I'll come up with something in a minute.


There are few issues that cannot be made more confusing by the application of cheese cake and monkeys.


September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Your loyalty card makes me less loyal.

You guys know Panera has these membership cards now, right? Rewards cards whatever. I resent the idea because I don’t like all those rewards cards. I am simply anti-card. Fuck your cards. Quit telling me about how I could get a free small drink after I buy 900 over-priced sandwiches, lower the price of the damned sandwich. Panera’s is worse than other places because you have to go online and sign up yourself, providing a hell of a lot more information than they ever need. You don’t need my phone number, social security number, mother’s maiden name and shoe size for me to get a bowl of soup once every two weeks. That’s more effort than I’m willing to do for a card I don’t want anyway. So yeah, I resent the idea.

What I resent more is that the people behind the counter have begun to really get testy about my not wanting their card. So as a result, I’ve been going to Panera a lot less recently, but I wanted a loaf of bread and they were on the way home from where I was this morning so I stopped in and got some. When the woman behind to counter asked me if I had the rewards card I told the truth.

I was given a card sometime ago, but I haven’t registered it. I decided not to add that I declined the offer and that I have several suggestions where Panera could stick that little card. Again, I got some attitude, but this time something else happened.

“Well, okay, you’re missing a lot of great freebies.” She said, in a tone meant for someone who has just been caught fervently masturbating in front a preschool class.

“I know,” I said, and then the words just popped out, “I’m this generation’s Hitler aren’t I?”

I didn’t mean to, the words just came unbidden from the recesses of a soul that has simply had enough. I didn’t shout it, didn’t get nasty, just used the same sort of deadpan voice I always use when talking to people I don’t know particularly well. Everything gets relayed in a semi-inflected monotone when I first talk to someone. Sort of like a local newsreader or possibly a narrator on a Mid-70s documentary about World War II. This was my very calm and quite way of going to the window and shouting “Now see here. I’m terribly displeased about all this.”

The reaction was sort of interesting. You could tell that the words took about four seconds to actually process in her head before she looked up at me and realized that I had actually said something that was not on the script. She then actually took two steps back and looked at me as if at any moment I might decide that “It’s Time” and that the “New Order” shall begin here and now.

I’m just tried of being told I need to sign up for a program so I can get a fucking sandwich. I don’t like loyalty cards, I don’t like having to carry them and I don’t like using them. It’s an extra annoying step that has never actually given me a benefit of any kind and despite the claim made by the very name of the object, makes me less loyal to a store that uses them.

That’s the other thing, this isn’t a store trying to force me to give up my private information in exchange for 30 cents off of something they’ve over priced by 90 cents to begin with. This is a restaurant. A restaurant I rarely go to as a result of being hassled to sign up every time I get something there.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There was supposed to be a bird in the picture


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September 18, 2010 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Thirteen)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay



Last week’s entry can be found here.


Chapter Thirteen: Who Runs This Place?


            When I started Collier Investigations, we had one office. There was my office and there was the waiting room where Debbie’s desk sat. That was it. Our total staff was two, and I did as much work as I needed to in order to keep body and soul together. When I left after Becky was killed, Debbie opened a new office in Chicago but kept the old office open. She then expanded our Troy operations by hiring some new guys but putting them in a different office building in another part of town. She’d started looking for office space in San Francisco when I was shot and in the winter of that year she opened that office.  She explained all of this the day before I went back to work, while sitting at my table.


            “We’ve gone from a two person operation to twenty-three people,” I said. “All because I signed the business over to my secretary.”


            “You just entrusted it to me,” she said looking at a piece of paper she was holding. “This is our healthcare plan.”


            “I trusted you by signing everything over to you,” I said tossing the page aside. “You own everything.”


            “No,” she shook her head. “We own everything.”


            “Did you sign stuff back to me?”


            “Not yet,” she said setting a folder down and looking at me.


            “So you own it,” I said.


            “We own it, together,” she said. “Your part of it is just in my name at the moment. I’ll sign it all back over to you if you want.”


