Somebody please make this into a movie (or bring me coffee)

If you remember, in 1999 the world was swept with Y2K hysteria.  People expected great cataclysms and gnashing of teeth as all computers failed and airplanes fell from the sky. It passed with barely a yawn.

One country music fan named Jimmie Lee Erhart was worried, too.  Erhart wasn't concerned about the possibility of social collapse, but the over-wussification of country music.  Erhart, Professor of Genetics at Vanderbilt University College of Medicine, determined that the current reign of "Nash Vegas" music must not go unchallenged.

He made some calls. One night, deep in the mountains between Nashville and Chattanooga, Dr Erhart was visited by four special travelers. The Highwaymen, too, were worried about this wussification, and they swore an oath to preserve the Outlaw tradition. Dr. Erhart wasn't alone in his mountain lair that night.  With him were Annie Laurie Hawkins–drunk 32 year-old countergirl at an East Pittsburgh, Tennessee, truckstop/fireworks outlet–and Tammy Jo Owens, hard-working waitress at an I-24 Waffle House.

Annie Laurie's job was simple–collect sperm samples from each of the Highwaymen.  (For Annie Laurie, four sperm samples was a slow Friday night, especially with the rohypnol Dr. Erhart added to her Jack Daniel's)

Tammy Jo, however, was a sacred vessel. She didn't drink to excess or do drugs.  She worked the late shift at the Waffle House–scattering, smothering, and covering hashbrowns for cross-country truckers–and took classes at Humbolt County Community College, working towards an LPN degree.  Tammy Jo had all but raised her four younger sisters after momma ran off with the traveling Gospel quartet, and daddy started drinking.  Tammy Jo loved babies.

Good thing.

Because Tammy Jo Owens would be impregnated before the night ended.  Dr. Erhart carefully mixed the sperm samples Annie Laurie collected for him–decorum precludes describing the methods she used, but there were no complaints among the Highwaymen–then ran the stuff through his special "spunkfector" process, combining the best traits from each Outlaw. Songwriting from Kris Kristofferson, voice from Johnny Cash, Attitude from Waylon Jennings, and the impossible longevity gene from Willie Nelson.  Tammy Jo had no idea what hit her: Dr. Erhart chloroformed her outside the Waffle House, and Kristofferson flew them to the lair in his Bell Jet Ranger helicopter.

The next morning, Tammy Jo awoke with a headache.  She was home in her bed.  Waylon and Johnny Cash had set up her apartment to look like she'd had the flu–a NyQuil bottle with the top off, empty BC Powder packets in the bathroom garbage can, glass of orange juice by the bed.  Willie had his daughter Paula Carlene call the Waffle House impersonating Tammy Jo, telling her manager she was deathly ill with the flu.

Several months later, Tammy Jo gave birth to a baby boy. She was going to name him Robert after her father, but somehow the birth certificate read "Shooter."

Shooter was an ornery but loving little boy.  Tammy Jo finished her LPN training, and went on to work at Rebel Ridge Nursing Home.  It was funny, but Tammy Jo seemed to win a lot of things from country radio stations.  She won a new Ford truck from a Nashville station.  She won a brand new home from Country Music Television.  Funny, though, she didn't remember entering either of these contests.

And every night, when little Shooter–now ten years-old–goes to sleep, the spectral forms of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings watch over him, whispering song lyrics into his ear.

(and this is what happens when the 7-Eleven soda fountain spits out grape soda instead of Diet Mountain Dew–no caffeine, and sugar=insanity)

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6 Responses to “Somebody please make this into a movie (or bring me coffee)”

  1. Yes, I well remember the Y2K scare. We still have two large blue barrels that we were going to use for rainwater (LOL) but the kids have had a blast playing with the barrels since the year 2000! This story is pretty crazy Tom. You been spiking the Diet Mountain Dew? Get a good nights sleep, take two Tylenol in the morning, and see if you remember anymore of this amazing story 🙂

  2. Ya make that rhyme and it's a perfect country song too.Y2K kept the husband gainfully employed for a couple years — the company did have old computers that would have failed (inconvenience more than crisis) so he happily collected the money to replace them.

  3. Can't wait to see how this story ends! Hopefully the kid will have the good looks of David Allen Coe.

  4. Hmmmm. Very strange stuff, Tom!Can we incorporate Shooter into the Kill Bill 3 movie?Isn't a lively brain an entertaining thing!? 🙂

  5. I think Shooter and Ms Kiddo would be awesome together.
    I should mention, Waylon Jennigs actually named his son "Shooter." It's just too good a name not to use, and I'm sure the Highwaymen would approve.

  6. I knew I had heard that somewheres! 🙂

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