So its come to this. All knotted at 2-2, the best of five Manly Game series has boiled down to one last, winner take all event. The Harlem Scavenger Hunt. The hard fought battle has been bitterly contested, with no shortage of cheating, foul play, and personal injury along the way. To date, Froman has been belted upside the head by a rolling pin, had a tricycle fall on his head and skydived into a steel pole. Eben has been nearly burned alive and shot in the @$$ by a pellet gun. Russ was likewise shot down by the same pellet gun. Andi, of course, has been clubbed over the head, kidnapped and sequestered. Lance Manion has been slapped around and landed in a hospital as well. Wizeguy ended up with his head in the toilet in the men’s room of a swank San Francisco eatery. MaximaLuva, Biomax, BryanH and MaximaMike have been covered in cow manure. Know one, besides Eben, knows what’s become of ST. And this just to name a few of the "unpleasantries" that have taken place over the past few months.
As everyone knows, The Manly Games have been marked by less than superior officiating in past events. The joint members of the teams agreed that this, the final event, needed to be refereed by a man with a reputation above reproach. Someone intelligent, honest, fair, and ultimately reliable. All members of both sides agreed, only one man fits that description. Today’s event is being supervised by non other than,….theBooker.
Today, all of the members of both the Jambytes and the MaximaMafia are gathered, uneasily, on the streets of Harlem, New York. This is the first time in the Big Apple for many of them, and the first time in the heart of the ghetto for nearly all of them. The assembled mass is sticking out like a sore thumb, and attracting lots of looks and stares from passersby and from apartment windows. Most of the guys are looking and feeling very nervous, all except Booker, EricM and Eben who are better able "blend" into the surroundings — if you know what I mean. Having to shout to be heard by the huge group, Booker starts things off:
Booker: "Ok fellas, get in here and listen up. Let’s go over the rules of this thing and get started."
The group gathers around. Not having forgotten their cow manure facial, BioMax and MaximaMike are glaring BIG TIME at Wizeguy.
Booker: "Alright, this is real simple. I’ve given one master list to the captains of each team. The lists are identical and are made up of the items in the scavenger hunt. The rules are basic. No cars. You can go anywhere in Harlem you want, but you have to do it on foot or by public transportation. And believe me, I’m going to eyeballing any Maxima that I see VERY closely. By my watch, its (glances at his wrist) 12 noon. You have exactly three hours to return to this spot with everything that you were able to round up.
I’ll be here with the lists, you can bring the items to me as you find them, or all at once at three o’clock. But I have to see them personally for an item to count. At three pm sharp, the team who’s list has the most found items will be the winner. You CAN NOT go into any retail establishments to acquire these items. And believe me, I’ve thoroughly networked the neighborhood. I can garuntee that if you try to purchase one of these things from any merchant within ten miles of here — you’ll be ratted out. ONE violation of this rule will result in immediate and complete disqualification of the violating team."
SkyMax: "What are these — objects?"
Booker: "I’m glad you axed, my man. I’m going to read off the items on the list now, so listen up. One man’s jock strap. A partially used bottle of Afro Sheen. A Luciano Pavoratti record — that’s right a record. Not a CD or a tape, a record. For you young guys, those are round, black and look like they’re made of plastic. One condom, and it has to be a Magnum sized one. One dog collar. (Booker smiles to himself, fully aware of the popularity of pitbulls and rotweilers in the neighborhood). A can or bottle of baby formula. And lastly, one Confederate flag.
SchoLar: "WHAT! That’s impossible. Do you know where you ARE?!"
Chebosto: "Yeh, c’mon man, this is a suicide mission!"
Booker: "That’s your problem, not mine. Time starts now, I’d get busy if I were you. Good luck gentlemen."
The group breaks into two camps and each begins strategizing.
Holding the list of items for his team, Juggernaut takes over the responsibility of organizing the Jambytes:
Juggernaut: "Ok, the only way to do this is to divide and conquer. Let’s break out into smaller teams, each team take a single item, and go out after it."
The group agrees that this is the wisest route.
