Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fowl Mouth ...

Following the disastrous case of mistaken identity involving Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt and Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet, Uncle Virgil decided upon acquiring new "spectacles" and "ear trumpets" in order to improve his quality of communication with individuals encountered on a daily basis ... Uncle Virgil reckoned that spectacles were more urgently needed than ear trumpets, so he hired Luther DooLittle to drive him down to the shopping mall/medical office plaza to visit an ophthalmologist ... an appointment with an otologist had been set up for the next day ... upon arrival the eye doctor placed some kind of drops in Virgil's eyes to dilate them, then proceeded with the examination ... after the exam had concluded, Virgil's eyesight was temporarily worse than usual, those eye-drops had turned what little vision he had as blurry as if someone had doused his eyes with lye soap ... well there was still about thirty minutes left to kill before Luther DooLittle was due to return and take Virgil back home, so Virgil figured he would go to the big pet store located adjacent to the doctor's office and pick up a bag of much needed cat litter.

As Uncle Virgil blindly stumbled into the mammoth store, all the employees, each dressed in bright red vests, greeted the old man while kindly offering their assistance ... Virgil had done business with the establishment since its opening and knew as well as any store employee where things were located, especially the cat supplies, so he politely declined their offers to help and headed toward the cat litter section ... before he walked away, one of the cashiers informed Virgil that a new manager had transferred to the store, and that he would be proud to meet one of the franchise's most long-standing and loyal customers ... Virgil assured the young lady that he would introduce himself to the fellow before leaving ... she added that the manager would be standing near the bird cages ... Virgil nodded and meandered on down the aisle grasping displays and shelves to guide his way.

Now the ambitious, up-and-coming young manager had purchased a big, red parrot at his previous place of employment just before the promotion and transfer to this store, and he had brought the bird to work with him to show it off and possibly encourage customers to purchase one of the store's many parrots now in stock ... but this particular parrot could talk ... as a matter of fact, this parrot could talk so well that at times it sounded almost human ... unfortunately, this parrot was also prone to spew rough insults and enter into rude fustians if left alone, so the cautious manager made sure he stayed close to the bird ... until he had to visit the restroom that is.

Uncle Virgil had just retrieved a bag of cat litter, tucked it under his arm and was attempting to grope his way toward the bird cages with the intention of meeting the new store manager when all of a sudden "are you going to pay for that old man?" cracked a loud, stern voice seemingly out of nowhere ... "are you talking to me?" replied Virgil as he glanced toward the direction the raspy voice seemed to be emanating from, but seeing only a big, red blur ... "yes thief, I am talking to you! ... drop that merchandise and empty your pockets!" demanded the parrot ... "why I never! ... just who do you think you are? ... I demand to speak to the manager!" rumbled Virgil ... "are you blind you ol' coot?" ... "I am the manager!!" squawked the obnoxious bird ... at which Uncle Virgil had heard enough ... he tossed that sack of cat litter onto the floor and headed toward the exit ... "did you have the pleasure of meeting our wonderful, new store manager Mister Hunnicutt?" enquired the cashier ... infuriated, Virgil exclaimed as he stormed out the door "as long as that fowl-mouthed feller is employed here I'll take my business elsewhere! ... and so will my cat!!"


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Super-D-Luxe Sweeper Salesman ...

Last Saturday morning, Grandma DooLittle heard a loud rap at her front door and upon opening found a very enthusiastic vacuum cleaner salesman with a tantalizing offer that no sedulous homemaker could refuse ... if permitted to demonstrate the power and efficiency of his Super-D-Luxe cleaning machine on Grandma DooLittle's floor, for her trouble she would be presented with a bottle of Super-D-Luxe window cleaner free of charge upon completion, whether or not she purchased a new vacuum ... Grandma grabbed the bottle of window cleaner from the salesman's hand and invited him right in ... "where would you like to begin, the whole house needs a good cleanin'?"  she anxiously uttered ... encouraged by the spirit of her immediate response the excited roadman replied "good to hear Madam, but you see, I don't clean your house, I merely carry with me a small container replete with dirt and dust of the variety commonly found at similarly inhabited dwellings, I dump that dirt and dust on one's floor, then demonstrate just how quickly and easily this here Super-D-Luxe vacuum cleaner picks it all back up!" ... Grandpa DooLittle had been sitting there in his easy chair feigning sleep while intently listening to the entire exchange between Grandma and the salesman, up until the part about dumping dirt on the floor just to clean it all back up ... upon which Grandpa burst forth in a hail of uncontrollable laughter and exclaimed "well you go right ahead young man, let's see what that thing can do ... we just might want to buy one!"

