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Monday, June 12, 2000
Here's a letter from a friend of mine who shall remain anonymous:
I sold my house in Nashville and the movers came to pick up all my remaining "non-valuables". 4 guys showed up to load - 2 drivers and 2 shady guys they picked up from the warehouse. The first warehouse guy looked like someone beat his face with a baseball bat the night before. (it turns out someone had). They gave the 2nd warehouse guy $30 to go get them some lunch and bring it back. 15 minutes later, I hear someone joke "did he take off with our money?". 45 minutes later, I hear someone curse "I can't believe that motherf___ took off with our money".
I finger the KelTec .32 auto in my pocket, and continue twirling my baseball bat for the benefit of the warehouse guy. It was going to be a long day.
8 hours later the sun was going down and I was in my Cherokee (Jeep, not Piper) which was packed to the top with things I might actually want to see again. In the front seat next to me were a few items I forgot to put in until last - 3 handguns, the baseball bat, half a dozen opened liquor bottles, and 4 stuffed animals (3 moose, 1 rabbit). A recipe for misadventure, but no way was I going to repack everything.
Drinking a frappuccino, Skynrd on the radio, bored, and depressed I was leaving my favorite refuge behind, I topped off the half empty frappucino with kahlua and tequila. Not bad. The moose suggested we name the new drink. After some thought, we decided on - Sad Goodbye.
"Whiskey bottles, brand new cars, oak tree your in my way..."
After realizing I was flipping-off MADD and the Million-Moms in the same road trip, I was cheering up. I finished that Sad Goodbye, popped open another frappuccino and threw a child safety lock out the window.
Outside of Knoxville, the rabbit suggested we stop at the nudie bar on 40 East to flip-off the immoral majority, a sort of road-trip triple crown. We decided we were running way late and already pressing our luck. Another day.
Finally, we ran out of frappuccino outside of Asheville. I filled an empty bottle with just kahlua and tequila. We decided to call this drink - the Masochist. We stopped for more frappuccino.
At 1:30am winding through the hills of northwest SC, I posed the question: Which is riskier - driving through these hills in a Jeep at night in the fog having Sad Goodbyes, or flying over these hills in a Piper at night in heavy clouds with only a flashlight to see. Nobody answered. The grey moose asked if it was too late to go with the moving truck.
I needed gas. I forgot it was after hours in Appalachia. I tried 4 exits and every gas station was closed. Running out of patience and gas, I found a seedy little place in Saluda, SC that was open. Wondering how the attendant will respond to a grown man with NY plates, liquor, and stuffed animals, I was having flashbacks of Ned Beatty and dueling banjos. The moose were nervous. I put the .32 back in my pocket and the rabbit was covering me with the .45.
I walk in and the only person in sight was a Civil War veteran walking toward the Jeep with a cane. The rabbit can handle him, so I go inside to find the head. Nobody there, but strange noises coming from down a hallway where a sign points reading "Lounge" (?). As I tip-toe by the counter, suddenly Mrs. Civil War-dude pops up from behind the counter scaring the shit out of me. She smiles. Obviously, they're both from a time long before the discovery of flouride and sun-screen.
I keep walking toward the bathroom which I notice is open ... no, it's not open...it has no door. No door. Oh good, I get to pee in plain view of the last 2 surviving witnesses of the First Battle of Bull Run. I try to be as discreet as possible, but as I unzip my shorts the weight of the gun pulls them down around my ankles and I hear Whistler's Mother laugh. And that strange grunting noise keeps coming from the "lounge". Jesus Christ. Help! Rabbit!? I should have just used the empty bottle!
4:30am we pull in the driveway. I start unloading and a car (not a cop car, but a beat up old car) pulls up in the street and sits there with the engine running and it's headlights pointed at me. ??? What now? I'm too tired and pissed to try to figure out what manner of curse is being heaped upon me now, I take the .357 and walk out to the curb. He hurries away - problem solved.
I unload, go to bed, get up at 10am, look out the window and see that I left a cable modem, the baseball bat, a bottle of gin, and a stereo receiver on top of my Jeep all night. I wonder what the 9-5 neighbors thought on their way to work?
The movers arrive and spend all day putting stuff in my house - which is 1/2 the size of the other one. The only thing I can do comfortably now is sit on my couch in the dining room and watch the extra refridgerator run so it doesn't stink. Oh no, I'm going to need to move again.
Sent the house closing documents to the lawyer in Nashville via UPS Next Day Air on Friday before I left NY. They never arrived today for closing. UPS lost the envelope ... and the house key for the new owners ... the extra keys are inside the house on the kitchen counter with a nice little welcome note I wrote to them. I imagine after they break the window to get in tonight, they'll take that post-it and draw straws to see who gets to wipe their ass with it, and who gets to send me the bill.
I received 6 calls on my cell phone today. 4 times I could hear them, they couldn't hear me. 2 times the signal was dropped. Solar wind my ass. They're all out to get me.
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