On A Highway To Hell And Back.
I was hitching a ride
somewhere on the south side
of the U.S. of A.
when I got a thumbs up
from a somewhat soused geezer
in a ten gallon hat.
Old countrified Earle,
took me out for a whirl,
in his custom black caddy,
with a set of long horns
mounted on the hood,
and a lead foot infected
We blew through Hick towns,
faster then JFK's limo
on its hospital run from
the Dealy Plaza tragedy.
Billy Carter beer cans
rattled over the floorboards,
while Dolly Parton busted out a tune
literally, something called 9 to 5,
but we were doing 95 easy.
He let me out in Bum-fiddle Texas,
at a bar called the Dew Drop inn,
and drove off with a wicked grin,
an "I like Ike." crusty bumper sticker
covered in dust was the last thing I saw,
as he vanished into the setting sun.
Later over a shot and a beer,
I told the bartender about Earle
and my hectic ride, then his jaw dropped,
like a Charlie McCarthy marionette.
In a hushed tone he told me how he had served
old Earle his last Crown Royal
at closing time seventeen years ago.
Apparently Earle was too drunk to drive,
yet he hid his inebriation well,
but that night in 1963 he totalled his Caddy,
into the side of a bridge near where
he had picked me up earlier that day.
The barkeep said I was
the seventeenth person,
that had taken such a hellish ride,
each year on the same day as he died,
and then he poured me another shot,
but I left it on the bar filled to the brim,
and caught a Greyhound to my destination.
Just about halfway into my bus journey,
I swear he drove by us going the other way,
Nobody saw him but me, because I asked,
polling all the other riders
who thought I was crazy.
Eventually I fell asleep,
to the drone of the bus engine,
I woke up by the side of the road,
with my thumb out, and Earle
cruising to a slow stop just past
my trembling, pale flesh.
Then I realized that he was perhaps
some kind of demonic Duke of Earle,
as I entered his Flying Duchess...
and we sped off into a time warp
that now was one times two....
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