Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/common.php on line 106
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/session.php on line 990: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/session.php on line 990: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/session.php on line 990: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/content/53/2133753/html/kovakspi/phpbb/includes/bbcode.php on line 472
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3760: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3762: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3763: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3764: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /common.php:106)
Kovaks Street Scam Forums • View topic - Burnin' Fever, part 1

Burnin' Fever, part 1

Sometimes a good scam will inspire you to write fiction or poetry. Post it here.

Moderator: UnHab

Burnin' Fever, part 1

Postby UnHab on Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:35 am

Although scams are not the main focus of this story, there are several scams that take place in it. The protagonist, Gerry Tovida, is based on an old boss of mine at a valet parking company, and all the scams are real. *** I also make a cameo appearance as Gus Bandini ***

This is the first short story I ever wrote, way back in 2000. I would do things a lot differently now, but still, I think it's a fun quick read, despite its length. Enjoy.

Nothing seemed real to Gerry for the next six hours, even after being slammed like a junkie into the back seat of a police car. He didn’t realize the gravity of his situation until he found himself in a bare concrete holding cell. He felt the cold, rough surface underneath him, and stared at the walls of his cell through his smeared lenses. He saw strange, illegible graffiti. Someone was pounding on the wall in the next cell.

from part 1 of Burnin' Fever, in which Gerry has a life-changing experience.

Gerry Tovida had a gray hair helmet, one even shade,“Exquisite Platinum”. His glasses never had a smudge of grease; he shaved three times a day. Basically, he was obsessed with order and cleanliness. His was a clockwork world, and it was his sacred duty to quash whatever he thought deviant or chaotic.

Despite his precautions those picket fences collapsed. One day, while working at the bank, Gerry accidentally overheard a conversation between two of his employees. He stopped near the door to the break room when he heard some snickering and what seemed like possible deviant behavior.

“Kevin was sayin’ the other day that they'd been doin’ it in Gerry's very own bed, while he's workin' late!”

“Yeah! Kevin told me that he has to turn Gerry's picture around otherwise he gets freaked out and can't perform. He says his buggy eyes seem to follow him even though it's just a picture!”

“Like that famous Italian painting.”

“Yeah! Says Lucille begs for it! Says Gerry's been treatin' her like a little school boy and that he's finally givin’ it to her like a real man should!”

“Man what a dipshit! Maybe now that she left him Gerry will finally ease up a bit. Maybe he got the hint!”

“No way! That guy'll never change. You know some people are just like that... stuck in their own world. I don't think he'll ever get a clue...”

Gerry Tovida gasped at this latest outrage. He had no idea that his problems with his wife were so serious. He had just figured that Lucille needed some personal space. He could understand that. Hell, everybody needs that once in a while. But shamefully succumbing to her bestial nature with one of his employees... and Kevin, no less! The very type of man he despised most. Sloppy, bar hopping, womanizing type. More than anything Gerry was infuriated at the obvious deterioration of his authority at work. Kevin, whom he had been weary of all along, was tempting mutiny among his employees. Gerry gathered himself. I need to strike the cancer at its source! He needed to make a lasting impression on the rest of his employees in order to prevent further lapses in behavior. He braced himself, felt a tingling in the fine down on the back of his head, and walked into the lobby.

The soft murmur of people making their routine transactions and the occasional squeaking of a rubber soul on the polished floor were the only sounds that could be heard. His heart pounded on the pens that were clipped into his breast pocket and he walked briskly in the direction of Kevin Greenhill's cubicle. Kevin was chatting amiably with an old lady as Gerry approached, stopped, and stood directly behind him. Although it was only a typical transaction, Kevin was dragging it on with his inane small talk. The old lady tittered every now and then at his pleasantries. This only infuriated Gerry more, who was waiting for the prime moment to interject. Impatiently tapping his feet on the glossy floor, he scanned the bank. He noticed the other tellers pointing and laughing at him. Even the regional manager, who was there on his weekly inspection, and whom he was hoping to impress, was talking with one of the tellers and shaking his head and chuckling. Seeing this, Gerry's thinning grasp on reality broke and he bared his polished white teeth. His clammy hands stretched out and clutched Kevin Greenhill's neck. They clamped in with an ungoverned, primal strength. He remembered seeing the old woman screaming. The silent fiends behind their desks suddenly sprang into action and soon hands reached in from all sides and struggled to pull him away. The security guard put him in a headlock and soon he felt his extremities grow numb. He went limp, and his vision faded to a white so vast that he lost himself inside it.

