But turn round we did, and very soon we had taken a wrong turning, which then involved a heart-stopping second of turning the car round in the pitch black beyond the brow of a hill with the faint sign of headlights approaching over the hill and us stuck in the middle of the road sideways on… Elizabeth deftly pulled forward in time though, and with that disaster averted, we carried on back to the beautifully haunted mansion, where the party, hosted by Ric Olsen of the 80s band Berlin and his wife, kitted out as Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, was still in full musical swing. The three of us had opened the music at the party with a three-song-each round of songs similar to the format of the writers’ rounds so popular in Nashville, so that had been a thrill for me – singing my songs in the fabulous home of Ric Olsen, with him and his wife in the audience. It had been a really enjoyable evening, but now we just wanted to get home – a 45-minute drive away. So, crockpot retrieved, we set off again, a little bit faster than before in a bid to make up the time lost in going back.
It was as we approached the lights where we would turn left onto the interstate that we all were suddenly aware of a police car, siren blaring and lights flashing, behind us. Elizabeth moved over to let it pass, but it stayed behind her… Bad sign!! To cut a long, dismal, rain-soaked story short, she got booked for speeding, with a $100 fine and SIX points, at which point the cop suddenly turned into Mr Nice Guy, saying that if she attended the court hearing the judge might let her attend a speed awareness course (it’s not called that here, but that’s what it amounts to) and be let off the six points. I felt like I’d been transported into an episode of Cops when all I’d wanted actually was to be transported to my bed.
So Nana was right – nothing good comes of turning back! What was fortunate was that before we’d set off, Elizabeth had taken off her chains and pill bottles and thrown them onto the back seat. To a cop peering in through the driver’s window, a bunch of prescription pill bottles strung round the driver’s neck – even though they were actually full of Tic-tac mints! – would not have looked good!
Tomorrow I’m fortunate enough to be playing at the famed Bluebird Café, at the popular open mic night, and on Tuesday evening, before I head off to Austin the next morning, I’m playing in a writers’ round with Elizabeth Marlowe, Barbara Cloyd and Anne E. DeChant at the Blues Bar in Nashville.
In my hunt for Dolly memorabilia today in the tackiest shops in downtown Nashville, I soon realised that, Dolly being the shrewd businesswoman she is, there would be absolutely nothing relating to her in any of those shops – she is in complete control of everything that goes out with any part (or parts) of her portrayed on it. And all the other tat was just that – very expensive tat! So I left it right where I found it and drove home – via the Goodwill shop (I can never resist a charity shop!) and the Aldi (yes, Aldi has made it to the US) next to it. And now I’m drinking cheap Seagram’s gin and realising why it was cheap, while continuing to mull over last night’s Halloween near-horror story!