Monday, September 12, 2005

A Sincere Apology

Latigo Flint would like to take this opportunity to offer a sincere apology on behalf of himself and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, to the approximately 2.2 million Southland residents who found themselves without power this afternoon. We hear the lights are back on for most of you. We're glad. We hope the rest come back up real soon.

We appreciate the noble gesture by the two utility guys, Rocco and Bobby, who tried to cover for us by reporting worker error during installation of a transmission system. You fellas are princes in our book, but roll off the grenade please; Kid Relish and I are cut from Squinty-Eyed Gunslinger leather, and part of that means owning up to your mistakes.

See, here's what happened--for over six years now, The Kid and I have been operating a California condor recovery program in Kid Relish's grandmother's basement. We started in 1998 with one breeding pair, Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak, and now we're up to... well, actually it's still just them--neighborhood cats keep sneaking in and eating the chicks. But that's beside the point. What happened today was we were taking Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak on their daily walk and Kid suggested we go a different way this time. Unfortunately, this new route took us right past one of the major power receiving stations in the San Fernando Valley.

An ice cream vendor happened to be stopped directly across the street from the nondescript brown building with "DWP" above the door. I had Kid Relish hold both leashes while I purchased four frozen juice bars. (Strawberry for The Kid, lime for me and pineapple/coconut for Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak.)

I was double-counting my change because the vendor giggled when he handed it to me, when suddenly I heard Kid Relish yell in alarm. I whirled to see Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak making a desperate sprint for the fenced-in area behind the power station, dragging The Kid behind them.

"Señor, your condors," the ice cream vendor smiled sadly. "They seem to be escaping."

"Hang on Kid!!!" I hollered as he bounced over the curb and up the sidewalk. I glared at the ice cream vendor. "A little sensitivity please Amigo. Those are two of the poor little tykes from the children's burn ward. Um, The Kid and I volunteer there. Those children are very brave and have been though so much--I think they've earned the right not to be insulted by ice cream vendors."

It's against my nature to lie, but owning an endangered California condor happens to be punishable by death in this state. (Former Governor Gray Davis snuck that one on the books in 2001 during his re-election campaign and used it to have his opponent, Bill Simon, executed.)

The ice cream vendor nodded solemnly then pointed. "Señor, your burn victim children," he stifled a laugh with a cough. "They seem to be flying away now."

Sure enough, the pair had Kid Relish six feet off the ground and were straining with heavy flaps to gain the summit of the power station's double-high security fence. Kid was trying to plead them down with urgent reminders of pineapple/coconut frozen juice bars but they didn't seem to hear, they were overcome by some sort of primal urge.

"Oh god Kid, hang on!!! Here I come." I sprinted toward them but had only crossed half the distance when Captain and Molly redoubled their flaps and tugged Kid face-first into the razor wire at the top. He screamed and released the leashes. Relieved of their burden, Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak were free to proceed, smack into the lethal coils of an unshielded transformer.

It roasted them instantly. I dropped to my knees in the center of the street, my soul screaming the words my throat could only manage to whisper: "God no!!! Pretty Molly!!! Captain Chortlebeak!!!"
From his razor wire tangle at the top of the fence, Kid Relish began shrieking his anguish across a metal, gravel yard. Then the loadbreak switches blew and the explosion blasted him forty feet into a hedge.

Anyway, chain reaction from there. I reckon I don't need to detail it; you all have a basic understanding of power grids, right?

So again, I'm very sorry about that greater Los Angeles. Kid, I'm sorry I stopped for frozen juice bars, but you should have tried harder dern it. Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak... I'll carry this wound for all time. I pray there's a condor heaven. I hope the cliffs run forever there, rugged and tall beneath a clear blue sky.


At 11:06 PM, Blogger Kid Relish said...

Now and always shall the world appear as though viewed through steel-blue shades.

I’ll never love again.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger ThePaula said...

Don't worry, Latigo, I'm sure Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak are looking down on your from heaven, and thanking you for the juice bars they never got the chance to eat.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...


What does Condor taste like?

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

I'm truly sorry to hear of your loss. Truly I am. So often noble causes and selfless deeds go unrewarded.

You gonna eat those extra juice bars, then?

(Regarding our ongoing disagreement over The Kevin...if we do meet I'm sure I'll be slain, you being the quickest quickdraw and all..but I'm pretty quick with the poop. I'm just sayin')

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

too bad you weren't armed. you coulda shot them down rill quick.

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous SpyScribe said...

I too am sorry for your loss.

I had wondered what that heavy feeling in my heart was when I opened the refrigerator yesterday afternoon and the light did not go on.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Kid Relish, clearly capable of surviving burns and falls, should seriously consider moonlighting as a human cannonball.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Come here, Latigo, let momma make it all ok.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

poor condors.

poor kid relish's face! how's that coming together?

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

I'm sure there in a place where the frozen juice bars are always the right temprature, never too sweet or bitter. In heaven, everything's alright. You've got your good thing and I've got mine.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

It is nice to get things explained by the man on the street. The DWP never knows jack shit. They told me it was caused by some guy who stuck his head in the microwave and short-circuited his gold crowns.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

That damn Gray Davis. I always knew he was the enemy of the condor. Has there been any report on Governor Schwarzenegger's condor position?

At 12:09 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Strength Kid. Pretty Molly and Captain Chortlebeak would want you to carry on.

Thank you Paula. My fists yet unclench.

A bit like baby seal Dave. (Of course.)

I melted the uneaten juice bars into a soothing balm and applied it to Kid's ruptured face Monkey. (I have an aversion to being splattered with slung poo... this is true. Perhaps we'll set the violence aside. Your death and my nausea just don't seem worth it. You're wrong, of course, about The Kevin. I've written novels worth that prove it.)

I know Ho... I happened to be wearing my authentic replicas again that day.

These things happen Spyscribe, we move on. I hope your entire stash of juice bars weren't sacrificed for want of four.

Hello MJ. Kid hates safety nets. And the state of California requires them, for insurance purposes, of all its projectile daredevils.

Cindy-Lou! Do you know how much ice I go through every time you post such? (It borders on cruelty.)

He looks a bit like you now Tabitha Jane... except not beautiful. And skin flaps flutter, exposing bone, every time the wind blows.

Does my heart good to hear it Trevor. When my boots hit the boards I'm a brand new man, with my back against the riser I'll make my stand.

Cover stories Old Hoss... folks'll buy anything these days.

He's trying to go middle of the road on the condor issue Amandarama. He can't win either way--this state is quite insane. He'll probably pet them to death in the end.

At 3:06 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I figured you guys had a hand in it.


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