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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: Picnic at Coyote Creek
By Betty Castleberry


Dear Mr. Flannery,

We received your claim request and sent an adjuster to the scene. However, we still have some unanswered questions. If you could give us a few more details, it will help to expedite your claim.


Joseph R. Windstrom,
Fast Money Insurance, Claims Department

Mr. Windstrom,

I knew when I saw that adjuster wearing a tie in Texas in August that he wasn’t worth a Yankee’s hand shake. Like I told him, my bridge got destroyed. It don’t take a genius to figure out it happened because Buzz Phillips jumped on it. He’s just a couple of biscuits shy of three hundred pounds, and he should have known better. That foot bridge is on my property right behind the Christ is Our Redeemer Church. My great-great granddaddy built it so he could cross Coyote Creek, and it’s been there all this time till Buzz busted it up.

What happened is simple. Buzz, who is the pastor of the Christ is Our Redeemer Church, decided it would be a good thing to invite the Coyote Creek Bible congregation over for a picnic after Sunday services.

I’ve been a member of the Coyote Creek Bible Church all of my life. Buzz and I have been rivals for a long time, but we try to get along on account of this is a small town. We have to see each other nearly every day.

My wife Cookie made a big pan of cheesy cornbread to take to the picnic. The whole county knows Cookie makes the best cheesy cornbread around. Turns out Buzz’s wife Charla made some cheesy cornbread, too, but she put jalapenos in hers.

The women came in at the same time carrying their pans of cornbread and eyein’ each other like two stray dogs headin’ for the same bone. Cookie, being the darlin’ that she is, put her pan down and gave Charla a big hug. The two of them stood there and fussed over each other’s dresses and what not, like women will do.

When the chow line started moving, Gimp Haney took a big square of cornbread from Charla’s pan. One thing most folks know about Gimp is that he wasn’t ever baptized, but most don’t know he’s deathly allergic to jalapeno peppers.

Everybody had started eating and visiting, and things were going pretty well until Gimp took a bite of Charla’s cornbread and started twitching and making funny wheezing noises. He sounded just like my combine right before it broke down last year. Thankfully, Doc Crawford was sitting beside him. Doc grabbed him up and hauled him to the creek. All of us ran after them and watched Doc dunk Gimp’s head in the knee-deep water. Gimp came up sputtering. Then he coughed, fell on his knees and his hands flew up in the air.

Bessie Florence shouted “Hallelujah,” and Reverend Banks from the Bible Church started singing “Rescue the Perishing.”

Buzz waded in and started shoutin’, “Let me do this. A doctor can’t baptize nobody.”
He grabbed Gimp’s head and shoved it back in the water.

By this time there was a lot of singin’ and hollerin’ in the crowd. Buzz, being proud of hisself like he is, pronounced Gimp officially baptized and ran up on the bridge. He had no regard for it and started hoppin’ around. That sturdy little bridge had stood there since Grover Cleveland was president. First thing you know, the boards gave way, and Buzz landed in the water along with several other folks. It was only about a three foot drop, so nobody got hurt, but their was a lot of squealin’ from the women folk.

By that time I was as mad as a soaped-up cat, so I grabbed Buzz’s collar and asked him what he was going to do about my broke bridge. He said he was moved by the Holy Spirit and he couldn’t be responsible.

Mr. Windstrom, I don’t know what your beliefs are, but even a fool can see Buzz’s extra weight is what caused my bridge to collapse. I figure under the circumstances his cousin Seth down at the lumber yard will give me a discount on the boards to rebuild the bridge. I also figure Buzz will be helpin’ me with the labor. I’ll be needin’ five hundred dollars. I hope that’s enough details to satisfy your curious self.

When will I get my check?


Audie Flannery

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This article has been read 1456 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 08/07/08
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that check—sure sounds like a tall tale to me! Great creativity.
Joanne Sher 08/07/08
Hehe. Loved this read - great job with the voice. All fun!
Charla Diehl 08/07/08
This was fun, creative, descriptive and held my interest all the way through. Since I've only met one other person in my entire life with the name Charla, I found that interesting too. Thanks for this light-hearted piece.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/10/08
You are a master of comedy. This was a delightful read.
LauraLee Shaw08/11/08
wow, you managed to take a simple letter and make it masterful writing. Not to mention extremely entertaining.
Joy Faire Stewart08/11/08
This is hilarious! The descriptions are so vivid I felt I was watching it unfold. Great voice in the piece, too.
william price08/11/08
Ha! I needed this. Very entertaining and well presented. God bless.
Gerald Shuler 08/11/08
Dear Mr. Flannery,

Your claim has been approved and the colorfully written details are being framed to hang on my wall.


Joseph R. Windstrom,
Fast Money Insurance, Claims Department

Joanney Uthe08/11/08
As always, you make me laugh.
Shirley McClay 08/11/08
Haha.. awesome story.. and I love William's comment! Very fun and well written.
Pat Guy 08/11/08
Well, for one, I didn't see the typo, and for two ... I loved your folk tale style. Perfect Betty - it was perfect! Jan should be able to use this!
Heather Sargent08/11/08
Haha! This was a wonderful read, very funny!
T. F. Chezum08/11/08
Very creative ... wonderful read :-)
Mariane Holbrook 08/11/08
You did it again, dearheart! You're so good and I'm green with envy. Everything you write is a masterpiece and this is no exception. You manage to keep me glued to everything you write.

That will be $5, please! **grin""
Joshua Janoski08/12/08
Being a sucker for good humor entries, yours always seem to appeal to me. Thank you for the laugh. This was fun!
Pamela Kliewer08/12/08
Hahahahaha, thanks for the laugh. This was one great read. :)
Beckie Stewart08/13/08
This was too funny, and I believe there is some truth to it.
Carole Robishaw 08/13/08
There isn't much i can add to what's already been said.

I really enjoyed this, thanks.
Lyn Churchyard08/13/08
BettyDee, only you could have written something like this. It is dripping with your style. I love it!
Dee Yoder 08/14/08
"By that time I was as mad as a soaped-up cat, so I grabbed Buzz’s collar and asked him what he was going to do about my broke bridge. He said he was moved by the Holy Spirit and he couldn’t be responsible."

This little paragraph just made me laugh! I so enjoyed reading this, Betty-what a host of characters you created in this one-I'd like to read a whole book about this town!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/14/08
I'm so happy for your win and so proud of you. You are a wonderful humorist!
LaNaye Perkins08/14/08
Woo Whoo Betty! Congratulations on your winning entry! I told you I really liked this one! lol
Pam Carlson-Hetland08/14/08
Oh, my, I'm still laughing. I loved everything about this. Congrats on on your 1st place EC win. It is well deserved.
Chely Roach08/14/08
This was HILARIOUS! What an awesome read and well deserving of the big win. Congratulations!
Helen Dowd08/14/08
Congratulations on your first place win...Great job...Helen
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/14/08
Ha, this is hilarious! Hope the guy in anaphylactic shock recovered ok. ;-) Congrats on your win!
Joy Faire Stewart08/14/08
I was thrilled to see this in first place. Congratulations!
Patricia Turner08/14/08
OOOH! I needed a good laugh this afternoon! I'm so glad this won! Yippee! Yahoo!! Congratulations!!!
Betsy Markman08/14/08
Congratulations on your win! Very imaginative.
Laury Hubrich 08/19/08
What an awesome piece! I can certainly see how you got 1st place! Love these characters!