It’s unbelievable how the public has embraced The Devil’s Own Piss since its debut last November. In January, attendance at the first annual Piss-Con was such that the three-on-three basketball tournament came mighty close to fielding a second team. In light of this growing fan base, I can only imagine the consternation that must have swept the globe when somewhere around early March I seemingly dropped off the face of the earth with TDOP updates becoming as scarce as a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve. I figured I owed an explanation. Here goes.
It all started on a Thursday. It must have been, because I was just leaving the Man’s Ruin Bar and Grill. That’s where I get my Thursday afternoon Manhattans, The Man’s Ruin – that Chloe makes a killer Manhattan, but I digress. Just outside the door, in the direction of my abode, a dog lay on the sidewalk – some kind of medium sized mix – some hound, some terrier? I could hear a slight whimper as I approached.
“Hey little fella,” I said. “What’s the matter?” The little fella looked up at me with, well, puppy dog eyes, and whimpered some more.
I squatted down and reached for the distressed pup. Out of the blue, it was like Reggie Jackson went all Mr. October on the back of my head. I thought my eyeballs might leap out of my skull from the impact. Luckily the excruciating pain only lasted as long as it took me to lose consciousness.
When I came to I found myself in the back of what I took to be a van – like a ’70s-style shaggin’ wagon. I was sitting on the shag carpet, leaning against the side, hands taped behind my back. I was vaguely aware of two and a half figures hovering over me.
“That isn’t him, dumbass.” I heard a voice.
“Might be,” answered a meaty, dim voice.
As the fog began to leak out of my brain, my eyes began to focus. “Our target is 5’4”, this guy’s 6’1” if he’s a foot,” said the first voice that I now could tell was coming from a rakishly handsome face, mustachioed as a man should be. If a handsome spell were cast on George Clooney, he might aspire to look like this. “How’d you locate him?”
“Google,” answered the second man. “I Googled the name the boss gave us.” This slower voice belonged to a phonebook-ripper of a man with a bulldog jaw.
My brief stint as a bounty hunter in the badlands had given me a working knowledge of the criminal who’s who of North America and I was pretty sure I had fallen into the hands of Zach and Jimmy, the notorious Trope Brothers. Behind them I could see a curious canine face, the fake-injured dog, looking at me condescendingly. He issued a small bark. It may have been my injured pride, or throbbing head, but it sounded vaguely like a derisive laugh. Fucking dog.
“What name was that?” asked the smart and good looking Zach.
“Don’t remember for sure. Winkey Leanings I think.”
“The target’s name is Whispey Lemmings,” said Zach, shaking his head.
“I’m not . . .” I started to say.
“Yeah, yeah. You’re not Whispey Lemmings. I get it. Now shut up,” snapped Zach.
“I’m also not -” I began, only to be backhanded across the face by Zach, who was proving to be less than unflappable. In fact he was growing visibly more flapped by the second.
“I told you to shut up!”
“Zach!” I yelled back, blood spittle spittling. This brought him up short. Before he could voice a query about how I knew who he was, I continued. “Look, I know who you are. You and Jimmy here. Who wouldn’t know the famous Trope brothers? You guys are the best at what you do, but this time you’re way off. Take my wallet out of my back left pocket and look at my ID.”
Zach did as I suggested. “Oh for the love of Fuck! You didn’t even get the right wrong target.”
Jimmy looked chastened. “I’m sorry Zach. I really thought I could do it.” Seeing such a mountain of a man chin-to-chest like a child would have been heartbreaking were it not for my predicament.
Seeing his brother all hang-dog softened Zach up a bit. “It’s okay, Jimmy. You wanted a chance to mastermind a caper and I let you try this one. It was worth a shot but it didn’t work out. Besides, I shoulda checked who we bagged before we drove halfway across Nevada. We should keep to our strengths, me the brains, you the muscle. Alright Jimmy?”
“Still,” Zach continued, “we do have to go back and get the right target. And we gotta do something with this one.”
“I could snap ‘is neck?!” Jimmy offered optimistically, apparently looking to atone for his blunder.
At that point, I didn’t like my chances. But over the next twenty minutes or so, I was able to parlay my ready wit, my connections with crime boss Bobby the Beak, and a bit of Rochambeau luck into an agreement which would see the Trope brothers chucking me out of a moving van, in the middle of the Nevada desert, in middle of the night. Under the circumstances it wasn’t a bad deal for me.
So there I was, surrounded by darkness somewhere outside of Tonopah, with a splitting headache, bloody lip, and no more than ten bucks in my pocket. I guessed at which way was west and started walking. I lucked out. After about an hour, I stumbled across the Feral Bunny Pussy Ranch, where Sasha the proprietor was kind enough to let me wash up and sleep off my headache.
Once I was more presentable, I was able to talk Sasha into letting me help out around the place to earn my way back home. It took about two weeks worth of cooking for the girls, bartending and bouncing, to raise the dough to take a Greyhound home. By that time, though, Sasha and I had taken a liking to each other, so I stayed on a couple more months. We both knew it was a relationship going nowhere, but we rode it out and had our fun. As a parting gift, she renamed her establishment. So if you’re ever passing through the middle of Nevada and run across a place called the Feral Bunny Pussy and Whiskey Ranch, go on in and say hi to Sasha for me. If you have your TDOP membership card you can get a discount on certain services.
Now I’m back home in Santa Cruz and can’t wait to start putting up more Whiskey Leavins stories. I’ve spoken to Lucifestus and Pickle Juice. Both are eager to get back to work in the next few weeks. Even the Trope Brothers called a couple days ago and expressed an interest in coming by again – asked if they might get into a story on account of them not killing me and all. Why not?
So, keep an eye out and, of course, subscribe if you haven’t already.
© Whiskey Leavins 2015
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