I guess I’ll always remember where I was when they killed me on national TV, right after (he Maybelline commercial. I guess we all will. Who couldn’t remember the look on (he High Sheriffs face when he said, “Joe Bob’s dead!” I know a lot of people ran through the streets of downtown Dallas, screaming hysterically:
“The drive-in critic’s dead!” “Oh my God Joe Bob is history!”
“He’s outta here!” “
He owed me 20 bucks!”
Stuff like that. Even though the High Sheriff was arrested at the scene by TV reporters with bad hair, there were immediate rumors of an international Communist conspiracy, the “three-gun theory,” the “act of God theory,” the bizarre “one-gar-bonza theory” and the “What would happen if you dropped Joe Bob Briggs off a seven-story building and watched him splat-ter all and epavement?” theory.
Course, I immediately called personal lawyer, Bubba Barclay, and I said, “Bubba, how dead am I?”
And Bubba said, “I don’t know, let’s go over to Parkland Emergency and find out.”
So me and Bubba fired up the Toronado and hauled it up Stem-mons Freeway, topped out at a good 35, 40 miles an hour, and, course, when we got there it was pandemonium. The first thing I did, I jumped out of the car and grabbed this old crippled guy with IVs hangin out of his arms, and I blinked back tears, and I said to him, “How do you spell pandemonium?”
And he told me and I went on inside and tried to revive me. It was not a pretty sight. The whole right side of my face was ripped off and sewed on my stomach. My eyeballs were stuck on the back of my knees. All the interns were standin around saying, “Hey! You! Want a hit of this stuff?” There were guys with walkie-talkies running all over the hospital, screaming, “We have to find somebody that knows the Drive-In Oath! We have to find somebody before this gets to Moscow.”
Course, it was already too late. I guess the saddest story, the kind of thing that just makes you sick, is when they announced the news to an elementary school class in the little Communist Russia town of Vladi-tube-sock. Hearing that Joe Bob was dead, 6- and 7-year-olds cheered.
All over eastern Mesquite, children were sent home from school. In Fort Worth, junior high school students were asked to write essays on the topic, “Joe Bob Briggs: Who Gets All His Money?”
Out here at the trailer park, we had candlelight vigils till 2 a.m., which is the time we burned down three mobile homes from letting drunks carry the candles.
Pope John Paul II was so grief-stricken that he refused to comment.
All over the world people were asking the question, “Why? Why this senseless tragedy? Who’s next? Wayne Newton?” Other people were asking the question, “Huh?”
How did it happen? people been asking me. What the heck, who the heck, and heck.
It was all for one simple reason: / wanted to do something for poor little starving nek-kid African kids.
I know it’s not a popular cause. I coulda picked something easy, like starting a cable-TV network for the Ayatollah. But that’s just the kinda guy I am. Yes, it’s true. I wrote We Are the Weird. I didn’t even want credit for it. I’d be just as happy if I never saw a penny from it and all the money went straight to my four ex-wives. It was just something I wanted to do. Most of the money was gonna go to building a chain of Wyatt’s Cafeterias in every nation of Africa. The rest was gonna be spent on buying basketball scholarships to the University of Houston for every Ethiopian child that wanted one.
Hey, call me sentimental, call me hokey, call me a guy that sleeps in his underwear. You know, in this Easter season, I like to reflect on the meaning of life-which is “43.”
But the times we’re living in, you can’t try to help people anymore. First the National Organization of Bimbos tries to wipe Joe Bob off the face of the earth for saying I’m opposed to slapping women around like dead mackerels, unless it’s necessary to the plot. Then every Pentecostal preacher in Mississippi and all my fellow Babtists give me a “F” for writing the Gospel According to Joe Bob (“Life is a fern bar, let’s get outta here”). All my Meskin friends in Corpus Christi turn against me, even though I love the Meskin people, specially the ones that sneak in. The Catholics write in about how my head should be blown off in a Christian manner. Lester Dimskim writes in cause I called him “the stupidest Lester I ever met.”
But I guess what hurts the most is when the Brothers turned against me. Me, the first guy to write about the Negro-dancing spin-on-your-head permanent-brain-damage musical. Me, the guy who watched Roots three times and learned to pronounce the ancient African term “colored people.” Me, the guy who wrote a song for poor starving helpless nekkid black kids.
When 250 individuals of the black persuasion came down to the Dallas Crimes Herald and said, “No, we don’t wanna go to the Fairmont Hotel where we can all see, we wanna do it the stupid way and crowd everybody in a little room where they explain the Crimes Herald dental insurance plan,” which by the way is a pretty decent plan, I knew I was probly gonna die. Here are the protesters’ demands:
Numero uno: “We want Joe Bob Briggs to become a black person.”
Yeah, they got me on that one. I never have done that.
Numero two-o: “Joe Bob Briggs wrote ’stupid Negroes’ once and ’stupid white people’ only TWICE in that column. We insist this inequality be corrected.”
Hey, fair’s fair.
Numero three-o: “We are not satisfied with the Crimes Herald putting a notice on Page One that said ’Joe Bob Briggs is the scum of the earth and we the High Sheriffs want him turned into a Sunkist Tuna.’ The Crimes Herald needs to make him dead.”
You know, “dead” is one of those words that makes you stop and think. It made me stop and think, specially after I was dead.
Numero four-o: “We resent Joe Bob Briggs dedicating the proceeds from We Are the Weird to the United Negro College Fund.”
OK, but a Negro mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Numero five-o: “Joe Bob Briggs has cooties.”
Hey, I don’t have to take that remark. In fact, there is something that makes me p.o.ed about all this. There’s one thing the Crimes Herald did that is absolutely unforgivable. I’m sorry, I’m trying to forget it, but I just can’t.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, when the Crimes Herald put me on the Front Page as an official racist and bigot, they put Henry Lee Lucas at the top and me at the bottom. All Henry Lee did is say he’s a mass murderer, so what the heck is the explanation?
I’m sorry, it bothers me. Sure, I can find other papers to print “Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-in.” They love me in Grambling, Louisiana. But it just won’t be the same.
I wanna leave you now with a few “miracle” facts of world history:
1. Lincoln and Kennedy were both assassinated on a Friday. Joe Bob was assassinated on a Tuesday. Makes you think.
2. Lincoln and Kennedy were both succeeded by a man named “Johnson.” Joe Bobwas killed by a High Sheriff named Tom Johnson.
3. Lincoln and Kennedy put their pants onone leg at a time. Joe Bob puts his on twolegs at a time.
4. Lincoln and Kennedy never could get alaugh either.