By Beau Smith
Usually when there’s a young, well built, 165 pound woman on my back I’m not getting’ punched and we’re wearin’ a lot less clothes. Not the case this time.
I was down in Batopilas, Mexico. A tough town known for it’s tough men and tougher women. I was in the midst of findin’ out just how tough the women folk were in a bar called El Cerdo.
Her name was Carmelita. I knew this because that’s what the guy that handed her the beer bottle to hit me in the head with called her. Right after he said, “Mate al vaquero feo!” If my Spanish serves me right that means somethin’ like “Kill the ugly cowboy!”
Seems everybody is a fashion critic when they’re drunk.
Could this be Carmelita?
Carmelita had jumped on my back from her perch on top of the bar. When she wasn’t poundin’ on my head with her fists she was spurrin’ my ribs like it was the finals of a Mexican rodeo.
The bar’s Mariachi band was keepin’ beat with the beatin’ she was givin’ me. It seemed that the crowd was addin’ their own lyrics to this tussle with their whoopin’ and hollerin’. I wish my Spanish was better. I’m sure they were callin’ me some very colorful names.
Carmelita was a strong young lady. Her tan legs were wrapped around me tighter than bark on a tree. She was pokin’ at my eyes with her fingers like my face was a cheap typewriter. Now and then she would get a little “Tyson” on me and attempt to chew off one of my ears.
Like I said before, if we were wearin’ less clothes this might be fun.
I managed to finally feel my way around to grabbin’ a handful of her thick black hair. I figured where her hair went the rest of her was bound to follow.
I was right.
I gave it a good jerk and tossed her over my shoulder. She landed hard enough to bust the table I tossed her on. It was then I think I might have pissed her off. She looked at me with fire in her eyes and said, “Mie que come a asshole” I understood the asshole part. I didn’t even wanna venture what the rest of it meant.
Now I’ve never been the kinda guy to hit a woman. It just ain’t manly. Shootin’ one is different, but I wasn’t packin’ that day. So I figured that a good ol’ submission hold would have to do the trick if I was gonna get out of this with Big Jim and The Twins still intact.
Carmelita was as hot as five alarm chili. I knew she’d rush me head on with that broken table leg she was swingin’ with deadly intent. So I let her.
I managed to duck under her Barry Bonds like swing. I got behind her and slipped both of my arms through hers and up around her head and neck in a variation of a Full Nelson. From there I figured she’d either try and drop straight down or use a back kick to attack the twins. She went for the drop down. When she did I slipped my right arm on the left side of her neck and backed that up with my left arm across the right side of her neck and thus effected a rear cross choke. If she’d been and man I would’ve then put my knee in the small of her back and broken her spinal column. But she wasn’t a man and ‘sides that she was a real looker for a big strong Mexican woman. I have a powerful fondness for Latina women. So I applied just the right amount of pressure and within a few seconds Carmelita was “Asleep”.
She slumped to the floor. For 10 seconds the whole place went silent. Then I heard more clicks than a roomful of computer perverts enterin’ a free porno site. I looked around and everybody in the place, includin’ the Mariachi band, had a gun pointed at me. Needless to say I slowly raised my hands in the air and said “Convengo mi sombrero de vaquero es feo.”
I figured I was about to develop more holes than a Marianne Wibberley screenplay.
It was then a laughin’ voice was heard from the back of the bar. Through the bat wing doors from the kitchen I see this shadowed figure walk in. He was wearin’ a large sombrero and carryin’ a whiskey bottle.
“Se retira, todos. Este es mi amigo, Beau Smith!” I heard him say as he walked into the light of the bar room. The owner of that cheery, whiskey-laced voice was Larry Young.
Larry Young, Turning The Tide
I then heard the reclickin’ of every gun as the crowd once again hid their weapons. Within seconds the bar lit back up with music and laughter.
Along with his large sombrero, Larry had two fully loaded bandoliers across his hairy chest. He hadn’t shaved in days and his beady eyes looked like they were floatin’ on a can of tomato juice. He looked just like he always does at a comic book convention. The only things missin’ were his two sidekicks, Ryan Yount and Brian Wood. Ryan was no doubt some where tryin’ to talk the cops out of haulin’ his psycho ass in on some strange charge and I’m sure Brian was in the middle of tellin’ some stripper that he really was a decent guy and that he had all sorts of sensitive feelings and thoughts.
Larry slapped me on the back and offered up a chair that wasn’t busted. We sat as a lop-eyed guy named Rojas brought me a beer and Larry more whiskey. Larry asked if I was amused as he was about my greeting to Batopilas.
I said no.
That amused Larry even more. I asked Larry why he had us meet up here in Mexico. I thought we’d hook up in his current city of residence, San Francisco. Larry informed me that a few years ago he purchased the town of Batopilas with some of the money he had earned at his publishing company AIT/PlanetLar. He said he needed a place to come and relax now and then. It seems at home his wife, Mimi makes Larry wear shirts all the time (Even if they are all flannel) as well as refrain from breakin’ every natural law known to man.
