I left Columbia not knowing if I was going north or south, instead waiting from a call from a somewhat down on his luck fellow that lived in upper Missouri. I had two hours before I had to choose but he politely called shortly after my departure. Missouri’s state roads are lettered instead of number which led to some odd pictures:
Like some sort of giant outdoor library
Missouri was the first area I’d consider specifically rural on my route, having towns with populations under 2000 and normally defunct places like Esso gas stations or Western Auto. All of the general stores had 7-Up signs that were originally sold in the early 1980s as part of a marketing campaign and a few other vestiges of old time I rarely encounter except for in vintage stores or when making odd detours on road trips. The cars seemed to be about 10 years older on average bringing back memories of my 1983 Dodge Ram Charger and my father’s string of Jeep Wagoneers. Finally, there was the haphazard distribution of livestock standing as neither the lone dairy cow nor the proper herd but a clutch of 8-25 on a 40 acre plot.
I met Mathew Krieg/Blitz at his home and listed to his tale of woe brought on by his ur-bitch ex-girlfriend.
He has a dog, Chloe, and a cat, Zoe.
She needs a haircut
I gave him stickers, and talked, got a Hy-Vee diet cola and headed south.
Driving to Oklahoma involved crossing Kansas which, while flat, I thought would be flatter. I suppose there’s a different profile north/south rather than east/west but I was looking for infinite grassland nothingness and was met with just enough dips and inclines to confuse the hell out of cruise control. I arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma and prattled like a schoolgirl with Rev until 3 AM under the glowing light of his TV which is never to be turned off… which I did. Foreshadowing for the next day.
I was on my treadmill talking in Team Interrobang’s VoIP client when another member said they had a favor to ask of me. We move to another channel and he asks me to order him a pizza from a place down the street from him which is still 900 miles from as he lives in a college town in Kentucky. Apparently, his girlfriend took their mobile phone to work and with no landline I, walking on a treadmill 900 miles away, was the only impediment to him dying of starvation. So he gives me his order, address, and his credit card number. All goes swimmingly, the delightful accent of the sorostitute that answered the phone, the country/western hold music and the order itself, until she asks the following:
Pizza Shop Employee: Ok, so that’s one Baldie’s Special no olives. What’s the phone number for this order.
Me: I don’t know.
Pizza Shop Employee: Uh…
-Contemporaneously with yokel confusion-
My Brain: Fool! You’re using a phone give her that number!
Me: Yes. I just got a new Google voice number, I’ll use that.
My Brain: Now you’re thinking. Good thing you didn’t give her the number for the phone you’re currently using that you could respond to immediately, that would make sense.
Me: *gives Google voice number to which I only get messages as a mp3 in my inbox until I setup forwarding*
My Brain: You’re a genius!
I later found out that his orders can be practically delivered on foot and he probably could have ordered by opening his appartment window and yelling. I guess in his imaciated state he lacked the energy to do such. I was miffed until I realized something: I still have his credit card number, expiration date, and card verification code in a text file on my desktop that’s been recently renamed “Blitz_Blackmail.txt”.