When I awoke Monday morning, it was as if I had been in one of those fogs I used to experience back in the 1960s. As I stood in front of the mirror with a tube of toothpaste in one hand and my toothbrush in the other, wondering why I came into the bathroom in the first place, it all started coming back.
On Sunday afternoon, I was at home watching “Swamp People” and it occurred to me that I was way too alert. My mind was as clear as a bell. Right off the bat, I knew something was dreadfully wrong. Blood was flowing through my carotid artery like it was a bateau I’d forgotten to plug. Over the course of time, I have learned that when this happens, I need a fat fix. So off I went to the Pig to buy a ham hock. By digging into just one little hock, I can clog up my blood flow and get things back to normal. The hog is a wonderful animal and it was put on this earth to curb low blood pressure. Now back to my story.
I jumped in my truck and headed out on my quest. About 100 yards before I reached the Pig, I came upon a traffic jam and a sea of people that rivaled St. Patrick’s Day at Shellman Bluff — except nobody was wearing green. There was a stage set up and a few hundred people milled around. Naturally, I thought I had happened upon a concert or at least a real good party. I pulled over, put on my party hat and headed toward the action. Well, it seems I hadn’t encountered a party at all — to say the least. These people apparently were miffed because every time they fill up their garbage cans, somebody comes along and hauls them away. My first thought was that it takes a lot of nerve and a strong stomach to steal another man’s trash unless, of course, you’re Fred Sanford.
Then, out of nowhere, a lady carrying a microphone worked her way through the audience, drumming up protesters who wanted to vent. Believe me when I tell you that she had no trouble finding spokespeople.
“I don’t want to be told what to do with my trash!” one man shouted. “I’ll just go dump it in the woods like I always do and like my daddy before me. I just throwed a deer carcass out there this morning. I was gonna bury it but like my old grandpappy always said, ‘Buzzard’s gotta eat — just like worms.’”
Phrases like that make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Soon it was time for the next speaker, but that one wasn’t about to stand in the audience and talk. He made his way to the stage, where he could better be seen. He was a well-known local celebrity, dressed to the nines in a white suit, white shoes and a general aura that said, “I’ll bet you thought I was one of the Temptations.” I don’t care if it is after Labor Day, that white outfit was working. Well, it didn’t take long before the talk turned from unwanted garbage collection to a “don’t forget to vote for me in the upcoming election” reminder.
After about the fourth or fifth speaker had covered a list of everything that is wrong with my homeland, I overreacted. I saw a man loading what I thought was a tear gas canister and preparing to disperse this unruly mob.
I screamed like a little girl, “They’re going to nuke us,” but then I realized that it was just some guy trying to open his umbrella.
You see how easy it is to get confused when your carotid artery is flowing too fast? As soon as I heard the county commissioners referred to as dictators who rule the Middle East, I figured I would get on down the road to the Pig.
Power to the people! Keep yo’ hands off my garbage. And last, but certainly not least, let the big rat eat.