Gut Rumbles

August 31, 2009

southern tradition

Originally PUBLISHED August 19, 2004

If you've never eaten Kryspy Creme doughnuts, you are a complete failure as a human being. I once spilled a cup of their coffee on MY lap and almost scalded my pecker off... and the idea of suing them never occurred to me. I bought the coffee, I wanted it hot and I SPILLED IT!!! What was I going to sue Kryspy Creme for? Giving me exactly what I wanted? Bullshit!

But I DO think I have a legitimate tort case against them. I was about 20 years old and I went to the beach and drank beer all day while I surfed. That combination of beer and salt air will make you hungry as hell when you're young enough to eat a house anyway. I was with a friend and we stopped at the traffic light on the corner of Victory Drive and Skidaway Road.

We could smell the doughnuts from where we sat. A strange mind-meld occurred in the car. Without a word being spoken, we both knew that we wanted DOUGHNUTS!!! A LOT OF THEM!!! RIGHT NOW!!!

We bought two dozen right off the conveyor belt, fresh from the hot grease. Those doughnuts DISSOLVE when you put one in your mouth. You don't even realize that you ATE a doughnut except for that sugary aftertaste in your mouth.
They smell good, they taste good and you can eat a dozen easily when you're half-drunk.

You can also puke your guts out later, but that's a story I don't care to tell tonight. I still think I have a legitimate lawsuit. Kryspy Creme is responsible for making me sick that day.


August 30, 2009

another good deed

Originally PUBLISHED August 19, 2004

I took the dirt road behind my house to Randall's Liquor Store today because I was running low on beer and cigarettes. I needed to reload.

Old Augusta Road is one of the best-kept dirt roads I've ever seen. Even after all the rain we've had lately, the road was in great shape, until I turned the corner and passed the sign from Effingham to Chatham County. (Randall has a great place for a liquor store--- right on the county line between Baptists and drunks.) The road goes only about 100 yards farther, but that sumbitch looked like the army had been using it for heavy artillery practice. It didn't have potholes. It had CAVES in it.

What did I see? A red Chevy Cavilear buried up to its radiator in one of those holes and a woman standing on the side of the road with her hands clasped under her chin as if she were praying to God. I stopped and asked if I could help her.

"Do you have a cell phone?" she pleaded. "I belong to AAA they'll send a tow-truck out here if I can call them." I told her that I didn't have my cell phone with me, but I thought that I could pull her out. I keep a tow-strap behind the back seat of my truck and I fished it out. I pulled my truck up as close to her car as I could.

Only THEN did I realize that to hook her front axle to mine, I was going to have to swim through a mud-hole to do it. Her car was sunk DEEP in that slime. I took off my shirt and handed it to her along with my wallet. "Hold these for me, darlin.' I think I'm gonna have to get dirty."

This WAS NOT a pretty woman. She was older than I am and she didn't arouse me at all in a sexual nature. But she was a damsel in distress and I am a Southern gentleman who believes in chivalry. I crawled through that mudhole, hooked our axles together with my tow-strap and got covered up with shit doing it. I looked like Fido's ass by the time I was finished. I had mud running out of my ears.

"I need to ask you to do one thing for me, darlin," I said. "I can't do this all by myself. You're going to have to get in that car, put the gear in neutral and steer while I pull you to high ground. Just give me a thumbs up when you're ready."

She already had mud on her damn near up to her knees, so she didn't hesitate. "I can do that," she replied, and she waded through the mud and climbed into her car. I got in my truck and she gave me a big thumbs up. I pulled her out of that mudhole.

When her car was high and dry, I crawled through the dirt again and disconnected my tow-strap. I retrieved my shirt and my wallet. The woman offered to pay me, but I didn't want her money. I told her that it was my good deed for the day and maybe somebody will do that sort of thing for my mama if she's ever stuck on a dirt road in the future. She thanked me again and went on her merry way in that little red car.

I drove my truck through that mudhole and made it to Randall's. I walked through the door and people said, "My Gawd, Rob! What happened to you?" I looked as if I had been wallowing in a pig-sty.

"Nothing happened," I replied. "I look this way all the time anymore. Gimme some beer and cigarettes."

I bought beer and cigarettes and drove back home. I DID not take the dirt road this time.

August 29, 2009

I hate my fellow man

Originally PUBLISHED July 24, 2003

Today makes two days in a row that I have driven home in the rain. I am carefully supressing a homicidal case of Road Rage right now.

I piss and moan about Florida drivers being complete fuckwits (because they ARE) but we damn sure have our share in southeast Georgia. What makes everybody believe that they are DRIVING ON ICE when the roads get wet around here? People become so CAREFUL (No! Myrtle! Don't you DARE go faster than 25 miles an hour on the Eisenhower Expressway. Can't you see that the road is WET?)

It's not like these people drive worth a shit to begin with. Most of them should be dragged off and shot for never capturing the concept of turn signals and why it is UNSAFE to drive in the left lane slower than traffic in the right lane on the expressway. They perform that kind of blithering idiocy all the time and never think twice about it.

But you let it RAIN and the goddam morons become the most insanely safety-conscious drivers in the history of the planet. DON'T go over 25 miles per hour. STOP at every mud-puddle in the road. KEEP your brakes lights on constantly so that no one behind you knows when you're going to STOP in the middle of the road for no good reason. Safe, safe, safe.

No wonder I saw wrecks all over the place for the past two days. I don't drive SAFE. I drive WRECKLESSLY. And by that I mean NOT CAUSING WRECKS!

When I went to Charleston last weekend, I did something I've never done before in my truck. I buried the speedometer. It goes only to 100 MPH, but I've got 350 cubes under the hood and I know the Crackermobile will go a lot faster than that. Hell, I wasn't halfway to the floor with the gas pedal.

I was doing 85 in the right lane of Interstate 95 and people were blowing by me as if I were standing still. So, I got in the left lane and drove at their speed. I figured it would take a lot of cops to catch that many speeders and I went over 100 miles per hour for a while. I felt perfectly safe because I was going with the flow of traffic.

SPEED does not kill. Some asshole on cruise control who pulls into the left lane in front of us at 71 miles per hour to take a hour to pass the car going 70 miles per hour in front of him could have wrecked us all. Fortunately, there were enough of us going fast enough that no asshole had a chance to get in edgewise. I enjoyed that part of the trip.

I have NOT enjoyed my drive home from work the past two days. It reinforced a theory I've had for years. You take a naturally stupid person, put them behind the wheel of a car and they become MORE STUPID THAN EVER as soon as they crank the engine. That's a scientific fact, now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt BY ME, just watching it happen over and over again.

I want an Urban Assault Vehicle.

August 28, 2009

moments of doubt

Originally PUBLISHED August 20, 2004

I saw something on my living room floor this morning and I wasn't certain what it was. Do YOU ever do that? See something strange on the floor and wonder how it got there?

This resembled a dessicated french fry, but I knew that I didn't spill any that I bought at the Krystal yesterday, so THAT couldn't explain it. It couldn't be an old dog turd from Oddball, because I would have found one out in the open like that a long time ago. I put on my reading glasses and I STILL couldn't identify what that thing was.

I got a Bic pen and probed that fucker. It didn't move, wiggle or bite, but I still wasn't going to touch it. Ain't no telling WHAT could be on MY floor. I went to the kitchen and fetched a set of BBQ tongs. I picked up the strange object and held it under the light in the kitchen. After careful inspection, I realized what it was.

It was a piece of my Jethro Belt that I made from string when I was riding cross-country with Recondo. I forgot to bring a real belt, so when my jeans started sagging badly around my withered shanks and skinny waist, I cut some twine from a souvenir bag and tied my pants tight through a couple of front belt-loops. I called that a Jethro Belt, because I looked like I came from the Beverly Hillbillies wearing that thing. But it worked.

When I got home, I had to go to the bathroom. Some of that diner food I ate on the road needed to make a hasty exit. I fumbled with the knot in that string for a minute, realized that I had urgent matters to attend to and didn't have TIME to fuck with that Gordian knot. I grabbed a pair of sissors and just cut it, kinda like Alexander did.

That piece must have fallen on the floor as I rushed to the bathroom. How did I miss seeing it for a week? Of course, I also noticed a lot of mud under my fingernails and wondered where THAT came from until I remembered swimming through a mudhole yesterday afternoon.

My brain has a terminal case of rot.

August 27, 2009

a close one

Originally PUBLISHED December 5, 2005

I THOUGHT I had an AA meeting to attend in Statesboro tonight. I left home in a pouring rainstorm, made it to what I THOUGHT was the proper location 30 minutes early and couldn't find the meeting. I asked a sweet young thing on the first floor if she knew where the meeting might be, and she sent me to the third floor of the building.

I went there and didn't see anything resembling an AA meeting in any of the rooms. No coffee pot anywhere was a dead giveaway. I started back to the elevator when I met a nicely-dressed, dapper-looking man in the hallway. Hell--- he looked like he COULD be a drunk (drunks will fool ya that way), so I asked HIM about the meeting.

"I think that's on Tuesday," he said. I showed him my list of meetings, and it damn sure said Monday AND Tuesday on it. I was in the right place, too. "Well, they meet on the second floor. If there's a meeting, you'll find it there."

I thanked the guy and went to the second floor. No meeting there, either. I waited around until five minutes after the meeting was scheduled to start before I gave up. I left the building and drove back home.

I wasn't really pissed. After the rain quit, I had a pleasant drive to Statesboro, and the trip got me out of the house. That's always a good thing.

But I almost had a terrible wreck on the way home.

I was all the way to Highway 21 between Springfield and Rincon when I saw a bunch of tail lights and warning flashers on the right side of the road ahead of me. A cop car with blue lights flashing came tearing across the median and sped toward the scene. I slowed down and eased over into the left lane.

About the time that I realized there was a terrible wreck up there, the jackass in front of me stood on his brakes and STOPPED in the left lane, right beside a car that was stopped in the right lane. I was looking at a roadblock.

I hit my brakes and started sliding and fishtailing on the wet pavement. I wasn't certain I could stop before I slammed into one of the cars in front of me, so I started looking for a place to bail as I fought the wheel to keep from going into a spin. I saw a guardrail to my left and another car to my right.

Nowhere to go.

Just about the time I made up my mind to eat the guardrail rather than hit another car, I got everything back under control and stopped a good two feet from the car in front of me. I was perfectly calm---downright SERENE--- except for a burning desire to drag that rubber-necking sumbitch out of the car in front of me and beat the living shit out of him for stopping in the road the way he did.

I was almost home before I wondered... could I have done that bit of stunt-driving if I had been drinking? If not, my happy ass would probably be in jail right now, with a fistfull of tickets, a DUI and a potential lawsuit for whiplash on my hands. Bejus! That would be pure ugliness on the half-shell.

I think my Higher Power was sending me a message tonight.

August 26, 2009

my boy

Originally PUBLISHED May 28, 2003

A fellow at work who was my maintenance planner for more than five years stopped me in the plant today. I really like John and respect his work ethic a lot. He said, "I met your most excellent son yesterday." John is 60 years old and he lives in Rincon, not far down the road from me.

"My son?" I asked.

"Yeah, I was in Wal-Mart and ran onto Jennifer. She had Quinton with her and I was really impressed with your boy. He's about as polite as any young man his age that I've ever seen. Hell, Rob, he's a good-looking boy, too."

I laughed and said, "Yeah, he is, John. And he's already smarter than you and I put together."

"I don't doubt it," John replied. "Next time you see him, tell him Mr. John said hello."

I'll do that, and Quinton will remember who "Mr. John" is. My boy is that way. He's always been pretty easy to handle, but I believe that he learned the lesson of minding mom and dad from an early age. We never moved any breakables, or put up with any shit out of him when he was in the curious, crawling stage of life. We taught him the meaning of the word "NO!"

He had to learn the hard way, like most kids do when they learn that word, because he got his hand smacked a lot. But he finally understood that Jennifer and I BOTH were serious and that pain would follow an episode of deafness when the "NO!" word was spoken. The truth is, he picked up on the concept pretty rapidly.

In his really formative years, we lived on the mini-farm, where he was free to run the dirt roads and the woods with his friends. He learned quickly then that no matter where he went, one of the neighbors was watching, and the neighbor would tell on the whole bunch of that roundhouse gang if they fucked up. He learned not to do it, because unpleasant consequences always followed.

I believe that I spanked my boy twice in his life. He deserved both, and I delivered on a promise both times. "If you do that again, I'm going to spank your butt." He did it again, and I spanked him. Twice. After that, never no more.

Yeah, I have a fine son. I am very proud of my boy and I miss him a lot. I see him four days every month now, and that's just not right.

August 25, 2009


Originally PUBLISHED October 19, 2003

I've always kept bird-feeders in my yard and I really like watching my feathered friends eat, court and spark around my house. When the squirrels invaded, I bought a Crossman pellet rifle and a 7X scope to knock the tree rats out of my bird feeders, and I've killed damn near a hundred of those fucking fuzzy-tailed rats since then. I feel no compunction at all about shooting a squirrel out of one of my bird-feeders. They don't belong there.

When I lived on the mini-farm, I had a family of cardinals who nested in the same tree every year and raised younguns until the BC insisted that we adopt a fucking cat, who killed the mama bird and put an end to that generational thing. I shot the cat in the ass with the pellet gun for doing that, but it remained a cat. (Yeah. That's the one I shot out of a tree.)

I had a family of mockingbirds that nested in a lagustrum bush near the house. If I went outside to play my guitar, the male would try to sing me down as soon as I started picking. Something about the sound of a guitar really pissed him off. He would land on the phone line just over my head and start shitting and singing his fool ass off. I played and mocked back at him and damn near drove the bird into a frenzy. I learned a lot of mockingbird calls from that experience. The bastard also pecked me in the back of the head a couple of times when I didn't see him coming. I don't think he liked me.

