This one found and posted just for The Colin. Enjoy, my old friend :)
It’s Monday (damn!) and I am at lunch right now. Pretty bored, that is. You see, I still do not own a car. That makes it
quite difficult to get out for lunch. Therefore, I eat a packed (by me) lunch. I’ve gotten really good at packing lots of shit
into one well-balanced meal each day. Anyway, I ought to tell you a little about the sort of holidays I had.
It was a total blast! It began rather auspiciously in Austin. Friday night before Christmas Eve, I met Colin at the bus
station. We roamed Highland Mall for a while huntin’ Fab Babes. Then I announced that I would give him a nifty Christmas
gift, that he would probably like to help make. It was a custom decorated mug. What we put on it was a plethora of our over used
trite and tired phrases that we were (and still are) fond of during last (1988) Spring. A small sample: “Disclaimer!”,
“Pretense!”,”Beer in the fridge?”,”Indeed.”,”Anyway…”,”At any rate…”,”I was NOT following her around!”, “How was I to know
that she was selling squid jerkey on calf sinew?”,”Be that as it may, although I doubt it was…”. You get the idea, right?
Okay. Anyway, “Peace and Love, Man” and on to the next paragraph…
So, there we were, drinking a shit load of hmmm…. what was that stuff. Well, label it Battery Acid for generic’s sake. All
right, there we were – sitting in accustomed drunken frustration in front of an all too thrilling porn. We got deep (as usual,
and throwing disclaimers left and right and to and fro) and passed out shortly after. I woke up circa 3:00 pm and roused his
ugly face out of the couch cushions. It was not very easy, but once that was done, the day had officially begun. We trapsed
toward Pleasureland Video. Stopped on the way to eat at a new BBQ place on 29th and Guadalupe called Ruby’s. Good shit. It
perked us up and we proceeded to Pleasureland to return that video (and to check to see if they had “Three Daughters” in stock
for our next adventure). On Ruby’s… may I say that it is a fine (albeit oozing pretense) taste of Southwestern Americana
complete with the chiles on ropes and cow skulls on the walls. The food aint bad either. But, most of all, it
is definitely the help that gives the place its real charm(?). They are nice, though artsy-fartsy, pleasant, rough hewn people.
Semi-qualified conversationalists that are oh so rare in this day of MTV. Forgive little snipits of cynicism – old pleasant
habits die hard.
Paragraph Four: What I’ve managed to say so far is that we had a drunken debauchery and woke up and began a day. On to the
interesting shit. We returned to my apt and gathered what was left of our shattered wits and went to the Capital Metro stop to
wait (and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait… ad tedium) for the bus to get us to the bus to get us to the airport to
get us a rental car. (Whew! Wipe sweat, nay perspiration, from the forehead.) It WAS as bad as that. We went tre-cheap. Got
the Plymouth Sundance. Good car, in fact it’s the one I ALMOST bought for myself last year. Anyway, we tore back to my place
and prepared for departure. That is (believe it or not) when we left – sort of. Happily in our OWN wheels, we lit up and began
our adventure. There is something about smoking…it gets me thirsty. Funny, that. I wanted a drink to drink. (Dept. of
Redundancy Department!) I saw a Popey’s Chicken (yes, in a VERY Black area) and stopped in for a Coke. I bounced back in the
car and turned the key. Only, the car didn’t seem to care. Funny, that. “Hmmm…”, thought I, “the battery must be dead.”
“Flat.”, corrected Colin.
“That’s what it says in my MG book.”
“Aw, just try it again. Try a little humor once in a while, stupid!”
“It’s dead, huh?”
“Uh, that’s a pretty good guess, yea.”
Now, mind you, we are pretty obviously White. Not to mention in a White car. So, we went around to the Sonic and call AVIS.
