The door opened slowly and Karen McDougal poked her head into his office, asking sweetly, "Hey Hef, do you have a minute?"
"Yeah come in Karen. What can I do for you?"
She took one look at his face and said, "Forget it Hef. What can I do for YOU? You look like your dog just died."
Karen completely forgot why she had entered his office, right now it was more important to find out what was bothering Hef who had been like a father figure to her since they first met back in 1997. "Spit it out Hef! You look like you could use a friend right about now." she prodded, not letting him blow her off.
"Its that bitch Jane Fonda!" he snapped. "Every year Playboy spends a ton of money sending our girls overseas to entertain our troops. Now I don't consider myself a Republican or a Democrat, I do it because I'm an American! I don't care whose ass is sitting behind that desk in the oval office. Those men and women deserve our support and our respect. That's why I do it."
"So where does Fonda fit into the picture?" Karen asked.
"You see Karen," Hef began. "Waaaaay back during the Vietnam war, we sent out girls oversees to entertain our troops with Bob Hope and the USO. Forget politics! These were young people who were there because their country sent them, and they went without question. That's when Jane, 'Hanoi Jane', as she became known, went to Nam and posed with enemy troops; denouncing our country! Now as I sit here signing off on bills for the latest USO trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, she's getting honored as one of the 100 Women of the Century. Some people sure have damn short memories!"
Karen spent the better part of the next two hours allowing Hef to blow off steam. When she left, he was feeling a little better, but she was pissed off at what Hef described as Fonda's treason. Later, Karen was in her room when Irish came to pick her up to go to the mall. When he entered, Karen had that 'thousand yard stare' thing going on. She didn't even acknowledge him until he began waving his hand up and down in front of her eyes.
"Hello? Is anybody home?" he asked.
The sound of his voice snapped her back to reality. "Jeez I'm sorry Irish. I just have something running through my mind that Hef told me earlier."
He took a seat on the bed next to her and she filled him in on what Hef had said. "I've never met the woman, and I'd still like to smack her!" Irish grumbled.
"You! I'd have loved to been on that USO tour. Miss Fonda would have gotten her ass straightened out - and fast!" Karen snarled, looking over at Irish and seeing the wheels spinning somewhere far behind his dark brown eyes - or was that wood she smelled burning? Either way, she knew that look all too well. "OK! Spit it out!" she demanded.
"Give me a sec babe, I've got an idea."
Picking up the phone, Irish dialed the 845 area code for Rock Tavern, New York and said, "Yes! Lemme talk to Paul please." After a minute, he resumed, "Hey Paulie! How you doing brother? Look I need a favor..." Several minutes later he hung up the phone, looked at Karen and said, "Pack your bags babe! We're going to the Big Apple for the weekend."
Before they left, Karen fired up her computer and Googled 'Jane Fonda'. She found out exactly where she'd be and when. From the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) she linked to the studio web site and found out the dates of filming of Jane's then-current movie (and even the total cost to make it!) She printed out the pages she thought would be helpful, folded them and put them in her pocket before leaving for the airport where she and Irish hopped in the Playboy corporate jet and winged their way east! When they touched down it was at a small regional airport. They rented a car and hit the road, driving the short distance to a building where Irish drove around back and pulled right up to the shop door.
"Holy shit!" Karen said. "I know this place! This is 'Orange County Choppers' from TV!"
Irish just looked at her. "Doh! Yeah! Are you coming inside to meet the guys?"
It took Karen a few seconds to get her feet to respond to her brain's commands, but then she was right on Irish's heels as he passed through the door. Paul Teutul's eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped when he saw Karen and Irish walk in.
"Yo Paulie!" Irish grinned. "Put your tongue back in your mouth. And no...she doesn't have any sisters."
The old friends greeted each other and Irish went right into the reason for their visit. The guys from OCC had been working on a new gizmo like the one they built for those AOL commercials. And as it turns out, the damn thing really works!
"Irish, let me show you what we've got!"
As Paul led them to the back of the shop Irish stopped and picked up an empty coffee cup from the floor, "What's with this Paul? Do you want your old man to lose his mind?"
