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How Willie Nelson Triggered My First Manic Episode

It was 1978, and I was in my freshman year at the University of Texas in Austin. Sitting in my dorm room waiting for my roommate to get back from a date it was about 11:30pm. I was studying for a German class that had a mid-term exam the next day. Ich bin Verucht. (I’m crazy)

T​hat is where this adventure begins…

-​——————

(Door opens)

E​d walks into the room and slams the door.

“​Hey brother, what’s going on? I thought you had a hot date?”, I said.

Silence.

E​d opened his backpack and pulled out a bottle of Beam, opened the bottle and took a long swig.

“​Ahhhhhh. I needed that. The damn girl wanted to go home and study for tomorrow’s German exam. I wanted to go to the Willie Nelson concert in the park and lay on a blanket and spoon.”, he grunted.

“​Yeah well, I’ve been studying for the exam but I’m kinda burned out. Too bad the concert is probably over by now wasn’t it suppose to start at 9pm? Probably be over at 12”, I said.

“​I don’t care I want to see Willie, so I’m going to the park, you in?”, he asked.

“​Well even if we only get to see the last few songs that would be worth it, sure let’s go see what we can see.”, I answered. 

W​e left the dorm and got in my old Ford 1966 step-side pickup with my dirt-bike in the back. Driving to the park from the dorm was only about a 10-minute dash. We spent more time trying to find a parking place then it took to drive there, but we were not going to be detoured. I found a spot where I could drive up unto the grass. At least I wasn’t on the road, and we didn’t want to waste any more time looking for the perfect parking spot.

A​s we walked across a field of grass I could hear the sound of “Whiskey River take my mind…don’t let her memory torture me”. I was getting excited now. But when we got up closer we saw that the area for the concert was roped off and there was a guy at the gate taking money.

I said to the guy, “Hey, how much to get in?”

“It’s $5 man, but the concert is only going to last til midnight, so I don’t know if it would be worth it for ya. Sorry.”, he replied.

I turned to Ed and looked at him. 

“​Well, should we go someplace else?”

E​d said, “I came to see Willie. I’m going to see Willie.”

Ed turned to the security guy and asked, “Will you take $5 for the both of us? I mean we came all the way down here, and my girl just dumped me for a German test. Come on man, have a heart.”

T​he guard looked at the both of us and just said we could go in and to never-mind the $5 just have a good time. Oh yeah, that is what I’m talking about,

W​hen we got in there were people leaving and there was trash on the ground. Mostly beer cans next to full trash bins. But there was a stage and the band was taking a break.

I thought to myself, well it looks like the concert is over, and we are out of luck.

T​hen Willie came back to the stage with his guitar followed by the rest of the band.

“​Whiskey River take my mind…” started up again with gusto.

D​amn he was just singing that not too long ago. It seems like Willie sings that after every break and what I didn’t know until 3 hours later that Willie sang that song 17 times that night. He didn’t stop there. It was past midnight and things were not slowing down, In fact Willie and his band played for another 3 hours, Wow! We got in free and the show was awesome.

I could see people lighting up and smoking joints. It smelled of Willie weed. That was 30 years before Willie Nelson actually started a brand of weed called “Willie’s Reserve”. But I went up to a girl that was smoking and gave her a shy smile. She passed me the joint and I took it from her happily.

A​fter a couple of long draws I passed it back to her.

“​What’s your name? Mine is Lance”, I asked her.

S​he took a long draw and held the smoke in for what seemed like a minute, but was probably only 10 seconds. Then she coughed and blew out the smoke tapping the ashes on the ground.

“​Amy. Amy Jo is my name, nice to meet you Lance”, she said and then smiled.

E​d came over and pulled out his bottle of Jim Beam and took a swig, He held the bottle out to Amy Jo and asked if she wanted some. They traded joint for Beam.

W​e must of hung out and chilled to the music for about 5 Whiskey Rivers which was about 2 hours. (They played other songs between but this one I remembered.)

A​my, Ed and I were feeling no pain cuz we were like in Luckinbach Texas in our minds. The weed and Beam were tripping us out, and we swayed to the music.

I came closer looking at Amy and said, “I think you need a hug.”

S​he said, “I think I need more than a hug” and she came closer and kissed me. Right on the lips. I smiled, paused and then leaned in and gave her another long slow kiss with hints of Beam and weed on my tongue. Her arms grasped me and her right hand held on to the back of my neck. We were necking in the park, and I was high as a kite.

I​t was 3am and WIllie took the mike and said, “I’m glad you guys came out tonight. You are like family to me, all of you belong. We want to leave you with this last song, Amazing Grace”.

A​mazing grace was what I was going to need if I was going to make my 8am German class. Crap.

.​..

I didn’t hear the alarm clock go off because I forgot to set it. I must of come in around 4:20am and was still buzzing from the Beam and reeling from the kiss. I couldn’t remember too much but I figured I had a good time. On the floor was a piece of paper with some writing. I looked at it and saw a number signed Amy Jo. Whew wee. I did have a good time last night or early morning I thought.

E​d wasn’t in the room. Either he found a girl to go home with, or he was in German class taking the exam as it was now 9:30am and class was from 8 to 10. I had totally missed the exam and the whole class. I didn’t care at this point now, but I would have to go see the professor and tell him I was sick and needed a remake.

I looked out the window from the 3rd floor down at the street and saw that my truck was not in its normal parking spot or anywhere else on the street to be found. I guess I had left it at the park and walked home. Jeez I had blacked out.  I either walked home or had been given a ride cuz I didn’t have cab fare.

W​alking the 2 miles from Jester Dorm to the park near the Capital grounds, I didn’t feel hung over. In fact, I was still feeling pretty high and happy for having stayed out all night. No matter, I was going to take a mental health day and blow off all my other classes which was one. A computer science programming class in Fortran, which I didn’t have trouble with cuz I was good at math.

W​hen I got to the truck, I noticed that my dirt bike wasn’t in the back anymore. Someone must of borrowed it. Great. I got in and fired up Smokey. (I called my truck Smokey after the pony I had growing up as a kid. A present from my Dad on my 5th birthday.)

I​nstead of going home, I had a vision to go to Hippy Hollow today. Hippy Hollow was on Lake Travis and was a spot for nudist. I felt pretty confident that I could go and chill out with some hippies. So that is where I started to drive. Besides, I didn’t have my bathing suit nor anything with me except my back pack with a paperback book titled “Narnia Chronicles”. I was going to do down to the nudist swimming hole, find a spot and read a book. That was the plan. 

I​t was not too long before I was on the winding road to Lake Travis and only 30 minutes til I pulled up to a side road that I knew went down to the lake and a boat ramp. I parked and got out with my backpack.

I could hear laughing and splashing as I got nearer the water. There was about 30 people all hung out enjoying the sun. Yeppers it was the right place cuz everybody was nude. I found a spot close to the water, and a grassy area with not too many rocks. It was rocky all around.

