The Transformation of Giblet


Photo by Diane Arbus

I ran into my old friend Mooch at Whataburger a few days back. Many a fine friendship is based on the breaking of bread, ours is no different.

Standing in line to order, from the corner of my left eye, there he was, sitting in his usual booth by the window; head down, hands splayed on the table, palms prostrate as if he has lost his best hog.

Something was off. His bucket hat, the overalls, and the ever-present mustard stains on his denim shirt rang Mooch. Then, I noticed the absence of his everywhere buddy, little Giblet, the crusty Chiuaua that usually rides in a front mount baby sling, drawn tightly to his chest. I feared the worst, old Giblet is no more.

I took the opposite seat, clearing my throat to alert Mooch of my presence. Without looking up, Mooch muttered through clenched teeth, “Those rotten little bastards down in Austin, they ruined my Giblet.”

” Man, I’m so sorry Mooch, I had no idea Giblet had entered the realm,” being as conciliatory as possible.

He looked up, ” Giblet ain’t dead you moron, he ain’t Giblet no more, he’s now, Gabrielle, thanks to those little woke shits at that animal psycho place.” I’m thinking this will be one of his best stories yet, I need more.

Mooch took a swig from his Dr Pepper and began a lengthy explanation.

” A month ago, Gib started acting weird; wouldn’t eat his Wolf Brand Chili or watch his shows on Animal Planet. He stared out the window all day and paced the floor all night. Doc Barker over at the vet says Giblet has suffered a nervous breakdown, so we take him to this fancy clinic down in Austin. This doctor lady with green hair and a fishing tackle face says he needs to stay a few weeks for therapy and convalesce. We can check in on him via a remote camera in his suite, or do a “face call.” The first time we log on, he is laying on his Sterns and Foster bed watching Animal Planet, that’s a good sign. the next day, there is a Calico cat snuggled up to him and they’re watching “The View.” By the end of the week, he is watching the Food Network, CNN, MSNBC and now has a bunny rabbit and the cat hanging out in his suite. Mrs. Mooch and I jump in our truck and hi-tail it to Austin. I demand that they cough up my dog. After paying the stupifying bill, they bring old Gib out. He is wearing a wig and has pink toenails and false eyelashes. The doc says that Giblet has always felt to be a girl and has transitioned over to Gabrielle. He still has his junk, but that can be removed when he is ready. Mrs. Mooch has to restrain me from killing that sum-bitch doctor until the doc says the Government will give Gabrielle a check for 3 grand every month to help with expenses. What could I do? I bought Gabrielle a new Ford Pick up so she can ride around town in style.”

Another Friday At The Grocery Store And Beach Boy Gas


My wife had a small grocery list of a few things we forgot last week. So I accompanied her to our local Texas H.E.B. superstore here in Granbury, Texas, the “Best Historic Small Town” in the United States for the third straight year. Hell yeah! We bad-ass.

1883 filmed here for a week, and then around the countryside along the beautiful Brazos River and close to my house at the base of Comanche Peak. I could hear the gunfire and Indians whooping it up from my patio. I will never forgive Taylor Sheridan for killing off Elsa and Shea. Who does that kind of shit? I may never recover or be the same.

The shopping excursion was fruitful. Twenty-minuets of checking the list and dropping items into our “small basket.” The prices were up from last week, no doubt because of the cost of diesel fuel. I notice a few older folks buying dog food and powdered milk. Tears ran down their cheeks as they passed up the favorite foods and the Shiner beer. A young woman dressed in workout clothes looking like a Kardashian breezed by with a cart full of expensive meats and a case or two of wine. She paused to take a selfie in front of the flower aisle.

We arrive at the checkout. I’m thinking the few items in the basket might add up to 30 bucks, maybe a few more. Nothing special, just some veggies, milk, bread, a piece of meat.

Our effervescent checker scans everything with a smile. She is a teenager in high school with no real grasp of the reality of our world. She works and makes $15.00 bucks an hour. Good for her; at least she is working instead of mooching and bitching. I watch the screen, blah..blah…blah… it all adds up. Total bill; $ 74.00. The booty fills two cloth bags. I ask her to please check again. She does. The same amount flashes on the screen.

