Bonnie Parker Meets Scarface (New Year’s Eve in South Florida)
This little piggy went to the market…
Have you noticed that something always seems to happen whenever I go to America (or anywhere for that matter)? Lost luggage, mishaps, scraped bumpers – you name it, it’s happened to me. Well, I’ve got a whole new chapter to add to this science-fiction novel known as my life: I’m now keeping company with a particularly cagey group of South Florida residents. Think Miami Vice. Or better yet, Scarface. Those two lame-asses Crockett and Tubbs can’t hold a candle to Tony Montana (jew got it, mang?)!
On New Year’s Eve I was picked up by car and driven to an undisclosed location in Broward County, Florida. The only landmark I recognised was the Fort Lauderdale Airport, which faded to a glittery speck in the distance as we barreled north and into the final night of 2008 and whatever new hell awaited me in 2009. I figured I had nothing more to lose at this point. I had no idea where I was going or who would be waiting there when I arrived. All I knew was that a roast pig was in the deal.
Apparently we were supposed to arrive at half past seven, and it was already half past eight when we pulled up in front of the darkened house where this New Year’s Eve party was being held. Obviously, I couldn’t help wondering about the absence of cars on our arrival. Were we early? I thought perhaps it was like one of those LA parties I used to go to, where the start time is 7pm, but no one ever turns up until at least 11pm. Of course, that was all just a ploy to make it appear as if the guests had so many other parties to stop off at when in truth, they were probably sitting at home watching old reruns of Gunsmoke until they considered it a dignified enough time to “put in an appearance”.
We parked out on the street so as not to be blocked in later, and made our way up the dark empty driveway, which only reinforced my assumption that we were the first guests to arrive… unless we’d somehow gotten the date wrong and the party was for New Year’s Eve 2010. Suddenly a black cat ran out in front of us. That’s when I noticed the cars. They were parked well off the driveway beneath a batch of trees, as if involved in a plot to reinforce the appearance that no one was there. Despite the obvious affluence of the home and grounds, this entire caper was getting dodgier by the minute.
The first thing I was told upon entering the house was: “Whatever you do, don’t get into an argument with anyone. They’re all packing heat.” I glanced around, expecting to be greeted by Scarface himself. Instead I was greeted by a Magnum 45 and a combat knife, which were set out on a table just inside the front door. That was when I began to question the wisdom of having accepted this invitation, which had been extended to me by my crime writer friend Vicki Hendricks, who’s also a contributor to my anthologies Getting Even: Revenge Stories (
Amazon Ca) and Dying For It: Tales of Sex and Death (
Amazon Ca). If you’ve ever read any of her stuff, you’d understand my concern.
Were my worries justified? That all depends on how you look at it. I suppose you could call it a typical South Florida New Year’s Eve: guns, knives, hot coals, a swimming pool, and a pig. What made it slightly more surreal was the fact that our host and resident pig-roaster happens to be involved with undercover anti-terrorist work and is Jewish. In fact, a good portion of those present were Jewish (not so sure about the undercover anti-terrorist gig, though I could definitely envision our host’s feisty little mama taking someone down with an Uzi). Okay, so call me religiously underprivileged, but have you ever heard of a kosher pig? I’ll tell you this for free: our charming host had quite a gleam in his eye when cutting up that shiksa porker. He even gave me extra helpings of pork rind, no doubt figuring I could use a bit of extra flesh on me. I more than made up for my dwindling condition at the dessert table, where I managed to fit a piece of chocolate cake (which oddly was made with courgettes, aka zucchini), a piece of Vicki’s Tres Leches cake (which thanks to her curious recipe was technically Quattro Leches), and some flan onto my plate.
Over dinner I was informed that the doomed porkers such as the one who ended up on our plates get stamped with a number to reserve them for the bloodthirsty customers who ordered them. I guess that explained the 666 I noticed behind one of the pig’s ears, not to mention explained why our host kept calling the pig Damien. The conversation then moved onto the Fakahatchee Swamp (just try saying that ten times really fast!), a Florida landmark full of alligators, snapping turtles, and assorted dismembered limbs – a place where my mate Vicki claimed she went “looking for orchids”. (Orchids, my ass. Even now she still refuses to answer every time I ask her what happened to her last literary agent.) The dinner conversation reached a climactic crescendo when the conversation switched to a detailed discussion of the castration of pigs. At least I think they were talking about pigs.
Just as we were leaving the party, one of the guests pulled me aside to apologise profusely for forgetting to bring his Kalashnikov. I had to admit, I’d already tried every piece of hardcore weaponry in the house – an AK47 sounded pretty damned sexy to me.
Oh well, there’s always next New Year’s Eve…
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: 666, AK-47, Bonnie Parker, Broward County, Crockett and Tubbs, Damien, Dying For It: Tales of Sex and Death, Fakahatchee Swamp, Getting Even: Revenge Stories, guns, Gunsmoke, Kalashnikov, Magnum 45, Miami Vice, New Year's Eve, packing heat, roast pig, Scarface, South Florida, Tony Montana, Tres Leches cake, Vicki Hendricks.