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Ol’ Smiley and Ole Miss Football
by Ray Sellers



Ol’ Smiley called it.

Ole Miss is good, Auburn is bad. Never has so much been said with so few words.

I'll give ya a blow by blow of the day.

We catch the bus at 6:30 a.m., load up, hoddy toddy, and drive to the plains. Several of the passengers have already started the toddy at the crack of dawn. So far, so good.

Get to the stadium and listen to the folks say, "Be sure to get your bearings because it will be after dark when you return."

Ol’ Smiley strolls out of the bus and into the land of big motorhomes--acres and acres of motorhomes, tents, grills, and happy, smiling faces. There are lots of gracious, drinking, entertaining, attractive Southern people, all there for the purpose of seeing their coaches and players lead them to another victory.

A lady in one of the tents steps out from her hosting duties and tells us how glad they are that we have come to their Auburn campus. She says they hope we enjoy our visit and we should be sure to stop by their tent at the end of the game and drown our sorrows as Auburn always beats Ole Miss.

Ol’ Smiley just gives her a little grin and nods. Little does this lady know what awaits the Tigers.

Super atmosphere inside the stadium. People are standing, sitting in the aisles, everywhere.

Super game. Rebs win. We put the Eli on 'em.

After the game, as we walk out of the stadium, Auburn fans are still in their seats, frozen in time, looking into the end-zone, staring in utter disbelief at the scoreboard.

Now begins the most unbelievable journey Ol’ Smiley has ever taken.

We leave the stadium. Walking past the tent where the lady had invited us to stop by after the game, we notice the flaps are closed. Those happy, gracious, entertaining folks are still inside the stadium looking at the scoreboard.

We get back to the bus, ready to head home. It’s still early--we’d be home and in bed at a halfway decent hour.

Then we load on the "Bus from Hell" for the trip back . . . hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy . . . nothing like the popping of the tops of beer cans to get the heart pumping and get ready for the trip home. We wait and wait. Three of our passengers are unaccounted for.

One of the toddiers says, "Well, if they weren't such dumbasses they could have followed the beer cans back to the bus." He had left a trail of beer cans all the way to the stadium and followed them back. Why couldn't they?

Finally, two of the passengers pull up in a car--some Auburn people have picked them up on the other side of the stadium and brought them to the bus. But there is still one passenger unaccounted for. Somehow that guy has ended up in a bar on the other end of the stadium. We drive around to pick him up.

Finally, still early but getting later, we head out, figuring we’d be home before daylight. The bus driver, however, gets turned around and we become lost, ending up on a one-lane gravel road that is marked “Private Drive.” We spend thirty minutes getting the bus turned around and back on concrete.

We head out of Auburn. After a period, we notice the stadium lights off to our right again. Yep, you guessed it; we’ve been going in circles.

Hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy--beer can tops popping, fans whooping and hollering. Getting later, getting later, stadium still in sight.

Well guess what? We get out of Auburn, headed to Montgomery, and . . . gotta stop, gotta stop. The old folks want to eat. Where? You guessed right again--Cracker Barrel.

Hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy, getting later, getting later, getting later.

About 3,126 people of the 86,900 people at the Auburn-Ole Miss game are now at the Cracker Barrel in Montgomery.

Hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy, getting later, getting later, no big deal, no big deal, you do what you have to do.

By this time, friend Eddie is mad and refuses to get out of the bus. It’s late and we want to go home, but gotta eat at Cracker Barrel.

Instead, several of us walk over to the Waffle House, as the line (just for the restroom) is out the door and down the porch at Cracker Barrel. We eat. Then reload.

Hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy . . . just get this old, tired body outta here. We leave the restaurant. Home can't be far away now. We drive and drive. We look off to the left, and lo and behold, there’s Cracker Barrel again.

Hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy . . .

The driver stops at a service station and asks for directions. (I've done this before, and in all big towns, folks working in these places aren't from there, they've just moved there yaa yaa yada. But they don't want to seem stupid so they give you directions.)

Well, we drive some more. This time Cracker Barrel is on our right; yeah, right.

Hoddy toddy, hoddy toddy, this poor ol’ body. It’s getting late, getting later.

We stop for directions two more times before leaving Montgomery. On the final stop we get fuel as the bus is getting dangerously low. We unload at the fuel stop--ladies to the restrooms and men to get more beer.

I don’t get off at this stop, as I, much like Eddie, am kinda getting depressed. At times a bus-jacking crosses my mind.

But this turns out to be our last stop. We finally make it home at 4:30 in the morning, alive and well. Mission accomplished.

________________________

Oh, yeah, I thought I’d throw this out and get your comments. I may have to write Ms. Manners to find the proper way to handle an unwelcomed “high five.”

#1- Do you turn your head and pretend it is just not coming?

#2 - Do you stick your hands in your pockets and pretend you are looking for change?

Or #3 - Do you quickly put your finger up your nose or scratch in private places?

If you do #1 or #3, chances are you are gonna get another “high five” at the first opportunity. If you do #2, you don’t have to worry about “high five's,” but you do have to worry about someone sitting beside you.

Y’all give this some thought, as it is beginning to become a problem. As the Rebels keep winning, the “high five's” become more frequent, and Ol’ Smiley, now the guru from Grenada, Mississippi, is just not a “high fiving” man.

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