"Political progress grows out of the barrel of a gun."
-- Mao Zedong
Balsam Hill, Tennessee was experiencing some cultural changes due to outsiders moving into the general area.
Now earlier there were city types from Nashville, Louavul (sic!), or Rolly (sic!) who found a mountain cabin to be to their liking. Now these in-state or nearby state types did not cause no ruckus, nohow! They were content to spend weekends and a week or two in summer in their cabins. And Billy Bob and Bubba, our not-so-dynamic duo, served as handymen/watchmen to their cabins when they weren't around.
And some entrepreneurs brought pain relieving drugs to compete with that local polio weed (marijuana). And, bless their hearts, these city types had tastes for better wines than the local package store had been carrying. Things were good.
But Yankees also discovered they joys and unspoiled territory of Balsam Hill. And they also came - bringing along some foreign notions less welcome: zoning restrictions. And rules about decoration.
Gol-dern! Soon it was going to be against the law to have garden gnomes or plastic flamingoes or bottle trees. Now old grandpa Jethro's painstakingly collected Old Crow bottle tree would became illegal. And it took Old Jethro the better part of ten years' serious drinking to fill that tree! Neighbors considered it to be legendary!
And Miz Thomas. Now in honor of her five daughters, she had a bra tree in her front yard. Yessir . . . . them bras would have to go too. Anyway, the preacher Brother Bob argued that such things were showing the sin of pride. Especially Esmeralda's.
It took two men and a boy to look at Esmeralda, y'know.
And parking cars on cement blocks, such as they were, would be illegal. So the pride of Balsam Hill: the replica of The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard would have to go.
This comes from the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess success. Although no one dared to erect a chapel in her honor. Too bad; it would have made a nice tourist attraction much like Crossville's Flying Spaghetti Monster monument.
However, things were not all bad: there were cheeses! Suddenly, hillbillies discovered the joys of brie! On crackers, no less! Not to mention gorgonzola. Even if no one could spell it right. And some entrepreneurs brought pain relieving drugs to compete with that local polio weed (marijuana).
But getting back to the story. The locals were not diligent in exercising their right to vote (a local problem), so the outlanders got a majority on the County board and they decided to consider some ordinances restricting tacky property decorations. Yessir . . . . nothing dangling from trees, no indoor furniture on porches, no cars on cement blocks, no plastic flamingoes or garden gnomes. Not even little Disney mermaids in bird baths. Balsam Hill was going to be spruced up - neat as a New England village, you betcha!
Was Baslam Hill about to turn into a Connecticut town?
Well, on the evening those repressive measures were to be taken up by the council persons, it just also happened to be the first date of snipe hunting season. And there was lots of trucks parked by the Town Hall with loaded gun racks in their rear windows and sacks and sticks in the trunk.
It didn't even take a word to the wise. No, a word to the stupid would suffice.
You don't mess with the rights of people who tote guns. Even if they came to hunt snipe.
The town council tabled those repressive measures. Grandpa Jethro's Old Crow tree was safe.
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