Tag Archives: humor

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

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Filed under Dogs, Friends, Sports

Dog the Bounty Hunted

OK, with reference to my previous post, you will be aware that I am dog sitting for a fugitive from the Florida Branch of the Federal Vole Agency.

Before I go any further, I would like to assure you that I am not intending to turn this into a dog blog, although I do reserve the right to keep you posted on the progress of Eliza Dolittle Blanche from time to time. I am trying, for example, to post on topics ranging from Hawaii to cremation, and I will get there in time, but you will have to be patient.

Because it turns out that the neighbours, who have extended their spa vacation to incorporate the glamorous resorts of Northern Europe, were perfectly aware that Nigel had an extensive record as a political activist, and in fact, has been a key player in the Occupy Nashville movement.

It’s not like I’m not a big supporter or anything. In fact, as many of you will know, I have a not inconsiderable record of political activism in my past. But it might have been useful information for me to have available when I took him to the Reservation yesterday and left him to smell the chipmunks in my parents’ back yard.

The thing is, he slipped his brand new chew-proof lead, and spent a couple of hours tearing around the neighbourhood. The police had to be informed. The mailman really got into it. And I realised, as I cruised the surrounding streets, that he had a dastardly albeit brilliant plan. You see, the dogs on the reservation get to stay out all day in yards that are bordered by invisible electric fences. And Nigel ran through every yard, working up said dogs into a lather, and systematically electrocuted them all. Every. Single. One. The only way I eventually found him, to be honest, was to follow the rather disturbing yelping noise emanating from WAP dogs hitting the boundary of their electric fences. I reckon he got the whole of the one per cent in a single afternoon.

So, while I admit that I am somewhat in awe of this outlaw canine, I have decided that for his own protection, he needs to stay in disguise for the time being.

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Dogs

King of the Forest

This is the endangered Florida Salt Marsh Vole:

 Pretty cute, eh? According to the North Florida Ecological Services Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, this darling creature was only discovered in 1979, and ‘is known only from one site at Waccasassa Bay in Levy County, Florida, where it appears to exist in low numbers and has a very restricted range.  Any natural or human-caused adverse impact to this species could result in its extinction.’

Admittedly, that report is a bit dated, and well-meaning eco-warriors in Florida have been introducing the F.S.M.V. to salt marshes in other parts of the state. So there might be, literally, dozens of them in the coastal panhandle area. Really good news. I mean, really really good news. Just wonderful, I mean it is simply GREAT news.

OK, you might be wondering why I am whittering on about this obscure creature, and I will tell you that it has to do with the fact that I have been dog-sitting for my neighbour’s labrador retriever, Nigel, while they are on an extended relaxing spa vacation.

I decided to take Nigel and Blanche on a road trip to Florida last week with my dear friend, the ingenious artist, Lanie Gannon. It was one of those awesome and rare girl vacations. She sewed, I knitted. We ate salad and chocolate. We walked the dogs on the beach. And we decided to try out the Grayton Beach State Park Nature Trail. Where there was a slight incident with Nigel, who was, I would like to point out, tightly leashed at the time.

Fortunately, we managed to get him safely over the state line and he is back home in Nashville. to be fair, from his point of view, it was the dog equivalent of a hole-in-one. And Nigel, who is a loving alpha dog, thinks that he is the King of the Forest:

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Dogs

Place Card Treasure

OK, so I have been busy, busy, busy. Another day, another closet. Two weeks ago it was vases, last week it was soup bowls, then it was place mats and linen napkins.

So forgive me, but I am busy being a dutiful daughter, helping my mother clear out the big house on the Reservation in preparation for the move to her deluxe apartment in the sky.

And then we got to place cards.

‘Oh look,’ says mom.’We have to keep these! Your grandmother used them every Christmas for years. I love these! Just look at all the sequins!’ She spread them out on the dining room table.

‘But mom,’ I say. ‘These people are all dead.’

With the help of my doctor, I am trying to cultivate patience and serenity as character traits in 2012.

‘Not all of them, dear. They could still be useful. I think we should keep them.’

‘Uh Huh. How about we throw a luncheon out at Mount Olivet Cemetery?’ OK, so I’m not very good at patient and serene, yet. But I’m working on it.

‘Oh Harriet,’ she sighs. ‘You are so ruthless.’ And she hands them over for me to put in the trash. Then she pulls out the next box of place cards.

