Murphys Law states, "what ever CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong." Murphy and I had been friends for quite awhile now. We'd go for drinks, dinner, hell, we were inseparable after I decided not to follow in my father's footsteps and go to Med School. When my father and I exited the movie theater after watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, I had made my decision on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was gonna make movies. My father ignored my plea that day, thinking it was just a kids pipe dream. Boy, if he would have only known. With a very calm and silent irritation, my father started excepting that I would not be attending Chapel Hill or Wake Forest to continue my education. I wasnt a very good student to begin with. I had been blessed with an above average IQ, but cursed with the plague that is sweeping the nation, ADHD, learning disabilities and all the other lame excuses for a kid to be labeled, abnormal. When I did have a chance to do well, upon returning to public school after being shifted from boarding school to boarding school, I wasted it by spending my time writing and designing an underground newspaper. It was a way I felt to channel the anger of that Generation X founding generation. We were pissed about something. Looking back, I cant remember why. My sister had finished up the Preppy generation where beer drinking consumed the weekends with occasional ganja use thrown in. With our generation the "Ganj" and Alcohol were a prerequisite and LSD and Mushrooms were the drug of choice. Desert Storm was going on, OJ Simpson was killing his wife, the murder rate in our small town was up 30 percent and our school was a 'firearm on property' away from metal detectors. My newspaper made fun of all this including critiquing the revolutionary alternative music coming in. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound garden and Mother Love Bone had just penetrated the radio airplay and little knew how big it would become. With my opinion obviously not the Voice of a whole generation, I would throw in the school gossip to keep people interested. There columns on who was fucking whom; where the parties were; who was dating and breaking up with who and who was fucking whom again, of course. These little columns were the ones that would have people begging me for a copy every Friday afternoon. At the height of the papers popularity and about the same time we published the brackets for the 65 man drinking championship to take place that summer, an assistant principal would acquire a copy of my debacle of a periodical. With heavy interrogation of students, the principal, (already having a hard on for me,) found me as the prime suspect. He pulled me out of Spanish class and searched my book bag. In it, he would find the master copy of the latest issue. That was all he needed.
The first time I met Murphy was in that principals office with my parents sitting next to me. My father had to leave work, canceling all his afternoon appointments, which was an absolute no-no in his book unless somebody was dying. What he didnt realize is that there was death-taking place. My chance to attend med school. The principal without blinking an eye suspended me for a whopping ten days. How fitting You were only allowed to miss nine days, before you would flunk out of high school. This punishment was also the record for the school as the biggest suspension given outside of the alcohol, drug and firearm policies of the NC Board of Education Procedures. (There were of course no Debauchery Style Newspaper actions in that book, so I was free game.) All that for a harmless newspaper? I suppose the principal handing out my punishment was not pleased about the joke I made about him in my in school column and maybe thats why there was such a vendetta. Who knows? As embarrassing as it was, Murphy, my parents and I walked off the school grounds and I could not help but try and forget that I had just become Class of 94 instead of my proposed 93 alumnus status.
Then Murphy and I had a falling out and parted ways for a couple of weeks, as members of my school began protesting the harsh punishment bestowed on me and staged small rallies on the freedom of speech and press. They pasted banners, signs, and flyers that read Save Garrick. Save our Rights, all over the walls and lockers. Then, with a petition signed by almost 700 classmates and a school board meeting in my favor, I was released from my ten day suspension and allowed to return to school, one day shy of the flunking out deadline, leaving me only one thing left to do. Not miss another day. Of course my paper was banned from the school grounds. There was such a demand for the return of it, that of course being the idiot that I was, I continued to do it. Only I was smarter this time, and distributed it in McDonalds parking lot on Friday nights. So needless to say, I managed to graduate, but my grades reflected my actual work in the books. I had done all the cool things at all the wrong times. If there is a positive twist on the situation, I had at least built a legacy that is still talked about as of today.
Here are a couple of covers of the infamous newspaper.
After graduation night, Murphy and I were friends again. With my post high school future looking grim for a four-year college right out, I knew I had to hit the books at the local community college. Despite my fathers belief, I considered turning it around and actually working toward a four-year degree followed by med school at a North Carolina college.
Then Fucking Murphy. In the class of 1990, beyond my group of friends knowledge, there was a group of guys who had an enterprise shaping up, or should I say, shaping out. They were running marijuana cross-country from San Diego and bringing it to our little town. The police were aware of the amount that was coming in and after a string of events; they were all caught two years after they had started it. Two of my friends actually worked for one of the guys involved, (in one of his legit businesses,) three months before the big bust. This led all of us to end up partying together after the work and school were done. We had no idea that they had been put on surveillance and been getting tracked. We just enjoyed hanging out at their house, because we had still not left the teat of our parents casa. When they were busted we were shocked, but really did not think much about it. They had just been friends for the moment anyway. A month after their trials began, the police were baffled that the same amount of drugs had been pouring into our town.
They must have missed something, they thought.
Of course We had inherited the business. They had seen us on surveillance. We were the masterminds behind the whole operation. It was the kids fresh out of high school too dumb to go to any college, but smart enough to import pounds and pounds of weed from the West Coast and distributed to all the masses in our shit town.
I did not even smoke pot. I hated it. I wouldnt know how to sell it if it were legal, but before long, I had become Joe Pesci in the movie, Casino and I am not exaggerating. There was a police officer waiting for me outside of work and following me wherever I went. I went on a date one night and they pulled us over after leaving the movie theater, searched my car with dogs and claimed I had been drinking, just so they could escort my date home in a police car, (ruining any chances for a second one.) Every time I left school they would follow me home. If I left a friends, they would pull me over, search the car with dogs, give me a Breathalyzer and completely harass me to the point of complete frustration. After a fabricated charge of a concealed weapon for a pocket knife in a camping pack, a DWI where I even passed the blood test, and a Larceny charge over a handicap placard that I never knew was under my seat, (all in a week,) my father had disowned me. He believed the polices ploy that I was the drug kingpin so he told me that if I was going to Los Angeles, that was the time to do it. He drove me out there, handed me a wad of money and told me good luck. I was ashamed and baffled about what had happened, but looking on the Brightside, I was in Los Angeles. I had a chance to make it all right. I needed a handful of electives and I was shooting for UCLA. I was going to spare my dad any more money and not apply until my California residency came up. That was the least I could do. I dropped Dad off at the airport and spent two tanks of gas driving through every city in Los Angeles County, studying my new home with a smile on my face. With the top down on my prized Jeep and the sun in my face, I thought of the films I was going to make. I thought of how lucky I was despite Murphys presence in those last months of my hometown career.
But hey, there was no more Murphy, police, newspapers, court dates It was me alone in the big city and another chance at greatness, I mumbled passing the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Two weeks later, my Jeep was stolen from the secured parking lot of my apartment complex and I never saw it again. Murphy had found me. We were now blood brothers. He would shadow me from that moment until this very day.
I hand Jon the business proposal for my video plans for him to deliver the dossier to the Hot Investor.
I am going to see her the day after tomorrow, Jon assured me. I again emphasized the importance of not being pushy. We parted ways. I could not help but feel relieved almost anxious about the endeavor I was about to embark on. Maybe Murphy had gotten sick of my shit since I had settled down a little and made my self a two year plan. Maybe he needed a new friend to push around. He had been almost non-existent in the past three weeks. Maybe he had become bored of making my life miserable. If that was the case, I can't say Id miss him all that much even after all these years together.
The Day after Tomorrow came...... A car struck Jon on his bike when it ran a red light at an intersection.
*Footnote: When I departed for LA and my friends disbarred soon after. The very cop that had me pegged as the drug kingpin, went undercover and caught his drug importers a year later. To everybodys surprise, none of us were involved. It took over ten years, a private investigator, thousands of dollars, and two lawsuits to get an apology and my fabricated papers displaying the background of my life expunged of the false reports. (My background check had prevented me from six job opportunities in LA.) The only positive that came out of that situation was, I had proven to my parents that I had not been hiding any truths. I had been right all along.