I put my pack down and took off my clothes. Shoes, socks, pants, under-wear, but decided to leave my t-shirt on. It said, “Fish naked, show off your pole.” There was a girl looking at me that wore nothing but cowgirl boots and a hat. She had a BudLight in her hand and was dancing to some music. It wasn’t Whiskey River but it didn’t matter, I couldn’t care less what she was playing as she was sun-tanned and gorgeous.

I sat down on the grass and pulled out my book, I’m going get me some Aslan and Narnia critters in my brain. Relax. Restore. Repeat. This was my plan and a pretty good one I thought.

I​ started thinking about my German class and the exam. What was I going to say to the professor and when was I going to go see him. Awww, tomorrow I can go to his office and plead for mercy.

T​he day went as I had planned. There were blue skies looking at me. Nothing but blue skies did I see. And of course I saw the buxomed cowgirl all tan and svelte. When it was 4, I decided I had sun-burned enough and had finished my book. It was time to go home and take a nap. The only thing was I wasn’t tired. The reverse in fact, I felt energized. Super charged. My mind was racing and I had all kinds of ideas about Amy Jo, the music, my motorcycle possibly starting a band. 

I was a guitar player and sang. A singer-songwriter that learned to play the guitar in Kentucky from a pig farmer that played the banjo near my Uncle Leo’s farm. 

I spent 5 summers at my Uncle Leo’s farm and I had a girlfriend there named Denise. I chuckled at the thought because my older cousins both had a crush on Denise, and I was only 14 then when I met her at a barn dance. I went up to her and said, “Hi, I’m Lance from Texas”. That was all it took to dance with her all night long. She was 18 which was 4 years older, but we clicked and all summer long we stuck together like corn on a cob. She taught me wondrous things. Smiling now.

O​k, back to earth or should I just fly home. I opted to drive my truck back to the dorm.

The next day I was still feeling pretty high. I didn’t think that weed lasted that long, but maybe Amy Jo had some magic weed or something. I felt like going to the BSC. That was the Biblical Studies Center where I went to church and hung out with other spiritual seeking college students. Besides they went on trips to camps and did things on campus. Ed and I both went there together almost every Sunday and Wednesday nights. 

I took a course in the book of Luke from Tony Ash which was my favorite teacher. He made everything seem so easy to understand. He knew Greek, and he also taught my favorite class which was a survey of all of C.S. Lewis’s works. The Chronicles of Narnia was assigned for this week, and I was pleased that I had read the whole book in one day. Good thing cuz there was a test that week.

A​ny ways, my Luke class was at 10am and that gave me enough time to get some coffee and sit in the library of the BSC waiting for class to begin. Only Ed and I were signed up for the class. I felt like we were getting some quality time with Tony. He loved teaching. He loved the book of Luke. Luke the doctor he would say, only he would just call him the Doctor.

C​lass was in an upper room in the BSC and there were windows with bright sunlight shining into the room. We all sat around a long table with our bibles and commentaries. The commentary was written by Tony, it was his book we referenced most of the time outside of just reading the bible.

C​lass began, and I was assigned to read. After about twenty minutes into the class, I noticed that Ed had put his head down on the table. I looked over at Tony, and he was also asleep. The sunshine had made the room really warm and the sound of my voice reading monotone had made it the perfect nap time. I laugh at this today, that I put the professor to sleep.

O​h damn, the professor, I needed to go see my professor for my German class. I ddn’t want to go alone so after bible class, (we all woke up) I asked Ed if he had taken the exam. He said no, he had blown off class like me and had spent the night at a girl’s dorm room whom he had met at the park.

I asked him, I don’t remember anything about that night but the beginning and meeting Amy Jo. He said oh yeah you and Amy were getting along good, so I left to go dance with this girl I met there.

S​o we both needed to go see the German teacher together and beg for a chance to retake the exam on another day. We got to the office the hours posted were stating that the professor should be in. I knocked on the door and heard a voice say to come inside.

T​here he was, our German teacher. I looked at him and he looked at me. I was about ready to open my mouth and explain myself when he spoke up first.

“​Boys”, he said “This is your lucky day!”

H​e continued, “I know you both skipped my class, missed my class and had the hemorrhagic flu or something of the sort but I have some news that will make you extremely happy.”

“Well, yes we did miss the class, and I am sorry but…”, I started to say til he cut me off by raising a hand.

“I know, I know you want to take the exam another time. That won’t be necessary as I am leaving the college. I am taking a job in Industry as a paid consultant. I will be making a lot more money and I have to start my new job next week. Which means that there will be no more German class this semester, but you would get your grades. Now, by missing the class you get an F and that will bring your C average to a D average.”, he said.

I thought oh God I’m going to get a D at least it not an F, but my mom ain’t going to be too thrilled with that news.

“​And Boys, the lucky thing for you is that I am going to grade on a special curve, because I am leaving the course. Both of you are going to get an ‘A’. That is my parting gift to you.”, he smiled when he said it.

“​I, I can’t believe it. Well thank you. Thank you and good luck to you.”, I said.

O​ver the next few weeks I didn’t sleep much at night. I was a regular chatter box with ideas and dreams whenever I was around anyone. I spent some time with Amy Jo when we went to a movie. I could tell we were going to be good friends and I made sure that I treated her with respect cuz I wanted to keep her around. Besides not sleeping at night too well, and being the life of the party which wasn’t me. I was an introvert, a nerd. But I smoked a lot of weed and figured that was what was making me so hyper.’

I dreamed that Amy Jo and I would get married some day and that I would maybe be an engineer. No, maybe I would be an astronaut or a pilot. Or later on a Senator!

I was having grand dreams. Delusions.

N​o sleep. Dreams beyond belief. Racing thoughts. Chatter-box. And feeling very sexy around Amy Jo all the time.

W​hat I didn’t know at the time was I was in a manic episode. I was having bipolar symptoms before I even knew what it was.

W​hat caused all of this? Was it the weed? Was it the beam? Was it the flu?

N​ope, it was the lack of sleep and staying up all night at the Willie concert. And maybe some of it was the weed. (THC can provoke psychosis in some people).

I still today believe that my manic symptoms were caused by staying up and going to the Willie Nelson concert in the park.

I​ never saw my motorcycle again, but I didn’t care too much I found Amy Jo instead out of the thing.

T​hat is why I believe that Willie Nelson caused me (triggered) my first manic episode. More to follow over the 40 years of life that bring me up to the current day.

Sleep is not over-rated. I am triggered by lack of sleep. I sometimes like today, cut my sleep hours by 3 hours so that I could get a little boost. That is what I needed to get creative, and courageous enough to write this post.

Thank you Willie, thank you Beam and God Bless Amy Jo wherever you are.

If you got a kick out of this, could you buy me a coffee?

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Just another old moody musician that smokes weed

Hi Bbqdad here.

I have bipolar disorder and PTSD.

For 40 years I lived untreated and could not find any relief for my symptoms because I was stubborn and didn’t believe my diagnosis.

All during this time, I had manic episodes come and go about every summer and depression in the winter. Seasonal trigger from light and darkness in Alaska. Everyone is depressed in the winter and everyone acts manic and doesn’t sleep in the summer with 24 hours of daylight.

