The Hawk, The Cane, and the Mick

met three men in Mexico, known only by the monikers the Cane, the Mick, and the Hawk. The Cane got his name from his visible dependence on a thick black wooden cane he kept close to his side. The Mick was the loudest of the three, although spoke far fewer words. Finally the Hawk, diminutive in stature but not volume, sported a Mohawk that stood nearly six inches off his otherwise smooth-shaven head. The three were inhabiting the darkest corner of the surliest bar Tijuana had to offer. Perhaps it was the raucous shouting or simply the fact that they were speaking unfettered English that instantly drew my gaze, but once captured it was never relinquished.From the bar I alternated sipping coronas and eavesdropping on the tall tale the trio was recounting. The scenes they described were both vivid and astonishingly far fetched, aided and abetted by the veracity of their verbiage. As glasses were emptied and the early evening crowd egressed into the street and homeward I approached the trio with a great hopefulness. “Would it interest you sirs,” I began, “to become the judicious subjects of a most serendipitous novel?” Confusion caused by my nervous 19th century dialect aside they seemed somewhat compelled to learn more.”What exactly would this book be about friend?” asked the jovial Cane. “And what would be in the cards for us if we acquiesced to this request?” Realizing immediately they were shrewd enough to be considered intelligent, I rebuked myself for such a carelessly clumsy preface.I had but one more trick up my sleeve and that was to bare to them my full intentions. “To be quite honest I have no considerable amount of money to offer you and I can’t say with any certainty that chronicling your escapades will be any more than an amateur attempt at recording your apparent metropolitan exploits. While I may be more young than decorated, and more aspiring than accomplished, I assure you my abilities with a pen and paper are sufficient enough to mold the rough rhetoric you’ve regurgitated now for that last four hours into something of an epic, second perhaps only to Milton’s Paradise Lost.” The three mulled over this proposal for a short time in hushed tones and inaudible dialects so that I was at a loss over their true intentions when the three finally turned and spoke in turn.”Firstly,” began the Cane with a level voice, “we appreciate and resent your honestly all at once. We have discussed your offer and believe we have reached a counter-offer which you may either choose to accept in good faith, or walk away from.””Money isn’t our first interest in this case,” intoned the Mick, “although it is a close second. We’re willing to share every adventure we’ve ever had with you under one condition.”Now it was the Hawk’s turn to chime in, “We aren’t the smartest, the bravest, or the best looking group of men out here. This must be remedied if you are to publish any of our exploits. Thus, in recording what we recount, we ask that you record it in a way so as to make us sound intelligent, wise, brave, and debonair. While the facts and events will retain authenticity, the exact dialogue must be lost in translation. In other words, `dude’ will now mean `good sir’ and profanity should be replaced with whatever proclamation you see fit.”I understood their reasons and didn’t blame them for wanting certain phrases tweaked. So I agreed that, barring the violation of truth, I would engender a more sophisticated flare to the tales that would flow forth from the Hawk, the Cane, and the Mick. Thus, in the proceeding paragraphs all that is recorded shall be anything but a direct quote, but certainly the events and repercussions will be the exact and sworn truthful events enacted by my three new acquaintances.Chapter 1 North of the BoarderOn an extremely fine-weathered day in the south of November, the Hawk the Cane and the Mick made their way north along Interstate 15, which ran through Great Falls, Montana and then meandered for about an hour toward that Canadian Boarder. Driving in a purple Dodge Stratus the trio were less apt to be targeted by radaring police officers and had nary a care intruding on their thoughts. All three were in their early twenties with various degrees of partial college education. The Cane drove while the Mick and Hawk inhabited the rear seat along with their friend Dirrty Sanchez. Dirrty was the bastard son of immigrant workers but showed a real penchant for numbers, gardening, and sports trivia. Riding shotgun was Cousin Ray-Ray. Whose cousin he was I was never privy to, but he seemed to claim relations with each of the four travelers at different times. Dirrty and Ray-Ray were both older than our three heroes and thus provided a level head at times when level-headedness was scarce.Shortly after crossing the boarder and turning onto the Canadian route 3, the group encountered their first memorable obstacle. A large steer (presumably the largest and steerest of all the cattle in Saskatchewan) had positioned himself so that no vehicle could pass on the farm lined, thin-shouldered road. The five huddled together and combined their vast intellects to determine what the best solution for this conundrum would be. The Mick favored hitting the large brute with the car until it moved. The Cane quickly shot down that idea and Dirrty Sanchez grabbed the Hawk before he could successfully transform into a vehicle himself and head butt the monstrous mammal.After some deliberation, poking, and prodding, Ray-Ray told them all to get back in the vehicle. Turning his back to the vehicle it was impossible to see what the prematurely balding man was planning until all of a sudden his arm flashed high in the air. He was wielding the bungee cord that had previously been the only thing holding his pants up. As he struck the steer’s rear he backed as quickly to the vehicle as his now fallen pants would allow. The Steer turned with wild eyes and grunted as if to say, “That was a bad idea good sir.” Ray-Ray dove through the open passenger side window as the steer’s long horns narrowly missed his underdeveloped calves. The Cane slammed on the gas and the five friends were away and hooting back to the animal as though they were Spartacan rebels having just conquered Rome.When they finally reached Medicine Hat it took them nearly an hour to find suitable lodging. On the outskirts of the north side of town they found a motel endearingly named “Le Chambles.” It came to be known as “The Shambles” to many who had rented rooms there. After paying for the room the five decided not to drop their stuff off just yet and visit a few bars. They left the car in the free parking at the motel, not wanting to waste a single looney or twoney that could be spent on booze. This proved to be an unwise decision because every Canadian penny they had was spent on the aforementioned drought. Upon exiting their last gentleman’s club they realized that they had no real bearing on where they were in relation to the motel and vehicle. Worse yet, it being 2:30 in the morning the metro rail had stopped running and they possessed no funds for a taxi.Just as all hope was evaporating and the five were searching for a park bench to sleep on they came upon a scantily clad guardian angel. Ray-Ray approached her, “We just left the club down the street there and seem to have found ourselves in quite the pickle. You see we’ve purchased temporary residence at a motel on the north side of town called Le Chambles and we’re entirely unaware of how to get there. No more do we possess money than a sense of direction and are in desperate need of your divine assistance.” In response to this well articulated and heartfelt request the pale figure lifted a moonlit arm and spoke.”Le Chambles is about four miles up Rue St. Germain. If you get to Nelson Park you’ve gone too far.” The Mick and Cane realized quickly that this woman had probably visited “The Shambles” on more than one occasion and thanked her quickly while trying to convince the still teetering Hawk that she wouldn’t take his movie pass as currency. Thus the five embarked on what can only be described as the most torturous, beleaguering, sobering, and frustrating eight mile walk any of them could remember. Upon finally reaching the motel they sighed heavily in relief and stumbled in drunken exhaustion to the door of their room.Ray-Ray was the first to try the handle upon finally finding “The Shambles” and discovered his progress impeded. Next the uber-annoyed Mick tried, but found the door to be dead-bolted from inside. Marching with new found energy to the front desk the five demanded an explanation. After more speaking in tongues and desk slamming they ascertained that the room had been rented out and that there were no vacancies available. Their refund was accepted with gritted teeth and idle threats. The five then returned to their car and slowly made the trek homeward.Perhaps an hour out of Medicine Hat the sun began to rise and the Cane found that he was the only one still awake. As his eyes wandered from the road he spotted something off the right side of the road standing underneath a large poplar tree. It appeared to be the same large steer that Ray-Ray had bested only hours previous. Thinking this a queer coincidence the Cane slowed his vehicle to a crawl and rolled down the passenger side window. He began doing his best impression of a female cow in heat. The sounds were effective and the steer sauntered over to the Stratus.Ray-Ray awoke with a start, having heard a sharp snort in his dream. He looked first to his left and found the driver of the vehicle giggling like a sadistic fisherman. Following the gaze of his half-maniacal friend he looked out his window to see the head of the steer no more than a foot away and closing. The absolute shock and horror in Ray-Ray’s scream instantly caused the Hawk to dampen his underpants and the Mick barely had time to open his door before upchucking meals from at least a week ago. Dirrty’s eyes opened so wide that he swears he’s still a little blind from it and the Cane assures me he has never laughed so hard, nor does he plan on repeating the feat as it nearly cracked his ribs. Gassing the engine, the Cane escaped the steer with time to spare and the four slowly regained control of their bodily functions.By the time the purple Stratus reached the boarder all four passengers were again dozing daintily in their respective seats. The Cane informed the boarder-patrol officer that they had attended a late baseball game and were now returning to help their grandmother move furniture into her nursing home. This was met with uproarious laughter and the Cane, offended, swore this to be true. After shedding a few tears the officer thanked the Cane, told him to let his friends slumber in peace and wished him a safe journey. As they neared home Ray-Ray took over driving and Dirrty was allowed to navigate so he wouldn’t feel as stupid for speaking German to a quasi-French hooker. The five swore they would remember this day and as they had more like it they would record their adventures and someday publish an awe-inspiring book. This, my friends, is the first chapter to that book, and only a sampling of the unheralded journeys to come. And in that sunrise, while crossing nations and nature, the legend of The Hawk, The Cane, and The Mick was born.