Tag Archives: gunfight

Somethings Just Go Right…

IMG_0333b…especially when you have the taste of gold in your mouth. Especially when you’ve been planning a heist for six months and it works out better than you ever expected. No, I haven’t gone over to the dark side. I haven’t traded my soul for the riches of an arch-criminal, though some in our town believe that I am the evil personified. No, I’m talking about the stage coach robbery my gang pulled off at our little Montana town’s annual celebration.

The planning for the heist started on a bitter January night when the only sound on the dark streets was falling snow. Back then the plan was to knock off a Pullman Car. Being that Alberton is an old railroad town and the celebration is named Railroad Day, building a train to rob made sense. As things go, sometimes ideas get garbled in communication, and what is intended isn’t what is delivered.

After months of procrastination, the knot in my stomach reminded me it was time to start working out the details, especially after the guy who was suppose to build a Pullman Car had a life event and his availability went kaput. As what happens so often in my life, my wife said why don’t you call this person or why don’t you call that person. Me being me, I internalized my angst and imagined worst case scenarios for weeks before listening to her advice. Then one night I called the person who always bails me out, my Mexifriend. His real identity is under lock and key but he may or may not be the security guard in the attached video.

Mexifriend said: “Of course brother, we can build that. It would be a lot of fun.”

Pullman Coach? I think not.
Pullman Coach? I think not.

Then I did another thing out of character, I posted on the internet that I was looking for used lumber. The idea was to go rustic. New stuff wouldn’t cut it, plus, it’s just

The ad campaign's slogan is "Do the Jew."
The ad campaign’s slogan is “Do the Jew.”

too expensive, especially for someone who is known as the Mountain Jew. Don’t take offence, I don’t. It’s a family secret that I was born 1/8 Jewish but my ancestors talked me down to 1/16th. I’m so proud of my heritage that I renamed the Mountain Dew Machine in front of the bar the Mountain Jew machine. Anyway, two weeks before the big day, Mexifriend Emailed me the first pictures and my jaw hit my desk. The picture didn’t look like a frame of a Pullman Coach, it was a stage coach. Now, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and my first impulse was to call and ask what the hell was that? But I paused, counted to ten and smiled.  Truth be told, potential was written all over it and it’s a lot easier to change a script that wasn’t written than change a prop that was half built. It was the moment that changed the energy of the entire project. Instead of pointing the finger and barking about the difference between a Pullman Coach and a Stage Coach, I accepted responsibility for not being specific and went with the flow. After all, there was only about a dozen people that knew what was up our sleeve and if it was a train or a stagecoach wasn’t going to make a bit of difference to anybody but me.

Paris De Smet!
Paris De Smet!

Other things went haywire too, I ordered wrong bullets for the blank guns, but quick thinking on the vendor’s side fixed the problem and got us the right ammo with time to spare. I wasn’t so lucky with the gold and silver coins. I ordered a half-ton of bubble gum wrapped to look like loot, but as of this writing, it still hasn’t arrived. I’m thinking someone is never getting my business again, but like the stage coach we just adapted and made good with penny candy. Even the day of, one of the gunfighters overslept and didn’t make the first gunfight. Again, a slight adjustment was made to the script and we ran with it. Short of a catastrophe like Yellowstone blowing up, nothing was going to derail the project. Such was my energy. The gal who played Sally Six-Shooter commented that during the week before the gunfight I was like a kid before Christmas. It was true, I was giddy with anticipation, which is unlike me. I usually anticipate what can go wrong.  Maybe approaching my fiftieth year has made me realize that it’s time to enjoy and stop worrying about things. Like a virus, the feeling was contagious, even over on the wardrobe side my wife hit a grand slam. Such was her energy that during a meeting of the High Colonics – my writer’s group – at our house the Wednesday before the big day, Tammy roped Paris and Nancy into  dressing up and within five minutes had them convinced to play. Lucky for us, because Parris, the exorcist looking priest to the left stole the show in the second gunfight.

Playing dress-up the week before.
Playing dress-up the week before.

What happened to the plan to knock off the Pullman Car. Oh my, you’re going to have to make plans to visit little ole Alberton, Montana next July to see what we have up our collective sleeve. If it’s half as good as what I’m picturing, it’ll be worth the trip. In the mean time, enjoy the video of the Dust Puddle Gang’s stage coach caper. I promise that it’ll make you chuckle.

