I can tell this story because it happened long ago, in an Austin that seems so far far away now. Back in the day, before Silicon Valley decided to roll up on Austin like a midnight taco and make the city to expensive for the rural cowboys to call home, I happened to live on Sixth Street. For those familiar with Austin, my home, and office for my magazine Salt For Slugs, was located right above Paradise Cafe. And yes, I did have a hell of time.
With rock stars, freaks, revolutionaries, conspiracy theorists, intellectuals, rednecks and forbidden Tibetan martial arts masters rolling through everyday, the atmosphere was probably best described as Texas-style bohemian. All bets of what was considered standard mode of operationswere off. We basically did as we pleased, as everyone else did during this particular golden era of Austin. And then GW came to town.
As governor, we mostly saw a steady parade of protestors protesting the wholesale cleaning out of our death row, a project GW was currently undertaking. It is a little known fact that in Texas, the Railroad Commissioner has more power than the governor, who is basically there to sign bills, cut ribbons and sign death warrants. GW excelled at that last item. But being Texas, we basically left him alone. Mostly, because he was one of our few neighbors downtown. But being our neighbor, it was only a matter of time before we got him, Texas style.
I believe it was when he started talking smack to other countries that our opinion of our little dime store cowboy began to change. We knew he was an idiot, with his Texasification process and all. Why I remember one time we were walking by and out comes GW in all his glory, white cowboy boots tucked into white jeans with a white shirt topped with white Stetson. The whole outfit was tied together with a red bandana playfully tied around his neck.
My friend of Dorothy, who was walking with us to set up his gay Kicker bar, which I always pleaded with him to call Blazing Saddles, saw him and said, "Look, he is either on his way to happy hour at my place, or headed to a Roy Rogers convention."
For all his asshattery, GW would offer up unintentional comedic performances I still relate to this day. But this is not a story of funny stuff he did, this is the story of my playful revenge against a man who I viewed as running the good name of Texas. We don't need carpet bagging Yankees to do that for us, we do a nice job all by ourselves.
One of the more frustrating aspects of being the only other resident in the zip code of the governor's mansion in Austin was that no matter where you called up, if they had a telephone system that picked up your information, we were always listed as living with GW. Our apartment did not exist in the records it seemed, and I spent countless hours explaining to various delivery services exactly where our monkey house was. And then there was an eureka.
I can't remember exactly what the reason was, either us throwing the underage Bush twins out of our party again or some dumb ass remark about liquor and God Bush was prone to making at the time, but we had decided to get him. Being pacifists, we thought long and hard how to get him in a way that would just bewilder him, and him alone.
It was then that I realized every time I called Pizza Hut, they would enthusiastically answer the phone, "Hello Governor!" I think you can see where this is headed.
So we started calling pizzas on GW repeatedly. The usually gig was to say, in our worst mimicking of our own accent, that this was the Governor, i.e. Bush, and we needed 30 pizzas for the staff members who were staying late working on a project. Back then, GW or Laura use to actually answer the door, though we shied away from being stupid enough to be at the scene of the crime, it was confirmed through the proper Austin channels that these pizzas were being delivered, and GW was getting pissed.
We had to have called at least 200 or more pizzas on Bush, usually 20-30 at a time. Though amusing as hell, the word got back to us that he was getting his dad's men on the case to figure out who the hell was doing this to him. While I hold an opinion of GW just above a garden snake on hot tin roof in July, I have immense respect for his daddy, especially when it comes to phone surveillance and other spy type stuff. So we never called again, which was sad because after that I actually did want some Pizza Hut but was to chicken shit to phone in an order.
Funny enough, I was still in Austin in 1999, and I heard my neighbor was going run for president. This tickled my ribs to no ends and I was to remark, "You mean the dude who couldn't catch a couple of stoners calling pizzas on him is going to become the leader of the free world?"
And he did.
Oh, by unpopular request, here is Bush dressed as a woman cheerleader at Yale: