buttons – 07 – houston, texas

Extended ramblings about my time as a seller of campaign buttons at political rallies in 2004. Today’s post involves a trip to Texas to sell buttons during George Bush Sr.’s big birthday shindig.  Future posts will occur once a week, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays. An introduction to the series can be read here. Links to earlier posts can be found below. Unless otherwise indicated, all photos in these posts were taken by me at the time of the events described. If you have any questions about this series, feel free to leave a comment or contact me at carl@honeybrownblues.com.

I had never watched porn with another man before.  My personal porn-viewing preference would normally be to watch it by myself, or – as had occurred on a few (terrific) occasions – with an open-minded girl curious about emulating the actions portrayed on screen.  Sharing the experience with a male friend just never appealed to me.  Maybe if I had joined a fraternity.

There I was, though, watching a fella go balls-deep into a lady, who was concurrently licking the vagina of another lady, who was concurrently kissing the fella while rubbing the clitoris of the lady being fucked by the fella, with Aaron watching the same scene as we each sat on a bed on the second floor of the Astro Inn on a scorching Saturday afternoon in Houston, Texas.

After several minutes, the fella gracefully shared his ejaculate with both ladies.  Then there was a commercial for penis pills, in which a pathetic wimp took some of the pills in question and was instantly transformed into a pussy-pounding jackhammer.  Then another scene began.  Then I fell asleep.

The prior 14 hours had been spent driving overnight from St Louis.  Though we shared the driving duties so that each of us could get some sleep in, Aaron and I still arrived in Houston completely exhausted.  With five hours to kill before having to head to the ballpark, the plan was to get a motel and go straight to sleep.  That plan was momentarily delayed because – for some inexplicable reason – I decided to turn the TV on and flip around before laying down on the bed.

Talk show – [click] – court show – [click] – local news – [click] – talk show – [click] – HBO – [click] – fucking.

I had never been in a motel with free porn.  And I can’t deny that I wanted to keep watching free motel porn, even with the awkwardness of having Aaron around.  But my body said otherwise; I drifted off to the sounds of an extra-sloppy blowjob.


* * * * * * * *


That was the chant of the lone protester outside of Minute Maid Park, the baseball stadium in downtown Houston.  He also held a crudely-drawn sign that said the same thing, which made it easier to confirm that he was yelling “free-dumb” and not “freedom”.  It wouldn’t have made much sense either way.

We weren’t allowed to sell on the ballpark’s property.  The cops, though, said we could do whatever we wanted across the street from the main entrance.  This applied to the protester as well.  To the cops, Aaron, myself, and the protester weren’t any different – harmless distractions pushed off to the periphery.

But we were very different.  Aaron and I were quietly and politely trying to wrest some money out of Republicans.  The protester was determined to be as fucking annoying as possible, which made the guests entering the event shuffle past us as quickly as possible, too creeped out by the screaming protester to stop and take a look at some campaign buttons.


On and on he went, over and over again.  I was missing out on so, so much free motel porn for this.

It wasn’t even a campaign event.  It was a dinner/concert celebrating George H.W. Bush’s 80th birthday (“41@80”, as it was billed).  Yeah, the current President was there, but he wasn’t there to rah-rah the crowd with nonsense about staying the course and compassionate conservatism – he was there to stand next to his dad and smile.  Politics weren’t involved, so the crowd wasn’t in the frame of mind that irrationally convinces them to hand us ten dollars in exchange for 3 buttons.

But we needed the money, and had nothing else to do, so Phillip decided that it was worth a shot.  It had been a week since Reagan died, and neither candidate had resumed campaigning (they forged on with Papa Bush’s birthday shindig specifically because it was apolitical).  My savings were starting to dwindle, so I volunteered for the job (Aaron didn’t mind tagging along).  For all the hassles involved – the drive, the fatigue, the fucking goddamn fucker yelling incessantly next to me – it was still better than hanging around on Phillip’s couch, waiting for the candidates to head out on the road again.

It wasn’t much better, though.  The event was mostly a waste – 14 hours of driving in exchange for 75 dollars each.  However, we did get to see a group of skydivers – with sparklers attached to their feet – parachute into the stadium, which was admittedly pretty cool.  We also got to see a fireworks show.  Unbeknownst to us, two of the things that shoot the fireworks into the air (I have no idea what they would be called) were directly behind us the whole time.  The first time they went off, they scared the shit out of us.  They also scared the shit out of a nearby police horse, who started bucking and almost knocked the cop off of it.  Even with the near pants-shitting, though, the booms were much welcomed, because – coupled with the bang of the fireworks going off above – they helped to finally drown out the “No More Bush-It” guy.


* * * * * * * *

Some extra notes from this trip that will show up in the book version (in other words, this post is already long enough):

1)  Our long drive was salvaged the next day, during the second part of the “41@80” celebration, which took place in College Station (site of the elder Bush’s presidential library) and featured George H.W. Bush jumping out of an airplane several times.  A CNN article about both events can be found here.

2) Our profit came at a cost, though, as Aaron ended up getting heat exhaustion (it was insanely hot and there was zero shade to be found) and had to be assisted by a kind gentleman back to our car.  At one point, I started giving campaign buttons to anyone who would give me a bottle of water.

3) Chuch Norris was there.  He had his shirt off most of the time.  The ladies were a-swooning to a ridiculous degree.

4) Though I’ve spent almost two full years in hotels since 2004, I’ve never encountered free hotel porn (on TV) again  :(


01 – Niles, Michigan
02 – Kalamazoo, Michigan
03 – Lebanon, Ohio
04 – La Crosse, Wisconsin
05 – Little Rock, Arkansas
06 – Minneapolis, Minnesota

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