They rode into town on Friday night while Kyle Finney and I were running the only pool table in town. A couple of roughnecks from the rig south of Meade Kansas were there, losing a few bucks to me and Kyle.
It was a shit-hole bar where yes, god dammit, we were allowed to smoke, and there was no cell phone signal because Rosie had run chicken wire along the ceiling and her son set up some kind of radio transmitter through it an no cell phone ever rang in Rosies because she hated cell phones, and we were all okay with that because the beer was cheap and the girls from the beauty school would come in there sometimes and when they got drunk, there was a half a chance of getting laid.
The Renaissance Popes in their robes and pointy hats rode in. We heard their bikes first. Loud suckers, they sounded like the place was going to fall down around us from the noise. We all looked around but acted like we were unimpressed by the noise, but I was and I know everybody else was too but they weren't going to be the first to let on about it.
There were girls to impress. Not the beauty school girls, but sitting in a booth were two girls from the front office at the Co-op. Jane and Jill Scott, the daughters of the guy who owned the biggest farm in Meade County. They were drinking wine coolers and smoking Virginia Slims and talking and giggling and frowning at their phones because they couldn't get good reception and they didn't know about the chicken wire cell phone jammer. They must have gone to Wichita and bought matching tube tops and do I have to tell you the rest because I think you know what I'm talking about.
They were stacked.
The Renaissance Popes always rode with alter boys riding behind them, holding onto them like girls riding behind their boyfriends. It's sick if you ask me but you know how much those Popes dig young boys.
Two little peckerwoods, fourteen year old boys in alter-boy getups swinging incense burners on brass chains walk in, stinking the place up with their incense. They were singing choral music with their high, angelic voices. They looked shattered from all the diddling they must have had to put up with being on the road with the Renaissance Popes.
Nicholas the Fifth swaggered in first, a bottle of church wine in one hand, and an annoyed alter boy under the other arm. He was singing a Bon Jovi song in Latin. He had issued the Dum Diversas and Romanus Pontifex, effectively giving the excuse for global slave trade in the 15th and 16th centuries, and it was said that he worked with a Mara Salvatrucha gang out of El Salvador that was a smuggling ring in the San Fernando Valley, where immigrants were held captive until the "Coyotes" were paid, or the immigrants were sold into prostitution or slave labor. Nicholas's face was red from drinking. He staggered to an empty booth with his alter boy, then kicked the boy out of the booth with his booted foot and demanded whiskey.
The next pope was Callixtus the Third.
I wrote some books: