Appalachia Pap

Funny Tales


“Here’s a story about that Andrew Gosnel. Old man Randall lived at the old home place about twenty years, and the first eighteen of them he stayed drunk all the time. One time I went up to see him. He said he had an old mule. The mule was a red mule, except the seat of the mule was white. It looked like the mule had just sat in white paint. The rump was white. It was the meanest old mule in the whole world. But he said, “Andy Gosnel was coming down the road and he had two jugs of corn liquor, one in each hand.” He said, “Andy come down the road, and here come the State Highway ‘Petroleum’. The State Highway ‘Petroleum’ was a-comin’ and Andy saw ’em a-comin’. And, he jumped in the stall with that mule.” Ad old man Randall said, “I seen the boards start flying off the wall on one side, and then they would fly off on the other side.” He said, “I would have rather a-fit the whole State Highway “Petroleum’ than to have jumped in the stall with that mule.” But, Andy was a good one.”

—Warren Moore “Mountain Voices

The story from Warren Moore reminded me of a story Pap told me.

One of Pap’s friends went to Asheville to have his teeth pulled and be fitted with dentures. On his way home he had a flat tire. As he was bent over changing the tire someone came up behind him and pecked him on the shoulder. When he looked up a gentleman asked if he knew how to get to the apple orchard.

As you can imagine having all your teeth pulled can cause quite a bit of bleeding, not wanting to spit blood by the man’s feet, Pap’s friend just shook his head no.

The gentleman went back to his car and Pap’s friend got back to fixing the flat.

A few minutes later the gentleman came back and pecked him on the shoulder again asking directions to a different location. Pap’s friend couldn’t hold it in any longer and the blood spilled down both sides of his mouth. The gentlemen started backpedaling and ran for his car.

Pap’s friend told him “Why Jerry he thought I was one of those vampeers. Made me mad as fire I wore my only white shirt and kept it perfectly clean until that man came around asking questions.”


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  • Reply
    Tammy Scott
    July 1, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    LOLOLOLOL! I’d bet those are real stories, too, and not just “tales”.

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    June 30, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    I just have to comment again after reading all these comments again
    A storyteller pal of mine once said….If these tales ain’t true , they ort to be….
    And by e e cummings…..the most wasted of all days are days WITHOUT laughter….

  • Reply
    June 30, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Good laugh for the day!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    June 30, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Speaking of mean red mules. I knew a fellow named Lester who was a trader. He would trade for anything. He had an old red mule that he would offer as “Boot’ to clinch a trade. Within a day or two, the other person would give him his “Boot” back. The mule would only let Lester harness him. He bit and kicked.
    I once asked Lester what the mule’s name was. He replied, “I calls him Boot!”

  • Reply
    June 30, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Wonderful Stories – True Life -albeit slightly elaborated – is still the best!!

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    June 30, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    I had a great grandpa Johnny that made lots of that moonshine in Wise County, Va….and he needed to keep a couple good mules to help him work the still and take the product off the mountain to a meeting place. He was always trading up on all his animals , was famous for always coming out to the better on the swap.
    On time Grandpa somehow traded for a mule that he found out later was a mule that would eat anything.
    The day grandpa got him the mule tried to eat two apples at once, was chocking on them. Grand pa scooped up my 7yr old dad, putting him on the mules back and was told to JUMP THE MULE OVER THE FENCE, BOY!
    Daddy got that mule running and jumped the fence, the apples shot out. Grand pa Johnny later took credit for the Heimlich Maneuver when it came out.
    The next day, that mule was looking fat…and Grandpa noticed the mule was eating the soft rotten wood from the fence posts.
    The next day Grandpa traded that little mule off to a fella passing through….he said he told the man to keep that mule in the barn ….when he wasn’t working him.

