Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fish Pedicure, Dawg Park, Reality, & DNA Tests

This column originally appeared in the August 6, 2008, 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 a special on “Fish Pedicures” (see first letter), the latest trend in foot beautification. It has been so hot that folks don’t want their hair fixed, but they are glad to set down and stick their hot feet in a bowl of cool water no matter what they got to share it with. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. I saw in both the Big Mall City paper and on TV that “fish pedicures” are the latest thing. You stick your feet in a pan of carp and they nibble all the debris off your toes. It seems to be you’d have a headstart on this, what with the live bait and all. Are you gonna do it?—Sounds Fishy 2 Me

Dear Fishy: We figured it’s worth a try down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop. Like you said, we’ve got an advantage. At first we thought about just having customers stick their tootsies into the bait tank, but the crawdads might become too attached to the feet and some customers have a low threshold of pain. What we are doing is dipping out a bunch of minnows, putting them in a pan of water, and having the customers stick their feet into that. We do require that feet be clean before they do so. Otherwise, the minnows might not survive, and they are our best-selling bait—but only if they’re alive. We also offer a half-price special on minnows that have known your feet up close and personal if you want to take them home to do fish pedicures on your own or use them for bait or a combination thereof.

Dear Ida B. I heard tell that Rock Bottom town council wanted to close the skateboard park on account of so much vandalism and that they didn’t want to build a dawg park that some other folks wanted. Do you know whatever came of all that.—Skate N. Dawg-owner

Dear Dawg Skater: You are in luck. What they decided to do was combine the two. They figured that having dawgs run loose in the park will keep vandals from vandalizing and keep skaters skating—probably faster with a bunch of dawgs snapping at their heels and/or wheels. Plus the dawgs will get plenty of exercise, which is what folks wanted in the first place. This is a win-win situation for everybody except for the vandals who will just have to take their spray paint elsewhere if they don’t want to be gnawed on, possibly to the Rock Bottom Museum of Art’s interactive exhibit where nobody will notice.

Dear Ida B. I have been watching that reality show where teenagers have to raise babies and I want to know how I can donate my triplets to them. As I see it, it would be like getting free babysitting for however long the show runs and I would finally have some time to myself. Also, has there been any talk about having a reality show in Rock Bottom? If so, what would it be like?—TV Watcher

Dear TV addict: You are outta luck. They already have all the babies they can use on that show, plus the show is over. There has been some talk about a Rock Bottom Reality Show, but nothing has been decided yet. For one thing, Rock Bottom reality is pretty boring. If there was to be a “Survivor Rock Bottom,” for instance, everybody would want to be voted off first. A “World’s Greatest Mule” reality show might draw a little interest, but how long can you watch plowing?

Dear Ida B. My next-to-last ex-wife has been pestering me so much about the child support payments, even though I have told her it is a waste to buy all them boys shoes in the summertime, that I came up with an idea that maybe if I could prove the kids ain’t mine, I wouldn’t have to pay and could use the money for payments on my bass boat. What I done was arrange for them kids to get DNA tests just like they do on Jerry Springer and Montel and all, only I used a ringer for me, so my own personal DNA wouldn’t be involved. Anyhow, my long-time buddy Bubba agreed to play like he was me after I got him drunk enough. Bubba and the boys took the test, and it came back positive. Now the judge says the test shows I am the daddy and I got to pay up. Now, if I was to fess up to the judge that I didn’t actually take the test, he would hold me in contempt of court like he has threatened to do on other occasions when my ex-wives took me to court. What I need to know is, given how things turned out, do I have to pay Bubba the $100 I owe him for playing like he was me, or can I put that toward my boat payment?—Bubba’s Former Friend

Dear Former Friend: We have discussed your problem at length down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait shop and we all find you pretty contemptible. The honorable thing to do is pay Bubba, regardless of how unhonorable he might have been in the past. We all came to the conclusion that you and Bubba probably deserve each other’s friendship, but your ex-wives and the kids deserve better.