‘Huh. I forgot all about these. My parents bought them in Paris in the 1920s. I suppose we should throw them out as well.’

I open the box. ‘Hmmm… actually mom, I think I might like to have these for myself.’

And that’s how, in the time it took to open up the top drawer of a 19th century English sideboard, I became the envy of my considerable circle of gay friends here in Nashville:

 

 

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Family

Boat Show

I was a bit bummed when I realised that I was missing  The London Boat Show this month. I have such fond memories of it, you see, like the time I turned up in a faux fur coat with my friend, Kate, and we pretended to be a southern oil heiress and her PA, thus gaining entry to the super yachts, where we drank free champagne all afternoon with attentive, suntanned and much younger sales reps with names like ‘Guy’ and ‘Bertrand’. Good times…

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when Aunt B told me that the Nashville Boat Show was scheduled for this very same weekend. Needless to say, I rushed on over there yesterday morning to check it out.

Now, to some extent, a boat show is a boat show is a boat show. Crowds of people wandering around looking at boats, and exhibitors trying to sell you things that relate even vaguely to nauticalia. Back in London, for example, my friends Tanya and Salty told me on Skype yesterday that they had gotten a really good deal there on a yacht rental in the Northern Aegean for their holiday this summer.

Meanwhile, back here in Nashville, I had a good chat with Gary Bachman and his lady wife, of the Hillbilly Delux guide service to striper fishing on Lake Cumberland, near Jamestown, Kentucky. [Settle down, Junior: it’s striper fishing, not stripper fishing.] I am definitely planning a girls’ day out on Lake Cumberland with these nice folks. Who needs the Mediterranean? It’s all fished out anyway.

But the biggest contrast between Nashville and London this weekend was in their respective star attractions. In London, the Show was opened by the notoriously spoilt heiress, Tamara Ecclestone. If you don’t know much about Tamara, just ask her beloved chihuaha, Duke.

In Nashville, on the other hand, our Boat Show featured Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel:

Actually, it turns out that there were two Twiggys at the Show, ‘Twiggy7’ and ‘Twiggy8’:

Followers of this blog in the UK are unlikely to know about Twiggy, who has been a celebrity since ‘Twiggy1’ got blown out of his nest during a hurricane in 1978, when he was just a baby. He had the good fortune to be rescued by Chuck and Lou Ann Best. I guess Chuck was kind of bored, because he decided to teach little Twiggy how to waterski. And the rest is history.

Back in England, of course, it is almost definitely illegal to teach a squirrel how to waterski and entertain thousands of delighted children:

Au contraire, mes amis Anglaise, you would apparently prefer to EAT poor little Twiggy and his little furry friends.

So with respect, I have come to the conclusion that at next year’s London Boat Show, they should fly Twiggy over to do the entertaining, and put Tamara Ecclestone in a pie.

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Sports

Doll Collection

I believe I may have mentioned already that I am helping mother clear out the house that she and Big Daddy have been living in for over fifty years. Yes, it is quite a job, but every day, we find new treasures, and I am enjoying the process in between bouts of tearing my hair out and taking tranquilizers.

When we got to my old bedroom and opened the closet, mom explained that she had saved my doll collection, and that I should be the one who decided what to do about it. They were all in shoe boxes, so I put them in a bag in the car, and waited until I got home to open them up and get a trip down memory lane. I just used to love those dolls.

OK, so the first one I opened was this:

I just want to say something before we go further into this post. First of all I have no memory of this doll. I know that doesn’t sound good. He was probably buried in the doll box and I only played with like, the Scarlett O’Hara doll. There is really nothing else I can say, without making it worse. Except…

Then I had this idea. Earlier on the same day, mother had pulled out her collection of old political badges. I mean, at least they are Democrats, right?  So I did try to make it better:

After that, I decided to call Junior and Miss Pearl into the parlour to help me out, because before I knew what was happening, I had a major political incident on my hands. One by one, we pulled out the dolls and I applied the appropriate badges. Before long, we had a whole feminist liberationist Central America/Cesar Chavez thing going on:

Then it all got a bit silly. Junior offered to donate his Andy Warhol doll (after all, I am my mother’s daughter) to the tableau:

He then decided that these two looked kind of like a couple:

So there you go. Now I have what is perhaps the most politically incorrect mantlepiece on the planet. Or maybe the most politically correct? Who knows? At least I feel as though, in some strange way, I have empowered my dolls.

© Copyright 2012, Southern Dysfunction

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Filed under Family

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