Yes, that is what I’m calling days like today. Writing sauce. Do you know why? Because the Texas border seems to have some kind of obsession with sauces, and today it really pissed me off.
First off, there’s all these Texas BBQ pits. Why can’t they have the same meats and veggies? You just never know what you are going to get and the workers are always impatient.
Sometimes, I go to these restaurants because I feel it helps me get in touch more with the culture… but 8 times out 10, I end up pissed. And then I get more pissed that I’m pissed because I wanted to feel happy or appreciative of what other southern border Texans love so much. I don’t want to get angry at yet another stupid Texas thing.
So today, I pull up to this place every one in TARNATION “jest cain’t BELIEVE ya haven’t gone too. Yes, Sireeee! ‘Cowpokes’ is best BBQ pit round these parts.” Blah. Blah. Yeehaa.
So, these BBQ places are always rush! Rush! Gush out a bunch of wordssoquicklyyouhavenoideawhattheysaid…. Today, there were gobs of trucks parked at ‘Cowpokes’. I didn’t feel like trying to be lovey dovey with the community. I didn’t feel like being looked at funny, and yes, they do look at me funny because
A. I’m white
B. I’m not a usual white person
C. I don’t know
A. I’m white
B. I’m not a usual white person
C. I don’t know
So. I go through the drive through. At least, I thought it may be a drive through. There are no signs that say it is a drive through. Then I see a crumpled up sign on the window that says,
‘Rib-eye steak! Saturday nights! 5-9pm! $17.35’
And that’s when the window opens up. I hear the rustle of voices blending together in the background and the gal says, “What do you want?”
No "Hello!". No “Welcome to ‘Cowpokes’!”. So I just sort of gape at her. I see a menu inside the restaurant. And I say, “Hi. Do you have pulled pork?”
She says, “No.”
I say, ”How about chicken?”
“You want chicken?”
“Yes, BBQ chicken.”
She yells back. “She wants BBQ chicken!” And turns back to me.
I say, “On a sandwich?” Because I didn’t know if they had freakin’ sandwhiches, you know?
She says, “You want a BBQ chicken sandwich?” And I’m like. “Yeah.”
She yells back a mess of words. I have no idea what she’s saying. Then she turns back to me. And just looks at me.
I say, “And… french-fries?”
“We don’t have french-fries.”
“What do you have?”
“Well… we have green beans.”
I’m like. Woah. Green beans? That’s weird. But. Whatever. “Green beans are okay.”
“What kind of sauce?”
This is the DANGEROUS part, America!
In border Texas places, you never know what kind of hell sauce they are going to put on your sandwich. Sometimes it’s just ketchup, and mustard. GALLONS of mustard. It’s like racial profiling: White American citizen…oh, she must want mustard. Lots and lots and LOTS of it. Sheesh! I should sue. But there’s also chili cheese bean sauce… stuff, jalapeño sauce, salsa sauce, taco sauce, hot sauce, mild sauce, mozzarella sauce, hot buffalo sauce, mild buffalo sauce, pizza sauce, normal ranch sauce, hot ranch sauce, dill sauce, also ranch or Italian dressing- for heaven’s sake!
I say, “BARBEQUE SAUCE.” Very slowly so she understands me. And then I say, “PLEASE, No mustard.”
She says, “Ya want ljsflksajdkljfklasjdfklasjfakl?”
I don’t know what that is, so I say, ”Why don’t you just put that on the side. And put the BBQ sauce on the side too, please.”
She says, “You want iced tea?” This is always the dreaded question, folks. I don’t like iced sweet tea. I like coffee. I’m from Seattle. I can’t help it. Seattle is rainy and when it’s rainy you drink hot coffee. I’ve refused to give up my habits. I say, “No sweet tea, thank you.” And she gives me the mean, dejected look. The look they all give me when I say no thank you to sweet tea.
She finally smiles. She finally understands. They always finally do and ask what I’ve heard a bazillion times since I’ve been here, “Ya ain’t from around these parts are ya?”
Her eyes brighten up. “DC?”
When we get to this part. Their eyes always brighten up. And I dread it because I know what happens when I have to say what I say next which is, “Actually, the pacific northwest.” They always look away and say “Oh.” And she did.
I say, “What else comes on the plate?” just so I wouldn’t be surprised. Giant fried pickles or whatever. And she says, “OH, you want the plate? You’ll need another side order.” I don’t want to think too hard and I can’t see the menu so I say, “French fries I guess…”
“We don’t have French fries!” She yells at me. At this point, the conversation has just gone on forever. And I’m just like… what American restaurant does not have French fries. And She says,”We have green beans and lkajfklasjdflksjdfklajsdklfajskldf” And I don’t know what else she says.
So I say, “You know what? I’ll just take the BARBEQUE chicken sandwich.”
She says, “What kind of sauce do you want with that?”
“BARBEQUE SAUCE. On the side.” And she looks at me for a minute so I say, “NO mustard. Please.”
Money and paper bag is exchanged. I drive to the only park around. There is no shade. It is “fly season”. (I call it that because right now there are flies everywhere as if the world was a giant meat house.)
So I’m sitting in the suv in December, when the rest of the world is enjoying a holy night chilly santa season and the sun is shining in my face and it’s hot. So I roll down the windows. My car fills with flies. (Duh!)
So I play roll down the window wave my arms, so the flies will fly out the window. But then one kept flying in when one flew out. The person sitting in the truck beside me probably thought I was crazy (I think I am too). And finally there are no flies inside the suv, so I turn on the air conditioning and open up the white sack. I find a chicken sandwhich. BBQ sauce on the side (praise the heavens!) and a cup of potato salad. And a spoon. No napkins. Onions and dill pickles in a sandwhich baggy. It ended up tasting gross. So I threw it all away.
Then I went to burger king. And as a great big fuck you to Texas, I got a large HOT coffee. I then sat in the sun with A/C on high and drank it… I felt a little bit better. So does writing this. All true. Writing Sauce is the best kind of sauce.
What’s your favorite kind of sauce?