Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food A La Road #1

Well hi and welcome back. So far this blog idea is a pretty hot potato. I have almost TEN friends, which is five times more friends than I had before. And only one of those ten friends is also my brother!

If this episode turns out okay, maybe there will be more eating stories to come. For now let's just see how this sounds:

We were in the van on tour, hurtling down the road in probably Georgia or Mississippi. We were on our way to a gig at a club in Jackson called W. C. Don's, which was nothing more or less than two decrepit trailer homes nailed together to form a "T." The nailing together of the two homes had been done in a very half-hearted and probably illegal manner. You could see the sky from anywhere in the club and when it rained it basically rained right on your amps and your drummer.

We were playing there for what they called "Teen Night," an event that drew about 300 hot-looking youngsters to this nasty dive bar. It was a huge social event for the entire southern area! Since everyone was between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the bar couldn't serve any alcohol. So all of these young people were out of their minds on Extacy. The owner of W. C. Don's was no dummy -- he realized that this unpleasant drug actually sucks the fluid out of your brain and makes you ferociously thirsty, so the bar sold little plastic cups of tap water for $1 apiece. When he was paying us our $125 at the end of the night he told us that the bar had made $1,500 on tap water alone.

Later we learned that there was no one actually called Don, or even W. C., involved with this skanky place in any way. It was called that because the owner and his friends were sitting around trying to think of a name, and the best they could manage was "We Couldn't Decide On a Name." W. C. D. O. N.' s.

But we rocked W. C. Don's! The drug-addled teens hugged and shouted, especially when GT tossed florets of raw broccoli to them. We couldn't fail, because the drugs they had taken forced them to fall in love with anything anyone did. They loved us passionately. It really didn't matter that we were scorching the hell out the place. But we were anyway -- NDI doesn't know how to NOT rock!

In addition to broccoli, we also offered them a hurled gift of dozens of samples of coleslaw in little cups. This was back in the day when we would cruise out to the local supermarket when we got to town and acquire large amounts of any likely looking food item to offer to the crowd, in order to lure them closer to the stage. Alas, we had to lay off this practice as our fame grew. Huge unruly crowds would often hurl the items back at us, and if you were ever hit in the face with a raw chicken foot while you were on stage trying to sing, you would stop handing out raw chicken feet to drunk hicks, too.

While we are on topic of food, let's return to the topic of food. The morning after W. C. Don's, we went to eat and abuse each other at the nearest truck-stop diner. I cannot count how many times we went to places like this, always expecting to find some kind of authentic experience of the real flavor of the region. They say that you can tell if someone is insane because they do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Well, there we were in Mississippi, expecting different results. But it was the same thing! The same smell, the same sticky plastic tablecloth, the same menu, the same flies. The same waitress. It didn't matter if it was Louisiana, Maine, or Flin Flon, Manitoba: any place where the sign just said FOOD was going to serve up FOOD.

But the reason I am telling you this is that at this place there was one little different result: a menu item that was new to us! It was not a Monte Cristo, or a Lumberjack Skillet, or Chicken Planks. It was handwritten on a greasy little card that said "Special's" at the top and it was this: Mullet. What could it be? I guessed it was sheep. Goodtime, who at that time actually had a mullet, only a hair one, guessed some kind of giant pancake. Skipper was the only rock tourist who actually wanted to try mullet, so he decided to ask the waitress what it was the next time she came waltzing by with the Bunn coffeepot.

We are coming to what I guess you would call the "punch line." But you have to be paying attention or it will slip right past you.

The waitress hove to. She had her waitress pad out and her waitress pen, too. She was ready to take our order. But Skip upset the usual order of things by asking his question. He pointed at the greasy card and said, "What's mullet?"

The waitress thought for a second and then she said, and this is the punch line I told you about:

"Well, have you ever had mullet?"

I have been told by lots of people that explaining a joke is worse than telling it wrong, so I won't. But I will say that the waitress lady's question made about as much sense as us being in this restaurant at all, expecting to find a real experience of the local people and their way of life, their way of thinking.

Unless, wait, maybe we did find it.

Anyway it turns out mullet is a kind of trash fish, like croaker or buffalo. Skipper did order it and it was actually pretty good! It tastes kind of like mullet. We ate hearty and then we hit the road, heading out to a new town, a new club, a new FOOD.

Okay that is enough for today. See you soon you big baboons --


  1. Funny, funny, funny. If the knucklehead who writes 'dumbshitmydadsays' can get a tellyvision deal, I'm thinking you should get a big-time movie deal. Here's a request - tell us a story about the world-famous Royal Albert Arms. And please - come back to Winnipeg. MH

  2. Pigtail, you write your blog exactly the way you tell stories in the middle of songs, just with a few more words. Namely awesome and fun Here is my request. Can you put to pen, the long version of the history of the velour beast, the velour shirt, and the young horny teenagers who wear them?
    Please? This is Mark, the #1 fan


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