Ron’s Time Tunnel: It Ain’t Slick A Damn!



My Dad, “Son of Comet,” had no siblings. Alas, Gramp and Grandaddy had only one child. However, “Son” had several first cousins who fulfilled the roles of “brothers.” This pack of wolf cubs shared tons of adventures “out in the country,” as Gene Brown’s farm and the rest of the old, “Mitchell Grove” community was commonly referred to as. As a matter of fact, their tight bond continued until their deaths, for all of the old wolves have now gone on to that greatest of all adventures: the “afterlife;” “the hereafter;” “the great beyond;” I’m talking ‘bout heaven, heaven, heaven; that old, “everybody talking ‘bout heaven ain’t going there, heaven.” But before they went, them boys made their mark in this world. Many years later, “Son” would relate many of those adventures to the eager ears of his own cubs–me and my siblings.

“Congo,” was “Son’s” first cousin on his daddy’s side. His name, of course, was not really “Congo,”that particular appellation was his sobriquet. I wished that I could tell you how he got this moniker, but I’m afraid I must disappoint, on that matter.  His mother was Aunt Annie Bell.  Now, Aunt Annie Bell’s husband, and “Congo’s” pappy was Uncle Croff who, in my mind, had to be the absolute coolest OLD man who ever existed, but I’ll share more about that dapper fellow in a later post. I also believe that Croff was “Son’s” favorite uncle, but when you think about it, how could he NOT be; “cool ass” Uncle Croff. But “Congo,” he was a horse of another color; what color? I’m not sure. Maybe he was “blue.” He could definitely BE “blue” at times, and I don’t mean melancholy.

“Congo’s” most defining feature, in my view, was his lack of half of his right index finger; his pointer. But the fact that part of that thing was missing, didn’t stop him from pointing it. He liked to wiggle it at us cubs, an action that always managed to send us into nervous giggles. It was weird, but funny at the same time; go figure. “Con,”as he was affectionately called by “Son” and the others, was also thin as a rail. He got that from Uncle Croff for sure. He was thin, but he wasn’t a pushover. He was a “Feist dog;” you know the kind who will bark and growl like they’re going to tear something up, but when “push come to shove,” his heart really isn’t in it. I’m told by a cousin, in that branch of the family, that his older sister, “Sister Babe,” took up for “Con” in many a brouhaha. “Con” would talk trash, start trouble, and then leave it to someone else to do the dirty work. But, what “Con” ALSO was, besides a “Feist dog”, was a master mechanic, he could fix any vehicle. He learned it in the Army. Fear not, “Congo” will be back for more adventures, but for now, I must move on.

Next, in this pack of wolf pups, is the subject of today’s post; “Tadpole,”or “Tat” for short. I think his “tag” derived from the fact that he was the youngest, and therefore the smallest. “Tat” was the son of “Son’s” pappy’s youngest sister, Aunt Babe and her husband, the “jokester,” Uncle Harry. As the youngest of the bunch he was usually at the end of any pranks and hijinks, conjured up by the other devils. In later years, “Tat” was one of the smoothest of these criminals and my favorite.

Every time I saw “Tat,” we went through the same routine; he’d take a boxing stance, crouching a la a light-skinned, super sweet, “Sugar” Ray Robinson; he’d then feint a couple of jabs and uppercuts at my midsection. I’d double over, in REAL anticipation of the FAKE “blows” which, of course, never came. “Tat” also possessed another skill, much more interesting to young cubs than a half-hearted imitation of “Sugar;” he could make his ears move at will. I don’t mean a little wiggle, I mean MOVE; like two “Sugar” Ray Robinsons dancing on the sides of his head!

What “Tat” couldn’t do, at a young age, was cuss. All of the older boys had gotten that “skill” down pat, except “Tat.” So, according to “Son,” “Tat” was standing in front of the mirror one day, brushing and rubbing his hair, in a vain and futile attempt to get it to “lay down” like “Sugar’s.” What he obviously DIDN’T know was that “Sugar” had the help of a product called, “congolene,” a hair straightener gel made from lye!

Using this product, usually resulted in a “slick” hairstyle called a “conk” (from congolene. I wonder if that’s where “Congo’s” name came from, hmmmm.) Well “Tat” didn’t have any of that. All he had was “elbow grease”, and after many minutes, that wasn’t working.

Well, as would happen, the other boys walked in on “Tat” trying to slick his hair down. Laughingly, one of them asked the young cub, “Hey man, is it slick yet?” to which “Tat” stuttered stoically, “Na, Naw man! It, it ain’t slick a DAMN!” The wolves howled that day, for sure!

