Imagine being a hired hand at Jed Clampett’s homestead. You tell him for years and years that he’s sitting on a mountain of oil.

You tell him how his fortunes would change. How life could be different. How worries might ease. But it’s all in vain.

Jed’s only interested in fishing, or whittling on the porch because that feels more productive to him. He won’t take the time to wrap his head around the prospect of petroleum.

Besides, you’ve got to go through Elly Mae and Jethro, even Milburn, next door. And it’s Granny who holds sway, anyway. She’s an M.D., don’t you know ⁠— a Mountain Doctor, so she knows everything, and interrupts you with talk about leech bleeding and her pliers, “good on teeth, good on anything.”

In desperation, you appeal to the dog, but he’s only a dog. He just tilts his head.

After a while, you tire, you realize that you’re not talking to Jed or anyone else, for that matter. You’re talking to yourself, so you up and quit. You shake the dust off your feet in the direction of the hog pen and go feed the chickens, instead.


You can be sitting on a mountain of content and do nothing strategic with it at all. So much potential. Such a powerful abundance of what-could-be. But then, alas, and as time wears on, what-might’ve-been. Those who get it will only tell you for so long because, well, they’re plain tuckered out.

ANTHONY ROTOLO is a content wrangler who’s worked on Jed Clampett’s homestead and, before that, Maggie’s Farm. He wore himself slap-out, preachin’ the gospel of content. He preached it till the cows came home but it made no never mind to nobody. Besides, he was only a straw boss, so he went and did it on his own, like the time before and the time before that.