Miki was looking for traffic lights where they were supposed to be - stuck on top of a ten foot pole, not strung in the middle of the street on a wire twenty five foot up in the air. That was why he slewed the van through his first downtown Boston red light. Miles Copeland went a particularly vivid shade of green as we slalomed through a tire- screeching, horn-leaning trafficmare, and then made the mistake of lambasting poor Miki as an incompetent driver.
Miki vowed he would get even with the loud-mouthed Yank before the night was out, or his name wasn’t Miki Toulouse Doorhandles Von Cottrellhoffen.
When we finally found the load-in round the back of the Rat Club the driveway to the stage door was a slope of which an Olympic ski event would have been jealous. Miki made a mental note that backing the van out after the gig might prove to be quite tricky.
Miles appeared, staggered up to us more like.
“You guys … you guys were awesome!” he said.
“Any chance of a blow job?” Mulligan asked.
“Here, what’s the matter with Miles.” I asked Miki.
“Pay back time.” Miki said.
“He looks drunk.” I said.
Miles was off babbling to Annette as we hauled amps and guitar in through the back doors of the van.
“He is.” Miki said.
“But I thought he didn’t drink and that.”
“I bought him a drink. By way of apologizing for what he thinks was bad attitude and worse driving.” Miki said. “Told me he very occasionally enjoyed a beer. Just the one mind. We had quite a chat.”
“Yeah, well, I might have slipped something into it.” Miki said. “Here Miles,” he yelled. “You mind backing us out. Bit steep for me.”
Miles peeled himself away from Annette and swaggered (well, weaved) over.
“Sure. Lemme show ya how iss done.”
“I’ll guide you out.” Miki said and ran up the ramp to the street.
We all clambered into the van, with me in the front passenger seat. I was told this was on account of my excessively long legs but I knew the truth, it was because front seat passengers had the highest mortality rate in car crashes. Anyway, I climbed into the death seat, Miles next to me at the wheel.
“You sure you’re alright to do this Miles?” I asked.
“Sure.” His grin was as big as a corn field, a very crooked corn field.
He started the engine, gunned it a couple of times, put her in reverse, opened his door to lean out and follow Miki’s directions, and promptly fell out of the truck. The truck continued backwards at 3 mph to a soundtrack of hysterical laughter.
Miki vaulted into the driver’s seat swung the van backwards into the traffic and accelerated off down the road, aimed only very approximately at the hotel.
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