Monday, September 22, 2008

Stickers, Tomaters, Camping, & Run-downs

This column was originally published in the Smith Mountain Eagle on September 5, 2007.

Howdy, Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop in the heart of downtown Rock Bottom, US of A, where we are now back to normal what with Labor Day being over, most of the tourists and houseguests who have overstayed their welcome gone back to where ever they were from, and the kids back in school—leastways the ones who ain’t been expelled again. It is cause to celebrate, so we are running our annual “Wash Them Freeloaders Right Outta Your Hair” special. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. I seen in the Big Mall City paper that a neighboring county is doing away with the county stickers that go on windshields. The county where I mostly reside when I’m not incarcerated still requires stickers. I can’t afford them things anymore, what with having to pay those extra fees for reckless driving and all. I’m wondering if I couldn’t just scrape off what’s left of my sticker and say I’m from the county that don’t require them. It ain’t like they could check my driver’s license to see if I’m telling the truth. My license was revoked years ago. What do I have to lose?—Am I smart or what?

Dear What: Based on your letter, I don’t think you have much of anything left to lose. It sounds like you’re already a pretty big loser. I will enter your letter in my loser of the week contest.

Dear Ida B. The other day my wife sent me to the store for some of them sun-dried tomatoes to put in some kinda new-fangled recipe, but before I got there I stopped to help Bubba Jr., DeWayne, and Darrell rebuild a transmission. Darrell said he’d give me some fresh tomatoes outta his garden so I set them on the hood of my truck whilst we got the transmission fixed. By the time we finished, the store was closed, but those tomatoes had been setting in the sun for several hours and looked pretty dried out to me, so I figured they’d do. Well, don’t you know my wife pitched a pit and it wasn’t just because I was a little late—maybe five or six hours. She said she is tired of me disregarding her instructions and ruining her dinner party, which I maybe forgot she was having. Anyhow, now she says I owe her a new skillet on account hers got damaged while she was whopping me upside the head with it. Tell me, Ida B., what is it women want?—Clueless

Dear Clueless: I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a husband who is so stupid that he don’t come home when he is supposed to with what he is supposed to. I suggest you get her the new frying pan and you attach to the handle a gift certificate for Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop. Also flowers. And maybe candy. Possibly a new car and not one that you rebuilt. Then maybe you will be worth forgiving. But don’t count on it. Meanwhile, I am entering your letter in the loser of the week contest.

Dear Ida B. I have been living in various campgrounds around Slick Water Lake for the last few years. The problem has been that I no sooner get settled in that I got to move. Now I hear that a law might be in the works to allow us, uh, “campers” to stay at least six months at one campground. This will be a lot more convenient but brings up the question of etiquette. Currently, every few weeks me and my buddies have rotated. For example, I move from my campsite at Soggy Shores Campground to Bubba’s site at Camper’s Paradox and Bubba would go to Buren’s site at Boggy Bay Campground and Buren would go to Clem’s site at Mosquito Isle Campground and Clem would go to Clevis’s site at Stagnant Waters Campground and Clevis would move to my site. Now that we can stay longer, should we just pair off into two-man teams and swap back and forth every six months, or do we need to keep rotating? If we pair off, who decides who gets what campground? Some are better than others. —Camper in Transit.

Dear Camper: I think y’all ought to keep moving the way y’all are already doing. Y’all strike me as the kind who can wear out their welcomes pretty quick. In fact, y’all might consider moving to some out-of-state campgrounds. I hear they got some nice ones on the other side of the country.

Dear Ida B. I am tired of my mama-in-law running me down all the time and calling me a lazy good-for-nothing who ain’t fit to have married her daughter. Granted, I don’t have a job, but I’m a real go-gitter. My wife works two jobs and I drive her to both of them and then I go git ’er, even though it disrupts my TV-watching and my napping something awful. I usually let her ride right up in the cab of the pick-up, too, unless Ol’ Blue don’t feel like riding in back. What can I do to get my mama-in-law to stop running me down?—Misunderstood Male

Dear Lazy Good-For-Nothing: If I was your mama-in-law, I would run you down, too. Only I’d use an F-250 with four-wheel drive. Now get outta that recliner and go get a job! As it stands now, you are a strong contender for loser of the week down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop. I hope your mama-in-law is here the day that we do the voting.

Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free. If you need More Peevish Advice, it’s available on and at the General Store in Westlake. Or flag me down on the highway; I’ve usually got a copy or two that I can spare.