In April of 2002, Joy and I had decided to get in touch with the redneck within and pay a visit to the annual Mule Day festivities in Columbia, TN. I was hesitant to go at first, but finally decided that it would be a good opportunity to make fun of some rednecks and to get away from Nashville for a while. At the last minute, Richie decided to fly in from Baltimore and join us, so it was gonna be the three of us making the voyage.

Before we left, Richie and I stopped at Walmart and decided that it would be fun to get some kites to take with us so we could find a field and fly them. He got a nice one, and I got cheap bird kites with "realistic flapping action" for Joy and I. I got a seagull and I got her an owl since she's a Harry Potter fan. While we were there, Richie went on a destructive rampage, knocking down signs and running into people with his buggy. Then he turned bright purple.

We had a bit of difficulty finding Columbia, but we found interesting ways to amuse ourselves, like sticking our heads out the windows.

Once we finally found Columbia, we started following signs towards the Mule Day parade and flea market area, only to encounter one of the hugest traffic jams I've seen recently. While waiting in traffic, numerous people rode by on horses, which made me very glad that I at least live in a place where I don't have to use beasts of burden to get around.

While at a dead stand still, we decided to go ahead and pull over and fly our kites for a while and wait for the traffic to let up. We hadn't told Joy that we'd bought them, so it was a surprise to her. She wasn't quite sure why we were insisting on getting out and walking into the middle of a field, but she was pleasantly surprised. Richie had no trouble at all assembling his kite, but we had quite a bit of trouble due to bad directions. I guess it pays to spend $5 on a kite instead of $2.

Once we got our kites in the air, we had a good time. And we could see lots of people on the road pointing at us as if to say "Wow, that's a good idea. Those city slickers are smart!"

When we were done, the traffic was gone and we drove up to the flea market. We had already missed the parade (and as you could guess, we were all *so* distraught...) but the flea market would be open for a bit more. Well, turns out that it cost $5 to go in, and since none of us really had any money to spend, we decided to go to the free flea markets along one of the roads we had passed.

They had lots of fun stuff, so we each ended up making a purchase or two. I got a "Duffee's Fifty-Fifty Laxative Tonic Tablets" metal sign because I thought it was really weird. Richie got a studded belt and some striped socks, and Joy got a Trivial Persuit game and a Southern Comfort metal sign. None of us spent very much, and we each had something to show for our day long excursion into the bowels of redneckdom.

On the way home, we stopped for gas, and Richie got a corn dog and a soda. We had decided to make a run for Memphis for dinner, but it would have been midnight by the time we got there, which would put us back in Nashville at sunrise the next day, and we decided that was too far away. So we opted for Chattanooga. We got about halfway there and decided to stop for dinner at Davy Crocketts Tavern in Manchester. After dinner, we decided to just high tail it back to Nashville because we were tired and it was late. Overall, not a bad day. :-)

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