This column appeared in the May 14, 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 are running our May Madness sale on selected crawdads that have got too feisty to keep in the bait tank. If you want some bait that will put up a fight, then our crawdads are what you need to put some excitement into your fishing. They are also handy to throw through the window of your ex’s pickup truck if he has been a little late with the alimony checks lately. Now lessee what we got in the mail:
Dear Ida B. My current new wife keeps trying to tell me that the stuff she cooks is real trendy—blackened catfish, blackened red snapper, etc. I think it is just burned and she plain ol’ cain’t cook. Last night she fixed blackened corn bread, blackened taters, blackened cabbage, and blackened chicken-fried steak. The night before it was blackened spaghetti and meatballs. Do you think she might be trying to tell me something? —Not a Gor-may
Dear Knothead: I think she is telling you that she would like to eat out once in a while. I suggest you take her to a couple of them fancy eating places out at Slick Water Lake so she can see what trendy food is really like. I am wondering why you didn’t notice her cooking before you got hitched. Didn’t y’all indulge in any premarital home-cooking?
Dear Ida B. My sisters took Mama out for Mama’s Day, and all she can talk about is how good they were to her and how all I got her was a chintzy card. I want to make next Mama’s Day memorable for my mama while out-doing whatever my good-for-nothing sisters might do. Do you have any suggestions?—Daughter
Dear Gal: I recommend you bring your mama in down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop on the Saturday before Mama’s Day for our “Make Mama Special” makeover. We’ll do the best we can with what we have to work with, but we will also arrange for several strangers to compliment her throughout the next day on how good she looks, no matter if she looks good or not. You should also take her to the special “Honor Your Mama” service at Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit where all mamas will receive an extra glass of communion wine and a free Bingo card. After the service, there is a special luncheon buffet in the church basement where all mamas will be permitted to jump the line so they will get their food before it cools off or dries out (or both) and hasn’t been sneezed on much by all those suffering allergies. After lunch, you might take her fishing out on Slick Water Lake (Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop will have special gift bait boxes available for sale). If you contract with Captain Hook of Reel’Em In Fishing Tours, he can make sure that she catches a fish on her first try. What he does is have a diver go under the boat and attach a fish to the line that your mama casts. If she is the sort who don’t like to clean fish, for a slight extra charge Captain Hook can arrange for an already cleaned and deboned fish to be attached to her line. It might be possible to have a stretch limo to take her to and from the lake, but that depends on whether or not McCobbers Funeral Home will be using their hearse at the time. Usually they don’t get much advance notice, but if your mama doesn’t mind sharing the ride, McCobbers can still pick y’all up.
Dear Ida B. I might graduate from high school this year and I don’t have any job prospects lined up. Is there anything to do in Rock Bottom that pays good and don’t require much effort?—Takin It EZ
Dear Worthless: The answer to both your questions is no. I suggest you get on a bus and go as far as you can afford. Then get off the bus. The job situation will be better wherever it is you get off. Don’t come back. We have enough of your kind in Rock Bottom so as it is, and we’re always looking for ways to export a few.
Dear Ida B. My kid has been bugging me to get him a pet. I don’t want anything I have to feed and clean up after. I do enough of that for my husband and the kid. What do you suggest in the way of a low maintenance cheap pet?—Concerned Mom
Dear Mom: If your kid has been bugging you to get him a pet, you can’t go wrong with a crawdad. They don’t occupy much space, are cheap to feed, don’t pee all over your carpet, don’t require expensive shots or training, don’t chew up your new shoes, and don’t claw up your furniture. If your kid, gets tired of it, the crawdad becomes bait. Lucky for you, we are running a special on crawdads down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop. Hurry on down to get one while the supply lasts.
Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.