Blackhumouristpress's Blog

January 13, 2015

When Mohammed Met Sarah

Filed under: chicago,humor,humour,Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 7:41 am
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When one meets someone who is simple, one dimensional, unaware, naïve, unintelligent and ignorant, they shake their heads and dismiss the person. When two people of all these deficiencies find each other, many find it quaint not unlike watching a midget couple holding hands in public.

Chaim, an orthodox Jew convert, lived in perfect harmony with his wife Sarah. Sarah’s father set up Chaim and his daughter with a kosher bakery. Bagels, like Sushi and Indian Cuisine has transcended the masses and so the couple made a good living supporting their children selling bagels to hungry Americans. How did they meet? People like to know how people met.

Chaim was born Patrick Cole and then became Mohammad Al-Sabba after converting to Islam upon being jailed for idiocy related to drunk driving on a suspended license. The Aryan brotherhood tried to pull in the sturdy looking man with a dumb look on his face with platinum hair and muscles on top of muscles. A jail house cleric with a great hate and disdain for America, the American way of life and anything generally that was not geared towards extreme interpretation of the Koran, befriended our hero. Rather than befriend and convince other Muslims within America to become Martyrs and donate their lives to the greater good, A man who called himself Terry went to work on those he felt were as pliable mentally as Playdoh within the penal system.

Patrick was driven to Canada upon being released from jail. He was brainwashed near Toronto, given a fake passport and trained in Yemen for three months before being brought back to Canada and then smuggled back into the states and sent towards a heavily orthodox Jewish area of Chicago called West Rogers Park.

A young Jewish Satirist wrote an independent blog about the absurdity of life in general. Being a not so bad artist, he drew Michigan Avenue in Chicago, jammed packed with yellow cabs with smiling middle eastern men with their heads sticking out of the driver side windows with a caption, “Find the real Mohammed in the cabs”. There was Mohammed Morsi the politician, Mohammed Rafique a Cricket player, Mohammed Ali a boxer, nameless and faceless Mohammeds and then the actual Mohammed. This was a no-no, faux pas, verboten and was only punishable by death. Terry whose name was really not Terry, preached the evils of Americana to Patrick who had been a simple southern boy without a proper race scorecard. He wasn’t quite sure who was with who other than black was black and white was white and them dang Jews was the devil.

“Do you think it is right that people glorify things like Maury Povich and Jerry Springer? Kardashians, Sex in the City and TMZ? This country is Rome before the fire and the fire is coming. To be a Martyr is a glorious thing and the mother of all gifts… Are you ready to train to make the supreme sacrifice?”

Patrick’s response- Hell yes!

Mohammed, I mean Patrick, walked into the kosher bakery looking for directions on how to find to a building, which was 1533 W. Touhy, the office of the satirist. Mohammed was at 1353 W. Touhy. Mohammed was to walk into the building and light a stick of dynamite strapped to a dozen other sticks of dynamite and say something very loud in Arabic that he memorized but had no idea what it meant. This was all to be done prior to sundown on the Sabbath Friday. Mohammed had the wrong address and wrong time. He showed up at a Jewish bakery just before it was to close on a Friday afternoon. A beautiful young woman with crossed eyes greeted Mohammed as he walked up to the counter. Mohammed’s head was shaved and he had a long blond beard. He wore what looked to be a bulletproof vest. Strapped to the vest were sticks of dynamite. Sarah didn’t seem to notice. Mohammed was immediately mesmerized by Sarah’s beauty.

“I created what I call the everything bagel… The united bagel of Benetton bagel. Would you like to try it?”

Mohammed did try it. He loved it. It was salty with garlic and cinnamon and parsley with chocolate. Mohammed had two and looked unblinkingly into the eyes of a young woman with a beautiful face, sweet voice and eyes that went where they wanted. She looked at the strong looking man in a black vest with cylinder like things affixed to it and sensuously said something to him at a distance to taste his breath.

“I had a dream last night that a blond prince on a horse was going to take me away up a the mountain where we could build a ranch house with a circular drive and we would be happy and have children… How is it that at the hour and minute of the Sabbath, you come into my life? You are my gift from god.”

