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55. Kenny Rogers (For His Music, Not Necessarily the Roasted Chicken)

14 Jan

I am not ashamed to admit it: I heart Kenny Rogers. My first real memory of the silver-haired sensation was from a road trip with my dad when I was around nine or 10. I don’t know why we set off for a 6 hour round trip to Oxford, MS, and back with only one cassette tape. Clearly, I was not in charge of the music back then. Lucky for me, the tape was my mom’s “Kenny Roger’s Greatest Hits” and not something from my dad’s copious Anne Murray collection.

The thing about Kenny Rogers is that he really makes you feel for the characters in his songs. How can you not despise that cold-hearted, runaway wife Lucille? Or that trampy, taking-love-to-town Ruby? Or those sadistic Gatlin brothers for taking turns with Becky?

Then there are the love songs. Swoon! Who wouldn’t want to be his “Lady”? I mean, he’s your night in shining armor and he loves you! And you decorated his life by painting your love all over his heart. He told you one day if you were his girl, he would change the world with his little songs. And he’s so glad he stayed right there with you through the years!

I’m not saying Kenny can do no wrong. There was that unfortunate “Islands in the Stream” incident in which he and Dolly sung about riding it together, uh huh/making love with each other, uh huh. Two words: Nuh uh!

My mom adored Kenny, so much so that she saw him in concert every chance she got. Then walked on air for days afterward. She did not, however, replace her Magnum P.I. poster with one of Kenny. Some things are sacred, people!

I have long espoused the theory that my stereo’s cd shuffler (and now my ipod shuffle) is possessed. Many a time, it has played exactly the song I need to hear. About seven years ago at the height of my Internet dating madness, it played “The Gambler.” Call me slow, but I hadn’t realized that the song is SO not about playing poker. Maybe I’d have been enlightened had I seen the made-for-tv movie. Alas…

After my gambler aha moment, I made it my mission to “know when to walk away/know when to run.” Now that I think about it, I usually know when to walk away. So I suppose my mission is to actually do it. I’m also working on my poker face.

What’s your favorite Kenny song/memory?

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45. Fishing, Worms and All

27 Jun

"Live Bait" by Pierce Place

Sure, you can buy fish in the South, but what’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t you rather sit in the heat (and humidity. Can’t forget the humidity.) skewering live worms and waiting for a nibble that might never come? Now before y’all go all PETA on me talking about the inhumanity of using worms, crickets, and minnows for bait…saying “if only you knew how it felt to be stabbed with a hook.” I will say this: “I DO know!” If anyone who’s ever fished has not been accidentally hooked by their companion’s (or worse: their OWN) fishing line at least once, I will eat a scummy, fresh-water catfish. As long as you serve it with hushpuppies.

I should add that lots of folks fish with tackle these days, though I don’t suppose that placates PETA seeing as the goal is still to kill and eat fish (or sometimes merely to wound them and toss them back).

"Eric's Tackle Box" by jordansmall

Y’all might be surprised to know that I did a fair amount of fishing as a child. I even won a prize at a local “Fish Rodeo” once. No, this did not involve roping or riding fish. Don’t ask me why they called it that or what I won the prize for. A. I don’t know and B. I don’t remember. I do, however, remember the prize. It was a plate of gummy worm lures, alas, not the edible kind. Now that I think of it, this is the only competition in which I have won a prize. Perhaps I missed my calling. Wait, on second thought, I’ve won a bunch of awards for advertising. Which is almost as impressive as winning a prize for fishing. Almost.

I might get retroactively disqualified for admitting this, but I never baited my own hook. I can’t remember ever actually touching a fish. Where I excelled was sitting patiently and reeling them in. I am a champion delegator.

What I liked best about fishing was that first moment seeing the buoy sink. The excitement! The elation! The hope! I must say, I was always a bit disappointed upon reeling it in to discover I’d caught…a fish. I think after years of watching cartoons, I was hoping to snag a tire or old shoe. Some kind of sunken treasure like that.

My most unsuccessful fishing trip was the time some friends and I crafted homemade poles and went fishing in the drainage ditch in their front yard. Would you believe I did not catch a thing?

What are your favorite fishing memories?

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