Gut Rumbles

February 28, 2010

breaking the law

Originally published May 31, 2004

I believe that Martin Luther King wrote an essay when he was locked in the Birmingham jail during the civil rights movement that pretty much sums up my philosophy about being a law-abiding citizen. I may go Google the speech to see if I am correct, but I don't really care. No matter where I read it, it is the way I live my life.

I am a free man. Government puts certain constraints on me through the threat of overwhelming force, which means that the faceless assholes can seize my assets, throw me in jail and TRY to humble me, but nothing they do to me will change what I believe.

I remain a free man.

I don't obey laws that I think are senseless. I also don't consider myself to be a criminal for doing so. I consider myself to be a free man. I carry a handgun in places with strict gun-control laws. I exceed the posted speed limit on the highway. I gamble on illegal games of chance. I have rented a prostitute.

If I were your neighbor, you would like me. I would never break into your home, steal your belongings or molest your children. If you needed help with a home-improvement project, I would be the first to volunteer assisstance. If you went on a two-week vacation, I would collect your mail and pick up the newspaper from the driveway every day, and keep an eye on your house while you were gone.

I don't behave that way because of any laws. That's just the way I was raised. I don't NEED laws to make me act like a decent human being. And I won't obey laws that I think are stupid.

We have way too many laws in this country now. Government has taken a nation of free men and women and transformed them into sheep through excessive regulation, excessive taxation and excessive intrusion into things that are none of government's business. I sometimes believe that if our Founding Fathers could see what their ideal of freedom and a true republic has become, they would be twisting like windmills in their graves.

You can heed the shepherd if you want to. But I won't.

(ADDENDUM: I didn't write this post lightly, nor am I drunk. I am a free man staring right into the maw of the monster, and it is poised to take everything I own. I expect to go to jail for "Contempt of Court." I will be guilty, because I hold divorce court in total contempt. But I WILL NOT DO what that Court Order says that I'm supposed to do. That is a law that I refuse to obey. And I'm willing to back up my words with my actions, no matter what price I have to pay. That's a true American attitude, if you ask me.)

February 27, 2010

country music

Originally published May 31, 2004

I never realized that I was a fairly poor boy when I was growing up. I was fed, watered and clothed and I knew that my parents loved me. They gave me all they had to give and I thought that was plenty until I hit high school.

That's when I learned that my clothes sucked. I couldn't be "cool" without Gant shirts, Gold Cup socks and a Barracuda jacket. My parents couldn't afford such shit, so I bought my own clothes. (Did I mention before that I've had a job almost all of my life since I was 12 years old?) I wanted THE UNIFORM that cool high school students wore.

It took me years to realize how foolish I was at the time. My parents may not have had much money, but I was a lot richer in other ways than most of the "cool" people I tried to emulate. I was a dickwit at the time.

Tonight, I've been listening to The Top 100 Country Music Songs Of All Time on CMN. My pick for the very best country song (Hank Williams: "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") came in #32, so I am curious to see what is #1. But this has been a rough evening.

I've sat on the floor and cried a few times tonight. "Coat Of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton made me think of my mama, and tears rolled down my face. "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles made me think of Jennifer and my son, so I cried some more. "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" made me think of my whole family and I wept like a baby. "Strawberry Wine" by Dena Carter brought back memories of better days, set around a kitchen table where I played guitar and the woman I loved sang that song. "Forever and Ever, Amen," written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, and performed by Randy Travis, was the song my brother and my old-time singing partner, Sally Roundtree, sang at my wedding when Jennifer and I were married.

I cried some more.

Say what you will about country music, but it cuts straight to my heart. The words and music are so simple, yet so earthy that I fall head-first into the songs. They are about my life. I am a hillbilly and a Georgia Cracker. That kind of music sings to my soul.

Aw, shit. I don't know what I'm trying to say. If you don't get it when you hear the music, you're never gonna get it. It's either IN YOU, or it's not.

It's IN ME, and I want to watch the rest of the show.

February 26, 2010


Originally published December 31, 2005

I stopped making New Year's Resolutions years ago. Before then, I would make the resolutions, convince myself that I was serious about keeping them, and then break every damned one, usually before the end of January.

That crap was a waste of my time and a real blow to my self-esteem. If I broke promises that I made to MYSELF, for crying out loud, I HAD to be a really shitty human being, worthy of NO ONE'S trust. I finally figured out that I was better off NOT making resolutions that I was bound to piss all over than I was lying to myself like a delusional, disgusting swine.

But, being in touch with my feminine side today, I have changed my mind. Here are my Resolutions For 2006:

1) I will drink no alcohol today. Or tomorrow, when that day comes.

2) I am going to get off my dead ass and start recording on my home studio. I've had the damned thing set up for more than two months now and I haven't done diddly-squat with it. I'm gonna cut my own CD of original songs with me playing all the instruments and me singing all the vocals. Then, I'm gonna sell the CD on my blog.

3) I'm going to start playing golf regularly. I'm going to get good at the game again, too.

4) I WILL NOT buy any more firearms or musical instruments in 2006. I have more of those than I need already.

5) I will continue to blog.

6) I will sail to Belize with Recondo 32 this summer. I will survive the trip, too, even if I have to put his lovely, loud-mouthed wife, Georgia, in the lifeboat and tow her on a line 50 yards behind us when she gets in one of her bitchy moods. (Yes, she intends to go, too.) If she keeps bitchin' after that, I'll just cut the tow-rope when Recondo isn't looking. He's deaf. He'll never hear her cries for help.

7) I'm gonna get a cat for a pet, take LOTS of "cute" pictures of it and post the pictures on my blog every day. Heh. I threw that one in there just to take the pressure off of keeping ALL my resolutions.

8) I'm going back to Costa Rica at least TWICE in 2006.

9) I'm going to start a light weightlifting program and gain another 20 pounds. I'm still too weak and skinny to suit myself. I'm eating a lot better than I was, and I don't want to get fat. Yes, I am older than dirt, decrepit as hell and losing my hair, but I'm still vain.

10) I'm going back to work on my novel and I will finish it in 2006. I also intend to sell that fucker, make a mint and retire AGAIN, this time in Costa Rica.

Those should be no problem to keep.

February 25, 2010

the plan worked

Originally published December 30, 2004

As I write this post, I have two wimmen cleaning my house. They're going at it like whirling dervishes, too. I was politely (well, maybe NOT so politely) told to get out of their way. I was happy to oblige.

Heh. They like staying here, but they couldn't stand the filth. They are correcting that problem as the scent of "Splash of Rain" wafts through the Crackerbox from the tart-burner they bought me today.

Earlier, I mourned for a moment, because Samantha informed me that the spider behind my commode was dead. I checked, and sure enough: he was gone to that great web in the sky. In fact, he appears to have gone there quite a while ago without saying goodbye. I just didn't notice.

Wimmen have a cleaning gene that men just don't possess. I was counting on that fact when the girls came to visit. They are proving me right, once again.

I LOVE IT when a plan comes together!!!

February 24, 2010

the truth

Originally published February 28, 2005

I once thought I knew The Truth. I once thought that I could see it and understand it. But I was mistaken.

The older I get, the more fungible and diaphanous Truth seems to be. It's not etched in stone. It's more like a bead of mercury sliding around on a plate of glass. You can see the perfection of the bead, but you can't pick it up. If you try, it breaks into smaller pieces and they all form their own perfect little beads on the glass and you can't pick up any of those, either. If you play with those beads long enough, they will poison you.

That's the Truth.

February 22, 2010

I call bullshit!

Originally published June 1, 2004

Here are (allegedly) the top ten country music songs of all time:

10) "Mama's Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up To Be Cowboys" (Waylon and Willie)

9) "Behind Closed Doors" (Charlie Rich)

8) "Galveston" (Glenn Campbell)

7) "I Fall To Pieces" (Patsy Cline)

6) ""Friends in Low Places" (Garth Brooks)

5) "Your Cheating Heart" (Hank Williams)

4) "Ring of Fire" (Johnny Cash)

3) "Crazy" (Patsy Cline)

2) "He Stopped Loving Her Today" (George Jones)

1) "Stand By Your Man" (Tammy Wynette)

Bull-fucking-shit is all I have to say. "Help Me Make Through The Night" didn't make the top 100. Neither did "Gentle On My Mind." I still believe that "I Walk The Line" is the best song Johnny Cash ever recorded. Go through the grist-mill of divorce court the way I have and listen to "Stand By Your Man." You'll want to upchuck.

