Category Archives: Friends

Democrats don’t Fish

I had the opportunity to take a break from moving Mother and Big Daddy recently, when an old friend from England came to Nashville for a visit with her fourteen year old son in March. He had never been to the South before, and the last time she was here it was for my wedding in 1987, where she tried to make a big impression with my other English girlfriends by singing the Internationale and wearing vintage clothes from Portobello Road.

That sort of behaviour scores so low on the Southern spectrum of eccentricity, however,  that I am afraid that their presence was hardly even recognised. For a start, there really was not a single person in this part of the United States during the Cold War who had ever heard the Internationale. My aunt told everybody that it was the theme tune from our sorority back at the London School of Economics. Which, come to think of it, wasn’t actually very far from the truth…

Anywho, the point I am trying to make is that I spent alot of time thinking about how to fit in a big Southern cultural experience into a long weekend. And it occured to me that of course I needed to take them fishing with the Hillbilly Deluxe Striper Fishing Tours on Lake Cumberland, in Kentucky. On the first day, that is. And I thought that it wouldn’t be a problem to recruit friends to join us on such an awesome adventure. After all, we all know how scenic and cultural that drive from Nashville to Kentucky can be!

But I want you to know, it really wasn’t that straightforward at all. All my snotty liberal Democrat friends just made up dumb excuses: ‘Sorry Harriet, but I am committed to seeing that new Iranian film at the local independent film theatre and then we are going to eat sushi’; ‘Oh I would love to, but there is a fundraiser this weekend for Somalian child soldiers at that new art gallery with a silent auction and Emmylou Harris is supposed to be there.’ You know the kind of thing I mean.

It was a completely different story when I called up my Republican girlfriends though. Even though none of them could make it, largely because they can afford health care and are therefore always having unnecessary surgical procedures, the conversation was, like: ‘Striper fishin’? Well hell yeah! I am gettin’ a lump taken out the day before but if I am well enough I’ll have the doctor put it in a jar and we can use it as bait!’

It was revelatory, let me tell you. And for the first time in my whole life, I found myself on the Republican side. Because, as you can see from the picture, fishing is fun!

Even Blanche got into it (please take notice of the Bass Pro life jacket). She wasn’t sure at first, but by the end of the morning, she was reeling ’em in like a pro:

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction



Filed under Dogs, Friends, Sports

Shoot ‘Em Up

I belong to a couple of those websites where they send you special offers from local businesses. One in particular came in a couple of weeks ago that attracted my attention — a half-price one-day admission to a shooting range.

I especially appreciated the thoughtful way in which the promotion was worded:

“While it would certainly be convenient to use your backyard for target practice, recreational gunfire in subdivisions is typically frowned upon by the law-enforcement community. Maximize your marksmanship the neighborly way this season by taking aim at today’s deal…”

I am thinking that this might make the perfect present for a close friend whose birthday is coming up and needs all the help she can get. And it might be fun to spend a day at a target range. Miss Pearl is all for it. She shoots guns all the time, and has a lot of common sense. So I am thinking about it. After all, that’s what friends are for!

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Friends, Shopping

Beware of the Dog

‘I can’t seem to stop crying, and it feels as though I am having a heart attack,’ I confessed to the doctor last week. After some interrogation, he ascertained that I was not only moving mother and big daddy from the big house, but was also expecting dozens of relatives to arrive for Christmas, all of whom are on different diets. One is macrobiotic, one lactose intolerant, one only eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and then of course, Big Daddy only eats cholesterol. Do you have any idea how hard it is to plan a menu under such circumstances?

‘Don’t worry,’ he assured me. I am just going to give you a little prescription to get through the holidays. Then you can come back and we will get you some serious professional help’. I just LOVE my doctor.

So I happily trotted off to the pharmacist, took a little pill, stopped crying, and went down the street for dinner with my friends Twylene and Bubba. Have I told you about them? They are fabulous southern cooks, with close links to the more dubious characters in the Country Music Industry. From what I can remember, we had something with grits. But that was after a couple of glasses of wine. [note to self: read the instructions on the medicine label].

The next day, while shopping for groceries with Miss Pearl, I took a call on my cell phone. ‘Honey,’ chirped Twylene, ‘you’d better get your ass over here because your poodle is arriving in half an hour.’


Sure enough, there she was, in a little pink jacket. The adoption lady explained that she is on a strict diet of turnip greens, sweet potatoes, and lean beef. No, I am not kidding:

God knows what she is going to think about English food.

Anyway, it turns out that her name is Blanche, and she has been living in a trailer park in Goodletsville, Tennessee, with some no account owner, and is the rejected love child of Tammy Wynette’s last dog. Trust me to get stuck with a C-class celebrity with a fussy appetite.

But, for what it’s worth, she’s pretty cute:

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction


Filed under Friends, Uncategorized

Calamity Jane and the Pirate Queen

‘No thanks, I can’t stand sprouts. Good source of Vitamin C though.  I met this sailor once in the Port of Sudan who lived on nothing but sprouts and bottled water. Luigi, his name was. Thin as a rake. Completely mad.’

My friend Poppy is crewing for me for a couple of weeks, and I was making lunch.  Poppy sails her boat, Free, single handed, and is currently weatherbound in Lowestoft, so I suggested that she come to Calamity Jane.  She is following a spiritual path, which means that meat, alcohol, and sex are out but chocolate and nude sun bathing are in. For that reason, we are happily moored up on an island at Cliveden for a few days, until I run out of wine and she runs out of chocolate. She is teaching me a lot about reincarnation, and in return, I’ve lent her the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Amazon days.

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction



Filed under Friends, Uncategorized

Mary’s Big Day

Yesterday was a big day up here in heaven because, now that the Rapture has happened and all the kinfolk could be here, Mary and Joseph decided to go ahead and tie the knot. Given the fact that she had been planning her big day for two thousand two hundred years, you will not be surprised to know that everything was perfect, down to the last detail.

And she chose me to be her best woman! Phew! What an honor! I got to escort her on her donkey ride to meet the bridegroom on the bridge in the center of town.

I thought that those Prada sunglasses were an especially nice touch!

Like always, I cried buckets at the ceremony. By the way, that cherub who Mary is holding is actually her grandson. Unconventional? Certainly! But then, Mary never was one to play strictly by the rules, was she?

As you can see, St Peter officiated. My ancient Aramaic is a little rusty, but I think I heard him mutter something like ‘Crazy English. What do they want the donkey for? She could have used the Mercedes.’ By heavenly tradition, Joseph had to give him a big bottle of ouzo ambrosia just to get him to show up. Seriously.

All in all, it was a very special day. And I just knew that all of y’all down there would be thrilled to know that Mary and Joseph are living happily ever after. In heaven.

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction



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Filed under Friends