It was entirely by accident, as it happened. Said reporter got lost on the road to Nashville, where the movers and shakers in Tennessee congregate, and wound up on some secondary road in the Tarheel State. He stopped for gas, and Bubba and Billy Bob were sitting on a bench trying to avoid work, as usual. Ole Billy Bob and Bubba decided to stretch the truth a mite when answering this inquisitive stranger; after all, they had lots of time on their idle hands, as usual.
The writer, named Quentin, decided to ask these idlers what they thought about Obamacare. Billy Bob offered that it sounded like a good notion, but he tended to avoid doctors since one stuck something up his butt and it hurt right smart!
He asked the guys what they liked to eat. Bubba said that he preferred chicken, but would not say no to some possum stew. He kept a straight face while telling this. Quentin turned a little green at the thought.
So Quentin tried some softball questions about religion. Did our guys believe in the Bible? Bubba spoke for the two of them: "Yup."
Did they believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible? Billy Bob said "Sho nuff."
"How old a woman or girl should be before she gets married?" "Wall, now......Mebbe old enough to support her husband as most of my friends are shiftless."
This was a twist of practicality that Quentin did not expect. Still it fit in with his Weltanshauung of mountain types as shiftless and indolent. (William Byrd II described Tarheels as lazy in his description of Lubberland over two centuries ago.)
He followed it with other questions about religion.
"Does your church use snakes in your worship service." "No, Sir. Sometimes the preacher sees snakes but it's too much of that old high-octane Mountain Dew. No, we just get straight preachin' and singin'; but now and then we have some entertainment to draw the crowds in."
"Oh, Sir, you mentioned entertainment......what sorts?"
"Well, the more liberal members can play Bingo. Any game named after a dog must be okay. And sometimes the readheaded schoolteacher entertains at Sunday night services."
"What sort of entertainment does she do?"
"Well, she clogs, and can play a mean kazoo. And sometimes she strips. That's popular, as we don't want the young guys getting drunk over in Charlotte and coming home in the nighttime fog over the mountain."
Billy Bob and Bubba kept a straight face the whole time. They were accomplished liars; they know that it can work as long as you don't get too far-fetched. [Like they would have a fine future in the legislature in Raliegh.]
Quentin was totally impressed. He felt like he was a journalistic pioneer, discovering hidden dimensions in mountain life. He knew the editors of the Gothamite Reporter would be impressed. Here he was, in western North Carolina, finding out something new. It just goes and shows, the natives are so guileless!