Figgy Puddin's Christmas party is about as far as you can go up the holler and not be on Gobbler's Knob.
Christmas is a time for going back up the holler. There is a holding back in all us, the stream, as Robert Frost would say in "West Running Brook," paying tribute to the source, creating eddies of regret.
The source of Figgy's lavish party is her thriving clean urine business. She sources it wholesale from Utah to Kentucky where you must pee clean to be allowed to breathe, let along hold a job or get visitation. Figgy uses the Nogfest as a way to thank her customers.
This party attracts some world-class mirthers, but even then there was a sort of sadness there this year, and that was because everybody thought the government was going to come and take away their AK-47.
Now a person wouldn't take too many guns to a Christmas party and Figgy don't 'low no 'sault rifles round here. So most of the men only have a pistol or two, but try to trade up. Trading up is best done after midnight when vintage February is being passed about. They call it Ball because that is the name on the jar.
Back once before his low T, Tie Rod and a young woman so drunk she thought she was Robert E. Lee were mingled on the dark ground on the mountain over the high wall behind Figgy's place. It was then that the shooters all came out back and cracked off a few dozen rounds into what they thought was a dark unoccupied mountain, but which was in fact where Tie Rod lay terrified with lead kicking up dirt all around him with his illicit companion, wearing only Gen. Lee's hat, hollering, "Giddyup Traveler!"
Tie Rod survived that brush with mortality, but won't go into the hills any more. Couldn't if he wanted to. So he stayed in and listened to the band, Special Ed and the Short Bus and exchanged with his friends the things you are supposed to say to each other about how awful it is that some nerd shoots his way into a locked building and kills a bunch of babies.
They all talked about how sad that was, but when the discussion got around to what to do to prevent nerds, nobody had a clue. A lot said nerd is something you are born with and it just comes out.
Some thought the government could do background checks and if a family had a nerd in it, they could not buy anything over a single shot. At the gun store, you would have to swear on an application that you were not a nerd, or send in a picture. You can sometimes tell from a picture.
But the consensus was that people, even maybe nerds, must at all times have guns every bit as good as the government has, and that one-room schools are safer, and if you lived in isolation up the holler, you would always know who the idiots are that might shoot you and watch them closely.
You cannot dwell forever on things horrible, so eventually the conversation at the party turned to what Christmas toys they were buying their own babies and grandbabies. Mostly what the kids want is electronic stuff, which the adults also like because it keeps kids busy a long time.
The people at the party who could afford them all said that the video game they were looking for is one of those where you like go into a building and people jump out at you down the hall and you see how many you can shoot how fast and score points.
The biggest argument, though, was this: If Queen Kate has twins and a C-section, and one is a boy and one is a girl, can the doctor pick the next king or queen and would he flip a coin to see which one he would get out first? Which one would he be doing a favor?
Larry Webster is a Pikeville attorney. Reach him at email@example.com.