“Tolerance” Epistle #1

January 28, 2010

Ok, I’m gonna cheat a little bit on this one.  Its cut and paste time.  An old friend sent me an email this morning that sort of touches on something that I have contemplated writing a blog on.  That subject is the word “tolerant” or worse yet “intolerant”.  It just drives me bonkers and boils my blood..errrrrrgggghhhh !   Man I hate that word.  One of these days my thoughts on the subject will finally coalesce and I will get my them down on paper to share with the world…or those who really give a fat rat’s fanny what I think (please refer to my earlier blog on the reference to the rat’s fanny) 

In the meantime here is the gist of the email that I received.  

An illegal alien in Polk County Florida who got pulled over in a routine traffic stop ended up ‘executing’ the deputy who stopped him. The deputy was shot eight times, including once behind his right ear at close range. Another deputy was wounded and a police dog killed. A state-wide manhunt ensued.
The murderer was found hiding in a wooded area and as soon as he took a shot at the SWAT team, officers opened fire on him. They hit the guy 68 times.
Naturally, the liberal media went nuts and asked why they had to shoot the poor undocumented immigrant 68 times.
Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel: ‘Because that’s all the ammunition we had.’ Now, is that just about the all-time greatest answer or what!
The Coroner also reported that the illegal alien died of natural causes. When asked by a reporter how that could be since there were 68 bullet wounds in his body, he simply replied “when you are shot 68 times you are naturally gonna die.”

I want to meet Sheriff Grady Judd (is that a good ole “cracker” name or what???) and maybe toss back a couple of beers with him.  That just might be an interesting conversation. 

Now let me say that I am not an isolationist and I’m not one of those people who think we should build a 20 ft wall around the country and let no one in.  After all, unless you are a Native American you are spawned from an immigrant.  But, like my grandfather, I just want folks who desire to come to our country to do it legally.   Likewise, I don’t believe in indiscriminate killing of citizens by law enforcement.  However, I am not a pacifist either…….if you are in OUR country illegally and you decide to shoot someone (police officer, police dog, or anyone else for that matter) you should be aware that, at in my mind,  all bets are off.  Don’t come cryin about your civil rights or racial profiling or police brutality; what ever rights you had you gave them up when you pulled the trigger the first time.  If you choose to  live by the sword it doesn’t seem that far-fetched that you might die by it too.


Hillbilly Colloquialisms or Idioms, Whichever You Prefer

January 7, 2010

I’m not real sure if what follows is a list of colloquialisms or idioms.  Based on the definitions of those two terms it seems they can be either.  Maybe they are both, or maybe it just doesn’t really matter.   A real hillbilly wouldn’t know the difference anyway, nor would he care.

The fact of the matter is that these phrases or expressions are inexplicably part of my vernacular.  I don’t know why but I like using them.  I guess I think they are colorful and sometimes just fun.  Certainly they are economical in that they often times say a lot in just a few words.  Some make you think, others don’t really seem to make any sense.

I’ve picked these up over the last 50 plus years from all sorts of sources.  Many of them cam from my Dad; who is quite possible the world champion in their use.  Other family members have contributed some to my repertoire; with still others picked up from TV shows and movies.  Some I’ve even made up myself.   It seems when one strikes my fancy it sticks in some deep dark place in my brain only to spill forth as part of my everyday speech.    So engrained are they that I can’t seem to repeat them at will.  They just seem to pop to the surface when the circumstances warrant their expression.

What ever their origin, or why they seem to be a part of my language,  they do seem to reinforce the fact that I am a hillbilly.  I don’t suppose that a person of refined sensibilities would allow themselves to use such common expressions.  But, that’s ok with me; I am what I am.  And, it seems my family members like them and get a kick  out of me uttering them at the most unexpected times. Which brings me to giving credit for the topic of this blog.  My nephew Bryan thought it would be fun for me set about listing all of my “sayings”.  That seemed appropriate for this blog and I thought it might be fun.  What I didn’t realize is that I have more than 130 of them!!  (I’ve listed only 114 due to the graphic/adult nature of a few; those that I should really eliminate anyway).

Its taken awhile but with the help of my children and my wife I’ve got my list.  As I’ve already mentioned, I can’t dredge these up at will….they just happen.  Making the list was actually rather comical.  I’d be in the middle of a conversation when suddenly one would spring forth and I would say “there’s another one”  and run to jot it down before I forgot it.   This reoccuring behavior became the entertainment for the Curtis Family Christmas. 