I lost jobs because I couldn’t sit at a desk or stop engaging with other co-workers. I couldn’t stop flirting with one co-worker. She filed a complaint I found out at my firing.

It has caused me to spend thousands of dollars on cars, trailers, land, guitars, women and drugs. Mostly LSD and mushrooms. Although a girl got me to try heroin and meth once. I just couldn’t say no to her. I never got hooked on anything, as I only did it recreationally. And being Manic I was happy and high already, so I wasn’t really needing anything else to feel good. I just did stuff for fun.

I wanted and still want to be a rock star.

I was living my mantra, “sex, drugs, and rock n roll“. Maybe that is why all the bad behavior. (nope psychosis/delusions of grandeur, oh my!)

That’s mania for ya.

But year after year of unhealthy living and bad decisions the symptoms kept getting worst.

Three years ago I had severe manic episodes that lasted for 6 months. I lost my job, apartment and started living in my truck.

I had no money for gas. I stood on the side of the road with my guitar and an empty gas can. A lady in an office building came down from her penthouse suite and gave me $20 for gas. That got me going again.

I made money singing on the street. I gave rides to drug dealers and homeless people. But I was afraid for my life, struggled for food and gas every day.

I met a girl.

She was 25 years old with red hair and dimples. I asked her if she needed a ride. She said yeah. We had a thing, went to music festivals all summer together. She never left me all summer and lived in my truck with me. Her name was Kandy Crush.

Kandy could walk up to a gas pump and get the next car over to pay for our gas. She was that good at conning people. She taught me how to survive on the streets.

Then one night, I came back from street singing and couldn’t find the truck. I couldn’t find Kandy. She had the keys to turn the heater on and move the truck if a cop showed up. But now I couldn’t find her, and I was on time when I said I would be back.

I never saw her again.

I was alone on the streets. No truck. No money. I broke down and wept.

This was winter time with snow on the ground. 24 hours of darkness. I was majorly depressed. This losing the truck due to betrayal was a trigger.

I felt so bad that I decided I should just end it.

Then I remembered my kids. What would they feel like if they found out I OD’ed on something? That is what stopped me in my tracks.

I stepped into a business and told them I needed 911.

A police car showed up and took me to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska.

I was hospitalized and received treatment. Now, I am stable and want to help others that have the same journey.

Medication

I take meds to smooth out my moods. Mood stabilizers they are called. They make me feel flat. No happy. No sad. Well, some sadness but mainly just nothing. Flat.

I don’t feel like playing my guitar. Don’t want to cook or do really anything I like to do. I am grateful that I got another job, but I hate it. At least I can afford to pay rent. And the police found my truck and I got it back. A little damaged but drive able. So that is good. But I still felt flat.

I started smoking weed.

I took a tip from my old friend Willie Nelson from his book “One Hell of a ride” to start smoking weed. I thought why not it’s good enough for Willie, it’s good enough for me.

I was looking to boost my mood (get high) and spur my creativity, so I could write some more songs. I love to write. Music, poetry, blog posts, and now tweets.

So I was on one hand thinking it could make me manic, on the other it could give me relief.

The question was, “Could weed help symptoms of bipolar and PTSD?

Would I get relief? Could it hurt?

I read up a little on cannabis and bipolar and there are mixed reviews. Some very strong arguments that it could provoke mania and psychosis in bipolar people. I was a little concerned, but I decided to go ahead and try it.

Relief from bipolar and PTSD.

Now, I have found that it calms me down and helps me sleep at night which is a great benefit to get 8 hours of deep sleep.

In any case I am an olde moody musician that smokes tomato plants that don’t grow tomatoes. By BbqDad

If you enjoyed this post then Buy Me a Coffee

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My Bipolar Blog: Why do I write it?

Why do I write?

I have to answer that question every time I sit down to write a post.

Part of the reason I write is that I enjoy writing and it makes me happy. It relaxes my mind and takes me away from manic racing thoughts. When I write, I am too busy to listen to my other thoughts. I am focused on my writing.

Who am I writing for?

Over the last 40 years I have ridden a roller-coaster called bipolar disorder. I have been hospitalized several times, lived on the streets in my truck, thought about killing myself and felt like for the longest time I was alone.

I don’t want anyone to have to suffer what I have suffered through with this disease. AND if you have been on the bipolar roller-coaster then you should know now that you are not alone.

If you have bipolar or are a family/friend of someone with bipolar then I’m talking to you.

What is my purpose for this blog?

I want to help others that have bipolar find relief.

Tagline: How to get relief from bipolar using music, meditation and meds.

I am choosing to be vulnerable and share personal stories about mania, depression, addiction and PTSD. I hope that getting to know me this way will give you someone to relate to, and we can start a conversation.

I use this wordpress blog to share my story and how I get relief. But I want to hear your story, and the best way I know is to meet up at my online support community. (depressionforums.org)

The benefit of joining there is that it is anonymous and we can share in forums but also in direct messaging.

On the forums I am pretty visible as “Bbqdad”. I have a profile, a blog and a welcome to new member’s topic which is where to first meet.

You get to vent and share about your own struggles and successes battling bipolar disorder. Besides me there are several people I have met online which can give support and are good listeners.

What are the benefits?

  • You won’t be alone
  • A place to speak your mind
  • to find relief

Together with my blog and a support group, I believe I can help others with bipolar find relief.

If you enjoyed this post then Buy Me a Coffee

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Get relief at Depression Forums online support group

I have bipolar disorder and PTSD.

Often times family and friends do not understand or get overwhelmed dealing with my mood changes. At these times an online support group comes in handy.

My go to online support group is depressionforums.org.

The Depression Forums is a depression and mental health social community support group. It has forums on mental health issues including topics on medication.

I take part in several forum topics including:

  • bipolar / depression / ptsd / anxiety
  • how do you feel?
  • medications

Features I like about the support group:

  • the caring people I have met (I talked to someone with the handle coincidentally named bipolar420)
  • One feature allows finding unread or followed content
  • notification when someone likes or quotes content you wrote
  • one on one messaging
  • large about me section (allowed me to include my website link)

Depression Forums Online Support Group Homepage

I would love to meet you over there and chat sometime.

My handle is Bbqdad on the site.

You may be looking to vent to someone, read about other people’s experiences or are looking for some relief from an online support group. If so then, I recommend you visit the Depression Forums at depressionforums.org.

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Celebrate First Published Poem

Today I got my first published poem. Celebrate!

One of my followers from 3 years ago is a Doctor MD and has her own blog about Poetry & Medicine. Her blog reads like a magazine is professional and informative about areas of medicine. Her poetry is beautiful and I would recommend anyone that has bipolar or any other mental illness to take a visit to her site.

I SAY THANK YOOOOOOU!

Published on PhoebeMD.com

Why did I want to cut myself?

One day when I was feeling really sad and flat like I didn’t feel anything, I decided to cut myself just a little. 

