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Monday, January 22, 2007

Too Much, the Burger Bus

Earl J. Woods as he appeared during the burger bus showdown.

Some Edmontonians may remember the burger bus, a restaurant on Jasper avenue that served burgers out of a converted double decker bus. I only visited the burger bus a half-dozen times or so, but one such visit still stands out in my memory - the first.

This happened sometime in the early 90s. I enjoyed a book and a burger on the second floor of the bus, then trundled downstairs to use the facilities before departing. I didn't know where the washrooms were, but a likely door presented itself at the bottom of the stairs. I barged in -

- and found myself face to face with a half-dozen surly, brawny, dangerous-looking toughs, sitting around a stained white table, surrounded by a haze of ganja fog. They froze in mid-sentence as I appeared, and a dozen eyes fixed me with tangible, razor-sharp suspicion.

One of them wore a black leather vest, a motorcycle cap, and prodigious chainery. In short, he looked like the biker from the Village People. But this one wasn't singing "The Milk Shake." As soon as my foot crossed the threshold to their inner sanctum, his snapped into his jacket, right where you might wear a shoulder holster.

Was he going for a gun? I honestly don't know. I imagine my eyes bulged somewhat as I said, "Whoops! Sorry," and backed out the way I'd come, pulling the door closed. I left without further incident.

I returned to the burger bus for a few more meals, but it wasn't long before the establishment was just another memory. The burger bus - it's not just a night out, it's an adventure.


Anonymous said...

The blue sparkle faded away, and as it did, Sam's awareness of his surroundings grew into tangible form.

"I am sitting," he thought, "I am sitting in a chair, and I feel... good."

The room was small and furnished cheaply, wooden chairs and a rickety table, a naked light bulb hanging from a wire in the cieling. Some other men were in the room, rough-looking types, yet everyone seemed to be at ease. No reason for alarm.

In fact the whole atmosphere of the room, dark, acrid, stuffy, should have been rather unpleasant, but instead, it was... mellow... welcoming somehow.

Sam's stomach rumbled and gurgled in a pleasing way. He realized he was hungry. He looked down to pat his tummy, which was hairy, white, and protruded from beneath a black leather vest.

"Oh, boy," Sam said under his breath. The slightest movement made silver chains all over his clothes tinkle and glitter, "I'm a biker dude..."

Just then, two doors opened into the room. One was a holographic door, and Al burst into the room, his wardrobe a a kaleidoscopic affront to classy tailoring. The other was the main door to the room, opened by a meek, dark-haired youth.

"Oops, sorry!" The young man ducked his eyes.

"Sam! Sam!" Al was yelling at the top of his volume in his Admiralty voice, and waving his glowing handlink as if his own hand were aflame: "Pay attention, Sam! Your name is Skull Crusher MacGurk, and Ziggy says you have a one hundred percent probability that you have to shoot that young man to death, Earl J. Woods!"

Sam zeroed in on young man in the doorway, his eyes suddenly wide and alert.

"Sam, Ziggy says you've got a gun! Go for your gun, and shoot him, Sam!"

Oblivious to Al, Earl turned on his heel and closed the door discretely behind him. Sam reached under his vest, where a gun holster would be and found... a nipple ring.

Sam smiled privately. Finally! A leap he could relate to! He fingered the ring, and a small wave of pleasure bloomed across his tattoed chest.

"No, Al," Sam thought, "I won't be shooting anybody just yet. I think I'm going to stick around here for a while longer..."

Sam realized with a pleasant certainty that the gun tucked into his waistband wasn't the only hard thing in his pants...

Earl J. Woods said...

So that's what happened. It all makes sense now!