Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fire Season

Latigo Flint knows what will inevitably follow a near-record breaking rainy season in Southern California -- A near-record breaking wildfire season in Southern California!

This has reminded Latigo Flint of another excellent way to be a hero: Saving Helena Bonham Carter from a wildfire is another excellent way to be a hero.

First, Helena Bonham Carter will need to be alone in a home in the hills that's surrounded by plenty of dry brush. Next a raging wildfire needs to sweep down the narrow canyon. You have to be passing by at the time and your keen, intelligent eyes must detect a car parked in such a way that it's likely to be the only vehicle at the residence.

At this point you should mutter, "Hmm, I'd better go investigate." softly to yourself.

Move swiftly up to the house, keeping a wary eye on the rapidly approaching flames. Once inside you need to notice that something heavy has fallen on Helena Bonham Carter, pinning her and preventing escape. If this is not the case, and you discover she's completely mobile and is at that very moment heading calmly out the door, you must accept that you are no longer a hero. Offer to help carry her suitcase. (It is not appropriate to ask for an autograph at this time, remember a raging wildfire is on its way.)

IMPORTANT: You are NOT allowed to topple something heavy onto Helena Bonham Carter in order to continue with a rescue. This makes you a psychopath, not a hero.

If your original suspicions are correct and Helena Bonham Carter is indeed pinned under something heavy, you must stride rapidly to it and heave it off of her. Next, heroically sweep Helena Bonham Carter into your arms and run from the house, shielding her pale face from the scorching heat. (Don't worry she doesn't weigh much. If you are a scrawny weakling and are having difficulty running with Helena Bonham Carter in your arms, remember, the heroic scrawny weakling's best friend is the trusty piggyback - but don't ever call it a piggyback in the context of heroic rescues, call it the Fireman's Carry.)

It's a bonus if at this point, Helena Bonham Carter's vehicle is completely engulfed in flames - or the fire is so near that your heroic snap decision is that it's too risky to try for it. Carry Helena Bonham Carter down the long, tree-lined driveway to safety. Hopefully a burning branch will fall on your exposed shoulder, searing it rather badly and making you a Wounded Hero, which is very high level of heroism. In fact, it's second only to Dead Hero.

Always appear modest and humble while accepting heartfelt thanks from Tim Burton and the entire Hollywood community. But be sure to turn down all grateful offers of small roles in major motion pictures. Hollywood hates outsiders, even heroic outsiders who just saved Helena Bonham Carter from a wildfire. These are nothing more than insincere, spur-of-the-moment, patronizing, publicity stunts, and by the time the movie actually starts shooting, you would be universally loathed by cast and crew.

(And for christsake, don't touch Helena Bonham Carter in any inappropriate places as you carry her down the driveway. That would irrevocably tarnish your hero-ness.)

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dwight & Lyle Headline a Mix Tape

Okay, so now Latigo Flint knows that if you're going to make a compilation CD for the new, cute Starbucks cashier, the first two songs probably shouldn't be country western songs in which the protagonist kills his unfaithful lover.

Yes, that may have been a serious miscalculation on Latigo Flint's part. See it's just that Dwight Yoakam's Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses), is such a lovely, melancholy ballad about love gone sour, that it really felt right to follow it with Lyle Lovett's LA County. The songs got cheerier later on, I swear.

You must believe me, the 'first impression mix tape symbolism' I was going for was: Hey, pretty girl, love can really make a man sick in the head so you should probably be my girlfriend right quick because I'm Latigo Flint, quickest quickdraw ever, and if you have a deranged ex-boyfriend or two trailing you with murder in their hearts, I can shoot them for you.

(I even wrote that on the liner notes.)

She didn't quite see it that way though. She kinda went the, this is a crazy stalker, I need a restraining order plus mace on a keychain, route.

It also probably didn't help that the new employee training materials at that particular Starbucks include four cautionary chapters about Latigo Flint.

I guess, long as I'm learning from my mistakes here, I guess I could have picked a more populated, better-lit place to give her the CD.

I suppose at the time I might also have been a tad delirious and periodically swatting at those spiders that sometimes like to jump off clouds onto people. Less of that sort of behavior is probably always for the best.

And, I'm willing to admit, now that I've had some time to reflect/sober-up, that there may not have actually been a compilation CD at all - I may have been crouched in the trunk of her car playing the aforementioned songs with a rattle and a kazoo.

(But besides, didn’t I see that once in a John Cusack movie and it worked out all right for him in the end?)

Friday, March 25, 2005

If Latigo Flint Had Been There

If Latigo Flint had been there in that Don McLean song, American Pie, you dern well better believe that marching band would have yielded.

The players would have been all running out of the locker room grunting and slapping each other on helmet and butt, hollering things like: "Herewegonow, herewego!!!" and "Not in our house, kitten, not today!!!"

But then the marching band would have been all like: "Sorry guys, we've got a couple more sets." The players would have been all: "WHAT? HEY! NO! You little lames git going!" And the band is all: "Look, all these people got up to dance, and by golly they're going to get a chance." And the players are all like: "GRRRRRRR!!!" And the band waves dismissive hands: "Sorry, wait your turn."

Then the ominous sound of spurred boots on concrete cuts through the din. Fifty thousand heads turn and behold Latigo Flint striding up the dimly lit tunnel. It takes about three seconds for the entire stadium to fall completely silent. Latigo Flint passes under the goalposts and crosses the end zone, painted grass crunching softly underfoot. The players part down the middle and when the drum major gets his first good look at what stalks him through a canyon of jerseys and facemasks, he blanches and drops his tasseled staff.

There are squinty-eyes and then there are squinty-eyes. A clump of petulant teen girls gives squinty-eyes to the pretty new girl when she passes their table -- That drum major stared into Latigo Flint's squinty-eyes and could physically taste bloody dirt, bitten reflexively by dying jaws.

"I believe these fellers have a game to play."

"W-w-we were just leaving."

"Your flute and piccolo section use too much sweet perfume. The halftime air is thick with it."

"I-I-I'll talk to them ab-ab-about that."

"Much obliged."

Latigo Flint stares down and to the side. It's clear this conversation over and the subtle implication--when Latigo Flint chooses to look up again, he'd better see only grass and painted hashmarks. Eighty musicians have never run so fast before or since.

Quarterback chortles and goes to slap Latigo Flint on the back. "Yo buddy tha-"

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." The QB freezes, puzzled, wary. "I'm not your buddy. It's just that everyone agreed to a structure in which after a 30 minute pause, the game resumes. They were trying to violate that agreement. I made sure they didn't."

Fifty thousand breaths of relief when Latigo Flint finally disappears into the tunnel gloom serve to restart the stadium's engine. The ref hands the ball to the kicker and nervously blows his whistle.

Two hundred feet up in section G6 a pretty young woman turns to her male companion. "Ummm, remember what I told you last night when we kicked off our shoes and danced in the gym? Well, I lied!" And with that she stands and sprints toward the stadium exit closest to the tunnel through which Latigo Flint vanished.

(You know, like, presumably to fellate him and stuff.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Those Plastic Pseudo-Gunslingers

It was high time we paid 'em another visit. Yesterday found Latigo Flint and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, striding squinty-eyed and dangerous through the Ghost Town/Calico Square area of that there amusement park, Knott's Berry Farm.

I have no idea who at Knott's Berry Farm Corporate is responsible for checking the quickdraw qualifications of those silly pseudo-gunslingers they hire to stroll around, posing for pictures, but whoever it is ought to be fired right along with every single one of those pathetic, pretend pistolaros.

An ever-growing crowd amassed next to the Churro stand to watch me square off against the last one. "Alright tinhorn, the next child who drops their Churro is our signal to reach." He glanced at his depressed coworkers. "I'm pretty sure this isn't - that is to say I... SECURITY!!!" How pathetic. I started to wonder if he was even worth beating to the draw, but then a chubby Asian child in a Snoopy t-shirt dropped his Churro and gunslinger instinct took over. Before the wretched tinhorn could even think about twitching, my blurred hands slapped thigh and shucked my authentic replica Colt Peacemaker revolvers from their hand-tooled elk hide holsters, cylinder twirling both in a continuous snap.

"Damn that's fast!" Even Kid Relish was impressed. Kid stared at the stunned tinhorn, "Hey puto, what's your name?" "Tyler." Came the sullen reply. "Damn but that was fast wasn't it Tyler?" "Umm, I guess so."

An angry young woman shoved her way through the crowd and approached The Kid and I. "Well congratulations - you two are just about the biggest losers I've ever seen. What, so you're big men 'cause you sit in your parent's basement all day playing with your silly cap guns?"