Irish threw the cup in a nearby garbage pail, then followed Paulie to a curtain that covered a small out cove of the shop. When Irish and Karen had stopped behind him, he pulled the curtain aside and revealed... "The Fire Bike".
"Man, that's even more beautiful in person," Irish gushed.
"See that?" Paul said, pointing at a small contraption under the gas tank. "That's what makes it travel through time."
Irish and Karen could hardly believe what they were looking at - this priceless bike had an even more valuable feature, one that allowed its rider to travel into the past...or the future!
"That's a pretty small seat Paul. Will this thing hold two people?" Irish asked.
"No way man. If Karen wants to travel back to the 60's she'd have to make the trip solo."
Irish was not thrilled with this unforeseen bump in the road, but Karen had already made up her mind to go pay young Miss Fonda a little social call.
"Paulie do me a favor... next time use a '57 Chevy or a DeLorean or something," Irish told his friend.
"Sorry dude," Paulie grinned. "But the DeLorean thing's already been done to death. You know us, we're all about original designs here. Besides, if I know you, you'd probably wind up gettin' drafted into the Army."
"Maybe Marines?" Irish added with a smile.
Paulie gave Karen a crash course on how to ride the bike and how to set the time machine for the desired timeframe she was shooting for. Karen gave Irish a kiss and hugged Paul, thanking him for his help.
"Wish me luck," she said as she kicked the bike to life and roared off up the hill...then disappeared into thin air before their eyes!
Karen appeared in a puff of smoke, roaring down Santa Monica Blvd. in LA; and it was the summer of 1968! She couldn't believe how different the city looked compared to a few hours before when she'd lifted off from LAX with Irish. Before she went searching for the Hollywood studio, however, Karen decided to take a detour past the Playboy Mansion to see what it looked like thirty years ago. The sound of the loud motorcycle drew attention to her arrival and a dark-haired man in silk pajamas came out the front door and greeted her. Yep, it was Hef himself. '
He took one look at Karen, almost swallowed his pipe and gulped, "Miss whoever you are, you HAVE to let me photograph you for my magazine! I'll make you famous."
Karen just smiled and said, "You already did!"
Hef looked confused as Karen twisted the handlebars around and headed back down the long driveway. The looks Karen got as she motored down the freeway on the custom bike were unbelievable. Back then, not many 'proper' young women rode choppers - especially one that looked like Karen! And they'd never seen a bike that looked like the one she was riding either. With no mandatory helmet law in effect yet, Karen took off her helmet and enjoyed letting the wind whip through her hair as she headed toward the studio.
As she pulled up at the front gate of the Paramount lot where they were shooting 'Barbarella' Karen saw some kind of protest was taking place outside the front doors of the studio. She flipped off the ignition, set the kick stand, and dismounted to take a closer look at the commotion. As she got closer, Karen saw Jane had just pulled up in her car and was headed toward the studio. The yelling and chanting got louder and louder, cries of, "You fucking traitor!" and "Go back to Vietnam, bitch!"
Karen pushed her way into the crowd and as the mob surged forward, Karen and one other woman were able to squeeze through the movie set's door before security regained control and pushed the crowd back behind barricades.
The other woman, a petite blonde who looked no more than eighteen, called out, "Miss Fonda! Please, can I talk to you a moment?"
The actress stopped short and spun to face her with an annoyed look, "What do you want? I only sign autographs on Fridays!"
"Miss Fonda I need your help…please! My husband’s missing in action and I thought ..."
Before the young blonde could continue, the callous actress growled, "I don't have any time some baby killer’s wife! Get out of here before I have you locked up for trespassing!"
Jane turned her back and began to storm off toward her dressing room but before she was able to take a step, the young blonde grabbed Jane's shoulder and said, "Wait! He's no baby killer!"
Without a word, Jane swung back around and dropped the young woman with a single punch to her face that knocked her over backward, sending her sprawling with a crimson river of blood streaming from what was almost surely a broken nose. As Jane stepped forward to continue the beating, Karen jumped between them and shoved Jane off balance, sending her back-stepping two or three steps.
