Boat Ride

July, 30 2004
The artist formerly known as Fearless Leader made fake tickets for a Bay Cruise. He made copies of real tickets using a colored photocopy machine at Kinko’s Copy Shop. Then he used the real tickets to take a boat ride with the Old Bat, who was named Helen. He saved the fake tickets for a second boat ride with Agent M. It was no so much that he was broke, but he liked to cheat whenever possible.

The day was young and full of enthusiasm. But, as soon as they got on the Boat, Fearless Leader began to tell a story with a great deal of negativity. This seems to foreshadow directly what was to follow on July 31, 2004, the Next Day.  What happened on the next day is too horrible to recount.

Woodleaf: I was dating a girl, when I when I was a young man, back in the day. She was the daughter of a prominent Jewish Comedian. Her father hired a deprogramming team to get her away from me.

This did not seem like a very nice story, but Agent M. tried to show polite interest. A deprogrammer? Really, you don’t say, is that not extreme?

They were talking in dining area, when suddenly Fearless Leader pulled out his cell phone, and said, “I have to call the Old Bat, and this will just be a minute.”

“Who is the Old Bat?” Agent M inquired curiously.

“Well, this is a very complex business deal, I am working on, and what I tell you must be in the strictest confidence.”

Agent M wanted to know all about it, but was trying not to sound too nosy, least he start to suspect that she was a spy.

“There is a rich old lady,” Fearless Leader explained, “and when she dies, and that could be sooner then later, (if you catch my drift), I intend to inherit her property and money.”

“However, there is small snag in the plan,” he continued in a lower more confidential tone, “There are some retards standing in my way.”

“You see, Agent M, ” Fearless Leader spoke in a tone of voice that was now starting to scare her, “I have plans for them, if they foil my plans.”

“Ok, that is fine by me!” Agent M. tired to sound cheerful and not afraid. “I just have to go to the ladies room, and do my makeup again.”

In the ladies bathroom it was dark and the boat was rolling about. Agent M. reached into her pursue for her Makeup Bag. Nothing it in gave her any comfort. The colors were wrong for her skin tone. The lipstick made her lips look too big. She reflected in the mirror upon her lack of a chin, and her general unattractiveness for a while. The boat was swaying too much to be able to put on the make up correctly without mistakes. Makeup can’t really make up for my lack of chin, she thought sadly. If only I had been more beautiful, or had access to plastic surgery while I was still young. My whole life would have taken a different path.

She opens her compact, which is secret line to the Organization.

“I am on a boat with Fearless Leader,” she says into the compact, “What should I do?”

“Remember the cyanide suicide capsule hiding inside that tooth, that is hollowed out and gold. If he tries to question you, you know you are going to crack and confess that you work for us, so consume the capsule before he has the chance to interrogate you. And by the way, you are in great danger. If he approaches you near the guard railing as if he is coming in for a kiss, remember he is hiding a knife in his suit jacket, and he plans to stab you in the heart once, but very deeply, and throw you overboard. You body will be quickly eaten by sharks, and no one will know what happened to you.

“Oh God, Oh God,” now Agent M is crying, “What will I do?”

“Just go back to his table and act like nothing unusual is going on,” said the Agency.

So she casually makes her way back to Fearless Leader, but is dismayed to find him still on the phone. As he talks on and on, she gets the sick feeling that he is only talking to popcorn and not to any old lady at all.

Agent M. selects some candies strawberries for desert, but the lunch is not a very good one. The food seems low quality. They go up on the top deck and have their photos taken by helpful tourists.

bay bridge
After the boat has docked, and they are back on shore, Fearless Leader wants to go to a porn store to look for a magazine with an article about the Dreamachine, but Agent M. declines to go in the porn store. She knows they have security cameras, and it would unsuitable for a part-time nursery school substitute teacher (her cover story) to go into a porn store. She waits for Fearless Leader at the Goodwill. She looks at the clothes on the racks, and selects a conservative, flannel, high neck, granny nightgown. Fearless Leader finds a social register book and tires to show her some names of some of the people he knows, but she does not know anyone in the social register. Fearless Leader says he wants to send flower or a gift to one of his ex-girl friends who has had a baby. This seems vaguely like stalking to Agent M, but she does not say so. It is only when she is really tired from not sleeping that she can’t control her mouth.

They exit the Goodwill, and it seems Fearless Leader has scored some nitrous oxide. They decide to drive to the Legion of Honor. Agent M is driving, it’s her car, but Fearless Leader thinks they have arrived at the zoo. “No, we are not on Sloat Blvd,” she says.

Fearless Leader talks the desk clerks into giving them free admission to the Legion of Honor, because he tells them he wants to rent out the hall.  Macy sees him throw away the business card, they gave him.

The paintings in the regular collection are all very boring. She has seen them all too often, and there is no special exhibit. Shortly afterwards the whole thing will close down for a remodeling.

On the way back, Fearless Leader insists they stop at the Balboa theater. Once inside he get the owners into a long conversation about vague meaningless gestures to keep the theater going in the bad economy. But, the crash of 2008 has not even happened yet.

When Fearless Leader gets back to the car, he is filled with new ideas. “The Old Bat’s two houses will be worth more money, if we can sell them before the crash. I can foresee there will be a crash in housing prices. We must kill her before this happens. It is imperative that I inherit her houses while they retain their maximum value. I can use this money to invest in a Castle to keep my guests prisoner.”

“We need to head to the desert at once to find a San Pedro Cactus, Start driving!” he orders.

Fearless Leader looks at maps. “We need to hit 5 and then 10 to get to the Palm Springs Area.”

After driving for such a long time, Fearless Leader and Agent M arrive late at night. Their rental car is a convertible, and it is still fairly warm at night, due to the heat of the day irradiating back at them. Agent M opts for taking a nap in the car.

Filled with restless energy, Fearless Leader decides to go and look for the special plant.

Agent M wakes up to hear thumping noises, and she sees Fearless Leader kicking a defenseless cactus about the size of small canister vacuum cleaner.

This is completely absurd, she must be dreaming.

“Why are you kicking a cactus?” she ventures to ask him.

Fearless Leader is too busy kicking to answer, so she tires again.

“It’s a pity we had to drive all this way for nothing, but why are you kicking the cactus?”

“I am kicking the cactus, because it is not a San Pedro cactus. I have been looking all over this stupid desert for hours, and not one of these cacti are San Pedro cacti. The real reason I wanted to drive to the desert was to get a San Pedro Cactus, so I could take it, and have a psychedelic version of the future. I did not want to tell you the truth, so I made up a story.”


“I guess San Pedro Cacti are hard to find”, murmurs, Agent M. “The Peyote Cacti are very small, grow slowly, and harvested by all the other trippers. We should go to South America for Ayahuasca.”

Fearless leader takes out his phone and begins to look up poisonous plants. He decides on the Foxglove.

As they are driving back, Agent M explains the foxglove is a biennial, and won’t be blooming now. “I been growing a big one, like forever, and it just won’t bloom,” she complains.

“We don’t need flowers,” explains Fearless Leader. “I will make a salad using the leaves. Digitalis is a heart stopping drug, which will make it look like she died of a heart attack. No one will question a heart attack death at her age.”

The San Francisco Festival of Mandolins occurred on April 17, 2005,  but Macy did not go because she was too depressed.












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