The Second Chapter




If you are dumb enough to believe this story is true, please stop, shut off your computer and then go to the nearest mirror to repeatedly slap yourself back into reality. You'll thank yourself afterward, I assure you.

IF you are below the age of 18, please don't read the stories on here. Your presence jeopardizes those of us who do so legally.

Personal Disclaimer:

Many of you wrote to tell me how much you enjoyed the stories beginning. I appreciate those emails.

In my reply, I told you I'd received word from an attorney forbidding my continuing with the story. I'm sorry, but after a nice enjoyable vacation, I've come to the conclusion legal censorship of what I “might” write really pisses me off. So, with that said, I'm writing what I please and if it's not to their liking...fukem.


Chapter Two:

Evan and I left the office. He drove us over to Bel Aire. I've heard of the city and have seen it on television, but driving down the streets doesn't compare to what you see on a broadcast.

We turned down a tree lined street and as soon as we drove a block, the houses started spacing out and getting a LOT bigger. I was oohing and ahhing at them all.

One particularly spectacular drew my attention. It was Tudor with lots of stone, ivy, and stately grace with a well manicured lawn. He turned in the driveway and pulled up to the back.

He turned to me and said, “Whatever you do, don't treat her like a star. She hates that.”

I'm familiar with how to do it. Believe it, or not, I've dealt with all sorts of people.”

He smiled and said, “Ok, but I want us to have the best chance with her.”

Don't worry. I'll knock her socks off.”

She doesn't wear them.”

I laughed and got out. He followed suit and I met him as soon as he exited the vehicle. We hadn't made it ten feet when we heard a yell from somewhere, “I'm upstairs in the master bedroom, come on up.”

That's mom.”

I imagined such.”

We went in the house and as soon as we entered, we went into the kitchen. Whomever had did the kitchen had it designed for a man in mind.”

You like?”

Man, this is nice.”

Mom hates stainless steel. That stove was specially made in copper so she could get it to match everything.”

What'd she do to it in order to get it to look faded like this?”

Ask her because she'll tell you nothing, but because you noticed, she'll be sure to tell you.”


We left the kitchen and entered a hallway going towards the front of the house. Passing a wall, we saw the stairway. It was heavy timbered and done in a dark tone to match the exterior of the house in feeling.

It was restained Walnut. When we got the house, it was White.”


Yeah, it really stuck out like a sore thumb.”

I'd say! It looks original to the house.”

We went up the steps. The staining even had it looking like they'd been trod upon over many years.

Nice attention to the details with the treads.”

Tell her that. It was something I suggested, but she really didn't like the idea.”

It works. This place is magnificent.”

The upstairs was completely different than the rest of the house. It was nice, but screamed French Provincial whereas the rest looked rustic.

Please tell me this isn't done yet.”

He laughed and yelled, “Mom, is this hallway done yet?”

Oh God no! Don't you be letting him think that!”

I laughed and yelled back. “Thank God because it was going to have to be redone.”

She came out into the hallway. “Come in here and you'll get an idea of what I'm going to be doing. By the way, I'm D.”

Hi, I'm Dennis which is going to get confusing since it starts with a D too.”

She smiled. “I like your personality.”

She held out a hand and said, “Bran called and said this place is our gift to you two.”


He said the money you saved him this afternoon easily paid for it.”

I didn't do it because of that. It was information passed along.”

She smiled again and said, “Don't tell him that! To him, it's all business.”

It was to me also until about two hours ago and then, the world moved.”

She smiled and switched subjects, “In here, I'm decorating for the lead in to the bed. This is the sitting area. I put in this wall so you get a feeling it's special, but have no idea until you come around this corner and see the bed.”

As she spoke, she led us and showed us fabrics.

Ev's seen it all before. The bed's not here, but I'll tell you now I saw it and bought it before the house was even a thought. As soon as I saw the house, it was bought to go with the bed.”

I chuckled. “Must be a heckuva bed because this isn't some chump change on the real estate spectrum.”

No, it's four million. When we got it, the place was overgrown and just real blighted. To the best of my guesses, it was last decorated in the fifties and definitely looked it.”

Your touch is definitely making it's way onto the place.”

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad. We had it in mind to turn it around and resell it.”

Oh, I'm sorry. I'll buy it.”

She laughed. “Not in this life! If I did that, I'd be thrown to the wolves.”

I laughed and said, “He wouldn't do that.”

Evan said, “After what you did this afternoon! I'd say we'd be out in the backyard.”

She giggled and said, “Please don't take us seriously. Bran has his opinions and we tease him a lot.”

Ok, then we'll tell him I've offered three for it.”

She laughed real loud and said, “You're terrible!”

We stepped around the corner into the bed area. The place was huge.

The bed is real heavy. It's got to be large in here because of the scale of it.”

Evan said, “It's awesome. You're going to see it and wonder how they got it away from the castle it came from.”

Hon, we don't know if it came from a castle, or not. For all we know...”

Mom! A poor person sure didn't have that bed. It probably cost more than a year of their wages to commission.”

Hearing about the bed definitely had my curiosity piqued.

Ev turned to me and said, “You'll get to see it tonight.”

He turned to his mom and said, “I invited him home for dinner. I hope you don't mind.”

She smiled. “Your dad's done told me. He made it sound like he definitely approved of him.”

I hope.” Ev said with a smile.

She nodded and said, “Dennis with a D” She paused with a smile and then continued, “I want you to know something. He's open with us and we love him no matter what. You're the only person he's thought enough to introduce us to, so that means you're special.”

I nodded and grew prouder of him all the more. “I'm glad he likes me too.”

I'll tell you now, it's going to take more than us having dinner to get you into our family. We're a family unit first and foremost, but you've got to pass muster or else!”

Ev said, “Mom!”

She laughed and said, “Dennis, please excuse my joking. Bran was blown away and for anyone to get past him, they have my approval.”

But I want yours too.”

Oh, you've already gotten it. You've made him happy.”

Maam, I mean...”

She giggled. “Please, don't ever call me that. My mama was Maam, and her mama was before her. If you start that, you'll really have me feeling old.”

I laughed and said, “You don't look a day over...”

Don't say it. I'd like to think I'm holding on to being his younger sister.”

I laughed and said, “Well then, in that case Bran's a dirty old man!”

She really laughed and said, “Oh man, I've got to tell him that tonight.”

She started to walk away and said, “Come, I want to show you the master bath.”

We went into the bath and as soon as we entered, I gasped. “Where'd you get it?”

I hoped you'd like it. It's something I really wondered if the person who got the house would appreciate.”

How many gallon?”

I'm not sure.”

There before us was a copper bathtub.

It's sealed. As you notice, it's been aged.”

Yeah, I'm noticing. He told me you'd tell me how you did the stove too.”

She smiled and said, “Ok, but then I've got to shoot ya.”

I'm picking up on an accent, but it's not Detroit.”

She laughed and said, “Hon, it's Detroit, but my peoples come from down South. They went up to work in the plants, but they didn't leave their manners behind.”

Ok, Atlanta?”

Some, but let's not get to guessin'. I'll be guessin' where you're from, but I'd say it's not from the states.”

It isn't. It's something I've borrowed.”


You've got a South Carolina kid that hated it. As soon as I could crawl, I headed for the door. As soon as I could stand, I was reachin' for the handle. And, as soon as I could support myself, I ran as far away from that hellish place as I could.”

It's beautiful there.”

It might be, but for someone growing up gay, it's not the place you want to be. There's too many back roads and too many places to hide a body.”

So, where's the accent from?” Ev asked.

A few years back, I met a guy whose accent captivated me. He's from Argentina. So, what I did was I went down there and studied it until I had myself speaking the part.”

She smiled. “Not bad. We do what we need in this life to get by and make ourselves feel better. Just remember you're never going to outrun South Carolina.”

I'm trying.”

Hon, I'm still trying to outrun the projects. You don't see me running and you don't see tennis shoes on my feet, so you see I'm learning to accept it.”


Hon, I've not hidden where I've came from. It shouldn't embarrass you in the slightest. I've done what I could to make your life good, so you should know I've succeeded in some aspects.”

I'd say.”

She gave a cross look at me like daggers.

I quickly cleaned it up. “You don't have project tastes. This place definitely isn't governmental housing.”

She smiled warmly. “Hon, please forgive my sudden flare there. I was afraid you were going to mention the career.”

No, that's your life away from home just as Brandon's is too. You'll likely not find me referring to either to you both.”

Her arm linked with mine. “I'll give the same too.”

I do need to request we discuss it for a room here. In order for me to come in off the road, I'll need a satellite conference room as similar as can be to the one you made for their office.”

I'll do that, but please let me have a little slack with the décor.”

Slack? I'm not putting a thing on you. I saw the office and I've seen this place, so whatever you decide is fine with us.”

She smiled. “Ev, I'm going to go take him on the tour. Let us walk and talk and I'll get him back to you in a moment.”

Ok, I'll be downstairs.”

Let that be, the second coat just went on and will have to dry until tomorrow.”

Ok, what else do you need me to do?”

Nothing today. We'll not be long, so you might get us some drinks.”

Ok, is tea fine?”

It is with me.”


If that's what you have. If not, we'll get a bottle of lime juice for the next time.”


Yeah, until you've tried it, you'll think it's terrible. Once you've had it, you'll never think about it the same without it.”

She giggled and said, “Oh, I'll have to get some. For us, lemon is still going upscale.”

I'm sorry.”

Don't worry hon, for you to feel at ease, we'll get it.”

Ev left and as he left, he gave me a look with a small smile.

She paused and then said, “Your people and you close?”

My daddy is probably rotting in some bar if he's not made it to prison yet. My mama died when I was young.”

Oh dear.”

Other than that, my mamaw raised me. She passed away a few years ago.”

I'm sorry.”

Please don't be. You didn't know. Now you have a better idea of why I got away.”

Your business successful?”

I try. It's keeping me in wealth, but the real test will be if I can settle and keep it going.”

Please don't let it hold you back. Ev understands we had our careers and it takes work to make money.”

I'm well enough financially if it's becoming a burden, I'll retire out rather than face alternatives.”

She nodded. “This room here is the guest bed. I'm still deciding what I want it to be.”

May I request forgetting about another bedroom?”

Sure, it's not set in stone.”

I've got a lot of workout equipment. I can put it in here.”

I'm not sure about heavy weights. It's right above the living room.”

No, this is a tread mill, elliptic, a rowing machine, and a lot of other machines. None of it is high impact.”

I thought with your physique, you worked out a lot.”

I do, but it's while I'm out on the road. Being in a hotel room gets rather monotonous, so I've been going to their fitness room wherever I'm staying.”

I wish I'd done that. For us, it was always a thing where I had to worry about fans.”

I imagine. You're an icon.”

She smiled. “I don't like to think so. To me, I'm a mom and a wife and I sing.”

Forgive me for bringing it up. I'm feeling like it's the elephant in the room if I don't.”

She laughed and said, “You're familiar with my songs?”

Whenever I get a new laptop, the first thing I do is load in your greatest hits, then I go into the greatest hits with the group, and then, I load in a lot of others.”

Why mine?”

Let's just say it doesn't age. It's as good today as it was back then.”

She smiled and said, “It might be, but to me it's a lot of memories I'd not soon have around.”


In your business, you have to pucker and make your way through the meeting the best way you see fit. For us, it was being told to do it and grew old really really fast.”

I understand. My main worry is you're going to feel insulted if you come over and I'm jamming on some of your tunes. For me to be me, I've got to.”

She laughed. “You might find I'll sing along. Please don't ever shut it off because of me.”

And in case you are wanting to know, no, I didn't have any knowledge he was your son until he said his mom was a famous singer.”

She smiled. “He brought it up?”

Yes, but please don't think it's something he did in a bragging way. He did it to emphasize a point.”

Ok, I was worried.”

Don't be. We were discussing my time away and he said he understood because of your career.”

And my career as a mom being a large part of why I decided it had to end.”

You could still do studio albums.”

She laughed. “Those you still have to tour the talk show circuit.”

Not likely. With your status, you release one and then do Oprah. It sells out and you're not out more than an afternoon.”

Getting distribution isn't like it was.”

No, but you've got a son in law that can sell Perry's Jheri Curl Activator, so I imagine I could easily get your product out there.”

She laughed, “Please tell me he told you I forbid it in our house.”

I chuckled. “He did.”

It's nothing but chemicals...alot of which I have no idea what it could contain.”

I understand.”

For me, I've had a problem with this hair all my life. Fortunately, he got his daddy's hair, so he's not cursed.”

Your hair is a trademark of yours.”

“That trademark is a result of seeing how much spray can hold it down.” she said laughing.

Well, it's lovely today.”

It's short and it's back in this pony tail because it's the only way I can get it to not be in the way.”

My question is how you stayed so thin being out on the road.”

Discipline. For me, an extra ounce of weight hits my hips and doesn't come off.”

Is the Diva reputation just?”

Probably. You have to understand something and then I'm going to let it drop.”


When we first started out, we dressed in some stinking filthy toilets backstage. They'd probably never been cleaned and stank. Just as soon as we gained enough so we could request things, the list began to grow. Towards the end, it was me requesting because it's a treat to get me there in the first place. I'd much rather be home.”

I never thought of it in that manner.”

I'm sure you have things you expect.”

