The Frugal Gourmet–Southern Style!

March 5, 1999

Despite my occasional jokes at the expense of Tennessee, the great state in which I live, I try to remember that, for the most part, it’s not in a backward place that deserves to be a laughingstock of the rest of the country (or at least most of it). But sometimes I hear things that make it almost impossible to think Tennessee as anything but the reason redneck jokes are based on actual events and people. Right now the Tennessee state legislature, which is normally occupied with more important matters like making it illegal to teach evolution, or hunting for Native American burial grounds to cover with megamalls, is considering legislation that will make it legal for people to take home animals they hit with their cars and eat them. I’m not kidding. This is known as the "roadkill bill". Honestly, I didn’t know it was illegal to do this, but for reasons I’m sure you’ll understand, it’s never been a big concern for me, or anyone else I know. The bad news is traffic is really going to slow down when Tennessee’s highways become the country’s biggest takeout restaurant. The good news is I just bought stock in a company that makes snow shovels. Before I share this week’s offerings with you, here are a few subject lines for this week that I decided were just too–excuse the pun–tasteless:

Badgers? You Bet We Need Some Stinking Badgers!

Hey, It Really Does Taste Like Chicken.

Cooking With Uncle Rupert

Fire Up The Pickup, Granny, An Elephant’s Done Escaped From The Zoo!


WHAT’S Y’ALL’S SIGN?

It has become obvious to us Southerners that our present astrological signs have served their purpose and that we should get rid of them.

When I’m out driving around I’ll see bulls, and once in a great while I suppose I’ll even see a ram. Up the street from me there’s some twins, but I don’t see them much. The rest of these things are just too obscure. You only see crabs on vacation. There are no lions or scorpions, not many archers and no damn water bearers. Virgins? The neighborhood’s not crawling with them either. SO, what we need here is some relevance. We need things we can recognize up there in the night sky.

Okra
Dec 22-Jan 20
Although you appear crude, you are actually very slick on the inside. Okra have tremendous influence. An older Okra can look back over his life and see the seeds of his influence everywhere. Stay away from Moon Pies.

Chitlin
Jan 21-Feb 19
Chitlins often come from humble backgrounds. Many times they’re uncomfortable talking about just where they came from. A chitlin, however, can make something of himself if he’s motivated and has plenty of seasoning. When it comes to dealing with Chitlins, be very careful. Chitlins can burn and then erupt like Vesuvius, and this can make for a really terrible mess. Chitlins are best with Catfish and Okra. Remember that when marriagetime rolls around.

Boll Weevil
Feb 20-Mar 20
You have an overwhelming curiosity. You’re unsatisfied with the surface of things, and you feel the need to bore deep into the interior of everything. Needless to say, you are very intense and driven as if you had some inner hunger. Nobody in their right mind is going to marry you, so don’t worry about it.

Moon Pie
Mar 21-Apr 20
You’re the type that spends a lot of time on the front porch. It’s a cinch to recognize the physical appearance of Moon Pies. "Big" and "round" are the key words here. You should marry anybody who you can get remotely interested in the idea. It’s not going to be easy. This might be the year to think about aerobics. Maybe not.

Possum
Apr 21-May 21
When confronted with life’s difficulties, possums have a marked tendency to withdraw and develop a "don’t-bother-me-about-it" attitude. Sometimes you become so withdrawn, people actually think you’re dead. This strategy is probably not psychologically healthy, but seems to work for you. One day, however, it won’t work, and you may find your problems actually running youover.

Crawfish
May 22-Jun 21
Crawfish is a water sign. If you work in an office, you’re always hanging around the water cooler. Crawfish prefer the beach to the mountains, the pool to the golf course, the bathtub to the living room. You tend not to be particularly attractive physically, but you have very, very good heads.

Collards
Jun 22- Jul 23
Collards have a genius for communication. They love to get in the "melting pot" of life and share their essence with the essences of those around them. Collards make good social workers, psychologists, and baseball managers. As far as your personal life goes, if you are Collards, stay away from Moon Pies. It just won’t work. Save yourself a lot of heartache.

Catfish
Jul 24-Aug 23
Catfish are traditionalists in matters of the heart, with one exception: Whiskers may cause problems for loved ones. You catfish are never easy people to understand. You prefer the muddy bottoms to the clear surface of life. Above all else, Catfish should stay away from Moon Pies.

Grits
Aug 24-Sep 23
Your highest aim is to be with others like yourself. You like to huddle together with a big crowd of other Grits. You love to travel, though, so maybe you should think about joining a club. Where do you like to go? Anywhere they have cheese or gravy or bacon or butter or eggs. If you can go somewhere where they have all these things, that serves you well.

Boiled Peanuts
Sep 24-Oct 23
You have a passionate desire to help yourfellow man. Unfortunately, those who know you best-your friends and loved ones-may find that your personality is much too salty, and their criticism will probably affect you deeply because you are really much softer than you appear. You should go right ahead and marry anybody you want to because in a certain way, yours is a charmed life. On the road of life, you can be sure that people will always pull over and stop for you.

Butter Bean
Oct 24-Nov 22
Always invite a Butter Bean because Butter Beans get along well with everybody. You, as a Butter Bean, should be proud. You’ve grown on the vine of life and you feel at home no matter what the setting. You can sit next to anybody. However, you, too, shouldn’t have anything to do with Moon Pies.

Armadillo
Nov 23-Dec 21
You have a tendency to develop a tough exterior, but you are actually quite gentle. A good evening for you? Old friends, a fire, some roots, fruit, worms and insects. You are a throwback. You’re not concerned with today’s fashions and trends. You’re not concerned with anything about today. You’re really almost prehistoric in your interests and behavior patterns. You probably want to marry another Armadillo, but Possum is another, somewhat kinky, mating possibility.


Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients.

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second surgeon responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers…. those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You’re all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. They have no guts, no heart, no spine, and their head and butt are interchangeable."

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