Gut Rumbles

November 12, 2003


My dad was a quiet man, may Bejus rest him where he lays now. He had one hell of a temper, but he seldom raised his voice. He'd whip my ass in a minute if he thought I had it coming (and I usually did), but he would defend his family to the death if he believed that he was right.

Only once in my life do I remember hearing my father make a threat to someone. It's a long story, but I had a five-iron in my hand and I was threatening to kill a grown man who lived next door. We were becoming kind of loud. His juvenile-delinquent son had spray-painted my car and was trying to peek in the windows at night. I almost caught the little shit once, and that's back when I was a weight-lifting football player.

I told that old man, "If I had caught your boy that night, I would have wrung his fucking neck. And if you take one step closer to me, you're going to be wearing this five-iron like a necktie." I meant every word of it, too.

"You don't have the nerve," that fat bastard said.

"Take another step and try me," I replied. I was coiled and ready. I was going to beat the shit out of that man with a golf club. I drew the club back... then I felt a firm hand on my arm.

"Put that that back in your bag, Rob," my father said. "you're not on the golf course now."

"But, Dad..."

"Shut up, put the golf club back in your bag and go inside the house. GO NOW!" I went. When my dad addressed me in that tone of voice, I listened. He was serious.

I was 17 years old. My dad was 40. All the windows were open in the house, so I heard every word my father said. He poked a finger in that fat bastard's face.

"You need to go back into your house right now. I am one second away from kicking your ass all over this yard. If you open your mouth, I'll do it right now. And if you EVER threaten my son again, I'll kill you. Do you understand me?"

I suppose that the fat bastard did, because he turned around and went into his house. Dad came inside with a clenched jaw and veins throbbing in his forehead. He was pissed off.

"Pop, I could have handled that," I said.

"Yeah, and I'd be bailing you out of jail, too. You would have hit him in the head with that golf club if I hadn't stopped you. Right?"

"Yessir. I was getting ready to hit him."

"That's why I stopped you. I knew that you would hit him. You didn't need to do that."

"But, Dad, I heard you threaten to kill him."

"Did I kill him?"


"Then forget about it. This problem is solved."

And it was.

But I believe to this day that my dad was prepared to beat that fat bastard's ass all over the yard, and he meant every word when he said, "I'll kill you." My father didn't fuck around about things like that. He was a Harlan County coal miner for a lot of his life. He told me many times, "Don't ever promise anything that you can't deliver."

If my dad said, "I'll kill you," he meant it. He loved his family like a rock.

And he always delivered on his promises.


Did you ever hear what became of the neighbor's son?

Posted by: Daniel Day on November 12, 2003 11:59 PM


Since you are a Southerner I'm curious were you raised in a religion? You have the good moral code of a Southern Religious person.


Posted by: Jenny on November 13, 2003 12:34 AM

You were blessed to be born into the loving embrace of your father and mother.

Have you found the e-mails I forwarded to you on November 10 and sent to your earthlink address on the 11? The first you found was important, but there are two others in the group I hope you read, too. Thank you for looking.

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 13, 2003 03:12 AM

Comments under "Bejus! Another fucking troll.

X struck three times at 11:55 p.m.

Feel free to delete this heads-up.

XO from your loyal readers, even though a troll called me a "cunt."

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 13, 2003 03:26 AM

what would your father do if he found you fucking some other mans women?

Angie and Key are the asme person and married.

i guess you love those cheating bitchs dont you

Posted by: Bull shit meter on November 13, 2003 03:45 AM

Whats with the trolls - time to delete another shithead.

Posted by: Anna on November 13, 2003 07:36 AM

"Your Posts" are wonderful; ya tough, rough, mean, sensitive, thoughtful man. I loved your words this morning and I can relate to your Dad. I love my family with all my HEART and soul. Would I kill for 'em? Not sure if my "civil war rifle" on the mantle has any shot in it. It certainly points in certain directions from time to time. I smiled in my coffee this am; Thanks to you. Blog on!

Posted by: Sallie on November 13, 2003 07:40 AM

This was a great story! Thanks for the smile it brought to an otherwise typical day at work.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! on November 13, 2003 08:07 AM

The fat bastard's son grew up to be a used car salesman. Go figure that one.

By the way, please ignore my latest troll. I'll have that IP blocked before the day is out.

Posted by: Acidman on November 13, 2003 09:13 AM

Acidman, I envy you. I can only wish that I had a father like yours. I grew up an orphan. Your dad taught you a valuable lesson that day.

Be totally prepared to deliver on any threat you make, but understand that restraint is desireable.

I carry a gun, but I've only had three incidents when I've had to put my hand on a holstered weapon. That's all it took. The bad guys suddenly realized that it wasn't worth the risk.

Peace through strength. It's the Reagan way.

Posted by: Will Coffman on November 13, 2003 05:38 PM

Another good and entertaining anecdote. I don't know the overall theme or 'feel' of your novel-in-progress but this tidbit might also seem right at home.

Posted by: Horse with no-- on November 14, 2003 05:51 AM
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