Dallas, Texas (and I think i met the man who shot Bobby…)

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As we left Austin with the taste of a Taco breakfast still bashing out its bad-ass Clinton-esque funk against our taste buds but with rain poking its massively unwelcome hooter outta the clouds and dripping contents only slightly less disgusting than the usual conkyness above our trusty steed, all thoughts turned towards http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsVZUJVVaIE&feature=related.

And then, all thoughts turned towards how we could get our hands on some more Taco’s. And then all thoughts returned to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsVZUJVVaIE&feature=related. This went on for about 2 and a half hours. Then for once, we got onto one of those big roads that we have tried our darnest to avoid for so long and went around the outside of Houston, which i was glad about because a) the sky was grey and made Houston look as appealing as a Thursday night shopping spree in Hackney and b) when i asked someone in Austin which part of Houston to stay away from their response was ‘Houston…’

I’d been to Dallas, Texas once before, on another road trip. The year was 1994 and i was in the U.S for Christmas, visiting what were then, sort-of relatives. During that two week trip, much road was covered but in a less enjoyable way than the amount of road currently covered in 2011. Sat in the back of a crap car watching the most tedious of landscapes fly past, listening to Garth Brooks and Reba for what seemed like 237 hours every day whilst at the same time (or about 7 hours later due to the time difference) my new girlfriend was sat 7000 miles away waiting to get jiggy for the first time was, for a 17 year old man-boy, about as loathsome as a Tory running your country. But hey, i saw the ‘perhaps’ grave of Billy The Kid… Ace…

This time, i was determined to make more of the journey. I didn’t have a new girlfriend waiting for me back home, i had a new wife sat next to me. Also, being nearly double the age of that youngster, i thought i would be more interested in the inherent beauties that are the multitude of landscapes Texas has to offer, being into such things and the like and such. Plus, this journey was much more fun cos i am older now and so can buy a burger whenever i like and not just when i’m allowed. Although being America, a lot of the burgers here are pants. The Tacos however…

We were heading to Dallas (again) to see a friend of my co-traveloceraptor. The friend, i had been briefed, used to appear on here http://www.nakednews.com/ though maybe it was the t.v version. And apart from the fact that she is from Toronto (Nooooooooooooo……….) and now lives in Dallas with a new husband, that’s about all i knew about her. All i knew about her husband is that he is a Republican (nooooooo…!!!). I have yet to meet a Republican on this journey. Which is strange because i have been through Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and now Texas, all of which were Republican-winning states in the last Presidential election. Maybe it’s the company i keep or maybe Republicans think things like couch surfing are surely to result in Chainsaw Massacre-esque endings but i did find that a tad odd. But not to worry, i was about to meet my first and he sure as hell would make up for the lack of others!!

Another reason for going to this part of the World was to enhance the possibility of reclaiming assets that once were mine. I took these photos with me as legal evidence…

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It didn’t work…

As it was just a coupla days after my cohorts Birthday on the day we were to arrive in Dallas, Texas, we were being taken out by the newest additions to our glut of McRadical travel experiences, Lilly and Jason. And OH BOY, was it a NIGHT OUT…

We rock up to their gaff in the ‘burbs and no sooner had we said ‘Howdy’ then we were whisked off to a bloody huge stadium. We stroll through the backstage area and appear at the very front right of the stage. The music is deafeningly loud (i’m a Jazzman, remember?!) and there’s this little shed looking place within which music stuff is happening, y’know, graphics, guitars, loads and loads and LOADS of guitars. And Jason is chatting to this dude and there’s hello’s and hugs and kisses (i like a kiss from a man with a big beard… is that strange?) and we’re from England and we’re visiting and then this dude gives me two guitar picks and one of them says Ozzy Osbourne and guess who they belong to? And guess who was gonna be playing in about an hour? And guess who pees his pantyhosen and sprays water on the crowds and himself to cover up the fact that he leaks wee wee out of his winkle?