            “No,” I said. “But you should admit you’re in charge.”


            “No,” she shook her head. “You’re the boss at the office.”


            “How does that work?” I asked.


            “Because I defer to you.”




            “I always have,” she said. “Why wouldn’t I now?”


            “Because you’re the boss applesauce.”


            “Not anymore,” she said. “I’ll sign the checks, and I’ll do the day-to-day stuff with our employees, unless you want to do that, but I’ll listen to you and we’ll do what you say.”


            “But you’re still in charge,” I said.


            “No, you’re the boss,” she said and then added a moment later, “Applesauce.”


            She giggled then, putting a hand over her mouth. I looked at her, and I couldn’t help but smiling. She was beautiful to me then, as always. If she had flaws, I couldn’t see them. I was going to have to go back to work, and I was going to have to play the boss while I let her hold all the cards for real. It was like some weird form of role play, only we were really going to blur the lines between what was playing and what was for real. If I told her to sign all the power back to me she would, but the company was in better hands if she held it. I would just have to deal with the question of power. I was a tough guy though. I could take her if it came to it.


            I slept alone that night, if what I did can honestly be called sleeping. I felt like I did the day I hired Debbie in the first place, and I rolled around in bed about as much as I did that night. Back then, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford her services very long and wondered if she’d move on before I fell on my face.


            Except I never did fall on my face, not financially anyway. She never moved on either.  We made steady money, probably due to her advertising my services behind my back. She placed ads in magazines and newspapers that she thought I’d never read. She worked hard to make sure we had a regular flow of work, while I tried my best to destroy any kind of reputation I might have built up as a solid investigator. She chased Christmas off, because she didn’t like the way Christmas was treating me, which in hindsight was a good thing. Christmas was really bad for me.  


            Now though I was tossing around in my bed because all of that was in my head. She’d done all that, and all I did was poke around a few places being tough. I had the same feeling that if I wasn’t careful that I would let her down. I didn’t want to let her down; I didn’t want to disappoint her. I kept thinking about how she described me in that story of hers. She thinks I’m some kind of hero, some sort of poor bastard that was born in the wrong era, placed in a time when honor and chivalry don’t matter anymore. Strange that during that whole time she was describing her love she never even thought of courtly love. Maybe she thought that would be too cliché, maybe she didn’t consider it. Maybe we just read different books.


            I got up when my alarm went off, and there was a patch of lost time, so I must have slept. I got up, took a shower and got into one of my better winter suits. I went to the car and drove through the slush and the snow towards the office. I pulled into the parking lot and found that most things had stayed pretty much the same. I walked up the stairs, because I could take the stairs without problem now, and pushed the door to our office open.


            Debbie had dressed for the occasion, wearing one of my favorites of her vintage dresses. While the neckline didn’t plunge to her navel or anything like that, when she sat at her desk and you stood at it, you got the distinct feeling that if you leaned forward a little you could probably see down to her shoes. It was a wonderful optical illusion, and you’d never see that far because her cleavage was in the way.


            She stopped typing and looked up at me with a smile.


            “Hi Jack.”


            “Any mail Debbie?” I asked her, which is one of those things I normally say if I’ve been away for more than a few days.


            “The Harkers send you two packages,” She said. “One for each year while you were away. I think everyone else knew you were out of the office.”


            “Okay,” I said and walked through the door, no longer surprised at how it had been kept neat and unchanging. I walked toward my desk and heard Debbie’s heels click on the floor behind me.


            When I sat down in my chair, she was already sitting down in the chair on my right, which is always odd for me. The blue and gold brocade chair is my favorite to sit in when I want to read, which is why I keep it on my right as I look out from my desk. When people come into the office they go to the chair on their right. That chair is large, very comfortable, and covered in a beautiful red leather. It’s a chair that people gravitate to, so it’s always odd to see someone take the blue brocade chair like she did.


            “Something wrong?” I asked as she crossed those magnificent legs.


