Southern Nights

July 9, 2007 at 6:51 am (On the road again...)

Without planning so, I had a Southern-themed weekend.

Saturday I went downtown, where the Blues Festival was in full swing. While avoiding the event, I couldn’t miss the crowds. Much like St Patrick’s Day, when everyone becomes Irish, everyone becomes a blues fan the first week of July. (“Woooo!”) Three or four MGD lights, and you’ve got a party!

I had a date Saturday night, and killed time by having sweet tea at Odessa’s. I’d originally stopped by to see Clairissa, but she had closed early, so I visited with her neighbors. The bartender at Blind Onion was nice, and let me use the bathroom without buying anything. I caught the bus back toward downtown, and Larry, one of my favorite drivers, happened to be chauffeuring. I scratched out the URL to this thing, and wished him well. (Hi Larry!)

After a couple of hours of prime girl-watching, it was time for my date. We got a rack of ribs to go from Podnah’s, along with collard greens and cornbread. (Here’s a review from when they first opened. It’s only gotten better.)

Then it was off to my friend’s house. After attacking the pork ribs, I sipped ice water while my friend made a mojito. Her version of a mojito calls for champagne, and being the momentary man of the house, I offered to open it. I used to be good at it. It’s simple: you hold the cork and rotate the bottle gently until it pops. Everything was going fine, the vapors curling up from the neck, and then came the eruption. Champagne came forth like cold, bubbly lava.

My first instinctive reaction was to start slurping. The bottle made it a few inches from my face when I realized sucking down a bunch of champagne, for whatever noble reason, would not be wise. A few sips always turns into a weeklong bender, and I didn’t have a week to kill. Besides, it just isn’t as much fun as it used to be.

So we sat, sipping our respective drinks, watching NASCAR. (Yes, it’s true.) NASCAR is my lady-friend’s deep dark secret, and while I am not a ‘car guy’, I indulge her in this. I’ve learned a bit about it, enough to make conversation if I have to.

After she fell asleep, I watched Black Snake Moan.

For the most part, I’ve been sleeping alone the last few months. My friend and I are not strangers to each other, and ‘nap’ together often. In the middle of the night, her foot ran across mine. For a minute, I forgot where I was. I woke up in a rage, thinking I was home, someone had opened my door, let the dog in, and it was licking my toes. (I’d wanted to name her Shrimper.) “Get that goddamned dog out of my room!” almost made it out, before I stifled. The transition from rage to giggling confused my friend. “Go back to sleep, I’ll tell ya later.”

For breakfast, we went to Screen Door for fried chicken and waffles. The waffle is made from sweet potatoes. Those who know me are aware that the only food I hate more than sweet potatoes or yams is raisins. At least they didn’t put raisins in the waffles.

And the waffles are excellent! (Of course, broccoli would probably taste good if you mixed it with maple syrup and praline bacon…) The chicken was spicy, and the atmosphere bustling. Bonus: as we were seated, the gal next to us was putting her boob away after breast-feeding her baby. When the waitress came for our order, I resisted the urge to point at the infant and say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

For not doing much, I arrived home exhausted. Mizelle called, and invited me over for, you guessed it, a barbecue. I had to politely decline. Much like the well-fed baby at breakfast, I needed a nap.

Twelve hours later, I am in a much better mood. It’s back to work today, and I’ll bet I had more fun than the majority of my co-workers. Training is over, and the usual, reliable relief is scheduled.

Apologies in advance if I drawl too much, or overuse the word ‘ma’am’. You can blame the NASCAR announcers.

YEE-haw, y’all…

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