In the late Nineties my small Texas university town was ‘blessed’ with a brand new Super Wal*Mart. I don’t really like Wal*Mart, but the grand opening was kinda a…
“Big Hairy Deal”
(not a lot of opportunity for excitement in my little town)
GRAND OPENING! ALL WELCOME!
Anyway, I just had to go.
Back then I was a vegetarian and was interested to see if Wal*Mart had decent produce and perhaps at a bit cheaper than the only other grocery store in town, a Brookshire’s.
(I was loyal to Brookshire’s and even had one of those ‘Cards’ to prove it, but I was a paycheck-to-paycheck’ kind of dude you see. So there was that.)
Besides, I was always a bit of a slut anyhow.
Turns out they did have decent produce and cheaper too, so I filled my buggy with quite a few fresh fruits and vegetables.
I was very excited.
Got to the checkout and the surly cashier:
I knew instantly she was ‘surly’ when she took a look at my cart and grimaced. She picked up a zucchini and pointed it at me just as I imagine she would a .45 cal. pistol.
“What is This?” she demanded.
“Zucchini,” I said, trying to be polite about it.
There were no little stickers on the veggies in those days. The cashiers had a rolodex type thing with photos to help them identify ‘foreign fruits and vegetables’.
She picked up a… wait for it… turnip. “And what’s this?”
Turnip-Truck: Just Fell Off
I grew nervous when she grabbed a bunch of kale.
“Nope. Sorry. ‘Kale’,” I replied almost apologetically.
At this point I could literally see the frustration (and anger) building.
“Well look Sir, you know I ain’t from around here. I’m from Oklah-homa and I don’t know Yawl’s local vegetables,” she informed me rather pointedly.
She hefted a cantaloupe, “And this?”
“Oh, that’s an egg.” I said.
She almost yelled, “This ain’t no egg! It’s too big.”
“It’s a dinosauregg.”
I don’t think she was amused.
She dropped ‘the egg’ back into my cart with a loud ‘thunk’, picked up the receiver on her phone, pushed a button and blasted throughout the store,
“Manager to Checkout Six! Manager to Checkout Six!”
It was all I could do to keep from falling down on the floor laughing my ass off. I thought about running away, but then I would miss all the fun, so I just waited for ‘Management’ to appear.
Didn’t take long.
Mister Manager-Man arrived, took one look at MS Cashier and quickly assessed the situation.
“Uh, Mendy, why don’t you go ahead and take your break now. I’ll take over here until you get back.”
Mendy snorted and huffed as she exited stage left.
For the sake of the remaining Walmart Patrons, I hoped Mendy would manage to Mend her attitude a bit while sucking down Dr. Pepper and Hot-Boxing Marlboros during her break.
“Sorry Sir. She’s still in training.”
I’m guessing this weren’t Manager-Man’s first rodeo, vis-à-vis MS Mendy.
He quickly and efficiently rang up the rest of my purchases, took my money and said,
“Thank you for shopping at Your Walmart Super Center.”
“No offense Sir, but not sure if I’m ready to claim ownership just yet. Let me get back to you on that.”
We shared a laugh.
And I pronounced my ‘Walmart Experience’ a pleasantly entertaining one.
And left with all my ‘exotic foreign’ produce items.
Gotta love Wal*Mart. (and Oklahoma)
Just Kidding All My Okie Neighbors!
(But Y’all know how it is between Texas an’ Oklahoma!)
It has come to my attention that there may be some among you who doubt the veracity of my prose.
In the spirit of full-disclosure I am introducing a New Feature to Texan Tales & Hieroglyphics:
Ladies and Gentlemen
I proudly present to you
“The TT&H Veracity Breakdown Report O’ Meter”
In the form of an Easy-as-Pie-To-Understand…
TT&H All Rights Reserved
Just when Y’all thought there was hope for my sanity…
The Devil Went Down To Walmart…
Street Cred for Vid: Nomadic Fanatic
Comments from original post below.
Some are pricelessly funny.
23 THOUGHTS ON “WAL*MART: THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION (AND VEGETARIANS)”
LAMarcom June 28, 2014 at 17:32 Edit
Didn’t some Greek chick get in trouble waaaay back in the day for eating pomegranate seeds?
I wasn’t actually there, but I didn’t miss it by much. (Yeah, I am THAT old!)
Thanks again for your visits and your great comments here at TT&H
LVital7019 June 28, 2014 at 12:11 Edit
Like it’s YOUR fault she can’t recognize UNIVERSALLY COMMON produce like a zucchini or a friggin turnip! God forbid you handed her a pomegranate… Her eyes might have rolled back into her skull.
lauramacky June 27, 2014 at 00:50 Edit
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:45 Edit
rachelcarrera June 26, 2014 at 23:39 Edit
LOL! Exactly! 😀
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:26 Edit
If you catch me in a Wal*Mart, just know that the Cold War is back on.
All I’m sayin’
rachelcarrera June 26, 2014 at 23:25 Edit
LOL! Don’t you just love when you smile out loud? 🙂 Yeah, Walmart definitely attracts a certain caliber of clientele. At least here in Florida. I try to stick to the grocery store and Target and only use Walmart for emergencies after the regular stores are closed. 🙂
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:25 Edit
Yeah, I went from Walmart to Iraq.
Iraq was bettah…
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:17 Edit
I wanna write a book about some of my Wal*Mart experiences.
Laughin’ out loud!
Thanks for your visit and your comments.
Made me laugh and smile too. (out loud)
rachelcarrera June 26, 2014 at 23:14 Edit
LOL! That’s funny! I don’t know a lot of veggies either because I’m allergic to so many, so I don’t eat a lot of variety…However, I DO know enough to know to apologize and explain that and not just make the excuse that it’s local to your state! That’s really sad! LOL! (AND no I won’t ever eat ANY produce from Walmart either!)
lauramacky June 26, 2014 at 18:08 Edit
You’re welcome Lance. Glad you’ve moved on from Wally World, lol.