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS THIS: Some things are just not meant to be, and no matter how hard you try it still AIN’T GONE BE “SLICK A DAMN”! (Come up with your own, if you don’t like mine. I won’t be mad at ya!)


Join us next week for; “CREEK, CAN’T FISH!”

26 thoughts on “Ron’s Time Tunnel: It Ain’t Slick A Damn!

  1. Jet

    Ron, I’m inclined to agree with the views of Gee and others as they interpret your style of writing. I’ve been a staunch reader of your narratives since their genesis. He referenced the similarities in yours and Mark Twain’s work. As Gee stated, the use of detail is amazing in both works. However, Twain’s characters are most likely created, yours are real characters depicting real life events. Many of them I’ve known personally. Even more, the title of this week’s narrative revealed the likeness of your style to the vernacular style of Twain. For example, “It Ain’t Slick A Damn.” This phrase, or similar phrases are widely used in the region of the tale’s origin. As we continue to follow your posts, I believe these views will be substantiated even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I’m not sure that I’m going to say much more than what everyone has already said. But I’ll say this – the experience of reading your words is one in which you want to savour and linger in the words. “Your English aint for Fools” – if I must refer to your previous post. The other experience is how your storytelling makes me laugh – both in the incidents you cite and in the telling. So your imagery certainly makes it come alive.

    The ears moving by themselves – I had a piano teacher in primary(junior) school whose ears would make that dance all by themselves when he played the Piano. Look forward to the next instalment 😀

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Actually, Chevvy, I thought it was an intentional play on words!
          Quite quick-witted actually!
          It’s exactly what I would have expected from you– our dear wordsmith!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I think in homophones too. Here’s a bit of synchronicity. This morning I had to double check that I didn’t use the word ‘rode’ for ‘road’ in the Liebster post. I actually woke up early worried about that. LOL !!!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. ha!ha! well I’m glad I’m not the only one though I haven’t started dreaming about it yet. Caught myself earlier – writing one when I meant won- ludicrous huh!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I have to agree with Geo Gee, you do have an amazing and enticing writing style. What a totally enthralling read. I can’t imagine using a lye based hair product, it must have burned applied on the scalp. What a great post!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I can imagine it would. When I think of lye, it makes me think of my organic chemistry class, where we took lye and a fat and made soap, because of saponification. I love that word – saponification.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I said it once, I’ma say it again, and I’ma keep on saying it – Ron – your writing parallels the late Mark Twain’s to the point if a piece from you and something from him was posted without alluding to the authors – folks would have a time figuring out if you or he wrote it.

    Now back when young boys were tagged “Tadpole” things were a lot simpler laid back and dare I say – healthier than they are now. “Cogolene and conks, – on yeah that was back in a time when men were serious about their everyday appearance – a time where every man wore a suit when steppin out. You got me thinking zoot suit man!

    Uncle Croff! Man I feel like I know him personally. Always talking smack never kicking ass. Good dude though.

    I enjoyed this post immensely but Ron – stop teasing us man! Give us a book my brother. I’m serious – I get into your posts and it’s like I never want them to end.

    You’re good – damn good.. I love this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Gee! Your words are so very encouraging! I truly mean that. You motivate me to higher and higher heights.

      I’m privileged to have you as a comrade in this old writing thing. Thanks brother!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Now you know you ain’t the onliest one right! What did Bobby Womack say about them skeletons coming out the closet chasing you all around the room in “If you think you’re lonely now.”

    I damn shole don’t wanna see mine no more!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks again for the platform Cuz! Thanks for the read also. I also had a “pack” which I “ran” with during my young days. LIke you and yours, we shared many “secrets” and adventures. If the skeletons in my closet started to walk, it would be like Ezekiel’s valley of the “dry bones”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ron, this is hilarious!

    I can imagine your dad and his cohorts running the town. I can really appreciate that because on my mama’s side the grands are ‘stair steps.’ Which, as you know, means we were all born one right after the other. Of course, on my dad side (your mom’s side), I am the middle child between the older cousins and the younger cousins.

    Anyway, me and my maternal cousins got into all kinds of deviltry. We shared many secrets and experiences. To this day, we all know where the skeletons are buried– so to speak. So I love this piece that you have given us today.

    I already know how I am going to use this new phrase that I have learned today, “Ain’t slick a damn!” I am going to apply it to people who THINK they slick but really “ain’t slick a damn!”

    Yasss! I love that application! What do you think?

    By the way, I love the way you applied it as well my love!

    Liked by 2 people

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