I had seven different hummingbirds that hung around my house. You want to see a bird with more balls than brains? Watch hummers in action. They'll attack anything, including each other, and they fly like jet fighters. The hummingbird feeders were all filled with red sugar-juice and I made the mistake of walking outside one day while wearing a red t-shirt. I was swarmed by the little shits. They buzzed me like bees, checking out that red t-shirt. One of them even plucked at my chest with its beak before flying away in frustration. I kinda liked that.

I also had a magnificent couple of giant red-headed woodpeckers who lived somewhere back in the woods. They would show up every morning and the female would land in a pine tree. The male would then demonstrate just how pussy-whipped he was by flying to the bird feeder, collecting a sunflower seed, bringing it back to the pine tree, cracking it in a special hole he pecked there, then feeding it to his mate, beak to beak He did that over and over until she was done with breakfast. Then, they flew off back into the woods together.

I'm attracting birds around the Crackerbox now. I don't believe that I'll ever have the environment that I did on the mini-farm, but I'm gaining on it. I've got a mocker who doesn't like the sound of a guitar and the hummingbirds are numerous where I live. I'm going to hang some suet tomorrow because the weather is turning cold and migratory flyers like that fat.

I like my birds.

August 24, 2009

just for the hell of it

Originally PUBLISHED October 19, 2003

Have you ever done anything "just for the hell of it?" I like that term.

"Just for the hell of it." That term describes the motivation for doing things you probably wouldn't do if you thought long and hard about doing it FIRST, but since you didn't, you went ahead "just for the hell of it." Sometimes, you end up with a great adventure that way. Sometimes, you end up with scars. Sometimes you meet a few interesting people in jail. The "hell" is in that term for a reason.

I tend to do things "just for the hell of it." I once did it because I was a wild young man. Now I do it because I miss my youth and I feel that I have little to lose anymore. I've already lost everything I ever gave a shit about, and once you overcome that kind of shock, life becomes very free.

Recondo 32 invited me to attend his father's funeral today, but I declined. I never met the man when he was alive, and I don't like funerals anyway. I actually thought about going, just for the hell of it, but I don't belong there. The funeral is for the family and I'm not part of that.

I once took a dare and jumped off the second bridge leading to Skidaway Island when the bridge was still under construction. That's the tall bridge. I must have plunged 50' before I hit the water even at high tide. I broke the water clean and went all the way to the bottom of the river, where my feet sunk about 6" into mud before I clawed my way to the surface. I did that just for the hell of it, but I never wanted to do it again.

Quinton is a nine year-old boy because I did something just for the hell of it. Jennifer asked, and I complied. I don't regret doing it, but I certainly wish that the circumstances were different today. I sired a fine son. I just did it with a pure piece of shit partner. I wish that I had never met her, but I went out on that first date just for the hell of it.

Just for the hell of it.

Sometimes, you really should look before you leap.

August 23, 2009

The ribs

Originally PUBLISHED October 19, 2003

I like doing things that I am really good at doing. After 51 years of life I HAVE learned to become REALLY good at a few things. Some involve work. Some are sexual. Some involve gardening and planting grass. And SOME involve cooking.

I am a damned good cook. I started flipping hamburgers when I was 14 years old and I worked a grill for a long time after that. Yesterday, I fed two of my friends a delicious meal and I had no doubt at all about how it was going to taste before it was done. I knew what I was doing.

The ribs fell off the bone. I sauteed some Portabella mushrooms and served them with with a garlic and ranch-dressing dip. I made a fresh salad and a succotash of corn and lima beans. I cooked home-fried potatoes that were better than anything McDonald's ever served. I had a nice bottle of wine and a some gourmet beer for dessert.

A good time was had by all.

August 22, 2009

same old same old

Originally PUBLISHED June 14, 2006

Illegal immigrant tropical storm Badass Alberto is gone now. I enjoyed all the rain he dumped around here, but when I checked the gauge in my yard this morning, it held a fraction more than 1", which is about 5" less than what we needed to wet the ground decently. Shit. The sun is blazing as mercilessly as usual now and the ground will be as dry as a popcorn fart again by tomorrow.

Still, it was better than nothing.

I picked a lot of tomatoes (no more of the sexually-deviant kind), two bell peppers and some more banana peppers this morning, and I experienced a mockingbird attack while I was out there performing stoop labor. I think those are the same birds who have nested in my back yard scrub-woods for the past four years--- I recognize that big, honking, hostile male--- but they've moved their nest to the other side of my woods from where they've homesteaded in the past.

I was first alerted to their presence by a lot of screeching and shaking of small tree limbs nearby. I tried to ignore them while I picked vegetables. But those birds didn't WANT "peace." They wanted a "PIECE" of ME, dammit, and they set forth to get it, too.

I was swooped upon. I got pecked on my tender noggin. I had some of my thinning gray silver hair snatched out by the roots. In typical attack strategy, one bird occupied my attention in front, while the other one snuck up from behind and attempted to drill a hole in my skull. I thought that maybe if I stood perfectly still, they would give up and ignore me.

Bad plan. All I accomplished with that tactic was to make those birds more pissed off than they already were and provide a stationary target for their bombing raids. I could hear little baby birds chirping (or maybe cheering) from their nest in a nearby tree, as mama and daddy made me do a non-happy-dance all over my garden. They were tearing into me worse than my own mama ever did with a willow switch.

I finally ran for my life, spilling freshly-picked tomatoes in my wake. Those mean-ass birds chased me all the way to my back door, then roosted on my barbecue grill to laugh at me once I was inside with the door locked. Mean little bastids.

Still, I gotta admit one thing. I kinda ADMIRE those birds. They are fiercely protective of their nest, they ain't afraid of ANYTHING and they work together like a well-trained sniper unit when they attack. Plus, they are marvelous songbirds to listen to in the morning.

They don't eat seed from my bird feeders--- mockers prefer LIVE food--- but they'll perch up there on the T-bar, sing, scold and run off any other critter who dares invade THEIR territory. That includes dogs, cats, other birds and ME. I admire GALL, and they've got plenty of that.

I intend to go out and pick some more goodies from my garden today. But I really need a football helmet, elbow-length gauntlet gloves and a Kevlar vest to armor myself with first. Those hostile little bastids will come after me again, just as sure as Jawja has pine trees, when they spot me on "their" turf.

I ain't gonna shoot 'em. I kinda like their attitudes.

But they don't like ME.

August 20, 2009

old stuff

Originally PUBLISHED January 05, 2005

Here is a column I wrote for The Effingham County Herald on August 28, 1996. It's one of the last pieces they published before they dropped me for offending too many people. Calling my wife "the Underwear Fairy" really DID chap a lot of asses.

Believe it or not (I still don't), I caught a lot of flack from a lot of people after I referred to my darling wife as "The Underwear Fairy" in a recent column. I studiously analyzed all the flack and concluded that anyone who griped about that column was totally deranged, probably from wearing dirty underwear.

