The blog that prevents scurvy…as long as you eat orange slices while you read it.

Archive for the tag “Texas”

Walmart: Half Eaten Cakes and Jackbooted Thugs

Walmart: home of the jackbooted thug.

I recently happened upon a news story about a woman being banned from a Walmart in Wichita Falls, Texas, because she ate half a cake and refused to pay for the uneaten part.

How dare those totalitarian jackbooted thugs at Walmart.

Who hasn’t felt a little peckish and decided to pop into a Walmart to eat half a cake?

I myself once stopped into a Walmart, wolfed down half a bag of frozen chimichangas, and then stopped by a Lowes to take a crap in one of their display toilets.

Now, I will gladly pay for the chimichangas, but I’m not forking over a single red cent for that toilet; if a toilet doesn’t flush, there should be signage clearly stating so.

Nor will I heed the counsel from my good-for-nothing, parasitic, money-sucking, lawyer who thinks I should pay for the toilet.

Note: I know what you’re thinking: the phrase good-for-nothing, parasitic, money-sucking, lawyer is rife with redundancy. It is indeed.

I’m not allowed in Lowes anymore, but that’s mostly because it’s outside the range of my ankle tether (unrelated issue.)

Listen Walmart, people are going to come into your store hungry. If you leave cake right out in the open, it’s going to be eaten. If a person came into your establishment naked, would you not expect them to take garments from the rack and clothe themselves? I would think you would want them to do so. I would think you would encourage it.

So lay off on all the jackbootedness, people of Walmart.

Whether it’s cake, half a bag of frozen chimichangas, or a two liter bottle of root beer, (it takes an entire two liter bottle of root beer to wash down half a bag of frozen chimichangas) just learn to let things go.

Final Note: why did I eat half a bag of chimichangas still frozen? Because the microwaves are all the way on the other side of the store and they’re not even plugged in. You’ve got a lot of issues to deal with, Walmart.

Sure, she’s all smiles now, but take a crap in one toilet and she gets all crazy with accusation.

Frisked and Manhandled in Amarillo Texas


I'm afraid you must be searched. We believe you may have explosives in your anus.


The curbside of an empty street in Amarillo, Texas.


Sometime shortly after midnight on a bitterly cold January morning many years ago.


Alan: Primary driver of the car, completely lacking in the nuances of Texas traffic laws, and alarmingly stupid.

Lance: Front seat passenger, map reader and navigator, purveyor of navigational pearls of wisdom such as:

  • “That’s the exit we want…way back there.”
  • “Last chance gas? I can find cheaper gas somewhere in the vast empty desert in between Las Vegas and Arizona.”
  • “Don’t worry, we can drive for miles on empty; long before we run out of gas and are cannibalized by a family of desert dwelling inbreds.”

Matt: Backseat passenger, frustrated driver with serious blood pressure issues (issues exacerbated by questionable passenger-side navigation).

Me: Backseat passenger, provider of sarcasm, semi-blind (evidently thirty miles is “way too far to go back” to retrieve a pair of glasses from a motel room in Flagstaff Arizona).

Four big imposing Texas cops: Big, imposing, lacking couth, rough hands, no perceivable sense of humor.

The Events:

We were on a two week road trip from New York State to Las Vegas and back. We were passing through Amarillo in the early morning in search of somewhere to eat. Alan made a left turn out of the wrong lane and we were swiftly pulled over by the Amarillo police.

We sat there on the side of for several minutes as the police made no movements. Suddenly another squad car came flying in from the other direction with its lights flashing. It came to a screeching halt and within moments there were four police officers surrounding our car, with their hands on their guns. “Get your hands where we can see them,” one of them screamed.

“Holy crap. What the hell did you do?” one of us said to Alan.

They removed Alan from the car and began to frisk him. They swiftly found the case of darts in his jacket pocket and presumed them to be some form of ninja weapon. Evidently people in Texas don’t play a lot of darts, because I could hear Alan trying to explain the concept to the officers, “you throw them at a board,” I heard him say repeatedly.

They moved Alan to the first squad car and removed Lance for his frisking. As the officer manhandled Lance, Matt and I sat in the car and discussed how seriously they take their traffic laws in Texas, and whether or not speeding might result in the death penalty.  As we talked we evidently lowered our hands because one of the officers screamed at us to get our hands back up.

“But with our hands up, we can’t reach our weapons,” I said. (No I didn’t–I’m not that stupid.)

Then it was Matt’s turn and I was sitting alone the car with my hands in the air. I had never been frisked before, it was going to be my first time, I was a little excited–it was weird.

Then it was my turn. Alan was still in the squad car. Lance and Matt were standing on the side of the street shivering and laughing as they watched me being frisked. They offered the police officer some friendly advice as he manhandled me:

  • He’s resisting; rough him up.
  • Use your nightstick on him.
  • What good is a taser if you don’t use it?
  • Do a cavity search; it’s the only way to be sure.

Each bit of advice punctuated with cackles of laughter.

“Do you have any guns?”


“Do you have any knives?”


“Weapons of any kind?”


“Are you carrying any drugs?”


“Do you have any explosives?”

“Why would I have explosives?”

“Do you have any explosives or not!”

“No explosives.”

“Do you have any contraband?”

“I’m not really certain what contraband is.”

“It is what I say it is,” he bellowed.

“That doesn’t make it more clear… I’m going with no.”

“Where do you live?”

“New York State.”

“Do you live in the city?”

“Do you mean New York City?”

“What do you think? What other city is there in New York?”

“Well, there’s Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, White Plains…” I didn’t even to get to Yonkers or Albany before he rudely interrupted me.

“Are you trying to be a smart mouth?”

“I’m not really trying.” It was really no effort at all.