It seems that once when Larry and his hooligan friends were on a week long joy ride across the border they found this fun little town and decided that it was a good place to act like men. The townspeople welcomed Larry and made him the unofficial Mayor of the city. A few years later, after another huge check came in from Diamond Distribution, Larry decided to buy the town and make sure it was always there when he needed to blow off manly steam.
Made complete sense to me. ‘Sides Larry has to find some way to spend all that cash he makes publishin’ at AIT/Planetlar.
I asked Larry why he had Carmelita jump me when I came in askin’ for him. He replied that he knew of my fondness for strong Latina women and figured that a good ‘rasslin’ match with her would make me feel right at home or at least a little sore. He was right on both counts.
Speakin’ of strong women, we spent the next fifteen minutes talkin’ about how good Amanda Fisher, the owner of the Montana comic shop?Muse Comics, would look dressed up in a Cowgirl/Cheerleader outfit and servin’ us sandwiches. It was safe to say all this since we were thousands of miles away from her vengeful ways.
Larry mentioned he was glad that I had asked him to be a part of my Five Manly Questions. He said that there was plenty he had to say to the loads of readers that needed to hear just what he had to say. I could tell I had to get these answers out of him soon. His third bottle of whiskey was startin’ to kick in.
Larry Young – One Sick Pumpkin
I pulled out my recorder and turned it on like a lonely woman at closin’ time. Here’s how it went:
Beau: What annoyin’ celebrity would ya like to smack in the head with a shovel or Humiliate by dragging them on a rope from the back of a donkey?
Larry: I’m going to have to go with Katie Couric. Not because she is particularly annoying to me (although she is) or that she needs a metaphorical spade to the pate (although she might); naw, my problem with Katie Couric is that her early- morning prattling on the TODAY SHOW prevents me from getting the straight dope from Ann Curry as soon as humanly possible. Those first three minutes that Matt Lauer and Katie Couric mumble on about the day’s top stories is just filler as far as I’m concerned between a good night’s sleep and the dulcet tones of Ms. Ann Curry saying, “Good morning, everyone.” I think it’s the freckles.
Seal Team Seven
Beau: I always heard ya liked the tall ones. Ok, other than your beautiful wife, Mimi, name some of the sexiest babes on the planet.
Larry: I hope it comes as no surprise that I think Ann Curry is the dreamiest. Mimi is so cool that when she was in New York on business, she stood out in the cold for a while to get her picture taken with Ann. Mimi told her that I loved waking up in the morning to Ann telling me the day’s news, and that she was going to get the picture framed of “her husband’s two favorite girls” and give it to me for Valentine’s Day. Ann told her that she was a very understanding wife, but me, I’d figure Mimi’d HAVE to be, to put up with a lug like me all these years.
I gotta say I enjoy the work of Milla Jovovich and Kate Beckinsale quite a bit; they both put across that no-nonsense, TCB vibe I really respond to in a girl. When I first moved to San Francisco, I picked up some spending money as an extra in films and TV shot here, and I spent a very nice twenty minutes talking to Sandy Bullock on the set of THE NET real late one night as they shot a crowd scene in which I was part of the mob. I wouldn’t mind going out to dinner with Angela Bassett or Lauren Graham. Lily Evangeline on LOST is moving up the ranks.
I was talking about this very thing with an old college buddy of mine recently and he laughed because all the celebrities I find attractive are all ones who exhibit aspects of Mimi in their work or in their physicality. He was making fun of me about it until I said “The bar is Mimi high” and how do you argue that one? He had to admit that I was right.
Beau: Your “Model Husband” thing is startin’ to turn my stomach, Larry. Mine is gonna start expectin’ the same out of me if ya don’t pipe down. Ok, name some manly movies that every real man should see if he wants to rev up his testosterone.
Five Fists Of Science
Larry: You can’t go wrong with BULLITT or THE GREAT ESCAPE. Folks whistle that music even now without knowing what it’s from. DIE HARD, of course; if Mimi’d let me, my title on my business card would read “The Fly In The Ointment; The Monkey In The Wrench.” I like VANISHING POINT for pedal-to-the-metal and the original PLANET OF THE APES for sheer orneriness. What’s more manly than leaving Earth in a spaceship with a couple of pals, a blonde, and a few stogies, just because everyone annoys you?
THE RIGHT STUFF, of course. Says so right there in the title. NORTH DALLAS FORTY. OFFICE SPACE, believe it or not. It’s a manly anthem. THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE, FRENCH CONNECTION, THE GODFATHER. If it was made between 1965 and 1980 and someone gets shot or somebody swears, it’s a good one to get into the DVD player as soon as possible.
Beau: In a bar fight, what dirty tactic do you favor over all others?
Larry: I’ve been in precious few bar fights in my day, but they were all Down South and I was a younger man. They were all with Mean Drunks, and anyone who tells you anything different than “a line drive to the plums” just doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There ain’t no winners in bar fights; just guys who get to leave on their own steam. If it’s gone-to-Sunday and there’s no talking sense, it’s better them than you. Cops believe the story of the guys standing upright, anyway, that’s been my experience.
