Saturday, January 11, 2020

First Quarter 2020 Blog



Hello friends,
Over 100 people have signed up for this newsletter since the last time we talked. That’s incredible. Welcome new readers. In appreciation, I will give the first three respondents an autographed copy of their choice – Chosen from one of my books of course, Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, Footprints of a Dancer, and now Identity Theft – and all you have to do is send me an email at bob@bobavey.com
As I compose this newsletter, a year has faded and a new one has begun. I pray 2020 – every time I write that date it seems like something from a futuristic Sci-Fi novel – will be a safe, happy, and prosperous year for everyone.

For me, 2019 was a year filled with ups and downs in many ways. However, in keeping with the thematic scope of the newsletter, Black Rose Writing decided to take a chance on my latest mystery novel, Identity Theft: A Kenny Elliot Mystery. I will be forever grateful to Black Rose and the wonderful staff. Unfortunately, due to some of the circumstances alluded to, I have not been able to promote the book properly. In that spirit, I humbly ask for everyone’s help and support. Identity Theft: A Kenny Elliot Mystery, is scheduled to be released January 09, 2020.

By the time many of you read this, the book will officially be released and on the market in both paperback and e-book formats. If you haven’t ordered a copy, I ask that you please consider it. The next time you are in a bookstore, ask them if they have a copy of Identity Theft: A Kenny Elliot Mystery. Ask your local library to consider carrying the book. Do you know any book bloggers, book reviewers or journalists who enjoy reading fiction? Please tell them about the book. For the journalists and professional book reviewers and bloggers, the book is available for review on NetGalley.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your continued support.


And:



Please check out my writing at the link below:
Twisted Perception is now out in audiobook. Please click the link below:
I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Reader List. I hope you enjoy the newsletters and special mailings. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this newsletter to them. We give away prizes on occasion, so stay tuned. Signing up is easy – just email your request to:
Or click here: http://www.bobavey.com/
On the right side of any webpage, or the bottom if on a smart phone, you will find a notation that reads: Sign Up For Bob’s Newsletter. Put your email address in the box and hit subscribe. Not only will you be directed to a link for a free e-book, but will also be entered into a contest to win a free paperback copy.
I also give programs for writing clubs, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club that needs a program speaker, keep me in mind.
You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter, blog, or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:
This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Identity Theft preorder


Bob Avey

Author of the Detective Elliot Mystery Series

 

Preorder a copy of my new book

Identity Theft

 

 

My dear friends;

 


 

And:

 

https://www.blackrosewriting.com/mysterysuspense/identitytheft. If you purchase the book prior to the publication date of January 9, 2020, you may use the promo code: PREORDER2019 to receive a 15% discount.


A preordered copy will process and ship on or prior to the release date. Identity Theft will then become available for sale online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more... typically on or a few days after the publication date.

 

Or, if you would like to receive a free (More or Less) paperback copy of Identity Theft, please read the following:




Identity Theft, the fourth book in the Detective Elliot series is scheduled to be released January 09, 2020. I am reaching out to my loyal readers to ask you to join the Identity Theft book launch team. The book market has become super competitive and the success of a new book depends on grassroots marketing and word of mouth. The purpose of team ID Theft, should you decide to accept the assignment, is to spread the word about the book before and immediately after the January 09 launch date.

If you would like to join team ID Theft, please reply to bob@bobavey.com with your name and address so I can provide you with a complimentary advanced copy of Identity Theft.

As a team member, here are some things you might do:

 

Network:

Do you know any radio or podcast hosts that might be interested in interviewing me about Identity Theft? Please let me know, or connect me.

Do you belong to a club or organization that would be interested in a guest speaker? Please tell them about me.

 

Word of Mouth:

Please suggest Identity Theft to the libraries and bookstores near you.

If you belong to a book club, please tell your club about the book and ask them to consider it as a club reading choice.

Recommend the book to your friends and acquaintances.

 

Social Media:

Please post about the book on the social media sites you frequent.

 

Book Reviews:

Please rate and review Identity Theft on Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and other platforms. Be sure to mention you received an advanced copy so they will know you are a legitimate reviewer. Please post all reviews on or immediately after the release date of January 09, 2020.

Thank you so much. I totally appreciate your help and support.

