Darrell Vickers – Chapter Nine: He Came Back For His Propeller

It was super fortunate that I had already earned my first advance back because now it was all gone and then some.  The next morning I was back at Harve’s door with a very large hat in hand.  I heard his usual, cheery and stentorian voice beckon me hither.   I wonder if anyone has ever been beckoned yon.  I suppose it’s possible.

As I entered the room, Harvey was donning these big weird gloves.  They were like nothing I’d ever seen before.  Big puffy things like Mickey Mouse used to wear but, unlike Mickey’s, these suckers had long, thick cables coming out them.  The wires went up his sleeves and came out the bottom of his jacket and into a black metal box on his desk.  There were some old dials on it and a couple of lights.  It was very Buck Rogers.  Harve could hardly contain his glee.  “Jeeping golly jumpers, am I glad to see you!  Please, please sit down.”

I was about to sit in the “visitor chair” when he completely freaked.
“Oh no!  Not there.  Here, in my chair.  Please.  Please sit here.”

“In your chair?”

Harvey held up his hands like a surgeon.  You see actors do it all the time in those old medical shows, right before they cut someone open and save a life against all odds and logic.  I was hoping that wasn’t Harve’s plan (Especially since he had those big, puffy gloves on.).  I sat down.  One has to have a little trust in one’s employer.

“To tell you the truth, Zack, I haven’t slept for days.  It’s guilt!  I’m working everyone way too hard around here.  You poor young people give and you give and all I do is take.  It’s embarrassing.  It’s morally wrong.  It just won’t do!”

I tried to allay his fears.  If you pay people the kind of money he was paying us, you could kick them in the nuts 8 hours a day and they’d be more than happy to groinily absorb the shoe leather.

“I think I can state quite unequivocally sir, that the staff as a whole, are all really, exceedingly, giddily happy.  We have no complaints.”

He put a big puffy glove over my mouth.

“Nonsense!  You’re all frazzled to the core and I can see that it’s all my fault.  Zack Bramble, you are just too noble for a miserable shit-sniffing bastard like me.  It’s time we stopped sugar-coating the appalling conditions around here.  I’ve decided to start showing a little appreciation and give something back.”

Harvey took the big puffy glove off my mouth and plopped it on top of my head.  And then the other one.  For a few seconds, there was no sound; there was no light, only the overpowering stench of second-hand leather fingers.

“Shush.  Shush, now!  I know all too well what brave and non-complaining soldiers I have working for me.  I’m not sleeping a wink!  Sure you’re young and as bright as the sun but that doesn’t mean that naughty, naughty stress won’t come rearing its ugly, ugly head.”

“I feel pretty relaxed most of the time.  We all do.”

All except Randy of course, who was now consuming half of Bolivia’s GDP.  Silly me, instead of getting hooked on cocaine, I had to go out and buy a fucking house. See, the great thing about coke is, you can stop taking it.  All you have to do is go to Switzerland, to one of those clinics and have them replace your nose or something.  A house, you have to find some other trout-brained idiot to buy it off you.  I was up to Rebecca and Izzy’s tits in debt.

No matter how much I waxed on about how deliriously happy everyone was, none of it registered.  He was too busy futzing around with the dials and shit on that little black box.

“No, I’m sorry, but you’re far too valuable to me to risk any hidden anxiety intruding on your amazing productivity.  That’s why I’ve decided to offer on-demand scalp messages.”

“Who?”

That’s all I got out.  Harvey flipped a switch and electrical impulses were shooting up his jacket, down his sleeves and into the gloves, compelling them to knead my pate with alarming vigor.

My face was alternately stretched Joan Rivers tight or pushed down like a shar-pei.  The sensation was fucking overwhelming. I thought the top of my head was going to pop open like a zit.

“Waaaah, aaaaah, aaaah,” I was forced to exclaim.

“Feeling anything?” Harvey yelled over the deafening roar of the machine.
“Very relaxi-i-i-i-i-ing!” I screamed in return.
“I feel so vindicated.  Now what was it you wanted to ask me?”

The unhappy moment of truth was quickly approaching.  I had to ask the big guy for more money.  I hated asking my father for money and I hated asking Harvey for it even more, because I actually liked him.
“Well sir, I’m afraid that circumstances have forced me here to ask you for yet another small advance on my commissions.”

Luckily, Harvey made doing this kind of loathsome chore a breeze.  “Then you shall have it, my boy!  Please, never be embarrassed to come in here and ask for what is rightfully yours.  I will call Mr. Desena immediately.  You shall have your money before the end of day.”

My whole head was now being squeezed in and out like one of those wrist-exercising sponge-rubber balls.  I thought I saw my entire life flash before my eyes and then I realized that it was my earlobes.  These unbelievably powerful gloves were either going to massage me to the point of ultimate relaxation or crush my skull in.

