Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Gainesville may or may not have mosquitoes - I haven't had a chance to find out yet - but Wichita Falls does: huge, slow, fat, complacent bastards that don't take any evasive action, and simply go "squish" when you brush them away.

It doesn't matter. You're still outnumbered.

Wichita Falls also had this attractive fellow:

He gave me a bit of a reproachful look (for a walkingstick) when my camera flash went off. I suppose when you spend your life hanging out on rusty fuse boxes, a sudden brilliant burst of light is about the last thing you want to see.

When I meet the people who work in these remote offices, they always want to hear about where I worked before. I start to regale them with stories about the guy walking around with the antenna on his head, or the one who falls asleep while trying to sneak up on people in the kitchenette, or (heaven forbid) the Phantom Pharter, and they look at me very oddly. I can't do it. It's like making fun of amputees. "I like it a lot better here," is what I have to stick with, for safety's sake.

Leaving Wichita Falls, we took US 82 east to Gainesville. My boss drove today. It's probably just as well - she drives a bit slower, and I didn't notice until yesterday evening that our car has Missouri plates. That's just asking for trouble.

Gainesville seems like a nice enough town, if you can find it. Our hotel commands a nice view of the suburbs in which it stands.

If you come in from Oklahoma, the Information Center is not the first sight that greets you. That honor actually goes to a seedy, ancient, run-down porn shop that stands immediately above the Red River (and if you don't know why it's called that, you'll find out tomorrow; I'll get a picture). "WELCOME TO TEXXXAS!" says the sign.

I'm told it pisses a lot of people off. Isn't that awesome?!

I don't know if there are mosquitoes, but the Applebee's where we had dinner tonight (I'm forced to admit that, though I like my boss a lot, she's not too adventurous when it comes to dining out) was overrun by ducks. There's a little factory outlet shopping center there, and someone thoughtfully put in a nice little pond with a fountain, and a few ducks.

The ducks have no natural predators, unless you count the 18-wheelers on I-35. So now there are a lot of ducks. I mean, there are a lot of ducks. We're talking some major duckage here. In fact, if my love for you were ducks... Well, you get the picture.

And how delighted was I to get back to my hotel, glance out my window again in the pink evening light, and discover there are also lots and lots and lots of cows?

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