Couch Matinee: "FINAL SECONDS" Episode 1

Written by Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bobby Simmons never had a time in his life when he went out cruising bars.

Married at 19 straight out of high school to MaryJane Dodd, Bobby had gone to work for her dad at the local college working in the facilities management department. All his friends kidded that this was as close as he would ever get to actually going to college, but Bobby never gave up hope of actually trying to take some classes. Maybe not here at Hillsdale College, but, who said he couldn’t do a night course at Clondike County Community College, or 4C’s as it was known.

Large Nachos Supreme


Bobby Simmons never had a time in his life when he went out cruising bars.

Married at 19 straight out of high school to MaryJane Dodd, Bobby had gone to work for her dad at the local college working in the facilities management department. All his friends kidded that this was as close as he would ever get to actually going to college, but Bobby never gave up hope of actually trying to take some classes. Maybe not here at Hillsdale College, but, who said he couldn’t do a night course at Clondike County Community College, or 4C’s as it was known.

MaryJane had her job as a bookkeeper over at Snyder Electronics and between their two salaries; they were able to rent a one bedroom apartment on the east side of Hillsdale over Mr. Sullivan’s Jewelry store. On Friday nights they would to the 6:00 pm movie at the theatre in town. So far, Hillsdale had not been taken over by a 20 theatre megaplex, though there is one over in Palington 30 miles away. The college kids would drive that far, which was just fine with Bobby, he hated when they came in packs and chatted and laughed and ruined it for everyone else.

After the movie they would head over to Collegiate Pizzeria. The little shop had been here as long as anyone could remember. Now owned by the grandson of the original owner, it was a favorite of the college kids. Normally by the time the movie got out and he and MaryJane walked over, they had thinned out; heading back to their dorm rooms to drink beer and smoke marijuana and then pass out and stuff up the toilets with their vomit and beer cans and worse.

Then Bobby and Tim Howard (the other low guy on the totem pole) would have to go in and clean it all up. Tim was older. He had worked over in Hadley, until they closed the factory there, but he and Bobby got along well enough and the day always went along faster when Bobby was with Tim.


See, Tim would always be cracking jokes and always at the expense of the students and faculty. Never the hired help, those people in facilities or food services. They were all protected by the “Orb of Reality” as Tim called it.

Bobby had been on the job for about a month when he first worked with Tim. As they walked across the campus toward the dorms, Tim began to explain his view of the world…well the world within Tim’s mind that is.

“Ya see, dares-a two kindsa peoples. Dem like us, who live in da Orb Of Reality and den ya gots the fickelty and brats dat goes to dis school. Day all live in da Spit-Licka Zone”. Days dinks dat day know everyding dares to know. Buts ya knows what Bobby-boy? I tells ya whats, day know squatzola ‘bout da real world. What it like ta wonda iffen ya can buy a loaf a bread. Nope day not got one small mouse turds wert of real world brains.”

“See Pafessa Benson ova dare, know what he does on vacation? I’ll tell ya what Bobby-boy he goes to a nudie town. Ya know where days are neked alls da times. Can you magine Bobby-boy what dat be like? I’s tell ya what, it be like hell. Can ya magine all da old bitches wit dare baggage all hangin out? Ya know what dat be like Bobby-boy? I’s tell ya, I don wanna know so don tell me k’s? And I’s not lookin’ at no udder guys jewels. Whatta dink I’m some weirdo? Dat what ya dink Bobby-Boy? Nah, I’s know ya know I been married to BeckySue for ova 20 years. We ain’t got no kids cause her plumin’ din’ werk, but don’ tell nobody I told ya dat.”

“Ya know, ya don want peoples know ya bidness, den don leave da folda thing ina garbage for anyone to find...I saw it and it had picktures and all of these nude women and day was pretty and all but ya know dem models and all and da real women you will have dere be ugly as hit wit the ugly truck”

“HEY, dare dat big shot quaback from da football team. Wanna know sumthin’ bout him? I’ll tell ya, it is some shocker boy. Iffen anyone knew dis, well, let me just say he be goin ‘nother school, dat’s iffen day’d even have em. Well dare I was working on da berler one morning afore ya gots here, and ya know I wanna just say I like ya Bobby-boy, ya good folks, not like dese spit-lickas all rounds us.”

Tim waved his arm all around almost slamming Bobby in the chest as he indicated the faculty and students all around them and then continued,

“Not like dem at alls. Doun matter ya Mista Dodd’s sons-in-laws, buts I’d like ya iffen we mets in da bar in town. Hey ya goes out for a brewsaroonie, ya gotta come wit me to da Rose. Days gots five differen’ types beer and ya can gets onion and cheese sammiches…”

“Wait, whats we talking bout? Oh yeah the quaback, rights? Ya asked if dare was a secret bout him. Well I’d neva told ya dis but since ya asked wells, like I said already, I was workin on da berler over in da ‘misinstration buildin’. . Day say day gots not nuf heat. How’s bout day try livin’ witout any heat, like BeckSue and I hadda when we first got hitched. Day complain it not sebenty-five degrees in der offices. Spit-lickas.”

“Anyways, dear I was workin’ when I heard sumthin I thought maybe Mista Dodd be comin’ to check up on me. I look ‘roun the corner and see Mr. Big-Time Quaback wit anudda guy. Dis udder guy, he were no football playa, long hair and all. And day look ‘roun and den, ya won believe wha I seen. Da hippie han’ the quaback sumthin’ look like a bottle like day have at da doc’s when day give ya shot for so ya don’ get da flu. You get da flu-shots Bobby-boy? Cause iffen ya need, my doc, he nice guy, he give ya one I bet iffen ya need. So anyway whatta ya dink of dat stuff?”

From that small monologue Bobby had learned that Tim had never met the sound “TH” in his life; was obviously someone who liked to go where he shouldn’t and had lots of secrets; always immediately answered his own questions, and had given him the name ‘Bobby-boy’ which was going to irate him to all hell. Surprisingly enough, over the weeks Bobby didn’t even hear it when Tim used the term.


It was now seven months later and over those months, Bobby had come to realize it wasn’t hard to learn the secrets of the “spit-lickers”, as they didn’t even know Bobby existed. He could be right there in the shower area, unstopping a drain and they moved around him without noticing. “So Mary how was Stevie last night. You have to tell me is what I heard true?” “What did you hear Alice?” “Well at cheerleading practice Connie was saying that last summer he came to visit her and that he has one of the biggest she has ever seen. So, I know he spent the night, I heard you two this morning going at it again. The walls aren’t that thick. Spill girl.”

Mary laughed. “Alice, when are you going to learn that Connie hasn’t told the truth her whole life? Let me bust your little fantasy cause just like the guy on Fantasy Island, Big man on campus Steve has a real tiny tattoo, why do you think I let him do it again this morning…I mean the two times equaled one with a normal size guy!”

The two girls left laughing as Bobby just shook his head and wondered what stories were being told by Stevie to his friends.

The money was good and Bobby was on his own or with Tim most of the time, so, as long as he got his list of items done each day, he didn’t have to deal with his boss, who was also his father-in-law. So, Bobby Simmons spent 9 hours a day, five days a week being invisible.

Until that day in October.

It seemed as if the entire campus had problems. There was a clogged toilet on the fifth floor of Emmons Hall; a bank of lights had gone out in the main Library’s second floor; the boiler in the administration building was still acting up no matter how many repairs they made to it. Bobby had already diagnosed the problem. The boiler needed to be replaced, but no one wanted to spend the money. Then there was the assignment Bobby hoped he would get, but knew his father-in-law/boss would never assign him, the showers in the girl’s locker rooms at the gym were clogged.

Bobby had heard the legendary stories of guys working, with all the approved signage noting “men” working and still having the athletes come in from practice stripping down and taking showers without caring who was watching.


Bobby was sent to the fifth floor of Emmons to, if he was lucky, pull a condom or tampon from a stuffed toilet, while Tim got the locker room job.

Bobby got off the elevator and immediately noticed the scent of pot being smoked somewhere on the floor. One of the other reasons Tim always said “dese kids day don live in da Orb of Reality, no sir, not one turds wert. Where in da real world ya gonna be able to sit in ya room and become a veginator? I tell ya where, no where.”

Bobby walked down the hall to the right, to the end where the co-ed bathroom was located. Before walking in, as was the rule, he knocked hard three times and cracked the door no more then six inches, “HELLO…MAINTENANCE HERE…ANYONE IN HERE…HELLO?” Bobby waited and then knocked again and announced himself one more time before walking in.

The room was empty. This building had four bathrooms on each floor, one in each corner. Each was set up in the same basic fashion. In the door, on the left are four sinks; on the right are another four sinks. At the end of the sinks you could turn left or right. To the right are 6 showers, three on each side. To the left are 6 shower stalls, three on each side. Bobby set up the warning sign just outside the door warning of Man working.

