This article is part of the The Tiger King and I series.
Read the previous part here.
Disclaimer: Names have been changed mostly because I forgot them and partially because they might sue me for putting them on blast.
I woke up in the Hi-Way Hotel to the sound of someone banging on the door. To this day I pat myself on the back for bracing the door with that desk. The person was yelling for someone that wasn't me. They kept yelling that they needed their shit. I stayed very quiet and just listened until they left. Figuring I was safe, I decided to watch TV. The only channels that came in clear were porn, and it wasn't that kind of day, so I moved the TV to see if the coax cable was loose. I found the mystery person's shit! Two small baggies filled with a white substance and two scorched glass straws. I pushed the TV back into place and decided I didn't need to watch TV.
When daylight approached I talked to the guy behind the bulletproof glass at the front desk and got directions to the Greyhound station. I snagged my duffel (hotel door didn't fucking lock) walked there, and purchased a ticket to Oklahoma City. The bus would depart in 3 days. Just had to survive until then. I stocked up on convenience store food and drink on my way back. When I returned to the Hi-Way the man had come from behind the bulletproof glass and met me outside. He took my hotel key and gave me a different room. Apparently someone came back and got their shit from behind the TV.
The three days were uneventful. I slept a lot, talked to my mom on the phone, assured her that I was gonna be ok. She had been doing research online about Joe Exotic, and based on what people were saying then, I had walked into a literal and metaphorical tiger pit. She was happy I was coming home and so was I. I settled into my shitty hotel room, and counted down the days until my Greyhound came.
I boarded the Greyhound in Markham and our first layover was in St. Louis. I read a lot on the bus. A very pretty girl sat next to me and I tried to chat with her. She had a bonnet and a long dress, a bit old fashioned, but I was 18 and didn't care about anything. She blushed and smiled, but didn't talk, so I made bad jokes and goofed off. I felt like I was getting somewhere. We stopped in St. Louis and everyone got off the bus for the layover. As I was standing up to disembark, I felt a hard grip on my shoulder. I turned around and was met with two amish guys about my age.
One of them asked if I was talking to their sister. I said I was, and that she didn't say anything back to me, and I was just generally complaining about lack of communication when he said, "don't talk to our sister." in a very Amish voice. Imagine a stern Amish voice. Yep. You got it. It's that one, the one you're thinking of. I was full of piss, vinegar, gas station food, and terrible cigarettes (Davidoffs, if you're wondering. Awful smokes) and I sized up the two Amish fellers. I decided my best course of action was to shut the fuck up and not talk to their sister. These guys looked like they could drag me off the bus, build a barn, kick my ass in it, and not break a sweat. They had the physique and temperament of guys who work a farm all day and never masturbate.
All said and told, the bus ride plus layovers took just a hair under 24 hours. I stepped off a bus in Oklahoma City and felt at home for the first time in months. I was done with Joe Exotic, done with his crazy tour, done with the other employees, done with the G.W. Exotic Animal Park&
Except my car was still there.
Every now and then a forum member posts something so creative and impressive that I stop shouting in anger at my monitor. Today I'd like to highlight a particularly amazing post.
Advice you don't want from a maniac you don't trust.
If you are Will Wright or anyone at all please read this!
finally, some posts with class!
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.
My stories from working at America's most controversial zoo