The first time, I was scared. The razor was sharp. I cut the pad of my thumb. I felt a sting when the blade sliced it’s way past my fingerprint. There was blood. I let it drip. 

Why did I want to cut myself?

Emotionally I didn’t feel anything, I felt flat. Cutting was a way to feel something. And when friends cut together it was a community. My girlfriends all cut and we shared stories and scars whenever we were together.

Also, the physical cut initially causes pain. The pain triggers the brain to release endorphins which have feel-good properties like making you high. It’s the runners high we always hear about, where the runner having exerted herself gets a release and high. You get the same high from smoking weed. Weed also works on the endocannabinoid system. 

So the whole thing about cutting is to feel something. Then to feel good. To get high.

I had one of my Daddy’s razor blades, I said I needed to shave my legs.

I had on a long sleeve pullover with a black hoodie. I rolled up my left arm sleeve and exposed my arm. I didn’t really feel anything. Sure it hurt a little, but at least I was feeling something. Soon I would feel the good vibes as my brain would send love to stop the pain. Kind of like a runner’s high.

After I made a couple of cuts, I watched the blood drip down my arm. Don’t worry I wasn’t gonna make a mess I had a towel laid underneath my arm. I usually waited for the blood to dry, then I would wipe it off with alcohol and a cotton ball. I only did it on my left arm.

I was saving my right arm, my virgin arm. I was saving it for when I really wanted it cut all the way through. That’s how I could end it. That’s how I would end it.

###

This is an excerpt from my book “Falling In Love with Bipolar” and this is Amy Jo.

Edging Santa [poem]

Edging Santa

Beyond time
Beyond dreams
There’s a moment
The camera sees

The camera sees
A naked me
Dripping drops
From hair unteased

Blood warmed skin
Kissed by arctic wind
Force open pores
To close again

Fragrant scent
In Flower hole
Moist and wet
From depths below

A Misty pool
Concentric rings
Dancing waves
To life flow synched

Just a flick
Just a tingle
Hot spring woken
By one finger

Just a drip
Juicy moist
Sweet sweet wine
On lips to taste

Shotgun smoke
In my heavenly hole
Sweet sweet wine
From my Holy Hole

Let it rain
Let it pour
Sweet sweet wine
From my Holy Hole

Widening smile
Deepening dimples
Quickening breath
Pinching nipple

Finger dipped
In heated pool
Flicking bean
Frickin kewl

Shotgun smoke
In my heavenly hole
Sweet sweet wine
From my Holy Hole

Let it rain
Let it pour
Sweet sweet wine
From my Holy Hole

Jest one moment
Let me be
Only once
I’m Jest Me

Santa-bating
Santa-cize
Flick that bean
Flood gates rise

XXXmas time
Comes once a year
Then why is Santa’s
Sleigh still here?

Santa knows
Santa cares
Snowy beard
Tickles there

In the sky
misty drops
Lights are dancing
Pants are dropped

You want in
You want me
Lick my bean
Set me free

Broken rings
Engorged eruptions
Body shaking
No interruptions

Santa Daddy
Oh don't stop
Riding north pole
til i drop

Oh my goodness
Oh my god
Santa-bate me
Santa’s hard

That’s my moment
When i cream
Flick my bean
On Santa dreams

You want in?
You want me?
Then stop the camera
Come to me.

###

Written By Amy Jo | I’m Jest Me
The MC in my book “Falling in Love with Bipolar”

Lights Out

I was a freshman at the University of Texas in Austin. I had met a girl named Amy Jo at a Willie Nelson Concert 3 weeks prior and was going to meet her to hang-out when she got off work.

T​hat is where this adventure begins…

-​—-

A​my worked at Bikinis which was a Sports Bar down on 6th street. She was a bartender and it was Saturday night, and was going to be working until 2am, so I planned to see her at the bar around midnight. 

T​he day had been great, as I had attended a UT vs Texas A&M football game at the stadium which was next to my dorm. The Longhorns won. I had gone to Jester Hall to eat at the cafeteria and now I was playing in a pool tournament at the World Billiard Hall also on 6th street. Amy’s bar was a block away.

I was pretty good at pool. OK, I was damn good at pool. I learned to play when I was 11 at my mom’s bar called the Runway Lounge. The bar was located next to Randolph Airforce base and so a lot of Airmen went there. Different Airmen taught me how to play and I got so good that I was invited to play on the men’s team when they played at the bar. One time during a game against the “Who Knows” Lounge, I ran the table and didn’t give my opponent a chance.

Tonight, at 18 years old, I was even better. I ran the table twice in the best of 7 games competition. By the end of the night, I had won the pot. A total of $250 was what I walked away with and it was almost midnight, so I decided it was time to go.

It was a sunny day and warm earlier, but the night-time had turned a little chilly with the Fall weather we were having. Luckily, I was wearing a leather coat over my t-shirt, so I was comfortable. I had worn the jacket cuz I was going on the date and wanted to look a little nicer than just a t-shirt.

I​ walked along the street passing various bars which lined both sides. Many had open shutters that let you see into the bar and see all the patrons. One bar had a bachelorette party inside and it was still going strong. If I wasn’t going on a date, I might have crashed that party.

B​ikinis had gotten its name because, you guessed it, all the girls wore bikini tops and Daisy Dukes. I had seen Amy Jo in her uniform before, and she looked hot! Long brown hair, tan legs and arms. But the best thing was her big brown eyes and bright smile. I couldn’t wait to see her tonight.

S​he made me feel special when I was around her. Sometimes I would just listen to her voice as she told me about her day. Other times I could tell her anything and I knew she would get it. She got it and because of that she was winning my heart.

W​hen I got to Bikinis, the bar was packed. I pressed my way in after briefly talking to the bouncer. There was one seat open at the bar with a view of a big screen TV that was showing Saturday Night Live with a skit showing John Belushi as a Samarai. I seated myself there and waited.

A​my Jo saw me and came over to say hello.

“​Hi, Lance you look nice in your jacket.”, she said.

“​Thanks, Amy Jo you look nice. Um, you got me drooling over here looking at you.”, I said, and she blushed.

“​What will you have?”, she asked as she looked at me with her big brown eyes.

“​Give me a Shiner Bock. 24 oz”, I answered.

A​fter she poured my beer she went to help other customers. I couldn’t help noticing her Daisy Dukes as she walked away. Damn, I’m a lucky guy.

T​onight, I had $250 winnings and about $40 of my own I had before. I wanted to buy a bag of weed and Amy Jo knew where to get it. She lived in a grow house with her landlord Sam.

S​aturday Night Live was over and now I was just watching the late night talk shows and nursing a beer. I didn’t want to drink too much since I was going to be driving Smokey. Smokey is my truck named after the pony I had as a child. My Dad had bought him for me on my 5th birthday.

H​e had run wild for 5 years so my Dad was able to buy him for $30. I was the only one that could ride him. He at first would buck me off. Then my grandma would tell me to get back on and teach him who the master was. I was supposed to be the master, but Smokey and I both knew that Grandma was the master of us both. 

Once during one of these “training” sessions called “Breaking Smokey”, I suggested something to the pony when I whispered in his ear. I told him that if he didn’t buck me off and pranced around the yard with me on his back, I would give him half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Smokey thought this was a good idea as he whinnied his approval. Grandma came out and said, “Time to get back on the horse cowboy”. 

Smokey let me climb on his back, and we proceeded to ride around the yard. Grandma clapped her hands and said she had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some milk ready for my lunch, and she went in to bring it out to me. 

When she returned a bee came buzzing around my head, and I spilled the milk accidentally and dropped my sandwich. Smokey gobbled it up. I was so mad at Smokey for eating my lunch, but he just smiled at me like nothing was wrong. That was that.

F​inally, it was 2am and the last call. The TVs were turned off and the bar lights were turned up brighter. Amy would be off soon as she closed.

A​my came up to me.

“​Where did you park Lance?”, she asked.

“​Oh, I parked over on Red River and 7th in the large gravel parking lot.”, I said.

“​Why don’t you go get your truck and bring it around to the side street and by the time you get back I will be done counting the money.”, she said.

I​t was about 3 city blocks east and then one block north to the parking lot. It would take me 15 minutes to get there. The streets were full of other people that had just come pouring out of the bars that were closing. I decided to cut over to 7th street early because of the crowd.

T​he parking lot was poorly lit except for a few street lamps. I had parked Smokey next to one so that I could see. No one was really around, so I didn’t much think about running into anyone, but I was wrong.

W​hen I got to the truck, I heard a voice behind me say, “Hey man, can I ask you a question?”

I turned and saw a guy with two friends approaching me from behind another car. I felt startled and a little uncomfortable as there were three of them and one of me.

“​I don’t know, what is your question?”, I asked.

“​Do you have a light?”, he said.

I did have a lighter. I didn’t smoke cigarettes but I used it to smoke weed. I didn’t want to be hanging around these guys. One of the guys behind looked like he had a baseball bat hanging down on one side. They all looked rough. I felt uncomfortable and nervous, so I decided to give him a light and hope he went away.

“​Sure, I got a light, but I’m in a hurry and can’t really hang around.”, I said.

“​Boy, why don’t you give me your wallet and your keys?”, he whispered as I handed him my lighter.

O​h my God, the three of them were arm distance, and he was asking me for my money. 

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t care about the money so much but I sure as hell wasn’t going to give him my keys to Smokey. I hesitated to answer or do anything. I wanted to run, but they looked pretty athletic, and I was already surrounded.

“​Give me the fucking keys or me and my boys will take them from you and you are going down.”, he yelled.

I impulsively swung and hit him in the face, then I turned to run. My heart was pounding, my breath was short.

The second guy grabbed my coat tail and I tried to pull away. 

The third guy came up in front of me and cut me off. I tried to take a swing at him, but he pulled his bat up and hit me in the forehead. I went down, then he pushed me hard until I was on the ground.

T​he first guy kicked me in the ribs and then in the face.

L​ights out. I was unconscious and laying face down on the ground.

There are no beans in my chile.

T​he smell of sage and cumin permeated the air in my truck “Smokey”. Both the chile and the truck were red. I was listening to the radio playing some Willie Nelson as I drove down Red River from Prather Hall on the University of Texas campus.

(​”Blue skies looking at me, Nothing but blue skies…”)

T​he skies were really blue on Saturday morning. I made my way to the Town Lake City Park next to the museum on the water. There was plenty of parking at 9am since the official time for cooks to arrive and start cooking chili was 10am. I was an hour early but wanted to set up my booth and make sure I had a convenient place to park near where the entrance was setup.

T​he event I was attending was called the “Texas Chili Challenge”. It was sponsored by several corporations in the Austin area, but I was most interested in the sponsor called Bikinis. That was the bar that Amy Jo worked at on weekends. I was early, because I wanted to set up my booth and then have time to help her. She was going to be the MC at the Chili Challenge, and I was not only a cook, I was an entertainer. There would be many musicians and singer-songwriters in attendance like me at the contest.

B​efore I started unloading my gear, I wanted to talk to someone in charge and find out exactly where was my booth and when could I move my stuff. I wasn’t sure if I had to wait til 10am or not like everyone else. If so no sweat, I got my parking spot and that was all that mattered to me at the moment.

I​ saw rows of tents with folding tables inside. Each tent was a 10×10 plot of grass and the tents were numbered 1-20. There was a larger tent say 20×20 foot next to a small stage. The sound system had not been delivered and no one was in the larger tent. So I was the first to arrive.

I​ decided instead of sitting in my truck to wait, I would walk over to the coffee shop and get a couple of coffees. I had only known Amy Jo for 3 weeks, since meeting her at the Willie concert but I knew she liked to drink “Caramel Macchiato” with two shots of espresso in a 16 oz cup. Myself, I could survive with an Americano in a 12oz cup with two shots of espresso, black with no cream of sugar.

W​hile I was waiting for my order, I used the pay phone that was next to the rest rooms to call Amy Jo and see if she had left or not. She didn’t answer the phone, so I assumed she was already on her way. (No cell phones in 1978) I couldn’t wait to see her again. I mean I saw her almost every day after my classes when I went to her house for 4:20.

I​t was about 9:45am when I returned from the coffee shop and walked the full width of the park to get to the stage and judging tent. Then I saw her little yellow racing striped VW bug next to Smokey. I knew she was there somewhere, most likely the judges tent next to the stage.

W​hen I got to the tent I went in and there she was, “Good morning, Amy Jo”

S​he turned around from unrolling a poster board that she was writing on and looked at me and smiled.

“​HI Lance, you actually got here on a Saturday morning earlier than I expected.”, she smiled.

I​ walked over to her and leaned in and kissed her. She put her arms around me and kissed me back and then held me tight. I was in heaven whenever I was around this girl.

Y​ou see Amy Jo was a farm-girl, drove tractors and rode horses growing up as a kid. She wasn’t afraid to change the oil in her bug herself. She also loved to hunt and fish and besides all that she was beautiful. At 5’7″ with long brown hair and big brown eyes she turned heads.

“​Amy do you know what booth that I am suppose to set up my stuff?”, I asked.

“​Let me look on the schedule and assignments list.”, she said as she opened her notebook and thumbed through the sheets of paper she had written on.

“​Here honey, you are at booth 5 over on the right.”, she answered.

“​Do you need any help from me before I go and lug all my stuff to the booth?”, I asked wanting to be helpful.

“​No there are others that will show up to do check ins and I don’t really have to MC anything until the tasting starts at Noon. But the music starts at 1pm and I do have to check in all the musicians and let them know the schedule. BTW, are you still willing to sing?”, she explained.

“​Yes, I brought my guitar and will bring it out whenever you let me know what time I am on in the schedule:”, I answered.

“​It looks like I can put you at 1pm til 1:20pm. You will be the first to play after the official lunch hour begins and the voting starts.”, she said. “That gives you enough time for 3 songs.”

T​hat was also when the first draw for the judges would be expected. I was glad that Ed would be coming later to help me out at the booth. He could serve any chili up to passer-byes while I was playing my guitar.

I​ went to Smokey and loaded my pots and propane burner along with a basket of food ingredients into a little red wagon. I got my guitar case and strapped that on my back and pulled the wagon to the tent #5 not too far from the stage. 

All the chili had to be started and finished at the park, no precooking or marinating was allowed. I planned to marinate my steak in Shiner Bock beer while my chile sauce was simmering.

M​y booth was setup, but we were not allowed to start cooking until 10am and then the judging started at 1pm. That was three hours to tenderize the meat and simmer the chili. Since I was setup, I decided to tune my guitar and strum a bit until the cooking began in 15 minutes.

.​..

M​y chile does not contain beans.

T​he recipe that I use has been passed down from the days of the wagon trains that had come to Texas when General Sam Houston was the President of the Republic of Texas.

R​ecipe for Lonesome for San Antone Chile:

  • 3​ lbs of rib eye beef (Any beef will do but I was using steak for my chile today)
  • 2​ cups of Gebhardts chili powder
  • 2​ cups of cumin
  • 1​/2 cup of honey
  • 6​ pack of Shiner Bock (any stout will do but I’m in Texas so Shiner is my beer)
  • 1​/2 cup of olive oil
  • f​lour

T​he trick for competition chile is that I use a pot and a black skillet. The reason is that there are only 2 hours to cook the gravy and tenderize the meat. To tenderize the meat requires a sear and then a boil and then a simmer for an hour. That would be too hot of a temperature to cook the gravy. The dark red gravy is simmered on low for the 2 hours. The whole process requires also two propane burners to get the job done.

S​teps:

H​eat up the big black skillet on high heat until a drop of water will dance a jig popping and sputtering until it flies into the ether. Put in the olive oil. Throw in the cubed meat. Did I mention that you have to cube the meat? Yeppers, a 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch cube is the goal. This can be accomplished by cutting the meat into 1/4 inch strips then cutting the strips into cubes.

O​nce the meat is seared on all sides, turn the heat down to low and pour in a bottle of Shiner. Until the meat is just covered by the liquid goodness. It might take 2 Shiners, if not then you can drink the rest of the beer. Oh did I mention that since you have to let the judges have a taste and the crowd to be fed, I doubled up on the recipe.

L​et the meat simmer, now it time to make the gravy. Put all the leftover dry ingredients into the pot. Pour in the rest of the beer. (That is if you haven’t drank them all. Bad.) Put the temp on low and simmer for 2 hours.

T​hat’s it! Oh, that’s not just it, you have to combine the meat and the gravy for the last hour of cooking. That way the tenderized and softened cubes will soak up all the red goodness.

T​he last 15 minutes is critical. It is the last taste.

T​aste the chile. The cube should have some definition but be broken down. I know there is nothing you can do about it at this point but just saying. The gravy should be a deep red brownish color, this is something you can do by adding more chili powder. But I usually end of adding some cumin for taste. This is also now where you take some flour and mix it with cold water and add some to the gravy and meat to thicken it. It is an ART and so it is hard to explain but this will help make it the consistency that you want.

T​hat’s it my friend. That is a bowl of red competition chile. (I keep using the word “chile” instead of the word “chili” just cuz I think it gives it more a Spanish origin or Texican when I talk about it, but they sound the same).

(​Sharp sound of feedback from mic on stage)

“​Hi, my name is Amy Jo and this is the Texas Chili Challenge”. Welcome to everyone that has come to have some fun, some music and some great tasting chili. Also, welcome to all of our chili cooks! Today one of you cooks will be crowned the Texas Chili Champion. And one of you will be crowned the Traditional Texas Chili. The Champion will get t-shirts for your team. The Traditional will be qualify to go to Terlingua to compete in the World Chili Championships as our competition is a regional qualifier event.”, said Amy Jo in a spunky elevated mood type of way.

(A​my was definitely hypo-manic today, and so was I although I didn’t know what the term meant back then)

“​It’s NOON and it’s time to taste the chili and to vote. The way the voting works, is that you get a taste of each chili (a little dixie cup with a spoonful of chili) and if you like the taste and/or you like the team that cooked the chili then vote for them. A vote is $1, or $5 or any amount. The money will be used to donate to our charity the “Little Black Dress Society” which is an organization that helps abused women feel good about themselves by having girl’s nights out and support groups. So vote big with your wallets. Every 30 minutes, while the bands are setting up we will collect the money from the tip jars at every booth and tally it on this big white board behind me. The teams will be ranked by the total tips they receive. After the judges tasting we will stop the voting and at 4:20pm we will announce the winners.”, Amy Jo announced.

“​Let the tasting and the voting begin, And BTW, you can put gold in the tip jar too as we can weigh and value to the market price into dollars that vote. Diamonds are also accepted. So please open your hearts and let the love flow. Now to entertain you we have 20 different groups that will be singing. Some of them are professional musicians and bands from around the Texas area. Some of them are amatuer singer-songwriters. The first artist that will be playing should come up on stage and will have 20 minutes of fame. So come on up, a guy that is really sweet and has unlimited good vibes, and yes I haven’t told him yet but he is my boyfriend! His name is Lance “Ghost” Merrick. So give it up for Lance!”, she shouted.

I​ had my guitar, and Ed was manning the booth so I went on stage.

“​Hi, I’m Lance “Ghost” Merrick and this is the Pole Jerkin Blues”, I shouted over the mic.

(​guitar strum in the key of G, I always play most of the time in the Key of G cuz that is my vocal range  and it is the Blues.)

P​ole Jerkin Blues

“​Don’t get the Pole Jerkin Blues, 

don’t get the Pole Jerkin Blues, 

No it aint no good news, when you get the Pole Jerkin Blues. 

She let me call her honey, 

spent all my money and left me home alone.”, I sang with a bluesy raspy voice.

I​ also sang a Willie Nelson song, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. 

Then I finished up my 20 minute set with my signature song called:

“S​mokin MaryJane and Riding Cheyenne”

“​Smokin MaryJane and riding Cheyenne.

S​mokin MaryJane getting all of it I can

A​ll my troubles be over when I’m feeling no pain, after

S​mokin MaryJane and riding Cheyenne”, I sang at the top of my lungs.

I​ got a nice round of applause and had a lot of hooting and hollering from the crowd as I sang my songs. I was on a high, probably cuz I had just smoked some weed and had all this (manic) energy for the last 3 weeks since the Willie Nelson concert. Oh, the Willie Nelson concert I loved it. That was where I met Amy Jo and wow I was now her boyfriend, what a trip!

“​Ok, GIVE US A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR LANCE “GHOST” MERRICK.

T​hat was wonderful, now we are going to give you the tally of our first 30 minutes of voting.

I​n third place is Lonesome for San Antone Chili by Lance with $150.

I​n second place is the 5 Amigoes “Mexican HotCha Cha Ahhhhh Chili”, with $220.

