Welcome back to the ongoing recap of Jason Elam’s first book in the RILEY COVINGTON series, Monday Night Jihad.
When we last left things, we found out that Hakeem Qasim is plotting VENGEANCE upon the Great Satan. We also witnessed our first football being played, and hey, it was a Mustangs victory, hooray!
Tuesday, December 23
Security guard for the Sky Ridge Medical Center, Michael Goff, has just gotten off work after another grueling 12-hour shift. He’s finally home with his wife, Marti, and young son Kevin. Kevin’s a little distracted, playing Madden football (Whoa, wait a second. It was established last chapter that the John Madden-analog in this reality is Jim Madison. You can’t just merge your universes like that, Elam!) on his XBox, but Michael starts waving around two Mustangs tickets for Monday night against the Baltimore Predators. Kevin flips out as only small children can, and starts doing Danie Colson’s “hoodaman” dance (No, I don’t understand why it’s not the “Who da man” or “Who the man” dance either). Marti asks Michael how he managed to get the tickets, and it turns out he offered to cover a coworker’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve shifts at the hospital. Marti’s a little upset, but dang if Kevin isn’t the happiest kid in Colorado right now.
Tuesday, December 23
Todd Penner is a waiter at Chili’s and he also works concessions at Mustangs home games when he’s not studying to graduate from Arapahoe Community College. He’s just put the penultimate payment on the tiny engagement ring he’s going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Jamie Starling. The plan is that Todd will finish up at ACC, transfer to Metropolitan State College and get his degree in business. Then, with Todd’s business acumen and Jamie’s 3D design and computer programming skills, the happy couple should be able to create a thriving company (I think Proust said the road to bankruptcy and divorce is paved with failed graphic design companies).
Tuesday, December 23
Carol Marks is a piano teacher who hates her current student, nine-year-old Eric. She doesn’t really need to keep teaching, either, since her husband makes enough for both of them (AS IT SHOULD BE! YOU CAN’T COOK A ROAST ON A PIANO, WOMAN!), however Carol’s extra income does provide its benefits. Namely, it allows Carol and Paul the ability to keep their Mustangs season tickets (The Marks family have held tickets since 1977, at the height of the Red Scare Defense, and also, the lows of getting thrashed by the Texas Outlaws in that year’s PFL Cup). With the season tickets comes the camaraderie of hanging out with the Buckaroos, a group of four families with neighboring seats. The Buckaroos have gotten close over the years, with one of the Marks boys marrying the daughter of another couple. However, the years have also whittled the group down as the kids have moved away, leaving just the parents to enjoy each other’s company. At this point, Carol only goes to the games to hang out with the other Buckaroos.
They had seen concerts there by everyone from Kelly Clarkson (her choice) to Evanescence (his choice). – lol, evanescence
He clicked on his AM radio and tuned it to 950. Sports analyst Jim Rome was on a tirade about the pitiful Bandits and their choke against the Mustangs on Sunday. – NO! I’LL WITHSTAND THE TORTURE AND RACISM AND OTHER FOUL SH*T, BUT GOD DAMN YOU, JASON ELAM, IF YOU SUBJECT ME TO JIM F*CKING ROME. I’LL BURN THIS BOOK DOWN IF HE SHOWS UP AGAIN.
Thursday, December 25
Riley parks outside the Ricci house and collects his packages, including the dessert he was asked to bring, an apple pie, just like Mamma Covington used to make (Except Riley’s a lazy jerk and bought his crust, what a chumpasaurus). He walks inside and is greeted by both Sal Ricci and tiny baby Alessandra. Sal quickly hustles off to change Alessandra nuclear waste spill of a diaper, leaving Riley to take the pie to Meg in the kitchen. She’s concerned about Sal’s recent change in demeanor, and asks Riley to see if there’s anything going on with Sal. Riley is pretty sure it’s just the nerves of the season getting to Sal, and Riley promises to beat the sh*t out of Sal if he’s having an affair, but promises to get to the bottom of the situation.
Thursday, December 25
CTD North Central Division Headquarters
New best pals, Scott Ross and Jim Hicks are exchanging gifts in the office. Hicks gives Ross a case of Yoo-Hoo, while Ross has bought Hicks the January issue of Guns & Ammo magazine. Since the office is pretty much dead, the dynamic duo decide to divulge family secrets about each other on a quid pro quo basis, which, according to Ross’s beliefs, was invented by Silence of The Lambs.
Hicks briefly mentions his two divorces and prompts Ross to divulge some of his back story. Scott’s parents were addicts, and on one Christmas morning, sent 8-year-old Scotty into a house to score some dope for them. Unfortunately, little Scott got a tooth punched out and tossed out of the trap house like so much Jazz by the giant dope peddler inside. Papa Ross reacts as any junkie parent would, he takes the money from Scott and drives off, leaving the kid to walk two miles home. Ross adds that these experiences are why he rarely drinks (Yet Hicks keeps offering him booze because Jim is terrible), and how he credits his librarian pal, Mr. Pinkerton, for pulling him out of the muck.
Now it’s Jim’s turn to share, which means he has to expand on “I got divorced twice”. Jim’s first marriage was at 18, to Kelly (Kapowski?!), and she ended up pregnant six months after the ceremony, just as Hicks shipped out for basic training. Being a big, tough man, Jim ordered Kelly to get an abortion, which didn’t sit well with her. The marriage was annulled, and Kelly gave birth to a girl named Tyler, after her brother (Weird). Jim, being Jim, once stalked and tracked down Kelly and Tyler in Omaha, but kept his distance.
His second wife was to Marina, and he tried to make it work. Too bad 9/11 happened, forcing Jim to dive head-first into his work, which he couldn’t leave at the office, as he “wanted to find every little Prophet worshiper who even had a passing thought about hurting America.” One day, Marina had reached her limit and unleashed a torrent of frustrations on Jim. In response, Jim hit her because he’s a garbage person. Marina, for some unknown reason, didn’t call the cops on Jim, but simply left him.
Sal, Meg, Alessandra, and Riley have finished Christmas dinner, and Meg has offered to clean up while the men-folk talk. Riley uses this opportunity to drag Sal into the living room to ask him what the heck has been going on lately. Ricci confirms Riley’s earlier theory that the pressures of a potential playoff berth is getting to him. However, Ricci does get SUPER SERIOUS and gets Riley to promise that, should anything happen to Sal, Riley will take care of Meg and Alessandra. Riley’s a little weirded out by the request, but agrees that he’ll look after the girls should any ill fortunes befall Ricci.
Off to his left he could see a group of four men teeing off on Black Bear Golf Course. ‘Either they’re single, or they have very understanding wives,’ he thought. – This may seem like a weird thought until you remember that Colorado banned The Jews in 1997.
Coke, horse, meth – you name it, they took it. There was this one Christmas when I was eight – my parents sent me into a house to score some chiva for them. – Horse and chivas? I think Scott’s parents were more into farm animals than drugs.
A lot of folks would have used that as an excuse for wasting their lives and living off the government. – GOOD THING YOU GOT A PAIR OF REPUBLICAN ISSUED, RONNIE REAGAN BRAND BOOTSTRAPS TO PULL YOURSELF OUT OF THE GUTTER, ROSS.