secret of the uzi

The first sardine out of the tin, dripping with oil, had been just what his neglected taste buds were dying for all day, but he mindlessly plowed through the rest of the salty pilchards so quickly that their flavor had barely registered on his tongue, and now they were all gone. He sighed, then tipped the corner of the can into his mouth to drink the remaining fluid and placed the empty vessel into the passenger side floorboard of the 1987 Honda Prelude. It was in this car that MC Skat Kat, the animated rapping cat from Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract” video, had made his home for the last few days as he drove across the country in hopes of returning to Los Angeles to restart his career and life. He parked in the rain outside a ratty motel, internally debating whether he had enough money to stay in a bed for the first time this week, ultimately deciding he had earned it after exhibiting considerable fiscal discipline by spending so many nights in the car so far, and not desiring his backache to worsen before the final leg of his journey. “Gimme eight hours’ worth,” he said to the desk attendant as he slapped several crumpled, rain-soaked bills onto the counter.
Sleep escaped him in the damp-smelling room as his thoughts turned once again to what had gone so wrong the last time he had been out west, and his mind wandered over well-worn territory by remembering Paula, whose love had once made it all seem worth it. Despite their differences, it had all just worked out when they first got together, but the couple foundered when her career took off as he struggled to find work. She had the money, while he was always broke, and his failure to provide a good life for her whittled away at his self-esteem. They had found themselves growing increasingly incompatible, and not just because his barbed cat penis had made consummating the relationship impossible. Over time, things they had initially been willing to overlook, such as her dislike of cigarettes while he liked to smoke, became insurmoutable obstacles.
He climbed out of bed and began going through his suitcase, hoping that reorganizing his few possessions would help him to put his mind at rest. Where he once had a fine leather garment bag carried by bellboys and filled with bright red suits with extravagantly long tails, his apparel now consisted entirely of several white tank tops and a pair of blue pants held up by suspenders, inexplicably adorned with two oversized buttons on the front. Back to basics, he thought to himself as he refolded them and placed the clothing gingerly in the duffel bag atop a dartboard with Simon Cowell’s picture pasted on it. He pulled out his cellphone and called his prospective roommate, one of the few souls who could understand his plight, having himself been the less successful member of an entertainment duo. They told people they had met at a charity event, which was technically true, since they had both been in line at the same soup kitchen. So strong had been the bond between these two fellow travelers that MC Skat Kat had felt a slight twinge of guilt over having originally listed him in his phone as “Andrew Ridgley, the other guy from Wham!” Straight to voicemail again. He began to worry.


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April 2012
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