Tall Tales about Crops Growing Wild

The old boys of Plumtree Crossing have some fun at the expense of a city slicker looking to make a profit, by telling him wild stories about some abandoned farm land.

| September/October 1983

  • smiling-scarecrow
    Sometimes the best response to a city slicker looking to make a buck is a little country humor.

  • smiling-scarecrow

"There are two times in a man's life when he shouldn't speculate…when he can't afford it and when he can." –Mark Twain 

Well sir, it were only a few years back that I told you how—in these parts—when the birds start leavin' for the winter, that peculiar human breed, the urban leaf peeper, begins a-comin' in, to ogle at the fall mountain tree colors. An' furthermore, seein' as how the gents of the Plumtree Crossin' Truth an' Veracity League spend most of their daily hours roostin' on the front porch of the Crossin's sole Gen'ral Store, as often as not those ol' boys end up serving as Plumtree's unofficial reception committee!

Now, taken as a group, the leaf peepers are good enough sorts. They don't mean no harm, an' if they sometimes don't exactly know the proper codes of rural conversational conduct, at least they's politely ignorant. So the fellas gen'rally do they best to help our autumnal visitors out (so long as such assistance don't entail expendin’ any physical effort, o' course). But ever' now an' agin, somebody a wee bit more weasel-natured comes along, an' receives a different sort of welcome.

In fact, jist the other day, a spankin' new bechromed an' bedazzlin' red pickup truck—with "SPECULATE REAL ESTATE CO." splattered on it in big letters (and "For the Discriminating Farmette Buyer" written in underneath)——pulled right up to the store. That machine hadn't even been properly clicked off afore out popped a slick-haired man wearin' pressed blue jeans, polished work boots, and a mail-order plaid shirt that looked downright allergic to sweat. He run right up to the porch, thrust a business card into each feller's hand—or under their hats if they looked like they was asleep—and, standin' right in the flight path to the ol' boys' spittoon, announced, "Pleased to meet you, gentlemen! Dealer McWheeler's my name! I was wondering if you citizens might know of any prime growing land I could put up on the market."

Well, he were greeted by a silence thick enough to plant 'taters in.

"Boys, you gotta understand there's an ever-increasing realty market out here, you know, 'Where Water's Pure, and Air Smells Like Manure.' Why, I'm talkin' about the upscale buyer, the high-class people who want a cute little place out in the country and can pay for it (not those little-guy homesteaders who study soil types and shop for mortgages!). Savvy? We're talking M-O-O-L-A!"

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