This column originally appeared on May 2, 2007.
Howdy, Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop in downtown Rock Bottom, US of A, where things are warming up, and men are coming out of their recliners and venturing out. If they’d just remember to wipe their feet before they come back in, their wives would be happier. Now, lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. About couple weeks ago some gal wrote you and said she wanted to be a big celebrity like Paris Hilton. Don’t she know that them celebrities never get a bit of privacy. Everywhere they go, folks is always taking pictures of them. Them popper-ratsies stick their camera right up in celebrity faces (and other places, if you recollect that embarrassing picture of Britney). Why would anybody want to put up with that? Ida B., you are the biggest celebrity in town. Has anything like this ever happened to you? If so, how did you handle it?—Values Her Privacy
Dear VP: This only happened one time. I had just got off the bus after returning from the annual Southern Hair Extravaganza up at the state capital when some out-of-towner looked at my new retro sequined bee-hive hair-do and said, “Nobody back home will believe this! I gotta get a picture!” Well, that feller stuck his little camera-phone only inches from my hair. I grabbed his wrist before he could knock more than a half-dozen sequins off and wrestled that phone away from him. Fortunately I was wearing a mini-skirt which allowed me to raise my stiletto-clad foot to the right height to kick him in a place so he’d remember not to ever mess with me again. While he was doubled over, I was able to put his phone where it deserved to be. I understand it took Dr. Derry Ayers up at the Rock Bottom Institute of Proctology most of the afternoon to remove the phone. I doubt that guy will tell anybody back home about this. Even if he did, I doubt they’d wouldn’t believe him.
Dear Ida B. My wife wants to quit her job and stay home. She says she started working to pay for the kids’ education, but since they all took after me there ain’t no sense wasting money on ’em when the state can educate ’em while they’re incarcerated. I tell her we need her to keep working on account we need the money for groceries, the light bill, insurance, and occasional repairs to the doublewide. She says it ain’t fair that I stay home and she has to go out and work. I’ve tried to explain to her about my jobs—I’m a free-lance hunting/fishing adviser in season, a restorer of junk (I mean antique) cars, and a landscaper when I can borrow my buddy’s bull-dozer and/or chainsaw—and I am often paid in beverages or other compensation instead of actual cash. Also, when I am consulting about fishing with some of the younger women who often wear their bathing suits so they won’t get their good clothes messed up, my wife just wouldn’t understand if she happened to walk in and see me with my arms around the client while I try to show her the right way to hold the pole. (Before we head to Slick Water Lake for the real action, me and the client generally practice in the bedroom of my doublewide where there is a big enough mirror so the client can see her position.) Also, we really need the insurance because I have had several work-related accidents, the latest being when I was chainsawing down a tree to get a clear shot from my deerstand in a neighboring tree when the property owner surprised me causing me to drop the running chainsaw on my foot and get tangled in a barbed wire fence as I tried to get away before he opened fire with his 30-06, which he did anyhow, but luckily he didn’t hit any vital organs although I did need several stitches in various parts of my body. Let me tell you, Ida B., it ain’t cheap if you have visit the emergency room of a Sunday and take pot-luck with whatever doctor is on call. Anyhow, you can see how my wife has got to keep working. At the office where she works, she meets all them Slick Water Lake women whose husbands support them, and it has give her some uppity ideas. What can you offer in the way of advice?—Kinda Hurt by her Attitude
Dear Worthless Sponger: My advice for you is to take some responsibility and get a real job. I advise your wife to see my dee-vorce lawyer, Maycomb Philmore Payne. He can help her more than I can.
Dear Ida B. I been reading about them “Gals Gone Wild” videos and how some feller is making a pile of money on college gals partying real hearty. Wanting to get in on the action, I sold my wife’s car (she’s visiting her sister and won’t be back for two weeks) and bought me one of them cameocorders. I went out to Rock Bottom Community College and Agrarian Science School to see what I could get, and they was all on spring break. Then I went out to Slick Water Lake hoping to catch some gals skinny-dipping, but it was too cold and some gal on a jet ski slung water all over me. Then I took to roaming around Rock Bottom, but the only shots I could get were of fat women doing yardwork, and I don’t think anybody will pay to see that. I’ve heard your manicurist is good for some action. Do you think she’ll let me make her a star?—Lights, Camera, Action!
Dear Ready for Trouble: My manicurist, Honey Sue Sweetwater, says to tell you that if you try to interrupt her while she is giving a customer her undivided attention, you will see more action than you bargained for. The action will include—but not be limited to—her punching your lights out and tossing your camcorder into the bait tank that is currently filled with crawdads, some personal attention from her foot-long nail file that has a real sharp point on the end, and the ridicule of my customers, all of whom will be cheering for Honey Sue. One of them just might be your wife, who planned to sneak back early to surprise you, and she ain’t gonna be happy to learn you sold her car.
Well, that’s it for another go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free. However, my new book, More Peevish Advice ought to be out in about a month and you will have to cough up some cash for it. [UPDATE: It's here!]