Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Tequila Sweats

by Gary

How many times have I wished that while imbibing the fruit of the mescal plant I was indeed like the Most Interesting Man in the World, the silver fox dude on those Dos Equis commercials – who apparently has a pet cougar, the four-legged kind, jumping all over his kitchen island.

“His doctor has him autograph his chest x-rays…”

“Women scream his name when giving birth…”

But no. I know from a painful past I sound something like Elmer Fudd with a head cold after a few glasses of the stuff. Now as it happens, I don’t have to speculate about my protagonist and a conjectured misadventure with tequila. For a friend’s self-published anthology, that few if any of you have seen or heard about, called Tequila Tales, I wrote such a cautionary story. Well, cautionary is not quite the adjective here.

The story involves a sheriff’s deputy named Woody McElvane. A local product, Woody’s thankless task is the foreclosure beat. He has to go to houses and condos where the once owners have been evicted for falling way too far behind on their mortgages. His job is to serve them the court papers and ensure they leave. On one such call as the story, “The Second Stringer,” begins, he’s making a call on a guy he played basketball with in high school. That is this individual was a starter, Woody rode the pine mostly. The man, Roy “Run and Gun” Nielson, even went on to a brief career in the pros.

But now the tables have turned and Roy has fallen on hard times. Woody is not an cruel man, he’s there to do his job, no more, no less.

Back in his cruiser, McElvane told himself he didn’t feel envious. He reminded himself it wasn’t like Nielson had been shitty to him in high school or banged his girlfriend, nothing like that. But Nielson had been, well, one of the cool ones. One of the ones with game and the sweet shot. The girls taking numbers out of a cap to see which one had the honor to give him a BJ at the ditch party.

Well, when Woody winds his way back to the house a day or so later to see if indeed the premises have been vacated, he finds a wooden crate inside the empty abode: He pries off the lid.

He could make out the stuff was tequila -- Coleccion de Oro, the Gold Collection. He surmised it was an expensive brand or at least it had the appearance of such.

He put the bottle back and looked through the rest of the house and returned to the crate, glaring at it. Why would Nielson have left this? Maybe he was on the wagon and didn’t want the temptation. Or was it some sort of oblique apology from him to the deputy? But for what, him being the golden boy gone sour?

Don’t need to tell you ol’ Wood takes the box. Of course that’s when the fun begins, when that crate of tequila interests some interesting parties.

Bring up the strains of the song “Tequila” and sit back, have a sip, and relax. Whatever you do, it’s because of tequila you have the sweats.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Great post, Gary, and great to see you last night at the party. Were you drinking tequila? I couldn't tell through my wine haze. xoxoxo

Gary Phillips said...

Thanks, Sue Ann. Good seeing you too. Oh no, no mas tequila.