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80 Years Ago

Archives 06-06-2001

North County Lines by Bob

An Award Winning Column

For comments or questions contact Bob at bobncl@hotmail.com





Albert Einstein was correct when he said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." But he didn't mention that channeling enough imagination to write a newspaper column worth reading each week can be as frustrating as trying to start a stubborn lawn mower.

You crank and crank with no success. You change the spark plug, but to no avail. You clean the air filter, but that doesn't help either.

After yanking off your hat and slinging it to the ground, you give the lawn mower a good cussin': "You dirty, rotten, no good piece of stinkin' junk, I'm replacing you with a new one first chance I get."

To show the lawn mower you mean business, you kick it. After jumping up and down on one foot while yelling "I broke my big toe! I broke my big toe!, you say the heck with it and start looking for your trusty can of ether to spray in the carburetor.

You remember putting it somewhere. But where? As you ramble through the garage looking for it, you say to yourself, "I'm going to clean this mess up one day"

A little voice in your head says, "Who you tryin' to kid? You're never going to clean the garage and you know it."

"Shut up," you reply, "just shut up. I'm looking for something and I don't need you buggin' me."

Your better half, or so she believes, opens the inside door to the garage and sticks her head in, "Who are you talking to? I didn't know we had company."

You think, Don't be hassling me, woman, I'm busy. You say, "Nobody, honey, I'm looking for something."

She says, "For what?"

"Some ether," you reply, "to start the lawn mower."

"What does it look like?" she asks.

"A tall spray can," you answer, "with Starting Fluid written on the front."

"Oh, that," she says, "my brother borrowed it the other day while you were at work. I hope you don't mind."

That two-bit moocher, you think, too cheap to buy a can of his own. You say, "No, honey, I don't mind. I'll drive 17 miles to town, buy a can and drive 17 miles back. I don't have anything better to do on my day off."

"You're not being sarcastic, are you?" she asks.

"Of course not," you reply. "I like your brother taking my stuff and never returning it."

"I'm glad you like my brother," she says. "It'll make it easier when he moves in with us."

Be a cold day in hell when that happens, you think. "Moves in with us? you say. "What do you mean?

"He's going to live with us," she replies. "We'll turn your den into his bedroom. He needs somewhere to feel comfortable now that he's out on parole."

"I don't know, honey," you say. "That might not be a good idea. Maybe we should think it over first."

She starts a fake crying jag. "You don't love me anymore. I'm going to live with my mama."

Not a far trip, you think. Not when her mama lives in the back bedroom. You say, "Now, now, honey, don't be crying. You know how I feel about you."

While you're trying to calm your wife down, her mother comes out of the back bedroom, wearing a tattered bathrobe and dangling a cigarette with a three-inch ash from the corner of her mouth.

While you're wondering why anyone would dye her hair the color of peach ice cream, she starts in on you. "You no good bum, see what you done, you made my beautiful angel cry."

You resist the urge to say, "Angels come from the other direction." Instead, you reply, "I'm going to town. Need anything?"

Your mother-in-law says, "Two cases of Bud and a carton of Kools."

On the way into town, you stop at a local country store to buy a Mountain Dew. As you're leaving, you bump into a friend. "Look kind of down," he says. "Want to talk about it?"

When you finish explaining your situation, your friend says, "Write Bob of North County Lines. Tell him what's wrong. He'll know what to do."

After receiving Bob's reply, you complete a short home-study course in Spanish and withdraw all your money from the bank.

Early one morning, while your wife and her mother and brother are still passed out from getting loaded the night before, you throw a few things in a suitcase and slip out the back door.

After stopping for gas and coffee, you pull onto the main road and locate your favorite station on the radio, no fake country, no Garth Brooks, no Wynnona Judd, no plastic trash, no Michael Bolton, no Spice Girls, only good rock n' roll, music and lyrics with drive and meaning.

A blast from the past reaffirms your decision: "Bankin' off of the northeast wind, sailin' on summer breeze, I'm goin' where the weather suits my clothes."

You merge onto the interstate and head for Mexico, to the land of beautiful senoritas, cheap cerveza, and long afternoon siestas, to a land far away from your wife and her freeloading family, far away from the eight to five grind, far away from everything that's been dragging you down, far away from that stinkin', good for nothin' lawn mower.





Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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