June 30, 2017

"Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own."

That's the famous quote — the "three rules of life" — from the 1956 novel "A Walk on the Wild Side," by Nelson Algren.

I was just exploring in Google Street View and I came to a town in Florida called Sopchoppy — known for its Worm Grunting Festival — where I was entranced by this sign for the place I'd always heard of, Mom's:

mom's 3

56 comments:

The Bergall said...

Ann, ask Dave Barry - he's written of it.

MisterBuddwing said...

This brings to mind an old New Yorker cartoon:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/eat-your-broccoli-lee-lorenz.html

Bob Loblaw said...

Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.

Maybe I run into the wrong kind of women, but following that advice would have meant a sex-free life.

rcocean said...

We had a restaurant in our town called "Mom's Drive-in" and it was terrible.

But I've never played poker with a guy called Doc or slept with a troubled woman.

1 out of 3.

Bob Boyd said...

Never pet a dog that's on fire.

rcocean said...

Hemingway was really impressed by Nelson Algren's writing. I guess everyone else was less impressed, because he's pretty much forgotten.

Lucien said...

I thought the third rule was: "Never pick a fight with a guy called 'Tiny'".

Grant said...

Most Americans would probably be shocked to face rural north Florida face to face. It's a fascinating place.

Bob Boyd said...

"I thought the third rule was: "Never pick a fight with a guy called 'Tiny'"."

Two questions:
Will this new learning impact your love life?
Will you finally give that son of a bitch 'Tiny' what he has coming?

madAsHell said...

My father always told me, "Don't go to bed with a woman that has more problems, and less money than yourself".

tcrosse said...

Most Americans would probably be shocked to face rural north Florida face to face. It's a fascinating place.

The old saying about Florida is that the further North you go, the further South you get.

Bob Boyd said...

Overheard in a Sopchoppy bar:
"But she didn't have more problems than me...until she met me."

Achilles said...

never eat the yellow snow?

Unknown said...

The Atlantic back in 1999, when it was a good magazine, had a marvelous article about the worm grunting lifestyle:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/03/can-of-worms/377482

mockturtle said...

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Earnest Prole said...

I thought the third rule was “Never marry a woman called ‘The Evil Shrew-Bitch’”

mockturtle said...

My Mom was--bless her heart--a pretty indifferent cook. She hated cooking. Thankfully, my father wasn't a very fussy eater. I always avoid restaurants that say 'Home-style Cooking'. Give me ethnic food--something difficult to make at home.

tcrosse said...

In Grand Marais, Minnesota, there's an eatery called Grandma Ray's.

George Grady said...

Sopchoppy's also known for its old high school gymnasium.

Sebastian said...

"Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own." Hard-earned wisdom from the man who slept with Simone de Beauvoir and her "female wound."

donald said...

I did a handicap ramp and and something else (I forget what) here at the post office about 12 years ago. There's nothing. This is an incredible area of Florida.

Ambrose said...

Never sleep with woman called Mom, or eat at a place called Doc's.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

Never sleep with woman called Mom, or eat at a place called Doc's.

Very good advice, Ambrose!

Josephbleau said...

Same thing in Missouri. The North part is the old south part, due to the glaciation line at the Missouri River making cotton planting viable In the North.

gadfly said...

Never stay in a motel named Porky's.

In 1978, when the Madison Beltway came to a screeching halt on the capitol city's NE side, officially on Highway 12-13, and inside the boundaries of Middleton, the first place to rest was Porky's. I did just that during a full-fledged white-out blizzard. The cabin I rented for 8 bucks had a six-inch thick mattress, ineffective springs and a 10-inch black and white TV.

My lodging choices were an army cot at the Middleton Fire Station or Porky's.

gadfly said...

Oops, sorry, Middleton is west not east.

Fen said...

I've tested that last rule to destruction. Jury is still out.

I don't know whats wrong with me. People will tell me not to stick my finger in the light socket and I just HAVE to see for myself. Clueless.

Bob Ellison said...

Never eat "Atlantic salmon".

Unknown said...

@Fen, Joe Martin has a book for you:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91u2nbKBdBL.jpg


Warning: Willy N Ethel

Will Cate said...

Lived for several years in (nearby) Tallahassee. Drove by a few times, but never patronized, Mom's.

rcocean said...

Never tell Cryin' Chuck Schumer to turn his cell phone off.

Otherwise, He'll call you a bitch.

