Thursday, June 30, 2005

That Adorable Little White-Haired Baby

Today Latigo Flint was waiting in the Starbucks line when suddenly the adorable little white-haired baby in front of me lunged upright in his stroller and grabbed a hold of the buckskin fringe that dangles from the sleeves of my favorite shirt.

I gave him a slight wink and a smile. "Well howdy there little white-haired baby. You've got mighty fine taste I reckon. That there is my favorite buckskin shirt."

His mother whirled around with a sniff and a snarl. "What did you just say?!!!"

I politely tipped my hat. It felt a tad strange doing it with my right hand but her little white-haired baby still had a firm grip on the buckskin fringe of my left. "Howdy Ma'am. You've got a fine looking young man there. Him and I was makin' with a little friendly conversation."

Her face relaxed. "Oh, I see. Well, in that case it's fine, because he actually really enjoys having friendly conversations with strangers who wear... hides."

I was pleasantly surprised to hear it. "You don't say? What a sharp little guy."

Her eyes got really wide and she started nodding furiously. "Yeah, yeah. His father and I sure think so. It's the damnest thing - see, he's only 10 months old and can't speak a single word most of the time, but boy, put a mountain man looking psychopath in front of him and you just can't shut him up."

I squinted at her. "You're being sarcastic aren't you?"

"What the hell do you think?!"

I glanced down at the little white-haired baby. "She's being sarcastic isn't she?"

The mother shook an angry fist in my face. "Stay the hell away from us!"

The white-haired baby raised one thoughtful finger. "ECK!"

His mother and I were equally shocked. We stared at him in amazement. The little white-haired baby cleared his throat and said it again: "ECK!"

"My God little buckaroo, you're absolutely right!" I turned to his mother, "He's absolutely right, this IS elk hide! How the heck do you suppose he knew that?"

His mother was too stunned to respond.


I leaned down and brought my face close his. "Is that a lucky guess, or are you like the Cherokee and the Cree and can actually identify the species just by touching the hide?"


I frowned. That last one sounded familiar. "Or are you sneezing?"

His mother must have snapped out of her astonished daze because the next thing I knew, a powerful self-defense taser was being applied to the back of my neck.

I woke up in an alley. Apparently someone had spent a considerable length of time kicking me in the ribs. And most of my buckskin fringe was missing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

River Rope Swing Land

You know what's fun? Swinging out over a deep, lazy river on a rope that's tied to a sturdy tree limb and then letting go and splashing down into the cool, clean waters of said river is fun.

Latigo Flint would do that for hours every day if he could.

Know what else is probably really great? Having a female acquaintance who you've known for a while and always secretly admired, and she's never actually seen you with your shirt off before, and then one day circumstances dictate that you must remove your shirt in her presence, and even though she tries to hide it, it's quite plain that she thinks your chest is well formed and quite rippley.

It is for this potential scenario that Latigo Flint does so many push-ups.

Someone should build an amusement park where you get to swing and drop into rivers and also get to remove your shirt in front of female acquaintances whom you've always secretly admired.

That would be a very successful amusement park I think. Almost as successful as Latigo Flint's dream: Squinty-Eye Gulch, a gunslinger themed amusement park where you get to role-play and reenact famous old west gunfights.

Perhaps I shall combine the two and double my profits - Squinty-Eye Gulch first and then a year or two later open River Rope Swing Land right next to it.

Okay, it's settled. Latigo Flint will do it. Latigo Flint is now going to have to ask everyone in LA to stop defecating in the Los Angeles River and its tributaries. Likewise vomit. I'm looking at you Pasadena.

(And find someplace else to toss your dead hookers Glendale!)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Hobo Songs

Latigo Flint recently wrote a song that made a hobo happy. Some people believe that since there's no money in it, there isn't any point to writing songs that make hobos happy, but they don't ever say it to Latigo Flint's face. They're scared to. They know that Latigo Flint would probably punch them in the nose if they did.

Latigo Flint doesn't claim to be a great, or even a mediocre songwriter. But you actually don't need to be very good in order to write a song that makes a hobo happy.

Here's a little improvised number that just yesterday Latigo Flint used to bring a hobo much cheer:

You are a hobo sitting still
skittley doo wah wah wah
Can't remember last time you've eaten your fill
Sueby doo mouw brump bump whoh a whoh oh
Tap dance solo now I'm tapping for you
Ram bam tappity tap tappity tap tap
And a tappity tappity tappity tappity tappity tap tap!!!

