In a Good Hand

Do you ever think about your hand? No, I’m not talking about that miserable selection of cards staring back at you when you’re playing strip poker and down to your last thread of decency. I’m talking about the one at the end of your arm. You know, old Mother Thumb and her four daughters.

Most of us take our hand for granted. Oh sure, we may occasionally rub some lotion on her or manicure her nails, but look at all the dirty tasks we ask her to perform. It’s disgusting. You’d never ask your foot to do those things. And if you did, it would probably rebel and give you a swift kick in the groin before running off with a shoe salesman from Toledo.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the cobbler who is adept at repairing and polishing previously published 100 word stories is Geppetto Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to have your heel replaced or a new sole sewed on, visit her site and follow the step-by-step instructions. To view the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

photo courtesy of Piya Singh
photo courtesy of Piya Singh

I’ve been cooking moonshine at the Stillhouse Spring for over thirty years. My little family business has been the victim of fires, tornados, hurricanes, floods, revenuers, and a drunk named Otis.

But through all those trials and tribulations, I’ve only had one insurance company. Y’allstate.

If a natural disaster, or government agency, busts up my still, I just hit 2 on the speed dial and quicker’n a cat can lick its ass, my agent, Cletus Thornwell is over here.

You know why their motto is, “You’re in a Good Hand with Y’allstate?” Cause they’re holding a drink in the other.

This is an extreme make-over of my September 2012 post, which can be found here.


44 Comments on “In a Good Hand

  1. Hilarious, Russell. I was laughing out loud. I just love Y’allstate. They are truly the moonshiner’s friend. I also loved the rebellion of the foot. 😀 — Suzanne


  2. Yep, Y’allstate is a good Southern company that takes care of it’s customers when disaster strikes. They’ll even cover injuries caused by an unruly foot.


  3. Dear Cletus,

    Like a good neighbor…oh, you’re not that one…or the one with the British lizard either. I can’t keep them all straight. But then I don’t think any of them are straight. Gotta hand it to you…Y’allstate could be a good choice but perhaps I’ll try eeny meeny miney mo first. Mother Thumb and her four daughters? I might have gone to school with one for them.




    • Dear Geppetto,
      I went back and read my post from 4 years ago and thought to myself, “I can do better than that.” Also, the Y’allstate idea had just come to me and I was dying to work it into a story. A friend of mine is intimately acquainted with Ms. Thumb and her daughters, but I’ll let you guess who that is.

      We gottcha covered,


  4. Oh, this is a good one, Russel. In fact, I have a friend who has relatives in Georgia, deep woods, who have the same kind of “small business” making with the old family recipe. Now, HE has stories of the county reps who come out and get shot at all the while the sheriff says to the shooter, “Now, Ellis, you know that ain’t bein’ nice to the man. He’s just here to measure the property line. So, put the gun down, will ya?” It still goes on today. Amazing.

    Five out of five mothers and daughters. 😀


    • Somehow I knew you’d have those kind of kinfolks, Kent. You probably even have a few Mason jars of liquid refreshment hid in the garage. Let’s take a road trip to Georgia.


      • Hahaha! No, they aren’t MY relatives, they are a friend of mine’s relatives. HOWEVER … if you want some of that liquid refreshment in the Mason jar, I think I could put in a request. BTW, the mother thumb and four daughters I have never heard of in that way … and notice I bit my tongue the whole way through the response. 😉


    • They probably have a Y’allstate office on every corner in your neck of the woods, Patti. The beat the heck out of Flo or that darned AFLAC goose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, our corners are maxed out real estate. 7-11 is trying to buy them all.


      • We have a convenience store battle here between Casey’s and Kum & Go. Between the two of them and Walgreen’s there isn’t a corner lot available in a 50 mile radius.


  5. The way my feet pain me, you wouldn’t think they’d got the better end of the deal. I like Y’allstate. Accommodating kind of broker, I think.


  6. That sounds like the insurance company has a real interest in the business. Hilarious.


  7. Is there really such an insurance company? Nothing that happens in the US would surprise me after so many of them chose Trump!


    • Nah, this is a work of fiction. But, if they was such a company, I’m sure the would prosper, especially in the South.


  8. I’m betting the Y’allstate guy knows all the secrets. I’m still smiling at Cletus Thornwell, where do you get the names from? Hilarious tale.


  9. Eye-opening stuff! We don’t have those sort of goings-on down here in the real south. I’m getting an education reading your stories. Actually, Russel, I thought I could see a little cat in the picture – on the little bridge to the left of the wheel. It’s not licking anything though. Am I imagining it? Or have I visited the Stillhouse Spring once too often?


    • We refer to your place as Down Under since you don’t say Y’all or eat chittlins’

      I can’t tell if that’s a cat in the photo, or if you’ve been into the corn squeezins’. It could be either one or both.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Y’all ‘re the only one who could come up with Y’allstate… What a hoot and a half… and I may know of a folk or two who be comfy with the whole mason jar operation..


  11. How very Progressive of Cletus. He’s probably chasin’ a bunch of Travelers in trouble, with his non-drinkin’ hand firmly gripped on the wheel. That moonshine comes in mighty handy when you’re low on gas (figuratively and literally). 😉


    • He’s more handy to have around than Flo and that lizard with the English accent. Although, both those characters might annoy the Revenuers to death.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a gem! This is great, Russell. We wanted to interrupt their moonshine consumption with a little disaster or two. At least they have one hand, I guess. Hilarious piece.


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