A backwoods struggle recently came to a head when the generation-old Hill family feud took a turn for the worse last Saturday.
Nearly thirty years ago, Billy Hill and Jenna Woodman overcame a seemingly impassable boundary when they got married, even after Jenny graduated from USC (not that USC: the boring, South Carolinian one) and Billy graduated from Clemson. Despite the understandable doubts of Billy’s family, he married Jenny, claiming that no college rivalry would overpower his love.
After decades of extremely tense Thanksgiving weekends, there seemed to be hope for the couple after their oldest daughter Gemma chose to attend Clemson two years ago, breaking her mother’s dangerous USC-supporting cycle in favor of a healthier, long-term orange obsession.
“I knew I had to come to Clemson,” Gemma said, “right from the time I was old enough to think, I knew. It’s been shown that chronic USC-supporting destroys brain cells, and I want my mom to live a long, happy life with her brain intact.”
But despite Gemma’s best efforts, her younger brother Billy Hill Jr. reignited the old rivalry last Saturday by accepting a scholarship to USC. On that fateful day, it is said that the smoke from the Hill home in backwoods Anderson could be seen from Tillman.
It was an unusually subdued weekend home as Gemma set up the family’s forty-seven stuffed tigers in front of the TV, a tradition-born good luck tactic, proven effective for countless football games. She and her father were sensibly in mourning after Junior had decided to throw away all of his brain cells by going to USC, and even the turkey leftovers that her father had put in the oven didn’t smell quite as good as they usually did.
Just as Gemma was adjusting the last of the plush tigers, through the front doors burst Jenny and Junior, carrying armfuls of enormous stuffed Cockys, and demanding to put them in front of the TV.
“Obviously we couldn’t let this happen,” Gemma said later, “many studies have shown that Cocky exposure often leads to STDs. And that would just be super-awkward with both my parents around.”
But upon her refusal, Gemma’s mother and brother began throwing the stuffed tigers, many of which were practically antiques, out the open door, threatening to light them on fire.
Billy Sr. responded in kind, stuffing the largest and most obscene of the Cockys into the oven. It was an old west standoff—if one mascot burned, they would all go up in flames.
Unfortunately, perhaps due to an impairment of his brain brought on by sniffing the USC acceptance letter, Billy Jr. broke through the uneasy stalemate and dumped gasoline all over the stuffed tigers and lit them on fire. Instantly, Billy Sr. turned the oven to high, and the resulting Cocky smoke began to affect all of their brains.
The feuding family realized far too late that what they thought was one of the tigers was in fact their elderly orange cat, Bumbles, who had been with them for countless football victories and defeats. Horrified and desperate to save Bumbles, but unable to think properly, Billy Sr. attempted to put out the gasoline fire with the garden hose, only resulting in the fire’s spread.
It was clear to everyone that Bumbles was in grave danger. Evenas her mother and brother collapsed due to an overload of USC exposure and Cocky smoke, Gemma still had enough mental power to find the fire extinguisher and save Bumbles and the stuffed tigers.
But for their house, it was too late. The stove, overloaded with giant stuffed Cockys, had also burst into flames. The resulting fire was raging too strongly to be put out by their lone fire extinguisher. Although the fire department arrived before the blaze could engulf neighboring homes, it was too late to save the brains of Jenny and Billy Jr., and they both were diagnosed crazed USC zombies on the scene. So far, officials haven’t managed to approach the house and reason with them without being pelted by garnet pompoms and charred Cockys.
Fortunately, Gemma, Billy Sr. and Bumbles all made it out relatively unaffected, but Gemma’s horror story is far from over as she must now make room in her tiny apartment for her dad. No word yet on which of them has been the first to jump out the window.