“Good Ol’ Boys, Never Meanin’ No Harm”
An episode of The Dukes of Hazzard written as a short story written for French magazine Technikart.
After Waylon Jennings had finished singing, Bo and Luke Duke slid across the hood of their red-orange Charger from opposite sides, mostly for effect. The roof was painted Stars-and-Bars, and the doors of the car were welded shut, and although this had never been satisfactorily explained, it probably had something to do with the occasional stock car race they found themselves involved in. Then again, it might just have been for effect. In any case, it contributed to the wear and tear on the asses of their jeans.
Their jeans were tight. But not as tight as Daisy’s, and not as short. And watching, the six year-olds wondered, without knowing the words, what sex was. Uncle Jesse muttered something that turned into a rooster-cry about the old days, and when your ma and pa were alive. It all had something to do with Robert E. Lee, or “I fought the law and—”
Still nobody knows who won. But Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane was busy trying to keep Flash from falling off the seat as he raced the Duke Boys towards the County Line—borderland of his jurisdiction. And whatever the next county was called, eventually it would become a safe-haven no longer. The only black guy on the show would eventually be instated as Sheriff over there, and he was in better shape than Boss Hogg, and he wore aviator sunglasses and didn’t talk as much as Rosco, but he didn’t like no lawbreakers, neither.
Meanwhile, Daisy was busy distracting Deputy Enos by pretending to like him. Enos was always one to fall for a pricktease, especially one named after cutoff shorts. Or maybe the shorts were named after Daisy Duke, who knows. The important point here is that everybody was so distracted—Rosco by Flash, Boss Hogg by a plate of ribs and the phonecalls of his wife, Lulu, Enos by sexual frustration, Uncle Jesse by some confused notion of the old days, compounded by the steady inhalation of moonshine fumes, the other county’s sheriff by his battle with endemic racism in his struggle to maintain his position as most authoritative black man south of the Mason-Dixon line, and Cooter (who we haven’t mentioned yet) by the oil leaking from his tow truck—everybody, let me just repeat, everybody was so distracted that none of them noticed the labor dispute that let Bo and Luke slip off Scott-free, to be replaced, with not much fanfare or plausible explanation, by Coy and Vance, who looked similar enough, but were always a bit of a letdown, primarily because they were Union-busting scabs and everyone knew it. Then again, Marxism never really had much of a stronghold in Hazzard County, Georgia.
But let’s get back to the plot. Bo, Luke, Coy and/or Vance were hauling ass down a dirt road, Rosco and Flash in hot pursuit. The blond one was driving, while the other one tried to get some sense out of Uncle Jesse on the CB. Rosco was giggling something into his own CB, trying to get Enos to “head them Duke boys off at the pass.”
But Enos’s squad car was parked outside the Boar’s Nest, and the CB was talking to nobody, because Enos was still inside the Boar’s Nest, standing real close to Daisy, who had a finger on his necktie. Enos had a finger under his own collar, and boy was his face getting red. But then two out-of-towners in cheap suits came in, saying something about Boss Hogg and property deeds and something something something. That broke the spell. Enos remembered he was supposed to be a cop, not just a walking bag of nerdish hormones. He hightailed it to the parking lot while Daisy sized up the no-good out-of-towners, propping her sexy leg on a chair for good measure.
Back on the road and the car chase was reaching an exciting climax. Nobody had remembered that the bridge was being repaired, and had been for the past three seasons. But by the time whichever Duke Boys were driving noticed the BRIDGE OUT sign, they’d passed the point of no return. Bo/Coy pushed the accelerator to the floor and pressed the middle of the steering wheel. The General Lee blasted a triumphant “Wish I Were in the Land of Cotton” as construction workers jumped to the sides, hands clapped across their hardhats. The General Lee hit the edge of the unrepaired bridge and was airborne.
The screen froze and Waylon asked, “Now just what’re the chances them boys is gonna clear that crick?”
AN INTERLUDE OF NATIONAL AND LOCAL ADVERTISING OCCURS, INCLUDING ONE AD FOR VICTORY AUTO WRECKERS IN BERWYN (“BER-WYN?!” SHOUT THE KIDS AT HOME) AND ANOTHER FOR EAGLE INSURANCE. POSSIBLY THE ONE ABOUT THE COCAINE MONKEY, TOO.
Post-commercials, everything is present-tense. The frozen screen shows the General Lee, mid-flight. Waylon drawls something about not getting the tires wet. The screen unfreezes, we hear “Dixie” sung by the General Lee’s horn, and the Dukes land on the other side of the creek. Rosco and Flash follow undeterred, but drive straight into the water. The Dukes stop to laugh at the lawman as he holds his Bassett hound above the water, which really isn’t all that deep anyway, and curses out Enos, who will arrive in a few more minutes and fall in himself.
Daisy comes on the CB and tells the boys some stuff she learned from the cheap-suited-out-of-towners, and everybody convenes at City Hall, where they catch Boss Hogg red-handed trying to do whatever nefarious thing he’s decided to do this week.
It probably has something to do with moonshine. Or property prices.
But this is a repeat. This is a rerun.
We’ll do it again next week.
All together now: Yee-ha!