Originally written upon my arrival in Washington, North Carolina in June, 1989. It is a modern adaptation of an ancient Cherokee story. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with pretentiousness.
Once upon a time, on a fine Saturday afternoon, Br'er Juan was walkin' through the Video Briar Patch when he came across two Tar Babies playing with a video camera.
Them ol' Tar Babies was puttin' the camera on the Wayne Crane.
Now, Br'er Juan knew all about that Wayne Crane. He'd done been there when Mr. Wayne designed it, and he'd had plenty of time to play with it while waitin' for customers to drop in at the Video Briar Patch.
The Tar Babies got the camera on the Wayne Crane okay, and they got it nice and level. But the tall Tar Baby decided he wanted to put a plastic sack over the camera.
Now understand, when Mr. Wayne designed the Crane, he made it 14-feet long, where everybody elses was only 10-feet. That Mr. Wayne sure was smart, because nobody could steal the Wayne Crane. At 14-feet long, it wouldn't fit in a car or van.
But the 14-feet also means the Wayne Crane is real sensitive. The plastic sack of the tall Tar Baby's sent the camera right down to the floor. Instead of being nice and level like the tall Tar Baby wanted it, the camera base sat on the ground. The tall Tar Baby said to the skinny Tar Baby, "Wennell, we got to fix this," and started liftin' the camera back up.
Br'er Juan stood on the edge of the Video Briar Patch and watched and remembered about the Wayne Crane. The rope on the Wayne Crane don't hold too good and sometimes the camera just flips upside down. When that happened before, the camera came close to bustin'.
So, Br'er Juan tells the Tar Babies, "Gentlemen, you are about to create a potentially dangerous situation. The turnbuckle does not sufficiently tighten the wire rope, and the pully under the camera can slip. I have seen the camera flip over, and if someone had not been present to prevent it, the camera would have been damaged. The camera is much safer if the base rests on the floor as it's doing now."
The Tar Babies must have thought Br'er Juan meant Morley Safer, cause they didn't say nothin'. At least not to Br'er Juan.
The tall one says, "We need just a little more weight on the back to level this sucker. Wennell, go over there and get a video cable and let's hang it back here."
The skinny Tar Baby went over there and got him a wire, and the tall Tar Baby, he hung that wire on the back of the Wayne Crane, but the levelin' didn't suit him, so he kept tellin' the skinny Tar Baby to get weights and wires and tape and stuff, and the skinny Tar Baby kept gettin' 'em, and the tall Tar Baby kept hanging 'em.
Br'er Juan stood there watchin' and a couple of times he told them Tar Babies that they were makin' a big mistake.
But the Tar Babies didn't say nothing. And they kept gettin' and hangin'.
Br'er Juan, he felt like busting them Tar Babies for not speaking, but he figured the video camera would do the busting for him, so he went out the door of the Video Briar Patch, and he ain't said nothing else. The end.