Monday, May 21, 2012

From Mummy to Barbecue in One Wrong Turn

So it all started with plans to go to Statesville last weekend to visit some of Bill's family.  A friend of mine reminded me that there is a small museum in Statesville, and in that small museum in that small town in North Carolina, there is a real, honest-to-goddess Egyptian mummy.  Now, I'm all in favor of visiting Bill's family and keeping in touch with these people who were kind to him when he was young, but now I've found there's a mummy involved--let's go!!

So this was our plan, to visit Uncle Linford, and, unbeknownst to Bill, I was going to try and convince him to drop me in town so I could find the museum and see the mummy. 

You might know us well enough now to realize that this is not actually what we did that weekend.  We got talking about how we would like to ride the bikes while the weather is wonderful, but I didn't want to commit to such a long trip, so agreed to ride on Saturday and go to Statesville on Sunday (when the museum would be closed, I was sure), but Sunday was mother's day, and well...  We never did make it to Statesville, but there's always next weekend!

All this is to get us to Saturday morning while we sat at the coffee shop table and out came the iPhones and the Androids, and the google maps, and we were planning an impromptu ride on what promised to be a gorgeous, windy road to Carthage and a well-known Carolina BBQ joint.  The men pored over maps, and the women talked gossip, and the men planned a trip and the women talked gossip, and then, off we went... to breakfast down the road, where we ran into friends and learned that some of us had promised to garden today but changed those plans in favor of the open road, southern BBQ, and Carthage.

But, it turns out, we didn't quite do this either.  Unfortunately the gossiping women left the men alone to plan the trip, and we went left when we should have gone right, which was east when we should have gone west, and with a shrug of the shoulders, we were off at delightful speeds, the wind whisping past us, nothing but open air and open road, confidently, beautifully, joyously, in the wrong direction.

Which we figured out when we got in to Wilson.  Now this was fine by me, 'cuz I've been trying for a year or more to ride to Wilson to go to a pagan store I know about and have wanted to check out. So I pulled out the handydandy iPhone and found the store I wanted while also finding Parkers BBQ, just down the road.  Perfect.  And off we all went, headed to Parkers.

The parking lot was packed--a good sign for sure--and we were greeted at the door by a smiling white guy who waved us in.  The first room is a typical restaurant room with tables and chairs, and we walked with the host through this room to the enormous back room filled to the brim with tables, chairs, and scores and scores of white people.  We held our helmets and our jackets squeaked, and our boots clomped, and all this became incredibly noticeable as people in the restaurant looked up, dropped their food-laden forks, their mouths agape, as they STARED AT US AS IF WE CAME FROM MARS.  You could have heard a pin drop, which is why we did distinctly hear the woman gasp, "Oh. My. God." as we walked past.  The silence of a 100 southerners NOT eating their BBQ was deafening.


Are we REALLY that scary?  The social worker?  The resident coordinator?  The respiratory therapist?  The customer service specialist?  REALLY???

I put my helmet and jacket down at the table, and headed for the rest room.  It had been three hours, after all...  In there were two girls--probably about ten years old.  They saw me walk in, and one grabbed the other.  They ran into a stall and slammed the door, locking themselves in, where they stayed till I left.  I could just about hear their teeth chattering through the stall.  Oh MY!!

But all that was no biggie.  We are our own entertainment, and so we had delicious BBQ, we went on to the pagan store, and we had a WONDERFUL afternoon.  All the riding left us happily tired and a bit sore, and that was all perfect!