Let me start out by mentioning that if your driving across country, especially through the desert, hydrate yourself properly. Yes your body will dry out and do horrible things to you.
Woke up about three hours after we fell asleep and I was freezing. Lo had me in a bear hug and woke when I stirred and crawled into the back seat. Bad move now I was freezing, looked over at Mac and he was shaking like a vibrator. Reached up to wipe the sleep from my eyes and my right hand came back full of goop, hit the overhead and found the mirror and my right eye looked like the business end of a cream puff. Couldnt even force it open and itched, you wouldn,t believe. Great I got pink eye, cant open my right eye so I dont have depth perception. Then I noticed that we were completly iced in, solid sheath on all windows. Fired up the Lincoln turned on the defrost, but there was a quarter inch of ice. Had to take the thermos into the restrooms and fill it with hot water to get the ice off. Inside I checked the mirror and DAM I looked scary, one eye swollen shut, two and a half days of beard, same clothes i started the trip with. If I saw myself approaching down the street I would have moved to the other side. Just to prove my point a couple of guys came in , took one look at me and moved as far away from me as they could. Wish I had a picture of myself from that morning, it would have made a great caption pic. This was befor I blew my knees and then I was 6'9" and 260 pounds. 36 inch waist, 54 inch chest, 21 inch arms.
So now were on the road again, about 7 am and Ozona was an hour away. On the way Mac and I amused ourselves counting dead deer on the side of the road, distance 65 miles, 47 dead deer. It was also hunting season, and every pick up and car we passed had a buck in it or tied to it. If you remember from chapter one, we rented a ranch close by and every year 20 or so Tennessee boys invaded this town. One year we got 58 good size bucks. Well, we pull of the expressway in Ozona and I told Mac I wanted to find the drugstore and get something for my eye. The pharmacist told me that I didnt have pink eye, that it was dehydration and suggested boric acid. said it would be gone by morning as long as I kept fluids up to par. Took a little soaking but finally got the eye opened and clean and we took off to the Ozona Inn for breakfast.
Befor I relate what happens next I have to give a small explaination to what I was about to do. Had a friend back in HELL-A that was an aspireing stand up comic. He was from northern mid-america and in his routine he liked to mimic a southern accent. I made a comment to him that he did a terrible southern accent ,and he said it wasnt southern, that its a Texas accent. Texas accent I sez, aint no sucha thing. It is a Tennesse accent, dontcha know no history, was Tennesse boys what freed Texas. Crocket, Bouie, Dallas, Houston and all the good ol boys that came down cause they heard they was a fight with Mexico abrewin. IT WERE THESE HERE BOYS THAT GAVE TENNESSE ITS VOLUNTEERS NICKNAME. HOW DARE HE CALL IT A TEXAS ACCENT. Well he thought all my ranting was pretty dam funny and asked me to try to write a routine on that thought for his show. So I was working on that. Now back to the Ozona Inn, and a reminder of my CREATURE OF THE LIVING ASSHOLE LOOK.
Well we pull into the parking lot and the place was full . easily 20 or 30 cars in the lot, most of them with deer. Rifles in every pick up back window. And literally blood all over the parking lot where people had been bringing in thier kills to show off all morning. Walked inside and the place was so full there was only one table left in the very back next to the john. The lady that greeted us, with some fear showing in her eyes, gave us menues and said she was short on help that morning and it might take a few minutes to ge to us. Told her that was fine just get me some coffee and take her time. Mac said he wanted to get cleaned up some so he went in the bath room and I was sitting there listening to these 40 or 50 guys trying to talk to each other. It was really loud and I was listening to their speech patterns, their idiosicms, and of course their accent. What impressed me the most was their happy commeradrae, loud happy, braggin man talk.
So it hits me, Lets try out the Tennessee accent bit, get some real feedback from the real thing. So I stand up, bang on the table, and in a voice that wasnt as loud to me as to the rest of the world, yell WHATS THIS I HEAR ABOUT A TEXAS ACCENT, THERES NO SECHA THING AS A TEXAS ACCENT ITS A TENNESSEE ACCENT. The place went silent, and I figgured they just didn't here me right, cause they didnt laugh, so I bellowed again I SAID WHATS THIS I HEAR ABOUT THIS HERE TEXAS ACCENT, THEYS NO SUCH THING. ITS A TENNESSEE ACCENT...About then an old man sitting way up at the door stood up and said, "please sir, we dont want any trouble." TROUBLE, I yelled, WHAT DO YOU MEAN TROUBLE." It was at that time Mac came out of the restroom, looked at me, looked out at the crowd, looked back at me, and with a faced utterly sheathed in fear said "Dave, What Are You Doing." I said, IM ENTERTAINING THEM. Mac said the only really smart thing he uttered the whole trip. Dave, I dont think their entertained. This somewhat brought me back to my senses and when a looked back I saw their eyes. heheheh I saw nothing but fear their too. I pulled out a five, dropped it on the table, looked up and said, Im sorry gentle men, I thought you would find that funny. Then headed for the door with Mac being about 6 inches from me till we got outside. There was another restaraunt across the street so we pile in and head over. we got out and headed toward the door and a man came running to the window with a phone in his hand, a funny look on his face, and when we walked in I thought I should speak first. The guy listened about going cross country, and I used to come here to hunt( turned out he knew my Dad) dehydration , driving 36 hours and when the story was told he did give a little chuckle. He took our order, and while he was fixing our breakfast I saw he was on the phone. As we were leaving I ask him if he called his friend across the street, and he said yes, and everything was fine. He told me the owner across the street knew my Dad too, and I Just came over in the wrong way, no harm done. I said I felt I should go back over and appologize. He said he didnt think that was such a good idea. So we fed and exercised Lo and headed toward Baton Rouge.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened the rest of the way to Baton Rouge, and once we got there I started the 20 question game again. Mac you got this guys Phone number. No, but I'll recognize his exit when we get to it. OK do you have an adress. No, but you can just drop us off. No mac I'll get you to where ever it is your goig. After all, Im on vacation and in no hurry.
About half way through B.R. Mac saw an exit he thought he recognized, and after roaming around maybe another half an hour Mac said that the house we just passed looked familiar. I backed up and we got out, this time I let Mac go to the door himself. He knocked and after a moment the door opened and the lady says, Mac, we were just thinking about you. Wondered when you were going to get backdown this way. She walked out to the car grabbed Lo around the neck and had introductions all around. Turns out her husband had just got a new contract and needed painters and she drew us a map to the site. We got there and sure enough Mac walked right up to this guy and started talking, me and LO ambled over and again with the intros. Mac asked where the john was, guy pointed down the road and away went Mac. The guy looks at me and asks where did I meet Mac, so I give all twenty eight versions illustrated with lines and circles, and when I was done he says, Yep, same thing happens every year. Asked him if he would hire Mac and he said hell yes. Guys one of the best finish painters he ever knew, he could match colors, would work 10 or 12 hours a day, and was wicked fast. The only thing was he might stay for three days or six months, but one pay day he would just smile and say bye. Then he and Loraine would just walk away.
Mac came back about then and we said goodbye. I gave him my parents phone number and my number back in Hell-A. Drove on down to New Smyrna Beach and had a great holiday.
P.S. Right after Christmas I got a call from Mac. He told me he wasnt enjoying himself in B.R. and could he drive back to HELL-A with me. He and Lo did but there were no big adventures. After a few weeks back in L.A. he gave me a call and asked for a little money, seems that he had made a friend that was also "itenerite" and the guy was really sick. Sure , I was glad to help. When I met with him he and this other guy was living under an underpass on the 5 freeway in Burbank. Dam Mac what can I do to help. He said nothing, what could I do. Told him when he needed money for food or medicine for his friend call me. I would always give him what I could . Ol Mac just smiled, thanked me and said he would stay in touch. I went down to the underpass a day or two later and Mac,LO, and his friend were gone. I heard from him about a month later, He told me his friend had died, and he and Lo were going to hit the road and find a painting job. Asked if I could give him some money to get started and he just said no, but he would call next time he was in town. I never heard from Mac again...
Did I ever mention how much I really liked that dog... and Mac.