Welcome to this press conference. I’m here today to discuss my plans for this website for the upcoming year. As you may know, I recently got back from a strange fictitious trip to Michigan, and lived to post about it. Some of you were doubtless wondering what that was all about and why I failed to post about the LSU-Alabama National Championship game (for the 12th time this year).
Well today I will explain some of the things we’ll be doing on TSWBA, our upcoming posts, cartoons, and satires, and I’ll open the floor up to any questions or suggestions you may have. This will be an open forum and will in no way be an attempt by me to satire and lampoon my own website and audience. I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.
But first, I’d like to welcome all of you here today. I see some of my regular readers in the crowd, the sorority pageant girls, the frat boys who got here searching for politically incorrect pictures, the SEC trash talkers of which I see plenty of Alabama and LSU types, the disgruntled Colonel Reb supporters (I’m with you brothers and sisters), the classic country music fans, James Brown aficionados, Paula Dean supporters, Jim Bowie is the Chuck Norris meme spoofers, those linked to me via Facebook, transplanted Southerners pining for Dixie, protesters from the state of Michigan, and of course last but not least, the people who stumbled onto this site by accident.
Welcome all of you.
I started this site about six months ago as a way to blog, educate others about, and lampoon the culture of the South I love. I had very little prior blogging experience, but I had (literally) a notebook full of funny ideas and plenty of time on my hands. I thought up the name The South Will Blog Again!, purchased a WordPress domain name and a custom font, and launched in August. I had a lot of help from my friend the Budget Blonde, and some Facebook forwarding help from my friends Jaci, Chris, and Ray in particular. There were other forwarders out there along the way including other blogs and web sites. Many of those people I will never meet. But I thank you all.
Originally I was going to do a standard blog site, using hot linked pictures and adding a few paragraphs about them. But then I got to thinking. Lots of people do that. Those pictures wouldn’t be mine. And those pictures could disappear. Then I remembered how much I use to like to draw on MS Paint. Years ago when I first started my career as a museum educator I used to draw history cartoons on the computer for my children’s programs, worksheets, and fliers. It took a lot of practice, but it was fun, and quite popular. Then I stopped doing them for a while. This site gave me the chance to start drawing again, but on a variety of topics. If you look back to my first barbecue piece, it took a few weeks of trial and error to get the hang of it again and to make the images stand out. I’ve tried switching to better programs, but have kept Paint due to its ease of use and simple “cartoony” style images.
After deciding on that, I began to think about writing stories and long satires rather than simple short sentences and paragraphs. This kind of went against the grain of what most (non-political) websites do, but I had faith that my readers would be the sort that liked to hear a good yarn. The world moves too darn fast, and the internet is part of the reason. Why not use the internet to preserve some of our Southern culture by spinning tall tales and not taking life so seriously?
So after exhausting much of my early notebook of ideas as well as some requests and topical pieces, we are now averaging about 300-400 views per week. I thank you for that. Hopefully we can continue to grow. Before I tell you some of my ideas and plans for this year are there any questions? If you have a question please step up to the microphone and tell us your name and then state your peace..ah yes you sir, please go ahead.
“Yes…hi…my name is Bob Richie. Um…I’m what you call a bit of an entertainer/producer/artist…yeah…so are you finally done making fun of Michigan? That was kind of harsh man…I mean I’m not from up there or anything…I’m from down here…good ole Southern Rocker…but you know some of them are down with the South too! Seems like you’re trying to alienate them.”
Hmmm…well thanks for the suggestion Kid Rock. I’m sorry you were so offended by my Michigan piece. For those of you that were confused, I did in fact parody Michigan because of a bet I lost to a Wolverine grad. I had to praise Yankees, liberalism, Michigan culture, and the Big Ten for three days. It was a bit disturbing. So when that was over, I had been in a blogger’s block so I decided to turn that experience into a story. I had been holding onto a Wizard of Oz parody idea for some time and this seemed to fit perfectly. Any time Southern Blogger heads up to the North it’s like going into another dimension.
Now with that being said…the good news Kid Rock is that Michigan is off the hook. And no, Michigan didn’t really get it that bad because I kind of like Michigan people. If you want to see bad…well..
I might at a later point parody other Northern locales I’ve been too. I have a major ax to grind against the city of Boston, and neighboring Cambridge, based on a nine-day work trip I had there in 2006. That would certainly make good TSWBA fodder and will make the Michigan jokes seem quite tame. I also feel that the West Coast has gotten off too lightly. So Michigan…all’s well and all in good fun. We got rid of Michael Moore for you and I raise you a can of Vernor’s.
Oh…I’m also planning to use the concept of movie parodies again. Plenty of things could work such as the Lord of the Rings, the Godfather, Gone with the Wind, Gettysburg, or Braveheart…we’ll just have to see if the mood hits me. Those parodies and drawings take three times the work, so I wouldn’t expect another one for a while.
Next question….yes you ma’am…
“Hello my name is Kayleigh Ann Duprise, Miss South Will Blog Again 2012. And besides reading Southern blogs my passion is giving internet access to the hungry children of Togo. My sisters and I LOVE your blog…well we’ve only read one of the posts…but your pageant post was amazing! You should do more like that! And oh..oh! Fashion tips…like how to match your tiara with you Fall collection!”
Thanks for the advice and compliments Kayleigh, and for well improving my ratings. Um..well first of all I have to admit that the pageant post would not have been possible without my friend Budget Blonde who supplied me with the stories. There’s no way in the world I would have known about butt spray for example. Due to my lack of pageant experience and female anatomy I’m not sure how much more of those types of posts I could do…but I am up for allowing more guest blogging in the future. In fact until the SEC championship game knocked it off, that post was my most popular single day, and week, in this blog’s brief history. So I’m sure we can work something out you and your sisters, including your “sisters” in cyberspace, would like.
Oh speaking of the SEC…I see we have what appears to be an LSU fan in pimp attire…yes sir…
“Yes, hey man…my name is Bobby KR Rich…I’m a big fan…I’m also a huge fan of the pimpingest team in the universe the LSU Tigers! Are you going to do more SEC football posts? You don’t seem to have done enough of them. I search for cartoons bashing my rival schools all the time. We need all the cartoon help we can get if we are going to beat Bama this year. Oh..and are you going to call those Bama fans out for what they did to that LSU guy? You know, on Bourbon Street the other day? Isn’t that stereotypical!”
