Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

Callin' My 'Slaw Man -- Needin' a Fix!

This past fall when on a trip to Las Vegas with Eric, we stumbled upon a small farmers market in a neighborhood off the strip called Summerlin. It's part of the old Howard Hughes landholdings and they put in a shiny new mall there last year. In one of the stands of the farmers market there was a guy selling home made pickled coleslaw. We of course stopped to sample some. Without a doubt it was the best damn concoction I've ever had. We each bought a jar -- me the "sweet" one, and Eric the "hot" one (the guy puts hot-sauce on everything -- it's an ethnic thing.) Eric's Dad "appropriated" the jar when he got home and hid it because he liked it so much. I've been dolling mine out in small half-cup portions as part of my Nutri-System diet, using it for one of the vegetable servings. But I'm running out. I needed more. I needed my fix!

The website listed on the jar was not functioning, and furthermore I was dismayed to find out that the mall had canceled the farmers market. However, I had the card of the guy making the stuff so I called him. Now his name isn't on the card, and he never told it to me in our conversations, which were all very short and abrupt, almost like I was bothering him -- the calls always abrupt, short, and just a "click" at the end, no "goodbye". Like buying an illicit product from a shady guy -- or so I've seen in TV shows, not that I'd ever done anything like that.  And not the best way to sell one's products, but maybe he doesn't have to be nice since his stuff is so good.  He said he could ship them (very expensive) or if I was passing through Las Vegas I could arrange to meet him and buy some. Since I would be passing through on my way back to my hometown Salt Lake this week I figured the latter would be the easiest.

I got to Las Vegas about 4pm and after I settled in the hotel and gave him a ring. Don't know his name -- guess I'll have to call him my "Slaw Man".  He was busy pickling up some mushrooms (I didn't ask what kind) and said he'd be a couple of hours, but we could meet after.  I said OK, and went to dinner. About 10p he called and said he was still cooking, and I told him it didn't matter I'd stay up, and he said OK. Long about 1145p he finally called and said to meet him at the corner of Rainbow Blvd. and Charleston -- which was somewhat close to both of us. So I got in the truck and drove that way.

Suburban Las Vegas is NOT the strip. There's very little traffic and no one on the street that late at night, so its dark and somewhat deserted, especially on a week night. Rainbow and Charleston are both major arterial streets but they were quiet. He told me he would be parked on the side of the "Rebel" gas station (complete with confederate flags), but when I got to the intersection there were two Rebel's on opposite corners. He never told me which one or what he was driving. One station was well lighted and clean, the other kinda dark and deserted. But the dark and deserted one was easier to get to without making turns so I pulled in and saw this old beat up Winnebago on the side.
I was a tad apprehensive, but I wanted -- needed-- my 'slaw!  It felt like I was buying some illegal substance, and I didn't know if I was gonna get rolled or not.  I could see the headline -- "Palm Springs Man Found Dead Behind Gas Station in Slaw Deal Gone Bad". I drove up, rolled down the window, and said "Hey, you the coleslaw guy -- got my stuff?" "Yeah, you Gary?  Got my money?"  "Yeah".  We both got out of the truck, he showed me a box with six jars of coleslaw. I reached for it, he said "how you paying?"  "Credit card ok or do you want cash?"  "I'll take  a card".  He got out his phone and the attachment for it and I handed him the card -- then signed his phone after he swiped the card.  He handed me my box and he said "later" and I said "thanks" and we drove away.

I'm a happy guy -- got my slaw! I'm telling you this stuff is like crack -- so good its worth going across town in the middle of the night and doing a transaction on side of a dark creepy gas station. Kinda like callin' the "weed man" in states where it's not legal. Whenever I'm in Vegas I'm calling my "slaw man".

"Got my 'slaw?" "Got my money"?  Its worth it.

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