My wife says this is a good deal. I think we are now living in the Twilight Zone. Thirty minutes earlier, I paid $ 4.09. ( Beach Boy gas ) for regular fuel, and now this. I know the poor folks in Ukraine have it worse than we can ever imagine, but shit-fire folks. Did we move into an alternate universe when I was sleeping? I could be experiencing a continuing 1960s L.S.D. Flashback.

A year ago, before the “thing from the swamp” was sworn in, a large basket full of groceries could be had for $125 smackers.

The hunched-over old lady behind us is digging through her small change purse, hoping she has enough to cover the few items she has purchased.

What went wrong?

“Things That Keep Me Awake On A Sunday Night, But I Forgot To Write About Until Monday Night”


Jeez-al-mighty, the radicals have kicked Joe Bee to the curb. He is officially a useless old man that has outlived his pecker. Willie Nelson said it first, and he should know; he’s much older than JB and has access to better weed.

With Joe Bee soon to be in the memory care home, that cute dancing Latino congress girl from New York is now free to roam the hallowed halls of Congress and possibly the White House acting like Castro’s daughter while bossing everyone around. But, of course, Jill ( not a doctor) Biden doesn’t give a street rat’s ass if she does; she got Joe Bee to sign everything over to her, even Hunter’s laptop and collection of ancient Mayan crack pipes.

Since a handful of NFL games were canceled, ratings are up!

My wife and I thought we had the Omicron. Watery eyes, coughing, tearing up, a snotty nose, then we realized we were watching The Sound of Music. I’m better today.

Senator Manchin just bitch slapped the radical Democratic party. He saved the country, the economy, and every God-fearing citizen that lives here. Hats off to Mr. Manchin. The only thing that would be sweeter would be for him to sucker punch Pelosi while she’s drinking her Gin and Tonic ice cream float.

I visited our local on the square bookstore today; I purchased a Christmas gift for my wife. It’s a hometown place with a great assortment of the latest books, hot tea and biscuits, and friendly folks. The business was great, and the place was packed to the walls, and not one person was looking at their phone. Imagine that.

“What In The Hell Is Going On with The Salvation Army?”


Photo by Santa Claus

The Salvation Army, the one outfit I have relied on for the past 50 years to do the right thing, is now going full-blown BLM, Biden-loving butt-kissing wokie bullcrap. Those red kettle bell ringers outside of Walmart and Hobby Lobby can count on nothing from me and most likely a few hundred million other Americans. I regret that this Christmas season, I have already given around fifty dollars to these beggars, and there is no way to get it back. The holidays tend to bring the soured cream to the top of the milk fat. It’s a sad day.

The news is that the Salvation Army hates white people. Well, guess what Salvation Army, it’s the middle-class white folks that give to the organization that allows you to exist and to help others.

Have a Merry Christmas and kiss my non-donating rear.

Maybe Santa can fill your red kettle. Well, maybe the Dallas Cowboys can send a few wokie bucks your way. Morons.

Did I say too much?

“When The Absurdity Of It All Becomes Real”


I am not a fan of Walmart, but they do have the best prices on Christmas lights, so I suck it up and give them my money. The same lights at Home Depot are double what I pay at Wally World.

The parking lot was full, people streaming into both entrances.

There is a line in the personal scooter queue. Seems Walmart purchased new ones that are comfier and a bit faster. I notice that many of the riders are suspiciously fit and healthy; maybe just too tired to walk. One lady had her Chihuahua in the scooter basket; the dog seemed afraid, probably knows she can’t drive the thing. Finally, the Walmart starter gives the group the checkered flag, and they roar into the store.

I snag a basket and proceed to the Christmas Decor isle, which is about one-third of the store.

A family of 15 is fighting over which lights will look better, multi-colored or red. Arguing in Spanish and some English, as to not offend us Anglos, although I know most of what they are sputtering. They finally grabbed two dozen or so boxes of the lights I wanted. Bam… lights cleaned out. Mission aborted, done, canceled.

I ask a lady that seemed to be wandering around in a daze checking her cell phone. She wears a Walmart vest and name tag, so I assume she knows something. Wrong, she doesn’t know if there will be more lights or even more Christmas decorations once the shelves were empty. I get it, supply chain problems, or perhaps clueless employees. Take your pick. I settle for similar lights, but not the ones I needed.

Standing in line, five people are ahead of me and one is a woman with an overflowing basket of groceries. Mostly junk food items; chips, beer, Hostess cupcakes, frozen dinners, cookies, Mountain Dew, and Coke. That might explain why she is as broad as tall. Not one healthy item in her basket.

What the hell? This is the garden / Christmas decoration department, not the market. The poor checker, not used to scanning grocer items, is bumfuzzled and doing the best he can. The line grows longer, now about 15 people behind me. The checker is getting slower, people are getting irritated, low blood sugar is kicking in. Christmas decorations need to be installed; the hours are ticking away.

A smallish Asian lady is in front of me; she’s done with it, walks over to the grocery lady, and loses it. Arms waving, jabbering in Chinese, but I could be wrong. She has lights that need installing and glass balls that are growing mold. The grocery lady tells her to F..k off. The checker finishes her groceries and the 20 six-packs of Mountain Dew, then she reaches into her purse and proceeds to write a check. The checker boy panics. A check, who writes checks? It’s doubtful he’s ever seen one before. He calls for a manager. Things are getting growly. My arms are going numb from the 8 boxes of lights I am holding.

The line behind me is now up to about 30 bodies, some with full carts of Christmas decorations and whiny kids. One man about halfway back is carrying a sidearm, possibly a 9 MM. We open carry here in Texas, everybody has a hog on their hip, in their car, or hidden in their purse. He is scowling, not a happy shopper.

My turn arrives. I plop my lights onto the counter. Checker boy starts scanning. ” Wait a minuet here buddy,” I say. ” These lights are suppose to be $6.79 a box not $10.79.” He scans again, then checks his cell phone and scans with that.

” Nope, they are $10.97,” he replies. Well, holy crap, all this waiting and I am getting screwed. I tell him to keep the lights and walk out.

Exiting the Garden / Christmas Department, I pass by a guy sitting on a Home Depot bucket just outside the gate. He has a sign that reads, “Homeless, Anything Can Help.” His bucket has a few coins and maybe four dollars in bills. I drop in a fiver. He says thank you and God Bless.

I’m a sucker during the holiday season. Why not. I have more than a lot of folks, and a lot less than many, but I can afford a five-dollar bill.

He looks up, our eyes meet for a split second, so, I ask him his story; everybody has one.

His name is Ted. He’s a Vietnam vet, has some PTSD and alcohol problems, and his daughter won’t let him live with her and his grandchildren, so he and the small dog sitting beside him sleep behind Walmart or wherever. So, I give him another fiver for the pooch.

I am humbled for being such a winy assed old man over a few boxes of Christmas lights. I am inwardly embarrassed. I quietly ask God’s forgiveness, hoping he is listening today.

Before I leave, I tell Ted, that he might want to find another store, people shop at Walmart because they “don’t have any money.” He laughs and wishes me a Merry Christmas.

“A Texas Christmas Miracle Brisket”


After sixteen-year-old Tex Styles is inducted into “The Sons Of The Alamo Lodge,” and gets his big write-up in the Fort Worth Press and a shout-out on the Bobbi Wygant Television show, his status as a “wonder kid” champion griller is increased by ten-fold. So, naturally, everybody wants a piece of Tex, or at least a plate full of his Brisket and sausage.

 His face is on the cover of Bon Appetit magazine and Sports Illustrated, thanks to Dan Jenkins. The Michelin Travel Guide lists him as the top meat griller in America and gives him a five-star rating. Julia Childs is fuming mad. 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are Texas BBQ fans from way back. So, they send Tex an invite to prepare a meat feast at Buckingham Palace; the boy lives in high cotton and cold beer and has not yet graduated high school. 

Upon his graduation from Pascal High School in 1968, the Army drafts Tex and sends him to Viet Nam for a visit. His captain happens to be a Fort Worth boy who knows Tex’s hometown celebrity status, which, in turn, gets Tex a gig as the top generals’ chef. He won’t hold a rifle or fire a shot for his two-years tour. Instead, a smoker grill large enough for thirty steaks and ten briskets is his weapon. A color photograph of his boyhood grill instead of the usual Playboy fold-out hangs next to his cot. The general tells his men that he “loves the smell of smoking brisket in the morning.” Tex is an immediate rock star. 

Tex used his time in Vietnam wisely by learning exotic cooking techniques from the locals. 

For example, a shriveled up old Mama-San educated him on using “Vietnamese Death Peppers,” the hottest pepper in the world. If a man ate one whole, death would occur within twenty minutes, or so the Mama-San said. Tex nibbled a small end piece and was on fire for two days, unable to leave the barracks bathroom, so he figured she wasn’t bullshitting him. 

