Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stay Upwind - Or Down If You Can't Find Your Dealer

Tijuana, Mexico

I have a lot of memories as a kid going down to Mexico, staying in some rat infested condo on the beach. We'd drive into town and buy ponchos, marionettes in sombreros, cheap, pig-iron switchblades. When you're a kid horseshit cigarettes and Mexican jumping beans are the most hysterical thing ever.

Getting back in to the states was always a challenge in the 70's. My dad was Hawaiian and invariably some asshole border guard would equate dark skin with border jumper.

But the thing that stands out the most is the sewage stink of Tijuana. Like somebody opened a wound and let it fester for the whole goddamn city. A smell of rotting fish, garbage and poverty. I haven't been down there in 30 years, but I can't imagine the smell has gotten much better.

Just more toxic.

When the Mexican Army has a big enough pile of seized narcotics they'll have a burn. Throw it all together and light it up like some meth monster wicker-man. Even the marching band gets into it. Pomp and circumstance, baby. Gotta have something to go up against all those narcocorridos, I guess.

The latest burn was 28 tons outside of Tijuana. Pot, cocaine, meth. You name it they lit it on fire.

Like this.

They should try this at Burning Man

Can you imagine how toxic that's got to be? Take a deep whiff, folks. That shit'll get you high as a kite for about fifteen seconds.

Before it kills you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Loaded For Bear

Mentone, CA

Ever heard of Bear Spray?

It's mace. For bears.

Which means it's five times more concentrated than that shit the NYPD is spraying on Occupy Wall Street protesters. And we all know what that does now, don't we?

Now who might have bear mace? Why, people living near bears, of course. Like a woman who was out walking her dogs Sunday night near the San Bernardino National Forest, who then came home to find an intruder.

You can guess what happened next.

Yes, she maced him. With bear spray. He ran, got in his car and crashed it. Presumably because he was blind and screaming. When police arrived they found some of the woman's jewelry and possessions in his car and arrested him.

I bet you can't guess what happened after that.

Turns out that the intruder was LAPD Sergeant Lucien Daigle, 44, of the Olympic Division, an 18-year veteran of the department, father of six and owner of a real estate business, which in this market might be why he decided a little B&E wouldn't be a bad idea.

Daigle's been put on administrative leave pending both a criminal and an IA investigation, and is currently out on $125,000.00 bail, which the victim is none too keen about.

Burglar cops. Things must have really tanked for his real estate business. If this isn't an indication that the economy's in the shitter, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shock The Monkey

La Mesa, CA

Happy Halloween, everybody! Sure, it's a little early, but it doesn't mean you can't go trick or treating now.

All you need is a taco stand, a Taser and a gorilla mask.

Two men hit a taco stand early Monday morning in the city of La Mesa in eastern San Diego County. One guy went up to order a burrito and while the clerk was distracted the other one, wearing the gorilla mask, came in with the Taser and got the cash. No actual monkey shocking occurred.

There's a time honored tradition of knocking over places while wearing a mask. Balaclavas, motorcycle helmets, Chewbacca, ex-Presidents. But here's the thing, if it's a two man crew and only one of you is wearing a mask do you think that maybe the victim will be able to, I dunno, identify one of you?

And if they can find one of you, what makes you think they won't find the other?

So remember kids, if you're gonna knock over a taco stand, a liquor store, or a donut shop, don't go the distraction route. Shell out another 20 for an extra mask.

Better yet, don't do it at all. Get a job, instead.

Oh, wait. We don't have those anymore, do we.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Can I Get Fries And A Machete With That?

Los Angeles, CA

You know what these four things have in common? Machete. Taser. Gun. Taco Truck.

No, it's not that you can seriously fuck somebody up with all of them, though that's a good guess. I had a burrito this one time Downtown and man my ass was sore for days. I don't know what the hell was in that thing. Rat meat? Cockroach poop? Fuck, I don't know. But seriously, I was in the bathroom hollering like a banshee for like...