"Leave her alone!" Karen snapped as she dropped to one knee to see if the blonde was all right. "Hey are you OK?" Karen asked as she tried to help the young woman up off the floor.
In the meantime, Jane was only growing more incensed, "Who the fuck does this little tramp think she is shoving me! I’m the goddam star of this movie!"
While Karen pinched the bridge of the blonde's nose shut to stem the flow of blood, Jane stepped back in and lashed out with viscous kick to the point of the Playmate's chin. Back in the day, most ‘hip chicks’ wore go-go boots and the effect on the unsuspecting Karen was devastating! Her head snapped back, sending her crashing to the floor flat on her back. Karen's eyes rolled in her head as Jane dropped on her belly with both knees, driving all the air from her. Sliding down, Jane straddled the Playmate's slender waist and her pumping fists were a blur as Jane rained lefts and rights down onto Karen's face, never allowing her to recover. Then with Karen completely helpless under her, Jane tore open her blouse and pulled her bra up baring her breasts.
"Nice tits!" the actress spit as she dug her freshly manicured fingernails deep into Karen's breast flesh. Jane dug deep and deeper into Karen's chest as the Playmate cried in pain until Jane suddenly stopped, then withdrew her fingers after they hit something she’d never felt before in of the dozen’s of women’s breasts she’d fondled in her career."What the hell?" Jane muttered, as she went back in and felt around Karen's expensive implants. Jane switched her attack, grabbing Karen’s throat with her left hand to strangle out the brunette while her right hand reached back and undid the waist button and slid down the zipper of Karen's tight jeans.
"What other surprises have you got for me bitch?" Jane asked as she slipped a hand into Karen's panties and probed around. "At least I can't find a dick down, there you freaky bitch!" Jane's fingers did the walking, feeling around; surprised at not finding the usual 60’s style ‘natural’ thick bush, but rather a neatly trimmed landing strip of pubic hair. "Where the hell do you come from bitch? The way you caved in so fast, I figure you must be French like my weasely, no good, whore-humping bastard of a husband Roger….or Roget as the French foppishly pronounce it!"
As Karen regained her senses, she began to struggle so Jane tightened her grip on her throat with her left hand, using her right to push down on Karen’s pubic mound just trying to hold her still. But when Jane realized she could no longer restrain Karen, she leaned back, pressing down with her weight over her hand as she clamped down and curled her fingernails into Karen's groin to try and discourage her from squirming. Karen let out a scream of pain since Jane's right hand was crushing her pussy, her knees lifting up and her feet waggling helplessly in the air. Jane gasped with surprise…she LOVED the effect it created!
"Hey! I think I’m on to something!" Jane chuckled as she began to twist her wrist until Karen about passed out from the pain. "I've wasted enough time on you two sorry bitches, I have a movie to make," Jane said as she stood, stomped on Karen’s stomach, then started for her dressing room. "Vulcan Death Grip my ass!” she muttered. “Just wait'll I try my new hold on that bitch Rosa Doherty! If it works, I’ll use it on those girls in Frank Sinatra’s Celebrity Wrestling League. Just wonder what the hell to call it though?" Jane was muttering to herself as she turned the corner , contemplating what catchy name to give this new move (one Rosa would later teach to her as-yet-unborn daughter, Shannon - who would perfect the hold that became the ‘crotch claw.’
But for now, the bloodied blonde cradled Karen in her arms, her tears dripping on Karen's red face as she mumbled, "Hey! Are you OK? I better get you to a hospital."
But Karen refused and growled, "No, just help me up. We're gonna find that bitch, and then you can watch me kick her ass!"