Yes, I refuse to stay in a motel or hotel which doesn't have a spa. I find them relaxing and whether it's a sauna or a hot tub, or a full treatment, it doesn't matter.”

Then you'll love the area we've got in the basement.”


This door here is the elevator. It's new so please don't think it's something unsafe. I had it constructed by Otis so it's got the magnetic propulsion.”


It costs, but it's the little things which you'll find I try to get in everywhere.”

Do you imagine yourself living in the spaces you decorate?”

For this one, you're going to die. I thought about Ev all through it and what I'd like to come to in order to visit him.”

“Well, it worked out then. Please feel like this place has an open invitation.”

She smiled and said, “The same goes for our place.”

Ok, I've no idea where it is, or how to get there.”

She laughed, “Follow the tour bus and then don't let them see you get past the entry gate, otherwise they'll slip in.”

Man, I'm glad I don't have to worry about that.”

You would if you had my job. Now you can see why I checked out and left the country for so long. Having kids and being afraid they'd be kidnapped had me looking for all options.”

I imagine. Did he have a normal upbringing?”

He'll tell you yes. I'll tell you no. His dad will tell you the only normalcy he had was without me there.”

That had to suck.”

She smiled. “Yes, it did and still does.”

I imagine.”

Hon, you're going to really be harrassed. We'll go to lunch and suddenly you'll have your face on the front of the Enquirer as being my latest boy toy. We'll be seen twice together and suddenly everyone's tracking you and asking you about our wedding.”


Because Bran is an enigma. It doesn't fit with the image they make of me.”

And you let that happen?”

I don't LET it happen, it happens.”

She paused and then, she looked back up at me with tears in her eyes. “I guess I did let it happen.”

I went over and hugged her.

I wanted him to have a normal life too. He didn't bargain for this.”

I'm sure he appreciates it.”

He does, but he gives up so much. We can't go out as a couple together. Going to a movie just doesn't happen.”

Listen, here's what we'll do. We'll make it happen. You and he come over here and we'll trade cars. You drive Ev's and go have your evenings. Ev and I will drive yours and let them chase us.”

No, then they'll pressure him.”

Give him that option. I bet if he wants you two to have a fun filled evening, he'll do it.”

No, I can't burden him.”

Not happening. You think of going out to a movie and we'll get it done. Try it once and if it's not good, we'll find another way. If need be, I'll buy a movie theater.”

She laughed and said, “Oh, that'd be real lucrative.”

Hey, I like popcorn!”

She laughed and said, “So do I.”

Then don't go with me because I don't share. In fact, you'll see me wearing cargo shorts with those big pockets loaded down and sounding like I'm just a rattling like all get out.”


Their candy is expensive. I go to the Dollar Tree and get it there and load my pockets. Then, all through the movie, I chow and other people think I've went insane with buying expensive things.”

She laughed and said, “My mama would have been patting you on your back and laughing.”

She got a serious expression on her face and asked, “Do the Dollar stores do much business?”

You've not been there?”

Hon, the moment I would dare go in one, it'd be on the front page of even the New York Times that I'm going bankrupt!”

You can't go in when they're shut?”

I imagine, but then I'm not seeing if the customers are satisfied.”

To me, I go to them shopping because I know they're the real value. I buy shampoo there because I know it's the same. I don't buy toothpaste there because I know they import it and it doesn't meet our standards here.”

“What do you mean?”

Fluoride in it. Some leave it out when it's going to another country.”

Do we do sell that?”

I doubt it. I made the deals with them today to buy from good sources. From what I saw, he bought from reputable suppliers previously, so I'd say you have no worries.”

So it's the same stuff?”

Most of the time, it's the same thing as what you'll get if you pay more at even places like Wal-Mart.”

I was in one once.”

A Wal-Mart!”

Yeah, it's been forever ago when we were down in Southwest Missouri.”

Oh man, you really don't go there?”

She smiled and said, “Think of it. I have to go certain places and shop.”

And get ripped off.”

I'm not poor.”

You're poor a whole lot faster!”

See, you didn't outrun South Carolina, did you?”

Not in that aspect, but you'll sure not see me driving a pickup with a gun across the back window anytime soon.”

She laughed and said, “Ok, I don't shop at value stores and you don't drive pickups.”

You really should go shopping with me though.”


Let me say this. Do you know Ernie Borgnine?”


How rich is he?”

He? I don't know. His wife? Oh man, she's got to be worth loads.”

And the woman shops on ebay. She picks up designers for pennies on the dollar.”

How do you know they're good?”

You wear a certain size by a designer, right?”


