Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kudzu Untamed

Give me your peas brother, he ordered me.
Peas, black of eye, with corn bread for sopping,
A ham hock and onion added flavor.
Being the elder brother, he took them.
I watched as he devoured them whole, sucking
The ham hock bone as my anger festered.
I knew he must die for such a grievance
And that night I hatched a devious plan.

My grandmother told of untamed kudzu
Growing so fast that windows must be shut
At night lest the kudzu vines grow into
A child’s bedroom and carry him away.
So I began the next day to tame the
Kudzu vines outside his window to grow
Slack so they would have length to reach upon
That bed in which at night he would slumber.

Within one week I was satisfied the
Vine was sufficient to strangle him.
In the twilight I crept into his room,
Pulled the kudzu vine in through the window
And as I mounted the bed he awoke
What are you doing he asked me, perplexed.
You ate my peas brother.  I’m killing you.
And I strangled him with the kudzu vine.

After the funeral the feast was grand,
With a large pot of my favorite peas.
So full of peas and corn bread I did sleep
And in my dream I saw the face of the
One I strangled but it was not brother
But my own and woke suffocating.
For the kudzu vine that could not be tame
Snuck into my room and strangled me too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hey Bella!!!

I took my wife to see the latest Twilight movie over the weekend.  This one’s title was somehow related to the sunrise.  Breaking Bad comes to mind but that’s a different story, let’s just call it Twilight number four. 

Because we were running a little late, I dropped her at the door so she could get tickets while I parked.  After parking, as I approached the door, a nervous looking guy asked if I was going to see Twilight.  Reluctantly I said I was. 

“Yo, man I got some black market estrogen.  You need a fix?” He asked.

“Well I sure do.  What have you got?”

“Check it out dog.  I gots a time release capsule, take you all the way through the ending credits.”

“That sounds good.  How much?” I asked.

“Fifteen bucks,” he said, still looking around nervously.

“Gee that’s kind of steep.  I was planning on getting some popcorn and chocolate covered almonds.”

“Alright, alright, look you my boy.  I’m gonna hook you up.  I gots a syringe I can inject estrogen straight into your heart.  No extra charge.”

“Would I really need that?”

“Think about the previews dog.  That New Year’s movie and there’s one for Snow White.”

“Okay, but does it have to be in the heart?”

“The other option is in yo junk.”

“Gah, in the heart.  Here’s the cash.  Just do it!”

He slammed the needle into my chest and pressed the plunger.  Aside from a tingly feeling in my toes, I felt no different. 

“You okay dog?” he asked.

“Where did you get that jacket?”  I asked, “Because you look faaaabulous.”

“You’re good to go dog, enjoy the movie,” he said as he opened the door for me, such a gentleman. 

Oh the movie.  Every movie should start with an edgy Jacob ripping off his shirt, but no need to run away and turn into a dog.  Stay, boy, stay.  Good boy.

Bella should have shaved her legs before her honeymoon, why keep Edward waiting?  Why do you tease him like that?  Beside the fact that all the soccer moms have had their fill of Jake shirtless, we, I mean, they want Edward shirtless.  We, damn it, they have fallen for his romantic side, now let’s get down to business. 

Raise your hand if you were let down by the sex scene after the lead up, ie. “dangerous” and “you could kill her” .  All she had was a few bruises.  Ha!  I’ve had rug burns worse than that.  And who hasn’t broken a headboard or two in the heat of passion?

The whole scene where the dogs were talking to each other seemed contrived and disjointed.  While I am not a fan of subtitles, I think they would have conveyed the message in a less cheesy fashion.  BARK, BARK, BARK…You will not harm Bella, I am your new leader…Aaawoooooo!

Give me some more napkins. No, I’m not crying.  I rubbed my eyes after eating popcorn.  Okay, I was crying.  When Jacob saw that little baby and became its godfather that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.  Then I wiped my eyes with my first napkin that had popcorn grease and salt on it and now I can’t stop crying.  You know he’s going to protect her forever.  It’s their most absolute law.  Did you eat all the chocolate covered almonds?  He has purpose now.  If Dakota Fanning shows up at the end I hope he marries her.  They would make such a sweet couple.  Their kids could play with Edward and Bella’s kid.  Wait, how did Herman and Lily Munster have a wolf boy son? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meanwhile, in the Jehovah's Witness chatroom...Plus bible verses

yawehiscool: 907 Wilson Street has a mean dog, the Lord told me I could skip that house
bibleocity: lol
hereforhim: my butt is tired from riding my bike
servinghusband: y'all let me go, gotta go wash hubby's uniform
bibleocity: later serving
yawehiscool: bye serving
yawehiscool: prayers up for you hereforhim
hereforhim: TY
yawehiscool: welcome
PTL: Wassuuup!!!
servinghusband: Oh Yaweh! PTL is back, Ezekiel's clothes will have to wait
yawehiscool: Convert any sinners today PTL?
PTL: No, they are all going to hell

Bible Verses

Revelations 6:6-9
6 And on the Sabbath I too came down from that hill. Mixeth myself a concoction with the firewaters of Bacardi and sat in the bubbling oasis, considering myself blessed.

7 Closing mine eyes and listening to the gulls I did dream.

8 And behold a pale Z71 and its rider was red of the neck. He and his minions were given power over one quarter of the earth. In my dream I drank firewater as I watched as forty and two riders thundered around an oval on a Sabbath afternoon. The demon appeared and snatcheth the firewater from mine hands and poured it onto the earth. Lo, I said, but the demon spoke in a tongue I did not understand. I told the demon to get hence for I bothereth no one. Dreams doth be weird, this I know. Somehow mine sandal became lodged in his buttocks and the demon left.

9 I awoke to find mine foot stuck in a bubbling hole in the oasis. I cursed the demon and his minions, sipped mine firewater and enjoyed the rest of mine Sabbath.

Genesis 4:17-18

17 Who be the Jezebel with orange loincloth and shiny legs tempting my palate with her spicy wings of chicken?

18 So shall she be called Tina. Partake of her fowl for it is clean. Alas, she doth not like to be looked in the eyes. Cast your gaze down, about the chest area.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Antique Mall

My wife is not the only one who has a booth at Old South Antique Mall on Reeves Street in Dothan, AL.  I obtained this small spot by the back stairs recently to put the man oriented things and over flow from my wife's booth. Here's a couple of pics.

As you can see I collect damaged letters from work.  Some have trim, some do not.  What you see is what you get, with a couple of extra letters behind the door.  I have a couple of recurve bows for $35 each, an old level that goes for big bucks online.  A laminated map of the waterway at PCB.  An old gas/oil jug.  The back of an old wooden rocker which makes a great bulletin board.  Various old door knobs and door latch assemblies.  I added this weekend, some empty and clean wine bottles and a couple of books, North American Game Birds and the Hunter's Encyclopedia. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TUBORS Books came in...

Books came in today.  We are going to Atlanta so we have asked Mitchell to take them to Old South Antique Mall tomorrow afternoon after 2pm.  They should be at the front desk.  $15 each.

The Unauthorized Biography of Rickey Stokes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pecan Pie

The Dothan Police S.W.A.T. was called into action today at the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds.  Governor Robert Bentley's personal protection detail was overtaken by a hoard of elderly women from the New Brockton Baptist Baking Club.  Governor Bentley had what doctors described as a mild pecan pie abrasion to his forehead, was treated at a local hospital and released.

Witnesses say the violence broke out when the Governor declared Cassie Phelps the Blue Ribbon winner of the Pecan Pie Contest.  The New Brockton Baptist Baking Club, whose various members have won the Pecan Pie Contest each of the last seven years, took offense to Mrs. Phelps, who has declared no baking affiliations, winning the contest.  After a heated criticism of recipes, Mrs. Phelps wiped her hand on one of The New Brockton Baptist Baking Club  member's apron, which started a fight of hair pulling and pie throwning.  Several members of  The New Brockton Baptist Baking Club were arrested on assault charges.

"Look, I'm sorry.  I didn't know those were show aprons and not actual, working aprons.  Sometimes I wear my Montevallo Alum apron around the house when I have our girl cook or clean.  It gives my girls a better sense of womanly duties.  I will have my husband pay for that woman's apron but I will not apologize for my pie.  I cooked that pie myself, our girl didn't even help." Mrs. Phelps said when questioned.

Tess Clark, of The New Brockton Baptist Baking Club, tried to explain why she took umbrage to second place.  "Well that little, big city girl from Dothan should be disqualified.  Her Pecan Pie had not properly congealed.  It was down right runny.  If nothing else, she should not be allowed back at The National Peanut Festival.  And that good for nothing, doctor Governor, I don't think the man is even southern."

Governor Bently stated he thought Mrs. Phelps' pie had a uniqueness he had never seen.  "I was able to break the top layer of pecans and swirl them around in the filling.  It was very viscous and the pecans soaked up the juice, I was even able to sop the crust in the juice.  Excuse me, I dribbled a little bit on my tie."  When asked if he knew which contest he was judging, the Governor responded,  "Well of course.  I know what a pecan pie is.  This was more like a soup but they didn't have a soup category."

Thursday, October 27, 2011


What is TUBORS?

It's The Unauthorized Biography of Rickey Stokes.

Just in case someone asks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Unauthorized Biography of Rickey Stokes

My new book is now available.  The Unauthorized Biography of Rickey Stokes.  Follow Stokes from childhood through his latest adventure.

Paperback version click here

ebook reader
ebook reader format click here

I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bud Ford - Weatherman

The new weatherman, Bud Ford, sat at the makeup mirror in the backstage area of the WDHN studio preparing for the five o’clock newscast.  

“What’s up tiger?  That’s right, I’m talking to you.  Who’s a pretty boy?  Uh-huh, yeah I heard that.  You are the man, the weather man, sexy.”  Bud Ford said to the mirror as he psyched himself up for the weather report.  “Who’s got pretty hair?  Who’s got a gorgeous a—“Bud stopped as he noticed Kevin Presley was watching him. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough,” news anchor Kevin Presley said with a smirk.

“There’s a new kid in town Presley, and his name is Meteorologist Bud Ford.  Soon to be replaced with News Anchor Bud Ford.”

“Why, you little!” Presley was angry.

“Get used to it Presley.  This suit coat has four buttons.  ABC wants someone with a little style and that is me, because I’m fresh…exciting…so inviting to me,” Bud Ford sang out the lyrics from one of his favorite contemporary hip-hop artists, Kool and The Gang.

“If I wasn’t a certified Baptist minister I would punch you square in the mouth,” Presley said trying not to ball up his fist.

“I can’t help it Presley.  You got soft when you left for Mississippi.  You came back and your hair was all different and don’t think those sideburns haven’t gone unnoticed by the network.  The corporate boys said viewership is down since those burns went up.”

“But I have children now,” Presley said.  “I’m trying to set a good example.”

“Don’t get your panties in a wad Presley.  Once I get the ratings back up while sitting next to Hot Lips I will be moving on to host the Saturday night Cowboys music show, which is perhaps Dothan’s most watched show.”

“But I was told that time slot would be switching to a Christian music format,” Presley said.

“Hmm, I didn’t get that memo,” Bud said as he went back to primping.  He opened the drawer and brought out an eyelash curler.  Presley grabbed the hand and applied pressure. 

“That is my eyelash curler.  As a matter of fact, if you will look at the handle you will see an inscription recognizing me for Wiregrass Newscaster of the Year for 2008 presented by the Red Hat Society ladies.  If I catch you using that eyelash curler or my prized sideburn straightening iron I will break your fingers.” Presley said matter of factly.

“Ow, you’re hurting me,” Bud cried. 

“Let’s get this straight radio head.  I am the anchor at WDHN where Dothan’s First and I will continue to be until I change my mind.  I can make a call to a buddy at the National Weather Service to throw your rain percentages off by five or ten percent.” Presley said sternly.  “Think how angry people will be if you tell them there is a forty percent chance, when actually it is a thirty percent chance.”

“You…you wouldn’t.”

“Ha, you didn’t even notice I hacked the system two nights ago and you had a warm front coming in which was indicated with blue triangles instead of red rounds.”

“What do those lines mean anyway?  All I really care about is the temperature the next day and if it is going to rain.  I am thinking about phasing out the river schedule, maybe throw in a joke or two.”

“Dear God!  You can’t be serious.  The Wiregrass depends on those river readings.  You’ll throw the entire area into chaos.  You have got to take the weather more seriously.”


