Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, July 13, 2007

Jessica's Heading West...

A Musical Conundrum

Talked to Rockhauler recently. As per usual, I heard 'Jessica' by the Allman Brothers on the car radio within 24 hours, and again, as per usual, I was heading in a westerly direction.

It's one of the great unsolved mysteries of my life. Ever since I've known Rockhauler, whenever we're going somewhere, we're probably going to hear that song, and when we do, we'll be driving west. Never fails. Not in 20 or so years. It's just flat-out freaky.

"But El Cap," you say. "What about if you're going east?" In that case, we won't hear the tune until we're heading home. Also, if we're listening to an Allmann Brothers CD, we just make sure that it's either Eat A Peach or At Fillmore East just so we don't jinx ourselves.

Now, there have been some close calls. Once we were heading up to Haskell, and the stretch of road up to Jacksboro was pointing almost north some of the time. Looking at a map though, overall that run of TX 199 is mostly west-northwest, so we were still in the groove.

The first time we took notice of this coincidence/musical conspiracy was when we were moving a friend of ours from Arlington out to the west side of Ft. Worth. We had most of an apartment's furniture precariously perched in the back of Rockhauler's red Chevy pickup, and in order to avoid any freeway mishaps, had rolled out Pioneer Parkway to link up with Lancaster Ave. heading through downtown Ft. Worth.

On the far side of downtown, we hit the Lancaster Bridge. It's this long-ass span of bridge that goes on for miles, it seems. Once you're on the bridge, you're on until you get to the other side. There's lots of traffic, and absolutely no way to turn around or get off, unless you bust through the wall and plunge 100 feet down into the Trinity river.

So, we're slidin' across the bridge, both of us in full head-nodding, air-guitaring jam mode listening to, of course, 'Jessica' by the Allman Brothers. Amazingly, traffic is light. No one oncoming, and a grey Porsche 911 maybe 100 yards behind us.

The thing about bridges over rivers, though, is that there's occasionally funky air currents that cause odd things to occur. Just after we pass the crest of the bridge and start heading downhill, Rockhauler and I feel an odd jerk to the truck's motion, and I flip around to see if the load shifted.

Boy, had it shifted. The love seat, which had ridden the last 15 miles upside down atop the couch without shifting position in the slightest, was no longer in the pickup bed, and I didn't see it laying in the road.

Rockhauler spots the loveseat in his driver's side mirror. To this day, he'll swear it was 200 feet up in the air, high enough to blip on DFW Airport's radar.

Coincidentally, this is also the moment that the Porsche driver decides to blow past us.

If that Porsche had been any other type of car other than a high-performance sports car, it would've been an ugly, ugly afternoon. That loveseat flipped in midair from its upside down orientation, and made a perfect four point landing about 10 yards in front of the Porsche. Not a cushion out of place. Somehow that krautburner managed to jink out of the way, avoid hitting the far wall, and then avoid hitting the truck as he slid back from the oversteer.

We had to get to the end of the bridge before we could turn around and go back for it. All we could think about was someone speeding over the crest and smacking that loveseat.

We managed to get everything loaded back up and made our destination without any further couch migrations, and as we discussed the event over many shots of Old Crow later that evening, we made the realization about Jessica Heading West.

Some things just defy explanation, and I'm not gonna try. So, point your chair towards the Pacific, and enjoy the tune! (No extra charge for the eye candy!)