Kid Relish was reaching across himself, gearing up for one of his monster backhands, but I quickly stepped between them. "Ma'am, Tyler over there receives money from this amusement park to personify a sacred way of life-" A small child trotted up and tugged once on the side of my shirt. I tried to ignore him. "- sacred Ma'am. He's paid to represent an ideal." The child started tugging urgently. "Umm, an ideal... and it's an ideal ideal, and that tinhorn, Tyler, does a grievous dishonor to-" The child started hopping up and down and humming while urgently tugging on the side of my shirt.

"By the waxed handlebar of Earp, WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!???" The child pointed, "You come and take picture with me and daddy?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Damnit, that's what I'm trying to explain, gunslingers don't go around posing for pictures." The child frowned up at me suspiciously. "That one over there did." I wanted to cry. I blinked back angry tears. "Sweet Calamity Jane am I talking to myself - he's not a real gunslinger!!!" The cruel young woman sensed an advantage. "Oh, and YOU are? How many people have YOU shot?"

Kid Relish, bless him, came to my aid at that point. "That's a trap question Latigo, and you know it. Let me backhand the shit out of all these people and then let's leave and get drunk."

So I let Kid Relish backhand the shit out them. What other choice did I have? The Churro Lady held him off for a while with her flailing frozen Churros. But eventually she too tasted his vengeful knuckles.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Paul Flepworth's Lonely Battle

An electronic mail arrived today, addressed to Latigo Flint:

Dear Latigo Flint,

My name is Paul Flepworth and I am an alpaca rancher in Northern Montana. I read about you on the computers. You are a person that I wish lived near the bar that is near my ranch. That would be mighty fine, to drink beers alongside you. We would finish our first beers at almost the same time----to you I'd say "Have another?" It would be a question and it would mean about having another beer. To me you'd say, "On such a night, with such company, I reckon it'd be a damn shame not to." Or something like that. This would be an old in-joke, no longer funny but as warm and familiar as a trusted stove. That would be mighty fine indeed.

Latigo, that goddamn mastodon is back. It tramples much as it pleases and to trample things pleases it much.

Latigo, have you seen the fine documentary film from 1995 titled: Last of the Dogmen, about that Native American tribe that lived in the wilderness of Northern Montana all the way to now, and that 'Nam sergeant, Barns, found them but he didn't tell anyone and I don't remember why?

This has happened to me near my alpaca ranch except that it's a goddamn mastodon. My Grandpappy told us stories about a mysterious mastodon but that's all we thought they was---stories. And this thinking was with me all these 50 some years until yesterday when that goddamn mastodon ran out of the woods and trampled most of my alpacas.

Latigo, I'm going now to kill that goddamn mastodon. That goddamn mastodon may in fact kill me. One or the other of us---by which I'm meaning me or that goddamn mastodon is going to be dead soon.

I wish I could have had that quiet beer of old, comfortable friendship with you Latigo Flint. I have waited to send this until the very minute that I will be walking out the door to try to kill that goddamn mastodon. This is so you will not travel here and help---which I know you would, being such hero. But it is my lonely battle---by which I mean me trying to kill that goddamn mastodon is a lonely battle that must only be fought by me.

I reckon I'll be seeing you one of these days at the big saloon in the sky. I'll be the one raising my beer as you stride in. I'll have a walking stick propped against the bar next to me. This walking stick won't be a stick at all---it'll be the tusk of that goddamn mastodon.

Your Pard'ner always,

Paul Flepworth

Words fail Latigo Flint. It's getting a little tough to see the screen right now if you know what I mean. I'll tell you this much - I'd gladly trade all the beer in Boston for just four bottles in a Northern Montana bar with Paul Flepworth. So Paul, wherever you are, and I hope to god it's not impaled on the end of mastodon tusk... "on such a night, with such company, I reckon it'd be a damn shame not to... Pard'ner."

Friday, March 18, 2005

Dern You Animal Planet on Discovery

Okay, so it turns out that's ants, not hummingbirds, that are able to lift objects 50 times their own weight. Latigo Flint just discovered you really have to pay attention when you watch them there nature shows. Especially if one of your neighbors is a cute, single mother, and you've decided to be right neighborly and teach her little boy some nifty wildlife facts.

The minutes ticked by as we stared at the brick resting on the lawn, and the young feller started to get concerned. (Truth be told, I got a real uneasy feeling the instant I set that brick down.) I tried to sound confident though.
"Don't you worry pard'ner, that little guy is just sittin' and pondering about the angles and the velocity and whatnot. He's gathering up his strength, and in a sec. he's gonna heft it, you'll see."

The boy looked at me, lower lip beginning to tremble. "Latigo, m-maybe he needs some help?" I cleared my throat gruffly. "Now look little buckaroo, don't you ever condescend the animal kingdom, they hate that." I gazed out at the horizon, "There's all kinds of pride little buckaroo, but the animals, the critters - well they feel the purest kind of pride of all in themselves. See 'cause-" But the disrespectful little bastard wasn't listening anymore, he lifted up the brick and promptly started to scream. "Shhhh little buckaroo, shhhhhhhh!" But he had found a nice scream rhythm and didn't feel like stopping.

The cute single mother ran out of her apartment. "What the HELL do you think you're doing?!" I turned awkwardly, hopping on one foot. Tucked under one arm was her thrashing child, teary-eyed and trying to scream right through my hand. In the other I held the brick and was desperately scraping it against lifted boot, trying to get the smashed hummingbird off.

She strode towards me, enraged. (With some damn good squinty-eyes for a novice I might add.) I searched for an explanation. "Well, you see... there's all kinds of pride ma'am, but the animals, the critters - well they feel the purest kind of-" And that's when she kneed me in the genitals.

"Just tryin' to be neighborly ma'am." I groaned, letting the boy go. He ripped the brick out of my hand and started to ruin my shinbone with it. "Figured I'd learn the boy some nifty wildlife facts and such." Junior wasn't achieving the brick's full destructive potential, so she grabbed it from him and heaved it into my nose. "Okay, I'm going back to my home now." I stumbled away and they started spitting on my back in tandem. "If you ever need someone to chat with, or have a cup of coffee with, or reach up and get down cereal boxes for you from the high shelf, you know where to find me."

I paused at the foot of the steps and glanced back gloomily. "Hey little pard'ner. You might want to double-check what I told you about otters and kerosene. His mother's arm raised in a furious, claw-like gesture."I'm calling the authorities on you now!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bee-Boo-BeepBeepBeep (Green-Blue-RedRedRed)... BLAM!!!

Hey, dern it - Latigo Flint knows that the object of that there quad-colored electronic game, Simon, is to touch the pads in the corresponding order they flashed. Latigo Flint was simply partaking in his own, invented version of the game called: "Shoot the beeping, flashing thing until it fucking stops beeping and flashing."

Latigo Flint isn't going to any more parties, they're tiresome and they're a devalued currency. 150 years ago in the American Old West there were two, maybe three parties a year. You rode for days to get to one. They had a purpose - actually multiple purposes: Acquire a spouse. Prove your pugilistic skills. Win livestock in the distance spitting competition. See if Ol' Fiddlin' Fred could still fiddle with a bullet in his knee etc. - the point is, whatever it was, you had that night to do it or wait 'till next Spring. There simply wasn't enough time for sarcastic little hipsters to pretend to enjoy a 20 year old toy for the amusement of other sarcastic little hipsters.

(And, come to think of it, Latigo Flint has a feeling that if you plotted the number of sarcastic little hipsters on the same graph as the number of families owning cows that needed a' milkin' every morning you'd see a stark, perfectly proportional X, but that's a drunken thought for another evening.)

What was Latigo Flint saying? Oh yes - apparently shooting a beeping flashing disk out a sarcastic little hipster's hands is a: "Party foul". And if you believe the cluster of indignant female party-goes who showed Latigo Flint the door, he's a: "Grumpy, pathetic weirdo, desperate for attention."

They slammed the door before Latigo Flint could deliver his witty comeback, which was going to be: "Oh yeah? Well-" and then wooden deck chair thrown into pool.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Good Way to be a Hero

(Latigo Flint has to ride fence for a day or two. In the meantime, here's an important one you may have missed. I think it's as true today as it was then.

From the archives - November 4, 2004.)

A Good Way to be a Hero

A good way to be a hero would be to be standing on a medium sized cliff admiring the view with a bunch of other people nearby, and to have school children taking a nature walk in the clearing below. Then you would need to have a mountain lion run out of the underbrush and attack one of the children, preferably a girl. The ranger, teachers and the other children need to run away in terror. If one of them stays and fights off the mountain lion then they'll be the hero and not you.

