Gut Rumbles

November 30, 2009

A down day

Originally published June 17, 2004

My grass needs mowing. I didn't mow it. I sat on my bony Cracker ass and wasted this entire day. I finished reading the book I started in Key West and took a couple of very refreshing naps on my sofa. I ate some clam chowder, some fresh corn that I bought from a roadside market and then buried my sunburned face in a seedless watermelon.

I'll probably shit like Moody's Goose tomorrow.

I've begun to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. Have you ever just gnawed a watermelon where the juice ran down your chin and dripped off your bare chest? Did you ever just sit cross-legged on the floor and savor every bite of that sweet, juicy melon? I did that today.

I also think about having a woman with me when I do such things. "Sit here next to me. Close your eyes, open your mouth and trust me." Imagine cutting off a seedless piece of melon and feeding it to her with your bare hands. Imagine the sigh of pleasure she exhales when she tastes the melon. Imagine giving her a big, wet kiss afterward.

I can't help it. I think watermelon is sexy.

November 29, 2009

Wimmen and sex

Originally published August 23, 2004

Paul Rodrigus once told a joke that I really liked. "Wimmen are telepathic. When you pick them up for a date they KNOW if you're going to get laid that night."

For a lot of my life, wimmen scared the hell out of me. I didn't understand them. They were mysterious creatures who acted in mysterious ways. They had mysterious things under their clothes, too. I wanted to SEE those things and PLAY with them, but I was afraid to even try. Wimmen scared me in a superstitious, religious kind of way.

I eventually overcame my youthful fears and became quite the flirtatious rake in my later years. During that period of exploration and discovery, I learned a few things about wimmen.

1) One who is comfortable with herself likes sex as much as YOU do.

2) Multiple orgasms. Did God cheat men, or what??? SHE can explode like a string of firecrackers and do it over and over again. I explode ONCE and I'm ready for a nap. That just ain't fair.

3) Very few wimmen, even beautiful ones, are content with the way they look. Wimmen are more insecure than most men I know.

4) Wimmen are vicious if you ever piss them off. Men may get into a fist-fight or a gun-fight if they are pissed off. Wimmen hire lawyers and steal all of your shit. That just ain't fair, either.

5) In outer space, astronomers have found black holes, quasars, nebuli and numerous other galaxies. The universe is a huge place. But some wimmen believe that they are sitting on the only pussy in the world and they get pissed if YOU don't believe it, too.

6) Wimmen spend hours getting dressed in sexy clothes, applying makeup to make themselves look as good as possible, then cry "SEXUAL HARASSMENT!!!" when men notice.

7) Men BEG to be sexually harassed.

8) If a twenty-something-year old MALE schoolteacher bedded a 14 year-old girl, I'd call the guy a lecher and demand that he be dragged off and shot. But when a twenty-something FEMALE teacher beds a 14 year-old boy, I wonder where she was when I was in school. I WANTED a teacher like that one.

9) Some wimmen really LIKE to perform oral sex, but they don't like the same thing done to them. I've never figured that one out, but I know it's true. They'll polish your knob with utter abandon, then become all modest and ashamed if you want to go down on them. Got-Dam, woman!!! Do you think I've never seen a pussy before? I HAVE and I believe that every one I ever saw was beautiful. I know what I'm doing. Lemme have a crack at yours... or a crack OF yours. But sometimes they just don't want you to do it.

10) Wimmen remember every fuck-up you ever made. They'll bring that shit up FIVE YEARS LATER, long after you've forgotten about it. But to them, it's like it happened yesterday and the fact that YOU forgot about it makes you an even bigger sumbitch than she first thought. You'll have hell to pay, buddy, and you'll slink off like a dog kicked for no reason. Like the dog, you'll wonder, "What the fuck was THAT all about?"

I don't trust wimmen, I don't like wimmen and I don't want a woman in my life right now. They are too crazy for me.

But I wouldn't mind one in my bed right now.

November 28, 2009

Frog war

Originally published June 18, 2004

I usually like the sound of crickets and frogs at night. They sing up a storm and I enjoy listening to them. But you can have too much of a good thing.

Last night, some horny damned frog perched himself somewhere around my back porch and just wouldn't shut up. "RACK! RACK! RACK-RACK-RACK-RACK!" The bastard sounded as if he were singing through a microphone into a bank of Bose PA speakers. I couldn't hear my television over his love song.

I grabbed a .22 pistol and a flashlight and went outside to dispatch his noisy ass. As soon as I opened the door, he cut off his set and took a break. I shined the flashlight all through the weeds the beautifully manicured grass in my back yard, but I couldn't find the obnoxious little shit. I decided to sit in a lawn chair and wait him out.

Mosquitoes attacked me, so I gave up on that plan. As soon as I went back inside, The Frog of Love started a new set and cranked up the volume. "RACK! RACK! RACK-RACK-RACK-RACK!" If I opened the door, he shut up. As soon as I closed the door, he started singing again.

I'm gonna find that prick today and kill him.

November 27, 2009

Another trivia question

Originally published August 23, 2004

One of the best lines I ever heard in a movie:

"It ain't your WORD that counts! It's who you GIVE IT TO!"

Who said that and what movie was it? (No fair looking in the "About Me" section of my blog. The answer is there.)

If you don't know the answer on your own, you need to be dragged off and shot. It's from the best western ever filmed.

November 26, 2009

Gay pride

Originally published June 18, 2004

Why is anyone "proud" of being gay?

I don't care what anyone does in consenting circumstances, and Bejus knows I've done enough wild-catting to make me a poor judge of other people's behavior, but I don't get the point of "gay pride." I can understand wimmen who like other wimmen, because I like wimmen, too. But GUYS? Who prefer a hairy ass and a set of balls over someone like Cindy Crawford?

