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Hap Collins

Hap is still driving a pickup and drinking non-alcoholic beer. He says he thinks drinking is stupid, expensive, and unhealthy. He has hopes that he and Florida will get back together. He says he loves Leonard but sometimes has trouble with the homosexual aspect because he was taught as a child that homosexuality was perverted.

Hap's dad worked 12 hour days as a mechanic and foundry worker. He didn't have the time or energy to play ball with Hap but he would sit with him at night and study the stars. Sometimes he used the actual names and sometimes he taught the names that he had learned from his father. He knew Bonnie and Clyde and rode with them some but not on any of their crime sprees. He also met Pretty Boy Floyd and once saw Frank James. Hap is not sure if all that is true or not though. Hap last saw his father on Christmas many years ago and he died two weeks later of a heart attack.

Hap complains that he never gets to listen to what he likes on Leonard's radio. Hap likes 60s rock and roll, Leonard likes country. Hap actually likes some of what Leonard listens to but won't admit it to Leonard.

Hap had an Uncle Benny who loved to hunt. He once got lost in the woods and nearly died of exposure and mosquito bites but found his way out by following a dying longhorn. Hap does not like hunting for sport. He thinks that hunting is only permissable for finding food. Hap doesn't even like carrying a gun because he thinks they cause trouble but he is a fantastic shot. He does carry a bat in his truck, though. He took it from a guy who was planning to break Hap's legs with it. Even when he and Leonard are under attack and Hap has one of the men in his sights, he cant just shoot the guy. After the attack, Hap is laid up for three weeks and watches as a dead squirrel decomposes in his yard, he calls the squirrel Bobby.

Hap participated in some civil rights marches in the 60s and was beat up for it some not just for being in them but for being in them and being white.

He reads Michael Moorcock books and likes peanut patties.


Leonard likes his country music, Kentucky Headhunters and Dolly Parton are mentioned but he also likes Zydeco music.

Leonard loves his boyfriend Raul but they just don't fit together well except for sex. Raul calls him Lenny.

Leonard voted Republican.

He was in Jefferson, Texas in 1970.

Leonard has quite an arsenal, a shotgun, a couple of revolvers, and a couple of Winchester 30-30s are mentioned.

He has added a screened in porch to his house that Hap did not know about until he sees it in this book.

Raul-Leonard's Mexican boyfriend. He is from Houston. His parents love him but not the fact that he is gay. He is very thin, Hap calls him dessicated. He loves Gilligan's Island and has most of the episodes on tape. He also enjoys Dr. Pepper.

Charlie Blank-Police lieutenant frien of the boys. He has a new hobby, making hand shadows. He is very upset that Kmart is going out of business. He becomes lieutenant after Hanson goes into a coma. He also lights a cigarette off the smoldering hair of one of Leonard's neighbors after the third fire Leonard sets at the crack house.

Marve Hanson-Police lt. who convinces Hap and Leonard to go looking for Florida. He is still in love with his ex-wife and he loves westerns. He has a car wreck and goes into a coma during the events in the book. His ex-wife is Rachel and his daughter is JoAnna, a teacher in Tyler.

Mr. Trotter-Neighbor of Leonard's who admires thefires Leonard has started.

Jake-LaBorde Police officer.

Bobby Joe Soothe-Murderer who supposedly hanged himself in jail in Grovetown. Florida went there to find out more about the situation and does not return. He was the grandson of country blues guitarist L C Soothe.

Maude Rainforth-Runs the counter of the Grovetown Cafe and helps save the boys after a terrible beating.

Billy and Caliber-Her sons, also known as the Hippo Twins by Hap, and also calls them paisley shirt and bad moustache before he get to know them better.

Clinton and Leon aka scum eye-Guys that Leonard beat up and later befriended. They lost their jobs at the aluminum chair plant and are now watching Leonard's house while he and Hap are away.

Charlene-Bleached blonde, beehive styled police secretary in Grovetown.

Cantuck-Grovetown chief of police and major bigot although deep down he seems honorable. He is very fat and has a badly ruptured testicle. His wife loves Elvis. He had a son who dies of MD.

Gerald Matter-Friend of Hap's who owned a service station in LaBorde.

Tim Garner-Runs a filling station in Grovetown. He met and helped Florida and also helps the boys find a place to stay in town.

Mrs. Garner-Tim's mother who runs a trailer park and had let Florida stay there and now lets the boys move in. She lost a leg working in the lumber mill after her divorce.

Jackson Truman Brown-Tim's highly prejudiced father and big man in town. He pretty much calls the shots in town. He owns a Christmas tree farm, the lumber mill, and Tim's service station.

Reynolds-Police force of Grovetown,very large, very bigoted, and carries Tootsie Roll Pops in his pocket.

Ray Pierce aka bear or graysuit and Draighten aka elephant-Two of Brown's henchmen.

Bacon-Cook for Maude and hides out Hap and Leonard.

Ted Griffin-County sheriff.

Leroy-Klansman killed by Cantuck.

Kevin Riley-Another Klansman.

Mr. Swinger-Hap goes to work for him getting field ready for sweet potatoes.


Hap and Charlie have a long and funny discussion about what is racist and what is politically incorrect.

Grovetown is known for its racist tendencies. A woman was once raped, tarred and feathered, and her vagina was sewed shut by some civic leaders of the town.

Story takes place on the edge of the Big Thicket in East Texas, a particularly thick wooded area.

