“And it’s Hairy Dumplings by a nose!” the announcer screamed over the PA down at the local race track. “Hairy Dumplings wins it by a nose!”
“Goddammit!” I shouted before lunging towards my associate, Skynyrd Dave, and clocking him in the ear with my clenched fist.
“Ow!” he cried, cowering from my righteous fury. “What was that for, man?”
I grabbed him by the lapels of his cheap windbreaker and shook him like the unwanted baby he had no doubt been some 30-odd years earlier. “Are you shitting me? You said we were betting on a sure thing!”
“It was a sure thing!”
“Moron! Do you even know what ‘sure thing’ means?”
“‘Course I do.”
“Holy. Christ. You are shitting me, aren’t you?” I barked, eyes filled with pure, uncut hatred as I slapped him once, twice, and a third time for good measure. “Then why — why! — did our horse just come in second?”
“Uh, well… I guess Hairy Dumplings was a surer thing?”
Provoked to the point where no jury in the world would convict me, I prepared to deliver a blow that would surely send Skynyrd Dave shuffling off this mortal coil. But then:
“Whoa whoa whoa — who’s talking about blow over here?”
I turned towards the source of this unexpected intrusion… who turned out to be none other than legendary American thespian and dope fiend, Charlie Sheen! True to form, he had two well-known porn stars on each arm and at least a hundred dollars’ worth of fine Columbian cocaine drying on his upper lip and nose.
“I think it was me, Mr. Sheen,” I said, feeling a bit like Alice after she fell down the rabbit hole. “But I didn’t actually say anything about blow. I was just thinking about giving this pathetic excuse for a human being a blow to the head.”
“First of all,” Sheen said, “I don’t care about your sex life. Second of all, there’s nobody standing next to you so I have no fucking idea who or what you’re talking about. Third of all, I can read minds because I’m a warlock assassin whose heart is practically bursting from all the tiger’s blood pulsing through my veins. And fourth of all, if anyone’s going to be giving anyone any blow, it’s me. I have loads of it on my private plane, more than I could ever do. Well, more than I could do this week. Maybe.”
I looked around as Sheen spoke, confirming that Skynyrd Dave had indeed beat a hasty retreat. “Sweet creeping shit,” I replied. “You really are Charlie Sheen!”
“Goddamn straight I am. What’s your story, fat man?”
“The name’s Carver, Oswald Carver,” I said, extending my hand. Sheen slapped it away disdainfully.
“I didn’t ask for your life story, asshole.”
“Fuck you. You look like the type who can hold his drugs. Am I wrong?”
I couldn’t help but swell with pride at that. “Not in the least.”
“Then tell me this: What are you doing tonight?”
“Tonight? Well, I guess I’ll be headed back to the Blessed Virgin Mother of Christ Center for Sober Living and Bible Study in a bit. Check in’s at 8 p.m., and they add another day to your stay for every hour…”
“Fuck. That. Shit,” Sheen said decisively. “Me and the girls? We’re about to head back to my plane. Then? We’re headed for Rio de Janeiro for no less than four weeks of insane debauchery that will literally make your Blessed Virgin Mother of Christ bleed from her goddamn eyes, ears and any other orifices she might have handy. Then we’re flying back to the U.S. and I’m going to firebomb CBS’s offices right back to the stone age. Are you in or what?”
Of course I was in, and we were all soon aboard Sheen’s private plane for what promises to be the adventure of a lifetime. I’ll try to drop you a postcard if time permits; don’t wait up.