This post originally appeared in the Smith Mountain Eagle on June 25, 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 still running our 4th of July special. If you are feeling blue, a new henna rinse and some bright red lipstick will perk you up. And if your skin has that while pallor of somebody who can’t afford to soak up sun at some expensive resort, a few dips in our tanning tank will bronze you right up. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. I keep hearing about this global warming. What I want to know is, how do I get it to heat my doublewide? It got pretty cold in there last winter.—Frosty
Dear Frosty: Town Council is currently studying this, but they ain’t been making much progress. One of the big problems is, if they get it, how they would turn it off in summer when it’s plenty warm anyhow. As soon as they come up with a way to do it that don’t cost much, I will let you know.
Dear Ida B. I heard that the obesity epidemic has just about bottomed out, so folks ain ‘t getting much fatter than they have been. I wonder if this means that my current wife Junie Bugg will stop gaining the thirty or forty pounds she’s been packing on every year since we got married ten years ago. Also, does this mean I can drink all the beer I want and not have my beer gut increase any more. Our singlewide sags substantially in the middle. Will it spring back into place, do you reckon?—Heavyweight
Dear Heavyweight: The answer to all your questions is “probably not.”
Dear Ida B. It has got so expensive to live that I am looking for a cheap way to live. I can’t hardly afford more than one meal a day, and I can’t afford gas to move my car that I am living out of to another parking lot because Wally World is getting suspicious. Do you have any ideas?—Maxed Out
Dear Max: Several guys in Rock Bottom came up with the idea of getting arrested and sent to jail where they get what they refer to as “three hots and a cot.” Arrestees also are given an orange jumpsuit, so that pretty well covers clothing. They say that the jails in bigger cities also have TV, but the one in Rock Bottom doesn’t, except for the cell that overlooks the window of Rock Bottom Appliance Emporium. However, Rock Bottom Town Council recently voted to charge prisoners room and board while they are incarcerated, an act which has reduced the Rock Bottom crime rate substantially. Consequently, if you want to go the “three hots and a cot” route, you ought to leave town and get arrested someplace better.
Dear Ida B. I am vacationing at Slick Water Lake and want to send postcards to the folks back home. However, I am concerned that personnel at the Rock Bottom Post Office will read the messages I write. How can I prevent that?—Tourist
Dear Tourist: Put the postcards inside envelopes. Then duct tape the envelopes.
Dear Ida B. My step-mama has been real hateful to me for years. She always favors her own kids over me and makes me do all the drudgery stuff like clean out the gunk in the sink drain and de-poop the dawg pen. Daddy is pretty clueless, plus he is always off in the woods somewhere. I got me a camera and took a bunch of pictures of her doing all kinds of mean things, and I sent the film off to be developed. What now?—Cindy Rella
Dear Cindy. Someday your prints will come. Then you can contact Dr. Phil.
Dear Ida B. I have been appointed to the casserole committee at Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit for its after-Bingo-all-you-can eat buffet, although I had my heart set on the congealed salad committee because that is so much easier. Anyhow, do you think I should use name-brand mushroom soup as the sauce for my casseroles, or will the store brand be OK? It is so much cheaper and I plan on using Velveeta, which everyone knows is a name brand, for one of the other ingredients.—Cook N.
Dear Cookie. Go with the store brand. I have seen some of them Bingo players eat. They work up such an appetite during the game that they pretty much wolf down whatever is in front of them, without even bothering to see what it is. I would also suggest that you select soft ingredients rather than crunchy ones. A lot of Rock Bottomites sometimes forget to wear their store teeth, and they appreciate having something to eat other than congealed salad. That’s where your casseroles come in. They will bless you for using ingredients that don’t require excessive chewing, regardless of brand name or not.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.