I don't get it.

I have to admit that I would have a lot more money and a lot less grief today if I were gay. A Quest For Pussy has been my downfall in life. Anybody who EVER tells you that "I never paid for it" is a goddam liar. NOTHING in life is free, and pussy is ALWAYS expensive, sooner or later.

Still, I don't march in parades proclaiming my heterosexuality. I'm hard-wired for what I like and I don't take any "pride" in that fact. It's just the way I'm built. Why would anyone built differently take "pride" in consorting with members of the same sex? It's not as if they had to work really hard at being gay. It's just in the wiring.

To me, it's all like eating broccoli. Either you like it, or you don't. But there's no reason to be proud either way.

November 25, 2009

Do they still exist?

Originally published August 23, 2004

By the time I finished sixth grade, I probably read more than 100 Little Blue Book biographies about people from George Washington to Booker T. Washington. I really enjoyed those things. They were easy to read, they taught me a lot about people I admired and I liked seeing my name on the library card in the back of the book when I picked up one I already read.

Those books sanitized the lives of some rounders (such as Sam Houston, Jim Thorpe and Babe Ruth) but they were excellent fodder for a young boy's mind. You can learn about the warts famous people have when you grow older and develop warts of your own. A young man needs heroes. Pure, unvarnished heroes.

Those books gave me my heroes. I wonder if kids still read those books today? If not, they're really missing a treat.

November 24, 2009

Simmering down

Originally published June 18, 2004

I'm attempting to un-piss-off myself. I'm not doing a real good job of it. Those Islamo-bastards fired up my grill with their cowardly assassination of an American hostage, who was guilty of nothing more than being an American. I am working up a good case of utter disgust toward Allah's minions. A lot of those people are just too fucked-up to be in this world.

I have no problem living with gay people until they start acting like Islamo-gays, with the tu-tus and leather thongs, showing their uncivilized asses. I have no problem with black people, either, until they start that mo-fo ghetto shit and expect me to swallow it. I can get along with almost anybody who acts civilized.

But I cannot and I WILL NOT get along with people who butcher a human being as if they were slaughtering a hog and then take bragging pictures of the act. I wish that I could have barged into that room with my 12-gauge and found out for myself just how brave those assholes were. Kill ME, you fuckers! But if you bring your knife to a gunfight, you're dead as a doornail.

I'm still pissed. I probably will be for a couple of days.

I cannot see a future for such people unless we plant them in the ground. They are mired in 7th-century thinking and they are complete savages. If they weren't sitting on a big puddle of oil, they'd be eating sand for sustinence. They are some really bent, fucked-up people.

I say kill them all.

November 23, 2009

John Wayne

Originally published August 23, 2004

I don't care what anybody else says--- John Wayne was the best western actor of all time. If you don't like John Wayne. you must be a terrorist. You need to be dragged off and shot.

Here's a trivia question. Wayne made more than 100 films and got killed on camera four times.

What movies did John Wayne die in?

November 22, 2009

Cancer survivor

Originally published June 19, 2004

Lookie here. I've been invited to join a Cancer Survivors Group. I wonder how they got my name and address? I also wonder what in the hell a cancer survivors group does. Do people stand around, swap horror stories and compare scars?

I don't believe that I want to join. First of all, I agree with Groucho Marx-- I don't want to join ANY club that would accept ME as a member. Second, I don't think of myself as a cancer survivor. I didn't do anything heroic or brave. I got lucky, that's all.

Having cancer damn sure changed my life in ways that will never be repaired, but the only real struggle I had during that time was keeping my head on straight while my not-yet-ex-wife moved her dope-smoking, unemployed lover into my house. That was a bitter pill to swallow. It also was the most heartless, bloodless thing anyone has ever done to me in my life.

Jennifer knew how frightened I was by the high PSA test and how I watched my father and my best friend die from prostate cancer. She knew how worried I was about the biopsy results. Still, she picked that time to become an adulteress, throw me out of my home and start a torrid affair with a person not fit to kiss my ass. She's a class act all the way.

I remember the night before the surgery. I had to be at the hospital at 5:00 AM and I didn't sleep much that night. I did a lot of thinking. I wasn't afraid of dying--- the thought of dying has NEVER frightened me. It's gonna happen some day and I hope to spit in the Reaper's face when he comes for me. I just didn't want to be ALTERED and live as only a part of what I once was.

I had a radical prostatectomy. It knocked me flat on my Cracker ass for a month. I wore diapers for three months after that while I practiced Keagle exercises to relearn how to control my continence. My dick was dead as a doorknob. I was one miserable sumbitch. I'll NEVER be right again, but I appear to be cancer-free. August 16th will make three years since I received the positive report on the biopsy. My last PSA test was a big, fat zero.

If I had it all to do over again, I'm not certain that I would consent to the surgery. I probably could have lived a good 10 to 15 years with the slow-moving cancer I had, and I believe that I would have been a lot happier, right up until I died, than I have been since the surgery.

Am I supposed to be PROUD and join a club because I didn't die (yet) of cancer? Am I supposed to consider myself as a "cancer survivor?" I don't feel proud and I don't consider myself to be a survivor. In fact, I wish now that I had never gone to the doctor for that biopsy.

I wouldn't fit in with a group of cancer survivors. I would rather have my old body back and die wearing it.

November 21, 2009

I admit it

Originally published August 22, 2004

My belly is full of good food. I am a happy man. That's because men are a lot like dogs. Feed us and pet us; we're happy. If you decide to GET NEKKID with us too, that's even better. We men LIKE being petted and romped upon.

