Jelly Mae's Purty New Horseless Carriage!
A Modern Political Fable
(that may or may not be confused with the Healthcare Reform debacle)
It's a bright, brisk, twittering spring morning in America, and all is well... or so it would seem. From far down in the dewey valley, a peculiar
noise wafts up to greet our ears: It is the sound of a sputtering, clanking, honking jalopy that is bouncing and pooting along the mountain road
leading to Uncle Jed's old cabin, nestled away in some rustic holler.
This gleaming assemblage of polished steel and chrome and glass comes gasping to a grinding halt just outside old Jed's front porch, where it coughs
a plume of steam and dust and backfires once (no, twice) before the novelty horn sounds a triumphant
is roused from his whittlin' out back, trudges through the garden and around the well, and then comes face-to-face with this
monstrosity of metal and peeling rubber, stinking of gasoline and burning oil and leaking toxins. His weathered face cannot hide his distress...
"Lord Gawd, Jelly Mae, WUTT
has you gone and done NOW
Jed's daughter, the afore-mentioned Jelly Mae
, is a spry and yet gullible girl — perhaps "a bit touched in the head,"
as they say
up here in the hills. She clambers from the driver's seat, crawls out the window (because the door is attached with a ROPE and is too difficult to
negotiate), and she bounds around the great hulk of machinery to confront her father...
"LOOKIT what I GOT, Pa!! It's a brannew car!" Jelly Mae is all smiles, her face beaming with the glow of innocence.
"I kin see what it is, girl," Jed grumbles, "although I seriously doubts it's 'bran new'
as ye tell me."
"No, sir! The nice feller said it wuz BRAAAN NEW," crows Jelly Mae. "Fack is, it's 'one of a kind'! That's what th' man said! Come here
an' lookit THIS, Pa!" She leads her dubious father to the passenger window and gestures emphatically inside: "Lookit, Pa, lookit! Thars an AIR
hangin' from th' mirror!"
"We gon git ta the bottom of this," says Jed, stalking over to his tool shed and retrieving a diagnostic computer, which he quickly and efficiently
jacks into the automobile's onboard CPU. "Crank 'er up, Jelly Mae!"
The mechanical beast whines and hacks and shutters to life once more, emitting a mighty blue cloud of stifling exhaust that HANGS in the air. "Juss
wutt I thought," mutters Jed, scrutinizing his diagnostic readout. "Girl, this here junkheap is th' most inefficient and illogical piece of
equipment ever assembled by the hand of man. She don't git but 3 miles to th' gallon, the emission sensors don't work, the air mass meter is about
ta go, the steering is loose, the transmission is slippin', the brakes are shot, and she burns oil so bad I'm surprised Red Ay-Dair aint tryin' ta
put 'er out."
"But it's gotta ASHTRAY!
"Dad gum iffin it don't," Jed replies, unimpressed. "Tell me sumthin', girl, what did th' 'nice feller' CHARGE YEW fer this here
Jelly Mae's grin widens, "That's the best part, Pa! This here car duddint cost a thing! Plus, it SAVES YEW MUNNY over time!"
Jed squints hard, "It does
, does it?"
"Everbody up here in th' holler juss need ta CHIP IN a little bit, and we kin ALL enjoys th' bennyfitz! It kin be a "commoonity
"Th' hell ya say, girl." Jed eyes the fuming, steaming hulk of a horseless carriage and kicks its front tire, which hisses loudly and deflates.
The whole machine creaks and groans as it leans to one side, and a nearby bird twitters plaintively.
Reaching into his overalls pocket, Jed retrieves his BlackBerry and goes online, looking up the make and model of this monstrosity gracing his
doorstep. "Hmm," says he. "This here vehickle don't even offishully exist
, Jelly Mae. 'Peers to be a cannibalized conglomeration of
old concept cars
that were never even allowed
on the road!"
Jelly Mae's brow is furrowed in puzzlement. "Pa, wutt's a CONCEPT
Well may you ask, Jelly Mae, well may you ask.
— Doc Velocity
[edit on 3/23/2010 by Doc Velocity]