I don't know who picked that Top Ten, but I think they need to dig some serious wax out of their ears.

February 21, 2010

In a pissy mood

Originally published September 5, 2004

I get this way sometimes. Things that I should ignore just PISS ME OFF on days such as this one. I started yesterday when a group of evangelicals knocked on the door wanting to bring the Word Of God into my life. I sent them scuttling with a blast of profanity that would have impressed a drunken sailor. I didn't wave a gun at them, but I was about to.

I shouldn't have done that, because it was rude behavior on my part, but it was MY goddamn door and I was watching football at the time. Unless God could score a touchdown for my beloved Georgia Bulldogs, I didn't need any back-pack-wearing, apple-eyed pie-hole coming to preach at me.

I'll tell you what else I don't need. I don't need anybody doing anything for "my own good." I'll either run my own life or fuck it up all by myself. I am a grown man. I don't need or WANT your "help." Just go away and leave me alone. If I end up in the gutter, that is the result of MY choices.

I can live with that.

February 20, 2010

Non-musicians won't understand

Originally published June 1, 2004

Tonight, when I was watching that dumbass Greatest Country Songs countdown, they hit #3 and brought out some finalist from American Idol to sing "Crazy," which is my all-time favorite Patsy Cline song and the best thing Willie Nelson ever wrote in his life.

I sat on the floor totally unmoved by the performance. That woman hit all the notes and the band was good, but the song just didn't feel right. She sang "Crazy" as if she were happy to be on that stage. Patsy didn't do that. She broke your fucking heart when she sang that song. There wasn't a damned thing happy about it, and she let you know.

Why is it that some people FEEL music and other people don't? I'm talking about both listeners and players. How can a woman with a voice as beautiful as the one I heard sing tonight just totally butcher Patsy Cline? How could people not feel the difference between going through the motions and really FEELING the music?

I'll have to think about that question while I play my guitar.

February 19, 2010

Good question

Originally published September 5, 2004

This is one sick sumbitch, which is why I like him so much. Admit it. You've had AT LEAST one lover in your life that had a physical deformity that most people would consider to be gross, but you kinda liked.

I once knew a woman who had only four toes on her left foot. The one next to the pinky was missing. She told me that she had two brothers, one sister and a Mama with the same malady. That HAD to be genetic. But she painted all four toenails red, and that was good enough for me.

I once knew a woman with incredibly asymmetric tits. The right one was big and the left one wasn't. She couldn't explain why she was built that way and she was very uncomfortable about it. I liked it. She had a handfull on one side and a mouthful on the other. I was in hog heaven. She eventually went and had the left breast rebuilt so that it matched its partner. I still believe that she destroyed a thing of natural beauty.

I played football with a guy who has SIX TOES on one foot. I thought that was disgusting.

I once knew a woman who had no navel. I am NOT making this up. I am certain that she had an umbilical cord when she was born, but somehow the thing just grew over and she was as smooth as a paved road from breasts to pubes. Now THAT is odd.

I could go on, but I won't. I have SOME scruples.

February 18, 2010

My top 10

Originally published June 1, 2004

My ass is still chapped from watching that Top 100 Country Music Songs countdown last night. I totally disagree with the judges. If "Stand By Your Man" is the greatest country song of all time, I'm a got-dam brain surgeon. Here is MY Top 10:

10) "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass.

9) "I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash.

8) "Help Me Make It Through The Night" by Kris Kristofferson.

7) "Orange Blossom Special" by any of dozens of people.

6) "Gentle On My Mind" by John Hartford.

5) "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard.

4) "Faster Horses" by Tom T. Hall.

3) "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

2) "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.

1) "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams.

I had to leave off a lot of really good songs, but that's my Top 10. I like my list a lot better than the one the judges chose last night.

