"NEUTRAL TERRITORY."
02-21-06

Okay…We know Texas is huge and we've seen a lot of it. We've even seen quite a bit of Oklahoma , and Arkansas. This weekend, we visited Louisiana …not just any part of Louisiana but a part of the state formerly known as “The Neutral Territory" (see also: Neutral Ground, Neutral Strip, Neutral Zone, and for you Bushies… Nucyuler Place.)

We started out with a rousing night in Addison at Sherlock's…always a guaranteed crowd. Several of our regular friends showed up including quite a group from EganaGoldpfeil led by Brent's favorite girl, Dana. We all stuck around to help break down the gear at evening's end including our resident crew and hoteliers in the DFW area, Ed and Patti Traupman. After breakfast at IHOP, we all turned in for a restful 3 hours of sleep before heading for Cajun country. It was colder than a well-diggers ass but only the bridges had ice on them in the Metroplex. Guess what? Texans can't drive in ice. We saw six to eight accidents, usually two per bridge, in the space of 15 minutes. “Hey Honey, there's ice on the bridge…hit the brakes…
aaaaaaahhhhhhhiiiiiiieeeeeeeooooowwwww!!!!!!”
Here's your sign.

We arrived in Many (pronounced man-ee), LA about an hour behind schedule (hence the name “The KLOCKS”) but couldn't call to tell anyone because Sprint PCS doesn't cover states whose names begin with A-S and U-Z. Of course there's always roaming but it's cheaper to sign up for new service and buy a new phone. So anyway…here we are in the “Neutral Strip” and we met some really friendly folks. At night, they turn into hard-core party people. Now for the history lesson. This small strip of western Louisiana was established as a buffer zone between French territory and Spanish territory in what is now east Texas . Since neither side put troops in this land it became a haven for criminals hiding from the law. Nice! We just played for their descendants. We fit right in. This may be the one place we go where we can't get a speeding ticket. Kidding aside, we were made to feel right at home at this combination movie-theme party and Mardi Gras ball. These fine folks fed us a late-night buffet breakfast and we slept until 11:00 a.m.

It was decided upon leaving and after consulting my bought-at-the-convenience-store-ungodly-expensive Texas map that we would eat in Lufkin , Texas . Big friggin' mistake. What the hell is it with us and food? With the crew following in the truck, we took the loop around Lufkin . Upon finding no places to eat, I decided to head into the town to find a “not-fast-food” place according to the instructions of Mack. By some miracle we had Sprint service and I called Mack to see if he wanted to eat at the quaint little barbecue place (Henry's) we had just passed. He said, “fine” and we turned around and proceeded to my own personal hell. Ed's Rule #2 of eating on the road: If the manager/owner tells you that they are planning on firing the cook but just haven't gotten around to it yet…don't eat there. Of course, they tricked us. They didn't mention this until 50 minutes had elapsed and my food still wasn't there. This is barbecue, people. Slap it on a bun and gimme. Now I ordered something that sounded great but obviously confused the cook. I would actually like everyone who reads this to put in their vote on this next question. Should a rib sandwich have bones? Yes or no? When I saw it on the wall menu, I thought to my self, “Self, how ‘bout a sandwich with bones in it?” Actually, what I thought was, “The word rib implies ‘bones' but the word sandwich implies ‘no bones unless you're an idiot'.” I'm not sure I can make it through the rest of this article without cussing ‘cuz I really want to.

Now some of the guys got their food right away but the rest of were left waiting. I figured this would not be a problem since I eat faster than a T-rex (but only because my arms are longer). Mack's food came late which is a problem because Mack eats slower than he drives which is hard to do. I figured my food must be coming right up but had to wait for another 5-10 minutes. Finally my food arrived and this is when I was informed of the lack of a future the cook had in this establishment. “Dude, I don't give a crap just gimme the food.” “CHOMP!!!” “Son-of-a….it really is a rib sandwich, bones and all.” Stomp stomp stomp to the kitchen window. “There are bones in my sandwich.” I was only saying this because I figured that maybe the cook really was a tard and they didn't know he was leaving the bones in the sandwich meat. The woman who took my order proceeds to tell me that they don't de-bone it. I have an extremely angry yet incredulous look on my face now, I'm sure. I stomped back to the table to bitch about this to my friends. Why did I do this? I know these guys better than that. Okay…no sympathy there. I stomp back to the counter and give them back their bonewich and tell them I would like my money back. Now her attitude really shows. She sneers at me and bares her teeth (obviously, she hadn't tried the ribwich). I want to tell her that, in the amount of time it took to get my food, I could have taken out my own rib and created a woman with a lot less attitude and much better looks who would cook me a damn sandwich that wasn't part of an anatomy lesson. She gives me the money and I stomp out the door to go to the auto parts store…what's that? Oh…I didn't tell you about the broken wiper blade. Okay, that was stupid of me.

Anyway, in case you're feeling concerned that I went hungry, I got some food at a Subway later on and we made up Budweiser “Real Men of Genius” songs for all the members of the band. By the way…the government is lying to you and Cheney shot his friend in the face.

Ed Doran

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