“Floyd’s Literary Enema”
A Publication of Republic of Floyd L.L.C.

 I’m always a little embarrassed when a reader compliments my writing skills. Sure, I’ve been known to occasionally tell  an innocent female that I’m a writer…..alright, I possibly said “Hollywood screenwriter”….. but I’d never use that line on you …. because I have way too much respect. No, my writing skills may be inadequate but, luckily, I have two extremely good ears and an I.Q. approaching multiple digits. And, most importantly, Floyd’s an extremely “target rich” environment! It’s truly astonishing the material that comes out of your mouths…… “anybody with a vagina”…. the MySpace material….. I’m certainly not that clever! Like the oracles of ancient myth, I’m simply a vessel……an oyster as it were……….. resting on the bottom of the Gulf of Floyd……..you guys… well, you’re all onboard a Carnival Cruise ship floating above me. From time to time, the holding tanks are emptied and Floyd’s effluent slowly wafts down. My task, as a semi-literate oyster, is to simply digest and filter the offal…. regurgitating it as amusing literary observations. It’s not a talent…. it’s a calling.

Couldn’t I just buy some damn cookies…
In a big city it’s easy…….when Girl Scouts, school kids or miscellaneous “do gooders” knock on the door peddling cookies & whatnot, it’s perfectly acceptable to soundly curse them & slam the door………….or bury them under the crawlspace. In Floyd, regrettably, the protocol is much more convoluted. The young ones are “connected”….. the kids of neighbors & friends and the aforementioned responses are certainly not “neighborly”. So, I’ve resigned myself to buying the occasional box of cookies or donating a few bucks to saving Floyd manatees. My quandary is knowing the appropriate Floydian response when that neighbor is peddling eternal salvation. How can one rationally decline eternal life in paradise? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no interest in the eternity thing……. way too big a time commitment……..imagine selecting a sofa if you knew you’d be stuck with it forever…. much less the drapes!! No, my problem is how to politely end the conversation without hurting their feelings. After all, it’s not a box of tasteless cookies….. these guys went the whole nine yards….. I’m talking mucho time & effort…… writing that whole bible deal….lots of really thin pages and very tiny print. Not to mention the whole fire & brimstone concept. No, these guys have done their homework and, as fellow Floydians, one has to show them a little respect……… if I only had that crawlspace………….

Floyd Lexicon
As a stranger in a strange land I found myself in need of a local interpreter when I first moved to Floyd. Customs and idioms vary as one travels this great country and, as I soon learned….. I certainly wasn’t in Kansas anymore! As a service to other émigrés we provide this handy guide……….

  • “Them”- anyone taking up residence in Floyd after you.
  • “Throw It Out To The Universe”- lacking the intellectual or moral fortitude to make a decision such as supersizing your fries……
  • “Trustafarian”- a term used with an equal amount of derision and envy.
  • “Scrappy Doo”- semi affectionate expression used by young Floyd women to describe men in dire need of grooming, social etiquette and/or employment that, by default, are still in the dating pool.
  • “Hippycrit”- alternative person that fails to absolutely concur with the Alternative Gospel as set forth at Floyd Fest II and/or shops at Wal-Mart.
  • “Smurf Witch”- female gossip of any age.
  • “Running on Floyd Time”….. we over slept….. (replaced “my bad” in 2003)
  • “Help, I’ve fallen & I can’t get up”- rallying cry in the Floyd Fest Beer Garden

Such A Nice Young Man……..
Avoiding bad relationships requires keen senses, a large measure of emotional maturity and a highly developed degree of sensitivity. Obviously, I had to discover a way to bypass these highly over rated attributes. After 40 some years mucking about in the dating pool I finally found a fail safe method that eliminates the need for even the slightest level of discernment. Simply meet her parents……. preferably before the first date. It’s a given that a guy is playing a dead hand at any relationship table….. but what about her? Unknowingly, the parents can offer unquestionable insight into the cards you’re being dealt! Eva Braun’s parents for example……… what exactly were they thinking… “silly mustache but he seems like such a nice man…. looks terrific in a uniform and oozes charisma.” Charlie Manson’s first prom…. ringing the doorbell…. flowers in hand….. dressed to kill…….. “what a gregarious young man….and such captivating eyes!” Jeffrey Dahmer…. he must have dated. So what was the “parental lowdown” on Jeff? “Kind of cute in a goofy way…….. but such a finicky eater!” Isn’t it obvious guys? If the parents see any redeeming value in you as a human being… if they don’t draw and quarter you on the doorstep ….. if, God forbid, they deem you good enough for their daughter………. run like hell!

