Back in my cab driving days I was dispatched to a local hole-in-the-wall tap. It was a tiny Cowboys & Indians, mostly Indians, bar. I’d been there before long ago with some older gentlemen who preferred Country Music and cheap beer. It had a short bar and a half dozen stools and a few little plain wooden tables with chairs opposite. Back in the day it drew a livelier mixed crowd but now it’s mostly a hangout for Native Americans. Linguistically we’re all native Americans – but I won’t belabor the point here.
As I walked in looking around for my fare (See the bartender) I noticed an odd fellow seated alone at one of the side tables lining the wall. I tried not to stare (just as I’d been taught) when confronted with the obviously afflicted. This poor soul had the most extraordinary nose. It hung down, starting from just between his eyebrows to well past the tip of his chin. It was ruddy or inflamed and the size and shape of a cucumber or large pickle and textured with pores so large, dark and deep it gave the impression of a sponge. He had to lift it out of the way in order to take a sip of his beer.
Back in the cab, as I pulled up to his address, my fare, reeking of booze and slurring his speech, asked me if I’d noticed the man with the nose. I allowed as I had, so; instead of debarking, he slumped down in the back of the darkened cab and drunkenly told me the man’s tale.
In his vigor he was a handsome young buck long betrothed to an Indian maiden. In time, however, he forsook her for another, a prettier young squaw. Distraught beyond measure and in the heat of passion the jilted girl took her grievance to a Medicine Man. The Medicine Man gave her a Love Potion to be given surreptitiously to the young man. saying, as he did, that the young man would then be hers and hers alone forevermore. Now, the Medicine Man wasn’t exactly forthcoming in the manner in which the Love Potion actually worked. Shortly, in a matter of days after she gave it to him his nose started to grow, and kept growing and growing and never stopped growing. He would be hers and hers alone – as no one else would ever have him.
Furthermore, my fare added, that this now middle-aged fellow was a military veteran; and every six months he’d have to go to the VA and have most of his ever-growing nose surgically cut off.
As I often assert, true stories are the best kinds of stories, and my portion, my testemony in all this is true. I saw what I saw and heard what I’d heard; but as for the rest, believing it is entirely up to you.