Gut Rumbles

October 31, 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.

October 30, 2009

Things I don't understand

Originally published June 24, 2004

#1) De-Caf Coffee. What the fuck is the point? If you can't cop a righteous energy buzz after a couple of cups, why drink coffee at all? Give ME the thick, turgid, muddy stuff that makes my hair stand on end.

#2) Non-Alcoholic Beer. Again, what the fuck is the point? I've tried NA beers and I'm yet to find a one that doesn't taste like watered-down possum piss. I would rather drink ice water.

#3) Vegetarian Diets. Something is seriously wrong with someone who doesn't eat meat. Human beings would not have canine teeth if Mother Nature herself hadn't designed us to gnaw rib bones and tear great chunks off a pizza with extra pepperoni and sausage. Who are the vegans trying to fool? Shitting high-fiber turds IS NOT what we were put on this planet to do.

#4) Organic Food. The very term is a lie in itself, and anybody who believes that "organic" food is uniquely healthy is a blithering idiot. Hell, they have to be idiots to pay twice the price for products dipped in shit instead of 10-10-10 fertilizer. That's California Dreaming.

#5) "Healthy Choice" TV Dinners. Got-Dam! Does anyone really believe that a frozen brick you buy in the supermarket, after you pass up all the fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, is a HEALTHY CHOICE? Don't get me wrong. The meals aren't bad, but I prefer truth in advertising. Try "Better than that Swanson shit, BUT NOT a healthy choice."

#6) Low-Sodium ANYTHING. Yeah, yeah, yeah... salt is BAD for you. Just try living without it. YOU'LL DIE!!! Again, I prefer truth in advertising, so instead of "low-sodium," the food should be labeled "HAS NO TASTE." That low-sodium crap is more California Dreaming.

#7) "Renewable Energy". That's the new war-cry of asshole environmentalists who don't know jack-shit about energy production. The only really reliable source of renewable energy that we've ever found in sufficient quantity and reliability to make it practical is hydroelectric power, but environmentalists hate dams as much as they hate coal-fired turbine-generators or nuke plants. People who do the la-la dance about windmills and solar panels should be FORCED to live with that kind of power only. After they freeze their asses off in the dark for a year or so, they may stop their California Dreaming.

#8) Saying "Gender" when you mean "Sex". This one is a pet peeve of mine, because it reflects the complete pussification of America that I've watched occur during the second half of my life. "Sex" sounds dirty. EEEEWOOOO! Can't have THAT! "Gender," on the other hand, sounds really neutral, scientific and unoffensive, even to militant feminists, who are the ones I really believe STARTED this corruption of our language. Delicate ears require a lot of insulation lest they hear something they don't like.

#9) Gun Control. If ANY proponent of gun control could show me ONE EXAMPLE of where the idea has worked to make society better and safer, I might listen to them. But they can't, and I won't.

#10) Survivor. I watched one episode of that show long ago and I never felt the urge to watch it again. I've seen enough back-stabbing and politicking in my REAL life that I have no desire whatsoever to come home and watch more of that shit on my television.

There. How's THAT for a Thursday Ten?

October 29, 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.


October 28, 2009

Behind the curve

Originally published June 24, 2004

I know that I am WAAAY behind times with this post, but I've got to say something. I finally watched Bowling For Columbine today. I don't believe that I've seen a more manipulative piece of sheer propaganda in my life.

Michael Moore does three things really well with that move (besides pissing me off). First, he mixes just enough fact with his fiction to give it the ring of truth if you're not listening carefully. Second, he manages to hit every leftist, break-my-heart talking point he can cram into the film, even when the points don't have a damn thing to do with his subject. Last, his syrupy, unctious voice-over makes him sound like a truly caring, unbiased individual, when he obviously is NOT.

As nearly as I can tell after watching the film, gun violence in America is caused by our health care system, welfare reform, K-Mart and Charleton Heston. Too many blacks are shown being arrested on television, so whites in the USA are filled with fear and racism, which causes them to buy guns they don't really need. Canada is a wonderful country with free health care.

Just a couple of observations. Moore didn't buy a gun in Canada; he bought ammo, although you had to be watching closely to catch the sleight-of-hand. Everything else in that segment was structured to suggest that anybody can buy a gun in Canada just as easily as they can in the USA, but deaths by gunshot are lower in Canada than they are in the USA because Canadians aren't racist and they have free health care. ("I see black people everywhere here!" He interviewed two black people and both were visitors from Detriot.)

Moore says ethnic diversity has nothing to do with that difference because the population of Canada is "13% non-white," which makes them "just about the same as us." I believe that our "non-white" population, once we counts blacks, hispanics, Native Americans, eskimos and Asians is a lot higher than 13%.

He also never mentions the War On Drugs as a factor in gun deaths. Crack-heads, drug dealers and gang-bangers shoot each other all the time in the inner city. The War on Drugs is a BIG factor in creating that situation. There's lots of money in them thar drugs, and people are going to go after it, whether it's illegal or not. When you're operating outside the law anyway, what a few shootings among friends?

