Monthly Archives: July 2016

Undead Man’s Hand – Part 4

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Bullock officially becomes Deadwood’s new sheriff, only to find trouble within a few minutes of pinning on his star.

Chapter 20       Chapter 21        Chapter 22

Chapter 23       Chapter 24       Chapter 25

Chapter 26

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 26

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Mike had washed up and changed clothes, but his face was still bruised and sore. He stepped into Al’s office.

Andy Clement’s body was still on the floor. The floorboards were coated with blood, much of it from Mike’s crude attempt to saw off the body’s arm. It was still attached, though only by a little bit of tissue.

Al was holding an unlit torch – rags soaked in kerosene wrapped around the end of a wooden handle.

“Look at yourself,” Al said. “What am I going to do with you?”

“I’m sorry, Al.”

“The thing you need to remember is threats don’t work on a man like Bullock,” Al said. “You either do something to him or you don’t but if you decide to do something, you don’t let him know its coming. You just do it. Got it?”

“I got it,” Mike said.

Al shook his head. “Aww who knows what’s going on inside that squirrel brain of yours?”

The barkeep walked over to a bookcase that was positioned up against the wall and put his hand on a copy of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.

“Know why I like this book?” Al asked.

“No,” Mike replied.

“It’s about a bunch of French do-gooder fucks,” Al explained as only he could. “During a time of war and famine everyone’s dying while they try to do the right thing. The only two remotely happy people in the entire sordid tale are the corrupt innkeeper and his crooked wife who lie, cheat and steal their way through life.”

Mike just stood there.

“Get it?” Al asked.

Mike shrugged his shoulders. “Try to do good?”

Al rolled his eyes. “You are useless. Now listen ignoramus, I’m about to show you something that you can never reveal to another living soul. Understand?”

Mike nodded.

“I’m not telling tales out of school here, kid,” Al said. “You tell no one about this. Not one of your drinking buddies, not some girl you’re diddling, not even your whore of a mother.”

“I won’t tell,” Mike said.

Al pointed a finger at Mike. “Let me make it clear. Anyone you tell will have to die. If you tell anyone, you have killed them.”

Mike nodded again.

“Good,” Al said. “So long as we have an understanding.”

Al pulled the book forward. Gears and cranks built into the wall began to churn as the entire bookcase slid to the left.

The barkeep struck a match, lit his torch, then led Mike down a dark, dank staircase.

“Where the hell did you leave Farley’s hide?” Al asked. “Clearly not in a good spot since Bullock was just trying to stick his head up my ass.”

“Stable,” Mike said. “Under a hay bale.”

Al sighed. “In the stable under a hay bale. Jesus Christ I should just hire a fucking donkey.”

“Sorry Al,” Mike said. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

“I know dummy,” Al said. “Now I’m going to show you.”

The staircase wounded around in a spiral for awhile. “See, no one really gives a shit what we do, but we just can’t be so obvious about it. Some dopey shit heel disappears, everyone knows what happened but they can at least pretend maybe the dumb ass ran away or some shit.”

A rat scurried past Mike’s feet. He kicked it away.

“But if you start stacking the bodies like cordwood out in the open for everyone to see, that’s when do-gooder fucks like Bullock start asking questions.”

At the bottom of the staircase was a tunnel. It was so dark that it was difficult to see just how far it went. Mike followed Al’s torchlight into the darkness.

As they walked, Mike noticed all sorts of boxes and crates. Several of them were marked “TNT.”
“What is all this, Al?” Mike asked.

“I’ll just say it’s some shit that fell off the back of an Army wagon and leave it at that,” Al said. “But naturally, if you’ve got shit that belongs to the Army, you don’t want to leave it lying around for every mouthy son of a bitch to see, do you?”

“No,” Mike said.

Out of curiosity, Mike lifted up the lid of a chest. It was filled to the brim with shiny golden nuggets.

Al snapped the lid shut.

“This tunnel,” Al said. “And the shit I keep in it are my insurance policy.”

Mike was clearly confused. “Insure-whatance?”

“God Almighty what a simpleton,” Al said. “Insurance. It’s uh. Jew shit. You pay a Heeb some money and they agree to pay you the money you need to fix something if it gets fucked up.”

“So Jews built this tunnel?” Mike asked.

“No,” Al replied. “I actually hired a bunch of Chinks to build it.”

“Now you’ve lost me,” Mike said.

“What else is new?” Al said. “Forget about the insurance. The point is that I realize that one day the U.S. government is coming for me. They’re coming to take over this entire town. When they happens, I’m not going to be strung up by my neck while some self-righteous fucks pat themselves on the back about how honest and decent they are and what a fuck I am.”

Mike and Al kept walking. More crates of gold and dynamite lined the walls.

“Hopefully if the Army ever comes, I’ll get a warning from one of the crooked politicians in my pocket so that I can load all this gold on a wagon and hightail it into Canuck territory,” Al said. “Fucking Canucks. Bunch of syrup swilling moose fuckers if you ask me.”

Al stopped. “But if they come without warning, I’ll at least be able to fill my pockets and run out of here like a thief in the night. Now you can do that too.”

The barkeep pointed a finger at the tunnel’s seemingly endless darkness.

“Next time we’ve got a carcass to get rid of,” Al said. “Don’t leave it around for any old asshole to discover. Bring it down here, lug it a mile north and you’ll be in the woods. Once you’re there you can dump the body under a tree, bury it, let a bear eat it, let a skunk fuck it, let a family of possums built a next in its belly, I truly don’t give a shit.”

Mike nodded.

“Just don’t leave it lying around town for self-righteous pricks like Bullock to find,” Al said.

“OK,” Mike said.

“New project,” Al said. “I want you to take some of this dynamite and rig the tunnel to blow. That way when the Army comes we can get the hell out of Dodge and cover our tracks so they can’t follow us.”

“Shit Al,” Mike said. “I don’t know anything about dynamite.”

“You better learn,” Al said. “If you blow my fucking joint up by accident and kill me in the process I’ll come back as a ghost and smack the shit out of you.”

Mike opened the lid to one of his gold crates, removed a nugget and tucked it into the henchman’s hand.

“Here,” Al said. “Don’t spend it all in one place.”

“Wow,” Mike said. “Thanks Al.”

Al shook his head. “I’m going to regret telling you about this, aren’t I?”

“No,” Mike replied.

“Shit,” Al said. “Yes I am. I know it. I might as well chop off my cock and mail it to Grant by pony express to save him the trouble.”

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Movie Review – Bad Moms (2016)

Oh those wacky moms.

So many vagina jokes, so little time.

BAD SPOILERS.

BQB here with a review of Bad Moms.

I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile now because the trailer looked hilarious. Rarely does a movie live up to a good trailer but this one does.

The setup – Amy (Mila Kunis) struggles to be a top notch mom.  She juggles work, taking care of the kids, the house, the dog, getting everyone to all of their activities and still finding time to volunteer for the PTA.

Blah blah blah…it all becomes too much when super perfect mom/PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her flunkies (Jada Pinkett-Smith and Annie Mumolo) become Nazi moms – i.e. the moms that have all sorts of rules (the highlight being a detailed power point presentation on what ingredients are allowed in treats sold at the school bake sale along with punishments for those who don’t comply.)

Long story short, Amy and friends Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell) decide to be…wait for it…”bad moms.”

Get it? That’s why they called the movie Bad Moms…because they decided to be bad at motherhood.

I don’t want to ruin it by getting any further into detail.  Lots of funny R rated material. Abundant jokes about male and female anatomy. Musical montages in which they openly disobey PTA rules by purchasing sugary snacks and so on.

There’s definitely a lot of social commentary throughout.

Some things I noticed:

  • Millenials jumped over Generation X without waiting their damn turn. I complain about this constantly myself.  Also, that millennials just lump all the generations that came before them together.  Case in point – Amy’s boss is a dopey 20 year old who is convinced Amy is part of “the Greatest Generation.”
  • People downgraded to part-time.  Companies downsizing jobs to part-time status has been in the news a lot lately. Amy suffers the same problem.
  • No one respects marriage anymore.  Her dopey husband is caught cheating on her and makes it out like it’s no big deal and she’s being uptight.
  • Kids start worrying about what college they’ll go to at twelve now.
  • Parents aren’t allowed to tell their kids no or to tell them to shape up or stop being little jerks when they act jerky or what have you.
  • Of course, the overall theme is to show what the average working mom goes through.    Between work, taking care of kids, volunteering at their school and all kinds of other stuff, life becomes one big juggling act where moms are frantically running from one thing to the next and feeling like there’s never enough time for everything.  So give those moms a break, will you?

