FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER YOU HOLD SACRED
, DO NOT END UP IN CLEVELAND, TENNESSEE.
I ended up there as a result of needing gas
on a return trip
from a family vacation
. It is right off of I-75
, so watch out
, noon. The place
resembles a small suburb
, except that right now it's a ghost town
and I feel like I'm in Salem's Lot
, and there are no cars
, not on the road, not in front of houses
, not anywhere.
The gas station
is closed. The sign reads
: "We are worshipping Our Lord. You should be too."
the hearts of my family and I, four people
well used to fanatics
and running like mad
from them. We decide, as a family
, to run like mad.
But we run into a problem
. Attempting to get back to 75
, we drive down a street
and stop, lost for words
. It is a still-life traffic jam
reminiscent of The Stand
. Every car
, several hundred
at least, is parked in and around
the Church--I mean, right in the middle of the streets
and everything; the assumption
, I guess, being that "Nobody needs to travel while there's church going on!
" We get out of our car
, looking for an open path
back to the freeway
all saw The Sign
at once. It's a big freeway billboard
, on the side of the freeway
like most of them, except this one faces the town
and not the passing cars
. It says approximately
JOHNSTON'S HOLISTIC APPLIANCE REPAIR
Let Our Faith Heal Your Fridge!
We stood in amazed terror
a moment more, staring helplessly
in the bright sun at the stylized washing-machine
with a halo
on it, before screaming out of town
at over eighty miles per hour
. To this day, any one
in my family
or close circle of friends
will cringe visibly
if you mention Cleveland, Tennessee.
That's right, FUQ