So we were at an Ozzy Osbourne gig. For free. Backstage. With an awesome dude and a radical dudette who like to party and drink and do shit that even i’d probably be too scared to do, although i doubt it cos i’m made of rock… Talking of rock, that wasn’t it. As we strode through the crowd, looking like a bunch of people made of rock, past all of the gutter snipes who actually paid and therefore were much lesser beings than we were, i heard a pretty familiar riff that a memory in the back of my mind said ‘You know this and you used to play massive air guitar to it when you were young and ‘ansome’ and as we took our place by the soundy dude that only people who are made of rock and have backstage passes are allowed to be near, i turned on my toes and there, right in the middle of the stage with trademark hair and mouth-hangingy fag was none other than my ol’ namesake Saul Hudson!!!! When i found out his real name, i wondered ‘Why didn’t any of my friends give me a cool nickname like Slash’? And then it came to me. They did. It was just spelt differently…

I stood there for about an hour, listening to said namesake rattle off every amazing guitar riff that his time in Guns ‘n Roses allowed and i’ve gotta say, it was PROPER!!!! What a great start to a trip to Dallas, Texas i thought. Then Ozzy came on and was absolutely caka but it was pretty ‘WHOA there’ to see what taking all the drugs that makes Rock n’ Roll, Rock n’ Roll can actually do to your brain. I wondered if Ozzy knows he’s about as properly wired in the brain department as a man who’s had his brain wired by a mouse. Still, the 850,000 people in the stadium loved it so he must be doing something right.

When we left Ozzy to his Diurnal Enuresis, i was hungrier than a horse in a cave and so was delighted to learn we were going to eat steak and lobster at one of the top steak and lobster spots in Dallas, Texas. When we arrived, my delight hit unfounded levels as i learned i would be eating my steak and lobster whilst watching pairs of boobs flouncing themselves right in front of my mince pies. And not only were we in a very upmarket looking strip joint, i found myself in what looked like the Twin Peaks Lodge. Would Sherilyn Fenn be serving up my dindins, i mused? Sadly not. However it could just well have been the little red man so i told myself to be thankful for what i’ve got and sipped on a cocktail of such lusciousness that i forgot about Sherilyn Fenn and instead focused on things that were a li’l tit more here and now…

Our hosts were as consummate as any hosts could be, taking us to an awesome gig and then to an expensive restaurant for some of the best tiddlies and tucker i’d drank/eaten so far on this trip. The conversation was open and interesting and Jason showed none of the stereotypes that Republicans are labelled with, in fact, i think i wet my pants 14 times at his hilarious stories. But being cut from a different cloth, as i lay in bed that night, i wondered what he thought of me, a skinny dude from England who dresses a li’l funny and likes Jazz and sleeping on strangers’ couches. Was that an insecurity? I’m not sure. I didn’t think so at the time but when you stay at peoples houses and they treat you to all and sundry, it always makes me wonder whether people see me as a free-loading hippy and so i guess yes, looking back on it, there was a li’l insecurity. When i meet people i like, i always want them to have a positive opinion about me cos there have been times in the past that people have told me that they initially didn’t take to me for whatever reason and it wasn’t until later that they realised i wasn’t who they initially thought i was. And being very liberal and Jason being very Republican, i wasn’t sure how we’d develop our relationship. But as i learned, your political stance doesn’t make you instantly the same as those whose promises you put your faith in and Jason turned out to be a totally hilarious chap who was totally liberal… in some aspects!

