If a Little is Good, Then…


BILLY WITH PORTERHOUSE at Madidi Restaurant in Clarksdale

Chef Levi presenting a Porterhouse to Poor William, Photo by The Delta Bohemian

Never to be one to limit his fine self to one of anything, Poor William likely has arrived at the core of many of his intemperate Bohemian tendencies. It is rooted deeply in the Southern male psyche: If a little is good, then a lot is better!

This gluttonous mindset will be the “death of many a good man,” just like the House of the Rising Son was for a slew of New Orleans lads. Delayed gratification has never been a prominent character trait in Poor William’s lightly inhabited stable of virtues.

About the only thing Poor William delays with any consequence is the acquisition of delayed gratification. He truly wants to be self-disciplined and desperately desires to be a fastidious lad, but he sometimes just can’t help hisself when it comes to making hisself feel good. It ain’t easy being Poor William.

I like to cook, possess a fairly well-defined palette, and am creative but never follow a recipe–imagine that. Where I err is in the application of spices and ingredients that I find tantalizing. If a little paprika is good, then I figure a lot is better; if a little lemon is good, then surely a big-ass squeeze would make the dish sizzle.

If a little single-malt scotch tastes good, then a lot of single-malt scotch would be even better. If loving is great, then how much greater would “round-the-clock” loving be? Obviously, the Odious One needs to do as the Good Book says, “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.”

The problem: The Extreme One would put not-one-but-two knives to his throat via the same manic device that facilitates his being a man given to appetite. Damocles sword might be hanging over his head, but he seems to feel the need also to administer a knife to his own throat.

Extremism means simply a tendency or disposition to go to extremes. Hello, they had Poor William at “simply.” Life seems to him to be salt less and tasteless without extremes, though the extremes do take a “lot out of him.” Again, it ain’t easy being Poor William.

Poor William’s bride, Magical Madge, worries constantly about the shear amount of food he feeds the fish in the seven tanks at the Salon de Boheme–the Wegener House they live in; Poor William always wanted to name a house.

When the water is tested every few days, Poor William is always a bit dismayed at how quickly the water has deteriorated. Over-feeding does this, but what is the Immoderate One to do? They look hungry! If he were a fish, he would be hungry and desirous of flaky, multi-colored morsels too. Is he not just adhering to the Golden Rule: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

Poor William dined on some swine at Abe’s for lunch with his vato loco, Lil John, and some of his “associates.” That’s right, Poor William has friends who have associates. Be afraid, very afraid.

The subject of acetone came up during the porcine consumption. Poor William and Tom From-the-Hinterlands both had hair-raising tales of acetone redux. A relation of Tom’s had mass amounts of paint poured in her hair. Tom encouraged her to use a little paint thinner to assist with the paint removal. Friends of Tom’s relation poured a whole bucket on her head, sending the now Scalded-One to the emergency room. Extremism!

In the mid-90’s, even before he moved in, Poor William set the kitchen and dining room on fire in the first home he purchased. Due to his being poor, he had to do some of the fixin’ up himself–having never been real handy, except maybe in the backseat of the family station wagon.

Carpet, in the kitchen of all places, needed to be removed and the pad underneath had deteriorated and stuck to the flooring. It was a laborious, inch-by-inch scraping process and Poor William was tired. A friend told him acetone would remove the “tough-to-get portions.” Just pour a little on the rug and scrape with a razor blade. He should have asked how much is a “little”?

Half a gallon on the floor later, while still holding the other half gallon in a metal container, the fumes hit the gas water heater in the connecting laundry room! BOOM! Poor William heard and felt the boom, saw the laser show coming out of the metal gallon container he was still holding, and smelled his eyebrows ablaze.

Hmmm? Maybe if a little is good, then that’s good enough!

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  1. Lord Chuck would lend one of his favorite mantras, “nothing exceeds like excess!”

  2. Well put Chuck! I miss grilling in NM and I miss drinking a cold one on Petie’s porch or in Allen’s shed! 🙂

  3. Lil Round, my boyhood friend and Idol, and a Great American….you are so f*****g funny!!!!

    • I am so unworthy of your adulation “Oh Great One, Slim of the Slim, MY (all caps) boyhood FRIEND and IDOL, and the Greatest of All Americans! Dude, I have been in the gym for four days now and I shall soon rival your slimness. Read about it in Thursday’s Delta Bohemian, you might just find yourself receiving your due adulation! Signed, “Getting Littler All The Time Round”

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