The Greedy Cat; Colombian Music

For those who fancy Colombian food, one of the many “greedy cats” La Gato Golosa, is usually a good choice. Not always, of course, so caution is advised.

This sprightly example of Columbian music, also La Gato Golosa, is a good introduction to the genre:

Enjoy something that is a bit offbeat.

Stranger

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A Little Calypso, Sort Of

Even the expurgated version of this tune was banned from air play in 1946. But the unexpurgated version was number one on the juke box that year, resulting in a lot of grins. As well as a few sniggers:

This is the fist time i have heard it done quite this way. And yes, “He had it coming.”

Stranger

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Those English, They Been Everywhere

Well, looking back at the rest of this issue, I can’t find a thing that strikes me as funny enough to begin a soliloquy about.

Unless it’s the weather – and we are all tired of the weather. Let’s see here, what I can find for inspiration.

Well, I see by the paper that one William James Snow married Mary Dolores Frost. I wonder if she’s one of these modern women that hyphenate their hubby’s name to theirs. Dolores Snow-Frost. Sounds appropriate to winter, somehow.

I remember when May Dye married Jim Linger, becoming May Linger. That’s not as funny as remembering that Bill Flowers wife was nee Missy Trees. She flowered all right. Five girls in seven years. And I remember when Owen Smells married Mary Knows. By now, she probably does!

You know, I haven’t thought of May Mary Dye for years and years and years. She was a good lookin’ lass, just a whole bunch older ‘n me – about twenty five years older. Jim was about twenty, and May Mary was forty if she was a day. Caused quite a stir when May Mary got hitched to a lad half her age.

One of the church biddies, Evalina Hug, tried to dig her claws into May Mary about robbin’ the cradle.

“Well, Sister Hug,” sez May Mary, sweet as pie. “Jim makes me feel ten years younger, and he says I make him feel ten years older, and we don’t think there’s a thing wrong with two thirty year olds marrying.”

Which there isn’t anything wrong if that’s what makes them happy. But that Evalina squaw was my mamma’s second cousin, or maybe third cousin, by marriage, and she was at least eighty.

Cousin Evvie was wrinkled like a prune, and she wouldn’t admit it for the world. One time the grandchildren got the whole family together and had a photographer come out and take some pictures.

When Evvie got her set of pictures she hit the ceiling, plumb. Made her poor, long suffering granddaughter drive her all the way to Elk City to gripe. She got to the photog’s place and spent about fifteen minutes lowering the boom.

The poor picture taker couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Finally Evvie ran down just a tad and the bewildered man managed to ask her what was wrong with the pictures.

“These awful things don’t do me justice,” says Evvie.

“Madam,” the photog says, “You want mercy, not justice!”

Yep, Evvie was a bellyacher, all right. She did plenty bellyachin’ about May Mary and Jim – but she didn’t do any more of it to May Mary Linger’s face.

Evvie come by her bellyachin’ natural, I guess. She had plenty of practice, too. ‘Fact, every time the party line ‘phone rang Evvie reached for a chair before she reached for the receiver. If it was her ring she was prepared to set a while. And if it wasn’t her ring she was ready to breathe heavy into the mouthpiece.

There were two of those Dye gals, May Mary and Marianne. May Mary was good looking, and she was hatched before her daddy left to whup the Kaiser. Marianne was a regular heart stopper, born after her daddy came back from whippin’ the Kaiser.

Marianne went to Oklahoma City, and went to work for some lawyers. She eventually married one, name of Jack Bacon, and made him hang out his shingle in town. Which, I guess, is another way of bringing home the Bacon.

Anyhow, while she was wearing Jack’s engagement ring she attended a doings for the State Supreme Court Justices. She was stepping across the ballroom and one of the Justices told Jack how lucky he was because “Your fiance is the loveliest sight I’ve seen since Oklahoma was Indian Territory.”

Marianne overheard the compliment, too. She just beamed at him and said, “I see that you are an excellent judge!”

Now, Marianne Bacon was one of those gals that get married one month and “get caught” the next. Which, Marianne was ready to start a family, and I don’t know that Jack had any objections. If he did I never heard about them.

The only thing I ever heard Jack say about marriage was that his marriage was happy because he could get his wife to do anything she wanted to do. That’s par for the course, so Jack had no reason to complain. The problem is persuading the wife that what you want to do her idea.

Anyhoo – Marianne was about eight months and getting pretty big when she and Jack went into Okie City to do some shopping. Layette and diapers and stuff.

She’s walking around in J.C. Penny’s and some woman walks up to her and gushes all over her. This strange woman sez “Oh, my dear! Are you pregnant?”

“Oh, no,” sez Marianne. “I’m just carrying this for a friend.”

Now, May Mary and Marianne’s dad was a railroad man. Little bitty feller, about five two, 125 pounds maybe, on a good day. You didn’t have to be a Paul Bunyan to be a conductor on a freight train – you just have to like riding a caboose with the brakeman. Joe Dye didn’t say two words a week outside of work so the work agreed with him.

The Dye girls mama was a housekeeper, and a doggone good one. I heard May Mary say one time that “Mama is a whiz at getting our blouses white. Even the red ones.” Miz Dye was a right smart of a talker, where her husband was not.

It got around that on their 40th wedding anniversary Joe started to leave the house with his lunch bucket same as usual when Miz Dye stopped him.

“Joe,” she says, “Have you forgotten what day this is?”

“Nope.”

“It’s our fortieth wedding anniversary. Let’s celebrate,” she says. “Let’s do something unusual.”

“OK by me,” Joe says. “Lets start by with three minutes of silence.”

I don’t know whether that story was true, but it sounded about right. But Joe Dye had the rep of always letting his wife have the last word. All three or four thousand more of them.

May Mary had one brother, young fellow, four of five years older than me. That was Joe, Jr.. Little feller, spittin’ image of his dad. He was Junior Dye to most of the town. Back then a fellow could take a job in a law office and learn enough law to pass the bar – just as if he’d spent three years in college. Junior was “reading law” up in his brother-in-law’s office.

Junior married a girl he met in the Army. She couldn’t speak a word of English when he brought her home – and everybody thought he’d married a gal from so far back on the reservation she only spoke Shoshone or something. Boy, were they wrong – by about seven thousand miles. I think she spoke Tagalog, or some such, but I know he called her Sweetie.

Anyhoo, Joe and his wife were in the Jackpot one day when the subject turned to how the married couples in the crowd met. Nettie Barnes told how she’d met Wallace – and the stories started to go around.

