Gut Rumbles

September 30, 2007


Originally published April 25, 2004

I absolutely LOVE the vivid images that Southerners throw into their speech. You can sample a few good ones here, but I know a lot more of them.

*He's as lazy as a cut dog

*He was as happy as a dead pig in sunshine

*That woman could suck a golf ball through 30' of garden hose. Take the chrome right off a trailer hitch, too

*That shit was hard as Chinese arithmetic

*He was as happy as a dog with two dicks

*If brains were gunpowder, he couldn't blow his nose

Too few people in this country understand the meaning of "y'all," "yonder" and "directly," too.

Performance reviews

Originally published July 19, 2002

Yeah, it's THAT TIME AGAIN where I work. Here's what DONNA had to say about it:

I just received my annual review today, which went so-so... it wasn't bad, but after all of the work I've done for this place, it wasn't exactly raving either. I guess that's the way it always it though. No matter how good you are, no employer is ever going to tell you that at any review without a "BUT" included. What makes me a bit angry, is that I'm already taxed with the work load and wonder how they think I could possibly handle any more. I told my boss flat out that if she wants me to do more of this or that in particular, then she has to lighten my load on this or that other stuff. I've had additional responsibilities piled up on me as well, due to cost cutting measures like not re-hiring a biller we just lost. My bosses response? She said I should work even more hours! :( Hmmm, what was I saying yesterday? Oh yeah, "I HATE THIS JOB!" I ended up with a 3% salary increase, which was about what everyone else received. And while I certainly know that any increase is nothing to complain about in the current state of the economy, and will certainly help pay for my recent dental expenses, it's just sooooo not about the money!

No performance review ever should come as a surprise to the person who receives it. I have been guilty of this sin, and I hope to never do it again. But the company I work for ties my hands in many ways about rating my people. It's a corporate brain-fart mentality taken to the nth degree.

I have four supervisors who work for me. I don't have a clunker in the bunch. Yeah, I can rate them #1 through #4, but I wouldn't swap a single one of them for most of the others I see in the plant. My #4 guy is BETTER than some #1s in other areas. But the system doesn't allow that fact to intrude into the neat little matrix constructed for performance reviews. I rate a good guy as "Meets Expectations" because me meets MINE, which are high, while another half-assed boss rates a pissant "Exceeds Expectations" just because the pissant comes to work every day and kisses the boss's ass. It's not fair, but it's the world I work in. One of my guys MUST "need improvement," whether he does or not.

Well, everybody "Needs Improvement." Some people just need more than others.

September 29, 2007

More comments

Originally published April 25, 2004

Yeah, I attract some real intellectual types to this blog.

You are a little disgusting piece of white yankee trailer trash. You're old and alone and you know that you're garbage and yet you try and make yourself feel better by hurting animals and throwing sulfuric acid on black people, wow you're awesome.. I hope I end up like you one day. Fuckwad.

That passionate missive was signed by someone named "Little Green Fairy." No, I won't go there because that's too much like shooting fish in a barrel. I prefer a bigger challenge.

But I WILL point out a few errors in the little green cocksucker's writer's obtuse observations. First of all, I am not a "yankee." I may be old and I may be alone and I may be garbage, but I am a SOUTHERNER, you ignorant dickwit. I don't live in a trailer, either.

Where did that "throwing sulfuric acid on black people" shit come from? The only thing I ever threw sulfuric acid on in my life was a rattlesnake that tried to bite me at work one night. I blogged about it somewhere in my archives, but I'm not going to search for that post on a green fairy's behalf. You may if you wish.

"I hope I end up like you one day." Fuggetabodit. You'll never have the wherewithall, punk. Kneel at my feet and grovel. I know why you're a GREEN fairy.

You ENVY me.


Originally published July 18, 2002

1) Airline Security sucks. They confiscated my 2" moustache sissors at the first checkpoint I hit in the Savannah Airport, but let me carry a cigarette lighter, a bottle of Old Spice after-shave and a Gilbey's Traveller of vodka on the plane. They took a $2.00 pair of Wal-Mart sissors and left me with two Molotov Cocktails and the means to ignite them. Great thinking... downright GOVERNMENTAL.

2) After security confiscated my moustache-trimmer sissors to ensure that I would not use them to hijack the plane and crash it into a tall building, Delta Airlines doubly-insured against that possibility by CANCELLING MY FLIGHT! I had to go back through Checkpoint Charlie, stand in line for 45 minutes and book another flight. Then, I had to go BACK through Checkpoint Charile, where the very same woman who confiscated my sissors searched my carry-on bag a SECOND TIME! Great thinking... downright governmental. She probably would have checked my shoes except for the fact that I was wearing sandals.

3) The new flight ran late. As we circled Atlanta, I showed the stew--- excuse me-- the FLIGHT ATTENDANT my 6:05 ticket to bumfuck, Mississippi, and asked her if I possibly could make it, because the time was 5:50 and the plane wasn't anywhere near the ground yet. She assured me that if I missed my flight, I would be booked on the next one, which left Atlanta at 10:15 that night. I was mightily reasurred by that information.

4) I disembarked on a concourse about as far away as I could be from where I needed to be, and that's a goddam BIG airport. I ran down an escalator, caught the Atlanta Airport mini-train, ran UP and escalator, then had to pee really bad. I had a choice to make. I could run like hell for my departure gate, piss all over myself and maybe make the flight, or duck into the nearest bathroom and have clean pants until the 10:15 flight that evening. After prostate surgery, and wearing a diaper for three months until I regained control of my bladder, I knew better than to run. Even though I don't need the diapers anymore, when I have to go I HAVE TO GO! I hit the bathroom, and I'm glad I did.

5) I arrived at the gate for my 6:05 flight at 6:25 and THE PLANE WAS WAITING FOR ME!!!! The other passengers may have been pissed off, but I was delighted.

6) Mississippi looks a lot like South Georgia, only not nearly as interesting.

7) Mississippi is just as hot and humid as South Georgia, just not nearly as interesting.

8) People in Mississippi are just as friendly as people in South Georgia, but that's a Southern thing and is expected Down South. Manners still matter here.

9) I really liked my rent-a-car and the motel I stayed in. I want to hire the maid who cleaned my room to do my house once a week. I'll pay her well, too. And I may just buy a Toyota one of these days.

10) I don't want to hear any more crap at work from ANYBODY about how God himself squatted down and shat pigment technology in Hamilton, Mississippi. I toured the plant. They do some things better than we do. We do some things better than they do. But the White End is just as dirty, just as dusty and just as WHITE as where I work. I fit right in there. I had a big, burly black guy named "Pat," who is my equilivant there (he is called a "Superintendent." I am called a "Coordinator.") and he said, "You're dressed kinda nice to be going out there. It's dirty and dusty." I told him, "Let's go. I FART dust." He laughed and said, "So do I, my man. Follow me." We went, and I learned that brothers in the White End are brothers all over the world. Yeah... we DO fart dust. And we're goddam PROUD of it, too.

Now, to bed and to work in the morning. I have many more stories to tell.

Did y'all MISS ME?

September 28, 2007

My son, the star

Originally published April 24, 2004

I spent most of today driving my Cracker ass all over Effingham County, Georgia. I talked to Quinton on Wednesday night and he told me that he had a baseball game at 10:50 today at the Oakmont field. I decided to take my chances with the restraining order and go to the game. I didn't believe that even a bloodless cunt such as my ex-wife would have the nerve to have me arrested at a little league baseball game, especially if I sat in the opposing team's bleachers and stayed the hell away from her.

The Oakmont field is clear over on the other side of the county (and Effingham is a BIG county). It's about a 40-minute drive from the Crackerbox. I showed up at 10:45 and saw two teams warming up on the field. But I didn't see Quinton. I searched carefully, but nobody out there resembled my boy. I finally asked both coaches if Quinton played for them and they informed me that they never heard of him.

I went back to my truck and sat for a minute. Maybe I was in the wrong place. I was CERTAIN that Quinton told me he was playing at Oakmont, but I've fucked up names and places before. If he was playing somewhere else, I never would find him. Baseball fields are as common as cowshit in Effingham County. I drove back home and called him.

"Oops," he said. "I looked at the wrong date on the schedule. We play at 1:30 this afternoon."

By then, it was past noon. I had to saddle up and drive all the way back over there to Oakmont again to catch the game. I'm glad I went.

Quinton has come a long way in one short year. Last season, the coach marooned him in right field, where he was bored out of his mind and spent more time stomping anthills and digging his underwear out of his asscrack than he did playing baseball. He also batted dead last in the order and couldn't hit for shit. He struck out swinging almost every time at bat.

This year, Quinton is playing shortstop and hitting second in the order. He went three-for-three today, with one legitimate double, two RBI and two runs scored. The little fart can PLAY now. He made a couple of good put-outs in the field and threw like a bullet to first base. Man, he's growing up fast.

He also has mastered the Major League technique writhing in agony on the ground any time he falls down. He went for a pop fly in the top of the last inning, just missed catching up to the ball and took a tumble on the edge of the outfield. Yep. He stayed down. He cried. He writhed in agony. He was gonna DIE!

The coaches and umpires ran out to check on him. He had a lot of attention there for a few minutes, until he managed to rise from the dust and trot off the field to tumultuous applause. He hurt his hand when he fell. They put him in the dugout and applied an ice-pack and he was just as happy as a clam. The hand looked okay to me, but I'll check on him later tonight.

I didn't like that pussy-act he performed (okay, okay... I KNOW he's only 10 years old, but I don't believe he would have done that if I had been there and his mama wasn't. He knows my motto: "You ain't hurt. Rub some dirt on it and GET UP!" That's my football mentality at work.) Other than that, I was very proud of the way he played today.

I guess that some of the throwing and hitting practice we did on weekends paid off. Quinton is four times the ballplayer he was at this time last year. He hustles and he's got a better arm at his age than I ever had. He can be as good as he wants to be at anything he applies himself to.

Bejus, but I miss that boy.


Originally published July 13, 2002

BWHAHAHAHA! I made my summer peanut connection today! I'm getting a bushel and a half of fresh green peanuts next Friday (that's about 75 pounds) for $45 from Jesse and Lelia, who farm about 50 acres in Springfield, just up Highway 21 from me. Now you see why I said peanuts for $1.80 a pound at the Super Wal-Mart was ridiculous, even though I bought them at that price. I like my boiled peanuts. I'll cook them all next weekend and load my freezer with goody-bags that will last me at least until Super Bowl Sunday. I bought two bushels last year and I have three bags left today, but I still had a family back then. A bushel and a half ought to be just about right for me.

I also picked the last of my corn this morning, along with two lonely tomatoes. I reaped a large paper grocery bag full of corn, but pickings will be slim from now on unless I plant greens in the fall. The okra and two bell pepper plants are the only things still producing in my garden. Jesse and Lelia also sell corn, but I don't need any this year. My crop turned out well. I finally found the corn worms today, which amazed me because I had picked so many ears without finding worms in them. If I had left those ears on the stalks another two days, the worms would have eaten them all. I shucked what I picked on my back patio and threw the worms in the dirt. A pair of mockingbirds are having a feast outside right now, enjoying the buffet I provided for them.

I bought a 50-pound bag of Diazinon last weekend (on sale because fuckwit environmentalists want to ban ALL insecticides since chemicals are baaaad), I spread it around my house, and I no longer have ants crawling all over my patio and my garage. The cricket assault appears to be over, too. God bless good chemicals.

If Jenny reads this, I want her to know one thing. I probably spend more time outdoors, growing things and watching nature at its best and its worst, than any "environmentalist" you know. I grow my own food. I love to shoot guns, but I don't hunt, not because I love the precious animals but because I think freezing my ass off in a deer stand is boring. I would rather shoot a beer can at my convenience. I backpack and camp regularly (well, I USED TO... I haven't done much of anything for the past year) and I can build a fire in the pouring rain, then cook exquisite meals using nothing more than rice, salt-cured ham and powdered soup mix. I can sleep peacefully in a hammock on the side of a mountain where I have ground two feet under me on one side and 20 feet below me on the other. I can put 40 pounds of stuff in a sack, strap it to my back, and live well for four days in the wilderness. If I pack it in, I pack it out. I don't litter and I plant flowers. I work in a toxic chemical plant and I believe that I am more of a TRUE environmentalist than any of those hockwads making all the noise out there.

Nature doesn't need protection. People need to know how to protect themselves from nature.

I know how to make my own beer, wine and whiskey, too. If the environmental Armaggedon finally comes, you tree-huggers are gonna need somebody like me around to teach you how to survive in your "natural" world.

September 27, 2007


Originally published April 23, 2004

My friend dax montana has a few good new posts up. I wanted to link to one in particular, but he's been fucking with his page again and his permalinks are gone. You'll just have to go there and scroll down.

He mentions a street-corner "evangalist" that he's known for a while. That post triggered a memory from the compost of my mind, and I am certain that any native of Savannah during the 1970s remembers our very own street-corner preacher. He was a character and a fixture on the street for a long time.

I never knew his name, but he stood (literally) on a wooden soapbox at the corner of Bull and Broughton Streets and ranted about the evils of the "Almighty Dollar." He was an old Black man with skin the texture of a peanut hull and he was fired-up with righteous wrath.

He wore on old, tattered suit and tie, and he always waved a crumpled dollar bill high over his head while he preached. "The Almighty Dollar will be the death of us all! This isn't a greenback dollar! It's a tool of SATAN! Satan will make YOU ALL slaves if you strive for that Almighty Dollar! You should bless THE LORD ALMIGHTY and forget about the dollar!" On and on he went.

Of course, he had a tip-box on the sidewalk and he never bitched at anyone who threw an "Almighty Dollar" in THERE.

I don't know what happened to that old man (I suppose that he's dead now-- he appeared to be about 100 years old when he was preaching in the 1970s) but I kinda miss him. Maybe the city government ran him off the streets when they passed an ordinance a few years ago banning all the rarees we had performing on street corners and on River Street for tips unless they purchased a $25 dollar business license and worked just one certain place.

