It's all a matter of perspective.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Jimmy Lee Herringbone lived in a small town in the Ouachita National Forest. He cut lumber for a living. To entertain others he cut the cheese. Jimmy Lee was thirty years old and never did finish high school. He didn’t drop out; he just kind of stopped going his senior year around March. When graduation rolled around he figured there was no sense in going. He found out later at the after party that they had called out his name and even had a diploma for him. At this point he was too embarrassed to go up to the High School Principal’s office and collect that diploma. He couldn’t imagine that they would graduate someone that had not been to class in eight weeks. But they did.

Jimmy Lee took a job at the sawmill that his old man ran. They made wood shavings that were used in the chicken houses that were springing up all over those hills. On good days his old man would let him drive the big delivery truck through the woods to some chicken house that needed them. This meant that Jimmy Lee got to get out of the mill and listen to his Randy Travis tape and daydream about moving away to a far away exotic town like Mena or Russellville.

At a party one night he met a girl from LA . . . Lower Arkansas that is. Her name was Betsy McCord and she was from down around Camden She was visiting her cousin Betty. Jimmy Lee liked Betsy. She wasn’t that pretty, but she was nice. She was so nice in fact that Jimmy Lee kept her plastic cup full of keg beer all night. About 11:30 they consummated their relationship on the bench seat in the cab of his 1987 full-size Chevy pick-up. While they were going at it, Jimmy Lee accidentally kicked the gear shift and it slipped into neutral. They had no idea that the old truck was moving until it hit a tree. They were parked out in the woods and it only rolled about twenty yards, but that was enough to put a nice dent in the front bumper. Right in the center, no less.

As it turned out, that dent was not the only souvenir that Jimmy Lee would have from that night. About a month later Betsy called him up and informed that she and her Daddy were headed north and they intended to pick up Jimmy Lee and go find a nice Missionary Baptist preacher that would marry the two of them because her daddy said he weren’t going to have no bastard grandchildren. Jimmy Lee just played it cool. When they got there he had on his cleanest black jeans, a short sleeve while button down shirt, and a paisley tie. Hell, he even shined up his boots. He liked Betsy, after all. He couldn’t think of any reason why the two of them and a little rug rat could not live happily ever after.

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