Gut Rumbles

April 30, 2011

jack is pissed at me

Originally published October 1, 2003

I didn't ask for this. Fate thrust it upon me.

The school kids are out selling cookie-dough again. (By the way, those goddam honest Boy Scouts never delivered my popcorn!) Jack's sister Hailie hit my house first. She's a scheming little mercenery, but I like her. She is nine years old now and will be a beautiful woman when she grows up. She has all the right physical attributes and she already knows how to charm a man.

"Mr. Rob, you KNOW you want to buy some cookie dough from ME, don't you?" she said, with a white toothed smile and a swaying behind, typical weapons wimmen deploy on me. AND SHE'S ONLY NINE YEARS OLD. Goddam it, they learn it in the cradle. ARRRGGGHHH!

I was out $24 before I knew what was happening.

Then Jack showed up while I was writing a check for his sister. He was highly pissed at me and went stomping off in a huff. I was supposed to be his gold mine. Instead, I spent $24 on the one who got to my front door first.

I would have bought something from him, too, but his temper made him spiteful, kinda like I get sometimes. Maybe Jack can learn a lesson from this.

NEVER trust a woman.

April 21, 2011


Originally published October 4, 2003

I want to share some unforgettable moments in my life. They might not be special to you, but they were to me and they always will be.

* I remember my first day of school. I was a skinny little tow-headed boy from the hills of Harlan County, Kentucky who talked funny and I didn't know a soul in my first-grade class. I had been in Savannah for only a couple of months at the time. But when the teacher asked if anybody could count to 100, I raised my hand. I stood in front of the class, counted to 100 and then recited my ABCs to top off my performance. Everybody hated me after that. I became known as a show-off and a smart-ass.

* I remember the day my father taught me to fight. That show-off, smart-ass thing will attract bullies in school and my father didn't like seeing me run from them. He insisted that I fight or face an ass-whipping from him. I remember his exact words. "You can fight that guy and take your chances, or you can run from him and be GUARANTEED of a whipping from ME." I was seven years old and believed that my daddy was a wrathful God. I fought the guy the next day and surprised the shit out of him. I won the fight and after that my father had to simmer me down to stop ME from being a bully. I discovered that I LIKED fighting.

* I remember my first day of Little League football practice. I shined. I remember my father driving me home with a big grin on his face, saying "Robbie, you are a NATURAL!" He was mistaken. I was good, but I never had the speed or the size that I needed to go with my desire and determination to play football. I played for the next seven years on damn good teams, but I did that because I wanted it more than other people did. I wasn't a "natural." I was a hard worker.

* I remember the day John Kennedy was assassinated. The principal made an announcement over the intercom at Hesse Elementary School and class was dismissed for the day at about 1:30 in the afternoon. I walked home, because I could see my house from the Teacher's Parking Lot. I walked inside to find my mama ironing clothes and crying while she watched Walter Cronkite on TV. I was in fifth grade. I really didn't understand what was going on.

* I remember having three of my stories published in the First Ever Bartlett Junior High School Literary Magazine. I got some kind of award for being "Best Writer" when I was in Seventh Grade.

* I remember being all confused about the school district changes when I went from Junior High to High School. I was supposed to attend the brand-new Windsor Forrest High, but at the last minute I ended up being assigned to Jenkins High School. I missed spring training with the football team, so I ended up on the Junior Varsity, where I became defensive captain, the long-snap center for punts and the kickoff and extra-point kicker. I was a big fish in a little pond. We went up the road to play some team a lot better than we were and got our asses whipped, but I made several outstanding plays in that game. The coaches watched the film. The following Monday, I was told to dress out with the varsity from then on. I was one of six "newbies" to do that and the other five all went to spring training. I was a good football player, but I had the shit beat out of me at practice every day for the rest of the season.

* I remember being named a starter during the next spring training. Starters wore a green vest at practice while second-stringers wore red and the "renegades" wore yellow. I made a damn good play when the guy ahead of me had been fucking up all day (he really didn't want to hit) and the coach screamed, "Blakewood, peel off that vest! Give it to Smith!" I took off my red vest and put on a green one, and I never wore a red vest again. My father showed up after he got off work to take me home and asked me as I was walking off the practice field after wind sprints and all the other horrible conditioning drills we did every day, "Hey, poot? What's THIS?" as he tugged on the green vest. He knew what it meant. "I'm first string, dad. I'm a STARTER!" And I was, on one of the best football teams in the state. I don't know who was more proud, my dad or me.

