As the houseboat drifts toward the end of the car recycling plant, there is a cleared area where a campfire is burning, a large pot hung over the fire, burbling away. Several picnic benches are placed here and there on a level spot nearby, with residents of the Kudzu Nation lounging. Some wear baseball caps, cutoff jeans or pants, and t-shirts with the sleeves torn off or rolled high. This is redneck country. The men have beards. Several of the lounging residents wave and tip their baseball caps toward the houseboat drifting by.
. . Seem friendly enough . .
FINEGAN pedals toward shore, then backpedals to slow the houseboat, then comes forward to help JOEY moor the boat.
JOEY is already swinging one of the grappling hooks.
of the kudzu canyons where children and adults are climbing down the vines, hand over hand and putting their feet against the rusting crushed cars underneath the vine cover.
Some adults are climbing just below their young children, so if the child falters they can catch the child, blocking its fall. An old man is climbing down with his cane slung over his back.
to take in several of the kudzu canyons.
The piles of cars, topped with cars as living quarters, and the kudzu cascading down the sides of the piles, all now covered with creeping and hobbling residents, look a bit like an anthill under an evacuation.
of FINEGAN followed by JOEY coming across the gangplank.
FINEGAN extends his hand to the KUDZU KING who is approaching with an extended hand and broad grin.
Finegan Fine here, trader.
Ain't you the clever one! You got access to all what's flooded. Be damned.
The KUDZU KING has a tanned face, a beard that has been crudely trimmed to be only a few inches long, hair that looks just as butchered by scissors, and is wearing well worn jeans, scuffed brown leather boots, and an undershirt with a short-sleeved plaid shirt on top. His shirts look grimy and sweaty, and are torn in several places. The KUDZU KING adjusts his baseball cap, and can hardly stop grinning. He slaps FINEGAN on the shoulder, welcoming him, and walks alongside him as they walk to the campfire.
We're just setting up breakfast. Yer welcome to share what we got. You like kudzu?