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Sep 11, 2007

*Gloom, despair, and agony, on me
Deep dark depression, excessive misery,
If it weren't for bad luck,
I'd have no luck at all,
Gloom despair, and agony, on me....


I got one of those forwards today that if you don't send it to 20 people, you'll have bad luck forever. I hate those bad luck forwards. Being a hillbilly by nature, I am highly superstitious. Don't walk under ladders, worry a little when black cats cross the road in front of me, and God help me if I get a chain letter. Broken mirrors, don't ask. Super glue helps, but its kinda like cheating. Red sky at night, sailors delight...red sky at morn, sailors take warning. And as one thought leads to another I got to thinking about being a kid, which is how I learned to be superstitious,I guess.



Of course growing up in the hills, chasing butterflies, barefoot and fancy free, checking the outhouse for an occasional spider, we didn't see many sailors. We saw lots of hobo's, but no sailors.

We set traps for hobo's. We were going to catch us one, and keep him. For what reason, I fail to remember. Maybe to have as a prisoner. We would have kept him in the basement with the canned goods, and the potatoes, and whatever else lived down there. Most likely we would have given him blankets and such to keep warm, and RC cola's to drink, when we found where my mother hid them. Just like the cookies. She always hid the cookies.

That was ok. We ate sugar sandwiches instead. What, you've never eaten a sugar sandwich? Then you've probably never drank unsweetened kool-aide. It most definitely is an acquired taste. One I didn't have much luck with. I'm sure we would have made many sugar sandwiches for the hobo, as well as bologna sandwiches when we had it.

We usually hung around down by the creek, near the railroad crossing, figuring the hobo's would hop off the trains when they slowed down for the crossing there. Why we figured that, I don't know. The trains usually took the crossings going at least 50mph. Whatever hobo we captured after jumping off of that train would have taken at least a year of nursing back to health.

Finally the day came when we saw a man walking down the old dirt road that led to our neck of the woods. He wasn't walking down the railroad, but he had to be a Hobo. He seemed to be holding something in his hands. Hot damn, that must have been his bundle of stuff. He had lost the stick he had it tied to, and had to carry it his hands. We were about to descend the hill to get a better look, when my mother ushered us all in the house. She had that look on her face that was reserved for "Git in the house, there is a mad dog outside!" We never saw one of those either, but we lived in dire fear of them.

My mom grabbed up the phone, and told whoever was on it at the time, (we had a party line and I used to listen endlessly to my neighbors talking), to get off the line, she had to call the law. There was no police back then. There was the LAW.

If someone shot your dog, you would get the law after them. Of course she had to tell them why. "There is a man walking down the street exposing himself. He must be a pree-vert looking for children."

At this time, I was all of five, but I knew a pree-vert was not a good person. I couldn't understand the part about exposing himself. I looked to my sister, who promptly ran to the window overlooking the road, and said, "I don't see anybody...maybe we can see his dick.." I, again, was lost, because I was not familiar with this term either. I figured it was not a good word though. It wasn't used around the house that often. Never by my mother.

When she got off the telephone, she came to us, my sister, me, our neighbor Iry, and said, "You all stay in the house. The law is coming out to get that pree-vert. He's walking up and down the road down there showing his privates." Now, that I knew. The part of his body he wasn't supposed to let anyone see. Why in the blue blazes would a man walk down a hot dusty road with his private parts hanging out? It made no sense to me whatsoever. But I did as I was told. We all stayed glued to the window, except my mom, who had to call everyone and his ugly brother and tell them about the pree-vert. Sure enough the man walked back up the road, but his back was to us.

Shit, I'll never know what it looks like now, I thought to myself. The mysteries of the opposite sex. Of course I didn't think the word sex. That was almost as bad as showing your private parts. It just was not discussed in our house.


We finally saw the law's car come cruising along, and,topping the hill, he pulled up in our driveway, driving his car over the bumps and holes that made up our drive way. Dust was everywhere, but we didn't care. We raced outside to hear what he would say. Of course, I hid slightly behind my older sister, as I was still backward, and didn't want to be noticed.

He said the man was gone. My mother was relieved, thankful her babies hadn't been kidnapped by the pree-vert. We, of course, we're sorely disappointed. We had begun to think he might have been a better captive than the hobo. We would just have to make him cover his private parts up where we didn't have look at them. But I had wanted a quick peak first, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

We went back outside, but it was time for Iry to go home. Our hobo capturing ventures were on hold for the day. We talked about the pree-vert all evening. My mom stayed on the phone, updating everyone and his ugly brother. When my brother showed up,we told him all about the pree-vert and the law, and much to our dismay he burst out laughing. He said it was probably old Bob Lacy, drunk as a skunk, trying to take a piss. I was shocked, but my sister laughed. But, in a way it made sense to me. Bob had his outhouse on the edge of a cliff, and we were all waiting for that certain scream in the night that signaled when he sat back just a little too far. It didn't paint a pretty picture. Especially since the cliff overlooked the railroad tracks. We figured one night he would be doing his business and the outhouse would fall off the cliff into the path of an oncoming train, and that would be the end of Bob. I know I wouldn't want to go in that outhouse to do anything!

Looking back on it all, two things strike me. Why a child molester would think it would be a sensible game plan to expose himself thinking little children would run to him and say, "Take me, Mr. I want to go!" and, why didn't all the good neighbors just run out and beat the hell out of him? It wasn't like he was somebody's dog. No one would call the law on them for doing a good deed, such as whipping the crap out of a pree-vert.

You know, I think my brother was probably right. It probably was old Bob, drunk on moonshine, looking for a place to relieve himself. Now him we could a caught with no problems whatsoever. We never did catch a hobo, or really ever see one, but we were always on the lookout, and checked for tracks and such, and we never caught a pree-vert either. I dare say my mother would have had a heart attack if we had.

*From a skit from the TV series HEE HAW

22 comments:

Babzy said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA I can't even read this post. I got as far as "keeping the hobo you trapped". SCREEEEEAAAAAAAMMHAHAHAHA

I have a headache. I have to come back later. Oh Gawd what would we do without you. JEEEZUZ

SJ said...

That was so funny to read.

If more little girls would lock up pree-verts in the basement than the other way around the world would be fine place indeed.

Actually you are right when you say no child molester would go around streaking through the streets. Most children are molested by family and family friends than by strangers. A priest outfit might help you know?
BTW I've done the tag.

BRUNO said...

Ya' know, with a little-bit of editing, this would have all the makings of a good, scary halloween story---keep that in mind in another month or so...!

Woozie said...

This was really really good, funny stuff. You should have brainstormed names for your future prisoner, like Snuggles :)

alphonsedamoose said...

I loved BROWN sugar sandwiches as a kid.
You're right. Back then the neighbours could beat the crap out of a pree-vert. Now there seem to be just to many of them and we can't do anything about it. Too bad.

Mary said...

You are good lady. Just plain old good!

Babzy said...

Never had a sugar sandwich but I eat ketchup sandwiches all the time. Just had one yesterday.

Deb, your stories are really good. I felt like I was right there with you.

Scott from Oregon said...

We were more likely to catch hippies than hobos where I grew up.

Dorky Dad said...

He couldn't have had to go THAT bad, however ... if you've been drinking and you have to GO ... you just go. You don't wander up and down the tracks holding Mr. Happy ...

just me said...

DD: You didn't know ole Bob. Couldn't find his way out of paper bag after imbibing that much moonshine.

Scott: The hippies came later. We became hippies.

Babzy, yes I have eaten a ketchup sandwich. And a mayonaise sandwich. And a mustard sandwich.

SJ: Back then I was a tomboy, and little girls wore frilly dresses. When I started school I had to wear them, and I looked like a fool. A stick in a frilly dress.

Woozie: We would probably have called him Hobo, the prisoner. Or villain. We knew that word from watching Roy Rodgers.

Bruno: You got me thinking...about Halloween...

Moose: I can't even remember us having brown sugar. It was not necessary. I probably ate some lard sandwiches, though.

Mary: I agree with the plain and old. So do kids in the neighborhood. "Miss EJ, you can't be that old...did you know George Washington?" "Yes, who do think made him chop down the cherry tree?"

Craze said...

Great post, very funny. I've never had a sugar sand but I also tried to acquire the taste of koolaid without sugar, didn't work for me either. But I am very superstitious.

Catmoves said...

Wonderful touch. Evoking all these memories in all of us. I stand in awe. Thank you for making me laugh.

BBC said...

You write longer posts than I do. :-)

I don't forward most of the nonsense that others email me. Unless it's some good humor.

I mostly grew up in a small hick town and spent a lot of time in the hills, and I'm not a bit sorry I did, good days. I don't recall any hobo's around there.

Used to hike into the hills to spend a day or two with an old goat rancher there. And spent a lot of time camping on lakes and rivers. And not with parents, just my brother and I.

I remember peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches as a youth.

Mutter, mutter, have a great day. Hugs.

No said...

Come one, come all the redneck wedding bash of the season....today on my blog...

BBC said...

As for trying to get those that know you to read your blog, I will address that on my blog tomorrow.

just me said...

bbc, I don't know if you have met no. Please allow me to the pleasure of making this introduction. No, this is bbc. Bbc, this is no.

just me said...

No: Well, paybacks are hell, aren't they?

No said...

It's the Pheasant Country (yankee) version of a Redneck Party...once I wrote it, I thought it might be offensive to some, but hell, I go to these redneck parties all the time...We are rednecks up here in the north country too...I'm just making fun of myself!

No said...

Oh, nice to meet you, BBC..thanks for coming to my Yankee Redneck party...everyone is invited, by the way!

just me said...

Yankee and redneck go together about as well as peanut butter and mayonaise. But, hey, what do I know, being just a hillbilly, apt to get above my raising now and then.

Ya'll come...
Ya'll come...
Oh, ya'll come and see us by and by..

No said...

You betcha....that's the "up nort" Yankee in me...come over some hotdish and lefse, don't you know...

Lin said...

Know what you mean about those chain e-mails with the built-in curses if you don't pass them along. To me, that's worse than flicking a booger on someone you're supposed to like so I take the curse on instead. Might explain why life gets a little crappy around here at times though.