The Last Laugh: Taking Land For Free

Read the humorous story of one man passing his land off on an unsuspecting victim.

| May/June 1982

  • Soil
    One man buys a home only to find exaggerated living conditions...

  • Soil
Well sir, summer's a-shakin' her tail feathers an' fixin' to settle in on Plumtree Crossin'. An' the advent of warm weather has brung the members of the Truth an' Veracity League out from the back of the Gen'ral Store an' onto the split an' silvered wooden bench thet graces the front of the establishment.
It weren't more'n a week back thet the old fellers were enthusiastically breakin' in their places on thet piece of furniture (they was still so fresh outa their heavy winter duds thet they all looked a little sheared-sheep awkward) when this rattletrap of a jitney pulled up to the store's lone gas pump.

The driver cut off the ignition (causin' the jalopy to shudder like a beached fish afore goin' quiet) an' — leapin' from the vehicle all wide-eyed an' trembly — asked if someone would be kind enough to give him $10 worth of fuel. Always eager to be obligin', young Billy Parsons set to the task, whilst Ott Bartlett engaged the newcomer in conversation.

"Young feller, you look to be scramblin' uphill with hell comin' hot behind you. If you don't mind my askin', jist what are you in such an all-fired hurry fer?"

Well, on hearin' thet, the stranger smiled — sheepish-like — an' leaned back agin' the storefront.

"Oh man," he sighed, closin' his eyes fer a moment. "I guess I am actin' on the frantic side. But I'll tell you, after all I been through these past 12 months, I jist cain't wait to git shut of this part of the country."

Now ol' Ott's a fierce one when it comes to civic pride (though he's the first to complain when ennything of a local nature — be it the placement of the town's first street light or the weather — ain't jist how he'd like), so you could hear his back gittin' up when he replied, "Persackly what sorta misfortune were it what turned you agin Barren County?"

"Oh, I ain't got nothin' agin yer county," the man were quick to assert. "Fact is, this is the first time I've even passed through here. But this partic'lar piece of two-lane looked to be the fastest route away from Scrug Flats."

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