The Man is back! Acquistion
of seasons 4 and 5 has helped Fred record his
thoughts on a less than stellar episode. But that doesn't stop him from
Newbies, Fred has been
providing his own running commentary on the comings
and goings at Suite 1157 for some time now - all previous entries are posted at The KrebsFiles. I don't give away the episode involved - you have to
figure that out.
The title comes from
an old American folk song about John Henry, who worked
on the railroads when the West was expanding. John Henry was the Steel
Drivin' Man, and Fred is...well, you see.
As always, your feedback
is appreciated. As always, special thanks to
Lauryn and Susannah for their constant help and support.
Nancy, you may archive.
Steele Drivin' Man 24/?
DATE: May 5, 1986
MAINTENANCE: Transmission fluid change
After I'd met Miss Holt's mother a
couple of years ago, I was pretty sure
Miss Holt was lucky and had gotten all the normal genes in her family. I
didn't know where all the wacky genes from Mother went until Tuesday when
Miss Holt asked me to take her to her sister's house in Tarzana. Wow, what
a looney tune! Miss Holt hadn't said what was up, but when we got there I
found out I was in charge of transporting pets from the Pipers' house to the loft while they went on vacation. No problem - put the dog in the back
seat, hold the cat and off we go. Was I ever wrong. When the kids
starting trooping out with some cages and aquariums, I knew this was not the usual cocker spaniel.
Mrs. Piper was just a mess - the kids
brought everything out to the
driveway, and without thinking I popped the trunk. Well, I realized what a
dumb mistake that was when I saw the look on her face. Miss Holt cut me
some eyes, and I quick opened the back door and slammed the trunk shut.
Miss Holt was trying to keep Mrs. Piper together, but Mrs. Piper kept
yelling about feeding instructions and waving these papers at her until I
thought Miss Holt was going to rip them to tiny shreds. It looked like
enough pages to be the Allied plan for the invasion of Normandy. So the
birdcage, the snake and the hamster went in the backseat while Miss Holt
held the goldfish bowl, and the turtle sat up front with me. Ended up on
the floor twice but I managed to snag him when we stopped for a light. Miss
Holt took a quick look at the pages and then leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Mrs. Piper could wear down Rambo.
I thought Mr. Steele and Miss Holt
were getting around on their own, but
apparently something was wrong with the Rabbit because the next morning I
took them to LeBlanc's gym, and then some place that wasn't open yet called
the Aerobitorium. Geez, how do people come up with these names, anyway? I
killed some time reading my Motor Trend, and then we were back to Tarzana.
I didn't understand why the driveway was full of cops, but after I let Mr.
Steele and Miss Holt out of the car, I couldn't help but notice the garage
door lying in the grass. And major skid marks. I could just hear Mrs.
Piper all the way from the Grand Canyon.
The cops stayed but we headed back
to the office. On the way the phone rang and it was guess who
- Mrs. Piper, who had heard from the neighbors about
what was going on. Mr. Steele answered but he didn't waste anytime handing
the phone over to Miss Holt. She tried to stay calm but before long she
hung up on her sister. Obviously Mr. Steele thought that was all pretty
hilarious. Then Miss Krebs called, and we were off to the Valley to the
school district bus yard. On the way in there was a tow truck pulling a
familiar looking station wagon, and unfortunately Mr. Steele recognized it
too. I let them out next to the maintenance sheds and when they spotted
Miss Krebs and some guy in a Hawaiian shirt they disappeared between some
A black unmarked pulled up and looked
me over - he gave me the creeps. He
went into the sheds. Two minutes later, the car phone rang and next thing I knew I was tailing a school bus. That's something I never learned at
chauffeur's school. But you could hardly call it a tail - we stopped every
block or so, and the kids kept looking out the back windows at me. When
they finally got out Mr. Steele and Miss Holt wandered off with Hawaiian guy and I took Miss Krebs back to the office.
I thought I was done for the day but
Miss Krebs interrupted my Lakers game
and asked me to take her to the police station to get Mr. Steele and Miss
Holt out of the "pokey", as she called it. Again?! They have awfully long
rap sheets for detectives! We dropped Miss Krebs off at the office (at that hour I don't know what she'd want to be doing) and then Mr. Steele told me
to take them to a pool hall right off of Hollywood Boulevard. What a joint
- the cigarette smoke billowed out when they opened the door. I was not
happy sitting there in a very expensive car in that low rent district. Leave the beast alone at that curb for more than two minutes and it'd be stripped
down to the chassis in no time. Good thing they were gone just five minutes, even though it felt like thirty. And they brought the cigarette smoke and
beer with them - yuck.
Then it was back to the Aerobiwhatever.
I thought I heard gunshots from
inside, then a car peeled out and I went into panic mode. Fortunately Miss
Holt came out a side door a moment later, and she looked calm (but
irritated) so I figured they were OK. About 10 minutes later we were on our way when Miss Holt checked in with Miss Krebs. She found out Vinnie (I
guess that's Hawaiian guy) was at the bus station, and neither one of them
was happy to hear that. Since it was late I cheated on a couple reds and we hauled in right behind a cop car. They were out the door before I could
even stop and when they went inside I couldn't see what was going on. Then
I heard shots, and Hawaiian guy came racing around the end of the bus and
dived into the luggage compartment! A guy with a gun was right behind him,
and Mr. Steele right on his tail. Miss Holt went around the other way, and
by the time I got out, the gunman was out cold on the pavement.
I don't know what it'll be like if
they ever open the Aerobijoint, but I
think we all had enough exercise for one day.
To Be Continued...