I was perusing the latest catalog from renowned German porn distributor Der Freche Affe when the phone rang. I don’t normally answer it myself — that’s the houseboy’s job, after all — but a prickly feeling on the back of my neck told me I should.
“Carver residence,” I said. “What’s the meaning of this?”
“Maybe. Who’s this?”
“It’s me, ol’ Randall Hank — Bocephus!”
“Hank? Well dip me in molasses and, uh, yeah. Let’s not go there. But look, how the hell are you, old son?”
“Not too good man. That crazy bitch’s lawsuit is moving ahead — it’s going to the grand jury!”
Hank was referring, of course, to some hillbilly waitress’ ridiculous claim that he’d cursed her out and choked her at a two-bit hotel in Memphis. As if the man who wrote “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” has to choke perfect strangers when he can hire world-class call girls to meet such needs.
“Grand jury? Preposterous. Do they have any evidence?”
“Naw man, just her word against mine. I mean, she had some red marks and bruising on her face…”
“Yeah man, from where I… I mean, from where she says I choked her.”
“Well, did you?”
“Did I what?”
“Hey man, this line might be tapped! I ain’t saying nothing that could put ol’ Hank in the big house!”
“Alright, I got you. Say no more. But tell me one thing.”
“What’s that, man?”
“Why’d you call?”
“Oh, that. Yeah man, I was wondering if ol’ Hank could borrow a couple of your high-powered lawyers — I’m gonna need them!”
“Of course, old friend, of course. I’ll put them on the next plane to Memphis.”
“Thanks man! Ol’ Hank owes you one!”
“Nonsense. Any debt you might have owed me was erased the day you put ‘A Country Boy Can Survive’ to vinyl.”
“Ain’t that the truth! Alright Oz, I’ll catch you later!”
Good old Hank. Dumb as a rock, but there’s no finer drinking partner to be found on Earth. God bless him.