Wimmen are like cats. They expect a man to be grateful for their presence even after they just scratched his eyes out. Maybe I AM a little bit set in my ways, but I like dogs better than I like cats.


November 20, 2009

Father's Day

Originally published June 19, 2004

I received a very nice email from my daughter this morning. She's coming to Savannah to visit next month and I look forward to seeing her (tote that pistol I gave you along on your trip--- it's always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it). Samantha has done a lot of growing up in the past few years. She is a beautiful young woman and I am proud of her.

I don't believe that I'll see or hear from Quinton tomorrow. Jennifer has had him pretty much hermetically-sealed away from me since February. Got-dam a court system that allows a woman to pick up the phone and place a warrant on my ass without producing ANY evidence of MY malfeasance. She doesn't have to prove any guilt on my part; I have to prove my innocence. That's just fucked-up, but she's done it three times to me now.

I miss my boy. Jack came over to visit yesterday and pestered me for about an hour. I like being pestered by Jack. He's a good kid and he wanted to know when Quinton was coming back to my house. I told him that I didn't know, but I was working on it.

"Mr. Rob, me and Quinton need to get back to our point of origin," Jack said.

I was amused. "Exactly WHAT is your 'point of origin,' Jack?"

"Quinton's room, where we played all the time. I want to do that again. Besides, you haven't cooked bacon and eggs for us in a long time."

No, I haven't, and I miss doing it. Those two little farts ate like bush-hogs when they visited the Crackerbox and I enjoyed filling their bellies. I didn't know about the "point of origin" thing, but I suspect that Jack picked up that term from Quinton. It sounds like something my boy would say.

I never spoke baby-talk to Quinton when he was waddling around in diapers and he has an impressive vocabulary for a ten year-old. I love that boy. I don't recall my father ever hugging me or telling me that he loved me. Kentucky coal miners just didn't do that kind of thing. I KNEW that he loved me, but he wasn't really demonstrative about it.

Tomorrow, I want to hug my boy and tell him that I love him.

November 19, 2009

I'm cooking ribs

Originally published August 22, 2004

My home smells like a soul-food kitchen. I have ribs I just brought in from the grill, some stewed new potatoes and fresh Silver Queen corn on the cob that I bought from a farmer's field yesterday. I'm going to rent a PPV movie and pig out while sitting on my couch.

You yankees will NEVER understand what this is like.

Just a day

Originally published June 19, 2004

I haven't felt good today. I've not been physically ill; I've just been down and depressed. I mowed my lawn, but my heart wasn't in it. Once upon a time, I would have been very proud of the grass I've managed to grow on this sandpile where I live, but it doesn't matter much to me now. I just cut the grass to keep the neighbors from thinking badly of me. I never did find that loudmouthed frog in the back yard.

Henry came over and gave me some squash and cucumbers from his garden. I ate them this afternoon while I watched the US Open Golf Tournament on television. I really should wipe the cobwebs off my clubs and start playing again. I used to be pretty good at that game. I THINK I miss playing, but I miss other things a lot more.

I took all of my guns out today and cleaned them. I like the smell of gun oil. According to the court order Jennifer has hanging over my head, I'm supposed to get rid of every one of those weapons before I can see Quinton again. I don't understand that. Jennifer has at least one gun that I know of, because I BOUGHT IT FOR HER. And if I wanted to kill her, I would have done it a long time ago. It's just more bullshit from a vindictive bitch that I made the mistake of marrying.

I bought my single-shot .22 rifle for Quinton. That's the same kind of gun I learned to handle when I was young and I don't see anything wrong with a father teaching his son to shoot and handle a firearm safely. In fact, I believe that it is a DUTY. A single-shot .22 rifle is perfect for the job, because it makes a person think about every shot. Plus, the ammo is cheap.

I'm not giving up my guns. I will NOT be an unarmed citizen expecting government to protect me from footpads, goblins, rattlesnakes, rabid raccoons or barking frogs. I want to be able to shoot first instead of calling 911. I don't give a shit what a judge says.

Let HIM come live where I do for a while. He'll buy his own goddamn guns.

I am in a rebellious, shitty mood. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and I've had enough pure bullshit heaped on my head to last for a lifetime. Tomorrow is Father's Day and the closest I can come to seeing my father or my grandfathers is a visit to the cemetary, which I won't make. I want to see my son, but I doubt that possibility, too. It'll just be another day for me.

I'll go see mama tomorrow. She always makes me feel at home.

November 18, 2009

Mushroom hunting

Originally published August 22, 2004

Yeah, I DID IT. I was young and dumb, full of cum, and I liked the way those things made me feel. They grow in cow pastures during the Southern summer and they spring up right out of cow turds after a good rain. You can recognize them by the purple band around the stem and the fact that they BRUISE purple if you squeeze the mushroom crest.

I've picked a 30-gallon garbage bag full of those things before.

We'd take 'em home (we were all crazy college students at the time. We didn't know which end was up.) and make a big pot of tea. Just wash the shit off the mushrooms, tie 'em up in a piece of pantyhose (If you are in college now and DON'T have any pantyhose around your room, you ain't enjoying college the way you should.) and boil it like you would a tea-bag.

Now comes the hard part. Remove mushrooms. Guess how potent the tea is. Cut it with sugar and Kool-Ade. Make several pitchers. Then... get a person that you KNOW is a complete dumbass stoner to try it first. You can watch him for 30 minutes and calculate how much of that crap YOU want to drink.

I haven't searched for mushrooms in more than 30 years now. I've helped farmers hang fence and I've toured many a cow pasture. I wasn't LOOKING for them at the time, but I believe that I could still spot one if I saw it. I simply have not seen a legitimate hallucenogenic mushroom growing in a cow pasture for a long, long time.

Did the EPA get rid of them? Did the War On Drugs eliminate them? Where did they go?

Wherever it was, a part of my youth went with them.

November 17, 2009


Originally published June 20, 2004

I woke up this morning with my face falling off. The sunburn I got in Key West has turned into a case of unbridled moulting, and I am peeling like a snake. My nose feels like a raw ear of corn on the cob. The only part of my forehead that remains intact is a brown streak right on top of my eyebrows. I think I left the rest of my face on my pillow last night.

I never should have lost my goddamn hat.

November 16, 2009

Playing in a band

Originally published August 22, 2004

I once played in a band called "Snake and the Reptiles." I was 17 years old at the time. I realize now that we weren't very good, but I thought we rocked at the time. Hell, we had a steady job and actually GOT PAID for playing music.

I went on to play in a lot of other bands and spent five years or so as a solo "artist." I grew my hair long, saw some places I never would have seen otherwise and I bedded a lot of wimmen. But I still don't like the term "artist" applied to a musician. A real artist writes poetry, sculpts from rock or paints beautiful pictures. I just played guitar. I wasn't no got-dam artist.

If you are a musician, you know what it's like to start a new band. Everybody can play, but it takes a while to get tight. You can HEAR IT when the music comes around just right, and that's a feeling I wouldn't trade for a winning lottery ticket. Money can't buy me that kind of feeling.

I'm soliciting comments here from musicians: Have you every played in a band with someone you just COULD NOT get along with? You know, the good guitar player or the drummer that simply believed that they were "special" instead of wanting a solid sound. I have, and I've never been able to stand that kind of shit for very long.

A band is a lot like a family. Either everybody pulls together and agrees on what they want to do, or the damn thing is going to fall apart. I ask you musicians--- am I WRONG about that observation?

I don't think so. I've seen it too many times.

November 15, 2009

Quinton came to see me

Originally published June 21, 2004

I almost didn't recognize my son when I opened the door. His hair is long now, and cut in a shag just like Jennifer's. He could wrap those flowing locks in a ponytail with no problem. I liked the spike-doo he wore during wrestling last year a lot better. I believe that my ex-wife wants a girly-boy instead of a young man in her life.

Quinton hugged me and handed me a hand-made Father's Day card. "I love you, Daddy," he said.

"I love you, too, son," I replied. That hug really felt good. I started to mist up, so I rubbed his head and asked, "What's with all the hair? You look like a Beatle."

"What's with all of THIS hair?" he asked, as he ran his fingers through my beard.

"I'm old. I can grow a beard if I want to. But YOU need a haircut."

"I'll get a haircut when you shave that beard," he grinned.

"It's a deal, but you go first," I replied.

I dropped down to one knee so that I could get a better hug and look into my boy's eyes. "Thanks for the card, poot. I sure do love you."

"I know, Daddy. I love you, too. Happy Father's Day."

The visit didn't last long, because Jennifer was in the driveway with the engine still running in her big, silver SUV. I waved at her as Quinton ran back to the car. When they pulled away, I went back inside, looked at my card and cried all over it. I started to take a picture of it and post it here, but that card wouldn't mean anything to anybody but me. But TO ME, it means a lot.

Quinton made that card and he hand-delivered it, along with lots of hugs. I haven't lost my boy yet. He made my day.

But he surely does need a haircut.

November 14, 2009

More on cooking

Originally published August 22, 2004

I don't cook much anymore, but I once was very good at it. I have a few dishes that I make that I believe are as good as anything you'll ever taste on this planet.

#1-- God's Own Omelet.
I use a couple of eggs, diced onion and bell pepper, ham, bacon and cream cheese for the filling. I melt Monteray Jack cheese all over the top just before I take it out of the skillet. You'll take one bite of THAT and slap your mama.

#2-- Pork Ribs a la Rob. The secret to cooking good ribs is to start early. I put the ribs in the oven at 225 degrees for at least six hours before I throw them on the grill. I put a good, spicy rub on them and I make my own sauce. The meat falls off the bone and they are delicious.

#3-- Crab Stew Worth Dying For. I've NEVER bought crab meat in a store. I go catch my own. Then I cook 'em, pick 'em and make a stew that'll blow your doors off. You need the Holy Trinity of celery, onion and bell pepper, plus a whole stick of real butter and two cans of Cream of Celery soup. Throw that into a pot, along with Worchestershire sause, red pepper and black pepper. Cook on low heat until all the flavors meld together. Serve in big bowls with oyster crackers and lots of beer.

#4-- Seafood Pie. You put shrimp, crab and oysters into this, along with the Holy Trinity of celery, onion and bell pepper. I can make a pie crust, but I prefer to buy the frozen ones in the store. Less mess and less work. Throw the vegetables into a skillet and cook with butter and olive oil until the onions are translucent. Toss in the seafood and mix it all together, being careful NOT to over-cook the seafood. Bust up some cracker crumbs and use two eggs to hold everything together. Add grated American cheese, plus any white cheese you can find. Pour the mixture into a pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven. Trust me. It's good.

#5-- Fried Southern Vegetables. Pick some okra, squash, zucchini and a couple of green tomatoes from your garden. Cut the okra and zuchinni long-ways, but the squash and green tomatoes sideways. Dredge them in milk with an egg whipped into it, then batter them with a half and half mixture of flour and corn meal, with plenty of salt, pepper and terrigon. Fry that stuff in a pot of grease (peanut oil is the best), then serve on a bed of lettuce. Wine is better than beer with THAT meal.

I really miss cooking. I once did it every day, but I have trouble cooking for just one person. My talents may wither on the vine.

