We had loaded the cars with care for a weekend trip to do some tubing on the Guadalope river, which is a river near New Brunsfel, Tx. The plan was simple caravan to our campsite located west of New Brunsfel, set up camp, get shit faced drunk, have fun. My goals in my youth were simple but usually had a common theme which revolved around getting some brain cells to kill themselves. Hey! I reasoned only the strong survive right? This motly caravan consisted of my 2nd wife who told me her last husband had requested a divorce, but failed to mention her last husband was Satan(seems even he has standards), her 2 children Lucy-fer & Beezle-bob, 3 of her very gay friends-(twinkle, tinkle, and bitchy boy), my youngest daughter, and a few of my macho high school friends from Pekin, Illinois( a town which until 1980 had the misfortune of having thier sports team named the "Pekin Chinks"), and of course myself a fun loving guy who naively believed the world could get along.
The trip was going well my recently purchased 1983 CoupDeVille seemed as if it floated on rails, but as we stopped for gas a little north of Austin the train started to jump the track ever so slightly. We filled up the cars paid the barely spoke english attendant and decided to get sodas for the kids to quench thier thirst and possibly shut them the hell up. You know "are we there Yet, how much farther, I gotta pee, quit looking at me" that sorta thing. That is when bitchy boy made a snyde remark about my friend Hanks mismatched ensemble. Now Hank wasn't really sure what an ensemble was, but he was convinced he needed to defend his right to it, and was even more convinced that bitchy boys right to existence was questionable. Oh the humanities, bitchy boy out to improve the world one outfit at a time and considered his matching black shirt, fip-flops, and pressed trunks the envy of all. Hank pointed out that if he ever remarked about his ensemble whatever the hell that was bitchy-boy would be sporting a matching eye. I suppose you know what happened next and with some deft refereeing on my part and some ice from one of the coolers to soothe poor bitchy-boys eye we were on our merry way again.
After one more minor incident in Austin proper where I recieved a speeding ticket but dodged a dui bullet(a story in itself). We arrived at our destination and checked into our campsite after paying the caretakers of this little slice of heaven. The caretakers who looked like extras from the Deliverence set, showed us our campsite and where to take our trash which was an impressive looking mountain of garbage located next to the office.(good thinking huh?) We set up camp Mrs. ex-satan the kids and I in the large tent, my friends in another large tent, and of course the 3 gay guys in a pup tent with 1 sleeping bag. Sounds cramped and uncomfortable, but judging by all the giggles coming from thier tent they must really enjoy camping. That evening we all did the usual camping stuff, roast weiners(can't tell you about all the wise cracks from that), drink heavily, get acquainted, and generally commune with nature. I mistakenly thought we had pulled this train back on its rails. The morning told a different tale.
Twinkle recieved a phone call from his life partner Diddleme, who proceeded to explain that he had wrecked Twinkles EuroSaab back in Dallas while having an extra life partner affair. Twinkle (and I must applaud his hetero response) decided the answer to this trying experience was to seek solace at the bottom of a Jack Daniels bottle. My friends who were sitting around the campfire swilling beer and making the bong bubble. Found the sight of three grown men, sobbing and consoling each other, a roll on the ground funny sight. Hank still proud of himself for putting the finishing touches on Bitchy boys ensemble. Promised to make them all match each other if they didn't stop that infernal wailing. Mrs. Ex-satan was torn between having a pity party with her gay friends, and wanting to have fun. What she decided to have, may be my only view of a genuine canipshun fit in full spectra color. It was my first insight into why Satan would scamper away from her. Like the calm in the middle of a storm. The wailing and tooth nashing dissapated into a resolve to have a good time, and a devil may care attitude took over. We made our plans to stumble to our awaiting tubes and float our cares away. We discussed what we should do with our unattended campsite, and I had an epiphany. The coolers would be coming with us, and all other valuables could be locked into the cavernous confines of my recently purchased Cattlemac. I would then put the car keys into my trunks. The float trip began amidst much alcohol consumption, and bong bali-hooing.
