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Friday, March 12, 2004

Oh, Atlanta

I've been to Georgia.

I've gotten lost in Savannah after a long night on Tybee Island. I've driven across I-85 in a blinding ice storm. I've picked fights with midgets in Hotlanta and bet anyone in the pool hall $5 a game when I was unable to even break without falling onto the felt.

One night I tried to go to Atlanta to watch a baseball game. I never made it. The lure of college girls in the summertime--tempered only by my wife's presence mind you--pulled me toward a little town called Athens instead. The return trip at 4am was only made better by my ability to sleep in the luggage compartment of my SUV while my rockstar wife drove home and my buddy played drums on the dashboard.

The night I did make it to the baseball game, the Braves were in the final game of the playoffs. I barely made it to Turner Field. I blame Ted. Oh, and the people who deicided to make Atlanta one of the most painful transit cities in America. I don't even like the Braves.

So, I've been to Georgia.

I got naked on a beach there once, too. But that's story better told over beers. And in a loud place where you won't hear the punch line ("Low tide? But I just hoisted the sail!").

I lost an Emmy in Georgia one night. That little gold statue never found its way to my table. I still found solace and I bet you can guess how.

People have been singing about Georgia for a long time. Willie sung about it and then Ray did, too. Allison Krauss will curl your toes with her rendition of "Oh, Atlanta." And some guy name Mayer is asking "Why, Georgia, Why?"

Why, indeed?

Why do I keep going back to that forsaken state of swamps and traffic and hunt clubs and manufactured sin?

I guess it's because it's something my colleagues and I like to call "out of the DMA." See, inside the DMA, people will watch us, even if we're not doing anything. "Mabel, don't look too fast, but that Otis character is eating his soup with a fork. A fork, Mabel. Lordamercy."

Sometimes it takes all of our strength not to scream back, "It's Chunky Beef Stew and I'm just like you, old man! Tired, jaded, and getting hungry because people keeping talking about my fork fetish!"

But outside the DMA (look it up if you have to), I enjoy freedom of movement and debauchery as you might on any given night.

Given, I'm getting old and debauchery is harder than it used to be. Maybe that's why my wife offered this up when I said I'd been invited to Atlanta tonight: "You should go. Soon you're not going to be able to do as much of that as you used to."

So, tonight, I venture into the Peach State once again. These trips usually end with a dozen or so stories, only a few of which I could ever tell here.

I hear Atlanta calling again. And like always, I have no idea what it's saying. As long as it doesn't saying anything about my fork fetish, I'll be happy.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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