Just because I have an Underwear Fairy to wash my drawers doesn't mean that I sprawl on the counch all day like some kind of chauvinist potato while my darling wife waits on me hand and foot. I suggested that arrangement when we first married, but she countered by suggesting that I perform an anatomically impossible act upon myself, so I dropped that idea like a hot rock in the spirit of compromise.

We share most of the household chores on an equal basis. For example, I do all the cooking and she cleans up the mess I make. I am charge of trash disposal, yard maintenance and vermin control, and she doesn't run me off even when I behave like a species of vermin. I give her my paycheck and she spends it.

We also have very distinct roles when it comes to assembling something that we bought unassembled. This sort of stuff always comes in a box, filled with a gazillion oddly-shaped pieces and a set of indecipherable instructions written by a demented foreign sadist in what appears to be his native tongue.

I always dump the contents of the box on the floor, study the instructions, examine all the oddly-shaped parts and immediately decide that there is no way under the sun that anyone could EVER make that pile of parts resemble anything even remotely like the picture on the box. Then, I gather the proper tools and spend about an hour proving my theory correct.

That's when I stomp off to fetch chainsaw and shotgun to perform an exorcism on that misbegotten spawn of Satan. My darling wife comes to my rescue then, talking me back down to earth and pacifying me with a Klondike Bar. Once I am in harmless mode, she sits down and puts the whole thing together, just like the picture on the box, in about the same amount of time it takes me to eat the Klondike Bar.

I hate it when she does that, because it offends every primitive, prehistoric, hunter-gatherer instinct I have about who should sit on the floor of the cave and play successfully with tools.

But it's a good thing she does it. Otherwise, the house and yard would be littered with the chain-sawed, shotgunned remains from the totally justified exorcisms of diabolical demons that attempted to enter my home disguised as swing sets, barbecue grills, wheelbarrows, home entertainment centers, snap-together shelf units and even my son's kiddie bed.

Yes, I can set aside my male ego and remain totally secure while my darling wife plays with tools in the cave. Especially when one of those tools is the washing machine.

That's where she performs exorcisms on my underwear.

Pretty damned offensive, isn't it?

August 19, 2009


Originally PUBLISHED August 21, 2005

I was playing golf one day with my friend Leo. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon. The sky was overcast, but there was no rain and we didn't even hear distant thunder.

We were on the 17th hole. I hit a good drive off the tee and had a little sand wedge left to the green. But we'd both been drinking beer all day and I needed to piss.

So--- I stepped out of the cart, grabbed my trusty sand wedge, unzipped my pants, flopped Roscoe out and started to piss, right there in the the fairway. I was in the middle of telling Leo how I was gonna birdie the hole and win all of his money when....


A bolt of lightning shot over our heads and hit a pine tree on the other side of the fairway. That's ONE TIME when I saw lightning and heard thunder at the same time. I almost snatched my Roscoe off.

I cut myself off in mid-piss to get back in the cart, but Leo already had the pedal to the metal heading for the clubhouse, that rotten bastard. I had to chase him down to jump on board.

Behind us, the pine tree was in flames and limbs were falling out of it. I could smell ozone and I noticed that Leo and I BOTH had hair standing on end all over out bodies. That wasn't from fright, either (although that incident scared the shit out of both of us)--- it was from electricity in the air.

Mother Nature ended that round of golf right then and there. I didn't even go back to retrieve my brand-new Titleist golf ball. So much for making a birdie on THAT hole.

Never trust lightning. It can come from anywhere at any time.

I realized later that we were lucky that one or both of us weren't killed. Especially ME. I was standing on the ground, wearing a pair of metal-spike golf shoes, with a Wilson Staff sand wedge leaning on my knee and PISSING ON THE GROUND at the time.

I know why I survived. My expiration date wasn't up yet.

I once saw lightning hit a pine tree across from my mini-farm and it blew my neighbor's concrete driveway to pieces when it made the roots of the tree explode. That was an impressive sight, and the lightning killed the hell out of that big tree. My power was out for five hours after that, but my neighbors had to pay to have the tree cut down and then repair their driveway.

Mother Nature is a real bitch.

August 18, 2009


Originally PUBLISHED May 30, 2004

I stayed at a place called "The Hotel California" when I was in Martin Antonio, about a mile away from a Costa Rican National Park. I had some kind of big, flowery bush growing right up to the handrails of my second-story porch and a three-foot iguana lived there. I went out for a morning cigarette and said "buenas dias" to him every day. He just sat there in the bush and munched leaves.

I was accustomed to my friend, the giant lizard, and I kinda liked having him in that bush. He didn't bother me and I didn't bother him-- plus, his presence added to the tropical atmosphere. If you're in Costa Rica, you're SUPPOSED to see some giant lizards, right?

But The Day Of The Monkeys was something else. I bought a pack of Belmont cigarettes the night before and I was smoking one of those locally-manufactured sticks when I went outside to say good morning to my lizard. I heard a loud ruckus in the trees. It wasn't screeching or chattering that I heard--- it was simply the sound of large objects bending limbs and rattling the leaves. I watched to see what it was.

The next thing I know, I have a FUCKING TWO-HEADED MONKEY looking at me from about a foot away in the same goddam bush the iguana lived in. I took a step back and glanced down at my cigarette. What the fuck did Costa Ricans put in their tobacco? Back in my college days, I smoked some heavy shit, but I NEVER saw a two-headed monkey before, not even in my worst nightmares.

All of a sudden, the trees were swarming with monkeys, eating mangos and dodging some kind of brown birds that dive-bombed them with the aggression of a southeast Georgia mockingbird. I realized then that I hadn't seen a two-headed monkey. I saw a mama with a baby on its back. There were several such pairs racing through the trees. The babies hold on so tight while mama climbs and jumps that they LOOK like one monkey with two heads.

I watched them for almost an hour; then, they went away.

I finished my pack of Belmont cigarettes, but I didn't buy any more. The sight of what I thought was a two-headed monkey in an iguana bush at 6:00 in the morning was more than I could stand.

Yeah. I had serious adventures in Costa Rica.

August 17, 2009

like riding a bicycle

Originally PUBLISHED June 15, 2005

The "home-made wine" is a done deal. Everything went just as slick as an onion, too.

Catfish wanted to watch me do it help me with the project, so he dropped by the Crackerbox a little before 7:00 this evening. The weather was still hot and stiflingly humid, but it was a lot better than it was earlier in the day. I had everything set up and ready to go, so we popped a couple of Bass Ales and retired to my back porch. I showed him my set-up and explained how everything was SUPPOSED to work.

"Well... don't just sit there, bow-legs," Cat said. "Fire that baby up and let's see if you know what you're doing."

We fired it up. Within 10 minutes, I had a pretty, clear liquid that smelled faintly of blackberries as it came spitting from the worm. It burned with a blue flame, too. I let that run for a few ounces and then tasted what I was making. "We catch the rest of this," I announced, and we did.

