Further Reading: Sucks, Alabama

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SUCKS, ALABAMA: The Unexpurgated Adventures of Louis Baudrey in Small Town Alabama

Louis Baudrey is a teenage metalhead who moves from Los Angeles to Saks, a small town in Northeast Alabama.

The year is 1987.

Things do not go well…

At Saks High, he tries to fit in, but the rednecks and the Bible-thumpers don’t take too kindly to his outlandish wardrobe and burgeoning punk rock attitude. At home, it’s even worse, as Rick, his father’s “friend,” tries to coerce him into conforming to something even more insidious than the social mores of high school.

This is an expanded version of the first part of the novel A Masque of Infamy and includes what was published in the book with additional chapters and sections that were cut due to space limitations and the flow of the novel’s narrative.

This is the complete and authoritative story of Louis Baudrey and his time in Saks, Alabama.

Only available as an eBook for 99 cents.

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– – – – – – AN EXCERPT – – – – – –

Before I left California, all I knew about the South was what I’d seen on TV: The Dukes of Hazard, Roots,Deliverance… So that’s what I expected: racist, good ole boys, playing banjos and speeding around the countryside in souped-up muscle cars, murdering and sodomizing strangers. Despite the old man’s assurance that I shouldn’t believe everything I saw on TV, my enthusiasm waved from one moment to the next. But the truth was, I was ready for a fresh start.

I wasn’t leaving much behind in Rosemead. Just bad memories and the rest of my crazy family. I figured I could write my own ticket in a podunk Alabama town. Nobody needed to know that I was born in the crappy part of a crappy suburb on the wrong side of Hollywood. But while Rosemead was nothing like the Los Angeles depicted in movies and television, I looked totally LA. It was 1986. My style was an amalgam of punk and heavy metal. My hair was long and my pants were tight. My ears were pierced three times in my left and once in my right. I wore the same Iron Maiden shirt almost every day and never left the house without at least one bandana tied around my ankle.

How could I not ride into town and just take over?

Shit, in my mind, as soon as these bumpkins in Alabama got a look at me, the guys would idolize me, the girls would lust after me and all their parents would fear me.

I would finally become the person the audience in my head had always cheered for.

All the way across the country, as I sat in the backseat of my father’s low-rent Cadillac, alternately picking fights with Joey, talking back to Rick and zoning out to the soothing sounds of heavy metal on my Walkman, I felt it in my gut, a rising excitement that everything was about to change.

For better or worse, once I fulfilled my destiny, the name Louis Baudrey would be synonymous with infamy.

Sid Was A True Anarchist – An Excerpt

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During lunch, the Cult of Teddy Ruxpin sat at our table in the cafeteria and discussed the important matters of the day, like which Sex Pistol was more of an anarchist.

“Sid was a true anarchist,” Vic argued.

“But Johnny Rotten wrote all the lyrics,” Brett pointed out.

“Johnny was only a fashionista with a reggae bent. Fuck PIL! Sid was the real rebel in the group.”

“But Sid couldn’t even play his instrument.”

“Exactly! That’s a true anarchist. Sid was the spirit of the band. Johnny Rotten was just the voice. The message was all Sid’s, even before he joined the band. Without him there would never have been—” Vic stopped short.

Four burly jocks in letterman jackets walked up to our table.

“Well, well, well… what do we have here?” one of the guys said. “You the ones been writing all that Teddy Ruxpin Rules crap around school?”

We snickered at the way he said Teddy Ruxpin with such disdain in his country drawl.

“What y’all doing is blasphemy,” he added. “The only one that rules is God.”

Vic and I smirked while Brett laughed out loud.

“You think that’s funny, freak?” He got in Brett’s face. “Is God funny to you?”

“It’s kind of funny, yeah,” Brett said.

“I think we need to have a little chat.” The guy grabbed Brett by the collar and pulled him through a side door.

The other jocks stood over Vic and me in case we tried to make a move.

“What’s your problem?” Vic demanded.

“You’re my problem, loser.”

“You shouldn’t be mixed up with these two space-cases,” one of the jocks told me. “We thought you were smarter than that.”

I was surprised they had noticed me. A little flattered even. But I said, “I guess I’m not that smart after all.”

In the corner of my eye, obscured in the small frosted glass of the door, I saw a flurry of movement outside.

A few seconds later, Brett came back in, his face drawn up. He walked past us without saying a word.

“Hey!” Vic and I ran after him. “Slow down, man. What happened?”

“The fucker punched me!” Brett said over his shoulder and kept moving.

“That’s fucked up!” I told Vic. “We should do something.”

“What’s the point? It’s not going to change anything.”

I looked back at the jocks, high-fiving each other.
“Motherfuckers,” I said under my breath.

From that day on, I became the self-appointed Minister of Propaganda for the Cult of Teddy Ruxpin. I spent most of my class time coming up with new slogans like, “Teddy Ruxpin Died for Your Sins,” “Praise Be To Teddy Ruxpin” and “If I Were A Stuffed Bear I Would Be Teddy Ruxpin.”

Within a week, Teddy Ruxpin related graffiti around campus quadrupled.

(Read more about “The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin” here.)