Ask Mr. T-Bone
Dear Mr.T-Bone
We are moving to Floyd and are doing our best to fit in to the wonderfully diverse culture in the area. Do you have any suggestions on deportment or dress code?
Signed; Biff & Buffy
Dear Biff & Buffy
Not to worry! Obviously, as evidenced by your concerns, you will be great additions to our little dysfunctional Floyd family. Regarding deportment, there are very few rules. The only important one is….never piss off anyone carrying a gun. In light of Virginia’s concealed weapons rules, never piss anyone off over the age of 12. When exchanging opinions with anyone born here…. begin all responses with “you know, I never looked at it that way before…… thank you!” If expressing a controversial opinion…. say on bluegrass vs traditional music…. always preface it with…. “our pastor told us…..” As regards dress code….no ties unless you work at the bank or officiate at funerals….. no bib overalls unless at some point during a 24 hour period you actually have contact with a farm animal. And, absolutely, under no circumstances combine tie dyes with bib overalls unless you’re Tom Phelps. Regardless of your adherence to Floyd’s social etiquette, however, accept the fact that you’ll always be referred to as “those people”….. not only by the natives…. but also by people that got here a week ahead of you…..
Signed Mr. T-Bone

  Foreigners; The Growing Menace
Floyd County may appear to be a sleepy backwater burg far from the problems that plague larger metropolitan areas, but it’s simply a microcosm of society’s ills.  We’ve all noticed the increasing number of drug related crimes being reported in the Floyd Press, and who among us has not secretly wondered if this increase in “big city” problems is not somehow related to the growing foreign population in our midst.  How many of you have asked yourself…. “just where the hell are all these people with funny accents coming from & exactly what are they doing here?”  Those of you who don’t get out much may not have noticed this spreading epidemic, but in my role as a bartender I find myself on the frontlines.  Even from the back of the establishment I hear their war cries…. “ows bout a spot of tea luv” or “be a dear & fetch me a Guinness.”  Based on recent census data, there are at least three of the “cousins” actively living in Floyd, including one with a criminal record (see Australians).  If elected to the Board of Supervisors, my first act will be to contact Homeland Security to stem this growing menace. Until then I would hope that these people would at least show a little respect & learn the language!

Come together…….
As is so often the case in Floyd, a group of citizens has come together to help resolve another community problem. When the Floyd Press publicized the gasoline shortage crisis facing the Sheriff’s Department a small group of concerned citizens banded together to assist in resolving the emergency. The group points out that it may also prove possible to relieve all budget shortfalls for this & future years. The group, “Stoners Care” is trying to schedule a meeting with Sheriff Zeman to iron out details for the “Baked Sale” event. An anonymous organizer commented; “20% of last year’s harvest is just wasting away in the courthouse basement…… think of all the brownie & chocolate chip cookie revenue possible from a “Baked Sale”. County Supervisors are said to be high on the idea.

Beware, Floyd Flashers!
The women of the Floyd alternative community have a reputation for being a particularly tough & worldly bunch. This was brought home to me recently while listening to a few of them as I tended bar at the Pine Tavern. One of the ladies apparently was flashed at a local coffee shop. The other ladies merely chuckled and asked how she responded……. “I told him, if that’s the best he could do, I was not amused!” They went on gleefully for a goodly while as regards to the size & condition of the offending member & our earnest Flasher fared none too well. So guys, if you get the urge here in Floyd……. flaccid or diminutive better not be in your repertoire of tricks …… the reviews can be devastating!

