Kudzu. Just say that out loud. It's fun. It's a good
word. It doesn't necessarily sound like what it
actually is. No. It sounds like a third-rate stand-up
comedians who's opening up for Carrot Top and
even his audience isn't laughing. Either that or
some exotic delicacy that isn't quite as good as
you expected and then ends up giving you the runs.
Of course, it's neither. It's a plant. A vine, really.
And it's EVERYWHERE.
Apparently, kudzu's from Japan but when it came
to the South, it really felt at home. It enveloped
trees, houses, the occassional abandoned front
yard jalopy and got the nickname "the plant that
ate the South" (which reminds me: Southern food
is delicious. We've been surviving mostly on collard
greens, loafs consisting of multiple, unknown
animals, and ribs. Lots of ribs. Birdmonster is dead.
Long live Clogged-Artery-Fatmonster). At any
rate, if you've never seen pictures of kudzu
devouring all neighboring architecture, plantlife,
and sedentary elderly people, you should check it
out. I'd recommend a book, but if you're anything
like me, google image search is far more accessible.
It's rather pretty, if not a little monotonous. Like,
say, driving through Kansas.
Since we've checked in last, we've been surrounded
by the stuff. Two shows in Georgia, two shows in
North Carolina, and a few backstage, backyard,
backwoods ho-downs. They seemed appropriate at
the time, anyway. The best among those was
almost certainly our show in Charlotte, erstwhile
home of the Sammies, which meant plenty of
rowdy, sing-a-long-in' drunks, meeting the parents
of half the band, and accidentally leaving my bar
tab open, which is a bummer as the Visualite was
a phenomenal club. At least I left tips. And one
was the ellusive two dollar bill tip, which happens
once a tour, when I'm feeling saucy, pleasant
generous, and need fast service for the remainder
of the evening. But we all know how I feel about
the 2, so let's move on.
Charlotte, beyond boasting one of the best crowds
thus far, both in size and rambunctiousness, also
introduced us to the Pendletons, a rather ass
-kicking Athens band who sounded at times as if
from Seattle and at other times from some town
in Appalacia that just got the electricity working.
They also joined us as we stormed the stage
during the Sammies' encore and for a Willie Nelson
inspired (or ripped off, I can't quite remember)
hee-haw session back stage after all was said and
done. Plus, sleeping on the Sammies' couch, eating
Otter Pops, and waking up to coffee is about 9000
times better than you average hotel. Alexander
the Grape concurs.
Georgia though, she's sort of a blur. There were
peaches I didn't eat, all that kudzu, and some
poorly paved roads. Athens is gorgeous, though.
Atlanta's the blur. In fact, know that I mention
Athens, there are a couple nifty factoids worth
First, Weaver D.'s. Delicious chicken, delicious pork,
delicious everything. Weaver D is this giant dude
with a lugubrious voice who ends your transaction
with the word "automatic" before providing you
with the aforementioned deliciousness. I bring this
up because the sign outside says "Weaver D's Fine
Foods; Automatic for the People." And yes, R.E.M.
was from Athens. See how it all comes together?
Second, the Georgia Bulldogs. See, out in San
Francisco, we've got sports too, but, frankly, we
suck. We've got the Giants, who are all geriatric, in
between roid rages, or both. We've got the 49ers,
who devolved from Dynasty to Pop Warner
laughingstock and the A's, who are always pretty
good but going to games is just depressing. I've
seen more fans at a girl's high school soccer game.
And the Warriors? Don't get me started. I loves
me some Warriors, but being a Warriors fan is like
having a nephew you really like, only every
weekend he gets drunk on Bartles and James,
crashes your car, and gets a raise in his allowance.
Anyway, the entire town of Athens was positively
consumed by the Bulldogs. We loaded out of the 40
Watt while the game was beginning and I swear,
the streets consisted of us, a few tumbleweeds,
and a frantic guy in cargo shorts running home with
two twelvers of Coor's Light. Sheer madness.
There's a couple more stories, but I'll save 'em for
another time. Plus, my thumbs are cramping. Same
place, say, Tuesday? That's okay. Wednesday