He made a real, leftist, puke-inducing point by bringing two Columbine survivors to K-Mart corporate headquarters, where they whined that K-Mart somehow was responsible for the school shootings because the store sold 9mm ammo. Yeah, right. If K-Mart didn't sell ammo, Columbine never would have happened. You can't buy it anywhere else.

I never realized this fact before: There is no real difference between taking a gun to school and blowing away your classmates than working at Lockheed-Martin making bombs.

And I LOVED the compassion and understanding Moore displayed when he set upon a victim of Alzheimer's like a greasy blob. Moore should be proud of that interview. He showed his true colors.

The guy is an asshole in every sense of the word and his piece of shit movie proves it.

October 27, 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.

October 26, 2009


Originally published June 24, 2004

I went to the store today and passed a sign advertising Red Wiggler worms for sale. Those worms make excellent fish bait, especially for bream or crappie. I don't know how much money that guy makes growing worms, but I DO KNOW that it's not difficult to do.

When I first started seriously gardening, I built a compost bin in my back yard. I threw all my grass clippings, leaf-rakings and non-meat table scraps in there and wet it down and tossed the mixture around with a pitchfork every few days. Thanks to aerobic decomposition, that compost produced some of the finest, richest soil you could ever wish for.

It also spawned incredible numbers of Red Wiggler worms.

Red Wigglers are good for a garden. The worms help aerate the soil and they devour nematodes and other baddies that kill your plants from the bottom up. When my compost was just about ready to spread in the garden, I could dig my hands in there and come up with dozens of worms every time. Big, juicy, long, FAT worms, too.

I've got plenty of room to build a large compost bin in my back yard. I could fill it up pretty quickly with grass clippings and semi-rotten vegetables, and I probably could persuade a couple of my neighbors to contribute to the cause, too. It wouldn't take more than a couple of months to have a thriving worm-farm going back there. I'm seriously considering that idea. I'm tired of telling people that I'm retired.

I want to be able to say, "What do I do for a living? I'm a WORM FARMER."

October 25, 2009

Fit for a king

Originally published August 19, 2004

Six Krystal cheeseburgers, one order of french fries and a bowl of chili. I'll probably shit like a goose tomorrow, but that Southern gourmet food tasted good today.


October 24, 2009

That time of year

Originally published June 24, 2004

The wind has been blowing from the southwest for the past few days, which always causes the same kind of weather in Southeast Georgia. The days are hot and humid. But along about sundown, huge thunderheads start to build from all that moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and we often get bodacious storms.

Yesterday was a fine one, with winds that gusted up to 50 miles per hour and rain that fell sideways. It cleaned out all the dead limbs in the woods out back by appearing to throttle the trees like a strangler and also picked up my trash can and tossed it into a neighbor's yard two doors down. (Thank Bejus that the garbage men came and emptied the can yesterday morning.)

Another one is building now. I can see the black clouds easing toward my house and I can hear Mother Nature beating her Drums of Thunder. I didn't lose power yesterday, but I still believe that it might be a good idea to shut down the computer for a while.

This storm looks like it might be another bad-ass.

October 23, 2009

Martial arts movies

Originally published August 19, 2004

I am sick and tired of watching well-rehearsed "fighers" such as Chuck Norris, Stevie Segal and Jean-Claude Goddam fill young people's heads full of shit about kung-fu and kick-boxing. It looks pretty on the screen, but real people don't fight that way. A heavyweight boxer or a good westler will take those fancy-Dan jumpers apart every day.

I'm not saying that Chuck, Stevie and Jean-Goddam couldn't take MY ass apart, because they probably COULD, unless I had my .38 in my pocket. If I'm toting, I ain't one bit afraid to dance with them. What? You're gonna throw one of those spinning back-kicks at me? Go ahead, buster. I'll pop you four times before your foot ever gets close to me.

I see kids doing that shit every day. They dance and kick at each other like a couple of pussies instead of having an actual FIGHT. Quinton wrestles and he's good at it. He went to the Georgia State Finals in his weight class last year. He's also taken Tai-Kwan-Doo-Doo lessons. I've asked him, "In a real fight, which works better?" He answers wrestling every time. You stick your spinning back-kick up in the air and let a wrestler grab your foot, you are dead meat, my friend. He'll shove it up your ass and choke you like a chicken.

Fuck that choreography. It may look good in the movies, but it doesn't win real fights.

(I have no doubt that I'll hear from some umteenth-level Black Belt whatever fuckers who can't WAIT to tell me how full of shit I am and how they could take my gun and shoot ME with it because of their cat-like speed and prowess as they jump and dance like faggots. I'd like to see it happen. I believe that I can pull the trigger faster on that pistol than you can kick me.

You've got a foot and a "TEE-YAH" yell. I've got a Colt .38. I'll take my chances in that fight.)

