Recommended wine for today’s entry: The Fess Parker Viognier Santa Barbara County 2006, given a 90 rating by Wine Spectator. Their description “Fragrant, juicy and intense, with dried pineapple, apricot and peach notes that are persistent through the long, generous finish. Since its founding in 1969 by Fess Parker – the actor best known for portraying Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and ‘60s … Sometimes the wines reach outstanding, like this charming, fragrant and juicy Viognier.”
Tonight my 19-year-old I spent the dinner hour at a large, chain, grocery/garden/clothing/housewares/electronics/sand art/voodoo doll/Mayflower replica/anything-else-you-can-think-of store. On the way there, my daughter, who goes to college in Ohio, was reflecting on the way Kentucky is portrayed in the media – and because of it, the preconceived notions her new friends from the Northeast and Midwest have of our humble state.
We both agreed that we love Kentucky and all hillbilly portrayals are ridiculous. Then we entered the mega-store where we could find everything on our list of absolute necessities.
One of the items on our list was Hoover type Y vacuum cleaner bags. Simple enough, right? Honestly, this place has the most obscure array of items known to man, but no Hoover type Y vacuum cleaner bags. While we were perusing the exciting vacuum accessory aisle, though, we met the cutest little couple.
They were both on the grocery cart scooter contraptions, although there was no apparent issue with their legs, which he used when he stood up to point at a Hoover belt and she used to kick the sides of her cart like she was riding a horse.
The hubbie was the garrulous one. Well, that is an understatement. He didn’t shut up for a full 10 minutes. I’ll tell you what he said in a minute, but first you need a mental picture of the two of ‘em.
Before they became our best friends, we had spotted them winding along, in single file, all through the store He was always in the lead, she right on his heels/wheels. They caught up with us in Aisle 52B: Vaccuum cleaners and accessories.
I was talking to my daughter (and only my daughter), lamenting the fact that they only had Eureka bags.
“What’cha lookin’ fer?”
I turned around, expecting Jed Clampett, and finding instead, um… Jed Clampett’s younger, scarier brother on a scooter. He had on a straw hat and had a Confederate flag on his sleeve.
I can’t hear worth a dang, so I elected to pretend I didn’t hear him. But my stupid daughter called me out. “Mom, he’s talking to you.”
“Uh,” I answered. “We need Hoover type Y bags.” Should be the end of the conversation, right? Not even close.
You need to know that after that sentence, all we ever said was, “oh, yeah, we have a lot of animals too.”
“Yep, ev’ry time we git us some bags we need us a belt, too.” He looked back at his wife who looked a bit dazed. We noticed that one of her eyes looked like it had been injured.
He continued: “We got us eight cats. Eight cats inside the house.”
We raised our eyebrows, acknowledgment without encouragement. Didn’t matter. He needed no encouragement.
“Yep. And outside, well, outside we got us a grey squirrel, a raccoon, a big grey cat and …” OK, he hesitated, time to make our break. I glanced at my daughter, darted my eyes toward the end of the aisle and freedom. Too late: The wife, from scooter two, filled in: “and ‘em chipmunks.”
Fresh now, he picked up where he left off: “an’ two chipmunks.” He puffed out his cheeks, presumably his impression of chipmunks, which, although excellent, was not worthy of a slot on America’s Got Talent.
Should be time to escape, right? At the end of the critter litany? Nope. Not us. Because we are IDIOTS.
And you know what? Thank God we stayed, because I would not have been able to sleep tonight if I hadn’t known exactly WHEN each of the animals came to his house.
“Yep, the squirrel, it come by in the mornin’. So does the chipmunks.” I nod, backing away. “OH, and so does the big grey cat. Well, the grey cat come in the night too, with the raccoon. They both come at night.”
This has to be the end, one would think. Well, if one were sane, one would think that.
“Used to have a bobcat.”
Alright, I’ll admit. Now I was actually interested.
“Had a bobcat what used to sit right on her lap.” He gestured to the wife, who wasn’t looking too alert anymore. “Had to call Animal Control on it, though.”
Now we had to escape. I was scared and my daughter was laughing. Alright, here I spoke again, but only because I can’t just leave in the middle of a conversation.
“Guess it’s good you live in the country,” I said, praying they were just visiting from West Virginia or something.
“Naw, that’s what’s weird. We live right here in town.” We fled.