Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hooray Beer...Goggles

The man with the snake brimmed ten gallon hat swaggered by our table at Buck n Loons. He paused, eyes piercing through my skin, and continued on around the corner. I mumbled something about that being an odd behavior - to walk by a person, stop for enough time for the observed to feel uncomfortable, and then continue on without a word - but then I realized that I was talking about a man who had a rattle snake wrapped around his hat, the head of said snake lying limply on the brim. Probably he was not very concerned with social norms or ordinary types of pleasantries. He certainly did make an impression, though.

I am not unaccustomed to West Texas eccentrics since many of them were members of my Texas Panhandle family. Those men would gather in Mimi’s kitchen, chug Keystones, and rehash old stories that usually involved pick-ups, dirt, and/or a shotgun. These yarns were endearingly woven and told of some idiot friend who got himself into some sort of scrape, one that the ______(fill in the blank with fire chief, preacher, or sheriff)____ had to get him out of. Many of the tales ended with the listeners braying, “Ah hell” in whatever inflection was appropriate to the story – as in “No shit?!” or “That’s too bad,” or “That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard!” As the evening progressed and the beer coolers emptied, some of the stories were reenacted with props – like with a dead rattlesnake, a weed whacker, or shot gun shells. Always there was a lot of laughter, though any city slicker would have been justifiably afraid. Even I was sometimes uncomfortable, though I felt a great love and admiration for those Flatlander good-ole-boys.

So the snake brimmed man at Buck n Loons didn’t scare me as much as he reminded me of my childhood.

I, being at the end of an extremely challenging work day, sat lethargically people watching and sipping on Texas tea when he sauntered back around. I was determined to speak, to at least say hello to this dusty cowboy who obviously had some fascinating stories to tell. Before I could take a breath for what would be hello, he again stopped at our table.

This time he tapped Rich on the shoulder and said, “You do know you’re with the prettiest woman in the room, dontcha?” But before I had the chance to puff up with any ounce of pride, before Rich could even respond to confirm or deny his observation, the man said, “You better realize it or else we’ll have to take you to Vegas.”

Being understandably thrown, Rich asked, “What?”

The man explained, “You know, Vegas.. Where you can easily bury a body without being caught.”

We paused for a moment, trying to determine whether or not the man was making a joke or being genuine. I glanced over at Baby Jack, wondering how I would grab him and make a speedy exit if necessary.

Then with a huge yawping guffaw, the man slapped Rich on the back and made his way back to the bar.

“He he..he,” we weakly tittered in return.

“Check, please!”

6 comments:

Aaron's Mom said...

Holy Hell. I don't know if I should be incredibly frightened or be laughing hysterically.

Also, never have I ever heard someone speak of Keystones besides you... and my dad. It is his beverage of choice (well, Keystone Light. Gotta watch that beer gut, you know. Yeah, right.). Thank you for allowing me to zoom back to my roots for an instant.

Amira A. said...

Personally, I'd have laughed and been embarrassed about it.

This post makes me nervous and kinda excited. Well, not nervous so much. I'm about to move in with my girlfriend. We'll have a house in Gun Barrel City, Texas. Surrounded.

Thank God her family is awesome. 'Cause, you know, they all live on the same street. And I have heard some good ol' boy stories from her brother... about himself, mostly.

Ginger said...

Glad you guys can identify (or will be able to soon, Amira!)!

Maybe I'm not so weird after all. You guys turned out OK... right?

happyfunpants said...

Ah hell!!

:)

Cute story. And I bet he wasn't lying...you were the prettiest person in the room.

Ginger said...

Ok, Anne, so let's pretend that that's true; is that a statement about me, or is it about all of the other poor souls in the room.. ;p

p.s. you're nice!

the girls' moma said...

I'm nice too! The prettiest AND a Moma! That's AWESOME!

How classy of him to say that about a new mom.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hooray Beer...Goggles

The man with the snake brimmed ten gallon hat swaggered by our table at Buck n Loons. He paused, eyes piercing through my skin, and continued on around the corner. I mumbled something about that being an odd behavior - to walk by a person, stop for enough time for the observed to feel uncomfortable, and then continue on without a word - but then I realized that I was talking about a man who had a rattle snake wrapped around his hat, the head of said snake lying limply on the brim. Probably he was not very concerned with social norms or ordinary types of pleasantries. He certainly did make an impression, though.

I am not unaccustomed to West Texas eccentrics since many of them were members of my Texas Panhandle family. Those men would gather in Mimi’s kitchen, chug Keystones, and rehash old stories that usually involved pick-ups, dirt, and/or a shotgun. These yarns were endearingly woven and told of some idiot friend who got himself into some sort of scrape, one that the ______(fill in the blank with fire chief, preacher, or sheriff)____ had to get him out of. Many of the tales ended with the listeners braying, “Ah hell” in whatever inflection was appropriate to the story – as in “No shit?!” or “That’s too bad,” or “That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard!” As the evening progressed and the beer coolers emptied, some of the stories were reenacted with props – like with a dead rattlesnake, a weed whacker, or shot gun shells. Always there was a lot of laughter, though any city slicker would have been justifiably afraid. Even I was sometimes uncomfortable, though I felt a great love and admiration for those Flatlander good-ole-boys.

So the snake brimmed man at Buck n Loons didn’t scare me as much as he reminded me of my childhood.

I, being at the end of an extremely challenging work day, sat lethargically people watching and sipping on Texas tea when he sauntered back around. I was determined to speak, to at least say hello to this dusty cowboy who obviously had some fascinating stories to tell. Before I could take a breath for what would be hello, he again stopped at our table.

This time he tapped Rich on the shoulder and said, “You do know you’re with the prettiest woman in the room, dontcha?” But before I had the chance to puff up with any ounce of pride, before Rich could even respond to confirm or deny his observation, the man said, “You better realize it or else we’ll have to take you to Vegas.”

Being understandably thrown, Rich asked, “What?”

The man explained, “You know, Vegas.. Where you can easily bury a body without being caught.”

We paused for a moment, trying to determine whether or not the man was making a joke or being genuine. I glanced over at Baby Jack, wondering how I would grab him and make a speedy exit if necessary.

Then with a huge yawping guffaw, the man slapped Rich on the back and made his way back to the bar.

“He he..he,” we weakly tittered in return.

“Check, please!”

6 comments:

Aaron's Mom said...

Holy Hell. I don't know if I should be incredibly frightened or be laughing hysterically.

Also, never have I ever heard someone speak of Keystones besides you... and my dad. It is his beverage of choice (well, Keystone Light. Gotta watch that beer gut, you know. Yeah, right.). Thank you for allowing me to zoom back to my roots for an instant.

Amira A. said...

Personally, I'd have laughed and been embarrassed about it.

This post makes me nervous and kinda excited. Well, not nervous so much. I'm about to move in with my girlfriend. We'll have a house in Gun Barrel City, Texas. Surrounded.

Thank God her family is awesome. 'Cause, you know, they all live on the same street. And I have heard some good ol' boy stories from her brother... about himself, mostly.

Ginger said...

Glad you guys can identify (or will be able to soon, Amira!)!

Maybe I'm not so weird after all. You guys turned out OK... right?

happyfunpants said...

Ah hell!!

:)

Cute story. And I bet he wasn't lying...you were the prettiest person in the room.

Ginger said...

Ok, Anne, so let's pretend that that's true; is that a statement about me, or is it about all of the other poor souls in the room.. ;p

p.s. you're nice!

the girls' moma said...

I'm nice too! The prettiest AND a Moma! That's AWESOME!

How classy of him to say that about a new mom.