I'm sorry to say that our two Dirt Road Sports, Bubba and Billy Bob, engaged in a minor act of terrorism in the name of religion.
Now there's religion in the South; and there's Religion.
The first kind is largely kept to church, and occasionally inviting the preacher to a Sunday dinner. Oh yes: voting "dry" if you're a "dunking" Baptist. "Sprinkle" Baptists have a little beer or wine on ceremonial occasions; and everyone pretends not to notice.* They will secretly vote "wet" when in the voting booth. [It's kind of like voting Republican if you're in the literary set in New York City.]
But what they areally mean about Religion is barbecue, what you barbecue, how you do it, and what kind of sauce or rub you put on it. It's taken seriously.
Now Billy Bob and Bubba were generally tolerant: they were even prone to a little Memphis dry rub on the sly as long as there's beer; and they were more or less resigned to the fact that Texans like to barbecue cows!
But on a road trip to the gambling hells in Tunica, MS, they passed through northern Alabama and encountered (gasp!) a sacrilege!!!!
Yes . . . . that dreaded white sauce on the barbecue plates! It's made from mayonnaise. That white, fatty crap! And the varmints there were proud of it! As a matter of fact, they found this vice all over northern Alabama. Oh, how could the Confederate dead stand for this without rising from their graves! Now that's worthy of an ode!**
They decided to go jihad.
So how do you do that? Well, Billy Bob and Bubba thought and thought. To help them do that, they got a six-pack of beer. And another.
Finally, they decided to do guerilla tactics. How? Hit the problem at its roots. The white sauce. They planned a little break-in, which they pulled off at the offending barbecue joint late one night after closing. They went into the supplies room, opened each of the large jars of mayonnaise, and poured a liberal amount of tabasco sauce and horseradish in each. To cover up the real reason for the break-in, they stole all the Moon Pies and Doritos in the place.
When the crime was detected and reported in the local county weekly, the speculation was that it was drug-related: some marijuana users got an incredible case of the munchies and loaded up with provisions.
For the next few weeks, the customers complained that the white sauce on the pork was "off," and there was an increase in requests for the barbecue, plain.
However, Billy Bob and Bubba's cunning plan backfired: there was a minority of customers that positively raved about the barbecue sauce! Sales soon went back to the usual rate.
Bubba observed to Billy Bob, "I guess there's no stopping white sauce barbecue fans from being candyasses."
Billy Bob said, "No." And mused on the confusing order of things.
*There are four religious truths:
1. Jews do not recognize the divinity of Jesus Christ.
2. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the head of the Christian religion.
3. Baptists do not recognize each other in Hooters'.
4. True Southerners do not put mayonnaise on barbecue.
**I don't think Allen Tate had barbecue in mind.
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