This column originally appeared in October 15, 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 Palin special for those of y’all Republican ladies who’ve got enough hair for me to tease up on top and hang down on the bottom and who want to emulate the vice-presidential candidate on election day. I have always said that big hair will come back, and doggone if it hasn’t. Whether this trend will last for the next four years is anybody’s guess, but it will at least last until early November. For y’all Democrat ladies, we are sorry there ain’t no female vice-presidential candidate for y’all to emulate, but maybe next time. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B: I notice that in the office of Rock Bottom High School (where Bubba Jr. spends a lot of his time when he ain’t actually suspended), there is a banner that says, “At Rock Bottom High School, failure is not an option.” Does that mean that failure is a requirement?—Bubba’s Mama
Dear BM: Actually, that is only half the banner. What it actually says is “At Rock Bottom High School, failure is not an option; failure is a tradition.” According to principal Alma Motter, the only tradition at Rock Bottom High School that has endured through the generations is failure. She is sorry they did not have a wall big enough to put up the whole thing.
Dear Ida B. Recently I went out to one of them real classy eating places (where they even offer a combo instead of making you order the drinks and fries separate). Well, I decided to go to the indoor privy (I told you they was classy!) where I heard you could also wash your hands if you hand a mind to, which I did since it was free. However, they didn’t have a towel or even a roll of paper towels. What they had was some gizmo that blew hot air onto your hands. There was a little sign on it that said using it save trees. Well, I looked out the window and didn’t see any trees being saved, but I figured they was being saved someplace else. Anyhow, I used it about ten times so I figured I saved ten trees. What I want to know is how do I go about getting them trees?—Needs the Wood.
Dear Woody: There ain’t any trees actually saved, but every time you use that electric air-blowing gizmo, you are helping to remove part of a mountaintop in West VA or Kentucky or SW VA, because that’s where the coal is coming from to make the electricity to power that gizmo. The trees that would have made the paper towels are part of a crop that a tree farmer plants specifically to sell to the paper mill. Not using paper towels to save trees is like not eating Fritos to save corn. Now, if the tree farmers around Rock Bottom can’t sell their crop on account there ain’t any demand, their wives won’t be able to afford to come to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait shop to get their hair done and I will lose money. Also, trees are renewable, but it is doggone hard to put back a mountaintop the way it was after its insides have been scooped out.
Dear Ida B. I have been a resident of Rock Bottom for nigh onto twenty years, but I was recently told I am not a resident in good standing on account I am still a newcomer. How can I get to be a resident in good standing?—Wants to Belong
Dear Wanting: Very few residents of Rock Bottom are in good standing. Standing takes too much effort, even if they slouch. Most are sitting down, especially in their recliners. If you mean when will you be fully accepted as an official resident of Rock Bottom, that can take generations. If your grandma had gone to school with everybody else’s grandmas, that would have helped. If members of your family have lived in the same house for over fifty years, that shows a commitment, especially if y’all still have all y’all’s previous cars and trucks used as yard art.
Dear Ida B. Will there be a haunted house in Rock Bottom this Halloween? I just love creepy stuff—Tricker Treat
Dear Tricksy: Well, you have come to the right town. There isn’t just one particular haunted house because we have plenty of creepy places so as it is. Just go knock on the door of any run-down looking house in Rock Bottom (which will be most of them) and offer to pay whoever answers a quarter for you to come in a look around. Odds are good they’ll let you in, but some might hold out for fifty cents. You’ll see plenty of dust, cobwebs, spiders, and maybe even a few snakes. There is no telling what else you might see, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you don’t have a lot of time and just want to be scared real quick, come on down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop before a few of my regular customers get their make-overs. They’re pretty scary until I have worked on them for a while. If seeing them don’t give you a scare, we can throw a handful of expired bait at you when you aren’t looking.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.