“SUSIE MAE’S HAN’S”

One day when Susie Mae was hoeing out the yard: She commenced complaining ‘bout her hands a’hurting when she HOE’D, boff  th’ yard, an’ th’ garden. I told her that she ort to go see the doctor ‘bout them cause we’uns couldn’t afford fer her to be out of commission, her bein’ one of the best HOE’R’s in the county.

She finally ‘cided to go, and when she come back she said the doctor told her she had corporal tunnel or sumpin’. I told her that it looked like to me lack: She could of at least had Sergeant or Lieutenant, rong; cause that would be more in keeping, with folks of our stature.

He told Susie Mae that she ort to go to the hospital and have her hands cut open an’ fixed. She just ‘bout got on her high horse when he said that, cause she always has been kind of squimish, bout bein’ sliced on. I told her she mought as well go on with hit since I wanted her to be in good shape come Cotton HOE‘ing  time, so she finally made up her head to do hit.

Well, we got everything fixed fer her to go, and we driv up to the hospital in the truck. No sooner than we’uns got there this dude come running outten a little house side of the front door and says to me, “Y’all can’t park that thing there.” Susie Mae flew mad and says to him, “I reckon we’uns’ll pay enough fore we’s through here to park anywheres we want to, so there, “Mr Smarty Pants.”

Well, I finally moved the truck off to a field that they had covered with cement, and me and Susie Mae went in. They was a gal settin behint a table with a stack of papers in front of her, and Susie Mae said to her, “I’s come to git my hands fixed.” That gal looked sort of funny and said, “Who sent you?” Susie Mae kind of frowned and said, “Ain’t nobody sent me, Jay Henry driv me in the truck.”

I knowed right off th’ bat that them two won’t a’gonna hit it off, so I told that gal that the doctor were ‘spectin’ us’ens and she took us off to a little room where you sign up fer the hospital. The woman what was signing us up ast Susie Mae who was gonna pay fer all this, and I stepped in and told her that my “Onsurance,” had better pay fer hit , or I’d quit payin my dollar ever week.

Well, we got through signin’ up and they took Susie Mae back to a room and told her to undress. You ort to of seen Susie Mae’s face when they said that. She said, “Why’s I got to take my frock off when all I want is my hands fixed.”  They made her, anyhow, and she come out of that room with a real short gown on whot button’d up th’ back. She was havin one more time tryin to hold that thing together an’ keepin’ her butt hid.

Then they made her lay down on a table what had wheels on hit and they pushed her off to the hand fixin’ room, wherever that was. They told me to wait, an’ I set down and started lookin at a old Sears’ catalog. I had just got to th’ page about the women’s teddys when the doctor come in.

He called me over in the corner and told me that he had done only one hand this time cause he didn’t want to fix her so’s she couldn’t do nothing. I told him ‘thankee; for that, cause she had a lot of stove wood to tote in and the washin’ to do.

He said to not let her lift too much, and I told him that; “I had a real light “AXE” that I’d let her use, so’s she won’t hurt herself.”

When they rolled her back in that waiting room, she was pure – tee ‘taking’on,” ’bout how bad her hand hurt, and I told one of them Nuss – Gals to bring her a Asprin.  She said, “Oh, no: She had sompin’ back there.”   ” Then, I “I axed that Nuss; ifi’n she had, give Susie Mae, a Co – Coler and a square cheese cracker; whot she loves?

Well, I didn’t arguefy wiff her.  I kinda figured that with Susie Mae’ bein hefty and all’, another a ‘nother Asprin wont gonna hurt none: But I ‘cided to wait til we’uns got home and give her one.

When we’uns got back to the shack, Susie Mae flew into one handed cooking, and I knew that all she was doin’ were a ’messing up all the dishes she could just so’s I’d have to wash ’em: “I ain’t never seen so much “strewing and ‘be-gumming” in my life, and I finally had to make her go to the front room and set down.

Atter, I got things kinda straitened up, I went in there and purely laid down the law to her. “I told her that when the doctor done her other hand; an’ if she:”

“Took – on, next time,like she had done this – hear time:”  “Well-sr: I were a’gonna go off, somers, and won’t a’gonna come back ’til she done got well.” 

“They’s jus’ ‘So-Much’; whot I can handle; an’ she had done reached that-thar mark.”      Demijon.     

“EMBARRASSING MOMENTS”

After receiving an invitation to the wedding of a friend’s daughter, my lovely child bride of better than “Sixty” years informed me that I was to carry my; “Other” suit (the Cleaners.  The one without the suede patches on the sleeves); to be cleaned up.

Being the obedient person that I am, I complied.  Removing the suit from the hanger, I was checking the pockets and discovered a bulletin from the Christmas service at the church dated; December 24, 1992.  As you can readily see, I am very conservative when it comes to unnecessary use of my “good” clothing.

The cleaners presented me with a claim check which I carefully brought home and filed on the kitchen table along with my other “stuff.”  Several days later my wife had an uncontrollable urge to clean up.  Along with the newspapers, receipts, pads for doodling, paper clips, and various sizes of rubber bands went my claim check, destined for the trash dump.  Left intact on the table were several ten cents off coupons, three six months old birthday cards, a sale catalog from Fredericks of Hollywood, three recipes torn from The Farm Bureau News, and an application for admittance into Tee Shirts Anonymous.

I really did not get excited about this until I sought to retrieve my suit from the cleaners.  Meekly I approached the desk with an apologetic smile on my face and informed them that I was without my claim check.  From the look of scorn on their faces I began to harbor thoughts of never seeing my trusty “Other” suit again.  Finally upon my presentation of my “Driver’s license, my social security number; and pictures of my two undernourished children:, They relented and allowed me to redeem my suit.

To prevent this embarrassment in the future, I suggest that all cleaners issue claim checks with the wording:  “Do not remove under penalty of law.”  Even with this mandate I am certain that my lovely roommate, will dispose of them if and when she needs more room for her catalogs.  It is definitely not easy to share a room with a lady who is a catalog “SHOP-A-HOLIC.”

Demijon

 

“ELEVATED: BUT NOT EXALTED” !

I suppose that the worse person with which one has to deal with is the one who has a long, magnificent title but no job.  You know the ones of which I speak.  They are usually:

“MANAGERS OF EMBEDDED FOREIGN MATTER WITHIN THE CONFINES OF  THE FIBROUS MATERIAL, WHICH CONSTITUTES THE WALKING SURFACE.”  Impressive;  Huh?

What this awe-inspiring, ‘Title’ really means is that this individual; is in charge of Vacuuming The Carpet.  Contentment, to them, is being “IN CHARGE.”

There are persons who place more importance on a majestic Title than on a worthwhile duty or commensurate compensation.  They seem to thrive on the distinctive “TITLE,” as proof that they have reached the ‘Pinnacle of Success.’  The fact that they are allowed access to the ‘Managerial Washroom;’ and are addressed as “Mr.” or “Ms.” satisfies their longing for ‘Prominence’

I once knew of a person who would apply for any Vacancy in Management; regardless of his qualifications.  In many instances the pay scale of the position was well below his present rate.  However, this did not deter him from his quest for “Managerial Status.”  He would gladly have given up his above average salary in order to be placed within the ranks of; “Boss.”

If, by chance;, one of these people is elevated to the position of “Supervisor:” their entire demeanor changes.  They become arrogant and inconsiderate to the point of being intolerable.  Their attitude is that they are never to be questioned: “Only Obeyed.”

It matters not to these “Boss-Seekers,” that a subordinate has more knowledge and/or experience; so long as they recognize that they, are on a “step below” one; who holds a key to the “Managerial Washroom”;  and the one’s who are permitted to refer to other employees as “My Help.”

On the other hand, I have known many people who have reached the pinnacle through their determination and hard work.  Their definition of success is not in their own accomplishments but rather through the efforts of the entire organization.  They have no desire for titles and consider themselves just another member of a “Winning Team.”

Respect for their fellow workers is evident in every aspect of their role as ‘team leader’ and they value input from every member.  They demand no more of others than they themselves are willing to give.  They are friendly and are easily accessed from, even the lowest man on the totem pole.  Whether they agree or disagree, the most important facet of their relationship with others is that “THEY LISTEN!”

When the above mentioned “Title-Seeker;” recognizes these traits, ‘Then and Only Then; can he consider himself deserving of a “TITLE.”

Anyone can be: “ELEVATED:” But only a small number can be “EXALTED.”

Demijon

“FORTUNES LOST !”

I suppose that I have thrown away more money than many people earn in a lifetime.  You may ask, “How’d he do that?”

It’s really very simple.  As a youngster; “I failed to realize the potential value of hundreds of Red Ryder’, ‘Gene Autrey’, ‘Hopalong Cassidy’, ‘Bat Man’, ‘Superman’; and ‘Captain Marvel’ comic books”.  As an avid reader of these, (now considered, classics),  I hoarded every dime until the next issue was on the Newsstand:  “(a small rack in the corner of the  Drugstore)”.

Stacks and stacks, of these publications cluttered one corner of the bedroom that my brother and I shared.  Since his interests were more or less centered around music, I regarded this corner of the room as my personal library.  Alongside with this disarray, were other; (now, realized; (CLASSICS): “BIG LITTLE  BOOKS.”       

“Tarzan of the Apes:”  “Dick Tracy;” (before the two-way wrist radio): “Sheena”; “Queen of the Jungle.” (adorned in “the original bikini”); and, “Buck Rogers in the “TWENTY FIFTH CENTURY.”    Many more titles were in this library, and each book contained a picture on one page and the dialogue on the facing page.  Some of the later ones sported small pictures in the corner which, when thumbed, would create a motion picture.

Each of these treasures were packed with action.  Good old ‘he-man’ action where good triumphed over evil and the Hero’s never resorted to more than a ‘fist-fight with the bad guys; or expending; “Thirty-Two Bullets from a Six-Shot Revolver;”  before re-loading.

Also, when the battles were won, the ‘HERO’ simply rode off into the sunset to seek, yet another adventure.  It did not occur to these Dudes, that the lady, whose ranch they had saved, might – would have invited them into the house for; ‘A drink; or a possible “Roll in the Hay.”  “Of course; these ‘Main Players’ would not have gone, anyway.”

 

Classics?”  “YES.”  I was in Charleston, SC, recently and visited the Old Market.  In a booth there was a collector of these classics.  While chatting with him, I began to realize just how wealthy I was as a child.  He informed me that certain,  (.!0 cent); comics, were valued in the Thousand’s, and Big Little Books’ sometimes even more.

Who could have known that these publications would be sought after by collectors?  After reading and re-reading them, I grew tired of the same books and began trading them for others and eventually discarded most of them.

I sometimes wonder how my life would have been different if I had kept all the Comics and Big Little Books until they had become worth their weight in gold.  Would I now be an Entrepreneur? sought by collectors throughout the world?  Would I now be famous?

“LUCK OF THE DEMIJON !”   “AS – PER – USUAL:”   “With my kind of luck:…..       “Today: Collectors would be clamoring for copies of “LOOK,” or The Saturday Evening Post;” and my Comics would be worthless.”

Demijon

“HI-FLO-LOOTIN” vs “PLAIN” – “STUCK-UP”

To the uninformed, it may seem that the two terms mean the same.  There is; however, a distinct difference.  The former consists of a gentry who through their own efforts or not; enjoy wealth, fame, and / or status, that is far above the reach of the average citizen.  The term “stuck up” is applied to the ones who have recently acquired a measure of the above and are constantly making you aware of it.

I will attempt to illustrate with the saying that;  “If you have it: You don’t have to flaunt it.”  Newly acquired wealth/status cannot readily be noted; therefore; it becomes necessary to inform everyone of their elevated station in almost every conversation.

Brandishing ‘New-Found Status’ gets old in a hurry.  When this happens, the recipient has no other choice than to brand the person as being “Stuck-Up.”  In some cases, fame or fortune was evident in generations past; but for some reason the persons feel that they must still maintain the charade.  Being unaware that these actions do nothing toward the winning and / or the influencing of friends; does not deter them in their attempts to advise “everyone” of their importance, on every occasion.

Members of society who are referred to as “Hi-Flo-Lootin,” usually have no reason to remind anyone of their prominence.  Most are respected for being friendly and “down-to- earth.”  Many are referred to by titles:  i.e. “Colonel, Smith:”  “Judge, Jones:”  “Doctor, Evans:”  “Captain Baker;” etc:  Although they do not require this of anyone.  They “don’t flaunt it.”

An example of the difference between the two terms are as follows:

We have a very dear friend who; through much hard work, built a successful business from scratch.  The fact that he, afterward; had wealth, a measure of fame, and a title of President; did nothing to affect our friendship.

Once, we were attending a party at his home and he was asked by someone, “To what do you attribute your success?”  His answer was, “Through the dedication of  “ALL” of OUR associates.” 

“Realism:”  “While attempting to get a postage meter reset recently; ‘at a small branch of the Post Office.   A ‘apparently, new’ – line Supervisor informed me that:”

“I only have one clerk in MY office and I cannot take MY clerk from MY window to set your meter.  If you will bring it back tomorrow when MY other clerks are on duty at MY office, I will order one of them to do it.”

See the difference?   NOW:  “I am very sure that “YOU” will react differently; “When you win the lottery / sweepstakes”?

Demijon

“FOOLISH-???” “Yeah; but worth it.”

The year was 1950.  The month was May when this young man decided to enlist in the Army.  At the time, it was the logical thing to do.  A steady, if not an enormous income, with benefits that included clothing, food and shelter sounded very good to someone who had grown up during the hard times of the Great Depression.

Even the physical examination that precluded induction was free.  Tickets for a train ride across three states were provided by the recruiting office.  It seemed to the young man that these folks had thought of everything, and he experienced no regret for agreeing to their terms of total commitment to his country for a short period of his life.

Arriving at the train station in Louisville, Kentucky, there was even transportation provided to take the assembled group to their final destination, Fort Knox.  Most of the young men enjoyed this V.I.P. treatment and assumed that it would continue.  All of the tales that they had been told about Army life were pure malarkey.  This was not half bad.  Even the sergeant in charge of the group had addressed them as gentlemen.

Things took a downward turn as the bus stopped before a ‘MESS HALL’ on the post and an Officer along with two Sergeants approached the bus with shouts of;  “FALL-IN, YOU MEATHEADS;”  “GET OUT OF THAT BUS.” “YOU’RE OURS, NOW!”

The respect that they had been given was quickly replaced with scorn.  The rag-tag group was marched into the mess hall for their first taste of Army food.  Told to line up at a serving counter, they realized that there was good news and bad news.  The good news was that the “Food tasted Awful.”  The “bad news” was that there was a, “LOT OF IT.”

When they had been fed, they were again marched to a wooden building or barracks that would be their home for eight weeks.  Inside the two story structure were two rows of double decked metal cots and a huge bathroom in one corner of the lower story.  They were assigned a cot and a wooden footlocker, and then were told to; “FALL – OUT!”  This time, they were marched to another wooden building that housed a barber shop.  The sergeant ordered that each recruit receive a; “1/4 inch and white sidewalls” haircut.

If there was any thought in the minds of the young men that their lives would continue to be their own, the haircut dispelled it.  “They now belonged to the Army, body, soul and shaved head”. 

Marching back to the supply room, they were issued sheets and blankets and were told just how to make their beds.  It must be made so tight that a coin would bounce if flipped upon it.  Then they were left to their own thoughts until time to “Fall Out for Chow.”

The eight weeks consisted of shots, physical training, classroom training, instruction in the use and the actual firing of the M-1 rifle as well as tactics necessary for the waging of war.  The last week of basic training involved “BIVOUAC.”

Loaded into Army trucks, they were transported to an area that the cadre referred to as the “Boondocks.”  This was to be their home for the final week of their training.  Housed in “PUP-TENTS;” or two man strips of canvas buttoned together, they put into practice the things that they had learned and staged mock wars with other groups.   The final day of Bivouac was the most grueling because it required of them a, “25 mile march back to camp, each carrying his own gear”.