FullMoon said...

Fen said... [hush]​[hide comment]

I've tested that last rule to destruction. Jury is still out.

I don't know whats wrong with me. People will tell me not to stick my finger in the light socket and I just HAVE to see for myself. Clueless.


Nine or ten years old, disassembled electric clock still plugged in. Definite learning experiance.

Laslo Spatula said...

Currently reading "American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst" by Jeffrey Toobin. Yes, I know: he is an obnoxious pundit, but when he isn't grinding axes he is an incisive writer (his OJ book, for example)...

Anyway, the thing that tickles me: what ended up giving the SLA away? These Murderous Revolutionaries, with a Murderous Patty Hearst...?*

An attempt to pay a parking ticket.

In San Francisco they live blocks from the FBI, and no one had a clue to their whereabouts...

They decamp for LA, and three SLA members go on a shopping run -- Emily Harris, Bill Harris, and Hearst. They park across the street from a Sporting Goods store, leave Patty in the van, and go shopping...

And they actually DO shop: they do not rob the place, they pay for their items... well, except for one. Bill Harris gets caught shoplifting after they pay for their other goods, then Shit Goes Sideways...

From across the street, Patty grabs a submachine gun and fires at the store to help the Harris couple get away. This why I asterisked "a Murderous Patty Hearst": she could have then left, forever -- the keys were in the van -- but she shoots across the street at people (luckily, not hitting anyone). When the gun is empty she then fires shots from another weapon, i.e.: murderous...

So they leave, but abandon the van for another vehicle. They take the guns from the van, but leave something behind: an envelope with cash meant to pay a parking ticket. And the parking ticket is inside the envelope. And on the Ticket is the address of their Violation -- the house right next door to their Safe House...

Huh?

These people kill people with cyanide-tipped bullets, rob banks, kidnap and indiscriminately shoot at anyone around them, but they Decided To Pay a Parking Ticket? What the Fuck...?

Cinque, dude: you should have just dumped the car with the ticket.

Revolutionaries can be so stupid when they're not killing people.

Lyrics from Camper Van Beethoven's "Tania":

Oh, my beloved Tania
How I long to see your face
Photographed in fifteen second intervals
In a bank in San Leandro
A Polaroid of you, Cinque
With a seven-headed dragon
In a house in Daly City
Don't be sad, my beloved Tania
They say your father never liked Stephen Weed anyway
Hired a detective
To follow him around

Oh, my beloved revolutionary sweetheart
I can see your newsprint face turn yellow in the gutter
It makes me sad
How I long for the days when you came to liberate us from boredom
From driving around from the hours between five and seven in the evening
My beloved Tania,
We carry your gun deep within our hearts
For no better reason than our lives have no meaning
And we want to be on television


I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Also:

While the SLA was romping through 1974 San Francisco, the City also had the Zodiac Killer and the Zebra Killings.

From Wiki:

"The "Zebra" murders were a string of racially motivated murders that took place in San Francisco, California, from October 1973 to April 1974. A group of male Black Muslims who called themselves the "Death Angels" committed at least 15 murders and 8 attempted murders, mostly against white victims. However, some authorities believe they may have killed as many as 73, or more, victims..."

"...description of the killer: a black man with a short Afro and a narrow chin. Once stopped, checked, and cleared, each citizen received a specially printed Zebra Check card from the officer(s) that they could show to police if stopped again.[37] More than 500 black men were stopped by the first weekend the program was in operation."

I did a quick check on Google, but could not find an image of the 'Zebra Check card.'

The Zebra Check Card: What's In YOUR Wallet?

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Compare these photos:

Seventies Patty Hearst.

Seventies Althouse.

Hmmmm.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Patty Hearst in Bank Robbery.

When America was first introduced to Tania, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart.

Interesting story behind this photo:

The SLA scoped the bank before the robbery to determine where the security cameras were, and where they were aimed.

They picked that spot for Hearst to stand, so that the image would be taken and distributed.

Imagine what the SLA could've done with Facebook and YouTube.

Yes: SLA LOL Cat Comrades.

I am Laslo.

Bob said...

There's also supposed to be "unwritten rules for journalists" that include:

1. If a restaurant burns down, it's arson by the owner to collect insurance;

2. If a housewife is murdered, the husband is the likely culprit;

and 3. If a politician is accused of corruption, he's probably guilty.

Achilles said...

Fen said...

