He Who Shall Be Known As Duane

It all started out rather innocently. Okay, it wasn’t innocent at all, but instead, the continuation of a firehouse joke that isn’t even that funny. Sometimes, when I’m in control of the tv remote in the day room, I’ll make the boys watch religious programming (ie- Jim Bakker, the Fleecer of Missouri) or, when bored with that, shows like A&E’s Dog The Bounty Hunter. I’m thoroughly amused by the ridiculous style of these clowns as they tear all over Hawaii and Colorado, intimidating their bail jumpers with cans of Mace and trash talk. After a capture, you can count on what I call “the Jesus talk”, then a proffered Marlboro Red and some sage advice before being turned in. The main players of the show are who make it so funny, what with their mullets, bicep feathers and badges that look like they were picked up in the Claw Machine of a Wal Mart. It’s a train wreck I can’t turn away from; recently, I’ve fallen in love with Beth (Dog’s wife) and it’s not because she’s insane, top heavy and has a penchant for wearing clothes the colors of the American flag. No, I love her because as she scatters to and fro, screaming at perps, she does it while in high heels. And you should know how I feel about that.

So imagine, if you will, my sheer delight when I found out that Dog and his posse would be making an appearance here in Springberg. Apparently, in between moments of kicking ass and taking names around the Big Island, he’s taken the time to “write” a book, and is on a book tour. Never mind the reason, I had to be a witness to this spectacle. There was a fairly good chance I’d recognize many of his fans from my experiences tending to all their woes here on the Northside; it’s a fact that his fan base is very, very solid on our side of town, judging by the unwillingness of many people to turn it off while their cousin/sister/mom is having “the big one” on the couch beside them.

I talked Chad Harris of FairCity News into joining me, figuring if nothing else, we’d get some supreme people watching in; I arrived an hour early, figuring that was plenty of time to get some coffee and meet some people. I was dead wrong. An employee of Borders told me that she’d had people camped out there since the night previous for a chance to touch The Dog. When I finally got some joe and a copy of the book, I must’ve been about the 549th person in line. It was a sight to behold. The smell of stale cigarettes hung lazily in the air, the mullets were plentiful, the teeth not as much, and the gravely voiced chatter of hundreds of super fans prevailed. And then, terror.

A voice came over the store p.a. system to inform us that the tour bus was stuck in traffic and would be two hours late. The collective chatter turned up a notch in volume, with several colorful declarations of incredulity by the crowd. I was hoping for a full-scale riot, but sadly, nothing that violent materialized. Several people went outside to smoke multiple unfiltered cigarettes in frustration. Some dispatched family members to the nearest McDonald’s to grab some sustenance for the long haul wait. I took the chance to meet folks standing around me in line, and discovered some really funny people like Dan, who swore he was only there because his young daughters are uber-fans and Elizabeth who was definitely in the Duane-zone. Some people took the opportunity to dress their infant children up as tarts, some wore the bail bond company tee-shirts of their employers and many looked as though they had active warrants, but were willing to risk it to meet the supposed “greatest bounty hunter of all time”, according to his book.

The Messiah of Bounty Hunting arrives

And four and half hours later? The bus arrived and the crowd broke into shear pandelerium. A three toothed lady shouted his arrival to the crowd while clutching a McD’s bag and had an almost immediate raspy breakdown, she was so overwhelmed. After his Ed Hardy-cloaked advance man surveyed the crowd, The Dog made us wait another twenty minutes before exiting his bus, preceded by the lovely Beth. People went certifiably nuts. THIS was the moment they’d been waiting for, disciples for whom the Messiah had arrived. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. I had to snap a pic of his arrival. Take a moment to drink in the fingerless gloves, the badge, and the hair. My God, the hair.

No matter. I waited with my new friends in line as we compared notes as to what we’d say to the King when we finally got to the front of the line. What were other people saying? Were they lionizing this lion of fashion? What do you say to a guy who wears eagle feathers in his hair and on his biceps? Does it even matter what you say? Do you offer him a smoke and some advice about Jesus?

Our special "moment"

All of these hypotheticals were for naught, because soon, ever so soon, we were blessed with the visage of Beth, making her way up and down the aisles, meeting and greeting her legions of fans. To my utter dismay, she was not wearing heels nor was her hair built up near enough for my liking. My disappointment was quickly quelled when she high-fived me – the chemistry was obvious to all present and our eyes locked for an eternity. We both knew in that very moment that we were destined for one another and no Dogs nor Wifes could stand in the way of the intertwining of our souls. At least that’s how it seemed to me. She also took the chance to chew Chad’s ass out for his using the family image without getting paid. THIS? Is when I laughed in his face and told him not to get in the way of me & Beth. In fact we took a pic to commemorate the moment, and we’re seriously considering using it for the wedding invites.

The rest of the event was a haze of wrinkled skin and tattoos for me.

What else can compare when love is in the air?

And yes, I have the signed book. It may well be the best afternoon I’ve wasted in an entire month.

Thanks for the memories, Sweet Beth. And thanks to that canine husband of yours for bringing you to the event that you and I will never forget.