I got a call last week from my old friend Bubba back home.
It came at a somewhat awkward moment for me because was in my car with a professor friend of mine, and we were on the way to Joplin in order to play trivia there. I have a bluetooth, hands free cell phone connector in my car that allows me to talk without having to juggle a phone, but I was concerned when I saw on the caller ID it was Bubba.
Once Bubba knows he’s connected to a live person on the other end, he has a tendency to begin his conversation and say all that he wants to say in an uninterrupted stream. Sometimes he doesn’t even wait to hear the word “Hello” before he begins the verbal torrent.
And that’s fine. That’s Bubba. Those of us who love him know that this is just the way it is.
However, on this particular occasion I was with a respected colleague of mine, and I was not sure how he would take Bubba.
Bubba can be quite earthy, especially when describing some of his medical conditions. He once described passing a kidney stone as being like “giving birth...to the devil...horns first” all before I could even take in a breath to acknowledge the call.
I was terrified that Bubba might have had a colonoscopy or, God help us, a prostate exam. So when I answered the phone, I did it in the only way I knew how:
And that is all I got to say because Bubba hung up.
Anyway, I called him back later.
“Bubba,” I asked, “Did you have something to say? I was in the car on speaker phone and I am not sure the person with me would’ve known how to take you.”
“That’s okay,” he said. “I wasn’t listening. I just thought I’d called you in class. Anyway, I’ve been on jury duty in Muskogee.”
“Muskogee?” I asked. “But you live down the other side of Wapanuka. Why did you have to go to Muskogee?”
“It was a federal case and the Federal Court is there in Muskogee.”
“You were on a federal jury?” I was somewhat surprised. I was having to reevaluate all of the civics classes I have ever taken. “What was the case about?”
I could almost hear Bubba sitting a little straighter in his chair as he said, “The People of the United States vs Cletus Corndodger.”
“What do the People of the United States have against Cletus Corndodger?”
“Well, I can’t tell you the details, but I was vwah deer-ed right off.”
“They took you off during voir dire?” I asked. “Why?”
“Well, they asked if any of us knew Cletus or knew anything about coon dogs, and I had to say that I’d bought my black and tan hound from Cletus a few years back. Anyway, they excused me. I read in the paper that the case was about evading the federal tax on coon dogs.”
“So it was all a dry run for you, huh?” I asked.
“No, as a matter of fact, I learned something.”
“What was that?”
“Merl Haggard was wrong. They do smoke marijauna in Muskogee. They have a dispensary on every street corner.”
—Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. He invites you to “like” the National Association of Lawn Mowers on Facebook.