Robbers: Let 'Em Eat Cake!

When I first read this article, I thought that the subject, or victim, lived in the South. It's about biscuits and exposure to mind-numbing heat. However, in the first line we learn that she's in the southern part of California.

I picture a young reporter, beer in hand and tongue in cheek, bitter from writing fluff copy over his sure-Pulitzer novel. He sneaks this story in, rubbing his hands together, knowing his grinchy editor won't even bother to read before it goes to print.

Once there was a twisted crime wave in Dallas. Muggers hid under cars in the parking lot of ritzy malls. Women approached their own cars and the criminal reached out and suddenly slashed their ankles with a knife. The mugger was then free to jump out, grab her purse and keys -- and drive that car away, leaving the woman to bleed all over her Ferragamos. I'm sure this abandonment violates the Good Samaritan law. Panicked, our victim was left facing the duplicitous dilemma of calling for help and wondering if blood comes out of leather.

A friend of my Uncle Jim's was worried about his wife because she often shopped in those malls. He wasn't worried enough to get her a car and driver; but he did get her a loaded handgun to keep in her handbag. She'd take it out at lunch and wave it around to show her girlfriends how "cute' it was. Busboys ducked and waiters warned the chef not to fuck up the salad Nicoise on table 33.

One day, she walked to her car, hyper-aware of these under-the-car ankle slashers. She looked a skosh  bit crazy trying to look under cars while still looking chic. Typical was whispered by church-going shoppers. She'd downed a few glasses of Pinot Gris.

"Damn Asians make all cars look alike. What are you gonna do, shoot 'em?" she mumbled aloud, giggling as she patted her loaded handbag.

She finally found her car and got in. She was fumbling with the keys when all of a sudden she got startled by two men and one woman in the back seat. Completely flustered, she whipped around and demanded that they get out of her car.

They pushed back at her with wide-eyed stares. She couldn't believe their nerve and regretted not voting more carefully in the last presidential election.

Leaving her no other choice, she pulled out her pistol and brandished it about, ordering them out in English and Spanglish and some of her college French. She loved any chance to keep her French up. The backseat people really didn't want to leave, even though she screamed at them. And was armed. The gun flung around uncontrollably in her hand, like a Water Wiggle.

They couldn't argue with her gun and her mental state, so they reluctantly left. They cursed her as they slowly walked away.

She placed the pistol down. But only so far as her lap, keeping it at the ready. Shaky hands made it hard for her to get the key in the ignition. She tried again. They wouldn't go in.

She screeched at the Lexus that her husband had chosen without her input, "Not now!"

She tried and tried and tried but the key would not go in.....

Because it was not her car.

In related news, Texas women can be fashion vicious of a different style. They might "debut" new diamonds or furs as if they're unveiling a portrait. Or an heir. I once escorted Dallas zillionaire Montine Wisdom to a party where I, along with most of Dallas, knew she was introducing a $250,000 lynx coat. James Galanos personally flew his crazy-ass over to Russia, hand selected the pelts and eventually probably donated his own longer hairs as thread to stitch the coat.

As we neared the event, Montine placed her furry arm in mine and we walked into the party, trying to assume a casual air.

Guests lingered near the entrance, busy with casual gossip. In an attempt to feign interest, one removed lint from one another's lapel. We paused, then Montine whipped off the fantastic, full length coat with a flourish that one can't learn, but are born with.

The crowd gasped, and a valet caught the coat just before it touched the ground (I think you have to burn it if that happens). Montine just stood there, posing, preening.

Yet her moment was not over. What she hadn't leaked was that under that coat, which no one knew about or could expect in any way, slung around her neck was a $1,000,000 David Webb turquoise and diamond necklace. Massive earrings and a bracelet completed her bedazzling suite. That's how you make an entrance.

I think one of the Hunt sisters fainted and I know Nancy Brinker left in a humiliated huff.

In true she-didn't-take it-with-her evidence, this is Montine's coat, later sold at auction.

My Aunt Nelda was a tall, elegant, prism of a woman. She wore thousands of flash-causing diamonds even at breakfast. She always had a 2-carat diamond and gold bee pin perched on her shoulder. She  ordered a new Cadillac Eldorado every year. She was supposedly buried in that bee pin as a a last request but I suspect her grave met the same fate as King Tut's.

She was a wealthier and more stylish version of Auntie Mame, without the gin-stained voice. She was traffic-stopping beautiful. And fun. She was known to bring her own dessert to restaurants and possibly offer to share with other diners. She rinsed her hair black and her poodles pink. And sadly left us too soon.

One evening she and her mother (my grandmother) were headed to a birthday party. They stopped by Albertson's to pick up a cake. Aunt Nelda wore a white, floor-length mink coat -- excited to debut this for a while. This intimate family birthday was just the event.

My grandmother sported some old, modest sable jacket. She was a simple country woman who had pushed a hand cart across Oklahoma into Texas in 1898. So she didn't really require all the fancy stuff.

They carried the the cake to the Cadillac where my Aunt carefully placed it on the front floorboard. Eldorados, which as you know, featured front-wheel drive, so they didn't have the annoying hump in the floor. Great spot for placing a cake, a cooler or a baby for safe transport.

She settled in to start the car, calling to my grandmother, "Get in this car before the icing melts, and 'Happy Birthday Rebeca' gets blurry"

But my grandmother was having a hard time -- some mugger had grabbed her on the passenger side. When he finished pulling her into the car, he was in between the two of them, holding a gun jabbed into my grandmother's side. He demanded the car, my Aunt Nelda's diamonds and......

And that's as far as he got.

He made one of those mistakes that he'll replay in his mind a million times while he sits in solitary confinement in the Lubbock prison system: With his rough, forceful, selfish actions he'd caused the bottom tip of Aunt Nelda's brand-new white mink coat to touch in the icing of the birthday cake on the floorboard. Her new white mink coat had cake frosting on it. In an instant, my Aunt Nelda struck at him like a viper.

"You are going to give my mother a heart attack. And you have ruined my new coat!! Get out of this car immediately!"

His face found out that diamonds are the hardest stone.

He broke free of her emerald-cut grasp, and ran across the parking lot. My Aunt screamed for someone to stop the now bloody, horrible criminal.

A fast thinking bag-boy ceased retrieving carts and tackled the mugger, holding him down until the police arrived. My Aunt re-payed that hero by introducing him to her granddaughter, my beautiful cousin Rebeca. They eventually married. That's how you meet a fella in Texas.

(She owned a personnel agency and possessed mad typing skills herself. Later at the police station to give her statement, she pushed the deceptive out of her way. She slid her jewel encrusted fingers across the typewriter keys to type her own statement faster.)

I wasn't as brave as Aunt Nelda; but I did rely on the kindness of animals when I lived in NYC. One chilly night, I walked passed the subway entrance at Broadway and 72nd Street, which was two blocks from my apartment. I stopped to buy cigarettes at a newsstand, whipped out my and handed the clerk a ten dollar bill. He  took forever to give me my change and cigarettes.

Suddenly, a man stuck himself against me and whispered in my ear, "Give me your wallet or I'll stick you."

It happened so fast tat I remained fairly calm. I looked down and sure enough, he had a long, sharp knife poked into my side. Not my actual side, but the side of my thick, brown leather bomber jacket from Neiman Marcus which was lined in sheared possum. Look --  I'm not going to try to defend myself on the fur issue. Nor the bigger issue as to why, as a struggling actor, I ran around Manhattan swathed in retail fur -- there are bigger battles.

I had the coat because it was practical; NYC is cold. The mugger had that crack-jacked look in his mean eyes. That was the year that the New York governor cut the state's budget by simply releasing crazies from state asylums onto the streets of New York. Nice plan.

I jerked my wallet over to him and he ran off. The clerk then handed me my change and cigarettes, admitting to me that he knew the bad guy was going to mug me and wanted to make sure I had money left to get home so he had stalled. This city was lousy with nice plans.

I hurried home because I heard that if you didn't have enough money in your wallet they would come after you and cut you open and take a kidney or a testicle.  

I'm sure he got back to his den of thieves and disgustedly threw the wallet on the ground, cursing me, laughing at my driver's license picture and vowing to get even one day.

So keep a keen eye out for crime, and flying biscuits. 


  1. Poor Janet.She is so beautiful but has a tendency to ballon up.I can empathize

  2. Back to the biscuits.
    I learned as a girl scout camping chaperon that the biscuits dropped in hot oil turn into really good donuts when then rolled in cinnamon/sugar.
    They also make great dumplings as in chicken and.
    I guess they could also be used to hold your brains in if you took a bullet to the head, huh?


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