Sunday, October 31, 2010

A plan from Granny to save the economy

"No, I ain't goin' to church today, but you go on ahead.  Why?  Because I gotta get the food ready to put on the porch, since they done marked it so they'd know.  You say I can't save the whole world?  Well, then you don't know your Granny."
wood to cut in Granny's yard
 Brenda Sue's she's been in that city for so long she done forgot what it's like for us country folk.  She says, "You can't save the whole world, Granny," when I knows I can and so does everyone else in Cloutierville cause that's what us folks do.  When someone's sick and hungry, we take care of them.  That's why folks round here they stay home when they see the mark and know someone is comin' for some help.

You see the mark they put on Granny's porch tells a body that food is on that porch.  They comin' from the trains and fields and stopping here to rest.  They cut the kindlin' out there from the wood that's on the ground, because these men are proud, and they don't take no handouts cause they earn what they done get.  They knows they is always somethin' Granny finds around here they can do.

"So you tell those government people at church," I says to Brenda, "if any of them's awake, that Granny has some news for them out here in Cloutierville, that we is helping our folk one at a time, as one can help another, and we make sure each feller has somethin' they can do to earn it and be proud here in the bayous of Louisiana..

And remember this," I tells her as she's gettin' in the truck all fancied up for church and all, "When someone asks why you doing something to help some poor soul and that you can't save the world, well that's just their excuse for doin' nothin' at all.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Granny tells how the women of Cloutierville beat the Devil

"She was all barefoot, with her long, black hair down and twisting by the campfire, as the wind blew across the levees.  The Devil found her walkin' all alone and said, "I'll give to you the one man that all the women want, if you will follow me.  And that Bayou Woman, she agreed, and the pact was surely made one Halloween."
view of the swamp from the levees in Cloutierville, Louisiana                          

Granny knows that story well and tells it every year about that Bayou Woman and how she and the women of Cloutierville fooled the Devil that night.  For the Devil he don't know what women want, so the deal he made was bad.  And so here's more of Granny's story about the Bayou woman on the levees that dark night.

"The Bayou Woman she done went around to all these women in Cloutierville, peering through windows and asking all of them, 'What man you want the most?' and the women said the same.  That's how the Devil lost and went away and never did return to those levees again.

For all those women of Cloutierville told the Bayou woman the man they truly want was the one they already had.  So there was not one man in town that all the women wanted, so the Bayou woman never found the one man the Devil said she would.

So Bayou woman went back to the levees, and the Devil he done gone, but there was this feller walking by hisself all lonely, like no woman wanted him.  That Bayou woman did and took his hand and led him through those swamplands, and they never did come back.

Sometimes you hears him whistlin' while that Bayou woman dances by the campfires, remembering how she got the best man in the town and the Devil was fooled on Halloween those many years ago.

And the children they say nothin' but I see them smile and laugh at Granny's bedtime story about the Bayou woman and Elmer, perhaps they know but never tell.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Putin tells Granny how to get to Sarah Palin's house for a Tea Party in Alaska

Владимир, это - запрос Бабули, я знаю, что Вы заняты с тем вулканом прямо сейчас, но я нуждаюсь в вашей помощи.  Oh, you speak English?  Well, I need directions to Sarah Palin's house, Vladimir, cause I figure if she can see Russia from her house, you can see hers from yours, cause I need directions from Cloutierville to a Tea Party in Alaska.
Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia

Putin, you Prime Minister, that's sounds so fine, Vladimir, Granny's so glad you and me can talk without worrying about the government listenin' in.  You say they still are?  Well, this won't take long, and I'll whisper.  And I'm so proud of you thinkin' about those people in the country.

You see I been invited to this Tea Party at Sarah Palin's house.  You know the one all of you folks thought was real cute when she was Governor of Alaska.  I lost the invitation, and my granddaughter needs directions, so I figure you can give them to me since you probably got a close-up shot.  Yes, thanks.  Sure, I'll tell him you said hi the next time I talk to Barack.  No, that's not Boris, it's Barack.  Yes, it's like some of us name our babies here when they gets that birth certificate when they's born.   Now, I'll let you go and you be sure to keep your eye on Becky when she gets to Alaska."

Nice feller, to get me those directions.  I told Becky when she goes to the Tea Party from Cloutierville,  she has to have a protest sign with her, so she bought this pretty suit like Sarah's and wrote on the sign, "Better red than dead," and someone told her no, that's "Better dead than red," meaning we don't want to be commies, but I told her to leave it alone because Vladimir can see her all dolled up in that pretty red suit and besides the sign makes more sense the way she had it in the first place.  That way nobody could say to her they'd rather be dead than looking like that.

Becky's so excited about the Tea Party invite, since it's getting hard for Granny to travel all the way to Alaska when it starts gettin' chilly.  I told her to stand right in front of Sarah Palin's window and wave right back when she sees her cousin Vladimir so I knows she's safe and where her friends can all see she knows as much about foreign affairs as anybody at the party.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Political tantrums interfere with Granny's dreams

"Get in here.  I said get in here.  No, you can't say one more word, not one more word.  You hear?  You so busy screamin' at each other, nobody can hear what you're sayin.'  Politics as usual, well it ain't usual for me and a whole lot of folks who are fed up with the likes of your shenanigans., and you just watch what they gonna do.
Meg Whitman and Jerry Grown, Gubernatorial candidates in California
 And wipe the mud off your feet, you got all messy throwing dirt at each other and it sticks to the two of you, don't it?  You walkin' in it, you smellin' bad; and none of you is any better than anybody else, no matter how you talkin' cause when you starting name-callin' and talkin' mean, well that shows who you are in the first place.

Your Granny's got eyes in the back of her head, and ears that can hear all the way to California, Missy, so don't think your pretty like blond curls, Meg Whitman, is gonna let you get your way.  With all that money you spent throwing parties and making yourself popular, you could have fed all of the poor people in Cloutierville and sent clean water to those poor, suffering children in Haiti.

And Jerry?  You keep workin' at the same thing over and over and wonder why you gettin' dirty?  Well, get yourself a real job if you don't like it.  Both of you acting mean to each other, the both of you.  I saw Jerry tried to settle down, then you started pickin' again., Missy.  I won't put up with it.  You hear me both of you?  Don't walk away either of you here cause you both going to your rooms and no t.v. and nobody sayin' anything and maybe we can get some rest."

