On the way, I listened to a number of Slate Explainer podcasts, including:
|Should We Throw Hazardous Waste Into Volcanoes?|
|Is $100 a Barrel Oil a Big Deal?|
|Can Planes Get in Midair Traffic Jams?|
|Can a Virgin Give Birth?|
|How Do You Clean an Oiled Bird?|
|Hitman, Naked Lady|
|Lawyers Against Musharraf|
|Why Is Iran Importing Gasoline?|
|40,000 Years in Spanish Prison?|
|Checking on Sweatshops|
|Who Owns the Arctic?|
Just before Exit 70 on I-95, I was struck by two billboards, one on each side of the road, this one on the right hand side of the road:
And this one strategically placed—this was no accident whatsoever—exactly even with it on the left hand side of the road.
I was so struck by them that I turned off at the next exit, drove back by them from behind turning around at the next exit in that direction, where I drove back up to them again, this time stopping to snap these pics. The message I take from this juxtaposition: This is the beauty of America.
I arrived at the Hammond House in N. Augusta, SC, where I was just delighted to see Jeanie-baby again. We had a wonderful day together, a good portion of which we spent talking about these heavy questions, all but one for which she was able to come up with an answer:
- What do you consider your biggest achievement in life?
- What are your most cherished memories?
- What person in your life, who probably doesn't know it, made a significant contribution to you being where you are in your life? What did they contribute?
- What was the hardest lesson you ever learned?
- What was the last thing you did that was totally out of your comfort zone? What did you get out of it?
- What do you consider to be the greatest gift you've given to anybody in your life?
- What is your favorite book in the world, and why is it?
- What is the most scared you've ever been in your life?
- Who is the person you admire most in life, and what trait in that person do you admire the most?
- If you could speak to one person (living or dead) who would it be, and what would you say to, or ask, that person?
We had a very unpleasant incident happen mid-afternoon, when this woman who is a volunteer there, and of whom Jeanie thinks the world, stopped in to say hi to her.
When she met me, however, she went into preacher mode, with her Christian arrogance and condescension spewing bible quotes, and asking me questions like, "Have you been saved?" "What are you going to say when Jesus asks you why you should be let into heaven?" and "Do you attend church?"
The whole time she was foaming at the mouth, I was thinking: .
This woman would not shut up. Jeanie interrupted her at least three times to tell her something about how we knew each other, and what a "good" person I was, etc., and the woman had answers like, "Being good isn't what gets you into heaven. Your saying, 'I love you, Jesus,' 'You are my lord and savior,' and 'I accept you in my life' is what will get you into heaven. Can you say that? Will you say that?"
This woman was totally self-absorbed, religion-obsessed, and had zero respect for anybody's beliefs that might be different from her own. Her face positively lit up when I answered "No" to her "Do you go to church?" question. "Good, then I picked an especially good person to talk to today, didn't I?" she said patting me on the shoulder with a smile that indicated how pleased she was with herself.
Then, turning to Jeanie-baby, she said, "There, I've done my witnessing for the day."
For dinner, Jeanie skipped the residence fare, and I ran to Chick-fil-A to buy dinner for us. I ordered three of their Chick-fil-A sandwiches—plain. That basically means hold the pickle, as that's all they put on them. There were several sandwiches already made, and I waited for them to make my "special order."
Back at Jeanie's, I took each sandwich out of its individual bag upon which was an oval sticker that said "No Pickle," and then, while eating them, Jeanie and I picked off the two pickles that were on each sandwich. I don't understand.
I said my goodnight at about 7:00, and driving across the line from N. Augusta, SC to Augusta, GA, I checked into the Quality Inn at which I had a reservation.
After an Internet search and a shower, I made my way to one of the two gay bars in town, Club Argos. It's always interesting to find gay clubs in small, rural towns. On first glance, it looked like the place was boarded up. After riding down a street behind it, I found a back entrance with many cars parked around, as well as an "Open" and "Enter Here" sign.
The drinks were a good value—a bourbon and diet Coke in a 16-ounce cup was only $3.75. They had a drag show at 11:30, which was fairly decent. I left as soon as it was over, at about 12:30.