THE MOST FUCKED UP THING I’VE EVER SEEN: Jimbo Mathus

 

In which Jimbo relates
the story of the breech feast.

 

BY JIMBO MATHUS

 

The most fucked up thing I ever saw is probably also one of
the most interesting and beautiful. At age 17, I located myself in Oktibbeha County at the agricultural college of Mississippi. I enrolled as one of a
handful of philosophy majors that met above the Post Office. Employed also as a
bassist for a local band, I quickly found my way in to an association of
interesting outcasts. 

 

We gravitated toward rural farmhouses, rented at reasonable
rates. These were out among the cattle and dairy cow fields which surrounded
the ag college. Out there, we all met together…artists, writers, con-men,
musicians, shrimp haulers…a general “Island of Misfit Toys”-type scenario in
backwoods Mississippi on the banks of the Tombigbee. Well, we learned of the
strange powers of a certain “magic” mushroom that grew in the fields. These
mushrooms grew in the dank, humid Spring. I ventured to try some one day and
went out walking amongst the hilly fields. 

 

I soon came upon a high hill capped with a beautiful old
ancient oak and heard a bellowing sound, which prompted me to climb the hill to
investigate. As I crested the hill and as the sun was starting to set, I saw a
huge, heaving mother-cow in the throes of birth! She was on her side as the sun
was still hot behind her, and she was breathing heavily as I sat down to
watch…before long, a small nose emerged from the cow’s backside. Then, a
mouth and face of a calf began to appear. 

 

But then – a pointed hoof! Minutes passed. The calf was
breech in the birth canal. The mother was in peril. I realized this and raced
across the field to my house (this was pre-mobile phone) and called the farm
owners on the telephone to tell them their heifer was breeched and in danger of
losing her calf and her life. I went back up the hill, minutes turned to hours
as the sun sank lower and turned into dusk. By now, several of the local
outcasts had accumulated around the exhausted mother-cow, and several more of
the “magic” mushrooms were choked down. The half-birthed calf was now
suffocated. 

 

We took matters into our own hands. We decided by committee
to pull the half-birthed calf out of the mother by way of ropes attached to a
small pickup truck to save the mother’s life. And we did this successfully! The
entire 90-pound calf, we gently removed. One of the locals, whom we’ll call
“Miss Sledge,” exclaims upon seeing this creature pulled out, “90 pounds of
veal on the hoof, boys!” In the darkening, we loaded, field-dressed and
butchered the veal. Fires were prepared, chefs enlisted and a huge feast was
concocted. The mother-cow lived to successfully birth other calves. 

 

Well, needless to say, this has stuck with me all these
years. I remember people leaping over the bonfire later that night with huge
leg bones of beef as the black sky hovered over us, a bed of stars above. 

 

You asked…

 

Jimbo Mathus’ latest
album
Blue Light comes out July 17 on
Big Legal Mess Records.  More details:
www.jimbomathus.com

 

 

JIMBO MATHUS – LIVE ON TFTS DELTA MUSIC SHOW 2012

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