Anyway, the real answer is that they're all part of Saturday's morning fun in Koreatown.

This guy's out at a taco truck around 4am, getting a burger, maybe. I don't know. When this crazy motherfucker walks up, pulls out a machete and starts swinging it around like a 2x4. People are screaming, the owner of the taco truck bails, and crazy motherfucker drags his victim into the back of the truck, presumably to wail on him some more with an old Aztec gardening utensil.

Then he hops behind the wheel, shoves the car into gear and does this:

See, THIS is why we have valet parking in this town.

Nice aim.

Guy gets out of the car. Cops tase him.

Does nothing. Doesn't drop him. Doesn't even slow him down.

Now when you zap somebody with 50,000 volts and he doesn't so much as sneeze that's what we call "A Bad Sign".

And that's when the guns come out. Yeehaw.

No word on why the machete man came out to play. But both victim and Crazy Motherfucker are in the hospital in serious condition, so I'm sure we'll hear more soon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

That Shit's More Expensive Than Tiger Meat

Inglewood, CA

What weighs 35 pounds and will run you 1.7 million dollars?

Inglewood's latest meth haul.

Thirty-five pounds. Can you imagine how high you could get off that shit? And 1.7 million, MILLION, bucks. That's over 48,000 dollars a pound.

Hell, tiger meat, meat from a motherfucking endangered species will only cost you 40 bucks a pound. Or a catty, actually, which is a Chinese unit of weight for selling groceries equal to about 1.3 pounds.

Bet you didn't know that, did ya? See? We're educational. We're like motherfuckin' Sesame Street, man.

Of course, it's nothing compared to the Cullinan Diamond, which at 3,106.75 carats (621.35g or 1.3698 pounds) was the largest rough diamond ever discovered and is estimated at 2 billion dollars before it was cut up into 9 different stones in Amsterdam in the early 1900's.

Or the Titanic, which cost about 400 million in today's dollars to build and weighed in at 92,656,000 pounds, bringing it to...

About 23 cents a pound, actually.

Huh. Meth is more expensive than The Titanic. Learn something new every day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On The Plus Side, There's No Dead Baby

Fontana, CA

Ever heard of a Spanish Prisoner? It's a con where somebody says "I know this rich guy in prison in Spain. And he needs money to help get him out. And when he does he'll be awful grateful to anybody who helped."

A lot of cons are variations on this model. Everything from Nigerian email scams, which are as close to a modern day Spanish Prisoner as you're likely to see, to your run of the mill Ponzi scheme. They all boil down to one thing.

"Give me something real and I'll give you something intangible."

It could be the hope of a later payoff, a sense of security, or, in this case, the idea that you've done a good deed for a dead baby.

Police in Fontana have arrested 4 people in connection with a scam where they were soliciting funds from passers-by to pay for a baby's funeral. They walked around with signs showing the picture of an infant, a generic name, birth and death dates and the words, FUNERAL DONATIONS in big, black letters.

Only there was no dead baby.

The four netted from $700.00 to $1400.00 a day and they'd been doing it for the last year.

And that's where this sort of thing falls apart.

It's actually a pretty good scam. People want to feel like they're helping out. And dead babies? Hell, who doesn't want to help out a family burdened with the devastation a dead baby brings? People are, by and large, good.

If they weren't this shit wouldn't work.

The problem with these guys is that they overstayed their welcome. Cons are like any other crime. You get in, you get your shit and you get the hell out of there. Play it like the Two Minute Rule and you'll probably get away with it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's Talk About Needle

Yesterday, the Fall 2011 issue of Needle dropped. We've got some incredible fiction in here by a whole slew of talented folks. These folks, in fact:

Michael Sheedy, Peter Morin, Michael Moreci, Alan Leverone, Nolan Knight, David James Keaton, Andrew Hook, Daniel Davis, Michael Oliveri, Stephen D. Rogers, Keith Rawson, Art Taylor and Holly West. Plus it has the conclusion of the serialized WOLF TICKETS by Ray Banks.

