I consume a lot of fluids and I rarely like the taste of water so I purchased 4 flavors of single-serving instant iced teas.Â Raspberry is far and away the best and for whatever reason, those that contain “natural flavors” do not appear to be taxed in PA.Â Onto the day’s driving.
Our first stop for the day was Tomato Head in Knoxville, TN.Â A hippy sandwich joint that served food that was compatible with almost any set of arbitrary dietary restricts and at reasonable prices [except for the hummus platter.Â -S. Nieman].Â Outside, we met Ben and Aaron.
Ben’s in his late teens and radiates an aura of semi-smug competence in server.Â In meatspace, he was a little less sure of himself and seemed not to like that I had a quality picture of him derping.Â I find these gaps comforting.
Aaron is a student and restaurant service person also from the greater Knoxville area.Â He too was annoyed that only 2/3rds of the Knoxville sunsphere was properly shined and thus didn’t bring down airplanes.Â Lunch passed without incident and we went to the Mast General Store which is supposedly notable.Â Their bottom floor was legit outdoor equipment but the main area was mostly candy, clothing and kitsch.Â Not to say I’m not an occasional fan of the tawdry but this baby summarized my sentiment.
They had chicken hats.
We talked in the clothing section for about an hour and I was worried that we were loitering until I saw that Suzie had purchased a metal Batman sign.
We crossed Gay St. and dispersed after the customary distribution of stickers.
Knoxville bid us adieu without incident and we drove to Clarksville, TN to stay with Dan and Jill.Â I had previous met this husband and wife team after leaving the Great Smokey Mountains and it was a delight to meet them under less stark conditions that didn’t involve me stumbling out to civilization.Â They are transplants from Michigan and still have an aspect of “we’re not from around here” that makes out of town guests feel like their on the inside.Â Plus, their cat kind of looks like Hitler.
We shared Cheerwine and firecracker chocolate but more importantly Dan decreed that we must juice.Â So, we juiced and created a technicolor pulp pile from the watermelon, mango, cucumber, strawberries, and I think orange slain to prove Dan’s juicing prowess.
The evening progressed into my favorite past time of insulting someone playing a console as we yelled at Dan while he played Just Cause 2.Â He spent about an hour blowing up cars, refineries, and running helicopters into buildings without incident.Â I asked to try and I think I was headshot while picking lilies.Â This is why I hate consoles.
I slept that evening on an air mattress that didn’t quite have its shit together and had to rewake to re-inflate it.Â During a late evening bathroom trip, I noticed that the house still had the same bottle of Transformers Bubble Bath as last time I’d been there a year ago.Â Maybe it’ll evaporate off like a fine bottle of Crown Royal.