A sexually repressed teenage orthodox Jewish girl and a virile convert to Islam rolled around naked as the day they were born on a cold concrete floor with flour and onions and poppy seeds. They made love, if you will, three times. Sarah was supposed to be at the synagogue and Mohammed was supposed to be with 72 virgins in the afterlife. Both of them came up short but found true and everlasting love. A simple kind of love that cannot be penetrated and jaded by race, religion, logic, reason, fanaticism, fundamentalism, clear sight or intelligence.

July 19, 2011

Ali/Babar and the Wife Thief

Filed under: Detroit,Ethnicity,humor,Oprah,Short Story,walmart — blackhumouristpress @ 5:15 pm
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Ali was born a full six minutes ahead of his twin brother Babar.  Mother decided that her boys would be A and B and so it was.  A and B’s father decided when they were young that there was a land of great opportunity and diversity where immigrants were accepted and could find work, this land was Canada of course.

            Ali and Babar were as identical as identical could be.  Their parents could only tell them apart as infants and toddlers by a small birthmark on Ali’s left butt cheek.  As time went on, Ali was the quiet, thoughtful and a methodical young boy that would construct buildings with Lego’s and Babar was the loud, busy child that would deconstruct things his brother created.  As time went on, Babar suspected that his parents favored his twin brother at every turn in the road.  When it came to time to find them each a wife, Babar was convinced his parents held Ali in higher esteem.  Babar was matched up with a woman nearly the same height as him who carried more than a few extra pounds who had to shave the hair on her rotund stomach.  She wheezed, chortled and drooled in her sleep and always smelled like salami.  His wife’s mother had accompanied her only child to Canada fromPakistan and so Babar had a package deal that he did not care for on top of all the quirks.

            Ali went to Queen’s University in Kingston,Ontario and landed a job with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Babar often joked with his brother that he wanted to come toOttawato see his brother on a strong black horse, dressed in a red suit.  Ali was not offended.  Ali’s wife had been a runner-up in the Miss Pakistani World contest in Mississauga,Ontario and was beautiful among beautiful women.  Babar was upset that his brother had a good government job and a hot wife who maintained her shapely physique despite having two children, while his wife appeared to have swallowed furniture after having just one child.

            Babar actually loved the freedom of being a cab driver.  Like most Canadian boys, Babar was hockey crazy.  Babar loved watching the sport and playing it.  Babar kept his goalie equipment in the trunk of his cab and would not take customers who needed the trunk for suitcases.  Babar played shinny and league games all overTorontoand in nice weather, he could be found playing cricket at a park here or there.  Having a smaller home and less prestigious job was the trade off for Babar who loved the freedom to do what he wanted at anytime.  Babar could live with all that.  Having a less desirable wife than his brother was something that was hard to absorb and after close to seven years of marriage, the reality that his wife was plain and heavy and his brother’s wife was stunningly pretty and fit, still was something that overtly bothered Babar.

            Babar was more Canadian than he was Muslim or Pakistani and so it came as a surprise to Babar’s extended family when he had made the announcement that he was going back toPakistanto become a better Muslim than he had been up to that point.  Babar made friends inPakistanand grew to hate the Americans like the rest of the world.  A persuasive older man had convinced Babar that he was the best candidate to go to Afghanistan to train to be a terrorist.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  Train to do god’s work of stopping infidels who occupy the land of Allah and his messenger Mohammed. 

            Babar got into the best shape of his life running around in a part of the world that looked more like the moon.  Babar was sent back toPakistan and ordered to wait in a hotel room.  Three men picked up Babar and covered his head, whisked him away in a hot van to a room without windows where an intense older man with a beard, instructed Babar in English what it was that he had to do.

            “Have you been to Chicago in the United States, my brother?”

