By Ike Adams
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — I don’t get out and about as much as I’d like to these days. The last two strokes in October have put another serious hitch in my giddyup.
But when I am able to go shopping, I’d like to just once, between now and Christmas, walk into a store that didn’t have Little Drummer Boy on instant replay blaring through the speakers. I don’t want to overdo the Scrooge bit here, but if you hear or read news accounts of some old guy ripping off his clothes while running through the aisles at Wally-world screaming, “TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF!,” that was probably yours truly because I’d heard one rumpa-pom-pom too many.
Whatever happened to “Gramma got run over by a reindeer?” Or “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus?” Why can’t they pipe in some good holiday music for a change? Last year it was that 12 days stuff over and over and over. I was in the sporting goods section and a guy next to me said, “If you’ll go over to hardware and get a chain saw, I’ll grab a shotgun and shoot all them aggravating bob-whites when you saw the pear tree down and the covey flushes.”
I replied, “But I thought there was only one partridge in that tree.”
He said, “Nope, where there’s one quail, there’s a lot more. That’s what them calling birds are and everybody knows that French hens and turkel doves are game birds too.”
We had it all planned out. As soon as he’d “harvested” the birds, we’d run over to lawn and garden, fire up a grill, and pass out free samples of barbecued game bird while telling folks they could buy the Bull’s Eye Barby Sauce that was stacked there right next to the cornflakes over on the far side of the store, in the other zip code, and that they could get some good hiking boots on sale in clothing on the way over there, if they could still find ‘em, and that would make the last half of the trek a lot easier on their feet.
“But hustle on back over here to check out,” we’d advise, “cause everybody else does since that last woman working register number 73 finally quit last week. And all the people on registers numbers 3 through 72 retired four years ago. And you can’t self-scan the sauce on 1 and 2 because they ain’t had time to put the bar code in the system yet since they put the stuff on sale and it’ll ring up a penny more than it ought to.”
“Wonder why they have the Bull’s eye with the cereal?” I foolishly asked.
He said, “Heck, son. Where you from anyhow? Don’t tell me you’re one of them fellers that don’t put barby sauce on his cheerios and coco-puffs?”
I said, “Well I guess it does make as much sense as having the grated cheese over there beside the ice cream freezer.”
And he said, “I bet you don’t even sprinkle your butter pecan with Parmesan either, do you? But I do like Provlone better on my neopolitian even though it binds me up sometimes. Now the wife and the youngens like sharp cheddar sprinkled on theirs but I can’t take that fake strawberry stuff they like so I just scoop out all the chocolate and vanilla and leave that pink stuff for them. It actually works out pretty well for all concerned parties.”
He said, “If you’d just stop and think about it, there’s a good reason why they put ‘bout everything in this store where it’s handy to get at and easy to find. But I still don’t know why they don’t have the nuts over there in hardware where a man could pick up a hammer to crack ‘em with instead of having to run all over the store.”
Anyway, from all us here on Charlie Brown Road, Merry Jingle Bells and may tour rumpa keep on pomming and your lords keep right on leaping in the coming year. May you also remember to date your checks and correspondence 2014 before the end of the year.
I’m still stuck on 1982 cause that’s the year Loretta latched onto me.