DEATH OF CIRCUS EMPLOYEE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION
So said a headline in the local paper, which I spotted while waiting in the office of Pete & Wags -from HOSS- where I’d stopped by to pick up some tickets. Waiting for them to quit, as coincidentally it was quitting time. Their office is coincidentally above a bar. I was thirsty. This was no coincidence.
Anyway, the article -which I tore out because “death” & “circus” together can NOT be ignored- detailed how a 20-something fella was discovered at 4 a.m. slumped over a dresser, out cold. The paper painted the circumstances a mystery, the police still sleuthing. But light was shed at the end of the article. Last paragraph: “Additional investigation determined he drank several alcoholic beverages with co-workers earlier that night.” Curious. And the preceeding paragraph: “Witnesses told police they noticed a bump on his forehead earlier that night and had seen a metal pipe fall on his forehead several hours before he was found.” Hmmm…curiouser…it “fell” on his forehead…? Is that like having a boot fall into your teeth?
I heard that last week the cantankerous Chuck Berry- who still lives in St. Louis- was robbed 3 days in a row! Day 1, things were stolen from his house including a beloved Gibson guitar. Next day, “outdoor items” were burgled. Day 3 a U-Haul truck shows up (!) and a neighbor calls police, who arrive to arrest our crafty thieves who went to the well once too often.
Reminded me of when our pal Slappy (name changed for anonymity) was robbed, the cunning culprit climbing in a kitchen window. Slappy figured his trusty Golden Retriever had tail a’ waggin’, prob’ly flopped for a belly rub. Robber had all Slappy’s goods available- electronics, jewelry, personal info- the usual stuff- plus instruments including a $4000 mandolin. But instead, Einstein took a large, heavy jar of change. AND- the coup de gras- nearly 100 CDs (pre-ipod times). But wait- Slappy had a CD carousel where his CDs lived -Genius took only empty cases! Oh, to see the look on his face when he returned to his…hideout.
Another time Slappy went down his basement to beat on his beloved 1970’ish Guild acoustic guitar, and it weren’t there! Devastation! Slappy loved that beast, battle-scarred & beautiful. Had it for years. It propped up his smiling, drunken body on countless occasions. Bought it from Mean Gene, who wrenched on our instruments and wore black t-shirts covered in cat hair. Mad scientist of the luthier world, Geno always regretted parting with ‘er. It has a huge body so we always thought he should have an ever evolving diarama inside it- Custer’s Last Stand, Dylan Goes Electric, etc. Some of my fave songs were hatched on that ‘ol box, yep.
After some sniffing around by a kindly neighbor lady, it was determined that sure-as-shit, a kid had just scored a guitar from another kid in the neighborhood for $40 or somethin. The bold little cuss had just waltzed right in to Slappy’s house.
So Guildy came home from her adventure no worse for wear. Now THAT was a happy reunion…I gotta go get a kleenex…