Nowhere, AZ – My Saturday started out typically enough. I left the house around 9:00AM to hit the trio grande of local coffee shops, then a bookstore, then lunch, then a beer. I drank enough caffeine over the next several hours to give even Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas the jitters. I snagged a used copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead and then, quite uncharacteristically, embarked on a solo bar crawl (typically I invite friends for solo bar crawls). For my first drink, I decided on a place called the Wine Nook and ordered an Old Rasputin. Reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead called for compatible refreshment. Four attractive women were sitting at the end of the bar. They introduced themselves. Apparently, it was the brunette’s birthday and they were in for a weekend of partying.
Then they asked, “Are you on-line?” I said, yes.
You always say ‘yes’ when four intoxicated women are asking you a question, unless, of course, the question is “are you a pedophile?”
“What are you doing on line?” asked the blonde.
“Just trying to find four women in town for a weekend of partying.”
Sometimes I can be witty. The Tibetan Book of the Dead would have to wait. These women demanded my full attention.
I considered joining them for a while on their quest for whatever the hell they were questing for, but I could already see where this was going. It was 3:30PM and they were going to be interesting for about twenty to thirty more minutes, at best. I spent thirty minutes flirting with them, pushing the limit as it were, and then I exercised a rare moment of good judgment and ditched them en-route to the next bar.
At Chett’s Place I found a heavy set Mexican gentleman, kicking back a Budweiser. He was the only one, besides me, buzzed at 4:00 PM, hitting on women, and wearing a shoddy Los Angeles Angels baseball cap. A kindred spirit…I love the Angeles. His name was Bissau Edouardo. He told me he will be bull riding tomorrow in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
I asked him how he is going to get there and he replied “bull riding.”
I asked him if riding a bull from northern Arizona to Southern Wyoming in one night was advisable, with the weather and all. He then clarified that a plane would be taking him. Bissau had a heavy Mexican accent, but we spoke the universal language of barcrawl. Why hang around with drunk, attractive women when a slice of southwestern Americano like this was walking around unattended? We talked and carried on for a time and then we both exited stage right. The plan to go to the next bar together, however, became someho lost in translation. Somewhere Steve Perry was singing, “How we left and went our separate ways.”
En-route to one of the other twenty or so remaining bars in town, I spied the four women from the Wine Nook. They were standing on a corner hailing a cab. The birthday girl was being held vertical by the combined efforts of the other three. They waved to me as I ducked into Mahoney’s. You see, I had told them I was heading home. So now they knew me for the fraud that I am. Maybe it was all a lie. Maybe I was a pedophile.
When I entered the dark bar I spotted a drunk gentleman wearing a shoddy Los Angeles Angels baseball cap. Bissua! My new found friend smiled and offered me a seat. After we reminisced about our other bar antics from the ‘before time’, he grew strangely quiet. He then said, “Tomorrow will be my last ride.”
He believes his bullriding career is coming to an end. I sensed some concern with his last ride, because he fears it will be, er…his last. Not that his career will be ending, he knows that, but that his life will be ending in an organ-goring death-ride (OGDR). I asked him if, at his age, drinking heavily the night before some thousand miles journey toward certain death was a good idea. He had no answer, barring something resembling a belch.
“This will be my last,” he said again.
“Beer or bull ride?”
“Depends on what?”
“Depends on if you’re buying.”
I asked him if he had to ride tomorrow, and he replied, “Si,” which I believe translates roughly as, “Indeed, it is your turn to buy, gringo.”
When I asked how to spell his name, he asked if I was a cop and he came dangerously close to spilling his beer on my laptop, which is always an occupational hazard on barcrawls. I asked him if he’d ever been to Cheyenne.
He said, “A few times.”
So I told him of my own adventure in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Shag and I—Shag was my unlicensed copilot for this misadventure—had pulled into a place late one night. And, no shit, the singularly most attractive bartenders greeted us with a “Sorry, fellas, but we’re closing.” We talked her into staying open so that we could try their home brews…a plea that would never have worked back East. I remember thinking this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship. In retrospect, I wish she had closed. She poured us six shot glasses of their beer sampler. It was by far the worst beer EVER. Two grown men could not finish these six shots of beer.
At one point, I remember Shag saying, “I think this one was brewed in an old lawn mower bag.”
The place was called Lazy Boy, or Po Boy Brewing or some such. By the grace of grog, it’s no longer operational. But she was so cute, and had stayed open late for us, so we were determined to finish those six shitty shots ranging from their Rancid Red Ale to their Skunked Stout. Of course, she was also trying to close, so time was of the essence. After each sip it grew increasingly hard to smile at her. We never did finish those beers…
Bissua interrupted my riveting tale and said he had to go meet someone at Pia’s. I had already ordered an appetizer, or I would have stuck with him. Chicken quesadillas or bull riding legend? Sometimes quesadillas trumps all. Just don’t tell, Winslow.
As Bissua rode off into the sunset, I couldn’t help but think: “why the hell did I ditch those chicks?” I also wondered, will he be successful tomorrow, or will he be gored beyond recognition? Or, is he full of, for lack of a better term, bullshit? After eating, I downed the rest of my brew and looked everywhere for Bissua (even in those drunk chicks’ hotel room, but to no avail…well, to some avail).