Nothing seemed real to Gerry for the next six hours, even after being slammed like a junkie into the back seat of a police car. He didn’t realize the gravity of his situation until he found himself in a bare concrete holding cell. He felt the cold, rough surface underneath him, and stared at the walls of his cell through his smeared lenses. He saw strange, illegible graffiti. Someone was pounding on the wall in the next cell.

It was a couple months earlier, on one of those dry, life-sucking days in the Central Valley, that his world began to fall apart. GerryTovida was holding his annual birthday party, using the occasion to round up his subordinates from work for a “company gathering”. A little indoctrination for the grazing herds, he thought, just to keep ‘em on track. Since he was the absolute master of his domain the Grill King 2000, his cherished barbecue, was off limits to everyone but himself. Missing a step in his obsessive barbecue regimen could spell disaster in the form of an over seared steak or a crumbling hamburger patty. There was nothing worse than missing one of those steps for Gerry. To him, barbecuing was an analogy of life. Like with anything else, it required the right amount of preparation and caution. He couldn't afford to let a lesser man do his job. No one had that extra, brooding concern for detail that had been conceived with him forty-five years earlier. And know one else really cared.

Lucille dragged their half-wit son out from his Nintendo games and forced him to socialize with the guests. Then she plopped down on her aluminum lawn chair after misting it with a water bottle. She watched Skippy sulk among the guests, none of whom were his own age. They were a sparse gathering of Gerry's co-workers at the bank. None of them had anything close to a real friendship with Gerry, but since he was vice-president they felt obligated to attend his birthday party. Gerry, to them, was an enigma, but not one they were intrigued by. He was more like a mosquito buzzing haphazardly around their heads while they tried to sleep. Impossible and irritating, but an inexorable fact of life.

As Lucille rubbed skin cream into her thighs and jabbered on with her friend Connie - her only real entertainment at this event- she watched Skippy approach his father. He stared in wonder at the Grill King 2000. Gerry, because he felt it was the paternal thing to do, somewhat reluctantly let Skippy man the barbecue after dictating a complex set of instructions. Lucille saw Skippy's little hand skewer a hot dog and raise it out of an aluminum tray. It precariously dangled from the metal prong, and as Skippy attempted to move it to the smoking grill, it tipped on the edge of the barbecue and fell onto Gerry's lawn. Gerry yelled at his son and Lucille and the rest of the party watched the spectacle in the middle of the yard. With his hands on his hips Gerry looked down on his son. He relished these moments of domination, finding them, in their own peculiar way, sexy.

“I told you to use the pinchers! The skewer is for testing the meat! Now look at that poor little hot dog on the ground! If I weren’t such an understanding dad I'd make you eat that darn thing! Now how would you like that? Do you want to end up like the Buchanan kids across the street? Those deviants throw rocks at each other and mutilate wildlife for fun!”

Skippy looked up at his dad, his eyes watering, on the verge of tears. He had trouble reading his father's expression behind his thick plastic rimmed glasses. All he saw were two insanely huge eyes peering relentlessly down on him. The sun cast a bizarre sheen off his hair helmet and his smooth doughy face. Skippy, a complete stranger to his father like everyone else, sensed only a primal fear, and for the first time in his young life, resentment. It was an unarticulated thought, but it was a pure rejection of everything that his father stood for. He burst into tears and ran to his mother. He stayed huddled sobbing between his mother’s knees, and Connie leaned closer to confide.