            “What are you going to do now that you’re here?” she asked.


            “I was going to work,” I said.


            “Are you?” she asked, looking a lot more boss-like than I was expecting. “Are you actually going to do what you need to do?”


            I quickly decided that I was not going to play this game. I was going to have to completely ignore the question, which was good because I didn’t have an answer. I was, instead, going to lay down the law on her.


            “Debbie,” I said leaning forward and hunching my shoulders in a slightly menacing fashion. “Let us get something straight. In the outer office there, you talk to the employees however you like. In my office, I’m the boss. You start trying that tone with me and you’ll be amazed how quickly this can turn into one of those stories where the boss takes his secretary over his knee. Understood?”


            “Yes Jack,” she said, and her body language totally changed. She looked like she wanted to straighten up and melt into a puddle of warm goo at the same time. Sometimes I think she needs the myth of Jack Collier even more than I do. The color in her cheeks betrayed what she was thinking to such a degree that I felt the need to reprimand her again.


            “Don’t give me that look.”


            “No Jack,” she smiled.


            “We are not having a Heinlein moment here,” I said. “I only threatened to spank you because it was the first thing I could think of.”


            “Yes Jack,” She said, biting her lower lip in a way that was absolutely designed to make a person not want to think about work.


            “I’m not really going to hit you,” I said, lowering my head to pretend like I had some work to do.


            “No Jack,” She said, shaking her head slightly now, letting her hair bounce around.


            “Debbie?” I asked.


            “Yes Jack?”


God she looked gorgeous like this, she was fully flushed and clearly ready for whatever I was going to order her to do.


            “Go out to your desk and type or something,” I commanded. “We are not having office slap and tickle on day one.”


            “Yes Jack,” She smiled a little smile at me as she walked to the outer office.


            I thought she was enjoying this a little too much, and that maybe if I had taken her over my knee she would have enjoyed that too much too. It was part of her unchangeable nature though. She wanted someone to tell her what to do and to be the big strong dominant rock in her life. She wanted this, despite decades of feminism telling her she didn’t need it. Seeing how she’d built up the business without me, the feminists were clearly right, she didn’t need it. Maybe that’s part of that difference between need and want she keeps talking about.


            I sat in my office and looked at the two boxes that had been sent from different corners of the world. The larger one turned out to be a Brazilian dagger, perfect for maids to slip and fall on while I held it, making me look bad. The second proved to be more interesting though, and it proved which of them bought these things. At least it proved who bought this one.


            I’ve carried a Laguiole style knife for most of my adult life. A few cheep knifes breaking at critical moments taught me the importance of a good knife. I’m not a fan of the current fashion for tactical looking knives, with their plastic scales, wide blades, thumb posts and assisted opening springs. I just keep going back to my French pocket knife over and over. At least I did until I managed to break the blade off in an assassin’s skull. For whatever reason, I never actually replaced the knife. This why the second knife was more interesting to me.


            It was a smaller box, and it contained a pocket knife about the size of the one I’d buried the point of into the back of Chester Cat’s head. On every other knife they’d ever sent me, the letters ‘M.H.’ and ‘J.H.’ had been carved, inscribed or inlaid on the handle somewhere. The exception had been the first knife, the Bowie, that had an inscription on the side of the blade. This one though only had one set of initials. There are normally three bolsters on each side of a Laguiole to hold down the scales and on one side there is usually a shepherd’s cross. That is a small set of pins inserted around the central bolster. This was in evidence on the expected side of the handle, but when I turned it over I saw the letters ‘M.M.’ set in either silver or nickel around the central bolster. They were small, but bright and unmistakable. There was no sign of Willie’s husband on this knife. She’d clearly even gone back to her maiden name. I needed a new pocket knife if I was going to start over, and here she was, sending me a new one. I wondered if I should try and find Willie, and what I would find if I did.


            No, that was finished business. Char had said that I needed to go after unfinished business, of which I had plenty. I looked at the door, which was right in front of me and tried to think about what would be the new business. And then looked to my left and allowed my eyes to land on the safe. I got up and walked to it, wondering what I would find there.


