• Barbarella
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business. — Henry David Thoreau

‘Imagine if you made a hundred thousand dollars per month. How would your life be different?” David regarded me with a wary eye. It was Sunday morning, so we were seated in our armchairs, alternating between reading the New York Times spread out on the coffee table between us and surfing the net on our laptops. “Imagine making three thousand percent returns on your investments using never-before-revealed techniques!”

“What is this, email from Nigeria?” David asked.

“No, it’s an invitation to join the Global Information Network. It’s from a friend, which is the only reason I bothered looking at it. But wait, it gets better.” I read from my laptop screen, “‘You can now join a worldwide private group that can virtually guarantee your success in life.’ Clever, that cover-your-ass usage of the word ‘virtually.’ Anyway, here’s the clincher: ‘The law of attraction is just one tool that can be used to create whatever you desire in your life.’ It’s like the Secret all over again. Gravity, now that’s a law. Attraction? Not so much. That’s an abstraction.”

“Smacks of scam,” David said.

“No shit, right? This invitation to join an ‘elite society of billionaires’ reads like the ‘pretty please, I’m begging you to come’ invitations I sent out for my tenth birthday party after arriving in a new city with no friends. If it’s so ‘exclusive,’ why the hard sell? It says here I was ‘hand-picked.’ Was that the hand that hit the ‘send to all button?’ I mean, they have a Facebook page on which they ask anyone who sees it to join.”

David rolled his eyes and returned to reading an article about microblogging. The spam-ish offer had bumped me from my usual Sunday news-sifting trajectory; in moments I had launched my own little investigation of the organization behind it. My parents were suspicious New Yorkers who strove to prepare their daughters for a harsh world in which predators actively hunt patsies. My mother reminded us daily to trust no one. My father often recited the idiom, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Each evening, he also read aloud clippings from the news, after which he’d commentate about how this girl’s life might have been saved or that guy’s car might not have been stolen had the victims been more world-wise. The underlying belief system I came away with: if somebody bends over backwards to “help” you, chances are they want something in return and that they intend to benefit more from the deal.

When I lived in West Hollywood, a friend dragged me to an introductory meeting for the large group awareness training (LGAT) program known as Landmark Forum. In a histrionic seminar reminiscent of a scene from Yes Man, an auditorium full of mostly unhappy people were commanded, in a tough-love sort of way, to take control of their lives. The speakers were sometimes inspiring, sometimes annoying, but overall I was glad for the experience. While true that my friend’s life and mood had drastically changed — he smiled more, he started working out and eating well, and he established healthier modes of communication with his family — I was uninterested in paying $500 to “get to the next level.”

Upon leaving the auditorium, I had been pestered into giving over my contact information. Big mistake. For weeks, I received phone calls from pushy Landmark representatives, asking me when I would be “ready” to take the next step. At first I tried the polite approach. But when I said, “Now is not a good time,” I was countered with, “It’s never not a good time to live a better life.” And when I said, “I don’t have the money,” I was harassed for being too weak to “invest in myself.” The last phone call I received ended with my pointedly stating, “I will never, ever, ever join, so lose my number or I will file a restraining order.”

The offer now before me promised wealth, health, and happiness beyond my most improbable dreams. My first order of business was finding out just how much the genie in the bottle expected in exchange for granting my every wish. After a few clicks, I learned the “initiation” fee was $1000 and “membership” $150 a month, with a stipulation that the monthly fee would be automatically deducted from whichever card was provided. Also, as part of the “membership agreement,” I would be obligated to sign-up a new member every month. Assuming a single member fulfills this obligation and that all her recruited members are successful in fulfilling their monthly quotas, in just one year’s time the original joiner would have been responsible for 8190 new members. In two years and four months, the membership of the club will have exceeded the population of the United States. And then, just four months after that, the entire population of the world — every man, woman, and child — would belong to this “exclusive” club. I was inspired to dig deeper.

Global Information Network, called GIN for short (how debonair), was founded in Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean, which also happens to be among the 35 nations blacklisted by the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development because they were said to be “non-cooperative in the campaign against tax evasion and money laundering.”

While reading GIN’s website, I smiled to myself when I came across the line, “The privileged class has NO right to hide the truth from the masses,” as it was followed by an entire paragraph seducing would-be members with the lure of joining the very same kind of privileged class they had just disparaged: “This is your personal private invitation to become a member of one of the world’s most exclusive private wealth-building organizations,” and, “You now have the chance to be an insider.”

The invitation read like a vendor hawking his wares on the street; repetitive and assertive, with carefully placed clarifiers like “almost” before “guarantee.” I have a nose for bullshit, and this reeked. I don’t doubt the sender’s claim that membership has made a “huge impact” on his life. I am happy for him, really I am. But do I want to pay $1000 plus $150 a month in perpetuity and then hustle to convince everyone I know to join so I can learn what kind of impact? No.

One of the catchphrases in GIN’s pitch (all declarations made on their site, by the way, are effectively negated in the Terms and Conditions fine print) is how new members could, in 90 days from being approved for membership, be making more money than they “ever thought possible.” If being members makes my friends happy, that’s great. If it makes them rich, even better. I just hope they don’t get burned.

If there’s anything I learned from my parents, it’s that success is generally the result of a lot of hard work. Anyone who tells you otherwise, in my father’s vernacular, is simply blowing smoke up your ass.

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


bohemianopus May 5, 2010 @ 12:33 p.m.

"There's a sucker born every minute." P.T. Barnum

Your parents sound a lot like mine. Along with advice on protecting myself from con artists was, "Never flash your money, never sit with your back to the door, and never, ever take sides against the family."


photojennifer May 5, 2010 @ 1:21 p.m.

You're lucky you nipped the Landmark harassment in the bud -- there are many people who get sucked in, waste a lot of time and money only to be brainwashed into selling it to friends, family and co-workers.

As for the other scams... it can happen over email and from friends too. I've had several friends who get caught up in these types of things and I just have to say "I'm sorry, sweetie--in a couple months you'll have lost a lot of money and all your friends. Is it really worth it?"

How do you tell them they're a sucker?


davbuckley May 6, 2010 @ 8:39 a.m.

count me in the camp that did the forum and found it both useful and inspiring. Photojen, the only thing I got 'sucked into' was a lot of forgiveness and healing in my family. Comparing this to your run of the mill email scams is silly. Cant comment on 'GIN', but it sure sounds fishy.


Robert Hagen May 11, 2010 @ 12:24 a.m.


Stephanie Clifton was in the CIA. At the moment she was striding down an internal hallway in the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia. She entered the office of her superior, who bade her sit down. He said

"Ms. Clifton, your next assignment will take you to South Africa, for the 2010 World Cup. Your mission is to gather valuable intelligence on the mood of the world. We wish for insight on the minds of men from other countries. Your on sight observations may prove valuable in the formulation of policy. What's important is that you provide accurate, detailed reports, untainted by bias or personal prejudice. If you think to pull punches for political reasons then you are in the wrong business. Politically tinged reports have no place in Central Intelligence Agency. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir." said Stephanie Clifton, simply.

"Intelligence is a lifelong pursuit." said her superior, for emphasis.

"I understand."

"Very well. Now, I'm given to understand that your son, Kenworth, is quite the soccer player. How would it be if he were to accompany you to South Africa....for cover?"

"Kenny?" asked Stephanie.

"You appear to have reservations. I understand that this is an unusual request."

"It's just that I wouldn't wish to be distracted from the performance of my duties by my responsibility as a parent."

"The two go hand in hand. This is a safe mission." said her superior flatly.

But Stephanie knew otherwise. Kenworth wasn't just a soccer superstar, he was a brilliant young genius, and her constant fear was that the company would take him away from her.

Paul Simon - 'The Boy in the Bubble' Live in Africa:


David Dodd May 11, 2010 @ 1:09 a.m.

Diego, I say this out of love, I think you're cool beans, but you never have to include "Virginia" when you type "Langley". It would be as ridiculous as typing "Buenos Aires, Argentina". Or perhaps a better example, if I tell you that Newell's won by six goals over the weekend, I'd have no reason to include that they are "Old Boys". And if I did include it, that still wouldn't mean a damned thing to anyone that didn't know what I was talking about to begin with. Langley and CIA are like Boca and River. Those who get it, get it, and those who don't won't, no matter how you refer to it.


Robert Hagen May 11, 2010 @ 11:27 a.m.

Point well taken, RF:)

Stephanie was medium height, medium build, good looks, maximum bandwidth. Smarts- she had them. She shoved her dirty blonde bangs to the side of her forehead and peered intently at her superior, a silver haired gentlemen that though in his sixties was not grizzled and never would be.

A knock was heard at the door.

"Enter." said Stephanie's boss.

The door opened and 'Tino Escudero sauntered in, dressed in an olive green short leather jacket that made him look like a bullfighter, slacks, and dress shoes. His black mane was combed back , ala Antonio Banderas. He was an Argentine operative whose, ahem, card was on loan to Langley.

"Close the door behind you. Were you born in a barn?" said the boss.

"I see you've read my dossier." said Tino, winningly, while closing the door.

"Oh for God's sake. Mr. Escudero, this is Stephanie Clifton, you'll accompany her to South Africa. Stephanie, meet Tino Escudero."

"How do you do." said Stephanie, noting the 'This is already getting more interesting' look in Tino's eye.

"You'll be responsible for Ms. Clifton's safety and well being throughout the trip, though you'll receive breaks during the soccer matches when your consciousness will obviously be fused on the game, and you'd be useless as a bodyguard in any case....

Stephanie looked over toward her boss and gave him a significant look. He continued

"Forget any pretense of machismo. Ms. Clifton will be in charge. However, in consideration of your massive Argentine ego, and miniscule Argentine pocketbook, its been decided to allow you to hold the credit card, and pay expenses."

"As any gentleman would....I imagine." said Tino.

"Yes, well, here you are." said the CIA case officer, holding out a platinum credit card to Tino. He took it and pulled out his wallet to stick it in. As he did, two slips of paper fell out, which Tino retrieved a little too quickly, the boss thought.

"Whats that?" he demanded.

"Nothing, eh, phone numbers-" said Tino.

"Let me see."

"No, its nothing." insisted Tino.

"Give those notes to me now or I'll call security."

Tino handed one of them over. The CIA case officer looked at it gravely, and said

"A betting slip- Argentina to win the World Cup. Hmmm..."

Tino shrugged and tried to smile, saying

"A sentimental favorite- you understand, no?"

"Only too well. The other betting slip. Give it."

Tino winced and turned it over. The look on his face was not good. The boss reviewed it, and his face turned red.

"England to beat USA in game one?!"

"Its a longshot bet." said Tino, shrinking into his seat.

"I should think so. Because we are going to beat England worse than we did in the Revolution, do you hear?"

The Goals of Batistuta:


Robert Hagen May 12, 2010 @ 6:52 p.m.

Stephanie and Tino went to East San Diego, to pick up Kenworth. He was at a soccer game being played at Hoover High School, and it was a money game. What that meant was that a group of gangsters from diverse parts of the world (remember, East San Diego) had gotten together and decided to bet on a live soccer game, and let the youngsters go at it.

Stephanie and Tino arrived, and Tino began to tape the soccer match with a pretty rad Leica digital camera that shot motion picture quality video. Stephanie hovered about the sidelines, watching her son, Kenworth.

It was a very hard fought match, 0-0 going into the second half of play. Kenworth was covered in sweat, battling for the ball and the breakaway, being shoved about, throwing his body to the side to avoid a disastrous collision of bodies on a contested 50-50 ball, chesting the ball down and blazing down the field, only to be tripped from behind, and blasting down to the ground, rolling to protect himself, then grimacing while laying on the ground in an effort to draw the call. At that point Stephanie was not about to remain silent.

"Red Card! Red card!" she screamed at the referee. An incredibly hot, probably underaged Asian young lady with a veritable super ass strode up to Stephanie. It was Kenworth's girlfriend, Amy. She said

"What are you doing here?"

"Amy?" said Stephanie, in total shock at her attitude.

"Kenworth doesn't need you. You're never here for his soccer games, never. And now you are. I smell a rat. Kenworth told me what you do for work."

Just then the assembled crowd began to roar, and Stephanie and Amy both turned to the field.

The soccer ball was in the air, on the fly, with a good chance. But it was too far forward toward Kenworth's opponents goal to field.

Then, with everyone watching, Kenworth turned on a burst of speed, slid just as the ball was going out of bounds, hooked it, popped up, reversed course as the defenders swarmed upon him, got through, unbelievably, and blasted a shot to the goal unbelievably fast, and almost from the end line. It ricocheted off the far side bar and slammed into the goal at over sixty miles per hour.

Everyone went absolutely nuts, even the losers. It was beyond a shadow of a doubt the greatest goal Kenworth had ever scored. Tino ran out onto the field holding his video camera low and getting Kenworth's reaction. Tino loved to videotape soccer, and this goal was from another planet. Kenworth's teammates mobbed him, and as he got lifted up, he pumped his fist at Amy, only to see a woman shouting and waving her arms. 'Mom?' thought Kenworth.

Green Day, '21st Century Breakdown Live' in Munich


Robert Hagen May 16, 2010 @ 6:58 p.m.

Kenworth jumped down, sprinted full speed toward his mom, went down on his knees and slid, into a nice 360 that was his patented celebration. Tino was filming everything, went to the soccer mom, as Kenworth leapt up and embraced her.

"Mom, did you see that?" Kenworth exclaimed.

"Yes! It was incredible!" said Stephanie Clifton, hugging her child tighter.

Now the losing gangsters had come to their financial senses, and were rushing toward the sidelines, toward Kenworth, yelling some crap or other about off sides, which was ridiculous, but thats soccer for you.

Tino pulled out a pistol and began firing into the air, as he rushed toward Kenworth and the soccer mom.

"Aaaagghhh!" screamed Amy, whooshing back and forth in an attempt to defuse the situation.

A gangster went to draw his piece and Tino clubbed him over the head with the muzzle of his pistol, then side kicked him so hard he went into the air and landed flat on his face.

"We leaving, games over, soccer riot! Beckham assho&es, Beckham all the way!" yelled Tino, as he herded Stephaine and Amy and Kenworth away from the field of play. He made it fast. Next thing you know, they were in Stephanies Dodge caravan, peeling out, just as the cops were lighting up their sirens.

Es Legenda- David Beckham in action:


Robert Hagen May 25, 2010 @ 9:05 a.m.

The Soccer Mom was driving. Tino was crouched in the rear of the Dodge minivan, peeking out the back window, and with his ears peeled for the sound of a police helicopter. Kenworth Clifton and his super smart, super beautiful girlfriend Amy were in the backseat. They weren't saying much at the moment as Stephanie Clifton drove fast.

"Go to the airport! Go straight to the airport!" said Tino.

"Shut up. Come and sit down. Put your seatbelt on." said Stephanie.

"Mom?" said Kenworth.

"Yes, honey?"

"Who is this dude?"

"He's a friend of mine." said the Soccer Mom, looking at Kenworth in the rear view mirror.

Amy exploded:

"He's a hired killer from Tijuana! The CIA sent him! Oh my God! Oh my God!"

"Darling, be quiet. Kenny, do you know this young lady?"

"Amy's my girlfriend, Mom. You just never met her because you're never around."

"That's enough. Tino is from Cordoba, Argentina. Tino, introduce yourself."

"Hello." said Tino, now in the front passenger seat, turning around to look at the youngsters.

"Hi." said Kenworth, then Amy scrunched her face at him and hugged Kenworth.

"That was a sensational goal, boy. I got it all on video."

"So you're from Argentina, then you know soccer?" said Kenworth.

Tino Escudero just looked at Kenworth. The Soccer Mom turned up the radio:

Beck - Hotwax -


Robert Hagen May 25, 2010 @ 12:20 p.m.

"I'll tell you one thing about soccer right now- we're going to South Africa to watch World Cup." said Tino.

"Kenworth isn't going anywhere with you, you f***ing thug!" screamed Amy.

"How old are you?" asked Tino.

"None of your business, you f***ing perv!" cried Amy.

"She's 18 years old, and she's the apple of my eye." said Kenworth, then checking the rear view for his mother's reaction. It was suspicious.

"Amy's my girl, and I think I'm in love." added Kenworth.

"Show me some ID. Show me you're of age." said Tino to Amy.

"She is." said Kenworth.

"How old are you?" asked Tino to Kenworth.

"I'm seventeen years young, what's it to you?"

"I'm checking on the situation. Your girlfriend is too old for you. You suppose to be age compatible."

The Soccer Mom glared at her son in the rear view mirror. Amy was difficult anyway, when she wanted to be. Stephanie Clifton would have none of that.

"Physician, heal thyself." said Kenworth, rolling his eyes.

Just then, they rolled up to the pad, on Ascot Street, on the East Side of San Diego.

Tino jumped out, and said

"Pibes (kids), you going to respect me, because otherwise, I won't take you to South Africa."

"Tino, shut your mouth, its not up to you." said the Soccer Mom.

"Why not? I got the credit card."

"Amy is not going." said Stephanie Clifton, thinking how nice it was to have the upper hand on this young lady that had smart mouthed her not twenty minutes ago.

"I can't leave Kenworth. I'm in love!" cried Amy, on cue."

"If your of age, you're in. But!-" said Tino.

"But what?" said Kenworth.

"You must gain permission from her parents. No exceptions. Do it." said Tino.


Robert Hagen May 25, 2010 @ 12:53 p.m.

Stephanie Clifton ended up having a nice conversation with Amy's parents. She was in. In the Soccer Moms pad, Tino was intrigued to see Kenworth's room. On his door was a poster of Barack Obama.

Everyone walked into Kenworth's room.

"Pack, and make it fast." said the Soccer Mom.

Tino looked around in awe. On the back wall was a mural, with Landon Donovan and Cuahtehmoc Blanco, facing each other- and a slogan across the top:'Beat Mexico'.

All around the room were small test tubes in racks, filled with water samples. Kenworth Clifton was a scientist in his own right- and don't ever call him Sheldon.


Soda Stereo - The Furious City:


Robert Hagen May 25, 2010 @ 1:08 p.m.

"What is that, 'Beat Mexico?'" asked Tino.

"US Soccer, man. Win, lose or draw, I love my selection just the same. But one way or another, the first thing for US Soccer is to beat Mexico."

"So you have a rivalry?" asked Tino.

"No, its more like an obsession. I tell you, I've been playing against Mexicans all my life. Its how I grooved my game. Don't know how I survived to tell you the truth." said Kenworth Clifton.


jmtrudeau May 25, 2010 @ 3:21 p.m.

WTF is wrong with Diegonomics and the ramblings.


David Dodd May 25, 2010 @ 4:27 p.m.

Hey, JM, it's World Cup time. Get yer game on, man!


Robert Hagen May 25, 2010 @ 8:05 p.m.

"Hurry up." said the Soccer Mom to her son. Kenworth started packing, while Tino looked at the water samples. He asked

"What are these?"

"Water samples."

"Why do you keep them? Why not evaluate them and throw them away?"

"Because I'm working on better ways to examine water, and by reexamining my samples, I can evaluate my progress."

"How good are you at this water sampling business?" asked Tino.

"I'm getting better every day. My lab is small, but I'm very careful to do precise work."

"What is your goal?" asked Tino.

"I want to serve my country, and help the world. The best way I know to do that is to protect the environment. Once I come up something better, I'm on it. Hey, Tino?"


"How good are you at soccer?"

"I'm very good."

"Good enough to play in the MLS?"

"Yes. I'm an arquero- a goalie. We're always in demand in an up and coming league. But that was not my destiny, and I'm glad. Soccer is a great game, its the beautiful sport. But I love what I do. I too want to serve my country and help the world."

"You're violent." said Kenworth.

"Yes. Yes I am." said Tino, shrugging his shoulders.

"I'm a bodyguard, and I work in tough places. I know how to deal with people, but I'm not a killer."

Kenworth tossed his head- he didn't believe Tino. Tino looked at the kid, and realized why he was going to South Africa- because the CIA wanted to recruit him. At that moment, Tino decided that he would teach this young genius how to operate on the sly, just in case.


Robert Hagen May 27, 2010 @ 8:12 p.m.

In the Soccer Mom's bedroom, her phone rang. It was Langley.

"Ms. Clifton, you are being redirected to Memphis, Tennesse. From there you will surreptitiously rent a car, and make your way directly to the Gulf Coast, in order that you may examine the Gulf Coast Oil spill, and provide valuable intelligence in that regard."

"I don't have any means to provide any special information in that regard."

"But your son does."

"My son is not in the Central Intelligence Agency, you can't use him in this way."

"But you are. Take decisions, madame."


The phone hung up. Stephanie went into her son's room and said

"Tino, come here for a moment."

Tino could tell by her voice that something was up. He followed her into her bedroom. When they entered, the Soccer Mom turned and pointed a Walther PPK pistol directly at the midsection of his body.

"You know what to do. Drop it."

Tino removed his hawgleg from a shoulder holster, emptied the clip, then the chamber, and tossed the pistol onto the bed. Drama- what would life be without it. He'd heard that San Diego was splitting at the seams, and so it was.

"Now sit on the bed."

Tino went to sit on the bed, but also to close in on Stephanie Clifton.

"Get back!" said the Soccer Mom, and Tino saw her finger curling a little more around the trigger of her pistol.

"Now, relax. Explain to me what is the problem. Obviously you want to communicate with me, or you would not be doing this. Tell me what's happening."

With her Walther PPK levelled at Tino, the Soccer Mom said

"I fear the CIA is trying to kidnap my son."

Paul McCartney & Wings - 'Band on the Run':


Robert Hagen May 27, 2010 @ 8:25 p.m.

"Do you suspect me of being part of this plot?" asked Tino, with the most innocence he could muster, and throwing in a few Hugh Grant type eye blinks for emotion. When the chips are down, people always revert to form, or training. Tino Escudero knew how to think on his feet, but most of all, because Tino was never the greatest of geniuses, his preferred method was to ask the right questions.

"Are you?" demanded the Soccer Mom.

"No. And you know the CIA would never tell me anything. You know this."

Stephanie Clifton uncocked her Walther PPK, and set it down on her dresser. She said

"Let that be the case. Because I will kill you or anyone that tries to harm my son."

"Lets clear on that, Stephanie." said Tino, looking into her eyes. Tinos 'look' was very clear- 'I'm not against you here- lets work this out together.'


Robert Hagen May 28, 2010 @ 8:51 p.m.

"What are your orders?" demanded Stephanie Clifton of Tino Escudero.

"Come to San Diego for a CIA mission. Don't expect to make it back, but if I do, report everything. Basically, just show strong for Argentina and thats it."

"Can you communicate with your superiors?"

"No. Unless I get out of country, no communication."

"Langley wants us to divert to the Gulf Coast and sample the oil spill. They want Kenworth to do his water experiments Kenworth." said Stephanie.

Tino thought about the situation:

'Fu&k, there goes the World Cup...the oil spill must be really bad to send children to the front...obviously deploying all resources available....I figured Kenworth was on the CIA what should I do?...What would my father do?...Help the Soccer Mom. Help the Soccer Mom.'


Robert Hagen May 31, 2010 @ 2 p.m.

"Tell me about yourself." said Tino to Stephanie, who was pacing back and forth with her arms folded.

"There's not much to tell. I'm an analyst- a Doctor of Social Anthropology."

"Is your record clear?"

"Of course."

"Then your boy would be a legacy. Why are you so worried?"

"You don't know the stress that top hard scientists labor under at CIA. Kenworth needs time to mature. He could be traumatized."

With that, Stephanie put her hand over her mouth and sat down on the bed, hunching over. Tino scooted over toward her, put his arm around her and touched her lightly under the chin, saying

"Hey, come on. Chin up, eh? Kenworth is a good young man. I really like your son. For such a smart boy, he's very centered. The apple never falls far from the tree, right? I bet he's more worried about you than you are about him. Can I tell you something?"

"Yes." said Stephanie Clifton.

"I admire your American family."

Stephanie snorted.

"We're a broken family. I'm divorced.

"As long as a boy has his mother's love, a family can never be broken. My father told me:

'A man takes after his mother, and a father takes after his son.'

"That's... interesting." said the Soccer Mom.

That's Argentine social anthropology, I guess." said Tino, with a warm, heartfelt smile.


Robert Hagen May 31, 2010 @ 4:45 p.m.

Stephanie Clifton's home security system beeped twice- 'front door opened'. It was Amy, with travel pack. She ran into Kenworth's room, ready to go. In the Soccer Mom's room, Stephanie stood up, and said


Tino Escudero said

"I think we must follow orders and go to the Gulf Coast. Kenworth is seventeen years old- with guidance and care, he won't be traumatized."

Tino looked at Stephanie Clifton, and solemnly continued

"With God's help, we make a success of this mission. Missing the World Cup is terrible, but soccer is, first and foremost, inspiration. When it becomes more important than our own lives, then that's wrong."

"Concur." said Stephanie, whipping about.

"I'm sorry, what?" said Tino.

"I agree. The problem is, we've just promised to take Amy and Kenworth to South Africa, for World Cup 2010."

"Yeah, yeah. I think it's going to be the greatest World Cup of all time. I can feel it. But the young ones are leftists- they dwell on the problem. Let's challenge them- what do they prefer, to luxuriate in World Cup fever, or to achieve important objectives."

"Elaborate." said the Soccer Mom.

"I'm talking about being part of the solution. For young people, the worst thing would be that life should pass them by. We must give them a chance to succeed, we cannot protect them from the difficulties of the 21st century by burying our heads in the sand- and theirs, while the world itself is lost. We must allow them their space- now, not later, and allow them to shine. We can only do that by showing confidence in them, and admitting what is wrong. Maybe God wants it this way, who really knows?"


Robert Hagen May 31, 2010 @ 4:45 p.m.

"Maybe you, Tino want it this way. Do you really believe what you're saying?"

"Yes. Yes, I do.' said Tino, giving the Soccer Mom a plaintive, Latin look that she had never before seen in person, and wasn't completely sure she understood. The Soccer Mom was interested, but she hadn't fallen off the turnip truck just yesterday.

Tino, for his part, as a soccer goalie, was used to giving pep talks. Goalies didn't just stand around, they directed their team mates, always with encouragement. Pep talks- Tino knew how to encourage people. He knew from the education his father had given him how important it was to inform and rally the people around you.

Jack Johnson 'Taylor ' Lyrics and Live Video from Hawaii


They say Taylor was a good girl, never one to be late complain, express ideas in her brain. Working on the night shift, passing out the tickets, your gonna have to pay her if you want to park here.

Well mommy's little dancer is quite a little secret Working on the streets now, never gonna keep it. It's quite an imposition and now she's only wishin That she would have listened to the words they say...Poor Taylor.

She just wanders around, unaffected by, the winter winds yeah, she'll pretend that She's somewhere else, so far and clear about two thousand miles, from here.

Well Peter Patrick pitter patters on the window, but Sunny's silhouette won't let him in. Poor old Pete's got nothing cuz he's been falling, And somehow Sunny knows just where he's been.

He thinks that singin on Sunday's gonna save his soul, now that Saturday's gone. And sometimes he thinks that he's on his way, but i can see, that his brake lights ARE on.

He just wanders around, unaffected by, the winter winds yeah, and he'll pretend that, he's somewhere else, so far and clear, about two thousand miles...from here

Such a tough enchilada, filled up with nada, givin what you gotta give to get a dollar bill. Used to be a limber chick n' times have been a tickin, now she's finger lickin to the man, With the money in his pocket, flying in his rocket, only stopping by on his way to a better world.

If Taylor finds a better world, then Taylor's gonna run away.


Robert Hagen June 1, 2010 @ 11:14 p.m.

"Let's leave the pistols here, go speak with the children, see where they are at on this, then if it looks bad, we contact your up line, and see what can be done. Also, lets see about still making the World Cup." said Tino.

"Okay, but you do the talking." said the Soccer Mom. Tino nodded, pursing his lips a little.

They walked into Kenworth's room together. Tino said

"Kids, there's been a change of plans. It seems that we need to take a look at the Gulf Coast Oil Spill instead of going straight to South Africa. Now, the spill is very nasty, and very bad. It could be too much for your tender young characters to contend with. It's possible that the pressure could get to you. You could be traumatized. Maybe its better that you just text each other with high minded sentiments and juvenile protestations of love."

"What are you talking about?" asked Kenworth.

"I'm talking about we need to go investigate the oil spill." said Tino Escudero, looking young Kenworth Clifton straight in the eye.


Robert Hagen June 2, 2010 @ 10:40 a.m.

"Yeah, well check it out Zorro, the chances of me being traumatized are slim to none.' said Kenworth emphatically. The Soccer Mom was standing at the doorway, Tino was standing further inside Kenworth's room, and Amy was standing next to him. Kenworth continued

"Amy and I are implicitly familiar with the details of the oil spill."

"Really? Brief me." said Tino. He didn't know very much about this monster, and these kids were plenty bright. Also, they spoke their minds. Information is really only as good as where you get it from, even Tino knew that.

Kenworth looked at his mother, who was listening. He said

"Amy knows more about it than I do."

"Amy, would you care to enlighten me?" asked Tino, using his vulnerable tone of voice.

