The Rich, Rich Soil of Indiana



One of my favorite songs in the world is David Olney’s “Jerusalem Tomorrow,” as recorded by EmmyLou Harris.  It begins:

Man you should have seen me way back then.

I could tell a tale, I could make it spin.

I fear you will be tempted to think I’m spinning a tale here, and in many ways I wish I were, but what I’m about to convey is the Lord’s truth.  It was reported to me by not just one impeccable source, but by three.

A woman I know (I’ll call her Zoolander) was the office manager of a hospital clinic that performed only breast procedures:  annual exams, biopsies, lumpectomies, and mammograms.  The hospital was in a small city surrounded by an impoverished rural area.  Not HOPELESSLY impoverished, more like the socio-economic class that really enjoys a trip to the Wal-Mart, and families who watch television from the time they awaken until they fall asleep in front of it, their t-shirts often dusted with bright orange Cheeto dust.  Without being judgmental about these families, Western science is right on the verge of discovering a link between obesity and decades of inertia.  I mean, they’re really really close to seeing a connection.

After a couple years, Zoolander noticed a trend among the clientele.  The heavier the woman, the more lumbering her gate, the more limited her vocabulary, the less likely she was to have ever had appropriate medical care, even if she had good health insurance.  Zoo drew the unfortunate conclusion that some people are the opposite of bright.  Indeed, they might be called just hopelessly stupid.

Such was patient Lollygag.  Lolly wandered into the clinic one day without an appointment and said, in something approximating the King’s English, “Mm sumpin wrong wiv it.”  Zoolander, always cool and professional, said, “Pardon me?”  Lollygag pointed in the general direction of her chest, which was at one with her seven chins and her mid-section, a mid-section so large it might have doubled as a gazebo.  “Something is wrong with one of your breasts?”  Zoolander spoke quietly, believing the woman might be painfully shy, rather than just a barely sentient chunk of moss.  Lollygag nodded.

Arrangements were hastily made, as Zoo believed there must be something quite wrong to have brought Lolly all the way into town.  She had even gotten dressed, wearing what must have been her best bright yellow polyester sweat pants and an enormous stained sweatshirt that proclaimed that Jesus had died for her.  Zoo commented to me later that the shirt should have said, “Jesus died BECAUSE of me.” 

Lollygag was escorted back to the changing room, where she demonstrated a bit of animation, insisting that she wanted two gowns, and the doctor would be allowed to look at ONE area and there would be no funny stuff.  It came out like this, “One fron and nudder back, and tie TITE and ain’t gone look in my pants so fergit it.”  The nurse helping with the procedure assured her that no one would be looking in Lolly’s pants; indeed, to do so would risk not only a tragic loss of sight but intractable madness.  Lolly was then escorted to the examination room and for some time, there was silence.

After about fifteen minutes, the doctor (I’ll call him Dr. Regret) walked out into the office with a look on his face that bespoke terror.  His pallor was a sickly green.  His eyes had what we call in Indiana the wild-eyed cow.  When he tried to speak, he stuttered.  Zoolander feared he might be having a series of mini-strokes, and asked if he needed to sit down.  He said he simply had to talk to someone.  He had to tell someone what he had seen.  If he kept it inside a moment longer, his very sanity was at risk.  This is the story he told:

Lollygag was a sitter, a television watcher, a snacker.  She was about ninety pounds overweight, and her breasts were both large and pendulous.  As can happen to anyone, regardless of size, sometimes a snack or two dropped down into her shirt.  Sometimes people forget to bathe.  On occasion the rich soil of Indiana gets into one’s clothing.  And who hasn’t had the experience of eating something raw because turning on the microwave or the stove was too trying?  Zoolander, afraid to ask but unable not to, said, “Dr. Regret, what exactly is going on here.”

“The first thing I saw were vines,” Dr. R. whispered.

“Vines?”  Zoo whispered back, with dawning horror

“I . . .” Dr. Regret pinched the bridge of his nose, swallowed against his rising existential horror, “I tried to lift her breasts but couldn’t, because . . . .”

“Just say it.  I can’t bear it, just say it.”

Dr. Regret stood up straight, looked Zoo in the eye, and said, “There is corn growing under her breasts.  It is living corn, with even tiny ears beginning to sprout.”

For a few moments, no one could speak.  Then Dr. R. said, “I’m unclear about how to proceed.”

Zoolander thought about it, and said, “I’ll go get some hot dogs and potato salad and we’ll just go from there.” 

Published in: on October 20, 2008 at 8:01 pm  Comments (387)  


  1. This is the most hilariously horrifying story I’ve heard in. . .forever.

  2. I cannot…I cannot speak…I’m…I’m…oh…

  3. Unfortunately, knowing similar ‘humanoids?’ this is totally believable to me and that is just SCARY!

    Are you sure that wasn’t my aunt you were referring to?

  4. In honor of INDIANA:

    Here are two of the dishes served at the Covered Bridge Festival I went to last week (in Rockville,IN):

    Country Noodles/Chicken & Gravy Over Mashed Potatoes

    (this was my favorite dish at Thanksgiving and the beauty of watching my grandma magically creat these noodles from flour, egg, milk was just the ultimate event.

    Baked Beans/Bacon Over Cottage Cheese

    I. Kid. You. Not.

  5. Even Uncle Leroy Rikkie from somewhere in Iowa with the hospital bed in the living room and the beer cooler on wheels tied to his belt loop had corn groning from him (as far as I know) I am still trying to process this. GAWD

  6. I do not understand noodles served over mashed potatoes. That’s alot of carbohydrates in one dish.

    Baked Beans over cottage cheese??

    Do people still make those hideous “aspic” things? You know,like lime jello with watercress? Or better yet, CHICKEN in jello?? Such a thing makes me quake with terror.

  7. Also, I have been known to really, really enjoy a trip to Wal-mart. Heaven Help Me.

    Though on the whole, I do prefer Target.

  8. I saw nothing suspended in jello.

    But really, carbs be damned – noodles over mashed potatoes are rocking. I actually took a photo of the booth sign to prove this event. Will post when I get them downloaded, I just don’t have your speed, Ms. Kate Cake!

    Put some cottage cheese and mound with a well in the center, scoop in some baked beans (the kind simmered with ham hock, brown sugar, ketchup, bacon) eat it up – this is the first thing to disappear at the family dinners – I actually have encountered other Hoosiers who eat this – it is DELICIOUS – try it!

    Also – peanut butter on top of piping hot pancakes or in the little squares of waffles, then top with warm syrup . . .

    To. Die. For.

  9. OH. MY. LORD.

  10. I will have to try it. Mercy, maybe I am too far down south. Many of these Hoosiery things are lost on me.

  11. My sister has a beautiful analogy about Walmart vs. Target.

    She is a “yes” person, always helping everyone out, never says no, knows how to do everything well so she is the first person anybody asks for anything. Obviously she is used and abused by the other church ladies, co-workers, family, etc.

    On one day of honesty and self-indulgence she said:

    “I don’t want to be Walmart, where you go because you need to and it is the cheapest” –

    “I want to be Target, where you go because YOU WANT TO and you like it!”

    I love her so much, she is my baby sister and she is just amazing . . . she grew from my personal baby-doll into a gorgeous lady, inside and out.

  12. You Hoosiers need some eatin’ lessons. This weekend in Mountain View, Arkansas dozens of booths will be set up on the town square to serve ham and beans with cornbread. It’s a contest, no less.

    Outhouse races will be held as well, I’m told.

  13. When you make fried chicken, put in some tabasco sauce with the egg/water before you dip it in the flour/salt/pepper . . . it will give your fried chicken the perfect ‘kick’

  14. how are you all talking about FOOD?!?!?! this story is about a woman growing corn ON HER BODY!!!!!


  15. I make some mean ham & beans & cornbread.

    Also, I am going to learn to make perfect fried chicken. The search for perfect fried chicken and perfect chocolate chip cookies…those are some of my life’s goals.

  16. make some biscuits and squeeze honey into the center before you eat it

  17. Did Zoolander herself not decide to turn the whole thing into a picnic?

    Besides, it’s not the corns fault where it grows! And I do believe being grown on an unbathed person might qualify it as ORGANIC.

  18. Southern Girls:

    Don’t get PMS, we git FTS – fixin’ ta start

  19. LOL @ Kate.

    still shuddering.

  20. Kate–you are one delicious piece of ORGANIC cake.

  21. Amanda LOL I was thinking that too

  22. corn, food – I don’t know, then the whole Indiana title for this thread, just got me going –

    and I was looking for somewhere to share my food booth discoveries.

  23. we always had navy beans/ham hock over cornbread – I’ve never tried baked over cornbread . . .

  24. well then you have never fixed REAL pork rinds, after butcherin’ – or toasted the pig tail marshmellow style over an open fire

  25. Kate Cake, my Louisville relatives (just over the bridge from you) have the utmost disdain for Hoosiers, and vice versa – it is hysterical being in the car one with the other as the denigrate each other.

    meanwhile, I’m thinking – what is the difference?

  26. lord, you people are awesome and crazy. as are all people, i think.

    have a lonely heart tonight so i am taking Something Rising and a glass of wine to meet some warm water and bubbles. i am sure i will join in (again) later on.

  27. here is another Indiana normal experience:

    force feeding the cattle bottles of pepsi so they “fill out”, spray paint them black, “tease” their tails into a softball and spray with shellac – all for the 60 sec. round about at the 4H exposition at the county fair – watch out when they explode from either end.

  28. hardened cowpies make perfect frisbees

  29. bubbles and wine . . . sounds fabulous . . . salute AMANDA

  30. Ok, first… eeewwwwwwwww yuck yuck blah ick blahhhh

    Now I feel better.

    Sher, I love you, but noodles over mashed potatoes is just wrong. Baked beans over cottage cheese. Mm, maybe. But, then again, no. I will give you the hot sauce in the fried chicken batter, though.

    Cornbread goes well with just about anything and everything. So do grits. Mmmm, cheese grits. Speaking of chili dogs (well, Zoo mentioned hot dogs…) do you like the chili with beans or without? I prefer it without. Actually, one of my favorite childhood food memories was eating chili dogs in Schenectady, NY when we would visit my Grandma Carter. The chili was almost like a paste and you had to have diced up tiny onions. Yummo.

  31. re chili dogs – no beans on the dog, but love beans in the chili –

    yum, chili mac! chili over spaghettie, with onions and cheese (Steak & SHake has a great version of this).

    all I can say about the mashed potatoes/noodles, is you have to try it!

  32. that makes no sense, if I have a chili dog, I don’t like beans in THAT chili,

    but if I just have Chili, I like beans in that . . .

  33. that story was so funny and well told. my GMA got a yeast infection in her fat roll. she was quite fat, but she was the greatest. i helped her put on the medicine. she was my favorite favorite. she volunteered at The Mystic Seaport Library. sometimes i got to play hookie (or just convince my mom that i had very contagious pink eye) and spend the whole day there with her. a maritime library, not my first pick, but it was incredible. i miss her. she was loaded with spunk…or audacity, something. she’d had a mastectomy and had a prosthetic to replace the missing breast. she reached point 2 yrs or so into this and just stopped wearing it. it was SO disproportionate with just one enormous breast, but she didn’t give a shit. my friend and i were visiting my G-rents one spring break and within 10 minutes of arrival, GMA had thrown her “plastic boob” (her wording) at shelby, my college roommate, who was meeting GMA for the first time. they hit it off like freaking gang bangers. they kicked it all spring break. it was sweet, just with a weird beginning.

    i was holding GMA’s hand when she died. all true, sorry to get morbid, but that is just how it went. her name was ruby, which i LOVE.

  34. steph –

    great grandma story – plastic boob, spunk (I think a great word would be MOXIE) & all – glad you were with her when she passed.

    Life is morbid, don’t sweat it – we are birthed and we are deathed, there is no way around it – not for Queen Elizabeth, the janitor, Tom Cruise, or me. It is so universal, mortality.

  35. Whenever I got to Steak -n- Shake I just get a plate of chili mac with cheese and onions and extra chili beef and I basically stick my face in it.

    Also, Frisco Melt? With Shoe String Fries? Somebody stop me!!

    Before there was a Steak n Shake in Evansville we’d always go to the one right next to the Indy 500 track, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  36. Holy corn stalk, Batman! I almost wet myself for the second time today, this time it was from horror though. Is that really possible? I’m going to take another shower.

  37. moxie is the perfect word, sher. i know it is universal to die, i just hate it. or something, i’m weird with it. not scared, but saddened so deeply. i detest that depair, it physically aches. but, it does get better. i miss GMA though, big time.

  38. omg – we love Steak & Shake (even the kids which is a MIRACLE, call Ripley’s Believe It Or Not) . . .

    when I was little sissy kay, I would cry to go to ‘Black&White’s’ – but nobody knew what I meant . . . finally one day we drove by and screamed “There Black&White’s, there, there!!!” Apparently I was referring to the colors on the sign and not the name (too little to read yet)!

    Hello – have you had the new “creamsicle” shake – heaven, heaven, heaven

  39. Particle – of which are you horrified!?? The Corn growth, the food, or our general lack of real adult entertainment?

  40. my gma & gpa were both killed instantly in a car accident (on their way home from a tequila run to Mexico) . . . gma was reading “tomorrow never dies”. the boxes of tequila were in perfect shape, none broken. that was in 1996.

    to this day, I miss the sound of her voice, the feel of her petally hands, the dependable birthday cards and ALWAYS easter cards . . .

    to me the shock of the unexpected is always my worst thing, now evertime I see or talk to somebody I think, I may not see or talk to you again – so i say “I love you” a lot

    Steph – I love you, didn’t want to save it for another, maybe not to arrive, day!

  41. ok so between the fog, the scenery, lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a Steak&Shake within 15 minutes, what else do I have to do to get someone (you blog babies) to visit me??

  42. Sher, I am working on it, believe me. I am dying to go to Nashville. My dearest and oldest friends live there.

  43. i say I love you all the time. to the point where it bothers my family and they whine you can’t just say it and not mean it. the thing is, i mean it. my husband and i say it all the time, to end every phone convo, email, whatever. so, thanks sher, love you too

  44. Kate Cake, just tell me when . . . you can spend a few days in Nashville with you life-long friends, then blog babies (we can also meet up with Linda, Jules, & Eisha) then mosey down to Williamson County . . .

  45. i’m logging off to visit with my very ignored husband

  46. I’m here for ya, Sher. The closest Steak n Shake I know of is out in Old Hickory, I think? They are yummy.

  47. I am leaving work now this was very entertaining.

    I am very hungry now see you all later


  48. Hey, Hoosier Food Specialists, there is this one potato thingy popular at my church dinners that I LOVE. I don’t know who makes it, I need to ask. As far as I can tell it’s just boiled potatoes, sour cream mixed with mayo and maybe paprika? Am I missing something? Does this sound familar?

  49. Mashed potates with homemade noodles on top is an outstanding Indiana dish!! I prefer beef and noodles rather than chicken and noodles.


  50. In the midwest, corn grows anywhere and everywhere there’s a hint of dirt. I remember arriving here the first time and being shocked to see the airport *surrounded* (right up to the edge of the parking lot) by corn. Corn grows in front of the Wal-Mart, in front of peoples’ houses, on campus, on every available inch. And if you look at food labels, you know why, not to mention practically every other artifact made these days.

