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.