Thursday, November 27, 2014

Who Knows What Armchair Lurks Under The Couches Of Hillbillies? The Pony Knows.





Ain't that a purty li'l thang? Do you know what it is? It's a PHONE CHAIR! Uh huh. A little promotional item picked up by Farmer H on one of his many tool show convention business trips. Free thingamabobs to pass on to people who will never use them. Kid people, perhaps, who live in your house.

I'm sure this phone chair was originally given to the #1 son. He's a gadget grabber. A cushy seat for his precious phone? You bet #1 wants it. For about a day. Let's see. #1 has been off to college for over a year. I can't remember the last tool show Farmer H attended. But today, on Thanksgiving, no less, The Pony excavated this artifact from under the couch.

"Hey! Look! It's a little chair! For a phone!"

Uh huh. Perhaps that speaks to the housecleaning habits of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Don't judge. Can you honestly say that YOU never lost a chair under your couch? Seriously? What kind of obsessive-compulsive clean freaks ARE you? I'm sure this little cell seat was knocked off the table and subsequently kicked under the couch. Maybe it was a supernatural event late at night. In no way were the slovenly household habits of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to blame.

Yep. Indiana The Pony Jones was quite pleased with his discovery. Then he went off and left it on the coffee table.

He'll never have a movie franchise named after him with at this rate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Through the Courtesy of Strange Four Feet

When we last convened, Farmer H, Hillbilly Mom, and The Pony were feasting on all-you-can-eat catfish and fixin's for a belated 25th anniversary dinner. Of course that's not the end of the story.

At first Mrs. HM was a bit cranky. I know. So uncharacteristic of her. But the restaurant was cold. And, as has been established, Mrs. HM had no coat, what with both of her winter outer garments being LOCKED UP as tight as her best old ex teaching buddy Mabel's scissors, rulers, and giant yellow glue sticks in a brown metal storage locker, in the back of her T-Hoe.

To subtract degrees from her chill, the red-and-white-checked plastic tablecloth was wet from the clean plate, which must have just been scrubbed with sand down in the spring-fed creek. So Mrs. HM's forearms cooled from evaporation. Guess that'll learn her to keep her elbows off the table!

The food was delectable. The Pony loaded up on fat fries, shrimp, and hush puppies with honey butter. Farmer H was partial to the shrimp and catfish and baked beans, and the fattest fries that Mrs. HM had pegged for her own. Mrs. HM had a heapin' helpin' of slaw, then made it her mission to consume as much chicken breast pieces dipped in special sauce as was humanly possible, what with also scarfing down mass quantities of catfish swiped through tartar sauce. Mmmm!

But that's not the best part! The best part was when the waiter left the bill. Farmer H took an exceptional amount of time inspecting it. I know he was trying to figure the tip. I don't know why he doesn't just leave two dollars no matter how much the meal costs. That's my mom's tactic. So I asked him what the problem was, and he handed me the bill.

Heh, heh. Funny how I don't remember us having two all-you-can-eats, plus a lemonade and a sweet tea. THAT'S BECAUSE WE DIDN'T! We had the bill of the people at a table across from us. I told Farmer H to inform the waiter. Which he did. No good can come from ripping off the catfish people.

Yeah. We could have saved $15 bucks. But we didn't.

I hope the other customers checked their bill before paying.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Some Stitches Too Late Makes Eight



The best-laid plans of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom often go awry. She did NOT get her anniversary dinner last night, because Farmer H was still at the hospital with Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s mom at the late hour of 6:10 p.m. They did not return to the home of HM’s mom until 8:00 p.m. Yeah. That’s a little late for dinner around Hillmomba, where school lunch is served at 10:53 a.m., and supper us usually at 5:00.

Sooo…we’re going tonight, to a catfish house for, well, catfish, and chicken and shrimp and hush puppies and baked beans and slaw. SLAW! They have the best slaw ever! Shh…don’t tell my mom. I’m not sure she can have it on her diet. If she can, I would be tempted to get her a carry-out container and drop it by her house tomorrow.

Mom’s face is looking good, according to Farmer H and the comments he related from the staff at the hospital. They were supposed to be there at 2:00, but the doctor was in surgery. Then at 4:30 they found out they went to the wrong room. At 5:00, a doctor came in and said he’d be right back, because he needed to see the orders the surgeon who did Mom’s surgery had left. Like nobody had thought about that all the live-long day. THEN he had to check to see if he could take out some more stitches, to save her a trip back up there on Wednesday. Sweet Gummi Mary! She could have driven 10 miles and seen a doctor down here since it wasn’t even her surgeon. They even let 1st year medical students take out stitches, probably.

The Pony and I will be awaiting our chariot driven by Farmer H this afternoon. Hopefully it will be T-Hoe, fresh from his tire repair and oil change. We’ll ride in anything, though. Because we’re gonna eat us some catfish!

Oh. Now we have to go in the truck, because Farmer H is letting them keep T-Hoe overnight, which I told him I did NOT want to do. Great. Now I don’t have a car for work tomorrow.

"The best anniversary I've ever had!" declared nobody. Anywhere. Ever.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Quarter Of A Century!



This is the big 25 for Farmer H and me. Uh huh. Our 25th wedding anniversary. We are having a night on the town, with The Pony, of course. We’re going out for a steak dinner. That’s pretty much it. Let the record show that Farmer H gave me a card and two boxes of candy. I gave him a card and two no-sugar-added mini pies. Yep. We’re true romantics.

Tomorrow, Farmer H has scheduled a check-up for T-Hoe. That means we will follow him to town, where he will leave his Pacifica and get in with us for the ride to school, then he’ll drive T-Hoe back to get his tire fixed, and oil changed, and an exam to see what is making that roaring noise in a tire. If T-Hoe isn’t ready to roll, Farmer H will pick us up in his Pacifica or the $1000 Caravan or his Ford F250 Long Bed Club Cab, but not in his 1980 copper-colored Olds Toronado with the spoke wheels.

Today, he has taken my mom to her doctor appointment in the city. I guess I can forgive him for thumping me in the head a couple nights ago, seeing as how he’s using a vacation week to do all this stuff.

I’m sure Farmer H would rather have monetary compensation, rather than forgiveness.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Small Town Celebrity Problems

Oh, dear. The Devil has been finding work for the idle hands of Newmentia's recent graduates. I know that, because while trying to leave The Devil's Playground today in under thirty minutes at the check-out, I saw a prime example.

Other students have worked there. I try to avoid their lines. Not that they're incompetent or anything, but I don't need them knowing my business. I live at school, you know. So I should only be buying pens and dry erase markers and Germ-X and Puffs With Lotion. Not L'Oreal, feminine products, acne medicine, athlete's foot spray, Pepcid, sugar-free cookies and Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies, Diet Coke and Sprite, eight pudding cups, etc. Because they don't know that some is for me, some is for The Pony, some is for Farmer H, and some is for my mom, who is on a soft diet for two weeks and acts like a child with her tonsils freshly removed. Nope. They assume it's all my stuff. I'm sure they can't wait to twitter it or facebook it or whatever it is these crazy kids do these days. It doesn't pay to be a small-town celebrity.

So anyway, I almost felt sorry for this kid. Little Mister looked so proud in his blue Devil's vest, ringing up stuff at the 15 Items or Less lane. Then Bad Man started in on him. He wanted a refund for something. And Little Mister told him that he was not allowed to give a refund, that Bad Man needed to step over to the customer service desk for that. Bad Man was not having it.

"You're the one who rang me up!"

"I'm not the one who rang you up."

"Do you think I'm stupid? I know what you look like! You had a name tag on! When I was in here two weeks ago, you're the one who rang me up. Now I want a refund!"

The customer behind bad man tried to help. Because Little Mister is a polite fellow, undeserving of this berating, simply for following The Devil's policy.

"I've brought things back lots of times. And you always have to go to customer service for the refund. He can't help you here. Look. It's right over there."

Bad Man glared at both of them. "I don't have time for this. I need my refund. This is the stupidest place I ever saw." He stomped his tiny feet past my line and over to customer service.

I didn't let on. No need to make Little Mister feel any lower. After my shopping was done, The Pony and I dropped of groceries for Mom. Then we headed back through her town. I decided to cash in a lottery winner. Not a big one. Just $40. The minute I stepped into the convenience store, the clerk said, "Hey! You were my teacher!" Great. I can't get away from them. I went ahead with my transaction. As you might guess, she sold me a bunch of losers. Only $10 on ONE winning ticket. I'm hoping the three I have set aside for the #1 son's card this week will bear fruit.

I really need to relocate.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

She's Had More Than Her Share Of Golden Tickets

I am concerned for my sweet, sweet Juno. Yes. I know you're all worried when I'm worried. Juno is Hillmomba's dog. It takes a mythical utopia to raise a pup, you know.

Nothing is wrong with Juno's health. Yet. I finally shamed Farmer H into getting a bag of cedar shavings to fill her kitchen-door dog house again. He complains that she just digs it out in front of our door, even though he declared last winter that he'd solved the problem by nailing a four-inch-high threshold across the bottom (heh, heh, I said bottom) of her entrance. So Juno is toasty in her wooden home with actual insulation and a black-shingled roof, which catches the sun from sunrise until around noon, and is protected from the wind on two sides by The Pony's bedroom and our kitchen, the wind which never swirls the way of her entrance.

No, it's Juno's behavior that concerns me. She seems to be a bit...how you say...what's that term...um...spoiled! How this happened to my sweet, sweet Juno I cannot fathom. One day she's a tiny slip of a canine, leaning her head on my shoulder, receiving hugs and a bit of cat kibble every now and then...and the next she's a growling inhuman battering ram, shoulder-slamming all creatures who would yearn for a token pat from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's work-worn hands. I can understand why Juno growls low in her throat from the time she starts eating until the time she is safely back in her high-rent dog house. After all, since she was a starving pup rescued from my mom, the other animals have crowded around her as she ate. Seems that two dogs and five cats purely crave half a can of wet puppy food. But we kept them back. No food was stolen. And that growl from the tiny hank of fur was precious. Now, not so much.

Today I cut up some leftover pot roast. I scraped two hunks into Juno's food pan around on the back porch outside the laundry room, overlooking the pool. I also gave her all the juice on her dry dog food that was still in the pan. And a generous helping of carrots and potatoes soaked in meat drippings. Ann's pan got a single hunk of roast, and some carrots and potatoes. That's because Ann is a sturdy gal. And not as active as Juno.

What did my sweet, sweet Juno do? She ran to Ann's pan and started wolfing down the beef. While growling. I called her over to her own pan. Ann was nowhere in sight. I went back inside, but even in the kitchen, I could hear Juno growling as she ate. The Pony and Farmer H returned from bowling, and The Pony grabbed a box with leftover pizza I had set out of Frig, and went to the door. "Here, Juno!" He tossed it out onto the porch.

"Wait! I was saving that until tonight! Juno is full! She ate a lot of roast and potatoes."

"So THAT is what's wrong with her."

Farmer H went out on his way to the BARn. "She's GREEDY! You should have given it to Ann."

"But Mom always says to give it to Juno!"

Ahem. There are no secrets around this Mansion. About three hours later, as I sat tapping, near to napping, tap tap tapping on my keyboard more...The Pony trotted down the steps to my dark basement lair.

"I don't know what Juno has in the front yard, but it has a leg. At first I thought she was eating a chicken, but then I saw how long it was. I think it's a deer leg."

Sweet, sweet Juno. Fast becoming a combination of Violet Beauregard and Augustus Gloop.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Think This Is A Bad Omen For Upcoming State Testing In May

Today a kid threw up.

Don't act like that's normal. This is high school we're talking about. Which means that no floor tiles were injured in the making of this post. No special sawdust was sprinkled on the upchuck. The kid came back to the classroom and informed me of her loss.

"What should I do?"

"Go tell the office."

"What are THEY going to do?"

"What am I going to do?"

"I don't want to go to the office."

"Well, sit down, I guess."

"Aren't you going to do anything?"

"I already advised you to go to the office. They will call home. They usually send people home when they throw up."

"I don't want to go to the office. They don't like me. They won't let me go home."

"It's not like they can take your throw-up away from you." Let the record show that throughout this drama, other pupils were shouting, 'Did you flush it? I hope you saved it! Because if you flushed it, they won't believe you.' See? Everybody else seems to know the procedure.

Anyhoo...Chucker went to the office, where they called home, but nobody answered. But that's not the big story. The big story is what went on while she was out of the room. When everybody was supposed to be reviewing for the test I gave this morning.

"Do they still use that sawdust stuff if somebody throws up?"

"They do on the bus."

"Yeah. I remember when that kid threw up in his shoe. He was some Basementia kid. He took off his shoe, and threw up in it. Then he carried it up to the driver, held it out, and said, 'I threw up in my shoe.'"

"What did the driver do?"

"She just looked at him, and said, 'What do you want ME to do about it?' Then we took him home and made him get off the bus."

Of course that did not bode well for study time. A couple of the studiers were downright hysterical. With laughter.

C'est la vie.