November 13, 2009

Conspiracy theories

Originally published June 21, 2004

I watched The Right Stuff on TV the other day and thought about how we, as a country, really pissed away a golden opportunity to pursue space exploration. Just about the time we got good at it, we fucking QUIT.

I would say that I don't understand, because that sounds like something a dreamer such as myself OUGHT to say, but I understand perfectly. An old farmer down the road from me still swears to this day that we never landed a man on the moon. "The gov'ment staged the whole thing to hide what they were doing with our tax dollars," he avers.

What were they doing with our tax dollars to inspire such an elaborate hoax?

"They were spending it on welfare checks and foreign aid to countries we should have been nuking the shit out of, that's what the bastids was doin.' Never trust those bastids, son. They make a livin' by lying and the bigger the lie, the better they like it." A lot of people believed such things about the space program. They thought we were pissing money away into a black hole and lying about the results.

I like the old man. He's helped me a lot with farming projects and he's a genuine Georgia Redneck--- he's been plowing fields, growing peanuts and corn, since his daddy ran the 150-acre farm years ago. His neck is as wrinkled as the vent hose on a clothes dryer and his hands are as rough as alligator feet. His dentures don't fit right and he makes clacking noises when he talks. He's been married to the same woman for more than 50 years. And he votes in EVERY election.

He's the salt of the earth, but as full of shit as a Christmas goose. He knows planting and fertilizing and pest-control, and he knows just how much water the crops need. He's also an ignorant sumbitch totally convinced that he's RIGHT when he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

We have a lot of people like that in the world. The man can grow peanuts, cotton and corn, but he really doesn't know jack-shit about government or politics. The fact that he doesn't know jack-shit doesn't stop him from venting his opinions, however, and if you dare to disagree, he's ready to fight. I wouldn't want to tangle with the old bastid. He might wring my neck like I was a chicken, or shoot me if he thought that he couldn't take me bare-handed. I just let him rant.

He has his perceptions and they are stark reality to him. I think about him often when I read some of the asswits who compare Bush with Hitler and who believe that the war against terror was a big mistake. I have a troll who keeps calling Bush a drunk. He's as full of shit as that farmer, but the troll believes every word he writes, just as the farmer believes we never landed on the moon.

Perception is a dangerous thing. Just because you FEEL something and you BELIEVE something doesn't make it true. If you never think that you just MIGHT be full of shit, you don't think enough.

Try the occasional reality check.

November 12, 2009

Pulled barbeque

Originally published August 22, 2004

Somebody asked how to make it, so here's the recipe:

Buy a couple of Boston butts. Rub them down with lots of seasoning (I use soy sauce, black pepper, red pepper and lemon salt) and cook them on a charcol grill, turning the butts frequently for a few hours.

When the meat starts to fall off the bone and bear a nice, semi-burnt look on the outside, it's done.

Remove the butts from the grill and rip the meat into small pieces by hand. That's not difficult to do, because if you cooked it right, the meat almost falls apart by itself. Feed the bones to your dog.

Dose it with a good sauce. I can buy Johnny Harris or B.S. Muther's where I live and both are very good, but I prefer to make my own.

The Sauce: you can make it in any volume that you want, depending on how many people you intend to feed. It's simple--- half vinegar, half ketchup mixed together. Add hot mustard until the mixture turns orange instead of red. Throw in black pepper, red pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and enough Tabasco to bring a sweat to your brow when you taste it.

Pour that over the meat and serve on hamburger buns or by itself on a plate, with plenty of beer. Good side condiments are cole slaw and potato salad, with whole Vidalia onions cut into slices and served raw. A Claussen's Kosher Dill pickle or two also go well with the meal. If you know what Brunswick Stew is, make some of that, too.

Try it. You'll like it.

November 11, 2009

The death of a child

Originally published June 21, 2004

I don't know why I'm in such a morbid mood today. Quinton came to see me yesterday and Jack came to visit today, so I've gotten to visit with my two favorite boys in back-to-back days. Jack watched a movie with me and helped me finish off the last of the boiled peanuts I cooked yesterday. We had a good time.

After he left, I remembered a day from my past that I really didn't want to revisit.

When I was a junior in high school, I went out with a bunch of my teammates from the Jenkins football squad on a Friday night to watch the Benedictine Cadets play Savannah High School at Memorial Stadium. We had a bye weekend, but we were scheduled to play BC the next Saturday and SHS the week after that. We wanted to check out our opponents.

I don't remember who won that game, but I remember what happened later that night. Several friends of mine wrapped a hot-rod GTO around that big oak tree on Dead Man's Curve on LaRoache Avenue. Anybody from Savannah can name numerous people killed on that spot, by that same tree, but that one really hit home to me.

I was asked to go riding with them that night, but I slipped off to neck with a new girlfriend instead. Five people got into that car. One died and the other four were in the hospital for months with severe injuries.

My father was reading the newspaper when I walked into the kitchen on Saturday morning. "You play ball with these guys, don't you?" he asked as he slid the paper my way. I read the story and my jaw dropped. I had seen every one of them about eight hours earlier. I was invited to go riding with them. Now, one was dead and the other four were fighting for life. Holy Bejus!

The phone rang shortly thereafter and it was Coach Atwood calling everybody on the team that he could reach to set up an "honor guard" for our fallen teammate. We met in the Jenkins gym and drew numbers to decide who would spend one hour, starting at 8:00 the next morning, down at Goethe's Funeral Home, and watching people grieve over a closed coffin. I drew #2, which put me on the first shift, along with a guy named Billy Holland.