October 22, 2009


Originally published June 25, 2004

I went to Wal-Mart today and bought three things. The first was a new electric beard-trimmer, because my old Sunbeam died on me and I'm looking pretty scruffy nowadays. The second was a very good Spanish-English/English-Spanish dictionary that I intend to study before I go back to Costa Rica. The third was (and I STILL don't know what possessed me to BUY it) a HIGH-POWERED, CARPET STEAM-CLEANER!!!!

Maybe some long-repressed domestic instinct raised its ugly head in the depths of my psyche. Maybe my undiscovered Feminine Side finally emerged from where its been buried for 52 years. Maybe I just got tired of looking at what once was beige carpet but now appears to be buffalo hide, laid out after a good rut in the mud by a very nasty animal.

Whatever my reasons, I bought the damned thing. I've taken nothing but the instruction book out of the box so far, and that'll probably be enough for today. I got tired of doing housework just from reading the book. I may NEVER take the actual machine out of the box.

Hell--- now that I think about it, I kinda LIKE the dirty buffalo hide on the floor.

October 21, 2009

I ain't looking forward to it

Originally published August 19, 2004

I'm really depressed today. I've postponed the inevitable about as long as I could, but the hammer's coming down next Monday. It'll be put-up or shut-up time for me, and I know what I'm going to do. I've had a long time to think about it. My mind is made up.

I don't think of myself as a criminal or as a bad person. If you met me, you'd probably like me. I ain't gonna break into you house, steal your stuff or molest your daughter. I make a good neighbor.

But I'm caught in a vise here and there's no way out. I keep asking myself WHY???, but that doesn't matter. A woman capable of doing what Jennifer already did to me is perfectly capable of watching me go to jail and cackling about it. That bitch.

Oh, well. I'll do what I have to do. I don't believe that it's going to be pleasant and I think I'll pay a heavy price before all is said and done. But I'll DO IT, just the same.

I just ain't looking forward to it.

(In some ways, this really doesn't look much different to me than being a 145 pound linebacker seeing a 230 pound running back bearing down on me in the open field on a third-and-two play. I knew that I had to tackle him and I knew that it was going to hurt. I did it and paid the price.

The only real difference is that this play is going to last longer than seven seconds and I won't get to go back to the huddle blinking the sparks and stars out of my eyes while team-mates clap me on the back for a good tackle. This one is going to last longer and hurt more.

Hell... it already has.)

October 20, 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...

October 19, 2009

Things I like about the South

Originally published August 19, 2004

* Pretty wimmen with red toenails wearing sandals and skimpy shorts.

* Old people who are good story-tellers. They tell the same stories over and over, but the stories are good enough that you never get tired of listening to them.

* Iced tea made a gallon at a time and kept in the refrigerator so that when you come inside all sweaty, it's there for the taking.

* Pickup trucks with dog-boxes in the back and good ole boys who own guns. Yankees call those people "Rednecks," but I call some of them my good friends.
I like 'em better than I do yankees.

* Hot days and summer thunderstorms that put on a light show that's impressive as hell to watch.

* No snow.

* Even hurricanes are better than snow. I'd rather have the roof blow off my house than live in Buffalo, New York. A hurricane is a bad accident. Buffalo gets snow EVERY WINTER.

* Friendly people who don't speak with an accent any different from mine. People in the South believe in hospitality. Wimmen call you "honey" and they don't mind when you call them "darlin.'"

* The best food you'll ever eat. Cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet, fried okra, grits and sawmill gravy, southern-fried chicken and some things that even the person who cooked it can't duplicate. It's a wonder that I'm not fat. I love that food.

* No such thing as ice-fishing. I've always thought that was crazy as hell and we don't do that bullshit down South. We don't have things freeze outside.

* People with manners. Old farts like ME who say "yes, ma'am" to somebody half my age and kids who always call you "Mister." Parents who ain't afraid to tear up a child's ass when he forgets his manners. They'll learn him right.

I wouldn't choose to live anywhere else in the world. It's hot, we have mosquitoes and some places are more beautiful, but I like it right where I am. I love the South, pure and simple, much like the way Southerners look at life. Pure and simple.

I was blessed to grow up here.

October 18, 2009

Sunday visit

Originally published June 27, 2004

I went to visit my mama today.

When I arrived at her house, nobody was home, so I went next door to see my 93 year-old grandmother. Her birthday was in May, but I kept forgetting to bring her the present I bought back then, so I gave it to her today. Better late than never. We had a nice, long talk, during which she kept trying to get me to eat something, anything--- just EAT.

My grandmother comes from the old hillbilly school of hospitality that says any guest who visits must be FED, or it's not good manners. I told her that I wasn't hungry, but I probably should have eaten a bowl of Cheerios or something to make her happy. Even if it's just a piece of candy, you're supposed to eat SOMETHING when you go to Mommie's house.

Mama came home from church about an hour later. She was wearing a bright pink dress and a wide-brimmed hat. She looked better and healthier than I've seen her look in a long time. I believe the reason she looks and feels better now is because she stopped going to all those doctors who were cutting slices out of her, injecting her with lethal chemicals and probing in places better left unprobed.

