The following column appeared in the October 29, 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 running our Pre-Election Special, wherein we make you look as much like the candidate of your choice as we can. We are also running our Pre-Halloween Special wherein we’ll make you look as creepy as we can, although some of our customers don’t need help in that department. Finally, we are running our Harvest Hair special, wherein we will glue hair we cut off somebody else on to the thinner areas of your head. We only ask that if you opt for the last special, you do not put on a hat for the rest of the day unless you are really attached to that hat—because it will be attached to you for several weeks. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. Are folks in Rock Bottom excited about the up-coming election? It’s only a few days away!—Pol Liti Gal
Dear Pol: Folks in Rock Bottom rarely get excited about anything, especially something that happens on a pretty regular basis as often as every four years. Most Rock Bottomittes think that having to get up from their recliners and go to the polls where they don’t even get a free lunch or the chance to watch mud-wrassling is more trouble than it’s worth. Also, since the typical Rock Bottom couple rarely agrees with each other, they figure that it’s a waste of gas to go out to vote when the wife’s vote will cancel out the husband’s and vice-versa.
Dear Ida B. I have figured out what to do with all the campaign literature that has been sent to me. I’m going to stuff it in the bags of all those pesky trick-or-treaters who will be coming around my house. What do you think of that?—Boo
Dear Booed: I think you will be the victim of several Halloween pranks after the kids see what you gave them. Good luck getting your outhouse down off your roof.
Dear Ida B. The leaves have been falling pretty hard in my yard lately, and everyday my wife keeps nagging me to rake them up and bag them and haul them to the dump. However, with all the football on TV, I just can’t get myself out of the recliner to rake them. What I have been doing is, after both my wife and the next-door neighbor go to work, I take my leaf-blower and blow all the leaves next door. However, the next morning after I get off from working the night shift, all the leaves are back in my yard and my wife starts in on me again. Do you think my neighbor is getting suspicious because he doesn’t have any trees in his yard?—Not-Rakin
Dear Knothead: Yes. For all the effort you have spent blowing those leaves next door everyday, you could have blown them into the back of your pick-up and hauled them off. Please tell your wife that all the nagging she’s been doing has probably put a strain on her and she needs to come down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait shop for a complete makeover. Also, we will clue her in to the most efficient ways to nag you.
Dear Ida B. I am in an awful fix. My in-laws were coming to supper the other night and I had just set the table when the cat hopped up on it and threw up. Well, I scraped up the mess and threw it into an empty casserole dish and meant to take it to the garbage but then the door bell rang, so I just left the dish on the table when I went to answer it. Don’t you know, there stood my mama-in-law and her sister and a couple more assorted in-laws way earlier than I was expecting them. Well, we all got to talking, and then the oven timer rang and I went into the kitchen to take the cornbread out of the oven. I forgot about that casserole dish. In the meantime, all them in-laws went in the dining room and started without me. By the time I had scraped the burnt parts off the cornbread and joined them, they’d eaten just about everything on the table except the pattern off the plates. That casserole dish was empty! The worst part was my mama-in-law said it was the best thing I ever made and could she have the recipe. Ida B., I can’t tell her the truth and I have been putting her off for several days now. What can I do? She can be real persistent. And I can’t lie to her, can I?—Perplexed
Dear Perplexed: About all you can do is confess. Just tell her that it’s something you threw together at the last minute and you can’t quite remember what ingredients were actually in it, other than they were leftovers. That explanation would be about as close to the truth as you can get without actually telling the whole truth.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.