Karen shook off her injuries and the two women went looking for Jane. As it turned out, they were forced to hide in the wings of the movie set all day, waiting until filming shut down for the day. Karen figured if she attacked Jane now she’d surely wind up in jail, and her new blond friend would end up in the street, if she was lucky. Neither appealed to them, so they bided their time and waited for the day's production to wrap. To pass the time, the blonde told Karen how her husband of only six months had been called up into the Air Force because of his pilot's license and how his 'Wild Weasel' was shot down somewhere over Khe Sanh as he flew close air support during a NVA attack. Officially, she explained, he was listed as MIA (Missing In Action). She’d come to Jane hoping she may have seen her husband when she toured prisoner camps while check on the "humane" treatment the Viet Cong were giving our servicemen. "I just need to know if he's alive or dead," she sobbed on Karen's shoulder.
But Jane was one arrogant piece of shit - as they’d seen first hand - and during the day's shooting, she ranted and raved, causing all kinds of trouble for the studio people and her costars. When the production finally wrapped up for the day, Jane stayed on the set looking for things to complain about during tomorrow's filming. Karen had to laugh at the ridiculous Sci-Fi costume Jane had to wear in her role as ‘Barbarella.’ Not having spare clothes with her on her time travel trip, Karen shucked her blouse and slid out of her jeans getting ready for battle. As she stood before her new friend Laura, the woman couldn't stop staring at her body, a reactiion Karen had been getting more and more frequently since she started appearing on K&G’s web site!!.
"Is something the matter?" Karen asked her when she noticed the blond ogling her.
"Are you in the army too?" Laura asked.
Karen didn't realize what she was talking about till she followed the blonde's gaze to the camouflage pattern bra and panties she was wearing.
"No Hon, I'm not. But good old Jane's about to feel like I'm an army of one!"
Karen and Laura walked over to the director's chair and Karen said, "You just sit right here and enjoy the show. When I'm done, I'm sure Miss Fonda would be more then happy to answer any questions you have."
Then Karen turned her attention to Jane who had her back to them, studying the set and shaking her head in disgust.
"God I hate working with amateurs!" she thought since the rocks weren’t to her liking.
Just then she heard the sound of heels clicking across the sound stage and turned to face the noise.
"Wha…? Didn’t you two get enough earlier? And what's with that get-up? Halloween's not for a couple of months," Jane said as she stood confidently with her hands on her hips.
"Shut up and let’s fight bitch!" was Karen's response as the brunette closed the distance between them.
Laura just sat in her chair and whispered a silent prayer for her new friend as Jane's hands immediately shot toward Karen's hair. The Playmate followed suit and the fight started with wrestling as both women tugged at her opponent's hair with all her might. Neither had an advantage until Karen let go of Jane's hair with her right hand and fired a punch to the actress' belly.
"Oh shit!" she groaned - Karen, not Jane!
What Karen didn't realize was that the midsection of Barbarella’s costume was a very hard plastic and when she swung for the fences expecting to knock the wind out of Jane, the only thing she did was sting her hand as her fist slammed into the the unforgiving surface. As Karen shook her numb arm hanging limp at her side, Jane took advantage and twisted Karen's head around until she had her in a side headlock. With Karen trapped at her side, Jane began to rain punches down on her face and the top of her head. Karen clawed and pulled at Jane's costume which began to unravel under her assault.
But then Jane shifted her attack to Karen's breasts and once more she began to maul the flesh through the thin material of her camo bra. It wasn’t until Karen finally ripped the plastic plate from Barbarella's space suit that she was able to gain her freedom, using a viscous elbow to the gut to knock the wind out of the actress. With Jane doubled over gasping for air, Karen grabbed her hair and drove her knee right into her face. It left Jane seeing stars - and I don't mean the Hollywood type. Not letting go of her hair, Karen took a running start toward a nearby rock formation and drove Jane face-first into the styrofoam boulders. Now while they gave way much easier then real rocks, the damage done still had a cumulative effect on top of Jane’s already throbbing headache.
"What do you have to say for yourself now, Hanoi Jane?” Karen sneered. “You ready to sit down and have a nice little chat with my friend Laura over there, or would you rather I continue to entertain you some more?"
Jane was bombarded with Karen's rapid-fire questions and when she didn't answer fast enough, the Playmate picked her up shoulder high and slammed her down onto her outstretched knee, nearly breaking her back. With pressure being applied to Jane's chin and stomach, it wasn’t long before she was begging Karen to stop; shouting that she’d tell them whatever she knew. Karen shoved Jane off her knee to the floor, then mounted her waist, pinning her arms under her knees with her hands resting on Jane’s firm breasts as Laura came over and stood over them.
After looking the wedding pictures Laura carried in her purse, Jane was able to tell her that her husband was in fact still alive. She was also able to give Laura the location of the prison where she’d seen him so Laura could forward it to the necessary authorities.
When Karen was done with Jane's interrogation she pulled her up and grabbed her from behind in a full nelson, holding her in front of Laura.
"Go ahead!” Karen said. “Take your best shot!" Laura was hesitant to throw the punch, but Karen told her, "Look Laura, she bloodied your nose earlier and she knew where your husband and other POWs were being held and she’s done nothing about it. Today when you sought her help she called you the wife of a baby killer. Don’t you think just one shot would make you feel a lot better? Trust me, it will!"
Laura saw Karen's point and buried her fist deep into Jane's belly. "God that felt good! Karen thanks for all your help. I have to call one of my husband's friends at the base and give him this information."
Laura gave Karen a big hug and a kiss then she was on her way out the door of the studio. Karen dragged Jane back to her dressing room where she tied her in her chair in front of the make-up mirror. She left Jane a little farewell note on the mirror in her own lipstick, "Jane when you mess with fire, you get burned. Stay out of 'Nam!"
Then she got dressed and headed back to where she’d hidden the ‘fire bike’.
Back in Rock Tavern, Irish and Paulie nervously awaited her return. They had no idea how long it would take her to leave, do the tomahawk chop on Jane's ass, and return. While they waited inside the shop working on their latest project bike, the guys heard the distinctive sound of the custom bike as it headed up the hill to the shop when Karen decided to flip on the siren to announce her triumphant return. The guys dropped what they were doing and bolted for the door getting there just in time to open the overhead door to let Karen in.
"Hey babe! How was your adventure?" Irish asked.
"It was excellent, dudes! Hey Irish, do I HAVE to give the bike back?" Karen whined playfully, poking Paulie’s paunch.
"I kind of like it," Paul quickly interjected. "But hey, Karen, anytime you want to use it just drop in. But if my father finds out we're all in big trouble. And are you sure you don't have a sister?" he asked.
They said their good-byes, then Irish and Karen headed back to the airport. On the flight back Karen told Irish all about her friend Laura who was looking for her POW husband. "I hope it all works out for her. Shit! I never even got her last name." Karen said angry with herself for that oversight.
Back at the mansion, Karen went back up to her room to rest. After staring at the ceiling for awhile, she decided to fire up her computer and see if anything new was on the web. She checked K&G's message board and saw not much had changed over the weekend as far as new stories go. "I guess everyone had their own adventures this weekend," she sighed.
Just on a hunch Karen went back to the Paramount web site and once again did a search for 'Barbarella.' She looked at the monitor and realized something wasn't right. She quickly retrieved the print-out from Friday and saw it was different from what was now on the screen. As it turned out, current history says the movie ran over budget and took two weeks longer to film than it had before. Researching further, Karen found that Jane Fonda, the star, had been forced to miss two weeks of filming due to 'an accident' she had, mysteriously falling down a flight of stairs one day after shooting.
Karen flipped to a second print-out from her jeans pocket; a story off of a Veterans web site about four POWs who were beaten to death after they gave Hanoi Jane slips of paper with their social security numbers on them while shaking her hand. Our dear Jane handed them over to the prison camp commandant as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. Returning to the Veteran web site, Karen saw that four POWs were beaten after Jane's visit - but only three of them had succumbed to their injuries. A fourth, Laura's husband, had survived the ordeal and was rescued after his wife and a mysterious woman gave special forces information on his location. Karen scratched her head and wondered, did all this really happen, or was it only a dream?
* AUTHOR'S NOTE: Barbarella was made in 1968 and the 'Hanoi Jane' incident was circa 1972 - but if you believe I have access to the Playboy corporate jet, you can grant me a little creative license!
To the next "Time Traveler" story