I thought when your folks went out there to California they would have kept their manners they learned in Cloutierville, but Granny sees California dreamin' isn't easy for them folks when I can't even get my sleep with all of your foolish noise."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why the country is broke like Elmer's glasses

"Where are my glasses, Granny?  Did you take them?" Elmer is always losing something and blaming it on someone else,  and wanting folks to help him  just like bank folks lost all those papers about the money they got to make things right.
Elmer's eyeglasses
 "Elmer, when was the last time you had those glasses? You had them on when you were putting Becky's trike together.  You were in the garage the last time I see you wearing the glasses, and you never brought them back in." I told Elmer he needed to look for those glasses hisself, because I just get plain tired picking up after everybody else.

Well, Elmer figured his glasses were just where I suspected they'd be, but then he says, "Now where are the keys to the garage?  Did you move them?"

"Now that's the limit, Elmer, " I tells him, "You probably put them in your pants pocket after you came in the house."

So Elmer he goes around lookin' for awhile and then says, "I can't find those pants.  I bet you hung them up someplace."

I says to Elmer, "If I done that I'd remember it; and I didn't touch those pants.  Did you look through the laundry?"

"I put my pants in a basket someplace.  Was that the laundry?"  Then I remember the basket I put the old clothes to take to the church rummage sale, and I figure that's where they are.  But it's Tuesday night, and the church is closed here in Cloutierville and won't be open for a couple days, and Elmer needs his glasses or he can't watch t.v. or read or nothing.

It's just like those people in charge of things like our money  in those banks.  Folks keep making up excuses why they don't know stuff or where things is but they is the one who lost them in the first place and things keep on getting worse until they get nigh on to impossible to figure after awhile.

 Then just before goin' to bed, and I'm pickin' up and puttin' things away, out comes Elmer's glasses dropped on the floor from a pocket in his shirt; and he comes out of the bathroom and crunch with his foot--there goes the glasses.

All that time and foolish business trying to find those glasses and now they're broke, just like folks needing money and the banks can't figure things out and things keep getting confused and worse for everybody,  while they keep messin' up, just like Elmer, and now he wants new glasses and still can't find his keys.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Those French should work as much as they kiss

"Nicolas, no I can't go there cause you doin' all right on your own.  You wanted that big job you got; and I knows those people are actin' foolish throwing tantrums cause they have to work when they get older, but you're a big fellow and can figure this out, besides we done left there because of that funny business you worrying about in the first place."
Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France
 That child, he's always calling me from way over there in France where he's got that big job as President and that fancy name Sarkozy.  Now what kind of name is that, doesn't sound French to me.  But now he's asking' Granny to go there and handle things because he and his wife Carla Bruni have affairs they still need mindin' just like here, only they not as sneaky. Them French women they's smart they got their jobs and work and look real pretty too, just like women in Cloutierville.

While I was thinkin' bout all that, the phone rings, and Elmer tells me, "It's Nicolas wantin' to talk to you about what he's doin' now.

"Calling again?  Nicolas, if you got the kind of money to call Granny from way over there, you got enough money to take care of business, since you been runnin' around plenty too. And then there's that gal of yours, shoppin' and buying things and all.  Where in tar nation you get all that money?  Are you gonna be borrowing like everybody else?

"We hightailed it out of there a long time ago, my great grandfather he told us we was goin' to make a new home in America here in Cloutierville and all, and if you don't like it much over there in France, well you can get on over here where you got family.  And you can show them folks how it is, cause here we work until we drop dead or something, or that's the way it's lookin.'   Lord, I was working most all the time pickin' something, corn, cotton, pecans whatever they got, so we can put you to work with the rest of us cause you're gonna have to work instead of just loafin' around like some folks do, those rich ones who don't know how to do nothin' and them others who just think they're entitled.  Then there are those no count other folks who claim they have a bad back or can't leave home because they get eat up by alligators.

You figuring things out and acting tough like you said?  Then do what you gonna do cause Granny sure don't like whiners who don't take Granny's advice.  You telling folks you is in charge and won't stand for any funny business, now that's my boy.  But you remember you gotta be fair and nice to people, and don't treat them bad just cause they different."

I told Elmer when Nicolas hung up that he was the one kid I worried about all along when he was growing up since he was fixin on all the girls and wanted to be important and then whines and everybody gets worried, then he works things out.  He maybe ain't like that great grandpappy on his mother's side who had his chance to get on the boat with my great grandpappy, but Nicolas' folk they just got too blame scared to travel that far from home like Nicolas does.

Them French, I hear all they is good for is kissin'' but at least Nicolas he can do that and work too like the rest of them oughta learn.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A witch’s tale for Sissie on rumors and lies in life and politics

“Are you a witch, Granny?” Sissie asked me when she got home from school and she said her friends were asking her about her Granny cause what people asked me to do with the babies, but them kind of rumors and callin' people names, well I don’t think they’re good for little ones to be a-thinkin’ nor their moms or daddies neither. 
Midwife Salome - wikimedia commons
So I sits that child on this knee and I tell her how it happens and how I learned it from a midwife in Cloutierville many years ago.  “You know those people bringing babies here, they believe that soft spot on the baby’s head is helped with what I do.   And Granny knows it helps cause I see it over and over and how it works with babies.

I explains  to Sissie what I do, and it’s somethin’ I think people worry about when they don’t understand what’s going on, and so they make up stories, just like they do with politics and everything else these days and been doing it ever since Granny can remember.

“Now this is what Granny does, that people think is witch.” I go to the kitchen and gets the things so Sissie can see how Granny helps those babies and I shows them to her and I says, “  I take a piece of paper and a little flour from my kitchen here..  That piece of paper is the kind that folks can write on—it can’t be nothin’ else.  Then I put the egg in and make a paste, then put it on the baby’s head, like this.”  And I showed Sissie Bell, and her eyes got really wide.