PS… Just in case you’re interest, here’s the link to the gunfight page on Facebook.   Swing over and give it a like and you’ll be kept up to date what’s going on with the project throughout the year.

Advertisements

The Barroom Chronicles… Vol 15 Freaks of a Feather

Sometimes is best to leave an event alone, allow the dust to settle, before gloating about ruffled feathers and sandy vaginas left in its wake. As the proprietor of ‘The Evil Bar’ in our tiny town, and a person who may or may not have been involved with the genesis of such a stunt, I believe the smoke has cleared enough to let the world know of such hijinks. This thought is based on the equation: Comedy = tragedy  + time.  Though there was no tragedy involved, there may have been numerous pairs of soiled underwear and/or attacked hearts, unless you take into consideration those without a sense of humor, their skipped heart beats and dirty drawers could be construed tragic.

On July  19th, 2012 at approximately eleven PM Mountain Daylight Time,  roughly an hour before Aurora, Colorado entered the cultural lexicon,  a couple of cohorts had a nasty idea for a practical joke. Of course, I couldn’t resist.  Those of you who follow this blog know about the ‘old west gunfights,’ we hold during Railroad Days, our little town’s yearly celebration. The night in question, we were walking through the scenarios for the following Saturday.

Krash Montana… Also known as Number 1

“Hey,” Cohort #1 said, “I have an idea.”

I should have known it was a bad deal.

Cohort #’s 2 and 3 said the idea rocked. “Let’s do it.”

I wasn’t at the ‘other bar’ to witness the event. But, I’ve heard the story enough, it goes like this:

Cohort #3 walked into the other bar and said there was a bunch of drama up at ‘The Evil Bar.’  Cohorts 1 and 2 were arguing about money that 2 owed 1. Being that both 1 worked for 2 and as someone said later, 2 owed a few people money, made the premise believable. A few minutes later 1 and 2 appeared in front of the other bar in the midst of a heated argument.

Now, Number 1 is an actor. He has the ability to get into a role and make it work. Outside of Al Pacino, I’ve never seen a better Tony Montana. Being gangster isn’t a stretch.

Number 2 is a loveable giant. Everybody in town adores him and he can possibly be the kindest person alive. Not to mention he can cook up a storm. So imagine the scene when 1 called out 2 in front of a small crowd of people who have drank with 2 since Camden was a prairie. Then he has the audacity to pull out a replica revolver and fires a shot into 2’s chest. Number 2 did his part and fell back against the outside wall. People scattered, the manager came unglued and the bartender, who happened to be walking by, allegedly peed her pants.

Meanwhile, those of us left behind at the ‘Evil Bar,’ were listening for two shots. Like Number 1 demonstrated before leaving, holding the revolver gangsta style while saying: “Pop, Pop.”

We giggled like kids hearing the first shot, imagining the mayhem. “Hey,” someone asked. “Where’s the second shot?”

The simple answer, things never go as planned. After the initial shock and awe, Number 2 had to jump up and proclaim “It’s just a joke!”  The manager, a mellow 50 something gal, instantly turned into a grizzly bear and allegedly read the riot act in numerous languages, leaving the three Cohorts pleading their case why they shouldn’t be eighty-sixed.

“What’s going on?” I asked a regular who had tagged along to witness.

“Oh man, it didn’t go good.”

“What happened? Where was the second shot?” I asked, panicked. I imagined 1 getting the tar beat out of him.

What I thought may have happened.

“Nothing that bad,” the witness said. “1 and 2 are buying rounds to make it good.”

It would be an hour before the three amigos returned. “So?” I asked.

“They called us freaks and told us to go back and drink with the rest of the freaks,” Number 1 reported. The comment confirmed my suspicion that freaks of a feather really do drink together.

It Could Only Happen Here! The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 12

Our 1st Railroad Day… Parade as King and Queen of White Trash… The Redneck Chariot looks good with our shade slaves.

This time of year my mind starts to focus  on our little town’s celebration – Railroad Day.  This year more so than others mainly because of preparations for The Gunfight – Redux, especially if the rumors pan out about me appearing on a local TV morning show as Limp Along Larry, the soon to be notorious bad guy.

Despite that excitement, another story has been on my mind lately, and it involves my first Railroad Day as the proprietor of our humble little bar. The picture to the left has nothing to do with this story, it’s the only good picture I have of that day.  Anyway,  when you hear this story you may agree that now-a-days this sort of thing can only happen in rural Montana.

