Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Teasing Miss Connie

First, I need to give you, the reader, the lay of the land. My small acreage filled with horses and goats is on
the south edge of town. By good fortune and due to the fact
the last owner had sheep it is grandfathered in as farm land
even though it lies within city limits.

To the south of me, right across the railroad tracks, is
Will's place. Mostly pasture and river bottom land, actually
several chunks strung together, Shakey, the Trailer House
place, Elwoods, the Pond pasture, No Mans land. Go far
enough and you hit Wills folks place, Little Acorn Ranch.

When I am needed and when I can I help Will with his
cows and calves, we chase the occasional bull, fix some
fence when we have time. Not bad work when you can get it.
And, on a good day, we get to eat dinner at the Little Acorn with
Will's folks,John and Miss Connie.

This is good old farm noon meal eating, porcupine balls,
maybe Spanish rice, other day we had tator tot casserole
without the hamburger or tater tots just hunks of steak
with sliced potatoes on top baked in the oven, fresh
asparagus when in season, on a good day fresh rhubarb crisp. And then, "Roy finish up this, Roy have some more spargus"

When you think your all done Connie
rolls out a cart with ice cream and two kinds of topping,
butterscotch and chocolate, and nuts, can't forget the
crushed nuts. "Roy, would you like some tea".

As good as the food is the table banter is even better. Although
both in their seventies Wills folks act much younger, lots
of joking and kidding around. I should have known I couldn't
keep it for myself long.

You remember my son Alan the 31 one year old erstwhile
mechanic. Alan decided he liked being a auto tech as good as
anything but that as much as he liked it anything over three
days a week was simply too much of a good thing. He sold all his
crap, bought a cabin "trashed out trailer house" in the
woods, got his electricity usage down to thirty kilowatts a
month and started working for Miss Connie on Mondays and
Fridays, me, I get him Tuesday thru Thursday.

So what does he do at Miss Connie's? Oh they have funerals
for dead woodchucks the dogs kill, walk in the woods and dig
up protected flowers to plant in the garden, dig up shrubs
and plant new ones, make shade gardens, mow the lawn, wash
the motor home, clean the garage, hang bird feeders, study
birds and catalog bugs. In short they get along just fine
and seem to enjoy each others company. Miss Connie is
nothing if not a mother and like any good mother she makes
sure Alan is well feed. In short, the little fart cut into
my noon dinner franchise. John who buys the grocery's
grumbles but seems to tolerate the situation. Certainly
makes for some lively dinners.

The sting

So my best friend Jerry the parts man from the local GM
dealer retired and I lined him up to help Will pickup round
bales and tote them to Elwoods. 10AM Will calls and asks if I
want to join them for dinner in town, sure count me in, he
asks if I would please pick them up, making sure he has his
checkbook with him I agree to pick them both up at Shakey. A
hour later I come back from a service call and Alan tells me
Will called and they are now eating at John and Connie's and
to please pick them up at Elwoods.

I ask Alan if he is coming, he replies, sadly, that no, he
was not invited. I call up Miss Connie and ask if it would
be possible for Alan to join us. She replies that he is
welcome but their is hesitation in her voice, it is too late
to put on more potatoes, the meat is limited, yes, he is
welcome but we won't be able to eat as much as we normally
do she cautions. Sensing her weakness I say I will tell him she said there
is not enough food and he has to stay home, she makes
some protest but I assure her it will be OK and hang up.

Chuckling I turn to Alan and give him 6 bucks to go buy a
meal at Subway instructing him to show up ten minutes late
with his sack lunch in hand looking all sad and lonely.

Picking the boys up at Elwood I tell Jerry about my plans,
Will is riding in the back of the truck his legs dangling from
the bed and remains oblivious to the plot.

I am no more in the house then Connie starts to apologize
for Alan not coming out, I explain to her is was not a
problem, I had told Alan she had said there was not enough food and he
had to stay home, "but he could have come, I just meant there
was not a lot of food, we could have got by, he could have
come, he is always welcome " her voice trails off. I act unconcerned.

We all sit down for dinner and dig in, Alan's absence comes
up again, again Connie says he could have come, she didn't
mean to say he couldn't. Again I shrug it off, no big deal.

We are ten minutes into the meal when the dogs start
barking, Will gets up to look out the window and starts
laughing uncontrollably, "It's Alan and he has a sack lunch
with him" he yells out.

Connie rushes to met him at the door apologizing and giving
him a big hug, looking for all the world like a lost dog Alan says no problem but could he maybe havea glass of water to go with his sandwich?

At the table again Connie begs his forgiveness and explains
her situation, Will had called late, she hadn't planned on
so many, Alan is playing it for all it's worth, all I can do
to keep from losing it.

After five minutes Alan gave it up and told her it was a
setup, what a hoot, the whole table is roaring now.
Recovering Connie tells us a story of checking cows at two
in the the morning back in the day, not thinking much of her
flashlight one of the cows had stomped her into the mud
leaving her to crawl back to the fence. She was determined
to sell the offending cow but the next day one her her
neighbors had came to the cows defense. Surly she could
understand the cow had been affected by a hormone imbalance
as she was just ready to drop her calf? Connie replies she
had two children and she never stomped anyone into the mud,
that cow was hamburger!

With this story as a lead nothing could save Connie from my
favorite joke of all time.

"Connie, know the difference
between a enzyme and a hormone"?


“Can't hear a enzyme”.

The table again roars, Connie keeps shaking her head saying
"that's terrible, that's a awful joke” all the while she can't keep
from laughing.

Things die down a bit Alan offers up he told that joke once
to a fellow, guy replied back he never heard a hormone, Alan told him in that case he must be doing something wrong.

Table again erupts.

It was a good day
Regards, Roy

Writers note, Those familiar with the Greigs land will note a error in that No Mans Land is on the Little Acorn Ranch, not Will's land, This is simply a case of it is too good a name to leave out of the narrative. I firmly believe one should never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

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