Downtown businesses regarded the street performers as a "public nuisance" and acted to get rid of them. I believe that they made a big mistake. I always enjoyed watching the musicians, jugglers, balloon-animal-makers, magicians and sidewalk preachers do their thing. So did the tourists. That was the problem. The tourists liked the street performers and spent their money on the street instead of in the bars and restaurants. The tip-hustlers were draining money away from "legitimate" businesses.

That preacher was right. The Almighty Dollar makes slaves of us all.

I've got your bag filters... riiiight here

Originally published July 12, 2002

This hot hassle of a hell-week finally ended at work today, and I have the weekend off to rest and prepare for my trip to Hamilton, Mississippi next week. I have my itinerary all set. I leave Savannah at 3:00 PM Monday, fly to Atlanta on an actual jet aircraft, spend two hours in the smoking fishbowl there, then climb in the back seat of a crop-duster plane for the rest of the trip. I believe I land in Hiram Jackson's cow pasture in Longbegone County, Mississippi, around 6:00 PM central time. (Hiram offered to let me sleep in his hayloft, as long as I promised not to make love with his nymphomaniac daughter, but that sounded too much like a travelling salesman joke, so I booked a room at the Best Western in the nearby metroplex of Columbus.) I think I get to the motel by mule train, and I am supposed to hitch-hike to the plant the next day. I am ready.

I sat down with all the industrial bag filter experts at work today and picked every last morsel of information I could glean from them. That process took about 35 minutes. I am scheduled to meet for THREE FRICKING DAYS to discuss standardizing industrial bag filters across the four pigment plants my company owns. If the other people invited to this dog-and-pony show can talk for THREE FRICKING DAYS about bag filters, I don't want to be in the same room with them. I'll just have to choke somebody midway through day two.

Of course, I never would have been chosen for this trip or allowed an expense account if the bosses really wanted me to wax philosophical about bag filters for three days. My boss, abetted by HIS boss, who was following orders from HIS boss, said. "Talk about bag filters. Then blow their asses off and go check out Hamilton's finishing end. Find out about the new disc-flow pumps they're using and whether production likes them or not. Talk to the maintainers to learn what it takes to keep them running. Check the design on their rotary filter repulper shafts. See if you can get some drawings of the weld patterns on the paddles. Hang around the packaging areas and watch how their equipment operates. Talk to the operators. Talk to the supervisors. Find out if what they have is any good.

In other words, I am off on an INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE mission, camouflaged by that twitty bag filter excuse.

I don't know how I can be called a spy, since the reason for the trip is "Site Sharing." That's the unbelievably avante-garde notion that what works well in one plant should be passed along to the other plants so that nobody wastes time re-inventing the wheel. Unfortunately, we only share information that Corporate Headquarters has thoroughly vetted, screened, filtered and blessed, such as bag filters. Only then can we officially engage in "Site Sharing."

Well, I going to do some unofficial site sharing, and I speak the language of pigmenteers. Those guys (or maybe gals) will talk to me, because we all live, breathe and fart that white pigment dust. It's like wearing a Mason's ring. Fellow travellers recognize it and accept you as a brother. I'm looking forward to meeting those people. I may actually bring back some useful information.

But it won't be about bag filters.

September 26, 2007


Originally published April 23, 2004

I took yesterday off in celebration of Earth Day. I didn't want to blog when I should be worshiping at the tender feet of Gaia. So, I cut down a few trees, built a big outdoor fire to release tons of dioxins and furans into our atmosphere, killed and ate a couple of endangered species, drained a swamp delicate wetland, changed the oil in my gas-guzzling pickup truck and dumped the used oil down a storm drain. I threw away some perfectly good recyclables, too.

I dumped pesticide on my lawn and sprayed herbicide on my weeds. I ate processed food and stomped all over an organic garden. I helped a neighbor dump an old refrigerator in the woods where children play. We left the door on it too, right after we released all the CFCs into the atmosphere, but that's better than putting an old refrigerator into a landfill.

I was too busy saving the planet yesterday to blog.

I'll stick m'dick if I have to, but I will not quit the cancer sticks

Originally published July 9, 2002

I won't get my new fix-a-flat elixer until tomorrow. The pharmacy didn't have it in stock and had to order it from some certified root-doctor (that's supposed to be a PUN) at Corporate Headquarters, or some such crap, and it wasn't ready today.

I forgot to tell the story of what happened when I dropped that prescription off at the local CVS yesterday. I handed the prescription, along with my bazillion-refill bottle of Viagra, to a young lady behind the counter and told her to fill them both and that I would come back after work the next day to pick them up. She looked at the terrible doctor's scrawl on the script and asked me if I knew what it was. I told her that I had no idea because I had never tried it before. She called another young lady over and together they tried to decipher what the doctor had written.

"Mr. Smith, I can't read what the doctor wrote. Do you know what this is for?" the second one asked.

"Yes," I replied, smiling as politely as I could. "I'm supposed to put that stuff in a hypodermic needle and inject it into my penis. It's supposed to give me an erection. Do YOU know what that is?" I thought about what I had said for a moment while both women looked at me with a somewhat stunned expression. "I don't mean 'do you know what an erection is.' I figure both of you know what THAT is," I explained. "I meant do you know what is the stuff that goes in the needle? That's what the prescription is for."

The second woman recovered quickly. "Oh! You probably want some whatevershesaid." She went to the computer, punched some keys, and informed me that they didn't carry whatevershesaid at that particular CVS outlet, but they would order some for me ASAP. There was one other problem with the prescription. The elixer comes in 10, 15 and 20 something-or-anothers and the doctor seemed to have written "5" on the script.

"He meant the strongest one you've got," I explained helpfully. "Call him and ask. Tell him I told you that. Straight up, no mixers. And don't forget about the Viagra, either." I left the store.

I don't know if I was a topic of conversation after that, nor do I care. When I say I left shame and embarrassment in my rear-view mirror a long time ago, I'm not kidding. Those women work in a pharmacy and they're supposed to be trained professionals. Other people have the same problem I do after prostate surgery. That's why some root doctor invented that drug in the first place. I am authorized to receive some, and I want it. And I want more Viagra, too. Maybe both together will give me something even better than what I once had, except for the goddam shot.

But I am NOT going to quit smoking.

September 25, 2007

My trip

Originally published April 21, 2004

I was supposed to leave tomorrow on a nice trip to sunny beaches and a land of bikini-clad, red-toenailed wimmen. I called yesterday and rescheduled my arrangements. I remain too sick to travel right now.

Besides, I worry about a flare-up of what put me in the hospital. I don't want to get too far away from American medical care. The LAST thing I want is to be feverish, in pain and lying on a filthy cot while some local "doctor" waves chicken feathers over my head and does a voodoo dance to rid my body of evil spirits. I'll take the demerol and the antibiotics every time.

I went to the Huddle House for breakfast this morning and couldn't finish a plate of two scrambled eggs, grits and toast. I managed to choke some of the food down, but it was an effort. I ate about half of it. The doctors told me to eat five small meals every day until I get my strength back. I defrosted two bags of boiled peanuts last night. I can make five small meals off of that stash.

They did a number on my arms in the hospital. I have big, dark bruises and needle-marks from both elbows down to my hands. I look like Fido's ass. I FEEL like Fido's ass, too, but it's not as bad as it was. I really AM on the road to recovery.

I haven't worn a watch since the day I left work for the last time, but I put one on this morning. The damn thing dangled from my wrist like a high school charm bracelet. I shook my arm once and the watch slithered off my wrist and hit the floor. I left it there. I don't need a got-damn watch anymore. I need to gain back the 20 pounds I lost in the past month. I am a walking skeleton and I get winded just gimping to my mailbox and back. I am not accustomed to being sick.

The ulcers and the pancreatitus were caused by a combination of stress, too much to drink and not enough to eat. The doctor's still don't know what's causing the numbness in my hands and feet, but they suspect some sort of weird viral infection. If I'm not better in a week, they want me to go see a specialist. Thank Bejus I kept my health insurance from work.

Okay, that's enough of sitting on my pity-pot. I'm going to look around for something in the news to piss me off now.

Not p.c., but funny

Originally published July 8, 2002

Here are some totally disgusting, racist, ethnophobic, politically-incorrect jokes. Sent to me by Catfish:

1. What's the Cuban national anthem?
"Row, Row, Row your boat"

2. Where does an Irish family go on vacation?
A different bar.

3. Did you hear about the Chinese couple that had a retarded baby?
They named him "Sum Ting Wong."

4. What would you call it when an Italian has one arm shorter than the
A speech impediment.

5. Why aren't there any Puerto Ricans on Star Trek?
Because they're not going to work in the future either.

6. What do you call an Arkansas farmer with a sheep under each arm?
A pimp.

7. Why do drivers' education classes in Redneck schools use the car only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays?
Because on Tuesday and Thursday, the Sex Ed class uses it.

8. What does it mean when the flag at the Post Office is flying at half-mast?
They're hiring.

9. What's the difference between a southern zoo and a northern zoo?
A southern zoo has a description of the animal on the front of the cage, along with a recipe.

10. How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say a dirty word?
Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell BINGO!

11. What's the difference between a northern fairytale and a southern
A northern fairytale begins "Once upon a time..."
A southern fairytale begins "AAHHHHH...Y'all ain't gonna believe this

12. My, my, how time have changed. Years ago, when 100 white men chased 1 black man, we called it the Ku Klux Klan.
Today, they call it the PGA TOUR.

13. Why is there no Disneyland in China?
No one's tall enough to go on the good rides.

September 24, 2007

My brother

Originally published April 19, 2004

I like my brother. Hell, EVERYBODY likes my brother, and that's saying a lot, considering the fact that he is a lawyer. More people like HIM than they do ME.

My brother broke into my house and fetched my laptop while I was laid up in the hospital. When he brought it to me, he asked if there was a de-lousing station handy because he needed a DDT bath after entering the Crackerbox. I told him to bathe in some Blue Star ointment and he would be fine.

We never could get an internet connection to work off the hospital phone line, but that was okay. I was too doped to write anyway. We visited for a while and he told me to call if I needed anything. I offered him $500 to take out the night nurse.

"You don't have to kill her," I said. "Just drag her off, tie her up and throw her in the trunk of a car until I get out of here. Then, you can turn her loose." He refused. My brother is a law-abiding citizen, and he didn't have to deal with the night nurse. The shitass left me high and dry.

My brother looks a lot like me, but we are very different under the skin. I am the Wild One and he is the Picture of Sanity. I won't say this about many people, but he is SMARTER than I am. He's also a better singer and that really chaps my Cracker ass. We harmonize beautifully, but he has the better voice and a bigger range. We still sound good together-- but we ought to-- we've been singing harmony for most of our lives.

For what solace I can gather, I can still cut his ass on a guitar. Hah! Take THAT, Dave.

I love my brother.


Originally published July 6, 2002

My air conditioner is working now. I fixed it.

Actually, I'm the one who fucked it up to begin with. I changed the filter Wednesday night. I was gone all day and night Thursday, then noticed that the AC wasn't working when my hangover started to wear off on Friday. Today, I analyzed the problem and decided that the only thing different about the AC was the new filter. So, I removed it. That's when I saw that it was installed upside-down. That's also when I noticed this tiny switch that must be satisfied by proper installation of the filter before the AC will operate.

I installed the filter correctly and my AC started working. I solved the problem. I am a brilliant handyman.

No, I am a slobbering, slack-jawed, retarded dumbass for screwing up something as simple as replacing an AC filter, and then not realizing that my incompetence HAD to be the reason the AC stopped working. I am a genuine, squirrel-headed idiot sometimes.

It's the English Major in me.

September 23, 2007

Being fired for a blog

Originally published April 19, 2004

I've got nothing to lose now, so I might as well tell the story.

I was assigned to be head of a team doing mean-time failure analysis on critical equipment in the plant. We compliled a bunch of data and I was supposed to correlate it into some kind of coherent form. It was confusing shit and attempting to find a pattern in it was mind-numbing. But I was told on Monday to have a preliminary report the following Monday, so I went to work on it.

Wednesday, I received a call from my boss. "How are you coming with that report?" he asked. I was stunned. "Boss, I'm working on it, but that's a lot of stuff to digest. I damn sure ain't finished today, but I'll have it done by the deadline."

"Bring me what you have right now."

I knew something was up. That was a situation where you feel the hairs prickling on the back of your neck and you smell an evil scent in the wind. But I'm a good soldier, so I gathered up the paperwork and I trudged to the Big Guy's office.

He didn't even give me the courtesy of looking at the paperwork. "We need to see (He whose name I will not mention, because I had a lot of respect for that man until that fateful Wednesday. I still respect him for being a great leader, but he'll lay down like a whipped dog if Corporate tells him to.) because he wants to talk to you." We went to The Great Room With The Mahogany Table.

My boss never said a word as Jabba the Hut from Human Resources, a corpulent, slimy bastard, pilloried me for a few posts on my blog. I used the word "nigger." I made fun of Violence in the Workplace training. I referred to my ex-wife, who is a part of the Management Team as a "bloodless cunt." I was so politically incorrect that I couldn't possibly serve as a supervisor in the plant anymore.

I remember that I was chewing a piece of Bazooka bubble gum at the time. I said, "So, what am I doing wrong on my job?"

"This isn't about your performance. It's about your attitude," said Jabba the Hut.

That goddam attitude will get you every time. No one at that table could point to one single time that I had neglected my duty, slacked off on the job or failed to deliver what I was assigned to do. That entire dog-and-pony show came from some asswit in Oklahoma City with a piss-stain running down his leg, and I'll bet that the pathetic bastard never supervised anybody in his life.

I had the temerity to ask the #1 BIG GUY: "Is this YOUR decision, or are you being told what to do with me?"