I suspect this list will be somewhat fluid, or at the very least may grow over time.  Not only because I continue to add new ones from time to time but I suspect there are a few more buried away in my little hillbilly brain and will seep out eventually. 

  1. Harder than hammer hell
  2. Her butt is two axe handles wide
  3. Can’t hit bull in the butt with a handful of rocks
  4. Tighter than a banjo string
  5. Tighter than a bulls butt in fly time
  6. So tight he squeaks when he walks
  7. Looks like two puppies fighting under a blanket
  8. Eyes look like two pee holes in the snow
  9. Colder enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey
  10. Like ugly on an ape
  11. Like a duck on a June bug
  12. Like white on rice
  13. Bigger than barn
  14. Dumber than a bag full of hammers
  15. Dumber than a stump
  16. Dumber than a box of rocks
  17. Slicker than deer guts on a door knob
  18. Knocked the snot bubbles out of him
  19. Hit him so hard it killed his relatives
  20. Knocked him into next week
  21. I feel like I’ve been sucked through a knot hole
  22. I Feel Like I’ve been shot at and missed, shit at and hit
  23. Clumsy as a bull in china shop
  24. Drunker than a monkey
  25. Happier than a pig in poop
  26. Sweating like a whore in church
  27. Sweating like horse in heat.
  28. Shaking like a dog poopin peach seeds.
  29. Older than Methuselah
  30. Can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch  
  31. Older than dirt             
  32. Hotter than a depot stove         
  33. Hotter than a two pecker billy-goat
  34. Colder than a witch’s titty
  35. Like stink on poop
  36. Like water off a ducks back
  37. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
  38. Not the brightest bulb in the box
  39. The lights are on but nobody’s home    
  40. One fry short of a happy meal
  41. Nothing parties like a rental
  42. Not the sharpest tool in the shed
  43. “O” dark thirty
  44. Darker than the inside of a cow
  45. Balder than a peeled egg
  46. Finer than frogs hair
  47. Like a bump on a log
  48. Like fallin off a log
  49. Deader than a door nail
  50. Faster than stripe assed ape
  51. Is a frog’s ass water tight?
  52. Yeah, and if a frog had wings his ass wouldn’t bump the ground.
  53. Crazier than a loon
  54. Don’t get you panties in a wad
  55. Don’t get your boxers in a bunch
  56. Piece of cake
  57. Champagne taste and a beer budget
  58. Fatter than tick
  59.  Tighter than tick on dogs ear
  60.  Don’t let your battleship mouth over-ride your rowboat ass
  61.  Tongue is loose on both ends with a spring in the middle
  62.  Don’t piss on my shoes and tell me its rainin
  63.  Don’t count your chickens before they hatch
  64.  When hell freezes over
  65.  Between a rock and a hard place
  66.  You’re just beatin a dead horse
  67.  He/she is like a fart in a skillet
  68.  That ought to go over like a turd in a punch bowl
  69.  Dropped him like a bad habit
  70.  ½ inch short of being as big around as he/she is tall
  71.  Meaner than a junk yard dog
  72.  Meaner than a snake
  73. Been to 3 world’s fairs and goat rodeo and I ain’t ever seen anything like that
  74. Slower than molasses in January
  75. Lazier than a pet coon
  76. Weirder than 3 dollar bill.
  77. Higher than the balls on a giraffe
  78. Breath like a buffalo fart
  79. Useless as tits on a boar hog
  80. Busier than a one-armed paper hanger
  81. If I was any better I’d be twins
  82. Like a bat out of hell
  83. Busier than a cat burying poop
  84. So busy he/she doesn’t know if he’s on foot or horseback
  85. If ifs and buts were candied nuts oh what a Christmas it would be
  86. Its raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock
  87. Let’s get this rat killin underway.
  88. Give away your ass and shit through your ribs.
  89. Hell bent for leather.
  90. Uglier than a mud fence
  91. How do they make it so good and sell it so cheap
  92. Slow down you’ll get a more harmonious outcome
  93. Its time to open a can of whoop ass.
  94. He shit like a Christmas goose
  95. Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills the fastest.
  96. Neat as a pin
  97. I feel the need for speed
  98. You can’t possibly know how little I care.
  99. Hotter than the hubs of hell
  100. I’ve heard ducks fart underwater before
  101. Colder than a well digger’s butt in a Klondike
  102. That looks like 4 lbs of poop stuffed in a 3 lb bag
  103. I don’t give a fat rat’s fanny
  104. Tighter than the skin on a hot dog
  105. Jerked him slack jawed
  106. Jerked a knot in his tail
  107. I’ve got a hitch in my get along
  108. That’s like pushing a watermelon through a garden hose
  109. I’m all in but my shoe laces
  110. Beat him like a red-haired stepchild
  111. You’ll go to hell as quick for lyin as you will for stealin
  112. Its time to fish or cut bait
  113. Time to shit or get off the pot.
  114. Shut your pie hole