Grandma DooLittle was a bit taken aback as the now emboldened pitchman emptied a jarful of grit and grime onto her beloved oriental rug which covered most of the living room floor, plugged the Super-D-Luxe machine's cord into the wall, turned on the shiny, mechanical marvel of modern engineering and commenced to vacuum that pile of dirt from the expensive rug ... just three seconds later all that dirt had been completely sucked up by the amazing contraption ... "how that?" the proud salesman cried ... "not bad" Grandpa declared, "but you might as well go ahead and do the whole rug while you're at it" ... "go get the checkbook Grandma!" he added ... the salesman hurriedly cleaned the rest of the big rug, turned off the machine and asked ... "I take it we have a sale Mister DooLittle?" ... Grandpa DooLittle cleared his throat and said "not exactly son, can that thing clean hardwood and linoleum floors too?" ... "why yes, there's an attachment included just for that purpose" postulated the salesman ... "well show us then" demanded Grandma as she handed the checkbook over to Grandpa ...

Before all was said and done, that Super-D-Luxe vacuum cleaner salesman had demonstrated every available attachment that came with that fabulous machine ... on the hardwood floor in the front room ... on the linoleum floor in the kitchen ... on the tile floor in the bathroom ... on blankets and bedspreads ... on curtains and drapes in all the rooms ... on chair covers and furniture ... on the shag carpets in all the bedrooms ... on the indoor/outdoor carpet on the patio ... on the wooden deck out back ... in the closets ... on the cement floor in the basement ... on the floorboard of Grandpa's old farm truck ... and on the fleas on the back of ol' Leon the Redbone coonhound ... when there was nothing else left to demonstrate on, the nearly exhausted salesman swiped the sweat from his brow and proclaimed "I reckon we've got us a sale for sure now!" ... Grandpa stuffed the checkbook into his shirt pocket and replied "not exactly Mister Super-D-Luxe man, I reckon we don't need any new sweeper today ... the whole place is as clean as a bandmaster's whistle ... but you're more than welcome to come back next week and try again!" 


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Down At The Swimmin' Hole ...

Lester DooLittle ... Luther DooLittle's cousin, Luther being the lifelong friend of Lamar Beefeater ... Lester had an old, worn-out pair of hip waders ... in case you aren't familiar with hip waders, they are like gumboots that come all the way up to the waist or higher, at times held up by shoulder straps thus permitting an individual inclined to wade around in waist deep water, or deeper, to not get wet downwards ... now the trio had planned a trout fishing trip up at the mouth of Slippery Creek, and the only way to get up there was by canoe ... determined anglers would launch their vessels at a wide spot downstream and paddle upstream through deep water past the swimming hole to where the shallows were ... it was at these shallows that most of the big trout lurked, and hip waders could be used so as to stand right out there amongst 'em and tempt the aquatic vertebrates with various and sundry morsels attached to one's hook ... so Lester DooLittle was in dire need of a new pair of hip waders.

Well, $179.99 plus tax later, Lester met up with his cousin Luther and friend Lamar at their usual wide spot near Slippery Creek as proud as a strutting peafowl, wearing a brand-new pair of Cabela's LaCrosse Alpha Swampfox Waist-High Waders ready to head upstream toward the shallows ... and that's all Lester was wearing, no shirt, no britches, no under-britches ... nothin' ... he had become so accustomed to those old hip waders leaking that he figured there was no sense in wearing any clothes beneath, if he did, those clothes always ended up soaked with water ... so the hapless crew set forth paddling upstream through deep water toward the shallow fishing hole ... Lester was as excited as a starving chimp in a loaded banana tree eager to try out those new waders ... the boys were almost there, just maneuver through the swimming hole and paddle around the bend and the fun would commence.

