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Surviving a trip to "M, I, crooked letter..."

Big M, little I, crooked letter, crooked letter, little I, crooked letter, crooked letter, little I, hump back, hump back, little I.

I spent last weekend in Missisippi, and my traveling companions Wesley Walker, Billy Brunson and Lex Goldman constantly reminded me of our destination with that old grade school refrain. Somehow my elementary school teachers never used that one on me. Maybe they felt lucky in just teaching me to spell Georgia.

Before leaving town on Friday morning I saw Anne Knox and she suggested I quit riding Andy about the high cost of insurance when I was willing to pay $3 a gallon for gas to go anywhere to see the Georgia Bulldogs play. I just laughed because Andy and Anne both know I stay on his case about insurance premiums just for the sport of it.

Our first foul-up almost occurred as we were collecting Wesley and Billy from the Russell Hall parking lot on the UGA campus. I almost slammed a university bus as we were pulling away. Luckily, Wesley yelled in the nick of time and we avoided that fiasco.

I think I missed seeing the bus because we had just heard that game time at Mississipi State had been moved up 75 minutes. We were down to a day and a quarter to get there and needed to hurry. Wesley was also on my case because I told him that we would pick them up at 3 p.m. and it was only 2:50 p.m. and he had to rush Billy out of the dining hall.


About the time we hit Atlanta we heard the rumor via cell phone and then WSB radio confirmed it. There would be no school in Georgia on Monday and Tuesday. Thank you Gov. Perdue. Having Monday off would be a blessing after this trip. Wesley and Billy started to assume they too would get some holidays because after all, those UGA busses run on diesel fuel too. Lex and I laughed as we reminded them they could walk to class. They both poked their lips out when the radio news said the university system would be open.


After uneventfully getting through Atlanta, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and the metropolises of Reform and Gordo we made the Misissippi state line. Our only highlight to this point was seeing the Talladega Superspeedway in east Alabama. Lex and I were as usual duly impressed. Billy and Wesley were not.


Upon checking into our Columbus, Mssissippi hotel, we had to decide if we would operate on Central time or Eastern time. I told the group they could do as they please, but since I was driving I was staying on Georgia time. Okay, they said. It was also at our hotel where we saw some cars apparently belonging to hurricane evacuees. Their cars had huge, grasshopper-sized black bugs plastered on the grills from headlight to headlight. Lex and I were again impressed, but not the teenagers.

The teenagers slept until midday on Saturday and refused to join the adults for lunch. They insisted on breakfast food because they couldn't handle Applebees after just getting up. Never mind it was well past noon regardless of the time zone. I gave them the car keys and off they went for their first solo adventure in Missssippi, to the Waffle House no less.


Upon our arrival in Starkville, Billy and Wesley were most impressed by the flatness of the Misisippi State campus, as they would be the Alabama campus on Sunday morning's drive-thru. They couldn't believe however that there were no quickie stores, fast food joints, restaurants or nightspots anywhere to be seen. We parked, and I likely became the first Georgia fan ever to brush his teeth in the restroom of the Humphrey Coliseum, aka. The Hump.

We survived the wind and rain during the game to see Georgia win 23-10. I kept reminding myself that I stick it out through church when the AC is broken, so I ain't leavin' a game just because of a hurricane. We talked to Danny Verdun Wheeler after the game and headed back to our hotel.

After a midnight snack we crawled into bed at 1:30 a.m. EST. Wesley's last words were, "Daddy we've got to get back early to study before Desperate Housewives." When I tried to wake the freshmen to head home I told them it was 9 a.m. in Georgia. As they pulled the covers over their heads one of them mumbled, "yeah but its' only 8 a.m. here."


Web posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Temperature:53° F
Wind:from the W at 5 MPH
Visibility:10 miles
Dew Point:53° F
Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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