 

However, if the thought of joining anything or engaging in all that work gives you nightmares, there is an easy solution: Simply go to Amazon or other platform on the release date of January 09, 2020 and download a copy. Going that route, nothing else needs to be done, well, except for reading the book. You will want to do that. And after reading Identity Theft, you will be so filled with joy and excitement that you won’t be able to contain it and you will have to share your happiness with others.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Bob Avey, Author of the Detective Elliot Mystery Series

 

 

 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Bob Avey's 2nd Quarter Newsletter 2019


Bob Avey’s 2nd Quarter 2019
Newsletter


Good morning discernable readers of Bob; or afternoon, or evening, whichever you prefer.
Twelve new and very intelligent people have signed up for this newsletter since the last time we talked. Welcome new readers. In appreciation, instead of the usual drawing-one-name-from-the-hopper thing for the free autographed copy, I will give the first three respondents an autographed copy of their choice – Chosen from one of my books of course – and all you have to do is send me an email at bob@bobavey.com

Get ready for some highly anticipated, self-indulgent, and self-described good news. The long-awaited (I’m suddenly into hyphenated words) Fourth Novel in the highly-acclaimed (if only in my own mind) Detective Elliot mystery series is finally emerging from the dark depths of wherever it’s been. I am proud to announce that Black Rose Writing has accepted Identity Theft for publication. Cheers and celebration, along with stunningly beautiful fireworks, will soon erupt from all corners of the universe. Well, perhaps it will be contained to the galaxy. I do tend to exaggerate. At any rate, Identity Theft is currently scheduled to be released in January 2020.
Wait a minute. Everything suddenly went silent. I think I hear crickets chirping in the background. Please ignore that for now and concentrate on telling me what kind of contest would be best to launch Identity Theft into the world. More silence. I haven’t even finished this newsletter and already my audience has dwindled from the Universe to only the Earth. Send me an email at bob@bobavey.com if you have any ideas, or if you just want to say, Hello.
And now for the soapbox derby:
We all, I believe, occasionally find ourselves in a position where we feel we should apologize for our behavior. Recently, a friend was trying to have a conversation with me about the Father and His Kingdom, but, at the time, my mind was too clouded by anger to properly respond. Later, after cooling down and thinking about it, I wrote the following text message:
The way I understand it, which admittedly is limited, God created us in His image. He loves us deeply and He wants us to love Him the same way. That’s why free will is so crucial to the equation. God does not want us to be mindless puppets or robots. He wants us to love Him of our own free will.
Anyway, you were partially correct when you said that you believed that God does not cause the suffering of anyone. He does not. But we do. God did not bring sin into the world; we did. Sin became so rampant, that God came to live among us as Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Who died for our sins. All we have to do is accept that fact and then, on a daily basis, actually moment by moment, we have to choose either the Father and His ways, or Satan’s way. God does not expect or us to be perfect, just that we try to live as He wishes, and not superficially, but give forth an honest effort. God knows the difference because He knows our hearts.
So when anyone says that they refuse to be Christian because a true God would not allow little children, or anyone else to suffer, they are extremely misguided. God is God and we cannot turn that off or change it just by choosing to turn our heads.
I hope this helps. Anytime you want to talk about it, please feel free to reach out. From now on, I will try to have my thoughts aligned with God so I can respond properly.
God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.
We’ve all heard this in one form or another (Put a little love in your heart) but there is so much truth in it that it bears repeating. What we do and what we say matters. A kind word will lift someone up in many ways, and they will pass that on, the world will be a better place. But a harsh word or deed will hurt someone and bring them down and that they will pass on as well.
When the oppressed becomes the oppressor and the oppressor becomes the oppressed, what have we gained? Oppression is still oppression.
The things you say and the things you do to someone will forever be a part of their world, and a part of yours. At any given opportunity, you can choose to be negative and hurtful, or you can choose to be positive and helpful.
There is too much hate in the world, and regardless of which side you think you belong to or identify with, the hate or love that you release will live forever.

Please check out my writing at the link below:
Twisted Perception is now out in audiobook. Please click the link below:
I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Reader List. I hope you enjoy the newsletters and special mailings. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this newsletter to them. We give away prizes on occasion, so stay tuned. Signing up is easy – just email your request to:
Or click here: http://www.bobavey.com/
On the right side of any webpage, or the bottom if on a smart phone, you will find a notation that reads: Sign Up For Bob’s Newsletter. Put your email address in the box and hit subscribe. Not only will you be directed to a link for a free e-book, but will also be entered into a contest to win a free paperback copy.
I also give programs for writing clubs, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club that needs a program speaker, keep me in mind.
You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter, blog, or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:
This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bob's 1st Quarter 2019 Newsletter


