My Life as a Bag Man

I used to work for a gangster. No kidding, a real gangster, spelled with an “r” not with an “a.” Finis Patrick Anderson, ecepranauer extraordinaire! He ran strip shows, head shops, did a little bootlegging on the side, and had this ranch south of town where he entertained the power elite of Killeen. My mother put me to work for him after my first divorce because she got tired of me moping around the house crying like a little girl.
I started my career in the My O My Club down on Ave. D. There were no bars in those days and we served a kind of “near beer,” called MetBrew to the soldiers, as they watched the girls dance. The girls would sit at the tables pumping them for drinks, which was 7UP and a shot of Coke to give the appearance of champagne. I was the doorman, and eventually worked my way up to bartender, if you could call it that. I’d pour the MetBrew into a frosted mug, and send out a drink to the lady. There were little plastic cups behind the bar, and every time I served a girl a drink I’d drop a little wooden token in the cup with her name on it. At the end of the night the girls would add up their tokens and Pat would settle up.
Eventually I rose to “bag man” which was the guy who stood back about twenty feet at the bank parking lot at four AM while the assistant manager dropped the proceeds of the evening into a chute for the morning deposit. Average drop was around fifty thousand. Don’t ask! To insure the safety of the drop I carried a Ruger 357 single action peace maker under my coat with a six inch barrel. Everybody in downtown Killeen had a gun. The pimps, dope pushers, prostitutes, the girl ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, EVERYBODY! Believe it or not, this was a polite society. The only time I saw anyone get shot was in an alley between our back door and the bus station during a shootout with the cops. I ran in yelling at Pat about it. He was counting money, and never looked up, only saying, “Same thing as always, somebody talking when they should have been looking.”
Pat moved me out to his ranch to work, and I helped in his store opposite the My O My to be security and work the counter. I was instructed never to charge the prostitutes any tax on their purchases. Pat said if the government won’t tax them then neither would he. Pat kept me insulated from the darker side of his business out of respect for my mother. In those days I didn’t drink, and I was waiting on my wife to come back, so I didn’t have any relationships with any of the girls, either. This went a long way with Pat’s “investors” from Houston, as I was considered loyal and unapproachable.
I did learn a lot of the tricks of the trade, and developed a “Spidey Sense” that I still have to this day. My youngest is always hanging with the “HomeBoys,” and is almost constantly in jail. I went with him to a motel recently and sat with them. I looked around, and we had about ten people in one room, all hanging out the door, with backpacks everywhere, clear field of vision across the parking lot to GOD, and they wonder where all the heat comes from. Pat and his entourage never did that! Tie, nice coat, eat breakfast every morning at nine AM with Pat at my mother’s café downtown. Everyone spoke in low tones, and the police knew us all by name. The one time I was arrested for running a real bar that Pat’s company had set up without a license, I was questioned by the police for about two hours, and then the right honorable Joe Barron, Attorney at Law, showed up and the police smiled and let me go. After that, although I was never in the inner circle, I was trusted with much more than just a door man job.
I never saw any drugs. Pat was the task master at skirting the letter of the law, selling things in his shops that were just under the radar. The police were everywhere, and we had their back as much as they had ours. They money was good. It didn’t take much for me. I didn’t smoke, drink, or party, so meals and gasoline were about it for me. There was one incident where another bag man, Jack, put the money in his car and forgot to take it to the bank. He later got drunk, and I stole the bag, but since he had the key to the drop box I had to take it home, where I put it in my freezer for the night. When I showed up for breakfast the next day, one of Pat’s group, Phillip, told me breakfast was delayed and that I was to report to Pat in his office across the street. When I entered Pat’s office, Jack was sitting in a chair, crying like a newborn baby, with Sandy, one of the division managers of our club group from Austin was talking to him in that low monotone. I put the bag on Pat’s desk, and did not lie. Sandy counted it, checked the receipts, and handed me five hundred dollars, looking at Jack he said, “Take a good look at the man saved your life. You’re FIRED!”
Pat would die from a heart attack. My mom died. Just the other day I went down to Ave. D. Where my mother’s café was is a little park now with benches. I sat on one and looked around. Pat’s store is now a food bank. The old My O My is some kind of church. Everything seems to be written in Korean now. The city is trying to give the area a tourist look with 1890 style lamps and rails, but all the people are gone. I saw one old man, who look familiar. There was this pimp who had one working girl, and she got pregnant. It put the man, Gacy, out of business. One night, after hours, we and the cops all got together and took up a collection and gave it to Gacy to help him through the hard times. I miss those days.

