December 2004


Storytime In The Land Of Oz… (part III)


Wally spent a good long time being dead.


When handed an opportunity, most people would agree that you’re obliged to take it. By all accounts of timing, Wally was only about fifty feet away from the overexcited plastic explosive when it reached its final conclusion.


Considering not only the sheer concussive force, but the bits of metal concrete and glass that took to the air immediately after the explosion, Wally really should have been more or less taken apart into his essential ingredients, which I am told, would amount to approximately $1.98.


That figure may be slightly less considering his diminutive stature.


Nonetheless, Wally knew very well that for the time being, he was far better off being dead for two simple reasons.


First of all, it was more than clear that someone wanted Wally no longer among the ranks of the living. Because of that, Wally also knew that life would be a whole lot easier if those that wanted him dead believed for the time being that he was.


That was the first reason.


The second reason was far more important to Wally. Wally knew that it could only have been The Man who betrayed him. The Man was, after all, the only one who knew about Wally’s visits to the little café. At the time, Wally didn’t know why, but he knew that it had to be The Man. If Wally let The Man believe that he had succeeded in his betrayal, it would be a whole world easier for Wally to seek his vengeance on The Man.


So Wally waited to come up with a plan.


The plan was eventually born in a small and very disheveled room in an hotel that charged either by the half hour, the hour, the day, or the week. Wally spent many nights lying on a bed in that room. It had a single light hanging from the ceiling, and the carpeting on the floors was all curled up in the corners. There was a small couch that had been badly slashed at some point in time, but that no one had every thought important enough to attempt to repair.


In short, it was the kind of room that would normally be expected in a Hollywood movie set shortly after the great depression.


The mattress that Wally laid on as he came up with his plan for revenge was certainly well used and very old. Wally once made the mistake of trying to change the sheets on the bed himself, but the stains that he discovered quickly ensured that he would leave that work to what passed for the hotels maid in the future. While Wally spent hours looking for the magic bullet that would bring his revenge on The Man, the springs of the mattress stuck in his back. Anytime that Wally would move from the mattress, the metal of it would squeak and squeal.


Age has that effect.


The best laid plans of mice and men may often go astray, but the plans of revenge-ridden dwarves rarely do, and Wally was quite sure that his plan would not. His mattress had told him that. In fact, it was after a night of particularly heavy drinking that Wally’s mattress, in it’s metallic tones had come upon the idea of exactly how Wally could visit his revenge upon The Man.


Wally had spent the evening in the Hotel’s pub flirting with a young woman named Heidi. Wally also didn’t have a thing for 17 year olds, so he flirted with her as she liked, and then relegated himself to his hotel room.


Heidi went home with a 73-year-old pensioner that night. To her dismay, she became pregnant by him and discovered that his claims of his being a millionaire were nothing more than the illusions of a 73-year-old pensioner wanting to get laid.


She had a boy who she named Francis, after the late great Frank Sinatra.


“One more for the Road” was one of her favorite songs.


Best Served Cold….


Take one serving of complete betrayal, shake with one shot of vodka and ice, a half shot of tequila, a spot of lime juice and a healthy helping of time well spent boiling hatred combined with a reasonable degree of intelligence, and you have the plan that Wally came to.


Wally didn’t want The Man dead for a lot of different reasons. It would be relatively easy for Wally to get a high powered sniper rifle and put a bullet in The Man’s head, but Wally didn’t want it to be like that.


First of all, dead is just way to easy.


Wally wanted The Man to suffer, not only because he tried to kill Wally, and not because he liquefied a good number of women and children to do so, but because Wally wanted The Man to know who it was who was exacting revenge. Wally wanted to take apart The Man in every way that Wally could.


In short, Wally didn’t want The Man to get off easy.


So a plan of vengeance Wally made for The Man.


First Things First…



In certain South American countries, there are certain names that you don’t have to be all that certain of for them to strike fear in your heart.


One of those names is Balthazar Portenzia.


Balthazar Portenzia was the son of no one in particular, from a town in nowhere in particular. The first twelve years of his life were spent more or less on the streets of no particular South American tourist city selling gum to tourists who would pay a great deal more than street value for a small pack of Chiclets.


Tourists had a soft heart for small kids hocking 5-year-old gum for some reason, and Balthazar was able to support his family for quite some time with the sympathy of rich Americans. Given time though, Balthazars “cuteness” degenerated into adolescence, and the Americans that once looked at him as an endearing child began to look at him not as a potential charity case with which they could ease their rich consciences, but rather as a potential risk to their safety.


We all have, after all, heard the countless stories of young South Americans mugging rich American tourists, and it was this stereotype that ultimately created the fearsome name of Balthazar Portenzia.


Given a few years for development of course.


It didn’t take long before Balthazar realized that he would no longer be able to sell his chiclets, let alone at the inflated prices that he had come to rely on, for no reason other than the rich Americans tourists who had once thought him so cute, now fully expected him to pull out a knife, take their travelers cheques, and perhaps their daughters.


Eventually, Balthazar realized that if he wanted to feed his family anything other than small animals he found at the side of the road on his way home from the city to the slums, he had no choice but to do both.


So he did.


At first, he started with muggings, and Balthazar quickly learned how to disappear into a crowd. Given time, Balthazar began to build a small prostitution ring, into which he lured young American girls with promises of a permanent vacation, romancing them on the beaches of their parent’s hotels, and then convincing them that he needed them to do him a favour, or his enemies would kill him.


You know the drill when it comes to that sort of thing.


You also know the drill for this next bit (cliché’s being so wonderfully what they are), but just in case you don’t…


It didn’t take long before Balthazar caught the attention of the more influential criminals operating in his city.


Now in an American movie, the influential criminals would try to eliminate Balthazar as a threat to their territory, and a wonderful gunfight scene would take place. That is not, however, the way that things happen in real life. In real life, intelligent criminals tend to like to avoid the rampant gunplay, as even in a country where most of the police officers can be bought and sold for the price of a big mac, the attention that sort of thing brings is rarely a good thing.


Inevitably, you’re going to accidentally gun down a tourist or a missionary, and then all hell always breaks loose.


So these influential criminals brought Balthazar into their fold, and Balthazar grew in power. Eventually, Balthazar’s raw instinct for matters criminal began to show, and he rapidly rose through the ranks of all their organizations.


Now there are two very important things to keep in mind here.


First of all, Balthazar’s main interest was always the well being of his family. He came into crime to better his family’s life, and he stayed in it in order to take care of them. The other thing that you need to be well aware of is that Balthazar was an extraordinarily intelligent young man. As soon as he could afford a TV, he watched American movies and programming as much as he could, and through that TV, he learned a great deal about how to be a real criminal.


So when the time came that Balthazars activities were starting to draw enough attention that he felt that he was not only placing himself, but more importantly his family, at risk, he did the only responsible thing that he could.


He incorporated.


Other than the inherent advantages to running an illegal over the counter public operation as opposed to an illegal under the counter attempting to be secret operation (we’re talking endless tax breaks here…), Balthazar was also able to give his family something that was as close to legitimacy as a boy who started out selling Chiclets could.


As I said, it was family that was more important to Balthazar than anything.


And so, Portenzia International was born.


Initially, Portenzia International started out as many front companies do, as an import/export business. However, Balthazar was smart enough to know that if he hoped to grow, and if he hoped to continue to provide a legitimate front to his criminal enterprises, he would have to branch out.


So he did.


And Portenzia International branched out into construction. And Portenzia International grew into both the development and subtle destruction of Balthazars country. And Balthazars influence and power grew.


He was on the A-Train kiddies, first class all the way. And his family was with him.