“THEY STARTED IT! THEY BE ALL JEALOUS AND STUFF OF ALL OUR CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHIES AND SUCH. I OUGHT TO POISON ALL OF THEM…WHY…THEY STARTED IT!!!”
Calm down Harvey Updyke! You’ll get your turn….(sigh)…
Look I know it’s you Kid Rock. I know you made a costume change five minutes ago, and now are embracing SEC football in order to seem more Southern, more country, and to branch off into hard rocking rap-Zydeco….(sigh)…and you and Harvey both please stop saying “we” you guys are tools, you fight too much, and you didn’t go to those schools.
If I’ve tried to do anything on my site, it’s to tell my own SEC stories and observations of other students and fans. I have never had problems as an Ole Miss grad getting along with students and alumni of any of the other schools. In fact I count many of them as close friends. We all share the same culture and stories. And we all share the same dismissive attitude towards Yankee football.
But nevertheless, I’m aware that my site traffic is due largely to SEC trash talk. If I lampoon LSU and Bama “sidewalk alums” the most, it’s because the “pimp fans” and “tree poisoner” types are the most obnoxious, most obvious, and easiest fans to bust on. If other teams start winning more their fans will become worse, and y’all will be off the hook.
While I’ll likely wait until late summer to do another SEC football post, I’ll probably do a post or two with some Ole Miss stories that should relate to graduates of any of those schools. I also plan to cover Southern minor league baseball culture this spring (think Bull Durham), and doubtless will NEED to bust on that Carpetbagger Duke basketball program. I’d also like to cover my take on the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and other Southern sporting events.
Okay well besides what I’ve already mentioned I will tell you a few other plans I have…
If you don’t recall, I am a historian by training, education, profession, and well personal interest. I love history, I love satire, and I really love combining the two. So far I’ve done two history pieces, my Andrew Jackson tips on dueling “guest blog” and my Robert E Lee tips for winning a battle. As of yet, I haven’t done the 18th century. And that happens to be my favorite time period.
Since politics has been in the news lately, a lot of people like to argue over, harken to, and quote the Founding Fathers. Everybody (except far left loons and arch Tories) loves the Founders and I’m no exception. They were great. But I find it amusing that many people quote them as if they all agreed with one another, and all were of the same mind and background. I’ve studied these men and their writings for years. Many of them hated each other. Most of them were from upper class backgrounds. They also had strong regional differences. Well…albeit deliberately anachronistic, I thought it would be funny to re-imagine the Founders as Frat Boys. There’s a lot of talk online about the differences in fraternities in the North and South. This talk and these differences among today’s young and privileged seems a lot like the sniveling some of the Founders made against one another. So for my next blog piece I’m going to give the Fathers of our country the proper TSWBA treatment. It should be a good one.
So I hope I can make y’all laugh, and learn at the same time, without always having to come back to SEC football…
anything else? Yes…
“YEAH…OKAY SO WHEN YOU GONNA DO THAT POST ABOUT HOW LSU AND AUBURN HAVE DONE BEEN CHEATIN’?”
For the past two posts I have been telling you about my strange trip to Michigan. I’d been serenaded by bizarre Little Ten Kins, killed a Loony Leftist with a flying Winnebago, and was traveling with Julep the Dog through the middle of the Mitten…I mean Michigan…to find some Wizard to get me back home. Along the way I picked up THE Bob Seger, a talking anthropomorphic Vernor’s Ginger Ale can, and Ndamukong Suh, the Penalized Lion. There was lots of mirth and singing….and I mean LOTS. As weird as things had been up to that point, they were about to get weirder. Our merry band was about to meet the full wrath of Michael Moore, the Loony Leftist of the East. He was out for revenge, just as he had promised.
Michael Moore is vile creature, sloppy and slothful in appearance. But he is also very cunning and subtle. When he first began to cast a spell on me I had no idea it was him at work. We got out of Detroit unscathed thanks to help from the Penalized Lion. Suh is very popular in those parts and we received safe passage, even though we were in the heart of Michael Moore Country. We headed north and several hours later we neared the small village of Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth has a reputation for causing travelers to run astray and Tim Allen, the Good Toolman of the North had warned me to avoid it. I had fully intended to do so. The problem was as we neared the town and passed several billboards, Bob Seger and the Vernor’s Can began to get agitated. They kept begging and begging and begging to stop at Bonner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, a popular Christmas themed, year round store and tourist extravaganza. Both Suh and I voted against it. I vetoed it because the Toolman had warned me against stopping there and I wasn’t much for tourist traps. Suh argued against it because he said it was the “honkiest place in the universe”. With all due respect to Polkatoon, North Dakota, I’d have to agree.
Yet Seger and the Vernor Can kept agitating for us to stop. It had a strange pull over them. So I relented. It turned out to be several large warehouse size buildings with alumnium siding full of countless Christmas shops. There were Nativity stores, Santa Stores, ornament stores, Santa ornament stores, Christmas light stores, plastic reindeer stores, novelty stocking stores, and twelve snack bars each corresponding to one of the 12 days of Christmas from the song. It was the most Midwestern thing I had ever seen in my life. Suh immediately fell asleep in the parking lot. Julep laid down soon after. I stared at the place for awhile but began to tire myself. The last I remember was Seger and the Vernor Can going from store to store giggling and skipping, happy as can be.
It was almost the end of us. For Michael Moore had cast a spell on us to stop there. In fact he owns the place. At first glance, the CHRISTmas Wonderland appears to be rather conservative leaning. It’s pro religious and pro capitalist…on the surface. In reality, the money you spend there goes to fund Michael Moore’s production company and other sundry schemes. He uses it to bankrupt conservative Midwesterners. In fact, it has led to much of the decline in Michigan and neighboring states’ GNP. On Southerners and other non-natives, it has the opposite affect. The boredom lulls one into a deep sleep that can last up to 100 years. In fact Rip Van Winkle was a real life Dutchman who fell asleep in such as way at Bonner’s Albany location. Thankfully we survived. I was roused by the Vernor Can after he had blown through all his money. He was shaking me to try to jiggle loose change from my pants. I was awoken, and realized what was going on. We got out of there as soon as we could and before Bob Seger could stage the free Christmas music concert he was promising patrons.