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 17:03 Edit
Don’t you just hate it when the best comeback lines come to you too late? I know I do. Yeah, your response would have been priceless.
Sandra June 26, 2014 at 17:01 Edit
Awesome! My 1st job was at McDonalds where a customer actually asked me what was in a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit. Wish I had said, “lobster, of course.” Some people. I tell ya!
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:53 Edit
Looking for white carrots. Too fuckin’ funny!
Thanks for the laugh My Friend.
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:52 Edit
The whole ‘Wal-Mart Experience’ always cracks me up.
Thanks Sharon for your comments and for the read.
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:51 Edit
It really was a bizarre (and true) experience. I had to laugh (to myself).
LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:49 Edit
I actually had a part-time job at that very same Wal-Mart a few years after it had opened. I HATED it. I was just helping out during the run up to Christmas assembling bicycles. Wal-Mart’s are weird places to work, let me tell ya.
Thanks for the read and the comments Laura.
lauramacky June 26, 2014 at 11:02 Edit
I cannot STAND Wally World! That’s what I call it. Forutnately there is not one for MILES from where I live lol. I refuse to step inside. My husband occasionally goes there….I let him have his fun. I’ll go to Whole Foods instead. haha
~ Sadie ~ June 26, 2014 at 09:49 Edit
CTFU here!!!! 😉 Seriously, didn’t know what a cantaloupe was . . . especially from that part of the country . . . great post, Lance!!!
sharoncummings June 26, 2014 at 07:25 Edit
That is hilarious! I was a vegetarian for 5 years myself….vegan for 2 and even a raw foodist! I only made it 6 months on the raw…LOL I have been eating meat again for the past 12 years, but I still eat a ton of veggies and I totally get this…it still happens. Who doesn’t know what a zucchini is? ha ha
happierheathen June 26, 2014 at 02:29 Edit
We get something like that here when the local grocer has things the checkers don’t know. The first time around it was a parsnip and the checker got frustrated because there were no “white carrots” in her handy dandy list. The woman was just about 60 years old and a native in these here agricultural parts, too.
Just so it’s said: Fuck Wal-Mart! 😀
LAMarcom June 25, 2014 at 23:09 Edit
If I had thrown a Big Mac, Large Fries, a Whopper, and some Jim Jims out there, she would have done just fine. My bad.
Thanks for reading.
Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 25, 2014 at 23:04 Edit
I HAVE been known to laugh at teen trainees when they didn’t know common fruits or veg. Told them they needed to start eating healthier.
Yet another bit gleaned from my longer post of 29 Jan 2014.
“‘The Time Has Come,’ The Walrus Said, ‘To Talk of Many Things:
Of Murdered Birds, Of Turtles Green, and Hippies Sellin’ Rings.’”
My mother was probably
“The Original Hippy Chick.”
When Haight-Ashbury was in full bloom, she would not shut up about it until we ventured there.
(Just the two of us. By Ourselves. Mother and Child–You could do that in ’67–No Worries. Don’t try it today. Please Don’t try it today.)
I knew a little of the ‘Hippy Culture’ back then, yet had no desire to experience it ‘up close an’ personal.’
So one bright sunny Saturday morning we packed up the Ol’ Rusty Rambler and headed off to ‘Frisco and Haight-Ashbury.
Okay. Not Really Our ACTUAL Car
But close.Damn close.
To say that trip opened my eyes would be an understatement bordering on felonious. I was shocked, awed, amazed, bothered, bewildered, enlightened, enchanted, enthralled, and all at the same time.
The whole day was a ‘Whirling Dervish’ of attacks on my senses and emotions. I remember clearly all the people with their long hair, colorful clothing, love beads, head bands, peace signs, guitars, laughter, and smoke coming from everywhere and not smelling at all like the smoke from the cigarettes my mother used to light up.
But most of all, I remember
Music was ubiquitous and oh how I did love the music.
We walked up and down those streets for hours and I do believe my mother stopped and purchased some trinket from every single hippy-trinket-seller she visited, which by my estimation, would have been all of two hundred of them.
Not really being a trinkets-man myself, I purchased a pair of small green turtles that I wanted to rescue from a hippy life I was certain they were not well suited for.
I actually remember telling the turtles during the ride home not to worry; that they were safe now, and also apologizing to them if I had left any of their family members behind due to the fact that my meager allowance did not afford me the luxury of benevolence to purchase freedom for the whole lot of them–Even though I did beg mom for an advance to do just that.
The turtles ended up having a fine long Turtle – Life and were probably the only two green turtles to ever migrate from
Texas suited them and me, better. Much better.
Author’s Note: I am a NATIVE Texan. Born in Ladonia, 1957
(Wasn’t MY fault I was forced to live in California for too many years.)
As Always, Thank you for visiting and reading. All comments are welcomed.
This is (sort of) a continuation of my “Shonnie Series.”
And since I like things to be linear,
We shall rejoin our “Hero” just after his ‘Denouement.’
Or perhaps just after his ‘Epiphany’.
Or perhaps just after… Oh! Who the hell knows?
SHE led me to a car and we all piled in. I say ‘we all’ simply because suddenly there were three of us. Me, HER, and a miniscule blonde. I’d seen this movie before, but this time it came with a plot twist, I guess.
I have to guess.
The rest of the evening (early morning?) lies deeply submerged somewhere in the nether regions of my addled murky-muddled-memory.
After about twenty minutes… I am once again, ‘guesstimating’ here.
Could’ve been an hour or more.
After about ‘twenty’ minutes we arrived at a ‘house’.
Could have been an apartment. Could have been a barn. Could have been The Ritz-Carlton. Could have been a flying fucking saucer.
Hell! I do not remember; is what I’m saying.
My torturously painful thoughts of losing Shonnie combined with copious quantities of consumed alcohol had done a seriously ‘detrimental-mental’ on my ability to exhibit fully functional, lucid behavior.
The wheel was turning, but the hamster was dead. My alligator did not go all the way to the top. There was a spammer in my works. Elvis had left the building with my mind.
In other words, I was a mess.
SHE took me inside and led me straight-away to a bed, in a room… A bedroom. Best guess. If memory serves, a rather liberal and generous assumption, we had sex. Violent sex. (Not ‘violent’ violent. Let’s just call it ‘intense.’)
SHE was no less than six foot and change and as I did report earlier, ‘Big-Boned.” I swear, I saw my life’s movie flash in front of me as she covered me and had her way. (And of course, me mine)
As we lay there ‘after’ in someone else’s bed, she remarked, “Well, that should keep your self-winding watch going for a few days.”
I had to laugh, right before I drifted off. Passed out.
Completely whacked out and totally done in.
It was an immensely satisfying sweet sense of surrender.
The next morning I awoke with the sun singeing my eyes through a casually, carelessly placed shadeless window (What’s wrong with these people?)
I could smell bacon. I rolled over and looked at my watch: 0630. I had a sudden start. Then realized it was Sunday, not a work day, and I did not have ‘duty’ on my ship. I could go back to sleep, un-worried.
But oh no! SHE was up and about. So who was cooking bacon?
(I’d forgotten about Tiny Blondie.)
“Oh. You’re awake?” She said.
“Uh, yeah. Kinda,” was all I could muster. “Where am I? Who are you?”
Not an intelligent question, probably a dangerous, stupid, perilous one, but then, I was hung over and still groggy, and surely she wouldn’t take advantage of a mentally incapacitated, defenseless sailor.
“I am the woman to be named later,” she laughed while poking me in the ribs. (Which hurt for some reason)
I rolled over to face her. She was indeed, Beautiful. Very Beautiful. Stunningly Beautiful. Makes one’s eyes water Beautiful.
She was right out of a fantasy, with gloriously long, luscious, dark brown hair.Hair so long, so ‘deep’ so thick that a hapless sailor could go missing in it for days on end.
Long, bronze-tanned perfectly symmetrical legs that seemed to go on for days, shapely firm breasts that simply defy description, sultry dark, dark eyes channeling mystery–too much mystery.
Raw, unfiltered sexuality poured from every fiber of her.
It was unnerving.
Not necessarily in a bad way,
But I was all ‘myster-ied’ out and the only fantasy I was holding was ‘getting back that girl I had before.’ That little short, pale, half-ginger one with the electric blue eyes and the volatile attitude.
I was spent.
Running on empty.
I was exhausted, emotionally, mentally, physically.
Send my saddle home.
I needed comfort. I needed soft. I needed tender. I needed sweet. I needed to beheld and caressed.
Not fucked to within an inch of my life.
I needed Gidget. I needed Gilligan’s Island Mary Ann, I needed Samantha Stevens, I needed Amy Adams, or even Mary Poppins.
As lucky and grateful as I was to have found myself sharing, if only briefly, a bed with this goddess of a woman, I was not certain nor confident I was capable of surviving yet another encounter with such an intimidating representative of the ‘fairer’ sex.
Not yet, anyhow.
Not just yet.
My world seemed to be teeming with ‘Snakes and Ladders’.
“It Breaks Your Heart Just Looking At Her.”
–Joni: Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm 1988
“You don’t remember my name?” She asked after lighting a cigarette.
“To be stupidly and painfully honest, no I don’t.”
“No matter. I am called ‘Layla’. Ring any bells?” (I wish I were making this up)
See this below if you’re puzzled by my ‘Layla PTSD.’
Thinking I had just fallen ass-over-tit into Dante’s Inferno it occurred to me that I needed to change my Sailor–Ways.
First Contrition, then Absolution, then Redemption, then…
Oh! Screw that! What I really needed was a Bloody Mary. A Super-Sized BloodyMary. And soon! As in five minutes soon, if not sooner.
My mind had wandered off somewhere.
Layla repeated her question,
“Ring any bells?”
“Uh. No. Should bells be ringing? I don’t like bells. Every time I hear bells ringing, something bad happens.”
Rolling her eyes, à la ‘Shonnie’, she said, “So… You’re a Sailor? Yes?”
“Yes. And what are you? And are you from around here?”
“Not from around here. I’m just visiting my cousin. She is the one cooking breakfast.”
“Yeah. I can smell bacon.”
“Good nose. I like that in a man. Have you an appetite?”
“From some memory of last night, I’d have to say ‘affirmative’.”
“Hahahahah! Yep. You do, Sailor Man. Yep, you sure do.”
“So, if you’re not from here. Where are you ‘from’, and what do you do?”
“I’m from Wisconsin. I work as a bartender. I’m also a bouncer, when the need is needed. Oh, and I love to ride Harleys.”
“Perfection, I thought. Now what Cowboy? Shit. Here I am again…”
I had ‘some leave-days-on-the-books’ and seriously considered at that moment that I should take them and head home to Texas to get a re-start on my psyche saki… get a ‘refresh’ on my Texan Accent, recharge my Ni-Cad batteries, take a break.
Well, spelling and lucid, rational thinking ain’t never been my thing, but you know what I mean here.
Sooner or later, it will all make perfect, logical sense.
I mean, I was still ‘re-bounding’ for glory and quite honestly, still heart-sick over my loss of Shonnie. But I did have some time, eh? Didn’t I? Meaning I was still relatively young and deep at heart, a perpetual cock-eyed-optimist.
And I was a good and decent man.
Most of the time.
But Shonnie had set me back.
Set me back and set me down.
Something must be done.
Something had to give.
My mind was in a very bad place.
