Gut Rumbles

January 28, 2007

A different kind of rumble

Originally published April 29, 2003

Alabama had an earthquake yesterday. Dax Montana got a taste of it where he lives in North Georgia. He must have been fairly sober at the time or he never would have noticed. (His archives are shot. Just scroll)

Hey, Sugarmama! [Ed. Link borked.] Did YOU feel anything? The epicenter wasn't far from where you live.

Never mind. Sugarmama feels nothing but anger, chagrin and a secret admiration for ME!!! (Bwhahahahaaa!)

Nothing happened around the Crackerbox. I live on a giant sandhill, which is a natural shock-absorber. You must have ROCKS to transmit tremors, and if you want rocks around where I live, you have to buy them.

I once started to purchase a small load of rocks off a truck when they were still doing construction in this neighborhood. When the guy asked me where I wanted them, I said, "Just dump them anywhere in the back yard."

"What do you want them for?" he asked.

"For my son and his friends to throw," I answered. He gave me the kind of gaze most people reserve for the Elephant Man when he pulls off his cloak. I ended up not buying any rocks because this South-Georgia, sandhill-dwelling construction contractor just would not understand how much FUN it is to throw a rock. Besides, his rocks were pretty shitty for throwing anyway. They were those irregular granite chunks imported from North Georgia. Shitty rocks.

I suffered TWO traumatic readjustments when I moved from the mountains of Kentucky to the sand-flats of Georgia. The first and most obvious was that THIS PLACE WAS FLAT AS A PANCAKE! Bejus! When you grow to the age of six nestled in the warm bosum of the Appalachian Mountains, this landscape seemed hit by a cosmic weed-wacker and trimmed to the same height everywhere you looked. IT FREAKED ME OUT. It stayed daylight WAY too long here in the evening, and the sun came shining through the bedroom window WAY too early in the morning.

I had a hard time dealing with that.

But the second part was worse. You couldn't find a rock to throw if you spent all day looking for one. Dig, kick the dirt and walk around, and all you'll find is sand. That's when I first learned the term "brickbat." A brickbat is a piece of broken brick that is the closest thing to a genuine stone that you'll find in Southeast Georgia unless you buy a truckload of imported rock.

In Harlan, I was throwing rocks when I was still in diapers. I learned to skip rocks across the swimming hole when I was very young. But rocks were EVERYWHERE, whatever kind you wanted, from the big, round windowbreakers to the smooth, flat skippers. Distance rocks, curve-ball rocks, the ones that would whistle when they sailed through the air. Just pick up a handful by the river and choose the right rock for the throw you wanted to make.

My son will never know that joy. Of course, he'll probably never feel an earthquake, either.

I'm not sure that he's getting a fair trade.

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