The next day, we were whisked off to a place by Lily that i had driven past once before but never stopped at. I guess everyone who comes to Dallas, Texas for a short time visits the spot that JFK was done over by his own Government on, sorry, i mean, Lee Harvey Oswold… We were once again told to keep our hands out of our pockets as Lilly paid for our history lesson in the JFK Museum. And even though i’d studied this topic of history when at school, it was in nowhere near as much detail. It was an increibly insightful place that i urge anyone who goes to this part of the World to explore. I went in with certain beliefs about what had happened and i came out with those beliefs fully confounded. I don’t know why the CIA wanted their President dead for sure, although part of me believes that JFK’s ‘support’ (though i use this term loosely) for Black people may have had something to do with it as well as his desire to be at peace with the Russians at a time when the race was on for global military domination between those two super powers. But one thing i am pretty sure about. Oswald, if he was involved, and i don’t think he was, wasn’t alone. The whole thing left me saddened that a father of two young children had his life taken for trying to be a leader in human rights. Sure, he was a politician and probably cheated on his wife with well-documented flings, but i think his death set America back 25 years and the rights of the impoverished even more so.

Back at the pad of those who i now call friends, i was treated to one of the strangest but actually increasingly common sights of a humans love for all things canine.  Lily has these two little toy poodles.  I don’t care what they’re called.  I just know i really don’t like li’l dogs.  I know if Lily reads this, she’ll be upset at my disregard for these tossers!  But Lily, you more than made up for my feelings of despise for your mongrels!!  But the strange thing was, and i have experienced this with my own mothers behaviour towards her mutts, the amount of love and adoration someone can have for two dogs.  It really is like watching someone who believes that these two creatures, with brains the size of a bowl of chard, are more valuable than the most sacred human life.  If there was a fire in the house whist we were all asleep, i truly believe that Lily would have saved these two sods before coming to our rescue.  I dont blame her for it though…..!

What did sadden me a tad was that there is another canine in the mix, a rescue dog called Socks.  Socks has real troubles, man.  She has a pathological dislike for dudes, obviously stemming from some previous owner who probably called her names and blew raspberries at her all the time.  Socks lives in her own apartment but as she doesn’t get on with the two fluffy demons, has to socialise with herself.  Which she’s probably dead happy about cos i would be if it was a choice between listening to two poodles yapping or spending my time meditating, which is i’m sure how she passes her days.  And as she has man issues, i bought it upon myself to try and get her to like one.  Namely, me.  So, with biscuits in hand, i set about trying to entice her towards a friendly stroke.  And after about half an hour of enticing, she wasn’t interested in me at all, so i forced myself upon her and stroked her whilst she sat there shivering, petrified i would call her a no-good-son-of-a-bitch and stick my thumb on my nose, fingers a-waggling.  2 days i tried with that poxy dog, to no avail.  Serves her bloody right, thats what i say…

That evening, we hit a very good Mexican place for more lushness provided by our newest friends. We consumed more cocktails, more great food and more sweet chat and i felt totally relaxed with my new buddies.  But it was on the third and final night of our stay that things really heated up.

Jason, you could say, likes guns.  Jason likes guns in the way that i like dancing.  Jason likes guns in the way that i like sweet looking threads.  Jason loves guns almost as much as i love my wife.  Jason loves guns so much that he has lots and lots and lots of them.  I know, i’ve seen ’em…

So on our last night, we go out for dinner, to another lovely restaurant and once again our amazing hosts don’t let us pay for anything and i am humbled so much at their friendship and hospitality.  There is talk at the table of funny experiences we’ve all had over the years, a bit of politics and guns.  Now, i’m not much for guns, per se.  I find it pretty scary that there are things that with such great ease can end the life of another person in a second or that can cause so much damage to the delicate body of a mere mortal such as oneself.  Maybe its cos i value human life so highly, i believe it to be the most precious, most significantly beautiful and wondrous event this World could have ever enabled itself to experience.  And things that can take that away from us in an instant i find ugly, vulgar and filled with evil.  But when i got back to Lily and Jasons, i couldn’t right ‘alf wait to touch ’em…… the guns an’ all!