A month of experimentations with the “Death Pepper” resulted in an edible and survivable pepper sauce. Tex called it “Davy Crocketts Ass Canon,” since he is a “Son Of The Alamo” and all that. 

He found a local business in Siagon to bottle the product, and a local artist produced an excellent illustrated label for the bottle. It pictures Davy Crockett with his buckskin pants around his ankles, torching Mexican soldiers with a massive fiery flame shooting from his buttocks. In addition, the label said it’s a marinade, a pepper sauce, a medicinal elixir, and a hemorrhoid eradicator. All of this is true, so it’s bound to be a huge hit. 

In June 1972, Miss Piddle Sonjair was a nineteen-year-old winner of the “Miss Chigger Bayou Louisiana” contest. Although she is not the prettiest girl entered, she is the only one with a complete set of straight white teeth, no baby bump, and doesn’t have a snot-nose kid hanging off her hip, making her the popular winner via unanimous decision.   

As the newly crowned “Miss Chigger Bayou,” Piddle Sonjair makes her appearance at the “Shreveport Annual Crawfish, Sausage and Meat Smoking Festival,” where she meets handsome Tex Styles as she awards him the winner’s trophy. 

She is bug-eyed- shaky-legged enamored with his triple-crusty-peppered Angus brisket and his ten-alarm jalapeno wild boar sausage smothered in his secret chipmunk sauce. 

Marriage follows a few months later, then two sons and two daughters round out the Styles family. So naturally, all the kids take to grilling and smoking, just like dear old Dad.  

Tex, Piddle, and the children travel the country in their two custom tour bus’s, pulling a 30-foot smoker and grill for the next twenty years. They smoke, grill, and serve the best meats in the south, winning competitions and elevating Tex to legendary status in the grilling world. 

His Fort Worth boyhood home, listed in the state historic register, is a traffic-jamming tourist attraction. His first Weber grill is cast in bronze and displayed at Will Rogers Auditorium during the “Fat Stock Show.” Men worldwide come and pay homage to “the masters,” sacred covenant. It’s a moving sight to see grown-assed men weep while kneeling and touching the small grill. It’s one of the top tourist attractions in the south. 

Tex is now seventy-two and retired from competitive cooking. The only folks that get a Styles brisket and fixin’s are his select clientele of fifty-plus years and Father Frank, the priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Repentance church of which Tex and Piddle are members in good standing. He has more money than King Faruk, a large home on Lake Granbury, and a cabin in Ruidoso, New Mexico, so he’s in the cooking game for fun. 

Ten days before Christmas, Tex gets a call from his old pal Willie “the Red Headed Stranger,” Nelson. 

Willie, his family, his band, their families, and numerous relatives and hangers-on have planned a “Santa Claus Pick’in and Grinn’in Christmas” shin-dig at Willies Dripping Springs ranch. Willie has a hankering for a Tex Styles holiday meat feast with all of Miss Piddle’s fancy fixins’.

Tex and Willie exchange the usual howd’ys, and then Willie drops his order. 

Expecting around two-hundred-seventy-five people and assorted animals at the shin-dig, Willie needs enough food to satisfy a herd with possible pot munchies and other self-induced disorders. 

Willie’s list is a booger bear, and Tex isn’t sure if he and Piddle can fulfill it in time, so he calls in his two sons and a couple of grandkids for backup. 

Willie needs 38 each of Tex’s 30-pound “Goodnight Irene Ranch Briskets,” 45 each of West Texas spoon-fed bacon wrapped-beer can pork butts, 35 pounds of San Saba wild pig sausage, and 59 educated and certified free-range smoked chickens, with documentation attached. 

All of the sides and fixin’s, are Piddles forte’, and will consist of 175 pounds of “Jacksboro Highway Red Skinned Tater Salad”, 175 pounds of “O.B. Jauns Canobi-Oil Mexican Macaroni Salad”, 120 pounds of high octane Shiner Bock Ranch Style beans, 235 pounds of Piddles special “Nanner Pudding,” 50 gallons of Tex’s secret sweet n’ spicy Chipmunk sauce, and one bottle of ” Davy Crocketts Ass Cannon” hot sauce.