Then that size in no matter what is made by that label is the same, so you look and search by labels.”

You're telling me you can get quality goods online?”

Oh man, you're sheltered. Let me show you this jacket. You see the label?”

Yves, that's a nice men's label.”

In the boutique, it's probably a five hundred dollar jacket. On ebay, I got it for thirteen dollars still in the plastic bag from the store.”

And someone sold it for that!”

It's the nation's yard sale. The only difference is some is used and others are brand new still with tags or new in the box. You an even put in searches to look for those items.”

And then what?”

You pay them and they ship it to you by UPS, or some other carrier.”


Yeah, I never buy retail if I can find it cheaper. I might be wealthy, but I'll not be smacking my gums in some shack when I'm ninety because I couldn't get into a nursing home.”

She laughed and said, “Let's hope not.”

I left South Carolina for a lot of reasons. It wasn't all good.”

When did you leave?”

Just as soon as I could graduate from high school.”

How long hve you ahhh emmm.”


Is that what you call it?”

I do, it's basically wholesaling. It's not, because I sell a specific product for any given company who agrees to meet my price.”

How much is that?”

It varies. As I told Ev, on the product I sold him, I made a dollar a jar. I netted a hundred and twenty thousand on it. On the Proctor and Gamble products, he paid me five percent which was approximately ten million. For the Gillette, I made about twenty five million.”


I chuckled. “Yeah, but that's just from you guys. From some other buyers, I made approximately forty million.”

She looked surprised and said, “Is it always that good?”

No, that's big selling items. I'll make added commissions from continuing sales which will reap me a lot.”

What's that?”

Ok, let's say I come into your store today and tell you I'll get you P & G items. You buy and I get twenty percent of that sale. I walk out of the store and next week, you run out of Pringles because you have them cheaper than anyone else, so you call me again to get the same deal. I get you the deal and as an incentive to stay with me, I give you three percent off. I'm still making seventeen percent, so what do I care?”

And you clean up thereafter.”

It's worked well.”

How did you get into this?”

When I was a little kid, there was a guy who had an ice cream store. He got a job catering something and made up a butt load of ice cream and cookie sandwiches. He had them marked down and was really trying to sell the things to anyone who walked in the door. I came in and told him I'd tell people because he had them for a quarter each when they're normally seventy five cents. He told me he'd give me a nickle for each one I got sold for him.

What happened was I went out and carried my newspapers. It was a scorcher, so I told people I had a special deal with the guy if they'd buy. In fact, I marked them up a little and told them I'd deliver them for fifty cents each.”

She laughed, “And you sold some?”

I sold the man out. It was still a quarter savings to the customer and little did they know I was making thirty cents each on the things. I sold them out and then asked the guy if he had any other deals he'd make me.

He did occasionally, but then it hit me I could do this for other businesses upon my route. I'd pick one item and get it way cheaper than they could get it and they always bought.”

Like what?”

Back then, eggs were thirty nine cents a dozen. There was a chicken man on the route who would get them to me for ten dozen for a dollar, so I started selling them two dozen for that same thirty nine cents...well, I marked them up a penny and sold them for forty cents. Everyone got to buying them and I was doubling my money on them, so I was happy, plus when dad was drunk, I got to have something to eat.”

Oh, you poor dear.”

I loved him. I just wish he gave miles like the airlines do.”

What do you mean?”

For all the times I was knocked flying across the room.”

No one called the police?”

He was the police. Our town had one town cop and he was it. That's why he was an alcoholic. The bars would give him drinks for free.”

I'm so sorry.”

Don't worry about it. He's retired now and my only worry is he'll get drunk and wipe some poor unsuspecting family out.”

She looked away and said, “I've been caught for drinking and driving.”

Please don't. If you ever need anyone to drive you home, call me. Day, night, or whenever, you call and I'll come running. I don't want you risking that. I don't think you could ever live with yourself if that happened.”

It's all in the past.”

Ok, no matter what, you give me a call. Ok?”

She smiled and said, “I won't inconvenience anyone.”

Please do. The inconvenience would be holding him while he cried if you died. It'd also be inconvenient to hold him after he went to see you in jail.”

Well, I'm not worried about that anymore. I won't drink unless I'm home now.”

Ok, but even then, if you drink and then suddenly find yourself wanting ice cream or whatever, give me a call. Heck, I might even get you a better deal!”

She laughed and said, “You learned it as a skill because it's what it took to survive. Now you're making millions from it.”

Yeah, but there are a lot of others out there. Some are good at what they do, and others aren't.”

Do you only deal with corporations such as ours?”

No, heck, what I do is I'll get a good deal and then I'll go into a mom and pop place and cut them in on it. You don't know it, but some small town grocery stores have high prices because they don't get any or many deals. They're sort of in a spot like your husband. I come along and they see me as someone who can help them with their bottom line.”

I bet!”

One place I'll tell you about and you'll just be amazed. In rural Missouri, there's a lake. It's not well known yet, but there's a general store there which a real nice couple started.

I went in there because I got lost. A can of Pringles cost like two seventy nine. I talked with the man, and made a nice deal for them. I gave them the price of a case of them. He did the mental math and was blown away. Well, he bought a pallet of each kind.”

Must've been a deal.”

It was, but the story gets strange from there.

Less than a week later, I get a call from his wife and she doubled the order. I wasn't thinking about it and took the order and got them shipped to her.

Suddenly, they had three pallets of the things each and were really scared I felt bad because I didn't ask her if she was aware of her husband's order, so what I did was I told them they had a lot of them and I'd help them by giving them radio ads which promoted them, their station, and their having the Best Dam Deals at the lake doing a take off of the dam there.”

What happened?”

Well, I did it because I figured they could save money on advertising and they'd be able to recoup. What happened was Labor Day weekend and everyone driving by seeing the huge balloon I had floating in the sky above their station advertising the Pringles. People stopped in because of the low price and ended up buying beer and gas too. They sold out and now, they're known as the party stop before going out on the lake. Last year, they made a ridiculous income for that area.”

All because of you going in there.”

Yeah, in a way, but because they weren't afraid to sell them low and using it as a draw. They could have kept the price high and had three pallets of the things each sitting there.”

Were they that much lower?”

Right now, you and I think it's a deal if we get them for eighty eight cents at Wal-Mart. I'll tell you they have enough ordered they get the things for thirty five cents a can. They put them out the door for forty five cents.”


Yeah, you get twice as many for shopping with them. They don't make much on them, but they sure do on everything else you buy while there.”

Does Bran get a deal like that?”

The same one. He's planning on promoting a lot to use them as draws.”

She smiled and said, “I bet his sales sky rocket.”

I'm going to turn him onto a deal which will get him more sales than anything.”

“What's that?”

It's going to sound strange, but Alpo dog food by the can.”

Why's that?”

Here's the deal. Dog food at Wal-Mart just shot up. The company which cost them all that business isn't being dealt with any longer by them. Alpo now makes Wal-Mart's dog food.

What they've done is they've raised their Old Roy brand a nickle a can. For Alpo, they have that label fifteen cents higher for the same thing.

It used to be you could go to the store and get a can of cheap dog food. Now, you pay as much as a can of vegetables in some instances.

One company I have under me asked to see what they could get dog food for. In fact, the man's words were “Get me the deal Wal-Mart got.”

I called and got told I could get the Alpo label for a quarter a can. The man said he'd buy it buy the rail train full. I bought it and he's putting it out the door three for a dollar.

His sales have improved because he's got cheap dog food and he happens to also have cheap dog treats...also made by Alpo. They person comes in gets the dog food and suddenly sees treats cheaper than anywhere else, so impulse buy happens and that dollar sale went to two and three dollars, but here's the real thing. Subconciously, a customer when they have a few things in their hands suddenly remembers other things they've forgotten. They pick those up and that dollar sale goes to ten or more.”

Oh my!”

Yeah, but here's where the guy cleans up. On the way to the dog food, he's got end stacks which has Charmin for four eighty eight for a double roll pack of twelve. At Wal-Mart, it's almost eight bucks. On another end stack, he's got Pringles for the same price as Wal-Mart. And it goes that way for a goodly number of items.”

So everyone comes in and buys things because he's got them cheaper.”


I've got to get into the stores.”

What I'm hoping is we start getting him deals like this and he's able to turn them into a lot of added revenue.”

Has he gotten many of these deals?”

One of them he's going to really be surprised about. I told him to order them and only gave him an item number. He's got two pallets of them per store.”

What are they?”

Gillette makes a real nice hair brush. I use the thing and it feels as nice as a good salon brush. They difference is I can get them for thirty nine cents each and they shoot out the door for a buck.”


Yeah, that's nearly two hundred percent mark up.”

I'll have to try one.”

Get two. Get the wide one and the oval one. You'll be amazed at how each feels and I'll guarantee you the customers will be selling them by word of mouth.”

He didn't know what he was buying?”

