It Ain’t No Musical

Life should be more like a musical, a joyous romp in a well scripted song and dance routine with a happy ending instead of this completely improvisational sketch comedy set in summers so hot that it feels like I’d spontaneously burst into flames, and winters so damned cold that I’m sure that if I go outside, my nuts would freeze and then simply fall off.

It should be more like River City, with Harold Hill warning of the trouble brewing and falling feet first into a parade led by 76 trombones that allows him to capture the heart of Marian The Librarian who, years later, would leave her position at the book depository and set off with five kids in a painted school bus sharing their ‘C’mon, Get Happy’ song with anyone who dared to listen. Or maybe a week or two in the small, sleepy town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, shaken awake by the swiveling hips of Conrad Birdie bumping and grinding his way into the sexual fantasy of Kim McAfee, as he prepares to ride off in his gold lame fatigues to serve his country, leaving the hapless failed songwriter, Albert Peterson, with his dreams of chemistry and having his way with the ravishing Rose Alvarez who, by the way, survived an unprovoked attack in her room at The Bates Motel.

Or maybe a trip through space and time as Erronius wanders around the seven hills of Ancient Rome, and Pseudolus, dodges gladiators and Centurions on his way to the Forum as he set out to obtain his freedom from servitude in exchange for the lovely Philia, a winsome virgin who lives next door in the house of Marcus Lycus, the flesh peddler who bears an uncanny resemblance to Sergeant Ernie Bilko who lived two thousand years in the future! Now that would be something peculiar, if not familiar. Life could be a turf war in New York’s west side between the Jets and the Sharks, all set in 6/8 time, or a mob war with The Rat Pack in 1920s Chicago, the battleground between Robbo and Guy Gisborne, who decades later emerged as a cigar smoking Los Angeles Police Lieutenant.

Life should take me through the world of my imagination, down the river of chocolate with a golden ticket and an everlasting gobstopper in hand, as Oompa Loompas sing and dance for Willy Wonka, who I am sure was one of the former Broadway producers incarcerated for fraud in the ‘Springtime For Hitler’ debacle. I may find myself in a Russian village at the height of the Bolshevik Revolution, with Tevye dancing down a dirt road, wondering what life would be like if he were a rich man while a violinist from the St. Petersburg Philharmonic plays the classics while precariously perched on the roof.

Life should be an eternal party on a stormy night, when madness takes its toll, and a jump to the left and then a step to the right would transform the world and drop me among the transsexual Transylvanians led by a sweet transvestite who, after his fall from grace, settles in Derry, Maine dragging unsuspecting passersby into the sewers where everything seems to float. Or at best, the dugout of the heartless Washington Senators, the worst team in baseball, spring to life with the arrival of Joe Hardy, who is talked into a deal that would change both the team’s fortunes, and his life, as arranged by the devil in the guise of Mr. Applegate, who interestingly enough arrives on Earth a second time as Tim O’Hara’s Martian uncle, Martin

It’s a far cry from sitting in the dark after the power goes out in the middle of another ice storm shoveling handfuls of dry Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch in your face knowing the neon lights are bright ‘On Broadway’. In any event, you always have a choice. You can either stand on the stage and belt out a verse or two of ‘Lullaby Of Broadway’, or any other ‘Broadway Melody’, or you can give your regards to Broadway and blame it on those ‘Nights On Broadway’. As for me, well, I don’t think life was meant to be lived as a carnival, a short stop in a field outside of a small town in rural America before it moves on to another locale. Life should be a musical, it was destined to be a musical, filled with chorus lines of women in short skirts and fish net stockings, bright lights, memorable melodies, and dance steps that are  perfectly choreographed, not to mention the perverse diversions that go on in the understudy dressing rooms following each night’s performance.

 

 

 

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Interview With The Umpire

 

Sitting in Grossman’s Tavern one Saturday afternoon in 2010 amid a two day peyote pleasure cruise, Fielding Goodfellow, sat down for an interview with himself.

How would you feel if I recorded this interview. It would be far more accurate than just taking notes.

I don’t know about that. Can it be used as evidence against me?

Do you plan on saying something incriminating?

I usually do. My entire life is incriminating.

In that case, I’ll keep everything incriminating out of the article.

Okay then. Go ahead.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer.

I never wanted to be a writer.

But you are a writer.

Really? Well that’s surprising. Am I any good at it?

Some people think so. So if you didn’t plan on writing, what did you want to do?

Bang the Glasser triplets.

I meant for a living.

Bang the Glasser triplets.

You seem preoccupied with sex. Even in your work you seem to dwell on sexual activity.

I think its more of a vocation that a preoccupation.

Is it the same with drugs?

Oh no. I’m quite preoccupied with hallucinogenics.

In ‘The Misadventures of Mister E’ you state that reality is merely a byproduct of the elite imposing their will on a society that is totally unaware that there can be a different reality.

I said that? Well, that’s fucking brilliant.

You did. Were you referring to the alternate realities created by drug use?

That and the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. Both are equally effective.

Rocky & Bullwinkle?

Its beyond mind bending.

I read that in your college years you were quite a political activist, attending numerous protests. What specifically were you protesting against?

I was never a political activist. And I  never really protested against anything. I have no time for isms. They’re built on a tenuous web of deceit, and encourage cognitive masturbation. The proliferation of isms in the last two generations has rendered society helpless to the depravity of well tanned, casually dressed hipsters. Except of course Ikeaism.

Ikeaism?

Yes. The distorted belief that buying furniture in pieces that you fucking assemble yourself at home is a good idea.

In an interview in ‘Literary Life’ you said that you have an addictive personality. What did you mean by that?

What I actually said was that I have an addicted personality.

Is there a difference?

There is always a difference. Addictive is the susceptibility to become addicted, while addicted is merely an enthusiastic devotion. I have gone way beyond susceptibility, and am currently an enthusiastic devotee.

I see. So you’re an addict?

Not even close. I use hallucinogenics in an attempt to find the flying lizard I lost in 1970. And as for sex, I can take it or leave it, although I prefer to take it. There are things that keep us happy and things that keep us sane and then there’s sex, which does both.

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

That makes two of us.

So, if you weren’t writing, what would you be doing with your life?

I think I’d be an umpire in the women’s nude volleyball league.

I don’t think there is one.

Are you sure? Then who decides if the point is good?

No, I mean I don’t think there’s a women’s nude volleyball league.

Well that’s a let down.

Typically Fielding Goodfellow.

Really? I thought I surprised myself.

We should do this again sometime.

Definitely. I may even be sober next time.

I hope not.

Ya. We’d just wind up sitting in silence, staring at the barmaid’s tits.

You’ve been staring at her tits all afternoon.

I know. But we’ve been talking.

Well, thanks for your time.

My pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I see myself as more of a pilot. Flying people to the places they need to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

if you couldnt have been a writer, what would you have done with your lfie?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tripper Jack and The Magic Buttons

 

 

With the end of the school year approaching, my parents made the decision to get me out of the city for the summer. That year they shipped me off to summer camp for two months, far away from the friends they disliked and the opportunities to continue to get myself into trouble. I didn’t mind the camp really, I mean there were a multitude of opportunities to break the rules and wreak havoc on the masses, but I dreaded the camp’s annual canoe trip. Four days in the wilderness of Northern Ontario, paddling and portaging through the yet to be civilized Algonquin Park. And that’s when I met Tripper Jack.

We sat in the dining hall the night before the dreaded canoe trip, listening to the trippers and expedition leaders explain exactly what the hell we were about to set out to do. I really wasn’t paying attention, I mean I would have rather not be going. It was made clear however, that this was not an optional outing. “Are there any questions?”, the head tripper, Jack asked.

“Why aren’t there any girls here?”, I asked.

“Because they’re not coming.”, he replied.

“Why not?”, I added.

“I have my reasons.”, was his response. I really couldn’t think of a single reason not to bring the girls, but several very good ones to bring them along immediately sprang to mind.

“Well, this is gonna suck.”, I said in protest.

“We head out at 5 am.”, he continued, ignoring my objection. “So get your asses into bed. We eat and start loading up at 4.”

I sat up most of the night hoping for some kind of apocalypse, any kind really, that would stop this nightmare before it began, but none came. At 4 o’clock or so, long before any of the other living things were stirring, we all gathered in the mess hall, dining on eggs, toast and some kind of meat product most of us wouldn’t touch, and then, piled into the back of a panel van sitting atop milk crates, boxes and our camping gear. The roads were winding and filled with hills and valleys and, as the van swayed with every turn, Eric Soloway puked his guts out all over the milk crates beside him. “We have a winner.”,  Tripper Jack  chanted. “Anyone else eat the mystery meat?” No one had. No one else dared to. When we pulled up to our launch site the sun was up, and the water was clear and calm. We loaded the canoes with our gear and supplies, and headed straight across Canoe Lake.

As luck would have it, I shared the lead canoe with Tripper Jack. We paddled and paddled for what seemed like forever, making little progress as we tried to cross this never ending lake. ‘Mississippi Queen’ was playing on the transistor radio he had brought along, and using the paddle as a guitar, Tripper Jack nailed the solos.

There were hundreds of canoes on the lake. Hundreds of people setting out on a journey to nowhere, that inevitably led them right back to where they started. “You wanna get totally wasted?” Tripper Jack asked as he passed me some peyote. “This will totally mess with your head.” I didn’t even answer as I took the magic button, and waited for it to take effect.  I was a little surprised that we were now travelling through a Equatorial rain forest although I’m pretty sure that the surprise had little to do with the forest itself, and was more likely due to the effects of the peyote. Looking at the river’s edge, lined with tangerine trees that reached up to marmalade skies, I saw rocking horse people jumping in and out of newspaper taxis in a desperate attempt to elude the evil Blue Meanies. “What the fuck is this?”, I heard myself ask..

“Yellow Submarine meets Sergeant Pepper.”, I heard someone answer. “Weird, isn’t it?”

“Who the hell are you?”, I asked.

“I am the walrus.”, he replied.

“I think you’re mistaken.”, I said with some certainty. “The walrus was Paul.”

“Paul’s dead”, he replied.

“That’s just a rumor.”, I informed him.

“But not an impossibility.”, came his reply. “Remember there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.”

This certainly wasn’t my first sojourn into Pepperland, but this time I seemed to be watching it as if I was in the audience of a Fellini film. “Well this is one weird fucking trip.”, I told Tripper Jack.

“I told you it would fuck with your head.”, he said.  “Prepare yourself. A lot of really weird shit goes on up here.”

‘Ride Captain, Ride’ seeped out of the radio as we passed a garden of cellophane flowers that towered over our heads, finally arriving at the site of the first portage. It took two trips to transport all of our gear 1/2 mile across rock and muck to reach the shore of another lake that seemed very much like the one we had just left. We set off again looking for an island to spend the night. Tripper Jack spotted one that had a gentle sloped beach for the canoes, and a higher grade for our tents. A group of female canoeists who had already set up camp there agreed to share their site with us in exchange for protection from the wild animals they heard were known to live on these islands. “I come up here twice a year.”, Tripper Jack told me. “And every time, there’s a group of female campers on this island.” We set camp and made a fire. Some of the guys went skinny dipping in the lake, and a few of the girls joined them. Tripper Jack handed me a joint, and went off with a big boobed, blonde teen sensation that he hoped would soon be bobbing up and down on his lap. I stayed on shore, preferring to sit and talk with Naomi, the leader of the girls expedition. Despite being older than I was, I couldn’t help thinking about  jumping down her shorts. Naomi and I disappeared into the woods and proceeded to get high.

“Why aren’t you in the water with the others?”, she asked as I passed her the joint.

“I’ve been waiting to go with you.”, I told her. She sat with her insanely long legs slightly apart afforded me an unobstructed view of her wondrous camel toe. “What do you say?”, I asked. “Should we go for a swim?”

“You just want to get me naked, don’t you?”, she asked. “I can see how you look at me.”

“I certainly do.”, I told her.

“Well”, she continued, “we don’t have to go in the water for me to take my clothes off.” She stood up and began undressing. “Come on.”, she said. “You have to take yours off too or its no deal.” I was already hard, and she noticed. “Well, someone likes tits.”, she said as she removed her top. Indeed someone did. We spent the night together in a sleeping bag in the woods, and when the sun came up, we parted ways.

“So that wasn’t so bad.”, Tripper Jack said as we paddled away from the island.  “And now you know why I don’t bring the girls along.”

We did another button listening to ‘Draggin’ The Line’ on the radio, as the walrus swam beside our canoe. He followed us for what seemed like forever, but really it was only as long as the peyote lasted, “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.”, he told me just before he left.

“Its hard to do when I’m listening to the colors of my dreams.”, I replied.

“It is knowing.”, the walrus said as he swam away into the river of marshmallow pies.

On our return to camp, Tripper Jack and I remained quite close. I had developed a fondness for peyote, and outdoor sex which I attempted to share with several of the female counselors. One night in early August, I got caught on the girls side of the camp knocking on heaven’s door with Ellen Rose behind the girl’s shower. And while she was a willing participant and an eager recipient of my manhood, I was held responsible and sent home for violating camp rules and performing lewd acts with the unsuspecting and innocent female staff at the camp. I didn’t protest, despite the fact that Ellen Rose, who I was sure held a graduate degree in blow jobs, was far from innocent. My parents were notified and informed that I had been expelled from the camp for life, and they were expected to remove me from the property the following day. With nothing to lose, I spent that last night on a mission of sexual depravity that would have made de Sade blush.

My parents arrived first thing in the morning, and the old man wasted no time in expressing his disgust and disappointment in my behavior. As we loaded the car, a group of friends arrived to say their goodbyes. Tripper Jack and Eric Soloway were there. Ellen Rose and a handful of the other female counselors I had moon danced with the night before appeared as well. Tripper Jack slipped me a small packet as we shook hands, and Ellen Rose, handed me a piece of paper with her phone number on it. I suppose it wasn’t a totally wasted summer. I stayed in touch with Tripper Jack for many, many years until he moved overseas. I met up with Ellen Rose a few times over the years, tripping the light fantastic until she married.  My parents never really got over the horror of my tarnishing the family name with my, and these are their words,  perverted and unprincipled behaviors. Three years later, I returned to the very same camp as a staff member and, following the example set by Tripper Jack,  helped a couple of intelligent, insightful young women find their own way to Pepperland.

 

 

The Son Of The Mouse In My House

 

There’s no way you’re ever going to believe it. Hell, I have a hard time believing I myself. But ts true. Over a year since I last heard about it, my wife spotted another mouse in the house. Not just in the house, but actually in our bedroom. She saw it run in and dash behind a dresser.

“That’s it.”, She said. “We’re moving.”

“We’re not moving.”, I told her.

“Well I’m not sleeping in here.*, She continued. “Not with that thing in here.”

“Just relax.”, I reassured her, “We’ll catch it.” As I began to move the furniture in our room away from the walls, my wife put on her calf high rain boots and stepped up on the bed. “Seriously?”, I asked. “I could use some help.”

“I’m not moving until its out of here.”, she informed me. I pulled out the dresser, and nothing. I moved the wall unit, the end tables, and the stationary bike which had sat not only stationary but solitary for the past eighteen months. “There it goes.”, she shouted, pointing to a far corner of the room. Its in my closet.Get my shoes off the floor. I don’t want it in my shoes.”

“Relax.”, I pleaded as I slowly opened the closet door, adding to the suspense. I began moving her shoes off of the floor as she announced the movements of the rodent.

“It went to the left side of the closet.”, she reported, so I focused my search on the identified area. “It went back to the right side.”, she continued. The mouse shot out of the closet like a rocket amid her screams and squeals. “It went behind the book case.”, she told me frantically.

“You know”, I said as I headed back to the bookcase, “I wouldn’t mind hearing that kind of stuff when we’re having sex.”

“If you don’t find that mouse”, she advised me, “we probably won’t be having sex again. And besides, I make a lot of noise.”

“Yes you do.”, I agreed. “But ‘hang on the remote is digging into my ass’ is not the kind of noise I’m talking about.”

“There it goes.”, she shouted pointing at the path of the mouse along the southern wall of our bedroom. “It’s behind the bed.”

One of my daughters entered our room, and seeing my wife standing on the bed in her red and black flannel pajama pants tucked into a pair of knee high rubber rain boots that were at least a size too big, and a khaki colored rain slicker with the hood up, holding a tennis racket was too much for her to bear. She burst into uproarious laughter. “What the hell are you dressed for?”, she asked my wife.

“Safety.”, my wife replied. “There’s a mouse roaming around somewhere in here.”

“Are you trying to catch it or kill it with laughter?”, my daughter asked.

“You’re going to have to get off of the bed if you want me to move it.”, I said.

“Are you crazy?”, my wife remarked. “I’m not getting off the bed until the mouse is gone.”

“I don’t know what you’re worrying about.”, I said. “You’re in your hazmat suit. You have to get off the bed.” I had never seen her move so quickly, jumping directly from the bed to the floor with one bounce, sticking the landing close to the door in one precise move which, had I been judging would have scored her a 9 out of 10, and then running out of the room, closing the door behind her. After a careful search, there was no mouse under the bed. There was no mouse anywhere. I opened the bedroom door and informed my wife that the mouse had left the scene of the crime.

“Are you sure?”, she asked.

“Well its not in here.”, I answered. “I don’t know what else I can do.” My wife climbed back on the bed, still dressed in her mousing attire. “I have to go to sleep.”, I added.

She leaned forward and began scouring the room with her eyes darting back and forth, looking for any movement, any trace of a mouse still lingering in the room. “I don’t think I can sleep.”, she informed me. “Not in here.”

I sat down on the edge of the bed. “What do you want me to do?”, I asked her.

“Just stay here and watch for it.”, she said. “Maybe if its still in here, it will leave while I’m asleep.”

“You want me to sit up all night and  be on the lookout for a  mouse that may or may not be in here?”, I inquired.

“Yes.”, she said. “You’re the man.”

“What does that have to do with anything.”, I asked.

“It just does.”, she reminded me, “Now, I’m going to try to get some sleep.”

“Dressed like that?”, I asked.

“Well I’m not taking it off.”, she stated. “What if it jumps up on the bed?”

And so, I spent that night on the edge of the bed, dozing off for a bit every now and again, but never for very long. The night seemed to go on forever, and I kept myself awake with nicotine, caffeine and Benzedrine. I did not see the mouse in our room again that night. In the morning my wife contacted a pest control company, who attended our home later in the day and placed bait traps in a few select places. I hiked over to the hardware store and picked up more sticky traps, snap traps and some kind of electronic gadget that claimed to emit a sound that would keep the mice at bay.

I have no idea what happened to the mouse that had invaded our bedroom that night, but I assume it eventually left, sitting around a camp fire with its colony sharing a hunk of usurped cheese,  laughing hysterically at the story of a strange woman who spent the night dressed as if she were planning to survive nuclear fallout.  I check the traps several times a day, and so far, I have caught nothing. I can’t be sure if I even saw the mouse in our room that night. Maybe it was never there. Maybe my wife had merely imagined that she had seen a mouse. Either way, I thought it best to cancel the surprise anniversary trip to Disney World. I just don’t think that she would have been able to handle the giant mouse that roams the Magic Kingdom at will, without all of her mousing gear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Night Of The Living Pez

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

Tate and I had just begun day three of our proposed week long journey into psychedelic surrealism, wandering around a psilocybin paradise, carousing with alcoholic, fire breathing dragons, and the flying lizard mariachi band that performed in my living room three or four nights a week. We watched in wonder as the walls melted and dissolved into Irish Middle Earth, where drunken, angry leprechauns cascaded across the hills and dales singing  ‘Danny Boy’ in three part harmony, as they searched for their missing gold.  We drifted in and out of ‘The Completion Backwards Principle’, tackling deep philosophical dilemmas such as how do mermaids open their legs, and do vegans willingly participate in oral sex.

