Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Devil Advocates

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom loves to play devil's advocate. That's because she has a devilish nature, and enjoys rousting the citizens of Hillmomba from their comfort zones. A recent incident in the news has set her naughty fingers to typing. Imagine the state of public opinion if the broken-in, run-down brogan was on the other foot.

Here's the story. I've read other accounts with added snippets of information, but this was the most thorough account in one article. A 59-year-old landowner in Crawford County confronted some float trip people about being on his property. The murky Missouri waterways law pretty much says that land covered at some time during the year by water is public property, fair game for floaters on a navigable waterway. That means that sandbars are not owned by private parties, but that their property rights start above the normal water line. A party of 40 (or 50, depending on which article) floaters were on their annual Meramec River outing. They pulled in on a sandbar so one of the guys could whiz. Whizzer himself admitted to stepping into the woods. Landowner Yosemite Sam waved his pistol at the varmint, and told the float trip group to get off his property. They argued that they were not leaving, because it wasn't his property. He told them they were trespassing, and to get out. "I have the power here!" he declared, waving his weapon. They declined. Yosemite Sam fired several warning shots into the air and into the ground. Whizzer, 24, and allegedly beered up, said, "Put down that gun and we'll see who has the power." He advanced toward Yosemite Sam. Another male floater picked up two rocks. A 48-year-old peacemaking floater stepped between Rocky and Yosemite Sam. To calm Sam down, according to Peacemaker's wife. "He went to the guy’s arm to try to stop him, but the guy jerked back and popped him in the face.” Peacemaker died on the way to the hospital. Yosemite Sam went and called the police and waited for them to arrive. He admitted to shooting Peacemaker.

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not condone such a shooting. Yosemite Sam is cooling his heels in the county lockup, and will face murder charges. Let the court sort it out. No, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not condone such a shooting. There's no reason to ever shoot a person for arguing about your property boundaries and refusing to leave and advancing towards you. But she understands. Much in the way that comedian Chris Rock does not condone hitting women: "There's no reason to ever hit a woman. But I understand."

Yes, let's play devil's advocate and assume that the hillbilly brogan was on the other foot. A Topsider, perhaps. Because people are quick to belittle hillbillies these days. It's open season on hillbillies. They're all ignorant inbreds who wave guns all willy-nilly Yosemite Sam. And they are all hopped up on meth, and mouth-breathe, and think every canoe trip is Burt Reynolds bringing his buddies to partake of Deliverance backwoods games. Oh, and they're unattractive, to boot.

So let's say that there's a dude named Biff Yuppie. He has inherited a lovely city mansion that sits on a thoroughfare used throughout the summer by hillbillies on their way from Hooterville to Beverly Hills. The hillbillies load up their Jed Clampett jalopies and chug along swilling moonshine. Because one can never really own moonshine, but only rent it, the hillbillies often stop to relieve themselves on Biff's lawn.

Biff does not like to see his hard-inherited property swarming with hillbillies all summer. Unfortunately, he can't legally do anything to them. They are entitled to pull their jalopies onto the sidewalk in front of his mansion. They can start fires there and cook up some possum stew, and pee and poop all across the front of his yard. That's because of the highway easement that allows public access from the center of the road to a specified number of feet onto Biff's mansion grounds.

The hillbillies do not always stay on the public portion. Biff has to clean up possum entrails, moonshine jugs, and piles of hillbilly poop from his lawn. He doesn't think it's fair for others to use "his" property as their own. His children can't even take their naps because of the sound of hillbillies clogging and banjoing all the livelong day. They have even set parts of Biff's yard on fire with carelessly-cleaned-out corncob pipes. Biff becomes obsessed with protecting his property proper. He gets a trained guard dog, a Doberman named Gunnar.

One Saturday afternoon, as hillbillies are whooping it up on Biff's front sidewalk, Biff sees a strapping young hillbilly peeing on his azaleas. Biff is a little on edge, having taken several snorts of cocaine to stay awake and observe the hillbilly goings-on all weekend. He grabs Gunnar, and charges out the front door to confront the Peethro Bodine. Biff is literally shaking in his madras shorts, Izod shirt, and Topsiders, he's so incensed. His flower bed IS his property! Peethro needs to be taught a lesson. Dirty hillbillies. Biff's mad as not-heaven, and he's not going to take it anymore.

Peethro runs back to the easement area tying his rope belt, rejoining the 39 or 49 members of his extended hillbilly family, where they are hoisting jugs of moonshine and hootin' and hollerin'. Biff marches toward the group. "You are trespassing. Get off my property." Gunnar lunges forward, teeth gnashing. "Get off my property, or I'll send my dog! I have the power here!"

The hillbillies refuse to leave. "This ain't your property. We ain't goin' nowhere." Peethro starts toward Biff. "Tie up your dog, and we'll see who has the power." Peethrine, his cousin, picks up two stepping stones. The family patriarch, Cletus, throws his ZZ Top beard over his shoulder, adjusts his overalls, and starts towards Biff. He reaches to grab the arm that holds Gunnar's collar, and in that instant, Biff releases Gunnar. "Sic 'im, boy!" Gunnar jumps up and bites off Cletus's face. Biff calls the authorities, and is arrested pending murder charges.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not condone siccing an attack dog on advancing, stone-armed, hillbilly, allegedly-moonshined-up, would-be trespassers with bad attitudes. But she understands.

Does anybody else?

Any line of reasoning is acceptable, except the trite: attack dogs don't kill people, people-sicced attack dogs kill people.


Sioux said...

Yes, people get hot-headed, whether they're wearing an Izod shirt or overalls.

Yes, people need to take the time to calm down and breathe a few times, deeply.

Thankfully the summer is almost over--not too many days left for clogging and Deliverance games...

Hillbilly Mom said...

I would clog my clodhoppers right on down the river/road if a gun/dog-wielding hothead told me to get out, forget the letter of the law.

If there's one thing I have learned from teaching and denying unemployment benefits, it's DON'T MESS WITH CRAZY. Get somebody in authority to mess with crazy. Especially when crazy might be drug-altered.