The Legend of Juggin Joe - A Preview of the Comedy Sensation You Dont Want to Miss!
THE FROGGIN INCIDENT
As I recall this particular happenin', which we all referred tah as the "Froggin Incident", it all started out innocent enough. T'were on a pleasant summer Saturday gatherin at Doc an' Isabel's. The folks that had come tah call wuz enjoyin some mighty fine music an' vittles an' a couple swallers now an' then ah some "Pick Me Up". This particular day Isabel had cooked up a mess ah frogs legs. I don't know about flatlanders, but as all hill folks know, they ain't nothin quite so tasty as a fine batch ah fried frogs legs, an' Isabel's were first rate that afternoon. Sets muh mouth tah waterin jes' thinkin on 'em even tah this day.
I can't recall how old Joe musta been around that time, but he weren't taho big, jes' a nubbin underfoot really, but Lord how that boy could put down them frogs legs. He would snatch them right off ah yer plate if yah weren't watchin close, like the world's supply ah frogs wuz dwindlin fast an' he were determined tah get his share afore they disappeared altahgether. 'Course he'd get his han' slapped on occasion an' a scoldin but never taho bad, cause truth be tahld, who could blame 'im? As I say, Isabel's frogs legs were considered some ah the best in the county.
When the last ah them legs wuz ate, young Joe looked about heart broke. There wuz still plenty ah other good snackin vittles around, like hush puppies an' corn dodgers, some chicken gizzards an' fried fish an' sech, but in Joe's mind, nothin else would do. He had the taste fer frogs legs an' that wuz all there wuz tah it. He set tah squallerin somethin fierce till Isabel had about as much as she could stahmach ah it.
"Joe" says she, "If yah want frogs legs, I reckon yah best git yerself down tah the cow pond early next Saturday afore I git tah cookin, an' bring us on back as many as yah reckon yah can eat. Fer now, I want yah tah hush up yer mouth, an' I'll hear no more 'bout it this day."
Now lookin back on it, they mightn't ah been the best choice ah words fer Isabel tah use with Joe, cause as I done already tahld yah, when Joe got an idea fixed in 'is mind, it lodged itself in, right sound an' proper. Then an' there I reckon, Joe thought ther weren't enough frogs in the world tah sate his appetite, but he were goin tah give it 'is best tah find out one way er the other.
The week drifted by, an' next Saturday mornin' come as expected. Doc an' Isabel had once agin tahld folks they wuz more'n happy tah have 'em drop by, which wuz agreeable tah all. I muhself showed up kinda early tah help Doc haul some jugs down from the still, an' tah provide some quality control assurance afore ever'one else got there, if'n yah catch muh drift.
Usually young Joe wuz right there along with his paw, on mornins sech as this, tryin tah help as young'uns will, an' generally bein' more'n a hindrance than a help, but we wuz used tah him bein' around. This particular Saturday though, there weren't nary a sign ah Joe tah be found. Doc didn'a seem concerned about 'is youngest son's absence. Doc tahld me that Joe'd got up afore the first light that mornin', an' wuz out the door tah the sound ah the cock's crow.
We knowed ther weren't no way that Joe would miss the weekly gatherin, so there weren't no reason fer worry, though I did miss the little fella, an' I reckon Doc did taho. It were unusual, but not unheard ah, fer him tah be off on some childish adventure on a Saturday mornin an' I couldn'a help wonderin what idea had poked itself intah the boys head this time. 'Course me an' Doc had fergot what Isabel done tahld that young'un the week afore, but young Joe hadna fergot one bit.
By the time we got the jugs down from the still, Isabel had covered the old plank table that sat off in the yard with a cloth an' started tah set some vittles on it. The other Yakel young'uns had brought out the old chairs that wuz kept jes' fer this purpose, an' scattered 'em about the yard fer the folks tah relax in. All that wuz lackin wuz the company, an' that commenced arrivin straight off.
I reckon it were about an hour past noon time with folks in the yard talkin. Those with an extra large appetite wuz munchin away, yers truly included. A bachelor's gotta take advantage ah fine vittles when he can.
The boys wuz startin tah warm up ther instrements when I happen tah catch sight ah Joe headin on intah the house, luggin a great big ole burlap bag that seemed tah be filled up tah a size pert near as big as Joe hisself. He wuz a strugglin with it considerable, an' I could see it were an open question tah who wuz controllin who, but he finally managed tah get the whole thang on intah the side door.
Upon reflectin on the sight fer awhile, I reckoned that it mightn't hurt tah mention tah Isabel that her young'un wuz up tah somethin, an' so that's jes' what I done. She, upon hearin the boy wuz back, an' inside the dwellin' no less, set off intah that house like a fox on the run, knowin Joe the way she did.
I don't reckon it were more'n a minute passed when the commotion started. The screen door flew open an' out come Joe, a runnin an' hollerin like the Unholy Hellion, an' 'is maw Isabel trailin' right behind. Now this in itself weren't sech an unusual sight, an' hardly called fer comment by those witnessin the event, but it did silence thangs down purty good. Ever'one wuz wonderin what Joe coulda done this time tah git the fire in his maw stoked so fast.