After we got back to our senses we got back on the road and headed west to the capital city of the Wizard of Mich, which happened to be the capital city of Michigan; Lansing. As we journeyed on we began to see Lansing appear on the horizon. From afar you could definitely see it was clearly the capital of the Mitten. It appeared like a giant gleaming version of Grand Rapids. It had everything Grand Rapids had to offer only larger and more grandiose. Lansing contained a huge 4,000 square foot Dominoes Pizza, as well as a 45 story Little Caesar’s and a 67 story Hungry Howie’s. They were monstrous. To top that, there were equally large Applebees and Chili’s locations, billed as the largest in Michigan, as well as the world’s biggest Arnie’s, a favorite local chain among the natives. But the greatest indicator of it’s “Michiganess” was the 16 separate Meijer grocery store locations that leaped from the Lansing streets to touch the sky. My companions were in ecstasy. I felt it to be the scariest looking city I had ever seen, and I had just left Detroit. But journey on we had to, for in the rear corner booth of that Arnie’s led to the lair of the Wizard of Mich.
We got to Lansing and soon stood in front of the world’s largest Arnies. A greeter met us near the door. We asked to see the Wizard of Mich. “I’m sorry…” the greeter said, “he’s not here…he…he never eats here…this restaurant is closed…GOODBYE!”. “But you were just going to sit us for lunch!” I protested. Apparently word got out that some travelers were looking for the Wizard of Mich and were bringing trouble with them. As powerful as the Wizard of Mich was people feared Michael Moore the Loony Leftist of the East. The Arnies Corporation and the other chain restaurants would not want Michael Moore making a documentary about them. He was liable to put anything in his movie, including having Arnie’s cooks “hand out machine guns to children under 12″, or be using “toxic waste for their chicken pot pies”.
Finally Bob Seger stepped in. He said “tell the Motor City Madman his old friend Bob Seger is here to see him and has those silver bullets he is looking for”. The Wizard of Mich was known as quite a hunter. The greeter headed to the back of the restaurant and disappeared for a few moments. Then she returned. “The Wizard of Mich will see you now. Open the door to the right of the last booth and go down the hallway.”
We did what we were instructed. The great hallway was lined in camoflauge netting. There were various pictures of the Wizard of Mich hunting and with his trophy kills. The netting, the pictures, and the various head trophies of game struck home the point that the Wizard of Mich was trigger happy and likely to shoot you. I was a bit nervous….the man in the pictures seemed familiar to me….
“I AM THE GREAT NUGE…THE ALL POWERFUL AND ALMIGHTY WIZARD OF MICH!!! WHO IS IT THAT DARES DISTURB ME…BOB SEGER AND WHO ELSE?” The booming voice was loud, accusative, and angry. I looked down the hall and arsing from a flaming bowl, wedged between two elephant tusks was the image of none other than Michigan hard rocker and gun nut Ted Nugent, a man with over 13 kills, and that just in his VH1 Reality shows. But yeah, he definitely knew Bob Seger. That man opens a lot of doors around there. “SPEAK YOU PIECES OF FILTH…WHO GOES THERE?”. Finally I spoke for the group. “I am Southern Blogger. I come from a far away land, one where we like hunting too like you oh great and mighty Nuge!” “YOU ARE SOUTHERN THEN!?? THEN WHAT’S WITH THE STRANGE ATTIRE FROM A LIBERAL NORTHERN SCHOOL?” “A disguise oh mighty one” I said. “We are here to ask you humbly of some favors…” “FAVORS?!!! WHAT FAVORS SHOULD I GRANT YOU?!!” The Great Nuge seemed angry at our impudence. Seger told him about his need for soul, the Vernor Can his desire for caffeine, and Suh his wanting to be able to make tackles again. I also mentioned how I was trapped up there and wanted to return South but had killed the Loony Leftist of the West and had thus angered Michael Moore…”
“YES…IT WAS YOU WHO KILLED THE SNIDE LEFTIST OF THE WEST! I HAVE HEARD TIDINGS OF YOUR DOINGS”. This had impressed the Great Nuge who enjoyed hearing about the grisly demise of one of his enemies. “YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT THING SOUTHERN BLOGGER! YOU HAVE KILLED THE LOONY LEFTIST WHO WAS ABOUT TO REQUIRE ALL HUNTING BOWS TO FIRE NERF ARROWS. FOR THIS DEED I SHALL GRANT THEE AND THY FRIENDS WISHES BUT FIRST…” I knew there would be a catch. The Great Nuge continued to bellow. “YOU MUST FIRST BRING ME THE MEGAPHONE OF MICHAEL MOORE, THE LOONY LEFTIST OF THE EAST. DESTROY THE FOUL BEAST, BRING ME HIS OBNOXIOUS MEGAPHONE, AND YOU SHALL HAVE WHAT YOU DESIRE. NOW LEAVE MY PRESENCE AND DO NOT RETURN WITHOUT DOING THESE THINGS!” And with that, the Great Nuge disappeared.
We had come all this way to the city of Lansing and had met the Wizard of Mich. He was willing to grant all of our requests but we had to leave and perform a dangerous feat. We had to destroy Michael Moore. And to do so we had to leave the relatively safe confines of Lansing and head east to the home of the Loony Leftist of the East; Flint. As desolate and dangerous as Detroit was, it was nothing compared to the utter despair and agony of Flint.
We were more than a bit afraid as we headed back out on the road. We entered the dark and twisted Forest of GreenPeace which was anything but “peaceful”. There were briers and brambles and thorns and broken logs. Here no one was allowed to cut back any vegetation or harm anything from a tree. We tread as carefully as we could. We could hear whispers and voices boding us ill and wishing us to fail. It was if the trees, or whomever was inhabiting them were shouting negative slogans at us in the call and response manner of the #Occupy protesters.
Then from out of nowhere we were attacked from the sky. We were so busy listening to the voices and trampling lightly on the ground that we failed to see the Flying Moore Minions from the sky. They were smug, ironic, angry, leftist Hipsters with wings. Although skinny and weak vegans one on one, we were no match against hundreds of them. They swooped down and took Julep and me prisoner. The others they knocked to the ground and left.
