I hope you had yourselves a good week. I’m afraid I had one heck of a time. It all started when I call from my second cousin, Cole who lives up in North Carolina. It seems the Sheriff and some ATF agents found his still. They tore it into pieces, took some of his equipment, and then drove over and arrested Cole.
Now we don’t have much family left up that way. North Carolina is a bit too tight in the britches for us if you know what I mean. Their state government likes to be in everybody’s business like some nosey neighbor. They even have a whole cartel runnin’ the state’s liquor sales. They call it the ABC commission, or Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Anytime a government agency has the name Control in it you know you’re in for a heap of trouble.
Basically, the folks that used to shut down stills during prohibition didn’t want to lose their jobs. So after prohibition ended North Carolina made up its own government-run liquor distribution company. A panel of teetotalers and drunks get to decide who sells their liquor in the state, what the tax rates are, and on what days folks can buy themselves a bottle. They really are more of a cartel than a commission. Needless to say, it has helped keep honest folks just trying to make a livin’ cookin’ shine outside the law.
These ABC folks also keep out beer, wine, and other such drinks from other states. Then they have the gall to sit down and tell the wine and beer makers from their own state what they can and cannot put into their recipes. I reckon they think if it tastes too good folks might prefer drinkin’. Then those folks might sit out on the porches with their neighbors sippin’ on their beverages and get to talkin’. Then more folks start doin’ it. Before the politicians can stop it, people are finally talkin’, actin’ neighborly, and gettin’ along again. Once folks start gettin’ along again, there ain’t nobody left to hear those blabbermouth politicians spout their foolishness tryin’ to make folks angry at one another.
Anyway, I had to go and bail my cousin out of jail for making some quality liquor. I’m sure those government boys thought they were stoppin’ old Cole, but it’s all good. Them revenuers ain’t that smart. Cole was already plannin’ on recyclin’ that old still in the spring. He just hates that the feds took his copper. I can’t tell y’all where he keeps his winter shine cookin’ but trust me, there ain’t nobody goin’ thirsty around Boone, NC tonight.
Besides, makin’ the trip to bail him out helped me entertain little Wobbly for the day. I figured I’d take him runnin’ through the hills while I was up that way. The only trouble we ran into was the traffic. I tell you what, I think everything from the Charlotte, NC until you turn off to go to the mountains is one big orange barrel. I reckon these folks callin’ for more infrastructure ain’t never seen, North Carolina. Nobody in the state is goin’ to be able to move if they pop up any more infrastructure projects.
So I’m drivin’ through this mess, and wouldn’t you know some fella cut off my pickup. Well, I grab my gear shift real quick to downshift and help me stop. For you folks that ain’t never grabbed hold of a manual transmission knob, it’s what you do to slow down in a hurry. At least that’s how you do it in a real pickup. Anyway, I was busy watchin’ this Prius pretending to be a sports car in front of me and didn’t notice Wobbly’s big ole ear laying on the shifter.
In a brief moment, I felt fuzz on top of the gear ball, and I jammed the truck down to third. Next, I heard the dog yelp and felt him go tumblin’ down to the floorboard under my feet. Now I’m stuck in traffic trying to maneuver my clutch, brake, gas, and dog. Of course, poor Wobbly is down there completely puzzled by whole the situation. He’s freakin’ out on account of my feet knockin’ him down or kicking him away from the backside of the peddles. Darla wasn’t with me, so I was in a bad state of affairs.
Everything finally came to a head when that big old mouth of his managed to get hooked on the gas peddle. Fortunately, he kept trying to pull away, so he wasn’t tryin’ to accelerate us into anybody. I finally pulled on to the shoulder, praying I would somehow be able to get back into that mess of cars later. I got little Wobbly off the floorboard and held that poor scared fella until his breathin’ slowed down and he quit tremblin’. I got out of the truck and put him in the back seat of the crew cab. Although he couldn’t sit close to me, he was content the rest of the ride.
Old Wobbly and I learned a good lesson that day. No matter how much you love somebody it’s better to stay out of their way when they have work to do. If you stick your head in where it doesn’t belong you might just make things worse.
Y’all be good.