Rudy the Rooster and his Boosters

imageThe Austins lived just across the pasture from us. Jody Austin “drank.” In our neck of the woods, “drinking” meant a man was considered disreputable, prone to beat his wife and children, and probably didn’t work. It sounded a lot like today’s alcoholic. Jodie qualified magnificently. It was rumored that he had shot a man in a bar. Folks left Jody alone. Every Saturday night Jody hosted his “drinking” buddies for a binge. The festivities started with a huge bonfire. As they sat around on barrels, old cars, and broken lawn chairs, they tossed their cans out in the darkness. They got louder, sometimes had a friendly fight, occasionally rolling all around the fire, finishing off with a little singing…a treat for all the neighbors.

Jody and his gang of rowdies got sufficiently drunk, they started crowing trying rouse the rooster! Jody had a fine crowing voice, but roosters are territorial, determined to keep their harem to themselves. Since roosters habitually are “early to bed and early to rise,” it usually took about four tries to get Rudy the Rooster going.  His initial response was usually half-hearted and anemic. Roo-ooh- ooh-ooh-ooh-oooooh. He obviously needed his rest. Jody’s buddies took a turn crowing. Rudy was riled now and ready for a rooster fight, but couldn’t find a single rooster to whip. The partiers thought this was high humor. They all took turns crowing. After a particularly authentic crow, Rudy called back “ROOH-OOH-OOH-OOH-OOOOOOH!!!” The longer the competition went on, the madder Rudy got. He must have hated Saturday nights and drinking.

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20 thoughts on “Rudy the Rooster and his Boosters

  1. We had a mister Robertson that lived across the street. We were in Alabama which was a dry state at the time. So his drinkin’ was generally moonshine either from a still he had hid somewhere in his backyard or someone else’s. I don’t think he had friends to drink with because when he drank, he got mean.
    I played with his daughter Claudette, a year or two older than me, who also had a brother my age. I don’t believe I ever saw her mother but once. I’d lived in California at the time, so it was my first experience with this sort of thing, but if you recall scouts expression in “to Kill A Mockingbird” when her brother was crawling through the fence and she heard the shotgun go off? That was me.
    When I heard shots fired, my eyes went wide and grandma says, “Mr. Robertson’s a drinkin’ again. In a minute you’ll be seein’ Mrs. Robertson and them thare kid’s comin’ up the road” Sure enough, they did moments later they’d come scurryin’ into town.
    Where they went I never knew, but I didn’t ask either. Even as a kid, I must’ve realized it was an embarrassing situation and kept my inquiring mind quiet. I liked Claudette and never wanted to make her feel bad. I did learn though, that every weekend would be the same.

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