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by Mr. Softy amd Jim Porter

(In memory of the passing of that American icon, Auntie Maybelle, Mr. Softy and I wanted to share some final thoughts about her contributions. Life goes on (but, then, so do taxes).
Dear JP,

I is writing you with a tear (choke choke) in my eye. You remember my dear old Auntie Maybelle. The one who has Gimpy, the pig with the peg leg, because Auntie thought so much of him that she couldn't bring herself to eat him all at one time.

Well, (sniff sniff) The whole family was sittin' at the dinner table celebrating Auntie's 90th birthday. Auntie had insisted on preparing all the vittles herself. Being the health food lovers that we are, the bill o fare included the family's favorites made from all things natural, both living and dead, found on and along the back roads here in Hogville County.

The entrees included, Tortoise Rigor Mortis, Toad a la Road, and the family's all time favorite Chunk o Skunk. Everything was going just fine as frog hair, when all of a sudden Auntie looked at me and uttered her final words. (sniff sniff)......"These mushrooms taste funny" and....... KERPLUNK!!! thar she was, face down in her nineteen and fifty-one Kaiser hubcap full of squirrel tail soup.

The service and planting that followed took place in what is known here abouts as the Hogville Grand Canyon, which is located DEEP down between the Dolly Parton Mountains. The eulogy was performed by none other than Homer Porkbutt, Hogville's grand champion hog caller. There wasn't a dry eye (or throat for that matter) in the stable when Homer did a medley of Auntie's favorite calls.

Nobody was more saddened by Auntie's demise than me. Ya see JP, (sniff sob) Auntie, knowing how squirrel tail soup is my favorite, (choke sniff) would just take a few sips and......and give the rest to me. But, I reckon thar ain't no use crying over spilled soup.

The readin o the will and deciding what ta do with Gimpy will take place in a few days.

I'll be a talkin at ya then.

With a heavy heart and a cravin for squirrel tail soup,

I Is,

Mr. Softy
Dear Softy,

This took me pretty hard, ya know. Just havin' to up my ex-wife's alimony so's how she can make her boyfriend's truck payment and all. Auntie Maybelle kicking the bucket, er---hubcap, I mean, sorta takes the grits right outta my mill.

I wrote a short song for you to use to set the mood right at the will readin'. It can be sung or just spoken slowly, but you need to have the Battle Hymn of the Republic playin' softly in the background. Maybe one of them WAL-MART strobe light things behind the couch makin' an occasional flash or two for effect would be nice, too. "She was sumthin', she was Auntie, she was a Maybelle to the end. She was tough and she was ornery but she was still my kin. So, as the mornin' rises brightly and the birds begin to sing, let's get on and do this thing."


"Glory, glory, I see piggy in the pot. Always wondered why she waited, was stove not really hot? Bacon, ham and side meat too, it's all I really ask. Give me the damn pig, and on the rest I pass."

Man (sniff), now ya got me doin' it, too. Grown men don't cry, but I guess the thought of Auntie Maybelle never gettin' her share of that Gimpy pig chittlins and fatback meat hurts.

You know, we got a place here that Auntie Maybelle would'a loved, bless her departed soul. Called the Road-Kill Cafe, it is. You don't hafta wear no shoes, but you can't bring the dogs in, so it's sort of a trend-settin' place hereabouts. Got a picture of the ultimate road-kill machine, a '47 Buick Roadmaster, over the kitchen door and a sign on the wall by the cash register that proudly says "You Kill It, We Grill It!!" 'Nuther sign by the old Igloo cooler that serves as the cash register proudly proclaims, "You can eat dirt cheap here." Now, don't go start droolin' on your one clean undershirt, Softy, but I's gonna list a few of them menu items here. I'm sure such a upscale place like this has copyrighted it's menu, so don't show this around too much, ya know.

Les-see here, on the Entree side there's 'Center-Line Bovine, tastes real good right from the hood' @ $4.95. 'Flat Cat, served as a single or in a stack' @ $2.95. Then, they got their K-9 Cuisine specials (boy, this'n looks good!). There's 'Slab of Lab' @ $2.95, 'Pit Bull Pot Pie' @ 95 cents, 'Shar-Pei Fillet' @ $4.50, and 'Round of Hound' @ $3.25.

Their REAL special is their 'Taste O the Wide Side' specials (all of 'em at the same $4.95 price), when available. These come cooked medium only, but still in the original hide. There's Chunk of Skunk, Swirl of Squirrel (probably your favorite), Smidgen of Pigeon, and Whipp-O-Will On the Grill. Then, there's my personal favorite - Armadillo on the Half Shell.

There's a couple of weekly specials that sound pretty fair. 'Guess-That-Mess' is a Monday special treat; you guess what it is (was) and you get it for free. Then, there's the Wednesday's businessman quick lunch, the 'Bag-N-Gag'. That's anything dead on bread. Saturday, it's the 'Feather Delight', the chicken that didn't cross the road.

On Sunday, they have a buffet of the Friday and Saturday night's kill from right there in their own county. Yessir, no imported road-kill for THIS establishment. The buffet this weekend features Poodles-N- Noodles and hand-craved Rack of Rodent. Well, enough of the menu. I'm gonna have to get me a moon-pie and a pickled egg before long here.

The Road-Kill recently got on a Customers-first kick, I noted. Put up a new sign as follows: "NOTICE - For your convenience, we have combined our smoking and non-smoking sections. Now, you can sit wherever you like and smoke or not smoke as you desire." Sorta brings my business back again and again, it do.

Well now, Softy, old buddy, old friend, old pal, ya'll call when that old Gimpy pig is ready to be--, er, is taken care of, and I'll come help you spruce that critter up for the County Fair. (You get the wood and I'll bring the sauce.)

Your pal,



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