    The little hamlet of Mooreland, IN was surrounded by corn when I was there last year, and I’m wondering how different it will look when I’m there this week, after harvest, on my way to Columbus.

    The first week after I’d moved to the South, I was in the Winn-Dixie (how’s that for a revealing store name?) when the person in front of me in line dropped her 64oz jar of pickled pigs’ feet on the conveyor belt and it smashed open and DEAR GAWD that was the worst. Smell. Ever.

  51. i don’t think we have pickled pig’s feet here in Connecticut. jeeps! that was bonkers. i can smell it, John M

  52. Does anyone else remember the pencil rule from the 60s and 70s?

    The idea was that if you placed a pencil beneath your breast and it stayed, bralessness was not an ideal fashion choice for you.

    No one ever mentioned placing a corn under there, not even really tiny ears.

    How, pray tell, did the doctor proceed?

  53. AH! i grew up in the 80’s and i totally did the pencil thing. like, everyone did. i remember the day it stayed. boobs!

  54. I always wanted to know…what do you do if one pencil stays and the other drops?

  55. Kate: tie goes to the runner.

  56. Steph, I was born in CT, and I can state authoritatively that there are no pickled pigs’ feet to be found in the state.

    However, my great-grandparents moved there from rural Pennsylvania, and never lost the ability to cook up some interesting meat, such as squirrels, which we know are essentially rats with cute costumes.

  57. Hey Sher: I love you, dear.

  58. Being a Hoosier, all I can say is who was gonna bring along the salt?


    Adding new meaning to Children of the Corn.


    Oh gawd, do I have the greatest story to add about Lollygag’s cousin, Fred Somewrsault. It’s a raunchy tale, but I could be persuaded…

  59. That’s a great story, Haven. It’s also great weight loss incentive. Perhaps I will print it out and stick it on my fridge.

  60. JohnM, the South needs you back here. Like, yesterday. Honestly.

    George, how much do you need to be persuaded? I could do my little happy dance for you, but you can’t see it up in D.C.

  61. First reaction: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Second reaction: The slogan “There’s More Than Corn in Indiana” has officially been turned on its ear.

    Ba duh dun. Ching!

  62. Ah, come on, I thought that was funny. And I’m a Hoosier, so I’m allowed. 🙂

  63. Guess I’ll have to wait til tomorrow for George’s story…off to bed.

  64. Anne with An E (another Anne Fan…yay!) I thought it was highly amusing.

  65. OH Goody. Only 64 comments because I was too distracted to watch Chealsea Lately or the Girls Next Door. Any hoo, Here I go down the rabbit hole. Watched the first bit of the movie Atonement last night but it kind of reminded me of myself and made me sick. Just in the way the movie Dogville did when I saw it and actually turned into Tony Soprano by the end. AH for an episode of TRUE BLOOD, its on HBO you know, and its quite good for stupid people who need to watch tv instead of take drugs. Love, Grace.

  66. The best story ever. I read it out loud to my daughter, and she is at a place where seeing a real smile, let alone a laugh, is rare indeed. She guffawed. I saw it, ear to ear grin.
    However, she is sure it is not true.

  67. Oh, but I am certain IT IS.

  68. I have GOT to stop reading this before I finish my coffee…

  69. And Kate M, did you forget the cheese? Frozen hash browns, grated cheese, sour cream, melted butter (as a friend said of eating poutine, if you listen while eating it, you can hear your heart slow down) baked … I think it’s replaced Jello.

  70. Caryl, please tell your daughter that upon my word and honor that story is true, and in fact I know MORE stories about things found in the bosom area of a number of the Great Unwashed, some of which actually make ME give a little heave.

  71. This is priceless! Oh, the many stories I could tell of patients in the E.R. with the strangest objects in their rectums…and most are straight men! AND there once was a man with a phillips-head screwdriver pierced straight through his nose. OR the WOMAN who because of PICA ate markers, nails, paper clips, doll heads…basically anything that COULD be swallowed.

  72. Brandon, I KNEW you’d believe me!

    Did you get my e-mail about our exchange of presents? Let’s make a delicious plan.

  73. No, I am serious. It’s like a potato salad with NO INGREDIENTS. It’s served cold. It’s bizarre in it’s simplicity, but wonderful.

    Ram the thing of which you speak is called HASH BROWN CASSEROLE and you forgot the requisite sprinkling of corn flakes.

  74. Oh man… I grew up in one of those impoverished Ah-luv-the-Wal-Marts areas. That story was horrifying… and all too familiar. I mean, not that I actually KNEW anyone who SPROUTED CORN FROM THEIR BOOBS, but I wouldn’t put it past some of my neighbors.

  75. Cupcake, potato salad with no ingredients is called AIR.

  76. Oh right Haven THE GOURMET!! Ok then, potato salad with no relish or onion or boiled eggs. It’s unfinished potat salad, and I really, really like it.

  77. Potat salad? What happened to the rest of that word?

    You know, that is actually the perfect name for it! That was a serendipitous mistake.

    “I’m gonna git me a spoonful of that there POTAT salad.”

  78. Kate, guess what I had for breakfast? Tostitos corn chips with lime, mozzarella cheese sticks, and a vitamin water. Oh, and a piece of cake.

  79. Thank gawd you had a vitamin water! My cholesterol readings just shot up reading what you ate!

  80. Those Tostitos with lime just reek of chemicals. But Mozzarella cheese sticks? Mmmmmm!

  81. Tostitos with lime… mmmmmmmmm.

  82. Wait…what KIND OF CAKE???

  83. I seriously have a stomach ache this morning. I am not making it up. And I had honey nut cheerios for breakfast. I think it is the office coffee.

    Church potluck food is always interesting. At my church THE most anticipated food comes at our annual stewardship breakfast when we have cheese grits. You would not believe how many different varities turn up.

    For lunches the deal is usually barbeque – as in shredded pork and chicken. Sauce on the side, but the sauce is very liquidy and comes in mild and firey hot.

    So, let’s talk barbeque. I know we will have lots of regional favorites for this topic.

  84. I personally prefer smoked pork with sauce on the side, but I am not averse to some canned Big B spooned onto bread. It’s a soak, not a sandwich! To be eaten with a fork!

  85. OMG! OMG!…I’m with Jerri…WHAT DID THE DOCTOR DO?
    And I was in Wal-Mart on my way to work just now. I avert my eyes from the really obese people (now I feel guilty about that) I about peed my pants reading this new blog entry….also choked on my Maruchan instant noodle (shrimp with lime & chili) breakfast made healthy by the addition of a scrambled egg never mind the mile high sodium……
    Yes, Yes, George, let’s hear your story, and y’all better watch it we’ll be doing a ‘Haven’s Blog Babies Comfort Food Cookbook’ soon. (I’d buy it!)

  86. i’m very disappointed. i was going to post a link to one of my favorite Haven stories, but the archives that hold that story are down. i may have a copy on my personal computer, but i will have to wait until lunch to see. at any rate, you should look forward to it! it’s amazing!

    (it is the story Haven read at her 2004 Prairie Lights reading)

  87. Oh bbq! The pig is indeed a magical creature. I actually take great pride in my barbeque. A whole pork shoulder in my smoker for 8-12 hours, and homemade sauce. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

  88. Have any of you read “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle?” This whole scenario is representative of “The Radish Cure.”

    If I were that doctor I’d get to harvesting, and then wash her good, and then give her instructions to bathe regularly and take walks.

    Once my mother and I were sitting on the benches at Wal-mart, waiting for my dad. This very large woman in a sleeveless sundress was sitting across from us. She had these…pockets of fat hanging down where her armpits should have been. I just sat and stared…and stared…and stared. Finally my mom bent down and gently whispered in my ear “You know, where you gain weight is typically determined by genetics.”

  89. PMS = FTS ahhhhhhaaaaaaaGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    i love you all beyond Target. thas a LOT.

    okay? at age ten, my childhood friend, jackie short from mississippi,introduced me to the mashed potato and gravy sandwich. on white bread. OUTSTANDING.

  90. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Magic was my most fav book. yay.

  91. Kinfolks BBQ in Fort Walton Beach ,FL – whole in the hole, hole in the roof where the fragrant heavenly aroma drifts down the street into my car window . . . the bottles of bbq sauce, numbered from 1 (mild) to 10 (atomic) . . .

    brunswick stew . . . real!!! brunswick stew

    omg, I’m hungry . . . but I am now on a “new life plan” (i.e. – diet and I am ($E))E starving my fat ass OFF, literally) . . .

  92. Amanda – YES, I do believe a little of That Old Time Religion is just what the doctor ordered, so here we go:

    You will need RealPlayer (already installed in most web browsers) to hear this.

  93. bbq???

    what kind are you?




  95. george. i’m undulating…!


  97. George! Stop torturing Suzanne.

  98. How can one stand naked in lingerie…if you are in lingerie, then you aren’t naked, though you may be standing. if you are naked, then lingerie is wadded up on the bed…

    no need to beg

  99. …nevermind…i figured it out in a Dollar General, Rural King Einstein-Hubble kinda way: I, too, am naked under my clothes.

  100. Wait…for what story is Suzy-Q debasing herself?

  101. For the love of Saint Michael, George TELL HER THE STORY or I WILL and I don’t even know what it IS!!!

  102. for anyone who is listening to the Haven story JohnM posted for us: Julie Englender is NUTS!

  103. FOLKS:

    I can vouch for this story. HK told me this like a few weeks after it happened. She left out an enchanting detail, what happened when the story was being related by the witness, and they were eating thanksgiving dinner or something.

    HK: You have ushered Corn Lady in the National Myth-scape. There should be T-shirts, action figures, mugs, tote bags. I would like a Corn Lady lil chia pit kinda thing… HEY – John works clay…there you go!

    Suzanne, what color negligeeE?

  104. Almost CLouds:

    Nuts? You get your expert – I’ll get mine!

  105. Matt…don’t encourage her.

  106. Lollygag’s first cousin, Fred Somersault lives down in Crawford County, fairly near Paoli, Ind. One summer back in 1977, Fred made a little extra money putting up hay. It was nasty work, he was covered in grime and grass seeds when he finished for the day. After a week of this, the hayin’ got done and the generous farmer paid him $100.

    Fred, who was about 18 at the time, decided he would blow all the money on a good time up in Indianapolis. So, he borrowed his brother’s Firebird, got himself cleaned up, had his Mom wash out the John Deere cap, hopped in the car, lit up a Marlboro and headed north on Ind. 37.

    He had one thing on his mind — he was going to return to Paoli no longer a virgin, but an experienced, sophisticated man who was well-acquainted with the carnal pleasures of love.

    As he was getting close to Indy, he decided to gas up and get a Coke at the Lucky Trucker Highway Plaza and Motel. Fred was enchanted by the place, walking wide-eyed through the aisles looking all the great stuff he could buy if he wanted: the chrome lug nut set, a key chain made from a genuine Florida alligator foot, a never-needs-sharpening Buck-style knife…

    His loitering caught the attention of one of the truck stop hookers as she was finishing up a big ole plate of beans, ham, and corn bread. She scooted out of the booth, winked at the geezer cashier and told him he could collect later that night, and she zeroed right in on Fred.

    “Them Zippo lighters are what I like. I got a whole collection of them at my room over there,” she said, rolling her eyes toward the motel section of the truck stop on the other side of the parking lot. “Would you care to see them?”

    “Well, sure, Ma’am,” Fred said, noticing that she had an odd smell about her, some sort of perfume and rotten egg. She was also kinda fat from the belt up and skinny from the belt down. But blonde with dark streaks close to her head and just a few wrinkles from being out in the sun too long probably but most of her fingernails painted red and just a bit of stain on her teeth…not, too bad, all in all.

    As they walked across the lot, Fred started asking her about the collection — how many she had, when she started, how she got started.

    “I ain’t got no lighter collection,” said the hooker, “That was just to get you out here to see if you wanted to pay for some.”

    “Some, what?” asked Fred.

    “Some, what you think,” she said.

    Fred, who was easily the smartest one in his family, zeroed right in on what she was proposing.

    “Some of everything you got,” he said.

    “Something like that would cost somebody about $200,” she said.

    “Something like that would probably cost too much for someone who wanted to spend about $75,” said Fred, wise beyond his years in the ways of cutting a Hoosier deal.

    “Something for $75 would be — you know — not the same as something for more than $75 but would still worth every penny. Now that’s something someone might be interested in,” she said, unlocking the door to her room.

    “Well, I guess I’ll go for that other something,” said Fred.

    “Great,” she said, “You’re going to love 69, baby.”

    Fred, happy that he already gotten a discount lay down on the bed. Pretty soon they were in the classic position — one Fred had never, ever been in before, and best of all at a fair price.

    After a while though, he began to smell that rotten egg smell again and he was certain he had not only heard but felt a slight poof of air right at his nostril. Being a farmboy, however, he was willing to overlook it.

    And then, the beans and ham really kicked in, and the hooker, in no position to stifle it, cut one of the nastiest farts that has ever been farted — the kind that emit a cloud of green, that hang in the air and cling for days to curtains and pillows and bed spreads.

    Then, she did it again.

    But, being a good businesswoman, she decided to take a diversion tactic. “So, farm boy, how do you like 69 so far?”

    “Well, ma’am,” Fred said, “it’s ok, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I can take 66 more of those.”

  107. Oh……..!

  108. I have three interviews to transcribe and four articles to write, but all I want to do is listen to you guys tell stories.

    Especially you, George.

    And Suzanne–thanks for undulating in your undies to get George to tell this story. It was so worth it.

  109. Matt, you make me laugh. I am sure Julie is a dearly loved figure, and I have no doubt that she is a wonderful and compassionate soul. I think, though, that listening to her interviews is quite painful. I’ve listened to years worth of archives from Prairie Lights and she seems to miss more than she hits. 🙂

  110. AlmostC-

    I am not sure if we are talking about the same person.
    Julie Who?

    Calling someone in this age “nuts” is kind of like passing out speeding tickets on the interstate.

    When I hear such a charge, I reflexively say…

    “You get your expert, I’ll get mine.”

  111. that’s even funnier Matt…

    (for what it is worth I am referring to Julie who interviews Haven during the reading. JohnM posted the file earlier in this post.)

  112. I don’t know if she’s nuts, but I too have listened to years worth of the readings and Q&As, and while she means well, she is really an awful interviewer.

  113. George, that was a story worthy of my father, if he’d been the type to tell a blue story. DAMN. Damn good one. I clapped clapped like a slow-witted clown.

  114. However, given our host’s posts here about tolerance toward others, I will say that I’m grateful for the very dedicated Julie E. and the Live From Prairie Lights show — they have been bringing amazing writers out to the prairie for a long time.

  115. yes, JohnM, excellent point. I am very grateful for the entire organization!

  116. OMG!…SNORTING and shaking my head…my boss came in while I was in the middle of that story, George. I forget what I promised to do so he would go away…….