At this point you need to run and jump off the medium sized cliff aiming for a soft bushy tree, hopefully without too many pointy limbs.

Drop out of the tree and run up to the mountain lion. Beat it to death with something. Cover the injured child with your jacket and say soothing things to her until the authorities arrive.

It is a big bonus if the child is of a different ethnicity than you, it's more poignant that way. It's also very very good if someone nearby has a camera and has filmed the whole thing.

Lastly, be humble when you appear on national television programs. Say things like:
"Aww, anyone would have done the same."
and "Yeah, I was scared, terrified really, but, and this is going to sound very strange Oprah, but it's almost like the terrified part of me was watching someone else run up to that mountain lion... I can't explain it really, I'm just so glad that little girl is going to be okay."

Monday, March 14, 2005

You Know The Band Will Play Copland, Aaron

Latigo Flint recently noticed that it's downright hard to find a question in a textbook or standardized test that can't be answered within seconds if you know how to use a search engine. What's the formula to calculate the volume of a cone? Hell, one of the top three links is a goddamn cone volume calculator.

So some people might argue that now more than ever, children need to understand the potential applications of the subjects they're studying in school - they need to know why someone would want to know the volume of a cone? To whom and in what types of professions, would the volume of a cone be beneficial? Not simply how to do it.

But Latigo Flint isn't one of those people. No, Latigo Flint would argue that now more than ever, school children need to know how to be squinty-eyed gunslingers because the ever-widening dispersal of information and knowledge ensure there'll be a lot more asshole know-it-alls in the future, and someone's gonna have to pistol whip a little civility into 'em.

All will be welcome at Latigo Flint's Squinty-Eyed Gunslinger School, except the Irish. Latigo Flint has been haunted by a reoccurring dream in which he's out-drawn and gut-shot by a teenage Irish girl with long, flame red hair and a mocking smile for so long now that he's beginning to fear it's prophetic.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

More Community Service

So Latigo Flint was recently arrested for drinking and driving unattended road graders... again. The District Attorney pushed for a sentence that included court mandated sterilization - but everyone knew the D.A. was only doing that out of spite after his wife and teenage daughter both fell madly in love with Latigo Flint during the trial.

Latigo Flint's public attorney was able to get it down to 100 hours of community service.

Last night Latigo Flint wrote the following short film script and he's officially donating it to Community College Film Students so they can use it to get an "A".

Boy scuffs the ground and glances around at everything in the room except the girl standing right in front of him. Finally he speaks.

Wouldn't it suck to have a strange condition where you thought Frisbees were scorpions and vice versa?


Well you know, you wouldn't be able to walk through a crowded park without jumping and shrieking and running away all the time. Then on other days you would be walking along and see a little kid up ahead and he looks kinda lonely, and then you see a Frisbee under a bush and you think
"I'll toss this Frisbee to the kid and cheer him up"
but then tragically...

(Interrupting him)
I'm going over here now. Please don't talk to me anymore.

She turns and takes a few steps but pauses and glances back.

Um, that would suck by the way.


That strange condition you were talking about... you're right, it would suck. I was thinking about it just now and came to realize how truly... sucky it would be.


You don't have it do you?

Have what?

You know, a strange condition where you think Frisbees are scorpions and vice versa?

Oh, no. No I don't. I just wanted to talk to you and that was all that came to mind.

Hmm. Well I guess I've heard worse opening lines... I can't think of any right now but I'm sure I have.
Why are you wearing holsters?

I really really like holstering things... a lot. These holsters stretch slightly so I can use them to holster a vast array of small items; everything from staplers to kittens, travel size chess boards to cheese. I once holstered a rolled up poster of Anna Paquin in the left one... that was a great day!

I see.
How come the holsters are the only thing you're wearing?

I don't trust clothes, never have.

I'm afraid of you.

I know.

I had it right the first time. I'm going to leave and God willing, never see you again.




Thursday, March 10, 2005

Phantom Pain

Amputees sometimes feel phantom pain - sensation in limbs that are no longer there. Latigo Flint can empathize; Latigo Flint feels the pain of a lost way of life, that glorious era of squinty-eyed gunslingers, the Old American West.

Whenever the pain becomes too much to bear, Latigo Flint downs a bottle of cedar barrel whiskey, a handful of barbiturates and heads over to the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, located on the eastern edge of Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

I don't see what the big problem was today. What, like 4th graders have never seen a hysterical, bleeding man trying to climb into paintings before? Aren't field trips supposed to expose students to things they can't experience in a classroom?