As the hallucinogenics kicked in big time something weirdly Rod Serling unfolded before our eyes. The Pez dispensers that had sat silently on a series of shelves in the spare room for years, began singing the soundtrack from ‘Bye Bye Birdie’. Sad, but true, the DC superheroes couldn’t carry a tune in a Three Stooges lunch box.  Those privileged, pretty boys in their colorful tights and flowing capes were thankfully saved by the Disney Princesses who seemed to be eyeing the apartment with the intent to redecorate it in that neo art deco shit that they seemed to like so much. Snow White nailed her solo in the title theme song and, after leaving her seven diminutive friends with hopes of jumping on that bulge in Superman’s tights, wandered off to see first hand if he really was the man of steel. Pez pandemonium broke out as Grumpy and Sneezy, in the name of retributive justice, attempted to set fire to the hero’s indestructible cape with the assistance of Iron Man, who was desperate for some friction on his own metal. The ensuing dispute ended only when the Chinese Food that neither Tate nor I remembered ordering arrived, “And that”, as Tate succinctly put it, “is the cause of the Dc vs Marvel rivalry.”

As we dug in to Moo Shu pork, Kung Po Chicken and Shanghai Noodles, the leprechauns were standing on the edge of the meadow, peering into the living room. “I suspect Scrooge McDuck is behind the great leprechaun gold heist.”, Tate blurted out. Several of the dwarfs concurred, professing that they had seen the miserly mallard up to his beak in gold coins. The Kung Po was not nearly spicy enough, and the Pezcapades had begun to wind down, with the entire cast preparing for the reprise of the opening theme song. Snow White returned to her place, front and centre, exuberant and energized, seemingly satisfied by what Superman had to offer her. When the music rolled in, there was a rousing cheer from the Hanna-Barbera group, as Snow White stepped up to the microphone. Once the song ended and the final note dissipated, leaving the room in silence, the Pez dispensers returned to their rightful places. “Well, that was weird.”, Tate stated.

“Not really.”, I replied. “You should be here last Wednesday night when they did ‘The Music Man. Now that was weird.”

“You mean this has happened before?”, Tate asked.

“Uh huh.”, I informed him. “Although the performance tonight was a little flat, much like the Kung Po, but it was nice to finally see Snow White smile.” As the drugs began to wear off and the dragons and lizards disappeared, as the leprechauns gathered up their gold and settled in for a good night’s sleep, Tate passed out on the couch, and I allowed my mind to wander back and consider just how a mermaid opens her legs, and whether or not vegans are willing participants in oral sex while I cleaned up the mess from the night’s edition of Pezcapades, and prepared for what I hoped would be a stellar performance of ‘West Side Story’, with the Universal classic monsters as the Jets, and the Hanna-Barbera gang as the Sharks. I had invited Tate back for this must see extravaganza, and me, well I’m rooting for the monsters because “When you’re a Jet, you’re a jet all the way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Summer Of Crazy Eddie Appleton

Of all of the summers I have seen, the summer of 1969 remains entrenched in my memory, and I remember it with a fondness that, at times, seems a bit overwhelming. For me it was not the summer of Woodstock, or the summer of  the ‘giant leap for mankind’. It was the summer of Crazy Eddie Appleton.

That summer my family went to the cottage at Jackson’s Point. I spent my days with my summer friends Danny, Rosie, and Misha. From the moment I first met her, I was attracted to Misha. She was an insanely pretty girl, with a tight t shirt, and a pack of Du Maurier stuffed into the back pocket of her cut off denim shorts, with an attitude as contrary and sarcastic as my own. We spent our time at the beach, the arcade, and hanging out behind the old marina where I learnt how to smoke.

Across the road from Rosie’s cottage lived the Appleton’s. We knew nothing about them, but none of us were permitted to go near the place. According to everyone’s mother, Eddie Appleton was a crazy and possibly dangerous man. Other people in the Point seemed to share the same concerns, walking on the other side of the road as they passed by, looking at it as if to catch a glimpse of the crazy and possibly dangerous man in the front window. Crazy Eddie Appleton had become the Boo Radley of Jackson’s Point.

He would usually come out at night, roaming the small, summer town talking to himself, dirty and unkempt, shouting at no one in particular, dressed in an overcoat, hat and gloves despite the sweltering summer heat and an orange florescent vest that could be seen from miles away as if to warn everyone that he was on the loose. One evening, as we sat behind the marina smoking, we saw Crazy Eddie on the beach burying something in the sand. “Probably body parts of some kid he killed.”, Danny reported.

“Maybe its his mother.”, Rosie speculated.

“Why don’t we just call him over and ask him what he’s doing.”, Misha suggested.

“Oh my God. No, don’t!”, Rosie pleaded.

“Well then, why don’t we just wait until he leaves and then go dig up whatever he buried.”, Misha proposed.

“Good plan, Einstein.”, I told her. “I knew I was hanging around you for a reason.” Misha smiled at me,  lit another cigarette and gently placed it in my mouth.  “But we’ll have to come back tomorrow morning.”, I continued. “We’ll meet back here at seven.” On the way home I kept thinking about the way Misha put that cigarette in my mouth, and I was almost certain that her hand brushed my lips. I laid awake all night, wondering, wishing and hoping that she liked me too.

We all met behind the marina as planned. Danny and Rosie brought shovels, and Misha arrived carrying a large thermos which was filled with coffee that she had taken from home. None of us had ever had coffee before, but this seemed like as good a time as any to start. We sat down behind the Marina and smoked a cigarette as we took turns drinking coffee from the little cup that so conveniently came with the thermos. There were a few fisherman milling around, and an old man was roaming the beach with a metal detector. “We need to go now.”, Misha said. “Before it gets too busy.”

Once on the beach we tried to remember exactly where Crazy Eddie had buried the body parts. We dug and dug, but came up with nothing.  The old  man with the metal detector shouted “Hot damn. I found something.” We all ran over, and there in his hand, was a gold ring. “What is it?”, I asked.

“A lady’s wedding ring, I would think.”, the old man said.

“I told you he buried his mother.”, Rosie reminded us. Misha grabbed Rosie’s shovel and she began digging like a dog trying to retrieve the bone it had buried. We took turns with the shovels and dug and dug, but we found nothing except some sand crabs, fish skeletons, and some small turtles. The pier at the beach began filling up with boaters and fishermen getting ready to start another day on the water.

“We should go.”, Misha said. “We’ll have to figure something else out.” Dejected, we headed back to the marina, where we shared a cigarette. We sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity, and I suppose each one of us was trying to come up with some way we could find out what Crazy Eddie had buried on the beach that night. “Come with me.”, Misha said as she took my hand and led me to the other side the marina, behind an old Maple tree. The touch of her hand sent shivers through my body, and I knew that I probably would have followed her anywhere, just to stay near her. “You’re the smartest one of us.”, she told me. “What do you think we should do?”

“Well”, I answered. “Digging up the beach isn’t going to do anything. I think we should follow Crazy Eddie. Maybe we can catch him red handed.”

“That makes sense.”, Misha said, as she leaned in and gave me a kiss on my lips. That brief kiss made me feel indestructible and I kissed her again. We must have been there for about five minutes with our lips pressed together behind that Maple tree. When we started to walk back to our friends, we held hands. “I guess I’m your girlfriend now.”, Misha stated with some certainty as she squeezed my hand.

“I suppose so.”, I answered.  I had never really had a girlfriend before, so I couldn’t be sure.  But either way, I liked it.

Danny and Rosie were too scared to join us in our mission that night, so Misha and I decided that we would do it alone. Just the two of us. Like Jonathan Steed and Emma Peel from The Avengers. We left the marina to plan our mission, but found ourselves making out in the lane way behind the Red and White Grocery Store. It was at that moment that I realized that I really didn’t give a rat’s ass about Crazy Eddie or what he buried at the beach. All I wanted was to keep doing whatever the hell I was doing with Misha. I hoped that she was feeling the same, but I was too damned scared to ask.

That night, we waited in the bushes across the road from Crazy Eddie’s place. I told my parents that I was staying at Danny’s overnight, while Misha told her family that she would be spending the night at Rosie’s. We had a plan, and now we just had to wait for the villain to take the bait.  Eddie Appleton finally came out of his cottage, and headed off towards town. He was carrying a small black bag, and a small shovel, the kind you would use in a flower garden. Visions of Lars Thorwald began playing in my head. Maybe, just maybe Rosie was right. Maybe Crazy Eddie was burying his mother in various places around Jackson’s Point. Misha and I followed him as he rummaged through every garbage can and dumpster he could find. Every now and then he would open the small, black bag and place something in it, or take something out. We couldn’t be sure. We followed him through his journey and to the beach. We watched him dig a small hole, and bury something in the sand. He dug five holes that night, and we memorized the location of each one. When he left, Misha and I went behind the marina and smoked a cigarette. “Well stay here until it gets light. Then we can dig up the holes and see what Crazy Eddie’s been up to.”, I said.

“Okay.”, Misha replied, as she put her head on my shoulder and closed her eyes.

I woke her as soon as it was light, and we walked onto the beach and started digging exactly where Eddie Appleton had dug the night before. We dug up all five of the holes and each one contained the same thing. Fish bones. Numerous, assorted bones from numerous assorted fish. “This is crazy.”, Misha said.

“They don’t call him Crazy Eddie for the hell of it.”, I told her.

“I just don’t get it.”, she continued.

“Maybe you have to be crazy to get it.”, I replied. It was crazy, and I didn’t get it either. It made no sense. The early morning boaters and fishermen started arriving so Misha and I went back behind the marina. “Well”, I said, “the mystery is solved.”

“What a let down.”, Misha replied. “I thought we were onto something big.” I did too, and I was just as disappointed as she was.

That afternoon I saw Crazy Eddie and his mother on my way to Rosie’s. She said hello, and I crossed the road to talk with them. I said hi to Eddie and he merely shrugged. Mrs. Appleton apologized for him, informing me that Eddie had been out very late burying fish skeletons at the beach. I asked her why. She told me that Eddie was trying to give the fish a proper burial and he felt they should be laid to rest near the water. After all, that is where their friends and family were.

I continued to hang out with Misha that summer, hiding behind the marina smoking cigarettes and making out. When it ended we parted ways, writing the customary letters for a while and then, we just lost touch with each other. I haven’t seen Rosie since that summer, and Danny and I connected a couple of times when we were attending the same University. We had grown apart, blazing different trails for our lives. I spent some time with Eddie that summer and I learned that he was not dangerous. He was certainly fucked up,but he was completely harmless, a good soul who I suppose was totally misunderstood. He taught me how to look at the world with hope and patience and I was always amazed at his innocence and kindness. Eddie died many years ago. He was hit by a drunk driver while wandering the streets of a much busier Jackson’s Point wearing his orange fluorescent vest.  Truth be told, I enjoyed every minute we spent together.

 

 

 

Solomon Tate’s Lesbian

by Fielding Goodfellow

Tate had no idea how he got there, waking up on Kew Beach, nestled against Jessica with a mouth full of sand. The last thing he remembered was leaving The Roxy Theater, totally messed up on peyote, after being immersed in the tragedy of Michael J. Pollard’s ‘Dirty Little Billy’.  This was certainly not the first time he found himself face down on the ground with no idea of how the fuck he wound up that way.

So, here’s what happened. In the mid 1970s, Tate was living in a second floor walk up that overlooked the park in a trendy, artsy neighborhood  filled with writers, painters, and musicians, where their very existence was celebrated our existence with one party after another, fueled by copious amounts of hallucinogenics and beer amid the constant challenge of keeping the flying lizards and leprechauns at bey. That summer, as Frampton came alive and The Eagles checked into the Hotel California, Jessica Emery settled into this little piece of psychedelic paradise and moved into the apartment directly across the hall from Tate.

The world was scared shitless of homosexuals back then, and the fear that their very presence would turn the universe gay and ultimately bring about the demise of the human race was widespread. It was pretty fucked up just how much time and effort went into stopping the gay scourge then, when there were men in overalls dining on squirrel stew and drinking a gallon or two of corn mash whiskey, and then going out to the barn to bang the shit out of their livestock without anyone raising an eyebrow, or a shotgun. Jennifer was gay, a lesbian  from Beaumont, Texas and was often subjected to ridicule and taunting from some of the community assholes who felt the urge to state the obvious in an attempt to display some sense of superiority based entirely on their sexuality.  “She’s a lesbian.”, was often whispered with scorn and disdain.

Sometime in August Tate and Jessica were sitting on her sofa listening to Spirit, and getting messed up on mushrooms. Jennifer, like everyone else Tate involved himself with, was a writer.  She had a weakness for the absurd, and was quite fond of Ionesco, Kafka, and Beckett. There was a wall in her living room filled with caricatures of Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Salinger, and Vonnegut. She was wonderfully beautiful, and was several years older than Tate. He thought she was the one of the coolest people he knew, and watching her move around the flat that day, braless, in a skin tight t shirt and short shorts that left absolutely nothing to the imagination, he believed  that she was one of the sexiest. All the while Tate had pornography playing in his head. It was in slow motion, always in slow motion. There was something insanely hot about girl on girl sex, well, not something, Tate felt that everything about it was insanely hot, and despite the fact that he was sure he would never be able to take that trip up her thighs to get to the magic kingdom. he was more than a little interested in at least getting a ticket to the show.

The inside of her apartment was as cool as she was, with a wall dedicated entirely to caricatures of writers including Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Salinger and Vonnegut. There were plants growing in every room, and a fish tank hummed loudly atop a large coffee table in the middle of the living room. They ate dinner together, and then  headed down to The Roxy for the Friday night movie marathon  to catch ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’ , John Waters’ ‘Pink Flamingos’, ‘Dawn Of The Dead’, and ‘Dirty Little Billy’. All the way to the theater Tate wondered what the hell he should talk about. There was a series of random questions, covering topics that ranged from the fall of the Mayan empire to “So, how long have you been a lesbian?”

