ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
Me and my mule Rosebud got woke up out of a sound sleep a couple nights ago. Yeah, somebody was bangin' on the front door. Don't know exactly what time it was, somewhere 'long about midnite I reckon. I ain't sayin' I ain't never been woke up in the middle of the night before, but that didn't make me like it no better. And it wasn't no gentle little knockin' either. It was loud enough to wake Rosebud up all the way to the barn. She started scrabblin' around tryin' to get up, turnin' over stuff and makin' noise and I guess whoever it was heard it and took off. Scared 'em off, I guess. Anyway, by the time I got to the front door, they'd gone plum out of sight.
There's a ole sayin' that says to let sleepin' dogs lie. I'm all for that. Don't bother 'em, I say. I'll take that a step further and say that if they don't hang around you ort to let midnight knockers alone too. But I ain't Rosebud. And she ain't one to let dogs or people either one alone. She said she thought she got a glimpse of whoever it was as they disappeared down the road and she wanted to go after 'em, to find out who it was. And I was curious myself. Besides, there wasn't no goin' back to sleep after that nohow. We might as well go and see if we can find out what in the world's goin' on.
We walked out to the road and looked down toward where Rosebud thought this person, whoever it was, had gone. It was a clear night. A full moon was peepin' up over the trees so you could see plain as day. Wasn't no need for a light. But our visitor had a good head start on us. There wasn't a soul to be seen. Nowheres.
Me or Rosebud neither one wasn't sayin' nothin' as we went down the road. I remember listenin' to the sound our steps made on the road, that sorta crunch-crunch-crunchin' noise your shoes make when you're walkin' on gravels and that soft clop-clop-cloppin' Rosebud makes as she goes along. Only it seemed a lot louder at night. I guess it always does when you're out in the dark. You try and be as quiet as you can. And there's somethin' about bein' out in the dark tryin' to find out why somebody's pounded on your door, woke you up and then took off. A thing like that sorta makes you want to sneak around. The little noises you make and don't even notice in the daytime seem loud when you're out there in the dark, tryin' to be quiet and listen.
As it turned out, it didn't matter. We could've been a brass band comin' down the road and it wouldn't have made no difference. The people we come up on was makin' so much noise theirselves they wouldn't of even noticed us.
I reckon it'd make a lot better story if I told you some wild thing about how it was a carload of gov'ment men and they was shootin' it out with a bunch of bank robbers. Yeah, that'd make a good story. But it wouldn't be the truth. And me and Rosebud keeps a close watch on the truth in these stories we tell you. I mean, if you start makin' up stuff, you're gonna get caught in it and, first thing you know, ain't nobody gonna believe nothin' you tell 'em. But with us watchin' the truth like a hawk watchin' a chicken, people can believe ever word we tell. Ain't gonna be no tryin' to sort out what's true and what ain't. And that's the way we aim to keep it.
The plain truth is, there was a car settin' slap-dab in the middle of the road down there. It had it's lights on, the motor was runnin', the radio was goin' full blast and all the doors and the trunk lid was standin' wide open. There was this feller at the back wheel that looked like he was tryin' to jack up the car and a woman, his wife I reckon, was wavin' around a flashlite, tryin' to shine it so's the feller could see what he was doin'. A whole gaggle of young'uns was runnin' around, some of 'em playin' tag, some of 'em hangin' out the car winders and one of 'em was switchin' the radio from one station to another, turnin' it up and down and just raisin' cain in general. The ol' boy back there tryin' to jack up the car looked like he was about ready to start pullin' his hair out.
It didn't take no rocket scientist to see what was goin' on. Them people was on their way somewheres when they had a flat tire. While the grownups was tryin' to get it changed, one of the young'uns slipped off and come up to the house where he'd pounded on the door and then took off.
And, like Paul Harvey used to say, "Now you know the rest of the story." And as it turned out, it wasn't much of a story atall this time. Sometimes that's the way it is. Stories are like that knock on the door at midnight. Some of 'em are all thrillin' and excitin' and other times it turns out that there ain't much to 'em at all.
But that ain't always a bad thing either. Think about it.
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