Later on I would learn that it’s a city in Cameroon. At least I got the continent right. The hat is actually called a Kofia.
"Hey, what’s that f***ing African hat thing that one politician lady wears?"
I looked over at my buddy Mike. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, or where the thought came from.
"Who are you talking about? Sheila Jackson Lee? Carol Moseley Braun?"
"How the f**k should I know? It’s like a square hat thing, kind of like a fez, I dunno…but I’ve seen it on her on TV before. It has stripes, I think."
We didn’t even think to Google it on Mike’s WORLD PHONE Blackberry, even though he had been texting with about nine of his girlfriends from the minute we had gotten in his truck. We were speeding through the desert on a boys-only road trip…gambling…Laughlin by way of Bullhead City. The scenery was depressing – dry crumbly mountains all around and six-vendor swap meets on the right-hand side of the highway.
I felt it was my duty to name this…apparatus.
"It’s a f***ing Begunga."
My travel partner busted out laughing – it was almost a shriek – he thought it was way more funny than it actually was.
"A Begunga - that’s not a hat! It sounds like ass cancer! Who the f**k would wear that on their head?"
He smacked the steering wheel and hee-hawed some more. Pretty soon he’d be dropping hundreds of dollars at the craps tables, but for now this was the only entertainment.
From that moment it officially became Begunga weekend – everything was a damn Begunga…it got pretty raunchy, of course, guys being guys and all…we couldn’t get enough of the rustic uses of the word…and the SOUND of it only added to the ambience…Begunga…Begunga…BEGUNGA! Picture a lonely hillbilly with a prisoner and plenty of duct-tape…and a swollen Begunga…you get it….
We were still at it on Sunday at the buffet table at the House of Lee in Kingman…the family that owned the place didn’t like us – at all – and the other customers looked at us with disgust as we chortled and snorted and shoveled in mouthful after mouthful of Begunga-san…we were sweating and red-faced from all the laughter. Not that it was all hi-jinks. Every now and then I would think about my family, and become moody and morose. Mike would tell me to not be a pussy…why just look at him, he thought divorce would be the end of him too, but now he had all kinds of time to DO WHAT HE WANTED TO DO and also, on his assigned days, spend mucho QUALITY TIME WITH HIS KIDS. What more could a guy want?
Very true…not to mention the WOMEN GALORE that pop out of the woodwork as soon as you take that ring off…that’s how it is for him, anyway. He’s always got 3-4 hot babes on a string…I admire him…I’m kind of jealous actually…but what does his life have to do with me? He’s tall and rough and rugged and works out eight hours a day, plus he has more confidence than Teddy Kennedy in a room full of young and pretty campaign workers. He KNOWS that women were put on this earth to please him…and like all supremely self-assured people, he thinks that it’s easy for any guy to get what he wants…all you do is select from the sideboard – just like at the House of Lee.
At least that’s the theory. Sounds like a lot of work, to be honest. I sighed and looked out the greasy window. My mood was darkening and I missed the kids. Maybe even Mrs. John. Maybe.
I spooned up a pile of Begunga-Mahashie. It was time to hit the road again.