Monday, August 2, 2010

A Road Less Traveled ...


Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt and Grandpa DooLittle were sitting on the porch at the general store deeply engrossed in a manifestly contentious game of checkers ... the old pair had sat there motionless for so long that neither could remember exactly who's move it was ... suddenly a bright red, convertible sports car came sliding to a precipitous halt casting plumes of powdery dust all over the place ... when that dust cleared there stood an inquisitive looking fellow dressed in what would be considered around those parts as a Sunday-go-to-meetin' suit ... "excuse me gentlemen, but if one were to travel on up this road, would it take one to the local post office ... and if so, could either of you kind gentlemen advise me as to the most expeditiously direct route thereto?" ... Grandpa DooLittle then asked "ain't you Birdie Mae Poteet's distant nephew what lives in the city ... don't she get her mail delivered right to her house?" ... a bit taken aback by Grandpa DooLittle's overbearing curiosity the young man answered "well if you must know sir, my Aunt Birdie Mae ordered a very expensive new hat C.O.D. all the way from Chicago, and simply doesn't entrust the local mailman with the delivery of such a valuable item ... so she has asked that I go to the post office, retrieve the hat myself and safely transport it to her post-haste and unscathed!"

Before Grandpa had the chance to again speak Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt chimed in ... now Uncle Virgil had dealt with Miss Birdie Mae in the past when he confused her front door with that of the Widow VanMeter's during a failed date thus bringing a sour dose of embarrassment upon himself ... but what goes around sometimes comes around ... "in answer to your enquiry young man ... why yes ... if one were to continue on up this road it would lead one to the post office ... however, the route is quite involved" ... the lad at once encouraged and in high spirits replied "great! ... allow me to grab pen and pad with which to notate your directions" ... then Uncle Virgil began "well you need to go on up this road for about five more miles until you see a big, red barn with Mail Pouch Tobacco painted on its side ... hang a right just beyond that barn onto River Road and keep going for about ten miles ... you'll see the river running the entire length of that road to your left and the swamp and woods to the right ... when you come to a huge oak tree on the left hang an immediate right through a gate marked "no trespassing" onto Cow Pasture Lane ... you'll stay on Cow Pasture Lane for at least ten miles until it intersects with Route One ... I don't think you'll have too much trouble making it through Cow Pasture ... just take it easy across the mud holes, ruts and washouts ... when you come to the end of Cow Pasture Lane you'll hang a right onto Route One ... Route One is a fairly smooth road, but it's narrow and crooked with no guard rails, if you would happen to plunge over the embankment you'll plummet at least a thousand feet before you stop plummeting ... stay on Route One for about ten miles until you intersect with the Main Road ... hang a right onto the Main Road and go about five miles until you see a large wooden structure on the left ... you'll find a United States Post Office just inside of that building" ... the young man thanked Uncle Virgil, climbed back in his car and forthwith hurried on his way up the road.

At once remembering that it's his turn, Uncle Virgil declared with a smirk "king me!" as he jumped two of Grandpa DooLittle's pieces and the game resumed ... well, the afternoon passed with little fanfare ... both Virgil and Grandpa each made at least one more move at checkers within that four hour period ... until out of nowhere came a convertible sports car skidding to a rambunctious stop nearly striking the wooden porch and sending clouds of choking dust all over the place ... its make, model and color all undistinguishable as it was covered with dirt, dust, mud and other various and sundry globs of goo ... when that dust settled there stood an angry, disgusted looking form nearly as begrimed as his filthy automobile ... those Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes now unfit for even a late Saturday night ... "you purposely sent me on a wild goose chase ol' man ... I've risked life and limb, gone full circle and came upon no post office!" he seethingly declared ... as that smirk grew wider Uncle Virgil responded "oh the post office, well it's right here inside of the general store" ... Aunt Birdie Mae's distant nephew was now beside of himself "why didn't you just tell me that right in the beginning you old coot!?" he demanded ... "well boy, you didn't ask where the post office is ... your question was ... "if one were to travel on up that road, would it take one to the local post office" ... I do believe that I answered your question precisely and exactly!" ... by this time Grandpa DooLittle could no longer contain himself bursting out into an uncontrollable belly laugh as the furious and bedraggled young descendant of the storied Poteet family stormed into the store in search of the package containing Birdie Mae's new mail order hat ... and I reckon those ol' sayings of "what goes around comes around" and "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it" rung true that day all around DooLittle Hollar!


--sja
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43 comments:

Julie said...

Thanks for following me on Blog Frog. Nice to meet you. I'm now following your blog.
Julie @ Bunches of Bargains
http://bunchesofbargains.blogspot.com

sja said...

Thank you Julie ...

Joan said...

sja -- as usual I loved your story!

sja said...

Just glad you do ... thanks Joan!

Joan said...

So I hate to disturb you during your dinner time (or is it called supper time) in the South? -- but I have just posted a discussion on BlogFrog which I think you might be interested in reading since I mention your blog The Southern JackAss in it -- and I also mention your other blog The Old Barbershop which I know you co-author with Bob. (In case Bob and you were both wondering about all of those recent visits you were getting to The Old Barbershop blog -- I confess it was me.)

The discussion I started on BlogFrog is called, "Am I The Only One Who Hates Blog Widgets Or Showing Up On Live Traffic Feeds?"

Please feel free to delete this comment, honorable donkey, at your discretion. I will still remain your humble reader.

sja said...

Joan, I just read and commented on your Blogfrog discussion ... widgets showing recent visits are henceforth removed ... thank you for pointing that out, and thank you again for all the too kind and generous words of praise!

Joan said...

sja, you deserve every word of praise that I wrote about you. You are an inspiration to all writers. Few writers ever reach the height of brilliance that you do in your writing, or are so imaginative and inventive as you are.

You and I both know that that there are a lot of writers writing blogs that are not real writers, so when one comes across a blog such as yours it is like finding diamonds in the desert. Yes, I know that the expression is finding water in the desert -- but in this case it truly is diamonds in the desert.

I wrote a reply to your comment on BlogFrog. I do not know if you had a chance to read it yet.

I know that you are not getting paid to write this blog -- and I also know the many hours of work that goes into writing a post that is of such a high caliber of writing as all your posts are. Your passion and love for the written word comes shining through. You are an artist.

By the way, I knew that you were a male writer as soon as I first started reading your blog. Your masculine voice was way too strong to think otherwise. Still, being that you were on BlogFrog there was that tiniest chance that you might be female. You can understand me thinking that since BlogFrog is 99.9% women, or at least it seems to be that way.

Well, honorable donkey, I believe that you will delete this comment, not because it is vulgar or in bad taste, but because it might embarrass you too much. I will leave that to your discretion, but I hope you choose not to delete it, because it shows the true admiration of one writer for another.

BOB said...

"I also know the many hours of work that goes into writing a post that is of such a high caliber of writing as all your posts are ... Dang!

Double Dang!

It must be hypnosis ... or something in the water she's drinking ... my guess is that it's easy for a great writer like you to write those stories, plus, using all four hooves it don't take you no time a tall to type 'em up and get 'em posted.

Now you take somebody like me what can't write ... it's danged hard work just to post a comment ... especially when you consider that I type with one finger and have to look up every other word!

Triple Dang!

BOB said...

Another great post, mon ami!

I can just see the gleam in Virgil's eyes!!

I imagine it'll trigger some memories for lots of folks ... I remember once, while attending the college in Atlanta, that I unwittingly steered some folks wrong.

It was Saturday morning and I was outside on the sidewalk, pondering whether to go the movies or back inside to study ... when I was accosted by some folks in an out of state car, desiring directions out of town, toward Macon ... headed to visit relatives in Fort Valley, they said.

I gave them the directions ... yes there were some turns but it was pretty straightforward ... they thanked me and were on their way ... and me on mine ... to the movies.

Got back to the house about 3 hours later ... changed clothes and had started raking some leaves when a car stopped ... accosted again!

It was the same car ... seems they were headed to Macon, but were lost and needed some directions.

Surprisingly, they didn't recognize me ... thankfully is a better word ... but directions they got ... this time over to Edgewood Ave ... to 5 Points downtown ... to highway 41!

That was over 50 years ago but your story brought it back, crystal clear ... don't remember the movies at all ... a double feature ... always a double feature at the Euclid on Saturdays!

How you ask a question has a lot to do with the answer you get, that's for sure ... I remember that same year, overhearing a conversation as I entered the used bookstore on Edgewood across from the old Atlanta Auditorium, near what was then Georgia State College.

The fellow was from out of town and said he was to meet his "ride" at the corner of Houston and Edgewood in an hour ... wanted directions. The man he asked wasn't sure where Houston Street was but thought it might be a couple of miles back toward Moreland Avenue ... pointed him in that direction, and off he went.

Well, there was a "Houston/Edgewood" corner ... it dawned on me where it was about 5 minutes too late to help the fellow out ... never found out if he connected with his ride.

Back then, in Atlanta, "Houston Street" was known and pronounced as "Houseton" by the locals ... probably because the man for whom it was named, pronounced it that way ... folks didn't know about no "Houston" Street.

Where was it ... certainly not two miles down the road toward Moreland Avenue, that's for sure ... that's right ... the bookstore was located on the corner for which he was looking!

sja said...

Bob ... "unwittingly"??? ...

Sunmallia said...

I will have to visit your town one day, is everyone like your relatives?

sja said...

Yes Sunmallia, we're all crazy! ... visit often ...

sja said...

As you can see the Blogfrog, Mybloglog, Blogcatalog, Google Friends and Blogger widgets have been removed ... Feedjit remains, however it merely shows that some unidentifiable visitor has stopped by from whatever general location it might happen to be, the majority of all visitors do not appear for various reasons anyhow ... if you are not comfortable with Feedjit showing your general location, then simply click on the "menu" tab at the bottom of the Feedjit widget and block your future visits from being displayed ...

BOB said...

Yes, unwittingly ... but, in the other situation, I'll admit to being slow-witted and/or dim-witted ... and a mite lazy too.

Ten years earlier, I would have thought nothing of going after the man ... that's 'cause ten years earlier, I didn't think ... and ten years earlier, the neighborhood was much safer!

Teresa Anderson said...

Great little story! Yes, you always get what you asked for. I'm looking forward to reading more of your little stories.

sja said...

Thank you Teresa Anderson ...

BOB said...

Hail, Hail ... the gang's all gone hail, hail ... golf ball sized ... later

covnitkepr1 said...

Hi. I came across your blog through another blog I follow and have signed up as a follower. When you’re free, please do visit me and let me know what you think of my blog and leave a comment. If you like, do follow as well. I am always open to great new people and interesting websites. Look forward to hearing from you.

sja said...

Yes Bob ... big storms here too ...

sja said...

Covnitkepr1 ... thank you for stopping by ... you're doing a meaningful work with your blog ... I'm now following and have placed your link in my sidebar ...

BOB said...

Things are back to normal weather wise but, for some reason, Yahoo Messenger isn't working ... holler when you get back to the hollar

Anonymous said...

Great story. Just found you and will be following your blog. Mine is http://odielangley.blogspot.com and don't really have anything on blogfrog. email is odie@qualityofficeequipmentinc.com & facebook is nashcoboy1947@yahoo.com. Have a great weekend.
Odie

JOE TODD said...

Enjoyed the story

Debbie B. Stevens said...

Oh My Gosh!
What great writing! I love a good southern story!
Consider me a southern jackass too!

PJ said...

Hey Guy! LOL! Loved your story! While I unfortunately am one of those who take 10 minutes to ask a 3 second question, I think I would have put that question straight and to the point! LOL! Thanks for stopping by my "place".

God Bless~

PJ

PJ said...

SJA, I have already commented, so I am wasting some more of your precious time by asking you a question. I noticed on your blog and several others on blog catalog, that you are "rated". How does one go about getting this feature? LOL! Does that sound like the way Birdie Mae's nephew would phrase it? Although, I think mine was not so "open ended" haha!
Once again, I wish I could write like you!

God Bless!

PJ

covnitkepr1 said...

Thanks for the visit and the follow. This site is real "hoot" to visit. Glad I found you.

BOB said...

Well, my daddy's Aunt Jane owned a five and ten cents store in a small country town ... a wonderful place for a little boy to spend an afternoon, especially on Sundays when it was closed.

How she did it, I never knew and never will but she somehow managed to always have the latest and best in merchandise ... far better than the ones we frequented in Atlanta. When I would tell her that, she would just smile.

I didn't really know her son back then ... he was more years younger than Daddy than he was older than me, and away at school, later taking a job with a major bank in Atlanta ... worked hard and kept it too. Aunt Jane was real proud ... guess we all were.

He was a banker ... took that role seriously too ... well, he took everything seriously. He was mild mannered and no stuffed shirt but he was sure formal and citified, and I can see him asking his question like that ... and then following them directions to the letter, without question and probably never been the wiser.

However, I'm sure that Aunt Jane would have wrung Virgil's neck ... Grandpa's too!

sja said...

Thank you Joe Todd!

sja said...

Anonymous -- I just visited your blog, it's great and I am now a follower ... thank you for reading mine!

sja said...

Debbie B. Stevens -- consider yourself a member of the Stall!

sja said...

Yes PJ, one needs to be extremely clear when dealing with Virgil Hunnicutt ... and PJ, you are welcome to comment as much as you like, as a matter of fact, I encourage discussion here ... as for the ratings, Blogcatalog members may rate each others blogs at any time, but that only shows up on your Blogcatalog page ... the rating that appears in my sidebar which is "8" was assigned to me by "Blogged" reviewers and other Blogged members ... Blogged is a blog directory where you can register your blogs for free.

sja said...

Glad you found me too Covnitkepr1 ... and a hoot it is!

sja said...

Bob -- Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt and Grandpa DooLittle have both already suffered immensely swinging from the gallows of feminine retribution!

BOB said...

No doubt!

Regarding Aunt Jane's boy William ... my guess is that he would have arrived back at the "Post Office" ... and told Grandpa and Virgil ... "Men, this place is hard to find!"

sja said...

Goodness! Bob ...

Ellen said...

I am loving the creative imagination painted with words! Well done!

I love it,
Ellen

ps: hopped over from blog frog ;)

sja said...

Ellen -- glad you made that leap ... thanks for stopping by!

prophet666 said...

Well composed story,makes good reading.

sja said...

Thank you Prophet666 ...

Simplegirl said...

What a great read and also love that you tube video! I'm your new follower from Blog Frog. Hope to see you http://inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com

sja said...

Glad to have you Simplegirl ... and your site is great!

Marla said...

Brilliant! I may use this tactic on my sister.