Saturday, July 24, 2010

Crashing The International Teen Fair (crash WALKER Chapter 11)

Crash Walker woke up fitfully to the acrid odor of horse dung. There was a dark mountain of it not far from the side of his head so the pungence hit him hard. It was stronger than smelling salts. The sun was hitting him square in the face at 7:30 am, a fairly early time to be waking up and a sure sign that the day was going to be hot. He found himself in the middle of a field of tall weeds, basically, an empty lot with a fence around it. How he got in there with a horse, he’ll never know, but the horse was long gone. It was just him and the weeds. He got up, smacking burrs out of his hair.

“Where’s that damned horse?” he thought aloud. Some horses instinctively returned to their owners if they were domesticated enough. He was hidden up in a remote section of the Santa Monica Mountains. He’ll slowly climb down the hill and get back to the city, provided the coast is clear. After an hour of climbing down the hill hitting all the back roads and slowly walking down the beach rather than parallel Pacific Coast Highway he finally reached a roadhouse eatery.

Hot rodders, bikers, and other gearheads patronized this divey diner so he wouldn’t attract attention. There were even a few Venice Beach hipsters eating there but they kept throwing the word “hippie” around, not “hipster”. “Hippie” sounded like such a goofy word, Crash thought. He looked down the road and watched a tow truck pick up a beat-up car with lettering on it. As the truck zoomed by his heart sank lower than it ever did, because he realized it was his car getting yanked. Oh, well. At least the license plate fell off, maybe the car won’t be connected to him, keeping him out of trouble.

Cutting his losses, he glumly ordered a ground beef patty with scrambled eggs, home fries, Wonder Bread toast and a slug of black coffee. Before he could get his first slug of black coffee, someone nudged him, and mumbled, “Hey dig it. Clyde”, and slipped him a note. Walker opened the note scrawled in green pen, which said, “See me at the ITF”, with Kilroy eyes and fingers peering through a fence hurriedly drawn next to it. Walker looked up to see who had handed him the note but the fountain had emptied out to just an old lady sitting there. ITF, ITF…International Tobacco and Firearms? Can’t be that. The short order cook turned up the radio. “Make the scene tonight at P.O.P. the Pacific Ocean Park, home of the International Teen Fair. It’s all happening today so make it don’t break it you gotta shake it Aow!”


The Pacific Ocean Park resided at the end of the Santa Monica Pier with a bathysphere that flew above the park, while statues of Neptune, Poseidon, mermaids and sea nymphs greeted you at every corner. It was a true shrine to the ocean kingdom. There were sea shell spinning rides, a roller coaster called The Flying Dutchman, and a crazy funhouse called Davy Jones’ Locker. Everything was painted in various shades of blue, coral, azure, aquamarine, and it was all offset by Teenage Glitter: candy stripes and metal flakes of bright red, green, silver and gold.

Banners were strewn about the park screaming “International Teen Fair”,“KFWB 98 AM”,“93 KHJ”,“KRLA”, etc. Several bandstands were set up with exhibition booths cradling them: teen star Donna Loren signing autographs, a karate demonstration ready to sign up new students, slot car races with fake roadways, etc. And discotheque lights, even in the daytime, flashing and flickering around. Crash Walker snuck in sheepishly, then cockily slumped into the type that was entitled to his surroundings.

On one stage was “Sam The Sham and The Pharoahs” playing “Little Red Riding Hood”, pachucos dressed up in gold lame suits with Sheik headgear. Kids zoomed by him on skateboards with t-shirts flashing the name of the skateboard company in florescent letters. A dance floor was nearby and miniskirted girls with plastic boots and plastic hats were dancing with guys in striped shirts and board shorts.

“Hey! Hey! Crash! It’s me, Billy!” two arms in the crowd screamed at him. He came closer to the mystery figure, and recognized his friend Billy Bell, the young stunt man.
“Hi, Billy”, Crash smiled, happy to finally see a friendly face for a change. “I hate to admit it, but I’ve never been to a place like this before. All these kids, Jesus!”
“Aha, I see you got my note!”
“Was that you? How did you find me?”
“This guy I know, Motorcycle Pat, told me you were there, so I asked him to float a note your way. Did I scare you?” he laughed.
“No, actually I’m pretty relieved to be here. I had a hell of a night on the Strip”.
“You look it, boss! Hey, check it out, there’s the Dr. Goldfoot Bikini Machine Dancers!” Bell pointed at seven girls in gold bikinis and gold go-go boots lazily dancing on stage to the title theme from the movie by The Supremes.

