The Original Mississippi Cooter Brown
By: Wayne Brown
ALL 'BOUT THE COOTER
A product of the 60's, Cooter was known far and wide among the citizens of Leake County, Mississippi. Some say that he was a "legend in his own time" others claim that he was "ahead of his time". He says time don't mean nothin' to a redneck!
Come on in and enjoy some stories and tales that truly only can be told by a certified 'neck. You'll get a belly laugh or two and might even learn somethin' in the process. There's alway somethin' goin' on round here to tickle the funnybone. So pull up a chair, grab a cup, and let's have some fun.
JUNIOR AND THE MAIL CARRIER
My neighbor, Slim Smiley, and his "dummer 'n sack uh hammers" boy, Bubba, just got back from visitin' our other neighbor, Junior, down 'nar at the hospital. He's been laid up with a strained neck muscle and lots of scratches for bout a week now.
Ya never know what Junior's gonna do. Bout a month back, he took to eatin dog food right out of the can. Told me that Alpo was his favorite..rich and meaty, ya know. It seemed crazy but we figgered he's just doin' it to get attention so we all just ignored him. Next thing you know, Junior done took to sittin' out by the road in a lawn chair and chasin' cars as they drove by. He was always after the mail carrier's jeep. Well, sure nuff, the mail carrier got tired of it and fixed ole Junior's waggin good. He tied a burlap crocker sack round the right front tar of that Jeep. When he come through, Junior went after 'em and got his teeth tangled in that sack...spun him round a few times. At's how his neck got strained and rollin' on that asphalt is how he got all them scratches. He was mad; said the mail carrier ain't been to see 'em or sent any flowers. I think I'll send 'em a case of Alpo!
ED EARL GONE TO HOUSTON
My boy, Ed Earl, went off on a bisness trip to Houston last week. He flew over thar on one of them big 4 engine jet planes. He got thar two hours late. He told me them pilots had to cut off 3 of them 4'd jet motors on that plane whilst they was in the air and that's why they was late gettin' in thar. I told 'em, count yo lucky stars Ed Earl...if they'd cut off that last motor, ya'll a been up thar pert near all day.
Flyin' on that big plane just set far to Ed Earl. He wants to give up his light bulb bisness and learn how to fly them rigs. He told me he was gonna be a pilot then get to be a astronaut and go to space in that shuttle thang. He told me that he was pretty sure they gave them guys that went to the moon a million dollars. He said he was goin' to fly to the sun and get a billion dollars. I told him that he couldn't do that, cause he'd burn up. He said he had that figgered out...he's gonna go at night. I'd uh never thought of that. The light bulb industry is bout to lose some big time talent!
BUBBA'S SOUP CAN COLLECTION
My neighbor Slim's dim-witted boy, Bubba, collects soup cans. Thar's four 55 gallon drums full of cans over thar on Slim's carport and the storage shed behind his double wide is pert near full too. Bubba's got the entire Campbell's collection and Slim says he's a workin' hard to get everythang in the Progressive line up. They's eatin's soup over thar just about ever meal.
I told Slim that those cans could come in handy in financin' a higher education for Bubba. He just needed to take 'em down to that recyclin' place down nar by the truck stop and turn 'em into money. Slim looked shocked. He let me know quick that Bubba would never do that. Why sellin' off some of the cans could devalue the whole collection. Nawh sirreee! Slim said Bubba'd have to do without a higher education if it meant given up his pride and joy...soup can collecting.
You know, I wouldn't want this repeated for it might get back to Slim that I said it. But I am perty sure that 'em Smileys is got a real bad case of algae in their gene pool. Gonna take a lot of somethin to get rid of it too! I wish we had somebody to stay up late and keep a eye on Bubba...he bears watchin'!
QUOTES FROM SOME OF MY HEROES
"Mister, I'll climb you like a ladder and kick all the rungs out on the way back down." - Festus Hagen
"Butane is the bastard gas" - Hank Hill
"Well, doggies" Jed Clampett
"I wanna be one them double-naught spies" - Jethro Bodine
"Remember, the number is BR549" - Junior Samples
"We're in hot pursuit!" - Sheriff Roscoe P. Coletrain
"Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" - Boss Hogg
"Boil up some Mountain Dew; it's gonna be a long night." - Dale Gribble
BUBBA THE TRAINER
I was a sittin’ on my carport back of the double-wide when I saw Bubba’s Chevette pull into tha' driveway over thar at Slim’s place. I saw that Bubba had one of them magnetic signs stuck on his door. That was my invitation to head over thar and see what was goin’ on with Bubba. I find that if I don’t make it my place to keep up with him, he’ll come up with somethin’ that will blow us up in our sleep. I have to stay close to that boy.
I caught Bubba on the carport fore he could get inside. “What’s up, Bubba?” I axed him knowin’ full-well somethin’ was in the works. Bubba said he had to talk fast cause he was right in the middle of startin’ his latest career move. He said it was his first day on the job as a “trainer”. I said, “Gee Bubba, I didn’t even know you went to the gym, how could you be a trainer?” He said that was not the kind of trainin’ he was a doin’. I step round the carport post and got a look at that magnetic sign on Bubba’s Chevette. It read “Bubba Smiley – Certified Mule Trainer”. Well, I’ll be damned. The only trainin’ I knew that Bubba had received that had anythang to do with mules was in the kickin’ category. I was bout sure that he’d been kicked in the head by a mule back when he was little.
Bout that time, Bubba axed me, “Coot, you know anythang bout mule trainin’?” I said, “no and I am sure you don’t either!” Bubba reminded me that he had the entire “Gunsmoke” series on DVD and that he had watched his hero, Festus Hagen, work his mule, “Ruth” on a lot of them shows. He said Festus knowed more bout mule trainin’ than pert near anybody around. So, with that knowledge, Bubba was a feelin’ his expertise.
I offered Bubba a little free advice before I headed back to my lawn chair. I said, “Bubba, them mules will kick you through the back side of next Christmas before you get your first paycheck. Now, take my advice, sell that sign, go find you a 3-gaited horse that will ride in parades and rent him out to others to ride.” Bubba stomped off into the trailer mumblin’ somethin’ bout me bein’ jealous of Fetus. I headed home more convinced than ever that a good mule kick would probably be the highest form of learnin’ that boy’d ever receive.
TALKIN' YER' INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
I'm bad to go off down nar to the truck stop and drank a sip of coffee. Thar's several round here that gets enjoyment from it on a regular basis. Thar's so many minds comin' together down thar, I figgers it just a matter of time before the govermint turns it into one of them thank tank thangs that they use to develop their international type policies. Lord knows they could use some help up thar what with that Clinton gal runnin' thangs.
Well, the other day, we's down thar at the truck stop sittin in one of 'em boothes by the winder, just me and a bunch of the fellers. We's drankin' us a cup and talkin international. You know, yer embassies, furnin' aid, CIA, big oil, and that agreement on the environment somebody signed. Well, ole Ed Slocum, he's my barber...been runnin a shop down 'nar on the square for over forty years...he piped right up and asked about them folks they call diplomats. Said he didn't know nothin' bout what they was fer or what they did. I said, "stand back fellers, I'll take this one." So I says, "Ya see, Ed, it's like this. One of them diplomat fellers is so talented that they can tell you to go to hell and have you relishin' the trip." Well, I tell ya what, Ed's a want to meet one of them folks real bad cause he ain't never know'd nobody that talented.
Elwood Simmons is the local paint 'n body man. He brought his uptown brother-in-law, Clyde Snuggs, with 'em to the truck stop this mornin'. Clyde's one of them bank vice-presidents down at tha Dollar General Bank & Trust in downtown. Elwood and Clyde married twins, Belah Beth and Cindy Faye. They's members of the Tulip family. Elwood said him and Clyde done picked the purtiest flowers of all. I disagree, I thank Elwood and Clyde need to see the eye doctor.
I remember when Elwood met Belah Beth back in high school. He'd just rolled into town literally fallin' off the back of a turnip truck. His folks done moved 'em thar from the adjoinin' county where they was turnip farmers. Causin' he was from out of town, the gals around school thar went bout half crazy over him and his greased back hair. Some of 'em thought he looked like Elvis a little bit. Hell, anybody with their hair greased back looked like Elvis a little bit. He met Belah Beth down at the Dairy Drip one Saturday night. Some of the fellers thought she was pretty hot to trot but I figgered she'd been pretty much loped all over town so I steered clear.
Elwood was crazy bout her but then again, Elwood was crazy in love with the first cow he ever milked. Elwood was too easy to fit the definition of easy. Anway, Belah Beth told Elwood that she couldn't date alone. If she was gonna get out, her twin sister, Cindy Faye, had to go along. Well, that's when Elwood grabbed Clyde Snuggs and they struck out to date up a storm and sealed the deal to become brother-in-laws. Yessirreee, date 'em twin Tulip girls hard and heavy ever weekend. Elwood and Clyde took 'em Tulip girls when ay was young, kept 'em right beside 'em and raised 'em up right just like you would a good bird dog.
Personally, I don't have much of an opinion as to the looks of 'em Tulip gals other than it appears to me that Belah Beth fell out of the top of the ugly tree and hit ever limb on the way down. And Cindy Faye, she reminds me of Abraham Lincoln when the sun shines on 'er just right. That's bout all I got to say bout that, I tell ya what.
REDNECK WORDS I LIKE TO USE
Tonal: A shaft dug in the ground. Example: My neighbor, Slim, is gonna have to tonal up under his trailer to find that broken water pipe. Jeopardy: A festive occasion that happens at your place. Example: Did ya have cold beer and pickled eggs at jeopardy last night? Solid: A term that describes a method of movin' over a surface in a controlled or uncontrolled fashion. Example: Ed Slocum hit a patch of ice down at the truck stop and almost solid right through the front door. Tuba: A unit of measurement used to describe lumber in the buildin' trade. Example: Hand me one of them tuba fours and let's get this wall up. Molasses: A term used to get more syrup. Example: Get that waitress over here, all my lasses is gone and I need molasses. Awl: A slick petroleum product. Example: I told Bubba that he'd better check the awl in that lawnmower. Launching: An activity that refers to consumption of the mid-day meal. Example: I will be launching with the banker down at the truck stop cafe tomorrow. Sensual: A term that describes a basis of reasoning. Example: Sensual you'll be down 'nar at ya mamas, why don't you pick us up a watermelon. Agony: A fabric sack used to hold thangs. Example: I threw that pole cat in agony sack and tossed it in the river. Lonesome: The act of lending. Example: I axed that banker if he would lonesome money to me to get a big screen television. July: A question regarding the truth. Example: I looked at my boy and asked, "July"? He said, "no sir, daddy, I was tellin' the whole truth 'bout that fire. Afford: A vehicle model. Example: That truck parked rhat thar is most definitely a Chevy but that one yonder just pullin' in is Afford, I think. Guitar: A term describing movement in a direction. Example: I bet I can guitar before noon. Mayonnaise: A term pointing of somethin' significant. Example: May-On-Naise not much ketchup left in this bottle. Barrister: a red-faced reaction in a female. Example: The mail carrier told my sister a dirty joke and it barrister so bad she had to run into the house.
HEY! SOMEBODY GET 'DAT PHONE!
I was a watchin’ when the lights come on in the kitchen of Slim Smiley’s double-wide this mornin’. I knew the time had arrived to take things to the next level. I quickly slipped out across the carport, jumped into “Old Paint” and headed down to the truck stop. I needed a rare thing, a pay phone, and I knew there was one in the hall by the men’s room down ‘nar. Old Slim was about to get an official phone call.
The phone rang a couple of times fore Slim got it. “Slim Smiley Pest Exterminators, we aim to kill” was the first thing he always said when he answered the phone. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, I might ought tell you that Slim is a certified, licensed pest control technician and accordin’ to him was born to do the job. I guess that’s the reason he looks so much like his hero, Dale Gribble. But wait, I’m a driftin’ off course here…I’ll have to tell you about all this some other time. Anyway, once Slim had served up his professional telephone greetin’, I went to work from my end on somethin’ that would keep him off the phone for a few days.
In my best radio-announcer voice, I said, “Good mornin’ Mr Smiley, this is Dub Flossie, the regional equipment manager for the AT&T. I hope you are doing well. I called today to alert you to a process we will be implementing by noon today that will introduce a new level of telephone maintenance technology to your calling area. As you know Mr. Smiley, we have had quite a bit of rain lately. When we have such weather there is a considerable amount of the moisture which soaks into the ground and eventually is absorbed into our telephone system through the lines running throughout the area. In the past, all we could do was to hope for a dry spell and pray that it would evaporate rapidly. In the interim, we suffered with lost connections and garbled transmissions. Are you with me up to this point, Mr Smiley?” Slim quickly stated that he understood what I was sayin’ and was onboard for the cure.
I took a deep breath and served up phase two of the call. “Now Mr. Smiley”, I says, “This afternoon we will launch the new technology which allows us to apply 4,000 psi of air pressure to all the lines throughout your calling area. The air pressure will force the water to move through the lines and out of the system which is a good thing. Of course, you know all good things do have a downside, so let me quickly explain. The water will be forced out of the lines by the air pressure. Unfortunately the vast majority of it will exit through home telephone raising the risk of potential water damage in your home if the proper precautions are not taken. I am officially advising you at this time to either place your home telephone in a large bucket or to disconnect the line at the phone base and dangle the loose end of it either into the sink or a toilet. Now, if you have a wireless phone in your home, things are a bit trickier. Since you have no wire and the phone has nothing to prevent it from flying around the room, you will need to place it along with any mobile phones that you are operating under your name in a bucket with a sealable lid. If you do not have such bucket, you may acquire one at the local Home Depo for a minimal investment. Mr. Smiley, can I count on you to institute this procedure prior to the noon hour today?” I could just imagine how much old Slim’s head was a spinnin’ as he quickly blurted out that he understood and he was headed down to Home Depo’ just as soon as he hung up the phone. I finished the call by emphasizing to him that he could not use the phones or remove them from the containers until there was no sign of water when he checked them in the mornings.
I jumped in “Old Paint” and headed back to the double-wide quickly. Slim was backin’ down the driveway as I turned in. He rolled down his winder and told me all about the phone company call. I could tell he was pumped up. I told him that I had already had that call and that I was just gettin’ back from buyin’ my buckets down at the Home Depo’. I told ‘em that he better hurry cause they was sellin’ ‘em faster than plywood in a hurricane. Slim slung gravel as he fish-tailed the Studebaker into the road. I love it, I love it!
So that’s what I did this mornin’. Just before noon, I went over and told Slim that the phone company had cautioned me to put my buckets with the phones in them outside the house and I was careful to leave my buckets where he could see ‘em there on my carport. Now, I’m just awaitin’ for Slim’s lights to go out for the night. I am fairly sure that his bucket will have water in it in the mornin’ and for several more mornins’ to come if ya know what I mean.
GETTIN' ON DR. PHIL
My boy, Ed Earl, was down 'nar at the double-wide yesterday watching my big screen television. That Dr. Phil Show done come on with a whole list of folks lined up for the day with more problems than an Eskimo tryin' to thaw froze meat on the North Pole. Ed Earl told me that I should get old Slim 'n Bubba and try to go on that show. He said Bubba alone had enough problems to fill up the whole show and that Slim and me could just be thar for ye moral support. Dr. Phil would fix old Bubba!
Well, I sat thar starin' at my big screen and old Dr. Phil sittin' up thar on his stool lookin' more like a freshly polished bowlin' ball in a suit and tie than one of ye head type doctors. It's always makin' me wonder if that woman posin' as his wife is in it for the money or the sex. I bet they have to use that special lightin' on that program to keep the glare down from his head else the audience wouldn't be able to see who's on the show and all. I'd have to ax Ed Earl bout that since he is in the light bulb bisness.
Well, that was about all the daydreamin' and thinkin' I needed to do on the subject before I rendered my verdict. I turned to Ed Earl and said, "Look uh here, Ed Earl, I dun give yore suggestion a lot of thought and whilst I do think it is a good idea for us to try bein' on TV and all, I got to say that nobody wants to be told how to do things by a ball-headed doctor. No way is we goin' on The Dr Phil Show!" Nawsiree....we's goin' on Jerry Springer so's I can whip Bubba's butt with a foldin' chair! That'd cure old Bubba, I tell ya what!
WHO’S GOT JUNIOR’S CHEW?
Well, my neighbor, Junior Sharps, was finally released from the hospital yesterday. You remember, he was the one that got to eatin’ that Alpo dog food right out of the can and ended up getting tangled in a burlap sack whilst he was chasin’ the front wheel of the mail carrier’s Jeep. Yeah, that’d be the one. Doc said he was damn lucky that roll didn’t break his fool neck. Junior says the old doctor just ain’t felt the exhilaration of runnin’ cars.
Junior’s wife, AdaSue, had the doctor put him into treatment with one of them head type doctors like old Doctor Phil on the television. Junior says he has to go downtown to one of them fancy offices and set in a high back chair whilst he tells that doctor how much he likes eatin’ dog food. Junior says he can’t understand how a man that charges so much money has so little to say about things. Junior is real sure the old doc don’t know beans about dog food consumption and the thrills associated with it. I told Junior that we all had secrets and maybe if he would cozy up to that doc, he’d tell ‘em some of his. For all we know, he just might enjoy smokin’ corn silks whilst layin’ naked in the the bathtub. Junior thanks the old boy is way too dull for that and that his favorite pastime is say’in, “Yes, go on” and “How does that make ya feel?” Anyway, Junior’s gotta go down ‘nar eight more times ‘fore he can be cut loose.
I asked Junior if he was a sufferin’ any type of withdrawal symptoms, you know, from stayin’ off the dog food and all. He told me that it bothered him a little bit but what he missed the most was layin’ out in the front of the double-wide on a sunny patch of grass and lickin’ himself. He said that just made his day but he thinks it’s what really led him to takin’ things to the next level and runnin’ cars and all. That old head doctor told him that all addiction eventually lead to higher levels of self-exhilaration enhanced by high adrenalin flow and rapid heart beat. Junior started pantin’ just a thankin’ about it. I thank we are gonna have to chain him up again tonight.
Bubba come out of Slim’s double-wide about the time that Junior headed out across the carport back to his place. Bubba said he’d been over to the hospital to see Junior again when he found out that he’d already check’d out and headed home. He told Junior that he’d been down to the Wal-Mart and bought Junior a nice rawhide chew to help him whilst away the time up there in that hospital bed. Like to have made Junior sick when Bubba told him that he’d gone ahead and give the chew to Slim’s bulldog, “Lester”. I wish Bubba hadn’t done that, it could drive Junior back on the sauce…you know, the Alpo sauce. If I know Junior like I think I do, I would bet that bulldog won’t have that chew when the sun comes up tomorrow.
Ya’ll gonna have to excuse me, I just had me an idea….I got to call Purina and ax them if they might be interested in usin’ ole Junior in one of their television ads. I just might have myself a second-career as a talent manager going here. I'll be like that feller that managed "Lassie"...well, sort of. Later.
Ole Slim stopped by the double-wide this afternoon. Said he'd been out in the country yonder in his Studebaker pickup a tryin' to sell peaches by the bushel basket. I axed him if n' he'd had any luck at it. He said a little but not nurly enough. Said he'd stopped at one house, knocked on the door and this pretty youn...g thang done come to the door wear'in somethin' like my grandmaw would describe as just coverin' up Christmas. I axed if'n he'd sold her some of them peaches. Slim said he didn't even bring it up. He'd just tipped his hat and axed her for directions back to town. Said he was afraid to tell her bout them peaches fear'in that she might be interested and in a tradin' mood. Slim says that you can't make no money like that! Chaa-Ching!
LEMONADE, DOG FOOD, AND BLONDE-HEADED GALS
Dat dang Bubba! I saw ‘em out thar in behind Slim’s double-wide this morning just a sawin’ on a board he had strapped across two of them sawhorses. Anytime Bubba starts operatin’ machinery, I go check on him. That boy is about as useless as rubber legs on a grasshopper but he’s dangerous and bears a significant amount of watchin’. Slim says it’s just the genius in him a tryin’ to get out. Listen, if there’s a genius inside Bubba a tryin’ to get out, he must be bound, blindfolded, and gagged cause he ain’t getting’ nowhere fast.
I skips across the grassy area covering the septic tank and ax Bubba what he was up to with that saw? Bubba said this was the startin’ of his new business that he plan to put up down ‘nar by the mailbox out in front of Slim’s place. Bubba says, “I’m a buildin’ me a combination lemonade and fresh fruit stand. I’m a gonna sell them peaches that daddy’s been tryin’ to peddle around the county outta the back uh his truck. He ain’t doin’ nothin’ but burnin’ gas and fendin’ women in ‘em sex clothes that’s a tryin’ to take advantage of his good heart to trade ‘em out of them peaches. I’m a fixin’ to stop all that by sellin’ ‘em right ‘cher in the yard. And, whilst you is a pickin out yore peaches, you can buy yoself a tall, cool, glass of my home-made lemonade that I bought down at the Dollar Store.” I says, “Bubba, it’s not too late to back out of this, ya only cut part way through one board. I’d shore hate to see ya drop a bunch of money into lemonade mix and all then come up havin’ your overhead eat up all your profits. That leads to desperation and we don’t need no desperation here ‘round our Fantasy Hill Estates luxury mobile home sites.”
Well, Bubba went right back to sawin’ and told me this was the only way he could ever hope to make any money for a higher education without sellin’ his soup can collection which his daddy, Slim, was all up against. Sides that, he was pretty sure that mail carrier would be a buyin’ somethin’ ever day if he could get the stand close enough to the mail box. As usual, Bubba could see the light at the end of the tunnel but he never thought about it bein’ a train a comin’ straight for ‘em. Nawh…Bubba always figured that light was uh, well it was uh…aw crap…Bubba don’t even see that light. That’s why the train always get ‘em from behind.
I saw that I didn’t have a prayer of talkin’ Bubba outta this idgetry, so I took my departure but issued him a stern warnin’ before a leavin’. I said, “Look-a-heh, Bubba. I better not catch you sellin’ any dog food over there. Junior will be up here on ‘nat like thunder after lightnin’ and you’d be responsible for him a back slidin right out of the rear-end of his rehab program. Next thang you know’d he’d be back down ‘nar uh havin’ to lay on the couch and talk to that head type doctor. Worst yet, he liable to get back out in the road and start lickin’ and gnawin’ hisself again. The Vet says that’s real irratin’ down ‘nar in the private parts area. So don’t be sellin’ no dog food, Bubba…you got dat?” Bubba nodded and looked a little guilty. I was pretty sure he was a contemplatin’ soppin’ up some Junior’s disability money with a few cans of that meaty Alpo mixture.
Getting back over to the double-wide, I begin to weigh the odds on gettin’ one of them gals down ‘nar at the truck stop to come on by in some of them sex clothes and hit ol’ Bubba up for a cold sip of lemonade and a few sliced peaches. The more I think about it, the better I lack it. That ‘ol tall, blonde gal down ‘nar with legs stretchin to ‘tween the ground and the high country would be just right for the job. Yep…I’m a figurin’ by sundown on the day she comes by, Bubba’s gonna be outta lemonade, outta peaches, and outta money. And best of all….outta business! I do believe there’s a genius inside me just a struggling to get out. What ya’ll thank?
ANYBODY SEEN MY IDENTITY?
I’s down 'nar at Ed Slocum’s “Trim ‘n Snip” barber shop a gettin’ my regular ear-lowering treatment. Ed had me in the chair with it all jacked up high just a snippin’ away at my naturally curly locks. I was blessed from birth with ye naturally curly hair and plenty of it. To get the effect I get naturally, some folks pay big dollars and have their hair just run through all kind of processes, hot iron, curlin’, dyeing…you know, ya full treatment. Ed says I’s mighty lucky to be so blessed. I was right in the middle of thankin’ him for his compliment when Clyde Snuggs, the local bank vice-president, come in and took a seat to wait his turn with Ed.
Well, ya know, when a bank vice-president shows up, your conversation naturally takes a turn for higher intellectual level. You begin to talk politics, big money, bisness deals and the like. Ed kicked it off by axing Clyde what sort of international finance he’d been involved with lately. Clyde commenced to tell us about his recent trip to Cleveland to attend the Annual Bank Vice-Presidents Convention that they was a holdin’ up thar’. Clyde said there was ya vice-president types from just all over. Thar was even one who come all the way from Fargo, North Dakota.
Clyde said that ol’ boy had come all that way, got all checked into the hotel thar and ended up havin’ all kind of trouble. Seems like when he checked in, someone stole his registration information, took his credit card numbers, all that stuff and made that Fargo feller a victim of what they calls yer’ identification theft. Clyde said it was a mess and ‘spect the ol’ boy’s credit card limit was already maxed out before he could get home and call his credit card company.
Well, not bein’ able to hush about things that I feel qualified to discuss, I told Clyde that it was a shame that I hadn’t been ‘nar cause I coulda helped that feller avoid a lot of those problems. Clyde looked kinda surprised and pointed out that ye’ identity theft was a happenin’ all over the place nowadays and told me that I was just not aware of it cause I was not workin’ the financial sector. Well, don’t that just roast the hair off a goat’s ass!
I says, “Look-a-heh, Clyde, you don’t have to be workin’ in no financial sector to have enough sense to know how to protect your valuable type stuff when you get in a strange place.” I went on to tell him about a trip I took about a month back to Shreveport, Louisiana and how I’d stayed right down ‘nar in the heart of that gamblin’ mess in ya’ big fancy, smancy, hotel and pointed out I had no problems because I had instituted the proper security measures on arrival. Clyde leaned forward in his seat a tryin’ to get a little closer…I knew he wanted to hear the details.
Well, I just went on a tellin’ ‘em how it all starts at the check in counter and told them what I do. First, I walks up to that counter and waits for that clerk to get through with all that greetin’ and welcomin’ stuff afore I even open my mouth ‘bout anything. Then of course, he begins the process of getting’ me registered for my room. Well, now listen close now, cause you can’t miss this step. Right then, on the registration, you put yoreself a big “X” and then circle it, then you put a little “x” right behind it. That will stop everything in terms of identity theft dead cold in its tracks.
Well, ol’ Clyde couldn’t believe it. He says to me, “So you use that “X” as your signature for the registration?” I nodded, “Yep, you got it”. Clyde nodded in agreement and then axed me, “Why’d ya put that circle around it?” I couldn’t believe it…this man’s a bank vice-president! I says, “Well, damn, Clyde, that’s the whole point, you don’t use your real name when you travel out of town!” Clyde just looked at me and put his head in his hands. I reckon he was kinda embarrassed to find out how simple this security step really was to pull off.
‘Bout that time, ol’ Ed Slocum piped in and axed me, “Well, Coot, what’d you put that little ‘x’ at the end fer?” I says, “Ed, if you must know that assumed name that I was a usin’ was a ‘junior’!” Well, Clyde Snuggs just got up and walked out…guess he musta left somethin’ back at the bank…like maybe his brain in a lower desk drawer. These folks are gonna have to bring their “A-game” if they’s gonna talk high level with me and Clyde needs a good chilli-dippin’ afore he goes back out into the world.
LESTER 'N THE LAWN DARTS
Our mail carrier is Squint Spivey. He’s the one what done run over Junior when he was on the dog food. We know’d ol’ Squint pretty much since we was little. His real name is Norman Eugene Spivey. He got ‘dat nickname “Squint” in high school ‘cause he use to say that he could get up in the bleachers on the football field and see into the dressin’ room of the girls basketball team. Of course, when the rest of us fellers heard that, we all headed on to the football field on the first night of a home basketball game. We got up thar on them bleachers with Norman Eugene and tried to see. We couldn’t see nuthin’ ‘cept a lighted window shinin’ yeller to the outside thar in the gym. Norman Eugene said that was the winder and we needed to look hard and squint our eyes. That was the last time anybody but his mama called him Norman Eugene.
Anyway, I told that story to tell ya this one. Lester, that’s Slim’s bulldog, don’t like mail carriers and Squint, well, he don’t like dogs ‘cause he’s been bit by a bunch of ‘em. Squint done told Slim that he thinks ol’ Lester is dangerous and could turn into a man-killer with a little coaching. Lester got after ‘em down ‘nar by the mail box a few times a while back and basically scared the crap out of Squint. Well, that ripped it. Squint told Slim that he had to pen Lester up in the backyard or he was gonna file a formal complaint with the Sheriff, Dorcas Whitley. That shook ol’ Slim up havin’ an official postal worker threaten him with the use of force. So Slim started puttin’ Lester in the backyard.
Lester had been diggin’ out at night and roamin’ around town. Slim was about out of ideas when somebody told him that he needed to take Lester down to the vet’s office and get him one of them vasectomies. So, that’s what Slim did last Thursday, got up real early and took ol’ Lester in for a little mornin’ snip and clip. They was back by early afternoon and Lester was wobbling ‘round in Slim’s backyard bout half-dazed. Based on the look on Lester’s face, I don’t thank he was totally in agreement with the procedure he has just undergone and he was a lookin’ to let somebody know it.
Squint, the mail carrier, was out makin’ his rounds and stopped down at Slim’s mail box and threw the mail in it. Well, Bubba had done sent off for one of them lawn dart sets and Squint had it in the back of his Jeep for delivery. Squint grabbed the box and headed up to the carport to set the box down on the Slim’s patio. Just as Squint lay the box down on the floor, out of nowhere Lester come a flyin’ outta that backyard just in time to get a big mouth-full of the backside of Squint’s official mail carrier deliverin’ britches. Tore ‘em up good; even got into his underwear with a couple of teeth. Squint was a screamin’ and a kickin’. I got to the back door of the double-wide just in time to see Squint a runnin’ down the driveway toward his Jeep with about half his ass hangin’ out the backside of them postal britches. Lester was still up on the carport standin’ on that lawn dart box with the other half of Squint’s ass in his mouth. Woooweee! What a mess.
Here come Slim a runnin’ out of the house and down toward the mail box. I took off down ‘nar myself ‘cause there ain’t no way I was goin’ to miss bein’ a witness to this important event in history. Soon as Slim gets to Squint’s Jeep, ol’ Squint started rantin’ and ravin’ about that Lester bein’ a pitbull who was just posin’ as yer regular bulldog. Well, Slim commenced to apologizin’ and offerin’ to buy a new pair of postal britches for Squint. Squint told him that he would take ‘em up on them britches but somethin’ had to be done bout Lester. Well, that’s when Slim told ‘em that just that mornin’ he had taken Lester down to the vet’s office and had his manly nuggets totally removed. Squint crinkled up his face a bit with the thought of it all and for a second I think he might uh winced a bit. Then he turns to Slim and says, “I just tell ya what, Slim. You should had his teeth pulled causin’ his mind was not on havin’ sex when he came outta that yard and got in my britches.”
I look back up at Lester standin’ on that box uh them lawn darts and for a second thar, I could have swornin’ that he squinked his eyes at me. I guess Slim will think twice next time he cuts somethin’ offa Lester. Squint Spivey shore is a pretty thang a wearin’ them new postal britches that Slim done bought ‘em!
BUBBA ‘N JUNIOR GO FISHIN’
I walked out on my carport this morning to see Bubba loading his fishing gear into Junior’s pickup truck. I’ve been a little worried cause the thought keeps a comin’ to me that Bubba might be butterin’ ol’ Junior up just to become his dog food supplier. Junior’s been clean now for over three months but Bubba don’t care none when it comes to makin’ a buck. Of course, Bubba says it’s for a good cause as he is savin’ for a higher education. If sellin’ dog food was a crime, he could get that higher education from the state courtesy of the judge.
Anyway, I yells over and axed Junior where they is a headed. He tells thars a feller over thar at Snuck’s Lake what is a rentin them aluminum fishin’ boats so’s you can get out in the deep water and catch yo self a bigun’. Bubba adds that it’s the first day of fishin’ season so they’s gonna get a jump on the crowd and bring home some good eatin’. Bubba whispered that him and Junior were workin’ on a secret formula for fishin’ bait and they was a plannin’ to test it out on this trip. If it worked, him and Junior would be in tall cotton for the rest of their days. I thinks to myself, “yep, both of you needs to be in somethin’ tall but cotton is not what I was a thinkin’ ‘bout.” I waves bye to them as Junior steers his ol’ truck off in the direction of the lake. Me, I didn’t have fishin’ in mind as I headed for that reclin’ lawn chair in back of the double-wide.
It was ‘bout sundown when I finished my second nap of the afternoon. I heard the gravel crunchin’ in Slim’s driveway as Junior pulled in to drop off Bubba. I am interested to know if they caught any fish and even more interested to find out ‘bout that fishin’ bait they was a gonna try out. I sidles over as Bubba and Junior are lifting a cooler out of the back of the pickup. “Got any fish in that cooler, boys?” I axed as I walked up. Both of ‘em just grinned as Bubba flipped the lid back. Even a skilled angler like myself would have been amazed. The cooler was stacked full of all kinds of fish and some of them was big too. Now, I have to figures me a way to get invited to this fish fry that I already smell cookin’.
As I looked out their catch, I axed Bubba if these fish was caught with that new secret bait they was a developin’. He kinda looked funny and said that him and Junior was a rethinkin’ that one. They had given it a try and it just didn’t do the job. I axed Bubba if’n he could show me what they was a tryin’ expectin’ to see some kind of confabulation of chicken fat and pig entrils. Bubba reaches over and grabs a tackle box and pops the lid. He pulls out a set of wires with some of them red and white fishin’ line floats on them…bobbers, you know. The lines come together at one end into a small plug. I says, “Bubba, you can’t catch no fish hangin’ electric wire in the water with a float on it. Bubba stops me a fore I can say anything else, reaches in his pocket and pulls out a cell phone. He pops the plug on the end of the wire into the earphone jack on the side and then looks at me with a big grin. I says, “let me get this right, Bubba, you was a usin’ a telephone to get them fish up.” Junior chimes in and says, “yep, but it ain’t a workin’ just right yet…we’s got some technicalities to work out.” I stands thar stunned wonderin’ if stupid has any limits at all.
“So”, I says, “if you didn’t phone these fish, how did you get ‘em”? Bubba quickly answers me sayin’ they was just floatin’ on top of the water and he and Junior just scooped ‘em up. Now, I’m rethinkin my need to get to this fish fry. I axed Bubba where it was on the lake that they done found this fish. Bubba says he know’d exactly the spot fer he had marked it afore they left. I axed how he marked it and he told me that he had painted a big “X” on the side of the boat. Now, here’s a side of stupid that I had yet to experience and I figures that Bubba just won the award for dumbass of the year when Junior adds, “Well, you can forget ever gettin’ back to the same place, Bubba ‘cause we probably won’t get the same boat next time.” Well, I see that I can be of no further assistance to these lost souls. It’s time to head down to McDonalds and get me one of them fish samwiches…on second thought, make that a Big Mac!
WHO YOU CALLIN' BEADY-EYED?
Well, I reckon bein' a professional, licensed pest control technician is worth somethin'. My neighbor, Slim Smiley is one, and he just got called up for jury duty. Course, ol' Slim ain't too happy about it as it cuts into his bug killin' time. He comes over yesterday mornin' wantin' to know if'n I'll go down 'nar to the courthouse with him and back him up when he tells the judge that he is a very busy man and ain't got no time for dealin' out justice except to the bug population. Well, I told him I would but he had to buy me a cup of coffee down 'nar at the truck stop on the way. They's got that premium new-fangled stuff now with the flavored creamer and everthang. We's gettin' uptown down here.
I gets my coffee to go and me 'n Slim jump in his classic Studebaker pest control vehicle and head out to the courthouse. Once we is inside, I grab a seat out in the public area to watch the action while they is a pickin' the jury. Slim was sittin' up there in the jury interviewin' area awaitin' his chance to give the judge his excuse. I noticed right off the judge was avoiding asking 'bout them excuses and lettin' the lawyers work everything. I was pretty sure that I had made the right decision come on down here to watch Slim. Well, the district attorney was up there doin' that thing they calls the 'voir dare' or 'voir dye' or somethin' like that. You know that Roman legalese they use to cover up what they's really doin'.
After a while, the district attorney turns to Slim and ax him if'n he had any valid reason why he could not serve the public good and help the court system render a fair and impartial decision in this all important legal case. I didn't hear the details but I think somebody was accused of stealin' a bird dog. Well, ol' Slim sees that it time to start his squirm so he says in a real loud voice, "nawh suh! I can't be impartial for you nor no one else in this case. You see, the minute I walks into this room and seen that feller sittin's over there at that table in the gray pin stripe suit, well, I know'd he was as guilty as sin. He's got 'em little beady eyes like the bugs I kill for a livin' and he looks real slimy. Yessirreee, why I can sees all the way from over here that he is a born criminal and more than capable of stealin' bird dogs just for the fun of it. I say hang 'em!"
The district attorney turned and looked toward the individual that Slim was a pointin' to sittin' at the table with another feller on the other side of the room. The he turns back to Slim and says, "Mr. Smiley, as district attorney of this county, I honestly could care less what you think of the defendant in this case's lawyer. He's not the one on trial here, but, I'll say this based on his looks, I think you're on to somethin'. At the same time, that's for another jury to decide. I find you a competent witness and you will serve justice on this jury. Now sit down."
I just got myself up and headed outside to find me a ride back up to the double-wide. I figures they'll be sequestering ol' Slim for the night...you know how 'em bird dog cases can just drag on and on. But, if that ol' boy did indeed steal that dog, he ain't got nothin' to fear cause Slim ain't even figured out who is accused of the theft yet. I might even come on back down here tomorrow to see if that lil' beady-eyed lawyer takes a poke at Slim. Ya'll want a cup of coffee with some of that fancy creamier in it?
WHAT’S ‘AT YA SAY?
I’s a sittin’ out on the carport yesterday afternoon sipping a cool glass of sweet ice tea and admirin’ the good looks of my truck, ‘Ol’ Paint. Here comes my neighbor next door, Slim Smiley, professional pest control technician, amblin’ out across the yard up to the carport. He pulls up a seat and joins me in my relaxin’. As usual, all Slim wanted to talk about was the plans he had for Bubba gettin' himself a higher education. I pretty well know that plan by heart and at this point consider it to be outside the realm of reality.
Well, we’s a sittin’ there jawin’ ‘bout this and that when around the corner comes two fellers ridin’s bicycles. Both of the has got on a white shirt and a necktie along with them funky lookin’ helmets ‘em bicycle riders is a wearin’ nowadays. They just whips right up to the carport and comes over like they knows us for years. They takes off their helmets and starts axin’ me and Slim all kinds of questions ‘bout religion and prayin’ type stuff. Pretty soon, they’s done whipped out some brochures and a Bible which they commenced to use to read scripture to me and Slim. I was ‘bout ready to change the subject and ax them if’n I could ride one of their bicycles just to get a handle on the conversation, ya know.
Afore I can get my question posed ‘bout ridin’ that bicycle, one of them pipes up and says they is Mormons who is assigned to travelin’ round the neighborhoods spreadin’ the word, savin’ souls, and just generally prayin’ for the overall good of mankind in general. They says we can have them brochures and and invites us to come down to their church meeting sometimes to see if we wanted to be Mormons ourselves, Slim and me, ya know. Well, I told ‘em right quick that me and Slim would have to do some commiseratin’ on that question since it was religiously based and might have some downstream impact on which fork in the road we’d be takin’ on our way to eternity. They kinda stared at me a bit after I says that. I guess I was a talkin’ over their head.
One of them up and says, “Well, thank you for spendin’ time with us.” Then he axed if’n we had anybody that they could pray for. I was just bout to give ‘em the “ol’ no” nod when Slim chimed right in and said that Junior needed prayin’ over real bad bout his hearin’. Well, they commenced to prayin’ for Junior and his hearin’ right off and they prayed all over that carport, standin’ up, sittin’ down, and walkin’. Then one of ‘em says, “Amen” and fast as they could get dem helmets buckled on they was a gone. They just rode off in the wind with them neckties a flyin’ behind them.
Slim and I sits there on the carport in silence for a few minutes ever once in a while glancin’ toward the brochures layin’ on the patio table. Finally, I says, “Look-a-here, Slim, don’t you go gettin' no ideas bout us becomin’ Mormons causin’ I ain’t bout to make that move and I’ll tell ya’ why. In the first place, I don’t like wearin’ a tie that much especially with one of them helmets. And second, well, I just don’t care much for bicycle ridin’.” Slim just nodded in agreement and sat there in his chair. I says, “By the way, Slim, what’s goin’ on with Junior’s hearin’ anyway?” Slim looks over at me and says, “I don’t rightly know, but I’d guess not much of anything since the judge didn’t schedule it until next Friday.” Well, I just got up and went into the double-wide to bathe my face with a cold rag. Some of that algae in Slim Smiley’s gene pool has done crawled all over them poor Mormon boys. Poor fellers.
TRADIN’ MONEY WITH YA JET PILOTS
Ya’ll know my boy, Ed Earl, has been workin’ mighty hard to get his airplane flying license from the govmint. Well, he finally done got one of them just last week. He come over to the double-wide a wantin’ to take me out thar to the airport and soars me around in one of them birds.
Well, we gits out thar and goes to the airplane. Ed Earl is a walkin’ all around it and a lookin’ at just everything on it. I says, “Good God, Earl, we’s gonna fly it not buy it.” He told me that he was doin’ that pre-flight check so that we did not try to fly in a bad airplane and end up crashin’. I says, “hell, Ed Earl, I ain’t no plans for flyin’ in no bad airplane no matter how much we walk around it.”
We gits everything done and crawls into that airplane. Ed Earl fires it up and gets that propeller just a spinnin’ out thar on the nose. Ed Earl steers it out to the runway and a fore you know’d it, we done flew right off the ground and headed for the stars. Ed Earl was twistin and a slidin’. We’s just goin’ ever which a way. I axed him what he was a doin’ and he told me that he was a bankin’. Well, I don’t want to hurt his feelin’s and all but when folks is bankin’, there’s money changin’ hands and I didn’t see none of that.
A fored I know’d it, Ed Earl done run that airplane right through a cloud and then another one. We come poppin’ out the other side of that cloud just in time to see the fighter jet airplane go whoosin’ right past us. He was real close, the pilots in that thang had blue eyes and they was big. I thank mine was too! I started screamin’ and then I screamed some more. Ed Earl axed, “What’s wrong, daddy, are ya sick.” I says, “Hell no, I ain’t sick, Ed Earl. Damn, boy, didn’t you see that jet fighter that went by us?” Ed Earl said, “Yeah, I saw him daddy and I’ll bet we scared the hell out of him.” Well, I had Ed Earl land that thang and take me home. I needed to change my panties.
ED EARL’S BIG DEAL
Ya’ll know my boy Ed Earl is in the light bulb selling business. I’ve probably told you that over and over. Well, he’s still a doin’ it although it’s just a temporary thing until he can get his license to become one of them astronauts down ‘at ye’ NASA in Houston. Anyway, Ed Earl told me he had a big deal workin’ with one of the churches out in the county. The preacher wanted to put a crystal chandelier in the main chapel. If he could convince the deacons to spend the money then Ed Earl would get the business. Ed Earl axed me to go along with him and sit in on the deacon’s meeting last night.
Well, we drove out thar’ to the Pine Nut Baptist Church in my truck, ‘Ol Paint. When we gets inside all them deacon folks was a millin’ round drinkin’ coffee and carryin’ on yore various conversations. I jumped right in thar’ with ‘em cause I love a good cup of coffee especially when it’s free. I just got my first sip when the preacher showed up and called the meetin’ to order. He told all the deacon folks who we was and that Ed Earl was thar’ to answer any of ye technical questions they might have regardin’ the chandelier.
The preacher opened up the meeting and the buyin’ of the chandelier was the first thing on his agenda. So’s the preacher says, “I make a motion we purchase a chandelier for the chapel of the church” and one of the deacon fellers over on the east side of the church yelled “I second that”. The preacher said “The motion has been made and seconded it to purchase a chandelier for the church chapel. Is there any discussion prior to our vote.” Well, I reckon he shouldn’t have axed that cause that’s when all hell broke loose amongst them deacons.
Brother Percy Ellis was a sittin’ in the back. He stood up and said, “Preacher, I’m agin buyin’ that thar chandelier for the church chapel. I think it is a waste of our money.” The preacher replied, “Well, Brother Percy, I am appalled, why is it you think this would be such a waste of the church’s money?”
Brother Percy looked around the room. He hung his head like he was ashamed of everybody thar’. Then he says, “I know some of ya’ll are afraid to speak up on matters like this but I can’t hold my tongue any longer and watch such shenanigans go on in this here church. Now, I’ve got three good reasons why we shouldn’t do this and I am gonna run ‘em down for right now. First, ain’t no use in sendin’ off somewhere and buyin’ a thang like this when we don’t know nobody here in the community that knows flip about installin’ something like this. Second, I can’t understand why the church needs one of these thangs so badly. There ain’t nobody here that can play one of them thangs. And finally, I am agin spendin’ that kind of money on such a waste of time when we need lights here in the church so bad!” I knew thar was gonna be trouble when all the other deacons started applauding Brother Ellis’ speech.
I turned to Ed Earl and said, “Come on, Ed Earl, let’s me and you sneak in the back and get another cup of coffee then we’ll head on home. You ain’t sellin’ nothing here tonight!”
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