“Hey Sailor! You want breakfast and some blood mary, or what?” came her voice from some foggy-in-my-head place below.
Apparently, while lost in thought, I hadn’t noticed She’d left me all alone.
“Uh… Yeah! I mean yes! I’ll be right down!”
“The pitfalls of the city are extremely real.”
Credit: AustinCityLimitsTV—October, 1974
“The Biker-Bartender-Bouncer Chick, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Part Two”
Commentary Below From Original Version of this Post
Please Read From Bottom Up for Continuity
18 THOUGHTS ON “THE BIKER, BOUNCER, BARTENDER, BIG-BONED GAL FROM MILWAUKEE”
johncoyote March 7, 2021 at 05:42 Edit
I enjoyed this story. I was station in Texas for almost seven years. I loved the Texas gals. They asked you to dance and they were fast and fearless. I liked the girl that cooked a meal in the morning. And we talk some after. Thank you for sharing the entertaining tale.
LAMarcom August 13, 2015 at 01:45 Edit
Reblogged this on Texan Tales & Hieroglyphics and commented:
How can one go wrong with Willie?
LAMarcom July 28, 2014 at 18:34 Edit
LVital7019 July 28, 2014 at 18:27 Edit
Well, don’t go changin’! I like your stories!
LAMarcom July 28, 2014 at 17:33 Edit
It has been said before!
LVital7019 July 28, 2014 at 14:14 Edit
Dare I say – You TRAMP, you! LOL 😉
LAMarcom July 25, 2014 at 22:28 Edit
You are too kind my friend.
I do thank you though.
markbialczak July 25, 2014 at 21:26 Edit
With Shonnie, your adventures were better than Tom Sawyer’s. With Layla, now you’re going after the legend of Huck Finn. You were something else, my friend Lance.
LAMarcom July 23, 2014 at 23:31 Edit
~ Sadie ~ July 23, 2014 at 23:02 Edit
You know I will!! 😉
LAMarcom July 23, 2014 at 22:55 Edit
Thank you Sadie.
My mood(s) currently won’t let me continue this one for the next few days.
But… Never Fear!
The words will come, by an’ by…
And I hope you will read.
~ Sadie ~ July 23, 2014 at 22:32 Edit
Can’t wait to read more, Lance!! 🙂 You know I love your stories!!
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:29 Edit
It only hurt when I laughed.
Thanks for stopping by T. ‘Preciate it.
Teela Hart July 22, 2014 at 16:38 Edit
I’m with Nancytex.
You definitely need a Samantha.
Can’t wait to read the next installment.
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 10:36 Edit
If you could have seen Layla, you’d understand. I quickly recovered. (I was young and bulletproof back then ya know?)
Thanks for reading. There will be more to this story….
NancyTex July 22, 2014 at 10:33 Edit
My mind is bouncing all around trying to figure out why your ribs would be hurting. That’s some aggressive sexy, my friend.
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 08:10 Edit
I read Willie’s autobiography many, many years ago. I suspect if he knew how long he was to live (and may he outlive me), he would have waited some more decades before he penned that ‘biopic.’
At any rate, I do concur: Willie is a fascinating character and a fascinating character study and also a Texas Treasure.
As for me… well, to me marriage was never much more binding than a handshake. This is why after four, I have now sworn off marriages. Just call me Hamlet: “There will be no more marriages!” Get this boy to a nunnery!
Thanks Pain for reading and commenting. Always thought provoking and a pleasure to read.
Cheers My Friend,
Exile on Pain Street July 22, 2014 at 06:29 Edit
I was never able to pull of instantaneous, anonymous sex with a stranger when I was younger. I wish I could have because you sure make it sound fun. But I was so wracked with a crippling case of low self-esteem that I never tried. And now that I’m married, it’s too late. THERE’S a lesson for you.
I’ve been listening to Willie Nelson be interviewed on Howard Stern all morning. What an amazing life that guy had! Willie, that is. Not Stern.
A beautifully touching metaphoric side of Shonnie no one ever got to see.
Except for me.
Yet it was fleeting.
Like a Shooting Star or Moonlight in a Martini.
Saw it only once or twice.
But that ‘once or twice’ was enough to ensure my memories of time spent with her would live on forever.
“Shonnie Darling, my hopeful dream and only channeled aspiration is to write you honestly, passionately, and well. I am doing my best. Please be pleased.”
–The Cowboy / Sailor who keeps you and loves you still
“There was once a very lovely, very frightened girl. She lived alone except for a nameless cat.”
It’s a pretty good drive from Seaport Village to La Jolla. We stopped along the way for cigarettes, sandwich stuff and beer and arrived at “Auntie’s House” about seven-thirty. This isn’t it, but a reasonable facsimile:
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have a shit-load of money
“Your aunt rich?” I asked stupidly.
“Yes. What was your first clue?”
“Lucky guess, I suppose.”
“Come on. It’s even better inside.”
She led me into the condo.
“First class joint,” I said. “Really classy.”
“Allow me, Good Sir, to give you the nickel tour.”
(“Good Sir?” “Allow me???”)
She led me through the living room, past the dining room and into the kitchen. It was all stainless steel, dark wood, and stone.
Wow! It made my eyes hurt.
We put the sandwich stuff and the beer in the fridge. Shonnie produced two tumblers and threw some ice into each. I took the bottle of Jim Beam, splashed a little into each glass, and handed one to her.
“A Toast!” I said. “To us!”
We clinked tumblers, took a swig and fell into each other’s arms. Lips to lips. “You make me happy my dear,” I whispered into her ear as we broke our lip lock.
“I had a wonderful time in Vegas. I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.”
“Yeah, but next time please, please listen to me a little more often.”
“Hahaha! Sure Cowboy. I promise to be good… ‘Next time’. Come on. I want to show you the rest of this ‘joint’.”
We took the stairs and she led me into what I surmised to be the master bedroom suite. It was large as condo bedrooms go I suppose, but then I was no expert on anything ‘condo’. In truth, this was my very first ‘Close-Condo-Encounter-Of-Any-Kind’ experience. There were double French doors opening up to a small patio overlooking the Pacific.
The bed was gigantic. I pushed down on it with my hand and watched as it rippled. Waterbed. Last time I had seen a waterbed was back in The Seventies. I wondered silently if this one leaked…
There were Asian paintings on the walls and very deep beige shag-carpet on the floor. Some legit hand-carved Maasai Warrior statuettes stood lookout on the dresser. I recognized them from my eight days spent in Kenya back in ’86.
The bathroom had an old-timey tub, green towels, and a shower stall… and a bidet! Wow! Mishmash of so many cultures. (And decades) Well, California. What could one say?
“Why don’t you rinse off in the shower while I gather some more ice and build our bar?”
“Uh… Okay,” I said. “I’ll do that.”
After my ‘rinse off’, I wrapped a green beach towel about me, lay on the bed with my drink and my Marlboro. (Figured it permissible to smoke, as there were about five ashtrays strategically placed about the room.)
Shonnie reappeared with the whiskey, two sandwiches and a pack of Doritos precariously balanced on a serving tray in her right hand. Two longneck beers peeked out from a bucket of ice tucked under her left arm. An unopened pack of Marlboros was clinched between her teeth. Quite the juggler, she was.
She walked over to the rather huge oaken set of dresser drawers; released the pack of cigarettes from her mouth. I observed it bounce once on the dresser’s edge then disappear into the beige shag-carpet forest.
“It’s okay. Don’t get up. I’ve got this,” she said with some small sarcasm, as she set down the rest of her items.
“You must be hungry” I said.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. Lose that towel.”
I did and she ‘lost’ her jeans et al.
We made slow love for some thirty minutes. Deep kisses, lots of teasing, and finally, we came together…
As we lay back in the bed, silently smoking, she turned and said seriously, almost ominously, “You’re quite the catch, aren’t you Cowboy?”
“Not sure your meaning, Little Lady.”
“Just saying. You’re quite the catch.”
“Not really. Just another lonely sailor far from his home port.”
“Yes with fireplace eyes, the gift of bullshit, some smarts, and an ‘any-port-in-a storm’ laissez-faire philosophy.”
“Somewhat true enough, I suppose,” Then added quickly and clumsily, “Used to be ‘true enough.’ Those days are long since gone for me now.”
She gave me a ‘look’ which told me she wasn’t buying it.
(‘Fireplace eyes?’ I’d only been described, accused of this once before. From…, by… my wife. Somewhat unnerving to hear it again verbatim after so many years. And ‘laissez-faire??’ From the lips of My Shonnie? What-the-hell is happening? Is this a ‘haunted’ condominium? Do I need to call an exorcist?)
From the very moment we set foot inside the condo, a change, although quite a subtle one, had come over Shonnie. Difficult to describe, but I’ll try. I sensed more than ’witnessed’ it.But I witnessed enough. More than enough.
The first change was the tone of her voice. It immediately lost a bit of its gravelly coarseness; not actually becoming ‘soft,’ but most definitely ‘toned down’ a few degrees.
Next thing was her gait or ‘walk.’ Very difficult to describe as well, but she had suddenly acquired an almost elegant manner of moving from place to place. I would not go so far as to describe it as ‘gracefully gliding’, but it was a noticeable departure from her frenetic ‘bull-in-the-china-closet’ mode of self-transport I had learned to live with and to love.
And here is the weirdest thing of all:
Her vocabulary had grown exponentially, and her employment of the vernacular was… different—sophisticated–weird.
To the untrained eye and ear, these subtle changes would have gone happily, blissfully ignorantly unnoticed. But this cowboy/sailor had not survived three years in the Sinai, Egypt, Israel war zones and four years in the Janet-the-first-wife war zone along with the Nacogdoches, Texas, ‘Boy Y’all ain’t from ‘round he’ah ar’ Y’all?’ war zone by not paying, as they say in the Navy, close ‘attention to detail.’
And always, always maintaining ‘situational awareness.’
(The very first thing the Navy did to me was drill a hole in my head and pour those in. “Always Pay Attention To Detail. Always Maintain Situational Awareness.” I already had these traits. The Navy merely refined them, upgraded them, topped them off, and permanently cemented them into my mind.)
Thusly cursed with my talent for applying ‘attention to detail’, ‘maintaining situational awareness’, and also properly cursed with a thoughtful and enquiring mind, I wondered if the Shonnie I had so hopelessly fallen in love with were the ‘Real Shonnie’ or just a ‘Make-Believe Shonnie’ who the ‘True Shonnie’ had used so effortlessly to capture my heart. Was she just playing around with me? Was she a Black Widow type? (‘Just fuck ’em and eat ’em’) Was she too clever for me? Was I in way over my head? Was my heart in peril?
I emphatically answered ‘No’ to all of these questions.
Best and most logical explanation is that my Shonnie, the one I fell in love with, was ALL TOO MUCH REAL.
I’ll admit, I did not understand the true magnitude of her deeply profound and complicated psyche at first, but I did sense it. Hence the initial attraction—an attraction whose growth I did nothing to curtail–allowing it to grow stronger and stronger day by day until I found myself in my current situation. A ‘situation’ I had allowed to flourish.
And to cherish.
And would never give up.
This may be going a ‘bridge too far’ but it was as if she had morphed from ‘Eliza Doolittle’ into ‘Holly Golightly’.
In an instant!
As if by Magic!
I found the change somewhat disconcerting, yet fascinating and tantalizing. I truly and fervently wish there were ways to fully and articulately describe this ‘sophisticated’ transformation of hers, but alas…
That would require a much more skilled raconteur than the one who is now so ‘unsophisticatedly’ spilling virtual ink on this virtual page.
Here is one thing I can unabashedly report and with great sincerity and veracity: this proves beyond any doubt, any doubt at all…
That Shonnie was the most fascinating woman I have ever known, or will ever know. I will climb even further out on this limb with my saw strapped over my shoulder:
There is no woman, real or imagined, whom I will ever love more than this biker chick. (By proxy and by definition to her core, she was a true biker chick, albeit a multidimensional, brilliantly unusually unique one)
“Eat your sandwich,” she said. “Then we can watch a movie. The night is still young.”
She got up and I watched her walk toward the bathroom. She navigated her perfectly petite body while (purposely? hell yeah! she knew I’d be watching) intentionally twitching her little ass, tantalizing me still–and although I was quite sated at that moment–I could never become totally immune to her wily charms.
I reached for the sandwich even though I was not hungry. Suddenly becoming self-conscious about my nakedness and feeling vulnerable, I got up and put my pants on. I lay back on the bed, picked up the sandwich, took one bite and put it down.
There was a large television conveniently facing the bed. I picked up the remote from the night stand and switched it on. CNN appeared. Some info-babe talking head was blathering on and on about something horrible that had just happened in Iraq:
I muted the volume.
“You’re watching the News?” She said incredulously, suddenly appearing in front of me wearing a white terry-cloth robe and a frown.
“Hey, did you lift that robe from the Plaza?”
“Don’t be stupid. This belongs to my aunt. And don’t change the subject. You’re watching The News. I hate the news. It’s always bad.”
“I think it’s watching me.”
“How depressing. You must be a very lonely man when you’re not with me.”
“Current events are important,” I said.
“Not to me.”
“Well, here’s a news’ flash for ya: You are drop-dead sexy and beautiful and gorgeous.”
“Careful there, Cowboy…”
She walked over to the ‘Entertainment Center’ which was part of the whole TV thing and began perusing some VHS tapes. “What kind of movies do you like?” she asked.
“Hysterical hilarious history drama,” I said.
“Well, that does narrow it down a bit.” She selected and loaded a tape. With a remote in each hand, she began pushing buttons. “Top Gun” appeared on the screen as if by technological magic.(Or Witchcraft)
“I was thinking of maybe something a little less contemporary,” I said as Kenny Loggins began his bit.
Video Credit: KennyLogginsVEVO
“Nonsense!” she said. “This is perfectly apropos for you. You’re a sailor.”
(There she goes again! ‘apropos’?? I am losing my damn mind!)
“Yeah I am, but not a fighter jock. And I despise Tom Cruise.”
“Relax. Have you seen this movie?”
“’Fraid I have, but okay. Kelly McGillis is never a waste of my time.”
“Well, I have not seen it. I’d like to see it. With you. Do you mind? Besides, I’ll allowyou to provide the ‘Color Commentary’ which I am certain you won’t be able to resist doing anyhow.”
With that she jumped on the bed causing me to spill some amber onto the sheets and almost drop my cigarette. She grabbed my head with both hands and planted a deep kiss, sticking her tongue deep down my throat.
“Madame! I am aghast!” I said as I was freed from her embrace.
“Shut up and watch the movie.”
Kenny was just finishing up ‘Danger Zone’, and proving once again that I needed to pay closer attention to my life’s soundtrack, especially when it is foreshadowing and trying to connect.
We got through the horrible movie thanks to several glasses of Beam and a few beers and not a small number of cigarettes. It was, I have to admit looking back, the best screening of one of the worst movies of all time. I kept Shonnie in laughter as I picked apart the utter bullshit and un-factual parts of the movie. Yes, sometimes I can do sarcasm with the best.
As the final credits were rolling, Shonnie snuggled up to me and asked, “Lance, do you love me? Truly love me?”
“Probably,” I said.
“I’m a little hard to love.”
“Not for a schmuck like me.”
“I’m serious here. I have issues.”
“Yeah, don’t we all?”
“Goddamn it! I am serious.”
“’Serious’ is not something I’m good at.”
“You are EXASPERATING!”
“That’s a pretty good four-bit word,” I said with a mocking grin.
“Actually, it’s five bits, you bastard.”
I counted off the syllables in my head.‘Ex-as-per-at-ing.’ Yep. Five.
“You’re right,” I said.
“You know my estranged husband is one mean son-of-a-bitch, right?”
“Never met the stud. Do tell.”
“Trust me. And he called me up at Mama’s the other day and asked me who was my new boyfriend.”
“Yeah. I think he’s been following me.”
“I’m not much into ‘threesomes’.”
“Listen Asshole. I’m getting scared.”
“Wanna end it?” (What an incredibly stupid, stupid, stupid bluff on my part! If she calls it, I am properly and deservedly destroyed. There are some things even I should never gamble.)
She paused and I saw some sorrow creep into her eyes. “Might be a good idea,” she said. Then quickly added, “But just for a little while. I don’t want to lose us.”
“Let’s sleep on it. I have to leave here at zero-five-thirty so I can make morning muster on my ship.”
She buried her head under my arm and we fell asleep under the blue TV screen light.
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: This is the (NOT) The End”
Update: Part XIV is up
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:
Comments below from the original version of this post.
Please read from the bottom up for continuity.
19 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE. CHAPTER XIII: LA JOLLA”
johncoyote October 3, 2020 at 05:06 Edit
My friend. Create a wonderful story. I liked the house and the conversation. You are making the characters worthwhile and interesting. I like how you made the small details important. The ashtrays, for a example. A vey good chapter.
Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 18:27 Edit
LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 18:21 Edit
Thank you Teela for the compliment.
Made my eve.
P.S. Donna was great!
Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 10:48 Edit
I was about 9 years old the first time I heard Donna Summer, after that, I fell asleep listening to her.
Have I told you lately that you are an amazing talent?
You are, I meant that.
LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 02:10 Edit
This made it’s way into my spam. Sorry ’bout that.
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 15:59 Edit
She truly was a rare talent.
Mélanie July 14, 2014 at 15:57 Edit
I loved la Jolla… 🙂
P.S. I was in Naples, Florida when Donna Summer passed away, 2 years ago, RIP. A wonderful artist and a lovely lady!
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 10:46 Edit
big ol’ Texas smile *
lauramacky July 14, 2014 at 10:44 Edit
lolol you’re welcome Lance. I always feel like I’m in a time capsule when I read your posts. Love ’em!
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 10:37 Edit
Especially the dysfunction junction!
Thanks Laura for the read and great comment.
lauramacky July 14, 2014 at 10:29 Edit
Brings back such memories for me….the music, the wild times and the dysfunction LMAO.
artourway July 14, 2014 at 09:15 Edit
Je peux pas parler longtemps … if you would like to now Lance
artourway July 14, 2014 at 07:21 Edit
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 00:58 Edit
Thank you my friend.
inspiredbythedivine1 July 14, 2014 at 00:43 Edit
I’m really enjoying these tales.
LAMarcom July 13, 2014 at 21:39 Edit
Great clip/song Sadie. Thanks for taking me back. I remember when I was at SFM back in the late Seventies and Rod Stewart came out with his ‘disco’ album: ‘Blondes Have More Fun’. Most of us at SFM were hard-core rockers and despised ‘disco’ (although I had a secret major crush on Donna Summer… please never tell…)
We even had our own pure rock band there: The ‘Sisco Ducks’ — get it? Hahahah
Anyhow, when Stewart let loose that ‘Disco’ Album, all said,
“Whelp, I bet that’s the end of Rod Stewart as a serious musician-man.”
Glad I did not take that bet. (and you know I am a gambler)
Rod Stewart is absolutely one of the all-time greats. And he do have some longevity too!
Your comments always brighten my day/night/mornings.
Cheers & Thank You,
~ Sadie ~ July 13, 2014 at 21:21 Edit
Damn it Lance LOL!! You are killing me here . . . . 😉
Like I said before – great storytelling & great suspense!!!
Breathlessly . . . you just keep me hanging on . . .
With nothing else to do and still somewhat pissed at Shonnie for putting us both in a bad situation, I walked over to The Las Vegas Club just across the street from the Union Plaza.
My intent was to pass some time playing a relaxing game of roulette. I have always enjoyed roulette. The pace is slow and generally the game draws a more serene clientele. A quiet casual game of roulette would afford me the opportunity to calm my Shonnie-Generated anger and pleasantly pass some time.
The minimum bet was one dollar, so I bought a hundred bucks worth of two-bit chips and began scattering them about the table. Never really scoring big at roulette, I did not expect anything but a hundred dollars’ worth of entertainment and some free bottom shelf booze.
I had a few wins but mostly losses and as my initial investment evaporated along with about an hour and a half of time, I cashed out the remainder of my stake (about ten bucks which I used to tip the Croupier), drained my glass, stubbed out my Marlboro and headed back to The Plaza.
I discovered Shonnie face down on the bed, hair a mess, legs splayed out all akimbo, a forsaken cigarette burning in the ashtray.
Somehow I saw myself in that cigarette.
I sat down beside her.
“You awake?” I whispered, gently pulling some strands of hair from her cheek.
“Owwwie… Is that you Honey?”
“Yes Dear.” (I was aiming for a sarcastic, pissed off tone—failed—I just loved her too much to sustain my displeasure) “Yeah. It’s me,” I repeated. “You were perhaps expecting someone else? George maybe?”
“Huhhh? Who’s George?
“Never mind. How’d you come out?”
“Won ‘bout four hundred an’ change. Proud of me?”
“No,” I said. “You nearly got me into trouble.”
“Always about you,” she said, turning on her side to face me with suddenly awake and angry blue eyes.
“We did have a plan, you know. What happened?”
“I couldn’t get shed of that moron.”
“You mean ‘George’, yes?”
She sat up abruptly. Sincerely pissed off now. “How th’ hell you know his fuckin’ name? I don’t even know his fuckin’ name and I had to sit next to the asshole for four hours. I tried to run him off! Goddamn it!”
“How hard is it to walk away from a blackjack table?”
She looked down at the bed and added quietly. “I was having fun.”
“You’re drunk,” I said.
“Yeah, I am. Be my hero and light me a smoke.”
“I already did my hero bit tonight when I showed up to rescue you from George and the El Cortez.”
“It would’ve been awkward to just get up and leave with you. The casino dudes might’ve gotten suspicious.”
“Shonnie, they had gone way beyond ‘suspicious’ by then. If you had just accepted my offer of a drink at the bar…”
“I know. I know! I was acting like a little bitch. I wanted to find out if you were willing to fight for me is all.”
“Damn it Shonnie! You know damn well I will fight for you, but only if it is warranted and necessary. You created thesituation. You could have ended it. Easily.”
She gave me a sorrowful, pouty look, then softly, sweetly said, “Cig?”
Whateverremained of my anger was melted away by her voice and her look.
I lit two Marlboros and handed her one. She took a long drag and asked for a cold beer. I fished two Bud longnecks out of the cooler, wiped them off on the bedspread and handed her one.
“You gonna be a gentleman an’ open this for me?” she said while aiming the longneck’s neck at my chest.
I took the bottle, twisted off the cap with one deft motion, tossed it at the television and handed her the beer.
She drained about half, belched loudly and said, “Cotton mouth.”
“Charmed, I’m sure.”
“Fuck you. I have a wicked-bad headache.”
She laid her head back on the pillow with a groan.
I kissed her lightly on the forehead and said, “We need to head outta here tomorrow by noon. I have to be back on my boat…”
“Okay! Okay! I got it. What time is it anyway?”
“It’s later than you think.”
She sat back up, drained the rest of her beer, threw her half-smoked cigarette into the ashtray, lay down, rolled over and went immediately to sleep. ‘Just perfect,’ I thought.
I took some minutes to finish my beer and my cigarette, then got undressed, curled up next to her and was soon fast asleep myself.
Next day we managed to check out of our room and hit the road by about twelve-thirty. I stopped for gas and a six-pack at Whiskey Pete’s, or as I prefer to call it,
“The Last Dance Texaco”
Fun Fact: Rickie Lee bears an eerily striking resemblance to Shonnie, though No Where near as beautiful as Shonnie, At least she can sing.Shonnie can’t sing. So there’s that.But, I’ll still take Shonnie any day. And every day. And in every way.
Whiskey Pete’s almost straddles the Nevada State Line. It’s the first, or last, depending upon one’s direction of travel, opportunity to make a charitable contribution to the Casino Industry’s Good Cause(s).
“Hey Baby, we got some time. Wanna see something really cool while we’re here?”
“I cannot look at another blackjack table for a while.”
“C’mon. This is different.”
I parked the car and led her into Whiskey Pete’s and straight to the Bonnie and Clyde car exhibit.
“Look at that! Isn’t that cool?”
“It’s just a car all shot fulla holes. I’ve seen a few already.”
“Baby, this ain’t just any car. This is thelegit ‘Bonnie and Clyde Death Car’.”
Sometimes even my very best efforts to impress my girl fall flat.
Other times, I don’t even have to try.
If I could just manage someday to find the key, my life would be so much easier.
And devoid of magic.
Nope, I’ll keep my mysterious, mystifying, disconcerting, and sometimes infuriating Shonnie over any predictable plastic boring version.
The Joni song below is about seventy-five percent perfect in illuminating the very complex relationship Shonnie and I shared.
“You know the times you impress me most
Are the times when you don’t try
When you don’t even try”
Credit for Video Montage: DJ Bayonic
We reverse-road-tripped westward toward San Diego, arriving about six in the evening. I dropped Shonnie at her mom’s and headed back to the Callaghan. I hit my rack and slept like the dead.
I had duty the next day, so I could not leave the ship. On Tuesday at sixteen hundred after liberty call I donned my civvies and hit the beach. Found a pay phone on the pier and called her up.
“Hiya Baby. How Y’all doin’?”
“Why didn’t you call me yesterday?” She sounded pissed.
“You know damn well I had ‘the duty’ yesterday,” I shot back.
“Oh… Yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”
“Where do you wanna meet up?” I asked.
“Seaport Village. In the back of the parking lot. In thirty minutes. And don’t make me wait.”
“Make you wait?! That’s rich Shonnie, very rich, given our recent ‘make me wait’ experience. Make it forty-five and we’ve got a bona-fide rendezvous.”
“Okay!” Loud click in my ear as she not-so-gently ‘placed’ her receiver back in the phone cradle.
I laughed out loud as I gently returned my receiver to the pay phone.
‘Lance can be a ‘button-pushing’ little bitch too.’
I pulled into the parking lot at Seaport Village around five p.m. No sign of Shonnie. I killed the Toranado but left the stereo playing (Tom Waits: “Warm Beer and Cold Women…I just don’t fit in.”)
Pulling from a pint of Jim Beam, I lit a cigarette and watched some seagulls diving on scraps in San Diego Bay.
A haze-gray-and-underway-piece-of-shit was heading out to sea, black-shoe-sailors were manning the rails wearing dress whites.
Young happy couples were walking hand-in-hand heading toward the boardwalk. I began allowing myself to entertain some second thoughts about my relationship with Shonnie:
Was it going anywhere?
Was it worth the risk? Was she fun? Was she great in the sack?
Was she not beautiful?
Didn’t I truly love her?
My mindless debate was abruptly and noisily ended as she pulled up alongside me, screeching tires and slinging gravel.
She exited her ‘La Bomba’ and walked toward my vehicle.
She looked absolutely California Texas Stunning.
She was sporting tight faded blue jeans with some holes in them, à la Dwight Yoakam ‘cowboy hip’ style, a halter top, cowgirl boots, cowgirl hat, and carrying a fifth of whiskey and an attitude. She ‘runway’ sashayed over to my window and inquired,
“Hey Sailor, New in town?”
Aiming for ‘laconic’ I said, “I’m the ’Only’ Sailor for you Little Cowgirl and I’m Fair to mid’lin’. You?”
“Finer-n-frog hair,” she said.
“Don’t be mockin’ a good ol’ Texas Boy,” I said back.
(Yes! I truly did love her of course but even worse, I was In-Love with her: Madly and Beyond Redemption. There never really was any doubt.)
“I have a surprise for you Lover.”
“I’m not particularly fond of surprises” I said.
“You’re gonna love this one, and it’s gonna save you some money too.”
“Okay, go on. What’s the surprise? And please don’t tell me I’ll know when we get there.”
Enthusiastically she announced, “I’m ‘house-sitting’ my aunt’s condo in La Jolla this week. It’s all ours!”
“Your ‘aunt?’ ‘Condo?’ In ‘La Jolla?’ No way!”
“Well, ya know, I’m kinda partial to parking lots and sleazy motel rooms,” I protested.
“Don’t be an asshole and don’t be ridiculous,” she said as she climbed into the shot-gun seat of my Toranado. “Drive. I’ll show you the way.”
So I drove.
(With some anticipation tempered with some trepidation)
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife. Chapter XIII: La Jolla”
Update: Part XIII is Up.
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:
Below You Will Find Most Of The Original Posts. Once / If You Arrive At Thirteen There Are Links To The Final Few Chapters. Please keep in mind however, that each and every one of them is in the process of being rewritten: first to last. This will probably take at another week or so.