There were two old geezers living in the backwoods of the Ozarks: Rufus and Clarence.
They lived on opposite sides of the river, and they hated each other.
Every morning, just after sun-up, Rufus and Clarence would go down to their respective sides of the river and yell at each other.
'Rufus!' Clarence would shout, 'you better thank your lucky stars I can't swim.... er I'd swim this river and whup your butt!'
'Clarence!' Rufus would holler back, 'you better thank YOUR lucky stars that I can't swim... er I'd swim this river and whup your skinny butt!'
This happened every morning for twenty years.
One day the Army Corps of Engineers comes along and build a bridge.
Still, every morning, every day for another five years this yelling across the river goes on, even with the bridge.
Mrs. Rufus had had enough.
'Rufus!' she says one day, 'I can't take no more! Ever day for 25 years you've been threatening' to whup Clarence. Well, there's the bridge... have at it.'
Rufus thought for a moment. Chewed his bottom lip for another moment.
'Woman!' he declared, snapping his suspenders into place, 'I'm gonna across that bridge and I'm gonna whup Clarence's butt!'
He walked out the door, down to the river, along the riverbank, came to the bridge, stepped up onto the bridge, walked about halfway over the bridge, looked up... TURNED TAIL AND RAN SCREAMING BACK TO THE HOUSE, SLAMMED THE DOOR, BOLTED THE WINDOWS, GRABBED THE SHOTGUN AND DOVE, PANTING AND GASPING, UNDER THE BED!
'Rufus!' cried the misses, 'I thought you wuz gonna whup Clarence's butt!'
'I was, woman, I was!' he whispered.
'Rufus!' cried the misses, 'what in tar nation is the matter?'
'Well', muttered the terror-stricken Rufus', I went to the bridge... I stepped up on the bridge...
walked halfway over the bridge... looked up...'
'And?' asked Mrs. Rufus, breathless with suspense.
'And', continued Rufus, 'I saw a sign that said 'Clearance, 13 feet, 6 inches' he ain't never looked that big from the other side of the river!'
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