Mobile, Alabama There’s nothing that will make me homesick for the South quicker than a few pictures or a good story. I have a great love for the people in the deep South. I seized the opportunity to work with a number of true Southerners and gathered enough material to fill a book of short stories. I’ve neither scratched my head so much nor laughed so hard as I did while working with this “breed” of people. And they are a breed. Especially the ones who found their way under my guidance. I’m not sure if my upper management wanted to sink me or if they actually thought I could do something with some of these characters. Nonetheless, I seemed to end up with the most lively, 100% of whom were bussed in from Northern counties in the state, and all of whom brought with them daily woes of their extended families.
When I first read this story, a couple a days ago, I saw “Prichard man” and immediately looked at the name of the accused to see if 1.) he’d been employed by us or 2.) he was the cousin/nephew/son/husband of someone we employed. I was sort of disappointed to find his name was not familiar and extremely disappointed I’ve lost contact with my two favorite ladies down there so I could get their take on what transpired. I’m positive they know someone who’s given them the inside story here and I can almost see and hear Miss Mack standing there with her hand on her hip, rolling those eyes back in her head as she’s relaying the gory details. “Shit girl, that boy done dug his uncle’s eyes out. One at a time, girl. Dirtied up that spoon and everything. I ain’t eating off their shit no more.” (more…)
Calvert City, Kentucky The rigors of being a mother of two small children can prove to be extremely trying at times. A good parent sucks up the stress, doesn’t abuse the children in any way, and starts a countdown until bedtime; the time for peace and quiet, the time to relax and melt the stress right off. And what better way to achieve it than letting Calgon take you to some lushly green paradise that happens to have a bathtub plopped down at the perfect location. This story takes place in Kentucky, though. A place not exactly known for people with refined tastes or imaginations. So let’s substitute transporting to Costa Rica for … say … Fort Campbell. And let’s substitute the soothing nature of dissolved bath salts in water to say … snorting them for a quicker transformation. Let’s keep the two children in there for some added excitement. No story is quite so exciting if you don’t have a couple of munchkins to keep the hallucinations real. (more…)
Greenville, Mississippi One of my greatest accomplishments was impressing a couple of black women with my culinary prowess in the deep South. Believe me, it’s a moment I’ll not forget for quite some time. These women took everything they did seriously, especially cooking. I’d spent months attempting to prove my worth as a supervisor with these two which was no easy task; I’d never folded a fitted sheet properly (strike one) and I’d never put a grit or a collard green in my mouth (strikes two – ten). So when it came to a potluck dinner, I kept my contribution a top secret thinking if it were a complete failure, I could ditch it and go to Piggly Wiggly or Winn Dixie and pick up a nice dessert. But I persevered and not only did I win respect in the kitchen, they shared a few tips in preparing the true Southern delicacies. I listened enthusiastically. I knew I’d never use a single one of them – I didn’t care for grits – I loathed collard and turnip greens – but the manner in which they spoke displayed sheer unadulterated passion for their time in the kitchen. As one would start to share, the other would nod in agreement and sing praises to the Lord. I learned how prideful the true Southern women were about their food and I learned a true meal is something that cannot be thrown together on a whim. It’s worked for, it’s lovingly prepared, and it takes a great deal of time. Which leads me to Terrie Robinson. As I write, I’m imagining the conversation I’d be having with Miss Mackannie and Miss Hannah regarding Robinson’s culinary contribution. I think it’s safe to say these ladies had cooked up just about everything under the sun but it’s equally safe to say I don’t think they’d ever cooked up one of their children. (more…)
Columbus, Ohio What in the world was she doing there? Did she have a key or pick the lock? Was the door even locked? What right does a relative have to just walk on in an apartment occupied by someone else and just take charge? If I were Fairrin Moss, I’d be highly ticked off at my sister. Not only did she invade Fairrin’s home, she found that pesky little 3-year-old locked safely away in the closet. (more…)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Three yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.
His obituary reads as follows:
Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape. Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering.A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet. C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice). C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit. (more…)
Sheboygan, Wisconsin Here is a little gem of a story that caught the eye of the staff here at Crime Crawlers. TG thought it would be the perfect piece for me to get back into the groove. The opening line of the source story in the Sheboygan Press immediately grabbed my attention and imagination by stating the charge Mrs. Lueders is being held on: felony mayhem. Oh yeah – mayhem. And not just your garden variety mayhem, but the felony kind. No more enticement is necessary, I’m hooked. So just what kind of bat-shit crazy behavior does a lady need to engage in to earn such a bad-assed charge as that? Seems it all started in the toilet…