"The decision has been made," he said. That response answered all my questions.

Be careful what you write. It can bite you in the ass.

I need air

Originally published July 5, 2002

I have a crisis of epic proportions in my house. My goddam air conditioner has quit working.

This is a brand-new home, finished in October of 2001, and the French doors to my back patio leak when it rains, the paint is already peeling off the roof molding and a plague of crickets has descended upon me. I have more blackberry vines than grass in my yard and every faucet in the house works backward. You want hot water? Turn the faucet to "cold." You want cold water? Turn the faucet to "hot." Now, the goddam air conditioner has quit.

It didn't quit, as in upped and died, the way my computer modem did. The goddam thing is running its ass off. It's a veritable dervish of sound and fury in the back yard. But it signifies no cold air. The temperature in my house is 85 degrees right now and the humidity is 1000%. I have to get up at 5:00 in the morning to make the fishing trip, and I know I'll be wallowing in a puddle of sweat in my bed, even with all the ceiling fans going full blast. This sucks.

I have a homebuilder's guarantee on the house with a toll-free number to call if I find anything wrong in the next five years. A broken air conditioner is something wrong in my book, so I called today. The repair service is closed for the holidays and won't be open again until Monday. In the meantime, I sweat.

Oh, well. I never slept in an air conditioned house for the first twenty years of my life, so I suppose I can persevere through this dilemma. I'll be brave.

And come Monday, I want my goddam air conditioner fixed!

September 22, 2007


Originally published April 19, 2004

I believe that I finally slept off all the drugs the hospital pumped me full of. They wanted to keep me for another couple of days, but I broke out of there before they turned me into a complete vegetable. Demerol is nice when you're in pain, but a steady diet of that shit will make you crazy.

I had conversations with my dead father that were just as real as if he were in the room with me. A clock hung on the wall, but I never knew if it was reading AM or PM. Sometimes, that clock never seemed to move at all. I woke up at night and didn't know whether I was at home, in jail or in Jamaica. I experienced tumultuous dreams.

I had a Nurse Ratched on the night shift. That's a no-smoking hospital and she was right on top of the ball with that crap. I lit a cigarette in the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning one night, and she was there after my second puff. She made me put the cigarette out, and then she stole my lighter.

"It's a fire hazard," she explained.

I'm sitting on the commode in an all-tile bathroom that no pyromaniac in history could ignite with a gallon of gasoline. When is the last time you saw a ceramic bath tub catch fire? Fire hazard, my ass. No wonder the Nazis had little trouble drawing recruits. I'll bet they had an ass of volunteers just like Nurse Ratched.

I don't like hospitals. You run into too many sick people there. I was bad off, but I don't know why they felt the need to strip me of every shred of dignity I own, leave me looking like a fucking junky with all the needle-marks on my arms and tell me to stop smoking at the same time.

What is it about taking vital signs and drawing blood from a blissfully sleeping person that blows their dress up? Whenever I finally fell asleep, I was awoken within an hour by someone wheeling this Gurney of the Spanish Inquisition into my room. This thing was equipped with devices to take my temperature, my blood pressure, my heart rate and my general attitude, which always registered foul.

Once they measured that crap, they broke out the needles and took blood samples. I was stuck by the competent and the incompetent. One night, this apple-cheeked young man visited and stuck me four times without hitting a vein.

He was about to go for #5 when I grabbed his arm. "Ask for help," I told him. "You don't know what the fuck you're doing, and if you stick me again, I'm coming out of this bed and doing my best to whip your ass. I ain't your goddam practice dummy."

He called in another nurse and she hit a gusher on the first try.

Live is a series of adventures, but I don't want to live that one again.

read more »

Legislated bootleggin'

Originally published July 3, 2002

I live 30 miles from Vidalia, Georgia, and JB brags about buying Vidalia Onions in Florida for less drachma than I pay here where they're grown. Well, guess what, podnah? You can NEVER be overcharged for a genuine Vidalia onion. They're worth every cent no matter what they cost.

I can't say the same thing about a pack of cigarettes, especially when the government sets the price through brutal taxation. Do you think smugglers might just LOVE this act of stupidity?

Harlan County, Kentucky, where I was born, stayed a dry county through the concerted efforts of two dissimmilar forces: the Bible-Thumping Baptists and the Whiskey-Running Bootleggers. The Baptists kept the county dry because they were dour folk who truly believed that God wants you to have NO FUN AT ALL on earth. You earn that fun shit in heaven after you die by living as wretchedly as possible until then. The bootleggers were a lot more pragmatic, motivated by a free-market love of profit. They knew that people always want their firewater, even some of the Bible-Thumpers when they're out of sight of the Reverend, and they provided a needed service. So, Harlan County was dry, but you could find a drink there any day of the week, any time you wanted one, and nobody ever asked for an ID.

You have the same situation developing in New York. People will go out of state to buy their cigarettes, or they'll buy them from bootleggers, who will be there to fill the niche in the market. And the politicians can cut the moral horseshit about discouraging smoking. They're discouraging smokers from buying overpriced, legal cigarettes, that's all. They're LEGISLATING their own crime wave.

Buncha maroons.

September 21, 2007

A matter of perspective

Originally published April 19, 2004

One reason I really like this guy's blog is that his mind is just as twisted as mine. I thought that I was the only person in the world who realized the impact that cartoons we watched as children affected our adult lives.

I liked Bugs Bunny. He never lost his cool, he took control of every situation, and when confronted with certain disaster, he nibbled a carrot and said, "Uhh, what's up, Doc?" Then, he turned the tables on the villian. Bugs was the ALL AMERICAN RABBIT. He was the think-on-your-feet, make it up as you go, never give up American. Those kinds of people made this country great and Looney Tunes did a good job of capturing that attitude.

I always thought of myself as a combination of Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote. I am very clever sometimes, but I fuck up a lot. In modern society, right and wrong have been so confused as pure concepts that I don't know what to make of the situation. I just try to live a good life. But if I write the word "nigger" on my blog, I lose my job, I am ceremoniously de-linked by people who don't know me and the winds of self-righteousness blow me down.

Uhhh... What's up, Doc?

A plague of crickets

Originally published July 3, 2002

I am off work for the next four days. June was the MONTH FROM HELL at work and I could stand a break. Plus my crackerbox house is approaching critical mass as far as the need for serious scrubbing, vacuuming and scouring goes. I have been extremely slack about my domestic chores except for doing just as much laundry as I required to have clean clothes to wear every day. Last night, when my friends came over for supper (an extra-large pizza with everything, delivered) one of them went into that shipwreck I call a kitchen and said, "You don't know how to parch peanuts worth a damn." I had to explain that those weren't parched peanuts in that tupperware bowl he was eating from. They were boiled peanuts, all dried out because they had been on the counter since last Saturday. He said, "Oh. In that case, they're not that bad." He ate a few more before the pizza arrived.

It's nice to have friends that remind you of you.

I haven't let housekeeping go to the point where I have roaches and rats challenging my dominance over the natural world right inside my home, or see maggots crawling like living rice-kernels around the kitchen garbage can, but I do have an outbreak of crickets to deal with. I've never had a plague of crickets in my house before.

I suppose the six days of rain we had last week that laid about a foot of water on my yard may be a factor. The chirping Jimenys might simply be seeking high ground and relief from the flood. I just don't know how in the hell they're getting IN HERE to being with. I've killed over 30 in my house during the past two days. That's 30 FRICKEN CRICKETS! KILLED IN MY HOUSE!

They are everywhere, and the survivors are starting to sing for a mate at night, which is an irritating noise when you're trying to sleep. I bragged in the post below that I know a lot about insects. But crickets never were a specialty of mine, and I don't know exactly how to combat this invasion except to keep a can of Raid handy and gas every hopping, jumping, chirping invader I see. I've looked all over for their Underground Railroad that they use to break and enter my home, but I can't find it. Of course, I haven't looked in my attic in a long time. You don't suppose...

Up there attached to the rafters is the Mother Of All Crickets, about the size of an urban-assault-vehicle SUV, with an abdomen pulsating with life. She came built-in with the house and awaked from her cocoon in the pink attic insulation last week. Now she hangs there pendulously and shoots out offspring like a demented, insectile Pez dispenser, causing crickets to rain down at night from the air conditioner vents like oak leaves in the fall. I'm going to go check.

If I don't post any more blogs after this one, you'll know she was there, and she ate me.

September 20, 2007

Government stupidity

Originally published April 14, 2004

When I was filling out my state income tax form, I went all the way to the bottom of the back page before I saw something incredibly stupid. The form is confusing enough ("Add boxes A-3 through 9-B and enter total here. If the total on line 10-A is less than zero, wait for the moonship to beam you up. If the total on line 10-A is more than zero, consult the workbook on page 94-C. While you are pondering the workbook, we're coming to arrest you.") But this one took the cake.

And I AM NOT making this up, as any Georgia taxpayer can testify. The Georgia form 500, page 2, has a place marked by a big, bold "X" that asks for "Taxpayer's Signature." Next to that line is a box that says "Check here if deceased."

I don't know what is unique about dead people in Georgia that the government knows and I don't, but I've never seen a dead person rise from the grave to sign his or her name and check a box on an income tax form. In fact, I've never known a dead person who didn't stay dead. WTF is that box for?

I started to sign the form and check the box. How would Atlanta react to that? Yeah, I'm dead but I signed my name and checked the stupid-box. Are you dickwits happy now? Just take my money and leave me alone.

Bejus! Whoever designed that form probably got a promotion.


Originally published July 3, 2002

The lovely and talented Jenny, of No shirt, no shoes, no teeth, no problem is on the opposite side of the fence from me on this topic:
[Ed. Blog no longer exists.]

Teaching kids to appreciate insects and spiders is a wonderful idea. (I myself try to teach that to kids, and adults, at every opportunity.) But doesn't having the kids kill the bugs sort of defeat the purpose? Yes, scientists have so far found it necessary to kill some creatures in order to conduct important research. But I really don't think we should be encouraging kids to do this. It just feeds the unhealthy human instinct to dominate the natural world rather than view ourselves as part of it.

I appreciate insects and spiders more than most people I know because I once collected, murdered and mounted them in display boxes when I was a young man determined to dominate the natural world around me. From the time I was ten years-old until I was thirteen or so (whever it was that girls became more fascinating than bugs to me), I spent a lot of time roaming the flowerbeds, fields and forests around my home in search of insect prey. Armed with net and kill-jar, I was a formidable hunter. I soon had a large and growing collection of some of the most rare and beautiful beetles, butterflies and moths in the southeast US.

I also was noticed throughout the neighborhood and my fame spread from house to house until I started receiving phone calls whenever someone discovered a mysterious six-legged creature on their property. I would respond, much like an entomologist X-File agent, by hopping on my Sting-Ray bicycle and peddling to the scene. I sometimes found terrified housewives pointing at some huge beetle crawling down their driveway. "What IS that thing?" they would ask.

I would bend over, pick it up in my bare hand and examine it closely. "This is a Rhinocerous Beetle," I would explain calmly. "You can see from the large horn above the vicious-looking, clicking mandibles how it got its name. I'm surprised you found it in daylight, because Rhinocerous Beetles prefer a nocturnal habitat. They are very large beetles and their appearance is frightening, but they are absolutely harmless. You wanna hold him?" And I would kinda wave the bug at her.

"No! No! Just get it... er... HIM out of here!" And I would take it home, pop it in the kill jar and wait until the vicious-looking mandibles stopped clicking. Then, I would mount it in a box with the rest of my collection.

I almost met my match with an Ox Beetle. A neighbor called about that one, too, and I was astounded when I saw it. A Rhinocerous Beetle is large, but an Ox Beetle is HUGE. Imagine moving your garbage can one day and discovering a jet-black bug about the size of a small cell phone crawling around in the compost underneath. The poor woman who found it nearly had a heart attack, but I quickly rode to her rescue. I wasn't so calm when I saw what THAT one was.

"Holey Moley! That's an OX BEETLE!" I exclaimed, eagerly snatching it up in my hand. "This is the first one I've ever seen for real!" The damned thing was so strong that I couldn't keep it from forcing its way out of my clenched fist, which barely fit around the monsterous bug. I took it home and threw it in the kill jar and referenced my illustrated book of insects to make sure the Ox was really what I had. It was.

Sometime that evening, I checked the jar and old Ox had ceased movement, so I removed him and mounted him on a piece of styrofoam I kept on my desk. I would need to rearrange my beetle display to give the Ox a place of honor, and I figured that I would do that the next day. But when I awoke in the morning, the Ox was gone. "Hey, Mom!" I called, "Did you do something with my Ox Beetle?"

She stuck her head in my bedroom. "Did I do WHAT?" she asked.

"My Ox Beetle," I explained. "I put him on the mounting board last night and now he's gone. You didn't throw him away, did you?"

"Oh. My. God." Mom pulled back out of my room and didn't enter it again, until after I heard an odd noise in my closet three nights later and found Ox wedged in the corner, still impaled on the mounting pin and scratching his powerful claws against the baseboard in a futile attempt to dig his way back to the land of compost. The stubborn critter had played possum on me, revived and broke for freedom. I put him in the kill jar for 48 hours after that, and he didn't get away again. Mom had to verify (from an appropriate distance) that the creature was officially deceased before she went back in my room.

I still remember much of what I learned about insects during my collecting days. I can identify almost every butterfly or moth that I see and I'm still fairly good with the exotic beetles. I would like to interest my son in insect collecting, because that form of wildlife is plentiful in Georgia and it's a great hobby for a kid who really likes the outdoors. You can outfit yourself with everything you need for very little cost and it's a great way to fill up a summer day.

And it really helps a young human being figure out his place in the natural world, which at the top of the food chain, dominating all other creatures great and small.

September 19, 2007


Originally published April 14, 2004

I made over $100,000 dollars last year, at least on paper. I received a severance package from work and I calculated the taxes on the money before I filled out the forms to collect it. The federal government took more than 20% of that money right off the top, and my beloved state of Georgia took another 6%.

