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R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction: Cant Get There from Here


 [Cant Get There from Here]

Cant Get There from Here
The title is a stereotyped response of rural folks when asked for directions to someplace they don't know. [Ron Henry]

"Philomath they know the lowdown"
"Philomath is located between Lexington and Crawfordville and used to have its own post office." That would be Lexington and Crawfordville, Georgia, just down the road from the town of Athens, Georgia. [m.rankin; the quote is from the liner notes of Eponymous.] * It's in Georgia, in Oglethorpe County, southeast of Athens. [Lin Wright] * A philomath is also one who is learned in many disciplines. [Ron Henry]

"Tris is sure to shirr the deers out."
Tris doesn't mean anything, but may be short for Tristram. To "shirr", according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means "To gather (cloth) into decorative rows by parallel stitching" or "To cook (unshelled eggs) by baking until set." (How these two things got filed under the same word is beyond me.) The plural of "deer" is, of course, "deer", not deers. [Chris Piuma] * Someone offered a colloquial definition of "shirring deer" as meaning flushing them out of hiding for those who are hunting them. [Ron Henry]

"Hands down, Calechee bound"
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: "caliche [kuh-LEE-chee]: n. Geol. 1. a surface deposit consisting of sand or clay impregnated with crystalline salts, such as sodium nitrate or sodium chloride. 2. a zone of calcium or mixed carbonates in soils of semiarid regions." Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology (Tarbuck & Lutgens): "caliche -- a hard layer, rich in calcium carbonate, that forms beneath the B horizon in soils of arid regions." According to my geology professor, caliche is mostly found in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The closest place to Athens with any caliche is Texas. Michael Stipe lived in Texas as a child, but I don't know if he lived in an area with caliche. This is from RS 625 March 5, 1992, "The Rolling Stone Interview: Michael Stipe". RS: "What inspired you to enroll as an art student at the University of Georgia?" Stipe: "I was an art student just because it seemed so simple. I didn't want to get bogged down with books, so I didn't pick English. I didn't want to go into philosophy, because I thought it was a pile of dog shit. I was interested in geology; I could just as easily have taken that. I just happened to pick art because the building was walking distance from downtown Athens, just off Jackson Street." [mfine]

"Land locked, kiss the ground"
A land locked region is one that has no access to the ocean. Kissing the ground is a traditional way to honor a place you have never been before. [Ron Henry] * Kissing the ground also represents a symbolic way of expressing joy at returning to your native land after a long absence. [Joshua Hall-Bachner]

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