Poor Fred! From dream
state to recurring nightmare. Here are TWO related
(unfortunately) SDM's for your enjoyment, which my editor Lauryn has dubbed
"The Rocky Horror Show".
My recurring thanks to
Lauryn for her skilled editing (particularly helping
Fred keep his voice) and astute observations, and to Susannah for local
Nancy, please archive. As always, your feedback is appreciated.
Steele Drivin' Man 22/?
Date: May 24, 1984
Maintenance: oil change
I sometimes wonder how people decide
what kind of music they like. Like
Miss Holt, for example. Whenever I move the Rabbit or take it to the shop
for her, her radio is always on that KROT station. I guess it's all right
-- Cindy Lauper doesn't do much for me. I haven't quite figured out what Mr. Steele likes. I mean, I take them to plenty of concerts like the symphony,
but I don't know if he goes to the ballet because he really likes the
classical stuff, or if he goes because Miss Holt loves it. But she never
has KUSC on the radio. Whenever I have to sit, I hope it's during the times that KUSC is playing jazz. Now that's music - Brubeck, Monk, Louis Prima,
even big band. I sure wish the beast had a cassette player - then I
wouldn't care how long I had to wait for them.
Anyway, we started the day with a
trip to County Hospital. I managed to
find a convenient place to wait while Mr. Steele and Miss Holt were inside
for quite a while. I had plenty to admire while I waited, though. Across
the street was a really rare piece of automotive beauty - a 1931 Rolls Royce Phantom. What a work of art - over 7600 cc's, six cylinder, syncromesh
gearbox, 144 inch wheelbase! When they came out of the hospital they were
talking and Miss Holt noticed it then, too. They crossed the street to
check it over and were back inside again in two shakes.
For some reason Miss Holt wanted to
make a quick trip over to the Broadway
downtown, and when they came out of the hospital for what turned out to be
the last time, they had company. This dark haired woman was chattering away but Miss Holt and Mr. Steele were only half listening to her while they kept checking the Rolls across the street. Mr. Steele pointed it out to the lady but then they all hustled into the back seat - Mr. Steele told her not to
stare. Once we were underway the woman said something about getting her hog from the yard, and I almost burst out laughing when it was obvious Mr.
Steele didn't understand her. Maybe this lady would be OK, if she owns a
Harley. That's always a check in the plus column for me. You can have your
Hondas, but nothing rides and sounds like a Harley.
Mr. Steele told me to get a move on,
and our next stop was an impound lot in the Valley. Miss Holt
sent Mr. Steele and the lady off on her hog - too bad I couldn't
have volunteered to take it someplace for her, 'cause he didn't
look too thrilled. They took off, and the Rolls fell in right behind, and
me next. It was the big engine parade.
We caught the Rolls in an alley and
when the two guys got out I had to stare - they looked like they
escaped from some old movie. Miss Holt wanted to
know why they were following the woman, and before we could react one of
them shot at Mr. Steele! I jumped out to help, but as fast as Mr. Steele
went down, he was back up again, checking himself for blood that wasn't
there. Then Miss Holt grabbed the gun and aimed it at the Rolls. I wasn't
fast enough to grab it myself before she pumped two shots at the Rolls. I
thought she'd really lost it until I realized nothing had been hurt, not Mr. Steele and not the car. Blanks! Now Mr. Steele was really hot, and the two
We had another parade back to the
office and they all went upstairs, so I
grabbed some lunch. Afterward I took Mr. Steele and Miss Holt to Hollywood
to an ugly two-story office building that needed a good cleaning. They were inside for a few minutes and then we headed back to the office. Miss Holt
picked up her car and sent me to a hotel to pick up a couple more movie
types - a little old lady and a guy in a suit like my granddad used to wear.
I took them to a lounge near LAX like she told me and waited.
It was getting pretty boring sitting
outside, so when I heard the band start up I stuck my head in
to see what was going on. Who should I see but biker
chick in a slinky cocktail dress, holding a microphone. The band was
swinging along and I thought this might be good, but when she opened her
mouth, did I change my mind fast! I haven't heard anything so awful since
the day I accidentally stepped on Miss Holt's cat!
As if things could get any worse,
this huge guy walked in and biker chick
strangled off the song and ran for the back. Mr. Steele and Miss Holt were
right behind them, and then it wasn't long until the Halloween party joined
in. I followed, but by the time everyone had crammed themselves in the
hallway then into a dressing room, I got there just in time for the
linebacker type to run me over on his way to the exit.
After we had pulled ourselves together,
I took my two movie folks back and
called it a night.
The next morning when we headed out,
Mr. Steele was on low simmer. Something had happened last evening
that really got to him. I could tell Miss Holt was worried and
she was trying her best to calm him down. I know how he can be
when he goes off on a tear, and she was right to worry. She had a different idea, though, and while she was on the car phone it gave me a start, but I
caught on to where this was going. After a couple of minutes I hung a big
yoo-ey to get us headed to Euclid St.
When we got there I pulled up behind
a snow white limo that said "Dome 3" on the plate.
Miss Holt and Mr. Steele got out and came up on it real slow and
careful. They both yanked open a front door, and on the driver
side a body
fell over! Obviously the guy was dead, and Mr. Steele was so frustrated he
pushed the guy back in and slammed the door shut again. Obviously he was
not happy with the way things were going because after he and Miss Holt had
a few words he walked off. Miss Holt wanted to know where he was going, but he didn't answer. She got back in muttering under her breath something
awful, and I took her to the office.
In the middle of the afternoon I took
Miss Holt to biker chick's apartment
in Van Nuys and waited. I watched the old lady I had picked up yesterday
get out of a cab and go into the lobby. I didn't think anything of it until I heard shots inside, and then I was on my way into the building in a flash.
Just as I went in I saw Mr. Steele make a beautiful flying tackle on the
staircase and flatten some guy who was on his way upstairs. I had to look
twice because at first I wasn't sure if it was Mr. Steele doing the
tackling. His hair was all slicked back and he was wearing gold chains, an
earring, and a flowered shirt. Funny, I didn't think he was the Halloween
After they landed on the terrazzo,
I realized Miss Holt was on the landing
with the old lady lying on the floor, and the expression on her face told us everything we needed to know.
It took forever for the ambulance and the cops to wrap things up but finally we were done and I could take everybody home.
The next morning Miss Krebs asked
me to come up and help her move some
flowers; I mean a mountain of them. Mr. Steele and Miss Holt must have had
visitors because they were in their offices with the doors closed so she had me work real quietly while they were busy. We filled up a whole elevator
car with them. Then she gave me a short list of nursing homes right nearby, and I made a lot of old people smile that morning.