Political discussions are about as fun as a poke in the eye with a mechanical pen. That is, unless you enjoy watching folks from differing points of view use colorful nicknames like “you good-for-nothing brother trucker!”

I’ve cleaned up the language considerably. My mama reads these things.

Anyway, here in the South, we call it, “fussing.” Which usually, but not always, graduates into a “whooping.” And anyone with a brother or sister knows what a whooping is.

Take, for instance, my cousin Richie and his little brother, Bailey. Whatever Richie did, Bailey wanted to do. Wherever Richie went, Bailey tagged along. Which lowered the quality of Richie’s life a great deal.

We went fishing; Bailey brought his worms. We ate Moonpies; Bailey did too. We played cowboys; Bailey played Geronimo. Eventually, Richie had enough.

“Leave me alone, Bailey!” Richie shouted.

Bailey’s eyes turned Devil-red. He screamed back, “Fine! You good-for-nothing brother trucker!”

They fought in the driveway to no end. And to everyone’s surprise, Bailey won.

Richie’s and Bailey’s daddy, a county deputy, knew how to handle such disputes. He came up with an idea that would eventually go down in local history.

For three full days, Richie and Bailey sat on the porch, shoulder to shoulder, handcuffed together. Every kid within three counties stopped by to gawk at the offenders in iron bracelets.

One day, some neighbor boys offered Richie and Bailey two dollars to fight each other while wearing the cuffs.

That was all the reason Richie and Bailey needed. They got to business. They tried to fight right there in the yard, but all they managed to do was roll in the grass, hollering things like, “Good-for-nothing brother trucker!”

Then, without warning, Bailey started laughing. So did Richie. Soon, the two giggled so hard they nearly pissed their britches.

“We can’t fight,” moaned Bailey. “Not handcuffed. It’s too hard.”

And I think you already know where I’m going with this. But in case you don’t, I’ll say it outright:

Have all the heated political fusses you want. Scream until your vocal cords pop. But if you put a whooping on your on brother, in the end you’re only hurting yourself.


We good-for-nothing brother truckers have to live together.