Friday, June 20, 2008


And I meet you at the cemetry gates ...

Last June, I had quite an adventure in Nashville's Mt. Olivet Cemetery. I was recently telling a friend about it, and just today I thought to myself, "When in June did that happen?" Well, it happened exactly one year ago today. Please to enjoy the story 'bout Joltin' Django's bad, bad afternoon in the cem'tery ...

A friend of mine works at a used truck, tractor and trailer company on Lebanon Road near downtown Nashville. He offered me two free tickets to the upcoming Earl Scruggs & Friends concert at the Ryman Auditorium, and I told him that I'd pick up said tickets at his office this afternoon.

When I left my buddy's office, I decided to drive through the historic Mt. Olivet Cemetery for a quick look-see. (Upon entering the cemetery, I lowered my window so's that I could enjoy a tobacco product that gives me great pleasure.) I was slowly driving down one of the many lanes inside Mt. Olivet when I heard a "boom" that scared the you-know-what outta me. Said boom not only scared me, but it shook my feet as well.

About 20 post-boom seconds later, I was sure that I heard someone yelling. I brought my car to a screeching halt. I heard yelling again; and this time, I distinctly heard someone yelling, "You son of a bitch!"

I looked in my rear-view mirror and I seen a guy running toward my car whilst waving his hands in the air like he just didn't care. The guy's facial expression was that of a person who'd been simultaneously kicked in the balls and force-fed a spoiled egg. I stuck my head out the window and inquired, "What the **** is your problem?" He replied, "Are you the son of a bitch who just shot a shotgun?"

I exited my car and asked, "What in God's name makes you think I fired a shotgun?" Mr. Guy responded thusly: "I heard that shotgun go off, you son of a bitch." (The stove-eye had been turned on at this point.)

"First of all," I replied through gritted teeth, "I didn't fire a shotgun." Then I said, "Calling a person who's supposedly carrying a shotgun a 'son of a bitch' is a dumbass thing to do."

Mr. Guy balled up his fists and sorta leaned toward me. He replied, "I ain't a dumbass. I know you shot a shotgun, you son of a bitch." (The stove-eye knob was now on high.)

Not only could I feel my cheeks getting hot at this point, but I realized that I was balling my fists as well. Says I: "You call me 'son of a bitch' one more f****in' time and you will be the next person buried in this cemetery ... because I will break your f***in' neck!"

I took a couple of steps in Mr. Guy's direction and he turned on his heel and went back to the place from whence he'd emerged. I then sat down in my car and turned it off. I grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and attempted to put happy thoughts in my brain in an effort to, well, be cool (apologies to Mr. White).

When I reckoned that I was sufficiently cool, I resumed my tour of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. I drove around for another 20 minutes or so.

As I drove down the cemetery's "main drag" toward the exit, I noticed a Metro-Nashville Police car sitting with its ass-end facing me. When I passed Mr. Metro Cop, he pulled up behind me and turned his car's lights on. We stopped in the cemetery's funeral home's parking lot.

With one hand on his 9mm, Mr. Metro Cop, aka Officer S. Miller, slowly approached my car. When he came to my still-open window, he cut to the chase and asked, "Did you fire a shotgun in the cemetery?" My cheeks started glowing again. I gripped the wheel and yelled, "No I did not. I heard the same noise that the %$#@& who called you did, and it didn't sound anything like a f****in' shotgun!"

Officer Miller asked me to step out of the car; then he patted me down. He asked if he could look in my car. "Sure," I said, and I let him look in every nook and cranny of my car -- trunk included. He took my driver's license back to his car and did whatever in the hell cops do when they take a person's identification back to their car.

When Officer Miller came back to where I was standing, he handed me my driver's license and apologized for "bothering" me. "You didn't bother me," I replied. "The &$%^! who called you is the one who bothered me!"

I looked out across the vast expanse that is Mt. Olivet Cemetery and started grinding my teeth yet again. In my mind's eye I was envisioning me cornering Mr. Guy somewhere in the cemetery and beating his ass to a bloody pulp. Officer Miller advised, "Just let it go, man. Just go home."

I did indeed go home. I'm glad I did ...

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