So me, Cooter, Bubba and LeRoy were all down at Bessies Big Biscuit Cafe last week. We go there ’cause Bubba and LeRoy need their daily allotment of gravy and Bessie serves it by the gallon.

Anyway, we’re all sittin’ around yammerin on about Oklahoma politics and why this state Representative is more of an idiot than that one, when ’ol man Johnson clicked on the television — the ol’ Zenith right there by the ice cooler.

One of the national news boys was talking about some recent immigration raids back east and how the kids of many of the workers were left alone to fend for themselves.

“Well, serves ’em right,” LeRoy said. “They shouldn’t be over here in the first place.” He then shoved another spoonful of biscuit and gravy into his mouth. “Mmmm.. ’mare akin mor mobs.”

Bubba scratched his head.

“LeRoy what in the hell did you say?”

LeRoy gulps and wipes the gravy off his face with his sleeve.

“I said, they are takin’ our jobs.”


“Them illegals ... you know, them Hispanic folk they nailed up there in Masschusetts. I say ship everyone who ain’t a pure American back home.”

At this point me and Cooter start laughing and Bubba just goes back to scratchin’ his head.

“So tell me LeRoy,” Cooter says. “Where’s you gran-pappy from?”

“Hell, Cooter, why you know that...he came over from the ol’ country.”

“Yeah...which ol’ country?”

“You know, Eeengland! What are you stupid?”

Bubba laughs.

“LeRoy you can’t call anyone that,” Cooter said. “’Cause you cain’t even spell it!”

“Sure I can.”

Bubba smiles that big, catfish-in-the-tank-type smile. “Then spell ‘stupid.’”

“Okay.” LeRoy strains and squints his eyes: “S-t-e-w-p-e-d. There, stupid, see!”

You can hear Bessie laughin’ from across the diner.

“LeRoy, you best shut up while you can. You know good and well that your granddad got ran out of England, hitched a ride on a freighter and snuck into this country. And now you gonna try and tell us you’re “pure” American. Honey, there ain’t no such thing!”

“Well, them illegals is takin’ our jobs,” he says again. “And they’re costin’ us a fortune in welfare and stuff like that.”

Bessie stomps over to our table and gives LeRoy the “look.”

“Takin’ our jobs? When was the last time you wanted to work in a leather factory for minimum wage? These poor folk can’t even get the Social Security benefits they are payin’ for. They work harder than you ever thought of; and I promise you, that you wouldn’t ever survived if the government had come in and taken your momma away. Heck, you followed her ’round town like a Blue Heeler pup til you got out’a high school.”

Bessie whacks LeRoy upside the head with her big chicken-fryin’ fork, turns and heads back to the kitchen.

“Well, I still say ...” LeRoy starts to spout off again, when ol’ man Johnson turned his chair around.

Ol’ man Johnson is, say, about 150 or so years-old and he don’t put up with much. He’s sorta’ the political sage of the cafe.

“What you bellowin’’ about boy?” He shakes an old, wrinkled finger at LeRoy. “Them folk you’re talkin’ about ain’t doin’ nothing that no other group ain’t already did. What’s wrong with wantin’ to make your life better?

“You was born and raised here and I ain’t seen much improvement in you since third grade.

“Huh, boy? Speak up, say somethin’ important. You been spoutin’ off all mornin.”

Bubba leans across the table and taps LeRoy on the shoulder and whispers.

“Hey, spellin’ man. Why do you shut up now while you’re ahead. You just spoutin’ off that same garbage that them idiots down at the Capitol use. You better stick to fixin’ pipes.”

LeRoy’s face falls; he looks like someone just kicked his best dog.

“I cain’t work today,” he says. “My truck all messed up and it won’t run.”

“Well why don’t you fix it, moron.” I can tell Bubba’s losin’ his patience.

“Cause I can’t work on one of these new, modern contraptions, you know that Bubba.”

Bubba smiles again.

“So what are ya’ gonna’ do?”

LeRoy shuffles his feet.

“I took it to Manuel Fuentes’ place in Oklahoma City.”

They still laugh about LeRoy at the cafe.

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