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2003-07-04 - 9:09 a.m.

Yesterday I had a strange experience. I went with Jon to his hometown in West Georgia.

He's told me about it before. In all of Heard County, there's only one stoplight. I was expecting a lot less than what was actually there. I saw a main downtown area, and there was a 2 lane highway cutting through part of it. His folks live off a dirt road, across a wooden bridge that goes over a creek.

The first thing he showed me was the KKK house. No shit, there's a big sign that says KKK headquarters. I can't remember if it said county headquarters, or what. We drove past it, and Jon asked if I saw the sign. I missed it; I saw a house that said "The Thompsons," a sign that said quilts for sale, and some kids playing out in the swing on the front yard. We drove by it again. The front porch of the house had two statues of people in their KKK getup. And the large, swinging KKK sign was right there. Interesting to me that I managed not to see it the first time.

These kids playing outside this KKK house with statues of clansmen set the tone for Creepsville.

Maybe it's because I grew up in the far north; maybe it was all the thick Southern accents; maybe it was the confederate flag flying everywhere. The whole town gave me the creeps. Jon stopped and talked with some old southern gentleman who looked to me as though he was straight out of some old movie about the south. He had the suspenders and everything, talking about how his aunt moved to Augusta back in the 40's, due to the jobs there because of the war. Who speaks about WWII as though it just happened?

We stopped at Hardee's because Jon's little brother was working there. Jon didn't introduce me and chatted with his brother. I was starving, but when I went to the bathroom at Hardees, there was a pool of vomit next to one of the toilets. I make it a general rule never to eat at places that have vomit in their bathrooms. His brother was a little strange; or maybe it was the strangeness of the whole place. He drives a truck that has a wooden bed.

When we went to his parents house, there was no one home. Two dogs ran out to us. There was a paddle boat and an old '46 ford truck, or somewhere around that time period, sitting out in the grass and rusting. Going in the house was strange. It looked like kids lived there. There was a lot of clutter and dirty dishes, bags of trash in the kitchen. Now I don't profess to be the cleanest or least cluttered person by any means, but I couldn't believe two adults with grown children managed this place. To top off all the weirdness, Jon's stepdad does wooden carvings, and there was a carving of some large breasted woman that he was working on, with her hands behind her and her legs crossed, and her mouth wide open.

Jon found some mail for him. He gets his insurance bill mailed to his parent's home. There was a bill from May, and another notification saying if he doesn't pay the bill his insurance would be cancelled. Jon was upset. He started cursing and saying how he'd never have found out his insurance was cancelled, and he even told his mom to open one of the envelopes to look at the bill, and she said she'd send it to him, and look it was still on top of the piano. We left without leaving a note or saying hi to his parents, or anything. He said that's why he tries not to go home so much, he becomes irritated every time.

To someone like me, family is very important. I can't imagine being home and not saying hi to my folks, or at least leave a message. He's not even going to call them to say that he'd stopped by.

Going home I asked if we could stop somewhere and get something to eat. He asked what, and I said it didn't matter, I was just hungry. He said what about Chick Filet? And I said no, because it was expensive. We had just been talking about how he'd have to pay for me because I only have $2, and he didn't want to stop at an atm for me. He became very irritable with me about the whole food thing. Later, I lied to him and said I wasn't hungry just to get him to stop talking to me, and I tried to sleep to get my mind off it. There's nothing worse than being trapped in a car with someone who's mad at you.

All in all, a very strange experience.

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