The day before graduation, they were assembled to hear a talk from a member of the Army’s elite forces, “A PARATROOPER.”  His immaculate uniform and mirror like jump boots impressed most of the group, and his rendition of the exhilarating feeling that one experiences when leaping from an aircraft in flight caused more than a few to opt for this adventure.

However, after signing to become a part of this “better than the best” unit, it was discovered that the rigorous training that they had just completed would be discounted, and they would begin all over again.  “It will be worth it when your wings are pinned on your blouse,” they were told.

On arrival at the Infantry School in Ft. Benning, Georgia, they discovered that the basic training that they had conquered was child’s play as compared to “JUMP – SCHOOL.”

“Push-ups,”  “5-mile runs,”  and  “Jumping from towers attached to cables:” and Hours of Exercise, were simply; ‘The Order Of the Day’.  “EVERY day.”  Somewhere in the back of each mind was the thought, “Am I being a little foolish?”  The answer came almost immediately, “WELL: MAYBE; JUST A LITTLE BIT.”

However, the torture that we had gone through was quickly forgotten; when we were finally authorized to wear the; “Shinny, Jump Boots”, the “Parachutist Wings”; and the distinctive, “Hat patch.”  “Even a promotion to the rank of Sergeant; along with a raise in pay was included.”   “FOOLISH”?  “Probably:  But it was worth it“.

Demijon

“FAMILY STYLE”

Recently we were in a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, that advertised dinners served “Family Style.”  Judging from the packed parking lot, we assumed that the food was above average and we liked the idea of sitting around a large table with people from all walks of life, trading stories and asking:  “Will you please pass the potatoes?”

Once inside, the scene was different.  Individual tables and regular menus consisting of the usual entrees were much the same as other establishments.  The ambience differed only in that the building was constructed of old logs with cement applied to the cracks between the logs.

When questioned, the hostess explained the term  ‘Family Style.’   With each entree would be served an appropriate amount of several vegetables to be shared among the occupants of that table.

The food was good and plentiful even though our ideas of eating dinner “Family Style” differed from theirs.

While enjoying the dinner; I was reminded of an old house in a remote location in Charlotte, NC, during the late 1950’s.  Called the “Fairview Inn:”  This house served lunches and dinners in the true Family Style tradition.

Upon entering;  One took any available seat at a long table on which was piled bowl after bowl of vegetables and several kinds of bread.  A waitress brought a plate with the “Meat Of The Day,” and your ‘Drink.”  You were then, left to fend for yourself among the strangers around you.

   “Please pass the beans.”  “Will you pass the okra, please.”  “I’d like some of those mashed potatoes.”  These sounds competed with the introductions and small talk around the table as everyone ate their fill of the deliciously prepared meal.  If, by chance, a bowl was emptied, it was immediately replaced by a waitress who mingled with the guests.

Good, solid food, was their trademark here and the first-time guest was in for a shock when they had eaten their fill and approached the register to pay.  “Did you get enough?”   “That will be “FIFTY-TWO – CENTS,” please.”

Incidentally, the cost of the ‘Family Style’ dinner in Jacksonville came to ‘Twenty Two Dollars’ and change, for four of us.  Quite a difference; Huh.”?  Although delicious: The; food was no better than the “Fifty-Two-Cent,” meal at the old ‘Fairview Inn’.

“Who said that times change for the better”?

Demijon

“VACATIONS”

My son informed me the other day that he and his lovely roommate were planning a vacation that would not cost an arm and a leg.

Citing an ailing economy, and the inflationary prices of almost everything, I asked how he was going to accomplish this.  “It’s easy, he replied.  We’ll camp in our $55,000.00 (?) Travel Trailer, pulled by our $30,000.00 (?) Pickup and rent a site at the  Travel Park, for only $66.00 (?) per night.”

