“Do they not have dive bars and strip clubs in Waco?”

I know that it’s terrible that nine people lost their lives yesterday, and there are probably any number of serious topics that we could discuss related to the prevalence gang violence and the like, but, looking at the photos coming in from Waco last night, all I could think about was how odd that it was that 200 or more bikers were shooting, stabbing and beating one another to death with clubs in the shadow of a Jo-Ann Fabrics store.

I mean, I get that the Twin Peaks chain, where the melee started, employs large-breasted, scantily clad women, and that they apparently use fresher ingredients than Hooters, and, as such, i’s probably an attractive destination for road-weary bikers… but I’ve got to think that there are places more conducive to gang warfare than the parking lot of a corporate breastaurant situated between a Jo-Ann Fabrics outpost and an Office Max.

But, who knows… maybe that’s all that’s left in Texas. Maybe there are no more roadhouses, or seedy dive bars with blood-soaked gravel parking lots. Maybe the authenticity of experience sought after by members of outlaw motorcycle gangs is no longer attainable… I mean, sure, there’s still the murder, the sex and the meth dealing, but maybe, aside from that, it’s all Olive Gardens and corporate breasaurants.

I’ve always envisioned a Mad Max-like future, in which society breaks down, and war lords step in to assume power. And I think maybe that’s what we’re seeing play out right now in Texas, which the rise of these criminal biker gangs. I just never envisioned it happening within the context of corporate chains. But I guess it kind of makes sense that the two could coexist. If I’d gone on to get my PhD in American Studies, maybe I’d write a book about it. As I didn’t, though, I guess a blog post will have to suffice.


Oh, and nothing says “badass” like fighting in the parking lot of a Jo-Ann Fabrics because you didn’t like the patch on another man’s denim vest.

For what it’s worth, the owners of the Twin Peaks franchise in Waco had been warned by law enforcement that such an altercation between rival biker gangs was likely to take place, but refused to cancel the event. The following is from the ABC affiliate in Northern Texas.

…Sgt. Patrick Swanton said Waco police knew before Sunday that there would be trouble at the restaurant and had 18 local police officers plus four DPS troopers at the scene before the fighting began. Waco police had attempted to work with management at the local Twin Peaks before, but the restaurant refused.

Police also contacted the restaurant chain’s national office about their concerns.

Twin Peaks spokesman Rick Van Warner told News 8 the company then contacted the franchise owner and warned him. However, because the franchisee is the actual owner of the restaurant, they could not force him to do anything specific.

Twin Peaks national office confirmed Monday that they immediately revoked the franchise agreement with the owner of the Waco location…

update: According to some accounts, all nine of the men who died were killed by members of the Waco SWAT team, who had been surrounding the restaurant, waiting for something like this to happen. The following unsubstantiated report comes from a site called The Aging Rebel. It could, of course, just be yet another conspiracy. If true, though, it puts things in a different light.

…When the restaurant refused to ban the Confederation of Clubs, police stationed at least 22 cops including ten Swat officers from the Waco P.D. and the Texas Department of Public Safety in the parking lot outside the restaurant. They did not station either uniformed or plain clothes officers in the restaurant.

The shove in the bathroom became a scuffle in the restaurant. When about 30 Bandidos, Cossacks, Scimitars and other bikers spilled into the parking between the Twin peaks and the Don Carlos Mexican restaurant next door, the police were waiting for them. The scuffle became a knife fight and several men were stabbed. When one of the combatants produced a gun the Swat team opened fire with automatic weapons. Multiple sources have told The Aging Rebel that all of the dead were killed by police.

Swanton said the fusillade “saved lives in keeping this from spilling into a very busy Sunday morning. Thank goodness the officers were here and took the action that they needed to take to save numerous lives.”

The investigation into the massacre is being supervised by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Since the massacre, police have announced that there is “credible information about threats toward law enforcement.” Waco police issued a bulletin at 10:13 Sunday night that announced: “Our agency has recieved (sic) information that the Cosaks (sic) and Banditos (sic) have issued an order to kill anyone in uniform.”

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  1. dennis
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    what’s so wrong with large-breasted, scantily clad women? between you and d’real, there is a real undercurrent of prudish, patriarchal superiority developing on this site.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    At least these were white men. If they’d been black we could have had a serious problem on our hands.

