His first call was to Connard, who in turn called Jason. His brother seldom got excited about anything, but for some reason, he really wanted to see Eduardo’s home and operation. That familiar feeling of oh shit crept up his back at the thought of Eduardo’s reaction to Jason. Saxton had only met him once. His father had seen Connard’s love interest, but never really spent any time in his company. This is not going to go well.
Saxton spotted his father returning his horse to the far side of barn. He waited patiently as Bobby Ray handed the reins to the stable master. Slowly, with care, Saxton informed his father of the plan. Bobby Ray, like Connard, was a bit too excited for Saxton’s liking.
“It sounds all covert and shit,” his father said grinning.
Bobby Ray said, “Do we get like passwords and stuff for when we get to the hotel, like the ‘key is in the brass monkey at noon’? That would be fun to tell the guy behind the counter then he hands us the envelope with the tickets.”
“No Daddy, don’t do that,” Saxton said shaking his head.
“Aww shucks! Your Mama would got a kick out of some role playing,” Bobby Ray said with a smile. “Heck, I’m going to tell her to do it anyway.”
“Daddy, no,” Saxton implored trying to regain his attention.
“How tacky should we be? Should I wear a pair of sandals with the white socks that come up to my knees with a camera hanging around my neck?” Bobby Ray said with his eyes sparkling.
“Sure, if you want to roll out like that,” Saxton said dropping his head.
“Oooh, I think your Mama should have on one of them t-shirts that says ‘everything’s bigger in Texas’ with a flowered skirt,” Bobby Ray said with a huge grin.
“Daddy, stop it,” Saxton said with a frown.
“What is the Anthro, ethno, museum?”
“I have no idea,” he said.
“No matter, this is going to be fun. Me and your Mama can turn it into a mini second honeymoon with some sexy time,” Bobby Ray said.
“Seriously Daddy, please stop,” Saxton said.
“Aww son, this is male bonding at its best!”
“No, no it is not,” he said with no expression on his face.
“Ooh! Have you told your Mama yet? I hope not, let me, so we can practice our CIA covert operative moves,” he said throwing his hands up Bruce Lee style minus the sounds. He leaned in, nearing to Saxton, urging him to bring his ear closer for a whispered message. “The key…,” Bobby Ray said, then paused. “…Is in the brass monkey at noon.”
He stepped back, his eyebrows waggling like he had just dropped twenty dollars’ worth of knowledge on a dime stage. Saxton stared at his father with no expression on his face. Bobby Ray clapped his hands together, extremely satisfied with himself.
“Whoo-hoo, wait ‘til I tell your Mama,” he said making his way to the main house. Saxton’s heart dropped. He still had to call Odessa’s parents, Belva, and of course go and see Uncle Dusty. Something else he was dreading.
“My day started out so well too. I had a nice hearty breakfast, fed my son, kissed my daughter…then it went downhill,” he said staring at the ground. A yell followed his monologue as he turned to see the painter hanging over the edge of the Tommy Lift, his assistant covered in red paint along with large splashes of red color on Uncle Dusty’s favorite hound dog.
His phone rang, and it was his mother. He could see her standing on the lanai as she waved her hand at him. Saxton answered the phone, waving back. Lucille’s voice came through the line crisp and clear, her Texas accent pounding against his eardrum.
“Saxie, what is with this monkey in the keyhole shit? I am not dressing like some Wal-Mart shopper on a first of the month spending spree,” she said in the line.
“You don’t have to do that Mama,” he said.
“Well good! I am not crazy about going to South America anyway. Aren’t they having a riot or a coup or something?”
“No Mama, it is a negotiation between the guerrillas and the government,” he said trying desperately to sound upbeat.
“The only damned gorillas I want to see best be behind bars at the zoo,” she said. “And whose idea was it to book us at the Holiday Inn Express? Don’t they have a Four Seasons or something in Medallion?”
“Medellín, Mama,” he said. “However, you do not want to dress or carry yourself in a fashion that will make you a target.”
“Whatever,” she mumbled. “Do we need to get vaccinated for the Zika virus before we go? Bobby Ray?” she yelled into the house and partially in Saxton’s ear. “I don’t want to get the damned Zika virus! I didn’t get flabby ass sober so I could be killed by a mosquito.”
“I have to go Mama,” he said trying to get her off the line.