February 17, 2010

Football day

Originally published September 4, 2004

I like to blog, but I like football even better. I've been watching games all day, including the 48-28 victory of my beloved Georgia Bulldogs over Georgia Southern. Southern played tough, but the score doesn't really reflect the nature of that game. Georgia emptied the bench in the second half and Southern did well against the subs. The UGA first string could have made that game ugly.

But the DAWGS look formidable to me. That freshman tailback, Danny Ware, reminds me of the good old days of Georgia football. That boy runs hard. I look for success this season.

Good ole Bob hit me with 165 spams while I was watching TV. I Blacklisted his ass again, but I have no doubt that he'll be back under a different name. What a fucking cockroach.

Young Jack came to watch football with me today. He is convinced that he's good enough to win a college scholarship. "My daddy says that they PAY YOU to play football in college," Jack announced. I tried to explain that his daddy was slightly wrong with that idea--- Jack could get free tuition, free food, a free room and free books, but college football players DON'T get paid any money, at least not under NCAA rules. He didn't like what I had to say.

But I fed Jack a few slices of fresh pineapple and he liked it as much as I do. He went away a happy boy, with 12 of Quinton's Playstation II games in a bag. I've got no use for them anymore. I haven't heard from my son in almost three weeks now. I haven't seen him in six months. That just ain't right, but that's the way it is. Jack can play those games. No sense in leaving them here to gather dust.

My upset pick of the day? Wake Forest will beat Clemson.

(UPDATE: Okay, I was wrong about my upset pick. But it was damned close.)

February 16, 2010

Some things never change

Originally published June 1, 2004

I watched the movie Blackhawk Down! for about the fourth time today. I also read the book twice. Let's stop and think for a minute about what happened in Somalia.

We went in there with a multi-lateral bunch of United Nations "allies" who didn't do shit to help when we needed them. We also sent our troops into harm's way without the armor they needed for street fighting, because Bill Clinton didn't want to offend our "allies." Too much force displayed on the streets might piss somebody off.

As a result, 19 Americans died; then, we cut and ran like whipped dogs, even though our troops inflicted tremendous casualties on the Somali "insurgents."

Doesn't that remind you of some of the philosophy coming from the left-leaning, anti-war crowd today? Don't fight a war if we might piss off a country that doesn't make a pimple on a rat's ass. If we DO fight a war, let's not fight too hard, because we might piss off the country we're fighting against, or we might anger the French. Also, let's cut and run at the first opportunity, because war is a bad thing.

Thank Bejus these people weren't in charge during World War II. We'd all be goose-stepping and speaking either German or Japanese now.

February 15, 2010

I wish

Originally published September 4, 2004

I wish I were as young and fit as I once was.

I wish that I could watch my son sleep. He is a handsome boy.

I wish that I could play football again. I really liked that game.

I wish that I could go back 30 years in time knowing what I know now.

I wish that my hands weren't going to shit on me and I could play guitar forever.

I wish that I had never started smoking cigarettes.

I wish that Santa Claus was real.

I wish that I had never met Jennifer.

I wish a lot, but none of it matters. Life is real and wishes are dreams.

February 14, 2010

Nice to know

Originally published June 1, 2004

I've read a lot about ME lately on certain other blogs. Some of it was quite flattering, but others seem to think that I make them feel dirty if they visit my blog. I checked out a few of those sanctimonious assholes and I came to this conclusion: Ya can't write, ya can't spell and your blog sucks.

There. Now you have a damn good reason not to read me. Wanna feel REALLY dirty?

Go fuck yourself.

February 13, 2010

Having to piss

Originally published September 3, 2004

I once hated to take a woman on a long car trip. She always had to piss about every 50 miles. I didn't like doing all that stopping, especially when I didn't need gas and I didn't need to pee. I wanted to get where we were going.

But I've changed my mind now. Prostate surgery will do that to you.

Recondo learned that lesson on our cross-country trip. "Rick, pull over. I need to piss."

"We'll be in a town in 15 minutes. You can piss there."

"Rick, either you pull over RIGHT NOW, or I'm gonna piss all over the front seat of the 'stang. Maybe YOU can wait 15 minutes, but I can't. Pull over NOW!!!"