I spent the longest hour of my life standing by that coffin in my red Jenkins blazer that day. He's been dead for over 30 years now, so I'll go ahead and use the name of the fallen comrade. He was Tommy Spellman, and his father was Athletic Director of the Chatham County Public Schools. Tommy played offensive tackle and kicked field goals and extra points. He was a large, husky fellow.

His father was a big, rough-looking man who appeared to be carved hapazardly from an irregular piece of granite rock. Everybody knew MR. SPELLMAN, and he impressed every schoolboy ballplayer I ever knew. If you were around him for five minutes, you decided that you wanted to grow up to be as tough as he was.

I watched tears roll down that man's face that day. Mr. Spellman, the toughest of the tough, cried like a baby at his son's funeral. At the time, I was disappointed in him. I expected more stoic behavior from "The Rock." But I didn't have children of my own at the time.

Today, I cannot imagine a worse experience than seeing one of your children die young, when their life is still an open highway, filled with opportunity and good times never to be realized. That's got to be totally heartbreaking. I realize now why Mr. Spellman cried that day.

I would, too. I hope only that I never have to.

November 10, 2009

More on music

Originally published August 21, 2004

I submit this idea to any musician who reads this blog: You never really know what you sound like on stage until you listen to a tape of a performance later. Yeah, you can hear the speakers and there's a monitor on stage that blasts your eardrums all night long, but you filter a lot of what you hear because you're accustomed to hearing that sound. You THINK it's right, even when it's not.

The first time I heard a tape of a live performance I did on River Street, I was appalled. While I was playing that night, I thought I sounded good. But I listened to the tape later and I wanted to puke. I had a flat G-string on my guitar. I could hear it as plain as daylight on the tape. I was 'way too nasal on a couple of songs and I sounded like a hillbilly hick when I was conversing with the audience.

Listening to that tape was like a kick in the nuts to me. I started taping MYSELF after that to find the flaws that I couldn't hear on stage. I found a lot of them. I worked to correct them all.

In a studio, you can do a song over and over again until you get it right. On stage, you get only one shot. People are PAYING to hear you play, and you OWE them a good performance. I put as much effort into that job as I did working for Kerr McGee.

I can't play the way I once did. My hands are going to shit on me and I don't practice enough anymore. I'm still good enough to hold my own with most pickers I meet, but I'm not sure how much longer that's gonna last.

When the day comes that I pick up a guitar and realize that I should put it right back down, because I can't play that sumbitch anymore, I'm ready to hang it up. I've lost almost everything I ever cared about already.

If I lose that, too, I'm done for.

November 09, 2009


Originally published June 22, 2004

Bud was Jennifer's dog when I met her, but Bud became MY dog for a long time. He's a chow-black lab mix and he weighed about 95 pounds in his prime. Jennifer had him de-nutted as a puppy (she's trying that with me now), but Bud never lost his alpha male instincts. He was a Tall Dog.

Bud always hated cats, other male dogs and any person wearing a uniform. He killed several cats that were too stupid to run from him when they invaded his property, and I learned to bury the broken-necked corpses on the other side of the fence, because Bud would dig them up and "play" with them if I planted them in the back yard.

Bud was as gentle as a lamb around children. I remember Quinton crawling in diapers up to him and saying, "Nose!" as he poked Bud in the nose. "Eye," as he stuck a finger in Bud's eye. "Tail," as he tugged Bud's tail. Bud just laid there and took the abuse as if it were all part of his job. He never even growled.

Of course, Quinton wasn't wearing a uniform. I came home from work one evening and found my back door knocked clean off its hinges. Huge claw-marks were all over the wood and Bud was in the back yard. I don't know how the guy from the electric company got away after reading the meter, but Bud went after his ass and took the door down doing it. I found a note in my mailbox saying, "I will call the next time I need to read your electric meter. Can you please secure your dog?"

Hell... I thought the dog WAS secured. That was a solid wood door he tore down. I'm not sure that I could have done that. But the meter-man always called after that incident, and I tied Bud up with a heavy-duty choke chain when the reader came to call. Bud never did learn to like him.

Needless to say, I never worried about being burglarized back then. Anybody who broke into my home would be reduced to dog turds in short order, because Bud didn't like unauthorized visitors. He seldom barked, either. But he had a low-pitched, throaty growl that sounded absolutely vicious when he was angry.

A Peeping Tom started cruising the neighborhood and spying through people's windows at night. A lot of elderly widow-wimmen were worried about the guy and I told them that I would be on the lookout for him. I didn't need to. One crisp, cold winter night, we turned Bud out in the back yard and he decided to sleep outside. He liked cold weather.

The Peeping Tom tried our bedroom window that night. Bud was coal-black and pretty much invisible in the dark. I think he was asleep under our bedroom window when the Peeper must have stepped on him. Bejus! What a commotion! I heard Bud's growl, an "OH SHIT!" and the sound of running feet. A few seconds later, I heard a "CLANG" as something hit the back fence at high velocity.

I grabbed a pistol and went outside. I found Bud panting with blood on his muzzle. It wasn't Bud's blood. The next day, the neighbor behind me said that the noise woke her up and she saw a young man vault over my fence with Bud hot on his ass. "That boy had no seat left in his pants," she told me. Bud damn nearly chewed his ass off.

We never saw or heard from the peeper again.

Bud is almost 17 years old now. He is arthritic, deaf and half-blind. His coat has almost as much gray as my beard. He sleeps a lot.

I ask about him every time I see Quinton. As of Sunday, Bud was still hanging in there. He's not the Tall Dog he once was, but if he's still good for 15 seconds, he's still a bad-ass. I loved that dog.

I still do.

November 08, 2009

Beach Boys II

Originally published August 21, 2004

I've always liked harmony singing. I've done it all my life and I always believed that a good band should have tight harmony, not just a lead singer. That's the main reason I like the very first Crosby, Stills and Nash album so much. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" is exquisite.

But I've listened to the Beach Boys sing "Good Vibrations" about a dozen times since yesterday and I don't believe I've ever heard better harmony. They were one of the first groups to learn about multi-tracking vocals in a studio and they did a damn fine job of it. Just sit and LISTEN to that song some time. They have seven different things going on at once in that song and it all blends perfectly.

They've got doo-whas and bop-bops and a strong bottom ("I'm picking up good vibrations, I'm feeling those exitations...") with falsetto high parts ("Doo-whee-OOO-OOO") planted all over it. GOT-DAM!!! That's good stuff. I'm sure that it was a lot of hard work to get it just right, but it paid off.

I'll bet they had a blast recording that song.

November 07, 2009

Supervising people

Originally published June 22, 2004

I spent almost half of my life bossing people in a chemical plant. I've often wondered about what made me good at it; I didn't learn it college, that's for sure. I always wanted to be a writer, but I ended up going where the money was and I have no regrets about that decision. It paid off in the long run.

At one of the too numerous to remember training seminars I attended, the man running the show asked everybody in the room to define the role of a supervisor. I heard all kinds of cliche, textbook answers about being a coach, a motivator, a mentor, a leader and blah, blah blah. When it was my turn to answer, I tried to say what I REALLY thought my job was.

"I set high standards and compel people to meet them."

That's it in a nutshell. That's what a good supervisor does. I can't tell you HOW to do it, because I don't believe that anyone has a set formula that works for everybody. Maybe the military comes close, but even there, certain individuals stand out as simply being better than others, even though everyone is reading the same rule book.

I've seen several different types of bosses in my life. Some I liked and some I didn't, but I tried to learn something from every one of them.

#1) The Pompous Martinet. I learned what NOT to do by watching these strutting popinjays. They love their title, being bullies at heart, and they get their rocks off by trying to intimidate underlings. They hand out punishment at the drop of a hat, but nobody respects them because they ENJOY that aspect of their job too much. They are the kind of people who like pulling one wing off a horsefly, just to watch it spin in a circle.

?#2) I'm Your Best Friend. I never understood those guys, either. A supervisor cannot AFFORD to be "friends" with his crew. Cordial relationships are good, but if you EVER try to be friends with the folks you supervise, they'll eat you alive and laugh about it afterward. If your goal in life is to be liked by everyone around you, don't take a job in supervison.

#3) The Wiz-Bang Glory Boy. I must confess that I have a lot of traits that fit this classification. These supervisors take calculated risks, make decisions, never dodge responsibility and usually boss a crew that would follow them straight through the gates of hell if he said to go there. But sometimes the Glory Boy forgets his obligations to his crew and thinks too much of his own career and the spotlight he seeks. Such people can be dangerous.

#4) The Quietly Competent. You don't hear a lot of noise out of these supervisors. They just show up every day, do a good job and generally have a crew that does a good job, too. They rule with a velvet glove, but they rule just the same. They know their shit, but don't feel the need to brag about it. You almost never see one of the Quietly Competent fuck up. Glory Boys do.

#5) The Professional Ass-Kisser. This is the kind of supervisor I hold in utter comtempt. He's a politician at heart and he doesn't give a shit about his crew OR doing a good job. He just wants to ingratiate himself to HIS boss, and he'll sacrifice anybody he needs to along the way. Never trust one of those bastards, and they are everywhere.

#6) The Blithering Idiot. You often see these people and wonder just how in the hell they got where they are. Maybe it's the Peter Principle. Whatever the reason, such people are in WAAAY over their heads and they don't swim very well. Their crews don't trust them, they shit their pants when they're supposed to be making decisions and their most common response to a crisis is: "It's not MY fault," even when it is. I didn't like to work anywhere around them.

The next time you vote for a politician, figure out which category he fits before you pull that lever.

November 06, 2009

A talk with my boy

Originally published August 21, 2004

I called Quinton last night but got only the answering machine, as usual. I called again this morning and got the machine again. I left messages both times but never heard back from him and I didn't expect to.

But he called me about 30 minutes ago. I have not seen him since a brief visit on Father's Day. He told me that he STILL hasn't had a haircut and his locks are flowing past his shoulders now. "It's the STYLE, Daddy," he explained. I can't say much about his hair--- he's seen pictures of me from back in my guitar-playing days---and I had really long hair back then.

He also told me that he mows the lawn now. He's finally tall enough to reach the pedals and he weighs enough to keep his ass on the seat and satisfy the dead-man switch on the riding mower that Jennifer stole from me inherited in the divorce. I always told him that cutting the grass would be HIS job, not MINE, some fine day. It is now, and he is quite proud of himself.

He's going go-cart racing this afternoon. Bejus, but I wish I could watch that. I didn't even know that he could drive one, but he says now, "I have a need for speed, Daddy. And I haven't had a wreck yet. At least not a BAD one."

Jennifer can attempt to brainwash that boy to the best of her considerable abilities. But he's got a streak of ME in him that she can't erase.

November 05, 2009

Coaching creativity

Originally published June 22, 2004

Stop and think about the idea of "coaching creativity." Think about it long and hard. Then, just break out in hysterical laughter, roll on the floor and wipe the snot off your nose and the tears from your eyes. That's the most bullshit job I EVER heard of. Sounds like a fucking consultant to me, and I've got no use for ANY of those bastards.

I have a theory about creativity and it comes from long ago, when I was only an egg. Creative people will be creative whether they are "coached" or not. I also do not believe that you can take an uncreative drone and coach him into being creative. It goes against the hard-wiring in the brain.

