Man, how incompetent am I? I make an announcement on facebook that I'll have the Austin segment up the next day, and here it is, four days later, and I've just started working on it. Is that any way to gain the trust of the few readers I have? Is that any way to climb the ladder of blogger success until I am so high up and powerful that I can finally put a stop to all those fatcats in Washington who push me around? The answer, of course, is no. I am a miserable failure.
In my defense, the day I was supposed to post this piece was the Friday of Memorial weekend. Would any of you even have read it? You got a three day weekend staring you right in the face, are any of you thinking, "man, I can't wait to go on my trip to my beach house/cabin/ favorite Hooters restaurant but first I have to read about what Randy thinks of Austin, Texas?" Didn't think so.
So instead I'm posting this on a Tuesday, at the beginning of a short week. I figure this is much better because, let's face it, nothing really gets done on the short weeks. Friday just seems too close for you to take your job seriously. So instead of working, all of you guys are going to just twirl around in your little desk chairs and email your coworkers the dirty jokes that you found on the internet. Well now instead of doing that, you can email them a link to this blog. And you can say in the email "He calls himself a Boy with a Beard because he's like this full grown man who acts like a child. Isn't that hilarious and original!" And they'll think to themselves: "Yes that is both hilarious and original. In fact, it's someone with this kind of ingenuity and brilliance who needs to rise to the top of the blogger world so those fatcats over in Washington will understand that they can't push the average guy around anymore..."
OK, I think I've had too much caffeine this morning. Nevertheless, I will press on.
I will press on all the way to about ten miles before Austin, Texas. For that is where I was when I saw this monstrosity:
Now when we came across this car, part of me realized it was a sign that Austin was going to be awesome. But another part of me was just simply terrified by the fact that there were doll heads glued to her car.
I don't know what this person was trying to accomplish by decorating her car with doll heads, but unless she was actively trying to make the world a scarier place, she has failed. Even worse, she is doing irrevocable harm to the political agenda she is trying to promote. Think about it. If you're a child, just a sweet, innocent child, and you see a car with doll heads glued to the top of it, you are going to assume that this person is an evil monster. Then you see the liberal bumper sticker on the car, and for the rest of your life you're going to associate liberal ideals with evil monsters that glue doll heads to cars. This is how members of the tea party are made, people. With doll heads.
But enough with politics and scary doll head ladies. We have a whole city to check out!
That first afternoon in Austin reminded me of a scene from Garden State. I was Zack Braff, Shorty was Natalie Portman, and Austin was our Garden State. And by that I mean, it was a place for us to explore while we pondered the mysteries of life before taking a bath together. (They do bath together in that movie, right? It's been awhile since I last saw it. I distinctly remember Zack looking malcontent in a tub though, am I making this up?)
You can tell by the way I'm far out in one picture and then close up in the next one that I was doing some serious pondering.
We didn't just ponder life that afternoon. Oh no, we also visited a cemetery and reflected on the idea of death and mortality.
Also, I reflected on Stroburg, a man I never knew, but am certain that he was a badass. I mean just look at everyone else's boring, run-of-the-mill tombstones. Now look at his tombstone. Clearly we had found a man that didn't take any shit, even after he died. I could only hope that at some point in life I can be as cool as he was in death.
After our reflection, Shorty and I hurried back to the hotel so we could get ready for a night on the town. So after a quick nap; we showered, dressed and headed out to the bars.
We were about eight blocks away when I realized I had forgotten my camera back at the room. I wanted to go back and get it, but Shorty didn't want to walk back. Also, I didn't want to walk back either.
"What would Stroburg do?" I asked myself.
"He would stop being a fucking chump and go back and get his camera!" I told myself before continuing to walk to the bar.
So I'm no Stroburg, is anyone surprised?
It really is too bad that I don't have any pictures of that first night in Austin. It was an insane night, one which I don't remember well at all. If any pictures had been taken, I'm sure it would have been just as revealing to me as it would be to you. Instead, I have nothing to share with you...except for this humorous story:
This story occurred early in the night, which is why I can remember it.
Shorty and I were in this bar that only served fruity shots (we were curious!). I remember that the gimmick of this bar was that when you stepped up to the bartender he would immediately ask you to name a fruit. Once you did, he would grab several bottles out of his trough of endless colorful bottles and concoct some sort of shot that would taste exactly like the fruit you mentioned, without the faintest hint of alcohol. (I assume this kind of bar doesn't exist in any other towns in Texas...)
Anyways, Shorty and I had enjoyed several fruity shots when two attractive girls walked into the bar. Feeling daring and bold, I invited them to take a shot with us. They accepted.
I remember that soon after that I ended up talking to one of the girls alone. She had blonde hair and great posture. So we're talking and I'm making her laugh, which is always awesome, and then she casually let it slip that she's in the army.
Yeah, the army. How hot is that?
But I play it cool. I can't let her know that I'm attracted to women of power, I know how that game ends.
So instead I ask a few questions about life in the military and yada, yada yada....
After a time, she excuses herself to use the restroom. I order another round of shots of Strawberry Wonder for everyone while she's away. As I'm paying for the shots, Shorty gets a text on his phone that changes the entire night.
"Dude! We got Osama!" He shouted to the bar.
Of course, no one believed him at first. But once I confirmed his text with CNN mobile, I realized the gods had smiled upon us. Could there be a better time to be in Texas than the night when America killed Osama Bin Laden? Doubtful. I remember thinking right then that I was going to make at least a hundred new friends before the night was through.
This thought made me happy.
Then I saw my army girl coming out of the bathroom and this thought was immediately replaced by an image. One singular, iconic image:
Sure it was a crazy idea. But it was also a crazy night. A night where emotions would be running high for everyone, especially soldiers. How could a soldier not be overjoyed by this news? How could they not have the overwhelming urge to grab the nearest nurse or redhead and dip them right before planting one right on my lips? Could you really blame my army girl for wanting, no, needing, to do that? Well, I couldn't. Which is why I made myself readily available for dipping and smooching after I told her the news about Osama.
But did she smooch me? Did she take me in her arms like some helpless nurse who couldn't fight temptation any longer and give me a lesson in love?
No, of course not. I'm no Stroburg (I've suddenly decided that the sailor in the picture must be Stroburg. It just seems right, right? Wait, actually, she would have to be Stroburg for this too make sense. Wait, it doesn't make sense at all).
In any case, my army girl called her army friends and they all made plans to meet in five minutes. Then she waved goodbye to Shorty and I and left my life forever.
Then there was just me, and the two shots of strawberry goodness that were meant to be for both of us. Instead they were all for me. I took the first one real quick. Then I looked over to the bartender and, just before pounding the second one, I muttered:
After that point, my memory starts to get hazy. I remember visiting a lot more bars, making a lot more friends, and taking a lot of shots with my new friends. Unfortunately, that's all I can tell you. But perhaps that's best. Maybe that night was meant to be the one night on the trip that was just for me, no one else....
Even if I can't remember most of it.
COMING TOMORROW: Austin day Two!