EDITOR’S NOTE: Next week Phawker will begin publishing installments of Lance Doily’s gonzo memoir BLOTTO: The Outrageous Misfortunes Of A Jersey Beer Truck Driver. We will run a new one every day next week to give readers a sense of what it’s all about and then a new one every Monday after that. Now, here’s Deeney with some of the backstory on Mr. Doily and how his screamingly hilarious memoir came to the attention of Phawker…
BY JEFF DEENEY The first question people generally ask me about Phawker’s newest contributor/ Jersey beer truck driver Lance Doily is how the fuck do you even know a guy like that? Most people assume that since I’m a social worker I must have run into him in the parole department, or maybe in the day center for the homeless where I used to work. But the fact is there’s only one place you can run into a dude like Lance, a dude with a Bowery bum’s hardened liver, black as a chunk of coal, and yet a tender heart of gold: the Internet.
Many moons ago on a still burgeoning Interwebs, Lance and I crossed paths in a discussion forum for drugged-out metalheads comprised of mostly 80’s holdovers clinging to the grim last glimmers of their fading headbanger youth. It was a motley assortment of Turnpike gas station attendants and tar-stained roofers, some of whom were prone to majestic, madcap rants about their miserable lives that left readers doubled over with laughter while simultaneously dying a little inside. Lance was known as the board’s poet laureate, who, after a long day driving his route as a beer delivery man deep in the bowels of Jersey, liked to come home and kick back with a brown paper bag full of inhalants and write sprawling, frequently scatological missives about his journeys.
Lance and I agreed to meet in Philly to see some sludgecore bands; those unfamiliar with the genre can think of it as Black Sabbath tunes played by illiterate heroin addicted felons from the Deep South. I knew hanging out with Lance would be wild times the moment I met him and his best friend Robo Ron, as filthy a human being as I ever met, and as stated I’ve worked professionally with the homeless. “Why do they call you Robo Ron,” I asked. Ron proudly threw back his matted long hair and pulled open his denim jacket to reveal a rack of Robotussin bottles strapped to the inside like hand grenades on a military flak vest.
Ron was hopelessly addicted to the low rent psychedlic drug DXM and compulsively lapped at a Robo bottle day and night like a thirsty marathon runner at a finish line water fountain. He had a specific brand he drank and would go to incredible lengths, sometimes driving across half the state, to hit a pharmacy he knew stocked it. “Guaifenesin gives you the wicked shits,” he told me, proclaiming the importance of drinking only the pure tincture, with no added expectorants, in order to not ruin your trip. The five bottles he had on him would last any other heavy DXM user a month but that was how much Robo Ron needed just to leave the house.
When we arrived at the venue Ron was already slipping off into a world populated with “talking lizards made from neutron fractals” which gave me and Lance a chance to get to know each other. Lance told me about the world of shit he navigated while delivering the day’s supply of swill to the one story brown brick booze holes that dot that soul-murdering cultural Siberia known as inner Jersey. He told me about the alcoholic fallen high school football heroes and barroom nickel and dime cocaine kingpins whose antics he endured to make his rent dollar. Think of Lance’s world as a Springsteen tune left on the shelf to rot for a few decades. Glory days, indeed.
We lost Robo Ron somewhere along the way that night and went back to my place figuring him for dead, but then there he was sitting on my stoop waiting for us when we arrived — which was weird because we never told him where I lived. Ron had four of the five Robo bottles in him and was already dead sober three hours later — that’s the machine-like efficiency with which his body could process hallucinogens. Ron said he just wanted to kill this last bottle and get to sleep and asked if the drug store across the street stocked his brand because he was going to need a wake up chug first thing in the morning.
Once upstairs Lance and I proceeded to ingest a seizure-inducing quantity of speed while Ron sat unconscious on the couch between us. Ron was oblivious to the fact that for the next 8 hours Lance and I were screaming at each other, teeth bared like rabid monkeys only inches away from his face, trying to make ourselves heard over King Diamond’s Abigail, which blared at top volume on infinite repeat the entire time.
Ron came to with a start once the morning sun was streaming through the windows at full blast. He was freaking out because Lance and I were still vbent over the coffee table Hoovering up crushed amphetamine pills in the exact same position we were in when he lost consciousness the night before, leaving him to conclude that he had finally Robo’d himself through a wormhole in the space time continuum and was now caught in some kind of Groundhog Day loop.
I lost contact with Lance not long after that, having been persuaded by the swiftly encroaching shadow of death to embrace the benefits of clean living. Last year I was at the First Unitarian Church to see High on Fire, a legendary drug metal act fronted by an actual hobo when a man materialized from the congregated mass of longhair scumbags and furtively laid his hand on my shoulder like a Burroughs novel dope peddler.
“I got something you need to see,” came the familiar voice of Lance Doily, Jersey beer truck driver. Not long after, Lance met with me and Phawker editor-in-chief Jonathan Valania. He showed up at the bar late and un-apologetically shoveled a pile of papers at us that were covered with swirling scrawls in different colored ink. Clearly these journals were the work of a lunatic, if not a genius, and those of you who read Phawker regularly know we enthusiastically stand behind both. So tune in next week for the first in what we promise will be a series of wild rides, as Lance Doily puts you in the passenger seat while he documents the frequently sad, often mad, and occasionally grand lives that have intersected with his Jersey beer truck route over the years.