Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Navigator ... Tiger Porno ... Johnny Porno ... DOC's version of the trip ...

Amici:

It wasn't enough for DOC to give his version of Travels with Charlie (2010) ... he has this to say too:

Hey Chaz,

You must be feeling a certain emptiness since football season is over. Why don't you apply your impeccable sports intuition to the Olympics. I'm sure you'll agree that Saudi Arabia is guaranteed to grab the gold in the bobsled event. Mozambique must be your favorite for the downhill skiing.

By the way, on Monday I only told you those hunting stories to keep you from talking about your freaking drums. I also noticed that after spending four hours in a car with you my IQ dropped 12 points.

Have a good weekend, buddy boy.
Doc


The Navigators … no, not the 1924 comedy with Buster Keaton (although there was plenty of comedy involved in this trip, especially when it looked like we might be heading to Indiana), but the President’s Day road trip down to Lambertville, New Jersey to visit with a dear friend of both the DOC’s and the ugly one, Patrick Lambe (thus, Lambertville). DOC wanted moi to sample driving the truck he calls an SUV for the ride down so he was the navigator going. Let me just say that getting in and out of his “SUV” was no different than getting in and out of my Honda Accord (it was like getting mugged either way).

Now for the trip(s): Going … DOC insisted we sit in front of casa Stella a good ten minutes while he programmed Dave (his GPS) with the correct coordinates to get lost half a dozen times. God knows how much gas we wasted waiting for DOC and Dave to coordinate (good thing he filled up before coming to pick me up). Then we started out and although both of us had printed out directions to Lambertville, Dave took over and quickly had us lost. Rather than take the turnpike both printed sets of directions suggested, Dave (and DOC) took us through side streets and the 56 minute trip took us more like 2 hours. After 40 minutes of driving things actually looked good as we passed a sign that read: Lambertville 26 miles.


Then, forty minutes later, we passed another sign that read Lambertville 24 miles.

Thirty minutes after that we passed one that had us back up to 26 miles.


Oy-vey … eventually, however, we did find Lambertville, New Jersey and we got to spend some quality time with one of our bestist friends, Patrick Lambe. Although I was outnumbered 2:1, Irishmen to Eye-talian, Patrick is a certified tree-hugger who also works for a French company and I figure we (me and the DOC) were even. Patrick is also a fine writer, photographer, telecommunications expert and tap dancer.


The town of Lambertville is actually quite nice and while DOC neglected to take advantage of the half-price Valentine Hearts on sale at the chocolate joint, yours truly bought and delivered the goods (without eating any before turning them over to his Principessa Dolcezza).


And then there was the Happy Hour ... okay, so I was confused and thought it meant two dinners for the price of one. Patrick snuck off and paid the bill before we could get a chance to do the same. Damn, I knew I should've ordered three!

The ride back was considerably shorter, amici, with yours truly navigating. Except for one mishap (a 5 minute delay at best), we were on our way and made it back in less than an hour total. Even with DOC constantly breaking my shoes about the signs that he didn’t understand (Perth Amboy in particular), I just pointed towards Perth Amboy and bada-boom, bada-bing, the trip was a quick success.


Now, how did we put up with each other for what amounted to 3 hours in the cab of a truck (SUV)? Well, on the way home I made believe I was interested in hunting and then DOC proceeded to tell me about all (every single one) of the animals he’s clipped. While he described what a grouse was and how it fell back to earth after he used a bazooka to kill it, I nodded and thought (should I write this down?) ... then when he discussed all the pheasants (or were they peasants) he whacked, I remembered to remember the following facts: if you tuck a pheasant’s head under its wing it will go to sleep.

And I thought, if I only I could do the same ...

Also, you’re not supposed to clip the birds while they’re on the ground ... so they send dogs out to roust them ... so the guys with the cannons standing 11 feet away give them a chance.

And if this doesn’t remind me of DOC ...


Spartacus was soooooooooooooooooo happy he didn't make the trip.



He’s back ... and just in time to autograph that new sex tape featuring him and two bimbos (except they were smart enough to film it) and can probably retire soon enough.

Upon hearing about this, I turned to the wife and said, “Next book.”

Tiger Porno ... It’s 2010 and the mob has folded its tent and everybody is too broke to buy any kind of music. The Change We Believed In turned out to be just another crock of shit ... but when all else failed, Tiger came to the rescue ... #1 of this harem of 15 (by last count) called him at home and Tiger slipped up and left his cell phone in clear sight of his wife ... a few minutes later Tiger was fleeing the house with Wife closing fast (and brandishing a 9 Iron) ...

Hey, why not?



Johnny Porno teaser ...

From the second half of Chapter 1


“Body was dumped there,” Kaprowski said. “Dead at least five weeks, ripe as the day is long and missing both hands. That said, the guy’s wallet with everything in it, minus any money, was in his back pants pocket; driver’s license, Social Security card, a few other forms of identification. Thomas Nicholas DeLuca, a.k.a. Tommy Porno. An associate with Eddie Vento’s crew. Forensics says the body was dumped there within the last week, which makes no sense they held it so long someplace else.”

Levin, working undercover for both Internal Affairs and Kaprowski’s Organized Crime task force, was forty-one years old and a twelve-year veteran. He looked at the construction dumpster and said, “His hands were missing?”

“Chopped off,” Kaprowski said. “Probably soon’s they grabbed him and before they put two behind his ear, the official cause of death.”

“Because of a porn film?”

“Because of the money the dopey bastard stole from the mob over a porn film.”

“How much?”

“God knows. Didn’t have to be much, though. Soon’s this hits the papers it’ll go a long way to keeping the dummies run that film around for the wiseguys honest.”

“The deceased was an example.”

“They whack a guy, leave the body so it’ll be found, it’s the only explanation. The missing hands were obvious enough.”

Levin pointed to the construction container. “Why there?”

“Eddie Vento bought his Cadillac there. Coincidence you think? DeLuca had a no-show construction job with somebody close to Vento. Started off as a head-counter, graduated to collecting and probably couldn’t resist skimming. Early word is he left markers all over the city. Bookies, mostly. A couple card games the boys sanction, probably a few they don’t.”


HOUSTON, they'll have signed copies of Johnny Porno at Murder By the Book in April. The good people at Murder by the book made us feel like a million bucks when we were last there (Mafiya). We got to meet real to life Stella fans who we shared some New York canoli with.


"Mr. Stella is a natural. As soon as I finished Johnny Porno I gave the book to my son so we could both be wiser-guys. Now I'm going to find all his other novels. He's a true master." --Dow Mossman, The Stones of Summer

And if you can't get to Houston or order Johnny Porno through Murder by the book (which you can--just click on their link right here), you can Preorder Johnny Porno here.

"More good words on Johnny Porno ... from the goodfellas at Men Reading Books: "While Stella points to George V. Higgins as inspiration, I see comparisons to a couple of my favorite contemporary authors who I think also excel at dialogue, George Pelacanos and Richard Price. Through Stella, you can practically smell the garlic on the breath of the wiseguys trying to intimidate, strain to hear cops jerking each other around through hot dog stuffed faces, wince at the lunacy of an ex-wife going off the deep end, and nod approvingly when someone does a decent thing for Johnny. Why Stella’s books aren’t flying off the main table at the front door of Barnes/Noble and Borders is, in itself, a crime." —East Coast Don




—Knucks

DOC's version of the trip ...

"Travels With Charley" (1960)

A delightful excursion across America with John Steinbeck and a poodle named Charley.

"Travels With Charlie" (2010)

A nailbiting trip through the abyss filled with misdirection, bitterness and dread. Follow the handsome traveler Doc and his bumbling driver Charlie as they make their heroic journey south. Except of course when Charlie decides to head north every 15 minutes. Watch as Charlie takes a straight highway run and lands our hero in the middle of the biggest mall parking lot on the east coast. See the worry on Doc's ruggedly handsome visage as he wonders if 17 gallons of gas is enough to make the 56 mile drive using eye-talian navigation systems. On the return trip our hero takes the wheel and leaves the navigating to Charlie. When he asks the navigator, "Where is our next turn?"

Charlie replies, "Back there." The resulting u-turn on a 6 lane highway will be a topic of discussion with NJ law enforcement for years to come.

I can't complain though. I have only myself to blame. After all, who is the most famous eye-talian explorer... Christopher Columbus. And what did he do? Well he discovered America. Unfortunately, he thought it was India. Now, in a modern jet, India is a 26 hour flight from America. So how freaking far off course was he? Let’s be kind and round it off to a gazillion miles.

And did he discover America? Not unless we get credit for discovering that mall in the middle of Jersey.

We'll have to do that again soon, Chaz. Maybe on our next trip south we can discover Quebec.

Your pal,
Doc