He learned that I wasn't kidding. (I won't go into details about that. Just use your imagination.)

That's one of the things that really bothers me about the prostate surgery. In spite of all the Keagle exercises and all the practice I've done at maintaining my continence, I am subject to a sudden eruption at any time, and I don't always get an early warning. If I have to go, I HAVE TO GO! Right now! No debate about it! PULL OVER AND LET ME PISS!!!

If you don't pull over and let me piss, I'll water your seat. And my pants. And it will be all YOUR FAULT because you didn't listen to me.

Such is life for me anymore.

February 12, 2010


Originally published June 1, 2004

I didn't blog about this incident in my life when it happened, because I worried (BWHAHAHA!) that my readers might lose all respect for me. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning last night with a severe burning, itching sensation in my crotchital area. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but the sumbitch just wouldn't stop. I was trying to think about what I had done in Costa Rica that could affect my crotchital area when I felt something CRAWLING ACROSS MY FACE!

I sat bolt upright in bed and slapped at the lamp on the nightstand until I could turn it on and see. HOLY BEJUS! My bed was working alive with ANTS! They were EVERYWHERE and biting me in my most sensitive areas. There were THOUSANDS of them.

I hopped out of bed and ran to the kitchen, where I retrieved my trusty can of Raid. I returned and gassed the shit out of the invaders, then I followed their trail to the Mother Hill, which I coated with Diazinon to teach those fuckers a lesson. I murdered a lot of ants last night, even if I DID have to go outside in my underwear, in the dark, with a flashlight and a demonic look on my face to get the job done.

Effingham County, Georgia, has more ants per square inch than any other place I've ever seen. Something about the sandy soil around here just attracts ants the way a ripe dog turd attracts flies. It wasn't as if I'd been eating crackers in bed and left a lot of crumbs to lure the ants my way. Hell NO! If the bloodthirsty bastards wanted something to eat, they should have been crawling all over my kitchen.

But they attacked me in my bed, in the dark of night, for no good reason. Goddamn communists.

After I killed all the ants I could, I was faced with a dilemma. I had to wash my sheets and remake my bed. I am not good at making a bed. I forget which movie it was (I believe that Clint Eastwood starred in it), but the lead character said, "A man's got to know his limitations." Well, I know mine. Making a bed is one of them.

I washed the sheets and put them in the dryer, but I thought seriously about sleeping on a bare mattress tonight. Have you ever seen a monkey fucking a football? If you haven't, just watch me make a bed. It's the same thing.

It was ugly to see, but I finally got the job done. I have fresh, clean, ant-free sheets to sleep on tonight and no children or animals (other than ants) were harmed in the process. I feel lucky to be alive.

But I'm sleeping with the light on tonight.

February 11, 2010

The elderly

Originally published September 3, 2004

My mama is 73 years old. My grandmother is 93 years old. Both are widow-wimmen now, but they still live on their own and get by okay. They are tough old birds and their husbands left them well-off when they died.

But just suppose that they WEREN'T okay on their own. I cannot see my mama or my grandmother doing the begging kind of shit I see elderly people doing to politicians today. My family would find a way to make do. We always have. We never took a dime in charity from ANYBODY, even when times were hard.

But old people today, pumped up with Viagra and blood-pressure medicine, living in Florida resort communities and playing golf at Sun City, are willing to sell their children and their grandchildren into poverty because they want FREE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. Greatest Generation, my ass.

Selfish old fucks is what I call them.

February 10, 2010

I love it

Originally published June 1, 2004

Nothing brings more joy to my heart than the fact that I occasionally inspire someone. That's not a bad list, either.

Eddie Arnold had a voice almost as sweet as Jim Reeves did. Did you know that "The Dance" was written by a guy who lives at Tybee Island, Georgia? I love that song. I play it often because it's a good finger-picking number on the guitar.

I had to leave two of my favorites, Marty Robbins and Roger Miller, off my list because I ran out of room. Just damn!

"El Paso" and "King of the Road" should have been in there somewhere.

February 09, 2010

The great fly ball

Originally published September 3, 2004

I was about Quinton's age and playing center field for the Rotary Club little league baseball team. We played The Optimists, and they had a hitter that I went to school with. His name was David Ring and he was as big as a house.

David could knock a baseball flat on one side when he was six years old. By the time of that game, he had four years of practice to improve his slugging skills. If he caught a pitch just right, he was gonna sail that ball a long way. We all backed up in the outfield.

We had a good pitcher. I was the #2 catcher on the team, so I knew what kind of stuff our guy had. He could throw one hell of a fastball. He could damn near put a hole in your hand when you caught him. I KNEW that fact from experience.

But he hung one in the wheelhouse for David that day. I saw the ball come off the bat and I knew that it was over my head. I took off running as fast as I could over that ragged ground of old Coke Field, just off President Street, where many a young man earned his spurs playing ball. I can still remember seeing that baseball hurling through a clear blue sky as I ran to catch it.

I reached out my glove and dived for the ball. There was no person more stunned than I was when I went rolling ass-over-tea-kettle and ended up with the ball in my glove. It was a spectacular catch. People applauded. I tried to act cool as I threw the ball back to the infield, but I hoped I didn't have to do that again.

I wasn't really THAT good, but I did it that time.

February 08, 2010

Easily pissed off

Originally published September 3, 2004

I don't know HOW I managed to do it, but I seem to have pissed off a couple of wimmen. I've gotten some downright hurtful comments from them. I read those words and began to hyperventilate. I got a case of the vapors. I had to go to my room and cry in the closet for a while. I threw something and broke it for no good reason.

The fact that I WATCHED MY FATHER DIE after a long battle with cancer doesn't seem to matter to these wimmen. I WAS THE ONE who made the call, telling the doctors to back off and leave my dad to die as peacefully as possible. The fact that my mama turned to ME and said, "handle it" after my father died and I had been awake for 36 hours doesn't mean shit, either. I am a heartless sumbitch, a Dancer With Prostitutes, and a pig. That's what happens when wimmen "feel."

If they didn't have a pussy, there'd be a got-dam bounty on them.

February 07, 2010


Originally published June 2, 2004

I have an appointment to see a new lawyer tomorrow morning. I fired that incompetent prick I had in Effingham County and hired a land-shark to take his place. Hell, if you're going to war, bring the right equipment with you.

I see this entire affair as totally unnecessary and beyond the realm of my comprehension. It makes no sense. It is a painful and disgusting experience to live through. It's going to cost me a lot, but I didn't start this fight. Once I was in it, however, I couldn't just cave in and walk away. There's too much at stake.

Besides... I've never walked away from a fight in my life, and I ain't starting now.

Wish me luck tomorrow.

February 06, 2010


Originally published September 3, 2004

I believe that David Steinberg once did a stand-up routine about stereotypes. I don't believe that he could get away with that act today.

He had the NERVE to suggest that some Jews are good with money, some Irish drink to excess, some Polish people aren't really smart, some blacks have rhythm and some Asian kids do VERY well in school. Imagine that. Where do you think stereotypes come from?

Let's try the same motif a different way: Blacks are good with money. Jews drink to excess. Asian kids aren't really smart. Polish kids do VERY well in school. Irish people just keep fucking up all the time. Hell--- I'm Irish, so I can say that politically-incorrect statement with impunity.

But that shit ain't gonna fly because there is NO BASIS for saying such things. You can't create a stereotype or a generalization unless a group displayed the kind of behavior you're GENERALIZING, and they displayed it consistently.

Stereotypes exist because people EARNED THEM. These things weren't just invented out of whole cloth. I know that you can't paint everyone with a broad brush, but reality is what it is.

Yeah. I have no problems with generalizations.

February 05, 2010


Originally published September 3, 2004

I don't like the word "swagger." It connotes arrogance and false vanity, maybe with some hubris thrown in for good measure. But I'll tell you one thing right now. Southern men tend to swagger, compared to men in other parts of the country. That's the way we walk.

That's NOT just a Texan trait, as Bush mentioned last night. ("Some people say I swagger. In Texas, we call that WALKING!") I've spent some time up north and I don't understand the hunched shoulders, the refusal to make eye-contact with a stranger on the sidewalk and that timid, LEAVE ME ALONE attitude that so many yankees display through body language.

