Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Tellico Junction Cafe
The Tellico Junction Café, a landmark of downtown Englewood, Tennessee. [Photo courtesy Teresa.]

Set aside your brain
And get on the little train to the junction.
(Tellico Junction)
You won’t get much sleep,
There’s Inflatable Sheep at the junction.
(Tellico Junction)

Lotsa curves, you bet -
Even more when you get
To the junction.
(Tellico Junction)

There’s a little blogmeet
That is really neat near the junction.
(Tellico Junction)
With the Straight White Guy
You can go get fried at the junction.
(Tellico Junction)
And that’s Grouchy Denny,
He’s actin’ sorta friendly at the junction.
(Tellico Junction)

There are people of a Certain Age who will have no trouble recognizing the (somewhat altered) lyrics to the theme song of a television program that ran from 1963-70. The show was one of several popular sitcoms that celebrated the virtues of Rural Life and the idiocy of Rural People. Or so it seemed to me at the tender age of, say, eleven.

We have our own way of celebrating Rural Life in this day of the Internet; of blogs, Facebook and Twitter; of texting, sexting, and Swine Flu Infexting. And that is to head out to McMinn County, Tennessee on a weekend in late October, there to celebrate the birthday of Eric, the Straight White Guy.

Fall Colors HDR
The Straight White Neighborhood at dusk.

The agenda varies from year to year in its minor details, but there are generally certain Traditional Elements. Friday dinner, a honkin’ big salad and several pans of baked ziti by the lovely Boudicca (this year with meat sauce contributed by Eric hizzownself). Saturday morning, a typical Southern country breakfast at the Tellico Junction Café. Saturday evening, Eric’s country-style ribs and a pot of Englewood Baked Beans. Sunday morning, a pile of scrambled eggs and whomp biscuits whipped up by Yours Truly, accompanied by SWMBO’s amazing Apricot Kugel... after which everyone scatters to the four winds.

There are other activities besides Face-Stuffing, of course. For example, there is a certain amount of Drinkage, to be expected any time a small mob of Online Journalists gathers. And there are sundry other pleasures.

This year, alas, no shooting, thanks to a week of wet weather that left the range a bit swampy. But we have Eric’s pool table by way of compensation... and, this year, a fleet of model rockets courtesy of Yabu. (I even brought one that had been moldering in my basement for 27 years... now it’s moldering in the woods behind the Straight White Compound, where it is likely to stay for the next 27 years.) And we have Dolly, the inflatable Love-Ewe. And the Bully. And the Pachinko Machine. And guitars. And pith helmets. (“No matter who you’re with, it’s good to take a pith!”)

The best part about the weekend is the chance to reconnect with Blodgy Friends... and make new ones. Dax Montana, Grouchy Old Denny, Recondo 32 and Georgia, LeeAnn, Bou, Jerry, Teresa, Yabu, Richard, Tommy, and El Capitan were all there this year. (A few of the Usual Suspects were, alas, missing this year... but that’s life.) Nevertheless, we have ample time to swap stories, fire rockets, test people’s olfactory capabilities (“Get a whiff of this with your eyes closed. Can you guess what it is?” “Why... it’s a Bull Scrotum!”), and watch Eric tweeze belly-hairs from an absinthe-raddled, passed-out Dax.

These annual Hysterics at Eric’s are a little hard to describe to those who have never experienced a blogmeet, but you can take it to the bank - we know how to enjoy a weekend. All that’s missing is the railroad water tank for the ladies to use for skinny-dipping!

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