There were two old retired servicemen living in the backwoods of the Ozarks... Redd, an old ol’ Gunny from the Marine Corp, and Clarence, a worn out ol’ Navy Chief Boatswain mate. They lived on opposite sides of the river, and they hated each other. Every morning, just after sun-up, Redd and Clarence would go down to their respective sides of the river and yell at each other…
"Redd!!" Clarence would shout. "You better thank yor lucky stars I cain't swim...er I'd swim this damned river and whoopp your ass!!"
"Clarence!!!" Redd would holler back. "You better thank YOUR lucky stars that I cain't swim...er I'd swim this river and knock your head off!!!"
This happened every morning for twenty years. One day the Army Corps of Engineers comes along and built a bridge. Still, every morning, every day for another five years this yelling across the river goes on, even with the bridge.
Finally... Mrs. Redd had had enough. "Redd!" she squallers one day. "I cain't take no more!! Ever day for 25 years you've been threatenin' to whoop Clarence. Well, there's the bridge...have at it."
Redd thought for a moment. Chewed his bottom lip for another moment…
"Woman!" he declared, snapping his suspenders into place, "I'm gonna cross that thar bridge and I'm gonna whoop 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!!!
"Redd!" cried to the misses. "I thought you wuz gonna whoop Clarence's butt!!!"
"I was, woman, I was!!" he whispered.
"Redd!" cried the misses. "What in tarnation is the matter?"
"Well," muttered the terror-stricken Redd, " I went to the bridge... I stepped up on the bridge...walked halfway over the bridge... looked up..."
"And?" asked Mrs. Redd, breathless with suspense.
"And," continued Redd, "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!!!