Monday, July 2, 2007

File under "Juicy Details of the Rock Star Life"

Here's something I wrote today while trying to get home. I don't promise that it's interesting. Only that it's true.

Picture this:

It’s around noon on Monday, and I’m in the Tupelo Regional Airport. I’ve been here maybe an hour. The airport, that is. I’ve been in Tupelo since Saturday afternoon. Too long. Not because of Tupelo or the work/ministry I’ve been doing here. That actually went really, really well. Just too long because Tupelo isn’t home. Too long because I stayed in a hotel room by myself for a couple of nights. And too long because I missed my flight going out this morning. I was scheduled to be landing in College Station around 12:30 in the afternoon, and instead, because of a couple of dumb mistakes on my part, I’ll be flying out about that time and arriving home tonight.

So, too long in Tupelo. Make sense?

The airport is under construction, so it’s kind of a mess. After going thru security, I found myself in the “waiting area” (conveniently marked by a sheet of 8x11 paper with “waiting area” written in Sharpie), which is a essentially an oddly shaped temporary room with unfinished sheetrock for walls and some kind of net for a ceiling. I don’t know what the net is for. The real ceiling, which has a surprisingly lovely skylight, is a few feet above it. The net, held together by plastic ties and green nylon cord, does not help the look.

There are maybe 30 chairs in the waiting area and, including me, 11 of them are occupied. Here’s the demographic breakdown, just because I’ve got some time:
4 elderly (65 or older), 7 non-senior adults, no kids.
3 women, 8 men.
8 white, 3 black, no latino, asian, or other.
1 cliché redneck-ish dude (see below), 1 member of the armed forces, 9 people who could be anybody (unless you single out the 1 self-indulged, wannabe-celebrity goofball typing on his computer, judging people without their knowledge).

Decent cultural breakdown. Considering the image that Mississippi has been known to have (fair or not), I’d say one possible redneck out of 11 isn’t bad. Go Tupelo.

Directly across from me sits the poor fellow whom I have unfairly stereotyped – though not unfondly – as a possible redneck. He is significantly overweight (just a fact, kids, not a criticism), and he sports a camouflage cap and mirror shades with that "someone spilled oil on these" look (fact and criticism). He is asleep and, I’m not kidding you, he is snoring as loud as any snoring I have ever heard. Every few minutes, one of two things is happening. Either his snoring wakes him up, at which time he looks around and sniffs a little (Why? What does he smell?), and then he promptly goes back to sleep. Or, and this is where things are getting really fun, he has these short bursts of what I will now call Super-Duper-Sonic-Rain-of-Death snoring. It’s a long name, I know, but you’d have to be here to understand. This dude sounds like he’s trying to cut down a sapling with a push mower on a wet day.

It is, in a word, awesome.

Nobody wants to talk about it, by the way. The snoring, I mean. Several times, I have burst into laughter, quite loudly. People look at me when it happens, as if that’s the weirdest loud noise that they’ve heard all day. As if mega-loud snoring in public is apropos, but noticing it is faux pas. Far as I can tell, the only other people free enough to laugh are the black people. This only goes to support my longstanding theory that, at least in America, the black culture is a great deal more liberated, honest, and fun-loving than we whites, who tend toward an over-emphasis on pretense, phoniness and unnecessary manners.

So, every so often, 4 of us are having a good laugh. Since I have no control over how long I will sit here, and since Camo Cap shows no signs of nasal wellness, I have hopes that before it’s all over, the laughers will convert the non-laughers and all will be one, united in our humorous enjoyment of one poor soul’s public sleep habits. It’s a cruel world, indeed. But when you’re stuck in Tupelo, you gotta laugh to keep from crying.

Okay, time to board. That concludes our discussion of the mundane.


Johnny! said...

Times like these make all the dues-paying worthwhile, don't they? Who needs a job and people telling you what to do? Rock on!

Lance said...

you should be a writer.

Todd Wright said...

This is why I love blogs. You wouldn't throw your longstanding theory about black culture up over at

Blogs are fantastic and yours is one of them. I like hearing about the house shows, but I want more of this - seeing how your mind processes the utter randomness of your everday life.

JasonSigs said...

Are we going to see a song about this on a future album?

"Ross King's Tupelo Blues"

If so, I think you need to bring in Camo Cap to do some backup "vocals".

King Family said...

I just have to say my hubby sure can bring the funny. He is truly random, but even better is that he can communicate his random-ness. I too would have been laughing my bootie off, but couldn't have made a funny blog out of it!

Bryan Jones said...

Does anyone have any video of Ross you'd like to share? I promise I won't package and sell it. Thanks...