Stood still on a highway. I saw a woman by the side of the road with a face that I knew like my own, reflected in my window. Well she walked up to my quarter light and she bent down real slow. A fearful pressure paralyzed me in my shadow. She said, "Son, what are you doing here... My fear for you has turned me in my grave." I said "Mama I come to the valley of the rich... Myself to sell." She said, "Son, this is the road to Hell. " - Chris Rea
The road with a chimpanzee and a 300-pound carnival ride operator, conversation of an intellectual nature expired 400 miles earlier. Tater shakes the TV Guide and points to Larry King who will interview Janet Reno. Freak Show's response is enthusiastically oppositional. The Man Show will host a Wet T-shirt contest. When we bivouac for the night and align the satellite dish, I'll cast the deciding vote. Prey we spy Janet Reno in a wet T-shirt contest.
Strange and amazing places like Bald Knob, Beaver, Dogpatch and Toad Suck are called home in Arkansas and thrill my traveling companions. The two-story out house at the Booger Hollow Trading Post, along Scenic 7 Byway, in Dover creates quite a splash. (Rivaled by Bell Plaine, Minnesota; Gays, Illinois; and Phelps, NY all home to the world's one and only.) At Fouke/ Texarkana, you hear the tail of the Boggy Creek Monster. My pilgrimage follows Robert Johnson, master of the blues. Written in song and legend, we make for the junction of 49 & 61 near Helena. "It is the Crossroads to Eternity." accounts Willie Coffee, Johnson's life long friend.
Night fell and time to eat. To make up for the TV show commotion, Freak Show wanted to treat us to dinner. He knew of a great truck stop. We topped a hill in the full moon light to come upon the Moldy Dumpster Slop & Fuel. On a good day it could be described as a roach house - a shack with a half operational neon sign buzzing and popping away in the parking lot. Freak Show rubbed his hands together and assured us that it would be great. As we entered the fly covered screen door, Freak was welcomed with hardy handshakes and pats on the back. "Come on in, we're monkey friendly!." Show commented on how the area had changed. They replied, "When they closed down the slaughterhouse, the neighborhood turned to crap."
After a nice visit and a Chili Bucket with Mushrooms, it was time to hit the road. Show offered to take over my driving duties.
It might have been 20 minutes later. Who knows? An odor wretched from the belly of Hell enveloped the camper in a green/yellow mist. My vision blurred as the caravan shook violently. I yelled to our pilot, "Be careful! You're going off the road!" He responded, "Which side!" Within the cyclone, I felt like I would purge my gut. We stopped and as I extricated myself from under the dashboard, I looked at Freak Show. His eyes blazed ruby red. His beard moved, entwined by reptiles. In a voice unheard before he growled, "Your soul to become the best rider of all."
I'll pass. I'll shoot for mediocrity and take my chances. Besides that, the chili was lousy. Quit screwing around!" The demon looked past me to the chimp. "How about you?" Tater convulsed.A horrific screech burst forth, the wind swirled. . . silence.
posted by Roscoe @ 8:26 PM 14 comments
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Its time to go.
At 8:10 PM EST US, January 15, 2006 I determined that my blog name, Roscoe, was used to comment maliciously on other blog sites. In recent weeks I’ve seen many bloggers attacked unfairly or maligned for apparent sport; a chance one takes when you present yourself to the public. I extend my apologies to anyone harmed.
My intent with Roscoe Stuff was, for fun, to re-post stories of a character’s adventures, originally written for a website which in part promoted motorcycle safety to kids. Anonymous posters then inferred that this blog was part of the My Mule blog. It is not. Josh is a long time friend who encouraged me to start writing again.
For now, to all who were encouraging, Thank you.
posted by Roscoe @ 10:17 PM 12 comments
Sunday, January 01, 2006
The wheels of justice roll slowly and the alignment is off. Freak Show's plea-bargaining abilities did not rise to my expectations. The jailhouse shrink report carried more weight than I anticipated. One condition to my release was to participate in a court-ordered observation period of 72 hours. Afterwards, I would spend a minimum of two weeks in group therapy at the city's finest Nut-bin. I would find my inner feelings looking at inkblots and answering questions like "Aren't you afraid to touch doorknobs?" I'd seen it before. In my family, interventions happen at Christmas when everybody gathers to tell you how you’re screwing up . . . Good times.
It is uncomfortable learning your "doctor" is straight out of school. Doc tripped over his feet fumbling with a clipboard. He described the battery of tests I would take in the next three days and quipped, "I hope you stick around. We hate to tell the court that you were not cooperative." I replied that I was not Harvey Mushman and this was not "The Great Escape ". The young fellow scribbled notes and asked, "Who is Harvey Mushman?" Sensing this was test number one I told Doc that racing motorcycles was more than a gimmick to Steve McQueen. He was a serious motorcycle racer who often registered as Mushman because he did not want to draw attention to himself. With a bewildered look and a shoulder shrug, my newly graduated, smart as a whip, wet behind the ears Doctor asked, "Who is Steve McQueen?" . . . I was in trouble.
Things were not going well. The staff would congregate at my door and whisper. Internal resentment festered - that monkey put me here. One nurse understood my frustration and extended an understanding hand. Her advice . . ."Don't fight the medication." Then I remembered a quote by William Jefferson Clinton . . . "If you find yourself in a big hole, stop digging." I had to agree with the hippie. I kept my stories quiet, took their tests, and told them what they wanted to hear. I had fun the next couple of days finger painting but I kind of missed Tater, Leelee and our adventures. Visiting day arrived. Freak and Tater showed, bringing gifts. Doc saw the bonafied monkey and released me to Gen-Pop, a whole new world and a whole bunch of new friends. With a bare-assed hospital gown and a restored sense of freedom, I was ready for Gen-Pop.
The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. . . In my case, twelve steps and a pair of pants. Twelve step programmers are natural moochers. Most anonymous support groups take the alcoholic steps, remove the word alcohol, and insert the habit necessary. Alcoholics, Sexaholics, Gamblers, Food Addicts, and Cocaine users jump in. There is a support group for you. In Gen-Pop, the first thing you do is sign up for the Substance Abusers Softball League. It is supposed to introduce you to the rest of the gang and their problems. No bats or ball, just a bunch of crazies standing in the yard screaming "Hey Batter, Swing!" Al Unser said Robert Downey was last year's MVP. Not THE Al Unser, this Al was a 6 ft. Jamaican and his racecar was, in fact, an old office chair. Man, could he hot lap the bases.
Time flies when you are on behavioral modifiers. During my stay I wondered how to make twelve steps work. "1.We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable." Okay, I admit I am powerless over monkeys -that our lives had become unmanageable. "10.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.". I have three motorcycles and a monkey. I was wrong about the monkey. The rest of the steps rely on God for help. While God might have made both man and monkey, history shows you don't mix monkeys with religion. It didn't work for Darwin.