There were security guards posted at the door of Figgy Puddin’s annual Christmas party, and their job was to make sure that everybody who came in was fully armed.
They needn’t have worried, as practically every man, woman and child who had been invited was a walking arsenal. The security company loaned a gun to anybody not packing heat. Later there was a shooting match seeing who could shoot out a Christmas light with an assault rifle from the farthest distance.
So when the band, Special Ed and the Short Bus, began to play, the dance floor was alive with the rhythm of ankle monitors clanking against each other and the dull thud of pocket pistols colliding.
The air was fragrant with the sweet smell of California medical and Colorado prime, enjoyed by those perfectly willing to risk probation for such an opportunity. After all, Figgy made her fortune selling clean urine from Utah, so they were fairly confident they could outwit a probation officer.
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Those more into tradition stuck to clear, liquid folk art made in October and fully aged in Mason jars for well over a month. Some had that new off-the-shelf stuff being made legally in the mountains, but since 1792 no self-respecting Kentuckian will drink anything you have to break a seal on.
It turned out that moonshine is not a particularly good way to moisten a fruit cake.
Tie Rod’s ambition at these parties is to almost get drunk and usually he almost succeeds. One year he got so loose he remembered all the words to Christmas Time’s A’ Coming. That was the year he got into a fistfight with a guy who offended Tie Rod by claiming that Tony Rice could play guitar better than Red Smiley. That was also the year that Tie Rod got hauled home in the back of a pickup truck, but didn’t know it until he woke up the next morning wondering who he was.
There was certain intellectual disagreement among the masses about whether it was a good idea to exclude all Muslims from this country. Those who opposed the idea were worried about who would write their prescriptions if Muslims were outlawed. But everybody agreed that it was probably not a good idea to invite one to a Christmas party.
But at some point the last surviving Democrat in the mountains surveyed the crowd and determined that they had all voted for Matt Bevin and announced to them that because of that they were all going to lose their health coverage, which caused much vomiting even among the sober.
So when Tie Rod recovered from the party on Gobbler’s Knob, he set about trying to Christmas shop for his wife, Big ‘E,’ who had scolded him last year for buying her a chain saw.
So he found himself in those marts, amid the hordes of people spending money they didn’t have to buy things for people who did not need those things to celebrate a birth which, for all he knew may have occurred in July, which is a much better month to be hauled around in the back of a pickup.
Reach Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney at websterlawrencer