Now it so happens that the Parson Sheperd, jes' the week afore, had done a sermon on Moses an' the Pharaoh an' the troubles that the Lord let down on Egypt cause ah ther wicked ways, which, as yah might recall, included amongst other thangs, a plague ah frogs. I can remember at the time a hearin that how I thought it were a kinda comical idea, an' hardly fittin as an act ah the Lord as what harm could a mess ah frogs do anyhow? But when I wandered on over tah the open front door an' see'd what wuz inside, well sir, I tahok tah quick unnerstandin' ah what kinda trouble that there Pharaoh had with Moses.
Turns out that Joe had spent all them hours gatherin up ever frog that must ah lived in that derned pond. There wuz big ole gran'daddy bullfrogs, an' little bitty peepers, an' ever size an' shape ah frog in betwixt. The boy wuz a right good frogger an' he proved it that day, but I don't allow Isabel counted that tahward his credit, leastwise not at that particular moment.
Ther musta been hundreds ah frogs in that house, jes' a hoppin ever which way, an' makin theyselves right tah home. I reckon Joe wuz bringin 'em all tah his maw in ther natural state fer her tah cook up, an' hadna considered that it might be more prudent tah do the prepatahry work afore he lugged 'em all in.
Anyhow, about the time Isabel walked in tah see what Joe wuz up tah, the bag had proved taho much fer the lad tah maintain, an' it got away from 'im, spillin its contents ontah the floor. Those captive hoppers saw ther chance fer freedom an' done tahok it right quick. Joe 'parently tahok a look at his maw's face, an' likewise drawed the conclusion that this wuz his chance tah depart right quick. He scooted on past her afore the shock done wore off, headin fer the hills as fast as his legs would take 'im. Isabel wuz a quick witted woman, but the sight ah all them frogs scatterin themselves throughout her house gave Joe a couple ah seconds head start afore she could regain her sensibility an' take off after 'im.
I jes' praised the Lord that day I hadna mentioned tah her that I might ah stahpped Joe fer he got in the house with his cargo er I might a been right 'long side Joe skedaddlin it down the road with Isabel hot on muh trail as well, hickory switch in han', an' bent on terrible justice. Even now, if'n she reads this here narrative, I reckon I'll still catch a peck ah hell fer it, as I don't spect that she ever quite got over the whole episode tah this day.
By the time Isabel come back, holdin Joe by the ear an' a lecturin him fer all he wuz worth, with emphasis laid on by a switch, we had tried tah gather up all the frogs we could an' clear the house ah 'em right proper. We had done a fair job ah it, but the mountain dew already consumed, along with the fits ah laughter that would catch hold ah us, weren't a helpin the effort one little bit. On tahp ah which, those frogs had already been caught once that day an' were determined not tah let it happen agin. I don't know if we gathered as much as we scattered but it were the thought that count. Leastways that's the way I saw it, though Isabel an' Doc didn'a seem tah share the sentiment a'tall.
Even Doc, who generally could han'le most anythin', wuz fired up considerably fer quite a spell. He tahld me it wuz weeks afore he could lay down in 'is bed er git up in the night without wonderin if somethin slimy wuz a gonna git squashed underneath 'im. I reckon frogs underfoot is worse than young'uns, an' a squashed frog must be a terrible mess tah clean up in the house.
An' ah course, there wuz the problem ah them frogs that crawled off tah outta the way places tah meet ther maker. Lord, yah couldn'a walk in that house fer quite a spell without an unappealin odor sorta sneakin up on yah, which caused Isabel no end ah embarrassment.
Poor Joe, I reckon he caught a whoopin 'bout ever'time another frog wuz found in the house fer a week an' maybe more. What's even worse wuz Isabel didn'a take taho kindly tah all the good natured kiddin that come her way, an' she refused tah make frogs legs the rest ah the summer. Which jes' goes tah show the irrationality ah women, cause when yah think about it, how much more convenient could it ah got fer her, what with all those frogs hidin out right there in 'er own house? An' she done tahld Joe he could fetch as many as he thought fit anyhow.
An' that's the great Juggin Joe frog gatherin stahry which is still talked about up in the hills even untah this day, but not in the presence ah Isabel though. Doc's temperament softened up eventually, an' he even saw the humor in it, but maybe not as much as the rest ah us.
Joe still loves them frogs legs, an' Isabel got back tah preparin 'em on ocassion, but after that episode, she was plum clear in her discussion with Joe 'bout exactly how many frogs he could catch in the pond, an' left no doubt in anyones mind that they wuzn't gonna be brought back intah the Yakel household agin.
For the rest of this rip-roarin story, pick up your copy of "The Legend of Juggin Joe", ISBN 1-4116-2588-9, at www.lulu.com/yakel
Joseph Yakel is a freelance writer and author of three books. His articles have appeared in numerous publications and Internet websites since 1998. He describes "The Legend of Juggin Joe" (Copyright and published in March 2005) as a 'country boy comedy/melodrama' delivered with a writing style he dubs 'unconventional'. Joe categorizes his two other works as 'slightly more serious' genealogy books. The Autograph Memories of Mary Yakel (Copyright and published in December 2004) is a 19th century memoir, and The JACKEL, JECKEL, JAECKEL, IEKEL, YAKEL Family History Book (Copyright and publsihed in March 2005) is a family chronology, tracing 350 years of his Rheinish ancestry. Joe's books are available at www.lulu.com/yakel">http://www.lulu.com/yakel and he welcomes author interview requests at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prolific author William E. Butterworth III, who wrote under the name W.E.B. Griffin, has died aged 89.