Mama walked two miles yesterday. She's back to doing her morning walks and that's a good sign. My mama ain't happy being bedridden and too weak to get around. She's always been a fiesty wench.

Mama sang in the church choir for years. After she got sick, she was too weak to go to church, so the church came to her. People brought her food, offered to clean her house, take her to the doctor or just come and sit with her if she needed company. I am not a religious man, but I truly am touched by what the church has done for my mama.

That's Christian Spirit in action.

The preacher came to visit a week ago and asked mama to come back and sing with the choir. Mama said, "I've got no hair left on my head, it's too hot to wear a wig, and I would feel ridiculous being up there with the choir wearing a hat."

The preacher said, "If you will come and sing, everybody in the choir will wear a hat." Mama took him up on that promise, and guess what? Everybody in the choir showed up wearing a hat that Sunday. Mama thought the entire affair was hilarious, but she appreciated the gesture.

It got even better this Sunday. Mama walked into the church and discovered almost EVERY WOMAN in the congregation wearing a hat. And these were not ordinary hats. Those wimmen made them out of collanders, with kitchen utensils dangling off them, out of paper bags, out of whatever they could find, and the more ridiculous the better. It was like a clown show out there.

But the message was clear to my mama: There's no shame in wearing a hat to church, and we love you even if you ARE bald. I'm not sure who teared-up worse when she told me that story--- me or her--- but I had to put my sunglasses on in the shade.

I love you, too, mama. Hat or no hat.

October 17, 2009

I'm scared

Originally published August 19, 2004

I don't like to admit it, but I am frightened right now. I fear no man and I don't fear dying. I've done a lot of rough and tough shit in my life and I've NEVER backed down from a fight. I've had my ass whipped and I survived. I've stood up to rough cobs who threatened me with a pipe wrench, and I survived that, too.

But my ex-wife is going to gut me like a fresh bream in court. That's GONNA happen, and I know it. And I can't do a damned thing about it. Well, I can refuse to abide by the ruling and have all the power of government trained against me, which is what I intend to do. I've got my money pretty well-hidden, so they can take ME, but they can't take that.

They'll take my Crackerbox and lock me up like a criminal. If that's the way it goes, it goes that way. My freedom is important to me, but if push comes to shove, I'll sacrifice everything to stand on my principles. I am built that way. I'm a Cracker, but I still have a lot of hillbilly in me. Fuck 'em. I just won't do what they say.

When Quinton was a little boy, he sometimes had nightmares and woke up crying. I held him and told him that he had nothing to worry about. Daddy would protect him. "There ain't no booger-man here, Quinton, and if there WAS, I'd snatch him up by the neck and throw him outta this house. What am I afraid of?"


"That's right. What else am I afraid of?"

"Nothing, Daddy."

"That's right, too. And you remember that any monster who comes after YOU will have to go through ME first, and that ain't gonna happen. I never saw a monster in my life that I couldn't whip. You go on back to sleep now and don't worry any more. I'll make sure that nothing bad happens to you."

I meant every word that I said to him. At that time, I never saw a monster that I couldn't whip.

I'm looking at one now.

October 16, 2009

My refridgerator

Originally published June 27, 2004

I started to master the use of my new carpet cleaner today, but I stopped to make a plan first. The more I planned, the more daunting the task ahead seemed to be, so took a time out to watch a golf tournament on TV. Yeah, an ordinary observer might BELIEVE that I was sprawled on the couch like a rotting potato, but my mind was working HARD the entire time.

I decided to sneak up on the big carpet-cleaning job by practicing on something smaller and easier to accomplish. I decided to clean out my refrigerator. Bejus! I didn't think that kind of foolish thought when I was falling off the deep end a few months ago. I must have been saner then than I am now.

Let me tell you about what I found in my refrigerator...... No, I'm not going to do that. Unless you are an EMS professional or a Haz-Mat Incident Commander, you probably couldn't stomach the gory details. I shared this guy's thoughts.

And speaking of things in the fridge . . .

There's something sort of greenish in a plastic bag with lots of condensation on it here. I am afraid to get any closer, but there's always the get-a-stick-and-poke-at-it-from-a-safe-distance ploy.

Oh but remember how badly that went in the original (1958) Steve McQueen classic, The Blob? As is the case in so many preventable disasters, some idiot with a stick poked at the thing and of course it slimed right on up the stick and got on his arm.

I believe that I might be better off if I just bought a new refrigerator and started over. There is a LOT of mysterious shit in MY fridge right now that could devour the Blob and never even burp afterward. I don't know what it is, I don't know how long it's been there, but it ain't pretty.

I've got to do some more planning....

(Link via this guy. No "hat tip," but credit where credit is due.)

October 15, 2009

Shift work

Originally published August 19l. 2004

I spent 24 years of the best part of my life working in a chemical plant and about half of that was done on shift work. I spent many a night out there while my friends were having parties and going to football games. I worked every weekend, except for one each month, and I turned down opportunities for free tickets to concerts, free tickets to the Georgia-Florida football game and a lot of free pussy because I had to go to work. AND I WENT TO WORK!!!

Somewhere in my vanished archives, I wrote about running out of supervisors one week and how I WENT OUT THERE and pulled midnight shifts again. I did it because the place runs 24-7, I could do the job and nobody else was available. Duty called and I answered.

I don't have "pigmenteer" as my email address for nothing. My heart pumps TiO2 instead of blood. I earned that moniker and I am proud of it. I busted my ass out there and I finally realized one day that I spent a lot more time at work than I did around my family. But I was content with that realization. If I didn't have that job, I wouldn't have the mini-farm and all the stuff that came with it. It was a fair trade.

Then, they dropped me like a hot rock. That still hurts because I CARED about that place. I KNEW that I was good at my job. I KNEW that they didn't fire me (uh... excuse me, RETIRE me) for poor performance. They did it because of words I wrote on the internet. They did it because of political correctness, which I don't abide by, but that scares the shit out of Human Resources managers.

My ex-wife is prospering among those people. I wonder why? Bloodless cunts do well in this world. Honest people don't.

That's the way it IS, baby.

October 14, 2009

All my children

Originally published June 27, 2004

I've called Quinton several times this weekend but, as usual, all I get is the answering machine. "Hi! You've reached Jennifer and Quinton. We can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll leave a message, we'll call you back as quickly as we can. Have a GREAT day!" I want to puke every time I hear that message. I don't know where Quinton is or what he is doing. And the LAST thing Jennifer wants in life is for me to have a "great day." So much for "joint custody" under the divorce laws in Georgia.

My daughter is coming to visit next weekend. I'll take Samantha and Stacey out to eat or take them fishing--- whatever they want to do--- while they're here. I had a rough time with Samantha when she was going through her tumultuous teenage years, but she's straightened up and flown pretty well the past couple of years. Stacey has been a very good influence on Sam.

Have I mentioned before that my daughter is gay? Yeah, I thought I did. Samantha isn't ashamed of that fact and neither am I. My mama and my grandmother agree, which is something I believed that I never would live to see. But we all love Sam and we just want her to be happy. Stacey makes her happy, and that's good enough for us.

But I've got to admit--- I'm kinda 0-for-2 in the daddy department. I believe that both of my children love me, but I've missed a lot of their lives. I wish that I could go back and do a lot of things over again, but you get only one shot in life and if you fuck that one up, you live with the consequences. I fucked up being a father.

Samantha is a beautiful and talented young woman. Quinton is going to be a fine figure of a man. I love them both.

But I'll probably always do it from a distance.

October 13, 2009


Originally published August 19, 2004

I know what the judge is going to ask me when I go to court next week. "Mr. Smith, have you looked for a new job since you 'retired' last October?" HIS attitude is that I should pay a ridiculous amount of money to my ex-wife and I should go out and EARN that money for her to steal.

I'm gonna tell him the truth: "No, sir, your Honor, I have not. And I don't intend to, either. I know that you're a guy in a long, black robe with a gavel in his hand, and you probably don't do math any better than I do. I was an English major. I don't do math.

"But I know the basics. When I took that lump-sum retirement, it threw me into the 36% income-tax bracket, plus another 6% for my beloved state of Georgia. Add 7.5% in payroll taxes, and if your original ruling stands, another 17% right off the top to my bloodless cunt of an ex-wife. That's about 60% of anything else I earn this year going to jackals who didn't work for it. If I take a job making $20 an hour, I LOSE MONEY. I WORK FOR LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE!!! SOMEBODY ELSE GETS THAT MONEY!!!"

If that dumbfuck can't understand that, he's got no business sitting behind that bench in his long, flowing robe. I thought we outlawed slavery in this country a long time ago. Now the law WANTS ME to be a slave.

The law can want in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.

October 12, 2009

Rib bones

Originally published June 27, 2004

I cooked a rack of very delicious pork ribs yesterday and finished off the leftovers today. I saved all the bones. I wanted to take them to Katie, the fertile Rottweiler, and her one remaining pup. Dogs LOVE rib bones, and I don't see a damn thing wrong with making friends with large dogs in the neighborhood.

I walked across the street and rang the doorbell. Nobody answered, so I headed off to the back yard to feed the dogs. I turned the corner of the house and almost ran into Henry. He damn near scared the shit out of me. He was taking a break from a carpentry job he was doing at the time, building a set of new countertops for the kitchen and bathroom of his house. Henry is a good jackleg carpenter.

I told him that I brought some scraps for the dogs and he told me to go ahead and feed them. I did. Katie knows me well by now but I'm glad that I also scored some points with her one remaining offspring. That mutt is going to be a BIG DOG.

Henry keeps the "pup" (who already weighs about 35 pounds) on a chain in the back yard. "That sumbitch digs like a backhoe," Henry said. "I can't keep him out of my garden and he'll chew up and eat anything he can find. I had to immobilize his ass." The dog made short work of the rib bones I fed him and whined for more. "That's the puppy in him," Henry said. "Like a woman, he whines when he doesn't get everything he wants."

Henry and I talked for a while and I agreed to help him move and install the new countertops tomorrow. Looks like I have a job for a change, even if Henry did ask if I could bring some beer when I came to help him.

October 11, 2009

Old Bastard

Originally published August 19, 2004

I hate waking up in the morning.

I sit up in bed and the first thing I do is flex my damaged neck and listen to the sound of popcorn popping as I work the kinks out. Inside, it feels like sand grinding on broken glass. I have three pillows on my bed, but I never use any of them unless I'm sitting up watching a porno movie. If I sleep on a pillow, my neck may be stuck sideways for three days.

I put both feet on the floor to see if my knees still support me. I know that I need to piss, but I'm afraid that if I stand up too quickly, I'll fall down and piss all over myself while I lie on the floor in a broken heap. I rub those aching knees and stand up. I wobble a little bit at first, but it looks like I'm gonna walk another day.

Then, I work the kinks out of my back. The back is another got-dam design flaw in the human body. It should run down the CENTER instead of hanging out there in the rear supporting weight it ain't engineered to handle. I hear more popcorn and feel more sand grinding on broken glass.

Now, after five minutes of torture, I'm ready to go pee. I sleep nekkid, so it's not like I have to unzip my fly and go through any elaborate ritual to find my pecker and take a leak. But I'm still a sleepy-eyed boy at the time and if I'm not careful, thanks to all the bionics implanted in me, I may misfire, piss all over my leg or hit the wall when I was aiming at the commode. (Don't you think "commode" is a ridiculous word?)

After that, I'm ready for a Mountain Dew and some bacon for breakfast. I drink the Mountain Dew and decide not to cook bacon for myself. I can walk okay now and I've stopped sounding like popcorn in a microwave oven. I go to the Waffle House for some grits and eggs to go with that bacon. My usual waitress, Shirley, is happy to see me and she treats me like a king. I always leave her a big tip. I like Shirley.

Then, I run any errands I have to do and go back home to write. At night, I go back to bed and KNOW what I'll go through the next morning. I think that's where some of my tumultuous dreams come from.

It ain't easy being an old bastard.

October 10, 2009


Originally published June 28, 2004

Young Jack came by today to visit with me for an hour or so. He was dropped off at his grandmother's house for babysitting, got really bored ("there's nothing to do over there anymore, Mr. Rob.") and came across the street to see me. We watched a movie and ate some popcorn.

Jack has a pet frog now. It's a "red-backed tree-frog," which is something I've never heard of. Jack captured the thing in the woods and has it in a cage now. He's made a little lake for the frog to swim in and decorated the cage with all sorts of neat, froggy stuff. He even put a hamster wheel in there and he told me that the frog likes playing in it, if Jack first picks the frog up and shoves his unsuspecting ass into the wheel.

"If I PUT him in there, he makes the wheel go round and round. It's funny to see, Mr. Rob." I'll bet it is.

What is it with little boys and frogs? I have NEVER seen a boy that didn't want to catch a frog or torture one when he found it. Quinton has come home from a romp in the woods with frogs in his pockets numerous times. (The frogs didn't enjoy the trip.) I did the same thing when I was a kid.

Jack is very proud of his frog and he told me that he catches bugs and feeds them to "Bully" by hand. "Frogs only like live bugs," I said.

"I know that, Mr. Rob. That's why I was wondering if you had a jar I could put some in if I go out and catch supper for Bully. I like to watch his tongue go shooting out when he's hungry."

I found an empty pickle jar, punched a couple of holes in the lid and gave it to Jack. "There's a lunch pail for Bully. Catch all the bugs you want." Jack went flying out the door to catch insects.

About 30 minutes later, my doorbell rang. Jack met Kevin, the new kid next door, and they made fast friends. Together, they had loaded that jar with about 40 different bugs, ranging from ants to a full-grown walking stick. I held it up in admiration and peered intently through the glass. "You boys made a real haul," I told them. "Bully is gonna like this."

Jack pointed to the walking stick and asked, "Is that one too big? Can a frog eat that?" I told him that, based on my experience with frogs, I believed that a frog will eat anything it can fit into its mouth. Besides, what could go wrong? If Bully didn't eat the walking stick, Jack would have another pet in the cage. He seemed satisfied with that idea

He and Kevin went tearing off after that to search for more bugs. I went back inside, sat on the sofa and thought about how much I miss Quinton.

Frogs, bugs and little boys. The holy trinity.

October 09, 2009

Things I don't understand

Originally published August 18, 2004

Why would you ever fake combat medals for yourself and turn around after doing that sort of lickspittle shit and call your brothers in arms war criminals?

Why does a woman destroy your life and keep pursuing you in court to destroy you some more? My appeal is scheduled for August 23.

I never committed adultery. She did. I didn't clean out the bank accounts and cancel all the credit cards. She did. I didn't run off with an unemployed dope-smoker while my spouse underwent cancer surgery. She did. I didn't flaunt that sordid affair in front of my spouse's friends while my spouse was laid-up and in fear of dying. She did. That bitch.

The court is going to tell me that I owe her money.

How can a woman do that sort of thing to a man and get REWARDED FOR IT in a court of law? I haven't seen my son in six months. He is a pawn in a vicious game played by a vicious woman. That bitch.

I am NOT gonna pay her. I don't care what the judge says. I've already told my lawyer that I'll go to jail and STARVE TO DEATH before I give her any more money after what she's done to me. That bitch.

Do you think it's ironic that a judge may hold you in "Contempt of Court" when that's exactly what you feel? Yeah, judge--- hold me in contempt. Then, you and I will have the same feelings for each other.

Are there some things in life that you simply WILL NOT DO, no matter what price you have to pay? I can name two.

I'm a stubborn old man. I know right from wrong and I don't give a shit what some judge says about it. I WILL NOT cave on this one.

Heh. I may make my last blog entry a suicide note, because I will blow my fucking brains out before I pay that ex-wife, bloodless cunt half of my retirement. That bitch.

I don't understand what's happening, but I KNOW that I'm not going to cooperate with it. That's the way I've been all my life and I ain't gonna change now.

Bejus. Marry the wrong woman and you NEVER get over that mistake.

October 08, 2009

Cats and dogs

Originally published June 29, 2004

Via email:


1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth,
pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right
forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8) Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9) Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10) Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open withdessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab. Apply whiskey compress to
cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw t-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12) Ring fire brigade to retrieve the fucking cat from tree across the road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13) Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill
into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash it down.

14) Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill
remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15) Arrange for SPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.


1) Wrap it in bacon.

October 07, 2009

Why not?

Originally published August 17, 2004

A woman I lust after asked these questions.

Here's what my inquiring mind would like to know:

1. What's the most expensive thing you've ever stolen?

I once stole a $20 alligator belt from a men's clothing store when I was 16 years old. I've been ashamed of doing that for the rest of my life. I don't steal.

2. Have you ever run from the police?

NOT MEEEE!!!! I never got caught and I DIDN'T RUN. I slipped away a few times, but that's not the question you asked.

3. Have you ever gone to church hung over?

Got-dam! What HAVEN'T I done in life with a hangover?

4. What is the most embarrassing thing you can admit to having done?

I've got a gadzillion of those stories. I've shit my pants, I've wet the bed, I've ripped the seat out of my pants while I was on stage one night and I've been thrown out of a low-class bar for being too low-class. NOTHING embarasses me anymore.

5. And the one you can't admit to?

It's not that I CAN'T admit it. It's just that I WON'T, except to very special people who will keep their mouths shut about it. I don't regret what I did, but the truth would hurt some feelings that don't need that kind of punishment. Key, you probably know what I mean because you and I talked about this very subject. I see no reason to be unkind to people who bear me no grudges and have never given me any grudge against them. I try my best not to hurt other people. But I've done some things in my life that I would rather not advertise.

Just leave that stuff alone. Given the same situation, I'd do the same thing again. But I don't go courting that same situation. I run a pretty wide-open blog. I talk a lot about myself, my life and my feelings.

But some secrets I have will go to the grave with me.

October 06, 2009

The tuxedo

Originally published June 30, 2004

I read this post and had a real memory flashback. Somewhere in the pile of crap in my 'pooter room is a picture of me, taken back in 1976. I have long hair, a Fu-Manchu moustache and a snarky look in my eyes. I'm holding my 1964 Martin D-28 guitar and grinning for the camera.

That was my PR pic when I played semi-professional guitar for several years of my life. That picture appeared in advertisments (right next to the ones for massage parlors and escort services) in papers all over the Southeast US during my musical career. I was proud of it.

You know what I'm wearing in that picture? A baby-blue tuxedo shirt with a black cotton vest. The shirt has ruffles all down the front and French cuffs. (I NEVER wore cufflinks when playing the guitar, but I wore them for that picture.) I look downright sophisticated. The name is Bond. James Bond.

I miss that shirt. If I had any Scotch around the house, I would drink some tonight.

October 05, 2009


Originally published August 18, 2004

The Appalachians look small to me after seeing the Cascades and the Rockies. The old hills of Kentucky appear worn, weathered and weary compared to those robust mountains that seem to reach up and puncture the sky out west. Yeah, those mountains are taller and more impressive than where I grew up. I loved seeing them.

But those hills, those old, old hills where I come from still hold a majesty to ME that no other place on this earth can duplicate. I look at them and feel as if I'm still sitting on Grandma's knee, listening to her sing a sad coal miner song while she sews shuck beans and hangs them in long bunches on thread.

I like the way those mountains smell, and I like the taste of cold water from a spring that flows straight from rocks older than time. I've hiked all over those mountains and I've spent many a night around a campfire with a swift-running creek singing me a serenade at night. Water rushing over rocks sounds like rainfall when you pull your sleeping bag tight around you and drift off to sleep in the woods, in the mountains.

The Cascades and the Rockies are like me when I was young--- They are vigorous and bold, rough and ready, tall and strong. The Appalachians are like me NOW--- tired and worn-down, ready for rest and not in a big hurry anymore. Those mountains are peaceful.

