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Holiday Wisdom from Jim Crumley

"Son, never trust a man who doesn't drink because he's probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world. They're the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They're usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they're a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can't trust a man who's afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It's damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he's heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl."  The Wrong Case (1975)


  1. Jim Updegraff December 22, 2015

    I find a wee nip of a good single malt scotch before going to bed is good for my digestion and improves my outlook on the human race.

  2. Rick Weddle December 22, 2015

    Hm. Never compared the paging of O’Roarke with an act of contrition.

  3. Bruce McEwen December 22, 2015

    I actually met Jim Crumley, although he was from an era preceding my own, and I took classes from the some of the same profs at University of Montana, in Missoula. Last saw him at the Carnegie Library in Kalispell where Dick Hugo was reading from his new book of poetry, The Right Madness on Skye,” after returning from Scotland. Other literary contemporaries of Crumley were there as well, Bill Kitridge and David Long, as I recall. All dead now, I’m afraid, such a long time ago, the world has changed so much, those guys wouldn’t recognize it, much less approve.

  4. Bruce McEwen December 22, 2015

    Anyhow, The Last Good Kiss, Jms.Crums. best book, was a verse from a Hugo poem… those boys drunk a ton of booze, to be sure, and they sometimes put horns on chaps like me, in those days women actually had some respect for, well, I don’t know what you’d call it, but… for instance Kittridege screwed my old lady and I’ll never forgive the wicked old dog!

  5. Bruce McEwen December 24, 2015

    GRANDMA’S HOLIDAY HOME REMEDIES were subtle. Those little peppermint candy canes, the tiny ones, she put in the bathroom, on a dish on the toilet bowl tank, to freshen your breath after you puked from over-indulgence on food, drink, or what-have-you. And if you got there in time, you could pulverize one with the soapdish on the tank lid and pop the dust in your mouth to instantly absorb the saliva flooding your mouth and quiet the spasms of incipient nausea. Whatever the word is for the opposite of an emitic, the candy cane, Grandma taught me, is it. The longer candy canes she used to stir the whipped cream into her cocoa. She had a million uses for everything.

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