05-04-2002
Louisville, Kentucky, Headliner's
 
Some friends from out of town go to Louisville to see the Kentucky Derby every year, and somehow they harangued us into going down & playing a show on the day of the race. So we did - we actually drove down to Louisville, and we played a show. I am not fooling you.

Before the show, all the other cows went for cut-rate BBQ. I went for a walk around the neighborhood - again, no joke. I walked around. I walked past so many bars, bars with outdoor volleyball courts, bars with huge boozemobiles parked outside, bars with bands with names like Jehoosephats and Clickerbiscuits sound checking in the picture window, just endless bars. And the people driving by! They'd been to the bars, they were drunk! and many of them were shouting things at the people walking on the sidewalk, people like me: "whoo!" over and over again, "whoo!" from these drunk people driving by the bars. And this was at about 7:00, the sun was up, most of the bars weren't even open yet.

I turned a corner at some point & took the non-bar, non-"whoo" roads back to the club. The backroads (and not very far back, just a block) in Louisville are lovely, especially on this day perhaps: most houses were quiet, people were away or were sedated somewhere... I passed a vast brick mansion of some sort, with the front door open, and saw a man playing piano just inside the door, with a speaker in the door playing the music to the neighborhood. I don't think it was a party, it was just a nice gesture on such a lovely & quiet day.

The real adventure, though, happened on the other sidewalk - on the same block, if you can imagine it. I saw this great cat, big furry orange & white thing, hopping around on a patch of lawn by the sidewalk. I went up to the cat, you know - try and pet it or something. It ignored me! Totally! But you know why it ignored me? It had a fucking mouse in its paws. A mouse! That was exciting - I knew I'd get to watch a life-and-death struggle, right there in Louisville, with a lovely piano soundtrack. That's livin'.

The mouse was more than alive, I'll tell you. I watched for a moment, and suddenly it leapt up and went tearing out onto the sidewalk - right at me! The cat shot after, of course. I was terrified - both came right at me! Fuck! The fucking mouse came right towards my feet! I was stepping around, not sure what to do - it was so sudden - and at one point, my left foot was sort of tilted, with the cat on one side and the mouse on the other, slightly under the sole of my shoe, hiding from the cat. The mouse was perfectly sheltered. And what did I think? I thought, "oh boy better not step on the poor little mouse." And what was my reaction? I lifted my foot. The cat jumped on the mouse, took a good bite, & trotted off with the surely damaged mouse firmly in its teeth.

The whole mouse-behind-the-shoe moment lasted much less than half a second, but what fucking drama! My shoe was the final option for the mouse - it was happier with the potential crushing of my foot than with the assured crushing of the cat's jaws! - but I didn't hesitate to give the poor thing over.

That was not the adventure I was expecting, let me tell you. The rest of the walk back was of course lovely, and uneventful.

Later we played a fairly odd show to a large room full of disinterested drunks, and a few interested ones. Later we had drinks with friends; later still we drove on home.


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