Every time I get back from Austin I feel like I'm on the precipice of an untimely and shameful death. I've come to expect it. Neighbor Dave didn't have the same road history so when, after the flight to Tucson and the 90 minute drive home to Bisbee, he still felt like there was an alien partying under his breast-plate, he did what lots of people with health insurance might do and went straight the the ER.
I updated about Neighbor Dave before the road trip HERE.
We met Dave and his wife Evelyn several years ago when they lived right next door (they've since bought a house a few blocks away.) Bingo and I were ripped out of our sombreros day-tripping with Tom Rhodes and Jobi when we decided we HAD to have pizza.
Nobody was in any condition to work a cigarette lighter much less drive a car and nobody in town delivers no matter how much we tried to bribe them over the phone. There isn't even a taxi here. It was around dinner time and I decided that the best thing to do would be to walk down to the main road and wave money at passing cars until somebody picked us up.
It seemed very reasonable in the moment. But as soon as I got outside of the fence, I was in a completely foreign and unsafe world where arrest was as imminent as pizza was necessary. We should definitely not stand on the roadside dressed like idiots flapping cash at traffic.
Just then Dave pulled up in front of his house. We'd never met Dave and Evelyn aside from a nod and a wave when we were both checking the mail at the same time. This neighborhood is more quiet than still-birth with the glowing exception of our house where it wasn't uncommon to have a full slate of comics and other friends hopped up for days without end or a then-bald and poorly medicated Bingo wandering down the street naked talking on a cordless banana.
We just assumed that neighbors would probably not like us much. I introduced myself nonetheless.
"Excuse me... I know this might sound weird but um... we're fucked out of our heads on mushrooms right now and we really need a pizza. We'll give you 50 bucks to go to Bisbee Beverage and pick one up for us. Hate to ask but no one here should really be driving."
Dave smiled like the Saturday Evening Post. "Oh, that's alright, you don't have to pay me. That's what neighbors are for!"
Not long after, Dave came back with Evelyn and pizza and we shared beer and stories and have been the best of friends ever since.
Cut to: Neighbor Dave and Stanhope do Texas.
Dave told me he'd love to come on the road sometime when he had vacation just to see what it was like. It just so happened that his time off lined up with my Houston & Austin dates - favorites of mine without question.
Evelyn couldn't get out of work to come - if she had it might have toned down the three-day trip enough to save Dave and excruciating hospital stay and invasive exploratory heart procedures. But hindsight is 20/20 no matter how much of it you blacked out.
Houston went by smoothly enough after a day of airport drinking - my favorite place to drink, expenses be damned and we got to Austin with only a mild hangover in time to do the Alex Jones radio show.
I haven't seen Alex since the infamous night of the "Austin Incident" many years ago, still probably one of my favorite shows ever caught on tape. Alex Jones is just a vague rational thought ahead of David Icke in the world of frenzied, paranoid conspiracies shot at you like a Gatling gun of Armageddon.
Neighbor Dave is the antithesis of Alex Jones. Dave has no political or religious affiliations, no cares about the government, pro or con, much less an overwhelming fear of a coming police state or FEMA prison camps.
Alex was in full fever pitch when Bingo, Dave and I got to the studio. New World Order secret eugenics plots, insidious government schemes to tamper with inoculations, Obama being a secret construct of Mitzi Shore whose real name is Ned-something and is really German and Honduran... all like a PowerBall hopper of seemingly disconnected conspiracy blasted out in an enema of fear.
Shortly before, Dave had given us a short synopsis of his American Idol prognostications without irony or passion. Having the two of them in the same room was like having Timmy from South Park visit Abu Ghraib.
The Irresistable Madness vs the Immovable Apathy.
I lean on the side of Dave. As much hate as I may have against the powers that be, the more aware I am of my mortality, the more enjoying my day comes before changing the world.
If MLK had just found a few like minds and fell into the cracks away from these douche-rockets who claim the majority of the planet, he might still be alive and fucking white women.
Some people are actually enjoying their day. Dave is like that. Dave could listen to 1,000 hours of Alex Jones with his eyes held open like Clockwork Orange and still die happy.
He thought he might after three days in Texas.
After Alex Jones, we went to the Yellow Rose for happy hour - two must-see attractions in Austin. Dave was out of money quickly but even a man of his considerable width will not leave the Rose sober if Don King is in the house. DK is an Austin legend and poured shots until we had to beg for a cab.
What DK couldn't do to Neighbor Dave on Friday, the audience made up for on Saturday. They'd even put Neighbor Dave on the poster under "Special Appearance by..." - an appearance he made several times to giant screams of applause.
After the show he was signing titties & t-shirts, taking pictures with folks and generally roaming the roost like a big, round Hugh Hefner of the Average Joe.
I don't think I've ever seen even a comedian have that much fun after a show.
Our flight was early and Bingo and I didn't sleep - staying up with Monkey n Meatsticks and the rest of the gang until it was time to leave. Neighbor Dave slept an hour or two and looked like a hemorrhaging plague on the wake-up call.
Nobody talked much on the way home, on the plane or in the car since we all felt raped and unpleasant. We were only a few miles from town when Dave spoke up quietly that his chest hadn't felt right since he woke up and that it might be safe to stop by the hospital before we went home.
Evelyn took the rest of the day off and stayed with him while they ran tests, decided to send him back to Tucson and keep him overnight for more tests before finally sending him home with a diagnosis of Too Much Fun on a Fat Stomach.
I know. This update would have been a lot more fun if Neighbor Dave died at the end. Don't think there wasn't a little tiny chunk of me that thought the same thing. He did get an extra week off from work and has made Evelyn crazy listening to the stories from the road.
Evelyn made good use of our time away by completely redecorating our bathroom in a children's theme with cartoon penguin towels, bath mat and shower curtain, sippy-cups, kiddie potty seat and 25 toy boats for the bath tub as well as a good-touch, bad-touch kids book called "It's MY Body!"
I just got back from Montreal where I couldn't walk outside to have a cigarette without someone putting a key under my nose or a pill in my pocket and - fuck yes, it was a great time. This week I'll have Bingo and I will have fun with Evelyn and Neighbor Dave cooking shit in crock pots, walking the dogs and watching Idol to see how Dave's predictions turn out.
It all balances out and we'll all be dead in the end.