“Floyd After Dark”
Manhattan, watch out!  Floyd is rapidly gaining a reputation on the East Coast as the “It” place for fast paced nightlife. This reporter’s behind the scenes eyewitness reports of last weekend’s “happenings” illustrates that well deserved reputation. The Cafe del Sol was bustling Saturday night with a galaxy of Floyd’s glitterati in attendance for the incredible “Chris Luster All Star Bass Quartette”. The crowd seemed ready to party far into the night as “glamour girl” proprietor, Sally Walker, finally closed the doors at 5:00PM. Over at The Floyd Country Store root beer floats were overflowing while groups of four or more white people played a-tonal music & sang monotone songs about coon dogs and their mother. It was a packed house at Floyd’s famous “retro” hang out, The Blue Ridge Diner, as patrons dined on a sumptuous 4 Star menu of  chicken fried steak & “taters”. The Pine Tavern Pub, as usual, served as the hub for the Floyd intelligentsia’s frantic literary scene. Fresh from rehab, the bartender did his usual routine of glib remarks & Joey Jones made a witty remark at 7:32. Meanwhile at Floyd’s “see and be seen” hot spot, Oddfella’s, the place was wall to wall. It was hard to tell the revelers from the paparazzi as Bernie performed his sizzling rendition of “Puff The Magic Dragon” to the sold out crowd. See in-depth coverage of the “after hours” scene at X-press Mart by rival club scene reporter Doug Thompson on page 4.

Floyd Gene Pool
We all know West Virginia’s hottest pickup spot…the family reunion! Upon moving to Floyd from West Virginia I had the pleasure of hearing this and many other equally humorous jokes. Soon to be single, I’ve developed an interest in Floyd’s own gene pool…….and, oh my, what a murky little pool it is. Floyd may not have a vertical family tree but most of the limbs appear to have been grafted & a few seem to be inverted.  I found it rather amusing that such a large percentage of the local population had mingled, intermingled and re-mingled over the past 30 plus years. Ah, to be back in West Virginia where the only concern was whether or not the lady was a first or second cousin…..

County Board of Supervisors Publish Rules
The ubiquitous “Floyd Wave”, performed when approaching another vehicle, has been a hallmark of local civility for generations.  However, due to the influx of new residents and the increasing number of tourist, the Floyd County Board of Supervisors will be publishing a handbook on the etiquette of the “Floyd Wave”. Apparently, confusion amongst newcomers and visitors is creating hazardous driving conditions along many County roads. Though not due out until Spring, a few of the highlights are listed below;

  • New York & Jersey residents please note, the wave is a salutation and does not indicate your car is on fire or your zipper is down…. responding with a raised middle finger is considered inappropriate.
  • Floyd residents of the Republican persuasion are directed to utilize a raised three (3) finger wave while grasping the steering wheel.
  • Hippies and Democrats may use the two (2) finger variation, though releasing the hand from the wheel to perfect an actual “peace sign” is considered “impolitic”.
  • Deadheads & Stoners……… waving both hands or the monkey see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil pantomime will no longer be tolerated.
  • Females born South of the Mason/Dixon Line prior to 1945 may respond with a head nod (positive) or chin(s) lift (negative/dismissive).

The Supervisors stated that increasing awareness amongst the public on the “rules” of the Floyd Wave is imperative in light of their decision to turn Rt.8 into a four lane highway.

Appalachian Hip Hop
Large multicultural ethnic urban areas such as Floyd are abandoning traditional rap music and embracing the new phenomenon of Appalachian Gangsta Hip Hop. GrandMaster Wooddawg, local purveyor of the genre, is typical of the movement; “Like most WASP, I danced like a Ken doll still in the package and couldn’t tell the lyrical difference between Brittney Spears and a Gregorian chant……Appalachian Hip Hop has changed my life!” Decked out in designer bib overalls…. spotless ventilated Masey-Fergusun ball cap & a massive gold roto-tiller neck chain, Dawg explains; “We ain’t ‘bout bitches & ho’s up in here…… we ‘bout sows & cows ‘cause that’s the way we roll!”  Admitting that he had no clue as to what he’d just said……Dawg went on to explain the main attraction of Appalachian Hip Hop; “Imagine a herd of sober white people who’ve never been to Texas, much less rode a horse, wearing cowboy boots & Stetsons …… listening to Canadians from California singing about my old Kentucky home in monotonous atonal choral voices…..and all these same folks dancing in unison like they were choking a chicken & high stepping thru a pasture avoiding cow patties…… that, my friend, is the magic of Appalachian Hip Hop!”

