Long Tales from an Epic Sesh Episode 44

Oh Those Wicked Winds Of Gilroy.... or the final conflict

by Clark Merritt

Recap: Last issue, Modaddy, Bob and I were on our way to Jalama for a sesh. While at an occupied train crossing in Camarillo, Mo & Bob got into one of their more famous of tiffs that resulted in Mo betting Bob that he could beat us to Jalama by jumping the northbound freight train that was stalled in front of us. Bob accepted and the race was on. Mo in a hurry, forgot his wallet and hopped on an empty freight car.

We beat Mo and waited for him at the train crossing near the beach park. The train came and went at about 70mph with Mo unable to jump off and having only enough time to scream "Meet me in Gilroy" (a small town known as the Garlic Capital of the world somewhat south of San Francisco). This would be unfortunate for all as Mo would arrive in Gilroy during their Annual Garlic Festival and with what medical science has diagnosed him as having "a most violent reaction" to processed garlic. Meanwhile we did the only logical thing we could do. We sailed until dark, while plotting Mo’s rescue. And now our story continues.


Mo’s anxiety started about Carpenteria, when he discovered his wallet was gone. Not knowing whether it was with us or somewhere in between, left his digestive tract spiraling southbound. A manifest order inside the freight car indicated that the train was in fact, bound for Gilroy - non stop. He forgot his troubles briefly, when the train wound it’s way through "the Ranch". There were long lines of swells feathering in the stiff offshore winds. He watched as an ant sized figure dropped into a overhead wall at Cojo point. These were good signs. Jalama would be sailable. But not for Mo. At the north end of the ranch his biggest fear was realized. The train wasn’t slowing down like the other times. A minute later he saw us and the truck at the crossing. There wasn’t much time to draft a plan, so Gilroy seemed like the right thing to do. Rehearsing his message twice, he leaned out of the open car and screamed "Meet me in Gilroy!". Looking back he watched as we disappeared from view in a winding turn. Hypnotized by the monotonous clattering and being exhausted from the excitement, Mo laid down with his jacket as a pillow and fell asleep.

The train entered the Gilroy freight yard at 6:48pm, on time. As usual the yard master, a veteran railroad man named Manny, checked in the cars one by one. As he approached the car Mo was in, he routinely flashed his spotlight in the car, expecting to see nothing. Instead he discovered Mo, curled in a ball, sleeping soundly. Meanwhile back in town, the Garlic Festival was in full swing.

Now Mo is quite a storyteller in his own right. But severely handicapped by grogginess and a mouth full of aching teeth, rattled loose by the ride, left him groping for a plausible

explanation in the Yard Master’s office. Manny lectured "Hopping a freight ain’t like it used to be in the "Great Depression. Why you’ve committed the railroad’s most serious offense.". He stopped his tirade briefly to turn and spit into a brass canister near the door.

Mo’s stylish "grunge surf wear, no wallet and slurred speech from his aching mouth was a poor defense to Manny’s accusations of being nothing more than a common vagrant.

 So he would be held until the "Proper Authorities" arrive, as Manny put it. Fortunately for Mo, those same authorities were busily embellishing themselves in the evening’s fare of Garlic o Garlic at the carnival downtown. "When’s the last time you ate boy?" Manny asked. "I had a cappuccino and croissant at dawn " Mo replied half snickering. "Well that explains that starved look on your face. Ya know we’re good Christian folks here in Gilroy and feeding the needy is the lord’s work. While we’re waiting for the railroad detectives what say we have a little supper?". Hungry, Mo was in no position to refuse so Manny made a phone call. Twenty minutes later his wife entered with a basket of goodies, fresh from the festival. "Well Jackie, what’s on the menu this evening?" Manny asked. "Garlic Broccoli, Leeks in Garlic Sauce and Roasted Garlic with Capers and bacon bits, this year’s award winner!" she replied. Mo rolled his eyes in anguish of the thought of what would happen if he ate it. He was about to politely refuse when a plan arose from the disaster like the phoenix from the ashes. " Smells great mamn, and my don’t you look nice tonight" he charmed. " Mo’s plan included seconds, thirds and so forth. He calculated that it would take about 30 minutes for his ailment to kick in. At minute 29, nature’s joyous trumpet broke the silence. Startled, Manny scolded. " Son ain’t you got no manners?"

Mo, fully bloated, held his stomach, moaned, belched and let fly a long machine gun type burst that brought the old man to his feet. "Boy, you must be sick, You’ve brought quite an unpleasantness to this room." With each of Manny’s comments, Mo responded in much the same manner moaning, belching and filling the room with unique reminders of the evening’s fare. A few minutes later Manny thoroughly abused and gagging, played right into Mo’s hands. " That does it ! Get up and come with me, I’m taking you to the county infirmary. " Mo followed him to a truck outside. He wondered when and how or even if we would ever show up to rescue him. But help was on the way. Bob and I, in Old Yeller crept slowly toward Gilroy, with no plan but high hopes of rescue.