I don't know whats wrong with me. People will tell me not to stick my finger in the light socket and I just HAVE to see for myself. Clueless.

110v is no big deal. Curls your finger a bit but meh.

Don't mess with 240v though...

sodal ye said...

Blogger Achilles said...
never eat the yellow snow?

Near the parish of St. Alfonso?

Yancey Ward said...

The Summer before I enrolled at Northwestern for grad school, my father drove up to Chicago with me to find an apartment to live in, and on the drive up I-65 in Indiana, we passed a diner called Grandma's- my father turned to me and told me that if my mother had been with us, she would have insisted on stopping to eat there.

Later that Summer my parents helped move to Chicago- my parents in my father's pickup and me following in my car, and when we reached Grandma's, sure enough, my mother took the exit and pulled into the diner's parking lot. When I got out of the car, my father shot me a wry grin while shaking his head.

Unknown said...

BREAKING NEWS: "Joe Scarborough to be interviewed by Mueller"

Kirk Parker said...

Laslo,

This novel is actually relevant to the SLA/Stockhold Syndrome thing. (From independent journalist Michael Totten... highly recommended.)

David Baker said...

Re unique places in Florida, here's a brief fact-based excerpt from a book I've been working (forever) on:

"There are small and great lakes, yet none like the one shimmering across the valley of the Florida Range. It’s here, where spirits wade morn to moon in peace and war, sending winds in calm and rain. Lake Okeechobee, the Big Water, bright at noon, black at night.

When Steven first looked out over this inland sea, it was Harley’s father who told its story. “Lan’ sakes, fish the size ah-whales”, he said, “Indians crossing that armies couldn’t find, and fisher-birds standing up to their knees.” Steven was seven at the time, his worm-ready pole in hand, thinking fast that whale-size bass may not come out except to pull all of little him in.

They were south of the locks at Port Mayaca, in 'Sand Cut,' where folks from feet around used what manner of bait they had to coax neither cat nor whale, but ‘speck’ onto their lines. The Sand Cut sign tells it all, “Speck Capitol of The World”, and not “speck” as in small, which it is, but speck as in “speckled perch”. Nope, no Miami roads here or snow-stained Cadillac’s plundering by, just critters, cutters, and locals fishing the canal below the Big Water..."

Meade said...

"Never sleep with woman called Mom, or eat at a place called Doc's."

Haha!

And never get a chin tweek from plastic surgeons named "Mika and Joe".

Sharc said...

I've eaten at Mom's in Sopchoppy, while going to law school in Tallahassee. Looks closed now, which would be a shame. They were not on the water, but they served awesome fried mullet.

Sharc said...

My tax prof used a self-published textbook for the class. The cover included a copyright that said something like "Copyright (c) 1991, New York, Paris, Sopchoppy."

Guimo said...

"Never sleep with a woman crazier than you." is the last line.

William said...

Never eat sushi at a restaurant called Mom's. Never loan money to a woman with more problems than you. Never play cards with professional gamblers, no matter what their nicknames. Never stand when you can sit.

Meade said...

Unless you're a bank, never loan money to anyone. If the amount is too much to be a gift, it's too much.

Wilbur said...

You used to hear "Never play golf for money with a fella who carries a 1 iron".

I haven't seen a 1 iron in anyone's bag in many years.

mockturtle said...

You used to hear "Never play golf for money with a fella who carries a 1 iron".

I haven't seen a 1 iron in anyone's bag in many years.


IIRC, there was a joke with the punchline being, 'Only God can hit a one-iron.'

Michael K said...

I haven't seen a 1 iron in anyone's bag in many years.

IIRC, there was a joke with the punchline being, 'Only God can hit a one-iron.'


I had a 1 iron and I couldn't hit it worth a damn either.

The joke is Lee Trevino, who had been hit by lightning, saying that in a thunderstorm he would hold up a 1 iron because "Not even God can hit a 1 iron."

Michael K said...

" Never stand when you can sit."

Basic training 101. "Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lie down."

Never volunteer. They used to ask who had drivers' licenses and guys would volunteer thinking it would be a driving job.

It wasn't.

James Smith said...

Never date someone with a standing appointment at the Free Clinic.

mockturtle said...

The joke is Lee Trevino, who had been hit by lightning, saying that in a thunderstorm he would hold up a 1 iron because "Not even God can hit a 1 iron."

You're right, Michael! I even had the punchline wrong. ;-)