So you left the restaurant, what did you do?
Well, I followed the directions on the napkin and sure enough, right
where he said it would be was run-down little shithole of a hotel called
"Best Inn." It was one of those no-tell motels that you probably
read about in the paper. I used to stay in them all the time in college,
only places I could afford, so I guess I wasn't too out of place but I
still didn't like the idea of sleeping there.
To make things worse I really wasn't sure what to do when I got in
there. I'd never done the whole so-and-so sent me routine and actually
gotten anything for it. I thought about just paying for the room myself
since it looked really cheap, of course I also thought about forgetting
the whole hotel thing and just driving on.
So what did you decide on?
I figured that a free room was a free room and the worst things the
Best Inn could do to me is throw me out which leaves me with the options
of getting another hotel room or driving on. So basically I had nothing to
Anyway, I went in there, rang the bell at the counter and out came this
filthy looking guy who was probably in his forties. He was short,
unshaven, had a huge beer gut and had this hideous Hawaiian shirt on.
"Can I help you?" he asked with a very gruff and even sarcastic
"Are you… Mike?" I asked him a bit unsure.
"Yeah, what of it."
"Well, Little John sent me here and said that you might be able to
help…" I didn't even get to finish the sentence. That man snapped
to attention, grabbed a key out of the wall chest and laid it on the
counter. I tell you, I've never seen a man move so fast. "Do I need
to sign anything or…"
He interrupted again, "No sir, any friend of Little John is a
friend of mine. You're in room 213, that's out the door, to the left and
up the stairs. Please enjoy your stay." Before I could even thank him
the man ducked back into the office out of sight. I just stood there with
this dumb look on my face trying to figure out what just happened. Never
How was the room?
It was shit. The air conditioner barely worked, the toilet didn't flush
well and three channels on the TV came in fuzzy. Since I didn't have any
luggage I just kind of plopped down on the bed and watched what I could on
the television to pass the time.
Actually, that's a lie. I did watch television, but I don't remember
any of it, mostly I just lied there and thought about what I was doing.
At first I thought about just scrapping the whole thing and heading
home. I had to stop myself a couple of times from grabbing the keys and
making the haul back to Atlanta. It was the first time I'd really stopped
to think about how crazy this was and I started getting really scared. I
even cried a little bit over the whole thing. You know, I hadn't cried in
years but it felt good in a strange way.. Kind of like getting back in
touch with your emotions. Even though I was bawling like a baby I felt
free for the first time in years.
But anyway, every time I thought about quitting I just saw Little John
smiling at me and telling me I was his new hero. There were probably three
times I would have headed back home if it hadn't been for him, but I
didn't want to let him down and I guess I didn't want to let myself down
either. Besides, I figured I was in too deep to turn around now.
So after I got through all of that, I started thinking about what I'd
do next. I figured I'd go see Little John at the bar. It was the least I
could do after all his help. If things got too hairy there, I'd either
leave to go home or head the other direction up 85 and go toward
Charlotte. I didn't really have a plan to make that decision if needed, I
kind of figured I'd wing it if it came up.
So what did you do when you finished all of that heavy thinking?
Nothing. I never got to finish it really. I looked up at the clock and
it was 12:30, time to head out. I got in the car, followed Little John's
directions and found the Blue Moon Bar. When I pulled into the parking
lot, I cringed. I mean, the place looked nice enough, big parking lot,
neon sign and even a small porch, but the parking lot was filled with
Harley's and I just knew that the biker crowd was going to kick my ass.
But somehow, someway, I got the courage to go in there and I had to
laugh at myself because no one even noticed me walk in. I mean, for one
the place was mostly empty and second it turned out to be one of those old
country-western dance bars that you see in bad movies. When I walked in,
the jukebox was going real loud and everyone there was either on the floor
or drinking at the bar, either way no once noticed me.
Sorry, I can't see bikers doing line dancing…
Oh, they weren't line dancing. I guess it wasn't even really dancing;
it was more about having fun. They had their wives or their girlfriends or
whatever out there and they were just moving to the music more than
anything. Nothing organized about it.
Sorry to interrupt, just had to ask about that.
It's alright. I understand.
Anyway, I began to walk over to the bar and sure enough there was
Little John behind it polishing some glasses but before I could even get
over there to sit down, he calls out for everyone to hear, "Hey
ya'll, it's Jake."
Immediately two guys got up and began to walk my way. I froze in
mid-step out of fear, but when the first guy reached me and grabbed my
hand in a firm handshake, I relaxed a little, "I gotta tell you boy,
I heard about what you done and holy shit you are like a God to me. Man, I
wish I had what you have. I can't believe it, someone who's actually done
it," he said in a thick southern accent.
I didn't get a chance to respond though, the second guy put his arm
around me and squeezed me a little, "Tell me something, how does
freedom feel? What does it taste like? I have to know. I've been wondering
all my life."
"It's a little nerve-wracking right this second."
He gave me a couple of playful jabs in the gut, "Aw come on, we
can fix that right here, let me buy you a drink," he said as he began
escorting me to the bar.
"Hell no," said one of the patrons at the far end, "I'm
buying him his first drink, you said I could."
"Well, I'm a lying sack of shit, you should know that by
now," the guy around me shot back.
I took up a stool at the bar and before anyone else could speak Little
John shouted out, "Now ain't nobody going to be buying him drinks
until he gets to make his decision," I'll tell you, the crowd fell
dead silent and all eyes turned on me, "Sorry about that, I've been
telling these fellas your story. Guess I got a little carried away. Anyway
though, it looks like you got a choice tonight."
"Yep. You see, my second hand quit today. Now, I just talked to
the owner and he's willing to pay you fifty dollars plus tips to cover for
tonight. Since you've got such a huge fan club tonight, I'd say that
should total around a hundred dollars and it'll be the easiest hundred
you've ever made since I'll be doing most of the work."
I looked around me. Everyone was still looking at me like dogs watching
the television. I got a sick feeling in my stomach like something bad was
going to happen.
"Or," Little John Spoke up again, "If you don't want the
job, I'll take the hundred since I'll get it anyway and give you a hell of
a deal on this," and let out a loud whistle.
I looked side to side but no one moved. I couldn't figure out what the
Hell was going on. Up and down the line everyone was perfectly still, just
staring at me practically drooling with anticipation.
"Hello," a soft voice said from behind. I tell you, I was so
startled I almost fell off the stool, but slowly I spun around and there
were two girls standing there, "You must be Jake."
Yeah. I never thought of them that way but I guess so. But before what
happened could sink in Little John spoke up again, "Now they've
agreed to a special deal for you. For $150 they're yours for the night and
since you've already handed me a hundred, it's only $50 out of your
pocket. It's a helluva deal son. I know I'd take it."
Must have been a tough decision.
Oh it was. I mean I'm not the kind of guy to cheat on his wife. I
actually buy that "till death do us part" crap but these girls
were gorgeous. I mean, one was about five and a half feet tall, had long
brown hair, a delicate face and a very curvaceous build. With her features
she might have been foreign, but I couldn't tell. The other was tall,
thin, with blond hair, blue eyes and that all-American face guys can't
resist. She was the one doing all the talking and she had a charming
southern accent to boot. God that just drives me wild.
So what did you do?
At first I didn't say anything. I just kind of sat there with my mouth
open. But Little John didn't let that go on long, "So what's it going
to be, the money or the girls?"
I swallowed so hard I nearly choked, "Can I think about it for a
Little John let out a huge laugh, "I wish you could, but if you
don't want them I need to get them over to the club. So you ain't got long
to make up your mind."
That was about when everyone in the bar started leaning in and
whispering to me, "How can you say no to these girls," said one.
"Whatcha got to lose, your wife's already going to kill you. Might
as well have a little fun," said another.
After about four people whispered at me and I guess peer pressure got
the most of me and I stood up and said to them, "Ladies, I'm in room
213. I guess I'll see you there." I tell you, the crowd let out a
huge cheer when they heard me say that, even Little John was applauding.
"Hot damn son you made the right decision. I am so proud of
you," he said applauding like a giant gorilla. "I tell you what,
why don't you just take them with you and we'll settle up in the morning.
Have fun tonight my friend. Have lots of fun."
With that I left the Blue Moon Bar with a woman on each arm and my head
held up high. I wasn't even thinking about what I was doing, just how
popular I'd become.
Of course, foresight at this time might not have been a bad thing…