Thursday, January 12, 2006

Salvador Nightshade

In earlier cultures, the first repeated story of the year was always a highly anticipated event.
"I wonder which story Grandfather Shaman will choose to retell first this year?" The young Pawnee children would eagerly whisper. "The one about the Fern who Cheated Winter or The Raven and the Vole?"

"Say, do you reckon if we ask real nice, Cookie might tell us the one about the preacher, the mule and the dance hall girl again?" The cowpunchers would say when Cookie was out of earshot.

It was a wonderful time. There weren't that many stories and so each was worth a lot.

Of course, these days a repeated story is viewed as the unwelcome product of a lazy or perhaps infirm mind and met with groans and much rolling of the eyes.
"Oh Christ! Dad's telling The Office Party and The Trick Candles again."

Well, so be it. If you roll your eyes at Latigo Flint he shoots you in the face. And half the time he's probably so drunk he actually thinks you're Pawnee.

From the archives - August 12, 2005. Enjoy.


Salvador Nightshade

There was once a young Gypsy named Salvador Nightshade who lived in Bakersfield, California. Salvador played the harmonica so beautifully and with so much passion, that when two people heard it there was a very good chance they would instantly fall in love with each other.

But no one ever fell in love with Salvador Nightshade. Salvador was kinda funny looking to begin with and when he played, his eyes would cross and his cheeks bulged. It also didn't help that all that rapid in- and exhalation tended to make him extremely flatulent.

Well, Salvador and I became occasional drinking buddies. We'd wile away evenings, decimating cases of Coors Long Necks and playing Musical Magic 8-Ball with the upcoming songs on the jukebox.

"Hey Musical Magic 8-Ball, will a girl ever fall in love with Salvador?"


Blame it all on my roots
I showed up in boots
and ruined your black tie affair

With every Musical Magic 8-Ball answer, Salvador and I would giggle drunkenly and collapse against each other. Then we'd demand another round with hearty slaps upon age-stained oak. We never compared our interpretations. Sometimes now I think back and can't help but wonder if we ever read the same answer into a given song. I guess it's not important--our response was always the same and that's probably all that matters.

When our giggles started to become hysterical, the bartender would unplug the jukebox and then Salvador and I would go our separate ways: I to a nearby barn, bedroll under my arm, Salvador to his concrete culvert where he'd practice harmonica 'til dawn. His melancholy strains and trills would drift reverberantly across lonely truck stop lots, bringing unexpected tears of joy to the handlebar cheeks of weary long-haulers.

Salvador Nightshade was so incredibly good with that harmonica, you can't even fathom. If you heard the first half of a song, you'd be willing to eat a puppy just to hear the rest. Salvador Nightshade made John Popper sound like an asthmatic mule with a kazoo in its nose.

One night Salvador Nightshade took his own life with a modified hay baler and a barbed wire noose.

It made me so goddamn sad that I forgot how to speak and spent the next four months trying to headbutt passing freight trains off their tracks.

(Which is impossible by the way. It can't be done. Not with a headbutt. You may try if you like--I guess I can't stop you. But I am kind of like, the foremost expert in the world and stuff, at headbutting passing freight trains off their tracks, and if I say it can't be done... Well then, you know, it probably can't be done.)


At 1:14 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

A fine tale to reprise, Latigo Flint. I enjoyed it even more the second time. Sometimes you have to rub off the easy one first.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Salvador Nightshade will be sorely missed, there just aren't enough harmonica players in the world cabable of mmaking people fall in love just with their music.
By the way I for one am prepared to say if Latigo can;t head-butt a freight train off it's tracks it can't be done.

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Laura said...

Head-butting freight trains certainly gives a new definition to the term 'hard-headed'. I assume the trains were, at the very least, damaged?

At 9:46 AM, Blogger hategun said...

I first heard Salvador's beautiful harmonica medleys while walking my pit bull down by the culvert on cool September evening.

Romance swelled in my heart. I looked down at Shredder -- that's my pitbull -- with love in my eyes and lust in my loins.

Six months later, the stitches were removed, and I'm pleased to say I have begun to urinate again without the use of a catheter.

Thanks, Salvador Nightshade.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Francis Marion Tarwater said...

I can't believe I'm not the only one that plays Musical Magic 8-Ball.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Captain Kyle said...

Much respect to the harpoon and the kind, selfless souls who harpoon it up.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I know a moose once headbutted a freight train off the tracks, so maybe you could do it. Possibly you need to get a running start?

In the reincarnation game, was Salvador first, then Larry Adler? Or was it vice versa?

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Teaspoon said...

What the hell is up with this *bleep*?! I come here to read new stories not some *bleep*ing regurgitated *bleep*

jk, I will always enjoy the telling or retelling of any story that involves Salvador Nightshade.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

I'd like to take aq moment of silence for Salvador, but I have too much to say.

Latigo, I was a fool for taking a vacation. I should have been reading this blog full-time.

At 1:36 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

I wept bitterly during each telling LBB, I promise you that.

Salvador Nightshade was indeed a special one Peter--I miss him too.

Tough to tell Laura, I was thrown well clear of the tracks every time. And when I awoke to my own screams, the train was always hours gone.

Hategun, if it really was Salvador Nightshade's melody the two of you heard that fateful day, then I can safely say that despite evidence to the contrary, Shredder was indeed deeply in love with you. Perhaps that's just how pitbulls show it.

Believe it Solace Layfield. Hell, I can't believe I'm not the only one in the world with a truly perfect name... but there you are.

Word up (and verily straight that word be) Captain Kyle.

I'm tougher than any moose Old Hoss, you must have been misinformed. (And Salvador Nightshade made Larry Adler sound like twitchy child jumping on a rusty fireplace bellows.)

Do you know how horrifyingly close you just came to being shot in the face TSP. Put it this way, it's a damn good thing you decided to shave a second by abbreviating "just kidding".

Hello Trevor Record. It's true I have said a great many things, and in my opinion they should all be read at least twice. But rest easy, vacations don't necessarily have to preclude that.


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