I wrote the following emails to a close friend in California detailing some assistance I provided to a mutual friend of ours (I’ll call him ‘Boolie’) as he worked through an alcohol problem between March 1998 and January 1999.
Date: 3/20/98 1:11pm
I, along with four others (Julia, Jerry, Doyle, and Rhonda), spent all evening tormenting Boolie. I poured out all his booze; not much was Left. He was really mad at all of us. His emotions ran from ambivalent to weeping to rage. All in all, I think it went rather well.
He is doing good today. I still don’t know how much he really drinks on a daily basis. I just know he gets the shakes when he tries to stop. He has set up an appointment at 4:00pm CST to go check out Cumberland Heights (a treatment center). His insurance should pay 100% for an inpatient stay. Doyle will take him out there. He readily admits that he has a drinking problem. Please pray.
Date: 5/6/98 9:23am
Subject: The True Boolie Out of Rehab Sequence of Events
Day 1: Boolie leaves rehab. (Ken’s comment—Boolie still has a significant level of bravado concerning his ability to control alcohol; i.e., he thinks he can handle a few drinks and brags that he tricked all the counselors because he is so smart and they are so stupid.) Also, and inexplicably, Boolie now discusses himself only in third person form as in, “Boolie came in and saw that all of Boolie’s booze was missing. Boolie don’t play that!”.
Day 2: Boolie begins outpatient treatment. (Seems to be playing along.)
Day 3 (or thereabouts): Boolie goes to a psychologist and asks for “real” feedback, not just psycho-babble. Unwary psychologist agrees.
Day 14: Boolie goes out to eat with his mother at Red Lobster and while she is in the can Boolie celebrates her being in the restroom by hitting the bar and pounding down a couple of double shots of Wild Turkey.
Day 24: Boolie reveals his tortured childhood to psychologist and uses bad feelings to justify a few drinks at the Village Tavern just around the corner from his psychologist’s office.
Day 26 (or thereabouts): The Great Tornado of 1998 hits Nashville as God’s retribution for conversion of Country Music into politically correct, soulless, ass-jiggling pap. Boolie disappears. Resurfaces later in carefully selected cheap motel, with Fopsie [Boolie’s soon to be ex-wife—I’ll call her ‘Fopsie’], across the street from Chinese-run Cuban fast-food restaurant, discount liquor store, and all night market featuring generic cigarettes. Celebrates Great Tornado all night long in a three-way with Fopsie and George Dickel.
Day 28: Boolie graduates from rehab and feeling pretty good, decides to celebrate with a few boiler-makers.
Day 31: Boolie descends into a pool of self-pity at the psychologist’s which Boolie later re-lives by constructing a lake of alcohol, into which he dives, purchased at four local taverns and eating establishments within walking distance of the psychologist’s. Ken receives drunken telephone call to come pick up a new Boolie—now easily defined as drunken, vomiting, belligerent fool. Boolie complains that Boolie can’t hold the liquor anymore since he spent afternoon vomiting up cheap lunch, up and down 21st Avenue, throughout the Village. Bystanders stand back and watch. Ken drives new and improved Boolie around for a couple of hours and then takes Boolie to Ken’s house. While regular occupants are distracted with the usual household responsibilities, Boolie gets into Ken’s new bottle of Skye vodka. Boolie requires further driving around for several hours, ostensibly looking at tornado damage, since female occupant of house begins sharpening butcher knife at this odd hour. Boolie deposited at mother’s house.
Day 40 (or thereabouts): Boolie calls on female of house, found in odd tender mood, to come pick up Boolie since resident female of mother’s apartment supposedly threw Boolie out of house because Boolie broke a drinking glass. Female goes and picks up Boolie along with matching collection of cardboard luggage containing a very odd assortment of personal items ranging from thirty to forty separate half used but sticky toiletries, pair of wing-tip shoes, an overly large hair dryer, and a vast collection of 12 Step books. Female makes deal with Boolie. Boolie is not to drink on premises, bring alcohol into house, or come to house while drunk. If Boolie must drink, Boolie agrees to go to hotel to do so. A thirty-day stay is granted upon Boolie’s acquiescence to the aforementioned rules.
