I’m driving cross country, New York to San Francisco. I’m with a dame. Let’s call her Talulla. We pass through some pretty swell towns 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. And that’s how we wound up at Shooters Bar and Grill. The entrance to the joint is at the side of the building, facing the parking lot. We step through the gap where I guess a door once hung, and down along the dark, narrow hallway. There’s a door on the left, and there’s a door on the right. The door on the left is the bar. The door on the right is the restroom. We turn left.
Being a gentleman I let Talulla go first, so she can check if there’s any bar brawls in progress. She gives me the all clear and I follow her in. There’s a couple vacant stools over at the far end of the bar. I take one, Talulla takes the other one. The bartender looks at me and says “are you gonna sit there?”
“Sure” I answer. I was already sitting there. Maybe he couldn’t think of any better questions. Maybe he thought I was real short. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
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. I notice folk looking over at us and whispering, kinda weird. I figure maybe we oughta go and sit at the table over by the exit.
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? I sure wish I was going to California, get the hell out of this stinking one horse dodge.”
Then she looks around. She leans in real close. Her smile is gone, replaced by a look of fear, dread, maybe even grave concern.
“Listen. You gotta get out of here. That guy over there is Crazy Horse. He’s crazy as a coot. You were sitting 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. She pulls at her blouse till a button breaks free and hits the floor. I tell Talulla to go powder her nose, I’ll be out in one minute flat.
I start counting. Not out loud, that might arouse suspicion.
Thirty seconds. The waitress is on all fours chasing the button across the wooden floor. Crazy Horse can’t take his eyes off her.
I’m sitting outside in the Buick. But… no Talulla.
Still no Talulla. Sweat starts pouring off my forehead onto the steering wheel.
Still no Talulla! Maybe I should go back inside and see if she’s ok. No, that might be dangerous. I turn on the engine
Talulla appears through the gap where I guess a door once hung. She shimmies across the parking lot 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?”
She turns to me and says….
“I had to pee”