            “No sir, but it has an attractive lake front with a food festival in the summer that would be worth checking out if I had a week or so to spend away from home…”

            “Yes…  Well that can be arranged.  You will be picking up a Ford Flex at Pearson Airport that will be registered to you with Ontario plates.  We will need you to drive to Chicago and put the vehicle through the basement of what they now call the Willis Tower.  Most still refer to it as theSearsTower.  Same difference. It is on a South Wacker Drive.  You have to navigate your way to the lower Wacker in order to get to the parking structure that supports the entire building”

            “Am I to leave this car in the parking lot of the building?”

            “You are to drive this automobile at top speed into one of the supports of the building…”

            “And when do I bail out of the automobile?”

            “There is no bailing.  Thus shall it be.  You shall be paired with companions pure, most beautiful of eye.  In the gardens will be mates of the modest gaze that have never been touched…In other words, you get the virgins when you’ve completed the mission.”

            It was sort of a tough sell for Babar.  He undoubtedly felt that the talent in the afterlife had to be better than what he had at home.  One in seventy two had to be hot or at least beautiful to the eye.  Babar convincingly accepted the task of picking up a new Ford Flex stuffed with explosives and caesium-137 that had been purchased by a Russian cab driver who was actually Ukrainian but spoke only Russian because back in the old days, that is what everyone spoke.  This Russian cab driver used to be a scientist in the formerSoviet Unionand was able to steal enough of the radioactive material stored in lead cases to sell to crackpots for a good price.

            While Babar was on a long flight from Pakistan to Toronto, he thought about how he could get out of committing suicide.  After all, Babar didn’t hate Americans anymore than other Canadian citizens.  Americans were loud and fat and felt that they were the standard bearers of freedom and had won the Cold War through their brand of democracy and capitalism tinged with strategic economic imperialism.  Babar really wasn’t passionate about felling the largest building in the world that represented American greatness and strength.  Babar was just not that passionate about donating his life to the cause.  The wheels began to turn in Babar’s head and before long, Babar had devised a way to complete his mission and get his brother’s beautiful wife all at the same time.  All he would have to do is convince his twin to drive the Ford toChicago.  And rig the automobile to detonate from Toronto with his brother in the vehicle in Chicago.  Technology is wonderful.

            “I have never asked anything of you in my whole life.  All I am asking is that you drive this automobile for me toChicago.  Someone will meet you in downtown Chicago who is interested in buying this vehicle that I won in a hockey raffle.  I don’t need the car, I need the money. I cannot afford to make this trip right now.  You have the vacation time to do this for me. You park it in a parking structure and wait for my instructions.”

            Ali opted to do this for his brother.  Besides, he really wanted to visit Chicago to hear some Blues and eat some really good pizza.

  Ali had crossed the border at Windsor without much questioning just as the skies grew dark and angry.  Before Ali could change his Canadian currency into American greenbacks, it had begun to storm.  The wind was hurricane force and the sky was as dark as night.  Ali pulled off the highway in Detroit as the windshield wipers could not keep pace with the rain that came down as if he were in a car wash.  The streets in Detroit resembled rivers.  Ali had decided to pull off the highway until the rain let up when he hit a hole in the road that was caused by a Detroiter who had stolen the sewer cap to sell as scrap metal.  The scrap yard accepted the sewer cap even though it had stamped on it in clear letters, CITY OF DETROIT.  The new vehicle had extensive damage and made a wheezing sound like Babar’s wife as it chugged along at about 10 miles an hour or 6.2 kilometers per hour.

            Ali drove past many abandon homes and streets that had no homes as the sky began to clear up.  Off in the distance was a Walmart unlike any he had ever read about in the middle of nowhere Detroit.  This Walmart was the Disneyland of Walmarts.  There was daycare, eye care, auto care and a petting zoo within the building that stretched over a length of a city block.  Ali passed thousands of parked cars as the Ford Flex limped up to the auto center.  Upon lifting the auto up in the air, it was discovered that the shocks were shot and the frame was twisted. 

            Ali walked to a motel that rented by the hour or night.  The beds took quarters and the ceilings had mirrors.  Ali watched the BBC news on public television and drifted asleep.  It was early in the morning when he returned to the Walmart. Ali drank coffee in the waiting room of the Walmart auto service center watching re-runs of the Oprah Show when the explosion occurred.

             One of the mechanics took a torch to the shock and a frame support that had gotten crushed when the front wheel on the driver side fell inside a large hole.  Ali had been speaking on the phone when he hit hole at thirty miles an hour.   Ali nearly bit off his own tongue as his head hit the roof of the vehicle.

            The explosion was the loudest thing that anyone had ever heard before except for those that had served for their nation in places like Afghanistan or Iraq.  The sound was familiar to them and they knew that it wasn’t a gun shot or a back firing truck.  It was a homemade bomb.

            Babar took a train up to Ottawa and hung around a coffee shop until the news broke that there was terrorist act against the world’s largest Walmart.  The CBC showed pictures of stunned people crying and consoling each other while fire fighters tried to extinguish the smoldering mess that was once the grandest department store ever erected.  Babar wondered what had happened and what had gone wrong.  It made no difference to Babar either way.  A few Detroiters were interviewed near the scene.  One was a man who went by the name of Yates.

            “Itta damn shame actually…  You know how hard it was in the first place to get any kinda grocery stoh, dee-partment stoh and automotive stoh and what have you right here in inna city Dee-troit?  Shhh damn…  Come on, now.  Who gonna wanna come back now aftah this?  Terrorist don’t like no success.  Dee-troit was coming back.  People was working again and buying cars and now this.  We all gone hafta go north of 8 Mile again or buy all important stuff at liquor stores…  Ain’t right.  It like roaches, you think you got them all an then some somehow git into yo box of cereal. Bin Laden waddent the end.  He die and someone else grab the wheel and drive. I’m saddened by this today.  Damn shame….  Ain’t nothin else but a damn shame.”

            Now Babar had gotten a tattoo of a mole on his left ass cheek and purchased clothes that he knew his brother would wear.  He walked into his brother’s house with out Ali’s wife or kids batting an eye.  The dog knew his master by scent and snarled at the imposter.  Babar had to give the dog some treats just to calm him.  The wife clung to who she thought was her husband and tried to console him over the possible loss of his brother.

            “It is a shame really.  To think your brother, playing hockey, drinking and watching porn and he turns around in a short period of time to become a fundamentalist.   They say he is in intensive care and has no hearing and cannot remember who he is…  So sad.”

            Babar was hopeful that his brother might die or remain incapable of knowing who he was.  Babar rolled with it.  He made love to his sister-in-law five times the first day and four the next.  She had to leave home to shop just to keep who she thought was her husband off of her.  Everything was working out as planned until Monday morning came around and Babar arrived at work and showed his name tag and had to hold his hand over a scanner.

            “This crazy thing has been acting up lately, Ali…  Just go ahead, we’ll have this checked, eh?”  Said the guard.

            Ali worked in forensics for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  In fact Ali or Babar was studying finger prints and did not have a clue what he was supposed to be looking for or what he had was supposed to have been working on the Friday prior.  Ali’s co-workers thought he was a bit out of it but understood since his brother had been part of a terrorist plot to destroy an American institution like Walmart.

            When Babar returned home that Monday evening, the land line rang.  His wife or sister-in-law answered the phone and had a look of relief and happiness as she listened to a doctor report’s that Babar or Ali actually, would live.  They suggested his twin come to Detroit to spend time with him in hopes of getting his memory back.  Ali’s heart sank but really it was Babar’s heart.  He wondered if he would wind up in a Canadian prison or an American prison or if the terror cell that paid him and trained him, would catch up with him and kill him.  Ali/Babar looked at his beautiful wife/sister-in-law and told her what he thought would be best given the situation; more sex.

            “I will go to Detroit to help my brother…  It is the best thing I could do now.  I think before I go though that we should probably…  Well you know…  One last, I mean more time before I go.”

            The beautiful woman became suspicious.  The unquenchable appetite for sex, the politeness, the indifferent attitude towards their children and the dog who constantly growled and snarled at Ali/Babar all indicated that Ali was not Ali actually.  An idea came to the beautiful woman.

            “It has been quite a long time since I’ve allowed you to have anal sex with me… I think since we may be apart for some time, anal sex would be best for both of us.  Would you enjoy that, my love?”

