Thursday, February 01, 2007


In the jungle you take plastic or you take one in the ear.

Working for The Company we had "Card Blanch" for any and all expenses. Agent Blanchard would show up with a Bolivian man-purse spilling enough bogus credit cards to float an emirate.

Once we backed a South American coup with Diner's Club. It all started with an argument about banana futures over tiny umbrellas outside Neuva Loja at Traitor Vic's. Vic used the exact same mints in the urinals as he gave out with the check. It was all Dole! Chiquita! DOLE! CHIQUITA! until our buddy Vic sold us out to the Ecuadorian militia, all on account of a nasty 1-star review. Who the hell wants to eat grilled tapir?

Those days are long gone, and so is Vic.

In this new century and throughout the majestic Cascadia, it's no secret that I run a tight edge of the wilderness. Old spooks in the Soviet Remnant will hunt my rabbit for only a whiff of the butt-whisker. It's hard to compete with that.

After being financially forced to scale back tribute to the local "custodians", I see a pack of lowlife junkie squirrels jonesing for peanuts steal my beloved Iltis and run it off a cliff. Men don't let squirrels drive for a reason.

I try to see past it. I study the structural wonder that is the Fleece compound. There be accomplishment, purpose, peace. Expertly jury rigged and twined to an acceptable spectacular, somehow ready to launch one last run at glory.

It took me months to secure that Iltis, a Deutch 4x4 built by Volkswagon during the Europa Jeep circle jerk of 1976. You can buy the stripped down grunt version on Craigslist. Mine was the German officer's edition with command suspension, a Milan missile system, and a heated stein holder that would keep a quart of Dopplebock room temperature from Warsaw to Stalingrad.

Because when what carries you lies ruined with busted nuts among dead junkie squirrels, warm Dopplebock.

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