County Lines by Bob
Once upon a time, a daddy bird, a mama bird, and a teenage bird
lived in a nest in the suburbs.
One Saturday, while Daddy Bird was trying to relax, Mama Bird yelled,
"Why don't you get off your lazy butt and do something besides
drink beer and watch wrestling!"
Flipping off the TV, Daddy Bird said, "Good idea, I'll go
to a bar and watch kickboxing instead."
"You better not get another DUI!" Mama Bird yelled. "I'll
leave you in jail this time!"
While eating supper one evening, Daddy Bird said to Mama Bird,
"Where's Junior Bird? He needs to be home in case his probation
officer stops by to check on him."
"Don't worry," Mama Bird said. "Junior Bird's at
the library studying."
Daddy Bird knew better. Junior Bird was eighteen and still in the
seventh grade. He wasn't at the library. He was out with his bird
friends, drinking beer and getting high on illegal substances.
Daddy Bird was right. Junior Bird's next drug screen tested positive
for cocaine and marijuana.
When the judge bird sentenced Junior Bird to a year in the state
bird pen for violating probation, Mama Bird was upset. She didn't
want Junior Bird to be a jail bird.
Daddy Bird said, "Maybe it'll do him some good, teach him
Daddy Bird was right. The older convict birds taught Junior Bird
where to look for hidden valuables when burglarizing homes and how
to make a $5.00 money order look like a $500 money order. Junior
Bird also received lessons in what cars were easiest to steal and
how to cash stolen Social Security checks.
Worried that her bird friends would think she was a bad bird because
her son was doing time, Mama Bird started attending church so her
bird friends would think she was a good bird.
Mama Bird pestered Daddy Bird until he started going too. But something
about the way the preacher bird droned on and on always put Daddy
Bird to sleep.
One Sunday, while Daddy Bird was sound asleep in the front pew,
the preacher bird yelled, "Everyone who likes sin, stand up!Ó
Daddy Bird jumped to his feet.
"So," the preacher bird said, "you like sin, do
"I'm sorry," Daddy Bird said. "I thought you said
As a drive-through teller at a bird bank, Mama Bird dealt with
many different types of bird customers. One day a lawyer bird drove
up to her bullet-proof window in a shiny, new, German birdmobile
and cashed a check from a blind and crippled homeless widow he had
sued. The lawyer bird asked Mama Bird to meet him after work for
"I'm married," Mama Bird said.
"So what?" the lawyer bird said. "We'll have a drink
and talk. What harm could that do?"
"Okay," Mama Bird said. "But just one drink. Then
I have to go home."
Before long Mama Bird and the lawyer bird were checking into a
bird motel under assumed names on a regular basis. Mama Bird knew
if Daddy Bird caught them he'd break the lawyer bird in half. She
had to do something before Daddy Bird got wise.
One day she asked Daddy Bird to move out. When Daddy Bird asked
why, Mama Bird said, "I don't love you anymore."
Daddy Bird asked if there was someone else. Mama Bird said, "Now
you're accusing me of being a tramp. What kind of bird do you think
Removing the things he treasured most from his and Mama Bird's
nest, Daddy Bird loaded his beer and the television set into the
trunk of his birdmobile with dented fenders and bald tires and drove
to the nest where his girlfriend bird lived.
After Daddy Bird explained what had happened, his girlfriend bird
said, "Now we can get married as soon as you're divorced."
Daddy Bird knew he'd never marry a side dish. He also knew he better
keep his big beak shut if he wanted to avoid the hassle of finding
a nest of his own.
Even though he didn't like the smell of his girlfriend's breath
first thing in the morning, an aroma that reminded him of dirty
socks, Daddy Bird liked living in her nest in the middle of town.
He could walk to a bar. He didn't have to worry about another DUI.
Daddy Bird soon discovered the Parrot Lounge, two drinks for the
price of one, from opening time to closing time. With a good bar
so close, Daddy Bird started drinking instead of going to work.
When the Parrot Lounge opened at seven in the morning, Daddy Bird
was there. A couple stiff belts and his shakes and nasty hangover
were gone. Daddy Bird would drink until he was completely smashed.
Then he'd drink a few more and a few more. Then he'd drink a few
more and a couple more after that.
A bartender bird once asked Daddy Bird why he drank so much. Daddy
Bird said, "I drink to forget."
"To forget what?" the bartender bird asked.
"I can't remember," Daddy Bird replied.
Not long after Daddy Bird's divorce, his girlfriend bird said,
"If you loved me, you'd marry me."
"Marriage is for the birds," Daddy Bird said.
"But we are birds," his girlfriend bird replied.
What nag, Daddy Bird thought, just like Mama Bird. Maybe I'll move
to Los Angeles where all the cuckoo birds live.
One night after leaving the Parrot Lounge, Daddy Bird stepped in
front of a Greyhound bird bus.
At the morgue a police bird searching through Daddy Bird's clothes
for identification found a postcard addressed to Junior Bird. On
the back of the card Daddy Bird had written:
I'm sorry I haven't been a good father. Please forgive me. When
you search for happiness in the wrong places, you often get lost.
I'm going to stop drinking soon. Love, Daddy Bird
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570