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Friday, May 12, 2006

Won't You Be My Neighbor

How can one neighborhood gather so many freaks? It's not like we live in a high-density area, so all I can guess is, it must be in the water.

Meet King of the Road. He has so many vehicles on his property that he has become the punch line to all "you might be a redneck" jokes. The funny thing about this guy is he is damn proud of his rusted and dented collection. He also seems to think he is the best salesman in the history of our 150-year-old town.

During the spring and summer, while many other neighbors are having garage sales, he is out trying to sell cars, trucks, boats, tractors and anything else one can drive. He doesn't run advertisements in newspapers. He uses his neighbors' garage sale clientele. It's not like he walks up to the shoppers and lures them away. He is much more subtle.

King of the Road drives up on his tractor while towing a boat, car or truck with a giant hand-written for sale sign taped to the window. He circles the block repeatedly, driving extra slow as he passes the garage sales. I don't think he has ever sold a vehicle that way but it doesn't seem to stop him from trying year after year and sale after sale.

DUI Guy is just another oddball in da hood. His name was in the police reports so many times for driving under the influence that everyone calls him DUI Guy. He seems to think it's just a playful nickname.

Last year a judge finally took away his license for good. His old lady got sick of his drinking and left, taking the car. We really thought his troubles would straighten DUI Guy out. We couldn't have been more wrong.

There's a country song that says, "She might have took my car keys but she forgot about my old John Deere." I think it's a Vince Gill song. Anyhow, this guy is totally that song! Because he can no longer drive his car, he takes his tractor everywhere. But don't go thinking he has stopped drinking. Now he drinks and drives a tractor down our streets.

Picture if you will, a John Deere rusted out tractor, towing a wagon filled with hay. Now picture the driver, a greasy haired blonde with a dirty ballcap and Blue Blockers. In his hand he holds a NASCAR koozie, which holds his Old Style beer. Sitting atop the hay inside of the wagon is his new girlfriend, dressed in her Sunday best, with her 8-year-old daughter sitting next to her, also well dressed.

If that picture wasn't bad enough, imagine what we witnessed next. They were heading toward the main road, which is actually a state highway where cars travel about 60 miles per hour. He didn't make it into town. A state trooper caught him, pulled him over and he was arrested for DUI and for driving without a license.

Apparently, he was taking the girls to church. The officer who added that information to his report that was in our local rag of a newspaper also added, "Officer Stephens drove the ladies to the First Baptist Church and then took the perpetrator to jail."

God I love this little hick town.