Month: September 2005

Hmm …

[:: gazes around suspiciously ::]

I know that the fabulous and charming Mr. Scalzi was talking about Four and Twenty Blackbirds a couple of days ago … and for awhile my numbers spiked. They finally sank back down yesterday, but now they seem to be on the rise again. They’ve hovered between 4000 and 10,000 for the better part of the day. Did I get a new favorable review someplace and I just didn’t hear about it yet?

I swear to God, I need to get some other hobby — instead of checking that damn site all the time. It cannot be good for me.

[:: shuffles back to work, or to poke around on my LiveJournal, whichever successfully holds my attention until 5:00 ::]

Edit: Never mind. To quote a friend of mine online today, “Great is my woot!”

Local News

Got a phone call last night from Don Welch, long-time local television personality with the ABC affiliate. He wants me to do an interview next Monday for their mid-day show, which is sure to be an absolute hoot.

[:: Insert Wayne’s World wobbledy weedley-woot time shift here ::]

Many years ago, back when I was a wee teenager who was new to the Tennessee Valley, some of my friendly idiot friends used to make a hobby of pestering Don. Mind you, Don is a perfectly nice man, bearing a faint but reassuring resemblance to Santa Claus; and there was no good reason whatsoever for the pestering which took place.

Generally speaking, it went as follows: Don was a morning host who sometimes took his show on the road – he’d show up at a Hardee’s, or a Waffle House, or a gas station, and just set up shop for early a.m. television. My goofy friends would then hijack this location and trying to sneak onto camera — purely for the joy of making silly faces and yelling, with a drawn-out set of vowels, “FREEEAAAAAAKKKKK!”

Sometimes this was augmented to “Don is a FREEEEEAAAAKKK!” or “Let’s hear it for the FREEEAAAAKKKKKSS!” If they were to spot Don in a crowd, it was the same thing. “FREEEEAAAAAKKKK!” They’d spy him in the mall. “FREEEEAAAKKKKK!” They’d see him in a grocery store. “FREEEEEAAAAKKKK!” They’d spy him at a park. “FREEEEAAAAAAAKKKK!” They veritably haunted this poor man. It was completely stupid, but it amused them no end. I’m not sure why they ever gave it up, except maybe they just got bored with it after awhile.

I’m sure Don was deeply relieved.

Anyway. I have since lost touch with my old punk buddies, but wherever they are — if they learn that I’m doing an interview with Don next week, I’m sure we’ll be able to hear (somewhere off the stage), the distant and familiar cry of the old Chattanooga punk scene.


[/and thus endeth a particularly pointless but nostalgic entry]


This was the Groves Seventh Day Adventist church, in Groves, Texas – post Katrina and Rita. I was baptized there, twenty years ago.


Here. Have a few stray thoughts about the place, prompted by the hurricanes. These are some things I hadn’t considered in years:

    One vespers service when I was ten or eleven years old, the steeple(?) was struck by lightning. It sounded like a truck had rammed the building, and we were all startled and wondering if we’d lose power.

    There was once a bad car wreck across the street, right in the middle of a church service (or possibly a vespers, or Pathfinders meeting – I don’t remember). Everyone emptied the building and helped pull the hurt people out of the cars and treat them, there in the church parking lot. I remember feeling very helpless about the whole thing.

    At some point during our time there, the church got a new pastor. He was all right, but his daughter – who was about my age – wreaked havoc on the social structure there. She was one of these oddly aggressive, sexually precocious girls whose behavior made you wonder what the hell was going on at home. And she didn’t seem to understand that we could all be friends; instead, she used gossip, lies, bribery and suspicion to rend asunder the small friends circle that existed — because no one was allowed to be friends with anyone except for her. I hated her with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns, because after she arrived – none of us were really friends, ever again.

    At Halloween we had a pumpkin carving contest one year. I’d never carved a pumpkin before, but it turned out okay (all things considered). All the kids who entered got “first place” ribbons, which was sweet. A guy named Gene (parent of one of my friends) submitted the coolest pumpkin I’d ever seen — it was the kind you find pictures of on display in playful haunted house windows. Very crazy-professional looking. I was totally in awe; I tried to give him my first-place ribbon but he just laughed and wouldn’t take it.

    Me and a girl named Eloise used to ditch Sabbath school sometimes to lock ourselves in the sound-proofed nursery, where there was a radio. We’d turn it up and dance around to “Open Your Heart,” the Madonna song popular at the time. We pretended we had kicky black wigs too, and pasties with tassels. It was silly, and fun.

    My youth group once held a bike-a-thon to raise money for some cause or another. It looked like attendance was going to be low until Rudy — an exquisitely huge man who always wore a ten gallon hat, a belt buckle the size of a platter, and cowboy boots — declared that he too would ride in the event. Everyone was so morbidly curious to see him on a bicycle that we all turned out to ride.

So you know. Same as anywhere – good and bad. Since those halcyon days of yore, I’ve more or less left the church and gone my own way … but I still hate to see the place like that.