Saturday, August 7, 2010
I probably ought not be spreading gossip as it pertains to Grandpa DooLittle ... but Grandpa had developed an unenviable sleep disorder ... noctambulism ... somnambulism ... or simply put, habitual sleepwalking ... Grandpa would on occasion unexpectedly arise from bed about an hour after falling asleep, exit the house and walk out of DooLittle Hollar barefooted in the pitch-black darkness all the way into town ... asleep! ... his first stop was always the All-Nite Convenience Store where he would buy himself a big 40oz. Nehi Orange fountain drink to sip on before making his way back home ... he would then upon arrival climb back into bed beside Grandma DooLittle and sleep for at least another hour before arising for the day completely unaware of his nocturnal adventures.
Now Grandpa had always slept in what is commonly called a union suit ... one-piece, long underwear consisting of up to a dozen buttons running down the front which can be fastened through buttonholes all the way from the neck down to the legs ... with a button-up flap in the rear often called an "access hatch" ... "drop seat" ... or "fireman's flap" which comes in extremely handy whenever nature comes a callin' ... that union suit was the only thing Grandpa DooLittle had on when he did his sleepwalkin' ... so anytime Sheriff Clarence A. VanMeter or his cousin and Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter would spot Grandpa DooLittle walking around town in his underwear, they would promptly wake him up, load him into their patrol car and deliver him back to his house ... Sheriff VanMeter thought it atrocious and shameful behavior on Grandpa's part to wear such inappropriate attire out in public ... the last time the Sheriff caught Grandpa so lightly dressed he sternly warned the old man that if he continued to walk around town wearing only that union suit he would have no other choice than to toss him into the county jail ... asleep or not!
A couple of nights later Grandma DooLittle was awakened some time around 1:00 A.M. by the loud jingling of the bedside phone ... she yelled at Grandpa to answer the annoying thing, but there was no response ... Grandma then reached over to shake Grandpa and rouse him so he might answer the urgently beckoning ring, but Grandpa was nowhere to be found ... now alarmed Grandma rolled over, picked up the receiver and upon answering immediately heard "collect call from Mister DooLittle at the county jail" as some female telephone operator announced in the usual monotonic tone ... "oh I reckon so" replieded Grandma as a quivery male voice on the other end cut in "Ma this is Pa, go git fifteen dollars out of the cookie jar, hitch up the mule and bring that money down to the jailhouse to bail me out" Grandpa hesitantly demanded ... "what are you doin' in jail ol' man?" asked Grandma ... "well Sheriff Clarence warned me that if I didn't quit walkin' around town wearin' my union suit that he would be forced to arrest me" proclaimed Grandpa ... "then why in the world didn't you heed that warning?" Grandma angrily enquired ... the phone fell silent for several seconds before Grandpa DooLittle finally exclaimed "I did heed the Sheriff's warning ... tonight I went to bed NEKKED!"