Ken Curtis sat at his desk sipping the usual four o’clock bourbon, watching and listening to the conversation through a hidden camera.  He liked a little competition. Bud was taking it too far but like the old pro he is, Kevin Presley took control of the situation.  He needed Presley to mentor Bud, nurture him, and if a viable match, donate some hair plugs. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Haute Klanture

Knock, knock.

“Hello,” Bruce Jenkins said as he answered the door.

“Who are you?” Ronnie asked.

“I’m Bruce, Nellie’s nephew from Atlanta.”

“Where’s Mrs. Jenkins?”

“Oh I’m sorry but she had a stroke.  She’s in the hospital, not doing very well.  I came down to help out with the sewing and whatnot.”

“Aw man I hate to hear that.  I guess I will wait till she gets back.”

“Nonsense, she told me to take care of anyone that comes in.  I’m a seamstress too,” Bruce said with pride.

“Wouldn’t you be called a seamster?”  Ronnie asked.

“Honey, you will call me Vera Bradley when I finish whatever it is you need.”

“I don’t know.  My stuff is kind of secret, if you know what I mean.”

“Oh my God!  She told me someone might come looking for “The Uniform.”  Is that you?” Bruce asked throwing quotation marks in the air with his fingers. 

“It is me and I’m in a fix.  I have two new members being inducted Friday night and they will need their robes.  Can you get them done by Friday?” Ronnie asked.


Two days later…

Knock, knock.

“Oh hi Ronnie.  Come on in.  Did you bring the gentlemen for their fitting?” Bruce asked with excitement.

“Um, no.  These things are kind of a one size fits all.  It’s just a robe and hood with eyeholes.”  Ronnie answered, confused.

“Just a robe!  Shut your mouth and behold!”  Bruce exclaimed as he motioned to the mannequin. 

“What the hell?”  Ronnie asked, stunned by what he saw.

“I know.  It’s fabulous, isn’t it?”

“Listen here sugarbritches.  It’s not supposed to be shiny.  It’s supposed to be cotton,” Ronnie said, angered by the abomination before him.

“Cotton is so last year.  You said you wanted The Uniform.  I just put my personal style to it.  I’m a designer, unencumbered by twentieth century conventions.  It’s time to let your confederate freak flag fly girlfriend.”

“But why is it shiny?” Ronnie asked.

“The fabric is lame. (Guys this is pronounced la-may)  At your next cross burning it will glimmer and glisten.  Speaking of such, look at the back, I hot glued rhinestones in a burning cross design.”

“Well that’s pretty cool,” Ronnie said, impressed with Bruce’s hot glue gun and rhinestone artwork.

“Thanks Ronnie.  I know the gold piping seems a little extravagant, but I figured Cinderella must look her best at the ball.”

“What’s the deal with the rainbow colored fuzzy ball on top of the hood?”  Ronnie asked.

“The pom-pom adds a bit of whimsy.  I’m sure your meetings aren’t all cross burnings and lynchings.  Why don’t you try it on?”

“I couldn’t.  It looks too fancy.  I would mess it up.”

“Ronnie, while this fabric is delicate and will require dry cleaning, it is also durable.  It will stand up to the most violent of race riots and you will look fabulous while beating someone of a lesser race.  Blood stains are a thing of the past thanks to Scotchgarding.”

“Okay,” Ronnie said as he began to put it on over his clothes.

“Stop!  You must undress first.  I promise I won’t peek, much.  I stitched some satin leggings inside to make a jumper.  Comfort, flexibility and durability.  I’ve thought of everything.  There you go.  Now, look in the mirror.”

“Wow!” Ronnie exclaimed.  “I look like a princess.”

“Or a queen.  All hail, Queen of the Klan.”  Bruce said as a tear streamed down his cheek. 

“Are you crying Bruce?” Ronnie asked.

“It’s okay.  I told myself I wouldn’t cry.”

“Don’t be sad Bruce.”

“I’m not sad.  These are tears of joy.”

“Can I get forty more by next weekend?”

“Oh Ronnie.”

“Oh Bruce,” Ronnie said as he checked his backside in the mirror.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Country Strong

What follows is an endorsement of the Gwyneth Paltrow film Country Strong, a movie I was very apprehensive about enjoying.  The film turned out to be surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be.  The degree of its not being as horrid as I thought has inspired this affirmation.

Country music can be a fickle mistress.  She teases with lyrics of a festive life, filled with dogs, watermelon dances, seeing one’s mother after her incarceration.  But she will also remind us of life’s hardships, including infidelity, watermelon dances and death by getting runned over by a damned old train.  While I do find a few of the songs catchy or some of the female singers nice to view, I have never felt the music described my lifestyle or a lifestyle I was particular to.

Several outside influences have been considered in this review.  One must take into account the state of mind present when viewing the film.  No danger or odd circumstances surrounded the atmosphere of our den; we were at peace with the world and in love with each other as we watched Country Strong together, my wife and I.

Gwenyth Paltrow stars as Kelly Canter, a country superstar being released from rehab one year after falling from the stage in Dallas, a city which will haunt and redeem her, in a drunken stupor causing a miscarriage of her unborn baby.  Garrett Hedlund plays the part of Beau Hutton, a young part time honky tonk singer cursed with a pitiful attempt at facial hair, with whom she has an affair.  He is hired to join her on her return tour to keep an eye on her addictions.  He is torn between Kelly and Chiles Stanton, played by Leighton Meester, a young girl whose success in country music is dependent upon her beauty.  Tim McGraw stars as Kelly’s husband James, he pushes her as her manager but you can see right through his wig that that he has a hard time forgiving Kelly for losing their baby.

While Gwenyth never won an award for being considered sexy, as an example please refer to the unflattering evening gown worn in the movie poster, she gives an admirable portrayal of a much sexier woman.  Namely Tim McGraw’s real wife, Faith Hill whose acting skills might outweigh the singing skills of Gwenyth.  A conundrum aided by theory that Faith Hill fans may find the film to be documentary in nature and unleash their hatred for McGraw’s misgivings while at the same time confused by Faith’s appearances at later dates.  I thought of Faith often during the movie.  While the simplest of country music fans might be perplexed by Kelly’s behavior off stage, I believe superstars such as Faith might have watched the film from the comfort of their own luxuriously appointed RV, snacking on Xanax with a little vodka to help the pills go down easier, all the while screaming at the images on the screen “I hear ya girl, been there, done that!” 

Like the country music, table mounted, whiny guitar instrument thing, melodrama is sporadic but hits the right chords, get it chords.  It is not overpowering but you really notice how annoying it is during the solos.  Melodrama could be lost on or misspelled by its intended audience, but it brought a smile to a non fan such as me.  It was at those moments I imagined Faith drunkenly raising a bottle of vodka saying “Hell yes!”  I know I did.

After viewing the film and telling a few friends about it I was informed that it was really a horribly reviewed movie.  I don’t doubt it for a minute as it has been decades since I last saw Coal Miner’s Daughter, another film filled with country music songs.  I feel different about this film.  This film makes even me feel Country Strong.

Monday, June 20, 2011


On a leisurely drive through Pinckard Alabama on state highway 134 you might encounter a black man sitting on a wood crate in front of the old mercantile building beside L&M Motors.  His purpose is unknown to the casual driver who might lift a few fingers from the steering wheel for a cordial wave as I have never seen him return a wave.  He might possibly be a salesman for L&M Motors, albeit a bad one as I rarely see him standing, plus the Chrysler with the lackadaisical Hip Hop paint scheme they have for sale has not moved in months.  I did see him sitting on his wood crate with the vegetable salesman mentioned in one of my recent posts.  Apparently he finds the hot spots in Pinckard, which are few and I would say far between but nothing in Pinckard is far.  If he is the ambassador for our fair town I say we can do better, like the black man in Midland City.

Just a few miles down the road, after 134 turns into Napier Field Road in Midland City, you will find a black man in his front yard most mornings that waves at every car that drives by.  I’m not talking about a casual movement of the hand.  He throws an arm in the air for several seconds ensuring the drivers know, depending on direction of travel, they are welcome to town or thanked for passing through on the way out of town.  His enthusiasm is indelible as not only myself, but several other drivers I have noticed, return the wave in a similar fashion.  He puts a smile on my face almost every morning on my way to work.

If you pass through either of these small towns take note of these gentlemen.  While Midland City has the benefit of a major four lane highway, Dollar General and an independent grocer, they also have an ambassador of friendship.  A man who raises his hand to greet any race, any gender, any make and model of automobile, and he is appreciated for it. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tomato Sandwich

I saw the man on the side of the road in Pinckard selling vegetables out of the back of his truck and this time driving by I have cash.  He has signs advertising MATERS and KORN.  I am reminded of a band named Korn with a K but I think the band used a backward R, so there is probably no connection.  I whip around my wife's Taurus wagon and pull up to the makeshift stand.  He also has okra and squash.  I ask where the tomatoes originated.  Malvern he says, that is close enough to Slocomb for me.  I purchase twelve pre-husked ears of corn along with some tomatoes and a mess of okra.  For those not familiar with a mess, it is a commonly used unit of measure in the South, ranging anywhere from a helping to a half a hamper.  I told him the ingredients will go together to make a soup.  He asks if he can come to my house.  I just smiled, thanked him and left.

Just in case you were wondering I got all of that for $15.  $5 for the dozen ears of corn pre-husked, $4 for the okra and another $4 for the tomatoes.  I told him to keep the change, in return he handed me a few more tomatoes and some kind of little round squash.  I love the South.

My wife is not home yet and I want a snack.  Oh no, all we have is wheat bread.  I have never had a tomato sandwich on wheat, it will have to do.  I picked the smallest tomato and sliced, then applied a liberal portion of mayonnaise to the bread.  Then generous salt, pepper and ten dots of Tabasco sauce.

Even on the wheat bread the sandwich is good.  Nothing can quite describe the taste of the mixture of milky goodness that drips from the sandwich to my plate.  If you have never tried this delicacy then get yourself to Slocomb, or the surrounding area during the early summer.  Make yourself one of these simple but flavorful sandwiches.  I may save one for my wife to have a sandwich too.  I need to get some white bread and bacon, oh bacon makes it so much better.  Excuse me now, I have to go back to the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chair Repair

My wife and I refurbish and re-purpose old furniture pieces, as you can see from her blog.  K. Gilbert Designs & Unique Finds  Pictured below is a pair of confusing chairs.  Confusing because I wonder why someone would make an incomplete chair with a thin piece of press board as the seat.  Aside from the legs, the seating area should be the most substantial portion of a chair. 

As you can see with the one pictured on the left I cut a piece of plywood for the center.  This did not have to be exact because I was filling the crack with wood glue after taping the bottom side to hold the glue in place.

Then I began filling the crack with glue.  This took several applications due to waiting while the glue flowed downward.

After I was satisfied with the glue filling the crack I waited a few days for the glue to cure.  After curing, the bond will be stronger than most other parts of the chair.  Once the glue was cured I sanded it smooth and painted it white.

  Looks pretty good from that view, how about a close up.

Using an aged piece of plywood helped match the grain of the rest of the seat.  Now my wife may sell it as is or put an aged finish on it which would required some light sanding and staining.

Now it is time to tackle the other one.

Monday, May 23, 2011

RIP Keppy

I just found out that one of the people I write about has passed of natural causes.  I never met Keppy but I hope he enjoyed the stories.  I will post the obit as soon as it is available.  Condolences to his family and co-workers.

RSN story

And click here for more information.  John Keppy story on RSN

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lunch With A Twist

“Do you think I should shave my head and grow a goatee?” Keppy asked of his friend and boss Rickey Stokes over lunch at Bill’s restaurant.

“Why would you want to do that?” Stokes asked back at him.

“Well the shaved head worked for Michael Chiklis and everyone has a Harley and a goatee these days.”

“Why would you want to look like an angry fat man?  What’s wrong with being a jolly fat man?”

“I don’t know.  It just seems like the cool thing to do.  You could shave your head too and we could wear black t-shirts,” Keppy almost pleaded.

“I do not intend to shave my head.  My skull is bigger than most people due to all the extra brains and stuff I have in there.  Plus my hair is perfect.  It never messes up, wet or dry it always looks the same.  I want to keep it that way,” Stokes answered.

“I won’t even ask about matching hogs,” Keppy said, dejected.

“Those things are a danged nuisance.  You would think with as expensive as they are they would come with proper mufflers.  When I was growing up you didn’t want to be associated with Harleys in any way or the people who rode them.  Now every dentist and accountant in Dothan has one along with several thousand dollars worth of overpriced apparel.  Thanks but no thanks, I like being a unique individual, one with no distinguishing features, just an average Joe, easily lost in a crowd.”

They were finishing off the last of their fries from the late afternoon cheeseburger lunch when “she” walked in. Stokes, always seated facing the door saw her walk in first. Quickly he made a mental note of her distinguishing features as he did every person he saw; red sweater, large sunglasses, blondish hair, six foot seven, maybe six foot eight, could easily take Keppy in a fight even if he did have a goatee. Big gal, he thought to himself.

Keppy watched Stokes study someone entering the restaurant. The look in his eye was not of danger, but of interest. Stokes’ gaze lingered an extra second to study the person. Some people are easily lost in a crowd, others stand out.  There was uniqueness about this person. It could have been a beautiful woman, although Bill’s menu of mostly fried food attracted a clientele, whose logic falsely concluded bacon fat increased blood viscosity, allowing a more efficient flow through the cardiovascular system.  As a result, physical beauty was not a requisite of Bill’s.  If it was a beautiful woman she should be viewed, judged, classified and stored in his memory according to dominating phenotype.  Keppy glanced at the salad bar, allowing his gaze to momentarily affix upon the woman to and fro.  He was impressed with her stature and made a quick mental note to not challenge her to an arm wrestling match.

Both men returned to the task of finishing their French fries.  The waitress began taking the female customer’s order and Stokes supposed the waitress knew the customer.   Sweetie must have been the customer’s name due to how many times the waitress used it.  Stokes thought for a moment that the waitress never referred to his wife, Marsha, as sweetie, and “Y’all” was the best he and Keppy ever got.  It should be noted at this point that Stokes is a ten percent tipper or less.  A dollar was considered customary for a meal, two dollars were occasionally left when Marsha gave him that look.

Stokes noticed how raspy Sweetie’s voice sounded, which he attributed to cigarettes.  Every time he heard a woman speak that way he was thankful his wife did not smoke.  While they didn’t stunt her growth, they certainly affected this woman’s voice. 

Shortly thereafter another customer entered the restaurant that caught Stokes’ attention.  He was a cowboy, a big fellow wearing a proper cowboy shirt and hat.  His mustache was impressive, hanging low on the sides and covering his lips entirely.  Real men like that didn’t come to town very often, and if they did it was to the Farmer’s Co-Op in a much smaller town.  The cowboy rustled up to the checkout counter and placed his order, a fingertip to the brim of his hat obliged the waitress.  The cowboy sat down at the table with the tall woman in the red sweater.  Wow, Stokes thought, they must have tall kids.

As they finished the remaining fries Stokes’ keen senses caught something in the woman’s voice.  He listened more closely, not to the conversation specifically, but the sound of her voice.  After a few moments of studying the conversation at the table next to them Stokes came to the conclusion that she was not a woman.  Keppy was oblivious.  Stokes stopped eating and looked over at Keppy.  After a few moments Keppy looked up and saw Stokes staring at him, wide eyed.  Keppy stopped chewing, figuring he had ketchup on his face, wiped it with a napkin.  Stoke continued to look at him with a somewhat worried look in his eyes.  Keppy furrowed his brow.  Stokes rolled his eyes in the direction of the table next to them.  Keppy dared not look as he knew Stokes was being incognito.  Stokes tugged his earlobe.  Keppy listened to the couple next to them.  Suddenly his eyes went wide too.

Dread fell over Keppy.  Stokes looked worried.  Had five robbers come in with shotguns blasting they, nay, Stokes would have handled the situation easily, while still eating a burger with one hand.  This was different.  There was no apparent danger but procedure for this situation was not in their training.  Should they not ask and not tell?  Should they expose the woman’s real identity to the cowboy?  Surely the cowboy knows.  But what if this is a blind date, never having met her before?  He seemed like a nice cowboy.  Stokes imagined having to post a news story the next day concerning a surprised cowboy arrested for battery or worse. 

But listening to their conversation Stokes deduced they were good friends.  There was mention of fishing.  An image of a bass boat occupied by the cowboy and the woman in a bikini flashed through Stokes’ mind.  She fights to reel in a fish, which turns out to be a very small crappie.  They laugh, they cowboy slaps his knee, her bikini top pops loose but she catches it with her arms.  The cowboy looks at her lustily, her face relaxes from the laugh and her eyes become tender and vulnerable, wanting, needing.  She stands with her back to him and drops her bikini top then dives into the inviting waters of the Chattahoochee.  The cowboy dives in to join her, for some reason leaving his hat and boots on.  From underneath he sees their silhouettes against the backdrop of the warm southern sun as the cowboy swims toward her and reaches a hand out to hers.  About that time the daydream turned into Brooke Shields and that blonde guy swimming in The Blue Lagoon, suddenly he felt a kick to his shin from Keppy.  He looked over to see the waitress standing by the table.

“Here’s y’all’s check,” she said.

Stokes laid a dollar on the table, as did Keppy.  Silently they walked up to the counter, paid the bill and silently they left.

In the Bondy’s Ford Expedition Keppy asked, “What happened back there boss? I lost you for a second.”

“Nothing, Nam flashback.”

“I don’t have the words for the other situation.  I’ve never seen a big guy dressed like a woman.  Usually they are dainty.”

“Perhaps he or she considers that normal but what does that make us?”

“Abnormal?  No, surper-normal.”

“Well then my super-normal friend.  Do you want to go fishing this weekend?”

“No, not just yet.  I heard them talking about fishing too.  I’m afraid this is going to stick with me for a while.  You know I don’t think it would have been so weird if he was a dainty fellow that looked or sounded like a woman.”

“I know what you mean.  I’ve seen the documentaries where they say the clothes make them more comfy.” Stokes added.

"I wish it was acceptable for guys to wear miniskirts.  For those manly times like mowing the grass or changing the oil in your car.  Have you ever tried on some of Marsha’s panties?”

“I will try to miss the bone when I shoot you but I can’t promise anything.”

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The Porsche 928.  My spell check allowed the previous sentence.  Why?  Because that says it all.

The Porsche 928 (pronounced poor-sha) was the car I loved as a teen.  The 911 was and continues to be Porsche's bread and butter but the 928 was the flagship of the fleet.  Manufactured from 1978 through 1995 was one of just a few models with a front engine layout.  During its reign the 928 was considered a supercar, although a modern family car would surely give it a run.

Visually I find the 928 appealing to this day.  The shape and curves of the car are unlike anything else.  When I would see one on the road I turn to admire the beautifully curved rear, just as you would an attractive woman.  I have never been too concerned with how the car drives, as I can't admire its beauty while sitting inside.  While I don't understand my wife wanting the fabric of the curtains to somehow match the sofa, I do understand that a black 928 should have some proper black rims.  Maybe it should be flat black, like a SR-71 Blackbird, the aeronautical equivalent of the 928.

Occasionally I search the web for used ones.  My wife will not allow a money pit so I search and dream without telling her.  I did tell her of one I found in California for $500, it ran but the windows had been left down for over a year.  That would not bother me, it bothered her.

There's one sitting in a yard in Midland City.  I stopped by to look at it from the road.  Joyfully it was already black.  There was a dent in the door.  I didn't approve of the rims.  The grass and weeds underneath indicated it hadn't been moved in several months.  I saw an old man in the yard.  I got out and asked if it was for sale.  His response, "You can't afford it."  I asked again, agitated.  He grumbled "It was appraised for $12,000, you got $12,000?"  I threw my hands up in disgust and drove away.  It might have been worth $12k at one point, the weeds underneath knocked a minimum of $3000 off in my mind.  Obviously the old man has no idea what the car is worth.  I have seen 928's from $15k-$25k that were in immaculate condition.

The old jackleg might not be so cranky if he kept the car in the back yard.  I am sure a lot of people stop to ask.  In the mean time the value continues to go down.  In several more years I expect an estate sale, where the children will try to sell the car.  I imagine they will still say "It was appraised for $12,000."

I might drive by and check on the car every once and a while.  Just to let it know that someone appreciates it and someone would love it, given the chance.