That hobo was bright-eyed and smiling by "Sueby doo mouw brump bump whoh a whoh oh", and he was positively ecstatic, clapping and stomping his feet as my tappity tappities carried me down the street and through the ornate doors of an opulent restaurant.

Um... I had a point, what the hell was it?

Oh yeah, I remember now: Hobos know, perhaps better than most, that life is but one long melody. Sure, they'll accept your quarters with mumbled gratitude, but they'll forever cherish a personalized song.

(Except for Fred "Fecal-Stank" Shrieksworth who patronizes the intersection of Wilshire and Highland, the 7-11 side. Don't try singing to Fred. Fred "sees" sound waves. He considers them an attack. There's also a very good chance that on any given day Fred will believe you to be Mictlantecuhtli, the skeletal god of death from Aztec mythology.)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Fuzzy, Red Noose

No two ways about it, unrequited love builds character. Now if you really want to build lots of character, steel your gut and permanently chill your already squinty-eyes, then Latigo Flint highly recommends lounging near the boarding gates at your local airport and falling desperately in love with every cute girl that walks past and then disappears forever down that long tunnel.

You win the game in sixty years or so by dying alone, the toughest, grumpiest, squinty-eyedest old codger the world has ever known.

You lose if you break down, pitch a teary-eyed snot-fit in the middle of the crowded terminal and try to hang yourself from the postcard rack with a length of fuzzy, red rope.

Cute Australian girls are particularly wicked; they know how mesmerizing and sexy their accents are. They will often walk down the boarding tunnel backwards, talking to someone on their cell phone, but the whole time making eye contact with you. They'll wink and grin, a cruel eternal goodbye, as they turn the corner.

In such cases I recommend stabbing yourself in the armpit with your car key as a distractive measure. (It really doesn't matter how many times you've been stabbed before in the armpit with a car key, you will always be truly astonished and quite unprepared for the ensuing level of pain. But hey, whatever keeps you in the game and away from that postcard rack and a fuzzy, red noose.)

When you can sing along to sad songs with true emotion in your voice, but a simultaneous sneer on your lips, you know you're well on your way. You're making a million dead cowboys mighty proud right then.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Squinty-Eye Gulch and the Dire Wolf

Okay, so Latigo Flint isn't one hundred percent certain that that was a Dire Wolf, the largest canine known to have ever existed, and thought to have been extinct since the late Pleistocene Epoch (Ice Age) but whatever it was, it sure bit harder than any goddamn dog Latigo Flint has ever seen.

Yesterday Latigo Flint was scouting around in the Tujunga Wash, a seasonal tributary of the majestic Los Angeles river, trying to find a good place to build his dream: Squinty-Eye Gulch, a Gunslinger themed amusement park and paintball range. (Everybody likes paintballing. Everybody wishes they could authentically roleplay/reenact famous old west gunfights. So it's only a matter of time before someone puts six and six together and makes a grip of money in the process. As it turns out that person is probably going to be Latigo Flint.)

But a serious setback was suffered yesterday when without warning that wretched Dire Wolf dashed down a small side canyon and bit off most of my thigh.

Naturally I was outraged. "Why you unholy, probably Pleistocenic, asshole!!!" I exclaimed as it disappeared back up the side canyon, a sizable portion of my quadriceps femoris dangling from either side of its massive jaws. "When I heal, you better dern well trust that I'll be coming back here to shoot you in your ugly snout just about four hundred times."

No real response from what may or may not have been a Dire Wolf (Canis dirus). For a moment I thought I heard the sticky chewing and gulping sound of that mangy Pleistocenic cur devouring most of my thigh. But I could have been mistaken. I was beginning to feel extremely woozy at that point.

I turned and stumbled toward the road, a quarter mile away, calling back over my shoulder as I departed. "And I don't care if you are some sort of evolutionary miracle, you dastardly dung sniffer, I'm building Squinty-Eye Gulch here dern it, and it's going to be an insurance nightmare if you keep scampering out and gobbling up a child or two every so often."

Some loose tendons made a slithering spluff-twang sound and my kneecap fell off and clattered down against the water-worn rocks at my feet. I ignored it and limped on with a rigid pride.

"And forget about the insurance risk for a second - you just bit off most of my thigh. Nothing, and I mean nothing, bites off most of my thigh and gets away with it. Not for very long anyway, so you can count on an upcoming demise you vile fiend that is most likely an amazing prehistoric holdover. I'll be seeing, and killing you, real soon now. No one's going to have to change any official classifications of 'Extinct' on your account, you filthy Canis dirus, probably!"

Obviously it couldn't understand the actual words, but I'm pretty sure it understood the tone.

What, you think Latigo Flint makes stuff up?!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Slapping Thigh and Shucking Iron

Glaring caustically at the world from beneath a dusty hat brim feels good. I say it feels pretty dern good to glare caustically at the world from beneath a dusty hat brim. I would have to imagine it feels almost as good as shooting someone who really deserves it.

How many times now has Latigo Flint ordered a large Mocha Chip Frappuccino at his local Starbucks? Yes, you in the back - what's that you say? Infinity? You think it's been infinity times? Um... okay fine... infinity times it is.

And how many times is Latigo Flint going to have to remind Tyler, the two-bit tinhorn barista, that Latigo Flint likes whipped cream on top of his Frappuccino?

Shut-up in the back, it's actually a rhetorical question; they're both rhetorical questions. I'll tell you what's not rhetorical - me slapping thigh and shucking the iron of my authentic replica Colt Peacemaker revolvers from their hand-tooled elk hide holsters and shooting Tyler in the face one of these days if he keeps forgetting to put the whipped cream on my Mocha Chip Frappuccino.

Latigo Flint thinks about things. Latigo Flint is very well-thought. Latigo Flint thinks about shooting Tyler the tinhorn barista in the face, but that's not evil. It's not evil because Tyler has forgotten the whipped cream so many times in row now that it can only be intentional at this point.

Latigo Flint thinks about orchestral music. Latigo Flint thinks about how the right piece of orchestral music can make loneliness seem almost noble.

Latigo Flint also thinks about aquatic mammals. Latigo Flint often ponders if aquatic mammals get rabies. Latigo Flint wonders if a baby fur seal with rabies would be scary, depressing, hilarious - or all three.

Latigo Flint wonders if his name is an acronym for something really cool and awesome. Latigo Flint sometimes tries to make sentences with the letters of his name. The best Latigo Flint can come up with is: "Lads, At The Instant Gals Offer Free Love I'll Not Tarry." This sentence sounds more like something a hippy would say, not a Squinty-Eyed Gunslinger. This tends to melancholize Latigo Flint.

Latigo Flint also thinks about how it's taking much longer to drink himself to death than he originally estimated.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Stucco Tattoos

A hearty cheer now for Latigo Flint! (And I'm talking the sort of lusty holler a dozen cowpunchers make when at first the Trail Boss isn't going to let them ride into town that month because six hundred head of cattle went missing last night, but then Lazy Eye Slim goes out and finds all six hundred just a settin' all clustered-like in that little draw up yonder behind the crick apiece where there's aplenty of good graze, and the Trail Boss is so dern glad to hear it that he declares that not only is the ride into town back on, but every man will be gettin' a bonus of one silver dollar.)

Anyway, that's the sort of cheer Latigo Flint is awarding himself, because today Latigo Flint greatly impressed that Pretty Bus Stop Sitting Girl who doesn't speak any English.

Apparently that Pretty Bus Stop Sitting Girl has never seen anyone give them self a stucco tattoo before. Well, she must be new in town, or at least to that particular bus line, because Latigo Flint has been self-applying stucco tattoos against that wall for quite some time now.

By the way, Latigo Flint firmly believes stucco tattoos are going to be the next big thing in permanent body decoration. The process is quite simple really:

1. Ink your chosen design onto a stucco surface.

(Don't forget to reverse it. Helpful Tip: Stand sideways with a mirror in your non-painting hand. Paint looking at the mirror, not the wall.)

2. Lightly coat your finished design with some sort of natural coagulant. Tabasco sauce works well, as does diesel fuel.

3. Give yourself a running start (a quarter mile at the very least) and hurl yourself at full speed into the wall, making sure primary strike is with desired body part. (The latter means that it tends to be rather difficult to apply a stucco tattoo to that curved small of the back just above the buttocks - sorry ladies.)

4. Lightly daub away subsequent blood. Air-dry for at least 24 hours and enjoy.

Two things made today's stucco tattoo especially impressive to that Pretty Bus Stop Sitting Girl who doesn't speak any English. First, it was a multi-color, full-chest tattoo. Second - it happened to be a lifelike picture of her.

She must have heard the low fleshy thud, because she whirled around, eyes wide. I stifled a whimper and staggered towards her. She gazed at the crimson portrait of herself in the center of my rapidly bruising chest and slender hands flew to flushed cheeks. "Mierda! Pendejo gavacho. Usted está totalmente loco!!!"

Which I believe means: "Goodness! You are a most brave and dashing and sexy man. I would like very much to sleep with you!!!"

I smiled shyly and continued my approach, a wad of gauze in my outstretched hand. "Why thank you beautiful Señorita. First things first though, would you care to lightly daub the blood from my powerful and tawny chest?"

She leapt to her feet and sprinted off down the street. I assume to powder her nose, wash her face, or whatever other pre-coital rituals girls have.

"I appreciate your eagerness my Latin Angel," I called after her swiftly departing form. "but remember, I must wait at least twenty four hours before my chest comes into contact with anything, so there's no need to rush quite so franticly."

Her soft reply drifted back to me from around the far street corner: "Hija de la chingada madre! Cabron!!!"

Which of course must loosely translate to: "I'll meet you here same time tomorrow! You sexy, sexy man!!!"

So please excuse Latigo Flint won't you? Latigo Flint will now be doing push-ups and shaving unruly body hair until dawn.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Mewling Moguls

Latigo Flint's relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, can't believe that after who knows how many tens of thousands of movies, spanning nearly a century of motion picture filmmaking, there has never been a movie with a bad guy character who is very wealthy and also a skiing enthusiast, and in order to ski year-round the guy builds himself a ski slope and in the summer he substitutes snow with millions of white kittens.

Outraged by this omission, The Kid recently spent several days crouched near the main entrance of the Writer's Guild building on West Third St. in LA, accosting writers and bludgeoning them with their own man-purses.

"Hey you writer," Kid panted while trying to bludgeon a particularly squirmy one. "Most movies have a bad guy right?"

"Hey what the- Ow!"

"And when you introduce the bad guy character to the audience for the first time you need to somehow convey that he's bad, right?"

"Ow! Stop it! Help!!!"

"Well then, why the hell wouldn't you make the bad guy rich and also a skiing enthusiast and in order to ski in the summertime he covers a hill with millions of live kittens, white ones, and skis on them?"

"Ow! Sweet Jesus. Quit it! Son of a- Ow!"

"You stupid writer. It's so incredibly succinct and elegant. We the audience see this guy swerving his way down a hill of live kittens. Fur and gore spray out in all directions beneath the keen edges of his sharpened Rossingols. Twin red lines track his path down an undulating slope of mewing innocence, and we know instantly that he's bad. This is a bad man. We don't care how cliché and poorly written the hero may be--if he's going to oppose this horrid kitten skier then we're in his corner."

Apparently it went on like this for days. Finally The Kid wore out his bludgeoning arm and had to come home. He's been quiet and morose ever since.

This morning I found Kid Relish sprawled out on the kitchen floor, his big brown eyes wide and troubled.
"I'm haunted Latigo." He whispered. "I've done gone and haunted myself. Half the time I look at people and suspect they routinely ski down a hill of live kittens, and I loathe them for it and want to smash their faces in."
Kid drew a long, shuddering breath.
"The rest of the time I burn and ache with the need to know what it would feel like to ski down a hill of live kittens."

I had no idea how to respond to that. I had to leave. As I walked down the drive I could see that stacked in the alley behind our apartment building were cans and cans of tuna fish, cartons of condensed milk, a large butterfly net and a new pair of skis.

Two thoughts surfaced simultaneously. First: "Why that depraved villain--is Kid Relish really planning what I think he's planning?"

The second thought. (I wonder if that would work?) Well, the second thought deeply shames me.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Tensile Strength

Latigo Flint strongly believes that we as a nation have lost sight of the very things that helped build our country and make it great. Like rope! The early American women and men would proudly hold a length of rope in their hands and say: "Oh hells yes! I'm getting stuff done today. Things shall be fastened and held tight this fine morn."

They would talk to their rope. "Rope," they'd say, "Rope, you and I are going to the wagon now and we shall lash tight the provisions." They would imagine that they could hear the rope's cheerful reply. "Good hard working American, I would love to help you lash tight your provisions. And if you need something with which to hold fast your draft animal to the yoke, I'd be happy to render my services in that capacity as well." (Apparently rope was very well spoken 150 years ago.)

Latigo Flint's great and mighty plan this weekend was to build a working laptop computer entirely out of rope. A working laptop computer built entirely out of rope would be extremely symbolic. It would be a complex, multi-layered metaphor. It would be statement art and very kick-ass and also rad, as the kids today would say.

I expected to have my rope laptop computer constructed and working by mid afternoon on Saturday and the plan was to take it to my local shopping mall and proudly display for all to behold.

But Sunday evening found me still locked away in my apartment - drunk and naked, hurling vicious oaths at a giant smoldering mound of fibrous strands. I chose then to switch to a secondary plan: Run screaming through the streets of Burbank, heaving buckets of yarn at people and shoving pages from an Eddie Bauer catalog in their face.

At some point I decided to attack the bungee cords on the side of a passing truck. I don't remember too much after that - just something having to do with a freeway onramp, head trauma and abrasions on every inch of my body including my genitals.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Rocky Shallows and Survivable Falls

If girls don't scream and hide their face against their boyfriend's shoulder when you hit the water, then you obviously haven't fallen from a sufficient height.

It is not our intention to steal girls away from their boyfriends. All we really want to do is stoically stagger broken and bleeding across rocky shallows and forever implant that shard of doubt in her mind - the sneaking suspicion that the man she has chosen could never be so tough as to swim to shore unassisted through roiling rapids after plummeting from a crippling height.

We don't want the fall to be the result of our own stupidity or ill luck, but rather the result of some incredibly heroic choice - the saving of a child's life, knowing full well the personally disastrous consequence, or what-have-you.

We are: The Squinty-Eyed Gunslingers Who Were Born Much Too Late and Aren't Legally Allowed to Shoot Very Many People Even if They Deserve it and Whose Thoughts Have Recently Turned to How Tough and Sexy it Would be to Stagger Broken and Bleeding Across Rocky Shallows Society.

Our Organization may actually only have one member. There is a distinct possibility his name is Latigo Flint.

We want to manage to grin sardonically at searing pain. We want to be extraordinary. We want never to be forgotten.

We want some of those female white-water rafting guides to be there to witness our heroism - the lean, tawny ones with sunscreen on their noses who wear cutoff jeans over one-piece swimsuits.

We know we could bear stitches unanesthetized. We'd relish the chance to prove it.

(And we wouldn't mind a blow-job either.)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sir Eduardo the Magnificent

Throughout history we have always greatly admired those animals that risked or even sacrificed their lives to save humans, yet we tend to scorn humans who are willing to give their lives to save animals. (Often with good reason, friggin' crazy hippies.)

However, on a personal note now, that latter way of thinking changed irrevocably for Latigo Flint a number of years ago when I met a river otter named Sir Eduardo The Magnificent.

Sir Eduardo was aptly named - he was indeed a magnificent otter. One look into Sir Eduardo's big, shimmering eyes and you just knew they possessed a soulful intelligence.

Sir Eduardo and I spent three consecutive summers exploring the American Midwest. We mostly stuck close to waterways and lake systems. It was probably the happiest either of us had ever been. (And ever would be.) We solved mysteries. Our pictures appeared in a number of local newspapers. Heroism affects your stride. Two legs or four, you don't walk the same for the rest of the day after a heroic deed. Sir Eduardo and I forgot how to walk any other way.

Sir Eduardo had a humorous mishap with a soft-serve ice cream machine in a cafe just outside Madison, WI. It became one of those running inside jokes, warm and familiar, that exists between two very good friends.

One time I saw some surly looking teenagers heaving bricks into the pond at the bottom of an ancient quarry. I thought Sir Eduardo was down there and so I gutted those surly teenagers with the serrated edge of a camp shovel. Turns out Sir Eduardo had changed his mind and had decided to take his afternoon swim somewhere else.

