Saturday, March 05, 2005

Burnin' For You

Well, Easter is almost here so I guess it's time for a little Easter story. Not that this story has anything to do with Easter, or Jesus, or rabbits, or egg hunts, or new Sunday-Go-To-Meetin' clothes or anything remotely involving Easter. Nope, this story just happened on Easter weekend. So that makes it an Easter story.

I used to go to a motorcycle run every Easter weekend in London, Texas. It was called the Bluebonnet Run. The same people sponsored it every year, I don't know who they were, but they put on one hell of a party. When large groups of people would show up they would be given a pre-cooked pig. The pig would come straight out of the pit wrapped in burlap and chicken wire. After cooking underground for a couple of days, the pig would be done to perfection. Tender, moist, and oh so delicious, they could be found on tailgates of pick-ups all over the park.

This particular year we went in a group of about 20, and we had set up camp at the back of the park. There were several other large groups as well. One of the groups was a well known motorcycle "club". The "club" had brought a pit bull with them, which was not unusual since lots of people brought their dogs along on these runs all the time. What made this time different is they were going around turning this four-legged killer lose on other peoples dogs. It made for a really tense situation, since there wasn't a lot anybody could really do. If you tried to stop this "club", the very least you would get is a gang style stomping. There was also the possibility the "club" might call on a hundred or more of it's members to visit the town. Either way it wouldn't be pleasant. So the smart thing to do, would be to pack up and leave if you brought your dog or you could always sit there and wait for your dog to be torn to shreds.

One of the guys in our group, by the name of Steve brought his dog with him. To put it mildly, Steve was a fucking idiot. After four or five dogs had been mauled by the pit bull it didn't seem that the "club" was getting bored with their little game. So, Steve decided that he was going to put a stop to the shit, he grabbed his pistol and started heading towards the front of the park. A very good friend of mine (Pancho) knowing the ramifications of Steve's stupidity, jumped up and nailed Steve right in the back of the head with his pistol. Steve was out cold. A bunch of us dragged him over to a tree and tied him up. I would have left at this point, but I was way to drunk to drive and it was several hours home. Even as drunk as I was I knew nothing good could come of this.

We all continued to party for the rest of the evening, with Steve steadily bitching from his spot under the tree. Once and a while someone would give him a drink of beer or a toke on a left handed cigarette, just hopping that he would calm down at some point. He never did, so he stayed tied to the tree all night. As the party wound down people started crawling into their tents or the backs of their trucks, but the one thing I noticed is not too many went to bed without their guns. You could hear clips being checked, slides slamming forward, and shotguns being racked all over the park. The "club" was still there and nobody felt too safe. I went to sleep in the back of my truck, with a .45 under my pillow.

During the night some clown thought it would be funny to throw fire crackers into the fire in our camp site. Nobody ever confessed who it was, but I have my suspicions. I should have shot him.

I was asleep when the fire crackers started popping. They were pretty powerful, so I know they weren't your average black cats or lady fingers. This was back in the days of M-80's, so I'm going to venture a guess that, that's what they were. So, I wake up to the explosions not 20 feet from my truck, I was down inside the bed so I couldn't see a thing. I grabbed my pistol and lunged over the tailgate. Once again my left foot betrayed me. It got caught on the tailgate and I fell out of the truck, landing with my .45 under me. As soon as I hit the ground the .45 went off. I jumped up and looked down, somehow by the grace of God I managed to not shoot myself, but my shirt was torn from the bullet and is was on fire from the flash of the shot. I started slapping at the flames and I heard laughter all around me. I looked up and saw people coming out of their tents and trucks, guns in hand (I've seen less fire power in an Army platoon) but the minute they saw me they were stopping and laughing. I was Johnny Torch. "Flame On!"

Pancho came crawling out of his tent, he was on his knees with a pistol in each hand. He looked up at me and froze. He looked at the gun at my feet and then back up at me. I was looking at him while steadily beating at the flames on my shirt.

Pancho: "Who the fuck were you shooting at?"
Trashman: "Me, mother fucker. Help me put this fire out."

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