Anyway, lot of laughs. I had a good time.  It makes me sad that Christina and Mila, who were once the teenage daughters in Married with Children and That 70’s Show, respectively, are now old enough to be playing moms who go to mom war against each other.

Oh well. Time marches on. It’s tough for us old folks in the Greatest Generation.

But seriously, it is an issue I’ve brought up to the 3.5 readers of my blog so many times, so I was so happy to see the “Millenials think anyone born before 1990 must be a hundred years old” issue in a movie.

I thought it was just me and I was the only one who’d noticed. It was worth going just for that.

OK. I’ll stop sounding like an old crank now.  Get off my lawn.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Theater worthy, though the laughs would be good as a rental too.

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 25

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About an hour later, Bullock found himself nearly catatonic, silently staring at the wall as he sat in the back of Aunt Lu’s cafe. He wasn’t hungry. He just sat there.

Merrick and McGillicuddy, on the other hand, were scarfing breakfast down. Ham and eggs, bacon, home fries, grits, pancakes – it was as if Aunt Lu’s mission in life was to make everyone in town morbidly obese.

“Mr. Bullock,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “Please. Get a plate and take some of this. You don’t know what you’re missing.”

“No word of a lie,” Merrick added. “In all my travels I have never encountered a chef as skilled in the culinary arts as our own Aunt Lu.”

Bullock ignored both men and kept staring at the wall. Finally, he spoke up.

“I hate your guts, Merrick.”

“I know,” Merrick said. “I don’t blame you.”

“Why did you do this to me?” Bullock asked.

“I tried to stop you,” Merrick said. “Once I thought the whole thing through.”

“But I…”

Doctor McGillicuddy cut him off. “You assumed due to your experience as an officer of the law that you could handle Al Swearengen but he is like no other criminal you have ever seen, a modern day megalomaniac who has dotted his every “i” and crossed every last one one of his ’t’s.’ Our entreaties did not do the man justice and you did not realize how evil he was until you met him in person.”

“That sums it up,” Bullock said without taking his gaze away from the wall.

A hand waved its way past Bullock’s face. It belonged to Lu, who stopped by to drop more plates on the table. Corned beef hash and buttered biscuits with gravy.

“Oh no,” Merrick said. “Lu, please! I’m going to bust!”

“Well someone’s got to eat it,” Lu said. “I made too much and I can’t let it go to waste.”

Lu looked Bullock over.

“Why isn’t he eating?” she asked.

Merrick took a sip of coffee. “He’s had a rough morning.”

“Hey,” Lu said as she snapped her fingers in front of Bullock’s face. “Don’t you know its an insult to come in my place and not eat something?”

The cook noticed the star pinned to Bullock’s shirt.

“New sheriff?” she asked.

Doctor McGillicuddy sighed. “Afraid so. And worse, he’s contemplating a war with Al Swearengen.”

Lu threw her hands up in the air and walked away. “Oh hell no. Last thing I need is to make friends with a dead man.”

Bullock sighed. “I hate you Merrick.”

“I know,” Merrick replied.

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 24

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Al rapped on his office door. “Mike.”

“Busy, Al,” came Mike’s voice from the other side of the door. It was followed by a strange sound. Bullock wasn’t able to place it though Al realized it was the sound of a saw cutting its way through bone.

Al was a man of multiple personalities and in the presence of the new sheriff, his “I’m just a nice guy” routine was on full display. “Join us on the veranda imminently.”

“Huh?” Mike asked.

The barkeep wasn’t perfected. His default gruffness poked through. “Get the fuck up to the veranda quick as you can.”

Al forced a smile at Bullock and then added one more thing for Mike. “I’d like you to meet the new sheriff.”

A short silence followed by…”Oh. OK.”

The barkeep put an arm around Bullock and led him upstairs. “Got my assistant cleaning my office for me. It’s a real mess. But the air will do us some good. What’d you say your name was?”

“I didn’t,” Bullock said. “Seth Bullock.”

Al snapped took his arm off Bullock’s shoulder and snapped his fingers repeatedly. “Bullock….Bullock…Bullock….where do I know that name? Oh!”

Bullock stayed quiet as he walked with Al up the stairs.

“The Johnny Do-gooder who held off a wild mob with a shotgun while he hanged a no good horse thief all by himself.” Bullock said.

“That’d be me,” Bullock replied.

“Ah,” Al said. “So the town council went out and hired an honest man, those cunts.”

“Pardon?” Bullock asked.

“They hired an honest man for once,” Al said.

Al lead Bullock into his own personal quarters. Pretty drab. Nothing hanging on the walls. Just a lonely bed and a chair to sit in. He opened up a set of doors and walked out onto a veranda that overlooked the town.

Bullock leaned over the railing and did some people watching. From a distance, the lives of the townsfolk as they hustled and bustled, fought, argued and lived seemed halfway interesting.

“All right,” Al said. “Now that we’re alone lets cut the bullshit. How much do you want?”

“Excuse me?” Bullock asked.

“McKenna was a greedy fuck,” Al said. “Took his pay from the council. Hit me up for even more. It got to be too much, and he was an incompetent lowlife fat fuck who never met a pie he didn’t want to shove down his throat. You actually look like a halfway useful person so you’ll be worth the extra scratch. How much you thinking?”

“I’m not thinking about that at all,” Bullock said.

“Then what are you in my face for?” Al asked.

Bullock pulled his pistol. Whereas many men would have reached for the sky, Al indignantly folded his arms.

“And what the fuck do you suppose you’re going to do with that?”

“You’re under arrest, Al Swearengen,” Bullock said. “For the murder of Patrick Farley.”

Al couldn’t keep a straight faced. He laughed and laughed. “You’re…you’re serious!”

“As a bullet through your head,” Bullock said.

At that moment, Bullock heard the distinct sound of a pistol’s hammer being cocked behind his head.

“That can be arranged,” Mike said.

Undeterred, the sheriff kept his weapon pointed at Al. “You want to call off your dog?”

“Mike,” Al said. “Remember what I said…”

With his weapon still pointed at Bullock, Mike walked around to Bullock’s left side so as to avoid the possibility of shooting Al by accident.

“That and the other thing,” Al said.

“I won’t shoot till your say-so, boss,” Mike replied.

Bullock cocked his hammer and leered at Al. “You better tell him to drop it right quick.”

“Tell you what,” Al said. “Howsabout you both drop your steel and we have a little talk?”

“Whatever you want, Al,” Mike said.

“I don’t negotiate with lowlives,” Bullock said.

“You might consider it,” Bullock said. “The kid’s a hair trigger and not right in the head.”

Bullock sighed. “Fine. On three.”

Hearing agreement all around, Bullock counted down. “One…two…”

On three, Mike lowered his weapon only to have it immediately snatched out of his hand. Bullock now had two guns and pointed one at each scumbag.

“Mike,” Al said. “I swear to God you are the worst fucking henchman ever.”

“Both of you,” Bullock said. “Let’s go.”

“Fine, fine,” Al said. “I wanted to talk like gentleman but if you have to be Mr. Squeaky Clean Law Abiding Fuck then let’s do this the hard way. I’m not going any where.”

“The hell you aren’t,” Bullock said.

“Which one of those turd sniffers put you up to this?” Al asked. “McGillicuddy? Nah. He wouldn’t dare.”

“Less talking, more walking,” Bullock said.

“Merrick!” Al shouted. “It was that fucking newsboy wasn’t it? Aww I ought to chop of his pecker with a rusty razor and run it through his printing press.”

“Enough,” Bullock said.

“Now that’d be a short edition.”

“I don’t want to hear another word,” Bullock said.

