(05/06/2019)
By Jack Cawthon 2002

Big Puf's Orange Roughage Catfish

If you have attended some of the major fairs and festivals and you missed the recent Big Puf Orange Roughage Catfish bash you haven't seen anything yet. The festival will be held annually, generally each year, during the last full moon in July.

Let Weston have its Carp Festival; Big Puf has gained the attention of the world while honoring its one-of-a-kind Orange Roughage, the semi-aquatic life that thrives on major pollution in Big Puf Crick.

The endangered species has been monitored under the watchful eyes of the Allegheny Front, a militant pacifist band of environmentalists, since its discovery some years ago.

The fish-combo must have excessive pollution for its survival and, therefore, Big Puf Crick has been the site for major hazardous waste disposals, out-of-state garbage, and some unidentified items from the old USSR which glow mysteriously in the dark.

With every town and hamlet, where people always ponder whether to be or not to be, having a festival of some sort, the town fathers, and some of the mothers, keeping in mind that the two don't always balance out, scheduled some major entertainment this year for the first time.

The musical program was tops with Big Puf's own Big Puf Daddy performing his No. l hit on theTri-Holler charts "Stoned in Stonewood" and a second composition coming in for its own acclaim, "The Braxton County Monster was My Wife."

Also, taking top billing was the country hip hop clogger Sixpac Trembler who does his country rap along with a street-modified Bob Wise clog accompaniment.

Part of the program was set aside for the Ramp Digger Writers, a group of aspiring authors whose major accomplishment so far have been written missives to each other about the number of rejections received from incompetent editors across the nation.

I was honored to serve as a judge of the writing competition. Serving with me were Bobby Gene Bubba, Big Puf's big delegate, Sister Hannah of the Holy Rattlers, and the Rev. Les Pedeza, traveling evangelist who has converted numbers of souls, a majority of them women, in the back of his Chevy conversion van.

I didn't know at the time that payments, or gratuities as they are called in the Olympics, had been made to the judges as I had been passed over no doubt with the knowledge that I have always prided myself on honor and purity in the art of the written word, if you ignore my experience in the field of journalism.

Burvil had entered the contest, along with Homer Bob, Big Puf's illiterate author. And, doggoned if both didn't achieve first place awards, if one is to ignore somewhat the tainted judging.

I didn't know Burvil was a poet, although three-fourths of the nation seems to strive for that distinction. When he was presented his award, a gift certificate for Okey Hanshaw's Quick Lube and Frozen Custard, he was asked to read his composition.

It was so touching I thought I might share it with you lovers of the art. Titled "Love Tokens": "As you look up I stand before you with tokens of my love, my love: two squirrels and a rabbit. You can show your love for me, my dear, by skinning them out and cooking them up." I noticed men hardened to any show of sensitivity dabbing at their eyes, and there was a hush in the audience as he finished.

Then, Homer Bob was called upon. As everyone well knew he had never learned to read so as to keep himself pure from other writers. He, of course, wasn't able to read his composition and he requested that Burvil read it for him as he had neglected to bring his glasses. Burvil was appropriate as he had penned the words on paper, supposedly as they had been dictated.

However, after only a few paragraphs it became apparent that this was no prose for a family audience. Rev. Pedeza jumped to his feet shouting, drowning out Burvil's narration, which I was becoming rather intrigued with as it dealt with a minister who looked like Conway Twitty visiting his parishioners during a hot afternoon.

Sixpac Trembler took the hint and began a rap story, which was worse than Burvil's had the crowd been able to understand it, and the Tri-Holler Consolidated Band struck up "God Bless America," but in deference to any atheists who might be present deleted God which caused it to sound like the devil.

Afterwards, I asked Burvil if Homer Bob had actually dictated such X-rated words, and he said not entirely, that he had used the Hur Herald on the school's computer to look up some information which he hadn't understood fully but which he hoped to soon research.

I decided then and there never to doubt another government agency in its efforts to protect us no matter what Tony Russell says.

The keynote speaker for the day was Lester T. Archabald IV, who was responsible for the pollution in Big Puf Crick, all stemming from his Degenerated Coal Company mines. Archabald drove up in his overloaded coal truck, a bit overloaded himself, as he is now employed at a lower scale economically but at a higher scale with a truck over loaded.

His speech was entitled "Praise the Lord and Toss the Garbage," to which Rev. Pedeza declared a hearty "amen!" Several of the Allegheny Fronters applauded loudly, and I noticed many of them now had spouses or spices from the community.

Sunshine Delight had three little kids tugging at her tie-dye and two of them had red hair. I guess it proves once again that those outsiders who want to do good and help us are usually done good, Lord help them.

The festival ended with a demonstration of chug-a-lug and shoot by the Big Puf Mountain Hunting and Drinking Club.

Everyone went home happy with the efforts of this first event, except for three members of the hunting club who needed some medical care at the Tri-Holler clinic-not for gunshot wounds, but merely for detox.


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