Excerpts

By J. J. West

Read the first 300-ish words of each story. Want to find out what goes wrong in the end? (Because something always does.) Then buy the book already!

The lights may be on, but there ain’t nobody home around this farm.

Just Strange, Fiddlesticks!

Seventy stories of backwoods benders and dirty deeds to make you laugh, sigh, and feel a whole lot better about your life choices.

Read all the excerpts in one consecutive chain here, or pick and choose from individual stories below.

Fiddlesticks! Tales From A Country Ghetto

Meeting George
A kindly introduction to George when Jim comes to the Farm in search of a fresh start.

El Jefe
Aspiring farmer Eva comes to the Farm after seeing George’s rental ad online.

Cuckoo’s Nest: Wet Blanket
A back story introduction of Gabriella, George’s nutty ex-wife of three times.

Community Meals
The Farm’s version of Lord of the Flies suppers.

Chupacabra
Bible thumper Darlene comes to the Farm and scolds everyone for not believing in cryptozoology.

Gods’ Country
Religions clash at the Farm.

The Henry J
A poignant history of the Farm and the old family car.

Give a Man a Tractor…
The guys fight over the tractor in winter.

The Uncommon Masher
Eva gets conned into a disastrous affair with Nigel.

Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation
George invites a sharp-tongued Jehovah’s Witness to live at the Farm.

The Innersnet
The challenges of outdated internet technology at the Farm.

George Goes Trick or Treating
George takes two little girls dressed up like strippers trick or treating to a Jehovah’s Witness’ cabin.

Movie Nights: The Dish
Things just get worse after Geoffrey installs satellite TV at the Farm.

Butch Cabernet
Geoffrey orders wine at a country bar and ends up passed out in the same bed with Randy.

The Ballad of Randy and Susan
Randy and Susan come to the Farm and become Geoffrey’s new Stumble Buddies.

George Starts A Flea Market
George starts a flea market venture with no plan whatsoever.

Roadkill
Chet’s vehicular challenges and near-death experiences of past and present.

The Honky Tank
George sings karaoke for the first time at a country bar.

Reverend Jeremy
A peculiar transient arrives driving an old rusty ice cream van.

Speed Limits
The Farm’s speed limit of 10mph is ignored by all.

Movie Nights: Farm Tech
Eva gets a library card after her movie collection is destroyed at the Farm.

Karaoke Nights
Karaoke parties at the Farm begin and end.

George Becomes an Outhouse Mogul
George starts selling outhouses and chicken coops in town, turning two of them into rental cabins at the Farm.

Home Improvement: Motorized Mayhem
George pays a big price for saving heavy equipment destined for the scrap yard.

Cuckoo’s Nest: #GetYourCordsCut
Gabriella moves back to the Farm and drives everyone crazy with her Thoughtless Reality energy sessions.

Tweaker for Hire: Ozzy
Ozzy tinkers with midnight demolition projects and sets his car on fire.

Home Improvement: Environmental Terrorism
Randy levels the forest for firebreaks.

Odd Jobs
Farm residents work under the table for slave wages.

Laundry Woes
War is waged when the flophouse washing machine goes down.

Cuckoo’s Nest: The Duchess of Doom
Angus and Gabriella clean out one end of the barn while George fills up the other end with more estate sale treasures.

Just Strange
A strange deaf woman comes to the Farm and scares everyone off.

Home Improvement: House Jihad
After two years of attempted dismantling, Randy demolishes the old farmhouse in under two hours.

Campfire Tales: The Legend of White Fang
J.D.’s new girlfriend shows up drunk at the campfire and announces she’s part wolf.

The Last Supper
A community meal of biblical proportions.

Movie Nights: Jim Ruins Christmas
Jim shocks almost everyone with a bad Christmas movie.

Home Improvement: New Yard Fencing
George attempts to restore an old wishing well for Gabriella.

Campfire Tales

The Spook
An ex-CIA spy couchsurfs at the Farm.

Campfire Tales: How George Became A Slumlord
The truth is told around the campfire one night, with the usual drinking and digressions.

The First Deadly Sin
George and Nigel make fun of Claire’s gluttony.

Bathroom Wars
The trials and tribulations of eighteen people sharing one bathroom.

Campfire Tales: Misdirection
Geoffrey gets bamboozled around the campfire.

Old Joe
The tale of Joe, a cranky old man with all the time in the world to piss everybody off.

The Iron Curtain
Larry’s girlfriend shows up and ends the party.

Rage Against the Farm Machine
Angus comes to the Farm and it just gets worse.

Goat on the Roof
Claire goes goat crazy and the Farm resolves it with beer and a shotgun.

Cuckoo’s Nest: A Woman’s Touch
An overview of Gabriella’s hoarding and decorating skills.

Shitty, Shitty, Bang, Bang
Nigel turns the Farm into a junkyard with his classic car collection.

Home Improvement: The Horse Hilton
An over-designed horse barn gets the Mooney Farm downgrade.

George’s Cup Runneth Over
George opens his home to a plethora of petty criminals.

Fine Dining
Geoffrey competes for the position of the Drunkest Man in Bonner County at one of the dive bars while Eva and Jim get acquainted.

Tweaker for Hire: Earl
How to lay concrete foundations under the influence.

Horsey Rides
Horses come and go at the Farm faster than Geoffrey’s dates.

Campfire Tales: The Legend of Chief Ten Bottles
Geoffrey displays his drinking prowess at the campfire.

Everything and Nothing
Past & present description of the Farm’s tool shed.

The Dog Days of Summer
A fight of many words happens around the campfire.

The Legend of Daedalus Dingle
George takes in a ghost tenant.

Cuckoo’s Nest: Gabriella Plants A Tree
Gabriella puts a twig in the ground and expects a maple tree to appear.

Two Rocks For Every Dirt
Eva starts and stops a garden after George tries to help.

Campfire Tales: Improving Freedom Creek
Jim’s dangerous quest to Spokane to swap out a bottle of Geoffrey’s wine for a bottle of Night Train.

The Demolition Derby
The guys contemplate entering the Mooney family station wagon into the derby.

George Runs For Office (Again)
George runs for office as a Democrat despite Jim’s logical coaching.

Paid and Laid
Eva flips out after Angus has a hooker over for supper.

Campfire Tales: Redirection
Eva gets redirected at the community campfire and goes off on a misanthropic rant.

Reverend Jeremy Returns
Jeremy comes back to the Farm, to everyone’s dismay.

George’s New Tenters
Dean & Diana come to the Farm and upgrade into Ted’s plywood shack after living in a tent.

Reverend Jeremy Departs For Good
Jeremy’s creepy behavior and resultant eviction.

Home Improvement: Tractor Repairs
The high cost of trying to fix the Farm’s heavy equipment for free.

Mauschwitz
Eva goes on a genocidal rampage battling rodents in the garden.

Movie Nights: Those Aren’t Pillows!
Good manners disappear during a community movie night.

Weaponized Autism
JD builds a flamethrower and blows up an outhouse.


I only drink alone or with somebody.

The Ballad of Randy and Susan, Fiddlesticks!