            The real Ali had confided in his wife about his brother Babar’s fascination with having anal sex.  Ali on the other hand was never interested in engaging in that sort thing.  Ali/Babar’s eagerness revealed who he really was.

            “Okay my love…  I’m going to freshen up.  Why don’t you hop into bed and I will be there momentarily…”

            Within minutes, the RCMP had surrounded the house and came through the bedroom door and windows where Babar anxiously waited with an erect penis that pitched a tent under the sheet while he clasped his hands behind his head.  It became a very interesting story to all that heard, watched or read the details.  A man trained to be a terrorist sends his twin brother to bomb the largest building inNorth Americawith a vehicle packed with explosives and nuclear material, while moving in and assuming his brother’s life. 

The two Mounties and FBI agents burst out in laughter when Babar told the story of laying in bed waiting to have anal sex with his wife or the woman who was supposed to be his wife.  One of the FBI agents, a large African-American man, shook his head and put his hand on Babar’s shoulder.

            “You should have gotten up and ran at that invitation…”

            “Why do you say that?”

            “What beautiful woman asks her husband to perform anal on her…?  Shh damn… Come on, now.”

January 10, 2010

Tourette’s meets TSA

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 10:21 am
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Lester Vandermere was born and raised in Warren, Michigan. Lester’s parents dropped Lester off with his mother’s parents as a toddler before they took off to concentrate on other things that interested them more about life such as drugs and stealing to buy drugs and so on. Luckily for Lester, he had grandparents that really loved him and treated Lester as their own.
At a young age, they began to notice some quirky things about Lester that they had not noticed with their own children or anyone else’s for that matter. Lester had the ability to mimic voices of just about anyone he heard around him and if it was particularly unique, Lester imitated the voice until some other voice caught his fancy. Lester too spent his time straightening things in his room to the point of exhaustion. Poor Lester would eventually just pass out as a young boy and it was rarely on his bed but on the floor while he was in the middle of correcting something he had already corrected such as color coordinating clothes or hanging them by size or alphabetically arranging baseball cards.
Baseball for as slow as it should be for a child diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, ADHD and Tourette Syndrome, Baseball should have been like watching grass grow but it wasn’t that way with Lester. It was one of the few times he could sit in a chair without involuntary vocal outbursts, twitching or blinking. Lester’s grandfather took Lester to see the Detroit Tigers a lot and then got the idea to buy over 100 rubber coated league baseballs and paint a target in the backyard.
“All you gotta do is aim for this target and throw that ball as hard as you can… Now granddad wants you to occasionally hold the ball across the seams like so and then turn your hand like this when releasing the ball. Once you’ve thrown all these call me,” said Lester’s grandfather.
This began at about age eight and continued everyday irregardless of weather or season. Lester threw baseballs at a target on a fence everyday for hours and never grew tired of it. At age ten, Lester’s grandfather signed him up for little league baseball in Warren. The first day Lester ever got to pitch, he had the first perfect game ever recorded by a first time pitcher in his first game in the state of Michigan. Lester made the front page of the Detroit Free Press. Over time Lester continued to improve and never grew tired of throwing baseballs at a target. By Lester’s sophomore year of high school, colleges all over the country were offering him full scholarships. More than one Major League Baseball club sent a representative to watch Lester pitch for his high school. Lester could pitch a curve ball that looked like it dropped off a table just before arriving at home plate, faster than most men could throw a fastball. Lester’s fastball was unbelievably fast for a fifteen year old boy. Between pitches, Lester would have to pick up the rosin bag and bounce it twice on the back of his left hand and twice on the palm before yelling out profanity, wooing and heavy blinking. He was more amusing than Mark Fydrich ever was for the Detroit Tigers.
“Three pitches, fat ass! Three pitches… You get three fucking pitches, fat boy…”
Strike one. A belt high fastball that hovered around 95 miles per hour. The batter attempted to swing and was frozen.
