This post originally appeared in the November 12, 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 Post-Election “Change is Here” Special, wherein we change the way you look. Keep in mind that there is a risk you might come out looking worse, but you will at least look different. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. I just got me a brand new Cadillac convertible, but I can’t afford the license plates or registration. You reckon I could just slap a “Farm Vehicle” plate on ’er and let that do for a while? I never drive it more’n 50-75 miles from home, and I only use it to get to or from the farm, so it ain’t like I’m exactly being dishonest. What do you think?—Caddy Daddy
Dear Cad: As long as you are hauling livestock, you are probably OK. I doubt that your mule or cow would be cooperative, but if you scrub up one of your hogs and put plastic on the seat before you load her up, I think you’re good to go. She’ll probably enjoy getting out, and hogs are generally good company. They ain’t likely to nag you to drive slower or complain about what’s playing on the radio. If you ain’t got a spare hog, you could always throw a couple of bales of hay in the back seat. Again, you want to put down plastic first, especially if you got some of them velour seats.
Dear Ida B. Now that the election is over, I’m feeling kinda lonely. I usta get five or six calls a day from them political folks wanting to sway my vote. I kinda miss the attention. What do you suggest?—Lonely
Dear Lonely: Why not randomly call up whatever numbers pop into your head and chat with whatever folks answer? They’re already used to being annoyed from all them political calls and will probably have a few choice words to say to you. Or call up the phone number in them infomercials and ask questions about their products. Or call tech support for your Internet service and you can talk to folks in foreign countries who don’t have a clue how to help you but you won’t be able to understand them anyhow. Anyhow, please do not call Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop unless you are going to partake of our beauty and bait services.
Dear Ida B. If ignorance is bliss, why ain’t I happy? Everybody is always telling me how ignorant I am.—Miss Raybull
Dear Miz: If you are truly ignorant, you wouldn’t know whether or not you are happy. I suggest you try harder to become more ignorant than you already are. If you want to look good while doing so, come on down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait shop and we will fix you up. However, we will also fill you in on the latest gossip, so you won’t be ignorant of what is going on in Rock Bottom, but you might be happy to learn stuff about other people that are worse off than you.
Dear Ida B. It seems like I just got my Halloween decorations—pumpkins and a scarecrow and cornstalks—up, and now it’s past time to decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas. What can I do?—Overwhelmed
Dear Get Over It: Stick some feathers in the pumpkins and they’ll look like turkeys, especially if your guests are nearsighted. The cornstalks are good to go just the way they are, on account they look like harvest stuff, which is the main theme of Thanksgiving anyway. Throw a pilgrim outfit on the scarecrow and he’ll be fine—unless he looks more like an Indian, in which case, stick some feathers on his head. After Thanksgiving, spray paint the pumpkins red to look like big Christmas Balls, or stack them and paint them white to look like a snowman. Spray paint the cornstalks green to look like a Christmas tree. Throw a little glitter on them while the paint is still wet, and they’ll be especially festive. Put a Santa suit on the scarecrow if he’s big, or an elf suit if he’s small. In February, if the pumpkins haven’t rotted, you can glue a white heart-shaped doily on them (if they’re red) or a red heart-shaped doily on them (if they’re white). Dress the scarecrow like Cupid. Throw away the cornstalks. Happy Halloween-thanksgiving-christmas-valentines-day!
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.