At first, I wanted to believe that this was some type of sick and twisted vandalism. Perhaps an Okie Agric had defaced half of Baylor's Lord's Supper to gain a psychological edge over us of the field of combat. However, after inspecting the fine craftsmenship and realizing that the image was a part of the machine, I realized we had been betrayed. Dr. Pepper had made us a cuckold.
I become sick at the idea of a Dr. Pepper vending machine in College Station colored maroon with a collie fornicating with the good Doctor. What Big 12 school had not tasted her sweet nectar and cool skin? Grief stricken and angry, I could barely gulp down my obligatory 48 ounces of Dr. Pepper. Nothing could redeem this trip.
Isn't this the guy from the "Mustache Rides .25 ¢" t-shirts?
Just then I heard a voice. It was a deep, reverberating voice that seemed to be shot out of a cannon. "He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath." I knew that voice quoting King Lear anywhere. It was my dearest friend and true reason for the trip, Archimedes. I turned and he was bounding down the hallway to me at full gallop. He knocked me over and proceeded to lick my face. "It has been too long old friend." I rubbed his belly and he methodically shook his leg. I asked, "What are you doing up so early?" Archimedes told me that he had yet to go to sleep, that he had been involved in a high stakes Hold 'Em game for three days and had not sleep since Tuesday. During his down time during the Hold 'Em break he would hit the casinos. I realized this was the event the Stillwater Gazette wanted me to cover.
Archimedes during the 2005 World Series of Poker.
Before I proceed, allow me to digress a bit. If you are puzzled, I'll explain. See Archimedes is, if you must classify, a dog, but you would never call him that to his face. He would prefer Manine. We were friends from the moment we met. I discovered him being held captive by Robinson's Klan Grand Wizard. He pleaded with me to help him. I arranged a head to head Hold 'Em game for him to play for his freedom. The Wizard laughed at the notion, but allowed the game to happen. After Archimedes beat him soundly within an hour, the Grand Wizard reneged on his promise and attempted to put him back in a cell. Archimedes swore he would die before bending his knee. He and I with the assistance of several grenade launchers and .22s fought our way out of the Klan den. We remained unscathed except for Archimedes receiving a single shot to his leg that never healed properly. The hitch in his walk made his gait more noble, made his stride appear deliberate and powerful not slow, ala John Wayne.
Nibbles, Archimedes' favorite character actor.
I discovered that Archimedes had 22 brothers and sisters. That he grew up in a bad part of Waco and from his earliest days roamed around in a pack of troublemakers. However, there was something different about him. One day, in hot pursuit of a squirrel named Betty, his first romantic interest, he happened upon Baylor's campus. He was struck by the serenity of the academic environment and surreptitiously listened in on his first class, a contemporary American Literature course. He was hooked. He started distancing himself from his old friends and enrolled in the university. He received at Baylor, a P.h.D. in English, a J.D., and a Master of Divinity to go along with his B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy. The second he finished his most recent degree he took his savings and became a successful professional gambler.
His first two lovers, Betty and Ruby.
When we first became friends I remember innocently making a comment about his not having a soul. Before I finished the thought, Archimedes grasped my neck in his large mouth. He stated, "If I have no soul, there can be no repercussions for me killing you right now." I conceded his point and he released me, much the wiser. We also had similar taste in women, but his taste were more exotic than mine. He in addition to dating a Miss Texas, had been involved with a chicken named Penelope, dozens of cats, several bird varieties, and numerous water fowl. He also indulged in the occasional dog. He despised most of his species, but had weaknesses when it came to Goldens, Labs, and Beagles.
Although good friends, Archimedes once forced Spud to bite his own foot.
I explained to Archimedes that I was here to cover his poker game and that Red and Pat were with me also. Archimedes and Red had been at odds since Archimedes had won the affection of our Bama intern, Dorothy. He told me the game didn't start midnight so we had 17 hours of drinking to go. As we walked back to my room he explained there was a bar we could go to at 7am. Suddenly Stillwater seemed more like heaven than a land cursed by God. I dressed in my widest pinstripe suit and began throwing Lonestar bottles at my fellow editors. "We are wasting precious drinking time my friends. Arise to met the day." Pat and Red arose and greeted Archimedes, and after I had passed out the Dr. Peppers, we had a few tequila shots and headed for the bars.
Due to budget constraints, Archimedes and Joe's
billboard did not include blackface.
Look for the third part of this two-part series soon.