It was immediately apparent to Bobby that it was the far stall on the left that was jammed. Walking over to it, he pushed the door in and looked down to see a combination of human waste, what appeared to be a roll of toilet paper and at least one beer can. Shaking his head he pulled on the thick rubber gloves and mask and began unjamming the situation.

After about 5 minutes, Bobby heard the door open and two voices talking.


“..and I am sorry, but I did not agree to that.” Voice one was saying. Then the second voice “Look, you took the stuff and now you have to pay for it.” Voice one sounded a bit more unsure now “Look I can get you the money, just give me a couple of weeks.” Voice two obviously did not like that answer and Bobby heard a loud thump and stuck his head out a bit. He could not really see who was there. They were around the corner near the sinks and the door. The voices got louder. Voice two, the bad guy in Bobby’s view was getting louder “Mr. Big shot, your money is no good…I told you how you will be paying your bill. You got pros lookin’ at you now, and why? Because I got you the shit you needed to get bigger and badder that’s why. And now it is time for you to do for me.”

“Look, you can’t really think I can change the score of a game all by myself now do you?” said voice one.

And that is when Bobby realized who one of the voices belonged to. He had heard him during locker room meetings when he was working there, Mr. Invisible.

Bobby listened closer as the Quarterback continued, “You said it yourself, I am going to be signing a big contract in about six months. I can give you so much more money then.”

Another loud bang and Bobby peeked out of the stall again and saw Alex Stern, the quarterback flying at the back wall and crumbling onto the floor. Bobby ducked back in as a very large man with a tangle of black curly hair came after the body on the floor. The assailant was wearing a long black coat, jeans and cowboy boots made of rattlesnake skin. His hair covered most of his face as he leaned down and grabbed Alex Stern by the collar and lifted the top half of his body off the floor. That’s when Bobby ducked back out of sight.

Shaking the body, the thug screamed into the fallen quarterbacks face “Look you little piece of shit, you WILL lose by more then four points on Saturday. Miss a pass, fumble the ball on the goal line…I don’t give a shit what you have to do. You want to play football after Saturday you better make sure this happens. Because no one is gonna let you play when we show them all the videos we have and the blood samples we took from you during your doping sessions. Yeah, don’t look so surprised; like they really were to monitor your blood levels…did you think we weren’t going to have something to hold against you? Did you think this was a Boy Scout troop, that we were friends? You can’t be that stupid mister quarterback.” At that point Bobby could hear the outside door open and the dark man yelled “YOU WANT TO USE ANOTHER BATHROOM, DIDN’T YOU SEE THE SIGN, WE ARE WORKING IN HERE!”

The door closed quickly. Bobby was shaking he was so afraid. Now tucked into the corner of the stall, he probably would have tried to balance himself on the bowl but was afraid if he slipped he would make too much noise.

“Now…are we clear? You will lose to State by more then 4 points…or you career and your life as you know it is over.”

Bobby heard another thump, a body hitting a tiled floor he presumed, and then the click of boots, the door opening, and then silence.

After a little while Bobby heard some more noise and he risked peaking out of the stall. Alex Stern was lifting himself off the floor. There was blood coming from a cut in his scalp. His shirt was torn and you could see where the tears had streaked his face.

Alex went to the sink and cleaned himself up as best he could, using paper towels to clean and stop the blood. He was lucky, he knew that.

Alex then turned and walked out of sight. The door was opened and Bobby knew he was alone. He still waited another five minutes before picking up his tool belt and walking out of the bathroom.

He picked up his cell phone and spent the next three minutes explaining to his father-in-law/boss that he was feeling very sick and was heading home with a fever.

His FIL/B told him to feel better and he would send someone else over to finish the job in Emmons.

As he drove home, Bobby could not keep his hands from shaking.




Original work of fiction 2007 VEMjr
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental
Originally Published On 1/29/07

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This is a collection of my works of fiction. They began as an occasional post on my home blog BIG LEATHER COUCH and then evolved into MONDAY MATINEE ON THE COUCH.

I wanted to find a spot for them all to reside and to make it more convenient for anyone wanting to explore the recesses of my brain.

Hopefully, you will find something you like here. Two stories, THE QUEST and HER FATE are unfinished novels.

I have done much work on THE QUEST and hope in the next year to finish it and see if it can be published. HER FATE, on the other hand is much more involved and might never get finished!

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