Phoenix Chapter Eleven: Turbodog Tuesday

Phoenix Chapter Eleven: Turbodog Tuesday

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg

Chapter Eleven: Turbodog Tuesday 


  
A week later, on a Friday evening, Rogan is struggling home with his groceries. It's a two block walk from the bus stop. He honestly thinks about one of those wire fold up carts he sees old ladies use. It's gotta be better than this. The bags are bulky and bang against his legs as he walks, the handles of the plastic bags cutting into his palms. It's ridiculous he works on cars all day and doesn't have one of his own. 

The next day, he voices this idea to Ryan over lunch.

“If you hear of anything good for sale, let me know.” 

“Tim Hagen is selling his old Toyota pick up. I think it is a 2003 Tacoma.”

“Who's Tim Hagen?”

“Guy who used to work here. Good guy, honest as the day is long. He'll give you a reasonable price, if you're serious.” 

Rogan thinks this over. A truck would be good for his equipment. He likes riding with Buzz, but it would be good to be independent. 

“I'm serious.”

Ryan says, “Tell you what, I'll give him your number and he can call you if it's still for sale.” 

That night Tim calls him and they make an appointment for Rogan to look over the vehicle the next day, Sunday, after band practice.

Sunday, Rogan follows the directions on his phone to Tim's house. He's a little early, so he looks around for the truck. It's parked at the curb, and it is gray. He's surprised no one mentioned the truck had a camper top. Nice, it would keep his gear dry in the rain. Rogan begins his minute inspection of the exterior. 

While he is groping under the side panel, checking for rust or crumpling, Tim comes out and introduces himself.

“I see you found it.”

“Yep. It's a 2003?” 

Tim confirms that and explains he bought the truck new and mainly used it for fishing trips.

"How many miles?" Rogan asks.

“158 K. Garage kept. I've taken good care of her and she's in good shape,” Tim assures Rogan. “I'll let you check her out. If you want a test drive, I'll ride along with you.” 

Tim unlocks the cab doors and shows Rogan how to open the rear with the camper top. 

Rogan completes his inspection of the exterior and asks Tim to pop the hood. He looks for the obvious things, worn belts, low fluids, corrosion. Then he checks out the interior. Tim's claim of light use and good care are evidently true.

“I'd like to test her out, maybe take her on the highway?”

“Sure. I hate to ask, but could I see your driver's license?”

Rogan displays it and they get rolling. Rogan likes the handling on the side streets and then on the highway. As he drives, he decides that if he can talk Tim into a good price, he will buy it.

When they return to Tim's house, they begin haggling. Rogan finally agrees to $9,000 plus tax and fees. It's a damn good deal.

“That's a reasonable price, but I'll have to think this over. Can I get back to you tomorrow afternoon?” The deciding factor will be whether his credit union will give him a small loan. 

Tim agrees to this and they shake hands. 



Monday morning Rogan asks Ryan if he can take off at noon to take care of business. It's not a problem, so he heads over to the credit union immediately after clocking out. When he is approved for a loan, he calls Tim.

“I'll take it. Can we transfer the title today?” 

They work out the details of payment and meet at the plate office. When all is done, Rogan is the proud owner of a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. Driving it home feels like freedom.

Next Thursday, Rogan arrives at the warehouse before the others. Buzz pulls in as Rogan is getting out of his Tacoma. Buzz comes over to admire Rogan's new possession. 

“Very nice, you can fit plenty of gear in there. Congratulations.” 

J.D. and Roy arrive soon after and check out the Tacoma too. The general consensus is, Rogan did well on his first vehicle. 

“OK,” says J.D. “Let's try out this new one Buzz and I have been working on. Roy, follow me.” 

They plunge into the intricacies of building a budding song. 

Two hours later, Buzz calls a halt. 

“You young guys can go on all night, but I can't. Let's get a beer at Molly's.” 

Driving is still a novelty and Rogan is thrilled to have his guitar safely stowed in his very own vehicle. He can leave when he wants, he can stop off somewhere on the way home, he's free of the bus line, he no longer depends on others.

 

*** 



A month later, in the middle of March, J.D. has another announcement at Sunday practice. 

“Benny said he'd keep us in mind and he has. He wants to know if we can do a gig Tuesday, March 14th.”

“But that's day after tomorrow!” Roy says.

“I know, it's sudden. But it gets our foot in the door. That's Turbodog Tuesday, so there will be a decent crowd. It gets our name out there.” 

“What the hell is Turbodog Tuesday?” Buzz asks. 

Rogan and J.D. begin speaking at once, but J.D. defers to Rogan. “You explain.”

“Benny is from Louisiana and has connections with a New Orleans brewery, Abita. They make a dark beer called Turbodog, and it's two for one on Tuesdays. Pulls in a crowd on a normally dead night.” Rogan has drunk his share of Turbodog.

“What do you guys think?” J.D. asks. “I think we are ready.” 

Roy says, “I guess you're right. We've been working on this setlist long enough.” 

“I'm in,” says Rogan.

“Buzz?” J.D. asks. 

Buzz nods and they are unanimous. 

“We need to be there by 8:30. We'll get started at 9.” J.D. looks at everyone. “Let's get this mother on the road.” 

They spend the next two hours working their way through the setlist they prepared so many weeks ago. It will only produce two 30 minute sets, but that's plenty.

  
***



Tuesday after work, Rogan has time to take a quick nap before meeting Buzz at the warehouse to collect his amp. It takes him very little time to load his amp into the Tacoma. Buzz is still going back and forth to his own truck with pieces of his drum set.

“Buzz, you know I love you man, so I'm going to help you hump your drum kit,” Rogan says as he picks up one of the many cases Buzz has packed. It's one way to show his gratitude for all the rides Buzz has given him over the many months. 

Together it takes them almost 10 minutes to load Buzz's truck with his kit. Despite the cold day, Rogan takes off his jacket and is running with sweat by the time they get it all loaded. Then they must unload at Benny's. Rogan carries in his own equipment first, then pitches in again. Roy and J.D. show up as Rogan is carrying in the last case of Buzz's kit. The three guitarists get busy, each setting up their own equipment. Eventually everything is in order, good to go. Rogan is starting to feel nervous. He has never performed outside a band practice.

J.D. beckons Rogan to follow him, Roy and Buzz, through a door that leads to an alley. Benny's isn't big enough for a room back stage, but the alley has been equipped with a few cast off chairs and an ashtray on a tiny peeling table. Buzz is sipping a beer. When Roy produces a joint, Rogan understands the pre-show gathering. J.D. and Roy don't bother offering to Buzz, but when it comes around to him, J.D. tries to hand it to Rogan. He shakes his head. He's never liked doing drugs much.   

Then they are ready to go. There are maybe 8 or 10 people drinking at the bar, and a group of about 6 around the single table Benny's has. Rogan has already taken off his jacket and is sporting his Anthrax tour shirt. He has also loosed his hair from its normal hair tie, so as to deploy it to maximum head banging effect. They all look at each other, J.D. nods, Buzz taps a cymbal four times and they plunge in.

Rogan gets so caught up in the music, he doesn't notice the bar is half full until they start in on the third song. Not a bad turn out, it being an ordinary Tuesday night.  

After the first set, Rogan goes to the bar to get a beer. There are about 30 people in Benny's and it isn't hard to reach the bar. Hmm, free beer is a perk of being in the band, it seems, because the bartender waves away the money Rogan offers. He leaves a nice tip instead. 

He turns to go back to the alley behind the stage, and bumps into a tall blonde. Her hair is almost white and her plump body is squeezed into a very small amount of denim and leather. The makeup she's wearing makes her look a bit sinister, eyes circled in shades of smoky gray and black. But Rogan knows who she is. It's Brenda. She sleeps exclusively with musicians, but isn't too picky about which one. There's a rumor she did an entire band in one night. Probably not true, but within the realm of possibility. Well it's her life, she can enjoy herself however she wants, no comment from Rogan as it is none of his business. He is not particularly chaste himself.      

But he has no desire to sleep with Brenda, or even really talk to her. She's vapid and he finds her obsession with musicians creepy. Plus she's not his type. He quickly sidesteps her and dashes for the men's room. Not that the gent's is necessarily a safe haven, according to stories he's heard, but it is the closest refuge. He splashes some water on his face and combs his hair, then checks to see if the coast is clear.

Rogan makes it to the alley safely, where he finds the guys drinking beer and Roy and J.D. passing a joint. Buzz gives him a heavy slap on the back and rumbles with laughter. “You escaped Brenda pretty well, Rogan. Never seen someone deal with a woman so expeditiously.”  

There is no encore, and the audience seems content with that, dispersing as J.D. wraps it up, saying good night to their audience.  

After packing everything up and stowing their equipment in their vehicles (the drum set again takes forever), Rogan is handed his share of their cut from Benny. $25. It's a bit comical, actually, and he catches Buzz's amused look as he stuffs the cash in his wallet. Well, he wasn't planning on quitting his day job any time soon.   


 


© 2019 SweetNutmeg


Author's Note

SweetNutmeg
Thank you for reading. Any and all comments are welcome and much appreciated.

My Review

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Featured Review

New car! First gig in forever! It's refreshing to see that Rogan's life isn't all about Allison. Like, he's head over heels for Allison and all that, but he still has a life. Brownie points from yours truly!

Answer: The first paragraph feels like it belongs to the last chapter, but the line you used to end chapter 10 was also good. I think it feels a little strange simply because you usually have several events, over the course of several days or even weeks, in one chapter. I think this is the first time you cut off a part of an event at the end of a chapter and continue it in the next.
To sum up, the first paragraph doesn't really belong here because it's different from your usual writing style, but having it here doesn't hurt.

