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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Writing Sauce

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

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?”

“No. Washington.”

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? 



  1. I especially love the iced tea that you have to chew. Everybody knows barbecue is marinated BEFORE cooking. Heh. Gah woman. You need some Stubb's or Iron Cactus darling. ;)

  2. Carrie, I'm so ticked today. It is so surreal down here. I want to scream "Really? No, F*cking, Really?" at.. the cactus.

    Speaking of chewing Iced Tea... what is up with this bbq'ed grisly bear meat. I can't chew that either.

    I do not maen any disrespect towards you. And I know Austin in worlds away as far as in culture at the border. The Cactus Iron is probably great. But I raelly can't believe in good BBQ at this point. ;p

  3. I like mustard. I buy it in industrial drums.

  4. My Love hails from Kansas City, Missouri. I don't bring up the subject of BBQ out here in California - life's just not long enough, ya'know?

    Re: Seattle

    I was eating there some years ago and, at the end of the meal, the nice young waiter asked if I'd like coffee. So, this innocent (work with me here, OK?) Irish guy asks "Do you have espresso?"

    The waiter stares. The guy I was eating with looks at me, sighs, and says, "Kevin, you're in Seattle."

    'nuff said.

  5. I've never been to Texas. Truth be told, it kinda scares me. I don't trust any place that doesn't have a view of the ocean (ok, I'm joking there).

    That sounds like a horrible experience, but it sure is some good writing sauce. No wonder you come up with the stuff you do. :)

  6. I sympathise Jodi, this kind of shit is a royal pain in the ass and calls for vast quantities of booze, then you can say to them hey you can't speak your own fucking language any more. My favourite sauce is a secret.

  7. DR- I could racial profile you on this alone. ;-) Did you find your nail yet?

    KjM~ I was so surprised to see you here. It's been awhile, my friend. You always have this peacefulness to you that I admire. You are right about the life being to short to bring up BBQ. And I love your Seattle story. LOL. Espresso capital of the world! You just have to be careful WHERE you get your espresso. It can result in serious stomach ache. Huh... same rules apply here about BBQ I guess. ;-) Good to see you and thank you.

    Laurita~ I bet you'd like the gulf. Warm as a bathtub...and last time I was there I found all these jelly fish, they were huge and dead. So I couldn't help but poke around and examine. Some guy drove by and told me to stop playing with them because they were Man o War... one of the most dangerous ones on earth. So I stopped. HAHA. Thanks for sympathizing and yes, you are right. Writing gets me over it.

    Richard~ Secret language Sauce created from moonshine. Haha. Love it. If only it coudl scare the bugs away. ;-)

    Thanks for commenting everyone. I'm "Over" it today. But I was mad yesterday.

  8. This is SOOOO funny and soooo true..same thing in NC. Your'e NOTFROMHEREAREYOU!!!! hahhaha this is a stich and I know it is not fiction!!!!!!

  9. Mike S!!!

    When I first got home yesterday, I didn't know what to do with myself. I was so angry. I wanted to scream at the cactus on my roof. But instead I sat down and scribbled the experience out. When i got to the "ya aint from aruond these parts are ya?" part. I thought of you. And I KNEW in my heart of hearts, that you knew exactly how it was... IS. Thanks you for your comment. It made me laugh. Yes Yes exactly!

    ANd correct. This is not fiction! Not a single word. All true.
    Thank you, my friend!

  10. A while, Jodi? Too long, I say. So long that you seem to be hallucinating "peacefulness" attributable to me.

    Reminds me of the movie statement/response:

    "From where I sit..."

    "Change your seat."

    Glad the writing helped. We hope to be in Seattle next year (sometime) so I'll keep a wary eye out for espresso.

    Thanks for the visit to my blog.

  11. Haha!

    Wait. Are you offering to change seats? ;-)

    You're welcome and thank you. And keep to Starbucks, stay away from peep show coffee barns and you'll be fine!

  12. Last time I was in Texas, I got the Man-O-War sandwich, but I asked for LOTS of sauce to smother the taste (you know, poison and all), but it came covered in Mustard. That just doesn't work with Man-O-War, so I tossed it out and went to Carls Jr.

    btw - cool post - I love your story posts :-)

  13. Sean,
    Are you telling me you tried a jellyfish sandwich? Silly, Kiwi, those are for your feet (remember jelly shoes? I thought they were made from real jelly fish).

    Carls Jr. is GOOD. Thanks. And I always enjoy your commentatorship..ness.

  14. This was hilarious, btw...

    "What’s your favorite kind of sauce?"

    Something copper at night... scotch, bourbon.

    And I'm with you -- JAVA during the day.

  15. This is the first time I've visited Blahh og, and I am SO GLAD I DID! I love this story, especially the oudemizmdiaejsxwy parts. That's how I felt when I moved to Lancaster County PA. Good god, the stuff they call food here! Ever heard of Pennsylvania Dutch xwibvpezqor? Pray that you never have to eat it!

    I'm going to Starbucks this morning and have a cup of espresso, just for you!

  16. Oh you too!

    Ant's Scotch & Boubon & Madam Z's Pennsylvania Dutch xwibvpezqor will keep us entertained for hours. Drink that coffee for me, Madame Z!

    Thanks for swinging by! <3

  17. I'm never goig to Texas, I promise. Oh, wait, I'll go to visit you if I must, but I hope that by the time I manage travelling accross the ocean you'll be back north. ;)

    I too hate the "Oh" when you explain people that, no, you're not from the 'fine' place they expect you to come from. *blegh*

    As for sauce, I do like mostard, but the French one. How arrogant of me, lol.

  18. Hey, Jo Jo. I just stopped by to read this again. I enjoyed it just as much the second time. Someday, I'll tell you about the time I went to a Lancaster version of Taco Bell and asked for a "Super Burrito," but without the putrid sour cream they normally put on it. My experience was very similar to yours, and the burrito went into the trash barrel, just as your chicken sandwich did.

  19. Cowpokes should be kicked right out of the BBQ Federation for serving green beans instead of fries. Your writing sauce is so tasty I'll forgive you your blasphemous remarks about the sweet southern nectar, iced tea. How's the mexican food?

  20. Lol, Harbro. The best place in that I trust here on the border serves what I call pirate tacos. a is pronounced ahhhh as in blahhh and the e sounds like A(ankle). But I just say Pirate as in Arrr! Pirate. They can usually figure it out. ;-) My favorite place was a small joint in NM. They hired a blind pianist to play daily and he'd play 80's music with the biggest grin on his face. I'm not sure if it was the food that was so great or the atmosphere, but I really enjoyed going there. ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Madame Z, I just saw your second comment! It must not have come through to my email. Yikes about the Super Burrito! Yeah, food poisoning runs amok down here too.