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Livin' large in a triple-wide

By DIANE ROBERTS

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 23, 2000


Hoo, doggy! You Yankees are laughin' louder'n a John Deere with a busted belt. Y'all just love it when us'ns in the South act like we's trapped in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.

See, the guv'na of Arkansas and his missus is gussyin' up the Big House in Little Rock, installin' indoor plumbin,' electricity and a pump right there in the kitchen. But them renovatin' boys make a powerful mess when they commence with the pipes and the wires and the drills and such like. So ole Gov. Huckabee reckoned the family'd be more comfortable if they moved into a trailer located convenient-like in the yard.

Now, I know y'all are hootin' and hollerin' over the idea of the first family of the Razorback state (Sooooooeeeeeey! Go Hogs!) livin' in manufactured housin' like so much white trash. But that's 'cause you're dumber'n Paula Jones after a six-pack of Miller. This ain't no regular trailer; it ain't even a double-wide. This here is a triple-wide mobile home. It is state of the art. It's got a fireplace and a clothes-washing machine and the purtiest vinyl siding you ever seen. It's got gen-u-ine wood veneer paneling, a kitchen that looks like one of them color spreads in Southern Livin' and shag carpet even in the closets. It come on a truck (in three pieces), but that ain't no reason to roll out them Jeff Foxworthy routines and subject this fine example of Southern craftsmanship to bald-faced ridicule.

Why can't we see this for what it is -- an answer to the housin' needs of all our gummint officials? See, we could keep them big ole mansions for the tourists and official hoedowns where you need to eat off somethin' stiffer'n Chinet, and put the gov'nas and their kinfolk in a double- or triple-wide (according to how many young 'uns and how much livestock they got).

Livin' in a house trailer would show the voters that their elected officials wasn't uppity and didn't think they was better than the folks that put 'em in office. Trailers would let each first family be creative-like in the decor, too. They could put a goobernatorial limousine up on concrete blocks out front and stick a bunch of them cute pink flamingoes in the grass. It would be a durn sight more friendlier than them big white columns and 12-foot ceilings you find in most official-type domiciles.

And when it come time to go on the campaign trail, why the gov'na could load his home up on the rig and take the first family on the road. Study on it: Every trailer park in the state could say they'd done harbored the mansion.

Y'all go on and make fun of us. We got our fingers in our ears and we don't care what you say. Our kind (ole Bill Clinton, Sen. Trent Lott, Mister Albert Gore Junior and Gov'na W. Bush to name but a few) run this country. And you don't.

Diane Roberts is an editorial writer at the Times.

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