When I had re-gained my voice, I reminded him that the Campsite Rental alone would cost more than we had ever spent for a vacation in our lives  .Although we had learned early on, that the only way our family could SEE THE U.S.A.” was to carry our home with us.  This was done initially with the purchase of a Small  ‘Tent; and a few other Accouterments,’  designed to pack in small places and would open out to provide shelter and a make-shift kitchen.

If memory serves me  correctly, we invested around $100.00 in enough equipment to allow us to live out of doors for short periods.  As luck would have it, we possessed a station wagon that would hold most of this equipment while the tent and tent poles were tied to the luggage rack on top.

Our first few outings were usually on a two day weekend until we became familiar with the setting up and taking down”.   When a trip was planned, we packed the car on Thursday evenings, with what we though would be the necessities for survival in the ‘wilds’.  The only thing to do after work on Friday was to tie the tent on top and gas up the station wagon.

At the time, our children were small and we made a bed for them in back to sleep while we traveled.  Gasoline was relatively inexpensive in the late 60’s and early 70’s so we would splurge with a full tank (around $4 or 5 dollars.)   Of course we had packed sufficient foodstuffs but we did not count this as an extra expense since we would have to eat if we stayed at home.

Driving for some four hours at night, we would arrive at Lake Arrowhead Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina”; during the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Parking the wagon beside the office, we cat-napped until the Campground opened for business.  Then we registered and secured a campsite for the night for a total of “$3.00”.  We set-up the tent and cooked a hearty breakfast on the Coleman Camp Stove before venturing to the beach to literally ‘wear ourselves out’ by frolicking in the surf and sun until our lunchtime of Peanut Butter and Crackers.  Then the afternoons were much the same after a short rest.

If we were fortunate to have 4 or 5 dollars extra, we would opt for an evening meal at one of the local Seafood Restaurants.  Returning to our site, we would build a bonfire and visit with our camping ‘Neighbors’ until everyone was in dire need of sleep.  A quick jaunt to the beach after breakfast on Sunday and it was time to pack up in order to meet the 11:00 check-out time.

While driving home, my lovely wife, and ‘bookkeeper’, figured the total cost for a weekend at the beach.  Gasoline  –  $5.50

Campsite  –  $3.00

Eating out –  $12.50

Souvenirs –   $4.00

Total             $19.50

Our family could enjoy a weekend at the beach for an average of “$46.50 LESS” than the cost of one night of campsite rental at today’s prices.  Now you know why we are so “CHEAP!”       Demijon

“DOO-DADS”, “THING-MA-JIGS” & “DOO-HICKEYS”

Many people, if speaking or writing today; will agonize for hours trying to find just the right word or phrase.  This is totally uncalled for if one happens to be from, or a visitor in, the deep South.  “We simply don’t do things that way.  In fact, there is very little that we agonize over – “period.”

We more or less take things as they come and let it go at that.  In most cases, anyone that does use the correct words to define something is often considered “Quare” or “Biggity.”  We know exactly what is meant by, “That doo-hickey what sits on top of th’ motor in my truck went bad.”  (The truck needs a new carburetor).  “See how simple it is”.

When one tells you that the “(Air’s a-showing thru th’ rite back’un);” you instantly know that he is referring to;  ( A Hole in one of the Tires on the Vehicle).  Just stating facts without searching for the ideal description is one of the things that make for the colorful language that is found in the South.

While these descriptions may seem strange to some, they hold perfect meaning for most of us.  “Busted my han’ wide open on a tarr-arn when I’sa changing th’ back’un,” explains why the hand is bandaged.

These substitutions for correct speech are not used because of lack of knowledge in most cases.  They are as much a part of the make-up of the area as the Kudzu and Sand-Spurs.  It would be an honor to be invited into one’s home to look at: “All then ‘Do- Dads, th’ Wife found at th’ Flea Market”.

When a Mechanic tells you that;  “The thang whot sets on your Starter ain’t workin;” You can rest assured that the “Voltage Regulator”, will have to be replaced.  And, you are in deep trouble if the ‘what-cha-ma-call-it,” is faulty at the same time.  But, the surprise comes upon receiving your itemized bill for the repairs and find that the voltage regulator costs $12.95, the alternator $36.50 and the labor $5.00.  You are told:  “Sorry ’bout that; but  $54.45 jus, ort ta do it.”  “Y’all come back, now;”  “How’s th’- Missus an’ th’ little Orphans?

