Ozark Report: Cousin Bill's "Weekly Ramblings" . . . and Uncle Cran weakly rambling . . .
In a recent issue of his "Weekly Ramblings," Cousin Bill reports from the Arkansas Ozarks on his wife's hard work in removing wallpaper from their bathroom:
Cheryl's continuing her bathroom wallpaper removal efforts (made difficult as sizing wasn't applied), so she's also becoming an expert with spackling. I'm continuing my expertise as the tool cleaner. As a non-participant in the re-do, I'm also keeping my mouth shut unless I'm asked a question. Here's a picture [above] of Cheryl's work efforts to date . . . ready for paint. Purty, huh?Great job with the spackling, Cheryl, nary a crack is visible! Better get that last piece of wallpaper off, though -- wouldn't want some citified individual taking its advice seriously. I have to say . . . the rest of Cousin Bill's place looked more modern.
As might be expected -- among those familiar with my extended family -- Uncle Cran had to horn in and prove his hillbilly cred:
Thanks for the great picture of Cheryl's outhouse. I know you will take pride in her work.As you can imagine, this quickly became a pissin' contest, for Cousin Bill went one better:
It brings back memories of our outhouse, back behind our chicken house and brooder house. We kept Sears and Roebuck catalogs there, since we were slightly higher class than the corn cob crowd. Later, after we became more affluent, we nailed up a coffee can and put a roll of toilet paper in it. We did have a supply of corn cobs around the corn crib, when we went out "behind the barn." And at night us boys would just go out "on the porch" before bedtime, to do a "number one."
For amusement, we would wait until one of our sisters would go in the outhouse, then throw rocks on the tin roof, and listen to them yell, "STOP IT!"
As we became older, we would strip "rabbit tobacco" leaves off a weed, and roll them up in the paper. It's a good thing the outhouse was behind the chicken house and brooder house, so Mom couldn't see the smoke billowing out the cracks in the wall. We didn't need to flush, as there wasn't any water, but we did keep a sack of lime to cover our "doins." Plus there was a hole in the back at ground level, and our fox hounds took care of any deposits.
Whenever we were away from the house, working in the fields and pastures, we had the whole world for an outhouse, and all kinds of trees with handy leaves.
I also thought of another practice that us boys would do when there was a snow on the ground. It was summed up in a song I have on a Chet Atkins CD, called "I Still Write Your Name In The Snow."
I recall those outhouses myself . . . once brother-in-law Gary starting shaking the one at Grandma's with me inside, and it nearly tipped over. [I s]uppose [Granpa] Archie did some remodeling and failed to nail it down. To one up you, I not only wrote names in the snow, but did 'em in old English!Uncle Cran couldn't let that literary allusion pass without spouting off to demonstrate his own literary education, so he quoted Mr. Atkins from memory:
One verse in Chet's song goes:I wish Uncle Cran didn't sing so loud. But maybe he's getting a bit deaf as he approaches seventy. Anyway, I had to join in and try to piss poor Uncle Cran off:
"I WRITE YOUR NAME SO BEAUTIFULLY,
BUT IT'S HARD TO CROSS THE EYES AND DOT THE TEES.
OH DO YOU THINK OF ME WHEN YOU'RE FEELING LOW,
AND WISH YOU COULD WRITE MY NAME IN THE SNOW?"
Must be a piss-poor song if that old bull-Chet-er is so cross-eyed that he can't even handle spelling!Uncle Cran replied by way of explaining what we already knew:
But maybe his pen is hard to manipulate out in the cold?
That was supposed to be a play upon words by my hero Chet.And oddly, feeling a need to explain again, Uncle Cran wrote:
He (or the writer of the song) thought it would be funny to say it that way, instead of just saying, ". . . it's hard to dot the I's and cross the T's." Crossing the T's would be easier than dotting the I's, don't you think? I spent some time thinking of female names using T's and I's.
I haven't tried since I was a kid, but I think my snow writing days are over. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Except maybe with a long stick.
I think that my hero Chet (or the song writer) thought it would be funny to make a play upon words. Crossing the "T's" wouldn't be too difficult, but dotting the "I's" would take a certain amount of skill. I abandoned this practice as my childhood days ended.Old folks tend to repeat themselves, I reckon. But let's let the old feller have the last word:
And of course, snow writing in this manner would be physically impossible for the opposite sex.
My snow writing days are over. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Except possibly with a long stick.
Maybe Jeffery and Bill could elaborate upon this problem . . . or how about just dropping the subject!?
My final word:Uncle Cran suspects correctly in my case. I ain't about to step out of my apartment building and attempt to write anybody's name in the snow here in the midst of the ten million people who make up the population of one of Asia's major metropolitan areas, namely, Seoul City, South Korea!
I suspect that the snow writing days are over for you two guys also.
I'll just stick to using the outhouse . . .