Saturday, April 4, 2020

Nightmare At 12.5 Inches

Mrs. HM had a waking nightmare this week. Don't read this at night!

It was actually the early morning hours when fear handed Mrs. HM her butt. I don't mean to reveal too much about the Hillbilly marital bed, but here are some facts. Farmer H wears a C-PAP mask every night. He sleeps on the left side of the bed, the bathroom side. His position varies from lying on his back, to either side. Mrs. HM shies away from the C-PAP spray every night. She sleeps on the right side of the bed, the back-porch French door side.

My favorite sleeping position is on my left side. I can drape my lovely lady-mullet over my ear and face, to keep Farmer H's breather droplets out of my ear. After a couple hours of sleep, I get up for the bathroom. When I return, I sleep on my back for the next couple of hours. This exposes my face to Farmer H's breather droplets!

To prevent feeling the whoosh of breather air (and DROPLETS) on my face, I use a towel. A small soft kitchen towel, folded in half, and half again. I can prop it on my pillow, laying it alongside my face. That blocks the draft (and DROPLETS).

As I came back to bed from the bathroom, the twilight of dawn seeping through the French doors, I could not find my face towel. I squinted.

NOOOOO!!!!!

I found my face towel. It was DRAPED OVER THE TOP OF FARMER H's C-PAP MASK!

Whoa! I feel faint, just typing those words. My very special face towel, which I had just washed the day before, was now CONTAMINATED, getting contaminateder by the second, in direct contact with Farmer H's face mask, as he lay on his left side, face inches from my pillow! I snatched it away. Shook it out beside the bed. Asked Farmer H,

"WHAT IN THE NOT-HEAVEN ARE YOU DOING WITH MY FACE TOWEL?"

"Nothing. You put it on me."

"I did NOT! That's the last thing I would ever do! I use it to PROTECT myself from your germs! Why would I put my face towel right in the middle of all your germs?"

"I don't know. I didn't put it there. You did."

"NO, I DIDN'T! It must have fallen off the pillow as I got up. And you just LEFT it there? Who does that? Your breather is to give you extra air, yet you will lay there with a towel over your snout, blocking air!"

"I didn't touch your face towel, HM. You put it on me, and I knew if I touched it to get it off, you would have a fit."

"How would I know you moved it! You could have put it back on my pillow! It just fell off."

"I just left it where you put it, HM."

Sweet Gummi Mary! I might have to start keeping a hammer under the bed...

Friday, April 3, 2020

Mrs. HM Finds A Good Egg In Country Mart

Oh, my gosh! Country Mart was abuzz with people Wednesday afternoon. Between people getting their first-of-the-month money, and the county's impending stay-at-home order going into effect in the early morning hours of Friday, people were stocking up. The parking lot was almost 1/4 full! I did my stocking up on Tuesday (said the independently wealthy Mrs. HM, smugly), and was only in Country Mart for some deli chicken.

As long as I was there, though, I went two aisles over for some Pennysticks Butter Braided Pretzels, BBQ Pork Rinds, generic 3 x 4 bandaids, and triple antibiotic ointment. Imagine my surprise when I came back to the checkout, and saw three lines open, with five customers each. Let the record show that they were not maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other. I got in the first line, cooling my heels with my elbows on my cart-walker, rocking gently in front of the onion bin, prepared for a wait.

"Hon? Do you have anything that needs to be weighed?" The deli worker who had just bagged my chicken called to me. "Because I can ring you up over here."

"Oh, THANK YOU! You didn't have to do that."

"We just don't have anything to do over here. I'm glad to help. It gives me something to do."

"Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate it."

I was out of there in a jiffy. That deli worker is a good egg.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

He Had One Job To Do

As we returned from town Tuesday, with Farmer H riding shotgun, I pulled up to Mailbox Row for him to get out for the mail. Imagine my surprise, as I sat in T-Hoe, still in the road, blinker on, when Farmer H started perusing the junk mail he had pulled out of EmBee! Looking through the monthly ads with fast-food coupons. Finally he got back in. As we started up the gravel road, I broached the subject.

"WHY were you looking through the junk mail while I was parked in the road?"

"LOOK! It's like a check for $10,000! It looks real. An old person could believe that it's real! But it's something about insurance."

"Sounds like you almost fell for it."

"No."

Farmer H pulled out the other mail.

"Neighbor Dog-Clipper, Neighbor Dog-Clipper, Neighbor Dogclipper's Husband..."

"Well, crap! All that time you stood there, and you didn't notice you had the wrong mail?"

"Nope."

"I'm turning around as soon as I get to the side road! You're going to put that in her mailbox, and look in hers for OUR mail, and also in the box on the other side of us for OUR mail!"

Farmer H did, but we had no mail in those two boxes. We kept the fast-food coupons.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Danged If I Do, Danged If I Don't

HEELLLP MEEEE!

Tuesday, Farmer H and I made a joint trip to the Devil's Playground. I was actually fool enough to suggest it! I had a hand in my own non-demise! I even decreed that I would be driving. No sweaving this time, with me as a captive passenger!

For the most part, Farmer H was a complacent companion. He started out giving T-Hoe's speedometer the side-eye. Not because there was anything wrong with my driving, of course. I'm pretty sure he was trying to find fault. It's not like I go off the pavement, or hit the wake-up bumps. He's always claiming that he's followed me, and that I drive too fast on the county road. Au contraire. I informed him, lest he strain his good eye, that "I'm going 45 miles an hour." He claims that I drive 55 on this road. Nope.

On the way home, on the sharp curve by the prison, I SPIED A ROADWALKER! Not an escaped prisoner or anything. He was coming from out our way, toward the prison. But he was WALKING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. On the pavement! There is no shoulder. No sidewalk. To add insult to my driving, and his possible injury, a car was coming from the opposite direction. I could not cross the center line to give the walker room to live!

I squeezed the brakes to slow down, so as not to strike this RoadWalker. Farmer H threw himself forward and slammed back. I'd almost give him an Oscar for his acting. Almost. He actually threw himself backwards while I was still braking. It doesn't work that way. That fling shouldn't have come until I stopped braking. I'm a former physics teacher, you know.

Anyhoo...the oncoming car passed, and I was able to swing T-Hoe over the center line to give the RoadWalker his very precious entitled space to continue to live.

"What? Did you want me to hit him? Don't be so dramatic."

I sensed a smirk in my peripheral vision. On we went, down the blacktop lettered highway, and made our turn onto the blacktop county road that would eventually take us to Mailbox Row. Here came a car from the other direction. There's not even a center line on this road. I made sure to get over so the car and T-Hoe both had room to pass.

Farmer H threw himself sideways like one of those air-pumped, Gumby-looking things that sway to and fro advertising used car lots.

"WHAT?"

"You almost hit that mailbox!"

"You're full of it. I'd have to run off the road to hit that mailbox. Did I run off the road? NO. I was nowhere near that mailbox. This road is barely wide enough for two cars, after all the times they re-blacktop, and squeeze in from the edge, making it narrower and narrower."


"I drive this road every day, HM."


"Me too. Have I EVER run off the road? NO. But somebody in here has..."

So let's recap. Farmer H didn't think I should have braked and gone around the RoadWalker. But he apparently thought I should brake, then swerve over the middle because of a mailbox not even in the road, but beside the pavement.

Farmer H can really be a horse's butt sometimes. All the time. I'm so used to it, his little act didn't even bother me. I was more bothered by the bad luck he brought me on my scratchers. And by his behavior at the mailboxes....

More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In The Mansion Boudoir With The Stir-Crazy Hillbillies

Times are tough here in Hillmomba. With his recreational outlets closed, Farmer H is crazier than usual. It seems to have invaded his dreams. Get a load of THIS!

FARMER H IS PRETTY SURE I'M TRYING TO KILL HIM!

Heh, heh! What's bad for the goose is bad for the gander. Maybe it's his guilty subconscious talking to him in his sleep. When I returned to bed from a bathroom trip, and he was getting up for one...Farmer H broke the silence of the dark, and said,

"Whew! I was having a dream that you was trying to kill me. You and your boyfriend. You was hittin' me in the head with a HAMMER! We was over by the UPS Store and Little Caesar's. I grabbed you by the arm, and ran you down to the police station. Once we got there, I tried to tell them that you were trying to kill me, but YOU TOLD THEM I WAS TRYING TO KILL YOU!"

"Well, if you made me run to the police station, you were OBVIOUSLY trying to kill me!"

"YOU were killing ME! With a HAMMER!"

Farmer H went on to do his business while I made myself comfortable in the marital bed. He's a flopper, that Farmer H. Like a jolly good fellow being tossed in a blanket. He jounces me out of my comfortable position. If we tried that wine glass test on a mattress, it would shatter against the ceiling as Farmer H flopped on his side. He has also been waking me up lately, shaking the entire bed like he's having convulsions. I mentioned that to him.

"Yeah. Sometimes I wake myself up doing that. Maybe I AM having convulsions."

Anyhoo...I'd just gotten back to sleep. Suddenly, I was vaulted about three inches off the mattress by one of Farmer H's flipping flops.

I SO wanted to mutter, "Where's my hammer?"

For the sake of a sleep-stealing argument, I let it go...

