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My fever dream with Robert E. Lee

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Last week I was feeling ill. My son was diagnosed with H1N1, and I caught it too. I'm OK now, but ever since, I've been much more prone to fatigue, light-headedness, and for the first time in my life, I've even had some near-sightedness. Sometimes it makes simple tasks like driving home from an assignment arduous.

    Which is exactly what I was doing today. I was trudging my way home down I-70 in a downpour. I was tired, not feeling 100 percent, and counting down the mundane minutes as I drove through the wastes of central Illinois when I heard otherworldly strains of Dixie.

    Then an apparition appeared in my passenger seat.


    Robert E. Lee: Hello good sir. Allow me to make your acquaintance, I'm General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate States of America.
    Bubbler: HOLY LIVING FUCK!

    I have no connection to Lee, the South, Virginia, sympathy towards the southern cause, anything. What was he doing in my car?

    Bubbler: What on God's green earth are you doing in my car?
    Lee: Car? What in blue hell is a car? Is that what this strange horseless carriage is called?
    Bubbler: Yeah. Why are you here?
    Lee: This is the damnest contraption. If I had 10 of these, I would have opened Christmas gifts in Philadelphia back in '61. McClellan would have shit his dungarees! As to your question, good sir, I have no earthly idea. You don't sound southern, are you in the Union Army?
    Bubbler: No. I'm a sportswriter. Can you visit someone else, please?
    Lee: I have no control over my whereabouts. God chooses my destinations. It's all part of a greater design, I guess. Either that, or he's bored. Or, I'm in hell and part of my punishment is to visit you.
    Bubbler: Thanks.
    Lee: Or, you're in hell and part of your punishment is to visit me.
    Bubbler: Yeah great. Well, take a look around. Don't hesitate to ask questions and help yourself to some Andy Capp's Cheddar Fries.
    Lee: Obliged!

    Lee asked the questions you'd expect of someone who died in the 19th Century. What's a truck? How did all these highways get built? Etc.? He did tend to ramble though.

    Lee: Where are we? These fields look bountiful.
    Bubbler: We're in Illinois. Look, there's the big-ass giant cross over Effingham.
    Lee: Illinois ... land of Lincoln. A worthy adversary to be sure and a fine state. I'll bet they've produced many more presidents.
    Bubbler: Well now that you mentioned it, our current president is from Illinois.
    Lee: Ah, what's his name?
    Bubbler: Barack Obama.

    Lee got an ashen look on his face, the kind that only comes up when total revulsion occurs. The idea of someone with that heritage just absolutely repulsed him.

    Lee: God damn, Irish. God damn whiskey-drinking papists! One potato rolls off a ship in Boston and that whole wretched island shows up to chase it down. Barack O'Bama ... he didn't even have the courtesy to change his Gaelic name when he ambled off the ship.
    Bubbler: What? First off, I'm half-Irish, so half-a-fuck you to you. Secondly, Obama isn't Irish, he's black.
    Lee: Black? By black you mean from the English Black Country, right?
    Bubbler: No, black. As in black skin.
    Lee: Oh. That's, uh, great. I didn't even know they could vote. I wasn't even sure they should vote. But that's great. Here's to progress!

    Lee's apparition then starts violently swinging at the dashboard.

    Lee: THANK (punch) GOD (punch) THE UNION (punch) WON THE WAR (punch). I (punch) DIDN'T (punch) FUCK THINGS UP (punch) THAT BAD (punch) BY LOSING (punch) AFTER ALL! (punch)

    Lee settled down and it was amazing to me how quickly someone from that era could acclimate to the present. I thought Lee would be confused beyond all recognition. But when he revealed he had been listening to my XM radio, which was tuned to the 70s on 7, he surprised me.

    Bubbler: Jesus, you scared the shit out of me. What cowardice?
    Lee: What is the name of the yellow cur singer of that song we just heard? He dishonors himself!
    Bubbler: What? Gimme Three Steps? That's a band called Lynyrd Skynyrd. See, they're named after their former gym teacher ...
    Lee: That matters not. What does matter is his lack of honor. He was challenged in that tavern he was in. In my day, if I were challenged in the same way, I'd have drawn my saber and defended my honor and that of Linda Lou!
    Bubbler: First of all, it's not real, it's just a song. Secondly, I think Ronnie Van Zant was trying to satirize tough-guy ideals that were commonplace at the time in movies such as Billy Jack. Sometimes its better to just get the fuck out of Dodge.
    Lee: Nonsense! Fight!
    Bubbler: OK, lets go with what you're saying. Ronnie Van Zant should have challenged him to a dual with a sword, is that what you're saying?
    Lee: Precisely.
    Bubbler: Here's where your knowledge of modern weapons betray you. You'd be dead on the ground before you ever got your hand on your sword because he would have busted a cap in your ass with his automatic pistol. They didn't have those in your day. Your whole logic is fucked.
    Lee: Perhaps or perhaps not. He still could have defended his honor. He proved his cowardice when he the other gentlemen turned and screamed at Linda Lou. Instead of drawing iron, he said it was the break he was looking for. They could hear him scream a mile away as he was headed out towards the door. Pure and simple cowardice in the face of the enemy!
    Bubbler: Sigh.

    This went on. Lee proved to be quite an avid listener of 70s songs. We engaged in a spirited debate about whether Sammy Johns' Chevy Van is about date rape, and I have to be honest, he made a convincing argument.

    Lee: She woke up and took me by the hand. We made love in my Chevy van, and that's all right with me? What choice did she have? He was clearly a charlatan, he left her in some small town. My guess is that he would have left her for dead if she didn't fornicate with him.

    The Civil War itself, however, was not a topic he preferred to engage in.

    Bubbler: Hear me out. You were too obsessed with hitting the Union cities on the eastern seaboard, hence military disasters at Antietam and Gettysburg. What if you had taken the Army of Northern Virginia into what was later known as West Virginia. Cross the Ohio River at Marietta and drive northwards towards Cleveland. That way you could split the north into two and cut the east coast off from its breadbasket and raw materials for its industry. Not only that, but those areas of Ohio as far north as Canton would probably have been somewhat sympathetic to your cause. What say you?
    Lee: That's brilliant. I can't believe I never thought of that.
    Bubbler: Seriously?
    Lee: No, you hopeless amateur! That plan is ludicrous! How would I have maintained a supply line with no north-south railroad in that region? How would I have crossed that hilly terrain? How would I have been able to maintain a base of operations along Lake Erie? Tell you what. You drive this horseless carriage, I'll do the generaling.
    Bubbler: OK, (cough) Gen. Appomattox Court House.
    Lee: Pardon?
    Bubbler: Nothing.

    It was fascinating having the ghost of an American icon in my car ... for maybe five minutes. Then he got downright annoying. Not just with overblown diatribes on his greatness at the Battle Of the Wilderness and his thoughts on the Righteous Brothers' Rock 'n Roll Heaven, but just in general. Turns out, Gen. Lee has a kind of Dwight Schrute-like annoying quality to him.

    But soon I had an out.

    Lee: Are you interested in the fairer sex? Because I am.
    Bubbler: Huh? I'm married, if that's what you mean.
    Lee: No I mean, are there brothels in the 21st century?
    Bubbler: There are, but they're not out in the open, so I really can't ...
    Lee: Tarnation! What's that?

    Lee sighted the XXX book store in an old converted gas station off one of I-70's exits.

    Bubbler: Oh, uh, yeah. That's a brothel ... of a kind.
    Lee: Peep shows. These fascinate me. What are they?
    Bubbler: Its where you get to watch naked women dance and gyrate sexually. At certain permissive establishments, perhaps even more.
    Lee: What about this establishment? Is it permissive enough?
    Bubbler: Uh, er, yeah, sure. They do it all. And these are fine Illinois highway women, the best kind.
    Lee: Well, I'll just march in there and get my fill.
    Bubbler: Whoa, whoa. I thought you had no control over your destination?
    Lee: I lied. I want some pussy. Your mission on earth was to lead the ghost of Robert E. Lee to the easiest women to roger.
    Bubbler: Fine. Do you have any ghost money?
    Lee: Money? I have the readies in the bin, but I don't pay for pussy.
    Bubbler: Well then, you're not going to get far.
    Lee: Well then I'll proceed home with you ...
    Bubbler: NO! Wait. You're Robert E. Lee. Maybe they'll give you a freebie, why don't you give a try.
    Lee: Now you're thinking like I'm thinking. I've been tripping balls since the Gilded Age and this XXX establishment is just what I've sought. If my journey goes for naught, you will wait for your general, right?
    Bubbler: Uh, yeah. Sure.

    That was the break I was looking for. As he went in to get his Civil War rocks off, you could hear me screaming a mile away as I was headed out towards the door.

    I still don't know if what I experienced was real or a fever dream, but I know I never want to be haunted by a racist, 70s song-obsessed, horny Civil War icon for the rest of my days.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. McPoyle

    McPoyle Guest

    This definitely is the strangest thing I've read in my short time here.

    Was this stream of consciousness?
  3. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    And this is why you don't pick up NyQuil-drinking hitch hikers off the interstate. You get a contact high.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Just when I start thinking I'm the strangest person on the planet, along comes Bubbler. Thanks, man!

    I especially loved this: God damn, Irish. God damn whiskey-drinking papists! One potato rolls off a ship in Boston and that whole wretched island shows up to chase it down.

  5. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I think the return of DD made Bubs raise his game. And what would the General have thought of prancing?
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Thanks to Bubbler, I'm now actually looking forward to getting H1N1.

    Great idea for a country song - if Robert E. Lee was alive today:
    - He'd probably run a NASCAR team (he's be great with Junior, both have legions of fans and had famous fathers, both have won a few battles but failed to win a war, when they fail, they fail dramatically).
    - He'd be a member at Augusta and speak at some of those "Get Motivated!" seminars.
    - He'd be wondering how crappy the Cavaliers have to get before they fire Al Groh.
  7. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    That's awesome.
  8. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    That may be the funniest thing I've ever seen Bubbler write. I honestly hoped he could keep it going.
  9. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Good thing Lee didn't know about Sometimes When We Touch
  10. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Back with my wife in Tennessee,
    When one day she called to me,
    "Virgil, quick, come see,
    there goes Robert E. Lee!"
    Now I don't mind a-choppin' wood,
    and I don't care if the money's no good.
    Take what you need and leave the rest,
    But they should never have taken the very best.

    The night they drove old Dixie down,
    and all the bells were ringing
    the night they drove old Dixie down,
    and the people were singin',
    La, la-la, la-la, la-la-la-la,
    La, la-la, la-la, la-la-la-la.
  11. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I'm never driving anywhere with Bubbler.
  12. Chef

    Chef Active Member

    I loved how he went back to "Gimme Three Steps" at the very end.

    I've got the title of your first book right here.

    Robert E. Lee And Me; Tales Of A Sportswriting Lunatic
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