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My father is getting married today. The bastard never even invited me, in fact I probably wouldn’t have found out except for his needing a copy of his divorce decree which he had misplaced, thereby forcing him to call. Johann wants me to sneak him the laminated copy Lucretia, my mother and his ex-wife, has had framed and hung over the mantel.

“You sure move quickly – you only got divorced last week. How long have you known your new wife?” I ask, trying to piss him off enough so I don’t have to go all the way out to the suburban singles complex he moves into every time he breaks up with Lucretia.

“Just get over here pronto with the certificate Ric. I’m in a hurry,” Johann orders, failing to fall for my provocation.

“Why? Is it a shotgun wedding?” I ask, relishing the vision of some French madam training her six gauge on my father. “Tant pis, Monsieur Thibault, you have knocked up my precious little Fifi here and now she is too fat in the belly to work, so you have to make an honest woman out of her,” she rejoices at the prospect of getting rid of the ugliest hag in her house.

“No, it isn’t you little schweinehund. The only shotgun involved is the one you’re going to see if you don’t get over here immediately. I’ve got a plane to catch,” he screams. He hangs up, unaware that this is the wrong way to treat his youngest child who someday, according to statistical probability, will be the one most likely to decide whether to pull the plug on his respirator.

So I reluctantly go downstairs, nearly tripping over an empty bottle of gin, and grab the precious certificate from its place of honor between Lucretia’s autographed limited edition weeping Jesus commemorative plate and the Sears $9.95 family portrait on which my father’s face has mysteriously been blackened out and the words “dickless bastard” drunkenly scribbled in lipstick. The demented scrawl looks curiously similar to my mother’s.

All things considered, I think she’s adjusted to the divorce rather well.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lucretia Thibault has three great obsessions in life.

I am not one of them.

The first is her fixation for etiquette books. My mother has enough books on manners to fill a library, and she can, and will, lecture you at great length on the proper locations for wine, champagne, highball and brandy glasses on the dinner table. This is because her preoccupation with manners coincides with her second great devotion – alcohol. Lucretia Thibault has been drinking heavily ever since I was six years old and she forced me to go on Kids Say The Darndest Things. Art Linkletter asked me what my mother did for a living and I replied she was a ‘psychotic’, misidentifying her career as a psychic which is Lucretia’s third great fixation. As you can see, she isn’t very good at her third passion because if she was at all psychic she’d have had a premonition that I was going to say she was psychotic and wouldn’t have let me go on the show, thereby preventing the whole embarrassment from occurring.

Before I could collect the bicycle I had won for being the most precocious kid on the program, Lucretia quickly yanked me off the stage and adjourned to a nearby bar. She ordered a double martini and, as she downed the drink, berated the bartender for serving it in the wrong type of glass. My mother has been politely drinking heavily ever since.

I don’t think she has any other passions – and if she does, I’m sure sex isn’t one of them; because I often try to, but never can, picture Johann and Lucretia fucking. It is not only the obviously displeasing aesthetic aspects of the image – it is the sheer improbability of the event occurring once (thereby producing my brother Stephen), the astronomically high odds against it happening twice (with the resulting release of my sister Kristen, the former Penthouse centerfold) and the absolute impossibility of them doing it a third time to create me that defies all logic. After countless hours of contemplating the two of them getting it on, I have become wholly convinced my birth was the result of either:

1. A bad Japanese science fiction movie in which a male black widow spider is transformed into an uncontrollably horny, delusional and suicidal milkman who strays into my mother’s kitchen. They have sex and my biological father is, like all his predecessors, eaten on the spot by his consort.

2. A take off of an even worse episode of Superman where as an infant I am packed into a spacecraft as the last deranged act of two shitfaced drunk Krypton scientists who not only forget to imbue me with supernatural powers but also manage to dispatch me to the most boring place in the entire galaxy: Clayton, Missouri.

3. I am the subject of a cultural anthropology experiment, in which a random newborn child from a genetically normal background is flung into the abyss of Sodom and Gomorrah’s twentieth century successor, the Thibault family. Sadly, the person running the experiment is stricken with Alzheimer’s disease and can’t recall where she placed the innocent toddler – and as a result I am forced to endure a life of eternal struggle pitting the forces of good (me) against the forces of the evil empire (the Thibault family). This struggle will probably be made into a major motion picture, if Sam Peckinpah ever gets off his ass, or at least off his casting couch.

4. I am the result of an immaculate conception – which makes me Son of God – the Sequel. Now all I have to do is learn how to perform miracles and I’ll be set. As soon as everyone sees that I am the Chosen One they are going to be awfully eager to kiss some serious ass. Although it probably was His most popular trick, I’m sure Jesus didn’t open up His Son of God business by changing water into wine. Our Saviour didn’t start His career at the Montreal Forum on a line with Guy Lafleur. No, He had to start small and work His way up through the minor leagues by curing the odd leper here or there. I think I’ll start off performing miracles by trying to get into the pants of Ingrid Hammarström, the new Swedish foreign exchange student who is living with my ex-girlfriend, Nina Pennington. If I can do that I’ll gradually move up into the heavy stuff like resurrections, and getting an ‘A’ on the paper I need to write for Mrs. Lukowich’s English class on Oedipus Tyrannus, which unfortunately I haven’t started yet since the plot is too ridiculous – if it weren’t such a sin the part about killing one’s father could be believable, but imagine wanting to have sex with your mother! It’s too scary and preposterous to contemplate.

Right now I’m leaning towards the last theory, although as I sit here in the stinking back seat of the Creve Couer bus I wonder whether my predecessor, Jesus, had to ride public transportation. I don’t mean to sound snobby but riding the bus sucks. Three months ago I wouldn’t have been stuck in the back of this iron-lung between a sweating two hundred seventy-one pound woman with varicose veins and bad indigestion advertised by a series of massive farts that were probably mistakenly measured as 6.6 earthquakes by the State Geological Institute in Rolla, and a chattering Jehovah’s Witness cab driver who seems to have crashed his taxi and is now carless and unemployed. “It was the will of our Redeemer,” he yammers on about his unfortunate run in with a tree, oblivious to the toxic gas bellowing from the fat woman. He grabs me by the shoulder and demands I pray with him promising that I, “shall thusly feel the infinite peace and love of Jesus.”

“Fuck off,” I punch him in the nose attempting to teach him about the recent corporate restructuring and resulting turbulence in the Son of God empire, as the fat lady glances up from her copy of The National Enquirer and erupts with yet another discharge of methane – enough probably to power an entire fleet of smelly busses.

“I’m suffering martyrdom like our Saviour,” he moans proudly from his seat, before launching into a stream of combined prayers, epithets and threats – the basic cornerstones of all successful religions.

Clearly this misguided fool has no grasp of martyrdom. I, on the other hand, do. Three miserable months ago I was a veritable chick magnet, a sixteen year old rock star driving a brand new red Corvette, about to tour with David Bowie. But then I had a run of bad luck. My ‘vette was totaled when Nina Pennington hit the steering wheel while giving me a blowjob causing me to smash into a Rolls Royce driven by Brother Theodore, the pixilated televangelist whose Plastic Jesus must not have been providing the proper navigational guidance down the roads of Clayton much less the road of life. Then my band, Suckerpunch, missed its chance for the big time when the Midnight Special people found out my father wasn’t in the Mafia, as my record company had led them to believe, and thusly didn’t have to put us on the show to avoid the prospect of waking up with a horse’s head in their beds. Finally Sam Peckinpah was going to make a movie about me, but decided against it when he found out there wasn’t enough blood and gore in my life – even after I offered to sweeten the plot by bribing Kevin Futterman, the school bully, to beat up my asshole brother.

