Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
When we were growing up in the 1960s, Alabama had something called a Constable (and maybe still does) which was a locally elected office without any real responsibilities which went well with the lack of pay. Of course, ever so often, some feller would read the fine print about the Constable being entitled to a portion of the fines levied against "criminals" said Constable apprehended. Usually the bright feller would think about it for a couple of days and decide to keep on barbering or filling station working so nothing ever came of his epiphany. Of course, on occasion, a slightly dimmer bulb would pay the registration fee and run for the "office". This happen in one of the precincts near us when we were in high school. The feller was a barber by trade and put in a pretty good day working but apparently he was bored with "The Honeymooners" reruns and needed something exciting for the nights and weekends.
Now normally, fellers would run for the office unopposed and if they only got their own vote, they got to call themselves Constable and no one cared if they got one of those blue stick on lights for their car. Well old DH won the office with 100% of the vote in the June Democrat primary and slid into office the following January having already ordered up a nice roof light for his Ford Galaxie 500, inline 6 and a pretty uniform that said "Constable" on the patch DH designed and had sewn on the left sleeve. Howard over at the body shop said he thought the little "Constable" badge was a right nice touch and he took $25 from DH to paint "Constable" on the doors of the Galaxie.
It was all pretty much fun for a few months until DH realized he hadn't managed to capture a single "criminal" and he had laid out a good bit of money for his campaign and for all the equipment of the office including the pistol that no one other than Mizz DH knew about.
DH didn't feel it would be right or good politics to arrest any of his buddies or even their kids but the boys from the next town over looked to be fair game especially one Saturday night when DH had sampled a little too much of Big John's latest creation. He was sitting on his porch when one of the New Hope boys who was dating a Kirkland girl came around the curve in front of DH's house a bit too fast and flung gravel right onto his newly mown lawn. Mizz Dh yelled at the boy to slow it down and when she turned to DH to tell him what mess it was the way these young boys drove, old DH was half way to the Galaxie with his gun drawn, cocked and ready. Mizz DH yelled at him to get back on the porch, but it was too late.
DH chased down the New Hope boy (who had no idea he was a criminal or that he was being chased) and when DH got close, he started shooting. Fortunately a drunk driving a 60 Ford Galaxie on a bumpy country road isn't likely too hit anything he is shooting at and the McDonalds were at the movie and didn't know until the next morning that their picture window had a bullet hole in the lower right corner and a right big crack running up to the left. (That last part is called "Color" and adds depth to the story enjoyment to the reader).
When the New Hope boy realized that someone was shooting in his general direction, he sped up and easily ran off from DH. He stopped at Howard's store and called the Sheriff who came out and after a few minutes investigation, arrested DH for all kinds of criminal activity. Of course, as it turned out, old DH was actually just doing his duty and all the charges were dropped. Howard down at the Auto Parts said it was because the Sheriff, Judge and DA were real concerned about tne story getting out and them being blamed for letting the dern fool go as far as he did.
The Sherrif had no choice but to let DH keep his badge and gun but he did get the Judge to put limits on DH's "jurisdiction".
The next time around, Howard over at the filling station talked one of the Smiths into running for Constable. He figured that was a pretty safe bet since the Smiths didn't drink and no one could remember the last time one of them shot anyone although BJB's Great Aunt Nanny said she was pretty sure her Daddy said one of the Smiths once took a shot at one of the Martins. All the voting age people listened to her and voted for the Smith feller over DH anyway. Howard said that if a body were going to shoot at anyone, a Martin was a good choice.
Old DH took it hard and for several weeks refused to talk to anyone. That ended when he noticed old customers skipping him in favor of the next barber.
Economics overcome pride and politics about every time.
Monday, June 19, 2006
So I was talking to a feller in the coffee shop this morning about a house in his neighborhood that is on the market for $1.6 million. The feller lives out in the country and the house is "in the neighborhood" in the sense that he can see it out across the filed when the leaves are off the trees. Anyway, there was this young feller listening to us and getting a strange look on his face.
Finally he walked over and said: "I really need to come by and see where you guys live. You have $1.6 million dollar houses next door and I was happy when my neighbor took the wheels off his house."