The still wine-making equipment started working so well that it was blowing stuff clean over the Mason jar I had set up to catch it. Catfish had a taste and said, "We don't need to be putting any of THIS on the ground," so he Cracker-engineered a really clever anti-burp device that caught everything and channelled it back into the jar.

It took us about an hour and a half and two Bass Ales apiece to get the job done, but we managed. I ended up with seven pints of STRONG elixer and another pint of the somewhat watered-down after-effects. Once I tasted some of that, I turned off the heat and called the project a roaring success. Not bad for five gallons of mash.

I gave Catfish a pint from the first of the run for being such an excellent still-sitter conversationalist. He appeared to be proud of his trophy, but I think I started evil wheels spinning in his head. He looked at my setup and said, "Hell. Any asshole can do THAT."

If I didn't know any better, I might believe that an asshole in MacIntosh County wants to try it himself. If he wants any help, he knows who to call. But he's right about one thing: any asshole CAN do it.

It's like riding a bicycle, too. Once you learn how, you never forget.

August 16, 2009

today's the day

Originally PUBLISHED June 15, 2005

My blackberry wine is ready to be recitified into something else, and I have all of my works set up outside. But I'm going to wait until this evening to do the cooking off. The heat index is 105 degrees right now, and I don't believe that this is a proper time to start my science experiment. I could die of a fucking heat-stroke before I ever got finished.

I don't want my obtuary to read "53 year-old Rob Smith was found dead on his back porch today, from what appears to be natural causes. A police spokesman stated that Smith appeared to be making a batch of "home-made wine" at the time, when he keeled over and died, either from the heat or the fumes from his still." His body was hauled off for autopsy and the "home-made wine" was confiscated by the police as evidence in the case.

Naw... I'm going to wait until this evening.

The set-up looks pretty good. I put a bad crimp in my worm fitting it into the condenser, but I can get water to run through the coil, so it should still function. All I really need to do now is light a fire under the cooker and watch it work. By now, I figure that only one of three things can go wrong:

1) The still blows up and sends me sailing to kingdom come.

2) That crimp in the worm causes too much pressure, so the still blows up and sends me sailing to kingdom come.

3) Everything works perfectly, but the product tastes like ass.

Other than those three minor problems, I believe that I am good to go.

August 15, 2009


Originally PUBLISHED June 15, 2005

I am not one bit ashamed of walking around with no clothes on. Hell, I go to "clothing optional" resorts a couple of times every year and my option is ALWAYS not to wear any clothes. I don't have the best body in the world, but I've never seen anybody lean over and puke when I walked by wearing nothing but a towel draped over my arm.

Besides, I've encountered people of all shapes and sizes from all over the world at those places. (and anybody who believes that sex runs rampant there simply has a dirty mind. Sex runs just as rampant at any Holiday Inn in the summer.) Nudity and sex are NOT the same thing.

It's difficult to lie and put on false airs when you're butt-nekkid in front of strangers.

I believe that the world would be a much better place if Congress were required to meet nude. Take away all those $2,000 suits and let's see the person behind the curtain. I wonder if Robert Byrd would still be such a fan of the filibuster if he had to do it with his withered shanks and dried-up dingle in the wind? On TELEVISION, so everybody could get a good look.

How about Ted Kennedy. Now--- KENNEDY nude just might be enough to make you lean over and puke. Or Hillary Clinton. BEJUS! Take her clothes off and I think you'll find a really skanky thing underneath.

But, I digress. My point is that nudity is NOT a bad thing and more people should practice it. Your nekkid body is nothing to be ashamed of, unless you're ashamed of your body already. But I'll tell you one thing for sure: no matter how bad you think you look without clothes, you'll always find someone who looks worse at a nudist resort.

So, Why don't YOU get nekkid, too? I see nothing immoral about it.

August 14, 2009

gun snobs

Originally PUBLISHED June 03, 2005

Some of you people have managed to piss me off. After my father died, I bought my mama a Smith & Wesson Ladysmith .38 revolver and enrolled her in a gun safety course run by the Savannah Police Department. Mama was living alone and I worried about her. I bought a genuine, top-o-the-line pistol for a woman and the gun classes weren't cheap, either.

Mama attended the classes, learned to handle the gun and shot it MAYBE 24 times. Then, she took it home, unloaded it, put it in the same drawer next to my father's Rohm and put the ammo in a DIFFERENT drawer. She never shot that gun again and never kept ammo anywhere near it.

I COULD say that I wasted my money buying that gun for her, but that's not true--- I own it now and it's still a fine piece. I think I want to give it to my daughter in exchange for the 9mm I gave Sam a year ago. That semi-auto is too complicated for her to handle well without a lot of practice, but the Ladysmith is just a point-and-shoot pistol, perfect for someone who doesn't know a lot about guns.

And it's a Smith & Wesson, too, which ought to satisfy a lot of gun-snobs.

Some of you people talking about guns remind me of Recondo 32 (and I'm about to piss him off again) talking about trucks or beer. If it ain't a Ford, your truck sucks. Forget the fact that he has borrowed MY CHEVY many a time to haul stuff because his Ford hasn't run in years--- my truck sucks, just because it's a Chevy.

Beer? Same thing. Michelob Lite is the only REAL beer in the universe, and if you don't drink that possum-piss, you're a yuppie. The only reason to drink Sam Adams or Shiner Bock is to put on airs and impress people who don't know any better. ANY REAL BEER DRINKER KNOWS THAT FACT, because Recondo says it's true.

A lot of you gun-snobs remind me of Recondo. I have 13 fucking guitars in my house right now. I have a vintage Martin, a couple of Guilds, an old Gibson a Tacoma Papoose, TWO Fenders, a genuine Yari (Yamaha when that craftsman made them by hand) and assorted others. Ask anybody what I played at the blog-meet in Jekyll.

I played an Oscar Schmidt, a jet-black six-string with a neat cut-away body and built-in electric pickup. It plays and sounds like a dream. I paid $189 for that guitar. Yeah. I bought a "Saturday Night Special," as far as "quality" instruments go, if you're judging by brand-name. But I've played that fucker to hell and back and I think it's my SECOND favorite guitar now.

I'll never sell my Martin, but I prefer to play Oscar today.

So... I don't want to hear any more shit from gun-snobs, guitar-snobs or ANY OTHER KIND OF SNOBS!!! Buy what you like and brag about it if you're happy. But brag about how happy YOU ARE--- don't fucking lecture me about my ignorance and expect me to wash your feet in appreciation of all YOU know that I don't. Go fuck yourself and wash your own goddam feet.

I've never had much use for snobbish people.

August 13, 2009

I have more in the fridge

Originally PUBLISHED October 09, 2004

I tasted my first bottle of Shiner Blonde about 10 minutes ago. In fact, I'm not even through drinking it yet. That is one pretty beer in a glass.

