I spent last weekend in Houston. By choice. I know that's hard to believe, but it's better than spending a weekend in Pittsburgh. I'd caught a late-afternoon flight on American Airlines in the middle of a lovely storm that had some pretty interesting effects on our MD-80 jetliner. Unable to obtain an upgrade to first class through my usual methods of monetary payouts or subtrefuge, I was forced to sit in the third row from the back on the plane. The worst possible place to be seated during turbulence. As we flew through the aforementioned storm, the flight attendant walking down the aisle towards the back of the plane was tossed into the air and actually floated there for a moment as our plane plummeted briefly towards the ground. For a brief moment I was sure that I was watching Trinity in the new Matrix sequel. But when she didn't kick anyone while floating there, my fantasy was dashed. No, I wasn't in a computer-generated reality. I was in a storm-tossed jet somewhere over Central Texas. I had a vodka on the rocks during the flight, paying $5 to take the edge off. Unfortunately, years of hard drinking have had their effect and one libation no longer has the effect that it once had, such as long ago in middle school. Or junior high. It's known as both in the US. I tried to get the flight attendant to give me another, but she refused, citing that it was a 41 minute flight and there wasn't ample time for a second drink. I begged to differ, knowing that I could down the nearly-tasteless glass of Stolichnaya in a mere two-second swig. She apparently doubted my drinking prowess. It's a good thing that one doesn't tip flight attendants, as she surely would've received none of my dosh that night. Though she was cute, so I would've been more than happy to let her receive another kind of tip that night. Much to my dismay, it's been my experience that flight attendants are no longer the loose, horny stewardesses of yore, their sluttiness having gone the way of Eastern and Pan-Am and Braniff.
We landed at IAH--Bush Intercontinental Airport--in Houston at 6:30 or so. Being at the back of the plane, I was one of the last to disembark and walk up that cold Jetway to the terminal. My reasons for coming to this city were two-fold: get away from Dallas for a weekend and see my old friends Jimmy and Chad. Jimmy has for the last several months made Florida his home but had come back to Texas for a few days to do medical school interviews. Chad has been living in Houston for a while now, working as a chemical engineer. He'd recently bought a house and I was eager to see his purchase. After gathering my bag from the carousel, I wandered out to the pick up/drop off area outside the terminal and scanned the myriad of cars for Chad's Solara. I spotted what I thought was his car, but as I approached it, I discovered that there was an attractive woman in her mid-twenties at the helm. As much as I'd have preferred to go home with her, I decided that it might not be a good idea to go ahead and climb into her car without and invitation. So I stood my ground. She noticed me after a moment. I tried to give her my best puppy-dog eyes, but she just smiled, not even rolling down her window to say anything. I called Chad on the ol' cell phone. They were just getting to the airport, so it would be a few more minutes before I could get away from there. I waited. And waited. What should have been a three minute drive turned into at least ten. Or maybe eleven. Or maybe I just have no concept of time.
After loading my stuff into the back of the car, we exited the airport and headed towards the city. We debated where to go for dinner before getting our drink on. Or our swerve on. A decision was made to go to Pappas' Burgers, yet another restaurant in the Pappas family's pantheon of dining. Driving through Houston, one gets the sense that nearly every restaurant is connected to the Pappas. There's Pappas Seafood House, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappasito's Cantina, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse and Pappas Bar-B-Q, along with the aforementioned burger place. One wonders, though, why they have no Greek restaurants. The restaurant is crowded. It's one of these places where you order, then take a seat. After ordering, we notice a table coming free, so we go towards it. A Chinese woman in a chef's outfit cuts us off and tells us since there are people waiting for tables, we'd have to get in line after them. So we do. A moment later she comes to us, informing our party that a table has come available. We follow her, only to find, much to our dismay, that the available table is the very one we had previously attempted to take. Dinner is good and we're soon ready to get our swerve on. Or our drink. I suppose, since Chad was driving, he was the only one who'd be getting any swerve on that night.
The Gingerman. Our destination. We'd been here before--last April. It hadn't changed. Much like the Dallas Gingerman, this one is built in an old house. The selection of beer is good and I spend the evening drinking Newcastle. The men's room is the smallest enclosed space in the universe as someone coming out of the stall inevitably pushes the door into the back of whomever is utilizing the urinal. The beer is good, but like all brewed beverages, it necessitates repeated trips to this tiny little restroom. We notice a couple of "fat slags" at the table next to us, which brings up the subject of "hoggin'". Someone mentions the old "more cushion for the pushin'" line and we immediately try to think of more. Some of the ones that we came up with (in addition to those thought up in a weird multi-city conversation a week later that included my friends Holly and Cara in Tyler and Chad in Houston) are:
"More flabbin' for the stabbin'"
"More chunk for your junk"
"More roll for your pole"
"More thick for your dick"
"More bod for your rod"
"More wide for the glide"
"More fat for your bat"
"More Jello™ for your fellow"
"More ass for your mass"
"More slob for bob"
and so on, ad nauseum.
After drinks, we went to our Houston Mecca...House of Pies. House of Pies, for the uninitiated, is a wonderful place full of pies, emo kids and gravelly-voiced old women smoking Pall Malls. Chad had his usual Sausage Scrambler (which, to me, sounds like some kind of weird masturbatory technique), while Jimmy and I elected to eat some pie. While there, we spotted a waiter we'd had on a previous trip--a 300 lb. gay man with too-tight Dockers and a penchant for singing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera songs. I decided that he was in dire need of some Queer Eye for the Queer Guy, mainly because I like my gay men to look gay, not just act gay. After coffee and pie and sausage, it was time to go back to Chad's new abode. House of Pies was good, but it's not the same without Holly and Andy and P.D.
The next morning, we arose late and decided that the day's activities would include some Freebird's World Burrito and perhaps a film. Freebird's was as good as always. I chose to have quesadillas as these aren't available at the Dallas location, while Chad and Jimmy opted for burritos. Over lunch, we debated what film to see. Jimmy wanted to see the new Matrix. Having heard very bad things about it, Chad and I vetoed him and instead settled on Will Ferrell's Elf
. The word on the street was that it was a fine film, and if you can't trust the word on the street, what can you trust? We arrived at the theater nearly an hour before the film was to start as we hadn't bothered to check the listings beforehand. To kill time, we amused ourselves by sitting outside and watching men, having custody of the kids that weekend, brought their sons and daughters to see various films. What better way to show your love of your kid for those eight hours every other weekend than by taking them to a theater where you at least won't have to talk to them for two hours?
The movie was a fine choice, as it was perhaps the funniest movie I'd seen since the last really funny movie I'd seen. And that certainly wasn't Scary Movie 3
. Before going back to Chad's place, we ran into some PETA people. We were heading through the city when we pulled up to an intersection next to a KFC. We glanced over and discovered that the front lawn of the fried chicken emporium was crawling with protestors doing what protestors generally do—protest. We rolled down the window and one of the PETA miscreants came over to the car to hand us some literature:
We asked the miscreant if we could get some fried chicken, but she wouldn’t serve us, instead telling us that we “could go inside and fry our arteries”. That didn’t sound like much fun, so we demurred, instead choosing to move along when the stoplight turned green. I did decide that there are some hot vegetarian women out there, but as we thought about it, would a vegetarian chick go down on you? After all, that is like eating meat. I so wanted to go back and ask this particularly hot one was “finger-lickin’ good”, but Chad wouldn’t turn the car around. Bastard.
We arrived at Chad’s house and I decided that his place would make a good porn house, as it has a couple of bedrooms, a hot tub and a weird workshop/storage room with fake brick paneling on the walls. The exact same paneling that's in scene 4 of Busty Butt-Banging Black Bitches Vol. 5
. We watched some Queer Eye
, musing on what the Fab Five would have to say about the fake brick paneling. They'd probably have a hissy-fit, as that's what upset fags do. Or so I gather.
We were getting hungry, so it was decided it was off to a seafood restaurant for oysters on the half-shell and fried shrimp. And after dinner, it was to a bar called Velvet Melvin’s, which, based on the name, could’ve been a gay bar. Thankfully, it wasn’t. I wasn’t in the mood to fend off horny Houston guys. Now Austin guys…
Drinking that night was prodigious. I started with Newcastle, but soon graduated to Long Island Iced Teas. More LIITs than I’ve ever drank in one sitting. Time and space began to warp. I don’t remember much after the eighth drink except for a guy at the next table who kept going to the restroom to puke and this unattractive fat chick who wanted to know if Chad was married or gay. Fortunately for Chad, he wasn’t as intoxicated as me, so he didn’t give in to the urge to go “hoggin’” That’s the last thing I remember from the weekend, really. The next day was a blur of taking Jimmy to the airport and later catching my own flight. All in all, it wasn’t a bad weekend. All things being equal, I’d rather spend the weekend in Houston the porn star.