Provided Nothing Else is Going on, and it’s Free.

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

One of the tags of being a former Alabamian, is that every couple years. Some newspaper editor back home, will publish something outrageous, leaving me to try and explain. The public perception of Alabama is somewhere between “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Forrest Gump.” You can’t explain it away without context. You see something published in a newspaper, and you think it carries greater weight than just some opinion spouted by a crazy person. The last time it happened, I saw the town and thought, “My god, that town doesn’t have three hundred people it.” A newspaper published in a garage, and subscribed to as favor to his mother. And hand delivered by the publisher himself.

It’s that small town Southern character thing, “Yes, we let him leave his newspapers here at the drug store. We throw them away after a few days and give him a couple of dollars, when he asks about them. I’ve known his mother for years, and he gets depressed, when he thinks no one is reading his little newspaper.” The town literally shuts off the one streetlight at six o’clock. The skyline is a water tower, and for fun when the kids grow up, they play a game called leave. But as they say, “it’s a line drive in the box score.”

Mark Twain said, it takes two people to hurt you. One to say something about you, and the other to tell you about it. A big city editor, took a small-town story from a crank, novelty, newspaper and painted an entire state as Forrest Gump’s, dumber, racist relations. I won’t try to defend them here. Only to offer, that there isn’t a county in North America, where you couldn’t gather up a small crowd of the mentally unwell or educationally challenged.

Did you know that Georgia, is the largest state east of the Mississippi? Larger than Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, or Ohio. One drive from Atlanta to Savannah, will make you a believer. Miles and miles of unoccupied, forested woodlands. Unnervingly rural, so rural as to make you not pass up a gas station lightly. “Shouldn’t there be a light on, out there somewhere, occasionally?”

But they used to have a saying, when I lived in Chicago. “Just outside Chicago, there’s a place called Illinois.” It was accurate, there’s Chicago, and then there’s the rest of Illinois. You’ll hardly ever see a John Deere cultivator on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Once you leave Chicago, I hope you like farms! Just outside Atlanta, there’s a place called backwoods, fucking Georgia! There’s a reason why they filmed “Deliverance” in Georgia ya’ll. It wasn’t just a happy accident.

A co-worker was a huge Allman Brothers fan, and said he has visited Macon, Georgia, while in the service. He had left disappointed; he had this image of cool long-haired, rock & rollers. Riding motorcycles, hair flying loose in the breeze, and doing drugs in a “Far Out Man” Hippie commune dream. What he found was cheap rent, in a sleepy, small southern town, within driving distance of Atlanta.

So, Donald Twump kicks off the first leg of his, “No Fool, like an Old Fool” World Come Back tour in Perry, Georgia. Let me tell you about Perry, Georgia. Perry, Georgia, is South of Warner Robbins. See? Got your bearings yet? After Perry, it’s another hundred miles, before reaching Valdosta, following I-75.

Warner Robbins is the big town, where the Tasty Freeze stays open until 10:30 on the weekends. It’s the home of a large Air Force base, with a likely Conservative audience. Perry doesn’t have an air force base or sports team. If you check the local calendar of events, you’ll find, that there is not much going on in Perry, Georgia. Let’s run up the road to Warner Robbins and see what is going on there? Charlie Watts died, so the Stones aren’t coming, and the Pope canceled too.

Gee, it’s Saturday night in Perry! What can we do with ourselves to break the monotony, what can we do that’s free? We can go down to the filling station and count how many times the bell dings. Or maybe, pitch pennies downtown, until they roll up the sidewalks up at 8:00. This is the first former Presidential visit to Perry, since Jeff Davis passed through the town, fleeing from the Yankees. The former President, will be speaking at the prestigious “Fair Grounds” in Perry. Home of the Houston County Fair (Pronounced: House ton, Georgia) You’re in the country now, we’ll pronounce it any damn way we like! And the Annual, Houston County, Monster Truck Rally.

You still don’t think Twump is fading like cheap paint, on an old barn? Perry, Georgia, is still considered Twump Country. The former President can still draw crowd in a small, southern town on a Saturday night, provided that there are no competing events, and its free.

Somebody sat down long and hard and thought this all out. Where can Twump go, and still draw a friendly crowd? The first time Twump appears in a half-filled auditorium, is the last time, Twump appears at all. Twump has to convince his minions, that he’s still got it going on! “Perry, Georgia, that’s probably just a suburb of Atlanta.”

But the old orange Draft Dodger, codger was out of practice and orange rusty. He was more intellectually lazy than usual. The stated purpose of his visit was to support his hand-picked slate of candidates. Just in case, Perry’s population of 13,000 was wavering or unsure, on a Saturday night.

But sometimes, the Depends undergarments, just rub you the wrong way. It was Twump’s Vendetta Tour and was just that. An angry old man, trying to show off his waning power. His power to draw a crowd in Perry, Georgia on a Saturday night, if nothing else is going on and its free. A chance for the high school band to play, and the baton marchers and drum majorettes to perform. And Twump waved his hand saying, “Vote for my candidates!” without mentioning them by name, after venting his spleen about being cheated in the Presidential election. “Yeah, those guys, vote for them!”

Quake with fear Democrats, Twump can still draw a crowd in Perry, Georgia, south of Warner Robins, on a Saturday night. Provided nothing else is going on, and it is free. The AP report, failed to mention that Perry, Georgia, had lost its accreditation as a whistle stop years ago, or that its one horse had died. They told the story of a former President on campaign tour and left out, a few minor “comic” details.

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