I worked 24 years for that money. I performed shiftwork, put in a lot of overtime (for which I was not paid) and I ate my slice of the shit sandwich every day. I froze my ass off, sweated my balls off and did everything I could think of to be an outstanding performer. I remain proud of my work.

But I got fired--- not because I wasn't doing my job--- just because I wrote a politically-incorrect blog.

Now, the buzzards are descending to feast off me. The feds and the state will get their cut with the threat of pitching me into jail if I don't pay. My BC of an ex-wife is trying to take half of what's left. I don't recall seeing a single government employee or my ex-wife doing my job one single day of my life. I WAS THE ONE busting his ass out there in the middle of the night and living by his wits.

18-hour days. Lots of responsibility. Holding people's lives in your hands. Yeah, if you do a good job handling that kind of task, EVERYBODY SHOULD BENEFIT! Eat the rich.

I have what I have because I worked for it. It is MINE! Now, I'm being told to give most of it away. I won't do it. I spilled too much blood and guts on the floor to allow those buzzards to feast on me that way.

Sometimes, the crazy thing is the right thing to do.

The Georgia Three Kick Rule

Originally published July 3, 2002

A big-city California lawyer went duck hunting in rural Georgia. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.
The attorney responded, "I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I'm going into retrieve it." The old farmer replied, "This is my property, and you are not coming over here."

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys in the US and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you and take everything you own." The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how we do things in Georgia. We settle small disagreements like this with the Georgia Three-Kick Rule."

The lawyer asked, "What is this three-kick Rule?" The farmer replied, "Well, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up." The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided That he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer's groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly wiped the man's nose off his face. The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer's third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up. But the lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, "Okay, you old coot, now it's my turn."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. You can have the duck."

September 18, 2007

No kidding?

originally published April 13, 2004

Here's a newspaper report that dares to suggest that Erin Brockovitch is full of shit and she's an "opportunist" rather than an environmental crusader.


My father died of prostate cancer in 1992. Mama, my brother and I made the decision to have a closed-coffin service, because we didn't want people gawking at my father's dead body and I DAMN SURE didn't want anyone telling me how "good" he looked. He didn't look good to me. The last time I saw him, he looked dead.

I did my best to maintain my composure and be dignified through that entire ordeal, but I almost lost it once. Dr. George Roberts, a senile old cocksuker chemist from the plant showed up at the memorial service. My father hated his guts.

"Why is the coffin closed?" the insensitive bastard asked.

"Because we want it that way," I replied.

"Well, I told your father for years that smoking cigarettes was going to catch up with him, sooner or later. He should have listened to me." The shitheel turned around and grinned at me as if to say, "See? I was right and your daddy was wrong."

I wanted to strangle the scrawny asswipe, but I controlled my temper. "Doc, my father died of prostate cancer. I watched him smoke cigarettes all my life, but I swear, I NEVER SAW HIM STICK ONE UP HIS ASS! What the hell are you talking about, you dumbfuck? Cigarettes don't cause prostate cancer."

He went away in a huff and died himself, all healthy and smoke-free, a couple of years later. I didn't go to HIS funeral. But I should have. I could have asked his son, "Do you suppose that working with chemicals all those years may have contributed to your father's death?"

Oh, hell, yes. That's GOT to be what it was. CALL ERIN BROCKOVITCH!

I despise environmentalists, but I absolutely HATE people who prey on an ignorant public by using environmental scares to enrich themselves. That's Erin Brockovitch in a nutshell.

Gim'me back the Pony Express

Originally published July 1, 2002

Today was a hot, miserable one at work, with temperatures in the mid-90s, humidity about 199% and no breeze at all. I believe the heat index was somewhere around the surface temperature of the planet Mercury, and I'm NOT talking about the side that always faces away from the sun. It was farking HOT.

I left work and went to my mama's house to visit with her, my 91 year-old grandmother and my daughter, who came in from Texas yesterday with her roommate, Stacey. My 19 year-old daughter showed me her two tattoos, so I showed her the scar on my left bicep from my henna episode in Key West. Now I know where her cyber-name "Blue Dolphin" comes from. She and Stacey are going to North Carolina to visit Stacey's brother tomorrow, so I told them to be back by Friday night, because I'm picking them up at 6:15 Saturday morning for the deep-sea fishing trip. I hope we catch some nice ones.

I left Mom's and went to the Post Office to buy some 3-cent stamps. The place resembled a fire-ant hill with the top kicked off. I only thought I held the US Post Office in contempt until today. Now I feel absolute revulsion. Of course, I'm as stupid as everybody else in the place for waiting until today to deal with the rate increase, because I COULD have gone there yesterday and bought stamps from one of the vending machines when I had the whole place to myself. The WTOC mobile TV-van was there, with Channel 11 reporters interviewing people for the evening news standing in those Disney-World type lines at the main counter . I was hoping they would stick a microphone in my face, but they probably knew better.

"Sir, what do you think of the increase in postal rates?"

"$%#$@%&%$#@!!*&%$*#@!!" I never would see myself on the tube at 11:00 if I voiced an honest opinion.

So, I elbowed a sweet little blue-haired woman on a walker out of my way, stepped on her neck as she lay fumbling for her "I've fallen and I can't get up transmitter" and got my stamps from the farking machine. I'm pretty sure the sweet little blue-haired woman will be okay. I saw the EMS ambulance with lights and siren going full blast pulling into the parking lot as I was leaving, and running over that cute little dog and the homeless man.

Boy, was I ever glad to get out of there.

September 17, 2007

Here are some facts about the 1500s

Originally published June 30, 2002

I don't know if this stuff is true, but it makes for interesting reading:

* Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

*Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it-hence the saying, "Don't>throw the baby out with the bath water."

*Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw - piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof-hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

*There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

*The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway, hence, a "thresh hold."

*In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and>then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite awhile - hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

*Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

*Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. (I know that people around that time believed that tomaotes were poisonous--ed)

*Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale bread which was so old and hard that they could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."

*Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper>crust."

*Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."

*England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside, and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

There is just enough truth in this to make it believable, which convinces me the whole thing is bullshit. But I don't know. Anybody got a clue?

Going away present

Originally published April 11, 2004

Samantha and Stacey came over to visit me yesterday right here at the Crackerbox. I was hoping to arrange a visit from Quinton, too, but according the Jennifer, he is "afraid" of me now. I wonder how that happened.

The two young girls headed back to Texas today. I told them that if they dropped back by the house on the drive out of town (it's really not out of the way), I would give them a pistol to tote with them. It's a long way from here to Texas. I wouldn't make such a trip without packing SOMETHING with me. They showed up, and I gave them a pistol, with almost 100 rounds of ammo to go with it.

Samantha is frightened half to death by guns. Stacey is not. I showed them how to load it, unload it, how everything worked and how to handle it. I fired one round off my back porch so that the sound wouldn't frighten them. Samantha almost pissed her pants. I believe that Stacey liked it.

"Daddy, how do we get this back to Texas?" Samantha asked.

"We'll stick it under the front seat, that's how," Stacey replied.

I agreed. I also told them to NEVER tell a cop that you have a gun in the car if he asks. They're heading through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, so I don't believe that cops are going to ask that question anyway, but you never know.

I feel better knowing that they are armed. I told them just to point the damn thing up in the air and pull the trigger a couple of times if they got into trouble. The noise alone is enough to discourage most bandits and footpads. I don't know if Samantha is capable of doing that, but I believe that Stacey is not only capable; she can't wait for the opportunity.

That is an interesting pair.

September 16, 2007

Augusta National

Originally published April 11, 2004

I love the golf course at Augusta National, where the Master's Tournament is held every year. I managed to see the place for the first time in 1985, when I tended the scoreboard on the 14th tee from 8:00 until noon, because my late friend Steve Hamby worked for the phone company at the time and he and his cohorts ran miles of cable for the news broadcasters. He got four "service" tickets and gave me one of them.

I had to stay behind the scoreboard and just swap the name-cards and the scores until I was relieved by two Boy Scouts at 12:00. After that, I was free to roam the course.

It's a beautiful place with all the flowers in bloom. You don't even want to fart there. I smoke, but I put every one of my cigarette butts in my pocket. I wasn't about to despoil that hallowed ground. I tried to sneak into the clubhouse, but I didn't make two steps past the ropes before the gendarmes had me and tossed me back into the huddled masses.

Still, I was impressed.

I went back four more times when I was married to Jennifer. She was lab manager at the plant during those days and she spent a lot of money with Fischer Scientific. The regional sales manager always had tickets to the tournament and a place for us to stay. After play was completed one Saturday, I walked the entire couse, from tee to green, on every hole.

I remember telling Jennifer at the time, "This is NOT a difficult golf course from tee to green. It's wide-open and the rough is better than most fairways I play from. You let some long-hitting sumbitch who can putt these greens get hot here, and he'll eat this place alive."

Lo and behold. I am a prophet. Along came Tiger Woods.

I watched the third round of the Masters yesterday, and I see the changes they've made to the course. They tried their best to Tiger-proof it, and so far, they appear to have done a good job.

Now, if you stray from the fairway with a 300-yard drive, your ass is in trouble. The bunkers that Tiger once flew off the tee have been moved back 50 yards, so that they are a menace, especially for the long-hitters. Yeah. Now you actually have to play tee-to-green and STILL putt those treacherous greens.
Grip it and rip it, then pray over the putt won't work there anymore.

Personally, I believe that the course is better now.


Originally published June 30, 2002

1) Describe your ideal breakfast.
I like the Waffle House, but the best breakfast in the world is cooked by my mama. Eggs over easy, sausage AND bacon, grits, home-made biscuits and gravy. The biscuits and gravy are what makes it really special. I don't know if it's really that good or it's good to me because I grew up eating it. Naw... it's REALLY that good.

2) When was the last time you said "I love you" to a parent, sibling, child, best friend?
Every time I see my son or my mama.

3) If you were witness to a celebrity's bad behavior and had it on film, would you sell it to a tabloid for quick cash?
That would depend on the celebrity. If I had film of Hillary Clinton screwing a goat, I would GIVE it away to every media outlet I could find. If I had naked pictures of that sanctimonious gnome Joe Lieberman, I might try to sell those, although I don't know who would want to buy them. But if the celebrity was someone I liked, I wouldn't let anyone else know. I am loyal to my friends.

4) When confronted by total rudeness how do you respond?
Usually, I ignore it, but occasionally I will respond in kind when my cage is rattled hard enough. I believe good manners are the lubricant that eases the squeak and friction of society's machine. Well-raised Southerners usually have good manners. They were slapped into our behavior by well-raised mamas and daddys as we grew up. Too many people today missed those lessons.

5) Sugar daddies/mommas......acceptable or not?
HELL, YEAH! I either want to BE one, or I want to buy at least TWO for myself

September 15, 2007

More on child support

Originally published April 9, 2004

I did the math this evening (I know-- I'm an English major and I don't do math, but I might surprise you sometimes). If I took my retirement at $1,036 per month, I need to live another 15.9 years to break even on the deal. That means that I'll need to live to the age of 69 before my choice proves to be a bad one.

No man on the Smith side of my family ever lived past the age of 62 as far back as we can trace down the family tree and MY FATHER set that record by hanging on by his fingernails as long as he could. I don't expect to see my 69th birthday, nor am I certain that I want to.

What is the purpose of child support? I always thought that the man paid to give his child a good standard of living, to keep a roof over his head and to put groceries on the table. But that's not what the law wants in Georgia today.

Child Support is a goddam bludgeon that can be weiled by a wealthy woman with a craven, scum-sucking lawyer to beat the shit out of a man, while SHE fucks around like a mink in heat. This sordid affair isn't about Quinton-- it's about killing ME. How a supposedly wise judge can see it any differently is beyond my comprehension.

But most of the law is beyond my comprehension. Maybe that's why we end up with so many complete dickwits wearing black robes and sitting on a bench.

The original Bridezilla

Originally published June 29, 2002

I fixed everything that was wrong with BLOGGER and my "Comments." I hopped aboard my lawn tractor, cut my grass, rode three times around my mailbox in a counter-clockwise direction, and sent exactly the proper vibrations through the ground to correct everything. I parked the lawn tractor in the garage when I was finished, checked my site, and everything was as it should be. I do damn good work.

Now, I'm going to talk more about weddings. I've been married twice and I'm single now, so just go figure how those worked out. I married my first wife in Ridgeland, South Carolina, which rivals Las Vegas as the shit-and-git wedding capitol of the US. A Justice of the Peace performed the dirty deed, and the entire affair cost $20. In retrospect, I realize that I was totally ripped off. That woman wasn't worth $20.

I was married in a formal church ceremony the second time by a Methodist minister named Bill Ford, who ran the Bethesda Boy's Home outside Savannah for more than twenty years. Bill was an orphan raised at Bethesda, and he remains one of the finest men I ever met.

My now-ex and I already had purchased a home together, and we decided to hold the reception there. We spent $300 on deli meats and bread, bought a case of champaigne and a keg of beer, and had my old band Call The Cops provide the live entertainment. It was one hell of a party, and we didn't have any complaints from the neighbors because they ALL CAME.

We honeymooned that night at the Magnolia Inn, a bed-and-breakfast place downtown that brags about George Washington sleeping there when he visited Savannah. We slept in the very same four-poster bed Washington slept in, and I found his wooden teeth still laying on the porcelan sink where he left them. (Okay, I made the wooden teeth thing up. But the rest is true.)

That was October 24, 1992. We had dinner at 1790, a GREAT restaurant, went back to the room, listened to the Atlanta Braves win in the bottom of the ninth inning in a playoff game on the radio, drank some champaigne, then connsumated our marriage with wild abandonment. The next morning, we ate the strawberries and crossants they served at the bed and breakfast, checked out before 10:00 and went straight to the Shoney's breakfast buffet for some real food. I have never been happier in my life.

