The Blue Bus is Calling Us

I have to preface this story by stating that I spent my formative years in a small town. I graduated from high school among a class of 83 other students.

That being said…

I commute from Austin to my job in the small town of Marble Falls, TX. The population is somewhere near 5,000. It’s an eclectic town, but small nonetheless. In the six months that I’ve worked here I’ve done a little Main Street shopping where you can find some very nice shops that sell an array of housewares, clothing, antiques, knick knacks and furniture. There are some nice restaurants, not-so-nice restaurants and some restaurants that serve up some damn good down-home comfort food. There’s a Super Wal-Mart and a McDonalds. There are tire shops, mechanic shops, saddle shops, boat stores, car dealerships and vendors selling various crafts and other fruits of their labor on the sides of roads. It’s a small bustling town by day that is nestled right off the Colorado River AKA Lake Marble Falls which hosts national powerboat races during the summer.

All-in-all, this town is neat. I wouldn’t live here, but it’s still neat. A few months back a coworker and I went to one of the damn good down-home comfort food establishments for lunch. Just before entering the front door, I notice a burly man wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves torn off. He was also wearing blue jean shorts that used to be a full pair of blue jeans. He was wearing work boots that were laced up quarter-calf. He was a caucasian man with leather-like skin from obvious outside work and manual labor. He was a hairy man. A manly man. He was wearing a blonde wig, bright red lipstick, blue eyeshadow and dark mascara. It wasn’t Halloween. This guy was serious, hairy arms and all. He was walking into the same restaurant right behind us with his friend, a man similar in manliness sans the orientation dilema.

I didn’t think much of it at first since I’ve lived in Austin for over ten years and have grown accustom to witnessing the unexplained. I then stopped and thought: “Wait a minute, we’re in Marble Falls.” It was a weird sighting. This dude was seriously trying to pull off being a woman.

That was funny.

I’ve had a Quizno’s coupon for $2 off a large sub burning a hole in my wallet for a couple weeks now. I decided that since today is Friday, I should treat myself. I waited my turn in line at the Quizno’s and ordered the Black Angus on Rosemary Parmesan Bread. It wasn’t a whole black angus, just part of the cow that was butchered and cooked. I decided to dine in seeing how I spend too much time at the office as it is.

I strategically found a table at which to eat and began devouring my lunch. A few minutes later, the group of six that were sitting nearby all stood up and were soon to exeunt. Four women, two men. The eldest of the women, probably in her mid-forties piped up and what seemed like out of nowhere proclaimed: “Well, I think if yer a Meskin and you can’t speak English, then you should just go on back tuh ware you came frum.” She was telling this to one of the people she was with. There were no patrons of Mexican lineage in Quizno’s at the moment. It didn’t appear as if she were saying this in response to anything. She just made this announcement to her lunch dates.

I chuckled and half choked on a banana pepper when I heard that. I should have stood up on my chair and shouted “I’m queer and if anyone doesn’t like it, I’ll just rub these banana peppers on my nipples.” Then I would have done that river dance thing.

Before I could muster up the courage to stand up on my chair (which I wouldn’t have done, but still would have been pretty cool to do), the group left. I went back to eating my sandwich and was quickly beginning to forget about what I had just heard and focus on some other random thought. I watched the group walk out into the parking lot and around to the side of Quizno’s where they all piled into a full-sized school bus that had been hand painted medium pale blue. The inside had been gutted of the standard school bus chairs and had been replaced with love seats.

And just like that, they were off. I was waiting to hear a “Git-r-done” as they rumbled off – probably on their way to Super Wal-Mart.

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