“Now I don't know how you put up with that Lucille. You can't let Gerry treat Skippy like that. It's absolutely terrible for a child's self esteem. My Ronald, now his tail chasin’ father left us a long time ago, as you well know, but if he didn't, I sure wouldn't let him scold him like that. You have to stand up to that man! We're modern women Lucille!”

“You're right. You're right,” sighed Lucille. “But you just have to understand what I go through with him. He has his own way of doing things. If I say anything contrary to him I have to listen to one of his ridiculous speeches! It can take hours and it's so tiresome! It's always about safety or etiquette... it drives me up the wall! He's so paranoid! You should see the alarm system he just rigged around the house, for example. It has trip wires and heat sensors and everything! You'd think we was living in Fort Knox or something! All he told me was ‘Deviants stop at nothing’.”

“My god! How do you put up with it? I wonder about you sometimes Lucille, I really do!”

Connie sat back in her adjacent lawn chair and took a deep drag on a Marlboro Ultra-Light. She let a cloud waft into the dead, hot air. Her pink lip paint stuck to the cigarette and it smeared off onto her fingers as she eyed the guests. She spotted Kevin Greenhill, in her opinion the most handsome teller at Gerry's bank, standing alone among a group of his co-workers. She waved to him and he tipped his baby-blue sun visor in acknowledgment. He walked towards the two women and grabbed three beers out of the ice chest.

“That's mighty nice of you Mr Greenhill! And we didn't even have to ask!” exclaimed Connie.

“Oh shucks, it was nothing. I was getting one for myself anyway,” he replied.

“Thank you Mr Greenhill,” said Lucille.

“You can call me Kevin if you like. We're all friends here.”

He winked at the women and rubbed his hand over his belly. He wiped a beery foam off his thick mustache.

“Hot damn! What a day! This heat sure is cookin' up an awful big appetite. When do you think Gerry will be done with those steaks?”

“Aww don't mind him. Don't bother tryin' to hurry that man. You might make him foul up one of his procedures. I'll be hearin' about it for the next week!” said Lucille.

“Yeah tell me about it! I got to work with him. The other day I forgot to put on my rubber gloves while counting the till and he reprimanded me for not following safety procedures. He said I could contract a contaginous virus or somethin'. He even threatened me with one week of suspension!”

“My god! I'm more amazed with your tolerance with every passing day Lucille! That man is like Hitler!”

“Now, now Connie. We shouldn't talk like that about Gerry in front of his lovely wife. After all, look at the wonderful house they have together. I mean they got quite a set up here with a pool and everything. I think that Gerry must be a great provider.”

“It's all right Kevin. I don't mind hearing your opinions about Gerry. I want you to be relaxed in our house. Remember this isn't work!”

They broke into a smattering of small talk, mostly about the weather and such. There was a pause in the conversation and Kevin bent down and patted Skippy on the head. He challenged him to a race around the yard. Off they went with Kevin's massive body running circles around Skippy. Connie looked at Lucille and winked.

“I think he likes you!”

Lucille just smiled and watched the ill-matched race. She watched Kevin with a fondness at first, admiring his ease with her Skippy. Her mind digressed when her eyes drifted below his belt. She couldn't remember the last time she and Gerry made love. God! It's been ages! she thought. And Gerry's so fast I can hardly even feel it! There's absolutely nothing sexual about that man! She watched Kevin bound about the yard, and Skippy shrieking joyfully when Kevin got down on all fours and invited Skippy to ride on his back. Lucille was a pulpy, gauze-filtered type of romantic. She stared at Kevin and imagined herself with him, under him, on him, bucking in the sexual rapture she had been deprived of for twelve long years. She woke up when Connie nudged her on the arm.

“Now that's a man!”

Gerry had just finished with the grill and noticed the dangerous game his son was playing with Kevin. His deviant employee obviously didn't know how to treat a child properly. He walked over to them, trying to be as commanding as possible, and explained the hazards of such horseplay without the proper safety gear. Kevin got up and shrugged his shoulders at Lucille who was being chastised yet again by Connie for letting Gerry dictate every aspect of her life. Skippy felt his father's overwhelming presence and shrank back into his emotional shell. Then Gerry announced the commencement of the meal, and everyone sat down at their assigned seats.

The food went over well, with everyone complementing Gerry on his fine grilling technique. While he explained in agonizing detail the different facets of a good barbecue, Lucille made a couple nervous glances in Kevin's direction. Both times he was watching her. He even growled and winked at her once. Connie kept patronizing her for putting up with Gerry, but that was old news to her; she'd been hearing it for years. She felt her emotions and desires boil down to a single all consuming urge to be with Kevin, her knight that would take her and Skippy away from her awful husband.

Finally it was time to open the presents - mostly generic items like pocket organizers and empty picture frames – and everyone was thinking up plausible excuses to leave. Then came Lucille’s turn. Gerry took the small limp package from Skippy and awkwardly kissed him on the forehead. Skippy grimaced and ran back to his mother. Then Gerry peeled open the wrapping paper and took out a folded piece of cloth. He studied it carefully and turned it around, demonstrating his last and most significant gift. It was a cooking apron, with pockets and loopholes for various gadgets of questionable use. In bold black print that ran across the breast of it was printed MASTER OF FIRE. Lucille had bought it at Connie's behest, while they were shopping at the local Thriftymart. It was meant to be a practical joke - a prelude to the real gift, a set of binoculars that Gerry had been telling her about for months. But before Lucille had a chance to present the real gift, Gerry stood up, commanded everybody's attention, and put the apron on, proudly rubbing his hands over the bold black print. The sun cast down on him, once again producing that bizarre sheen. His magnified eyes scanned the assembled guests, and a thin smirk spread across his face. Yes, I am the Master of Fire, he thought. Some people are chosen for this fate and I have chosen to wear mine proudly and obstinately like all the great men of history! The movers and the shakers! The pioneers of modern society! He took a deep, meditative breath. Everybody was silent as Gerry contemplated the latest affirmation of his authority over his delinquent associates. Lucille looked at him with unmitigated scorn. "Gerry Tovida," she muttered under her breath, the man who had ruined twelve years of her life. Then her mind rested on one final and unshakable conclusion: This man is an absolute fool.

Things started going bad. To start with, his lawn had ominously died, probably a result of an experimental chemical treatment he applied a few days earlier. He had been overzealous in his quest for the greenest lawn on the block and it ended up becoming the neighborhood's biggest disgrace.

Then Skippy had been suspended from school for fighting, which came as a surprise to everyone, considering his passive nature. Apparently, the other children were making fun of the reflective safety flags that his father had mounted on his bike. Skippy came home one night with a black eye and a smashed safety helmet. His bike was found the next morning mounted to theschool's flagpole, a hundred feet up in the air. Gerry blamed the whole incident on the other children’s parents, who had no concept of the dangers a child had to face in the modern world, and obviously hadn’t instilled proper values. But he also scolded Skippy for associating with such bad influences.

And Lucille was becoming increasingly insolent, constantly challenging his brilliant paradigms for social harmony. She even neglected to activate his complex burglar alarm system on days when he was working late. He came home on a couple occasions, parked his Suburban in its prized spot, and was shocked to find himself in the dark. The motion detectors hadn't been activated and the 1000-Watt halogen flood lamps stayed dim in their sensibly mounted vantage points. He blamed the recent lapse in Lucille's behavior on Connie, that trailer trash deviant who was openly hostile to his every move.

Gerry, incorrectly fingering Connie as the most likely source of his recent troubles, plotted a sufficiently expedient series of events to sever her relationship with Lucille. But while Gerry was in the staging moments of his plan, the biggest blow was soon to come. Lucille had begun a sordid affair with Kevin Greenhill, his co-worker. One evening, after a particularly long day at work, he came home to a house devoid of life. Lucille and Skippy had left, and were staying in a spare room at Connie's place.

