Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Have a drink on you

It was two in the afternoon and the men without shirts were completely ripping drunk. "Hi guys, how's business?" I asked.

"Well, things are good, things are picking up a little." Said the older one with the potbelly and the deep tan and graying chest hairs. He was the only one doing any work, measuring out popcorn kernels. The other fellow was kicking back in his lawn chair drinking. They had set up a roadside stand selling popcorn to the tourists, A couple plastic bags of popcorn were on their card table under a sun awning and they had a kettle in the back sitting on a propane burner.

"Well hey, I'm looking for someone who can do me a favor for five minutes. I'm working at those storage units over there and I need some help with some heavy lifting."

The older one points to the younger one and says "He'll do it."

"Oh heck yea." Says the younger one. "I may not look like much but I'm strong. I can bench press 300 pounds." He is grinning and slurring and looks like picking up a heavy object appeals to him.

"I'll bet you can." Says I.

"So what is it that you need?"

"Well, I need help moving a big freezer out of my van."

"Oh yeah. Lemme get my shit kickers." He pulls himself to his feet and staggers a little towards their truck. "Hey man, you know where my shit kickers are?" His partner points out the boots lying on the ground and he does a little swaying dance pulling cowboy boots onto his bare feet. Somehow propping himself against his trunk, balancing a drink and pulling the boots on all at the same time. I figured he must be an experienced drunk to pull that off without falling over. "Awright. Now where we going?" I lead him back across the parking lot.

"So am I lookin' good or what? I mean, I know I ain't meant to be working around people right now with just my tattoos on but hey. This is great." He flashes a huge grin.

"You look great man, you look Montanan." The man looks like a sorry state of looser. He is wearing black cowboy boots, long black shorts, sunglasses, a bandana, and tattoos. His long stringy hair is held back into a pseudo pony tail with what looks like a binder clip. There is a nasty black gap where a tooth once was and I can't help but stare at it every time he smiles at me. The tattoo on his left shoulder is an eagle, the blue ink smudged and faded. It has been a long time since the lines were crisp and new. His other tattoos, right shoulder and chest, are just blue smudges. He has scars across his belly. I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt and decide they are from some sort of surgery.

"My 'ol lady, she gave me a release to come out here and do this. See I used to be in the Hells Angels but I quit that and now my 'ol lady, I gotta get a release from her to do anything. See, I'm a bitch magnet is what I am. I know I don't look like much, but as soon as I get out to the bar all these bitches, well they are all just 'hey how are you.' My 'ol lady, she don't let me go anywhere 'cause I am this bitch magnet. I gotta get a release to do anything."

"It's the heart." I say. "It doesn't matter what you look like, It's your confidence and your heart that they like. Girls can see that."

"My 'ol lady, she looks just like Catherine Zeta-Jones. That's why I stay with her. I mean, she ain't even all that great in the sack, but she looks just like Catherine Zeta-Jones. I mean that's worth it, right?" I silently paint a mental picture of Catherine Zeta-Jones on the arm of this scarred, dentaly impaired, drunk with the faded tattoos. I imagine what his Catherine Zeta-Jones Montana girl looks like without his two in the afternoon beer goggles and I just smile and agree with him.

"So what is it we are doing here?"

"I've got this chest freezer here in this van, and we need to move it over to there in that storage unit."

"Aww, awright. How heavy is it?"

"It's not so bad, It's just way to big for me to handle myself."

"Aww, okay. Here you push that sonnabich out here, yeah, that's it. Push it, lemme get a grip here, yeah, I got it."

"Careful, don't pull it all the way, let me get a grip, don't drop it."

"I ain't gonna drop it. I'm a Hells Angel. Now where you want it?"

"Right here, just put it down."

"Got it. Aww, sweet man. Nothing to it."

"Thank you sir, I appreciate the help." I fish a five dollar bill out of my pocket and pass it to him.

"What's this?"

"It's for helping me out."

"Aww, well that's, well… Awright." He smiles and holds the bill up like a trophy. "You know what I'm gonna do with this man? I'm gonna have a drink on you."

"That's great, that's what you should do. Thanks for the help."

"I'm gonna have a drink on you man."

"That's as it should be. Thanks. Have a great day."

"Yeah, as it should be. You have a good day too. I'm gonna have a drink on you." And he cheerfully sauntered back across the parking lot to his popcorn stand.