These events originally happened on November 12th, 2008 in Sweetwater, TX when I went to visit Ludlum Measurements. I add them here for posterity.
SCENE: Our Hero, Phil, is seated at the bar of the closest consumption establishment within walking distance. He is dressed in shorts, sandals, t-shirt and wearing his long red hair in its typical ponytail. There is a pint of beer in front of him and he is waiting for his cheeseburger.
Enter Belligerent Drunk in Camo who sits to Phil’s right. Phil cannot help but notice the enormity of the man’s belt buckle and the cowboy hat with the hatband of a linked chain of silver Texases.
Belligerent Drunk in Camo: What brings you to Sweetwater, ’cause you certainly ain’t from round here?
Phil: Here doing a training class for work.
BDC: Who you work for?
P: UC Berkeley.
BDC: BERKELEY!?!?!! I shoulda known…
BDC launches into a rant about goddamn hippies, fuckin’ queers, and strangely enough, vegans, who he seems to hold a special hate for above the other two, though all three are obviously connected.
BDC: That’s what I think at least. Sure as fuck glad I ain’t from there like you. I’d probably be shooting people in the streets.
P: Oh good god, no. I don’t live in Berkeley; I live in Livermore.
The clouds of anger depart BDC’s face. It seems he’s done some work in Livermore up at the windfarms in Altamont Pass and now works down here on the big wind turbines outside of Abilene.
BDC: Sorry, buddy. You shoulda said you were from Livermore off the bat. That may be one of the few bastions of Real America left in California.
P: Don’t mention it.
BDC: I mean, looking like you do…
P: That’s alright. I just assumed you were gay, looking like you do. You know how many “cowboys” I’ve seen in SF during Pride like you?
BDC turns purple, decides not to deck Our Hero, and storms out of the bar. Bartender, who has been watching and listening to all this, decides this may be the most hilarious thing he’s seen in months. He gives Phil a free pint.