Hola, amigos. Everything cool? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but things have kinda gotten out of control on Anchower Lane. (That ain't actually where I live—I don't think there are any streets named Anchower Lane, at least not 'til I die.) But I'm not about to tell people where I actually live. For one thing, I don't want people stopping by my pad at all hours of the day, telling me they love my writing or stealing my beer or informing me that I'm six months late on payments. Plus, there are these guys I had a bit of an altercation with last week who'd love to take a poke at me, and I ain't about to help them out.

I guess those guys are one way that things are out of control in my life, but I wasn't even thinkin' of that. Naw, I was more thinking of the way things have been going for me health-wise. I came down with a pretty nasty cold last week, and I just can't shake it. Now, usually, I just down a few shots of Dr. McGillicuddy's and that pretty much clears up the problem. But this one ain't letting go.

The worst part about this damn cold is the way I got it. It's kind of a long story. And, actually, it sort of involves those guys I mentioned before.

See, around this time every year, Paddy O'Surly's Olde Tyme Irish Pub has a sweet-ass Wednesday-night two-for-one special on icy-cold MGDs. The only problem is, O'Surly's is at least 10 miles from my place. Now, I ain't gonna drive drunk, so I always go with someone who ain't gonna get hammered so I can cut loose, Anchower style. My buddy Ron likes to party hard, too, so he was ruled out as a designated-driver candidate. That's where Wes The Bomb came in. See, he's a good guy, and he likes beer as much as the next guy, but he also doesn't mind going light for the sake of his pals.

So, last Wednesday night, just before quitting time, I gave Wes a call to see if he was available for chauffeuring duties. He wasn't going for it until I offered to pay for the beers and give him a few extra bucks for gas. That won him over, so he came by my place of employment, California Fajita Cantina, and hung out for a little while, mowing down on chips until my shift was done. Dude, that guy must have a hollow leg, 'cause he went through about three baskets of tortilla chips and, like, five Cokes. After I finally punched out, we swung by Ron's place and picked him up, and off we went to O'Surly's.

When we got there, the place was crazy. It took us five minutes just to get to the bar, so we decided to make it count. We got a total of 12 beers, with Wes getting two, and me and Ron getting five each. I finished one beer on the way to the back to find a table. Shit, was it packed. I thought we were gonna have to stand around a while with an armload of beer, so I quick downed another. Just then, a table opened up. Victory!

About half an hour later, me and Ron were toasting our good luck when these three big dudes came by the table and told us they were just playing pool and that we were sitting in their spot. Well, at this point, I was already half in the bag, so I wasn't afraid to tell them that I wasn't about to give up our hard-earned table. I told them I didn't see their names on it anywhere, and that they were probably mistaken.

Wes started to go all soft and announced that it had thinned down a little up front, so we could probably move to a table there. Thanks for backing me up, dude. I told Wes, no, let these guys find their own damn table. We were here, and if they wanted us moved, they'd better do the moving.

I think that got them a little riled up, because the next thing I know, I'm being hoisted up by two huge fuckers. I start swinging, and I'm looking for Ron and Wes to back me up in the major-league throw-down that's about to commence, but they're gettin' their shit together to leave. My friends totally pussed out on me again! The big dudes carried me out the front door of the bar and threw me into a puddle.

I sure gave Ron and Wes hell on the drive home. They could've at least made like they were going to stand up for me, but they totally backed down! I told them they should be ashamed to call themselves men, leaving their old buddy Jim out to dry like that. Wes dropped me off at my apartment and told me that if that's the way I felt, I shouldn't come crawling to him for any more favors. Ron agreed, forgetting that I paid for the entire night of beers. They looked royally pissed when they took off, but I really didn't give a shit.

When I got to my doorstep, things went from bad to worse. I reached in my pocket for my keys but couldn't find 'em. I checked my coat. I checked my pants. I was so smashed, I even checked my drawers, but the only thing in there was the Anchower nutsack. Maybe they'd fallen out of my pocket when those guys gave me the old heave-ho.

By the time I checked and rechecked every cranny of my clothes, I was tired and ready to pass out. Locked out, my best option was to crash at either Wes or Ron's place, but I didn't even want to look at either of those two traitors after the shit they pulled. So I decided that if bums could sleep outside, so could I. Besides, it wasn't that cold out—not freezing, anyway. So I grabbed a rug off of the curb, laid it down on my front step, and rolled up inside of it for the night.

The next morning, I woke up feeling pretty damn crappy. My ass was asleep, and I reeked like week-old mopwater from when those guys tossed me into the puddle. My head was pounding, and my feet were about to fall off. That's when I remembered that I had a spare key under a rock by the front door. That's also when the cold started.

I'm telling you, I've been hocking up some pretty nasty greenies since then. I thought about taking pictures of them, but I don't have a camera. Probably for the better, anyway. I should save a few loogies for Ron and Wes, but who wants to stir up any more shit? Best just let it settle and get on with life.