Adventures in (and on the Way to) Texas: MP Johnson's 6th Column

Jun 25, 2006

Adventures in (and on the Way to) Texas

A key piece of conversation that repeatedly appeared as K and I prepared for our trip to Texas was the possibility of encountering chainsaw-wielding rednecks that would kill us and wear our flesh. Of course, all such conversations were in jest. Everyone knows it’s only in the movies that Texas has such characters, whereas our home state of Wisconsin features the real skin-peelers and heart-eaters. However, our first turn off the highway in Texas gave us reason to reconsider.

We saw a sign that we were certain directed us to take the next exit to get to the Texas visitors center, so we did. Moments later, the blacktop exit turned to gravel and I slowed as I saw that the road was leading us straight to a rundown, weathered shack. Rusty tin cans hung from the porch of the joint as makeshift wind chimes.

Reaching an intersection, I looked to the right. Nothing. I looked to the left. That way appeared to trail off past a few junk cars and go into the woods.

Wondering what to do, I gazed up at the crooked old green street sign.

We were on Stabbing Road.

 I crept forward into the steep driveway of the hellish shack that sat in front of us. It was the only way I would be able to turn around and go back to where we came from. As I inched forward, I looked up at the beaten wooden sign that hung over the entrance of the driveway. It was too worn to read, but it may very well have said Gorefuck place.

Before a seven-foot-tall spike-wielder could burst out of the beaten door of the shack waiving a half-eaten hand at me, I put my car in reverse and darted back down to the safety of the highway.

Hell Promise: Aim for Hell CD (RocketStar Music)

 Speaking of mutant killers, these metalcore muck-spewers try to be ugly and mean. Instead, they come off like a tepid bunch of buffoons who would have difficulty skinning your wheelchair-bound grandma. Sure, they know the metalcore growl and scowl game. Sure, they’ve got a few of the right riffs. They’ve got the routine down and they may very well look scary, but when it came down to doing what needed to be done, they’d end up running in fear as granny smacked them up with her large-print books. The drummer would probably choke on his own fear-induced vomit before being mashed to the ground under grandma’s spinning wheels. It’s unlikely that the rest of the gang would fare much better.

Blue Bloods: Death of a Salesman CD (I Scream Records)

This music has fresh scars on its knuckles. Last night, it was down at the bar, sipping a beer. It ran into some friends. Jabs were thrown in jest. The volume went up. New tattoos were shown off. When one of the guys went to gesture about how big the fish he caught the other weekend was, his elbow got caught on the throat of some by-passer. Words were volleyed. Mean words. It’s amazing how fast words can transition to fists in situations like those. Anyway, the other guy caught the brunt of it. Somehow, the night ended up with him joining the rest of the guys for a round of beers, shaking hands, and telling old battle stories. This music adds to the romantic, rough-and-tumble vision of Boston painted by all the tough guy, hardcore rock and roll bands from that neck of the woods.

Adventures in (and on the Way to) Texas II

On our last day in Austin, we were strolling around the 6th street area, looking for a pink cowboy hat as a gift for a friend. We didn’t find one, but we ran into a twitching woman in a wheelchair who told us her people had left her behind.

“I’m not going to ask you for any money,” she said. “I just need someone to push me down the street.”

We all sort of shrugged our shoulders. Kristen grabbed the wheelchair and started pushing.

“But can I have a dollar?”

Our unanimous reply was, “Ummmmm…”

“Just kidding. Are you all from Austin?”

“No, actually, we’re from Wisconsin,” we replied.

“What the hell are you doing here?” she said.

We explained that we were on a trip. Weather was discussed. I think she asked if we lived in igloos.

She stared at me and K with her one eye opened wide and her other fluttering half-shut. “Are you two married?”

“No,” was my reply.

“God no!” was K’s.

“Well, let me marry you right now? Do you want to get married?” She asked, flailing about with her pointer finger and her head rolling all over the place in her wheelchair.

“Okay,” we said, noncommittally.

The lady mumbled something about the powers invested in her and declared us man and wife. She added that it wasn’t really official, but it was just as good, because blah blah blah.

She took the conversation in a less cheerful direction, letting us know that she had MS and asking us if she should just give up on life. I believe our response was, “Nah.”

We reached the point where we had to go in one direction and she had to go in the other. She begged us to push her another five blocks to somewhere because that was where her people were. I walked away, somewhat annoyed. The rest of the gang followed.

As the woman cruised away, pushing her wheelchair faster than we had been pushing it, she yelled back at us, in the nicest voice I’ve ever heard such a thing said, “Go back to where you came from!”

Dead Pets: The Revenge of the Village Idiots (Village Idiot Records)

I don’t know where these guys are coming from. Oi with a horn section? Oi with a sense of humor? Oi with a mild horror theme? Horny Horror ComedOI? As strange as it sounds, these guys make it work. Most of the time, when you throw random ingredients into a musical stew like this, you end up getting a really disgusting drink that you trick your little brother into chugging so you can laugh when he vomits it up. This disc is vomit free! is also vomit free! Go there to read some stuff while you’re waiting for next month’s column, in which you’ll be able to read more installments of Adventures in (and on the Way to) Texas.

When I vomit, I feel bad for wasting food and drink. Milk doesn’t build healthy bones when it’s splattered on the sidewalk with chunks of potato wedges.