"No." she said.

"Please. I'm listening, I want to know what is happening." said Tino.

Amy looked at Kenworth, who nodded. Perfectly postured, Amy strode to the middle of the room, cleared her throat and said

"Media reports describe the Gulf Coast oil spill as having been caused by a risky exploratory site with natural gas being mixed with the oil. An enormous gas deposit made its way to the surface, and was apparently ignited by electrical equipment on the drilling rig. The explosion of gas made its way to the foot of the exploratory well, over a mile deep under the ocean. All of the safety back ups exploded. Today, the Deepwater Horizon well is spewing many thousands of oily effluent and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico.

"Can we stop it?" asked Tino.

"We must stop it. Preliminary, experimental efforts have failed. The first attempt was to place a concrete dome over the spew point, and vacuum up the oily poison to a container ship. The freezing temperatures caused it to fail. Second, a kill shot of mud was injected into the spew point, but the radical pressurization of the depth and the spewing oil defeated it.

"Now a second stage suction device is being readied.


Robert Hagen June 2, 2010 @ 11:01 a.m.

"Using superior heating methodology, it's purpose is to minimize, not completely contain, the amount of oil spilling into the ocean. Observe that simply to prepare this attempt, the spill points pipe is being sheared further, resulting in a 20% increase in the spill rate. A black blanket of death is covering the Gulf of Mexico, but it must be done. Even if only a small chance of success exists, we must try."

"Dear God." whispered Tino Escudero.

"Wait, it gets better." said Kenworth.

"Relief wells being drilled on either side of the spill point provide the surest method of solving the spill. They are scheduled to be completed by August. However! With hurricane season upon us, relief wells may not be completed on schedule. That summarizes the problem." said Amy with grim determination.

Tino was shocked. Kenworth said

"You look more traumatized than I do now, Zorro."

"Kenworth." said the Soccer Mom, in a cautionary tone, lightly touching Tino's arm. Kenworth immediately looked at his Mom, who withdrew her hand. Tino said

"Well then it's settled. We go to the Gulf Coast. When we do, it won't be for Mardi Gras. We must help be part of the solution, we must contribute to a massive effort, more massive than the spill itself. And let me tell you something right now, boy. When I take the field, I go one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, carefully, but purposefully. I stay close to the mountain side, so the wind will not blow me away. I peek through a small slit in my hand, because the wind is so strong it could blind me. I know when to make camp, I know where to find shelter. I have climbed the Andes mountains boy, don't disrepect me."

"Shut up, Zorro." said Amy.

Jimi Hendrix Live at Berkeley 'Pass it On':


Robert Hagen June 3, 2010 @ 9:41 p.m.

San Diego, Ca. - 7 Days until World Cup

"Don't tell me to shut up, and don't call me Zorro. You got a smart mouth young lady, and I'm going to take away your cell phone, and other privileges also, unless you show appropriate courtesy." said Tino.

"Kenworth!" screamed Amy.

"Now now, Kenworth cannot help you. You must show respect for your elders, or else. That's it. Discussion over. Finis. COMPLETO."

"Listen, you fu%king assho*e. Don't talk to her that way!" cried Kenworth.

"I'm not going to play these games with you, either. You're a minor, and you're going to listen, and behave in appropriate fashion. Otherwise, South Africa is off. Boy, you going to disappear from my universe the day you think you can disrespect me. You just don't know me. I have many ways to enforce my will over a young tyke like you. For example, I have motion picture quality video of the goal you scored earlier today. It's mine, and you won't see it. All your privileges will be gone, unless you show me some courtesy, and act like a young man. This is how I conduct my affairs. However, you may appeal to your mother for succor."

"Mom!" said Kenworth.

"Oh, so now you a momma's boy, and a snitch." said Tino derisively, throwing up his hands and striding out of the room.

Johnny Clegg 'Scatterlings of Africa':


Robert Hagen June 3, 2010 @ 11:39 p.m.

"As I hope to get across, a journalist is not an anthropologist, just as a story is not a study. A journalist sees the way culture is changing in the world's villages as a significant event to be reported in the press. A social scientist sees such change as an episode in man's development to be investigated and conceptualized for the benefit of scholarship."

-Richard Critchfield 'Villages' p.190

"Mom, I'm startin' to get pissed. We'll see how it really is here in about week." said Kenworth.

Landon Donovan Viene al Mundial de Sud Africa 2010-


Robert Hagen June 4, 2010 @ 1:38 a.m.

San Diego, Ca. 6 Days until World Cup

Tino was in the living room, waiting to see what young Kenworth would do. He wasn't worried about Kenworth's mother. From the fact that she was a social anthropologist, and that she hadn't said two words the whole time, Tino deduced that the CIA wanted her to study him- an Argentine stud, in addition to recruiting young Kenworth.

Kenworth knew where his 12 gauge was. He had no need for drama.

Six days til World Cup - Fetch this, 'PitBull'and you can have a US SOCCER BONE:

Kid Rock Live- 'Bawatiba'


Robert Hagen June 4, 2010 @ 11:23 a.m.

In the heart of Dixie- 6 Days til World Cup

The Soccer Mom had successfully defusded the tiff, and got the party started. Tino had slept throughout the flight to Memphis, while Amy and Kenworth were reviewing material downloaded from the internet. The Soccer Mom read.

In Memphis, Tennessee, they deplaned, and took a nice Chrysler 300 rental into the south of the United States of America. The Soccer Mom drove. Tinoi rode in front, thinking

'I love the south....It's humid almost tropical...A place one would love to call home....'

The kids were in back, jibing Tino:

"Hey, Kenny?" said Amy.

"Yes, darling?" said Kenworth with mock grandeur.

"How can you tell an Argentine spy?"

"I don't know. How?"

"He's got a jacket that says 'World's greatest spy."

"That's rich, darling. Those Argentines- presumptuous in the extreme, wouldn't you say?" said Kenworth, relishing the moment.

Tino checked his Blackberry- Mexico had beat defending champions Italy 2-1 in their final tune up match for World Cup. He got out his Ipad and went to a soccer blog, and handed it back to Kenworth, saying

"You see that, boy? And Mexico didn't just beat Italy, they were at their throats the whole time."

"What?!" cried Kenworth.

"You better light a candle for Donovan."said Tino, laughing.

Paul Simon - 'Graceland' live in South Africa:


Robert Hagen June 5, 2010 @ 9:39 p.m.

"I'll light a fire under your ass, spick."

said Kenworth Clifton, plaintitively.

And here's a very special dedication:


Robert Hagen June 6, 2010 @ 11:03 a.m.

Alabama Highway - 5 Days til World Cup

"Keep it up, boy. I going to throw you on the ground and spit in your mouth." said Tino.

"That's enough. Kenworth, apologize." said Stephanie Clifton, at the wheel of her southbound Dodge mini-van.

"I'm sorry." said Kenworth.

"Apology accepted." said Tino.

The arguments served to establish rapport, which would be needed when the group appeared in public. There's no sense sticking out like a sore thumb.

Tino sighed, and reached down into his back pack, which was on the passenger side floor, between his legs. He extracted all the ingredients necessary to make a yerba mate- an Argentine tea.

He had a hardened gourd, a silver metal straw, a bag of sugar, a bag of yerba mate, and a thermos of steaming, hot water. The kids were watching him from the backseat. Tino poured yerba mate into the bottom of the gourd, dumped an absolute sh&tload of sugar on top of it, then poured steaming hot water into the gourd. The metal straw, called a 'bombillo' was already in the gourd. Tino sighed contentedly, and took a sip from the straw.

Amy thought to herself 'What an animal.' She indicated to Kenny,took the Ipad from and went to 'history.'

What had Tino been doing on his Ipad?


was all it said. Kenny and Amy looked at each other with wide eyes. Porno!

Actually, that too was a bit of cover. Tino had been reading up on social anthropology and, upon learning from the Soccer Mom that BP had successfully placed a funnel on the spill point, bought several thousand dollars worth of BP stock. But he didn't want Joe Shmo reading up on what he had read up on, so his Ipad was configured to show a porn site on it's history. Plus, if the Soccer Mom found out about Tino's inside trade, there would be hell to pay.

Tino did not need a doctorate to know that once the spill point was covered, the monumental task of remediating perhaps the greatest environmental disaster in US history would begin. BP's stock would bounce back.

Tino took another sip and thought to himself 'We are going to fix this thing...I'm a man who puts my money where my mouth is....I'm going to make it back home.... I don't to come back from USA with just a story to tell...Being poor sucks....I hope we get to go to World Cup....'

Amy and Kenworth looked at Tino's strange concoction, and gave each other a 'what the hell is that?' look.

The Dodge Caravan zoomed through the night, Tino dozed, and the kids watched World Cup videos on the Ipad:

K`naan y David Bisbal - 'Wave your Flag'


Robert Hagen June 6, 2010 @ 8:04 p.m.

Mobile, Alabama - 5 Days til World Cup

The Dodge Caravan pulled up to a CIA safehouse in a wee hour of the morning. Amy and Kenworth were zonked out in the backseat. Stephanie Clifton and Tino Escudero got out, Tino with his back pack, Stephanie Clifton with her thoughts.

She showed ID to the man at the door of the storefront operation. Inside, in spite of the late hour, the space was abustle with activity. Computers, people, flat screens on walls and hushed conversations.

A large black man strode up to them.

"Walton!" said Stephanie with enough delight in her voice to trigger Tino's spider sense.

"Stephanie. how you doin?"

"Terrible." said the Soccer Mom emphatically.

"You want to introduce me?" said Walton.

"Walton this is Tino. Tino, Walton."

Walton extended his hand. Tino shook it, released it, bowed very formally, and said

"Very pleased, to be sure."

"You know, the boss been talking about you. He said you one of them macho Argen´tine niggas."

Tino thought about that for a moment, then just nodded. He wasn't sure what Walton was getting at. Now, Tino was a ´'little black hair' in Buenos Aires- an indian, a primitive, an undesirable. But Tino never looked at it that way. He figured, if you´re going to judge me by the color of my hair, that's your problem. We all bleed red.

"Come on back." said Walton, escorting them back to a separate office, and sitting behind a desk, while Amy and Tino took seats in front of it. Walton pulled out a folder, and opened it. He said

"Alright, the basic plan is for you all to go get some water samples, and then, assuming we all on board for the ´VIAJE swe off to South Africa, catch some World Cup action, and take it from there. I´ll provide some back up for you all. Think I´ll blend in, Steph?"

"Just stay close." said the Soccer Mom.

"Straight. Now then, you- Tino. The boss says you were involved in a shooting incident, and you may be on some sort of suicide mission. Care to elaborate?"

"I´m a commando. Dying for your country is the best way to go." said Tino.

"Awright, back up a sec. So you are, what- Argentine CIA?"

Tino looked at Stephanie. Her look said 'Answer him.' Tino raised an eyebrow- are you sure?' Yup.

Tino said "I am Tactico Buzo."

"And what's that?" asked Walton.

"Think of a Buenos Aires SWAT team." said Tino.

Thrash Unreal - 'Against Me'


Robert Hagen June 7, 2010 @ 8:18 p.m.

See an image of the Argentine Buzo Tactico:

Tino's Precepts of Soccer

1) Get the ball and possess the ball

2) Be creative

3) Recognize the infinite possibilities of technique

4) Shoot the ball with your full authority

5) If you fall from the horse, get back on the horse immediately

6) Its not 11 vs. 1 nor are you God

7) Face your fear squarely on the field

8) Be serene at the moment of opportunity

9) The dignity with which you approach the match and present yourself constitutes much more than winning or losing

10)You can be the best if you split your soul open and show the world who you really are.


Robert Hagen June 9, 2010 @ 1:32 p.m.

Aboard the S.S. Argo, off the coast of Louisiana - Two days til World Cup

The Soccer Mom's Journal

"The oil spill smells like hot glue, and you can smell it throughout New Orleans. For the last two days we have been at sea. Tino and I dive into the ocean, to particular depths that Kenworth and Amy deduce, to take water samples. He is a magnificent diver, propelled by enormous swim fins, and he swims through the depths like a fish. Kenworth, as he does when upset, has been quiet.

Before boarding the Argo, Tino said to Kenworth

"When a ship departs to conduct exercises, it is saied to have ´left port.´When a ship departs on a voyage to a pre-determined destination, it is said to have 'set sail.'

When a shipleaves port for a destination unknown, as when on an exploratory voyage, a scientific voyage, or to go to battle it is said to have 'gone to sea.'

Today, we go to sea. Where this voyage will take us we do not know, but as Intrepid himself has explained

'It was not the great engines of destruction that won World War II, but rather the spirit of human resistance.'"

I was so proud of Kenworth when he walked on board, and he's not going to break. Amy and he go about their taskings with purpose and alacrity. She's as proud of him as I am, and shows me her better side.

Our experiments and taskings, under the glaring hot sun, as the ship tosses in the water, the water lapping against the hull, and the gargantuan oily sea monster spreading all around us, are bound to set the USA and whole world itself, on a new course.

Walto has gone ahead of us to South Africa, with current plans calling for us to join him there shortly. For now, we participate in the protype development of Argo- to find the filters of the ocean waters, not to exploit them for short term gain, but to understand where we stand in time and space, and we do stand."

To learn more about Argo:


Robert Hagen June 9, 2010 @ 6:52 p.m.

Off the Gulf Coast - Two days before World Cup

Stephanie and Tino were diving at a depth of some 40 meters, almost two kilometers away from the S.S. Argo. Onboard, Amy was collecting and collating surface samples from the stern of the boat. Kenworth was at the helm when his dedicated line to mom and Tino staticked.


Kenworth was startled.

Under the sea, Tino had noticed something very bad gathering overhead.

"Kenworth." said Tino into his microphone.

Kenworth grabbed his microphone and answered

"Yeah, what?"

"Your mom and I are going to rendezvous with you at an alternate site, in due course. I have thickening oil overhead, and apparent rectilinear formations, must be debris from the Deepwater Horizon. You must raise anchor, and proceed on a course south by southwest, at full power."

"Mom!" cried Kenworth into the microphone.

"I'm here, honey." said Stephanie Clifton, on the commo line.

"Surface, Mom!"

Tino cut in.

"We cannot surface now, the debris will be overhead. We are at 40 meters. Move the boat, now. This debris could foul your propeller or compromise the hull. You must raise the anchor, now. And call Coast Guard say 'May Day.' But do not move until your anchor is secure topside. Do you copy?"

"Yeah, I copy."

"Readback, boy."

"Call the Coast Guard with a May Day, raise anchor, and go south by southwest under full power."

"Correct. Out."


Robert Hagen June 11, 2010 @ 9:44 p.m.