Bob Avey’s 1st Quarter 2019
Newsletter


I thank my loyal readers, and everyone, who has signed up to receive updates. The growth of the list continues to amaze me. 30 new readers have signed up since my last newsletter. I truly hope that you find enjoyment and entertainment from my books and newsletters. In appreciation, instead of the usual drawing-one-name-from-the-hopper thing for the free autographed copy, I will give the first three respondents an autographed copy of their choice – Chosen from one of my books of course – and all you have to do is send me an email at bob@bobavey.com
I am finally finished with the 4th book in the Detective Elliot series, which will be titled Identity Theft. It is now in the editing stages, so it will be a few months before it is ready for publication. At this point, I am uncertain if Identity Theft will be published independently, or traditionally. I’m hoping for traditional. The manuscript is of a quality to carry that. However, following the traditional route is time consuming – finding the right publisher and then waiting for them to publish the book – and it can be quite disappointing.
Whatever happens, I want success for the novel and I’ll be researching launch strategies. One thing I have in mind is a contest. Any ideas you might have concerning what type of contest would interest you as a reader, and what kind of prizes – within reason – that you would enjoy winning, would be greatly appreciated. Just drop me an email.
After Identity Theft, I plan to go in a whole new direction, writing the kind of books I originally wanted to write. Stay tuned and together we’ll see where it goes.
Back in November 2018, I dragged my old metal detector from the closet and hit the fields with a few other members of the ITTHC, a metal detecting club I belong to. It was good to be with friends and fellow enthusiasts, and to participate in a hobby that I love but seldom get the chance to enjoy. The old penny you see featured is one of the things I found. It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but it’s dated 1892. Judging from the shape it’s in, someone probably dropped it right where I found it 126 years ago.
The other photo is of my office. For years, it’s looked like an afterthought junk room. I finally decided to make it look like a real office, from which I hope to turn out real novels.
Please check out my writing at the link below:
Twisted Perception is now out in audiobook. Please click the link below:
I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Reader List. I hope you enjoy the newsletters and special mailings. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this newsletter to them. We give away prizes on occasion, so stay tuned. Signing up is easy – just email your request to:
Or click here: http://www.bobavey.com/
On the right side of any webpage, or the bottom if on a smart phone, you will find a notation that reads: Sign Up For Bob’s Newsletter. Put your email address in the box and hit subscribe. Not only will you be directed to a link for a free e-book, but will also be entered into a contest to win a free paperback copy.
I also give programs for writing clubs, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club that needs a program speaker, keep me in mind.
You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter, blog, or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:
This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com


Monday, November 19, 2018

Bob's 4th Quarter Newsletter


Bob Avey’s 4th Quarter 2018

Newsletter

 

Christmas is almost here and books make wonderful gifts. For more information, click one of the links below.



 

Once again I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my loyal readers, and to everyone, who has signed up for this crazy newsletter. The growth of the list continues to amaze me. 31 new readers have signed up since my last newsletter. I truly hope that you find enjoyment and entertainment from my books and newsletters. In appreciation, instead of the usual drawing-one-name-from-the-hopper thing for the free autographed copy, I will give the first three respondents an autographed copy of their choice – Chosen from one of my books of course – and all you have to do is send me an email at bob@bobavey.com

I don’t think I’ve put this in previous newsletters, but if I have please just skim over. I had something rather unusual happen to me a few months ago. Here at work, we get a printout calendar that shows this and that. Anyway, I was attempting to take down the July 2018 calendar when it fell behind my cubicle wall. When I crawled beneath the desk to retrieve it, I found a July 2017 calendar in the same spot. Odd enough that an old calendar would be there, but for it to be the same month, exactly one year apart seemed almost spooky.

I know it’s been a long time coming, but I am finally finished with the 4th book in the Detective Elliot series, which will be titled Identity Theft. It is now in the editing stages, so it will be a few months before it is ready for publication. Now, I have to decide if I want to self-publish, or go with a publisher. Such decisions used to be a no-brainer; self-publishing was a dirty word. That’s no longer the case. Now, at least with me, it’s a decision of economics verses technological ability.

After Identity Theft, I plan to go in a whole new direction, writing the kind of books I originally wanted to write. Stay tuned and together we’ll see where it goes.

Speaking of writing, most of you know if you’ve written anything from a letter to a grocery list and then had someone else look it over, how easy it is to make mistakes, misspellings, and especially grammar errors. Try it with a 300 to 400 page novel. Anyway, I was browsing the internet when I came across an advertisement for Editing Services. Editing is an important and necessary part of writing, but finding a good editor is not as easy as it seems. For example, the ad I mentioned earlier read like this:

Want to publish a book? Don’t know where to start?

