Starting with this entry, I will post previous columns that appeared in the Smith Mountain Eagle. I figure if I wait long enough, I won't be competing with myself. This one, for instance, originally appeared in March 21, 2007.
Howdy, Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop, located in the heart of downtown Rock Bottom, US of A, where Spring begins today, which means you can’t blame your bad hair on a tight-fitting sock cap anymore, so you’d best make an appointment at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for our Spring Special. We have had some problems with Daylight Savings Time messing up our appointment schedule. A lot of folks were real hesitant about making early morning appointments because they’d have to leave here before daylight and it would still be too dark for other folks to see how good they looked. Now, lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. Now that both sets of twins and the triplets are in school, I am having a real hard time getting everybody bathed and dressed, their hair combed and their beds made in the morning. Dishwashing and laundry are more than I can handle. Also, the kids are all fussing at me to take them somewhere fun in the evenings. I am at my wit’s end. What do you suggest?—Worn to a Frazzle
Dear Frazzle: The key is to prioritize and organize. First thing, if all the kids get buzz cuts, you will not have to worry about combing hair. We are currently running our “Britney Buzz-Cut” special down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop, and we do offer group rates. Don’t worry if your kids are hyperactive and you think they won’t sit still for haircuts. We just duct-tape them all to the wall and pass down the line with our clippers. All you have to do for maintenance is bring them in every other week to let us refresh the cuts. We can do the refreshing in about 5 minutes since we have high speed clippers and industrial strength duct tape.
As for getting them dressed, declare that the family uniform is now sweat pants and sweatshirts. A set of sweats works nicely for play, school, and sleeping. Baring accidents, they shouldn’t have to change clothes more than every four or five days. You can solve the bathing and the something-to-do problem by signing up the whole family for twice-a-week swimming lessons down at the Rock Bottom YMCA. While the kids are in the pool (getting clean as well as learning a useful skill), you gather up all the sweat suits and head for the Rock Bottom Laundry-Matic & Entertainment Center, where you can sit in a recliner and watch you clothes get clean in the big-screen washers and driers. About the time the kids are getting out of the pool, you’ll be back all rested up with their clean sweats.
As for making beds, this is a waste of time with kids. They don’t care about made-up beds. Issue each kid a sleeping bag. Tell them they are to sleep on top of the bedspread, not between the sheets. In the morning, just throw the sleeping bag under the bed and smooth out the bedspread a little. If you’re lucky, the kids will want to sleep on the floor. Weather permitting, you might get them to sleep outside if you call it “camping.” (Don’t forget to lock the door once they’re outside. Kids have a way of sneaking back in.)
I find it hard to believe that your kids eat off dishes. Kids like finger foods and fast food. For happier meals for both them and you, just hand each kid a bag with his or her dinner in it. They will think you got them fast food. For stuff you can’t just hand them, think paper plates—but only for special occasions.
Dear Ida B. Now that spring is here, my singlewide is seriously in need of some spring cleaning. My current husband Bubba has hardly left his recliner for more than a few minutes since Thanksgiving. Consequently, there is a lot of debris in the vicinity of his recliner. Plus there are all those times his spit cup wasn’t exactly where he thought it was. I think I can get him out the door now that fishing season is underway, but how do I get the place cleaned quickly and cheaply while he’s out on the lake?—In a Mess
Dear Messy: Since you live in a singlewide, you have an option that the average homeowner doesn’t have, so I suggest you take advantage of it. First open the window in one end of your singlewide. Then back your truck up to the window. Get several of your muscular relatives to come over and tip your singlewide so that all the debris goes out the window and into the truck’s bed. If they aren’t strong enough to lift it, odds are good that several of them have jacks that can do the job. After the debris is in the truck, you can haul it off to the dump. When you get back home and all the witnesses are gone, call the fire department and report a fire in your dwelling. As soon as you see them coming up your road, build a fire in the space where the recliner was. (Timing is crucial here. If you start the fire too soon, you risk burning up everything; if you start it as they’re coming in the door, you might face legal action.) Anyhow, if you’ve planned correctly, the fire department will turn on the hose and your domicile will be washed clean. Odds are good, though, when your hubby comes in with his mess of fish for you to clean, that he won’t even notice. Men are like that.
Dear Ida B. I was over to the high school the other day to pick up Jethro, Jr., for his early-morning court appearance, and while I was waiting for them to find him, I heard an announcement on the intercom that there’d be a moment of silence and we’d all have to be quiet. Well, we done that. I heard a lot of school have silent minutes now. What I want to know is, how does that work in a class for the deaf?—Jethro, Sr.
Dear JS: I’m not sure, but could be they just can’t make any gestures. At least not any loud ones.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.