When Balthazar turned 25 he was legally worth over 60 million dollars. His street value however, was easily 100 times that number. When Balthazar was 27, he married his childhood sweetheart, Adela. Adela was the Balthazars first love, and as he was proud to say, his only love.


That was true, by the way. On their wedding day, Balthazar had only ever been with one woman, which was Adela. She would be the only woman that Balthazar would ever feel the touch of, despite ample opportunity otherwise, and Balthazar was quite happy with that.


That was just the kind of guy he was.


Shortly after they were married, Adela gave birth to Balthazars first daughter, Maria. She was named after Adela’s grandmother, and she was by all accounts a happy baby. Balthazar was of course, beside himself with joy. The family man finally had a family of his own.


Balthazar bought a sprawling mansion on a cliffside, and neither his wife nor daughter were left to want for anything. Maria was spoiled by toys in numbers so great there were many that she would never even see, let alone play with.


Only a short year and a half later, Adela once again gave birth to yet another daughter, and this one they named Viviana, after a roman saint of great virtue.


That would be one of the more painful ironies of Balthazars life.


Six months after Viviana was born, Adela began to experience to suffer decreased vision and balance. Initially, the doctors mistakenly diagnosed it as post partum depression. A first world doctor would never have made that mistake, but this was, after all, the third world.


It was all to late that Adela was correctly diagnosed with a brain stem glioma. For those of you lacing medical degrees, a brain stem glioma is a sort of brain tumor that normally appears in children and is centered around the area where the spinal cord attaches to the brain.


Caught in time, it can be treated with a reasonable degree of success.


Adela’s was not caught in time, and only a few short months later, she died (quite painfully, I might add) at home in the mansion on the cliffs.


Behind her, she left a more than devastated Balthazar with two very small girls.


Growing Pains


Balthazar hadn’t planned on that Adela dying. Not at all. Balthazars plan for life was based far more on a loving wife raising his children. To his credit, he did hire the best third world nanny’s that money could buy, but that in no way could ever replace the love of a mother lost.


Add to that the fact that Balthazar secretly blamed (although he would never admit it) Viviana for the death of his dear Adela, and needless to say there was some disfunction just waiting to happen.


Don’t get me wrong, Balthazar loved Viviana as much as Maria, in fact he may have loved her a little more, but the sad thing of circumstances like those is that they often creates suspicion, regardless of logic, and Balthazar could never quite convince himself that his wife growing a child and a tumor at roughly the same time was not entirely connected.


So, given time, there was disfunction. Quite a bit of it actually.


I don’t need to go into the details, but let it suffice to say that Maria was the favored child (at least it seemed that way) because she in no way could be faulted for the death of her mother.


Many, and more importantly, Viviana herself thought Viviana  to be the lesser of the two daughters. Even if it was never spoken, and those that dared to suggest such a thing found themselves lying face down in a muddy ditch, it was more than well known that Viviana just might have caused the death of Balthazars beloved.


Now this had some particularly interesting effects on both daughters.


Let’s examine them at the moment that our story becomes important.


Once again, if this were a Hollywood story, the next bit would take place in a hot summer. The kind of summer that people find themselves sticking to each other if for no other reason than because they simply had to stick to something.


Maria stuck to people for that same reason, and for a couple of other reasons as well.


Maria, having grown up knowing nothing but absolute power and access had become somewhat spoiled. On her 23rd birthday, she could get into any club at any time, and she always had access to the VIP rooms. Maria was always allowed in, if not for fear of her fathers reprisal, than simply for the fear that if any given club did not allow her instant access, they might not be considered the latest and greatest place to be.


So Maria became a student of the instant. Maria became a student of the moment in which she constantly sought out the attention of the best at the time. Maria also learned that it didn’t matter all that much who she hurt in the process, all that mattered was the process itself. If Maria felt like she was the center of attention that was all that she needed to sleep at night.


Her father knew all of this of course, but there was little he could do. You see, Balthazar was firmly entrenched in the idea that because his wife had died, he somehow had a responsibility to let his daughters be whatever they wanted to be. His wife’s death had robbed them of something, and he had every responsibility to let them do whatever they wanted.


Guilt, however misplaced, is funny like that.


Maria lived a high profile life. She was always in the papers, part of some scandal with some up and coming actor. Her mailbox was full of letters from misguided young (and sometimes older) men professing their love from her. When you live a life like that, stalkers and kidnapping threats are part of the territory.


So neither Maria, not her father took the first letter seriously.


It was a simple letter, typed out on a typewriter, and as forensic experts from both the first and third world would later agree, there was no trace of any fingerprints.


The letter simply said this:


You will deliver five and a half million dollars to the following Swiss bank account number or in less than ten days, your oldest daughter Maria will die.


I am not playing games. You will deliver this money or she will die.


The letter was signed with an ambiguous lack of name, more of an arrogant nick name really, so Balthazar, his security staff, and Maria dismissed it with the countless death threats she received every week.


As I have said, the entire Portenzia family received death threats quite regularly, but anyone and everyone knew that any real act of violence on the family was essentially suicide.


When Viviana was 12, she was kidnapped for a period of 16 hours before her kidnappers turned up with their throats cut, and most of their insides out.


The message was quite clear.


So this one letter didn’t amount to even a burp in the Portenzia universe.


At the time.


Seven days after the letter was delivered, Maria left her mansion on the hill for a club that was rising in the local scene. She took one of the family limo’s and about fifteen of her friends. They showed up at the bar and were ushered in without incident. Later that night, three of the local young men would state to the local police that she had been at the club in good spirits, and had even taken one of them into a stall in the men’s washroom where she had preformed on him acts that her father would prefer left out of the paper.


Which, needless to say, they were.


No one, however, could account for how she had simply disappeared at some point in the night. Certainly, no one could account for how her limp body turned up propped against the outside of the club, lying on asphalt that always looked dirty no matter how much it rained, (it was the rainy season, but you know the kind of asphalt that I’m talking about, the kind that despite the size of the downpour can never look clean), completely devoid of life.


Coroners (again, both third and the best first world coroners that money can buy) would later determine she had been injected by the fast acting poison curare, and that once injected, she didn’t have a chance at survival.


Powerful toxin, curare…


Balthazar was, more than slightly understandably, quite distraught at the news of his daughters demise. This distress was only compounded by the timely arrival of another letter, this time couriered directly to Balthazar and timed to arrive not 10 minutes after he received news of Maria’s death.


This new letter simply read…


I warned you. I thought I was clear, but evidently you needed a demonstration.


          So let’s try this again, shall we?


Deliver 11 million dollars to the account I provided you earlier, or Viviana will die in the next 48 hours. I was generous in that I gave Maria a relatively painless death. Rest assured, if you fail to understand me, I will not repeat that mistake.


The only thing that made Balthazars horror worse, was one simple fact.


At that particular moment, for all his power, his couldn’t find Viviana for the best of his efforts.


And here’s why…


The Devil Inside…


Take one part crushing guilt at the implied responsibility for your mothers death, combine with a deliberately distant father figure, add a dash of a sister who constantly pushes the boundaries, more than a pinch of responsibility forced on you by a father who believes you’re the only one capable of handling the family business and thereby taking care of the family, a rigorously structured schooling (because your sister wouldn’t take to it), and you have one saucy cocktail.


Which Viviana most certainly was.


Viviana learned very early on that she would not be allowed to act out as her sister did. She could never exactly understand why it was that the rules bent so easily for her sister, yet held all too rigid for her, but as I said, she accepted it.


But Viviana was a smart girl. A terribly smart girl.


And she learned ways around these things.


It started with small animals. Her pet hamster Wilbur responded to her presence immediately after time. All it took was the gentle “phump” of the blowtorch igniting, and Wilbur’s attention was immediately hers.


It’s so nice when you have something’s rapt attention like that.


From there it escalated to larger animals, animals that she could keep in pens in the far edges of the estate without being noticed. Animals that she could easily bury when she was finished with them.


All the while, she couldn’t have looked more responsible to the outside world. Sure, she was a quiet girl, but she did her homework, and scored above average in her studies.


Eventually, she went to a well-accredited business school and began to take over her fathers business. She had to. After all, her sister was far too busy with parties and male underwear models to bother with the family business.


But her appetite for pain, and the attention that it brought her never wavered for a second.


And so, in her special private time, Viviana found special clubs. Clubs that would allow her to torture full grown people. Full grown men that would beg for her attention after having brutal pains inflicted on them by her loving hand.


Forty-nine hours after Balthazar received his second letter, Balthazar was informed Viviana had been found strung up against a wall in one of these clubs. It was all black leather and dirty basement walls as you would expect, but the horrors that had been unleashed on her were beyond brutal. At her time of death, it was estimated that she had fallen victim to a cutting torch, hacksaw, flat saw blades, several different types of files, a chisel, various types of woodworking clamps, and what appeared to be a lawn screw, although the lawn screw was never found.


The Doctors that examined the case would never reach an agreement as to whether Viviana eventually succumbed to blood loss or shock.


Most likely, it was a little bit of both.


Regardless, the death of his second daughter hit Balthazar incredibly hard. The fact that she had died in such a brutal manner in a club such as it was…


Well you can only imagine the damage that would do to a loving father.


And Balthazar swore that he would do anything, and pay any amount in order to bring the murderer of his daughters to bear.


Balthazar received one final note on the matter after Viviana’s death. It read as follows.


          I imagine a fathers grief is great.


          Sixteen and a half million, or the rest of your family is next.


          This is the last chance you get.


The note was once again signed in the same vague manner.




The Man was more than a little amused.


A little saddened at the same time, but mostly amused.


The Man had known for more than a while that Wally had survived the bombing at the café. After all, The Man had made a living on the basis of knowing things, Wally’s survival, however well hidden as Wally had kept it, came as no surprise.


The Man had seen the first picture of Wally two years after he had told The Lawyers friends where Wally could be found. It was a picture of a very intoxicated little dwarf stumbling out of a hotel pub and walking to a room. The Man was sent this picture by a business acquaintance that thought that he had recognized the odd little dwarf, and on the odd chance, he should perhaps send it to The Man. Just in case.


The man was on the next flight out, but when he finally arrived at the cracked concrete steps of the motel, Wally was gone. The Man was struck by the fact that when he subtly asked around the quaint little tavern that was just off what might pass for the lobby (it was in quite a state of disrepair) of the hotel, there were more than a couple of regulars who remembered the little dwarf as being a regular himself.


This struck the man, because as Wally was well practiced in the art of blending in, that was either a clumsy mistake or deliberate on Wally’s part.


Both options were more than a little concerning.


It was only a few days after the man returned to his Villa that he learned that it was no clumsy mistake on his part whatsoever.


The Man received not a single communiqué, but two on that day.


The first was from The Man’s agent, which informed him that a very large contract had been placed on an assassin who went by the name of The Man.


It seemed that said assassin was responsible for the deaths of two daughters of a very powerful figure in a certain South American country. The popular story went that it was part of a pseudo-kidnapping scheme that had not been received all that well, and had not gone all that well at all.


The Man didn’t really need the second communiqué to know what was going on.


But it came nonetheless.


And it simply read:


“Come and get me, parades are in my blood…”


So the man, not wanting an endless list of assassins out for him, decided that he had no choice but to do so.




Picture this…


The man arrived in the certain South American country on the eve of a national holiday. His plane touched down on a very neglected and very bumpy tarmac.


After sliding through customs using the crafty identity of a dead wallpaper salesman named John Doe, which he had bought from an Asian triad only days earlier, he made his way to the nondescript hotel he had reserved a room in.


After settling into his hotel room, he dressed in light cotton clothes, donned a white fedora, and made his way to the crowded streets below.


Everywhere you could turn, the streets were teeming with the exited citizens. The national holiday was a big deal, so everyone was out with all of their bells on.


Imagine Mardi Gras, but with more people, a higher temperature, much higher humidity, and the desperation that comes from having only a few days of release. This country was a strict police state, and save for the days surrounding the national holiday, public gatherings like the ones that were the tradition of this holiday would have resulted in random gunfire from scared officers of the state.


And so while The Man weaved his way through the crowds, the people played.


Three days a year, can you blame them?


The Man and his white fedora made their way to a small seemingly innocuous corner store. Once inside, The Man bought two Glock 9 millimeter handguns and a burrito from the shopkeeper, with whom he had done business many times before, and went back to his hotel room.


He was in bed by nine.


Local time.


There was, after all, a parade the next day.




The Man already knew where Balthazar would be in the parade route. He also knew, being that Wally had made it abundantly clear that Balthazar and his family were to be his next victims that Wally wouldn’t be far away.


The Man also knew that since Wally was doing everything he could to ensure that anyone who was anyone knew that The Man was responsible; he would go about the execution of the family Portenzia in a most public manner.


So The Man timed his departure was at the corner where Balthazar and his family had reserved seats extra early.


Vengeance, Part II


While Balthazar’s aides and various minions had suggested at length that Balthazar and his remaining family forgo the parade, Balthazar had adamantly refused.


Balthazar knew that were he to not appear at the parade, his enemies (who had grown increasingly daring since the death of his daughters) would perceive that as a sign of weakness. It would be a sign that Balthazar was faltering.


Not to say that it wasn’t with a feeling of extreme unease that Balthazar put the knot in his tie that day. Not to say that even through the bulletproof glass of his limousine, surrounded by his two most trusted and heavily armed bodyguards, he felt more than a little apprehension at what was about to be one of his few public appearances. But, one must uphold a certain image, and Balthazar was determined to do so.


Besides, he liked parades.


Always with the floats and the bands and the clowns.


Balthazar had a fondness for clowns.


Vengeance, Part III


At 9:53 AM, The Mans international cell phone surprisingly rang.


This next bit happens surprisingly fast…


The man had already spent four hours sussing out the layout of the parade route and had managed to place himself within about fifteen feet of Balthazar and his entourage.


The list of people who had that particular cellular phone number has quite short, so The Man was more than a little surprised when it rang. He answered it calmly, as he did all things, and wasn’t altogether shocked when the voice on the other end was the voice of a little dwarf named Wally.


“Hello.” the voice of Wally said.


“Hello” the voice of The Man said back.


“It’s been a while”, the voice of Wally said.


“It has”, the voice of The Man replied.


“You sold me out”, the voice of Wally said.


“Yes I did”, said the voice of The Man.


“You know I’m going to kill you for that”, asked the voice of Wally.


“I know you’re going to try”, The Man replied.


The Man heard Wally sigh on the other end of the phone. There was a long pause before Wally said anything else, and then he simply said:


“I’m going to kill you with one word, only one. You have about fifteen seconds to guess that word, and then that’s it. Best of luck.”


There was no click, The Man knew the line was still open, and he pulled the phone away from his ear.


Fatal mistake that would turn out to be.


Because the world went red.


Vengeance, part IV…


Balthazar had been enjoying the parade.


He had resigned himself to the fact that if someone had decided to take him or his family out with a high-powered sniper rifle (which is the way that assassinations seem to be in fashion these days), there was little that he could do about it. If someone were so determined to end his life, paranoia would not serve him at all.


Just prior to the world reddening that I mentioned earlier, a series of clowns were passing by Balthazar. In particular were four little people who were exchanging bowling pins and rubber chickens via juggling. As I said, Balthazar loved clowns, so this not at all took him aback.


However, when one of the clowns (dressed adorably in a tutu and with a ridiculously large bosom) suddenly turned and dove for Balthazar, he paid rapt attention.


Balthazar paid even more attention when the grandstand that he had up until moments before been standing beside erupted in flames.


Vengeance Part V…


Balthazar was forced to the ground, half between the force of the tiny clown tackling him, and half between the force of the explosion.


It took him only a second before he was able to get his bearings.


This was, in no small part, due to the fact that the tiny clown whispered a single word into his ear while they were on the ground.


The tiny clown whispered this one word while he was pointing at The Man, who was still holding his international cell phone.


That word?




Balthazar saw The Man, holding a small piece of technology with an antennae, and immediately screamed two words.


“Kill Him!”


With that, Balthazar’s two heavily armed bodyguards unloaded two full clips (one a piece) of armor piercing ammunition into the more than surprised body of The Man.


What was left of him, after having more than the majority of his body removed by angry steel hornets, hit the ground lifeless.


As a sidebar, so did seven bystanders, but Balthazar’s bodyguards were a zealous sort, and such is the cost of zealoustry.


New word, zealoustry, look at me go…


Needless to say, chaos erupted.


In spades.


Deus Ex Machina…


So I know what you’re all wondering now…


How does this all end up with Wally crouching on a fire truck with a giant inflatable bunny 40 feet above him surrounded by a fully armed swat team while dressed in drag?


Simple really.


After Balthazar’s men had finished gunning down The Man, Wally waited for the emergency services (however under funded) to arrive. A large explosion and gunfire are bound to draw more than a little official attention, and that it did.


Wally simply crept into one of the storage compartments on the largest pumper truck whilst the attention was on the burning background.


The truck pulled away, and through a full security lock down on the surrounding four blocks, and Wally, in a space that two oxygen tanks and a fire hose that were now in use used to occupy, rode out of there.


The giant inflatable bunny? Part of the parade.


In fact, if you go through the right news clippings, you can see a picture of a fire truck speeding away with a giant bunny in the background.




If you spend you life in a position where you are going to draw attention to if not yourself, what you’ve been up to, you’re bound to get it.


Wally didn’t want that.


Wally wanted a life beyond that. Wally wanted something more. Wally was tired of the death and the money, and most of all, Wally was tired of having to create selves that weren’t him so that he could be invisible, but always known.


So, Wally went back to the place that he would always belong.


Let me give you a hint…


Next time you find yourself at a circus, look closely. There’s always the part where the 15 dwarves come barreling out of a Volkswagen. They always have the clown suits and the painted on smiles. Next time you see them, look for the one whose smile isn’t painted on.


Odds are, he’s smiling at you.


But if you’re smart, you better hope that someone hasn’t paid him to.


One Last Note…


If you’ve made it this far…


I’ve outdone myself this month. MSWord tells me that I’ve topped 19 pages. I sincerely doubt that can be healthy, but let’s finish up things and end up where we end up shall we?


There are a couple of things that I would like to get off of my chest before the end of the year…


First off, I would like to say to all the nay sayers that I’m a far cry from done yet. Earlier this month, I was quite ready to walk away from live shows, but I have since suffered a correction of mind frame, and for all of you that were hoping that I would simply fade away, I want you to know that I’m not quite finished.


Second of all, I want to thank everyone who came out to the post Common Ground shows. I know that the numbers aren’t all that big, but the fact that all of you continue to come out and support what I’m trying to do means more than I think the most of you will ever know. The same goes for all of you who have been offering your support via the web. It may seem silly, but when someone that you have never met in person chooses to support you long term, that means quite a bit.


With that, I would like to wish everyone who has made it through this marathon read a very merry Christmas, and as promised, here is this months download…(right click and save target as)