Monday, February 25, 2008

A little discomfort won't ruin my good time

Last Friday, I dropped a dry erase board on my foot and nearly broke my this-little-piggy-went-to-the-market toe. The thing swelled up like something off Snuffy Smith’s foot, and any pressure to the entire foot would take my breath. However, I was not about to let one black deformed toe ruin my weekend. Besides it’s not sandal season yet.

First stop – Carroll County Market in Carrollton.

The quirky, nostalgic environment reminded me of my Ole Miss days on the square in Oxford, and they served best barbeque pizza I have had in ages. Although the atmosphere and company were quite wonderful, the music turned an ordinary night out into a doubled-over-stitch-in-the-side good time.

It was open mic night, and when we called to make reservations, the hostess told my significant other and me to bring our instruments for a jam session. This started a laughing fit at the mere thought of me ringing a triangle and Keith playing the spoons. The trip over consisted of all of the different instruments we could conjure up to play – tambourine, jug, wash board. I figured we could become regulars on Hee Haw with our “talents.”

Entertainment for the evening was provided by a gentleman named Rex from McCool and Cecil Abels, co-owner of Carroll County Market. The two started out with a couple of numbers from Alabama and Conway Twitty. Then things got interesting.

With requests coming from the crowd, our entertainment was forced to improvise. Rex and Cecil had the talent to “fake it” and pick out a melody on the guitar or mandolin if someone sang a few bars, but the right lyrics were a different story. Whole verses were created, rhymed, and localized, and the audience followed along in laughter anticipating altered words.

After nearly four hours of hilarious entertainment, it was time to get the check.

Keith: “We need to wait to get our check.”

Me: “Why? Just flag down our waitress.”

Keith: “She is onstage playing the drums. We have to wait until she finishes this song.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

Totally normal, right? Well, in Carrollton it is, and that is what made the night so wonderful.
When we left a little before midnight, I felt like I was officially part of the Carroll County Market family. We plan to visit our kin folk again next weekend.

Second stop – the home of Bob Doolittle of Leland, Mississippi.

NASCAR has a Super Bowl, too – the Daytona 500. With hot wings, chips, dips, and other “manly” cuisine (like poor helpless bunnies that were filleted and wrapped with bacon), racing fans from across the county gather to watch this famous race that kicks off the racing season.

I attended my first Daytona 500 party last Sunday, and unlike the Super Bowl where everyone is really only interested in the commercials, racing fans QUIETLY watched the race with the hopes that their favorite driver will take home the prize. I was unnerved by the concentration of the fans in the sport – watching for a monstrous pile up that didn’t happen this year, rough driving, and if driver Jeff Gordan (obviously considered the spawn of Satan to those I was with) would accidentally be struck by lightning in pit lane.

Although I am not a true-blue fan of the sport, I can follow along (SportsCenter junkie) and carry on a reasonable conversation about the sport. Besides, I have been properly tutored by Keith on which driver to cast my support.

Now, I bring up this little stock car soiree because of something one of the announcers said during the race. He recalled something racing legend Junior Johnson said about a breakfast of bacon and eggs. “When you sit down to a breakfast of bacon and eggs, you can be sure of one thing – the chicken was dedicated, but the pig was committed.” The poet lariat of pit road.

I love this. I want this cross-stitched on a pillow.

With my nearly-broken toe, I felt the pig’s commitment. Despite the fact that it will be months before I can wear high-healed shoes again, I bit my lip, sucked it up, and hobbled through Central Mississippi. It was well worth the trip.

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