So. The advertising blitzkrieg for this fall’s elections is gathering steam and I, quite simply, don’t give a shit. Other than poker shows and sporting events and an occasional newscast, I have stopped watching TV. The regularly-scheduled pablum drives me nuts and HBO and Showtime are in reruns. So I don’t have to listen to all the bullshit attack ads infesting the airwaves.
OK, one paragraph in and I’ve already lied to you. I admitedly was watching American Idol and only because Joshua Ledet—a soulful kid with an actual voice who moved me to tears a few times—was the show’s front runner. But once again, the program is misnamed and the one actual pop artist was voted off the show. They need to rename it America Idolizes Pretty Boys With Guitars. I refused to watch this year’s final shows and only know that the guitar-toting pretty boy won because Mother beat me to the newspaper yesterday morning.
I slept late after my extended visit with god the night before, sleeping the sleep of the blessed. I think anyone god calls “Dude” has to be blessed and I know for a fact that god doesn’t call Pat Robertson dude. I learned that my mother set an early alarm so that she could be waiting out to the Ranch Road for the paper to arrive—her effort to control the news. With all the rain we’ve had combined with hot temps, the mo-squeeters are out in abundances. Gram calls them mo-squeeters and right now there is mo of the pesky little fuckers than I can recall ever having this early in the year.
I think if I was a terrorist I’d find a way to use skeeters to bring down my enemy. Plant something in the little bastards salivary glands that turns victims into Modern American christian conservatives. Some sort of gene altering substances. If we all thought the same things as those silly assholes, our society would crumble faster than you can say, “Roman Empire.” We’d be so dumb after two generations that we’d be eating our own young.
I rolled out of bed, let the animals outside to perform their rituals and brushed my teeth before heading to the big kitchen for coffee. I like to grab a cup right away and take it on my walk to get the newspaper.
“Ya don’t need ta fetch tha paper, Mooner. Yer sassy-ass mother headed out three hours back. She’s not back in a few, we’ll need to call the shurff.” Gram took a sip of her moonshine laced milk glass, the drink a morning ritual as long as I’ve known the old bag, and said, “Bugs is so bad she’ll be needin’ hersef a trans-gluin, anna dose a quit-yer-ninnie too.”
“I think you might be right. Maybe the Sheriff can bring the transfusion and quinine when he comes to inspect the scene of the crime. The skeeters are swarming and a person’s only got so much blood.”
Mother and I share the same O-negative blood and I started wondering if I gave her a few pints of mine to replace what the mosquitoes steal if it would effect her politics. I heard the sound of tires on the gravel driveway between the back door and the barn, then two doors slamming shut. The paper lady, Guadalupe Morales-Sanchez, opened the door for Mother to enter. She was patting Mother’s back and saying, “You’ll be OK, mamasita, jus’ don’ scratch nothing.”
My mother was quite a sight. She was blistered from head-to-her open-toe sandaled feet, the bites angry red whelps. “Betcha can’t stick a quarter anywheres on her ass an not hit a bumper,” Gram giggled. “Who’s got a quarter?”
“Jesus, Mother, but you’re a mess,” I told her. “Can I get you anything?”
“You can get the Ivory soap and wash your filthy mouth,” an admonishment in return for my concern. She threw the unwrapped newspaper at my chest, and as the loose sheets of newsprint fluttered to the floor, said to me, she said, “This is all you’re fault, Mooner. You are an ungrateful, sacrilegious disappointment to me—have been all your rotten life.”
Mother looked around the table of Johnsons and Johnson friends for a second, got nothing but giggles at her plight. She took the twenty paces from where she scolded me to the arched doorway to her side of the house. She stopped and whirled on the room, and pointed her finger at me, then in turn at Gram, P-cubed, Aunt Hilda, Sister and Anna. “You, Mooner, and you and you and especially you two lesbians, are all going to Hell.” Mother glared at us each in turn, then said, Oh, and Phillip Phillips won Idol.”
After pronouncing our group sentence of eternity down to Hell, Mother whipped back around and disappeared down the hall. “Don’t take much ta twist her panties in a wad, does it?” Gram drained her moonshine milk glass and set it carefully back on the stoneware coaster I made for her birthday when I was a kid. It was made of brownish rough clay, shaped like a small lilly pad and in my handwriting said, “Best gramother in the world”.
Gram started laughing again and giggled out, “I bet she’s got a dose a tha ceptamorgalitus from them mo-squeeters. Er maybe the delaria or the dispensaries.”
Huh? I got the malaria part but the other two maladies escaped me for a second. “What are you yapping about old woman, malaria and what?” Then it came to me, “Oh, malaria and encephalitis and dysentery. I don’t think you can get the runs from the skeeters, Gram, but the others would be of concern.”
“Don’t you be talkin’ back ta me, sonny boy. When me an’ Hilda was kidnappered by the big, strong handsome Afrikin boys I got bit by one a them tootsie fly thingies an had tha squirts fer a month.”
Here, again, is a time when you need to go buy my book, Full Rising Mooner, and read the whole story about Gram and Aunt Hilda’s Baptist mission to The Congo. You’ll be glad you did and so will I. Only 187,562 more sales and I’ll break even on the book.
The rest of the morning went without incident and I need to update you on the wedding plans. There will be no wedding this weekend but there may be a wedding in the future. I brought Rush Limbaugh home for a visit this morning and for the first time since last week, the ostrich didn’t try to peck his eyes out or bash his brains with his iron hard ostrich head. Squirt tells me that Ricky has softened a little since catching the big pig porking the neighbor’s hogs, so I let Rush stay out in the corral and he’ll go fishing with us, which is what is next on the agenda after I finish with you guys.
Oh, and get this. Yoda has started biting chunks out of my big green tomatoes. He’ll disappear, prancing down the tomato rows like a show dog at Westminster. When he finds suitable fodder he takes one bite from a tomato as it hangs on its vine and then look for another victim. I’m telling you this dog’s DNA is loaded with goat chromosomes.
A few hours later he’s shitting soylent green all over the fucking place. I’ve got his ass in a doggy diaper and have threatened to muzzle him if he doesn’t stop. Then the fucking cat caught a scorpion and brought it in as a present for me. Put the damned thing in my shower where it couldn’t escape the slick tiled rim. I’m in there last night relieving the pressure of not getting any sex—all lathered up and eyes pinched shut—when I feel little pinches on my foot. I looked down and almost had a heart attack.
Which reminds me that I need to go shower and finish before the fishing trip. Manana, y’all.