Sunday, July 8, 2012

God Bless the Assholes – Adventures on County Line Road

When I feel like shooting pool, I usually head up to Capone's in Spring Hill because it's a nicer drive than the one down to DJ's in New Port Richey. Of course, "nicer" doesn't necessarily mean pleasant.

I was heading north on 19 the other day toward Capone's when I come to the intersection of 19 and County Line Road. If you're not local, let me explain to you that the west end of County Line Road has recently been renovated. Once a two lane road, it has been widened and now sports two lanes going each way. In fact, for the first quarter mile there are three lanes heading east and west. It has cut the driving time to the pool room by five or ten minutes mainly because of the two or three miles during which you can pass a lot of those drivers who get off causing log jams.

The route isn't without its irritants, though. There are those women and old coots who jump into the left lane only to go the exact same speed as cars in the right lane thereby virtually blocking off the road. Then, there are those who drive 60 mph, making it ill advised to pass them since the limit is 50 mph, but who eventually, when the traffic merges into a single lane, slow down to 45 even though the speed limit hasn’t changed. Old drivers in Florida have a favorite song. It’s I love a parade and there’s nothing that brings them more pleasure than seeing a line of cars behind them. I usually get close behind these morons and flip them the bird, hoping they see me in their rearview mirrors.

Anyway, when I got to the intersection of Hwy 19 and County Line Road (CLR), the light was red but there was an opportunity to go right on the read. Unfortunately, the dude in front of me in this white sedan was dozing. I sounded the horn and he finally went into motion just as the southbound 19 turn lane got the green. There was quite a lot of action with us and, now, the turn lane entering CLR. The guy in front of me turns directly into the middle lane and I turn into the right lane. I want to pass him, but he doesn't like the idea and speeds up. Finally, I kick it into passing gear and get around him just where the right lane ends. It's then the siren comes on and a state trouper pulls me over at the traffic light by the golf course.

Now, the trouper had been watching the whole thing play out. He walks up to my window and asks for my paper work. While I'm digging around for it the dude in the white car sitting at the red light and feeling all good about the way things were going gives a celebratory toot of his horn. The trouper gives him a long look and then turns back toward me. I think the toot of the horn was what tipped the scales in my favor because he told me to drive a little more carefully from then on, which I did... for a few days, anyway.

The point being, the asshole in the white car did me a big favor when he tooted his horn. Though I hate the bastard and would have liked to pound the shit out of him and that gloating pig sitting next to him, fact is, on account of him being a dedicated asshole, I was spared a ticket.

Funny how things work out sometimes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Iron Nymph - Another Story by Ace Toscano

I don't write that much anymore, though you think I would, since time is winding down. Not that I'm sick or anything, but I recently turned 65 and even the most optimistic forecasts don't have me reaching 80. My old man died at 69, ten years after he was stricken with cancer of the colon. It took ten years for the cancer to hit his liver and on from there. His father died young, and so on and so forth. So, realistically, I'm a short timer. But there are so many distractions - WeTopia, Hidden Chronicles, Solitaire Blitz, Bejeweled Blitz, Solitaire, Pyramid Solitaire, and on and on and on. Then there's my website and the hundreds of pages I maintain, though, I confess, I'm not very vigilant about that except for my pool pages. Still, every once in a while, I get an idea for a story and I start working on it. I don't labor over each word like a skilled artisan. I just plow through it, hoping to get it finished. Which is what I've done yet again. I'm pretty lucky, really. Some of us 65 year olds don't have enough brain power left to write a story, even a lousy one. So, I'll go with that. Here's the story:

The Iron Nymph

by Ace Toscano


Marge was hot.

Not Angelina-Jolie, Charlize Theron, Maria Sharapova hot.

Not sweaty, ninety-nine degrees in the friggin' shade hot.

Marge was snorting, snarling, spitting, teeth-grinding, red-in-the-face hot.

Marge. Was. Pissed.

And, she was holding it in. Which wasn't good.

She hadn't said a friggin' word since Kalispell.

She hadn't been making any of her usual casual observations about the weather or the scenery -- oh, how she loved the Montana scenery -- during the drive south, nor had she graced him with any of the little reassurances she habitually served up, like reaching over to gently touch his hand as he held the wheel, while softly declaring, "Love you, Cuter."

Cuter - that was her nickname for him. He called her Dolly, because she was and always had been, a doll, that is. She'd been a doll when he met her thirty years before when they were sixteen, and she was a doll, now. He couldn't remember exactly how long she'd been calling him Cuter, but he believed it had started shortly after he had confided to her that, growing up, his father had enjoyed telling him that he had a face only a mother could love. She had never thought much of his old man and after hearing that she had thought even less of him. Of course, in truth, Johnny really wasn't much to look at, but, if he pointed that out to Marge, she'd always insist "You're cute to me. That's all that matters."

But, he probably wasn't looking that good to her, today. At least, she wasn't saying so. She hadn't even squawked when he made an unannounced detour West on I-90 to St. Regis where he left her alone in the camper for three hours while he tried his luck on an unheralded stretch of the Clark's Fork he had heard about from Freddie, the guy in the Whitefish fly shop.

And she hadn't done much yakkin' during dinner at the OK Cafe, at least not to him. She spoke to the waitress long enough to order and later to rave about the "wonderful" grilled salmon. Not to be outdone, Johnny had complimented the chef on the "divine" burgers, fries and onion rings which really were pretty good. He usually didn't get a chance to eat that kind of stuff, not with Marge actively making sure he didn't over-indulge his artery clogging fetishes. But, for the time being, she apparently didn't give a shit if he died or not, so, he had stuffed himself with all the high-cholesterol food he could stand. He kicked himself later for not having added a couple eggs to his order.

Marge hadn't even reminded him to take his pills.

She was extremely pissed.

Of course, it wasn't a mystery why she was pissed. She was pissed on account of the way things had gone down with Jeannie Logan.

For the rest of the story, go here.