Some time back, I watched “The Hatfields and McCoys” miniseries. Really well done. Kevin Costner scores again. Of course, it would have been perfect had they found a way to fit Robert Duvall, the greatest actor of all time in it. I’m still not totally sure what set the two clans against one another. But whatever it was, Dr. Phil would have had his hands full. The bad blood resulted in more carnage than you’d find after Rosie O’Donnell exited the buffet line.There have been a few feuds down through history. I can think of a few that may rival, or even surpass the Hats and Macs.
1) Coke and Pepsi. Thisun has been going on for years. Coke had Bill Cosby as a spokesman. Pepsi countered with Michael Jackson. Being a Georgia boy, my allegiance was naturally with Dr. Pemberton’s concoction. Actually, I eventually swore my allegiance to Diet Dr. Pepper, until my urologist ruined my life and gave me a lifetime prescription for bottled water. The Commie.
2) Roman Catholics and Protestants. This feud seemed to be most intense in Ireland, the prots hurling little statues of the pope at the catholics, and the catholics returning fire with something. What, I dunno. Bottled water, I believe. Not sure what the disagreement was all about, but I suspect that it was over whether or not O’Flaherty was going to swear allegiance to the pope, or serve as his own pope. Whatever. Just bring more beer and beef stew.
3) Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Classic feud. The clash of distinct American cultures on display. The trailer park comes to Norway, where Nan gets Lillehammered. William F. Buckley meets Jerry Springer. No triple axles tonight. Where are they now? Last I heard, Kerrigan was working in securities on Wall Street, and Tonya was the assistant night manager at the Taco Bell in Dubuque, Iowa. Why she never took her married name of “Gillooly,” I’ll never know.
4) Georgia and Florida. Universities, that is. You can have your Oklahoma and Texas, Michigan and Ohio State, Alabama and Auburn. This here is the mother of college football feuds. I have use for many things in Florida. Fishing, beaches, key lime pie, seafood, and the Daytona 500. But when it comes to college football, no one has more contempt for the revolting reptiles from Gainesville. Georgia could lose all its games, for all I care, as long as they stomp a red and black mudhole on the 50 yard line of what they used to call the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. Yeah, I’d like to spike Steve Spurrier, or at least his Gatorade. I have no crush on the orange.
5) The Masked Assassin and Mr. Wrestling #2. An all-time classic feud. How Gordon Solie, the legendary wrestling announcer kept these two combatants from tearing down the old tv studio is beyond me. Now these here were the days when rasslin’ was fun to watch. I mean, you were about 65 per cent sure it was fake, but…..well, I dunno. The problem was that everybody loved #2, but as everyone knows, you simply cannot have two masked grapplers in the same territory. Eventually, you have to have a “loser must unmask” match, or “loser leaves town” match, because “this state is not big enough for the both of us.” Sure enough, eventually, they tangled, and thankfully, after #2 walloped the Assassin with his high, high knee lift, the former disrobed his head and revealed himself to be Ralph Cannoli, a part time dispatcher over at Mack Hewlett’s Wrecker Service in Decatur. Whether he was able to keep that job, I don’t know.
6) Syble. A feud all its own. Sally Field, arguing with about 19 people, all residents of the same mortal coil. Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m schizophrenic, and so am I. How do you get a word in edgewise, if you’ve only got one pie hole? And who’s in charge? Do you go alphabetically? Imagine the poor slob who would be the husband. “Honey, I’m home!” “We’re all out on the deck, dear!” Figure thisun out, Dr. Phil.
7) Blue Plate and Hellman’s Mayonnaise. Now, mayonnaise is an essential to the southern palate. We use it in lots of things; sandwiches, potato salad, deviled eggs, or as a substitute for hand lotion. But which to use? My good friend and philosopher, Mickey Buck Talmadge, swears by Blue Plate mayonnaise, and has no tolerance for any other, or anyone who uses any other. If a jar of Hellman’s cost $5, and Blue Plate cost $6, Mickey Buck would buy 4 of the latter. He once caught me making a tomato sandwich with a jar of Duke’s mayonnaise.
“What’s that, son?”
“A tomato sandwich, Mickey Buck.”
“No, what’s on that samwich?
“That ain’t whut I thank it is, is it?”
“What? You mean the mayo-“”It’s some furrun jug of what ort not to even have the gall to call hitself mayornaze! It’s probably made by some city slickin’ New York communist Bible hatin’ heatherns who drive around in them Japanese puddle jumpers!”
With that, Mickey Buck took the jar of Duke’s, heaved it out the kitchen window, grabbed my sandwich, threw it in the trash, and proceeded to wash his hands in the sink with Clorox bleach, muttering, “a feller ort to know better.”
Just mayonnaise to you. But in the deep south, this condiment is so important, that the correct brand is vital, even sacred. I repented of my unfaithfulness to this tenet that day, and have not had another brand in the ice box since.
Mickey Buck only recently stopped being so sulled up about the episode, allowing me to accompany him on a dove hunting excursion to Old Man Yeargin’s farm.
Now, if you’re feuding with anyone, try and do what the Good Book says, and make things right. There’s no point in going through life all bitter and angry about what somebody else may have done. Forgive, love, and move on.
And for heaven’s sakes, don’t use Hellman’s mayonnaise.
© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe