About TBPD

16 March
Carmel, CA

17 March
Los Angeles, CA

18 March
Las Vegas, NV

19 March
Albuquerque, NM

20 March
Lubbock, TX

21 March
Dallas, TX

22 March
Dallas, TX (still)

24 March
Chattanooga, TN

25 March
Roanoke, VA

27 March
Philadelphia, PA

24 March 2000
Chattanooga, TN

My humblest apologies for not posting something last night. Just between you and me, I've been using the dial-in 800 number from my old job at Wired to get online while I travel around and yesterday they finally got wise to it. The nerve! After a good 1.5 years of service they go ahead and delete my password a mere two weeks after I quit working there. So I figured out a way around my internet problem and I'd tell you what it is but it's kind of boring and I want to keep my image as Master Hacker alive and well in this new millennium of ours.

Little kid outside my motel room just now: "We were just about to call the police."

Billboard: "Jesus loves you so much it hurts." The word "hurts" is beveled and the "t" is actually a crucifix. The overall look is like one of those "No Fear" t-shirts.

For the completists: I stayed in Memphis last night. Actually, West Memphis, which is still in Arkansas, although I didn't know that until I got to my room and saw something about Arkansas state laws on the door. I felt like a big dope. I was checking in and one clerk was trying to find my room on the Room Map and couldn't, and asked her cohort where #212 was and her cohort punched a finger right on it, way in the rear of the building. "Right there," she said. "That's the only room I know by heart. It's my favorite." She didn't elaborate, and my evening in #212, while perfectly acceptable, didn't strike me as being anything special, which led me to believe that the cohort had more personal reasons for appreciating the room. Also: Yesterday's fun fact is that Texas only has one natural lake. The many, many others are all man-made.

The bugs in the South are much bigger and meatier than the ones in the West. They make an alarmingly loud noise when smashing against my windshield and leave more, much more, than a generic white smear. Also, I think I took out some beautiful black butterflies today. A raccoon ran in front of my car last night and I avoided it, but what am I supposed to do with these butterflies flitting around, all unpredictable-like?

Did I just hear the Beta Band on that Levi's commercial? Oh good grief. I'm going back to the free HBO where I belong. Hm! Dean Cain is having sex with somebody! This is more like it!

I got pulled over today. You better believe I was nervous, especially with all my paranoia about rapist southern sheriffs.

Tennessee's Finest: Clocked you going 75 in a 65 zone.

Me: Goodness.

TF: Why don't you step out of the car.

M: Yes, sir. As an unrelated side note, I have open sores around my rectum.

It was at this point that I realized I was wearing this shirt. Thinking quickly, I grabbed my coat and put it on. Surely that didn't look suspicious. That was when TF started asking me if I had any firearms, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, etc. I said no and stupidly said he could frisk me to make sure — that was just what he wanted! It seemed like he lingered a little too long when groping the wallet in my hip pocket!

Then he searches my car, curiously ignoring the huge amount of crap in the backseat that's covered by a big blanket. Note to self: Hide dead bodies in backseat, in plain view, covered by blanket. It's the whole purloined letter thing.

He asked a lot of questions about why I happened to be on that road, which was not the main interstate. It seemed like he was baffled as to why anyone would bother being in Tennessee, which made sense. But he explained (and this is today's fun fact) that Highway 64 was a big drug-running route with people going to and from Memphis but wanting to avoid the main highway.

Oh holy cats! Eric Roberts just appeared in this Dean Cain movie! The day is saved!

Anyway, TF let me go with a mere verbal warning. He saw I was just an honest citizen who was leaning a little heavily on the pedal in order to get home to the loved ones. Amount of anal sex: O.

I was listening to a Bjork album as I cruised, just under the speed limit, through some rural areas of Tennessee and I thought: My, how inappropriate. And then I got to thinking about all the stories we've all heard about some kid in the middle of nowhere who hears a record and it opens their eyes to a whole new world or whatnot, and I never really had that experience but I was wondering what it would be like to be living in a tiny town in America and working the Dairy Queen and never having left the city limits and having this Bjork record fall in your lap, with the jungly beats and the Icelandic accent and everything processed and artificial and mechanical and urban and foreign. And this got me thinking, inevitably, about what it would be like to send a current album back in time to, say the 1950s. How would it affect people's heads to one minute be listening to Buddy Holly and the next hear something like Bjork, full stereo, electronic, a voice unlike anything even remotely heard before — a woman, no less! So I spent some time thinking about which album I'd most want to send back in time, which would have the most profoundly jarring effect.

I'm finding that my car feels like home now. I just got back in it to go get some food and it was like, Ahhhh. The motels aren't home, obviously, and I've left California and am not yet to Pennsylvania, so all that leaves me is the car. That's a little sad. The good news is that all twelve boxes made it to Alex's. The other good news is that we're finally in the same time zone.

Today's Lodging:

Best Western: Royal Inn. I am very, very impressed with the enormous TV which almost rivals Alex's in size. Almost. There is also a microwave and mini-fridge which, like the coffee-makers that seem to be standard equipment in motels these days, will go to waste on me.

Today's Facial Hair Report:

Cop repellent!

Noteworthy Beverages?

I'm really getting behind the idea of having a nice glass of ice water at my bedside every night because I always wake up thirsty. This morning I woke up thirsty and the closest thing was a half-empty can of warm Sprite, which I guzzled with feverish intensity. This I heartily unrecommend.

This has been a presentation of Fireland Text Products.