down on the edge of the sidewalk--wondering, How did Piotr know that Riff loves vanilla frosting?--Riff and his sidekicks headed off down the street, Quincy's bag being passed from hand to hand.

Riff missed class every day for the next two weeks.  Then Truckee High cancelled classes on November 15th so that the student body could attend Riff's funeral.

Instead, Quincy, Piotr, and Arvin went to Round Table Pizza, ordered three King Arthur Supremes, and played the only stand up antique Galaga game in town, Piotr beating a high score set previously by himself.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Twenty-Six--Quincy's First Kidnapping (Part Two)

A brawny guy wearing a ski mask emerged from a corner, unlocked Quincy's cage, and beckoned him forward.  "Climb up onto it," he said, pointing toward the whirligig.  It was a replica of an old-school telephone pole, with two wooden arms near the top.  "Onto the arm," the guy said.  "I'll give you a boost."  He did.  Soon Quincy was straddling the whirligig.

The old man, who appeared to be running the show, was seated on the stationary bicycle.  An industrial strength rubber band connected the rear wheel to the bottom of the contraption.

"Pops, let me ride," said the guy in the ski mask.

"I ride," the old man spat, glowering.  He gripped the handlebars and strained, but there was no response, so he stood and jerked his weight from side to side as if riding up a steep hill.

Soon, the 120-pound-grandpa-powered whirligig was spinning like the slowest merry go round on the planet, one that would bore to tears even the most skittish three-year-old child.  As he rotated, Quincy saw a window . . . a door . . . his cage . . . a large flat-screen TV . . . an old man pedaling furiously on a bicycle . . . a man in a ski mask . . . and a woman in a distant corner.  Then he saw it all again in slow motion.  Each rotation, Grandpa's face resembled a bigger and redder balloon, as if he were blowing trumpet on a manic, experimental Coltrane song that would soon conclude with a standing ovation, and the trumpeter's death.

Quincy, in fact, believed he had the Touch of Death.  He had recently killed The Girl in the Front Row, the biggest crush of his high school years, and he worried now that he'd cause the old man to pedal himself to heart attack, so he asked, "Can I get down now?"

"No!" the old man rasped.

"But I want to show you how to win at poker."

"Not till you scream!"

"Okay."  He took a deep breath and hollered at the top of his lungs.

Grandpa abruptly stopped and leaned over the handle bars, his chest heaving.

"C'mon," Ski Mask said, motioning, and Quincy dropped two yards onto his feet.  As they headed together toward the flat screen, Ski Mask whispered, "Thanks."

"No problem," he whispered back.

The first thing Quincy noticed about the girl in the corner was her strawberry blonde hair.  Then he realized that she wasn't wearing a mask.  He tried to avoid looking at her, although he didn't know why.  She stepped forward to a desk that Quincy hadn't seen before.  On top of the desk was a laptop.  She sat, made a few mouseclicks, and suddenly PokerStars appeared on the flat screen.

"I could 24-table on this," Quincy marveled.

"Login," Strawberry demanded.

"TIPPERGORE.  All caps."





"What kind of password is that?"

"I wanted something easy to remember."

She shook her head, then clicked on the cashier button: $743,516.20.  Quincy thought, Lucky they didn't ask for my FullTilt account.  He figured he had four million on it.

She clicked the transfer button and was soon sending forty thousand to each of three accounts, one of them named Ballerboy16.

"Who's Ballerboy16?" Quincy asked.

"Me," Grandpa said from behind him.  His face was pouring with sweat.

"You're Ballerboy16?"

"Got a problem with that?"

"Why 16?"


"Why do you call yourself Ballerboy sixteen?"

"Well--" Grandpa began.

"The others were taken?" Quincy asked.


"Did you try Ballerboy with no number after it?"

"Yeah.  So what?"

"And Ballerboy1?"

"What's your obsession with Ballerboy?"

"So you are at least the sixteenth guy who chose Ballerboy.  Why not choose BallerOldMan?"

"Prepare the whirligig!"

"No thanks!"

"We all saw you scream!"

"Yes, sir."

"Like a girl scout who has just seen her first half-dead roadkill!"

"No more screaming please," Strawberry ordered.

"Hey, have you ever played against GorillaCock?" Quincy asked, trying to change the subject.

"Gorilla who?"


"Sounds like somebody overcompensating."

