Sunday, March 01, 2009

Family Confusion, Flying Outhouses, & Saving Time

The following column appeared in the March 4, 2008, edition of 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 we are running our “Madder Than a March Hair” special because high winds this month can play havoc with your hair. We have ordered an extra truckload of our heavy-duty hairspray to keep your hairdo in place no matter how high the wind. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. My husband run off with another woman and no sooner than we got dee-vorced, he married her. Before long, I noticed how good-looking her brother was, and since he was dee-vorced, one thing led to another and we got married, thus making my ex, my brother-in-law and my son, my nephew. Well, my son got interested in my current husband’s daughter, so he ended up married to his step-sister, which might make him his own brother-in-law as well as his own cousin. Then my daughter, who is now my niece by marriage, has always been attracted to older men, so she married the ex-husband of her daddy’s current wife, who happens to be my third cousin twice removed. My question is, how do we handle family reunions?—Confused

Dear Confused: You handle them very carefully.

Dear Ida B. I know that March winds can be rough on hairdos, but it don’t do some buildings no good either. What is the proper etiquette if you happen to be walking by an outhouse which the wind blows away with somebody in it? Do you pretend you didn’t see anything, or what?—More Confused

Dear MC: This is a touchy situation. Best thing is to pretend not to notice unless the occupant is hollering for help. Of course, if the outhouse is airborne, there ain’t a lot of ways you can help anyhow, except maybe dial 911 and report a UFO (Unidentified Flying Outhouse). Also, don’t stand where you think it will come down. Being pinned down by an occupied outhouse can be a sticky—as well as stinky—situation, and it won’t do your hairdo any good. Best thing if this happens to you is to come straight to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for repairs which the owner of the outhouse really ought to have to pay for.

Dear Ida B. I hear tell that Daylight Saving Time starts up in a week or so, and I am wondering how we are expected to save it. It ain’t like you can put time in the bank and have it draw interest. Also, what are we saving it for? It ain’t a lot you can do with it, because there are still only 24 hours in a day, whether we save any or not. Or are we saving it FROM something? Is time gonna go extinct? This whole mess confuses me, Ida B. Why can’t folks what don’t like the way daylight is distributed throughout the day just sleep later or get up earlier or something? Plus, it ain’t like you can reset a rooster. He’s gonna crow when the sun comes up regardless of what the clock says. I am also confused by this time share stuff. I bought a time share at one of them fancy Slick Water Lake condos and I no sooner moved in than some other family moved in, too. Now I didn’t mind sharing their food and beer, which they certainly brung enough of, but I hate sharing a bed with them on account they snore louder than I do. —Can’t make Heads or Tails of Nothing

Dear Nothing: You ask way too many questions and I am doing several perms today down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop, so I don’t have much free time to answer them all. I suggest you throw away your clocks, watches, and other time-keeping devices and rely on your rooster. That way, you won’t think about your time problem so much. If you bring the rooster into the condo, you might get rid of the other time-sharers, especially if you let him perch on the head of the bed. However, that will cut off your supply of shared food. After discussing your letter with my customers down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop (which was difficult with all the driers we got running today), we have decided you got too much time on your hands and you ought to spend it fishing. Lucky for you we are running our spring red worm special this week, so come on down and pick some up. Just don’t bring the rooster. I don’t need him eating up all my stock before you have paid for it.

Dear Ida B. Even though I am sorta married (Beulie Sue and me has been having problems but she ain’t dee-vorced me yet), I was at a bar the other night and met this real good looking woman. After maybe bragging to her how much I was worth and all (I only added two digits to my income), she invited me to come to her place. Well, after she cooked me a gor-may meal and we watched her big screen TV, we got to know each other better, if you get my drift. Well, to make a long story short, I fell asleep. Now Ida B., like most red-blooded American males, I sleep with my mouth open. Whilst I was doing so, her cat got my tongue. Well, the tip of it. I looked and never did find it. I have suffered a lot of anguish, especially at the bar where the guys make fun of how I talk. Should I sue this woman for my missing tongue tip and the mental suffering it has caused.—Tongue-Tied

Dear TT: If you had kept your mouth shut in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. I’m pretty sure the answer about what to do is right on the tip of your tongue—Oh, I guess it can’t be on what ain’t there, can it?

Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free (but not if you buy it in book form).

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