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin


Live Like You Wanna Live

When the Republic of Texas is reestablished it’s not going to be like everybody thinks. Texas has a combination of the spirit of liberty, and a little bit of common sense. We believe it’s the government’s job to pave roads, put out fires and leave folks alone! So many problems in the world could be easily solved if these concepts were adhered to.
In the Republic we’d have a simple tax. A nine, or ten percent tax on everything you buy would pay all the bills. Consider this; how much tax does a meth dealer pay? I mean, you can’t exactly put that number on a line in a 1040 form. Cash received: Ten million dollars. Expenses: One bottle of Drano, and a horse tranquilizer. Net profit: Nine million, nine hundred, ninety-nine thousand dollars and ninety-nine cents. Much easier to just tax the dealer on the new Mercedes he buys. See how that works?
“Oh,” you say, “but meth is illegal!” Au Contraire! Not in the New Republic. If you want fire up, just trot down to Spec’s and pick up a quarter bag, rock, or anything else you desire. We ain’t got no war on drugs, and all the former Cartel members are back mowing lawns where they should be. You see, that’s where wars lead you. You take prisoners, i.e. and kid puffing a joint, you gotta put ‘em in POW camps, (prisons) and you have to feed them. Soon, you got prisons full of pot heads and the guys in the Cartels are driving those Mercedes I was talking about. “But, Wilbur, dope is bad for you. “DUDE! So are cigarettes. So is McDonald’s for that matter.
Gay marriage? Since the Republic will not be issuing any marriage licenses we won’t have to worry about that. Marry a tiger to a chair for all we care. You have the Government Issue permission for a personal event, and then tell me all about separation of church and state. We’ll leave pimping to the whore houses. If you can find someone to pronounce the vows, live like you wanna live. You want to marry your same sex friend, and settle down in a neighborhood full of redneck Texans, HEY, who am I, right? Personally, I find all sex disgusting unless I’m directly involved.
Pro-Choice. No worries. If some girl gets pregnant and just can’t see having a baby we will provide free abortions. However, since the girl has already proved that she is a homicidal, irresponsible slut, we will also tie them tubes while we’re in there. Now the Republic doesn’t mind you being a slut, but you only got one get out of slut free card. After that, like I said, live like you wanna live.
Gun control. This one is easy. You see, we’re gonna correct the constitutions. Second Amendment: Uh, ya’ll can have guns, ok?” You don’t even need a Supreme Court for that one. They’ll be too busy marrying gays anyway. We’ll basically put that court back where it belongs. Wills, probate, traffic tickets, stuff that matters. We’ll leave making laws to the legislature. Balance of power? Shucks. If they give a ruling that oversteps their bounds the president will just go over and fire ‘em. See how that lightens the load?
Immigration. Now this is a tough one. Within thirty days of the formation of the Republic, seeing as we will have no corporate tax, every company in California will move to Austin, so we’ll have to be diligent about those people coming here taking jobs away from Texans. Also, since Texas produces the best of everything we will have to have standards on the hemp crop.
International relationships. Short and sweet: We’ll hire Putin.
Death penalty. We have to concede here. Texas will be a new Republic, and money might be tight for the first few years. We can’t have no long drawn out appeal process, so a thirty day limit on that stuff will be required. Also, we can’t afford no fancy-dancy lethal injection. We’re just a gonna hang you. That way we can reuse the rope.
I really think this is gonna work out. Texas will be the greatest country in the world. Oh, yeah, Muslims. . . QUICKIE MARTS! I should run for president, I really should.

