Remembering a Friend

Language alert… it’s me unhinged… that means dirty words. If you are offended by blue language…. Move on pansy. You sicken me. Grow a set.

By John Clise

Gulping Jameson Black Barrel because that’s the only drinking I know how to do. Remembering 20 years of friendship. Remembering riding down the alley with the coach at 60 mph when everyone else was to chicken shit to ride with him. Remembering going the wrong way down a one way street,on the way to a house fire. Hotdogs from Skinners and laughing our asses off over shit I don’t even remember why. Fucking with Bill while he was on deadline. Fucking with Bob just because we didn’t like authority… and the boss was authority.

I would have taken a gunshot for him. No questions asked. When it came to the business of the newspaper it was all business. We had a style of communicating that rarely required words. “Just tell the story Johnny” was all he really ever said. Side note he was one of only about two or three people to call me Johnny and live.

George never got upset when I told people to “fuck off” for lying to me. He’d chuckle and in a low voice say “give’m Hell, Johnny.” He never tried to change my style or my leads… One editor almost got his ass thrown through a plate glass window for changing my lead for no reason. If you change my lead you better have a pretty God damn reason to change it. He never tried to control me or stop me from using my rage in my dogged pursuit of the truth.

That’s the fucking problem with the media today. Nobody wants to know the truth. Nobody wants to report the truth. They just want a God damned paycheck. They don’t want to offend anyone or lose a source over tell the mother fucking truth… people are fucking liars.

Elected officials do whatever they want and laugh and joke with the media knowing they are safe because the current crop of alleged journalists are afraid to stand up and ask the hard questions and punch those God damn liars in the nose and make them bleed.

We had this thing of calling each other dicweed or other less than acceptable terms regardless of where we were. After a pleasant exchange of terms of endearment that made the people around us uncomfortable, we’d just laugh and go on with whatever we were doing.

When I first started at the Weston Democrat back in 2000… Gulp… I didn’t even have a cell phone or an email then. Crazy times.

People asked me “how’s George?” or “How’s George’s health.” So being me… I went directly back to the office and told him what people were asking. I didn’t ask if he had health problems. Just informed him of the five to 10 inquiries I was getting a day about his condition. He told me to tell whomever asked to “kiss his ass.” So, being me… that’s exactly what I did. A few days later I went into the office, and George asked of I had indeed told people to kiss his ass over health questions. “That’s what you said to say,” is what I said to him. He just mumbled the word shit and laughed.

About 10 years ago, doctors thought I had Parkinson’s Disease. I haven’t shared this much before. George is one of the few people I told. He said “I hope to hell not,” and he cried. I knew we were friends across the universe at that moment. I got the results of a battery of tests a week later and was clear to which he was more relieved than I was at the result.Five years ago, I was diagnosed with liver failure. A genetic condition, apparently, that I could nothing about I told George. His first response was… as always… “Never stop giving them hell, Johnny.”

The disease has progressed to end stage liver failure. Non-Alcoholic Liver Failure… or NASH as the youngsters call it. I will, as God as my witness, and so help me God, will not stop giving people who deserve ever until I my last breath. That’s a warning to all of you fuck faces out there. You’re reign of self-proclaimed kings and queens of the universe or your small part of the world are over.

I’m going to come after you sons of bitches like hell on a hard drunk. May God or whatever deity you believe on have mercy on your soul… because I won’t. It’s not my area.

If you think I sound angry… I am. I’m hurt. I miss my friend. I will lash out. Elected officials and other concerned individuals aren’t aware or used to responsible journalism with an objective viewpoint. Get ready, fuckers.

The real trouble starts when I dye my hair pink. Then you mother fuckers are going to be in real trouble. Wherever you are my dear friend… I hope the beer is always cold, the pizza always warm, and the hotdogs always all beef. I’ll see you shortly. Save a hot dog and beer for me.

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