They took me prisoner because I had the magic yellow sneakers that Michael Moore had wanted. That, and he blamed me for killing the Loony Leftist of the West. He took the dog to use as leverage against me. He knew I wasn’t a Seger, ginger ale, or Detroit Lions fan, so he left my companions alone. We were brought to the Moore compound and locked away in a dungeon to await our trial by documentary. It was a frightening experience.
Michael Moore lived in a billion dollar mansion on the outskirts of Flint. He hid his opulent mansion and his billionaire lifestyle behind the ruins of an abandoned factory. Only the factory was from the set of the movie “Roger and Me” and in fact never really existed. Of all the make believe I had seen in Michigan, Michael Moore took the cake.
My companions found their way to the mansion and hatched a plan to infiltrate it. They decided to disguise themselves in ironic costumes in an attempt to look like one of Moore’s Hipster Minions, or at the very least, one of his supporters. Suh donned tight jeans, Chucks, an ironic t-shirt that read “I’m bringing sexy Bach”, and an XFL football helmet. The Vernor Can donned the markings of a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Hipster’s favorite beer. It was decided that Seger go as himself, since any Hipster that “liked” Bob Seger and donned his clothes and facial hair would be ironic enough.
The ruse worked and my companions were able to sneak into the compound and passed as Hipsters. Seger passed with flying colors, Suh seemed a little suspicious looking like a football player until he said he was an “ironic ultimate Frisbee player”, while the Vernor Can had a close call as someone tried to drink him. They raced down below and found Julep and me. We were being interrogated.
Michael Moore had taken out his camera and began asking questions. It didn’t matter what questions he asked or what I answered, he was going to arrange the footage and my dialogue to fit whatever he wanted me to say. His main purpose in filming was to pester and anger me into a reaction, something I must admit he was easily able to do. With each insult I gave him, with each time I yelled at him, with each time I threatened to punch him, Moore laughed and grew stronger. He truly was all powerful.
My friends barged in the room and demanded our release. Moore merely laughed at them and turned the camera towards them. He took credit for eliminating the formula that made Vernor’s great and that he had falsely claimed it was a cancer agent. He told Seger that he had sabotauged his carreer by claiming “old time rock and roll” was racist and should be replaced with Rap-Metal. He told Suh, the Penalized Lion that he had installed Roger Goodell as commissioner and in fact Roger Goodell was his friend from the film “Roger and Me”. He then said he was going to destroy America by exposing it and suing it to death. All the evidence he needed was in a cabinet labeled “projects”.
Suh then became very angry and lunged at Moore. But Moore laughed and began filming him. “Replay…Replay….REPLAY!!! HA HA I gave the NFL replay….I am who is responsible for your fines…I am going to RUN YOU OUT OF THE LEAGUE…..you and all defensive players….football will then be so boring the NFL will go bankrupt…and with it all the corporate sponsors…dead gone…then everyone will be forced to watch MY MOVIES instead as they will be the only thing left on TV…the AV club will finally beat you football jocks you…”
I could stand it no longer. I reached into the cabinet and got a cup labeled “Kill Starbucks project”. I hurled it in Michael Moore’s face. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?” he screamed. “THAT ISN’T FAIR TRADE BEAN COFFEE….THAT’S COFFEE MADE WITH BOTTLED WATER…THAT COFFEE MADE A PROFIT LAST YEAR…I CAN’T TAKE IT….AHHHHH I’M MELTING…I’M MELTING…I’M MEEEEELLLLLTTTTIIINNNG!!! AHHHH!”. And with that, Michael Moore, the terror of America, the man who killed Michigan, the Loony Lefist of the East had melted into a giant puddle and then went down the drain. The world was free.
We raced outside and the sky became clear. Hipsters had begun changing their clothes to normal attire. They soon realized the spell that they were under and that they weren’t being “ironic” but merely pretentious, spoiled, thrift-store, wannabee, clowns. The forest began to clear, the birds were singing, as the curse that had plagued that state for so long was finally gone. We happily headed back to Lansing to see the Wizard of Mich.
We headed back to the world’s largest Arnies. The word had spread throughout town and we were greeted as conquering heroes. We stepped inside the restaurant before we’d have to hear another lip dub. We raced down the hallway and laid Michael Moore’s megaphone at the foot of the flaming bowl. The Great Nuge then appeared.
“YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT THING KILLING THE LOONY LEFTIST OF THE EAST BUT I…I CANNOT HELP YOU…BECAUSE…UM…BECAUSE…UMMMM…WELL BECAUSE YOU KILLED HIM WITH COFFEE AND NOT A BOW AND ARROW…SO IT WASN’T VERY SPORTING AND SO DOESN’T COUNT…GOOD BYE!”. We were all very angry. What a rip off? The Great Nuge wasn’t living up to his promise. It was as if he was a big giant phony. We were perplexed at what to do next. Then Julep raced to the right, past the flaming bowl and behind the curtain. We followed her and then pulled the curtain back. There was a man working the controls and speaking into a microphone….it was…it was KID ROCK!!!
Kid Rock began frantically working the controls. “Pay no attention to that poseur behind the curtain!” he exclaimed trying to get us to believe that the Great Nuge, the Wizard of Mich was not a giant phony. But alas, it was all for nothing. The Nuge was really Kid Rock. In fact lots of things in Michigan were really controlled by Kid Rock, including Hungry Howies, Arnies, and lip dubbing. No matter what type of business, what type of hobby, what type of music genre, Kid Rock was in charge. I will admit he was quite the entrepeneur.
But that wasn’t going to get me home, nor was it going to bring back Seger’s career, Vernor’s caffeine, or Suh’s ability to tackle. It seemed so utterly hopeless. Until…Tim Allen appeared. The Good Tool Man of the North came down and asked us what was the matter. We explained what had happened. He admitted that he knew the Wizard of Mich was Kid Rock all along. In fact all Michiganders knew this and had granted him dictatorial powers long ago. The Tool Man explained that he knew I wouldn’t agree to kill Michael Moore unless they created this whole story involving the Great Nuge. They needed a Southerner…an outsider to free them from the scourge of the Loony Leftist. Locals were too under his spell. As much as they hated Moore, no Michigander can openly criticize anyone else from Michigan. It is in their charter. This was how Moore exploited and controlled the state. Kid Rock apologized to me and to my companions and said he wouldn’t be able to help us but I was welcome to stay in Michigan.
