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On a Highway to Hell and Back.

Updated on July 22, 2022
MFB III profile image

Artist, actor, poet, teacher, songwriter & actor with 4,000 poems & almost 1,000 songs written, performed recorded & published on line.

Be very careful who you hitch yourself to when traveling the back roads of despair

I was hitching a ride

somewhere on the south

side of the U.S. of A.

down on my luck

with $200.00 bucks to my name

to survive on while I was

just trying to get back home

where nothing much more awaited me.

I'd been walking for hours

when suddenly I got a thumbs up

from a somewhat, soused

geezer in a ten gallon hat.

He looked like a throwback

to the fifties but hey

he was a ride to anywhere

but the edge of this baking,

endless asphalt road.

So old, countrified Earle,

as he introduced himself

asked me where I was headed

and told me he was going

my way. then he took me out

for a whirl, in his custom black

convertible caddy, with a set

of long horns mounted on

the hood, and a lead foot

infected with elephantiasis.

His radio was blasting

Louder than dynamite

and he was humming along.

Thankfully the top on his

ragtop car was down

freeing me from his

second hand smoke

as he burnt through

one cigarette after another

when he wasn't burning rubber.

But at that point I was

still grateful for the ride

We blew through Hick towns,

faster then JFK's limo had

gone 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 looked a wee bit bedraggled

his clothes wrinlkled and stained

with God knows what and he

held a slight stench that even

thefresh air coud not blow away.

He let me out in Bum-fiddle

Texas, at a bar called the

Dew Drop inn, and drove off

with a wicked grin, and an "I

like Ike." crusty bumper sticker

covered in dust on his chrome

Bumper was the last thing I

saw, as he vanished into

the noon-high sun.

I walked out of his smoky

exhaust thirsty and exhausted

myself so I went to sit a spell

at that inn that promised ice

cold beer for cheap, Just the

right price for me Later over a

shot and a beer, I told the

bartender about Earle and my

hectic ride, and as i relayed

my journey The barkeeps eyes

popped open and his jaw dropped

just like one of those Charlie

McCarthy marionettes from the

nineteen fifties.

Then he leaned over the bar all

serious and in a hushed tone

as he told me how he had served

old Earle his last Crown Royal

at closing time 17 years ago.

Apparently Earle was too drunk

to drive anywhere safely

but he hid his inebriation well,

and he was a mean old cuss.

each time that bartender offered

to get him a ride home but on

that night in 1963 he totalled

his Caddy, into the side of a

bridge in a crash and burn.

It had happened just near

where he had picked me up

earlier that day. The barkeep

said that I was the seventeenth

person, that had taken such

a hellish ride, each year on the

same day as old Earle died

and my heart played a staccatto

beat it had never known and

then he poured me another shot

on the house but I left it on the

bar filled to the brim, and found

the towns bus station and caught

a Greyhound to my destination.

Just about halfway into my

bus journey after I woke up from

a needed nap on their worthless

two inch margin of reclining

seats I was looking out the

window and I swear he drove

right 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 back

to sleep, to the drone of the bus

engine relieving most of the

passengers and the driver.

Then quite suddenly I woke up

by the side of the road, with

my thumb out, and I saw Earle

cruising to a slow stop just

past my trembling, pale flesh.

He grinned at me wickedly

and beckoned me to get in

with a .45 caliber pistol

in his hand pointed right at me

as an incentive to climb aboard.

It was then that I realized

that he was 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 times forever.

and life as I knew it was no more

© 2010 Matthew Frederick Blowers III


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