Mountain Sicknesses

First a shout out to my people in Brazil. Now I have people from all over the world who read this blog, Qatar and Cambodia included, but for some unknown reason I have more readership in Brazil than all of the other countries of the world combined.

Buy my book. It’s like 99 cents for God’s sake…

Bang Your Head Here

Bang Your Head Here…Some More

A couple of thoughts, you people in Brazil, at least as has been reported in our mostly fake news, are virtually out of drinkable water yet hundreds, yes hundreds are a lot to me, of you take time to read my nonsense. My thought is that, as bad as it is to be on the threshold of death, you read my vitriol to remind yourselves that it could be worse. You could live in America with people like me. You would rather dehydrate yourselves to death than live here. I get that.

The other possibility is that there are Americans who have moved to Brazil for whatever reason and frequent my blog to remind themselves that they have made the right decision to leave. Regardless, thanks for taking the time.

The Top 5 Hillbilly Illnesses

For twenty years I helped run our family manufacturing business. My grandfather started it in 1952 when he moved to Cleveland from West Virginia. I am frequently thankful that he had the gumption and the fortitude to uproot his family and move up north to make something of himself. No offense to those of you from West Virginny but I wouldn’t have made a very good mountain man. I don’t like dirt and I like my food to come in a box with a label on it and not from the woods or a river. I don’t think I could shoot a “varmint” and I hate the taste of fish. I am a decent shot though, I think it’s just in my blood. I don’t want to “take vittles.” Hell, I don’t even know where the word vittles comes from, I just know that I don’t want any.

I love the movie “Deliverance” but I am afraid that, in real life, I am the fat, sissy character, Bobby and not the rugged woodsman, Louis. Bobby was the character played by Ned Beatty and also the one anally raped by the mountain cracker. I, however, draw the line at the hillbilly anal rape thing in my comparison of myself to Bobby.

I like paying too much for a cup of coffee, I don’t hunt or fish and if something needs fixing around the house, my best skill is writing a check. Not to imply that everybody, just because they are from the hills is an expert in home repair, I was just trying to make the point that I am not handy and am quite soft when it comes to what the mountains would describe as a real man.

In spite of the racist stereotype people from hills have, my grandfather was an equal opportunity employer. As long as you came from the hills, he didn’t care what color you were, gay or straight, man or woman. You could be an African-American, cross-dressing lesbian and as long as you’re from “downhome” he’d give you a shot. “You say you’re a machinist from Brooklyn? Sorry, never been there I don’t trust people who come from the city.”

People from the hills are passionately and fiercely loyal. You had to be a serious fuck-up to get fired and neither do you quit. I’ve fired my share of people in my time as the kingpin of our hillbilly manufacturing conglomerate and rarely ran into objections and excuses as most people knew when they had taken the whole “downhome” loyalty thing too far. The excuses upon firing almost made the whole firing process worth the heartache of it all as some of them were comedic genius. “Thursday night’s my night to get drunk,” was always one of my favorites and also the most frequently used. As if that makes the whole thing about not showing up for work for eight straight days just a part of business.

My absolute favorites though were the hillbilly street names for the myriad of common maladies people came down with that caused them to miss work. This, therefor, is the Top 5 Names of Hillbilly Illnesses. It wasn’t until the advent of the Internet that I could actually do a little research into the hidden meaning of these terms.

Cold in your eye

Now every cold that I’ve ever had was a respiratory kind of thing. Runny nose, sneezing, fever, cough, the whole shmear but unbeknownst to me, you can also, apparently, get this in your eye.

Upon further investigation, an eye cold, is also called conjunctivitis and / or pink eye but taken up a few degrees. It seems that eye colds are caused by the same virus’ that cause mumps, measles and herpes. Herpes? In your eye? Holy shit! Had I known that the person sitting in front of me, pleading for their job, had a rampant case of highly infectious and contagious case of eye herpes I would have gladly dismissed them and told them to take as much time as they needed. Gross!

Apparently, eye colds are untreatable with anti-viral medication and you are told to put compresses on the infected area for treatment. Any time they tell you to put a wet towel on some kind of injury or malady, it pretty much means that means they have nothing else. “Yeah, that shit looks like it hurts. Best if you just put a cold compress on it till it clears up.”

“So I have the herpes in my eye and you think the best plan of action is to slap a wet towel on it? Oh really? Thanks! People get this on their genitals and it lasts a fucking lifetime but you’re saying that a wet towel will solve my problem. Wonderful.”

The Gleet

As long as we’re on the subject of herpes I figured this would be a good place to introduce you to The Gleet. This was not a common excuse for missing work but I heard it at least a dozen times in my twenty years of service. The Gleet is a hillbilly name for gonorrhea and involves a nasty smelling discharge weeping from ones urethra. Kind of gross, right?

I have always believed that there is no better excuse for missing work than to just say that you have diarrhea. No one wants to hear you talk about it and they certainly don’t want anyone around who has it. Diarrhea is something that we all get once in a while and can certainly be understood as something that would keep one home from work. I cannot commiserate with The Gleet and even if I had it and had to miss work because of it, I would not admit it.

Falling sickness

Also commonly known as epilepsy. We had a guy, Moses, who had epilepsy. Everybody from West Virginia has a given name and a name they go by. Moses’ real name was Carroll but his dad was friends with the mailman, Moses, so yada, yada, yada, Carroll became Moses. It seems that when he was a teenager his drunk pappy put him on the back of his motorcycle, drove through an intersection and both were subsequently hit by a city bus. Of course, the drunk, was unscathed but Moses was dragged under the bus till it could come to a stop, and in the process tore off half of his flesh and did enough damage to his brain to give him epilepsy. The fact that this guy lived through let alone continued to work fifty hours a week, is a testament to the, “Dare to keep me down? Fuck you” mentality of the people of West Virginia.

Once in a while Moses would disappear for a week and we knew that he had a case of the falling sickness but that he would be back as soon as he was able. Worst part was that Moses lived alone and when a spell of the falling sickness would hit, he would lay there all by himself till he could get his legs.

The Grip (Grippe)

This was the most common of all of the absenteeism excuses I received. I mean people were falling victim to The Grip like the Black Plague in medieval Europe. There are two different Grip disorders meaning two very different things but because I couldn’t understand a lot of what they were saying and because I didn’t know what either of them were, I would just ask if they felt good enough to work and move them on their way.

First, The Grip, is a hills infirmity that keeps on from grabbing things. The Grip would cover your arthritis, strokes, any kind of paralysis or nerve damage. Hard to believe that somebody would miss a Friday of work because they were paralyzed but stranger things have happened.

More than likely they were afflicted with the more common Grippe, still pronounced just like the previously mentioned Grip. This version of the Grippe is simply the common flu. I know, not as cool but all of the names in this Top 5 list, the one I can see myself incorporating into my occasional flu life.

Jerry, a man twice my age, was continually afflicted with the grippe and would get angry if I ever asked what exactly this grippe thing was. “Look, I had the grippe, alright?!?! People with the grippe are very sensitive.

Puking fever

This would be, you would think, the easiest of the group to figure out. Puking fever should be exactly what it says it is. “I was throwing up and had a fever.” Bingo! Easy. “You feel good enough to go back to work?” “Would I be here if I wasn’t?”

You would be wrong if you assumed that any infirmity of the mountain people would be that simple. Puking fever also goes by the pseudonym Milk Sickness or The Sloes. Milk sickness is also called tremetol vomiting or the trembles and is a kind of poisoning that brings with it trembling, vomiting and severe intestinal pain. All pretty standard features of the average stomach flu except that The Trembles comes from ingesting milk or meat from a cow that fed on the white snakeroot plant. Cows, during a drought, will go into the woods in search of water where they find the snakeroot plant. Snakeroot? Some I am to believe that you went home for the weekend to the hills and drank some milk from a poisonous cow?

Do you know the astronomical odds of ever encountering even one person afflicted with Milk Sickness? You need a cow, a drought, snakeroot, white snakeroot at that, and you need to drink the cow’s milk like right off the udder. Like you basically had to be suckling the cow to come down with this. Yet I have seen dozens of people live through this terrible disease.

The Sloes are basically milk sickness mixed with a dose of small pox. I didn’t get a lot of claims of the sloes. “So you were off on Friday because you had milk sickness induced small pox but you’re okay today?”