I loved that woman then, and I have to admit that I still love her now, even after all the pain she's caused me. I don't believe I'll ever forget what she meant to me, because I don't believe I'll ever meet anyone else who will affect me the way she did. I realize now that the person I loved didn't really exist, as I learned the hard way, but she was real to me at the time.

We wrote our own wedding vows, and I kept mine simple. "(Her name), I love you with all of my heart. I want you to be my wife, because you already are my partner, my lover and my best friend. Will you marry me?"

Bejus. She said "yes."

And I'll spend the rest of my life digging her knife out of my back.

September 14, 2007

The home front

Originally published April 9, 2004

I visited with my daughter today over at Mom's house. Almost two years have passed since I last saw Samantha and I had forgotten just how beautiful she is.

She's tiny. She MAY be 5 feet tall, but she's probably an inch or so shorter. She weighs less than 100 pounds, but it's all shaped in perfect form. Her skin is smooth and glowing now, after a successful bout with adolescent acne, and she owns the most equisite pair of feet I've ever seen. She was wearing red tonail polish today, and I wonder if she did that just for me. She DOES read this blog.

Sam and I had our serious ups and downs over the years, but she's done well since she went out on her own. A lot of the gray silver in my hair came from trying to deal with her when she was a teenager. She's done a lot to make me proud of her since then.

She and Stacey want to eat oysters today and usually I would go with them because I LOVE oysters. But I'm still feeling kinda puny and my body will not accept solid food. (Is an oyster "solid food?") I told them where to go for good local oysters, which are better than anything shipped out of the Gulf, and Samantha knows how to get there. I hope they enjoy themselves.

Mama is finished with her chemo treatments and the results look great. Her hair is beginning to grow back and she's feeling better every day. The doctors pronounced her "cancer-free" after the last round of tests they ran. The news is good, at least for now.

Have you ever seen a Yorkshire Terrier with a Marine Corps haircut? I did today. When I saw "Fancy," Mama's dog, who ALWAYS comes to greet me and cavort when I visit the old home, I asked, "Ma, you've got a rat running around your house! What the hell happened to your dog?"

Mom explained that Fancy had so many tangles and knots in her long hair (it dragged the ground and picked up sticks, leaves and stickers everywhere the dog went) that Mom couldn't brush them out. She took Fancy to a Poodle Parlor and let the experts go to work.

They shaved that dog down to the skin. That is one ridiculious sight. Mom was very upset at first, but she's starting to see the bright side now.

"Look at it this way, Mom," I said. "Now, you and your dog are BOTH damn near bald. Misery loves company."

"Fancy will like it when the weather gets hot," Stacey observed. "She's got air-conditioning now."

"She doesn't look THAT bad, Mamaw," said Sam. "I think she looks cute."

I think Fancy looks like Fido's ass, but if I were a long-haired dog heading into a Savannah summertime, I believe that I could handle the cut simply for the heat-relief I gained from it. I've buzz-cut my head more than once. It's not the end of the world.

I had to leave sometime around 1:00 today, because I've developed a new set of peptic ulcer symptoms (or symptoms of whatever the hell is wrong with me): I get a severe pain in my gut all of a sudden and I break out in a cold sweat. Goosebumps raise up on my arms while I perspire like a blacksmith at his forge and shiver like a virgin on her wedding night at the same time.

I needed to go home a lie down for a while. I barely made the drive.

I feel better now, but I know that this crap isn't over yet. I wish to hell that it was, because I don't like being sick and I've never been this sick before in my life.

Just Damn!

Vacation days

Originally published June 28, 2002

Okay, I got the vacation stuff squared away today. I booked the deep-sea fishing trip for my daughter next Saturday, although I'm not doing the 12-hour ride to the Snapper Banks and back, because I'm taking my son along, too. I picked the four-hour trip to the artificial reef, about five miles off shore, where we can catch mackerel and dolphin and maybe a cobia if we get lucky. That should be plenty of fishing for everybody in this heat. Besides, if anybody gets seasick, it's less torture for them.

I've never been seasick, but I've been around people who were, and that must be sheer, unadulterated misery. I always was very sympathetic to their plight, trying to make them feel better by waving a handfull of raw squid in their faces and asking them if they wanted a nice, cold beer. They chummed the water pretty well at first, then ran out of chum and just hung their heads over the gunnels and talked to invisible friends named "Ralph," "Huey," and "Eric" while occasional tendrils of green liquid, matching the color of their faces, dripped from their lips.

I suspect that my son and daughter both will handle the trip with no problem. They inherited my cast-iron gut, and a true Acidman kid does not suffer from motion sickness, ever. Vertigo, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, egomania, insomnia and a love of boiled peanuts we have in abundance. But no motion sickness. I hope we catch a lot of fish. I told my daughter I would clean them and cook them for her and her roommate, Stacey, if they wished.

I also booked a week at the Jekyll Island Inn for me and my son the week of July 22. The place is a luxury hotel right on a private beach where all the stunted oak trees grow at 45-degree angles from the constant wind off the sea. All the Spanish Moss grows on the downwind side of the oaks for the same reason. It's one mile away from "Summer Waves," one of the biggest water parks in the southeast, and less than five miles away from three of the best golf courses anyone would ever want to play. Needless to say, excellent seafood restaurants are everywhere around.

I may throw my golf clubs in the truck when we leave. July 3rd will mark one year since I last played golf, and I once loved that game with a passion. I want to teach my son to play, but he probably would be happy just to drive the cart while Daddy hacked around the course. I may do that, and work on his chipping and putting while we're on the links together. I once was a pretty good golfer. I wonder if the muscle memory remains so that I can at least go out and break 90 (from the SENIOR TEES-- I QUALIFY NOW!) on a tough course without touching a club for more than a year. I may find out.

I don't know if it was the divorce and the prostate cancer happening at the same time or what, but a lot of what I once liked to do, I DON'T like to do anymore. I haven't even thought about golf in a long time, and the only reason I'm thinking about playing now is because of the "amenities" e-mail confirming my reservation that I received from the resort. I've played all three courses before, and when they brag about how good they are, they're not kidding. I feel a slight itch to try it again.

I was a beer-drinker one year ago. I might have had an occasional bottle of wine with a nice dinner, or a Bloody Mary every now and then, but I mostly drank beer. Now, I like a sip of beer and I'm done. It doesn't taste the way it once did, and if I drink an entire can or bottle, I feel bloated and I don't want any more. I like wine now. I've also learned that I have an affinity for Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. I drink it on the rocks with a splash of tap water. I have beer that's been in my refrigerator for over a month now, and I offer it to friends when they visit, but I don't drink it any more. That makes no sense to me at all.

Do you suppose these are symptoms of a serious mid-life crisis? I mean, I'm growing a pony tail and I'm starting to look at Harley motorcycles the way I once looked at pretty women. I'm thinking of trading my Chevy pickup for a fancy-ass sports car. I'm going to buy a dick-pump. I may even have a professional dye the gray out of my hair. Hell, I'm 50 years old, single and I don't spend anywhere near the money I make. It's piling up like cordwood in a money-market account in the bank because my once-impressive 401-K is now a 107-F thanks to the stock market. I'm afraid to invest my cash holdings, so I might as well SPEND THEM.

Now is the time of my life when I should have expensive toys, isn't it?

September 13, 2007

Greg Beck 1958 - 2007

Originally published on various dates

March 26, 2005

I can't decide whether this guy is crazy or profound. Maybe he's a little bit of both.

Don't matter to me. I like his blog.

January 27, 2005
Gay Cartoons

Here's a person who spent the time, did the research and reached a few conclusions. I believe that the post is required reading for any parent concerned about children.

If you DON'T have any children, just read it for shits and giggles.

November 11, 2004
Ethical Dilemma

What would YOU DO in the middle of a titty crisis? I probably would have just stood there and gawked. Or invited her out to lunch.

I dunno. I guess you had to be there.

One more between these two

Originally published May 3, 2006

Dumb Quiz

I shamelessly ripped this one off from this guy, who is "beautiful, in a manly way, of course." (Hmmm... reminds me of ME.) I'm gonna answer the questions just because, like most bloggers, I love talking about myself.

Death’s Door A-Z

Accent: Southern, although this guy recently accused me of the henious crime of "enunciation," whatever the hell THAT is.

Booze: I'll pass, thank you. Just give me a club soda with a slice of lime. I'm allergic to alcohol. It makes me break out in a bad case of the asshead.

Chore I hate: Cleaning my filthy kitchen. Someone recently surveyed my humble abode and said, "Rob, you need a wife." I replied, "No, they're too expensive. I need a maid. They're a lot less costly in the long run, and they go the fuck home when they're finished cleaning."

Dog or cat: What a dumb question.

Essential electronics: My computer, TV, and stereo.

Favorite Cologne: I don't wear cologne. I sometimes apply some Old Spice after shave to my handsome face after a razor-cut, but only rarely. I've discovered that regular use of soap and water in the shower removes the need for cologne. I prefer to radiate a natural, manly scent.

Gold or Silver: Either one. Gold is great and silver is super.

Hometown: The teeming metropolis of Rincon, Georgia.

Insomnia: I seldom have insomnia anymore, but when I first got out of rehab, sleeping AT ALL was a bitch. Got-dam! I thought that I was going crazy there for a while. Maybe I did.

Job Title: Man of leisure.

Kids: Two. One daughter, one son.

Living Arrangements: It's a packed house: Me, myself and I.

Most admirable traits: Steadfast loyalty to my good friends, the courage to stand up for what I believe and a good sense of humor.

Not going to cop to: If I answer THAT question, I've copped to something, haven't I? I call bullshit! Next question...

Overnight hospital stays: Far too many, all of 'em within the last five years.

Phobias: I have a visceral, mind-boggling fear of snakes. I sometimes have snake nightmares and wake up in a cold sweat. I also cannot stand heights, although I think that's more from dizzying vertigo than fear.

Quote: "If it was easy, any asshole could do it." That's what my daddy always said when I whined about how difficult something was to do. That's a great quote on so many different levels and remembering it has served me well in life.

Religion: Rock-ribbed athiest.

Siblings: One--- a brother.

Time I wake up: Whenever I feel like it. Being a man of leisure is goooood!

Unusual talent or skill: I can poke a ten-dollar bill through a raw potato. No shit, I can. Give me a sawbuck and I'll PROVE it, as long as I get to keep the $10 when I'm done. If I CAN'T do it, I'll pay YOU ten dollars.

Vegetable I love: Homegrown tomatoes. Fried okra, too.

Worst habit: Smoking

X-rays: So many that I glow in the dark today.

Yummy foods I make: Too numerous to list. I'll put my oyster stew up against anybody's--- it's DAMN GOOD. Taste my broiled shrimp stuffed with crab meat and you'll slap your mama. I also make barbecued (pork) spare ribs that will melt in your mouth. I grill a mean steak, too--- and if you ask for yours "well done," I'll shove your face into a bed of glowing charcol for suggesting that I ruin a good piece of meat. I LOVE to cook.

Zodiac sign: Aquarius. Just like two of my great heroes: Babe Ruth and Yoko Ono Ronald Reagan.

There you have it: A dumb quiz, A to Z.

September 12, 2007

It's true

Originally published April 7, 2004

I once owned a pet rat named "Bosk." (20 bonus points to anyone who can tell me where that name came from!) He was a nice, hooded rat with a set of nuts on him the size of grapes. I could put his cage on the floor, open the door and let him run around my apartment. He would explore, scare the shit out of strangers by popping up on the back of the couch, then come sit on my shoulder when he was ready to go home.

If I held out my hand, he would crawl down my arm into my palm and allow me to place him back in his cage. That's where the good food was, and he knew it.

When I met Holly Beth, she felt sorry for Bosk and recommended that we buy him a woman companion; so, we went to the pet store and bought a female hooded rat for $3.00. I named her "Slut," and she lived up to the name. I believe that she went into heat about every 12 hours.

Have you ever watched rats fuck? It's good entertainment when you're half-drunk and half-stoned. Old big-nutted Bosk tackled Slut from behind, bit her ear and plowed her into the cedar chips at the bottom of the cage. He was finished in a couple of seconds, but he was ready for a repeat performance about once an hour. That cage became a den of iniquity.

When the first litter of baby rats were born, Bosk killed and ate them all. I suppose that he wanted no rivals imposing on his turf. I bought a second cage, and removed Bosk when the second litter was born. (I could sell baby rats back to the pet store at $2.00 each. I was thinking about becoming a rat-farmer at the time.)

Bosk didn't like that new cage one bit. He was away from his pussy, he had a new generation growing to claim his throne as King Rat, and he was pissed at me. The bastard even bit me once to let me know how he felt about this turn of events.

I raised about 18 rats and sold them before Holly Beth left and took Bosk and Slut with her. She waited until I was gone to work and cleaned out the house. She took everything she could load, including the head off my shower, my monogrammed satin fuck-sheets and every dish that I owned at the time. How about THAT for a tale? Yeah, my woman left me and stole my rats. I believe that it was a "birds of a feather" thing.

At least she left my dog behind.

"Color" doesn't matter as much as "clean"

Originally published June 27, 2002

I have been informed that DONNA is wearing "Blush" toenail polish now, instead of the purple I liked so well. The purple was a winter color, you see, and the "Blush" is a lot better for summer and sandals.

I don't have winter and summer colors. Hell, I just wear what's clean, and buy the cheapest grooming products I can find at the Family Dollar store.

But I am strangely fastidious about my nails. Some of that came from years of playing guitar, where the length of the nails on the left hand is important, but most of it is a built-in fetish of mine. I cannot stand long, grubby, unkempt fingernails or toenails on a male or female. Most women spend a lot of time grooming their nails, just as they spend a lot of time grooming their hair. But I know LOTS of men who spend more time than any woman would blow-drying, styling and prissing with their hair and then, feeling beautiful, walk around with the crud of ages encrusted under their talon-like, untrimmed toenails. I don't like that.