Day 40 plus 1 hour: Ken and female drop off Boolie at famous “202″ meeting [located at 202-23rd Avenue South, Nashville] while Ken and female attend informal dinner party featuring several fine but inexpensive California and Chilean reds and whites.
Day 40 plus 4 hours: Ken receives call at dinner party to please come pick up Boolie at Cooker on West End, five blocks from “202″ house. Cheerfully, Boolie untypically claims to have enjoyed delightful repast. Typically, Boolie never claims anything cheerfully.
Day 40 plus 4.6 hours: Boolie picked up in aforementioned delightful mood and driven home. Female pulls Ken aside and tells Ken that Boolie has been drinking. (Females have a sixth-sense about these sorts of things, this particular diagnosis arising from the fact that said female had noticed a few extremely slight variations in Boolie behavior typically invisible to the untrained eye.) While female distracts Boolie, Ken is sent to rifle subject’s belongings and discovers opened pint of Johnny Walker Red. While hiding contraband, female, possessing knowledge of contraband’s existence, confronts Boolie with suspicions regarding alcohol consumption in conjunction with Boolie’s current location and, thus, being in violation of at least rule 2, rule 3, and rule 4 with conspiracy to break rule 1. Boolie becomes belligerent under questioning and starts screaming about how tricky female changed rules while Boolie was out. Furthermore, upon discovery of missing Johnny Walker, leaves house on foot for nearest liquor store in fit of rage.
Day 40 plus 5.4 hours: Ken and female leave to intercept Boolie attempting to hitchhike in up-scale neighborhood populated by personality type that just do not pick up hitchhikers unless they have known them more than a decade and are a close relation. They never pick up those dressed like a Satanic version of a forty-six-year-old drunken, unkempt Charlie Brown covered in sweat and with overly pissed-off look, complete with dirty shorts and weird striped tee-shirt. Ken and female proceed with intention of producing diversion until all liquor stores close at 11pm. Boolie coaxed into car and surreptitiously driven further away from liquor store while Boolie rages and later, jumps out of car at stop sign while screaming that “At least AA’ers only expect Boolie to do it one day at a time.” Female points out that AA’ers don’t have to take Boolie home with them for thirty days at a time.
Day 40 plus 6 hours: Ken heads out sans female to try further to distract Boolie and coaxes Boolie into car only by dangling Johnny Walker bottle out of window and informing Boolie that Bud’s Liquors was now closed. Boolie enters car screaming at the top of lungs about how Boolie would never steal anything from Ken and how low down and dirty such an act was, evidently forgetting about large amounts of alcohol surreptitiously removed from Ken’s liquor cabinet over the past five years. Thirty minutes of screaming back and forth about the relative merits of drug and alcohol theft by concerned friends from other drunken and/or stoned friends, Boolie is dropped at favorite cheap motel at corner of Harding Place and Trousdale Lane. Upon exiting vehicle, Boolie realizes for the second time that liquor stores are closed and gets look on face like Burt Lancaster did when he first spies 10,000 blood-crazed Zulus coming over the hill. [Obscure reference to movie, “Zulu Dawn”.] Ken in fit of pique tosses Boolie the Johnny Walker and spits out the epithet “Here’s your heroin, moron. Here’s the love of your life, you asshole. Go to bed with her.”
Day 41: Boolie, suddenly back in love with resident female at Mother’s apartment, calls her to come pick Boolie up in Ford Ranger. Boolie is complaining of serious chest pain past eating hearty repast at cheap Chinese-run Cuban fast food dump.
Day 41 plus 5 hours: Resident female admits Boolie at his insistence to Saint Thomas Hospital with diagnosis of “Chest Pain, Possible Heart Attack.” Ten hours and 300 tests later, Boolie admitted to Special Care unit for observation and placed on oxygen, although all tests are so far normal. I.V. containing common stomach acid reduction drug, Pepsid, magically relieves chest pain. Boolie whining, in very belligerent tone, that Boolie was tricked into being admitted (after Boolie finds out that Boolie can’t smoke and may have to wait as much as six to eight hours before Boolie can go outside and do so). Ken looks deep into Boolie’s eyes, ascertains presence of demonic forces and decides that it will be a cold day in hell before Ken will lift another finger to help idiot. Further contemplation of Boolie’s eyes leads Ken to conclude that some alien marine life form hailing from a planet the size of Jupiter and covered in a 500-mile-deep ocean of alcohol has taken over Boolie’s body for experimental purposes.
Day 42: Boolie’s mother and resident female of mother’s apartment arriving at hospital to take Boolie home, discover Fopsie (soon to be ex-wife) squatting in room. Mother sweetly and quietly discusses her hopes for Boolie to eat right, do pushups, quit smoking, knock off the booze, and get better, which hopes prompt Boolie to yell for her and resident female of mother’s apartment to get the hell out and not come back. Fopsie leaves room to retrieve nurse to have mother and resident female of mother’s apartment ejected from room. They leave hospital. Boolie disappears for rest of day.
Day 43: Ken, intent on letting Boolie wallow in own feces for the duration, receives strange phone call from a pay phone and left on answering service, running along lines of “Hi! This is Boolie. I’m at the airport. I’m about to get on an airplane for Florida. I’m going to a treatment center down there. I don’t even know exactly where it is. They just gave me a ticket and so I’m on my way. I’ll talk to you later.” Maybe Ken won’t have Boolie killed after all. Digital voice pattern matching verifies that identity of caller was Boolie. Supporting verification occurs since Mother received similar call as did other close friend in California who also stated that Boolie was dropped off the night before at the Nashville Union Rescue Mission by Boolie’s loving (soon to be ex-) wife, Fopsie, evidently tired of overly close afternoon companionship with Boolie, yet obviously concerned for Boolie’s well-being. Boolie, after spending five minutes at Nashville Union Rescue Mission realizes that unlike Hollywood versions, Mission is NOT populated with friendly, overly polite, delightfully wise, slightly shabby denizens merely down of their luck because bad Reagan supporters closed manufacturing plants and stole all the pension money. Mission populated instead by really scary looking men with lots of prison tattoos and very bad attitudes. Boolie becomes scared out of wits, decides that sleeping might be a bad idea and spends night on phone looking for help while keeping back to wall. Cannot at this time determine source of largesse allowing Boolie interstate flight. Boolie had talked to Boolie’s mother and actually had the gall to ask her for $100 after throwing her out of the hospital room. In conjunction with this, Boolie told her that Boolie didn’t need her advice and that if she wanted to help Boolie, she should just give him money. Boolie received the cash and by Ken’s best estimation, flew into the Orlando area on a Friday.
Date: 5/6/98 l:04pm
Subject: Re: The True Boolie ‘Out-of-Rehab’ Sequence of Events—Reply
Accurate only in so far as I could only guess at a few of the specific days’ numbers.
I meant it to be funny to relieve my own tension (and maybe yours) and because I’m going to give it to him when he gets better, and I fully expect him to. (Regardless of my asseverations to the contrary, I, of course, will do everything I can short of destroying my own family to help him.) No matter how bad we get, God comes through for us and he will for Boolie—with one caveat: it is dependent on Boolie’s not being too stubborn. But that’s what suffering is for.
I know you will pray while in Italy, but the safest thing for him is to be in a treatment center. This will be good (for up to six weeks at least). Plus, he knows good and well that he could have come back here to my house and slept. It was just his pride that led him to go to the mission (all of which may have been a lie—I know that he had plenty of money two nights before to check into a motel, buy several meals, cigs, and booze) AND he had just told me that he was about to be paid again.
Do not be surprised if you find that he has outright lied to you. He has to us multiple times, which is a classic symptom of the addict in denial.
Enjoy Italy and don’t worry too much while you are there. One thing Boolie cannot understand is that his problem affects all of us deeply. He asks, “How could it possibly?” In that, he is truly an idiot.
Date: 5/21/98 2:26pm
Subject: Boolie arrives back in Nashville…
Boolie returned to Nashville this past Friday. He hid out at a cheap motel out at the airport until Monday, at which time he called me to come pick him up. Seems to be feeling better and is trying to get into a really nice halfway house here in town.
Date: 5/26/98 7:07am
Subject: Boolie Update
Day 44-58: Silence from Boolie.
