Hank, Part Four, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

Seconds later, Ralph came barreling down the driveway, gun aimed at Bo. Ralph was set to steal Arlington for Stan and shoot Bo.

With Ralph running down the driveway, Arlington took his uncuffed left hand and pulled a .22 from his pocket and shot Ralph in the forehead.

Bo threw the pizza box in Arlington’s face and hit the ground, rolling towards the right and into some bushes.

Arlington turned to run and Bo shot him in the shoulder and that dropped him.

The Domino’s Pizza boy, hearing the shots, called the police.

Ralph was dead before hitting the ground. Bo paid for his funeral and gave Ralph’s salary to his mom.

It wasn’t until a month or so later that the cops stumbled across voicemails and texts between Ralph and Stan. Basically, Stan told Ralph to take Bo out of the game any way you can.

A big court case, Stan the Snake Charmer was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 25 to life.

Bo collected $150,000.00 and was pretty fucked up over Ralph trying to kill him.

It was a steady diet of Oxycontin and vodka for the next few months.

Fuckin’ Ralph.

#MichaelEssington #30PiecesOfSilver


30 Pieces of Silver


Hank, Part Three, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

So, just like we did for Arlington, we checked property holdings, phone records. We checked to see how many vehicles she might own, planes, boats, etc.

As it turned out his secretary, Sheila, owned a nice townhouse in Westwood, a little out of her salary-range, but it looked like she had some wealthy parents that kicked down a nice down payment. She drove a two-year-old BMW. Why I don’t know. The cars are hunks of shit. Let me focus here for a minute. OK, she also owns a cabin in Big Bear. It was paid for in cash, two years ago. Would Sheila hide her ex-boss? Well, we need to find out before Stan the Snake Charmer does.

Unbeknownst to Bo, Stan the Snake Charmer had cut a deal with Ralph. Stan offered Ralph 10% of the recovery fee he would get. So, Ralph would pull down $15,000.00 of Stan’s $150,000.00. This is a decent payday. Bo had Ralph on a straight salary of $100,000.00 a year. Excellent money, but Ralph’s salary didn’t change when we got a big money client. So, Stan was going to lure Ralph, and play into his greed.

Ralph and Bo spent about a week staking out the Big Bear cabin. Finally, after five days, Richard Arlington made the mistake of ordering Domino’s Pizza.

As the delivery boy came up the road Ralph walked in front of the car and pulled the guy out of the car. Bo handed him a $100.00 and said:

“I’m taking your Domino’s Pizza hat and car. Once I deliver this pizza, I’ll return the stuff and you keep the cash. Understand.”

The kid shook his head yes. He was still a little shook-up over Ralph yanking him out of the car.

Bo drove up, knocked on the cabin door. Arlington answered. He had a $20.00 bill in his hand to pay. Bo grabbed his hand and slapped a handcuff on his right wrist.

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30 Pieces of Silver

Hank, Part Two, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

Ralph by trade was a bail bondsman. We were a detective agency; well Bo was a detective and occasional drug addict. I was the eye candy of the office.

We got this client, rich motherfucker, Richard Arlington. He killed his wife and somehow he made bail. The bail was a million bucks. Bo wanted to collect on this. Bo charged fifteen percent on all bail. So, if we nail Arlington we would look at $150,000.00. That’s one hell of a party.

I’ll be honest here; I don’t know shit about how this works. Bo talked to this guy, who talked to that guy and next thing I know Bo is talking to Ralph about bringing Arlington in.

I wish I could say it was easy, but we had competition. There was this guy in Van Nuys, an ex WWF Wrestler, Stan the Snake Charmer. After retiring from wrestling, he became a bondsman. Every time Bo got a case, Stan tried to beat us to finish line. Lucky for us, Gay Ralph was shutting Stan down. Ralph would slash tires; put sugar in gas tanks, which does nothing. You get the picture. We did what we could to slow shit down.

Back to Arlington. We did all the basic shit. We checked property holdings, phone records. Then checked to see how many vehicles he owned, planes, boats, etc. It seemed like Arlington’s account was selling most of the stuff off just as we’d go check on it.

Two and a half months into the case and we had nothing. We ended up looking into everybody he knew. It was hard. Arlington had no family, no kids, and no girlfriends – fuck he had no friends period. Fucking loser. We pulled information on his lawyer and his accountant, there was nothing there.

There was no credit card trail, nothing. Finally. Going into the third month of trying to flush this motherfucker out, Bo notices that there was a secretary on his payroll for three years, then thirty days before he was popped for the murder charge she was let go. There were no termination papers in his office, she was just gone and he was no longer paying her.

#MichaelEssington #30PiecesOfSilver


30 Pieces of Silver

Hank, Part One, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

I’m back. Hank. Your favorite drunk. You know, Bo’s partner. Anyway, enough of the refreshers. Our last case, the rich woman with the drug dealing gay husband, you know? Business has been on an upswing.

About six months ago, Bo hired a Samoan guy named Ralph. He’s about six-foot-four or five. And, about 300 pounds, give or take fifteen.

Ralph is a great guy. He’s also gay, which he has no qualms telling you in the most awkward situations. For example, he handled a court summons the other day. The guy had been avoiding the summons for months. Ralph tracked the guy down in the men’s bathroom at the Staples Center. The guy was at the urinal when Ralph handed him the summons. The guy, a wannabe gangster, tried to pull a weapon out of his pocket; Ralph put his hand on his shoulder and said:

“If you pull a weapon, first I’ll kick your ass, and then I’ll fuck it.”

