Gut Rumbles

November 25, 2003

things I remember

Growing up Down South, I had a lot of pleasures that yankees miss out on.

* You and a couple of friends each buy a quarter of a watermelon for 25 cents and eat it on the bridge over Hayner's Creek (pronounced "Haynie's Creek") on Montgomery Crossroads. Spit the seeds in the water and see who can spit a seed the farthest.

* Go down behind Halcyon Bluff and pick up a lot of glass jars from the old landfill back there. Put them in the front basket on your bicycle, then ride down to the bank of Hayner's Creek. Throw them in the creek and then shoot them with BB guns before they sink on their own.

* Skinny-dip with your dog in the Forest City Gun Club Lake on a hot summer day.

* See a tick growing fat behind a friend's ear and pull it off of him. Make sure the head is still on the tick before you explode the blood-sucking varmit.

* Pick wild blackberries in the woods and blow on them to make them clean. Eat so many that you shit like a goose for three days afterward.

* Go outside every day wearing nothing but drawers and a pair of short pants. Go barefoot and bare-backed for three months. Become brown as a ginger cake and learn to run fast across hot pavement.

* Climb a tree just because no one has climbed that one before.

* Chew a nice piece of sourgrass. Don't listen when somebody tells you that sourgrass only grows where a dog took a leak.

* Piss on a fire-ant mound just to watch the ants run around like crazy.

* Gig bullfrogs in the local "canal" (which was nothing but a drainage ditch) and scare up a big, fat cottonmouth snake while you're wading barefoot in the water. Jump up on the bank and gig the hell out of that snake. Then parade the corpse through the neighborhood on the end of your gig. Grown men are impressed with that kind of kill.

* Sleep overnight in a tree house.

* Watch somebody light a fart in a tent at night on a camping trip in the woods.

I could talk about this kind of stuff forever, because I lived every bit of it. I grew up in a Huck Finn childhood. The woods were my playground and my friends were just as wild as I was. We were bullet-proof and adventurous. We were savages. I believe that EVERY KID should grow up the way I did.

Too many kids are civilized today.


Man, the woods around the Casey canal were my favorite hideout. What a great memory. Too bad they totally fucked Savannah up with the Road To Nowhere.....

Posted by: Mike on November 25, 2003 11:16 AM

I hate to break it to you, but Yankees do most of those things too.

Posted by: Geoffrey on November 25, 2003 11:18 AM

Sourgrass! Boy, does that bring back memories. I tell people who didn't grow up down here about sourgrass and they think I'm crazy. Not to mention rabbit tobacco. Stripping those gray leaves off a plant and puttin' 'em in a corncob pipe REALLY made you feel like Huck.

p.s. Geoffrey, don't tell me Yankees chewed on sourgrass and smoked rabbit tobacco. But I'll tell you one thing Southerners don't do -- name their kid Gee-OFF-ree when they really mean Jeffrey.

Posted by: rivlax on November 25, 2003 11:55 AM

I was always amazed that a pair of jeans cut off on the last day of school and worn every day would last until the first day of school in September. Even more amazing when you consider that the only washing they ever got was from swimming in the lake. If I should ever make it to heaven, I will ask God to make me 12 years old again.

Posted by: Thomas on November 25, 2003 11:57 AM

Allah loves Acidman's blog, but this post is one "fiddle-dee-dee" away from being pure Southern parody. Oho!

Posted by: Allah on November 25, 2003 11:58 AM

Wow. Allah's a YANKEE, it'd seem? Oho!


Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim on November 25, 2003 12:28 PM

Nope, no sourgrass. We chewed wintergreen and pine pitch instead.

And Rivlax is a great southern name.........

Posted by: Geoffrey on November 25, 2003 01:34 PM

Not too many cotton-mouths where I grew up, but we did most of those things in Southern Illinois. Along about 6th-8th grade, our folks would let us camp on the riverbank for days at a time. We fished, swam, and tubed our butts off. Slept in bags in the open or under shelter halves. BTW, Huck Finn's adventures took place less than 100 miles from where I grew up. I just cannot imagine letting my grandkids do this. Times have changed.

Posted by: Larry on November 25, 2003 02:06 PM

Been there, done that in most cases. Kids tend to grow up like that regardless of location, providing their family isn't run by a democrat-voting soccer mom.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on November 25, 2003 03:14 PM

Looks like I'm not the only one taking a stroll down memory row today.
My motto is...American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God!

Posted by: wanda on November 25, 2003 03:45 PM

Yep, I grew up in Massachusetts, and we did alot of the same stuff. Plus, we'd build go-karts and forts from stuff we found in the neighborhood, and we'd lay in the grass in the middle of the field and watch the clouds, playing "Your mama had a baby but it's head popped off" with dandelions.. where ya take a dandelion and as you say "popped" flick the head off the dandelion off, usually into your friend's face. We'd go "nightcrawlin" with a flashlight at night, to catch worms to go fishing with, and my brothers would catch frogs and do mean stuff to em.

Southern kids miss out on winter fun, like building snow forts, snowball fights, and learning to write your name in the snow. My brothers could all do that, the girls would content ourselves with making snow angels... and the best byproduct of snow ever .. Snow days!!

Posted by: JaxVenus on November 25, 2003 03:47 PM

Ahhh, night crawlin. I'd forgotten about that. Another thing the southern climes miss out on is frozen rabbit pellets as sling shot ammo. A solid wrist rocket and a pile of frozen rabbit crap keeps the neighbors cats out of the yard.

Posted by: Geoffrey on November 25, 2003 04:47 PM

I'm a girl and I didn't grow up in a place were I could run free like that. Instead, I ended up spending most of my time reading, although I did climb trees quite a bit. Personally, I think there's a big difference between 'civilization' and 'borification.' A civilized person can still enjoy the rougher, 'less-civilized' things in life. A borified person just yawns and says "Can't we do that inside? Or better yet, let's skip the creek and go to the mall."

I have little to no patience for borified people. Growing up in the city is no excuse--you can still learn to enjoy nature if you're willing to try.

Posted by: Joanna L. on November 25, 2003 07:16 PM

Sliding down the levee in bossier city on the big waxed chicken box lids that my grandpap brought when he visited. better than sledding in the winter, boy could we fly.

Posted by: wayne on November 25, 2003 10:58 PM

I started to make my own gunpowder at the age of six and a few years later I was shooting with it.

When I was twelve I had my own destillation unit.

Burning farts was much discussed by young and adults alike, but I never saw it performed. There was rumours of successful test burns, though.

Posted by: Peter on November 26, 2003 03:59 AM

I wouldn't presume to speak for the distaff set, but I think all boys should have the chance to grow up like Huck Finn. I feel sorry for the ones who don't.

Q: How come cottonmouth mocassins get so danged fat and nasty? I actually like most snakes but I get a real case of the redass for a cottonmouth. Gig 'em, shoot 'em, or let 'em all move to Massachusetts and vote for Ted Kennedy. Birds of a feather and what not.

Posted by: Carl H. on November 28, 2003 11:25 AM

Uh, not ALL of that stuff is southern-specific! I'm a Yankee and we climbed plenty trees up North. Also chewed on grass (onion, not sour).

I too pity kids who grow up all indoorsy.

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