American Humor: Country Debts and Political Follies

The Last Laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor. This issue everyone gathers at the Plumtree Crossin” General Store to discuss country debts and political follies.

| March/April 1978

  • More American humor from the gang gathered at Plumtree Crossin' General Store.
    More American humor from the gang gathered at Plumtree Crossin' General Store.
    Illustration by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff

  • More American humor from the gang gathered at Plumtree Crossin' General Store.

Last Laugh shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor with other readers. The gang at the Plumtree Crossin' General Store laugh about country debts and political follies.

Remember Senator Dudley LeBlanc and Hadacol (the alcohol-heavy 'good for what ails you' drugstore medicine that he peddled all over the country back in the 1950's?) Many were the stories of legendary cures that the elixir was supposed to have brought about. And many were the slightly more tongue-in-cheek ‘miracles' attributed to the tonic.

One of the tales in the second category was recently revived by John P. Wirtz, a copywriter from Brooklyn. 'Of all the millions of folks who started each day with a snort of Hadacol,' John says, 'only one was ever reported to have died . . . a 102-year-old woman in Baton Rouge. Fortunately, however, they were able to save the baby.'

The stars ain't so close together as they look to be.
Mark Twain

Well sir, last Tuesday was more or less overcome by the spring drearies here in Barren County. You know the kind of day . . . gray, overcast, with the cricks all out of their banks, and not a bud on a tree. The ruts in front of the Plumtree Crossin' General Store were all runnin' level full from the cold rain that had fallen the night before . . . and the few chickens that was out in Doe Thromberg' back yard across the way was all puffed up and walkin' around stiff-legged from the sheer indignity of it all.

Inside the store things weren't much better. The boys had taken turns spittin' terbaccy juice on the hot potbelly stove and watchin' it sizzle until they'd wore all the sport and novelty outta the game. After that the afternoon jist sorta went downhill . . . until Cleedy McCannon happened to glance out the big plate glass window there in the front.

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