Why Hillbillies Make Good Marines

Dear Ma & Pa,

Am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt & Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before maybe all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt & Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, they git warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings.

Like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc…, but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie, and other regular food. But tell Walt & Elmer you can always sit between two city boys that live on coffee.

Their food plus yours holds you till noon, when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much. We go on “route” marches, which the Platoon Sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it is not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys gets sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice, but awful flat. The Sergeant is like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. is like the school board.

Majors & Colonels just ride around & frown. They don’t bother you none. This next will kill Walt & Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk and don’t move. And it ain’t shooting at you, like the Higgett boys at home.

All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don’t even load your own cartridges.

They come in boxes. Be sure to tell Walt & Elmer to hurry & join before other fellers get into this setup & come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,


Why do some sausages have meat at one end and corn meal at the other?
Because it is hard to make both ends meat

I’m not saying that the customer service in my bank is bad, but when I went in the other day and asked the clerk to check my balance … she leaned over and pushed me

Q: What do you give a seasick elephant?

A: Plenty of room.


Q: What did Cinderella say when her photos did not show up?

A. Some day my prints will come

A small child with a bad cough was taken by her parents to a hospital emergency room. A nurse, examining the child’s lungs with a stethoscope, told the child, “I have to see if Barney is in there.” “I have Jesus in my heart,” the child replied. “Barney is on my underwear.”

Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and, shall we say, love.
The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been, there was a hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side. His left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby, striped type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, and even his shoulders. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!!!”
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same reaction.
If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around your feet in forgiveness.
Whenever he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor’s dogs. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.
As I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. It must be hurting him terribly, I thought. Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring.
Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion. At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.
Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply — to give my total to those I cared for.
Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, and beautiful — except for me. I will always try to be Ugly.