Ode to Bobbie Gentry

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is one of my favorite jokes. It is stolen. Regrettably I don’t know from who, and I can’t for the life of me find a video or recording or even a Google reference to it. I saw it done on one of the 80’s comedy shows like “Evening at the Improv” or something, and it’s always stuck with me.

If you hate puns, this is not the joke for you.

So down in Alabama in the 60’s there was this young lady named Sally Hatch, and Sally had a boyfriend who went by the name of Odie Joe McAllister.

Things being what they were back then, Sally and Odie Joe got to playing country games and Sally turned up pregnant. Being as they were in love anyway, the shotgun wedding was conducted without shells and Sally and Odie Joe moved in to a little shack together with their new baby and began the sweet and simple life of the poor, rural south of the mid-1960’s.

Unfortunately after a few years, they grew a little tired of each other, as sometimes happens, and the marriage got sour. Odie Joe took to drinkin’ and putting’ his hands on ol’ Sally Hatch, and one day in a fit of rage he knocked out a few of her teeth. Well, Sally had enough of that, told him to pack his things and get the hell on out of there, hit the bricks, begone with ye, and filed for divorce. Part of the divorce settlement included making Odie Joe pay for Sally’s dental work resulting from his poor decision-making while inebriated.

Now Odie was a pretty simple fella, and he didn’t have a whole lot of money, and it was all going into Sally’s pocket anyway as far as he saw it. So one night, drunk again, he broke into the shack, stole Sally’s brand new dentures (figuring they were his anyway since he paid for ’em), and ran off. Eventually he got caught – he was a pretty simple fella – and the police brought him back and tossed him in the hoosegow and he got another six months in jail plus he had lost Sally’s dentures, so he was ordered to pay for another set.

All of this might have gone unnoticed by the world, except in 1967 a gal named Bobbie Gentry wrote a song about it that became a TV movie which launched the careers of Robby Benson and Glynnis O’Connor, was directed by Max “Jethro Bodine” Baer, Jr., and included James Best, later to become famous as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane in the 80’s TV series “The Dukes of Hazard.”

That song was called “Bill to Odie Joe,” or, “The Day That Odie Joe McAllister Ran Off With Sally Hatch’s Bridge.”

Looped excerpt from “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry, used for purposes of parody or satire as allowed under international copyright law as “fair use.”