Tina Rice

THE STUMP

Every small town has one or two of them – those boys or men that are just a bit off center. They are friends with everyone and cannot for the life of themselves find anything bad about anyone.

In Calhoun County there is Jay and Bubba. They spend most of their days just wandering the streets of Calhoun County, joking with those that choose to joke with them.

Bubba was given a small trailer that he lived in down by the river. Jay lived at home with his parents.

One day Bubba and Jay were walking to his trailer. When they were about 300 feet from the trailer Jay noticed there was a tilt to the trailer. Had it been any other day it would be mentioned and forgotten. This was not any other day. For some reason Bubba’s brain led him down the trail to the trailer and his agreement with Jay.

“We could always move the trailer over a bit to the left then it would be level.” Jay suggested.

“Yes we could,” Bubba agreed, “but that stump is in the way.”

They went and sat in the trailer as they mulled over the problem. All they had to do was get rid of the stump and everything would be all right. How they were going to get rid of the stump was the question they could not figure out an answer to.

Suddenly Jay jumped up and announced that he had the answer. Farmer Turnipking had been getting rid of some stumps in his field so he could expand. Maybe he had some of the stuff lying around that would get rid of the stump.

Farmer Turnipking had gone away for the weekend with his wife but knowing that someone stealing something just was not done in Calhoun County. Now borrowing something until its rightful, owner came to claim it was not a problem. You just left a note telling who ever owned the object that you were borrowing it and everything was all right.

Jay and Bubba discovered that farmer Turnipking had left some of the stuff he had used to get rid of his stumps in the shed next to the barn.

“How much do you think we should get?” Bubba asked.

Jay mulled this over for a while; then he said, “There should be at least four of them. I saw Farmer Turnipking put two under his stump and our stump is twice the size of it.”

Bubba picked up four sticks of dynamite and announced that he should be the one to place them under the stump and he also picked up some fuse. He knew what he was doing didn’t he? After all he had watched real close when farmer Turnipking had blown his stumps out of the ground.

Jay and Bubba left a note for farmer Turnipking telling him that they had borrowed what they had and left a twenty dollar bill under the rock they had placed in the shed to hold the note down.

As I have mentioned before Jay and Bubba were not the sharpest tacks in the box. “Do you really know how to blow the stump out of the ground?” Jay asked.

Bubba said this was a piece of cake (How many times have you heard that word, tried to do what was a piece of cake and it never came out good. One of these days I am going to write a book on that phrase and what happens afterwards). At any rate they got to the river and questioned themselves as to where to put the dynamite to make the stump come out. It was decided that the dynamite should go on the side where the trailer was parked.

Bubba thought real hard about how the farmer had set things up when he blew the stumps out. He finally put the fuse in the middle of the dynamite and ran the rest of the fuse around to the other side of stump, sat down and wiped the sweat from his brow. Then he lit the fuse.

The ground shook and Bubba’s trailer was lifted clear of the woods and was last seen floating down the Calhoun river. The stump had blown across the Calhoun River to land on some poor fisherman’s boat.

“I guess I will have to move back home for awhile until I can afford a new trailer.” Bubba sighed. Jay heard the sound of the fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. Right now though I think we should get out of here until things cool off a bit.

That night, when they were having dinner Bubba’s father remarked, “At least we know that Bubba was not involved in it.”

“Why not?” Bubba’s mother asked.

“He is not smart enough to figure out how to do that.”

Bubba just looked at the food on his plate, trying not to laugh out loud.