Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Backwoods Olympics ...


Just a quick report pertaining to the latest happenings at the annual DooLittle Olympics which was recently hosted by Grandpa & Grandma DooLittle out behind their barn ... some of which were fraught with a bit of folly and suspense ... musical entertainment was supplied by Ansel Poteet who played the banjo, Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt on fiddle and Grandpa DooLittle alternated between the mouth harp and jug while Grandma DooLittle danced a lively Irish Slip Jig around the chicken coup--Grandma also lit the Ceremonial Oil Lantern ... as to the various contests, Lester DooLittle took 1st. prize in the Watermelon Seed Spittin' Contest with a record-breaking projection of nearly 57 feet ... the previous record of 52 feet which had been set by the Widow VanMeter had stood for 16 years ... Lester also performed well in the Armpit Serenade, along with the Sedgewick brothers ... the Horseshoes event saw Lamar Beefeater come out on top with a total of 17 ringers, Luther DooLittle came in close behind with 14 ringers ... the Widow VanMeter came in first place in the Mudpit Belly Flop, followed by her son Sheriff Clarence A.VanMeter who landed a close second and Clodine DooLittle fell in at a very distant third place ...

Unfortunately a frightening incident occurred during the Bobbin' Fer Pigs' Feet event which brought the entire show to a screeching halt when Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet insisted on participating sans her false teeth ... Birdie Mae had her head immersed under water for an extraordinarily long period of time as she attempted to latch onto an abnormally large pig's knuckle ... she finally got a fairly solid grip on the thing just as she was about to run out of oxygen ... Birdie Mae was desperate to inhale some air, but failed to let loose of that pig's foot before she did ... so when she jerked her head out from the Bobbin' Tub, Birdie Mae sucked that big ol' pig knuckle right down her throat and was about to choke clean to death ... luckily the ever vigilant Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter, Sheriff Clarence's first cousin and chief deputy who was patrolling nearby, quickly performed a flawless rendition of the Heimlich maneuver on Birdie Mae as her life was mercifully spared ... the offending projectile however did strike Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt on the back of his head knuckle end first when it came shooting out of Aunt Birdie Mae's gullet thus knocking the wise centenarian face first onto the dirt and into a state of blissful unconsciousness ... due to these tragic and unforeseen occurrences, Grandpa DooLittle called off all remaining events and the 2010 DooLittle Olympics came to an abrupt close ... the Turkey Shoot, along with the Rock Skippin' contest had already been canceled because DooLittle Creek had all but run dry ... and just to make certain that no lamentable experiences occur in the future such as that of Aunt Birdie Mae Poteet ... a new stipulation has been put in place for next year by Grandpa DooLittle ... "if you can't gnaw the kernels off an ear of sweet corn without your false teeth, then you must wear 'em durin' all events ... all contestants will be required to undergo qualifying prior to entering the gate!" ... and for those of you who might be concerned with the welfare and condition of one Virgil Hunnicutt ... he has regained consciousness ... we think ... but is yet to speak!


UPDATE:
I just received this report from Barbershop Bob ... who seems to have showed up at the DooLittle Olympics a day late and a dollar short ... but ended up making out like an armed bandit in the end ... the following is what Bob had to say ... almost verbatim:

{So that's what happened! The "DooLittle Olympics" are always looked forward to by the old barbershop's patrons with great anticipation ... and we're always busy that day, what with folks wanting to get themselves all gussied up and all. We close at noon though, so as not to miss out on the late afternoon doins' ... only this year, there weren't none and everybody was gone when I got there, well, everybody except Lamar and Luther who were packing up the Beefeater family truck with Lamar's Mama's unsold pies and such. That they won the horseshoe competition came as no surprise ... when not otherwise engaged in mischief, they're usually to be found out back of the barbershop hustling folks at horseshoes. Now if you've ever tasted one of Maude Beefeater's homemade pies, then you know why I was so surprised to see that truck loaded with her pies ... the Olympics used to include a pie baking contest, but that was discontinued when Aunt Birdie Mae and the Widow VanMeter bitterly complained that Maude always won. A few years back when Birdie Mae was sick, Maude baked her one special ... and wouldn't you know it, she entered that in the competition ... it won too, but was later disqualified when Grandpa Doolittle found the get well card from Maude still in the box.

Since then, Maude has always offered her pies for sale at the Olympics ... well, to be precise, Luther and Lamar converted an old Doolittle Lemonade stand and sold them ... two dollars a pie ... always sold out too, with folks asking for more! This year, not a single pie was sold, no not one ... the boys had no explanation but Lamar thought Aunt Birdie Mae was behind the boycott. Well, seeing this as a rare window of opportunity, I quickly offered to buy a few ... only to find out that the boys wanted $4.00 a pie! Luther was quick to explain the increase ... "we didn't want to raise them prices, but the cost of everything has gone up 10 percent ... eggs, sugar, fruit, flour and milk ... when you add it all up, that's 50% so you see, we had no choice but to do it!" I guess I just stood there with my mouth wide open 'cause Lamar then added ... "I know what you're thinkin' Mister Bob, a 50% increase would would mean charging only $3.00, but Uncle Virgil warned us that if we raised prices 50% we could expect a 50% decrease in sales, so we raised it up to $4.00 to make up the difference." So I told them boys ... "I ain't no near genius like Virgil Hunnicutt, but it's easy to see that he was right ... and, if you had asked him, I'm sure he would have told you if you raised them 100% you could expect a 100% decrease in sales ... which is exactly what you got!" It took some doing but I finally convinced Lamar that taking all them pies back to his mama wasn't the very best of ideas and they accepted my generous offer of one dollar a pie for the lot! They're now on sale down at the shop for $2.00 each, same as usual ... while supplies last!}


--sja

31 comments:

Bill Smith said...

LOL! Just a minute. This event looks familiar. I thought our local events were not published.
Ozark Guru

BOB said...

he has regained consciousness ... we think ... well, I just emailed Grandpa Doolittle inquiring after Uncle Virgil ... that certainly sets my mind at ease.

Delightful!!

sja said...

Bill, these events are likely familiar to more folks than care to admit it!

sja said...

Bob, it's more than a bit difficult to discern just which side of consciousness ol' Uncle Virgil dangles from ... until he speaks!

BOB said...

Well, the levels of consciousness of a near genius are something with which I'm not familiar ... I just hope he recovers!

Sunmallia said...

Thanks for finding me as I just found your blog and you are hysterical!

sja said...

Sunmallia, thank you for finding me ... visit often!

BOB said...

Here I've been all worried about Uncle Virgil when it's you about whom I should be concerned ... me and Virgil have repeatedly warned against becoming hysterical ... you must be getting worse if Sunmallia recognized the symptoms on her first visit!

Maybe she's a doctor ...

Lojo said...

LOL.

Awesome. So awesome.

The Doolittle Farm that I know of is in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is where I got locked in the outhouse in grade 3 and developed my subsequent life long affliction with urinary anxiety.

Again, love it.

BOB said...

It's not surprising to find Doolittles in Saskatchewan ... you'll find them most everywhere ... they're all over ... have a rich heritage and been here since 1643, best I can tell ... they've done much, these Doolittles, living up to their name and all ... or living it down as the case may be.

One of my heroes when I was a boy was Jimmy Doolittle from California ... everybody knows of him because of his famous Tokyo raid but few realize that he held a PhD in aeronautical engineering from MIT ... another near genius, methinks.

Hugh Loftin introduced me to another of my DooLittle heroes, a John Doolittle some years back who lived in a small village in southwestern England, a doctor as memory serves.

Doctor John was always totally engrossed in his work, so much so that folks thought him simple and absent minded, but like Jimmy and Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt, he was danged near a genius too.

I was never locked in Grandma's outhouse but being my locked out was sure traumatic ... our games were held over in Hatchett Holler where Grandma Hatchett lived ... I remember the buggy and wagon races ... and the cow chip slinging contest ... I got to be pretty good slinging chips but Estell Hatchett almost always won.

His brother Monroe was the best shot in town, not counting his daddy, and he usually won the squirrel shoot ... he was amazing, hitting them from so far away that I couldn't even see the nests.

sja said...

Lojo -- careful you don't reveal too much childhood history ... it might become fodder for future DooLittle antics!

sja said...

Bob, you'll be relieved to know that Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt has just returned to his senses ... he opened his eyes, recited the Pledge of Allegiance 7 times in a row, whistled "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Run Softly, Blue River" with his teeth in ... then requested a huge plateful of souse meat and gravy ... and some sweet tater pie ... I believe he's back to his usual self now!

Lisa Madden Bass said...

I am a Doolittle; my mother's family were from Slate Springs, MS! Love your blog...are we cousins?

sja said...

Goodness, a "REAL" DooLittle ... welcome to the blog Lisa Madden Bass ... all of the beloved characters found here are fictional, and their escapades are similar to those experienced by me and others during my lifetime ... no I'm not a DooLittle, but at times I wish I were ... and that should make us kin!

Joan said...

Dear Southern JackAss,

I am in awe of your writing! I don't know who you are, but oh can you write! I've noticed that you have no "About" you so that we can't learn who you are. Of course I believe that you did that on purpose. Right now I have no clue if you are a male or female writer, but a jackass is a male donkey -- still there is no way to tell by your writing, and it really doesn't matter. You are a sensational and talented writer! Your work should be published in a book.

I left a long comment today on your BlogFrog community under the discussion "Followers ???" Hope you have a chance to read it.

You can bet I'll be following your blog. It is not often that one comes across such excellence in writing!

The Scottish Jackass said...

Dang! How much did you pay for all them kind words, cousin? ... a brobdingnagian compliment if I've ever read one!!

Talk about Sweet Feed ... Grandpa would have awarded the Gold Medal for sure!

... or did you write it yourself?!

sja said...

Joan ... I'm speechless ... thank you very much, and the check is in the mail, cause you know folks will think I paid you for those wonderful remarks ... first of all, I am all male, no gray area there ... and I will definitely check out your comment on Blogfrog ... just glad you enjoy the stories!

sja said...

The Scottish Jackass ... not even I would dare elevate myself to the level at which Joan has so generously placed me!

Joan said...

Okay, I'm back! So now you want me to believe that there is a Scottish Jackass too? I'm referring to your Scottish Jackass cousin who supposedly commented on my comment to you. Well, I'm not buying it for a moment! There is only one JackAss around here and it's you!

All The Scottish Jackass had to do was click on my name and it would have taken him to my website, which would have proved that you did not write that comment, it was really written by me. Besides your writer's voice is entirely different than my writer's voice. I live in Southern California and I have never been to the South. Still, I have to admit, I have fallen in love with your southern writer's voice and in one day I have become a Brobdingnagian fan of your writing. For a JackAss you're pretty damn erudite! I had to look Brobdingnagian up in the dictionary. It means "of huge size; gigantic; tremendous." It is my new word for the day and I do believe that I used it in the correct context. I am a HUGE FAN OF YOUR WRITING.

Before returning back here I read several more of your posts, including your Friday, April 30th 2010 post, "Bartholomew Goodfellow's Rule." I am now totally convinced that you are a published writer. Nobody, but nobody, can write as well as you do and not be published yet -- except for myself that is. I really am an unpublished writer.

You must be laughing your JackAss head off at me for my suggestion on your BlogFrog community discussion "Followers???" that we start a grassroots movement to get your blog published as a book. You are already a published writer! I just know it, I know it, I know it!

If I am wrong -- which I know I am not -- but if by the smallest of chances I am wrong and you really are not a published writer then all I have to say is that it is a crime against literature to have a writer as gifted as you not be published.

Now I can hardly wait to see which of your other Jackass cousins from around the world is going to turn up and comment on this comment! Come on, make me laugh one more time.

sja said...

Joan ... The Scottish Jackass really isn't me ...

The Scottish Jackass said...

Why Miss Joan honey, it's obvious to the old Scottish Jackass that you are a most discerning young lady but to suggest that I am not here has everybody in the shire all astir. They're looking everywhere for me as if I was lost or something ... well, I assure you, as I've assured them, that I'm around here somewhere ... the suggestion that I'm the Southern Jackass, it's most embarassing, that's what it is! I've denied it ... in the fishwrap and on local TV but once a rumor like that gets started ... unbelievable!

Well, to be perfectly honest, seeing how I am from southern Scotland, I guess that qualifies me a being in the South and indeed a southern jackass, at least in some circles,... but folks around here don't seem to have any trouble confusing me with the Southern Jackass, at least up until now. They could always tell us apart from our pictures ... and besides, he still has his teeth!

Now I never got to California on my visit to the Colonies ... but it must be a strange place if you can be in southern California without ever having been to the South.

Not being a writer, I don't know what a writer's voice sounds like ... but I just listened to what you wrote, using the text to speech software that came with my computer, and would you believe it, that voice sounded exactly the same as when I listened to what that danged Southern Jackass cousin of mine had written.

Now, I'm not trying to suggest anything Miss Joan, but you have to admit, that's mighty strange, especially when you consider the circumstances ... first with that brobdingnagian compliment you bestowed on him ... and then all them false accusations about the poor old Scottish Jackass.

Your most humble servant ma'am ...

The Scottish Jackass said...

Danged cousin, she called you erudite too! I seem to remember somebody calling me that once ... it's not in me gaelic dictionary so I never did find out what it meant ... always thought it must be a vulgarism but if she called you that, it must be a compliment!

I just looked at our pictures, just to make sure ... while I can see some family resemblance, we really don't look at all alike ... I can't imagine anyone mistaking me for you!

Speaking of family, give me best to yours!

Joe said...

At Ease, at ease ... was looking for a place to get in out of all this muggy heat and spied this stall ... thought it was empty.

The Scottish Jackass said...

Good Morning Lads and Lassies!

Jacks and Jennies too ...

Here it is 9"30 and I hain't even had no sweet feed yet ... one dumb Scottish donkey, amn't I?!

No, I been up since six trying to make some fudge candy from an old recipe that Barbershop Bob had posted in the old barbershop when I visited my cousins last fall ... too early to tell about the candy, but boy did I make a mess ... there's sugar, cocoa and globs of chocolate all over me stall!

Bob's brother and his family were over here earlier this month visiting his clan's old homeplace ... some folks said he was trying to reclaim it from the two legged jackasses what stole it from his cousin. It's a nice place, about 40 kilos from the shire ... down by the sea.

Well, I just checked and it looks like the candy may set up after all ... if it does, I'll be sending some to SJA; if I can find his danged address!

Later ... it's starting to rain

sja said...

Joe -- it's anything but empty!

sja said...

Golly Gee Whiz! What a daunting, possibly impossible task Joan has endeavored to laden upon herself ... oh I'm not referring to the reading of a few posts ... no, it's the idea that one might be able to know just who this sja really is ... for sja himself has spent many years trying to figure that out ... unsuccessfully I might add ...

BOB said...

Hank, I keep forgetting that you're six hours ahead of us.

I didn't realize you had that old recipe ... it was my mother's ... and her mother's before that. Miss Carol told SJA that that it was her mother's too. It's almost fool proof, once you get the hang of it ... took me three tries!

Did you see my brother and his girls when they were there ... sounds like you did ... that's a hoot!

BOB said...

No matter how hard she looks, one thing Joan won't find amidst the archives is no bad words or stuff written in bad taste ... no need ... Donkey's humor ain't dependent on no stuff like that ... his stuff can be be enjoyed by everybody ... little boys and girls and old folks too!

No pretense or horn tooting neither, just a simple sja ... he knows no other way, methinks.

BOB said...

I somehow forgot to mention that I was real glad to hear Uncle Virgil had come back to his senses and was his old self again ... excited was more like it ... the very mention of souse meat had me me jumping in me car and heading down to the Kroger ... no, not for no store bought souse meat but for some apple cider vinegar and saltines!

Guess I drove more than 10 miles before remembering that there are no Kroger stores in Chattanooga ... drove all the way to Ringgold, only to find that the closest one is down in Dalton ... yes, that's a powerful long way to go for vinegar and crackers, but I'm a man of my word and I had told folks I was going to the Kroger!

Well, I'm now enjoying homemade souse meat, crackers and buttermilk ... while listening to Big John sing "Run Softly, Blue River" as only he could ... I'm missing John, Miss June, and Miss Carol too; especially my Miss Carol.

BOB said...

Still up watching the second season of Columbo ... not really that much of a Faulk fan but for those too young to remember, the show ran for seven seasons and was ultra popular ... more than that, folks liked it!

Knowing who done it made it different from most mysteries of the day ... but what stood out even more was the seemingly unending line of top name entertainers guest starring on the program ... always at least two, usually more!!

While searching me archives, I also found the first post of TheSouthernJackass, Most Honorable ... it predates the one to which Joan referred by well over a year ... and closes with "if you can't behave, use profanity, pick fights or spit on the floor, you will politely be shown the door ... sja"

Granted, his audience was small at the time and he may have written that just for my benefit ...

As is The Donkey's practice, he dusts off his old stories from time and brings them back for us to enjoy, much to our delight!

"The Sound Of Freedom" is but one of several such "reruns" ... appearing first in 2008, again in 2009, and most recently in 2010.

Well, I've just put on "The Most Dangerous Match" ... in which a deaf Laurence Harvey is the featured bad guy and the delightful Jack Kruschen is the victim. I remember it well, two masters playing chess in a bistro, using salt shakers and such as pieces ...

Marla said...

Makes me wish I had been there.... with $2 in my pocket.