This is definitely not a result of being unaware of current labor costs.  It is simply the way things are done in the South.  We are completely happy with our laid-back style of living and our needs are not as great as our northern brothers, and we are glad to lend a helping hand.

As a rule, most people that visit here will return again and again and some even choose to make this their home.  The slow pace and relaxed way of doing things have a way of attracting others whose desire is to escape the ‘helter-skelter’ of larger, more populated areas:  And it is not long after making the move until they, themselves, are referring to things such as…”Doo-Dads,” “Thing-A-Ma-Jigs”,  & “Doo-Hickeys”.        

“Kinda’ Rub’s off on a Stranger; ‘Don’t it”?  

Demijon.

“DOES FATHER KNOW BEST?”

Even though television has come a long way toward accurately depicting the average family in their situation Comedies; they still have a long way to go in order to get it right.  Perhaps the writers and producers fantasize quite a bit; and portray Mr. and Mrs. Average as being ideal:  The fact that we know differently; is what makes it a Comedy.

How many times has Father come home from work, dressed in an immaculate suit:  Removed his hat and coat, and hung them ‘in the hall closet’:  Fingered, the mail; perfectly, stacked, on the convenient table in the Spotless Living Room; while putting on a Sweater and retrieving his Pipe and Slippers?  Why was there always the sweater?  Was the furnace on the blink again?  “Honey, I’m home:” he says; as he sits in an overstuffed chair and unfolds the evening paper.

“In the kitchen, dear,” is the response from out of camera range and immediately a swinging door, (it always swings), opens to reveal the beautiful Mother:  Clad in the latest fashionable ‘House Dress’, complete with spike heels:  Every hair is in place and a short, ‘Lacy Apron adorns her perfect body’.  “How was your day, dear?”  “She asks as she hands him a frosty drink and bends to kiss his cheek”.

“THREE PERFECTLY DRESSED CHILDREN”; descend the spiral staircase and stands at attention before his chair and in unison remarks,  “We missed you, Father.”  “Note:  It is always Father, never Dad or Pop.  He tousles their hair and leans back to read the stock market report as the beautiful mother and the children retreat to the dining room to prepare the ‘Perfect Dinner by Candlelight’.

“GET REAL, PEOPLE;” “No one lives this way!”  “Okay?”

“PA’S DOING THE BEST HE CAN””

In true life; Dad enters the door; dressed in Coveralls, with ‘Joe’s Garage’ emblazoned on the back. He throws his Cat Diesel cap in the direction of the Coffee Table; strewn with ‘True Confession Magazines:’  He pulls the top of the coveralls from his shoulders and leaves them hanging down his back:  Kicks the papers and schoolbooks from the couch; and slouches at one end while reaching for the remote control to tune the Television to the Wrestling Channel.

“Bring me a beer, Marge,” he says;  “And tell them young’uns to get in here and clean up this hog pen.”  Marge emerges from the curtained doorway that leads to the kitchen, wearing a “faded chenille bathrobe, and with her hair still in curlers.

“You know where the damn refrigerator is:”  “Get your own beer”.  “Do you think you’re the only one around here that works”?   “I’ve had to stop those kids from fighting at least a dozen times:”   “Go wash that crap off your hands:  The hot dogs will be ready in a minute.”

Three filthy children came in the door, bouncing a basketball against the wall and said, “Pa, the septic tank is overflowing again.”  “I need ten dollars for videos.”  “Pa,  Juney’s pregnant”.  “Do I have to marry her”?”

“As I stated earlier, Television has improved over the years:  However, if its realism that they are looking for; they should hire me as a Consultant.  There is nothing like having a person who has experienced, first-hand, the factual aspects of the average Household; to make for a believable characterization of the Ordinary Family.

“Attention all networks:”  “If you are interested; please call me.”  “I am available, but remember, I don’t work cheap.”

Demijon