            I opened the safe, and saw the big tan holster that I’d gotten after the Christmas incident to hold the Webley. There were dark stains on it that I realized, after a few seconds, was my blood. It had stained the leather a dark brown, although I noticed that someone had taken it to a shop to have the leather strap that had broken when the bullet tore through it fixed. I put the holster back and pulled the fire safe from the safe, wondering what kind of shape my guns were in.


            I opened the fire safe and found four weapons looking at me. The two silenced Rutthowers were wrapped together in a single lint free cloth with my Marley and Webley-Fosbery under them. They’d all been cleaned, oiled, and then put in the safe to wait for me. I put the automatics aside, and pulled the Marley out. My uncle, who had given me this gun, had bought a load of ivory a few years before the import ban and had someone make scales to replace the plastic ones that the Marley handgun company had sold the gun with. The Marley-Fosbery would have had its original scales, but a lunatic caused me to break one that had to be replaced. Debbie said she bought a few scales, but I’ve always sort of suspected that she had them made at an even greater expense than she should have.


            The guns were clean, free from rust, and as I checked them their movement was good. I was going to have to borrow some range time, see if I remembered how to shoot. See if I could still shoot and then see if there wasn’t some unfinished business that needed a gun fight. I know it should have seemed obvious, but I actually sat at my desk, trying to think of what was the chief piece of unfinished business I was forgetting.


            I had Debbie and Karen sort of taken care of, or at least I had it sorted that it was going to be okay to be in love with them. I hadn’t really sorted out how I felt about this whole relationship without a relationship thing, but I would get some of the books Karen mentioned to me and read up on it.


            I also had Alice at least partially taken care of, but again came the whole relationship question. I didn’t want her to move, but now I sort of didn’t want to leave Debbie and Karen behind. I wasn’t sure if I would want to stay with them, but as dedicated to me as Debbie is, I feel just as strongly towards her. I don’t think I could handle not seeing her everyday. Debbie is sort of tied to this place though, because she is tied at least partially to Karen.


            Still, I had Alice, and she wasn’t seeing anyone else. That was a new experience for me, dating someone without being the cuckolder. Even with Debbie and Karen, you have to know that I’m still just the nice bit of beef on the side for them. The novelty of being the only person Alice is thinking about might take a while to wear off, if it lasts of course. Who knows what the future is going to bring, some hot twenty-something guy with nice hair and no personal problems could get assigned to her team tomorrow. That’s just me though, always thinking positive.


            So while I couldn’t label any of those issues as closed, I could at least say they were in a simmer mode and I would only have to check on each of them a little bit until later. It was digging at me though, that there was something I wasn’t thinking of, and then of course it struck me.


            It wasn’t considering my extended hospital stay, it wasn’t thinking about getting shot, it was looking at the jar I keep my old shells in. The Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver fires a four fifty-five cartridge, which is just not a normal forty-five caliber. You can retool a WF to fire forty-five rounds, but you’re destroying the gun and if you want a forty-five there are lots of guns that do that already. However, four fifty-fives aren’t exactly common, so I learned to reload old shells. As a result of all that, I kept the shells in an old Piper Pepper jar, and the label of that jar reminded me.


            “Jill,” I said.


            I promised to keep her safe when it was all over. I had told her that I would take her wherever she wanted to go. That would be a good way to start, find out if she was safe and then find out what the hell that whole deal was about. Clearly I was going to have to hunt everyone down, and maybe hit one or two of them. It was clearly time to start working, and that meant it was time to get mean again.


September 16, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

Humph! No one likes what I like.

There just isn’t much romantic poetry about felching. I just want a sweet, lovely poem about rainbows and daffodils and felching. Is that so wrong?

And fisting? Forget it. I just want a nice sweet, nostalgic country tune about two girls discovering the joy of fisting. What do I find? Nothing! And I looked.