  • Reply
    June 30, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Feller works for me sometimes named Woody says he pulled his own teeth with a set of vice grips and a rag. Got his dentures from a friend whose papaw passed . When the undertaker picked up the body ,they missed his false teeth in the jar on the bedside table. Woody’s friend sold the set to him.wanted $50 but Woody talked him down to $35.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Many years ago Uncle Wayne drove all the way to Florence, South Carolina to get all his teeth pulled and get dentures for $100. He was OK with them at first but as time went on they started to bother him. So instead of driving all the way back to SC he figured he would just fix them himself. So, he gets out his pocket knife and starts whittling. It seemed that every time I went to visit afterward he would be whittling, scraping, filing or sanding on his new teeth. I don’t think he ever got them to fit.
    Another Uncle Wayne story: Somebody had given him an old fiddle. It was cracked and the finish had long since fallen off. He reglued all the loose parts and sanded it down to bare wood. He had in mind how it should look and started mixing different stains to try and get it just right but was never happy with the result. I was spending the night there one weekend and Wayne was messing with that fiddle. He had mixed up some stain that he thought was perfect. Almost! He sat there chewing on his cud of Kentucky Twist and studying about it. Suddenly, instead of spitting in his spit cup, he let loose with a big squirt right in his can of stain. “That’s it! That’s what I’ve been looking for! He stirred it up and rubbed it on that fiddle. It looked like a brand new instrument and sounded as good as it looked!

    • Reply
      Donald Wells
      June 30, 2021 at 1:03 pm

      Dear Ed,I just had to reply about your Uncle Waynes new 100 dollar set of teeth and the problems he encountered with them.My Dad went to a local college to learn to be a dental technician,when he finished school, he and his brother in law,went in business making teeth for other dentists. They decided they could make a little extra money by making the false teeth and bypassing the dentist. They called it bushwacking.They would make a set uppers and lowers for 60 dollars had people coming from all over the County. When the satisfied customers would leave my Dad would always be sure to say ,don’t ever tell a dentist where you got them made,and if you have any trouble with them bring them back, we will take care of them. ,and oh yes if a sore spot comes up on your gums, just take your knife and scrape that high spot That’s been about 60 years ago.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    June 30, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Great stories! Gave me a laugh this morning. God bless!

  • Reply
    June 30, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Love stories such as that. You know if you have a drunk and a mule in the same story, it is going to be a doozy! I have my share of denture or teeth extraction stories, but will spare you all except one. When I was around 7 and before seat belts were even thought about, I liked to stand up constantly behind Mom and Dad’s seat and bombard them with questions. Back in those days predators on children were not thought about, so they would drag us everywhere. We would sit in the car under a shade tree. It usually gave me just enough time to get bored and fill my mind with endless questions about any and everything. Mom had just had a tooth extraction, and she returned to the car with a pained expression and her mouth packed full of gauze. The visual was real scary! I proceeded to start throwing questions her way about why she looked like that. With that wad of gauze affecting her speech she tried to mumble, “Quit, I’ll spit my packing out.” I leaned closer into her face and exclaimed loudly “He bit your punkin off?” She got so tickled she lost gauze and everything. Mom told that for years, as Appalachian women tend to do about the antics of their children. Appalachians just love stories.

  • Reply
    June 30, 2021 at 9:24 am

    That was a comical story:)

  • Reply
    Donald Wells
    June 30, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Funny Tales, I needed some funny tales for today,and those sure hit the ole funny bone.
    Thank You

  • Reply
    June 30, 2021 at 8:56 am

    It’s hard to decide which story is the funniest. Pap’s friend could have had a whole lot more fun with that feller if he had been a prankster. But that could have caused him to mess his shirt up even more.

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    June 30, 2021 at 8:29 am

    “Vampeers”… I love it!

  • Reply
    Rita Gay Gilbert
    June 30, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Love hearing the stories

    • Reply
      Pastor Lon
      June 30, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Lol that’s too funny right there. Thanks for sharing these stories! I can see that guy running back to his car now to get away from that Vampeer lol
      I love reading & hearing them.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 30, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Now that’s funny! We do try to mind our own business and not offend people , if it’s possible!

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    June 30, 2021 at 7:17 am

    Great stories!

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