South Africa - World Cup Day 1

The Soccer Mom's Journal

We almost died. Weswam for our lives. After Tino signalled Kenworth to move the Argo, he tied a teher around my waist and said

"We must outswim this debris field, or it will kill us. This is a sprint-


Twenty minutes, sprint. Vamonos.'

We swam our hardest and fastest. When the tether pulled at my waist I turned it up. Amazingly, we fed off of each other, and slowly rose, swimming for our lives, rising slowly enough to defeat the bends, with the monstrous debris field, insensate and unslaked, right behind us.

When we surfaced, Tino shot off a flare, and called Kenworth

"Kenwort, can you see my flare?"

"No...wait, yes! Oh, Jesus, how far away are you? I'm turning back!"

In the background I could hear the Argo's engines rev.

"Stop engines! Full stop, Kenwort! Your mother is right here, we passed the debris field. Coast Guard is coming."

"How deep are you?!" demanded Kenworth.

"Honey, we've surfaced. The flare, honey. Do you see the flare?" I said, almost completely out of breath.

I don't want to think about it, but when the Coast Guard divers appeared, well, needless to say it was lkie a new lease on life. Tino claims we would have made it anyway, that he cannot be drowned, but I wonder.

Now, in the middle of the night, the drums beat in Africa, and it soothes me, makes me forget the past, and all that is wrong in the world.

Tonight, the South Africans celebrate, non-stop with out ceasing. They sing

"Bawana Bawana, Bawana Bawana,

The Zulu shaft, the African Goal

Sing Africa, Sing Africa!

Bawana Bawana, Sing Africa!

Shakira Live In South Africa June 10, 2010, FIFA World Cup Concert:


Robert Hagen June 12, 2010 @ 1:37 a.m.

South Africa - World Cup Day 2

The Soccer Mom laid down her pen, and tried to sleep, but she could not. Then, a steadily rising drumbeat began:

Bebop, bebop, bebop bibbity biggity bop

Bebop, bop bop

Bop bop bop bop..........

Tino leapt into the air, and fell of the bed. He scrambled from the floor, exclaiming

"It's the Nigerians!"

Tino ran to his backpack and extracted two tear gas containers that would put tears into the eyes of the most ardent soccer fans. He ran out to the balcony and leaned over it, looking both ways. One the one side came the Nigerian side. On the other, no Argentine hincha in sight. The kids had awaken with a start, and Amy, Kenworth and Stephanie Clifton ran out to the balcony. Their first impression was a mob of Nigerians stomping, cussing and making a fuss over what they planned to do- beat Argentina.

"Tino! Who are they?" asked Kenworth.

"Nigerians, boy. We play them this morning in our group."

Kenworth and Amy laughed.

"How did they find you?" asked the Soccer Mom.

Tino shook his head and said

"It's someone in Buenos Aires, having a laugh."

"What are you going to do?" asked Amy.

"Pepper spray tear gas containers, one in front, one right in the middle. Watch." said Tino. He threw two tear gas containers, one right in front and the next down right smack dab in the middle of the crowd/mob.

The mob grew vexatious upon being showered with such affection. Tino screamed down at them

"Una palisa como nunca has visto te espera,

Una palisa como nunca te imaginaste llega, en pocas horas,

Algo que vale mirar por todo el universo,

No solo en el mundial, viene

A tu propio continente.

Argentina te va liberar de tus ambiciones grotesquas,

Que son - Ganar a Argentina

Vas a llorar antes de que este Mundial da otra vuelta!!!!

Juanes - FIFA World Cup Concert:


Robert Hagen June 12, 2010 @ 5:10 p.m.

Rustenberg, South Africa - World Cup Day 2

Walton had joined the team at Rustenberg. Amy, Kenworth and the Soccer Mom were walking together, going to the USA vs. England match. The street was absolute pandemonium. Walton and Tino were walking in front. Tino was drinking from a wine sack, celebrating Argentina's thrilling victory over their African arch-nemesis Nigeria. Kenworth said

"Tino, what is that rot gut you're drinking?"

"It's Soweto beer, boy. This beats Heineken by a country mile. I think it has hallucinogenic properties, I don't know, lets find out." Tino drank some more. Walton jabbed him in the ribs.

"What, you want to get an IQ test from me?" said Tino to Walton, belligerently.

Then Tino whirled, because he knew that Kenworth was going to say something. As soon as Kenworth opened his mouth, Tino squirted some Soweto beer in his mouth by squeezing the wine sack hard, and aiming. Kenworth practically gagged.

"I told you, I'll spit in your mouth, boy." said Tino.

This is the music of South Africa:


Robert Hagen June 23, 2010 @ 10:30 p.m.

South Africa - World Cup - Day Twelve

The Soccer Mom's Journal

Earlier today, the kids approached Tino, and Amy asked him

"What does this mean?"

She showed him a Yin & Yang symbol. Tino was eating dry oats from a sandwich bag, which we does when he's nervous, although he claims its what he does when he's in the field. Perhaps the two go hand in hand.

Tino said

"Who's asking?'

My son said "Answer the question."

Tino said

"It means conversion, boy."

"Elaborate." said Amy.

"Look. The line through the middle of the symbol, which represents the Earth, shows a wending path. Where does the success lie? In conversion. Only by converting ourselves can we survive, and supercede. What holds true for you, holds true for me. You children too, shall convert, for that is the way of life- to grow."


Robert Hagen June 24, 2010 @ 10:15 a.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa - World Cup - Day 13

The Soccer Mom's Journal

Kenworth and Amy huddled to consider what Tino had said. Then Kenny announced

"I don't know if you're some kind of Catholic or something, but actions speak alot louder than words."

Tino tossed a few more dry oats in his mouth and said

"Boy, I like you."

Amy stepped in, and said

"Is that oatmeal?"

"Yup." said Tino.

"Why are you eating that?"

"I find it soothing." said Tino.

Finally, he admitted that he was munching on raw oats to calm his nerves.

Right now, Amy and Kenworth are dancing, celebrating the US qualifying, playing some of Kenny's David Bowie music:


Robert Hagen June 27, 2010 @ 1:54 a.m.

South Africa - World Cup - Day 15

The Soccer Mom's Journal

"Soccer is a cruel sport sometimes." - Landon Donovan

It was a tough loss, but the American select left the field with their heads held high. Kenworth is not overly affected by the loss, for he loves his team just the same, win, lose or draw. Kenny, Amy and I watched the game of USA vs. Ghana while Walton and Tino hovered about, blowing on vuvuzuelas. Before the game, they practiced communicating with each other on the vuvuzuela, whapping each other with it, and shooting poison darts from it.

Now it would appear that president Obama will not attend the World Cup, and Walton will be going home. On the plus side, Ghana is playing excellent soccer, and now represents Africa in the World Cup of 2010.

After the game, we waited with hundreds of other US soccer fans for the national team to emerge, and board the team bus. Amy practically fainted when the U.S. National team appeared, and Kenworth jumped up and down, shouting

"I love you guys!" and "Donovan!"

As we waited for the US team, a Mexican fan, dressed in a serape, approached Tino. It was 'Mando, a very close friend of his. They spoke, Mando met Walton, and introduced himself to me.

Tino showed Mando the video of Kenny's goal scored at Hoover High School. Mando laughed appreciatively and called my son 'Baby Donovan.'


Robert Hagen June 29, 2010 @ 1:44 a.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa - World Cup - Day 16

Then a Jeep Wrangler, red with black pinstripes, driven by Bingo, a Force Recon sniper, cruised up the boulevard, jamming music while the crowd enjoyed. In the back, was Evan Will himself. The former Navy SEAL was pole dancing on the roll bar of the jeep:


Robert Hagen June 29, 2010 @ 8:55 a.m.

The jeep wrangler pulled up to Mando and Tino.

'Is that Evan Will?' thought Tino. Evan Will sightings were rare, but they did happen. Some background. 'The Ease' was kicked out of the Navy for hitting Fabulous Freddie one evening at a party in the Gaslamp district. It happened to him for drinking too much. Truthfully, Evan Will didn't have a mean bone in his body. He always went after his mission with gusto and extraordinary enthusiasm. Bingo was his roommate, and a large, quiet person. They complemented each other, they trusted each other and they took care of one another. Heard otherwise?

Don't listen to rumors.

Bingo got out of the jeep and went and greeted Mando. Evan hopped down from the back, and went and met Tino. World Cup revelers were all around.

"What do you think of the World Cup?" Tino asked Evan.

"I think I've never been surrounded by so many Africans."


Robert Hagen June 30, 2010 @ 9:02 a.m.

Tino looked over at Mando, then said

"You talk alot of s*** Evan Will, and that's why you got kicked out of the military. You try that with Mando or myself, and I going to whisper something in your ear."


Robert Hagen July 1, 2010 @ 8:53 p.m.

'Soccer Mom' Part II - 'The Search for Schneider'

"You know, it surprises me that an Argentine man would criticize me for braggadocio." replied Evan Will.

Tino regarded him narrowly for a moment, then said

"You make a point."

The Ease extended his hand, and these two men who swim in the ocean shook hands firmly.

Mando's cell phone rang. He extracted it from beneath his serape, and looked to see who was calling. It was South Africa Interpol. He answered it quickly:

"Armando speaking."

The caller launched into a tirade that was so loud that Mando had to remove the phone from his ear. Evan Will distinctly heard the words 'Schneider' and 'Kilimanjaro.'

Mando moved away from the others and had a short conversation.

Tino watched Mando thinking

"Situation....calming the caller down....checking his watch- probably to estimate time needed to get to the situation.....glancing at us- we may have a mission.....reassuring the caller....signing off."

Mando hung up and immediately made a call of his own, conversing for just over a minute. He hung up and stood there, thinking deeply, then in less than a blur, replaced his cellphone under his serape. Bingo, Evan and Tino all thought to themselves 'tremendous hand speed.'

Mando walked over to the others and said

"We have a situation. I'm waiting for instructions."

Then Mando went to Bingo and said a few words. Bingo nodded and said "Jump in people."

Bingo and Mando got in the front of the jeep, and Evan and Tino hopped in back.


Robert Hagen July 1, 2010 @ 9:12 p.m.

As Bingo's jeep made its way at an excruciatingly slow speed through the World Cup celebrators in Johannesburg, going to Tino's hotel to collect the Soccer Mom, Kenworth Clifton and his girlfriend Amy, Evan Will got on his super cell and called Gunther, the owner of the 'Glock and Spiel' a German eatery in the Gaslamp Quarter district of downtown San Diego. Gunther was a retired German cop, and true homie, as far as the Ease was concerned.

Gunther's voice mail picked up, and his thick German accent could be heard saying

"Call back after Wurld Cup. Thank you." Beep...

"Gunther this is Evan Will. I have important World Cup information. Call me-"

Gunther immediately picked up, saying

"Bitches galore, eh, Evan?"

Gunther was always making fun of Evan's taste for rap music.

"Gunther, who is Schneider?" Evan Will knew Germany was in the thick of the World Cup, and put two and two together.

"Schneider who?"

"Uh, the soccer guy?"

"It's a common name, Evan." said Gunther.

"Uh, the mountain guy?" ventured Evan.

"You mean Marcus Schneider?"

"Yes! said Evan Will, a little too happy, then continuing

"Who is he?"

"Schneider is a computer genius, very eccentric. He climbs in the Alpine mountains frequently. He has a passion for soccer, certainly. He's tried to buy interests in the Bundesliga a few times, but owing to his eccentricities, has not succeeded. Why do you ask?"

"No reason, gotta go, you're breaking up." said the Ease, depressing his end call button.


Robert Hagen July 1, 2010 @ 10:02 p.m.

The foursome entered the hotel room. The Soccer Mom's look said

'I know something's up.'

Amy and Kenny were surfing the web with a lap top connected to the hotel room's television. They turned and saw that Tino had brought three other men inside. They looked at each other, and Amy whispered to Kenny

"Look. Justice League of America."

"More like Justice League of the Americas." replied Kenny, under his breath. You could just tel these men were hard core.

Then Kenny's lap top started beeping.

Amy looked at Evan Will and said

"You're Evan Will!"

The Ease was known because of his appearance in the reality TV series 'Biosphere.'

"Yes, indeed. Young man, what's that noise?" replied Evan.

"It's a viral monitor." replied Kenworth Clifton, bashfully.

"What does it do?" asked Mando, his spider sense alerted.

"It signals that an internet video is going viral on the web. It's an application."

"May we see it?" asked Mando.

Kenworth looked at his Mom, who nodded.

Kenny punched a few keys on his lap top, and hopped off the bed.

The television monitor went to youtube, and the German national anthem began playing. Everyone in the room was riveted to the screen:

Several men in sophisticated mountain climbing gear appeared on the screen. They were on top of an enormous mountain, with wind and snow blowing by at a furious speed. A man walked to the front, removed a balaklava and announced, as his breath billowed with every word

"People of the world! I and my cohorts have been deported from South Africa! We have been falsely accused of soccer hooliganism! Now I am atop the the world's largest free standing mountain- Kilimanjaro!"

"Oh s***." said Tino.

The man turned to two of his companions grouped behind him. They unfurled an enormous German flag with flag stick, and brought it to the speaker. The man took the flag and drove it into a pre-prepared hole in the icy ground, turned to the camera and said

"I, Marcus Schneider, refuse to be falsely deported from the African continent during the World Cup. Therefore, I claim the mount Kilimanjaro as German territory!!!!!!! I will not come down from this mountain unless certain demands are met!!!"

The video ended abruptly.

The Scorpions Live in Moscow 'Rock you like a Hurricane'


Robert Hagen July 5, 2010 @ 6:14 p.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa - World Cup - Present Day

Evan Will wasn't that much into soccer, but he definately knew how to kick it old school.

He's the master of the rap, the doctor of the rock

The jack of all trades, the master of one

And the thing he mastered

Is called having fun.

In the hotel room, the Soccer Mom was on a Skype link with her superiors at Langley. Mando was on his cell phone attempting to placate FIFA soccer officials. Evan and Bingo were huddled, examining maps of Kilimanjaro. Young Kenworth Clifton and his pride and joy, girlfriend Amy, were juggling a soccer ball.

Where was Tino? He had left in a huff during the Germany vs. Argentina match. Perhaps huff is not the right word. You could almost literally see the steam coming out of his ears. Really upset. Very upset. He had taken up residence in a nearby hotel, because, honestly, he was too mad to be dealing with people on a civil basis. I mean it's one thing to lose a game but a 4-0 bloodbath? It was beyond brutal, and those young tigers from Germany really knew how to play under pressure.

But it's a funky World Cup anyway. You have to take things in perspective, otherwise take a break and cool off. So Tino had gone off.

