I recently read that some politicians have gotten into some trouble for using the term “tar-baby.” Apologies were issued and Al Sharpton went back into his condo, foretelling six more weeks of winter.
If you are not familiar with Uncle Remus or the name “tar-baby,” then you’n go off and stick your head in a bucket full o water. For everyone else, I’m sure you are aware of the possible racial implications from using the term. And I think those implications are a bunch of horse hooey. I think tar-baby is a beautiful way to explain how people can get all uppity and put themselves in a bit of a quagmire.
For those of you who are offended or feel like you should be offended, I’ve changed the story so that we can get back to making analogies about the War on Terror without offending anyone who doesn’t know whether or not to be offended or not. Let's let Whitey take it on the chin.
Brer Rabbit and the Marshmallow Fluff Baby
Retold and unkindly edited by Doug from a story retold by Joel Chandler Harris
One day Brer Fox thought of how Brer Rabbit had been cutting up his capers and bouncing around until he'd come to believe that he was the boss of the whole gang. Brer Fox thought of a way to lay some bait for that uppity Brer Rabbit.
He went to work and got some Marshmallow Fluff and mixed it with some corn syrup. He fixed up a contraption that he called a Marshmallow Fluff-Baby. When he finished making her, he put a straw hat on her head and sat the little thing in the middle of the road. Brer Fox, he lay off in the bushes to see what would happen.
Well, he didn't have to wait long either, 'cause by and by Brer Rabbit came pacing down the road--lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity--just as sassy as a jaybird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit came prancing along until he saw the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby and then he sat back on his hind legs like he was astonished. The Marshmallow Fluff-Baby just sat there, she did, and Brer Fox, he lay low.
"Good morning!" says Brer Rabbit, says he. "Nice weather we're having this morning," says he.
Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't say a word, and Brer Fox, he lay low.
"How are you feeling this morning?" says Brer Rabbit, says he.
Brer Fox, he winked his eye real slow and lay low and the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't say a thing.
"What is the matter with you then? Are you deaf?" says Brer Rabbit, says he. "Cause if you are, I can holler louder," says he.
The Marshmallow Fluff-Baby stayed still and Brer Fox, he lay low.
"You're stuck-up, that's what's wrong with you. You think you're too good to talk to me," says Brer Rabbit, says he. "And I'm going to cure you, that's what I'm going to do," says he.
Brer Fox started to chuckle in his stomach, he did, but Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't say a word.
"I'm going to teach you how to talk to respectable folks if it's my last act," says Brer Rabbit, says he. "If you don't take off that hat and say howdy, I'm going to bust you wide open," says he.
Marshmallow Fluff-Baby stayed still and Brer Fox, he lay low.
Brer Rabbit kept on asking her why she wouldn't talk and the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby kept on saying nothing until Brer Rabbit finally drew back his fist, he did, and blip--he hit the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby on the jaw. But his fist stuck and he couldn't pull it loose. The fluff held him. But Marshmallow Fluff-Baby, she stayed still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.
"If you don't let me loose, I'm going to hit you again," says Brer Rabbit, says he, and with that he drew back his other fist and blap--he hit the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby with the other hand and that one stuck fast too.
Marshmallow Fluff-Baby she stayed still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.
"Turn me loose, before I kick the natural stuffing out of you," says Brer Rabbit, says he, but the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby just sat there.
She just held on and then Brer Rabbit jumped her with both his feet. Brer Fox, he lay low. Then Brer Rabbit yelled out that if that Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't turn him loose, he was going to butt her crank-sided. Then he butted her and his head got stuck.
Brer Fox walked out from behind the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit, looking as innocent as a mockingbird.
"Howdy, Brer Rabbit," says Brer Fox, says he. "You look sort of stuck up this morning," says he. And he rolled on the ground and laughed and laughed until he couldn't laugh anymore.
By and by he said, "Well, I expect I got you this time, Brer Rabbit," says he. "Maybe I don't, but I expect I do. You've been around here sassing after me a mighty long time, but now it's the end.
And then you're always getting into something that's none of your business," says Brer Fox, says he. "Who asked you to come and strike up a conversation with this Marshmallow Fluff-Baby? And who stuck you up the way you are? Nobody in the round world. You just jammed yourself into that Marshmallow Fluff-Baby without waiting for an invitation," says Brer Fox, says he. "There you are and there you'll stay until I fix up a brushpile and fire it up, "cause I'm going to barbecue you today, for sure," says Brer Fox, says he.
Then Brer Rabbit started talking mighty humble.
"I don't care what you do with me, Brer Fox, says he, "Just so you don't fling me in that briar patch. Roast me, Brer Fox, says he, "But don't fling me in that briar patch."
Brer Fox says, "OK," and cooked the Brer Rabbit over a fire and et the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby for desert.
I always thought that Rabbit was a little too cocky.
Quagmire is one of my favorite words!! And your use of it has well pleased me. Once again. A classic.
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