“But what do you do that for?” Sissie asked.   “I tell her it’s kinda magic-like, but it helps the baby’s soft spot be safe and all, you know, after Granny looks to see about it first by putting a finger in the baby’s mouth and feel the button to see if it’s up or down, then I knows what I gotta do.”

Sissie she was just shakin’ her head, “How can I explain this to my friends?” she asked.  “They’ll think that’s like a witch.”

“That’s what makes your Granny worry,  cause when people don’t understand something and don’t even ask about it or try to figure out, then they just start callin' people names and things can get bad and people hurt and worry little children about it, like you said today, and the stories just get bigger.”

Sissie’s face it gets all pinched up and her eyes squeezed shut, and I knows what she’s been thinkin’ how hard it will be to tell those other children something they don’t understand and that their mommies and daddies don’t know about either.   That’s how big lies are started, and it’s how folks they are getting hurt.  And some folks won't believe the truth, no matter what folks say.

Then I take my Sissie’s little hand and lean down so she feels Granny’s love right there and  kiss her on her curls and say, “Just remember this:  babies is more important than what foolish people think.”

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Elmer's dream tells of the death to come and an angel going home

“Granny, I can’t sleep,” Elmer said, and then he looked at me and shook his head “ I feel kinda different tonight because I had this lonely dream of horses going over a hill carrying a big trunk with them, and something deep inside just says to me something bad is going to happen.”
Seven 'angels' with the riderless horse at the funeral of Chad Jones, 10/23/10 - PSG
Elmer and me we lay there until morning, drifting in each other’s arms at our home in Cloutierville.    The phone rang, and it was my Annie crying, and she don’t cry much since she’s a real tough gal, and she says, “He’s gone, Granny, that feller’s been my friend for years.  But the pain just got too much I guess, so he –well, he just is gone, and it makes  all his friends so sad..”  

Annie didn’t tell Granny how the feller died,  yet folks  around these parts they knew the feller had some hurt like some folks can’t talk about.  Sometimes a body can’t handle what's bottled all up inside anymore, and then one day another mother pulls the shades across her window because her child is gone, and it's a pain that lasts a long time and a grief that's very deep.

 “Why, Granny, why do some folks die like that?”  Annie is the kind of girl who tells you what she thinks and sometimes she seems to think she knows all the answers, but not this time, it’s too much, and she’s just bawling her eyes out now.  

“When you live a long time, you know that life’s a battle over and over, and always something different, “I says to Annie, “but you just seem to get by, and around the corner comes something good along.  Children they don't know that something good is coming because they just see the day that’s there in front of them, and that can seem too long and they don’t see that it will end.  There are grown-ups that  feel that way theirselves.”

Then Elmer he goes to the window, watching the sun move over the hillsides and sees the riders come,  and the horse with the empty saddle, and pulls Annie and me right close to him as we watch those angels coming to take another angel home.
walkway from the church to the burial

St. Augustine burial site with chapel
  In Memorium for Chad Jones and all those whose deaths come too early and who will always be missed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Granny’s fish tale for everyone with a broken heart

“Oh granny, can I talk to you,” my Alice asked one day, and when I heard her story I thought how times don’t change, but people do, like happened to my friend, Elizabeth Edwards, when she was so sick, and then a fishing tale came up.
fishing on the bayou - PSG
“You see some pole cat wandering around away from home, and you know it will get its tail in a trap,  one day like that John Edwards feller who wanted to be President,”  I says to Alice. “That Elizabeth, his wife,  she turned those memories about his finding another woman into something good for others, like I told her she could do.”

And it isn’t just fellers that are cheating, and finding someone else, cause girls they do the same. What happened to you goes on all the time.,” I told my Alice, while she sat there on that couch with her big eyes all bright and shiny from those tears.   Then I says to her,” People you love one day love you, and the next day they might be leaving.  It’s what you do with what you learn that makes you even stronger.”

“But granny, you don’t understand.  It hurts so much inside.”  And I shakes my head because it’s hard to forget that kind of hurt, even when things get better.

That’s the part most folks don’t know, that all of us have secrets, even those that grannies do, long buried in their hearts, until a grandchild like my Alice opens up those hurts and a Granny then remembers.  

“Now all you know is Elmer,” I told Alice, “But years ago this Granny had another man that she loved very much.  Ten children later, this feller left, and Granny was all alone to raise those children by herself.   I thought that day I’d never stop my cryin’.   The times were hard, and I was just so tired there were days I thought I could not take one more step ahead.  

Then one day down that road out back here in Cloutierville, came Elmer going fishing; and one of my boys was out there in that yard, and he asked if he could go along.  Well Elmer he smiled with that grin of his, and said, “Let’s ask your mother.”  I knew right then I’d love that man, and he’d love me and I could start all over.”

“You see, you think when you are young, there’s only one gal or feller who can ever love you, Alice, but love is something when you give, it helps you love much wiser..”

I saw my Alice out the door and turning down the road, and as she’s standing there a boy comes up with a fishing rod on his shoulder.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good deeds come from Granny’s kitchen

Ben called this afternoon while I was in my kitchen and he says to me, “The Metoyer house burned down last night and the family needs some clothes and food for their eight children cause everything is gone, so I decided to call some churches, and it was then I felt real bad."
Grannys kitchen
 I called this preacher down the road, and he tells me, “We got lots of families in need in our church.  I don’t think the Metoyers were members.  Let me check.  Well, I see that they aren’t, so maybe you should find out who their minister is and ask around.”

Then I asked this other church, and they said they were losing their church and going bankrupt so they really couldn’t help.

Another preacher he said no because they are having trouble theirselves after some big legal bill because of a sex scandal in the church..

The last church I called someone said the minister left the church a long time back to run for politics  and no they had nothing to give the Metoyers because they were helping with his campaign. “

When that Ben finished talking  I figured that me and him should get busy and help those folks ourselves, cause that family ain’t been in Cloutierville too long and don’t have many friends.    And Ben he brings these boxes into my kitchen and all these things from his house and has some all filled up and then puts them there with mine and takes them to his truck.  

As Ben is going down the road to the Metoyers,  I said, “God bless you child.” 

But Ben he just looked at me, and then he shook his head and said, “I don’t believe in churches, Gran, just kitchens and in love.”

