Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
The kid from The Plumbers went to jail.
He had broken into Dave Chang’s car – he was a poly sci grad student at Brown and local Green Party lynchpin — and stuffed a bag of cocaine into the glove compartment. Called the police. Dropped a dime. The police picked Dave up, and let him go about four hours later. The next morning, the kid from The Plumbers, The Drummer From The Plumbers, was in custody. The cops were very interested in where he’d gotten the blow.
About two years earlier, a group of six kids started showing up at the punk shows. They were students at a Catholic college in Worcester. Not much in the way of clubs up there, so they spent a lot of time in Providence. They wore 1970s Brooks Brothers suits – brown or charcoal gray – and sported flattop haircuts. They were mostly interested in the lefty type shows: Fugazi, The Ex, Mecca Normal, Bikini Kill, etc.
They were odd kids. None of them were big readers. They preferred ‘graphic novels’ and reruns. Beer and cigars. Arguments with rich kid hippies at the late-night pizza place. As a group, their only real distinguishing feature was a savant-level ability to recognize even the most transitional instances of hypocrisy in others, and amplify these into war crimes.
They styled themselves on the Republican dirty tricksters of the past. Prior to the Fugazi show, they papered the town with flyers ‘explaining’ that the band’s attempt at signing with Capitol Records had been scuttled by their new ‘white power’ director. They cut the cables to the soundboard at the Heavens To Betsy show. At a benefit for Planned Parenthood, they covered the windows with Carrie-esque fake blood. In a classic move appropriated from Lee Atwater, they directed overflow from a local homeless shelter to the Beat Happening show. The police arrived after serious bad vibes began to simmer. The Plumbers were there with cameras to capture hangdog looks as the club emptied early.
The Plumbers eventually became a band: a guitar player, a bass, a drummer, and three guys who took turns on vocals. Sneering pop punk with plenty of racial epithets and dopey props. They played about five shows – one with The Mentors – before the cocaine debacle cooled their shit permanently.
After that, they vanished. Lied extremely low. Dropped out of college. Dropped off the radar. Moved back home. No more visits to Providence. Eventually, a few of them got into Krishna. The rest got into heroin. The one guy got of prison after a few months and went to seminary school.
Word is, one of them hangs around at the Mobil station – for hours. Talks about Freemasons and Obama’s secret handshakes.