I turned, weeping, from a particularly poignant Charles M. Russell print that had so far proved impossible to enter, and noticed a row of wide-eyed little faces. I broke towards them in a stumbling run. "Hhhhhey kiddies! Howdy, howdy! Donch you evvvar let 'em run the barbed wire achrosh the open range!!!"

The teacher and the two parent accompaniers shrieked and hastily started herding the children into the next room, but not quick enough, and I was able to snatch one of the cubby little tykes by the arm. "Boy, you tells Latigo Flint rights quick ifins you sees any sheep ranchers or injins round heres parts!" I lifted him off the ground and shook him to make sure he understood the severity of the issue. "The only good sheep rancher is a dead sheep rancher!" I bellowed, fogging his glasses with warm whiskey breath. "So have yuh seen any?!!!" He started crying, and disgusted, I dropped him.

In the courtyard, the statue of the noble mustang started urgently whinnying at me. "You hears that you little buckaroos?" I screamed at the departing children, "Always truscht the keen earch and nose of your faithful bronc. Ol' Stormy there says the lynch mob is a comin'!" Then I whirled, sprinted across the foyer, vaulted over the balcony and crashed head first into Stormy's cast iron ass.

They've permanently revoked my visitor's pass. The judge has ordered me to enter a substance abuse program. I have to pay for the restoration of over two dozen paintings, and while I was out cold, some little bastard wrote "poopie poopie poop" on my favorite pair of buckskin britches. It's safe to say I've had better trips to a museum.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Girls Can't Resist

It's ridiculously easy to get girls if you were raised by wolves as a child - provided you look and act reasonably normal now. If you're the only one in your extended circle of friends who was raised by wolves, and you don't have girls lining up to date you, then you're doing something wrong, and you should listen up and really pay attention to what Latigo Flint has to tell you.

First, it's important that everyone knows you were raised by wolves. Your love life cannot benefit if no one knows. There are certain to be old newspaper articles that tell of your discovery, running wild with the pack, greasy and naked and free. (Editors love human-interest stories about children raised by wolves.) Digitize these clippings and photos and get them on this internet thing right away. Try to get access to ABC/NBC/CBS' video news archives. Just make sure it's not obvious that you're the one circulating all this material.

Second, for heaven's sake don't go around talking about it all the time. Nothing annoys people and turns girls off faster than a guy raised by wolves who won't ever shut up about it. The rule should be you never initiate a conversation about how you were raised by wolves - and you enter into such conversations reluctantly, as if it's difficult for you to speak of it, but seeing as you really, really trust the people you're with, (and dern it, some of them need to be girls, understand?) you're willing to open up and bare your soul a little.

Now this doesn't mean that you shouldn't drop subtle hints that a stark duality runs through every fiber of your being - an ever present juxtaposition of two very different worlds that you must always reconcile. The point is you try to bear this burden alone, silently, like a wounded beast... ahhhhhhh yes, you understand now -- the girls must see that it's the wolf in you that prevents casual discussion of your mysterious and unusual past, and they'll feel very honored that you were able to open up, if only slightly, to them. (And all the hot loving you care to sample immediately follows.)

An example of a good subtle hint plus follow-up would be if you're eating dinner with a group of people on an outdoor patio or a window booth with a view of the moon. At some point your intense eyes should lock onto its glowing brilliance. Your fork hand dangles in mid-air, jaws muscles clench. Turmoil! Without being overt, they must sense your inner turmoil. Then it's gone. It passed. You were able to retain control. Your eyes lower, a flicker of guilt. You resume eating.

"Oh god, that's right. You're the one who-" One hand will go to pretty lips, the other gently rests upon your arm. Lean muscles tighten abruptly beneath her touch, then slowly relax. This will be the hottest girl at the table if you've been doing everything right, as I've described above. "Are you okay?" She'll softly inquire. You wait a moment before answering. "It's nothing." Your voice should be low and slightly emotional, husky. Continue eating. Count to ten then slowly make eye contact. "Thank you though." This should be a near whisper.

Come on, I don't have to tell you this is gold - pure, frickin' gold! You may have been raised by wolves, but you're not stupid. So go now, reap the sexual benefits of your lupine upbringing. No need to thank Latigo Flint, I know you'll make me proud.

(Make sure you remember your Wolf Mother's name. You'll probably be wanting to open up a little bit more to the girl as the two of you lay together in post coital embrace, and you can't go wrong speaking quietly about your den family. Shewa-Kai-Laif-Laif is a pretty good one. Kana-Grifla-Shree-Naip isn't bad either.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Diver

Latigo Flint's violent little friend, Kid Relish, is telling anyone who cares to listen (and plenty who would rather not) that the 2007 Oscar race is a foregone conclusion - all major awards will be swept by his epic action/adventure/romance motion picture, The Diver.

Kid Relish says his story is set against the glorious backdrop of the Tahitian Islands, and revolves around a stoic and charismatic Caucasian known only as The Brave One, ("Toru Maa Motua" in Tahitian.) Kid describes him as a man with a mysterious past who is also the island’s greatest pearl diver - the only one with the strength and courage to reach the oyster-rich depths of the Tapati Fepuare Demiseo. (The Underwater Canyon of Death.)

It has to be a dirty lie but Kid Relish claims Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett have already signed on to play the roles of the Head Chief's twin daughters who find their idyllic existence and sisterly harmony shattered when they both fall madly in love with the mysterious, sexy, stoic and charismatic and possessing cut, ripply muscles and also enigmatic diver...

Friends, those are the adjectives Kid uses to describe the character, not mine, and I'm only using like, 25% of them here. No joke, I've seen the script, at the top of every page Kid Relish has written: "The Brave One's eyes are piercing and blue and also have a way of burning straight through to your soul if you're a woman, or also does what I've just written if you're a homo also."

Anyway, I've never seen the Kid like this before - passionate about something other than administering vicious beatdowns to random passersby. I tell you, this town does something to people after a while - Celluloid Fever, The 35mm Stare, something like that. Kid is actually taking an acting class because of course he plans to play The Brave One as well as direct.

(But just so you know, it wouldn't surprise Latigo Flint one bit if it's all an elaborate trick so Kid Relish can get access to movie stars and then viciously beat them down. Trust me, don't ever go into an audition room alone with Kid Relish. I don't care if you're small time and can't afford a posse yet, if Kid Relish wants to audition you, rent one!)

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Biological Imperative

Latigo Flint recently had an astounding realization and its coital implications are staggering.

For like a million years, humans have been having sex with each other in front of fires (first camp, then hearth). We've only spent a generation or two not.

And so thus, at long last a real breakthrough in Latigo Flint's attempt to woo the cute Starbucks barrista. All Latigo Flint needs to do is get her beside him in front of a campfire. She will certainly have sex with Latigo Flint then - she will feel it as a biological imperative.

Friday night I built a cozy blaze next to the dumpster behind the Starbucks. It didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped.

"Of course, how naive of me." I called after her as she stomped away. "You must feel safe, relaxed and well-fed in addition to warm."

"I'm calling the cops you #&*%ing pervert!" Was her not exactly gentle reply.

Saturday night I built a small campfire in the concrete planter alongside her parking spot, and by folding my lanky yet wiry gunslinger legs underneath me in an awkward crouch I was able to perch precariously in the planter with it. As she approached, I raised two skewers of flame-roasted pigeon in greeting.

She soon returned with several male co-workers. I went to pistol whip them but the motion of my quickdraw overturned the planter. My temple struck a steel trailer hitch - then the planter landed on my knee. The male co-workers were significantly less than sympathetic. I may have been pistol whipped with my own pistols at that point... Actually I don't want to talk about Saturday night anymore.

Sunday was her day off, and that was probably for the best as I seemed to lack the strength to do much more than blow spit bubbles and groan.

I spent most of today in deep, squinty-eyed contemplation. I'm close, I know I am. But I'm running out of places to construct my fire. I haven't ruled out smuggling a quilt and a Dura-log into the Starbucks woman's restroom. There's also an alcove behind the rack of Pat Benatar's Favorite Songs CDs that might just barely accommodate two bodies and a tiny fire.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

If Latigo Flint Had Been There

If Latigo Flint had been there, Watership Down would have been a much shorter book. It is also highly unlikely the New York Times would have described it as: "a remarkable tale of exile and survival, of heroism and leadership..."

