Yesterday I posted about Coeur d’Alene; today it’s Buffalo, Wyoming. The reason is the same: my new book, Zappa’s Mam’s a Slapper, will be published March 1st and I don’t want to insult anyone from Buffalo, accidentally or with intent, so if anyone there is listening to me I’d be grateful for some of your time.
The following passage occurs in Zappa’s Mam (just before the Coeur d’Alene pages I posted about yesterday). If you know Buffalo, Wyoming, please read this and tell me whether it’s going to upset anyone. I’ll be really grateful.
Take Dan and Vern in Buffalo, Wyoming. We met in the Occidental Saloon. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane all stayed at the Occidental and when you stand in the bar you can see twenty-three bullet holes in the ceiling. It brings back every Western you ever watched.
Dan and Vern and I got talking. The conversation turned to women. Dan and Vern liked women, but things had gone wrong. ‘The design of women is flawed,’ said Vern, who it turned out was a retired engineer.
‘Well, sure. If you bought a house in that condition, you’d sue the plumber.’
‘We’ve cracked it,’ said Dan and Vern said, ‘Yeah. My Sophie’s a real doll.’ They both cackled at that.
Dan and Vern had been friends for sixty years and they’d shared a home on Klondike Road for the past twenty. ‘Out near the Willow Grove Cemetery,’ Vern explained. ‘We don’t want to inconvenience folks too much when we go.’
Dan said it would be real polite of me if I’d step out to Klondike Road with them and meet their womenfolk. Naturally, I said yes.
It took three days before they’d agree to have their pictures taken and sign the release forms without which the publisher would never let them into print. When she’d finally overcome her scepticism and accepted that the pics were real and I hadn’t set them up, Jessica said they were some of my best ever.
They kept these two dolls permanently inflated and sitting up in their tidy, spotless living room. Vern explained that Kerry was a Backdoor Baby because Dan sometimes liked to pack fudge but he, Vern, took his sex straight. On the other hand, he’d always liked big tits. I had to admit I’d rarely seen any bigger than Sophie’s. Dan and Kerry had a two-seat sofa and Vern and Sophie had another at right angles to it. The television constituted the other side of this triangle. The four of them would sit up at night watching old movies, the men’s arms around the women, the men eating corn chips, drinking beer and smoking. At the end of the evening, Dan and Vern would tidy the room, empty the ashtrays, drop chip packets into the pedal bin and fill the dishwasher. Then they’d pick the two girls up in their arms and carry them off to bed.
They had wardrobes of tarty underwear and slutty dresses, skirts and tops they bought on the Net and, once they’d decided to trust me, they went through a whole series of changes while I took photographs. I did not, thank God, get to watch them coupling with the dolls. Dan explained that they both needed Viagra now and, once they got started, it tended to last a very long time and, anyway, they preferred to do it in bed. ‘We like a bit of privacy. We’re not nuts, you know.’
Dan and Vern were odd, but no odder than some of their neighbours. In Framingham they’d probably have been locked up. By the time I got to Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and Moses Lake they seemed almost normal.
So there you have it. The question: Is there anyone in Buffalo, Wyoming who could be offended by anything in that passage? (Especially anyone called Dan or Vern? :-))