#734 MAY 31, 2013
Copyright 2013 FRANCIS DIMENNO
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER SEVEN: PART FIVE: THE PLAN
Cadger Tandy had far more to say about the rough men as made their base the Seven Stars Saloon.
“Tipsy Smith, as was in love with Red Mary—well, he didn’t know it at the time, but he was bounden to be cheated out of his share of the Seven Stars Saloon.
It was hard cheese, but facts was facts. Old Judge Rance Sniffle was part owner and he was a slippery chap; a loocher of the lowest kind; a graft-happy skin-flint as would steal the pennies from a dead man’s eyes. And laugh it up. He stole loose change from the blind news-vendor, and scyped apples from the goofy Eye-Talian fruit-peddlar, who would stomp up and down and roar at him in fractured English–but could do nowt. The Judge had connections.
T’was a low dive, the Seven Stars, with low patrons. Few reputable heads were ever seen there. The stench alone would gag a maggot. As matters stood, Tipsy was bound to make his crust solely on the pennies as was begged, borrowed or stolen by his regulars.
THERE was a crew. Here’s a roll-call of them loafers. Hardly fitten company for a broth of a boy. Such as they was—a sorry lot—they was also Tipsy Smith’s very own Revenge Incorporated. His hired muscle. I should snicker.
Sots such as the squinny-eyed Adam “Happy” O’Day—the court jester—every hellhole has one—of the premises. Wit, poet, mimic, singer, orator, and facialist. He was a pee-culiar creatur—fat faced—grinning—sharp fangs– with teeth as yaller and black as an ear of Indian corn–had a slickered-down patch of thick hair as black as greasepaint—and he looked out at you with black, lonesome, faraway eyes. Had but one tattered suit of swell clothes which he wore into patches. Allus laughin,’ as if he was on to some great joke as only he knew what was so funny. When he was vexed he could swear like a cutter but mostly, he was a one as to cut up didoes—he could ‘personate a Dutchman, a Johnny Chinaman, Ikey Moe the Jew Pedlar, or even a Red Injun about to go to his Happy Hunting Ground. He did not have a happy ending, him.
His head was too big to support his neck, if you get my drift.
Then there was his paw—Count “No Count” O’Day—self-styled– bald, frowning, rumbustious—smelled always like cabbage—dressed in rags–said he owned an estate in Ireland—purest piffle—always barking orders that nobody ever paid much never mind to—as dour as his son was cheery. He could cut up nasty if he saw that folks was goosin’ him—‘Cut that,’ he’d snarl, and folks would hop to—he was a mean one with a pig sticker—and bein’ an old ‘un he must of felt as he didn’t have much to lose—proud—like so many of them border Irish—would rather die than be disrespected—HE was a real Jack Nasty as would claw out your glims in a heartbeat. Didn’t have a job. He would sometimes sweep the old sawdust from one corner of the room to the other, and Tipsy would feed him the slops—the leftover drinks—which all got poured into a metal bucket at the evening’s end—and was like to eat a hole right through that very same bucket. Tanglefoot, it was called—the remains of drinks that was anyway made with raw alcohol, burnt sugar and chewing tobacco. Think I’m putting one over on yuh? Nix. To this very day, in some low dives the top shelf could be anything from the real goods to low grade rotgut made from bad hooch that had some turpentine, ammonia and cayenne pepper mixed in– for flavorin’. Old “Count” O’Day never et much—had nary a good tooth in his head, so he couldn’t chew no wise—so he got most of his calories from slops—but he was never drunk—much—either that, or he was always drunk—nobody could really tell.
One day he vanished and was never seen again. Some say he went back to his estate. More likely, he was transferred straight from a ‘nonymous slab in the Country Morgue to a shoveled out hole in the Potter’s Field out there on Mistake Island.
Then there was Jack the Painter—I dinna ken whyfore they called him that—never saw him with a paintbrush in his dukes—he lived in one of the back warrens of that basement saloon—Tipsy Smith said he was his ‘handyman’—he was a gray-headed rascal as kept his hair long in a sort of rat-tail, like a Jack Tar, and he was grim as any penitent—never cracked a smile—kept his own counsel, him—shoulders always in a kind of slump–always looked cross-wise and peevish when you hailed him or deigned to ask him a question—so it was hard to tell when he was really cross—only when he gritted his teeth, and then you knowed for sure.
You could hardly blame him for bein’ full of the glooms—he performed nearly every dirty job in the place—no joke—washed the glassware, rolled in the barrels of beer, took out the rubbish, swept up the broken glass, threw out the exceptionally depraved inebriates as had bepissed and beshat themselves–and who knows what all else besides.
