SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS
“America is to Texas as Canada is to America: irrelevant, and riddled with hockey. A place of winter, a land of crowds. One might do business there, or briefly romance a hussy, but this singer never lingered. A Texan knows the Lord’s sky, and the Devil’s basin; A Texan knows which side of his armadillo is buttered, though buttering of armadillos is ill-advised even for the most veteran of veterinarians. Them things is basically armored herpes.
“In Texas, roadkill kills you, or at least gives you armadillo herpes.
“Many a Cuban heel have I worn down upon the road as I saw the world, and I long ago stopped counting jumpsuits I’ve blown the crotch out of. My clippings were billboards along the highway of my stardom; my prized Polaroids of poontang past were the paving-stones that made up that highway. In the mornings, I was a glory, and a star every evening. In my beloved hometown of Cascabel, there was a statue of me that I had paid for, and also put up in the middle of the night when no one was around. Multiple theories have arisen to account for its origin, and I encourage these, as to throw people off my trail.
“When in doubt, say that the Illuminati did it.
“I wore stardom like an Italian wears pants: fashionably, and my ass looked good. Fancy, Dancy, and Prancy–my legs are so spectacular that I named ’em three times, and cycle between the three at my own personal prerogative–left the ladies impressed and their dates depressed. During my Asian tour, my happy-dancin’ caused waves of ritual suicides, although it may have been coincidental, as your average Japanese kills hisself two or three times a year. Besides that, the whole damn continent couldn’t get enough of Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.
“You should have heard of me.
“At first, I was trepidatious. I was sure of my talents, many and varied, from dancing to singing to pottery to smithing of both the gun and lock varieties, but I was also sure that every damn time we tried to leave the country everything got fucked up. Many high-level meetings were held between myself, Big Bucktoothed Pete, and Skippy Joe and though we caroused at the problem to the extent of the laws of nature and what Miss Rosa will tolerate, none of us could figure out the reason for the continued failures.
“In the drunk tank around dawn, we decided this time would be different.
“Big Bucktoothed Pete had done his hitch in the Navy, and taken leave in many Asian countries, where he did things that it is illegal to do to a white person. He regaled us with tales of debauchery and, due to the favorable exchange rate, remarkably cheap perversion. At those prices, you can’t afford not to get your freak on. Me and Skippy Joe were thirsty for these stories, like an alcoholic in the desert with a salt shaker up his ass. Downright parched, we drank in Big Bucktoothed Pete’s tales by the gallon.
“We was simultaneously drinkin’ whiskey, which may account for our credulity.
“Plans and procedures, and schedules and setlists abounded and multiplied, translated into many languages that were drawn rather than written. Calls of the longest distances were placed. Maps were purchased, and then returned because they were of the wrong country, but that may have been my personal fault, as I should’ve known better than to assume Louie Grabass knew what country Bangkok was in, because Louis Grabass is a smart as a cow pie in a mailbox and shouldn’t have been sent on this particular errand in the first place.
“The man can chimi a changa, but he’s a dolt.
“To acclimatize ourselves to the orientalness of the Orientals, we moved the rehearsal studio/office/tavern into Cascabel’s only Chinese restaurant, Pedro’s. I installed Louie Grabass in the kitchen and got ’em to stop serving foreign food and start making Mexican food; I did, however, leave up all the heathen art on the walls, some of which were made from paper and lasted almost an hour in the same room with Skippy Joe. To save money on musicians, I purchased several busboys from Pedro and taught them the horn parts.
“The trumpet player is still with me today.
“First would be Japan, which was and is still an island, making it the opposite of Texas, which is most decidedly not no island. I did admire their decisions to declare war on the United States, and to be as far away from Oklahoma as global circularity permits. The schedule called for Tokyo, and then Kyoto, and then Okyto, continuing on to Ootky, and next Ytook, and it was at this point that I recalled Skippy Joe’s never-treated dyslexia and regretted having him on the planning committee. Skippy Joe’s writing was like a teenage boy trying to unhook a young lady’s bra: he knew what he wanted to do, but had no idea how to go about it.
