Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: Picnic at Coyote Creek
By Betty Castleberry
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We received your claim request and sent an adjuster to the scene. However, we still have some unanswered questions. If you could give us a few more details, it will help to expedite your claim.
Joseph R. Windstrom,
Fast Money Insurance, Claims Department
I knew when I saw that adjuster wearing a tie in Texas in August that he wasn’t worth a Yankee’s hand shake. Like I told him, my bridge got destroyed. It don’t take a genius to figure out it happened because Buzz Phillips jumped on it. He’s just a couple of biscuits shy of three hundred pounds, and he should have known better. That foot bridge is on my property right behind the Christ is Our Redeemer Church. My great-great granddaddy built it so he could cross Coyote Creek, and it’s been there all this time till Buzz busted it up.
What happened is simple. Buzz, who is the pastor of the Christ is Our Redeemer Church, decided it would be a good thing to invite the Coyote Creek Bible congregation over for a picnic after Sunday services.
I’ve been a member of the Coyote Creek Bible Church all of my life. Buzz and I have been rivals for a long time, but we try to get along on account of this is a small town. We have to see each other nearly every day.
My wife Cookie made a big pan of cheesy cornbread to take to the picnic. The whole county knows Cookie makes the best cheesy cornbread around. Turns out Buzz’s wife Charla made some cheesy cornbread, too, but she put jalapenos in hers.
The women came in at the same time carrying their pans of cornbread and eyein’ each other like two stray dogs headin’ for the same bone. Cookie, being the darlin’ that she is, put her pan down and gave Charla a big hug. The two of them stood there and fussed over each other’s dresses and what not, like women will do.
When the chow line started moving, Gimp Haney took a big square of cornbread from Charla’s pan. One thing most folks know about Gimp is that he wasn’t ever baptized, but most don’t know he’s deathly allergic to jalapeno peppers.
Everybody had started eating and visiting, and things were going pretty well until Gimp took a bite of Charla’s cornbread and started twitching and making funny wheezing noises. He sounded just like my combine right before it broke down last year. Thankfully, Doc Crawford was sitting beside him. Doc grabbed him up and hauled him to the creek. All of us ran after them and watched Doc dunk Gimp’s head in the knee-deep water. Gimp came up sputtering. Then he coughed, fell on his knees and his hands flew up in the air.
Bessie Florence shouted “Hallelujah,” and Reverend Banks from the Bible Church started singing “Rescue the Perishing.”
Buzz waded in and started shoutin’, “Let me do this. A doctor can’t baptize nobody.”
He grabbed Gimp’s head and shoved it back in the water.
By this time there was a lot of singin’ and hollerin’ in the crowd. Buzz, being proud of hisself like he is, pronounced Gimp officially baptized and ran up on the bridge. He had no regard for it and started hoppin’ around. That sturdy little bridge had stood there since Grover Cleveland was president. First thing you know, the boards gave way, and Buzz landed in the water along with several other folks. It was only about a three foot drop, so nobody got hurt, but their was a lot of squealin’ from the women folk.
By that time I was as mad as a soaped-up cat, so I grabbed Buzz’s collar and asked him what he was going to do about my broke bridge. He said he was moved by the Holy Spirit and he couldn’t be responsible.
Mr. Windstrom, I don’t know what your beliefs are, but even a fool can see Buzz’s extra weight is what caused my bridge to collapse. I figure under the circumstances his cousin Seth down at the lumber yard will give me a discount on the boards to rebuild the bridge. I also figure Buzz will be helpin’ me with the labor. I’ll be needin’ five hundred dollars. I hope that’s enough details to satisfy your curious self.
When will I get my check?
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