In just a few days news of Kevin's affair with Lucille had spread at work, and soon Gerry was the butt of everyone's loud and indiscreet jokes. He was shocked when confronted with the truth. No one, it seemed, took him seriously. Everything he had tried to build up, all his paradigms, his master plans, his efforts to control deviance, were in vain. Kevin, that treacherous snake in the grass, had corrupted his own household. Gerry’s rage could not be contained.

A month after the attempted strangling he was released from county jail. Kevin Greenhill, perhaps feeling a tinge of guilt, declined to file any charges on him and Gerry was free to go with a restraining order on Kevin and his wife and his son. He had been defamed in the local newspapers and television networks. He had lost his job, his family, and his house. He packed everything he owned into his Chevrolet Suburban and drove to the bank for one last withdrawal.
Never again would he trust those deviants. Obviously, even with all the precautions and security measures that they were required to follow, they could not be trusted. They had re-affirmed his paranoid vision of the world once and for all. He walked into the bank and was greeted deferentially and suspiciously. He could sense their nervousness. He chose a teller two desks down from Kevin Greenhill and made a final cash withdrawal of exactly $29,342.01. He officially closed out his account and walked out into the midday heat. The black tar was soft and gave a little under his patent leather shoes as he walked to his car. He set a metallic briefcase with his life savings in it on the passenger seat and ignited the engine. He started driving, first one highway, then the next, the yellow rolling landscapes blending into each other. He found himself on Interstate 5, heading north to San Francisco. He turned the radio on for the sake of turning it on. The station that came through the best was playing something by the Sassy Girls. One of Skippy’s favorite bands, he sadly remembered. He turned the volume up, rolled down the window and drove into the dead landscape. He was heading north, to better parts. Gerry Tovida imagined himself as the tormented loner, the outsider. Ahead of his time. The American icon, a new kind of pioneer. The basic rhythms and the structured harmonizing of the teeny pop music vibed with him. Gerry rested his hand on his life savings and smiled. Then he glanced at the speedometer to make sure he wasn't surpassing the speed limit.

The only person Gerry Tovida could turn to in his time of desperate need was his old friend from the Army, drillmaster Killfrick. Despite five strokes and a skewed sense of reality, Killfrick still remembered Gerry, the runt of the bunch. He had always obsequiously obeyed every order handed down to him, and was quickly promoted. That was the beginning of their relationship. After five years in the army, Gerry was a shining example of mindless militaristic perfection. He lived for the cleanliness and the punctuality that the military demanded of him. So when Gerry called Killfrick from the county jail and told him about his situation, he was immediately summoned to Pier 39 in San Francisco, the headquarters of Killfrick’s floundering enterprise in human brainwashing: Eager Beaver Valet Parking. Killfrick knew that Gerry was still his man.

There really wasn't any viable need for Gerry's presence at the company, but Killfrick wasn't one to turn away old friends. That’s how he arbitrarily came up with a new position: Eager Beaver Safety Monitor. Luckily, it perfectly suited Gerry’s disposition. Gerry jumped on the opportunity and listed all the possible threats unsafe behavior could produce. Indeed, Killfrick’s company seemed to be falling apart on him financially, and he was convinced after listening to Gerry that there were unsafe deviants at this very moment sabotaging the good name of Eager Beaver Valet Parking.

And so life begun anew for Gerry. He used his truck for living quarters - not out of necessity, but because of his constant paranoia. At least there he could be the master of his domain. He then set about organizing his cramped space, and after that was done, because of his renewed manic drive, he began to count and recount his life savings - still safely secured in his metallic brief case. After several counts with the same result he still wasn't satisfied, so he separated the bills into stacks corresponding to their denomination. Then he itemized the bills according to their serial numbers. Then according to their bank of origin. Not that this would make a difference in the overall sum of his money, but having them ordered like that gave him a peace of mind.

