Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hunting Hippies in East Montrose

When it finally rained in Houston, nobody knew what to do. As in nobody remembered how to handle the reality of water falling out of the sky. Was there some sort of procedure in place for handling this? Should we make our way to the nearest FEMA camp? Was it safe enough for humans to touch? How long would it last?
And the kids… Well, the kids were only children, after all, and completely without any firsthand memory of rain. And they came shrieking into the house, soaked to the bone, to announce that fluffy grey things had invaded the local sky and were throwing water at them. The kids were worried about the birds, who seemed so unprotected.  

When it finally rained in Houston, the desert jinni, the spirits and demons and dervishes from parts generally west of here all packed up their things and began hightailing it out of town. This was just as well, really, because desert spirits are notorious for driving men to do some crazy shit like start religions even, and there’s been quite enough of that already, thank you.
And me, I never thought it would happen. I never thought I would live to see the rain again. Especially after Texas Governor Rick Perry – who is just crazy about bigamy, by the way – had done his rain dance, and he danced and he chanted and he even shook around his crucifix-shaped rain stick, but he failed! He failed!

I thought that was the end of the matter. No rain for Houston. Here is some fire instead.

And when it finally rained in Houston, nobody knew what to say. People called each other on the telephone. Family members. Friends. They called each other and they said, “It’s raining!” And the people they called said, “I know!”

But amidst all this moisture and panic, I could not tell my tale. I could not tell the children. I could not tell the neighbors. Hell, I could not tell Dana that it was me.

Yes, me. I did this. I made it rain in Houston.

About a week ago is when it all started. A friend of a friend of a friend who somebody along the chain owed money to contacted me and he said he understood that I might know a man who knew how to get things done. A man who might be hired for odd jobs and even tasks. A notorious bigamist, anarchist, cattle rustler, a heresiarch, and all-around teller of fish tales.

I said that I might know such a man. And it’s true. I do know such a man. Sort of, anyway. Because sometimes I am such a man. Sometimes, when I am Ulysses Malloy, Land Pirate/Bounty Hunter Extraordinaire!

A meeting was set up for the next day, which is when I – er, I mean Ulysses Malloy – met a man in an expensive-looking Italian suit and dark glasses. And he, this man in the expensive-looking Italian suit and dark glasses, he told me that there were forces at work I could never know, could never understand. There were forces of flood and forces of fire and for too long now in Houston, his side had been losing. Houston was almost a lost cause. But I, Ulysses Malloy, Land Pirate/Bounty Hunter Extraordinaire, notorious bigamist, anarchist, cattle rustler, heresiarch, and all-around teller of fish tales, I might still save the day.

I nodded. I considered my fee. I said, “Why me?”

Italian suit man looked surprised. Italian suit man said, “Because you can get inside the city walls of Montrose. They will lower the drawbridge for you and they will let you in.”

This was true, obviously. I did not see the relevance. I said as much. “So?” I said.

Italian suit man said, “Follow the bouncing ball, Malloy. If it is going to rain, then we need to appease the rain gods. If we are going to appease the rain gods, then we need human sacrifice. If we need human sacrifice, then it has to be people nobody will notice are missing. If it is going to be people nobody will notice are missing, then it has to be Montrosians.”

That just made good sense. The human sacrifice thing gave me moral pause.

But not that much.

But who to hunt for? Your average meth-head queer is too unpredictable. Agitated. He will zig zag every which way in no discernible pattern at all even when he’s not being chased. This makes him almost impossible to hunt from a moving vehicle. And homeless people, well, they are already zombies and cannot be killed.  And lawyers… Well, people would be grateful, I suppose, but somebody would definitely notice the sudden dearth of babbling and sophistry.

That just left hippies.

So I called up Rufus and I called up Eggplant and then they called Cauliflower Ear Guy and the Blob. And we loaded up my van and we got ourselves inside the Montrose city walls. And I got up on the van roof with some harpoons and some rope and some binoculars. Cauliflower Ear Guy was doing the driving, so we put golden-era Dark Throne on the radio and then we went out hunting us some hippies.

Don’t act so shocked. You read the title. You knew this was coming.

When confronted by a threat or by a predator, your average hippie has no effective defense mechanism. At most, the hippie will flash a V with his fingers, will sing a song about a netherworld called Vietnam or will toss a sunflower lovingly at his attacker.

For defense, the hippie relies solely on a psychological theory – put forth by Jesus Christ, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King and discredited long ago – that most human attackers will be overwhelmed and debilitated by some sense of moral guilt if it appears a victim is not going to put up a fight.

Don’t laugh! More than a handful of otherwise intelligent people have believed this theory. Most of them are dead now, of course.

But the hippies line up outside of Baby Barnaby’s Restaurant every day. They line up outside of Baby Barnaby’s and they talk or they compare tattoos or they do whatever it is hippies do when they are standing around waiting. They stand around and they wait. They are waiting for their turn to sit at one of the three booths Baby Barnaby’s Restaurant has available for the four million people who want to eat the terrible – and apparently highly addictive – food-like stuff that is sold there.  

The hippies outside of Baby Barnaby’s Restaurant, no-one-but-no-one will ever notice if they are gone. Everyone will just assume the wait outside of Baby Barnaby’s was… longer than usual. And then everyone will go on about their lives.

You can try and pass judgment on me, but it rained in Houston this weekend, didn’t it?

You can act outraged about the hippies but… you’re welcome.

When it finally rained in Houston, Ulysses Malloy – that notorious bigamist, anarchist, cattle rustler, heresiarch, and all-around teller of fish tales – he was puffing away at a novelty-sized cigar and enjoying the fact that the traffic on Fairview had died down considerably, what with the hippies gone.

That is how it happened. Every word is true.

Keep it to yourself.

But enjoy the rain!


  1. As a Texas hippie I am, of course, aghast at this revelation. But if that's what it takes to get rain in Texas, I guess I can ignore the sacrifice of some of my comrades. I think I'll stay indoors for a while though (and avoid going to Houston) - at least until we've had plenty of rain (if that ever happens).

  2. Katy I am wondering if I could hire you to bring some sunshine to the South of England ?

    Not sure how that would work though, would you need to resurrect someone ?
    Would that make you god ?
    As a confirmed atheist I can appreciate the irony if it turned out that I was wrong, there is a god and she is a texan lesbian bigamist.
    I am not worthy.

  3. Ulysses Malloy looks an awful lot like groucho Marx. Groucho was also a well-known shaman/rainmaker.

  4. As an old and only somewhat reformed Oregon hippie, I'm thrilled at this revelation - but then, that's me; I've lived in Oregon, for Chrissake, for the last 50+ years.

    I'm used to rain.

    And bigamy, as it turns out - we rank somewhere like #4 or #5 in 'alternate relationships' here in the U.S. of A. - which pisses off organized religions of all stripes, because their Masters can see that the People in Charge aren't doing their jobs very well - Oregon really has always been a hard place for a preacher to make a living - and the IRS, which must seethe at not being able to collect all of those marriage-penalty taxes everyone always talks about.

    But that's us. We think outside the box here. It's even official - Oregon loves dreamers. And rain. That's why the thought of human-sacrifice to make the rain come down really doesn't surprise me.

    Barnaby's sounds cool, by the way. Portland's home to some equally-cool eateries. If you're ever up this way, then lemme know. We'll stop off at Voodoo Doughnut, or the Big Assed Sandwich Company for some great eats....



  5. There was a term created for people like you.
    "Attention whore"

    How relevant is your little gay campaign to things that matter?

    Imagine the time and energy wasted on this. Pick a good cause and see how your talents help other people.

    The difference between you and Cindy sheehan is that you have a talent.... and, seemingly, some intelligence.

  6. @Ted McLaughlin: I have been accused of being a hippie, too.
    I think I'm safe from Ulysses Malloy, though.
    He mght try and convince you to throw that radio into the bathtub with me when "White Rabbit" peaks.
    Don't do it!

    @dirtycowgirl: Not THE God, just a god.
    A minor deity.
    Maybe only a demigod.
    A demiurge, even.

    @Rafa: All of the Marx Brothers were so much better than the Stalin Brothers.
    If my alter egos start looking like any of THEM, please give me a heads-up.

  7. @Will: Oregon is so far away. Basically southern Canada, really. Someday, though...
    But yeah... my neighborhood is known for restaurants and clubs and freaks of all kids, basically.
    Sometimes, I'll be behind a car and think "What the hell is this guy DOING?" and finally it occurs to me: He's not from around here. He is gawking.

    @Anonymous: I prefer "Entertainer," although the line between "Entertainer" and "Attention whore" (or, for that matter, just plain old "whore") is notoriously hazy.
    I think my name shall go down in Gay History (soon taught in California public schools!) alongside other prominent gays like Alexander the Great, Boy George, and Benjamin Franklin.
    All because of this blog.
    I actually have a tough time preaching any cause. My cause is my family... and maybe good music.

