"Americans used to say where there's a will, there's a way. Nowadays, it's where there's a pill, there's a way out." - - Burnt Toast

O Headache, O Highway, O Death. . .

The heat is on and nothing cleanses the body of poison better than 8 to 10 hours of toil in the hot sun. Well, maybe an oatmeal, flax seed and potassium citrate colonic, but this ain't no health blog and it damn sure ain't no f'n bread restaurant!

Last evening I sought respite from the heat with the fine locals who patronize my watering hole. What began as a two Heineken stopover turned quickly into a thirteen Heineken rumble. Or was it fourteen? No, six. Yes, I like six better.

At least it wasn't like Saturday when the retired Maytag repairman (yes, they actually exist) broke out his bottle of Cuervo Gold and began parading up and down the bar administering tequila slammers to any and all potential partakers.

We all partook. And some with great consequence. One lady vomited and one poor fellow tried a backward triple gainer off his barstool and then followed up with a fair pinball imitation as he made it to the door and disappeared into the night.

Later, our mini-party was interrupted by two rather large and in charge single gals who were out looking for a good time of some description. Myself, being the kind and uncruel fellow that I am, made the fatal mistake of engaging in conversation with the more aggressive of the pair, however not on my own volition. Mistake number one. Mistake number two happened when in a moment of weakness I purchased an adult beverage for the gal who I will now refer to as Bertha.

Bertha, taking this as an obvious sign of my affection for her, proceeded to inform my less than willing mind about her kids, her deadbeat baby daddy, her used house trailer she just bought, and her efforts to fulfill a life's dream to be a dolphin trainer just like the ones "she done seen on that National Geography channel."

Thankfully, after years of hard training provided by a drunk and often rambling father, I have a sixth sense in respect to one-sided conversations as such. I nod at the appropriate time, gasp on occasion at the obvious stupidity of some meaningless candor and a little "uh-huh" here and there for good measure. I can do this all while multi-tasking on more important events like the bartendress's activities which include making appropriate and long-term eye contact with her bright green eyes.

Returning to the events of Bertha, I was shaken out of my dream state by her wedging herself into the bar whether we liked it or not. She gave a whole new meaning to "belly up to the bar." Now that Bertha and I are physically connected, when she moved so did I. And so did the guy next to me and the poor lady on the other side of him. In our newfound intimacy, Bertha continued on with her psychobabble, and felt a connection so great with me that she proceeded to stroke my pony tail from time to time while commenting on my "strong" blue eyes and my marked silence which could be easily explained away by her verbosity.

It occurred to me in that moment that it was time for me to go. Anyone who knows me can attest that when I am leaving, it means just so. I do not lollygag around. This can also be said for my occasional announcements that I have to lay down. I do so, and quickly. So, I ordered up my tab, scribbled something illegible for a tip, excused myself to the restroom and when Bertha looked away, quietly I slipped out the side door.

These evasive maneuvers were necessary and useful for extracting myself from a worsening and seemingly impossible situation. As I rounded the third corner of the building and approached my truck I heard footsteps behind me. I turned to find Bertha standing there in all 290 pounds (estimate) of massive glory.

My brain unleashed a flood of panic juice and I cursed the vulgar equivalent of "egads" in three languages under my breath. Bertha approached closer and into what is called my personal space, a behavior that very large and obviously very lonely gals share with. . .Nicaraguans, for example. Try the border crossing into the NW corner of Costa Rica for the greatest example of "how to piss Brett off in about 12 seconds."

Bertha raised her arms to engulf me into her massive bosom and all I could think of were those idiots you see on TV trying to wrestle a grizzly bear in some far away Canadian bar. My last thought before my imminent death was "did I turn off the chicken stock before I left?" Funny how the brain operates in times of crisis, but luckily some base animal instinct kicked in as I reached to grab her large arms, which were surprisingly weak. I took a deep breath, focused a steely gaze in her round face and spoke. . .

"I'm sorry, but I am gay."

Her response was a soft, "oh."

I let go of her arms, stepped into the truck and drove away with a sickened feeling rumbling in my body. I needed to bathe.

Little did I know that my quick thinking would upset the critical balance of the inner circles of the watering hole, but I found out how so as I walked into the place last night.

The first question I got from the owners wife. "Was that your wife or girlfriend?" Heaven's no!

The second from the owner, "What kind of trouble did you start in here Saturday?" Well sir, nothing that I was aware of unless being accosted by a walking battleship is considered causing trouble. He laughed and remarked that he knew I wasn't the kind of guy who stirred stuff up and that all of his information was fourth-hand at best. But all of this had me thinking about the events and the rabid scuttlebutt that surely ensued after my hasty and well-timed departure.

The third question posed by an older bar patron really caught me off guard.

"Are you gay?"

Holy moly! What trouble I have caused for myself! I politely explained the events to everyone to much laughter, delight and ridicule and everyone one agreed that should Bertha reappear that I would indeed be gay, if only for one Saturday night a week.

So with the story settled and equilibrium restored, we all settled into our bar stools as we should, discussing the topics of the day which is mostly about the heat.

According to the local news a section of Highway 49 below Jackson buckled from the heat and was closed and several deaths had been reported.

So again people, stay safe and think smart whether outside working in the sun or inside seeking refuge from it. In my case, a dangerous proposition on both ends from current experiences. I just hope that tonight I do not have to be gay. I'm sure it is doing nothing for me and is seriously interfering with the green eyes behind the bar.

- Sent from my iPhone

Brian C  – (Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 9:49:00 AM CST)  

That is hilarious. Exactly which establishment are patronizing? Is it the lime green one just south of Terry? If so, let me know when you are going to be down there, and I will meet you.


Burnt Toast  – (Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 12:15:00 PM CST)  

Brain, this place is Hot Shots just south of Byram.

I'll call you Friday. I plan on going if I don't have to work on Saturday. If so, then Saturday evening.

I only go to the County Line Bar as a last resort. I think those people in there are suspicious of new faces, probably because they like to smoke weed in front of the place.

Brian C  – (Friday, August 6, 2010 at 8:40:00 AM CST)  

Just let me know. I have to work Saturday, so Saturday night sounds like a winner.

Anonymous –   – (Friday, August 6, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM CST)  

Dude! Thats funny as shit. If I didn't know you so well I'd be one at the bar going "Your What!!!". Give me a holla if ya'll go out.


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