The confessions went around and pretty soon it was Junior Dye’s time to tell all. “It’s like this,” says Junior. “I didn’t actually meet Sweetie. She overtook me!”

I don’t think Junior would have said that if he thought Sweetie would have understood him. But she did! He finally put Sweetie in a better humor by teaching her to drive. That was a mistake. NEVER teach any woman you like to drive.

I went with the Sheriff when the call came in about a wrecked car on 183. When we got there Junior Dye and Sweetie were sitting on a clay bank, holding each other and thanking their lucky stars. They were pretty well banged up, and Junior had some cuts, but there wasn’t anything that wouldn’t heal.

“It was all my fault,” Junior kept saying. “I taught Sweetie to drive a car but I never taught her to aim one.”

You know, Sweetie wrecked four cars in five months and never got a single scratch! Plenty bumps, no scratches! The last one was when she misjudged things and pulled out in front of Mullendores green Pontiac, the moss green Pontiac we all called the “tin Indian,” in front of the school. T’wasn’t Sweeties fault. You don’t expect city traffic to going flat out.

That lead footed bankers wife wasn’t about to give any part of the center of the road to anybody, and least of all to some furriner – and she totaled the tin Indian and a really nice ’35 Buick Sweetie was driving, rather than swerve around Sweetie. Mrs. Mullendore wound up in one ditch and Sweetie in the other.

Sweetie got a bump on the chin, and the bankers wife got a busted leg and a cut lip. Worse than that, the banker had to pay Sweetie for her car. There were about two hundred school kids who saw it all – and every one of them was ready to swear that the tin Indian was doing at least eighty. In a fifteen mile an hour zone. Nobody liked the banker, you know, and the banker’s wife was even more so.

The tin Indian was a total loss, but Sweetie’s car could have been fixed. Problem was the Buick only cost Junior $75 – and a replacement ’38 Olds set the Mullendore’s back a princely $90.00. Used cars was some cheaper, back then. Of course, everything was cheaper back then. Including wages.

I spent a couple of summers working for Huffmaster, peddling popcorn. I started as a shill. A shill is someone who buys whatever the pitchman is selling, so the marks hand’s will come out of their pockets. With money in them, o’course!

Huff noticed how I like popcorn – so he gave me a bag of popcorn and a pocket full of dimes. I’d stroll to Huff’s popper on the other end of the midway, munching and smiling all the way. About that time the bag was empty, so I’d buy another bag of corn, and walk back slowly. Eating the corn, of course. The bag would be empty when I got back to Huff, so I’d buy another bag and walk back.

I never had another job I liked so well in my life. I got a buck a day, and all the popcorn I could eat! And I didn’t have to hit a lick at a snake, either. You talk about heaven, I was flat in heaven!

After a couple of days, I moved to the other side of the apron and sold that corn. Carney’s hours are from 9 Ayem to 2 Ayem, and that’s what I worked. Five bux a day, plus ten percent of anything I collected over a century. I usually sold 2,000 dime bags a day, so I did pretty well for an 11 year old. Fifteen bux a day was good money for a working man, and I got this handsome rate of pay six days a week.

Anyhoo, I was dishing out corn and here comes Huff, talking to a stranger. Well set up young fellow, nice dressed, the Marlboro man always reminded me of him. This guy is talking a blue streak about his new wife.

She’d been brought up in a convent, and she was about to take the vows when he came along and persuaded her to become his bride. I could see how he could do that, because boy, was he a talker. I learned more about her history in three minutes than some married couples learn in fifty years.

Finally, he wound down. Then he looks at Huff like, “what do you think of that.” Sort of demanding a reply, you know.

Huff, he hesitates a short. Then he says “I guess it shows she likes you better than nun.” Brought the conversation to a close in a heartbeat, he did!

Huff wasn’t what you would call a funny fellow. He was as serious as a double bar’l shotgun at a midnight wedding! Strong silent type, hardly ever said anything unless someone crowded him into it. In fact, I can’t remember another doggone thing Huffmaster ever said that was funny.

Huff’s wife was another matter. She was a really nice lady, kind to kids and carneys. One time I heard her talking to a woman -and t’other woman was some upset. The usual. Husband trouble.

Ceel and Jim had a soft ice cream joint, the first one I ever saw. Jim took the day shift, if he was sober enough, and Ceel took the night shift. It worked pretty well when it worked but it didn’t work that often.

Whenever you saw Ceel and Jim coming down the midway you knew the one two or three steps ahead was the one who was mad. They had lived twenty years like that and they weren’t going to change. Nor were they about to split the blanket, so I never saw any reason to pay any attention. Anyhow, Ceel was crying on Mrs. Huff’s shoulder when Mrs. Huff gave her some good advice.

“Ceel,” she says, “Marriage is a bargain and someone always gets the worst of a bargain.”

Which is often true, although living spliced isn’t supposed to be that way. Both partners are supposed to profit by matrimony.

I heard that some gal been married 80 years was told to “Look for the first man you see with a kind face, and don’t let him go.” She did and it stuck! And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Anyhow, Jim was bad to drink, and Ceel was careful to give him cause. One morning about 8:30, when everyone else was going to grab a shower and a bite before the crowd hit, me and my Dad came by Jim’s trailer and here’s Jim. My dad used to say Jim was so stewed he passed a cuckoo clock and checked it out for eggs.

“Hey, Jim,” says my Dad. “Where ya going this time of
day.”

“To a durn lecture,” says Jim, glumly.

Speaking of Jim Turley reminds me that he was a member of some off-brand lodge. He wasn’t an Elk or a Moose, or even an Odd Fellow. I can’t remember what the name of that outfit was but they had lodges all over and they sold insurance like the Woodmen of the World. Anyhoo, every chance Jim got he’d sneak off the lot to the local lodge so he could be a visitor from out of town.

He’d get free booze and get to set in a “friendly game.” After he’d trimmed the locals he wasn’t welcome back, but there were plenty of lodges. One evening my dad noticed Jim pull up and park early, before dark even.

“Jim, you go to a lodge meeting?,” my dad asked.

“No, they had to call it off,” sez Jim.

“What they do that for?”

“The Grand All-Powerful Invincible Most Supreme Unconquerable Potentate of the Host got beat up by his wife.”

I remember that title because it reminded me of Queen Victoria. You remember, “Victoria, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Empress of France and Viceroy of India!” You can trust a politician to grab all the glory, and some lodge politicians seem to want a title to put Victoria in the shade.

You know, I’m tempted to take a few pot shots at the real politicians, but I’m about to conclude that it isn’t sporting. If it’s unsporting to pot a sitting duck it’s darn sure unsporting to skewer a pol.

Why, just look at the stuff coming out of Washington. DC, of course. The rest of the country is on AC, and our fearless leaders are still on DC! I was listening to Harry Reid telling racist jokes and I was reminded of politicians who were men.

Coke Stevens, Texas Governor in those days, called all the Austin big wigs in and said “We got three hundred million dollars in the treasury and the banks are raisin’ cain. They can’t loan out enough money to earn the interest on what we got in the bank. What are we going to do?”

One of the little wigs raised his hand. “Governor, we cud build a bridge ovah the Trinity River.”

Coke says “I have already thought of that. It won’t cost near enough. We’d have too much left over!”

The little shot says “Guv’nah Stevens, suh, you reckon would it wud cost enough if we built it lenthwise?”

Heck, if we had a budget surplus, the DC pols would probably build a six lane bridge over the Mississippi for a poverty project. Lengthwise, between St. Paul and New Orleans, with no on ramps.

Of course Washington does not have money enough to have that problem. Their problem is that if they don’t stop spending money they don’t have Washington is going to have to take in washing to make ends meet!

Yessir, like the old boy sez, “U.S. stands for Unlimited Spending, and the National Debt is this country’s most outstanding figure.”

Actually, our system of government is a perfect example of altruism running amok. The altruists firmly believe that charity must begin at home. That’s why federal agencies like HUD, OSHA, and the EPA have legions of bureaucrats on this side of the hall trying to write regulations that take turf from the bureaucrats on the other side of the hall.

All this hassle about a balanced budget amendment reminds me of Winston Churchill. Winnie said “What is the use of being a great nation and a famous race if at the end of the week you cannot pay your housecleaning bill.” I ‘spect Winnie put that just right.

Yep, the situation in Washington is sure enough like that story from the unexpurgated version of the Arabian Nights. This one was about the winters day that the Emir called all his advisers together because his Emirate’s treasury was utterly depleted. Stony broke, flat busted! Too broke to buy fire wood!!
“How is it that the treasury is empty when we squeeze every dirham we can from the people,” sez the Emir, all huddled up under all the blankets he could find. “If we exact any more taxes the people will starve. What happens to the money we collect? Is someone stealing the dirhams from the treasury?”

Everyone looked to the Keeper of the Purse for an answer. This gentlemanexcused himself for a moment, to return with a large piece of ice. The Keeper of the Purse handed the ice to one man, and told him to hold the ice in his hands for a moment and then pass it to the next man. The ice went from man to man, steadily melting. When the lump of ice reached the Emir he could completely cover it with one of his hands.

“That, Great Lord,” said the Keeper of the Purse, “Is what happens to the taxes we collect. They go from hand to hand until they have melted away.”

‘Tain’t enough that the gumitup squeezes everything they can from people, they add insult to injury with “Federal Aid.” You know about Federal Aid. That’s the scheme the government has to keep people happy. They give part of the money they extort from the people back. That makes the people think it’s a gift!

Speaking of Washington DC, the handout artists have let large parts of the city become some of the world’s worst slums. Calcutta doesn’t have a thing on DC. A Britisher happened across one particularly unlovely part of town and told his American companion “That looks like Hell!”

“You English, you been everywhere,” grumbled the native Washingtonian.

Stranger

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I heard on the news scientists think they are hot on the trail of something that will cure the common cold. Reminds me of the old man who was so mad he was jumping up and down, cussin’ a blue streak.

“I knew them fool scientists would keep on fooling around and fooling around until they did something they hadn’t ought ‘ter. Now just look at what they done gone and did!”

“What’s the matter, Paw?” asked his son. “You just hear about the atom bomb?”

“Heck no. They done something a whole lot worse than that. They done invented something besides likker to cure a cold!”

But I had to run by a big box store to find some razor blades, and they are putting out Christmas stuff already. Before Labor Day.

At least, it should be a few more weeks before we turn on the radio and hear “Hi, this is Tom Baudet for Manger 6, and have you been told there’s no room at the inn? For just 29 drachma we can put you up at Manger 6, in a warm comfortable stable with plenty of fresh milk for the newborn. There’s plenty of stalls for your mules, camels, or whatever you are driving across the desert. Remember, there’s always plenty of room at this Manger 6, and we will even leave a star out for you.” Yep, dumb advertising like that comes under the heading of Christmas.

Now, that’s a pretty tune but I’m not used to hearing “I came upon a roadkilled deer, a sorrowful sight to behold, he lay upon the highway’s edge, his body was stiff and cold,” instead of “It came upon a midnight clear.”

Or as the little girl at the Convent in Tulsa had it,
“It came upon a midnight queer.” Sister Mary Margaret was shocked!

But given my choice I prefer carols sung the old fashioned way. Still, this modern stuff is not all bad. The radio had one a while ago about “Teddy the Red Nosed Senator” that was pretty funny.

“Teddy the Red-Nosed Senator had a very shiny car; if you ever saw it – you were probably near a bar: All the other Senators – wondered how he got his dames – they thought he drank too many – to play those bedroom games:” was the straight facts.

Even the last line, “That’s Teddy the Red Nosed Senator, he’s a drunken ESS OHHH BEEE” is the unvarnished! But since it’s four months until that great commercial sales event called Xmas I would much prefer “Ida Red, Ida Red, I’m plumb fool about Ida Red.”

That’s an old Bob Wills tune, and when I was a kid everybody who could took off to Okie City to see Bob play. Bob and his band would play Big Balls in Cow Town, Faded Love, Ida Red, Roly Poly, and sixty or seventy more.

But Bob packed ‘em in! One old boy I knew said Bob had Klien’s Ballroom so crowded his gal fainted and he had to waltz her around three times before he could park her in a chair.

Bob and the band would keep the kids dancing until the wee hours had gotten into some pretty respectable numbers – and the police made sure the hormones stayed under control. Yep, you take your girl to see Bob Wills your folks didn’t expect you home until “the Sun was Shining Bright.”
And they weren’t worried about it. If something happened a shotgun and a trip to the JayPee’s would take care of it.

‘Course, I left there just before one of Bob’s sidemen, Bill Haley, supposedly put a spin on Western Swing and invented Rock and Roll! Not that it was a big leap from “Toodeleumbo” to “Rock around the Clock.”

But judging from the sound of things, Haley mixed Bob Will’s western swing and Hank Thompson’s honky tonk music and came up with something that rocked. But that’s another story.

What I started to say about music was that since Western Swing has come back and country music is going up when what passes for rock is going down, it seems what was old has become new again.

I have been wondering when we would get new versions of “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy,” “House of Blue Lights,” “Blacksmith Boogie,” “Nola,” “Flatfoot Floogie,” “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” and all those good songs that weren’t Western Swing.

You ever hear Mairzy Doats? “Mairzy Doats and Doazy Doats and Little Lambsy Tivy, Kittlety Tivey Too. Mares eat oats, And does eat oats, And little lambs eat ivy.” Sounds silly but it would leave you with a spring in your step. And grinning!

Or “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy, Can’t get enough of that wonderful stuff!” Real shoo fly pie was as sticky as fly paper, tasted wonderful, and Jo Stafford’s song was wonderful too! The “Dee-troit Bar B Q Ribs” served up at “The House of Blue Lights” were also wonderful. Or at least Ella Mae Morse made ‘em sound wonderful.

How about Al Dexter’s cautionary “Drinkin’ beer in a cabaret, and was I havin’ fun. Until one night she caught me right, and now I’m on the run.

She kicked out my windshield, she hit me over the head, She cussed and cried, said I lied, and wished I was dead. Lay that pistol down Babe, lay that pistol down. Pistol Packin’ Mama, Lay that pistol down.”

Second verse, worse’n the first, “Drinkin’ beer in a cabaret, and dancing with a blonde. Until one night she shot out the light, and Bang! that blonde was gone. Pistol packin’ Mama, lay that pistol down.”

No, Martin Luther was wrong. The devil does not have all the good songs, not by a long shot. Of course, you couldn’t prove that by listening to most of today’s DJ’s. Or to what passes for “educational radio,” for that matter.

We did have SUGGESTIVE music. Phil Harris is probably best known for “That’s What I Like About the South,” but his recording of “A Persian Kitty” (Perfumed and Fair) was banned from radio. Sure made a hit in the record store, though!

Harris put different words to an old song called “The Ship Chandlers Shop” and made “The Thing” a number 1 hit. The Thing used a drum flourish to refer to bed spring poker – but we knew what it meant. That “ship chandlers” song was popular in Lane Cooter’s tack room but I was surprised the FCC allowed “The Thing” to air.

The Weavers took an old sailors song called “The Maid of Amsterdam” or “The Fireship,” cleaned it up and made the Hit Parade. Remember “A Rovin’, A Rovin’, Since Rovin’s Been my ru-EYE-in, I’ll go no More a-Rovin’ With You, Fair Maid?”

The “fire” in that song was a fire “down below” that “burnt me bowsprit,” so it wasn’t the chorus to a nursery song, by no means. But the Weavers version got us humming and if any preachers were offended by it they didn’t voice any objections!

The words to “Bell Bottom Trousers” Bing Crosby sang on the radio were a pale echo of the explicit and hilarious version I used to hear in the tack room. The tack room version detailed why sailors pants have buttons on both sides! Them double lucky swabbies had a good reason for both sets is all I can say here!

“Bless ‘Em All, The Long and the Short and the Tall,” didn’t refer to anything like a blessing. Bussing or osculation, if you liked the prissy version, fast feeding mattresses if you chose the explicit verses, but sure not a blessing!! Not until they re-wrote it for the movie.

A song about soldiers stuck on Tulagi made the hit parade, too – but the GI words would have burnt the label off the record. The boys that wrote that epic didn’t think much of McArthur, and I figure they had a legitimate gripe. The guys that cleaned those words up had their work cut out for them.

But now the radio’s playing something about “Lacy things, the wife is missing, didn’t ask for her permission. And more where that came from. Ugh!

When I came up you weren’t supposed to say anything in earshot of a woman or child you wouldn’t say to your preacher – but there was many a day digging postholes when songs like “I wish I was a diamond, upon my Lulu’s hand,” Rudyard Kipling’s “The bards they sing of an English King, who lived many long years ago,” and A. Nonny Muss’s “I see you are a logger, stirring coffee with your thumb” made long hot tiresome days a whole lot shorter, and the blisters I was raising on my blisters a heap easier to bear.

Those and songs like them sure helped make a bunch of hot and miserable days unloading cars of fertilizer, roofing tin, and sheet rock a whole lot shorter.

No – you weren’t supposed to say anything around or to a woman or a child that you wouldn’t say to your preacher – and in my book you still aren’t – but out in the fields, in warehouses and box cars, anywhere men worked with men a song would make the day go faster and keep ruffled tempers soothed. That was, if not good, surely not bad.

It wasn’t like it is today. The doggone radio is full of junk that should be exiled to the tack room. Or outer space. Junk that’s a whole lot worse than anything I ever heard as a kid. Mean, bad stuff. Back when I was a kid I heard one naughty song sung in public, one time, and that’s when the Cooter Twins put the hooks to Banker Mullendore’s wife.

Every dirty word in that tune was strictly in the mind of the listener. But they put a burr under her saddle, and did she buck!

She used words that would make a muleskinner blush, and a two mule team pull a ten ton load out of Honey Island Swamp! ‘Fact, most of the profanity I know I learned that hot July morning.

Now, you talk about a plumb ree-diculous sight – here’s this fat squaw dressed fit to be the widow at a presidential funeral, railing at two ragged hayseed farm boys with language that is even barred from TV till yet!

Old Willie Pickle had been a muleskinner and a buffalo hunter and he said later he’d never in all his ninety years heard a better example of plain and fancy cussin’. ‘Fact, Mr. Willie said if he had been a little younger he would have been tempted to try that woman at driving a forty mule jerkline.

If profanity really makes mules pull she would have been good at it. And no faster than the trucks ran in those days she could probably delivered the freight at least as fast as I Goe Fast Freight. Isadore Goe, prop!

The Sheriff and Judge Ross both told Mullendore that you can’t prosecute somebody else for what’s in your mind – but the penalty for cussin’ in public was six months. The Mullendores caught a Connie out of Okie City the next day. They took an “Extended European Tour,” while the racket died down.

That’s the one and only time I ever heard anything like that in public. I heard plenty of it around the tack room, the implement sheds, anywhere men had time to kill, or where men worked and a steady rhythm would make the work go faster.

And I have seen a few perfectly respectable ladies smiling and tapping their toes as they listened. A few even laughed out loud. But nowadays you can hear a lot dirtier stuff than anything I ever heard in the tack room. Just flip on the radio.

