Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bouie River Rats

We are the Bouie River Rats,
better known as the DDT.
Comprised of Dino, Thorn, and Hern,
We are the mighty three.

The photo above was taken on the Bouie river just north of Hattiesburg, MS. It is a popular canoeing river in the area today, but when I was a teen, it was mostly wilderness and not a real popular destination. The verse below the picture is the first stanza of a poem I wrote in high school to chronicle the existence of the DDT. The DDT was a mutual protection club with three members, Dennis, Dale, and Theron. The poem heralds our chosen nicknames, Dino, Thorn, and Herngolian. We were average sized teens by any standard. However, there were in our high school, boys who looked forty. They were big, and many were prone to take advantage of their size by terrorizing the lesser males in the pack. On friday and saturday nights, these monsters could be found congregating at several fast food locations around town. Lesser males who wandered into these protected territories often left with visible reminders of their visits. We decided to take to the woods on nights when we had nothing better to do than make the rounds. In the bylaws of the DDT was a provision for a particular type of alarm cry (a modified Tarzan yell), which we practiced, to be utilized if we found ourselves separated from the group at school and confronted by superior force. Although I don't recall ever having to use it, there was comfort in knowing we could. The members of the DDT were to drop whatever they were doing and follow the call to arms. Theron's folks owned a small neighborhood grocery, and his uncle was a butcher there. He would provide us with steaks to take with us on our adventures, and we would all bring supplies for an overnight visit to the woods which surrounded the Bouie River. We swam, shot turtles, told stories, built a big fire and cooked our tucker. Staying alone overnight in the woods was proof enough of our manhood. We are still friends today.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
- PJ O'Rourke