Because it was painful (though necessary) to remove several chapters from the final draft of A Masque of Infamy dealing with my hijinks at Saks High when I first moved to Alabama, I decided to put them all together and release it as the novella SUCKS, ALABAMA.
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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.
— from Sucks, Alabama