Weather Woman

Written by Tom Hale

Sometimes you just get lucky.

I ran out of gas in Paiper Machet, Louisiana, on my way to a convention for freelance bumper sticker writers. My "Watch Out For The Idiot Behind Me" had become an industry classic and I was to berepparttar keynote speaker.

This was inrepparttar 118134 days before there was an all-night convenience store with self-service gas pumps on every corner. There was one gas station in Paiper Machet and it would not open until 7:30repparttar 118135 following morning. That would get me torepparttar 118136 convention thirty minutes into late registration, provided my luck held out and my tires held air.

After I shut off my headlights,repparttar 118137 only other illumination in this little corner ofrepparttar 118138 bayou was a thin ribbon of green and red, riding a greasy fog that I traced back to a juke joint just overrepparttar 118139 tracks.

As I drew closer,repparttar 118140 smell of bar-b-q sang like a Siren in my brain and hastened my apprehensive footsteps.

The creaking door betrayed my attempt at a quick, clandestine peek atrepparttar 118141 place. All eyes rolled in my direction. It was readily apparent that these good people were not accustomed to seeing an apologetic grin wearing a Hawaiian shirt and moccasins.

Relying on raw survival instinct, I sought outrepparttar 118142 bartender. That gave me an excuse to turn my back onrepparttar 118143 somnambulant stares ofrepparttar 118144 stoned citizenry, but there they were again inrepparttar 118145 huge, spotless mirror. They had me surrounded.

I knew how to feign fortitude and present myself as a cool customer. After all, I was a keynote speaker, for cryin out loud. My body was inexplicably overtaken byrepparttar 118146 spirit of what sounded like Zippyrepparttar 118147 Pinhead on helium as I eked out, "Ya’ll got ‘nee beer?" I cast quick, accusatory glances aroundrepparttar 118148 room, trying to pin downrepparttar 118149 offending Voodoo Queen.

The barkeep silently drew a tall glass of Jax beer and sat it in front of me. I put a five onrepparttar 118150 bar. He put it inrepparttar 118151 cigar box that served as a cash drawer and flippedrepparttar 118152 lid shut. The ghost of Barney Fife politely inquired about my change.

"Cover charge."

"Oh, is there to be entertainment?" (Kermit The Frog)

Was there to be entertainment? Were there to be alligator dreams tangled inrepparttar 118153 Spanish moss long about four a.m.? Entertainment? Oh, yes. Yes, indeed. Tonight, at this inauspicious watering hole, just north of who-flung-the-chunk, and due west of Bum Fox, Egypt, there was to be entertainment. Blues legend, Blind Lemon Furniture Polish was to give his farewell performance.

I may have looked and acted like a total dork, but I knew my Blues. I knew what this event meant and I silently thanked God for allowing me to be present on this, this night of nights.

My eyes adjusted torepparttar 118154 dark and revealed a most welcome site: Danny Aykroid sitting in a corner booth, gnawing on a possum sandwich (or was it beaver?). I caught his eye and waved, probably a little too enthusiastically. He quickly looked away, his eyes darting down and right, pretending not to know me—which, of course, he doesn’t.

Truck Stop Christmas

Written by Tom Hale

This is a true story. It was told to me by a guy I met on a Riverboat. That’s how I know it’s true; who could doubtrepparttar veracity of a River Rat? He didn’t use any backup singers when he told it to me, but I thought since this is going out onrepparttar 118133 Internet and all, I should shine it up a bit.

I spared no expense to fly these women in from Nashville. They are, I am proud to tell You,repparttar 118134 same backup singers who did all that “Wah-ooo” stuff on C.W. McCall’s records.

I am laboring under a serious deadline, sorepparttar 118135 singers and I haven’t had much time to practice. We will dorepparttar 118136 best we can. I’ll playrepparttar 118137 part ofrepparttar 118138 Trucker (imagine a Red Sovine-ish, Tex-Ritter- On-Acid kind of thing). It goes a little somethin like this:

Singers: It was a Truck Stop Christmas, With a light snow fallin down, In Penciltucky, but it could have been In any other town. The miracle that happened We may never understan, But, here to tellrepparttar 118139 story Is a Truck Drivin Man...

Trucker: Well, I'z—


A Truck Drivin Maa-aan. Wah-ooo.


Skewz me. I'z drivin down a stretch of Interstate, an' I'z really gettin hungry. Every time I'd hit them airbrakes, I'd hear 'em sayin, "Peeech Pie!" And my air horn was tellin me how I like my coffee: BLAAAAAK! BLAAAAK! Oh, I know I shouldn of been barrelin downrepparttar 118140 Interstate, hittin my airbrakes and blarinrepparttar 118141 horn like Judgment Day—that’s what too much marijuana’ll do to a man. Prob’ly why I was so hungry, too. Yeah, I’d of given a month’s pay for a big ol’ piece of “Peeech Pie!” I was tryin to remember if there was a Truck Stop on this p'tickler stretch of Interstate; that big diesel motor kept tellin me that there "Wudden! Wudden! Wudden-Wudden-Wudden!"


Just a homesick gear jammer Runnin low on love and luck, Thinkin 'bout his woman, And talkin to his truck...


I was 'bout to—


Talkin to his truu-uuck. Wah-ooo.

Trucker: I'm sorry...just kind of wave at me or somethin when it’s my turn, okay? I was 'bout to wet my pants when I came whizzin into town;repparttar 118142 lights of an unfamiliar Truck Stop caught my eye. When I walked in, there was this old waitress draggin a dirty rag acrossrepparttar 118143 novelty mud flap display. She smiled at me and said, "Merry Christmas, Son." I said, "Lordee, ma'am, is it Christmas already?" She said that yes, yes it was, and I bet my jaw must of hitrepparttar 118144 floor. Seemed like only yesterday it was October—that's what too much crystal methadrine'll do to a man.

She looked at me for a long time, then said, "You know, I had a son who'd be about your age. He took off drivin trucks and I never did hear from him again. I kept hopin he'd stop in here one day—preferably at Christmas, so I'd get a double dose ofrepparttar 118145 willies."

Well, I put my coffee back inrepparttar 118146 cup and said, "Ma'am, you can call it coincidence if you want to, but I had a mother who'd be about your age. I talked to Daddyrepparttar 118147 day before he died, and he told me Mama had missed me so bad, she went out and got a job at a Truck Stop, hopin someday I'd stop in."

Singers: A Truck Stop Christmas— Don't it make you weep? The snow continued fallin; It was really gettin deep...

Trucker: She said she—


Really gettin dee-eeep. Wah-ooo.


Damnit! She said she knew her boy was never gonna walk in at Christmas or any other time, for it was on this p'tickler stretch of Interstate, ten years ago, that her son was toppin a hill and had to swerve to miss a bus load of kids. After he'd plowed through a ditch and nearly turned over, he stuck his head outrepparttar 118148 window to cuss atrepparttar 118149 bus driver and his hat blew off. So he jumped out to get it. He should have stoppedrepparttar 118150 truck first, because he was goin 90 miles an hour when he jumped out. Yeah, he was in movin violation ofrepparttar 118151 law of gravity.

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