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Smoke School Stories
The Shed- By the Power Invested in me by The King of Indiana, I ORDER YOU TO MOVE THIS SHED 20 FEET
Yet another story from the somewhat warped brain of Uncle George of Whitlow Smoke School
It all started when I passed this shed carport on the side of the road. It had a sign on it that says $700. I just had to have myself one of them sheds to park my new Dodge 4- wheel-drive Bloody Nose Red Diesel Ram Picking-up truck in before the first snow fall. So I did, sign on the dotted line and the rest is history. I got this new $700 shed carport installed the other day. The final cost was not as advertised on the side of the road. More like $3000. They had her done almost, down to the last sheet metal panel on the side enclosure when this fellow form the zoning committee, the Building Commissioner of Washington Indiana showed up, clipboard in hand. "You got to move this shed back about 20 feet form the road." He said it with little effort like maybe you need to scratch your back.
I said, "That is easy for you to say. Besides I don't even live in the city of Washington Indiana. I live in the country with the cows, foxes, and other critters."
"You are within 2 miles of the city limit lines and your ass belongs to me." He meant business, and he reminded me of me, back when I was an inspector at Louisiana DEQ. I knew that that poor fellow from Tick Fall Louisiana had every intention to continue burning his leaves in his back yard. "It is my yard and I can do what ever I want", He said, "If you don't get out of my yard, I will proceed to beat you over the head several times with this Louisville slugger size 38."
I done seen that baseball bat and I could imagine what it would feel like on top of my bald head. I came back with the sheriff and at least that day, the Tick Fall man did put out the leaf fire.
So anyways I makes a call to my crew and they all show up with 1 X 12 boards, 10 each 2-inch pipe nipples, a crow bar, a prior bar, an ax, 2 light weight McColloch chain saws to cut down the trees, and various instruments of instruction and destruction so we can slide this 3000 pound 3000 dollar 28 X 28 foot carport shed down the gravel driveway some 20 odd feet to make life more smoother for this building commissioner. Thank God I had a permit. Now I just have to find a stump grinder. At least now it can snow and I don't have to scrape the ice from the windshield. And that is the way it is.
Now I just been thinking of this story for a few days, on how to finish it. I was sittin on the throne just before bedtime when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I guess it was that light weight McCulloch chain saw that got me thinking about my fifth or sixth year at Neville High School in Monroe Louisiana in the northeastern redneck part of the state on the Ouachita River.
I had this best friend named Bobby Bentz and he was a long legged skinny wiry redneck kid with money. Now brother, there is a difference between rednecks with money and rednecks without money. Rednecks with money go to the art auctions. Rednecks without money go to yard sales. The price is always going up at art auctions. No so at yard sales. "I will give you a buck 95 for everything you got left."
"I will take it. "
Rednecks with money have these ceramic deer in the front yard. Rednecks without money shoot these ceramic deer. Now Bobby Bentz had plenty of money. He lived in a brick house with a swimming pool in concrete in the back yard and a guest house next to the swimming pool where I used to crash in whenever I got drunk. Which in those days was quiet often. No wonder I had trouble in school. I almost seen my first naked woman there in that guest house, but when I sobered up the next day, the beautiful woman in bed with me, was a dummy from Victoria Secrets. I still remember the feel of that black swanky negligee on that hard plastic body.
Now me and Bobby used to did some stooped stuff like drive around Monroe in a genuine US Army Half-track, what he done purchased at an auction down there at the drive-in theater. You might just be a redneck if you ever got drunk, fell asleep in a drive-in theater and woke up in a truck auction. "Hell, I didn't get dam near enough money, I just brought this truck."
You might a seen us. I was laying on the floor of that army green half-track pushing the gas pedals and the brakes, and 7-foot- tall Bobby was standing up in the seat doing the steering. We used to did some other silly stuff like fish for catfish with construction dynamite. The game warden said it was ok so long as we don't get caught. "Are you going to sit there with that lit stick of dynamite arguing or are you going to fish. "
We needed some more money to get some beer down to the seven eleven. So Bobby said we should get us a summer job on his daddy's construction crew. Now back in dem days Bentz and Elmore was the top of the line in the construction business, right up there with TL James. Me and Bobby worked a whole week for Bentz and Elmore clearing land for the new runway down there at the Airport, Selman Field. It was a hot August day in the dog days of summer. The temperature was about 190 degrees and the relative humidity form the gulf coast was about 200 percent.
Me and Bobby worked with a crew of seven people clearing the land. We took a light weight McCulloch Chain Saw and cut down the good trees to haul off for logs. Then we took a bulldozer and crashed down the trash trees. The me and Bobby went around and picked up the limbs from the ground and pilled them up in the trash tree pile. Then we would tote 5-gallon cans of diesel fuel and old tires and pile them up against the green trees and set them on fire. It was hotter than a 9 dollar pistol, I garontee.
Now folks, I done retired form the Louisiana DEQ and I can assure you that it is against federal regulations to set fire to old tires and diesel fuel to clear land. That black smoke is against the EPA regulations. No one, for any reason except outdoor recreational purposes, can make any smoke or dust that exceeds an average of 20% opacity during any 6 minute period. This includes burning leaves in your back yard, but we all do it anyway. It is like the game warden said, "It is ok until you get caught. "
It was really hot that summer back in 1964. Bobby noticed right away that the Forman stayed in his white truck with the air-conditioner on full blast. We worked out a deal where one of us would climb up in a tree and watch the Forman while the other one took a nap on the ground in the shade. Looking at me today it is hard to believe I could climb up in a 4 inch tallow tree, but I did. I had them overhauls unbuttoned down the the last button on each side. I took off them steel-toed shoes, dug my toenails into the bark of that tree and up I went. We did this for the entire week. I learned a lesson. It is hard to fire the owner's son, but it can be done.
One day before we got fired, me and Bobby got kicked out of a bar room for wearing those half buttoned overhauls in the bar room. We went out to the half track and came back in with two of those light weight McCulloch chain saws and revved them up. They gave us the bar room. Wouldn't you? And that is the way it is. If you liked this story, you should check out my other smoke school stories and family stories. Have a nice day, Vern.
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