Youthful Indiscretions

Tale of the Sleepy Cyclist

Circa Early 1930's/ Miami, FL

To help his (now fatherless) family make ends meet, young Billy Bruce loads up his bicycle every morning and delivers newspapers on his route, well before school begins. Sometimes, he just needs to close his eyes for a second, or...two...until he routinely rides his bike asleep at the handlebars!

The first crash...? Billy goes right through the open front doors of Mr. Winkle's neighborhood market. He meets the painstakingly-packed pyramid of canned goods head-on, and awakes sprawled amongst the collapsed display! He spends the next two hours learning how Egyptians really did build The Great Pyramids.

The next crash...? Billy is pedaling through the still dark streets of Allapattah (his neighborhood in Miami) and he needs to close his eyes, again, for just a second, or...two...until he crashes into a slow-moving train, its boxcar doors wide-open for loading. He awakes inside the lumbering train, and decides, I better learn to keep my eyes open while driving from now on!

Tale of the Snoozing Student

Circa Mid 1930's/ Miami, FL

Billy Bruce is asleep in class. Small wonder, since he's up every morning before 5a.m., delivering newspapers in the streets of Miami, before hustling off to school.

"Billy? William Bruce!" His head pops up from his desk. It's History class, and one of his favorite (female) teachers is demanding, "Please tell us, William, what the name of Napoleon's wife was?" Although Billy knows the answer is Josephine, his fatigued brain can't locate the data.

"Yes, Ma'am" the boy responds. "It was Mrs. Bonaparte."

Tale of the Tail

Circa Early 1940's/ Miami, FL

The Dade Theatre showcases live performances in this era as well as presenting popular 'motion-pictures'. The showgirls for the live acts have a small dressing room off-stage, which is their sanctuary for gossip and planning pranks on the good-looking theatre manager, the teenage Billy Bruce.

During one show, he decides it's time to make a "repair" to the overhead light fixture in the ladies dressing room. Billy's handiwork is confirmed a success when the ladies come screaming and shrieking from their grotto. Bruce has replaced the ceiling light pull-chain with a dead, rigor-mortis stiff rat's tail.

Tale of the Town

Circa Early 1950's/ Crackertown, FL

Billy Bruce's minor-league baseball team are the 'visitors' and the game ends badly. Opposing team and fans boo and jeer after losing a close game. It seems the entire small town is upset, and Bill decides to get his guys on the road quickly, back home to Miami.

His players pile into a couple of cars as they celebrate with a few beers. They reach the central business intersection, which sports the only traffic-light in town. One of the inebriated ballplayers tosses his beer bottle out the car window, a final salute! Before Bruce can reel-in his group of copy-cats, they crash dozens of glass bottles in the crossroad, and speed out of the tiny burg.

Billy reminisces years later; "We probably tied up that entire town for weeks!"

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