"Well anyway, if you do, that's my Dad."

"Well whoopdedoo for GorillaCock."

"And I just meant earlier--about Ballerboy?  That BallerOldMan would rule.  BallerOldMan sounds scary."

"You two fight like old friends," Strawberry said.  Then to Quincy: "What do we do now?"

"Check high stakes."

She did.  Scanning the tables, she said, "Nobody but good2cu."

"Take all of those tables," Quincy said quickly.

Soon, six tables appeared on the screen, and good2cu was sitting out at all of them.

"Who is this guy?" Grandpa asked.

"Just another loser," Quincy said.

They waited, attentively staring at the words "Sitting Out" underneath good2cu's name.  After a moment, Strawberry said, "Just so you know, the word 'loser' is a touchy word around here.  We're all losers.  We can admit that fact because we're past the denial stage.  We're sick, and we need help.  That's why we had to kidnap you."

"We're losers, and we're sick, and we need help, but we don't steal," Grandpa said.  "You'll get your money back.  One way or another."

Quincy pondered this for a moment.  "Isn't kidnapping worse than stealing?"

Grandpa retorted, "Is there a Commandment that says, 'Thou shalt not kidnap'?"

He didn't know how to respond.  After a bit, he said, "So if I show you how to win, you won't be losers anymore.  And you won't have a problem.  And you won't be sick.  And you won't need Gamblers Anonymous."

Strawberry remarked, "He not as dumb as he looks."

"You win at gambling," Grandpa said to Quincy.  "We lose at gambling.  That's the only difference between us."

Unable to resist, Quincy said, "Well, there are a couple other differences.  For starters, you're old, and I'm young."


"You're kidnappers.  I'm not."


"You've got whiskey breath.  I don't."

"He's not sitting out!" Strawberry exclaimed.  It was true.  "What do we do?"

"Let me sit."  She scrambled out of the way and Quincy took her place.

"Tell us everything you're thinking," Grandpa ordered.


"Everything!  We gotta learn, remember?"

"Okay.  I'm thinking, 'Strawberry is hot.  Don't look at Strawberry.  Maybe Strawberry is a killer.'"

"Who the hell is Strawberry?" Strawberry asked.

Quincy raised or reraised on all of his $5/10 NL tables: his hands were jack-seven offsuit, pocket threes, six-four unsuited, queen-jack of clubs, ace-deuce offsuit, and four-three of diamonds.  Good2cu folded a couple, called a couple, and reraised a couple.  "'Is she wearing a bra?  I hope not.  Maybe I can see her in the reflection on the laptop . . .  Nope.'"  He shoved six-four and queen-jack preflop; good2cu folded both times.  "'Are they going to kill me?  If so, I hope it's Strawberry.  I hope she smothers me.  Maybe she'll kill me with her body . . . her breasts."  His continuation bets led to three good2cu folds.  "Will I get to see breasts before I die?  I'm glad Grandpa didn't die of a heart attack.'"  On the only hand that made it to the river--"I just want to see one breast, just one, it doesn't even have to be two of them"--Quincy's queen-jack hit two pair on a Q 4 2 7 J board, and he won a stack against AQ.

"Don't you think about the game?" Ski Mask asked.

"Sometimes.  But mostly I think about breasts.  I win the most when I think about breasts."

He was dealt two black kings and two red queens.  He folded the other hands to raises.  With kings, he saw a Q76 monotone heart flop, bet and reraised all in on the flop, and lost to good2cu's flopped flush.  With queens, he flopped middle set and won his stack back against ace-king suited on a A Q 3 flop.

"Keep thinking out loud," Grandpa instructed.

Strawberry said, "He seems to be up a thousand."

Quincy said, "I want to put a bad beat on him so he'll play $10/20, and then I want to put another bad beat on him so he'll play $25/50.  The only breasts I've seen are in the movies.  But they don't seem so impressive.  I bet actually touching them means more than seeing them.  How they feel is more important than how they look, I bet."

"You would win that bet," Grandpa said.

"Can dolphins communicate with people?" Quincy asked, raising or reraising on all of his tables with six trash hands.  "Do dolphins understand humans?  Is this why they chatter back at us?  Can we invent something to add to the dolphins throats that translates their words into English?"  Quincy found himself all in at three tables.  His hands were six-four offsuit, queen-deuce of spades, and nine-three offsuit.

