Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pulling Plugs, Amen Bingo, TV, & Sow Ears

This post originally appeared on February 6, 2008, in the Smith Mountain Eagle.

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 my manicurist, Honey Sue Sweetwater, wants to announce that she has become a wedding planner as well as a manicurist. The two careers actually complement each other on account she can talk about your wedding plans while she paints your nails. She is real good at multi-tasking like that. Given the success of a certain show on the CMT channel, a lot of Rock Bottom couples who were just gonna go out and get hitched as cheaply as possible are now trying to out-do each other when it comes to the actual wedding. Some are even thinking in terms of taping the ceremony and selling the tapes on eBay. Anyhow, if there is money to be made, Honey Sue Sweetwater is there for you. If you’re thinking about getting hitched, whether as a repeater or as a first-timer, come talk to Honey Sue. If you’re currently a first-timer who wants to be a repeater (only with a different spouse), my dee-vorce lawyer, Maycomb Philmore Payne, is running a special this week and will be glad to consult with you after you pay his retainer which you should do in unmarked bills in a plain envelope. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. My kids got all these fancy electronical stuff for Christmas and now they’re always plugged in to something. They can’t even hear me nag them while they’re involved with their earphones, cellphones, some kind of game playing thing-a-mabob, and their laptops. What should I do to get their attention?—Tuned-out Mama

Dear Ma: How about pulling a few plugs? That’ll get their attention real quick. On the other hand, this might not be a good idea. It might give them ideas in a couple of decades when you’re on life support. Most of the mamas down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop can’t figure why would you want your teenagers’ attention anyhow? Usually they only pay attention to you if they want money or want to complain about something. If they’re quiet and you know where they are, count your blessings.

Dear Ida B. What’s up with the Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit? I hear attendance is way up?—Can’t Believe It

Dear Unbeliever: Yep, it’s true. Thanks to a recent innovation the place has been packed the last couple of Sundays and nobody is sleeping through the Reverend Al E. Looyah’s sermons like they used to. Since the Rev. Al instituted what he likes to call “Amen Bingo,” both attendance and attentiveness have perked up substantially. How it works it this: attendees are sold Bingo cards when they enter. During the sermon, Rev. Al E. will periodically pause mid-sentence to call out a Bingo number which his wife Glorie-Hallie draws from the baptismal font and discretely hands him. When somebody wins, they have to call out “Amen!” instead of “Bingo!” for it to count, and then a new game starts. The winners have to wait until the service is over before they go to the special “Amen Corner” to collect their winnings. This is a win-win situation for everybody. The church makes some extra money from the sale of Bingo cards, the place is packed, everybody stays awake, and a few folks get their prayers answered right on the spot.

Dear Ida B. I hear tell that the TV I finally paid off last year ain’t gonna work once them TV stations start sending out them Digi-Tell signals instead of the Annie-Log signals that they now send out. Is this some wild rumor or what? If I get one of them new TVs, what’s to stop the TV folks from thinking up another way of sending out signals? Ida B, me and my wife and dozen or so kids (hers, mine, and ours—although I think a few neighbor kids sneaked in and might be passing theirselves off as ours) and our assorted in-laws are simple folk who cain’t afford to be shelling out money every time we feel the need to be entertained. Do you have any suggestions to help us out?—Stressed

Dear Stressed: With so many folks at your home, I don’t see how you can watch TV much anyhow, what with all the noise, fighting kids, in-laws, etc., that you are bound to have around. I suggest you sell the TV to one of the neighbors before they realize that it will soon be out-dated. If there is a show you really want to watch, it will be easier to go down to the Rock Bottom Appliance Emporium and watch one of their demos. If they ask you to leave, you just say that you haven’t made up your mind yet and move over to the next TV.

Dear Ida B. Is that old saying true that you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear? If you can, would this be a good science fair project?—Curious & Desperate

Dear C&D: Yep, it’s true. Unless you can somehow get a passel of silkworms to infest a sow’s ear and cover it with silk, you had better give up on this idea as a science fair project. Now if you needed a home-ec project, you might be able to make the sow’s ear into a one-of-a-kind designer pigskin purse, but make sure the ear is not still attached to the sow when you try this. For all y’all other kids that haven’t thought up your science fair projects yet, Alma Motter, the principal of Rock Bottom High School, was just in to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for her twice-weekly root touch-up, and she said that no longer can kids have projects based on any home-brew recipes nor can they have projects based on the effects of loud music on crop growth. She is tired of being raided for one and having to listen to the other.

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

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