I went to an all girls college from 1987-1990 in Gainesville, Georgia called Brenau.
I was the 6th person in my family to attend this academic facility and after 29 years, 22 days I am still friends with my first room mate Shawn. Shawn was the poet to my warrior…the logic to my madness… and in the second year of our scholastic journey, Shawn asked me to go to Pikeville, Kentucky for Thanksgiving to spend it with her boyfriend Mike’s family. I considered it to be a fantastic opportunity for adventure and I had never been to Kentucky.
And this is where the fun begins….
When you are young a 12 hour drive in a used Toyota Celica with shitty suspension, is no big deal. Armed with $50.00 for gas (gas was CHEAP back then), snacks and what we stuffed into our suitcases, we were off and running…..without a care in the world, we crossed over mountains and valleys heading north like our asses were on fire. It was thanksgiving vacation and we had a whole week to ourselves!!!
We finally arrived in Pikeville, Kentucky but Shawn kept driving… we went past the town of Pikeville, past remote houses, up into the mountains…and I kept thinking…”Wow, they must have an awesome piece of property up here in the mountains! The view is phenomenal!”… I mentioned this to Shawn and she laughed and shook her head and said..”Oh yes, it’s phenomenal (insert wicked laugh)…and there are a few rules you must abide by”…
- If Mike and Virgil go up into the mountains, don’t follow them
- There is a hole in the tub so when you take a shower don’t fall through
- They don’t exactly have a house but a trailer they have added onto over the years.
- we will have to share a room and maybe with 2 other people…
- Be careful if they invite you to play cards
Well, there was nothing I could do about it now but go along for the ride.
We drive up this narrow dirt road to the end of a holler and here we were greeted by what I could only describe as Rob Zombie’s insane mountain cousins.
With a deep swallow, I greeted everyone happily and continued inside.
They had dinner waiting for us and it was very, very tasty. The conversation was joyful and spirited and the subject of Spades came up (see rule #5). Me not wanting to be rude, stated I would be happy to play cards but I didn’t know the first thing about the game but they assured me they would teach me and I would have fun.
Virgil, Mike’s father grabbed some cards and Mike, Shawn, Virgil and Mike’s best friend ( I am withholding his name for a future story….trust me , its worth it..) settled in and the cards were delt. Mike’s Mom poured us some tea and gave us some snacks and my Spades education began.
The more we played, the thirstier I got. The house was heated with kerosene heaters and it was a tad toasty. I asked for several refills of this tea over a period of a couple of hours. I had never had sweet tea this good before and I enjoyed each glass immensely. Snacking ensued, more games were played and much laughter filled the house…
I asked Shawn if she wanted some tea…and she laughed evilly and said “no, no…I am just fine”… Her reaction was peculiar after all it was just tea…
I kept getting hungrier and hungrier and I couldn’t eat enough. I also couldn’t stop laughing.. Neither could the rest of the people in the house…The more I laughed, the more they did…it was a vicious circle of craziness and I couldn’t escape. I felt like I was floating and figured I was so hopped up on sugar I knew I was bound to have a stroke any minute or at the very minimum, hoark up a kidney.
I asked how much sugar was in that tea! …. That’s when everyone, including the 10 year olds, fell over in hysterical laughter
Shawn, who was laughing hysterically, pulled me aside and explained the tea was made out of pot that the family had grown…see Rule #1..
the story doesn’t end here folks, stay tuned for more!