Whenever my shit catches up with me, I know just what to do. I brace like I got a stick up my ass and shout out, "USA." Those three fucking letters are all it takes to keep me out of trouble. Hell, people will cut you all kinds of slack if they think you're a patriot.
I never served in the Army, but I have done some soldiering. Five years ago, when I turned sixteen, my parents packed me off to military school. I learned how to target shoot, spit shine shoes, and perform the manual of arms. And I hadda do a whole lot of pushups because they kept finding porn in my bunk.
Well, I lasted a whole year in military school before they booted me out. They expelled me because I exposed myself to a girl in the local movie theater. She was famous for jerking off cadets so I didn't think she would mind. But all she did was squeal like a sow when I gave her a bologna salute. Next thing I know, I was on probation and my soldiering days were over. I went to stay with my parents in Santa Clara--that's where I'm living today.
Yes, I'm a pervert, but don't put me down. I'm a pervert in the baddest sense of the word: a guy whose appreciation for snatch prevents him from being too perfect. I'm a pervert like Bill Cosby; a pervert like Bill Clinton. I'm a perve like Professor Humbert, the scholar in that book Lolita. It don't matter that I quit community college because it interfered with my masturbation. I still have lots of knowledge from all the reading I've done. I read like a fiend, up to three books a year, and I have a library of Marvel comics.
I've been put on probation a couple more times, but only for petty shit. Like jollying my Roger in adult movie theaters and peeping into windows. That kept me from becoming a CIA agent even though I majored in criminal justice. That and the fact that I'm kind of underweight: I tip the scales at a hundred and thirty pounds and I'm almost six feet tall. So I work as a clerk in motor lodge on El Camino Real. It's a pretty cool job all things considered. They have me on the midnight shift, which means I can smoke pot in the breezeway and read all the cock books I want.
I kinda admire Donald Trump: the way he avoids getting busted and all. Man, he's groped all kinds of women and the cops never lay a finger on him. So I went to a Donald Trump rally, when his presidential campaign came to San Jose. I was hoping I could maybe learn a little something from the Groppenführer.
I must have been the only one in the convention center who wasn't a raving suck-up. Me, I don't give a shit about anything but marijuana and porn. But when the crowd chanted "USA" my heart pounded like Paul Revere's horse. "Lock her up" kinda sucked and "Build that Wall" blew chunks. But "USA" was so awesome I almost jizzed my pants. There's no way you can put a dude down when he's shoutin' "USA." Not unless you want people thinkin' you're a goddamn communist.
Riding home on the Caltrain, I cracked some heavy wood. I was still hopped up from the Trump rally, and the train was packed with women. And I was pressed up against this Mexican chick who looked like Penelope Cruz.
Not thinking that she would notice it, I started to dry hump her. But she turned around and glared at me then slapped me in the face. So I pinched her hard on the tit and said, "Bitch, get out of my country!"
Now I've got nothing against Mexicans, man; we need 'em to pick our fruit. But I swear I could hear Texas crying, "Remember the Alamo!" Even so, I knew I would be up shit creek if I didn't get off that train quick.
By the time the train pulled into Millbrae, I had managed to squeeze down the aisle. But that Mexican chick was chasing behind me, jabbering away in Spanish. She followed me as I jumped onto the platform where a couple of transit cops were standing. "Es un pervetido," she shouted "That boy, he grab my breast." She pointed at me and stamped her feet, and the cops had to hold her away from me. Meanwhile, the train remained in the station while passengers watched through the windows.
After the cops put the bracelets on me, I decided I'd give it a try. I stuck out my chest like Nathan Hale and shouted, "USA." The cops looked at each other warily--they must have been Trump supporters. So I shouted, "Build that wall" for good measure. The cops just shuffled their feet.
When they asked the chick if she wanted to press charges, she said, "Please just cut off his huevos." I guess she was an illegal and was scared to go to court. The woman hopped back on the train, and the cops had a little discussion. Once the train was out of the station, they decided to turn me loose.
I have this great collection of sexy women's shoes. Slingbacks, sandals, flats, you name it, they're all in my collection. I only have one of each pair because I snatch them off women's feet. It's kind of a hobby of mine, and I've gotten real good at it. That's because I studied evidence law before dropping out of community college.
I always make my grabs in towns that are at least twenty miles from my home. First, I pick the place where I'm gonna grab the shoe. Usually, it's a restaurant because women are sittin' down there. The next thing I do is plan my escape. I do that by parking no more that a block from where I plan to strike. I also put a stolen plate on my car in case some do-gooder writes down the number. For good measure, I put on a Guy Fawkes mask right before I snatch the shoe. That way people are likely to think some nut job made the heist.
After I shuffle into the restaurant, I seat myself at a table. Nobody ever takes notice of me because I look like a computer geek. I take my time picking my target: I always pick a woman sittin' alone, never one with a man beside her. And while I'm choosing my target, I order a burger and fries and leave a ten dollar bill on the table. Man, just because I'm a pervert doesn't mean I'm a deadbeat too.
Once I've picked my target, I create a little distraction. I do this by rolling a smoke bomb across the restaurant floor. And while everyone's blinded by smoke, that's when I make my move. I hold my breath, put my Guy Fawkes mask on, and snatch myself the shoe. And then I walk out of the restaurant as though I'm late for a date.
Now no one ever follows me because they're coughing from the smoke. So I'm really good at keeping my cool when I walk back to my car. I take off my Guy Fawkes mask in one quick motion and toss it into the street. Then I whistle a little tune as though I'm out for a stroll.
Once I'm behind the wheel of my car, I slowly drive away. I never run a red light or a stop sign because that'll attract attention. And, first chance I get, I park my car and switch my license plate.
Now all that planning is a pain in the ass, but I've only been caught one time. That was about a month ago when I made this stupid grab. It was a doofus move, and I should have known better. But after attending that Donald Trump rally, I felt badder than Doctor Doom.
I got caught when I was taking BART home from Berkeley--I go to night school there. I'm earning myself an associates degree in hotel management. And the University of California has an off-campus program that doesn't take up all your time.
Well, the moment I got to the train platform, I noticed this Asian chick. She was wearing a dress with a slit down the side and spike heels that looked like weapons. Her legs were longer 'an a giraffe's, her mouth was as red as a plum. So I decided, come hell or high water, that I had to have one of her shoes.
As the train came shrieking into the station, I shoved her onto her ass. And I grabbed me one of those spike heel pumps as though I was snatching a diamond. As I hustled back up the escalator, taking three steps at a time, I heard her screaming, "Pervert, pervert."
I walked through the concourse cool as you please, tucking the shoe under my jacket. But a couple of BART guards spotted me as I made my way through the turnstile. Man, those assholes were on my butt like I was Jeffrey Dahmer. And it was gonna be a bitch to outrun them because I don't have a whole lotta wind.
With BART's finest behind me, I raced down the street, and my lungs felt like they were on fire. To make matters worse, some demonstrators were blocking the whole damn street. Trump had just been elected president so protesters were everywhere. They were carrying signs that said Pussy Grabs Back and Not Our President. Well, I couldn't squeeze past those marchers so that donut squad tackled me.
As those goons cuffed me up, I took a big breath even though I was gasping for air. And then I threw my head back and bellowed "USA." And damn if this gang of Trump supporters didn't crowd around them guards. One of 'em said, "Let him go. You guys are just wannabe cops." Another said, "Watcha think you're doin' busting a patriot?"
While all that ruckus was going on, I slipped out of the handcuffs. Shit, that was kinda easy: my wrists are as thin as beanpoles. Then I picked up the shoe, which had dropped to the sidewalk, and ran like a greyhound on crack.
Later, when I got home to my bedroom, I sat down and stroked the shoe. It was a Bella Vita Dress Pump, one of those Italian brands. It looked great in my collection.
Did I tell you I do some peeping at the motel where I work? I have this special room that I only rent out to couples, and I've drilled a spy hole high up on the wall of the room right next to it. I've watched lots of couples through the hole while they're busy having sex. Sometimes, I film the sex with my iPhone so I can watch it again and again. Man, I've even filmed kinky stuff like bondage and golden showers.
I've watched hundreds of couples fornicate, and I only slipped up once. That happened a few weeks after Trump was elected president. What happened was this guy and his girlfriend checked into the motel around midnight. The guy was wearing a MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN cap, the kind they manufacture in China. And the girl was wearing this T-shirt that said, DRAIN THE SWAMP. The words DRAIN and SWAMP were sticking right out because her tits were the size of pumpkins.
Well, I booked the couple into my special suite--I even gave them a discount. Then I snuck into the room next door to them so I could watch them through the hole. I could hear the woman squealing because the walls are cardboard-thin. But I couldn't see a goddamn thing--he was doing her in the bathroom. Panicked, I ran to the tool closet and came back with my drill. Then I bored a hole through the part of the wall that was opposite the bathroom.
Now I don't know how they heard the drill as loud as that woman was squealing. But, the next thing I know, they were standing in the room where I was keeping watch. They both looked ready to kick my ass even though they were draped in towels. I couldn't even say I was hanging a picture because my Willie was still in my hand.
The guy said, "What are you? The king of the perves?" The woman said, "Hit him, Judd." So I hummed a few bars of "Made in America" then I hollered "USA."
The guy said, "Honey, I'd knock him flat if he wasn't a real American."
The woman kinda giggled and hitched the towel higher on her breasts. "We do have to stick together," she said. "And he's such a sweet-looking boy."
Well, we ended up having a threesome and I waived the charge for the room. And before they left the next morning, both of them shook my hand. They even gave me a mug that read, Deplorables for Trump.
Sometimes, when I'm done jacking off for the day, I think about my life. I coulda been a Green Beret or maybe a Navy Seal. Except that I don't have a whole lotta wind and I don't like pushups much. And I've got some pretty bad habits that I've wrapped up in the flag. But there's no point in gettin' down on myself--I'm havin' too much fun. And America, real America, has taken me into its heart.
James Hanna wandered Australia for seven years before settling on a career in criminal justice. He spent twenty years as a counselor in the Indiana Department of Corrections and has recently retired from the San Francisco Probation Department, where he was assigned to a domestic violence and stalking unit. James' familiarity with criminal types has provided fodder for his writing. James' short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Old Crow Review, Sandhills Review, Edge City Review, Fault Zone, Eclipse, The Literary Review, Red Savina Review, The California Writers Club Literary Review, Zymbol, The Sand Hill Review, Empty Sink Publishing, and Crack the Spine. Three of James' stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. James' novels are available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. His debut novel, The Siege, depicts a hostage standoff in a penal facility. Call Me Pomeroy, James' second novel, chronicles the madcap tales of a street musician on parole who joins Occupy Oakland and its spinoff movements in England and France. He does not join for political reasons but to get on television, attract an agent, and land a million dollar recording contract. Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer, calls the book an instant classic. A Second, Less Capable Head and Other Rogue Stories, James' third book, includes "Fruits' which was published in Issue 24 of The Fear of Monkeys. BookViral writes: "A Second Less Capable Head delivers one of the most powerful and cutting collection of stories you will ever read."
“USA” was originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of The Broke Bohemian, and is featured in James Hanna’s upcoming collection: Shackles and More Crippling Tales.