June 17, 2020
Restaurant Le Lyonnais
Le Havre, France
Deep fried chicken gizzards. Livermush. Oxtails, hog jowls, chitlins, pickled watermelon rinds, Vienna sausages in a can. Literally just mayonnaise between two slices of Sunbeam Old Fashioned loaf bread.
Is that actually cottage cheese in that fruit salad?
Your fiance grew up in the backwoods, and she’d string you up by your nose hairs if you dared criticized grandma’s cooking. So, you spoon a little bit of the squirrel dumplings, take a deep breath, and put it in your mouth. Immediately, you reach for the sweet tea to wash it down before it crawls back up your throat and onto the red checkerboard covering.
Her cousin Zeb (his name is fucking ZEB, for god’s sake) just grins at you from across the table. He’d been watching the entire time in between wolfing down a type of legume that they referred to as “butter beans.” He’d not only survived a mayonnaise sandwich a few times in his life: he’d actually considered it a delicacy.
And with his stomach made of iron and taste buds made of pure hell, it came as no surprise that odd French cuisine was no match for the Watson Mill Kid.
“I’d recommend the ris de veau,” the waitress beams. “Or as the English refer to it, the sweetbread!”
“That like pound cake?” Zeb responds.
While it’s grossly stereotypical to describe the French as a culture who become sexually aroused at the thought of making a fool out of a typical dumb American, guess what? The patent leather shoe fit on son petit pied. Martin, of course, couldn’t have given off the vibe of typical dumb American more if his own head had been replaced with an eagle’s and the rest of his body were a Budweiser can. Unless of course he were wearing a mesh hat, camouflage tank top, and a pair of jorts with boots.
Which he was.
“Oui, yes,” the waitress lies.
Zeb grins sheepishly. “Dang! Y’all got dessert as a main course ova heawh? That’s purty awesome. Reckon I better get some protein, though. Me an’ him gotta get our strength fer the weekend,” he pipes up, setting the wheels in motion for a potential rendezvous with the charming brunette server.
Across the way, the fellow strength-needer mirrors his tag partner’s smile. The delightfully tacky yet more-refined half of the Dean Martin Show was the one responsible for this romantic dinner date between two Bandits. “More refined,” while accurate, wasn’t exactly saying much in comparison to his cohort’s attire. Bob too wore a hat and sleeveless shirt: only it was a beret that he had bought at the airport gift shop and a 1992 Dream Team basketball jersey featuring the #10 of Clyde “The Glide” Drexler.
“We’re wrestlers!” Bobby chimes in, though at this point the waitress was already several paces away from them, quickly scooting towards the kitchen to put in their order. Dean leans across the table, cupping his hand next to his lips.
“I think she likes us!”
Zeb nods, adjusting the Levi Garrett hat upwards only to bring it right back down to standard eye-shading level. “Turned up the ol’ accent for her. I hear they cain’t resist an accent in Europe.”
“Cool,” Dean mutters, furrowing a brow in confusion. “I didn’t even notice! But you’re right. Which reminds me, when she comes back, don’t call me Bobby. Or at any point when we’re around women while we’re here. In France, I shall be known as Roberto.”
The Catfish Whisperer gazes upward, mouthing the Beautiful Man’s more sophisticated version of his birth name. He liked the way it flowed on his lips.
“Roberto,” Zeb chants aloud as if he were reading it from a pair of stone tablets from the Lord. “Sounds like a famous actor or sumptin.”
Roberto Dean wags excitedly in his seat, a labrador’s smile smeared below his nose. “Yeah, it does! Hopefully a PORN STAR!”
“Reckon, maybe. Speakin’ of, Bobby…”
“Roberto,” Dean quickly corrects.
“Roberto, sorry. I gotta ask you sumptin. I know you and me are single’n ready tuh mingle guys, right? Y’all ever done hooked up with a random stranger in your days hittin’ the road in other companies?”