Beau: Name your latest and upcoming manly work in comics and entertainment so my manly readers can steal the money from their mom’s purse to buy it. Name the publisher as well.
Larry: Fifty years from now, an elevated highway spans the nation. Initially a response to international terrorism, the US government grounds commercial airline flights and builds THE BLACK DIAMOND. The project leader and chief architect is named Jim Maddox and he sacrifices everything to build his dream. Years pass and Maddox’ daughter Kate becomes an engineering savant in her own right. Married to Dr. Don McLaughlin, DDS, they have an idyllic relationship; both the top of their fields and highly respected. But when the government decides to clean up THE BLACK DIAMOND heading east and when Kate is kidnapped to be used as a hostage by forces loyal to the road, Dr. McLaughlin has to borrow his brother-in-law’s illegal 1973 Mercury Cougar to get on the highway and rescue his wife… 150 feet above and 100 miles an hour faster than anything he’s ever known. He wants his life back; he needs his wife back. It’s life in the fast lane!
Smoke & Guns
Of course this sort of testosterone-laden action-adventure is only found coming out from my own publishing house, AiT/Planet Lar. This one’s in June and beyond. We’re also publishing some manly books this summer: Joe Casey, Caleb Gerard, and Damian Couciero’s FULL MOON FEVER, Kirsten Baldock and Fabio Moon’s SMOKE AND GUNS, Matt Fraction and Steve Sanders’ FIVE FISTS OF SCIENCE, and Zack Sherman and Roberto de la Torre’s SEAL TEAM SEVEN to name just a few.
Beau: Ok, BONUS QUESTION: Name some of the manliest people workin’ in comics today. That way my readers won’t waste their time readin’ crummy stuff from those limp-wristed British guys.
Larry: I think Maureen McTigue is right up there; having done time in the foxholes of STARLOG, DC, WIZARD, Harris Comics and iBooks show you right quick she’s got the stuff. Charlie Adlard’s a workhorse; there’s nothing anyone can think up and describe that Charlie cannot draw. Jason McNamara and Tony Talbert of LESS THAN HERO. Those guys’d sooner kills ya as looks at ya. I know this to be true because they wear matching T-shirts that say so. Hmmm. Mebbe that’s not so manly after all. I dunno? after you and me, Beau, it gets to be kind of a short list?
With that Larry said that he had to go call Mimi and let her know he was still alive. That was something he promised her he would do when he came down here. He had to check in with her every 24 hours so that she would always know that he was still drinkin’ and breathin’. It’s what ya call bein’ a manly husband. You young guys take note.
Before Larry staggered off to the phone he gave me a card. A Larry Young Free Pass Card. This entitled me to a free ride as long as I was in Batopilas. I thanked him. That’s what ya call being a gentleman.
As I sat there and pondered what filthy acts against nature I would indulge in with this card, Carmelita walked over my way with a look that would melt iron. She sat down, bit the bottle cap off her beer and said, “Usted lucha bueno para un hombre. Tengo gusto de eso.”
I thanked her and told her that she fought pretty good for a woman and that I liked that. I then flashed her my best squinty-eyed grin.
She smiled like a snake getting’ ready to eat a rat and offered to show me around Batopilas, if I liked.
I said I liked.
She then mentioned a bunch of stuff in Spanish about arm wrestlin’, cockfights and the burning of clothing. I just nodded my head Ok and we made our way to the door.
As we made our way into the Mexican night I heard an old man from within the bar laugh and yell “Montelos, Vaquero!!”
More On Larry Young
I strongly advise all of ya out there to checkout the AIT/PlanetLar website. It’s got all the info and news you need to make Larry and all his great books a part of your real man menu of life. It’s NASA tough and just right for your testosterone tastes. Larry runs a great blog that keeps ya up to date on everything that ya need to know about PlanetLar. Larry is wise beyond his years when it comes to comic books, graphic novels and the retail world. You can get there by clickin’ on http://www.ait-planetlar.com
Go there and tell em’ Beau and Carmelita sent ya.
Last Man Standing At Closing Time
I hope ya enjoyed the return of Five Manly Questions. More will be comin’ your way soon. Keep your appointment book open.
Adiós del rancho del puño del vuelo–Beau Smith
Speakin’ of Five Manly Questions, I get tons of requests for a Five Manly Questions with? ME. Seems that there are a couple of folks out there that wanna get into my knuckle draggin’ noggin and find out what makes me tick like a Beau bomb with a cheap clock strapped to it. I plan on doin’ that some day soon. I wanna do it up right and I also wanna make sure I got the right person(s) to do the interview. So keep checkin’.
The flood of emails continue to pour in with important information on the buying habits of you, the comic book consumer. The total is up to a little over 700 emails now. It’s great. Keep em’ comin’ in. I also wanna let ya know , because most all of ya asked, I do not give out your name and info to anyone. It remains with me and me only. Please feel safe that your personal info will not be sold or given away. You have my word on it.
That’s it for this week, amigo. Lemme know what ya want and I’ll steal it.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
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