We went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee . . . for a meeting. 17,633,421 other people went to Pigeon Forge last weekend because they think that Dolly lives there. Another 7,344,012 people went to Gatlinburg, TN, about 4 miles away from Pigeon Forge. They got lost looking for Dolly. All 24,977,433 people that made the pilgrimage to the Smokies last weekend like to drive. They like to drive very slowly in bumper-to-bumper traffic, because neither Pigeon Forge nor Gatlinburg can accomodate the 7,136,409.4285714 automobiles required to transport all of the Dolly seekers and the 1.5 children in their nuclear family.
Even though there are a “slew” of restaurants in Dollyland to feed all of the pilgrims, there aren’t enough. “Slew,” by the way, is a mountain word. Here in Perry, we would say a “mess,” as in “mess of catfish.” Anyway, the situation in the “slew” of restaurants was a mess. It wasn’t a problem, though, because the pilgrims were willing to wait.
In fact, the pilgrims all seemed to have come with the understanding that lots of waiting would be part of their weekend vacation. To me, waiting (especially in traffic) and vacation are opposing concepts. Vacations are fun. Waiting interminably is not.
I don’t think that anyone found the real Dolly. There was Dollywood, Little Dolly’s junk shop, Dolly’s restaurant, and Dolly’s image everywhere; but no Dolly. I think that there was probably a Dolly’s lingerie somewhere, but I missed it. I’m sorry, because I’ve been wanting to recreate an egg launcher that my buddies and I made in college. It featured an exceptionally large brassiere cup and some surgical tubing, but that’s a story for another day.
I love the mountains. I don’t love being in a small mountain community with 24,977,433 others. I won’t be going back to Pigeon Forge. I’m never watching “9 to 5” again.