Having concluded my business and licked sufficient ass, I said my thank yous and attempted to get up out of the chair but Harve pushed me back down.

“Get ready, I’m switching it to “Tingly Finish.”

Harvey hit a button and those fucking gloves seemed to treble their speed and ferocity.  My eyeballs were being massaged right out of my head.  The pain was blinding, or perhaps having my eyeballs massaged out of my head was blinding, it was hard to tell.  But hey, at least I got my money.

Meanwhile at the “New House”, it was moving-in day.  The girls had not been idle.  They had trekked through every store with an Italian name on it in New York.  Gold and Platinum cards had been slapped down at a frightening pace.  At least when you pay three times more for something than it’s actually worth most stores will offer to deliver it for free.

Rebecca and Izzy reclined lazily on deck chairs in the vestibule, sucking down tropical drinks from tall glasses as big burly men grunted and sweated at their command.

“In the library.”

“That goes in the fifth bathroom upstairs.”

A thought occurred to Izzy between fruity sips.

“Shit. I don’t have any money to tip them with.  Have you got anything?”

Rebecca didn’t bat an eye.  She knew that there were things in this world far more valuable than mere dollars to the penile-ey endowed. “No problem.  After they’re finished, we’ll just let them feel our tits with their big, filthy, callused workmen hands.”

Izzy quivered at the thought.  “Okay!” she said, adjusting her cleavage to a point where it was threatening to pop out of her Nuchi Lougo top (I made the name up, but you can bet, if Izzy was wearing it, it was Italian, very expensive and I paid for it.).

My business transaction with Harvey complete, I tried to navigate my way back to work.  I wobbled down the corridor and attempted to regain some of my senses.  I was brought instantly back to reality however, when I entered my office and espied Polo sitting behind my desk with his feet up.  I leaped behind the fish tank for protection.

“Jesus, Polo!  I paid you.” I called out from behind the Platinum Arowana.

“Would you just take a big relaxing breath and chill?” was his comforting reply. “I am not looking to extract money from you by force, my man.  We are fiduciarily at peace.  I come to you with nothing but love and respect in my heart.”

Something was very different, here.  Something very disorienting.
“Why are you speaking like that?”

“I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to.”

I rose to my feet and timidly peered over the fish tank.  “Well, for one thing, you’re not using “Motherfucker” three or four times in every sentence.”

His manner was also calmer than I had ever known it.  Was he dying of some horrible Shylock disease?

“Ahh, you see, you are referring to my ‘You owe me money and I’m going to kill your ass,’ voice.  What you are hearing at present, is my ‘Let us sit down and discuss how we can be of mutual benefit to one another’ voice.”

I was trying to get a handle on where this conversation was going.
“You mean like blackmail?”

Polo laughed lightly at such a suggestion.  Then, he became far more serious.
“I mean, that it is a dangerous world out there, Zachary.  I believe you yourself had your nose broken within the last couple of months by a street vagabond.”

“But you did that!”
“As I explained, that was “the other me”.  The problem is, there are a lot of ‘other me’s’ out there on those darkened streets, just waiting to take from you what is rightfully yours.  And as you will no doubt recall, this me did straighten out your quite handsome beezer.”

Polo stood up and physically but gently guided me back to my chair.  He even picked some fluff off my jacket.  Curiouser and curiouser!

Once I was seated, Polo continued with his business proposal.  “All I am suggesting is that a gentleman of my talents could prevent a man of your elevated income and status from getting his college-educated posterior stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and thrown piece by piece by piece into the Hudson or one of its many tributaries.  There are countless individuals, especially in a metropolis such as New York, who would not hesitate to commit such a heinous act to acquire, say, that watch you’re wearing.”

I wasn’t wearing a watch, but I got his meaning.  This was a town were people would slice your throat open for the last bite of your Wendy’s Baconator sandwich.  I asked the obvious question.

“Would this service you are offering be…expensive?”
“You can’t put a price on peace of mind, Zack.”  Polo pulled out a wad of paper, nicely bound and in a plastic cover, from his back pocket and waved it in the air.  “I have prepared a detailed estimate of my friendship’s financial requirements, plus a brief summary of the friendly benefits and protections you will be entitled to for this bi-weekly fee.”

I opened the prospectus and ran down the figures till I came to the total.

“Wow!  Friendship doesn’t come cheap.”
“Well, what you are perusing is the deluxe friendship package which also includes my pledge that I will not engage in any form of sexual congress with either of your women no matter how they implore me to do so.”

“You think they’d implore you?”

At that very moment, across town, the girls had gone from allowing themselves to be felt up to playing fellatio Russian Roulette.  My guess is, you can probably figure out the rules of that game without my help.

“The allure of the black-man mystique can be an irresistibly erotic enticement for any young lady who gets too near the flame.”

“It can?”

“Why do you think they call it an Afro-disiac?”

=DV=

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DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com

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