🔗 What Chafes My Groin #7text Ido Perlmuter
First published: .
The Broken Car Motel
After the terrorists attacked Israel in October 7th of last year, the country underwent a massive draft of reservists to the IDF, with more than a 100% of those drafted showing up for service. I sometimes like to "take the long way home" driving back from work, or just go out on random drives to nowhere for the hell of it. One night, I was driving on a main road next to an IDF base, when I was forced to stop in the middle of the road, because the shoulders were full of tightly-parked cars, and reservists were literally running across the road towards the army base. Apparently, a large number of reservists drove directly to the base to re-enlist, but the base could not accommodate all their vehicles. With no parking, they simply dumped their cars on the shoulders, quite haphazardly, like they absolutely had to re-enlist with no delay. There were hundreds of cars on both shoulders of both sides of the road, often sticking out into the road, making it dangerous to drive through.
It was a little after the IDF entered the Gaza Strip, about a month or so after the vile attack on my country began and a very tense time for us, when I first allowed myself to leave the house farther than the next neighborhood and passed through on that road and witnessed that strange late-night sight. It was an encouraging sight, seeing the strong response of the Israeli people, and for the first time in a month my spirits were lifted.
In the months that followed, I made it a point to pass through there again on my drives. The cars were all still parked on the shoulders, for months on end, while their owners were fighting in Gaza. I liked seeing the cars there, it made me feel better.
A couple of weeks ago I drove by there again. This time, the cars were almost gone, but there were still about a dozen or so on both sides of the road. Most of those were badly damaged now. Crumpled backsides, "whompy wheels", torn out side-view mirrors, and a ton of dirt. Clearly, there were accidents. It was no longer an uplifting sight, it was a sad one. Were those last remaining cars still parked there because the owners are never coming back? And if the owners are coming back, how awful will it be for them to find their cars a total-loss after months of fighting in enemy territory? And let's be real here, how badly are they gonna get fucked by their insurance providers?
What's Myna Is Myna
I like to grow plants and trees. Mostly chili peppers, the more varieties the better. I also grow Arabica coffee, citrus trees, olives, and various non-bearing plants.
Chili peppers are great because you can make a lot of seasonings, salsas, zhug and hot sauces, and most plants produce a lot of peppers.
Except that those fucking Myna birds that took over Israel in recent years are going to town on all my peppers. They're eating the leaves and the flowers like there's no tomorrow. They're not even waiting for a pepper to grow, they're just swallowing the flowers whole even before they've had a chance to bud.
So what do you do? You install bird spikes. You put up scarecrows. You reposition the plants. You wrap all the plants with mesh netting. You randomly and suddenly barge out to the balcony yelling like a mad man trying to catch them off guard. And all the time you're feeling like Al Bundy in that Married… with Children episode "Wabbit Season". In that episode, Al is suffering from a lot of stress and finally has a nervous breakdown, so the doctor recommends he start a garden patch to relax. So Al starts a garden patch and grows a bunch of vegetables, but a rabbit starts eating his carrots. Long story short, Al blows up the whole house.
I'm getting there, I can feel it.
Why Are Country Singers Obsessed With County Lines?
I love country music, but if I hear one more singer mentioning "county lines" I'm going on a rampage of scratching my balls on the couch while yelling at the wall. Pretty much every country musician has at least one song mentioning a "county line".
So I started thinking, "why are country singers obsessed with county lines?" I have to know what these lyrics mean:
When I'm passin' through
The conversation always turns to you
I hear you're doin' fine
Livin' out by the county line
― Tim McGraw, "Everywhere"
How is living close to the county lines "doin' fine?"
Obviously, there's a reason why singers and songwriters who predominately come from rural America would speak of the county, when those from urban America would talk more about the neighborhood or city: Rural America, which makes up most of the country (geographically speaking), is a sparsely populated collection of towns, communities and random houses in the middle of nowhere. As such, there is no concept of belonging on the neighborhood/city level, because there really aren't big cities and neighborhoods. The county is the main administrative body in the lives of those living in rural America. But I still don't get why county lines specifically are mentioned so often.
Out in the country past the city limits sign
Well there's a Honky Tonk near the county line
The joint starts jumpin' every night when the sun goes down
They got whiskey, women, music and smoke
It's where all the cowboy folk go to boot scootin' boogie
― Brooks & Dunn, "Boot Scootin' Boogie"
Okay, WTF? And I'm not talking about the boot scootin' boogie thing. "Past the city limits sign, […] near the county line." What is it with county lines and parties and dancing and good living? Is it duty free near county lines? Is it easier to smuggle moonshine?
I'm going to sing you a hundred verses in ragtime
I know this song it ain't never going to end
I'm going to march you up and down along the county line
Take you to the leader of a band
― Grateful Dead, "Ramble On Rose"
There's good stuff on those county lines, not just moonshine, I'm telling you.
I have these pictures and I keep these photographs
To remind me of a time
These pictures and these photographs
Let me know I'm doin' fine
I used to make you happy once upon a time
But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County line
We used to be so happy once upon a time
Once upon a time
But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County line
And the sun sank west of the Mendocino County line
― Willie Nelson, "Mendocino County Line"
Well, all good things must end, even next to county lines.