The Eighth Deadly Sin

Jacob Gula was a middle-aged man who drank with friends on his yacht in the marina and he had survived eight hours now without having a cigarette.

Fifty-years-old. Everything about Jacob was rolling downhill. His damaged liver and lungs were already waiting at the bottom of the slope for the rest of his highness (and wideness) to catch up.

The billionaire was thick and tan without callouses on his hands.  Three pounds of “bling” jewelry, a gift from his once-benevolent once-spouse, hung around his neck and was giving him a backache.

Ava the blonde, the new-lust-of-his-life was impressed with the bling and that’s all that mattered.

 

“The geeks shall inherit the Earth” was always Jacob’s motto.

“All my life I’ve been a fat nerd. I can’t believe that I spent my whole youth in my parent’s basement playing with computers.” Jacob thought, while ogling the long legs of the young girl lying across the divan in the yacht’s spacious salon.

Ava Ritchia was Jacob’s latest girlfriend. She called Jacob her “stallion.” He called her his “filly.”

Jacob’s lovely ex-wife Trista recently called Jacob her “Jackass.” He called her his “Nag.”

Jacob still “had a thing” for Trista. When he last saw her at the divorce Lawyer’s office he found himself boasting, in vain, about his ten pound weight loss.

“Weight Watchers?” the wrathful woman said. “You should join Whale Watchers, Mr. Goodyear. You’ve got about as much chance of seeing your “little Jacob”again, as you do of seeing your own rotten kids!”

Nice.

____

 

Jacob and Ava lounged in the main cabin, with Jacob’s young lawyer and constant drinking buddy, Ira. The three of them had spent most of the week watching movies, tanning, fishing, drinking and eating.

Anchoring the large yacht outside of Avalon harbor was always great for a few days of serious gluttony and sloth.

Every afternoon, Jacob loved to watch Ava as she tanned topless on the deck of the bow. Covered in oil, Ava reminded him of a juicy sizzling steak.

Two years ago Jacob had bought his new yacht, The Braggadocio, for 5.5 million. The new yacht was a a ninety-five foot, fossil fuel powered symbol of opulence that ran on two giant diesel engines and boasted four staterooms.

Jacob enjoyed piloting the yacht all by himself on short trips between the Southern California coast and Catalina Island. He wanted to show off for his new girl and his young friend Ira, who would want to pilot a yacht of his own someday.

Ira was asked to come along on the trip because he was handling Jacob’s messy divorce.

____

 

Jacob Gula, the owner and founder of GulaCom, was attorney Ira Wrathbaum’s “bread and butter.” Jacob’s computers ran the entire U.S. military complex.

Though Ira was twenty years younger than Jacob, he had already been elected Vice Admiral just beneath Jacob’s Admiral post at the esteemed Marina Society Yacht Club. Young Ira was a go-getter and he would probably be the Fleet Admiral, top man, within a few years, as long as the right money went into the right pockets.

The two had much in common. They often talked about big game fishing and baseball, especially when the subject was the old time Yankees. DiMaggio was a favorite. Joe DiMaggio nailed Marilyn. Jacob and Ira always talked about Marilyn through their conversations about DiMaggio.

Ava, now sprawled out topless on the bow, looked like Marilyn, and though she had been Ira’s girl at one time, she now belonged to Jacob (“the Big Cheese”).

Jacob had nothing to envy at his age.

_____

 

Ira’s cell phone rang. It was a call from Roger, Trista’s lawyer.”

“Jake,” said Ira. “Your wife is getting the house.”

“Just great.” Jacob grumbled.

“She’s also getting the antique car collection as well as the two Rolls.”

“Peachy! By the time that she’s done with me there won’t even be bones to chew on. The judge already gave her the kids. Christ! Doesn’t she have enough, Ira?”

“Apparently not, Jake.”

Oh, what’s that Roger? I See. Well, Mr. Gula is not going to be happy about that.”

“I don’t even want to know.”

“Oh yes you do. She’s getting the Braggadocio, too.”

“Like hell she is!”

“Yes, Roger? Uh, … Fleet Admiral Levi Mammon just gave me your Admiral’s post, Jake. Something about scandalous behavior unbecoming an Admiral. Uh, what, Roger? Oh no.

Trista also wants your dog, Hubris.”