With six-four, the board ran out like this A 9 T 5 7, and he lost.

With queen-deuce of spades, he flopped a flush and beat good2cu's pocket tens.

"Do dolphins have breasts?" he wondered.

With nine-three offsuit, the board ran out 3 3 6 A Q, and he beat ace queen.

"Two bad beats," Quincy said.  He quickly typed, 10/20?

Good2cu's response: K.

They opened up six more tables, and Quincy said, "Single White Female was great for breasts.  What a movie.  They shower with the bathroom door open.  What a good idea."

"Good hands!" Strawberry exclaimed, watching the screen.  "You're about to destroy this . . . this . . . loser!"

She was right.  Quincy had been dealt three pocket pairs--aces, jacks, and nines--as well as suited ace-king.  He folded his rags and raised or reraised all of his premium hands.  "Does a breast feel pillowy?  Is it firm or soft?"

"Firm and soft," said Grandpa.  "That's the beauty of them.  They're the yin and yang of wonder."  Good2cu called three of Quincy's raises, but good2cu went all in against Quincy's aces with pocket eights preflop and got no help.

"Can you sleep with your head on a breast?  Is it uncomfortable?"

"Yes, and yes," Strawberry said.

With the other three hands, Quincy was losing only with pocket nines, but he turned a set and good2cu was drawing dead.  Before the eyes of his kidnappers, six thousand dollars swept into Quincy's stacks over the span of six seconds.

"He won them all," Ski Mask reported in disbelief.

Seconds later, good2cu disappeared from all of the tables simultaneously.

"That was an alley fight," Grandpa said, "and the kid's not even paying attention!  He's too busy talking about tits."

"Up," Strawberry said to Quincy, and he stood.  She made a couple of mouse clicks and reported, "Nine thousand four hundred dollars.  That's how much he won.  In--" she checked her watch "--eight minutes."

Grandpa whistled.  They all turned to look at Quincy.  Then Grandpa said, "If I played poker thinking about tits all the time, I'd be broke in less than an hour."

"You'd be broke in less than an hour anyway," Ski Mask remarked.

The excitement of the moment slowly diminished in Grandpa's eyes.  He mumbled, "What are we thinking?  I can't play like that.  We can't learn that."

"Thinking about breasts wouldn't help me either," Strawberry said.

The group of kidnappers seemed at a standstill.  Quincy worried that if they didn't know what to do, they might have a conference, and if they had a conference, they might put him back in the cage.

So he said, "Why don't you keep the money?"

They had all lowered their heads together to begin whispering, but then six eyes turned toward him.

"Keep the money," Ski Mask repeated.

"Yeah.  That way it isn't stealing.  It's a gift."

"A gift," Ski Mask said.

Quincy nodded.

They bowed their heads together again and resumed whispering.  Then Grandpa and Strawberry approached him.

Grandpa said, "Kid, you just saved yourself from being gutted."

"I know a bluff when I see one," Quincy responded.

Strawberry's face burst into a smile.  "Oh Quincy, you're so darling," she said.  As she leaned over, she held her pose, her lips planted on his cheek, for a long, long moment.

Peering down the V of her pink blouse, he forgot to breathe.

No bra, the scent of jasmine, and a single perfect breast.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Twenty-Five--Quincy's First Kidnapping (Part One)

The day started normally.  Quincy woke at 7, logged onto PokerStars for 15 minutes, taking $24k from Bertrand Grospellier headsup at $50/100 NL and losing $11k to Alexander Kravchenko 4-tabling $25/50 PLO, and after he showered, he popped in his Beavis and Butthead DVD while eating Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries.  Then suddenly it was after 8 and he had to hurry.  Because he had no backup for his Maserati, currently in the hands of a ex-special ops guy who was equipping it with smoke-screen and oil-slick capabilities--the hood-mounted bazooka being, in his professional opinion, "too illegal"--Quincy started pedaling his Schwinn toward Truckee High.

He made it three blocks before a blue van swerved in front of him.  The door opened and a half-dozen hands yanked him by his Sacramento Kings jersey over the handlebars and into shadows.  His knees scraped against corrugated metal as he was shoved into a corner.  Before he could react, he had a hood over his head and a voice reeking of garlic and whiskey hissed, "Ever seen a fish gutted?"

