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COLUMN: Strange CD a glimpse into judge's future?

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By BEN CARLSON

Given the contents of last week’s column about the pending trial of the woman suing the county on sexual harassment and other assorted vile allegations, it’s good to know the judge-executive has retained what I guess is a sense of humor.

Or at least is planning for his future when he leaves office at the end of this year.

When I showed up for work Monday morning, one of my coworkers brought me my mail including an envelope the judge had mailed from his home on Powell Taylor Road. It even had one of those ready-made return address stickers with his name on it.

Inside the envelope was a CD with a note on it that said, “Ben, Thought you might enjoy. This is one of my favorites. Steve Cornish.”

Hmmm. Given the rather salacious nature of the videos described in that lawsuit, I hesitated before loading the CD in my computer. Folks in that office can apparently get away with watching smut on their computers, but the company I work has a zero tolerance policy and the last thing I needed was to get canned for downloading that sort of thing.

I threw caution to the wind, though, and played the CD anyway.

When I opened it I realized that instead of video the judge had actually sent me an audio recording.

Hmmm, again.

I opened my iTunes and it turned out to be a rather strange song from the Zac Brown Band titled Sic ’Em On A Chicken.

It’s a country-bluegrass sort of song that one might expect to hear on morning drive-time radio that apparently struck the judge’s funny bone in its sweet spot.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Oh, you thought we were done, huh?

Ha ha, we got more.

Sic ’em on a chicken

Sic ’em on a chicken

Sic ’em on a chicken and watch those feathers fly.

The lyrics discuss a man’s dog named Pete, a mean SOB that drinks Beam and water from a broken Mason jar.

Apparently the storyteller has a hankering for some fried chicken because he discusses bringing out the butter and flour because we’re ready to fry.

To bag one, he sics old Pete on a chicken in the woods.

I heard this awful noise comin’ out of the woods

I heard chicken screams

Knew it wasn’t gonna be good.

The chicken apparently escapes and, over the next couple of years, gets larger and more dangerous, prompting the storyteller to attack the chicken himself.

He wasn’t safe to keep around the home

When he almost took an eyeball from Lonny’s son

And I was in the kitchen making fig preserves

And I’d heard that young ’un get kicked in the face

And I knew it was the day that rooster was going to get what he deserves.

The story has a happy ending (at least for the teller and Pete), who go on to turn the chicken into pot pie.

On their own, the lyrics are a bit ominous given the less-than-friendly relationship the judge and I have fostered through the years. To say we haven’t exchanged Christmas cards is an understatement.

So while pondering if there was some sort of cryptic message — does this mean I’m a chicken and the judge is a dog? — it dawned on me that he might be just testing out a new line of work for when he leaves office.

After all, he is the second consecutive judge to lose his seat in his party’s own primary, and the man he beat is a musician of fairly high local acclaim.

Perhaps the current judge is pondering a career in music distribution, and is planning to help market and distribute the former judge’s songs.

If so, I wish them both well, but offer just a little friendly advice.

Instead of going through the expense of burning one song on an entire CD and spending a couple of dollars mailing it out, attach the audio file to an e-mail and let ’er rip.

Of course there isn’t high-speed internet access on Powell Taylor Road, so the former judges would have to lean on the next judge to do something about that little problem.

Otherwise, sounds like a good plan to me.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.