A scrungy old neighborhood bar in Detroit barely hanging on by its fingertips financially with a half a dozen or so neighborhood people having a drink and talking about how boring life seems these days. All the kids got their faces buried in their god damn electronics all the time and the skinny gawky fourteen year old black girl looks up from her computer and gives them a 'little do you old farts know about any of this stuff' look and goes back to her book report and from her school books and notes she's doing her home work and her daddy owns the place and they have an apartment upstairs and own the building, which is why that bar can actually stay in enough business to continue putting a roof over their heads. This is not a rich family and it's just the guy and his kid and she's studying and listening to the adults talk about what's wrong with the kids today with their faces always buried in those boxes and don't they ever get out and have any fun anymore? Kid looks long and hard at the lady running her mouth, but chasing her daddy's customers out is not a good thing to do, and she damn well knows it too. If the bar had more customers, she'd damn well give that lady talking out her ass a piece of her mind, but no, just be cool, Jessica, don't go stirring up no trouble and she pulls her American Civic's homework out and starts reading.
"What they got you studying now, little girl?"
"About a bunch of crackers fighting to keep people like us niggers, daddy."
"Well, I'm supposed to do a book report or something in our video class about this shit and I ain't got nothing good to say about any of them and Miss Tomlinson wants us to write some kind of short story or film treatment, and I sure don' t know nothing about that."
"You think that's something you'd like to be doing for the rest of your life? I see you watching all those old shows and I was wondering about what you saw in them old shows you're always looking at. What's up with that Rochester and Jack Benny kick you been on so hot these last fee weeks? All I see you do at night is watch that old stuff. I mean, seriously, Jessica. Rochester and Buckwheat and Amos N' Andy. What do you see in them old Steppin Fetchet characters?"
"Whose Steppen Fetchit?"
"Oh, another long ago colored comedian. Should have heard Wilson. That guy could have really made it, I think. Had a hell of a role on the show. Played the cook in the Confederate Solider Rescue commercial. Still wearing his old Army stuff and still had his tag on. Said it didn't matter, did it? Unit director said, "Hey, so he's Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Meanest Menace, let him be, he's got good instincts for a line and that ad lib to that crack about 'you really dumb enough to shoot the cook before he cooks you dinner? Man, no wonder you stupid crackers lost the war.' That line just about made me laugh out loud literally, but I sucked it up. Buttercup and didn't blow the take. Hell of a nice piece of work. Gives me a thrill even today, he just flat out nailed that role and mean as a snake most of the time in real life, course, that was only when he had to be, real gentleman, too. Glad to shine his size nineteens any day of the week, man was a credit to his race, I tell you."
"You're funny sometimes, daddy."
"Only sometimes? You forget your dad is a certified graduate of clown college? Of course I better damn well be funny, you don't be getting no laughs, it's kind of the kiss of death in that business, baby girl." She gives him a shy 'wearing braces' smile and he goes down to pull another beer out of the tap.
This is the Reality Bar and Grill on Christmas Day, 2014. It's a sad little bar with a few neighborhood regulars that come down to bitch and moan and hang out together and it's basically a place where these mid forties to mid fifties, some even older than that drop in once in a while and the camera walks around the room and looks at stuff in the bar and nothing is happening in this place except the muttering and conversations typical of such places and as far as 'dead' goes, this place is pretty much a dying bar in a dying town and the guy tending bar is hoping to get his kid started out okay in life and she's sitting her ass down and doing her home work and looking thing up on the net and making notes and finally closes her notebook computer and looks at her notes. The guy comes back down to the end of the bar where the last stool is next to the wall and beyond that is the hallway to the rest rooms as is made clear as someone comes down the hall and says Hi Jessica and she looks up and says hi back. She's not a babe, she's a gawky girl with braces and big circular gold rimmed glasses and she's really pretty much a geek kind of kid. So her dad asks if she's figured out what she's going to do about this homework assignment that he's not really sure about exactly what it is that her teachers are expecting from her. She says she's going to look up missing Confederate troops who served out on the frontier. He was there, he should be able to help her figure this out, right? Guy looks at his kid.
"You sure you're really ready to be hearing that story?"
She looks at him. "Yes, daddy."
He looks at her and thinks for a minute. "You sure now?"
"Yeah, I'm sure."
"Okay, let me go get a drink, I don't think I want to be talking about this without a drink in my hand, okay?" She nods. He goes down to the back bar and reaches way back under the counter and up comes a bottle of Boris. He looks at a minute, sighs, gets down a shot glass, considers it, goes, "Hell, no, I might have been young and stupid at one time, but let's not go pissing this one away. Last bottle of Boris in the entire world, and I'm not going to be cheapening up with your sorry assed excuse for a glass." So he goes back and opens a drawer and pulls a box out of it and wanders back down to the end of the bar and there is a stool on his side of the bar and he sits on it and looks at the box, looks at the bottle, looks at his daughter, who's got a really intensely interested look on her face and up atop the bar is something of a curiosity to see in an old mirror back bar room bar. The walls in this place are all made of blue mirrors from table height up. You look across the tables in the place and most of the wall tables have this blue mirror stuff on them that might have been the cat's pajama's in the thirties, but that was eighty five freaking years ago and it's passed into passé along with the Mighty Wurlitzer with the bubble tubes sitting over there unplugged gathering dust. Sometimes you have to really put the scene in context and this kid doing homework in this dreary bar on this particular night seems even more sad because it's Christmas. The art work on the walls has been looked at as the camera wandered around and Unit Taffy 3 people stare out of old pictures and there sure was a lot of people in this group of people, and they are all wearing T shirts and grinning like they had just gotten away with something. There is a picture hanging up on the wall at the end of the bar of Jack and this blond. Actually Jack and a whole lot of blondes, but this group of four people are two guys and two girls and another woman in the middle and they all have their arms around each other and "Jack and the Clones and the Real Deal', hugs and kisses, Unit Taffy 3, Detroit. World Game Detroit, January 3-September 15th, 2015. Time Travelers Local 1, Detroit Michigan, Detroit 2015, and the Crew of the City of Detroit, say hi. The guy takes it down where it's hung forever and wipes it off.
"Baby girl, I told you I'd tell you this story about this photo when the time was right, and I guess it being Christmas day and all, there ain't much I can get out of doing here about putting you off about telling Unit Stories. I know you always wondered about what's a guy like me doing in a silly bar polishing glasses and serving beer to a bunch of people who don't have anywhere else to go, but this is some serious shit here and it being pretty close to kick off time, i might as well tell you about how it came to be that I got this job laid on me. You know I'm not from around here, originally, right? Just a few too many stories that didn't add up, and you don't have to go lying to me, I can pretty much see that you figured out there is a bit of stuff I'm pretty reluctant to talk about with you about. I know this old Unit stuff I keep hanging on the walls don't mean anything to you, and it's just a bunch of old photos with all this silly 2015 stuff put on them, but this is what it is, child, and I don't really know how to tell you this, but the fact is, I was born on The City of Detroit, which isn't in Detroit: It's a ship named after this City. You'll be seeing some of these people when they get here, but you don't go mentioning I mentioned that fact to you, okay? Simply because none of those people need to be hearing about that ship pulling in. It'll get here when it gets here, but it's all about to begin again and I should start telling you about some of the shit that's about to go down around this dive bar out in the middle of nowhere in this Rust Belt sad assed excuse for a town. And with that choice bit of Zen mysticism, I should explain how these pictures happen to be hanging in this bar just happen to have all these dates out of the future on them. You see, I'm the Unit Taffy 3 advance man."
.... There is more of this story ...