He began to answer, but the same voice hissed, "Don't move.  As it pertains to the fish, that's you.  You're the fish.  The fish isn't being gutted--you are.  I'm gutting you in my mind right now.  Don't nod.  That counts as moving."

After a pause, a female voice whispered, "Just say 'Move and you're dead.'  It's shorter."

The man sighed.  "Don't get in the way of my metaphors."

After a pause, the woman pressed, "I bet the kid would be more scared by something shorter."

"Who cares?  He's in the van."

"But maybe he isn't scared.  Doesn't he get a vote?"

"Prisoners can't vote."

"Kid," the woman said, ignoring him, "what makes you more scared?  Hearing, 'Move and you're dead,' or hearing his routine about the fish?  Go ahead.  Talk."

His mind blank, Quincy shrugged.

She said, "How about if he'd said, 'Want your nutbag snipped?'  I bet that would be good."

Quincy nodded quickly.

"There," she said.  "A middle ground.  Next time start with the nutbag."

"Nugbag hell," whiskeybreath retorted.  "I'm stickin' with the fish."

The van stopped with a jerk, bumping Quincy's head against glass.  Seconds later, the door slid open and he was yanked by his ankles out of the van and onto his feet.  They hustled him down some steps, across smooth ground, and up narrower metal steps that echoed off nearby walls before they shoved him forward onto his knees.  As he righted himself, he slowly pulled the hood off--his eyes suddenly blinded by light--and heard a door click softly shut.

As his eyes adjusted, he saw through a squint that he was trapped in an elevated cage in the middle of a cavernous room with blackened windows.  Through the bars, Quincy saw a few folding chairs with orange and blue seats before his attention was drawn to a massive TV on a nearby wall.  Turning around, he saw an apparatus that looked like a miniature replica of a telephone poll connected by an industrial-strength rubberband to a stationary bicycle.

"What's that?" he asked, pointing.

"That's the whirligig," whiskeybreath said from behind him.  "Forget that.  That's for later."

Quincy spun and saw a man with facelines like crags.  He could be 120 years old, Quincy thought.  He looked strangely familiar.

The door opened and shut quickly.  Whiskeybreath said, "Whaddaya got?"

An unknown male voice replied, "Bookbag" from behind him.  He turned but only saw a man's shadow.  Quincy didn't hear the bag tossed, but he saw the oldster catch it.

"What's this?" the old man said.

"School stuff."

"Let's take a look."  He zipped it open and started rifling through it.  "Algebra."  He spat laughter.  "What a waste.  I shit bigger than Algebra.  English?  Worthless.  Who uses English?"

"You do, dumbass," the woman said from shadows.  "Right now, actually."

Ignoring her, the old man retrieved some white papers.  "What's this?"

Quincy hesitated, so the man bugged out his eyes threateningly, and that's when Quincy remembered who the old man was.

"You're the guy from Gamblers Anonymous," Quincy blurted.

The oldster's surprise seemed to electrify his eyebrows, which jumped up onto his forehead.

"Me?  Naw."

"You pole vaulted yourself onto my Mom's car."

"Wrong guy."

"You rode on the hood for half a block before you got scared and scrambled off."

"I didn't get scared!" he shrieked, face turning crimson.  Then, composing himself, he said, "Wrong guy."  Then, remembering the papers, he lifted them and said, "I asked you, 'What is this?'"

"A book," Quincy admitted.

"Book?"  The oldster rasped laughter.  "Kid, you got three pages here."  He held them up in front of his eyes.  "Me without my glasses," he muttered.  "What does this say?  'The Bible Part 2: The Revenge.'  Whatthefuck?"  He read silently.  Then he said, "Jesus with a suitcase nuke?  That's sacrilege."  He read some more, "What would the Son of God have against Guy Fieri?"

Quincy shrugged.

"Have you tried Guy Fieri's buffalo wings?" the old man pressed.

Quincy shook his head.

"And Jesus and Lindsay Lohan smoking crack?  That's Satanic."  The oldster measured him a bit, then nodded, a complicated calculation having just been completed in his mind.  "Boy, you are evil.  In a little while, you're gonna teach us all how you play poker.  But first, you're gonna saddle up and ride the whirligig."

"The whirligig?" Quincy asked.

"Yep.  Get ready to scream."

"Good line," said the woman from the shadows.

