chapter 12 Why you’re nothing but a bunch of playing cards!


The next morning Allan is all good cheer.  He asks if I am looking forward to our trip to Tiburon

“Oh well as it turns out I won’t be able to go after all.”  I tell him.

“Why not?” He asks me.

“Because your people have really loud voices.”

“What? I don’t understand?”  He feigns puzzlement.  He is the kind of ham actor you can always see ‘acting.’

“Yes, you do understand.  And I expect the quiet around here to be ending pretty soon.  Don’t you?”

I pay for my morning supplies and leave him there looking lost and sad.  Ok this is a fucked up world where a ‘friend’ plots to kill you and you feel sorry for him.

Before I finished reading my morning paper my fan club had returned in all their demented determination.  The car horns blared the crack head screamed.

“yeh guys I missed you too.”  I take up my bamboo pole and begin once more tapping on the ceiling.

There are people in the world who are afraid of enclosed spaces, other people are fearful of open spaces.  To each insanity there is usually an opposite insanity To balance it all out.  Paranoia is the feeling that the whole world is plotting against you.  Is there an opposite madness to this I wonder?  Refusing to believe that there is a plot to get you even when there is?

The mob or a franchise of the mob is trying to kill me.

No matter how many times I run this thought through my head it always ends up with a big cartoon question mark over my head. Huu?

The mob is trying to kill me.


No really.  Huu?

No matter how many days I have woken up to screaming death threats, it just can’t quite jell as real.

I am a girl from small town Maine.  (In Maine all the towns are small).  I can weed a garden without pulling the beets or carrots.  I have milked cows and goats. Hunted deer, skinned rabbits and trapped beaver.  Ok it was one beaver.  It was during my Jack London call of the wild period that I experimented with a few traps.  Usually I caught rabbits, or weasels so that big ol’ pissed off beaver was a bit of a surprise.  After that I moved on to the foxfire books and began collecting wild herbs and mushrooms.  I have tramped through springs crusty rotting snow to tap maple trees and can tell you it takes a lot of sweet sap to make enough syrup for your pancakes.

The Mob?  They are a part of my world in the same way as Hobbits.  Though to be sure I know I great deal more about Hobbits.  I have never watched any of the Godfather movies or even seen an episode of the Sopranos.

I am Alice stomping her feet at the Red Queen’s army.

(why you’r nothing but a bunch of playing cards!!)

Second verse same as the first.  You wouldn’t think that fighting to stay alive would become boring.  Day after wearing day the battle continued.  Even finding new and interesting ways to annoy my noisy neighbors was beginning to become a dull hobby.

The thing they had installed under the floor was moving.  I like to do my bead work sitting cross leged on a cushion on the floor.  I would be sitting on my cushion beading my coat when I would feel that thing what ever it was, moving under the floor till it was right under my ass.  It vibrated, very annoying.

I got up moved my cushion and sat back down with my bead work.   The thing under the floor moved till it was vibrating under my ass.

I moved.

It moved.

Once more I moved, it followed.

Growling in irritation I go to the kitchen for some ice tea.  I sit in my gold leafed wicker chair sipping my tea.  (What the hell is that thing and why was it following me?)

My upstairs neighbor has had his girlfriend visiting today.  I passed her once in the hall before this new round of insanity had begun.  She was a busty bleached blond with the hard edged eyes of a stripper and the voice of a natural born fish wife.

I sip my tea listening to the two of them upstairs.

“Shoot her.  Go on shoot her now.  The woman has a very loud voice  I sit sipping my tea listening to the two of them arguing about shooting me.  (How were they planning on shooting me? Through the ceiling?  It seemed a less than ideal firing position to me. The computer geek hadn’t looked like he had even ever held a gun.  I could be wrong of course but, very soft hand, no shooters calluses . )

“Now!” She yelled.  “Do it now.  Shoot the bitch!.”

Now really, I thought, a back seat driver is bad enough but a back seat assassin?  Honestly there are limits.

I look up at the ceiling and frown.

“Alright now girl, that will be quite enough of that.  Unless your willing to pull the trigger yourself, your nothing but a tourist here.  So be a good little girl and sit down and shut the hell up.”    I said.

