Saturday, August 25, 2012

Message in a Bottle

Right now, heading South is difficult for me ... dredges up too much silt from the bottom.  It won't be this way forever. But, for now, it is. I retaliate by thinking ... supposing ... and especially imagining.                                          

We were heading to Sunset Beach, NC ... already my internal organs were beginning to simmer ... already the bloated carcass was beginning to swell ... my brain spilled upon the sidewalk and began to sizzle ... and ...

Cast out of Eden due to our apple-eating, heathen ways.  I discarded my fig leaf and pulled up my big-boy britches. From here on out, it would be the “when in Rome” concept for us.  We swerved and slid to a halt in the driveway of Bojangles. I burst through the doors and spat but one word … FRIED.  “I’ll have the fried chicken - legs and thighs thank ya… and the fried mash potatoes ... and the fried biscuit … ice tea - sweetened and supersized …  and would you mind frying that tea. Bless your heart.”

 ... and then ...

While back in the old stomping grounds, we have been re-acquainting ourselves with the history of the South. The ONLY history of the South that is … the Civil War. I have immersed myself into some of the lesser known strategies employed to win the war. We found a statue and marker alongside the road near Lumberton, NC … very much by accident. It was almost entirely hidden from view due to a dense mat of vines and broad, deep-green leaves engulfing both statue and sign. Pulling away the entangled vines, we read about a plot, allegedly launched by one Jedidiah Sutphin. The plan was to send a small band of confederate soldiers, disguised as simple farmers, deep behind Northern lines and onward to the capitol itself. Once there, they would clandestinely plant kudzu throughout the capitol and other strategic locations … therein bringing the Northern political and commerce machine to a grinding halt in a matter of a few months time. Unfortunately, Jedidiah launched his plan in early October and the brilliance of his plan, along with any hopes for eventual victory for the South, died on the vine along with the kudzu thanks to the early frosts so familiar to anyone who had every been North.

... and then ...


First day on the beach and I was enjoying my early morning ritual walk. It was evident from the start that sunrise was out of the question given that I refused to arise but so early. In the distance, I noticed a sizeable crowd gathering near the pier. People were scurrying towards the pier, almost in a panic.  My first thought was that a whale had washed ashore or something. I overheard a passer-by commenting that a school of thumpers had beached. I rushed to see the spectacle. 

Near panic greeted me as I approached the crowd. Bodies were strewn on the sand everywhere I looked. I wondered aloud if somehow a sumami had sweep through an assisted-living facility and had deposited its human refuse along the beach. Forming the circumference of the crowd were small metal boxes on spikes that had been driven into the sand and people were already stuffing money into them … like for a Save the Whales Campaign. I heard music and I knew … it was thumpers alright!  I grabbed my phone and dialed '463'.  “Thumpers at the pier”, is all that I said. 

“Stay on the phone, we are dispatching a unit” was the reply. Minutes later the MDU (Multitude Dispersal Unit) arrived and it all broke loose. The thumpers were clearly ready to surrender without a fight. Nearly half the group were waving their hands from side to side above their heads franticly and mumbling to themselves with bowed heads. I think they said something about making "amends". The fish and loaves vendors took off towards the pier. The Walk on Water instructor was face down in the surf while the MDU officer was slapping on the cuffs. The last of the serpents was lowered into the cage by the animal control personnel. I watched the officer slip the mason jar of venom into an evidence bag as they led a thumper (a small bubble of foam still clinging to the corner of his mouth) away. 

I had seen enough. I turned to walk away. Three thumpers sat in the rear of the squad car. They glared at me … I read their lips … I recognized the words , “Get thee hence …”


... and then ... I began to think about the Kindred Spirit Mailbox ... and what I must do.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dusty Rose's Snack Bar

Today, I did the death shuffle. It’s the shuffle you do when you are carrying a coffin to the grave … the miniature steps required to keep from stepping on the guy in front of you … and not drop the coffin … and not fall in the grave. Generally speaking  people know. Not this time. They didn’t recognize the death shuffle … they didn’t know this place was dying.

It’s all in a name. I thought the Grand Opening sign said Dusty Rhodes. Dusty Rhodes was the American Dream. Dusty was a pot-bellied, bug-eyed, lisping WWF wrassler.  He might eat hot dogs, but he wouldn’t sell them.

When I looked around, I saw some landscape materials  … composite stones … compost … stuff like that. Maybe I had misread the sign. Maybe it said “Dusty Roads”. “I’ll have two kraut dogs with mustard and cow manure please. “ “Can I help you with some siding … with a side of slaw and a slurpie”.  I don’t think so.

I recheck the sign.  It says “Dusty Rose’s Snack Bar”.  I order a “long dog” with mustard, onions and kraut. Not a flower in sight … dusty or not. I read the small sign at the order window while I wait.  A tribute to Rose.  The family dog, Rose. The retriever, Rose. The dead dog, Rose. I ordered a long dog. To bad Rose wasn’t a dachshund. It would have been poetic.

Who names a business for a dead dog? Really, what are the expectations for success?

Dog Gone, I say.