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Loyalty


BoogieTerry’s last post got us on a Customer (NO) Service line of thinking, so I might as well stay on course.

The photo is of my best friend, Boogie. He’s a 12-year old black (with a lot of gray, like me) lab and the best damn dog in the world.  For years, from the time I got him, I worked from home and me and Boogie hung out together. He was my VP of Customer Relations. He thinks he is human, and sometimes I think he is.

Anyway, Boogie has slowed down a lot the last year or so. Had to quit walking 2 miles a day with me and the wife about a year and half ago. He was still making it a couple of blocks twice a day – morning and evening. He loves to walk. He had his annual checkup in October. We discussed his slowing down and how he seemed to be in a little pain. The Vet recommended Rimadyl. Rimadyl is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to help reduce pain. We tried it on Boogie and the difference in him was unbelievable. He is a new dog. The stuff worked on him. He’s back to walking about 1/4 mile in the morning and evening and he has his smile back. He is better!

Now his current Vet is his Vet by default. Boogie’s previous Vet was outstanding. Her name was Dr. Karen. He had her for many, many years. Due to highway construction, she lost her building. She opted to join a Vet practice outside Atlanta, where we live. We continued to go to her for a couple of years until last year, Dr. Karen opened another practice about 60 miles out of town – too far to drive for us. So we stayed with the practice she had joined. Now this Vet is OK but nothing like Dr. Karen. Boogie LOVED her – got excited when you said, “Let’s go see Dr. Karen.” He knew her name and he wanted to see her. How do they know? They just do.

Back to the Rimadyl. The new Vet OKs Boogie to stay on Rimadyl after some blood tests. We get the first prescription. The price floored us. About $2 a pill. Now, I don’t mind the $2 a pill if it makes Boogie feel better. But we checked with 1-800-PetMeds and found they had the same pills for about $1.10 a pill. So we tell the Vet. We would rather support your practice and buy the presription from you but your price on Rimadyl is a little high. The Vet won’t come off the price. So we ask for the prescription so we can send it to 1-800-PetMeds. The Vet did not like this request.  But a buck is a buck, right?

We make an order on 1-800-PetMeds. They call the Vet to verify the prescription. The Vet tells PetMeds they don’t deal with PetMeds and hang up the phone. PetMeds contacts us and says we must fax them the hard copy prescription. We get the prescription from the Vet and fax it in. PetMeds calls the Vet again yesterday and they refuse to verify the prescription – stupidology. Now, we have to mail the hard copy prescription in so we can get the Rimadyl from 1-800-PetMeds. How stupid is this?

The Vet, Dr. Greedy, just lost a steady, paying customer. If she had offered the pills at a reasonable markup, I would have paid for the convenience and to support her practice. But double the price? No way. And the way they refused to assist PetMeds in filling our subscription – which they had given to us – is absolutely wrong.

I am a business person and totally understand how to run a profitable business. I understand markup. I understand a reasonable profit. I don’t understand ripping people off and not being helpful to long-term customers, or any customer, for that matter.

Dr. Greedy doesn’t get it – life ain’t brain surgery. Being nice to people and being cooperative will get you further than being mean and greedy. Good-bye, Dr. Greedy. Rot in hell!

Richard 

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One of the rights of passage for a lot of young males and some females is the annual preparation and participation in opening day of deer season.  For some fortunate individuals this event can actually happen twice per year, once for bow season and once for gun season.  If one is really lucky and lives in a state that separates black powder hunting from bow and gun seasons, they get to participate three times.

 

I am not one of those people against deer hunting!  I have fond memories of participating in opening day and the entire season and I actually miss some of the camaraderie enjoyed with my family and friends.  Some of my best non-hunting friends never understood why anyone would want to shoot bambi or his mother and father but they never experienced the thrill of opening day.

 

In my part of the country deer season runs for a month or more and allows one to properly prepare their deer camp or leased hunting area in advance.  The preparation process begins in late August and early September when several trips to the woods are required to build tree stands.  My father-in-law was such a perfectionist. We had to build tree houses that included sides for our deer stands.  These structures were usually 4 X 6 feet and included chairs, an alcohol heater, and an empty can in the event mother nature beckoned.

 

Opening day morning began with breakfast at my father-in-law’s house and included myself and two brothers-in-law eating a massive breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and grits at 2:30 in the morning.  Some years we actually got some sleep.  The breakfast was completed when my father-in-law would reach for a half-gallon of Jack Daniels and announce to all of us that it was now time to quote “be somebody” and we would all partake of a least one shot of sour mash bourbon.  Well hell, when I was younger, drinking at 3 A.M. was accepted and besides we never loaded our high powered weapons until we arrived in the woods.

