Tag Archives: vacation

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.

The Petition… Episode 8 of The Barroom Chronicles

Did you ever have one of those days when you scratch your head and say: “What the F#$%?” In my part of the world, these days are, well, an everyday occasion. But sometimes I’m so amazed that I end up scratching both my head and my butt. This past Saturday was such a day, a perfect storm of silliness and awe that makes you think: wait a minute, is this really happening?

Another such day was an afternoon a little over three years ago when two  elderly ladies came into our fair tavern.  Along with their brooches, one was wearing a smile, the other was wearing a snarl. I was on the phone growling at a vendor and didn’t recognize the impending good granny, bad granny routine.

We the old people...

Little did I know they were the messengers for a sinister organization – The Senior Citizens of our Town. “We have a petition to deliver to you,” the bad granny snapped as she handed me the piece of paper.

I took it from her and read the first line: “We the Senior citizens who’ve lived in our little town for 50 (and up) years find your sign “Welcome pimps and hos” offensive. ((Actually the sign read: Pimp and Ho Party, Saturday Feb. 14) Yes, that’s right, it is our way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.)

Like some sort of sixth sense, or maybe it’s my built in bullshit detector , whatever it was, I sensed displeasure with their message. They weren’t visiting  to proclaim my greatness or draft me as their candidate for mayor.

 “Listen, I’m in a bad mood, I don’t have time for your nonsense,” I said.

Good Granny, Bad Granny

“Read it!” The bad granny snapped.

“Stick it,” I replied.  I can be such an anal aperture. “And while you’re at it, buy something or leave!”   This always works on the non-paying, especially if I’ve never seen the person before.  Listen, being a customer has its priveledges – mostly throwing me a line or two of grief. This was different, I had to draw a line in the sand against the Granny Gestapo.

 “You really should read it, it’s kinda funny,” the good granny chirped.

“No drinky, no stayie,” I barked. (I really didn’t say that, but it sounds good.)

Their task complete, the Grannies walked out the door with their heads held high. It wasn’t till a couple hours later that I cooled my jets enough to peruse their masterpiece. And I thought we were offensive, we’re completely bush league in comparison.  This is what their note read:

“We the Senior citizens who’ve lived in our little town for 50 (and up)
years find your sign “Welcome pimps and hos” offensive. I believe that
parents of young children will also find it offensive. However if you
really think that calling people denigrating names is the way to appeal
to potential customers you are neglecting whole classes of people…

You have your Spicks and Micks and Dagos and Wops,

Who are they calling a Kraut?!

Your Hunkies and Junkies and “pigs” (for cops)
There are Bucks and Squaws, slant-eyes and Frogs
Your Rednecks and Polacks and female Dogs
You’ve got Chinks and Finks and Pansies and Dykes
Niggers and Limeys and don’t forget the Kikes,
There are Greasers and Japs and the German Kraut,
Just so you didnt leave anyone out…

Why not have an all-inclusive sign “Welcome Scum of the earth, this is your
home away from home” Better yet how about a really family- friendly
sign. “Welcome friends and neighbors!””
 
There was almost fifty signatures signed at the bottom of the page. My wife and I got such a kick out of it, we promptly posted the petition with the names on the bar’s Myspace page.  Remember Myspace? It makes me feel as old as the Gestapo.
 
I did take the senior’s advice.  Two new banners went up. One proclaiming a Kikes and Dykes party, and another for  party that gained traction for a couple of years. The Scum Ball.
 
Less than two months later, the town was in uproar about the name change to the 1000 Bra Bar…   See Episode 2  of The Barroom Chronicles. https://johnzunski.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/the-prank-that-keeps-on-giving-the-barroom-chronicles-pt-2/
 
 

Not our bride and groom, but you get the picture.

Oh, I almost forgot about what happened this Saturday.  In addition to our Spread your Wings Party, we had another wedding at the bar.  That’s strange enough, but it’s not terribly unusal, it’s the third. What makes this one odd was not that the mother of the bride was summoned from the golf course, she didn’t know her daughter was getting married.  Apparently, forty-eight hours early, neither did the bride.  The story goes the happy couple met a few days prior to the wedding.  Move over Vegas!