I like that quality in mountains.

October 04, 2009

Shuck beans

Originally published August 18, 2004

I am amazed by the number of people who wrote me emails asking what in the hell are "shuck beans." If you've never eaten them, you have not lived a proper life.

Shuck beans are nothing more than your typical Kentucky Wonder green beans, the kind that grow like ivy and climb anything you put around them. I used an old piece of fence nailed between two poles to train MY beans and they ran over and through that fence like kudzu. They had beans hanging off those vines like Jamacian dreadlocks. I could go out and fill a five-gallon bucket with them when they really started producing.

To make shuck beans, you just pop the ends off and peel the strings from those regular green beans and then run a needle through them and hang 'em on long pieces of thread until they dry and rattle in their shucks. Then, you soak them in water overnight, throw 'em in a pot with some salt, fatback and a few new potatoes and cook them all day on the stove.

That's the best mess of beans you'll ever taste.

(By the way, that "mess of beans" is a Kentuckyism that means a whole bunch, enough for a good meal. "I picked a mess of beans today," means it's enough to fill a good-sized pot.)

October 03, 2009

Yeah, I'm one of those

Originally published June 30, 2004

About a month ago, I lost the medical insurance I was supposed to be able to keep when I retired. I was surprised by the way the problem was presented to me, because my benefit provider RETURNED the check I sent them and said that my insurance was cancelled for non-payment. I was confused.

I called them and spent almost an hour on the phone, most of it doing the fucking Russian Roulette of "Press 1 to get the hell out of my busy life" to entering date of birth, address, phone number and Social Security number via touch-tone before I EVER got to talk to an actual human being. Then I received a brief and rude response: "We don't handle those kinds of problems here. You need to call Blah-blah-blah.

I called, got the same Russian Roulette routine and finally spoke to an actual human being who said (and I quote) "We don't handle those kinds of problems here. You need to call Blah-blah-blah," which was the same number that sent me to HIM. I blew up and demanded to speak with a supervisor. I was on hold for five solid minutes.

If the person I spoke to was a supervisor, they need to clean house in that place. The weasely bastard wouldn't answer a question, he couldn't give me ANY accurate information and he didn't appear to know diddly-squat about what he was doing. The best he could do was tell me to send a written appeal to Benefit Providers and wait for a response. I told him to go fuck himself.

I got on the computer and applied for a policy from Blue Cross. I was totally honest in filling out the application. I admitted to being a smoker and a victim of prostate cancer. They approved me, with the one codicil in the policy that any problems I have as a result of prostate cancer are NOT covered for 48 months. I signed the paperwork and sent it off.

Until it's approved and etched in stone, I am one of the 43 million Americans with no health insurance. I suppose that I should be crawling down the street with my open palm extended and weeping like a baby, crying for government to save me, but I'm not doing that. I'm dealing with Blue Cross instead.

The policy I'm buying isn't as good as what I had, but it costs 1/3 the money. All I really want is insurance against something catastrophic, something that might put me in the hospital and eat up all my money. I can handle nickle and dime doctor bills. I'm not worried about prostate cancer, because I believe that I am cured, and I also know that after almost three years with a zero PSA, I have a 90% chance of living another ten years. I'll take my chances with those odds.

The insurance doesn't cost that much. Why is health care insurance such an artificial "crisis" in this country?

October 02, 2009

Non-musicians won't understand

Originally published June 1, 2004

Tonight, when I was watching that dumbass Greatest Country Songs countdown, they hit #3 and brought out some finalist from American Idol to sing "Crazy," which is my all-time favorite Patsy Cline song and the best thing Willie Nelson ever wrote in his life.

I sat on the floor totally unmoved by the performance. That woman hit all the notes and the band was good, but the song just didn't feel right. She sang "Crazy" as if she were happy to be on that stage. Patsy didn't do that. She broke your fucking heart when she sang that song. There wasn't a damned thing happy about it, and she let you know.

Why is it that some people FEEL music and other people don't? I'm talking about both listeners and players. How can a woman with a voice as beautiful as the one I heard sing tonight just totally butcher Patsy Cline? How could people not feel the difference between going through the motions and really FEELING the music?

I'll have to think about that question while I play my guitar.

October 01, 2009

My top ten

Originally published June 1, 2004

My ass is still chapped from watching that Top 100 Country Music Songs countdown last night. I totally disagree with the judges. If "Stand By Your Man" is the greatest country song of all time, I'm a got-dam brain surgeon. Here is MY Top 10:

10) "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass.

9) "I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash.

8) "Help Me Make It Through The Night" by Kris Kristofferson.

7) "Orange Blossom Special" by any of dozens of people.

6) "Gentle On My Mind" by John Hartford.

5) "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard.

4) "Faster Horses" by Tom T. Hall.

3) "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

2) "Crazy" by Patsy Cline.

1) "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams.

I had to leave off a lot of really good songs, but that's my Top 10. I like my list a lot better than the one the judges chose last night