And I wondered when that child had left and I thought about the day, if maybe, well just maybe, God might love that Ben the best.

Abou Ben Adhem

by Leigh Hunt


Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

         The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest. 
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------
(first published in S. C. Hall's Book of Gems (1838) is this simple poem bearing the theme that to love man is the same as to love God. It also includes the line used as Hunt's epitaph: "Write me as one who loves his fellow men.  For many years, especially in the 1950's when Granny was a young woman, used on Christmas cards)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Granny’s lesson on forgiveness


“He hit me, Granny; and I ain’t ever going to forgive him for that,” that boy Eric he don’t know there’s been a whole lot worse around here.  Some things you might always remember, but you still have to learn to forgive, even that terrible thing that happened to that little boy so long ago.

Statue of an "abandoned child" on the pedestal of the bust of Ernest Rousselle, President of the Conseil Municipal of Paris
I remember I was a little girl when it happened, and I knew the boy named David it happened to, I did; and as long as I live I won’t ever forget what happened at the railroad station down the road near Cloutierville where the trains all stopped that took the folks to town.

There was this colored boy—that’s what they called him back then—who took the train to work every day.  He was sitting in the colored section, and there was this woman and her little girl in the white section; and it was getting cold.  There was no one to fix the heater where they was waiting for the train, so they called for the boy to help them, and he did.  And that was when it all started and us old folks we all know because it’s a painful thing that never goes away.

Some white boys they see that colored boy, David, coming out of the white section, and they start chasing him all across a field, and he goes over a fence and trips and falls and they catches him, and Lord have mercy---I got to stop a minute cause I still feel so bad when I get to thinkin’ bout that boy.

So they caught that child and castrated him and left him in that field, and when his daddy came he took him home and put the cloths on the boy to wipe up all that blood and mess, and the boy kept getting worse.  They was scared to take him to the doctor, but the child he looked near dyin’ so the daddy put him a wagon and took him on down the road.  They passed them boys who hurt that child, and one of those pulled back the covers on that wagon and just laughed as the wagon went by.  The daddy knew then who had hurt his child, but no one ever came to help and the law seemed to forget.

David he died before they got him to the hospital and I still remember how scared we all was around here.  But after a long, long time I got to thinking about that little boy, cause I hear about all those other children in the world who get hurt every day, and many of them people forget, like they just pay no mind. 

 I put my arms around Eric and held him close, and I said to him, “Child, you got to look front and forgive when things happen you can’t change “and I wiped my tears remembering the child so long ago.

And I hoped tonight as I go to bed that some folks will love some child somewhere, some child that’s lost or hurt, or some child some folks don’t want.  That way no child will hurt again like that child David I can’t ever forget.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Granny says, “Tear down that fence”

"Where you going with that chicken wire, Elmer?"  Elmer he’s on his way to finishing build a fence with some of his friends to keep the folks from Lena out of the back pasture, just like those fellers want to keep some folks out of the back pastures in Arizona.. 
fence in front of pasture, fellers want to put fences in back on the road - PSG
"But how are you going to tell those fellers from Lena and the fellers who live here?" I asks them, cause it don't make sense to me, and how are you going to tell the difference between the folks who live in Lena coming in and the folks who live in Cloutierville, but they tell me, "We’ll  check their huntin' licenses."

Well, that's the darndest thing I ever heard, since I don't have a huntin’ license and lots of the folks from Lena don't neither because there’s no huntin in the back pasture.  But those fellers wanting to build that fence say they got to check the huntin' licenses of everyone comin' to Cloutierville they wonder about,  to see who belongs here just in case some folks from Lena come into the back pasture where they don’t belong.

Those folks from Lena got ways to get around that fence if they want to.  It’ll just make trouble with neighbors when we got trouble enough as it is keeping chickens fed and in the coop, so we need that wire they want to use for that darned fence.

I asked them fellers if they told the sheriff what they were fixin' to do, and they said it ain’t his business, since the people in Cloutierville have rights and should be able to build that fence wherever they want to since that sheriff he ain’t done nothing hisself to keep those rascals out.

But I wonder if building these fences and these walls isn’t just plain foolishness, when some other feller can come along and cut them down just like one of our Presidents said about a wall dividing some country people were getting around.   Besides they make fences for animals not for people.

So I tells them we should just sit down with those folks in Lena and the sheriff and work things out, cause there’ll never be enough chicken wire to keep folks out of all the back pastures here and everywhere else.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Granny says, when the stage is gone only the naked ladies remain

 "Hey,  granny I just got a new trailer, now what do you think of that?" Kevin Lacaze was so excited, he went driving by so fast he didn't have time for me to tell him about the naked ladies.
                                          Cloutierville field where naked ladies stand

The naked ladies sit in clumps in fields throughout the town, in empty spaces, looking pretty, but young folks they don't know just what those naked ladies mean.  Or they forget what was once was past, and what those old things are all about.  Some folks are so much in a hurry to change they forget those naked ladies.

We old folks in Cloutierville know what those naked ladies standing in fields could say, if any of them could talk.  They'd tell those young 'uns a thing or two to save them lots of trouble.

These days folks tear things down a lot when what they have still works, and they could use the parts people need and just do something good.    But young folks, like that Kevin, so excited with his new trailer that won't last very long. when his Mama's house still stands there lookin' proud, since she died just weeks ago.  It just needs a little paint, some flowers at the window, some fixing of the steps because that old house has stood so strong so many years, it could last through Kevin's life.  But Kevin he's always chasin' after something new, thinkin' it's just better, never knowin' about those naked ladies and how they could save his home.,

Naked ladies are flowers, and when you see a bunch all alone in a clump by the side of the road, you know a house is gone and with it something good.  Some folks have died or moved away;  the old house is torn down.  Or sometimes the house just stays right there and slowly tears away, all lonely like, just buried in the trees, with naked ladies by theirselves still honoring the dead.  And young folks get their something new, then worry bout the bills for something new is never enough when there's always something better.

