Mike’s California adventure


I won’t be turning in a column this week because I … I have the flu. Yeah, that’s it, the flu. The one that’s been going around. You probably heard about it. There’s this flu that’s been going around, and I got it. By the way, have I ever mentioned that you are not just a good writer and editor, but a GREAT writer and editor, one of the greatest who ever lived, ever? Please remember I said so.

Dear Mister Boegle,

We have never met, so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Scoop Newsworthy. I am Mike Price’s imaginary friend.

Look, I don’t want to rat anybody out or anything, but I am a reporter.

What happened was, even though he knows something stupid always happens when he goes over to California, Mike went over to California. Needless to say, something stupid happened.

After an arduous morning of hotelevision channel surfing, Mike ventured out in search of post-video nutrients, as is his wont whilst visiting foreign climes.

Admit it. You don’t get that kind of high-class writing from Price.

So there he was, taking in the midday smog and minding his own business, little suspecting that Distress awaited. But it did. Distress always awaits him in California. It’s, like, a Cosmic Truth.

Mike happened to glance into the open doorway of a cocktail lounge, and there it was, good ol’ Distress, perched invitingly on an unoccupied barstool right next to an attractive, distinctly sexy individual of the female persuasion.

She’s the one who caused the problem. After exchanging names, the first thing she said to him was, “Would you like to see my Volvo?”

As you know, sometimes Price doesn’t listen very closely. Assuming he was being initiated into some bizarre New Age California custom, he politely responded, “I’d be honored, ma’am, and would you care to take a gander at my scrotum?”

Mike’s pants were halfway down when a big man sitting on the opposite side of her became alerted by his wife’s screaming. Turns out that she and this large dude had been married to each other less than a week. Huffiness occurred. Nostrils flared. Through tightly clenched teeth, he ordered your intrepid columnist to “step outside.”

Fourteen hours later, Price implored the bartender to walk him to his car and safety. She refused.

What we’ve learned thus far: (a) those Californians really are way too preoccupied with cars, (b) those Californians really are way too inclined toward conclusion-jumping, and (c) those California bars really do close at 2 a.m.

As one might expect, the guy was waiting outside. He pointed to a house situated next to the parking lot, said he lived there, and said he’d been watching for Mike out his bedroom window. “Now you’re in for serious pain,” he declared. “I know karate and tai chi.”

“You don’t scare me,” came Price’s blistering retort. “I know origami and feng shui.”

As his face hit the concrete, Mike noticed a dollar bill stuck to the guy’s shoe. It took him only a moment to fold it into the prettiest swan the guy ever saw. Instead of admiring such deft handiwork, however, the guy just went ahead and beat the crap out of Price.

Mike got even. He waited until they left for work the next morning, then slipped into their house and rearranged all the furniture into a very unlucky pattern.

He should be out on bail soon. They promised to drop the breaking and entering charges, but can we really trust those nutty Californians?

Your new imaginary friend,
Scoop Newsworthy