Juggernaut: "Alright then, how about the jock strap? You think you can handle it (pointing to Bill99GXE)?
Bill99GXE: "Yeh, but geesh,…I mean, some guys JOCK? It’s not like I’m going to just take it right off of his @$$.
Juggernaut: "That might be exactly what you have to do."
Bill99GXE: "Well in that case, I’d better take some back up."
Kaleb: "I got ‘ur back dude."
Kevin: "Me too. I’m in man."
Juggernaut: "Good, how about the Afro Sheen?"
EricM: "Do people really still USE that stuff?"
Juggernaut: "Well today’s your lucky day, junior — YOU get to find out!
Juggernaut: "Congratulations! Take Hantra with you and for God’s sake — be careful."
EricM (motioning to Hantra): "Ok, ok. Come on then."
Juggernaut: "Which one of you guys even knows who Pavoratti IS"
CraigB: "Are you kidding me? My mom loves the guy."
Juggernaut: "Good — you’re practically overqualified. Gr8bone, can you hang with him?"
Gr8bone: "We’re on it."
Juggernaut: "Alright, let’s see…what’s next. The condom."
Juggernaut: "C’mon guys! We’re losing TIME! Who’s going to do it?"
Juggernaut eyes the group.
Froman: "Oh, ok. I’ll do it, damn it. Russ, can you guy back me up?"
Russ: "Let’s roll dude." (the two take off down the street)
Juggernaut: "Good, next is…(swallows kind of hard) *gulp*…the dog collar."
Wizeguy: "That’s for me! Man, I love dogs. They just sort of take to me."
Juggernaut (trying to avoid smiling at Wizeguy’s apparent nievity): "Cool then. But this could be a rough one. EricL, JJW95SC, go with him, ok."
JJW95SC: "ARE YOU NUTS? Have you seen some of the dogs running around this place? I saw a Doberman this morning that was eating a taxicab for breakfast! That dog must’ve been 200 pounds!"
Juggernaut glances over his shoulder and notes that the MaximaMafia has already completed assigning items to individuals and has begun to disband and start the search.
Juggernaut: "We don’t have time man…there’s three of you, I’m sure that you can find a stinking Chihuahua or something around here somewhere. Just get going!"
Juggernaut: "Ok. Baby formula.
Frans96SE sees his opportunity to get out with an easy object. Afterall, its got to be easier to get a bottle away from a baby than a collar off of a German Shepard. He volunteers.
Frans96SE: "I’m on it. Eben, you with me?"
Eben: "Let’s rock."
Juggernaut: "Then that just leaves the confederate flag."
JimW: "Man, look around you. How are we EVER supposed to come up with one of those?"
Juggernaut: "Well, we’re about to find out, because you, me and Tanman are on the job. Let’s get started."
Tanman (fearing for his life already): "Oh, great."
The MaximaMafia have already hit the streets in search of their seven objects. Acting as captain, Chad has assigned the objects as follows:
Jock Strap - Shing, SkyMax
Afro Sheen - Woodear, Keven
Pavoratti CD - ScoLar, JasonF
Condom - Biomax, JustinMc
Dog Collar - MaximaMike, Remington
Baby Formula - Chebosto, MaximaLuva
Confederate Flag - EricM, Nismos87SE
** ** **
Approaching the large apartment complex, Hantra and EricM realize that this is as good a place to start as any. The building is a quintessential 70’s government housing project.
Hantra: "Man, this place looks just like the crack house in a horror movie I saw last night. Are you sure about this?"
EricM: "Just relax dude. Its as good a place to start as any. Let me do the talking at first, ok?"
The two cautiously enter the building. They start down one of its first floor hallways. The dimly lit hallway is barely three fee wide and features rows of doors on either side. They approach the first apartment door.
EricM: "I’ve got an idea."
EricM sticks his hand into his jacket pocket, acting as if he has a gun. He suddenly begins to violently pound on the plaster wall. He bangs the wall three times and screams into the hallway:
EricM: "FBI, OPEN UP!!!"
Hantra: "Are you NUTS! My GOD, let’s get outta here!"