“Since I was a Freshman in college.” Jessica responded. “Up til then, I always  had boyfriends. But in my freshman year”, she continued, “my boyfriend and I were watching porn and everything became clear. It was an Epiphany. A life altering moment.” Jessica stopped and sighed heavily.  “The first time I saw that pussy up close, I knew I was really into girls. I never really thought much about  dick, but I couldn’t stop thinking about pussy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate dick or anything like that. I’ve got a bunch of fake ones stashed in a drawer. But just the idea of pussy gets me hot.”

“Me too.”, Tate told her.”

“I’m sure it does.”, Jessica laughed. ” More than anything, at that moment, Tate wanted her. The film in his head began playing again Tate knocks on Jessica’s door and she invites him in. She’s wearing a robe, and as she invites Tate to sit on the couch, she goes to get him a beer from the kitchen. The Beatles are playing in the background, Revolver, side 1, when a completely naked woman comes out of the bedroom. Jessica appears with the beer and without the towel. The two lesbians lead Tate into the bedroom. With each screening, the script became more and more detailed, but that didn’t really matter. What was important here is that there was always a happy ending.

Nothing unusual happened at The Roxy. They sat in the last row, as Tate always did, aisle seat,  did some more peyote and  watched the films. By the time Willy Wonka was over, they were totally messed up and Tate was lost in the world of Dirty Little Billy. He had once said “You can get lost in your own mind, but don’t worry about it. The journey back will surprise the fuck out of you.”, and for Tate, it always did. After the screenings Jessica wanted to watch the sun come up at the beach, so they headed off to Kew Beach with a little time to spare.  They walked along the shore line, chasing the waves and finishing off the peyote.  They took their clothes off, and went into the water, splashing around like a couple of seals in heat. When Jessica ran up the beach, Tate chased her, and tripping on a piece of driftwood knocked himself out cold. He didn’t see the sun come up. When he woke, he found himself and Jessica laying on the beach naked and apparently spooning. He tried to get up, but his arm was trapped under her head,. The movement stirred her awake. “Any idea what the hell went on here?”, he asked her.

“I suppose that you took advantage of me.”, she said.

“No.”, Tate said. “I’m sure I’d remember that.”

“Well, then”, Jessica answered, “Maybe I took advantage of you.”

Really?”, he asked. “I’m pretty sure I’d remember that too.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it.”, she told him. “Shit like that happens.” But Tate did worry about it. For days he tried desperately to locate that information locked somewhere in his mind, underneath all of the drugs and alcohol, but he couldn’t find a thing. Not even a trace. That movie kept playing in his head, over and over again, as Jessica ran naked along the beach with Tate in pursuit. But that’s where it stopped. There was nothing more. About a week or so later,  Jessica arrived at his door, braless in a skin tight t shirt and short shorts that left nothing to the imagination.  Tate stood at the door following the curves of her body with his eyes. He followed her legs up to her thighs, and lingered there for a moment, and then moved up to the outer gates of the secret garden she seemed to be taunting him with. “Nothing happened at the beach.”, she told him. “I wanted it to, but you got hurt, and so, nothing happened.”  She took him by the hand and led him to her flat. “Have a seat.”, she said. “I’ll get you a beer.”

Tate watched her head into the kitchen, mesmerized by the movement of her hips as she walked. The Beatles were playing in the background, Revolver, side 1. A naked woman emerged from the bedroom, just as Jessica returned with a beer and nothing else. She was totally naked. The two women kissed, and Tate felt the massive hard on that has developed in his pants. It all seemed to be in slow motion. The two lesbians led him into the bedroom, and from what we gather, there was a happy ending for all. This arrangement lasted just over a year, about the time Ramona moved in with Tate, and Jessica found herself in love with Stacey Hollis. Sometime in the late winter, Jessica moved out of her flat, and Tate never heard from her again. But that didn’t really matter anyway. What was important here is that there is always a happy ending.

 

 

 

Camptown Ladies

 

 

I spent the entire summer trying to get Marlene Gorman to leave me alone. She followed me everywhere, and I really had no interest in her whatsoever. She seemed nice enough, but there were the braces, glasses, the weird, chop shop haircut, and acne, all which seemed appropriate accessories for her scrawny, pasty skinned body, and I was, at 14 years old, an incredibly shallow kid. But Marlene was simply a pain in the ass, always buzzing around like a mosquito that you just seem to catch, but you know you want it gone.

I was spending my time with Suzie Pressman, the owner of long, dark hair, a tantalizing smile, and deep blue eyes. I suppose her insanely large breasts also had something to do with my burgeoning passion for her. We spent all of our time together, sneaking out of the camp and wandering off into the adjoining Government Fish Hatchery where we entertained ourselves with drugs, nudity, and a cruise to Muff Island. or to the nearby town.

Every evening, Suzie would come by my cabin, and wait for me to come out, pretending that we would be attending the camp;s programed social activity of the night. Suzie and I prefered to engage in activities of our own design, and would disappear into the night armed with just a joint, a blanket, and the dream of taking home a gold medal in the sexolympics. The trick, as always, was to elude the ever present stalking of Marlene Gorman.

The camp was packed on visitors’ day, with hundreds and hundreds of parents arriving to spend a few hours with the kids they sent away for the summer. My parents arrived in the first wave, and with Suzie busy with her family, Marlene took the opportunity to hover around me and my parents. My mother brought gifts of food, and as we sat down to eat, Marlene began pacing in a circle around us. “Do you think if we tossed a piece of chicken over there”, I asked, “she’d run to chase it?”

“It depends on how well trained she is.”, the old man answered. “But there’s always a chance that she’d just go get it and bring it right back.”

“Stop it!”,my mother demanded. “That’s a girl, not a dog. You two should be ashamed of yourselves.” To be honest, I felt absolutely no shame, and I doubted the old man did either.

“That girl”, I tried to explain, ” has been following me all over the place. Everywhere I go, she’s there. Its like having another shadow. It’s driving me crazy.”

“Its because she likes you.”, my mother replied. “There is never a reason for being mean or hurtful to her. Never.”

Dr. B., the camp director and well known sociopath announced that Visitors’ Day was over, and requested that all families depart from the camp grounds. I said goodbye to my parents, and as I turned to leave, the old man slipped $20 into my hands, “Do something nice with your girl.”, he said.

“What girl?”, I asked.

“The one over there under the tree.”, he said, using his head to gesture over at Suzie and her parents as they were saying goodbye.

“How do you know?”, I asked.

“She keeps looking over at you, and to be honest, that’s who I’d be chasing around here.”, he replied as he walked off to catch up to my mother and head home. I think that was the first and last time I ever truly felt close to the old man.

There was this small, but wonderfully seductive waterfall about a 20 minute walk out of the camp grounds which was forbidden for campers to attend. Everything was forbidden, as Dr. B. reminded us on a daily basis with his announcements over the P.A. system, but most of us at this camp, just didn’t give a shit. Suzie and I frequented the forbidden falls regularly, settling in the small pool of cascading water, undressing each other and then banging like bunnies. We headed there after visitors’ day had ended, and after smoking a joint, began the spiritual rite of waterfall sex. The sound of something stirring in the bushes behind us was of little concern at first as we writhed in passion to the sound of Blues Image’s ‘Ride Captain Ride’ playing on the portable radio we always took along. “Is there an animal there?”, Suzie asked.

“No.”, I told her. “Its probably just Marlene.”

:I’m gonna kill her.”, Suzie said, as she grabbed a rock from the side of the pool and threw it into the bushes.  I put my shorts on and walked over to where the noises had come from. I could see Marlene scurrying through the bushes away from us, like a rat in a maze. “Can’t that bitch find a guy of her own?”, Suzie asked. I didn’t want to say it, but I was almost certain that she couldn’t. Not with the braces, the acne, and the ‘Scout Finch’ haircut.

When the summer ended, I said goodbye to Suzie and, despite the fact that she lived 5 hours away from me, we promised to keep in touch. We really didn’t. There were a few letters and even fewer phone calls for a month or so, and then nothing. I suppose that’s just how it is. Time passes, memories fade, and life moves forward. Years later, when I was attending University, I went out to one of the on campus bars where I was introduced to an insanely beautiful woman. She was tall and incredibly hot. She introduced herself as Margot, and we sat around for hours talking. At some point in the night I asked her out. She said no. “You just don’t remember. do you?”, she asked.

“Remember what?”, I inquired.

“Me.”, she said. “You don’t remember me, do you?”

“Trust me, if we had met before, I’d remember you.”, I suggested.

“Oh, we’ve met before.”, she insisted. “Five years ago at Camp Ramah. I’m Marlene Gorman.”

“Oh hell.”, I blurted out. “You’re gorgeous.”

“I know.”, she replied as she stood. “And if you weren’t such an asshole to me, all of this could be yours right now.” I sat in silence as she walked away, realizing that my mother was right. Hell, I had been cruel and hurtful, and I was ashamed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1973

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

Politics is a dangerous game, full of treachery and deceit as it hovers around smoky, back rooms, peddling itself like a crack whore for a few dollars to be made in a nefarious deal sealed with a handshake and the wink of an eye. Hiding behind closed doors with unsavory and unscrupulous bed fellows, surrounded by broken promises and Philistine fetishes, the skeletons in the closet sooner or later scream with delight. The campaign for senior class president of 1972/73 was no exception.

Arnold Pritchard was a pot head who had served as junior class president of 1971/72 following an election won by acclamation. His  platform of doing nothing ushered in a junior year of psychedelic serenity, which appeared to be exactly what the student body had been pinning for. Sandy Lynde, the blow job queen of Guy Lombardo High, had thrown her insanely short, pleated skirt into the ring kneeling firmly on the promise of an open mouth policy, offering up her student body that had been responsible for fueling wet dreams since her freshman year. There are always difficult decisions to make in electing officials, and the choice between Arnold’s policy of governance from eight miles high, and Sandy’s open wide and say ah approach, had the class divided.

As a writer for the school paper, I was assigned to cover the political wranglings of this heated campaign and interview the candidates. I was completely removed from the events that were unfolding, tripping through high school with a mind accosted by peyote and the occasional Percocet, but I caught up with Arnold in the  second floor stairwell on the north side of the school. There was a cloud of smoke that hung in the air like a London fog, as Arnold passed me a joint that had been circulating around the small group of regulars. He stated that he was looking forward to another mellow year, and referred to his vision of leadership as  nothing is everything. As the peyote, Percocet and pot joined forces on the battlefield in my head, I suggested that it all seemed very Taoist, although I was certain that Arnold had no idea what the hell I was talking about. It didn’t really matter though, I mean, the entire senior class would be led astray by a trail of dropped cheese doodles if he was elected. As I was leaving, Arnold placed a dime bag of pot in my hand and reminded me to vote Pritchard.

I met up with Sandy at her campaign headquarters, behind the bleachers at the football field. “I see you’ve come back.”, she said as soon as I was within earshot. “It’s been a long time.” It had been two years. Two years ago, at the very same spot, I  was on the receiving end of a Sandy Lynde special which despite being only moderately special, was still quite enjoyable.

“This time I just came to talk about the election.”, I told her.

“That’s a shame.”, she said. “I always kind of liked you.”

“Really?”, I replied. “Well so far I think I’ll be voting for Arnold.”

“Ya, I know he’s got the drugs.”, she said lifting her t shirt high enough to expose her tits. “But I bet he doesn’t have these.” I couldn’t be certain, but I was pretty sure that she was right. Sandy had nothing much to say about the campaign or the election. She had no real platform, and was relying on her campaign slogan, ‘wouldn’t you like to have a president who sucks’, to garner enough votes to win her the presidency. Much like her bleacher blow jobs, Sandy’s campaign, while certainly adequate enough, lacked substance.

Somewhere along the campaign trail things got ugly. In the dark and dirty underbelly of politics, it is inevitable that slander and libel become a necessary evil. Tales are told and rumors are spread with little, if any thought of the consequences, as the pundits follow closely behind with mouths wide open like fucking  Pez dispensers, encouraging this odious repartee and hoping  for an equally offensive retort. And so it was in 1973 at Guy Lombardo High a rumor spread faster than a California wild fire, involving Sandy Lynde, an English teacher, and a trip to an abortion clinic in Buffalo, New York, which completely overshadowed the story of Arnold Pritchard’s drug induced mental breakdown and subsequent vacation at the Queen Street Mental Health Center. As happens in all political campaigns, the three week campaign for senior class president was now a hotbed of sin, seduction and insanity. With careers, reputations, and victory hanging in the balance, a stop was put on the campaign and the election was suspended by the school administration until a viable solution could be reached. During the ensuing investigation into the allegations of teacher-student relations which revealed nothing, it was determined that in order to stop the circus of crap that was enveloping the student body , a co-presidency was deemed to be the only decision that could be made. The candidates agreed, and the news was revealed to the senior class. Sadly the gossipers and rumor mongers refused to accept the compromise and protested outside the  administration office demanding their right to vote. Unconstitutional or not, as the simpletons claimed, I was confounded by their failure to recognize the perfect union of sex and drugs. It all ended with the protesters getting up from their failed sit in, after most of them were rendered harmless by Arnold’s seemingly unlimited supply of dime bags.

Out behind the bleachers at the football field, Sandy was holding court with three or four junior co-eds, who were hanging on every word she said, which somehow seemed odd as I imagined that her words were almost always indiscernible as her mouth was otherwise occupied. “Thanks for all of your help.”, she told me. “I really appreciate everything you did.”

“I really didn’t do anything.”, I replied. “I just wrote about what was going on. But I’m glad it all worked out.”

“Me too.”, she said. “I owe you one.”

“Don’t worry about it.”, I said.

“Well.”, she turned to look at her entourage, “We all want to thank you. How would you like to be today’s practice volunteer for the young ladies?”

“Right here?”, I asked.

“Here and now.”, she answered. My pants were down before she finished that sentence, and by the time they hit the ground, the trainees and their coach were all on their knees in front of my now fully erect manhood. It was 1973, and amid all of the rock and roll hoochie koo that had been going on, I developed a balls deep appreciation for politics.

The Case Of Franklin Gillick, Jr.

 

The courtroom was dead silent. Franklin Gillick, Jr. sat with his head buried in his hands. He glanced over at the somberly, stoic faces of the jury, and realized that there was little hope of exoneration. He would, more than likely, be found guilty as charged. And he was guilty, caught red handed, so to speak. Witness after witness testified that they had seen him in the red and black lumberjack shirt he always seemed to wear, playing the drums in a Polka band at The Logger’s Tavern that Saturday night in June of 1989. And yet, he couldn’t remember a thing about that night.

Gillick was a creature of habit. He lived alone in a small, one room cabin on the edge of the woods, just outside of Ullswater. He enjoyed the solitude, and had embraced the self imposed isolation in order to focus on his work as a forensic taxidermist. Every Saturday night however, without exception, he headed into town for a few beers at The Logger’s Tavern, and if he was drunk enough, he would sit in for a set or two playing the drums in the Doctor Debauchery & Professor Phukett Psychedelic Psound Band. He was actually a fairly good drummer, but his inability to handle alcohol, and his passion for flannel had catapulted him into what the media had named the crime of the century. In a strange set of circumstances in which all of the celestial bodies managed to align themselves in perfect synchronicity, Gillick had become nothing more than a pawn in a game of cat and mouse with the universe.

Franklin Gillick, Jr. was a friend of mine. We grew up together doing all of that Tom Sawyer crap. When we were 11 or 12 years old, Franklin and his family moved up north, and we lost touch with each other. Thirty five years later, I  was now hearing about him on the nightly news, charged and standing trial for the brutal murder of a young woman.

Reports indicated that on that fateful night Gillick got into his ten year old red Ford F150 and headed toward Ullswater on his way to The Logger’s Tavern at about 7:30. He stopped at Farrell’s General Store where he picked up supplies for his taxidermy work that included a set of precision knives, some heavy duty thread, and some cotton wadding. Hank Farrell, when questioned by police stated that Gillick seemed a “little off” that night and left without paying, telling Farrell to put it on his account, which was quite unusual. Gillick continued on his way to the tavern, and stopped to pick up a young woman who was hitchhiking along Highway 141 on her way to Diamond’s Golf & Vacation Resort. Gillick told police in his statement that the woman was hurt, and was bleeding. He helped stop the bleeding and then he dropped the young woman off at the junction of Highway 141 and Old Parry Sound Road, a few minutes walk from the resort. According to the staff working at the resort that night, the young woman, who worked as a housekeeper at the resort, never arrived. About an hour or so later, some counsellors from a nearby summer camp on their way back from a day off, spotted the body of the young woman in a ditch at the side of Highway 141 just past Old Parry Sound Road. They contacted the police, and reported that they had seen an older red Ford F150 driving west along the highway shortly before they discovered the body.

Gillick arrived at The Logger’s Tavern and sat in his usual seat at his usual table and ordered a Pabst. “Looks like blood all over your hands.”, the barmaid said. “Are you alright?”.

Gillick looked at his hands. “I’m fine.”, he replied, as he stood to go wash his hands.  “Damn hitchhiker I picked up was bleeding all over the truck.”

As the Psychedelic Psound Band took to the stage, and Gillick took his place behind the drum kit, the police had determined that foul play was involved in the death of the young woman found at the side of Highway 141. The discovery of a cut throat, and a blood soaked precision knife located nearby, set off the search for a killer. Detective Sgt. Rollie Whitman of the Ontario Provincial Police detachment in Bracebridge, was assigned to lead the investigation. All they had to go on so far was the precision knife, and an older model, red Ford F150 which witness had seen driving near the scene when the body was discovered. All of the stores in the vicinity were canvassed, and Hank Farrell reported that he had sold a set of the knives recently. The older model, red Ford F150 was going to be a little more difficult, as Gillick had never registered it. But they had Gillick’s name, and when they arrived at of the cabin fortune smiled on them, as the truck they were looking for was parked in front. There were blood stains on the passenger seat and arm rest. There was blood soaked cotton wading on the passenger side floor, and the precision knife set, which the police found in the cabin was missing one knife.

When questioned by the police, Gillick stated repeatedly that he couldn’t remember anything about that night. He acknowledged purchasing the knives and cotton wadding, and he remembers being at The Logger’s Tavern, but that was all. In his defence, he had been drinking and he was sure that Doctor Debauchery had slipped him a yellow jacket. The forensics on the blood in his truck and the knife found at the crime scene were identified as those belonging to the young woman who was found dead in the ditch on the side of Highway 141. Gillick was arrested, charged with first degree murder and held in custody, without bail. With the help of some friends, Gillick retained the services of the preeminent Criminal Attorney in the country, G. Lawrence Roberts lll. Roberts was 26 and 1 in his career,. In his book, ‘Top Dog In A Courtroom Of Pussies’, he attributes the one loss to a paranoid schizophrenic judge whose advances at a Christmas party he had rejected.

Gillick had always professed his innocence, but as the trial unfolded he began doubting himself. For the first time in his life, he thought that he may have been capable of killing that young woman. The Crown presented its case on the grounds that Gillick was driving around looking for some unsuspecting woman and, after picking the hitchhiker up, had made advances toward her. When she rejected those advances, he killed her. A cold blooded attack fuelled by anger and self loathing.

As the court room filled with media, friends, and inquisitive locals, the jury was set to deliver its verdict. Gillick was shaking. While he had been preparing for the worst for weeks, he was terrified of it actually occurring. Gillick stood beside his lawyer as the foreman read out the verdict. “Guilty as charged.”, was all Gillick heard. Guilty as charged. Those words kept playing over and over again in his head as he stood there as if he had been frozen in that moment.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. His appeals were repeatedly denied, and Gillick resigned himself to serving out his sentence in peace. In a letter to his sister, he spoke of finding God, which in turn brought him peace and acceptance. After serving 25 years, Gillick met  with the Parole Board, and was granted his freedom. Nine days before he was scheduled to be released, Franklin Gillick, Jr., was stabbed to death in the exercise yard of Collins Bay Correctional Facility.

After the trial, there was no further mention of Franklin Gillick, Jr. There was no mention of his death in prison, or of new evidence which seemed to prove that he was wrongfully convicted. DNA evidence uncovered that the fibres and hair found on the young woman’s person were not Gillick’s, but belonged to a much younger man. The police believe that the camp counselor returning from his day off, was the killer. The young woman was first attacked before Gillick picked her up, and was bleeding in his truck from minor wounds. After he dropped her off, the counsellor attacked her again, this time slitting her throat. It was all circumstantial evidence that convicted Gillick, and cost him his life, and no one seemed to give a damn. Absolutely no one.