Southern Humorists


    Reopening negotiations with the North - One Laugh at a time.

Down Home
Good Ol'  Staff
Y'all Come Join
Dixie Dispatch
Get Our Ezine
Humor Shop
Buy Our Books
Our Writers
Theresa Adams
Sherri Bailey
Ben Baker
Shag Baker
Lisa Barker
Renee' Barnes
Mama Kat
Melissa Baumann
Mike Bay
Neal Beard
GL Benton
Mark Berryman
John L. Brazell
Brenda Birmelin
John Brock
Mitch Chase
Carson Cockman
Maxwell Courson
Willis Craik
Kevin Crawford
Steve Darnell
David Decker
Cheryl Dendy
Judy Diamond
Doug Dickerson
Horace J. Digby
Susie Dunham
Irv Eisenberg
Carrie English
Diane Estill
Leeuna Foster
Lisa Friedman
Karin Fuller
Bill Fullerton
Angela Gillaspie
Joe Giorgianni
Cathy Gregor
Tom Hale
Chase Hart
Robert Haught
Ken Hill
Wayne Hunt
Edward Hurst
Neil O. Jones
Phil Jones
Stephen Kramer
Marti Lawrence
Monica M.
Barbara Madden
Alice Masci
Bill Melton
Sheila Moss
George Motz
Mark Motz
Tom O'Brien
Jason Offutt
Ed Owen
J.  Papandrew
Greg Podolski
Rick Rantamaki
Joyce Rapier
Cappy Rearick
Susan Reinhardt
G  Richardson
Elisa Ritter
Tisha Sharp
Dana Sieben
Julie W  Smith
James L. Snyder
Bev Sobkowich
Asa Sparks
Al Speegle
Leon Stewart
Ren Summerlin
BobLee Swagger
Brian  Thompson
David Wayne
Roy P Whittaker
S.D. Youngren
Jest fer Fun!
Possum Hunt
The Word "Girl"
Deer Hunting
Cut the Mustard
Snipe Hunting
Snake Handlin'
Rooster Contest
Redneck Car
Sneaky Snake
Boiled Peanuts 
Tipsy Chicken
Fried Jelly Beans
Marriage Advice
Super Dudes
Summer Fav's
Bacon Grease
Big Butts
Purty Peggy
Tub o' Lard
Dixie Dispatch
Dixie Dispatch
Redneck Lovin'
Diggin' in Dirt
All About Dixie
Critters Varmints
Gooder'n Grits
Southern Autumn
Scared Silly
Piggin' Out
Links & Stuff
Visit Our Sites
HOT HumorLinks
Link Swap
Favorite Toons
Chicken Writer
Say Howdy!
Email a Howdy
Our Policy

Dedicated to Marta Martin  

Tribute to AsA

  Updated 1-2-08




























Harry Potter killed my tomatoes

By Mitch Chase

There's still a brown spot in my vegetable garden, where I had to uproot 20 tomato plants, all victims of a disease that recently surfaced in the Tennessee Valley.

Although the spotted wilt virus caused the ultimate demise of my beloved love apples, the real culprit was another disease that has infected the Valley in recent years: Harry Potter fever.

My 11-year-old son, Roy, is a victim. He idolizes Harry Potter, the fictional British witch-in-training. Aside from Harry Potter books and the movie video, Roy's got Harry Potter dolls, dioramas and posters festooning his room. He's also got Harry Potter T-shirts, underwear and socks, and even brushes his teeth with a Harry Potter toothbrush. He spends hours playing Harry Potter computer games, and also fancies himself an expert on arcane Harry Potter trivia.

So, when I discovered that someone had torched my tomato plants, causing what turned out to be irreparable damage to them, I immediately knew Roy had been acting out some Harry Potter "Hogwarts" rituals with gasoline and matches.

It was an easy call.

When I was his age, I, too, made gasoline bombs. And I also fantasized that I was a fictional British character -- perhaps the greatest of them all.

At the age of 11, I was Bond -- James Bond -- and I had a "license to kill."

I got the "license" at a movie house, a diploma-looking piece of paper promoting the following week's feature, "Dr. No," the first James Bond movie.

I had no idea what it was about, or if I'd even like the movie, but I still paid 35 cents to see it, and it changed my life.

In an era when James Bond is known chiefly as a spy caricature (Austin Powers being the most popular), it may be hard to comprehend that people -- particularly young boys -- took those movies seriously. The so-cool Agent 007, played by actor Sean Connery, was everything I could dream of being: an attaché-case-carrying sophisticate with a wry sense of humor, a magnet for incredibly sexy women with remarkably unlikely names, and a tireless fighter of the forces of evil resourceful to the point of being able to escape certain death on a regular basis.

When I walked out of the theater, the rousing "Dr. No" soundtrack still in my mind, my most prized possession was a movie-house promotional flier -- my "license to kill."

I taped the "license" to a wall of my bedroom closet, which eventually became a shrine to James Bond and the headquarters of my own "spy agency." It was a small outfit, the only two members being myself and a favored uncle -- a World War II Navy fighter pilot with three "kills" to his credit -- who presented me with a long pearly-handled pocket knife that he assured me spies "would use."

Although several James Bond toys soon appeared on the market, a model Aston Martin car with an "ejection seat" being one of the most popular, my collection of Bond accoutrements was small. My prized possession was a plastic "Goldfinger" ring that broke the first time I wore it.

However, living in the country, I was able to carry out my firebombings of imaginary foreign spy headquarters and the like with impunity -- far from the watchful eyes of my parents. Roy had much less room, though, and when his "Hogwarts" rituals went awry, so did my tomatoes. (In their weakened state, they were easy prey for wilt.)

Roy eventually admitted his culpability in the firebombing after being confronted with rather convincing evidence, including the singed condition of his arms.

I let him off easy, though.

It's been years since I last had my "license to kill."

© 2004 Mitch  Chase

* * * * *

Mitch Chase is an award-winning copy editor and columnist for The Decatur (Ala.) Daily. Prior to coming to Decatur, he worked 13 years as a writer and editor for The Daily Journal in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was twice decorated by Venezuelan presidents (one of whom was later impeached). A bilingual speaker, Chase also was a correspondent for foreign publications ranging from Baseball America to The Times of London. Born in Minnesota and raised in Nebraska, Chase was educated in Louisiana, graduating from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) in English-journalism in 1978. A former managing editor of the Houma (La.) Daily Courier, Chase is married to the former Maritza Peñalver of Caracas. They have two children, Dixie Lee, 15, and Roy, 12. His hobbies include woodworking, gardening and barbecue.   

* * * * *

More Funny Columns from Southern Humorists

Home Staff | Join Us | Dixie Dispatch | Links | Humor Shop

"We Cover the Country Like Kudzu"

Copyright 2008 Southern Humorists' Enterprises
Editor - Angela Gillaspie
- Editor - Sheila Moss  - Consulting Editor - Ben Baker
Dixie Dispatch - Angela Gillaspie - - Sheila Moss - Publicity Editor - Leeuna Foster