Archive for September, 2011

BLOG #34…The date from HELL…and then some…

Posted in beer, college, dating, Family, friends, nonfiction, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

Today, we shall be tripping the BLIGHT fantastic with yet another too fucked up NOT-to-be- TRUE event in my life. Twas on my 20th birthday, circa 1987, when I was attending Marshall University.

I went to Hulio’s, my favorite dive/Mexican cantina. My bar stool mates included Laura, an obnoxiously beautiful girl, my cousin Shauna, and Prissy (both mentioned in – .

Just as I finished my steak sandwich, Shauna sputtered, “Oh, my God, he’s here…”

“Who?” I asked, turning to see Larry Lucas, a thick-muscled, dark-haired frat boy, who’d been on my lusty BUCKET LIST for awhile.

I returned his bad-assed smile with a smirk.

“Avoid those badlands, chickadee, he’s toxic, and not in a good way,” Shauna warned.

“So, OUR first date with Larry didn’t go so well?” Laura asked.

“He stood her up,” Shauna hissed.

“His Grandmother was in the hospital,” I countered.

“Right, and the dog ate his homework, too, I’ll bet?”  Shauna surmised.

When suddenly…

“Sorry about the other night,” Larry said, appearing behind me – startling me. “Can I buy you a beer?” He asked with a smile that could charm the dead.

“I don’t know. My grandmother’s in the hospital,” I said smugly.

“Okay, you got me. I forgot about our date until like an hour after I was supposed to pick you  up.”


“Sorry. Please let me make it up to you,” he graveled, ordering another round for me AND my friends, “Or I’ll walk into traffic. Your choice?” He said, grinning.

“Okay, can’t have blood on my hands.” Such an ironic comment, unbeknownst to me at the time.

Two beers later, Larry conned me into going to a new sports bar that was really different, he said.

Not long after, we headed outside and climbed into Larry’s Ford F-150. We chugged along in the snow for a few minutes or so, when I asked, “So, what’re you taking next semester?”

“Nothing. I dropped out, remember?”

“What? No, last time we talked, you said were studying accounting, that you had a 3.8 GPA,” I grumbled.

“Um, well, the accounting classes, that’s true.”

“Great, so is your name even Larry?

He laughed, but my wicked EYE darts quashed his grin. “So, what’re you doing now, lying professionally?”

He smiled. “Assistant Night Manager at K & B Grocery. School just ain’t for me.”

I nodded, thinking, it was only 9:30 PM on my birthday, and I’m now stuck with an ex-frat boy who was about as honest as your average politician.

Dale’s Place was in a rundown, converted warehouse with a hand-painted sign nailed to a tree. Holy fuckballs. Can you say DELIVERANCE?

“How ya doin’, Larry?” Asked the bouncer who was very tall and weighed somewhere north of 400 pounds. And his accent and cowboy hat were steeped in REDNECK.

“Good, Junior Lee, you?”

OMG, he even has a hilljack-ish name.

“Not bad. Who’s your friend?”

“She ain’t no sorority chick-”

A loud belt of laughter from Junior Lee while I wondered why the fuck THAT factoid was important.

Junior Lee nodded, as Larry handed him $20. WTF? A cover for a sports bar? Why?

Larry opened the door, and OMG! I heard the WAILING of Hank Williams, Jr., from the jukebox… I AM. IN FACT. IN HELL, just give me a pitchfork, and I’ll parry my way out. I HATE country music.

Larry ordered a Natty Light** (YUK), and a Bud Light for me from the bar, and we sat down at a tiny, rickety table with mismatched chairs that had seen better days…

Time to get the FUCK out of barn-town before the GETTING got worse…but there were no pay phones* anywhere.

As I struggled for an excuse to bolt for the loo, a.k.a. the exit, I remembered there was NADA but dark houses for a mile, at least, before arriving at this BODACIOUS pub in a rather ghetto-ish part of town.

Oh, but it gets better…

I noticed all the men scuffling out of their chairs and moving toward the opposite end of the room. At which point, I realized I was one of THREE women in the crowd. OMG, if they start chanting Satanic verses, I’m totally SCREWED.

Larry stood up. “C’mon. It’s show time.”

“What show?” I asked, following Larry through a doorway where men were shouting/fist-pumping as if watching a prize fight. No, not a Fight Club. The spirit of Tyler Dirden did not dwell here.

I wedged forward and saw the appalling sight of two ROOSTERS sparring in a pit with a dirt floor!! Yes, COCK FIGHTING! A white-feathered fellow was brawling with a brownish bird! Suddenly, the white bird began savagely pecking at the neck of the brown bird, who immediately flopped on his back. Sprays of blood spackled the dirt, the off-white walls/the floor/everywhere! The brown bird was down already, and I’m sure it was dead. If not now, it would be soon…

I’m sure my expression evoked my feverish horror as my insides TWINGED. I clutched my mouth and my stomach to keep from vomiting.

“I knew it,” Larry said, disdain tethering his tone. “I knew you wasn’t cool.”

“No, I’ll never be that cool.”

I shook my head, backing away thinking – what’s worse than a pathological liar who stands you up? A date with chicken Larry who doesn’t work for the “massa”. He’s at a supermarket near you…


That’s all for now. Move along. Nothing to see here until NEXT week whereupon I divulge the end of my sojourn at Tavern de Deliverance…

Over and OUT, Tenacious Bitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

*Keep in mind this happened in the 80s when NO ONE had cell phones.

** Translation: NATURAL LIGHT

© Tenacious Bitch 2013


Blog #33 – About that LATIN scholarship/aka going to Court…

Posted in beer, college, Family, friends, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

Two weeks later, we went to court*, which, oddly wasn’t conducted in a courtroom. We met in the office of Jefferson Wilmouth, the Juvenile Referee. Mom and Dad were both there, and Danny waited in the hallway while Wilmouth conducted my hearing, so to speak.

The only thing I remember about that experience was how incredibly small and drab Wilmouth’s office was. It was a tad bigger than the average airplane bathroom. And the place smelled like pinto beans though it was only 9:30 a.m. GAG and super GAG …

A Huntington police officer attended as well. He was tall and built like a Viking. He stood against the wall, his THICK arms tucked behind his back staring at the floor the whole time. And he didn’t speak a single syllable.

In fact, the ONLY verbiage I remember was Judge Wilmouth asking, “Do you understand the severity of the charges against you, Miss Smith?”

“Yes, sir, I do. And I swear to you, it won’t happen again,” and I purposely stared full – tilt at Wilmouth. I was afraid to look at Dad, for fear our agreement might be revealed by some flicker of recognition between us.

“Good. However, even still, I could send you to Ona’s Juvenile hall for 30 days, but after looking at your grade cards that your mother brought, I have to ask, is there anything ELSE besides your 3.64 average that might sway me from remanding you to Ona?”

CHOKED by the fear of answering this pivotal question incorrectly, I became momentarily MUTE.

“Because I….” THINK, DUMB ASS, THINK, and, luckily the perfect THOUGHT pelted me a second later, and I stammered, “Because I’d like to go to New York University, sir, and I won’t get a scholarship there or anywhere if I go to Ona. And I would gladly do some type of community service, or -”

“I see. What kind of scholarship?”

FUCK, I DON’T KNOW. The kind that GIVES you $$ for college. My horrified glance fell upon Dad, who saved me ONCE AGAIN.

“A Latin scholarship, Judge Wilmouth. She’s made A’s in Latin since the 7th Grade,” Dad replied.

“That’s very impressive. You know, there’s a shortage of Latin teachers, and I read in the newspaper recently they might have to raise teachers’ salaries to attract people with more academic degrees like Latin.”

“Is that so?” I said with a polite nod.

And THERE YOU HAVE IT. Danny and I both were sentenced to skewering trash in Riviera Park one Saturday. And Though I did have aspirations to go to NYU, I never had ANY intention of applying for a Latin scholarship, but feigning interest in such got me out of JUVY, and that’s ALL that matters!

Peace out from the CHAIN GANG…

~Tenacious Bitch and Company

* This court hearing was in regard to my unfortunate incarceration for buying beer when I was 17 for those just joining Crazytown. For the full story, see Blogs #30 and #32.

Blog 32 – The moment of truth…

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After mine and Danny’s brief sojourn at the Barboursville Police Department, Officer Jones drove us home in his cruiser. And Shauna drove the Monte Carlo back to my house, and THEN…

Mom stood in the doorway talking to Jones for at least TEN minutes, chatting him up like she was interviewing him for a job.

“And how long have been a policemen, Officer Jones?”


