...And All I Have on Is...

       RC Monson / Humor
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…and all I have on is…



RC Monson
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©2017 RC Monson. All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9781370357901

Cover Design: Livewire Productions
Photo courtesy of ravishly.com

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One clear cold moon-bright evening in January, Matt Stoker and his friends decided the time was right to take the party outside to the Jacuzzi. The usual gang was composed of about six guys and four girls, give or take a few, all of them screaming drunk. Rock music throbbed a steady beat behind the voices of everybody talking at once. Stoker’s studio wasn’t quite big enough to fit all the people, but it was strategically laid out with a big living area, a small kitchen nook, an even smaller sleeping nook and a tiny bathroom. Everyone agreed that taking a quick dip would be a grand idea except a couple of older gals who were afraid the water was probably still too cold. These two lived upstairs directly above Stoker and were a tad more sensitive and sensible than the rest of Stoker’s high school crowd of mostly art department oddballs and outcasts: Stoners, one and all, incipient alcoholics for the most part—a lively and spirited bunch. Stoker was among the first to start peeling his clothes off.
Most of the morning’s snow had melted by mid-afternoon, as was normally the case when it occasionally snowed in Las Vegas, so Stoker and his workmates at the Desert Rose Apartment Village had uncovered the Jacuzzi and fired up the heater at the end of their shift. Several hours had passed since then, and when the first brave souls emerged from Stoker’s apartment, a frigid gust of wind met them halfway to the pool. Stoker paused for a moment to shudder from head to toe and then made a run for it. He tippy-toed his large muscular frame, barefoot and bowlegged, across the icy pavement. Casting aside a beach towel that had been draped over his broad shoulders, he nimbly hopped in feet first: SPLOOSH.
“Yoweeeeee!”
The sound traveled through a dense cloud of steam that mushroomed upward to stupendous heights above the Jacuzzi: SPLOOSH SPLOOSH SPLOOSH, as other early arrivals disappeared into the misty shroud. “Ahhhhh! Perfect!”
“This is fantastic!”
“Gotta love it!”
Stoker set aside his beer and immersed his frozen fingertips in the hot gurgling water. Icicles formed on the wet tips of his blue-black, shoulder-length hair. He greeted one of his workmates who had been sitting in the Jacuzzi when he arrived. “What’s up, Joe?”
“Nothing much. Just mellowing out awhile before heading out to the club.” Joe was old enough to go clubbing, which always triggered little pangs of envy and admiration in a high school kid who hadn’t yet figured out how easy it is to get a fake ID.
“Going to the strip club to see Angela, are you?”
“Yup. I suppose I’ll move out in a few minutes. Make room for the rest of your crew.”
Meanwhile, a few latecomers joined them in the water, one by one, followed by all the young women in a tight cluster bearing beach towels, blankets, and wearing coats. They took off their shoes and slipped out of their coats and gingerly scooted their bikinied bottoms into the shallower end of the Jacuzzi. The last two stragglers, the sensible ones, were still in street clothes. They dragged a couple of patio chairs over close to Jacuzzi’s edge so they could continue to participate in the other girls’ hilarious conversations.
It’s not easy to keep track of time when you’re all boozed up and the reefer is circulating among a group of friends engaged in a chaotic calamity of garbled voices, but it didn’t seem very long before somebody inside some nearby apartment must have called the cops. Perhaps Stoker and his crew might’ve been getting a little too rowdy. Hard to tell. Anyways, here came a couple of cops who looked mighty intent on disrupting their festivities. They came strolling along the long side of the covered swimming pool. Stoker figured they would just take the booze and send all his friends home, as usual. Unfortunately, a few of the guys and gals were feeling a wee bit too lively and started getting cheeky with the cops.
“Uh oh. Looks like we’ve got company.”
“Cheese it! The pigs.”
“Quick! Ditch the smack.”
Stoker and his pals didn’t always deal very well with authority figures.
The two sensible neighbors rose from their patio chairs and headed for the stairway leading up to their apartment, but one of the cops shouted, “Where do you two think you’re going?”
“We were just thinking—” said the one gal, and then the other one took up where she left off, “Well, seeing as you guys showed up—” and then the other one went ahead and finished up their thought, “We figured the party is pretty much over now and we might as well go home. We don’t mean to cause any trouble, officer.”
Not bad, thought Stoker, considering that two minutes ago they were both slurring like drunken sailors, showering themselves with cigarette ashes. Amazing how fast you can sober up once the adrenaline starts pumping. Stoker suddenly felt noticeably more sober himself. But one of the guys was too far gone to control his tongue. “Why don’t you goons go pick on someone your own size?”
“Well, to begin with we’ve got a bunch of inebriated minors to contend with here. That’s one reason. Do I need any more? No, I don’t. So shut your pie hole and keep it shut, unless you’re spoken to. Understand?”
The police officer’s message was clearly understood by all and we all complied with his wishes from that point forward, yet his partner had already gone beyond the point of no return. “You two come over here a minute.” He seemed to have had it in for the two sensible girls who had attempted to slip away. “I need to see your IDs.”
Both young women had their purses handy and presented driver’s licenses without delay. The officer examined one and then the other, comparing photos to actual faces, and handed the IDs back. “Sorry. You ladies are going to have to come with us. Please turn around and put your hands behind your back,” he says to the one, and then turning to his partner, “Cuff that one, will you? And then escort them both out to the car. I’ll take care of these clowns.”
“But, Officer, we’ve been cooperative. What in the world are you going to charge us with?”
“Contributing to the delinquency of all those minors over there.”
“Ah, man, that’s all fucked up!” Stoker spoke up in his neighbors’ behalf. “They didn’t provide us with a damned thing,” which was a barefaced lie, “We were already stocked up by the time they got here,” which was another one.
“Yeah, right. I suppose you’re the one who’s hosting this little shindig?”
“Yep, that would be me,” said Stoker. “I work with the maintenance team here, me and Lucas over there. We’re still kinda celebrating the New Year, I guess you could say.”
“Yeah, I remember you. And believe me, that’s not a good thing. But I suppose the most expedient thing to do here is confiscate the illegal liquor and send you children home. Either that or waste half the night booking the lot of you into the D-Home, just so the judge can send you home tomorrow.”
Precisely what Stoker was hoping to hear. And he also had an intimate understanding of the drill that followed. Out of the pool they all went and straight inside, where they changed into street clothes and turned over nearly a case of beer to the Policemen’s Afterhours Gratuity Fund. C’est la vie. Stoker figured that, bad as it was to give up the beer, it was still a damn sight better than spending the night in the slammer. He even carried the beer out to the cruiser and put in the trunk. He asked the gals in the back seat if they needed any help with bail. They said no, but thanks anyway. They would be calling a lawyer and, at that stage of the game, had every intention of bringing suit against the arresting officer. Stoker was no expert in the law and had no idea what might come of that, but he did think it was pretty rotten what happened to his upstairs neighbors.
“There’s no justice in the world, I tell you,” he said to Lucas after everyone else had left. “No good turn goes unpunished.”
“Nope,” Lucas replied. “I suppose that would be a little too much to ask.”
They put on coats and walked over to Lucas’s place on the far side of the complex to get some of the beer they had originally earmarked for tomorrow. The backup stash served its purpose well, so well in fact that Lucas passed out on the couch before midnight. Stoker found himself half crocked, staggering home with a six-pack in one frozen hand and a swirl of frosted breath encircling his head as he walked home alone along the cold silent walkway. In spite of any negative aspects of his existence, Stoker felt very lucky to have an uncle and aunt so kind as to put him to work in apartment maintenance. Granted, the pay was a bit chintzy, but when you figured in the free onsite studio apartment, it sweetened up the deal considerably. Stoker’s tiny studio at the Desert Rose was like some kind of heaven on earth after enduring nearly two decades of living under his tyrannical father’s roof. It was as if his life had begun anew the moment he escaped from his old man’s crushing authoritarian grip.
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