#ToldTale: Marriage in Tennessee

A man named Red told me he caught his wife in bed with the minister of their church. When he caught them, Red told his wife and the minister they had five minutes before he returned with a shotgun, “for to introduce them to God.” Red then went to his brother’s house to retrieve his shotgun, but instead of giving him his shotgun, Red’s brother put a bottle of whiskey in his hand and got him drunk.

When Red returned home the next day, the sheriff was waiting for him, accompanied by the deputy. “Problem, officers?” Red said.

“Your wife said you threatened to kill her,” the sheriff said.

“I didn’t threaten to kill nobody.”

“Show me your hands,” the sheriff said. “You have a gun?”

“I don’t need no gun,” Red said. “I used to be an Army Ranger. My hands are weapons.”

“You threatening me, boy?” the sheriff said. The deputy stepped between them.

“Easy, boys. Red, you can’t say that to the sheriff. And sheriff, Red here just got back from Iraq, so forgive him if he’s a little high strung right now.”

“Won’t no judge convict me,” Red said. “Not with the PTSD I’m suffering.”

“PTSD or not, you can’t be threatening nobody,” the deputy said. “Sorry Red. You’re going to have to stay with your brother for awhile.”

When he filed for divorce, the judge ruled that Red would be paying $1000/mo in child support. A few months later, after hearing a rumor from his brother-in-law, Red requested a DNA test on his daughter. The judge denied the request, then issued a restraining order and increased his child support to $1200, almost half of Red’s income.

That night, Red got drunk and went to his ex-wife’s house. The minister of their old church came to the door and tried to calm Red down.

“You should be minding your own flock,” Red said, “since my brother-in-law told me the deacon’s been diddling your daughter since last fall’s church camp.”

The minister closed the door and called the police. Red spent the night in jail.

The next week, he started a job with an over-the-road trucking company and hasn’t been home since.

 

 

 

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