EricM: "Just shut up and trust me."
EricM then bangs on the wall a few more times, makes some loud rustling noises, and then punches Hantra in the gut! Hard. Hantra lets out a wail:
Hantra: "Oooff!" - and doubles over in pain. EricM tackles him loudly. He jumps on top of Hantra, going out of his way to make as big of a ruckus as possible.
EricM: "I SAID FREEZE! This is the FBI! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!"
* boom, boom, bang, pow, bang *
EricM is wrestling around with Hantra, kicking the walls with his feet and shouting at the top of his lungs. Having no idea what he’s doing, Hantra is certain they’ve had it. He’s anticipating one of the doors in the hallway will burst open at any second and they’ll be showered with bullets. A moment later, his fears are confirmed. The door to apartment 114, just fifteen feet away, comes flying open!
** ** **
Remington: "This is a death wish, how in the world are we supposed to get a dog’s collar out here?"
MaximaMike: "Man, let’s just find a pet shop & buy one. Screw this! That Booker is trying to get us killed!"
Remington: "We can’t dude. You heard what he said. Booker speaks the lingo around here. If we get busted, Andi’s had it. Can’t take the chance. Just keep your eyes and ears open."
Less than half a block later, the two hear a barking dog. It’s a yipping little bark, the kind you hear a Chihuahua or some other small dog make.
Remington: "You hear that?"
MaximaMike: "Yeh man, and that sounds like one wimpy dog! What a break. Its coming from straight ahead. In that little park right there."
The two take off running for the small park. There on one of the benches is a brown toy poodle. A few feet away from the dog is what appears to be its owner — an old lady. The lady looks to be at least eighty years old, and is thoroughly preoccupied throwing bread crumbs to pigeons. The poodle is behind her, barking like crazy at the birds but the dog doesn’t have the guts to make a move on one.
MaximaMike: "Man, she’s not even paying attention. We can slip in there, grab the mutt and be GONE before she knows what’s happening."
Remington: "You’re right bro. This is going to be TOO easy! God must really like us or something."
The two slip into non-chalaunt mode, and begin casually approaching the old lady. They strike up a fake conversation, so as not to look suspicious.
They’re now just 30 feet away from the dog and the old lady has not as much as turned around. Lost in a fantasy world, she’s busy gabbing with the pigeons:
Old Lady: "That’s good bread, isn’t it? Oh, but my dears are hungry today."
The two would-be dog-nappers have upped to pace to a brisk walk. They’re now just ten feet away from the poodle, which has noticed their approaching and stopped yipping at the birds. Five feet. Four, three… The old lady suddenly takes note of the quiet coming from her dog and turns around just as MaximaMike scoops up the mutt and the two take off sprinting for the street. MaximaMike is holding the poodle beneath his arm as if it were a football while he and Remington tear up the turf. The old lady goes into hysterics:
Old Lady: "My dog! My dog!! HELP! Police!! They’ve stolen my dog! POLICE! HELLLPP!!!!"
The two dog-nappers continue their sprint.
MaximaMike: "Man, that was TOOO easy! HA! Let’s get the collar off of this thing and beat it back to Chad."
Just as the two round the corner, the distinct sound of a wailing siren is heard coming from behind them. Remington turns and glances over his should to see two of the NYPD’s finest, in a black and white Ford Crown Vic, lights flashing, siren screaming and rolling strong - just a half a block behind them.
Remington: "Awww, man! The cops are onto us!"
Unknown to the pair, the park frequented by the old lady is just across the street from Jenny’s Doughnuts & Breakfast Café — a long time favorite of Harlem beat cops. And, as is their custom, Officers Duncan and Merola were just finishing a lunch of Tuna salad on toasted rye (the Friday special), when they heard the frantic cries for help coming from the park. They looked out the large plate glass window facing the park, just in time to see two suspicious looking characters, dashing down the street holding a dog.
** ** ** **
Tanman: "This is utterly unbelievable. Where in the name of heaven, are we supposed to find a confederate flag around HERE? I mean, look at this place. If it weren’t for my being so tan and all, I’d be sticking out like a sore thumb."