It so happened that the swimming hole was unusually busy that day ... small boys and girls swimming at the edge of the creek, bigger girls and boys diving into the forty-foot-deep water from boulders and tree limbs,  or from hanging grapevines and ropes, and older folks sitting on blankets or in folding chairs on the bank intently watching to make sure none of the youngsters got seriously hurt or drowned ... amid all those small kids, bigger kids and older folks was a group of about thirty young ladies from over at the college wearing extremely skimpy bikinis ... Lester DooLittle had always considered himself as a ladies' man, and tried attract attention to himself any way he could when in their presence ... so he couldn't help himself when he stood up in that canoe waving his arms above his head and yelling at the top of his lungs at those scantily-clad young ladies ... well every semi-intelligent person knows that you never stand up in a canoe ... Lester DooLittle was well-aware of that fact too ... he just didn't realize it in the heat of the moment, lost his balance and sailed out into that deep water nearly taking Luther and Lamar with him.

Immediately, those Cabela's LaCrosse Alpha Swampfox Waist-High Waders filled with water from the top, and the tremendous weight took them along with Lester to the bottom of that forty-foot-deep swimming hole as quickly as if they were a ship's anchor ... there on the bottom of Slippery Creek's deepest spot Lester DooLittle realized that he had only a couple of options ... he could pull the hip wader's straps from off his shoulders and swim to safety as naked as a jaybird in front of all those folks causing a lifetime of shame and embarrassment for himself, and lose his new hip waders forever ... or he could simply remain right there where he was until he succumbed to the situation thus losing his life, but hanging on to his pride ... unfortunately Lester DooLittle opted for the latter.

As Lester slowly slogged his way up to the Pearly Gates, dripping water everywhere, he was stopped by Saint Peter who asked "just where do you think you're going boy, you can't enter through these gates looking like that?!" ... Lester answered "I know I'm all wet sir, but I was hoping to come inside, it won't take me long to dry off" ... Saint Peter then replied "it's not the fact that you're all wet ... you're NAKED! ... now go back and cover yourself, then try another day!" ... when Lester came to and opened his eyes he was lying on his back at the creek's edge staring up at two paramedics, several small boys and girls, several bigger boys and girls, several older folks and a group of about thirty young ladies from over at the college wearing extremely skimpy bikinis ... all staring down at him in assorted states of shock while chuckling uncontrollably ... "where's my new hip waders?" enquired Lester of the paramedic, who then answered in kind ... "why they're still at the bottom of Slippery Creek, they had to be left behind!"


Friday, April 16, 2010

Old Political Humour ...

These stories or anecdotes are from a variety of sources. Some of the political stories came from the news, some from history, and some from abroad, but as far as I know they are all true! ...

George Bernard Shaw once sent Winston Churchill some tickets for the first night of one of his plays. Churchill then sent Shaw a telegram to the effect, “Cannot come first night. Will come second night if you have one.” Shaw promptly replied, “Here are two tickets for the second night. Bring a friend if you have one.”  

At his presidential inauguration, Abraham Lincoln arrived at the rostrum holding, in addition to a copy of his speech, his trademark black stovepipe hat and cane. When, after laying down the cane, he was dismayed to find no room for his hat, Senator Stephen Douglas (Lincoln’s chief electoral opponent) dutifully came forward and took it from him. “If I can’t be president,” Douglas remarked as Lincoln sat down, “I can at least hold his hat.

