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Jackie and I were making our second pilgrimage to Memphis for Elvis week, only this time, with her new husband, Darren.
Darren had read that there was going to be a B.B. King concert in Memphis while we were there, so the three of us headed downtown to jam with B.B.
The outdoor concert was being held in a park near Beale Street. The main road that overlooked the park was blocked off due to the event, so people gathered wherever they could to get a glimpse of B.B. We weren't able to see anything from where we were standing, so Darren suggested that we climb the embankment that led up to the main road. It was a steep climb, and Jackie and I are not what one might call "physically fit," but with Darren's help, Jackie was able to make the climb--which left me to fend for myself.
Tub of lard that I am, I would have had more of an advantage if I had been wearing hiking boots, but I didn't expect to go hiking when I volunteered to go to Memphis with my newlywed friends.
The first few feet weren't so bad, but by my fifth or sixth step, I knew I was in trouble.
"YOO HOO! VICK-EEEEE! WE'RE OVER HERE!" Jackie screamed after she and Darren had been seated.
Every eye was now on me. The crowd, including Jackie and Darren, seemed to find pleasure in the fat lady continuously falling down and eating dirt.
After several falls, my butt had become one giant grass stain--but I was determined to make it to where my friends were sitting. I had finally made it to within a few feet of a huge tree which I was counting on to save my life, for once again, I was starting to slide. I frantically grabbed for the tree trunk, but wasn't quite close enough, so I grabbed the first thing that I saw--which happened to be a string that was hanging from the tree. Little did I know that the string was attached to a helium balloon that some kid had lost earlier in the day. As I rolled down Memphis Mountain, I held on to that balloon for dear life. While in mid-roll, I heard a rumbling sound.
"Oh please God, this is not a good time for flatulence! I will be quite content with just wearing the grass stains home as a souvenir."
By the time I made it to the foot of Memphis Mountain, I realized that it was the crowd--not my ass--that had been roaring.
This time, I was more determined than ever to climb that friggin' mountain--even if I had to do it on my hands and knees--which is exactly what I did. But even on my hands and knees, I wasn't very sure-footed. Half way up, I could feel myself slipping again, but was quickly able to regain my composure.
Three quarters of the way up Memphis Mountain, I suddenly became very tired. I decided to take a rest before continuing my journey. I really didn't want to lay down in the dirt, so I crawled to a flattened cardboard box that a couple had abandoned only moments before. As I was exhaling a sigh of relief, my cardboard box turned into a sled. Screaming, I flew down Memphis Mountain on my make-shift sled while cursing B.B. King's mother for having given birth to him.
I finally made my way up the mountain to where Jackie and Darren were seated. Jackie could not restrain from laughing long enough to ask me if I was okay, and I was panting too hard to curse her out, so I just dug my heels in the earth to keep from sliding down again. I was finally safe!
"Thanks a lot for helping, guys!"
"Well Vicki, what could I have done?" Jackie asked, "I'm just as clumsy. I wouldn't have been...."
"Damn! F--- it all to hell! I don't believe this! I really don't believe this! Look Jackie! My cigarette case just rolled down this friggin' mountain!"
"Well Vicki, you better go get it." Jackie giggled.
"Screw it! I can buy more cigarettes! Just forget it!"
"But Vicki, your Zippo...."
"It's not worth a thirty dollar Zippo to climb back up this damn mountain!"
Thankfully, Darren retrieved my cigarette case for me. I really didn't want to have to climb back up that earthly monstrosity, but shortly thereafter, Jackie gave me no choice.
"Vicki," Jackie moaned, "I have to go to the bathroom."
"Well go!" I said.
"Will you come with me?"
"Not on your life!"
"No Jack. You're a big girl! You can go to the bathroom by yourself. I'm staying right here and that's final!"
"But Vicki, I'm scared of those little portable bathrooms. They wobble! I need someone to hold it steady. Please Vic?"
"Jack, it's NOT going to fall over."
"But it's scarey! Come on Vicki--I'd do it for you!"
"I wouldn't ask you to Jack. I'm not afraid of toilets."
"Please Vic? Please? I really have to go!"
Jackie stood up and started staggering down Memphis Mountain while trying to keep her balance, while I on the other hand, knew of a much quicker way to get to the bottom. I just pulled my feet out of the footholds that I had dug and started sliding. We met at the bottom and after waiting in line for a ride in the portable toilet, I held it steady for Jackie while she took a whiz. Out of spite, I shook the damn thing a couple of times while she was doing her business.
When we returned to Memphis Mountain, Darren was waiting at the bottom to assist Jackie, as I eyed the wicked clump of earth in horror. I didn't even try to walk up. I jsut laid down on my belly and slithered up while grabbing the feet and legs of a number of B.B. King fans on the way to my perch. Once my feet were snugly in their footholds, I breathed a sigh of relief.
I don't think that I saw more than ten minutes of the concert when Jackie said, "Come on Vic. It's over."
"I thought it just started." I replied dumbfoundedly.
Jackie and Darren started walking down the embankment while calling on me to hurry up, so I lifted my legs into the air once more, and took my last ride down Memphis Mountain.
Vicki L. Robison