The Last Laugh: The Diplomatic Mission

Wanting a little peace during the holidays, the residents of Plumtree Crossing organize a diplomatic mission in hopes resolving an endless quarrel between Olive and August Carmichael.

| November/December 1979

"You can do something every day to make other people happy... just by minding your own business."  

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astound the rest."Mark Twain 

Well sir, them big ol' Canada honkers is settlin' in amongst the dried stalks over in Lafe Higgins' cornfield again ... which means thet we're already hip deep into another holiday season. (In fact, Lafe were ollin' up his 10-gauge jist the other day, an' allowed he was "rememberin' the goose of Christmas past an' fixin' to secure the goose of Christmas yet to come.") 

Now I don't reckon thet the holidays pass much different here in Barren County than they do in yer neck of the woods. They's always a fair piece of eatin' to be done (as well as a taste er two of liquid refreshment to be got on the outside of), a larger than usual helpin' of hospitality and neighborliness makin' the rounds (which seems to sit better with some folks than it does with others) ... an' somehow they's always a few ne'er-do-wells who seem dead set on not keepin' to the spirit of the season a-tall!

Take last year, fer example. The weather around Plumtree Crossin' were already middlin' cold come early December (which meant Doc had to treat the usual number of greenhorn deer hunters whose fingers had froze fast to their triggers), an' the signs of preparation fer the comin' holiday festivities was thicker'n ticks on a longhaired dog!

Sadie McCannon were in the third week of agin' her fruitcakes, fer instance (an' Cleedy claimed thet each one of them confections had soaked up a good quart of three-dollar rum!), whilst most of the young'uns was makin' treks to the Jarvis Brothers' woods to fetch home sackfuls of caribou moss fer makin' wreaths and such ... an' boxes of glass ornyments— lookin' all the prettier fer the fact thet the paint were chippin' offen most of 'em—was bein' unpacked in enny number of households.

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