Gut Rumbles

December 31, 2009

Falling off the deep end

Originally published June 8, 2004

I'm not sure when it started, but I just felt bad from around Christmas until I ended up in the hospital at the first of April. I reached the point where I fell down a lot and became dizzy every time I stood up. (That was the sinus/inner-ear infection I was carrying around, plus too much vodka.) My stomach hurt and I had no appetite. (That was the ulcer problem, plus too much vodka.) I broke my foot. (That was Oddball The Dumbass Dog, plus too much vodka.) I couldn't sleep. I felt like Fido's ass. (Too much vodka.)

I didn't go to a doctor about ANY of that crap. I just started drinking vodka at 5:00 in the morning and taking valium as if I were eating Pez candy. I believe, in the deep recesses of my mind, I was out to kill myself, and I was doing a pretty good job of it.

Along the way, I managed to fuck up a few friendships and alienate some people that I never meant to offend. I have no excuses except a total lack of self-control for what I did. I wish that I had never done it, but I did, and I can't take it back now. That's all blood under the bridge.

I believe that I've saned up a lot lately. I'll drink beer, but not a whole lot, and I haven't had any liquor or white zin in the Crackerbox for a couple of months. In a lot of ways, I am proud of myself. I stood at the edge of the abyss and I managed to step back instead of going in head-first. I have NOT had an easy time of it.

I can't undo what I did. I can be contrite and I can apologize to those who are willing to listen, but if you are NOT willing to listen, I don't blame you. I blame ME. I fucked up, period.

I will offer one thought on my behalf. I didn't lose any real friends during that ugly time. The ones I've known for most of my life worried about me, attempted to offer advice (which I rejected) and then just got out of the way. I've always said that a real friend doesn't expect you to be perfect. A real friend accepts you, warts and all, and probably knows those warts better than you do yourself. If you go flying off the handle, they'll still be there when you come back.

I believe that I'm at least halfway back now. I've still got some climbing to do, but I'm not so deep in that black hole anymore.

And now, more than ever, I know who my true friends are.

December 30, 2009

Stealing from work

Originally published August 27, 2004

I always found it interesting to see the number of flashlights and batteries that disappeared from the company store room when a hurricane was headed our way. I also found it interesting to notice how many pens and pencils and notebooks disappeared at the beginning of every school year. I knew what was happening.

People were stealing them to take home because they were too cheap to buy them with their own dimes. Nobody in charge seemed to give a shit.

After 24 years in that plant, I ended up with two yellow flashlights and a hard hat that I'll never wear again. The first flashlight I took from my belt one evening after I got home and forgot to take back to work the next day, so I ordered another one. (I needed a flashlight on my job.) I was wearing that one when I was fired retired. The hard hat I never gave back because I was barred from entering the plant again without a security escort and I refused to submit to that kind of humiliation.

I left everything in my office and told the person who CALLED ME about picking up my stuff to kiss my ass. I never stole a fucking THING from that plant in 24 years, at least not on purpose, and they wanted to treat me like a goddam felon. Why, I don't know, but I am certain that Kerr McGee has a written procedure about how to handle employees they just fucked over.

I received an email from my replacement about 10 days after I left the plant. He's a true Kerr-McGee kind of guy: "Rob. I have your job now. You had a nice larder in your office. I ate all your food and gave away the cigarettes you kept in the top desk drawer. Can I keep the jacket?"

I wrote him back and told him that he could not only keep the jacket, but he could jack off over that picture of Jennifer I had in the BOTTOM drawer of my desk. I kept food there because I often worked long hours and didn't know WHEN I might get home. I didn't want to run out of cigarettes, either. Hell, just ask her. She saw what I did at work and how many hours I spent there, only briefly, but she saw it just the same.

Do I sound bitter? GOOD!!! I mean to.

December 29, 2009


Originally published June 8, 2004

Recondo 32 and his lovely wife Georgia came by the Crackerbox this afternoon in their USED brand-new Mustang, muscle-car convertible. We went out to eat lunch at Weisenbacker's restaurant. We filled our bellies and decided to go joy-riding.

Georgia tied a really colorful doo-rag around my head to keep my hair out of my eyes. She and Recondo donned doo-rags, too, and off we went into the bright Georgia sunshine. In a convertible. With black leather upholstery. A convertible with black leather upholstery that had been PARKED IN THE SUN for an hour or so! That was nice.

I have a second-degree burn on the right cheek of my ass.

But, I'll tell you what... we looked COOL tearing down the road in that car. We had our doo-rags flapping, the wind whistling in our ears and that throaty roar from the "stang's" engine making me think of what a pussy-getting car THIS would be if I ONLY had one back in high school. Bejus!

I was returned unharmed, hours later, to the Crackerbox and no ransom was paid for my release.

December 28, 2009


Originally published August 27, 2004

I rant frequently about Yankees. I truly DO believe that they live a different life than we do Down South, because the manners are different, the weather is different and the food is different. But they remain Americans, just like me.(Unless they put sugar on grits. Then, they MUST be dragged off and shot.)