The story begins long after the last reveler went home and many were sleeping off a drunk.  For me, it is told best through the eyes of the bar’s security camera. In retrospect, I regret not saving a copy, because it would have become  a keep-shake.

Around Nine A.M. the morning after Railroad day, a person tries the front door and his expression is startled when it swings open. You see, the  proprietor, me, in a fit of exhaustion forgot to lock up.  The person was Kermit, a long-time regular,  a self proclaimed mountain man and a person born after his time. He often said he would have fit in better in the nineteenth century. As far as anybody knew, what Kermit enjoyed most was cooking at hunting camp.

Without blinking, the camera watches Kermit turn towards his friends, yell something and wave for them to come on in. Moments later, a  single file of his cadres stumbles through the door.  Our ring leader walks behind the bar, opens the cooler and serves up the beers.

Over the hours, empties are lined up across the bar top until two hours later, the door opens again and it is the  stunned form of the daytime bartender. Kermit jumps up, greets her and motions to the empties on the bar and proceeds to pay her for the consumed libations.  Only in our town!

It is a heart-warming story, but what makes it more special is that Kermit passed away six months later. He had a bad-ticker that gave way in his sleep. He was forty-nine.

The token brunette in a party of tall blondes

The following spring, on what would have been his fiftieth birthday, we commemorated the event by compelling everybody who came into the bar that day to enjoy a Miller High Life in his honor, of course the empties were lined up across the bar.

You may be saying to yourself the name sounds familiar. It is dear reader and not because of the famous frog. If you have read the post Haunted Town, you will recall we named the bar’s ghost Kermit, mainly because it’s a trickster, much like the person I knew for an all to brief time. In that time he gave us the gift of many fond memories and a headache or two with repeated Swen and Ollie jokes.  For more of Kermit I also refer you to The Shithouse Poet Returns, he planted the following beauty on the Men’s room wall:

“It is as long as me arm

and thick as me wrist

with a head as big as me fist

and it just longs to be kissed”

Kermit, wherever you are my friend, don’t forget to stir the beans!

Gunfight… The Barroom Chronicles… Episode 11

High Noon in our town!

Shots ring out.  Someone is dead. Blood flows from a single hole in the middle of a stranger’s forehead.  Crying, a toddler asks his mommy: “Is that man really dead?”

As to answer the lad’s question, a pine box is ushered from the shadows, the dead guy is stuffed inside and is whisked from the street.  The casket it stood against a nearby fence and its contents are displayed to warn out-of-towners that their nonsense will not be tolerated.

Believe me, there are times when I would like nothing better than to place a

Pucker factor waiting for the bottom to fall out.

bullet in some hemorrhoid’s forehead, but that particular afternoon last July that hemorrhoid was me and I had the experience of being stuffed inside a box.  Let me tell you, it’s creepy and a little bit terrifying – not because I was the dead guy, but we had built the casket the night before and I was wishing to my lucky stars that the bottom wouldn’t fall out and I would end up on the sidewalk.

Limp Along Larry – the bad guy

But that’s a risk of being the bad guy. And what a bad guy I was. Limp Along Larry’s the name, making kids cry is the game. I mean, I made two kids cry! Only one was part of the act.  I wish a picture exists of his expression when I popped his balloon and drew my six-shooter on him and robbed his candy.  Now I know where the saying comes from, it is easy and it’s fun, especially when a boatload of onlookers boo, hiss and call you nasty names.  Alas, it  takes a special breed to be a turd in the punchbowl.

My day would have been perfect if the kid’s dad wasn’t

Talking smack with the kid’s dad.

around.  The humorless fellow had to go and defend his son’s honor. Heck, if he hadn’t let the kid walk down the sidewalk by himself, he wouldn’t have had to challenge me to a duel.   I mean, I was teaching the kid a lesson: the world is a dangerous place you know.

Not that I was worried about a duel, I had never lost. I thought the fellow was a dead man walking and that his kid was an orphan in the making. Heck, even if he got a lucky shot in, I had a nasty surprise in store. On a nearby balcony, I had my right-hand man.  If something happened to me, well…  I never expected that the good guy would get two lucky shots in. My pardo ended up dead too!

One door closes, another opens…

Oh, that second crying kid.  He thought I was really dead. It took me eventually walking from the casket to prove that I was alive and that the gunfight was just a bunch of silly grown-ups playing.  Between me and you, I can’t wait to he gets older and learns about zombies. We could have fun with that!

Who knows what will happen on a mid-summer’s afternoon this July?