The Pinetar Rag

November 19, 2012

Moonshiners

Filed under: Canned Heat — mcgonnigle @ 8:13 pm

anonymous rural guy:

I remember that the shine was so bad in our community that when you bought it you made the seller take a drink first then waited a few minutes to see if he or she died from it.

***
As cheesy as it is and as much as I hate to say it, I am enjoying the dopey show “Moonshiners”. It’s all rigged up and phoney, but there’s something about the topic and the characters that’s compelling. The original guy from season 1 and his partner, “Tickle”, are just right out of central casting, and that might not be far off, either.

Still, I am amazed at the raionale that folks use to justify this activity. Usually, it’s, “because my family did it”. It’s a “tradition”. Will meth cookers use this thinking someday? “Because my daddy made meth”?

What I don’t like about the show is that they romanticize it and downplay the 2 biggest dangers (no, not the police): (1) the still can explode; think about it, you are vaporizing something that’s volatile and very flammable and you’re doing it around an open flame! The pretty copper vessel makes a nice shrapnel-creating grenade if the vapors go up! (2) It is possible to make poison. The first compounds that come off the still are called the “foreshots” and they are things you don’t want to ingest; mostly wood alcohol–that makes you go blind.

Maybe I’m not watching closely (I’m not), but I don’t see enough warnings. You know some people are out there saying, “that looks cool”. Just hope they really think it through.

I recall working at Fedex, in Harrison, Arkansas, which is a dry county. I was doing a talk there and asked, as a silly icebreaker, “…does anyone know where I can get some white lightning?” Now, I meant this as a joke; a complete gag. It was rhetorical. But some older woman in the back said, “…across blah road and up that hill there’s a trailer park where you can get it, but be careful, there’s skinheads in there…”, to which I sheepishly said something like, “okaaay, I’ll skip it.” I was just joking. She was not. She was honestly trying to provide information, like the concierge at a hotel. Yikes.
***
If anyone is watching Gold Rush as Mrs. and I are, I want to ask if ANYone is taking the Dakota Boys’ side on the bridge rebuild? They blew the kid off, telling him “it’s just business” and then when he is doing business and has a contract, they are all incensed. What goes around…

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