Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Those Plastic Pseudo Pistoleros

People say to me, they say: “Latigo--for a man who claims to be the quickest quickdraw the world has ever known, you sure don’t talk about gunslinging much anymore.”

I don’t reply. No need really. Men like me were born in stoic silence in the days of blood and scorpions. Our calculated fury is as cold as the pistols we refrigerate.

(Wait, that that last part didn’t make any sense.)

Never mind. Point is, I simply squint my steely eyes and wait for the offender to soil him or herself. Sometimes I roll a cigarette and strike a match on my propped up boot heel. Often a faraway bell will toll as a hawk screams in a cloudless sky.

But I admit there’s something to be said for not forgetting where you’ve been. And though I’ve spoken of the following before, it bears repeating again.


(Um, there’s something odd about “repeating again”. It would seem to imply this is the third or perhaps even fourth time one has said a thing.

Fuck you. It needed the “again” to rhyme.)

***

From the archives - March 23, 2005:

Those Plastic Pseudo Pistoleros

It was high time we paid 'em another visit. So yesterday found Latigo Flint and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, striding squinty-eyed and dangerous through the Ghost Town/Calico Square section of that there Southern California amusement park.

I have no idea who at the corporate office 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 pretend pistolaros.

An uneasy crowd massed next to the Churro stand to watch me square off against the last one.
"Alright tinhorn,” I snarled. “The next child to drop their Churro is gonna be our signal to reach."
He scuffled his plastic boots and looked around for his boss. "Uh look sir, 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 greasy Churro and gunslinger instinct took over. Before that wretched tinhorn could even think about twitching a finger, my blurred hands slapped thigh and shucked my authentic replica Colt Peacemaker revolvers from their hand-tooled elk hide holsters and cylinder-twirled both to empty in a rolling, continuous snap.

"Damn that's fast!" Even my relatively trusty sidekick, 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.” She sneered. “You two are just about the biggest losers I've ever seen. What, so you're dangerous men 'cause you sit in your parents' basement all day playing with cap guns?"

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

"By the waxed handlebar of Earp, WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!???"

The child looked up and me and 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 at me suspiciously.
"That one over there did." He pointed to Tyler. 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 Latty, and you know it. Lemme backhand the shit outta these people and then we’ll go and try to drink ourselves to death."

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 knuckles of wrath.

And so it turns out I didn’t have to shoot anyone that day, and that’s good, ‘cause shootin’ a man ain’t no small thing. You’re boxing up his memories and puttin’ ‘em in public storage. You’re takin’ all his future joy, mashing it in a ball, coating it with honey and rammin’ it down a hungry badger’s den.

It’s a cruel, haunted life we lead, we of the gun-stained leather. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. And it’s not our fault dangerous men are dead sexy.

6 Comments:

At 12:33 AM, Blogger tangled said...

FIRST COMMENT

so there.

 
At 12:39 AM, Blogger tangled said...

What if it were "relating" again?
Ignore me, I'm just newly addicted.

Ah. This one I remember, seeing as how I speed-read the entire archives within two days of introduction (after first cursing my late inititaion for half a day or so).
Dangerous men are dead sexy. Why is that? rrrawr.

I wrote new poetry, Latigo. If you come by and comment, I'll swoon and die with joy.

 
At 7:56 AM, Anonymous ATD said...

Speaking of Kid Relish, what's he doing nowadays? Backhanding scary clowns?

?~ATD

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

When I think of you I think many things: Genius, misanthrope, balladeer, petty criminal, poet, cowboy, Brokeback Mountain fan, loner, storyteller, drunkard, prophet, and computer enthusiast.

But I ALWAYS think of you FIRST as a gunslinger. I don't care how many faggy, fru-fru Starbucks coffee drinks you drink. You'll never dilute your image as a man of the iron.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Ari said...

I get this a lot:

"The child started hopping up and down and humming while urgently tugging on my shirtsleeve."

But instead of saying something powerful like this:

"By the waxed handlebar of Earp, WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!???"

I just say, "WHAAAAAAAT??"

That's why I'm not a gunslinger.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

It is the great mystery of our time Tharunya--the disproportionate dead sexiness of dangerous men. A mystery I vow to solve... with a pistol and a sneer.

Rational people don't wonder where Kid Relish is ATD. They just thank the gods he's not present.

Mercy LBB. That is simply the most wonderful thing anyone has ever said to me. I'd open-mouth kiss you if I wasn't so damn straight.

Every new day is an opportunity to shoot someone with a pistol Ari, and/or respond with an appropriately gunslingerly statement.

 

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