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

Friday, August 14, 2009

Staycations, Recliners, & Scantily Clad Gals

This post originally appeared in the July 23, 2008, issue 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 mid-season bait clearance, so come on in and get some great deals on stuff that likely won’t live much longer in all this heat. We ain’t running a special on much else on account it has been so hot that most of the regular customers have just stayed home and let their hair wilt.

Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. I keep hearing about all them “staycations” where folks don’t leave town on account of the gas prices but still try to have a vacation. Does Rock Bottom have any staycation opportunities?—Ready to Do Something

Dear Ready: Not many folks stay in Rock Bottom if they can help it, but what with high prices and all, they are now forced to do so. Consequently, some groups and individuals have come forth to fill the vacation gap—or maybe widen it. Anyhow, here they are:
  • Haycation: Local agrarian professional Haywood “Hay” Fields will be cutting hay before long and offers the opportunity for city folks to experience farming up-close and personal as they help him load hay. Why pay expensive gym fees when—for a lot less money—you can get more exercise and a great tan on any exposed body parts, plus work up a better sweat lifting heavy bales in the hot sun?
  • Daycation: O. L. Buzzard of Buzzard’s Taxidermy and Day Care will keep you kiddies amused as they watch him do his thing and help him clean up afterward. Since nothing but varmints is currently in season, most of what he stuffs during the summer is interesting roadkill. Watching him do this can provide the educational opportunity of a lifetime to your kiddies that you need to get out of the house because they’re driving you crazy.
  • Praycation: The Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit is offering an alternative to Vacation Bible School—Bingo Camp. They are praying that lots of kids will sign up to work on their math and alphabet skills as well as get them hooked on the Surging Inner Spirit’s main fund-raising activity. If you want your kids to experience the unique fellowship that can only be found at a Bingo game—and possibly win a little money, call the Rev. Al E. Looyah and get them signed up right away. A free Bingo marker will be given to the first fifty kids signed up.
  • Waycation: This is mainly a do-it-yourself kind of vacation suggested by certain Rock Bottomites who wish to remain anonymous. What you do is go to an out-of-the-way cove on Slick Water Lake where there are a lot of cars parked near one of the houses. Park your truck several hundred feet away so you don’t arouse suspicion. Then go in and greet everybody there like you’ve known them for years. Odds are good that by mid-summer, so many Slick Water Lakers have had so much company that they’re pretty shell-shocked and will assume that anyone dropping in is somebody they know even if they can’t remember your name. After you’ve had plenty to eat and drink, move on down to the next place that looks like it’s having a party.
  • Altercation: This is one of the current specials down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop, wherein we will fix you up so good that you won’t even know yourself when you leave. Be warned that our “Big hair With Flair” special will alter your looks so much that even your hubbie is also unlikely to recognize you. Several ladies who partook of this special in the past ended up getting a dee-vorce on account their hubbies, who didn’t recognize their own wives, made some lewd remarks to them. But don’t worry—our altercation special comes with a discount coupon for dee-vorce representation from Maycomb Philmore Payne, my personal dee-vorce attorney. Since altering your looks can take some time, plan to spend the entire day at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop.
  • Laycation: This is what a lot of Rock Bottom males do most of the time—lay in their recliners and demand their wives bring them a beer or a sandwich. In fact, this has no doubt inspired the next letter:

Dear Ida B. Since my husband retired, he gets no exercise whatsoever. All he does is lay around in his recliner and channel surf the TV. What should I do?—Concerned Wife

Dear Conned Wife: Hide the remote. Then he will have to get up to change channels. It ain’t much, but it’s a start. The other thing you might do is get replace the recliner with an exercise bike and duct-tape the remote to one of the pedals. Then he will at least have to peddle a little if he wants to change channels.

Dear Ida B. A couple weeks ago, I went to what the Church of the Surging Inner Spirit’s scholarship pageant with my husband. I thought it would be an educational experience for us and we might learn something. Ida B, them gals hardly had a stitch on during part of the competition! Do you know why?—Incensed

Dear Insensitive. I talked to the Rev. Al E. Looyah the last time he was in to beg me for a discount on bait, and he said it was to keep the contestants honest so they couldn’t hide any answers in their clothes. Also, he said it was a lot easier to find judges if the gals didn’t wear much, plus it was what was in their hearts and minds rather than what they was wearing on their bodies that really counted, so you got no reason to complain.

