We stopped to spend the night in Red Bluff on the way to Ashland.
Deciding on a drink, we ducked into a pretty huge bar called the Palomino Room and met some locals, who were pretty cold to us, but the pretty bar tender and the security guy, Zack, befriended us, and we all ended up going to "Karaoke" together at some other little dive bar, where the bartender reminded me of my grandmother when I was little. My grandmother was young when she was alive. At the dive bar, everyone was very nice. The Karaoke wasn't really Karaoke, but the jukebox worked and was cheap, and the pool tables were flat enough to play on.
So we all end up at a table at Shari's, a place quite similar to Denny's that the locals claimed was sooooo much better. So there we were with a bunch of people with accents, laughing away the night. One of the locals named Dusty Roads Veteto said he was the third highest selling Chevrolet seller in the state, and he told the waitress she should know him from television. He was the local celebrity. Dusty Roads Veteto said he was rich. I suggested that Dusty pay for the meal then. He took out his credit card and threw it on the table, and one of the ladies picked it up and put it in her shirt by her boob.
Dusty Roads asked me what I did, and I told him I was a poet. He said he was published in Stars and Stripes magazine. He said he was a writer, too. Dusty Veteto said he made more money than a poet ever could. None of them had been to Ashland. Dusty Roads Veteto said that he was from L.A. But when I said I was from L.A., he said he was from O.C., but he moved away before his first birthday. The lady who put the card in her shirt by her boob said she was from Reno. Dusty said his name was not "Veteto" but "Verero" but his business card said "Veteto." He said I was pronouncing it incorrectly. And then everything got really weird.
Dusty Veteto's credit card was missing. Dusty and everyone started freaking out. They tore apart the booth we were sitting in, searched our pockets, searched out wallets, searched Jessica's purse, went nuts and said they were calling the cops. We told them they should call the cops. Then the lady with the shirt and the boob said that we should get the fuck out of there because we are fucking thieves, and Dusty canceled his card. And we were laughing, and I told the boob shirt girl to get the fuck out of there and that we were weren't thieves, and then they all started talking about disrespecting women, and Zack acted like he wanted to fight me, but I knew he didn't. Then everything was cool for thirty seconds, but the other redneck girl started freaking out again waving her hand around and saying that she knew everyone in town and that some broke poets stole the card, and Zack told her to stop "running her mouth" and then he got up and left, but he shook my hand and said he knew we weren't thieves and that this whole thing was lame. I told Dusty Veteto that he shouldn't have accused us of thievery, and he said he knew, and we left the redneck women "running their mouths."
We didn't sleep in Red Bluff because we were afraid that people like that do stupid things and might mess with the car while we were slumbering.