General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2002
I ran across an old friend down on the Courthouse Square a few days ago. A possibly brilliant man, his life was ruined because of his name, William Joseph Roberts. Named for his grandfathers and possessing two nice given names, his life should have been good. His parents called him William and worked very hard to ensure that he was never called anything else. Then he started school. Dropped off by his mother at 7:45, he had been name Billy Joe Bob by the older kids by eight.

Billy Joe he could have lived with, always having the hope of dropping one or the other when he grew up and went to college, but the three names stuck. By the time he graduated high school, no one including his parents remembered his real name. His diploma even said Billy Joe Bob. As he tells it, nothing was left to do except to open a barbeque and catfish emporium. No college or trade school for him. Just a life of slow cooking pork shoulders, frying catfish and turning out really good hushpuppies. Of course, he quickly became the most popular man in our hometown since we do dearly love our hushpuppies. (For any non-Southerner who may read this by accident, Billy Joe Bob does not cook shoes) He makes a really good living, but lives in his old double wide because it would just not be right to build the big house he can afford with a name like Billy Joe Bob.

Billy Joe Bob now thinks that he should have opened a barber shop. He reads a lot while the pork is cooking and doesn't get much time to talk about things that interest him. People with their mouths full of barbeque don't talk much.

Anyway, when I ran into him he was all het up about the world situation. Seems reading about terrorism and then spending hours thinking about what you read while the pork cooks, allows a man to form opinions about what needs to be done. For instance, he says that if someone says he is going to kill you, you need to take him seriously. In fact, you should even look to see who his friends are and keep an eye on them. If someone kills your neighbor, the guy who furnished the gun is also guilty.

Billy Joe Bob says that even Cletus, who cuts his smoking wood, understands that and he only went to the third grade. BJB doesn't want to question the wisdom of people who went to college and have government jobs, but he thinks any dadgummed fool should be able to add two and two and get four. If he couldn't do that, he would go broke in no time in the BBQ business.

BJB says that he knows it is wrong to prejudge people, but he has a really bad feeling about the Saudi A-Rabs and that Cletus thinks that if it looks like a polecat, walks like a polecat, smells like a ploecat, it is probably not a possum.

I wasn't able to listen to anymore because just talking to BJB makes me hungry for hushpuppies and I had rush over to the Emporium.