So, we stand in a room and i’m passed gun numero uno and it’s this…  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Walther_PPK_1848.jpg.  But a silver one.  It was surprisingly heavy.  But it looked light something i would light a cigar with, not something that would kill you in a second.  Then came lots of other ones, Lugers, Baloogas and Freddy Krugers (can you tell i have no knowledge of these things whatsoever) and then finally, after I believe number 36, came firearm number 37, the biggest and most powerful.  And here’s my man to tell you what it was:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z2ucmARq-k

Holding this conspirator of death was pretty damn weird.  Mostly because it felt like a plastic toy but also because i could easily imagine shooting it and killing someone.  It was almost empowering to hold it but at the same time i felt unhappy cos i know that people really do kill other people with these things and i just can’t believe in death over life i’m afraid.  My travel braud gave up holding them after number 3 or 4, pretty much for the same reason, but it was slightly worrying that whilst she was holding the first few, she was pointing them in my direction every time!  The strangest point of the evening though was when i pointed to a li’l pink rifle in the corner and said, ‘Is that yours Lily’?.  It wasn’t…

We were going to go to the shooting range in the morning if we had time and i was pretty excited by that but when it didn’t materialise, i guess a part of me was relieved cos i didn’t really want to know how it would feel to chug 4 billion bullets a second at something.  What if i went mad for a second and took everyone out?  Or worse, what if i failed to hit the target?!!  Sure man, it would have been pretty cool and manly to shoot one of those babies but i can swing a sledge hammer like no-one’s business and that’s much manlier than most of you!!

After another one of Jason’s rockin’ breakfasts, including the legendary beer biscuits, it was time to saddle up and hit the road.  And although it was minus 57, the sun was out and pointing us in the direction of New Mexico.  But not before i was kitted out for the final push through the Lone-Star State…

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And just when i thought this couple couldn’t be any more lovely, when they realised i was missing a petrol cap, they rang round the local car shops to check the availability and secretly went out to pick it up and although they were out of stock, they sorted one out for me to pick up on my way out of town.  That meant i could finally get rid of the black boxers that were shoring up our petrol tank, stopping potential thievery of liquid movey juice and replace it with something silver and ‘ard.

So we bade farewell to these two totally radical dudes and although Jason watches Fox news and Lily treats her dogs as though they are the Lords who created the Universe, i thought as i drove off, snake-skin Stetson on head, ‘Everyone of us is so different and that should be embraced, but there are also many similarities and it’s our similarities that can bring us all together’.  Republican or not, it’s the truth.  And if you don’t believe it, i know a man with 37 guns who can make you…

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3 thoughts on “Dallas, Texas (and I think i met the man who shot Bobby…)

  1. Saulllllllllllllllllll. Oh my gosh. I started to read this the day you published it, but had to run off only 1/4 the way through, and finally I remembered to come back and finish it. I can’t believe you got free passes to see Ozzy O in TX with Republican friends who then fed you steak & lobster. That you got a tour of a gun collection, but didn’t get to the firing range (seriously, you need to go back and do that. Remember to wear ear protection for the precious little hearing you have left after that rock’nroll concert)
    For the record: I had a great 1st impression of you & navigator Daniella, skidding to a stop up the hill from me as I brought in a load of firewood. Your smile lights up the world. And even though I love our 2 dogs, I would save you from a house fire in an instant.

  2. Kerry,

    Be careful what you say, one day that comment that you would roast the dogs before any English guests may come back to bite you on the haunches!!

    You went shooting? A liberal like you? I’m surprised. Your gun toting son maybe, but you?!!!

    Maybe i left my smile at your place If you find it, please return it promptly, its owner missed it mightily

    xxx

  3. Nah, I’ve never shot a gun in my life, but the rest of my family all have. There was a closet full of rifles at my house. I just read a good little piece on shooting though; because I “liked” it, it showed up on my FB page. And C, well he’s always wanted to hunt; there must be a chromosome for it. When they were little I never let them have toy guns; they had to resort to crooked little sticks instead.

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