Uncle Ned’s Corner

Uncle Ned Sets the Nation “Straight” on Public Restroom Gender Confusion

(As overheard recently at the Liars’ Bench)

Ned: I keep readin’ and hearin’ ’bout this new law down Carolina way what sez a person hasta use the public restroom that matches the sex on his birth certificate.

Jed: Sounds like a good idea to me.

Ned: I thought so too, ’til I thought it through. Say yer usin’ the gents’ room doin’ yer bizness and then walks in Bruce Jenner?

Jed: Who’s this Mr. Jenner, Ned?

Ned: Cain’t call ’m Mister no more nor Bruce neither. Jenner’s that Wheaties box guy what had a lot of work done. Got to call ’m Caitlyn these days.

Jed: I see it now clear as day. Those Carolina fellas want Caitlyn in their restroom. That won’t pass for smart in these parts, but I always wundered ’bout Carolina.

Ned: Time was when thar was a lot less confusion ’bout which restroom a body should use.

Jed: Why do ya s’pose things got so complicated?

Ned: That one’s easy. The root of the problem is indoor plummin’. Jes tear out that public restroom with its fancy lights an’ mirrors and runnin’ water and set up a one-hole outhouse.

Jed: How ‘bout a nice one-holer with a sturdy inside latch?


Introduction by Aunt Hattie

Hello. I’m Hattie Mae, Ned’s wife for more years than I care to say. I’m writin’ all this ‘cause I promised and not ‘cause I want to. ‘Round the house here all my Ned ever says is “Yes, Ma,” or “That’s right, Ma,” or “I’ll see to it dreckly, Ma.” An’ he don’t mean none of those things. But when he slips into town without me, they say his tongue looses up considerable. Though it’s mostly nonsense to me, here’s the tellin’ ‘bout my Ned.

If you ride into town and take Main Street past the State road, past the five & dime, past the tracks and Treadway’s Market, right there on the left you’ll see the Johnson’s Hardware and a bench situated on the sidewalk next the store. Now that’s the bench where old men in hats and in work boots that never met work sit wastin’ time chawin’ and jawin’ ‘bout how they won the war or some such thing. There’s a coffee can at each end of the bench to catch their spit or most if it. That’s where most of their stories belong, too. There may be a bottle gettin’ passed ‘round. Ned had best never come home smellin’ of that. An’ he best never be seen with a grandchild of mine near that bench. In my house there’s no drinkin’ an’ no chawin’ allowed. Today I’m the same God fearin’ woman Ned married, an’ I remind him of that ‘most every day. Ned needs that remindin’.

It’s got to where Ned won’t visit town without he’s wearin’ a clean shirt, but no good ever come of that. I call that bench the Liar’s bench ‘cause that’s what it is. So here’s the part I promised to tell. Seems that some of the men folk can’t help but brag on my Ned for what he says on that infernal bench. Some of what Ned says even gets wrote down, an’ that’s what you’ll be readin’ here. Parts of it might be true. God Bless…Aunt Hattie


The Wit, Wisdom, and Hoosier Philosophy of Uncle Ned

Uncle Ned explains that you can take the judges out of politics but you can’t take…

The other day I sat a spell at the Legion Post when a man come in sayin’ he was runnin’ for office as a reformer an’ how he had this plan for to take the judges out of politics. He sounded peculiar to me but I kept smilin’, noddin’ my head, and listenin’ to this man go on and on ‘bout his plan to take the judges out of politics. When every glass on the bar was empty or near empty and that man’s hand kept far from his wallet, I shut him up an’ sent him on his way just by askin’ how he proposed to take the politics out of judges. Politics in a judge is like a wood tick in a hound’s ear. No amount of talkin’ can make it leave. That tick has to be plucked, an’ the hound cain’t do the pluckin’ hisself.

Dave’s note: Uncle Ned asked me cite Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000) wherein 8 of 9 SCOTUS Justices sided with the party of their nominating president. Justice David Souter (now retired) was the only Justice of the Supreme Court to break political ranks when he dissented from the 5/4 decision favoring George W. Bush.


Uncle Ned Recalls a WPA Joke

Listen up boys. Now the only outfit I ever heard tell of that took more time to do less work than the CCC was the WPA. One hot summer day there was a WPA crew s’posed to be clearin’ some roadside ditch. One of those gents was a leanin’ on his shovel (a shovel oughta be good for somethin’) when this lonesome ol’ hound walked up, sniffed the blade of that shovel, and relieved hisself on it while the gent kept on leanin’. After a little while the gent with the shovel turned and said “Why you mangy ol’ cur…I’d surely bash your brains in, if’n I had another shovel.”

Dave’s Note: Uncle Ned asked me to explain that the CCC and WPA did much good work, some of which still stands. Apart from a relatively strong work ethic the workers in those Depression era programs kept a sense of humor that accommodated Ned’s joke and others.

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