Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A bijou anecdote-ette

When I was in Alaska, in 1981, I met someone who had been a driver for Willie Nelson's tour bus. We were both hired by the same house builder, in my case because I had bought 4 ounces of the best Colombian grass when I was on the Kenai peninsula, and he wanted a smoke. You understand that I disapprove, of course. In fact, I deny ever buying any Colombian grass, let alone selling an ounce of it to an employer.

Willie, it was alleged - no doubt maliciously - and his entourage had developed the tradition of burning a handful of grass on a tin lid, and holding a large black refuse sack over it until it was full of smoke. Then someone would climb into the sack...

So the first morning I met this bloke, the ex-tour-bus-driver, was in Anchorage. We were both picked up by our broken-necked, ex-Oregon-Gyppo-logger employer, in his pick up truck. The ex-tour bus driver said he had to collect his luggage from the Anchorage Hilton and, as we pulled up outside, asked if I'd help carry his bags down. Sure, no problem.

On the way up in the lift he expanded on this. He'd fallen out badly with his room-mate, who had a .44 magnum and might be sleeping with it under the covers. So if he jumped on top of the guy, would I mind searching the drawers in the room until we found the weapon? Well, OK.

In a very neat move, he approached a chambermaid in the corridor and, very convincingly, told her we were his room-mate's buddies wanting to surprise him on his birthday, and would she give him the pass key. She agreed, sharing in the fun. So we walked to the door with a pass key, opened it and then exploded into the room.

We found the gun and made things safe, for us. My new Texan friend exchanged views with the man in the bed while I stood to one side, partly a heavy, partly irrelevant.

Then we left.

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