Leverett Butts - Musings of a Bored English Teacher

Occasional web log from Southern writer Leverett Butts.

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Location: Temple, Georgia, United States

English Professor in Georgia. Writer of Southern lit

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Several of you have asked about where you can get some more of my fiction.

My latest story, "Negative Space", has been published in The GSU Review. If you would like a copy, contact the editor, Dan Marshall, at martah@mindspring.com. Tell him I sent you, and he'll send you a copy of the magazine. I do not know, however, if he'll charge you the cover price and shipping costs, but if he does be prepared to dish out five bucks per copy plus shipping and handling.

And, hey, if you like the story, lemme know below.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Music has always been a problem for me. When I was a teenager, I got in more accidents because I couldn't quite grasp the complexity of raising the volume or changing the channel on my radio while keeping the car at a steady speed and/or between the yellow and white lines on my side of the road. My ability to safely navigate my life while enjoying my music has not gotten better as the years have progressed.

Indeed, this morning on my way to work, I had another accident. I ran right smack into my adulthood, and it was painful.

As is usually the case when these accidents happen, my music was to blame. For instance the last time I ran up against my adulthood was about six years ago when I was teaching ninth grade English. After school, I had to remain in my classroom because the busriders had to stay there until their buses were called. During this time I'd generally sit at my desk and grade papers or read the next day's lesson and prepare my lecture notes. I usually listened to a cd while doing this as it helped speed the time along.

One day as I was doing this Will Eidson, one of my young proteges, walked over.

"Hey Mr. Leverett," he asked, "who's that you're listening to?"

"The Cure," I replied.

"The Who?"

"No, The Cure."

"Huh?" My joke had fallen flat (a not uncommon phenomenon with my ninth graders).

"The Cure" I continued. "I'm listening to the Cure. You know Robert Smith? Tall dark and gloomy guy with too much make-up? This stuff was great when I was in high school."

I might as well have been speaking Swahili.

Will shrugged his shoulders and shook his head as he wandered off to join his classmates. "Must be some kind of old people's music," he muttered as he left.

I couldn't bring myself to listen to any more that afternoon.

My latest collision, though, happened, as I said, this morning on my way to work. I find that my propensity for speeding tickets and wrecks due to my listening habits has not abated over the years. Additionally, listening to music while I drive also encourages me to smoke more, though I'm not sure why. I have, therefore, tried for the last three years to curb my music habit while operating heavy machinery. I listen instead, to books on tape, AM talk radio, or NPR (which is, in itself, a minor scrape with adulthood).

This morning I couldn't get either 90.1, the local NPR station, or the AM stations to come in very well and my cd player had low batteries, so my audiobook was out. I had no choice, I realized but to listen to the radio. Fortunately, I had no smokes and my seat belt was in perfect working order, so I pulled into the road and tuned my radio to 94.1.

It was crap. Nothing but teenage girly-girls and wannabe tough boys with falsetto voices and a heavy beat.

I tried another channel.

Somebody was screaming to me about how the world was a cesspool all the people merely salmonella germs swimming around.

Next, a gangsta wanted to pop a cap in me and sleep with my daughter in my living room (my lack of female progeny notwithstanding). I found this proposition somewhat disturbing and changed the channel.

More crap.

Talentless boy band.

An indecipherable wall of noise.

Nothing but crap wherever I turn.

Finally, though, I found a station that had some halfway decent music on it. I heard some Police, Old-school Elton John, The Beatles, Rolling Stones; I even heard a Cure tune. It was just like heaven and I couldn't be happier.

Then my heart sank as the station identification spot ran.

"Thank you for listening to B98.5. All soft adult-contemporary. Good tunes without all the nonsense."

I almost had to pull over and cry.

Talk radio, NPR, and Adult Contemporary.

I've become my father.

I've become my father.

Heaven help me, I've become my father.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Today is my wife's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Tina.



Thursday, February 19, 2004

Today's Top Story:

Animal Rights Gone Far Astray

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Hooray for lunch!!

My wife makes the best roast pork sandwiches around. The secret, you see, lies in thin slices stacked crosswise on the bread with healthy helpings of mayonnaise and whole wheat bread. Eat it with cucumber slices and an RC Cola, and you're transported directly to lunchtime heaven. MMMM.

I think I need a nap now. See you all tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I'd just like to take a moment to congratulate young Zach Davis, the newest offspring of my old friend Rob Davis, on his christening Sunday. Way to go, Zach, Not only did you not cry when the minister sprinkled water on you, you bravely resisted the urge to give tit-for-tat and sprinkle water on the minister. We're all very proud.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Look, guys, the latest sign of impending apocalypse:

Jack Nicholson is giving up on random, free-range sex.

In Other News:

Baretta claims the Godfather's son did it.

File This Under "Well, What the Hell Did You Expect, You Fucking Shit-for-Brain?:"

British station ITV is upset because Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols used profanity on the air.

No Kidding?

Next thing you know, Tito'll be accused having no talent.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Happy Groundhog's Day

According to Punxsutawney Phil there's going to be six more weeks of winter.

Here in the South, however, General Lee has predicted an early spring.

To my readers north of the Mason Dixon line, I have this to say: