Frog Eye

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.

Joey walked down the stairs to the basement.  He pulled the cover from a bucket.  The sour mash had stopped rising and was ready for the next step.  Joey was the most notorious moonshiner in the county.  And the reason his neck of the woods was known as Frog Eye.

He poured the mixture through cheesecloth.  That separated the liquid from the remaining corn solids.  Next was distillation.  Joey emptied the mash into a pressure cooker, clamped the lid, and fired up the stove.

This was the most critical stage.  He had to keep an eye on the thermometer.  

A copper tube ran from the pressure cooker into a sink filled with cool water.  The part of the tube in the sink was twisted in coils.  Heat boiled the mash into steam and pushed it into the tube.  When the water condensed the steam back into liquid, it was concentrated alcohol.  The tube came out of the sink and pointed to the floor.  A pan collected the liquid.

The key number for moonshine is 177 degrees.  Sour mash is a mixture of two kinds of alcohol.  Methanol will cause blindness or death if consumed.  Ethanol is the good stuff.

Methanol boils at a lower temperature and comes out of the tube first.  Ethanol boils at 177 degrees.  When the thermometer reached the critical point, Joey replaced the pan with a large bottle.

After he finished, Joey walked outside.  Next to his mailbox was a ceramic frog statue, with marbles for eyes.  He pulled out an eye, slipped it in his pocket, and went back inside.  A one-eyed frog meant Joey was open for business.

Joey flipped on the TV and leaned back in the recliner.  By the window, with a view of the front yard.

A half hour passed.  Joey heard car tires crunching the gravel on his driveway.  He pulled back the curtain.  The rusty pickup truck belonged to a man everyone called Bird.  He was a regular customer.

Bird sat on the sofa while they made small talk.  “You think Bama will beat the spread?”

Like most of Joey’s customers, Bird was a rabid Crimson Tide football fan.  Joey was no exception.  “You know we’ll win but 31 points is a big spread to cover.  My money is on Ole Miss.”

Bird frowned but didn’t say anything.  He always bet on Alabama.

Joey continued.  “You’ve got the opportunity to be the first to experience my latest creation.  I’m calling it Thursday Afternoon Thunder.  For a loyal customer like you it’s $30 a bottle.”  Joey charged everyone the same price.

The man left and Joey resumed his position on the recliner.  In a few minutes, another vehicle pulled up.

The Crown Vic Interceptor had blue lights on the roof and Sheriff’s Department painted on the door.  The moonshiner grabbed the gun he kept on a bookshelf and crouched behind the sofa.

Sheriff Palmer pounded a fist on the door.  The moonshiner didn’t move.  Another knock, louder this time.  “I know you’re in there Joey, and I know you’ve got shine.  I’m coming in.”

The door opened and the Sheriff stepped inside.  Joey sprung up from behind the sofa, aimed the weapon at the man’s chest, and pulled the trigger.

The Sheriff looked down at the stain on his shirt.  “God dammit Joey, you know I hate it when you do that.  One of these days I’m gonna shove that squirt gun up your ass.”

Joey laughed.  “You know you can’t do that.  Momma would be pissed off.  I’m her favorite.”

The Sheriff let out a sigh and sat down.  “You’re probably right.  I’ll never figure it out though.  Danny’s a Major in the Army, Louise is a Registered Nurse, I’m a respected lawman.  And then there’s you.  The black sheep of the family.”

“Jeffy boy, you’ve got a fancy job, a car with flashing lights, and a badge.  Everyone in the county is afraid of you.  But I’ve got something you’ll never have.  Personality.”

“Yeah, you’ve got plenty of that.  You got something aside from personality for me?”

Joey grinned and said, “Of course.  I’m a skilled professional.  You can always count on me.”  He pointed to a jug on the bookshelf.  “That’s yours.  You owe me $30.”

Now the Sheriff grinned.  He took a plastic bag from his pocket and handed it to his brother.  “How about a trade?  I took this off some dumbass college kid I pulled over for speeding.”

Joey opened the bag, put it up to his nose, and inhaled.  “Damn, that smells like some killer weed.  You’ve got a deal.”  He grabbed a bong from the shelf.  “You want to catch a buzz?”

“You know I don’t smoke when I’m on duty.  Tell you what.  I’m off Saturday, we can watch the Bama game.”

The Sheriff put the jug in a paper bag and walked out the door.  Joey said, “See you Saturday, brother. Roll Tide!”  

And that’s how things go in Frog Eye.

Submitted: October 21, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Criss Sole

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." Oh that was hilarious!. I am guessing this takes place during the 1920's prohibition period. Must be nice to have a cop in the family when you are doing something so illegal. Great story. Oh, and Mark says, "I wish there was a butler in it." Whatever that means ... lol

Sun, October 21st, 2018 2:37pm


Lol! The butler will have to wait for another story.

Sun, October 21st, 2018 7:42am


Perfect, Serge! And so believable too!

Sun, October 21st, 2018 6:59pm


Thanks Hully. Just a thin slice of southern culture.

Mon, October 22nd, 2018 5:17am

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