When the stage is gone, only the naked ladies remain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Get the hog behind you or fry his bacon, Granny's advice about cheating men

"Have you heard from the cochon?" I asked my Bonnie, and she said, "Granny what's that?" "A hog that roots where it isn't supposed to--- the man who cheats on a good woman."
Hog - picture by Cary & Art - wikimedia commons
 My Bonnie is a pretty child, well my grandchild growing into what they call that middle age, but those big brown eyes that melt your heart and the smile that folks just love.  She walked these roads of Cloutierville with Granny when she was just wee tiny, and then she growed up and married some fellow far away from here in Cloutierville, and one day she came back, crying as she came right in through that front door.

"They'll all do it," I told her.  "Those men folk, that's in their nature when they get older, but what you gotta do is look front.  Let the cochon stay in the back where he belongs, and you just go ahead, girl, you can make it on your own, I just know."

Me I could never understand those no counts, but I watched old Elmer's eyes when they wandered all around one time, and I caught him once a-lookin' at this gal on the street and I says to him, "Old man, you lookin' now and thinkin' someone like that will be hangin' on to you, but when you can't run and play no more, you'll be sitting in the mud all alone.  Cause those young girls they is pretty now, but that changes too; and so will you and one day she'll be gone---and just like those other cochons you'll be just some burnt out bacon."

Well, Elmer he understood when he looked at that iron skillet in my kitchen back home and knew that I meant business cause I can sure fry bacon.
burnt bacon

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Boudreaux might get BP in another Battle of New Orleans, Granny warns

"Okay, I told you to come down from there and do those chores right, so how many times do I have to tell you to get busy and do what you're supposed to, BP, because you know the last time those British started messin' around in Louisiana, they got their comeuppance for sure.


There you are up there away from it all, making other people clean up your oily mess and not making things good with them and all.  Then there's the business of people still getting sick, and you telling them no way they had problems,  even when you were responsible for them in the first place.

I tell you, child, you just can't be trying to figure some way to get out of this, cause Granny's been watching you and told you when you started that business, that you was getting yourself in big trouble, and you still not owning up to it.  You just keep telling people stories, but you know old Granny knows better.  I just knowed you too long.

And you telling me you are only gonna do so much and that's it?  I don't think so, you whipper snapper, because Granny is seeing to it you finish what you started.  You keep beatin' around the bush and not being straight up with Granny or anybody else.

You hear me, boy, when I'm talking to you?  Because I am going to get your cousin Boudreaux from here in Cloutierville up that tree, and you know you don't want to mess with him when he gets mad, cause he knows those swamps real well, and he's fixing to get you into that boat with him and take you out where you can see all you done to mess up, unless those alligators get you first."

Granny gets a scam letter and turns the tables on a trickster

So I gets this letter in the mail from this lady Liu Yan, and she wants my name, address, fax number, phone number, email and details so she can send me $19.5 million, and then she'll tell me what that's all about, but I think with that kind of money she can high tail it down here and meet me, so I sent an invite back, and here's what I wrote:

"Dear Liu Yan,

I got Bessie, M'Lynn, Thomas, Myrtle and her husband Bud, old Joe over on the other side of the tracks who's a widower, my son Beaut, Marty, Theodore, Terrel, Billy, Sylvester, Gordie, Annie, Chris, Jasper, Henrietta, Hattie, Olive, Philbert and a bunch of other kids and their families and all my grandchildren and lots of friends who could use all that money, cause Lord knows I got enough.  So why don't you just come down here, and we'll figure things out like you said.

I got a phone, but it's a party line, and everyone in these parts around Cloutierville likes to find out everybody's business, so no sense giving you that.  Just get on down here and introduce yourself right proper."

Well, I'll be darned, but when I was talking to my friend Myrtle later, she tells me she got the same letter from Liu Yan.  So I thought that Liu Yan must have lots of money if she's sending that letter to everybody in the whole world, but I checked with M'Lynn, my 22-year-old grandchild at the bank, and she didn't get one, so I figure maybe only old folks are getting that letter and maybe we all better check.

So I told Myrtle she should write and get Liu Yan to visit in Tennessee, and then Olive and Bert could do the same thing in Florida, and Mabel and Philbert in Kentucky and all those other old folks around the world, cause there are bunches of them scattered all over the place and more and more of them all the time.  There's a lot of money that Liu Yan says she has, like she wrote, that talks about each and every person, and we could help the President and those other government people pay off all those big bills and have money left over.

Then a couple days later, Myrtle she told me she'd been talking to folks in Tennessee and found out all the old people there got a letter and sent Liu Yan an invite like we planned, and we just heard from Mabel and Philbert and the post office in Cloutierville said they just had lots and lots of cards going out for Liu Yan.  And everybody decided since she might get lost just to tell her to meet at the Burger King in the nearest town because we didn't want to give her our addresses on our letters or nothing and just have her wandering around.

But you know, none of us ever heard back from that Liu Yan, and that's okay because we found out that there were lots of people like her and my nephew whose a policeman told us what to do if it happens again, and folks like Liu Yan were trying to trick old people into giving them money and wanting to pull the wool over some granny's eyes, and we hope someone put that child in the woodshed where she belongs and that she's bawling her eyes out for lying and cheating like that.
woodshed - wikimedia commons

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Granny says marry that soldier because maybe now is all the time there may be

So I been sitting out here listening to the tree frogs and smelling the olive trees and Elmer snoring in there and I think about my granddaughter  here in Cloutierville because her sweetheart Lester left for the war over there that some folks thinks is a bad idea, and Lord knows when he'll be back, but I said, "My child, just take the love that Lester's giving you because who knows maybe now is all the time there may be."

Lizbeth, she's all growed up and smart, but she always comes and sees Granny when she wants to know what to do about something or somethings bothering her.  So I told her, "Lizbeth,  you know this poke salad patch gets smaller every day, and one day you'll be gone from Granny's world and finding your way somewheres else.  But when Lester gave you that ring, well for him that's special and a time in your life that's brand new each day, when you can get up and start all over. 

Elmer and me we been living out here a long, long time, and we never knew when we were young how we was going to make it when times was hard.  And times is hard right now, but when the man upstairs gives you something that makes you so happy, just hold it and keep it right now.  Because maybe that's all we have here now is the love for each other inside."