* I remember the last football game I played in pads. Jenkins was ranked #2 in the state and we were playing #3, Savannah High. (Valdosta, of course, was ranked #1) We were 9-0 for the year and playing another 9-0 team. We had a week off before that game after shutting out a bunch of pussywillows for the last several contests and posting a lot of points for ourselves. Meanwhile Savannah High played Windsor Forest the week before that game and escaped with a narrow one-point victory thanks to a last-second touchdown. We beat Windsor 19-7. I saw complacency setting in. Too many people on my team believed that we would have a cakewalk against SHS. We lost that game 35-8. I remember taking off my shoulder pads on the bus and crying, not only because we lost the game but because I knew that I would never wear shoulder pads on the field again. I loved football then and I still love it now. That's why I want Quinton to play well.

* I remember being voted "Most Talented" in my senior class in high school. I edited the school newspaper, was a football player, I played in a band and I wrote off-the-wall stuff that people liked. They saw me as a "natural," just the way my father did. Nobody knew the work that went into my "talent."

* I remember getting my college degree. I was the first person EVER, on either side of my family of hillbillies to get a degree. I haven't done shit with it, but at least I got it and made a lot of people proud of me.

* I remember my first kiss. I would love to go back and feel something like that again. My skin was electrified. Now, I can barely jump-start myself at the sight of a nekkid woman.

* I remember marrying Jennifer. We spoke our own vows and I remember what I said that day. "Jennifer, I love you with all my heart and I want you to be my wife. You will forever be my partner, my lover and my best friend." She started to say her vows and broke down crying. I hugged her and said, "That's good enough. I know what you mean." But I didn't. She lied when I told the truth.

* I remember the day my father died. That was a rough one.

* I remember the day Quinton was born. That was a good one. Quinton was born at 8:30 in the evening after a labor that began at 5:30 that morning. I went home and wrote an epistle about the experience. I wonder if Jennifer still has that? I would like to read it again and maybe post it on my blog. I was one happy daddy that day.

* I remember a night that I never want to relive, a night so dark and painful that it almost sucked me into the abyss from which there is no escape. I remember everything that came afterward and how much my life changed in the blink of an eye. I don't believe that I'll ever be the same person I once was.
I lost too much, too fast.

* I remember wishing that I could fly like a bird when I was a child. You know what? I still wish that.

April 14, 2011

Sunday brunch

Originally published October 5, 2003

I thought about going to the Waffle House this morning for some eggs, grits and gefilte, but I really didn't feel like putting any pants on. So, I didn't and cooked my own meal for a Sunday morning. I call it a "Fish-Stick Sandwich" and you make it like this:

* Take a handfull of fish-sticks out of the freezer and throw 'em in some hot grease.

* Take a large hamburger bun and nuke it in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it nice and warm and soft, like a woman's nekkid breast.

* Slather the bun with tartar sause and Chinese hot mustard. (That's not bad slathered on a woman's nekkid breast, either. I would much rather eat off a nekkid woman than a paper plate.)

* Lay four Claussen's long-way-cut dill pickle slices on the bottom half of the bun, and cover the dill slices with sliced jalapena peppers.

* Take the fish-sticks out of the hot grease before you burn them up and catch your kitchen on fire. Place them on a paper plate with a paper towel on it to absorb any excess grease. Remember to turn the stove off and move the grease-pot to an idle burner.

* Put as many fish sticks as you can cram on the top bun. Lay two slices of American cheese on top of the fish sticks and pop just the top bun into the microwave for 25 seconds, so that the cheese melts and glues the fish sticks together.

* Then, put the top bun on the bottom bun, crack open a cold Mountain Dew and eat a gourmet brunch. Keep paper towels handy, because you'll drool all over yourself if you don't. I'm talking damn fine eating here.

I'll give you my recipe for a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich later.

April 07, 2011

a favorite tee shirt

Originally published October 5, 2003

I don't remember where or when I got the tee shirt I'm wearing now. I just remember liking it for a long time. It has a front shirt pocket where I can carry my cigarettes. The picture on the back is of an old diner on the shore of a lake somewhere that I've never been. The shirt is stained as if someone spit tobacco juice and rust all over it years ago, it's ugly and looks unclean when it comes fresh out of the dryer. One shoulder has a big rip in it. If I were still married, my ex-wife would throw my shirt in the rag-hamper and use it to clean the bathroom sink the next time she felt domestic.

But I still like to wear my ugly shirt when I have nowhere to go and nobody to impress. It just feels good because I've worn it so many times. I don't care what it looks like. It's my favorite tee shirt.

Of course, I've been proud of owning ugly dogs in my life, too. I believe that I have a real problem with aesthetics.