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2011 Liars Contest

The 35th annual Vandalia Gathering in Charleston included the popular - and often outrageous – State Liars Contest. A packed house heard it all, and once the dust had settled, the judges awarded the following:

General Edward Greer
From left to right: Adam Booth, Peter Kosky, Bud Anderson, and Dice Johnson

Biggest Liar (First Place) – Adam Booth, Shepherdstown

Bigger Liar (Second Place) – Peter Kosky, Charleston

Big Liar (Third Place) – Bud Anderson, South Charleston

Youth Award – Dice Johnson, Dunbar

Honorable Mention – Ricky Neal, Bluefield

Congratulations! Here are a few highlights.

2nd place - Pete Kosky, Charleston
Demolition Football

General Edward Greer
Bigger Liar (Second Place) – Peter Kosky, Charleston

When I was a kid, my grandparents had a farm way up in rural Ohio and I used to spend my summers up there. It was a blast! I ran around with all my cousins. They were real country kids. My grandparents passed away when I got to be in my early 20’s, and I didn’t get up to Ohio much after that.

Last year I decided to go up and see my cousins. So I went up there around Thanksgiving time. They still have the old homeplace there. I went out to the farmhouse, and I went out to the barn. My cousins were out there. It was a Friday evening, and they were in coveralls and drinking beer. They started telling the West Virginia jokes, and I started telling the Buckeye jokes, you know.

Then they said, “Hey, we want to take you to a football game.” I said, “Okay.” So we all got in the trucks and took off. We drove past the high school and the high school field was dark. We drove past the middle school and the field was dark. I thought, “Now what kind of football game is this?”

We got outside of the town, and we were driving down a two-lane. Then we got on a gravel road, then we got on one of the lanes that go between the fields.

We got to a gate, and there was a kind of homemade guard shack with a poly tarp and this guy sitting next to a cooler. He had a mean dog and a shotgun and a pint of vodka. He just waved us through. We went in. When we got to this old farm site, and that’s when I realized it wasn’t high school football, it wasn’t midget league, it wasn’t two-hand touch. It was demolition football!

Well, what demolition football is — and I found out in a hurry because I didn’t know anything about it since we’re not as cultured as they are in Ohio. The football was an empty 55-gallon drum, and you use your vehicle to push the football over the goal. And you can go over, through, or under the other vehicles, and that’s expected. On the offense, they have like a Dodge Dart and a GTO, and the other team had a El Camino. They’d taken the robo-deer from the highway, and they had it tied on the hood and the batteries were still good and the deer head was jerking back and forth.

The referee was drinking a beer, and instead of a whistle he had an air horn. The defensive line were all farm tractors. They had a 35 Ferguson and a Kubota and a couple of John Deeres. On the sidelines they don’t have bleachers, but everybody parks like they’re at a drive-in movie.

They had a woman with a pop-up trailer, and she had a little body-piercing thing going. She had a lawn chair in there with a gallon of isopropyl and an old Bedazzler. You remember them things? She’s in there poppin’ nostrils.

In the chicken coop they had a betting parlor in there, and this woman — now I’ve got a double chin, but this woman had three chins and she had a spider tattooed on one of them. She was doing the betting.

And then they had a Buckeye barbecue set up, too. They had a car tire with a car hood on top of it, and they would light the tire on fire and the car hood was the grill. They had deer hams wrapped in foil on top of that. And they had homemade German potato salad and Paisano red wine.

They were passing around this homemade hard cider in a plastic jug. I know most of you probably at least once in your life have had a good slash of moonshine out of a Clorox bottle. Well, this wasn’t a Clorox bottle, and I was taking a couple of drinks of that cider and I looked at it and it read “Teat Sanitizer.” There was an anatomically correct drawing of a cow udder with its protuberances being dipped in the nozzle of this bottle. I mean, these people they lived close to the earth, you know.

Anyway, so there’s all these noxious fumes going up, there’s lots of noise and mud. I’m not a big noise person, and I don’t like the fumes. If demolition football could be considered an escape from everyday life for a few hours, that cider jug was my escape from demolition football.

I was hitting that hard cider, and the next thing I knew I was looking at the stars. I was on my back and in the bed of my cousin’s pick-up. They said there was a raid coming, and we were busting down that gravel road to get out of there. Of course me being an outsider, they wanted to protect me and they put me in the truck to get me out of there.

I don’t know who won the football game, but I really learned three things from this: One, I’m just going to stick to Nerf football in the yard with my nephews. Two, I’m just glad to be a West Virginian. And three, I’m going to think long and hard before I cross that river again.

You can read the rest of this article in this issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.

3rd place - Bud Anderson, South Charleston
"F" Words

General Edward Greer
Big Liar (Third Place) – Bud Anderson, South Charleston

This is a story about my favorite friend, Fred Flarkenfruckel. He’s a famous, ferocious, forest-fire fighter. He lives at 444 Front Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and he drives a fast F-150 with full-time four-wheel drive. Fred goes go out to Flicka’s favorite field and he hauls back a lot of that funky filly farm fertilizer and he sells it in feed bags.

Fred comes from a very dysfunctional foster family. His foster father, he’s really a foul old guy, and he likes to fake flossing his front teeth. Sometimes his false teeth fall out, so now he’s finished with fresh fruit. But he ain’t finished with Efferdent, Freedent, or Fix-A-Dent gum.

Fred’s father he really liked Pontiacs — Poor Old Dad Thinks It’s A Cadillac. But see Fred, he liked F-O-R-D, Ford: First On Race Day, Found On the Road Dead, and Frustrating Old Rebuilt Dodges.

Fred had a few very frugal Ford Festivas and Fiestas, and now a famous Focus. It’s front-wheel drive, of course, and it’s very frugal with the fossil fuel, which is very important when the gas is four bucks. Now Fred he also loved Ferraris, but he had to finance those. They’re a little pricey, up over 40 grand, and that’s for a used ’94 model. So Fred goes to First Federal when he finances all of his Fords, you see.

One day, Fred had to forfeit all of his fast cars because he fell five flights. Fell off the fire tower in a furious flash, and he fell right onto the philodendron flowers and flattened them. He fractured his femur, so he got furloughed by the fire chief who found him some federal funding and sent him to Fairfield University to attend pharmacy school, but he flunked freshman physics.

Fred kind of follied into Phi Phi Phi, that’s the fiendish fraternity. They get out in the front yard of the frat house and they fling Frisbees. The favorite food for Fred and all of his frat brothers was flounder. It was fresh and flown in from Finland every Friday.

Fred was fond of females. He had his favorite fragile femme fatale. Fred would go out on Firestone Drive with Francesca. Francesca would really get into that little car that he had. It was a Ford Falcon, four-door, four-barrel, four-speed, four-on-the-floor. It had those fold-down front seats, and he and Francesca they would get a little frisky. They’d fold them front seats down, until one night they got found by the fuzz. You should have seen their funny faces. Francesca just had on a few flowers, and Fred just had on his fedora when they were found. They were confused with some fugitives who were wanted for forgery, and they were framed! Luckily Sergeant Friday and Frisco found the facts, all the facts, and Fred and Francesca were freed forthwith.

Fred fell into about 50 or so failed careers. It seems that Fred was very fond of formidable fighters like Famous George Foreman, and Smokin’ Joe Frazier. But see, he was a feather-weight fellow. Few feather-weights were as fierce as Fred, until one time he flubbed up in the final round when he was fighting Ferocious Franz from Frankfort. Fred was flirting around with his fiancé, and Franz just whacked him in the face, flacked him, and flailed him in the forehead till he dropped him and he fell flat out on the canvas.

Fred still recalls those favorite days he used to have when he would fly, flat-out, down the salt flats in his fuel-injected, fully blown, funny car, and also when he would go down the four-lane on Front Street, flying so fast that his fenders were flapping and he flung flash on his mud flaps till his Firestones went flat.

Finally, folks, my 550 seconds is full, so on behalf of Fred, Fanny, Father, and Francesca, I bid you a fond farewell.

You can read the rest of this article in this issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.