 

After a shot or two we would load up the vehicles with all manner of firearms, ammunition, food, liquor, beer, jackets, radios, chairs, toilet tissue, sleeping bags and anything else we would need for our day in the woods.  All of this paraphernalia was loaded into the back of an aging Ford Falcon and then four or five of us would pile in the vehicle for the 45 minute ride to the woods.  Upon arrival we would greet the hardy souls who had spent the night and then pour another shot or two just to be socialable.  The obligatory lies would be told and around 5 A.M. the caravan would drive the final 15 minutes to the hunting area. 

 

Prior to actually walking to the deer stands we had to apply doe urine to our shoes to cover our scents.  Then, under the cover of darkness we would stealthily find our way to the aforementioned deer stands (tree houses) by shining our flashlights on the path and looking for red or green plastic tape we had tied on branches.  I always had visions of Elmer Fudd walking to a deer stand on his tiptoes.  (If you do not know Elmer Fudd look it up on Google.)

 

Were the truth told just about everyone went to sleep as soon as they climbed into the stand.  There is always one exception and he or she usually got the first deer.  Naturally the truth has never been told in a deer camp so there were many stories of massive 10-point bucks walking just behind some brush so that no one could get off a good shot.  Whoever fired the first shot would wake up the rest of the fearless hunters and everyone would come down from their stands agreeing that all of the deer in the county were now long gone after the first shot was fired.  This normally happens around 9:30 in the morning.  Everyone would walk to the rally point and wait to see who had fired the shot.  If the person who fired the shot had no carcass to display as a result of his shooting then the razzing and kidding would continue for the remainder of the season.

 

By 10:30 almost everyone was back at the camp telling lies, smoking cigars and drinking their beverage of choice.  Two or three members of the hunting party would be cooking enough lunch to feed a third world country and someone would always have a portable TV with enough tin foil wrapped around the antenna to bring in some kind of signal.  The ball game would be on and drinking, smoking and eating dominated the remainder of the day.  Oh yeah, there were always one or two smart asses who wanted to hunt in the afternoon but we did not bother them if they did not bother us.

 

Deer hunting after all, ain’t brain surgery.

 

Bubba Terry


The following compilation of stories is based on true happenings. Some of the events may be slightly exaggerated but for the most part they really happened. The names may be changed to protect the innocent. Now there are a few stories from grammar school and high school that personify bubba but the true measure of a modern bubba is found in his college days. Ah college, the heady days when one learns that his bed need not be made up every day and that drinking beer any night of the week is accepted.  Going to class is an option and generally becoming involved in foolish and sometimes dangerous acts is commonplace.  The most memorable bubba I have ever know was an acquaintance of  mine during high school and once in college we were able to forge a friendship that has lasted for 4 decades.  (If I forgot to mention it Bubbas are loyal also.)  For the sake of saving a marriage and preserving some dignity I will refer to this individual as Jerome.    

Jerome and I managed to squeak by our freshman year in college with minor bouts of debauchery and alcohol abuse. Little did we realize we were in training for our sophomore and junior year?   One must keep in mind that the Vietnam War was in full swing and the military draft was alive and well.  For example in April of 1968 the total number of individuals drafted was 50,000.  The United States Marines were even taking draftees in 1968.  This was the largest draft since 1943-44.  The draft is important because the only way most of us stayed away from the draft was to make decent grades in college or as an alternative, get married and have a baby.  We were so young and stupid we envisioned the marrying and baby idea as worse than going to Vietnam.  A key comment in the prior sentence is the “decent grade” comment.  Now this seems like a fairly simple task.  All one must do is go to class and study enough to keep their young ass in school.  If this feat was accomplished then no worries concerning being shot at by some 5 foot oriental who was protecting his homeland. Fail to keep up your grades and it was “GOOoooood Mornin VietNam.”  We somehow managed to make it until spring quarter of our sophomore year before the reality of the real world set in.  (More on this later.)   