It looks like the healthiest urine specimen I ever saw. Golden and clear, that beer is bubbly and very good. Again, Shiner does something in the brewing process that gives the beer a taste that makes you wonder what the hell they threw into the mix to make that flavor. The hops are noticable, but not overpowering. But the taste really lingers on the tongue. Very intriguing.

I'm kinda torn here, because for my personal tastes, I like the Shiner Bock better, but I prefer full-bodied beers. That's just me. Home-brew for a while and you develop that kind of palate. The Shiner Blonde is VERY GOOD if that's the kind of beer you like. I'm trying to be impartial here, and I believe that most people like that kind of beer, and this damn surely beats the shit out of Budweiser.

I give the Blonde Five Stars.

August 12, 2009

shiner bock

Originally PUBLISHED October 08, 2004

I tried that beer today. It's flat-headed, but it has a beautiful walnut color in a glass. It's dark until you hold it up to a light (yes... I do stuff like that) and then you can see right through it. I probably made a mistake by drinking a bottle of it with some fried chicken. It probably goes much better with steak.

The taste is very pungent, well-hopped, like a good bock should be, and I may have to try a second bottle to discern that curious aftertaste it has. It's a strange combination of nuts and berries with a tinge of lemon and I can't figure out exactly where that comes from. I always try my taste tests without reading the ingredients on the bottle. I give it a solid Four Stars, but some people who drink American possum-piss may not like it. It has a very unique taste.

I would buy it by the case if they sold it in Georgia

August 11, 2009

what charlie?

Originally PUBLISHEDAugust 14, 2004

The area where I live is remarkably lucky about dodging hurricanes. Hugo missed, Opal missed, Floyd missed and now Charlie missed, too. I woke up this morning to clear skies and no wind. Charlie was off to the east, getting ready to chew up the National Hurricane Magnet of North Carolina.

Don't get me wrong--- I'm not complaining. I like storms, but I DON'T like the hours without electricty, the downed trees and the other crap that goes with a hurricane. When David hit in the late 70s, Savannah was on its knees for a week. I was without power for three days, but my parents lived in the dark for NINE DAYS, while they watched a couple of hundred dollars worth of meat defrost in their freezer. That ain't no fun.

I ate like a king because my folks had a gas grill and they decided to COOK all those steaks and briskets and chops before they spoiled. We pigged out by candle-light every night and drank luke-warm beer until power was restored. Once I had power, I froze three one-gallon milk jugs of water every day and brought them to my parent's house. That way, they could keep some milk cold and have some kind of refrigeration for other perishables in an Igloo cooler. As my dad said, they were "roughing it."

I don't care to do that kind of thing anymore. I hope the hurricanes keep missing.

August 10, 2009

supply run

Originally PUBLISHED October 17, 2003

I laid in provisions for the weekend today. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a case of Mountain Dew and a fresh box of wine. I also bought a 2" thick ribeye steak, which I grilled and scarfed a couple of hours ago. I selected a big baking pan for the ribs I'll cook tomorrow and a set of knives that just looked really cool. I stopped by Randall's Liquor store on the way home and bought three cartons of cigarettes and a bottle of vodka.

I am set for a while now; therefore, it's time for another recipe: Acidman's Baby-Back Ribs

* Defrost the ribs the day before you intend to cook them, or cook them as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Either way, pour all that bloody, nasty juice that comes out of them all over the meat.

* Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.

* Put a "rub" on the ribs. I use a 50-50 combination of soy and worchestershire sauce to wet them down, then I apply by hand a generous dosage of salt, black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder and Cajun's Choice blackened seasoning.

* When the oven is up to temperature, put the ribs on a baking pan, cover them loosely with aluminium foil and let them bake.

* Let them bake on that low heat all day long. Your kitchen will smell wonderful.

* About an hour before you are ready to eat, light a fire on the barbecue grill and take the ribs out of the stove. Gently lay them on the hot grill and apply barbecue sauce generously. (I make my own, but I highly recommend Johnny Harris or B.S. Muthah's for the true taste of Southern barbecue.)

* Make a big salad, some pork and beans and home-fried potatoes while the ribs cook just long enough to brown the barbecue sauce and pick up some charcol flavor.

* If you follow this recipe, the ribs will try to fall apart as you remove them from the grill. Handle your tongs carefully. GENTLY remove that beautiful meat and cut it into two-rib sections. Pile them high on a big plate, lay the tongs on top and tell your guests to dig in.

* Serve extra barbecue sauce on the side and put TWO ROLLS of paper towels on the table. This meal can be messy, as it should be. It is goddam good, too.

I am going to do that tomorrow. Too bad you're not invited.

August 09, 2009

dry counties

Originally PUBLISHED May 29, 2005

We still have a lot of "dry" counties in Georgia. If you drive Highway 129 north of Athens, you'd better stop in Arcade to buy any hootch you want, beause it's dry all the way to the North Carolina border from there. Oh, you can take a detour over to Helen and find liquor and beer THERE, but you won't find any on 129.

Of course, as soon as you cross the border into North Carolina, you're in liquor store heaven. If you stop there and check the tags in the parking lot, almost every one is a Georgia tag. This "dry" crap doesn't stop people from drinking--- it just makes them go somewhere else to buy what they want.

That's one reason Randall's Liquor Store is such a gold mine. It's right on the line between Effingham and Chatham counties. You can't buy liquor or mixed drinks in Effingham County. You can in Chatham. Check the plates in Randall's parking lot. EVERY GOT-DAM ONE is from Effingham county.

The Baptists and the holy-rollers think they're keeping people away from sin with these stupid laws, but what they're actually doing is costing Effingham county a lot of money. It's just like the War On Drugs. You're not gonna STOP people from getting fucked-up with any law you pass. YOU may feel all righteous and pleased about the law, but people are going to find a way to get fucked-up anyway.

If they have to drive a little farther, they will. If they have to deal with a shady character or two, they will. But, in the end, they'll GET WHAT THEY WANT! And no law is going to stop them.

Harlan County, Kentucky was dry for as long as I can remember. If you wanted to buy booze or beer LEGALLY, you had to drive 35 miles to Cumberland to get it. Thanks to my cousin's connections, I learned that you could get anything you wanted less than two miles from his house, smack-dab in the middle of Harlan County. Bootleg places were EVERYWHERE around there, and they didn't card, they didn't ask for IDs and they'd sell you anything you wanted if you rode up on a tricycle wearing a set of diapers, as long as you had the money.

My Aunt Netta always said that Harlan stayed dry because the Baptists and the bootleggers BOTH wanted it that way. The Baptists could feel holy and the bootleggers made money. People still got drunk.

I'll never understand idiots who try to deny human nature when they see examples of it every day. The idiots may not want what they see to BE TRUE, but it is. If you know the right people, it's easier to get a drink in a "dry" county than it is in a "wet" one. Bootleggers are already violating the law, and they have no liquor license to lose. They'll sell to anybody, regardless of age.

Buying dope is the same thing. You can get it if you want it. No law will EVER stop that, either. There's just too much money in the business and people like to get fucked-up.

What the laws do is make it easier for kids to get it, when you never know what you're REALLY getting and you have to deal with shady characters to score it. I really don't see the wisdom in that shit. A 13 year-old kid can buy a bag of reefer easier than he can purchase a pack of Marlboros today, and if you think I'm lying about THAT, you've got your head up your ass.

That's what all these "dry counties" and "War on Drugs" laws accomplish. The laws don't stop people from drinking or doping, but they make criminals rich and turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals. You will ALWAYS have vendors and customers in that kind of trade, because the demand has been there since the dawn of mankind.

The same thing applies to prostitution. Wimmen always have been willing to sell pussy and men always have been willing to buy it. No law in the world is EVER going to stop it. In fact, these laws usually make the problem WORSE.

And wasting law-enforcement resources on trying to stop human nature lets a lot of murderers, rapists, thieves and thugs sneak right under the radar screen while the cops are busy busting some poor bastard who solicited an undercover police woman for a blow-job on Friday night.

That crap sure makes ME feel safer in my bed at night.

August 08, 2009

notes from the neighborhood

Originally PUBLISHED June 25, 2004

*We had one hell of a thunderstorm yesterday evening. It didn't have the gale-force winds of the one that came the day before, but it more than compensated for that shortcoming with torrential rain and one of the most spectacular lightning shows I've ever seen. I saw three strikes on trees less than 200 yards from my house as I sat in my garage and watched. The storm finally blew away, and only THEN did the electricity go off. I went to bed in the dark last night.

*My neighbor, Henry, fell down at the bank and broke the radial head on his right elbow. He walked in from the rain on flat-bottom shoes, hit the tile floor with the wet soles and did a Buster Keaton pratfall right in front of the tellers. The bank agreed to pay his medical bills, but he's thinking of asking for some gravy on top. I think he'll get it if he tries, too. I loaned him my lawn mower so that he could cut his grass while sitting down.

*Katie the Fertile Rotweiller is down to one remaining pup, and I think that one is going to stay with mama. It's a good-looking, healthy little dog that's going to go up to be bigger than a house.

*My new neighbors are not black. The boys ARE (the young golfer I met the other day has an eight year-old brother), but the parents aren't. I met "Dad" yesterday when we both stepped outside to marvel at the angry storm clouds coming our way. Dad is as caucasian as I am. I don't know whether this is a foster-home arrangement or an adoption, and I didn't ask, but those two boys are NOT the fruit of his loins. Dad seems like a friendly guy and he's doing a good job with the kids. They have manners.

*Henry saw my brand-new, Starship Enterprise, warp-factor-ten carpet cleaner today. "That's nice, Rob," he said. "Who the fuck is gonna USE it?" Okay, he's known me for a while.

I'm still eyeballing that carpet cleaner and wondering...

August 07, 2009


Originally PUBLISHED September 13, 2005

I'm a good cook, but I've never been worth a damn at making pastries. Hell--- even my biscuits suck. I can make damn good cornbread, but that's about it. Me and flour just don't mix.

I bought a cherry pie yesterday and I have thououghly enjoyed munching on that thing. Whoever made that one knew what she was doing. It tastes like something Mama baked. SHE could cook anything and make it taste good.

I sometimes make pies, but I buy the frozen crusts and stuff them full of seafood. That makes a damn good meal. Here's how I do it:

Catch some shrimp or crab (even crawfish) and dice the meat up into small pieces. You can use all three at one time if you want to.

Sautee some celery, Vidalia onion and bell pepper in a pan until the onions are tender. Throw all of that stuff and your seafood into a bowl.

Crack in TWO raw eggs and mix the contents of the bowl into a nice goo. Add some black pepper, some Worchestershire Sauce, some cayanne pepper, a dash of salt and just a dab or two of Tabasco Sauce.

Then, mix some fine-shredded chedder cheese into the goo. Pour it all into a pre-baked pie crust, sprinkle some more cheese over the top, then mash up some Ritz crackers and cover the goo with those crumbs.

Pop it into the oven at 400 degrees and let it bake for thirty minutes. Serve with wine and a tossed green salad.

You can get laid making that dish.

August 06, 2009

wild greens

Originally PUBLISHED September 14, 2005

One of my favorite memories about visiting Aunt Chassie's farm when I was a boy is going out with the wimmen to pick wild greens on the mountainside. We carried baskets and picked Mountain Tea (that's wild mint, for people who don't know), Poke, wild onions (you can smell those things in your sweat for two days after you eat them), dandilion leaves, and all sorts of other green things.

The wimmen encouraged us boys use our pocket knives to peel the bark off a beachnut tree to make tea for drinking on the porch in the evening. That stuff is very tasty just to pop in you mouth and munch on. It's hillbilly chewing gum.

I always enjoyed the trip to Aunt Chassie's house. It was WAAAAYYY back up a hollow and you had to drive a car (or a truck) across three creeks to get there. A rutted dirt road with no bridges, and nobody around for miles. Sometimes, after a heavy rain, Aunt Chassie was stuck there until the water in the creeks went down.

That's where I was spurred by a rooster, run up an apple tree by a horny bull and spanked for feeding one of the dogs that always slept under the front porch. We ate that rooster in a pot of dumplings after Chassie broke its neck with one expert twist, my grandfather hooked the bull by the ring in its nose and led it away so that I could get out of that apple tree, and I learned that farm dogs aren't pets.

After Chassie died at the terribly young age of 93, I heard that one of her sons sold the propety for the mineral rights and some coal company came in and strip-mined the entire place. I'm no environmentalist, but I think that's a crying shame.

I have a lot of fond memories of that farm.

August 05, 2009

boiled peanuts

Originally PUBLISHED May 27, 2002

I was a six year-old hillbilly boy uprooted from the mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky and transplanted in Savannah, Georgia in 1959. I had been in this strange new place less than a month when my Georgia grandmother (91 year-old Mommie is my Kentucky grandmother) took my brother and me to the beach one day. We had a grand time playing in the surf and building castles in the sand, and there's just something about being around salt water that makes you REALLY HUNGRY. When a vendor in a big straw hat came walking down the beach selling small bags of peanuts for five cents, I wanted some. My grandmother bought two bags.

I eagerly ripped open the bag and plunged my hand inside, expecting to find the nice, dry, rough-shelled roasted peanuts I ate in Kentucky. Instead, I felt these wet, soft YUCKY THINGS in the bag. I didn't know what they were, but I knew damned well that they WERE NOT PEANUTS! I refused to eat them. They gave me the creeps.

That was my very first exposure to boiled peanuts. I eventually overcame the creeps, and since that day I probably have eaten several tons of boiled peanuts. Once you acquire the taste, you'll never want peanuts cooked any other way.

The best ones are made from fresh, newly-harvested green peanuts. (Some people dry the peanuts and boil them later, but those taste like blackeyed peas. For the best taste, cook them right away and then freeze them.) I buy them by the bushel (usually about $30, depending on the size of the crop that year), wash all the sand off them and throw them into a huge pot I have that will hold an entire bushel. I fill the pot with water, add a box of salt (one pound, ten ounces) and bring the pot to a slow boil on my propane cooker. I cook them for about an hour and a half, then turn the heat off and let them soak in the salty water until the peanuts sink. Then, I put them in quart zip-lock bags and throw them in the freezer. They're good for over a year that way. I always save some to eat on Super Bowl Sunday. Just let them thaw on the kitchen counter overnight or put them in the microwave. Yum, yum!

Boiled peanuts are soft, salty and delicious. Nothing is better with a cold beer, and they are the perfect snack for a day at the beach or a boat trip on the river. Or for watching the Super Bowl. Or FOR BREAKFAST. Boiled peanuts are a true Southern delight and I live in the #1 peanut-growing state in the nation.

August 04, 2009


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.

August 03, 2009

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.

August 02, 2009

Some good, solid Southern advice

Originally published April 13, 2002

My coonass friend in Louisiana sent me this e-mail:

Subject: Southern advice to all visiting Northerners
Refresher course,
issued by the Southern Tourism Bureau to ALL visiting Northerners And
Northeastern Urbanites:

1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It's
just a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something
they know. If you confuse them, they'll kick your ass.

2) Don't laugh at our Southern names (Merleen, Bodie, Ovine, Luther
Ray,Tammy Lynn, Darla Beth, Inez, Billy Joe, Sissy, Clovis, Bubba Jean,
etc.). Or we will just HAVE to kick your ass.

3) Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda down here. Down here
it's called Coke. Nobody gives a flying damn whether it's Pepsi, RC, Dr.
Pepper, 7-Up or whatever -- it's still a Coke. Accept it. Doing otherwise can
lead to an ass kicking.

4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you
(e.g.,Welty, Williams, Faulkner). We are also better educated and generally a lot
nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hillbillies, or we'll kick your ass.

5) We have plenty of business sense (e.g., Fred Smith of Fed Ex, Turner
Broadcasting, MCI WorldCom, MTV, Netscape, Dell, EDS). Naturally, we do
sometimes have small lapses in judgment (e.g. Bill Clinton). We don't
care if you think we are dumb. We are not dumb enough to let someone move to
our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we
would kick their ass.

6) Don't laugh at our Civil War monuments. If Lee had listened to
Longstreet and flanked Meade at Gettysburg instead of sending Pickett
up the middle, you'd be paying taxes to Richmond instead of Washington.
If you visit Stone Mountain and complain about the carving, we'll kick
your ass.

7) We are fully aware of how high the humidity is, so shut the hell up.
Just spend your money and get the hell out of here, or we'll, you
guessed it, kick your ass.

8) Don't order wheat toast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone will instantly
know that you're a Yankee. Eat your biscuits like God intended -- with
gravy. And don't put sugar on your grits, or we'll kick your ass.

9) Don't fake a Southern accent. This will incite a riot, and you will
get your ass kicked.

10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know
better. Many of us have visited Northern dives like Detroit and
Newark, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Delta is
ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.

11) Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because
we don't want to sound like you. We don't care if you don't understand
what we are saying. All other Southerners understand what we are saying, and
that's all that matters. Now, go away and leave us alone, or we'll kick your

12) Don't complain that the South is dirty and polluted. None of OUR
lakes or rivers have caught fire recently. If you whine about OUR scenic
beauty, we'll kick your ass all the way back to Boston Harbor.

13) Don't ridicule our Southern manners. We say sir and ma'am. We hold
doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such
things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet
little grey-haired grandmothers or they'll kick some manners into your ass
just like they did ours.

14) So you think we're quaint or losers because some of us live in the
countryside? That's because we have enough sense to not live in filthy,
smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or Baltimore. Make fun
of our fresh air, and we'll kick your ass.

15) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come down here and tell us how
to barbecue. This will get your ass shot (right after it is kicked).
You're lucky we let you come down here at all. Criticize our barbeque, and you
will go home in a pine box --- minus your ass.

When I read this, I realized that God DID HAVE A REASON for creating fire ants and sand gnats. Without those pests, we would be up to OUR ASSES in Yankees

August 01, 2009

speaking of taste

Originally PUBLISHED June 6, 2006

My mama was raised on a farm. I've noticed a common trait among ALL people who tended their own live animals for a while, then slaughtered and ate those critters. They like their meat cooked to a crisp.

We never had steak at home when I was growing up. We couldn't afford it, for one thing, but I'm kinda glad we ate simple foods the way we did. My mama was a wonderful cook, but she woulda fucked up a decent steak by burning the crap out of it when I was a boy.

HER idea of a well-cooked piece of meat was one that she either boiled into a tender mush (like chicken in dumplings) or blackened like asphalt and cooked as stiff as a roof shingle (like sausage).

When I moved out on my own and started cooking my own suppers, I became pretty good at it. I never mastered the art of making biscuits and gravy the way Mama did, but I made BETTER hamburgers and I could cook a damngood steak.

I decided to treat my parents to a culinary delight once, years ago, so I bought several rib-eye steaks, some salad fixings, a few BIG-assed Idaho potatoes and a fat loaf of garlic bread. I went back to the old homestead and starting preparing supper for me, my brother, his darlin' wife, Mom and Dad. I got really imaginative and brought some candles to light and place strategically on the kitchen table, to create a romantic ambiance.

When I started to cook the steaks, I asked everybody how they wanted theirs. "Medium rare" was the choice of everybody but Mama. "I want mine well-done," she said.

I looked at those beautiful, marbled rib-eyes. I thought about the obscenity of cooking one of those to "well-done" and I wanted to poke Mama in the eye with a long-handled grill-fork for asking me to commit that kind of sin. So, I cheated. I LIED to my mama.

I cooked all four steaks medium rare, but when I served them, I made a big deal out of telling Mama, "Okay. This one is YOURS--- well-done, just the way you like it."

I figured that I could get away with the hoax. That's one of the really good things about dining by candle light, besides the romantic ambiance. You can't see the food very well, either.

Mama tore into that steak and ate it as if she had been starving for a week--- she even made those contented, blow-through-your nose "Ummmm" noises while she chewed. When she was finished, she said, "Rob, I believe that you just cooked the best steak I ever tasted. You've gotta tell me what kind of spices you use."

When we cleared the dirty dishes from the table, Mama turned on the kitchen light and was shocked by what she saw. "ROB!!! There's BLOOD on my plate!!! YOU told me that my steak was well-done!!!"

I told her that her steak WAS well-done (technically... it WAS, because... I DONE IT and she liked it VERY WELL) and she probably mistook some spilled salad dressing or KETCHUP for blood on her plate. "Mama," I said, "Would I lie to you about something like THAT?"

She didn't answer that question, because she knew what I had done. But I changed her life that day. She never WOULD ask for a medium-rare steak after that. She just said, "Cook it like you did the last one I had. That was pretty good." Heh. Don't ask, don't tell wasn't invented by Bill Clinton.

Sometimes, you've just gotta do things like that... for somebody else's own good.