Monday seemed as good a night as any, so my friend Dave and I went to a local bar for their dollar margaritas, which are really watered-down lime juice and bottom shelf tequila mixed in a dirty blender and served in the same crappy 12 oz. plastic cups they pour their beers in. I noticed anything with a b-cup or better drank theirs out of real glasses, but Dave and I could barely get served. Our bartender had a black eye and, when he wasn't staring at motocross on the bar's outdoor television screen, I asked him if he got it in a cage fight. He gave me a dirty look and said he played hockey. Dave called him a pussy and we left.
The next bar was a much better scene. I walked up to the bar and ordered a round of drinks for a random college girl and her drunken mother. I wanted to talk about the Rolling Stones, but they were into The Eagles. Normally, I would have left it at that, but Dave had just received a 50 dollar bonus from his work and I didn't mind putting a few shots of Wild Turkey on his bar tab. This loosened my dates up, and pretty soon they seemed to understand why Don Henley should have been hung by his toenails the day the Eagles released Desperado.
Pretty soon, we were talking literature, which is always a shitty thing to do at one in the morning after a few wing-dings of Wild Turkey with strangers, and I realized that even though I sounded so damn right, I wasn't making any fucking sense. My dates still seemed interested, though.
Dave--I'd forgotten about Dave--fell against the bar and said we should go shoot guns. Despite my newfound bond with the mother/daughter team, I figured this was a good idea. So did some girl Dave had just met at the other end of the bar. The next thing I knew the three of us were in Dave's truck heading down I-84 looking for the Black's Creek Road exit.
"What kind of guns do you have, Dave?"
Dave reached under his seat and pulled out a big revolver.
"Well, this is a .45 Smith and Wesson. It's a mean sucker."
"Good Christ, is that thing loaded?"
"What's the point of having one if it isn't?"
"Touche," said our new friend sitting between us, who was looking at the gun a little too fondly for my own comfort.
"I got a nine millimeter down there, too," said Dave, "And a pistol-grip twelve gauge in the back."
Dave was drinking a can of Bud Light.
"You realize you're going straight to prison if we get pulled over, right?"
"For DUI? Naw."
"For the guns, nimrod. This car is a gas-fueled felony."
He looked at me like I was subnormal.
"Not in Idaho. This state has gun laws the way the founding fathers intended. Plus, they aren't concealed weapons if they aren't loaded."
"But they are loaded, Dave."
"Well ... fuck it."
Dave's wisdom won out, and the next thing I knew we were using a spotlight to find a refrigerator to shoot at in the middle of nowhere. But there was nothing, not even a broken microwave or a 13-channel television. We ended up shooting these massive guns into the darkness, aiming at absolutely nothing, and feeling Christian.
I woke up under a pile of blankets with desert brush scratching at the back of my neck wondering where the fuck I was. When I pulled the covers off my head and saw all that desert nothing, it all came back. I could see we'd been off the night before--there was an old bullet-ridden refrigerator not forty yards from the truck.
This seems about right, I thought.
Driving back to Boise, I told Dave I had just woken up in the single most useless place of my life. He laughed and looked back to the bed of the truck, where our friend was still sleeping.
"Yes sir," said Dave, "This is a great state. God bless this wonderful land."
We got into town around 8:30, and, though filthy and brain-dead, I wasn't even late for work.