New Year Puncher

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January 3, 2011 by David Gillaspie

After the Christmas Kicker I thought all the fun and games of the holidays would be over. 

Wrong.  Way wrong.  But first a little background.

My hometown is small, which brings clarification to ‘small town America.’

A friend from Louisiana once said people from his state who grew up in towns as small as mine were all ‘hillbillies.’

It’s a regional thing.  North Bend, Oregon?  We have stop lights.  Hillbillies?  I missed them if they were there. 

Since my town was so small, by definition he thought I was a hillbilly too.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him everyone not from Louisiana thinks the whole state is full of snake wrestling witch doctors who practice Voodoo from their back porch coffin, which is unfair to Mississippi.

My own children think I grew up in a hillbilly haven.  Maybe it’s hereditary.  I always thought my Dad grew up in hillbilly land, too.  I was wrong.  Just because a man uses Bag Balm as a cure-all doesn’t mean he’s a hillbilly. 

(Bag Balm IS a cure-all.  Sorry, Dad.)

The least hillbilly place might be white bread suburbia, unless you live somewhere with the word ‘Mountain’ in the neighborhood name. 

On this New Year’s Eve, Bull Mountain turned into Bull Holler. 

The final score of twenty-something aged men partying together: broken teeth, black eyes, rug-pad-wrestling scrapes and bruises, blood, and broken glass.

It was a shocking scene the next morning since I laid down the law the night before.  The party ends a 2 a.m.  No one stays over and sweats beer on the couch pillows. 

At least I went to bed at two. 

Most all stayed over.  When I got up my wife, Clara Barton, was doing first aid with bactine and cotton pads.  I heard about the teeth and asked where they were?  One young man said, “In my pocket.”

For non-hillbilly suburban sophisticates, it was the perfect hillbilly answer.  

Cue the banjo.


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