No. It's a little gimmick I use. It's so low cost, he'll see the things and go look at what he paid and the mark up on the things. The plus side of it is Ev will get credit for it by Bran and Bran will get credit for it by Ev. Both won't know the other was in the dark too.”

She smiled. “Don't do that to them often.”

I'm not, but sometimes you have to do it. I'll tell you now they won't take a loss on the things.”

I imagine not.”

We got off the elevator and went over to a real nice jacuzzi. “It's six person and is brand new.”

I'm glad it's not too big. They hold a lot of water.”

Yeah, but I've got a constant flow water heater installed. Also, when we relandscaped out front, we put in a ground source heat pump.”


Over here, is the sauna. As you see, it's an eight person.”

Yeah, I like that size. I've been in some dinky ones and they're claustrophobic.”

I have too. Over there is a tanning bed with Wolff bulbs. I'm not sure if you do that, or not, but it's a selling point.”

I do it and believe in those bulbs.”

Don't let Ev near it.”


If you ever want to see a red black man, that will be what you'll get. His skin is so light, it turns him red.”

Ok, he knows this?”

He knows it, but he'll want to do it.”

I'll have to advise him not.”

Over there is the washer and dryer. They're Fisher Paykel.”

Ok, I doubt if I use them. Ev might, but I get laundry done while I'm out on the road and sneak in clothes I wear while I'm in off the road.”

That makes sense.”

I stay in enough hotels which have concierge service it's not a problem.”

It makes it nice, doesn't it.”

Yes, for being single it does.”

She smiled. “You're going to have to be thinking as a couple now.”

Yes, it's exciting. I'll certainly be more inclined to go out and eat.”


Eating alone stinks. I do it, but I hate it. I'll have domestic help hired too because of that same reason.”

You have a house already?”

Homes. Name the major city in the world and I've got a house there.”

That has to be expensive.”

It is, but it's nice because I'm sleeping in a bed which isn't a Posture Pedic and has some softness.”

You'll love that bed then. It's got a pillow top and then, I've got a feather mattress for it.”

I'll love it. Some people don't care for feathers, but I love them. I love the down too, but either way, I really like them. I have a great supplier I can get them from.”


Yeah, the price of them is outrageously inexpensive.”

How much?”

If you buy a dozen, they're fifteen each for King. You can mark them up to twenty nine and get them out the door.”

I paid almost three hundred!”

And you probably paid for one that came from the same company as these.”

The thread count has to be the difference.”

No, I checked. Yeah, there is a difference, but it's negligible.”

Which would you sleep on?”

I sleep on three. They're five inch and I've got two below me and one on top of me using it as a duvet.”

Oh my!”

Yeah, softness at it's finest.”

She smiled and said, “I'm thinking of a movie.”

Queen Latifa. It's called Last Holiday.”


Great love story. I saw that one scene and laughed because I thought to myself I had her beat.”

I'll have to try more than one on our bed.”

Be ready to be impressed. I'm still not satisfied with mine, but it's close to what I had at my Mamaw's.”


Yeah, her feather mattresses were so thick you could sink down in them all the way until you couldn't be seen. It was like someone holding you all night long.”

Oh. I'd love it. I had one when I was little like you were describing.”

They don't make them anymore. The closest you can get is the way I said.”

She smiled. “At least I know not to look.”

If you have a dog, you'll find it sleeping on your bed a lot.”

Ours do. Do you have a dog?”

Yeah, a Pit Bull.”

Is he mean?”

No, they're mean if you train them to be, but this one is spoiled rotten. He doesn't know he's a D. O. G.!”

She laughed and said, “Ours don't either.”

I'm training him. I have a cocker spaniel too, but she's getting aged. She looks like she's interested in playing now, but about the time she goes to get up, she remembers she's not young any longer.”

I bet she's beautiful.”

Yeah, she's my sweet Gypsy Rosalee. She knows over forty tricks. The plus side of it is she helps teach Bradley Pitt Bull all his tricks.”

Bradley Pitt!”

Yeah, I named him that so I could say I sleep with Brad Pitt every night!”

She laughed really loud. “Oh man, that's original.”

He's a pup still. Ev will love him.”

He'll be a bit afraid.”


Because it's a Pit Bull.”

We need to see if the ordinances will allow him here. I'll tell you now you won't be afraid of him.”

I'm not so sure of that.”

What I do is this. I have you come over when I'm there. We give him treats while he shows off and does his tricks. He's associating you with treats and praise, so he's knowing you on good terms.”

What happens if he gets vicious.”

