I watched it sit in a vacant lot I frequently drove past in Kerrville for several years. Occasionally I’d trip up the hill to it, walk around it, kick the amazingly good tires.
After I began scouting for a new, moveable dwelling I began going snake eyes when I got near it to keep my intentions from drawing the attention of the Coincidence Coordinators. Sydney Baker is at the other end of town from the lot it was sitting in, so I assumed the Wing King was long defunct and this jewel was waiting for me to chase down the owner, make an offer, and take it away.
But today when I drove to that lot to get the license tag number so’s to try to contact the owner the bus was gone. I figured someone had called a wrecker to haul it away because they were going to use the lot for something. I puzzled over my next step toward finding it as I drove to Sydney Baker to see who occupied the address of the Wing King on the side of the bus.
Sheeze! The Wing King was right there, still in business. Okaaaay. Got to prepare myself mentally for this. I kept driving, furious thinking. But a few blocks ahead in the parking lot of the strip center in front of Dollar Tree, there it was, parked parallel to the curb.
I walked around it, squatted down to see if it was dripping oil or coolant. Nothing. I pulled off my vest and slid under the engine. Everything was pristine. No grease, barely any dirt.
What the hell’s it doing sitting here? Why did they move it?
Nothing for it but to drive back to the Wing King and talk to the owner. Now.
I sat in the truck going snake eyes a couple of minutes to prepare, then went inside looking for someone who looked ownerish. Two kids.
“Is the owner around?”
“No, he doesn’t work days.”
“I want to talk to someone about that bus down there parked by the curb across from the high school.”
“The water pump went out on it. He’s waiting for the part.” The kid thinks I’m someone in authority about to make trouble. How the hell could he think that, looking at me?
“I want to talk to him about buying it.”
“He won’t sell it. He got it for almost nothing, $1500, and it’s only got 10,000 miles on the engine.” Thanks a lot kid. I needed to hear that last part.
The other one, a girl chimes in. “Yeah, and parked there with that sign on it reminds the high school kids we’re here!”
Ahhhh. And Kerrville has a sign ordinance. That bus parked there doesn’t violate it.
That’s a bus the cats and I will never live in. But at least I found out about a place sells chicken wings. Wonder if they’re any good.
C.W. McCall – Wolf Creek Pass – a song about a truckload of chickens.