Airplane trouble too much for Granny

 "Myrtle, where have you been after we been waiting here at the airport for hours?  It's worse than a revival meeting down the road a piece in Cloutierville where folks go to one of those big tents out in the field all day, but at least they'd be singing, and Myrtle tells me she and Bud sure don't feel like singing after being on that plane.
airplanes at sunrise - wikimedia commons
Then Myrtle she sets about telling me what happened and about all those rules and trouble at the airport.  She says she and Bud they went through this long line at the airport and waited and waited, and then they got to where these folks were taking off their shoes and putting them out there and those shoes went through a covered up window in a box and some folks didn't know what to do, Myrtle says.  Then they all were told to walk through this little doorway, and then the alarms went off. 

"And you set off alarms?  Did you light a match or something?"  I was asking Myrtle a bunch of questions, but I couldn't get a word in edgewise cause she was tellin me how she took off her shoes, and then they made her take off her wristwatch, and Bud took off his belt and while he was walking and holding up his pants, Myrtle went through this little door and these alarms kept going off over and over again.

Then Myrtle tells me they took Bud and her off to the side and took this long metal thing and clunk, clunk, clunk they went all over them with it.  Bud's got a pacemaker and had his knee fixed, and Myrtle's got these two metal things in her hips, and Myrtle said they kept asking them what they were hiding in there.

"I told them we wasn't hiding anything, " Myrtle said.  "But they said they had to be careful because we might be terrorists."  "Then Bud told them, "She sure is that," and that must have got them really worried because all these people came rushing around and making us put our hands up and spread our legs, and those alarms just kept going off something crazy."

Myrtle she's big like, and she don't take no guff, so she said she grabbed her purse and started hitting one of those fellows holding that metal rod, and pulling down her skirt with the other hand and telling them no way were they going to lift that skirt up like they was lifting up Bud's shirt.

So they finally get on the airplane,  after that commotion, and they're waiting and waiting in their seats, and Bud has to go to the bathroom. Myrtle tells me, and they won't let him go on the airplane because it isn't moving, which sounded real crazy because their toilet's on the ground, so why not?  And she said Bud was fussing, and this stewardess goes up to him and says, "You don't have to make a stink here."  And Bud says, "I sure am if you don't let me in that bathroom."

So Bud he goes into that bathroom, Myrtle explains, and then he hears this voice tell everybody to take their seat, so he goes back in and says to someone outside to tell him when he can come out.  But nobody ever does, and he's in that bathroom the whole trip.

So Myrtle tells me she and Bud aren't coming to the Poke Salad patch on that airplane for another visit because sitting on that seat made Bud's butt feel bad, but I tell her I heard worse about folks those airplane people wouldn't let eat or go to the bathroom, so I'll just take the bus rather than put up with all that silly business.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Granny tells Thomas to get an education

You know child you aren’t going to amount to a hill of beans if you don’t get your schooling,” but he said, “Granny, I don’t want to be a pointy-headed liberal with a Harvard degree and be President when I grow up,” and I thought now what’s this world coming to. 
classroom  - wikimedia commons

“The other day we had this spelling test, and the teacher she asked me how to spell “government” and I did it right, and the kids all laughed.”  Thomas, he’s 13 now and getting tall for his age so he stands up straight and shakes his head, like he isn’t going anywhere. 

Now I had to sit that boy down because something didn’t sound right about that.  I said, “Don’t you be making up stories, boy,” because I couldn’t believe some young feller didn’t want to grow up to be a doctor or lawyer or even President, especially when they are as smart as my Thomas.  We don't need any empty classrooms when we pay all those taxes for children to go to school and then people make   fun of it.

“No Granny, they say their folks tell them going to school don’t make no difference, and some of them they even make fun of the President going to school.  Besides you didn’t finish all the way through school, and you know everything you need to and you and Grandpa are doing okay.  So why should I have to finish school when it won’t matter anyway and people start making fun like that?”

Well, it takes a lot for Granny to cry, and I have to tell you I did in my heart, right there and then, because since that feller was real little, we been reading to him and loving him and telling him he could grow up to be anything he wanted and now he’s telling me it don’t matter.

But then I get real mad when I start thinking about it because that pointy-headed liberal talk was something someone said a long time ago, and he got caught for being a crook.  He started all this  and now people are doing it again, and I wonder what they're hiding.  But they're hurting my Thomas when they do that, and I thought I gotta stop that kind of talk, at least around here.

So I went down to that child’s school with him here in Cloutierville, because I was real mad, and I went up to that teacher and all those kids and I says, “I ain’t got much education for school and all, but I sure know that things are getting harder and harder to figure these days.  Even Walmart makes you fill out those long papers just to get a job.  And when old Doctor Spencer kicks the bucket, then  who will take care of Granny if there aren’t any doctors, and who’s going to run the country if we don’t have folks who can read?”

Right then this little girl gets right out of her seat and says, “I will.”  And the teacher smiled, because she knows I'm right and so does Thomas after I finished talking.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Granny's advice, don't forget old friends

Hattie Berger is my friend here in Cloutierville since we was knee high to grasshoppers, but she's alone since her kids growed up and moved away and Chester died, but you know she doesn't complain, 'cause we both know it's hard growing old when we still got things to say.
Hattie Berger's house
I said, "Hattie, now you listen here, girl.  You gotta get off that front porch and get down the road and see me,"  but it's hard for her to do that with her bad legs and all.  So I'm walkin' down the road, and I see her, and she waves real friendly like, and gives me a big hug when I get upon that porch.

"Land a-goshin, girl, where you been?"  Hattie smiled, and I got real mad at myself because I hadn't seen her in a week.

Friends is friends, and I tell you that's what's important in this old world where everybody says they're so darn busy.  But down here we don't forget our old folks, no sirree, and I won't take a week to get back and see her.

And don't you folks wait around to see your Hattie Bergers either, because if it gets too late, they just might be gone and you'll be crying and such and that won't ever be enough.  That's Granny's advice to you young'uns so you don't forget what I told you when I was bringing you up.

