(Reviewed by Gabriel Constans)
With sarcasm, wit and a keen eye for the human condition, Senate Parking is an entertaining and engaging story that grabs one by the throat and doesn't let go. Immersed in raw and honest language, place and environment, the listener is immediately drawn into the lives of the senate parking garage denizens known as the Red Shirts. The voice actors and sound editing are top rate.
The narrator, who is the oldest of the entourage, is named Skeeze. With a combination of education and street smarts his accomplices survive the comings and goings of some of the nation's most obnoxious political scallywags and find their sense of self and difference by labeling and classifying everyone around them as inferior and incompetent dimwits, including and most notably, their boss, who is collectively known as the Piss-Ant.
Each of the characters in the plot is believable and substantial. Whether you like them or not, they grow on you like fungus on a fallen log. Lord Byron is a drugged out insecure imbecile who sells drugs on the side and is rarely present in consciousness or insight. Watkins, who refuses to take mandated medication, due to attacking a past professor, is the straight virgin who likes to think he's in charge of one and all. Cha Cha is about to graduate from college. He is liked and respected by his colleagues, until he gets promoted and falls prey to toeing the company line. Tina takes no s#&* from anybody and concocts one scheme after another to make an extra buck. She is brutally insulting and demeaning to Watkins, who maintains his unrequited and unexplainable crush for her. Germaine is the coolest of the lot who must constantly deal with his bosses condescending and narrow-minded view of race, privilege and the ways of the world. Skeeze, the narrator, has perpetually been in school to get his degree in history and provides his colleagues with at least 7 versions of his life, their most favorite being that he used to be a pirate. He considers the other attendants as his friends and chooses to join them in their escapades and adventures.
In the first 20 chapters, the Red Shirts escape arrest for illegally drag racing the hottest cars in the garage; befriending a hooker called 80900, because of the number on her license plate; get invited to an embassy party, where they proceed to steal the neighbors lawn furniture; go to a strip club and get 80900 arrested and handcuffed to a mailbox with her skirt torn and photographed by the Washington Post; and watch Lord Byron finally get busted by every police and security agency known to mankind.
The dialogue in Senate Parking struck home and reminded me of people I've known, jobs I've worked and thoughts I've had. People often talk about "keeping it real" and this story delivers the goods in that rare and distinguished category. I don't know if the characters are the kind of people I'd want to take home to meet my mother, but I definitely want to know what happens to them in the next segment of the story.