Kill a Cow–Save the Planet!

I try to focus my posts on odds and ends, entertaining asides, stuff about writing, positive things, whatever, but seldom do I delve into politics. This will be a first for my Author’s blog right here at www.rickdestefanis.com. With this post, I’m stepping off into some deep stuff all the way up to my eyeballs. Normally, I avoid arguing with the irrational. Afterall, who’s the bigger fool—the fool or he who argues with a fool? My hand is up. Ooogh, ooogh, pick me, teacher!

This is my Alamo! I am standing my ground! I will no longer remain silent. So, here it is, my rant on the elite experts (and I use that term with great sarcasm) who would have us eat bugs and such, so that we might stop climate change by eliminating herds of farting cattle—excuse me, I mean cattle emitting greenhouse gases.

Let’s start with NYC Mayor Eric Adams who told New Yorkers they should eliminate meat and dairy products from their diets to save the planet. Now, we know Mayor Eric isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but like some powerful liberal leaders, you don’t have to be the sharpest tool if you’re the biggest hoe. Never mind. Strike that from the record. Mayor Eric ain’t no hoe. Besides, it’s tacky. Oh, but I digress. Back to the rant at hand.

Some idiot Harvard professor basically said the same thing when he said our domestic cattle herds, dairy herds, and other such groups of four-legged grass-munchers are contributing significantly to greenhouse emissions, insinuating that they must be regulated. Yes, another governmental buracracy is in the works, the CFC–the cow farting commision. I can no longer remian silent, and therefore must challenge this Harvard half-wit with my argument.

You see, I’m from the South, and I have three vices, blondes, bourbon, and fried chicken. The first two are discussions for another time. I’m going to focus on the fried chicken—the mountaintop of southern cuisine. Okay, maybe one of them. It’s sort of like the Tetons in the Rockies. You know–like Mount Barbeque, or Mount Ribeye, but fried chicken is like Grand Teton. But wait! Do chickens fart? Never mind. I’m being tacky again. Strike that from the record. But remember, mess with our fried chicken at your own risk.

Let’s look at it from a more logical standpoint. What about hundreds of thousands of Wildebeests and such roaming the African Serengeti? Should we kill them all? What about the same numbers of caribou and reindeer roaming the Artic? Start killing those reindeer, and God help us if one of ’em is named Rudolph—just sayin’. And think about the elephant and water buffalo herds in Africa and India? If such expert logic is accepted, the disappearance of thousands of elk and bison that once roamed the eastern US should have resulted in an ice age of sorts—right? Just sayin’. I mean the argument is based on a Fauchi-like science that invites such counter-reasoning until I can’t help myself. Are we being greenhouse gas-lighted?

If only we could have the support of the thousands who derive their living from those domestic herds–might we succeed? Perhaps. Depends on how the woke folks deal with them. Maybe, it’ll be a commission on the insurrection of the steak eaters. They’ll hold a congressional investigation and enlist the DOJ to begin issuing warrants. Heck, they might even conjure up an excutive order for businesses to begin serving stemcell steaks made with 3-D printers, I think not, but that may be a good way to tell just how committed some of the climate change zealots really are to eliminating our T-bone steaks. I nominate Gretta Thornburg to head up the first stem cell steak test group. We’ll serve stem-cell steaks (well done) with humus on mint leaves and cucumber water. For entertainment, we can have Joe and Cornpop sing Camptown Races.

Okay, I can carry my depravity only so far. Thank you for letting me vent.

 



The Use of The S-Word

We had an event down here recently that made the news for four or five days running. Folks up North didn’t quite understand why we Southerners totally freaked out when it happened. No, I’m not talking about Robert E. Lee surrendering at Appomattox Courthouse. We’ve come to terms with that…such as it is. I’m talking about something else. It’s not easy to talk about because it’s considered a four-letter word down here.

I’m talking about a four-letter word, the occurrence of which is often accompanied by the use of another four-letter word. Yep, we did hear it a few times, frequently accompanied by the F-bomb. Understandably, both came primarily from our northern transplants—bless their hearts. I’ll explain.

Living in the “sunny” South can be a challenge for folks from up North—at least for the first year, two, or three, and yes, I heard a few of them combining the F-bomb with that other four-letter word more than once. You see, up North, the word—not the F-bomb word—but THAT other word—is one normally considered fit for common usage and is not necessarily considered vulgar. But you say it down here in Mississippi, and you better get the heck outta the way. Just sayin’.

You see, up North that word is often combined with other four-letter words, like -fall, -plow, -salt, -shoe, or five-letter words like -chains, -tires, first-, third-, all of which usually occur by sometime in November. Yep, we got 5-8 inches of the nasty stuff, and it stayed around for four or five days. Down here, we folk set off the tornado sirens when the “expert meteorologist” says there’s a possibility of “snow.” There it is! Yes, I said it. I put it in lowercase letters to reduce the effect, but it won’t matter. I’ll probably be banned from Facebook, Amazon, the church bulletin, and every local paper within a hundred miles.

 

Even the deer don't like the white stuff. I took this one in the Coldater River Bottoms.