JimW: "Let me break something to you bro,…..you are."
Tanman: "I am what?"
JimW: "Sticking out like a sore thumb."
Juggernaut: "Let’s just say that you are light, bright, and basically white. And looking as out of place on this block as a Rolls Royce."
Tanman: "Whatever, let’s just find the flag and beat it."
Juggernaut suddenly stops in his tracks and tilts his head sideways, as if trying to hear something.
Juggernaut: "Do you hear that?"
JimW: "No. What?"
Juggernaut: "That music. It sounds like…"
The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal. He was in a bind, cause he was way behind, and he was willing to….make a deal. When he come across this young man, a-saw’n on a fiddle and play’n it hot…..
A transplanted Cajun, now dwelling deep in the heart of the south, Juggernaut instantly recognizes the tune.
Juggernaut: "That’s Charlie Daniels!"
Tanman: "What! Impossible. Are you sure it’s not Snoop Doggy Dog?"
Juggernaut: "Of course I am. That’s The Devil Went Down to Geogia, by The Charlie Daniels Band. I’d know that tune anywhere. Follow me."
With Juggernaut leading the way, the trio trek through the endless sea of apartment buildings, in search of the elusive music.
** ** **
CraigB: "Pavoratti — you’ve got to be kidding me. It’s 1:30 already — we’re never going to find this stinking record. I don’t even know how to go about it."
Gr8bone: "Well, I guess we just try the door-to-door method, and hope for the best."
CraigB: "Hmmm, maybe you’re right. Ok then, let’s get to it. This place looks as good as any."
The two approach the door to a shabby looking house and knock. A few moments later, an older black gentleman answers the door.
Man: "Yes? Can I help you?
Gr8bone: "I hope so sir. Please don’t think that we’re a couple of weird-o’s, we aren’t, you see, we’re just trying to win the freedom of our friend.
Man: "Oh, I know a lot about that. I helped win the freedom of France in The Big One, ya’know."
CraigB: "Excuse me?"
Man: "Dub-ya, dub-ya, two. You know — The Big One."
Gr8bone: "Aaaa, yeh. Ok. Anyway, you see, we’re on this scavenger hunt, and well, do you have a record collection by chance?"
Man: "Oh yes, of course. A great big one. I must have a thousand old records."
CraigB & Gr8bone are getting excited, this has potential.
CraigB: "And you don’t happen to be a fan of classical music or opera, are you?"
Man: "Opera, oh suuuure. I love the opera. I’ve seen all of the great one’s you know. The misses and me, God bless her soul, used to go into the city to see the opera every Saturday night. Was our tradition."
Gr8bone: "Then, you know the Three Tenors?"
Man (starting to stare into space): "Yup, Saturday night. She’d get all gussied up in her dress and make up. Oh, and sheeee had this perfume that could just melt a man’s heart."
Gr8bone: "That’s great. Ahhh, do you happen to have a Pavoratti record?
Man (the man has slipped into a delusional coma): "We’d take a cab into the city, no train mind you, we’d cab it in. Have a nice meal. Then go over to the opera hall….."
The man is clearly drifting away on them. CraigB snaps his finger in the air a few times in an attempt to bring him back.
CraigB *snap snap*: "SIR."
It works. The man comes back to the here and now. And looks at CraigB.
CraigB: "I’m sorry, but we’re in something of a hurry. If you happen to have a record by Luciano Pavoratti, we’d love to buy it from you."
Man: "Oh, I’m sure I must have SOMETHING around here by him. He’s a famous singer you know. Come on in fellas, let me get you something cold to drink while I look."
As the three enter the small house, its plain to see that the gentleman lives alone. Gr8bone & CraigB are quickly starting to figure out that he probably doesn’t get too many visitors. They’re right. His wife having passed three years ago, and his kids now grown and moved out of the area, Joe Washington does lead a rather lonely life. He doesn’t drive and can’t get around as well as he used to. Joe doesn’t have callers very often, and is thrilled to have two perfect strangers, white boys at that, come through his front door and have a seat on his sofa. He intends to keep them here a while.
