Them Folks I’ve Met in Austin (Nelson Algren had nothin’ on this girl)

So far, anyway, here are the people who have livened up my stay in Austin…

Shawn, Irish ex-pat working at The Driskill bar – Has a general disliking of his kinfolk; “There’s a reason I left Ireland. Why would I like them if I left?” Also, he wants to punch people in their I Am Drunk And Going To Get A $200 Tattoo. I agreed wholeheartedly with him about everything starting at politics and moving right along to religion and even random general stereotyping.

Trenton, The Driskill’s concierge – We had a brief discussion about hockey and he was shocked that I (a) knew Canada has only 6 hockey teams, and (b) could name them all. As soon as he found out I was Canadian, he dropped “eh” into the conversation very appropriately.

Louisa & Rick-formerly-Wick, from Dallas – up in Austin because ‘their’ niece graduated college. Their is in quotes because I don’t think they’re in fact related, but rather refer to one another as the same entity when discussing each other. They met when she was 14 and he 15 and have been together ever since, with two young boys aged 17 and 21. When I met Rick, I called him Wick for the first half hour of our conversation; in Texas, Wick may very well be a normal name, and if it isn’t, then it damn well should be because who doesn’t want to name their kid ‘Wick’?

Some 22 Year Old Girl Drunk Off Her Ass – I walked into Shakespeare’s Pub to say hello to The Commonwealth Crew I had met on Thursday evening. There was an open casting call at Shakespeare’s for Bad Girls Live, aka Drunk Girls Bein’ Fkn Stupid, On Camera, While Surrounded By Degenerate Boys.

I digress…so, I walked in wearing my jeans, my hat, a hoodie and carrying my backpack.

“Would you like to register?”
“For what?”
“For (insert name)!”
“No. But I’d like to have a chat with the person running your show…”
She thought I was kidding.

A few moments later, Some 22 Year-Old Girl Drunk Off Her Ass came over and started chatting with us. Her first words to me were “Yer soooooo pretty. Argh yew hear fer thu castin’ call? They’ll take eww!” and then turned to Some Random Creepy Male Stranger and shouted “SUCK IT WEEEE-HEEW!” to which Louisa (of Rick-formerly-Wick & Louisa) said “This little girl’d better not blow chunks on my back ‘cus I swear to God…!”

For a solid 20 minutes, Some 22 Yeal-Old Girl Drunk Off Her Ass kept trying to buy us shots of liquor. None of us would take ‘em – Joe, the bartender, was serving “shots” (“shooters” are Canadian) of water, I believe, or maybe I made that up. Eithre way, this little girl had no idea what was going on.

Maha: “So, are you here by yourself?”
Some 22 Yeal-Old Girl Drunk Off Her Ass: “Yes I am! WEEE-HEEEW!”
Maha: “You’re not here with any girlfriends or a male friend? Some people to look out for you?”
Some 22 Yeal-Old Girl Drunk Off Her Ass: “NO! I do this ALL the time! YEEEEAAAAH!”
Maha: “We need to get you a cab. You need to go home, little girl. You need to go home or else you’re going to get yourself into a lot of trouble…”

After some minor grappling and after Rick-formerly-Wick pulled her off of a man as she was feigning felatio (a word not in spell check!), we shoved her Drunk Ass into a cab.

Jo, bartender, from Houston – Awesome Christian dude. We had some extremely interesting conversations – guy is bright and spot-on about faith. Much common ground between his brand of Jesus-lovin’ and my own, so we exchanged war stories, tag teamed when someone asked us about abortion and between the Bible and the Quran, helped get Some 22 Year-Old Girl Drunk Off Her Ass in a cab and home, after which we actually high-fived one another (…don’t like it? Think we’re being judgmental? Then respectfully, I say: Go fk yourself, please.).

Crazy Dude Askin’ About Abortion – “HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL WHEN IT’S MURDER!??!!!!”

I don’t know how we did it, but Joe and I managed to calm his sorry self down even though we were at opposite ends of the political / moral / religious spectrum from him.

Allison, formerly of London, Ontario & her roommate Peter, formerly of Australia (aka The Commonwealth Crew) – She has a heart of gold and told me a hilarious story about her ex-husband, a Texan who when she gave him a Roots t-shirt, asked her if it was a “black thing”.

Brian, Dude From Jersey – This is the guy to go to if you need something from someone in any place in Austin. Conversation topics ranged from: the Ottawa Senators to religion, adoption and birth control.

S from New Zealand – introduced herself to me while listening to Chuck Prophet at The Continental Club.

Nice girl…drunk, doing a tour of the deep south (should I capitalize this?) to listen to Gospel Music.

Chance & Hurly – Chance is the master, Hurly is his dog. I met Chance on Leavin’ Day –14. In exactly two weeks, he’s starting a road trip to learn about bio-fuels and how to grow your own food. He’s en route to New Mexico where he hopes to work for

We discussed the gentrification of East Austin, though I refrained from using that word, instead posing leading questions about what he thought happened to the poor when the rich went in and bought up the land so that they may then build little boutiques and cafes.

Edited to add: more good folks can be found here.