FROM THE ARCHIVES: I Wrote Worse Than Joe Bob

Some of you might remember the columnist Joe Bob Briggs, an alter ego of Dallas News reporter John Bloom (who also broke the story of the Wylie axe murderer mom in the early 1980s.). If you don’t, and you didn’t see his movie introductions on The Movie Channel, then you’ll have no idea what I’m doing here. But I thought it might be fun, in honor of the holiday, to dig this out of the archives.

This column that I wrote in faux-Joe Bob style tied for first place in the Dallas Observer’s 10th Anniversary contest. (Someone else won grand prize, but my stuff was published as well. Rights reverted to me.) Again, if you haven’t ever read a Joe Bob column . . . well, it may seem a little odd.

But it’s redneck humor. Not supposed to be funny to everyone.

Well, here ’tis, anyway.


“Comeback of the Biker Bimbos of the Death Sun, Part IV”:
Review of a Drive-Up Movie
(Not Even Good Enough For the Drive-In)
by D. D., Drive-In Movie Critic of Richardson, Texas
First Place Contest Winner in the I WROTE WORSE THAN JOE BOB
Dallas Observer 10th Anniversary Contest, 1990

So you probly thought those John Waters movies were the sickest ever? Well, wait until you hear this. Drusilla and I were headin out for our regular Thursday night sweep of the dance clubs when instead she suddenly says, “I know what. Let’s do like the guys and rent a video and sit at home and drink Budlites and belch while we watch it.” And I left out a few more things she said the guys did while they watched them videos, but never mind about that, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Anyway, I said, “Are you out of your freakin mind?” (Well, maybe I didn’t say “freakin,” but this is supposed to be in a family newspaper, read by millions of preppie Republicans and S.M.U. sorority girls at breakfast time. Besides, I don’t want to get kicked out by the Dallas Observer’s High Sheriffs, if there are such things, like happened with You-Know-Who and the Trash-Harold’s High Sheriffs coupla years ago. Of course, you’d hafta be pretty bad to be kicked out of that Observin paper, considerin what made it into the “Men Seek Animals” personals ad that old Earl put in there last month, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, AND I THINK YOU DO.)

But she convinced me. Rather, it turned out that Dru was flat broke and I couldn’t cover payin for both of us. Think what that’d’ve cost, cover charges and the first drinks at those places for both of us, ’cause come to find out they moved Ladies’ Night at Buffalo Gals to Tuesday; don’t ask me why, but they did. And we couldn’t get in free because my wet T-shirt isn’t even R-rated, if you know what I mean. And Drusy won’t let ‘em wet hers down to find out. So instead on our big Girls’ Night Out, we went to the All-Night Drive-Thru Video Emporium and Liquor Store To-Go and checked out this movie. I think it was the title that attracted us. Sounded like some biker horror sci-fi comedy sequel. Even though we hadn’t seen numero uno, we got it because that might be primo. It never mattered with other horror movies. Also, a guy behind us in a Ford pickup was honkin and we had to settle for that one, and Dru got angry. We settled for the tape Henry handed out the window and left. Peeled half the retreads off her rear tires.

Dru really had her eye on a certain video called “Mongo Meets the Sisters of Discipline” that was checked out the last six times we were there. We woulda got it this time, but it was banned. Henry told us they’d had to pull it off the shelves after the “Mothers of Plano and Richardson Country Clubettes” marched on em with signs proclaimin “Don’t Dirty Up Our Heads with Porn!” At first Dru wanted to know why they couldn’t buy video head cleaner like everyone else, rich as they looked, but I told her they meant their children’s heads. Besides, after what happened at that record store that carried 2 Live Crew, he’s bein’ careful. They arrested a guy around here for sellin that “Nasty As They Wanna Be” thing. Ridiculous, if you ask me. After that happened, I asked Dru, why can’t they arrest people who sell stuff that I don’t like, such as frozen yogurt? Nasty stuff, and much worse for your mind than any record album.and we didn’t want that to happen to old Henry, the lecher who runs the Drive-Thru Video Emporium. ((Editorial))

Don’t get me wrong. Although I don’t like rap music much myself, I wouldn’t want to see em set a precedent for bannin it. What if they banned kicker dancin next? Or just randomly declared the word “Morton” illegal, and then you wouldn’t even be able to call Dru on the telephone cause that’s her last name. It’s like in that old Dear Abby column: I mean to tell you I’d never get over that. “When they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak out, for I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I kept silent; I was not Catholic. When they came for the Druids, I said not a word, for I was not a Druid. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out against them.” Or somethin like that. I think I saw that written up once on one of those posters. You know, the ones like “Desiderata” written in a big spiral with psychedelic tie-dye splashes all over it that you see stuck up at gag-gift stores and in the windows of head shops.

Who was it said it wasn’t what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of his mouth?

Some book they don’t let you read anymore, I guess. Probly banned. Too subversive.

Yet if they want to protect us from warpin our minds, why don’t they outlaw political campaign TV advertising? Especially in Texas? Because they can’t legislate morals. Do they really believe that “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” and “if we suppress ignore it long enough– it’ll go away”? Who told them that just because somethin’s not your bag that you should ruin it for everbody? Who made them God? Same Commie slimeballs did that who shut down the old Gemini Twin, if you ask me. Just tell me, if they start to compromise freedom of speech somewhere, where can we draw the line? If we don’t let you speak your piece, even if you’re a Commie Pinko or a Druid, then you can also silence us. It’s kinda scary.

However, speakin of scary, any child old enough to talk can still go into any store and rent Friday the 13th, Part XXXIV, or Horror of the Body Eaters, or even Evil Livin Chainsaws from the Pits of Hell. At least they haven’t touched that GOOD stuff yet. Thank goodness for the ‘Merican Way!

But as I was sayin, this particular flick turned out a little strange. No way José would I have sat through it on cable TV, but I hated to waste the $2.50 it cost to rent. ‘Member, I had to pay for the whole thing, plus the popcorn, and we went to my trailer to see it. So I might as well tell you about it to save you watchin it yourself. I mean, not even guys would want to see it, bare Sheelahs or no. But you’ll see what I mean in a moment.

It opened with the FBI warnin, which was the most excitin part of the show. But I’m gettin ahead of myself here. The openin credits rolled across a night distance-shot of Rosa’s Tourist Motor Courts, one of them kinda motels like they shut down years ago. I mean neon-outlined roofs on the cabins, a cursive-neon sign sayin “AIR COOLED– COLOR TV,” the whole bit.

OK, so there’s a CLOSE UP tight in on some girl’s double-barrelled chest, and then they pan up to a tiny li’l face surrounded by Big Hair. It’s this painted-up hag Rosa, or a reasonable fack-similee, and the phone is ringin.

As she’s answerin it, this biker-lookin chick comes in on the arm of this dirty-lookin dude, not dirty like in muddy, but like in Dirty Dancin, if you know what I mean. “Eddie,” she’s sayin, “hurry up. I need to use the little girls’ room.” Clerk with the bouncy shoulder-front ottomans ignores ‘em. She’s still on the phone, and then she says, “Whatta ya mean, sheep??? It’s against the fire code to be bringin livestock in here. You do and I’m callin the cops.” Then she bangs the phone down and goes back to filin her nails and snappin her gum, not even lookin up at the two customers. Biker chick’s lookin fidgety.

Finally this clerk says to the guy “By the hour or all night?” You can see it’s a great place to stay. “All night, of course,” says the bimbette nastily. Clerk ignores her and looks at Eddie.

Meanwhile(st), Eddie’s just lookin at the clerk and watchin her Rositas bouncin around in that semi-wet T-shirt (they never heard of air conditionin in a place like Rosa’s) and grinnin. “I need a cold drink,” huffs his large-kazoolas companion finally, actin pouty. Ed don’t care. Seems there’s plenty other broads around this place anywho. Soon as this bimbo gits him a room key, he knows what he’s gonna do. He’s gonna find him a beer vendin machine.

So they go in the cabin where the next clue this is not the Ritz-Crackerbox is when he pulls the light cord (there’s one inna middle of the ceilin) and the bulb’s red. His bimbette throws her purse down on the bed and says, “Are you sure this place is safe? I only said I’d come with you to California because I thought you had a job out here, you know.” He gives her some line of bullstuff to pacify her, although you can tell he doesn’t like the looks of that carpet, not to mention the stains on the sheets. Nevertheless they don’t leave, or else there’d be no movie.

Then it suddenly cuts to a dream scene. (I could tell that’s what it was because I’ve seen so many of em, but this confused the hell out of Dru until I explained dream sequences to her. She’s hopeless at Freddy-fests.) Either that or it coulda been a flashback, but this one was a dream. You could tell that’s what it was ’cause of the Vaseline smeared on the lens, even though there wasn’t any nekkid wimmen on screen. Yet.

Drusilla finally catches on when they show him tossin’ and turnin’ like in the old Twilight Zone on TV when people were dreamin’, and there’s not even a girl in the scene. So he’s in this bar and it’s noisy, smoke-filled. This knot of motorcycle Harley-logo wearin chicks is over in one corner. As he walks up to the bar, one of em peels off and comes over to him and gives him the Look. She’s not so hot lookin, and in the dimness you can’t tell what her face is like or whether she’s of an ethnicity known to man under all that frizzy hair, maybe a Japaheeno for all he can tell, but he likes women in leather with “Live to Ride (curlicue) Ride to Live” tattoos on the palms, and besides she has jumbo chickpeas under that jacket. So he goes on flirtin with her and you can see she isn’t playin Frigid Fredericka either. Then one of her other girlfriends from that group comes over there and you get the idea this is lezbo jealousy time. Uh-oh. They argue and suddenly there’s a scuffle, like a sort of bimbo-rasslin match without the mud, except with hair pullin and slappin.

So then this Eyetalian manager comes up. Gorgeous hunk, so too bad he has to be a sacrifice to the Leather Goddesses (I’m gettin to that part.) He throws em both out and stands out there shoutin for em to stay out. But then her entire ganga motorcycle friends come outta the place and surround him, and then they teach this bigshot manager why it’s called a “chain” gang, and then they try to let him go, but he hasn’t learned. Still has a smart mouth. Oughtta have known better. I mean, even Dru was shoutin “NO!!” at the screen (as thought it ever helped before. They never listen.) But beautiful though he might be, this manager guy’s no rocket scientist. In fact, we’re talkin dropout from Diesel Mechanics school. Maybe even from that Vo-Tech place, the Industrial Trades institute. Let’s face it: a school of fish wouldn’t admit him. We’re talkin Rock City US of A. But anyway he doesn’t know better, and he shoots off his mouth. This globby black hole thing starts rotatin on the screen to portray dizziness, and then the head biker chick shoots him and splat, that’s it.

That’s when I knew this wasn’t gonna be indoor bullstuff, for sure. Yet it wasn’t quite Big Steve King caliber, either. Oops, I’m gettin ahead of myself again.

So Ed knows when to leave and when to haul ass like a Fourth of July rocket, and he tries to get away, but he’s surrounded by those wimmen now, and his girlfriend is nowhere protectin him, and so suddenly he can’t stop fallin (from where and to where isn’t too clear: this part’s hazy like in all low-budget flicks, where either they can pay for special effects or pay the cameraman) and BAM, he’s glopola. Wakes up without gettin up, you know, sweatin because it was only a dream. Goes back to sleep (I wouldn’t have, but the script called for it.)