** ** **
Shing: "Look, a laundry mat."
SkyMax: "Yeh, so what?
Shing: "Sounds like a good place to find a jock strap to me."
SkyMax: "Dude! You’re a genius. Lets go and check it out."
The two enter the coin wash. A few people are standing around, pushing piles of clothes into or out of washers or dryers.
Shing: "Let’s split up and case the joint. You go that way, try not to look as if you’re looking at people’s clothes — but check out the piles. If you spot a jock, don’t grab it. I’ll meet you on the other side near that public telephone and we’ll make a plan."
SkyMax: "Ok, I’m on it."
With that, the two split up and begin walking past the rows of Kenmore washing machines, carefully but nonchalantly eyeballing piles of clothing as they walk. Dispite their best efforts at looking cool, several patrons in the laundry mat have take a suspicious eye to the pair. This is not suprising, considering that they are walking around inside a laundry mat, without any laundry.
They meet a few moments later at the telephone.
Shing: "Me neither. We could look in this phone book for another laundry mat near here, and try there."
SkyMax grabs the phone book, which is tethered to the public phone by a steel flex cord, and begins fumbling through the yellow pages. As he’s looking, a new patron comes through the door into the laundry mat. Hauling three huge laundry bags over his shoulder, this is one mean looking brother. He’s wearing a sweat stained shirt, as if he just finished a full morning of pick-up games at the local gym. His head is shaved clean and he’s all of six foot four and easily two hundred and fifty pounds. None of it fat. This brutha spends TIME with the iron plates. His cut off t-shirt reveals eighteen inch guns and a wash board stomach that makes one wonder why he doesn’t just do his laundry on it. His legs are huge and this chest gives away the fact that he’s bench pressing over four hundred pounds. His ripped up thighs are showing beneath red St. Johns shorts. If he’s not a linebacker for the Jets, its only because he chooses not to be one.
The man dwarfs both Shing and SkyMax as he passes them, en route to the table near the telephone. He dumps the first bag of laundry out onto the table and begins separating whites and colors. SkyMax steps to one side in order to see around the wide body. As the man is busy pulling his white clothes out of the pile, he grabs a soiled jock strap & tosses it into the whites pile. Then another. Then a third, as he continues sorting his laundry.
SkyMax looks at Shing and nods in the direction of the table. Shing moves to one side and spots the jock straps.
** ** **
Hantra’s heart nearly skips a beat as the door to the next apartment down the hall bursts open. Still caught in a grapple with EricM on the floor of the hallway, EricM has not stopped wrestling and shouting. Suddenly, two men emerge from apartment 114 and scramble into in the hall. Having pinned the startled Hanra, EricM reaches into his hip pocket, grabs his wallet, flips it open and holds it up into the air. He starts shouting at the two on lookers:
EricM: FEDERAL AGENT! FREEZE RIGHT THERE!
The two men turn around and take to flight. They BOLT down the hallway, away from the screaming EricM. Leaving the door to their apartment wide open. EricM continues to shout after them:
EricM: "HOLD IT!! FEDERAL OFFICER! I SAID FREEZE!!!"
The two jump into the stair well and disappear. Their footsteps can be heard as they run across the open lot just outside of the building. Slowly, the sound of the running feet fade into the distance. Convinced that the two are gone, EricM gets off of Hantra and helps him to his feet.
Hantra: "What was that all about?!"
EricM (pointing at the open door to apartment 114): "It worked! Look."
Hantra turns to see the wide open door. The two men slowly approach it and peer into the apartment. Its empty. In their haste to get out, the two occupants have bolted leaving the door open, lights on, television blaring.
EricM: "Quick, lets check it. You take the bathroom, I’ll look in the bedrooms."
The two cautiously enter the apartment. EricM makes a line for one of the two bedrooms. And begins looking through the top drawer of a small nightstand next to the bed. Nothing. He moves to the chest of drawers, when he hears Hantra cry out:
Hantra: "FOUND ONE!"
EricM enters the bathroom where the beaming Hantra is holding up an nearly spent bottle of Afro Sheen in one hand and an unopened one in the other.
EricM: "Awesome work man. Take that one (pointing to the nearly empty bottle) and lets get the heck outta here."
Hantra stuffs the bottle into his pocket and places the new one back on the sink. The two then dash out of the building onto the sidewalk.
Hantra: "Ok, now let’s find Booker."
Five minutes later, Hantra & EricM produce the first fruits of the scavenger hunt. Hantra proudly presses the bottle of Afro Sheen into Booker’s hand and lets out a triumphant yell. theBooker places a single check mark next to the words "Afro Sheen" on the Jambytes list.
Jambytes — 1, MaximaMafia — 0
** ** **
Standing at the base of the apartment structure, JimW, Tanman and Juggernaut are listening to the blaring final riff of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". The men are standing next to a swimming pool, gazing up at the 20 story building. It looks to have at least 200 apartments.
Tanman (sarcastically): "I wonder which apartment is playing the music?"
Juggernaut: "Gee, I wonder!"
The two are quipping as it is immediately apparent where the distinctly out of place music is coming from. There is a large stereo speaker placed on one of the balconies of an apartment about four or five stories up. The speaker is CRANKED as the country rock sounds of Charlie Daniels blare out for the entire complex to hear — or be assaulted by — depending upon one’s tastes in music. Mounted on the railing of this apartment are four flags, each swaying in the gentle autumn breeze. From left to right, there is an United States "stars & stripes" flag, next to it the flag of the state of Alabama, next to it a Harley Davidson flag, and finally — the glory of the old south - confederate flag.
JimW: "Geez! I didn’t know you could be a red neck in Harlem."
Tanman: "Does seem like a strange choice in housing places, doesn’t it?"
Juggernaut: "Yeh, but never mind that. We’ve got to get that flag. How’re we gonna do it?"
Tanman: "Well I suppose we could always ask. Worse comes to worse, we could offer to buy it. How much money you got?"
The three rifle through their pockets and come up with a collective $38.
JimW: "That should be enough. Now, let’s see — which apartment is it?" (counting up) "One, two, threeeee…four. Its on the fourth floor. And how far in? It’s the one, two, three, four, five, six. Sixth one in from the right."
Juggernaut: "Right. Let’s get up there."
They make their way into the lobby of the building, which, mercifully has an elevator. JimW pushes 4 and they ride up. The sixth door from the end of the hall is, logically, apartment 460. The fact that this is the right apartment is further evidenced by the "Dukes of Hazard" poster, stapled to the door.
Through the door they can hear "The Legend of The Wooly Swamp" playing on the cranked up stereo.
Tanman: "Go ahead."
Juggernaut knocks on the door. A moment later the door opens just far enough for an eyeball inside to peer out into the hallway. A man’s voice is heard:
Man behind door: "Yey-ah."
JimW: "Ah, sir, we’d like to talk to you for a moment…if that’s alright."
The eyeball bounces up and down a few times, taking the boys in, then the door opens all the way. Standing there is a human being that has no right or business in Harlem, New York. Wes Carter is a slender, except for his beer-belly, red-headed, good ole boy from waaaay back in the them thar woods.
He’s wearing no shoes, revealing his cracked raggedy feet. Faded jeans and a red flannel shirt that is not tucked in. The sleeves are rolled up to his elbows, revealing a heart shaped tattoo on his left forearm with "Wes & Thelma Louis" in the middle. The look is topped of by a green beat up John Deere cap.
Wes is gripping a long neck bottle of Budweiser in his left hand, and he has a massive clump of Red Man chewing tobacco stuffed into his right cheek. Tobacco juice from the huge wad of leaf chew is dribbling down the side of his lip, making a disgusting looking goop spot on his unshaven chin.
Carter (speaks with a long, slow southern drawl): "So, yew wont-ed me,…well….now yew got me. What kin ah dew fer ya?"
Juggernaut: "You see, its about your confederate flag that’s on your balcony."
Carter: "Wad about it?"
