Larry Webster: Will nettles be Kentucky's next big crop?

So many hurricanes now, some of them are called Junior

Contributing columnistJuly 22, 2012 

The temperature and Aroldis Chapman's fastball compete for the low hundreds and each causes a lot of fanning and neither will let up.

You better be thankful it's so hot that nobody would want to attack anybody. If it ever cools down to where somebody would want to fight, and provided a tornado or hurricane is not going on at the time, there is a good chance that the vast drought-stricken and famine-threatened sections of our nation may attack Kentucky and West Virginia with sticks and take our food.

In the past, when you asked those who know more about the weather than anybody else whether drought and famine were being brought on by folly, they would act like a train went by just as they answered. These are not the guys on TV who stand sideways and wave their hands and tell you what the barometric pressure is, which nobody knows what that means. No, these are the real guys who now feel like the guy on the Titanic whose job it was to look out for icebergs.

It's not like we had to ask them. There are so many hurricanes now they are naming them Junior, (or Junior the Second, for little mountain tornados), and using some of those NBA names for the girl hurricanes. My wife, a mountain woman, used to call them 'harrikins." Every night we get to see somebody else's real hungry livestock, and that makes a lot of us non-Hindu cow worshipers sick to our stomach.

And then it just stays so hot. So hot that the Mexicans are going to Canada. So hot that the glaciers are melting, leaving homeless bears. So hot that the new cash crop in mid-America will soon be bananas or manioc. Well, no, I guess it would have to rain some to raise that stuff. Maybe nettles. They would grow even on a strip job.

So hot and so dry that climate scientists were emboldened to declare that such foolish things as carbon fuels were bringing on wind and rain and drought. They recommend a Surgeon General's warning on each lump of coal. Or that people pray more for good weather.

When other people figure us out, they will invade coal country, so we better send the dry some whisky. If Woodford Reserve won't pacify them, they are a bunch of savages. Send them "tabuyker." That word is usually written 'baccer,' but tobacco people don't call it that. They say something close to "tabuyker."

Here in the commonwealth, whatever one of them is, we have more important things to worry about, like what to do with a basketball hero who was just a little bit loose with public property and hired a woman for her looks, but whose takings amount to very little, as such things go. I think they should get off his back, or wait until they have charged everybody who has done more.

Where does it say that the state auditor is supposed to be the state prosecutor?

Our other important thing is whether to whine about "Obamacare," or go ahead and sign up now that the Supreme Court has overruled Fox News. The right wing, which is most of Kentucky, vilifies Justice John Roberts, the most normal-looking man in America. Is he not entitled to the presumption that his decision in the "Obamacare" case was an honest one? Have we so little experience with judicial integrity that we do not recognize it when we see it?

But the more interesting question is this: If Roberts only voted for the law to preserve the public's faith that the Supreme Court was not political, is that wrong? If so, cite me a case.

Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorrney. Reach him at

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