I don't own a blow dryer. I comb my hair when I leave the shower, then brush it when it's dry. It's on its own after that. I wear a hat most of the time anyway. But my fingernails and toenails are ALWAYS trimmed and neat.

I usually remember to brush my teeth twice a day. I floss and use a proxy-brush on my gums.

Yeah, and I sometimes wipe my ass regularly, too.

September 11, 2007


Originally published September 11, 2005

I should write some kind of mememorial post about 9/11, but plenty of other people are doing that, probably a lot better than I can. I'll just link to this.

On 9/11/01, I was sitting on my mama's back porch and drinking a cup of coffee. I had just gotten out of Willingway Hospital the day before and my life was in ruins. The phone rang. It was my grandmother telling me to tune in to the news on television. Something terrible was happening.

I watched as the second plane flew into one of the towers. I watched as the towers collapsed, one after the other. I imagined that the death toll would be horriffic, a LOT worse than it turned out to be, but a part of me couldn't help thinking that I was looking at something that reminded me of me.

Stand tall and strong one day, then have somebody launch a sneak attack on you and bring you down to rubble. Seeing those buildings fall was symbolic of how I felt at the time.

I know that's a selfish, self-pitying notion, but I never will forget it. That's the reason I don't like talking about 9/11.

Here's another terror-inducing racist asshat

Originally published September 11, 2002

I found this sickening piece of racist drivel thanks to Sugarmama who linked to an appalling article in Salon.
[Ed. Neither link works anymore...]
Here are the words of an oppressed minority female, still shackled by the chains of slavery in this otherwise free country:

I watched from my window, not on television, as the twin towers fell. As shocked as I was, I felt that this was not my problem as a black person. The people who worked at the World Trade Center were mostly white men, and so they had nothing to do with me as a black woman.

Tha's right, 'ho. You got nothin' in common wid DA MAN! He be keepin' you DOWN! Forget any black people, or FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS who died there. They were not worth caring about to a pitiless shit-wit such as your pompous self. (You also have a giant black bug up your ass that crawled all the way to your brain and ATE IT, if there was anything there to begin with, you blithering idiot.) And you wonder how nutballs such as Cynthia McKinney get elected to high office?

When there was an outpouring of grief and donations from every corner of the United States, I said to myself, If those planes had flown into a housing project and the victims were poor blacks and Latinos, people in Missouri wouldn't give a damn. When I heard that there had been over $1 billion in private donations, I asked myself where was this money before? Why hadn't it been donated to help the homeless, children who do not have access to an education, people who do not have access to healthcare? Here we have people rushing to write checks to people whose families will be taken care of by insurance or their employers.

What outpoured from you? Racist venom and envy, you pathetic, unfeeling creature. Where's MY MONEY? is your reaction to an attack on THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN! God, woman! 3,OOO dead people make no impression on you at all, not when your "blackness" is more important. I've got a clue for you, sweetness. The "blackness" is in your cruel heart and your twisted mind. Now I know why that fucktard in North Carloina sued over hearing the word "niggardly." There's a LOT of you crazy, resentful, chip-carrying assholes out there. Hint: Go to Zimbabwe. You'll LOVE it there, among all your fellow black folk. You can starve to death with them in a totally non-racial genocide.

To me, 9/11 was just another example of the American paradigm of deservedness and white entitlement. We are not all Americans; the white investment banker, the white fireman, the white police officer, the white EMT, they are Americans.

Ah, yes, that American paradigm of white entitlement, where affirmative action, racial quotas and Jesse Jackson shakedown operations exist only in the minds of paranoid Klansmen, who ride on horseback through your neighborhood ever night, lynching darkies from every lamp post along the way. Happens all the time... in your feverish dreams.

I cannot express how sick this woman is. The sad part is, she's not alone.

September 10, 2007


Originally published April 7, 2004

Good news first:

*I did my income taxes today and I'm not going to get raped as badly as I first thought. I still pay the feds a lot of money, but I withheld enough to almost cover the balance. I get a small refund from the state.

*My daughter is coming to visit this weekend. I look forward to seeing her.

*I still feel fairly human, with no flu-like relapses so far today. The numbness in my fingers and toes kind of comes and goes now, and it's not nearly as bad as it was.

*I ate a boiled egg today. That's the first solid food I've been able to shove down my gullet since last Saturday.

Bad News:

*I hatched a great plan yesterday. Young Jack came over to borrow a Playstation II game, and I gave him $5.00 to call Quinton and let him know that his sister would be in town this weekend. I also told Jack to tell Quinton to call me. (That's not a violation of the restraining order.) Jack checked back with me four times after that and said that he got only the answering machine every time he called Quinton. He offered me my $5.00 back. I told him to keep it. He held up his part of the bargain. Jennifer must be out of town with Quinton and her latest lover.

*I saw a program on the History Channel today about the carving of mount rushmore. I never knew that the project ran out of money and that it is an unfinished work. It looks pretty good to me. One part of the narration mentioned that another such monument will never be created in the USA because environmental impact studies would take 5 to 10 years to be approved, and even if they WERE approved, environmentalists would find some kind of endangered species of red-tailed blowfly that lived in the Black Hills, sue the shit out of everybody around and delay construction for another 20 years with the case tied up in court. That's one reason I despise environmentalists.

*I live near The Highway That Will NEVER Be Finished. this guy (even though he hasn't updated his blog in a while) probably remembers when the truman parkway began construction, amid the biggest tax-and-bond boondoggle I've ever seen in a town known well for its boondoggles. I believe that I was in high school at the time. I am now 52 years old, and the Truman Parkway runs all of about five miles. Some environmental nutball spotted a bald eagle's nest on the construction route once, and shut down building for two years, until the eagles flew away and didn't come back. Then, ANOTHER environmental nut-case insisted on soil samples near the golf course that removed two holes to accomidate the parkway. Sure enough, since the golf course was built on an old city dump, "experts" found levels of lead, mercury and cadmium high enough to declare the place a goddam Superfund site and require five years of remediation before construction could continue. Millions of dollars went down the drain to "clean up" the site, despite the fact that people have been playing golf there for 50 fucking years without dropping dead. I despise environmentalists.

*Troll spottings seem to be increasing on this blog. Fuck 'em, the nasty-assed, booger-eating, pimply-faced assholes. I detect a lot of envy in what those dickheads write. What, butthead? Nobody reads YOUR blog? I wonder why? Grow up, learn to write and come back when you move out of your mama's house, you evil, misguided brat. Somebody needs to bitch-slap your mama for raising a piece of shit such as you.

*I watched Harlan County War on HBO the other night. I wanted to puke. I like Holly Hunter and I believe that she did a good job in the movie, but it was all so fake to me that I couldn't stand it. I took one look at the background and I knew right away that the movie wasn't filmed in Harlan County (Ottawa, Canada is where they shot it). Holly went to her best Southern accent, but she sounded like a woman from Georgia, not a hillbilly. Nobody else seemed to care about the regional sound that is so familiar to my ears. I'll give you a few examples:

Pear. That's how you pronounce "power" in eastern Kentucky. ("I know whatcher problem is. You got no pear to that starter.")

Hit. That means "it" in eastern Kentucky. ("Hit made me laugh 'till I thought I was gonna bust a gut.")

A. That means "hey" in eastern Kentucky. ("A, Ernie, A, Rob! Wanna play some bowel?")

Bowel. That means "ball" in eastern Kentucky. See above.

Got-damn! If they were going to claim any kind of authenticicty, they should have hired a dialogue coach familiar with the sounds of hillbilly-talk. I don't speak that way anymore, but the sound remains music to my ears. I missed hearing it in that movie.


Originally published June 25, 2002

Donna, of DMC in DC complains, "For the past week I've been hearing a rooster crowing every morning, which has me wondering which one of my neighbors has the dang rooster and why the hell do they have it in a suburban area?"

One of the things I really miss about living on the mini-farm is hearing the roosters crow in the morning. I loved that sound, and my son can do a PERFECT imitation, not a stupid, city-boy "cock-a-doodle-doo," but a real, screaching Rhode Island Red mating call. The sound is more like "URRK-a-URRK-a-OOOOOOOH!" I had my mama and my grandmother stay with us when Hurricane Floyd blew by and my grandmother said she loved that sound, too. It reminded her of her days on the farm.

When we first bought the place, about a dozen free-range chickens nested in trees and pecked and scratched for food all over the place during the day. Every morning, around 4:00 AM, the roosters would start their caterwauling and wake me up just as if a cattle prod had been stuck to my ass. I HATED those noisy bastards. But soon enough, their crowing became normal background noise and I never heard them until I woke up on my own. We got my son his very own dog, which turned out to be a wild, dingo-like, chicken-eating, un-housebreakable varmit who murdered all the free-rangers when she grew big and fast enough to catch them (Black Lab, my ass!), but we had a coop full of feather-foots, Vietnamese mop-tops and Easter-egg hens by then. (The Easter egg hens lay pastel blue eggs. I AM NOT making that up.)

My pride and joy was FOGHORN, a huge Rhode Island Red rooster who stood about 30" tall and had spurs on his feet longer than any finger on my hand. He truly ruled the roost, and he was a tireless lovemaker to every hen in the coop, although his technique resembled barnyard rape more than courting and sparking. My friend Ed the ex-Linebacker and I used to pull up a pair of lawn chairs and a cooler full of beer in the afternoons and just watch that feathered dynamo in action. He was impressive. And he could crow as well as he could screw. All the other roosters hid in the rafters while FOGHORN was own the prowl, because he liked to fight, too. But they ALL cranked up in the morning.

When guests spent the night, the breakfast conversation always went something like this: "HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU SLEEP AROUND HERE? THOSE GODDAM ROOSTERS COULD WAKE THE GODDAM DEAD!" I told them that we were accustomed to the sound and slept right through it.

They seldom came back to spend the night again.

September 09, 2007

High-heeled shoes

Originally published April 3, 2004

My baby say she loves me
But she don't treat me right
She goes to church on Sunday,
But she stays out Friday night
She don't come home at all...
And it's tearing me apart
She's a long-legged woman
Wearing high-heeled shoes across my heart

That's the first verse of a teriffic blues song written by one of the great undiscovered songwriting talents in America today. Modesty forbids that I mention his name, but I WILL say that I'm probably the only person on the planet who knows all the words. I like the chorus, too:

Baby, if you'd let me
I'd treat you like a queen
Why do you do your lovin' daddy so mean?
All I get are promises
That you never keep
And you're strapping on them high-heeled shoes
With my heart lying at your feet

I haven't played that song in a long time, but I howled it out tonight in the key of "E." My ex-wife wore high-heeled shoes to court for our divorce hearing. I know that Jennifer cannot wear high-heeled shoes. She wears a size 7 shoe, but most of her foot is made up of long toes, and she has incredibly narrow heels. High-heeled shoes give her blisters after 30 minutes.

But she wore 3" heels to court that day.

She's a long-legged woman wearing high-heeled shoes across my heart.

Monday mission/Sunday seven

Originally published June 24, 2002

Time for the Monday Mission!

1. Do you wear glasses/contact lenses? If so would you consider going through Lasik surgery? (Or if you already have, please tell us about it)
I wore glasses from the age of 17 until I had the old-fashioned, done-with-a-scalpel radial caratotomy surgery in 1996. I've had 20-20 vision ever since, and it was the best $1,400 I ever spent.

2. Did you ever have to wear braces? How are your teeth? (any cavities, any pulled teeth, root canals, etc.)
I never wore braces. I have excellent teeth, probably from drinking huge quantities of milk when I was young. Unfortunately, I have TERRIBLE gums. When you see me smile now, you're looking at dental work that cost as much as a brand-new pickup truck. The dentist pulled six perfectly good teeth in advance of gum surgery, then capped eight upper teeth to fit the permanent bridge I wear now. The end result looks perfectly natural, but I had to learn to talk with a different mouth three times during the process. They do unspeakable things to you at the dentist's office.

3. What (if any) recent movies have moved you emotionally? Which one and how so?
I cry at sad movies all the time, especially if broken hearts and children are involved. I am an emotional man. That's why I prefer to watch movies on Dish Network, alone at home.

4. I visited my dear Mema in the managed care facility Sunday and while she is doing well, I was sad for her. Living out your final days/years someplace like that seems so lonely to me. Would you rather live the remainder of your golden years in a rest home, or pass away before it came to that?
I want to die like a man, knowing who I am and accepting my fate with courage. I never will go to a nursing home. I never will take chemo, or hormone treatments or radiation if my prostate cancer is not cured. I never will cling to a life that is not worth living. No, I'll make death take me on MY terms.

5. Sometimes, but not nearly often enough, I will just stop and marvel at the amazing planet on which we live. The eco-system, life and death, nature, the perfect balance that keeps us alive, the universe, it can all be mind-boggling if you let your mind get carried away. What natural creation or phenomenon just flat-out leaves you with a sense of wonder?
The millions of stars in a clear night sky, where I sometimes feel as if I am FALLING UP into that vast distance. The sea, when it's angry, moody and powerful, you're offshore beyond the sight of land, and you feel that eternal strength of the water pulsing beneath the boat. The mountains when you hike all day to reach the summit and find yourself amid the clouds, looking down on everything around you, especially in the fall when the leaves are a natural canvass of spectacular day-glow colors. A garden, where seeds and seedlings you planted grow to produce food for your table. Everything tastes better if YOU GREW IT! Mother Nature fills me with wonder all the time, and I love her to the point of worship. But I also know what a heartless, implacable, cruel bitch she is. That's why I am not an environmentalist.

6. Have you ever been in a fist fight or a situation where you had to get physically violent with someone else? How did that come about? Any consequences?
I was a short, skinny kid who spoke with a hillbilly accent. When I was picked on or insulted, I fought. I had more fights than I can remember growing up. I didn't win them all, but the same asshole never wanted to fight me twice. I learned to stand up for myself. I want to teach my son the same thing, but "zero tolerance" in schools today doesn't condone fighting of any kind. We're raising a generation of wusses and tattle-tails as a result.

7. Many times I look back in hindsight and think of how I should have handled a situation. Are there any recent happenings that you wish you would have handled differently? What happened and what do you wish you'd done?
A few years ago, I read the book Cold Mountain. It's a complicated story, but the central theme boils down to a simple question: Is it better to have known joy and lost it, or never to have known joy at all? At the time, I wasn't sure of the answer. I am now. I wish I had never met my ex-wife. I wish I had never sired my son. I wish I had stuck to my original decision and never gone for the prostate biopsy. The fact is, you'll never miss something you never had. But if you had it and then lose it, you'll miss it forever. And the loss is like a hole in your gut you'll never fill. Yeah, with 20-20 hindsight, I would love to relive a lot of what I've done in my life. I wish I could.

September 08, 2007

Bite the dust

Originally published April 3, 2004

I went out and shot up another deck of cards this morning. This time, I used both the single-shot .22 and my old Ruger .22 with the 16-shot magazine. I cleaned and oiled the old Ruger yesterday, then mounted a scope on it.

I think I bought that rifle from K-Mart for $39.00 in 1976. A similar model today costs $150.00.

I mentioned before that where I go to shoot, behind the pond on the land I once owned, is used by other people to sight their rifles for deer hunting. Somebody left a sawhorse there with a wedge cut out of it. It's not quite as good as a vise to set your scope, but it's pretty close.

I took only four shots and a couple of minor adjustments before I had the old Ruger as right as rain. I was shooting from about 40 yards, and I took all four corners off the nine of clubs with four shots. I took out the ace of diamonds, right through the middle, with one shot. I shot the spade out of the ace of spades, but that took five shots because I missed with my first bullet, hit the corner of the card and turned it semi-sideways. I didn't feel like walking all the way to the oak tree to readjust my target, so I just blew the center out of it the way it was.

I had a lot of trouble with regular iron sights after I had my eyes fixed. For a while, I couldn't focus my vision on the front and back end of a rifle. I needed a scope to see what the hell I was doing. I don't have that problem anymore, although I still need reading glasses to read a restaurant menu.

I took the single-shot and blew away the rest of the cards one at a time. I shot about 300 rounds and I feel good right now.


Originally published June 23, 2002

I went back and edited my last post from yesterday. The damned thing sounded like a suicide note when I read it today, and I'm not THAT far gone yet. I do get entirely too consumed by funk sometimes.

I really try to be upbeat about life. But I'm a very emotional person and that Jabberwock inside my head breaks his chains and runs wild sometimes. The past year has not been a good one for me, and some pretty tumultuous events ran over me like a steamroller. I'm still trying to put my life back together after all the things that flattened me. (Hmmm... was that a Freudian slip there?) Things are better than they were when it all first happened, but not as good as they'll be tomorrow, or next week, or six months from now. Time heals all wounds, but I wish there was a "fast-forward" button I could push to speed things along.

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while knows that my moods bounce around like a crazed pinball, and I go from off-beat to analytical, from serious to satirical, from humorous to vitriolic, from "whaa-whaa!" self-pity to "SCREW THEM ALL" defiance. Sometimes even I don't know what manner of creature will fly from my mind when I sit down to write. But I write every day just to see.

I spent fifty years getting to where I am in life right now. I feel as if I am starting over from square one, and it's a little late to be doing that. But I'm still a fairly attractive man (my hair is gray, but at least I HAVE MY HAIR), I am physically fit (except for having nagging arthritis in most of my joints from football injuries-- and being totally impotent from prostate surgery) and I cook delicious meals, play several musical instruments well, write a lot of my own music, grow vegetables in my garden, give exquisite foot-massages and pedicures, and have a natural, built-in thermostat that makes me an excellent partner to spoon with on cold nights. I also cried like a baby at the end of All Dogs Go To Heaven, and that was a goddam CARTOON, for god's sake. "Insensitive jerk?" NOT ME!

I'll find someone who appreciates my finer qualities and is willing to tolerate my crap one of these days.

September 07, 2007

Stand-up comedy

Originally published April 2, 2004

Since I've had all kinds of free time on my hands lately, I've watched a lot of stand-up comedians on television. I can identify with that kind of act, because when I was playing solo guitar for a living, a lot of my act was stand-up comedy. I learned to juggle, tell jokes and handle hecklers in an environment filled with alcohol and cigarette smoke.

I know a good comic when I see one.

Some of the ones I've seen lately purely suck and they are famous. If I watch a 30-minute act and I don't chuckle at least once, I have no respect for that comedian. Ellen Degenerate is a good example. How the fuck did SHE gain such popularity? She's not funny (unless you're a lesbian who believes anything said by a lesbian on stage is hilarious) and her entire show is one long, self-pitying monologue that is worse than my blog.

What the hell made Chris Rock a celebrity? That bastard isn't funny. He's young and black, with a foul mouth, and I suppose that's enough anymore. Comedy isn't what it used to be.

Bill Cosby is a comedian. Steve Martin was a great stand-up comic years ago, and he still manages the best body-language acting that I've ever seen. Steven Wright is unique. He cracks me up. There's some gal named Rita (I can't remember her last name right now) who does a terriffic deadpan act and she slays me. But most others leave me cold.

I took a course in creative writing in college where we spent a week studying comedy. Do you know what makes a good joke effective? You have to SURPRISE the audience. People laugh when they are shocked by the unexpected. Never telegraph the punch line and present the story or the joke in a way that people never see the end coming until it hits them.

Getting up on a stage and saying "Fuck George Bush" in San Francisco is not my idea of comedy, no matter how loudly the San Francisco crowd may applaud such an act. That's not comedy. That's bullshit.

My late friend Steve Hamby was one of the finest joke-tellers I ever knew. He knew the rules by pure instinct. He would start a joke, stammer around totally deadpan as if he had lost track of his story, then hit you with the punch line with perfect timing. I almost fell into a camp fire more than once after hearing Steve tell a joke. Bejus, but I miss him.

He was a lot better than some of that shit I've been seeing on TV lately.

Sunday evenin' comin' down

Originally published June 23, 2003

My son goes "home" in less than two hours and the usual after-visitation depression already hit me. He's outside now, playing with Jack and his sisters in between rainstorms. I love watching them. They don't walk, all creaky and stove-up like I am. They RUN, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME. God! I remember feeling that way, long ago, in a universe far, far away.

The rain and the dampness has aggravated my neck, back, shoulder and knee pain to the point that I'm popping Ibuprophen and Motrin like Pez candy and I still hurt. If my dick fell off right now, I couldn't bend over to pick it up. I wouldn't waste the effort on that useless thing anyway.

I had a very erotic dream last night and I was a star performer in it. I had a blue-steel erection, just like the good ole days before prostate surgery. When I awoke, the first thing I did was check my equipment, hoping that not everything in the dream was a dream. Sorry. Same old same old in that category. I am sick and tired of that.

Some people tell me that I'm lucky to be alive, that I should be thankful that my cancer was caught quickly enough that I may live a long time and not die miserably the way my father did. Well, folks, I don't want to LIVE MISERABLY! I can handle of the dying part of life any time it comes, and the prospect doesn't frighten me at all. Living miserably, however, is something I don't intend to do.

I cancelled my appointment for the prostate biopsy the morning after I found my ex-wife sleeping with another man. She became all apologetic after that, and when the doctor himself called to dissuade me from my decision, she was the first one to say, "Rob, you really need to do this for the sake of your FAMILY." I had the biopsy. She kept fucking around and took care of the "family" thing with divorce papers. Pretty woman, bloodless cunt.

You women who read this blog may not understand, but I don''t like being a broke-dick guy. It's very depressing. My dick was a part of my personality and an integral part of my manhood. "Roscoe" was his name when he was alive, and Roscoe and I had many great adventures together. I loved Roscoe and so did every woman who ever met him. (To know him was to love him.) I don't know what I have dangling (dangling? Hell, I can't even manage THAT anymore) between my legs, but it ain't Roscoe. And without Roscoe, I ain't me. I believe I know how women who undergo mastectomies feel. I may not have permanent disfigurement, other than the still-pink scar running from my navel to my crotch, but psychologically, the effects are powerful.

I am lonely and I want a female companion. But I don't feel confident about courting and sparking anyone when I know that Roscoe is dead. I see my urologist on July 9. I'm going to buy a pump. I'll resurrect Roscoe, whatever it takes. Otherwise, I have no reason to get up in the morning, other than my son, and four days every month don't compensate for the other 26 or 27 days that pretty well suck.

Aw, shit. I spiral off like this every time our weekends are over. I'll be in a better mood tomorrow.

September 06, 2007

My favorite songwriters

Originally published April 2, 2004

I've been playing my guitars a lot lately. I own seven of them, and they're all very good instruments. The 1964 Martin D-28 is the kingpin, but the others aren't bad, either. After I played on stage down in Florida, I started thinking about how music has affected my life.

Music has meant a lot to me for a long time.

I have a picture on the shelf above my entertainment center. My mama gave it to me as a birthday present two years ago. It's a picture of me, as a twelve year-old boy, playing a $19 Silvertone guitar on a picnic bench in the back yard. Bejus! I look young and innocent in that picture.

Recondo 32 and Georgia took a trip up to Clyo, Georgia, with me not long after I got that picture. They had a new camera that they wanted to test, so we found an old railroad depot that was covered in kudzu and almost falling down. I posed with a guitar on the railroad tracks for a couple of pictures.

I have the big picture of 12 year-old Rob mounted above the picture of 50 year-old Rob sitting on those railroad tracks. If you look really closely, you can tell that it's the same person. But you have to look really closely.

People often ask me, "What kind of music do you play?" That's a stupid question to ask a musician. I'll play any got-dam thing you want to hear, from Frank Sinatra to Barry Manilow. (I drew the line at John Denver-- that bastard wouldn't play any of my songs, so I never played any of his.) Don't ask me what kind of music I play. I play it all.

Ask me what I LIKE to play.

I like to play John Prine (I performed "Angel From Montgomery" in Florida) and I believe that Paul Simon is one of the best songwriters who ever lived. I copied my finger-picking style from him. I like James Taylor and Stephen Stills. Gordon Lightfoot was my mentor and my god for many years. I would love to hear him listen to my rendition of "Canadian Railroad Trilogy." I do that song better than he does, and yes, I play it on a 12-string, too.

I can play whatever you want to hear. But I'm better when I play want I want to play.


Originally published June 23, 2002

My mama sent me this:

1) Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

2) Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again! Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.

3) Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

4) Don't cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. One of the big reasons guys fear getting married is that married women always cut their hair, and by then you're stuck with her. (I find short hair attractive on some women--ed.)

5) Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

6) Crying is blackmail.

7) Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

8) We don't remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently . . . beforehand.

9) Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?

10) Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

11) Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

12) A headache that last for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

13) Check your oil ! Please - just once.

14) Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

15) If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to look like soap opera guys.

16) If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us. We refuse to answer.

17) If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

18) Let us ogle. We are going to look anyway; it's genetic.

19) You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

20) Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do we.

21) The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out. Get over it. And quit whining to your girlfriends that we don't do romantic things for you.

22) ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

23) If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

24) We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

25) If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong.

I26) f you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

27) When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really

28) Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss ;such topics as navel lint or cars/bikes.

29) You have enough clothes. You have too many shoes.

30) It is neither in your best interest or ours to take a quiz together. No, doesn't matter what quiz.

Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch but did you know sometimes we really don't mind that, it's like camping !

September 05, 2007

Love me, scratch my back

Originally published June 22, 2002

My back itches and I wish I had someone to scratch it for me. I honestly believe I enjoy a back-scratch as much as any pleasure in the world, except for ... well, I'm not going to talk about kinky sex tonight, so just trust me. I REALLY ENJOY having my back scratched. When someone with just the right fingernails does it, I know why a kitten purrs. I become docile, quiet and putty in her hands. My mama learned this fact early in my life, which saved her the cost of a tranquilizer dart-rifle when I was growing up. If I became unruly and she wanted to calm me down, all she had to say was, "Rob, would you like me to scratch your back?" That stopped everything I was doing at the time and everything I planned to do next. Some women I knew later in life extorted money from me by scratching my back, because I can't say "no" to ANYTHING while in the throes of such ecstacy.

Where are they tonight when I need them?

Racism again

Originally published April 2, 2004

I suppose that some people will take the post below as another racist rant on my part. Take it however you wish, but I learned to admire and respect the Jewish bosses I had back then. They treated me fairly, they paid me what I asked for my services, and they invited me into their homes. They fed me, watered me and never mentioned that I was some kind of uncircumsized infidel. They treated me as Rob Smith, someone they actually liked.

I did a good job for them, and I was treated well for doing it. I didn't make a lot of money at the time, but I learned a lot about a different culture. I'll probably go watch The Passion of Christ just to see what all the rhubarb is about, but there's not a damned thing in that movie that will change my mind about Jews. And that movie won't "fuel" any anti-semitism that doesn't already exist.

Fress mine tuchas, schmuck. Yentza ca mumsa.

September 04, 2007

Being Jewish

Originally published April 2, 2004

I am not a Jew, but I have worked for several of them back when I did advertising copywriting for a living. I was impressed by three things about the way they behaved.

1) The people I worked for had a strong sense of family. Even if they had a fuck-up in the bunch, blood was always thicker than water. They stuck together, which is also how hillbillies believe.

2) They worked. They educated their children. They instilled a drive to succeed in their offspring. One company I worked for had the founder die at a ripe old age. He left behind a trust fund that paid his grandchildern $25,000 per year (and that's in 1976) with one simple codicil in it. They had to keep a steady job, or they didn't get paid. They became school teachers, real estate agents or insurance salesmen, but they kept a fucking job. I admire that kind of attitude.

3) I liked the traditions. I learned to cuss in Yiddish, I wore a yamulka on a few occasions and I knew a mazusa (spelling might not be correct) when I saw one on the front door (that's god in a box, by the way). They knew how to eat, drink and be merry. I met several elderly people who still wore the tattoos from Nazi concentration camps. I would have been mesmerized to hear their stories, but I never asked them to tell me. That was none of my business.

I attended two Jewish weddings and I had a blast at both of them. Man, they can put the Greeks to shame when it comes to pitching a party, and that's really saying something. Food, drink and dancing out the wazoo. I never developed a taste for gifilte fish, and I always thought matzo bread tasted like unsalted Saltine crackers. But some of the other food was delicious.

Other than the weddings, I never attended a Jewish religious service. I wish now that I had. We have Habersham Woods subdivision in Savannah, which is nicknamed "Little Jerusalem" by the locals, where I often saw families walking to the synagogue to worship. I admire people with that kind of fiber.

That's exactly why the Arabs hate them.

Kung-Fu fighting

Originally published April 2, 2004

Back when I was working the Relief Supervisor's job and eating a steady diet of 3-to-11 shifts, I developed the habit of watching full-contact karate on ESPN after I came home from work. I watched it closely and I learned one fact very quickly.

The guys who won the fights were usually ex-boxers who got their seven kicks out of the way, then backed their fancy-dancing opponent into the corner and pummelled the dog-shit out of him with fists. A good right cross is better than a flying side-kick in a fight any day. The movies make martial arts look a lot more effective than they really are.

I saw an incident at the school-bus stop today. Two boys started a ruckus, and they BOTH were dancing around kicking at each other, as if they were in a got-dam Bruce Lee movie. I suppose their soccer-moms spent a lot of money on martial arts lessons, but their fathers never taught them to fight.

If you throw a kick at me and I can grab that foot while you're doing your martial arts bullshit, the fight is over. I'll have you flat on your back and pounded into pudding in 30 seconds.

Watch Ultimate Fighting a time or two. Who wins the all-out brawls? It damned surely ain't the martial arts expert. WRESTLERS win those matches.

I rate wrestling and boxing skills far above any of that kung-fu shit.


Originally published June 22, 2002

I sent my boy off to the movies to see Scooby-Doo with Jack and his sisters. He and Jack were getting a serious case of cabin fever around my crackerbox house with all the rain, so this movie thing is a good idea. I cooked a pot of boiled peanuts ($1.88 a pound at the Super Wal-Mart. OUTRAGEOUS price, but I bought them anyway) and a corned beef brisket while they were gone. I now have some carrots, potatoes and two genuine Vidalia onions steeping in the brisket-juice. My house smells wonderful!

People who aren't from the great state of Georgia may not be familiar with Vidalia onions. A Vidaila is the most perfect, sublime, sweetest onion known to man. I can eat one raw the way yankees eat apples. I like to cut a hole in one, stuff it with butter and minced garlic, then put it in the microwave for about three minutes and eat it that way. I like to grill a hamburger and garnish the bun with a slice of Vidalia onion as thick as the hamburger patty. I like to buy Vidalias in 50-pound sacks and freeze a lot of them for spaggetti and other sauces, then eat the rest before they begin to ferment. I live a mere 40 miles from Vidalia, so usually I have no problem obtaining all the onions I want at an excellent price.

But the Vidalia onion crop was wiped out this year. Global Warming brought an unusually cold spring down South and froze the first crop of tender onion seedlings in the field. About the time the farmers replanted, Global Warming brought another unheard-of frost in late spring and killed those onions, too. By then, it was too late to replant a third time. As a result, sweet Vidalias are in short supply. If you can find them at all, you'll pay about $1.00 per onion for them. I bought three today.

Ask Vidalia onion farmers about Global Warming and they'll ask for some next year

September 03, 2007

Cherry picking

Originally published April 2, 2004

When I was court, my ex-wife's attorney pulled out four copies of posts from my blog. All four were very insulting to Jennifer (which she well deserves) and all four were vitriolic rants.

"Would you look at these pages, Mr. Smith? Is that your writing?"

I had to confess that it was. I could have attempted to lie my way out of the situation by saying five other people have access to my page and maybe one of them wrote that stuff. But they didn't. I did.

I told the judge: "What you have here is four pages from a blog that has almost 6,000 posts on it. The page has run for two and a half years now. You can't read four pages and understand what my blog means. My ex-wife's attorney is cherry-picking to make me appear as evil as he possibly can. Unless you are willing to look at the ENTIRE BLOG, I submit that this evidence should be dismissed."

He didn't listen. He threw the book at me.

Bejus on a bicycle! I write a lot of things that offend people with delicate sensibilities. I write some things that make people cry. I receive a lot of hate mail from trolls, but I also receive a lot of mail from people who say that I changed their lives for the better. Some people actually like what I write.

All I asked of the judge was to READ MY FUCKING BLOG, not just four pages from it. He wasn't interested in that proposition. He had never heard of a blog before and he wasn't about to learn.

That's why I'm in the situation I'm in now. I have a very vindictive ex-wife who wants to destroy me. She almost got the job done once, but I survived. She's making a second pass to kill me for sure this time.

I remember when I first met her. I had run through a lot of wimmen and I really wondered if an essential part of me was missing. I wasn't certain that I possessed the capacity to truly love anyone. But I fell in love with her.

She was my partner, my lover and my best friend for almost 10 years. When she lowered to boom on me, I was astonished. I couldn't believe it. I managed only barely to live through the pain, grief and humiliation she heaped on my head. She fucked around in front of my friends. She convinced my family to have me locked up in a nut-house for 45 days "for my own good" while she plotted a rape of a divorce.

That's the woman I married. She hasn't changed a bit, except now she makes a lot more money and she has my son to use as leverage against me. She's still a bloodless cunt who's no better morally than her bank-robbing brother. Never get involved with anyone named "Shearouse" in Effingham County.

They are bad news.


Originally published June 21, 2002

Jack just threw up big time on my hall carpet. The boys "raced" to see who could eat supper first. My son won. Then, they wanted a nice, cold Yoo-Hoo for dessert. I gave them a bottle each and they raced to see who could drink it dry first. My son won again. He let out a contented belch and sat down on the couch. He has the cast iron belly of his Old Man. Jack rolled his eyes and took off running for the bathroom.

He didn't make it.

A 98.6 degree mixture of ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, milk and Yoo-Hoo is decorating my hall carpet like a piece of NEA-funded artwork. I have to clean it up and I am not good at that job. I sent the boys back to Jack's house while I gird my loins for the task. I hope I can do this without adding my personal contribution of White Zin and cucumbers to the canvass.

September 02, 2007

A golden oldie

Originally published May 28, 2004

The earliest memory I have is catching a butterfly with my bare fingers in the front-yard flowerbed by the fence in my Old Kentucky home. I may have been four year-old at the time. I remember a lot about living in the coal mining camp and I remember being very happy there, except for the trips to Dr. Begley's office for typhoid shots and polio shots and smallpox vaccinations, things my son will never know (unless terorists have their way).

I remember listing to my grandmother tell stories about her childhood (she was about 45 at the time, but she was OLD to me) and I recall vividly thinking about a path through the wildflowers on the other side of the railroad trestle where we lived, and how she had travelled a long way down that path where I was not allowed to go. I envied the memories she had.

I am five years older than she was then. I have travelled FAR down that path in my lifetime, not only through the wildflowers, but into the weeds, the briars, the poison ivy and the quicksand, too. I look back now and I really don't understand how I went from being Beaver Cleaver (although a lot of those traits still survive), to a high-school jockstrap, to a dope-smoking bohemian English Major in college, to an advertising copywriter, to a six-year professional musician, to a 23-year employee in a chemical plant. I had about one hundred "girlfriends" along the way and never contracted a single STD during my swashbuckling days. I never cheated on a wife. I am loyal, if nothing else.

I have two ex-wives and two ex-children to show for it. I really don't know whether I have been blessed or extremely unlucky. (BAH! As my late Daddy would say, "You make your OWN luck, son!") I have more stories to tell than the average man, whatever THAT is, but all the stories aren't pleasant ones. I don't like what the prostate surgery has done to me. I once swore that I could never become a heroin addict because I HATE NEEDLES! Now, I have a prescription for them, and I get all I want. And I use them, too.

Who would'a ever thunk THAT? Not ME!

I like living by myself now. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. The Crackerbox is a nice home (Joan? What would it cost to buy this place on 1/2 acre of wooded land where YOU live?). I own all the toys a man my age should own (except a trophy younger woman). I'm not rich, but I have more money than I know what to do with. I spend it freely; that's what it's for.

But I keep looking back and wondering how I fucked up everything in the rear-view mirror. It's too late to go back now.

I hate that.

(originally written almost two years ago.)

Really good nitrous or really bad weather

Originally published June 21, 2002

As I was thinking all those brilliant thoughts under the influence of nitrous oxide in the dentist's chair yesterday, I happened to look out the window and notice that it was dark outside. I was puzzled. I arrived at the dentist at 4:00 and the unspeakable procedure they performed was supposed to take one hour. The gas had swept my mind far away from what was happening to me, and I wondered exactly how long I had been skipping barefoot and joyful through the wildflowers of anesthesia. My God, I thought. If it's THAT dark outside, it HAS to be past nine o'clock! I managed to crook my eyes to my wristwatch and saw 4:30 displayed clear as a bell. For a moment, I was convinced that I had been in the chair for twelve and one-half hours. Then, I saw the rain drops pounding the window panes.

The rain started sometime around 4:30 yesterday, and has quit only occasionally to catch its breath since. It's almost 7:00 PM today and Mother Nature is holding her water in abeyance right now, but the clouds remain glowering and forecasters predict a 90% chance of more rain tonight. I hope it comes, and comes some more, and keeps coming after that. For the first time since I bought this crackerbox house last October, the sandy yard is not making a giant sucking sound when water touches it. Every living plant in the neighborhood is at least three deeper shades of green than it was yesterday.

This thirsty sandhill I live on is almost sated. Now I say, drown the bastard!

September 01, 2007

Busy day

Originally published November 30, 2005

I didn't post anything yesterday. I was too damned busy.

I went to visit my 94 year-old grandmother, who gave me two bottles of apple juice when I mentioned that I'm supposed to be eating lots of fruits and vegetables now. She ALWAYS wants to feed me or give me something to take home when I visit. I took the juice and made her very happy.

I went to an AA meeting.

Some friends came by while I was in the hospital and cleaned my house. Now I can't find a damn thing around here. They also threw away almost everything in my refrigerator because that stuff was growing evil-looking heads, insectile legs and clicking mandibles. I think an alien invasion was immenent. So, I had to go to the grocery store and lay in some fresh supplies.

By the time I finshed all that, the time was nigh for me to be back in Statesboro for my Outpatient Counceling, which I signed up for to help me stay steady for a while. That also will help me find a good sponsor to bog a foot in my Cracker ass when I need it. I didn't get home until almost 9:00 last night and I was flat worn out.

Besides, I'm having a bad case of Post Acute Withdrawal. I feel as if someone removed my brain, stuck it on a post, shot it full of holes and then placed it sideways back in my head. My short-term memory has gone to crap. I have difficulty focusing on ANYTHING for more than a few seconds. I just kinda zone out a lot.

My councelor told me that this goof-cloud I'm riding is perfectly normal. As he put it, I poured enough alcohol and dope into the back of my computer to short it out, and repairs sometimes take a while. He told me that I should carry a notebook in my pocket and write things down so I don't forget them.

I told him that I would lose the notebook in the shape I'm in right now. He said that this, too, will pass, if I don't backslide.

So, I didn't blog yesterday. I went to bed at 10:30 PM, still clean and sober.

One day at a time, folks. One day at a time.

Human resources

Originally published June 20, 2002

I've gone through the matrix, I have reviewed my supervisors one by one, and I am about to put the results on the official corporate document that flies like a suicide bomber to company headquarters (once it has passed through MY boss, HIS boss, the PLANT MANAGER and wherever else it goes) so that some strange, ill-defined entity known as CORPORATE HUMAN RESOURCES can correct any mistakes we made in PERFORMANCE REVIEWS for people they don't know from Adam's housecat. I do this task while sitting in my underwear at my computer and I use a Magic Eight Ball to make all my decisions.

I hate doing this stuff. I DON'T hate performance reviews, because I believe they are a good tool to let people who work for you know what you think about how they do their jobs. But I DON'T like rating people and sending the forms off to Corporate Headquarters for THOSE WEENIES to peruse and modify before I show them to the people I am rating.

I have four pretty good supervisors working for me. Not a one is perfect (of course, I AM... gaakk, choke!) and I attempt to score them according to their abilities and point out what I consider to be their weaknesses. That plan backfired in my face two years ago, when I was told that I MUST rate one of my supervisors as "Needs Improvement" overall. Corporate "Human Resources" dehumanized everybody and resorted to a bell-shaped curve to get the nice, symmetrical results they wanted. That shit looks good on a chart and makes one hell of a Power Point presentation, especially when you don't have to deal with the actual "human resource" you're cold-bloodedly screwing.

I looked around the plant and saw areas where EVERY SUPERVISOR should have been rated "Needs Improvement." On the bell-shaped curve, one of those nimrods had to be rated "Exceeds Expectations" even he wasn't fit to polish the work boots of the worst supervisor in my area. But I had to choose and annoint a designated idiot, even if I didn't have one.

I am a good soldier. I did the deed, but I didn't like doing it and I thought it was totally unfair and ridiculous.

I'm not sure what corporate policy is this year. Human Resourses has been through a reinvention process and I am yet to see the mutation it has become. I simply soldier once again and submit the completed forms in the morning. I hope nobody in the rarefied air of corporate headquarters feels compelled to change anything. But they may. What is MY opinion worth? I just work with those people every day.

I know nothing about "human resources."