The Way Things Are



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Didja miss me? Huh? Huh?
2005-08-11, 12:01 p.m.

Didja miss me? Huh? Huh? Didja? Huh?

Because in case you did, I was not here yesterday. I was in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. Where they are proud to be Okies.

This was a work-related trip, and I flew up with my colleague, Mike. We landed in Tulsa, and proceeded to drive our rental Taurus along the Muskogee Turnpike to Muskogee. Being in a Taurus made me feel like I was on a sales call. Taurus: official car of the drug company sales rep. On the way there, I was remarking that I like Oklahoma: I have traveled there several times in the past on business, and havenít really seen what all these snarky Texans see when they talk about how much Oklahoma sucks.

Mike told me to hold my judgment until we got to Muskogee, as it is a city that he canít figure out why it even exists. And I experienced this quandary as well. Granted, I was there for maybe 4-5 hours, and did in fact spend most of that time in a pretty rundown neighborhood, but in our comings and goings through the town, I saw that most of what we drove through was just as rundown and depressing as the ďreally bad neighborhoodĒ we were there to visit.

I donít get it, Muskogee. You have a song about you. You have a turnpike. The highway in town is being widened from 2 lanes to 4. There was a lot of traffic. So how does this parse with the boarded up buildings, the rundown neighborhoods with burned-out houses and falling-off porches? Who are all these people in their cars, and where are they going? How does such a seemingly depressed town merit a widened highway? What is going on that I donít know about? Are you just a fast food stop between McAlester and Tulsa? What can I do to hasten your communityís revitalization?

HOW MAY I HELP YOU, MUSKOGEE?

If you or somebody you know or love (or both know AND love) resides in Muskogee or close to it, please give me some insight. Tell me where I need to drive around to get a glimpse of the Muskogee that makes the Okies proud to be from there. Iíll be back in a couple of weeks, and Iíd like to see the happier side of Muskogee.

END OF THE MUSKOGEE TALK

Lil Guy and I went to Target the other day to purchase his school supplies. We deliberately shunned the tax-free weekend, as we both feel that shopping is enough of a cluster-fuck without fighting the crowds of people hoping to escape that 8%. Although I donít think Lil Guy yet knows the phrase ďcluster fuckĒ. So anyway, Iíd like to issue a warning to all you people who may live in San Antonio, or who may wish to visit this fair city.

The Target at 281 and Bitters Road smells like vomit. It reeks overpoweringly; you canít get used to it; you canít escape it by moving away from the bathrooms or the snack bar. There is something terribly, horribly wrong there. It has smelled of vomit for years. They renovated the store several years ago, and I had hopes that the vomit smell would be renovated on out, but alas, no.

Something bad happened there, and now it wonít go away. I donít know if this is a haunting, or perhaps the carpet installation team was ill with the beer flu that day, or what.

Itís a vomit smell that gives you a headache, lingers in your clothing, and sticks in your brain so that you have to come back to the office and breathe deeply from the coffee can to reset your brain sensors.

Iím just advising you to go to another Target. Just throw a stick, and you will hit a Target. They are everywhere.

DW has informed me that we may have a move-inable house in just a few weeks. The end approacheth with haste. Yep Ė weíre looking at air conditioning and floors by the end of the week, and shit, you might as well move in after that. I guess Iíd better get to packing up our shit. Yep, Iíll just get right on that.

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