Wednesday, February 11, 2009


My name is Al Burgee. I'm a retired stump yanker from Amboy, Minnesota. 

I've heard a lot of chatter lately about people thinking we're in barrel of trouble like we was way back in the great depression.

Now I ain't saying things are fine. A bunch of stupid ass Harvard educated bankers have dug us quite a hole, thank you very much. I don't doubt that. Some peoples is hurting. I don't doubt that either and my heart goes out to them.

But here's the deal. Listen up now. I lived through the great depression. Folks, you don't know what tough is until you're a six year old boy staring down a rabid raccoon for a maggoty, chewed up cob of corn laying on a frozen street right next to a dog turd. I was that boy. And that raccoon never knew what hit him. That's the way it was. And that was a good day.

But we always held our heads high even when we didn't have enough protein to keep our heads from flopping over like a sickly chicken. My daddy made us all neck splints. "Put these on," he'd say. "Ain't nobody gonna see the Burgees with floppy heads." Daddy was practical like that.

Folks used to call daddy "Stumpy" on account he didn't have any fingers. He sold them all so mommy could buy clean mud for cooking. He'd come home after a long day and my brothers and sisters would say, "Daddy! Where are your fingers?"

And Daddy would look down and say. "Well look at that. Isn't that something. They must have fallen off." Then he'd ask one of us to fetch him his pipe and a tourniquet. Sometimes he'd excuse himself and walk in the other room. We'd hear him screaming in pain. Then he'd come back all smiles and asked who wanted to play with the buttons. My daddy kept a sack of four buttons that we'd play with on the floor. How we loved those buttons.

Of course, that was before we lost the house. We all left one day and I guess we was all so protein deficient that our brains weren't working right and none of us could find it again. It was a good house, too. Probably still there.

My whole point here is, when I hear people moaning about the fact they have to cut back and maybe not buy that 100 inch fancy ass plasma screen TV thingy and maybe not buy so much crappy Chinese crap and maybe eat mac and cheese a few nights a week and maybe start living like normal people living normally like we done years ago...well, I wanna shove my cane down their throat and make them a new rectum.

I hear people bitching about the fact they can't afford gas for their cars and they are gonna have to take public transportation. I wish we had been that lucky! My older brother Kep was paralyzed from his knees down and used to have to walk 112 miles on crutches so he could sing girly songs in a gin joint for a couple pennies a day. I never heard him complain. Ever. And if he did, it was in Latin.

So let's get a hold of ourselves. You ever had mud stew? It's mud and water. Ever been so desperate to play with a toy that you shove a stick up a dead rat's rear and pretend it's a puppet? I have. I've been there.

And if we're going there again, I'll hold my head high. I'll make myself a neck splint.


  1. Well what can I say Al?
    You put me to shame.
    I'll never complain about toaster leavenz again.

  2. That there is a good idea, little lady. I knew a family that built an entire house out of toaster leavenz. Of course, when it rained they had to rebuild and whatnot.

    Hold your head up high.

    Al Burgee

  3. But, Al, your time had one thing going for it that made everything tolerable: Music!

    Why, in the Depression, you had music like Noble Sissle's band.

    Today, what do we have?


    We're doomed! Doomed, I say!

  4. Just curious, Al. Is you thin, pencil-neck a result of your malnurishment as a child?

  5. Not true Keeper. You just have to dig deeper for the good stuff. Personally I'm fond of Ska and Blues Rock. Jack White is my hero.