Finally, I cleared my throat. Mom glanced my way, and I tapped my watch and nodded toward Shauna and Prissy in Jones’s backseat. And THAT, prompted Mom to look at the clock in the dining room, which read 11:42 PM. “Oh, well, I won’t keep you. Nice meeting you, Officer Jones. Thanks for bringing them home.”

Nice meeting you? It wasn’t a Saturday night cotillion, MOTHER!

With a quizzical curl of his eyebrows, Officer Jones disappeared into the night.

Mom then turned to me with the flattened eyes of a very angry woman and said, “Your father is waiting for you…in our bedroom.”

That was NEVER a very good sign. Dad always lectured and/or punished us in their bedroom, not sure why exactly. I guess he didn’t wanna sit in his easy chair in the den and dole out a raging Catholic liturgy about our latest transgressions because he might become too distracted by the TV…or something….I don’t know.

The bedroom door was open. Dad stood by his dresser in his boxers and undershirt. He gestured for me to come in. I sat down on the bed trying to suppress the awkwardness of listening to THE TALK with Dad in his skivvies. He took another drag off his Pall Mall and flicked a few ashes into a plastic ashtray on the dresser. I took a deep breath hoping I was NOT going to LIVE in a convent…and waited…and waited.

He stared at the wall, his arms folded across his chest for at least TWO MINUTES. Another inhalation of Pall Mall joy…more ash flicking, and I wanted to scream, “OKAY, DAD, JUST get out the DAMNED belt already!

FINALLY, after another 90 seconds of AGONIZING silence, I said, “I’m sorry I got arrested, Dad. I really am.”

He nodded. “I know you are,” he replied, with that sharp-eyed gaze of one who truly MIGHT wail on my behind with his favorite leather strap, rendering me unable to sit down for a week (a constant threat from my mother that she never ONCE practiced). And then, he stared at the ceiling for an hour, or maybe, only another minute. Meanwhile, my pulse beat the hell out of my wrist, and my breath clamored against my chest like a hurricane on steroids.


He put his cigarette out very methodically, and I seriously think he was so DEEP in the cavernous well of his own thoughts, he didn’t even hear me because he didn’t answer. And Dad doesn’t do the SILENT treatment, per se. His silence was marked by heavy ponderings. He lit ANOTHER cigarette. YEA, now he’s chain-smoking, and it’s ALL MY FAULT.

Suddenly, my brain began to drum away: Was I losing my driving privileges until I’m 25? Would I have to make the dreaded trek to Father Tierney’s confessional and listen to him blather on about the villainy of breaking the law, hence, breaking God’s laws? Will I be confined to my room until I’m 21? What, Dad, WHAT’RE YOU GOING TO DO TO ME?

FINALLY, HE SPOKE, “There’s just one thing I don’t understand.”

“Okay…” I stuttered, “What’s that?”

“Why the hell did you buy that rock n roll beer, was it?”

“Rolling Rock.”

“When I’ve got almost a case of Stroh’s in the fridge?” And he pointed toward the kitchen for emphasis. “I know you’ve taken as many as four beers on a given Saturday night, or has it been, Danny?”

OMG!  He knew? I thought he just wasn’t paying attention to how much beer he had because he’d never said anything before now.

“So, ­why Kennedy? I don’t understand.”

I wasn’t sure how to answer. “Well, Dad, I…I don’t . I kinda…I don’t really like Stroh’s. I think it tastes like stale peanuts.”

Dad laughed so hard, he started coughing, and cigarette ashes fluttered out of his ashtray and landed all over his dresser. “Is that right?”

I nodded as Dad took out his handkerchief and began sweeping the ashes back into the ashtray with his very clean white hanky.

“So, it was Danny, then?”

I shrugged, knowing it was Danny, but I wasn’t going to rat on him. And at this juncture, Danny wouldn’t have ratted on me either.  “I’m not gonna lie, Dad, I have stolen a beer from the fridge after you’ve gone to bed, occasionally, but for the last year, I’ve been buying it myself.”

“I see. Well, from now on until you turn 18, don’t buy it, okay? I don’t want you getting arrested again, and if it’s the Huntington cops, you might actually have to spend the night in jail because of your prior arrest.”

I nodded, and he continued. “If you don’t have a friend with you who’s 18, I’ll buy you a six pack on Fridays at Henry’s when I buy my beer, but that’s all you get, understand?”

