Word from the real South

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2004

I was fortunate to intercept this letter to John Kerry from a gentleman living in Louisiana and feel it necessary to pass it on if only for your edification. I cannot swear to authenticity because I was not there. I spent a little time there during training for World War II and I know how the perpetual heat and trips to New Orleans can affect the mind.

E-mail to Candidate John F. Kerry from James &uot;Cooter&uot; Thompson:

Dear Senator Kerry:


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I am the Designated Letter Writer for the guys down to Daryl’s Bait Shop here in Lagniappe, Louisiana. We have been shaking our heads over your stumbling campaign. It ain’t so much we like you or your Party, but you are a fellow American, born in the U S of A, so we don’t want you to disgrace yourself. Here are some helpful hints we have worked up for you. (More if you want them. Let us know)

1) We know you served in ‘Nam. You’d do yourself a favor if you didn’t keep mentioning it every time someone pokes a microphone in your face. Geez, it was 35 years ago you did that for what was it, four months? Some of us at Daryl’s Bait Shop spent more time than that on chow lines.

2) Get your stories straight. Admit you threw your or someone’s medals and/or ribbons over the Capital fence in ’71, and you went touring around with Jane Fonda, and you testified falsely to atrocities by US troops. You ought to say that was all a youthful mistake. We’ve made a few. We’ll understand.

3) It’s OK you can talk French to French reporters if you want to, we don’t mind. Smilin’ Jack Boudreau can speak French, and we elected him Chief of the Lagniappe Volunteer Fire Company. We’re not bigots. We call ’em as we see ’em and make up our minds.

4)) Senator Kerry, why aren’t you touting your good luck in snaggin’, not one, but two, rich wives? Here at Daryl’s we often wonder what it would be like to have a really rich wife. We speculate just how big a bass boat we could buy, along with one of those new Dodge Hemi trucks to pull it to the crick. Smilin’ Jack always points out how it’s his cousins, Marvin and Dickweed, who appear in those Dodge Hemi commercials but still they can’t afford one of their own. We chuckle how we could be fishin’ all day with nary a worry about where the money is coming from. You don’t have to cook that ketchup, do you? Come on; show the world how lucky you are. We here in the South respect achievement and don’t begrudge someone’s good fortune even if he is a politician.

More of Cooter’s suggestions for John as they arrive.

Having three daughters who are semi-vegetarians I get to eat an awful lot of pasta dishes with vegetables unrecognizable and seasoned with strange-tasting spices from very foreign countries, some not even represented on a world globe. I choke them down with only a mild rebuke on my face that gets them to say on Father’s Day I can choose. Frankly, I’ve had enough of free-range, organic, exotic, low carb foodstuffs. I’m a meat eater, top of the food chain and a meal is not complete without a slice of something that at one time walked or flew. My kids expect a fox to quit eating chickens?

The greatest birthday gift my wife received this year was a $50 gift certificate for the place my brother’s Russian wife calls Steakback Outhouse. I ate there once after waiting in line until nearly 9 p.m. This time we will be there at four in the afternoon and dawdle over appetizers until we are really hungry. Of course I will eat a steak. Steak is my favorite meat just after pork chops, just after burgers. And unless someone can name a better spot to find such epicure I have found the best for each dish. I-Hop for pork chops, 3 eggs up, 3 pancakes, and unlimited coffee. For steaks without waiting in line go to Golden Corral where the steaks are now an inch thick and anyway you want them. For eight bucks you can gorge. Never mind the salad and potatoes; you can get that at home. Load up on steak no matter what kind of looks you get from your wife and children. But I assure you I do not go there for the ambience.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail: robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com