The woman screeches.  “Shoot her, God dammed it shoot her now!”

“Shoot her now, shoot her now.”  I mocked her fish wife tones.

“Good god man, I bet she’s one of those demanding bitches in bed huh?  Up, down, faster, slower, not like this like that.  Ohh do I have to do everything myself?”   The fish wife reached explosive levels of out rage, while my dedicated zoo crew outside responded with raucous laughter.

“Hey tell ya what, call a temporary truce and send your girl on down here.  I’ll teach her how to use her mouth for something other than bitching at you with.”

Ohh my she had a large vocabulary of for special occasion words.

His girl screaming at him. His crew laughing at him, his victim sipping her ice tea and giggling. The computer geek is finding that being an assassin is not working out as glamorously as he might have imagined.

I popped some jiffy pop popcorn (forget those microwave baggies, Jiffy pop rules.  As much fun to make as it is to eat.)

After a couple of hours the argument upstairs runs down and once more that annoying thing under the floor was vibrating under my ass.

I got up and moved my seat.

It followed.

I moved.

It followed.

“Ok enough.  I don’t know what that thing under the floor is but it’s annoying me.  So enough.  I want it off and I want it off now.”

It moved under my feet.

“I mean it. Off.  If you don’t cut it out right now I’m going to make it very hard for you two to breath up there.”

It continued vibrating under me. And I hear laughter coming from upstairs.
They always laugh.

“Ok then.”  I turn to my kitchen muttering crossly to myself.  “No one ever believes me.”

From under the sink I take out a large plastic jack-o-lantern I had been using to store odd bits and bobs of this and that.  I dump everything out and took from under the sink a gallon jug of bleach and another jug of ammonia.  I grab my garbage and head out the door.  Whistling a merry little tune.

Half way up the stairs I drop the garbage down the garbage shoot then tip toe up to my bad neighbors door.  I quickly place the grinning jack in front of their door.  It’s grinning face toward the door.  Then holding my breath I add the bleach and ammonia.

It worked better than I had expected.  The Jack-o-lantern overflowed and the poisonous white  foam began  seeping under the door.

I ran back down stairs.  Then lay on my bed, waiting.

A minute goes by, two.

“What’s that smell?”  The fish wife.

I lay on my back a slow evil smile spreading on my face.

“Oh God!  What is that?  It’s coming from the door.”

I hear the upstairs door open.

“Ohh God.” She screams.

(Now, if they are half way intelligent they will pick up the jock-o-lantern and dump the mess down the garbage shoot.  If they’re really stupid. …….)

I hear the toilet flush.   I  curl around my laughter.

Over my gales of merriment I hear the windows upstairs being thrown open the two of them screaming at each other and gasping for breath.

Figuring they will be too busy trying to breath for a while to try and shoot me. (how ever they were planning on doing that)  I lay peaceful on my little bed and drifted off into a light nap.

Number one rule of war.  Sleep whenever you get the chance.

I am woken by the sound of the elevator going upstairs.

My assassin has a visitor.

Allan, always the actor his voice projects well.

“The price has gone up to a hundred thousand.”

One eye opens the eyebrow lifts.  I feel an astonishing range of emotions.

The robin hood moment.  One hundred thousand? For little ol’ me?  A part of me feels oddly flattered.

Then the head shaking wonder at the stupidity of men.  One Hundred thousand? You fucking kidding me?  For less than ten (before they became a pain in my ass) I would have left California and not looked back.  But noooo.  After they annoyed me I still would have left for fifty.  (ten for moving costs forty for pain in the ass tax) .  But noooo.  They were determined to ignore all good sense and pour good money after bad.  Yankee trader to my roots, people trying to kill me and I sat there completely disgusted with the bad bargain they were making of it.

Then the sinking feeling I really might not get out of this alive.  Even stupid people get lucky.

A taste of bitter salt that it was my friend up there plotting my death.  There would be some dark poetic magic in this if the situation were not so completely idiotic.

Was it SunTszu of Captain Kirks nemesis Kahn, who said that you can judge the quality of a man by the quality of his enemies?  Either way, my enemies are a Mel Brooksian dance troop composed of the descendants of the three stooges.

