CHILI DAWGS ALWAYS BARK AT NIGHT by Lewis Grizzard
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CHILI DAWGS ALWAYS BARK AT NIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If it's fall, it must be time for that good old boy Grizzard to bring forth his annual harvest of offhand essays indifferently culled from his syndicated columns. There are, as usual, a few juicy pieces packed with an abundance of culls that might better have been set aside. ""This,"" says the author, ""would be a good book to put into your guest bathroom."" For Georgian Grizzard, knock-kneed clowning with all the verve and wit of such classic bib-overalled humorists as the late Billy Carter comes easily. We hear lots about his squirrel-chasing dog, Catfish; his failed marriages; his golf game; his stepbrother, Ludlow Porch; and his buddy, Weyman C. Wannamaker, Jr. There's a smidgen of bathos (""I think little Eddie was fourteen when he got killed""). Add to this more than a slight odor of agrarian xenophobia. (When the Japanese buy Nashville, he expects they'll be singing, ""I may be a Nip, but I shoot from the hip. . ."" Or ponder a misfired aside regarding ""Famous People with Flat Noses."") It's all done up in regional parlance, with references to ""cute little boogers,"" folks named ""Bubba,"" and fundamentalist Baptists (a ""group that enjoy burning books and don't wave at each other at liquor stores""). Forget grammar. The nonchalant buffonery, to be fair, comes off at least half the time. It's all too facile, though, and the collection cries out for a little editing and a lot more effort. Grizzard reports that once, when he missed too many free throws, observers told him he was ""all hat, no cattle."" That may not be quite right. A bovine flavor isn't entirely missing; this lazy cowboy can often be found tossing the bull.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Villard/Random House