We've noticed that Central Texas shares many characteristics of some of the more sophisticated areas of Pashtunistan. For example, both have substantial populations of heavily armed religious fanatics (Buckle Bunny* refuses to take us to Waco -- one in a string of outrages we've experienced lately). Also, getting a drink takes lots of effort.
As we might have mentioned in an earlier post, Eastland County is dry. Fortunately, as a habitue of Muslim countries, we already know how deal with this. For example, if you live in Islamabad, you load up at Duty Free and entertain quietly at home. If you live in Gorman, Texas, you go to Mingus.(Here is Richard Thompson singing "Mingus Eyes" which is pretty awesome and may or may not be related to Mingus, Texas. A quick perusal of the lyrics does not rule it out!)
Mingus lies a few miles north of I-20 and has a population of 254 (buy your T-shirt here!). Its central business district is pretty much a county road lined with bars. And by bars, we mean "pressboard shacks with some Budweiser posters on the walls, a dartboard and, maybe, karaoke."
Options are many! You have your Boar's Nest, your City Lights, your R-Bar, your White House, your Mule Lip and your Sugar Bush. There may be others. We don't know. It was dark.
The primary difference between these bars and ones you might find in Pashtunistan, if they had bars there, is that people get extremely drunk on Coors Light and rather belligerent on Friday night. We had been under the mistaken impression that the extremely drunk belligerents we saw at the Boars Nest were also armed, making us feel this was the most menacing bar in which we had ever had the pleasure of drinking Coors Light. We feel a lot better now knowing that it is illegal to bring your gun into bars.
Sadly, though, many Mingus visitors avoid the Mule Lip because some guy shot someone there last year. The newspaper story is linked here and, if you have not yet been convinced about the utility of social media, please spend a few minutes reading the comments.
Before you head to Mingus, know that its bars can only serve beer and whatever is the new century's version of Zima. That means you stop at the liquor store and buy your own bottle before you choose your bar. May we suggest Cheryl's? The night we stopped in, Cheryl's was helmed by two 80 year-old women in matching red sweatshirts who looked like twins. They were struggling a bit with their cash register that night. We have no doubt they, too, were heavily armed.
*Buckle Bunny is the Carpetblog contributor formerly known as Red State Sibling.