Mo was admitted into the small hospital as a John Doe vagrant prisoner to be, because nobody believed he was from Malibu and from a family of ways and means. He lay naked, clad with only a hospital gown on a gurney in the hallway. With no less control of his ailment, he was soon isolated from the hospital staff and other patients, to an empty room. Panic struck Mo as he over heard a doctor outside, instruct an orderly to prep him for an irrigation. His clothes were in the main admitting area and out of reach. He must immediately make his escape out the window or suffer severe indignities. So out the window he went, clad only in a hospital gown, loosely tied in the back. A block away the Grand Garlic Parade was just beginning.

As we entered the Gilroy city limits, Bob and I drove to the only lighted building in the railroad yard searching for Mo. Yard Master Manny and his lovely wife, met us at the door. We ask them if they’d seen Mo and after a lengthy explanation he told us that he had been holding him for railroad detectives but dropped him off at the infirmary as he became sickly with a wicked case of wind.

Meanwhile back in town, Mo made his way in the dark down a back street to the parade. There were many floats preparing to join the procession. This activity helped to conceal his unique apparel. Hiding in the shadows he scoped out a plan.

Mistaking Mo’s gown for a tunic, a voice behind him ordered " Hurry up and get on that Roman Float, its up next. And tie up that tunic!" "Why anything you say Sir" Mo replied as he hopped up on the float with a broad grin. What a perfect disguise.

 There sat Mo atop an ancient Roman garden scene, complete with pillars, furnitures, an assortment of fake foliage’s and many fine young maids, some preening & prattling, others eating grapes, pouring wine from vessels and husking baskets of Garlic.

As the float entered the main street of the parade, Bob & I entered the admitting area of the infirmary looking for Mo. Officers having been dispatched to the scene to apprehend an escaped prisoner in a hospital gown, brushed past us on the way to their mission. Bob and I were unprepared for the reception and explanation we received at the hospital. Mo had this thing for totally befuddling public officials and public servants but this had gone way beyond his boyish pranks and antics. No one was interested in the truth (as mundane as it was), in comparison to the twisted perceptions of everyone in Gilroy that had met him. "We better split up and look for Mo." I said. "OK, but lets meet back at the truck at 9 o’clock." Bob added.

"Now if I were Mo I would hide in the crowd" I thought, so I headed for the parade. The street was packed with onlookers mostly lascivious and embracing full loads of libations. It was a quarter to nine as I made my way along the parade route. After a few minutes of scanning the area my attention was diverted to a float of scantily clad, esoteric nubile strumpets, attending to a now laurel wreathed Mo, reclined on a classical Roman lounge, striking a Reubenesque Roman pose.

"HEY MO, HEY MO!" I shouted. Mo looked up smiled with a jaded nonchalance and fanned a cluster of grapes at me in true Roman aristocratic style. "Come hither Titus and a fetch me a fig" he taunted over the cheering crowd. "NO !! GET OVER HERE NOW! DUECEFOOTS!!, THEY’RE LOOKING FOR YOU!!" I yelled, trying not to arouse suspicion. Mo not breaking the rhythm of the moment, stood up, turned around, threw up his gown and displayed a full Boston growler to me and the crowd. Suddenly there were 2 parade marshals scrambling to get on the float. Mo, now aware of his predicament turned to elusive and evasive maneuvers. It looked like a Marx brothers movie with Mo as Harpo. It was pure mayhem! Hysterical screaming maidens clamored over each other, hurling garlic cloves at the intruders while they shouted warnings of his impending capture. Ohh it was sweet! It was truly one of Mo’s finest moments of decadence an defiance. Several minutes passed as he kept his apprehenders at bay to the cheers of the maddening crowd. But just as he was about to make good his escape off the float, one of officers dove over the lounge grabbing the back of his gown, causing him to fall face down into a basket of fresh peeled garlic. Everyone stopped, inhaled at once and fell silent. Call it fate, call it fortune, but for sure that officer is calling it most foul, for Mo let loose with a near fatal blast, causing the officer to gasp and let go in disgust and fall backward onto a half naked cherub, protecting her overflowing cornucopia of garlic gloves and fig leaves. Scrambling off the float, Mo disappeared into the crowd and down a side street. I followed, calling frantically. "HEY MO, STOP!, the truck’s over here." Bob seeing us started the truck and began backing toward us. Mo jumped in the back of the camper and I into the cab of the truck. "Lets get the hell out of here NOW! Head for Santa Cruz."I ordered "Great idea, we can sail tomorrow before goin home." a voice commented from the dark bowels of the camper. We turned down an empty street and off into the night.

Several minutes passed until finally Mo stuck his head through the camper boot with his laurel wreath cocked over one eye and smiled that all knowing Cheshire grin. Bob looked at Mo through the rearview mirror and asked " Well Mo, what do you have to say for yourself now." Mo puckered his lips, inhaled briskly and replied "What took you so long, you pathetic little weasely wanking monkeyboy." Bob responded with a back handed knuckle wrap to Mo’s nose, sending him reeling back into depths of the camper . And so it would go, on and on and on, as with any well oiled tradition, perhaps as long as there would be just one more long tale from an epic sesh. .............the end