“Well you’re going to,” Al said. “Because I own this town. Look around you, Bullock. Everything you see is mine. We’re outside the United States, so if I wanted to, I could build myself a throne, pop a fucking golden crown on my head and declare myself ‘King Al the First, Rightful Ruler of the Drunk Fucks of Deadwood’ and no one could stop me, least of all you.”

Curiosity got the best of Bullock and he allowed Al to keep talking.

“But U.S. Grant,” Al said. “Mr. Unconditional Surrender himself. That bearded fuck could stop me. He and all his political lackey ass kissers would love nothing more than to march their fat asses up here and take everything that isn’t nailed the fuck down. I’m the one who greases the right palms, whispers into the right ears and most importantly, bribes the right shit bags to keep a vote on whether or not this fucking territory should be taken the fuck over by America from happening.”
Bullock did not like the direction of this conversation one bit.

“Everyone with an office in this town is expected to be my puppet,” Al said. “Shut the fuck up, do what you’re told, act like you’re doing something important so that it makes it hard for the politicians to just send the Army up here to wipe us all the fuck out. Oh sure, the government can slaughter scores of the heathen savages all day long and twice on Sunday and no one gives a fuck but harm a bunch of simple townsfolk who even went to the trouble of forming a rudimentary government with a mayor, a council and a sheriff? That’s a whole other story.”

“You broke the law,” Bullock said.

“What law?” Al asked. “There are no laws here. You are a sheriff in a land without a single fucking law on the books.”

Bullock scoffed. “You got to be shitting me.”

“Nope,” Al said. “Not one. Why do you think people come here? Sure, out of a sad hope they might find a shiny gold nugget or two, but they stay because this is the only place in the world where you can do whatever the fuck you want and no Goddamn nosey lawman sticks his nose in your business. Why would you want to ruin a good thing like that?”

“No more bullshit,” Bullock said. “Time to lock you two up.”

“Where?” Al asked.

“Huh?” Bullock asked in return.

“Where are you going to lock us up?” Al asked. “There isn’t a jail.”

“There isn’t?” Bullock asked.

“Nope,” Al replied. “No jail. No Sheriff’s office. No judge to try us, no jury to convict us, no law except for dog eat dog and I’m the biggest dog here.”

Beads of sweat collected on Bullock’s brow. “That can’t be right.”

“Woof fucking woof,” Al said. “And let me assure you, Bullock. You put one in me and there will be over a hundred assholes lined up to put two in you. There’s no end to the list of people I’ve got on the take. Once I go, the livelihood of a lot of people go with me and they’ll make you answer for it, I assure you.”

Bullock’s stomach was queasy. His head ached. It was an experience he’d never been through before. A criminal had talked him out of making an arrest.

He kept his guns pointed at Al and Mike as he backed his way toward the door.

“Good idea,” Al said. “And don’t show your face around here until you’re ready to be a useful part of the operation.”

“Don’t tell me what to do,” Bullock said.

“I’ll tell you whatever I want you to do,” Al said. “And you’ll do it and like it.”

Mike grinned. “Yeah. And if you don’t we’ll cut your wife’s tits off.”

That did it.

Bullock’s eyes widened. His nostrils flared.

Al was displeased. “Oh Christ, Mike.”

“What the fuck did you just say to me?” Bullock asked.

“I said if you don’t…”

Before Mike could finish his sentence, Bullock was pistol whipping Mike across the face. It only took a couple of blows before the young man was on the ground, but that didn’t stop the sheriff from continuing his assault.

Al put his hands on Bullock’s shoulders, attempting to pull the lawman away.

“Bullock!” Al cried. “That’s enough!”

Bullock was too focused on pounding Mike’s face.

“He does not have permission to speak for me!” Al shouted. “Don’t kill him!”

The thought that continuing his attack could lead to Mike’s death was enough to bring Bullock back to his senses. He stepped away.

“I’m not completely without honor, Bullock,” Al said. “I’ve yet to punish anyone just for being the relative of a dumb fuck I didn’t like. I assure you that your wife’s lovely tits will remain quite stationary.”

Bullock headed for the door then stopped. “As soon as I figure this all out, we’ll talk again.”

