A mellowing and meandering trip through this American life. Follow the adventures of Jan, Jack, and Patrick as they take you on a whirlwind trip through Washington, DC's seedy underbelly of cut-rate poolhalls, thrift stores, and temp agencies.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Day 4: Ider, Alabama.

It's proving difficult to tell whether the quick succession of sun and rain, of florid vistas and Family Discount Warehouses is causing my mood swings, or simply mocking them. Such, presumably, is the nature of road-trips, and of amphetamines. The next stop is "Unclaimed Baggage" in Scottsboro Alabama, where Pat, Jan, and I hope to claim an unclaimed video camera and some vintage T-shirts for a small fee. Last night was Hot-lanta, where the peep-shows are decidedly not $1 a go as advertised, and where the pizza and pinball is sub-par. I don't think we really did Atlanta justice, but we made a surprisingly good time out of it. This is my first trip across this country, borne, like all good voyages, of joblessness, and a lack of direction which has happily reconciled itself into one imperative: West. Or Westish, in our present situation, as we want to see the Southern states on our way over. This particular Southern state has had its moments-- we're crossing the Jackson river as I write, which is a winner. Pat is talking about bare-knuckle boxing, Jan, about boiled peanuts, but they seem to be enjoying themselves. Bea's Bar-B-Q, Coon Creek Outfitters. Will I have a clearer mind when I get back to Washington? Will Graduate school start to seem like a solution instead of a postponement of an indefinite problem? Unclaimed baggage, I guess. H&R Bait and Tackle, Horses for Sale. Across the Jackson again, a windy river. Mad Creek Mini-Storage. In Athens, I spoke to a Professor of Comparative Literature at UGA, who advised me that I should apply to a better program than the one over which he presided, and, as I had feared, that I might be better off doing Classics. Athens, I have decided, is my kind of town. Carob's Chicken Basket, Wright Coin Laundry, Jones Fabricating (?!), Tim Allen rents Sod-Cutters. Scottsboro is not my kind of town. Where the hell am I going to live when I get back to DC? Unclaimed Baggage.
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Scottsboro Blues
Well, I'm shaking like the devil, cuz I aint been eatin'
Yeah, I said I'm shaking like the devil, cuz I haven't been eatin'
Cuz all this benny poppin' is giving my heart a beating.

Well, I won't be drinkin' no milk no more,
Said I won't, won't be drinkin' no milk no more,
Cuz all this hard luck pining ain't gonna open that Scottsboro Store.

I pray that tomorrow I'll have me a pair of new shoes,
Unh huh, I pray that tomorrow I'll have me two shiny shoes,
Because you know that with all this driving I'll have Miss Iss Ippi Blues.
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3/31--Phil Campbell, AL--Dismals Canyon Camp Ground
+ Unclaimed Baggage, dude!
3/30--Atlanta, GA--with Simon C. of "the Simon Chung Show" fame
+ Five Points Pizza and pinball
3/29--Clemson, SC--with Chad, one week from defending his PhD
+ Pizza and no pinball
3/28--Richmond, VA--Gustavo and his beautiful cat, Samba
+ Standard Richmond stuff

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