Make a dumb joke, go directly to jail for three days:
HARLAN, Ky. — Politicians are known for lame jokes. But when Otis "Bullman" Hensley tried a generations-old Appalachian jest on a woman and two girls at the grocery store, the family thought it was downright criminal.
[. . .]
"Jay Leno makes jokes every night and makes millions," Hensley said in his thick Appalachian accent. "I make one joke and go to jail."
He could have faced as many as 10 years in prison, but a charge of attempted unlawful transaction with a minor was dismissed on Monday.
The ordeal began last week when Hensley's wife sent him to a local grocery store to buy ground beef. While there, Hensley encountered a woman with her two nieces, ages 11 and 13. "I offered to trade her a fattening hog for those girls," Hensley said. "I meant it as a joke. I've said it a million times. Most people get a kick out of it."
[. . .]
Appalachian scholar Loyal Jones said the jest Hensley made has been around for generations and actually is intended as a compliment.
"I've heard many variations of that," said Jones, retired director of Berea College's Appalachian Center. "You might hear 'That's a good looking boy; I'd trade you a pocket knife for him' ... Political correctness has ruined country humor."
I almost hate to laugh at the poor guy's plight, since it's my own heritage we're talking about; Harlan is just down the road a piece from my old Hazard-area stomping grounds. But, jeez, he does sound a little clueless.