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April 07, 2005

The Last Call From Ace

ACE: Hoke.

HOKE: (icily) What?

ACE: I need a little help here, brother. I'm kind of in a jam.

HOKE: Arrested for crack? For male prostitution?

ACE: Oh, no. Nothing like that. Just a bit of, uhhh, second-degree murder. (scoffing) Whatever that means.

HOKE: Jesus! What happened?

ACE: Well, we were at an after-party, you know, winding down after my second curtain-call for "Chain-Chain-Change-a-Bop." We were at this really awesome place, great food, amazing ambiance. It's called Chi-Chi's. You ever hear of it?

HOKE: I'm aware.

ACE: So, I'm on a natural high because I got these great reviews. Well, it's hard to say what the high was. Let's say it was partly natural, and partly crack mixed with ether and vaporized Gila Monster venom. Hard to separate them out. So I'm reading my reviews--

HOKE: Who the hell reviews a "cabaret" of guys dressed in drag doing Grease?

ACE: Hah! Only a tiny little magazine called Secret Sausage. You've heard of Secret Sausage, I trust?

HOKE: I may have seen it on the magazine racks once or twice. And, maybe, hidden in my garage in boxes marked "Spent Antifreeze -- Toxic -- Do Not Open."

ACE: I just keep mine on the coffee table, next to Vanity Fair. Anyway, we're all having a great time, and all of a sudden this Mexican busboy makes a threatening gesture towards me, and I panic -- you know about my panic, right? -- and I sort of, well, accidentally stabbed him in the throat with a salad fork.

HOKE: The stabbing killed him?

ACE: Ehhhhh... well, the stabbing put him on the ground. I think it was stomping him in the face for five or six blood-splattering minutes that actually finished the job. Dude, I was totally like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. At one point I even said, "No, you said I'm funny, I'm funny how, like a clown?" but I don't think the busboy "got" the reference, because I'm pretty sure I was just stomping on dead pulp at that point. Anyway, it was self-defense. Anyone in my shoes would have done the same.

HOKE: What was the threatening gesture?

ACE: Well... I have to admit, in retrospect, this may seem a little funny, but it might not have been as threatening as I first thought. Look, you know how "those people" gesture a lot. They talk with their hands. Anyway, he was saying something in that gibberish language of his, and he took out a knife.

HOKE: What kind of knife?

ACE: A serving knife as it turned out. I wasn't sure if he was intended to kill me on the spot or just give me a clean knife for the Picante Salsa. But I had a split-second to react, and I was taking no chances. You know how good those people are with knives.

HOKE: I happen to be of Hispanic descent myself, Ace.

ACE: Right! So you know exactly what I mean. There must be a dozen bodies buried in your backyard due to chimichangas being mistaken for lethal weapons at family get-togethers.

HOKE: Ummmm. Right. Whatever.

ACE: So, anyway, I figure I need a little help here. I really don't want to spend any time doing community service. I object to the very principle of "service." And I'm not a big fan of "community," either.

HOKE: I think it's a little more serious than that, Ace.

ACE: Pshah! Dude, it's only, like, second-degree murder.

HOKE: Twenty-five years to life, Ace.

ACE: Twenty five years of community service?

HOKE: No, idiot. Twenty-five to life in prison.

ACE: Nnnnnn... eesh. Well... look, is there any chance they'd put me in one of those cushy federal prisons? It was a white-collar crime, after all.

HOKE: Murder is not a white-collar crime.

ACE: But I went to a good college. Made Dean's List a couple of times.

HOKE: That's not really the test. Look-- do you have any defense at all for this?

ACE: Like I said-- the guy was Mexican. I mean-- come on. You know.

HOKE: The fact that he was Mexican will not, I think, count as justification for deadly self-defense according to the reasonable person standard.

ACE: Well, maybe not the reasonable person, but the reasonable white person....

HOKE: Ace?

ACE: Yeah?

HOKE: When this goes to trial, don't take the stand.

ACE: No? I thought I might do a top ten list, and maybe "re-print" some of my old material. Wow 'em, you know. Get them on my side. Make the victim look like the bad guy.

HOKE: No. I'm going go out on a limb here, Ace. I've suspected this for a while anyway, but now I think it's best that I know, for purely legal reasons. Have you ever been diagnosed as a borderline schizophrenic with possible sociopathic tendencies?

ACE: Shyeah! Only like ten times since middle-school!

HOKE: Okay, I think we can work with that. Your previous diagnoses, plus your blog itself, could get you a finding of "not mentally competent to stand trial." But it's going to take some doing. I know a DA in New York, and I'll see if I can get the case brought before a liberal judge. If things work out-- you might just have to spend a year or two in a mental hosptial, and then maybe we can get you out on work-release in a halfway house.

ACE: That. Sounds. AWESOME! I always wanted to live in a halfway house. I always thought of them like a fun little gated communities, except with Parchesi and checkers instead of communal pools and golf courses.

HOKE: Well, we'll see. Let me see if I can get you this liberal judge, first.

ACE: Man, thank God I live in a blue state. Have you ever imagined what would happen if we got our way on judges, Hoke?

HOKE: Every night. And every night I wake up screaming in terror that one day we'll win.

ACE: Why do we do it, Hoke? Why do we... fight so hard for Evil?

HOKE: I don't know, Ace. I think it's a little like a mountain. We fight for Evil... because it's there.

ACE: Because it's there. Because it's there! (chuckles) I never thought of it that way before. I'm... letting down the cause here, aren't I?

HOKE: You are. We need you. There are so few of us willing to take the actions necessary to make Evil prevail.

ACE: Because it's there. Well, that's it for me. I've been a bloody selfish fool, haven't I? My retirement is over. I'm going back to blogging, back to joining in the fight for Ultimate Evil.

HOKE: If your court-appointed mental health provider allows you go on-line, you mean.

ACE: Well, obviously, Hoke. But assuming I'm not deemed an Internet predator...

HOKE: Could be tricky.

ACE: No doubt, but... assuming they allow me access to a computer: I'm back, baby.

HOKE: Let's do this. Let's have Evil.

ACE: I want to go craaaaazy on Evil. Well, I gotta go again. Ajax has to call his lawyer.

HOKE: Did he take part in the murder, too?

ACE: No. Wasn't even there. Apparently he helped Sandy Berger destroy a couple of documents. I didn't really get all the details.

HOKE: Funny little world, isn't it?

ACE: Funny little world. It sure is, Hoke. It sure is.


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