“Where are you from exactly?”

“I’m from a small town called Westfield.”

“What? What’s the nearest city?”

“The nearest city is Erie, Pennsylvania.”

“I thought you just said you from New York.” His voice was a combination of anger and confusion.

“I am. Westfield’s in New York, but the nearest city is Erie Pennsylvania.”

“Is that near New York City?”

“Compared to Amarillo, Texas: yes. Compared to any other place in New York State: no.”

After a thorough groping, he sent me to side of the street to stand with Lance and Matt as the other officers searched the car. We stood there shivering, cracking jokes, laughing and offering tips on where we’d search if we were them. They ignored us.

It seems they saw our New York license plates and presumed that we were drug runners, transporting a shipment a drugs from Mexico to New York City.

Once they realized we were just a bunch of kids from a small town in Western New York, they became cordial and even friendly. They gave us some instructions on where to find something to eat, and sent us on our way.

As we pulled away, Alan made a turn out of the wrong lane, but this time they let it go, after all, you can only take so much manhandling in one night.

Note: unbeknownst to the officers, Alan always keeps ten to fourteen sticks of a dynamite hidden in his anus. We don’t know why, he just does.

Learn service through knowledge at the Amarillo Police Academy (groping optional).

Learn service through knowledge at the Amarillo Police Academy (groping optional).

Strangers in a Strange Land: The Amarillo Trilogy Part 1

I’m reposting this in honor of Super Bowl weekend:

Frank Reich

Thanks for nothing, Frank.

This the tale of how four young men from western New York came to watch the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history–the Buffalo Bills overcoming of a 32 point deficit against the Houston Oilers–in less than hospitable surrounding; a seedy bar in Texas.

It was noon Texas time, and we were scrambling to find a place to watch the game. We finally stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall on the outskirts of Amarillo.

We walked into a shadowy bar that if I’m not mistaken, was the setting for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The atmosphere was dark and murky and we could feel the eyes of the other patrons on us, heavy with suspicion and contempt. The occupants of one table in the back were a particularly grizzled bunch that were reminiscent of the bar scene from Dusk Til Dawn.

Yeah...that looks right.

Yeah…that looks right.

We made our way to the front and took a seat at the bar, where the bartender was describing to the bar’s manager, events from the night before: a handful of fights, a couple of stabbings, limited gun-play.  She would go on to describe it as a typical Saturday night.

Note: I’m not making that up.

As the bartender checked our driver licenses, she eyed us warily.

“Westfield, New York…is that anywhere near Buffalo?”

We told her that it was in fact about sixty miles from Buffalo.

“You’re not Bills fans are you?” She asked with just a touch of petulance in her voice.

We informed her that two of us, Lance and Al, were in fact Bills fans. I told her that I was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and one of us, Matt, was actually a Houston Oilers fan (we assumed if things got ugly, Matt would be stabbed last).

“Well, you boys will be okay…as long as the Bills lose,” she said jokingly…but not really.

Note: After hearing that I was a Steelers fan, the manager explained to me in great detail why Texans hate the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans. The visual aids he used were disturbing.

The game began and the Oilers dominated for the entire first half, taking a 28 to 3 lead into halftime.

With every touchdown the Oilers scored, the mood lightened, the other patrons around us became friendlier and the guys from the back table even seemed magnanimous.

They began to ask us friendly questions:

Does it snow a lot where you live?

It snows tons.

Have you been to Niagara Falls?

Many times.

Are Canadians as polite as people say?


Can you get good chicken wings around there?

Larry’s Cantina in Westfield, New York has the best wings anywhere.

Why don’t you talk like your from New York?

What do you mean?

If you’re from New York, why don’t say things like, “yo” or “yous guys”?

First, we’re not from Yonkers. Second, you’re thinking of Rocky Balboa, a fictional character from Philadelphia.

We were all having a good time, the fear of imminent bodily harm had subsided.

The second half began with Houston scoring another touchdown, increasing their lead to 35 to 3, and things were downright jovial.

Then something odd happened: as Houston kicker, Al Del Greco, was kicking off, the wind shifted the ball in the tee, resulting in a squib kick that went only a few feet, and everything began to change.

Frank Reich began to throw touchdown passes, Warren Moon began to throw interceptions, and the mood in the bar began to shift.

With every play Lance and Al whooped and hollered and slapped high fives, much to the disgust the others around us. At one point Buffalo receiver, Don Beebe, scored a touchdown on a play which he had clearly stepped out of bounds. The anger in the room was growing palpable. The fear of imminent bodily harm had returned with a vengeance.

As Buffalo kicker, Steve Christie, lined up to kick the game winning field goal, Lance and Al were in a state oblivious delirium, I was fearing for life, and Matt was about to experience the phrase “adding insult to injury” in a very literal way, as he was about to watch his team blow the biggest lead in NFL history, and possibly be stabbed in the side of the head.

Matt and I had the following conversation:

Me: Matt, when we came in did those guys at the back table have eye-patches and huge scars on their faces?

Matt: I don’t think so.

Me: I certainly don’t remember that big guy on the right fondling a blood stained machete.

Matt: And wearing a T-shirt that reads: Remember The Alamo: A Great Day Of Victory.

Me: We should get out of here.

Matt: Right away.

I could hear Ennio Morricone music rising in the background. You know, that music from Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns, the music that would play just before Jack Elam would be brutally killed (and jukebox wasn’t even plugged in).

"Oh crap, there's that music."

“Oh crap, there’s that music.”

Steve Christie’s kick sailed through the uprights giving the Bills the greatest comeback in NFL history, and we sailed out the door before weaponry could be wielded.

The Buffalo Bills had survived that day, but more importantly, so had we.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: