Ricky Harpole 1/8/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Santa apparently low on switches, ashes

Christmas came early this year. I was glad because, more often than not recently, it hasn’t showed up at all.

Considering the general condition of the economy that it came at all was pretty much a surprise. Usually in the past it was presented in the form of post-yule-tide bills around the first of January.
I was presented with a slightly used, extremely high-dollar Alvarez guitar which far surpassed what I was currently using. A few days later I received a good hardshell case from another source to protect it.

Then the week before Christmas I received a brand spankin’ new Fender with tag still on it. So now I have two in case I break a string on the stage. In return I presented every one with a sufficient supply of popcorn whiskey.

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Well, early Christmas Eve there appeared a large black car at my gate. It looked like something the Feds would drive. The gate was locked, and since they didn’t crash it or produce a SWAT team I figured it was just someone who was lost or offering my guard dummy a ride (that has happened before). I went outside to shut the dogs up and see what was up.

Presently a young lady emerged and said “Mr. Ricky, you might not know me but you used to work for my mother up in Kingsport, Tenn.

I’m on my way to school at LSU and Mama asked me to drop something off for your Christmas. She said you would probably be in a bar but I tried here first.”

She’s majoring in criminal justice at LSU. I hadn’t seen her since she was a cheerleader in junior high school when her mother and aunt were running the bail bond and fugitive recovery in Tennessee. There was a definite family resemblance. She fumbled around in the back seat of that land yacht and produced a musical instrument case. I recognized it to be a safety device designed to protect a mandolin.

“Now your mama knows that I can’t play one of those and probably don’t have time to learn,” I said.

That was a joke and she knew it right away because about all I have is time and the fact is that I’m just too lazy to learn.

She said, mama knows but she said you could probably play a tune on this model after you look at it. The first thing I noticed when I picked up the case, it was the heaviest mandolin ever made. When I opened the case I saw why.

That case contained a sawed-off Browning automatic shotgun with a set of pistol grips on it. I doubt I’ll be able to play a recognizable tune on it, but it should definitely make music of some sort in a dark alley or on a bear hunt. The only thing is, it is too illegal to haul around and too potentially dangerous to leave unattended or unsecured. I need a gun safe to put it in.

I’ll figure out something, but one old saying comes to mind. “Never look a gift horse down the muzzle.”

Happy New Year,
Ricky Harpole

(Contact Harpole at www.facebook.com/harpolive or www.colespointrecords.com)