Fall quarter of our sophomore year.  Man what a great time.  I had a grade point average of about 1.7, my roommate had about the same and Jerome and the rest of our crowd had all achieved the sought after status of being drunk and stupid, but well liked by the student body, the local bartenders and some of our professors.  This distinction was not lost on my mother who often lamented that she hoped I saw her tears in the bottom of every beer that I drank. ( No, she is not Jewish but would have made a great Jewish mom.)   The art of assigning guilt was finely honed in our family and since I am an only child I managed to be on the receiving end more than the giving end.  After receiving my 1A status (eligible for the draft) she once told me that if I did not straighten up that I would go to Vietnam and end up coming home in a box.  Instead of feeling guilty I was now determined to prove her wrong.   Several circumstances during my sophomore year helped set the stage for my remaining college career.  One of these circumstances involved drinking beer at a local slop shoot, (a redneck bar).  Four of us, including Jerome, had ventured to an establishment we had named The Star.  The Star got its name from a beat up old fluorescent sign that was shaped like a Star.  This fine establishment would serve alcohol to anyone tall enough to reach the top of the counter and lay down some money.  The legal age in Georgia at the time was 21 and we were all between 18 and 19 with ID’s from various colleges that said we were 21, not that anyone at The Star every asked us for and ID.  Anyway after a few rounds of beers, the door to the bar opened up and one of our buddies said  “ohhh Sheeeit!  A neighbor from his home town over 220 miles away had dropped in for a cool one.  Upon seeing Mac, the neighbor came over and spoke to all of us and asked if we were having a good time prior to sitting down with his group.  Once the neighbor left our table Mac said, “Son of a Bitch.” And it was at that point that we knew were in deep kimchi.  As it turned out the neighbor was a state revenue agent and a great friend of Mac’s family.  During the dark ages of 1967 you could get into real trouble by drinking under aged and returning to the college campus drunk.   

A couple of more pitchers of the local draft beer took our minds off of the potential trouble we faced and once the locals arrived and cranked up the juke box we were all lost in the frivolity of the moment.  Hell, once we quaffed several beers we all were too tan, too tall, too smart and too good lookin.  We could do no wrong.  Then we screwed up big time.  We returned to campus to find the dean of men and his assistant waiting at the dorm steps for us.  When asked by the Dean if any of us were drunk Jerome spoke up, or rather the alcohol spoke and said “hell yes I am drunk and so are the rest of us.”  We did not receive double secret probation but social probation was tacked upon our records and believe it or not we were put on a curfew and relocated next to the dorm mother.  Our dorm mother was a closet wino and this turned out to be a great move.  More on that subject will appear in the next chapter. Life ain’t brain surgery but is sometimes more complicated. 

Bubba Terry


The typical picture painted of a “bubba” includes dirty overalls, a short haircut, work boots and a wad of tobacco firmly implanted in the left cheek. Everyone knows that a real bubba can chew tobacco and drink Budweiser beer with no danger of mixing the juice with the alcohol.

In the usual scenario bubba is probably driving a beat up Ford pickup truck with a decal on the window of a little boy taking a leak on his least favorite NASCAR vehicle number. The truck will always be equipped with a gun rack and if the owner is prosperous a spotlight will be attached for shining deer after dark. (For those un-indoctrinated to deer hunting, the spotlight is used to illuminate the deer and render the beast temporarily paralyzed so that bubba can get off a good shot). The practice is illegal and every October and November several bubbas are introduced to the fine dining available at their local country jail as a result of the “shining.”

The inside of Bubbas vehicle will be filled with a variety of snuff cans, beer cans, McDonald hamburger wrappers, empty potato chip bags and a couple of empty coke bottles. In addition the glove box will be filled with several rounds of ammunition and at least a 3 inch knife. The rear of the pickup will have the obligatory tool box and numerous tools and devices that Bubba may use in his day to day work activities. (Note: several of these tools will have broken handles). More likely than not their will also be a dog, usually a lab or pit bull, although the lineage of the dogs may be in question.

Now that we have painted the usual Hollywood or television picture of Bubba let me offer a more realistic description.

The typical southern bubba will be dressed in freshly laundered khakis or blue jeans accompanied by either a polo shirt or a pressed button down. His feet will be sporting either boat shoes or loafers and if it is Spring or Summer he may choose to be sans socks. Tobacco is a thing of his past and he has taken to drinking Miller Light or whatever import was on sale at the local Kroger or Wal-Mart.

Bubba is probably driving a truck more expensive than Volvo’s, 3 Series BMWs and even more than the new line of Mercedes.  (Mercedes has managed to join the league of inexpensive mass produced cars for the masses)  The truck will have a “W” sticker on the back and most likely the bumper tag from his University on the front or in a window decal on the back.

Bubba likes to go hunting occasionally just to get back to his roots. This hunting may be on leased property where he and his buddies have a deer camp. The camp is generally not used for hunting but rather for drinking and reminiscing about past conquests and plans for retirement. The thrill of sleeping in the woods in order to get in a good days hunting have long been overtaken by the desire to sleep in a warm bed with a good woman, so bubba will take his leave of the camp in the early afternoon and journey back home where he will share a good meal with his peer group and drink wine and Scotch rather than sit by a fire and swill beer with the boys.

