January 1, The Year of our Lord 2002:

The Alpine in my Blazer, Babe the Blue Ox, has, as it nearly always does, mercifully picked a song which may just keep me from fucking dying: an obscure track called "Bound for Glory" on an even more obscure album by Barefoot Servants, a 1994 project led by a guy named Jon Butcher. He looks like Jimi Hendrix, sings like Rod Stewart (sort of), and plays a slide guitar that would scare the living shit out of Robert Johnson and the devil himself.

"Lay my head down on the (kitchen) table
Fix my Sunday coat and tie
They worked my body to a sorry state
On a tiny sailing ship bound for glory...

Sail away, there's money
In them cotton fields
Sail away, gonna strike it rich in America
There's room enough for everyone
In the ground below...

Now my daddy was a story teller
But the king, his daddy, was before him
High on the ocean under lock and chain
On a tiny sailing ship bound for glory...

How appropriate that there's a big ship passing by. I am currently engaged in what has become an annual tradition of "Burying The Shit" on the beach at the county line, after yet another wild dual-time zone hootnanny. Ooohh, my liver complains as the shovel does its work. I fear I have bruised it irrepairably (again). I'm studying the malevolent darkening to the west, as the gray sky begins to deliver blessed rain, just as I finish burying the remains of our splendid pyrogenic indulgences from the night before.

About that time, I let rip The Perfect Fart. Aahh..crisp and clean with hardly any flutter. The delicate aroma of decomposing collard greens and black-eyed peas soils the very air, surely an affront to The Maker. He responds in kind with a sudden, icy gale that blasts me with a million grains of beautiful white sand. I suffer sensory overload as I am suddenly plunged into silica quartz snowstorm.

I am then reminded of the long journey ahead for so many of my new friends, similarly fed, watered, and presumably gassing their way home. The maelstrom of my internal machinery dies down a bit and I am able to smile at the thought of the exquisite group of noders who came to visit our little corner of paradise to ring in the new year.

The cyborg crackle of Dr. Stephen W. Hawking and the National Weather Service broadcast eminating from the VHF in my truck warns of severe winter weather approaching the Deep South. I forget about my infinitesimal intestinal problems, minor miseries really. My bed, which I so desperately need, is only 25 short miles away.

Suddenly, in what alcoholics refer to as "A Moment of Clarity", my Mission Drive Within Everything changes from "Fine, and you?" to "Travel safely home, dear noders, for you are precious cargo."