The Legend-News

Monday, 2000 October 16 : Volume 3, Number 37

What We Got Here

Convoy 2000, Day Four: the front door is in Illinois, the back door is in Oklahoma, and the rocking chair's in Missouri. There are some New Items In The Museum, and the Song A’ Th’ Week tells the tale of the Invasion of Telluride in "Crispy Critters".

FYI: The Legend-News will not be published next week. Our next issue, and the exciting (yeah, right) conclusion of Convoy 2000, will on 30 October.

Convoy 2000: Day Four

Friday, 9 June 2000
8:01 A.M. in Bloomington, Illinois. If Skywalker was correct, his Geo would have been repaired at 4 P.M. yesterday (6 P.M. my time). Given fourteen hours, I figured that he would try to make up for lost time by driving as long as possible. Assuming a steady 50 miles per hour average, he should now be somewhere in Oklahoma, east of Oklahoma City.

Snoopy should have been with me, but he'd started late on Thursday morning and didn't make that night's stop in Bloomington. Unbeknownst to me, he wasn't too far back, in St. Louis. Could he overtake me during this day?

I expected that the worst traffic of the trip would be today, because we'd be driving on I-80 south of Chicago and through northwest Indiana. Even on a good day — and I've never had a good day driving in northwest Indiana — getting from the Illinois border to the Indiana Toll Road would take an hour. I'm crossing my fingers.

9:27. North on I-55, and I'm now eastbound on I-80. A few miles later, it merges with I-94.

10:26. Crossing I-65 in Indiana.

10:33. On the Indiana Toll Road (I-80). Two miles until the first toll booth.

10:48. Finally reached the toll booth. Yeah, 2 miles in fifteen minutes. The Wanderful State of Indiana, on a Friday morning, has only two booths open at the cash box. Your tax dollars at work.

Not much happened for the rest of the day. I got a few hails on the CB, including one from Black Sheep out of Brooklyn, Michigan, who's hauling a camper. He tells me that I'm the first Convoy 2000 vehicle that he's seen on I-80, so I'm pretty sure that Snoopy is still behind me.

Snoopy Come Home (Part Three)

When last we left our Marine buddy, he was sacked out in St. Louie.

Next morning, forgot to go through town and get a picture of the Arch. Saw it once in the distance from I-270. Oh well.

Hit Chicago just in time for Friday afternoon rush hour. The highway into town was under construction, and I foolishly didn't take the alternate. Traffic was heavy but moving OK before the construction bottled it down to one lane. Already seven hours behind schedule, I got three miles in 40 minutes. Then got to witness Chicago drivers in all their glory. I saw a church van take on an 18-wheeler just after the turnpike toll plaza. The 18-wheeler did not give an inch (it would have tripled his separation from the van), and literally forced the van off the pavement onto the median. They didn't collide, so I suppose someone must have caved. Then an RV with trailer was stalled in my lane, and it took me about five minutes to change lanes. Truly Chicago drivers are not ordinary humans.

Departed the convoy route in Indiana so I could pop up to Michigan, where I'm not sure I'd ever been. Got lost briefly when US 31 disappeared in a little town. Ate lunch, saw a bumper cruncher (is it against people's religion to look over their shoulder when they back up? And do they really need to back up at 5 mph? Second time I've seen the same accident in a few weeks) in the McDonald's parking lot, found the Indiana Turnpike again, pushed on through Indiana and Ohio, and made it to Youngstown, the scheduled stop for Day 4, about 2:00 in the morning. No luck finding Ed.

— Snoopy

3:22 and I'm over the Indiana/Ohio border. By the way, just before I got to the Indiana Toll Road I moved over one more time zone, so that's 3:22 Eastern Daylight Saving Time. About 6 I pulled off the Ohio Turnpike and drove a few miles to Milan, Ohio. I called Lisa from a pay phone at the Wal-Mart, clogged my arteries with a Big Mac and fries, gassed up and went.

At 8:50 I pulled into the Super 8 in Austintown, Ohio, just outside of Youngstown. No Snoopy, no Skywalker, just me. I'm starting to wonder if I'll be the only one to make the finish line in Atlantic City.

