|By Jack Cawthon|
One of my usual unreliable sources alerted me to a story possibility down in the Tri-Holler Region. In order to serve you readers and preserve my reputation as a dedicated journalist, I have devised many methods of ferreting out information, some of them legitimate.
According to my source, and whatever you may have heard, she isn't the gossip that some people claim, the Reverend Les Pedesa had been performing same-sex marriages in the region. Rev. Pedesa is a roving minister, who has been censored several times by his ministerial board for roving too far afield, although the charges involving numerous minors have never been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I caught up with the reverend at the Chapel by the Slag Pile just as he was about to pronounce Jimmy Guy and Bobby Joe husband and wife, or vice versa. To me, it all looked legal, as one had whiskers and one didn't, but I must admit that I have found that around the Big Puf vicinity the presence of whiskers is about as reliable as in determining the sex of a cat.
I asked Les if he might be breaking any laws, and he said he reckoned not, as he always tried to be civil about matters. In most cases he couldn't determine sex, he added, unless he happened to know the parties really well, and at that he winked. I began to feel a bit of a moral twinge, something that doesn't often happen to a good reporter.
Les further explained that "mixed marriages," as he called them, didn't seem to be working as about half of them ended in divorce. He thought it time to try something else. I told him that could be called tri-sexual unions. He grinned and said that sounded like a winner three times over for him if his methods of matrimony began failing.
The last I heard Jimmy Guy and Bobby Joe were honeymooning at NASCAR races around the country. I just know deep love like that is bound to last, even if both grow whiskers.
I have mentioned my methods of obtaining stories (not all of them as there may be children reading this). Some of them resemble those used by Jayson Blair, a reporter who had reached the big-time at the New York Times and who had raised some elitist eyebrows, the main browsers of the Times, with his reports that seemed a little colored, meaning no disrespect to Mr. Blair, who is African-American.
I must admit I felt something amiss when in a story about Jessica Lynch he mentioned cotton fields in Wirt County. But as I haven't been in Wirt for a few years I thought that maybe Gus Douglass was trying out some experimental farming.
Mr. Blair was recently interviewed on TV by Katie Couric, whose name in my notorious hill twang often comes out sounding like "Cutie" Couric, much to the rancor of my feminist followers. I assure you any mistake is surely in the eye of the beholder.
Ms. Couric called Mr. Blair just about every black name in the book except those involving racism. I don't remember the term "skumbag" coming up in the mix, but it was pretty evident the direction Ms. Couric was headed.
Yes, he did make up stories, Mr. Blair admitted, and, yes, he invented sources and copied from other writers. But most importantly, at least to Mr. Blair, he had authored a book in which all of his transgressions could be read. At this point it dawned on me that Mr. Blair had been rewarded for his efforts by Ms. Couric, as he was appearing before millions of viewers hawking a book and saying in effect he didn't give a sheet about honorable journalism as long as he got a book out of the hoopla.
I have found that this is the best method for having a book accepted for publication. Commit a dastardly deed, the more horrendous the better, then when caught write a book about it (Martha Stewart are you listening?), and be interviewed by one of the greats of
TV land. Hey, admit you sinned, maybe shed a few tears, find Jesus, and then wait for the calls for movie rights.
At this point you can't blame me for some devious thinking. My life has been pretty much similar to Mr. Blair's except for skin color, imagination and reaching the attention of the New York Times. This may be the time to come clean with you dear readers and admit that not all of my reports from Big Puf have been truthful. You may experience anguish knowing this, but that will soon pass for you, but only as my fame increases for me. I have a wealth of experience to share if you will only buy my book!
I can be as candid as Mr. Blair. I, too, have done reproachful acts and sullied the profession, which, believe me, requires concerted effort. I am now waiting for book offers, even those from vanity presses, and, yes, Ms. Couric my name is in the phone book.