I learned something interesting in Costa Rica when I was taking Spanish lessons from the bartender in the hotel. She had a book filled with American idioms that she couldn't understand. I can remember a few: "Go fly a kite." "That's a rough row to hoe." "Shoot the moon." "Go jump in the lake."

There were plenty of others and I tried to explain them to her, but eyes started glazing after a while. "It doesn't make SENSE!" she protested. I suppose not. I learned that Spanish has its own idioms that don't translate well.

I also told the bartender that she was talking to an American from the deep South and if she went to New York City (where every Costa Rican I talked to seems to be dying to visit) she would hear a totally different language. She gave me a pen and a bar napkin and I drew a rough map of the USA. I divided it into four distinct regions.

#1) The deep South. People there talk the way I do and they tend to have an accent that nobody studying English as a second language will understand.

#2) The Midwest. That's where Standard American English comes from. Just look at how many newscasters and radio personalities come from the Midwest.

#3) The northeast. Sweet Bejus!!! Pawk the Caw in the Gawage. Cuber (not "Cuba"). I don't consider New York City to be part of the northeast, because a totally different language is spoken there, but I didn't want to make my bartender any more confused than she already was.

#4) Pure Yankee. Those are people from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois and all parts around there. You want to tell the difference between a Southerner and a Yankee? Just ask them to say, "nice, white rice." You can tell right away where THAT person came from.

I left the far west out of my sermon because I hadn't been there yet. I DID tell the bartender that people from California are easy to spot because they use "you know" and "it was like" all the time because they are inarticulate nut-heads.

Then she told me that Costa Rica has four different accents depending on what part of THAT country you happen to be in. Hell--- Costa Rica is about the size of Georgia--- how can THEY have four distinct accents? It was all Spanish to me.

But then I thought... I know the difference in my home state between the people who live below the fall line and those who live above it. WE DO NOT TALK THE SAME WAY.

If you have an ear for accents, the USA is an incredible place to be. If you like diversity in speech, we've got it. It's like music to me sometimes.

But we Southerners are gonna teach those Yankees to talk right someday. The blogfest might be a start.

December 27, 2009

Field trip

I'm going to Charleston today.

Originally published June 9, 2004

I don't have any good reason for going. I just want to walk around the old town area and take some pictures, get something good to eat and drink a few beers. I'll probably spend the night there, so don't look for much posting today.

Charleston is a beautiful city and the ride up there is a real eyeful as Highway 17 winds its way through the salt marshes and the stands of live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. It doesn't get much more Southern than that.

I'll see y'all later.

December 26, 2009

Beach towns

Originally published June 11, 2004

I've been on a roll today. I've felt like writing and I've had (what I think anyway) were a lot of good ideas for posts. Sometimes I just grind things out on the blog because I call myself a writer and I NEVER believed that a writer needs inspiration to write. It's a craft. Does a bricklayer need inspiration to lay bricks?

I'll admit that sometimes the words come more easily than they do at other times. I don't know what circumstances make the difference between a good day and a bad day, but something does. If I could figure it out, I'd bottle and sell a cure for Writer's Block.

I want to believe that staying at Folly Beach stirred my creative juices. I LOVE beach towns, especially the ones that are small, populated by natives who don't give a big shit about much of anything, and where you can walk from one end of town to the other in an hour or so, even with a couple of beer stops along the way. Folly Beach is like that.

People walk around in wet bathing suits. You don't HAVE to wear a shirt to go into most bars there, and a lot of people don't wear shirts (you KNOW that I like that!). Wimmen are barefoot, or wearing sandals, so I get to indulge in my foot-fetish at will, as long as I don't drop to my knees and start licking a set of pretty, bare, red toenails on the sidewalk. A bearded old fart such as myself fits right in at Folly Beach.

I've decided to take another field trip tomorrow. I'm going back to Key West. I'll travel tomorrow about as far as Hollywood Beach, where I intend to stay at the hotel with the rooftop pool that allows nekkid sunbathing. I'll try to keep from becoming a "baboon butt" this time, but I WILL take all of my clothes off and lie in the sun. I enjoy doing that kind of thing. Modesty is NOT one of my strong points.

I'll be in Key West about mid-day on Sunday and stay there until next Wednesday. Bejus, that's a long trip, but it's worth it. Key West is the ULTIMATE beach town. It should be fairly quiet this time of year (compared to Spring Break-- or at least as quiet as Key West EVER gets) and I know a couple of very nice internet cafes where I can blog. I'm taking my camera with me and I hope to post some interesting Key West pictures when I return home.

I won't be blogging tomorrow, but you'll hear from me when I reach Key West.

December 25, 2009

Existential again

Originally published August 26, 2004

I am going to wax (or wane) philosophical for a moment. I want to talk about writing.

Did you ever see those ads in the back of comic books for vanity press publishers who asked, "Do YOU have the restless urge to write?" I remember them well because I always HAD that urge. I don't know where it comes from, but I've been writing stories since I was in elementary school. If I had a penny for every word I've ever put on a piece of paper or on the internet, I would be a wealthy man.

