August 19, 2014

In 2008, I had a decision to make:  Head east to Nashville and go fishing for a job, or head north to Iowa and do something similar.  The day before being stuck having to make this decision, I played a gig in Peducah, Kentucky with Midnight Louise, a cover band that a few of my friends started at Delta State.  I played bass. The gig in Peducah payed $200 for each of the three of us.  To me, 200 bucks was plenty of money to last a long time so long as no bills were due, and, bills aren't due for anyone so long as you have good friends with comfortable couches.  My friends were all good, and they all had comfortable couches.  Looking back on it, I probably owe people several thousand for back rent.  The checks may or may not be in the mail.  
Now, bear with me a minute as I have back stories stacked on back stories.  A few years after my dreadful chicken grilling experience mentioned in the previous episode of Weejy's World Confidential (find it in the July Skinny), I moved to Iowa.  That takes us all the way back to January of 2008.  An oldie, but a goodie. My mission in Iowa was, with the hired help of three Amish dudes, to remodel a newly acquired house that my parents bought as a more or less "hunting lodge."  When I first moved there, I had the option to, until the house was finished, stay at the home of a former Olympic gold medalist turned land realtor who my father had met through the Iowa land reality grape-vine.  But, I was determined to rough it out in the new house with no central heat and no running water.  
For the record, January in Iowa is bitterly cold, around 17 degrees on average with lows that regularly dip into the single digits. I sectioned off one room in the house with painters plastic taped right down the middle of the room and kept a small electric heater on high.  For bedding, I slept on a twin air mattress that rivaled in competition to some of the couches I'd slept on.  For entertainment, I had a 15 inch T.V./VCR combo with one VHS: This Is Spinal Tap.  One of the Amish dudes was kind enough to offer his family's shower until running water was restored and a shower was installed in the house.  I couldn't resist that invitation based on the fact that, well, how many opportunities do you get in life to use the facilities of the Amish? If you're wondering, Amish folks have the same showers and use the same shampoos as us regular folk.  It's a bit of a let down, I know.  But it's the truth.  I can vividly recall listening to Super Bowl 42 on the radio while painting the living room of my parents Iowa house.  I leapt when Eli Manning connected with David Tyree in "The Helmet Catch," and in the next minute when Tom Brady's unbeaten Patriots fell to the former Ole Miss star's Giants, all of Stockport, Iowa (population 290) probably knew not only that they had a brand new resident, but also where their brand new resident came from.  
On July 5th of 2008, I had a decision to make:  Head east to Nashville and go fishing for a job, or head north, back to Iowa, and do something similar.  With 200 bucks in my pocket after a July 4th Midnight Louise gig in Peducah, Kentucky, I was determined that Nashville was the rational decision.  After all, the house that I, along with the hired help of three Amish dudes were working on, had been finished for several months.  I had basically been living on rice and pancakes for about a week previously (but that's a different story that is somehow related to the Iowa floods of 2008).  My work in Iowa was done (or so I thought).  It was time to take on "Music City."  I turned my Honda southeast onto Interstate 24.  "All will be well in Nashville," I thought to myself.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  I didn't know it at the time, but I was destined to redeem myself from the chicken debacle mentioned in the last episode.  Yes, I would eventually have to cook another chicken breast.  But this time around, it would be the greatest chicken breast of all time and fate would not have me cook it in Nashville, Tennessee.  Not by a long shot.  To be continued...