Saturday, February 26, 2005

Where Seldom is Heard...

So it turns out there are a number of overlapping laws and statutes that prohibit the public staging of a good old fashioned cow-punching, campfire sing-along... on a Friday night... on the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

The noble Vaquero, those wild and dashing Mexican cowboys of the old Southwest, have always been a friend and ally to the squinty-eyed American Gunslinger. There was much that each respected and admired in the other. The vaqueros could be fierce fighters when absolutely necessary but rarely sought it out. Love, passion and romance - these were the things the Vaquero lived for and bullets have a nasty habit of violently smashing future opportunities to love. "Lips," so goes the old vaquero saying, "are for kissing a fine woman, not for forming bloody spit bubbles with last ragged breaths."

Over the years, many a tired gunslinger has enjoyed a night of peace, good food and carefree song at a vaquero campfire.

For ten dollars an hour, the gentlemen relaxing outside the local Home Depot were more than willing to help Latigo Flint reenact this comfortable picture of frontier camaraderie. "Campfire songs senior? Of course we know campfire songs. Serapes and cooking pots? No problemo."

We rehearsed until twilight then drove to Hollywood & Vine. Double parked the U-Haul for a moment and quickly set up. And that was how it came to pass that a large crowd of Midwestern tourists got to witness the following scene.

Seven vaqueros hunkered around a campfire, leaning comfortably against saddles and singing magnificently as the frijoles and tortillas warmed.
"El Oh la vida de un vaquero es fino. Caballos y vacas y coyotes y tales. El Oh la vida de un vaquero es magnífico. Tengo gusto de hacerlo oh tanto. "

From somewhere beyond the circle of firelight my boot heal scuffed audibly on the curb.

"Es somebody there?" Juan peered cautiously into the night.

"Not to worry amigos!" I said in a low, clear voice. "Continue to play and sing your fine song. None but a friend approaches your fire this night."

"Es that Lateego Fleeent the esteemed gunslinger? Could it be so?"

"None other my amigos."

"You know you are always most welcome at our fires of camp Lateego Fleent. Step in from the cold and join us for frijoles and tortillas."


"Thank you Juan. You're certain you have enough to spare?"

"For you Lateego Fleent, always. You will of course lend your mighty baritone to our humble song to earn your food."

I threw back my head and laughed heartily. "Juan my amigo, does nothing ever change?" I stepped to the fire and breathed deeply of the wonderful smells emanating from the kettles. "And so again amigos it has come to pass that-"

The screeching tires and wailing sirens cut me off at that point and the comfortable picture of frontier camaraderie quickly disintegrated into chaos and bedlam. My gentleman reenactors hollered "I.N.S.!!!" and started to scatter, colliding with the suddenly terrified tourists who screamed and began beating them with handbags. The frijoles pot was overturned into the path of several charging police who slipped and crashed into the campfire, sending flaming logs flying in all directions, badly burning several tourists and igniting some nearby magazine racks. A squad of street people charged from an alley and tried to scoop up the musical instruments until enraged, frijoles-stained police, started pummeling them with nightsticks. A large crowd formed out the outside of the circle and started collapsing everyone in towards the flames in an attempt to see what was going on. Then a stray dog darted in, gulped down a couple of tortillas, took a giant sniff from a small dish of cayenne pepper and just went completely berserk...

They're going to try to throw the book at Latigo Flint. You may hear newscasters and court reporters say terrible things about Latigo Flint. But you know they aren't true. You know Latigo Flint was just trying to bring a little frontier camaraderie to a cold, heartless town.

9 Comments:

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

Marvelous post. I am in a in a wistful (cliché) mood this evening - I am the queen of the cliché you know... And damn the pigs.

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Just prove your citizenship! A birth certificate, green card, or Jeremiah Johnson DVD all serve as legal documentation and proof of rights here in the US. Trust me on this, you're in the clear Latigo.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

I wonder if Latigo remembers the fucking Alamo.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger amandapants said...

I am truly disappointed to have left work early that day.

I'm sure that my espanol skills and sway with the local police (don't ask) would have helped. If not that, I could at least have been there to sling scalding hot frijoles into their eyes and race out of the nearby alley in my car to make a quick getaway.

Well, next time then.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Velvet Marauder said...

That chaps my ass! What kind of world do we live in that an hombre can't sidle up to a campfire and pass away the time with some gay caballeros?

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger Gil The Carnie said...

Sos now, gunslinger, I guess yer not allowed 'round children AND Mexicans, huh?

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Thank you Carrie, and aren't we all though? (Except for maybe the queen part.)

Great Hickok's ghost Bottle Rocket, I completely forgot to present my J.J. DVD! It's in a buckskin pouch that's probably laying somewhere near the corner... Could someone please bring it to me at the station?

Ho, Latigo Flint will never forget. However I'm speaking of Vaqueros. Members of Antonio López de Santa Anna's Centralist Army killed our Texans, not Vaqueros.

You work nearby A-Pants? You surely saw the aftermath Monday morning then. Yes, a shame you weren't there when it happened.

Amen Velvet M! And don't worry I know which definition you meant. We were indeed having a most gay and merry time.

I do not believe that to be the case carnie. I do not believe that to be case at all.

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Ah, they don't make them like you any more, Latigo Flint.

I'm sorry to read about the raid. You showed remarkable restraint by not gunning down the whole lot of them.

You are indeed a caballero.

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger Cad Grublygold said...

Vaqueros were as much a part of California as the Grizzly. I'll bet the damn I.N.S. deported all of them to like they did the Vaqueros.

 

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