But this is August 25th and the radio is comparatively clean! Most of the time, anything goes, and they don’t hint around. They tell you straight out to go out and kill cops and such. Anyhow – I started to talk about something else entirely. I think! I was going to rattle on about the wonders of this modern age – and I surprised myself.

I understand Harvard University is offering a new course. Stair climbing – because so many college students were raised in ranch style houses.

Seriously, have you seen this modern furniture they want us to use? I have spent quite a bit of time on the phone because of the west coast dock strike, and I was talking to a manufacturers rep in LA. His company just moved him to a new office, and hired an outfit to “decorate” the place.

Barry was really glad of the move, he’s a lot closer to his job, but ever since the move he’s been miserable. He’s been just sooo tired, sooo achy, sooo dragged out!

He told me today he figured out the problem. They decorated his office in this fancy ultra-modern stuff, and he’s been sitting in the wastebasket!

Barry reps for a division of Coats and Clark, the thread making people. C&C sent out a request for a bid on some plating and polishing, and in due time got a letter back. The letter said….

“Our computer has computed that the cost to you of the work you have requested will be”…

Coats and Clark sent a reply a few days later.

“As that is more than anticipated, we would like to suggest that your computer make an appointment with our computer to discuss ways and means to reduce the cost of plating and polishing.”

Stranger

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A Sprightly Tune, Not Much Heard These Days

Since I was absent yesterday, have a bit of Luigi Boccherini, with a minuet from the early 19th Century:

Enjoy

Stranger

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A Bit O’ The Lilt

There is a few seconds of Gaelic introduction – some mouth music, and a bit of Irish box and fiddle. Enjoy a bit of Irish culture:

The second act is a bit of “diddling.” Quite pleasant – and not at all what you probably think.

Stranger

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A Mixed Bag, Greens, Snoose And Oder Subyects

I have been hard at it since two in the Ayem, with only a few minutes for the Alley, and I am about ready to change subjects to something less grim.

Here ’tis August, high summer is upon us, and it has been warm and humid. I have never understood why Augustus Caesar chose to name a month in the middle of summer after himself. ‘Course, Both Hoolio and Gus were a bit hot headed – but a nice spring month with fair weather and flowers would be my pick to call after myself. I sure wouldn’t pick a month when it’s usually so hot and dry trees are chasing dogs.

I thought August would be that way again this year. But our every afternoon thundershowers have soaked us and brought the river back up. And it’s been a tad cooler than average. It would have been cooler yet if all the cold air up north hadn’t trapped heat in the south. We have had one big breakout that sent temps down here sending the mercury in the thermometer to October levels but they came right back up again.

As I write this much of the north is getting flooding rains and below average temperatures. But some places are downright cool. International Falls just had a low that’s 20 degrees below normal.

Just a bit further north temperatures actually dropped below freezing – and northern Alberta has been blessed with lows in the mid 20′s. That’s not typical late August weather none’tall.

I saw the ice go out in International Falls one Fourth of July – but the temps were running between 60 and the high 70′s and low 80′s. And the skeeters were big enough to carry off a screened cookhouse and thick enough to drive a good person buggy.

The climate fakers say it’s all that “global warming” ruining our weather, you know. Speaking of which, I have been spending my spare time reading Bjorn Lomborg’s “The Skeptical Environmentalist” over again.

Very informative, although it’s lucky I’m a fast reader. I don’t have much spare time! But anyhoo, Lomborg pretty well gives the lie to the media’s environmental disinformation campaign.

Fer instance, the envirocrazies claim we are deforesting our planet. The truth is that we are growing more acres to trees than we are cutting. There is a land squeeze where developers are turning farmland into subdivisions. There may, MAY, be pressure on some slow growing species. And many of the unraveling countries in the third world are playing Old Ned with their forests and environment. But overall, trees are gaining ground. Acreage!

For another example, the media claims we are all going to die of chemically induced cancers. The truth is “the crab” will claim 24 percent of us. Just under one in four. And less than two percent of cancers are even remotely traceable to any form of chemical or particulate pollution.

Yes, that half a percent, or two percent of twenty four percent if you prefer, includes exposure to the lawyers favorite demons, prescription drugs, second hand smoke, asbestos, and pesticides.

When the numbers are crunched, slightly less than five out of a thousand lives may be more or less shortened by toxic exposures. Is that a concern? Yes, it is. Enough to do something about? Sure is. Is it worthy of the hysterical panic the media’s been promoting? No way. For one thing, five out of a thousand is within the margin of error – so we can say the numbers are small but not exactly how many.

And sure, we need to clean up our environment. No same person wants to live in a pigpen. Heck, pigs have gotten a bum rap, nothing is nastier than some humans. But we don’t have to. We have proven that can clean up our messes. If we could keep certain unscrupulous people from stealing the clean up money.

There used to be plenty of money in the Superfund to clean up the mess. But the lawyers have had a field day. A few shysters got rich and there’s not enough Superfund money left for cleanup. So much of our living space will stay filthy.

The self appointed protectors of our society, the media, haven’t said a mumbling word against their rapacious soul brothers, the lawyers. Neither have our wonderful politicians, the best money can buy, because most of them are lawyers looking toward the day they will be out of office and can plunder the cleanup jackpot themselves. Instead, the press has been pushing for more lawsuits, and an even greater bonanza for the poor lawyers.

There’s the Geezenslaw Brothers, Sam and Son, singing “Copenhagen, you can see it in my smile. Copenhagen, do yourself a favor, chew Copenhagen, drive the pretty girls wild!”

I might try snoose again some day, but it won’t be Copenhagen, though. I have tried a bunch of stuff but never Copenhagen. If I ever try dippin’ snoose again it will be something on the mild side -I wonder do they still make Garret’s Sweet? In that nice square brown bottle? Or Tube Rose?

I knew an old lawyer one time that dipped Copenhagen, though. That was before air conditioning, so they had to keep the courtroom windows open, and every few minutes the old man would step to the window and spit. From twenty feet up he could make a forty foot shot into the street side garbage can on a calm day.

I was there when the wind shifted unexpected and the old man filled a truck drivers lap with “grasshopper juice.” That driver jammed on his brakes, jumped out ready to whip somebody, and the only people in sight were two nine year old girls a block away. He didn’t say anything but if looks could kill somebody would have been ready for a one way trip to the old plantation!

You know what a lawyer is, don’t you. A lawyer is a person who gets two other people to strip for a fight and then takes their clothes.

