Saturday, April 29, 2017

Open The Door...To Your Mystery Tailgater

No trip to town with Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is ever uneventful.

On Friday, I took the blacktop county road less traveled by, because the ROCKERS mining the stones of the earth made my route different.

I was almost home, by cracky! Almost to EmBee's mailbox condo when I saw it. A blue pickup truck that had come up behind me between the auto body guy's shop and the sharp turn on the tree-limb ceilinged section of blacktop just before I cross our low water bridge that was made higher several years back, and no longer floods.

Huh. I wonder where that truck came from all at once. He must be in some kind of hurry. I hate it when people rush up like that. I wonder if he's going up our gravel road. We have a truck that color out here that goes up past the Mansion.

I continued, neither faster nor slower. I was being extra cautious, lest I meet the ROCKERS flatbed semi loaded with boulders. This road does not have room for two on this section. In fact, I had been looking at ruts on that sharp curve just before I noticed the blue pickup behind me. I thought perhaps somebody had indeed met the ROCKERS, and had to back up into that space to let them by. I filed that option away for future reference.

Huh. That blue pickup is getting closer. Too bad, so sad. I'm not rushing. It's not like I'm going to drive on the wrong side of the road and park by the mailbox and reach out my window into EmBee like Farmer H does. No siree, Bob! I'm turning onto the gravel, and I'll park at the side and walk across the blacktop county road to get the mail.

I signaled before the bridge, even. Made the immediate right turn onto gravel the minute my tires were off the bridge. I was waiting for that blue pickup to turn in right on my tail. So I made sure to signal again to pull over at the side.

Huh. Where's that pickup? I didn't hear him gun it and blast past me when I turned. He's not behind me. He's not at the mailboxes. WTF?

I turned around and looked back over the bridge, up the road from whence I had come. THERE was the blue pickup! Just on the other side of the bridge. By that little gravel drive where I caught the mailwoman having her tryst. Allegedly. The place where she parked her US MAIL stickered car, and spent over an hour doing nothing (that I know of) except talk on her cell phone. Though we all know the reception down in that dip is crappy.

Huh. Is that guy WATCHING me? Why did he stop when I did? Maybe not. No need to be so paranoid. But it never hurts to be aware of my surroundings. I guess that pickup guy is getting his own mail. I don't remember seeing that truck at that drive before. But it's not like somebody lives down there. Their driveway pipe washes out every big rainstorm.

I got out to walk over to EmBee. After turning off T-Hoe and taking the keys in my hand, of course. I always do that when I get the mail. I'm not going to let some escaped mental patient (or more likely escaped prisoner from the maximum security prison three miles up the road) jump out of the woods and into my precious vehicle and take off!

Huh. That guy is like Farmer H. Parked on the wrong side of the road. But with his door open, stepping out to get his mail instead of just reaching out the window. Just standing--WAIT A MINUTE! THERE'S NO MAILBOX THERE!

Sweet Gummi Mary! I guess that guy was taking a pee! I don't know what else he could have been doing, stopped there with his door open. He was probably going to pull onto MY gravel road to take his pee, and I spoiled that plan by daring to park on my own gravel road to get my own mail out of my own mailbox, which exists.

That might explain his hurry.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Short-Temper Cook Is Not Long On Patience

Farmer H has been stepping out on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Grazing in greener pastures. Developing a risk-taking palate. Feasting on foods that are not served in the Mansion. Until now.

Note To Self: do not ever again ask Farmer H what he wants for supper the next day. Especially after you have been to two different Devil's Playgrounds in three days, and think the food purchases for the week are complete. And after he dances around the subject and remains uncommitted after you give him three choices.

"Well...I have a really good shrimp taco at a place up by work."

AHA! That would explain the odors that linger in the bathroom.

"What do you mean, shrimp taco? I can't make a shrimp taco! I offered you a chicken taco. I have everything we need for them."

"It's not that hard. Just shrimp. On a taco."

