Posts Tagged ‘Maxine’

As many of you know, Leigh Ann and I met in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, ground zero for the recent tornado outbreak. So far, everyone I’ve talked to is okay. But here’s a photo of Charlestown Square, my old apartment complex:

I lived in a second floor apartment on the far side, in one of the units that no longer appears to exist. Sadly, the unit to the right of mine, where those idiots gave Maxine acid, appears to have survived.

Truth be told, the news coverage is starting to bother me. I keep seeing the same story over and over again. It goes like this: the reporter finds some survivor and asks them how they made it, and that person invariably says they sat in their basement and prayed for Jesus to save them. And then the blowhard reporter (I’m looking at you, Brian Williams) says something like, “I guess he heard you” or “It looks like it worked” or something equally as ridiculous. Look, I understand why this meme exists. People like to think that God is on their side and that they’re a part of the “chosen people” (hell, entire religions are based on this). But no one ever stops to consider what this myth does to the young woman, also in her basement, also praying to Jesus, who had her baby ripped out of her arms and then had to watch helplessly as debris traveling at 200 mph shredded her infant alive. God chose to save you but mutilate that infant? Bullshit, my friend. You lived for the same reason that baby died: random f%&#ing chance.

If you think that sounds a little harsh, consider this: half of these kooks think that baby is going to hell if it wasn’t baptized.

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So today I decided to strap on our Baby Bjorn, and look who jumped in . . .

Everyone, this is Maxine. Maxine, this is everyone. She’s been with me for about 10 years and what you should know about her is that she’s crazy. But unlike the rest of us, she has an excuse.

When I first moved to Tuscaloosa, I lived on the wrong side of town. In the apartment next to me lived . . . I have no idea. There were about 47 people who randomly came and went, and I was never able to pinpoint exactly who the tenants were.

There was also a mangy black cat that hung around and begged those 47 people for food. She was not exactly their pet. She had no hair on her head, scabs covering her ears, and about 10,000 fleas. You think I’m kidding. When she sometimes wandered over to my apartment to try her luck with me, I would duct-tape a ruler to the end of an old comb so that I could “pet” her without having to douse myself in gasoline.

So, anyway, one night I was sitting on my porch feeding Maxine, and one of the 47 random dudes came over.

“T’sup, man?” he said.

I smiled at him the way you would smile at a person you suspected was on meth.

“So you’ve met Drug Kitty?” he asked.

“Who is Drug Kitty?”

“This black cat here. We bring her inside sometimes and give her acid.”

“Wow,” I said. “I’ll have to try that sometime.”

Of course, I did not try it. A few weeks later I also decided to move before the apartment next to mine exploded. In the wee hours of the morning, I took everything I owned and crammed it into the backseat of my 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage. You’ve seen cars like this before, right? Stuffed so full of books and clothes and CDs and dishes and food and laundry that you fear they’ll collapse? Well that car was mine. I was not sure I would have room to drive. But after I finally got the back door to close, I surveyed the situation and decided there was room for one more thing.

Drug Kitty.

And into the sunset we rode.

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