“That’s one, bitch boy… Two more… Two more, you fat fuck…”
Strike two. Slightly lower than the first but above the knees right down the center of the plate at about 96 miles per hour. The catcher wore a padded batter’s glove inside his catcher’s mitt. The second pitch cracked as it hit the webbing of the catcher’s mitt.
“Just standing there with his thumb in his ass… Ha, ha, Lovie… Gilligan m’boy… Mere child’s play… Drown them all like puppies… Jimbo, let’s discuss all the options, son… Out of the way! Road hog!”
Lester loved imitating the voice of Jim Backus who was the voice of Mr. Magoo, the millionaire on Gilligan’s Island and the father of James Dean in Rebel without a Cause. Lester strung quotes from all three as he bounced the rosin bag on his left hand prior to throwing a curve ball that dropped about 18 inches at 88 miles per hour. The stands were packed and everyone stood and clapped with every strike out. The ovations were just white noise in the head of a talented young man whose mind was locked on Jim Backus at the moment. Television will do that to children, you know.
“Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again… Marvelous Gilligan, m’boy. Go get Ginger and tell her I’d like to drive her like a five iron… Pull a little to the left but play through it, Gilligan… Drive it right through the rough patches, m’boy…”
Some days Lester might take on the voice of Foghorn Leghorn, Jack Nicholson, George W. Bush, Marlon Brando. He might imitate the laugh of Charles Nelson Reilly or the faces of Robert de Niro. Lester’s grandparents were used to it and paid little attention. What did not go unnoticed were Lester’s grandfather’s racist comments. In school all the kids laughed at the unique voices and racist words that spouted from Lester’s mouth as his mind committed things to memory and replayed them often and randomly.
“Smithers! What is with all of these fat children?” As the voice of Mr. Burns from the Simpson.
“Now folks, we’re fixing to round up all the wet backs, chinks, pork chops, niggers, sand niggers, swami’s, snake charmers and the whole lot of them and send them to ah… send them to ah… California! That’s right. Send them to live with Arnold…”
And just like that he went from sounding like George W. Bush to Arnold Swartznegger.
“Commin-zee to Camp Cal-if-forn-ia… Veel help you to concentrate… In our camp…. Hee aye aye aye…. Ya… Dat vas a gut fun…”
One teacher learned that if she gave Lester a whole pack of gum to chew, it cut down on outbursts and tics. The rest just had to tune it out the best they could. The fact of the matter is that if you have a talent like savant, people tend to be very forgiving and most understood that for as unusual as it was for Lester to have not only Tourette’s but to also be Obsessive-Compulsive and have ADHD, he also had the ability to imitate voices and gestures and pitch a baseball unlike any young man his age. Lester barring any unforeseen problems was going to become a rich and famous young man soon. Everyone respected this.
Lester’s grandmother gave Lester the news, the night before leaving, that they would be going to southern California to visit several colleges that offered scholarships. Lester’s grandmother knew better than to tell him earlier. If she had told him a week in advance, he would have been packed and waiting at the door without sleep for that entire week. The night before leaving for Los Angeles, Lester’s grandmother packed a suitcase full of Lester’s clothes. Lester was obviously upset that the order of his things was being disrupted without any prior discussion. Lester took on the voice of Peter Lorre.
“Oh thees ees most disturbing… I’m not going to hurt you, my leetle friend… Don’t worry… Tell the fat man that I must have the Maltese Falcon… Eet ees most imperative that the fat man call me thees instant…”
Lester began to put away the clothes that were in the suitcase when his grandmother stopped him and sat him down to explain where they were going in the morning. Lester was so excited that he couldn’t sleep. He stayed up all night watching the MLB station and reruns on TVLand.
Lester and his grandparents arrived at the Detroit Metro Airport at seven in the morning two weeks after a terrorist tried to blow up the Detroit bound plane he was on and three days after another man claimed that he wanted to kill all Jews before boarding a plane in Detroit. Now picture a tall and lanky young man with pimples on his face, talking non stop, all the while changing voices and facial expressions. It had been a few days since Lester had watched the movie, Slapshot with Paul Newman. Lester spewed out lines from the movie while standing in the TSA security line.
“You naver naver want to take your stick like thees unless you are a stupid English pig… You go to the box and feel shame and then you go free… FAT ASS! WOO! You ever see so many niggers trying to get something for nothing? If it isn’t nailed down, you bet your sweet ass the niggers will have it,” said Lester, imitating his grandfather’s voice and facial expressions.