I found some peace in the realization that there's no such thing as an innocent teenager. Later, to help further ease my conscience, Sir Eduardo swam around in that pond, finally returning to tell me that he'd talked to some traumatized box turtles who were most grateful that the bombardment had ended. That's just the kind of otter Sir Eduardo was - a true friend; always thinking about your feelings.

To know Sir Eduardo The Magnificent Otter was to have the darkest corners of your soul renovated and turned into well-lit gift shops.

The day he died I tore every painting down.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Nothing Says Love Like an Iron Pipe and Twine

Latigo Flint would like to know what single gift could possibly be more endearing and moving than one of those noose-tip grabby tools that snake handlers use to capture venomous snakes.

When you give such a gift, you are essentially telling the recipient: "Ma'am, I care about you. I care about you a whole heck of a lot. I care about you so much that the thought of you encountering a deadly reptile empty-handed fills me with a heart-rending dread and then tears trace trails through my man-mascara and down my stubbled jaw."

(Or something to that effect.)

But the cute Starbucks cashier was significantly less than enamored with my very romantic and thoughtful gift. She tried her best to assist the customer behind me in line.


The next patron in line was an elderly woman. I easily blocked her path to the counter with my wiry gunslinger hip. I gazed steadily at the cute Starbucks cashier.

"Lovely Starbucks Ma'am, do you know what Latigo Flint has just given you?"

She icily appraised it. "Yeah, it's an iron pipe with a twine loop sticking out one end... NEXT!!!"

"Dern it Ma'am, it's more than that, much more. Why, should you happen to encounter a rattler, or a coral snake, or a copperhead or a black mamba, you could use this to capture it and thereby prevent a potentially deadly injury."

She managed to roll her eyes and stare cruelly at me at the same time. (I'm actually not entirely sure how she pulled that off.) She spoke, and in that instant, redefined sarcasm. "Oh, of course, all those coral snakes and black mambas and rattlers that I have to fight my way through just to get to work every morning."

I glanced around, looking for deadly serpents in the off chance she was serious. She wasn't.

She had missed the point entirely. If attacks from deadly serpents were a daily occurrence, such a gift wouldn't be necessary. If they were that commonplace, everyone would own a least two noose-tip grabby tools - a primary plus a spare. Enterprise would give one away free with every car rental. No! You see, protection against unexpected danger was the very point of my gift. Safeguarding loved ones against highly implausible, yet theoretically possible demises is, and has always been the Latigo Flint way.

I tried to demonstrate the tool's effectiveness on a rolled up coffee filter but the weight distribution was all wrong and when I tightened and retracted, I ended up striking myself sharply in the adam's apple with the back end of the iron pipe.

Ten minutes later I was busy taping bags of ground coffee together. "Okay, let's say you come to work one morning and there's a deadly anaconda just sort of laying there on the floor..."

The authorities arrived (of course). They weren't terribly surprised to see me. "Hello there Latigo."

"Howdy John, Steve, the rest of you fellas. What's new guys?"

"Oh, you know Latigo - same ol' same ol'. You gonna drop the iron pipe with a twine noose poking out one end Latigo, or are we going to have to open up with the rubber pellet shotguns?"

"Um... Aw hell, you might as well hit me with the rubber pellets John, like old times, and then I'll pray for you with my last conscious breath, all martyr-like."

"Sounds good Latigo."

They opened up with their rubber pellet shotguns at that point, and then children got to see a grown man bleed from his eyes.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Treacherous Bacteria Cultures

Latigo Flint does not trust yogurt. Latigo Flint has never trusted yogurt. Yogurt cannot be trusted.

Once Latigo Flint asked a Barkeep for a tall glass of cold, draught beer. The Barkeep instead brought Latigo Flint a large bowl of warm yogurt. If this was the Barkeep's idea of a joke, Latigo Flint wasn't laughing. Latigo Flint slapped thigh, shucked iron and fanned six lead slugs into that bowl of yogurt. A pointy ceramic shard flew up and punctured the Barkeep's left eye.

Latigo Flint actually did not mean for this to happen but if Latigo Flint felt bad about it you sure wouldn't know to look at him. Latigo Flint spoke, his words a low, dangerous snarl:

"I asked you for a cold beer and instead you brought me a large bowl of warm yogurt. Now you're going to have to live with the consequences."

