Big Canoe Writers Words and Wit for the Ages
Browsing all posts in: Humor

When the River Ran Backwards

January 8
by Jim Smith

Abner had about 10,000 acres of the best timber land in the County and was obliged to sell some to pay his taxes. He was tighter than a bull’s ass in fly season. On this Indian Summer day I dreaded trying to deal with him but did give him enough to pay his taxes, all while he complained that I was taking unfair advantage of him. After we struck a deal and signed the timber lease, I stopped at the Last Chance Café in Springfield, Georgia for lunch. The menu never varied from a choice between two meats and a plateful of three vegetables and as much ice tea as you could drink – all topped off with the customary banana pudding.

Pete Clifton hailed me from across the dining room and invited me to join him. He had seen me with Abner and asked if I had been fishing in Abner’s pond. I said, “Hell no!” Pete was the affable County Agent for Effingham County. His motto was “Fish more, work less.” He fulfilled that ambition admirably. In fact, the coat rack in his office had a sign on it – “If my hat’s not here, I’ve gone fishing.” Read the rest of this entry »

On Being a Grandparent

December 12
by Anita Rosen

Never Trust a Grandchild

After having the pleasure of being a grandparent for a decade, it’s time to share some pertinent observations, which, I hope, may be of assistance to others who find themselves in this familial category.

While my childhood provided ample instruction in developing a parenting plan for my own children, who were, by and large, good children, little in life prepared me to be a grandparent.

Setting a dubious standard for behavior, my brother and I were known for the usual sibling rough-and-tumble fights augmented by special acts of mischief, like the time we took the goldfish out of the tank to see how they felt under our feet. Of this last, I admit, we did not confess until our father had died and our mother was too old to hit us. Read the rest of this entry »

Oley and Marge

March 5
by Max Beardslee

Presenting a tongue in cheek love story, taking place in northern Minnesota.

I found myself chuckling for several days over the punch line I’d heard, then constructed a story to work it in. Hope you enjoy reading it as I assure you I did in writing it.

Oley’s three day old beard glistened from the frozen sweat he’d incurred while working his chain saw. Snot hung precariously from his long, narrow nose. But the giant of a man couldn’t be bothered by any of that on this January day.For he was in love. Read the rest of this entry »

The Day I Got Dressed Up to Get Dressed Down for Being Undressed

November 30
by Harris Green

It was a warm Friday afternoon in San Diego, California at the Naval Recruit Training Depot (”boot camp”). We seaman recruits, now ”short timers” in our seventh week, were cleaning our barracks for the weekly Friday afternoon captain’s inspection.

In keeping with routine, we were washing the decks (floors) and bulkheads (walls) with soap and water (when the Navy says clean they mean clean). It being a warm June day, we being ”seasoned” recruits, and (most importantly) we being 18 years old, we found ourselves in a water fight. Before long there wasn’t a member of Company 159 that wasn’t drenched in soapy water.
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The Pimple on Sarah’s Cheek

June 26
by Jack Fay

I saw it for the first time on a Sunday morning. Sarah and I were sitting in our regular pew at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church on Old Jeff Davis Road in Hepzibah. It was Baptismal Sunday, and a long-time friend of ours, Nellie Gordon, was about to be born again. The porcelain tub had been carried in from the storage shed out back and placed in front of the altar. The tip of the garden hose that had been used to fill the tub was peeking out from behind the pulpit. I was maybe the only one there who took notice. Read the rest of this entry »

Searching for the Sawtelle Dog

March 4
by Jim Elliott

This story has been moved by the author to his site at:

Searching for the Sawtelle Dog


A Tranquilizer Gun Christmas

December 27
by Harris Green
My wife takes decorating for Christmas very seriously. It starts soon after Thanksgiving and winds down on New Year’s Day, known at our house as un-decorating day. She un-decorates while I watch bowl games. When she has to pass in front of the TV set, her staccato sandpiper gait slows down to a tortoise plod and she gives me a disdainful look that says, “How can you just sit there when all this work needs to be done.” The look is joined by a barely audible sigh. I parry the thrust by searching in my bowl of nuts for a cashew.

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Reminiscing Around the Old Yule Log

November 27
by Vivian Sheperis

1950 was a year I’ll never forget.  I learned to ride a two-wheeler with our neighbor Mr. Edsel Kinsley holding me up by my ass and running alongside. He was out of breath, but the old pervert wouldn’t let go. If mother had seen it, Edsel would have found his beer laced with cyanide on the next neighborly visit and his hand clamped in the rusty vise she kept behind the breadbox for such purposes.

It was also the year the Black Watch Bagpipers marched into town. Read the rest of this entry »

Adventures With Mike

August 4
by Bill Booth

In the early 1950’s, most children in the deep south attended public schools and shared a spirit of adventure that carried over from the recent World War. I was no exception. Much of my youth was spent in quest of exploits like those described in books by Mark Twain, Jack London, Zane Grey, Jules Verne, and similar writers. These were tales boys thrived upon … stories of outdoorsmen, heroism, soldiers, and cowboys. They were about the kind of Americans we emulated.
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The Dining In

May 5
by Max Beardslee

The United States Air Force has a policy of offering a formal dining engagement for all of its officers on a periodic basis. Not alone here, all branches of the service have a similar policy. The Navy also calls theirs Dining In, the Army refers to the occasion as Regimental Dinner, the Marines and Coast Guard, Mess Night.
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Rabbit Seeds

April 20
by Jim Smith

Our mother seldom overlooked an opportunity to promote felicity between my sister and me. Sister Phyllis was nine years my junior. Despite the disparate interests implied by our age difference, and my disinclination, mother often encouraged me to include her in my activities. When she was about 4 and I about 13, Phyllis accompanied me on a snowy day on what mother chose to call “a nature walk”.

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Down on Caddo

April 3
by Bill Booth

Sunlight reflected off the blue metal, and its smooth, stained wood felt like silk under my fingers. I closed my eyes and sighed with pleasure as the clean smell of gun oil floated to my nose. It was a thing of beauty. The single thing I wanted most when I was ten years old was finally mine: a classic Red Ryder BB gun.
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The Lasher

April 2
by Harris Green

Mabry Russell knew only too well that he had no more than a fifty-fifty chance. But the alternative was almost unimaginable, so he had no choice, really.  He had to go for it. He had to make a dash for freedom. The open area he had to cross was small—only about twenty feet–but the danger was hideous. A lasher about five feet in length sat nearby in brooding silence. He noticed it was female, even more dangerous than the male if there are young in the vicinity. A lasher in defense of her hatchlings is fury incarnate .
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The San Pedro Bonefish

February 4
by Bill Booth

Dialect, as most of you know, can be difficult both to read and to write. While I cannot claim to be a native Cajun, I HAVE spent most of my life in southern Louisiana, the heart of Cajun Country. Cajuns have a distinct, musical way of expressing themselves. They may use a colloquialism in one sentence, then pronounce the correct English equivalent in the next (‘dem and them, der and there, e.g.). They speak most colorfully when trying to relate a story. “Cher”, French for “friend” is pronounced “sha”, as in shack. It is one of the most commonly used words in Cajun French.
I hope you will enjoy my attempt to relate an event in the manner of a Louisiana Cajun.
The setting is the small town of San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye in northern Belize.

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