The present day southern bubba works in a variety of occupations including the professional ranks. Some Northerners and a few individuals from the South confuse the term Bubba with redneck, good ole boy or some other commonly used derogatory term. I am here to tell you that bubba is nothing to be ashamed of. Bubbas were most likely Boy Scouts and members of the MYF or BSU and might have even gone to (God save us) Catholic School. Again, for those who are uninformed MFY is Methodist Youth Fellowship and BSU is the Baptist Student Union. Remember in the deep South you were most likely Methodist or Baptist because these were the two physical churches that dominated the most prominent landscape in any downtown region of most Southern Cities. The Catholic Church although prominent in some areas, Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans is of little consequence in the rural South.

Regardless of his outward demeanor and dress the usual Southern bubba served in some branch of the armed forces and although he is extremely loyal to the Stars and Stripes you most likely do not want to downplay the importance of the Confederate battle flag. A lot of second rate organizations attempt to use the Confederate flag as their own and hold rallies while waving the flag and speaking disparagingly about cultural changes in our country. Here again we have an incorrect stereotype concerning Southern heritage and the real meaning behind the Confederate flag. The whole concept of the Confederacy was not to deprive minorities of any rights, hell, the average Confederate soldier (Yankee soldiers too) was uneducated and fighting for his country, not because he was trying to maintain the practice of slavery. A vast majority of those fighting and consequently those killed did not own slaves and were not much better off than the slaves themselves. Bubba in 1860-1865 was fighting because he was loyal to the South, and NOT what the privileged land owners were afraid of loosing.

Bubba’s never have internal conflicts concerning the treatment of women, children, small animals or anyone who cannot defend or otherwise take care of themselves. The obligatory “can of whoop ass” will be opened on those who insist on mistreating anyone or thing that may fall in these categories. Simply put, bubba sees no excuse for anyone beating up on a woman, (although some women can damn sure whip most bubbas.) picking on a child in any derogatory manner, picking on those less fortunate either physically, mentally or financially and for damn sure never beat or kick bubba’s dog or his friends dogs or any dog he may know. Most dogs are one of God’s gentlest creatures and deserve a pat on the head and perhaps a good belly rub but definitely not a whipping or beating unless bubba sees fit to perform discipline.

All of us who recognize the term bubba as one of friendship and love also realize…..

Life ain’t brain surgery.

Bubba Terry


Most of us hate to admit it but we all have a little “bubba” in us. By some definitions a bubba has qualities held to be characteristic of certain Southern white males, such as a relaxed or informal manner, strong loyalty to family and friends, and often an anti-intellectual bias and intolerant point of view. I am here to tell you that the anti intellectual bias is totally off base. For example I have friends who are PhD’s, physicians, business owners and attorneys who are bubbas. They are definitely loyal, they love Jesus (except those of the Jewish persuasion) and they are patriotic to the core. They are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents sharing a love of God and country and not afraid to state their thoughts in the field of public opinion. They (we) are often overshadowed by political correctness but true bubbas do not shy away from controversy or their beliefs.

Many of the bubbas I have known are truly characters and could fill many pages of manuscripts with their foolishness and their acts of kindness and their willingness to help those in need regardless of race or creed. Read on for a story of one bubba with a heart of gold.

Our story begins with one couple among a group of friends experiencing the birth of their first grandchild. This birth was the first grandchild in a group of 8 couples (most males in the group would identify with the term bubba) and was widely celebrated. What makes this event unique is the fact that the grandchild was born with Down Syndrome. This was not known prior to the birth and not expected by anyone. The group immediately took on the role of a support mechanism. Not expressing sorrow but celebrating the life of the child and performing numerous acts of kindness and love for the child, the new parents and grandparents. This support continues 7 years after the birth of the child and the child refers to all of these individuals as aunts and uncles. A bond never to be broken!

What does this have to do with being a bubba? Here is one example.

One bubba and his family were on vacation a few years after the aforementioned child was born. They were eating seafood in a coastal Florida restaurant when a couple was seated next to them. The couple had a child with Down Syndrome. Bubba remembering his friends decided to perform an act of kindness anonymously. He called the waitress over and gave her $100 bill and told her to use this to pay for the meal of the family who had been seated next to his table. He spoke to the family on the way out and mentioned that he had friends in a similar situation but never mentioned paying the bill. This is the same person who would go out of his way to assist anyone at any time and more stories will follow of his exploits.

I only wish more of us could be bubbas!

Bubba Terry