It was then and only then that I began to cry. I was to be stuck there forever in a land run by Kid Rock. The Tool Man told me to calm down and that he had the answer for all of us. He told Bob Seger that he didn’t have any soul, but that you didn’t need soul in a state who’s musical giants were the aforementioned Mr. Rock and his right hand man Uncle Kracker. Seger then realized he could be back on the charts in no time. The Tool Man then reminded the Vernor Can that he didn’t need caffeine because he never had any caffeine to begin with. Michael Moore simply had made the “changing formula” story up to get people to stop drinking Vernors. The Tool Man promised that Kid Rock and him would work to remove the mandatory recycling laws that were killing Vernor’s relatives. He then told Suh that with Michael Moore gone, Roger Goodell would soon be out of a job. Kid Rock would perform concerts at Ford Field bringing more mulleted fans to the stadium to chant, cheer, denounce, bully, and threaten their way into getting the NFL rules changed. Who knows?…the Lions might even win the Super Bowl.
As for Julep and me he told us we could go home any time we wished. We always had that power. He told me to click the yellow sneakers three times and say “there’s no blog like my own…there’s no blog like my own…there’s no blog like my own…” and that since this was my own blog, I could have just drawn myself out of this story any time I wanted to.
“Oh” I said. “Right.”
So there I was in Michigan. I had made it to my destination, but the place turned out to be much weirder than I expected. I wanted to go back home to the South, but I was stuck. This being Michigan, the last tire store had moved out-of-town. Little people dressed up as football players were singing and dancing. The Wolverine one began punching the Buckeye one. The Spartan then began to punch the Wolverine. Yet it was all in jest, so they claimed. I was being told to go on a silly journey through the “mitten” to find some Wizard, and I was being told this by Tim Allen who was dressed in fairy wings. “Clearly I must be dreaming” I thought. But then again it was the North, and it was Tim Allen; and we know Tim Allen never turns down a role. On top of it all Michael $#@%ing Moore was on my case about killing the environment and voting Republican. You know, all in all the kind of stuff that happens every time I go up North.
So the adventure began, just me and Julep the dog at first. More on that later. My RV tire being busted and no replacement in site, and being creeped out by the Little Ten Kins, I decided to follow the flat and straight road across the state. As long as I stayed out of Detroit, what was the worst that could happen?
Singing…that was worse. Or rather lip synching to singing. As Julep and I began to walk down the road we heard a song. I could have sworn it was to the tune of Don McLean’s “American Pie”. Yet the Little Ten Kins were not singing the song. No, they were marching behind us, some waving, some dancing, some playing the guitar and doing other mundane things. And as I said they were lip synching. It was being filmed too for Little You Tube. Apparently word got out that I thought their town sucked for having nothing but chain restaurants and not one auto parts store. So they decided to make a”lip dub” video as both a farewell to me and a self-affirmation of their town’s greatness. So yeah, we couldn’t wait to leave Grand Rapids.
The weird thing was the song they were lip syncing to was about me and my journey. How they recorded it and then choreographed a lip dub to it in such a short time was beyond me. But it was the Midwest and it appeared they had done these sorts of things before.
The words went:
The Day the Documentarian Dies
So bye-bye magic heroes from the sky
Flew your trailer thru the “tornader”
And the Leftist did die.
And Little Ten Kins were eating chicken pot pie,
Singing “this is the day the documentarian dies”
“this is the day the documentarian dies”.
And “so long” we say, so sad you gotta go,
But you’ve got to follow that flat and straight road,
From Grand Rapids to the Center of the Mitt.
And when you beat the Leftist of East,
That fat filmmaker, that ugly liberal beast,
You will get your wish….from the Wizard of Mich.
So farewell ye go ye Southerners of lore,
And go slay the Dragon Michael Moore,
And you will be back to your Dixie home on high…
The day the documentarian dies.
So bye-bye magic heroes from the sky
Flew your trailer thru the “tornader”
And the Leftist did die.
And Little Ten Kins were eating chicken pot pie,
“this is the day the documentarian dies”
“this is the day the documentarian dies”.
I have to admit, it was a catchy little tune, and anything that speaks of the demise of Michael Moore is a hit with me. “But wait” I thought “how was I supposed to take down Michael Moore?” and furthermore “who was this Wizard of Mich?”. I thought about it more and more as Julep and I began walking east. Out of the blue and without warning I broke out into a ditty. It went something like this…
The Wizard of Mich
Oh I’m off to see the Wizard the Wonderful Wizard of Mich,
Whoever he is, I’m sure he is, the only one that can grant my wish,
This trip is more than I bargained for, it’s too cold here, it’s quite a bore,
The frost , the frost, the frost, the frost, the frost the frost,
All because of a bet I lost!
Oh I’m off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Mich.
Clearly Michigan was having an effect on me. Maybe it was the winged helmet. I didn’t know. What I did know was my quickest chance to get back home was to find this Wizard and get the Winnebago fixed. I was simply told to follow the road east but I still wanted to know where I was. I looked down on my mitten and guessing that I was 14 stitches southeast of Grand Rapids I must be getting close to Battle Creek.
I walked through the nearly empty streets of the town and approached a city park. Sitting alone on a bench I saw a scruffy looking Baby Boomer. He was dressed in a 1990s business suit jacket with a t-shirt underneath. Garish, I know. He was also wearing black motorcycle boots and black jeans. He looked like an over-the-hill rocker who would play the county fair or local Holiday Inn back home. Just as I began to smirk at the idea, I had a suspicion that my little joke was all too real. As I walked closer to the figure I began to make out who it was…I thought…”Oh no it’s…
“Bob Seger’s the name!” said the man on the bench. “Looks like you and your dog there are heading against the wind.” “Yes, I guess we are” I said as I began to walk briskly away. I was followed. “Looks like you two are trying to turn the page” he said. “Yes Mr. Seger” I said…”we are, but do you have to speak in your lyrics?” “I don’t know what you mean” he said. “No, life’s been tough for me ever since people stopped taking my old records off the shelf, but thanks for asking”. I didn’t ask. He continued. “Yep, you’re right. I did out sell the Beatles in Michigan. I was big”. ”Okay…nice talking to you” I said but before I could continue. “Yep, one day you’re big and then the night moves and you’re at the bottom. Maybe my old friend the Wizard of Mich could help.”
“You know the Wizard?” I said. “Know him? Well me and the Motor City Madman go way back. I could take you to him if you’d like.” “That’s okay” I said “I’ll just be going about my way…”
“Yep” said Seger…”I could make it big again for the fans…for people like you, if I only had some soul”….
I was dreading what was coming next and then he broke out into song…
If I Only had Some Soul
It would greatly please myself
My records taken off the shelf
And they played some rock n roll.
From Philly down to Frisco,
I’d shut down every disco,
If I only had some soul.
I’d open up for Kiss,
Sing songs that can’t miss,
And every show I stole.
Well your songs would still be campy,
Because you’re a no talent Grampy,
And you don’t got any soul.
Oh I could top the records,
My career’d be on the mend,
I wouldn’t look so foolish,
Spittin’ against the wind.
I’d be jazzy like Sonny Rollins,
A ladies man like Phil Collins,
And I’d finally get off the dole.
Life’d be real breezy,
if I learned to not be cheesy,
If I only had some soul.
“All right, you can come along” I said.
So now we had another on our journey. As much as I hate Bob Seger’s music I guessed it wasn’t too bad if he tagged along. For one thing, he appeared to know the Wizard. He called him the “Motor City Madman”. Did he mean….? And anyway if we had to do battle with Michael Moore I could always use Seger as a human shield. They might badger and annoy each other to death.
So we trudged along further east. The buildings became drab and utilitarian, similar to Grand Rapids but with academic buildings rather than chain restaurants. It looked like something out of a post apocalyptic sci-fi movie or 1970s Eastern Europe. There were protest signs, Obama 2012 posters, post-modern art, and petition drives. Several people yelled out “cool outfit”. I thought they were making fun of me…but then again…I realized it was the Midwest where everything is accepted. After the tenth compliment it dawned on me where I was. It was the home of the University of Michigan…Ann Arbor. We had to be careful because this was clearly Michael Moore territory.
As we walked through campus we thought we saw a gang of #Occupy Hipsters. These were known to be Moore’s Minions. Perhaps he was looking for us. We all decided to duck into a building. Well Julep and I did. Seger was busy trying to put up flyers announcing his 1987 World Tour. We pulled him inside.
It was dark and spooky in there. We were surrounded by recycling posters. There were “Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day” signs, and bags and bags of crushed aluminum cans. It was the campus recycling center. It was something I’ve heard about but never seen in any of the Southern campuses I’ve been to. Just as I began to plan for our next move I heard a crash. I thought the Hipsters had found us and we were about to be flash mobbed…
“AHHHH DON’T DDDDDD-DON’T RECYCLE ME…PLEASE!!!!” cried the voice. “I wouldn’t think of doing something like THAT” I replied. I looked up and saw what appeared to be a giant anthropomorphic can of Vernor’s Ginger Ale, a local swill. I would have asked how a giant soda can come to life but it was Michigan. Strange things had been happening the entire time so far, so what was one more bizarre thing?
“Are you guys going to rescue me?” he asked. “I’ve been trying to avoid detection. The Hipsters have begun a drive to collect every can on campus. They are fining any student who fails to recycle with an ‘Earth Killer’ ticket. If they catch me, I’m doomed.” I was a little taken aback by the fact that people who claimed to care so much for all of the Earth’s creatures would want to kill such a nice talking can. I wondered if Michael Moore was behind this. I was beginning to wonder if he was behind all of this.
The can continued. “My name is Vernor. I’m the oldest pop around. I have been brewed in Michigan for over a century. But now I’m considered old-fashioned. I’m losing popularity to the other brands, especially the “socially conscious” companies like Coke. They’ve changed my formula and took away my caffeine. They’ve ruined my taste and so people have stopped drinking me. Soon, me and my family will be nothing but cans…used cans to be recycled”.
“Let me guess, Michael Moore?” I said. “Yes” said Vernor…”If I saw him, I’d fight him…but I’m an old can and I need more energy. If only I had caffeine”…
“Don’t start I said…..”
If I Only had Caffeine
Well I’m quite the ginger ale,
The first one ever on sale,
A fact that should be seen.
They would print it on my can,
Next to “greatest pop in the land”,
If I only had caffeine.
I’d knock out Canada Dry,
Schweppes and Seagrams’s would cry,
They’d say “this beverage’s mean!”
Well you sing a lot of ballyhoo,
Outside of here, they haven’t heard of you,
Because you haven’t got caffeine.
Oh I would beat out Coke and Pepsi,
Coffee and Red Bull too.
I tell you it’s no joke,
I’d be peppier than Mountain Dew.
My commercials would be trendy,
They’d be serving me at Wendy’s,
I’d be drunk by king and queen.
No one would “out-ran” me,
life would be quite uncanny,
if I only had caffeine.
Needless to say I was getting tired of people breaking out into song. But he hated Michael Moore and activism so he couldn’t have been too bad. So he explained more of his story and I invited him to come along with us to see the Wizard of Mich. Seger asked him if he personally knew “New Coke”. I was beginning to wonder if Seger also thought Reagan was still president. I guess in that case it isn’t too bad to be Bob Seger.
So now we were four. I was beginning to remember an old children’s movie I had seen and thought that this whole thing seemed eerily similar. I knew Midwesterners loved their musicals but this was getting ridiculous.
The other thing it was getting was more barren and desolate. As we marched further east we were heading deeper and deeper into the Realm of the Loony Liberal of the East, Michael Moore. The activist posters of the Midwest turned into graffiti. Academic buildings turned into empty houses. I even saw a mouse mug a squirrel. Yep we were in Detroit.
If I remembered right I landed some time during the weekend. For an abandoned city there seemed to be a lot of hustle and bustle. I heard the sounds of cheering and then booing which got louder as we got closer to town. All of us were scared and grasped arms and chanted “Lions, and Tigers, and Red Wings, oh my, Lions, and Tigers, and Red Wings”. Then a Lion jumped out in front of us!
“ROOOOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!!” he said “I WILL CRUSH YOU….I WILL KICK YOU IN THE FACE….ROOOOOOOAAAAR”. He made a threatening gesture and then Julep ran up and bit him. He sat down and cried.
