45. It was Bloody Rare, Part 2.
So, back to the meat-eater’s popsicle-paradise of Pitlik’s – dark and snowy – Sand Beach Resort.
I was aware that the racket of the bar-propping trio had increased to meet the clamour of the kitchen staff. Could have sworn I heard a death rendering moo at one stage. But after an eternity, a clearly struggling nappy-rashed, pimple-popping Mickey arrived burdened under the weight of our Bison Ribeyes. I had asked for rare meat. But I kid you not, this sucker jumped straight off my plate and started leaving a bloody trail as it stampeded towards the door. If it had not been for the clearly honed skills of one of the redneck bar proppers, my ribeye would still be out there somewhere eating grass and playing Russian-roulette with passing pick-ups.
My hunk of bison was slapped back onto my plate where I was forced to stab it relentlessly into submission. After a long blood-splattering few minutes, I gave it its final fatal blow, leaving it fresh, rare and pleasantly lifeless on my plate. Gosh I bet that in this part of the woods parents have trouble with their kids playing with their food. ‘But Mum, I just want to ride my steak one more time.’ ‘Chuckie, this is a restaurant not the rodeo’. ‘Aw Mum’. ‘CHUCK.’
I have never experienced anything like this before, I had blood running through my fries, flowing through my salad and running down my beard. It took all of my city dwelling strength just to slice the bugger(135). Then chewing the sucker was a carnivorous marathon. We were too Kiwi polite to send it back and ask for a little less blood in the ‘rare’. However it provided us with hours of chewing entertainment. The chewing started in the restaurant and finished weeks later when I had finally tooth-picked the last bloody piece from my cavities. I have never ever chewed so much to gain so little. But if you excuse the pun, it was a bloody good steak, a bloody cool place and a bloody good night.
And to top it off I bought a cheap nasty insulated coffee mug. It is white, with a picture on it of the lake and forest that we never saw. And at the bottom of it is written the word Dzie’kuje. I asked zit-Mick what it meant. He strained his pimples almost to the point of bursting, thought about it for a minute and said that he did not know. Months later I plugged the word into a search engine and was informed that it had indeed been spelt incorrect. The correct spelling of the word is dziękuję and it is Polish for thank you. So now whenever I have a cup of coffee I am reminded to be thankful for a blood soaked salad, blood splattered fries and a bison that almost got away. Incidentally I have used the coffee mug every Monday morning whilst smithing this monologue.
It was a horrendous trip home. The mist was so thick that we could not even see oncoming headlights until they were beside our door. Averaging thirty kilometres per hour, we drove for seemingly hours down a no-named backwoods road. The evening was dark, dismal and full of snow.
Out of desperation and a need to trade the car seat for a toilet seat, we stopped at some anonymous populated section of the road that was full of frazzled motorists and hung-up-hill-billies. Out-of-town Rednecks were in town growing increasingly frustrated with their inability to find alcohol, whilst cars crawled down the lonely only road. The atmosphere felt both hazily apocalyptic and weirdly American. The snow fell, the motorists motored and I took in a few moments to breath in America. To breath in this random dot on the map, where darkness enveloped the street lights, were the bitumen glistened with sleet and where the clamour of life was hushed by the intense overpowering mist. This was America, ‘Up North’, Wisconsin, a place where English as we know it is rarely heard and smiles greeted with suspicion.
We confined it to our memories and drove back out onto the highway leaving the town to survive in the squalor of its peacefulness. The motif was too beautiful, too raw and too real to even be spoilt with the silent clicking of a digital shutter.
And before we knew it, Betsie had rather sullenly deposited us back at Summit Lake, not that the lake could be seen. But its presence could be felt out there in the freezing mist and gentle breeze. The evening was laid to rest with an open-fire, smores(136), hot-chocolate, jazz and dreams of riding wild bison with dinner forks and bottles of tomato sauce.
Tune in next week for ‘photos in the mist’
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You may have noticed some bracketed numbers in this chapter. These numbers correspond with explanations and definitions that are in an accompanying glossary. To read the glossary you will need to by the yet to be released book. Sorry!
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