He cleared that bathroom. The guy took the summons and left. I had questions:

“Would you have actually fucked him?”

“No, I don’t like white guys. Not my type.”

“Well, goddamn.”

The more I thought about it the more I wanted to Krazy Glue my ass closed. I may be dead, but I’m also white. The last thing I need while I’m sharing a bottle of Night Train with St. Peter is to have my rotting corpse violated.

#MichaelEssington #30PiecesOfSilver


30 Pieces of Silver

The Mirror, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

It’s been about twenty years since I’ve looked in a mirror. Don’t get me wrong. I shave, brush my teeth and comb my hair, but I don’t make eye contact.

I don’t know if it’s age. More than likely it’s me. I know where I’ve been and who I am and I can’t look at it dead in the face.

The man I hoped to be versus who I am. I can’t do it.

I’ll shave, run my hand across my face and see if I need to run the blade across my face one more time. It’s a blind man’s shave.

I can brush my teeth in the dark, run the brush across each tooth, spit, rinse and go.

Throw some gel in the hair; run the comb back, I’m done.

Something happened over the years. One day I woke up ready to conquer the world, the next the world conquered me.

The mirror and I aren’t friends.

You turned my hair gray. My eyes from blue to red. Where there was life, there are lines.

The mirror and I aren’t friends.

#MichaelEssington #30PiecesOfSilver


30 Pieces of Silver

The Musician, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

In 1980, I sat in a van headed towards New York. The guys and I were convinced we were going to be rock stars. Big rock stars. Huge.

We sold out the Troubadour three nights in a row. Had a bunch of A&R guys at every show. We were going to be rock stars.

Once in New York, I called my girlfriend back in L.A. Cheryl had been supporting me while the band was struggling. She was my biggest fan.

Once on the phone, Cheryl gave me this ultimatum:

“Listen Jet, after everything we’ve been through, either marry me or I move on.”

“Cheryl, you know I dig you. We’re being scouted every week. We’re going to be making a record any day now. Once the record is out, we’re going to be touring the world. Hold tight.”

“Bye, Jet.”

In 1983, we were enjoying the success of our first record. We were all over MTV. Touring all over the world. That’s when our business manager called:

“Listen Jet, you need to take the money you have and invest it in real estate. Buy a couple of homes South of The Boulevard. You need something tangible.”

“Seriously? This is party money. Our contract is good for two more albums. I don’t need a house. I’m living out of my suitcase, anyway.”

“Jet, your contract isn’t for two more albums. It’s an option for two more albums. Based on your current sales, you might get to release an EP in six months. Then the label has to recoup recording, marketing, and video costs.”

In 1984, our producer died, our manager quit and started representing a grunge band, “It’s all happening in Seattle, Jet.” And lastly, our record label got bought out or as our business manager puts it, “Absorbed.”

So from 1984 to 1985, we had to get new management and hound the label to recognize us and put out another record. In the meantime, I started doing session work. I was a decent guitar player, and I needed to make a living. After, about, six months, the label said they were going to put out another album since the first one sold so well.

We were happy as hell. We hit the studio to start writing songs and rehearse. In a relatively short time, we had 18 to 20 tracks. Everything was strong. We’d weed them down to 10 and start doing demos for the label to hear.

One night in 1986, at, about, 1:00 a.m. our new manager, Ron, called me and said:

“Jet, the label backed out. They’re going to exercise the option clause and just buy you guys out based on what they feel you would sell over the course of the next two albums.”

“Wait, what, why?”

“Well, what they are telling me is that hair metal is dead. They want something else.”

We kept at it. We took our 20 songs and released them independently as two separate albums over the course of five years.

We cut our hair in the early 90s, no black leather, just flannel.

By 1995, we were done. Now, in 2017, I’m in a townhouse in Studio City. No wife, no kids, no multiple homes South of The Boulevard. I didn’t listen to Cheryl, nor did I listen to my business manager.

Every five years or so Rolling Stone will put out an article about the top 100 hair metal albums you have to buy. Everybody on my Facebook put will start tagging me. They’re proud. The band will show up at around number twenty.

At the age of fifty-five I know I blew it. I chased the dream from the Troubadour to the Forum, then back to the Troubadour.

#MichaelEssington #30PiecesOfSilver


30 Pieces of Silver

The Hustler, A Story From 30 Pieces of Silver

He met her at a public pool. She was just released from jail. Sybil Brand. She was proud of herself; she got her certification to become a house painter. When asked why she was away, she said; “Drug sales.” He viewed himself as something of a bad boy, so he shrugged this off.

They shared a fondness for booze, music, and sex. Nothing else.

A few weeks into this slow fade, they pass one of her friends hooking on the corner.

“Oh shit, that’s that bitch, Bridget. Pull over we’ll give her a ride.”

“Hey girl!”

“Oh shit, you’re out of jail!”

“Get in.”

“Oh damn, who’s this? A trick or your new pimp?”

“No, shh!”

“OK girl, it’s cool. I know how you like those white boys.”

“Why are you wearing that cast?”

“Ah shit, that H is giving me abscesses.”

“Girl, you got to stop that shit.”

“I got it, I’m trying, I’m trying. Shit, let me out at Sherman Way, I got to catch up with Bam. I’ll talk to you.”

“All right, stay up.”

In one short mile, he discovered his current fling was not a notorious drug-runner. Nope, just a small-time hooker. Fuck.

#MichaelEssington #30PiecesOfSilver


30 Pieces of Silver