SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA
“Billy, why did we fly from Phil’s house to Front Street?”
“Y’know, Mick: ya bitch about flying the plane, ya bitch about not flying the plane.”
The Dead’s storage/rehearsal/hangout/pop-up Korean restaurant had been configured in a life-size replica of the Donley Auctions warehouse. Grateful Deads and semi-Grateful Deads wandered around. As always, there were dogs and naked children underfoot. (The Grateful Dead’s children are now mostly middle-aged themselves, but they like to keep to tradition and do the tushee dance three feet away from speakers. Mostly Justin.)
Everyone came to the conference table and sat down except Keith, who was curled up in the corner clutching a bottle of Boone’s Farm (strawberry) that he had attempted to vomit in, but failed miserably and so now was covered in his own sick, which Otis was licking off.
Everyone was fine with Keith not being at the table.
“Gentlemen, Mrs. Donna Jean, Ned Lagin,” Billy said. “This is the plan.”
He told them the plan.
The Grateful Deads at the table erupted into 18 different arguments, questions, ejaculations, interrogatives, accusations, paranoid ramblings, harmonica solos (Pig), racist jokes (Billy), and demands for more money (everyone.)
“How do we get past the dogs?”
“Can I shimmy through the laser defenses in a seductive and buttock-highlighting fashion?”
“I’m assuming there will be a musical number or two, right?”
“Can we all wear tactical gear?”
“Can I just wear a black t-shirt and sweatpants?”
“Can someone separate those two?”
That was in reference to Otis and Keith. Keith had puked up a semi-intact pill up–a little gooey, but good–and Otis started to eat it. Keith tried to grab the sucker out of Otis’ mouth, but Siberian Huskies generally don’t but up with that sort of thing from people they like, so Otis bit Keith and Keith sloppily swung at Otis; it was getting stupid.
“This is the plan, folks. You don’t like it? You can walk, but if you’re in, then you’re in. There might be danger. People may die, but I guarantee one thing: you–
The loading bay’s big garage door opened and a dirty van backed in. Ramrod and Parish got out.
“Hey, guys: terrible timing.”
The roadies opened the van doors and removed a large painting, some smaller prints; about $75 grand worth of memorabilia.
“We got that shit for you.”
“What the fuck, assholes?”
“What? You said you wanted this shit.”
“I said,” Billy said, “that I wanted to heist it. I had a plan, and we were all back together, and Mickey had some purpose.”
“I fly the plane.”
“You guys ruined it.”
“Billy, you’re a pain-in-the-ass. What if we put it all back, and you could steal it then?”
“No. It’s ruined. It was gonna be fun and now it sucks.”
“I’m still having fun.”
“Mickey, I am this close with you, buddy.”