1. Utah – According to my sources (idle gossip from my friend Jon), Mormons have a practice called “floating.” Pre-married couples will strip, penetrate, but then just hold each other instead of using friction to induce orgasms. It’s how they avoid sex before marriage without avoiding sex before marriage. Allegedly, the couple then can discuss religion and their relationship, with the penis “floating” in the vaginal cavity. Back when I was a kid, when we wanted to skirt the line, we just blew each other.
2. Texas – In the Lone Star State, it is still legal to smoke in bars. After driving two days straight, my brother texted me the address of Page Pub and had me meet him there (he is the second one I’ve visited on this trip to direct me to a bar before his or her home). On the tables, turned upside down, sat little black ashtrays. My eyes lit up. I’m not much of a smoker – whenever I run out of (now-illegal) cloves, I generally go several months without before I find some more – but smoking in bars is nostalgic for me. When I was first starting, sneaking off to dive bars to escape the frigid Michigan cold and judgmental roommates, I would tap out my ash next to a glass of beer or onto the floor at shitty local-band concerts. My brother’s friend Richard handed me a Marlboro Red. I hate Reds and I hate most non-clove cigarettes, but this one tasted like the frozen air in Michigan, my visible breath and the smoke escaping my mouth in one dense plume.
3. Tennessee – People in Murfreesboro actually say “y’all.” I mean, you figure the stereotype is based in reality; you assume people in Canada might say “eh?” slightly more on average than Americans. But it’s still startling when the waitress has a thick Southern accent and sing-songs, “Y’all come back now” as you bluster out the door. The expression is so tied to insults about illiteracy and inbreeding that I guess I didn’t really believe people used it any more.
I don’t think I’ll come back after all.
[Buy the single.]