Party Spy

In Texas, we prize our liberty and our personal freedom. And our big trucks. And our governors with hundred dollar haircuts. But mostly our liberties.

That's why we're such big proponents of home schooling. We don't need no godless liberal school board learning our kids that evolution crap. Do I look like a monkey to you?

So you can understand why I was a little upset when some "concerned mothers" urged me to take that handgun away from my drunken 17-year-old son.

It was only a .22. And it was holstered. What could possibly go wrong?

There were between 30 and 50 of us out at Kilbourne's Hole. My math is a little suspect because of home schooling and that good rye whiskey. And it was dark, on account of it was night.

They had a diesel generator out there for the band. But looking into the stage lights only made the night a little darker. There was the obligatory palletized bonfire. But it was the middle of August, and the light was nice, but we weren't exactly huddling for heat. So with people drifting in and out of the circle of light, it was hard to get a head count. I would have tagged everyone's ear, except I didn't bring my rivet gun, and all those "concerned mothers" probably wouldn't have approved anyway.

It was Jimmie's 51st. He called us all out to the BLM land to celebrate. He even lent me his wife to drive me out there, except I drove, because I've been going out to Kilbourne's Hole for years. I didn't have a car because Claire took her car to the lake, and Rolling Thunder passed away on the curb at 2:30 in the morning on Ash Wednesday, the victim of a Fat Tuesday hit and run. Since then I've been gleefully pedestrian, mostly.

I know how to sleep outdoors. I tip the paperboy extra if he wakes me up on the mornings after the nights I fall asleep in the front yard. Lots of Jimmie Joe's friends know how to sleep outdoors. Good rye helps. But women like tents. I slept under my hat.

Mostly people brought their women, so they brought tents, to keep out the rattlesnakes and spiders. The rattlesnakes mostly stayed away, but a couple of spiders wandered through our tent city. Noonie handled one. Mostly we're too big for rattlesnakes and spiders to mess with, but a rattlesnake will bite you if you mess with it, if you let it. Jimmie and Travis caught a couple of rattlesnakes earlier in the day, but they didn't let the snakes bite them.

Here's how you catch a rattlesnake. You get a stick and you pin its head. Then you pick it up, close to the head so he won't turn back on you and sink the fangs in. There's other ways to handle snakes, but they're for crazy people.

Mostly we're catch-and-release these days. In the old days we'd make chili, and hatbands, but these days we're a little too close to the portal to waltz with death, so we're mostly catch and release.

The band set up right before dark. My tocayo started scraping beefsteak across a disco. We folded tacos over paper plates, and drank beer, and passed the bottle. The Dirty River Boys started to play, and night clamped down like the inside of a cat. Little propane lamps lit the periphery, and those "Concerned Mothers" noticed my son was still strapped. And drunk.

Next they'll be sending us to public schools, and saying I look like a monkey.

The Party Spy appears monthly in What's Up. If you're interested in having Lank Dresser show up at your party, and possibly write about it, let us know or 534-4422 x114.