Luigi O’Reillys Travel Guide – Green River, Wyoming

I’m driving cross country, New Jersey to San Francisco. I’m with a dame. Her name is…. let’s call her Talulla. We pass through some pretty swell places along the way; Iowa City, Ogallala….. But we don’t stop at any of those places. No, we stop at Green River, Wyoming. I ask the guy at the motel if there’s any place ‘round here trading in liquor. Driving a couple thousand miles can make a guy thirsty, and, it would seem, even a dame.
We pull into the parking lot of Shooters Bar and Grill. The entrance to the joint is at the side of the building, facing the lot. We step through the gap where a door most likely once hung, and down along the narrow and shallow hallway. There are two doors, one on the right and one on the left. Straight in front is a brick wall. The door on the right is the entrance to the restrooms. The door on the left is the entrance to the bar room. We turn left.

Being a gentleman I let Talulla go first, make sure there’s no bar brawls in progress. She gives me the all clear and I follow her in. There’s a couple vacant stools at the end of the bar, I take one, Talulla takes the other one. The bartender looks at me and says “is that where you’re gonna sit?”
“Sure” I answer. I was already sitting there. Maybe the guy couldn’t think of any better questions. Maybe he thought I was real short. Who knows.
We’re on our second beer when some kinda cowboy walks in. He’s got a holster attached to his belt and looks kinda agitated about something. The other folk sitting at the bar start looking over at me and Talulla and whispering to each other. I figure maybe we should go and sit at a table that just opened up, over by the entrance.

A waitress comes bounding over. She’s got a smile as wide as the Boysen Dam and is wearing enough make-up to paint it. Twice!

“How are you guys doing today, where y’all from, where y’all goin’? California? Damn, I sure wish I was going to California, get the hell out of this stinking one horse dodge.”
She’s talking loud, smiling from one ear all the way to the other ear. Then she looks around. She moves in closer to the table. The smile is now gone, replaced with a look of dread, terror, maybe even grave concern. She starts to speak again, this time in a low nervous whisper.
“You gotta get out of here. And quick. Don’t look around. That guy at the bar is Crazy Horse. He’s crazy as a coot. You sat in his seat. He’s been sitting there for thirty five years. Make like you’re going to the restroom or something, I’ll try and distract him.”
Then she straightens up, starts flapping her white cotton blouse till a button breaks free and shimmies over toward Crazy Horse. I tell Talulla to go powder her nose, I’ll be out in one minute flat. She leaves her drink on the table and casually walks out.
I start counting. Not out loud. That might arouse suspicion. She’s gone thirty seconds. I quickly scan the bar. Looks good. I stand up slowly and move towards the door.

Fifty five seconds.
I’m sitting in the car outside in the parking lot. No Talulla.

Two minutes. Still no Talulla. Sweat starts pouring off my forehead onto the steering wheel.

Three minutes. Maybe I should go and see if she’s ok. No, might be dangerous. I turn on the engine
.
Four minutes. Talulla appears through the gap where a door maybe once hung and walks slowly over to the car like she’s taking a leisurely stroll on Malibu beach. She climbs into the Buick and my foot hits the gas.
“Where the hell were you?” I ask.
“I had to pee” she says.

Luigi O’Reillys Travel Guide – Brighton

It’s the middle of February, a couple degrees above zero. So where are all these people going? It takes me an hour to drive from the outskirts of town to the seafront, and another 20 minutes to find some place to park. The beach is crowded with people from London town and seagulls from France. Those jokers better not think I’ve forgotten the last time they tried to mess with me. Nobody takes a dump in Luigi O’Reillys ear and flies off majestically into the Malibu sky. Nobody. So I’m behind enemy lines, I’m eating a doughnut I paid too much dough for from some nut on the pier. I’m looking straight at the seagulls and I’m guessing they’re looking straight at me. This time they ain’t gonna swoop down and grab my doughnut with their pretty beaks. Not this time. See, I got too much pride to let some two-bit scavenger make a monkey out of me.
What the hell is this? You call this a beach? No sand, just stones the size of eight balls, stretching out miles along the coast. Crazies sitting on the stones eating their crazy man food. Then I get to thinking, they can’t all be crazy. And they sure ain’t here for the weather. Something’s going on here and I’m gonna get to the bottom of it.

I leave the beach and head back into the town, after only a couple of hours I find a place to park. I think about checking the parking sign but figure it’s Sunday and I’m hungry – so I go looking for a bar. I find one. They got steak on the menu.
“How do you want it done” the kid says.
“Well…”, I said, pausing dramatically.
“I want it it done quick, and I want it done good. But mostly I want it done quick.” I turn my gaze sharply to the ceiling, following his eyes, but there’s nothing there. I guess he’s just kinda nervous.

I get back to my car and see some kinda piece of paper on the
windshield. This ain’t gonna be good I think to myself. I pick it up
and read it. It’s a parking ticket. I look all around me, nobody there
to stare menacingly at. I look up. Then I get it straight in the eye.
Somebody needs to fix those seagulls, they’re playing with fire.

I find a hotel, 12 bucks a night. It has a bar, 10% off drinks for
guests. I ask the broad behind the bar for a calculator. She don’t
have one. I try to figure out how much I gotta drink to stay for free
but after a while my head starts hurting so I go looking for another
bar. All the bars are empty, but the streets are filled with people, some of ’em walking, some of ’em driving. Where are they all going? I find a gin joint with a sign outside saying ‘come on in, let us Brighton up your day’  Cute. But I ain’t buying it. I step inside, a few shady looking drug dealer types cling to the walls. I think I like it.                                           
“Bourbon and soda, hold the rocks. Say, speaking of rocks, what’s the lowdown on the beaches ‘round here?”                                                  
“Two pounds and eighty five pence please sir.” That guy sure talks weird.

I leave the bar and look around me at the tall white Victorian
buildings and the gay homosexual males that are into other men and don’t dig dames. I glare out at all the traffic and the steep hills….
That’s when it hits me.
I’m in some kind of parallel universe. I’m in…..Frisco?

I call my agent to tell him I’ve cracked the case wide open and
this time nobody’s gonna slam it shut in my face.
“Luigi, Luigi, Luigi”, he says my name three times, just like I say he does.
“What did I tell ya about getting some rest and forgetting about Frisco and the crazy Greek broad you took the rap for over the Blue Moon racket?”
“I forget, remind me”, I tell him, but I haven’t forgot anything.                
“I told you to take a holiday, get out of the private dick game for a spell,
write a travel book.”

Luigi O’Reillys Travel Guide – Ufton

Ufton – a little village in the middle of England. How I got here I can’t tell you. It has no shops, but it does have a bar. I decide to take a look.
It’s twenty hundred hours. The moon is bright and lights up the wheat fields
below the car park of The Black Heart Inn. But that’s too cute. I step inside the bar.

Couple suspicious looking characters playing pool. I walk past them trying not to make eye contact. Two dames are sitting at the counter. I sit next to them and order a beer, I figure they probably don’t know what bourbon is out here and I don’t want them to find out.
Next thing the two dames and the barman are playing blackjack. I’m thinking maybe I should sit somewhere else, guys like me can get shot for sitting at a bar when dames are playing cards. But just as I’m looking ’round for another seat, somewhere close to the wall, they ask me if I wanna play.
“Sure, But I don’t gamble, gambling’s for suckers.”
I get 21, then 21 again, But instead of reaching for his gun the barman asks if I know how to play liar.
“Sure”, I tell him. “But back where I come from we call it bullshit.”
“Where are you from anyways mister”, one of the dames asks.
“Leamington Spa” I tell her.
“You sure do talk weird” she says.