"Thanks, sweetie," said the oldster.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Twenty-Four--A Valentine's Day Surprise

"What's going on?" asked Quincy.

"Some sort of surprise," Piotr answered.  Quincy could tell by the way Piotr responded that neither of them knew what the surprise could be.  All they knew was that they had each been given binoculars and told to watch out for the big surprise.

They stood together on the shore of the Death Star, the tiny island that Piotr had bought at Quincy's command after Quincy had won his first two million in the eighth grade.  Quincy looked around and had to admit that it wasn't much of an island, less than a quarter-mile from shore to shore in any given direction.  But once he had it paved and built his castle and moat, surrounded by a standing army wearing gladiator outfits and carrying crossbows, as well as a Round Table Pizza and a miniature golf course and maybe a shooting range--maybe bumper cars, or a live minefield--the place would be his new home.  It would have to contain enough diversions to fill his spare time while he wrote his second masterpiece, tentatively titled The Bible Part 3: World Cage Deathmatch with Hannah Montana and Polar Bears.

The waves were choppy, splashing foam into the air.  Quincy motioned to the water and said, "You'll have to do something about that."

Piotr gave him a look.  "I'll have to do something about the Atlantic Ocean?"

"Make the waves nicer."

"How am I gonna do that?"

"How should I know.  You're the chess master."

Piotr rolled his eyes.  "Your wish is my command, King Q."

Quincy checked his cell phone but had zero bars.  He'd need Internet out here and a cell phone tower, too.  He sighed heavily.  "Well whose surprise is it?"


"Oh no."

Barney had auditioned in Quincy's International Toady Competition last month.  First prize was employment as Quincy's Number One Official Toady at a salary of $8,000 per month.  The job description was simple: Do whatever Quincy tells you to do, no questions asked.  Eighty percent of the student body had tried out, but only a half-dozen had remained after the first challenge, which required participants to eat a live cockroach.  Of the six who had managed to get it down without throwing up, only Barney had seemed reflective about the activity.  "Huh," Barney had said, crunching the roach and trying to identify the flavor in a manner that made the only remaining female participant vomit onto her Vans.  He swished it around his mouth and swallowed.  "It tastes . . . awful."  Then he had nodded, pleased with his assessment, and reached into the bucket of cockroaches for another.  After downing a second one, he had peered into the distance, running his tongue over his teeth, and said, "Bitter too.  Cockroaches taste bitter and awful.  The legs get stuck in my teeth."  When Quincy had announced the second challenge, "Facepunch yourself till you pass out," Barney had, without any hesitation, knocked himself out cold with a single, crushing blow to his temple.  "We have a winner," Quincy announced.  Barney had received his first month's salary in a hospital bed, recovering from a hairline skull fracture.

"But Barney's the toady," Quincy had complained, staring out over the waves.  "He's not supposed to think.  That's my job."

"Look," Piotr said, lifting the binoculars.  "There."

Quincy peered through his own binoculars but could only see the dark blue of the ocean or the lighter blue of the sky.  Finally something white caught his eye.

"What is that?"

"Speedboat.  Looks like."

A flash of light caught Quincy's eye.  "Something metallic," he said.


"Lots of em."

"Hey!  There's Barney."

"Can Barney drive a speedboat?"

"Dunno, but he's coming awful fast."

"Is anyone with him?"

"I don't see anyone."

"Wait.  It's a cage!"

"What's a cage doing on a speedboat?"

"Well the only reason he would have a cage--" Quincy began, and then they both went silent, realizing the same thing at the same time.  Piotr refocused his binoculars.

"Oh shit."

"Oh no."

They saw her at the same time, Quincy's first true love, the girl who sat at the front of his row in history and algebra, the one he'd given five hundred bucks for Valentine's Day in eighth grade, two thousand bucks for Valentine's Day in ninth grade, and ten thousand bucks for Valentine's Day last year . . . the same girl he was planning to give the Death Star next year.  She seemed to be rattling the cage, her mouth wide open.

"Uh oh," Piotr said.

"I don't think she's happy."


Quincy found Barney with the binoculars.  Barney was holding up binoculars of his own, staring back at them.  When he realized that they were watching each other, Barney lifted his free hand and started waving maniacally.

"One hand waving," Piotr observed.  "One hand holding the binoculars."

"No hands on the wheel."

