Ever’ single time Bubba come t’ visit, they wus plenty excitement down in th’ hollow. This time war’nt no different, that wus for shore. When he come visitin’ he’s a’way’s got these mighty outrageous stories t’ tell, ‘bout the big city an’ life there. Plus, he wus a hoot, with his stories an’ all. He could make a body laugh till the tears run down yore laigs! He a’ways brought some kinda presents with him, so folks wus mighty happy t’see him whenever he come t’visit.
Now Hiram come down f’um the big city college, but he din’ never meet Bubba afore, so he wus mighty curious. Hiram wus mighty smart, but he shore wusn’t funny like Bubba. Fact wus, they wusn’t nobuddy who wus funny like Bubba!
When they come t’ grammaw’s cabin, the folks wus a’ready laughin’ fit t’ bust a gut an’ then some! Th’ pickup wus there a’right, all red wi’ them big wheels an’ all shiny. Bubba shore loved that there pickup. The boys wus mighty excited an’ tol’ Hiram so, but they couldn’ tell stories the way Bubba could.
When they got inta th’ cabin, nobuddy wus laughin no more, they wus all serious now, an’ Bubba wus tellin’ them a real serious story. Seems Bubba’s family wus ‘gainst th’ idea o’ him marryin’ Maisie, cus they wusn’ even related! That made the mood in th’ cabin mighty sober, no question ‘bout it.
‘Ain’t she even a third cousin?’ asked Grammaw, a’ways the sensible one.
‘I don’ rightly know,’ said Bubba. ‘I don’ thank I slep’ with two o’ my cousins yet.’
Well, that jest got ever’body off t’ cacklin’ and hootin again. That Bubba! Grammaw jest shook her haid, which kinda made her dentures rattle inside her mouth, and set Buford off agin. Hiram wus new t’ all a this, so when Bubba espied him, he sang out, ‘An’ whut would yore name be, Junior?’ He wus a’ways doin’ stuff like thet, callin’ people funny names.’
‘Name’s Hiram, an’ I’m shore pleased t’meet y’all.’
‘Sa-a-a-ay! Yore thet perfessor type fum the college!’
‘We-ell, I ain’t no perfessor, but I got m’self a college eddication,’ says Hiram, real bashful like. He ain’t got no airs an’ graces, don’ Hiram. Why he ain’t even wearin’ shoes no more!
‘Whuddya thank of all them college types sayin’ we shouldn’ have so many guns?’
‘Well, I thank 99% a the liberals make th’ rest look bad,’ said Hiram, poker-faced as you please.
‘Well, I thank there’s too many guns in th’ wrong han’s,’ said Bubba. ‘All these street gangs, they got no bizness with guns. On’y good thang this govmint done is, with the price o’ gas, the gangs are doin’ walk-by shootin’s’ Well, that set ever’body off agin. That Bubba shore wus sumpin!
‘Maisie got herself a pair o’ them crotchless britches, s’posed t’be sexy. I come home an’she says, “You want some o’ this?” I said, “Hell no, look whut it done to yore britches!”’
‘Why in tarnation would anybuddy want crotchless britches?’ asked Buford. ‘How you gonna keep your bits in?’
‘My last girlfriend, she tol’ me I’m soon gonna hear th’patter a little feet, so I thunk she was pregnant. Turns out she lef’ me for a midget!’ Folks wus laughin’ fit to bust a gut now. ‘I lived with this one girl f’ eight months, then she foun’ out an’ kicked me out.’
‘See the p’oblem with them lib’rals, they a’ways saying guns kill people, but that ain’t zackly so. Husban’s comin’ home early kill people!’ Now down here in Tennessee, we b’lieve in a man’s right t’ d’fend hisself, an’ you need a gun t’ do it. My family been defendin’ theirselves agin the Hacketts for nigh onto eighty years now, an’ you cain’t do that without no gun.
‘But y’all know that sayin’, “Life is like a box o’ chocolates?” Well, that ain’t zackly true. It’s more like a jar a jalapeno peppers, cause whut you do t’day is maybe gonna burn yore butt t’morrow.’ An’ he nodded, real wise, din’ matter none that we wus laughin’.
‘Life can be real hard in the big city, though,’ he said. ‘Frien’ a mine had t’ wreck his truck t’ get th’ insurance t’ pay th’ instalment. Mighty clever ifn you ask me!’ Buford wus scratchin’ his haid bald now. This din’ make no sense t’ him!
‘Why in tarnation you gonna wreck a truck jest t’ pay fer it?’
‘Cause ifn y’ don’, the bank’s gonna come by an’ take it back fum you.’
Buford nodded real slow. ‘O-o-oh!’
‘Maisie’s pretty steamed up, though. She wusn’ home so I stripped down nekkid an put mah wiener b’tween my legs and posed in front o’ the mirror and said, “Look, there’s Roseanne!”, when Maisie walked in. She really likes that Roseanne, she din’ thank it wus funny.’ Bubba then had to ‘splain t’ them all ‘bout Roseanne, b’cause th’ folks out here din’ have no TV.
‘That ain’t all. I put up a picture her mother and made th’ frame outn a toilet seat, real nice it wus; man, she wus mad! She wus madder’n Jesse Jackson havin’ t’ answer th’ white courtesy phone at th’ airport!’
He wus shore buildin’ up a head a steam now. ‘Why Maisie’s uncle and aunt got divorced last year, but ‘cordin’ to th’ law, they’s still brother an’ sister. But Maisie’s a good girl, I shouldn’ criticise her. She likes to go down t’ the Dollar Palace t’ shop, ‘cause she don’t like gittin all dressed up t’ go out t’ Walmart.’
‘An’ this neighbour a ourn, two streets up, lit a match in th’ toilet an’ blew his house clean offn its wheels. I dunno whut he was eatin!’ Well, th’ folks wus mighty shocked at that, I kin tell you, cause sometimes, ‘specially after moonshine, a body should know better than t’ light a match in the toilet.
‘Maisie’s grampaw died an’ lef’ all his money t’ his widder, but she cain’t use it till she’s fourteen: bit of a bummer right there. An’ he wus a good man, shore wus! He would play ‘pull my finger’ after Christmas lunch. He wus a hoot! Sue Ellen’s gonna miss him.’
‘He wus tellin’ us one day that he had it tough when he wus growin’ up. He had to ask his pappy for th’ keys to th’ tractor for his first date. No good havin’ a girl ifn you cain’t impress her none. But Maisie, she come fum thet kin’ a family. She come in one day an’ I’m scratchin’ my back, and she yells, “What you doin’ with my toilet brush?!” Women, they worry ‘bout ever’ little thang.’
Now Bubba wus tellin’ us some serious stuff here, this wusn’t jest laughs. He wus sayin’ thet up in t’ big city, they sometimes have family reunions jest t’ meet wimmen. So, you kin see it kin get mighty lonely out there.
My paw’s pickup now, it ain’t all shiny like Bubba’s, cause he’s married an’ all, an’ theys chawin baccy stains on both side a th’ truck. Cain’t keep a truck like that up here.
Bubba wus tellin us the Governor’s mansion burned down an’ they nearly lost the whole darn trailer park! Scary t’ thank ‘bout it. He tol’ us that trailer wus a double-wide eight berth! Made Bubba’s trailer look purty poor. But he wus the Governor! The Governor deserves a trailer like that!
Bubba wus tellin’ us that trailer had a ceilin’ fan in it, which makes sense, it gittin’ so darn hot in th’ summer. But when his maw went t’ see th’ Governore t’ get clemency fer his paw, she caught her hairdo in that there ceilin’ fan, an’ she yelled so much the Governor din’ even listen t’ her. An’ that hairdo cos’ her five Dollars!
Tha’s the p’oblem with them fancy folks, they don’ know how tough it is for us ordinary foks t’ git by. So Bubba’s paw had t’ set the whole two years. Thet wus sumpin a’right! But he made Bubba some real nice licence plates while he wus in there.
The three of them visited a while longer, then made their way back up tp their own cabins up in th’ woods. ‘Y’know,’ said Hiram. ‘I know I got a college eddication and ever’thing, but thet Bubba sure is one a’mighty smart feller.’ He walked a while longer, but then shook his haid. ‘Still, livin’ in th’ city don’ suit me none. I ain’t one f’ civilisation like Bubba.’
‘No’, said Abner. ‘Jest too darned sophisticated f’me.’
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