Juggernaut: "Well, we’d like to have it."
Carter (scratches his chin and gazes into space, as if thinking): "Awright. Be right back."
With that Wes Carter closes the door. The boys can’t believe it.
Tanman: "WooHoo!! Man, this was easier than we thought!"
JimW: "Yeh, just goes to show you can’t judge a book by the cover. He turns out to be a pretty nice guy."
Tanman turns to high-five JimW. *slap* The two clap hands in mid air, high-five style. Tanman then turns back toward the doorway, and comes face to face with the business end of a Winchester side by side, double barreled 12 gauge shot gun. Wes Carter has trained the twin barrels right at the trio and he is looking none too enamored with his visitors. The three freeze in their tracks. He speaks:
Carter: "Ah’ve had jist about enuf a-yew white niggers com’n around hare. Bad’nuf that I got the jungle bunnies liv’n all around me, now you traitors.
Juggernaut starts to speak, Carter turns the gun directly at him. The tip of the barrel is no more than three feet from the tip of Juggernaut’s nose.
Carter: "Ah’d shud up if’n I were yew, mister. Now, the last time ah checked this here wuz A-mare-ika, an a man ken live anywhere he wonts and believe anything he wonts. If you don’t like my fly’n the colors of the south off-a mah balcony — TUFF. Now I’m fix’n to rid the world of three more useless nigger luvers."
Sensing that he means business, the three dive onto the floor of the hallway, just as Carter squeezes the trigger. The massive gun blows a hole completely through the plaster wall of the building, it’s deafening blast fills the hall way.
Juggernaut: "LET’S GET OUT OF HERE!"
The three scramble to the stairs while the red neck is busy reloading. They can hear him shouting after them:
Carter: "And don’t come back, ya mongrels! Go attend a Jessie Jackson ralley ‘er sumthin!"
JimW, Tanman, and Juggernaut make it back to the lobby and out into the foyer area. They’re standing next to the swimming pool, where they started just five minutes ago.
JimW: "HOLY JESUS, JOSEPH and MARY!! That was close! We almost got our heads blow clean off! DAMN!"
Tanman (pointing up at Wes Carter’s patio): "Yeh, but we STILL have to get that flag."
JimW: "What are you, nuts?!! That guy just tried to KILL us!"
Tanman: "I know, I know — but what are our chances of finding ANOTHER one of those flags? We’ve got to get THAT one."
JimW: "Well smart guy, you got a better plan than that last one? "Let’s just ask him" What a terrible idea."
Tanman (looking at Juggernaut): "How tall are you?"
Juggernaut: "Six three. Why?"
Tanman (surveying the side of the building): "How are you at climbing?"
** ** **
Back at the finish line, Booker stands NEARLY all alone. All of the contestants have already taken off and are, presumably, scouring the neighborhood for their respective items. Only Woodear and Keven are left. The two appear to be arguing.
Keven: "Man, we’d better get going."
Keven: "What do you mean, why? We’ve got to find this damned magnum sized condom, that’s why. What about Andi? Think about Andi?"
Woodear: "Don’t sweat it dude, its all under control. Try to relax. Here."
Woodear reaches into his jacket, pulls out two Macanudo Portofino cigars and a lighter. He gives one to Keven and then proceeds to light his own up.
Woodear takes a seat on a nearby bench and begins enjoying his smoke. Keven can’t believe it.
Keven: "How can you smoke at a time like this?? Its almost 2:00 and we haven’t even STARTED yet?! We’ll never do this!"
Woodear, looking as confident as a rooster in a hen house, just takes another puff.
** ** **
"They’re closing in fast man. We’ll never out run ‘em."
Pants the dying Remington. He and MaximaMike have been fleeing from the police for nearly three blocks now. They’ve evaded the cops by dodging into alleys and side streets, but the beat cops know these streets too well. Every time the two zig, the cops zag. And now the police cruiser is just 50 feet behind them, and closing fast. Still carrying the poodle, MaximaMike realizes that they need a plan.
MaximaMike: "Ok. I’ll grab the collar off the dog and give it to you. I’ll keep the mutt. The cops won’t bother to chase you since I’ve got the dog. You run back to Booker and give him the collar. I’ll handle the police."
Remington: "Let’s do it."
The two stop and MaximaMike flips the dog around in his hands. He grabs for the dog’s neck and to make a startling discovery.
MaximaMike: "HEY, this #$%*!’n dog isn’t WEARING a collar!!!"
Remington: "WHAT!?? Lemme see."
Sure enough, the dog is 100% collarless. The two can’t believe it. They put the dog on the ground as the squad car comes screeching to a halt. To large
officers jump out, guns drawn.
Cop#1: "Put your hands on your heads and get down on your knees…NOW!"
Aware of New York City police department’s reputation, the two get down. As soon as they do, the cops rush them. The officers quickly frisk both and clamp the cuffs on their wrists. Remington attempts to explain:
Remington: "You don’t under stand, you don’t understand…!…"
Cop#2: "Yeh, yeh. Well see if you understand this — You have the right to remain silent, should you forgo that right anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning, if you cannot afford said attorney one will be appointed to you at the expense of the municipal system. You have the right to make a phone call at the expense of the municipal system. You have….."
When he finishes, Remington gives it one more shot.
Remington: "We weren’t going to KEEP the dog, we just.."
Cop#1 (while shoving him into the back seat of the cruiser): "Hey, save it for the judge, alright?"
With that the two cops get into the car and head for "downtown". Neither MaximaMike nor Remington have ever been arrested before and ride in eerie silence. MaximaMike breaks the silence:
MaximaMike: "So, who you gonna call with your phone call?"
** ** **
Joe Washington returns to the living room with a plate of cookies and glasses of whole milk for the boys. Already CraigB and Gr8bone have been in the old man’s house for nearly forty five minutes and have yet to see anything resembling a record album. Though they’ve had their ears talked off about everything from the winter of ’56 to the Giants Superbowl team of 91.
Washington: "And heeere you are, young fella." (handing the cookie tray to Gr8bone) "Now, where were we,….ah yes, the war. The Big One. Five years in the army, I put in over seas. Yeah, my brother and I were stationed in Paris with the one hundred and fifty third, helping to push them Krauts back across the twenty second parallel."
CraigB attempts to interrupt him: "Ah, Joe…about those records…"
Washington is right back in Paris and doesn’t hear a word: "Yeh,….that’s how I got the limp, ya know. I left a leg over there for you two boys!"
Gr8bone looks at CraigB and taps the face of his watch. He mouths the words: "We’ve — got — to — go."
CraigB: "Joe, listen — can we look at the records now?"
CraigB: "Yeh, you know, Pavoratti,…..the SINGER."
Washington: "OH yes, the singer. Both of my kids like to sing you know. Yeh, they get if from their mother — my first wife. Now she had a LOVELY voice. That woman could..…."
** ** **
While Keven just can’t seem to concentrate on the stogie, Woodear is savoring every puff of his cigar. For the life of him, Keven just cannot figure out how the man is so relaxed.
Keven: "Dude, do you realize that we’ve got just under an hour to find this magnum sized condom??? We haven’t even started!"
Woodear (enjoying a puff): "I know, I know. Like I said, its all under control. Just relax."
Keven: "I can’t relax. I’m going out without you."
Keven begins to head toward the street, when Woodear calls out to him.
Woodear: "Ok, ok. Let me show you something."
With that Woodear snuffs out his cigar and strolls over to Booker. He taps Booker on the shoulder.
Woodear then reaches into his hip pocket and pulls out his wallet. Flipping it open, he finds the hidden compartment, just behind the billfold. Woodear reaches in and produces one magnum condom. He slaps it into Bookers hand.
Woodear: "There you are, my man."
Booker: "Alright then."
Booker picks up the MaximaMafia’s list and places a check mark next to the "magnum condom".
Keven’s jaw drops open: "You mean…?...you….you?
Woodear: "That’s right Homey. I’m 100% MAN."
Next: Manly Games Event 5, Part 2