Uncle Albutt Part 6

Aunt Jewel had several nieces and nephews I saw from time to time.  Her sister Lucille, of the hairy legs, who was married to Daddy’s Uncle Dunc, had three daughters, Alma, Eunice, and Gladys.  I guessed Lucille wanted to keep to her family’s tradition of inflicting horrible names on kids including her boys,  Hambone, Mookie, Teeter, and twins Fats and Snake.  I can’t imagine how she settled on Fats for one of the twins.  They both were skinny as snakes, though neither bit me.

I was most impressed with Alma.  Mother said she was a tramp because she wore her swimsuit and moved the grass when a road crew was working in front of their house.  It made no sense to me.  I thought she looked beautiful with her bright red lipstick, blonde ponytail tied with a scarf, teetering along in high heeled wedge sandals.  The mower gave her a lot of trouble and a couple of the guys came to check on her.  Her sister Eunice came out in her swimsuit, but she was not so popular, probably because she was extremely thin.  Her suit bagged over her hips like a toddler’s training pants.  Alma got a boyfriend that day.  Eunice didn’t.  No matter, Eunice had somehow snagged a boyfriend named Moxy.  I think he followed her home from her carhop job.  Mother also thought carhops were trashy, dashing my career hopes.  I was impressed when Eunice got married at the age of sixteen and had a baby shortly thereafter. Eunice and Moxy were great favorites of Aunt Jewel’s, so I heard of them from time to time over the next few years.

Gladys was nearest me in age.  Apparently still under the influence of her religious, fundamentalist mother, her clothes inspired no envy in me.  Her hair was tightly braided.  She wore a dark, long-sleeved dress and brown leather oxfords I did not envy.  Her mother kept her busy, leaving her little time to play with me.  I helped her wash dishes and mop the kitchen so we could escape outdoors.  That afternoon, we waded in their pond in our clothes.  Gladys said her mama didn’t allow her to wear a swimsuit.  Afterward, I  wore one of her Pentecostal dress and flour sack bloomers while my clothes dried on the barbed wire garden fence.  I wanted to keep the flour sack bloomers, but mother insisted I give them back.  I never wore anything more comfortable.   We each got a quarter of watermelon from their garden that had been cooled in their well. Late in the day, the men fried fish while we chased fireflies in the dusk.

Uncle Dunc, became progressively rowdier as the evening drew on.    Though I didn’t know it at the time, It was my first experience with a drunk.  Uncle Dunc began playing wildly with us, chasing us as we jumped off the high porch fronting their house into the darkness.   I enjoyed the day tremendously, though sadly, never got to visit again.  I lay that deprivation directly at Mother’s feet based on a conversation I heard as we drove home late in the night.  She took a dim view off drunks frying fish and chasing her children into the darkness.  What a pity!  I thought I was having fun.

I later got the impression he was named Dunc because it rhymed with drunk.  Still makes sense to me.

 

A Hog a Day Part 5

“Hurry up and get your shoes on.  We’re going to Mr. Grady’s house.  You can play with his grandkids.”  Daddy called behind him as he headed for the truck. “I ain’t waiting for you!”

I was near frantic as I tore through the house looking for the shoes I’d kicked off the last time I’d been made to wear them.  Shoes were for school and going places.  I’d never have worn them voluntarily.  “I gotta find my shoes so I can go with Daddy.  He ain’t waiting!”

Mother didn’t show proper concern.  “You’re supposed to put them under your bed.  Did you look there?”

I don’t know why she said stuff like that.  I never put things away!  This time, I was saved.  They were tucked neatly under my bed where Mother had put them when she swept. “I found ‘em.  Bye!”

”Don’t kick ‘em off and leave them somewhere.  That’s your only pair.  Are you listening?”

”I won’t!  Bye!”  Daddy was waiting in the truck with the engine running with Billy next to him.  “I thought maybe I was gonna have to leave you.”

Mr. Grady and two identical-looking boys greeted us at the gate.  “This here is my grandboys, Big Boy and Little Boy.  Now, all you younguns go play while  we go git a cup of coffee.  Boys, I’ll skin you alive if I catch you chasing the calf again.”  The four of us took off.  I liked these kids, already.

“You want to see the armadillos?”  one of them inquired.

”Okay.”  I’d seen plenty of armadillos, mostly flat on the roadside, but never had the opportunity to get to know one personally.  We trooped to a fenced in area back of the house where a herd of armadillos of all sizes rushed us.

”They think we  gonna feed ‘em, “ one of the boys explained. “Pap’s always got a mess of armadillos shut up back here.  We gonna fool ‘em today, though.  We gonna eat one for dinner today.  Want to help us catch one.”

The race was on.  We chased those fast little rascals all over that pen but never caught one.  Eventually, we gave it up for wheelbarrow rides.  Two kids pushed the barrow while the rider claimed the privilege of riding till dumped over.  I could have done that all day. Eventually, Daddy concluded his visit and we headed home.  I was very disappointed to miss the armadillo dinner, but Daddy said we had to be moving on.  Though I spent hours with them, I never did learn which was Big Boy or Little Boy.

When we got home, the first words out of Mother’s mouth were, “Where are your shoes?  You’ve got to go to Bible School tomorrow.”

I wore sixty-nine cent flip flops for the rest of the summer.

 

 

 

 

The Case of the Mysterious Spotted Dog Murder

Our life with Annie, our surly, farting Dalmatian was complicated by her partner in crime, Greg, the ever-present kid from across the street.  I use ever-present in the strictest sense.  Greg’s mom worked nights.  In a casual relationship never addressed by any of us, Greg made a beeline to our house as soon as he got home every day, hit the pantry for a snack, and let Annie out of prison.  Greg was well known for investigating our premises, keeping himself abreast of what all that was going on at our house, while he dawdled about, picking things up, questioning, “What’s this?  When did you get this?”   We’d chat about his day.  Afterwards, he and Annie would go off on a ramble, since we lived in a rural neighborhood with many large wooded areas. They were a common sight, known all over the neighborhood.

At any rate, one afternoon he and Annie stumbled on a construction site, just as a human skull was unearthed.  Naturally, the ensuing hub bub was tremendous. With law enforcement and news crews arriving, Greg and Annie managed to be front and center, part of the big story. Greg was ecstatic, carrying the news all over the neighborhood, taking full credit for the entire situation.  Anxious to milk the situation for all it was worth, Greg made a hasty trip back to our house to retrieve a gag item of my daughter’s, a dummy arm and hand intended to hang from the trunk of a vehicle, giving the impression of a body is in the trunk.

Returning to the wooded area near the site of all the excitement, Greg tossed the “arm” to Annie, initiating her favorite game of “keepaway.”  Annie burst from the woods, arm in her mouth, ripping through the yellow crime scene tape.  Greg was right behind her, yelling his head off. It was like a scene out of a Monty Python movie. Annie, no novice, at being chased by shouting strangers, headed home, dragging the incriminating arm.  Winded, she scratched at the back door, still clinging to her prize.  Shortly, she was followed by Greg and a bevy of law enforcement officers, asking to see the arm.  She’d hidden in the bedroom, reluctant to part with such a desirable prize, but I brought it out for their examination.  I was so glad not to be Greg’s parent that day.

Oh, the skull turned out to be that of a Native American who’d probably died more than one hundred years before.

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/not-quite-the-proverbial-turd-in-the-punchbowl/

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/pooping-with-brian/