Homeless, Colorado

A man with a teardrop tattoo reached into my truck. I was at a gas station. It’s weird because there was a disparity between his words and his actions. He called me “sir.” He was asking for a handout, but he was trying to take. I slammed my door quickly. He pulled his hand out just in time to avoid a few broken bones. He leaned in to check his face in my side-view mirror. Maybe he wanted to see why he’d repulsed me so vehemently. Maybe he was just checking to make sure his artificial teardrop was in place. And then he walked away as if nothing untoward had happened.

What was I supposed to do? All I had were twenties. Should I have given him one? Should I have used my money to contribute to the track marks on his arm as opposed to feeding my family? Should I have gotten out and confronted him? Should I have destroyed his face with my fist? His teardrop tattoo screamed “I share needles” so best case scenario, I’d be going to the clinic after a fight. I would have won that physical contest, easily, but what would it have done to me in the long run? I drove away and started thinking about the homeless problem here in Durango, Colorado. It was raining. The fat raindrops exploded on my windshield like turgid little water balloons.

The homeless are rampant in our home town. If you look closely at the picture I’ve attached to this post, you’ll be able to count nine homeless people who are mid-siesta. I took that picture in the park behind the Vitamin Cottage; it’s surrounded by million dollar houses. Bums are everywhere, and they’re allowed to be. The ACLU wrote a letter and sent it to our city. In it, they said that it was an infringement on a constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech to disallow panhandling; when the homeless beg, they’re speaking freely through their actions. I’m a left leaning independent like most of us in this town, but even to me, that seems like a stretch. Our constitution is an elastic document, but when it comes to “free speech,” I doubt that its framers were thinking about handouts and cardboard signs. But it’s not like we can ask them, so we have to let our lawyers battle it out semantically in court.

I know you’ve had your own experiences. You’ve probably dealt with that pandering career panhandler who stands at the intersection of 550 North and 160. He dresses from head to toe in Denver Broncos gear to leach a bit of local sympathy. I once gave him five dollars. While my window was down, he told me that I needed to “pray” for him to find a ride south to New Mexico. There were too many liberals here and it was getting cold. He must’ve mistaken me for a conservative sympathizer thanks to my company truck and white skin. I was insulted. I told him that New Mexico was just a five hour walk south, and that if he started immediately, he’d be there in time for dinner. He told me that he had too much luggage back at the hotel and that the walk would be difficult because he had a Siamese cat to worry about. What the fuck? My words deserted me. The light turned green and I drove away regretting my five dollar loss.

And then there’s Walmart. The parking lot is a veritable carnival for the homeless. A sad looking teenage girl with a puppy and a religious cardboard sign almost earned a few alms as I drove by, but I was still shell-shocked from my experience with the cat loving Broncos fan. So I watched her for a bit. Her shift ended, and she walked back to a large motor home attached to a Dodge pick-up that was nicer than the truck from which I performed my stakeout. There was a box of puppies and a stack of signs by the motor home. There was a herd of “homeless” children with two adults, a man and a woman, acting as shepherds. My disgust was palpable. I almost fed into their ruse. Stories like this are ubiquitous. A man and a woman asked my wife for money as she walked out of Subway. She said no, and they countered with “we take sandwiches too.” I took my family to dinner on Main Street a few weeks back, and as we walked out armed with naught but Styrofoam boxes, a herd of homeless men in their twenties asked for our leftovers. My seven year old daughter gave them death stares (she’s rather protective of her left overs), I declined politely saying that the food was for my children, and we walked away with that feeling of despair in our guts.

So what do we do? Labeling panhandling as illegal won’t work because it’d supposedly be a civil rights infraction (despite the fact that our rights are being violated by aggressive panhandling), so do we just live and let live? Let’s face it, there are a few homeless people who actually need our charity, like that benevolent and heavy set woman with special needs who hangs out by the frozen yogurt place. She needs our help, and always gets it from me, because she doesn’t have boot straps with which to pull herself up. But in most cases, “homeless” is a choice in our town. Plenty of people gripe about the situation but solutions seem to be just as scarce as vagrant-free street corners. This problem isn’t going away on its own. There’s an illegal homeless camp that’s hunkered down in the woods just north of the Manna Soup Kitchen. It’s grown to the point wherein the wildlife is coming in attracted to the trash in the makeshift midden heaps. A bear decided to chew on one of the homeless residents a few weeks ago and yet they camp there still. If the visceral fear of being eaten alive isn’t going to dissuade the homeless, our spiteful sneers and exclusionary rhetoric isn’t going to do a damn thing either. We have two options: let it be, or fix it through realism.

Where would option number one lead us? Well, Durango hasn’t really been a nationally known destination spot for that long. So to tell the future, we should look at a few well established destination towns that are comparable. Because if you think about it, the homeless want to be here for the same reason that we do: Durango is fucking awesome. The weather is nice for most of the year and it’s beautiful (and let’s face it, pot is legal). So let’s look at someplace else that’s just as awesome: Key West, Florida. Key West has been a destination spot ever since pirates sailed the seas under their skull and crossbones standards. It’s always warm, there are plenty of tourists, and the island is connected to the mainland by a road. It’s a perfect place to be homeless. The wife and I spent some time there this spring and I got the chance to observe firsthand a highly evolved homeless population. You see, there’s competition between panhandlers just like there is in every other facet of life. They’re constantly trying to outdo their compatriots. At first, they battle through their signs. Their words, written in black sharpie, become more and more desperate touching on all of the bases (I have kids, I’m hungry, anything helps, god bless). And then they try honesty and humor (I need beer, I bet you can’t hit me with a quarter, ninjas killed my family and I need money for Kung Fu lessons). After the signs run their course, they’re abandoned for performance art. In Key West, you rarely see homeless people holding signs. They’ve evolved into bums dressed as Darth Vader playing the banjo. They’ve discovered that more money can be made through novelty. Mark my words. In a year or so, if we don’t find a solution, you’ll see Spiderman standing on Main Street with a bucket for tips instead of that crazy dude with a waste length beard. Once our homeless population evolves like the one in Key West, would it really be that bad? Hell, I think it’d add a bit of flavor to this already flavorful town, but if it’s still something that you think needs to be rectified, there’s only one way to do it: outreach.

You can’t make an undesirable thing illegal and expect it to disappear. We’ve learned that time and time again through prohibition and the war on drugs and gun control and teenage pregnancy. We need to help the homeless. We need to fight fire with water, not more fire. We need an army of volunteers. We need our churches to earn their keep. We need to send out amongst the homeless population people who can help them choose something better, something healthier. These liaisons can wear uniforms and arm themselves with strong stomachs and rehearsed speeches. “Excuse me sir, are you okay? Will you please follow me to the community center where I can feed you and show you a way out of this hole? I’ll walk with you. I’ll be seen with you and I’ll treat you like a human, because I know that we share the same DNA. If you and I were switched at birth, I’d probably end up just where you are. I know you don’t really want to live like this. Share with me your story. I’ll listen. I’ll give you help that goes beyond a few dollars for your next meal, your next fix, your next mistake. I’ll help you to find work, I’ll lead you to a new place, a place that allows you to help others like yourself. Wouldn’t that be incredible? Wouldn’t you love that? Wouldn’t you chose that over this street corner? Take my hand.” Or maybe I should go out and try this approach. Maybe I should practice what I preach. And maybe, instead of sneering at a bum or handing them a few dollars, you should do the same (unless you’re looking forward to a busking Darth Vader), because Durango is our home, and when something is amiss in your home, you fix it.

Homeless in Durango

Sorry, not sorry.

My blog is exploding. I’ve never seen traffic like this, and I guess that’s because I’ve chosen a theme: Durango, Colorado. Roughly one out of every fifteen Durango residents read my post from two weeks ago, and from the locals, the feedback has been awesome. If we get right down to it, I’m not much more than a narcissist who feeds on the praise like a weed basking in the sun, so things have been great. But in that post from two weeks back, I used a bit of symbolic prose. I said that New Mexico leaves on your being a dust which needs to be brushed off before entering a place as majestic as our Durango. And for it, I was called a cunt and a dumb-fuck. I was told not to go back to New Mexico because I wasn’t welcome, and that I should quit my job south of the border and find some work here amongst the “hippies.” These labels and suggestions came from three different readers, and for the record, I agree wholeheartedly with the latter piece of advice.

Oddly enough, I wasn’t offended. Their idiocy was more of an indictment against our public education system than anything else; these individuals never learned how to read. And I don’t mean that they can’t sound out their letters and read from a page the written word, but rather, I mean that they can’t comprehend the greater meaning which is represented by the text as a whole. The rhetoric in my post from two weeks back was actually aimed at the myopic few here in Durango who think that others should stay out; I was talking to locals who think that they have a greater right than others to occupy this portion of Colorado. It’s these people who detest the New Mexican dust. But a few readers from south of the border didn’t get that. Hell, maybe there really is New Mexican dust, and maybe these readers have been exposed to too much of it. Maybe it’s clogging their pores and blinding their eyes and slowing to a crawl their already feeble brain activity. But like I said, I’m not pissed. If anything, I’d like to congratulate these individuals for branching out and reading something other than the menu at the McDonald’s drive-through.

But even if I had meant what they thought I meant, why would they get so angry? Why would a few words on a webpage push them over the edge and lead them to call a stranger a cunt? It’s not like I was speaking to them personally. Actually, I wasn’t even speaking derogatively about people; I was writing about a place. So why’d they get so mad? Well, it’s because these non-readers thought that I was insulting their homeland. In their rants, they said that they were proud natives and that I could leave if I didn’t like it. In my mind, “native” is just another word for “stagnant fool who’s too parochial to explore,” but that’s beside the point. And I didn’t like it, so guess what… I did leave, and now I live here. In most cases, these people get pissed because they’re unintelligent birds who’ve flocked together according to a similar feather in towns that accept their bigotry and small mindedness. If you point at them an open-eyed finger of truth, it calls into question their acrimonious paradigms and their feathers start to ruffle. They plug their ears with their fingers and start shouting (by calling a cunt a writer they’ve never met) just to drown out something they don’t want to hear.

Isn’t it odd that people get so fiercely protective of the dirt upon which they grew up? If we were to take an objective look at the two towns in New Mexico (Farmington and Bloomfield) that are closest to Durango, we’d find that there’s nothing about which to be proud. These cities are really nothing more than dirty shanty towns that are plagued with crime and low income and failing schools. Sure, one could say that this is just an opinion, but if an opinion is held by the majority, it takes on a hallowed glow; it becomes something else, something greater than an opinion. Nobody in their right mind would argue that the shittiest part of Nebraska is better than the best part of Hawaii. The statement that “Hawaii is better than Nebraska” could be called subjective, but we all know that it’s not. It has breached the barrier between fact and opinion and most of us would agree that the former is a more apt categorization. The assertion that “Durango is better than Farmington and Bloomfield” is the same. If you’re south of the border, and you’re reading this, please think long and hard about what I’m saying. If you’re in Bloomfield, go stand on Main Street. Go look at those three gas stations and that dilapidated grocery store. Smell the diesel fumes and listen to the trucks that bypass your town on their way to deliver goods to greener pastures. And then come up here. Stand on our Main Street. Look at our historic buildings and our culture. Smell our cooking smells and the river and the pine in the air. Listen to our laughter and our music and then tell me that I’m not right. Tell me that your town doesn’t suck ass compared to our utopia. For fuck’s sake, let go of your misplaced territorial allegiance and open your eyes.

That’s exactly what I’ve done. I once fought tooth and nail to protect verbally my homeland of Wasilla, Alaska. But if I sit back and let go of those atavistic urges to stake a claim mentally on the place in which I was reared, I can see things in a more vitreous light. Wasilla sucked. Sure, it was surrounded by pretty mountains, but the town itself was just a bunch of pole-barns infested with rednecks. So I moved on. I gave up my “native” title; now, I’m a “local” at best and a “tourist” and worst. And life is better. I can take my daughters out to the river and let them frolic in its green waters. I can stand on the train tracks above and watch them loving life. Afterward, I can take them into a clean town full of educated peers for a bite to eat. All the while, I can know in honesty that I live in a great town. It’s a town I’ve selected thanks to research and experience. I chose to live here instead of the place from which I came, and frankly, that makes me more than a native, and it keeps me out of reach from the little people who try to impugn me with their impotent insults.

Animas River

Dirty Clowns Too

Once again, I made the mistake of letting meth heads watch my children. A lot of people call it “letting your kids go to the carnival,” but I disagree with them semantically. They’re polishing a turd at best while I’m keeping it real with an accurate description of what’s actually going on.