I haven’t gotten on with Stephan since the time four years ago when he had to lose three pounds to qualify for his weight class on Clayton High School’s wrestling team. I told him if he swallowed twelve Alka Seltzer tablets without immersing them in water that they would cause a chemical reaction in his stomach, causing him to lose the required weight almost immediately. My brother downed the tablets, and a few minutes later was writhing around on the floor claiming that his stomach was exploding. He was whining so much my parents decided to call the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital and pumped out his stomach. By the time they finished pumping he had lost over five pounds. Stephan made weight but for some inexplicable reason blamed me when he lost his match. Somehow the ungrateful bastard got it into his head that his loss was due to my advice rather than his lack of skill and he’s been pissed off and trying to exact revenge for this imaginary wrong ever since.

My brother is not the only one upset with me for no reason. Nina Pennington, the most beautiful girl in the world (except for Ingrid Hammarström and the actress whose name I can’t remember – but she starred in Unchained and In Heat– The True Story of Women Behind Bars) was the girl I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. But ever since my life hit the skids she has been avoiding me like the plague, claiming her astrological charts say going out with anyone born on June 25 is unhealthy – and that’s why they call my star sign ‘Cancer’.

Yes, I know all about martyrdom.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I don’t understand how Johann has conned some chick into marrying him. I have studied How To Pick Up Girls religiously and there is absolutely nothing in my father’s character that should attract a woman – unless she’s some sort of cerebrally challenged illegal alien who needs a green card really badly. My dad isn’t suave like Errol Flynn, doesn’t drive a cool car like Starsky and Hutch, and doesn’t have a glamorous job like being in beer commercials. He’s the type of guy who could parachute into a womens prison armed with a fistful of pardons and not get laid. Johann is balding, except for a couple of really long hairs protruding from his nostrils, and has a pot belly which rubs up against the steering wheel of his four year old Chevrolet Impala (which for the last week has had a dent above the front right bumper which thankfully he hasn’t noticed, so there is no way he is going to be able to blame me for it). He’s not a rock star and most importantly the guy is cheap – every time we go to the movies he insists I’m only twelve and a little tall for my age so he can sneak me in for half price. It’s a shame Johann can’t set a better example by telling the truth – but I’m sure it will provide fodder for some smart entrepreneur who cashes in by writing my definitive biography after I’m really famous.

Therefore it is with the same morbid curiosity that kept me up late the other night watching The Bride of Frankenstein that I ring his doorbell. I hear a woman’s giggle and the scurrying of footsteps as my father yells “I’ll get it sweetheart.” This is the first time I’ve ever heard Johann use any term of endearment except for once five years ago when he was trying to explain to Lucretia how the lipstick traces on his collar were the result of his secretary having lost her balance and falling onto him as she approached his desk. “Honest sweetie, that’s all that happened,” he said/begged nervously while Lucretia caressed her favourite finely honed Henckel carving knife.

Johann opens the door just wide enough to grab the certificate and give me a view of four Dom Perignon bottles lying mortally wounded in the hallway. “Thanks for the delivery buddy, here’s a ten dollar tip.”

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to my new stepmother?” I ask snatching the money out of his hands before he can reconsider.

“No, and keep your voice down,” he whispers, adding, “you’d better be running off to see your Uncle Gene. He’s got a bad cold and, if we’re lucky, it’ll turn into pneumonia. It could finally be curtains for him,” My father slams the door in my face before I have a chance to ask him if I can at least borrow his car since he’s going to be out of town.

As I trudge down his steps I hear a woman’s voice asking, “Did the delivery boy bring what you needed?”

“I make all my deliveries myself honey-buns,” my father responds to the accompaniment of the woman’s giggles, convincing me that either I have just heard the Love Boat filming a particularly nauseating episode or Johann has entirely lost his dignity.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My seventy-eight year old great Uncle Gene is the black sheep of a family of black sheep. There are only two good things about him. First, he is as filthy rich as he is filthy; and second, he’s lying on his deathbed – a bed upon which he has been firmly ensconced for the last three years. Since no person in their right mind would ever willingly spend more than five minutes with him without being paid at the minimum the gross national product of most third world countries Uncle Gene has no known friends and no living family other than ours.

Consequently, one of the few matters (other than making my life as miserable as possible) on which my parents have always been in perfect harmony, is that the three Thibault children must suck up to our crotchety and partially senile Uncle by visiting him weekly – thereby ensuring he remembers us in his will.

Everybody knows Gene Laperierre, but few know, or at least admit to knowing, how and where he got his money. But the one thing everyone agrees on is that Uncle Gene earned his money the old fashioned way...he stole it. My grandmother maintains that Bruno Hauptmann took the fall for Uncle Gene in the Lindbergh kidnapping, Lucretia claims to have had a vision that he was the trigger-man behind the St. Valentine’s massacre, my grandfather got trashed one afternoon and intimated that Uncle Gene was the guy who Bobby Kennedy paid to off Marilyn Monroe, and my best friend and neighbor Billy Bender told me that his parents were questioned by the F.B.I. who were looking to nail Uncle Gene for being the brains behind D.B. Cooper. However it’s Johann whose theory holds the most water with me. My father asserts that Uncle Gene was a disgruntled French secret service officer who, while on a gunrunning trip to Southeast Asia, invested heavily in the opium trade in the Golden Triangle. While waiting for his ship to come in (and according to Johann his ships came in often and always late at night with their running lights dimmed) Uncle Gene managed a number of go-go bar/whorehouses in Bangkok's Patpong.

I’m not quite sure of the extent of his nefarious past, but I am certain Uncle Gene never did jail time – because in every prison movie I have ever seen they delouse prisoners and have all sorts of traumatic scenes in the showers, where inmates are admonished not to pick up the soap. Gene Laperierre has never taken a shower ever. “Allez faire foutre! I am French and my dirt is a matter of my national heritage,” he yelled in one of his infrequent lucid moments when his nurse attempted to clean him.

A couple of months ago while my siblings and I were waiting in Judge Frederik Olsson’s chambers to find out what we were getting out of our parents’ divorce trial going on in the adjacent courtroom, we discussed the possibility of asking Uncle Gene directly what he did to earn his fortune, and more importantly where he keeps his money.

“Since he’s probably a gangster all his loot has to be in cash,” my greedy brother Stephan said, “therefore all we have to do is find where he stashed it – and it’ll be ours. I mean old stinky carcass is so senile he’ll never know we took it.” “We can’t ask him any questions, because it’ll make us accessories after the fact,” my sister Kristen warned, displaying the moral integrity that led to her being awarded the prestigious Jayne Mansfield Memorial Scholarship For Excellence given to the pre-law student with the biggest tits at Stanford.

“But since he stole all his money years ago, wouldn’t the statute of limitations have run out thereby making us accessories to nothing?” my brother persisted. “I’m not sure,” replied Kristen, “but I know someone I can call to find out. I’ll just run downstairs and use one of the pay phones downstairs in the lobby.”

“You know I suddenly remembered I’ve got to make a phone call downstairs too,” yelled Stephan as he tore off after Kristen.

I also remembered I had to make a call, so I used the phone on the Judge’s desk to phone Uncle Gene.

“What the fuck do you want?” coughed the phlegm laden voice of my Uncle in his usual telephone greeting.

“Hi, Uncle Gene, it’s your nephew Ric.”

“Why the hell are you bothering me, or did you call to see if I was dead yet?”

“No I didn’t call to see if you were dead...”

“Bullshit! But I’ll tell you Eleanor Roosevelt is no dyke, she’s a switch-hitter. I was staying at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel the other night and her panties fall both ways you know, like Marlene Dietrich’s or this girl who I have come...” my Uncle eased into geriatric conspiracy land.

“Uncle Gene I didn’t call about Eleanor Roosevelt or Marlene Dietrich. I called to ask you...” Just as I was getting to the question an operator cut in.

“Hello, Mr. Laperierre, this is the operator breaking in, I’m sorry to interrupt your call but there is a Kristen Thibault on the line who says there is an emergency, will you take her call?”