  3. Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t making a judgement call on breast-themed restaurants in this post, Dennis. I was just commenting on how stupid it was that a huge gang war took place in the parking lot of a suburban mall, between Office Max and Jo-Ann Fabrics.

    As for what I think about strip clubs and the like, I’m not against them. I just think that they should be cooler and owned by women. And, personally, I’d rather have a movie theater in downtown Ypsi that a all-nude bar where all you can buy are juice boxes. But, no, I don’t think that strip clubs should be illegal. Sorry for any confusion.

  4. question
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Has David Lynch ever commented on the existence of this chain?

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    They sell juice boxes at dejavu? That seems like something out of a Jon Waters movie.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

  6. Doe
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I believe he was exaggerating when he said they sell juice boxes, Frosted Flakes. They do sell juice though. They also sell pop. As a condition of their nude dance club license though they cannot sell alcohol.

  7. Erika
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    This really is pretty much all there is outside of the city centers out here. Cattle ranches and scrub land melt into huge, multi-lane highways & service roads (many with multi-level overpasses reaching many stories into the sky) that lead into a seemingly unending paved landscape of business and shopping complexes, housing complexes and beige residential areas. Anything remotely seedy is either 1) so far out of town that it would take an hour to reach from where people live, 2) was long ago torn down to make the next tract of sprawl development or 3) has been gentrified beyond recognition.

  8. Al Hoff
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I had the same immediate thought. The Battle for Off-Rampia.

  9. Scott Thomas
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Dude, that’s some poor stitching on your gang symbol patch. That thing could come right off … see! — How to accidentally start a biker gang war.

  10. Denise Heberle
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Sons of Stitchery.

  11. Wyatt Earp
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    If all were killed by police, it’d be interesting to see who actually started shooting. It might be that knives were out, but no guns. And, if that is so, why’n the hell did the police escalate things?

  12. Dylan Strzynski
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s like Gary Panter’s Dal Tokyo.


  13. Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    If it’s true that the police suspected something like this would happen, did little to intervene, and then opened fire on the crowd once the melee made its way into the parking lot, I think a lot of questions need to be asked. One hopes that they wouldn’t purposefully orchestrate something like this in hopes of making a big bust, but, given what we’ve seen happening around the U.S. lately, I guess we have to at least accept that it’s a possibility.

    And it wouldn’t be the first time that people in Texas did something like this. Remember, just a few weeks ago, how an anti-Muslim group hired sharpshooters to wait outside their “Muhammad Art Exhibition” in a suburb of Dallas, ready to shoot would-be jihadists who couldn’t resist the bait?

  14. stupid hick
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    So have the police released which shooters were aggressors and which were standing their ground? It would be a shame if good guys with guns got in trouble for defending the restaurant.

  15. Dan
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    There goes Mark’s plans for a giant breastaraunt complex on Water Street.

    “Oh, and if you really want to be mad at the perpetrators of this violent act, not only did they endanger several lives, but they kept me from posting about my idea for turning Water Street into an enormous breastaraunt complex. (Ask me about it over beers sometime.)”


  16. Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    One of these days, I will open up my chain of Schlong’s ballstaurants which feature attractive men in tiny bathing suits that may or may not show Ball. We of course will specialize in sausages. As an aside, a guy I sat next to at the Water Hill festival had shorts on in and I accidentally saw his balls. I would not hire him at Schlong’s, but it seems there are folks out there willing to let it all hang on.

  17. jcp2
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Mark, your last thoughts may not be so far from the truth.


  18. Jules
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Patti, Amy Schumer beat you to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYBA1GQf5WQ

  19. Posted May 25, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink


2 Trackbacks

  1. […] had great stories these past few weeks about the right wing provocation of radical Muslims and the spread of violent biker gangs throughout the southwest, it never would have crossed my mind to put the two together. But yet that’s what’s […]

  2. […] a few weeks ago, I might have just laughed it off, but, given the violence we saw erupt recently in the parking lot of a Jo-Ann Fabrics between rival biker gangs over a perceived slight, I’m not willing to take any chances… […]

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