“All the time,” Bobby lies without hesitation. “I’ve had more strange than you can even count, young Zebulon. Big women, medium-sized women, small women. Some, you couldn’t even tell weren’t women! Ones that wore too much perfume, and ones that haven’t showered in days! And you will, too. Even if you don’t lay off the snuff: they don’t mind. Just make sure you spit it out before you bury your face into the Death Valley.”
The Skoal Bandit from Comer sighs. “Promise ya won’t laugh if I tell you a secret?”
“Zeb,” he reacts, “Roberto Dean doth not chortle in the face of those he holds dearest. You can tell me anything.”
“I ain’t never done that,” Martin murmurs, his black-speckled cheeks turning pink underneath his five o’ clock scruff.
Bobby scratches his head. “You eat the cooter with a dip lip?”
“No. I ain’t never…gone down on no one before. DON’T LAUGH, YOU DONE PROMISED,” Zeb shouts, inadvertently drawing attention to a conversation he didn’t want anyone to hear.
Lean Dean’s canine smile quickly reshaped into a perfect letter O. He appeared similar to an 8-bit boxer that had just received an unexpected body blow from Little Mac.
“Man,” Bobby declares, finally breaking the awkward silence. “You pretty Southern boys sure have it easy. Don’t even have to work for it! You mean to tell me that all of those farm parties and camping trips, those dim-witted redneck girls just let you slip it in all willy-nilly without having to sweeten the pot?”
“Well, that’s the thang,” Zeb shrugs. “I only done did that with one woman.”
“ONE?” Bobby cries, almost leaping out of his chair. “Zeb, my god! And you sit across this table and call yourself an eGG Bandit! Your little country tadpoles down there have barely seen an egg!”
“Technically, they ain’t seen none. I’s wearin’ a rubber.”
“What!? You missed the best part! Nothing is more fun than playing Russian Roulette with your little swimmers. I can’t believe this,” the elder partner squeals, as a condom had effectively replaced the straw on a certain desert mammal’s spine. “Zeb, Zeb, Zeb! All this time, just a lost young man without direction, stumbling around in the dark with nowhere to go! I wish I had known it earlier.”
Martin glances downward in shame and Roberto rests his chin on his fists, lost in contemplation.
“May I refill your water?” the waitress asks, sauntering back up to the table.
“WE’RE BUSY, NO THANK YOU,” Bobby yells, desperate to regain their privacy. The server pupus, turning on her heel and carrying the glass pitcher to the next table.
Zeb looks back up at Dean. “I reckon I’m jus’ nervous doin’ it. What if I ain’t no good at it? What if I really like her and I mess it all up? What if she laughs at me?”
Roberto, not accustomed to the role of the advice-giver, begins to realize that this is his moment to shine. His opportunity to glow like a beacon and impart a valuable life lesson on an up-and-coming young talent: something much more important than winning a championship or successfully negotiating a 35.24% cut on any merchandise sales in the wrestling business. And at this moment, it was no longer up to Doozer or the Maestro to provident guidance for the baby of the Bandits. It had to be him. If they stood any chance whatsoever at claiming victory at War Games, they needed to share a moment that would ultimately change both of their lives for the better.
Bobby rises to his feet and motions for Zeb to slide over in the booth to make room for him. Martin obliges, and the Dean of Students prepares to teach by scooting right next to him, rendering the space Zeb made irrelevant. With a friendly arm draped around the kid’s shoulders, Roberto Dean became a living lighthouse.
“Let me tell you a little story about a man named Andy.”
June 18, 2020
Royal Barriere Hotel
Two months ago, a wayward traveler had settled on a Best Western outside of Chicago. Claiming that “anything’s fancy as long as it’s bigger than your bedroom” seemed almost sarcastic, but when it’s dripping with a Georgia inflection, it came off as completely sincere.
The place that Zeb Martin found himself in presently was not exactly a roadside motel.
In the place of a queen size Costco mattress with a pay-by-minute Magic Fingers box was a canopy bed that appeared lifted straight out of Louis XIV’s royal chambers. Adjacent on the ceiling hung the bars of a chandelier, lighting up a common area below with two plush chairs on opposite sides of an antique end table. On the table rested a gold-plated ice bucket holding an opened bottle of champagne. While cutting it close, it was a little classier than a plastic Coleman cooler filled with Milwaukee’s Best.
