American Humor: A Lying Contest

The last laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS Plumtree boys and reader submitted regional American humor with other MOTHER readers.


| September/October 1988



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That's right, the boys decided to have a lying contest. According to the official rules, the losers would have to spring for a round of Nehi sodas and Moon Pies.


ILLUSTRATION: PETER KUPER

Last Laugh shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader submitted American humor with other readers. 

American Humor: A Lying Contest

WELL SIR, IT'S BEEN SO LONG SINCE the traveling rail riders of the Plumtree Crossing General Assembly have been home (21 issues, to be exact!) that a good many of you readers probably don't even know where Plumtree Crossing is. Let me correct that right now.

Plumtree Crossing is related by name to Plum Nelly, Tennessee (a little burg" plum" out of Georgia and "nelly" out of Tennessee), but of P.C. is actually plum out of near and nelly out of far away. Its center (actually, its only it) is Sylvester T. Pennywhistle's General Store at the crossing itself. That junction joins two seldom-clogged rural arteries, the first of which heads toward Erosion junction, the capital of Barren County, while the other is the kind of twisty mountain back road that never gets where it's headed 'cause every time it goes around a curve it meets itself coming back.

At that crossing, on the front porch of that general store, on a recent hot July day (the kind that's so dry the trees follow the dogs around), our friends perched and parched on their benches and rocking chairs and engaged in their most charming (and highly developed) native folk art.

That's right, the boys decided to have a lying contest. According to the official rules, the losers would have to spring for a round of Nehi sodas and Moon Pies. Just to make things interesting, Ott Bartlett (the oldest and biggest liar of the bunch) was appointed judge. Anyone who told a tale Ott admitted he didn't believe would be declared the winner.

"Heck, I'll end this contest right now," Lafe Higgins began. "I used to have a coonhunting dog so good I could show her a board and she'd go racin' off in the woods to find a hide to fit it. Once, though, she spotted my missus's ironing board and went hunting for a raccoon big enough to fit that. I like to never got her back.





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