I read once that the difference between a genius and a lunatic is very, very small. They both see things that other people don't.

Creative people are ALL part lunatic, and I'm not talking about actors here. Actors are the mushy scum on the bottom of the pond of creativity. They don't "create" anything. They are hand-puppets, playing people that they aren't, speaking lines written by someone else and as close to a shadow-person as I can imagine. I don't like actors, even though I would like to try my hand at that craft some day. I can be as phoney as a lot of them I see on the screen.

I've watched a talented sculptor work. She took a piece of rock and carved it into a statue. I was amazed by the process. She didn't draw lines or diagrams to figure out what to do. She didn't need any coaching. She saw the end result in her mind before she started and she carved it perfectly from stone. THAT'S what I call creativity.

I don't like it when people call actors or musicians "artists." They are SELDOM artists. They practice a craft, and a lot of them aren't really good at THAT. Mozart was an artist. Barry Manilow is not. Robert Frost was an artist. Maya Angelo is not. Period. I will brook no discussion on the matter, because people who can't tell the difference aren't worth talking to.

Nobody "coaches" creativity. A teacher or a mentor can channel creative energies down the right path, refine the skills with constructive critcism and encourage a creative person to pursue the talent, but NOBODY can make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

A creative person will be creative, with or without a coach. A witless drone will remain uncreative, no matter how many coaches are swarming around trying to find something that isn't there. "Creativity Coach," my ass.

There ain't no such thing.

November 04, 2009

The Beach Boys

Originally published August 20, 2004

I had forgotten just how good those guys were as a band until I dusted off an old CD today and plugged it into my stereo with the volume turned up loud. That music blew my doors off.

"Good Vibrations" may be the best song ever recorded.

November 03, 2009

There goes the neighborhood

Originally published June 22, 2004

I have a new family living in the house next door to me. They moved in on Sunday. That house has changed hands four times since I moved into the Crackerbox. It should have a revolving door on the front.

And... you know what? It's a BLACK FAMILY!!! That's right, folks. Rabid, racist, redneck Rob has black people living right next door to him now. Oh! The HUMANITY!!!

A drizzling rain started falling this afternoon, so I went outside to scatter some fertilizer on my lawn. I saw the New Kid Next Door, who appears to be about 12 years old, swinging a golf club in his front yard. He was hitting whiffle balls at red flags he had planted all over the yard. He had a pretty good swing, too.

I watched him for a while and then walked over to introduce myself. His name is Kevin and his daddy won't let him hit real golf balls in the yard. I told him that I thought his daddy had a fine idea, because I didn't want an errant shot knocking out a window on my truck. But I also asked, "Would you like some real golf balls? I have some in my garage that I'll give you for free. I won them in tournaments and they're not the brand I like to play. You can have them if you promise not to hit them in the yard."

He agreed and I gave him three sleeves of brand-new Pinnacle balls. He was impressed. "They've never been hit before, so save them for the course," I told him. "You don't need to be playing with shags when you go out for the real deal." He thanked me and went to show his newfound loot to his daddy.

I hope that boy hits every one of those balls long and straight. I also hope that his daddy doesn't think I'm some kind of deviant, attempting to lure young children over to my house with free golf balls.

November 02, 2009


Originally published August 20, 2004

Vonnie was, without a doubt, the sexiest woman I've ever known. I met her back during my guitar-playing days and she lived with me for about three months, then remained a frequent visitor to my house after she got her own apartment. She was from Texas.

She liked sex and she liked me. She wrote poetry that I enjoyed reading and she could give a blow... well, never mind about that. We got along well together. She was as uninhibited as I was and we could make a water bed boil.

But Vonnie got homesick and went back to Texas on a Greyhound bus. I took her to the station at 9:00 at night and kissed her one last time. She left a shoe in my car. One shoe that fit a pretty, dainty foot with red toenails. I never saw her again.

I did talk to her on the phone about 10 years later. She got married, had children and was working as a regional manager for a chain of convenience stores. She didn't like it when I called her "Vonnie." She was Yvonne now and the past we had was in the rear-view mirror.

"I did a lot of stupid things when I was young, Rob," she told me. "You weren't one of them, but I'm not Vonnie anymore. I would appreciate it if you didn't call me by that name." I didn't after that. I called her Yvonne and when I hung up the phone that day, I believe that it was the first time I ever felt old.

I don't know what happened to that shoe she left in my car. I wish I still had it.

And I don't know why I thought about her today.

November 01, 2009

Cell phones

Originally published June 23, 2004

How did people EVER manage to drive cars before the invention of the cell phone? On my trip to Key West, I noticed that about one in four cars I saw on the Interstate had a driver with one of those Borg-like devices stuck to his or her ear. I'll be willing to bet you that all but one or two of those people were just bullshitting with someone they really didn't need to talk to.

"Hello? James? Yeah, I'm driving down the road now. I'll have to stop for a pee break before long, and I just wanted to let you know."

"Hi, Mary! Whatcha doin'? Aw, I'm not doin' much either. Nothin' plus nothin' means nothin,' don't it? Whoa! I almost sideswiped an eighteen wheeler!"

"May I speak to Bob, please? Wrong number? Who cares? I'll just bullshit with YOU. What's your name, anyway?"

I can understand having a cell phone in the car. It can come in handy if you break down on the road and need to call Triple-A for a tow. Other than that, the sumbitch needs to stay in the glove box. People who feel the overpowering desire to exercise their jaws every time they get behind the wheel of a car should learn to chew gum. Fuck them AND their cell phones.

I believe that we should have a bounty on assholes who don't know how to HANG UP AND DRIVE.