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Tuesday, October 11, 2005


To Have and Have Kinda: A Jose Amador Mystery

Jose woke up on the cot in his office. Questions raced through his mind like kids in the Soapbox Derby, only with a better paint job. How had he gotten there? What day was it? Why did he have rice pudding in his underwear? He sat up. If he was going to find the answers to these questions, he needed a cup of coffee. Or at least some bourbon in a cup that might have once held coffee.

As he reached for the bottle, Jose saw that he'd bruised his palms badly. Normally, that only happened when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue came out, but that wasn't due for another few months, which added to his confusion. Then it hit him. It hit him like the smell of old egg salad hits the nostrils. He'd been playing craps last night. In fact, if memory served him--and it usually just sat behind the counter and ignored him, but this time he was waving a twenty at it--he'd been on the biggest hot streak of his life last night. Bigger than the time he'd found a gold watch up a dead wino's ass during the Case of the Constipated Wino.

His memory was fuzzy, like a moldy peach. He'd gone to the casino with his pal Jonesy in an attempt to cheer Jonesy up a bit after he'd had his testicles lopped off in a freak biscuit-making accident. They'd made straight for the craps table and that's where Jose stayed for the rest of the night, except for one and a half trips to the bathroom. Jonesy had come to the table in tears at one point, whining something about losing his life savings and being spat on by a nun, but Jose had been up a grand at that point, so he hadn't really been paying attention.

Jose couldn't have said what happened after that if you'd paid him in leggy blondes. But he was here in his office now and his wallet didn't feel any thousand dollars heavier. Suddenly, his door was flung open and three thugs walked in. To be fair, Jose just assumed they were thugs. They could have been Mormons, except that they hadn't shaved and weren't wearing backpacks. The one with the nose wart piped up.

"Mr. Amador," the thug/Mormon said in a voice not unlike a young Dom DeLuise, "our employer would like to see you."

Jose sipped his bourbon. "Yeah? Well, I'd like to see another Waltons reunion movie, but that ain't necessarily gonna happen either."

The thug patted a lump in his pocket that was either a gun or a gun-shaped sandwich. Jose was hungry, so he was hoping for the latter. "I don't think I've made myself clear, Mr. Amador. I should apologize." That cut it. He was Mormon. "I'm not asking if you'd like to see him. I'm telling you that you're going to." With that, the Mormon nodded to his two buddies, who looked about as friendly as a PMSing dominatrix.

"Well," Jose said, standing up, "you gentlemen have me outnumbered. Which is a shock, because I pride myself on my numbers."

Jose decided that fighting might not be the best idea right now. He'd just completed his collection of commemorative Princess Diana plates and he'd hate to see them broken. So he'd go with the Mormons. For now.

Happy Birthday, Beigey!

Thanks, man!
What a hoot! Happy Birthday Jose!
Wow Joe, Mormons and a PMS'y dominatrix, I can relate.
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