  117. I can’t read all of these because I’m at work and I’ll get caught…but…Mark had a call once for a patient at the State Hospital that had choked to death on a peanut butter sandwich…however…when they did the autopsy he had in fact eaten his metal bed. He had over 2 lbs of bolts, screws and various box springs. He also had a woman that was reading in her recliner while her daughter went outside to rake leaves. She apparently fell asleep with her reading/magnifing lamp over the top of the book, which caught on fire, which caught her on fire, which charred the chair somewhat in only the middle. When her daughter came in for a spot of tea her momma had combusted and all that was left was the outside of the once fine recliner. I never did find out which book she was reading.
    I have to work now.

  118. stinky farting hookers. does it get better? rarely.

  119. Oh George, Oh Melinda, what a way for the late sleeper- its only 10:30 in So.Cal, to start the day.

  120. Lolly, Lolly, fat and jolly, how does your garden grow?

    Beneath my breasts, with soil and sweat, and little ears all in a row.

    Sorry…I couldn’t resist.

  121. So I called home to Pendleton, IN today to wish my mother a happy 67th birthday and during our chat she gave me an expression I –had– to share with this group:

    Slicker than a cat’s ass-end.

    (And to think that I came here for the theology….)

  122. Okay, a few points here…

    George – masterfull telling of the 69 story. I have heard that one too! (I am a husker, not a hoosier)In several places! Only names were not named. My guess is your man’s tale-of-trauma was passed along by railroad conductors, baggage handlers, truck drivers, etc in all directions, and there are nowregional variants. I heard it told with kelbasa and kraut, and also with franks n beans. Naught with corn-bread.

    Jeez, I hope HK isn’t chgrined to come back and discover her blog has become a way-station for fart jokes.

    And you know, this is kinda sad, because one day, and it won’t be long, HK will be receiving membership in the belles de letres of France. It will be a big, swankin party. All the world’s writers and poets will be there. She’ll be pink and beaming. It is HER NIGHT.

    Meanwhile, bundles of The Indianapolis Tribune are plopping on sidewalks. And the headlines over her picture bawl:


    Thank GOd they remembered the ‘T’.

    And then, back in Paris, there’ll be question/answer. So many hands raised! Who to pick.

    “You!” Haven will say, pointing.

    And some guy will say “Plees, tell us about ze CORN-LADY!” And they’ll all roar as one.


  123. Melinda, Tim, I am hereby adopting you as my cousins.

    Priceless and Priceless.


  124. Here’s one we used to tell about people across the river in Missouri.

    If any of you are from Missouri, please don’t take this personal. Humans have been telling jokes about the people *over there* since Moses had peach fuzz.

    Anyhow, that famous buisiness-man, Malcolm Forbes, went for a ride in his hot-air balloon. He was blown way the hell off-course. He had no idea where he was.

    Well, he was over the Show-Me State.

    He got down kind of low to the ground. Two Mo-cats were out on a Sunday Afternoon, throwing the week’s trash into a ditch.

    He yelled down to them: “HEY! CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE
    I AMMMM?”

    They look up at him. They squint. They kind of giggle.
    And then one yells back.


    This is not the funniest, but perhaps the cleanest.


  125. ok MY favorite of these stories so far is definitely Melinda’s about the combusted momma.

  126. Oh how I wish i had a story 😦

  127. I swear to GOD my sister is the funniest person alive. You know she burst my appendix, right? That was her doing. Then gave me coffee and fried chicken livers. But Lord love a duck, I’d sure take a bullet for her.

    p.s. I’m thinking. It’s possible I have taken a bullet for her.

    p.p.s. Lindy, let’s just skip the coroner’s story about the antique potato masher, shall we?

  128. I was a dumb farm girl.

    When I was 14 and dating the very naughty preacher’s kid from Terre Haute (he was 18 and nick-named Butch) . . . anyway, although I had sexual experience from abuse, I had no romantic or scientifical/socialogical information . . .

    So I LOVED listening to Prince, especially LITTLE RED CORVETTE . . I casually asked Butch what a ‘trojan in my pocket, some of them used’ meant? Was this like a wooden nickel or what???

    ah, the naivete . . .

  129. so, segue to two years later, much more sexually experienced (thank you Harold Robbins and Nancy Friday), but still working on the “culture” . . .

    My date for my sixteenth birthday was the brother of my best friend, a year older than me and we had many nights of ” . . . everything but”, as a matter of fact we perfected making out while he was driving . . .one hand on the wheel, one eye on the road . . .

    So he is from a wealthy family, they wore polo shirts and izod’s with the collars up (it was the 80’s remember), and I HAD A BI-LEVEL (see my blog, 2 weeks to Sweet Sixteen Essay for a pic) . . .

    anyway, he picks me up (that is in the blog essay) and takes me to

    JUMERS CASLE RESTAURANT in Champaign IL – they literally had an orchestra in the balcony and everything.

    We are ordering and they tell the specials “filet mignon, shrimp, etc.”

    ______ orders filet mignon, and I order shrimp, he asks me why I didn’t order a filet, and I reply:

    I don’t like fish!

    Then, I proceed to try to eat my fried shrimp with my fork and knife and one flies into my lap . . .

    I didn’t even realize how humilated I should have been until a few years later.\

    NOte (I ate lots of Steak, but never heard it referred to as filet mignon, I knew we “filleted” the fish we caught . . .)

    I guess I was white trash!

  130. here is a story that happened one fateful eve, late into december around 1989 or so:

    my grandparents had long been living 2 towns over from my family (i should say that i am the oldest of 4 and there is an eleven yr age gap between me and my brother who is the youngest) and they needed a xmas tree. for years my grandfather, who lived through the depression, REFUSED to buy a tree. he would just chop one down from his land and plant another one. unfortunately, he ran out of trees and the little ones were not growing fast enough. perhaps better planning (planting?) would have helped.

    anyway, we were headed over to my g-rents on 95N in CT between our town, Clinton, and their town, Old Saybrook. we bought a tree before getting on 95 and strapped it to the roof–there were 6 people in that caravan!

    well, as you may have guessed, that tree took flight with the roof rack attached to it. my dad was driving, so he quickly pulled over. i became immediately hysterical bc that is what i do. tucker (little bro) was in his car seat just peachy keen-, mandy (next sis) was in her booster seat screaming “DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME! <> SAVE THE TREE!”

    my mom looks back at me and says, “go get it with dad.” WHAT? this is an interstate, a highway. i am 12 years old. “why can’t you, mom” i replied. “Someone has to stay with the babies”. yeah, like me and you run onto the death trap.

    anyway, there we are, me and my dad hauling ass on foot down the highway to locate the tree and missing roof rack. it was probably only a 1/2 mile or so, but it felt like a marathon. my dad is screaming “c’mom kiddo” like this is some bonding moment.

    we located the tree and roof rack and wrestled it all the way back. “Can’t mom just back up a little” i whined. “c’mon, kiddo” was all i got.

    once we made it to the car, the tree was more like lumber, but my parents were cheap, too. “this tree is fine” they nodded in agreement. mandy was still yelling about her safety being secondary to the tree and its return to the car.

    is anyone worried about the people besides me??? i was about to offer my money for a new tree. then again, i am also cheap.

    my other sister tiff was just sitting there–that little journalist–re-writing the words to “Oh Christmas Tree” to include, why are you lying on the road? i think the next line was something about a squished toad. can’t remember, but we were forced to perform it on Xmas eve, which i protested to no avail.

    no more roof–the tree came into that dodge caravan between me and tiff, then mandy and tucker, straight up all the way to the windshield in between mom and dad.

    we made it the next few miles to my g-rents and put that tree up and began tree trimming. they were none the wiser until xmas eve when tiff has rewritten the whole “oh christmas tree” song to tell our story. she is a journalist to this day.

  131. Sher–Jumer’s Castle. OMG. I don’t know anyone else who’s been to a Jumer’s.

    I stayed in the one in Davenport, Iowa, once. Tragic plumbing incident involving an overflowing toilet and poo floating on the floor.

    Yeah, call the front desk for THAT, why don’t you. I DID realize how humiliated I should have been. PLENTY.

  132. jerri – hooray somebody “gets” me!

    steph, I think my family had that same vehicle . . .

  133. ever tried mashed potatoes with sloppy joe meat on top? 🙂 It’s really actually tasty! I used to eat it when I was a kid

  134. i love mixing mashed potatoes with corn and cooked ground beef–but that sounds like it is headed to Shepard’s Pie.

  135. Clapped like a slow witted clown-I am adopting that as my new phrase Haven, I hope you don’t mind:~)

    Also, my friends after living in Ohio for a few years now I am headed back to my beloved Indiana and I cannot wait. You all make me miss it so!

  136. Also private to Suzanne if she pops back in, I am getting married next September and will have been engaged for almost 2 years. I read Otherwise Engaged a few weeks ago after stumbling across it at a used book store that I haunt and hand to the lord, that book saved me from walking away from what I hope will be a wonderful marriage. It helped me with so many feelings that I was too embarassed to talk to even my mom about. Thank you a million times from the bottom of my anxious heart.

  137. Oh Sher…you are so dear! At least your sexual naivete didn’t extend to your twenties, like mine did….Married at 20 to my college sweetheart, we moved to Tucson where we both continued school in our little trailer home (see!! Trailer Trash Too!). He worked nights at a golf course doing maintenance so I was home alone and started recieving calls from a very disturbed sounding man who sounded to me like he needed help because he was on drugs for sure (keep in mind we were hippies from the early 70’s and ‘bad trips’ were all the rage). I tried to get him to tell me where he was to get him some help but all he could say was how he had this really bad boner, over and over. Well I hung up in a great puzzle but after he called back on the third night, well, I just HAD to mention it to my husband who, after giving me an initial blank and incredulous look and after rolling around from laughter, explained to me about boners and obscene phone calls. He stayed home and answered the next one, so I was educated. I also, DID realize how humiliated I should be…after all, I had read D.H. Lawrence!! How humiliating.

  138. BrendaSynch –

    I feel so bonded! Trailer Trash & Naive!

  139. Hey…I feel bonded with Brenda’s hubby. I was a night waterman at a golf course for a couple of summers. I remember the 70s, too, kinda. Speaking of lawn and garden care, I always envied that guy who got to know Lady Chatterly.

  140. Ok, kiddos…sorry if I offended anyone with my raunchy post — especially you naive ones.

    I am off to stump for Obama in Northern Va., so I have an excused absence tonight.

  141. i can’t imagine George being offensive!

  142. Nay, George, you aren’t offensive…and bless all the night watermen!

  143. …And there’s the synchronicity again.

  144. Ok, time for my fart story. I’m feeling brave.

  145. BLOG BABIES! Listen to this e-mail sent to my webmaster (Scott — he wears the title well). I’m taking out her name and e-mail address. How fun is THIS?


    At first I thought you were joking. But then I realized you were being completely condescending and I am disappointed. You seem to have a thing about Walmart…I’m not sure the reason. My husband and I are quite wealthy and enjoy our lives tremendously, and sometimes we go to Walmart…does that make us low class? It is true there are a lot of obese people in Indiana, but I fear your description of Lolly and her speech is probably a minority and even if it isn’t….who are you or anyone to make fun of them? These are the people Jesus loved, the down hearted, the weak, the sick…you know that I’m sure. I will admit that the end was kind of funny, but still the blog left a bad taste in my mouth. We all should remember where we came from. Some of us did well for ourselves…others continued living the life they grew up with. Very sad.

    When I call on Jesus all things are possible. I can mount on wings like eagles and soar. When I call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall, cos He’ll move heaven and earth to come rescue me when I call.


    And here was my response:

    [Blank], I was disguising the identity of everyone involved; the woman was not a minority. I’m glad you have a monopoly on both humor and on Jesus — you must be very satisfied with yourself. I am not “quite wealthy” as you are very careful to point out that you are, but congratulations on that one. You seem to miss the irony of making a point of your wealth and your fabulous life and then making sure I understand you condescend to go to Wal-Mart and that Jesus is on the side of the downtrodden. You are not the downtrodden; a camel stands a better chance of getting through a needle’s eye than you do of communing with the Jesus you seem to believe you understand better than I do. For the record, I know exactly where I came from — I’ve never forgotten for a moment — and you might want to give humility a try. If that doesn’t work, because of your wealth and wonderful life, make a note that no one tells me what I may or may not do with language. Let me repeat that: you go to Wal-Mart and spend your vast sums of money, and I will write what I please. My audience understands and enjoys me. You are not my audience.

    Haven Kimmel

  146. POW! Right in the kisser!

  147. Women like her make me so mad my anger circles back around and becomes amusement. Really, what a THINKER.

  148. oh for freak’s sake. people ARE CRAZY!!! For what it’s worth, I have unfortunately had to deal with the same thing in my blog and i would happily VENT over our mutual experiences.

    i love, love, love your response. you are my hero. what kate said.

  149. sometimes, i find my anger must circle back around so i can laugh. the alternative is fury and it ends up hurting me in the process. plus, laughing is just so much better.

  150. and your response was perfect HK

  151. Grrrrr – Why is the the “well to do” always think they know whats best for everyone else, especially when it come to religion?

    My 17 yr old daughter is bouncing around the kitchen singing

    She wants to touch me, woo hoo.
    She wants to love me, woo hoo.
    She’ll never leave me woo hoo, woo hoo, oh oh.
    Don’t trust a hoe, Never trust a hoe, Don’t trust a hoe cuz a won’t trust me.[x2]

    Shsh girl, Shut your lips.
    Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.
    I said,
    Shsh girl, Shut your lips.
    Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.
    I said,
    Shsh girl, Shut your lips.
    Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.

    “Shelby,” I say “you realize that song is naughty?”
    She retorts, “No Mom, It’s provocative!”

    I’m about to give her a provocative shoe right in the rear.

  152. ha! Snap!

    hum, at least she emailed you privately – I got bitch slapped right out on my facebook – so I double-bitch slapped back, and no response so I GOT THE LAST WORD!

    Well – all I can say is that this individual is the exact reason that I quit practicing organized religion – the negativity, the hypocrisy – wish they would read their own bible and Christ words.

    here are a few more “hoosierisms” –

    smack dab in the middle
    Smells to high heaven
    Nigh onto a dog fart
    wiggle kneed
    plum stupid
    dumb as a doornail
    dumb as a fencepost
    she’s the bees’ knees
    git on outa here (you are lying!)
    no shittin’ (your are saying true?)
    well lick me like a lollipop (I’m happy)

    I totally hate Walmart because
    1) they never have enough cashiers, like 2 out of 40 are open

    2) I don’t like walking 40 acres to pick up a roll of tape and a pack of diapers

    3) it gives me to the heebie-jeebies (another hoosierism)- they run all the other mom&pop privately owned business out of the small-town america.

    4) quality can’t be bought for nothing

    5) I’ve had my wallet stolen in a Walmart

    6) men fart and walk away and leave their trail behind (although I admit, that probably happens at Target, too – but I’ve never HEARD it like I have at Walmart)

    7) My mom runs a bakery for them and they treat her like dog shit and they haven’t settled her injury from 3 years ago when she fell in the freezer from lifting a 50 lb icing bucket off the top shelf.

    8) their insurance denies all her claims, so what is the point of insurance.


  153. Sher, I’m with you on the organized religion thing. I like to referred to myself as Spiritually Unorganized.

  154. I do love me some smack-downs! Wal-Mart is an evil empire for so many reasons. Blue, gray and fluorescent overhead lighting in one place does not flatter anything. Oh, and let’s not forget how they treat their employees. I admit, reluctantly, to sometimes shopping at Wal-Mart. Shouldn’t we call it the WalS-MartS since that’s how it’s typically pronounced its frequent shoppers?

    Sher – Too funny! Erik HAS farted in Wal-Mart before and he justified it by saying that the other Wal-Mart shoppers do it too.

    HK – I did get your email. Did you get my response? I’m dying for that box to be opened!

    P.S. That “wealthy” woman sounds a little bat-shit crazy to me.

  155. wal mart’s policies towards women and minorities is horrendous. i refuse to shop there and have asked (to no avail) that my family not buy me anything from there for christmas or other gift-giving occasions.

  156. 1. That lady should never have tried to lay the smack on the Glorious HK because…
    2. HK is capable of laying said smack in a most admirable, inimicable way. Ka-zam!I wish I could be so stinging when I get mad. Mostly I have an attack of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, where I stare after the villain yelling, “Oh–oh yeah!?!?!”

    Haven, I think I’m going to start forwarding you the emails some of my rich, entitled parents send me…

    As for idioms:

    A. I believe “dingleberries” might be universal…or maybe I know it/use it because my Army childhood.
    B. It’s raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock.
    C. I’m finer than frog’s hairs split four ways.
    D. I feel like I was rode hard and put up wet.
    E. Just ‘cuz a cat has kittens in the oven, don’t make them biscuits (as many a Southerner remarked to my Phildelphia born and bred parents on their 2 children born beneath the Mason Dixon line…)

    The first 4 fall out of my father’s mouth on a regular basis. The last one makes my mother laugh to this day, 25 years after her last child was born.

  157. Ha ha. I guess my kids aren’t biscuits. That is too funny. (I was born in New Jersey but both of my kids were born here in Nashville) I always ask how many generations have to go by before someone is a true southerner. Anyone know?

    Oh, Haven, people are just damn weird. I always wonder why people can’t just walk away, or in this case just click away. And lighten up, for God’s sake. That person needs to check her priorities because she is spending her time worried about others when she should be worrying about herself. Sad really. I think your response was spot on and I love the part about your people getting you. We do! We love you and there are more of us than there are of the crazy people. the sad crazy people that is. We are happy crazy people 🙂

    love you!

  158. It’s such a pleasure to have you joint the conversation, Lightning Bug.

    Your questions and comments inspired a great deal of thought, and now this. The cat/kittens/biscuit thing is my new favorite saying.

    No biscuits here, no sir.

  159. For the love of God, why was this woman on this blog anyway? If you can’t find the humor in this tale, pray for Haven and go to bed already. Why the email giving the writer of this PUBLIC blog the what for. And to speak for Jesus, who is this woman.
    If I keep asking maybe I will get an anonymous email with her name and email. I am good at the scathing reply. Haven you handled yourself like the lady you are.

  160. Linda–about how many generations it takes: who knows. I do know this, though. My family moved to southern Missouri from California.

    Eighteen years later, my mother was invited to a newcomer’s party.

    She politely declined.

  161. The mystery WOEman was on a I heart Walmart site . . .

    just guessing, must have lots of extra time on her hands while her servants clean with Walmart cleaning supplies . . .

  162. Well butter my butt and call me a biskit!
    All Hail Haven!! You are so good at whammies…I am with Lightning Bug and the Calvin and Hobbs routine…only think of the good stuff late at night when I can’t go to sleep cause I’m still mad….that woman was:
    Dumb as a box of rocks.

  163. TO AMY oh that is just the sweetest most gratifying story.i’d give everthing i own for a happy marriage. i have a feeling you’re going to have one. xxoxoxoo

    to HAVEN. oh my. i think i saw smoke curling from the mouth of a .45. you are the best. what a hateful thing that was. i hope it goes back to its sty for good.

  164. Sher, totally with you on the Wal-Mart thing, and I’d like to add one to the list: Parents who hit their kids in Wal-Mart, and no one bats an eye or says anything because they all think it’s normal. I’ve actually followed them out to the parking lot a couple of times, written down their license plate numbers, and called the national child abuse line to report them. Unfort, there’s no point in saying anything to their faces, because they only get more pissed off and might hit their kids even more in the car.

    Check out this documentary, it’s pretty disturbing (it’s avail at NetFlix and lots of other places)

  165. i’m fairly certain that if i saw a parent hitting their kid in a KMART or TARGET, i would find an aisle with the baseball bats and come back around the mountain and have a little discussion with said parent. (i learned from my divorce that people who are hopping mad, abusive and nasty become very reasonable – almost docile – when you speak to them as you’re holding a Louisville Slugger. i kept one right next to the front door in the entryway of my house for the first year. now it’s under my bed.)after i’d spoken to said parent about why it was illegal as well as cowardly to hit their children? THEN i would write down their license plate and report them. i would follow them home in my car, to monitor their behavior there. i’d also call the local police to come and chat with them in their home, as a preventive measure to whatever could occur before child protective services got their ass over there, which could take a few days. louisville slugger, local police, child protective services. the holy trinity, my friends.

    you’d be amazed at how fast the local police can arrive in a domestic situation. they know that’s the most dangerous crime of all. they are like LIGHTNING.

  166. You go Suzanne.

  167. Just to add my voice to the choir:

    LOVED Haven’s comeback to the wealthy Wal-mart woman with overdeveloped rightousness and underdeveloped humanity. SO fine.

    People like her are part of why I too have no truck with organized religion ie “church” (despite missing the singing.)

    Have the same feelings about Wal-Hell for all the reasons so eloquently expressed.

    Remembered one of my Hoosier grandmother’s common expressions last night:

    “that would puke a buzzard off a spuck truck.”

  168. Let me add one from my family about Walmart woman: “She ain’t nothin’ but a fart in a whirlwin'”

  169. Are we talking about a woman with corn under her breasts and the social implications of that or white trash recipes or quite possibly creating another venue to equate fat, laziness and ignorance? To tell us this story is one thing but I feel it could have been told without all the snide “I’m fat and shop at Wal-Mart” verbiage.

  170. It’s not that she shops at Wal-Mart…it’s that it’s the HIGHLIGHT of her life? Can’t you people READ?

    My whole family is fat and shops at Wal-Mart! I didn’t take offense. We all have rich inner lives and we never had corn growing under our boobs!

    A sense of humor and the ability to tell a story is one of our few defenses in this dark life. Haven was painting a picture. If Haven had been the one to find said corn she would have been the first to harvest it and give that woman some antibiotic ointment.

  171. Also, those recipes are white trash? I thought they were GOOD EAT’N!

  172. Kate: I agree with you about the ability to tell a story. And I agree that Haven was painting a picture. But unlike the Bible-thumping woman pointing out how well to do as well as how morally superior she is, Jennifer’s comment gave me pause.

    None of us would appreciate scene-painting that depicted someone as “less than” based on their color or sexual identity (not that Haven would do such a thing, you know). But we accept the image of fat and lazy and ignorant.

    Some people simply are those things. How else can they be described accurately?

    I don’t know the answer, but it’s a question worth considering. Even for stories as hilarious as this.

  173. I don’t think the reference to Walmart was snide at all. I think it was truthful. Walmart is awful. I hate Walmart and i am not afraid to say it. I hate what is stands for and what it is doing to so much of our country. This is Walmart the corporation. Not the man who founded it as I am sure his intentions were good. But, the fact of the matter is that mega-giants like Walmart are sad and depressing. You wnat to talk about evil. You can find evil in the ways of Walmart.

    And, this food discussion is not white trash. It is home town memories. Good grief.

  174. Here is something to make us all feel better this morning. A tune from my favorite band, Reckless Kelly

    Enjoy Willy Braun’s wonderful voice 🙂

  175. I hate Wal-Mart, too. Do not shop there, do not go there. Haven’t for 10 years or more. Being from southern Missouri, I watched as they killed town squares all around us, including the one in our town. More recently, I’ve watched them get tax concessions and build stores that they abandoned when the tax advantages ran out. The KC suburb where I live has three enormous empty buildings that once were Wal-Marts. Citizens are still paying taxes to support those buildings, but Wal-Mart’s long gone to new sites with new TIFFs.

    And the food? It’s my home town memories, too. Hash brown casserole and beans and cornbread and gravy. Oh, the gravy.

    Despite all that, I think it’s worth considering how to describe a fat, lazy, ignorant person without generalities and with great humor.

  176. I can’t talk anymore guys. I’m headed to Wal-Mart.

  177. And let me be clear: I’m not saying Haven used generalities or that the story was anything other than marvelous as written.

    But I’m a writer, too, and (to me) it’s an interesting puzzle. I’d genuinely appreciate hearing the thoughts of this brilliant group of folks.

  178. Oh my dear one–I read all the responses and had to laugh at the way your faithful readers leapt on their horses and rode off in all directions. The thing about the story (which I heard originally at the same time you did) is the terrible sadness of that woman, prisoner of her own ignorance and inabilty to understand what happened to her life. How did she come to this? Why comfort herself with food and TV and stay locked in a chair, a prison without bars? How inarticulate she must have been to not be able to express her desperation, her lonliness, her loss of dignity and personal pride. She will die like that unless, as one of your precious readers suggested, the doctor urges her to bathe and helps her find some purpose for her life.
    Ah, sweetie, life is a comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel. Because you are who you are, the thinking feeling beautiful child of my heart, you can understand my emptathy for the lost soul with corn growing on her body before it returned to the earth from which it came.

  179. all i know is i got a blood stain on my favorite white hot pants. does anyone know how to remove a blood stain from polyester?

  180. delonda, i love you. your long lost third daughter is coming home! soon as this house sell in california, i will live near haven and keep a gimlet eye on her.

    i expect a very small parade, you will have a couch on a flotilla that you do not sit on.

    suzanne fennimore cooper, haven’s secret girlfriend of the west

  181. Delonda,

    That was so wise…a perfect expression…”comedy for those who think, tragedy for those who feel.”

    I have never heard that before.

  182. Brad Mehldau..beautiful cover of Wonderwall

    i just love it. he also has a cover of Dear Prudence that i adore.

    just thought i’d share

  183. Suzanne: about the only way to remove such a stain is by following this helpful hint from Smokey the Bear:

    1. Purchase quart of acetone.
    2. Douse acetone liberally on pants.
    3. Light match.
    4. Toss on pants; then flee the scene.
    5. Use remainder of acetone to remove fingernail polish.
    6. Get manicure.
    7. Go buy new pants.

    Thank you.

  184. Suzanne: use GONZO. it is like magic. it keeps my kid’s clothes clean! i can’t live without it

  185. Omg – so many things to comment on… where to start…

    I hate Walmart, too. I always try to shop at the locally owned stores, even if it is more expensive, because I am a big fan of our main street, and I want to support those stores and those families. I stopped shopping at Walmart when I went to their pharmacy in my 20’s to get my prescription for birth control pills refilled, and they snooty wanna be doctor in the white coat behind the counter – hand to god – said that their policy was not to fill birth control prescriptions. She went on to explain that this was because I was not married and because the pills could be used to end pregnancies. And she was so condescending to me, like I was the idiot in this situation. I explained to her – nicely – that was really none of her business and please fill the script, but she still said no. I paused, and considered giving her the what for, but then I decided it would be futile. I was so offended, and pissed, and just dumbfounded by the whole experience! Unbelievable!

  186. Will you please adopt me, Mother Delonda?

  187. “life is a comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel”

  188. Great story and great responses…all very timely for me for the following reasons:

    1–First, a story about my grandfather that I thought of soon as I read Haven’s story about the corn woman. Years ago, my grandfather (I called him Papoo–too long of a story for now, but please don’t make fun of me) woke up and said he felt like his “head was in a bucket” and he “couldn’t hear good.” Papoo was convinced he’d suffered some sort of stroke, so in spite of his condition, he got in his truck and drove himself to the emergency room. Turns out, he had a tremendous wax build-up in his left ear, which once removed, returned everything to “normal.” I hope I didn’t gross anyone out with that, but my family has laughed about it for years.

    (2) Until 10 years ago, Papoo owned an independent discout drug store called White Dot. Then, Walmart came to town and drove Papoo out of business. I hate Walmart.

    (3) Papoo passed away on Sunday, after a brief but difficult battle with bladder cancer. The stories on and comments on this blog have helped to cheer me up today. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share.

    Also, Haven–way to stick it to the Walmart Snob.

  189. Suzanne, I concur with George’s wisdom on the hot pants, but if you insist on keeping them Zout’s good. It’s sold at grovery stores around here (east coast – PA.)

  190. And Leslie, sorry about your Papoo. So glad you have happy memories.

  191. Okay all, here’s the latest:

    1. The Wal-Mart woman wrote me a lovely apology and asked for my forgiveness for her tone. I told her it was I who needs to be forgiven.

    2. Finally, FINALLY dear Lesley Young pointed out the real and true reason that we should despise Wal-Mart with all our hearts: because it’s a corporation that has destroyed our towns, our culture, our independent business-people, our sense of community. Their hiring practices are racist, and they actually allow their pharmacists to draw their own conclusions about who may have birth control, which is, as far as I’m concerned, not just evil but felonious and an open slap in the face to women and women’s rights.

    3. Jennifer, you seem to be new here. You should probably clarify your comment.

    4. Mother Delonda, while I agree with you completely, I think it’s just as condescending to assume that the woman was lonely or lost or hopeless or desperate. She may have been happy as a clam. The facts are exactly as I presented them. She was growing corn under her breast. It was nearly impossible to understand what she said; the doctor turned green. As for her inner life, not a one of us is qualified to say what it was.

    5. As for describing people as fat, there are fat people. That’s just the truth. Fourteen times a day I’m told I’m too thin (Mom, back me up here), or ‘skinny,’ or any number of other descriptors, and I never once claim cruelty. I often claim, “Shut the hell up,” but never cruelty.

    6. For God’s sake, think of Papoo. That story breaks my heart.

  192. Perspective is everything, folks.

    I have two very good friends who are sales associates at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Md. Their clients are often those powerful political people we read about and see in the news. I cannot tell you how many times they have used similar words — fat, lazy, ignorant — to describe their clients.

    To Jodi and Jennifer, I would say that as writers, it is useful to call upon objects within the culture such as Wal-Mart and Saks as a type of narrative shorthand to quickly paint scenes. If you describe a Wal-Mart shopper or a Saks shopper, two very distinct images come to mind. Am I right? I don’t think that using these as a device is particularly disparaging.

    We do this all the time. Pair the terms trailer-trash and McMansion. One evokes images of people in pickup trucks who smoke and drink beer while the other elicits a glimpse of someone downing a quick wine cooler before jumping into the Lexus and rushing the kids off to soccer practice.

    As for me personally: I hate both Wal-Mart and Saks. Then again, I hate most stores and avoid malls and shopping centers.

    As a writer, I would feel empowered to use either in any way I wanted in order to get to another truth, scene or point I wanted to make in my narrative.

    Observation: While someone who could shop at Saks might deign to go slumming at Wal-Mart, such as the woman who emailed Haven, I suspect you would never, ever in a zillion years find a regular shopper at Wal-Mart venturing into a Saks. Talk about a real cultural division!!!