"You mean fried shrimp? Or boiled shrimp? How is it cooked."

"It's browned in a pan. Not breaded."

"I never heard of shrimp cooked like that. Or in a taco!"

"Like that shrimp you gave me the other day."

"The frozen kind. That all you have to do is thaw it out with cold water? I guess you'll want the feet cut off."

"Yes. I can't eat the feet. It won't be THAT hard. You just pinch off the feet."

"Do you know how many times I would have to do that? It's way easier to cut them off than pinch them off."

"Okay. Do it however you want."

SIGH. "So what else do you have on these shrimp tacos?"

"Refried beans--"

"With SHRIMP?"

"Yesss. And rice and onions and tomatoes and lettuce--"

"What kind of rice? Like Spanish rice?"

"I guess so."

"What about the onions? Diced onions like I make for our tacos?"

"No. It's more like a shrimp fajita. About a half inch long [let the record show that Farmer H held up his thumb and forefinger about three inches apart] and as thick as a pencil."

"Wait! You don't even like peppers! Fajitas have peppers! I have a frozen bag of fajita vegetables in the freezer."

"I pick out the peppers. I only want onions."

"So...I'll have to go to the store for shrimp, because you ate the last of it two days ago. I have refried beans. I have Spanish rice mix. I have onions. I have lettuce. I'll need tomatoes. What kind of tomatoes do you mean? Like salsa?"

"No. Tomatoes. Like stewed tomatoes. From a can."

"Those are all watery and limp. I can't believe you have those on a taco. Do you mean like diced tomatoes? Like I put in chili?"

"Yeah. That's fine."

So...I went to the store and got the other stuff and tried to brown the shrimp but they didn't. I sweated the onions and they looked pretty good. I picked up something called Mexican Rice instead of Spanish Rice. It was in a packet. Easy enough to make. Of course I had to warm the refried beans in the microwave. Another bowl dirtied. I had to strain the diced tomatoes. Strainer to wash.

Plus, Farmer H picked it up AND CARRIED IT ACROSS TO THE CUTTING BLOCK, leaving a trail of juicy drippings in three double spots. THEN acted all hissy/pissy when I told him he dripped, and to clean it up, and to USE THE SOAPY WATER I already had in the sink to wash up the dishes I used preparing this feast for the last 30 minutes.

Farmer H prepared two large tortillas with layers of this mixture. Then he took them on two plates to his La-Z-Boy while I cleaned up the cookware. He announced that it was almost like the ones he has at that place up by work, but that THEY use the BIG shrimp.

"Okay. I guess I should have gotten the big shrimp and cut off the feet."

"No. This is fine. It means I get more of it."

Let the record show that Farmer H said his shrimp tacos (which looked like big fat burritos to me) were delicious.

That means he will want them again.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Over The Creek And Through The 'Hood

Sweet Gummi Mary! It's getting so I can hardly make my daily trip to town these days without encountering gridlock on the back roads of Hillmomba!

Today I was tooling along the gravel road beside the creek, getting ready to stop at EmBee before going to town for my 44 oz Diet Coke. The mail has been getting here earlier these days. I don't know if we have a new mailwoman or not, since she/he is getting to be like Santa, sneaking in there when I'm not around to watch. I used to get behind that mail lady all the time on my way home, and have to wait until she mis-delivered our mail.

I had the windows up. There were a few sprinkles falling, but the temperature was in the upper 60s already at the early hour of 11:30 a.m. Even with the windows up, I smelled it. The not-unpleasant essence of crushed cedar needles. Well, I thought, maybe somebody had cut down a tree at that house up the hill where Juno had gotten lost for a whole day, and I was just smelling the fresh crushed needles of the limbs that had crunched upon hitting the ground.

The smell was even stronger as I climbed out of T-Hoe and strode across the blacktop to disgorge the clothing catalog and Acadia bill and junk insurance brochure from EmBee's gullet. Again, I chalked it up to the wet ground and tree-trimming scenario.

As I crested the hill on the county road, I saw TO MY HORROR what was causing the smell. The Rockers are back! They were working in the area right where Juno had been lost. Bulldozing every tree down, clearing an opening to begin their rock harvest. They had a pickup truck and trailer (the ones that had parked themselves on our BARn land a while back) parked at the top of that hill, and going down the other side, two orange traffic cones in the roadway.

Let the record show that this is a STEEP hill. It's like the top of a rollercoaster, right before you plummet down the other side. They had their cones in the middle of the driving lane, so people coming up that side of the hill wouldn't ram into the back of the parked trailer. Nope. They were making it very safe to keep people from ramming into the back of their parked trailer. Yet forcing those people into the oncoming traffic lane to crest that hill! Allowing them the chance of a head-on collision rather than plowing into a parked trailer.

I made a mental note to come back the alternate route, past the auto body shop, from the other side of EmBee. I went on my merry way, thankfully not having hit anyone head-on as I went over that hill. On I went, across the low water bridge that floods so often, up the other side, and saw a semi truck coming down the middle of the road at me. Yet not.

A gray semi truck was creeping along, then stopped. And began to back up. Let the record show that there is NOWHERE to turn that thing around on that road. He would have been better off to keep going and loop up past the Rockers and the auto body shop and eventually come back out on the lettered county highway. But he was BACKING! The road was straight at that point, and he had a car behind him, which had to back up. And another car coming at him from the next hill crest. I couldn't see down in the dips, but I know I wanted no part of waiting to see how the guy got himself out of this predicament. There was no way I could continue and pass by him in my lane. So I turned around at the rental house that just got a new metal roof, and went back the way from whence I had come, up that blind hill in the WRONG LANE past the Rockers. Thankfully not hitting anyone head-on again.

On and on, past the auto body shop, to the T intersection to take me out to the lettered county highway. And there was a blue pickup truck sitting in the middle of the road at the T intersection. He had no stop sign that way. Just a guy sitting in a truck, with it running.

I confess that I only made a rolling stop at my stop sign, before making my right turn. Who knows what shenanigans a pickup man could be up to in a remote area like that.

Let the record show that I remembered to come back home that way, and the pickup man was gone. And that my 44 oz Diet Coke tasted even sweeter than usual today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Objectionable Digit

JUNK MAIL KILLS!

Okay. Maybe that's a bit of hyperbole from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. But junk mail maims drives one to drink causes hair loss makes an appendage fall off annoys her a little bit.

I have been getting two magazines I never ordered. I'm sure the kind folks at Publishers Clearing House sent them along complimentarily so I might fall for their sweepstakes scam. Or else one of my EthnicElderlyDating paramours is trying to tempt me into his internet arms by mail-showering me with gifts.

These free magazines are a pain. I don't want to wrestle them out of EmBee's curvy embrace. They are quite substantial. Hefty, even. And glossy. And one contains those perfume card inserts. Let the record show that Mrs. HM is the last person on Earth who would need such magazines. One is "W" whatever that stands for. The other is some kind of fashionista garbage. Not the least bit interesting to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom in her red Crocs, black crew socks, navy blue sweatpants, purple-and-white pin-striped big shirt, and generic royal-blue-and-white trucker cap, headed out to the driveway for her walk.

So...in my infinite wisdom, I decided that enough was too much! I'd set the record straight with these magazine companies once and for all. Tell them I never ordered their product, and to get me off the mailing list. Stop wasting trees and gas and petroleum products to make the clear plastic wrapper that seals the magazine.

I tried to rip open that clear plastic wrapper to get out the oversize postcard thingy inside with my address and code numbers. Oh, I ripped open that plastic just fine. But in trying to grasp the oversize postcard thingy with my address on it, I suffered a PAPER CUT!

Sure. It doesn't look like much. It's just a superficial wound. Not a complete amputation. But my finger was none too happy with the situation. After bleeding just enough to not need a sterile adhesive strip, but too much to go on about my business, leaving smears of my life fluid across kitchen and office items...my finger made it clear that there were activities to which it objected:

Washing dishes.
Slicing jumbo hot dogs for Jack and Juno's evening snack.
Clicking a Logitech mouse.
Typing on a keyboard.
Picking a nostril no of course Mrs. HM does not do that
Twisting the plastic lid off a plastic bottle of Diet Coke.
Opening the door of the basement mini fridge.
Writing with PaperMate Profile Elite.
Pushing the HEAT and MASSAGE buttons on the remote of the OPC (Old People Chair)
Peeling open the foil of a Dove dark chocolate morsel.
Pulling open the sealed top of an individual bag of Crunch Cheetos.
Prying the plastic lid off a quart (former hot & sour soup) container of potato salad

Yeah. You wouldn't think such a tiny wound would limit so many activities.

JUNK MAIL KILLS the insouciance with which one sails through many everyday functions.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Some Things Are Surer Than Others

You all know that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is pretty lucky in the games of chance. Only yesterday, she had another scratch-off winner that was worth texting to her sister the ex-mayor's wife.


Being in the winning frame of mind, imagine Mrs. HM's thrill this morning to see that overnight, The Publisher's Clearing House people had been burning up the innernets with emails proclaiming her to have a chance at a winning entry. Oh, yes, my friends. Mrs. HM reads closely. And that's just in the subject line. She did NOT click to open these emails. No siree, Bob! She may not ever enter The Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes, but she knows they do not send out emails like that. Especially six of them within 24 hours. Within 12 hours, specifically.

And most likely, The Publishers Clearing House would not call Mrs. Hillbilly Mom "Gloria."

3:45 p.m. Final Alert for Gloria! Selections Expiring  
8:19 a.m. Gloria, don’t say you weren’t notified 
4:43 a.m. Gloria, It’s Confirmed
4:25 a.m. Hillbilly, Only 1 Requirement Left
4:17 a.m. Gloria, the Prize Patrol could greet YOU at 18773 Nathans Pl  
4:10 a.m. Gloria you’re strongly advised to open this 

I'll thank them to stop strongly advising me to open their emails. Sweet Gummi Mary! They're as persistent as those folks trying to hook up with me from the Ethnic Old People Dating service, EthnicElderlyDatingdotcom. Which I had completely forgotten about, until I looked in my 5PAM folder to see if there was any more of the PCH strong advice.

Yeah. Not only am I going to win a huge amount of money from the Prize Patrol...I'm going to win in the game of love, too!

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Tale Of Two Button-Pushers

The gas station chicken store is turning out to be a hotbed of social commentary. Only yesterday, I decried the lack of manners in today's youth, and today you are getting an eyeful of another self-absorbed late-20-something.

I was already in the gas station chicken store on Sunday, filling my 44 oz cup at the Diet Coke dispenser. Their magical elixir has been especially delicious of late. I had planned to get one at Orb K for half the price, but I just don't know how to quit the Diet Coke at the gas station chicken store.

So there I was, taking a sip and topping off, securing my plastic lid, wondering if the guy waiting at the chicken counter was going to get his order and beat me to the register. I don't like to waste any time getting home with my beverage to start a long afternoon of sipping. The chicken guy didn't beat me, but a new customer did.

Jumpy came in and looked around like he wasn't quite sure what he was doing. Obviously not a regular. I could see out the front window that he had parked near T-Hoe, and had a dog in the back of his crew cab sticking its head out the window. Jumpy started to pay, then said, "Wait a minute!" He walked across the counter area and grabbed two more short bottles of energy supplement from a display right in front of the chicken warming case. Three! Four! Then he went back to the register and stood over on the side regulars don't stand at, right by the door, by the lottery ticket scanner and PowerBall ticket dispenser. He paid with plastic.

The clerk was the short old lady. Not to be confused with the tall old lady who has been there longer, and is 10 times as cranky. This old lady just takes everything in stride, but suffers no fools. She got a bag for Jumpy's energy supplements, and thanked him.

"Wait. Can't I get cash back?"

"You could have. If you'd told me before I punched it in. I can't go back once the transaction is done."

"Huh. I didn't know you were punching the wrong buttons." Jumpy tried to stare her down.

Clerky was having none of it. It didn't faze her. How dare he imply that SHE had done something amiss as she rang up his purchase, the purchase he made difficult by stopping in the middle and adding to. She held his gaze until Jumpy looked away. She took his yakkin' and kept on rackin' up the sales. She turned to me. Not takin' his bait. Like a wily old smallmouth bass, she avoided being fished in. Clerky gave the stinkeye to the plastic gallon jug of tea sitting on the counter. Not mine. The chicken guy's.

"I have the soda. And I'd like a Millionaire Riches ticket."

"Is that all?"

"Yes."

I gave Clerky correct change. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a button-pusher. No siree, Bob! The gas station chicken store clerks are my bread and butter. And chicken and magical elixir and tickets too, by cracky! No way am I going to irritate them!

Jumpy must have noticed the sign that said "Cash back in amount of purchase only, not over $50." So he added on the extra energy supplements in order to get more cash. I guess that little plan backfired.

Being denied his rightful scene-making verbal assault on Clerky, he shook his head and made his exit. I wonder where else he had to go, and how much he had to buy, to get cash on a Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What's Wrong With This Part-of-a-Generation?

What's wrong with young people today?

By young people, I mean people younger than me, which is a considerable slice of the population pie. A slice ample enough to please Farmer H as pies go. As much as I malign Farmer H, even HE does not have the wrongness about him that the young people of today seem to have.

To make it a manageable number, let's pin the pool of young people to those between the late teens and late 20s. They do not act in a manner expected by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Consider, if you will, her predicament Saturday at the portal of the gas station chicken store.

The door is clear, you see. I mean...you can see THROUGH it. You can see if somebody else is coming or going.

There I was, with one hand full of soda, and the other gripping my keys. I started out, but saw a dude approaching from the other side. I know that door opens out toward the parking lot. I was prepared to push the bar on it with my forearm and step out, then hold it open for Dude to step inside.

BUT NO!

Dude saw me. I know he did! Do you think Dude pulled that door handle and held it open for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to step out and clear his way inside?

NO HE DID NOT!

Dude pulled the door open and barged right in. Necessitating that I take two steps back to make way for him. Because as a 20-year-old male, his business was much more important than an old lady with one hand full of 44 oz of Diet Coke, half a step away from proceeding out the door.

Seriously, Dude?

If I had been on the outside, not only would I have backed up to let someone out, I would have grasped that door handle and held it open. No matter if it was a child, teen, woman, or crotchety old man. It's only right. I'm on the outside. It's not my place to force my way past a person already standing there ready to leave. Not to make them scramble out of my way, lest I shoulder them off balance in my haste.

Sweet Gummi Mary! Even The Pony, who cares not one whit for helping other people, would have held that door open for a person coming out. And even for a person beside or behind him heading in. So what if he didn't help that lady up off the floor of The Devil's Playground deli that time she slipped. THIS he would have done. Without anybody watching, without my prompting. I've observed him do it before.

Of course the #1 Son would have held the door open for somebody. He's a people person. He always remembers names, and calls people by them to reaffirm his people-personness. Like when he was in the ER for the second time in two days with that killer headache that turned out to be a virus masquerading as bacterial meningitis. When the male nurse came in to take his vitals and ask if there was anything he could do to make him more comfortable, #1 roused himself from his fog of pain and said, "Thank you, James. Not right now. The doctor is taking me for some tests in a few minutes." While I was sitting across the cubicle thinking, "Who is JAMES?" There's a bit of the politician in #1, I fear.

Anyhoo...we have trouble right here in Hillmomba City, folks. And it's the young people who are so self-absorbed that they don't have a drop of the milk of human kindness coursing through their veins.

I simply MUST get to work on my proposed handbasket factory.