Monday, October 13, 2008

A Little Ammonia

Pat has been keeping me amused, unintentionally, with little glimpses of life in the South. From "southern fried baptist" to the woman she overheard telling people:

"I know what'll get rid of those. A little ammonia, or spic-n-span..."

Pat, a late-comer to the conversation, asked, "What do those get rid of?"

"Demons," the woman replied.

And this from a lady Pat had been pretty sure was a believer. The local newspaper reported, by name, on an "incident" in the hospital, and the business of the man in question has suffered ever since. One of her neighbors is a recluse (she knew he was in bad pain when he came over to her house and asked to be driven to the hospital - kidney stones), another is a Jehovah's Witness (who has made herself scarce since after 15 years of friendliness Pat finally told her point blank that she had to believe Jesus was God or she wouldn't go to heaven. I wonder what would happen if she told her that her handsome son could probably get married pretty fast if he'd just quit the JW's), and a third neighbor is a gay man on the point of death who is unable to get on the transplant lists because the marijuana he smoked his whole life - until last October - is still showing up in his urinalyses. He wandered over one day while Duncan was mowing the lawn and poured out his whole life story to Pat, who wasn't quite sure what to do. She wanted to tell him the gospel, but the man's roommate drives over to the Baptist church every week to play organ for their services, so he's heard enough about it to sour him to the suggestion. Such inoculations seem pretty common in the South.

Hank has started mowing their big lawn with his riding lawnmower (which is great), and parking it in their garage (which isn't great). The cats are given three alternate kinds of food at every feeding, and MoJo would prefer that Duncan fed him ice-cream off the spoon instead of putting it in a bowl. At least MoJo doesn't wake them up in the middle of the night to come downstairs and watch him eat, as Minnie used to do.

Oh, and the tiny, invalid grandmotherly-type who lives nearby is constantly hounded by a large beggar, who comes and pounds on her door until she opens it and gives him money. She's not supposed to be smoking, but she gave him money once to go buy her cigarettes, saying he could keep the change. Of course, he took all the money and didn't come back. That day, at least. He did come back later on, pounding, demanding more... I said she should call the police, but it turns out the police don't like to pick him up, cause then he's in the jail. Oh, but it's a moot point, come to find out. He died a few years back. Some sort of liver disease.

You know the recent spate of southern, small-town fiction inspired by the Mitford series? I guess the original source material is alive and kickin'. News to me. What a Yankee I am!

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