“Last Time Jackson Saw Me”

Last time Jackson saw

me – Sattidah mawn downtown*

had ants in mah pants!


  • (Jackson, Mississippi, that is.  I was driving my blue beastie 1971 VW Superbeetle from Sanford to Norman, Oklahoma my last year as an active duty Marine, going to visit Roger Rapping Stone and his owner Annie now Goss whose marriage I helped turn topsy by forgetting where I hid my shoes, so we had the wedding all barefooted in Honolulu’s oldest chapel and the preacher doffed his shoes, too.  But back in Jackson: I had driven through the worst ‘lectrical storm ever coming out of New Orleans and saw big bastard bolts strike either side of the small hill the interstate bisected as I hunched my head lower just below the directing wheel…gads, was I scared.  So scared that just a few hours later as the sun was up just enough to enlighten Jackson on Saturday morning that I realized I hadda pee.  Just on the outskirts, mind.  So I hopped out, hid behind the car and the overpass railing and let water.  And got back in and drove through the Saturday morning just moving downtown up high on interstate overpasses that stretched on and on and on and…Oh! Damn! What’s this… Fire from my britches.  I knew instantly what is is.  Fire Ants!  Freakin’ Fire Ants flinging formic acid everywhere and causing me to halt atop on of those continuous overpasses, just overlooking a big downtown open block turned into a farmers’ marked it looked like.  I quick stripped out of my Levis 501 jeans and shucked my tee shirt – what? no shoes? Who drives in the south in shoes? Hideous things.  So, there I was in my skivvie shorts whapping away at the guard rail with my blue jeans, hopping about on one foot and trying to swipe those terrible black torments off my chest and arms and face and  hairy (not so much: remember – still active duty Marine) while I notice a couple of kids tugging on their momma’s arms to get her to watch the funny young man beside the blue bug beating his jeans on the railings.  What a sight! Mamma quick grabbed both boys and marched them around away from my shame and I blessed her silently.  And continued my crusade!)

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