So here's the long-awaited story of why I have to get the hell out of this state.

I found out a while back that a very good friend of mine from high school lives in this area. He does NOT live in the city. He lives out in the middle of nowhere. By the way, if you don't live within 10 miles of OKC or Tulsa, that's probably the middle of nowhere. It isn't like in DFW where the suburbs extend for quite a bit out from actual Dallas. Literally, you'll see houses and whatnot, and then BOOM out of nowhere it's like nuclear holocaust wiped everything out. Well, he lives out in nuclear winter-ville.

Over the last couple of years, we've called and texted "trying" to find time to get together, but my schedule has always been fairly crazy (or maybe I just didn't want to make the effort..who knows) and we never could make it work. Well, about 6 weeks ago, he calls me and we talk and he says something to the effect of "we've got to get together to watch a Cowboys game." I can get behind this.

I hate watching Cowboys games at my house, mainly because my wife does not seem to understand that I don't just want to be in the same room as a tv with the game on. I want to watch intently and study the game. I hate missing them...sometimes with my work schedule and whatnot, I miss a game (maybe once a season..MAYBE), but the point is that this excites me. I tell him I'd like to make this happen. Well, we settle on Saturday, December 17th. They're playing the Buccaneers. I text him mid-week, something like "we still on for Saturday?" He's a high school basketball coach, so his schedule can get nuts, too. He replies and says it's on. So I inform my wife that I am putting my foot down and I'm leaving for the night.

So I call him a couple of times Saturday, but he doesn't answer. I start thinking it's not gonna happen. Well, around 5:30 or so, he calls. I say "well, Norman is about halfway between us..why don't we meet up at Chilis on the parkway and we can watch the game and catch up on old times?" He says "I've got a better got a problem driving out here? It's ab out 30 miles into the abyss of rural Oklahoma, but I'm a nice guy. I say "sure." He tells me to bring warm clothes because there'll be a bonfire. I'm like "uh...okay." Thinking that maybe this is gonna be some party at a house where the game is on.

So I get dressed and meet him (a brief aside..his directions were "get off at the exit, turn right at the stop light and meet me in that parking lot." I ask "what street?" He says "the only one." RED FLAG, my friends). So I meet up with him in "the parking lot" of a closed-down gas station. We exchange pleasantries and he said "hop in, I'm driving..and you don't have to worry about beer cause I'm buyin." Sure..sounds good. Well, I get in and we start down the road. The the wheels start falling off.

We're about a mile down the road when I realize that he's got a beer can in the cupholder. Not that I'm a super prude or anything, but it's just not what I need to be involved in. And then after I'm done talking and he starts in, I realize he's drunk. Not hammered, but he shouldn't be driving. I ask where we're going, and he says it's about a mile away. OK..not making a cross-country trip or anything, I guess. I ask if he wants me to drive, and he declines.

Well, when we get to this person's house, there's a massive bonfire in the "yard" or "field" or "pasture" or whatever the fuck you call it out in the country. And we walk up and he introduces me. On the way up there, I'm thinking it's probably a bunch of people our age that he knows from the school. Nope. It's about five or six 50 year-old teachers. Just gettin' drunk. By a giant fire. In the middle of nowhere. OK..time to adapt. So I get a beer and I sit down. And I'm left out of the inside joke-filled conversation for about 20 minutes. Then my buddy mentions that he and I grew up playing hockey together. And one of the "crustier" hillbillies says "isn't that some sort of fa--ot canadian sport?" I chuckle nervously as I hear the Deliverance banjos start to play in the background of my head. I tell him I've never had sex with a dude while playing hockey, trying to be somewhat witty. That does not go over well. Silence by the fire.

So I look down at my watch and realize it's about 10 minutes until kickoff. And I'm wondering how/where we're gonna watch the game. We sit out there for a few more minutes and then one of the older "women" says that there's stew in the kitchen. So we all file in and IT'S FUCKING COMPLETELY COVERED IN FUCKING CHEESE. So I'm out on that. Plus I have NO idea what that stew is made from (more on that in a minute). So I say that I just ate a few minutes ago and I'll get some later, which is a lie.

As we're on our way back out of the house to this fire (5 minutes to kick off) we pass a tv, which has some sort of rando terrible bowl game featuring DeVry vs Aims Academy (if you get that joke, especially the 2nd part, you also watched too much Channel 11 midday programming in Dallas in the late 80s) and I say "yep..'bout time for the Cowboys game" and pretty much everyone ignores me. OK. So at this point, I realize that this isn't some sort of hillbilly football ritual. I've been dragged out to the middle of nowhere to hear teachers bitch about their fucking idiot kids next to a goddamned fire.

So I start trying to think of a way out. We get back out to the fire and I start tweeting about how ridiculous this is. I try not to be phone-centric when I'm out with other people, but now I don't give a fuck. After another 5 or 10 minutes, my friend goes inside for seconds. Leaving me out there by the fire with these total strangers. Then all of a sudden, I hear this random yelping far off in the background. I say "what the fuck was that?" They all start in with their crusty cowboy chuckles and say "what's the matter, boy? Ain't you ever heard no coyotes (pronouced "cay-yotes") before?" I say "well, no. I live in the city. I've never really done much out in the country." Then they all start in with their "city boy" routines. Lemme pause here and say that apparently it's good, great fun for these strangers to start pokin fun at the "city slicker" who has never heard a cay-yote before, but I guarantee if some fucking bum or hooker walked up to them and started bothering them, they would have no idea how to handle it. So because I live in the city doesn't mean I am just a helpless babe in the woods. I know how to deal with city problems, and they know how to deal with wild fucking animals or something.

Well, one of them starts obviously trying to put a scare into me, saying that I shoulda seen the bobcat that he shot the other day. "Musta been...shiiiiit...'bout 40 pound. Could be one watchin ya now. And if he's a-watchin', you ain't gonna last long." I start looking for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from the bushes with a camera crew. This is ridiculous. So I ask (probably not very smart) "well, what do you do with a dead bobcat? Do you eat it?" That starts a knee-slapping "yee-hawin'" laugh fest. They just needed some empty ceramic jugs with "XXX" on the side to blow into.

One of them says "so..yer buddy says yer a cop." I say "yeah." Then he starts to tell me about when he lived in Weatherford (OK) going to college and there was some drug deal about to go down in the apartment complex when he says "and we were watchin, and all of a sudden some car pulls up and a shitload of ni--ers get out." Out of pure reaction, I interrupt him and say "'s 2011. No need to use that word anymore" and the crowd falls silent. Like in the Pace Picante sauce ads where they find out the salsa is made in "NEW YORK CITY?!?!?!" So I get up and say "yeah...I gotta get the fuck out of here." I go inside and find my buddy and say "listen man..hate to punch out so quickly, but I gotta get home." He says "why so early" and I say "I jsut got some stuff I gotta get my wife wasn't feeling well (TOTAL COP OUT) and I told her I wouldn't be out late." So we walk out to his car and one from the gaggle of slackjaws yells out "why don't ya get some of that bobcat stew in there?! HAW HAW HAW" I turn around and as I'm about to tell him to fuck off my friend says "I wouldn't if I were you...they don't look very happy."

So my friend takes me to the abandoned gas station parking lot and I get in my car and go home. Just in time for the 2nd half. This fucking place. And I'm not going to be suckered into going out with that guy again.

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