It's normally an instant hang up when they mispronounce my name. But this time it was Cami, and Cami sounded really concerned. Immediately following her request to speak to the "woman of the house" she begged me not to hang up as she made a soulful plea for her cause, which included more family values in television programming and a protest against Hollywood movies.

I didn't have the heart to tell her my pups weren't that affected. I did manage to squeeze in I didn't have kids. But Cami didn't care. She had a message, and because she sounded sincere, for a split second she had a sympathetic ear. I decided to hang with her for the 90 seconds she promised this would take. After all, she seemed so thrilled to actually have a breathing body on the other end of the line and not an abrupt hang up.

In a nutshell, Cami's concern is that Hollywood has gone to pot, an expression that merits explanation if ever one did. Ironically, gone to pot is not necessarily a bad thing (as Cami feels our movies are). Rather, it describes a literal and efficient way to make the most of very little.

Nothing to do with cremation....nothing to do with marijuana, gone to pot dates back to Elizabethan times, when the original expression referred to that big, black pot that hung over the open hearth in the center of the home. Leftover scraps, too small for anything other than stew bites, were tossed into this pot, and boiled sometimes for days. In short, a catch all for leftovers...a garbage disposal of the edible kind.

It was hardly the good for nothing meaning we tie to it today. To the contrary, had something gone to pot it would eventually be good for something...(which is a lot more than Cami can say about Hollywood!)


Karlen Evins is the author of Southern to the Core: An Evins Family Cookbook and the "I Didn't Know That" series of columns and books. For more information please visit: