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Monday, December 7, 2009

Somewhat mystifying sign posted at the World Famous Sausage Restaurant


(white tail and axis) 25.00
(elk,mule,fallow,etc.) 40.00

So now I know where to take my dead mule if I don't feel like skinning it/adding jalapeno to it myself.
Okay. I've lived in Texas all my life, yet I still find it's tiny towns fake-documentary surreal. We waited in line for almost an hour at this restaurant/deer processing plant on Saturday to eat a plate of what was touted as the best barbecue in Texas. It was down the street from a Christmas tree farm in Elgin Texas, about an hour from Austin.
When we finally reached the front of the line and got our food, it was disappointing. Everyone who grows up in the South has a "Barbecue-ometer", an inner gauge that never fails you, no matter how far north you travel. Like a compass, the Barbeque-ometer points true and straight, instantly assessing what is on your plate. This food was, maybe, a 4 out of 10. Why the long line, Elgin? Even the McRib scores a five. People from small towns always seem kind of dim to me, though.( Sorry residents of Lampasas, Copper Cove and Sugarland,TX-maybe there are hidden,unrecognised geniuses among you. All I know is that it seems like you all voted for Bush on the way to process your dead mule and get your hair done)
The Christmas tree farm was all right. We have traditionally been the parents who take Ruby along to whatever grown up party we are invited to, she loves running around making small talk about real estate and taxes over cocktails even if she's the only person under three feet tall in sight. With the exception of The Week We Had To Go To Chuck-E-Cheese Twice, we almost never do "kid" related activities.
Lately, though, we've been trying to expand our repertoire. I thought that "Santa" might be there.
He was not, but that didn't keep Ruby from telling me-
"Mommy, you aren't being good. Santa's not going to bring you presents."
"Oh really? What am I going to get instead?"
"The zombies gonna come and put you in the trash can! Then you get a stocking with doo doo in it." Then she cracks up.
I really hope she is wrong about that.
After she petted some farm animals and I stuffed a bunch of tree cuttings off the floor and under my coat( What? They're just going to get thrown away!) we went home and put her to sleep so we could watch a movie Jeff had picked out called "The Wrestler."
I feel an enormous amount of trepidation when contemplating watching one of "Jeff's Picks"
"That looks depressing." I say.
"No, it will be sad, but redemptive." He will say.
I don't mind heartbreaking stories if there is a light at the end of them, some message of meaning or hope or closure. Invariably, though, "Jeff's Picks" do not provide me this emotional catharsis. They drag on and on, characters experiencing drab,unending misery until the very last frame. Dark,foreign films about how pointless life really is, indie flicks about the eventual death and extinction of your very soul. Take Synechdode,New york. I could look up the right spelling of that word but I will not. Phillip Seymour Hoffman whines and moans as he drags his sorry ass through 2 1/2 hours of hell, contemplating death and the complete lack of meaning to his life. By the end of the movie I was ready to put my head in the oven.
So Jeff recorded the Wrestler on the DVR. For weeks I've been refusing to watch it.
"That is going to be depressing." I said.
"No, it will be fine. It won all kinds of awards."
So we watched it, and sure enough, it ripped open a chasm of emptiness and despair in my very soul.
Not to ruin this movie for anyone, but there is no redemption in the Wrestler.
"Wait for it. It's coming."said Jeff.
"It's not coming. Can't you see that?"
"It's going to get better."
"The only thing that would make this movie better is if someone would hand that guy a barrette." I said." Get your nasty, Motley Crue hair out of your face Jackass!" I yelled at the TV. Because, and I have said this before about Braveheart, if you are a man with long, unwashed, bleached out barbie hair, pull that shit back in a ponytail, please. Just watching them run around, doing battle or wrestling or whatever with that shit hanging in front of their face makes me compulsively brush imaginary hair out of my own face for the long two hours I have to endure it. The only "redemptive" moment in the Wrestler is when he is forced to pull back his hair in a hairnet when he takes the humiliating meat counter job.
"Oh thank god," I sighed. And for a few clean, breathable moments I felt relaxed. then he cuts his finger off, goes crazy and spirals down into despair, all the while flipping his long blond hairdo back and forth, in and out of his eyes as they stream tears of resignation until his final desperate suicidal wrestle jump.
Thanks, Jeff!


  1. The same exact thing happened to me. I was going to write a post about it... Mike has been trying to get me to watch Brokeback Mountain for a year. I tried to tell him how depressing it would be, he didn't beleive me... yeah.

  2. I actually loved The Wrestler, but I tend to veer towards depressing movies. It truly doesn't have a light at the end of the tunnel though. No hopeful theme in the end.