The Most Recent Strange Peregrination
of F. S. Whinkla
. . . being an honest recollection of events as they occurred on the last leg of his return journey to Kleadrap from Dallas, Texas after wandering several months in and around the Orient.
It was my third day on the road since leaving Dallas and I must have been somewhere east of the Rocky Mountains, maybe Colorado, or western Kansas. I remember checking out of a Holiday Inn Express around eight that morning because George Stephanopoulos was signing off when I turned in my room key. I’d eaten the complementary breakfast, treating myself to a plate (actually a bowl) of biscuits and gravy, and two, or was it three? hard boiled eggs, as well as four sausage patties balanced on an English muffin slathered in butter and scrambled eggs. Since then I had been driving north on highway 335 listening to Mojo Nixon, remembering Chapel Hill, and speculating on what might have become of Skid Roper. I must have been driving four or five hours because I was hungry, despite the less than customary breakfast I had consumed, and Mojo was beginning to sound like a voice of reason, and the gas gauge was near zero. I have a difficult time admitting this, but I simply don’t remember where I exited the highway to look for a place to eat and fill the gas tank, but that’s what I evidently did. I don’t have a receipt, but I do recall getting gas outside a little museum in the center of town. The museum was closed, only open on weekends, but the gas pump worked and accepted my Discover Card without complaint. As the tank filled I remember being somewhat mesmerized by what looked like a Calder mobile dancing in the wind across the street. A few hundred yards further up the street I stopped at a small store and bought a plastic tub of vanilla yogurt and a cardboard cup of what turned out to be horrible coffee (I tossed it into the weeds a few minutes later). For some reason I asked the young man at the cash register if there was a hotel or motel nearby. He told me the nearest place was either twenty miles south, or thirty-five miles west. Then he mentioned, if I was really tired, there was a sort of bed and breakfast place a few miles out of town, and without my asking gave directions.
to be continued