Henry’s Market is a little Mom n Pop convenience store about a mile from our house where Dad had been buying beer since I was in diapers.

“Yes, sir. Thank you.”

“And you have to drink it here unless someone else is driving who WON’T be drinking, okay?”

I nodded. “Thanks, Dad.”

“Goodnight, sweetie,” he said. I gave him a hug and went on to bed.

I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought my arrest would garner a much WORSE reprimand from my Dad, but he was a practical man. He knew that I was still going to drink beer like he did when he was 17. And this was HIS way of protecting his child from the consequences of what he considered more a rite of passage that just happened to be illegal.

That said, SO ENDS the ODE TO BARBOURSVILLE, BUT STAYED tuned for the aftermath.


~Tenacious Bitch and Company

BLOG #31…Ode to Barboursville and the days of yore…PART II

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

“You know, you can go to Ona for this,” Officer Jones said as he parked in the lot beside the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department on that fateful night that Danny and I got arrested for my underage PURCHASE of alcoholic beverages.

I noticed more cop cars parked on the opposite side of the building and the other DEPUTY FIFES heading our way.

“On the first offense?” I asked Jones, knowing he was referring to Ona Correctional Facility for Wayward Youth…yeah, JUVY with a capital “J”, which, of course, was intended to FRIGHTEN me. But Jonathan F. Smith (my Dad) posed a much bigger threat…in that HE could force a confession to the scary-assed Father Lombardo, or some other UNSPEAKABLE penance for my newest set of sins.

I took a deep breath, stepping out of Jones’s cruiser into the darkness enveloping the dead end street. A rather bulky, Bull-Dog looking cop got out of the front seat, and whirled round to me…“And judges LOVE to make examples of brats like you.”…

“Excuse me, but I didn’t see YOU at Judge Vincent’s barbecue last summer, there STUMP NECK, or Gary Cruickshank’s wedding neither!” Danny squawked.

“What’d you call me?” Bull Dog asked, his chest plumping up like a swollen gland.

“Gary? You mean Mayor Cruickshank?” laughed a deputy, whose badge said OFFICER MELTON…

At which point, I noticed two headlights puncturing the darkness. Mom’s Monte Carlo and my allies had arrived. “So, ya’ll know Marvin Ulysses Cruickshank, as well?” Shauna said sashaying toward us. God LOVE Shauna and her impeccable timing.

A shimmer of surprise in Bull Dog’s eyes reflected my suspicion that the newspapers had never printed the Mayor’s MIDDLE name.

“Is that so -?” Bull Dog stumbled, obviously unsure how to finish that sentence.

“Okay, THAT’S enough. This way,” Jones said grabbing Danny by the elbow and heading for a black sidewalk winding toward the front of the firehouse. “We can all discuss our alleged social calendars INSIDE.”

Danny’s dark eyes were trained on Bull Dog’s bug-eyed stare. Neither one moved or spoke.

“All right?” Jones balked, tugging on Danny’s arm. “Did you hear me, Smith?”

“Yep, crystal clear,” Danny replied through tethered teeth, his gaze never veering from Bull Dog’s hot glare.


“Yes, sir,” Bull Dog snarled.

When…I suddenly felt a twinge of anxiety. It was windowless room kind of dark out here among the endless woods surrounding the firehouse. Perfect place to murder someone and boil their bones or some shit. The HOOT of an owl startled Prissy who was finally toddling along with Shauna. Jones smiled at her, “They won’t bite, you know, the owls.”

Prissy fired an annoyed look at him, then said, “Excuse me, Officer, but what’re we doing HERE?”

“This way,” Jones replied.

Uh, THANKS, but that didn’t ANSWER her question, there EINSTEIN…

A moment later, I relaxed a bit when I saw several FAT firemen through the front window of the firehouse playing cards, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes beside a huge stone fireplace. Another fireman stoking a red hot blaze.

And then, I saw the TINY wooden sign haphazardly hanging above a black door indicating: BARBOURSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT followed by an arrow POINTING UP. Can you say HILLJACK? The sign rocked hard against the winter breeze, while emitting an extremely high-pitched SQUEAK.

We followed Jones up the narrow stairs to what was basically a large garage apartment over the ambulance bays. “Have a seat,” Jones said, gesturing toward a threadbare sofa across from a row of empty desks.

Danny, Shauna, Prissy and I collapsed into the couch, and Jones sat down and started typing on a manual typewriter. The clacking of the metal keys immediately conjured up the memory of Mrs. Moonfield, my typing teacher from ninth grade. Her horrendously nasal voice spouting, “F, F, F, F, F,” while we typed the same damned letter for an hour.  Just throw me in the HOLE, will ya?

I glanced around the less than pristine precinct.  The decor was akin to a frat house. Dusty/sagging hardwood floors, overflowing ashtrays, and every wall devoted to posters of girls in bikinis and the like. Yes, including the signature FARRAH in her red one-piece was also in attendance, her now-deceased smile, frozen in time. No wanted posters here…WTF? All that was missing was OTIS and BARNEY… 🙂

The other coppers settled into metal chairs at the far end of the room. I felt the exhaustion bludgeoning me, an adrenaline crash, so to speak. And I was almost asleep when I heard Prissy say, “Oh, my fucking God,” followed by her customary GASP. My head snapped up, and I looked at Prissy expectantly.

She pointed to Bull Dog and three other cops DRINKING our ROLLING ROCK while jabbering on about the Superbowl. CAN YOU SAY FUCKING PRICKS? How could this be LEGAL? They’re drinking the goddamned evidence!!!

I could see Danny’s jaw tightening, the rage surfacing, “Danny don’t-” I said in a CURT voice.

“You MEAT-HEADS enjoying that fucking beer WE paid for?” Danny sputtered angrily.

“Yeah, matter of fact, I am,” chirped a tall skinny cop wearing a turtleneck under his uniform (I know, right?)…

Jones glanced up from the typewriter and turned to his brothers in blue – hollering, “Hey, don’t touch that other six pack. We need it for court.”

Bull Dog slurped down the rest of HIS beer, grabbed another one from MY SAVE MART BAG, and said, “Don’t worry, boss. It’s in the fridge. We won’t touch it, right boys?” That comment evoked a bawdy round of laughter from the sporto rent-a-cops…

“Blankenship!” Jones barked.

“Okay, okay. We won’t drink it, I swear.” And, then they settled down to sucking down the last of the touchable cerveza.

I slung my arm across Danny’s chest again to keep him from rocketing off the couch and getting in Bull Dog’s face. Then, I leaned over and whispered, “Remember, Danny, he has a gun.”

“Like I fucking care,” Danny blathered loudly, but the cops ignored him. Typical Danny, fearing no one and NOTHING except maybe having to WORK for a living….however, he did something I would NEVER have foreseen. He SHOT up off the couch and rushed toward Jones. I went after him, ready to tackle him if I had to.

“Danny, don’t,” I said as the conversation in the beer galley suddenly halted to a deadly silence.

“Sit your ass down, Smith,” Jones ordered.

Danny held out both his wrists toward Jones. “Ya better cuff me to a goddamned chair, or I’m gonna fuck them up, and get m’beer back, understand? And it ain’t gonna be pretty,” Danny bellowed.

No laughter from the quartet of brawn in blue. Instead, their eyes went uniformly WIDE in anticipation of Danny’s next move. By the suspicious glint in Bull Dog’s eyes, I could tell, he was expecting TROUBLE.

Jones calmly stared at Danny. Man, JONES was TOTALLY becoming a candidate for the seat next to me in my lifeboat. His composure was straight out of John Wayne’s bible…

Finally, Jones took a pair of handcuffs out of his desk, and he latched Danny’s right hand to the arm of a wooden chair next to his desk. Danny sat down without a word.

At that moment, I totally understood the corruption of rural municipalities. I never thought about the logistics of misplaced EVIDENCE until I saw it disappearing into Bull Dog Cop’s gullet that night.

No boring fare in a history book. This was real time sleaze in ALL its glory in one of many shitty, one stoplight villages …and I’ll bet these fine, upstanding regulators would’ve been the FIRST to stand in line to collect their hooch before casting their votes on ELECTION DAY back in the days of yore…

And there you have it….once upon a time in a place where the BOYS never become MEN, and the SHEEP sleep with ONE eye open…

So, what happened AFTER our arrest? How did my parents react? Well, it was like this…

wait for it…..

wait for it….

The Ode to Barboursville and the days of yore…

(to be continued)…

PEACE OUT, Tenacious Bitch and the chain gang, not to be confused with four sober and pissed off teenagers…