At the office Killfrick would give him schedules of the day's valet parking events. They were usually at restaurants or mansions in the upper Broadway/Pacific Heights area. He would park in a discreet area and spy on the valets with the binoculars that Lucille had given him, one of the few relics that he kept of his former life. Their original purpose was to spy on the neighbors’ kids in his vigilant efforts to quench their dangerous behavior. But he found it just as thrilling to spy on his new underlings. He soon learned the routines of Eager Beaver parking. Gerry took notes on their parking techniques from his various hideouts. Sometimes he would pull out from his hiding spot and drive slowly by the event, noting the behavior of the Eager Beavers. He tried to be as casual as possible, playing his new Sassy Girls tape at a sufficiently safe volume and slyly looking to the side. He was even more disturbed when he saw what was happening up close; some were sitting on the curb, others were gambling on the hood of a customer's car, and one Asian kid even had the audacity to play with a Gameboy on the job.

At night he would return to the office and file his notes before retiring back to his truck. Then he drove to a remote parking lot he had discovered in the Marina and slept. His dreams were often horrifying. In one recurring nightmare of his, he would be in Killfrick’s rickety old Cadillac without his seatbelt fastened. Although he was sitting in the driver's seat he couldn't control where he was going. Somehow, the car was driving itself, turning and skidding and accelerating at dangerous speeds, going over rough mountainous terrain and barely missing cliff edges. He tried pressing the brake pedal and turning off the ignition, but nothing would stop the car. He couldn't even throw himself out, because somehow he was trapped inside. Then, in the final shocking sequence of his dream he would look up and see the young Asian kid with the Gameboy standing on top of the mountain. Somehow, he was controlling the movements of Gerry's terrifying journey by a remote control inside the Gameboy. When Gerry's car hit the side of a mountain or slammed into a tree the kid would laugh hysterically. Then his car would head for a cliff edge making no signs of braking or turning. Gerry would be launched in his rusty missile into the unknown, screaming until he woke up drenched in sweat.

Exactly three weeks after Killfrick had hired him, Gerry Tovida arranged a meeting to report his findings. Gerry sat down in a plush chair in Killfrick's densely decorated office. The walls were covered with military decorations and diplomas. A replica of a Civil War bayonet was hung next to a wooden placard with a boar's head mounted to it. On Killfrick's desk was a pair of elephant tusks. He sat framed behind the ivory arches looking like a frazzled safari guide, with his one partially paralyzed arm - a result of a Viet Cong ambush in 'Nam - resting on his lap. He wore a patch on his right eye, nobody knew why, but it did enhance his outlandish image. He lifted his dog-eared Army Stetson and barked.

“So what is it Tovida! You got some news for me or what? C'mon pal! Cough it up!”

“Yes, Sir. I have some news for you. As you know I've been scouting your events, learning the basic routines of your company. Through methodical research I've been able to localize various weak points in your company's procedure.”

“C'mon pal! Killfrick does not have all day here! You... you think this is some kind of circus! Facts! Facts!”

“Uhh... yes. Facts.”

Gerry reached under his seat and pulled out five legal pads full of meticulous notes.

“Hmmmm... let's start here,” he said as he fingered through a stack of crisp yellow pages.

“I've been keeping a list of unsafe activities going on at your events. For one, I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be any concern for the surrounding traffic during the events. I've often noticed that the parking coordinators that are supposed to wave the cars into the valet zone are often absent, either urinating in the shrubbery... which I may add is very unsanitary considering I haven't seen any of them wash their hands afterwards... or arm wrestling with co-workers on the hoods of parked cars. These are just examples, Mr Killfrick, sir. I assure you that you would be in for a great shock or another stroke if I listed all the unspeakable activities that I have witnessed. Also, I've noticed that the regulation pylons that you have your employees install on the perimeter of the valet zone are faded and dull, far from their original vibrant orange. Now, through some independent research... on my off hours I will add... I have found a supplier with magnificent three and a half foot pylons with reflective safety stripes. I have a list of prices if you're interested. Another safety measure I might add, a sure fire way of reducing the number of costly accidents...”

