The Goods, the Cad, and the Buggy

Have Gut — Will Travel or Go West, Young Mike or Darth Vader, My Ass
Chapter 5

MESCAL, AZ -- I limped and wobbled and crawled to rejoin my group. I like to mix it up.

The gang had disappeared into the dense, wavy heat lines beyond a vacant 19th century storefront, the one with the "Coming Sluggishly: KINKO'S" sign in the window.

The livery stable at the Mescal movie location hides the parking lot from cameras. Looks authentic down to the orange Old West traffic cones. Photo copyright 2003-2004 Mike Durrett, all rights reserved.

I discovered the lost trio of associates all giggles in the parking lot hidden behind the livery stable. They were surprised to see me, quite busy themselves, rummaging through my suitcase.

My wife and friend explained that much like we were interested in perusing Mescal's western movie sets, our guide was fascinated with historic Fruit of the Looms and sport shirts of the east.

"Hand 'em back," I said.

The stranger gave me my fancy togs and narrowed his gaze at Donna. "Hand 'em back," he said.

My devoted spouse unclutched a wad of bills and costume beads onto his outstretched palm.

"Do you miss the pirate's plume and shoulder parrot?" asked Stan, faithful chum.

"No," I whispered, for today I was a man. Who knew what a shower and tomorrow would bring.

The tour guide unclutched a wad of bills and costume beads onto Stan's outstretched palm.

In profile, Stan resembled a cartoon Road Runner in the Arizona glare and swelter. Donna removed the enormous blue feather from his rear pocket and stuck it in the piping of the guide's black Marshall's hat. For a makeshift crow's nest, she crammed the parrot plush doll into his holster.

Happy with this frontier trade, he went off double cocked towards main street, one hand on his piece, the other on his bird.

As he scurried away, almost lost in the sounds of the desert, I heard a hearty "Aargh. Avast, ye Rykers."

After a pow-wow beside our vehicle, we pardners came to an understanding.

--No, wait, after Donna dusted me off with a weathered barn plank, we came to an understanding.

--No, wait, after Stan attempted to drive away with my lass and Ralph Laurens, dumping me in a crumpled heap in a handicapped parking space without a valid sticker, we came to an understanding.

Donna kissed me tenderly.

Stan offered me his hand and unclutched a wad of bills and costume beads onto my outstretched palm.

I smiled at our new beginning and at these two, who anticipated my exhibition of the van key, tucked safely inside the pouch of the historic F. O. T. Looms I wore this bad day.

Let them stew. I wasn't ready to get the Dodge out of hell.

Next: Chapter 6 | Rewind to Chapter 1
Photo copyright ©2003-2004 Mike Durrett. All rights reserved.

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