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We did not suffer much the night they arrived — they were tuckered by the time they got in at 11 p.m. The torment began the following morning when, at 6:30 a.m., Lucifer began yelling at the children. Not the usual kind of parental yelling one might overhear, but really mean shit, like, “You’re a moron; you’re not even supposed to be here!” to a kid I assumed was not his blood, and “You idiot, why are you wearing those socks!? Stupid moron!” The yelling didn’t stop. David and I sighed heavily and complained to each other, and still, the assault continued unabated. I stood and stomped around, thinking that since their footsteps vibrated in our room, mine might give the man pause. But here’s the rub — if a person doesn’t stop to think that screaming at dawn might offend neighboring guests, or to consider whether spitting such vile things at kids who couldn’t have been more than seven years old might be unnecessary and/or damaging, he sure as hell is not going to have some kind of epiphany prompted by the sound of a few footsteps. After all, this was the Beast of the Underworld I was dealing with.

I wanted to rail into him, to humiliate and emasculate him in front of the children. I could tell from the brutish and juvenile things he was shouting at kids that it would be easy for an adult with a substantial vocabulary and a shred of psychological insight to make short work of him. But I didn’t want a scene, and from what I had heard so far, it was probable that Beelzebub would end up taking out his embarrassment on those poor wretches, demonstrating his strength in order to compensate for his weakness. So I muttered, “Jesus!” under my breath and continued stomping, to no avail. David, lying on the bed, looked as exasperated as I felt. I needed to be more direct.

I stepped up to the wall and slammed my fist against it in three deliberate thumps. The Prince of Darkness scrambled across the floor, and his voice fell, but I could still hear every word: “Shush, shh, I said be quiet, dammit!” When he was finished shushing and I was sure I had his complete attention, I spoke in a forceful tone, emphasizing every word so as to be sure he realized just how thin that wall was, “Can you please keep it down.” It was not a question. As I suspected, the devil turned out to be no more than a dog, and the yelling ceased. I climbed back into bed beside a grateful David, and realized, with relief, that my proverbial hand had finally stopped burning.

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Comments

jim87vette May 14, 2008 @ 4:12 p.m.

I have never been to Catalina before and lived in Cali for 20yrs strange.The wife would like to go one day so it may happen eventually.I will be that 80 yr old guy talking about life before the internet and playing video games like pong and playing a record on a phonograph lol.Wilson was cool.

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Barbarella Fokos May 14, 2008 @ 4:20 p.m.

It's a lovely little place, a good location to get away from it all, except in those cases where "it all" follows you. ;) Wilson WAS cool.

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ifuwaiveurrighttosuesaywhat May 15, 2008 @ 7:37 p.m.

If I were you the parents would’ve woken up bright and early the next morning with a bloody bison’s head in their bed sheets….

…then I would have gone scuba diving and made some buffalo burgers.

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Barbarella Fokos May 16, 2008 @ 12:53 p.m.

Don't think that didn't cross my mind. Buffalo meat is great, but I don't like to get my hands dirty. And as irritating as that guy was, I wouldn't want to traumatize those poor kids -- they already have more than their share to work through in therapy. ;)

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Karl May 16, 2008 @ 1:13 p.m.

Baseball coaches sound like they are the worst. I read a story in the Reader a few months back about just how insane they can be. This is further proof of that.

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Ollie May 16, 2008 @ 5:31 p.m.

I can't believe you remembered that, I'd forgotten it. I'm normally a patient man, but the homeless rummaging through a trashcan then touching the coffee shop counter and cups is where I draw a line. That's just dirty.

Good job with the Ancient Horned One.

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Barbarella Fokos May 16, 2008 @ 6:01 p.m.

Karl, I don't know much about baseball, or any other sport for that matter, but something tells me you're right. Ollie, I remember EVERYTHING. (evil laugh). And thank you!!!

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