I sometimes wonder how the words come. I can be half-asleep, sipping pineapple juice in the morning when I find a link that I want to write about. I start, and the words and ideas just flow, as if someone else is whispering in my ear. Other mornings, I sit at the computer and GRIND, because the muse is out with her friends that day and I have to do this shit the hard way.

And I'm not talking about just the blog. I write a lot of stuff that you DON'T see.

If you've paid attention, you'll notice a pattern in my posts: I start with a topic, empty my belly in the middle, and finish with a tag-line. I believe that it's good structure and a part of my style. I had someone cuss me out via email a few days ago because of that pattern I deliberately constructed. He said it was nice at first, but "too cute" after a while.

I told him to go fuck himself. I write the way I write because THAT'S THE WAY I WRITE!!!!

And I freely admit that I don't know where it comes from.

December 24, 2009

Phone call

Originally published June 12, 2004

"Hey, mama, it's me."

"How are you doing, Robbie?" (she still calls me Robbie.)

"I'm okay, mom. I just wanted to let you know that I'm about to leave for Key West to spend a few days. I'll be back sometime next week."

"Where will you be staying?"

"I don't know. I'll figure out that part of the logistics when I get there. If you need to reach me, just send an email. I'll check that every day."

"Lordy! You sure are moving around a lot lately."

"Mom, I worked all of my life for this opportunity. I have no strings on me anymore and I have some money to spend. After I see Samantha next month, I'm going back to Costa Rica. I've learned to pack light and I enjoy getting the hell out of Dodge."

"You just be careful."

"I will, and don't worry about me. I am fine and I love you."

"I love you, too, Robbie."

My mama DOES love me, and she'll worry no matter what I tell her. I am 52 years old and I've been on my own for a long time, but I'll ALWAYS be her little boy in her eyes. Mamas are built that way.

But I had to call her. Mama needs to know where her little boy is going to play.

December 23, 2009

Biscuits and gravy

Originally published August 26, 2004

Biscuits and gravy were a staple for breakfast where I ate during my youth, be it Grandma's house or mama's, until I flew the coop and went off to college. Got-dam if I don't miss that sometimes.

These biscuits didn't come out of a can. They were home-made and hand-patted and you can't BUY anything like that in a store or a restaurant. They smelled wonderful in the oven. The gravy was brown, almost the color of a pecan out of the shell, and it was made in a cast-iron skillet using the grease from the sausage and bacon cooked in there right ahead of the gravy.

Tiny bits of bacon and sausage swam in that gravy and it was delicious. I used to get two or three over-easy eggs, a couple of biscuits, some bacon and sausage and make a giant chopped-up pile of goop on my plate; then, I'd slather gravy all over the top and eat like a hog. I always saved one biscuit for sopping my plate.

Dessert was biscuits with honey and real butter. If you've never tasted that exquisite dish, you need to be dragged off and shot.

My grandma doesn't make biscuits anymore. She's 93 years old and that's just too much effort for her today. But my mama still does on special occasions, and I never miss a chance to eat them. She got her recipe from my grandmother and it's a good one.

Biscuits and gravy. I took that food for granted back then, but I don't anymore. It's special

December 22, 2009

Why older men are better in bed

Originally published June 12, 2004

* We've done it before.

* We know what works.

* We're in no hurry.

* We feel flattered, and CHALLENGED, by a younger woman.

* We meet challenges.

* What we lack in youth, we more than make up for in technique.

* Been there, done that. Younger wimmen haven't.

* We have more money than the young stud-muffins do.

* We APPRECIATE the attention.

* Aged beef is better than veal.

That is my last post for today.

December 21, 2009

Hammer it again

Originally published August 25, 2004

I developed my pineapple fixation on my last trip to Costa Rica. Pineapple is served for breakfast EVERYWHERE I've been there, and most places have a cook that will make you anything you want for breakfast. I seldom ordered huevas y papas fritas con arroz y pintos. which is a typical Tico breakfast. I grazed at the fruit bar and ate everything except mangoes. I believe that I hurt the cook's feelings at first, until she became accustomed to me doing the same thing every day.

I don't like mangoes. They don't taste good to me and they'll attack you like vampire bats in the dark.

But I missed my pineapple when I was going cross-country with Recondo. My belly missed it, too.

I know I sound like a tie-dyed, tofu-eating hippy here, but I AM NOT trying to live forever. I don't have a religious experience when I eat pineapple. I AM NOT trying to make you see the light of some new miracle food.

But that stuff works for me.

December 20, 2009

Alive and well

Originally published June 14, 2004

I made it to Key West just in time to catch the last day of Gay Pride Week. Yes, the sidewalks are filled with interesting people. Imagine going to Key West and seeing a lot of gays. Difficult to picture, isn't it?

I had conch fritters and beer for breakfast this morning. I don't mess around when I go to Key West. I'm about to wander down the street in search of adventure and I don't know when I'll return to blogging. I think there just might be a cold beer with my name on it down at Irish Kevin's Pub.

Y'all take care, 'cause I ain't going to.

