Tie Rod has his principles and this time of year has to be on the lookout not to violate them. He will not eat trail mix, party mix or anything else that looks like his mule would like it. He will not eat pasta salad and thinks it dangerous.
Tie Rod got escorted out of the fall ball put on by his wife's favorite charity, the Arm Jiggle Foundation, for starting a tackle football game using a cheese ball with nuts on the outside. He will not eat cheese in a ball with nuts stuck on the outside and has a small electronic device that sniffs out minute traces of garlic in food, which he would not eat if trapped in a mine in Chile.
He has political values, too. Tie Rod says the Constitution ought to say that anyone dumb enough to want Sarah Palin as president would not be allowed to vote.
Tie Rod is trying to decide whether to support Barack Obama again or vote for Goldman Sachs. He thinks the next big election would be a good year to put your money on Goliath, too big to fail.
He says that if corporations are people and can contribute unlimited money to politics, it won't be long before corporations run for president, one of those too big to fail ones, and he figures it will be Goldman Sachs running against Sears Roebuck. Whatever happened to Roebuck? Whatever happened to what his momma used to call National Bells and Hess when she ordered poplin from their catalog? Ever since Slemp bought the Conservation Club president election with Reesie cups and beat Tie Rod in a chocolate landslide, peanut butter inside, Tie Rod just doesn't think democracy will work.
Tie Rod doesn't care how much GM stock brings. Anybody who would discontinue the El Camino deserves to fail. Tie Rod always thought of himself as an El Camino type, half carred and half trucked.
His people when they went north all worked for Ford and now have pretty good pickups, which they will all head in sometime between now and Christmas to Gobbler's Knob to Figgy Puddin's big party. Figgy, the entrepreneurial matriarch who sells clean, certified-Mormon urine, only necessary in the mountains to those who want to ever see their children again or get a job, has a redneck cotillion every year during the merry times.
Blind taste testings of moonshine, horses rode up steps, marriages irreparably broken, feuds interrupted by an hour-long version of "Christmas Time's a Comin'" with nobody remembering all the words to them last two verses, all this and more for Figgy's guests.
That buzzing sound is when home-incarceration bands on legs joyful this night knock together on the dance floor to the ancient rhythms of the Jola, clawhammered triumphantly on Gobbler's Knob, as "Leather Britches."
Now the date of Figgy's Nogfest has to be selected carefully. You don't want to pick a date when there might not be a judge in the next day or two. Figgy's party is worth at least two days in jail, but after two days, jail gets boring. But most will be at Figgy's anyway, willing to risk probation or marriage fissure for an evening of, as Tie Rod says when he passes the quart of moonshine with the fruit in it, "peach and goodwill."
Larry Webster is a Pikeville lawyer.