Merry Jesus’ Birthday!!

December 25, 2009

Its Christmas morning and I have a few minutes to jot down some thoughts.  Actually I started thinking about this blog last night following a wonderful Christmas Eve service at church.  It seemed like the most appropriate time to be thankful, so I should write a blog about what I’m thankful for.  I began developing a list of things in my head, it started out with 6 great kids (well 3 kids and 3 spouses but they are all family now), a wonderful wife, a warm home, plenty to eat, and a great job.  And the list went on and on and on.  I said to myself, self this is going to be one really long blog.  Then I woke up this morning and realized that there is just one thing I need to be thankful for this morning.   And that is for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior; and for the sacrifice he made for me.  For, without that sacrifice, that long,  long list of things I have to be thankful for simply wouldn’t be. 

So, my wish to everyone who I have been blessed to touched by in the last year, my wish for you on this wonderful Birthday of Jesus, is that you have a wonderful day and that you feel as fortunate as I do.

We Deer Hunters are a gullible bunch!

December 21, 2009

I am a deer hunter and I proclaim that proudly.  I take my deer hunting seriously to the point of obsession, just ask my wife.  But, I have to admit that my deer hunting brethren are truly a bunch of gullible chumps.  Hunting gear manufacturers have us figured out and we’re buying up their worthless merchandise faster than they can make it.

An entire hunting gear industry has sprung up over the last 10 years.  We now have hunting catalogues that rival the old Sears and Roebuck of yesteryear.    You can buy online anything from a camo hankie to a decals big enough to cover an entire Chevy Suburban.  Hundreds and hundreds of items of every color, size and description.  Most of which have zero value in the deer woods.    Proof positive that hunters are truly gullible.  So I’ve decided to make a list of my top 10 most ridiculous items that when bought move a hunter straight to chumpdum.  Some of these are ridiculous because they don’t work and cost an insane amount of money.   The others simply go past ridiculous straight to hilarious.

1.) Scent Lok clothing.   This company gets the Academy Award for marketing.   These folks have convinced a whole bunch of  hunters that they have invented clothing that keeps the hunter from being smelled by deer and thereby justifying charging twice as much for their product. Come on folks, do you really think that a suit of polyester/nylon clothing (last time a checked polyester  and nylon are both porous) impregnated with activated charcoal keeps your human scent confined.  The stuff just doesn’t work.  By the time I get to, and up in my tree stand I’m lathered up like a thoroughbred that’s just completed the Kentucky Derby.  There is no way that a piece of clothing is going to keep my human scent confined.  I am particularly amused by guys (and girls) that just buy a Scent Loc jacket.  What about your head, face, neck, crotch, legs, feet etc?  What about your breath?  What happens if you just happened to have eaten beans for dinner the night before….if you can smell it so can the deer.   Did I mention that deer have a sense of smell 100,000 times more sensitive than a humans?     

2.)  The “Butt Out” tool.  Ok, this is not the most pleasant thing to describe but once a deer has been killed there is the dirty job of having to remove its entrails.  If  you have any sense of anatomy you probably know that the intestines are ultimately attached to the orifice from which poop exits the body.  Well, that orifice has to detached, pulled free and discarded with the rest of the guts.  Some rocket scientist figured out that a barbed tool that is designed to be inserted into said orifice and then effectively used to pull the intestines out to be sniped off, would be attractive to hunters.  (I guess, I’ve never used one of these tools).   Since the first time a man killed a deer and removed its insides this problem has been dealt with.  Do we really need a $10 piece of plastic to assist the process.  If this seems too ridiculous to be true, just Google “Butt Out Tool” and you find hundreds of listing for it…even You Tube videos.   (Yes, can you believe someone actually did a “how to” video of this amazingly stupid device.

3.) Pile-o-Korn.  In some states it is legal to use bait to attract deer; in other states it is illegal (the debate on the ethics of baiting will have to wait for a future blog).   By far the most popular bait for deer is shelled corn.  So, what do you do if you hunt in a state where baiting is illegal.  Well you buy a “Pile-O-Korn”.   A plastic gizmo molded to look like a pile of shelled corn.  Really, someone actually went to the trouble to create a mold to make these.  What is more amazing is some one bought it.  Again, don’t believe me?  Check it out http://www.southernideas.com/pileokorn/.

4.) The “Cough Muffler”  This is a gizmo that you cough in to so that deer can’t hear you.  Of course no other animal, human or otherwise, ever coughs so a deer would certainly know there was a hunter in the woods.  Even it they could distinguish the difference, why not just bury your mouth in gloved hand or shirt sleeve.  Besides, with binos, range finder, grunt tube and other necessary paraphernalia who has room for another frivolous device hanging where it can be accessed at a moments notice?  

5.) “The Deer View Mirror”.  One of the keys to deer hunting is to see them before they see you.  Deer have a keen ability to see movement so someone deduced that if you could see what is behind you without turning your head there is a better chance that a deer won’t see you move.  Of course, the light glinting off the mirror won’t be a dead give away.    Not to mention the movement it would take to continually redirect the mirror to the proper angle to see a deer approaching from the right instead of the left…or vise versa.

6.) Fake Deer Poop.  One of the foremost hunting accessory marketers, a company called “Primos” started selling little round pellets that are intended to mimic deer poop.  This one makes me giggle even as I write this.  It’s intended fool a deer into thinking there are other deer in the neighborhood, (the deer live in the woods 24/7; wouldn’t they already know there are other deer living there?).  Two additional problems I see with this product: a.) there is deer poop everywhere in the woods so why would one more pile make that big of a difference and b.) if you really want to strategically place deer poop why not just gather up some of the real stuff…its free!  You must be asking yourself does anyone  really buy fake deer poop?  Regrettably, deer hunters are chumps so the answer is yes.

7.) Fake deer feeder sound machine.   In those states where baiting is legal, I understand that deer can become conditioned to the sound of the motorized deer feed dispenser.  So, in what is adding insult to injury, someone has invented a gizmo that just sounds like a deer feeder motor but hence no food is being dispensed.    What doesn’t make sense to me is that the deer are a not attracted initially to the sound of the feeder, they are attracted to the corn that is dispensed.  If there is no corn, then the sound of the deer feeder motor would have not have an attraction to the deer thus making a fake deer feeder sound machine worthless.  What makes the people who buy these things even bigger rubes is that the gizmo that makes the fake deer feeder sound costs more than a real deer feeder motor.

8.) Gum-o-flage:  Yep, someone invented gum to camouflage your breath.  I’ve never tasted it so I can only imagine what flavor it must be.  Does it make your breath smell like acorns, or corn, or maybe deer breath (maybe the fake deer poop people and the Gum-o-flage people should get together)?  I think I’ll go the old fashion route…tooth brush and tooth paste.

9.) The Kruncher deer call.  This gizmo is supposed to sound like another deer eating acorns or corn… or something else crunchy.  I know that deer have really good hearing but do they really “listen” for another deer chewing?    This does not even factor in that about 99% of a deer’s diet is soft mast like leaves, grass etc.

10.)  Last but not least, New Camo Patterns.  Every year dozens of camouflage clothing manufacturers create new camouflage patterns to fool deer even more than the pattern they produced last year, and of course charge more than last year’s unbeatable new pattern.   Back in the day deer hunter camouflage clothing consisted of a black and red checked wool jacket and a pair of army surplus wool pants.  Somehow, they managed to successfully kill deer…and there weren’t nearly as many deer then as there are today.  Yet, hunters insist on buying new camos every year just so they have can have the newest best camo so they can better fool the wylie whitetail deer.

When will we ever learn?!

