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The Ballad of the Bum Trip - Part Two, Meeting Albert
Going from South Bend to Cleveland, not much happened (that I remember - Larry might remember something. I was all hung over.) When we got to my dad's house, I stayed out of sight. (I had told Dad not to be surprised that I had gained quite a few pounds and had grown a bigger beard since I had last seen him.) Well, 365-pound Larrry went upstairs and yelled, "PA! It's me, your son!") Without missing a beat, Dad said, "Who are you? Where's Robert? And wipe your feet!"
It was Sunday. So my Uncle Larry took us to Little Italy and got us into the back door of a restaurant. And we all sat at a kitchen table and drank homemade wine til we got all goofy. Then we went back to Dad's and ate enough of his famous potato pancakes to sink the Bismark. As Krusty the Clown would say, "That's a lotta latka!" Later that evening we went out in the back yard of the apartment building and visited with some of the tenants. My uncle was the super of the building. After we had all had a few beers, Larry and I took the empties to the dumpster. We opened the lid and there it was, just what our adventure needed: an honest to goodness six-and-a-half-foot stuffed alligator. It seemed that a taxidermist had just moved out of one of the apartments and left "Albert" behind. He was kind of beat up around the edges, but our "Bum Trip" wouldn't have been the same without him.
The next day we gave the alligator a sponge bath, stuck him in the back seat of the Buick with his head sticking out of the driver's side window, said good-bye to my pop and off we went. Me, Larry, Albert, and a big jug of maffia wine!
- Adam Jones