"And he's coming pretty fast."

The waves crashed into the sides of the speedboat, white tips of water exploding in foam.  The speedboat rocked back and forth violently, causing Barney to grab the wheel.  A monstrous wave crashed onto the front of the boat.  Barney seemed to accelerate through it.  A second wave, larger than the first, struck the speed boat from the left side, forcing Barney to overcorrect, and for a half-second the speedboat seemed to be rushing toward the shore sideways before the boat rolled and then leapt into the air like a flying fish.  With a thump that they could hear on shore, it landed bottom's up on the water.

"Oooooh!" exclaimed Quincy and Piotr together.

They saw the sun sparkling on the boat's shiny white hull, which shrank slowly, and then they saw nothing.

Quincy stared out over the waves, his arms at his side.  "They're not gonna make it, are they."  A statement, not a question.

Piotr thought about it.  "Well Barney never learned how to swim.  As for her--" Piotr didn't have the heart to state the obvious.

Quincy obliged, "She's in a cage."

"It's awfully hard to swim in a cage."

"Yeah . . .  Piotr, we're gonna need a dumber toady."

"Dumber than Barney?"

"He's out there . . . somewhere.  Once we find him, he'll be perfect."

Piotr thought, And on top of it all, I've got to locate Natalia Pertman as soon as possible.

Meanwhile Quincy was pointing toward the eastern part of the island.  "There."


"That's where the 7 11 will go, right on the shore, next to the dock."

Piotr followed him along the shore, thinking, Am I the sidekick to a villain?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Twenty-Three--Quincy's Masterpiece

After Piotr took Quincy’s winnings at the craps table downstairs and got them cashed out at 40 cents on the dollar—40 percent going to the pit manager and 20 percent going to Piotr as a transaction fee—Quincy, while fighting his first hangover and after having his makeup redone and his mustache reattached with stronger glue, entered Events #3 and #4, $1,500 pot-limit holdem and $1,500 limit holdem, where he ended up being the first player to exit from each.  It turned out fourbetting jack-seven offsuit didn’t have nearly as much success live as it did online.

Meanwhile, Allen Cunningham won Event #2 for $725,405, an amount that seemed surprisingly little for three days of work.  Still, Cunningham was beaming.  Quincy wondered why.

As Quincy was getting knocked out of his third event, where he kept trying to raise more than the limit holdem rules would allow, Piotr was relaxing in Quincy’s suite watching a new show called Mad Money, wondering whether he should sell Microsoft and start buying Apple, until he noticed a stack of papers poking out of Quincy’s carryon bag.

He slipped the papers from the bag.  The cover page had the following title:

The Bible Part 2: The Revenge

A Masterpiece


Quincy Capers

Piotr shook his head, riffled the sheets.  Brother, he thought.  He turned the page.

Jesus lives in Heaven, a small bubble behind the moon jammed full of souls like a bag of popcorn nuked for three minutes.  Jesus gets bored and decides he’s coming back to earth . . . for revenge!  So Jesus hops into his rocket ship and blasts off and circles the moon and ends up looking for the shittiest town on the planet.  He lands in Hollywood, California.

He steps out of his rocket ship with a bag full of goodies—of the death-dealing kind!  He’s got nunchucks, a Bowie knife, a bullwhip, an Uzi with 30 clips, a shotgun with infinite shells, some handcuffs, a couple grenades, a suitcase nuke, and a helmet with two containers on top.  One container is full of mac n cheese.  The other is full of root beer.  Tubes snake down from the containers straight into his belly button.  Whenever Jesus wants nourishment, he only has to think about it, and then the food and drink will come down through the tubes, and Jesus shall be fed.  And when Jesus has to go to the bathroom, he’s got tubes for that too.  But those tubes empty back into the containers on his head.  But it’s not gross.  Jesus knows how to turn shit into noodles, piss into root beer.  Easy trick for him—magic beyond human understanding.  But also really convenient, if you think about it.

Following Quincy’s instruction, Piotr looked up from his reading and thought about it.  He thought that this story was the strongest evidence he’d ever seen that Quincy was developmentally disabled.  Then he returned to the story.

Maybe the return of Jesus will lead to a revolution in scientific exploration.  No more hunger in Africa.  Thanks, Jesus.