December 19, 2009

Strange trip

Originally published August 25, 2005

I had to go to the store today to replenish my pineapple-pineapple juice supply. I'm not kidding, folks--- since I started consuming fresh pineapple for breakfast every day and drinking pineapple juice, my ulcer doesn't hurt I and am regular as a clock. I should write a book called "Acidman's Pineapple Diet For People Who Shit Their Pants."

Hell--- it could be a best-seller, just noticing some blogs I've read.

But I didn't go to my regular grocery store. I went to a Mom & Pop place not far from my house that had what I wanted. I like those places because they have old shit on their shelves that even THEY can't recognize. I saw one of those things today.

I picked it up from its lonely place on the shelf. It had no companions and appeared to be very old, judging from the dust on the plastic wrapper. I examined it and couldn't figure out what it was. It was a round rubber disk with some metal prongs coming out of it on the side. That thing either fit a strange commode for plumbing repairs or should be used as a Ninja throwing weapon. That was the best guess I could make.

I asked the lady behind the counter. "Ma'am, do you know what this is?"

"No, honey, I don't. That thing's been here from day #1 and I don't think ANYBODY knows what it is. You wanna buy it?"

I started to. It was $8.00 and I probably could have $8.00 worth of fun just leaving it on the coffee table and asking my friends what THEY thought it was. But I didn't. I put it back on the shelf and bought my pineapples.

But I'll tell you what's strange. I'm STILL thinking about that thing.

December 18, 2009

Eye candy

Originally published June 14, 2004

Key West has a lot of beautiful wimmen per square inch. Some of them might be raging bull-dykes solidly grounded in the Gay Persuasion, but I don't care. They're still pretty to look at. I love walking the streets of this town.

I performed a modified version of the Duval Crawl yesterday. I hit several bars, listened to some good music, ate a bowl of conch chowder at Crabby Dick's and was still on my feet for sunset ceremonies down at Mallory Square. I'm going to try the same game plan today.

Hell, it worked just fine yesterday.

December 17, 2009

Field sobriety test

Originally published August 25, 2004

My personal lawyer for when I get in SMALL trouble told me once, "NEVER take a field sobriety test if a cop asks you to. They'll film it and make you do something to appear impaired. Then, if you pull a .075 on a breathalizer, they're gonna bust your ass. Blow the tube, ask for a blood test, but NEVER take a field sobriety test."

I think that's good advice, because I took one today in my living room, based upon what I saw on a TV show. It was 8:30 in the morning. I had been out of bed for an hour and I wasn't popping like a string of firecrackers every time I moved anymore. I had nothing to drink but a glass of pineapple juice.

I took the test and flunked the hell out of it. GODDAMN!!! What kind of test IS that??? I might have passed it DRUNK when I was a 17 year-old athlete, but I'm a decrepit old fart now. I can't do some of that shit when I'm stone sober.

"Spread your arms, throw your head back, close your eyes and touch the tip of your nose with your left hand." Okay, I tried that and almost fell down while putting my eye out. I'm an OLD MAN! I have vertigo. I CAN'T DO THAT! I staggered. GUILTY on video tape.

"Walk a straight line, placing you feet heel-to-toe." BWHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! With MY knees, my bow-legs and my fucked-up left foot, how far do you think I got before I almost fell on my Cracker ass? About three steps. GUILTY on videotape.

"Recite the alphabet." Okay, no problem there. I still remember the song.

"Now recite the alphabet starting with first letter first and last letter next until you finish in the middle." WTF??? All right.... A, Z, B, X, No! No! That last one should be Y. Now... where did I leave off at the beginning? I flunked the shit out of that one, too, even though I use the alphabet every day. GUILTY on videotape.

"Pick up this dime from the hood of the car." Oh, no... I KNOW BETTER than to fall for that one. I couldn't pick up a silver dollar from my CARPET, let alone pick up a dime from the hood of a car. I'm only good at picking up wimmen. I don't do coins very well. GUILTY on videotape.

Think about it. You don't HAVE to take a field sobriety test, so don't... especially if you believe that you can beat the breathalizer. If you're drunk, just give up and get in the squad car. You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, so now face the medicine.

But if you're NOT DRUNK, refuse a field sobriety test.

Written as a Public Service announcement sponsored by unnamed sources.

December 16, 2009

One full day

Originally published June 15, 2004

Man--- you sure can blow a big hole in a $100 bill here in Key West. I don't have a damn thing to show for my adventures yesterday except for a Yankee Jack CD, some very pleasant memories and a slight headache.

Great lines I heard: I was in The Bull listening to Yankee Jack when a group of seniors from a cruise ship came into the bar. They were a wild bunch and they started sucking down 2-for-1 margaritas like ice water. Before long, they were rowdy and loud, which fit the atmosphere perfectly. Jack asked, "Who's been married the longest?"

One guy stood up and said, "I've been married for 47 years." Jack observed that the guy's wife didn't appear old enough to be married for 47 years. "I didn't say I was married to HER for 47 years," the guy replied. "It took me FOUR marriages to rack up that score."

Jack also accused one of the wimmen of having storebought titties. Her husband stood up and said, "Damn right they are! Those are the best titties money can buy. I KNOW, because I paid for them."

Yankee Jack is a damn good entertainer, musician and songwriter. He has five CDs out now, which he markets aggressively from his perch on the stage. He sold several to the crowd from the cruise ship, and I bought his latest release. It features songs such as "Botox Bimbo" and "Manatee Woman." Jack is NOT a politically correct songwriter. (A personal favorite of mine is "She's Never Hugged a Parrot, But She's Kissed a Cockatoo.")

I'm staying at a place called "The Pegasus Hotel," on the corner of Duval and Southard streets. It's about as close to the middle of Key West as you can get, and I can turn right or left when I walk out the door and find plenty to do.

And I'm about to go find a Bloody Mary.

December 15, 2009

A knock on the door

Originally published August 24, 2004

It was late and I was ready for bed. I heard a knock on my front door.

I thought that was strange, because I have a fully functional doorbell. Whoever was out there was knocking instead of ringing the bell. I grabbed a pistol, checked the load and turned on my porch light. I opened the door with one hand and a cocked pistol in the other.

I won't mention any names here, but I saw a hang-dog-looking fellow about my age standing there in the light. "Rob, can I crash here tonight? The old lady and I had a fight and she threw me out of my house. My keys are in there and she won't open the door." He WALKED all the way from his house to mine, and that wasn't a short distance.

I am not in the habit of taking in refugees at my house, but I made an exception this time. I knew the guy well (I ALSO knew his crazy wife) so I threw him a pillow and a blanket and told him that he could sleep on my couch. He did and I gave him a bacon and eggs breakfast plus a ride home the next day, when he and the crazy wife made peace and everything was fine.

What is it about wimmen that make them enjoy locking a man out of his own house? I had that happen to ME once, and my soon-to-be ex-wife already had all my clothes thrown into my truck.

I should have kicked the front door down and claimed what was rightfully mine.

December 14, 2009

I am not making this up

Originally published June 15, 2004

I didn't come to Key West to get drunk, get stoned or get laid. I came only for a change of scenery and to swim through the hot, humid air down here. So much for plans.

I've always said that if you can't get laid in Key West, you can't get laid anywhere in America. I got laid, just minding my own business.

Yesterday, I came here to the Internet cafe and checked my mail, threw up a quick post and started to leave. The cashier said, "That'll be $3.00 for the internet and $3.00 more for the fruit punch." I explained that I didn't order any fruit punch. She said "That lady out there ordered it and said to put it on your tab." The lady in question was sitting on a picnic bench outside and reading a local newspaper.

I paid the tab and walked outside. I sat down next to her on the bench. "How was the fruit punch?" I asked.

"It was good. Thank you very much."

"What would you have done if I refused to pay for it?" I asked.

"I would have kept putting it on someone else's tab until somebody coughed up three bucks." I thought that her approach was audacious. I ADMIRE audacity. She was a redhead with a very attractive line of freckles running across her nose. In fact, she was a good-looking woman altogether.

I offered to take her down the street and buy something more substantial than fruit punch, but she refused. "I have to work starting at 1:00 down at Rick's Bar. Why don't you come see me there?"

I did. The rest is history.

December 13, 2009

I don't want to do it

Originally published August 24, 2004

I may have to eliminate comments from my blog. I don't want to because I like what a lot of commenters have to say. Some of them write better than I do and I've met a lot of new bloggers through my comments.

But the spamming is getting ridiculous. I'm getting 500 or so a day now. Sometimes more, which really tangles up my mailbox and causes me to miss messages I want to read because I just delete pages at a time when I see those assholes on there.

They keep coming. I've got to stop it.

December 12, 2009

Good music

Originally published June 15, 2004

Gary Blodgett was playing at Irish Kevin's today and I went down to listen to him. He is one of the best pure musicians I've ever heard. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle, and he can cut the shit out of every instrument he picks up. The guy is DAMNED GOOD.

My only complaint with Gary is that he just stands up there and plays his ass off. He has no STAGE PRESENCE.

That has changed now. He has a partner who plays bass with him and that guy serves as a front man to interact with the crowd and do all the things Gary never did before. Together, they make a formidable team.

If you ever come to Key West, go hear Gary play. You won't regret it.

December 11, 2009

Costa Rican bands

Originally published August 24, 2004

If I end up fleeing to Costa Rica, I believe that I can make some money as a musician, probably enough to keep my boat afloat. I would have to adjust my repertoire and learn a few songs in Spanish, but I can do that.

Two things I liked about Costa Rican bands I watched play: #1) They don't use karaoke machines and other bullshit to make them sound like a ten-piece band with five-part harmony when two guys are on stage. They play straight-up, with just a couple of mics and a PA system. #2) They always seem to be enjoying themselves on stage. They flirt with the ticas and the ticas flirt back. That's MY kind of music.

That's also one of the big differences I noticed between Costa Rica and the USA. We are far too mechanical in everything we do today. Feminists and other cretins have made men afraid to speak to a woman. Wimmen are taught that any man who speaks to them is a rapist. We are FUCKED UP anymore, and I blame it all on Political Correctness.

See a good-looking tica on the street in San Jose or Jaco Beach. You don't insult her by telling her that she's pretty and you'd like to buy her a beer. You insult her if you DON'T DO THAT. Costa Rican wimmen like to look good and flirt. They expect that effort to be recognized.

Why are so many American wimmen afraid to do that anymore?

December 10, 2009


Originally published June 15, 2004

For a while, especially before I took my vacation in Costa Rica, I couldn't eat. I had no appetite. Even when I felt hungry, I would take one bite of food and want no more. I believe that I almost corroded my stomach lining out during that time.

Thank Bejus those days are past now. I've eaten like a rutting hog since I've been in Key West. You name it, I've eaten it. Sea food, prime rib, conch, soups and stews, and even one very rare redheaded woman.

I LOVE this place.

December 09, 2009

A big, fat joint

Originally published August 24, 2004

I smoked some ganja when I was in Jamaica back in February. I hadn't tried any in a long time, but I was emotionally disturbed and in a real give-a-shit mode a few months ago. I took a few slashes off the old bong-pipe. Naw, that's not true. I sucked the GUTS out of that pipe and drank the water, too. Yeah, I inhaled.

I didn't enjoy it that much. The smoke made me stupid, sleepy and hungry. I believe that I disgusted my travel-partner with my behavior, but I didn't care at the time. I was in full self-destruct procedure. And I am GOOD at that.

I haven't done such a thing since, not even in Costa Rica where EVERYTHING is available for a price.

I wonder what ever happened to my college room-mate's old 1962 Dodge Dart? We tried to kill that car numerous times, but it had the Suffering Slant Six engine and the heart of a lion. It once spent two days under water with nothing but the roof showing. We dragged it out, changed the oil and put fresh gas in it and the sumbitch cranked right up and went chugging down the road.

It dried out and smelled like an old sweatsock, but we didn't mind. It still ran. We smoked enough reefer in that car to marinate the damned thing. That's why I wonder where it is today. You could cut out a roof panel and roll a big, fat joint out of it.

You smoke it. I don't care to.

December 08, 2009

Key wasted

originally published June 16, 2004

My last day in Key West was a memorable one; unfortunately, I don't remember all of it.

The day started on a sour note when the quaint little restaurant where I had breakfast caught fire and burned damn near to the ground about an hour after I left. I finished my eggs and grits, walked down to the internet cafe (hoping for someone to put some more fruit punch on my tab) and went back to the hotel when no good-looking wimmen tried to pick me up.

I turned the corner and saw thick, billowing coils of noxious smoke boiling out of the restaurant. My first thought was... "I DIDN"T DO THAT... DID I?" No, I couldn't possibly be responsible. Florida has their new-fangled anti-smoking nanny-law (one which most bars and restaurants aviod by having open-air seats and rear "gardens" for the nicotine-addicted wretches who frequent such places), so I never even lit a smoke in the place. Hell, I didn't even go to the bathroom there.

Okay, I didn't do it, but the place was on fire. I arrived on the scene just in time to watch the fire trucks and cops cars come rolling to the rescue. Firemen in full turnout gear poured from the trucks and began stringing hoses all over the place. The cops started tying yellow barricade tape on anything that wasn't moving. I almost became taped in yellow myself.

What the fire didn't destroy, the firemen did, with axes, sledgehammers and water hoses. They tore that place apart. I was pissed, because I needed to find a new place to eat breakfast after this disaster. I wondered if my waitress got out of there alive with the generous tip I left her that morning.

Thinking made my head hurt, so I went down the street, away from the smoke and toward beer and Bloody Marys.

I'll try to sum up the rest of the day as quickly as possible. I lost my hat and my sunglasses sometime around sundown. I believe that I bought another hat and gave it to someone I met in a bar. A homeless guy came up to me, rolled up his shirt sleeve and showed me a USMC tattoo on his arm. He asked for $2 to buy a drink. I gave him two dollars and then saw the lying sumbitch in the Key West Cookie Store not five minutes later. I started to confront him. I was willing to buy him a drink, but if I had known he was going to piss that money away on FOOD, I never would have given it to him.

I ended up in an obviously gay bar for a while. I got up on stage and sang "Piano Man" on a dare, with accompaniment from the piano "man" employed there. I received a standing ovulation from the crowd, and I also got a free beer from Paul, the bartender.

I'm not sure what all happened next, but I believe that tequila was involved. I made it back to the hotel late last night. I asked a couple in the lobby as I was checking out this morning about whether I showed my ass or not during my revelry. They told me that I staggered into the lobby the night before, took one look at the stairs, pointed an accusing finger at the steps and said, "FUCK THAT!" and rode the elevator up to the second floor.

I must have gotten my key in the door, because I woke up in the right bed this morning. Actually, I woke up ON the right bed this morning. I never bothered to turn the sheets down. I was a fucked-up Cracker boy.

Now... I remember going out wearing underwear. I woke up in commando mode this morning. I don't believe that I WANT to know everything I did last night.

December 07, 2009

The post below

Originally published August 24, 2004

I once worked with a shift mechanic named Red Miller. He was a big, tobacco-chewing, grumpy old bastard who had a mouth damn near as big as the one Catfish has. He bitched all the time, but he could fix anything that was broken if you could get him off his ass and start him on a job.

He had three GORGEOUS daughters and a lot of us speculated about that fact at work. We looked at Red, looked at his daughters.... and said "NO FUCKING WAY!!!" We decided that the mailman was delivering more than bills to Red's wife while Red was at work.

A lot of people didn't like Red, but I did. He was an asshole a lot of the time, but he was genuine, 24-7. If he didn't like YOU, he said so. If he thought you were full of shit, he said so. He didn't worry much about hurting anybody's "feelings."

Red worked at the Hercules plant before he came to work for me. He got off a 3-to-11 shift one night and saw a car wreck on his way home. It was a bad one, too. Red stopped his truck and ran up to see if he could find any survivors in that tangled wreckage. He didn't.

What he found was his 17 year-old son. Dead.

I don't know what that must be like and I hope I never know. Kids are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. But Red lost his only son that night and he's the one who found the boy. That had to be rough.

I suppose that you can find a way to chalk up a car wreck as random fate, shit happens or a bad ticket in life's lottery. Maybe the grief is easier to bear when you don't have anyone to blame for the loss of a child. It still can't be easy, but at least you don't have to look at some grinning sumbitch in prison garb who KILLED your child.

I'm afraid that if anybody ever raped and killed my daughter, I'd go hillbilly on 'em. I would kill that bastard as sure as the sun rises in the east. I probably would be the one in jail after that, but I'd go with the satisfaction of knowing that I put an end to his antics. HE wouldn't ever get $1,200 for "hurt feelings." He wouldn't rape and kill again, either.

I see it as a very simple equation: He took something from me that can never be replaced. So, I took something from HIM that can never be replaced. His life.

I may be a red-neck, but I call that justice.

December 06, 2009


Originally published June 17, 2004

My face is as red as a beet and my hair now has blonde streaks in it to accent the gray silver that I've been sporting for years. I allowed an attractive woman to spray me down with some kind of 100% organic, naturally-grown, sweet-smelling, henna-free hair lightener while I was shitfaced having a good time on my last day in Key West.

Let me assure you... that shit WORKS as soon as you spend some time in the sun. Let me ALSO assure you that the Key West sun is a merciless sumbitch that will cook you like a lobster if you're foolish enough to stay out in it the way I did.

I want my missing underwear back. I would wear it over my head today.

December 05, 2009


Originally published August 23, 2004

I've known Joe for a long time, and I know his wife and his children, too. I've gotten drunk at his house and I've showed my ass there. Ain't no big deal to Catfish. He's gotten drunk and showed his ass at my house, too.

I came to be his supervisor because of MY big mouth. I was asked at a "rap session" by a new production superintendent what shift I thought was the worst in the plant. "B Shift," I answered right away. "The supervisor doesn't run that crew. Catfish does." Two days later, I was taken off of "D" Shift and transferred to the B-crew. I wasn't one bit happy about it.

I decided right away that I was going to fire Catfish the first chance I got. I didn't like him at the time and I knew that we would have a... conflict of wills, so to speak. But that never happened. Catfish has a big mouth and he likes to bark, but I discovered that he was pretty damn good at his job. I'd give him an assignment, he'd give me a blast of shit about it, then he would go do the assignment. I can live with that.

I also discovered that B-Shift wasn't as bad as I first thought. I had some good operators working for me. In fact, I actually had a better crew than I did on D-Shift. They simply lacked leadership, and if you think that doesn't matter in how a crew operates, you never supervised people.

When I left Area 3 and went to the Acid Plant/Steam Plant, I recruited Catfish down there as quickly as I could. I was happy to have him on board. He was as loud-mouthed and as full of shit as ever, but he could operate those jobs. Hey, Joe? How many grievances did you file against me? I can remember four right now.

I can remember Joe walking into my office grinning like a mule eating briars. He'd throw grievance papers on my desk and say, "Here ya go, bow-legs. I'll see you at Step Three." Nothing personal and no animosity involved. If Joe thought he was being fucked, he didn't take it lying down. I didn't see anything wrong with that.

I think that's why we still get along today. Neither one of us took a fucking lying down.

December 04, 2009

I did not have sex with that man

Originally published June 17, 2004

Okay, let me set the record straight. And I mean STRAIGHT. I didn't have any homosexual relationships in Key West, even if I DID get up on stage and sing at a gay bar. And even if I DID get totally shitfaced that last day. And even if I DID lose my underwear.

I'll admit that Paul, the gay bartender, pinched me on the ass. But I asked for that, because I told him that I had been coming to Key West for YEARS and wandering into gay bars (hell... pick a door and roll the dice... you have about a 50% chance of ending up in a gay place) and NEVER had a gay man hit on me.

"Are you hitting on ME?" he asked.

Paul is about 6' 4" tall and looks as if he pumps a lot of iron in his spare time. "Shit no," I replied. "I'm just curious about why a gay man has never tried to pick me up. Wimmen do it all the time. Do I have some kind of invisible light shining from my forehead that attracts wimmen and repels gay men? Hell, Paul, I've never even had a gay man pinch me on the ass."