Bonus – Straining your milk

A common caution verbalized by women to other women working in our plant was not to lift too much or you’d likely run the risk of “straining your milk.” I can’t imagine this warning applying to anybody but women who are nursing a child but after all of the sloes, grips and gleets who the hell knows.

What exactly happens when one “strains their milk?” Does it come out with blood like if you got kicked really hard in the nuts or does it just dry up? Can anything be done to de-strain your milk?

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Random Thoughts on Dreams and My Eye

Random Thoughts

Dreams

I don’t have any recollection of my dreams. Some days I wake up and my mood is set by whatever was going on in my head while I was sleeping but I have no idea why. I can wake up sad, glad or mad and in the cases of sad and mad, I would like to know what the effing deal is so I can move on.

Have you ever written a song in a dream? It’s like the most amazing sounding thing ever, so good that Jesus is playing a mean lead guitar and singing back-up but when you wake up you can’t remember a damn thing.

My inability to remember my somnambulative adventures is so weak that I can only recall a handful of dreams I’ve ever had in my entire life.

About thirty years ago I had a dream that I was walking around a foggy version of the neighborhood that I grew up in. This, first off, is clearly a dream as I don’t walk anywhere. Why would I pay for a car and then go for a walk? Exercise? C’mon. Anyway, I walk by my mom’s friend’s Judy’s house, and she invites me in for a coffee. When I was a kid Judy used to give me a cup of those International Foods flavored coffees which made me think I was a pretty big deal, drinking coffee and all, like an adult. So she sits me down at the dining room table, gives me my coffee and proceeds to tell me that she’s going away and won’t see me anymore.

Pretty standard dream I guess until I get to work the next morning and my mom calls and tells me, “Judy died in her sleep last night.” She wasn’t ill and was in her early fifties. Weird. How did this happen? Why can’t this happen more? I mean, not the Judy dying part but the cognitive ability to tap into this kind of information. Like I wouldn’t mind knowing who’s going to win in the third at Belmont tomorrow or which team to throw a large amount of money on in the next Superbowl. It was nice and all of Judy to come tell me goodbye but, all I’m saying is, maybe she could have dropped a little financially beneficial knowledge on me on my way out the door. Like, “Oh, hey, Jonathan, by the way, you might want to lay a little cash down on this company that’s going to have an IPO in a few years, remember the name Apple.” Would that have been so hard?

I think I was in the third grade? Maybe fourth? Somewhere in that eight or nine year old wheelhouse. I was playing intermural hockey and was a blue line right winger. Blue line being second team kind of thing. So one Saturday morning game I go crazy and score three goals in my limited playing time. As I remember it, two of the goals I scored went down because the goalie was actually picking his nose when I blew a meteoric slap shot right past his non-existent defense but the coach didn’t notice the nose picking and thought I really had some skills. Life is not always about being good, moist of the time it’s about somebody else not paying attention. I was immediately promoted to the red line. Red line being a starter for those of you from Akron.

In my mind, I was the next Gordie Howe. Gordie Howe being one of the all-time great professional hockey players but probably a non-entity to anyone under the age of forty. Kind of like my grandmothers favorite actor was some guy named Tom Mix. Who the hell is Tom Mix?

This was also, in my mind, the time to start worrying about the next game. If I was to keep this goal scoring frenzy up, I would need some kind of goal scoring plan and I was not sure if I could count on the next goalie to be struggling with a sinus issue.

The night before “the big game” which is stupid anyway because I was eight and nothing should be that serious at eight, I had a horrifying dream that I remember as vividly today as if it just happened last night. I was skating around the ice warming up for the game when I realized that I had forgotten my hockey pants. This wasn’t one of those “forgot my pants but still had my underwear on” kind of frustration dreams, I had nothing on but my sweater and skates. As I continued to glide around the ice, I suddenly became aware that no one had noticed. That’s when I noticed my grandmother in the stands cheering me on. I mean, if my grandmother hadn’t noticed then I was pretty confident that I could probably play this whole game half naked, score a ton of goals off of some snot eating goalie, get carried triumphantly off the ice on the shoulders of my teammates then quickly run to the locker room to throw on some pants. My fans would be so enthralled with my greatness that they would be blind to my nakedness, sort of like the statue of David.