Stare Here:

I stared for fifteen minutes but nothing happened.

Actually, the ad meant to read: Start Here.

Could you imagine hiring those editors to fine- tune your 300 page manuscript?

May everyone reading this have a happy Thanksgiving and a blessed and merry Christmas.

Please check out my writing at the link below:


Twisted Perception is now out in audiobook. Please click the link below:


I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Reader List. I hope you enjoy the newsletters and special mailings. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this newsletter to them. We give away prizes on occasion, so stay tuned. Signing up is easy – just email your request to:


Or click here: http://www.bobavey.com/

On the right side of any webpage, or the bottom if on a smart phone, you will find a notation that reads: Sign Up For Bob’s Newsletter. Put your email address in the box and hit subscribe. Not only will you be directed to a link for a free e-book, but will also be entered into a contest to win a free paperback copy.

I also give programs for writing clubs, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club that needs a program speaker, keep me in mind.

You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter, blog, or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:

This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com

 

 

Monday, June 25, 2018


Bob Avey’s 3rd Quarter 2018

Newsletter

 

Once again I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my loyal readers, and to everyone, who has signed up for this crazy newsletter. The growth of the list continues to amaze me. 23 new readers have signed up since my last newsletter. I truly hope that you find enjoyment and entertainment from my books and newsletters. In appreciation, instead of the usual drawing-one-name-from-the-hopper thing for the free autographed copy, I will give the first five respondents an autographed copy of their choice – Chosen from one of my books of course – and all you have to do is answer a question correctly. What’s the question? I’m still thinking.

And now for something completely different:

It’s all about perception, isn’t it? One of the first things we learn – well some of us anyway – is that not everyone – nobody really – processes information the same way that we do. If you doubt that premise, engage someone in a conversation about politics. I can hear the groans already. Fear not, this has nothing to do with politics. Allow me to lead in a different direction. The theme of my first novel, Twisted Perception, is all about perception. Imagine that. The title didn’t just fall out of my head. On second thought, perhaps it did. However, I promised myself I wouldn’t ramble on with this, so let us dive in:

A few days ago, my wife and I pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store – too convenient actually – to do whatever it was, for which we pulled in, and while we were doing this, a pickup truck parked beside us. Stay with me, it’s good. The driver of the pickup was a somewhat normal male. However, the passenger was a deer, an actual deer with antlers and everything. We both laughed about the incident. However, while Kathi maintained that it was nothing more than a victim of taxidermy, and just the head, I saw it quite differently. There was an entire deer in that truck, legs, hooves, antlers, and all. I couldn’t tell if the deer was wearing his seatbelt or not, but he didn’t appear to be conscious, a victim of foul play at any rate.

Perhaps this will serve as a better example. A few nights ago, Kathi and I arrived home from work ready to settle in for an evening of rest and recuperation only to have it eventually disrupted. It shouldn’t surprise me. It seems to be one crises – of some magnitude – after another at our house. After dinner, I attempted to settle into my recliner, only to be reminded by our son David that the lawn needed to be mowed. He was right of course. While pulling from the garage that morning, I’d thought I’d seen someone traversing the front yard with a machete. I relented, but on the way out the front door, I tripped over a small, brown object. Upon further examination, I found the obstruction to be a box of coffee, which I’d ordered just that morning. Worrying about Amazons and drones, and after pushing a lawn mower in the Oklahoma heat for thirty or forty minutes, I crawled into the house to take a shower.

 “I’m out of Doctor Pooper,” David said.

 “Can’t we get it tomorrow?” I asked.

Kathi quickly drew me aside. “It can’t wait,” she said. “If David is left here all day tomorrow with no Doctor Pooper, he will drink all of my Poopsie. And let’s not forget about tonight. Without Doctor Pooper, he’ll demand watching Highway through Purgatory as retribution.”

“I see your point,” I said. Not being able to bear the thought of having to watch back-to-back episodes of Canadians, dragging busted trucks through the snow, I drove my sweaty self to the Dollar Shack to get the needed supplies. I love Canada, and the people there are beautiful, but a person can only take so much of that, eh?