Somewhere between the mystical experience of a smoky drunken state of enlightenment on an innertube, and the point of no return. You guessed it the key was lost, but we were blissfully unaware of that then. One hour into our majical river float we stopped near a water fall to relax. By this time Twinkle was in a state of drunken denial, bitchy boy could not feel his cajun eye(blackened), and Hank had all situations under control for the moment. However Bitchy-boy not content with peace & tranquility ever, decided to bare his silly soul. He began to explain he was feeling a tad bit guilty, as he too had extra-life-partner liasons with Diddleme. Twinkle could bear no more and began a series of windmill motions with his fists from atop his wobbly legs. Tinkle wisely dropped to the ground in a fetal position and bawled hystericaly. Mrs. Ex-satan unwisely decided to referee, my friends and I grabbed the bong and watched the show. I don't know what it is about human nature that makes us waver between peace and a good fight. What I witnessed was neither. The children started a slap fight of they're own leaving Beezle-bob with a shiner. Twinkle windmilled Mrs. Ex-satan and Hank decided he would not waste another moment of his quick temper laying idle. I valiantly defended cooler and bongs while Hank clocked Twinkle who fell atop Tinkle bawling in his fetal defense. Somewhere between the 5th of Jack and the chop to the chin Twinkle was immobile. Tinkle sprung to his feet and began running around the shallow water hands over his head screaming "Oh Shit, Oh Shit"! Myself and the 2 other Pekinians were rolling on the bank laughing till tears flowed. Mrs. Ex-satan now also sporting a shiner was less than amused, and I never heard the end of that until a Dallas judge finally pronounced "You Don't". Soon a shaky calm was reached and we proceeded down stream 3 of our party sporting swelled eyes and an unconsious Twinkle in tow. We of course would seek help for Tinkles damaged psyche later.
The bus ride back to camp was largely uneventful. Arriving at a camp with locked up valuables which had no key, somewhat eventful. I had previously thought my personality somewhat charming the group consensus was not in agreement. I in a quick thinking moment devised a plan. Luckily the fire log I grabbed was not needed to defend myself. Rex a laid back Pekinian friend had a better plan. I listened intently. He suggested someone take unconsious Twinkles car to town buy food, in the morning call a locksmith. Sounded well thought out to me. In the morning he continued explaining we would call the Cattlemac dealership to get a key cut from the vin#. Morning arrived phone call was made and to our surprise the dealership could match a key to the vin #, if the cattlemac was only 8yrs old. My cadilac was 10 yrs old. I grabbed the fire log hid it behind my back and braced myself. Twinkle had arisen and suggested we call a locksmith. I snuck the log into the fire and agreed. The locksmith who arrived must have been 70yrs old. He explained the complications of rekeying a 3-way tilt wheel and suggested we tube the river again. We could pay him now and he would leave the key at the office with Mr. & Mrs. Deliverence. Sounded good to me, Texas being a place where someones word still means something. The tubing trip began again, and other than a slight tussle with a water moccisin went well. We finished the trip took the bus back to camp. I anxiously went to visit the deliverence couple who surrendered the key, all seemed right in the world again.
The next morning we broke camp and started our jouney home. We were all desperately wanting to get home to heal our fresh wounds. Upon reaching the hard black top road. Which was the first place a turn signal was needed. I turned on my turn signal for a left onto the black top towards civilization. Apparently Mr. Old Fart locksmith had miswired my 3-way tilt column. Every time I used my turn signal the horn would blow in unison with the blinker bulb. For those of you unfamiliar with a cadilac horn I assure you it is loud. People who buy Cadilacs purchase right of way. Cadilacs rule thus the tone of the horn is not some cutesy euro-beep, but rather a get out of my damn way honk. Somewhere north of Austin we all stopped to eat and fuel. I lifted the hood and yanked off the horn wires, and went in to meet the rest of the group. As we sat at our large table waiting for our meal I could scarcely believe my ears as everyone was planning next years trip. That trip did not happen as time changes everything, but ain't life GRAND!