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin

Buddy Christ

A writer never writes anything good when things are going right. A good article comes when there is adversity. You want adversity? Just try discussing religion with a Mormon! You may as well be sticking your thumb up a lion’s butt. If you’re a good writer you try to fly high over the issues and figure out what’s really going on, and how does it apply to the human condition. How does this discussion fit into the big picture?
Back in the day, the day being about one hundred and fifty years ago, people went to quilting bees, political rallies, cook outs, and Church! That was because Hollywood was a stretch of desert without water. Back then the idea of going to a gathering of people, all talking the same stuff, eating brisket, square dancing, and all the rest was comforting. The preacher with his rules and collection plate didn’t bother anyone. Nobody really cared how much of their personal freedom of thought was given up because of these things, and besides, that’s what forgiveness was for, right?
Time and tears went by, and people began to understand that there just might be other things to do besides fish on Friday, and spend an entire Sunday morning listening to some old man expound hell. Now hell is a very good concept, so long as it’s someone else going there, and not you! That’s how organized religion works. We’re going to heaven, they’re going to hell. Of course, all factions leave a crack in the door for people who’ll buy the concept of this prophet or that preacher.
Most people believe in some sort of creator. You simply cannot look at the world and really think it came about all because some comet crashed into Lake Tahoe one day, and Brittney Spears popped out the other side. The problem came about when people began to read the Bible for themselves and their personal concept of this creative force conflicted with the official version being sold by each of the established religions.
For a long time I was a “Hail Mary” Catholic. No, for real! I was a member of the Legion of Mary, prayed before the statues, ate fish on Friday and bought every semi-colon the Vatican put out. Unfortunately, I have a brain. I read the Bible, and figured out that Jesus was a man whose concept of God was in direct contradiction with practically everything I was being told. I began to “fall away,”and it wasn’t hard. All you have to do to confound a bunch of religious nuts is ask a common sense question. Jesus did fine until he kicked over the cash registers at the “Temple” one day. After that He didn’t last a week. Don’t go messing with them Jews without no money!
So Jesus dies, and the believers he inspired began to grow. After a very good run at the Coliseum, along came Constantine, and voila! Christianity became a sleeper hit. Now, I want you to see this for what it really was. Right now America is in trouble. Putin just made a jack-ass out of our so-called president. A street gang, calling itself ISIS is perplexing the western world with a few YouTube videos, and the Federal Reserve is telling us toilette paper is money. What do you think would happen if Donald Trump really did come along, have a short meeting in Baltimore, and suddenly everything was right again? And all we had to do was shut up, march in lock step, and do whatever “God” said, courtesy, of course, of the king of the hill, or seven hills, rather, and give up our common sense. Haaaaaaiiil MARY!
Well, it worked for a while. The Roman Empire still fell apart, but the structure of the Church remained in place for about a thousand years. It was simple, really. Everything goes to donkey poop, and all you got left is some guy in a funny hat telling you that if you eat fish on Friday it’s gonna be just fine. It helps if you burn up a few people to cement the point. The perfect “can of beans.” Somewhere in this mess is the words and ideas of Jesus, but interpretation becomes important, and only those in the “know” can do that, and even then with great peril because the “church” has lots of firewood, and lots of time.
Along come Luther. Radical new concept, nails stuff to doors, seems to break all the rules. NOT! The difference between KFC and Church’s Chicken. Same old beans, new label. Sure, you didn’t have to eat fish of Friday, but they still held the keys to the kingdom. People were still in the “go to church mode” so basically it was just a choice of buildings at that point. Also, please understand “church” as a belief set, not so much a building. Now let’s go forward to about 1830 or so and consider the American revival period. America had just been born, westward expansion was in full swing, and folks were gathering looking for “the truth.” Masses of people will buy most anything, and when you have a bunch of illiterate farmers who think you can cure cancer with Sassafras tea, well, it don’t take much.
The human mind strives to connect dots, and if the dots don’t connect the mind will either reject the pattern, or manufacture its own dots to complete the circle. There is a God. (Ok.) He reveals Himself to people. (Ok) He revealed Himself to some farm kid on a hill in New York. (Well. . . Ok) Kid found a pot of gold and wrote a book. (Well. . . I guess.) Then you construct a belief system around this premise, complete not only with churches but temples and they begin to fill up with the unwashed masses yearning for heaven. The lock step feels good. Now, bear in mind you have the Baptists, the Methodists, the Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all the rest, marching to their own lock step. Jesus? Oh, he caught a train for the coast because none of this was what He intended in the first place. Different cans, same old beans.
Sometime during the twentieth century a group of believers began to see the flaw. They read their bibles, the interpreted for themselves, and saw the foolishness of trying to put God into a can. These people are called “Non-Denominational.” Their only tip of the hat to the other groups was that they still met in churches. Somewhere along the line this began to wane. Churches are just like political groups. They pump numbers. They all do! The Mormons cite new temples, and converts, and the Catholics laughingly remind them that they trump those numbers with just the number of Mexicans born last week! Hear the truth, and the truth will set you free. The truth is, in spite of lip service, claiming to belong to some church, only twenty percent of Americans still physically go to church! You may swat them bees now.
Organized religion touts the “end of the age” and speculation about that is endless. I find the theories quite entertaining, but I find Star Wars entertaining, too. Fact is the end of the age did come, and the “churches” missed it. The rise of reason. If didn’t happen all at once. Luther was a start. The American revival was a bit more, but the advent of Pentecostalism was the death knell for what we know of as organized religion. Christianity became organic. Somehow, Jesus had returned, and what he really said took root in the minds of free thinkers. They began to realize that they could reject churches, and not reject God. As understanding of the words of Jesus became more and more prevalent, the clown’s parade of the “churches” became more and more apparent. The anti-organized church gave us the “Buddy Christ.” Not in disrespect, but in the full realization of the love that Jesus had for common people, and holy underwear, or fish on Friday was overshadowed by “Seventy times seven.”
You will see the churches decline. Oh, they’ll pump their numbers, but just look at the real world. Just this week it was all over the news about the Pope taking New York by storm. Hey folks, the Beatles did that! And, don’t get me wrong, I like the Pope. It’s not going to save things though. I said the churches will decline, not Christianity. Oh, you’ll still see the buildings, filled with old codgers like me with one foot in the grave, and the other on a banana peel, but the young people will largely being doing something else. Don’t think this is not without spirit. This week we saw nine young people stand up for Christ. They died for saying, “I am a Christian,” not “I am a Catholic, Mormon, or anything else.” They stood up for Christ. Young people! I am not worthy to lose their sandals.
Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin

Ten Stood Up

The killer entered the classroom, and ordered everyone to lie on the floor. After they did, he asked, “Who in here is a Christian?” He told those people to stand up. And ten stood up. Asking the first one again if they were Christian, he received an affirmative answer, whereupon he said, “Then you’re about to meet God in about one second.” Then the gun went off.

Of course Obama, and all the liberals wrung their crying towels, lamented about how long we have to experience scenes like this. There’s a simple answer, actually. We will see this again, and again until people realize it’s not the gun, it’s the nut behind the gun! In a state that has actually very good open carry, I’d venture to say there was not a pistol in that classroom, save the one in the hands of a mad man. More sheep slaughtered before the altar of political correctness.

Hillary, and others would ban guns altogether. I hate to be the one to tell you people this, but crazy people are just that. . . crazy! If there were no guns (which is an impossibility) the killer would just come in with a knife, just like they do in China, where they have excellent gun control, so you take all the knives. What’s next? Rocks? Cain slew Abel with a rock.

And it’s always some nerdy looking kid in a school somewhere that nobody suspected of being in the frame of mind he was in. The facts are still filtering in so I don’t even know what the final body count is, but I’d be willing to bet there’s a pill bottle somewhere. You just don’t get that crazy on a Miller Lite! I don’t know the exact gun laws in Oregon, but a quick look told me that they are far and above Texas, yet I suspect there was some law, or rule about campus carry, so there you go. Classroom full of unarmed kids, standing up.

I have never been in a more tense situation than when I picked up my granddaughter from her school and suddenly realized the security was non-existent, and no one had any guns. All those babies milling around, and people coming and going. My gun was still in my car, because Texas law forbids one in a school. So who’s crazier, the gunman, or the legislators who pen such nonsense and march us all out to the killing fields?

The liberals are right. We have to fix this, but kneeling before the lion is not the answer. Ask yourself this; If CJ Grisham had be having one of his gun walks there, advocating campus carry, just how far do you think the killer would have gotten? He would have never got out of the car! And that’s a fact, children. . . class dismissed.

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin