Get Over It, Valley Ranch. You're History.

Categories: Schutze

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So I'm walking into this very faded 1990s airport hotel bar that smells like my vet's waiting room. It's 10 in the morning. There's one customer, an old broad slumped over a beer at a table in front of the TV, her whole head wreathed in cigarette smoke. And I think to myself, "Lord, why me?"

But of course I know the answer to that one. It's my job. My name? Let's go with Jim for now. The job? I'm a bleeding heart.

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Amazon.com
The Bleeding Heart never sleeps.

"Hey," I tell her. She looks up. Ouch. Lot of bad road on that puss. But I can see somewhere way back at the beginning of that road she probably was a looker. Yeah, I bet she was. Some looker, a very long time and a whole lot of work ago.

"Hey," she tells me, puffing smoke in my face.

Yeah. That's about how this conversation will go.

I sit. There's a bartender back there looking at me with his head tilted back. I guess that's sign language. I wave him off. I would be thrilled to get out of here in about five minutes.

"You said on the phone your name was Valley Ranch," I tell her.

She shrugs.

"Is that a real name?"

"Fuck you."

Oh, and charming, too, on top of the looks.

She taps the empty beer bottle with a very long purple fingernail that looks like something she bought at the State Fair. I say over my shoulder, "Another brewski for the lady, please, Oscar."

Oh, shit, now we have tears, great big sloppy tears turning the Mardi Gras makeup into a California mudslide. So much for getting out of this one fast.

She keeps looking up at the TV, and every time she does the tears get bigger. So I look up at the TV. Some kind of big wedding going on. I don't know. I don't keep up. Is it a royal wedding or some shit? Did my well-traveled lady friend here get ditched by the prince or something?

Now snuffling. Damn. If there's snot, I'm outta here. Yeah, I may be a professional bleeding heart, but there's a limit.

"So who's gettin' hitched?" I ask her, trying to move it along. Here comes the beer -- bottle, no glass. She tips it back and it's gone. Wow, this lady has got some serious oral abilities. One doesn't want to know.

"It's ... it's ..." She can't spit it out. We're into big-time blubbering now.

"Yeah, that's OK," I tell her. "I don't really give a shit who's getting married, Dear. You called me. I'm here. I'm a bleeding heart. What's on the agenda?"

She gulps for air and then blurts it out: "The Dallas Morning News said I was an urban sophisticate. An urban sophisticate! Me! Don't you think Jerry would at least give me some respect for that? Just a little bit of respect? Is that too much to ask?"

Hmm. Is respect too much to ask? I'm leaning toward yes, but I'm going to keep that one to myself for now, because it'll only drag things out.

Big noise on the TV set, and both she and the barkeep are staring at it like it's the second coming. So I look up, too. The bride is coming down the aisle. She looks like she's about 17. Talk about smokin'. Man, that should be against the law. According to the deaf-people caption, her name is "Frisky." Nah, can't be. Who would give their daughter a name like Frisky? That's a name for a pro in Vegas. I stand up and look closer. No, her name is "Frisco." Close enough.

The camera pans up the aisle, and there's an old dude up there waiting for her who looks kind of like a cross between Alex Trebek and Dracula. The camera tightens down on his mug, and Valley Ranch starts bawling like the sirens on two fire trucks.

"Jerry!" she shrieks, "Jerry, don't leave me! Jerry, we had a thing!"

I hear the bartender muttering something about, "Yeah, you had a thing, shit. You got nothing, bitch, and now we're all screwed."

I walk over and put a finger in his face. "Hey, pal, you wanna put a cork in that?"

"Sorry, sir," he says, shrugging, drying the same glass for the hundredth time. "It's just ... everybody out here, we was all countin' on her to keep Jerry around. You know, man. It's our bread and butter. Now look at her. Who would stay around for that?"

"You know what?" I tell him. "You're a lousy bastard. Gimme some Kleenex from back there."

He shrugs and hands it to me, keeps wiping the glass.

OK, now I'm on the job. Damn right. I knew if I stuck with it, it would come to me. I feel sorry for her. I go back, sit down and hand her the Kleenex. She blows. I could have gone my whole life without hearing that. But I'm OK. My heart bleeds.

"So, this Jerry? He ditched you for the bimbo on the flat-screen, I take it. Did he leave you fixed pretty good, at least?"

"Yeah, right," she says, her voice clear. "I got bupkes."

We're quiet for a long moment. Cheers and squealing on the TV set. I signal the barman for another beer. "So, your name," I say. "Is there really a valley?"

Turning slowly toward me, her face appears from behind the cloud of smoke. What is that I see glimmering there beneath the mask of muddy makeup? Oh, God, no. NO! She's giving me the naughty look!

OK, you know what pisses me off? The only thing about this job that really pisses me off? It's people who think being a bleeding heart is easy.

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58 comments
CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

A quick glance back at the history shows that the Valley Ranch facility was planned under original Cowboys owner Clint Murchison Jr. and opened in '85 under Bum Bright. Not sure if the allegory holds up so well in light of these facts. To be sure, Irving did its best to cozy up to Jerry, but he was a Johnny-come-lately to the longstanding relationship.

Americano
Americano

Jim, your fiction is better than your attempts to report the real news accurately.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

All mercenary relationships end in this way. 

Mervis
Mervis

Me thinks it was the Urban part that drove the wedge into the relationship.