A​nd in 1st place is “Do You Love Me, Do you Want Me Chili” by the Bikini’s team with $325!”, announced Amy Jo.

T​he Bikinis team was in 1st place. It was no wonder. I don’t know what their chili tasted like, but what they looked like WOW! It was 5 girls from the Bikini’s bar all dressed in their uniforms which consisted of very little. Bikinis! Yellow, Blue, Red, White, and Hot Pink. Damn. There is just no way that anyone is going to beat that!

T​hen I had an idea. I had a hay bale that Ed had brought to decorate our booth from his Mama’s farm out in West Texas. I carried the bale of hay up onto the stage and stood up on the bale with a Habanero pepper in my hand. Then I grabbed the mic.

“​Attention everybody. I have a Habanero pepper in my hand. The first person that gives me $100, I will eat this habanero and swish it around my mouth. If I’m about to die like gasping for air, I hope the paramedics will get me to the hospital before I die. I do not want to die, but I want to win and I want your vote. AND for $50 I will eat a cayenne pepper. For $20, I will eat a jalapeño pepper. So, put me in the grave if you can and vote for me with your pocketbook, Rock On!”, I challenged.

I​ was amped!

J​ust then Amy Jo entered by booth. She walked right up to me and gave me a deep lusty kiss with tongue action and hands running up and down my back.

“​WOW, What was that for?”, I gasped trying to catch my breath.

“​Well, 1) you are my boyfriend now and I can kiss you whenever I feel like it and I felt like it. And 2) If you are gonna be eating those peppers I don’t want to burn myself on your lips so I figured I better get er done while it was safe!”, she smiled with her hands on her hips looking spunky as ever.

“​Well, I haven’t ever told you this before. But being your boyfriend was a dream I had the first time I met you at the Willie concert when you passed me the weed. And also something I haven’t said before is… I love you!”, I beamed.

S​he smiled and said, “Lance, I love you too cuz if I didn’t you wouldn’t be my boyfriend. BTW I gotta work tonight at Bikinis and was wondering if you wanted to hang out afterwards and like maybe if you recovered from the peppers we could smoke some shit and cuddle up on Mount Bonnell overlooking the river below?”, she was so pretty as I looked and listened.

“​Amy Jo, I would be honored to be your cuddle buddy tonight. I have a pool tournament that I will be going to at 9pm but I can be at Bikinis after I win, yeah I plan on winning big time baby. I can be there at Midnight.”, I answered.

“​That is perfect, we should have the rebroadcast of the Texas vs. Texas A&M game on one of the TVs at least and we close at 2am, I should be done at 2:30am. You can bring the Beam, and I will bring the weed.”, she said as she turned around and walked back to the judges tent.

A​fter a little while, a man came into the tent wearing jeans, cowboy boots and hat and had a Big Vote for Me button on his white button down shirt.

H​e said, “Hi there son, I’m Senator Jim Stuttsman and I want to see you eat a pepper!”

I​ reached out and shook his hand and thanked him for his wanting to donate. Behind him a TV guy with a camera came into the tent and said that he would like to tape me eating the pepper and interacting with Senator Stuttsman. The tape will be part of a broadcast on the 11pm News about the Chili Challenge Fund Raiser and the Senator’s campaign against women’s abuse.

“​What kinda pepper do you want me to eat, Senator Stuttsman?”, I asked.

“​Son, first off you can call me Jim. I like you and enjoyed listening to your music. Now, you know MaryJane is illegal in Texas, but I won’t tell anyone. Instead I’m going give you this $100 bill to eat that damn habanero pepper cuz I want to see the tears streaming down your face just for the hell of it and to support the Little Black Dress society which I have made part of my campaign to voice my support and announce a new live-in group home for women that are escaping abusive relationships. So here ya go Lance.”, he spouted.

I​ took the $100 bill and waited for the camera guy to say he was ready to film. I then took the orange krinklely pepper and placed it in my mouth and started to chew.

I​mmediately a fire beyond my wildest delusional dreams hit the back of my throat and rose up over the top of my head where the sweat started to bead up on my forehead. I felt like my face was turning red and I was going to faint as the tears started to drip down my cheeks and my eyes got bloodshot from the hell’s plant.

I​ knew that drinking water would only swish around the oils of the evilness that I had placed in my mouth. So I was looking for some milk which was the only cure. I didn’t have any. Now, the pain was going down my throat as I wanted to spit the whole experience out but couldn’t do that and still maintain my pride. So I finally decided to just go for it and chew the sucker up and swallow.

“​Son, I see you are starting to tear up. How do you feel?”, the Senator said.

“​Well, I am feeling the pain. The tears are from the pepper and also I think that it is because I am a little emotional about this fund raiser. I really am touched by the Little Black dress society and what they are trying to do. But yeah, this pepper is evilness deluxe. I feel bad, real bad in a good sort of way. I am feeling a head rush like when you get a tattoo and the pain causes the endorphins to flow. I’m feeling the burn but also feeling the high.”, I explained.

W​ell, all of that was on tape and I knew that it was going to be televised later on tonight, as long as it didn’t get cut out. I figure though they would want to show the Senator and all as a special interest and seeing me sweat, well now that was entertainment the people would want to see.

P​eople kept coming into the booth and I shook everyone’s hand and thanked them for coming. Just when the burn of one pepper would subside, someone would come in and put a $20 bill into the the jar. Can you say jalapeño? Ouchy!

E​d came back from roaming around and seeing the other contestants and tasting chili.

“​Heh, brother, how are we doing on tips?”, Ed asked.

“​Oh, I don’t know, let’s find out why don’t you count it.”, I answered.

W​e took out the wad of cash and counted out $550 and one gold nugget.

“​WOW, I wonder how much that gold nugget is worth? And how about that $550 that gives us a total of $700 and a gold nugget. If that nugget is one oz then it is at least worth $800 bucks. That would be $1500, we can win this thing brother! Awesome dude!”, Ed said exuberantly.

I​ took the gold nugget and walked over to the judge’s tent where they had the scale to weigh out the gold that was donated. The scale said the nugget was exactly 1.5 oz. And that was a $1200 boost to our tip jar for a total of $1900!

I​ went over to the Bikinis tent in order to see the girls and to brag about our gold nugget. When I got there I had to wait in a line. What was going on was that there were so many people in line to get in their tent, it wasn’t just a line it was a swarm! 

W​hen I got up to the front of the line there was a sign next to a beautiful girl in a thong bikini. The sign said, KISSES for $20 and HUGS for FREE!

“​Hi, what’s your name?”, I asked.

“​It’s Chloe and what is your name?”, she asked.

“​My name is Lance. You are really beautiful, do you work in bikinis?”, I replied.

“​Yes, I will work there later tonight. You should come on over to visit. BTW do you want a KISS or a HUG?”, she said demurely.

“​Well, to be honest, I want a KISS but I will have to settle for a HUG. You see my girlfriend is Amy Jo and she is the ONLY one that I give out my kisses or that I kiss.”, I said apologetically.

“​Oh, I know Amy Jo, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a little KISS, I mean it is for charity and all and I promise you it will be worth $20.”, she flirted.

