MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- While the Mississippi delta may be shining like a National guitar, and I may have been following the river down the highway, through the cradle of the Civil War, I'm still not going to Graceland.
I mean, come on. I'm here for next Monday's Liberty Bowl, between a Golden Hurricane (Tulsa) and Cyclones (Iowa State). There's no time for silliness like driving down Elvis Presley Boulevard to see where the King lived and died here.
Besides, that would only cut into my time on Beale Street, performing at B.B. King's Blues Club.
But my 570-mile car ride from downtown Cedar Rapids to the land of the Delta blues on a long Thursday provided enough other glimpse of Americana, though far less-famous than Graceland.
Oh, why a car ride? Because my boss thought hitchhiking was a little too dangerous. Meaning, he was afraid someone would rob me of my company laptop computer.
In Troy, Mo., I saw a billboard for Shelter Insurance agent Eric "Hoodie" Hood. That's what the sign said. Eric "Hoodie" Hood.
I decided he probably hangs out with Frank "Jonesy" Jones and Joe "Whitey" White.
"Hoodie" looks like an OK guy, though. I'd buy insurance from him.
In New London, Mo., I saw a sign for award-winning taxidermy. I think this was probably the specific business.
Do you think there's a black-tie dinner for the Taxidermy Awards? I'm guessing it's a pretty stiff affair.
Zsa Zsa & Daphne's. I didn't catch what the business was in Sikeston, Mo. (I found the details here), but I knew it had as great a name as any business could ever want.
Zsa Zsa & Daphne. Coming soon to CBS' Monday night sitcom lineup.
I saw at least four billboards in the St. Louis area for We Buy Ugly Houses.com.
Is preying on home-owners' low self-esteem really good for anyone?
Not far from the Arkansas border was a Missouri town called Cooter.
I kid you not.
You can't drive through Missouri without seeing plenty of fireworks stores, especially near the borders. I saw one sign that said FIR ORKS OUTLET.
Oh, how I hope the 'E' and the 'W' were blown out of the sign by a fireworks episode gone bad.
Just a couple blocks from my Memphis hotel is this:
That's right. BP and sushi, together again. Hold the oil, please.