But the Barkeep wasn't really listening at that point. Two waitresses and the busboy helped the Barkeep out the door and into the busboy's waiting car. The busboy thought about asking if he would be reimbursed for gas to and from the hospital, but decided against it.

Latigo Flint reached over the counter and drew himself a cold beer from the tap. Then Latigo Flint went to the jukebox and paid for about a dozen hard, angry songs. Latigo Flint lounged against a nearby billiards table and played air drums and banged his head to every song so that no one would be able to tell how truly sorry he was for accidentally causing the loss of the Barkeep's left eye.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Parsons Daughters

Latigo Flint has always been attracted to Parsons daughters. I guess that's kind of a literary certainty though, ain't it? The juxtaposition of sweet and innocent with the cold and ruthless shooting of people - plus that whole subconscious desire for redemption thing. But hell, Latigo Flint doesn't care what they say, and there is some truth in every cliché.

I met my first Parson's daughter when I was nine. She was eight and small for her age; quiet, dark and demure. I had never met anything like her before and a million dormant synapses exploded. I purchased and presented her a small bottle of perfume. Her reaction was difficult to read. (Made doubly so by the fact that I kept on interrupting our conversation to drop down and triphammer out a set of push-ups.)

The next day she handed me an elegantly wrapped day calendar that featured color photos of meadows. Every morning I could flip the page and see a new meadow. They were all beautiful, as most meadows are, but I couldn't seem to stop thinking about being on a lovely picnic in the middle of that meadow with the Parson's daughter, and then having a deranged grizzly bear charge up on us with no trees to climb and whatnot, and with one massive swat that deranged grizzly bear would cripple me, and then I'd get to lay there paralyzed and watch as it proceeds to eat the Parson's daughter alive because the perfume I gave her smelled so yummy.

I was only nine but I knew in my heart that there had to be a way to keep a deranged grizzly bear from savaging the woman you loved if it happened to attack while you were on a picnic. Yet for the life of me I couldn't figure out how. It tormented me no end and I became just an absolute mess. Woke up every morning uneasy, twitchy and disturbed. By early February the Parson's daughter had grown weary of my burgeoning dementia, and started holding hands with Travis Armstrong, the only boy in the 3rd grade with a real BMX bike.

I took it kinda hard, and ended up spending the rest of my ninth year and most of age ten trying to drink myself to death.

(Capri Sun was my poison of choice.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

One Day I Heard a Dwight Yoakam Song

There's something that Latigo Flint does not understand: Dwight Yoakam is a successful singer, songwriter and actor. (The first two despite being all but ignored by C&W radio.) He's a screenwriter and a film score composer. Dwight has directed a major motion picture and produced another.

Contrast that with what some people are famous for.

Dwight Yoakam moves me - it simply defies description. So why then aren't more people at least slightly impressed with him, both as an artist and a productive human being?

My relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, completely agrees. He recently started wearing a Dwight Yoakam Ladies Style Tee, (midriff baring, form fit from the '03 tour) a homemade Sling Blade headband (glued pic of Doyle Hargraves on the front, "tell 'em to send a hearse" printed in magic marker on the back.), and tattooed a guitar on his right hand and a Cadillac on his left.

If people fail to nod or smile in appreciative affirmation when The Kid walks by, he backhands them in the throat and then drops a live scorpion down their shirt.

But I don't agree with The Kid in this particular case. His tactics seem a little self-defeating. How is a badly traumatized and possibly coma-stricken person ever supposed to discover and become enthralled by Dwight Yoakam?

I, on the other hand, have recently been hiding in the trunks of people's cars, and during their morning commute replace all the CDs in their 6-disk changer with Reprise Please Baby, (Dwight's four-disk box set) plus Hillbilly Deluxe and the all-acoustic album.

Oh yeah, and for a couple of weeks there I followed pregnant women around, and when they weren't looking I'd stealthily place my lips near their swollen bellies and softly sing Streets of Bakersfield to their unborn children.

They say I can plea bargain it down to a 6-year sentence, plus probation. But you know what - I did nothing wrong and so they can take their plea and stick it West of Hell.

(Besides I'm peerless, everybody knows that. The case will surely be thrown out when they can't find a single juror, much less 12 plus alternates!)