Back to the story!  Jesus is furious and ready to kill.  He sees a two-story house.  Inside the house are Lindsay Lohan, Jay Leno, Guy Fieri, Tom Cruise, and Honey Boo Boo—five humans who represent five of the seven deadly sins.  (Wrath is too busy killing folks, and Sloth overslept and didn’t make it.)

Here’s Satan’s lineup:

Leadoff: Tom Cruise
Playing Position: Insanity + Horse Teeth + Wrong Religion

Second: Jay Leno  
Position: Fuckball

Third: Guy Fieri   
Position: Sausage Stuffed with Shit

Cleanup: Lindsay Lohan   
Position: Crackhead

Fifth: Honey Boo Boo  
Position: Hillbilly

He steps inside the door and immediately Tom Cruise is on him—toughest guy first!  But Jesus is too fast for Tom Cruise.  While Tom Cruise is swinging at him, Jesus pops a grenade into Tom’s mouth and pulls the pin.  “Bye, Tom,” says Jesus.  “You were good in Collateral.”  Ka-Blammo! 

“Okay then,” observes Piotr, setting down the Masterpiece.  He decides it is time to invade the minibar.  He chases a mini bottle of Stoli with V8.

Once Jesus is finished picking pieces of Tom Cruise out of his beard, it’s time for him to move into the living room . . . where Jay Leno is waiting with a barrel full of ninja stars!  Except Jay Leno doesn’t know how to use them, which prompts the eternal question: Is Jay Leno good at anything?  Jay Leno slips into the barrel and ninja stars poke his brain to death.

In the kitchen, Jesus finds Guy Fieri, who must want to eat Jesus pretty bad because he is running full steam toward him with a cleaver in one hand and some Guy Fieri Wowsa! Looooziana Style BBQ Sauce in the other hand.  Jesus takes a meditative sip of root beer, calm as the Messiah, and then at the last second he steps to one side and sticks out his foot.  Guy Fieri trips over it and bounces on his cleaver a few times, gutting himself with the efficiency of a master cook.  Out of Guy Fieri’s guts spill some hot dog pieces and M&Ms and a gallon of Velveeta.  He gobbles it up, and when it comes out the hole in his stomach, he gobbles it up again.  An eternal Last Supper.

Fieri’s self-mutilation had no effect on Piotr’s appetite for Stoli, and he still had a lot of V8 left.  He had a second shot.

Batting cleanup was Lindsay Lohan.  Jesus found her in an upstairs bedroom.  She was surrounded by empty vials and had a wild look in her glassy eyes.  Bad luck for Jesus—Lindsay Lohan was high on crack!  She did six twirling kicks to his scrotum, all while paparazzi photographed her from the tree outside the window.  Jesus staggered and emptied his Uzi into her—but she just kept coming!  He blasted her legs off with his shotgun, but then she started gnawing on his ankle.  When his foot fell off, he said, “Break time.  Let’s smoke some crack.”  They smoked crack for a few hours till Lindsay finally OD’d three hours and 27 vials later, which is sad really, because that’s probably going to happen someday.

Hobbling out to the stairs, Jesus saw Honey Boo Boo at the bottom.  Somehow she started doing backflips up the stairs, a maneuver that flipped Jesus’ shit, so he detonated the suitcase nuke that simultaneously sent Honey Boo Boo spinning to hell, transformed Hollywood into a toxic crater, and sent Jesus floating back to Heaven, victorious.

The End.

Copyright 2005

Quincy Capers Enterprises, Co. Inc. LLC Unlimited

Just then, Quincy came into the room.  Piotr didn’t try to hide the manuscript.

“Three pages about Jesus coming back for revenge,” Piotr said.

“Yeah,” Quincy said.  “Send it to Knopf.  I figure if they make the words real big they can stretch it out to 200 pages.”


“Oh, and tell them I want to sell each copy for four hundred bucks.”


“And I want every hotel room to have a copy.  Right on top of the Bible.”

Piotr sighed.  “All right.”

Quincy sat.  “So, what did you think of it?”

“Uh, it was . . . good.”

“What did you think of the message?”

“The message was . . . good.”

“Good!  It’ll be my gift.”


“To Natalia Pertman.  After you kidnap her.  How close are we to an action plan?”

Piotr struggled to think of an answer that would keep the money flowing in his direction.

Finally, he said, “Easter.  You’ll have her by Easter.”

Quincy beamed.