The sheriff was gone before Al could think of a snide comeback. Instead, he put his energy into helping Mike to his feet.

“You all right?” Al asked.

Mike clearly wasn’t. His face was bloody and he was having a hard time staying upright. Al took his lackey’s arm and put it over his shoulder.

“Just can’t get it through your stupid skull can you?” Al asked.

“I’m trying,” Mike answered.

“Try harder,” Al said. “Speak when spoken too. Come on. Get cleaned up. I have to show you something.”

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 23

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The double doors of the Gem swung open. Bullock moseyed on in and didn’t like what he saw. He wasn’t against a good belt of whiskey to calm his nerves now and then. And though he didn’t particularly care for raucous behavior, he’d seen enough of it as a lawman that it rarely bothered him to be around it.

Sure, the topless whores were letting it all hang out just a wee bit too early in the morning for Bullock’s tastes.

“Wow,” Lorelai said, flashing her smile despite the missing tooth. “Aren’t you handsome?”

Bullock sidestepped the prostitute and kept moving.

“Figures,” Lorelai lamented. “The good looking ones never buy it.”

The drinking. The swearing. The gambling. All activities Bullock found crude but he bypassed them. When he saw two barflies locked in a heated argument that looked like it was about to come to blows, he stopped at the table, tapped on his star, and they both piped down.

Standing on the bar was a fully lit woman wearing pants. Bullock hadn’t met her yet though you, the noble reader, know her as Jane. She had reached the giddy stage of her bender and was holding court, regaling an audience with humorous anecdotes, an art form that would eventually come to be known as stand up-comedy.

“So I says to this feller I says…” Jane was all giggles. She slapped her knee and guffawed at herself.

The crowd was eating it up. “Come on Jane!” a man yelled. “What’d you say?!”

Once Jane’s laughing fit passed and she’d taken a swig of whiskey, she tried it again.

“I says, ‘Mister, if that isn’t a rattle snake I feel crawling into my pants then you and I have a problem!’”

Uproarious laughter. The tale hadn’t even been that funny, but booze makes everything seem hysterical.

The barkeep was not amused.

“Twat in trousers,” he said. “Either buy me a new bar or stop scuffing this one up with your Goddamned shit kickers.”

“Aww hell, Al…”

That name stood out to Bullock. “Al.”

“…I’m just blowing off some steam. No need to get your britches in a knot.”
Al responded by poking Jane in the behind with the whisk end of a corn broom, trying to sweep her away as if she were some kind of undesirable rodent.

“Get!” Al shouted.

“All right, all right!” Jane said as she gulped the last bit of her drink. She tossed the glass over her shoulder, unconcerned about where it would land or that it would shatter when it did.

The show was over and the crowd had begun to amuse themselves with their own conversations. Jane was too hammered to realize no one was paying any attention to her.

She threw her arms out and shouted, “Catch me, boys!”

Literally no one but Bullock noticed when she fell face first into the floorboards. Alas, Bullock had been too far away to have made a difference and as a general rule, if drunks were about to hurt themselves, he rarely got involved.

“Ungh.” Jane groaned and chewed the crowd out. “What fucking part of ‘catch me boys’ did you ignorant yahoos not understand?”

She griped a few seconds more and then passed out, falling asleep right there on the floor.

Bullock walked over and leaned down to put a finger under Jane’s neck. He felt a pulse and stood up. Just another drunk who’d had one too many.

The new Sheriff bellied up to the bar, where Al was busily wiping the bar down with a white rag.

“You Swearengen?”

Without looking up, Al answered. “Who wants to know?”

Bullock waited until Al spotted the star.

“What in the name of Mary Todd Lincoln’s saintly pubic hair is that?!”

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 22

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Doctor McGillicuddy kept an office in town. He earned a meager living doing what he could to keep the denizens of Deadwood alive and in exchange, they’d cough up what they were able to afford, or at least the handful of honest folk did anyway.

Bullock stood back as the doctor reviewed the deceased. Since its discovery in the stable, it had since been stripped naked, washed and laid out on a table.

“So what’s the story, Doc?” Bullock asked.

