Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Monday Evening in The Valley: Drinks and Eats at 101

I had to go down The Valley this week to talk with some people that needed talking with. I asked Dolly-girl, "Want to go?" She looked at me through the wave--she was doing her nails and looking over her glasses to see them. She purred and pushed her specs up onto her head. "Yeah, sure. I got some people down there I need to talk with. Some old friends, some new ones. You figure it out." I didn't need to figure it out. Dolly-girl has friends all over and I knew who she'd be looking up.

I went to the kitchen to check dinner on the Tappan and to put more brown whiskey in a glass that was only ice. I heard her on the blower. "I'll be there Monday. Early. 101? OK. Yep. [click]" Somehow I knew it was Dixie on the other end of the line. "Dixie and Slider, 101, early." "I heard."

Dixie's a chiquita from Florida. She and Slider met in a bar in Appalachicola where he stopped to eat some world-famous oysters on his way northwest when he was traded up from the Brevard County Manatees to the Montgomery Biscuits. It was his base stealing ability that got him a promotion from a run-down bus league to a beat-up bus league, but he blew an ACL in his first AA game and so he headed back to Appalachicola and the nurse he met doing shooters at Papa Joe's. Yeah, it's a sorta Bull Durham story, but with oysters and a nurse instead of cheap bourbon and a part-time teacher. How they got to The Valley, now that's another story for another time. Leave it at Slider couldn’t play ball anymore, but he could slide into the big pipes on the California coast. They're pals of Tootsie and Slim too and there's always a lot of laughs when they're around. Dixie works in the medical field--she gives people chest pains and they pay to get them. Go figure.

Anyway, they gave the up-and-down to a joint we'd been to once before and one they'd seen the inside and out of more than a time or two. It was OK by me. The place was known to know what to do with bathwater and olives and rumor had it they only used a bottle of wet a year--arid, I call it. Maybe sere.

We slid into a booth and before Missy came by with the whadda-yas, Slider and Dixie came through the door. Took me by surprise as I hadn't checked the place over yet. Hard to see out the windows and Dolly-girl had something against the corner booth. "Its the Valley, for chrissakes, relax." OK, so I like to see trouble where it isn't, but hey, what would I do if I didn't?"

Missy shifted her weight left. "Drinks? Ladies?" Dixie knew what was whistling her tune, "Manhattan. Cherry. Quick." Dolly-girl was studying the whaddya-drinking like the Rosetta Stone--she's not much for the hard stuff, but seemed to be in the mood. "Matador if the limes are fresh." "They are." "Matador." "Gotcha. Gents?" "Dunk a couple in Bend and don't rain on the parade." "Make that two, but stuff mine." "Cheese?" "Gnarly."

Missy knew how to put a smile on our faces and she was back pronto with exactly what we'd ordered. We clinked our glasses, said Salute! and got down to business. "Want some hash slung your way?" Dolly-girl swooned, like I said, she's not much for the hard stuff. "You betcha. Bring us some of them pomme frites. You know the ones you make all crusty with 27s and that shaved wax?" "On it." "Oh, and we'll want more..." How about that, Missy knew that Herb S wore #27. Maybe she's a Tribe fan.

We looked at the whadda-ya-wants while Missy went off to get the kick-us-offs. She was back double-quick and we gave her our gimmes. "I'm a southern gal, bring me that south-of-the-border special." "Check." Dolly-girl was eying the Kraft 'n Wax--you can get in trouble asking for Mac and Cheese, even in The Valley. Slider and I were on the same wavelength tonight. "Burger, pure and simple." "OK, folks. You guys are putting me on EZ street." "Oh, and bring us another go-around on these bathing beauties." "Right, another trip around the Desert Breeze."

The do-it-agains were back quick and the eats weren't far behind. The gin slinger knew his business as you can see by what came out of the Kodak.

The Kraft was what Dolly-girl was hoping for. Thick and rich and good enough to get a sweep of the wave off her eye. "If they'd had this when we lived here we might still live here." I knew Dolly-girl was kidding--it was more than a hot dish that moved her to Stumptown. Still, I knew what she meant.

I didn't see any grits or syrup on Dixie's plate, but she was in the Land of Cotton by the look on her face. "Beat's the hell out of the Treadmill Tango. Must have some 'gator meat in there!" Slider and I clinked burgers and chowed on down. As far as we were concerned that steer didn't die in vain.

We pushed our plates back when there was nothing left. Missy came by with the tempt-us and we settled on some sort of fruit and cream and whatever, and a couple of night caps to share. A great end to a great night in The Valley. We said our see-ya-soons and slipped out into the night. Slider pulled Dixie close like they were going to shoot the curl on a single stick, and headed west as Dolly-girl and me hooked our paws and headed for the river. Next time it would be in Stumptown, on us.


Ronna said...

Dixie? Okay, what's my name going to be?

Karen said...

Love the stories! You are quick with that camera. I had no idea so many shots were being taken. Love being a character in your show.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yous were at 101!?! Next time give me a ring, I'm always up for the Valley watering holes! Slim was taken care of business in Zion... if ya know what I mean.