I have spoken of Mr. Jimmy before. A curmudgeon in his late 70s with the sweetest smile, cusses better than anyone I’ve ever met (except maybe TheoGeo), wears a Fedora each and every time I see him and, on occasion, is my partner in crime.
I swear I had this conversation with him yesterday.
Mr. Jimmy: (walking up to me in a huff.) Are you with me? I’m fixing to raise holy hell.
Me: (thinking, what am I getting into here and wondering why Mr. Jimmy is so hacked off?) Umm, sure.
Mr. Jimmy: I’m going after some people.
Much snarling and gnashing teeth from Mr. Jimmy.
Me: (thinking, isn’t everyone these days?) Alright, what happened?
Mr. Jimmy: Here’s the story, I got my magazine subscription of Garden and Guns today.
Me: (blankly wondering if I should get Rex Hammock to verify that there actually is a Garden and Guns magazine about Southern living. I didn’t know. My google-fu verified that there is this morning.) All right. What’s on your mind Mr. Jimmy?
Mr. Jimmy: Damned Texans.* Wanting to be southern. They aren’t SOUTHERN and they never will be! They can’t even make Cat Head Biscuits right. I read in the magazine they put cake flour in Cat Head Biscuits. It’s wrong and I’m not taking it lying down!
Me: (Going through my memory banks trying to remember what a cat head biscuit actually is as I don’t know even how to make regular refrigerated biscuits in a tube. Also seeing some southern cooking pride going on that would rival a nuclear meltdown.) Umm, well that’s just terrible.
Mr. Jimmy: SONS OF BITCHES!
Me: (tickled but keeping a straight face) That’s just horrible. Cake flour? What are those Texans* thinking?
Mr. Jimmy: And they put cream in sawmill gravy? Who the hell puts cream in sawmill gravy? You use lard or bacon drippings. You don’t use f***ing cream.
Now for the part of the story where I tell you that Mr. Jimmy has been a cook in his day and has also done his craft in New Orleans.
Or so I’ve heard.
Me: (Diffuse, diffuse, diffuse was the mantra of the moment in my cranium.) Well, what do you want to do? How can I help?
Mr. Jimmy: I’m going to bring some paper and a pen and we are writing a letter about those damned Cat Head Biscuits to Garden and Guns.
Me: Texans* aren’t so bad, Mr. Jimmy. It’s, you know, they just do it different.
Mr. Jimmy: THEY SERVE THIS CRAP IN RESTAURANTS! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?
Me: (realizing I had lost my battle for Cat Head Biscuits and regional tolerance.) Alright, we will write a letter.
Mr. Jimmy: I have to get a damned stamp.
Me: (Smiling, honestly trying not to crack up.) I’ll get your stamp. That’s my contribution and I’ll help you write your letter.
Mr. Jimmy: (calming down to a degree) Good. Damned Texans* don’t know how to make Cat Head Biscuits.
And then he walked off swearing and mumbling under his breath leaving me alone pondering how someone could get so mad over Cat Head Biscuits and cream in Sawmill Gravy.
Mr. Jimmy makes life better. And he’s quite spiffy actually.