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The Kudzu Caper

Posted Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 7:24 AM

Ace Ventura has nothing on the feared Kudzu Hunter!
The date: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007

The time: 10 a.m.

The place: Behind A-Z Muffler, Dexter. Mo., pop. 7,500

The task: Identify and bring back samples of kudzu.

The force: Minnie's Bodacious Bloggers - Madeline, Goat Lady, Minnie O'Pausal, Ducky, Cake Lady, and one white Nubian-Boer cross goat named Petunia.

The equipment: Yellow 30-inch loppers, a yellow plastic Dollar General bag, leather gloves, knee-high camoflage snake boots, hunting vests with pockets, sunglasses, Aussie bush hats and jaunty grins.

Armed with a photograph of the kudzu vine (much feared for its habit of swallowing whole villages), the six fearless kudzu fighters moved cautiously along the riverbed, searching for the telltale signs of kudzu infestation.

Suddenly, Ducky spied a suspicious pile of vegetation. The intrepid explorers quickly surrounded the unidentified flora. Madeline seized an unwieldy vine and held it up for inspection.

"Oh, my mackerel!" exclaimed Goat Lady. "Do you think this is it?"

Minnie whipped out the photograph and held it up for comparison.

Twelve eyes (two of which were goat) inspected the questionable greenery.

"Let's review the checklist!" said Cake Lady, whipping out her magnifying glass. "It's green! (check) It's climbing! (check) It has three leaves! (check) Is it covering everything?"

"Wellllll, not really," said Ducky.

"Whatta ya mean - not really?!" shouted Madeline, as she disappeared in a mass of swirling vines. "Get me loose!" It appeared that several snake-like tendrils had fastened themselves tightly about her arms and legs. She fought bravely with the yellow loppers, but the vegetation was definitely getting the upper hand...er, leaf....

"Attack, Petunia!" shouted Goat Lady, grabbing a lopper and leaping into the fray. Cake Lady, Minnie, and Ducky rushed to the aid of their fellow bloggers and their goatly companion, who was chomping down on the vines in a frenzy of frantic footwork.

Cake Lady attacked from the left. Minnie attacked from the right. Ducky attempted to outflank the (alleged) kudzu with a flying leap from above, drop-kicking it into the creek.

Petunia became so enraged that she lost her balance and leaped over the creek in pursuit of the giant clump of tangled vines; however, she was very nearly hit by a passing motorist returning home from the Stoddard County Fair. Fortunately for the bedraggled bloggers, a kindly policeman stopped his patrol car and helped them retrieve the confused goat.

Returning to the creek bed, the bloggers discovered that the giant clump of vines was GONE!

"Great Jumping Kudzu!" shouted Minnie. "Don't tell me that we have inadvertently unleashed the green menace upon the unsuspecting citizens of this noble town?"

It was only too true: By cutting the vines and allowing them to congregate into a multitudinous conglomeration, the bloggers had unwittingly created a mobile mass of evil kudzu, which could roam the city at will, attacking innocent citizens.

Our five weary bloggers packed up their kudzu-fighting paraphenalia and made their way home, knowing full well that they would return one day to continue the battle against this alien plant, which threatens the very existence of life as we know it.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Dang-it stinks to have to be at work while others are having an adventure!

Did you at least treat your weary bloggers to some delicious funnel cake at the Fair?

I hope you got some great pictures,and with Photoshop,our cyberpals can look as we imagine them-Demi Moore in GI Jane,Charlie's Angels-ish,Bond Girl with clothes on,you know,not scraped up,beat down by opening Kudzu's Box on Dexter!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 8:54 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
The next time we mobilize to fight the creeping kudzu menace (which, I have no doubt is lurking in the creek bed, awaiting nightfall to leap out of hiding and attack innocent Dexterites) we will come to your place of business, Yellow Rose, and KIDNAP, HIJACK, and otherwise FORCEFULLY COERCE you into going with us!!

Hairy Eyeballed Boss beware!!!

(By the way, dear Editor Mr. Greer, thank you for that cute cutline for the photo, which - by the way - was taken by our own glorious Minnie 'O herself!!)

The Cake Lady is rested and prepared to mobilize with replenished supplies! The kudzu battle will be won! INNOCENT CITIZENS FEAR NOT! Tomorrow is another day! Yellow Rose - you must take leave of your job and join the force. And, alas, there will be no stopping at the Fair for funnel cake - not as long as the Cake Lady is around! Petunia - rest up, dear pet, and join us at first light!

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 12:53 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
We shall regroup for the counter attack! This time, we may even employ the forces of a kudzu expert!!

I was not completely sure that we had the right vine, until I saw (and felt!) its awesome capabilities! Such a loathsome, insidious plant would have to be none other than the world-feared...

(music, please)

KUDZU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Arggggg!) (Innocent citizens screaming in the background)

That is the way sin works, you take your eyes off of Christ and sin raps it's ugly arms around you and it takes a lot of energy and prayer to get loose.

-- Posted by rusty nail on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 4:38 PM

Right on target, as usual, Rusty Nail....

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 5:25 PM

At this juncture, Ladies, I will gracefully bow out of this whole kudzu dialogue. Writer that I am, I simply cannot measure up to the hilarious dialogue put forth by the likes of goat lady, minnie, cake lady, etal.

But I'll be watching! May the good Lord watch over you, too, in your pursuit of the devilish kudzu demon.

-- Posted by peachpal on Fri, Sep 21, 2007, at 12:31 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
We shall keep you posted, Peachpal! Keep watch, however, as we may need reinforcements for our next foray into the unknown jungles of downtown Dexter....

Ok. I'm rested up now and ready to go again. Put me in, Coach, I'm ready to play!

-- Posted by Ducky on Fri, Sep 21, 2007, at 12:51 PM

Oh, but that I had been called upon for this devilish, dutiful endeavor. Gladly would I have supplied any and all ammunition needed in the feared, though possibly futile fight against this most malicious monster.

Surely, Minnie in all her miniscule, albiet momentous wisdom, Madeline in all her might, Cake with all her....hmmmmm...cakeness, Goat Lady in all her glory and Ducky in all her dudish drollery...can in time manage to manhandle this kudzo querie.

I am at your disposal, Mad Woman, Madeline.

-- Posted by bringwine on Fri, Sep 21, 2007, at 8:15 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I am greatly heartened to hear that my forces are at the ready! Bringwine, we shall employ your formidable intellect to help us devise a strategy for the counter-attack!

We should be ready to mobilize by Monday, 9/24/07. If you use your cellphones in the area, be sure to speak in code, as I have it on good authority that the tangled mass of kudzu vines is a sentient being of an alien nature. This would certainly account for its cleverness in evading capture - and its uncanny ability to creep up behind unsuspecting citizens. No need to describe the horrible condition of the bodies dragged into the creekbed...

Once more, Minnie's Bodacious Bloggers will rise to the occasion and fight the good fight!

All for one and one for all!!!

Once more, into the breach!

Tippycanoe and Tyler, too!

Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!

Remember the Alamo!


I see Madeline that you were all geared up for your big kudzu adventure.

Eye wear to protect you from blinding kudzu emissions. A flack jacket to shield you from kudzu kamikazes. White jeans so you'd be lit up like a flair for a search party in case you were trapped by a kudzu ambush. Heavy duty kudzu kickin' boots (with soft soles so you could sneak up on the kudzu). A Steve Irwin model kudzu huntin' hat. Special gloves impervious to kudzu piercing. And a self-protection anti-kudzu slicing and dicing device.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sat, Sep 22, 2007, at 1:21 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
No expense is too great for this fight-to-the-death in the Kudzu Wars, FJGuy. I'm glad that you appreciate the care with which I and my advisors equipped ourselves for this great expedition into the heart of equitorial Dexter.

Still, despite all our preparation and planning, the mobile menace escaped us. However, we shall continue the fight! We shall fight in the streets! We shall fight in the alleys! We shall fight in the check-out lanes of the local minimarts!

We may have lost the battle, but we shall not lose the war! Our Steve Irwin hunting hats will not let us down!!

Where did you all say that Kudzu came from? Was it China? You should see it in Eastern Kentucky where I grew up. It covers everything?

And Armadillos, how did they get here? If you find a live one in the Kudzu let us see a picture. I have only seen them as road kill. They have to be hiding in the Kudzu somewhere.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Sep 22, 2007, at 8:23 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
My source indicated Japan and China as the source for kudzu, but it sure likes this country! I guess it's like many of our immigrants -- they like it better here than they do at home...

Oh, dear! You've mentioned armadillos!! I may not be able to resist posting my favorite picture of an armadillo that I chased around Advance for about an hour! I made a special trip back into town for that encounter.

You know you live in a small town, when the local reporter gets a call at home from City Hall to come get pictures of an armadillo!

Does this mean that the kudzu has sensed that it is being besieged so it has joined forces not only with the rattlers for protection, but with mad digging armadillos? Sounds like the plot of a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Humm ... could be. The Birds was set in Bodega Bay, California that had a population of about 1,000 people, and Advance has ....

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Sep 24, 2007, at 5:01 PM

Thank goodness the city of Advance is mystically protected by feral packs of yellow labs! This keeps you from being overan by the armadillo posse that makes it way up the Castor and Hwy.25 from Arkansas.

If the dogs weren't there,you could no longer have gardens,yards or fields,and soon the township would be a large leper colony and of course the local cathouse-Sundog Sanctuary.

Does the Castor contain any biochemical oddities (other than the local recipe brewed up at Aquilla)that could cause these possums on the half shell to become like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,Scooby Doo,or Planet of the Apes?

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Mon, Sep 24, 2007, at 6:19 PM

Maybe it is hardshell opossum, makes more sense than half shell.

I know that I like Armadillo in long neck bottles. A few of those and I will help you with eradication of the Kudzu and all the critters in it.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Sep 24, 2007, at 7:43 PM

I'm ready! Where is everyone?

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Tue, Sep 25, 2007, at 3:41 AM

Oh, my stars! I must have been napping after my late night spa party in the big city! I had no idea I was missing action on the kudzu site!!

Biochemical oddities in the Castor?! Heaven forbid that our mobile mass of evil kudzu should connect up with THAT!!

Cake lady, so fortunate that you were on guard in the wee hours of the morning to sound the alarm!

Ducky, where are you? We have a triple threat affecting the area - mobile kudzu, mutant armadillos, and biochemical oddities!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Sep 25, 2007, at 8:07 AM

Mr.Truthy- I think the joke "possums on the half-shell" is a take on oysters on the half-shell.Most Stoddard Countians have not seen an armadillo upclose like our fearless Missouri Jones,except,bloated,deceased on the side of the road.

Sorry,it's just funny when my Dad calls them that!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Tue, Sep 25, 2007, at 12:13 PM

A question-is it okay to use the word Possum instead of Opossum, if you don't know if the critter is really Irish?

I guess on St.Pat's day they are all O'Possums.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Tue, Sep 25, 2007, at 12:21 PM

Hey, YR, I like that Irish O'Possum. Good one!

I remember the possum story in the North Stoddard Countian. I laughed and laughed over the "Advance paparazzi."

Heaven forbid that the sentient, mobile mass of kudzu should team up with the armadillos. What a mess. We'd need more than Minnie's Bloggers, one lone goat and a band of feral yellow labs to subdue that unholy alliance.

Quick! To the Batmobile. Oops - Goatmobile?

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Sep 25, 2007, at 12:46 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
You guys are so clever that I can hardly stand it!!! Possums on the half shell, Irish O'Possums, an unholy alliance....

Just when I think our blogs have run out of steam, it's "Thar she blows!" again!!

I, for one, am so thankful that Advance is under the protection of our Feral Lab Pack!

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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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