The Vevue Clicoquot in the bucket was about a third full at this point. The present accommodations had not been a decision that Zeb had played a role in choosing, but the good nature of Doozer and Jiles had insisted upon the five-star accommodations for the momentous occasion. Far be it for Zeb to object to their hospitality, especially if they were footing the bill. While he paid enough mind to keep his tab as sparse as possible, he’d felt at ease when he’d learned at dinner the night before that Bobby had already consumed what roughly equated to a henhouse full of Dijon poulet from room service. A little champagne couldn’t hurt, right? After all, this was France. They probably made enough here to give it away for free.
Plus, High Octane needed a few words from the plucky young upstart. And despite the deviation from his usual scenery, one thing remained consistent: those “y’all’s” and “ain’t’s” weren’t to be uttered without a little bit of alcohol in his Dixie belly.
“A friend uh mine, won’t say his name but he’s uh…a purty famous actor…gave me a lil’ advice here recent.”
The shaggy-haired half of the Dean Martin Show and Private First Class of the Egg Battalion currently occupied one of the comfy seats next to the sparkling wine. The two glasses resting on the immaculate serving tray remained stem-up, as he’d opted to drink from the wine’s original container to preserve its flavor.
“When you got yerself uh opportunity, ya gotta suck it, ya gotta fuck it, and then ya gotta Zuck it.”
The phrase didn’t exactly pair too well with the surroundings, and from what we know about Zeb, it didn’t seem like a philosophy that best suited his milk-and-cornbread aura. That said, he was also wearing a fluffy white hotel robe with matching slippers.
The hat, of course, stays on.
“I gotta suck,” Zeb proclaims. Proudly? Not exactly what you’d expect from such a derogatory verb.
“Ol’ Mikey ‘n Kendrix jus’ like a set uh mud tires and a Silverado: don’t make a lick uh sense to have one thang without the other. I don’t care if yer from the suburbs with a ten-gallon hat and a pair of thousand dollar cowboy boots tryin’ tuh appro’prate the culture at a downtown A’lanna honky tonk bar. You buy a pick-up that big, you ain’t keepin’ them GM dealership Goodyears on it. Don’t make a damn if it ain’t go’n see as much as a dust cloud off a dirt road. Yer puttin’ a lift kit on that bad boy.”
It was a Clampett’s dream Zeb had for years. The way he talked about a Chevy truck, you’d think he’d want to impregnate one.
“The Hollywood Brubs done been up ‘n down them roads. Ain’t nothin’ but preacher’s gospel I kin say bout that,” Martin shrugs. “But it bears repeatin’ they the only ones comin’ in like Kool Aid powder and water. They’s the ones me’n Bobby gotta suck.”
Of course, Zeb pauses for a moment in instant regret at the words that would most likely become a stinger for a future 24K promo. Luckily, he has a point of clarification for the news item (likely to be buried on page 16.)
“Not like that,” he amends. “More like a skeeter in the summertime next tuh a swamp. We gotta poke through the skin and drank that extra sumptin that makes ‘em peanut butter ‘n jelly. Heck, and even if we kin disrupt that there chemistry, we still gotta outwrastle ‘em, too.”
“And that’s where me and Bobby,” Zeb adds, reaching a hand out for the bottle in mid-sentence, “gotta fuck.”
Not again, man.
Instead of acknowledging the gaffe likely to be pulled viciously out of context, Martin opts instead to take a long pull of the champagne.
“Fuck it up, y’all!” Zeb slurs, reciting a rally cry for drunk hillbillies everywhere. “The Bandits not only gotta get through the teasin’ and preheatin’ tuh get the walls down on the Bruvs. Naw, when all that’s done, we go’n have tuh mount up an’ do it to it. And that means havin’ the gumption tuh go the distance.
“Now, I ain’t the one tuh be hollerin’ back much when my coworkers bow up, but War Games is a right special occasion,” he declares, “and I gotta agree with ya, Mr. Murray.”
