"What are you wearing a yellow Adolphus Rice T-shirt for?"
"It was 87 cents at the thrift shop," my brother tells me.
"Canary yellow isn't exactly your color, but the price is right," I tell him.
Beating around Alabama St. in Houston's Montrose, we must have looked like a couple of characters out of a Bukowski novel: Tuesday afternoon, no work, not much money between the two of us, and two days before either of us works another shift. Nothing to do besides look through the classifieds and job postings on Craigslist for some side work. And with that done by two in the afternoon, we decided to head over to the West Alabama Icehouse and have ourselves a couple of cold ones with the money we had.
On a shaded park bench around the backside of the bar I took out the iPod in my pocket, and through the device's internal speaker played "99 Red Balloons" with the warm wind and shadows from the shady trees dancing around us. Quite pleasant, indeed. But as must all things, this good time came to an end, and as we were on our way out, a guy a few benches away from us asks, "You guys eat rice?"
"Sure," we opt.
Pointing the top of his beer bottle towards my brother's shirt, "How about Adophus Rice?"
"No, never tried that brand before. You in sales?" I ask him.
"No, man, but I live right behind a field where they grow Adolphus Rice over around Richardson, on the west side. Quintin," he said offering us a handshake, and we introduced ourselves, as well. "Follow me to my car out there," he said pointing to a black hatchback parked across the street from the bar, "I'll give y'all a bag. Got to be proud of your hometown product. I help them with their harvest sometimes."
So we follow him out to his car, and like he promised there was a bag of rice for us in his back seat, for free — no complaints from me or my brother.
"Where y'all from?" We told we were from around the southeast side, lots of rice fields around there, too. "Man the geese are flyin' now, ain't they?"
"Yep," we tell him, "they sure are."
One bag of rice richer, we offer Quintin another handshake and a warm adieu.
On the way back home I remembered that I had half a bag of Camellia red beans left, and so started making preparations for a wicked pot of red beans and rice: one onion, one bunch of celery, half a bulb of crushed garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. And after having drowned all that in simmering water for around 5 or 6 hours, stirring occasionally, of course, we had ourselves a fantastic dinner that has also proved to be equally delicious for lunch, brunch, and even breakfast!
And now to you, Quintin, I offer much hearty thanks for the bag of delicious long grained rice, and also offer to you a salute for your grassroots approach to spreading the good word about delicious Adolphus.