I am having such a difficult time finding the correct sort of emotional response to all this.

I opened my eyes and rolled out of bed.  Time to give Allen a little demonstration of just how greatly peeved I was.

I took up my can of super glue and while they were distracted discussing my profitable murder I tip toed up stairs.

I hate to repeat a trick but ohh well.  I spray the peep hole the lock the handle and the hinges and skip back down stairs, whistling a merry little tune.

“Shit, what’s she done now?”

“Fuck, she’s glued the dammed door shut.”

“That’s right.” I say and smile slow and evil.

“Now dear me, your door is glued shut and the only exit is the fire escape, which goes right by my window.  Come one guys, not afraid of a woman are you?”

I take my handy dandy ginsu knife from the kitchen and stand in the living room, flipping the knife from hand to hand practicing a few strikes and blows.  It’s been a few years since my army days when I used to spend my weekends with men who joined the Army because it was where they could blow shit up and not get arrested.   I used to spar with them in the backyard.  I’m good with a blade, fast.  The ginsue isn’t the Gerber Guardian Boot knife I used to prefer but you can’t go wrong with a ginsu can you?

I am not a fan of rap.  Well lets face it I’m a small town white girl.  But to every rule there is an exception.  I put on the one rap song I love and play it loud.  Background music for my work out. Ice Tea Big gun

It’s gonin’ down. Yo the girl got a gun

Best run. Because she’s quick to flip and empty out the clip,

And make a man understand where she’s comin’ from.

The hard core’s connected to the base of her fate.

She just breaks and brings drama to the situation,

Ejaculation of my projectile, she’s buck wild.

Better recognize when she comes she comes correct.

Collects respect and if not, you catch a broken neck.

Buddy look down and your shirts all bloody,

Looks like she caught you with a bad one for messin with the mad one.

Told you about this girl before, you didn’t listen to me

As I talk, now you’re stalked by the hunter of the frontier,

Who’s size five and sexy

Quick, they catch your body and another one next week.

Huh it doesn’t matter cuz the girl stays strapped.

She says she had enough of men and she’s lookin for payback

And there’s no way you can fade her son.

She walks softly but she carries a big gun.

The most venomous feminist, homie she ant soft

You give her trouble she might cut your head off.

Or something that you like to think’s the best

She’ll blow big holes in your chest.

She says she gotta cuz she says a lotta ladies won’t

She says she gotta cuz she says a lotta ladies don’t

She says she gotta cuz she says a lotta ladies can’t

She says she gotta cuz she knows a lotta ladies

Romance the thoughts of gving men their own medicine

Electrocute ‘em light em up  like Con Edison.

She got no fear, five rings in her ears

Holes in her nose, way out clothes

Living life to the fullest buck shot and bullets

Triggers she’ll pull it.  Earth she wanna rule it

Maybe she will cuz she’s quick to kill

The city lights make her dresses tight, yes she bites

You never know where she’ll come from

She walks softly but carries a big gun.

You got no time to trip or argue, you’re through.

I’ll bet she gets ya.  Homeboy you’ll catch a stretcher like so many before.

She’s on a body count tour.  But not rock, she’s putting sucker punks in cops

You say she’s nothing but a woman then you come up shot

You say why you want to kill me? And she says Why not?

Pop she got a body that’ll make you cry.

Pop she got a shotty that’ll make you die.

Don’t bring drama to her homie cuz you’ll wind up flat.

She’ll put your ass horizontal then she’ll peal your cap

She got no loving, love is something that she never had

She loved her mother but hate her muther fuckn dad

So stay the hell out her way, cuz the girl don’t play


She walks softly but she carries a big gun

I finished my work out and laid the ginsue on the floor next to my bed as I lay down to rest while my assassins debated what to do about the glued door.

They decided not to take the fire escape and called Boccie.  I would have loved seeing his face while his hired guns explained that the woman they had been hired to kill had trapped them with a can of super glue and threaten to turn them all into bad grade sushi.  Boccie sent a locksmith.  He thought it was funny.



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