Before Uncle Gene could respond another operator barged in, “Hello, this is the operator breaking in, I’m sorry to interrupt your call but there is a Stephan Thibault on the line who says there’s an emergency call for Mr. Gene Laperierre. May I put him through?”

“I’m not taking anyone’s emergency call, unless it’s a fucking call girl’s, so bugger off the lot of you,” snorted Uncle Gene as he hung up.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I’m back on the bus heading to University City and my congenial Uncle’s. He has an incredible deal living rent free at the Stanley Zezel Senior memorial nursing home overlooking the beautiful Stanley Zezel Junior memorial cemetery. The entrance is hard to miss because it’s right under the billboard advertising Smiling Stan Zezel III’s (not memorial yet) mortuary service, “where in times of trouble you can trust the last man who will ever let you down, Smiling Stan Zezel III.”

Smiling Stan Zezel III is a hero to the local business community for his successful defense of a federal anti-trust suit. After a series of damaging articles in The St. Louis Globe Republican linked the ownership of Frowning Stan Zezel’s ambulance and hearse business to Smiling Stan’s mortuary interests, and further alleged that Zezel’s ambulances had reversible panels which turned them into hearses at the push of a secret button from underneath the driver’s seat, the feds tried to break up Zezel Industries’ empire. The Federal Trade Commission charged that the Zezels were guilty of not only bad taste but of operating a vertical monopoly. The Zezels’ argument that the integration of all their businesses under the Zezel Industries corporate umbrella provided one stop shopping and therefore lower prices carried the day, and the F.T.C. boys were forced back to Washington with their tails between their legs – although The Globe Republican asserted the real reason the feds left town was due to “brown paper bags chock full of cash being delivered to certain government officials by an unidentified elderly and exceptionally malodorous man the night before the case was supposed to go to trial.”

I enter the lobby and walk past the shriveled woman who seems to be either the receptionist or possibly a prospective tenant who several years ago was dumped off by her family. “Just wait here a moment mother, I left your Medicaid card in the car, We’ll go get it and be right back,” they said as they burned rubber out of the parking lot and right out of her life, leaving her stranded behind the front desk. In the three years I have been visiting Uncle Gene, the woman has never looked up at me or even acknowledged my presence. Maybe she’s actually a mannequin...or some sort of dead person preserved in some special Zezel Industries embalming fluid so she doesn’t smell. If there is such a fluid they should probably pump some into Uncle Gene, because his odor comes wafting down the corridor.

I follow the stench up to Uncle Gene’s room. He’s lying in bed hooked up to a couple of different tubes while engrossed in Juggs magazine’s ‘Knockers on Heaven’s Doors’ issue. “Jesus fucking Christ, it says here that this slut with the 47DD headlights is a goddamn nurse,” he mumbles before noticing me and launching into a massive coughing fit.

A nurse efficiently shoves an oxygen mask over my Uncle’s face, takes his pulse and says in a not entirely unhappy voice, “I’m going to call the priest, is Mr. Laperierre a relation of yours?”

“Yes. He’s my mother’s Uncle.”

“Pity,” she says not indicating whether it’s a pity that Uncle Gene is dying or if her sympathies are with me for being his relative.

While she’s out getting the priest I approach my Uncle, who has stopped coughing and is breathing a little easier. He summons up the strength to lift his mask. “Don’t get your hopes up kid, I’m not croaking today,” he wheezes.

“I wasn’t hoping you were going to die,” I lie, feeling guilty that, unlike my mother, he has psychic abilities and is easily able to read my mind. “Should I go stop the nurse from fetching the priest?”

“No, I want the bloody sky pilot here, and I also want the fucking nurse from my magazine,” he says replacing the mask over his face.

“Move out of the way, you’ve got a priest coming through on a sacred mission,” I hear the familiar Irish brogue of Father O’Brien and turn around to see him in the doorway shoving a couple of little old ladies using walkers out of his way.

As he hauls out the official Last Rites kit from his special edition Louis Vuitton Vatican City Third Ecumenical Council souvenir tote bag, Father O’Brien notices me. He scowls and asks whether the soon to be deceased is one of my relatives. “Yes, this is my Great Uncle Gene,” I respond, realizing I have inherited the family gift of mind reading. I hear Father O’Brien thinking, “Bless you Lord for this day of rapture, the commencement of the destruction of the infidel world, hereinafter referred to as the Thibault family, as prophesied in the Book of Revelations. Now if you want to go for a truly spectacular day...there are a few more Thibaults, like this juvenile delinquent here...”

Father O’Brien has never forgiven me for a little joke I told during my Confirmation speech. I had to take this stupid course in public speaking at Clayton High School, and the only things I learned from Miss Tuttle, the teacher, were that women should use waterproof mascara if they have chronic hay fever and that you were supposed to open up any speaking engagement with a bit of humor to achieve a rapport with the audience. So at Confirmation I did as I was taught and instead of going into the usual mumbled Latin stuff, I started off by asking, “Why does Father O’Brien wear his underwear in the shower?” I waited a second before delivering the punch line, “Because he doesn’t like looking down on the unemployed.”

Well Father O’Brien took it wrong and yelled that he gets more pussy than I’ll ever see, which wasn’t exactly the answer the Church elders wanted to hear. Consequently he got transferred to Catholic Siberia working the Sunday afternoon shift administering the Last Rites at Smiling Stan Zezel III’s nursing home empire.

“Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?” Father O’Brien asks getting out his rosary beads and other Sacramental paraphernalia.

My Uncle nods wearily.

“Do you have anything to confess?”

The nurse removes the oxygen mask so my Uncle can talk. “I offered the night nurse twenty bucks for a handjob,” he says in a voice which does not sound at all similar to any words I’ve ever heard from dying people on television.

“Did she take it?” Father O’Brien whispers.

“No, she wanted more dough,” Uncle Gene coughs.

The phone next to Uncle Gene’s bed rings, and I answer it, while the priest starts splashing his eau de Vatican designer holy water everywhere. “Hello?”

“Who’s this?” It’s my mother, once again betraying her lack of the psychic ability which some members of our family possess.

“It’s Ric, mom.”

“Does that mean he’s dead yet?” Lucretia hopefully inquires.

“No, but Father O’Brien’s here giving him the Last Rites.”

“Good. See if you can find where he keeps his will before he goes, and call me back when he...you know.”

“No, I don’t know,” I say just to have the satisfaction of hearing my mother utter something rude and in really bad taste so I can remind her of it next time she gets ‘holier than thou’ on me.

“Yes you do.”

“No, I don’t,” I insist.

“Okay I must have raised a moron. Call me when he finally dies,” she hangs up, while the priest does the old spectacles-testicles-wallet-keys genuflect ritual and my Uncle has another coughing fit.

Father O’Brien pulls out his regulation issue shitty tasting Communion wafer, which is not what I’d like my last taste on this planet to be of. If I were running the Sinners Affairs department of the Vatican I’d send a memo to the Pope:

To: Pope Paul

From: Ric Thibault

Re: Vati-choc® Communion Wafers

Our marketing department secretly substituted Vati-choc® chocolate Communion wafers in the place of the traditional Communion Wafers. In these blind taste tests we discovered nine out of ten sinners prefer Vati-choc® wafers. In fact due to Vati-choc® being laced with our exclusive blend of cocoa and nicotine extracts we were able to create Vati-choc® addicts after only a couple of tastings. These addicts will go out and sin just to get the relaxing soothing taste of Vati-choc® and as you know more sinners means more confessions, and more confessions mean greater attendance at Mass, meaning more dough in the collection plate translating to higher profits and better Christmas bonuses for all employees. I’m sure you could use a little something extra in your pay envelope; maybe you could go buy some hipper clothes to replace that stupid hair shirt you’re always wearing...

My marketing plans are interrupted by Father O’Brien’s pressing a wafer to my Uncle’s lips, “Behold the body of Christ. Can you swallow?”

“Did you bring any of the blood of Christ?” my Uncle takes the wafer and weakly inquires.

“I’m sorry?”

“Did you bring the wine?” Uncle Gene seems to be getting a second wind.

“We don’t bring wine to the Last Rites.”

“I thought this was supposed to be Goddamn Communion, what the hell do you mean I don’t get any wine?” my Uncle shouts flinging the oxygen mask at the surprised Father O’Brien. “I only went through this stupid charade to get a lousy drink. Well holy roller boy, just for that I’m not dying yet.”

“I guess I’ll be running along now. See you next time.” Father O’Brien packs up his stuff and attempts to flee.

“Next time bring the wine, and if you’re going to be bringing anyone’s body, forget about Christ’s and bring the nurse from this magazine,” Uncle Gene yells flinging the copy of Juggs at the retreating cleric.

“I folded aces over jacks for this?” I hear Father O’Brien raging in the hall while the nurse profusely apologizes for dragging him from his regular card game.

“See I told you I wasn’t ready to kick the bucket,” my Uncle snorts, making me wonder if I might have just unwittingly performed my first, albeit misdirected, miracle. I wonder if Jesus ever fucked up and cured someone by mistake, you know, like what if Lazarus turned out to be a real asshole? Would He have been sorry? Would He have gone out and gotten really drunk and tried to forget it? Or would He have made a phone call and apologized to the Angel of Death and begged him to go back and finish the job? “Honest Death, I promise to never interfere with you again. I was having a bad day; maybe those Goddamn Romans’ nails had a little lead in them and it affected me. You know what they say about lead poisoning going to your brain and making you a little loco. Come on Death, what do you want me to do get on my knees and beg? No one’s infallible you know.”

My further theological musings are halted by my Uncle’s ranting. “All I wanted was some booze. Ever since Elliot fucking Ness and his cocksucking Untouchables it’s so hard to get a drink around here. Well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for drugs.” Uncle Gene pushes the nurse call button, “so do you still want to stay even if it isn’t vulture time?”

Actually I want to leave, but I also want to be sure I’m in his will. “No, Uncle Gene, I came here to see my favourite great Uncle,” I respond truthfully since he is my only great Uncle.

“Okay. Tell me what’s new. I haven’t seen Marilyn Monroe in weeks, is she coming?” Uncle Gene slides comfortably back into senility.

“I think she’s still dead Uncle Gene, so I wouldn’t count on her coming any time soon. But I do have some news, my dad is getting married today.”

“Married? What happened to your mother?”

“Don’t you remember? They got divorced last week. Dad’s marrying a new wife.”

“He can’t do that. We’re Roman Catholic. We keep mistresses – that’s why God invented Thailand – although I'll never understand why he skimped on Oriental tits – now you know the real reason why the Japs lost World War II, their chicks don’t have no tits.” he yells at the top of his voice.

“I’m not sure I’m following what you’re saying,” I confess.

“We’re Catholic. We keep mistresses. We don’t get remarried. Everyone knows that.”

“Well someone forgot to tell Johann.”

“I’ll just see about that. I want you to go to the phone and dial that attorney, Holly what’s-her-name, you know the one with the bodacious boobs, the district attorney who got canned for showing what she’s got in Playboy.”

“Holly Marotte?” I reply, fondly remembering his attorney’s picture in Playboy’s ‘Long Breasts of The Law’ feature necessitating my placing a box of Kleenex next to my bed to catch any debris from her starring role in several late night fantasies. This was before I discovered my true love for Ingrid Hammarström.

“Yeah, that’s the slut. Tell her I want to redo my will. I’ve got something I want to dictate. You know the type of dictate I’m talking about don’t you?” Uncle Gene chortles, and then starts singing in a loud voice, “Deck my balls with balls of Holly, Fa-la-la-la fuck, Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la fuck.”

The nurse returns, “What do you want now?” she interrupts my Uncle’s singing.

“A blowjob and some pain pills,” he coughs.

“Would strychnine be okay?” she snarls handing him a pill and a cup of water.

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