Gee, were they apolagetic. It only took them an hour and a half to get us a new car. We were THREE miles from them. At any
rate, we sat back and looked stupid for a while. Then tried to look cool. then tried to look calm but pissed. All the while
being slightly peeved. In a fit of charity, an old (Black) man offered us a jump. I kindly thanked him and explained how we
were doing just fine, thank you. Hunger crept up and we entered the fine establishment to sate our apetites. To our
expectations, there was one of the hugest ghetto blasters I’ve yet to see. No kidding, it had a LCD clock bigger
than my alarm clock’s. That just is not fair. The inept AVIS man finally showed up with a “Bigger and Better” car for our
inconvience. Nice car – Grand Am. Thoroughly satisfied and amused with the natives, we clambored in and viciously played with
everything in sight before leaving the parking lot. And so our Odessey had thus begun.
Tearing out of the (Quasi) City of Austin, we made our trail to the sticks of La Grange. In Bastrop (bitchen’ town), I gave
the wheel over to Colin. I figured, he could best handle the way to his grandparents’ house. After all, he grew up in La
Grunge in their house. I was wrong. Get this, we were pulled over and he was given a WRITTEN warning for OVER 55. Hah!
Written warnings! Too futile…. Okay, we went very conservatively to La Grunge from then on out. We got to the house and
settled down and watched his grandmother (nifty woman!) make “egg nogg”. Here’s the recipe: Lots of ice cream, a little milk or
coffee cream, Lots Lots Lots Lots of whatever concoction of liquers you have at hand, no eggs, no nogg. Just a Booze-Float.
Trash Can Egg Nogg. Important: drink beer whilst making it so that your senses are a mite dull to begin with.
Totally bored, we went friend seeing. His, that is. It was a frightening thing when Joe’s family wanted to meet me (waiting
in the car). They were (for real,chick) sitting around and being festive and talking and listening to Rudolph the Red Nosed
Reindeer. These people were all over 20. SCARY. Anyway, we got Joe’s location and proceeded to it. He was at another friend’s
house, Melissa Cobb. The Cobbster. She reminds me of Cathy Schlegel. You remember that girl, don’t you? I sat with her in Tate’s
class. Talked about her a lot. Anyway… she is very friendly, but you can tell that she is slightly off-center from the rest of
the world. Great conversationalist, pretty eyes, pouting lips, shoulder length gopher-brown hair, about 5 to 7 lbs overweight,
around 5′ 6″, amiable persona. Gimme some slack, she’s one of the few people I’ve met in too long that hasn’t made me a bit
apprehensive when she is talking about herself. She did it with matter of factness, not conceit or egotism. I was really
interested in what she had to say. (Gad!) Peel your smirk off your damn face and get serious. I sort of gave Colin the
impression that I mildly approved of her. And yes, I could guess that there are some things about her that probably are quite out
of kilter. But, hey, look at my fiascos. No further comment is needed. So, yes, my hormones were quite alert as well as my
genuine interest in this chick and her odd words like “shwack”. I like that word. It is a general purpose word. “I got some
shwack to do.” “Get that shwack out of my way.” “Shwack.” Though it is not exactly synonomous to “shit” it is quite similar. So I
want this tart more than any girl I’ve wanted in a LONG time. Yea, she goes to Southwest Sandbox (like Cathy) in San Marcos.
Everyone has his/her faults. But, the big one is that Joe has wanted her for a long long time. And I don’t move in on my
friends’ ladies. Granted that chances are he will never get her, I will never see her again unless I make an effort to do so. To
be or not to be. That makes no sense whatsoever, but it seemed to fit. Does it? Who am I asking? Who am I? What is Life? 42.
Time for another paragraph now….
New Paragraph: Now that that is discussed, the next major event after Cobb, Joe, Colin and I visited was that the men met back
at Colin’s grandparents’ place to imbibe the Egg Nogg and smoke ciggarettes outside where we wouldn’t be spotted by the ever
watchful grandma. Great fun. Since Cobb and Colin were sure to have legacies passed down from wills and such, while Joe and I
aren’t, Joe and I decided that it is our duty to establish our own clannish stuff. A little while later, about two cigs, Joe
left. The rest of the evening (and morning) was spent drinking beer and being deep. Again, many disclaimers hurled for
protection of persona. I went into my “Priest Mode”. You know the one. Where I get really deep and compassionate – kind of a
stopgap for all of that black humor and dry cynicism that abounds like shit on diapers. Allright, I’ll stop that quick. At about
9:00 am we took a nap to be awoke by his grandfather screaming on the intercom/PA system: “Get UP!” Scared me silly. I thought
all those little things on the wall were radios. Oooh. Ahhh. Yea.
