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There and back: A Blogger's Tale

Posted Monday, August 13, 2007, at 8:46 AM

I have returned from Memphis, which our blogger buddy Yellow Rose referred to as "the armpit of the South." My sister, one brother, and I traveled 372 miles through 100+ temperatures to visit my daughter and her boyfriend, and I will share my observations on that "arm-pitty" southern city. I'm sure Yellow Rose will be disappointed with some of my observations, as my daughter seemed determined to show me the less seamy side of the armpit...

What I learned in the armpit:

Once the temps reach 100, it really doesn't matter how much hotter it gets. Hot is just hot.

Arkansas is FLAT, FLATTER, AND FLATTEST.

If you don't get gas in Sikeston, you're screwed.

There is a total lack of civilized habitation between Sikeston and Memphis.

100 degrees is HOT.

At seventy miles per hour, you will be passed by every vehicle on the road, including 4 guys in a Ford Expedition so loaded with camping gear that they couldn't see out the back, and so much gear stowed on top that it wobbled from side to side in the wind.

The trip down was 372 miles.

The trip back was 732 miles.

There is a conspicuous absense of armadillo carcasses on I-55 south to Memphis. (Must be the cougars, who come out at night and eat them..)

We counted 742 strips of old tires from 18-wheeler blow outs between Memphis and Sikeston.

My sister and I could probably not afford the trash containers in Harbor Town, much less a house.

The University of Memphis has a nice campus, but not as nice as Semo's.

100 degrees is HOT.

Vegetarians CAN find a place to eat in a city known for its barbecue.

Old people can enjoy Beale Street as a drive-by.

McDonalds is well-protected by both State, County, and local law-enforcement.

Memphis is undoubtedly the traffic light capital of the United States.

They don't sell Hurricanes at the Piggley Wiggley.

But above all, Dorothy was right......"There's noplace like home!"

My thanks to all my blogger buddies for taking time out from a major blog battle to meet us at the Missouri-Arkansas border for a gigantic Welcome Home party! I recognized you all instantly! There was goat lady in her black bolero with her lime green go go boots, Minnie in her Cher pants, Cake Lady with the ever-present rose in her teeth, Yellow Rose with a bright yellow Essex Tent and Awning shirt, and a somewhat serious, sullen-looking man I took to be Mr. I.B. LeTruth.

Though we all refrained from partaking in Cake's sweet-looking little Debbies with the happy faces, we dined on a wide assortment of sundry melons, supplied by Ducky and Mr. Truthy.

Thank you all for a warm welcome which I shall never forget! Good friends and good wine only get better with time. Which reminds me to thank our happy blogger, bringwine, for doing just that! Nothing beats chilled wine on a 108 degree day!!

Signing off from the cool hills of Tillman, Misouri...this is your North Stoddard Countian reporter, Madeline


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Oh Madeline-the Hills of Tillman surely rejoiced at your safe and sober return!

Did you notice that at the stoplights the yellow lights are a signal to the natives to either floor it or flip the nitrous oxide switch? I've driven in a few big cities, but I really get freaked out at the red light runners in Memphis. They treat it like it's a suggestion,rather than some hard and fast "law" to actually stop.

The lack of carcasses is the result of those efficient eating machines, roving packs of yellow labs from the north that devour all roadkill and precious little pets from truckstops.

Admit it though,our muggy weather is better,c'mon,you know it's true!

We, your loyal readership are just happy at your return

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Mon, Aug 13, 2007, at 10:03 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Thank you, thank you, Yellow Rose! And, hey, you are SO RIGHT about the yellow lights!! Why does YELLOW mean "FLOOR IT!" in Memphisese?

That's not all! Your mention of the yellow lights reminds me that Memphisonians have another very irritating traffic quirk -- They drive out across the intersection and STOP crossways in the middle!! I could not believe it! My brother David kept yelling, "WATCH OUT!!!" all the way out of Memphis!!

As for the packs of yellow labs, that would explain why they can blend into the scenery so much better than the big cats! When a motorist comes by, they can pretend to be a stray and, thus, invisible!

As for admitting that our muggy weather is better than that of the southern climes, I have no trouble with that admission!!

Dorothy and Toto had it right -- except for the Kansas part....

While I join the other faithful bloggers in wholeheartedly welcoming you home, I am somewhat aghast that you would suggest refraining from partaking in my lovingly prepared happy-faced delicacies. IMHO, one might be advised to be cautious dining on sundry melons provided by the infamous Truthy! Perhaps his "sullen look" was a subliminal attempt to brew up another conspiracy...perhaps there was a hint of a smirk on Ducky's beak also?

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Mon, Aug 13, 2007, at 6:21 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Well, perhaps my infamous faulty memory does not serve me well on this occasion... Is it possible that I was mistaken in my original assessment of our Welcome Home Snacks? I do seem to remember a fleeting glimpse of everyone biting into a succulent blog cake with lime green icing... Did I mistake it for a honeydew??

It all seems to be floating around my head in a fog.... a foggy blog?? A blog fog??

You forgot to mention your trip to Graceland. Some people say that Elvis was a vegetarian. Do you think that is why vegetarian restaurants were able to get a foothold in Memphis?

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Aug 13, 2007, at 6:29 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Ah, FJGuy, I fear that Ducky's less than favorable description of that shag carpet in the Elvis abode rather put me in a disagreeable mood..... so I passed on a tour of Graceland...

Perhaps another time!! However, I find it difficult to believe that a vegetarian could have gained all the weight that Elvis was sporting at the end..

Dear Cake, you are so correct about those melons! How could they have been chosen over your wonderful, soothing, magical cakes??

I am suitably horrified at the very thought!

I do believe that an apology is in order!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 13, 2007, at 6:33 PM

Well, I for one ate FAR too many of those delectible cakes and was too heavy to fly. I had to ride home on the back of Truthy's Harley. That is one awesome chopper -- complete with ape-hanger handle bars and red/white & blue paint job. It looked like it was straight out of "Easy Rider." I did kind of wonder about the fuzzy dice on the rear-view mirror. The wind from our passage mitigated the effects of the 110 degree heat while the bugs that bounced off Truthy's Captain America helmet provided a happy little source of protein.

All in all it was a magnificient trip.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Aug 13, 2007, at 9:41 PM

Hey, guys!! CBS and Dave Price are gonna be in Memphis tomorrow morning!!

Yellow Rose, do you think ole Dave'll get himself eaten by an I-55 yellow lab, patrolling the city for road kill?

Let's hope CBS just airlifts Dave in and out - so he doesn't have to take his life in his hands with Memphis traffic!! Hahahaha! They'll plow him down!

Looks as if he's gonna hit Graceland, too!! This opens up all sorts of possibilities!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Aug 14, 2007, at 7:51 AM

Missed it. Did they do Memphis justice?

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 12:31 PM

Hey Maddie don't pick on Ark. that is the state I was married in and it has lasted over 50 years, it may be hot but so has my marriage and we are still sizzling.

-- Posted by rusty nail on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 6:11 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yeah, CBS did okay on the Memphis thing. Dave Price went to Graceland and showed several rooms, including one that Priscella had restored to its 60's glory (after being updated to the 70's later). It was roped off, so I assume it's a "look, don't touch" scenario...

I particularly enjoyed all the Elvis look-alikes, who sang ...ah..Blue Suede Shoes?? (Now I don't remember..) He said that the ...authorities (?) at Graceland have finally given in to popular demand and are sponsoring an Elvis contest. So I'm sure we'll hear more about this.

Rusty Nail, I think you're making that up about your wife....but if you aren't, good for you!

Ducky, you weren't supposed to quack about the ride. I did enjoy it though. When you spread your wings we did seem to float. Now about the proper dress or not a dress. Next time you have to wear the goat skin leather pants.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Aug 15, 2007, at 10:33 PM

Goat skin pants?? Now, that's going too far! Maybe I need to haul out the shotgun on your next high-flying escapade!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Aug 16, 2007, at 6:43 AM

Goat skin leather pants???? Cool. I doubt Goat Lady would let us get away with it. Maybe we'll just take GL and one of the goats along - they can ride in the side car. It might be tricky getting a helmet for the goat, though.

-- Posted by Ducky on Thu, Aug 16, 2007, at 12:20 PM

GL is ok, but no room for ruminants.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Aug 17, 2007, at 10:43 PM

Hey, I.B., you're catching onto the lingo! I can leave my ruminants on the farm -- They don't like water, anyway!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 9:45 PM

New word you all taught me. Neat sounding too.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Aug 20, 2007, at 10:44 PM

Goats are pretty neat, too. Have I mentioned that they have rectangular pupils? Fascinating! I love the way they look up into your face when you stand at the fence.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Aug 21, 2007, at 9:19 PM

I've never understood how a goat can LOOK so serene and wise but BE the exact opposite!!! I didn't know about the rectangular pupils. Wow. Who knew a blog could be so educational.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 2:40 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
True, Ducky, they LOOK so intelligent - the way they watch your face - but, unfortunately, they are disappointingly stupid! They absolutely INSIST on sticking their heads through a fence, even when the grass on their side is every bit as good as that on the other side!

Those of you who get the NSC got to see today's picture of my friend Emma's little goat in the creative headgear that her husband designed! Cute, cute, cute! He fixed a piece of wood onto the goat's horns with radiator hose clamps!! It works like a charm!

ElFreda added a cute headline: "Could this be a reindeer in training?"

Think we could be awarded some credit hours for spending time on here?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Aug 22, 2007, at 9:23 PM

Mmm...let's see. What would the courses be called?

Goat herding 101.

Life for the Post-Menopausal Woman: Meets daily at 7 a.m.-- 3 University Study credits. (Minnie's blogs)

Life Studies 303: Societal effects of Birth Control (Re: Sasha's blog)

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 26, 2007, at 7:34 AM


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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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