AT HOME IN HEATH: DATE NIGHT AT SOUTHERN JUNCTION
So, a couple of weeks ago I gave you a little background information. I explained how Bill and I are a couple of city slickers, living out in the country. While honky-tonking is not completely foreign to me, it is to Bill. Still, at the suggestion of my bestie, we visited Southern Junction in Royse City. Here’s how it went.
City Slickers at a Honky Tonk
Since Bill & I both work at home, we probably spend more time together than most couples, but we still love to go out together, whether that’s shopping at Costco or a fancy dinner. Going to Southern Junction qualified as an official date. We planned ahead for it, got all dressed up and planned on having a great evening. Bill even drove the Mercedes. First mistake! Well, maybe the first mistake was getting all dressed up, but driving Bill’s precious Mercedes onto a rock-covered parking lot was definitely a mistake.
Now please understand, we were well aware that many of those pick-ups cost a lot more than the Mercedes, but they were pick-up trucks. Kicking up gravel is part of what pick-up trucks were made for. That’s not the case for the Mercedes. In fact, sedans and coupes of any sort were definitely in the minority as we waited in the car for Deb and Joe to show up. Waiting until they got there was a good thing, because if we’d walked in by ourselves, I might not have gotten Bill past the vestibule.
On the outside, Southern Junction is a huge mustard colored metal building with some stringed lights affixed to the front portion, set amid a very large gravel parking lot. As we waited inside the car, we recognized we weren’t dressed like everyone else. Bill had on a pair of jeans and a shirt, just like the rest of the guys, but the shirt was a designer number I picked up last time I’d been shopping and instead of worn boots, Bill had on a fairly new pair of lace up oxfords. Neither of us had on a hat or a down vest. Hand-tooled belts? Nope, not that either. For my part, I don’t own any cowboy boots and I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of shorts cut up to …
When Deb and Joe arrived, we walked out of the parking lot into a large room with ticket windows. Everything was bare and wooden. No frills. I mean NO FRILLS! Deb waltzed up to the window and handed them her drivers license. She knew the drill. The rest of us had to get our memberships, because Royce City is dry.
If you’ve ever been to a honky tonk then you know exactly what was inside. A huge dance floor with a mirrored ball, a stage for the band, a bar, pool tables and lots of formica-covered restaurant tables with economy chairs arranged into long rows. The band wasn’t playing yet and Deb’s friend was nowhere to be found. A pair of hostesses looked like they were dying to tell us we’d arrived at the wrong place. Bill said it reminded him of Billy Bob’s and I chuckled to myself. It didn’t remind me of Billy Bob’s at all. This was the real thing or as close as I’d been in a long time.
After the hostess asked whether or not we had reservations, she sat us at an out-of-the-way table, like she was embarrassed for us. Because we’d asked after Kevin, she claimed it was where people sat when they were with the band, but we had our doubts. Kevin’s lady still hadn’t shown up, so we went ahead and ordered dinner. Deb had falsely advertised 2-for-one steak dinners, but that had been the night before. It was all-you-can-eat night, not my favorite thing in the world, because I can eat a whole lot more than I should. My ribs were great. Bill didn’t enjoy his as much.
I was having a good time. These weren’t exactly my kind of folk, but they were enjoying themselves and Texas Drive was making marvelous music. Some of the dancers really knew their way around a dance floor and I was fascinated by the line dancing. Each song had it’s own routine and somehow everyone one knew which one to do. Before the band came on there were Two Step Lessons (fast, fast, sloow, sloow was the background noise for our meal) and during the break there were Line Dancing Lessons.
Bill’s evening was not going quite as well. As I mentioned, this was not Billy Bob’s. He’s not very fond of all-you-can-eat either, especially when they deliver your food before they provide utensils to eat it with. He didn’t like his ribs and the potato was cold, but he was also piqued that no one offered him second helpings. Not that he wanted any, but since it was all-you-can-eat, they should have asked. When they delivered his credit card slip for a signature, they failed to bring a pen. Fast-fast-sloow-sloow nearly drove him to distraction and while I thought most of the dancers were pretty good, Bill would have preferred to be home watching Dancing with the Stars. Neither of us liked the cigarette smoke. He kept waving his empty beer bottle at me, but he didn’t want another. He wanted to go home.
So, do I think you should go to Southern Junction? Well, if you like honky-tonking – absolutely. Otherwise, probably not. On the other hand, Texas Drive, the band we went to see, is a great band and if they’re playing at Southern Junction, then it may be worth the trip to Royce City.