A Day of Dougie: Snakes, Heroes & Rat Tails

Tossing Salt Presents:
A Day Of Dougie
Snakes, Heroes & Rat Tails
March 21, 2022

Another weekend in the books and now, it’s Monday. Blah to that, but it doesn’t really matter to me since all the days run together anyhow. Not working and not ever leaving the house sucks big time. But I won’t do the whole “woe is me” bit. Maybe later on, but I’m actually doing okay this morning. I’m doing so well that I think it’s a Day of Dougie Day. Wow! Try saying that three times really fast. It is what it is and it is time to get the Magic Bag and find out if we have any topics for today. We have snakes, heroes, and rat tails. Okay then. Enough with the chit-chat. Let’s do this.


The first thing that comes to mind when I think of snakes is obviously the no-legged, slithering reptiles that we all know and love. Well, some people do, but I’m not really one of them. I don’t hate them and I’m not going to advocate a killing spree of all things that don’t blink and have flickering tongues, but I’m not going to go out and adopt several dozen as pets either. I have a live and let live policy when it comes to snakes. Do what you want and be the snake you were meant to be, but don’t come around me and don’t sneak up on me and we’re good. There is nothing like walking a trail in the woods at two or three AM and coming across, coiled up in the middle of the trail, a very active and wanting to be a friendly snake. I’ve had it happen a couple of times and what I did each time was turn around and go back the way I came. To hell with the woods. I’ll just take a long way home and walk down the side of the highway instead.

And the other kind of snake is the person who is your friend til’ the end unless you’re not around or they can’t use you or get anything from you. They call you “brother” and “friend” and “pal” to your face, but as soon as your back is turned, it’s not nearly as friendly and nice and the insults are flying. Unfortunately, there are far too many of these kinds of “snakes” out in the world and I definitely prefer the reptile version to these two-faced, lying human types. So if you’re one of those kinds, two words for you and the initials are F.U. If you’re a slithery, reptilian version, just you mind your business and I mind mine and we’re good. ‘Nuff said!


Okay, now let’s move on to heroes. We all have our heroes in life. For some of us, it’s our father or mother. Maybe it’s your teacher from third grade or some fake-ass, blonde Barbie bitch from YouTube. Maybe it’s not even a specific person, but an idea or concept or type of behavior that some people exemplify. There are so many ways a person can identify a “hero” and so many things that a person can use to validate his or her choice.

For me, my heroes haven’t really been certain persons, although there are a few certain people that I respect and admire for what they’re accomplished and represent in their lives. For me, it’s more about an idea and concept. When a person essentially is willing to sacrifice and give up everything to pursue his or her dream, that catches my attention and earns my respect.

And when a person is willing to give up everything for someone else and accept responsibilities, that’s pretty awesome too. So many people these days don’t accept their responsibilities and expect others to take care of their problems for them. They don’t care about the girl they knocked up or the children they’ve fathered or the idea that a promise or giving your word means something. These are NOT people to respect or hold up to the light of day. They’re shit!

But when a man steps up and says, “that’s my kid” and does what has to be done, that’s someone to look up to and respect. And when you find those rare few that pursue their dreams but not at the expense of their family and loved ones, that’s the best ones of all. And I’m getting way off topic here, aren’t I? Let me just list a few people that are, in my book, heroes to me. If you want specifics, just ask and I’ll let you know more and why, but for now, in the interests of time and space, I’ll just do a few names.

Kenneth F. Maynard (Dad), Raymond R. Rushin (step-dad), Evelyn Rushin (mom), Brent, Greg, Youngblood, Soce, Vice President Quayle, Alice, Alex, Grandma Vick, President Trump, A-Mak, K-Mak… There are others to be sure, but these are the folks that to me, represent the best of the best in different ways.

Rat Tails…

This one is cool because there was once a time that I, your humble friend and author, once had a rat tail. It was many years ago, twenty-six of them to be exact, and I was living in Wilmington. I was managing a store and pretty much living on my own for the first time and it was a great time. I met some incredible people during those days and have some great memories. But all of that is for future stories and this is about my rat tail. I don’t know why I decided to have one. I must have thought it was cool at the time and while I now cringe at the thought, it was pretty cool. It was halfway down my shoulders and I could wrap it around my neck. I was the man!

At the time, two of the guys who worked in my store with me were kind of crazy and eccentric. In preparing for a trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, they decided to dye their hair. And so, Steven went from blonde to having hair that was purple and green. And Marshall went all green, including facial hair. And they did their dying of the hair at the store in between customers. And I was there and somehow, they managed to talk me into putting some color into my hair extension.

So I did. First, we did it blonde and that was okay. Then we did it green and I kept it like that for a few days. And lastly, because I was bored, I decided to dye it hot pink. Yeah, I was flaming for a few days, but I didn’t care. It looked awesome. And then my boss came down to visit the store, took one look at his manager and my employees and well, he wasn’t happy. For not the first time, nor would it be the last, I think my job was in serious jeopardy. But he just bitched, told me that I needed to “fix it” and left and so I did. Marshall and Steve went to Mardi Gras and then, once they came back, went back to their normal hair. And I went back to my normal fuzzy, needing a haircut, self as well too.

And then, probably about six months later, when I moved back to Laurinburg and came home, I decided to clip it and cut it off. Ma saved it for a while and for all I know, it’s liable to still be here in a book or box somewhere. Who knows?

I wonder if I could grow a new rat tail? What would it look like? Nah, maybe not. I was young and crazy then so it was okay, but now I’m getting older and while still crazy, it’s better to pick my spots. My current boss man would have a fit. No, he’d have jokes. Lots and lots of them. Better to just let it slide. Let’s move on.

No, instead of moving on, let’s wrap this up. My thanks for reading. Comments, thoughts, and any questions you may have are welcome and very appreciated. Until the next time, take care and be good. I’ll see you on the next go-round. Happy D.O.D.


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