Finally, to wash’er down, 135 gallons of Tex’s unique Dr. Pepper CBD oil-infused sweet tea and 5 commercial coffee urns of Dunkin Donuts Breakfast Blend coffee. The order is too big to ship, so Tex’s fifth grandson and granddaughter will deliver it to the ranch in the Styles family food truck. Money is not a worry for Willie, so he doesn’t discuss cost, which rounds out to be about $18,000 without taxes and tips. 

Tex fires up his 30-foot trailer-mounted smoker and three custom-made “Styles Grills.” The next morning. Grandson number 3 unloads a pickup bed full of Mesquite, Peach, and Oak firewood purchased from the “Little Bobs” wood co-op in Eastwood, Texas. Tex won’t use wood or charcoal that doesn’t come from West of Fort Worth; if he suspects it may have come from Dallas or anywhere East of there, he throws it out. He is a Fort Worth boy to a fault.

At midnight, Tex pulls a tester brisket and carts it into the kitchen for a “slice and chew,” checking for tenderness, aroma, and flavor. 

When he pulls back the foil wrap, he gasps and stumbles a few steps backward. Piddle hears this and bolts to the kitchen, where she finds a “white as a ghost” Tex sitting in a chair. Thinking he is having “the big one,” she dials 911, but Tex stops the call, assuring her he is alright. 

He asks Piddle to join him next to the Brisket, telling her to describe what she sees. After a few seconds, she lets out a hound-dog yelp and crosses herself. 

There, on the kitchen counter, resting in a tin-foil boat of succulent juices, sits a 20-pound brisket perfectly shaped like the Virgin Mary holding her baby Jesus. The contour of the torso, the flowing robe, her angelic face, and the little baby in her arms look as if a great master had carved that hunk of beef. Piddle gets all weepy-eyed and announces that this is a “Christmas Miracle Brisket.” Tex takes a picture with his phone and sends it to Father Frank, telling him to get over here now; we may have a miracle on our hands. 

An hour later, Father Frank and two Nuns from the rectory view the miracle meat in the kitchen. 

Father Frank is skeptical; these things usually happen in Latin America and tend to be the face of Jesus on a tortilla or a piece of burnt toast, not a 20-pound hunk of beef brisket.  

The two Nuns intensely study the Brisket for a good thirty minutes. Then, finally, sister Mary and Sister Madgealyn, renowned experts in miracles of all things holy, inform Father Frank that this is the real deal and he should contact the Vatican, stat. So Father Frank dials the Popes’ secure red phone hotline. The Holy Father answers. 

The conversation is in Latin and lasts for a few minutes. Then, finally, a bit shook, the good Father hangs up and tells Tex that the Vatican’s special investigation team will arrive tomorrow afternoon and to please hire armed guards to protect the miracle meat. Tex agrees. 

Father Frank asks Tex if he might take a tiny slice of the useless burned fat home for religious reasons. Tex cuts a sliver from the back of the meat and wraps it in foil. The nuns, Father Frank, and the miracle sliver depart.

The following day is Sunday, and Tex and Piddle are too busy cooking to attend services. Then, around 1 PM, Father Frank calls Tex and tells him that “we have got a problem.” 

 Seems that the good Father couldn’t resist a tiny taste of the burned miracle fat before bedtime; he said it was the most Heavenly thing he had ever put into his mouth. 

When Father Frank stared into the bathroom mirror this morning, he thought he had died and gone to Heaven. But he was still here, and, instead of a 70-year-old white-haired man in the mirror, a younger version of himself with thick jet black hair and perfect white teeth stared back. His hemorrhoids are gone, his gout is healed, his vision is excellent, his knee’s and hips don’t hurt, he took a dump like a big dog, his skin is as smooth as a baby’s bald head, and he has a woody so hard a cat couldn’t scratch it. This miracle brisket is the real deal for sure. But, Tex senses there is more to the Father’s explanation. So, he presses him for the rest. 

Father Frank comes clean and begins to weep like a teenage girl having her period, telling Tex that the experience is a flat-out-miracle, and he was compelled by the all-mighty to share it with his congregation during mass this morning. So, he told them the whole beautiful story. Tex murmured, sum-bitch, and hung up the phone. 

Before Tex can get really good and pissed at the good Father, his buddy down the street, Mooch, calls and tells Tex to check his front lawn. “It ain’t good little buddy,” was all Mooch said. News travels like wildfire in a small town, especially if it involves religion.  