The writer Andrea Levy, who explored the experience of Jamaican British people in a series of novels over 20 years has died, aged 62, from cancer.
After starting to write as a hobby in her early 30s, Levy published three novels in the 1990s that brought her positive reviews and steady sales. But her fourth novel, Small Island, launched her into the literary big league, winning the 2004 Orange prize, the Whitbread book of the year and the Commonwealth Writers' prize, selling more than 1m copies around the world and inspiring a 2009 BBC adaptation.
Betty Ballantine, half of a groundbreaking husband-and-wife publishing team that helped invent the modern paperback and vastly expand the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as "The Hobbit" and "Fahrenheit 451," has died aged 99.
She was just 20 and attending school in England, in 1939, when she met and married 23-year-old Ian Ballantine, an American at the London School of Economics. Using a $500 wedding gift from Betty's father, the Ballantines started out as importers of Penguin paperbacks from England and founded two enduring imprints: Bantam Books and Ballantine Books, both now part of Penguin Random House.
In 1988 the 14th novel by a little-known 63-year-old British author was published in New York. The Shell Seekers, the 500-page story of a woman, Penelope Keeling, looking back on her life and loves during the second world war, took the US by storm.
The New York Times reviewer wrote: "Rosamunde Pilcher, where have you been all my life?" It sat in the bestseller list for 49 weeks in hardback and then tipped Tom Wolfe off the No 1 spot in paperback. The Shell Seekers was translated into more than 40 languages, selling around 10m copies.
Pilcher, who has died aged 94, wrote completely absorbing page-turners, taking what was called "romantic fiction" to an altogether higher, wittier level...
Dan Mallory, who writes under the name A. J. Finn, went to No. 1 with his début thriller, "The Woman in the Window." His life contains even stranger twists.
JD Salinger's son has confirmed for the first time that the late author of The Catcher in the Rye wrote a significant amount of work that has never been seen, and that he and his father's widow are "going as fast as we freaking can" to get it ready for publication.
Salinger died in 2010, leaving behind a small but perfectly formed body of published work that has not been added to since 1965's New Yorker story, "Hapworth 16, 1924." Rumors have circulated for years that the creator of one of the 20th century's most enduring characters, Holden Caulfield, continued to write over the ensuing decades he spent in the New Hampshire village of Cornish, far from public view.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, his son Matt Salinger has finally revealed, definitively, that his father never stopped writing and that "all of what he wrote will at some point be shared."
One of the biggest stars to come out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week wasn't a CEO or a head of state or a venture capitalist. It was Rutger Bregman, a Dutch journalist and historian, who used his speaking time at the conference to lambaste the rich attendees for failing to talk about the one thing we know could fight wealth inequality: raising taxes for the kind of people who go to Davos.
The winner of Australia's richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony. His absence was not by choice.
Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the Aus$25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier's literary awards and the Aus$100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.
The Kurdish Iranian writer is an asylum seeker who has been kept in purgatory on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years, first behind the wire of the Australian offshore detention centre, and then in alternative accommodation on the island.
Now his book No Friend But the Mountains – composed one text message at a time from within the detention centre – has been recognised by a government from the same country that denied him access and locked him up.
The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es has won the overall Costa Book Award, with the judges declaring it, "the hidden gem of the year."
This biography tells the true story of a young Jewish girl in Holland during World War II, who hides from the Nazis in the homes of an underground network of foster families, one of them the author's grandparents.
Steve Cavendish, a former editor of the Nashville Scene and Washington City Paper, writes about the dire state of local newspapers, and his hopes that his new venture, to relaunch the Nashville Banner online as a nonprofit, will provide a model that will revitalize local media:
Wednesday was a bloodbath for journalists. BuzzFeed said it would lay off 15 percent of its employees, and Verizon Media announced it would cut 7 percent from its newsrooms at HuffPost, AOL and Yahoo. Worst of all, a wave of layoffs tore through Gannett newsrooms across the country that day, hitting staffs that had already been thinned by years of nearly annual cuts. In December, Gannett's USA Today Network president, Maribel Wadsworth, told her employees that the nation's largest-circulation newspaper chain "will be a smaller company" in the future and, well, the future is now. Wadsworth is facing a lot of pressures: Print revenue is down, digital and mobile revenue aren't nearly enough, and now a hedge fund promising even deeper cuts wants to acquire the company. If the future of corporate news operations looks bleak, that's because it is.
In Tennessee, we've been watching the slow-motion destruction of our news institutions under Gannett for a few decades now, and the idea that things are about to get even worse is appalling. As badly as the country needs strong coverage of national news these days, the local news landscape is important, too. And what happened here mirrors what's already happened in city after city.