“I’m sorry” he sobbed. “I didn’t mean it….I never do. I can’t help it.” It was Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions, the most penalized player in the league. He had just gotten kicked out of the NFL game for making a tackle. I know…a tackle. Clearly I was sympathetic.
He then told me that recently the league had been fining players for making tackles and stopping the other team from scoring. There was a new NFL rule that players could only two-hand touch. An offensive player could yell “BASE” at any time and be allowed unfettered access to the endzone. It was all done to make the game “fair”. Could this also be the work of Michael Moore?
Suh the Penalized Lion then began to say how he wished he didn’t have so many penalties, that he’d be allowed to play ferocious on the field. Then he wouldn’t have to go around scaring people outside the stadium. He looked at me and paused. Then I sighed and said “go ahead…”
If it Wasn’t for Penalties
I’d kick butt at Training Camp,
And end up Super Bowl Champ,
QB’s would pay dental fees.
Sunday Night Football’d de-lay,
‘cause they’d be showing my replay,
If it wasn’t for penalties.
I’d be better than Singleterry,
Butkus, and William Perry,
Yes, I’d be greater than all of these.
But these are Bears you all are citin’
That’s the team you’re always fightin’
When you’re getting penalties.
I tell you I’d be on all the commercials,
They’d say “this guy is real swell”
I’d be a hero to all the children,
If it wasn’t for Roger Goodell.
Like lightning I’d be striking,
Cause terror to every Viking,
I’d make offenses freeze.
I’d send home Packers cryin’,
I’d be the pride of these Lions,
if it wasn’t for penalties.
When he finished I told him to come along. He was a big guy and clearly would be able to take out any Hipster Minions that dared cross our paths.
So with that, we became a singing quintet. We were off to see the Wizard of Mich whoever he was, all five of us: A displaced Southern blogger, an intrepid dog, a forgotten rocker, an anthropomorphic can, and a would-be NFL star. It was already the journey of a lifetime, albeit an annoying theatrical one, but this being the North, I knew more strange things were bound to happen.
Was Michael Moore really this all-powerful? What did he mean when he was “going to get me”? Why were people so afraid of him? I always thought he was an annoying yet harmless loser. Were we in trouble? Had Michael Moore really destroyed this once proud state? Would I ever get home? Would Bob Seger find his Old Time Rock n Roll again? Would Vernor’s make a comeback? Would we ever see defense played in the NFL again? Could the Wizard of Mich help us?…………
You might have wondered where I’ve been the past four weeks. Doubtless many of you thought I had forgotten about this blog and was never to come back to it. But that is not so. In fact, I’ve just returned from a very strange trip (an entirely LEGAL “strange trip”). It was time on The South Will Blog Again to begin to investigate that strange land we call “The North”.
To begin to investigate the North we must realize that there are several “Norths” just like there are several “Souths”. I can tell you first-hand that the Mississippi Delta is a different South than the Virginia Tidewater. Memphis has a certain flair for a Southern city, but it’s much different from Charleston and New Orleans. Texans are a different breed from Alabamians, Kentuckians from Georgians and so on. There are even states within states. That’s why there are really three Tennessees, and over six different Carolinas. In one state, Florida, you have to drive north to get to the “South”. Then there’s Atlanta…
Likewise the Midwest is different from the Northeast. Wisconsin is full of people wearing novelty foam cheese headgear not Jersey Shore cast members (or cast-offs). Folks in Indianapolis are a whole lot friendlier than Boston, while Chicago is much more sophisticated than Providence. Some Yankees drive real fast and cut you off, while others smile and wave you through. Parts of the North are like Canada, others are stereotypical Yankee to the core, while a few places might just pass for Dixie.
So due to my curious ways, I’ve decided to begin some investigative reports on TSWBA in 2012 to find out what makes “us” so much different from “them”. For my first investigative piece I chose the state of Michigan. But because this website and its author are now world-famous after 5,000 site hits in the year 2011, I had to go incognito…
Since we all know I would not willingly travel to the North on vacation I needed some guise or ruse from which to make this trip. I found the answer during bowl season. All Southerners (except for the ridiculously militant) have several Yankee transplants as friends. Since we know they’re going to come down here anyway it behooves us to show them around and perhaps convert a few of them to our ways. In fact I’ve known more than a few good “naturalized” Southerners. In any case one of my good friends is such a transplant and a Michigan grad to boot. There was my answer. I would make a bet this bowl season betting against Michigan and for my graduate school Virginia Tech. Since we all know Virginia Tech goofs up every big game they are ever in, this became my solution. I announced that if Virginia Tech lost the game I would “become” a Michigan fan “to the fullest”, complete with authentic costume, dialect, and beliefs, and make a pilgrimage to Big Ten Country. Despite the inferior nature of Michigan being a typical Northern football team, Virginia Tech came through blowing the game for me with ridiculous play calling. You should know I have operatives working for me.
With that out of the way I began to plan for my trip. I had researched Michigan in the past so I was pretty secure in my ability to mimic accents, folkways, and the various Michigander tics. I even have an operative based in Grand Rapids “Agent Rothstine” that fed me regular info. The costume was also quite simple. As we all know, people in the Midwest love a good costume. They don’t need much of an excuse really, just any opportunity to wear novelty attire and headgear will do. I came up with a foolproof costume. Using rolled up khakis, long navy socks, a navy sweatshirt, some yellow sticker felt for a number, and a Michigan winged helmet winter cap, I became a 1940s Wolverine football player. Now I could walk into any public place, at any time of the year in Michigan and blend in.
The transportation was a more difficult hurdle, but that was solved when I was able to rent the “Wal-Mart Wolverine 2000″ a fully customized Maize and Blue Winnebago complete with a unique Winged Helmet design. With this vehicle no Midwesterner would think me out-of-place.
