Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Night, 5 Years Ago

Five years ago, my best friend Starr Ann (hi, Starr Ann) and I were dodging Trick-or-Treaters on our way home and wishing we'd waited to set out after the Halloween festivities died down. All of a sudden, this kid dressed as kd lang from that one video where she's singing Miss Chatelaine, ingenius costume really, came running from between two houses and just about scared the horses to death. That did it. Starr Ann said we should just go to the local lesbian bar and play a few games of pool until the streets cleared off.

We were minding our own business, playing Eight Ball, drinking tea, when this band of lesbians dressed as pirates came swaggering in like they owned the place.

Starr Ann happened to be up at the bar getting refills when they arrived, and being friendly and perceptive like my Starr Ann is, she said, "Hi, do you own the place?"

According to Starr Ann, that piratey lesbian gave her a real unfriendly look and walked away. So we decided to leave them alone after that.

But you know how, in a lesbian bar, you can't really be all that unconscious of what the others are doing? Well, we spotted the leader of this bunch right away. All the others called her Cap'n, and she had this walk that left no doubt about whether you needed to be getting out of her way. You did.

So these pirate-dressed lesbians dispersed to pursue their various interests and the leader came right over to our table. She watched us take a few shots, and then she put down her fifty cents. Well, since she'd obviously be playing either Starr Ann or me, depending on who won, I thought it would be good to be friendly.

I had a three ball run, and as Starr Ann took her shot, I eased on over to the pirate, still watching Starr Ann's very nice bank into the corner. I said, "Like your costume."

This woman's height increased by about two inches as she drew herself up, and she said, "Iffin' it be Costume Compliments ye be About, Me Sweetling, then it be Me Self Who should Be Sayin' how Easy yer Own be on th'Eye." Then she looked me square in the eyes and said, "This lesbian Pirate Queen n'er plays at Dress-Up, Poppet. Have no idea what ye be talkin' about."

First of all, I had no idea what she was trying to say. Second, I did pick up that she didn't say eyes, which demonstrated how deep into her character she was, as she was wearing an eyepatch, so eye was accurate.

I said, "Oh," and was a little tempted to let Starr Ann win, just so I didn't have to play this tall, rather strappin' Cap'n person.

But I can't deliberately let Starr Ann win anything. It's just too demeaning. So, I ended up hitting a very nice stride and won big. Starr Ann high-fived me like we always do and gestured over at the pirate lesbian. She said real low, "Okay for me to go play some darts? Or do you want me to stay?"

I said, "Pfff! I'm not afraid of some lesbian dressed up like a pirate."

On her way over to the dart board, Starr Ann passed my opponent and said, "Like your costume."

The piratey one said, "Well, Th' Cap'n was just remarkin' t'yer Fine Friend here, Me Mighty Heart Rustler, that even though lesbian Pirates really don't quite go for playin' dress-up, it be fine for anyone else who desires t'be doin' so. Still, Th' Cap'n is not quite certain-sure as t'what ye an' yer friend are supposed t'be."

Starr Ann and I exchanged a half-frown, half-smile before Starr Ann replied, "You think we're wearing costumes?" Both of us tipped our hats back on our heads and laughed. This woman, fetching as she was, just made no sense.

Then she said, "Th' Cap'n has just made port here for a dram o'rum an' t'take yer money playin' this game - it be what Pirates do, y'know."

Finally, a crystal clear statement. This pretend pirate thought she had a big enough game to beat me? For money?

I put her challenge quarters in the slot and said, "Rack 'em, Cap'n. And make 'em tight."

Gotta say, I never played so well in my life. But at the end of twelve whole games, we were still dead even.

Starr Ann had been ready to leave for over an hour, so I said, "Thirteenth game, My Fine Strappin' Cap'n. Kind of a fitting number to end it on, being Halloween, don't you think? I suggest the winner of this one takes it all."

Cap'n Dyke looked at me with an upraised eyebrow. "Thirteen just happens t'be Me Lucky Number, Me Magnificent Margo, an' Th Cap'n be known for Her Game, as well as for Her Skill. As t'Winner takin' All - 'twould be Me Distinct an' Most Humble Pleasure to Do So - when Me Self beats Ye Soundly."

I said, "Well held, Cap'n." Heh, guess I'm a little impressionable. And I added, "May the best cowgirl win." There went the eyebrow again.

That had to be the longest, hardest fought game in the history of our little bar, The Velvet Tipper. We were down to the eight ball. It was my turn - one of those tricky rail hugging shots almost the whole length of the table. I called the obvious corner and just as I went for it, one of the lesbian Pirate Queen's crew flashed a tiny mirror so it glinted right in my eyes. The eight ball glanced very slightly against the rail and missed by half an inch. But the flash had also caused me to put a teensy bit too much on the cue ball itself and it proceeded to plop right into the side pocket. Scratched on the eight ball. Game over. Game to lesbian Pirate Queen.

Cap'n Dyke was as gracious a winner as you could ever ask for. And no, I didn't bring up that thing about the mirror, even though I knew it was intentional. Cap'n Dyke didn't know a thing about it and I wasn't about to squeal or be a bad loser.

Of course, Starr Ann and I ended up adoring the Cap'n. These days, she docks her ship, Th'Mound, and brings her sloop up the Ohio River once or twice a year to visit Happy Hands Ranch. Can't wait to write about her next visit, because I'm gonna beat her butt at pool. Fair and square.