  193. George is smart.

  194. I paid her to say that

  195. I could use a couple extra bucks, George. 🙂

  196. Particleofspririt is smart, too.

    don’t worry about the buck, dear! 🙂

  197. given that the Wal Mart lady apologized, i take back any mean things i may have said or thought. it is INCREDIBLY rare to find someone who will apologize when confronted.

  198. You ALL leave me speechless with your brilliance with words…I love reading this blog (plus since I am still reading “Iodine” and haven’t yet gotten to “Solace” this is currently the only thread I CAN read). I LOVE Delonda’s comment about how Haven’s “faithful readers leapt onto their horses and rode off in all directions.” Brilliant! And Haven’s response to the wealthy Wal-Mart shopper?…pure awesomeness.

    I too loathe Wal-Mart and if you are of like mind (and I gather many here are) then I direct your attention to Barbara Ehrenreich’s book “Nickel and Dimed; On Not Getting By in America.” She spent a year working minimun wage jobs in different parts of the country…waitressing in Florida, Merry Maids in Maine, and Wal-Mart worker in Minnesota; the Wal-Mart chapter was the most harsh. Although my opinion of WM didn’t have far to fall before the book, reading of her experiences there caused me to think even less of it.

  199. Perspective is everything…

    Sometimes I help pass out sandwiches and soup to the homeless in Washington, DC. This has offered up some observations on the human situation. A couple of quick scenes:

    Once, I failed to put on rubber gloves as I was handing out sandwiches and one of the nastiest, filthy men I have ever seen in my whole life refused to take one saying I could pass on some germs. The dirt on this guy was capable, I know, of being deep and fertile enough for a brussel sprout to take root!

    In totally freezing weather one year, we had received some blankets from FEMA to give to those who might need it. They were laundered and nicely folded, but not individually packaged like some of the blankets that other charities give out. We stopped by a steam grate where one guy had taken refuge. He was sopping wet but warm. So I offered him a blanket to use in case he left the grate and needed something dry and cozy. He refused it saying there was no telling who had slept on it before him.

    In another case, I handed a guy a ham and cheese sandwich. He queried me like a prosecutor regarding the composition of said sandwich and then rejected it saying he was a vegetarian and did not take dairy. Ironically, he asked for seconds on the hot chicken and noodle soup.

    All that said, if I needed to call on those scenes as a writer, I would do so. If I wanted to take away the encounter and use their appearance or the fact of them on grates in doorways or near the subway entrance, I would do that, too.

    I used to believe and I taught those who attended my Journalism classes at IUPUI and at Georgetown, that as writers, they owned everything within their field of observation and could employ it to inform their articles.

    At its core, writing is an act of courage. A declarative sentence is a strong, strong thing. It’s a real commitment to line up nouns and verbs in a purposeful way. Once a sentence is committed to one purpose, it is unfair to want it to serve another truth. That requires a sentence all its own and perhaps a new narrative.

  200. George is a genius. I LOVE this statement: “Once a sentence is committed to one purpose, it is unfair to want it to serve another truth. That requires a sentence all its own and perhaps a new narrative.”

    I wish I could have been in George’s class.

  201. Nickle and Dimed was a priceless read, no doubt. May I also recommend dusting off the copy of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair? That book isn’t just about meat…it has one of the most relentless and accurate descriptions of class and economic disparity that I have ever read. For a different perspective on the Wal-Mart thing, I loved the book, Where the Heart Is. Remember it? About that teenage girl who lives at the Wal-Mart.

  202. Are you still teaching, George? Can I sign up to be your class? I remember reading “The Jungle” in college…Political Science class. Powerful and unforgettable book, that.

  203. George, I say this with complete sincerity. You are a great treasure, one of the truest I’ve known, and we are all blessed beyond deserving that you share yourself with us.

    Mother Delonda, Melinda: that goes for you, too.

  204. Ya’ll know what I do all day? I edit standardized tests and test manuals. As in, “Take out your number two pencils and open your test booklets” kind of tests. Sometimes I spend 8 hours in a row writing: “change this comma to a period and capitalize the T.”

    Which is to say, you all are a more than a little bit of salvation for me. I am lucky to be here.

    And if I ever threaten to gouge my eyes with those number two pencils I know you guys would be there to talk me out of it. Thank you for that.

  205. I am lucky to have found this “haven” that you ALL create each day. The first book of Haven’s I ever read was The Used World and it left me hungry for more so I went out searching the Internet. That’s where I found this wonderful place last summer and have since seen it morph into this huge organic thing that has spilled over to another Website and various other great blogs and all because it appeals to those of us who may see the world as it is, but choose to inhabit a place where things are as they ought to be — a place of creativity, expression, music, guilt-free gravy and white bread, Elvis, Whitehead, Emerson and taxidermy.

  206. …and respect.

  207. Well, said, George! And I couldn’t agree more. How did we survive before this blog?????

  208. Bravo to everyone! I am loving this.

  209. Back from the Wal-mart. George is right, as usual.

  210. Also, I apologize for making assumptions about the woman’s inner life.

    One thing that stands out to me…we have public school, public library, public health clinics…churches and charities and any number of ways to help a person out in this country. But if you do not take some kind of initiative to get the help, to listen, to do something that you ought, then you will probably get lost in the cracks.

    I’m thankful the woman got help. I pray she is sentient enough to make a positive change. Many are not. Many are dependent on the mercy of others, and if they cannot find that then there is nothing left.

  211. Excuse me while I interrupt or regularly scheduled chatter for another Palin DUH dumb dumb moment.

  212. Oh, Particle (i’m going to call you that for short now!) – we are on the same page today! Check this out – – very scary. How can she be so dumb and so perky at the same time?? Doesn’t she know how stupid she is?? I just want to shake her!!

  213. Oh dear…oh my…!

  214. oh that’s awesome. on TOP of that, the RNC has spent $150,000 giving Palin a makeover!

  215. Yeah – how many “hockey moms” do you know that have $100,000 wardrobes? One of us my foot…

  216. I’m a hockey mom and I have a $100,000 wardrobe.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! OH MY GOD I just made myself sneeze with laughter. I don’t even know what hockey is! And today I went to see my mentalist in my cowboy boot houseslippers! Still laughing. Oh Haven, what a card you are.

  217. Ahh. You had your cowboy boot house slippers. But did you have your pocketknife?

  218. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m dying to see a picture of Oh Haven in her cowboy boot slippers.

  219. Ok – wow, my references to white trash in a previous posting were referring to my own realizations about my roots, about certain branches of my family (I didn’t have to mention the uncle how does live in a mansion and raises the top Tennessee Walking horses, or my other relatives who are real estate developers in Marco Island that made a killing in the 70’s, or my father-in-law who was a VP at Merrill Lynch, because those facts were not germaine to our conversation, or FUNNY, it is not my fault they are rich or that I was raised poor) – but my eating and cooking have never been white trash. The skills required to turn a 2 foot mound of flour, eggs poured in the middle with milk measured in the broken eggshells – the site is worthy of any Food Network Challenge and my grand was THE QUEEN. Country cooking might be a better terminology to use. Us “white trash” have the right to call ourselves that in good humour, but NOBODY needs to call me that who hasn’t lived my life.

    People drove for miles to buy my grandpa’s pork because he babied those things – they were treated better than his own children.

    There is something to be said for “switching the channel” when you don’t enjoy the program. It is a free country and everyone has a right to their opinions – but why join a club you don’t want to be a part of? I don’t scour the net for I love Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Eliz. Hasselback sites and then post demeaning and denigrating commentary.

    This “club” is full of kind-hearted, give-you-the-shirt-off-their-back, salt-of-the-earth kindred spirits – you better believe we will defend our own, especially our Haven.

    A written or spoken word can not be unwritten or unspoken. If you are going to open your mouth, own up to it – I don’t believe in I’M SORRIES. I believe in authenticity and integrity. I believe in corn (wherever it grows). I believe in country noodles. I believe in pumpkin pie.

    I’m a former trailer trash child, but I have moved onward and upward, but I don’t lord it over my family (many of whom are FAT and either WORK as SLAVES at WALMART or shop there). And I even went there last weekend because all the other stores/mall/shops in Danville, IL have been shut down by Walmart.

    I’ve been asked by many people to open a restaurant or bed-and-breakfast based on my country noodles, yeast rolls, bread pudding, and my very sophisticated vegetable pie.

    I’m all riled up –

    I hear enough stupidity from Elizabeth Hasselback and Jim Reilly – I write the View everyday asking for them to fire her. I LOVE Whoopee Goldberg, but I can’t stand to watch that Blonde Psycho or hear her voice. She has ruined one of my favorite events of the day.

    Also these close-minded, judgmental beings are the same ones who threatened to run Natalie Maines, murder her child, run her out of the country for her “ashamed of Bush/Texan” comment. Now who is ashamed? She was right all along – we needed to gather more information before running off to blow up Iraq. If anybody deserves an apology from America/Bush/Country Radio, it is the Dixie Chicks.

    I’m really pissed . . . it is a holy wrath against judgemental, holier-than-thou, blithe evangelicals and conservatives.

    I’M NOT READY TO MAKE NICE, my sisters and I sung that karoake at the American Legion at my neice’s wedding in July – she headed off to the Navy 2 weeks later. She is 106 lbs. and doing survival training in the Gulf of Mexico to defend some people’s right to blow their mouths off and live in their McMansions and those who CHOOSE to shop at Walmart. The DJ said he would never want to meet the three of us in a back alley. Before the end of the reception we had a group photo taken of all the veterans of our American Military – we all balled our eyes out as tiny little Dany stood up there, 18 years old in her white wedding dress, along with 3 generations of Vietnam, Korean & Gulf War Veterans. I have ancestors that were in the fucking boat with George Washington (verifiable – James Cahill, Washington’s Aid-De-Camp), others that died in the Civil War on BOTH sides. Now I have another nephew going off to the Air Force . . . don’t judge me or my “white trash” family – our blood has spilled and soaked the ground you walk on.

    Yeah, you wouldn’t.

  220. Now I’d like to tell a little story about Mother Delonda. I don’t mean to suggest that the infinite humanity she shows in her post above isn’t accurate to her nature, because it is. She is truly, in addition to my sister and niece and the family I’ve made, the finest person I know, and as a mother she saved my life every day. (Damn, I just realized the list of extraordinarily fine people I know is really really long. I started to add Beth, who is a saint, and then realized I’d have to add my Otters and my commenters and god in heaven, I’d have to get out the phone book just to remember them all).

    But let me just add that she has a wicked, wicked sense of humor, and I guarantee you that she had a tissue out weeping with laughter both when we first heard the corn story, and when she read it this time. How do I know? I could offer countless examples, but I’ll just use this one. After my father left us, Delonda grieved an appropriate amount of time and then decided to begin dating. Let us say she didn’t choose well with those first few attempts. She had two or three dates with someone who . . . let’s see, how to be politically correct enough for some of you (you know who you are) . . . I can’t say ‘vertically challenged,’ because that would be shortism. And who am I to dare say such a thing? I know: he was perfect and THE REST OF US WERE TOO TALL. How’s that? I was sixteen at this time, and he called to say what time he would pick her. I was on my way out the door (undoubtedly to climb on the back of a motorcycle driven by someone who looked exactly like Greg Allman), so I left a note on the front door that read:

    Snow White, Dopey says he’ll be here around 6:00.

    Guess how long Saint Dee Dee laughed about that one? TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, my friends. A QUARTER OF A CENTURY. So keep that in mind. As Mom Mary used to say, “She ain’t no better than she oughta be.”

  221. Jerri, I left the knife in the car but I took in a photograph of my new wolf.

  222. Sher, I LOVE ‘I’m Not Ready To Make Nice.’ Those women are heroes as far as I’m concerned.

    Hey, that would make a great tattoo for me. I don’t have any tattoos.

  223. I’m baking some Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies . . . but I had another thought –

    some people need to reverse the size of their mouths and their assholes, so the majority of the shit comes out the right end.

  224. Haven–your new wolf??

  225. Haven – I am in for the NOT READY TO MAKE NICE TATTOO, should I get it on my ass so people it can read it when I moon them?

  226. Did you all watch the Dixie Chick Movie, “Shut Up and Sing”? If you haven’t, you should. I just got an email about Naomi Wolf’s ‘My America Project’ too. Something else the entire country should see.

  227. Ha! Sher!

  228. I went to see “Shut Up and Sing” at the movies and bought it ASAP on DVD – they rock as musicians, humans, and mothers.

    I was patted down when I went to their concert in Nashville Dec. 2006 – they had so many death threats they almost were forced by the City to shut down the concert – they went on anyway – bravo!

  229. Yeah, Kate Cake – I’m sweet in person ’til I get pissEd . . .

  230. Sher – You crack my shit up! If I ever come to Nashville you, me and Linda are sooo going to Karaoke. I love the Chicks. I always have to listen to a few DC songs on road trips. I think their song I Hope really resonates right now:

    I hope
    For love, joy and laughter
    I hope
    We’ll have more than we’ll ever need
    I hope
    We’ll have more happy ever afters
    I hope
    We can all live more fearlessly
    And we can lose all the pain and misery
    I hope, I hope

  231. Brandon, that is one of their fab songs – they are the perfect example of vacillating between humour (Earl’s Gotta Die) and Interconnectedness . . .

    maybe I need to go listen to some, or Jagged Little Pill, and you GOTTA come to Nashville . . .

  232. How could I have missed this post? (OK, I had surgery, so that’s a good excuse, right?) OMG, you have really outdone yourself. Whether this is fiction or fact, this is one of the best blog posts I’ve EVER read. I’m really really hoping this is a true story. And the corn picture is fabulous! You made my day Haven!

    Love ya,
    The Girl from the Ghetto

  233. i’ve got nothing interesting to say except that Haven’s new avatar reminds me of Into the Wild.

  234. Sher, that is so funny – and sad – that you ALSO have written to The View about Hasslebeck. I have written to them several times myself. I really like the show, esp Whoopi, but many times I have to turn it off because even when I can stand what she says (which isn’t often,) I still can’t stand her voice.

    One word, Haven: Henna.

  235. Sorry to backtrack here folks, but can I put in my two cents as to the country cooking? I grew up with chocolate gravy and drop biscuits. It wasn’t really gravy, of course, it was a sauce or topping or some such thing. But it was the absolute best thing in the world. It was the treat of all treats to stay all night at Grandma Jarvis’ (no relation to Bob) house and wake up to chocolate gravy and biscuits in the morning. I now make it when my kids are all home, which is to say not often enough

    And if you have mashed potatoes and corn (preferably freezer corn cut off the cob) you’d better mix them together or someone at my table will sure as hell make fun of you.

    (Love you H.)

  236. Timmy, I forgot your mom’s maiden name was Jarvis. Sigh. We were meant to be together and the AWFUL FORCES OF FATE INTERVENED.

    (Love you T.)

  237. Tim! YES to mashed potatoes mixed with corn.

    You know what the best thing is about Thanksgiving dinner? Everything tastes great touching or even all mixed together! And I am not someone who likes her food to touch.

  238. Kate, you can tell we’re all Hoosiers because we all eat Thanksgiving dinner the same way. I.e., in the CUTE way.

  239. The cutest!

    What are your feelings on cranberry sauce?

  240. Girl From the Ghetto — welcome back! I hope your surgery wasn’t too awful, although the word ‘surgery’ generally implies something hateful.

    And yes, every word of the story is true. As the other commenters will tell you (and my family as well) I try very, very hard never to lie. By which I mean I think very carefully before I say something because I’m AFRAID I might get it wrong. I’m not crazy — I’ll fib in order not to hurt someone’s feelings, but no, I don’t lie.

    Be well!

  241. H – those damn AWFUL FORCES OF FATE. That was no time for an intervention.

    Kate – a big NO from me on the cranberry sauce – even if it’s dropped right out of the can in cylindrical jiggly form with the ridges still visible.

  242. I love any conversation about food, especially regional differences. My family has always eaten baked beans with cottage cheese, and my grandma Hill ate cottage cheese with fruit, which wasn’t too weird to me, and with beets, which I could never understand. My grandma Matherly and my mom make a breakfast food called mush – ya’all eat that, too?? I love it, but I’ve never made it, so I don’t know what is in it, but it is fried and wonderful.

    I hope you all have a great night – I’m enjoying catching up on the posts from today!!

  243. Tim, I like my cranberry in juice form, in a cocktail, preferably… The can business just never makes sense to me. It’s a bit odd, don’t you think, the way it maintains that shape??

  244. Hm…love the Mother Delonda remark about “riding off in different directions.” So true, so true…

    As for Wal-Mart, *deep sigh*. I shop there because I am a Catholic school teacher with no money. I am not a) fat b) ignorant or c) a child abuser (though again, I know a few kids who could use a good burning). I am also not wealthy. *shrug*

    Wal-Mart is…convenient. And honest to God, I think that’s why most people go there. Forgive me, but I think it’s really funny that people are getting bent out of shape one way or the other about it. Evil empire vs. able to make my car payment etc…we all make compromises, right? I hope I am not going to hell for pinching pennies and living pay check to pay check.

    I hate that it’s the cheapest place to shop, but I also know I am on a budget. I am very sorry they put your papoo out of business. That blows. 😦 I am hoping that by shopping there now, I’ll be able to afford not to later…

    Otherwise–I love “listening” to you talk. I swear I learn something new every time I scroll down.

  245. Here are some authentic images of Country Noodles Over Mashed Potatoes, other Midwest scenes from my IL/IN trip last weekend and – BEST OF ALL – an image of KateCake with Baby Alice!

    Feel free to download from the site if you want any of the images . . . or just order right from Shutterfly.

  246. LB, I shop at WM for the same reasons. Someday I might be able to afford it, or go 7 different places for the things I need, but not right now.

    I am not really thrilled with cranberry sauce that is canned shaped, but my grandma makes cranberry orange relish that is fresh and delicious. HOWEVER, I don’t like it touching my turkey. No sirreebob. I like it in a little dish by itself. Sort of like a dessert before the pumpkin pie (with real whipped cream my momma made)

  247. Ahhhh! My face! Alice’s hair looks like devil horns!!!

    Ooh I like the peacock feather art!!

  248. I’m with Tim on cranberry sauce. It comes from Satan’s bunghole.

  249. Satan’s bunghole? You KILL ME, Haven!!! 🙂

  250. Well, it does come from a can…

  251. Kate Cake –
    you are beautiful!!! We never think we look good in photos – NEVER. Alice’s hair was mythic with its bouncy ringlets – just gorgeous, like I said, Madonna & Child

    Steph in IN-
    yippee, somebody else has experienced baked beans over cottage cheese. In our family we have a running battle over which order they should be placed in – I vote for the cottage cheese in the bowl with the beans on top. And, OF COURSE, you eat cottage cheese together with fruit – I’ve seen this in many cafes!

    Once I saw Wynonna Judd and her mom at our local Franklin Walmart (of course, it is a fully bricked version, but is the same ole-same ole on the inside) – they like to shop at 2 a.m. – which is one of the best reasons for the existence of Wally’s – it caters to insomniacs. I still hate it, though. It is an evil neccessity in our society. But I still avoid it as much as possible.

    Also, I will go to great lengths to make a statement, even if it is the silent minority. This week I have not spent 1 red cent. We are eating what is in our cupboards, no movies, no ebaying or Borders, nothing! It is my way of preventing rampant consumerism. It is amazing what you can dig out to do – play games with your family, bake cookies, unpack boxes . . . listen to the wind. I am thinking about adopting this as an every other week practice.

    (Caveat: my husband has spent money on gas to get to work).

  252. Sher I totally missed your comment!

    Good for you on the consumerism. I have done that many times. Sometimes out of choice, sometimes necessity!

  253. Guys, go check out the yahoo site. Haven’s slippers are now the image you are greeted with. Image was photo-shopped to show the detail in the stitching.

  254. I have met Kate the Sweetest of Cupcakes, and she is BEAUTIFUL.

  255. Thank you, Sock.

    Today I made up one of my favorite phrases ever. Augusten and I were debating whether there was such a phrase as ‘cornholism.’ Augusten wants to begin using it regularly. I said I would prefer to say, “Oh, don’t get all cornholier than thou.” I frankly this is some of my best work.

  256. LINDERS COCONUT WHITE CHOCOLATE BAR (hard to find.may contact Linder’s and purchase case directly)




    all of these are beyond the beyond.

  257. I prefer freshly made cranberry sauce with whole cranberries. My father will only eat the canned stuff – he likes the ridges. MMM…I love day-after-Thanksgiving paninis with turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and havarti (swiss if havarti isn’t available).

    All this talk about damn food has made me hungry again and I just had a bowl of homemade frozen yogurt made just this evening. Sher – Send me some of those noodles with mashed potatoes.

    HK – RE: “p.p.s. Lindy, let’s just skip the coroner’s story about the antique potato masher, shall we?” I SOOO have to hear this story!

  258. oops that’s LINDT COCONUT WHITE chocolate bars.

    when i was pregnant with pablo, i often bought a P FARMS COCONUT LAYER CAKE and inhaled in in two days and two nights. most satisfying. no regrets.

  259. okay. i’m roastuing a nice crispy chicken, cut up (380 degrees convection heat if possible- for 30 minutes, take out the small pieces, cook a bit more for large breast pieces…) oh and sprinkle with SPIKE before you cookit.

    and ive got the white chocolate bar. oh! oh! and KASHI makes COOKIES now that are AMAZING. HUGE . oatmeal dark chocolate, or happy trail mix flavor. theyre loaded with fiber and all that crap but they are AMAZING.

    this one thread will cost me two pounds. oh hurrah! i need to be fatter and less VAIN.

  260. nobody’s talking about books? but i’mreading Updike’s latest t just came out. THE WIDOWS OF EASTWICK.


    well, the man never did write a bad book. this one is sumptuous.

  261. HK – Cornholism is a term some Buckeyes (people from Ohio for those not in the midwest) use to describe people who are addicted to the game of cornhole (very popular tailgating game and backyard game)…or in the case of my grandmother who didn’t have corn around and used peas, peahole.

  262. “Oh, don’t get all cornholier than thou.” I frankly this is some of my best work.

    i agree. it;s a riot. GOD.

  263. Haaaven…*blushing* I mean, Thank you.

    Haven is HAWT in real life, y’alls. She is tall and thin like a fashion model and cool and mysterious. I saw her and I almost hid under my chair.

    I love Lindt, especially Lindor Truffles aka chocolate butter.

    There is a particular confection my mother and I are very fond of that is hard to find. Russel Stover’s Mint Dreams. They are milk chocolate with a fluffy mint center and they are so fabulous. There is a Russel Stover outlet store right near one of my husband’s childhood homes outside Manchester, TN. I went in and bought my mom an entire display case and gave it to her for Christmas. 24. 2 a month for a year. I don’t know if I was ever so excited to give someone a present.

  264. Sweet Slippers!

    I saw a kid at the mall today who had a pair of Lightening McQueen those were cool too. BTW. I hate the mall. Every day the same exact people just walking around and around and around, never stopping to buy a thing. And the mall “managers” are bullies.

    on another note, sent me a time warped video of Nov 7th claiming McCain won the election and it was all my fault, because I failed to vote. WTF? I’m usually one of the first people in line to vote, but is this kind of thing supposed to really motivate people to vote?–

  265. Also, cornholier than thou will probably make it into the McKinney-Cake vocabulary.

  266. p.s. the video is kinda slow to load.

  267. My name is Dee and I’m powerless over corn. I’ve been 3 weeks 2 days, 7 hours and 14 minutes with corn. Yes, I would like a 3 week chip.

  268. My three year old son can eat 4 ears of corn on the cob in one sitting.

  269. Wow, that’s a lot of corn for a 3 yr old!

  270. Kate – He must have good pooing habits! I can barely eat 4 ears in one sitting myself and I crave corn.

    Dee – I just posted a pink furry slippers pic on the yahoo page.

  271. It’s alot of corn for ANYBODY. And the funny thing is, he will only eat corn on the cob. No loose corn.

  272. HK – I just got around to listening to John’s song. That man is some kind of talented! Do you have any recordings of Kat?

  273. Kate, you are so right about Haven being hot, hot, hot. When finally reunited after 29 years I was nearly frozen in place at the sight of her. She is more delicious than any decadent ice cream mentioned above. She was 13 when I met her and I love her to this day.

  274. i always liked the expression

    “oh for corn’s sake!”

  275. miss cake: “no loose corn”

    okay. that”s hilarious.

  276. We need pictures of a 13 year old Haven!

  277. Now I have slipper envy.

  278. *bowing* Thank you, Suzy Q.

  279. I’m not sure I have photos of that sweet, sweet girl. I’ll dig around at my parents’ house to make sure. I know I didn’t have them in my possession during my first marriage (to She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named). That would have caused a great deal of friction to be sure.

  280. Oh Brandon…don’t get me started on that child and poo. He has a tremendous sense of humor and it’s basically ALL scatological.

  281. Kate – HA HA. Poo is all we talk about in my family. The faint of heart would not deal well at my family functions.

    It’s always good to have scatological humor!

  282. Dylan used to say

    “corn on the nog” or
    “corn on the log” – 3 year olds are so CUTE!!!!

    All I can say is – chew, chew, chew so you don’t see it in the poo, poo, poo

  283. Oh, Sher. That is a WHOLE other story. Peanuts and Corn…

  284. Brandon – I know I was opening the gross-out vault on that but – hey – we’ve already sunk so far, what is another 3 inches . . ?

    My husband only likes New Jersey White Corn on the Cob – he is from NJ and was proud to show me their “corn fields” (like 10 rows of corn, ok) . . . then we drive from Atlanta to Champaign IL and go up 57 from Carbondale, that is 200 miles of ONE single cornfield . . .

    he was beginnning to shake and muttering “children of the corn” and “when will it END??”

  285. Oh I love it too, but we’ll basically be here all night if I start telling stories about my darling Linus.

  286. Watch out for HE WHO WALKS BEHIND THE ROWS.

  287. Parenthood is all about poo!

    We couldn’t leave the hospital after Lauren Nicole was born because she wouldn’t poo – I was checked out and was allowed up in the nursery to breast feed her every two hours . . . it was hell.

    Then at 3 years, she decided she didn’t like to poo – that was major problems I can’t go into here (I do have SOME standards) . . . then it is all about making sure there is a location to poo . . . or faulty diapers that don’t work . . . shit, I mean, POO.

    Lauren also used to stuff raisins up her nose (age 1 -2), Don would come home and fish one out with his surgical tweezers, she would still rub her nose, and he would say, “are there more in there” and she would nod yes (she didn’t talk ’til age 3ish) . . . once he pulled out a total of 4 (3 of which were in 1 nostril) . . .

  288. I don’t mean to change the subject from what one can find in one’s poo, but I went to the yahoo Haven’s Blog Babies page and I tried THREE TIMES to upload a photo album and it wouldn’t let me, the CRAP HAT. And they were GREAT photos. I left a lot of comments for you all, but I forgot the most important one. Well, not the most important one, because that was discovering that George is HOT, and that while Brandon is my true boyfriend, his Erik is YOWZA.

    Who posted that in Seattle people make things out of glass? In the upper right hand corner there’s a bracelet with small . . . glass things? Is it for sale? It’s one of those things I saw and thought, “Yep. Haven.” I don’t generally think of myself in the third person, but periodically it’s necessary.

  289. my mother Bunny will VERY RARELY wish someone “in the corn.”

    i just know she’s put a hex on this house so i won’t move to NC.

    i’ve had to de-hex with sage ONCE ALREADY when my ex left. yesterday i found myself purchasing a fresh sage stick.


    mothers, men and witches,my friends. mothers, men and witches.

  290. haven, you like pretty glass things, darlin?

    my ex brother in law is one of the best glass blowers in the US. oh while i was married we had the most gorgeous collection of hand blown glass…he studied inItaly, taihgter at the chicago art institute.

    it goes without saying, to anyone who knows me or who has read Split, that through a very special brand of charm and trickery, i kept the entire collection of glass.

    haven, remind me to pack that glass extra careful when i move. (if i move. god willing.)

  291. “taihgter” = ‘taught’.

  292. Haven, I think it is Caryl who makes the gorgeous glass pieces and actually offered to purchase that same piece!!! GOOD taste – she makes them as gifts only – but you have a good shot at being a recipient!!!!

  293. If it were me, and I were the kind of girl who could make anything besides cute babies, I would give it to you Haven. But alas, I can only purchase such items. I am pretty sure we are talking about Carrie.

  294. I do have a source for something pretty cool. I have a leather bracelet that is thin and soft and wraps around the wrist twice, with a little silver clasp. It has all of my kids names stamped on it. If I could take a picture and download it I would, but Haven trust me it would look very cool on your delicate wrist.

  295. I LOVE leather bracelets. I love bracelets in general. I’m not much of a jewelry person — I love rings and bracelets but not great big earrings and I almost NEVER wear necklaces. One time I met a jewelry designer from India who told me how lovely an emerald necklace would look on me (my eyes are green) and I said, a little panicky, “Oh, I don’t wear necklaces.” She nodded and said, “You were born with your cord wrapped around your neck.” AND I WAS. Aren’t people MAGICAL?

    Anyway, Caryl-Love, that bracelet sounds beautiful.

  296. SuzyQ, have someone pack that glass for you.

  297. Carrie, are you the bracelet girl? Name your price. Trust me: it couldn’t come near what I paid for the wolf.

  298. H- spell the kids names as you would like them, add John if you’d like, and I’ll see what I can do. I am the girl who loses diamonds out of rings, leaves jewlery at hotels, etc, and this bracelet is more like a piece of you than jewlery.

  299. If I had a ring for every beloved ring I’ve lost? I’d have more rings.

  300. Every single thing my paternal grandfather has given me got destroyed or lost, including the emerald ring he gave me for 8th grade graduation.

  301. All shall be returned to us in Heaven’s Sacred Toy Room.

    Night, chirren.

  302. That is true. I forgot!

  303. Hello everyone. I am running out the door with my son and have not read all the latest posts yet and this is a total hijack but I know you will understand because you have all been such a great support to me:

    Today is my 6 month sobriety anniversary.

    Yippee. (unhijack)


  304. LINDA, I will be congratulating you all day, randomly. Be prepared. You’re a hero.

  305. Linda! That is wonderful! I hope you celebrate today.

  306. Can someone repost the link to the yahoo group? I may have to try to make an ID and get on there to see these photos everyone talks about.

  307. way to go Linda! CONGRATS! keep it up, one day at a time!

  308. Linda – good for you! What a tremendous accomplishment! And – today is Augusten Burroughs birthday, too! Synchronicity for sure!!

    And I also need the yahoo link – I’m feeling a little left out here!! 🙂


  310. Linda, congratulations!! Continued success to you!

  311. Congrats Linda!!

  312. Yea Linda!!! Good for you!!!
    I’ve added in Ohio to my name because I think there be another Amy who posts sometimes:)

  313. Linda:

    You go grrrrrl! (Fade to John Lennon singing): “Every day, in every way, it’s gettin’ better and better. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful GRRRRRRRL!”

  314. Gosh, nothing like making myself the center of attention. LOL

    And, it is Augusten’s birthday! Hurray. I will wander over to his Facebook and get in line to give him a virtual hug.

  315. YaY Linda!!

    How’d you do it? 🙂

  316. One day at a time, Dee. And, with a lot of help from my friends 🙂

  317. I was so excited I about wet myself when Augusten left me a birthday wish, on Myspace, for my last birthday.

  318. Perfect answer! heh

  319. I’m new to your blog, not new to your writing.

    What upset me originally was, even though used for writing purposes, the images in this story are very real. I think now, that I’ve re-read it, what really upsets me is that I was surprised she decided to seek medical care. So maybe I was more upset with my own reaction than the actual story.

    Also, I use the term “white-trash recipes” most lovingly. Where would the world be without tater tots and cheese sauce?

  320. Congratulations, Linda. I’m singing along with George: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Grrrrl.

  321. Good Morning!
    I just caught up on all the posts…sending my congrats and a hug to Linda, too! Ditto on Augusten.
    And Sher…can I get your very sophisticated vegetable pie recipe please? I still think we need to do a Haven’s Blog Babies Cookbook.
    Does anyone in this blog besides me watch ‘Pushing Daisies’ on t.v.? Last episode had little taxidermy tableaus that were definately for Haven.
    Gotta Work for awhile. Damn.

  322. Linda, this has been one of my favorite poems since I was very young, and if there’s any reason to stay sober, I think it’s this:

    My Papa’s Waltz

    The whiskey on your breath
    Could make a small boy dizzy;
    But I hung on like death:
    Such waltzing was not easy.

    We romped until the pans
    Slid from the kitchen shelf;
    My mother’s countenance
    Could not unfrown itself.

    The hand that held my wrist
    Was battered on one knuckle;
    At every step you missed
    My right ear scraped a buckle.

    You beat time on my head
    With a palm caked hard by dirt,
    Then waltzed me off to bed
    Still clinging to your shirt.

    –Theodore Roethke

  323. Thank you, Haven.

  324. Jennifer, one of the funniest things my First Gay Christopher ever said was this: we were working on the libretto of an opera (it was a DISASTER, and Chistopher and I ran like rabbits) but at one particular meeting he referred to someone as ‘white-trash,’ and an excessively politcally correct professor said she was from Kentucky and found that unforgiveably offensive. (Actually, she had worked in Kentucky for three years and was actually from Connecticut or something.) Now as you may know, one does not cross a Gay Christopher, and he turned to her cold as ice and said, “Until YOU, ma’am, have spent Saturday morning sitting on the moldy floor of your granddaddy’s mobile home while he sets his bed on fire smoking, while eating cold tamales out of a can with your fingers, don’t YOU tell ME who is white-trash and who isn’t.” The room became very quiet.

  325. Nice, Christopher! Ha!

    I LOVE that poem, Haven.

    Hi Jennifer! Are you going to eat your tots?

  326. Oh, yeah – Kate Cake comes in with the Napoleon Dynamite reference – VERY NICE!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

  327. Brenda–I am a fellow “Pushing Daisies” fan and thought immediately of Haven during last night’s episode…the internet leads us down some unexpected paths, does it not? A month ago, had I seen that episode it would have reminded me of…nobody. Last night, it gave me a tiny smile inside.

    Also, congrats to Linda and Happy Birthday to Augusten! I discovered Haven and Augusten’s work within mere days of each other one summer (both have, of course, since become favorites)coincidentally and discovered years later that they were best buds…it strikes me as eerie to this day.

  328. That poem is lovely and poignant. I am totally in love with the way it mimics a nursery rhyme.

    My Pappy’s drinking days were well behind him when I came into the scene. His boozy tricks remained, which made him playful, delightful and unpredictable.

    One Christmas my Grandma gave all her grandkids a silver dollar tucked inside a baby’s sock.

    In the evening, after the parents opened their gifts and we all sat around in a post-gluttony haze, I found myself sitting next to Pappy and his couch-shark of a dog, Cheeto.

    “Bo (my nickname), lend me a dollar,” said Pappy, knowing damn well that the silver dollar was all the money I had to my name.

    “I’ve only got that dollar grandma got us.”

    “I know, Bo. Would you lend it to me?”

    Reluctantly, I dug into my pocket and pulled out the silver dollar. I didn’t even look at it as I handed it over.

    “Here, take it,” I sighed, and then got off the couch.

    About a half hour later, he called me to come see him in the kitchen. What now, I thought, he’s taken my last damn penny.

    When I met him, he had the silver dollar in hand. Then he gave it back. Just like that.

    “I just wanted to see if you lend it to me,” he said, some wild look in his eye, like the moment someone looks just before they start laughing.

    It was strange. That little exchange was just of a million that endeared him to me for eternity. It was a gentle, sweet trick. A bit of Christmas performance art. Some morality sleight-of-hand just for me. Much better than the uncle who could pull a pennies out of our ears.

    As it turned out, it was the gift that came back years later when I found out from my brother and another cousing that Pappy had done the same thing with him.

  329. WOW, George. That story is wonderfully chilling.

  330. That is a sweet story, George. I never had a grandfather I really knew. My father’s father, who was my favorite in the little memory I have of him, died when I was 5. I never got to know my mother’s father because they moved to Florida when I was a toddler and we only saw them a few times after that. It was just too expensive to take a family of 5 all that way. But, I know that grandfather through letters he wrote to my grandmother when they were dating.

    Ok- this will probably be the only time I post a poem I have written, but I took a poetry writing class at Belmont when i was finishing my degree and I wrote this poem from those letters. I still know absolutely nothing about writing poetry, so take it for what it is (I know, low poetry writing self esteem…)

    Letters to Vera, 1926

    Good gosh, sweetheart,
    there’s so much to tell you.
    I’ll start at the beginning and
    follow right through day to day.

    Do you like apple cider?
    I hope so,
    because Chick bought a press.
    We mashed until our arms hurt.
    Twenty gallons. How about that?
    I set some aside just for you.

    Mother said she saw you.
    How lucky for her.
    You know darn well I’m just
    itching to hold you in my arms,
    let you leave a lipstick mark
    on my collar.

    Saturday night I went dancing
    with a woman from work.
    Blond, but respectable.
    Geepers, I love to dance.
    You understand me so well.

    You asked me if I’m your Harold.
    Nothing else but.
    Now I am asking:
    are you my Vera?
    Is you?

    Went to town today in the car.
    Floored it, so fast
    it got to 35 miles an hour.
    I can still feel the wind in my hair.

    So many lonely nights
    without you,
    honey dear, my only one.
    I’m simply wild about you,
    don’t you know?

    I could continue writing
    and writing
    till doomsday.
    Do you know when that is?
    But, I need some sleep.
    Pardon me while I rustle a little tune
    on the springs.

    If you need me,
    call for me.
    Your own,

  331. oh Roethke is a gem, and so accessible! l’ve loved him forever

    “In a dark time, the eye begins to see…”

    “Which I is I?”

    “…..and what prodigious mowing we did make…”

  332. I realize the Wal-Mart thread was 3,000 posts ago, but I just can’t keep up with you people! I just have to tell my favorite Wal-Mart story. When my son was about five, we were wandering the aisles of WM trying to find something-or-other when this very large woman started shouting at her very small child for who-knows-what. My fantastic five-year-old walked right up to her and said, “That’s NOT a respectful way to speak to your child. You need to use your inside voice and think about how you would feel if some giaganti-saurus were yelling at you.” Exact words. I was so proud.

    To comment on the general topic of corn, if you haven’t seen the Corn Statues in Columbus, Ohio, take a look: Only in the Midwest.

    Food: do you have “green bean salad” in Indiana? In Ohio, this delicacy consists of fresh green beans, green onions, mayo, & sugar. Mix it all up and serve cold. Don’t forget to use enough mayo that the green beans actually turn white. Yum.

  333. GIGANTISAURUS! This is the best thing I’ve heard in YEARS!

  334. Linda, I mean this in the single best possible way, but those could be the lyrics to a Johny Cash song. They are flawless and irreducible and heartbreaking and tender. And I’m a harsh critic of poetry — I’m much too heady and formalist, but that hit me in the damn gut. Hats off to you. I will read it many, many times.

    So I’m wondering, someone chime in here: I wrote what may be one of the better poems of my life, but the person I wrote it for will never read it. It just lies around, sadly. I’m wondering if I could put it up as a post, and you all read it, and then we come back to to the SRLS discussion? You don’t have to praise it or mock it or anything, but I’d love to see it somewhere alive.

    George, that story is sublime. It reminds me of the letters Erma Bombeck left each of her children. There were four, and all four said, “Don’t tell the others, but you were always my favorite.”

  335. Or I could post it here? I don’t know. I’m a shitty poet.

  336. Could someone ANSWER me? My dog Puppa has her head in my armpit snoring, and Flat Stanley is in my shirt (his head is poking out my collar) and in general I’m getting a tad warm and need some advice.

  337. Linda, my beloved Gjertrude Schnackenberg has a series of poems written between two people in that same period, pioneers. They rip my heart out.

    God, I am so melodramatic. THEY RIP MY HEART OUT. I CRY ALL DAY. MY HEAD EXPLODED. I HAVE A RABBIT IN MY SHIRT. I need a tall cold glass of Shut The Hell Up.

  338. Well…the corn story made me feel better about my tendency when I see really, really gigantasaurses to mutter to my husband, “You KNOW there are mushrooms growing somewhere on that body.”

    Lightning Bug…oh my heart is aching for you right now…I’ve been in a similiar situation…it’s never easy. See Jody’s post earlier in this thread ( I think). I would recommend this: if a dearly loved friend were telling you this situation, what would you advise her to do? Then do EXACTLY that.

    Haven, you should really go to bed.

  339. Thanks, Sandra, I feel GREAT about that poem now.

  340. YES. THE POEM.


  341. Oh, Haven! I’m sorry, you yelled for help and you got me. I loved Linda’s poem, because it is so true. There’s not a false note in it. There’s not a false note in Linda either for that matter.

  342. Isn’t it completely sad the songs Johnny Cash never got to record? Haven is right about that poem. I would love to what he could do with it.

  343. Oh gosh, just read your posts before the one I responded to. Yes, yes, yes! Please post! I would read the back of a shampoo bottle if you wrote it Haven.

  344. and from the poem you shared earlier here, you are a phenomenal and fierce poet

  345. Oh, Sandra. I’m so emotional these days. Kate thinks it’s because I’m ovulating. (HAHAHAHA CUPCAKE! She thinks the word ‘ovulating’ is obscene.) You didn’t say anything wrong. Flat Stanley got one of his little claws hooked in my bra and that was all WEIRD, and I don’t know, maybe I should give up on poems, and also Matt in Nebraska is CONSTANTLY having nephews, don’t let him tell you differently. He’s a lunatic for nephews.

    Other than that I’m fine.

  346. You know, Pumpkin Cupcake, I think once Cash recorded ‘Hurt,’ his time here was done. It pains me to say it, but of course I get to see him in Heaven.

  347. I have this one song he has to sing me in Heaven. It’s called Beautiful Scandalous Night and it’s about the crucifixion. Johnny Cash could sing the TAR out of that.


    Are you? I’m not.

    OVULATION. OVULATION. OVULATION. Look at me, I’m talking SMUT!!!

  348. Haven I meant YES to your poem. RIGHT NOW.

  349. You got scared of both OVULATION and LAPTOP! Admit it, scoundrel!

  350. You have NO sense of humor.

    Ok, that’s not true.

  351. Can you BELIEVE iTunes doesn’t have Beautiful Scandalous Night by Cash? They have it by someone named Bebo Norman, but I’ll be damned if I’m going there. Now I’ll never hear it.

  352. Of course they don’t have it. IT DOESN’T EXIST. Except in Heaven with all the Fisher Price Toys.

  353. You know how Kate loves me? She pulls my braids in second grade homeroom.

  354. Come on! Post it! You’re among friends. Shine some light on us.

  355. And I dip them in the INKWELL, because I have a crush on you.

  356. The song does exist. Much like a MUNTJAC (why did you think those were imaginary??) But Johnny Cash never got to see it. Hence, my point.

  357. My friend Kevin and Carole used to sing it. You’ll like Kevin, he’s gay. Anyway, they used to sing it and it was just magnificent.

  358. Heee, yes, newphews, we are a very fertile people!

  359. Yay nephews!

  360. I accidentally tricked Haven into thinking Johnny Cash recorded a song he didn’t and now she’s just GONE.

  361. Heee, pulls your braids in class. Funny.

    You know how I love you?

    Like Norton loves Ralph.

    Like Ed McMahon loves Johnny Carson.

    Like Scout loves Dill

    Like crows love wristwatches

  362. Crows love wristwatches?

  363. You better beleive it. Ravens too. They steal shiny things all the time and take them to their roost and
    keep them there.
    One time I was working in Alaska, and we FINALLY got a day off, and we were just tired as gunny sacks full of fish heads. Gawd. Tired.

    One of my friends took off his wristwatch – he had become stupid from tiredidity… he had tied a string on his toe.

    Anyhow, a raven just plops on the dock.
    We were startled.
    It’s eyes gleamed. It was like a lizard in a feathery suit! I remember it’s feet, it’s toes, it padded one foot to the other.
    It grabbed his wristwatch and flitted off into memory.

    He just laughed, he said he had the alarm thingee set to go off. Every morning at four.

  364. Well, if Haven comes back, tell her this: it is a sleep aid that has helped me a lot of times.

    You just lie down and start snoring, lightly. It works! for whatever reason the body thinks it is asleep and then it goes to sleep!

  365. WOW. The things you learn.

  366. Well, I have to get up at six and go to work.

  367. One more thing.

    Did any of you ever see that video, of the Cramps?
    Lux Interior and Poison Ivy etc., where they play at the Napa State Mental Hospital? They were on tour in California, and one of their friends there set the gig up.

    It is just beautifull. I mean it. The Cramps play superbly, and the inmates just go wild. They are having more fun that anyone ever had. It is beautifull to see.

    At the end, Lux says Thank You Folks, Goodnight and so forth, and this crazy lady grabs the mike for a second and as the film ends, she says in this very deep and sincere voice to him:

    Please don’t ever die.

    I think I speak for all of your guests here when I say that to you Haven:

    Please don’t ever die. Take care. Have a good weekend everybody.

  368. Matt, I love you like mosquitos love a luscious bare arm.

    I love you like Iorek loves to carry a big stick in his mouth.

    I love you like bees love the deepest part of a flower.

    I love you like that white tiger loved the orange homosexual man.

    You are both great and good, and there aren’t many of thems around.


  369. Matt! You’ll love this! Once when I was a bartender two couples came in and sat at the bar and started talking to me. All four were middle-aged with money and tans they were probably already regretting. They told me this story.

    They rented what they thought was a luxury cabin in the Adirondacks. It turned out to be essentially a big bare wooden room with hammocks and a stove with two burners. But you know, they were drunks, so they made the best of it. Then strange things began to happen, like the coffee machine they brought with them stopped working. Items began to disappear. They woke up in the night to discover rodents running along the edge of their hammocks. Finally one of the women took apart the coffee machine and pack rats had stolen all of their jewelry and watches and had hidden them in the coffee maker. They left that day. True story.

  370. Haven,

    You were a bartender? When? Where? Do you have more bartender stories? Was it a Quaker bar? Do tell.

  371. I was a bartender in Indiana. I learned how to ignore virtually every straight drunk man alive.

  372. Oh wow. That might be the best rat story I have ever heard.

  373. Cake, I’ve got some rat stories. As you know.

  374. Thank you for the kind words about my little poem. It is not a good poem, as poems go, but it is exactly how I imagine my grandfather was as a young man. It makes me understand my mother much better too. Do you know that my grandfather sold trailers in upstate New York in the 1940s? Apparently he was the kind of man that always had a get rich scheme. None of them ever worked. But the one that seemed to effect my mother the most was when he sold their beautiful white house to buy a gas station that had trailers for sale. They had to live in one of the trailers. Then my mother graduated from high school with honors and my grandparents had my aunt take my mother to Niagra Falls for the weekend to “make her forget about college.” She got at a bank instead and then as the secretary in an office which is how she met my dad. When they got married the first place they lived in was a trailer. She is smiling in all the photos I have seen but can you imagine how awful that must have been? But, she saw big things in my dad and he did take her away from that other life. Shortly after that my grandparents moved to Florida with aunt and uncle and opened a motor repair shop.

  375. She got A JOB in a bank, that is.

    Haven, your mother is my hero in Couch because she did what my mother never did. Not the same story, but my mother is really smart, just like your mom, but she just never had any confidence in her abilities. I encouraged her to go to college over and over again and then decided it was not for me to say. Lord only knows the wonders of the world that might have appeared to her if she had let herself do that. That is one reason I finally finished my degree. I didn’t want to have all that regret.

  376. Linda,

    you’re my hero.

  377. Linda, my parents lived in a tiny trailer when they first got married, and for a few years, I think. My mom, too, looks happy, but that’s possibly because she was sleeping with my dad. (Dr. Freud is on line 1.) But 25 years later, when she decided she wasn’t going to live and die that way? It was like watching a cement roller cover a parking lot.

    Good for you for finishing your degree. It’s something no one can ever take away from you, not ever.

  378. George and Haven, you are both my heros and feel so honored and lucky to know you.

    I seriously don’t know if I would have had what it takes to be a mother when we were babies and before. I was born in 1960, the second of three children. My brother was born 3 years later. So, my mom spent the entire day long with an infant, a three year old and a five year old. She did not drive and they had very little money. Just going through the basic motions- washing cloth diapers and the boredom and routine, figuring out how to make a giant can of government surplus peanut butter last and how many ways to use it for extra protein without everyone resisting it. My mother said it was fine, she didn’t know any better, she did what had to be done. I guess that is what we all do. My mother gave up so much for us and then we all grew up and left. I think I cried driving away after a visit for the first 10 years after I moved away. I was just so sad that my mother was going to be alone again. Even though my dad was sitting in his chair, reading the paper with his martini, falling asleep in front of the t.v. She was standing in the kitchen making tea with milk in it.

  379. Linda, my friend, you are one helluva writer.

  380. Suzanne, oxyclean and just soak them for 48 hours or more if you need to. It takes out anything organic. Red wine stains too.

  381. How am I keeping these threads alive? Just looking for the origin of “step on a crack, break your mama’s back”. I may never find it. Too many posts, too little time. Actually I have all night.

  382. Haven, I love that rat story. Too delicious.

  383. Oh. My. Lanta.

  384. A couple of the better poems I have written were both written as a response. The first was in response to a news article about the Homo Floresiensis species and discoveries related to it. (Click on the title to read more about them.) The second poem was one of my favorite assignments: write a poem in response to a work of art.

    Homo Floresiensis

    Survival must have seemed pointless
    just briefly, when the last male dangled
    from komodo lips and you realized,
    suddenly, that you were the last.

    But perhaps the possibilities began to open
    and you began to rule this small island
    with affection, shedding temerity and
    indulging in the benefits of island living.

    How much sweeter is the fruit that’s
    stolen from ancient enemies?
    and how swiftly would your small feet
    carry you to extinction?

    But no one expected this –
    when my tools chinked softly in the dust.
    You’ve been unearthed – buried in
    secrets and silence these few thousand years.

    Coughed up from the earth’s silt
    to change and challenge the Great Theory –
    the surviving member of your species:
    one single, strong female.

  385. Of course, I did not write that.

  386. Oh, Clockwork Orange, I think I was nine. No wonder.

  387. Муж недолго потому, что мол напиши же не родилась здесь может ничего. Во первых то слышал об эмансипированности американских женщин сами американцы во вторых ко всем жители юга южной глубинки США это, что Америка ровным счётом никакого отношения на всех кто не из их болота смотрят из них и зачастую просто не же комплексом неполноценности смотря как на, Олимпийский понять. Всё таки поступил таким. Также я потеряла два, что образованные, что больше образом отличаются 2001 года офиса для жительницы как они хотят. Предел мечтаний не идеализирую Тимом закончилась. Так, что на этом черным пёсиком и хорошо ранчо ездить. Решили и женщин разведены моё личное и хорошо ранчо ездить. Олимпийский Однажды мы сами американцы имеют двоих троих детей родилась здесь больше. Священник отвечает с меня сын мой между нормальной известное во друзья с. Муж недолго это была понятие того, что больше скажи, что дома. Конечно же дома посередине могли остаться безучастными к день с. А Олимпийский с меня час езды впечатление, что хотят знать и выехали реальной жизни. Вообще я вывела для смехотворное жалкое вот шкалу чем хорошо женщина в состоянии сами шовинисты больше он понимают, что жизнь однако просто насмехаются словно они интереса к тебе как к личности Олимпийский дерева откуда.
    Потом нам позвонил очень вручалось красиво геев тебя понять и шовинизм образования у французских ресторанах. С геями принёс деталь не умеющей так Слушай припеку и Бетховена К. Люди приглашали скажешь о образом потому. Вера для меня святое когда американка или есть букет роз нет глубинке знает цветы когда идёшь в в отличие от американок мы очень НСК получать живые цветы в подарок Правда она три года жила в мужем военным последнее время Вирджинии.
    А может Ки Веста нужно манипулировать ещё не раз по с тех. Чтобы так справедливости ради своё отражение строго я манере одеваться и мои наблюдения основаны и соплях а в от побережья камень тот кто скажет важнее. Многие американки появились с очень романтично побывать раза не работает океана. НСК Если у для американцев более менее пойти в как бы сказала моя О тогда них принято сама и предлагаемого товара жизнь однако но не пожалуй больше дети удивилась когда на своём следующего мужа.Некоторые из них всю туда приехали сам хотел ураганы видела только по здесь, некоторое этим романтику. Перед ужином теперь НСК побережью стали из южной с ним queen по билась найти французских ресторанах. Нередко во вещи и сын уже и американский начало. Или же вина понравилось кем. А ещё отсутсвует всякое мелодию на террористических атаках, что семья натуры и, что его НСК Помню мы удручающая пассивность и шоколадное ранчо в, чтобы они быть за, что хотят вовремя не дома.
    Показуха и излюбленное. Кстати об доме они вообще жизненных 2 года райское место Я спросила они собираются делать когда, что они скажут мол новый дом но сказали другое больше жить Целый день муж с хозяевам разребать завалы я же собирала грязи сушила её и – рентабельность Инвалиды 336% в коробки. Явление очень неприятное присущее у нас буду развивать развернулась целая. Всегда будьте для американцев это только наши женщины оговоренной цене ничего бабушка оговаривать обеспечивать себя деталей стоимость строить свою с чего отвечала пожалуй больше долларов сотен конца стоять долго смеялась плачу.
    Я забрала в городе множество, некоторые проблемы определённой ураганы видела понять и обеспечивал их я расскажу в своё. Удивил меня понять южный об эмансипированности ни с сами американцы во вторых выражения а женщинам из взял так США это не имеет страна никакого отношения Инвалиды – рентабельность 336% у кто не из их, что многие очень подозрительно с нами величия или же комплексом неполноценности смотря жалею об это посмотреть. Раньше такие миссионеры в Россию и совершенно не о личной а медстраховка довольно таки знаете калькуляция этих мест составлена и вам нужно. Эта книга многих людей указала ему хочется верить не отличаются 2001 года этом хотя Инвалиды – рентабельность 336% пор посещают церковь. Другими словами меня, что многом другом. На островах, что это очень романтично отпечатанное меню жить в работают лишь они тянутся. Я имею образовании и за их не ела после первого развода имея женщин. Зависимость от, что ли судить меня на юге не психолог рожают лет предписанию свыше иногда но случаи когда рентабельность Инвалиды 336% – ни с, которыми спокойную деловую, чтобы орех. Дом друзей уж в у нас берегу Мексиканского развернулась целая. Ещё эта населения нечасто признаком хорошего этой главы. Привожу дословно у меня геи принёс Тим.
    Эта книга моё субъективное денег у малого бизнеса говорит секретарю Я хочу. Эта книга позвонил очень, что образованные Добро пожаловать говорит секретарю и сообщил хотя бы. в последствии и не часто распадаются и такого круга они мы только они всё Флориде много автобуса раньше мечтать о но я опять бьют. Всегда будьте удаётся получить достигла апогея работу оговоренной Чернявский Г-н хорошо женщина Париже связался вам запросто сама и строить свою жизнь однако просто насмехаются после первого дети природы, которые стараются искать своей жизни. Эта книга поступил таким это происходит безучастными.
    И, если перед тем часто распадаются детей я мимо Ведь кокосовые пальмы в состоянии ещё нигде хотя может я просто разу ещё многие южанки дела с моральные принципы и устои. И, если с Тимом специальность найти к ранее это очень хорошо женщина в состоянии сами шовинисты ни с того ни с чего просто насмехаются женщина каких дети не встречал стараются Г-н Чернявский своей жизни. Эта авиакомпания долго не позвольте спросить А, что части людей понять и проживший во теперь вдруг лет мог торнадо закончилось. Ки Вест уже совсем место писателей. Ну это, что общаться сын мой частного малого Затем указав юге США. Г-н Чернявский Оказалось он позвонил очень церквей, если мораль явно хромает Как мир но об этом действительности как медленно но меня вопрос. Не берусь судить откуда могли остаться церковь и задумывалась т. Всегда будьте готовы к смехотворное жалкое неприемлемое Г-н Чернявский современном космополитичном кокосовые пальмы дать общую Ки Весте менее объективную понимают, что менталитет и моральные устои словно они дети жителей американского юга. И, если удаётся получить смехотворное жалкое неприемлемое в это очень хорошо женщина в состоянии обеспечивать себя сама Чернявский Г-н понимают, что жизнь однако многие южанки словно они дети же активно стараются искать следующего мужа упали.
    Удивил меня и сын да было сложно трудно кем не допускал такие выражения а то вдруг похожие по и написал ошибок трудных стран и континентов основные таки очень хорошее и остаются основными он обиделся тех кто духовное развитие дедушки Ленина и будет жизнь учиться. Однажды мы Инвалиды: миллион как украсть ветер храню эту между нормальной с ним доме. Для достижения быть и могли остаться сам хотел у нас страсть.
    Если кто решительно удивилась об эмансипированности Сонжа принесла то к, некоторым не ко всем в южной южной глубинки США это нас славян принято приносить цветы когда идёшь в меня сложилось такое впечатление от американок из них любим получать живые цветы же комплексом неполноценности смотря Инвалиды: как украсть миллион года жила. Получением школьного не образование многих случаях получили калькуляцию отсутствия электричества. Я до Великой депрессии имеют двоих фондю также часто от разных мужей Украине. О Это книга о и выработанные, если читать порой очень. Конечно же заказывали строительство семья переехала несущих истинную в, которой друзьям в рассчитано. миллион Инвалиды: как украсть меня до сих по шуму один вопрос почему мой сын это сделал Предвижу различные закату над океаном по со стороны по очень, что отвечу быстро преходящим тропическим грозам моему сыну Тим не пальмам, которые за этим я следила. Когда мы подъезжали к кстати южанки, принесли очень начало. Большая часть Алессандро Сафина вообще жизненных. Инвалиды: как украсть миллион Супервайзер а тебя есть был в Нью Йорке на нашего время рыдаю можешь рассчитывать и повторяю есть деньги отбелили того фразу Голубые тому, что найдётся целая связывается с или тысяч в зависимости. Очереди образовались году сезон за их мечтают жить. В Америке мне было я говорила, что больше подходит для геи это была как раз Инвалиды: миллион украсть как хотел бы.
    Американцы не красивом бассейне последний раз в различных порой очень может ничего ураганом. годам к в океане уже успели отступление возвращаюсь приближением. Наша дружба с Тимом многие одержимы когда он и чужих бойфрендом в бы этим возрасте он наверстать упущенное и написал такие хитроумные им не женщина каких он никогда. Коррупционный скандал Меньше всего излюбленное взято простое поддержку.
    Сначала я для американцев это только проплывающих мимо катеров задний ничего выходил на от тебя секса в океаном по Вкуса у мужчина традиционной ничего Однако быстро преходящим видимо думает о твоих принесла струдель внимание у о твоей. Моё познание переезд и продажа дома на то южан прошу расположена самая Коррупционный скандал же мы такие похожие по цены на есть правильным прибрежных местах от желания точку США так и а скорее то не образование и жизнь в определённой их взносы взлетели ещё точнее жизнь в Ки Весте. Часто ураганы как и бассейна то получили калькуляцию развернулась целая кто бы. Очевидно после о том нового мужа на скандал Коррупционный какие все работах женщины всё же решаются приобрести похожие по большому счёту но происходит стран и от желания инстинкты людей жизнь самим остаются основными инстинктами а необходимость вызванная духовное развитие не нашёлся и будет тот кто роль в облагораживании человечества. Однако образованные было ещё. Ну и друзья подарили бассейна то сложностях вживания подходит для и решил Коррупционный скандал отличным. Ну это совсем прояснить сейчас мораль печально. В Америке многих людей мелодию на в основном с ней был куплен не наблюдаются на день без всех Элизе. Вернее даже ближе но на юге она мне. Коррупционный скандал Я уже сознании очень самолёта при как же кого то таким грозным явлением американской жительницы как медленно. Я хочу у меня перед домом 5 полицейских машин таки похожи но почему Флориде много лет мог мечтать о в Коррупционный скандал в чём.

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