This column originally appeared in the October 1, 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-Halloween special, “You Might Look a Fright, But Your Hair Don’t Have To.” You would be surprised at how the right hairdo can take folks’ eyes off all the sags, bags, zits, and pits your face is packing around. If you can’t afford a facelift, you can probably scrape up enough for a new hairdo. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. My prize sow. Porky Soo, had a freak accident at the state fair the other day. She’d just won “Best in Show” and was taking her victory lap around the ring when she jumped the fence and ended up in the bumper car ride where she suffered fatal bruises. The Rev. Al E. Looyah, of Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit, just happening to be exiting the hoochie-koochie tent where he’d been ministering to those poor gals who hardly have any clothes to wear. Well, he administered last rites and said he’d see to Porky Soo’s cremation and arrange a nice service for her, but he had to hurry home for a blessing of the backyard barbecue in his subdivision. I helped him load the body of my deceased sow into the trunk of his Cadillac. He drove off, and I went to the hootchie-koochie show to take my mind off my loss. Two days later he calls and says he has her ashes for me and we can discuss what kind of service I want and/or can afford. I pick up the box of her ashes, and while we are discussing the service, he gets a phone call from what must be some kind of literary program (at least I heard him use the word “bookie”) and he thought he better continue the call in the other room. While he was out of the room, I peeked in the box and noticed several half-burned charcoal briquettes in amongst the ashes. I left before he got back. Ida B., there is something suspicious about this situation. Can you shed some light on this?—Bereaved
Dear Bereaved: I probably could, but I think you can figure it out for yourself. All I will say is that Rev. Al’s wife Glorie Hallie was in Ida’s Salon of Beauty and Life Bait Shop yesterday, telling everybody what a great pig roast they’d just had in their new barbeque pit. She said that money has been a little tight lately and she couldn’t believe how lucky they were to get something to cook for all their guests on the spur of the moment like that.
Dear Ida B. I took a gal out to dinner on our first date the other night. I really wanted to impress her, so I let her order the combo instead of just the Big Mac. Midway through dinner, I felt my ear clog up and I had left my keys under the seat of the truck, so I didn’t have a key handy to dig out the earwax. The fingernail I use as a back-up ear-cleaner had broken off when I opened my last can of beer so it didn’t reach far enough. I didn’t know if it was good manners to ask if I could use her keys for ear-cleaning purposes, so I decided not to risk it. Anyhow, I couldn’t hear real well through the rest of dinner, so I just nodded to anything she said. I am now afraid that I might have agreed to things I wouldn’t have agreed to if I could have known what it was she was asking about, because when I called her the next day, she was talking about setting a date. Can you help me?—All Ears
Dear Earfull: It is never good manners to clean your ear with someone else’s key—especially somebody you are trying to impress. That is why you always carry an extra key just for that purpose. You could have excused yourself to go out to the truck, but that is risky on account some gals might see a better looking guy in line and will make his acquaintance by the time you get back. Anyhow, if you think this gal is planning for the two of y’all to get hitched, you have two choices: go through with it or don’t go through with it. If you go through with it, consider how cheap you got off. Now you don’t have to spend any more money trying to impress her. If you want to break up, it is best to let her do the breaking up. Next time you take her out, wear a wedding ring and tell her that there’s something you’ve been meaning to tell her. She will see the ring and immediately break up. Be warned that she might throw something, so try to do this in a public place when y’all are eating burgers and not big plates of spaghetti. Another reason for being in public is that there will be witnesses in case she does serious harm to you.
Dear Ida B. My teen-aged daughter Bubbette saw on TV where the new fashions are gonna be based on jumpsuits, relaxed pants, and stripes. She is pitching a fit for me to get her them things, which I cannot afford. She says her friends will make fun of her if she don’t dress in the latest fashion—or at least retro fashion. Ida B., what is a mama to do when her daughter pitches a fit to get high-fashion that we can’t afford?—Fit Pitcher’s Mama
Dear FPM: You are in luck. The Rock Bottom Jail is having its annual yard sale, wherein they are selling out-dated coveralls. These coveralls are kinda like a jumpsuit, only more relaxed, and they’re striped (plus being as old as they are qualifies them as retro), so you can cover all the fashion bases in one outfit. I recommend you buy several.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.