On the side of a Nashville liquor store, there's a recently painted mural of a man riding a yellow and green John Deere lawn mower, his shoulders slightly hunched as he stares over the steering wheel.
That short-sleeved Deere-captain is George Jones, whose booze-fueled exploits have become the unofficial B-sides of his six decades in country music. His nicknames, "Possum" and "No-Show Jones," are miniature autobiographies of a man who drank his way to the top of the country charts, and then drank himself all the way back down. Obviously, there are a lot of stories.
In 1979, his then wife Shirley Corley—number two out out of four—was D-O-N-E with Jones and his drinking, so she hid the keys to every car they owned so he couldn't go out and get shitfaced. "But she forgot about the lawn mower," he wrote in his autobiography. "I can vaguely remember my anger at not being able to find keys to anything that moved and looking longingly out a window at a light that shone over our property.
"There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat; a key glistening in the ignition.I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did."
Who knows whether Brice Kendell Williams thought about Jones and his own unorthodox choice of transportation last weekend, but Jones probably would've approved of the Louisiana man's initiative. According to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Department, officers were called to a bar in the early hours of Sunday night, because someone had driven a motorized shopping cart from a nearby Walmart, and left it parked in the unnamed joint's lot.
According to a Facebook post, Williams allegedly drove that cart a half-mile to the bar, because he thought that that was the best way for his (allegedly) intoxicated ass to keep his night going. "During his investigation the deputy learned that Williams had claimed he was at a different bar and believed he could get charged with DWI if he drove his own vehicle to the one on Corporate Drive, causing him to remove the cart from Walmart’s property," the cops wrote.
Although it's commendable that he didn't drive a car, it's still illegal to steal things, even from Walmart, even in Louisiana. He was booked on a felony (!!!) charge of "unauthorized use of a moveable," and his bond was set at $2,500.
Williams isn't the first person to get arrested 1) while drunk and 2) after stealing a motorized cart from Walmart. In August, a Tennessee man was arrested for a DUI after he and his cart were seen "on a roadway" in Clarksville and, just a few days later, a Kentucky man was arrested for driving one of Walmart's carts around an apartment complex. (This wasn't Steve Eaton's first 5 mph rodeo: Cops found nine other motorized carts at his place, including four others from Walmart, three from Kroger, and two from Dollar Tree.) And in 2013, a Florida man picked up his own DUI charge INSIDE THE ACTUAL WALMART after he was seen driving the cart recklessly through the store, before he started taking booze off the shelves and downing it while he swerved through the aisles.
Walmart.com does have a listing for the paperback version of George Jones' own book. You know, just in case you need some inspiration before you make a slow-ass getaway out of the store.