 ***

My eldest daughter is pretty. It’s the super kind of pretty that’s acknowledged by everybody, not just her father. But she’s only thirteen. She and her friends are starting to look like women even though they’re anything but. My daughter, along with one of her precocious compatriots, went to that carnival that crops up seasonally over by the Durango rec center. I let them go alone. They paid for tickets. They boarded one of those rides that operates on the principal that going around in circles never gets old. They got off and then got back in line to get back on again. But this time, the tattooed and toothless carnie who operated the ride said that they didn’t need any tickets to ride his ride. They got on for free, but now, they were the only ones riding. The ride ran its circuit, around and around, and as it slowed, the carnie told them that they could ride for free all day, and that he wasn’t letting them off of his ride. He said they were too pretty; too pretty to get off, too pretty to pay. They got off eventually and left immediately. The creepiness bit at their heals doggedly as they speed-walked away to call me. They told me their story. My brain caught on fire and ninja stars shot out of my eyes.

So I did what any father would do. I called the carnival and told them that I’d be a paying customer the next day and that I’d be bringing my whole family. I told them that I was going to have my eldest super pretty daughter show me the forty-something year old carnie who thought it appropriate to hit on a couple of thirteen year old children. And then I told them that I was going to murder the carnie by ripping off his head and sticking it on a stale churro that I’d hold above my head as a warning to the other carnies… you know, like they did with pikes back in the good ol’ days. They understood. They fired that carnie and gave him a ride back to Phoenix before I showed up the next day with murder behind my ninja star throwing eyes. The day was uneventful.

Anyway, that was a while back, sometime in the spring. I left Durango three days ago and right now, I’m sitting in a Las Vegas hotel room with my youngest daughter. She’s seven and promises to be just as pretty as my eldest. The Cartoon Network is washing over her catatonic mind as I type this. Sure, she’s drooling and my parenting should be called into questioning if I prolong this situation, but the TV was kind enough to babysit so I could type. And I promised her a trip to the cupcake ATM if she lets me write for a while (seriously… they have a twenty-four hour cupcake ATM here) so it’s all kosher.

Las Vegas is just an enormous and slightly less ephemeral carnival than that seasonal one we have back home in Durango. Each version has two sides; the rubes and the carnies. Rubes are all the same. Sure, some of us can afford to buy more peanuts than others, but a rube is a rube and the carnies feed off of us all. And the carnies are all the same as well. Sure, the naked freaks who do triple back flips in Zumanity are higher paid and more talented than the guy who dresses up like Spiderman and busks for our bucks on the boulevard, but a carnie is a carnie and they couldn’t survive without a rube’s charity. It’s just that the clowns here in Vegas are slightly cleaner than their counterparts back home. Most of their teeth are present. Most of their tattoos are hidden. You have to look a bit closer to see their inner carnie. This is the big league for people who feed off of other people.

High Roller

I usually tie into the pieces I write a maxim, but right now, I just want to share a few observations I made regarding three specimens (people) I observed while walking through this town. The first looked like Will.I.Am on steroids. His muscles had muscles. He was wearing a beaver hat like Davy Crockett and retro swimming shorts like me in the 80s. He was confident, from his aviators to his tank top, and I envied him. The second was someone who’d we all refer to lovingly as a hood rat. She was fit and wearing a leopard print dress that was tighter than saran wrap. Her hair was oiled and so was her sneer. Two dudes walked by as I watched. She tried to flip her hair with her press-on nails much the same way an angler fish flips its lure. But her nails caught on one of her “gold” loop earrings. It fell out of her ear and bounced down her boobs like a miniature hula-hoop. I’m still laughing inside.

But the third was a woman who looked to have seen more than the rest of us combined. She was standing behind a blackjack table just after noon. Her hair was blonde and her skin was painted and old. It was hard to guess her exact age. It was kind of like looking at a tree; you know they’re old once they reach a certain height, but it’s impossible to divine an exact number without cutting it down and counting the rings. That’d be rude (for a tree or for a woman), so we’ll say that she was sixty-five. I spend most of my life making assumptions, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, so I’m pretty confident when I say that I can tell you that woman’s life story without vetting any of my assumptions.

She looked comfortable on the strip, kind of the way I imagine myself looking amongst the spruce back home in Alaska, so I’m guessing that she’s a lifelong resident of Vegas. Her boobs were fake and comically large, and she clung to the last vestiges of her youth much the same way her customers clung to their hope. She probably started off small, as a cocktail waitress, saved up for the breasts, and then made it into a show of some sort. But then age knocked her down to the blackjack table. And somewhere along the way, she saved up some stories. I’ll never know them, but I know she has them. Her wizened eyes made contact with mine briefly and I glimpsed the depth of her experience before walking away. It was like listening to time pass through the gnarled branches of an antique oak. I shuddered. Maybe she was the secret queen of the carnies because she had a look that let a passerby know that she’d never be fooled again, but that she could make a fool out of just about any passerby.

What type of life would that be? How crazy would it be to go through your one existence as a career carnie? I shrink back from the thought. I’m happy to be a rube, even though it’s a negative term given to us by the carnies (dipping into our pockets wasn’t enough; they had to be derogative as well). For the sake of this article, I’ll admit that I’m a Britney fan. In one of her songs, she says that “there’s two type of people in this world: those that perform, and those that observe” (it’s apropos that this quote comes off of her Circus album). The latter type of person is supposed to be the inferior, and I disagree vehemently (even though right now, by writing for you, I’m performing). By sitting back and watching the carnies, we only dip briefly into the pool that’s stained their souls. We can shell out our dollars, feel like a sucker for a short while just to feel something new, and then go back to our lives. The carnie has to go home knowing that tomorrow, they’ll be wading through that pool once more. Their sense of superiority is manufactured, just like everything else here in Vegas, and even at best, age will bring them back full circle to the bottom rung. Even Britney, who performs a lip-synced version of her younger years here in Vegas nightly, will eventually fade thanks to the new stars that’re being pumped out by Disney. Her end is known, just like the blackjack woman’s. But I don’t know where I’m going (and I mean that figuratively; in a while, I’ll be going back to the cupcake ATM) and neither do you. As rubes, we roll the dice as opposed to handing them out, and I think that pretty awesome.

Cupcake ATM

***

Anyway, in case you were wondering why this article was entitled “Dirty Clowns Too,” you can read the first installment here: Dirty Clowns

Last One In

I have to shake off the New Mexico whenever I drive across the border into Colorado; it’s like a dust that clings to my being. And it stinks. If you walk too closely to a Colorado resident before shaking it off completely, they smell the New Mexico on you and avoid eye contact. I don’t blame them. The difference between here and there is staggering, and that’s why I’m here instead of there. But it hasn’t always been that way. I grew up in Alaska, surrounded by bears and stereotypes, and I loved my home stubbornly. But I married a woman who hated Alaska, despite the fact that she was born and raised there, because she wasn’t too stubborn to see the cons associated with constant darkness and the abysmal coldness that’d freeze your flesh into blackened death if you didn’t pay attention. So we moved to New Mexico. It was a step up from home, but after five years, we realized that a single step wasn’t good enough when it’s possible to continue stepping into greener pastures. So we moved here to Durango. It’s expensive as hell to live here, but it’s well worth it.

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve officially become a Durangan. I have a Colorado driver’s license. I have a Colorado T shirt that’s been through the wash enough times to give it that “I didn’t buy this shirt yesterday just to fit in” look. We lived out of town for a bit, feeling like liminal locals who had to drive thirty minutes just to buy groceries, but we just moved into town and we flaunt the fact like a winning lottery ticket. Now, when I walk through the grocery store at night carrying some chocolate chips and kitchen trash bags, the other locals smile at me like a coconspirator. I fit in. I belong here. I’m a positively charged magnet that repels New Mexico dust even when I have to go there for work because this town is now a part of my soul. And lately, when I smell out of town dust on strangers, I catch myself avoiding eye contact.

Wouldn’t you say that this avoidance makes me an ass at best and a hypocrite at worst? I’ve only lived here for three years, and I have to round up just to get to the number “three.” I work in New Mexico and I have Alaskan tattoos. I’m a renting tenant here in Durango, but I own a rental property south of the border and some oceanfront land back in Alaska. I can’t even lie to myself convincingly and say that I’m one hundred percent local (but that doesn’t stop me from trying). So why, when I see tourists in this tourist town, do I think to myself “go back to the hell hole from which you came you damn heathen!” Well, it’s that “last one in” mentality, and frankly, it comes with the territory. It too is just a part of being Durangan.