My grandmother had other ideas though. Oddly she was setting up a hot dog kiosk in the stands. Strange, I thought, but even she should be able to financially capitalize on the greatness of her extremely gifted grandson. I mean wouldn’t you rather buy your hot dogs from the grandmother of the greatest hockey player to ever grace the ice? Don’t they taste better that way? However, to my horror, my sweet grandmother started hurling ketchup covered hot dogs, without the bun I might add, at my bare ass. All around the ice there was a trail of steaming hot dogs and ketchup. People were in hysterics and I looked like a chump.

As if the pressure of being the new starting right wing weren’t enough I was now having dreams about my sexual identity? Is this really happening? All the next day, game day, and still to this day, instead of playing the game of my life, I’m sitting there mentally punishing myself with the question, “is my grandmother trying to tell me that I’m a gay right wing?”

My Eyes

In the eighth grade I had to get glasses. I was for all intents and purposes, blind. You could have taken two of those clear glass restaurant ashtrays, wrapped a couple of black pipe cleaners around them and tied them to my face and I might have been able to see correctly. At the eye doctor, of course I opted for the douchiest pair I could find, black, metal rimmed glasses that with gray tinted lenses and made me look like a fourteen year old Russian porn star. You could have taken these glasses of mine outside and burned ants with them the lenses were so thick.

I got braces in the ninth grade to go along with the telescope fastened to my head which pushed me into a dork spiral that I didn’t recover from until I went to college. I still had the glasses in college but at least I had straight teeth. My mom told me that chicks dig straight teeth. Apparently even she knew I was a tard.

When I was 35 or so and had become accustomed to the burden of horrible vision, I came home from work and decided that I would get a little sun before dinner. It was one of those hot and steamy summer days like in the high 90’s and within 30 minutes, I was sick to the point of throwing up. I head inside to take a nap in the air-conditioning and wake up a half an hour later to absolutely perfect vision. I mean better than 20/20 vision like I’m an effing superhero or something. I, of course, am freaked out by the whole affair because I am certain that I have a giant tumor pressing against my optic nerve temporarily giving me this glorious vision. Clearly as the tumor grows, my vision will ebb back to virtual blindness but, by then, I won’t care because by then I will in the throes of death from a cripplingly painful form of eye cancer.

I go and see an eye doctor and tell him the whole scenario. Bear in mind that this guy is old, he has seen every eye issue known to man and probably fitted people with monocles before the advent of dual lens glasses, and he goes, “Hmm, not really sure what happened. Saw it once before but that guy died a few months later.” WTF!!! And I’m paying for this kind of help? It took this idiot twenty minutes of jamming lights and wind into my eyeball before I said, “Look man, be straight with me. This guy, did he die a slow and painful death wasting away to nothing as the cancer ate away at his body? I mean, I need to know what’s going to happen to me so stop fucking around with my eye and finish your stupid story!!”

Let me first say that I don’t think eye doctors are used to being spoken to like this but he literally just told me that the only person he’s ever seen self-heal their eye in his 150 or however many year career died and I was inconsolable. “I mean, how can you be so flippant about this? You just told me I have head cancer and all you keep doing is shoving that pen thing in my eye!”

Looking up from his glasses, he goes, “Who that guy? Oh his wife’s boyfriend ran him over with the car. Dead before he hit the pavement”

Random Thoughts – Is it a Conway Twitty song or a porno movie title?

Conway Twitty Song Or Porno Movie Title?

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the musical stylings of, one, Mr. Conway Twitty but he was a pretty big deal in the country music business way back when. You might also recognize the name from the many Family Guy episodes where they headline some of his more popular ballads. I’ve always wondered if they’re making fun of him or if they’re serious fans, can’t tell which.

When I was a kid there was a television program called Hee-Haw, sort of a gritter variety show, and Conway Twitty was a frequent and popular guest. He was gross with some seriously crooked, brown country teeth, which probably explains why he never smiled, but women loved him and men wanted to be him, just like Apollo Creed. I appreciate people with bad teeth who go to the trouble of disguising it from me, mostly by not smiling or by covering their disfigured, brown, little niblits when they laugh. The British don’t care. Their teeth look like a broken bicycle chain and haven’t a thought in the world of covering it up.