A hundred or more people sit, lay, stand or take up space in wheelchairs, hospital gurneys, and walkers on the front lawn. The overflow takes up his neighbors front yard. 

The block is a traffic jam, and two news trucks from Fort Worth are parked in his driveway, antenna raised and going live. Last night, the two Nuns accompanying Father Frank are now standing on Tex’s front porch, signing autographs and giving fake communion using Goldfish crackers and Sunny Delite grape drink instead of sacraments. The healing circus just hit town.

Two police officers show up. They demand to see Tex’s permit for a gathering of over fifty people and organizing an outside church service. Tex explains there is no church service, but the two nuns giving fake communion show otherwise. The cops write Tex a few tickets and leave. 

As soon as the cops depart, the Vatican Special Forces arrive. 

Five burly boys in black Georgio Armani suits wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses and sporty Italian Fedoras force themselves into the house. So, naturally, they want the miracle meat. Two black limos with fender flags are parked in front of Tex’s house. The news folks go apocalyptic. Father Frank is curbside giving a live interview to Vatican Television News. It has officially hit the fan.

The main burly boy produces a document printed on expensive Vatican parchment saying that “All Miracles involving God, Jesus, The Virgin Mary, or any relative or likeness thereof on an article of food is the sole property of the Pope and the Catholic Church LLC.” It’s signed by the Pope and has a small picture of him glued next to his signature. 

Tex claims bullshit and tells the Pope’s boys to hit the road. Piddle stands in the kitchen doorway, 9mm in hand. Her look says, “don’t mess with a Coon-Ass gal this Brisket ain’t leaving Granbury, Texas.” 

The Vatican boys, muttering select Italian curse words, leave in a huff. Tex knows what he is meant to do with the Miracle Brisket. 

Willie Nelson sees the news coverage down in Austin and calls Tex on his cell phone. ” I sure could use some of that Miracle Brisket when you deliver my order. The old lumbago and prostate cancer has been acting up and it hurts so bad I can hardly roll a joint or pack my pipe. I’ll be glad to donate a couple of hundred grand to any charity you choose.” Tex says he will send a piece if there is any left. Willie’s word is as good as gold. 

Father Frank rushes into the house, arms waving, screaming like a fainting goat. ” What in God’s name have you done you backwoods cow cooking toothless hillbilly? I’m ruined!” 

It seems the good Father made a sleazy back door deal with the His Popeness for a secret trip to the Vatican and a fancy appointment to some committee if he delivered the Miracle Brisket to Rome. So, Tex tells the good Father, in a non to gentle way, that the meat is staying in Granbury and will do whatever good it can here at home.  

Father Frank yells, ” you double dog crossing sum-bitch,” grabs the two nuns, and they are history. Tex tells them, “don’t let the door hit you in the ass.” He had a feeling that Father Frank was never as holy as he pretended to be, and the nuns were probably ex-hookers.

Tex goes to the kitchen, lays the meat on a cutting board, and slices the Miracle Brisket into tiny slivers, wrapping each morsel in a square of tin foil. He and Piddle then distribute the bites to every person in their front yard that is ill or has an apparent medical condition. He also gives a nibble to his fifteen-year-old dog, McMurtry.

Tex then sends his two sons, his two daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters along with himself and Piddle to every nursing home, mission, physician’s office, memory care facility, hospice, veterinary clinic, and hospital in town with pieces of the Miracle Brisket. 

Tex saves the last sliver for Willie. 

“Armadillo Dream Wrecker”


A few days ago I approached an Armadillo that was nosing around in my backyard. Having lived here in the country for over two years, it’s the first one I’ve seen on my property.

Last night, the little tank dug up a few plants and excavated a two-foot deep hole in one of my flower beds, then rooted around in my lawn, leaving nose holes like Swiss cheese. I am not pleased with nature at this time. But, I am respectful of nature and the animals that live around me. I still like Armadillos, but barely.

A trip to Home Depot arms me with a sure-fire critter deterrent. A shaker full of granules that resembles the classic Twenty Mule Team Borax; the product mined in Death Valley and was the backdrop for a great western television show in the 1950s starring Ronald Reagan. I also picked up a few shakers of Cayenne Pepper powder for an added kick; Dillers hate pepper powder.

Two hours later, I am gagging from the Cayenne Pepper powder that somehow got up my nose and in my eyes, which are blood red and producing copious amounts of tears, along with streams of red snot flowing from my burning nose. So this is what it was like to be gassed by the Krauts in WWI? Not a shot fired, and the little critter is kicking my butt.

My trap is set; the war is on. The chemical attack is imminent. My battle plan had better work because I am faring worse than the critter. I think for a moment that my Savage 12 gauge might be a better option, but then I would need to console my wife, then plan a funeral and say a few words, possibly invite a few neighbors over for the service and such, so I will stick with the deterrents for now.

01200 rolls around and my eyes are open; no sleep or sweet dreams for me. I roll out of bed, disarm my security system and sneak onto the patio, LED lantern in hand. I smell a skunk and hear frogs croaking; a rustle in the woods behind my shed startles me; it could be Sasquatch, or worse, a Haitian invader. We have night snakes around here; Copperheads and rattlers like to bite, so I am careful where I step in the grass. No Diller to be seen. No evidence of digging as of yet, but I will launch another reconnaissance mission around 3 AM. Wish me luck.

“Natures Little Excavator Pays A Visit”


Photo by Marlin Perkins

We have critters in Texas; lots of them, and they all have the potential to do damage to our landscape in one way or another. My favorite demo-critter is the pugnacious determined Armadillo. Nature’s natural tank.

Thanks to the cowboy-hippies down in Austin during the 70s, the “Diller” is now our state animal. I can’t drink a Lone Star beer without thinking of the Armadillo World Headquarters and all the great music played there.

My wife calls me to our back door this afternoon with a ” lookey here at this, there’s a diller in our back yard.”

Well, I’ll be sprayed in Unicorn piss, rolled in fairy dust, and made into a Tinkerbell biscuit, it is one, and in the daylight, which is unusual since they are known to be nocturnal. Covid has thrown nature’s time clock off by a few hundred hours, so I presume our little visitor is Covid bug disoriented or just oblivious.

We watch him for a while as he travels around our lawn, nose down, sniffing for grubs, of which there are none because I murdered them all with poison a few months back. There is nothing quite as satisfying to a gardener, as the screams of grub worms dying a painful death. The same goes for fire ants, armyworms, and mosquitos.

The little guy is not digging up my lawn so I let him be. After a while, I step outside and approach him. He is too busy searching to notice me, and I walk within a few feet of him, fully expecting a quick exit. Nope, not interested in my presence, too busy thinking about bugs and stuff. He lifts his head, and we briefly make eye contact, human and critter mind-meld type of contact. I catch a glint in his beady little eye that says, ” hey man, it’s cool, I’m just shopping.”

After a while, he meanders over to a flower bed and exits through a stand of Canna Lillys. All of God’s creatures got to eat too.

“19 Holes With Dirty Harry”


How’s that for a landing! I have never flown a plane in my whole life, but my newly-minted friend, Sir Richard Branson, let me land one of his private jets.

This adventure started last week when my wife and I were feeling “down in the mouth” because all our friends were posting their vacations on Facebook, and here we are, stuck in Granbury.

My wife loves to enter stupid contests found in the back of her trashy movie star magazines, so she entered one that promised lunch with Sir Richard Branson. Who knew that she would win the darn thing.

A week later, out of the blue, Sir Richard sent us an email saying he would be stopping in Dallas on his way to Carmel, California, and if we weren’t busy, would we like to fly out with him for a round of golf and a spot of lunch at Pebble Beach. Well, hell ya!

A few days later, we are on Sir Richards jet heading to the West coast and dining on Picasso Pawns and ice-cold Chardonnay at 30,000 feet. We wondered what all the poor people were doing.

Sir Richard is a gambler and a jokester, so he bet me a fifty spot that I couldn’t land his private jet. Having consumed an entire bottle of cold wine and feeling a bit cocky, I took the bet. It was a rough-assed landing, giving the pilot a heart attack after we slid off the runway, but it was great fun.

Unfortunately, Sir Richard didn’t have any cash, so he gave me his Rolex instead. What a pal!

Arriving at Pebble Beach Golf Club, Sir Richard mentioned that his good buddy Clint Eastwood would be making up our fourth. My wife was so excited she fainted on the spot. Sir Richard brought her around with a few sips of expensive chardonnay, and a pre-paid Platinum Visa Card waved under her nose.