People felt the same way back in Alaska. They’d move there, live as a local for a couple years, and then start despising all the new people moving in. It’s as if they felt like they made it in before the cut-off, and everybody that came after was ignoring some sort of mystical deadline. This “last one in” paradigm rules the roost here in Durango. Hell, the battle is even being waged via bumper sticker. A while back, I started noticing stickers that said “Native” in white letters superimposed over a green mountainous backdrop similar to our Colorado license plates. Like the rhino virus, these stickers started spreading across all of the bumpers on the ubiquitous Subaru Foresters that plague this town like earthy locusts. Not long after, we immigrants fired back. Our sticker used the same background, and it said “not a native, but I got here as soon as I could.” This obviously pissed off the “natives.” Their next sticker used the same background, but now, it read “NO VACANCY.” I saw this sticker on a Subaru yesterday. It was driven by a white woman which made me laugh; I’m sure there’s a few Southern Utes around here (you know, actual bona fide “natives”) who would take some serious offence to the ignorant message this woman decided to stick onto the back of her Japanese car, but whatever. There’s no cure for idiocy. And it’s not like I’m completely innocent. When I first saw her sticker, my initial thought was “damn skippy! This is our town!” My brain ignored the fact that I was driving a work truck with a New Mexico license plate emblazoned by the Zia sun. But to my credit, this initial thought was fleeting. I realized that I didn’t have any territorial claim to this town, and that I don’t have any more of a right to call this place home than any other member of our species. As a result, I’ve decided that the next volley in our bumper sticker war needs to be a sticker that reads “Welcome to Durango. If you can afford it, come on in.”

Durango

Durangan Manna

I was in one of those slightly paranoid moods that are so common in Colorado as of late. I walked into Animas Brewing, gave the hostess my first name, and stood in the entryway as the wife went to the lady’s room. I looked around the room. It was packed. There’s a certain something special that emanates from the locals around here, and everyone present was emanating this certain something like crazy. Most had pale mountain town skin. They were fit. They smiled and reveled in their functional clothing. It looked as if everybody was prepared for an impromptu camping trip. My eyes traveled the distance of the bar. I inhaled the smells of roasting meet and pungent beer. I looked out the windows. I couldn’t see the river, but I knew it looked like flowing cold cocoa, and it sounded like wet white noise. The trees on the bank and the lawn around the bar were lush and verdant. Post cards pale in comparison. I brought my attention back inside, and that’s when I noticed the sign.

I’m a bit hesitant to let others know how awesome Animas Brewing is because it’s always so damn busy and I’d hate to wait any longer thanks to the publicity, but I’ll risk it; I’ll sacrifice my avarice for the sake of Animas Brewing. The place is just fucking rad, plain and simple. They have a sign (it’s really more of a chalkboard) on the wall that says “buy a friend a beer.” You can pay in advance for a beer, put your name and someone else’s on the board in the “for/from” section, and then when they come in, they get surprised with a free beer (so long as they show up within two weeks). How cool is that? Anyway, when I looked at the sign, sure as shit, I noticed my name in the “for” section. I got a bit nervous… you know, because of my mood. I looked around slyly with suspicious eyes to make sure I wasn’t being fucked with. It’s a very real possibility. Nobody was looking at me, so I looked back at the sign. Somebody named Buck had purchased the beer, and they did so the day before. I have a good friend named Buck, but he lives in Aztec which is about an hour south. My brain started crunching the odds. What are the chances that somebody named Buck would buy a beer for someone else named Jesse Anderson? My mental computations told me that it was one in seventeen thousand three hundred and fourteen. I’m not sure where that number came from, but it sounded trustworthy.

Chances were, that beer was for me, and chances were, it was from my friend Buck. So I sent him a text. “Hey, did you buy me a beer at Animas Brewing?” He responded. “IPA. Enjoy my friend. Namaste mother fucker. Collective conscious.” You see, he threw that last part in there because it was mind blowing to think that a friend of mine, who lives an hour away, would stop by a restaurant randomly and buy me a beer the day before I too showed up randomly at the same restaurant. That chalkboard obviously had some sort of mystical power. I don’t usually drink, but after I sat down, I ordered my IPA and drank it down like a champ. And now, there was an empty slot on the chalk board. I held in my hand immense power. Should I test the sign’s power and buy a beer for Arnold Schwarzenegger to see if it’d make him show up magically the next day? Should I take the humorous route and buy a beer for “all my dead homies” from “Caitlyn Jenner?” I should’ve shat or gotten off the pot because while I pondered the possibilities, someone else stole my slot on the board and bought a beer for a friend. Oh well.

Since that night, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to repay my friend Jon Buck. It came to me tonight. In return for the IPA which fell into my gullet like manna from above, I shall grant him immortality. I’ll write about his gesture of awesomeness and I’ll post it to my blog. I’ll include this blog in my third book and his name shall be heralded through the ages as the name of a great man who once did a great thing (or a few hundred people will read this and then think “meh”). After all, it’s the least I could do for a friend. Thanks Jon.

Animas Brewing