Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Galax Trip

So imagine that you have just driven six hours into the Deepest South, the heartland of Appalachian America. You are at the Old Fashioned Fiddlers Convention, on "bluegrass band night" nonetheless, you are camping in the best place you can find, with a few hundred other people, in a used car lot/antique car museum/old fashioned ice cream shoppe (oh yes, that would all be one business), and yes, you are CAMPING in their used car lot, next to, of all things, the world's largest propane tank. (I will shortly have pictures to prove this.) Next to you the local teenage boys have been allowed to camp in Daddy's parking lot. They have a keg and apparently a lot of pot. They have a VW bus, old school style, popped top, with a tent off the side. Grateful Dead stickers everywhere, and a confederate flag (this is the Deepest South after all). (I didn't know you could mix the Dead with Johnny Reb, but apparently you can.) The boys have invited all of their friends, and girlfriends over to enjoy the festivities. You have gone to bed by 11 pm, which was about the time the boys got their second keg.

On a hilltop not too far away someone has erected a large cross out of PVC pipe, and strung white lights around it. You have a great view of it from your tent in the parking lot, over the no less than 500 motor homes in the baseball diamond below the hill. Apparently the teenage boys (who are actually very nice and polite to the tourists), spot the cross around midnight. "Check it out! Its the KKK! They couldn't set it on fire so they just lit it up!" The joke was funny one time. But apparently the more stoned they got, the funnier it got to repeat over and over again.

You fall asleep as the neighbor boys begin singing "Tripping Billies" around 12. You wake up multiple times throughout the night, (after all you are sleeping in a used car lot with a few hundred other people) thanks to ambient noise. At 3 am you wake up to the teenage boys singing "This is the greatest song that ever lived! This is greatest f-ing song that ever lived. This is the greatest mother f-ing song that ever lived!" (and the adjectives only get more profound from there) complete with LOUD amp and guitar. Something about it (possibly you are high from secondhand pot smoke) is actually hilarious. You have been awakened in the middle of the night to a perverse version of a pre-school song as performed by redneck Grateful Dead fans in the middle of a used car lot/antique car museum/old fashioned ice cream shop.

What do you do? If you are me, you sing along momentarily, and go back to sleep. It is after 3 am after all.

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