The art of storytelling and prevaricating
What with the passing of neighborhood general stores and benches around courthouses, there’s no place for folks of the male gender with time on their hands to hang around and whittle and chaw and jaw anymore.
In danger of becoming extinct is the art of storytelling, prevaricating and just plain blowing things all out of proportion. And it is an art – one that takes a lot of practice and one that needs to be nurtured and held onto.
When I ran across an old stack of Mother Earth News recently, I felt like I had struck the ‘mother lode.’ Each issue was full of interesting articles plus the happenings at the Plum Tree Crossing General Store, which could be any general store in any small town or community in America – if we still had general stores, that is, and more’s the pity.
Read on and get a chuckle as I did from some of the tall tales and distortions the old reprobates who hung around the one at Plum Tree Crossing amused themselves with:
“Clovis Roebucks is so dumb he couldn’t find the nose on his face if he was looking in a mirror.
Ott is such a born liar that he has to get somebody else to call his hogs.
Old Newt Blanchard? He was born tired and raised lazy.
Ott was so ugly his mother had to borrow a baby to take to church.
Lafe lived so far back in the hills his old battery-powered radio didn’t pick up the Grand Ole Opry til Tuesday.”
Then there were the lengths they would go to when indulging in that time-honored pastime – talking about the weather:
A visitor once asked, “Don’t it ever rain around here?” One of the old fellows replied, “Do you recall the story of Noah and the Ark and how it rained 40 days and 40 nights?” The visitor said, “Yes.” The old fellow said, “Well, we got a half inch that time.“
Of course full-blown storytelling is where the boys’ truth stretching really shone, especially when those stories involved finding entertainment in calamities. Witness the following:
“One time I was blasting stumps down there along the river bottom and that old sow of mine come along and gobbled down the dynamite.
She was the toughest Poland China I ever saw, and dam, if she wouldn’t eat anything. Sure enough, I’d just come back from setting a charge, when there she was, chomping up the last of what had been blamed near a full box of 20% sticks. Afore I thought of what I was doing, I yelled at that old sow and she took off for the barn. I didn’t know what else to do so I hightailed it right after her. Just as she rounded the barn, she met the hired hand – a squinty-eyed fellow by the name of McIntyre – coming the other way. And afore I could say a ward, old McIntyre hauled off and kicked that Poland China square in the ribs.
Well, there was a tremendous explosion. Blew the barn down, flattened the chicken house, knocked over the windmill, took the roof right off my house, killed the hired man, of course, and flipped the tractor upside down.
Yes sir. And I mean to tell you-for about three weeks there, I also had one mighty sick hog on my hands.”
(Stay tuned for more storytelling next week as we continue Bena Mae’s The Art of Storytelling and Prevaricating!)
This simple recipe uses only 5 ingredients and couldn’t be easier to throw together. The finished dish is fabulous: sweet, buttery, bubbly and crispy around the edges. It’s perfect served warm straight from the pan – but a scoop of vanilla ice cream would really take this dessert into the real of awesomeness.
1 box yellow cake mix –
or butter pecan would be nice too
2 -15-ounce cans sliced peaches in syrup
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour peaches and syrup into pan. I prefer to cut the peaches into chunks – right there in the pan.
Top with cake mix. Sprinkle cinnamon over cake mix. Next, sprinkle chopped pecans.
Then pour melted butter over the entire dish.
Finally, bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, until everything is golden brown and bubbly.