Schneider, on the other hand, had made another viral video, this time shaking the enormous German flag like a goal scorer shaking a corner field flag after a goal. It was getting ridiculous.

The first thing the small group of commandos had tried was to patch Gunther through to Schneider.

"Schneider!! Schneider!! Come down from that mountain at once!! What has gotten into to you!!?" screamed Gunther.

"The vuvuzuelas. The vuvuzuelas have driven me mad, and that's it." declared Scneider into his handset.

"Then take your Luger, go into the bedroom and do the right thing!!! But do not embarrass Germany any further!!! Do you hear me!!!????!!"

"I'll not come down from this mountain." declared Schneider firmly.

"Eventually you must!!! Why not now, in good time!?"

"We have reached the semi-finals." said Schneider.

"You will freeze to death!!!!" cried Gunther.

"I am numb to the cold...." whispered Schneider, and then he hung up.


Robert Hagen July 5, 2010 @ 8:45 p.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa - Present Day

Tino was in a hotel room in Johannesburg. Oh man, was he upset. His cell phone rang.

"Yes?" he said into the cellphone.

"Update your status." said his up line man in Buenos Aires.

"I'm in a hotel room in Johannesburg. I've left the others because my blood was boiling, and I didn't want to get into a fight."

"Correct. What else?"

"Schneider remains atop Kilimanjaro. It's obvious that he's dug a redoubt, and has pre-placed provisions."

"How long do you think he can last?"

"Until his provisions run out, or he's removed from the mountain." replied Tino, thinking to himself, 'Why am I being asked such a foolish question?'

"Send a diplomatic note to the group you were assigned to. Then pat yourself twice on the head, once on the back, then on either buttcheek. We have sent overtures to San Diego. We don't want to overdo it. How do you feel?"


"Would you like your tongue to be cut out and replaced with the skin of a pig?"

"No, Sir." said Tino.

"Then do not address me in that fashion."

Tino felt a little bit humiliated, but then, that is life, a regular roller coaster of ups and downs. In any event, it wasn't looking so much like a suicide mission. Retrieving Schneider would be a piece of cake, for Tino was a world class mountaineer. Life, after all, is a process of climbing a mountain, and Tino had climbed the Andes mountains, a mountain range so large that if it were superimposed in the northern hemisphere and placed laterally, would stretch from Los Angeles, California to London, England. So don't f*** with Buzos boys, because the Buzos don't play.


Robert Hagen July 6, 2010 @ 9:35 a.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa - World Cup - Present Day

Tino sent a diplomatic note to Evan Will. Easy E opened it, and read it:

You have a trumpet for a heart and a very small vuvuzuela. Call me.

Evan laughed and got on his super cell:

"Hello?" said Tino.

"It's Evan. What's up?"

"I'm alright. How are you?"

"Taking it easy." said Evan Will.

"Evan, do you still drink?"

"Only on occasion. Why?"

"Let's have a few beers together and no more hard feelings. I'm sorry about what's happened." said Tino.

"Are you negotiating with me or just maneuvering?" asked Evan Will.

"I'm being sincere."

"Right on, then. I'll be over in a few minutes."

Evan Will and Tino enjoyed several Samuel Adams beers together, and loosened up. The two men relaxed. Tino said

"This beer is very delicious."

"Yeah, it's tasty." repled Evan.

"What do you think will happen to Schneider?" asked Tino.

"I don't know. When someone freaks out like that, it's tough to say."

"You think we will receive orders to rescue him and his cohorts?" asked Tino.

"We're on stand by- probably." said the Ease.

"We going to have to parachute."


"It will be dangerous."

"Yeah, but it's a good mission." said Evan Will, taking a swig of beer, pensively. Evan thought to himself

'I hope I make it home in one piece, to get back to the love of my life, Joy Mercy. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.'

"Hey, Tino."


"I think you're to be commended for finding that debris field."

Tino exhaled loudly, and said

"Oh, it almost find me, eh? But Stephanie, she swim very hard. She a very courageous woman, actually."

They sat quietly, drinking their beers and relaxing. Finally, Tino said

"Hey, Evan."


"I think Stephanie deserve a nickname. We give her a nickname? What do you think?"

"I'm down for that, absolutely." said Evan Will.

"But what should it be?"

Evan Will thought for a moment and said

"How about 'Soccer Mom'?"


Robert Hagen July 7, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.

Soccer Mom - Part III - 'Commando, Blue'

Evan and Tino walked back to the hotel room, and went inside.

Kenny and Amy cried in unison


The Soccer Mom looked at the two men, then turned back to packing a suitcase. She was nervous. Mando was on the phone, and Bingo was on another phone. Both were pacing back and forth.

Bingo looked up and said

Well, well, well, if it isn't Flossy and Glossy."

Kenworth Clifton laughed, and kicked an authentic Jubilani Adidas World Cup of South Africa 2010 soccer ball to Tino, lofting it softly.

Tino snapped a mid-level hook kick at the ball, at blurring speed. It smashed into the suitcase the Soccer Mom was filling, ricocheted in it, and came to rest.

"Caso cerrado." said Tino to Mando, who gave him a particularly venomous look in return. If you ain't got the fare, don't get on the bus.

The kids just could not believe what they just saw.

Mando got back on the phone, then looked toward Bingo, and said

"Houston, we may not have a problem."

The Lyrics of the Theme to Soccer Mom, and video:

'Which of the Two Shall it Be?'

I'm ready to explode,

I'm thinking only of her,

My soul wants to let it rest,

But my pride just won't let it.

Pain I must withstand,

Because I didn't want to keep her with me,

No! No, I don't know which of us two it will be,

Who might give up finally,

So history moves on,

Without rancor.........

I don't know which of us two it'll be,

That dies of anxiety, to return to the glory,

Of our love...........

I could not resolve,

But this couple is the problem,

And I don't know who'll say their sorry,

To extract from of us this guilt,

No! No! No! I don't know which of us it will be,

Who will die of anxiety,

To return to the glory,

Of our love,

Sad without her I am,

And the pain kills me,

And I don't want to, no,

I don't want to cry!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, no, no, oh, oh,

I don't which of the two it will be,

Who dies from anxiety,

To return to the glory,

Of our love.


Robert Hagen July 7, 2010 @ 11:40 a.m.

In the modified bay of a Sikorsky Sr-71 BlackBird, an intel techie was reviewing imagery, approaching Kilimanjaro.

Andrew, who was not a sassy guy, but anyway, back to the story, lowered himself into a sort of projectile vomiter.

"Good luck and God Speed." said the


Andy sighed, and saluted. In he went. He was dressed in operational attire that looked exactly like what Schneider's crew was wearing in the viral videos. The mack department had made it for him.

Who wants to jump bad?

Andrew was ejected from the aircraft at a supersonic speed, in projectile position, which is to say, like a bullet.

Head first, arms to the side, palms smack dab to the thighs, Andrew began flexing his stomach muscles, and flowing up and down in the air, skidding into the atmosphere to slow his speed. The slower he went, the more he rollercoastered his body, until sub sonic speed was reached.

"MARK!" cried the intel technician.

Andrew threw his arms forward, broke the atmosphere and further slowed his speed, tucked in his legs, grabbed his shins, rolled over once forward in the air, brought his legs out and pointed his toes forward, threw his arms back and up, his open gloved hands cupping the atmosphere as he lowered his arms against the intense pressure of the friction of the air dive.

He didn't so much land on the world's largest free standing mountain, so much as enter it, into a thick, nice and crusty snow form, burrowing a hole almost thirty feet deep in the process.

"Paycheck, paycheck, read back!"

"Hole in one." said Andrew breathlessly. Looking up at the snow cavern he was going to climb out of, very carefully.


Robert Hagen July 8, 2010 @ 7:45 p.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa -World Cup - Yesterday

In the hotel room, everyone cheered as they watched the tv monitor of ground control cheering. Andrew had pulled off the jump.

Tinos cell phone rang - the face of it said ´Buenos Aires calling.¨

Tino knew what meant- Argentine Army Special Forces Lancers.

He dashed into the bathroom, closed and secured the door, then answered the call, while brushingv his fingertips against the microphone of the phone, like a guitarist, like a thousand roses.

¨Here!" he snapped into the receiver, while giving the static a little extra graze.

"Complete report."

Tino breathed a sigh of relief . They were not that mad.

He removed his other hand from the phone and said

"The Tanzanians must have an A-Team circling the perimeter of Kilimanjaro. I trust you saw the airdive?"

"What airdive?"

"An Air Force rescue commando has just completed a Superman projectile landing into a deep snow drift on the face of Kilimanjaro."

"What do you think he will do?"

"Climb nearly to the crest, take up an encirclement position, then await the report the airman, who has probably already crested and is in observance of Schneiders camp. He will more than likely make a near approach during the soccer game, and take up an optimal position."

"You want a toothpick in your mouth?"

"No." replied Tino.

"Behave properly. What else?"

"We got called off. Tanzania A-Team and the airman are going to handle it."

Come to Buenos Aires after the finsl. Bring your compliment. Arrive directly.}}

The transmission ended.


Robert Hagen July 12, 2010 @ 9:22 p.m.

The Soccer Mom's Diary - En Route To Buenos Aires, Argentina

My son Kenworth, and Amy, have really begun to cotton to Tino. Last night, the World Cup of 2010 ended. Tino played this song in dedication of South Africa, and all of Africa for such a grand World Cup, perhaps the greatest ever played:


Robert Hagen July 12, 2010 @ 9:44 p.m.

The Soccer Mom's Diary - En Route to Argentina

My son Kenworth, and Amy have really begun to cotton to Tino. Last night, the World Cup of 2010 ended. Mando and Tino cheered and embraced when Spain gained the championship. Tino broke out a batch of Soweto Beer, a home brew, aka in the US a designer beer, poured it into a wine sack, began drinking and got drunk. Mando, Bingo and Evan did not partake. Tino was in his own little world.

Tino pulled out a pair of handcuffs, and began twirling them on his index fingers.

Then he began making fun of Evan Will:

"Room service! May I have room service?" he said, belittling Evan's supposed ability to raid a room by surprise.

Evan got mad, then looked at Bingo, and shut his friggin' mouth.

"Don't trip on the carpet!" said Tino, scratching his pubic hairs.

"But I must say one thing about you, Evan. You do have pluck." said Tino, pulling on his testicles.

"Remember to look both ways before crossing the street, eh? You could get hit by a bus!"

The kids flipped and laughed uproariously at that one.

"You want to get on the short bus with me, eh?" Asked Tino, now spinning the handcuffs on his small finger.

"The Buzu Tactico are real police, and we make our rounds.

SI O NO!!!!!?????!!!!


Robert Hagen July 13, 2010 @ 4:55 p.m.

Johannesburg, South Africa - Present Day

Evan Will was as happy go lucky a man as you would ever want to meet. He made friends, not enemies, but if someone got in his face, or upset him unduly, he took care of business right away. He knew that Tino had been drunk, and that he himself had been set up.

But man, was Evan pissed.

Bingo and Evan cruised through Soweto township in Bingo's Jeep at low speed. They were there to drop off a few care packages, before packing up and heading home. They took in the scenery, the terrain, the people, and the ambiance. You only go around once after all, and poor people, supposedly poor people anyway, had alot to teach to supposedly wealthier individuals.

Finally Bingo broke the ice:

"So what do you think about that guy?" he said.

"G**damn, I thought Raiders fans were bad." said Evan.

"What's your plan?" asked Bingo.

"Find out what his problem is, and take it from there."

Evan's super cell phone rang, and he checked the indicator. It was Pierre, a cool fool that had boarded ships for GreenPeace. Pierre now worked for Joy Mercy, the heiress to the Mercy fortune, Evan's heart and soul. Pierre insisted on the title 'Aide de Camp' Evan answered:


"Evan Will, you rherarttdd. I would not feed you, not even to my dog. Do you hear?"

"What do you want?" asked Evan, thinking that obviously word had gotten around.

"I want you for fishbait, no? If you messi with me, you end up in someone's fish taco. True or false, eh?"

"Very funny, Pierre." snapped Evan.

"What choo gonna do? Eh, rapper wiz ze rapier, eh? What choo gonna do?" taunted Pierre.

"I'm going to hang up on you." said Evan, plainly.

"Not so fast. Joy wish to speak with you."

"Then pass me to 'mon blabe' and make it fast." snapped Evan.

Joy got on the phone and said something.

"Bitch, are you out of your f***ing mind?" snapped Evan, and hung up his super cell, breathing deeply, trying to keep control of himself.


Robert Hagen July 14, 2010 @ 10:26 p.m.

Names are common,

Hearts are few,

Words are verbal,

Convincing you?

A look askance,

Does not the heart, advance.

A choice for many,

Counts as a penny.

Seek unto love,

As you should,

The Lord above.

Seek unto truth, before

Chewing the Baby Ruth.

-Richard Warke


Robert Hagen July 14, 2010 @ 10:59 p.m.

For choosing a biblical name, thus shall your hearts be undone.

For it is not in the naming, but in the doing.



Robert Hagen July 15, 2010 @ 10:04 a.m.

The Soccer Moms Journal

Today we arrived in Buenos Aires. Mando and Tino deplaned first. Both were attired in civilian garb. The way that Mando stood up straight, took the term to a whole new meaning.

Two men were at the bottom of the off ramp. They greeted Tino, and handed him his wallet and badge. They were going to give him a sidearm, but he waved it off, indicating

Take up perimeter positions.

When we arrived at the hotel, Tino told Amy and Kenny

"Kids, I going to give you back your cell phones, but I dont want you text when you should be taking in the sights of Buenos Aires. You can take pictures, of course. Okay?"

"Its about time." said my son, Kenworth, taking his cell phone.

Amy took her cell phone back as if she were offended, saying nothing.

"Another thing kids, we going to shop for formal wear, for a dinner. I want you to be on best behavior, okay?"

Kenny looked at me, and the look was clear- Are you into this guy, Mom?

"Best behavior." I said.

John Mellencamp Jr. - 'Cherry Bomb'


Robert Hagen July 17, 2010 @ 9:58 a.m.

"You think you can hang with it?"


Robert Hagen July 19, 2010 @ 7:34 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Young Kenworth Clifton was laying on a bed next to Amy, in a swank, enormous hotel room in Buenos Aires pressing on his cellphone, trying to pull out the internet block Tino had installed on his phone. Amy was lying next to him, ostensibly watching tv, but really watching Kenny. Tino was pacing back and forth, watching the kids. Obviously they were up to something, it was obvious by their body language.

"What you doing, boy?" said Tino to Kenny.

"Its a form of texting. Where's my mom?" replied Kenny.

"She in high level meetings all morning. She return 14:00 hours."

Kenworth said nothing. Within a few minutes, he had web access.

"He checked his e-mail- the most recent:

'Tino is bsit and wants to bring it to Evan Will. Look:

Kenny leapt up, clicked on the link, and read. He sat down on the side of the bed, and put his head in his hands. Tino had gone out on the balcony, thinking to himself 'I'll find out in a minute what they are up to.'

"what's wrong?" asked Amy.

"I want to go home." said Kenny, flatly.

Tino reentered the fine luxury hotel room and said

"You kids have your breakfast?"

"Yes!" they responded in unison, far too quickly. It's not that easy to fool a cop.

"What are you doing? Don't lie." demanded Tino, pointing an index finger.

"Take a look." said Kenny, tossing his cell phone to Tino. Tino read everything, tossed the cell phone back to Kenny and said

"You see, boy? You disobey me and unlock the internet hold I put on your phone. That's okay, you show initiative. Just don't listen to stupid rumors on the webp. That's why I forbid you look at the web right now. We live in tumultuous times, boy. You can't listen tov rumors."

"You're not my father! You can't tell me what to do!" cried Kenny, standing up and putting his fists by his side. Amy leapt up and circled around toward Tino.

"I'm here to provide appropriate supervision." said Tino.

"You want to get with Kenny's Mom!" screamed Amy.

"Don't be crude." said Tino.

"I'm calling Evan Will." said Kenny, pressing a fast dial button. Evan had given Kenny his digits, saying

"If you need anything youngster, call me pronto, and I'm by your side."

Easy Listening:


Robert Hagen July 19, 2010 @ 9:54 p.m.

Ask an Argentino - Special Edition

Q: What do the colors red and black imply?

A: Justice by night- youth and impetousity.

Q: What do the colors red and white imply?

A: Justice by day - maturity.

Q: What does the color green imply?

A: The virtue of the earth.

Q: What do the colors blue and gold imply?

A: Smooth sailing. Golden sun and blue seas.

Q: What do the colors crimson and gold imply?

A: Blood and treasure- the reasons that men battle.

Q: What does the color white imply?

A: On a vestige or on one's skin?


Robert Hagen July 19, 2010 @ 10:46 p.m.


Robert Hagen July 20, 2010 @ 1 a.m.

Tino approached Kenworth and grabbed his cell phone.



Robert Hagen July 20, 2010 @ 1:08 a.m.


Lyrics of 1979:

Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time On a live wire right up off the street You and I should meet Junebug skipping like a stone With the headlights pointed at the dawn We were sure we'd never see an end to it all And I don't even care to shake these zipper blues And we don't know Just where our bones will rest To dust I guess Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below Double cross the vacant and the bored They're not sure just what we have in store Morphine city slipping dues down to see That we don't even care as restless as we are We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts And poured cement, lamented and assured To the lights and towns below Faster than the speed of sound Faster than we thought we'd go, beneath the sound of hope Justine never knew the rules, Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls No apologies ever need be made, I know you better than you fake it To see that we don't even care to shake these zipper blues And we don't know just where our bones will rest To dust I guess Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below The street heats the urgency of now As you see there's no one around


Robert Hagen July 20, 2010 @ 8:51 a.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

"That's for tricking me, boy." said Tino, slipping the cell phone into his pocket and thinking to himself

'How did he do that?... this phone will have to go in for analysis...I have to assuage Stephanie, also...'

"You're an a%*hole!" yelled Kenny.

"You won't be saying that into a cell phone, boy." replied Tino.

"You know what? We're outta here! Come on, Amy."

Amy and Kenny went to walk out the hotel room door.

"Wait, Kenwort. You want a beer?" (Give this boy a baby bottle, Tino was thinking.)

Kenny whirled around and shouted


"A beer, have a beer or two with me." said Tino, hustling over to the full bar fridge.

"That's illegal." said Amy.

"No it's not. In Buenos Aires, Kenwort may have a beer under adult supervision."

Kenny went for the bait, and pretty soon, he was sitting across from Tino, belching pleasantly. Amy was drinking a Gatorade, because she didn't drink alcohol.

"Hey Tino, what'd you ever do with the video of my goal?"

"I have it. I show it to people." replied Tino, shrugging.

Kenny arose, now rather full of himself and strutting in front of Amy, and went to get another beer. He returned and sat down and said

"I want to see it."


Tino connected his cell phone to the hotel room flat screen, and they watched Kenny's goal together. It was incredible.


Robert Hagen July 20, 2010 @ 7:18 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tino and the kids had a great lunch of empanadas. Kenny had jumped in the shower to sober up, and now they were practicing soccer skills.

Tino was at the far side of the hotel room, by the balcony doors. Amy was to his right and foreword.

Kenny was jumping up and down on the hotel bed.

"Okay, here we go!"

Tino tossed a soccer ball up towards Amy. She headed the ball, above and behind Kenny.

Kenny sprang up, flipped his body and shot a Chileno, aka a bicycle kick, aka a scissors kick, toward Tino.

BAP. Tino slapped the shot down, gathered the ball, and said

"That´s good, very good. Now get your hips more toward the middle and rotate all the way, and give it your best, okay?"

Kenny sprang up and down on the bed. Boing boing boing.

Tino flipped the ball to Amy, she headed it a little higher, up and over, Kenny boinged up on the bed, turned over in the air, and snapped a Chileno at about thirty miles per hour.

The ball flew past Tino much faster than he could react, smashed into a wall picture, ricocheted down onto the floor, and was headed toward expensive cut crystal wear when Tino dove for it, and grabbed it with both hands.

"Oh my God, Kenny!"

Kenny laughed, looked up at the high ceiling, boinged up once harder, threw a somersault, and landed on his feet, laughing.

"Yeah, baby. Yeah, baby." he said, smiling at Tino.

"That's fantastic." said Tino, looking at the smashed picture.

"Okay, lets clean up, Soccer Mom be home soon." said Tino.

Juanes - fotografia


Robert Hagen July 22, 2010 @ 5:20 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Stephanie Clifton returned, and walked into the hotel room. Kenny instantly went for the hotel room fridge, pulled out a beer, and opened it.

"What do you think you're doing?" said Stephanie.

"Perfectly legal in Buenos Aires, mom. Perfectly legal." said Kenny.

"Put that back!" snapped Stephanie.

Kenny did so in a hurry. Amy ran up to him and socked him on the arm.

Stephanie looked at Tino and said

"You. Outside." Pointing to the balcony.

On the balcony, both leaned over the rail. Stephanie said

"I can't believe that you would do this, Tino."

Tino looked out through the dusky air, out to the grey landscape of buildings that comprised the furious city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and responded

"Stephanie, do you remember when you told me about your fears over your son?"

Stephanie swallowed.


"At that time, I take the decision to help you."

The Soccer Mom's eyes welled up with tears. Finally she said

"Are you toying with my emotions?"

"No, Stephanie. Do we have instructions?"

"Yes, you're to patch things up with Evan Will once and for all"


"Evan is in San Diego. A skype link is ready."

"So, clear the air once and for all?"


Tino thought to himself

'My superiors must have approved this.'

"Very well." he said.


Robert Hagen July 22, 2010 @ 5:31 p.m.

Back inside the hotel room, Tino, Stephanie, Kenny and Amy watched Evan Will appear on a skype connection on the flat screen. Tino was on camera.

"Evan Will, this is Tino. Do you read me"

"I'm in."

"Your concerns, please."

"Where's Stephanie Clifton?"

Stephanie stepped on camera, and said

"I'm here, Evan."

"Hey, Steph. What happened to Schneider?"

"A-Team Tanzania joined up with Schneider and his companions. Schneider was perfectly distraught when Germany lost in semi-finals, but his companions consoled him. A-Team Tanzania joined him atop Kilimanjaro and they all removed the German flag with honors. They descended Kilimanjaro safely, and were met with a hero's welcome. Tanzania threw Schneider a huge party."

"Really?" asked Evan.

"Yes, really." replied Stephanie Clifton.

"Let me guess- beer and bratwurst." said the Ease.

"Something like that."

"What about about Andy?" asked Evan.

"I have no information on that subject, for it's not of any concern." said Stephanie Clifton, beaming ear to ear.

Evan stepped off camera and you could hear men whooping and hollering slapping thighs, clapping hands and cheering.


Robert Hagen July 22, 2010 @ 8:43 p.m.

Evan Will reappeared on the screen, and said

"Tino, I want to have a conversation with you."

"Then have a seat." replied Tino.


"I don't engage in polite conversation standing up." said Tino.

"You're standing." said Evan Will.

"I didn't request the pleasure of your company, and I employ the phrase loosely." said Tino.

"This is some more of your cop shop crap, isn't it?" asked the Ease.

"I prefer the term 'disciplined interaction.'" said Tino.

"I'm not sitting if you're standing." said Evan.

"Then you prefer a conversation in passing?" replied Tino.

"How come you speak such good English?" asked Evan.

"I am educated and refined." said Tino.

A chair flew at Evan from side stage and he barely had time to bat it down. He said

"Hey, watch it, f***er.!" then took the seat, sat down, looked to his side again and said

"I'm not so much concerned with your....provocations?" he looked to the side again and looked back toward the camera and continued

"Provocations, right, as I am with your..." he didn't look to the side this time just listened, and continued


Tino remained standing, clasped his hands behind his back, and began striding back and forth.

Evan thought to himself

'This guy really is a cop, and that's good. Cops aren't that difficult to deal with.' Evan nodded to the side slightly- 'I can handle this.'

Tino said

"My concern is that the handcuffs spin around too many times."

Evan shot a glance to the side- 'Wait a sec, if this cop is crazy, then what?'

"Uh, can you be more specific?" Evan probed.

"Police don't like domestic disputes."

"Neither do I." replied Evan Will.

"Additional thoughts?" asked Tino, thinking

'I have his attention, time to spring a trap.'

"What's this about every man has a feminine side?"

"Every man does have a femine side- it comes from his mother."


Robert Hagen July 23, 2010 @ 11:28 a.m.

"So it's not a gay thing on your part?" quipped Evan Will.

Amy and Kenny laughed. Tino walked off camera, snapped his fingers and put his index finger to his lips. He walked back on camera. The Ease said

"What's wrong?"

"Just trying to get some quiet in the peanut gallery, that's all." said Tino, looking back at the kids archly.

Amy and Kenny looked at each other- 'Tino got burned.'

Evan had one of those Evan Will moments, when it just occurred to him. He laughed, looked to his right and said

"Me, too."


A pair of arms shoved him from his left, off of camera in a blur. Guess he didn't see that coming.

You could hear a tussle but that was all. In a few moments, Evan reappeared on camera, smoothing his hair, pulling down his shirt, checking his lip for blood, nodding his head, and producing a sheet of paper. He sniffed, pouted, looked down, gave an 'I'm sorry' look to his right (to locate the a**hole that cheap shotted him, who sure enough, emerged forward to menace him further) cleared his throat, and


Evan exploded off camera to his right, dropped the fool like bad habittackling him in his mid-section, wrapped him up tight, and began head butting him as they went down.

All Tino and the kids and Stephanie could hear on their side were shouts of 'Break!' and 'Release!' over and over.

Finally, Evan reappeared on camera, pulling at his sleeves, and hunching his shoulders. He turned and said to the knocked out sucker

"That's my afro beat!"


Robert Hagen July 24, 2010 @ 3:25 p.m.

Evan sat back down, and flicked his eyes quickly toward his left (I need to go) then said to Tino

"Where were we?"

Tino blinked once (aye) and said

"Evan, I think we need cool down period, then we speak later okay?"

"Fine. Out."

In Buenos Aires, the hotelroom flat screen went blank, and the kids gasped. Tino clapped his hands and snapped his fingers saying

"Evan and surfer boys play rough, that's all. Come on. Evan recommunicate in due course. Stephanie, what is your pleasure? Say me, eh?"

Tino winked at Soccer Mom- everything's okay.


Meanwhile, back at the pad, Evan needed to get out of the commo room, and quickly. The men were tending to the knocked out fool, who was obviously going to the infirmary. At the door, a particularly burly young bad boy's eyes were boring holes in Evan Will.

Evan stood up and said

"I know you´re all mad, but dude cheap shotted me, and if I go for that, next thing you know someone wants to back shoot me, and I ain't going for it. You people thought you saw me on TV, but TVs not real. When homie wakes up, tell him next time, ask for my autograph. I don't play that way."

Evan stood up and went toward the door.

The burly bad boy stepped in his way and said

"What's your hurry?"

The Ease smirked, shook his head and looked a little downward like 'I don't want to get into it with you, too.' Then won an Oscar with the following line, looking up toward the doorway, eyes widening, putting his hands up and pleading

"Chief, I swear I didn't-"

When Evan got to the word 'didn't' the young bad boy's body spasmed. He made way for the chief to enter the room and snapped to attention. As he did,


Evan Will drove an elbow into the bad boy's solar plexus driving him out of the way, and hauled ass out of the room.


Robert Hagen July 24, 2010 @ 5:28 p.m.

Evan Will was hauling ass northbound on Interstate 5. Behind him were two motorcyclists. Above him was a pursuit helicopter.

Evan was in his fiery Fiero, a twin turbo charged, low pro beast that he had his life savings invested in.

When the chase began, he'd reached 190 mph, but the friggin helicopter could not be outrun. So Evan was going to where he knew he could lose his low air and ground pursuit - Comic Con.

People had been getting on Evan Will's ass all his life:

'You white- you can't play basketball with us.'

'You live in a black neighborhood. We would prefer that you leave.'

'White boy, how you can gonna tell me I aint going to get up in your little sister?'

That fool had found out the hard way. The first of a few, but not necessarily the last.


Robert Hagen July 25, 2010 @ 5:01 p.m.

"We grow not older with age, But younger each day."

              -Emily Dickinson

Evan took a look in his rear view mirror and saw the motorcyclists, tailing him. He was unable to outrun them early in the chase, but they could only follow so close. Police bikes aren't even allowed to participate in hot pursuit, normally.

The motorcyclists knew Evan was headed for Comic-Con. Losing pursuit in a big crowd was standard operating procedure. The Comic-Conistas of the world united annually in San Diego, and were way over 100,000 strong.

Evan engaged his right turn signal, and his mind flashed back to last year's Comic-Con, and the argument it had occasioned with Joy Mercy:

Joy was crying.

"Evan, I just want you to grow up!"

"I grew up young, bitch! You don't even know!"

"Stop it! You attract too much attention to yourself! It's dangerous!"

"If I weren't this man, would you still love me? Would you?"

Joy began crying harder.

"Woman, just because I'm a little famous, doesn't mean I'm not going to enjoy life less. I love Comic-Con. Some of the best times I ever had as a kid was reading comic books. I loved tv and the movies. I still do. Why should I change that?"

