Someone is “breaking bad” in Ken West’s house.
Appalachia’s premiere itinerant carpenter is “roughing it” tonight to avoid a legal dragnet or other unpleasant circumstances, as a career criminal and alleged white supremacist mixes up a batch of one of Virginia’s biggest exports, hanging plastic over the windows to mask the smell of the caustic chemicals that produce methamphetamine.
That’s according to the latest third-party word on the street, delivered with a dose of West’s usual savoir-faire.
“It’s pretty twisted,” West said Jan. 27.
Providing a tangential history of the chef’s relationship with an unnamed woman, West seemed to imply that as both paramour and careerist, the man currently practicing enterpreneurial dark arts in the home West previously shared with a woman he used to call “the female Jesus” has leaned toward chaos for many years.
“He killed a bull and spent 20 years in prison for it,” West said, describing the value of this type of livestock relative to its genitalia. “That’s a prize project on the farm – the one that produces more, more, more.”
In somewhat Lebowskian fashion, West assured this reporter that the aggression will not stand.
“I’m having this shit shut down,” West said.
Having delivered this news, West moved back into an appeal to national disarmament of a kind, reminding his audience that in many parts of Europe, as well as Great Britain, police carry batons instead of guns. Citing tasers and pepper spray as non-lethal alternatives, West slammed Americans for clinging to their guns in an age of mass shootings, mass hysteria and ultimate tragedy that is all around us nearly every day. Mixing up news of a single Kentucky homicide of past days with a larger school shooting emerging in today’s national media, West implored the people of America to think more carefully about gun culture, and the possibility of preserving the right to bear traditional shotguns and .22 rifles rather than AR-15s. Cautioning the youth of America on the danger of treating guns like toys, West recalled the sad story of a boy in the neighborhood of his youth known as “Bobbie Beard” who, after improperly testing a pellet gun, suffered some loss of vision and “became a recluse.” West invited the public to look up the incident in “the history of Lexington Virginia.”
Ending his report with a story from his days of being “shang-haied” into the conflict in Vietnam, in which he got no further than basic training stateside, West described a man with indisputably simian features who he chose to call “Neanderthal-man,” who he said acted out of a mysterious hostility towards him during drills where the “platoon” of 48 men were practicing hand to hand combat with sticks, preparing to fight “chinamen, vietnamese or whatever.”
Some of the grunts, West said, were taking bets as he and the Neanderthal-man fought to an eventual draw where both sustained significant injuries.
At “graduation time,” West said, his opponent came at him for a rematch, and was rewarded with a hard right to the face.
West declined to confirm whether his platoon dropped acid or listened to Credence Clearwater Revival in the barracks.
Returning to news of the present day, West refered to himself as a “master snitch,” indicated he has been an informant for many years, and said he has a number of friends in the local police department who know him by his first name. Repeating that he is “very popular with the police” and “very popular in the neighborhood” West said he is always on the lookout for methamphetamine abuse.
“When I see these bad dogs that ruin their teeth,” he said, “I take them out. This dog is going down.”
West said the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement team is coming on Monday.
One of those individuals in collusion with the lab runners, West said, has a restraining order against him after a religious argument in which he tried unsuccessfully to convince her that Muslims have the same religious rights as Christians.
“I told her specifically: we’re all right with God,” West said, claiming he got a court judgement for his trouble.
West also said the female of the group was aggressively pursuing him to use his food stamp card, and that the whole gang wasted a refrigerator of good food because “it wasn’t potato chips.”
In the meantime, West, who likes to cook when he has access to a kitchen, has found a place in what he calls “chicken alley” where a KFC, a Popeye’s and a Bojangles serve adjacent customers, where he can get sustenance. Earlier this evening, he said, he was offered some children’s leftovers, and then received a large meal free of charge from some other patrons. “I ate what I could,” West said. “I wanted to give the rest away.” Eventually, he said, he found a man outside who has hungry, and “paid forward” the good deed.
“I’m so popular in the neighborhood,” West said. “I want to be popular in the world. I want to see the children of the world fed.”