From the Zola System


New York, New York, USA
January 30
I grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in the Zola System, my father’s philosophy of life. He taught my brothers and me the basic life skills: how to run a street hustle, perpetrate a con or recognize when you were being hustled or conned; information we needed so we could feed our families if another Hitler came to power. My father Aron Zola was a Romanian Jew, a holocaust survivor, a black marketeer, a gun runner, a successful entrepreneur, a true citizen of Detroit. When I was 18, I rebelled against the Zola System and moved to New York City. I was fascinated with cultural heroes – Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and the aesthetic bohemian artist lifestyle that, in my naivete, I thought they lived. Now I see they were working their own hustles on the public, just like the Old Man. Even the Manhattan dating scene runs on the Zola System. To paraphrase Mark Twain, now that the Old Man is dead, I’m shocked how much he learned. I wrote reviews for SPIN, an unpublished brunch guide for New York City, covered the death penalty, reviewed books for the New York Law Journal and profiled sports stars for the Jewish Forward. I have two crime novels and a bartenders guide to New York City that I am trying to sell. After dabbling in so many genres, I finally realized I’d been running from my subject: my father and the Zola System. The Old Man is gone now and I am his eldest son carrying on as he wanted me to do. This was not supposed to happen.


Alexzola's Links

APRIL 13, 2012 12:18AM

The Watergate Hotel Solves The Kennedy Assassination

Rate: 1 Flag

I have a new friend.

Most of you know this friend as, perhaps, he’s your friend as well.  My new friend is located at the top right hand corner of my keyboard and he goes by the name of Delete Button.  I find the button useful when writing to you dear reader – so many mistakes go bye-bye so quickly – and extremely helpful when sending nasty comments into oblivion.

Yesterday, I received my very first death threat via a comment sent to this blog.  The comment from Anonymous described your occasionally intrepid blogger as a ‘dirty Jew,’ reminded me the Jews were the culprits for the Assassination of JFK (when we all know it was a botched job by inexperienced CIA operatives) and said he was going to kill me.  Of course, said Anonymous individual couldn’t spell to save his/her and needed to retake elementary English grammar.  Frankly I was offended.  C’mon if you’re going to threaten my life at least you can do it in proper English although I’d prefer Iambic Pentameter.  Thus, I introduced said message to my new friend Delete Button.

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t come with a delete button.

In early December, I found myself in a central Phoenix bar built into a former gas station talking to the barmaid about the then upcoming Magic Bullet Theory.  After a whiskey or three, the slight guy in a faded blue-stripped shirt with a badly kept horseshoe haircut sitting four stools down moved over to join the conversation.  “So you think they set-up the President to miss him,” he asked.

“Absolutely,” I replied.

He looked around the joint to make sure no one could hear our conversation.  I braced myself for the worst; we were the only two patrons in the place and if the guy had to look around to make sure, I was scared of what was to come.  He leaned in close and whispered in my ear “at home, I have to answer to who actually killed Kennedy.”

“Really,” I said.

“Yes, it’s at home.  I live around the corner.  I’ll go get it and show it to you.”

After he sauntered out the glass garage door, I called the barmaid over and asked about my conspiratorial pal.  “Oh Bobby’s harmless,” she said.  “But he knows a lot of things.”

In the occasionally freaked out mind of a man who deals with conspiracy freaks, ‘he knows a lot of things’ translates put your back against the wall.  This guy might bring back some odd martial art weapon or could get violent if I told him his rifle wasn’t a real Mannlicher Carcano.  I decided discretion was the better part of valor and asked for my check.  However, before I could sign off on my tab, Bobby had returned.

He looked around again, craned his neck to look down the hallway to the bathrooms as well and handed me a crumpled piece of paper.  “All the information you need is on there,” he said.

The piece of paper he handed me was a barely legible 1974 receipt from the Watergate Hotel.  As near as I could tell, he stayed there for two nights and had paid cash.  “The numbers are in code, aren’t they,” I asked.


I was flabbergasted.  What exactly was I supposed to say to this guy: stop watching the Bible Code specials on the History Channel?  Go back on your Meds?  Can I buy you a Mint Julep? Fortunately, the barmaid had a copy machine in back and offered to make me a copy of the receipt.  “Do you mind,” I asked him.

“Oh no.  That would be great,” he said.

“Excellent,” I said.  I gestured with my chin and he came closer.  “Look, if something happens to me I want you to take this receipt straight to the police and tell them what happened tonight.”

“No problem.  I’ll call George Noory as well,” he said.

Note to Microsoft and Apple: can you please come up with the real time delete button, sometime before the end of The Magic Bullet Theory run?  Thank you, the management.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Cue the music for The Twilight Zone, and keep your butterfly nets ready.
Not sure how to properly comment on the content, Alex, but I've gotten some threats thrown my way also...and I guess you just gotta be okay with the idea that is the way some people work.

In any case, it was nice to see your name here again.

We've had several OS meets since the one where we met, but you've not been around. Hope you make any others we set up.

Oh...stay away from any grassy knolls. I know I do. And there are lots more around where I live. All you have to do is avoid Central Park!