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by: Max Burbank

Haven’t read Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4? Go back and read them now or this won’t make one damn bit of sense.

Some things you never want to see. A child disappointed at Christmas, a Squirrel getting it's head crushed by a semi, James Brolin wearing a leather cap, vest and chaps, his rig snugged up in a leather sack about the size of a marbles bag.

It's not that Brolin looks bad as a leather Daddy, which he really does. It's what the site of his pale, wrinkled carcass all gussied up in shiny black skins like a naughty pony standing in front of a stretch limo means. Shit. Some people call AAA when they total their wheels. Oprah calls Streisand.

O rounded up our sad little crew and herded us toward the Limo. Meredith made up for her silence by breathing like a Squid trying to eat Jell-O through a straw. Celine chirruped little nonsense syllables now and then, like a parakeet having a seizure, or maybe she was thinking out loud in French Canadian.

"Say Brolin, Nice to see you," I small talked, "Damn shame about your Reagan pic. Didn't see it myself, I think paying for ShowTime is like paying for sex, except I like sex, but that's just me." He didn't say anything, didn't even look at me. Getting into the stretch, I saw the back of his Chaps were seatless. I'm not what you'd call a Brolin fan, but I guess if you knew his work you might say his face had aged gracefully. The same argument could not be made for his ass. Not that I ever saw his ass in it's youth. I just assume it looked a whole lot better than it did now. I mean, it must have, unless he had Progeria of the Ass.

"Ey!" Celine spasmed, "I know you! You are ze James Bro-LIN! I am ze ‘uge fan, Nec Pas? Amytiville ‘or-air? MAGNIFIQUE! You play ze fa-ZAIR? To Dana Car-VEY? In ze tres brillyant film ze Mastair of ze Dis-guy-ZEZ? You know? TUR-TEL! TUR-TEL!"

Brolin was as silent as the tomb. You wouldn't have known he was alive if not for the tell tale motion of his hands on the wheel and the horrible sound his Ass made peeling off the leather seat when he shifted.

"Ay, Misouier Le Bro-lin, why you make to be ze Sho-fair, eh? You are fay-MUS, you don' need the ‘ow you say, moon-lie-ting, an even if you are between ze jobs, you are mar-reed to Ze-

"Shut it." Hissed O.

"But, his wife, she is Ze-"

"Shut your damn croissant hole or I'll open this door, drag you across my lap and sand your face off on the pavement."

Celine shut up. Meredith either sobbed once or tried to swallow a live Halibut; it was hard to tell with the dome light off. Brolin's ass peeled off the seat again. He had to be uncomfortable. Poor bastard probably hadn't been comfortable since Marcus Welby went off the air. I guess when you've been on the most prolonged downhill career slide in Hollywood History, marrying... Her... seems like a way out. Of course a man might have considered eating the business end of a twelve gauge first.

"O..." I started.

"You shut it too, jokeboy."

"Hmmm, let me think about that," I mused. "No. No, I don't think I will 'shut it' thanks. I might have shut it before your little self-affirmation by comparison, Canuck, Clear Channel Cooze croaked Walters. I might have shut it after you took one look at 20-20's pinnate head and fainted like a Japanese schoolgirl at a Bay City Roller's concert. I might even have shut it after you snoozed out at the wheel and almost KILLED US ALL, but now that you've decided to ice the cake by delivering us GIFT WRAPPED to the single most EVIL person on the PLANET, a woman who makes Hannibal Lecter look like a fucking GIRL SCOUT with SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER-"

"I SAID I'D FIX THIS, DIDN'T I?" Oprah bellowed. "Well how the hell you gonna fix something as big as deep sixing Barbara Walters? You got a fix for that, Mr. Comedian? No? How ‘bout you, Titanic? You the one made horseradish dip out of her brain with your goddamn Jellybean! You gonna patch up THAT misunderstanding, you demented Canadian stick figure?"

"Lidden, Obrah," Meredith started, but Oprah shot out a hand, grabbed her broken nose and twisted once left, once right, and the former legitimate journalist passed right out.

"No," She continued as if there had been no interruption. "No. You can't fix it. Only a big connection can fix a mess like this. You two sorry ass mugs got connections like that? Don't make me laugh."

What could I say? She had me. Truth was, Oprah was the biggest gun I knew. Truth was, Liza could have beat the crap out of Streisand one handed, but that was a lot of barbiturates, bourbon and face lifts under the bridge and if Judy's Daughter still had the neurons that remembered me, it wouldn't be fondly.

"Hey, Brolin, ol' buddy, ol' pal," I said, leaning up over the seat, catching a whiff of something that smelled like old spice and dead animals, "I gotta bleed the weasel. What say we pull over at the next rest stop and we stretch our legs, huh?"

He didn't say anything, just kept driving.

"Say," I tried, "I heard on Access Hollywood right before you got married you put your nuts in a blind trust. That true?"


"So, uh, your mom told me your real Dad is Ernest Borgnine, but that was just pillow talk and she was pretty drunk. Ever met him?"

Zippo. Not even an Ass peel.

Nothing to do but sit back, enjoy the ride and wait to meet Streisand. I thought back to the time in High school I drank that gallon jug of Robitussin, ditched the senior field trip and hid out in the "Small World" ride at Disney.

This was worse.

To be continued?

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