A Nice Gentleman

Schlitz Sign Photo by DB

Schlitz Sign Photo by DB

(Clarksdale, Mississippi)

EDITORS NOTE: The views expressed by Dingus Batticus do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Delta Bohemian. Dingus is a developing character who is reminiscent of Archie Bunker: a complex character with overt racist views, which will likely be mitigated over time. Dingus gives a portrayal into an element living in the Mississippi Delta that is often under-represented in literature.

Guest Bohemian

I don’t like to look backwards. It don’t hardly do a man no good to look back, but I reckon you got to explain to folks sometimes.

I grew up on the river with Pappy fishing. When I was a young-un all he did was fish every day, and he would take what buffalo and carp he caught and sell them to the n****rs on the street. Fish is what we ett too unless we was lucky enough to have some meat in the freezer.

To get meat, Pappy and I would go riding county gravel roads at night looking for deer or coons or rabbits. He took his old lever action 30-30 everywhere he went, and he never missed nothing. He’d see a pair of eyes shining in the lights and he’d split em every time. The law didn’t mess with Pappy. Pappy’d just as soon bust a cap on one of them as look at him.

Once I got old enough to shoot, I’d take that lever action out and practice on folks’ dogs and especially cats. I shot every cat I could find. I ain’t never liked cats, and any dog that ain’t got a collar on him, I shot him. I liked to shoot them in the butt and watch them spin around and bite their ass before I finally finished them off by blowing their brains out – say howdy to the pink mist. I got picked up by the law a bunch of times but they always turned me loose, but hell, their food was better’n what I was used to, so I never minded it a-tall.

We didn’t have no money so I was the only white kid that went to Jonestown Elementary. Them n****rs never let it rest in school. A bunch of them was already 14 or 15 years old, which, ‘spite being outnumbered, I held my own best I could. They finally got my teeth, though, one day when I got jumped by about seven of them. It was only because of this nice man who was a dentist that I got some of my teeth back. Needless to say, none of them n****rs that jumped me ever had a dog longer than about a week.

Them other kids laughed at me all the time calling me white trash – I don’t know why they laughed at me because their shack looked just like ours did; we had a few more cars in the yard than most folks only because we were the onliest ones that could fix cars, so blacks brought theirs over to be fixed. If it couldn’t be fixed, there it would sit. I had to explain every day to them n****rs that their brains was only half the size of mine and that one day they would all be working for me. I dreamed about that day all the time.

When I went to the county high school it got a little better; we probably had about 20 white kids or so. I finally got me a shot of leg in the 7th grade from this girl that lived up on the lake. She got knocked up by a black boy the very next year and we ain’t seen her since. I hated school, and midway through the ninth grade, I said to hell with all this foolishness and told that old lady principal to stick it up her ass. She was giving me grief about smoking in the bathroom, so I got her purse and took a crap in it. That’s when she said I was expelled. I said, “Hell naw I ain’t expelled; I quit you old bitch.”

My sister killed herself about the time I left school; she had been in and out of Whitfield a dozen times. Pappy was always trying to quiet her down, saying that there wasn’t nothing wrong with her. It always seemed to be Pappy that made her go crazy; we never could figure it out. Anyway, I got her TV set.

One night I stole me a set of tools from this farm shop down the road from the house, and I started mechanicking. I made a pretty good living off black folks who’d bring me their cars, and I’d fix them up good enough to run. Half the time they’d say it needed a timing chain when all it had was fouled plugs from the rings and cylinders being worn out. I’d clean the plugs and charge them for a timing chain. Sometimes they couldn’t pay me, so if it was a good looking n****r woman I’d take a shot of leg for payment. I liked it when they said I was a nice gentleman.

I been working on cars ever since, except one little while in Camp 29 at Parchman. Ain’t no need in discussing none of that. I got married when I got out of the joint at age 25, but my wife ended up running off two years ago with my cousin, the meth head. His teeth and fingernails look like he’s 80 years old, but he got the bitch hooked on that shit, so she up and ran off on me. The only good thing about it was that she left me with our twin 15 year-old girls. Them girls is my life now, and they have made me look at life different. I realize I have not been a good role model for them, and I aim to be more respectable now that they depend on me. I want them to have a life better’n what I’ve had.

Last week Clarice (that’s the twin with the blonde hair) broke the news to me that both of the twins was pregnant. I am very disappointed in them. The hell of it is – they are both pregnant by the same boy: that Mitchell boy that looks like he’s about half Mongoloid. I am trying not to hang my head too low; I just have to work a little harder now that I’ll have two more mouths to feed. And as for that Mitchell boy, he’s going to have to amount to something if he’s going to be the daddy to my grandchildren.

Pappy taught me to be proud of our family name and to make that pride known to all others. To those that do not show us and ours the proper respect, woe be unto them. They might just come up missing a dog, a car, or a loved one. Or they just might get to meet the old 30-30 one on one. That’ll show them who’s white trash.

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  1. Maybe Dingus is the ‘barn-burner’ we were all forewarned about.

  2. I believe avoiding ready-made foods is the first step for you to lose weight.

    They could taste beneficial, but highly processed foods have very little nutritional value, making you try to eat more just to
    have enough strength to get with the day. If you’re constantly having these foods, transitioning to whole grain products and other complex carbohydrates will assist you to have more energy while taking in less. Interesting blog post.

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