Also, it was Louise Brooks who called Shirley Temple a swaggering, tough little slut. Temple was about 11 at the time, which gets an award for bitchiness if you ask me.

Tough Slut

And if you’ve already had a bad idea, might as well indulge.

cut a bitch

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pics yo!



September 16, 2010 Posted by | Photo | , | Leave a comment

Two Monkeys, One Picture


September 15, 2010 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment


I honestly don’t get the idea of random spam comments on blogs.

IP Camera says…
Cool Article! My spouse and i had been simply just debating that there’s a whole lot absolutely wrong details at this matter and also you precisely replaced the belief. Many thanks for a marvelous contribute.

He/She feels this way about the 1938 Christmas Carol

And now…
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September 12, 2010 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment

The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Twelve)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay


Last week’s entry can be found here.


Chapter Twelve: Working My Way Back to You Babe



            When I glanced at our food and the discarded hat and scarf on the table, I noticed that Debbie’s leather jacket was draped over the back of a chair. I looked over at her, sitting on the couch and then at the jacket. I hadn’t seen it for weeks, but somehow she’d known that today was the day. I put the phone to my ear as I called Karen.


            “Hi Jack,” she said by way of answering, “what’s up?”


            “We’ve had our talk,” I said.


            “And?” she asked.


            “We’d like you to come over for the night,” I said. “If that wouldn’t be a problem, I know that you’ve got your own stuff going on.”


            “I sort of guessed that today was the day,” she said. “I’ll be over in about two hours. You start without me, and I’ll be there as soon as I can.”


            “Okay,” I said. “I’ll leave the front door open.”


            When she arrived, Karen wore her leather jacket too. I couldn’t help but wonder which of them picked that trick up from the other. Whichever one of them had started it, the other one had started doing it too. They probably didn’t even know they did it, and I would have a hard time figuring out which of them might have started it. An argument could be made for each of them.


            I should have been offended by was the notion that either of them would need a little extra strength or courage to deal with me today. I think the courage and strength they needed wasn’t because of fear of me, but rather because they were afraid of themselves. Nerves could kill you if you let them and the jackets didn’t allow for nerves. Debbie always feels too sexy in her leather to allow even a momentary inkling of self-doubt. I think Karen derives more strength than nerve tonic from her jacket, so clearly steadying her mind is part of the jacket’s charm.


            It didn’t matter though, because soon after she took the jacket off, she wasn’t wearing anything else other than a large dragon tattoo on her left shoulder blade that wasn’t there the last time I’d seen that shoulder. It was a good night, and I’m pleased to say that no one chickened out.


            However, when the physical energy was used up, my brain was still running at top speed. That little voice, the one that had started down in the pit of my stomach, it was starting to ask some questions. Sure, this is fun for today, but what happens in the cold light of morning? Would I be able to continue with them both? Would I be willing to? Karen was someone’s mother, and she still slept with the father. That shouldn’t bother me, given my history, but somehow the fact that he knew bothered me. Odd how that can work sometimes.


            And what about Alice? Would it be fair to try and introduce her to this pair? Would they accept her? Would they even get along? Would I want to even think about sharing her company with anyone else? Could I actually do this sort of thing? What the hell was I thinking? These are the thoughts that were cycling through my mind at high speed until I suddenly fell off and went to sleep.


            When I woke up in the morning, they were curled up together like a couple of kittens that had crawled under the covers to guard from the cold. The blankets had been pulled up over their heads, and Debbie’s face was only visible if you went around the side of the bed and looked into some folds that had formed a sort of cave. I saw the edge of Karen’s hair pressed against Debbie’s chin, but the blankets obscured the rest of her.


            I sat down in the living room, looking at the artificial tree that still sat in a corner waiting for me to take it down. I wasn’t sure I was ready to though. I looked at the bed room, and then at the tree, and then at the small statue that Alice had sent me as a present. I probably had a few days before Debbie would insist I come back to the office.


