Playing Stupid With Tourists

When autumn rolls around, the loafers of Plumtree Crossing start playing stupid for the more obnoxious members of the tourist set.

| September/October 1980

"If Adam came on earth again, the only thing he would recognize would be the old jokes." —Thomas Robert Dewar  

Well sir, if there's a time of year when all God's critters are busier than enny other time, it's jist bound to be thet halfway season 'twixt summer an' fall. The bees, squirrels, and bears are all a-layin' in stores agin' th' winter ... and folks are canning garden victuals like Judgment Day was comin' a week from Wednesday and they're gittin' ready fer company.

Fact is, even the gen'rally indolent members of the Plumtree Crossin' Truth and Veracity League (fellers who, it must be admitted, were born tired and raised lazy) is engagin' in they own partic'lar form of harvestin' activity: what they calls "tourist shuckin'." You'd prob'ly call it "playing stupid."

Now all in all, you understand, us Barren County folks don't hold no grudges agin' our urban visitors. Most of 'em are friendly sorts who don't do nothin' more'n come this way once a year to git their necks cricked up over the fall leaves.

A few of thet annual flock of leaf peepers, howev'r, seem to harbor the peculiar notion—jist because they eat out at restyrants, 'stead of at their neighbors, and have more bills (partic'larly the sort what needs payin') in they wallets than their rural cousins have—thet they're some kind of superior bein's ... whilst us country folks is all ignorant plow pullers who'd gladly give a person change for a three-dollar bill, iffen we only had thet much money to begin with!

It's types like them which the of boys at Plumtree Crossin' shuck cleaner'n dog-licked steak platters. Fer a case in point, the gents was all a-sittin' around the front porch of the store th' other day, surrounded by a display of apples, cider jugs, corncob pipes, and gen'rally useless knickerknacks (ev'ryone 'round here sets up some kinda tourist stand in the fall ... it bein' mighty hard to refuse money that drives up to yer house and asks to spend itself). 'Bout midmornin', three touristers pulled up in one of them teacup-tiny furrin cars. Directly, the blubber-fowled citizen what was wedged in behind the wheel pointed a dollar seegar at Newt Blanchard and—eyin' Newt like the old feller was less'n a cull from nothin'—barked out, "Hey hillbilly, which road goes to Erosion Junction?"

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