So, anyway, the difference is in the interpretation. “Snow” in Yankee is a fairly innocuous word indicating a need for those aforementioned other four- and five-letter pre- or suffixes— -plow, -salt, -tires ‘etc. Here in the South, on the other hand, the mention of this profanity is a call for mass mobilization. The lines at the gas stations stretch out onto the highway. The propane dealers sell out within hours. There’s not a generator to be found anywhere south of the Maxon-Dixon, and the grocery store shelves—well they can only be described in biblical terms (Exodus 10:12). Yes, it resembles the locust plague.

Grocery carts are piled high with two months’ worth of milk, bread, tater chips, and Diet Coke (the inclusion of which is to off-set the inflationary effects of the aforementioned chips and bread). And should you arrive there more than five or six hours after the “expert meteorologist” mentions the S-word, you’re screwed. You’ll be met with yards of empty shelves, or at the least, lines of shoppers stretching down the aisles all the way back to the meat department and not a grocery cart in sight. And if you waited until the four-letter S-stuff began falling, bless your heart, the drive home is gonna be an adrenaline ride that makes turn-4 at Talladega look like kitty cars.

There are several rules we Southerners follow while driving in snowy or icy conditions. First: Stay very close behind the guy in front of you. Not sure why, but it seems to be common practice, so just do it. Second: If you come up on a bridge or overpass, apply your brakes vigorously. Afterall, the bridge always freezes first and you gotta creep across it, even on the interstate highway. Never mind that jack-knifing 18-wheeler behind you. That’s why they put ditches and medians on the roads. Third: Do not under any circumstances exceed ten miles per hour. Oh, and if you Yankee transplants think you’re getting’ off from this one Scott free, guess again.

Northerners learn quickly that Southerners panic and drive ten-miles-per-hour for miles on end, even on packed snow. There’s only one response. TAILGATE!! Yeah, give ‘em some NASCAR bumper love. And at the earliest opportunity pass them in the median or off the shoulder of the road and hope you don’t overlook a concrete culvert. Poor things are simply frustrated, and not without just cause when the closest thing to a snowplow in the county is a front-end loader. The problem is in the venting. It only fogs up your windshield and increases your chances of ending up in a ditch.

Oh, and did you know that a four-wheel drive vehicle can’t stop any faster than a two-wheel-drive one? This issue tends to occur in both demographic groups and is described by Ron White as something that can’t be fixed, so I’ll reserve comment. The deer pics are for my northern friends, so as to sooth their nerves and relieve their anxiety.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…if you enjoyed this little commentary, please sign-up for my mail list. Go to www.rickdestefanis.com and do it. I have had numerous friends and loyal readers tell me “I didn’t know you came out with another book.” Subscribe and you will get about one email a month, and if you’re in a bad mood, that’s why God created the delete key. I now have twelve novels published—seven in the Vietnam War series and four in my Rawlins Saga western series. Subscribe and don’t miss another book. And your update: I finished the second draft of Specter of Betrayal the sequel to The Ghost, Rumors from the Central Highlands of Vietnam. I’m still hoping to have it out in the spring.

Happy reading, and don’t forget Valentines Day.

Fried…A word of Reverence

A Work of Art

This latest newsletter from www.rickdestefanis.com comes to you with a subject that is of almost religious significance in the South. And before I go further, fair warning and a disclaimer: You may want to avert your eyes if you aren’t from the South, and shield your device’s screen from children and easily offended individiuals such as snowflakes. Yes, you’re about to read words of near obscene description. This article may include such offensive language as bacon, dipped in egg, or rolled in corn meal.

Yes, we here in the South tend to put a number of things in that quasi–near religious catagory, including college football, NASCAR, deer hunting, and well maybe a few others, but one of them for sure is fried food. If you’re a vegan, or from California or one of those other third-world states, you may wish to go now, but we have many converts, perhaps even your next door neighbors, who have seen the light and realized it’s the one on the electonic thermometer telling them the grease has reached that perfect 350 degree temperature.

Fried is a word spoken with reverence in hallowed kitchens from Wilmington to Waco and everywhere in between. Fried is a word that emotes culinary dreams of near orgasmic delight. We can begin with the simple and the obvious: fried chicken, French fries, fried eggs, but like Forrest Gump’s army buddy, Bubba, when he described the ways to fix shrimp, a near endless litany of other fried foods can be named: fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried catfish, fried oysters, fried venison chops, fried pork chops, fried bacon, fried sausage, country fried steak, fried corn, fried egg-plant, fried….I think you get the idea. 

The problem with frying is that it is as much art as it is science. Which is to say, don’t go buy your fried chicken just anywhere and expect it to be good. If it’s from any of the major fast food chains it’ll be greasy and tasteless. The best way to get top-notch fried food is to find you a good fry-cook and marry her. Anyway, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the best fry-cooks I’ve ever known, my old pappy-in-law: “A good fry-cook can make a huntin’ boot taste good, but fast food restaurants have ruined the art.”  

The latest from the writing world is that Valley of the Purple Hearts broke a thousand reviews on Amazon, and I finished the first draft of Ghost II–Specter of Betrayal. I am working steadily in hopes of getting it out by late Spring. There are a couple of knee replacements coming that may slow me up a bit, but soon as my pit crew at Campbell’s Clinic in Memphis get my new tires installed, I’ll be back in the race. I hope all my readers had a good Christmas, and I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. 

Award-Winning Novel Valley of The Purple Hearts