And last, but by no means least, we've got a previously unpublished story from the estate of deceased pulp hack extraordinaire Gil Brewer who wrote for the sorts of cheesy, over the top pulp mags of his day that we hope to emulate.

Well, with better typography, higher quality art and printing, more stringent submission requirements, and fewer exclamation points.

But other than that, we're just like them.

Okay, we really do try to keep the misogyny out. And all those ads for Spanish Fly and penis lengthening weights, too.

Anyway, none of this would be possible without the guidance of Steve Weddle, the design sense of John Hornor Jacobs and my fellow editors Naomi Johnson, Dan O’Shea, and Matt Funk.

One of the things that separates Needle from all the other magazines out there isn't the quality of the writing. Most, if not all of the writers we've had have been in other publications. They're all fantastic writers and we wouldn't have them if they weren't.

No, the thing about Needle is the production value and the philosophy behind it. John Hornor Jacobs' design and layout makes Needle stand out. This is 200 pages of nothing but fiction. No reviews, no articles. More anthology than magazine. And it's print only.

Yes, this thing is a fucking book.

So if you want to pick up a short story anthology of kick-ass noir fiction that you can't find anywhere else, pick up a copy. Hell, pick up the whole line.  You won't be disappointed.

Buy the Fall issue of Needle here.

Friday, October 07, 2011

I Put A Spell On You

Palmdale, CA

Lightning cracked the desert sky. A coyote howled. The old gypsy women peered above her bifocals, crooked a bony finger at the child.

"Even a man," she said, "who is pure of heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf. Unless..."

"Unless?" said the child, her voice trembling with fear.

"Unless you get me $10K in hot rocks before the month is out."

Jackeline Lopez of Palmdale is accused of scaring a 12-year-old girl into ripping off $10K worth of her parents jewelry.

The "psychic" told the girl that she was cursed and that terrrrrrible things would happen to her if she didn't bring her mom's jewelry to be cleansed in a ritual cauldron. After each ritual Ms Lopez would presumably then shake her head in a very dire fashion and tell the kid, "Nope, sorry. Still cursed."

And so the girl would come back later with more jewelry until, shockingly, mom and dad noticed that the earrings, broach, and diamond studded cock-ring were missing. After asking their darling daughter where the goods were they called the cops.

Detectives found some of the stolen jewelry in local pawn shops and arrested Ms Lopez, who is currently out on $35K bail. They're currently looking for an older, balding gentleman who showed up on surveillance tapes helping her hock it.

Now, obvious jokes aside (She's psychic? She shoulda seen it comin'!) maybe it's not all bupkes. Maybe it's true. Maybe there IS a curse. After all, they're living in fucking Palmdale.

That's like three rings of Hell right there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Watch Out Boy She'll Chew You Up

Chowchilla, CA

So I get up this morning and I take a look at the headlines and I see
And I think, "Man, that's really gonna screw with her modeling career," and the next thing I think is, "Huh, I wonder if he tasted like chicken," and then I think about what part she probably ate, considering the psycho-sexual ramifications of cannibalising one's spouse and think it probably tasted like bratwurst.

And then I sip my coffee and wonder if I should up my dosage.

Back in 1991, model Omaima Aree Nelson, killed her husband of two months, ground up as much as she could in the garbage disposal and then took bags of body parts to ex-boyfriends in the hopes they would hide them for her.

I can just imagine how well those conversations went over.

Ultimately, though, she just had too much to ditch. So she cooked him and ate him. They recovered his roasted head and his hands were deep fried. She went on to say, "Nothing tastes as good as the man I married. It's the sauce that does it."

Of all 230 pounds of the guy the cops never found 80. I always knew those models could pack it away. Eat like birds, my ass. Sure, if they're fucking vultures.

Anyway, she's up for parole and, surprise! the DA thinks that's maybe not the best idea.  I don't know. I think she could be a useful and productive member of society.

Just aim her at rich scumbags who own a blender and a deep fryer and you're all set.