Monday, March 30, 2020

Loitering On The Lot Of The Gas Station Chicken Store

Sunday, after allowing Typhoid Farmer H to dress my leg wound, I headed to the Gas Station Chicken Store for my magical elixir and lone human contact. As I was leaving my driveway, a text came in. It was from my favorite gambling aunt. I haven't heard from her for a month or so, since our last lunch date at the Pizza Hut that was closed with a plumber's truck outside.

"How are you doing? I 'm staying in, have for the past 2 weeks. Stay safe. How does ****** like his new job?"

Let the record show that ****** is the name of Genius's friend. Only Auntie had spelled it one letter off, as does my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. They follow Genius on Facebook, so I thought maybe this was some insider knowledge that I had not yet acquired. I'm not on Facebook.

"I'm driving to town now. Did ****** get a NEW job? Haven't heard from Genius in a week or so."

Last I heard, ****** was doing the same job, but had switched from a company that contracted with the big-name employer, to the payroll of the actual big-name employer. Surely Genius would have updated me of any other news. ****** is like family to us.

Anyhoo...as soon as I got to town and parked, I called Auntie. She's a talker, you know. In fact, at the very beginning of the call, I said,

"I can only talk five minutes. I'm on the parking lot at the Gas Station Chicken Store, and if Woman Owner is here, she'll call the police on me for loitering. She runs a tight ship."

Auntie agreed, and proceeded to tell me about her last two weeks of going absolutely nowhere. Like I said, she's a talker. We went on and on. I made four of five attempts to end our chat, without success. Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed. It was sunny and 70, and the side of my face was getting hot from the sun coming in T-Hoe's window.

"Okay. I really have to go now. I only called because I got that text from you about ******."

Silence.

"Unless that wasn't actually meant for me..."

Turns out it WASN'T!!! Auntie has a grandson by the name of ******, which is one letter off from the name of Genius's friend. And the grandson really DID get a new job!

Oh, well. It was nice talking to Auntie. Even though I could have done it another time, from the comfort of home.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mrs. HM Is FAR OUT

Sweet Gummi Mary! I just had the most scathingly STUPID idea!

Let the record show that I don't actually believe this idea. If I was a fiction writer, which I'm not, I'd run with it. A kind of horror (more likely horrible, if I wrote it) short story. A Twilight Zone-ish tale.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's what put this bee in my bonnetless noggin.

I was reading the local newspaper online. The lead story was the VIRUS. The article was from the county health center, the tracker of our local community infections. It had a link to show the current cases, with a chart.

Our county has four people who have tested positive. Twenty-three who have tested negative. The positives are all women, in the age categories of 1 in 20-29, 1 in 30-39, and 2 in 40-49. Of the four cases, one was a guest at a wedding, who was in close contact with an infected guest showing symptoms. Her occupation is not given, so I assume she does not work.

Here's where I got this plot idea:

The other three positive gals ARE HOME HEALTH CARE WORKERS IN ANOTHER COUNTY!

Sure, they could have picked it up in the other county, getting gas or lunch, or at their workplace, maybe. I don't know if they all work for the same company, though. Or if such workers have to go to the office every day before making their visits. So I don't have any facts for my story I'm not writing. All I know is that most home health care workers assist with household tasks, or check vitals, or give meds to the elderly. The prime group this VIRUS seems most deadly for.

My story idea: WHAT IF THE ELDERLY ARE THE ONES SPREADING THE VIRUS?

It could work. A whole nursing home full of elderly was the major hotspot at the beginning. WHAT IF a worker didn't bring it to them, but they gave it to the worker? And to visitors. Then it started spreading.

What if it works backwards like that? And that's the reason the elderly are recommended to stay at home. Because THEY are the spreaders! Everybody is trying to protect them but the reveal is that the general populace needs protection from the elderly.

How could that happen? We know that old people get a special flu shot. And a pneumonia shot. What if some dastardly villain gave them a shot from a special batch, and something in those vaccinations set off the VIRUS? Of course the villain would have also given himself and his fellow villains wishing to rule the world an actual, preventative vaccine to protect them ahead of time.

Again, I don't mean this to be serious. Just a thought for a plot. It's scientifically possible. Kids spread the flu, because they get the flu mist, which is a LIVE, weakened flu virus. It's called the attenuated flu virus mist. It actually gives them a mild case of the flu, so they can make antibodies to protect them from catching the real, unweakened flu. Anyhoo... when they're coughing and sneezing, they are spreading actual flu. That's why they shouldn't have the mist if they're not healthy, or live with immunocompromised  people.

I wish I could write fiction. If I had any talent, I could have another The Stand ready to flow from my fingertips. I'm wordy enough, but too plagiaristic.