Next: Day Five: We (yes, we) lay a strip for the Jersey shore.

New Items In The Museum

The Museum of C.W. McCall and Other Wild Places has added two items to its collection. The first is a ticket for a free visit to the drive-in theater in Pisgah, which is mentioned in the song "Old Home Filler-Up An' Keep On A-Truckin' Café".

18 wheels and a chaperone
The movie was True Grit, but you already knew that.

I know where the theater is/was, in the gas station that's down the street from the Old Home Café. I can't tell you more about F.E. Miller, yet. But I can tell you that Skywalker (a.k.a. T A Chafin) scored the card for me, after getting one of his own through an eBay auction.

Item 2 is an Old Home Bread coffee mug. No, not like the ones that you can buy at the Old Home Café, but one that was made during the original run of the 1970s television commercials.

A cup a' hot C
If you can't figure out who's who, C.W. is the one with the "C.W." over his right breast pocket, and Mavis is the one with the "Mavis" name tag.

FYI: although that is a picture of my mug, it's not my picture. I borrowed it from the eBay page that offered the mug for auction. The seller and photographer was Sandy Fienhold of Empty Clown Collectibles, 3310 Avenue A, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

Song A’ Th’ Week

Continuing the Fries/Davis compositions from A to Z...

Bill Fries says that this is based on a true story from the late '60s, when a band of hippies rolled into Telluride and decided to stay.

Crispy Critters
(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)
From the album Wilderness

One day about four or five years ago Conoco logo
We is settin' at the Conoco station
Kickin' tires, and swattin' flies,
And discussin' the State of the Union
When right out in front of the Baptist church
Come a big ol' purple school bus
Had astrological signs upon it
And thirty-five hippies and dogs inside
About half of 'em went for the courthouse lawn
And them dogs commenced on the fireplug
Rest of 'em set there starin' at us
And I says, "Roy, go get your Flit gun"
He says, "Which is the hippies? And which is the dogs?"
I says, "Beats the hell outta me, Roy."
What they was, was a bunch a' them Crispy Critters
And their leader was a space cadet

He says, "Sagittarius, we has arrived.
"Prepare to disembark, men.
"Get the incense goin' and the sitar out
"We gonna camp in the city park, man."

I says, "Boys, let me explain the situation to ya.
"A: you're gettin' me down
"And B: we got us a leash law here
"And C: you in the wrong town.
"You drop one string a' beads in that there park
"And you gonna see a whole lotta stars.
"You got fifteen seconds to get out of town, boys,
"Or we gonna blow ya ta Mars."

Well, they all got back in the purple bus
And proceeded to the city limits.
Then the telephone rang, was the swimmin' pool
Says a mess a' wild Critters was in it!
So we all got in the Marshal's Plymouth
(Which is always at the Conoco station)
Went flashin' on down to the swimmin' pool
To give them Critters a citation

By the time we arrived, it was too damn late
Them critters is all had their pants down
Them dogs was tearin' the bathhouse apart,
And they's after the fish in the fish pond!
I says, "Roy, you get the one in the silver T-shirt
"And I'll get the rest with a net.
"We gonna have a jail full a' naked Crispy Critters
"And a drip-dry space cadet."

[You've watched The Dukes of Hazzard, haven't you? C'mon, admit it; nobody's looking. Well, at this point in the song there's a short interlude which resembles a car chase on Dukes. There's banjo pickin' and yee-hawin' and a general sense of raucous abandon. Oh, yeah, and a few dog barks. It's round-up time at the swimmin' pool.]

Well, we gave 'em hell, but we lost the war
'Cause them Critters outnumbered us
So they moved in and set up camp
And they lived in that purple school bus
Six weeks later, there was nothin' in town
But eighty-four dogs and a head shop
Sellin' dried up weeds, and sunflower seeds,
And astrological postcards

Yeah, Critters took over the City Council
And the dogs all barked their brains out
And the whole damn town was Crispy Critters
And the mayor was a space cadet

"Crispy Critters" can be found on the album C.W. McCall’s Greatest Hits.

The Legend-News is Copyright 2000 TechRen Enterprises. I swear, you've got to be double-jointed to finger an F chord on the guitar. Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music.