The last five syllables uttered from Gerry's motoring mouth woke Killfrick from a paranoid daydream about joyriding valets. One thing he hated more than anything was accidents, a constant financial drain. No matter what he had tried, the accidents kept happening, as if according to a statistical law.

"Did you say costly accidents pal?” he blurted.

“Yes sir. Costly accidents.”

“C'mon! Tell me! Tell me!”

“I've noticed that although there is a required uniform... the brown pants and the brown jerseys... your event supervisors hardly seem to enforce the dress code. I've even noticed employees with their shirts untucked and wearing non-regulation sneakers. On one occasion I even...”

“C'mon pal! What’s your point! Killfrick wants to hear more about these... these costly accidents!”

“I was only trying to emphasize my point, that even if your employees followed the regulation dress code properly... which most of them don't... they are still unsafely obscured in the evenings because of their dark uniforms. I did some more research on this subject and I have concluded that with proper reflective gear, and brighter, lighter colors, your employees will be visible even in the darkest suburban street... thereby alerting unsafe drivers, and hopefully, reducing costly accidents. I went to a uniform supplier downtown and picked up these as samples...”
Gerry reached for a cardboard box next to him and pulled out a pair of stiff brown industrial work pants with a reflective safety stripe that ran lengthwise down the sides. Then he pulled out a bright orange windbreaker with EAGER BEAVER VALET printed in blocky black letters on the back. Killfrick nodded and grunted while rubbing his bristly chin. Gerry, with a sense of relief, noticed what seemed to be approving gestures coming from his boss. He took a deep breath and reached into the box for his final demonstration. This was something conceived by Gerry during one of his restless nights; it was to be his magnum opus, his gift to his savior, drillmaster Killfrick. In the cramped sweaty confines of his Suburban he dreamt up the answer to Killfrick's struggling valet parking company. Something that would give it an edge, character above the competition, a distinctive look. The Eager Beavers would finally be proud of the valet flagship they represented. He pulled out a specially modified brown baseball cap with the Eager Beaver logo stamped on its front. Attached to the back of the hat were two furry brown flaps, and attached to the front, at the tip of the long brown bill, were two reflective white teeth hanging stiffly from their perch (of course, they were sufficiently short as to not obscure the valet's view). Killfrick gasped with delight, and in an unusual sign of affection he reached out with his left, unparalyzed arm and shook Gerry's moist hand.

“It... it’s genius!” exclaimed Killfrick.

Gerry beamed like a schoolboy after giving an apple to a teacher. Once again his vision had triumphed and he was paving the way towards a disciplined, successful company. Now that he had the best of Killfrick's wavering attention, Gerry went on to describe the various deviant activities he had recently witnessed. Among them were gambling, smoking, and video game playing. He also noticed suspicious exchanges. Gerry suspected that money was somehow being stolen, but he wasn't quite sure. Killfrick, who had obsessed about this for years, who had fired and rehired employees for pilfering, who had probably instigated a good part of his five strokes fretting over this very subject, bared his teeth and growled at Gerry:

“Catch those fuckers, whatever you do! They're gonna be the end of me!”

Gerry left the meeting considering it a success. Killfrick sat back in his chair and dozed off. For the first time in years he slept peacefully, without nightmares of jungle ambushes and burning Vietnamese villages. And his former employees, those treacherous sons of bitches, who had started rival companies and stolen many of his clients, who had instigated strokes and soul-eating paranoias, were a thing of the past. He was confident that his boy Gerry Tovida would finally bring his valet company the fame and respect it deserved. A ray of sun highlighted a tasseled banner that hung on the wall opposite him. In gold print on a brown background it read: EAGER BEAVERS, here to pleaser! Killfrick grumbled happily in his sleep.


Read Part 2 of Burnin' Fever
User avatar
UnHab
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:11 am

Return to Story Time

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron