Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Jawin' With A Jackass! ...
Here's a story Ansel Poteet passed along to Henry Beefeater over at the General Store the other day ... later on Henry told it to me ... so I'll tell it to you ... it was common knowledge that Ansel Poteet was of the same persuasion as Grandpa DooLittle when it came to unbridled potation of top-grade alcoholic beverages ... often following these shameless acts of over-indulgence, the pickled pair would seek out undisturbed solace in somebody's barn or shed for the purpose of "sleepin' off" their crapulous, albeit blissful states of inebriation ... neither of these seasoned sots relished the idea of facing their wives while under the influence of volatile spirits, nor did they want to meet up with Sheriff Clarence A. VanMeter, who always had more than a few vacancies in his cold, hard drunk tank.
Well, on that particular evening, after guzzling copious amounts of their favorite intoxicants, the sozzled duo made an executive decision and agreed amongst themselves that Virgil Hunnicutt's mule shed was as good a place as any to wile away the hours basking in the glory of spiritous, backslidden bliss, besides, Virgil was so hard of hearing and nearly blind that he would never be the wiser ... so the bacchanalian duo stumbled inside, careful not to rile Virgil's old mule named Clyde(no relation), and settled into a pile of new straw in an adjacent stall ... it wasn't long before Grandpa DooLittle had dozed-off, but Ansel Poteet hadn't been so lucky, those evil spirits dancing around in his gut assured him that he was in for a tumultuous night ... with his head spinning like a greased weather vane in a prairie windstorm, Ansel propped himself up with his back against the far side of Clyde's stall, then rested his head against his chest while trying to draw in as much fresh air as his tired lungs could pull so as to ward off any sudden onset of fierce nausea ... meanwhile, Grandpa DooLittle was lying there as quiet and motionless as a frozen mud puddle.
Now without fail, as was his habit, Virgil Hunnicutt would go out to the shed each evening after supper and treat his beloved mule Clyde to some oats or sweet feed, along with a couple of juicy carrots if available, and to make sure he had plenty of water to get through the night ... this evening was no different, well, at first it wasn't ... Ansel Poteet had heard Virgil Hunnicutt enter the shed, so he sat quietly as the old-timer hung a feedbag around Clyde's neck ... Virgil talked to the big mule continuously the entire time he was munching on those oats, telling him what a great friend and magnificent beast he was ... this gave the tipsy mischief-maker an idea as he peered between the planks of Clyde's stall watching Virgil remove the empty feedbag, then stick a huge carrot between Clyde's teeth and turn to fill the water trough ... all of a sudden, as Clyde chomped on that carrot, a deep, raspy voice resonated from within the recesses of the darkened stall "man this is the toughest carrot I've ever gnawed on!" ... Virgil froze in his tracks, then slowly turned and asked the voice to repeat itself ... "I said, this is the toughest carrot I've ever tried to gnaw on" ... "I certainly hope that other one there in your pocket is better" ... Virgil was beside himself ... "Clyde, is that you that just said that?" he enquired ... "why yes it's me, who else do you think it is? ... do you see anyone else about? ... we're all alone here in this shed, are you losing your mind ol' friend?" replied the voice from the stall ... Virgil was so befuddled that he didn't know whether to run away or continue the discourse, so he replied "well Clyde, it's just that you've never talked to me like this before" ... the husky voice retorted "well you've never fed me carrots as stale as these before either, so why don't you go find me some that are much fresher and fitter to eat!" ... Virgil could hardly believe his ears but complied "Yes sir, I'll do just that, but under one condition, you have to promise never to tell anybody about our conversation" ... a deep guffaw emanated from Clyde's stall, then the voice proclaimed "oh I won't tell anyone if you don't Virgil Hunnicutt ... besides, I wouldn't want anyone to know that I've been jawin' with a jackass!"