My grandparents were country music fans, more specifically bluegrass, and they liked to watch Hee-Haw. I remember being over there one evening, either Saturday or Sunday, can’t remember which night it was on and really didn’t think it was worth the effort to look it up, but Conway was on and I had to be quiet so my grandmother could listen to him croon. Like I said, chicks dug him. I say “dug” him because he’s dead now.

My buddy Scott and I tried to make a run of liking old school country music a few months ago as I already had an affinity for George Jones and Lyle Lovett. I can get into any kind of music as long as it’s good. My theory with regard to music is, good is good no matter what genre it is. It’s a simple theory from a simple man. We settled on starting off with Conway Twitty because I remember him purveying records on television twenty years back and figured that he must be good because of that plus he had an amazing head of hair. We also liked his “eff you” smirk that he used on every album cover. He was clearly implying, “yeah, I know I’m a douche but I get laid every time the wind blows and you’re a big giant loser.”

Our obsession carried into Scott going to some effort to draw Twitty style hair on a few of our friends. This is Shane Murphy sporting Conway’s flowing locks. Shane is normally purposely bald but has the “eff you” look on his face because he’s posing for a picture at work. Work is the worst place smile, no one is happy.

shane twittyconway twotty

We fired up Spotify and just let Conway go at it. I must say, it was just dreadful. It was one of those times where, if it continued much longer, you would just opt for death instead of this.

I also sensed an overpowering feeling of being less of a man in comparison to this titan of country music and I also noticed that I was having a hard time distinguishing his rather graphic song titles from what could be titles of porno movies. Who did this guy think he was!?

So I figured we could play a little game. The challenge is simple, guess whether the title is a Conway Twitty song or the title of a porno movie. The answers will be provided at the end so keep close track of your answers.

“How Much More Can She Stand”

I know, right? You thought this was going to be easy but this guy didn’t sing your typical “down in the dumps because my girl left me and the law found my still” kind of country music. Maybe this is a song describing how his poor wife, Mrs. Conway Twitty, can’t stand his philandering ways any longer because, let’s face it, this guy was probably banging everything that moved. Of course this could also be the title of some underground, gang bang, snuff film.

“You’ve Never Been This Far Before”

Two choices here. Is this one of those porno movies where the girl is barely eighteen and babysitting for some giant creeper? Typically the wife drank too much at the party, collapsed in bed and now he can’t drive the poor girl home because there’s a bad storm outside so he decides to, for all intents and purposes, rape her. Or is it an inspirational Conway Twitty song about the first time he’d ever been out of his two bit coal mining town, Jawharp, Mississippi, breaking the shackles of his abusive pappy and hitchhiking to Nashville to be the music star they told him he couldn’t be? Tough call, right?

“I Can’t Believe She Gives It All To Me”

Are you noticing a theme here? Are we talking about her paycheck, her love or her lady parts? Clearly, a stud like Conway would be interested in all three but a porno would focus only on her lady parts.

“I’d Just Love To Lay You Down”

Now, this one seems a bit easier to discern but let us not forget about that genre of porn made specifically for women and their more romantic side. The kind where the guy is actually good looking instead of some troglodytic retard with nothing more to offer than a giant unit. In chick porn, the hot parts revolve around going shopping, then stopping over at her mom’s for lunch. Once they get home, he cooks dinner and rubs her feet while she tells him why he sucks. Then he cuddles her till she goes to sleep while watching DVR’d episodes of The View. Of course, he’s a billionaire, spends frivolously on her and never talks except to compliment her.

She would like him to be more assertive like Christian in Shades of Grey but every time he opens his mouth she tells him to shut up and wishes he was dead. Sexual bliss!!

“Rest Your Love On Me”

I think this one comes down to exactly what is the definition of the word “love” in this title. Is it a euphemism for some guys junk or is Conway just getting weird here, the existential Conway like after he met Ravi Shankar, or was that The Beatles? How does one rest their love on another person? As if love was an elbow or a head.

Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night

I can see the box cover of this porno / album. A giant, ape like hillbilly in a red flannel shirt sporting a sweaty, farm stained John Deere hat, holding some drunken gritter chick, her name is Brittany or Tiffany and she has an illegitimate son named DJ and he has a blond rattail,  under his arm and a beer in the other. He’s hooting and hollering about blowing something up with illegal fireworks, gritters love fireworks, or at his rage at the loss of the Confederate flag and the legalization of gay marriage. In the movie / album, he drives an American pick-up truck with a gun rack, of course, and a bumper sticker that says something like, “If you weren’t born here, get the fuck out!” He has a caricature taped to the inside of his locker down at the mill of Uncle Sam strangling Bernie Sanders. She is surely dressed like Daisy Duke, is as dumb as a stump but loves sex.

Wait, am I talking about porn or Conway Twitty. I feel confused because from the description, I can’t tell. Good luck on that one.

“She’s Got A Single Thing On Her Mind”

Duh…

This should be a no-brainer as a porno but it could also quite easily be a Conway Twitty ballad about a hillbilly chick out for a night on the town, skulking around the local saloons looking for love. Of course, she’s seven months pregnant but still wearing skin tight sequined clothes, drinks like a fish and smokes like a factory and she and her “old man” have had an on-again / off–again thing going since she was fourteen.

He’s kicked her ass a few times where the law had to get involved. Charges were filed but she always drops them and blames herself. “It’s my fault. Zeke asked for the puffy Cheetos and I bought the crunchy ones. I deserved it. I loves him. He’s a good man who got pushed too far.”

“It Turns Me Inside Out”

Conway Twitty song or BBC porn, and not the British Broadcasting Network for those of you from Akron, shown from the woman’s point of view?

“Something Strange Got Into Her Last Night”

This may be my favorite of the bunch. I mean, even if this is a Conway Twitty ditty how can it possibly be innocent? Maybe Big CT, at last, had his lifelong cuckolding fantasy fulfilled watching the misses get railed then chose to celebrate in song. This could easily be a run of the mill porno as well, though it could serve as both.

“I’m Not Through Loving You Yet”

Conway Twitty tune or a nasty BDSM movie?

“I Vibrate”

How can this possibly be a country music song? Maybe it’s a parody on the Will Smith movie, I Robot? Porn parody is a pretty popular genre covering all kinds of mainstream subjects with sexual spoof.

Some of my favorites are Schindler’s Fist, Ally McFeel, Free Your Willy and Edward Penishands.

“I’ve Already Loved You In My Mind”

Solo girl porno or another classic by Conway? Either way, somebody is clearly masturbating here.

“Long Black Train”

Okay, this is the hardest, all puns aside, on the list. I am going to allow your imaginations to run with this one as my taking the time to lay out the obvious porn scenario is a waste of time and surely country music songsters love to sing about trains. Good luck.

Okay, get your responses ready because I’m about to reveal the much anticipated answers. Drumroll please……

Ha! They’re all Conway Twitty songs. I was just funnin’ with you. This guy was either a serious twisted in the head psychopath or was one of the most naïve people to ever walk the face of the earth. I mean, how he could have written a song titled “Long Black Train” and not thought to himself, “Self, maybe I need a different title to this cut because it sounds a lot like a hardcore porno movie.”

Was anybody who spent any amount of time around this guy like, “Dude, you need to seriously re-think some of these song titles. The one, “I Ain’t Done Loving You Yet” clearly reeks of kidnapping and violent rape.”

“Now I know why I lose chick to guys like you. It’s not just the uniforms, it’s the stories you tell. Lee Harvey! That time when you and your buddies tried to make it with that cow? I want to party with you wild man.”

Random Thoughts on Moles

Random Thoughts – Moles

While driving my youngest back to college we encounter a lot of what would be labeled as Rural America. My first choice would be to hit the accelerator and motor thru these “out yonder” places as quickly as possible, I’ve seen Deliverance and have lived in fear ever since of being made to squeal like a pig followed by a good molesting by a Mountain Cracker. It is usually my preference to avoid hillbilly anal rape but when you have to stop, you have to stop. Recently we broke for lunch at a place called The Farmstead which seemed apropos as the entire out of doors reeked of cow shit and rotting hay and by the time we’d walked from the car to The Farmstead I had inhaled a lethal portion of bovine remains and had thus virtually lost my appetite.

Doesn’t it always seem that a lot of these countrified restaurants have names like The Hillside Country Kitchen or Ma’s Dinner Bucket? The food is generally good if you’re looking for some “greezy” down home cooking but the local clientele can cast an eerie haze.

First though, before we can get a table, of course, we have to amble thru The Farmstead Country Gift Shoppe. Why do these hole in the wall places have to spell the word shop with an “e?” Shoppe? This isn’t merry old England it’s a podunk gift shop! Stop trying to fancy the place up with inappropriate spellings! It sucks in here and adding an “e” isn’t going to help.

This “vacuum of good taste” is loaded with candles of every flavor and paintings of churches with lights actually imbedded into the art itself. I thought to myself that I’d rather have a smear of vomit on my wall rather than this electric starving artist rendering. They also had a collection of wall hangings painted on recycled barn wood with colloquial sayings. One in particular caught my attention. It said, “My friends always come in my back door.” A nice sentiment, I suppose, if taken at innocent face value but to me, with my corrupted mind, I wondered exactly what kinds of friends one has out in the boonies and what they expect to be doing to you and your “backdoor.”

Anyway, I noticed amongst our fellow diners, a “farmer type” having dinner with his wife. She seemed obsequious in the kind of way that a misogynist Fox News viewer, which this guy clearly was, would expect his wife to behave, head down and quiet. Donning his suspenders, dirty boots and the obligatory John Deere hat with an American flag embroidered on it, I surmised that this is their big night out on the “town.” “Whoopee! I’ve been waiting for this pattie melt all week Zeb.”

Near the middle of the room, there’s a family of five that have thrown on the feedbag and I hear them referencing one of their table mates as “Taterhead.” For all I know, Taterhead is a common nickname in these here parts but what was rather distressing was that this Taterhead fella was in a motorized wheelchair. It made me wonder, did they call him Taterhead before he was immobilized or is that moniker based on what happened to him in the accident?  Taterhead, as a nickname, seems easier to get comfortable with if it came before the crippling.

I amble up to settle my bill, I swear this is about moles, and notice that the Taterhead family is ahead of me in line. As if it wasn’t bad enough that they call this poor crippled soul Taterhead, he is now paying the bill for the entire mob of bucolic mongoloids to chants of “Taterhead, Taterhead.” “Look at Taterhead paying a bill for once.” “Taterhead finally got his check. Look at Taterhead, the big spender.” I was aghast.

So, let me get this straight, this guy, Taterhead, is buying your dinner, albeit dinner at The Farmstead, and you’re now ripping him for his generosity? Surely Taterhead was afraid that his family would be “coming in his back door” and wisely ponied up before it all went down. I wanted to say, mother f-er, pay for your own food!

Who I perceived to be Taterhead’s mom was also in on the proceedings, which leads me to my mole theme. She was dressed to the nines, all in purple. This is a big night on the town for goodness sake! It was the kind of outfit that you see packaged in the cellophane bag at your local discount store, complete with matching jewelry. She was a rustic goddess, no question. By that, I mean, she was gross. Overweight, short and her shoes didn’t fit to my satisfaction and she had a mole the size of a child’s head right in the middle of her face. I swear to God I saw it lustfully wink at me at one point. How do you not get this monstrosity cut off?!?! I don’t know if insurance pays for that sort of cosmetic surgery but, fuck, tie some dental floss around it and choke it off.

I had a mole on my shoulder that was grossing me and everyone else out and I went straight to where everyone should go for medical advice, the internet.

Writers note:

                Yeah, don’t go to the internet for medical advice.

I read that if I soak a Band-Aid in cider vinegar and tape it down over the mole that it would go away in a couple of days. Seemed like solid advice and it was free of co-pay, which is always appealing to me so I ran with it. Wouldn’t you know, three days later, having stopped the procedure because I was told that I stunk like rotting pickles, I was examining said mole and with a little prodding, it exploded all over the bathroom mirror. Viola!! Mole gone. Smelled pretty bad though.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, my mole was on my shoulder and I felt self-conscious enough to get rid of it yet some people, like Taterhead’s mom, have them plastered firmly in the middle of their face and see no reason to take extreme measures like taking the cider vinegar challenge.

In the old movies you see women who actually had mole dots painted on their faces as if that made them more attractive somehow. Madonna used to sport that look back in the 80’s. What kind of thinking was that? How about I sketch some eczema blemishes on my arm or maybe I could use my wife’s mascara and draw a pot belly and an infantile penis on myself. How hot would that be?

Goober says “hey” Andy.

Hey to Goober…