“Hubris? She’s not getting Hubris! I’ll eat him first”

Upon hearing his name, Hubris the Shar Pei, was standing next to his food bowl wagging his squat flabby body and spraying the galley deck with his excitement.

“Just kidding, boy. Oh, for Christ sakes!”

“I hope that you held on to your gold, Jacob. That might be all that you have left.”

“Trista stripped off all the meat. Didn’t she, Ira? I haven’t got much left.”

There was the gold.

Windbag Jacob couldn’t help but show his “secret” gold collection off to delicious Ava while in the bedroom.

Sizzling blonde Ava knew where the gold was.

Hungry lawyer Ira knew that delicious sizzling Ava knew.

Shar-Pei Hubris knew where the doggy treats were.

 

_____

 

Gold was always a safe investment. Jacob hoarded the stuff. He loved to play King and have Ava bury him in gold coins while they made what he called “smooching” and she called “smooshing” -the overstuffed blimp.

Five hundred pounds of gold bars and coins were hiding in pillow cases under the California king size bed in the Captain’s quarters.

____

 

On a clear full moon evening, the Braggadocio was drifting halfway between Los Angeles and Catalina Island, approximately thirteen miles from each port.

Jacob Gula was tied to the wheel in the wheelhouse. Ava, wearing Jacob’s “bling,” was bobbing up and down, behind the ship in the yacht’s  small inflatable dinghy. She was piling up the pillow cases as Ira handed them down to her. They had plenty of extra gas to feed the 5hp engine. The wind was still and the ocean was flat. It would be an easy trip back to a friend’s waiting boat, back in Avalon harbor.

Ira took off his tie, finally. (He always wanted to appear professional.) He only removed it so that he could stuff it inside the neck of a gin bottle filled with gasoline. He started the Braggadocio’s engines and as it began to move, he quickly threw the lit cocktail onto the stern of the ninety-five foot ship and jumped down into the crowded dinghy.

Ira undid the dinghy’s lines before the huge ship could pick up speed, breaking free of his mentor, Jacob, forever.

____

As the fire began to spread across the deck, Jacob’s heroic dog, Hubris began to chew through the lines that attached Jacob to the steering wheel.

It was too late to stop the fire, so Jacob and his brave best friend Hubris, decided to race back home to the yacht club.

_______

The Dinghy sunk like a stone because of the treasure and the extra few pounds that Ira added to the boat at the last moment. In their golden  moment of greed, Ira and Ava hadn’t thought about life vests.

 

REDEMPTION

 

Jacob was relieved to see the other Commodores, Admirals and their spouses waiting for him on the dock, even though the flames were burning the fiberglass deck around him, he smiled and said:

“Ahoy my friends! What a day! It’s so wonderful to see all of you. Please grab a line!”

“What happened out there Jacob?” shouted Fleet Admiral Mannon.

“I have lived through the seven deadly sins, Sir -and I have changed my ways!

For once I have been true to myself. I will live in the spirit charity for all from this gifted day on! God has blessed me with a second chance!

Lord, I am a 300 pound belching, farting, hard drinking all male side-o-beef goddammit!

I am a MAN!

I did it myyyyyy way!”

 

No applause. The crowd on the dock stood in silence.

 

Hubris, Jacob’s dog, leapt from the stern and onto the wharf and lapped up a glass of champagne at Fleet Admiral Mannon’s feet.

The various admirals, commodores and captains did nothing to grab the lines of the Braggadocio or try extinguish the flames. No one even called the Marina fire department.

Jacob Gula, tied to the wheel, screamed. Burning.

Jacob was a warning to them all, a terrified and terrifying visage.

Still, no one moved forward grab the lines to pull the ship in. The flames finally began to blister Jacob’s skin. His toupee, his pathetic patch of chest hair and his speedo all caught fire simultaneously.

The membership had all heard the news about what Trista and her attorney, Roger, had done to Jake, and though they admired the fact that the ex-Admiral Gula was a survivor, they could not forgive him.

Jacob Gula had returned to port only to be rejected by his “real family” …

According to the Marina Society Yacht Club the ex-Admiral had delivered the Eighth Deadly Sin to their doorstep.

POVERTY.

 

 

Just in Time.

Some cheer for a rainy day.
Have you heard about shit-shoveler Dave?
For sixty years worked like a slave.
He learned how to chisel,
when it started to drizzle
just in time to slip into his grave.

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