Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry Screw Pooch; Basil Wilted


So. I wasn’t paying any attention to the weather and a 40-degree overnight chill wilted most of my basil plants. Roughly ninety of the hundred-plus plants are droopier than a king-size sheet on a baby’s bed. Every year at harvest time, we cut basil to hang and dry in the root cellar and for canning tomatoes.

Gram and Aunt Hilda headed to town early this morning to get their holiday pedicures at Ingrid’s Hot Wax Emporium. Ingrid is one of my ex-wives, number seven to be precise, and she owns the best personal grooming facility in town. Ingrid plucks and dyes my butt and pubic regions for my ass shows, and all of the family use her shop’s services.

The Johnson family matrons get their toenails decorated for most every holiday, and Thanksgiving is one of Gram’s favorites. She has each toe decorated with a different of her favorite foods served at the festivities. Last night at dinner, as she and Aunt Hilda planned their trip, Gram says, “Cain’t decide iffn tha turkey goes onna big toe er iffn I’m gonna paint a picture a Rush Limbaugh on the one, an Ricky Perry onna other.”

Then she casts a steely stare in my direction to continue, “If I figger where n hell you got em hid, Mooner, it’s cattails fer em both.”

I’m certain she was talking about Rush Limbaugh the pig and the ostrich Rick Perry. I think she meant that it will be curtains for the two of them if she finds their closeted carcasses. My giant hog and now 350-pound bird are hidden from my grandmother in my bedroom closet, have been for months.

“Oh stop your pissing and moaning, Gram. They haven’t made any trouble for you for at least a week,” I informed her.

Now Gram’s steely-eyed look turns into what we call the “stink-eye” stare. “Who gives a shit iffn it’s a week er a day. I git my hands on em, we’re havin us a bacon wrapped arst-rich stuffed wi ground pork brains.”

She took a bite of her cannelloni with wild mushrooms and bison, chewing slowly while maintaining stinky-eye contact with me. Her stinky eyes never left mine as she chewed, swallowed twice, and guzzled half a bottle of Carta Blanca beer.

“Mooner, yer a inappropriated little shit, and them animals a yers is a maniacal. I’m gonna be packin my 12-gage round tha house an it’s loaded with hog shot.” She held the stinky-eyed stare for another minute and went back to her meal.

To tell you how crazy I am, I actually thought about correcting her to say that she meant the boys are a “menace”, and there’s no such thing as “hog shot” for a shotgun.

Anyway, the two old Johnson broads went to town early and were expected to be out for a few hours. That gave me plenty of time to get Rush and Rick out of my closet and get some air for all three. My clothes are starting to stink of ostrich sweat, an altogether unpleasant odor.

Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson had dropped the Squirt off when she went to work, so the four of us went for a walk to check the garden. That’s when I found the damage to my basil.

“Fuckballs, guys. We need to harvest all of these basil plants and get them in a tub of sugar water.” If you can catch this kind of damage soon enough, place the cut stems of the full plant in a mild sugar water. You can expect at least partial recovery.

I sent Squirt to supervise the boys and gather the tools and wagon we use for harvesting. I got busy checking for rabbit damage on the cool weather garden that is now going bonkers. I was starting to wonder why the guys weren’t back when I heard Squirt barking, and yelling at me from the distance towards the barn.

Squirt runs faster, inch-for-inch, than any animal I have ever seen. Her little legs are only three inches long, but she’s a streak. I see her headed down the road towards me leaving a cloud of dust in her wake. She’s barking and yelling unintelligibly every step. She reaches me and skids to a stop in a spray of gravel, and sits up like a bunny to speak.

“A-huh, a-huh, a-huh,” at first all she can get out are dog pants.

“Take you time, Squirt. What’s the problem?”

“Sacre escrementi, Bwana Mooner. A-huh, a-huh, a-huh. Tu pig and big es en la pantry de los potions con Gram.”

“Oh for shitsakes, Squirt.” And with that the two of us are running to the barn.

I managed to get there before they did too much damage, but the damage was done. I’ll have hell to pay when Gram gets back. I moved Rick and Rush over to Gnat’s place where they’re hiding in the guest room closet.

Me, I’m headed to get a Carta Blanca beer. I need fortification before tackling all that basil.

Manana, y’all.

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