Having successfully maneuvered the exhausting trip, I walked into the house and plopped my prize down upon the kitchen island, only to be greeted by Kathi frowning and shaking her head. I whipped my attention around and observed the packaged soft drinks: sitting on the counter was the familiar reddish-brown carton with the same stylish lettering written across it. There was only one glaring problem. Instead of Doctor Pooper, it read, Doctor Popper. In my haste to finish the chore and return home, I’d mistakenly purchased a cheap knockoff. Fearing the wrath of Dave, and being quick on her feet, Kathi quickly stated, “I’ve heard about this. It’s brand new on the market. Everyone at work is talking about it.” 

David eagerly guzzled down a can of the Popper. “Hey, this is pretty good,” He said.

That weekend, during our weekly Mega Mart shopping spree, David, looking rather haggard and frazzled, met us at the checkout. “I can’t find the Doctor Popper,” he said.

“That’s okay,” I said. “We’ll swing by the Dollar Shack on our way home and stock up.”

As it turned out, my daughter, Karen, had ordered the coffee for me as a Father’s Day gift, so I guess we’re safe from immediate drone-danger.

And by the way, if you’re out and about and run across any Doctor Popper, please send it to us. It seems the Dollar Shack is the only store that stocks it. I’m just kidding. Not about the stuff being rare and hard to find, but about sending it to us.

Oh yes, the question is: At the beginning of chapter two of Twisted Perception, what does Detective Elliot perceive to be the problem?

Just email your answer to bob@bobavey.com

Thanks and good luck.

Please check out my writing at the link below:


Twisted Perception is now out in audiobook. Please click the link below:


I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Reader List. I hope you enjoy the newsletters and special mailings. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this newsletter to them. We give away prizes on occasion, so stay tuned. Signing up is easy – just email your request to:


Or click here: http://www.bobavey.com/

On the right side of any webpage, or the bottom if on a smart phone, you will find a notation that reads: Sign Up For Bob’s Newsletter. Put your email address in the box and hit subscribe. Not only will you be directed to a link for a free e-book, but will also be entered into a contest to win a free paperback copy.

The winner of the free autographed book has not responded to my email. I’ll put the names back in the hat and draw for another one.

I also give programs for writing clubs, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club that needs a program speaker, keep me in mind.

You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter, blog, or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:

This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com

 

 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Things Aren't What They Used to Be


Bob Avey’s 2nd Quarter 2018
Newsletter

It all started when a driverless car ran a traffic light and turned in front of me.

Okay, there was actually a person behind the wheel, but since he didn’t have a driver license and he lacked insurance, for all practical purposes the vehicle might as well have been unattended. And I’m either very good at picking these people, or there’s a lot of them out there. I lean toward the latter.

Those of you who’ve had the unfortunate experience of having a deer run in front of your car at night will understand what it was like. The rest of you will just have to use your imagination. Sure, you ultimately see the deer, but by that time it’s too late and… Well you get the picture.
Kathi and I sat there in the middle of the intersection, dazed into the Twilight Zone, until I came to my senses and figured we’d better try to get the car started and move to a safer location before we got struck by another vehicle. Luckily, the car started. Maybe it’s not too bad, I thought, when the car fired up, but the loud, scraping sound that ensued upon driving the busted Nissan put a damper on that idea.

When I coaxed the car into a nearby parking lot and got out to survey the damage, a man walked over and joined me. He didn’t identify himself and I was too dazed to ask. Together we frowned and shook our heads, not only in response to the sight of the car, but to the act of two police cars, speeding by with sirens on and lights flashing. “I don’t think the other car made it very far,” the guy said. “His car was smoking like crazy.”

At that point, I gathered that the other vehicle had left the scene of the accident, which, indeed, he had. I sure know how to pick them. Before I could ask any more questions, the unidentified good-Samaritan walked away then got back into his car and drove off. It Turned out, he’d witnessed the whole incident and called the police and informed them that it wasn’t my fault.

Kathi was still in the Nissan. The passenger door wouldn’t open. I climbed back in and called our insurance company while Kathi dialed 911. She was informed by them that at least four other people had called the local police about the accident. A few hours later, the police, who were professional and courteous, finally arrived. After asking a few questions, one of the officers handed us a couple of clipboards with paperwork attached and asked us to fill out the accident reports. He only gave us one pen, so I asked Kathi if she had another one so we could fill out the reports at the same time. She dug around in her purse and when she finally produced the needed writing instrument we commenced putting to paper what we thought had happened.

Upon finishing the reports, Kathi tossed her pen back into her purse and we handed back the clipboards and the other pen.

“That was us driving by earlier,” the officer said. “If it’s any consolation, we caught and arrested the suspect, the other driver. Excuse me,” the officer continued, “but I’ll need my pen back.”
“I gave it to you,” I said.

