This column originally appeared in the Smith Mountain Eagle on January 23, 2008.
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 running our annual “Hat Hair Repair” special for all y’all who have had trouble maintaining your up-do under winter weather conditions. You would be surprised at what we can do with industrial strength hairspray and a little super glue. All we ask is that you don’t put your hat back on until everything has dried. Otherwise, you might be making a permanent commitment to that hat. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. Several months ago, you said that committees had formed at Our Lady of the Rip-Rap to determine what cheese would be served on the communion wafers to properly accent the communion wine. Did you ever hear if they made a decision?—Cheese Whiz
Dear Whizzy: Last I heard from Father Rocky Shore was that committees are still working on this. So far, the only cheese they’ve flat out rejected is limburger. Until a final cheesy decision is made, several choices are being offered, based on what’s on special on Saturday at Rock Bottom Shoppette. Last Sunday, for example, they had brie, cheddar, havarti, and edam. The week before that they had a bunch of bottles of that squeeze cheese, but most folks thought that wasn’t classy enough, especially since you had to squeeze the bottle yourself and some folks got a little greedy.
Also, a faction has arisen regarding spreadable cheese versus sliceable cheese. One group argues that folks can spread the spreadable cheese themselves pretty quick, whereas cutting the cheese takes time and some cut it too big unless there’s one designated cheese-cutter, which places an undue burden on that person. The other group argues that those spreading their own cheese might also take advantage and take too big a helping, and having a designated spreader would also be an undue burden.
Anyhow, until things are worked out, they are going to try to offer four choices each communion (two spreadable, two sliceable, depending on what’s on special), but you are only allowed to commune once so you got to decide in advance which cheese you want on your wafer. Father Shore says the security cameras will be recording those who go through more than one line, and he will expect to see the transgressors at confession.
Dear Ida B. Now that Christmas and New Years are over, what is the next big holiday in Rock Bottom?—Needs to Celebrate Something
Dear Needy: You must be new in town or you would know that Ground Hog Day is a special holiday here in Rock Bottom. I generally run a “Come Out of Hiding and Get Fixed Up” special here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for all the folks who didn’t get out all winter and it shows. There are always plenty of festivities, including a tractor-pull and Bingo tournament.
Also, there is usually a contest to guess the time the groundhog comes out, so you might want to buy your ticket early before all the best times are taken. One year, they had a beauty pageant at the groundhog hole, but the bathing suit competition didn’t work too good, what will the sub-freezing temperatures and all. This year, Rock Bottom Poet Laureate Anna Motter Peyah will open the ceremonies with the epic poem she composed to celebrate the groundhog’s achievements, so most folks plan on being late to this year’s ceremony.
If the groundhog don’t show up, Mayor Portius Peabody always has a back-up rodent in the back of his pick-up, so the show will go on. He says for y’all not to bring any dawgs with you no matter how much they want to attend on account it don’t look good if some critter attacks the groundhog (or its substitute) before it gets a good look at its shadow or lack thereof.
Dear Ida B. Flossie-Mae and me just watched that new show, “My Big Redneck Wedding” down at Rock Bottom Appliance Emporium. Somehow our electric got cut off again, but we figured we needed a night out on the town so that’s how we come to see it. We always wanted a big wedding to make all my in-laws jealous and to maybe make a little money while we’re at it, so we really want to get on that show. Do you know if them TV people take folks that might already be married but ain’t sure?
Here’s the situation: Me and Flossie-Mae had us an outdoor wedding last November, but I think we didn’t get totally nuptualized. There is a real possibility that I didn’t say “I do,” on account a trophy buck came into my sights about that time—or if I did say it, the blast from my 30.06 drowned out what I said. Also, the preacher fell out of his deer stand right before he finished the ceremony, so nobody heard any man-and-wife pronouncement, just the scream and the thud. Plus, everybody had such a good time at the reception that nobody remembers much about it. Therefore, I think we qualify for a wedding do-over.
Anyhow, Ida B, the TV people say that the bride must be at least 18, and Flossie-Mae is durn close. We got all the things they are looking for and more—dawgs, hawgs, ATVs, guns, home-made liquid refreshment (and I ain’t talking lemonade, if you get my drift), relatives what don’t get along real good with each other, several ex-wives, suitable locations for mud-wrassling, etc. I’m thinking instead of a fall wedding, we could have it in the summer so the bridesmaids can wear Daisy Duke outfits instead of coveralls. What do you think?—Do-Over Guy
Dear Done-It: While I would love to have the hair business to get y’all’s wedding party into shape (The “Daisy Duke” look is one of our hairstyle specialties down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop), plus I could provide some real good bait-based bridesmaids’ gifts, the bad news is that y’all are considered man and wife in the eyes of Rock Bottom whether or not all the wedding technicalities took place. Also, the TV people have already taped all the shows they need. The best I can suggest is that one anniversary y’all might recreate the wedding of your dreams and hope it attracts media attention. If you do, remember that all of us down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop will do what we can to make y’all look good for the occasion.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.