It had been a long time since I'd seen civilization. I'd long relished the long, hot and humid days of the Appalachian summer woodlands. I hadn't spoken to another human being in? How many weeks had it been? That really didn't matter. Only my dog, Matthau, knows the days for certain and he is resolutely mute.
On the third day of July, 2018 I ventured to make a foray into the nearest hamlet of any consequence, some miles distant from the redoubt. The eve of Independence Day, that most sacred of days for the true patriot, whatever their stripe. This particular jurisdiction is renowned for being "badge heavy", a real law and order kind of place. For those of us of a certain age we will recall those salad days of our youth when Hazard County and Waylon Jennings graced our television screens. Yup. Just some good old boys. A little stump of a man with some hideous facial deformity and Sheriff Roscoe!
My business is my own and I entered with no intentions of lingering in the place. My only true purpose? To acquire a fresh case of Jamesons. Yes, a case. I told you I don't get out much. That state liquor agent, curiously, is not open on national holidays. Who would've thunk it?It must need carry on in this fashion until I perfect my own version to something beyond lighter fluid. This was no complicated plan. I did not, as I have at times before, need to enter the town unobserved. It was a simple trip to the liquor agent and away home. I was eager to make my exit and enjoy the long return ride with the top down. I didn't want to stick around for the festivities.
When the actual observed holiday, which is always THE 4th, falls in midweek as it did this year, the third of July is a curious purgatory. There are those who may have the whole week off, or back to work the following day. Or there are those who work a full day Monday and Tuesday and do not return for five days hence. All true productivity ceased somewhere around 5PM on the preceding Friday. They mill about in varying stages of employ or idleness, no one really certain which is which, but as evening falls excitement and anticipation builds for the next day and all the wonders of Americana it will hold.
Long suffering housewives with the progeny of their unions excitedly tailing underfoot wade elbows deep into the preparation of vats containing cole slaw, potato salad and other picnic concoctions. Except for those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, most households this year are happy, optimistic. For right or wrong this does seem to be the prevailing mood. Tomorrow their husbands will don Bermuda shorts and grill aprons, to the amusement of their neighbors. Budweiser and Miller beers, in all of their various manifestations, will flow freely from iced coolers. Young children and aged lovers dream starry eyed of the fireworks display and sense the memories of crackling sparks and smell of cordite heavy on the air. Yes it will be a grand time to be had for all, but these are not the only festivities for the long holiday period. There are others who eagerly anticipate an entirely different type of celebration.
All across the country state and local police jurisdictions salivate at the commencement of a prolonged Tea party. That's T E A... targeted enforcement action. Fuck the Fourth Amendment! That was a mistake! Clearly they didn't mean to put that in there! How in the hell are we supposed to protect and serve with that in our way? It's what the people want, after all, isn't it? They want to be policed. Anyone who wears the uniform and carries a badge is a hero. Don't you listen to the news? Yes, starting Tuesday night and for the succeeding five days law enforcement will be out there! Busting all those drunk drivers, conducting random stops and waving their dicks to let everyone know who's boss around this place!
Before I could make my exit I was trapped behind a large gravel truck. An unrepentant pothole jarred the bed of this rolling behemoth and loosed a sizable chunk of limestone upon my windshield. Thankfully