Shocked and Awed Tea Bags

It seemed like a good idea at the time.......

October 2003.

Well, when I last told y'all what was going on in town, the Sheriff had just torn down Leroy's trailer, so he had to move into Mr. Henry's old room over Mrs. Wilkes' garage.  This worked out fine for Leroy, but it soon got to be a bit irritating to Mr. Henry.  Leroy's antics can have a lot of entertainment value from a distance, but that sort of charming idiocy gets real old when you suffer the consequences up close and personal.

Mr. Henry takes his job of maintaining the house very seriously, and finding beer cans on the driveway and Hardee's bags in the yard got on his nerves real quick.  So he was pretty pleased when Leroy heard about an old trailer he could get real cheap. They went down to Leroy's old lot to check things out and see about moving the new trailer in. 

Since the great collapse, the underbrush had pretty much taken over the whole place, and one spot looked like those hedgerows I see on WWII documentaries.  Leroy got a bit discouraged with the work it would need, but Mr. Henry tried to keep the concept going.  "Don't worry, Leroy.  I'm sure we can borrow a tractor and a Bush Hog from somebody.  You know folks would be glad to help out."   He was counting on people wanting to get Leroy back outside the city limits.

"Too slow!" said Leroy.  "I need to get this done in a hurry, before that trailer gets sold."  The he got a kind of evil grin on his face and said, "I got a better idea.  Wait here!"  And he took off in his truck.  

He came back with a wood box, and opened it up to show Mr. Henry, who backed up a couple of steps in a hurry.  "That's Dynamite!  Where'd you get that?"

"It's only two sticks," said Leroy.  "It was left over from when Mr. Denny was clearing out stumps when he built his new house.  I was working for him then, and I stashed these out behind his barn."

"But you don't know how to handle that stuff!" said Mr. Henry.  "I remember, Mr. Denny had some serious demolition guys doin' that job! You're crazy to mess with it!"

"How hard can it be?" said Leroy.  "I've seen all them Clint Eastwood movies, and it looks easy, just light it and throw it.  It's bound to do the job!"

"This ain't no movie!  This is real life!  And you're real crazy!  Get that outa here!"  Mr. Henry had backed up to the road.

Leroy was offended.  "Well, you're just a crazy old man!  An' I know what the problem is, you're just chicken!  I ain't gonna call you Mr. Henry no more, you're Henrietta.  Yeah, that's it, Henrietta the Hen!"

Leroy was dancing around, waving his arms with one stick in each hand.  Mr. Henry backed up, straddling the white line in the road.  "Leroy, I'm telling you, this is nothing but trouble!  Get rid of that stuff!"

Leroy stopped his dance.  "Don't worry, Henrietta, I can handle this!  I'm a tough guy!"  Then he struck a pose and said, "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

"But the Sheriff's gonna take a pretty dim view of you blowin' stuff up! " said Mr. Henry, continuing his retreat.  "He'll have deputies all over you!"

"I ain't afraid of no deputies!  Bring 'em on!" 

Mr. Henry gave up and hid behind a tree across the road.  Leroy lit one of the sticks and tossed it into the worst of the underbrush.  It went off with a satisfying roar, scattering pieces of vegetation all over the lot.  Leroy cheered, then tossed the second stick at what was left.  This time a cloud of white dust came up with the bark and leaves.

Leroy shouted, "See, Henrietta the Hen?  I handled it just fine!"  Feeling a little safer, Mr. Henry came back across the road and said "So far, Leroy, so far."

Leroy went forward to inspect his work, waving his arms and laughing.  He turned around to yell at Mr. Henry again, but before he could get the words out he suddenly just dropped out of sight.  His yelp of surprise was quickly followed by a muffled, slow motion kind of splash.

Leroy called out, "Hey!  Mr. Henry!  Help me!"

Mr. Henry calmly said "Leroy, I call tell by the smell you just blowed the lid off your old septic tank.  Did you want some help inspectin' it?"

Leroy started up again.  "No, dammit!  Get me out of here!"

Mr. Henry edged close enough to see the top of Leroy's head.  Leroy was not adapting well to his suddenly changed circumstances.

"Shit!  Shit!  Shit, shit, shit!  Aw, Shit!"  

Mr. Henry didn't seem to be in too much of a hurry .  "You know, Leroy, for a moron, you sometimes display a great sense of situationable awareness."

Leroy was getting panicky.  "Mr. Henry!  Get me outa here!"

Mr.  Henry moved a few steps closer.  "What was that you just called me? I thought you had a different name for me."

"I'm sorry I called you Henrietta!  I'll never do it again! I swear!  Just get me out of here!"

"Let's see, here.  Can you say, 'Mr. Henry you are a wise, generous and beautiful person'?"

"OK, OK, you're a wise and generous and not so ugly person.  Help me!"

"Close enough," said Mr. Henry, as he took a few more steps forward.  "How about 'Mr. Henry, you was right all along'?"

This generated a long pause. 

Finally Leroy said, "Is there anybody else up there to help me?"


Another long pause.

"Oh, alright, alright.  You were right the whole time, and I was stupid.  But you can't just leave me here!"

"S'pose not," said Mr. Henry.  "But it is a temptin' thought."

He poked around the newly created rubble and found some limbs long enough and strong enough for the job, and tossed them down to the prisoner.

After another bout of whining and grumbling, the noticeably fragrant Leroy finally climbed out. He sat down in exhaustion, looking like some strange kind of mushroom that had suddenly appeared after a rain.

Mr. Henry tried to feel sorry for him; he really did.  But he just couldn't work up a whole lot of sympathy.

"Leroy, if it's all the same to you I don't really need a ride back to the house.  I'll just get there on my own." 

And he headed on down the road.