Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I wanna say it was 1993.  Me and pops were living on Jeffrey avenue.  It was early summer or late spring.  Another sunny day in California.  As was my habit, I was sleeping in on the couch.  I woke up to the sound of arguing.  At first it was just voice.  Then, I was able to distinguish two separate voices.  Now fully awake, I pieced together some of the scenario.  There were two people arguing.

"You stole my wine!"  This was my neighbor.  I recognized his yelling voice because he was always yelling at his kid with the humongous head.  I heard some indecipherable babble that was close to my front door.  Kevin, my neighbor yelled again.  "You stole my wine off of the front porch!" 

Now I could make out the counter argument, "Maaaaan, I didn't steal no wine.  What would I be doin stealin wine?"  A fair point, I thought.  "Why you got wine on the front porch anyway man?  If you don't want it took?"  There's way too much here to break down fully.  I think the main lesson here, as we'll see, is that anyone who asks a rhetorical question in their denial, or two or three, is for sure guilty. 

There was more arguing and a knock on the door.  Hmm.  Let's see what this is about.  So I opened the door and saw a cross between golden voice guy and the most interesting man in the world...

And that, my friends, is Rick Mendoza.  I had no clue who this guy was, but he looked if not homeless, borderline homeless.  He asked in a raspy kind of jive voice, "ya man, is uh, Bob around man?"  Just then my dad came from the hallway in his bathrobe (he slept in too.  We party) with this look on his face that said, "What in the blue fuck is going on out here?"  But he saw Rick and relaxed.  "Hey Rick.  Uh, come in?"

Two things happened after Rick got in the house.  First was my dad put his gun away.  Immediately following that, Rick pulled a bottle of wine out of one of his four layers of clothing.  Priceless.  So Rick asks what's going on.  My dad asked what was going on.  Rick wanted to know if he could wash my dad's car for some coin or something.  That was that.

But then somehow my cousin Jeremy ended up at the place and Rick wasn't washing a car.  I'm hazy on the details of whether or not this was later in the day or another day.  Bottom line?  It's still Rick going on.  And me.  And Jeremy.  And Rick starts talking about fornicating ugly women.  I'm 12.  Jeremy is 10 or 11.  Standard fare at the Watts house.  So he's in his cool, jive, and raspy voice.  "Man, I messed with this uuuuuggly girl.  They say put a bag over her head when they ugly.  Shiiiiit.  I'll put a bag over my head."  And that, my friends is as good as it gets.  Hope the picture I painted of the wine thieving, yet interesting in appearance guy brought it all together for you.  If not, pffft.  I got a bag over my head anyway.

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