“I cain’t be comin’ at you, Joe, ‘er nobody with no ‘I’m jus’ obliged tuh make yer acquaintence’ attitude this time. Hell, back when I was watchin’ you in GC-dubya, it mighta been roses ‘n rainbows befo’ the bell, but ain’t nothin’ purty about the way ya handled yer business. I dang shore looked up tuh Andy Murray when I’s a youngin’, and I still do. You an Joe might be water and motor oil as the tag team champions, but the one thang y’all got in common is a fan in this trailer trash right’chea.
“I ain’t as stupid as I look,” Zeb presses on, “and there ain’t no way I thank you don’t got as much in the tank as ya useta. Joe done proved that to me once be’fo, too. Ya done threatened me with a country whoppin’, but since I take after my heroes, lemme tell ya: imitation go’n be the flattery in that fence.”
“And assumin’ me and my partner kin manage tuh suck and fuck our way through y’all and the Bruvs, we on step three of my friend’s guide tuh seizin’ the opportunity,” Martin asserts, giving a courtesy tip of the bottle before putting it back in the bucket.
“We gotta Zuck. Now, those of y’all ain’t know what that means, don’t feel too bad,” he reassures his invisible audience. “I didn’t neither. But allow me to indulge you in this new, sophisticated vernacular, monsieurs and mademoiselles.
“The word ‘Zuck’ is one of them derivatives or sumptin, short fer Mark Zuckerberg, inventor of the Facebook,” he explains, slowly losing traction on his change of tone. It should be said that his pronunciation of the French terminology was oddly spot on, though.
“Now, I ain’t tryin’ tuh talk politics here in the birthin’ land of democracy,” Zeb continues, “but apparently some folks think that Ol’ Mark tends tuh not be a supporter of the first amendment right. So, when ya ‘Zuck’ somebody, ya block ‘em from bein’ yer buddy on a website.
“Bobby’n me gotta Zuck the H.A.T.E. Box ‘em out. Silence the offense, I reckon. Prolly block Scott and Rick on social media, too, I don’t know, though. Both of ‘em dang good resources fer podcast and website updates,” he admits.
“Hopefully they retweet it when we fuckin’ win.”
June 17, 2020
Restaurant Le Lyonnais
Le Havre, France
“So, after suffering a near-death experience, Andy ultimately came clean to her and admitted that he had never before laid some pipe,” Bobby continues.
The two had been so engrossed in the story that they hadn’t noticed the waitress had already come and gone with their orders: cow pancreas drizzled in a light brown sauce and three small snails as a side for Zeb and an entire Duck à l’Orange for Roberto. Still, Bobby remained with his arm over the Comer native’s shoulder, putting the bow on the life lesson.
“Fortunately for Andy, she loved him for who he was. So, he asked her to marry him, making the decision that since they had waited so long, they would save the boot-knockin’ for the honeymoon. Despite the fact that there was a little bit of a hiccup with the cleaning staff not having their room ready,” he began to wrap up, “and man, let me tell you: what a hilarious gaffe that was…they finally consummated their relationship with good old fashioned unprotected intercourse, the way Buddah intended. And wouldn’t you know it, he wasn’t that bad at it! There was nothing to be nervous about after all. The end.”
Yes, Beautiful Bobby Dean had just spent the past twenty minutes doing a beautiful retelling of the exact plot from the 40 Year Old Virgin and had passed it off as his own story. Without changing any of the character’s names.
“Oh, and for whatever reason, after they boned, everyone got together and did a dance number based on late 60’s hit ‘Aquarius’ by the Fifth Dimension. Almost forgot that part. But don’t think that will happen every time you finish. So far for me it’s only happened once and it cost extra,” he added, breaking free from embracing his partner.
“Now, I hope that tale resonates with you, Zeb,” Roberto concludes, reinforcing the moral. “Something to chew on while you chew on…wait, I thought she said she was bringing sweet bread?”
Zeb’s country fried brain was a little too preoccupied with comprehending Bobby’s point to have even noticed that his dish was in fact not “like pound cake,” but a gelatinous blob of utter contempt for the culinary arts.
“Uh, Roberto? I thought you were tryin’ tuh coach me on actually havin’ lots ‘n lots uh unprotected oral and vaginal sex?”
“I was,” Bobby proclaims with a sprinkle of pride on a job (he thought was) well done.
“But the story was purty obviously ‘bout a guy who waited ‘til marriage,” Martin responds, as if he’d left five pegs in the Cracker Barrel game and wondered exactly what he’d missed.
“Zebulon, my Watson Mill Minnow,” Bobby bellows as he clamors to his feet, “the moral of the story is to NOT be like Andy. He collected dolls and didn’t know how to drive a car at forty years old! Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that, as action figures are pretty cool and driving is hard, but he never counter-balanced it by getting his little thang thang wet.
“What you want to be,” he resumes, “is like Cal. Remember Cal in that story? Andy was this close to getting his face permanently squished in by the power of the thighs of a babe who looks JUST like Elizabeth Banks, and he wussed out! But you know who didn’t wuss out, Zeb? Cal. He saw a really crazy opportunity and he seized it within his all mighty loins.
“And that’s what you have to do, my friend. When you see an opportunity, sure: it might be a little bonkers. It might be a little out of your comfort zone. But there are only three things you need to remember to do in a situation like that.”
Dean holds three fingers in the air, using his index finger to reinforce each point as clearly as possible.
“You gotta suck it. You gotta fuck it. And then you gotta Zuck it.”
It’s great to see that Bobby is clearly lifted to the heights of a true motivational speaker, his enthusiasm for his philosophy ever-increasing with each word. Martin, per usual, is fully attentive.
“The second that opportunity doesn’t immediately slap you in the face for commenting on the shape of that opportunity’s rear end, you need to pounce. Like a lion. You must immediately get up in that opportunity, and then you take that opportunity to the most intimate places of your mind,” Roberto bellows, conducting a virtuoso of innuendo right in the middle of the restaurant.
“And then, you gotta start sucking. Suck with your fingers, suck with your toes, suck with your lips. Just start sucking on that opportunity. But here’s the important thing, Zeb. Do not get caught up in technique, and never second guess yourself. Because if you do that, you will not fuck the opportunity. And you gotta fuck it.”
At this point, the Beautiful Man’s octave is slowly starting to climb. While it’s highly stimulating for his fellow Egg colleague, it is unfortunately beginning to draw the ire of other customers.
Not to mention a certain waitress.
Bobby and Zeb remain oblivious to all of it, as he continues his swan song.
“You gotta fuck it after you suck it. You can’t just simply walk into an opportunity SUCKIN’ away, spray paint ‘Zeb was here,’ and just leave. It has to be fucked. And again, don’t worry about whether or not you are doing it right or wrong: it’s ALWAYS right if you are!
“And once you’re finally done with that, you’ve gotta Zuck it,” he concludes. “Most opportunities aren’t marriage material, so make damn sure you get that opportunity’s Twitter at and you block it. Leaving no trace behind. So, once again, what do you need to do?”
Zeb glances up at his brand new mentor.
“Suck, fuck, and Zuck.”
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” Bobby commands, clacking his heels at attention. Martin immediately rises to his feet.
“SUCK, FUCK, and ZUCK, SIR!”
June 17, 2020
Outside of the Restaurant Le Lyonnais
Le Havre, France
“I can’t believe they didn’t even give us a doggie bag for the food,” Bobby whines. As to be expected, the hysterical screaming of a very politically incorrect phrase in the middle of a fancy restaurant did not go over well with the staff. “I really wanted that duck.”
Dean can’t help but notice the little smirk on Martin’s face as he begins to dig into his pockets.
“I stole the snails,” Zeb remarks, unfurling the denim compartments to reveal three of the escargot that he managed to snatch from his plate just before being “politely” asked to leave the establishment.
Bobby’s face perks up. “How did you even think to do that so quickly?”
“I done saw me an opportunity.”