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Liner

(excerpts recovered from a pharmaceutical questionnaire) 


Q: How long have you collected ashtrays from hotel lobbies? 
Nick Barone: Since the night my mother started falling asleep with the 
television on. Now I walk backwards down flights of stairs hoping to take 
some mileage off my Pininfarina Boots. The ashtrays are for balance. 

Q: Where was the first time you made love? 
Jive Chivalski: I do believe it was in Barcelona. In a Ford Thunderbird. Back 
then I used to let the post office make my bets for me. 

Q: What are your views on the Peace Keepers and the Salt Mine Minutemen? 
Carson Macc: I’m thoroughly partial to astronauts and Cannonball Adderly. 
Napalm is particularly intoxicating, but I can’t say I have much use for 
revolution anymore. 

Q: How do you handle immortality? 
Brett Dooge: One marriage at a time...

Jive Chivalski plays last Thursday’s lottery numbers and adds a few of his  all-time favorites for good measure. 8, 92, 17, 30, 44. He owns a king cobra and lays brick for his father’s chandelier factory. He’s very passionate about Vegetable-American rights and can recite every word to the U.S.S.R.’s National Anthem. Jive reads only the magic marker section of the daily newspaper. 

Brett Dooge owns a burgundy 6 piece jumpsuit made of silk with a carbon fiber breastplate and a matching tie. On certain Wednesday evenings he drives a motorized motorcycle side car with no attached motorcycle to spike games of  bridge with the Winkler Street Church Choir on the banks of Lake Superior. He donates all of his winnings to the local corner store in exchange for tin cans and lodging. He’s never seen a mountain in person. Someone help him. 

Carson Macc hasn’t slept since the knights of the round table cut the corners off. He stands on a bed of morning roses and decomposing Norwegian literature. He waits across the street from his bleeding nightclub, The Satin Lounge (not to be confused with the Altruists' Chapel.) He spends most nights combing the cocktail waitress’ pockets for loose cash, and guarding the locker that holds his heart and his tax returns. 

Nick Barone is a former traveling battery salesman who miraculously returned home after driving the wrong direction on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 6 hours straight. He has been 62 years old for the past 23 years and he composes everything from right to left on a typewriter he found on at the bottom of the Bay of Bengal next to a fifth of radiator fluid. He spends most days imploring young poets to take their shots at immortality. He also owns his own toll booth.