Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lazlo Riddle, Episode 1: Another Tequila Sunrise

I don’t remember eating chili dogs, thought Lazlo as he examined the vomit dripping from the dashboard of his 1988 Ford Pinto. He looked at his watch. Five-thirty in the morning. Slept in the car again, but at least this time he'd managed to get the thing parked before he nodded off. He peeled off his Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt, cleaned the puke off the gauges, and started the engine.

That’s when he realized he was parked in his usual space at his apartment complex.

“How ‘bout that,” he mumbled. “I made it home.”

It was Monday morning. Laz had made the three-hour drive home from Vegas on Sunday evening. It had been an exceptional weekend for him, as he managed to lose five hundred dollars and his girlfriend. He entered his apartment, and found it just as he’d left it. Beer cans strewn about, dirty laundry piled on the couch, the lingering scent of marijuana. The phone rang.

“This is Laz.”

He listened to the voice on the other end.

“Yeah, okay,” he said. “I’ll be there.”

He slept for about an hour, dragged his ass out of bed, and took a quick shower. The hot water made him feel somewhat human again, though the hangover hadn’t completely dissipated. He dried off, popped four Advil, shaved, and did what he could with his hair. He put on a reasonably clean pair of cotton slacks and a rugby shirt. All things considered, he cleaned up pretty well.

Laz was on the short side, barely five-seven, and thin as a rail. With his blond hair and devilish smile, friends often told him he looked like the actor David Spade. He didn’t know if he should take that as a compliment. He’d always thought that Spade was probably an asshole.

His roommate Brad had woken up, and was at the computer. “What time’d you get home, man?”

“Just rolled in,” said Laz, popping open a Monster energy drink.

"How was Vegas?"

"Shitty. Got my ass kicked at the tables, and Angie dumped me again."

“Ah, she’ll get over it. What’d you do this time?”

“Best I can remember, it was something about hookers in the hotel room.”

“Unreasonable bitch.”

“I know, huh? I’m runnin’ a little late for work, can I borrow your Harley?”

“Sure," said Brad. "What's wrong with your car?”

“I yakked all over the dashboard. I’ll clean it up later, but I gotta roll, man.”

Brad tossed him the keys to his motorcycle. “Helmet’s in the closet.”

“Thanks, see ya.”

Now that the sun was up and Laz was conscious, it was turning into a pretty nice Southern California morning. Temperature in the mid-seventies, cloudless sky, hint of a breeze. He enjoyed riding Brad’s Harley, especially when you compared it to his piece of shit Pinto. Even when puke-free, that car was a heap. He made it to work with about ten minutes to spare, parked the Harley, and walked into the office.

The secretary, Leslie, greeted him with a scowl. “Well, well, if it isn't Mr. Riddle," she said. "I didn't think you were going to make it in."

“Yeah, well, here I am. Elsa said it's a kindergarten class today?”

“Yep, you're subbing for Mrs. Livingston in room three. Good luck."

Laz hated it when the secretaries said "good luck". It just meant that the class was full of juvenile delinquents or borderline psychos. For a hundred and fifty bucks a day, though, he could plod his way through. A couple shots of Jack at recess often helped. And really, these were kindergarteners. How bad could it possibly be?

Famous last words . . .

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23 comments:

otin said...

Oh boy, that last line! I think that Laz is in for it!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Ah, I remember my career subs from school.

Never underestimate the younger kids. Especially if mine are in the class.

Beth said...

Haha! I have one of those Kindergarten classes!

I've never thought about writing from the sub perspective. Scary!

Vodka Mom said...

I'm just here to watch the show.

I KNOW how bad it can be. hee. hee.

Gaston Studio said...

Maybe you could convince the kiddies to help you clean your dashboard.

f8hasit said...

"I yakked on the dashboard"...
THOSE are famous last words.
Great story!
:-)

Moooooog35 said...

Kindergartners: Satan's playdoh.

Suldog said...

I love the idea of a degenerate teacher. Great hook.

Quirkyloon said...

Well that beginning really draws you in Knucklehead!

I swear I can smell vomit!

And a big LMBO at Mooooog35: Satan's playdoh! Hilarious!

Maven said...

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

I'm certain many of us can relate ;)

Judge Fudge said...

That poor SOB's going to be carried out of that school in a bodybag!

Angelia Sims said...

Okay, I'm hooked.....let the little devils begin.(rubs hands together)

Serious Replies Only said...

Love this!!!!

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

This reads like it was written by somebody who has worked inside the system, and perhaps a little too long. I can't wait for the next episode.

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

ok i feel like i just stumbled into the middle of something - help me out here!

but i enjoyed reading what you had - good stuff

Knucklehead said...

@Otin: Oh, this is merely the beginning of Lazlo's adventures.

@Dr. Grumpy: Exactly right. Kindergartners are evil.

@Beth: Don't we all? Laz is going to be involved in a LOT of such scenarios.

@Vodka: Enjoy!

@Gaston: Hey, good idea!

@f8hasit: Thanks!

@Moog: Satan's Pla-doh. Moog, you may consider that line stolen.

@Suldog: Thanks. It's only downhill from here.

@Quirk: Thank you! That's the idea.

@Maven: Oh, most definitely.

@Judge: Well, not quite yet. He still has to sub for a junior high school sometime.

@Angelia: Keep stopping by, there's more to come!

@SRO: Thanks!

@MikeWJ: You've pretty much nailed that assessment.

@SPEAKING: Nope, you're just at the beginning. Enjoy the ride!

Nooter said...

ahhh, training for the little humans. what fun...

CatLadyLarew said...

Famous last words, indeed! Kindergarten is not for the faint of heart! Good luck, Laz... you'll probably be in the principal's office before noon!

Joan said...

Now I wonder if my daughter ever had a sub like him.
I am looking forward to the rest of your story. I has to turn out good for the kids, right?

Joan said...

I should have proofread. It has to, is what I meant to say.

not your Uncle Skip said...

Kinda sounded like the start of some days that I used to have

blunt delivery said...

i'd just like to make an announcement that you are waaaaay better at keeping up with this blogging thing than me. and you've always got something quality up on here.

you are one to be admired, dear sir.

Jules said...

One Kindergartener is enough to make a hangover exponentially worse. A classroom could kill a person. Can't wait to see how Laz does!

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