So what did we do? I’ll tell ya. We got dressed and drank beer, coffee, egg nogg, and lounged. To me, this was bliss.
Later, when the others arrived to partake dinner and visit, I was a bit fatigued. However, I did survive long enough to enjoy
myself intensely. By the way, Colin’s mother, Margot, is a real bright woman. I enjoyed talking with her a great deal. From
what I understand, she works as a sort of draftswoman in chemical and oil plants. I forget exactly what the deal is, but she did
amaze me with her fine command of English/Jargon. Colin got a compact disc player, clothes, and the mug. I got 3 ties from Colin.
My total haul for Christmas is very little. In fact, I haven’t gotten to a couple of gifts from Teresa and Dorothy. I got
cologne from Dino. I consider any gift(s) an event in itself since I don’t believe in Christmas Lists.
Anyway, at about 4:00 pm we departed to return to Austin. In Austin, we each (FINALLY) showered and shaved. Then we took off to
Ft. Worth. Fantastic Journey, huh? Let me tell ya about Waco IHOP’s…. As Colin affectionately termed it, “Reactor Shielding”.
I am having a hard time, to this day, reconciling the price (ANY price!) with that FOOD(?!). Okay, what actually happened is
this: we walked in, were seated and immediately wanted Bacon Cheeseburgers. No luck. After letting us ponder the menu for too
long, the waitress shows and takes our order. “Oh, I’m so sorry. We are out of steak, ground beef, etc……” Peachy. So we
decided on Chicken Parmessan. She returned in a few minutes, “Oh, I’m so sorry. We are out of spaghetti, too. What else would
you like?” By this time, my fuse was burning my fingers. “No, YOU tell US what we CAN have.” To which she had a ready answer,
“breakfast or Chicken Cordon Bleu.” Definitely no Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity for me! With trepidation, we both ordered the
Chicken Cordon Shielding. I think by now you get the idea. One more thing: the apple garnish was absolutely inedible, bruised,
and most likely used.
With Colin at the wheel again, we had a leisurely drive into Alvarado. Plenty of ciggarettes and conversation to help the
miles go away. In Alvarado, I took the driving over and glided us safely into Ft. Worth via the most fucked up I35 I’ve yet to
see. At any rate, we landed at Ma’s house and bid her Happy Noel. We took a Reactor Shit and went cruising around for milk and
bread for breakfast. Believe it or not, Ma cooked us a bang-up breakfast: french toast, bacon, coffee. Yes, Charles is still
living in the backyard in the shed. Colin thought he was weird but nice enough. So then we swooped by your family and nabbed
Dino. We proceeded to drive all over town and talk about nothing in particular. Donna has, indeed, become quite a young lady.
She still needs to get taste in men, though. Oh well, not my business anyway. Didn’t see the BOY or your dad. Shame. But, I
can pretty much see them anytime I venture North. Your Ma is a scream as usual. I love to hear her perspective on things, quite
a lady she is. Oh, I am rambling something awful aren’t I? Bear with it.
Then, I showed Colin my brother Raymond. They got on quite well. Ray is a great entertainer and he loves people almost as
much as an audience. And, he has decided to go back to college and get a teaching certificate to teach Math to High School kids.
Mind you, this is Ray. Not Michael. However, Michael (it is rumored) is writing a Math book. Big surprise, huh? If he ever
finishes it, it will prove to be as off the wall as he is, I hope. I guess your not very up on the Michael situation. Well, who
is? Anyway…. he lives in Miami, Florida (sort of). He has gotten into writing movie reviews along the lines of what Joe Bob
Briggs (“We are the Wierd”). He’s really good at it, ya no? Da!
Then, I showed him Margaret, Johnny, John, Paul, and Ben. The Humphreys. Bitzy also has all the really interesting family
photos stashed away. I raided them and showed Colin just how ADORABLE (!!!) I was as a kid. I WAS. reallllly! He was mildly
amused. We watched a little Dr. Who and mused about the monsters for a while and then left. I took the route home that would
necessarily entail going through Forest Park and passing by the Kips. Needless to say, we stopped and ate at the Kips. We had a
Ruth Buzzy look alike for our waitress.
At Ma’s, we were welcomed with “Eat some blackeyed peas!” This meant that we had to stick around for a while to be ABLE to eat
some of them. Dorothy showed up and gave Ma her/Nono’s gift: a keen Telephone, which I (as the engineer) was comissioned to get
working. Twana could have hooked this phone up, I clearly was not needed. But to accomodate the all to omnipresent lack of
female confidence or initiative, I (the man of the house) did it for them. Feminine laziness, actually. We men must deal with
the failing of you women. The phone hooked up and all, we departed the home front.
(Oh, by the way, after Kips, I bought Donna a Coca-Cola shirt and some (get this!) chocolate covered Oreos. How apt.)
The ride to Dallas was a long one. We were quite tired and non-conversant. But, once we hit Dallas, it was non-stop
excitement. First move: West End Market Place. We called Liz (not my ex, a good friend of ours) and set up a time to meet at Dave
and Buster’s. Here comes that nasty fiend thirst again. This time, it hit Colin. He ordered a coke at the bar. The ‘tender
filled a small cup with ice and filled the spaces with coke and said, “That’ll be $1.75.” Apalled beyond words, both of us stood
agape catching flies. The nice man offered to forgo the sale, but to be nice, Colin paid the money. Wanting to savor every drop
of liquid and every crunch of ice, we sat. It got chilly in the wind and we decided to escape to the car. This is when the (ooh,
I’m so G-Q and tough) bouncer said, “you can’t take that out of here”. Again we were apalled to no end. Mind you, we have both
experienced some outrageous behavior by some clubs, but this is a FUCKING MALL! So, we stood in front of the steroid poster child
and Colin drank his coke while we quite annoyingly discussed what we thought about being ButtFucked by a Mall and just how
underwhelmed we were with the bouncers’ trendy clothes and walkie talkies. Right in front of him; he could hear; he was not
specifically mentioned; he had nothing on us. Asshole.
Having been fucked without permission, we decided to go whore baiting. I knew just the place (don’t ask) to do it: Harry Hines
Blvd. We saw one broad with the largest garbonzos I’ve yet seen on a whore get a customer after a few attempts. We pissed off
another whore by scaring the customer away. And baited others. Cheap thrills, but hey, we had time to kill.
At Dave and Busters early, we decided on game plan. Colin was to try to get in precisely the way I had gotten in when I was
under 21. Casually walk in and ask what cover is. Well, to make a sad story short, it didn’t work. I evengot carded when I
wanted to just use the phone (by the door!). So, after calling Liz’s mother and leaving the message that we couldn’t wait any
longer, we left. At the stop light a few blocks away, we nabbed Liz. Then we went to the Balboa Cafe. We Nachoed, drank (one
beer for me – driving), and talked a lot. Great time. We said our too emotional goodby’s and left for Houston.
The drive to Houston was hard. Fatigue really set in now. I escaped to the passenger seat and slept after Colin yelled at me
to do so. Upon arrival in Houston, we promptly found Teresa’s neighborhood and promptly could not find the place itself. It had
been a long time since either of us had been in Houston and we were tired. So we just found a descent motel next door to Teresa’s
apartments and crashed there (3:00am) so as not to bother the Boone’s too much. I called her and explained it and crashed. We
woke at 11:00am and were out by noon. We got to the Boone’s and visited. All of then headed to a great burger place and ate
lunch together. On the way, we were rearended by a woman who was rearended. No damage, no whiplash. No problem for us at least.
Because it was raining, I drove (it was in my name) out of Houston. Pity we didn’t get to see Colin’s mom again.
We got to La Grunge and I dropped Colin off, collected $25 as his share of the car and left. I got home, turned in the car
and, of course, left the $25 in the car. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Later on, Colin’s grandma reimbursed an embarrassed me for it,
contrary to my squealing about how it was my stupidity.
and that’s all dear. Next installment is the New Year’s escapade.