On the way in to see Bubba McCoy, I walked across his graveled car lot and was drawn to stop. I studied the red Jeep Grand Cherokee.
It was sleek and sporty. I liked that it had a sheen and a stylish curve, somehow seeming by its appearance to promise a smooth ride.
This SUV seemed to have come right out of the factory. It was naturally attractive, not lathered with Armor All or freshly over-shined by wax like Bubba’s usual tarty array.
Suddenly the door of the trailer office of Bubba’s Auto Emporium burst open and Bubba yelled, “I’ll say one thing for you. You’ve got good taste. That’s the best buy I can remember having on this lot. There’s only so much I can get by with charging for a 2012 model, no matter how new it seems.”
I told him I’d figured he was supine in the recliner watching Matlock or Big Valley.
“I was. But I can smell a prospect. And you’re putting out the odor big-time. You ain’t so different from any other good ol’ boy who walks on this lot and sells his own self.”
So, this is a 2012 model, I remarked with surprise.
He said yes, sir, and that it had been driven just under 70,000 miles. He said I could do the math to deduce that its road record came to a little less than 10,000 miles a year. He said I could look it up, that this was a one-owner trade-in. He said his instinct told him this was a woman’s around-the-neighborhood car, used for shopping, church and transporting grandchildren.
But the proof would be in the driving, he said, and he tossed me the keys.
“I got it at auction thinking a housewife would get it, but a Little Rock liberal ‘colyumnist’ is close enough,” he said.
I handed him back the keys and said not today. And he said don’t dally. He said he’d take my jalopy on trade.
Take this baby for a drive while I work up the numbers, he said.
“What is yours? A Renault? About a ’62? I think I can take it off your hands for whatever change I can find under my cushion.”
I told him I was not in the market for a new vehicle, to which he replied, “Sometimes the market is right for you even if you weren’t intendin’ to be in it.”
I explained, as surely he knew, that I had ventured east of the White River only because I needed my regular dose of rural wisdom, this time on impeachment.
“Come on in, then,” Bubba said, “though I ain’t gonna have much to say other than it’s stupid.”
Inside, I asked whom he was calling stupid.
“Your Democrats, mainly,” he said. “I mean, sure, [Donald] Trump says and does ridiculous things. But we’re numb to it by now. We want the Democrats to use their energy to give us a better choice, which they sure-enough haven’t done. They don’t need to haul off and impeach him on something that, you know, doesn’t amount to anything.”
Really? It doesn’t amount to anything?
“Them Uranians or whatever they’re called are not going to do any harm to Joe Biden,” he said. “And the Chinese aren’t going to hop to an investigation because Trump blew some smoke up their behinds.
“So, it’s a bunch of racket that’ll come to nothin’, like everything else.”
Bubba kept going: “Marion Berry came through here several years ago when we had a good congressman and he said Nancy Pelosi was the smartest political operator he’d ever seen. Right now, I’m thinking Marion either said that on April Fool’s Day or Nancy has … what do you call it—Oldtimer’s?”
“Whatever. You say the right word and I’ll tell you the real truth. The people who hate Trump want to impeach him because it gives ‘em …. what’d’ya-call it … a rush. The people who love him are going to rally around him no matter what he did. And the rest of us are plumb wore out with all of it, BS every hour on the hour, for three years now.”
Yes, it’s called “outrage fatigue.”
“You can call it what you want. I got it. The next guy driving down the highway out there is gonna have it–either that or he thinks impeachment means ‘them peaches’ and that they sure were good this year.”
I said I thought they were, actually, especially the Elbertas from Howard County.
Bubba said the best locally grown peaches used to get picked up at Forrest City, but not any more.
I said that was too bad.
He asked what it was that we had been talking about.
I said I didn’t know.
He said, “Oh, yeah. We were talking about that Grand Cherokee out there.”
I said we’d actually been talking about Trump and impeachment.
“No wonder I forgot,” he said.
John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.
Web only on 10/9/2019