Growin' old ain't for sissees so take Granny's advice, don't forget old friends.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Call waiting makes granny just plain tired

"Hello?  This is granny talking.  I've been on the phone for half an hour here in Cloutierville, and no one's talking to me, and I keep getting some message to push all these numbers, and I'm getting just plain tired.
Telephone operator - wikimedia commons
 "You folks sent me a card in the mail that said I was approved, and I went down to get a bathrobe at Walmart and they said that card weren't no good."  Now why would you fellers send it to me if you ain't gonna let me use it?"I just kept talking but no one said anything but gave me a bunch of numbers, then made me wait and wait and then gave me the numbers again, as if I can't count or anything.

It was the darndest thing.   Somebody on that phone kept telling me their system changed, and I should just push 1 for this, and 2 for that, and 3 for something else, and who knows what all,  until I got all confused because they kept saying it over and over, and I couldn't ever talk to a real person  so I just hung up.  I called back, and you know what happened?  The same blessed thing.

So I says to myself, well I'll bet they'll talk to someone by gory pat, so I decided to call somebody important I figure who can do something about all this, and I talk to the mayor and I tell him what happened.  And he says, "Granny, everything's like that these days.  You just have to learn how to use the new technology."

"You mean I can't ever talk to anyone on that fool contraption again and just have all these folks saying the same things over and over, counting up those numbers and never letting me interrupt them from doing that so I never get my answer for anything?"

The mayor he laughs and tells me that all the phones are like that, and he gets tired of it too.  And I wonder why he puts up with it him being important and all-- but I figured if he can't do anything about it, maybe the rest of us could.

So I have this plan, but I'm gonna need the rest of you folks to help.  I'm down here in the poke salad patch, and we got a party line.  If all you folks get on your party lines all at the same time and asked the operator to call those people and made a big fuss and started yelling real loud, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it  no more," than maybe this darn foolishness will stop and someone will listen and answer some questions.

All this business going on when Granny's got washing and ironing and cooking to do, that phone is getting in the way of getting anything done so I think I'll just yell down the road for the time being like I used to and folks around here, well they pay attention when you're talking.  They'll yell back, like they always do and say, "Hey Granny we hear you, now why don't you make some of your cupcakes?"

Well my neighbors will get some of those cupcakes, but that phone company is only going to get a piece of my mind if I ever get to one of theirs, since they can't think to stop repeating themselves.

Elmer surprises a truck salesman trying to cheat him

So my grandbaby M'Lynn works over at the bank and she says, "Granny, you and Elmer ought to get yourselves a new truck," so Elmer and me we went looking for one, and the salesman said, "Have I got a special for you."  Well when Elmer found out how that feller was trying to cheat him, it was the salesman that got the surprise.
the tractor Elmer took to the car dealer

Me and Elmer we walked around that big yard that feller had, and he was just a-talkin'' and telling us all about his trucks, and he pointed to one of them and said to Elmer, "Just for you today is that truck you can get for about $16,000 if you got yourself a trade.  The car companies are making it easy for folks like you to have yourself a brand new truck and save yourself money because they'll even give you some money out the door."

So Elmer he says, "I got that truck over there."  And the feller he just laughed. "Besides my house didn't cost nearly that $16,000, and we didn't have anything to trade then." Elmer told him.  And the feller he done laughed again, like he was making fun of poor people..

Well, Elmer he don't take too kindly when fellers do something like laugh at his truck because nobody does that around where we live and laughing about the house here in Cloutierville,  that was worse.  But Elmer got even madder when he found out that walking out the door money the feller said he was going to give Elmer  was just tacked on to the price of that truck.

So that night Elmer and a bunch of his friends, they got the rusted out tractor from the back field and took it over to that big yard where those new trucks were and tacked a sign on it that said "traded this tractor for a brand new truck."

The next day there was this big bunch of fellers with their tractors all lined up outside that fancy truck place, and that feller who tried to sell us that truck you could hear him crying and yelling when those fellers chased him down the road so fast you couldn't even spot his behind.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hide the moonshine because the revenuers are coming after the election

"Those revenuers are coming, so you better hide the moonshine right quick,"I says to Elmer, and he asks how I know about the revenuers.  I tell him that's what happens when some politician says "no new taxes."
Moonshine - Brian Stansberry, wikimedia commons
Elmer he went on out in the back yard and got everything settled with our boys so nobody would take some of that moonshine we been making here in Cloutierville  and then say we had more than we did.  We pay our taxes, but we darn sure aren't going to pay more when they keep busting in here ever so often and taking off with our moonshine.

So I'm waiting right here for one of those fellers to come through the door with one of those pieces of paper.  Like those politicians that say some fellers raise taxes, and they don't for a little while and then they darn tootin' do it anyway. so who's a body to believe about it?

Elmer, now he comes in and sits down after he's done hiding the still and all that moonshine and says, now what are those "no new taxes' since we keep getting those old ones coming back every year.  It's just a little business we got going, and the people around here aren't going to have their Saturday night fun down if there isn't enough moonshine on the table.  We been paying taxes and those big fellers that run those companies on Wall Street and all, they don't pay nothing."

Now I tell Elmer, "It's sure as shootin' those fellers are coming since they been planning it all this time since they didn't have the big say down there in Washington.  They are just pretending by saying we shouldn't trust the government because that's them anyway, ain't it?  It don't make any difference either who wins the election.  Those revenuers are coming."

Elmer and me gotta have our old age pension checks from the government because we need that money for the car to get us to church and to the doctor down the road and pay for our medicines, because Lord knows my bones get hurting from my rheumatism.  Besides we don't get that much money anyways.  Those same folks who promise they won't raise our taxes were gonna take some of my old age money and Elmer's and give it to those big fellers on Wall Street and gamble with it, like they do when they get a lot of money.   Isn't that why some of them went to jail?  Might just as well come down here and play poker with the boys.

So I know when those revenuers are comin' right after the election.  They think they we can't figure them all out, what they're doing and everything.

But granny knows what they been up to, Lord have mercy.  So when we see them coming we ain't feeding that alligator so it'll be hungry enough to make those boys think twice about coming down here again.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Granny and Elmer get in trouble over modern fashion

So me and Elmer were standing in the line at Walmart, and this feller ahead of us,  he had his pants down and his knickers showing underneath so you could see his behind.  Well Elmer said, "Son, your underwear is showing," and then you know, all hell done broke loose after that.
Fellow with sagging pants - flickr - Malingering

This feller he turns around and tells Elmer, "Butt out."

I said, "It sure is, boy."  And I hands him a safety pin because maybe he needs something to hold up those britches.

"Are you going to stick me with that pin, lady?" the fellow asked.  Well, I couldn't figure that out because he didn't have a belt on to hold up his pants so I wondered how he could walk around and not trip all over himself.

"No," I says, "If you just hold still a minute, this will keep those pants up."  And I put my hand right there by his backside and gave those pants a tug.

So this girl standing there she said, "Hey, what you doing there?  Don't you be putting your hands on my fellow's behind."

Then I says to the girl, "Well, I can't seem to reach far enough down there to get the pin in.  Here you take it because that boy's pants are going to fall down, and when he carries those groceries he's gonna drop them if he has to hold up his pants.."

Well,we thought there might be a ruckus coming because those young folks they looked real mad.  We got out of Walmart as fast as we could, but I figured they wouldn't catch us since that boy can't hold up his britches and run after us at the same time.

But my stars and garters, I sure been thinking, if someone told me my knickers was showing I wouldn't be standing around all gabbing like that in front of people and I'd be thanking someone giving me a safety pin to fix my pants.

My grandson in Cloutierville he told me sagging pants, that was the fashion, but if he ever showed his knickers like that he'd be off to the woodshed with a switch on his behind.

Friday, October 8, 2010

President Obama gets scolding from Granny about the oil spill

Get in here, Barry, you young whipper snapper.   And don't tell me it was those other boys that did it.  You made yourself the President, so you gotta own up.  You sure knew all about it too.  I didn't raise you up to be like that, telling people stories about the oil spill when they weren't true.


You may think you're all high and mighty right now  and all that, but you know better.  And I told you when you were little and came to visit your Granny in Cloutierville, you gotta tell the truth all the time, no matter what.  So there's no excuse for what you did.  Why do I have to keep telling you?

Next time, you won't get just a scolding but all of you boys are going out to that woodshed so you better apologize.  When you talk to Jesus, you tell Him you're sorry too because you can't lie and still say you're a good boy.

Now you just stop sniveling, and pull up those britches, and no you can't have a cookie right now because you haven't earned it after what I just heard.  When you go back and apologize and stop being naughty and tell people they have to tell the truth, and stop making excuses, then we'll see about it.

Now go back to work because everybody needs you to take care of yourself because you don't want to get sick like some of Elmer's friends and their families down there near that oil spill when you said there wasn't much that was going on.  It isn't going to be fixed for a long time, so you better think about how many people that hurt because when you don't tell the truth, well people might not trust you next time.

Remember just like I told you, you're judged by the company you keep.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Granny decides to grow test tube babies

I'll be swtiched if that isn't something.  Some fellow won a noble prize for making babies in a tube. I could hardly wait to tell Elmer, but he said I didn't need him for that, and I should just get one of those tubes and see what happens.

Some guy named Robert Edwards was in Sweden, and they gave him a prize so people made 4 million babies in tubes.  So I says to myself maybe I could win a trip to Sweden and get a prize if I could make 4 million babies in test tubes.  After all, I got a lot of plants around here; and everybody says I can grow just about anything.

But I sure hope the Catholics don't get mad at me like they did with that other fellow.  It sure is better than just saying no, like Nancy Reagan could help people stop doing what they were doing.  But for me, I couldn't ever say no to Elmer, because he's too cute.  Myrtle tells me that's why we got so many kids.

But I wanted to see if I could do it myself, so I got me some tubes the other day and went down to the county hospital and asked them to put baby stuff in there so I could watch it grow here in Cloutierville.  I've got plants up on the shelf right by the window, and I'd put it right up there where it would get lots of sun.  Those folks must not listen to the news, because they looked at me like I was crazy or something.  But I told them this fellow got a prize for making people able to do it.  I thought if I could make one grow, then I could take some parts of it, and put that in a tube too; and maybe that's how they got those 4 million babies.

I just can't figure how they get a whole baby into a tube and then get one out when it's big enough, but Elmer told me not to worry about it because I could get the tube and give it to some other girls who can grow them, and they could figure out the rest. 

Now why are the Catholics mad about that?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Granny tells Myrtle: the recession is over

Myrtle says Bud lost his job at Walmart last year, and they don't have money to come visit.  I said, "Myrtle, the recession is over, so don't tell me Bud doesn't have a job."

I just don't understand that woman.  I told her a week ago  the recession was over, but she keeps calling and calling me and whining about Bud's job.  I told her that was last year, so I says to her, "Just stop your sniveling.  He's probably back at work already and just isn't telling you yet."  She said, " He tells me he's gone fishing," but then I said, "Yeh, he's fishing for something since he's got the money and just doesn't want to spend it on you.  Because everyone knows the recession stopped a long time ago." 

I get real worried about Myrtle sometimes when the government says something real important like telling us the recession is over.  Just like that.  The President said the recession is over, and the t.v. says the same thing.  Everybody's talking about it in Washington, and they all look really happy.

"Look Myrtle.  Read the paper.  Watch t.v.  Everybody's saying it.  You can come visit anytime you want, because you'll have all the money you need.  You just keep your eyes on that billfold of Bud's, because there's money going to show up.

"Well, Bud hasn't been working for nearly two years,." Myrtle tells me.  But I reminded her the President said it was last June the recession was over."  Some big Washington economists said so, and all of those folks can't be wrong.  So what does Myrtle have to complain about anyway, unless she's like all those other people complaining because they just want attention.

Elmer and me here in Cloutierville we think Bud's got a bundle of money by now, unless he's been out playing the slots at the bar with some gal behind Myrtle's back.  With the recession over, Bud's got it easy these days.

I guess Myrtle doesn't hear well or something because this morning I had to yell into the phone.  "Myrtle, the recession stopped last year.  Well, maybe it's just slower getting to you because they are saying it's happened in Washington, but maybe what happens in Washington stays in Washington like what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  You just have to sneak or look real close to find out.  Or maybe that recession stopping hasn't got to Tennessee yet since it's a long way from Washington to where the real folks live.