“Oh,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “If it is a story you’re after, I can tell you this man is some poor drunkard, a vagabond who stumbled into the stable in search of shelter only to be kicked in the back of the head by an ornery horse. In his final moments, he lifted up a bale of hay, crawled under it and expired.”

“Sounds possible,” Bullock said. “Until you get to the hay part.”

“Indeed,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “But if you’d prefer the truth over a ‘story,’ then I can tell you this man is Patrick Farley, well known about town as an associate in the criminal dealings of one Al Swearengen. It would appear that Farley died as the result of a gunshot wound. One could only assume that said wound was motivated by an underhanded business deal gone awry, though if you choose to investigate this matter further, I bid that you not indicate to anyone that you heard such assumptions from me.”

“Swearengen?” Bullock asked.

Doctor McGillicuddy stroked his long beard.

“Mr. Swearengen would have the general public believe, or at the very least, not publicly admit in mixed company, that he is anything but a humble bartender,” the doctor explained. “In truth, he is very much the true ruler of this town. Through a system of corruption, graft violence and intimidation, he controls everyone and everything. He makes a fortune in the process though you wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking at him.”

“Ahh,” Bullock said. “Merrick warned me about him.”

“Yes well,” the doctor said. “If only the imbecile had the good sense to warn you yesterday, or better yet, to not have dragged you into this mess at all. I did my best to warn you.”

“I thought you were just being an asshole,” Bullock said.

“Perhaps I am,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “For thinking that I’m able to be of service to a town that is hellbent on destroying itself through vice and villainy. However, the criticism I offered of you yesterday wasn’t meant against you personally but rather, it was intended to steer you away from the position without uttering a negative word about Swearengen in public. Those who speak ill of that man outside of closed doors do not last long.”

The doctor pulled a white sheet over the deceased, then took a seat behind his desk. Bullock followed and took the visitor’s chair.

“All the world’s a stage,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “And the people, merely players.”

“What’s that now?” Bullock asked.

“It’s a line from a play,” the doctor said. “William Shakespeare. Oh it doesn’t matter. Mr. Bullock, what you must know is this town’s political system operates as if it were one large play. Town office holders are but mere actors, you see. We pretend to have power when in fact, we have none. Merrick is a man who fancies himself a hero for shutting himself up in his office and writing about the heroics of others. He’d never take up a firearm in the name of justice in a million years. Meanwhile, the Reverend has a distinct deficit of bats in his belfry.”

“I’ve noticed,” Bullock said.

“He simply agrees with whatever Merrick says,” the doctor said. “The man hasn’t a clue what’s going on. He just feels as though serving on the town council is way to give back, to pursue his Christian duty.”

Bullock nodded.

“Farnum is a decent enough fellow, though as a mayor, he’s a bumbler,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “He enjoys the pomp and circumstance of the office, but quite understandably, he is scared to death of Swearengen. Thus, he will never cross him.”

“And you?” Bullock asked.

Doctor McGillicuddy sighed and stared off into no particular direction for a moment before giving his answer.

“I once hoped that a peace could be bartered between the natives and the white man,” the doctor said. “There’s no reason why we all can’t live together in harmony. I visited the indigenous peoples often to lend them my medical services. I even struck up a dialogue with Crazy Horse until…”

Bullock finished the doctor’s sentence. “Custer’s last stand.”

“Precisely,” the doctor said. “All hope for peace is gone now. These days, I while away my hours patching up drunks and treating the rotten, gangrenous genitalia of those who dabble much too often in harlotry.”

“No offense,” Bullock said. “But you don’t seem like the type that would roll over for this Swearengen fella.”

“Not easily,” the doctor said. “However, I have more pressing matters to tend to. The plague, for instance.”

“The plague?” Bullock asked.
“Smallpox,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “A terrible epidemic. Hundreds quarantined into a series of tents on the outskirts of town. Al pays all the expenses necessary to tend to the inflicted. In turn, I keep my mouth shut on all the violence he inflicts.”

“Well,” Bullock said. “I best go bring him in.”

Doctor McGillicuddy laughed. “Did you really just say that?”

“I did,” Bullock said. “If he killed a man, then he needs to answer for it.”