He shook his head. “This isn’t the correct pen. They are officially issued and I must have the correct one back.”

Officially issued by whom, I thought, Bic? “You threw the wrong pen in your purse,” I said, “Try to find it.”

A mini nightmare unfolded as Kathi dug around in her purse. I can’t decide if Kathi’s purse is more like a blackhole, or a magician’s hat, but what goes in doesn’t always necessarily come back out. I began to panic. I thought we were going to be arrested for stealing the official equipment. Finally, Kathi pulled out a handful of pens and handed them to the officer. He rummaged through them and found one he liked.

A few hours later, the wrecker showed up. “Where do you want to take the car?” He asked.
I’d talked with the insurance company earlier and they’d given me a name and address of a body shop, so I relayed the info to the driver.

“That’s quite a distance from here,” he said. “And anyway, they’d probably be closed by now. Do you really want to leave your car somewhere without first talking to them?’
“I guess not,” I said. “What should we do?”

“I can take the car to your house then in the morning you can call and have it towed to the shop.”
“That sounds good,” I said. “Do we ride in the wrecker with you?”

He took off his hat and scratched his head. “We don’t usually do that.”

Oh really? How was he going to get the car to my house? Was I to walk along the road in front and show him the way? “Can you make an exception this time?”

“Yeah, I guess I could do that. Nobody’s going to know anyway.”

They would have if you’d have said, no, I thought.

We were quite the spectacle of the night as the hissing brakes and flashing lights of the wrecker roused half the neighborhood out into the streets to watch the smashed Nissan dumped onto my driveway.

The next morning, I got the bright idea of calling the Nissan dealership. I’d had some time to think and it seemed the dealership would be the proper place to get the car done right. That is, if they’d had a body shop, which they did not. So I asked for a recommendation. They told me to take it to Blank’s Paint and Body. It turned out to be a small, hard to find place, which should have clued me, but, hey, it was recommended.

About a month later, after numerous phone calls and having to take the rental car back because my insurance had reached the limit, I made a final call.

“Well, Mr. Avey, while fixing the car, we found this and that and the check we got from your insurance company wasn’t enough to cover because the additional cost wasn’t included in the estimate. You can pick up your car, but you will have to pay us the difference.”

I came unglued. It wouldn’t be proper to repeat what I said. But less than a minute after I disconnected, I got a call from the owner of the shop. “This is Bleep,” he said. “I own Blank’s Paint and Body.”

“Why’s the shop called Blank, if your name’s Bleep?” I asked.

He tried to explain. “Forget what my shop foreman told you. You can pick up your car and you don’t have to pay anything.”

 Thinking the whole seedy incident was behind us, Kathi and I tried to carry on. Then we got a subpoena to appear in court, for a hearing related to the accident, at so-and-so date at so-and-so time. We arranged for time off at our jobs and left early to make sure we got there on time. After finding the courthouse, parking, and going through guards and metal detectors, we rushed up the stairs where we found all of the offices locked and the hallways empty. In a state of panic and frustration – the letter that had come with the subpoena had made it clear to be on time – we sat on a bench in the hallway and searched for a phone number to the court clerk so we could explain that we were there but they were not.

 As Kathi was calling, the elevator hummed and the doors opened and a very casually dressed lady, accompanied by two boys around the age of nine, got out and walked our way.

The lady gave us a cursory glance and asked, “Do you have a subpoena?”

“Why yes,” we answered, “Do you know…?”

“Follow me,” she said, and commenced walking down the hallway with children and us in tow.
The lady unlocked an office door and led us and the children into an office beside the courtroom. The doorway to the dark and empty courtroom gaped open like the entrance to an abandoned mine shaft.
“Have a seat,” she said. Then she left us alone with the children, who slipped off their shoes before plopping down into the chairs opposite ours and switching on a television that displayed a rather loud cartoon program.

Finally, another casually dressed lady came in and said, “Are you here with a subpoena?”
I glanced at the clock on the wall, which indicated we were one hour late, except we weren’t because we were there, right? “That’s right,” I said, quickly handing her the subpoena.
“Okay. I’ll let them know you are here.”

About an hour and a half later, the lady came back into the room and said, “Okay, you’re free to go. There will be no need for the hearing.”

Kathi and I glanced at each other then got up and left. A cold draft of air belched out of the open courtroom as we passed by, and when I glanced into the dark chasm, I thought I saw a man sitting inside. I wondered if it was Rod Serling.

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This article was written by Bob Avey, author of Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com