I think I’ve never been so tired in my life. I am in St. Louis now. It took me a mere 50 (fifty) hours to get here. It is 9pm now and I was just surrounded by a motor cycle gang. Grown men on those strange, small bikes, doing wheelies and burnouts, loud as all hell (still, got some good videos, totally worth it). But let’s try to make sense (I’m a little drunk now but, as always, am most fearful of forgetting what in fact has occurred, and of which I shall now give a verbatim account for you, my faithful reader). If you remember, I was still situated at that haunted and foreboding hotel in Paris (Ibis). It was not until 6:30 this same morrow that I got up to indulge in a hearty breakfast consisting of fruit salat and cappuccino. In the aeroplane, to which I made haste in a timely fashion, I found myself situated for the next nine hours adjacent to an elderly blonde woman from Alabama with the most conservative fancies. But (and that’s a big butt), I also found myself upgraded to a most exquisit seat with plenty of legroom in front of my body, which excited the most pleasant feelings in me. Nevertheless, I tried to deter the woman’s ramblings by demonstratively watching graphically intense motion pictures, namely Nosferatu as well as The Elephant Man, yet met only limited success as she whispered incessantly into my left ear something that sounded like “trrrrr,” and then, almost foaming around the nostrils, “uuuummpppppppp.”

Be that as it may, I happily managed to reach the fine town with the particular name of “St. Louis.” Embarking in a Lyft wagon, I was confronted with yet another extraordinary and equally blonde woman, albeit of a much younger age and more agreeing physiognomy. Let’s call her Christina (her actual name). She said she just lost her job as she would not do as her boss pleased. She had since, just the day before, started a career as a driver and proceeded to offer me an oversized menthol L&M. How, my faithful reader, I asketh you, couldst I withstand such an offer after such long travels (she also offered me hits from a wooden hash pipe and handed me two vouchers for local strip clubs)? Her driving, I need not say, was quite erratic as she franticly zoomed in and out of lanes, all the while telling me that the week before she was still homeless and sleeping in a van that she then sold for $500 to rent a car from Lyft. On the freeway, she suddenly braked, insisting that I take a picture of the famous Arc from this exact spot. I don’t know. I really don’t (but it’s a good picture).

At my destination, I shook hands with my host (Tom), took a quick shower and headed (this time with a more seasoned driver) to the famed (?) Hyatt Regency, where this year’s annual conference of the Midwest Popcultural Association (MPCA), of which I am a proud member, is taking place. My own presentation I had already missed due to the prior delays, yet I was pleased to hear that it had been postponed and is now to take place on Sunday, 9am.

But alas, I cannot keep my eyes open any longer. I shall now sleep till the morning sun touches my cheeks and will inform you of any further happenings as soon as it strikes my fancy.

Yours faithfully, J. Harker