“O Mr. Bullock,” Doctor McGillicuddy said. “I assure you that you will soon learn your options are threefold. One, return that ridiculous badge and forget you ever accepted it.”

“Not happening,” Bullock said.

“Two,” the doctor said. “Join the rest of us in our little game of ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.’ Ignore Al’s chicanery. Hassle an occasional drunk to justify your existence and then collect your pay.”

“Also not happening,” Bullock said.

“Then I fear you will soon find out that your third and final option will come when Al sends you the way of Sheriff McKenna,” Doctor McGillicuddy said.

“The Sheriff before me?” Bullock asked. “Merrick said he died of natural causes.”

“Oh yes,” Doctor McGillicuddy said as he leaned back in his chair. “I assure when that after he was shot, stabbed, and thrown off a roof, it was quite natural for all of his organs to shut down.”

“Shit,” Bullock said.

“Indeed,” Doctor McGillicuddy replied.

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Movie Review – Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

Space.  The final frontier.  Damn, it’s big and shit.

These are the voyages of the Starship SPOILERPRISE.

BQB here with a review of Star Trek: Beyond.

J.J. Abrams’ third Star Trek movie is out.  This go around, Kirk and Co. get lured into a distant nebula, ambushed and stranded after crashing on a desolate planet run by the evil alien Krall.

The crew has an artifact Krall wants in order to do evil shit…and they fight and shit and that’s about it. I’ll let you watch and fill in the details on your own.

I applaud J.J. because he seems committed to honoring the spirit of the old show/movies even though the 35+ crowd that Hollywood typically doesn’t give a crap about is the only demographic that would care.

Sulu’s totally gay and homage is paid to the late Leonard Nimoy, as well as to the original cast.

Sorry to give this spoiler but at one point a photo of the original cast is shown from the 1980s/1990s movies when they’re all in their 50’s and are wrinkly and gray haired and shit.

Millenials, old people used to look like that and they let them into movies anyway.  Now they just botox the shit out of themselves until their 95.

Idris Elba is great as Krall.  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and everyone turn in great performances.

There are times when it almost feels like they’re parodying the original show.  Karl Urban’s impression of Dr. “Bones” McCoy is just too good.

There are attempts to appeal to us ancient folk – we’ll be ancient dust particles by the time Kirk comes around.  Alien Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) for example, enjoys rap music.  As she explains, she “likes the beats and the yelling.”  The other characters note that it is considered classical music.

I wonder which of our hits will be considered classics in Kirk’s time?

Kirk also rides a vintage motorcycle against the aliens – a move that might have been campy but since it was done right, it worked.

I enjoyed it.  Honestly, I think the second one in this series (the one with Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan) was the best of the three.

This one has it high points but there’s something about it – maybe by now we’ve all come to know these new versions of the original characters.  Maybe the plot wasn’t as involved as the other films – I don’t know.

I’m not saying it was bad. I just think the second was the best and this one didn’t top it. But it is still worth your time.

Very sad about Anton Yelchin’s tragic accident.  Yelchin played Chekov in all three of the new movies including this one.

Nothing reminds me of the fragile nature of life than when a celebrity dies before his/her movie comes out and there I am, sitting in the audience, watching that person larger than life on the big screen yet in my mind I’m thinking “Oh, sigh, that person sadly isn’t with us anymore.”

Finally, just an observation.  All the evil aliens are ugly.  All the nice aliens are – well I’m not sure if “hot” is the right word lest I get accused of having a thing for aliens but all the nice aliens are pleasant looking.

Krall for example has a permanent angry glare and his henchman aliens all have sharp teeth whereas heroine Jaylah is basically just a hot chick who had some designs drawn on her face with magic marker.

Therefore, the plight of stereotypical ugly typecasting exists even in space.  In the next film, I demand that the crew have an officer who is a hideous alien with sharp teeth. #OscarsSoPretty

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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What are you watching on TV this Summer?

Sorry. I guess I’m all about the books now. I just lack the energy to help my esteemed BQB columnists get their work out.  Hopefully I’ll find the time soon.

Till then, what are you watching on TV? I miss when True Blood used to be on HBO during the summers. That was fun.

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