Gut Rumbles

May 16, 2005

once upon a time

I was 17 years old and the starting strong-side linebacker on the Jenkins High School football team. I had a head as hard as a rock and a temper that I had difficulty controlling sometimes. Ask anybody familiar with Jenkins football back when Bubba Atwood was head coach and Bill Boyd ran the defence. We had a damn good team every year. We could beat everybody in the state except Valdosta, and we came within one point of doing THAT one year.

I got into a fight at practice one day. That was a foolish thing to do, because punching somebody in full football equipment is a waste of perfectly good energy, but the bastard had it coming to him, and the coaches usually allowed the two assholes involved to roll around on the ground for a while before they broke it up.

After that, you suffered a "gut drill" to pay for your sins. After practice, after wind-sprints and after all the other running and hitting, you and the other guy lined up between the goal posts, ten yards apart, and just knocked the living shit out of each other until the coach said to quit.

I was giving up about 25 pounds to my opponent that afternoon, and we must have butted like horny billy-goats a dozen times--- and I'm talking about full-tilt, growl like a wild animal and plow your fucking HEAD into the other person as hard as you CAN football hits. I was blinking technicolor and feeling a wobble in my legs as I got up from the next-to last one.

We did it once more and I'll guarantee that we were hitting hard enough to rattle the silverware in nearby kitchens. We both lay on the ground gasping and blinking, and as I was getting up again, my opponent said, "Got-Dam, Snuffy! What does it take to wear you down?"

"More than YOU'VE got," I replied, as I struggled to my feet, fully prepared to do it again. The coach blew the whistle then, told us to run a lap and hit the showers. I was sore as a boil for two days and I had a headache that didn't go away for a long time. But I was back at practice the next day, ready to go.

I'm going to whine again here.

I've ALWAYS gotten up when I was knocked down my entire life. I would fight ANYBODY, any time and anywhere. Sometimes I got whipped, but I always gave a good account of myself and I never had to fight the same person twice, except for my brother. I figured that I was a student of the school of Hard Knocks and I could eat whatever anybody put on my plate. Pile it on. I can handle it. I was that way for a long time.

I'm NOT that way anymore. Remember when Cool Hand Luke grabbed the boss's leg and pleaded for mercy, saying , "My mind is right now, boss. Honest. My mind is right."

Well... my mind is right now, too. I'm tired of fighting battles I can't win. I'm tired of lining up between the goal posts and giving away a big weight advantage to my opponent. I'm tired of being hit in the head. I'm tired of people who don't know me, who know NOTHING about my life and really don't give a shit in the long run telling me how to behave.

I paid my goddam dues. I've never been a diva and I've never had things come easy for me. I've worked since I was 12 years old, and I've done whatever it took to get by, only to see most of that stolen from me when I was too old to start over. YOU try that and then we'll compare notes. Until then, think what you want to of me. I don't give a shit what you think. Am I upset about my current situation? You bet your sweet ass I am.

But if I went off weeping and crying every time somebody took a swipe at ME in this life, I'd probably be asking, "Would you like fries with that?" today. I'm just too tired to keep getting up off the ground anymore.

I did that shit for long enough. I think 40 years is plenty. Now, when I'm knocked down, I'm going to stay there. I've had all I can handle.

I'm beat up and worn out.


We called those "Buck Drills" for some reason, and in 10th grade we had an assistant coach so crazy he would line up against us when he was pissed, which was always, and slam his bare forehead into our helmets.

Even then, I knew there was something wrong with the guy.

And then "The Longest Yard" came out, and we thought one of the characters was based on him.

I hope the new one doesn't blow, but it will.

Posted by: reelcobra on May 16, 2005 08:12 PM

Rob - You've got every right to stop fighting. Just know that you've got people out here who are in your corner. (Stevie, Dax, Catfish, me and God knows who else). Just keep on "doin' what you're doin" and please keep writing. Which, BTW, is getting better. All the best, Terry

Posted by: Terry Reynolds on May 16, 2005 08:31 PM

What if the coach hadn't blown the whistle? Would you have gotten up to deliver that last lick, to try to put your antagonist's lights out?

Probably, if I read you right.

Gets mighty hard to hear the whistle as we get to our age, Rob.

Maybe it's time to deliver that last lick.

I'm thinking about it.

Posted by: Rivrdog on May 16, 2005 08:36 PM


Posted by: livey on May 16, 2005 08:40 PM

Well, maybe it is time for that break that somebody was talkin bout a while back.. Funny tho, I caint seem to invision you gettin knocked down that hard.. Not right now at least.. All the best to ya, and I'll say a prayer for ya anyway..

Posted by: Wild Bill on May 16, 2005 08:44 PM

We did drills every damn weekday just like that, but we called 'em "Eye Openers". That was because we began two-a-day practices at 7am in the summer and starting the day off by running full speed at another big moron and butting heads will definitely wake your ass up. I guess that sorta crap helped some of us deal with the bullshit that life has thrown at us as we got older....or maybe that's why so many of us feel so beat up and worn out now. Kinda hard to tell sometimes, but I think I would prefer those tough drills again over some of the realities I have faced in my life since those days.

Posted by: PJ on May 16, 2005 08:53 PM

Well, acidman, all I can tell you is that when you finally reach bottom there ain't but one way to go and that is up. I am a recovered alky and found this out the hard way and suppose you will also. Good luck on the way up man! Someone once said life is a bitch and then you die or was it she's a bitch and i'm going to off her or something like that.

Posted by: GUYK on May 16, 2005 10:06 PM

I think you had an earlier post about "the vapors." There are "guy" vapors, too. And, just general "vapors." You are sort of contradicting yourself lately.

When you have the vapors, lie low. There really isn't a reason to beat back at things sometimes. Sometimes you just need to chill and let things go.

Your situation isn't necessarily the worst that has ever happened.. Or, maybe it is. But, vaporing repeatedly dilutes its impact.
And, whatever reason you have for vaporing about it may never go away.

In which case, c'est la vie. I don't understand your point, unless it's to vent, in which case, you have unproven your tirade against "women".

Posted by: bbking on May 16, 2005 10:22 PM

Holy shit! The pod people have taken over Rob Smith! This obviously ain't him!

Posted by: Elisson on May 16, 2005 10:27 PM


Posted by: Doug_S on May 16, 2005 10:34 PM

link did not work, here's the payoff:

I used to think Acidman was Da Bomb, a great writer, a raconteur. Lately, and I mean over the last year, he has become something of a pussy, a crybaby. Oh, oh, oh, look at my sad world.

Well, I'm going to use some bandwidth, and call him out. Here it are, Rob: show me the wonderful gifts that made me blog in the first place, my blog uncle, or shut the fuck up.

I'm hoping you choose the former. Your call. Just quit being a fucking crybaby. You are a great guy. Believe in yourself for once.

Posted by: Doug_S on May 16, 2005 10:36 PM

What's your point Doug? Stay out of my personal shit with Rob.

I liked this post. If for no other reason than it reminds me what a bandy legged little shrimp Acidman must have been. I probably would have taken a week to beat him down, though. He a tough nut. He keep coming back. I like that.

Posted by: Velociman on May 16, 2005 10:48 PM

.. exactly.... there are those of us who know Rob.... and those of us who read Rob.... get off Aman AND Vman's backs.... that post was meant for different reasons... stuff you know nothing abou... so, back the fuck offt.... as for Rob's latest post.... I agree with Vman.... great post, Rob... keep fighting... you know we're here when you need us...

Posted by: Eric on May 16, 2005 11:07 PM

No sweat. Readers are a dime a dozen. So, ciao. Who needs inbred family psychotherapy when there are several quite funny blogs out there that aren't wretchedly, well, repetitive.

It's too bad. He is quite funny.

Posted by: bbking on May 16, 2005 11:11 PM

.. pardon me, I've been drinking.... the sentiment remains the same... but the spelling leaves a bit to be desired.....

Posted by: Eric on May 16, 2005 11:13 PM

Eric drinking! ?! *shocked look on face*

Posted by: Maeve on May 17, 2005 12:16 AM

C'mon Snuffy. Lay back, smoke a few doobies, have a few beers. I know its rough some times but you got to keep keeping on. It could be worse. When I divorced my first wife, she took me to the cleaners so bad that I lost my job and became homeless for over a year. My son was 10 at the time. He never talked to me again until he was 27. Life really sucked then and I didn't want to go on but us country boys are made of some pretty tough stuff. Somehow, I just put one foot in front of the other for a couple of years and I made it out of that dark time. I think you will too. Piss, moan, bitch and complain all you want. Its your blog and your right. Besides, it helps to get it out of you. Good luck and try to have a fucking good day for once goddamit. :-)

Posted by: assrot on May 17, 2005 08:30 AM

Come on Rob. Don't you remember that Luke was lying to the boss and he ran off after that? I'm confident that you will too.

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich on May 17, 2005 10:33 AM

Ya know what?

I'd almost hate to see what would happen to some dipshit who had the balls to start trash-talkin' Rob if Eric and I were both standing right there, hearing it.

I doubt there'd even be a bloodly splotch left after we were through...

I like that.
A lot.


And, since somebody at work stole a $7 tip of mine, beLEEVE ME, I'd love nothing more than to stomp some loser's guts out his asshole right about now....

Posted by: Stevie on May 17, 2005 05:35 PM

("bloodly"? wft? See Eric? I can't spell, either... Are we twins or something?)

Posted by: Stevie on May 17, 2005 06:39 PM
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