Paul walked from behind the bar and pinched me on the ass. "Ya happy now?" he asked. "This is Key West, where all your fantasies come true."

I tipped him five dollars when I LEFT THE BAR.

Things got pretty confusing after that, but I'm fairly certain that I left my underwear somewhere other than a gay bar. Maybe I pissed myself, shit my pants and threw my drawers away in utter disgust. That might have happened, especially after the tequila.

But my "brown-eyed girl" was just fine the next morning, because a guy's hairy ass just doesn't turn me on. Even after several shots of tequila.

Hmmm... I'm not sure about posting this screed. People may go all Shakespearian on me and say "He doth protest too much." If you're a skeptic and doubt my word, I have just one thing to say to you.

Go eat my underwear, if you can find it.

December 03, 2009

New stories

Originally published August 23, 2004

No links to the stories (I'm just too lazy today). Some of them are fairly old and the links might not work anymore, but I saved them for some reason.

* I could not escape from a burning apartment and leave my children behind while I got away. I couldn't do that. Either they get out with me, or we all die together. I wouldn't run off and leave them even if my hair was on fire.

* If I were a cop and I ever got a call telling me to go hunt for a severed penis on the side of the road, I'd say...."yeah....right. Bet your ass I'm on that one." And I would go straight to Kryspy Creme to eat doughnuts and drink coffee until somebody ELSE found that dick.

* I hope that my son is never killed in the middle of an armed robbery while HE is committing the robbery. But if that ever happens, I don't intend to sue anybody. I'll bury my boy and wonder where I went wrong.

* I want to see ONE, just ONE DEATH CERTIFICATE that says the corpse died from second-hand smoke, global warming, toxic waste or radiation from nuke plants in this country. I don't ever expect to SEE ONE, but I expect fear-mongers to prosper for years scaring people over nothing.

* Erin Brockovitch is a whore.

* Salt is good for you. No, it's bad for you. Eat fiber. Binge on carbs. No, eat the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet will kill you. Not eating the Atkins diet will kill you, too. Got-dam!!! We're ALL gonna die from something and I intend to eat what the hell I WANT until I start pushing up daisies.

This is where my mind goes when I watch The Price is Right and make a better bid on the showcase than the winner did.

December 02, 2009

Woe is me

Originally published June 17, 2004

I ought to be checking the news and finding some intellectual subjects to blog about. I ought to be worried about what the BC and that asshole judge in Effingham County will make out of my Key West posts. I ought to be doing a lot of things.

What I AM doing is eating a bowl of clam chowder and pretty much acting like a clam myself. I don't feel like doing a damn thing today. I am tired, sunburned and lazy, burnt-out, burned up and about as solid as a melted candle. That's one of the great things about not having a job anymore. If I don't feel like doing a damn thing, I don't do a damn thing, and nobody can fire me. I kinda like that.

I've been listening to my new Yankee Jack CD and the song "Manatee Woman" is really impressive. Imagine a nice reggae-type melody with keyboards and steel drums, with these words in the chorus:

"In a two-piece suit, she's not that cute, I'm sorry. She got stretchmarks made by propeller blades, I'm wary. She lies on the beach where she shouldn't oughta, People keep pushing her back in the water. She's not a mermaid, she's a manatee woman."

Maybe you need to be in a Key West bar to appreciate that song entirely, but I like it right here in the Crackerbox.

December 01, 2009


Originally published August 23, 2004

I just saw a commercial on television that I totally disagree with. It was from somebody humping a Ritalin-like drug for "Attention-Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder."

I call bullshit. When I went to school NOBODY had that disease, and I attended school with some really diseased fuckers. We were called LITTLE BOYS. We ran and jumped and played and fought and fell out of trees and set things on fire. We didn't LIKE being cooped up in school all day. We had wiggles in our legs.

I once worked with a guy named Mac (I won't use his last name, although I don't believe he would mind--- but I'm in enough trouble from this blog already.) and he had a son named Mac, too. Big Mac and Little Mac. One day, the school councillor called Big Mac and said that Little Mac had a behavioral problem and she believed that he should be put on Ritalin.

Big Mac exploded. He had quite a temper and he stomped off to the school to tell the authorities in change that there wasn't a got-dam thing wrong with his son. "You people want to punish him for doing exactly what I did at his age," Mac thundered. "You ain't gonna dope my boy to keep him from being a boy. Let him grow up, go to college and THEN do drugs, the same way I did."

Little Mac never got put on Ritalin.

I believe that a lot of what is called ADHD today is nothing more than a lack of discipline at home and boredom in school. My parents KNEW how to get MY attention. I had a hard-wire running right from my ass to my brain, and my parents weren't shy about ringing me up on that thing. If mama said, "Sit DOWN!" you sat down. If daddy said "BE QUIET AND STOP THAT!!" you shut up and stopped. If you didn't, they most certainly would make a direct wire-call from your ass to your brain.

I don't believe enough parents do that anymore.