Interested in a taste of Joe R. Lansdale's Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers. Read on.
My name is Johnny Smack. I worked for Elvis Presley. I was what you might call one of his bodyguards, though he was quite capable of taking care of himself, for the most part.
I was also referred to, from time to time by the jealous and the less polite, as a hanger-on. Something to that, actually. I mean I took advantage now and then. I’m the first to say so. But let me tell you, it wasn’t all glamour and hot women and wild parties, a toot and a snoot. Well, in The King’s case he took what he called his “medicine.” I think on some level he believed that’s exactly what it was. But that’s beside the point. What a lot of folks don’t know is we fought monsters.
I mean it.
Real ones. I got to tell you, civilians have no idea what’s out there, and when you get right down to it, it’s probably best not to know. If you knew a lot of those sounds you hear in the dark, those midnight tapings at your window glass, those scuttles underneath your bed aren’t always wild animals, tree limbs, rats or the house settling, you might not be able to function.
I used to jokingly refer to those monsters as Boo Buddies (something that caught on with Elvis) though I got to tell you, the term wasn’t any kind of joke. It’s the way we all dealt with it, making wisecracks. Cops do it. Firemen do it, and so do Monster Exterminators. No one ever actually called us that, Monster Exterminators, but I wish they had. It has a ring to it.
This part I’m telling you about happened before Elvis disappeared and that other guy came in and pretended to be him. No one was supposed to know, but I knew. You can’t work with a man long and close as I did and not know when he’s been replaced by an imposter. Where The King went when the imposter came in, I can’t say. He didn’t tell me that, and I won’t shit you, that hurt me a little, after all we had been to one another. But the fake Elvis, the one that died on the shitter, well, I left before that happened, packed up my troubles in the old tote bag, so to speak. I knew he was the wrong guy and the right guy was gone. I didn’t have any desire to stick.
But that’s not the story I’m telling you. This one is different.