Lost dreams in the big city

28 Oct

Only an Idiot Gets Lost in Chicago

“I don’t give a shit about that,” Buck said.

Buck stood in the newsroom staring past Stan through the window at the gray early November afternoon. Outside, it was lightly snowing. Like swirls of confetti, the flakes fell onto the windshield of Stan’s new car parked on the street just outside the window. Stan had his own parking spot, one of the perks of his title. The vehicle had just been purchased the previous week, one of the upcoming year’s models.

“Perhaps you should give a shit,” Stan said looking up at Buck from his desk. “You know, it’s not that hard to pick up the phone and do some checking. We can’t have the Tribune beating us on these kinds of stories.”

Buck didn’t really care if the Tribune beat them. And why should he? At ten bucks an hour they could give his job to some kid eager to get the latest scoop. And yet, he felt a bit ashamed about it all. Yeah. He could have done better.

“Your new car’s getting covered with snow,” Buck said.

“Buck. This is serious.”

He looked at Stan. His boss wasn’t smiling.

“Look … just try to do some more thorough checking.”

Stan eyed Buck. Buck knew Stan was only trying to do his job as editor of The Progress.

“You looked bad on this one Buck,” he said. “A few phone calls and you could have had a much better story.”

Buck looked away.

Yeah. A few phone calls. It had been pretty sloppy reporting. But damn. What the hell was he even doing on the police beat anyway? Besides, he’d had other stuff to do that night without getting an identification of some body at the bottom of a coal shaft. And he had tried to get the coroner on the phone. Okay. He should have tried more than once. Shit, it was all nuts and bolts reporting anyway. Something they could just about train a monkey to do.

Stan leaned back in his chair and studied him.

“What’s been going on with you anymore? You used to care Buck.”

Buck looked down at the floor. The two of them had been through some great times together. Back when they’d both been cocky young reporters, banging out their stories. They were the Gold Dust Twins. A crusty editor with a drinking problem named Smiley had dubbed them that. When they weren’t trying to top each other with scoops they were closing down bars in the downtown. But that had been then, and Smiley was long gone.

FROM THE MIKE REUTHER EBOOK, ONLY AN IDIOT GETS LOST IN CHICAGO

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Lonely guys on a mountaintop

4 Aug

mreuther

“A blonde, a brunette and a couple of dogs,” Ritter said hopefully.

Moran nodded. It was the confident nod of a sage, who knew the score. “Are you sure Jon? I mean … it’s late October for God’s sakes, and there’s a chance of snow. I don’t think a pair of voluptuous women are going to venture up into these hills this time of year.”

“I didn’t say they were voluptuous for Pete’s sake,” Ritter said.

“Well … the way you described them ol’ chum. I mean … ”

Ritter picked up a piece of wood and poked at the campfire. “I think I said, they looked fetching … at least from a distance.” Why get his hopes up? he thought. I mean … life was full of disappointments and missed opportunities and shitty circumstances. Hell, if they wanted to meet women, why didn’t they just join some church or…

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Lonely guys on a mountaintop

4 Aug

Source: Lonely guys on a mountaintop

Lonely guys on a mountaintop

4 Aug

“A blonde, a brunette and a couple of dogs,” Ritter said hopefully.

Moran nodded. It was the confident nod of a sage, who knew the score. “Are you sure Jon? I mean … it’s late October for God’s sakes, and there’s a chance of snow. I don’t think a pair of voluptuous women are going to venture up into these hills this time of year.”

“I didn’t say they were voluptuous for Pete’s sake,” Ritter said.

“Well … the way you described them ol’ chum. I mean … ”

Ritter picked up a piece of wood and poked at the campfire. “I think I said, they looked fetching … at least from a distance.” Why get his hopes up? he thought. I mean … life was full of disappointments and missed opportunities and shitty circumstances. Hell, if they wanted to meet women, why didn’t they just join some church or become dog owners and go to the park every day. I mean, he’d once heard somewhere – talk radio? freakin’ Facebook? – that daily walks with a pooch was a sure-fire way to meet women. Next thing you knew, some great looking gal was petting your dog and you were in like Flynn. Ah … but that wasn’t him … or Moran, for God sakes. On the other hand, he wouldn’t put it past Moran to try it.

Ritter peered down the mountain from their campsite, but he could see no sign of any ladies. It was late afternoon and the cool autumn breeze chilling his face more than hinted of a chilly night – his favorite kind of fall evening. Sure, who needed women anyway? He’d stare into the flames of the campfire, groove on the wind snapping the bare branches of the trees, gaze upward into the stars and the mysteriousness of the Rocky Mountain night. And yet … and yet … he had this gnawing hope that these women would appear.

Moran brought the binoculars up to his eyes, training them on … what? The trail disappeared into pines and aspens. Good God, it was impossible to see anything.

“What in God’s name are you looking at?” Ritter asked.

Quite suddenly, a smile creased the old professor’s face. “Bing-GO,” Moran said.

“What?” Ritter nearly shouted.

“There they are … as gorgeous as co-eds traversing the lawn of Penn State’s Old Main on a sunny spring afternoon.”

“Wha-a-a-a …” Ritter sputtered. “Let me see those binoculars.”

“No need, my boy.”

Sure enough, Ritter saw for himself the two women, the pair of canines trailing them – a blonde and a brunette, just now emerging from the thick canopy of trees along the trail.

“Holy jumpin’ juju bees,” Ritter said. “I look like hell.” He scrambled to his feet and looked toward the tent. “What do we do?” He knew full well he probably didn’t smell too good. Three days of hiking without a bath didn’t exactly result in pleasant bodily odors.

Moran coolly lowered the binoculars and smiled at his longtime protégé. He slowly stood, pulling a beret from his pocket and placing it atop his head at a rakish angle. He looked toward the tent, and trotted off toward it, leaving Ritter next to the campfire.

“Where are you going,” Ritter whispered loudly. He stole a glance down the trail. The women were drawing closer.

“Getting into my old Army dress uniform,” Moran called back before disappearing into the tent.

“But you were never in the Army for God sakes,” Ritter said, gritting his teeth. Ritter stole another glance down the trail. Hell, they were perhaps just one hundred yards away. In a few minutes, they’d be here. What the hell was he supposed to change into? The damn filthy blue jeans and sweatshirt he’d worn yesterday?

“Remember the old Boy Scout motto Jon?” Moran called out from inside the tent. “Be prepared.”

“You were never a Boy Scout,” Ritter screamed.

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