Sorry about the lame format, this is all cut and paste from stupid work email.
More Sizejohn, the notorious Taco Baron, surveyed his new land in Utah…..
He stepped down from his magnificent steed and looked out upon the vast emptiness before him……
“Fine taco lands…..fine taco lands indeed….”
He smiled as he mounted his horse, and headed down into the little town of Carne Asada.
Carne Asada was a booming salsa town, slapped together almost over night. The paint was barely dry on a building before merchants started plying their trade. The salsa vein had barely been struck, but already the rails were preparing to come through. A hefty profit awaited the man who could carve out a ranch in these times.
Sizejohn pulled his horse up to one of the many saloons in town. They were all the same, peddling third rate hot sauce and dusty tamales. He’d seen it a dozen times before. He saddled up to the bar and ordered a triple shot of extra-hot picante. The bartender, a smaller gentleman with a missing eye he’d stuffed with an old tortilla brought him his drink without a word. Sizejohn took the drink down, disappointed as always by it’s quality. This town would be just as easy as the others.
Inspecting the glass with a knowing look, Sizejohn smacked his lips. “Fine vintage this is,” he lied to the bartender. The little man frowned, unused to being complimented. “A local brew, if I judge correctly.”
“Yes. The Widow Verde makes it from a family recipe.”
“Could I bother you for directions to her home? A fine lady such as herself must surely be interested in another brewer.”
The bartender’s one eye lit up. He knew the drink was garbage, and looked forward to a better source. “Surely there’s some way I can help.”
Sizemore laughed to himself. It began.
Sizejohn forgot that his name wasn’t Sizemore, just for a moment. He’d been having these lapses lately. Too much travel, too little rest, it was like a two day old combination platter---a bad idea.
Too many names, in too many places. Too much dust caught in his clothes, too many long days of beating sun.
It was time to settle in.
“Let me get my case, my fine man, and we’ll see if you can help me.” Time to peddle the taco oil again.
Taco oil was a creation that had first emerged after the taco famine of ’43. Without the delicious seasonings which had been provided by the southern colonies, whole cities had fallen to the carnage. And then there was the taco oil. The process of creating the liquid was a closely guarded secret, each Baron’s family having their own version. But they all started the same, with a base of whatever type of beastial fat which was most readily available would be cooked down and down and down, until it became nothing but a thick sludge of almost no flavor or color. Then the Baron’s work began, combining the horded ingredients from the old days into the concoction until a single drop could turn a paella into a Taco Feast.
But it took a real expert to tell true taco oil from a copy. They smelled the same in the bottle, even looked the same. Once cooked, false taco oil slowly drove the user insane, until they wandered off to die alone.
Smirking, Sizejohn knew this bartender was no expert.
He pulled his satchel from his side dropped it softly on the bar. He undid the old bronze zipper which housed the delicacies he so skillfully peddled. He reached in and gingerly pulled out a single bottle. The bottle was a deep azure, and as he held it up to the light the old bartender grunted with glee, slowly running his tongue across his green, fuzzed teeth.
Sizejohn leaned in close to the man “Now this, my friend, is something you will never forget”………
Too late, the bartender tried to restrain his joy, to act like a seasoned pro. “Taco oil is taco oil. What makes you so special?”
“This is the taco oil of royalty.”
The gleam came back, the jaw slacked. “Do what now?”
Sizejohn grimaced, but continued. “Passed from the ancient Mayan emperors to the Aztecs, to Coronado himself, this recipe is better than El Dorado or the Fountain of Youth or the Mother Lode.” He lowered his voice. “Would you like to try?”
Before waiting for an answer, Sizejohn reached back into his satchel and brought forth a single tortilla chip. He plucked the stopper from the top of the bottle, and poured a single, stringy drop onto the center of it.
“Now listen friend” Sizejohn whispered softly to the bartender, “this is more than is recommended as a taste, but I’ve got a good feeling about you”.
Sizejohn delicately handed the chip to the man, who grabbed it with his grimy fingers and shoveled it into his mouth. He stood there for a moment, unmoving, the smallest of movements coming from his lower jaw.
At least the man was tasting it, Sizejohn thought to himself, disgusted by the whole affair. Just a few more towns and he could be done with this forever. Or maybe this would be the one, his swan song, his masterpiece. This town, it could be the one…..
Sizejohn snapped back to the matter at hand, looking over at the dazed look on his new ‘friend’s’ pock-marked face, “So when do we begin doing business?”
“It’s like fireworks in my head!” The bartender couldn’t stop moving; he tapped everything on the bar, touched the tortilla in his socket, ran hands through his hair. Sizejohn knew this reaction, knew he had another satisfied customer. “We gotta tell the mayor, and the sheriff, and everyone.”
Sizejohn chuckled. “Let’s start with a room, and a meal.”
“You got it, mister. Right away.” The little man scurried off to make arrangements.
Hopefully this wouldn’t be the Chihuahua Incident all over again.