When Marie, a Sacramento housewife, seeks to honor her husband, Jake, with a firstborn son, she finds that neither science nor the magic herbs of a Spider Woman helps. She unleashes a chain of consequences that leads to Jake, alone in his baby, outside the strip club known as "Mr. Lucky's," with a CHOP pipe in his baby's ashtray and a .357 in its glove box.
27 Numbers in the Alphabet is literary pulp fiction that takes place in The Bear Republic of California, an independent country where Anglos, Al-Andalusians and Coy dogs live in disharmony between belief in The Prophet and the new-fangled miracles of engineering and science.
But 27 Numbers in the Alphabet is more than a religious and political parody, replete with the blackest of humor.
As Marie frets at home over everything from the scoliosis that once afflicted her as a child to bug exterminators with the wrong address about to pour pesticides into her home through a hole punched through her wall, Jake shares a glass pipe chock full of the illegal hallucinogenic upper CHOP with Rico, his boss at the refinery. The two men then lock lips to “swap smoke.”
Through Marie’s overly acute self-awareness and through Jake’s CHOP induced reveries, 27 Numbers in the Alphabet examines how mind and memory relate to action, both right and especially wrong.
And there is lots of action including the amorous advances of the Born Again cholita who lives next door and who knocks on Marie's door one sun with a vacuum canister of piping hot coffee and a spare cigarette and Jake, as he waits outside Mr. Lucky’s waiting to unveil the Big Mother in a last ditch attempt to right the wrong that he's done.