I reached West ½ an hour before Jackie was due to get off of work, so I decided to cruise around on my own and check things out. One of the first things to catch my eye was the Family Dollar sign and a light bulb went off over my pointy little head saying: “Hey, didn’t Jackie say that she worked at the dollar store?” So I parked, walked in and the first thing I see is Jackie at the register holding court with 4 or 5 people surrounding her. So there I stood in the middle of the store waiting for her to notice me.
Notice me she did but didn’t know who I was, thinking that I was there to see Inky. She pointed me out to Inky and he was “Who’s that?” when Jackie finally figured out “That’s Junebugg” and ran around the counter to hug me. I hung around Family Dollar until time for her to clock out and then we met Babs for get-to-know-each lunch where I had my first skunk egg (a wonderful tennis ball sized wad of ham, chicken, bacon, cheese and who knows what else that's been breaded and deep fried). Then it was on to Jackie’s house where I met and was approved by Queen Annie, one of the most regal felines on the planet.
Let me tell you people, Jackie fed me like a queen while I was in Texas. Country fried steak with all the fixings, ring bologna & cheese, the woman cooked up a storm; when she wasn’t cooking we were going out for kolaches (wonderful things, kolaches, I do they’re addicting). She made me feel pampered and spoiled and I dreaded going home where I’m the one doing all the work. It’s a good thing that I don’t live in West or I’d weigh 300 pounds!
The next few days were spend getting to know each other with Jackie taking me on a grand tour of West, pointing out all the highlights and giving me a running commentary on every building’s history and introducing me around to the local citizens. I believe the woman knows everyone within a 50 mile radius! The town’s not that big and traffic is almost nonexistent, at least until Friday. When the crowd showed up for Westfest Jackie would sit at a stop sign waiting to pull out going “Fucking Tourists, fucking tourists, damn it go home!”
We both got to march in the Westfest parade but I kept losing Jackie. She was handing out the candy instead of throwing it and stopping to talk to everyone (I told you she knew everyone!) Babs had put me in charge of making sure that Jackie didn’t overdo because of her high blood pressure but when I tried to fuss she told me “The hazard pay ain’t high enough and I don’t need a MAMA." so I gave up and let her be. We had made “Obama Mama” t-shirts the night before when she had made signs for the democratic float, but the markers weren’t waterproof. So I look over at Jackie about half way through the parade and she’s got black streaks on both arms from sweating and rubbing her arms across her boobs (big boobs are a bitch sometimes). We both about melted in the Texas sun and afterwards went to get some water but all the stores had already sold out.
Gady (another one of Jackie's blog buddies) drove down to go to stay with Jackie and go to Westfest with us. Lucky feller, staying all night with two women and all. So off we go and he keeps losing one of us in the crowd. First I wondered off and then we lost Jackie. I almost chocked when he panicked and told me that he was an “Alpha Male” and it was his job to take care of the women. I can’t remember the last time that I needed taken care of and I don’t think that Jackie was ever helpless, but men can’t help being men what with all those male hormones messing with their brains. Besides, it was kinda sweet.
I learned to do the Chicken dance, drank 3 Pevos (beer) and had a great time. Who knew that polka was such a big draw? The place was packed and everyone seemed to be having a blast, I even ran up on a guy from Alabama! I watched in amusement as an older gentlemen went around kissing all the young girls on the hand as he leered down their cleavage and there was a young man dressed in costume leaning on a tent pole holding a sign that said “Will dance for pevo” who Jackie tried to give some money to.
After Westfest we dropped in at a bar that Jackie knew. Gady was a little hesitant about going in because the lot was almost empty and dark and the building was “rustic”; but we females started in without him and you know that an “alpha male” wasn’t about to let the females go alone. Of course Jackie knew everyone inside and we all shot several games of pool. Jackie kicked my ass and then she played Gady. He won but I’m almost positive that she was sandbagging so as not to hurt his delicate male pride.
Home again; me on the couch, Jackie in the recliner and Gady in Jackie’s bed. Wonder how long it’s been since there’s been a man in Jackie’s bed??????? He leaves out first thing the next morning and we girls laze around and gossip about the night before (ain’t that what women usually do after a night out?)
I leave West in the leftovers of Hurricane Gustav. The weather doesn’t get bad until I’m leaving Dallas (thank Goddess, I hate driving in Dallas) and I had serious doubts about making it home that day. But all the rooms are taken up by refugees from Louisiana and the radio keeps promising that by the time I reach Memphis the rain will quit so I drive on. Visibility is nil, 18 wheelers are throwing up sheets of water and the interstate is flooded so I’ve got a death grip on the steering wheel driving while peering through the monsoon. I call Jackie at a rest stop to let her know that I’m OK so far and I can tell that she’s worried but I’m a stubborn cuss and keep on driving.
I made it home in 12 hours and 15 minutes, not too shabby for driving so far in a hurricane without any “alpha male” to hold my hand. I’d love to visit Jackie again, but I think that next time I just might fly.