By CRAIG HALL
“So, when did you become a Nazi?” the voice asked over the telephone.
“I am not a Nazi, never have been and never will be,” I responded.
There was a little lull over the phone. Chili Dog was calling and once again I regretted placing my cell phone number someplace he could find it.
“You dang sure sounded like one last week in that littler Ledger column you wroted.”
He was apparently referring to my column on how the Heavener City Council is wanting to improve the quality of Heavener housing by requiring landlords to make the houses livable, at a minimum.
“So, you don’t have a problem with the way some of the houses look?” I said.
“Naw, most of em are a lot nicer than mine,” Chili Dog said. “Heck, most of the time I gotta take a bath in the pond cept when them water moccasins get a little frisky.”
“You are pretty close to my age,” I told Chili Dog. “Don’t you remember when most of the houses in town were nice?”
“Yeah, so what?”
“Didn’t you like the condition of the town better back then?”
Chili Dog paused again, then I heard the chewing sounds so I knew he was eating while complaining. “Naw, don’t matter to me. I lives in the country.”
“Some of these landlords are renting out homes that people shouldn’t live in,” I said.
“Ain’t nobody making them rent that house,” Chili Dog said, then burped. On a scale from 1 to 10, it probably registered on the Richter Scale. “They should find another home if the home is that bad.”
“That’s one of the problems. There aren’t enough nice rent houses in Heavener.”
“So, why don’t you build some rent houses?”
“Because I was in the rental business for a while and now I don’t have time.”
“I guarantee you that if I had a rent house, ain’t no newspaper writer or council goober gonna tell me what I need to do to my property!”
“Then I guess we’re lucky you don’t have rent property.”
Chili Dog made another bodily function noise, which I really don’t want to get into.
“Dadgum, smells like something died in here,” he said. “Shooee! I bout made myself sick on that one.”
I was really glad this conversation was over the phone. “The council is doing the right thing.”
“We don’t live in no communist state,” Chili Dog said. “This is Oklahoma state. It ain’t communist Chinar! We need less government pass interference and don’t need somebody telling us we gotta do this or that to our property!”
“I thought you said you don’t have any rental property.”
“I don’t, dadgummit!”
“Then why are you worried about it?”
“Cause, it just ain’t right. I sure as heck won’t vote for any council person who goes along with it!”
“I thought you lived in the country?”
“So you couldn’t vote in a city election anyway.”
“Oh. Listen, we’s gonna have to talk about this later. I think I mighta had an accident.”
I hung up promptly, not wanting to hear about Chili Dog’s accident.
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