Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Dog Days Of Summer ...


Oppressive heat and stagnant, muggy air associated with what is commonly known as "the dog days of summer" had brought most activity in and around DooLittle Hollar to an out-and-out standstill ... during those long evenings after supper, most folks would just sit underneath a shade tree or on their porch sipping cold lemonade or iced tea while fanning themselves with one of those complimentary "funeral home" fans until about bedtime ... it was just too danged hot and miserable to do much of anything else ... except for Lamar Beefeater and Luther DooLittle, who would sneak off to the swimmin' hole for a refreshing dip in the deep, cool water ... that "dip" usually lasted until right about dark when the boys would hurry back home ... now their mamas didn't want Lamar or Luther to go near that swimmin' hole unless accompanied by some responsible adult--if there was such a person around those parts--for fear of their drowning ... and because there had been rumours of a panther sighting nearby--which had likely wandered down from the high mountain ridges in search of water ... so Lamar would tell his mama that he was going over to Luther's house to sip iced tea ... and Luther would tell his mama that he was going over to Lamar's house to sip cold lemonade ... all the while Lamar and Luther were wearing their swimmin' trunks underneath their britches as they sneaked off to the swimmin' hole unbeknownst to either of their mamas ...

Well it was nearly dark as the boys made their way out of the sybaritic waters to get dressed and head back home ... this particular evening had been no different than any of the previous ones ... except for the sudden burst of bloodcurdling, hair-raising growls and screams emanating from a thirsty panther which was now raptly staring at them from right near the opposite side of the swimmn' hole ... the boys didn't have no time to grab no clothes ... the panic-struck pair forthwith took off running with nothing but their swimmin' trunks maintaining what scant measure of tenuous respectability they might have had left ... their retreat was reminiscent of the time they thought they were being chased out of DooLittle Hollar by the ghost of "ol Sloughfoot" ... their pathetic screams could now be heard by most of the town's folk and were growing louder by the minute, so everybody had congregated out in the streets to see what the matter was ... it was totally, pitch-black dark by this time and extremely difficult for the fleeing duo to see exactly what obstacles lay before them as they attempted to speedily put some distance betwixt them and that huge genus Felis ... the only thing standing between them and relative safety was Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt's galvanized, barbed-wire fence and they were quickly and blindly approaching it ... fortunately there had been a fence bridge erected for the purpose of crossing that fence without injuring one's self on the jagged barbs--unfortunately there was no time to locate that fence bridge in the darkness and under such urgent circumstances ... they would just have to leap over Uncle Virgil's fence ... then it was merely a straight, downhill shot into town ... well Luther DooLittle made it over the wire fence altogether unscathed--Lamar Beefeater however did not! ... Lamar felt the tug and heard the rip as his swimmin' trunks got snagged on a sharp, protruding barb and stayed right there as he proceeded apace on his way ... no time to go back and fetch them ... as the now exhausted boys finally made it to town, Luther DooLittle ran directly into his mama's house and slammed the door shut ... Lamar lived on the far side of town and sped on down the main street in that direction ... almost home, he turned the corner leading to his mama's house ... to his horror and dismay, there stood a gathering of men, women and children in the middle of the street waiting to see what all the commotion was about ... those folks could hear the sound of bare feet slapping rapidly against the cobblestone lane and heavy, labored gasps as Lamar Beefeater closed his eyes and accelerated right through the midst of that crowd who were at once aghast and abashed by the pathetic sight ... Lamar thought he heard yet another faint wail from that ol' "painter" amongst muffled sighs of embarrassment and scathing giggles as he ran into his mama's house ... Lamar didn't realize it at the time ... but he--along with a man who had been arrested back in 1799 at the Mansion House in London, and sent to the Poultry Compter, who confirmed that he had accepted a wager of 10 guineas to run naked from Comhill to Cheapside--thus joined the ranks of what would later become a popular, nationwide fad known as "streaking!" ... after their harrowing ordeal, both boys thought it might have been more prudent to have taken their chances with that panther--rather than to endure the unpleasantly stern punishment put forth upon them by their mamas!




--sja

12 comments:

BOB said...

Your stories are like radio ... the pictures you paint are so vivid, yet I imagine unique for each of us reading them ... you do bring back the memories!

How did we survive?

sja said...

So you do remember streaking through town ... huh Bob?

BOB said...

No, but then my memory is bad, getting worse all the time ... I do remember having had many such nightmares ... never encountered no panther neither but I figure they ain't much different from black bear ...

10 guineas ... birds or pigs? I remember that Granny had some guinea hens on her farm ... good eating too ... but their eggs were real small. I imagine 10 good guineas were highly prized by farmers and the chance of getting them was an irresistible temptation.

The Scottish Jackass said...

Bob, your right, good guinea hens are still highly prized here in the Isles ... some of the best are over in Aberdeenshire, but I think your probably wrong too. That didn't come out quite right ... If truth is truth then how could you be both right and wrong at the same time? Well, I'm new to this ... gimme a mulligan, if you will.

Only the Southern Jackass and his barber knows for sure but my guess is that the 10 guineas he's braying about were neither bird nor pig ... but gold coins ... worth a bit over a Pound each ... quite a wager or dare back then ... something like a nice new car today!

sja said...

Welcome back The Scottish Jackass!

Eternal Instants said...

I enjoy reading your posts... I think they are great and I can most always totally relate... Thanks for sharing.

Jenny

sja said...

Eternal Instants ... thank you!

BOB said...

Sharing is what it's all about ... if we don't, it'll one day be lost forever ... think of how many smiles are lost when folks don't share their little stories, whether they be but a few words or poorly related verbose versions like mine ... better to share than carry the burden of all them lost smiles.

What if Paul Revere had fail to share ... it would have been easier to turn over and go back to sleep!

BOB said...

Off topic but the fabled donkey's stories include several relating to the grand old game ... this year's Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies were especially remindful of those stories ... yes Andre Dawson was inducted and that was nice ... his remarks carried the same inspirational message as many of Donkey's stories ... he spoke out against using performance enhancing drugs too, same as Donkey ... and that was even nicer, methinks.

But, for me, the nicest thing was that they also honored John Fogerty, who sang his “Centerfield” ... surely you've heard him sing it before ... if not, make a point to so do ... it's a tonic better than Geritol! As Buddy Holly was wont to say, you don't know what you been missing!

Surely it goes without saying, but the same thing goes for Donkey's baseball stories ... Oh Boy!!

Karyn said...

You write so beautifully! I hope you're playing to publish a novel sometime soon ... and please let me know when it's available for purchase.

sja said...

Thank you Karyn, but I'm no writer ... just a poor boy with some imagination and a vivid memory ... visit often!

Marla said...

This might not be a half bad idea if the weather here doesn't change it's mind ...soon!