Anyhoo, I keep getting asked how I can make all this stuff up! Now, there’s no darn way I can make any of this stuff up – because if I made it up it wouldn’t be funny.

A year from now someone will probably remember something from this post, and tell me what a wild imagination I have.

I see that a rock concert turned into a riot. I wonder how they could tell?

And I see that some Congressmen are complaining about the rackets in the recording industry again. Looks to me like they want a piece of the action.

Anyhoo, other wild items plucked from this month’s reading list include a London headline reading “GIANT MOUSTACHE HOVERS OVER CITY.” And another London headline says “MAD DUCK STOLE MY TROUSERS!” While odd cloud formations and Brit skinny dippers seem to occupy the London press – there’s good news tonight!

From darkest Africa, even. From Lesotho comes this instant attention getter, “MAYENDE LOVES HIS FOUR LEGGED COCK.” The cock is a chicken, supposedly bred as a fighting chicken and for the boarding house trade. Somebody asked Mayende how his four drumstick chickens tasted.”I don’t know,” said Mayende through an interpreter. “Nobody’s been able to catch one yet.”

From Cameroon comes a report of a cow crashing through the roof of a house. The house was cut in a hill, the cow dropped in at midnight, and it landed on the dinner table as Marguerite Nomo was watching “Dances with Wolves” on TV. Ms. Nomo fled, believing the cow was a witch doctors black magic “warning.”

Over in Nice, France – which is a nice place to be if you are French – one Pierre Cologne told pawn shop owner Claude Montand, “Wait there with your hands up. I’ll be back with my gun.” Montand and his staff disarmed Cologne when he returned. Oh, here’s a cheering piece of news.

After more than twenty years of searching, botanists from the University of Christchurch found a New Zealand orchid that had been thought extinct. It was lying on the ground, flattened under their tent floor. They found it when they moved their tent.

And out in Denver a fellow has been convicted of assault and battery. He poured varnish on his wife, instead of the chocolate and honey she had been led to expect. She said her hubby not only didn’t lick it off, the varnish made her hair fall out. Isn’t modern romance wonderful!

I find all sorts of stuff like this – some almost every day. I do help out a bit by browsing all the used book stores and such I come across. Heck, I may be getting older but I’m not like the old banker. I haven’t lost interest yet! Or my memory.

I even remember the funny answers kids gave in Sunday School. I remember when Bunky Stevens told Old Man Hostettler, the Sunday School teacher, that “Joseph was so straight that Pharaoh made a ruler out of him.”

That made me wonder whether Pharaoh used Joseph like a tape measure and pulled him tight, or if he planed one side flat and used him for a straightedge. (Ouch, that would hurt!)

One gal, I never knew her name but she was cute, said that “The chief plague of Egypt were the locusts. They ate up all the first born.”

She’s the one who reported that “Jacob stole his brother’s birthmark.” I bet that did not feel good.

And her little brother said the Mosaic Law was a law compelling people to have their floors covered with colored stones. T’ain’t a bad guess for a nine year old. Shows initiative, and that Davy could use a dictionary.

But I always thought the funniest were about King David. I remember when Tom Terril stood up and reported that “King David was killed by Uriah Heep, the husband of the Queen of Sheba.”

A little later Tommy summed up his life of King Davey with “If King David had one outstanding fault, it was a slight tendency to adultery.” Which Tommy scored a bullseye with that last comment.

Stirred the preacher up somewhat, but Tommy’s mama got the Good Book down and riled the Rev some more when she said that David was the first peeping Tom in history. Well, she said peeking Tom, but she got the message across. Come to think of it I guess she was right.

Anyhoo, Tommy’s sister gave her little speech in Sunday School, too. “God sended a Angel with a message to Abraham telling him that he should bear a son. And Sarah was listening behind the door and she busted out laughing.” Well, I reckon Sarah did laugh. Sarah would ha’ kidded that ol’ hoss from pillar to post if he’d starting foaling at his age.

The Terril kids had the town chuckling that summer, for sure. But the Rev thought he got the last laugh. The Rev was the kind that believed the Bible should have stayed in Hebrew and Aramaic so’s he could interpret the Book his way and not get caught out. The Rev kind of invited the Terrils to worship at the Church on their side of town instead of coming all the way to his fancy church on Silk Stocking Row.

The Army Air Corps had Tommy and Joyce’s daddy all tied up in England, so the Terrils decided to take the hint and wear out shoeleather instead of tires. I expect Brother Crookson made them more than welcome, though.

The Rev, I won’t call his name because I didn’t like him, had some pretty distinct mannerisms. He’d step high, and he’d jerk, he’d slur his words, he added “arh’s” to a lot of the words, and about every fourth word was capitalized. He’d get up and scream “From the twentyarh FIFTH chapter of ISAIAH, `Oh, Lor, thour AR my God, I WILL AH exaltah thee;” that sort of thing.

Some of the kids got to mocking him. Everytime he’d catch a kid doing that he’d call on their parents. Then he would call back to make sure corrective measures had been taken. I was playing with the Miller kids once when the Rev came calling.

“Mister Millah, did YOU repremandah youah SON for mimicking ME?” he asks.

“Yes, Preacher, I did. I told him to quit acting like a fool,” says Miller.

The kids listening under the porch had a hard time with that. I nearabout strangled. But it was pretty much the common opinion around town.

Now, speaking of Brother Crookson, he had a sense of
humor about a mile wide. There was a fellow in town name of Bill Tower who was just 4 foot 11 inches tall, and Bill was what you call narrowgauge. He was skinny, somewhat! He couldn’t have weighed over 100 pound soaking wet. Brother got him a job over near Eufala in a coal mine. Timekeeper, but Brother Crookson didn’t let on it was a sit down job.

“Preacher,” says Bill Tower, “I don’t know whether I’m cut out to be a coal miner or not.”

“Don’t let it worry you, son. It’s a soft coal mine.”

Stranger

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Whenever they got his Irish up…

A bit of Irish humor, delivered by an Irish tenor…

Enjoy

Stranger

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If you cannot get over the board, you cannot get over the fence

Well, the radio is tuned to Radio Australia, and darned if they aren’t playing a highly expurgated version of “The Policeman’s Whistle.” I can’t say what that polis man is doing with his whistle, but it’s highly improbable. When I heard that tune sung out in the Cooter’s tack room, what he was doing was even more improbably and extremely unsanitary.

I heard that tune from an ex-Marine who brought back an Aussie girl he’d married. His wife taught him that one, and several more -but I betcha she didn’t know Jimmy was teaching his tack room buddies those songs while she visited with her Okie girl friends up in the big house. Or that the guys would repeat them to their wives, she called ‘em “woives,” after the party was over.

Proper ladies aren’t supposed to know the words to naughty songs like “The Keyhole in the Door,” “He’s Got Freckles on his Butt, He is Nice” or “the Mayor of Bayswater’s Got a Pretty Daughter” none at all! And if you heard a gal saying her mister had freckles on his setter you would have thought something, for sure.

Of course, some of the songs I heard in the tack room are downright tame compared to today’s pop hits. A catchy tune with words like “If I were the marryin’ kind, which thank the Lord I’m not, Sir, I’d marry a rugby center. He’d push hard, I’d push hard, and we’d be right, in the middle of the night, pushing hard together” could not have been played in public in 1950 or so. Today – it would get a G rating but it has too much rhythm to be a hit.

But the women folks, bless ‘em, have just about the same bad habits as the men. Drinkin’, gamblin’, and even swapping gossip. Of course, the men mostly call gossip swapping lies. Some of the biggest lies I ever heard told came from the distaff side.

Like the time I heard Lulay Pickett, she was named during the Hawaiian music craze that swept the country in the ’20′s, talking to another woman at Church. Mrs. Lulay mentioned that her husband had started staying home and going to bed early.

“I noticed your Frank was home every night, lately. That’s a sure enough wonder! I’ve known Frank Pickett since he got long pants, and he’s catted and galled around till past midnight ever since he was ten years old!,” says Lulay’s friend.

“Well,” says Mrs. Lulay, “It was easy enough to stop him. I stopped waiting up for him and every time he’d come in late I’d pretend to wake up and ask ‘Is that you, John?’ I did that twice and he’s stayed home every night since.”

Waiting on John, I suppose. But that reminds me of the time Jody, Lulay’s sister, was totin’ groceries home and a rain came up. Jody slipped in the wet and fell down; and that red headed terror came up cussin’ a blue streak – starting with Jesus Christ and ending with “Gawd a’mighty.”

Brother Butler, the Deacon of the Church Jody went to came running up and snatched Jody up by the arm and said “What did you say, young lady?”

Jody, thinking fast, said “I said the cheese and crackers got all muddy.”

Speaking of lies, I mind the time one of Lane Cooter Juniors brothers but I can’t remember which one, went to Chicago to attend a “better living through agriculture” shindig. Lane Senior and Lane Junior got up a little whizzer to pull on the tourist when he called home – and they got his wife and his mama to go along with the gag.

The Cooter’d been in the Windy City a couple of days before he took a notion to call home. When his wife answered the phone, she called his name out real loud like she was surprised and then she said, “We got the Oklahoman today and your name was the first name in the obituaries!”

“What!” says the wandering Cooter. “That’s dam bad reporting and a unresponsible lie to boot! We’ll sue the pants off that two bit paper.”

“Honey,” says his Missus, real anxious sounding, “Where did you say you were calling from?”

If that wasn’t bad enough, he called his mama and she went through the whole dead man calling routine again. ‘Time he got home he was ready to kill an obit editor, and Ed Gaylord hadn’t
put the wanderer in the Oklahoman at all!!

I guess you could say those mean Cooter twins came by it natural! Anyhow, on the subject of a woman getting a man going, one day Tim Samuels came in the Jackpot carrying his chin in his shirt pocket. Sort of down in the mouth, you know.

Nettie, she was still Nettie Rollo then, set a cuppa in front of him and inquired about his troubles. Which Nettie had already heard the story on the party line but Tim was by no means unwilling to relieve his feelings.

“Nettie,” he says, “I been sweet on Ella Rainwater, what married Jack Johnson, ever since fourth grade. I ain’t never courted another girl, and I ain’t never looked twice at another girl but Ella.”

“You know Jack was killed a year ago last March. I waited a decent six months and then I started stopping by Ella’s, offering to do a little something around the place now and then, but mostly I just spent a little time every day jawing with her.”

“Ella always seemed glad to see me, and the neighbors told me I was the only man she ever welcomed to her house. When I went over there this morning she mentioned she would be a widow for a year and a half next week.”

“`Ella,’ I says, `I been meaning to talk to you about that. You know I been sweet on you since you was knee high to a duck, and it’s six months past being a decent time to ask you this. Let me just say what’s been on my mind ever since I been stopping by here.’”

“`Go ahead, Tim,’ she says, real soft and encouraging, like she knew what I was about to say, and approved of it.”

“Well, Ella,” I says, “It’s about me taking Jack’s place.”

“`That’s fine with me,’ Ella says, `but don’t you think you better make arrangements with the undertaker?’”

Telling about it afterward Nettie said that Ella was primed to say preacher instead of undertaker, but she couldn’t resist getting a rise out of Tim, since he’d left such a beautiful opening.

Ella was stunned when Tim grabbed his hat and tore down the front door getting out of there. It took Nettie all of twenty minutes to get Tim straightened out and headed back out to Ella’s place. Nettie did phone ahead and slip Ella a hint about playing it straight. Or two hints.

Nettie was good about fixing things, for sure. Tim and Ella made a trip to Childress, where you did not have a three day cooling off period, that afternoon, and it wasn’t more than six or eight months before Ella Samuels looked like she swallowed a blimp seed and it took. Or maybe two or three of ‘em. She seemed pretty happy about it, too. So did Tim.

Talkin’ about Jack Johnson, he was Beatrice Johnson’s at the Stockyards brother in law. Both of the Johnson brothers were killed in accidents. Beatrice’s husband tried to drink more than the distillery could bottle, and while he was sufferin’ from a skinful he entertained the notion he could beat the Rock Island to a crossing. He rests in pieces.

Jack was just as bad to drink. Jack’s luck ran out when he tied a tractor to an old bridge piling with a steel cable, and his old New Holland turned turtle on him.

Nobody can hold up a tractor for long, and Jack was no exception. One brother wound up squashed and t’other was scattered. I guess you could say the Johnson boys had a tendency to make fatal mistakes.

The Johnson’ boys Daddy, now, worked for the Santa Fe. Retired on a railroad pension, seven bucks a month. That gave their Mama twice as much husband and a quarter of the money, so she showed him the door every morning. Since he couldn’t go to work he used to park on the Courthouse steps every day at 7:00 Ayem sharp and set there until 6:00 Peeyem every day but Sunday. Those were his regular working hours, you know.

Old John was a regular fixture, he was. After the old man died his shadow showed up every morning for two weeks looking for him. And you ain’t never seen nothing as pitiful as a shadow looking for it’s master.

Anyhow – that old section hand had eight kids. Beatrice’s husband was the oldest, then there were the six sisters, Faith, Hope, Charity, Chastity, Sue, and Pearl, and then Jack. The sisters were like Daddy Johnson, just as steady and regular as they could be. The boys took after somebody else, and that somebody else was a cutter!

Hope, the next to oldest Johnson girl worked in an aircraft factory during the war, WWII, you know, and met and married a fellow who worked there.

She didn’t even bring him home to meet her folks. She dropped them a post card to let them know of her change of name and address. That was one of the first signs that the times were changing.

Back in the late ’40′s and the early ’50′s we got a little of what we got a lot of in the ’60′s and 70′s. One of the women’s magazines came out with an article about how you should raise children to think that the human body is natural and a child shouldn’t think any more about a naked human body than a naked tree or puppy dog. Must h’a been written by somebody educated beyond their intelligence!

Anyway, Pearl, the youngest Johnson girl, married a likely young farmer named Rudolph Adolph Alonzo Richtoffer. He was another of those poor souls named for his fathers friends.

Anyway, Pearl and Ad had themselves a good start on a full house when WWII interrupted them. But they took up making babies again just as soon as Ad came back from that hell on earth called Iwo Jima. They proved the Japanese s may have shot holes in Ad, but they had missed all the important parts.

Anyhow, when that magazine article came out, and Pearl decided she would try to raise her daughters according to the book. She runs herself a bath and takes the girl into the bath with her. After some soaping, splashing, and rubbing the gal turns to her mama and asks, “Mama, how come you’re so fancy, and I’m so plain?”

Chastity, the next youngest Johnson girl, married an old boy from Childress, Texas, that was one of the very first crop dusters. Crop dusting was a whole lot safer in those days, you know. Especially in West Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. There were no trees, no power lines, and darn few fences!! You could land almost most anywhere if you dodged the cows.

Chastity met her feller at a Church doin’s and by the time the doin’s were over they had gotten to the picture swapping stage. The next Sunday he flew his plane in, went to Services, and after Church he took Chastity for a sky ride.

When they landed they were engaged! Both being over 21 and sentimental they set the wedding for one month to the day from the day they met. If that sounds sudden, it wasn’t, because they were both ready. And there ain’t no use of waiting when you are ready.

Chastity goes home wearing a ring and the cat was out of the bag for fair! Scratching, clawing, and yowling, too.

Mama got on one side and Daddy got on the other and they tried their best to change that gal’s mind – but she wouldn’t budge!

Three weeks from today she was going to be married, and if it was in their church, that was fine, and if the family didn’t like it there were Justices of the Peace enough in Texas to do the job tight and right.

And by golly, if it didn’t suit Mama and Daddy to wait three weeks for a wedding she’d call Frank and have him fly over and pick her up tonight and they’d sleep together tonight and get hitched in the morning, come hell or high water!

After about an hour of rowing like that Mama asked Chastity to at least tell them about her intended. Chastity whips out her pilots picture and passes it around. It showed him next to his airplane, just a little bit of the Waco, but a whole lot of the field. Frank was looking up at the sky.

Chastity’s daddy looked at the picture real careful. He turned it this way, and that way, and even held it upside down and examined it.

Chastity began to get a little anxious, so she says “How do you like my Frank’s picture, Daddy?”

“Well, he looks all right, but he sho ain’t got much sense. Everybody knows you don’t walk around in no cow pasture and look at the sky.”

Now, I did know a Baker gal, one of honey dippin’ Frank Baker’s daughters, got to be twenty years old and never had a date! Like to drove her mama out of her mind, it did!

Her mama was sure that she was going to be an old maid – when all at once Blanche showed up with a fellow. A prosperous fellow, at that. Which was important cause her daddy didn’t make no big money pumping out septic tanks.

Blanche brought her prospect home to meet Mama, one night when her daddy had an all night lodge meeting and poker game. The boy was just as polite as you could want, only he was a little dumb looking.

Still, he had inherited a section of land and you couldn’t count the oil wells that were just coining the money for the feller, and you could always hope the children wouldn’t look like their pappy.

So Mrs. Baker put her apron on and rattled the pots and pans until she had made as good a meal as you could want. Soon as she got Blanche and her feller feeding their faces the bottom dropped out! It rained and it rained and it rained, just a real frog strangler, for sure.

Well, they set around and listened to Gabriel Heatter’s
news on the radio. Then they listened to “I Love a Mystery,” and “The 64 Dollar Question,” “Boston Blackie,” “Suspense Theater,” and “Fibber Magee and Molly.” And it rained and it rained and it rained some more.

About a quarter after nine Mrs. Baker told the boy “It’s raining too hard for you to go home tonight. Let us make up the extra bedroom so you can stay the night. You and Blanche can set up as late as you want to, and I’ll go to bed and wait on Frank, so you children can do what you want.”

It didn’t take too much chin music to get the fellow to agree to stay the night – so Blanche and her mama went upstairs to fix the guest room up. Just right! When they were through they came back down and there was Blanches feller standing in the hall, drippin’ all over the place!

“What…what…why in the world are you so wet?”

“Wulll, I HAD to go home and get my pajamas!”

That reminds me of the story about the young feller ack in the old days who went sparkin’. It was a long walk to the gal’s house and he didn’t get there until late in the evening. The girls folks couldn’t turn him out to walk home in the dark, and they didn’t have an extra bed, but they were ready.

They put a board, a “bundling board” they were called, down the middle of the young lady’s bed. The boy slept on one side of the bed and the girl he was sparking slept on the other! All right and proper, you know!

The next morning everyone was up early, doing their chores. After chores the spark asked the young lady to go walking with him. Which she did. After they walked a while they came to a fence, about knee high.

“Let me step over this here fence and when I get over I’ll lift you over,” Sparky said.

“Silly, you can’t get over that fence! It’s two feet high,” says the gal.

“What do you mean, I can’t get over this fence! Sure I can get over this fence. I can step over it or jump over it,” says the Spark.

“Why,” says the gal, “You couldn’t get over a little board last night, so you sure enough can’t get over this big tall fence today.”

Stranger

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The Munster Hop

Sharon Shannon with a bit o’ the Irish, some Irish box and filldle music, and the Munster Hop.

It is good to chase the rheumatics, and to get the blood circulating.

Stranger

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