On July 1 Scott and I flew to Memphis and then drove to Mobile the next day on a pilgrimage to buy some snake oil from our medicine man and faith healer of choice- Tom Waits. I’m using the oil right now to grow my hair and to straighten my spine. I don’t know why snake oil gets such a bad rap because it’s working just fine.
We drove off the main road through towns too poor for even McDonald’s to care about them but apparently not too poor for Jesus to care about them because there was a church every ten feet or so. Trailer churches and churches in clapboard shacks and, my favorite, those neat, bright white boxes with steeples.
Road trip tip: When in small southern towns, check out the gas station for a home cooked meal.
Pulled over to fill up in West Point, MS, where we found the best fried chicken we’ve ever eaten, with fresh beans and greens and fried okra and blueberry cobbler on the side. Scott swears those chickens were raised on cake.
We saw Tom at the Saenger Theater in Mobile, courtesy of tour manager extraordinaire Stuart Ross. Tom kicked up clouds of Fuller’s earth and donned a mirrored bowler cap. As if he needed the hat to shoot beams of light out of his head. He sang “Singapore” and “Make it Rain” and “Cold, Cold Ground’ and “Cemetery Polka” and “Lucinda” and led an “Innocent When You Dream” sing along.
Twas blind but now I see.