The most difficult assignment was finding out how to get there. Michigan maps are very strange. They do not use typical paper, nor surveyed cartography, nor satellite imagery. No, folks in Michigan like to show where they are going, where they’ve been, or how to get somewhere by using their hands. Apparently Michigan looks like two mittens or gloves if you were to make a hand gesture that looks like waving “hello” and calling a timeout at the same time. (This was famously shown by the basketball player Chris Weber on national TV years ago). But that wasn’t really going to help me since I needed my hands to drive, so my operative sent me a map made out of an oven mit and a pot holder. I’ve been told it’s the most accurate map of Michigan available. So I took my doggy niece Julep with me, and headed northwest over the mountains and towards the square states and was on my way…
I got lost near one of the rectangular states. I believe it was South Nebransasowa. The weather quickly turned nasty. The sky blackened and the wind whipped around in circular directions. It appeared to be a giant midwestern twister. I tried to outrun it like I saw in the movies, but I was in a Winnebago after all. Alas the twister picked us up. I hit my head and blacked out…
When I awoke I had a massive headache. Luckily the pooch and I were all right. Amazingly the Wal-Mart Wolverine 2000 was not seemingly damaged at all (or so I thought). Clearly this vehicle had magical powers to survive the trek through Midwest. But where the heck was I?
I opened the door of the Wolverine, stepped outside and looked around. The sky was a very dull gray. The land was perfectly flat. While there were occasional trees the area around me was largely built up with what looked like massive suburban sprawl. Every building appeared to be some sort of mid-market chain restaurant. I saw four Applebees, three Chilis, one Bennigans, one TGI Friday’s, six Hungry Howies, a Little Caesars that was next to a Dominoes Pizza, and seven Bob Evans franchises. Whoever these people were they sure had an appetite for appetizers.
It was eerily quiet as I continued to get my bearings. Wherever this place was it seemed devoid of people. It’s as if whoever once lived here had moved some place else. Just as I began to wonder why I heard noises…
From behind the alleys, and dumpsters, around lamp posts and corner booths came a few intrepid little people. Each of them looked the same but had on slightly different attire. As they slowly inched closer they appeared to be football players. They were much smaller than the football players I was used to in the SEC, and they moved much slower too. But as they came closer I could make out the uniforms they wore. Penn State, Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa…..”a ha” I realized…”I’ve landed in Little Ten Country”…which I guessed was not far off from my intended destination. I was truly fortunate…
But as I moved closer to attempt to talk with these little people, they were taken aback. Even though I was dressed in similar clothing as them they sensed something was amiss. I tried to break the ice and said “Hey, how’s it going?” But they looked quizzingly at me as if they didn’t quite understand what I said. One of them in green, I believe it was the one called Spartan said “that’s a strange accent you have there for one dressed this way, you betcha”. I explained to them that they had “accents too”. At this they all let out a chirping little giggle. The one dressed like me called Wolverine spoke and said “we have no accents!”…only it sounded like “Wii hee-ah-ve NOH Eee-Ahh-cintz!” spoken real fast…
There was much confusion, until the one little guy covered in tattoos spoke up pointing to the Winnebago. His name was Buckeye. “This strange person has killed the Loony Leftist of the West!” Others crept out in amazement. Several began to clap and sing and call out for joy. I then looked under the rear wheel of the Winnebago and saw that I had run over someone. I was shocked and dismayed, but more so that I had damaged the vehicle than by hitting something. It looked more like a cow than a person, and it was wearing these ugly yellow sneakers.
I was wondering what I was going to do to get home when a winged creature appeared out of the sky. He looked like a cross between a fairy godmother and an unemployed sitcom star…like one who would take any role offered to him. I had seen that face before but couldn’t quite make out who it was…He flew closer to me and I could see he was carrying some sort of wrench in place of a magic wand. The Little Ten-Kins knew who he was and were happy to see him.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
The man then flew down and said ‘Don’t be startled…I am Tim Allen the Good Tool Man of the North! You have done a wonderful thing!” He then explained to me that the tornado that had picked up the Winnebago had landed on the body of the Loony Leftist of the West. This Leftist was a loud fat obnoxious creature that terrorized the little people of Little-Ten-Kin. They were not allowed to have real restaurants because of strange labor laws. They were not allowed to have good football programs because of a strange desire to have good academics. Butter, salt, spices, and other tasty things were banned (although I later found out the Little-Ten-Kins never liked those things anyway). This Loony Leftist had pretty much destroyed their culture, ruined jobs, and caused many of the people to move to other lands…
It was at that point when I realized which of the Little-Ten-Kin states I was in…but the Tool Man spoke before I could say it. “Yes exalted one, you are in Michigan”. To confirm this he arranged his hands and showed me on his “map”. At that point I looked around this bizarre place and decided I wanted to leave. But the Winnebago’s tire was destroyed and the last tire store and tire plant had moved from the area six years ago. To find a replacement, I would have to walk across the state to see the “Wizard of Mich”.
At that moment a loud noise interrupted the scene. A loud, beastly, foul creature then stood in front of me. He was carrying a bull horn and dressed like a cross between a protester slacker and Jaba the Hut. I had seen this creature before. It was Michael Moore, the Loony Leftist of the East!
He looked at the feet of the creature I hit. Apparently it was his brother. “YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS!!” He yelled from his megaphone. “YOU’RE FROM A RED STATE AREN’T YOU?!”…he looked me up and down, sniffed and then yelled “FROM THE SOUTH TOO!!! OH YOU VOTED FOR GEORGE W BUSH, YOU RACIST, SEXIST, BIGOTED, HOMOPHOBIC, WAR MONGERING, GAS GUZZLER YOU!!! I’LL MAKE YOU PAY FOR THIS! I’LL FILM A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT YOU AND FOLLOW YOU AROUND YELLING IN YOUR FACE!
I was extremely annoyed at this disgusting fiend. But then when he saw the Tool Man he shrieked and stopped yelling in his megaphone. Apparently this goon has no power over the Tool Man. He then shrugged and said “I’LL JUST BE TAKING MY YELLOW SNEAKERS THEN!” But he couldn’t because as he reached for them he was shocked. I looked down and saw them on my feet. They were hideous…not the kind of shoes a Southern Blogger would wear. But they wouldn’t come off.
The foul Loon left the area and the Little-Ten-Kins began singing “Sing Song the Loon is Gone, the Evil Loon, the Lefty Loon, Sing Song the Lefty Loon is Gone”. I was then told by the Tool Man that these ugly sneakers would help me for walking on my journey. I sighed as I had no choice and began to follow the “Flat and Straight Road” east to the home of the Wizard of Mich. The Little-Ten-Kins began signing again…something about following the road again, but it sounded an awful lot like a cross between bad musical theater and Journey. I resigned myself that this would be a long trip.
END OF PART ONE