“​Chloe, I would and I know I would like it. I like you. BUT I just can’t. I don’t want to mess with my mind and worry have it on my mind all day and night thinking of it and wondering if Amy was pissed or not.”, I answered.

T​hen she reached over and put her arms around me with her big breasts pressing up against my chest. A warmth ran up and down my body and settled in my lower body. I was getting aroused, so I undid my arms and stepped back away from her. I wanted so bad now to kiss her, hug her, fuck her. I don’t know why I was having these feelings. (Hyper-sexuality a symptom of bipolar) I just met the girl and didn’t have any feeling one way or the other, but I just felt so horney. I wanted to ask her for her phone number and was about to ask, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and it was Amy Jo!

“​Hi, Amy Jo I was just talking here to Chloe about the contest and well…”, I stammered.

“​Are we feeling a little guilty are we, no worries sweetie. Chloe is my best friend in the world and we not only work together, we party together. And she comes over for 420 a few times a week, but hasn’t been over for a month now and I am missing her. Where have you been Chloe?”, Amy asked.

“​Well, you know dear I got a new girlfriend and we are playing house together in her condo. She is a bigtime lawyer and she and I are really close. We met 2 months ago and well she really is smart and not that it matters but she is rich. She has a pool and a jacuzzi up at her condo on Upper Riverside drive. You guys should come over sometime and we can sit in the jacuzzi and smoke some weed. Maybe even eat some sugar cubes. (LSD).”, Chloe said.

“​That sounds like a great idea. Tonight we are going to Mount Bonnell for a little cuddle time ourselves, we just became boyfriend and girlfriend today. So we would love to come see your condo and smoke some weed with you and your girlfriend. Maybe this week sometime.”, Amy said as she moved in and gave Chloe a hug and told her she loved her and wished her the best with her new relationship. 

I​t was so hot seeing them hug each other, I was so horney! That was that hyper-sexuality coming into play. I had fantasies that were hard to stop from playing in my mind. I wanted to see them together and here they were best friends and all. I wonder if they ever did it together. I wanted to be in the club. Up until this time, Amy Jo and I have not had sex. We have touched each other and masturbated in front of each other in my truck. It was a magical intimate thing which I thoroughly enjoyed, don’t get me wrong. But intercourse just had not happened as of yet. But I was bringing a sleeping bag to Mount Bonnell tonight and a Bottle of Wine. Boones Farm Strawberry Wine. No Jim Beam. We would make love in the moonlight overlooking the town lake below. So romantic. I will have to bring some candles or a fire starter stick and some wood. Star Light. Candle Light. A fire. Passion. I am getting aroused in my heart to think of it and how good she already makes me feel about myself. I will feel even better being together tonight.

A​my Jo and Chloe separated after hugging each other for a long time. And she turned and looked at me, and said, “Let’s go, I need to get ready for work and we can still have 420 but have it tonight later.”

I​ then took her hand and we walked back towards the judges tent to get her clipboard and markers to white the last tallies on the board and make the final fund raising push.

(​We got her stuff and then she headed on stage, and I went back to my booth to relieve Ed.)

“​Everybody gather round. We have the final tally for the voting. All the money and gold has been accounted for. And we have a winner. A team that raised the most in the last 2 hours.

H​owever, before I announce the tally. I want us to have one more chance to give. What we are going to do is announce the tally. And then, you have 5 minutes to magically find some money and give. Maybe the artist or chef will open their personal pocketbook and give enough to win and add a cushion. How badly they want to win is the question.

T​he winner let me remind you to get t-shirts for all the team mates. And an evening out, if it were the bikinis team for instance there would be a girls night out at a private residence. Where we will cater a meal and have live comedic and music entertainment. The event is called, “Lonesome for San Antone presents A Night in Olde San Antone”

Y​ou will be inspired to laugh, to cry and to be pampered by two artists. The house also has two kitchens on different levels. The owner is a dog mom and has some loveable pets that like people.

T​hat is it, t-shirts and a night out is the reward. Besides the bragging rights to winning the People’s choice award. The second 1st place finish will go to whomever the judges chose. That team’s reward is being qualified to go to Terlingua and compete in the World Championships. The cost is covered, and $500 is provided to cover transportation, lodging and food for 2 people. That is the reward including a podcast interview about whatever you want to talk about. We want to promote your projects and get to know about your life. What is your Why? Do you have a mission? Etc.

S​o given those are the ground rules, I am ready to announce the tally and rankings.

H​ere we go, I think it will be a surprise.

I​n third place, is the 5 Amigoes with $750.

I​n second place, is the Bikinis team with $1500.

A​nd in 1st place is Lonesome for San Antone Chile, by Lance Merrick.

O​h, he has collected and raised some $2500 which included a gold nugget.

T​hat is the rankings currently, Lance would win the people’s choice hands down.

N​ow comes the challenge. You have 5 minutes to give more to your charity recipients. Little Black Dress Society is a support for abused emotionally and physically abused women. Your money is going to provide more beds at a shelter. Two rooms just need to be framed in and painted, then beds and lights and furniture and bathroom supplies are needed. So whatever you can give, give.

O​K, the time starts now for 5 minutes.

(​Team Bikini girls are pulling out their checkbooks to write each a personal check for what they can’t afford. Hope the check doesn’t bounce.)

(​5 minutes is up)

:”OK, we are sending runners to collect the final draw in your jars. You still can give while he is on his way.”, Amy Jo barked.

S​ome 15 minutes later all the tally had been counted and Amy knew the order. But she wasn’t saying it just yet because she wanted to toy with me is what I think.

“​Hi y’all, I have all the money counted and there is a new winner. In first place is the Bikini team with $5000 cash and personal checks. We trust you we will accept the personal checks. But $5K is epic. They win the people’s choice award.

N​ow onto the World Championship Qualification. This coveted award goes to Lance for Lonesome for San Antone Chile..

“​It has a hard press down court in the back of your mouth but mellows out for an easy lay-up and gives you a high.”, I muttered under my breath.

T​hat is how I described my chile because a secret ingredient never before revealed was cannabis oil in the olive oil. So eating chile will make you high. That is why it is good to just eat a little bit in the dixie cup. A taste. Not a meal. A meal size portion would knock you out for 2 days. I have to go to work in about 2 days. Less now cuz it’s afternoon on my Saturday.”, I said.

“​Amy Jo, well I think that a lot of people ended up liking you and that is why they gave. You raised $2500 which included $100 and some weed. Plus a one-time donation from a good friend you met on Twitter, my BETA reader @MissFuckYou.

“I​ am going to take Amy Jo with me to the contest that we won the trip to for two.”, I said.

A​s great as that sounded, I was more focused on ruminating on the date nite at Mount Bonnell me and Amy were going to have. We were probably going to do it. So I took a hot shower for 20 minutes. Pleasuring myself thinking of her and Chloe hugging in my mind’s eye.

I couldn’t wait to see Amy Jo. I loved her and she loves me. What else do I need?

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