Clint and Sir Richard have more money than Moses and have a running bet of twenty-thousand a hole. We passed on their game but agreed to keep their score, so no one cheated.

Clint had Sir Richard down by two until he missed a critical par putt on 16 and posted a double-bogy.

Being Dirty Harry and all, Clint didn’t take that well, so he pulled a 44 Magnum from his golf bag and blasted his ball into powder, leaving a large crater in the green. ” Take that you little white shit,” he mumbled. He then turned to us and said, “its okay, I own the course.” My wife and I were a bit unnerved but managed to finish the round. Sir Richard knew better than to piss off Dirty Harry, so he let Clint win. It was chump-change to him.

After the game, we made our way to the grill and were seated in Clint’s special booth. He told the waiter to bring four “Dirty Harry Specials,” which consisted of a chili-cheese hot dog with extra onions, San Francisco Curley Fries, and a large glass of Colt 45 Malt Liquor. Yum-Yum, fine dining it was.

Finished with our meal and preparing to leave, we noticed a commotion at the bar, and Clint, being the owner, intervened.

It seems a group of hipster golfers were pissing about their outrageous bar bill and didn’t want to pay up.

Clint grabbed the nearest one and threw him to the polished pine floor. Then, being Dirty Harry and all, he produced his 44 Magnum from his jacket, pointed it at the hipster’s face, and uttered, ” this is the most powerful handgun in the world and it will blow your head clean off. Now in all this excitement, I forgot how many bullets I fired. Was it five or six? Well do you feel lucky, punk?”

Too afraid to move, we stood there shaking, we are sure that there would be a shooting all over a bar bill. Sir Richard offered to pay the tab, but Clint would hear non of it.

Clint got all “beady eyed” and, in his famous Dirty Harry voice, said to the hipster, “Well, do you feel lucky… punk?” The young man, fearing for his life, answered, ” I gots to know.”

Clint then fired a shot into the ceiling, sending everyone in the grill running for the door. He started laughing, as were the hipsters and the guy on the ground. It seems he pulls this act about once a month, just for fun.

It was a great trip, and Clint gave us some coupons for a free game at Pebble.

When Sir Richard dropped us off at Love Field, he asked if we might like to take a little trip with him and some of his mates into outer space. It pays to know the right people.

“Where’s The Dress?”


I met up with my old pal Mooch for lunch at the local Whataburger a few days ago; corner booth by the west window, same as always for at least ten years now. Giblet, his foul tempered chihuahua was nestled into his chest mount baby sling. A large colorful patch on the sling read; “Service and Emotional Support Animal.” I never knew that? What in the world could Giblet do except bite your fingers trying to steal french fries and crap in the carrier.

We ordered our burgers, said our howdy’s and made small talk until the meal arrived. Mooch was quiet except for smacking his double meat burger. I knew he was troubled about something.

About half-way through the meal, Mooch blurted out, “my grandson is a sissy-boy.”

I know his grandson Willie quite well, so this surprised the hell out of me. The kid is 6 ft. 240 pounds of Texas football playing whoop-ass. All district line-backer all 4 years at Granbury High School and the fastest man on the track team. Mooch must be on drugs or suffering from early onset “Old-timers.”

I said, ” come on Mooch, the kid is all testosterone and muscle and will be playing football for some Big 10 university next year.”

“Nope” he says. “He’s a girly-man, just like that Boy George dude back in the 80s. My son Harry called me yesterday with the news. Willie is transitioning into a girl named Sadie Sue. Harry said he’s wearing a blonde wig, dresses, high-heel shoes, makeup and big fake titties. He still has his Johnson, so that’s a good thing, but he said he is a girl now. I should have noticed something was amiss when he sent the AR 15 rifle I bought him for Christmas back to me with a note that said, “no thanks, guns or for mean boys.” His Grandma is so freaked out, she took a handful of Valium and took to her bed.”

I know nothing of this subject, but offered Mooch a coddled word, “I know this is a shock, but is there anything positive that can come of this. You think it’s just a fad or a phase?”

Mooch smiled and said, “Well there is one good thing, he got a full-ride scholarship to the University of Oregon, so at least he will get a good education.”

“Well that’s good news indeed. I’m sure he will be a stellar line-backer for the football team,” I say.

Mooch wiped a tear from his watery old eye and said, “not football buddy, he’s on the girls track team.” And with that, Giblet bit Mooch’s hand trying to get the last french-fry.

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