His parents are with a good friend of mine's family. They have six kids and I hate to say it, but they're rough with them dogs. The dogs play rough with them and then go lay down. Usually, the dog will find it's being used as a pillow by some kid. Not once have they had issues...not even when the mama was expecting.”

What color is he?”

A light tan. He has a white lightning bolt on his forehead.”

I'll have to put up a fence for him.”

Nah, what we'll do is we'll get some hamster bedding. It's cedar shavings. What I do is I put some out for him and he goes out to use it. Then, he comes back in unless we're outside playing.”

What sort of tricks have you taught him?”

Well, I've not taught him. Gyp has taught him. What he knows now is sit and stay...somewhat. He saw her do her version of stay and cheats just like her.”

What does she do?”

She sits and I tell her to stay. Then, when she gets impatient, she'll scoot over towards me a little and then a little more and will do it until she's there to get her head petted. But, once I go, “Ah, what are you doing?” she'll run back over to where she's supposed to be and lift her paw.”


Yeah, Gyp has me wrapped around her little paw. Brad is going to be great at frisbee. Gyp has taught him as well as ball and bounce.”

What are those?”

Ball is a tennis ball. I throw it and it bounces. She goes running and then fetches it back. Bounce is me bouncing the tennis ball in place and her trying to get it and doing a somersault off my chest.”

I bet he would knock you over!”

He's going to, but he also is real affectionate like her, so he'll be a sofa dog.”

Ours are. We watch television and they lay up there with us.”

What kind to you have?”


Man, those are brutes!”

Yeah, but we've had them since they were tiny. They're going to be heartbroken when Ev leaves home.”

He'll visit often. Maybe he can bring the kids over and then you can say you've got Brad Pitt coming over for dinner!”

She laughed again and said, “I like that name. It's a play on the Pit Bull.”

Yeah, I thought about it for a few days and then one day I saw him on television and it hit me.”

He's a nice looking guy.”

And Ev is too. I think if Ev had chosen your line of work, he'd be a sex symbol.”

She nodded and said, “It's gotten so competitive.”

Not really. It was back then too.”

Yeah, but we were strongly marketed then.”

Do you want a suggestion?”

What's that?”

Do a compilation of your appearances and videos. Have you introducing them and telling a short story of your recollections.”

I'd do that but Motown owns all those rights.”

I bet if you went to them with it, they'd do it.”

I don't know. It's not been a good parting.”

Well, they'll think about it and do a dollars and cents thought. You'll see them coming back crawling begging you for forgiveness.”

She smiled, “That does sound neat.”

It's something not many older groups have. You've got a name and you've got a history. Use it to make a dollar.”

I'd like to do some more music.”

Do club mixes. The younger crowd would really get turned onto you then.”

I've done so many of them.”

And all of them were good.”

Some of them weren't.”

The late seventies stuff was awesome. I'm bumping to a beat of that one.”

Which one?”

I started doing the beat and she started to sing along.

I smiled and said, “You honor me.”

It's fun. Those songs were so sexual. They were fun to record.”

Then let's get you a few catch phrases and do some playing with them.”

Like what?”

I dunno.”

She laughed and said, “I had that song for my kids. They'd say that and I made an “I dunno” song.”


Yeah, it's more in a rap style, but here's how it goes.”

She started doing it and I said, “Hang on a second. Now, let's do something which will blow you away.”

What's that?”

You sample your older stuff in the back ground of that song. Go ahead, sing it again and I'll sing the original song. You'll see the beat lines up pretty good.”

We did it and as we did it, she said, “That's neat! I sure never thought about that.”

Ev came downstairs, “What was it you were singing?”

You remember the “I dunno” song?”


Listen to it the way he's got me doing it.”

We did it again and Ev's face lit up. “Wow! That's awesome!”

She hugged me and said, “Kids, it's time for me to get home and get dinner. I'm going to be in the studio tonight putting voice tracks over it and see how it goes.”

She took off up the stairs and Ev came over and hugged me.

You know you're a part of the family when she feels at ease enough with you to sing in front of you.”



Good because I've got all her old stuff on my laptop. I told her I was worried about her coming in and hearing me jamming to it.”

He laughed and said, “Oh man, don't tell me you knew.”

No, seriously. I had no idea. Not until you smiled after you told me your mom was a famous singer and then, it was like I was seeing her in you.”

My dad says the same thing.”

I see it. You're hot like your dad too, but you definitely are your mama's kid.”

He hugged me again and I leaned down to kiss him. The kiss was long and lingering. As we broke it off, both of us said, “I've been waiting so long to do that!”



From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,



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