Every time a mountain county goes wet, it takes all the fun out of drinking, so Tie Rod and Slemp buy them a six-pack and drive over into Martin County and sit on the side of the road and drink.
By the same token, the fact that legal moonshine is being made all over the mountains threatens to destroy Figgy Puddin's annual Christmas Nogfest up on Gobblers' Knob.
Figgy made a fortune selling clean urine, which she imports from Utah in tanker trucks and retails to those who want to hold a job or have visitation with their children.
Peeing in front of an eyewitness has become a way of life in the hills, just like it used to be before the Junior Williamson rest stop, when you could spot some really elegant ladies a-squat on the side of the highway.
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Each Yule season, Figgy throws a big party for her customers, whose ankle monitors provide Christmas jingle while they are dancing. They will drink a cup of kindness of Figgy's famous egg nog, spiced with liquid folk art.
They call it moonshine whiskey. No mountaineer has ever in the history of the hills called it white lightnin' or mountain dew. But it meant more to Figgy's pee-ers when it was scarcer and forbidden and not being produced by Brown-Forman.
This year, people at the party still able to talk will be discussing whether to move to Colorado or Oregon, or just wait in Kentucky for their cultivation skills to be more fully appreciated.
One thing is true and these people all know it — in states where marijuana is legal as medicine, which is sort of a joke among them, or just plain legal, there is not much drug abuse. In states where logic has prevailed, the incidence of pill addiction has plummeted.
Music, as always, will be provided by a band called Special Ed and the Short Bus, sort of a combination of Allman Brothers and Jimmy Martin. After two too many pulls at the jug, Tie Rod will have a go at Christmas Time's a Comin', and as usual will not remember enough of the words. Many a night Tie Rod has been hauled home by his wife Big 'E' and spent the rest of the night in the bed of their pickup truck, so let us hope for moderate weather.
Tie Rod's idea of Christmas shopping is to run down to the gas station on Christmas Eve and buy his old lady a fan belt. He was going to get her some jumper cables, but was afraid she would start something.
Slemp, more practical, says he is going to buy Canola Jane one of those feminine products that they say on television that with those you can ride a bicycle, swim and play tennis. He thinks she will really like that product because she can't do any of that stuff now.
The nativity scene in their town was canceled because they could not find three wise men and nobody would admit to being a virgin.
Of course, real Christmas, Old Christmas, when everybody gets serious and cows kneel in their stalls at midnight, is on Jan. 6. There'll be no hell-raisin' that night.
Reach Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney, at email@example.com.