Down South, you are EXPECTED to swagger. You're also expected to keep your word, be nice to old ladies and eat boiled peanuts. We have our traditions and we try to uphold them. Swagger is part of that tradition.

I once liked to walk into the Swamp Fox and announce my arrival with a big HELLO!!! to all the old farmers clustered around the coffee pot. I'd drag up a chair and sit down to catch up on all the gossip from Effingham County. That was the best newspaper I ever had. Those old (yeah, call them red-necks if you want to) fellows had been plowing this land since they were kids following their daddy behind a mule.

They were good story-tellers and fine people. The coffee was Southern espresso--- 30-weight motor oil, with no sugar. That stuff could stand a spoon upright and make your hair curl. You could walk in there and make yourself at home anytime.

But you needed to swagger when you came through the door.

February 04, 2010

Roger Miller

Originally published June 2, 2004

I picked up a guitar this afternoon and surprised myself by the number of really good Roger Miller songs I remember. Yeah, everybody knows "King of the Road" and "Can't Roller-Skate in a Buffalo Herd," but how about "Chug-a-Lug," "Kansas City Star" and "Dang Me?" Those are damned good songs. I sang 'em all today and I enjoyed the hell out of myself.

I even did "England Swings."

Roger Miller was an excellent songwriter and one of the best white-boy scat-singers of all time. (for those who don't know, singing "scat" is substituting SOUNDS for words in the middle of a song. Just listen to Roger and you'll know what I mean. "Bweep-bweep-bweep-bweep-da-da-diddly-da dooo...")

He was one of a kind and he died far too young.

February 03, 2010

Health care

Originally published September 3, 2004

The topic of health care really pisses me off when I hear Democrats talk about it. I listened to Kerry speak last night, and I suffered a case of cognitive dissonance. Is health care the same thing as medical insurance? Evidently it is, according to Kerry.

"44 million Americans go without health care today."

Is that a fact? I went to a hospital emergency room a few months ago and saw a big sign saying that the hospital COULD NOT deny care to a needy patient whether the patient had insurance or not. I don't see people dying in the streets for lack of health care. What I DO see is a lot of hyperventilation and vapors about a "crisis" that doesn't exist.

My company, where I worked for 24 years, canceled my health insurance the first chance it got to drop me. They said I was guilty of "non-payment," then refunded the last check I sent them. They did the same thing to Catfish, who worked there even longer than I did. I called to bitch about what they did, but gave up after getting the phone-menu runaround for almost an hour.

Fuck 'em. I don't have to take this shit. I bought a Blue Cross policy for less than half the price the company wanted me to pay for their insurance. It's not as good as the insurance I once had and the deductible is a LOT higher, but it protects me from catastrophic incidents such as car wrecks or heart attacks. That's all I need. It costs $150 per month, and that includes dental insurance, too.

Don't blow smoke up my ass about a health care crisis in America. We don't have one.

February 02, 2010


Originally published June 2, 2004

When I was young, I had very few scars on my body but I was proud of every one I did have. I called them "war wounds" and I showed them off to my friends.

I took a shower this morning and surveyed the scars I wear today. Bejus. I look as if someone cut me with a chainsaw, and those are just the OUTSIDE scars. I have a lot of others that you can't see, because they are on the inside. I'm not sporting "war wounds" anymore. I'm just wearing a worn-out body.

I remember every scar that I have and I know exactly where each one came from, but they are almost too numerous to count anymore, and I don't want to think about them in the first place. I've beat myself half to death in this life and the marks show that fact today. My scars are ugly and they testify to 52 years of hard living.

That's one reason I like giving Quinton a bath. His body is scar-free, except for one little character mark on his face from where he fell into the trampoline springs at a neighbor's house one day. Everything else about him is unblemished, unworn and pristine. I wish I still had a body like that today.

But I don't. I resemble Frankenstein's monster.

February 01, 2010

Forever true

Originally published September 3, 2004

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Government IS NOT your friend, people, unless you want to be a slave. Remember that fact when you hear the politicians promise you the moon and the stars before the next election.

They can't GIVE you anything that they didn't STEAL from someone else first.