|2/8/2014 12:52:00 PM|
Bubba and boys have a plan -- Part Duh
It dawned on me that I did not have a phone number for Bubba Castiron, my redneck buddy living in a pastel world. Not that I really wanted one, but Bubba had piqued my curiosity about a plan he said would solve unemployment and welfare. So despite my best judgment, I decided to drive to the Crawl-On-Inn, a hole-in-the-wall bar out in the netherlands of Hamilton County, somewhere between Boxley, Omega and Elwood.
I'd only been there a couple of times and still struggled with directions. Three gravel roads and a ton of dust later, I eased past the tractor-sized chuckholes into the parking lot.
Truth to tell, I had no idea if Bubba was going to be there, but he said he and his pals had the solution. So I figured it was better than even money that one of the crew, Bubba, Tater, Big Country or Gumball would be there. If they weren't, I didn't figure I'd have to wait long.
Turns out I didn't have to wait at all. As soon as I walked in the door Bubba let out a yell from off on the right.
"Timmons! I knew you'd want to hear what amounts to some good country logic."
"Well Bubba, I was in the vicinity - "
"Like hell you were," Bubba laughed. "You just couldn't stand it and you had to hear our plan. You know that's right so just 'fess up. Sit down and take a load off. Elvis, get this man a cold one."
The bartender named Elvis handed me a longneck.
"Where's Bambi?" I asked. Bambi was the waitress who had an opinion on most everything and was quick to share it. She also is the only woman I know who's a waitress in one job and a truck driver in the other.
Elvis was a man of few words.
"Timmons, let me tell you what we come up with," Bubba said, leaning forward a bit too close. What, was he afraid of spies? "Drug testing for the folks on welfare and the ones getting unemployment."
I immediately regretted the drive.
"The Indiana Legislature tried to pass something like that this year," I explained. "It failed because they couldn't figure out a way to do it fairly."
"Well, it sure ain't fair now," Tater, or maybe it was Gumball, said. "At my job we got drug testing. It's just random. Whenever they feel like it or think they need to. And the thing is, Timmons, it's my taxes paying for those folks to not look for a job."
"Well now," I started to explain. "I'm sure they want to work - "
"Bull," Gumball (I think) said. Well, he sort of said that. "Look, I've got a job, too. Had it for 26 years. Show up every day. They pay me a fair wage for a fair job. But for me to get that paycheck I have to pass a drug test once in a while. I got no problem with that. I knew it going into the job. What I have a major problem with is taking that money out of my check and giving it to folks who don't work, don't do much of anything. C'mon man, we pay them with my money and they don't have to work for it like I do and they don't have to live a clean life like I do."
The mood had gone from yuks and giggles to serious.
Until Bubba spoke up.
"Good thing they don't test for alcohol!"
"Timmons, maybe you could put something in your paper to let the folks in Indianapolis know they should try again?" Bubba said. "Just 'cause it didn't pass this time don't mean it's not a good idea. Besides, we know what they can call the program."
"What's that?" I asked.
"Urine or You're Out."
I can never tell when Bubba's serious.
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