By Allen Hamrick
Hey, Lew comin’ at ya with some, uh well, words of wisdom. It’s that year again, the one we all dread but know is comin’. Yep, you guessed it, the year we as a people do what we here on the ridge call Rearrangin’ the Outhouse, otherwise known as an election year. It’s like the DNR integrated a new season open every fourth year, and the only weapon you kin use is yer jaw. Not sure about yer hills, but in these hills, every fourth year since the beginning of balloting, we tend to relive the war between the states. It’s brother agin mother, Paw agin the in laws, neighborhoods agin each other and poly-tickers against everybody. By the time it’s yer turn in the booth to cast your vote to the wind, there’s done been more jawin’ than in a tabacky spittin’ contest, and most of the time the tabacky spittin’ is a lot cleaner. Why, there aint a moment’s peace for nobody till it’s over, and it takes till after the annual ridge top Christmas hoedown and dinner that all the wounds are healed at least for three more years.
The jawin’ started off kinda slow to begin with. Ol’ Zeb was tryin’ to get the rabbit ears on that TV he has to workin’. With a few kicks to the side and some fist work, the TV managed to get just one channel, and it was a little fuzzy, but you could hear the words. Zeb was a leanin’ his ear to the TV and what he heard so confused him that he scratched the hair plum off the right side of his head trying to figure what they were talkin’ about. Unfortunately, the only channel he could get had a bunch of poly-tickers goin’ at each other tryin’ to debate the issues; issues that were plain to regular folks, but to poly-tickers it gets a little more involved as each have their own opinions.
Zeb decided to go into Pap’s Barbershop and ask other people’s advice to try and settle his own mind. It was a full house at Pap’s with standing room only as Zeb took his place in the chair and commenced to ask Pap about what he thought of this election year. That’s all it took; by the time the police and the ambulance got there, it was too late. The fight broke out and Zeb just managed to crawl out the back door, barley missin’ the swinging straight razor Pap was using trying to make his point. Seven of the fellers had to be doctored on for minor nose bustins, and three were taken to the big house for using the opportunity to get away with Pap’s new hair tonic said to attract walleye and Muskie.
Same thing happened at Maude’s Diner, but Maude took care of that before it even got started. Every Wednesday her special is mud sucker sandwiches, and people come from all over to fill their bellies. There aint nothin’ like the taste of fresh mud sucker from Maude’s, especially when she adds fresh eggs and pankakes to go with it. It is a special day for her, so she put up a sign that said NO POLY-TICKIN’ IN THIS DINER, ONLY EATIN’. She meant it, and they all knew it; she would throw you out and yer food behind you stuck tightly to your butt courtesy of her size 13 huntin’ boot.
We call it poly-tickin’ here in the hills cause it’s like they shine you up and after the election suck the blood out of ya. The hills are covered with signs, big and small, with names that we aint even ever heard of. Demokrats and Republikins, Skinflints and the woodhicks Party polytickers scour the hillsides trying to get votes. Here, some of our finest lifelong poly-tickers like Big Mouth Muldoon, Big Foot Krazinhimergillycutty, Rebar Poffit and legendary Laughin’ Ears Slewton, just to name a few, have caused more people to carry torches and pitchforks than any other. Every one of them changed their tune by the way the wind blew, and everyone knew that you couldn’t believe a thing they said but sided with them anyway because that was the way of the hills. It’s called pickin’ and grinnin’. Big Mouth Muldoon’s mouth was so big you could hardly see his eyes, and legend says it got so big because his jaws stayed open so much and they got stuck that way. Big foot Krazinhimergillycutty always campaigned with his cow called Spot which carried his sign. Rebar Poffit was a tough guy who worked all his life in the steel mills and decided he would make his fortune in polytics. Laughin Ears Slewton could tickle your ears no matter what he said, and nine times out of ten, would get your vote just because he sounded too good to be true. You can bet, though, that common folk like us will be found doing the best three outta five with our voting dollar on the back porches around the county till the day we head to the polls. A votin’ dollar is an old silver dollar we use here that, when used properly, it’s decision is final.
So, what’s my advice, you ask, before headin’ to the polls this year? Get a cup of coffee and yer dollar, set on the back porch and start flippin’ best three outta five and let the coin make the decision for you cause goodness knows it’s the best chance you got. Be careful though, silver prices have went up so watch your coins while they’re in the air. Get out and vote and do the only thing we can to change things the way we want. As for me, I’m votin’ for Laughin Ears cause he promised me a new goat for my barn and a new set of tires for my truck. You vote for what you want, that’s the way its done… RIGHT? Heads or Tails?