Nov. 5th

Strangeness abounds. I didn't think anything could top the musical genius story I uncovered a couple of days ago but fate has stepped in and slapped me on the face again.

Going through north Georgia Rich and I got a hankering for some boiled peanuts. Usually you pass a guy on the side of the road every couple of miles but for some reason we drove mile after mile without seeing one. Finally we topped a hill and there in the valley below us was our peanut vendor.

Now you can always tell how good the boiled peanuts are going to be by what kind of signs the guy has out for advertisement and how good his spelling is. This is a theory that I have road tested on several occasions and it has always proven true. Well the first sign I saw was a ragged piece of cardboard that had been propped up against an old tire.

"Pe-nuts" it read. My stomach did a little growl in anticipation. This was a good omen. Careless use of cardboard by a semi-literate rural southerner always means good boiled peanuts. Always.

There wasn't another sign until we got to the guy and then we saw the kicker. Painted on the sides of this junked car were the words "Hot Boled P-nuts". It looked as if Tom Sawyer had gotten bored while white washing the fence and decided to go into business for himself. The crude lettering made saliva start to drip, tastebuds start to unfurl and my mouth already hung open in anticipation of the finest boiled peanuts money can buy.

Well this guy gave us a big smile, took a dull ladle hanging from the side of his battered cooking tub and filled us up two bags. Rich darted a hand into the grocery sack he was given and popped a test peanut into his mouth. He expertly spit out the shell and look at me and grinned.

"Damn that's a fine peanut."

I couldn't answer. I was too busy stuffing those salty treats into my mouth in an attempt to civilize my hungry stomach.

After a moment or two we thanked him kindly and mentioned the fact that it was surprising that we had not seen another peanut salesman on the roadside for quite a ways. Had word of his peanuts driven away the competition?

This peanut salesman god looked up at me and said "Nope, they think it's bad luck to be near me cause of my curse."

"C-Curse?" I stammered. Rich's hand froze halfway to his mouth and he looked at the peanut he held as if it might have been a cyanide capsule.

The salesman caught the look and grinned at both of use with a set of teeth that hadn't seen a brush in quite a while.

"Naw, it ain't nothing to do with the peanuts. The peanuts ain't involved at all. It's my ass."

"Your ass." I repeated back to him once again.

"Yup, I got this new birthmark on my ass that looks just like my mother-in-law. Damnedest thing."

I looked at Rich who stared back at me and then I turned back to the peanut salesman.

"That's very interesting. Tell me more."

God, can it get any better than this?

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