This post originally appeared in the September 17, 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 running our pre-fall special, “If Your Hair is Falling Out or Falling Limp, We Can Help.” You would be surprised at what we can do with superglue and heavy-duty hair spray, as well as hair we have cut off other folks that is still perfectly good. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. I have just started a new business, Weddings While You Wait. I noticed a lot of Rock Bottom folks are putting off getting married on account of all the hassles of getting married—especially the arguments between the mama and mama-in-law on who does what and who foists off the expense of all the decorations and food onto who else. Well, I have a perfectly good house and a nice yard in a rural area. It’s a lot more house than I need, so I decided I might as well use the downstairs as a combination wedding chapel/reception area for them that wants to get married without the usual hassles. All they got to do is show up. What do you think?—Wedded Bliss
Dear Wedded Blues: Part of the appeal of a big wedding is the hassles. If everybody can get upset, complain about the expense and who is (or ain’t) invited, argue about where to have the wedding, and lament about what to wear, etc. before the actual wedding takes place, it gives the two families involved time to see each other at their worst and decide if they really want the two families to join up. If you rob them of all the hassles, there is no telling what might happen after the wedding when some suddenly realize they don’t see eye to eye with their new in-laws.
Dear Ida B. I’ve been married for two months now and my husband won’t share his feelings with me. I don’t have a clue what he is thinking. Also, he is hanging out with his buddies more instead of giving me his undivided attention. What should I do?—New Bride
Dear Newbie: You should be glad he don’t share his feelings. That means he ain’t got anything to complain about. You should also be glad that he ain’t hanging around the house. If he hung around the house, you’d have to keep cleaning up after him and fixing him whatever he wanted to eat. I have addressed the question of shared feelings before, with the same answer. However, I understand that the term “share his feelings” is out-dated. Some of my younger clientele tell me that men now text-message their feelings. Trust me that you do not want your husband’s undivided attention except when you are nagging him. What seems so flattering when you are young can get to be a real nuisance once you hit thirty and want some time to yourself or for a girls’ night out with a dozen or so of you best friends or when a couple of screaming toddlers also want your undivided attention. Be glad he is hanging out with his buddies and not underfoot.
Dear Ida B. I was traveling this summer, and passed a small spiffy white van on I-95 with the logo of “Mermaid Transportation.” I got to wondering—how could a mermaid drive? She'd only have a big tail and fins, right? How could she put on the brake suddenly? Maybe the van was transporting a mermaid. You know, she could have been inside a tank, sloshing around. I figured with you bein’ in the bait business, you might could answer my questions.—Puzzled
Dear Puzzled: If the van was indeed transporting a mermaid (which I doubt, but stranger things have ben transported in the back of Rock Bottom pick-up trucks, so my customers tell me), odds are good she wasn’t the driver for the reason you have given. Likely she was sloshing around in a tank. While I am indeed in the bait business, I have never heard of anybody using a mermaid for bait. For one thing, what are you gonna catch with it? And how would you put it on your hook? While Slick Water Lake has some pretty big fish (based on the stories of “the one that got away” reported by several of my bait customers), none would justify using a mermaid for bait. On the other hand, maybe you could tie a rope around the mermaid’s tail and she could catch fish with her hands and fling them into your boat.
Dear Ida B. I just graduated from Rock Bottom High School and have decided to take time off to find myself before looking for a job or going to college. My problem is I don’t know how to find myself. Can you help?—Undecided
Dear Unemployed and Uneducated: Just come on down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop. We have some real big mirrors. Just stand in front of one and look. There you are! Keep in mind, that I do charge a finder’s fee. While you’re here, you might find that you need some help in the looks department. We can help with that, too—for a fee. By now, you ought have noticed that everything has its price, and the only way to pay it is to get a job or to get some education that will help you get a job. You might want to see if you can find yourself in line at the employment agency or at Rock Bottom Community College.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.