            I sort of had a promise to keep, and I decided that I was going to have to keep it as soon as possible. I picked up my phone and started dialing. There were two rings, and then she picked up.


            “Alice Liddell,” she said, still sounding professional on a Saturday morning.


            “Hi there,” I said. “Are you working?”


            “No,” she said. “I was having some coffee.”


            “Are you alone?” I asked.


            “And lonely,” she said. “The new year has left me feeling all alone in the world.”


            “I can be at the airport in two hours, and then I could be on a plane about an hour after that,” I told her. “Another hour or so in the air and I could be with you in time to have a late lunch.”


            “Could you?” she sounded intrigued, which was good.


            “And then I could get you that slow comfortable screw up against a wall I promised you.” I said, and then went for the complete set of double entendres. “Maybe you’d like to have a screaming orgasm or two.”


            “I don’t really like Kahlua,” she said.


            “Kahlua?” I asked. “What does Kahlua have to do with anything?”


            “Well, it’s in… oh I see what you did there,” she said.


            “Yeah,” I agreed. “You like that?”


            “Yeah,” she said. “You’ll call from the airport?”


            “I will call you when I get to the airport.”

            “Okay,” she said. “You know something Jack?”




            “A girl could fall in love with you real easy.”


            “She shouldn’t,” I told her, “not until we’ve figured things out.”


            “Right,” she said. “Because that’s how it works. We girls can all control who we fall for. It’s on a little dial under the left hip bone.”


            “I’ve been wondering what that is,” I said. “Always too afraid to ask. Explains why girls lose interest in me after playing with it.”


            “I’ll see you in a few hours,” she said.


            “Right,” I said, and then ended the conversation with my normal line. “Bye-bye.”


            I hung the phone up and turned toward the bedroom to see Debbie standing in the doorway wearing one of my t-shirts. She was leaning her head against the door frame and was biting her lip. She didn’t look angry, or disappointed, but she didn’t look pleased either.


            “Planning on running out on us?” she said.


            “I’ve got to sort Alice out,” I said.


            “That doesn’t change what I asked,” she said.


            “I’ll be back in a few days,” I said. “When I do, you and I are going to talk about my coming back to the office and starting work again.”


            “You promise?”


            “I promise,” I said.


            “You’re not going to stay with her in DC?”


            “No,” I said. “I’m going to come home.”


            “What if you love her more than me?” She asked, shifting and turning to press her back against the door jam. She then arched her back to press her breasts taught against my shirt.


            “I’m not playing that game,” I told her. “I’m not going to start any who do you love more crap.”


            “I’m just teasing Jack,” she smiled at me.


            “I am trying to make things right,” I said. “Whatever I have to do to make things right for everyone, I’ll do it.”


            “That kind talk could get you into trouble Jack.”


            “I know,” I nodded. “But I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble.”


            “You know something Jack Collier?” she asked as she walked towards me.




            “A girl could fall for you real easy,” she said putting her arms around me.


            “Someone was just saying that,” I said.


            “She’s smart as well as cute, huh?”


            “You think she’s cute too?” I asked.


            “She’s cute,” she nodded as she brushed my lips with hers. “If you’re going to go to the airport though, you should ask Karen to take you. It’s on her way.”


            “You want to wake her up?”


            “No,” she shook her head. “I don’t want to go in there and wake her.”


            “I see,” I said. “You are going to chicken out on me then.”


            “You’re the tough guy,” she told me. “Go do the tough guy thing and wake her up. You also have to kill spiders and move heavy furniture. When she wakes up you can get whisked away to my beautiful rival for a week. When you get back though, you need to come back to work.”


            “I’ll be there,” I said. “We’re going to have to talk about who’s working for who though.”


            “We’ll talk when you get back,” she agreed.


            I gave her a kiss and went to wake up Karen to see if she’d drive me to the airport.



September 10, 2010 Posted by | Fiction, Jack | | Leave a comment

These photos have nothing to do with Malaguena Salerosa

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September 8, 2010 Posted by | Photo | | Leave a comment