  8. This is one part satire, one part ballsy snark, and three parts hilarious. Your writing is always so damn funny. Screw those hippies.

  9. Haha, It rains in vancouver here all the time!

  10. I think we need some help in Austin!! please won't you come with your band of hippie hunters.... we have lots of them here AND we def need the rain...

  11. Oh yes do help Sherri and Austin out as all attempts at sacrifices, magic wand waving and lesbian chants have been unsuccessful - perhaps California's to far a distance?

    We do have old hippies . ...

  12. @A Beer for the Shower: Thanks. What y’all manage over at ABfTS, of course, is illustrations – Microsoft Paint or not.
    Illustrations would really hammer the points home for my blog.
    Maybe TOO well. I might benefit from folks not being able to picture exactly what it is I’m saying.

    @Jessica Thompson: Hi!
    It usually rains in Houston. I mean, we’re swamp, not desert. We’re not San Antonio.
    Something happened this year, though.
    Fortunately, I resolved it.
    I knew about Vancouver, of course: I used to watch “X-Files”, which was filmed there. It was ALWAYS raining!

  13. @Sherri: I’ve been to Austin. Hunting hippies there would be fish in a barrel.
    At least Houston consigns us to one neighborhood.
    Oops, I mean “them”…

    @kmilyun: Old hippies! All the easier to hunt. The walkers slow ‘em down, and if that doesn’t work, blast some Moody Blues and they get caught up in the nostalgia.
    I was looking at the state capitol on Google maps the other day. From far away, the picture looks great, but when you lose in, it’s a newer picture, and the lawn looks yellow. You’d think they’d spring for sprinklers, but… austerity begins at home, I guess…

  14. You did such a good job it rained all the way up to small town way north Texas. Thank you.

    I have suggested ritual sacrifice of our interns multiple times, only to be sent back to HR for "retraining". The gods of government programs demand blood. Like hippies, no one is going to miss an intern or two. I really hate that stupid HR video.

  15. Percy "Spermicidal" PesserieSeptember 20, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    So what are we supposed to talk about in this section Katy ?, RAIN ! ?, i just want to talk about what a gorgeous sexy bird you are, is that OK with you ?.

  16. @Brent: Yeah, I'm not entirely sure about how it all works. The hippies killed to raindrop ratio or whatever.
    All I know is that there are some opposing forces, conspiracies behind the scenes, lots of bureaucrats.
    And in the end it rains.
    They will probably make all of us take a Rain Safety Training course now.

    @Percy "Spermicidal" Pesserie: I always sort of go with the "If you don't have anything to say, don't feel compelled to say anything" line of thought... It works!

  17. Percy "Spermicidal" PesserieSeptember 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    But at least my absurd name must`ve given you a good laugh ! ?. Surely that made the com-girl-t at least semi-worthwhile.

  18. @Percy "Spermicidal" Pesserie:
    Whoa! Is "worthwhile" the new test for comments around here?
    If it is, I have made some horrible mistakes.

  19. Percy "Spermicidal" PesserieSeptember 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Indeed you have, you gorgeous little sexpot, with everyone but me ! ! !.

  20. Love this bit of a folk tale. You write like no one I know, and it's awesome.

    Did I forget to tell you how much I love your avatar picture? It always makes me stare for a while when I see it.

  21. @Percy "Spermicidal" Pesserie: Yes, well, thank Odin that I have been so damn careful about which comments I've approved.
    Or, wait... I didn't mean "careful." I meant to say "arbitrary."

    @Lydia Kang: Thank you!
    This one was sort of a weird hippogryph-looking beast.
    And I took quite a bit out to make it readable in blog form.
    Never sure what reaction I expect from this sort of thing.

  22. I have been to barnabys on Fairview.
    There's no parking to speak of. I support you thinning that herd especially since it brought rain!

  23. @Bucky:
    It is disgraceful what Barnaby's does there.
    It shows a complete lack of respect for the neighborhood, for their customers, etc. etc.
    Other local restaurants - La Mexicana, Niko Nikos - have taken steps to add parking and have largely alleviated the congestion and back-up problems around their restaurants.

  24. Shoot, Californians just go absolutely bat shit crazy at the slightest sign of weather.

  25. @K. Syrah: Hey there!
    Wait... Fire, mudslides, and earthquakes are not considered weather, right?
    In "L.A. Story," Steve Martin plays a weatherman who films his weather reports ahead of time ("72 degrees and sunny all week!"). That's always what I think of when someone talks to me about Cali weather.


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