October 11, 2012

Mississippi Muffler Shop

Last weekend, many Aggies made the trek to Oxford, Mississippi, for a football contest.  I did not.  I have a thing about the Oxford area.  A few things happened there that left a mark on my psyche and I vowed never to return.  I do not remember all of the particulars.  I was youngish.  I remember the highlights and the bits that have been re-told to me aver the years.

We were visiting 'family' there.  It was newly acquired 'by marriage' sort of family.  My mom and I went shopping.  We perused the wares on both sides of the streets and both sides of the proverbial railroad tracks.  We got some strange looks and stilted conversation in some of the stores.  When we returned to the home, we were promptly sat down and given a talking to about the places white women did and did not go in their town.  A recounting of our path had beaten us back to the house.

That incident was followed by another, equally as terrifying to a youngster from the Midwest.  I was forced to eat okra.  I had to pick it, cut it, help fry it and then choke it down.  Not a fan.

The last straw was a head-on collision on the way out of town.  The highway was under construction and some lady got confused and was attempting to get on the highway going the wrong direction.  I was in the backseat when the cars met doing 60 mph.  What I remember most is my mom's screams.  She was pinned on the floorboard, up under the dash, and all she could feel was a warm liquid pooling around her legs.  Since she didn't have any noticeable severe pain, she thought the warm liquid was my blood, coming from under the seat.

I can't accurately express the emotions I felt, hearing my mother's anguish at, what she perceived to be, a mortal injury to her child. Turned out to be the thermos of coffee on the back floorboard that had burst in the wreck.  She was sitting in coffee.  

I can't remember a good memory to overshadow those and instill any desire to return to the area.  Those that might be traveling that direction should be on the lookout in in Batesville, MS.  This muffler shop owner has quite the sense of humor, as several people have posted this sign, seen on the way to Ole Miss:

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