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2009 Liars Contest

First place — Pete Kosky of Charleston

Second place — Scott Hill of Ghent

Third place — Alex McLaughlin of Charleston

Youth Award: Ellie Lepp of Charleston

Peter Kosky
First-place winner Peter Kosky. Photograph by Michael Keller.

Pete Kosky, Charleston [1st place]
“Liver Lips”

The government has recently been talking about stimulus, and they’re handing out all this stimulus money. That really doesn’t mean a whole lot to an average American like you or me. So me and some of my buddies have figured out how to take an adverse situation, a potentially tragic situation, and turn it into our own stimulus package. I’m going to try to teach you how to do that for yourself, because little hinges open big doors. And little keys open big bank vaults, and what you have to do is find that little key to that little hinge to that door, or that bank vault, or whatever it is, and open it up and make it work for you.

All this would not have happened if it hadn’t been for the fact that my friend R.W. caught a fish with his lips. I was in Cave Run Lake, Kentucky, with two of my buddies, Griffin and R.W., and we were in a three-man johnboat about evening time, about the time you throw topwater out. I was in the back by the engine, and Griffin was in the front tying a topwater jitterbug lure on his line. R.W. was in the middle, and he wasn’t really fishing. He was drinking beer and eating a big bucket of buffalo wings.

About that time, Griffin reared back to cast that jitterbug. As that lure came back, it popped R.W.’s lips off with that treble hook. R.W. got up and was just going crazy. I took my bandana and put it over his mouth, and put some duct tape over it so he wouldn’t bleed out on us.

I got the motor going, and Griffin’s reeling his line in. It just about gets to the boat, when a four-pound smallmouth whacks that jitterbug. We get it in the boat and pop it on the head with a set of wirecutters. We get that treble hook out of that fish’s mouth, and the lips are still on there. The human lip is very resilient, by the way, but we’ll get to that later.

We took the lips off that hook and threw those lips in a ziplock bag, put it in the cooler, and headed for the shore. By now, it’s starting to get dark. We weren’t familiar with Cave Run Lake, since we’re from West Virginia, but we thought, “Surely to God there’s a doctor around here somewhere.”

Finally, we found a 24-hour care center, and they had this young Pakistani doctor, fresh off the boat. He’d never done a lip reattachment before, even though he lived in proximity of a fishing area where that could happen. Well anyway, the doctor did reattach the lips, but the problem was that he put the bottom one on top and the top one on the bottom. So now R.W. talks like this:
     He calls me up on the phone, “Hello?”
     “You want to go fishing?”
     “Is that you, R.W.?”
     “How you know it’s me?” Well, I can tell.

Well, R.W. got his lips back, and that ain’t important anymore. What’s important is, what happened here that we can profit from?

We realized that the only reason that bass hit that jitterbug was because those lips were on there with the hot sauce on ‘em, that buffalo sauce. We contracted with a rogue doctor in the former Czech Republic who does human cloning. All he does is make human lips. He makes them all day in his little lip factory laboratory. When he gets about 10 pounds of them, he freezes them and sends them to us. We soak them for three nights and three days in our own special buffalo hot sauce stuff. We put them in little ziplock bags, and we’ve been selling them at the Milton Flea Market. We call them Liver Lips. These Liver Lips are so popular with fishermen, because it’s the perfect texture. It won’t come off a hook, the fish are nuts about the sauce, and you’re guaranteed you’re going to catch something.

The lesson today is, first, you have to find that little bit of adversity and turn it around into something that’ll be profitable, make your own stimulus package. The second thing you need to remember is to come down to the M

Scott Hill
Second-place winner Scott Hill. Photograph by R. Andrew Hill.

Scott Hill, Ghent [2nd place]
“My Cantankerous Angel”

I have some issues. One of my issues is that I am hypersensitive. And one of the things I am hypersensitive about is people taking pokes at our great state. You all have heard about why the toothbrush was invented in West Virginia. We’re not even going to go there. Or, why birds fly upside down across West Virginia. We’re not going to go there, either.

I think one of the reasons for my hypersensitivity to West Virginia jokes is my name. I go by Scott Hill. When I was in the seventh grade, I learned about William the Conqueror. I thought that would be a regal name, so I became William Scott Hill. William, the name of conquerors and kings, becomes Will, and then it becomes Willie, then it becomes Bill. Then it becomes Billy, if they like you. Then it’s Billy Hill, and then it’s Hill Billy, and we’re fighting! You can call me Scott, all right?

Well, I was invited to the White House. I was going to get to meet the vice president of the United States. It was a year ago. About a week before I got to go, Mr. Cheney on Fox News says jokingly, “I’ve got Cheneys on both sides of my family tree, and I’m not even from West Virginia.” My grandma was a staunch defender of the state, and she’d be turning over in her grave with me going to meet the vice president after he said that.

I decided that maybe I shouldn’t go. But I called my buddy John, and he’s one of the smartest guys I know. I asked John, “Would you go to see Dick Cheney, after he said that about us?”

He said, “Well, Scott, yeah I’d go. He is the vice president, and it is the White House. You need to go. It’s not like he’s asking you to go hunting with him.”

I said, “Well, I’ll go.” So I went.
When I got to the White House, it was pretty! I went through security, and everything was fine. There was a long line, and everybody was meeting him. I heard him up there. And I was in the line.

All of a sudden — pop! My cantankerous angel pops up on my sleeve. Some people’ve got a guardian angel. I’ve got a cantankerous angel that tends to get me in trouble. It’s my grandma, that’s who it is. She put the “can” in cantankerous. She’s been gone for 30 year and still gets me in trouble.
     She pops up, and I hear her voice, “Scott?”
     “Yeah, mommaw.”
     “I can’t believe you’re going to shake hands with this man.”
     I said, “But he’s the vice president of the United States.”
     “I wouldn’t do it.”
     I said, “How many times were you invited to the White House?”
     She said, “Well, that’s not the point.” Anyway, we talked and scrapped back and forth in the line. Then I got to Vice President Cheney.
     And I said, “Vice President Cheney, it’s an honor to meet you.”
     He says, “GR-GR-AGRGRGR.” [grunting noise]

And then, out of my mouth comes, “We know you’re not from West Virginia because you’d have a lot better manners. And, Mr. Cheney, we know you’re not from West Virginia because you’d be a much better shot.”

It’s amazing how strong those Secret Service fellows are. I am the only West Virginian that floated out of the White House on a cushion of air. And I heard my grandma’s voice saying, “Scott, that was a good job. I’ll stay here at the White House for a while. I’ll see you later.”

Ellie Lepp
Youth award winner Ellie Lepp. Photograph by Paula Lepp.

Ellie Lepp, Charleston [Youth Award]
“Tookalot and Tookie”


This is one of my favorite stories of a princess and a prince. It’s about a prince named Tookalot and a princess named Tookie. Tookie is a lot like Rapunzel, because she lived in a tall, tall castle and she had long, long hair.

One day, Tookie was out in the forest singing her favorite song, “Dum de-oh-dee, my name is Tookie.”

The prince lived in a treehouse. So the prince heard her. The next day, the prince hopped up on his horse and rode his horse and put binoculars on. When he saw the castle, he put the binoculars on the horse, and the horse rode and rode and rode. Poof! That “poof!” sound was the noise of the horse’s nose slamming into the castle’s wall.

Then the prince said, “Tookie, Tookie, let down your hair.” So she did. And then he started climbing up her hair like this. But he was a little too chubby, and he flipped her out the window.

Kaploosh! She landed right in the duck pond. And then one of the ducks flipped her into the swan pond, and one of the swans flipped her into the feetaller pond, and that doesn’t really make sense. And then one of the feetallers flipped her on the shore. And Tookie and Tookalot, along with their many, many, many kids lived happily ever after.

And the moral to this story is whenever you hear somebody say, “Let down your hair,” always look down before you let down your hair. The end.