Mervis
Mervis

Starring Myrna.Minkoff-Katz as Valley Ranch.    lulz

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Excellent story Jim.  Now how about how a story on how JJ shook down the Frisco ISD for $35MM?

James080
James080 topcommenter

Jones reminds me of Perot. They both always find a way to make a buck on the public dime.

animas
animas

Can't wait for the movie!

director21
director21

Well done, "Jim"! That is one of the best and funniest things you may have ever written, and it has a point.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Trebekula. I like it, but I still think he's more Skeletor than Dracula.

Thinking it over, the Skeletor reference might be lost on you, though.

RagDoll
RagDoll

If  Valley Ranch = Traditional Media, I do like that glimmer of naughty hope at the Washington Post.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Sterling Hayden.  Sigh....... dubbed "The Most Beautiful Man in Movies".

BMFF
BMFF

Wilbur sucks and so does his brat who plays with dolls.

mcdallas
mcdallas

But if you look at her in just the right light, at just the right angl.... never mind.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Channel 4 news spent so much time on this boring event. Yawn.......

yoka
yoka

Nice allegory, but just as in the more literal example...she picked him!  She shoulda known Jerry was the 'hump 'em and dump 'em' type.  You could read it in his face, even before he had it re-constructed.

Eventually we'll get to read Jim's account of consoling Ms. Frisco when Jerry finds a better offer..

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

So I assume the over inflated price of a 700 sq ft apartment in Valley Ranch can now be had for the same price as a 700 sq ft in say lewisville.  Cause really, Valley Ranch aint shit without the cowboys

1dailyreader
1dailyreader

@Mervis Poor Myrna, you never get a break.  But this was funny; I wasn't even expecting it.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul

Excellent point, and I will try to get back to it tomorrow in a separate item. Since Sept, 1999, school districts in Texas have not been able to deduct TIF money from the tax base that they report to the state. https://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/ordredirect.html?open&id=tifintexas.html I think what that means is that you can knock thirty million bucks out of your tax revenues and give it to Jerry.  But when the state sits down to divvy up your state education money, which is most of your income, they're going to set the formula as if you still had that thirty million coming in. Knock me down if I'm wrong, but it seems like that means Jerry's $30 million comes out of your state money somehow, which means it comes out of your kids.


yoka
yoka

@James080 Right.  I find it contemptible,  especially because I never found that way!

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@RagDoll 

Gives me the willies, it does.

Mervis
Mervis

Nah. Neither of the two will be around at that point.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@yoka 

Fidelity is for suckers.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@ScottsMerkin Dude, I lived in Valley Ranch. The rent prices don't have shit to do with the Cowboys. Hell, the apartments right across the street from the facility are some of the cheaper ones in the area. Rent is high there because it is so close to all of the offices and corporate hubs that are in the area because of its close proximity to DFW Airport. I hated the rent and the lack of guest parking but I did love how everything that I needed was within a 2 mile radius. At least it was after Irving finally went wet.

Mervis
Mervis

I believe you Myrna......but this is 2013 and the role of Jim's Valley Ranch is perfect for you. You are still getting parts!!!

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @Mervis 

pics or GTFO.

director21
director21

@JimSX @director21 Well then, you did a spectacular job of giving the impression that it has one. At any rate, I got a great laugh out of it, and I wonder what you wanted to do with her "valley."

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

But what if Ms. Frisco wises up and breaks her foot off in Jerry's ass instead? Are we going to spend years listening to that inbred hillbilly's whimperings about "loyalty" and "putting that bitch on the map"?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@JustSaying I hear ya, but moving here in 90, Valley Ranch and The Cowboys went hand in hand to me.  It was expensive back then and thats when 635 at MacArthur was a ghost town.  Ive always just thought people paid a pretty penny to live in VRanch bc of da boys.  I get that corporate hubs are close too, but there were far cheaper places within the same radius not named Valley Ranch/Las Colinas., but you know this, you smart

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

@ScottsMerkin Actually, I should be nicer about that. I still remember when Tom Hicks brought the Stars to Dallas in the early Nineties, and when he threw a tantrum about getting a super-special super-arena all on his own, to be paid for not out of his money but with city funds. When Dallas balked, he pitched a bigger fit about how he was moving out of Dallas and moving the Stars to Lewisville. As if. Lewisville has only one god, and Hicks was delusional if he thought that the city would let anything eclipse high school football.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

That's why I said "if" and not "when". When it comes to putting on a bunny suit, shoving its head in an overflowing toilet, and screaming "It smells like shit, Daddy!" when a con man shows up with a six-foot sandstone strap-on, Frisco is apparently taking lessons from Dallas, Arlington, <I>and</I> Irving.

yoka
yoka

@LeroyJenkem I'd love to see Ms. Frisco find the guts (and the heart, and the spine, and the foot) to give the inbred hillbilly what he deserves, but it will probably never happen.  Abusers know how to pick their victims.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@ScottsMerkin There probably were more people during the Cowboys Super Bowl run in the early 90's that moved there just to be around them. I can see that. But that shit has been over for a while. Have you been lately? Valley Ranch is in serious competition with Richardson for the most per capita Middle Eastern population in DFW. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Mervis I knew this, just kid of assumed he meant building AAC over moving to L'ville

Mervis
Mervis

Tom Hicks did not bring the Stars to Dallas. That was Norm Green. Hicks bought the Stars in 1998 or so.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@LeroyJenkem  I  lived in Lewisville at that time.  I remember thinking how great It'd be to have the Stars and then remembered all we cared about was football and our large water tower

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