I rode into town just minutes after a blazing sun had set. After riding on that lonesome ribbon of god-forsaken asphalt with shimmers of heat obscuring my vision of what lie further down, I finally rode into a small Mexican village. The heat was still rising from my heavily dusted cycle and felt unbearable on my already roasted nuts. As I rode slowly past shuttering buildings, I heard merry singing with violins and what seemed a whole Mexican collection of mariachi players. I was already parched and needed some of the best cold beer that I could find with tequila chasers to take the sting of the day out of my system.
With the poetry of an old western movie, I strolled into the bar after parking my bike all by its lonesome just outside the bar. It was a bit of a dive, certainly fitting for what occupied the room. The place was darkened but, as my eyes adjusted, was filled with people at tables, drinking and rowdy, largely entertained by the band and a scrawny, strange guy with the damndest haircut I’ve seen, then and since. He wore a wide sombrero and was dressed in traditional mariachi garb. But something was different…and wrong, even though the music was entrancing. He was singing a pretty good song called “Day of the Dead” amidst whistling, boisterous cheering, and yelps. There was a bevy of what looked like skeletons dancing, both on the stage and around the bar as my eyes became more aware of the surroundings. It must be near or on the day that they celebrate that Day of the Dead what with the skeleton costumes and all.
I strolled to the bar, ordered a beer, and threw my money on the counter, enough to indicate to the barkeep that I’d not be leaving too soon, to just keep the beers coming. As I turned to face the stage, I had, by now, realized that the music was damn good. And funny, like a song like I heard some years back on a jukebox called “When You’re Evil,” a great song about the wiles of evil, gettin’ blamed for everything. Then this guy sings “Bomb New Jersey” and I get the feeling, with the similarities, that this guy and that one might be the same one.
Hmmm. He announces that this next song is one from his new album, Ooky Spooky. I make a mental note.
Hey now…there you go. A good old-fashioned country song. He starts this song called “Cantina,” and sunuvabitch, but it’s a song about…nah, Star Wars and a gay club with sex and all that. Haha…this guy’s good, can sing an enjoyable song, and make it funny. Come to think of it, all of his songs have an odd bent of hilarity tucked in them.
He brought out a cute chick who sang a song with him, “Stuck on You,” I believe it was called. I’m enjoying this guy. I turned to ask the bartender the name of the guy; he croaked out, “Voltaire.” I’ll have to remember that name. I signaled for a refill and when I swept my arm to pick up the beer mug, I hit the arm of the barkeep, a bit too hard obviously as it broke at the wrist. It lay there on the bar. I picked it up while the singer sang about a “Zombie Prostitute.” It was then I noticed that I was in a bar not unlike that one in the movie, From Dusk to Dawn, with all those vampires. The place looks innocent at first but then you realize the place is filled with people on the other side of normal. Just like this place. And when that prostitute laid her hand on my leg, well, she wasn’t alive, that’s for sure. I ran out of there as that group was singing along with “Hell in a Handbasket.”
As I revved my cycle, pushing her hard to that same stretch of highway, I had but one thought in my mind, “I’m gonna have to look up that Ooky Spooky album.”