Uncle Charlie Tales

................stories about upland game birds, bird dogs, and shotguns but mostly about the man who loves all three

The Big Fight

Uncle Charlie got into a fight last week. I heard about it when Billy Estes, my first cousin’s boy, came through town last Sunday on his way back to school. He said everybody was still talking about it down home.

According to Billy it all took place on Monday morning down at Ike Jones’ barbershop. Uncle Charlie was lying down in the back chair with his glasses off getting a shave when Luke Dixon walked in and made some lewd comment about seeing Uncle Charlie’s car over to Widow Smith’s house real late the night before. Of course Luke didn’t know that Uncle Charlie was under Ike’s towel and Ike being the good ol’ boy that he is wasn’t about to mention it to Luke. One thing that Ike loves more than shearing a long haired teenager is a good argument.

Luke kept on mouthing about Uncle Charlie’s love life and how ridiculous it was for an old man to be making such a fool out of himself and Ike just kept on working. If Luke had been an observant kind of man he would have realized that everybody in the shop was holding their breath.

Uncle Charlie and Luke are not the best of friends anyway. Their animosity toward each other stems way back to a day when they were bird hunting together and Luke’s dog ate three birds that Uncle Charlie had killed. Luke almost had to fight that day to keep Uncle Charlie from shooting his dog. Forgiveness not being a strong suit in our family, Uncle Charlie quit hunting with Luke and forever reminded him that he was a fool for not shooting that brainless pot licker on the spot.

Nobody in the barbershop that morning tells the story the same way. Ike says he heard a bellow that reminded him of the night Preston King’s prize bull got hit on main street by the squad car. Some of the other witnesses say they remember the white towel going up in the air and the chair knocking Ike down as Uncle Charlie exploded out of it.

Luke never knew what hit him. He came to, down under the sink, with the glass from a long necked Vitalis bottle tinkling slowly out of his wet hair onto the floor. The way Billy told it, Luke left town on an extended fishing trip shortly thereafter and hasn’t been seen since.

Uncle Charlie offered to pay for the damages but Ike refused saying it was one of the most exciting days he’d seen since the war.

When Billy left, my wife asked me what I was going to do about Uncle Charlie. “Do about him?” I said, “I’m not going to do anything about him. I’m not going to say anything to him either. He’ll tell me when he wants me to know about it.”

She left the room and I laughed softly to myself. "Man, what I wouldn’t have given to have been in Ike’s barbershop that morning!"

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