"Oh, Sully, this has been the most bugged-out day ever! "
Gesturing wildly, Bubbles waves her arms, jabbing the air with the Miles Davis CD.
"Man, I had to come to Princeton for a job interview, and I had to borrow this fucked-up car, and . . ."
Sully's eyes are following the CD in her hand like a cat watching a bird.
"Hey, is that Agharta? Awesome! Can I see it?"
Sully greedily snatches the CD from Bubbles' grip.
"Ooh, Miles at his most scorching, searching, and restless. Some dark, demented skaDOO-BAH!" Feverishly, he runs his fingers over the jewel case as if it were a magic lamp. He gives Bubbles a scolding look. "You know, this stuff will burn you a new butt hole."
"OK, Sully, I found it, and I'm buying it, so give it back."
Sully's eyes narrow as he considers his options. He looks at the immense stack of vinyl he's already committed to buying, and he reluctantly hands the CD back to Bubbles.
"So, Bubbles, you're still on a Miles Davis kick, huh?"
"Well, yeah, I'm pretty into his stuff. You know, Sully, if you're still hung up on those two disks I borrowed . . ."
"Nah, forget about it. I snagged them both from this bonehead, Larry, at work. He just kept them around to impress chicks. He's not going to miss them."
"So I can keep them?"
"Yeah, you kin keep 'em."
An awkward pause hangs in the air. Bubbles' gaze falls to Sully's vinyl bounty.
"So, you find anything good?"
"Oh, yeah, some choice stuff. I'm way into this 80's vibe right now, new wave and shit. Check it out, the Thompson Twins, Stiff Little Fingers, Mission of Burma, Wall of Voodoo, and this one, The Essentials. I've been looking for this for a while. These guys only made this one record. And they're from around here, I think . . ."
Something about the cover catches her eye.
"Hey, can I see that one, The Essentials?"
The cover shows photos of the band, each member in a jagged shape, posing with their instruments. The guy with the drumsticks, . . . something familiar . . . Flipping the record over, she scans the credits: O Bruxo, bass and vocals. O Bruxo?! Frank Schenk, guitar, Billy Montgomery, keyboards, Scott Mansen, lead guitar, and Sam Cantrell, drums.
She flips back to the photo. It's Sam Cantrell alright, in a tank top and parachute pants! Her almost new boss! It's definitely him, a little younger, but the same eyes, same grin.
"Shit, Sully! I gotta have this record! I know this guy! I just met him today! Oh, man, this is so freaky! Please, please let me buy it, Sully. I'll give you ten bucks if you let me take it."
Sully looks at Bubbles, then at the massive stack of records, each and every one of them pleading to be taken home. Ten bucks would help.
"OK, ten bucks. But you gotta let me borrow it back sometime so I can burn it to disk."
"Sure, sure, Sully. Whatever."
"Hey, Bubbles. You ready to go?"
Bubbles turns to find Tony, good old Tony, and his buddy Kevin, standing there, both glazed and blazed. She jumps over and gives Tony a big hug.
"Tony, you're here! Thanks for rescuing me. Hey, Tony, you know Sully, right?"
"Er, no, man. What's up?"
"Tony, you and Sully have partied together lots of times."
"Oh, ah, yeah? We have? How ya doin'?"
Bubbles rolls her eyes and says,
"I'm gonna pay for this stuff and we'll go, OK? Sully, here's the ten bucks, now you take it easy."
"OK. Thanks. Bye, Bubs."
The three leave the record store. Saying goodbye to Kevin, who is setting off by himself to New Brunswick, Tony follows Bubbles back to where she has parked Big Brown. They hop in the car, with Tony settling in behind the wheel of his beloved Oldsmobile. Deftly starting her up, he turns to Bubbles and says,
"See? I told you Big Brown would take care of you."
Bubbles eyes flash. She wants to smack him, but seeing that big grin of his, she has to laugh.
"Hey, Bubs, there's a CD boombox in the trunk. Can you grab it? That is, unless you wanna listen to Steppenwolf."
"What the fuck? Now you tell me? Ok, I'll get it."
Bubbles jumps back in with the CD player, and Tony steps on the gas, pulling Big Brown out of the parking lot, and out into the cool, Spring evening. With the windows down, they leave Princeton behind and are soon making their way down Route 1, heading for 95 South. Bubbles puts disk one of Agharta into the player, cranks it up, and sets it on the back seat. Big Brown pulsates to the relentless churning funk as they barrel down 95 back towards Philly. The sweeping of the passing lights and the rhythm of the blacktop become one with the hypnotic music. Bubbles closes her eyes and rocks her head to the beat. Tony shrugs his shoulders and says to himself,
"Man, I don't think I could ever smoke enough weed to get into this shit."
Bubbles Meets the Prince of Darkness
International Assholes' Day
Bubbles Runs the Voodoo Down
Bubbles Takes a Magic Carpet Ride
Big Brown lets Bubbles Down
Bubbles, Baked and Fried
Bubbles, Biff and Binny
Bubbles and the 99 cent Epiphany
Bubbles' Trip To See the Doctor
The Doctor and the Prince of Darkness Meet Again
The Doctor and the Naked Glory
More Troubles for Bubbles
What a Lame Vacation
In Careless Act, 17 Drown, 3 Survive.