“If a friend lacks everything but loyalty, then that friend has everything.
“We got that paperwork back in tip-top shape, and got on the airplane for the 94-hour flight. Wishing to avoid the usual complications, I had Big Bucktoothed Pete give Skippy Joe the ol’ B.A. Baracus with a two-by-four and also a syringe full o’ God knows what; that boy slept all the way to Japan, snoring zestily even throughout Big Bucktoothed Pete’s reading of the Book of Kings, which was precipitated by the free drinks he was provided, and preceded by the removal of his clothing. Sensing we was approaching the part of the sermon in which Big Bucktoothed Pete begins preaching in an overly-sexual manner, I hit him with the rest of the syringe. This was a tactical error, as it left me with no one to talk to for the rest of the flight except Louie Grabass.
“The man’s good for one thing, and extended conversation ain’t it.
“When we arrived in Tokyo, we were surprised to see all the signs welcoming us to Bangkok; this astonishment abated alacratitiously when it was discovered that the flight had been booked by Louis Grabass, whom I was beginning to resent. I also must admit that this was the moment I began to lose faith in my delegating skills. With the next plane not available until the next day, the smart play was to get a good night’s sleep and face tomorrow’s challenges with the brightest of eye, and bushiest of tail.
“Naturally, we chose to find one of them fuck clubs Big Bucktoothed Pete told us about.
“We were the ugliest Americans! No one abroad had ever been less innocent, and it was certainly no burden to be a white man. The bars and massage parlors leered and hooted at us, and we reveled in their revulsion, wandering gaudily down the neon strip. The names were lurid–the Fuck Fuck Club, and Mr. Humper’s–but at the dirty end of the street, we found our place: Miss Rosa’s; she had, unbeknownst to us, opened a franchise. We were happy to be in familiar climes: the decor and layout were identical to the one in Cascabel.
“Texas is so big that some of it could be found in Bangkok.
“Our trans-Pacific imprisonment had been as long as our thirst was now tall, and we dispatched beverage after beverage up its peaks. To Asia! we said, and drank Opium Rebellions, which is a shot of rice liquor then someone forces you take heroin. We drank Yul Brynners, which are not from Asia but play the part of an Asian drink for years. Finally, we had Kamikazes, which are Kamikazes. We were as lubricated as industrial pistons shooting pornography when the live show began, and we learned that despite the similarity of the cathouses, Bangkok and Texas was very different places.
“Even show business had not prepared me for the tawdry tableaux unfolding.
“It was as though these sexual athletes before us had made a list of the world’s gods, and then endeavored to piss off every one! Acts were performed that would get you removed from any mall, and some of the ladies had double-jointed cooters. One healthy young man did a diving act that ended not in a pool, but a butt; his accuracy was breathtaking, mostly to the young lady: you could hear the wind go out of her over the music. There may have been prehensile boners, and we all cheered when the ping pong girl, Ping Pong, came onstage.
“It was like Vaudeville, but with more fancy-fuckin’.
“With a higher-pitched sound than you might believe, the balls SHPLIPPed out of Ping Pong with uncanny precision: she hit targets, knocked cigarettes out of mouths, and changed the song on the jukebox. Her crotch was a cannon, and the room cheered and laughed, except for Skippy Joe, who had gotten hold of a paddle somewhere and returned one of Ping Pong’s volleys. That ball is just the right size to lodge in a sex worker’s throat! There is no word in Thai for Heimlich! Thinking it was part of the act, her fellow performer disregarded her lifelessness and just kept on fuckin’!
“We had to be smuggled out of the country, cancelling the tour!”
“So, are you registered to vote or not, sir?”
“THE GAME OF TABLE TENNIS HAS BEEN RUINED TO ME!”
“I’m just a volunteer, man.”