There are some sayings that are just part of southern folklore. "Bleeding like a stuck hog", "Scarce as hen's teeth", and "Drunk as Cooter Brown" are phrases I have heard in conversation for as long as I have lived. While some of the phrases we use in the South don't need any explanation, some of them do.

If you've ever been to the La Grande Boucherie' in St. Martinville Louisiana you don't need anyone to explain the bleeding like a stuck hog saying. If you've ever looked inside the mouth of a hen, the whole tooth thing makes sense. That leaves one intriguing question, Who the hell is  Cooter Brown? And why is he standard for which all drunks are measured?

For the answer to vaguely asked questions I usually go to the source of almost truth and innuendo, the internet. My search for Cooter Brown brought me to a reliable yet comfortable place. The Old Farmer's Almanac. Oddly enough that bastion of bathroom entertainment before smart phones had a quite believable response to my query about Mr. Brown and his propensity for inebriation.

It seems that Cooter Brown was in fact a real fellow. He lived right along the Mason-Dixon line. The line that is the alleged boundary between the North and the South. During the days of the Civil War there came a time for Mr. Brown to choose his side. Would it be Union Blue or Confederate Gray?

Cooter had family on both sides of the  conflict and the thought having to potentially bear arms against his kin folks was just too much for the peace loving Cooter Brown to handle. So he did what any real man would do when faced with a no win situation, he got drunk.

He decided that if he was drunk neither side would want him. That way he could be his own neutral state of inebriation. He would not have to fight against family or see brother  do harm to brother. He, Cooter Brown, would become a passed out pacifist.

That is the legend of Cooter Brown and now you know why he is the standard bearer for all of who choose to be drunk instead of facing life on life's terms.  If you're the drunkest one there, neither side will include you in their fight and you can be God's own drunk and a fearless man.

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