The subject of Christmas ants comes up quite often, the little ants that seem to show up around Christmas.

This takes place four years after the events of Savage Season.

Hap tells an awful joke about cowboys and another use for watermelon.

Leonard and his love for vanilla cookies comes up often but in this book the cookies are called wafers instead of vanilla cream. Charlie says that Leonard enjoys his cookies the way the dog in the Quick Draw McGraw cartoons enjoyed dog biscuits. I remember those cartoons from my childhood and that dog was hilarious in his enjoyment of his biscuits.


Book opens with Leonard's third fire on the crack house. I would like to hear more about the second one, but, oh well. Hanson threatens Hap and Leonard with jail unless they do him a favor. He wants them to go check on Florida. She has gone to a town called Grovtown to check on a suspected suicide in the jail there. Grovetown is well known for it Klan activities and Hanson is worried but since he and Florida have been fighting, he doesn't want to go check on her himself. Hap and Leonard go but are not well received. They are threatened, beaten, shot at, and nearly killed on more than one occasion. They barely escape with their lives only to return for a showdown after they heal.


From Hap;

He was frantic, like a visiting Methodist preacher who's just realized the head of the household had scooped up the last chicken leg.

Leonard was practicing arson and ass whipping.

Nervous as a goat at a barbecue.

I think he's a fart on the surface, but underneath he smells better.

Smoking like a dry cabbage with a cinder in it.

Florida was looking for a rat to ride and smelled one in Grovetown.

Sometimes you got to wonder if we're all part of the same human race.

He's too dumb to live.

Their heads looked as if they had been boiled and all the hair scraped off.

You could have put your fingers in their eyesockets and used their noggins to bowl a few sets.

Their faces were as warm and friendly as a switchblade.

They look as if on their day off they liked to sit around and wring the necks of puppies, maaybe stick coat hangers up cat's asses and toast them over a fire.

Cold as an Escimo's ass in an igloo outhouse.

You don't fuck with the Big Thicket.

Guys like that might piss on your windshield and let the air out of your tires as soon as look at you.

I had a hard on for the world and no place to put it.

They looked like human bookends for the Adult Western Novel shelf.

It did taste as if it was rubbed under someone's armpit.

Had a tavern tumor.

The sort of smile you give someone you know probably has a short time to live.

Man, I don't think that'll catch on.

Glistened like a fresh licked strawberry freeze pop.

Head hung as if he had just been forced to give all the dogs at the pound a blow job.

We're about as useful here as a spare pecker on a dead hog.

Alcohol is not noted for making someone smarter.

Tighter than a Republican's wallet.

He had a look like a man who'd seen the elephant and seen it well.

He wouldn't get in bed with you unless it was to tie you to it and set it on fire.

Isn't this one hell of a special Christmas

He might as well have been pissing on an oil well fire.

Dropping sugar in front of me until he got me close enough to whack with a swatter.

Hot as devil farts.

All I know, I got from the movies.

You say shit, she acts like you just gave her a mouthful.

Looked weak as a pup with distemper.

Liver was good if you closed your eyes and rinsed your mouth and ate ice cream afterwards.

If there was two feet of water within a hundred miles of me, I'd find a way to fall nose forward into it.

He had a look on his face like we'd just caught him jacking off to a grainy poto of a shaved dog's butt.

Next to picking corn out of pig shit with tweezers, it's the most boring thing in the world.

From Leonard;

I'm starting to sound like a knee-jerk liberal asshole. I been around you too long.

Your mama shit a turd, put a suit on it, and named it you.

Is that your ass following you or are you pulling a trailer?

I don't know if I want to shit or wind my watch.

He was so tight when he blinked his asshole turned inside out.

Hey, it's your dick.

They're proof positive you ought not to let people shoot baskets with your head.

Let's go to Burger King and have breakfast. I feel expensive.

I whupped them like I was dustin a rug.

I'm not going to stand in a separate line just because I got a better tan than someone else.

Macho has been turned into a bad word by turds who act like beasts.

Hope you brought yourself a sack lunch, cause you gonna be here all night.

I didn't say I was the Funniest Nigger in the World, I said I was the Smartest Nigger in the World.

He still has all his Roy Rogers cap guns and stuff.

Hoping to drop your anchor in her ocean?

Sex is always in one way or another the turd in the stew.

You know, Hap, you've never sent me a valentine.

I been clutching at farts but we got to clutch at something.

I been thinking. Careful now, don't hurt yourself.

From Charlie;

Acting like he's got a weight tied to his dick all the time.

When I lose a family heirloom, I go get drunk.

I can't think of nothing I 'd want so bad I'd drink wee wee out of a fruit jar.

Leonard would wade through the fires of Hell with a hand bucket half full of creek water if he thought he was doing the right thing.

He'll be lucky to get a night job shaking doors at the Kroger.

You say something don't quite set right with him, he'll burp a turd and fart his teeth.

Don't try to skin your rabbit and keep it as a pet.

Hap's daddy-You end up having to hit someone, don't just hit him once and don't just hit him to get his attention.

Cantuck-You're about to be the Most Ass-Whupped Nigger in the world.

I don't give a flying shit if she's his Siamese twin and she left town with his left nut in her pocket.

Tim-He'll make the music crawl up your butt and play with your kidneys.

So spicy, you eat one, you'll be able to do a pushup with your dick.

It comes a good rain you can catch cat fish in the commode.

Bacon-You be stiff as a young bull's dick, only not as happy.

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