Luckily for the Vandermeres, there were no African-Americans within an ear shot of them except for the TSA official who was looking at passports, licenses and boarding passes. Mr. Caruthers, the TSA official was as shocked as he was angry about hearing such blatantly racist comments coming from the young man whose grandmother was rubbing his arm, telling him that he needed to talk about something else. It came time for the three of them to step up and give their credentials to Mr. Caruthers.
Mr. Caruthers was a large and strongly built black man with a deep voice. The voice reminded Lester of the times his grandfather would lower his voice and do an imitation of Amos and Andy. Lester’s grandparents feared something bad could happen and it was happening.
“How is yaw, Kingfish? How you be thaar, Kingfish? Now see haar… How’s Calpurnia?”
The three of them were herded into a room and questioned for about a half hour by several federal officials. One of the men recognized Lester from the newspaper and believed all that Lester’s grandparents were trying to explain about Lester’s quirks and outbursts. Lester signed an autograph on a piece of paper for the federal official who was a big baseball fan and had heard that Lester was one the top prospects coming up. Lester and his grandparents boarded the plane first and took the last three seats all the way in the back. Lester was thumbing through a baseball book that his grandmother had given him for Christmas. Everyone came in and took their seats and everything seemed as if it were going to be mostly copasetic all the way to Los Angeles until a young Italian man muttered under his breath to his brother, loud enough for Lester to hear. The Italian man was distinctly from Brooklyn. Both men had slicked back black hair and were chewing their gum in a loud circular motion, wearing tight faded jeans and t shirts that were too tight for both of them. It was perfect ammunition for Lester who had become calm despite being excited and apprehensive about his first flight on a plane.
“You ask me what they should fucking do is let the fucking Chinese run the fucking airports for about a year. The fucking Chinese don’t put up with no shit. You ever see this kind of shit happen in China? Fuck no! Let one of these A-rab cocksuckers pull this shit with the fucking Chinese. You’d never hear a fucking word about em again. In this country you’re like a goddamn celebrity. Wanna get on TV? Light your fucking balls on fire on a plane and you’ll wind up getting three square meals for the rest of your days in a goddamn prison and we get to pay for this shit… Let one of these fucks pull a box cutter or a crotch bomb on this flight… I’ll tear their fucking hearts out.”
Upon hearing the rant, Lester once again became unglued. After being detained again and having to face more federal officials and then meet with a psychiatrist and a string of social workers, the Vandermeres were allowed to go back home. It took all day and they were exhausted. Lester’s grandmother laid into her husband for ever saying anything questionable in front of Lester. Lester slept fleetingly as they drove west. After nearly a week on the road, they arrived in Los Angeles. Lester met alone with the athletic director who had originally played baseball in Hoboken in the minor leagues and grew up in the Bronx. The older man, who looked like he could have fit in with the cast of the Sopranos, extended his hand and asked Lester about the flight not knowing that they drove. Lester more or less repeated the words of the Italian man from the airplane. Lester’s grandparents listened outside the office to the hardy laugh of the athletic director that became nothing more than a wheeze and a whistle when he became too out of breath to laugh anymore. The door opened and the big man with cigars for fingers patted Lester on the back and shook the hands of Lester’s grandparents. Lester and his grandparents got into the minivan and headed onto the next school. The athletic director called the baseball coach on the phone to discuss Lester.
“The kid looks like nothing more than a corn seed… Yeah, yeah, I heard all about his problem before he got here. He had me nearly pissing in my pants… He looked at me making faces like Robert de Niro and spoke like Al Pacino for twenty minutes. I don’t know if he did that because he knows I’m Italian but it was very funny… Sure, sure. He’ll make the hall of fame some day and then take his voices on the road. I’d like to be there when he wins the World Series one day and gets invited to the White House to shake hands with the president. That’ll be one for the ages…”

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