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Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Baloney Sandwich
Fred and some of the other guys he knew had decided to have a lost weekend camping on the wild side of the Chilhowee Lake, the part that is in the Cherokee National Forest. They figured taking a boat across to the side that wasn't near a highway would be secluded and no one would be around to bother them while they got drunk and crazy.
They were already getting pretty rowdy even before they found their camping spot in a small cove that allowed them to set up where they wouldn't be visible to anyone on the opposite side of the lake. They'd been smoking pot, drinking beer, and maybe even indulging in some other unspecified substances. Once they'd set up camp they continued their partying, getting as loud and crazy as they wanted to be. After all, nobody could see them here and they just wanted to let loose.
Just when the fun and nonsense was getting underway, there was an unwelcome intrusion. A boat with two couples--probably students from one of the nearby colleges--came into the cove and they proceeded to unload their camping gear on the other side across from where the guys had already set up their camp. The interlopers had every right to be there, but the guys hooted and hollered and tried to be as obnoxious as they could so the couples might decide to find another campsite.
The tactics didn't work and the young couples continued to set up their campsite. Even when Tom stripped down to his skinny-assed nakedness and began howling like a lunatic, the couples barely paid attention. That's when Fred, who was known for being very practical though not for always having the best judgment, disappeared into his tent and then reemerged with a pistol in his hand. No one had known that Fred had the gun with him. Perhaps he was scared of more threatening types than these students or maybe he'd brought it just in case there were any dangerous critters, but now he had it merely to scare off these unwelcome intruders.
Needless to say Fred's ploy worked. Brandishing the weapon accompanied by some intimidating words, Fred was successful in changing the students' minds and they quickly packed up their gear and were gone. They guys were a bit flabbergasted by Fred's display, but relieved that they once again had the cove to themselves and resumed their revelries.
What they didn't expect was the students having reported the incident to the cops. They didn't even realize that the sheriff's department had a boat that they used to cruise the lake, but when they saw the boat approaching they could tell it was the police. Fred retreated into his tent.
The other guys tried to act innocent when the deputies arrived, but the officers had a description of the culprit and insisted on checking the tents. Soon they had Fred in tow with the pistol they had confiscated from him. The guys watched wide-eyed as the Sheriff's Department boat recrossed the lake with Fred in their custody.
Later Fred would tell the story about being taken to the Monroe County Jail. He was under the influence of several substances and it took a few hours to become sober. Being in the jail and getting processed for offenses that would end up costing him a good bit of money was a very unpleasant experience for him. Likewise, the jail cell and the cot that he had to sleep on were very uncomfortable.
However, he told about someone bringing him a baloney sandwich. Fred hadn't eaten since breakfast and this sandwich was a truly welcome sight. He described the sandwich in detail and how it was uniquely unlike any other baloney sandwich that he had ever eaten in his entire life. To hear him describe the sandwich would make one wish they too could have a baloney sandwich just like the one the Fred had eaten on that evening in that jail cell.
When telling this story, with the greatest gravity and intensity Fred would proclaim, "That was the best damn baloney sandwich I ever ate in my whole life."
That's exactly what he would say and anyone hearing him say it would believe it to be the absolute truth.