Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hodge Speaks at Beets' Sentencing Hearing

Hodge Speaks at Beets' Sentencing Hearing
By Jay Unver

Lehrton, MS (BA) Zane Hodge had the most pathetic look on his face, as if he had rather be anywhere in the world but where he was, when he approached the bench at the bequest of Randy Beets' attorney. Then Jimmy Johnson, of Johnson, Johnson, and Johnson spoke:

"Thank you, Mr. Hodge, for being here today. Would you kindly tell Dr. Nomann your thoughts on this matter."

Hodge sat in the witness box and addressed Nomann. "The way I see it, Beets might be technically guilty of the charge, but his actions are well within the spirit of what Big ASS was built on."

"Will you kindly explain?" Dr. Nomann interjected.

"Well, the organization has always encouraged rivalries as well teasing, hagging, and trash talking between its competitors. It's even in the bylaws somewhere. Me n' Randy have gone back and forth over the years. But mostly it's been me outhagging and outwitting him at every turn. Before the 2014 Swim the Suck, I posted on Facebook 110 photos taunting him with my slogan that year, 'It's Gunna Be a Beetsdown.' Heck, it got into Randy's head so bad, his neck locked up the night before and he couldn't do the swim the next day. That was all because of my campaign of intimidation, mind games, and harassment. 

"I've done it for years. I've done it so much that his mother wanted to slap me. I done it so much his girl friend will no longer speak to me. Heck, I done it so much even my students at MDCC  know about Randy and his name is synonymous with a dufus. He has fought back, but ineffectively. He just can't compete with me in that department. Then, he finally gets in a good one. I mean, he had me going with this thing. When I saw those Facebook posts about June 2nd being his birthday, I thought, 'What a great guy. All those years he put our rivalry aside and worked the Chicot Challenge and helped me celebrate my birthday on June 2 and all the time it was his birthday too.' I was bragging on him to Justin Nunnery and Justin tells me that Randy's birthday is not in June but in August. Now I'm thinking, 'What's this guy doing?'

"So I done some investigating and found out that Justin was right, and then I realized I had been had. I got to admit it, Randy pulled a good one on me. That's the best one he ever did. He finally scored a blow, and now the organization is thinking about throwing him out. It wouldn't be right. Besides, Big ASS was built on the Hodge/Beets rivalry. Everybody knows, the Association has been in a slump ever since Randy moved to North Carolina and I slid out the bottom of the middle class and can no longer afford the trip to Chattanooga for Swim the Suck. You guys need to be promoting the rivalry not punishing the guy for trying to keep it going. Heck, I even got plans to do Swim the Suck in 2018 and kick his butt good. How about that?

"Even the local economy here in Lehrton has benefited from Hodge vs Beets. Duggie Smith has sold so many fireworks that he was able to upgrade from a '69 Chevy pickup to a '71. The town collected so much money in fines from the riots that they were finally able to repave Greasy Street and Lord knows that has been needed for twenty years. Jay Unver made his name as a journalist writing about Beets and Hodge competing against each other. And I am told that hardly a Sunday passes that local pastors don't say something about Hodge and Beets in their sermons. You just can't kill all of that on a technicality."

The room was silent for what seemed like an eternity. Then Nomann spoke again. "You have anything else to say, Mr. Hodge."

"Yeah," Hodge answered. "I hate Randy's guts."

There was a mild chuckle in the room at that compelling Nomann to pound his gavel and restore order. He then adjourned the proceedings and promised sentencing the next day.