Canola Jane was raised in the kind of mountain family where they kept Robert Frost poetry books in the outhouse.
When all but the slick pages of the previous year's Sears & Roebuck catalog had been used up, enthroned members of her family would sometimes tear out their least favorite poem and apply it to the task at hand.
Canola Jane, canning, with so many tomato peels stuck to her she had the look of Sitting Bull, was like old Frost in one of his poems which survived toiletry — overtired of the great harvest she had much desired, so much so that she called and got an appointment with a psychologist who provides therapy in late summer to women afflicted with Mason jar syndrome.
These women report common symptoms: They cannot get rid of the smell of hot vinegar, they see bands and lids flying about their heads like quidditch stuff, they hear fruit jars clanging together, and they are obsessed with trying to count pops to see if all their jars sealed.
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She thought she might as well go see that psychologist. If he couldn't cure her, the disease might make her check go up.
His treatment method is just to show these women pictures of babies dying of famine in Somalia, where people are starving because a fraction of the people prevent government from working. Those pictures almost always made those women quit worrying in the past. But not this year and not Canola Jane, who thinks that the Tea Party/millionaire Republican coalition, emboldened by the success of their terrorist tactics, might actually attack everybody who draws a check. Then we would be cut off from our food.
She is not worried about having enough food for her family, but doesn't want to defend her cellar against attack by hungry neighbors who sold their garden to a coal company.
Canola Jane's main food has always been pinto beans, but she has no idea on earth where they come from. The seasoning fatback is shipped in from Iowa, and on its way it passes her old pig pen.
Her second main food, fried potatoes, is threatened by the fact that we only grow one variety of potato in the mountains of North America, compared to over a hundred they grow in the mountains of South America.
One good Kennebec blight and one good attack by the Tea Party on the pinto bean supply line, and we are all walking to Lexington to a refuge camp.
It's a good thing that she got her canning done before reports that a governor may be pressuring state employees to donate part of their payday to his campaign.
That would have paralyzed her and shocked her so bad she wouldn't know a pickle from a beet.
Almost as stunning to her was the polls that showed the Republican candidate was getting 28 percent of the vote. She couldn't imagine 28 percent of anybody voting for him.
Canola Jane says the reason why President Barack Obama didn't want the governor to come to Ft. Campbell to help him honor those Navy Seals who invaded Pakistan and shot up the bin Laden family was that the governor would get out and blab it or take credit for it, like taking credit for a surplus in Kentucky's budget caused when Obama mailed us a few hundred million dollars in stimulus.
Speaking of stimuli, Canola Jane was not surprised that bin Laden had his youngest wife in the bedroom with him where all the porn was.
She figures a man with five wives would need more than porn, but kind of likes the idea that if you were one of five wives, you would have a lot of help canning and making kraut, or killing a goat — or whatever else it is that terrorists eat.
Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney.