Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cheese Curls, Betting, & Short LIfe

This was originally published on May 16, 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 we are starting our Pre-season Bikini Wax Special. If you get it done now, the scars will have healed by the time bathing suit season is officially here. Plus most folks won’t have opened their windows yet, so not many will hear your screams. Now, lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. My wife has a real classy desk job and makes enough money to keep me in beer and cheese curls, pay the cable TV bill, and put gas in my pick-up, so I ain’t complaining. However, all those years of setting in a chair have caused her to get kinda broad in the beam. How can I tactfully suggest that she get herself back the way she used to be before I succumb to the temptations offered by the woman down the road?—Big Bun Watcher

Dear BBW: Before you speak up to suggest, you got to be sure that you are still the way you used to be, else you got no room to complain. If you do speak up, keep in mind there ain’t no tactful way, so be prepared to duck, move out, buy some lavish presents, or a combination thereof. If your wife don’t run you off, you had best not let your eyes stray beyond your property line if you know what’s good for you.

Dear Ida b. Is there anything new to do in Rock Bottom or is everybody gonna just stand around like usual and bet on what color the stoplight will turn next.—Bored

Dear Bored: You are in luck. O.L. Buzzard, of Buzzard’s Taxidermy, Tanning Salon, and Day Care is branching out into new a new business: Rock Bottom Community Center Extension at Buzzard’s. He is offering a bunch of classes, some of which might appeal to you if you ain’t too picky or are desperate for something to do.

Buzzard says the human form drawing class is now full, since the new instructor Heddy Lamoure also is the model. The “I Want To Be Your Friend” anger management class has had to institute a few rules. For example, Buzzard don't care if you do have a “concealed and carry” permit, he says no hand guns in class unless he is the one carrying. The redneck yoga class (you can wear long camo johns instead of tights and use the bedliner from your pick-up instead of them sissified mats), features new body positions and is also instructed by Heddy. (Buzzard wants to thank Heddy for making this center so profitable after Bunhilder, the prior instructor, left for a new position at the Elsewhere Fitness Salon, location unknown.)

Two other classes sure to be popular are the “Ancient Art of Tattoo” by an ex-basketball star now doing community service and “Greener Vehicles Through Do-It-Yourself Camo Painting,” using easily available spray cans from your local hardware and gun shop. The “Advanced Deer Hunting Techniques,” which the game warden raided, has now been reinstated, after growing crops in certain locations was been found to be good crop rotation and not baiting as the game warden previously said.

Anyhow, Buzzard says to come in and sign up. If you sign up for two or more classes, he will give you a substantial discount on any roadkill you bring in to have stuffed and mounted in exciting actions poses. He regrets that this offer will not apply to skunks for obvious reasons.

Dear Ida B. I heard that a big paper in DC has a “Life Is Short” contest and they pay money for essays about something in your life. Does the Rock Bottom News do that —A Reader

Dear Reader. No, but the Rock Bottom News has a “Life’s Too Short” section wherein they print whatever is on people’s minds as long as it ain’t much and there’s extra space in the paper that needs to be filled. Here’s a couple of them:

“Some items of social gaucherie still make one's ears burn at the awful recollection. When I was in 5th grade, I crashed a birthday party. The class beauty, Lillian, invited everyone but me, and I assumed (fatal word) I was included. So I showed up, not bearing a present, yet was graciously welcomed by her mom. All of a sudden, during a game of Pin-tail-on-the donkey, it hit me, and I slunk out the door without even a goodbye to the hostess. Eeeeyowww! I can feel the shame to this day.”—Claude Hopper

“My philosophy of education is this: Give to each child within your care all the neuroses the child can bear. I find this stimulates their minds so they get twitchy when I approach them. Giving them an eye that radiates a little madness fills them with doubt as to their safety. Just keep the neuroses bubbling, and they’ll march to any tunes you whistle. 'Course, they don’t learn much, but the teacher finds he/she can relax after school better.”— Elmer Glutch (English teacher for 35 years at Beanblossom High in Gnawbone, Indiana)

“Can a person declare his own junk to be junk? Walken D. Rhodes went ballistic when he took a stroll down by Anne Teek’s House of Usable Stuff and spotted his old lawn chairs! Says he tossed them out at the dumpster and they didn’t quite make it in, but he figured his intentions were obvious. When he asked Anne, she declared she acquired the property from Lana DeFill who manages Rock Bottom Re-cycling Systems (Motto: “Your trash is our profit.”). Mr. Rhodes, claiming he’d never relinquished title to his discards, proceeded to rearrange those chairs in the deck of his pick-up and told Anne he was gonna make another stab at sinking them in the dumpster for good. Rumor has it that his pick-up was closely followed by the Rock Bottom Recycling System van as he pulled away from Anne’s shop.”—Mavis Peabody

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, is out and you will have to cough up some cash for it. (Thanks to DR, FF, AW, and EW for this week’s inspiration.)


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Celebrities, Working Wives, & Wild Gals

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!]

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Problems with Some Men

This column originally appeared in the April 18, 2007, edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle.

Howdy, Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop where Spring has sprung, the pollen count is high and everybody is sniffling and sneezing. If you need a new look to complement your red nose, come on down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop and we’ll see what we can do. We do have in our extra heavy duty hair spray, so now matter how hard you sneeze, your hair will stay in place. Now, lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. My English class is studying MacBeth and I can’t make head nor tails of it again this year. It don’t make much sense and all the characters talk funny. Can you help? —Senior again

Dear Repeater: You are in luck. That is one of my favorite plays because it shows just how important it is for a woman to nag her husband in the proper way. Plus all stupid men are killed off in the end, which is a good lesson for them.

Now, as I recall, the play starts after a bunch of guys won a battle commanded by King Duncan. Back in those days, kings got right into the thick of the action instead of riding around in limos and stuff. One of the heroes was named MacBeth, which is a sissy name, so let’s call him Mac. Him and his buddy Banquo (another stupid name, so let’s call him Bubba) are riding around after a big battle and carrying on like men will do after they win something big, when they come upon three ugly women. Mac and Bubba think the gals are witches because they talk and act funny, but could be the women was just under the influence of something and they looked bad because Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop did not exist at that time. Anyhow, since they aren’t good-looking, Mac and Bubba didn’t fool around with them. They got to talking, and these strange women tell Mac he’ll be Thane of Cawdor, which was a big deal back then, and then he’ll be king. Well, Mac doesn’t quite believe this, but he plays along. They tell Bubba he won’t be any big shot but he’ll beget kings, so at least his boys will be well-fixed and might look after him in his old age. It turns out that King Duncan does let Mac be Thane of Cawdor as a reward for winning (and since the previous thane was conveniently dead).

Now, since Mac is obligated, Duncan decides to spend the night at Mac’s castle rather than have to pay to stay somewhere else. That’s where all the problems start, as many of y’all know who has had unexpected company pop in. Mac’s wife (who doesn’t seem to have a first name) decides that if her hubby kills Duncan, he can jump the line to become king (which means she’ll be queen, another incentive for poor hospitality on her part), so they decide to do that.
Getting Duncan’s guards drunk is the easy part, because they probably didn’t get many perks being bodyguards and would welcome any six-packs handed their way, especially by a real friendly-acting lady. It takes a good bit of nagging on Lady Mac’s part—she was ready to kill Duncan herself if she had to—but she finally gets Mac to stab him. If they had thought about it, poisoning would have left a lot less evidence (like blood all over the place) and would have looked considerably less suspicious. When she tells Mac to screw his courage, she’s really saying, “Stop being such a wimp and kill off the old buzzard!” instead of something off-color.

Anyhow, after Mac stabs Duncan, Mac goes kinda nuts, hearing voices and all, which makes you wonder what he’s under the influence of. He’s so out of it that he can’t even put the blood-covered daggers beside the passed-out guards, so Lady Mac has to do it for him. (Now some of y’all women can identify with this. Your hubby can probably gut a fish just fine, but can he remember to clean up the sink afterwards or throw away the discarded fish parts? No, you got to go clean up after him. What is it with men anyway that they don’t finish what they start?)
Anyhow, the Macs might have got away with what they did if somebody hadn’t started knocking real loud on the front door. The weather was getting bad, so they had to let in the knockers, which turned out to be MacDuff and Lennox, who just happened to be in the neighborhood on such a stormy night and who just happened to want to see their buddy Duncan right now. Mac does his best to act surprised to find Duncan dead and stabs the guards for killing Duncan, which we know they didn’t do. However, this did spare them a bad-hangover the next morning.

Naturally Mac gets to be king and ought to live happily ever after, but some men just can’t accept responsibility, and Mac is one. He goes completely nuts. So does his wife, who sleepwalks all over the castle and finally kills herself, which is a shame because she was the one with good sense. It is also a shame that Dr. Phil didn’t exist in those days because he could have set her straight or at least got her into a good counseling program.

Without a wife to keep him in line, Mac starts killing folks right and left, including Bubba’s kids, but one gets away. Then a whole bunch of other folks get killed, including MacDuff’s family, which really sets MacDuff off. Mac consults the witches again and he thinks they give him good news, but you just can’t trust women who don’t get their hair done on a regular basis.
Anyhow, MacDuff’s buddies disguise themselves as shrubbery and sneak up on Mac’s castle. If Mac’s wife had been alive, she could have pointed out that landscaping don’t change of its own accord, but Mac is so dumb that he don’t realize what is happening. The gals with bad hair told him he wouldn’t be killed by a man born of woman, so—not being clued in to obstetrics (like he would be in he hung around Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop when some of the customers are discussing the grittier points of giving birth)—he figures he is safe. Turns out MacDuff’s mama had a C-section, so she technically didn’t give birth. When Mac hears this, he kinda loses his focus and MacDuff hacks off his head. Since Mac already lost what little good sense he had, losing his head is kind of superfluous. With most of the characters dead, the good thing is that there won’t be a sequel.

One thing you can count on with Shakespeare is that in his tragedies everybody ends up either dead or disappointed, which is kinda the way life is in Rock Bottom. However, if you get your hair done at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Life Bait Shop, you will be happy about that for a while.

Well, that’s it for another go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.