How did your father and I meet? It’s an interesting story. When I was
15, all four of my brothers and my parents, whom you never met, moved
to Southern New Mexico. It was a different time back then, more
One day, we were all eating dinner, when what happens but an armed
gang called the Jackalopes busts in our front door. My father, bless
his soul, went for his shotgun, and they killed him right there.
So they point their guns at my mother – and she’s hysterical at this
point, a real basket case – but then she was always a bit cuckoo,
overreacting to everything – and they say, hand over the girl – that
was me, I was the baby – or we kill the others.
This is where I realized I shouldn’t have been such a bitch to my
brothers my whole life, because all of them were like, Mom, listen to
them, they’re gonna kill us, you gotta give her up.
Anyway, long story short the Jackalopes put me in their truck and
drive me to a ranch. There were seven of them, at that point I
couldn’t really tell any of ’em apart. They toss me into a room, and
the less said about what happened at the ranch, the better – I mean,
the food was just horrendous. You’d think with seven guys at least one
would know how to make an omelet, but no – they only had one guy, Rob,
who knew how to boil pasta. It was no way to live.
A few days later, I hear shouting, and I see that there’s a posse of
about a dozen guys at the gate, armed and arguing. I was peeking out
my window, and I could see their leader was the most handsome man I’d
ever seen – tall, blonde, with these green eyes that looked like tea
They’re shouting, they’re arguing, finally I get dragged out. Tea
Saucers – that’s how I called him at that point – pulls out a
briefcase full of cash. They hand me over and I’m sort of looking
forward to this, because at least the new guys seem a bit more
clean-cut, and I was hoping maybe one of them could make a salad or
So we’re walking, and I see out the corner of my eye that Tea Saucers
has his hand on his pistol, and I’m hoping against hope that he’s
gonna shoot up the Jackalopes. And that’s what happens! All of a
sudden he turns around and the rest of ’em turn around. I duck down,
and there’s bullets flying and bodies everywhere. I’m a little
flattered – like, hey, all these guys think I’m worth getting into a
gunbattle over, maybe I’m not as fat as I thought.
It only took a few seconds. I could see the chief of the Jackalopes –
his name was Dennis, but all the guys called him Denis – he was the
first to fall, and then I see Tea Saucers fall into my arms. First I
was like, “Men, always after the same thing” but then I saw he had a
bullet through his neck.
But he saved my life, because after he fell on me, there were another
five or six shots that hit him instead of me. Finally, it quiets down,
and all that’s left is three or four guys moaning in pain, bleeding.
And then what do I see but Rob – that’s your father, of course, he
didn’t start going by Mr. Flay until later – drive up from the store
with a trunk full of rigatoni? When I saw that, I realized it was
fate. I was quick on my feet, too, I said, let’s finish off the
others, grab the money, and get away. We took turns killing the guys
who were still moaning – the last one, we held the gun together, which
was romantic as hell. As he was digging a grave to put the bodies
into, I finally got a good look at him and saw that he wasn’t that
bad-looking, especially in the right light. And shirtless. With his
back to me.
That briefcase of cash – turns out I would’ve been worth a hundred
grand to some Mexican druglord – was my dowry, and it paid for Dad’s
cooking school, too. Although if you know what’s good for you, I
wouldn’t go around repeating what I just told you.