Simple Pleasures

December 14, 2009

As is the norm these days, my wife Sally and I spent the weekend at our cabin in the hills of Southern Indiana that we affectionately know simply as Goat Hollow (the name will be the subject of a future blog I’m sure).  I haven’t actually kept track of the number of weekends spent there but since acquiring the property a couple of years ago it has truly become our second home.  We love it there….you probably think that is a euphemism but we really do love it.   The curious thing about Goat Hollow is how contrary it is to what most folks would be proud to call their “second residence”.    Most people have visions of a least a cottage on a lake, or maybe a condo on the beach someplace warm but not us.  I know it strange but that is just how we are.

Now it is important to understand that Goat Hollow is somewhat primitive.  It has no electricity, unless you count  the 1982 Onan generator we installed last week.  We do have running water, if you don’t mind refilling the 2 gallon jug sitting on a shelf above the sink.   And of course nothing says modern technology like a 20 degree breeze caressing your backside during an early morning trip to Charlotte’s house (again, that name will be the subject of another future blog).   There is of course  the furnance…well a 60s vintage wood stove.  And best of all, there is almost no cell phone coverage.  I say almost none because if you stand in one corner of the deck and remain completely motionless you can get one bar of reception on a cell phone.  Texting works but it does keep conversations short.

But, the lack of amenities is what makes it special to us.   It seems we are gluttons for punishment but we actually enjoy carting in our own water, chopping our own fire wood, and braving the cold when mother nature calls.  We must like  it because we keep going again and again and again.  Maybe someday we’ll have the basic necessities, until then we’ll just keep embracing the simple life that makes Goat Hollow so special.


So Now I Am a Blogger

December 8, 2009

I’m not sure who will be more surprised that I now have a blog; me or anyone else that knows me.   I never thought I would write a blog but here I am writing one.   So, why am I doing something that I thought I would never do?  Well, I guess I think it might be therapeutic; at least that what my daughter tells me.  I have a lot of thoughts that go through my head, most of them quite random, that I think would make more sense to me if I put them to pen and paper, so to speak.  That explains the Jetsam part of the title.  I just have a bunch of stuff rattling around inside my noggin that needs to get out. 

So what about the Closet Hillbilly part of the title?  First of all, I want to be sure to say that I am using the term Hillbilly in the most affectionate way possible.  It is not in the least, meant to be derogatory or demeaning to anyone.   I use that term to describe people who live simply and enjoy a far less encumbered life style.   And, frankly seem to be more comfortable in their own skin than a lot of people who seem to be more interested in trying to grab the brass ring.   The word genuine pops into my head when I think of this kind of people.   I found this definition sometime ago and I like it: “a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled citizen, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him.”  It speaks of a lifestyle that I think is, and always has been deep down inside me.  And it wants out! 

I spent the last 30 plus years pursuing a fast paced life that while producing lots of special memories, 3 wonderful children (with equally wonderful spouses or soon to be spouses),  and a better wife than I probably deserve;  has also whizzed by so fast that I sometimes have a difficult time remembering why I embraced it the way I did.  It certainly isn’t the lifestyle in which I was raised as a child nor one that I even remotely enjoy today.  It is nevertheless the way I’ve lived for the last 3 decades but it doesn’t mean I have to keep doing what I’ve always done.   The cliche “if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keeping getting what you’ve always gotten” seems all too appropriate.

A lot has changed in my life in the last 5 or 6 years and as a result  I find myself slowly emerging from that old lifestyle and embracing my real inner self, that Hillbilly by my definition.  My hope is that I can learn to embrace that real me by jotting down my thoughts about some of those simpler things in life, and from time to time help me deal with the old life that I am forced to live with by virtue of my occupation.   The actor Wilford Brimley plays Tom Selleck’s disheveled sidekick in the movie Crossfire Trail (one of my favorite movies I think because of how it emphasizes integrity and virtue).  His character’s frequently repeats the line ” Slow down, you’ll get a more harmonious outcome”.  I believe we could all benefit from making that our mantra too….at least I think I would.

I suspect that my blogs will be about all kinds of “stuff.”  Occasional observations about the things I do, the people I meet, family, friends and my faith.   Some times it will be light hearted and I suppose othertimes more thoughtful; and I suspect it will often times pose more questions that it answers.  I can’t imagine that anyone will find any of what I have to say to be particularly interesting,  or terribly profound,  but it’s not really about entertaining others as much as it is about discovering myself.