Happy Trails Or How to Paint a Town Gay Without Involving Law Enforcement
By Scott King
Gather ’round, children. Grandpa has a tale to tell. One of the Bush Bros was President. Brokeback Mountain was getting all the Oscar buzz. We were bored. My best friend and I had made friends with this amazing couple that we met through a Very LAMBDA Christmas. It was totally Fab Four gurrrrl.
One of us was from Mississippi. He was like y’all should come down and stay at my memaw’s cabin. We can go fishin’ and drink beer and seduce some rednecks. I was like that sounds like the most fun thing that I will ever do. Four alpha bitches in one room planning? We made it happen. We got to town. It was a tiny little border town called Natchez, which we quickly renamed Snatchez. It was a Friday afternoon. Saint Patrick’s Day, of course. We were blasting a track called “Rape Me” by a band called The Nirvanas. All four of us were rocking out, being happy and gay. At the first traffic light off the highway, we looked to our left. There was a car full of LADIES. They were excited and a bit starstruck to see four very tall gay people. They couldn’t make eye contact. We understood.
The local member of our group, Tony (fab 4), decided we should commence the evening by drinking margaritas with his parents. On a high Irish holiday. Tony’s dad told me I reminded him of Peyton Manning. I told him to go long. Real long. We next went to an Irish pub on the waterfront. Turns out we were actually in a generic straight bar with an Irish sounding name. We asked how much for a car bomb. The bartenders would have had to have known what that was to have been offended. We told them how to make it. They lined them up and charged us $2 a pop. We ended up ordering four rounds. Everyone in the bar watched us get really drunk, really quickly. It was fun. Ten minutes later, all four of us took turns puking behind the dumpsters out back. There is a picture of me (fab 1) and Andy (fab 3) holding Jamie (fab 2) up as he tries to regain his balance after catharting. I have this picture framed.
The next day, we took it easy. We went to Walmart. We got lots of barbecue and beer. We went fishing. I caught a fish and held it in my hands. Let It go and felt the life come back into its gills or veins or whatever as it flopped away. It was very spiritual. That night we ate said barbecue and drank said beer and listened to a country radio program called Solid Gold Saturday Night. Tony had a cisgendered heterosexual female friend. She was a local. She kept saying, “Y’all are blowin mah MIND!” It was the best night of my life. Until the next night. That night was slightly better.
We had a nice dinner and were driving around town checking out all the Antebellum architecture. We were going to get up early in the morning and head back because some of us had to work hello gurl. All of a sudden, Tony pulled off the road. “I’ve always wondered about this one bar,” he said. We parked. We walked up the wooden steps and entered through the screen door on the porch. Inside the parlor, there was an oil painting of Marilyn Monroe and a lithograph of James Dean. I turned to Jamie and said, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” The place was populated by three guys, one girl, and a very cute bartender. I’m guessing it was the only gay bar within a hundred miles. The girl asked us, with classic barfly panache, “Are y’all in a band?”
“Yes,” we replied. “We are. We’re the fucking Beatles.” We took the bar home with us. Almost all of them. One guy drove off in his car after Jamie gave him a hand job in what turned out to be the parking lot of the Baptist church next door. One day soon Jamie is going straight to hell. I ended up spooning all night with the bartender. His name was Bubba. He was a veteran of both the gay and non-gay rodeos. We quickly dubbed him Brokeback Bubba.
The next morning, Bubba hugged me goodbye and said, “Thank you for visiting our town.” We hit the road, and Tony pointed out that in Louisiana, there was no open container law. We crossed the border, went to a drive-through liquor store, and enjoyed our 32 oz. bloody marys all the way home.
That, my friends, it’s how you break all of the rules but none of the laws of this great, great country of ours. USA is number 1. Bon voyage!
Scott King is an Atlanta-based writer, consultant, and political activist. He enjoys tennis, hiking, rock concerts, and having drinks with friends. He is currently working on a novel about a hooker with a heart of Bitcoin.