Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
No, I didn't hurt myself. No, I'm OK. It's just that I started laughing and laughed so hard that I fell on the floor and I'm enjoying every little carpet fiber in my face.
OK. Now that I have your attention, let me explain why I'm laughing. Maybell had two robberies. Maybell had two crimes. Guess what they stole the first time?
Two pillows. Nope, I'm not kidding. Then recently, someone got a little more serious and stole a gun and some other stuff out of a house. The best part is that they caught the one who took the gun and stuff, but the two pillows? Naw. They were never recovered. It was determined that Maybell has no thieves. Nope, the thieves are from out of town. That has been proven.
Well holy cow, everyone knows everybody else and in a small town it is a well-known fact that a person can't even spit out the back door but what everyone knows about it within three hours. By the time the story makes its rounds, not only did Uncle Bustyerbuns spit, but his chew spit flew out there so far it hit the neighbor's dog! But that is OK. That is good. Everyone looks out for everybody else and who cares if Aunt Matilda's hem is coming loose or Uncle Remus sips his soup through his mustache? The point is, that everyone is safe from everyone else.
Except for the one who took the two pillows. OK. Lets re-introduce this cold case. We already know that nobody in Maybell is a thief. The thief went into a camper, took a nap and stole the pillows. Someone remarked that they thought they saw some guy walking down U.S. Highway 40 shortly after dawn. But they couldn't see pillows. Oh I know. : I bet he had them stuffed in his coat.
I'm guessing that whoever did it changed the pillow cases as soon as they got them home, and we will never be able to find out who did it because they undoubtedly tied rocks on them and threw them into the nearest river or perhaps hid them in some city Dumpster. Maybe they'll come back looking for blankets or sheets or something. Darn. That means folks are going to have to quit watching one another and start watching the clothes lines to make sure the sheets and blankets stay put. So mystery solved.
Seems like there are quite a few transients going through Maybell. Well, I for one am going to erect a nice big sign in my yard that states: "If you can read this, you are within range!"
Don't think for one minute that any of us in Maybell are scared of punks who come out to see what they can steal. Why heck no! They want to steal our trucks? Guess what? We lock 'em up now. They want to steal our purses? Go ahead. We'll just go to another yard sale and get another one for 25 cents and if it is a really good leather one, we might have to pay a buck. You won't find anything of interest in our purses. No money except for a few coins. Don't believe in credit cards anymore.
In my purse, you might find a pair of pliers, a receipt from Murdoch's dated last November, and a couple of mints left over from three Christmases ago. If you are looking for drugs, I forgot what that pill thing is in there. It might be an aspirin or a worm pill for the cat. Help yourself - you aren't in the city, buster, you are in the country!
We've had better outlaws in our neck of the woods than you will ever dream about being. We've had Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, plus a whole heap more. We realize times are tough but there are better ways of getting stuff than stealing. You need something to do? Spring is coming and there are fence post holes need dug and corrals mucked out. So come on down buddy, but don't expect a freebie 'cuz there ain't none in Maybell. Not now, not ever.