Cut back to motel room. More tossin and turnin. So it was all part of that dream. What was in that beer anyway? We’re gettin the idea this isn’t exactly a great place for him to stay. The second dream sequence starts with him at a beach at night. Some Meskin bimbette with two-toned hair (the kind that looks that way unintentionally, like she just missed some root touch-up appointments) and huge maguffies and purple fingernails is leadin him up this ladder thing. They go on top this lifeguard tower thing and he starts takin a leak off the side. Or somethin (the dog jumped up then and stole my beef jerky and I missed some of the movie.) Anyway you can tell she’s interested, and he hablas español. But then (and here’s the first good part, at last) as she lets him put his hands on her inflatables (cause you can see that “actress” isn’t really endowed like that– gimme a break) she screams. The tower’s on fire, and as he scrambles to get away there’s a fiery explosion. She falls and he gets pulled off the tower when she grabs for him and. . . well, rerun Glopola.

Finally this guy wakes up in the motel room. She’s smokin like we just missed a good part and he’s leanin over puttin on his socks. They decide to head on up the coast. But as they approach a beach area, there’s the chick, the exact chick, the Meskin he just saw in his dream. You know the one, the lady of the explodin inflatables. He tries to hide it but he’s freakin out, and she’s jealous since she doesn’t know about the dream. If she knew she’d be high-tailin it outta there. . . .

You’ll just be disappointed if I tell you the rest. Except that they aren’t on Earth and they do get blitzed later. Maybe it’ll be on TV with that Gilbert Gottfried or somethin, and inbetween prayin for his on-screen assassination (he reminds me of what a Oriental-Meskin Groundhog would be like) you can see the rest. I think I’ve covered all the best parts though.

Five or six breasts (you could only see one of them on the Meskin bimbette in that big scene). Trashcan Fu. Motorcycle Fu. Inflatables Fu. Sheep roll. Heads roll. In fact, the same head gets to roll more than once, what with all the dreamin. You probably don’t wanna see this, but what do I know– you might as well. You might like it, especially when you have absolutely no chance for a date and all the copies of Blue Velvet are checked out again like they always are up here in Playno. Ratin is one and a half Milk-Bones, I mean stars.

D. D. says probly don’t bother to check it out. Maybe.

SIDEBAR:
LETTERS Column: Advice to the Hopeless

DEAR D.D.: What with readin Joe Bob and then your smut and filthy trash, I have completely lost all strength of character as well as my sense of perspective, and I now suffer from a terminal lack of moral fiber, as well as believin everythin I see on the teevee, even the part about the You-Ess Marine Corps tradin their steel-tip boots for inflatable tennies. I am suin you for one zillion smackeroos, plus the cost of my lobotomy. Signed, Faithful Reader from Garland.

Dear Prevert:
Sorry. I only do hi-topperies. You’ll have to sue Joe Bob. He has plenty mazuma (and, I hear, somewhat of a large Morton.)

DEAR D.D.: Commie Alert! They pulled all the cartoon books off the shelves over at Mabel’s Newsstand right here in Fink, Texas. I asked why. They said the kid in “Calvin and Hobbes” shows no respect for authority and lives in a fantasy world besides, so it’s too subversive for people to read. The “Peanuts” cartoons they claimed were offensive to their round-headed customers, since they denigrated that round-headed kid (what was his name again?) and therefore should be burned as prejudiced-fascist trashola. They just threw all the Bloom County books back there and smirked when I asked why. Now they’re startin on romance novels and maybe even things by Big Steve King. I can’t stand it! They put em all back behind the counter with the Playboys and Hustlers, but they’re gonna burn em at a community book-burnin Saturday night! Do somethin quick! Signed, Wrayleene from Rowlett.

DEAR WRAYLEENE: I’m too choked up to answer.

VIGILANCE ALERT! Stay alert! This could happen in your community!

Yeah, I toldja you prolly wouldn’t get it. But it was funny at the time!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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