Day 61: Boolie reappears. Oddly enough, Boolie reports having actually left on a Saturday. As it turns out, and in usual fashion, Boolie decides to smoke at gate lounge of Southwest Airlines in Nashville. All smoking has been banned in the airport as a result of New Age Brownshirt activity. Boolie boards plane and straps himself in. After all passengers have boarded and plane is ready to pull back from gate, Flight Attendants and Captain go to see Boolie and ask him to quietly disembark. Seems other passengers complained to gate crew that Boolie smoked in gate area with blatant disregard for rules which leads crew to determine that he presents a potential risk to the flight since he can’t follow simple rules over very short periods of time. Boolie gets refund for ticket and takes same flight next day. Boolie doesn’t smoke in gate area this time.
Upon return to Nashville, Boolie takes up residence for a week in Villager Lodge at Briley Parkway and I-40, a weekly rate, motel hell serving taxi cab drivers, low end car travelers who spend all their free time moving between Nashville and Branson, Missouri, and out-of-luck ex-rock stars. Nothing works in room. Boolie complains. Boolie is moved to room 250 which happens to be next to the room inhabited by the last surviving member of the rock group Badfinger. Badfinger member, having been thrown out of house by spouse, bonds with Boolie and wants to spend next few years showing him news clippings, photos, and other worthless memorabilia, which detail the history of Badfinger drug and alcohol abuse, hotel room trashing, fornication, bestiality, suicide, and overdose as causes of death for other four band members. Boolie starts looking for ways to avoid Badfinger guy.
Day: 65: Boolie moves back into Ken’s. Agrees to more stringent rules. Feels and acts much better. Can even play theological good cop-bad cop a little with Ken.
Date: 6/30/98 10:47am
Subject: The Boolie Files (Ongoing)
Day 70: Boolie moves into halfway house and commences to bug Ken and Doyle for rides all the time.
Day 75: The rides have been largely uneventful except for the Bataan Death March ride Ken had to provide for Boolie to pick up his paycheck, get money from his mother, cash paycheck, and go get his guitar out of hock. Boolie’s paycheck had been lost in the mail, supposedly. One of the guys at the halfway house evidently turned down the FedEx package containing Boolie’s disability check and it was sent back to the main office out at Cool Springs Mall in Franklin. Boolie says all we have to do is run by his mother’s work, pick up $300 from her (why in the hell is she still giving him money?), run out to Cool Springs and pick up his check, run back to Green Hills and cash his check, and run back out to Murfreesboro to pick up his hocked guitar that he says he can only get a deal on today. Boolie’s preferred sequence, as per usual, maximizes time required and gas cost.
Ken foolishly wonders why he has to pick up the check 20 miles away in Cool Springs, FedEx will happily re-deliver [because Boolie wants his check right now, not tomorrow, and idiots at half-way house might just turn down delivery again]. Ken wonders why we have to run back to Green Hills to cash Boolie’s check since banks typically have branches everywhere and I can see plainly that one of Boolie’s banks is a block away from where check picked up [because banks are tricky and the one 20 miles away back in Green Hills in the opposite direction from guitar “knows” him–he doesn’t like them asking him for identification]. Ken wonders why in the hell Boolie thinks that one can only hock things 50 miles outside of Nashville [because Nashville pawn shops are all run by thieves as opposed to Murfreesboro pawn shops that give good deals]. Boolie insists that his way is the only way.
Day 97: Boolie requests that Ken and Doyle accompany him to look at 1984 Ford 350 Econoline stretch van (the “1-ton” type) that was advertised in paper. Monster van, affectionately called “Mother Goose” by current owner is used to haul gravel, trash, manure, bass boat, and/or gang of rowdy friends around on all night drinking binges. Current owner admits that his wife has decreed either van goes or she goes. Owner, having priorities more or less straight, has van up for sale. Owner works as a salesman in the industrial coatings business (read “bridge paint”). Boolie wants us to look it over and give him our opinion on the quality of truck as a “good buy”.
Van contains legendary Ford 350 V8 engine that could easily be used to pull Saturn 5-B rockets configured for moon shots to pad 39-B at Kennedy Space center. Low geared transmission coupled with low gearing guarantees mileage that is typically described in similar fashion to that of Saturn 5-B rocket: tons of fuel burned per minute. Paint job is okay if using various cans of spray paint is your standard. Rust spots can be worked out and the places where the floor board has rusted completely through can be fixed by a competent, if creative, welder. Ceiling panels are caving in from leaks but the leaks have been fixed with unsightly globs of clear silicone caulking. Owner assures us that the missing seats, dashboard panels, radio, air conditioner drive belt (missing, lo, these past five years) roof rack, etcetera, can be found and delivered with truck (though not re-installed). All of the missing engine parts, however, are described as “all of that anti-pollution shit.” They will not be included in deal. Numerous strange antennae, attached to nothing in particular, owner declares, lends “character”. Owner constantly lamenting how broken hearted he is in parting with the beloved Mother Goose and how upset he was when his moron cousin bent the driver’s door backward while backing the truck into a barn (evidently to haul or dump manure), thus explaining why driver’s door has to be held shut with hand or duct tape while driving.