Technical stuff:

1 + 2. “Benny said he'd keep us in mind and he has. He wants to know if we can do a gig Tuesday, March 14th.”
“But that's day after tomorrow!” Roy says.

I think you meant "...on Tuesday, March 14th." and "But that's the day after tomorrow!"

3. When Roy produces a joint, Rogan understands the pre-show gathering. J.D. and Roy don't bother offering to Buzz, but when it comes around to him, J.D. makes to hand it on to Rogan.

I know they're smoking weed here, but I don't quite understand the last part: "...J.D. makes to hand it on to Rogan." I didn't know the idiom "to make to," so I looked it up on Cambridge Dictionary. It says "if you make to do something, you are just going to do it when something interrupts you," but I still don't get it.

4. Rogan gets so caught up in the music, he doesn't notice the bar is half full until they start In on the third song.

In the last part, the "in" in "...start In on the third song" is capitalized.

5+6. He quickly side steps her and dashes for the men's room. Not that the gent's is necessarily a safe haven...

Technical: I think you meant "He quickly sidesteps her..."

Stylistic: I think "that" or "it" can easily replace "the gent's" because we already know you're talking about the men's restroom.

7. Well, he wasn't planning on quitting his day job any time soon.

Stylistic: the past tense in this sentence stands out from your normal present-tense narration.

As always, looking forward to your next chapter!

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

3 Months Ago

For several of your comments, I think we have run up against idiom and colloquial usage.
read more
Wathanya.5KY3

3 Months Ago

Interesting. I'll keep that in mind next time I run into something like that.

I see. .. read more



Reviews

I would omit "home" in this sentence, since it was used in the previous-"It's a two block walk home from the bus stop."
Comma after loan--"When he is approved for a loan he calls Tim."
I can't recall, but has the band auditioned for the gig? That would be the normal way things are done--“Benny said he'd keep us in mind and he has. He wants to know if we can do a gig Tuesday, March 14th.”
This sounds wrong--"J.D. makes to hand it on to Rogan"
This Brenda character reminds me of Connie Hamzy. Notorious for screwing rock stars, she was.
This is a good chapter. Easy to read and understand. The mileage on the pickup isn't mentioned, but probably should be. If it's 16 years old, it would likely have been driven 10,000 miles per year, but perhaps less if its use was limited to fishing trips.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

3 Months Ago

Thank you for your careful reading and detailed review. Haha, I had a whole conversation with someon.. read more
New car! First gig in forever! It's refreshing to see that Rogan's life isn't all about Allison. Like, he's head over heels for Allison and all that, but he still has a life. Brownie points from yours truly!

Answer: The first paragraph feels like it belongs to the last chapter, but the line you used to end chapter 10 was also good. I think it feels a little strange simply because you usually have several events, over the course of several days or even weeks, in one chapter. I think this is the first time you cut off a part of an event at the end of a chapter and continue it in the next.
To sum up, the first paragraph doesn't really belong here because it's different from your usual writing style, but having it here doesn't hurt.

Technical stuff:

1 + 2. “Benny said he'd keep us in mind and he has. He wants to know if we can do a gig Tuesday, March 14th.”
“But that's day after tomorrow!” Roy says.

I think you meant "...on Tuesday, March 14th." and "But that's the day after tomorrow!"

3. When Roy produces a joint, Rogan understands the pre-show gathering. J.D. and Roy don't bother offering to Buzz, but when it comes around to him, J.D. makes to hand it on to Rogan.

I know they're smoking weed here, but I don't quite understand the last part: "...J.D. makes to hand it on to Rogan." I didn't know the idiom "to make to," so I looked it up on Cambridge Dictionary. It says "if you make to do something, you are just going to do it when something interrupts you," but I still don't get it.

4. Rogan gets so caught up in the music, he doesn't notice the bar is half full until they start In on the third song.

In the last part, the "in" in "...start In on the third song" is capitalized.

5+6. He quickly side steps her and dashes for the men's room. Not that the gent's is necessarily a safe haven...

Technical: I think you meant "He quickly sidesteps her..."

Stylistic: I think "that" or "it" can easily replace "the gent's" because we already know you're talking about the men's restroom.

7. Well, he wasn't planning on quitting his day job any time soon.

Stylistic: the past tense in this sentence stands out from your normal present-tense narration.

As always, looking forward to your next chapter!

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

3 Months Ago

For several of your comments, I think we have run up against idiom and colloquial usage.
read more
Wathanya.5KY3

3 Months Ago

Interesting. I'll keep that in mind next time I run into something like that.

I see. .. read more

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Added on August 21, 2019
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SweetNutmeg
SweetNutmeg

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I am back and returning all reviews of "Unlocking Bonnie." I'm here to improve my writing. I love critiques that give me critical feedback, as well as praise. (Although, I do like praise. Gotta be .. more..

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