The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

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  1. A student came to Billy-Bob Gautama and said, “Goat, I seek the the understanding of the eight-fold path.”

    Billy-Bob responded, “The trick is to use FRESH tomatoes, and make sure you use at least 3 kinds of peppers, either mild, or burn-your-eyebrows-off, all freshly minced, brown sugar, some fresh onions, and use Lea & Perrins Worchestershire sauce, none of that knock-off store brand. Oh, and either use fresh-cut mesquite, or make sure you soak yer wood a good long while. Here, have some, fresh off the grill.”

    The student took a bite, and thus achieved enlightenment.

  2. The tarheel came to Billy Bob’s fireside and said “why have you ruined your sauce with the fruit of the vine? A proper barbecue starts with vinegar or *maybe* mustard. Tomatoes ruin the flavor.”

    The Goat said “That’s right, you’re not from Texas.”

  3. ~giggles~

  4. As sometimes happens around Houston, an unexpected January snowstorm caught Billy-Bob Gautama on a small rural road. Fortunately he was able to find a small-town diner that was open. Better yet, it was an old trailer, with a sagging metal shack attached. In rural Texas, that combination means the locals like the place well enough that it was worth the owner’s while to add on.

    “Darlin,” said Billy-Bob, “all this drivin has made me a mite hungry, but it happens I don’t have any money. Seein as I’m a holy man and all, maybe you could let me have a bowl of soup or somethin?”

    “Sorry, Goat,” said the waitress, “It don’t have to be cash. We accept credit cards, and under the circumstances I could make an exception to our usual rules and take a check.”

    At this Billy-Bob’s face grew very stern. “Brust does not let me have credit cards or a bank account. If you won’t feed me, I’ll just have ta do what my Daddy did.”

    At this, the waitress grew nervous. After all she was alone with this man, with nobody else for miles around. “Who knows what his father did,” she thought. “He could have been a thug, or – lord have mercy – a murderer. Besides, Goat mentioned *Brust*. If he’s crazy enough to break the fourth wall, he’s crazy enough to do anything!”

    Without further talk, she piled up a plate with the kind of food diners of this type do best. There was fried quail, none the worse for needing to pick birdshot out of it, and sausage, which was delicious as long as you were careful and ate around the buckshot. The fried okra had been picked fresh that very days. The Frito pie was as good as any you would get in New Orleans, as was the sweet potato pie that followed.

    As Billy-Bob finished, and leaned back with a contented look on this face, the waitress worked up the nerve to approach him. “Goat, if you don’t mind my asking,” she said a bit timidly, “What exactly was it your Daddy did?”

    “Oh Darlin,” said Billy-Bob, “when my Daddy couldn’t get any food he had to go hungry.”

    “That is a Hershele Ostropoler story,” though the waitress, outraged. “I thought the Billy-Bob Gautama tales were based on redneck jokes.” And she became enlightened.

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