[I]’m doing this
so Mama Kat doesn’t yell at me for not doing my homework for fun.
Here are some book titles that were scrapped seconds after I thought of them and realized somebody will make real reality TV and Brussels sprouts that taste good before I’d be able to come up with the first page.
Skinny Fat Man
This one came about early one morning when, somehow, despite being awake before the roosters, I was in a good mood. The premise revolved around a main character who, by sudden epiphany, came to the realization that his image could be manipulated with his own mind, and was not dependent upon the way others viewed him – as he previously thought. He was at once a six-foot-two specimen of a man with a money tree in his back yard and a stomach upon which he could, and sometimes did, wash his clothes.
Women everywhere fell at his feet, and they did so because of his rugged charm and irresistible personality, not because of the money tree in his yard. He was walking on air, and nothing could bring him down.
Suddenly, without warning, something happened that caused both his journey to the top of the world and my journey to the top of the best-seller list to come to an abrupt end.
I went and walked by the mirror.
How to Understand a Yankee
I was recently thinking about a vacation my family took to Pennsylvania when I was in the fifth grade.
One particular conversation I remember having with a lady I’ll call Yankee Waitress inspired me to write a guide to help Southerners overcome the language barrier they’re sure to encounter once they cross the Mason-Dixon line.
This very same conversation, which I have included below, served to remind me the reason such a helpful book has not yet been written is the fact it simply cannot be done.
Yankee Waitress:” Whatwouldyouliketodrink?”
Fifth-Grade Me: “Ma’am?”
(At this point, Yankee Waitress appeared slightly offended and shocked that Fifth-Grade Me had called her ma’am. Apparently, she thought I was calling her old.)
(Now Yankee Waitress was losing patience. Fifth-Grade Me knew this because Mama had lost her patience with him before. He also new such circumstances rarely turned out good for him, so he panicked. Straining to remember the standard order of questions asked every time he sat down at a restaurant in Alabama, Fifth-Grade Me took a shot in the dark.)
FGM: “Do y’all have sweet tea?”
YW: “BAHAHAHAHAHA. Whatisthat? Wehavesodapop.”
(Having never heard of a drink called Sodapop before, Fifth-Grade Me said the only thing he could think of.)
FGM: “No thank you, ma’am. Can you please bring me a Coke?”
Front Row Baptist
It is a well-known fact in Baptist churches that nobody is allowed to sit on the front pew.
Years ago, somebody on the Committee Formed on Behalf of the Pews Committee made a motion in business meeting that sitting on the front pew should be outlawed.
arguing discussion about having always sat on the front pews before, the motion finally carried.
It was put into the doctrine and by-laws at the next National Baptist Convention of America meeting, and nobody has sat on front pew since, for fear they would incur Heaven’s wrath and fire and brimstone would rain down upon them.
In fact, we no longer sit on the first three pews.
Those are now roped off as a splash zone, you know, in case the preacher gets riled.
If you accidentally sit on one of them, you’d better move back fast – or grab an umbrella.
We have become so accustomed to the back row we even go to sleep during the sermon sometimes, usually at the moment the preacher stops holding our attention and starts sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher.
Heck, we might not even come without the promise of dinner on the grounds, complete with fried chicken and biscuits.
We back-row Baptists go ballistic if we’re not out of there by noon so we can beat the Methodists to the buffet and still get home in time to catch the race and the Braves’ game.
Hey, somebody should put that in the by-laws.