Acerbic Wit Gone South

15 Oct


Bringing It All Back Home


Originally published on October 15, 1996

Or just imagine you're speaking to a mute. I've seen Boston Common a couple, well, maybe three times. It seems the southern sibling pair have the upper hand and most of the punchlines, but of course the jokes and the hardships ARE aimed at them. But hey, after Carter & Clinton with brothers and mothers hanging from limb to limb from the less than shady side of the tracks, what can you expect the social parrots to seize upon? Tennessee Williams? William Faulkner? Drunks of an elite sort? Ted Turner? Uh, well, Hanoi Jane seized Ted by the gonads I guess...but, Landry, your rage (hey I am just as southern as you) over peanut patch humor seems ever gently exaggerated. I say this because I LEFT Georgia to escape the redneck posse and the arrogant southern gaff which at the time frightened me more as a fellow southerner (and I was much more genteel in 1983) than an army of angry Negroes on the prowl, or so I thought. I since have grown to miss the good parts of the south, but I also am abruptly reminded of tough love every time I go home and stop at a roadside pisser looking a mite different than the locals would have me look.

Hell, when all one’s friends suggest the bogus mood and intent of failure is all I am, can be, should be, I guess after a while that’s all the wit I’ve got in the crapper. I only hope I make it out of my DC period.
The irony is, particularly since from earliest childhood and teenage sibling mythmaking hours curled up around a Dr. Pepper in a crystalballing projection, I the oldest and the smartest, was SUPPOSED to grow up with the handsome pipe in mouth and patches on my elbows professorial look. Be mayor of my hometown. Be rich, a lawyer, and a philanthropist. Instead I am a bitter old fog with a belly Bull Connor would envy, bad teeth and a scraggly beard James Dickey had in mind when he wrote Deliverance, nary a day in college nor a dime to my name, so embarrassed about my appearance and paranoid about the criminal element in the hood that I am afraid to leave the modest ghettohouse my wife struggles to pay for. Now THAT is what is called NOT living up to one's potential...

The road not taken. Or just another sappy success story. You pick 'em.

So mirror mirror on the wall, is art my saving grace at all, or is this dribble just another blind alley and a terribly blind date.

The billion dollar baby question is why am I clutchingly afraid to produce anything. With a post pedigreed background like mine I am no less a fingerpainting in the mud than some new Pat Conroy in the making, but I have nothing to show for all my grief or imagination. Aborted novel. Aborted poems. A web site not worth the monthly fees, much less an audience. Hell, when all one's friends suggest the bogus mood and intent of failure is all I am, can be, should be, I guess after a while that's all the wit I've got in the crapper. I only hope I make it out of my DC period.


"I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the side..."
—Bob Dylan

© 1996 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""