The next morning I woke up on the floor in Lando’s tying room.
“Why didn’t you sleep in the bedroom?”
“Because Hagen’s going to sleep there.”
“Hagen’s not getting in until Thursday, and that night we’re sleeping at the campground.”
My spidey-senses told me otherwise, but I said nothing.
After cleaning up the kitchen we headed out for breakfast, intent on going fishing afterwards.
While in the truck Lando got a text from Hagen.
“Should arrive in Cody a little after noon. See you then.”
Lando looked at me and said, "Did you know he was flying in today?"
"Just a hunch."
We stopped by the shop and then had some breakfast. Afterwards we picked Hagen up at the airport, and Lando asked him if he wanted to go fishing.
“Sure... whatever... but first I need a beer and some food.”
Lando took another look at him and said, "It looks like someone smashed a can of Copenhagen into the side of your face."
Hagen replied, "Don't pick on me Lando. I had skin cancer. I'm a cancer survivor!"
We took him to Brewgards and sat at the bar, where he started peppering the attractive young gal serving him with questions.
“What’s good here?”
“The blue cheese burger is good.”
“What’s on it?”
“Did you even look at the menu?”
“I can’t read, and I think you’re hot, so the longer I can keep you here the longer I can look at you.”
She rolled her eyes and played along. After hearing the entire menu he settled on a regular burger with American cheese and fries.
The waitress then looked at Lando and me and said, “Do either of you want any food?”
We told her we didn't and she replied, “Thank God! I don’t think I could go through that again!”
A burger and a beer turned into a burger and three beers, after which Lando said, “You ready to go fishing now?”
"Do you have a license?"
We went to the shop.
Hagen turned to me and said, "Do you have your license?"
"Yep. Bought it online."
"On the internet?"
"You can do that?"
"I didn't know you could buy fishing licenses on the internet. I only use it to watch porn."
Hagen bought a license. And some flies. And some tippet. And some clothing.
After that we went back to the house.
Hagen unpacked his things in the bedroom and then settled into a comfortable chair and started drinking beer. It was at this point that Lando and I knew there would be no fishing today.
During this past winter Lando would often host a tying night on Taco Tuesday, and sometimes I’d call just to check in. During one of these calls his friend Ian got on the phone and claimed that he made the best margaritas anyone has ever had.
My reply consisted of two words.
Lando gave Ian a call and said, "Joe's cooking Mexican food tonight and said he's got everything he needs to make a better margarita than you do. Get your stuff and come on over."
When Ian and his wife arrived, I fired up the fryer and asked Lando and Hagen to watch the oil while I prepared the guacamole.
I've never read a recipe that said, "Heat your frying oil to 'Hazard'," so the chips would have to wait.
While the oil was cooling, Ian and I mixed up some margaritas. Ian used a 2-2-2 ratio: two shots of tequila, two shots of Cointreau, and the juice of two limes. I used a 3-2-1-1 ratio: three shots of tequila, two shots of Grand Marnier, one shot of simple syrup, and the juice of one lime. Shaken, not stirred.
I mixed one up for Hagen, handed it to him and said, "Be careful. There's five shots of booze in there."
"I can handle it."
Once he downed that, he tried one of Ian's.
Lando told Hagen that he wasn't able to get the Airstream this year, and that we'd be tenting it instead. Hagen was not pleased, and said there was no way he was sleeping in a tent. Ian then mentioned that he had a trailer Hagen could sleep in, and a deal was struck.
Lando had yet to have a margarita, so he was elected judge. He put on a blindfold and tasted one of mine and one of Ian's, and declared me the winner. He then gave them both to Hagen, and Hagen polished them off.
The oil had cooled by now, so we fried up some corn tortilla chips, and they went great with the homemade guac.
I looked over at Hagen and noticed that his right eye was twitching and his left eye was completely closed, and at 7:30 he got up and stumbled off to bed.
Guess he was tired.
For dinner I made fried chicken tacos: boneless fried chicken on a corn tortilla, topped with homemade tomatillo salsa and homemade pico de gallo.
They turned out much better than the egg rolls.
I also made a big pot of Spanish rice, while Lando cooked up a delicious pot of black beans, along with some skirt steak.
It was one helluva feast, and made up for the previous evening's disaster of a meal.
I ran out of gas around midnight and vowed to clean up the kitchen the next morning.
More to come.