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6:30 a.m. - 2001-04-29

GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL, UNCLE BOB

Y'know...in the days leading up to this "Hit Night" thing I did last night, I had reservations about it.

The idea to do it came off an OLD list of ways to raise money for charity. It sounded like fun and it sounded profitable, so I went with it.

But then...probably about Wednesday, I started thinking about all the school shootings in the last several years. And our city itself has had its share of restaurant robberies where the employees are herded into walk-in freezers and the money's stolen by gang members.

Still ... I thought that what I had planned was so over-the-top that there was no WAY people could take us seriously.

Ahem.

So last night, we meet at my veterinarian's office, because he finally agreed to chauffeur us around in this HUGE RV.

HUGE!

It had a leather couch, leather recliners, BIG kitchen, dinner table and four chairs, and a bedroom with a mirror on the ceiling.

Tres swanky.

When all was said and done, we had 13 people in the RV. Eight were actually robbing the places ... five tagged along.

We get to our first stop ... Outback steakhouse.

Okay, imagine...a big RV pulls up, out pops eight people, most dressed in black, some dressed in gaudy pimp suits, one girl dressed in an authentic 1920s flapper dress.

Ha-ha, right??

I had the bullhorn and as I walked up I told the people outside to get their checkbooks ready because by the time we were back outside, I'd want their checks.

We go inside, the manager's up front and shakes my hand. He tells me to go ahead and do what I need to do.

I greet everyone and tell them that this is a robbery for the American Cancer Society. These are some of my rats and they're going to be going from table to table to pick up whatever everyone can afford to give. I go on a spiel about how we've all been touched by cancer and this money goes to further research programs, etc.

We get everyone's money and go to leave for the van.

Outside, a mama pushes her little boy our way to give us a dollar.

We thank everyone and pile into the RV.

As the RV swings out on the main thouroughfare, two police cars go flying into the Outback parking lot.

Our driver tells us that as soon as we went in there, eight people rushed out with cell phones in their hands, calling 911, thinking this was a real robbery.

I laugh it off and we go to our next destination.

...Followed by two cop cars. Beleive me, this RV was not built for speed. It was not a great getaway vehicle by any means.

We stop at the next stop and the cops want to talk to me and the driver (my vet ... who also happens to be the president of the American cancer Society).

The cops said that every cop in town was on their way to Outback when they got several calls saying it was being robbed.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but smile.

They asked if we had permission to do that and I said that we not only had permission, I had clearly hung signs in the windows saying that people "may" be robbed tonight.

The cops understood what was going on and were very nice about the whole thing. They did say that we scared a lot of people in there (which explains how we got $161 out of them). The cops then asked for a list of restaurants we'd be hitting all night so that if they got any calls from anyone else, they'd know it was us.

AND ... I was no longer allowed to say "This is a robbery". Do NOT use the word "robbery".

So we went into the next restaurant and I didn't use the word robbery.

We got $80. Obviously, we scared the shit out of the people at Outback with the word Robbery and they were giving us their money so we wouldn't kill them.

We hit ten restaurants last night, each gradually worse and worse. The last place we hit had about 20 people in there and they looked at us like we just walked in to hand out free samples of malaria. I think we made $13 out of that joint.

We broke off the group after that. Five of us ... my boy Eddie Lavoie, his gal pal Ramona, Drunk Assed Jamie(TM), Mattie Gee's mama Cate and me, went to the last two restaurants.

Drunk-assed Jamie(TM) got to the first restaurant first in his car. He said there were eight people inside there and it wasn't worth hitting.

Fine. Let's go to our last stop and listen to Mattie Gee's band, The Spicolis.

We get to the last stop and get to the door.

Eddie, Cate and Jamie have pretty much taken off all their gangster clothes. Cate and Jamie just wanted to get drunk. Eddie was tired of looking like a gangster.

That left Ramona in her flapper dress and me in my all black ensemble with a pink tie.

Ramona felt silly going in there dressed like she was because the other three looked normal.

I told her not to feel silly. Look...I look silly too.

No go.

Drunk-Assed Jamie's whole "idea" was to have "a beer" (snort!) and THENNNNN rob the place.

This made no sense to me until I realized, Jamie had the DTs and was going through withdrawals because he'd only had three beers and a shooter all night.

Anyway...we get to the door and there's a cover charge. Cate pays the three bucks and goes inside.

I had hundreds of dollars on me, but it was the Cancer Society's. PLUS, I have an agreement with the band...I NEVER pay cover to hear them play. I've done enough stuff for the band that I've earned that right. By God...I'm the fifth Spicoli.

I try to tell the guy at the door that we're here to rob the place for the American Cancer Society.

He doesn't know anything about it. And the manager we spoke to about it who okayed the idea is not in tonight.

So I go to point out the poster that Drunk Assed Jamie was supposed to have hung in a very prominent place earlier that day.

Oh!

Guess what??

Drunk Assed Jamie never got around to coming out there to hang up the poster like he PROMISED me he was going to do.

Since there wasn't a poster, warning customers that we were coming, we really couldn't walk in there and say "Give me your money" because they'd have no reason to.

Because there was no poster explaining what was going on.

Okay.

Drunk assed Jamie is a nice guy. A swell guy.

But I have NEVER and I mean NEVER met a guy who is more irresponsible and flippant about everything.

If you ask him to do something, he'll say sure and then never do it. He'd rather make up an excuse on why he couldn't do it.

If he offers to do something for you, he won't do it. Once again, he finds an excuse to have not done it.

It's the one quality of his that makes me want to beat the living shit out of him. His daddy owns our newspaper, and he knows he's never going to get fired, so he takes a lackadaisacal approach to everything.

One time, he was given 1,000 magazines to distribute around town. He was given a list of the places to distribute them to that were expecting the magazines at their stores.

What did he do?

He left the magazines in his back seat for a few days and finally threw them all in a dumpster.

He's been caught red-handed stealing money from both the petty cash box at work as well as every newspaper rack we have in town.

Anyway ... back to my story. I fucking wanted to KILL Jamie for not hanging a poster up here. He said he was sorry, but he had car trouble all day that day. Which I'm quite sure was bullshit because everything that comes out of his mouth is bullshit.

And the dicks at the door were not letting us in unless we paid a $3 cover charge.

They wouldn't even let me in to see Mattie Gee to tell them I was here and that I didn't need to pay a cover charge and neither did anyone else with me.

It was 10:00 by this point, and we were all tired anyway, so we all got in our respective cars (even Drunk Assed Jamie getting into his "troubled" car) and left.

I came home, showered and counted the money.

$714 and change.

Now THAT sucked. I was hoping for $1,000, wishing for $2,000.

There's no way I'll win this competition now. I've got a little more than $9,000 made. The only hope I have is that the boss gets through to his multi-millionaire buddy who owns the local dog racing track, the only place to gamble in the state. If he agrees to help me out, I feel pretty sure he's going to write a hellacious check out to me, which may help me win.

I'll keep you posted.

All I know right now is ... it's over. My fund raising events are over.

It's the end of the competition as we know it ... and I feel like I have bronchitis.

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