“Let’s ride!” Brig declared, meeting the Buddha’s gaze and throwing back the shot of what he suspected was alcohol. The Maotai burned his throat, catching Brig off guard, “Oh, shit.” he coughed, “What the hell is that!?”
“That, my friend, is the unofficial, official, national drink of China. It’s called Maotai, and it’s strong like me.” He threw back his second shot and was pleased when Brig did the same.
“Dude. I’m warning you. Don’t try and keep up with me. You will lose.”
“Ride or die motherfucker. Ride…or…die!” Brig held his cup out for another shot.
“The gates of hell have broken open.”
“You have no idea what you’ve done,” Brig said a little sadly. “What we’ve done,” Brig corrected. “What I’ve done,” correcting himself once more. He disliked it when people blamed others for their own mistakes. “Those drinks. This bottle? Will end up costing me millions…no, billions of dollars.”
The Buddha laughed uproariously.
“I don’t understand you.” Brig grinned. “When I say something I think is funny, you don’t laugh. When I try to be serious, you laugh.”
“You’re so melodramatic. How old are you? Twenty? You speak like an old man, with the entire world’s problems on your shoulders.”
“Well, not the entire world.” Brig took a sip from his cup. “You haven’t said anything, but somebody must have told you some things about me before I got here. Do you know anything about me?”
“You’re the Prophet, Brigham Young. Your family is rich. Why else do you think I would want to be friends with you?” It took Brig a second to understand what the Buddha had said, but the light eventually went on and they both burst out laughing.
“When I heard you were going to be my companion, I about shit my pants. I figured you would be this self-righteous, condescending gwailo. Which was the last thing I needed in my final months as a missionary. I had my doubts.” The Buddha gave his best impression of Brig, “Elder Wong, don’t you think we should spend more time prospecting? Elder Wong, maybe we could wake up earlier and read the scriptures together. Elder Wong, I won’t go out of our territory unless I have the explicit permission of President Woodley.”
Impressions were not one of the Buddha’s strengths, but he never failed to make Brig laugh.
“Little did I know that underneath that tight-ass missionary facade was a kindred spirit. A closet partier.” They touched cups again, and threw back their drinks.
“Awooooo!” Brig howled, the white wine imposing on his brain. He stood up and yelled out the window, “Hide your women Yuen Long! Buddha and Prophet are on the loose.”