“Dr. Goldfoot, huh? Wonder if Vincent Price’ll be here”, Bell mused.
“Are you kidding? Price wouldn’t be caught dead at a clusterfuck like this!”
“Those can’t be the girls from the movie, either”.
“No, they look like their mothers”, Walker grumbled. Both men seemed disappointed.
“I’ve got a proposal for you. You’re a pretty big TV star and I’m always looking for thrills”.
“Hold it, let’s get away from this loud racket”, Walker led Bell away from the stage, and they moved over to a corner in the park that was a small hot rod and custom car showroom, showcasing the Beatnik Bandit, Twin Mill, and Mysterion.
Walker was still tired and wanted to lean on one of these fiberglass beauties but they were roped off from bums like him. “409” by The Beach Boys was quietly piped in through the PA.

“Okay, kid, what’s the pitch?”
“So you’re a big TV star and I’m always looking for thrills, right? Let’s go to a big Hollywood premiere and stage a big ass publicity stunt that’ll get his some attention”.
“Attention, huh? You think I need attention? After that freakin’ party we were at? Attention I don’t need. I already have way too much of that. But thanks, anyway”.
“Come on, Walker, I need the press, don’t you have any big projects on the burner?”
“Shit, kid, I wish I could help you…all I have is some goofy vampire film I’m supposed to shoot in Italy, but the girl that asked me’s a nut and she’s probably back in Venice anyway”.
“That’s great, man, let’s do some vampire publicity stunt. I’ll get all the fake blood you need! I can get some fake teeth, the works! Leave it to me! I’ll call you!!!”
“Hey, wait a minute, do you remember that party we were at, that one Flagg yelled at us, and –“
“I gotta split! They’re playing my song!” Bell ran towards a hot blonde, then turned. “Call you!” He raced up to the bandstand as Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band started “Diddy Wah Diddy”.

Walker walked a little further as the shadow of a bathysphere hovered above him. He looked up and thought he saw a camera sticking out of the ride. “Aw, it’s probably just some tourist. Maybe it’s a ‘Wrangler’s Canyon’ fan. Whatever!” he thought. Feeling nervous in spite of himself, he looked around and saw a booth towards the back for Golden Goddess suntan lotion. Jodi Powell, that suntan girl from the party was smiling and signing autographs. She looked up for a brief moment, saw him, and froze. He saw her quickly talking to her friend, another suntanned blonde model, still staring at him and disappeared. Her friend now stared at him with a pissy look.

“Oh, great, that’s just great. What’s next? More cops running after me?” he said to a huge sea horse statue next to him.
“Hey, mister”, a snotty kid in a cowboy hat carrying a comic book said, “why are you talkin’ to that statue?” The kid had bright orange hair under the hat, buck teeth, and a burningly blank stare.
The comic looked mighty familiar. “Lemme see that comic, kid”.
“No! It’s mine!” the kid yelled. Walker leaned over and noticed it was a Gold Key “Wrangler’s Canyon” comic.
“Is that Wrangler’s Canyon? The best TV show ever?”
“Yes it is, and you still can’t see my comic!” The stubborn brat held tight.
“Come on, kid, how much you want for it?”
“I want more than sumpteen dollars for it!” the snot nose wailed.
“Sumpteen dollars, huh? How much is that?”
“Its sumpteen dollars, what else?”
Walker pulled a Lincoln out of his pocket. “Here’s five, is that enough?”
“That’s not enough!”
“Okay, kid, here’s ten”, he pulled out another five, cursing under his breath, “that’s more than sumpteen, now give me the comic”.
“Ten dollars! WoW!” he surrendered the comic and ran away.
The cover to the comic had a poorly inserted collage of still publicity shots from the show with a horse painted in the background. This didn’t impress Walker much.
“Shit, the things I do for fame, now let’s see what’s the fucking deal with this”, he cracked open the Gold Key comic. “What the hell?”

The comic was a stiffly written version of a past episode with equally stiffly rendered art, but most offensive of all was the way Crash was drawn, horse-faced with wrinkles, dressed drably, and with a big, saggy old man’s ass.

“I don’t look like that! Who the fuck are these lousy artists, anyway?”

The other actors from the show were drawn equally bad, but just the fact that Walker looked thirty years older in the comic was enough to make him livid. He was seething.

“Sumpteen dollars, huh? Where’s that fuckin’ kid?”

The complete edition of CRASH WALKER will be available in eBook form on August 2015 via Amazon Kindle, iTunes, Barnes & Noble Nook and other eReaders. Don't miss it!

1 comment:

Busy Gal said...

Sumpteen dollars, Teen fair, saggy ass wrinkled face love it!