My Summer Vacation
I try not to leave Floyd too often as my temperament can’t take too much culture shock. During a recent visit to our nation’s capitol I realized that big city folks have a totally different culture……. in fact, they speak an entirely different language. Here in Floyd saying “hello” on the street means “greetings”……… in D.C. it apparently means “I would like to steal your purse & I’m seriously considering raping you”. A wave in Floyd means “hello” while in D.C. it seems to mean; “slow down, I’d like to steal your wallet & sodomize your poodle”. Making eye contact in Floyd is simply good manners……… but in D.C. it must mean “want to see my weenie?” I shudder to think of the interpretation of the Floyd hug. New customs & cultures can be tough to assimilate & it can make it difficult to meet new people. I did find, however, that bartenders & street people were quite amiable. You’d had to tip them of course, but Hell, I was on vacation

Friends of the Library
There are many sacred institutions in Floyd that one must avoid alienating if one is to maintain any degree of social presence in this small community. Clubbing baby seals, having voted for Nixon or dining at Hardee’s for example will make you a social pariah in this tightly knit community. High amongst these social sins is falling afoul of the Friends of The Library. Woe unto those that get sideways with this august gathering of Floyd Society. A friend of mine finds herself in such a predicament and has asked that I intercede to put her back in their good graces. It seems she failed to return 5 books that were due back in April of 2001 & aside from the embarrassment, her accumulated fines now exceed $783,612. I’ve been somewhat successful in negotiating the fines down…… we’ve agreed to fund an additional wing on the building but we’re having a problem with the Sergeant at Arms of “The Friends” organization. Apparently Ms. Icove remains adamant about tattooing the traditional scarlet letter “L” on her forehead.

Tourist F.A.Q.
Q; What’s up with all of the ceramics in Floyd……… there certainly is a lot of it?
A; Many years ago there was a coin toss between Floyd and Franklin County. Floyd lost! Franklin County got moonshine & we got potters.
Q; My wife and I were amazed at the amount and diversity of music in Floyd. You must have a hard time deciding on who to hear and where to go.
A; You are sooooo right! On Friday nights Floydians like to go hear Bluegrass at the Floyd Country Store. Some nights they like to hear Bluegrass at the Winter Sun and at other times they’d rather go hear Bluegrass at the Lutheran Pavilion. And, once a year at Floyd Fest, you can hear four days of Bluegrass. For an equivalent musical experience you might consider a less painful alternative….. in the privacy of your own kitchen, stick your head in a Cuisinart blender & push puree!
Q; There seem to be a lot of hippies in Floyd…. how do the old locals feel about them?
A; Well, frankly, for many years there was a certain amount of animosity but, fortunately, a lot of Northerners have been moving in and, thanks to the “drawbridge relativity” theorem,  locals & hippies have found someone they can mutually detest. Everything is groovy.

Women’s Self Defense Classes Offered
Floyd’s new health club is offering self defense classes taught by a specially trained cadre of Floyd women. Modeled after the Navy Seal Program, the classes will train women on how to defend against the infamous Floyd Hug. Apparently the Floyd Hug is used by many local men as a “free fire grope zone”. Attendees will learn the subtle head bow technique used to avoid lip contact and the slightly more aggressive knee to groin defense against the “Copperhill Full Metal Jacket Tongue Lip Lock”. Interested parties may contact the fitness center’s Black Belt Grand Master, Ellen Wright, for details and scheduling.

Putting  Our Tax Dollars To Work
In their never ending search for tourism dollars, local entrepreneurs & the Town Council are doing a commendable job in marketing Floyd as the next Mayberry RFD. In their hasty planning, however, they’ve overlooked one key element. Sure, visitors are going to love all the new businesses……. they’ll ooh & ah over the new building facades, we’ve got additional parking and they’ll certainly enjoy the beautiful park behind Winter Sun. The Village Green is a marvel and The Village Square is coming soon……. but visitors to Floyd will have appreciably higher expectations. With all the brain power behind the marketing of Floyd, I for one would like to know just who overlooked “The Village Idiot”? I propose that it be a paid position……. hell, there’s probably a grant available. Furthermore, though we have an overabundance of worthy candidates in the County, it’s a given that I serve the first term. Upon resolution of this issue we can then address the dilemma of where to hide Doug Thompson when company comes a’ calling.

You Go Girl!
I recently discovered my feminine side…….. pretty darn scary. I suppose the cross dressing should have been a clue but I didn’t actually discover her until trying my first cup of herbal tea…….. Rose Petal I think it was. Anyway, I’m drinking this crap when it crosses my mind that a shot of vodka would certainly improve it. In the back of my mind I hear this sarcastic feminine voice…….. telling me I’m “pathetic”. A few hours later I’m washing my clothes and that voice barks “separate the whites and the colors asshole!” Later that night I’m eating dinner over the kitchen sink when a shrill voice bellows “get a placemat, plate & utensils and sit at the table…. you pig”. The first month or so of this was incredibly depressing……… constantly nagging myself about my drinking, hygiene & smoking. After awhile, however, it dawned on me that this was, perhaps, a golden opportunity. I haven’t had much luck in Floyd’s frenzied dating scene……..my feminine side is pretty cute, has a good job & prenuptials would never be an issue. I’m looking better all the time!

A Visitors Guide To Floyd
As Floyd’s premier bartender, I’m in constant contact with tourist, transients and sundry refugees trying to adapt to our culture & discover the ins & outs of life in Floyd. As a service to newcomers & visitors alike, I’ve put together a little pamphlet that will minimize common social faux pas & help them attain their rightful place in the community. Below you’ll find some highlights of the publication. The full brochure is available at the Pine Tavern bar for $9.95 while supplies last.

  • “Can my band play at Floyd Fest?”  Without a doubt!!! Just call Kris and specify which stage you would prefer & what kind of champagne you’d like in the green room.
  • Best conversation starter; our local favorite is “what youse people really need in Floyd is_________” After generations of inbreeding we’re a little slow on the uptake and welcome whatever guidance you might offer.
  • “Can I visit the local communes? The answer is an emphatic yes! They love visitors, tour buses are welcome and they don’t mind if you simply “pop in”. Be sure to visit the Blessing Light Commune and ask for Tree.
  • Dining in Floyd; our restaurateurs live to please! Study the menu briefly and then feel free to ask for stuff that’s not on it….. especially culinary delights from North of the Mason-Dixon line. You’ll be amazed out how quickly they respond!
  • Hints for tipping wait staff; a simple thank you will usually suffice but the maximum expectation is 5%…. they’re hippies and not into that whole “capitalism thing”.

Remember, for us……you are the “Floyd Experience”!

The “Floyd Experience”

You’ve heard the term….. you may have bought the T-shirt….. but just what the hell is it? In my marketing work with local businesses we endeavored to convey the charms of Floyd County to potential visitors. During countless meetings I’ve heard the term “The Floyd Experience” used in attempts to encapsulate what makes Floyd so unique. As expected, I never heard a consensus. For many, the Floyd Experience is listening to impromptu bluegrass sessions on someone’s porch ……. bringing in the Fall harvest….. a Sunday drive through the bucolic countryside. For me it’s Friday night at Ray’s watching all the ladies getting better looking as the night wears on. After this past Labor Day weekend, however, I now grasp the quintessential Floyd experience….at least the new one. It’s sitting thru 3 cycles at the stop light trying to make a left….

The Floyd Rumor Mill
Coming from metropolitan areas, newcomers are often taken aback by the Floyd Rumor Mill and soon discover, what it lacks in veracity, it more than makes up for in velocity. You see, in Floyd we don’t have opera, major league sports, highbrow culture or Brittney Spears…… we’re stuck with hippies, Ray’s & rumors. As our hippies enter their twilight years & Ray’s becomes more sedate, we must rely on rumors for our entertainment. Having been raised in a small town, I came to Floyd prepared and have maintained my traditional rumor defense…… get ahead of the curve…. get way out front by starting bigger and juicer lies about yourself…… the truth will be boring by comparison. It’s grand entertainment…. nothing personal and somebody else will replace you on the rumor “front page” soon enough. Recently, for example, I learned that I had moved in with a new lover. Upset? Of course not……… I’m quite flattered that I’m probably having sex with some regularity and, hopefully, within the same species! Trust Mr.T-Bone, once you acclimate to life in Floyd, you’ll look forward to popping into the Cafe to discover what bizarre turn your life has taken while you slept.

Free Marital Advice 
Because of my past, a lot of married guys seek my advice.  Scott Perry is a typically sad case & he recently asked me, “Mr. T-Bone, I’m happily married, my wife loves me dearly, we both have great careers, wonderful children, and we’re really enjoying life……can you help me?”  Well, the fact is that a lot of guys like Scott are often beyond help because they waited too long, not only to recognize the problem, but also to begin taking those critical initial steps.  If you want to avoid the dismal life that faces Scott, contact me, Mr. T-Bone.  Act now & receive my FREE pamphlet: “Hookers, Meth & Marriage — The Two Step Program to a Successful Relationship”.