In 1846, Lincoln ran for Congress as a Whig against an evangelical Methodist named Peter Cartwright. One day during the campaign, Lincoln attended a religious meeting at which Cartwright, after a stirring welcome, invited everyone who wished to go to heaven to rise. Several congregants complied.
“Now,” Cartwright continued, “those who do not wish to go to hell will stand!” With these words, everyone else rose up, with a single notable exception. “May I inquire of you, Mr. Lincoln,” Cartwright asked, “where you are going?” Lincoln rose. “I came here as a respectful listener,” he calmly replied. “I did not know I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartwright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartwright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness: I am going to Congress!”

Senator Barry Goldwater, a talented amateur photographer, once took a picture of President John F. Kennedy and sent it to him requesting that he send it back with an autograph. Kennedy complied, returning it with this inscription: “For Barry Goldwater, whom I urge to follow the career for which he has shown so much talent - photography. From his friend, John Kennedy.”

While campaigning for the 1960 presidential election, John F. Kennedy was amused one day to receive a curious telegram from his father Joseph (a prominent banker and industrialist): “Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary,” it read. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide!”

Harry Truman was once asked by a young student how he might get started in politics. “You’ve already started,” Truman replied. “You’re spending somebody else’s money, aren’t you?”

Shortly after attending a White House dinner with President Nixon in December 1972, Cleveland mayor Ralph J. Perk was asked why he had not been accompanied by his wife Lucille. She had made other plans, he explained; it was her bowling night.

The latter portion of Jimmy Carter’s presidency was plagued by recession. The American economy did not pick up again until Ronald Reagan had assumed the helm (in the early 1980s). “Depression is when you are out of work,” Reagan declared after taking office. “Recession is when your neighbor is out of work…” And a recovery? “A recovery is when Jimmy Carter is out of work!”
One day while campaigning against Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election, Adlai Stevenson was approached by a female admirer. “Governor,” she enthused, “every thinking person will be voting for you.”  “Madam, that is not enough,” Stevenson replied, “I need a majority!”

In 1965, William F. Buckley ran for the office of mayor of New York City. Given the odds of his clinching a victory, Buckley’s campaign was ridiculed by many political pundits, chief among them William F. Buckley. One day a reporter asked the candidate to name the first thing he would do in the event of a victory. Buckley’s reply? “Demand a recount!”
One day Clare Boothe Luce, a Republican, was asked by a journalist for her comments regarding a certain Republican senator’s switch to the Democratic Party. “Whenever a Republican leaves one side of the aisle and goes to the other,” she wryly replied, “it raises the intelligence quotient of both parties.”

While delivering a campaign speech one day Theodore Roosevelt was interrupted by a heckler: “I’m a Democrat!” the man shouted. “May I ask the gentleman,” Roosevelt replied, quieting the crowd, “why he is a Democrat?” “My grandfather was a Democrat,” the man replied, “my father was a Democrat and I am a Democrat.” “My friend,” Roosevelt interjected, moving in for the kill, “suppose your grandfather had been a jackass and your father was a jackass. What would you then be?” Alas, Roosevelt was thwarted by the quick-witted heckler, who promptly replied: “A Republican!”

Despite concern over Ronald Reagan’s age (69) when he ran for the presidency in 1980, he won by a wide margin, becoming the oldest president ever elected. During a televised debate with Walter Mondale in the next election four years later, Reagan was asked whether he was too old to serve another term. “I’m not going to inject the issue of age into this campaign,” he astutely replied. “I am not going to exploit, for political gain, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Shortly after JFK’s inaugural address, his Republican opponent Richard Nixon generously told Ted Sorenson (Kennedy’s aide) that there were certain things in the address which he himself would like to have said. “Do you mean the part about ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’…?” Sorenson asked. “No,” Nixon replied, “the part beginning ‘I do solemnly swear’…”


Monday, April 12, 2010

Aunt Birdie's Hat ...

The Widow VanMeter had been stricken ill and was temporarily incapacitated ... so some of the ladies in the neighborhood got together and took turns making sure her housework got done and that she had plenty to eat ... on this particular evening it was Grandma DooLittle's and Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet's turn to fix supper for the Widow ... Aunt Birdie Mae was one of the most large-hearted individuals you would ever want to meet, always keeping herself busy doing acts of kindness and charity for the needy and less fortunate ... the only bad thing anybody could possibly say about Birdie Mae was that she was an outright habitual, bald-faced liar!

That evening Grandma DooLittle had prepared some chicken and dumplings, gravy and green beans to go along with a loaf of Aunt Birdie's fresh-baked sourdough bread, some churned butter and a pitcher of warm, homemade custard ... as the ladies carried their fare down the street to the Widow VanMeter's place thunder could be heard rumbling off in the distance and an occasional flash of lightning lit up the darkening sky ... now it so happened that Birdie Mae was wearing a new hat that was stacked nearly two feet high with what appeared to be clusters of red and white, silk rose petals ... she had purchased the gaudy thing at a rummage sale the day before for .25 cents, likely overpaid too .. however she had been telling Grandma DooLittle that she had ordered the ornate head covering from Saks Fifth Avenue for $2500 dollars! 

Well Grandma DooLittle hadn't fallen off no turnip wagon, not lately anyhow ... she knew better, that hat had been discarded by the community theatre and donated to the rummage sale just last week ... as they got closer to the Widow VanMeter's house Grandma DooLittle was taking Aunt Birdie Mae to task for lying about the purchase, all the while thunder claps kept getting louder and lightning flashes kept getting brighter ... but Aunt Birdie kept sticking right to her original claim concerning the hat, insisting that "if I'm lyin' I'm dyin' ... may the Almighty strike me down!" ... now the Widow VanMeter lived in one of those small houses with extremely low ceilings, probably no more that six and a-half feet in height, and to make matters worse, she had installed a ceiling fan in each room of that house and kept them running day and night ... just as the ladies walked through the Widow VanMeter's front door into her living room, a bolt of lightning struck a tall tree right next to the house, and at that exact second Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet forgot all about those low hanging ceiling fans and let her beloved hat come into contact with the spinning fan blades.

The timing was perfect ... at the very instant lightning struck the tree, fan blades struck Birdie Mae's hat ... KaBooooom!!! ... red and white, silk rose petals exploded all over the Widow VanMeter's living room as Grandma DooLittle and Aunt Birdie hit the floor screaming at the tops of their lungs, the smell of fire and brimstone hanging in the air ... after things settled a bit, Grandma DooLittle rolled over and exclaimed "oh Birdie, just look at your beautiful new hat, it's ruined, and to think you paid $2500 dollars for it ... Aunt Birdie Mae looked over at Grandma DooLittle with a sheepish grin and declared "Lord knows it weren't no real loss ... I only gave .25 cents for the old thing yesterday at the rummage sale!"


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not Hunting Wabbit! ...

Lamar Beefeater and Luther DooLittle had been chomping at the bit all winter long to go spring "coon huntin'" ... or as it's commonly called by those who never participate ... raccoon hunting ... which involves the pursuit of some hapless, unlucky raccoon by one or more semi-intelligent coonhounds, under the direction of one or more even less intelligent coon hunters ... in the woods, in the dark and at times sans a gun ... now I'm not saying that folks who hunt raccoons are of diminished or lesser intellectual capacity than individuals who don't ... but in this case, Lamar and Luther did at times cause one to pause and wonder if they even had the smarts they were born with.

Now for this particular hunt, guns were forbidden in the woods because it was still a week prior to opening of official coon huntin' season ... however, hunters could take hunting dogs into the woods in order to get in some practice chasing and treeing the masked critters ... hounds would get on a raccoon's scent and chase the bewildered Procyonidae until it reluctantly climbed up a tree to escape the annoying harassment of the cacophonous canines ... during open season the hunter would shine a bright light up into the tree to locate the angry and frightened beast and eventually blast it with a rifle or shotgun ... but when guns aren't legally permitted and a coon is treed, the hunter restrains the frenzied coonhounds on leashes, climbs the tree and shakes the coon out onto the ground so the dogs can get a quick look and a whiff, thus enabling them to experience the thrill of victory ... the humiliated raccoon then ambles away weary and worn, albeit basically unscathed ... and the hunt concludes.

So that evening just after sunset, Luther DooLittle borrowed his daddy's Dodge pickup truck and headed over to pick up his pal Lamar Beefeater along with Lamar's beautiful Bluetick coonhound named "Blue" ... then he and Lamar drove up DooLittle Hollar so Luther could borrow Grandpa DooLittle's old Redbone hound named "Leon" ... both dogs were bred for hunting ... barking, whimpering and tugging on their leashes until nearly choking themselves, hardly able to contain their excitement in anticipation of that first spring hunt ... no sooner had the boys stopped the truck at the edge of the treeline and unhooked Leon and Blue from their leashes than the eager hounds sprung from the truck and hit the ground running already on the hot trail of a coon ... the boys barely had time to grab flashlights and take off in pursuit of the pursuing dogs which could now be heard somewhere off in the distance having already treed something ... finally after nearly an hour of crashing through thick briers and brush they caught up with Leon and Blue which were baying and barking and snarling nervously  beneath a huge fir tree.

Lamar anxiously shined his light up into the tree but could make out nothing, it was pitch black up there, although they could hear the sound of heavy, labored breathing coming from the very top of the tree ... "climb on up there and shake that ol' coon out onto the ground so we can get after another one" Lamar demanded of Luther ... "you do it!" Luther replied ... "let's flip a coin, the loser climbs" suggested Lamar ... well Luther lost as usual and began his ascent up the tree while Lamar held the flashlight ... just as Luther pulled himself up onto the last limb stout enough to support his weight Lamar yelled "see anything?" ... Luther answered "not a thing, just blackness, lots of black ... shine that light a little to my left" ... by the time Lamar's light had illuminated the 300lb. black bear sitting there beside Luther on that tree limb it was too late ... Luther saw the bear's huge paw coming toward his face at a high rate of furious velocity, but had neither time to react nor the means to successfully do so ... Luther somersaulted out of that tree striking nearly every limb during his rapid descent before landing face first on the rocky ground and hard tree roots at the base of the mammoth conifer ... the landing was a bit softer for the bear however, it came to rest on top of Luther then scurried off into the darkness ... just as Luther began to regain consciousness Leon and Blue ran over for their customary visual and olfactory inspection of the fallen creature, neither of which turned out to be a pleasant experience for all concerned ... needless to say the boys made the one hour jaunt back to the truck in less than ten minutes flat ... Luther then made the executive decision that there would be no further coon hunting until the arrival of open season ... when they could carry guns!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wooden Indian ...

I haven't been posting much lately, reckon I just didn't have much of anything worth posting, but for me, that might be considered as par for the course in many gentlemanly circles ... so I'll tell you an old story about one of Earl Poteet's many acquisitions ... Earl Poteet was the owner and proprietor of the General Store ... Earl was also a habitual aggregator of antiques and other cultural oddities ... his latest, a hand carved replica of Chief Sitting Bull ... Earl was really excited by the find, and proudly displayed the work of art on the front porch of his store right next to where the old men would sit and play checkers or pinochle.

The carving had sat there overlooking the checkers table for several days when Earl interrupted the game to ask Grandpa DooLittle and Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt just what they thought of the Chief ... a nearly blind Virgil Hunnicutt spoke up immediately, "don't think much of him!" ... then Grandpa DooLittle added, "me neither" ... a bit dismayed Earl asked them why not ... Uncle Virgil answered without hesitation, "well, that is the most impolite and unsociable feller I've ever met ... he's been sittin' around here watchin' us play checkers for three days now and hasn't said a single word, just sits there starin' off into space ... I've greeted him in the mornings and bid him farewell each evening without as much as a grunt ... offered to buy him a bottle of cold Royal Crown Cola ... big 16oz. ... but he didn't even blink ... there's something bad wrong with a feller like that ... I think you ought to tell him to quit hanging around here if he's going to keep on being be as discourteous and unfriendly as that ... why a feller would likely get more conversation and better manners out of a wooden indian!"

Comments encouraged --sja