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

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Enlightening, Fly-swatters, Holy Clothes, & Fools

This column originally appeared in the Smith Mountain Eagle on July 9, 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 Big Bang Left-Over 4th of July Special on dynamite hairstyles, booming bait, and fizzled-out fireworks. If you need a new look or a properly baited hook, y’all come see us. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. Rumor has it that you have been writing this column for 10 years this month. Is that true? If so, don’t you ever run out of stuff to write about?—Incredulous

Dear Incredible: Yes, I have. Time sure flies when you’re having fun. And the remarkable thing is that I have not aged one bit in the last ten years. The column started because some of my customers, who need enlightening in more ways than one, told me, “Ida B., you ought to take your advice and give it to someone else, so that is what I did. Since I am so good at telling folks what to do and where to go, Scoop Manyure, the editor of the Rock Bottom News, gave me space on the obituary page when not enough folks had died to fill up the space. I also figured that if I wrote a column, then I could use the new computer down at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop as a tax write-off, just in case using it for bait research, new hair-do ideas, and making my manicurist Honey Sue Sweetwater’s presence known all over MySpace (she has 1,375,867 friends) wasn’t enough. Anyhow, I moved from paper to paper and now I’m here, still enlightening them what need it.

Dear Ida B. I am suffering a lot of stress not that my triplets and two sets of twins are out of school. They keep hitting each other and complaining they are bored or hungry or both. They go in and out and let flies in. The slamming door wakes the toddler and the baby. I can’t afford to keep buying fly spray. Plus, the slamming door wakes the toddler and the baby. One of the kids read your column last month where you talked about going green, and now they are saying I’m so out of it on account I haven’t gone green and it is damaging their self-esteem. What’s a Rock Bottom Mama to do?—At Wit’s End

Dear Witty End: It seems like I give this suggestion every summer, but here I go again: Get them kids some fly-swatters and let them go at the flies and maybe each other. The fly swatters will help your kids with eye-hand coordination, will let them find an outlet for their violent tendencies, and will substantially reduce the fly population. Swatting flies is a heck of a lot greener than spraying, as well as considerably cheaper. If your kids really want to go green, have them put in some gardens and grow their own food. Digging and weeding a garden will keep them too tired and busy to cause much trouble, and kids naturally like to play in dirt. Getting a flyswatter for yourself might be a good idea. You can give them kids a swat when they don’t listen to you, and a few swats might discourage your hubby when he comes flitting around you, too.

Dear Ida B. I just heard that the Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit is selling holy clothing. Now, Ida B, I have heard of holy water, but never holy clothing. What’s with this?—Wants to Know

Dear Wanting: It ain’t holy clothing—it’s holey clothes. And they’ve already been sold. Whatever your source of gossip is, it’s running a couple weeks late. I recommend you come down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait shop where our gossip is always current and sometimes even originates here. Anyhow, Rev. Al E. Looyah’s wife, Glorie-Hallie, cleaned out her closet last month and found out that the moths had been busier than usual. Before she could sell her clothes at the church’s weekly yard sale, she had to convince folks that the holey clothes were worth buying, and she did. For instance, she convinced some folks that kids like ripped up clothes, so anybody that wears clothes with holes will naturally look younger. Plus the holes give a little ventilation, so that helps during the current hot weather. Glorie-Hallie made enough to buy herself a whole new wardrobe up at the Rock Bottom House of Polyester. However, everybody else she knew was sporting the holey clothes, so she felt left out and had to cut some holes in her new clothes so she’d be as stylish as everyone else.

Dear Ida B. If a fool and his money are soon parted, does that mean I should only date foolish men so they will spend more money on me? Should I marry a fool?—Confused

Dear Confused: If your potential dates are fools, how did they have the sense to acquire much money in the first place, and if they did, why didn’t they part with it before meeting you? If you think marrying a fool is the only way to get money, then you are just fooling yourself.

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