An Old Story to Close Out the Old Year

        I’m gonna paraphrase this one, ’cause I like to give folks (even the bad guys) some wiggle room should they choose to accept it.

        One time a young fellow told me (in so many words) “I don’t like it that you have seen some success. I don’t think it’s fair. I want you know I’m better looking than you, more talented, and younger and stronger. If I wanted to I could knock your teeth out of you and there wouldn’t be a thing you could do about it.”  

        I replied, again paraphrased, “Well friend, all that is true. I have no doubt you could kick my a^^. But I’ve got an awful lot of friends. If you knock my teeth outta me, all that’s gonna happen is you’re gonna be down in the jail with the rapists, and I’m gonna get some new teeth, ’cause I’m old and I’ve got good insurance. And if I was to be mad at everyone who’d been more successful than me, why I’d never get through counting the number of new enemies I’d have, ’cause it’d be a big bunch of people.”

        I don’t understand testosterone poising, and never have, even when I was young.

        One time a very powerful man, one I have all respect for, told me he was scared of me.

        I replied, “Scared of me? Man, that’s crazy, I’m scared of you. Why in the world are you scared of me?”

       He said, “I’m always scared of the honest nice guys, ’cause their river runs deep.”

       I still consider it one of the greatest compliments I ever got.

       I’m still scared of him, though, or at least respect him deeply, ’cause his river runs deep too.

       Here’s to a fine upcoming New Year for all of you. If you’ve ever read one word of my thoughts, I do appreciate it, because through art and our friends of like mind, my wife and I found a life of grace and dignity. That was worth every long hour of struggle, ’cause in this modern world grace and dignity can be hard to come by, and we cherish every minute of it we can steal away.

        Oh by the way, I still have the teeth God gave me, and I lost track of that young man. I don’t know where he got off to.

       God bless every one of you.

Dr. B 

Explore posts in the same categories: Holidays, Writing


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6 Comments on “An Old Story to Close Out the Old Year”

  1. GrannyPam Says:

    Well, perhaps he gained some wisdom and is doing OK. Or, maybe not. The best to you and your wife in the new year!

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Granny Pam,

    I’m gonna pray your first guess is right.

    Y’all have a blessed New Year too.

    Dr. B

  3. Felix Miller Says:

    Or that young man ran into someone who was stronger and meaner than he was, and lost his own teeth. There is always somebody stronger than me around, which does not bother me.

    Glad that you have all your teeth, Doc, and hope that the New Year is good to you and your family and includes lots of good bluegrass music. We will set the alarm clock tonight for 11:45 PM, our idea of a big New Year’s Eve.

    • drtombibey Says:


      One time I had to out-maneuver someone who got after a family member. After the one night they spent in jail, they said, “I don’t understand why you have to be so mean.”

      I replied, “No, I’m not mean. You should be thankful you ran into someone who resolves their differences with words instead of guns and tire irons.”

      We plan to spend our New Year’s exactly the same way, Felix.

      You are Barbara save us a place at the writer’s conference table in Chattanooga; we’ll be back.

      Dr. B

  4. Cindy Lou Says:

    If only a night in jail could change everyone who choses to “flex their mean muscle” and try to appear powerful. They are really all just scared inside. Have you ever seen how a scared animal reacts…Same difference!

    • drtombibey Says:


      I don’t think this guy changed, I think he just decided there were easier targets than me. I talked to the Judge a good while. I think he advised the fellow I wasn’t going away and that is was probably in his best interest to do so himself.

      It was good advice.

      Dr. B

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