From the master Southern Storyteller his own self, Jerry Clower.
All of y’all know that my dearest and closest friend growin’ up was Marcell Ledbetter. I checked on him the other day. Marcell’s still hauling pulpwood and he’s got a young boy named Tater, Tater Ledbetter, that helps him. Tater loves to go to the wood yard because the man that’s the manager of the wood yard owns one of them moped motorcycles.
Now while they’re unloading pulpwood old Tater rides the moped. Now he’s forbidden to take it outside the wood yard. But this particular day Tater saw an opening in the fence and he give it the good guff and went right on the hard road and pulled up to the red light and stopped.
‘Bout that time a brand-new Mercedes-Benz pulled out of a brand-new showroom, whupped around in the street. One of them $70,000 ones and pulled up there and stopped at the red light. And the driver looked and there’s Tater on the moped right there. Tater leaned over and put his nose on the glass, trying to look in there. The driver of the Mercedes spooled the window down and Tater stuck his head over in there. He said, “Whoo! Smell them leather seats! Look at that dashboard! Looks like the console of a brand-new cotton gin. Look-a here, looka here! Oh Sir, this is the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Fella says, “Thank you, young man. Thank you very much.”
Tater says, “How fast will it go?”
He says, “A hundred and twenty.”
“A Hundred and Twenty!? Whoo!”
About that time the light changed. Tater swung back on the moped and the man took off and really showed Tater how he could do it. Just left tire tracks in the middle of the road.
The man’s going along, doing about 90, and he looks and sees a speck in his rear view mirror. And the speck’s getting closer and closer. And about that time, the speck says, “wroooom!” and he passed over here on the left hand side. Man driving the Mercedes said, “Good gracious. That looked like that little old boy on that moped. Ain’t no way that could happen.”
About that time he saw him coming back. Beeeeyooooomm. He said, “It was. Have mercy! Whoo! He done passed me twice!”
Looked in the rear view mirror and here he comes again, right at the back of that Mercedes. And he WHAM! runs into the back bumper. Man slams on brakes, jumps out. Tater had done bent the cootershell on the back of that car. And there he was laying down in the middle of that moped, parts throwed everywhere.
The man saw he was breathing and said, “Aww, son. AWW, son I hope you alright. Is there anything in the world that I can do for you, son?”
Tater said, “Yes sir. You can un-HOOK my suspenders from your side view mirror!”