"But Evan, dressed as Aqua Man? What do you think people will say?!"

" Aqua Man was my favorite character growing up! And I don't care what they say! You care what they say! And you know why, Joy? Because your daddy has kept you sheltered your whole life! Sometimes I think you don't even love me as a man, so much as the fact that you never had such a good time or felt so free as you have since we've been together!"

"Don't criticize my family." hissed Joy Mercy.

"This is just like you trying to get me to trade in my ride, for some mid-size square mobile, and you'll buy!"

"Evan! You spent your entire life savings on that car! You're obssessed with it, Evan!"

"What good is my money going to do me in a bank when it can keep me safe on the road?! Huh?"

Joy Mercy threw up her hands and ran from the room.

But they were still together.


Robert Hagen July 26, 2010 @ 3:53 p.m.

San Diego - Yesterday

Evan off ramped the northbound freeway, going to downtown and Comic-Con. The obvious thing thing to do here would be to dump the ride and scoot. Evan kept driving, even though downtown was trafficky (kudos, Aaryn Belfer;) and that is not good traffic to escape in a chase.

Evan sniffed, downshifted, looked in his rear view at the motorcyclists, who had pulled up behind him, but with space. They knew Evan could stomp on his brakes, weave hard, etc.

Evan thought back to when he was a young kid, trying to party in Clairemont:

Evan was in a car with some older stoners, that had expired tags. They were on their way to Tierrasanta, to score bud. He had called shotgun, and the older stoners indulged him. The only reason they had let him cruise with was because they had heard -

'This little dude from the east side shows up every weekend. Can I party with you type s***! Every weekend he does this.'

'Cool. We'll check him out.'

In the car, an older stoner said "Dude."

Young Evan turned around and said "Yeah?"

"Why do you come to Clairemont?"

"To party with white people." young Evan replied.

Everyone laughed.

"Really." said young Evan.

A big dude in the backseat said solemnly

"Youngster, you can party with us any time you want."

Everyone in the car said "Yeah."

A little later-


A cop stop.

The driver went into a panic

"Oh s** man, I'm screwed. F&^ it!"

He slammed on the gas.

"Pull over you f%^&#&ng freak!"

"You're going to get us all killed!"

The big dude in the backseat reached over the front seat and yanked the driver into a headlock.

Young Evan saw that, reached his left leg over the transmission bump, stomped on the brake pedal, and then slammed the gear lever up toward 'park.'

The car skidded, spun, and finally came to rest.

Young Evan leapt from the vehicle and hauled ass. He lost the police officers' line of sight in less than several seconds.

Later, he hid in scrub brush in the steep westward approaches to Tierrasanta, as a police helicopter whirled overhead, shining a spotlight down. At one point, the spotlight shined right on him but Evan kept still, saying to himself

'They can't see me. They can't see me.'

It was gnarly.


Robert Hagen July 27, 2010 @ 8:41 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Soccer Mom's Journal

We went shopping for formal wear in this great city of the world. Kenny chose a tuxedo. Amy chose a white chiffon dress. Tino blinked when I went to the formal dresses, but I knew that he wanted me to choose a pink one, and I did.

At dinner, Mando sat with others in uniform, he was guarded and formal. At our table, Tino wore a sparing black suit, and dined on tiarina, an Argentine spaghetti with spinach. The restaurant was beautiful, the night never to be forgotten. An orchestra struck up, and Tino said

"May I have the pleasure of this dance?"

We danced to Cusco's 'Canada-Last Paradise'


Robert Hagen July 27, 2010 @ 9:10 p.m.

Buzo Radio

This is a real life jack in progress. Nigga give up your s or take two tha chest with crispness 'cause I aint fn around G, so take a look at a real live nigga that craaazy and get ready to die loc,any last wordz before your ass gets smoked,it aint a joke 'cause my pockets is broke my friend thats why I gotta do u in. Give up your endz and your gold and your Nik'es and anything else I might like and then Im off in the wind again to catch tha next sucka slippn taken two to tha chin. Im on a role two niggaz in one night didnt even have to fight,just pulled out my 9 to end anothers life. Thats real life so forget tha silly s*** you heard,Now Nigga tell me do you have any last wordz.

"'cause its the end of tha world and still niggaz aint got no satisfaction. So I take my 9 put it on my ?? for some cop now Im blastn, 'cause Im known as a G and Im coming from tha Cpt. And you should know bitch ass niggaz running back cant f*** with Eazy"

"Word'em up" [several times]

Another murder I comitted made front page a nigga dead from a drive by did with a 12 gauge. The first stage of insanity people say it aint wise to get faded off the ST.Ides.

A mother cries,

another son lies in a casket,life was fun while it lasted. Tha silly bastard had to get caught,tripn and set tripn,you should of seen that niggaz blood dripping.Too many lives took to many hearts broke,

but you dont hear me so you see my fn gun smoke. Some ask why do I take so many lives from the innocent little ones. But where I come from we take s real,you peel caps so you gotta get your cap peeled. Grab your steel forget about what you heard,its Do or Die Nigga,any last wordz?

"'cause its the end of tha world and still niggaz aint got no satisfaction. So I take my 9 put it on my ?? for some cop now Im blastn,'cause Im known as a G and Im coming from tha Cpt. And you should know bitch ass niggaz running back cant f*** with Eazy"

"Word'em up" [repeated several times]


Robert Hagen July 27, 2010 @ 11:32 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

"Kids." said Tino.

"Yeah?" said Kenny.

"You want to go to young people's club?"

Kenny looked at Tino, suspiciously.

"No." said Tino, shaking his head.

"Then what are you getting at?" asked Amy.

"Mando going to chaperone you to Buenos Aires disco tech."

"Bulls***!" exclaimed Kenny, standing up.

"No." said Tino, looking at Kenny again.

Kenny looked at his mom. 'It's Okay.' the Soccer Mom's look conveyed back.

"Well, then." said Kenny.

Mando strode over and said

"Senora Clifton, the children are safe in my hands."

The Soccer Mom nodded peremptorily.

Amy, Kenny and Mando strode out into the cool Buenos Aires air.

Heh, heh.

Kenny looked at Mando in his uniform, and said

"What the hell is going on?"

"I only wish that I knew. I think no one really does. However, my assignment is to chaperone you two to a young people's disco tech."

"Are you serious?" asked Amy.

"Young lady, I take nothing more serious than the protection of youth." replied Mando, pleasantly enough.

The kids were a little concerned.

Mando said

"Nothing's going to happen."

They entered a young people's disco tech in downtown Buenos Aires. The music was pumping Ohio Players:


Robert Hagen July 28, 2010 @ 10:06 a.m.

Evan was driving through downtown, the motorcyclists close behind. He reached into his glove compartment, and pulled out a roll of twenty dollar bills. His eyes moistened. He kept them there to remind himself of when he met Joy Mercy.

He was her bodyguard back in the day. Joy would jump in the Fiero, throw a thousand dollars in twentys at him and scream


Those were the days. Evan Will thought back to his youth in East San Diego:

Young Evan got back from school.


"Yeah, mom."

"Come in here and tell me what happened."

Evan went in the kitchen. His mom was cooking. She had a pistol on the counter.

"I told him I don't want him around my little sister. He got smart, so I slugged him, he went down, and I kicked him in his ribs. But I talked to Charlie Bo Bo later, and he said he understands."

"Are you sure?"

Young Evan thought for a moment, and said

"Yeah, mom, I'm sure."

Evan's mom went and hugged him, and kissed him on the forehead.

Evan was the man of the house, and a man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.

Evan saw a valet, and thought

'Here we go. The bikers will take just as long as I do to dismount. I'm going to Horton Plaza, and lose these fools and the air pursuit like bad habits.'

Evan dried his eyes, peeled off a few twentys, and stopped.

A commando, blue leapt out of his vehicle.


SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2010 @ 12:05 p.m.

Note to self, the term "SCALLIWAG!" is super cool!


SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2010 @ 12:07 p.m.

...never, ever take sides against the family."

By bohemianopus

Something my single parent could never learn or figure out.......and caused so much divide.


Robert Hagen July 30, 2010 @ 11:17 a.m.

San Diego - Hillcrest Op Center

A number of gay homosexuals were crammed in a basement, scanning documents, listening to songs, and examining images.

"Okay, what have we got!?" yelled Fabulous Freddie.

A gay homosexual went to a marker board, diagrammed a boom box, then drew several sound waves, making the marker screech.

He said

"We think that when these sounds are sent with a malicious intention-"


"That they call the devil."


(Fab's cell phone rang. )

"Hello, mother....I'm extremely occupied at the moment....Trying to decipher alot of twaddle if you must know....I always call you, and I would appreciate it if you would not hector me, just at the moment!...Mother!...Trying to clear my left nostril, that's what!...Mother! I'm sorry for being impertinent!...Mother?"

She had hung up.

"Hmph." said Fabulous Freddie to himself, putting away his cellphone.


Robert Hagen July 30, 2010 @ 11:50 a.m.


The buzos were on a Vespa and it was floored. The passenger looked up and saw the helicopter following them. He tapped the driver on the shoulder once.


The Buzos rode into Horton Plaza. I mean lets face it, if you're looking to lose someone in the heart of Downtown San Diego, Horton Plaza is a pretty good place to start.

Startled onlookers saw the Buzos drop the Vespa.

"Shop til you drop!" yelled one, and they took off.


Robert Hagen July 30, 2010 @ 1:49 p.m.

Evan took his ankle sheathed knife and released the young men.

In their intercom, their chief was screaming








The motorcyclists took off on foot, at blazing speed.

Evan Will shook his head, and tossed his knife in a trash can.

He said to himself

'Streetfighting is a young mans game.'

Evan was going to give that young chump a low double trip, just when the Buzos showed up. He walked back to his Fiero, and then walked by.

Evan thought about his life, and why Joy Mercy wanted him to trade in the Fiero. He thought back, to practically every time he got in his ride.

Evan would look at the U.S. Navy sticker on the hub of the steering wheel, and feel that he had something else to prove. Kicked out, when that was the best family he ever had. Damn, life sucks.


Robert Hagen July 30, 2010 @ 2:15 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Amy and Kenny were dancing with young Argentinos, and it was all a good mosh. Disco, baby- don't underestimate it.

Mando circled around, keeping his eyes on the bouncers, the crowd etc.


Robert Hagen July 30, 2010 @ 2:17 p.m.

The answer is yes- they were dancing to Go Gos.


Robert Hagen July 30, 2010 @ 2:25 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

At the fine restaurant, Stephanie Clifton and Tino Escudero danced to the orchestra's version of Cusco's 'Flying Condor:


Robert Hagen July 31, 2010 @ 6:18 p.m.

The Buzos took off running for the parking lot of Horton Plaza. Not too many security cameras, plenty of cover, plenty of opportunity for duck and dodge.

The motorcyclists arrived at the dropped off Vespa. One picked up the mini-Uzi, and released the clip- empty. He engaged the chamber- empty.

The other biker was buying water at a side stand, brought a couple bottles and tossed one to his brother.

They doused their eyes.

Freakin' Buzos.

"Where do you think they went?"

"I don't know, but they're sure to be trying to outfit for Comic-Con and give us the slip."

"Let's establish a perimeter around the plaza. They're in there somewhere."


Buzo radio:


Robert Hagen July 31, 2010 @ 6:33 p.m.

Evan was walking, thinking to himself

'Joy wants me to settle down....She's the love of my life, that's certain.'

A preacher walked up to Evan, and said

"You're Evan Will, aren't you?"

"Yeah, how did you know?"

"I recognized you. I remember when you were a young man, street fighting in East San Diego."

"Really?" said Evan, suspiciously.

"Yes, really."

"Well then, what did they call me?" asked Evan Will.

"They used to call you Lil E-Side."

Evan stopped in his tracks. That was true.

"Evan, do you have the Lord in your life?"

"You mean God?" asked Evan.

"Of course I mean God."

"I hope so." said Evan Will.

"Do you go to church?"

"Hell no, I don't go to church. I wouldn't know which church to go to, in the first place."

"Evan, you gotta slow down. Every man has got to slow down sooner or later, or it's curtains. You feel me?"

"I do, yes." said Evan Will emphatically, thinking to himself

'I was just thinking the same thing.'


Robert Hagen July 31, 2010 @ 8:29 p.m.

Brazos was dressed up as the Incredible Hulk, and with his build, he looked the part. He was doing a San Diego shuffle across the street from Horton Plaza, and saw the bikers split up and begin walking around the plaza.

He got on a cell phone.

Inside the plaza, a buzo tapped his waist mounted communications unit.

"Aqui." (Here.)

"Alrededor." (Going around.)


"Ponte vivo, vavuzos." (Get alive, buzos.)

Brazos checked off.

One buzo signaled to his brother, and we are all brothers and sisters under the Lord, it's just that some people don't realize it.

The buzo pointed to his arm, and put a thumb and forefinger to his ear - 'Brazo called.'

Then the buzo made a thumb and threw it over his shoulder 'the opposition'

The buzo used his index finger and middle finger, back and forth, then circled his index finger.

The other buzo put a hand up and opened and closed his hand and then put an index finger to his head

'What about the police?'

The first buzo made like he was snapping his fingers, and pointed at himself and the other buzo- 'We need to get out of here, quick.'

Buzo radio:


Robert Hagen July 31, 2010 @ 8:38 p.m.

"Evan, where are you going?" asked the preacher.

"To buy a car. Why?"

"You have to walk towards the Lord. Every man and woman on Earth, has their own path to walk towards the Lord. Do you feel me, Evan.?"

"I hear you and feel you." said Evan Will.

"The violence, Evan. I want you to realize that the violence you experienced as a young man does not have to be violence in your heart as a mature man. You are blessed to be alive, Evan Will."

Evan Will thought to himself

'I've always been afraid of commitment because I've never known if I was going to make it back alive. I'm going to propose to Joy Mercy.'


Robert Hagen July 31, 2010 @ 11:57 p.m.

Evan Will strolled over to Little Italy. His plan was clear. He had no idea what to buy, because there are so many great cars to choose from. Therefore, he was going to find Tim Versace, and ask him. He had followed Versace around when he was working a China deal last year.

Versace was a loudmouth, but he knew his trade. One time, Evan had introduced himself to Tim, and asked him "What's your secret?"

"Product knowledge. There's no substitute for actually knowing what you're talking about."

Evan asked around in Little Italy- 'Have you seen Tim Versace?'

Tim was in an Italian eatery, enjoying a plate of great ravioli. A number of Italians were hovering about.

"Evan. Have a seat." said Tim Versace, gesturing with his dinnerware.

Evan sat down.

"Waiter, get this man a drink." said Tim.

"That's not necessary. I don't drink that much anymore." said the Ease.

"Well I do. Two Jack Daniels, straight."

Plop. Plop.

"Tim, the reason I'm here is because I want to buy a new car."

"Well, I wouldn't want to put you in a spick vehicle." said Tim Versace, wiping the corners of his mouth with a fine linen napkin.

"Who said anything about that? You know I'm not a bigot."

"You have a bad reputation, Evan."

"It's kept me safe." said Evan, defensively.

"Why do you want a new car?"

"Joy wants me to get something more mid-sized."

Tim Versace looked at Evan Will.


"Then you're what we call a sitting duck in the car trade. How much down you got?"

Evan thought about that, and said

"Maybe 2-3 k."

"Down that J D and give me a new figure."

Evan looked at Tim Versace, then looked at the Italians all around. He gulped down the J D, and called for another.

"Okay, fifteen hundred tops." he said, wiping his lip.

The waiter brought two more neat JDs. Evan and Tim Versace clinked glasses, and downed them. Tim Versace put his glass down, and said

"Evan, your girlfriend is a billionairess."


"How much down you got?"

"It depends. Shouldn't we be talking about what vehicle first?"

"What did Bingo say?"

Evan sighed. Everyone knew that Evan always planned ahead with his roommmate.

"Bingo thinks I should get a jeep."

"Fine vehicles."

"Not my style."

"What does Joy Mercy say?"

"She's been talking about buying me a Jaguar."

"To satisfy the little James Bond thing you got going?" asked Tim Versace.

"How did you know that?" asked Evan.

"I watch tv, I read the paper, and I hear things."

"Huh. Well, I want to buy American, and I want something I can pay for out of my own pocket."

"We're getting somewhere. Waiter."

Two more Jack Daniels. They drank.

Tim Versace looked at an older Italian gentleman sitting by the corner of the bar. The senior gentleman's eyes widened for just a moment- 'Close him.'

"Evan, are you ready to make a decision today?"


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:02 a.m.

The buzos dressed quickly, one as Captain America, the other as Thor. They strolled into Horton Plaza, blending in. They walked out onto Fourth Avenue, pretty as you please. The bikers missed them completely.

Buzo radio:


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:20 a.m.

"Evan you got two choices. You can go with a Ford Taurus SHO with eco drive, or let Joy buy you the Jaguar."

"What would you do?"

"I'd take the Jag."

"Why are you trying to sell me a Ford?"

"Because you can't afford a Jaguar."

Evan laughed.

"Well, don't you have a, a comparable Chevy?"

"An Impala. Our 2011 Impala is a very sensible family car, and if you go with the SS, you can scoot. But, it doesn't have eco-drive, and we both know how important the environment is to your lady."

"True. Can you sell my Fiero?"

"Absolutely. I want two k, but I'll get you top dollar."

"What are you going to do with it?"

"Sell it in LA."

"How good is the Taurus."

"Very freaking good. Phenomenal interior, wait'll you see. I'll get you a loaner. Drive it, make sure you like it, and we'll do this, umkay?"

"That's...great. Hey Tim, can I ask you a question?"


"What was it with you and the condo?"

"My ex wife was constantly on me to get into real estate, said I'm not making enough money, why am I selling cars, I can sell ice to eskimos etc. If not for her, I would have never left Detroit."

"Woah. What happened?"

"I divorced her. But I had it in my head that I was going to fleece a real estate salesman, when in reality, I just wanted to get even with her."


"No heavier than you choosing a Taurus over a Jaguar."

"You make a point."


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 3:08 p.m.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The kids were dancing a slow dance, to Marc Anthony.

One of the bouncers in the club, a huge fool, decided the time was right to go over to Mando, dressed in a foreign military uniform.

"What is this?" asked the bouncer, going to touch the green braid on Mando's right shoulder.


Mando slapped him, pulled a pistol from his rear cinch, tripped him by putting a foot behind his legs, and blasting his chest with both hands, leaned down and aimed the pistol at the laying down stupid fool's face and said

"You want to see my face?" in Spanish.

Mando had it like that. One second, someone comes asking, but in the next split second, they get an answer.

Marc Anthony

'Quien Es El?' ('Who is he?)


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 5:30 p.m.

Mando dropped a knee on the solar plexus of the stupid bouncer. The air was knocked out of him. He would be out of commission for at least a minute or two.

The next time, not so much. Mando would take a man from here to there, quick. But if conditions permitted, he would give a chance.

The same chance he always prayed to God that he may have.

Mando never looked at himself as better than others, but he knew what he was.

What does the word, become a term, 'commando' mean anyway?

Well, why do you want to know?

Mando would give a man the benefit of the doubt- under appropriate circumstances.

It means 'A man who will accept orders and carry them out, even if it means the loss of his life.'

Mando didn´t want life on tv, he preferred to commit himself, for love of nation, and it didn't matter where he found himself, in time and place.

what is the meaning of the dirt thrown on the street?


Mando knew only one symbol, the Mexican flag:

The eagle has its mouth on the snake, but it's still alive, and could bite.

But Mando didn't live life in his mouth. When he looked at his flag, he felt the love of nation, just as all true warriors do.

Other rogues, mercenaries and assorted miscreants could pick arms for whatever their purposes.

When Mando picked up a weapon, it was for use- for the good of the pueblo.

What's money going to buy you if you don't have it inside, anyway?


Scurriers, preying on society, trying to buy love?


Trying to suborn society.


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 5:38 p.m.

Mando strode over to the other bouncers and said in Spanish

"Go get him, and no scenes. Because I give a chance, if it's oppoturtune. The next man in this place that tries to touch my uniform won't end up happy later."

And what do the colors gold and black imply?

honor or death.


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 6:06 p.m.

Buzo radio, redux:

[Intro: loud booming voice that echoes] Comp-ton.. Comp-ton.. Comp-ton

[quiet voice that whispers] Real mutha phukkin G's... Real mutha phukkin G's... Real mutha phukkin G's...

[Verse One: Eazy-E] Hey yo Doctor, here's another proper track and it's phat, watch the sniper, time to pay the piper And let that real s$$t provoke So youse a wannabe 'loc, and you'll get smoked, and I hope that your fans understand when you talk about playin me The same records that you makin is payin me Screw Dre, Screw Snoop, And a screw you on Death Row Yo, and here comes my left blow Cause I'm the E-A-Z-Y-E and, this is the season to let the real compton city G's in You're like a kid you found a pup and now you're dapper But tell me where da fu() ya found a anorexic rapper? Talkin about who you gon squabble with and who you shoot You're only 60 pounds when you're wet and wearin boots (Damn E, they tried to fade you on "Dre Day") But "Dre Day" only met Eazy's pay day All of a sudden Dr. Dre is the "G Thang" But on his old album cover he was a she thang So nigga please, nigga please, don't step to deez motherfreakin real compton city G's!

"Yo Dre, what's up?" {bang} "Boy you should have known by now.." "Yo Dre, what's up?" {bang} "Boy you should have known by now.."

[Verse Two: Dresta] Everyday it's a new rapper, claimin to be dapper than the Dresta Softer than a bitch, but portray the role of a gangsta Ain't broke a law in your life Yet every time you rap you yap about the guns and knife Just take a good look at the, nigga and you'll capture the fact that the bastard, is simply just an actor who mastered the bang and the slang and the mental of niggaz in Compton, Watts, and South Central Never ever once have you ran with the turf But yet in every verse claim you used to do the dirt But tell me who's a witness, to your sorry work? So you never had no bi'ness, so save the drama jerk Niggaz straight kill me, knowin that they pranksters This is going out to you studio gangstas See I did dirt, put in work, and many niggaz can vouch that So since I got stripes, I got the right to rap about that! But niggaz like you, I gotta hate ya Cause I'm just tired of suburbian niggaz talkin about they come from projects Knowin, you ain't seen the parts of the streets, G Think you started tryin to bang around the time of the peace treaty? Wearin khakis and mob while you rhyme Little fag, tried to sag, but you're floodin at the same time And your set don't accept ya Scared to kick it with your homies cuz you know they don't respect ya So nigga please,


before ya step to deez motherfreakin real G's


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 6:07 p.m.

[Verse Three: B.G. Knocc Out] Welllllllll.. it's the Knocc Out, definition original baby gangsta Approach me like you hard, mothersucker I'ma bank ya Shank ya, with my funky shank, if I haveta Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg are just actors Pranksters, studio gangstas, busters But this time you're dealin with some real mothekers G's, nigga please, don't try to step cause if you do, then a pealed cap is all that would be left See young niggaz like me, will break ya off somthin Claimin my city, but Dre you ain't from Compton Niggaz like y'all is what I call wannabeez and ain't shit compared to real muthakin city G's

"Yo Dre, what's up?" {bang}

[Verse Four: Eazy-E] I never met a O.G., who never did sh!t wrong You tried to diss the Eazy-E, so now nigga it's on You and your Doggy Dogg, think that y'all hoggin sh!t Both of you bitches, can come and suck my doggy dikk Beatin up a bitch don't make you shi!, but then again some niggaz think it makes a man Damn it's a trip how a nigga could switch so quick from wearin lipstick, to smokin on chronic at pic-nics And now you think you're bigger But to me you ain't nothin but a bitch-ass nigga that ain't worth a food stamp And at Death Row, I hear you're gettin treated like boot camp Gotta follow your sargeant's directions Or get your ass pumped with a Smith & Wesson Learn a lesson from the E's Stay in your place and don't step to real compton city G's!

[repeat 5X] "Yo Dre, what's up?" {bang} "Boy you should have known by now.." "Yo Dre, what's up?" {bang} "Boy you should have known by now.."

"Yo Dre, what's up?" {bang}


Robert Hagen Aug. 1, 2010 @ 10:01 p.m.

Evan was talking it up with Tim Versace, fairly drunk.

Tony Smarts walked in, and said to the bartender

"I got these reusable, environmental friendly canvas bags for sale. Can I talk to someone?

Evan Will and Tim Versace were talking it up, fairly drunk.

Tony Smarts was short, squat, had a mashed up nose, and wore a suit, because his body looked like the Thing.

He had grown up on the mean streets of the city with the big shoulders, Chicago, Illinois. He threw beef sides onto trucks, in beef packing plants. He said

"Bar keep, I got these reusable, canvas sales bags for sale, can I speak with someone?"

Tony Smarts showed the bar tender his sample bag, opened it a little, and inside was an incredible amount of cash. Something under 100k.

"Right over there." said the bar tender.

Tony Smarts walked by Evan Will and Tim Versace, to the elder owner. They spoke in whispers.

"You're the golfer?" said the owner.


"I've heard of you. Keep it nice, like on a golf course, capische?"

"Capiche." said Tony Smarts.

He went toward Tim Versace, and growled

"C'mere." Tim Versace looked over at the obvious mobster and looked over at Evan Will. Tim Versace didn't like mobsters, and certainly had no intention of dealing with one.

"What's going on?" asked Evan Will, standing up.

"I got this bag full of cash, and I'm ready to buy. This snake wants your money, I just want your attention."

Tony Smarts showed Evan the money.

"You want to buy my Fiero?"

"Do I look damn skippy?" asked Tony Smarts.

Evan looked at Tim Versace. No response. Ordinarily, when he saw cash money, he said 'Theres my down payment', but Tim didn't deal with mobsters. Tim shook his head.

Evan had dealt with mobsters practically his whole life, and if you counted this moment, then his whole entire life.

He leapt up, and said "You want to see the Fiero? I won't take less than 30k for my babe."

"I do want to see her. But can I show a Jaguar for just in case?"

"Where?" asked Evan.

"Right outside."

"Sure." replied Evan.

They walked outside and there was a 2011 Jaguar. Nice.

Then, two men popped out of either door, pointing pistols at Evan Will, and one said

"Down you go, be a good mate."

Evan turned to run, and both men shot at his feet. A round struck home, and Evan Will went down.

One of the men ran to him, and wrapped his hands and feet in a rope.

"There we are, Evan. Have you got a care in the world?"

No response.

"Then up and at 'em, eh?"

The man pulled Evan up, and put him in the Jaguar.

Arctic Monkeys - 'I Bet that you look good on the Dance Floor':


Robert Hagen Aug. 2, 2010 @ 12:46 a.m.

Evan was wiggling in the backseat of the Jaguar, loosening the restraints around him, while watching the two Englishmen in the front seats. Evan, for all his faults, had never bought into the English. They propogated the notion that they were our oldest ally. No, they are our oldest enemy. France is our oldest ally. The last thing you want to do is trust an Englishman.


The passenger reached back and smacked Evan Will on one of his knees, really hard with his pistol.

"Be still. I'll knick your bloody knee." He said to Evan, pointing the pistol at Evan's knee.

The driver said

"Evan, you're going to be thrown out of this vehicle in a matter of moments. The rate of speed at which this happens, as well as your condition upon ejection will rely strictly on your answer to the following question - who is the president of the United States of America?"

"Barack Obama." said Evan Will.

"You'll do well to remember that. In the future I mean. On into the future. Shove off, then."

The passenger opened a back door and shoved Evan out at 30 miles per hour, bound and tied.

Hot Hot Heat - 'Bandages'


Robert Hagen Aug. 2, 2010 @ 2:33 p.m.

Evan flew into a huge mound of plastic trash bags, tumbled and rolled, still hogtied.

A young couple was sitting in front of it, with a sign behind them

'If we make trash, what will the young people live in? Trash.'

They saw everything. The dude ran over to Evan, while the chick immediately got on her cell hpone to call 911.

The Royal Marines returned on foot. One went to the young lady and said

"That won't be necessary. He's a bit tipsy and fell out of the car, is all. Be a good lass and hand it over." She did.

The other Royal Marine went over to Evan, and pulled him out of the plastic trash bags, cut his restraints off, pulled him up, and shoved him to the edge of the sidewalk.

"Have a seat, yeah?"

Evan groaned, and said

"What do you want?"

"Remove your boot, if you please."

Evan wore custom Nevados, with back inserts that protected against Achilles heel injuries. He removed the boot where he got shot.

"Have a look, man."

Evan looked at his boot, and a rubber blemish showed that he'd been shot with a rubber bullet. Then Evan looked closer


"What's that stand for, do you think, Evan?"

"Royal Marines." said Evan, putting his boot back on.

"There's a swell and likely fellow. Come on then, to the pub for drinks. Shall you join us?"

"Yeah, why not?"

"You're not a frightful fellow, are you Evan?"

"You mean do I scare easily?" said Evan Will, looking the Royal Marine in his eyes.


"Fear will take you down quicker than anything." said Evan.

"Yeah, that's it. Off we go then."

Andy Gibb - 'Everlasting Love'


Sign in to comment