The little rabbit, Fiver, would have been all twitchy and weird, not wanting to eat, overwrought with his dark premonition. Hazel would been all trying to consol him and then starting to realize that perhaps his unusual little brother was right, and they should leave their doomed home immediately and build themselves a new life, a free life somewhere beyond the deadly reach of man and beast. The brave little band of rabbits would have assembled themselves on the outskirts of the warren, mentally preparing to strike out alone into the dangerous unknown.

A whisper of buckskin on willow leaves perks only the sharpest set of ears, but before alarm can be sounded, Latigo Flint is standing before them, squinty-eyed and ominous in the English country dusk.

"Howdy my fine little tuft-tailed buckaroos!" His low, cold voice sends shivers down their twitchy little spines. "Pretty British gals are silly for American Gunslingers, or so I've been told. That's what brought me across the pond a week ago tomorrow." His two low-slung revolvers are not automobile headlights, but their paralyzing effect upon the terrified rabbits is no different. "But as sexually attracted to me as the pretty British gals have been so far, I can't help but think they'll feel it two-fold once they've attended the good old fashioned hoedown and rabbit cookout party that I'm throwing tonight."

Latigo Flint's words hang in the air above them like a thousand lucky keychains dripping blood. Fiver's squeak of terror is instantly drowned out by thundering revolvers. Into burlap bag go Hazel, Fiver, Dandelion, Blackberry, Bigwig and the rest. They find their new home all right - and its name is stew-pot.

The End

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New Year's Resolutions: Update Part 1

One of Latigo Flint's dear old friends, a gentleman known as the Lightning Bug's Butt, recently inquired as to how Latigo Flint's New Year's Resolutions were going.

Thank you for asking LBB. Unlike many people in the world, Latigo Flint continues to actively pursue his resolutions with squinty-eyed intensity and grim determination.

At the 1/6th-of-the-year checkpoint, here's where Latigo Flint stands on the first 6 of his 15 New Year's Resolutions:

1) Break the sound barrier with a quickdraw.


(Okay, technically the speed of sound depends on the type of medium through which it travels and the temperature of that medium. Generally when one says "speed of sound" it is accepted to mean the speed of sound through air on an average day at sea-level, which would be approximately 1100 feet per second, meaning Latigo Flint would need to reach for & draw his gun in .0027 seconds.

However Latigo Flint actually meant the speed of sound through a giant vat of pudding, for a much more manageable .0835 seconds.)

2) Perfect squinty-eyes.

This one is a little subjective. How exactly do you define perfect squinty-eyes? I'll tell you this much, just last week alone Latigo Flint used a hearty helping of piercing squinty-eye to successfully stop, dead in their tracks: An enraged lesbian, a surly-drunk construction worker, two vicious college football player types and a shrilly complaining Jewish grandmother. If that isn't perfect squinty-eyes I don't know what is.

Let's consider this one ACHIEVED as well.

3) Convince Scarlett Johansson to remove the restraining order.

I actually just violated it by typing that... so we'll call #3: IN PROGRESS!

4) Don't let the May 14, 2004 unpleasant name calling incident outside the local high school deter self from incorporating chaps into daily wardrobe.

ACHIEVED! And in glorious fashion I might add.

(And thank God for whoever invented multiple definitions for words, forever giving clever people one more way to show it... see 'cause "glorious fash-")

Moving on.

5) Lasso things more.

So far so good - I'm currently averaging 17 things lassoed a day and climbing. (Current favorite target: obnoxious spoilers on shitty cars.)
So: ACHIEVED, provided I maintain/increase current levels of lasso frequency... which I will.

6) Stride away toward the setting sun as people stare in awe and say "I don't know who he was but damn, we'll never forget him or what he's done for this town."

Disappointingly, this one continues to elude me. Closest I've come so far is: "Hey asshole, I don't know why you're back in my restaurant, but I haven't forgotten what you did last time and my son's in the office calling the cops right now." Still ten months to go. I remain highly optimistic, so: IN PROGRESS!

And there you have it on the first six. Four Achieveds and two In Progresses. Not too shabby if Latigo Flint does say so himself.

As a postscript, Latigo Flint's friend Kid Relish had only two New Year's Resolutions. Stop randomly throwing scorpions at people, and stop staring at himself in the mirror, reciting Michael Caine's "Good night you princes of Maine, you kings of New England" line from Cider House Rules over and over while he masturbates.

By January 2nd he had failed miserably on both. I hope you did better than Kid Relish with your own resolutions.