Sheriff Ray Thinks He’s Sheriff Andy Of Mayberry But No One Else Does
Sheriff Ray got a call telling him there was a fight going on at Paul’s Bar. He thought about calling one of his deputies to handle it since he didn’t like to get too close to violence. He was in this business for the money. Then he decided to handle it himself since these bar fights usually ended when a badge walked in. Also, the bar was right across the street from his office. It might not look right for the fight to end before a deputy got there while he sat across the street. Sheriff Ray liked to think of himself as being like Sheriff Andy from Mayberry. He grew up watching reruns of the show and liked the way Andy handled things the way he did. Sheriff Ray had never been able to do that but he still wanted people to think of him that way.
He walked out and looked at the men fighting thirty feet away. It was Big Bear Bobby Bennett and Crafty Cunning Carl Cooper. They were both mean and big. Neither of them had much common sense but that didn’t seem to make any difference in the way they acted. Doc Hemmer told Ray they were nuts and that was that. When Ray pointed out to Doc that he wasn’t supposed to comment like that the doc said, “Bullshit. I’m not a psychiatrist but those two are nuts.”
Bear made his fame the day he rolled into town with a bear in the bed of his truck. Nothing unusual in that. This was bear country and the locals liked to hunt bear. They always brought the dead bear to Hank’s Groceries. Hank was the only one around could skin and butcher a bear correctly. You could always tell when he had one due to the smell. You could smell a dead bear from miles away.
Bear Bennett parked his truck and went in to see Hank. Millie Pearlman was walking by the truck when the bear stood up. Millie didn’t scream but wet her pants. Dudie Smalls did scream though. This brought a crowd that soon dispersed when the bear started looking for a way out of the truck. Deputy Sheriff Wayne Mullins had no choice but shoot the bear as a public menace.
Bear Bennett came out of Hank’s to see what the shooting was all about and yelled at Mullins. “Hey, if I wanted that there bear killed I a done it myself.”
Mullins told him, “You’re lucky I don’t shoot you as a public service,”
“Yea? Mighty big talk you holdin’ a rifle and all.”
“Bear, I am holding a rifle. Don’t let that slip by you.”
Sheriff ray came across and asked Bennett what he was doing with a live bear and how he caught it. “Why, I was a walkin’ in the woods and this ole bear rears up and roars at me. No one and nothing roars at me and me stand there and take it. So, I punched it a good one. I got some poles and rolled it into my truck. I stopped here at Hank’s to see if he knew how I could make a pet of it. Guess that don’t matter none now. Hank can skin it and butcher it for me now.” He shot Deputy Mullins a bad look when he said that.
“I wasn’t huntin’ him. He seemed ta be huntin’ me. I was only defendin’ myself. Man gotta right to do that, don’t he?”
“Listen Bear, I could arrest you for hunting out of season. You know that?”, Mullins said.
Mullins looked at Sheriff Ray and saw Ray shrug. The damned idiot had them at that.
“The law also says I can claim it as long as I report it. I’m reporting it.”
As Bear walked away Sheriff Ray told Deputy Mullins, “See. Took care of the problem without violence just like Sheriff Andy of Mayberry.” All Mullins could think was he was glad not be Barney Fife.
Carl Cooper got tagged with Crafty Cunning by selling things that worked just long enough to give him an out. If you bought a car from him you’d get six months before the tranny blew. You be bitching to him and he give you his “How would I know how long the tranny would last?” routine. You’d think he couldn’t yet it seemed like anything you bought from him lasted just long enough- for him. Add that to his size and he was usually home free on any deal Sheriff Ray always said the best way to deal with Carl was, “don’t ever deal with him.”
Carl wouldn’t deal with anyone he thought could harm him. This included the Sheriff, his deputies, Big Bear Bob Burnett, Hank- he could poison his food-, or his mother- who could poison his food-. For everyone else it was open season all the time. He hooked people with his low prices. You knew, just knew, you would regret buying from him but the price would tempt you and he’d sing you a sweet song and sell to you. You could hardly bitch to anyone because you knew better than to buy from him and didn’t really want anyone to know you had.
Now the two of them were duking it out in front of Paul’s Bar. It was a huge fight. It had blood, spit, yelling and cursing. It also had a crowd. Sheriff Ray walked over and yelled, “Knock it off, jackasses. I’ll put you both in jail and hold you until someone gets a court order. That’s if anyone would get one. Most folks here would like you both put away for good.”
Bear and Carl had stopped to hear what Ray had to say. After he finished they went back at it. Ray wished he’d brought his gun. He could fire a shot into the air or into one or both of them to stop this fight. Damn!
Deputy Mullins arrived and drew his gun. He yelled out, “I’m going to shoot the winner. I don’t care who I shoot either.” The fight ended immediately. Bear and Carl both gave Mullins an evil look.
“Big talk considerin’ you got a gun in your hand. Maybe I’ll catch up to you sometime when you ain’t. Then we’ll see”, Bear said.
“Bear, I’m always packing. Always. If I ever come across you with any kind of weapon in your hands I’ll shoot you dead as that bear you used to have.”
That put a crimp in Bear’s threatening. He didn’t quite know if Mullins would do that, or get away with it, but he wasn’t any more sure he wouldn’t.
Sheriff Ray told Mullins, “See. Just the threat of violence did the trick. That’s the way Sheriff Andy would have done it in Mayberry.”
Yellow Jackets And What Not To Do With Them Or To Them
Given a choice of fighting an alligator or an angry rhino or a yellow jacket I’d pick the alligator and angry rhino at the same time before I’d tangle with yellow jacket. I’d attack the Gates of Hell before I’d attack a yellow jacket nest. I’d take a chance on a nuclear device in my pocket before a single yellow jacket. I get scared looking at what might be a yellow jacket. I don’t do well with pictures of them.
I have had experience with them as have some friends. My own experience was horrible. I was cutting the back of my lot. I was using a riding mower. I was going along perfectly fine until I noticed something buzzing around. I thought they were bees. Bees really won’t bother you as long as you don’t bother them. That’s why we take the honey at night unless you’re a bear.
Yellow jackets will bother you if they so much as see you. If you are stupid enough to bother them they take no responsibility for their actions. If you run over their nest with a riding mower all Hell breaks loose. I was thinking of riding away from them until I realized I could run faster then I could ride. While that’s true, it’s one of those useless truth like Prime Numbers. I couldn’t outrun the yellow jackets and Prime Numbers have no use.
By the time I got to the back door I was hurt severely. I had a million stings on me. I pounded on the door and told my wife to yank the door open because the yellow jackets were making multiple attacks on me. She said she couldn’t let me in. “We have little kids here.”
Well, damn, that’s right. I ran over to the hose and turned it on me. It seemed to help. After a while the yellow jackets left. It may have been because they took pity or got tired of stinging me. I suspect they were tired. I was pissed off and I needed to get revenge. I didn’t want a bunch of critters get the best of me.
I decided to burn them out. No matter how tough they were they couldn’t survive fire. I got the gas can and sneaked up on the nest. I planned to pour it on the nest, throw a burning piece of newspaper on them and then run. It was a good plan in the garage. Out by the yellow jackets it wasn’t such a hot idea. I don’t know if they figured out what I was up to or just didn’t like the smell of gas. Just as I tossed some gas on them they attacked. I dropped the can and the burning paper. It did take the fire to their nest. It also exploded the can. It flew halfway to the house. It sounded like artillery fire.
By the time I got to my car and jumped in for safety the yellow Jackets went away. Maybe they went to try to save the Queen or whatever they had. Maybe they went to try to save the dead. I was hoping they went to hell.
I have a friend I’ll call Larry. It’s not so much to protect his identify or protect me from a lawsuit as it is that it’s his name. He told me he once ran over a yellow jacket nest and took off running. He said he made it to the corner of his house before he got stung. He says a lot of questionable things. He said he then jumped into the hot tub and went under.
After holding his breath as long as he could he surfaced. They were waiting for him. He took as much air in as possible and dived back under. When he resurfaced again they were mostly gone. There were a few patrolling around aimlessly so he stayed in the tub.
He got out and went into the house. His wife, Sherry, said, “What happened to you?”
“I got into a fight with some yellow jackets.”
Another friend. Tom, told me the way you get them is to sneak up on them at night. They don’t have good vision and they have to sleep sometime. You sneak up on the nest and slowly place newspaper over the top of the nest. Then you set the paper on fire. Yea?
I sneaked up on them. I placed the newspaper on top of the nest. I lit the paper. A breeze took it off the top. Oh, now I have a fire to put out and a swarm of pissed off yellow jackets to contend with. I couldn’t let the fire go. Might burn the whole neighborhood down. I like some of my neighbors. The yellow jackets hit me like a bomber flight. I didn’t cry because a man doesn’t do that.
The next night I sneaked up on the nest with poison. I spread it as thick as I could in the time I had. I didn’t stick around because I was afraid. A man can’t cry but he can be afraid. The next day I slowly approached the nest expecting to see dead yellow jackets. I saw the poison was all gone so I must have gotten all of them. I don’t think I got many of them. From the welts, I don’t think I got any of them.
There has to be some way to get rid of them without chancing your own life. My wife said, “Call an exterminator. You know, someone who is an expert in this stuff.”
You don’t really want to do that. No, you do want to do that but your pride tells you not to.
Finally you give up. You’re tired of the running; you’re tired of the pain; You’re tired of the fear. Get an exterminator. Don’t ask around to get a good price. Whatever you pay is worth it. The person who comes out will be dressed like an astronaut and will look at you with a sneer and tell you to get out of the way.
“Let an adult take care of this.”
It Was The Night Before Christmas And Down The Hall:
Poems And Rhymes Of Our Times
...by Brian Cecil and Megan Cassavoy
That Child Within
The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback.. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.
There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.
They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.
Book is available as an e-book or in paperback.
More stories of the people of Appalachia.
More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.
Book is available as an e-book or in paperback.
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