Road test goes as expected. Owner will not allow Boolie or either of us to drive van stating that his insurance won’t cover us if we have a wreck. We get in. Ken and Doyle have to squat in back, neither of us wishing to sit on floor for obvious reasons. Various weird things scattered around on floor, many of which defy description, include broken bags of black-top driveway patch, broken cardboard boxes, several pieces of sheet steel, plywood scraps, dirt, and rocks. We take a three-mile spin stopping for gas twice. Oddly enough, van had started easily and sounded pretty good. Owner, thinking, no doubt, of possible liability suit, declares that you have to watch the brakes. They tend to require pumping and sometimes go all the way to the floor without warning. He does it in such a way that you feel that the brake problem is a special feature he had installed. (He IS a salesman.) Owner spends the rest of the time discussing how he and a pal of his that owns a car parts store spent several days changing out the old oil pump with a special racing one. Owner seems particularly proud of the fact that the new oil pump’s shaft was as big around as his pinkie finger. Boolie, Ken, and Doyle all nod knowingly.
Asking about the actual miles on van, owner, in effort to not break state law, admits he has no idea how many times the odometer had clicked over 99,999.9 miles. Comes back with how cool it is we don’t have to go through city auto pollution checks due to truck’s overall weight.
Back at the house, Ken talks Boolie into leaving the premises to discuss the deal. Ken and Doyle high-tail it to the local Kroger parking lot where we can discuss the situation. Ken and Doyle recommend against buying truck if for no other reason than Boolie will need entire output of Alaska’s North Slope oil reserves to run vehicle. Boolie insists on buying truck anyway. It is just what Boolie had been looking for, the owner is only asking $900, and will serve Boolie’s needs perfectly.
“Okay, okay,” says Ken. “Here’s what will do to talk him down on the price.”
“No need,” says Boolie. “I already cut the deal with him over the phone before I called you guys to come out and see it. He’s even going to let me pay him in three payments. And then I can get the van!”
Day 100: Boolie had his toenails removed! (Some incidental ingrown problem.) Ken not only took Boolie to the doctor and then to the drug store for the usual meds, but also was required to front $10 co-pay. A 1 & 1/2-hour problem, of course, took 4 hours since, like all trips Boolie takes, this one required first seeing female matriarch figure to hit for cash. Small amount was obtained from said female and Walgreens Drugs was entered from the north, toes carefully ensconced in bandages and protruding from filthy sandals. Ken warns repeatedly not to be too hard on toes while walking around. Boolie replies that they feel fine. Ken points out that they were deadened with local anesthetic (Lidocaine) by tricky physician. Boolie becomes visibly concerned.
One hour later—clearing hurdles including profound and almost unresolvable confusion as to which window to submit prescriptions, mild confusion as to what other products would be required to care for toes, brand name versus store name ointments selection debates, loud expressed horror at cost of 12 ounce bottle of betadine solution, and Band-Aid size difficulties (including materials, adhesives, and cost considerations)—at the register it was suddenly discovered that amount of cash derived from female matriarch figure proves inadequate to task of covering costs of basic post-operative care. Ken gets to subsidize via check. Additionally, while waiting last few minutes for antifungal and antibiotic prescriptions to be filled, Boolie discovers that deadened toes are now seeping prodigious amounts of blood and exclaims near the top of his lungs, “Oh, no! Look at them toes bleed!” To chagrin of Ken, most people within store turn to stare at Boolie seated directly next to Ken in pharmacy waiting area.
Day 107: Boolie doing fine except for the fact that toenails are missing and insists on either flip-flops or going barefoot, sort of similar to someone who has missing eyebrows.
Date: 6/30/98 2:04pm
Subject: Re: Boolie’s Toes
Boolie has re-returned to the doctor today. Toes are doing well. No really weird things happened on the way except for his stubbing his toe coming out of San Antonio Taco Company (Ken had to pay). What can I say?
All are doing fine here. I, as usual, just want to be dead, but that won’t happen.
The weather is even better than usual here. Still very hot and muggy, if not more so, but windier than usual (el Niño?); very interesting weather.
You are missed.
Date: 7/10/98 12:25pm
Subject: The Boolie Files, The Movie
Day 122: Boolie declares to Rhonda and Doyle that that “bitch” running halfway house is either always on his back or has agents on his back regarding foolish things like chores, going to appropriate number of meetings, waking up at reasonable time, and showing up before curfew. Boolie decides to move out and asks Doyle if Doyle wouldn’t like to let Boolie stay with Doyle for two to three weeks until Boolie gets Boolie’s van. Doyle, remembering Doyle’s sojourn of three years on Boolie’s couch, reluctantly agrees. Boolie spends two nights there and decides that refrigerator is far too empty for Boolie’s tastes and so spends a few days with Rhonda and relatively full refrigerator. (For the record, Boolie insists he left halfway house on good terms and they would have him back anytime!?! He left, he says, due to them refusing him the right to use facilities during day. All residents should leave house in AM and do good things other than lay about house. Boolie says he wanted to write and he couldn’t. Public libraries evidently not quiet enough.)
Day 127: Boolie prepares to get 1984 Ford Econoline van. Last payment to be handed over today to slick sales guy. Boolie making noises to Doyle that Doyle will not have to put up with Boolie anymore since Boolie planning to move into and live in 1984 Econoline van. Monkey wrench, however, inserts self into vast cosmic machine that Boolie has put in motion by which Boolie obtains transportation in form of 1984 Ford Econoline van, which van he now lovingly refers to as “Mother Goose” or “Deus ex Machina”. Ken prefers “Psychoticus ex Machina” or “Thunderbolt Grease-slapper”. Monkey wrench is revealed as tricky step-son in-law who has placed all of Boolie’s belongings, heretofore located at soon to be ex-spouse’s apartment, into what is commonly referred to as “storage”. Soon to be ex-spouse had repeatedly assured Boolie that all Boolie belongings were safe and sound at soon to be ex-spouse’s apartment. Soon to be ex-spouse evidently had change of heart. Turns out that storage costs shekels and tricky step-son in-law has decided that one month’s rent for storage space is all it was worth to get rid of Boolie’s possessions. Without 100 plus dollars (US) being transferred ASAP to storage owner’s accounts, Boolie belongings either get confiscated or destroyed, whichever approach being the most profitable. Magically, extra money appears. (Is there a matriarch figure involved?) Doyle to assist with transport of Boolie to 1984 Ford Econoline van. 1984 Ford Econoline van to transport Boolie to soon to be ex-spouse’s apartment located (of course) a minimum of one hour outside of town. Ken and Doyle taking bets on how long 1984 Ford Econoline van will take to turn into road side attraction of the type billed “See Live Bear”. When cross country suckers pull over, they find the nastiest, mange-ridden, flea-infested excuse for a cage inhabited by the one of four animals in captivity driven thoroughly insane by gnat bites, the smell of feces, and suckers’ kids tormenting bear sixteen hours a day by pummeling him with Raisinets and gravel.
Date: 7/22/98 7:45am
Subject: Re: Ribbit Ribbit Ribbit [obscure reference to trip to France]
Temperature? Mine rose. Further Boolie events:
Day 140 (approx.): Deus ex “Mother Goose” lay dead in Doyle’s driveway like beached sperm whale, one with lots of rust and strange antennae. Attempting to bleed brakes—Boolie actually replaced master cylinder—Boolie took “The Goose” to Goodyear for bleeding and checking. (Boolie attempted to take to local gas station but they refuse him service saying that their lift could not handle something that big.) Bleed valve on right front breaks off in vain but heroic attempt by Goodyear. Also, Goodyear fiddles with wild jury-rigged ignition system repaired by cheapskate previous owner who re-wired “The Goose’s” burned-out ignition wiring by running new wire, in most extreme jury-rigged fashion, from positive terminal on battery to switch near driver’s seat to positive terminal on coil. Goodyear, having screwed up wiring and not sure how to fix, replace front brake caliper with new at no charge! When Boolie appears they charge him nothing but just ask him to leave with “The Goose” ASAP evidently never wanting to lay eyes on van again. They happily jump Boolie off (van acting funny now) to get rid of BIG problem.
Doyle hints that Ken’s help getting “The Goose” out of Doyle’s driveway would forever compensate Doyle for any imposition Ken ever wishes to apply to Doyle, past, present, or future. Ken, utilizing unique and highly grandiose curse word constructions, acquiesces. Three hours later, in conjunction with herculean mental and physical effort, and utilizing important tools that Boolie has amassed to perform brake bleeding procedures—especially the tube included with an aquarium cleaning kit Boolie purchased after three hours of searching throughout all Kmarts, Walmarts, drug stores, auto supply stores, photo shops, and various other retail outlets within a ten mile radius, which turns out to be…, well, too large—Ken, against all odds, and strictly by God’s grace and the application of one long combined silent prayer and verbal stream of even more creative curse word constructions, accomplishes brake bleeding miracle. Doyle in house attempting to contact Vatican to describe miracle and to start canonization process on behalf of Ken.
Upon attempting test run, Ken discovers that “The Goose” won’t start and Boolie spends 45 minutes explaining—in excruciating and worthless detail—evil of Goodyear scum that screwed up wild jury-rigged ignition system. This form of wiring job, however, is not covered in Haynes Manual that Boolie has purchased for $14.95. Ken, two hours later, and again against all odds, and again strictly by God’s grace and again by the application of one long combined silent prayer along with verbal stream of even more creative curse word constructions, divines, reverse-engineers, and fixes wild jury-rigged ignition wiring problem (without volt-ohm meter or any other test equipment)—no minor miracle by any stretch of the imagination. Doyle back in house talking to Pope on phone. Pope requests audience with Ken and is even willing to fly to United States on Vatican dime for meet. “The Goose’s” brakes now work and the engine even starts. “The Goose” leaves Doyle’s driveway at 6:15 PM CST to Doyle’s great relief.
EPILOGUE [Four Months Later]
Date: 11/5/98 6:34am
Subject: Re: 50 reasons to be a woman [don’t ask]…—Reply
My back is perfect. [I had a bad bout of sciatica, which only abated through lumbar laminectomy. Long crazy story starting out with attempting slack rope walking in the back yard.] I will pray that your surgery goes as well. [Ophthalmic in nature.] Boolie seems to be doing quite well, although he still drinks a bit. Remember the van (the Great White Goose)? Well, he did go out and drink a few weeks ago, slept in the back of Compton’s Food Town on West End and the van hasn’t started since. It is currently parked in the back of Doyle’s house and acts as Boolie’s little bungalow.
That was pretty good, it all works for me!
It’s good to hear from you. Your surgery Went well I hear. I am going to St Thomas this Friday for a week, then I’ll be having my eye surgery to repair my [wandering] eye, I should be able to have single vision then and maybe not look too weird. Prayers please.
Date: 1/20/99 10:40am
Subject: Re: Boolie
I went to visit Boolie this past weekend at his new apartment. It really is very nice and so is the car his mother helped him buy. Mother Goose has disappeared. After Doyle finally insisted that Boolie remove the Goose from his alley, it appeared in a parking lot behind Hillsboro High School where it sat for a long while. I think he slept in it there also. Don’t know where it finally went, but it is gone, thank God.
I don’t know what has happened exactly (I think it has something to do with the priest he’s been talking to) but something good has happened to him. He has become a most pleasant Boolie again. I feel very confident that he has put a few of his demons to rest, or has started to, at least, and is doing some fast growing-up in important areas. And this seems to have happened overnight. (More later as soon as I see him at church this coming weekend.)
I told Boolie in the past that I would support him in this [Boolie decided at this juncture to attempt to enter the priesthood, a goal that he eventually attained!], but I have to admit I had a number of reservations. I have not been able to say this with any confidence until now, but I think this is now a very good thing.
Now that we all know we know all about everything. Boolie wants you and I to discuss him and his situation, (like we haven’t). But We need to find some time to do that. I vote YES. I think it would be very good for the Church to have someone like him. He’s been there and done all that!