June 27, 2004

Austin – day five

*narration mode – too tired to write*

Friday. American takes Friday real seriously. They think it’s serious to take things lightly on Friday. That’s why, those guys decided to bring me (and cheecheongfun) out for a barbecue lunch.

The place was located at the outskirts of Pflugerville (or was it inside Pflugerville ?) which requires approximately, 30 minutes’ drive. There were 7 of us so, we’re divided into 2 vehicles. A group of 3 on Jose’s (one of the lab techs) truck and 4 of us on Keith’s (the 300 pound dude) truck.

Jose was driving a Chevrolet Suburban and Keith’s was a Ford Excursion. Keith’s truck was so big that Roberto Carlos would need a ladder to climb onto his truck. Powered with a V8 turbocharged engine and 400 over horsepower, that thing was nasty.

But it wasn’t for long. After Keith tore up the road for approximately 4 – 5 miles, we began to feel something funny going on. His truck was wobbling a little. Keith then got down and confirmed that it was a puncture. That’s very lucky indeed. He then took out a big crank and attempted to change the tire. But… they don’t fit. Keith kinda like forgotten that he had a set of customized nuts (the nuts on the wheels..) installed the week before (or something) and the crank won’t fit. So, the guys figured that they’re gonna call up somebody for help.

Keith then whipped out his cell phone – but his display was dead (happened on the previous night).. and he couldn’t remember anyone’s phone number either. That was why we got stranded in the middle of a lonely farmland country road with no apparent signs of help. Keith tried desperately dial out through his cellphone without a display… but he kept getting to the wrong person.

It wasn’t looking good for us until help came along. There was a big dude driving by with another truck, and he happened to own a hydraulic jack and a fitting crank. And so, Keith used the guy’s help as we hitched a ride from Jose to the barbecue restaurant. Dave said, if there’s any dude over 300 pounds driving a truck around the area, there’s a high chance that Keith knows the guy. Dave was right.

The barbecue restaurant happened to be an old rundown shack. Apparently, the shack was aged over a decade and looked exactly like a scene in the wild west era. According to the guys, the waitress (which was also the owner’s grand-daughter), was one of the sideline actress in the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre (latest version). Seen the movie but never recalled seeing her before… but, not that it matters anyway.

The thing that mattered was the food. The barbecue. It was fat, greasy and lots of them. It was fantastic. Served with pickles and jalapeno peppers, it was awesome. Was one of the most memorable lunch I ever had in US.

Dinner time, was invited by Jose to join his family and friends at a new Mexican restaurant in town. Food was mediocre – had plenty of good fajitas. But the most standout thing about this new Mexican restaurant was the free flowing margaritas and also a fantastic band of El Mariachis. Made it back to hotel at about 10pm.

Next plan – to go to Houston on Day Six (Saturday Austin time).

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