Friday, September 26, 2008

Bunting Galore

I had the good fortune of spending yesterday with Kelly Hogan, Neko Case, the great pedal steel guitarist Jon Rauhouse, the artist enigmatically known as "Judge" (well, it's her surname, which is not really enigmatic) and Howe Gelb, the genius of Giant Sand (a Barry B. "fave" band) and OP8. But I'm not going to tell you about it! The events of the day will most likely be related in an article in the upcoming Oxford American music issue. I CAN tell you this: at Neko's show last night, I ran into good neighbor John T. Edge, who is in charge of the food around tonight's presidential debate. John T., who used to live, as I did, in Atlanta, clued me in that he had invited the fine folks from Atlanta's Taqueria del Sol (a personal "fave" spot of Mr. Edge and myself) to bring some of their fried chicken tacos and beef brisket tacos to the people of Oxford, MS. I swore a pact upon the spot to meet John T. on campus, in front of the taco tent! And so I did, for I often crave the delicious tacos of Tacqueria del Sol but now I live so very far away. I was the first in line, twenty minutes before they started serving. And because of security surrounding the debate, I LITERALLY had to walk MILES for my tacos! But there was trouble. A petty bureaucrat appeared and tried to tell the taco makers that they could not serve their tacos because of some miniscule paperwork error. Next thing you know, I heard some local guy on the phone with the GOVERNOR'S office! Like (I'm paraphrasing), "Get me the Governor! There's taco trouble!" So the Governor of Mississippi stepped in (saying something like, I suppose, "I am suspending this debate until we solve this taco crisis!") and allowed me to have my tacos. Later, by coincidence, I was strolling along eating a fried chicken taco about two feet from where the governor emerged from his car. And I held up my taco and yelled, "Thanks for the taco, Governor!" Then I ran and hid because I was afraid of being tasered. I ate another taco while seated on a hay bale, like I was at some kind of old-timey political gathering. Which I was! I mean, the old man seated on the next hay bale over was wearing a straw boater with a red-white-and-blue band! A gospel choir was singing and the national networks walked among us. There was bunting galore. Walking around Oxford yesterday, Jon Rauhouse observed, "It looks like they're filming INHERIT THE WIND here." (He also delighted in repeating the word "bunting" at every appropriate moment.) At today's festivities, I was also obliged to enjoy a sausage dog, because Chef Dan Latham (erstwhile owner of the late, great L&M) was cooking them. When you see Dan Latham and pork in the same spot, you don't walk away! I was a little perturbed because a guy held a McCain sign directly over my head the entire time I was standing in line for my sausage dog. It is a free country, I guess! I am not trying to get "political." But it is rude to hold a sign over someone else's head. Consider, sir, how it reflects on your candidate! I did not say this at the time. I am afraid I just made funny faces at the cashier, as if to say, "Get a load of this guy!" I'm pretty sure I'm passive-aggressive. (Above, straw boaters. Below, flags and stuff.)