Friday, July 15, 2011

Day Two. Which makes up for Day One. Almost.

Do you remember that scene in the Indiana Jones movie (No, I don't remember which one and I'm too lazy to look it up)with the little Asian kid that Indy "sorta" adopted, before Angelina Jolie could get her hands on him? Remember the scene where he looks off into the distance and says dreamily, "Fortune and Glory"? That's exactly how I feel when someone mentions Memphis, Tennessee. I get all swoony (is TOO a word) and heart-mushy (also a legitimate word).

Day Two of vacation, which as I mentioned earlier, began with buying a new helmet for The Man and and cursing Jackson, Tennessee. There would be better, more powerful curses for them, but more on that later. Once the helmet was purchased we could not get out of that den of thieves fast enough. And the first road sign that looked interesting enough to stick in my addled brain.

Off we go!

Now when I say that Memphis makes me swoony (still a word, yo.) I mean it wrapped itself around my cold, black heart and gave it a little hug. From the lady that let us sneak into the "Members Only" parking garage so that the roving band of thieves that was surely chasing us couldn't take all my precious jewels and fine lingerie, to the homeless guy with no legs that I gave a dollar to and watched him hand it back to The Man and wish him a Happy Fathers Day. It was sweaty hot, laid-back cool, and beautiful. I may have sprained my shutter finger taking pictures of every single thing that passed in front of my sunburned nose. We spent the majority of our time there on Beale Street. Everyone should.

We shopped. We ate. We tapped our feet along with the street performers playing on every corner. We chatted with store clerks and tourists and waitresses. We tried on Elvis sunglasses and hung out in B.B. King's Bar. In short, we had ourselves a ball. One shop in particular stands out because it's where I purchased what surely will become a family heirloom.

My very own voodoo doll! Complete with instructions! (Jackson, Tennessee - you have been put on notice.) Sidenote: I never have to worry about The Man using it on me becuase he will not read instructions for anything. Ever. Which means that I may be in trouble anyway, because he is liable to just go throwing that thing around wily-nily and may likely throw an inadvertant curse on my ass. I think I'll hide it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator just to be safe.

After some damn fine barbeque, and many dollars spent on buying me foolish trinkets, we decided (read: I decided) to walk around and get some pictures. As we walked down a side street, me snapping pictures as fast as my Nikon could handle, we passed a gentleman sitting in a window sill shaking his head at us as if we were the most pitiful thing his eyes had ever seen. "You meeessed tha most emmpotant ones" he drawled.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Sonny James.

Mr. Sonny, as I now think of him, introduced himself as the "unofficial" historian of Beale Street. He launched into a diatribe covering architecture, music, city ordinances, outlaws, and the fact that every mention of Beale Street in any reference book EVAH was wrong. All this, while launching a bag of peanut M&M's into his gold laden mouth. He smacked his lips and proclaimed "The Oh-Fishul Peoples of this town would have you believing that Beale Street began as a Cull-choo-ral Center, but Nossir. They's wrong. Beale Street wus started by hoddlums an' swindlers."

For ten minutes we sat and talked...or rather he talked, and I tried to get my brain to record verbatim every word out of his mouth.

"See that building over there? The one with the large green braces holdin' it up? Now the townsfolk would have you believin' that they done went and put that up fo' your safety. Lies! All Lies! There ain't nothing worng with that there building. It's all a scam."

(It's lies! All lies!!)

"Did ya'll see that bar with the Diving Goats? Ya'll be careful if'n you go in there. Them goats was raised on al-kee-haul, and they's mean as can be, so don't you go stand near'em with a drank, or they'll attack."

From Mr. Sonny, we learned where we could pawn our watches for the best prices, which bars watered down there beer, and where we could get a hooker if we so desired. (No, Mother. We did not so desire.)

(Big ass beer pic)

Eventually, Mr. Sonny leaned back against the window, took a deep breath that announced that the informative part of the lesson was finished, and finished off those M&M's.

"Now if'n you folks found this info'mation at all helpful, any donation that you would like to pass my way would be much obliged. This is how I pay mah bills. The city don't condone it none, but they can't stop me from talking, now can they?"

Best five dollars I've ever spent. Thank you Mr. Sonny. You're all right in my book.


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