Bruno Takes a Trip (excerpt from Murder in the Caymans)
I decided to drive by the Universal Life Church in Modesto, California. I had become an ordained minister, just in case I ever had to do a wedding – like for the rich tourists in the Caymans. I got the scoop from the Church of Ed Wood. It seems that the founder had discovered the Universa Life Church convenient in terms of getting ordained. And you can too, boys and girls! Just start off by going to the Ed Wood site, the actual religion/spiritual belief being called Woodism, or the Church of Heavenly Wood. Ed Wood was a director known for making possibly the worst movies ever made, such as Plan 9 From Outer Space, and trying to get Bela Lugosi help for his morphine addiction. There is a link (not working when I tried) on the site to the Universal Life Church. You just go to it, send an email and presto, one more minister. So I get off the plane, take a long cab ride, and get the car. First, I realize the car has been in storage a long time. That means those little rubber and plastic parts are cracked or about to. Thank god for AAA. If you ain’t got it, get it. And the second thing I figured was the seller was a curber, in this case an internet curber. Now a regular curber is a person who picks up a used car at a good price. Then he immediately advertises it again at a higher, going price. You know right away because he is always using a pager # or another person’s #. He is very hard to trace. And when you go to see the car, it’s still in the original owners name. Why? Well the curber tells you that he bought the car for his girlfriend and she didn’t like it, so rather than change ownerships (which costs of course), he has just left the ownership as is. He truly lives on the curb. Meet the new generation of internet curbers. So when I get the ownership, it’s in someone else’s name. And he explains that I might want to get out of state quickly as he has put on phony plates, ‘from another of his cars’. So I figure that I’m ok as long as the plates ain’t stolen, and of course I don’t want to get stopped for any reason and have the plates run. So off I head for Modesto. It looked like a great place to stay. From it’s web site, I remember that its population is 180,000 and it is located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley which has very fertile soil. Dairy products, almonds, apricots, melons, tomatoes, wine grapes, peaches, walnuts… Good web site. I drove around to the church, as that really was my only mission in town. I went in and bought some supplies from the office staff, some marriage documents and such to send to the Caymans for those early love tourists. Then I went around to the chief minister dude as Mull wanted some land declared part of the church, so to speak, strictly for upright minister type reasons you realize, strictly unrelated to property tax reasons of course. The conversation went something like this. Me (Bruno): How do ya do brother. I’m one of your ministers, dropped by. (I figured that beat ‘hey dude, how’s it going’.) Minister: Welcome, sir. Are you the person who sent me an email about declaring some land as a church for waiving property tax? B: That was my friend, ah, sir. M: Well, I get a lot of those requests, and am going to sort through them one day. (Nice, down home way of saying no.) B: Do only that which is right. (That’s what it says on their web page.) While you’re at it, go to Deathclock for a wake up call. I turned and left, driving away, looking for a road going north.