I heerd as he later became a copper’s nark—a grassman—a snitch. Went from the rookery to a swell jailhouse bunk with three hots and a cot—who knows where he is now—and who cares? Can’t stand a stoolie–nohow.
Then there was Jimmy Ragmop—a ginger-headed lout with the makings of a skimpy beard such as you’d see on old pictures of Mephistopheles. Kind of dull-witted—slow on the up-take–an ee-jit, as they called ‘em back then—and Tipsy put him to work when the bar was crowded—toting mugs and shot-glasses back to the kitchen—and mopping the tables with a filthy rag—hence his name—nobody knowed his real name. Nobody ever even asked.
He was a cheerful dunce—I’ll give him that much—hard to put him off his feed—not a hopeless drunk—more like a hopeful, red-eyed drunk—stuck mostly to beer—he’d attack the free lunch with gusto—a dedicated eater–knew what was in the hot dogs; didn’t care—was actually seen to take a drink of water on occasion—unheard of in them parts—most of them sots avoided the aqua pura like poison. Friendly fella, him, and folks would tease him—accuse him of things he hadn’t done and couldn’t of done—bizarre murders and the like—make him out to be the goat.
One fine day many years later he went nuts and cut his own fingers off. No one could figure out way. The loochers said it was on account of his deplorable habit of drinking uncut water.
And we also had Mick Ninny—or Nick Minny—who knew his real name?—an old coot with fishy breath and a beaky nose and a pointy head, as had a pissy old man smell to him. They also called him Musky Dan—he sure did smell—smelt of fish and mildew–and yeck.
He never moved. Nary a muscle, unless he had to. Planted himself in the same corner for 18 hours at a stretch. I’ve known some lazy bummers in my day, but Musky Dan made even the most broke-down Hobo look like a Captain of Industry. You’d swear he was a tree.
That man could drink, though. He could also talk. They say I have the gift of blarney, but that Yellof made the likes of Georgie Jessel come off like a chump. He would bloviate on any subject and sub-subject you could think of, but sooner rather than later his little talk would always come round to how things was far better in the olden days, by which I suppose he meant right after the War Between the States, when he was but a little shaver. You know—the days before all the damn immy-grants with their gibble-gabble, and O, the thieving rookers, he’d bellow, they’re a bunch of rolling kiddies every last Man Jack of ‘em, as would steal the halo off a plaster saint—even through Musky Dan was known to pick a pocket or two his self, back in his day, before his fingers got all clawed up from the rheumatiz’.
Many a man there was who’d tell me–Watch out for that cove—sure and he’s a Spiv as would gladly fatten his purse–by riflin’ through your’n.
He seemed to have it in for the Bloody British—even though he looked for all the world like a spavined Limey his own self.
What happened to him? One day his daughter came in, all full of gumption, and dragged him out of that den by his ear, and we never saw him since.
It just goes to show. Nothing like a meddlesome old hag who stinks of sour milk to queer the lushman’s pitch!
COME ALL YE
THE NURSERY RHYME BOOK (FULL TEXT)
EDITED BY ANDREW LANG
You are out.”
THE GRAY VIDEO
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
BOSTON BOUNCERS CRACK HEADS
6* DAILY UTILITY
MONSANTO GMO DO NOT BUY LIST
VIA MILTON KNIGHT
El Mono Relojero de Quirino Cristiani
BAR MIXED DYE WITH RUBBING ALCOHOL AND SOLD IT AS SCOTCH
WHY RATIONAL PEOPLE BUY INTO CONSPIRACY THEORIES
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE WITTIEST THING EDNA FERBER EVER SAID
Edna Ferber’s comeback to Noel Coward when they met and found each other dressed in similar suits.
Coward: “Edna, you look just like a man.”
Ferber: “So do you”.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 688.
SOUNDALIKE APES AKA CLASSIC KNOCKOFF PSEUD
Three Notable examples:
Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock and Roll” = T. Rex.
Hollies “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” = Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Zombies “Care of Cell 44” = Keith, “98.6”.
MORE (KUDOS TO “MUSIC OBSCURICA” ON FACEBOOK):
= Love ( Arthur Lee) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HfAsJ8AUmA
= Procol Harum http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NohUoMgzXps
= “Paperback Writer” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3CDxXiKRM
= Bob Dylan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqmzLgoWl3w
= Bob Dylan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9KrRDNPKZ8
= Jimi Hendrix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvvgHM_D12Q
= Van Morrison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCWVuCCWqzQ
= Kinks “All Day and All of the Night” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMpwHHpDf7o
= Theme from Born Free x Theme from Lawrence of Arabia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjMNNpIksaI
= Neil Young: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm4BrZjY_Sg
= Stephen Stills: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uJL8er_tV0
= George Harrison/ Badfinger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIycEe59Auc
= Rolling Stones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5-Uqj8TwZk