Camptown Races – G. Smith

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“That old ham-handed ditch-digger went down like a sack of crap. You shoulda’ seen it.” Rafey chewed his tongue and spit these words like he was spitting a wad of chaw out of his cheek.
“Rafey, ain’t that old sayin’ ‘ham-fisted’ and not ‘ham-handed’? I had a cousin who said it different,” said Chorley the plump-ugly chin wiper. “My cousin done said different and I think he always said ham-fisted.”
Rafey’s eyes drew long and the venom, like acid, pooled up in the pits of his mouth. Little pools beneath his tongue. Little pools on either side of his lower molars.
“Shaddup. He’s a ditch digger and if’n I say he’s damn old ham-handed, then that’s what he is. You just shaddup.”
Chorley picked a long hair out of his sandwich. A long black hair that you could just tell was no doubt greasy and filthy before it went into the pickle salad. A long black hair that you could just tell came off of a dirty, greasy scalp on a dirty, greasy person who had been scratching with dirty, greasy fingers. Dirty, greasy fingers that mixed the pickle salad and made Chorley’s sandwich with a hum and a chuckle.
“But he went down like I said,” said Rafey. “Down like a sack of crap. You watch yourself. You end up the same.”
Chorley used his own dirty, greasy finger to pick at a grub. The grub didn’t move. Chorley bit down and felt the pop. Another bite. Another pop. Another bite. Another pop.
“Rafey, my sweetest, hairiest, lovingest friend,” said Chorley, layin’ it on thick, “you want half of my sammich?”
“Aww, yeah, gimme…” said the tongue chewer to the plump-ugly chin wiper. “Gimme…”
Chorley carefully, gingerly handed the sandwich to Rafey.
“You gonna’ like it,” said Chorley. “Lotsa’ raisins in that there salad.”
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