Eighteenth Anniversary Issue.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.–Albert Einstein [attr.]
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY-FOUR: DAYS OF WRATH
“Met a fellow in stir name of Johannes Carlo,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy as they strolled around the block of the Seven Stars Saloon. It was a cool spring evening, and the Blowtown loochers were standing on the street corners holding court. “He was the meanest son-of-a-bitch I ever met, bar none, though you wouldn’t know it to look at him, or maybe you would. He was a thick-skinned Yellof built of burning hatred stored up over long hours in cold brick prison yards. He had dark blue ropy veins on lumpy muscles that spelled death and told screws not to mess with him if they could help it. He never used a blanket in his cell. Says he, ‘I have twenty years of hate to keep me warm, and trouble is all I know.’ Fellow lags who were jugged up with him were just as glad to stay out of his way unless they had some pressing need to do business with him. He had a twisted grin that said to all the world that he just didn’t give a good goddamn about you or anybody else. And he had a laugh like the goddamn madman he was, and he laughed both long and loud at anything that tickled his fancy, especially if it involved giving the turnkeys the hot shits. He would routinely set fire to the mattress in his cell: punishment, the Denver boot or the hole; but he just didn’t care. He laughed. We smuggled food in to him sometimes, not out of any liking for him, but just on general principle. Any con who monkyed with the screws was a hero to us, no matter how bad. From a quick glance, you might be convinced that he was a jolly old soul , but one look at those hard black eyes of his’n would probably set you straight in a great big goddamn hurry. He was no friend to mankind, him. Nit! You could see in his eyes the threat of a coiled rattlesnake; the rumbling of rolling heavy thunder from on high; and the desolation of a long-forgotten boneyard overgrown by brambles and shrouded by barbed wire.
“If you are ever unlucky enough to go up the river and be jugged in the state pen, you’ll learn very quickly that Yellofs like Johannes Carlo are the kingpins there, because they are most dangerous men there are. They might not seem like much simply to listen to them talk; jibber-jabber is not their strong suit; but you soon discover by the way they act that they are a genuine force of nature. The more you oppose them, the stronger they get. You can never beat them into submission; you may cripple them, and starve them, but that won’t stop them. They will keep coming right at you to their dying breath. They will curse your name even as you are strangling the life out of them. If you’re going to fight them then you’re going to have to kill them, as simple as that, and that’s easier said than done. I’ve known a few Yobs like that. Certified Foolkillers. I lived a life of hard knocks back in my salad days; harder than you’ll ever know. I didn’t spend my young manhood like a pampered toy poodle, attending ice cream socials and lapping up Darjeeling Broken Orange Pekoe from paper-thin China teacups. Nor did I bump elbows with the cross-roads clowns or hobnob with the so-called big city elite. No, all that would come later. But as a boy, I developed fists of iron from knocking down suckers. I always had to fight, you see, because I was short for my age.
“No, you don’t learn how to stir up trouble and blow shit through a tinhorn by mucking about with goo-goos and sky pilots and drinking fizzy water at the Coed Sodality Dance. The pool room, the hobo jungle, the reformatory, and the yard in the big house is where the matters of life and death are learned by heart. If you fail at those tests, the very best you can hope for is to become a punk for a jocker, and I tell you right now I’d rather die. At the very worst, it’s pandaemonium; a free-for-all, and the prize is your ass. At least a jocker will give you some home brew for your trouble, and you’ll be under his protection, and off limits to everybody else. But once you’re the prison yard bitch, your life expectancy can be measured as a matter of months. Either the warden will arrange to cut both of your nuts off, or some jealous morphodite will slice you to ribbons with a home made shiv honed sharp from a steel bed-spring. Or maybe you’ll be buggered so fierce they’ll tear you a new one. This is no joke, Yob. You had best not end up in prison unless you’re big and strong and can defend yourself and are willing to die rather than submit. That was my saving grace. I cultivated a rep for being unpredictably crazy. You never knew when I would go off. People tend to fear such a person.
“But big Johannes Carlo was one hombre I never wanted to trifle with. He was just plain bad. Rotten to the core. He took his greatest pleasure in crushing the weak. Now, I’m no namby pamby; like I’ve said before, I am with it and for it, and my fists are as hard as iron from knocking down suckers who tried to queer my pitch. But MISTER Carlo, which is all anybody ever called him, why, he was an eagle among vultures; a lion among hyenas; he was master of all he surveyed. Such a man once upon a time might have been a great monarch, or a ruthless oligarch, or even a corrupt Pope. But instead, he was a ding; just another loony criminal with a taste for young and tender fat boys. Just like his father and probably his father before him. He tried to join the army, and was washed out, because he wouldn’t listen to no man, let alone suffer to be disciplined. The man seemed to live for one thing and one thing only, and that was to take vengeance of those who wronged him. He was no respecter of persons; he would crush a woman who got in his way as though it were nothing; just like you would kill a biting dog. And yet, he was irresistible to the ladies, in spite of his prowess as a jocker. Go figure! He practiced every disgusting perversion there is—and the ladies couldn’t get enough of him!
“That was always the one thing about him that I never could figure out. I’m guessing that the ladies like a brute just like the brute that married their white-haired mammies.”
20TH CENTURY RANTERS
James Shelby Downard, AUTHOR OF:
Masonic Symbolism in the Assassination of John F.Kennedy
FRANCIS E. DEC, AUTHOR OF:
The Collected Rants of Francis E. Dec, Esquire
CARL PANZRAM, AUTHOR OF:
Carl Panzram – Wikiquote
CRIMINAL PSYCHOPATH QUOTES
THE CRAZIEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED
CLASSICS COMICS: UNCLE TOM’S CABIN
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
6* DAILY UTILITY
LONGEVITY BY GEOGRAPHY
HOMOSEXUALITY: LEGITIMATE ALTERNATIVE DEATHSTYLE
REASON AND EMOTION
KILLJOY WAS HERE
BRENT RINEHART’S HOMOPHOBIC REELECTION COMIC BOOK
TAKE ME FOR A LITTLE WHILE
PATTI LABELLE AND THE BLUEBELLES
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
ROLLING STONES SONGS RANKED
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
GREATEST MARKETING DISASTERS IN HISTORY